“Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.”
As the Christmas spirit rolls into play, we are often plagued with a need to positively influence the world around us. It is a time to regroup, turn inward, and look to finer way of improvement. The improvement can be intrinsic, or better yet, modeled to help the world we live in.
Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to pass. It's not enough to see your dreams simply by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works no matter if your saying negative or positive things. This goes along with what we say to others.
Sadly, but we can be our own worst enemies. We blame everybody and everything else, but the truth is we are profoundly influenced by what we way about ourselves and others. Scripture says, "We are snared by the words of of mouths. (Proverbs 6:2) It is important that you learn to guard your tongue and speak only faith-filled words over your life.
God never commanded us to repeatedly verbalize our pain and suffering. He didn't instruct us to go around discussing our negative situations, airing our "dirty laundry" with all our friends and family. Instead he told us to speak constantly of His goodness, to speak of His promises at the breakfast table, dinner table, and at night before bed. He wants us to dwell on the good things he blesses us with.
What better way to shake this negative nature then to set out a plan to enrich others? Read over the following 10 following to make an impact on others and in the world we live. Take time to work on as many as you can this week. Watch the blessings flow as you do!
1.) Support Farmer's Markets
Buying local has a dramatic impact on both your health and the environment. While you achieve the goal of supporting local, organic, independent farmers, you also have the opportunity to eat seasonally and raise the bar for yourself in terms of healthy eating habits.
You'll be filling your body with produce that is at its freshest, and increasing your consumption of organic produce is incredibly beneficial. The National Resources Defense Council notes that much of the U.S. produce will travel an average of around 1,500 miles before it makes its way into your super market. The negative impact on the planet is huge - think of the pollution alone that is created in that transport.
2.) Toilet Paper
Seriously. We're talking about toilet paper made with recycled paper. The impact on the environment in terms of the total number of trees saved each year is huge.
3.) Cold Water Wash
Don't personalize your laundry - sure, you like to take a warm bath, but do your old sweat socks, boxer shorts and yoga pants know the difference? A really simple thing to change in your daily or weekly routine, and the environmental impact is great. Procter & Gamble notes that if we all started to use cold water in the washing machines, we could save enough energy to light two and a half million homes for a year.
4.) Bad Bottled Water Habits
According to National Geographic magazine, Americans buy approximately 7 billion gallons of bottled water a year. This amounts to roughly 22 billion plastic bottles that eventually get thrown away, and often not in the recycling bin. Consider the (yearly) 1.5 million barrels of oil that it takes to produce those plastic bottles - this amount is enough to fuel nearly 100,000 cars for an entire year. Ways to improve? Buy a water filter and drink tap water that has been properly filtered.
5.) Re-use Gift Wrapping Paper
Unwrap gifts with a little concern. The amount of paper that could be saved is astronomical, if each of us were to recycle wrapping paper from just a few gifts each year. Get a bag or a box, and start saving bows, ribbons and neatly folded, carefully removed gift wrapping paper.
6.) Grocery Bags
When they ask you if you want paper or plastic, just say neither. Spend a dollar at the store and buy a re-usable cotton or hemp bag, and keep them in the trunk of your car for shopping.
7.) Houseplants Can Be Your Friends
It has been noted that many green house plants can assist in the process of removing indoor air pollutants if you cultivate and care for them indoors. Plants like English ivy and others such as golden pothos practically grow themselves.
8.) Eliminate Junk Mail
Hate the junk mail that comes in your mail box just about every day? For most of us, that pile of materials goes directly into the trash. For others, it goes directly into the recycling bin. Neither party ever reads any of it, and yet it still shows up every day. Take a second and visit theDirect Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service to register not to receive junk mail any longer.
9.) Buy Bulk
Tea drinker? Couple of trips to the local coffee house every morning? Eat cereal or oatmeal? Next time you buy tea, for instance, think about choosing loose leaf over packaged tea. Reducing the amount of packaging materials that you use can make a big difference to the environment. Think about packaged tea - there's the card stock paper box wrapped in plastic, the paper inside, the plastic that is often wrapped around the tea bag, the tea bag, the string, the tiny staple and the tea tag. All of those materials get disposed of, typically not recycled, and much of it can be eliminated by buying bulk loose leaf tea and using your own tea infuser.
10.) Green Your Driving
If you can afford it, buy a hybrid. But there are plenty of other ways to do something about fuel consumption and vehicle pollution. Carpool if and when you can - you have to get over identifying with your vehicle and your alone time first, but it's worth the small sacrifice. Bike to work if you can; you'll be getting exercise and helping the planet at the same time.
Or just plain drive smarter when you get behind the wheel - get timely tune-ups and keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure to ensure maximum gas-saving efficiency. If you take long trips on the highway (out of the way of traffic), then switch to cruise control to improve your mileage. Curb your urge to drive like your car is a weapon - take off from stops less aggressively, brake more gently and slow down when you can. The speed limit isn't so bad. And get out of the drive-thru: either quit the fast food or park the car and walk it.
Taking meaningful yet small steps to help our environment and others this year can lead to real, measurable and positive change for your overall being. Changing a habit or two, educating yourself and making smarter choices is all that it takes. Think about the many millions of people living in America, making one collective change all at once - that alone could pay huge dividends for our future.
This Week's Meditation:
There is another way of looking at this world. Lord, help me see it!
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow your thoughts to come into your mind. Each time a negative thought comes slowly bring your thought process back to, "There is another way of looking at this world. Lord, help me see it!" You are affirming that God will take care of everything.