This delicious whole grain sandwich is made of vegan chicken, a sliced of tomato or two, shredded greens, red onion, spinach, and avocado. I usually use cucumbers in my sandwiches for that cool crunch but I didn’t have it. So, I simply use what I had and added a bit of kosher salt without sauce and still came out tasty and healthy too! 🙂
I can see why our Creator chose for our first parents the environments (Genesis 2:8, 15) best fit for their health and happiness. He did not place them in a palace or surround them with the factitious ornamentation and extravagance. Instead He placed them in close touch with nature and in close communion with the holy ones of heaven.
As for my search for meaning goes on in regards to the impacts of natural environments specifically on mental health and well-being, research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. What we are seeing, hearing, and experiencing at any moment is changing not only our mood, but how our nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working. The stress of an unpleasant, displeasing, and offensive environment can cause us to feel anxious, sad, or powerless. This in turn elevates our blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension and suppresses our immune system. But a pleasing environment reverses that. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to our physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.
In recent years, health care providers have begun to recognize the therapeutic attributes of nature for treating conditions like attention disorders and depression. Researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that the greener a child’s everyday environment, the more manageable their symptoms of attention deficit disorder. In a UK study released in April 2007, a majority of people with mental health disorders reported that taking a “green walk” decreased their depression 71%, reduced their tension 50%, and increased their self-esteem 90%. And there is so much more to be gained from being close to nature.
This is one of the reasons why I left my corporate job in South Orange County, Southern California and gave up all that I had in order to live in nature. Surrounded by God’s wonderful works, my mind is uplifted from the things that are seen to the things that are unseen. The beauty of nature causes me to think of our heavenly home, where there will be nothing to spoil the loveliness… nothing to defile or pollute… nothing to cause disease or death (Revelation 21:4). Oh the view of our future life and its blessedness… the indescribable glory… the streams… the hills… and trees… the flowers… the fruit… and animals… the vigor of eternal youth… how God has made every provision for our happiness in our future life… the joy of seeing our family in heaven… the peaceful and loving atmosphere… no temptation and no sin… the communion with the Father and the Son… the fellowship with angels and the faithful of all ages… praising God in rich, melodious music… the searching out the treasures of the universe… and the ever an infinity and beyond… for “it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
So thankful to the LORD for His goodness and for blessing me with friends like The Welly Family. The first three images you see here were taken around my home, within a few hundred feet of my front door and the last image was taken around the Watson Creek area when The Welly Family were here on vacation.
Having read the chapter “With Nature and With God” from the book “The Ministry of Healing” (one of my favorite books that really speaks to me) several times, I have never had taken the time to really meditate or contemplate upon this particular paragraph (page 51, paragraph 1). So, I decided to read it again on this beautiful Sabbath morning as part of my devotional.
“The Saviour’s life on earth was a life of communion with nature and with God. In this communion He revealed for us the secret of a life of power.”
The above paragraph is saying that Jesus’ life on earth was a life of communion with nature and with God. In this communion Jesus revealed for you and me the secret of a life of power.
As I read this paragraph repeatedly out loud, I arrived at this…
A Life of Communion with Nature and with God is the Secret of a Life of Power
A Life of Communion with Nature and with God = The Secret of a Life of Power
In other words,
“The Secret of a Life of Power is a Life of Communion with Nature and with God.”
What does this mean to me personally?
First, as usual, I would go to the dictionary.com and look for the meaning of what the individual “word” represents. The word “Life” means a state or quality or condition… the growth and the ability to reproduce and respond to… The word “Communion” means association (fellowship)… interchanging or sharing of thoughts or emotions (intimate communication)… participation. “Nature” means… the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization… It also means… the elements (the sphere of activity, the environment, the natural habitat) of the natural world such as mountains, trees, animals, rivers.
And the word “God” means… The Supreme Being… The Creator and Ruler of the Universe. What about “Secret?”… Secret can mean… hidden mystery or concealed beyond ordinary human understanding… it can also mean… method, formula, or plan (known only to the initiated or few)… and the word “Power” means… capability of doing or accomplishing something… great ability to do or act… strength… might… force.
So what it means to me personally is that… in order for me to be able to have such power or forces in my life and being able to accomplish what my Creator, my God, The Supreme Being and The Ruler of the Universe has designed for me to do here on earth, I must be able to take time to be away from people or civilization… spending time alone with Him in nature… surrounded by the works of His hands. This is one of the reasons I left my secure corporate job in Southern California and moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest out in nature surrounded by God’s beautiful handiwork… away from the noise, the traffic, the pollution, and all the hustle and bustle of a city life.
Well… It’s been 2 1/2 years now since I gave up my secure corporate job and pretty much everything else that I used to own… in order to be out here in nature and to be able to commune everyday with my Creator. When I was living in the coastal area of Southern California, I had to drive at least 2 hours to get to the mountains before I could be in nature… but not here. Nature is all around me.
I don’t have to go anywhere in particular to be out in nature. I can see and experience it from my bedroom,
my living room,
my dining room… as well as from my kitchen and my front deck. And if I want to feel and experience it all together or simply breathe in the fresh mountain air… all I need to do is open a window or step outside my door… and there it is.
At night, I can see the stars and the moon so clearly and shining brighter than one could ever see in the city. They are so bright that I can even read a book by their light from my bedroom 🙂
In addition, I may not have all the earthly goods and the secure income that I used to have, but the LORD is good and He has ALWAYS (without fail) supplied all my needs… and to experience the abiding comfort of His own presence is PRICELESS and FAR BEYOND any earthly goods.
I made this soup today and it was very delightful. It took almost 2 hours to make but it was well worth the time invested. Such a perfect combination… the warming and flavorful sensation combined with a cold and rainy wintery day… This is what homemade Tomato Soup is like to me (not to mention the multitude of health benefits that come with homemade organic Tomato Soup)
Do you like berries? I love all sorts of berries especially Strawberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry… both fresh and frozen. I made this yesterday (11/25/2014) after my morning routine (drinking 2 glasses of 8 pH mountain spring water with fresh squeezed lemon juice, eating the Word of God, and exercising). This smoothie is so easy to make and is perfect for a healthy breakfast… Not to mention it is super delicious!
I simply love fresh organic lemons!!! I drink my 8 pH mountain spring water mixed with fresh squeezed lemons everyday… I use lemons when making salsa… I use lemons on my face even my eyes (yes, when putting them in your eyes, it burns… but it only lasts for about 30 seconds or so… however it probably explains one of the reasons that I don’t wear glasses or contacts considering my current age. I am so thankful to the LORD for that)… In short, there are so many health benefits to using lemons…
Today’s high was in the 40’s… Early this morning it was about 17°F… but I’m thankful for the wood burning stove that keeps me warm all day long…
This afternoon, I thought about coming up with a recipe that uses lemons… so here it is “Tirza’s Zesty Lemon Cookies”… with natural and fresh ingredients… Aaahhh… I love the smell of fresh lemons… when I squeezed them for their juice… my hands smelled like lemons… after about 4 minutes when the cookies were being baked… my whole kitchen was permeated with fresh lemon scent… so refreshing and invigorating! They are so easy to make and delicious too!
Want to try? Here’s the recipe…
Makes 40 cookies
Another beautiful day today… woke up this morning with the routine as usual… drank two glasses of 8pH mountain spring water fresh from the well that is accessible from the kitchen (the LORD is good!)… And onto prayer time and devotion, etc… high in the 60’s with cool breeze… sunny… blue skies with white fluffy clouds… they almost look like cotton balls hanging around… grasses are all green (praise the LORD for the rain that refreshes and invigorates the earth)… the Sprague River near the front yard flowing lazily… the Quaking Aspen are now in full leaves… some wildflowers are blooming all around… the Ponderosa Pines and Lodge Poles are bursting forth with new pine cones… birds singing in their chorus like usual…
So, what’s for lunch? Today I came up with another recipe… “Tirza’s All Fresh Spring Rolls with Garlic-Ginger-Lemon Sauce” Yum!… so good, refreshing, tangy, and good for the body too! All ingredients are fresh with no artificial preservatives added… no, none of those bad ingredients… everything was made from scratch including the sauce and you can make yourself too.
Want to try? Here’s the recipe…
1/3 cup “Woodstock” organic dry roasted hulled sesame seeds
8 tbsp “Madhava” raw organic agave nectar
2 tbsp “Kikkoman” naturally brewed organic soy sauce with no artificial preservatives added
1.5 fresh squeezed lemons
7 fresh garlic cloves – ground in food processor
1.5 inch fresh ginger – ground in food processor
Tirza’s All Fresh Spring Rolls
8 fresh romaine lettuce leaves
1 fresh carrot – cut into long thin strips
1 fresh red bell pepper – seeded, and cut into long thin strips
½ fresh cucumbers – seeded, and cut into long thin strips
1 medium raw beet – cut into long thin strips
8 large fresh basil leaves – cut into long thin strips
To make the Sauce:
Whisk together all ingredients
To make the Rolls:
Fill each romaine lettuce with pinch of carrots, red bell pepper, cucumbers, beets, and top with basil and sauce. Roll leaf around filling, tucking in edges and serve.
FYI… The following is a list of the brand names that I used to make this recipe…