Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.
'In honour of this holy season' Saint Peter said, 'you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.'
The Englishman fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. 'It's a candle', he said.
'You may pass through the pearly gates' Saint Peter said.
The Scotsman reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, 'They're bells.'
Saint Peter said 'You may pass through the pearly gates'.
The Irishman started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, 'And just what do those symbolize?'
The paddy replied, 'These are Carols.'
And So The Christmas Season Begins......
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Under His Hand
by James Robison
Princess makes an effective alarm clock, but not a very pleasant one. We have a mat in our garage decorated with a dachshund and the phrase, “Caution: Dog Cannot Hold Its Licker.” This is especially true when I’m trying to sleep.
If Betty gets up before I do, she will sometimes allow Princess to jump onto the bed while I am still sleeping. Normally she comes straight to my face to show her affection with a wet mess of dog kisses. It’s about as shocking as a pitcher of cold water poured on your head!
One morning I felt her jump up on the bed, so I braced for the barrage. It never came. Instead, she thrust her nose under my hand, wanting me to pet her. In a flash, I was impressed by God that this is how we should approach Him every morning.
Imagine how our lives would change if our first thought or action was not, “Oh no, another day,” or “Am I late for work?” For those who have experienced loss, that waking moment may hold, “I wonder where he or she is,” or “I miss my loved one.” I have been told that smokers often think, “I need a cigarette,” immediately upon waking.
What if our first action of every day was more like Princess’ that morning when she thrust her head under my hand? I felt the Lord was impressing me, through this simple canine act, that the first thing I should do every day is to get my head under His hand, so that He can guide my thoughts and order my steps.
“ Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5, NAS).
When God’s hand rests upon our lives, wisdom will enlighten our minds and integrity will direct our feet. Jesus said that He is light, and His light guides our paths. When the light moves, we move. Where He goes, we must go. We not only walk in the light, but we freely express the glory of His light through our lives. This is life under His hand and divine direction.
When Princess showers me with kisses, I appreciate her enthusiasm and affection, but sometimes it’s a bit much. But when she pushed her head under my hand, I turned my attention to her, petting her head as I contemplated God’s truth. Her move was not bold or boisterous, yet I noticed her. I pulled her close.
I have no doubt that God never wearies of our enthusiasm and affection, but I also believe that he notices our submission. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” wrote James, the brother of Jesus. (James 4:8)
Under His hand there is warmth and intimacy. When we press in toward God, it’s like Princess nudging my hand. He responds with divine love. He presses in toward us. This is perhaps the most intimate relationship that mankind can have with Holy God while we are still alive on this earth. It is supernatural and life-changing.
Under His hand there is security and safety. If you ever see the owner of a cat or small dog encounter a large, threatening dog, you will see the same reaction: the owner will immediately pick up their pet and hold it close. When the owner holds their beloved pet, the animal is usually safe. With God, we are always safe when under His hand. The Psalmist declared, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’" (Psalm 91:1-2). In the Gospel of John, we are reassured of God’s abiding love for us: “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29, KJV)
One cannot live in the “shadow of the Almighty” without being close. It requires the kind of trust Princess has in me – simple, yet profound. She trusts me completely, even when her limited mind cannot comprehend my plans. She obeys me, for the most part, and her obedience is rewarded with the good things I bring her. I look for ways to give her joy -- though I am just a man. How much greater is a close relationship with the Creator of the universe when we trust Him completely? The joy He gives surpasses anything we could ever conjure on our own.
The wisdom, peace and fulfillment of this type of relationship cannot be fully stated. It must be experienced. Perhaps you did not awaken today seeking to have His hand resting on your head, but you can start now by drawing near and He will draw near. Then tomorrow, and every day thereafter, begin your day by pressing closer to Him, submitting your will and quieting your mind. When you truly learn to live this way, you will begin to experience the transforming power of His abiding presence.
Excerpted from God of All Creation: Life Lessons from Pets and Wildlife by James Robison. Published by WaterBrook Press. ©2012 by James Robison.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Little Johnny strikes again....
The teacher asked the class to use the word 'fascinate' in a sentence.
Molly put up her hand and said, 'My family went to my granddad's farm, and
we all saw his pet sheep. It was fascinating.'
The teacher said, 'That was good, but I wanted you to use the word
fascinate, not fascinating'.
Sally raised her hand. She said, 'My family went to see RockCity and I > was fascinated.'
The teacher said, 'Well, that was good Sally, but I wanted you to use the
Little Johnny raised his hand. The teacher hesitated because she had been
burned by little Johnny before.
She finally decided there was no way he could damage the word 'fascinate',
so she called on him.
Johnny said, 'My aunt Gina has a sweater with ten buttons, but her tits are so big she can only fasten eight.'
The teacher sat down and cried.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
To PBS: NOVA,
Your narrative is hopelessly illiterate because of your unpredictable shifts from the present tense (which is WRONG for reporting past, historic events) to the past tense, to the past participle and other incomprehensible usage of the verbs and the facts. This is supposed to be educational, coherent, scholarly material. You are not doing CBS's "You Are There," the gimmicky Mike Wallace history reenactment program of the 1950s, you know. You are doing SCIENCE!!!
The present tense in such usage is a cheap, amateurish, rhetorical trick to generate stress, urgency, concern, and emotions in the viewer, NOT wisdom, analysis, reason, thoughtfulness, or learning. You are doing a disservice to the public, the viewer, and your subject. Hyperbole to excess; Injecting drama where no exaggeration is necessary; and Using completely inappropriate language (like "cataclysmic," and "accident of geography" [as if there ever could be such a thing]) and so on, just makes you sound as stupid as the ignoramuses that you interviewed who had refused to go to high ground before the storm! You left out the violins.
Suggest that you re-enable your word processor's grammar checker there, PhDs.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Check out the material at this link
Causes of Panic Attacks
The short and obvious answer: panic attacks are caused by high anxiety. But, what exactly is anxiety? Understanding how anxiety crops up will help you defeat panic attacks.
One of the biggest myths surrounding anxiety is that it is harmful and can lead to a number of various life-threatening conditions.
Definition of Anxiety
Anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension or fear resulting from the anticipation of a real or imagined threat, event, or situation. It is one of the most common human emotions experienced by people at some point in their lives.
However, most people who have never experienced a panic attack, or extreme anxiety, fail to realize the terrifying nature of the experience. Extreme dizziness, blurred vision, tingling and feelings of breathlessness—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
When these sensations occur and people do not understand why, they feel they have contracted an illness, or a serious mental condition. The threat of losing complete control seems very real and naturally very terrifying.
Fight/Flight Response: One of the root causes of panic attacks?
I am sure most of you have heard of the fight/flight response as an explanation for one of the root causes of panic attacks. Have you made the connection between this response and the unusual sensations you experience during and after a panic attack episode?
Anxiety is a response to a danger or threat. It is so named because all of its effects are aimed toward either fighting or fleeing from the danger. Thus, the sole purpose of anxiety is to protect the individual from harm. This may seem ironic given that you no doubt feel your anxiety is actually causing you great harm…perhaps the most significant of all the causes of panic attacks.
However, the anxiety that the fight/flight response created was vital in the daily survival of our ancient ancestors—when faced with some danger, an automatic response would take over that propelled them to take immediate action such as attack or run. Even in today’s hectic world, this is still a necessary mechanism. It comes in useful when you must respond to a real threat within a split second.
Anxiety is a built-in mechanism to protect us from danger. Interestingly, it is a mechanism that protects but does not harm—an important point that will be elaborated upon later.
The Physical Manifestations of a Panic Attack: Other pieces of the puzzle to understand the causes of panic attacks. Nervousness and Chemical Effects…
When confronted with danger, the brain sends signals to a section of the nervous system. It is this system that is responsible for gearing the body up for action and also calms the body down and restores equilibrium. To carry out these two vital functions, the autonomic nervous system has two subsections, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Although I don’t want to become too “scientific,” having a basic understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system will help you understand the causes of panic attacks.
The sympathetic nervous system is the one we tend to know all too much about because it primes our body for action, readies us for the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic nervous system is the one we love dearly as it serves as our restoring system, which returns the body to its normal state.
When either of these systems is activated, they stimulate the whole body, which has an “all or nothing” effect. This explains why when a panic attack occurs, the individual often feels a number of different sensations throughout the body.
The sympathetic system is responsible for releasing the adrenaline from the adrenal glands on the kidneys. These are small glands located just above the kidneys. Less known, however, is that the adrenal glands also release adrenaline, which functions as the body’s chemical messengers to keep the activity going. When a panic attack begins, it does not switch off as easily as it is turned on. There is always a period of what would seem increased or continued anxiety, as these messengers travel throughout the body. Think of them as one of the physiological causes of panic attacks, if you will.
After a period of time, the parasympathetic nervous system gets called into action. Its role is to return the body to normal functioning once the perceived danger is gone. The parasympathetic system is the system we all know and love, because it returns us to a calm relaxed state.
When we engage in a coping strategy that we have learned, for example, a relaxation technique, we are in fact willing the parasympathetic nervous system into action. A good thing to remember is that this system will be brought into action at some stage whether we will it or not. The body cannot continue in an ever-increasing spiral of anxiety. It reaches a point where it simply must kick in, relaxing the body. This is one of the many built-in protection systems our bodies have for survival.
You can do your best with worrying thoughts, keeping the sympathetic nervous system going, but eventually it stops. In time, it becomes a little smarter than us, and realizes that there really is no danger. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent—modern science is always discovering amazing patterns of intelligence that run throughout the cells of our body. Our body seems to have infinite ways of dealing with the most complicated array of functions we take for granted. Rest assured that your body’s primary goal is to keep you alive and well.
Not so convinced?
Try holding your breath for as long as you can. No matter how strong your mental will is, it can never override the will of the body. This is good news—no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are gong to die from a panic attack, you won’t. Your body will override that fear and search for a state of balance. There has never been a reported incident of someone dying from a panic attack.
Remember this next time you have a panic attack; he causes of panic attacks cannot do you any physical harm. Your mind may make the sensations continue longer than the body intended, but eventually everything will return to a state of balance. In fact, balance (homeostasis) is what our body continually strives for.
The interference for your body is nothing more than the sensations of doing rigorous exercise. Our body is not alarmed by these symptoms. Why should it be? It knows its own capability. It’s our thinking minds that panic, which overreact and scream in sheer terror! We tend to fear the worst and exaggerate our own sensations. A quickened heart beat becomes a heart attack. An overactive mind seems like a close shave with schizophrenia. Is it our fault? Not really—we are simply diagnosing from poor information.
Cardiovascular Effects Activity in the sympathetic nervous system increases our heartbeat rate, speeds up the blood flow throughout the body, ensures all areas are well supplied with oxygen and that waste products are removed. This happens in order to prime the body for action.
A fascinating feature of the “fight or flight” mechanism is that blood (which is channelled from areas where it is currently not needed by a tightening of the blood vessels) is brought to areas where it is urgently needed.
For example, should there be a physical attack, blood drains from the skin, fingers, and toes so that less blood is lost, and is moved to “active areas” such as the thighs and biceps to help the body prepare for action.
This is why many feel numbness and tingling during a panic attack-often misinterpreted as some serious health risk-such as the precursor to a heart attack. Interestingly, most people who suffer from anxiety often feel they have heart problems. If you are really worried that such is the case with your situation, visit your doctor and have it checked out. At least then you can put your mind at rest.
One of the scariest effects of a panic attack is the fear of suffocating or smothering. It is very common during a panic attack to feel tightness in the chest and throat. I’m sure everyone can relate to some fear of losing control of your breathing. From personal experience, anxiety grows from the fear that your breathing itself would cease and you would be unable to recover. Can a panic attack stop our breathing? No.
A panic attack is associated with an increase in the speed and depth of breathing. This has obvious importance for the defense of the body since the tissues need to get more oxygen to prepare for action. The feelings produced by this increase in breathing, however, can include breathlessness, hyperventilation, sensations of choking or smothering, and even pains or tightness in the chest. The real problem is that these sensations are alien to us, and they feel unnatural.
Having experienced extreme panic attacks myself, I remember that on many occasions, I would have this feeling that I couldn’t trust my body to do the breathing for me, so I would have to manually take over and tell myself when to breathe in and when to breathe out. Of course, this didn’t suit my body’s requirement of oxygen and so the sensations would intensify—along with the anxiety. It was only when I employed the technique I will describe for you later, did I let the body continue doing what it does best—running the whole show.
Importantly, a side-effect of increased breathing, (especially if no actual activity occurs) is that the blood supply to the head is actually decreased. While such a decrease is only a small amount and is not at all dangerous, it produces a variety of unpleasant but harmless symptoms that include dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, sense of unreality, and hot flushes.
Other Physical Effects of Panic Attacks:
Now that we’ve discussed some of the primary physiological causes of panic attacks, there are a number of other effects that are produced by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, none of which are in any way harmful.
For example, the pupils widen to let in more light, which may result in blurred vision, or “seeing” stars, etc. There is a decrease in salivation, resulting in dry mouth. There is decreased activity in the digestive system, which often produces nausea, a heavy feeling in the stomach, and even constipation. Finally, many of the muscle groups tense up in preparation for “fight or flight” and this results in subjective feelings of tension, sometimes extending to actual aches and pains, as well as trembling and shaking.
Overall, the fight/flight response results in a general activation of the whole bodily metabolism. Thus, one often feels hot and flushed and, because this process takes a lot of energy, the person generally feels tired and drained.
Mental Manifestations: Are the causes of panic attacks all in my head? is a question many people wonder to themselves.
The goal of the fight/flight response is making the individual aware of the potential danger that may be present. Therefore, when activated, the mental priority is placed upon searching the surroundings for potential threats. In this state one is highly-strung, so to speak. It is very difficult to concentrate on any one activity, as the mind has been trained to seek all potential threats and not to give up until the threat has been identified. As soon as the panic hits, many people look for the quick and easiest exit from their current surroundings, such as by simply leaving the bank queue and walking outside. Sometimes the anxiety can heighten, if we perceive that leaving will cause some sort of social embarrassment.
If you have a panic attack while at the workplace but feel you must press on with whatever task it is you are doing, it is quite understandable that you would find it very hard to concentrate. It is quite common to become agitated and generally restless in such a situation. Many individuals I have worked with who have suffered from panic attacks over the years indicated that artificial light—such as that which comes from computer monitors and televisions screens—can can be one of the causes of panic attacks by triggering them or worsen a panic attack, particularly if the person is feeling tired or run down.
This is worth bearing in mind if you work for long periods of time on a computer. Regular break reminders should be set up on your computer to remind you to get up from the desk and get some fresh air when possible.
In other situations, when during a panic attack an outside threat cannot normally be found, the mind turns inwards and begins to contemplate the possible illness the body or mind could be suffering from. This ranges from thinking it might have been something you ate at lunch, to the possibility of an oncoming cardiac arrest.
The burning question is: Why is the fight/flight response activated during a panic attack even when there is apparently nothing to be frightened of?
Upon closer examination of the causes of panic attacks, it would appear that what we are afraid of are the sensations themselves—we are afraid of the body losing control. These unexpected physical symptoms create the fear or panic that something is terribly wrong. Why do you experience the physical symptoms of the fight/flight response if you are not frightened to begin with? There are many ways these symptoms can manifest themselves, not just through fear.
For example, it may be that you have become generally stressed for some reason in your life, and this stress results in an increase in the production of adrenaline and other chemicals, which from time to time, would produce symptoms….and which you perceive as the causes of panic attacks.
This increased adrenaline can be maintained chemically in the body, even after the stress has long gone. Another possibility is diet, which directly affects our level of stress. Excess caffeine, alcohol, or sugar is known for causing stress in the body, and is believed to be one of the contributing factors of the causes of panic attacks (Chapter 5 gives a full discussion on diet and its importance).
Unresolved emotions are often pointed to as possible trigger of panic attacks, but it is important to point out that eliminating panic attacks from your life does not necessarily mean analyzing your psyche and digging into your subconscious. The “One Move” technique will teach you to deal with the present moment and defuse the attack along with removing the underlying anxiety that sparks the initial anxiety.
Learn more here at this link.
Barry McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach. His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: http://www.panicportal.com
This article is copywritten material [sic. Copyrighted.]
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Democratic Racism Artifact
"George McClellan: Fabulous 1864 Racist Broadside.
With slavery as the backdrop to the Civil War, the presidential campaign of 1864 played out along black & white lines. Lincoln was accused of abandoning the original reason for the war, restoration of the Union, and changing it to a crusade for abolition. He was also accused of ignoring the Constitution, not taking the war-time casualties seriously and burdening the country with a debt that would be decades in the repayment.
The Democrats were against the abolition of slavery, against Negro equality and against granting equal rights and protection to blacks, slave or otherwise. This 23" x 18.5" broadside, printed in black and orange, plays to this bias and is a quintessential example of negative campaigning. We have seen a similar piece that predicts dire consequences if McClellan was elected (vertical format, printed in black only), but it pales in comparison to this one which plays the race card to the hilt and exploits voter fears.
The Republicans, who called themselves the National Union Party in 1864, are designated as "The Black Republican Ticket", a pejorative term first coined in 1856 and a catchword for abolitionists. Their success will bring on "Negro Equality, more Debt, Harder Times, another Draft! Universal Anarchy, and Ultimate Ruin!" (They were not pulling any punches here!) McClellan's election, in contrast, would "defeat Negro Equality, restore Prosperity, re-establish the Union! In an Honorable, Permanent and happy Peace."
We [Heritage Auctions, Dallas] are aware of only one other example which resides in a private collection. This example has been handsomely matted and framed. It has undergone some restoration which has not affected any of the lettering... only the vertical rule lines in the center. In the true tradition of broadsides, it includes eight different fonts. It is not only graphic, but really tells the story of the 1864 campaign and its two protagonists, Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan ."
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Written by Gary North on November 6, 2012
This was sent to me. It may be bogus, but we live in strange times.
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada Has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.
Canadian border farmers say its not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left. Didn’t even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields.
Not real effective,” he said. The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn’t give milk.”
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals Near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.
A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.”
When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often Wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes ingenious ways of crossing the border.
Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers.
If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, We get suspicious about their age,” an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are Creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.
I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just cant support them,” an Ottawa resident said. How many art-history majors does one country need?”