Saturday, December 31, 2016

~ Happy New Year ~

Another Year is Dawning

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.
~ Frances R. Havergal ~

"So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
O satisfy us early with thy mercy;
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Let thy work appear unto thy servants,
and thy glory unto their children.
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us:
and establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. 
~ Psalm 90:12,14,16,17 ~

May the Lord guide us each in this coming year, draw our hearts closer to Himself, give us a deeper love for Him, cleans us and purify us, conform us to the image of Christ, grow us in our love for one another, and use us as lights of His kingdom for His glory and honor.

Happy New Year from the Alexander Family!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

What is it Really all About?

For God So Loved the World
John 3:16-21
(16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(17)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(19)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(20)  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
(21)  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Duty is Ours, Events are God's

"The great thing that is our all in all to us is duty, and not event; for duty is ours, events are God's - our own duty, and not another's; for everyone shall bear his own burden - our present duty, and not the duty of the time to come; for sufficient to the day shall be the directions thereof: a good man's steps are ordered by the Lord, (Psalm 37:23); he is guided step by step.  Now all our duty is summed up in this one of following Christ.  We must attend his motions, and accommodate ourselves to them, following him to to do him honor, as the servant his master; we must walk in the way in which he walked, and aim to be where he is.  And if we will closely attend to the duty of following Christ, we shall find neither heart nor time to meddle with that which does not belong to us."
- Matthew Henry -


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tea for Two? :-)

Anyone that knows our family knows that we like tea, especially Brittany!  So in honor of her, I thought I would post this article in hopes of encouraging others but also just to bring a smile to Brittany when she reads this.  Love you Brittany and am so thankful for you!  You add such a special sparkle to our family!!! ~Mom

So make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the read.  :-)

Cancer-Fighting Beverage: 10 Health Benefits of Tea
By Ty Bollinger

Are you thinking about changing up your morning coffee routine? Maybe you’d like to add a healthier drink to your diet. Perhaps you simply love the taste. Whatever your reasons, the many health benefits of tea are going to change the way you feel inside and out. 

The scientific focus of this historical beverage is a fairly new undertaking. Ancient cultures, however, have known how wonderful tea is since 1,000 BC. The Chinese were the first to introduce tea to the world. For more than a thousand years they used it almost exclusively for medicinal purposes. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) often refers to tea throughout their texts for ailments both big and small.

Many scientific studies are finally touting the health benefits of tea, particularly the green tea varieties. Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, has said, “Tea consumption, especially green tea, may not be the magic bullet, but it can be incorporated in an overall healthy diet.”
10 Ways You Receive the Health Benefits of Tea

  1. Polyphenols Content: Polyphenols, especially catechins and epicatechins, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. These little powerhouses protect your body from the bad things you consume. Over time, they may even help reduce the risks associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you drink too much caffeinated tea, you may get a little jittery, but overall it suits a healthy lifestyle. 
  2. Weight Loss: Tea may be able to help you lose weight or keep that waistline in check. In a study of tea drinkers versus non-tea drinkers, the people consuming hot tea on a regular basis had smaller waistlines and a lower BMI (body mass index). 
  3. Increased Muscle Endurance: If you’re looking for better exercise endurance, green tea may help. Scientists discovered that antioxidants in green tea extract increase your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. This allows you to build your stamina at the gym more quickly and reap the benefits of a healthier body.
  4. Cancer Protection: The powerful antioxidants found in tea can actually protect your body from cancer. Current research has shown that tea helps your body fight off certain cancers, including colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and many others. Tea isn’t a cure for cancer, but it is a simple and effective superfood that can help lower your personal risk.
  5. Fight Free Radicals: What’s a free radical? They’re the bad guys that invade your cells and alter them for the worse. The extensive damage they cause has been scientifically linked to heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Despite your body’s design, it is not always able to fight off the free radicals – especially if you have a poor diet or lifestyle habits. Antioxidants found in tea help fight the bad guys. 
  6. Defend Bones: The compounds found in green tea improve bone strength and density. This is great news as we age and our bones begin to weaken. Used in conjunction with mild weight or strength training and a healthy diet, green tea can help you fight the ravages of osteoporosis.
  7. Regulate Blood Sugar: People with Type 2 diabetes benefit from regular tea consumption. The compounds in green tea help the metabolic system process sugars more efficiently. In a surprising finding, studies showed that people who drank at least six cups of green tea per week were less likely to develop diabetes at all. 
  8. Boost Brain Power: Many factors influence your brain health. Age, weight, activity levels, and smoking all factor into the way our brains age. Polyphenols in tea may slow the effects of aging in the brain’s memory and learning centers. This includes neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.
  9. Hydration: Your body is comprised mostly of water. You have to have it for your body to function properly and experts estimate that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Not everyone enjoys drinking gallons of water every day, and coffee (despite its other benefits) has dehydrating effects. Tea, despite the caffeine, is a hydrating beverage. Next time you’re falling asleep at 3 pm, try iced green tea for a refreshing pick-me-up instead of coffee.
  10. Healthy Teeth and Gums: Countries known for their tea consumption likely drink it plain or only lightly sweetened. Tea contains naturally occurring fluoride and tannins. These help prevent plaque from forming on the teeth. Unsweetened tea, along with a daily regimen of brushing and flossing, helps keep those pearly whites healthy.

What Type Should You Drink to Gain the Most Health Benefits of Tea?
There are a myriad of choices of tea in your local grocery store so you’re sure to find one that suits your taste. Before you go diving into a fancy flavored blend, keep in mind that real tea (Camellia sinensis) consists of four varieties: green, black, white, and oolong.
Teas referred to as “herbal” are not the same. These types of brews are not made from tea leaves but from flowers, fruit, or roots. 

Read your labels if you’re looking for health benefits and avoid pre-bottled varieties that have had all the good stuff processed out. While tea is healthy, sugar is NOT! Processed beverages are loaded with additives that negate the health benefits of tea. If you can’t stand unsweetened drinks, consider using maple sugar or raw honey instead. 

Hot or iced, unsweetened or gently kissed with honey… tea is a wonderful choice for your anti-cancer lifestyle.

Stay informed and don’t miss a single article or interview from The Truth About Cancer. Go here to be notified each week about new, cutting-edge information that impacts your health.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Don't Look Around; Look At Christ!

"Men's hearts failing them for fear,
and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth..."
- Luke 21:26 -

I was so struck when I read this verse yesterday morning.  It immediately took my mind to the following passage.

"But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him, they were troubled; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come.  And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sin, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased."
- taken from Matthew 14:22-32 -

When we keep our eyes on the Lord we can walk with strength and confidence through places we could never walk otherwise.  It is when we start looking around at the waves, at all that is happening around us, that our strength fails, we are overcome with fear and our hearts fail and we faint.  It is our lack of faith that causes us to doubt.  Our lack of confidence causes us to waver.  Yes, sometimes the waves are big and we feel the force of the wind around us.  We feel like we are walking only fictitiously on water, but in reality our feet are set solidly on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.  Let us keep our eyes steadfastly set on Him!  We don't need to look around.  All we need to see is Him.

"In thy light shall we see light."
- Psalm 36:9b -

"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
- Luke 18:1b,8b -


It's About the Cross

A precious sister shared this with me and I LOVE it!!!  Thanks Emily!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Pure Heart is a Single Heart for God's Will

"A pure heart is a single heart, not divided.
A pure heart wills what God wills,
no matter what the cost.
Strength of will is to will against oneself,
to say, "Not my will - Thine.""
~Elisabeth Elliot, Quest for Love