Christmas – Is Christ In It?

Hmmm….“Silver Bells”, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Jingle Bells” and many more songs come to mind during this season.  As a child (and as an adult), I loved watching Christmas cartoons like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Classics.  Elf was probably my favorite Christmas movie.  I enjoyed seeing family, opening gifts, more good food, eggnog, and shopping!  Going to the mall in search of the perfect gift.

Then, it came to a point in which I stopped putting up a tree when I had my own apartment.  After I got married, we put up a tree for my son’s first Christmas. (His birthday is December 7th).  The next year, we didn’t put up a tree.  In 2012, we started to do research and found out the truth about Christmas.  Now, five years later, we don’t celebrate Christmas AT ALL!

We have been attending a Hebrew church for the past year and a half.  They teach us the real truth about these so-called holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  The Most High Power hates these days (Amos 5:21).  This only confirms that we were right for not celebrating them for the last five years.  For those of you that are reading this, you may or may not know the true meaning of Christmas.  When I was in the Christian church, they taught us that Jesus Christ is the reason that we celebrate Christmas.  He was born in a manger on December 25th.  Well, if we look in the Bible, we know that he could not have been born in the middle of winter because the shepherds were “keeping watch over their flock by night”  when Mary gave birth (Luke 2:8). The precise date of his birth was not mentioned in scriptures, but it is believed to be sometime in September.  On the Hebrew calendar, The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles all occur in September.  Some believe that Christ was born on September 11.  We remember what happened on that tragic day in 2001.  It would make sense for them to plan the so-called terrorist attack on that day.  We also see many natural disasters occurring during the month of September.  This year, three hurricanes occurred, back to back, causing excessive damage.

December 25 is actually Tammuz’s birthday.  Tammuz is Nimrod reincarnated.  The origin of Christmas (and Easter)  is Babylonian.  It actually started from Saturnalia, which  is a week-long festival that began around December 17.  Saturn, or Cronos, the Roman god of time and of the harvest, is where the festival gets it’s name. He demanded child sacrifice.  To this day, many children are sacrificed on Christmas.  

The Christmas tree is also pagan (Jer 10:2-5). It has nothing to do with Christ at all. So what does the Christmas tree really mean? There are many traditions that continue today as “spin offs” from Saturnalia.  Today, the Christmas tree is decorated with lights.  Originally, they used candles made from the fat of the burned bodies of the sacrificed children. (Horrific, but true).  People decorate their trees with colorful balls; originally, they used decapitated heads from sacrifice victims.  In some neighborhoods, you may see carolers going from house to house.  Before, they went caroling naked.  I’m sure today, that would be on the 6 o’clock news.  Christmas cards are another tradition.  We throw away every Christmas card we receive.

You can equate Cronos to the modern-day Santa Claus, an old man with a long, white beard who likes to surround himself with children.  As a child, I didn’t believe that ONE man could deliver presents to every child on Christmas Eve night by going down a chimney.  First of all, he was too fat to fit.  Secondly, we didn’t have a chimney.  In the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, the lyrics are “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake”. Who fits this description?  If you change the letters around in Santa,  you get Satan.  Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, he has been using the same old tricks to deceive.  He spends his time walking the earth  (I Peter 5:8).  Satan is, in fact, the reason behind Christmas!

When I tell my family or friends that we don’t celebrate Christmas, they don’t understand, even when we explain it.  They think it’s about family and gift giving.  They don’t want to disappoint their children, so they spend money on gifts they really can’t afford.  They go shopping at midnight or at the crack of dawn to catch those Black Friday deals. On the other hand, they’re sad because they don’t have the money to buy gifts.  You can buy your children gifts ANYTIME during the year.  My son and my husband both happen to have December birthdays, but we buy our son clothes and toys throughout the year!

The Feast of Purim is our time of gift giving. We celebrate this feast in February.  It is not a replacement for Christmas.  It is a time that we remember our sister, Esther, that saved our people  (the true Jews) from annihilation.

If you claim to be a follower of Christ, you should not celebrate Christmas, a holiday that has the devil all in it.  You can’t be lukewarm and play both sides (Rev. 3:16). Be either hot or cold.  In spite of what many churches teach, you should be able to use discernment to come to your own conclusions through your own research that Christ IS NOT the reason for the season.  We get caught up on traditions; we don’t read to see what the Most High says about these holidays.  We live in a very capitalistic society. Holidays are money makers for many corporations.  Most importantly, explain this to your children.  After all, you are the parent that makes the decisions. If you teach them early in life, they will remember as adults (Prov. 22:6).  With that, I say Shalom!

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5 Ways to Cope With Job Loss

One month ago, I was laid off from my job. It wasn’t because of poor performance.  In fact, my peers always told me about the fine work that I did.  They expressed their compassion as well as their surprise. I was the only person in my department that was affected by this business decision.

My previous company decided to downsize.  As a result, a few of us were told that our positions would be eliminated.  I wasn’t totally surprised during my two and a half years of service; I’ve seen many of my peers, including two managers, get fired.  The company downsized at the beginning of this year as well. In addition, the company had a lot of turnover  that always seem to happen in waves.

Am I bitter about losing my job?  Absolutely not.  I believe that was the expectation from the management and my peers.  Many people don’t handle a job loss well.   I’ve experienced it before.  As a spiritual woman, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Sometimes, it’s to protect us from more harm. Other times, it’s to make us stronger to prepare us for the events to come.

During this past month, I’ve used this time to pray and think about the next steps.  I’ve enjoyed spending more time with my husband and son.  I watch my son get on his school bus, and I see him when he comes home. I help him with his spelling, reading, and math.  When I was working, my husband did all of those things.  As far as the job search goes, I worked with a resume coach to revise my resume.  I’m working with a career coach and learning more about using LinkedIn.  I’ve enjoyed working with both of them.

I’ve always been told that you are not alone; there is always someone going through the same issues.  I hope that I can encourage those that recently lost their job or maybe have been unemployed for a long period of time.  Perhaps, you may have advice for me. This is what I will tell you:

1. Move forward and put the past behind you.  I know this is not always easy, but it’s very important that you do this.  When you’re interviewing, you don’t want to say negative things about your previous company.

2. Use your time off to your benefit.  As a mentioned, I’ve enjoyed time with my family.  I’ve also had time to write blog posts. If you’re not in a “desperate” situation, use this time to relax and plan your next step.

3.  Networking.  LinkedIn is a great place to start.  One referral, ironically from a previous manager, led to a phone interview followed by an on-site interview. Applying for jobs online at sites like Indeed can work.  ( I have been invited for interviews).  It’s always wise to be creative with your job search.

4. Turn your talents into earnings.  We all know at least one person with a legal “hustle”, whether it’s hair styling, coaching, cooking, graphic design, fashion, or singing.  I’m still working on this.  I recently connected with a former co-worker that became an entrepreneur.  She had been preparing for the transition all year.

5. Count every experience as a life lesson.  I took away some valuable experiences from my last position. There were days that I felt appreciated; there were other days that I felt like less than a person.  In any case, I had an opportunity to gain leadership skills and develop my public speaking skills.

Please feel free to share your job search experiences and advice that has helped in your development.

Ketchup, Ketchup, Where’s the Ketchup?!

Whether it’s ketchup or catsup, it’s a favorite condiment of many Americans.  However, it can contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and natural flavoring.  Natural flavoring sounds innocent enough, but at the same time, it’s very deceptive.  When people see natural, they automatically think that it’s healthy, not artificial.  The best option is if you see “natural flavoring” listed as an ingredient, call the company to find out the specific ingredients.

My family loves Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup.  It tastes like fresh tomatoes.  It contains organic  tomato purée, organic sugar, organic white vinegar, salt, organic onion powder, and organic spices.  Very simple.  All ingredients that you can pronounce.  If you cannot pronounce it, don’t buy it.

If you wanted to take a different route, you can always make your own ketchup. You can make it to your preferred taste with organic, non-GMO ingredients.  Wellness Mama has many great recipes from ketchup to homemade hand soap.

I enjoy making a variety of items from scratch like hand soap and even almond milk.  My homemade almond milk tasted richer than the organic milk from the supermarket.  It was very easy to make. (Add almond butter to warm water in a blender).  If you’re not already doing it, I encourage you to start making some of your own food, household items, and home remedies. The food today is tainted with GMOs, pesticides, and other poisons.  There doesn’t have to be a food shortage in order for there to be a famine (Matt. 24:7)

The Dangers of Cosmetics

Women (and in some cases men) use cosmetics to enhance facial features. However, some cosmetics contain chemicals that can be harmful to the body. Below is a short list of those ingredients that can be found in color cosmetics. I’ve also included some ingredients found in nail polish. It’s summertime, and many of us want to show off our feet by wearing vibrant colors on our toenails. It’s fine to look beautiful. I want to make you aware of all of your options.

 

Common ingredients found in makeup (i.e. foundation, color cosmetics):

Propylparaben – preservative; can mimic estrogen; can disrupt hormones

Methylparaben – preservative; can cause (breast) cancer, skin, and eye damage.

Disodium EDTA (ethelenediaminetetraacetic acid) – makes hard water soft

Diazolidinyl urea – preservative and formaldehyde releaser; can cause allergies. It should be noted that formaldehyde is toxic and used to preserve cadavers (dead bodies).

These chemicals can also be listed as benzoic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, methyl ester, etc. For a complete list and for more information about cosmetic ingredients, visit
https://www.ewg.org

 

Common ingredients found in nail polish

Acetone – this is used as nail polish remover, sometimes 100% or diluted. Used for laboratory experiments or cleaning laboratory glassware.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – increases flexibility and shine in polish; causes birth defects

Formaldehyde – causes cancer

Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) – used to make plastic; disrupts hormones, and contributes to weight gain and obesity

Always read the ingredients before you buy any product. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it or buy at your own risk.  Personally, I enjoy being pampered from a manicure or pedicure.  There may be non-toxic brands available, or you may opt for no polish.  If you have the time, you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home.

For ideas on homemade makeup and non-toxic nail polish options, visit:

Continue reading “The Dangers of Cosmetics”

Natural Hair: Getting to the Root of It

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I would stop chemically treating my hair and embrace my natural hair.  I think just about every woman that I know has decided to do this. I admit that I was hesitant about going natural because my hair is very course.  After talking to other sisters and hair professionals, the key is conditioner and LOTS of it. I use Taliah Waajid for Children and  Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment.  I also use coconut oil and shea butter on my hair. I was also told that it would be a lot of work, and that I would need to give my hair time to recover from the many years of relaxing.

Last year, I wore a very short cut, which was really cute and easy to manage. However, I was starting to notice that my hair was thinning around my hairline.  Since natural products and herbal supplements are improving my health, it should work for my hair.  I decided to try Ninja Hair Growth Tonic for my thinning patches of hair. I saw results within 2 weeks. I  massage my scalp with it 1-2 times each week nightly and wash it the next day.

To make my transition to natural hair easier, I have been wearing fluffy twists, which look natural.  They also feel very light. My stylist says that my hair is growing fast. When the relaxer “grows out”, I can rock my natural hair and love it!

How I Overcame Pre-diabetes and High Cholesterol Without a Prescription

When I had my annual physical this past January, my doctor was very impressed with my blood work results.  My thyroid functions were normal along with my cholesterol and blood sugar levels.   My issues with pre-diabetes and high cholesterol were no longer a concern for me.

In October 2016, I started taking herbal supplements. My family and I were introduced to an herbalist from Washington state. He gave us advice about our current medical conditions and herbal remedies.

Over  that next month, I didn’t eat any meat. I had stopped eating pork one month before. (See my post 5 Reasons That I Stopped Eating Pork).  Shellfish was no longer a part of my diet, either.  This includes shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, clams, squid, and scallops. Having lived in Maryland for the past 11 years, crabs were always available, expensive sometimes, but available. With the exception of fish with fins and scales, everything else that lives in the water is unclean ( Leviticus 11:9-11).   Many of us believe that it’s a delicacy because it tastes delicious.  However, we don’t associate it with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.  Shellfish are typically bottom-dwellers that eat and carry bacteria. Think about that the next time you have shrimp cocktail or a crab cake.

In addition to not eating meat for one month, I did not eat dairy or bread.  My weight has not changed, but I have lost body fat.  When I saw my personal trainer 2 weeks ago, my body fat was 30 percent. Last year, it was 32 percent, so I have made progress. Under 30 percent body fat is ideal.

In conclusion, you can treat many common illnesses with a proper diet and herbs.  The body can basically heal itself if it’s properly cared for.  Many herbs have healing properties (Jubilees 10:12), so don’t need to go see the pharmacist.  Once you start taking prescription medications, you may have to take them for the rest of your life. It is better to treat the illness now with what the earth has to offer.

Lose the Weight and Keep it Off

We are now almost in the middle of April, and you’re probably wondering if I ever lost those unwanted pounds.  Am I still working out and eating healthy?  Well, the answer to both of those questions is “Yes”!

My weight in December 2015: 146 lbs.

Current weight: 139 lbs.

In my last post, 10 Things I’ve Learned From 21 Days of Fasting, I mentioned that weight loss is a side effect of fasting.  However, the important factor is keeping the weight off.  I am still working out at 6:30am before going to work 2-3 times per week.  My mid-section still needs toning among other places.  My cholesterol levels are normal, and my blood pressure is under control.

Unfortunately, I am still pre-diabetic, which baffles me, after a 21-day fast. I made many dietary changes like cutting carbs and adding more protein. My doctor suggested losing 10 more pounds and cutting out sweets. I eat fruit, which has natural sugar; I am doing more research to find out which foods are the best for me. I don’t eat junk food, but something is elevating my blood sugar. Since I do have a family history of the disease, I want to take preventative measures now.  I will share more as I continue to do the research.

A co-worker told me that bitter melon works to lower blood sugar levels. I did some research and I found a supplement called GluControl from Vitamin Research Products.  I have been taking that for the past week…2 capsules twice daily. I will see if that improves my blood sugar levels.

 

10 Things I’ve Learned From 21 Days of Fasting

As I reached the final day of fasting this past Sunday, I can reflect on the many things that I’ve learned.

  1. Getting closer to God.  This is the main reason for fasting.  It is always nice to get better acquainted with my Lord and Savior through His Word and through prayer.
  2. I don’t need caffeine.  Sure, I like the taste and smell of a cup of coffee, but I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms from not having it for 21 days.  That tells me that it’s not a necessity. Caffeine can affect you in negative ways, like rapid heartbeat or being jittery.
  3. I will cut back on steak and other meats.  My husband and I ate steak almost every week before the fast. I’m not going to totally go vegan since God said that all food is good (I Timothy 4:3-4). However, I have felt amazing these past few weeks. I want to continue to feel energetic.
  4. Diet made more of a difference for my weight loss. I didn’t fast for the purpose of losing weight…it’s just a side effect.
  5. Trivial things don’t matter.  My cell phone was lost, and I didn’t have one for 2 days. At the end of the day, it’s just a material possession.
  6. I need to cut back on social media. I use social media to promote my blog, but other than that, I’m not the type of person that lives on Facebook and always taking selfies.  You ever notice that everywhere you go, whether it’s work or the doctor’s office, people rarely talk to each other anymore? They’re either texting or on social media.  Some people text while they’re walking.  Even driving, although you can get a ticket for that!
  7. I didn’t miss eating bread.  When you’re a pre-diabetic, it is better to resist it.
  8. It felt good to teach someone a spiritual lesson.  I’m always open to talking about spiritual matters with those that will listen.  When I can write about it, it is even better.
  9. Your body needs a detox.  Every now and again, your mind and body need a detox.  See my post on Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body
  10. Television is used as a tool for mind control.  We didn’t watch regular television during the fast, not even the local news.  We watched documentaries and nature shows. It is a mindless distraction.