Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Benefits of Sleep

God gives us the command to have a sabbath - God knows we can't just work, work, work we have to have rest as well.  Here's an interesting article from about the benefits of sleep to our lives -- I think this fits right in with what God is telling us about the sabbath too!

9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep
What difference could an extra hour of sleep make in your life? Maybe quite a lot, experts say. Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood, your weight, and even your sex life.
If you're getting less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, here are nine reasons that you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.
1. Better health. Getting a good night's sleep won't grant you immunity from disease. But study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart diseaseheart attacksdiabetes, and obesity.
In most cases, the health risks from sleep loss only become serious after years. That might not always be true, however. One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.
2. Better sex life. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they're just too tired. There's evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels -- although the exact nature of the link isn't clear.
Of course, not getting enough sleep can affect your love life in less direct ways too. "If you're a 28-year-old who's so exhausted you're falling asleep during a date at the movies, that's not good," says Ronald Kramer, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a specialist at the Colorado Sleep DisordersCenter in Englewood, Colo.
3. Less pain. If you have chronic pain -- or acute pain from a recent injury -- getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Unfortunately, being in pain can make it hard to sleep.
Researchers have found that getting good sleep can supplement medication for pain. If pain is keeping you up at night, there are also medications available that combine a pain reliever with a sleep aid.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here -- and get a good nights sleep!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Keeping the Sabbath

Here are 40 suggestions your family might use to keep the sabbath holy and special.  Print the list.  You can use it in several ways: keep the whole thing on your fridge or cut them up and put them in a fish bowl -- however you want pick one each week for the next week so you have time to gather the supplies and do it the next week.  Have fun & add your own.  

Make every Sunday Sabbath by turning off electronics, say "no" to anything that divides the family whether thats sports, clubs or going over to friends.  Plan ahead.

Make a collage or draw pictures showing your blessings.

Make charts for family members to show their progress in scripture reading or memorizing certain passages.

Make puzzles out of pictures from old magazines.

Make play dough and create people and shapes from favorite scripture stories

Create a family mailbox to keep inside your home that you fill with sweet letters to each other.

Create a family flag or banner to display in your home.

Decorate a pillow case with scriptures or other sweet thoughts to fill your mind as you

Learn about other cultures. Find out how the Church is progressing in different parts of the world.  Prepare a meal from a foreign country.

Listen to classical music and art. Learn about some of the famous composers and artists.

Have everyone in the family choose different books to read during the next few Sundays. When everyone has finished reading have each person present an oral report about what they learned from their book.  Start a Book Club.

Do an inventory of your food storage.  Create an emergency kit.
Update all of your smoke alarm batteries and review your emergency plans of exit with your family.   Prepare “every needful thing.”

Hold a family council.  Review expectations, rewards and consequences

Have individual interviews with your children. Review their goals, hopes and dreams.

Take family photos outside somewhere in a beautiful setting.

Write a list of all the good qualities of each family member. Share the list with them or just refer to it when you’re having a hard time remembering why you really do love them!

Show home movies or slides of when everyone was younger.  Tell stories of when parents were young and how they met, what things were like then, etc.

Plan your next family vacation. Talk about how you will keep the Sabbath Day holy if your trip involves a Sunday stay.

Plan a family reunion. Research locations where you could gather for the big event.
Write or call relatives who could help you organize it. Make assignments. Pick a theme.

Meet some of your neighbors. If they’re new bring them a copy of the local newspaper or list of helpful phone numbers, along with a plate of cookies and your phone number.

Invite two or three families from church to your home for ice cream “Sundays” and talk about your favorite Sunday traditions.
Leave treats at the doorstep of two families in the church with a note telling them to carry on the good “Sabbath Secret” deed. 

Create a gospel version of your favorite board game by substituting the original questions with gospel questions. 

Play Charades using scripture stories

Create a treasure hunt using scriptures as clues. Choose an object to hunt for such as a new set of scriptures, church stickers or a favorite dessert.

Make a special journal where you record only your spiritual experiences.

Create a photo pedigree chart of your family.  Research your family’s historic coat of arms. Find out about the symbols.

Volunteer to take pictures of tombstones at your local cemetery as part of the project for

Go “Sunday caroling.”   Visit other members in your ward or branch and sing them a few hymns to lift their spirits.

Do science experiments to understand God’s fascinating world. Study how the Lord used scientific principles in the scriptures.

Look up addresses and phone numbers for your Congressmen and Senators. Write them a letter about an issue you feel strongly about. Thank them for the good they are doing.

Take treats to your local firemen. Thank them for the service they provide to your community.

Go to the Humane Society or People for Pets and volunteer to help play with the animals or walk the dogs.

If you have a cuddly or interesting pet that brings smiles to people’s faces, call a local hospital or nursing home to see if you could bring your pet to share with patients.

Learn about the Presidential Service Award and earn it! It can be earned by individuals, by families, or even large groups working together.

Put together a care package for a missionary, someone in the military service, or someone who is away from home at  school.

Call the Relief Society Compassionate Service Leader in your Ward or Branch and ask how you could help.

Volunteer to take home the nursery toys to clean or repair.

Keep a notebook of your prayers and how they were answered.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why Bless Animals??

From the Catholic Church website

In the Scriptures, the act of blessing means 'the imparting of power or life.' The person performing the blessing is mediating that power from God or Christ to the person performing or the animal involved. To bless is more than an expression of goodwill and caring. To bless is to impart God's power in person! The blessing of each animal, by name, means that health, healing and life are being mediated from God for the benefit of the animal in its relationship with its human partners. Be careful not to reinforce the separation of human animals and other animals by this blessing. Instead, consider reinforcing our common kinship by blessing ALL animals--human and otherwise.

Genesis tells us that God created everything.  Every animal, every plant and every bit of soil was thought of and planned by and amazing artist God.  We are a part of an intricate fabric of life that God has made -- and called each part good.  God loves creation and so we too, made in the image of God, should love and care for creation with the passion of the Creator.  

Our pets are a connection that we make to nature, they are a bit of the wild in our homes.  They connect us to all the other creatures God made and teach us compassion for animal-kind.  A blessing of the animals service does several things
1. The service reminds us who the real master of all creation is - GOD - and gives us the opportunity to praise God for all creation
2.  We remember our role as caretakers of creation and reaffirm our commitment to caring for the earth.
3. We thank God for the animals in our lives and ask God to bless them with health and well-being

Hope you will join us for our blessing of the animals service at the Lakeside service this coming Sunday at 7:30 AM at the RR trestle