Tag Archives: Information

Two Outrageous Endorsements from the UK~!

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I have gotten a few more endorsements for my book. They are so cool~! Both of them come from leaders in worldwide organizations which are having a tremendous impact on seeing peoples’ lives restored. Both of these endorsement rocked my world, as I respect these leaders so tremendously.

The first one is so well written that I wrote back and asked, “SO when is YOUR book coming out~?” It is from Kent & Mary Alice Martin. These are missionaries our church helps send to England to be the directors of Betel UK. Betel is a worldwide recovery program that has extremely high success rates, in the world of recovery places. Kent & Mary Alice live shoulder to shoulder with recovering addicts. Their stories will make you explode with hope, and some can break your heart.  “Betel UK is dedicated to continue offering hope and hospitality free of charge to the neediest men and women of Great Britain–at no additional cost to government social services or families.” Click Link to see Kent & Mary Alice’s webpage. Kent & Mary Alice are some of my real life heroes~!

The second quote is from Nicky Gumbel of The Alpha Program. The Alpha Program is near and dear to my heart, as it was the informational presentation that encouraged me to make the intellectual  and emotional investment of my heart and mind into the Kingdom of God. I confidently became a follower of Jesus in Alpha. Nicky is smart, and cool, and so funny. I adored the videos in this course and had the privilege to see them many times, as Brook and I helped out on the Alpha staff at our church as small group leaders. I never got tired of these videos, and picked up new stuff each time I watched them.  Click here to link to Alpha clips. And…  Here’s a good 3 minute clip of Nicky~! Man, I love this guy~! Literally, my heart expands when I hear him talk. He wrote a very nice letter to Brook and me, and it really made my day when I opened that envelope.

The Endorsements:

In the life-restoring ministry of Betel (described in these pages), we’re always looking for modern story tellers, writers who can demystify ancient truths to make scripture accessible to the hardest heart or most unbelieving 21st-century mind. Fortify My Life does that. It’s non-threatening, easy and relaxed, like a coffee-table book for the hungry soul, satisfying so many tastes at once. It’s a volume of personal letters, a thought-provoking journal, an inspiring devotional book, and a Bible-study guide all in one. Forty sacred stories, all but forgotten by this generation, are retold with the crisp wit and seeming intimacy of a close friend who understands the disbelief of a “Christophobic” world. Laurie asks as many honest, jargon-free questions of the Bible as she answers. She cleverly draws out the pithy essence of these timeless accounts, simultaneously provoking a curiosity to understand them deeper–and the God who stars in them. How quickly can I get copies of this book for the hundreds of broken, recovering Betel men and women who need it?

Kent & Mary Alice Martin

Directors, Betel UK

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“I am delighted to hear of Laurie Hayden Bergey’s fascinating book project and wish her every success.”

Reverend Nicky Gumbel, The Alpha Program, Holy Trinity Brompton, London, UK

Rent a Tree House~! Or Build Your Own….

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This made me smile.  (And I love to smile~!) You can rent a treehouse at this resort near Seattle. But these guys also will design and build a treehouse for you. Here are some wonderful pictures of charming tree houses. I want to LIVE in one of these; they are SO cool~!

upper-pond-sh-2burl-sh-2trillium-sh-3bonbibi-sh-4pond-room-sh-1temple-sh-1bonbibi-sh-3brew-house-sh-2brew-house-sh-3irish-cottage-sh-1irish-cottage-sh-4jacks-treehouse-sh-1jacks-treehouse-sh-2TreeHouse Point…. rent a treehouse link.

Nelson Treehouse and Supply… build a treehouse link.

Cool Maps of the World

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There are many ways to see the world~! Population, vegetation, trade, flags, alphabets, water, MacDonald’s, oil trade, and a lot more. I found these maps to be interesting and thought provoking. It just takes a moment to scroll through these world pictures. It is a very cool visual presentation.

Map of ‘Pangea’ with Current International Borders

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Flag Map of the World

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The World Divided Into 7 Regions,
Each with a Population of 1 Billion

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Map of Time Zones in Antarctica

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Worldwide Map of Oil Import And Export Flows

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World Map of the Different Writing Systems

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Map of Contiguous United States
Overlaid on the Moon

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McDonald’s Across the World

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Map of Alcoholic Drink Popularity by Country

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Overall Water Risk Around the World

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World Map of Vegetation on Earth

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Reversed Map with Southern Hemisphere at Top of Map (because position of North is arbitrary)

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Global Internet Usage Based on Time of Day

(On the other site this is a moving image, showing day and night. It is one of my favorite maps, but doesn’t work on my freebie-blog. Make sure to look for it on the Twisted Sifter blog.)

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Countries That Do Not Use the Metric Systemmap-of-countires-that-use-metric-system-vs-imperial

Visualizing Global Population Density

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What revelations have you had looking at these maps? I love comments~!
Click here to link to more cool maps of the world on the Twisted Sifter Blog~!

The Value of Placebo Pills – Funny and True

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What is the Value of Placebo Pills?

Some say NOTHING WORKS BETTER !

I have just had so much fun reading about the quirky and fascinating placebo effect. “The Placebo Effect is one of the strangest and least understood phenomenons found in human physiology and psychology. Most of us know a thing or two about it, namely that we can essentially cure ourselves of maladies simply because we believe we are being cured of them. In other words we trick ourselves back into health, proving that the brain is an extremely powerful entity“(1). Here are some of the funny and informational things I read:

***Placebos help you play golf better, do more push ups, and even take away your cough.

***A placebo doesn’t require manipulation to work. In a recent Harvard study, a bottle with pills labeled PLACEBO worked just as well as the best medication.

***”Approximately half the drugs that fail in late stage trials fail because they simply can’t out-perform placebos”.

***People can get “placebo drunk” on non-alcoholic beer, complete with lower IQ and impaired judgement. There is a youtube video showing a frat party that served up an alcohol free keg. I didn’t watch it. You can link to it from the listverse link below.

***Another placebo effect is called “Nocebo”. This is funny~! People can also get the “side effects” of the thing that is being “placeboed”….. like irritable bowels or erectile dysfunction.

**Placebo effect also occurs with dogs, and other animals like lab mice.

***Some high profile studies are showing that placebos can be as effective as anti-depressants (probably more effective since anxiety is a side-effect of some anti-depressants).

***Placebo pill color matters: “Researchers have learned that yellow placebo pills are the most effective at treating depression while red pills cause the patient to be more alert and awake. Green pills help ease anxiety while white pills soothe stomach issues such as ulcers.”

***”Fake surgeries can be just as effective as the real thing, taking the placebo effect to the next level.”

***”The more placebo pills taken the better, with those taken four times a day more effective than those taken twice daily. Pills that have a “brand name” stamped on them also work better than pills that have nothing written on them. It appears that we humans are superficial even when it comes to the fake drugs we ingest.”

***We can’t (typically) will our way toward recovery, but need to take a pill. In essence, we need some sort of “external influence” to initiate the sequence of events that lead to the placebo effect.

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FUN & FASCINATING Resources:

Placebo pills are for sale by the pound on amazon.com (hilarious reviews!). Knowing that they are available makes me feel so much better~!  No more headaches, sore throats, flu, etc….. the whole family will now be healthy forever~! Another source of placebo pills, and more in depth placebo stats and facts: click here to go to placebo.com. These guys are goofing off, and making some money having a good laugh. Their motto: NOTHING WORKS BETTER ! I get a chuckle that they are going for it, packaging and selling placebos in a bottle labelled placebo~! Why not~!?

(1) Listverse.com (quoted above) has more crazy-fun in-depth placebo information. I like to keep my blog posts short because people are more apt to read short blog posts~! Link to listverse.com placebo list: 10 Crazy Facts About the Placebo Effect.

“There is a website, Placeboeffect.com, which holds itself up as ‘The Official Placebo Effect Resource‘ (whatever ‘official’ means in the world of placebos!) Here you can access classes, essays, an ebook and other resources on the phenomenon, though not placebos themselves.” (Roughly quoted from placebo.com.)

Feel free to re-blog or share this on facebook and other social media, as it is informational and funny~! Please do~!

The Beauty in the Mundane

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It can be so easy to forget that our every day lives contain great beauty. Eric Bowman is a very talented painter who shows us some of what we should be noticing in our everyday lives~! Here are 2 paintings, and 2 details that bring me awe.  

Click this link to connect to more Eric Bowman Art

Beautiful Abandoned Places | Nature Pictures

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I have dreams that I am running through beautiful abandoned places. In the dreams, I am in awe of the beauty, and energized by running; I never want to stop. I have never been able to duplicate this feeling in the real world, with the exception of one bike ride I went on 8 years ago. Well, imagine my delight when I found a website with 33 beautiful abandoned places. I agree with the curator of that site: they are awe inspiring, and yet melancholic. I have included a sampling of the the photos here, and a link below. I also found that if one googles the names of these places, there are other stunning photos available. I’d like to see more of Nara Dreamland and San Fruttuosa~! But, life is busy. So, this is it for today.

Nara Dreamland in Japan

Nara Dreamland in Japan

Fishing Hut on a Lake in Germany

Fishing hut on a lake in Germany

Kolmanskop in the Namib Desert

Kolmanskop in the Namib Desert

El Hotel del Salto in Colombia

El Hotel del Salto in Colombia

Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay

Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay

Abandoned Subway Depot in Cincinnati

Cincinnati’s abandoned subway depot

The Kerry Way Walking Path Between Sneem & Kenmare in Ireland

8. The Kerry Way Walking Path, Sneem, Kenmare,Ireland

House of the Bulgarian Communist Party

House of the Bulgarian Communist Party

Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Liguria

Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Liguria Follow this link to see many more beautiful abandoned places~!  The 33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places In The World | Nature Pictures. The author writes: “Many people don’t know about these famous abandoned places. Many of these places are really something amazing, but they are also really sad when you take a closer look at them. On the following list, you can see abandoned planes, abandoned ships, as well as the abandoned houses, and so many other things, that are really amazing and magnificent. So, check out these amazing abandoned places photos.”

Life Hacks to Get Organized and Clean

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Life Hacks~!

There is no doubt that being clean and organized helps us to be happier.

It preserves a sense of order, making life seem more safe and predictable. But, a college dorm-mate of mine once said, “Floor space is wasted space“. I agree with her, too~!  LOL~! While I sometimes live more like that dorm-mate, I crave cleanliness and order. So, sometimes I find life hacks worth remembering. Here are some I’ll pass along, and maybe even try myself!

organize cords

organize shirts in drawershow to clean a blenderpost-it cleans key boardtake-a-picture-of-the-name-cardclean shower headfolding fitted sheetspot boiling over

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Source: Lifehack.org.

Life Hacks – to make life easier

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I saw a long list of “life hacks” the other day, and decided to look up the term on wikipedia. Seemed obvious, and I was correct: “Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way, variably a Juggaar, might be called a life hack.” (Quote from Wikipedia, Click Link to See More).

There is a whole website dedicated to life hacks. Guess what it is called….. yup, Lifehack.org. They have a huge following, so most of you have probably “been there- done that”. But, maybe not. I’m going to limit myself to including only 6 life hack photos in this post. But, I suspect I’ll post more in the future, since they can be pretty practical~!

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Feel free to share some of your good tips or good website links in the comments section~! We never know which ones will stick, right?

Why I LOVE Lemons~!

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lemon juice

Lemons are extraordinarily good for us~! There is a lot of talk about “SUPERFOODS” out there. Lemons are such a common fruit that many people take them for granted. Personally, I have always liked lemon; it is even my favorite smell~! But, until recently, I had no idea how amazing they are for our health. These days I am starting and ending each day with lemon water. At dinner time, I cut a WHOLE lemon (skin and all) into quarters, and throw it into the blender with 6 to 8 cups of water. Brook and I drink 6 cups between the two of us. The lemon peel is the MOST nutritious part of the lemon. “Lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself.”  If you aren’t blending whole lemon into your water, use the zest in your cooking~!  And, I just learned today that I don’t have to cut the seeds out of the lemons before blending them into water. They have benefits, too. Here is a nice long list of health benefits of lemons & the peel. OR… you can just take my word for it, stop reading now, and consume loads of lemon~!

Vitamins: Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which is great for our immune system. Lemon peels also contain Vitamin A, beta carotene, and folate with their corresponding benefits.

Minerals: Lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function. Magnesium and calcium in the peel contribute to bone health, also fighting osteoporosis.

Detox: Lemon juice encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract; it also helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating. Lemons also help flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver. The peel can help fight cancer and eradicate toxins.

Skin: The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease skin blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance, and because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

Weight Loss: Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in calming hunger cravings, helping dieters to lose weight.

Inflammation: If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body. Acidic body conditions are the the roots of many diseases. Lemon removes acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

Calm Energy: Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract. It also helps reduce anxiety and depression. Even the scent of lemon has a calming effect on your nervous system. I have replaced my morning coffee with lemon water, and I don’t even miss the coffee. I was sure I would.

Anti-viral: Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and sore throats. Plus, with the immune system boost, you’re already fighting infections.

Heart & Cholesterol: Lemon peels also help lower bad cholesterol and keep blood clean (think heart health~!).

The print “Le repêcheur de pépins” is for sale CLICK HERE.  This artist has the little man (Jack of all trades) doing all sorts of bizarre tasks. This series is fun and collectable. This is a very fun ETSY shop~!

Resources:

11 Benefits of Lemon Water : http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-lemon-water-you-didnt-know-about.html

Lemon peel is the cheapest investment in your health:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7511/lemon-peels-the-cheapest-investment-in-your-health.html

Eat the Seeds: http://www.liveandfeel.com/vegetables/lemon-seeds.html/lemon-seeds.html/lemon-seeds.html

 

Is My Back Pain My Own Fault?

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strong man and pig postcardI am one of the millions or zillions of people who have a back ache, or can get one easily by lifting or twisting awkwardly.

It would be easy enough to blame the heavy box, or the pillow, or the mattress, or the garden,, the car… or…. or…. you get the picture, blame anything possible. But, I suspect I am really the root of this back problem. Maybe you are young, and thinking back aches are for older people, and this blog post is not for you. But, you read on too. NOW is the time to take care of your back, because back aches aren’t for older people either. Many of us actually CAN do something about the condition of our backs, even if they seem irretrievable. I’ve gotten sick of the back problem, and I’m doing something about it. I’m already starting to feel better, and it has only been about 5 days or reclaiming my rights to my own back.

I don’t want to make anyone feel guilty here, for example my husband has a bad back as a result of a car accident. He broke his spine completely in half, and is paraplegic. But even with a seriously messed up spine, he does everything he can to make sure to keep his body strong and healthy. He is an amazing example to me. He rode a hand crank bicycle 20 miles today. Given what each individual has to work with, we have to do our part to get or keep ourselves as healthy as we can be. Often as we start down this road, we soon learn that we have access to better health than we had formerly believed possible~! Be encouraged~! Catch a strong wind of motivation, and take it to the next level.

Recently, I’ve been waking up with a back ache. I get up an hour early, unable to take staying in bed any longer. Of course that would lead me to believe that my bed is to blame, but that probably isn’t the whole story. Actually, the bed I have is a top recommended mattress for conditions like back pain and arthritis. I just bought it 6 months ago thinking my OLD mattress was causing my back pain. That didn’t solve the problem. Bummer~!

Fed up, I ended up on the Healthy Back Institute website (AKA: losethebackpain.com), and found lots of information that made more sense than killing myself with ibuprophen. I watched some of their videos, and found out that my hips are sinking too far into the mattress. This tends to be true of almost all mattresses (even my tempurpedic) , since humans are generally heavier in this area. A simple solution: I can put a folded towel under my middle, and my spine will tweak a bit less while I am sleeping. I also learned some specific stretches for lower back pain. They have videos about neck pain, sciatica, and more. I’ll be watching more of these videos over time.

I posted a blog last year about doing more core strengthening exercises “Being Spineless“. I would like to inform you that I have developed the habit of doing some of these. But, I need to go farther. Five minutes a day ins’t quite enough. The time that I am spending sitting so much of the day has to be counter-balanced.

While clicking some links on the Back Institute website, I came upon the best lower back pain stretching & strengthening routine I have encountered to date. Just exactly what I needed. It has me quite excited. I plan on having a stronger back in the upcoming weeks and months~! Here’s a link: Great Lower Back Relief Video. If you like this instructor, you can search for more exercises by her specifically. She sure looks fit. It turns out that youtube is a great resource, so do other searches, too~! NOW… remember, you aren’t likely to feel the full benefit of exercise right away. AND… avoid the temptation to do the routine 5 times the first three days. Don’t hurt yourself by stretching as far as you USED to be able to stretch a while ago. (I make this mistake every time; that’s why I’m saying this.) You’ll get back in shape soon enough if you stick with it~!

Hey… recommend more links and resources for back pain relief in our comments section, please~!

(The postcard art in the picture above is for sale at: La Cabane En Voyage. I love this image~! It makes me smile.)