Tick Tock

Perspective Check:

What do you think when you hear the words “My Time”? Or phrases like, “I only have this much time”, “I’m going to do XYZ with ‘my time'”, or “I don’t have any time for that.”

Is any time really ours to claim? Do I own a minute, an hour, or a week? Can I control time? Make more of it, less of it, or make it non-existent? No, not really. All I can do it utilize time.

My Time

I’ve been reminded of this recently when I’ve had my own agenda of what I plan to do with “my time”, and then someone calls and needs a last minute favor, or a friend calls and is really down about life, and talk on the phone for a long time.

Needless to say, I don’t end up accomplishing the ever-so-important agenda. But when I stop and think about these things, the truth is, time is not “mine.” All time is God’s time! He is the creator of time, the allocater,The Beginning and the End. I just have the opportunity to choose how I’m going to spend God’s time – do I choose to use it for MY purposes…or His?

Which in the long run is more eternal: to run errands that can be done tomorrow, or watch a friend’s child so that they can do something super important?
To work on paperwork, bills, and other items that can be done in the near future, or give undivided attention to a friend who is low and can use some encouragement and love at that very moment?

This perspective makes it simple! It’s not the gratitude and thanks from others that makes it simple (though it’s always nice to hear!!), it’s the fact that in the end, I used His time wisely and took advantage of the opportunities that He put in front of my path instead of wasting them. THAT my friends, is worth all the time in the world, and in the end, we will be rewarded (or not!) for how we spend His time.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18

” So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (NLT)

Downtown

It’s not often that I go off and do my own ‘thing’ in the evening and leave the Hubs to take care of the kiddos, and when I do, it’s usually for a planned event that I ‘should’ go to, or a much-needed GNO. 

Yesterday was a rare exception.

A dear friend that I love to spend time with invited me to ride along with her to go downtown (Columbus, OH). I love leaving my cozy suburbia to romp around downtown at the fun restaurants, shows, busy nightlife (and the Hubs and I even went down to a salsa dancing bar last weekend!)  I used to live near the OSU campus area, and we went to church down near the Short North for about 10 years, but I never on my own would have thought of going downtown to do what we were going to do. 

We were picking up a gal that I had heard great things about, but it was my first time meeting her. Her name is Carly.  Carly had with her several cute little bags that she had made up – and we were going to go scour the streets for women to give these bags to.  Not just any women, but specific women.  Women who are lingering on the streets. Prostitutes. Addicts. Those being sex-trafficked. Image

It was a drizzly, mild-temperature night.  Driving around in a specific neighborhood that my two friends have become familiar with over the last several months, we soon saw some the individuals that we were looking for. We would pull up next to a lady and Carly would jump out of the car and approach the lady with a small cute bag of personal hygiene items and attempt to talk to her.  While many of these women are strung out on something and are unable to hold a conversation, she usually could get one important piece of information from them…their name.

My friends actually know these women by name! They would see a girl walking and ask each other, “Is that ‘Cheyenne’?” or ” I haven’t seen ‘Melissa’ for months…I hope she’s ok.”  They know which ladies are open to talking, which ones appreciate a bag of goodies, and which ones are ready to run at first sight.  They remember which one refused the coat that they offered to them on the sub-zero temperature night this winter because it would make them look “ugly” (and not get business).

These prostitutes are stuck. Some because of being trafficked, some because of having ‘no way out’ and almost all of them because of drugs.  They have no hope. They need someone else to have hope for them, and to care about them enough to take a chance on them.

Reaching For the Shining Starz” is an organization that Carly has put together as a way of reaching out to these women and letting them know that there are people who care, and that there is help (and hope) out there for them!  She collects (and often buys on her own) personal care items like washcloths, small soaps, chapstick, granola bars, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. and buys cute little bags to put them in to hand out to these ladies. But that’s not all – she includes a paper that has the name and number for many different organizations that can offer them help.  Drug rehab, shelters, you name it.

Are you feeling touched yet? If not, consider this: Jesus ministered to the ‘untouchables’. He hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers.  My Bible study lately has been on the story in John chapter 4, about how Jesus didn’t condemn the ‘woman caught in adultery’! He showed her grace and mercy, and told her to, “Go, and sin no more.” 

That’s one thing that gets me. I admit it. I find myself at times quick to judge. I’ll think, “yeah, I’d never get caught up in drugs, or sell myself on the street.” But Jesus looks at my ugly, horrible sin for exactly what it is: The same as one of these prostitute’s detestable acts….SIN.

I’m no different, I just sin differently. How about you?

NOW are you feeling touched? My heart hurts for these women, even when we see them relieving themselves on the side of a building. Maybe you feel called to go down to the inner city and seek out prostitutes to show love and kindness to. Maybe that totally freaks you out, and understandably so, but you would consider helping to stuff some bags or donate personal care items, or money to help support this cause. (check out & ‘Like’ Reaching For the Shining Starz’s FB page to learn more.)  Carly plans to have information and a collection box at my Clothing Swap GNO event on April 26th in Dublin, OH. Ladies, check out the awesome event and please bring some items to help support her!

One last thought that I want to leave you with…Psalm 91.  I ‘happened’ to open up to it this morning and I was struck by it in many different ways. I’ll probably expound upon it at a later date, but one of the ideas comes from the part about being ‘rescued’ and having ‘armor and protection’ through His (God’s) faithful promises. He says that He will rescue those who love Him. Romans 8:28 says that, “He works everything together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Many thoughts come to mind about this, but for certain, I know that I need to post this passage below, for somebody out there. You may not be a prostitute or drug addict, but you might need to hear what these words say…you may need to know that YOU can call on God and He will answer you, that he’ll be with you in trouble (vs 4). That He’ll rescue you. (vs 15).  So read this and feel free to leave a comment about how it impacts you:

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Amen!!

Soy Much Better — and Greener!

Reliv has always promoted the many nutritional benefits of soy. But what you might not know is that when you nourish your body with soy, you’re also nourishing our world by caring for the planet. April 22 is Earth Day – the perfect time to celebrate soy as an environmentally sustainable and healthy protein source.

Soy Much Greener

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global food demand will grow by 70% or more by 2050, along with a significant need for protein — an essential nutrient for human health. Keeping up with the current demand for animal protein would cause strain on water, land and resources. Soy offers a potential solution.

Soy conserves water. When it comes to water consumption, soy protein is far more conservative than animal-derived proteins – saving more than four million gallons of water for each ton of soybeans produced.

Soy is energy-efficient. A critical way to examine a food’s environmental cost is to evaluate total energy used throughout production. Soy is an efficient source of protein based on return of energy use compared with proteins from other sources. Between 1987 and 2007, the amount of energy used to produce a bushel of soybeans decreased by about 66 percent, according to the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture.

Soy has a smaller eco-footprint. Soybeans produce more usable protein per acre of farmland than all other forms of complete protein. When comparing the environmental impact on land from cultivation to the end product, soy is over 17 times more efficient than other forms of protein.

Soy Healthy

Not only does soy meet the strict nutritional requirements necessary to make it into Reliv cans, it’s also a superstar when it comes to maintaining a happy, healthy planet. Reliv’s exclusive LunaRich whole soy powder is no exception. LunaRich™, like all soy used in Reliv products, comes from non-GMO soybeans. And LunaRich is processed less than two hours from Reliv headquarters, limiting fuel needed for transportation. You can find LunaRich in Reliv Now®, SoySentials® and Reliv Now® For Kids!

Article was written by and compliments of Reliv International.

Want to order Reliv products? Have questions? Contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor, with questions or comments, or to obtain your free personal Reliv customer order number:

I “Beet” You Can’t Guess What I Made for Breakfast…

I made beets for dinner last night and didn’t want to waste the nutrition in the 4 cups of beet water that was left over. What to do? BINGO! Use the beet water to prepare our oatmeal! Did everything else the same (Old-fashioned oats, honey, cinnamon, raisins, and the remaining water needed.) Turned out pretty, and the kids were pleasantly surprised that it tasted good, too!
You can’t “beet” this oatmeal!

Cardio, Weight, Skin, and more!

3 More Reasons Soy is So Super

Soy is one superfood that continues to gain attention. Studies illustrate soy’s ability to improve bone health, alleviate menopausal symptoms and reduce risk of some diseases. Recent scientific breakthroughs have uncovered even further benefits of soy for cardiovascular health, weight loss and skin care.

1. Lunasin is nutritional “magic” for cardio health.

In 1999, the FDA approved a health claim that “25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This claim was based on research findings that soy-based diets reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

Meanwhile, science has uncovered the nutritional “magic” behind soy’s cholesterol-lowering abilities. Studies show lunasin, a naturally occurring peptide found in soy, is largely responsible. Lunasin works to lower cholesterol in two ways:

  • disrupts the production of cholesterol in the liver
  • improves the liver’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream

2. Protein and peptides are heavy hitters for weight loss.

For years, dieters have relied on the mighty soybean to aid weight loss. It makes sense: soy is high in protein and fiber for satiety, while also low in fat. But a study showed that soy also has an effect on the mechanisms in the body that boost metabolism. In other words, soy packs a powerful one-two punch for weight loss by addressing both food intake and calorie burning.

3. Antioxidant promotes supple skin.

Studies suggest the combination of consuming soy and applying it topically may provide a host of skin benefits. Soy’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce the redness caused by acne and sun exposure. It also helps promote the synthesis of collagen and improves skin elasticity. Soy even improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Skincare containing soy, like Reliv’s r line of premium products, can help reduce wrinkles, skin discoloration and inflammation when used over time.

Discover how you can add soy to your health regimen.

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv.

(Article written by, and compliments of Reliv International)

To order Reliv products risk-free through the 30-day money-back guarantee, contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor, to obtain a customer ordering number:

To order, contact

Tip #1: Recognize Enjoyment vs Overindulgence

Don’t stress over what NOT to eat this Thanksgiving. Remember: Enjoying food is a good thing, but overindulgence and gluttony is not.
Be mindful of how full you fill your plate (and how many plates you fill!) Eating healthy isn’t just about limits, but about choices and balance. For instance, do you like everything you see on that Thanksgiving smorgasbord? Then enjoy the holiday and try it all! But only a small taste or spoonfull of each item.

ENJOY this Thanksgiving feast with portion control and avoid that gluttonous, over-stuffed feeling of overindulgence.

PS. Let’s be thankful for how fortunate we are to have food, there are so many who do not! Consider partnering with me to support the Reliv Kalogris Foundation (RKF) where we feed well over 40,000 kids and family every day! http://www.RelivKalogrisFoundation.org

The Best Exercise

Cardio vs. Strength Training
With all the current workout fads — from Zumba to P90X — sometimes it’s difficult to decide what’s best for your fitness or weight loss goals. Here’s a breakdown so you get the most out of your time at the gym.Strength Training

Strength training workouts — like weightlifting, resistance tubing — increase muscle mass and bone density. As you age, your muscle mass decreases even if your activity level stays the same, so it’s essential to add some form of strength exercises to your routine.

  • Pros:Increased muscle mass takes more energy for your body to maintain, so your metabolism (and overall calorie burn) increases along with your muscle. Essentially, the more muscle you gain, the more efficient your body will be at burning calories. In fact, for every three pounds of muscle gained, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories each day. 
  • Cons: At an average of 8-10 calories per minute, strength training burns less calories for your time than cardio. These workouts also require rest days between workouts to heal your muscles and prevent injury.

Cardio

Aerobic activities – like biking, swimming or jogging – raise your heart rate, increase your breathing and make you sweat for several minutes or longer.

  • Pros: Cardio workouts burn an average of 10-12 calories per minute making it a reliable weight loss tool. Plus, cardio doesn’t require the recovery time of strength training so you can do it everyday.
  • Cons: Many cardio activities also come with risks to your joints and ligaments. Also, cardio doesn’t offer the same muscle toning benefits of resistance exercises.

And the Winner is….

Like everything else in life, you need to find balance in your workouts. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends alternating daily aerobic workouts with two to three strength training workouts per week to maximize your endurance, muscle tone and metabolism.

Whether it’s weightlifting or water aerobics, make sure to follow each workout with a performance enhancing supplement like ProVantage®. Soy protein helps build and repair lean muscle tissue so you can perform at your peak. And if you want to continue the strength training vs. cardio debate, head on over to the Team Reliv Facebook page and connect with other athletes.

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv.

To Order, contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor:

This article has been written by, and is compliments of,

Reliv International.