When I was really young, I didn't understand Good Friday. It seemed just the opposite to me. Someone we loved was beaten and cut, spit upon, jeered at, and nailed to a cross. The day was a very dark day for humanity. But here's the thing: What man uses for evil, God uses for good...... and that's where the Goodness of Good Friday comes in. It wasn't the end, it was just the beginning of what was to come for all of us who believe.
Blessed Good Friday friends!
Happy St. Paddy's Day!
Most people know St. Patrick thanks to a day filled with all things green and Irishness, but do you really know the man behind the day? His story is a pretty inspiring one!
☘️St. Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland.
☘️Contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t Irish. He was born around A.D. 375 in Britain, probably somewhere in Scotland, though the exact date and place are unknown.
☘️According to several sources, he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was probably partly responsible as well for the Christianization of the Picts (an early Scottish people group) and Anglo-Saxons.
☘️When he was 16, St. Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland to herd and tend sheep.
☘️After six years in captivity, he escaped after having a dream sent by God, telling him to leave Ireland by going to the coast where he would find a ship waiting to sail to Britain.
☘️He later became a priest and a bishop and is known for two short works: Confessio and Letter to Coroticus.
☘️In Confessio, he tells about a dream sent by God. In it, he was given a letter with the heading “The Voice of the Irish.” He heard the Irish people calling out to him to come back to Ireland and walk once more among them.
☘️After overcoming doubts, and motivated by a deep sense of purpose, he returned to Ireland, where he preached and converted people for 40 years, amid opposition and formidable difficulties—not a small accomplishment, given the circumstances at that time.
☘️His Letter to Coroticus was a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
☘️According to legend, He used the shamrock to help explain the concept of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to unbelievers.
☘️ I'm not sure where the green beer, leprechauns, and pots of gold fit into St Patrick's story 😂! Sometimes what we think we know has nothing to do with what is true. 😉
St. Patrick’s life was guided by a strong sense of divinely inspired purpose. Some pretty significant icky moments and obstacles didn’t appear to get in the way of what God asked him to do. I admire people who know their purpose in life!
Enjoy your day and get your green on in honor of St. Paddy!
☘️💚☘️💚 ~ liz
Just learned something new this morning.
"Peace" is mentioned 429 times in the Old King James version of the Bible. The more modernized the version, the less often it is mentioned. The newest versions of the Bible only include the word "peace" around 230 times.
I see a correlation here.
Two of the most well known essential oils, 💧Frankincense and 💧Myrrh, pretty much owe their claim to fame to three wise men over 2000 years ago. Now that’s some kind of successful advertising campaign! 😉
I’ve been celebrating this Christmas season by walking thru a 25 day devotional, “The Soul Felt its Worth”. Each morning has been like an Advent calendar for me as I learn history and relevant Bible verses and theology expressed through 25 traditional Christmas carols.
As I write this, I’m on day 11: “We Three Kings”.....written in 1857 by American clergyman John Henry Hopkins Jr. Spoiler alert…. The Bible never put a number on the wise men who travelled to see infant Jesus ….. Nevertheless, this carol is where we get the 3 kings/wise men from!
Although it’s considered a Christmas hymn, “We Three Kings” is really a poetic tribute to Jesus’ whole life, with Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh representing some very key attributes:
“Born A King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.”
Gold (referenced in verse 3) has been a sign of royalty, wealth, and power since nearly the beginning of time. Giving the gift of gold to Jesus was an acknowledgement to the birth of the King of Kings.
“Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high”
💧Frankincense was used in the temple as an incense and anointing oil, and was a symbolic acknowledgement of God and spiritual leadership. (You will be learning so much about the historic healing properties of Frank and Myrrh next week! Stay tuned!!❤ )
“Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.”
💧Myrrh had many historical uses, including that as a key embalming agent. Its name comes from the word ‘marar’ which means bitterness. For myrrh oil to be attained, the tree’s heartwood must be pierced/tapped allowing the gum resin to trickle out in red droplets called 'tears'. The gift of myrrh symbolizes Jesus’ earthly a bitter death and subsequent burial. .
And finally, the phrase “Guide us to Thy perfect Light” in verse 2 leads us to the truth of the matter. The kings/magi-astronomers were looking for something far more significant than the bright star they were following. They were looking for THE Light. ☀️
God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. ~ I John 1:5.
Enjoy the journey this coming week friends!
I've been diving in to the history behind some of our well known "vintage" Christmas carols this December. Some of you may have seen them in my FB stories. (I'm doing my best to highlight one per day). 🎄 It's been so interesting and I've gained a much greater appreciation for songs and their backstage stories.
Today's archeological dig was especially compelling because it seems like it could have been written this year, and I wanted to share.
🎶" I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" 🎶was written as a poem in the middle of our country's Civil War in 1863 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
His wife of 18 years had just passed away unexpectedly, and his son had gone to fight for the freedom of all men to parts unknown. Longfellow was notified by telegram on December 1st, that his son was seriously wounded at a battle during the Mine Run Campaign. He was emotionally devastated by both events and the stress of everyday life during war time.
Yet in his deepest despair, he retained his devout faith in Christ.
As I read thru the verses of the original song (some of the modern versions have been altered), I was struck by these two in particular:
🎶'And in despair I bowed my head;
"There's no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."🎶
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
God's not dead friends. He's very much alive and He corrects injustices in His own timing. Keep the faith. Goodness and loving kindness will ultimately prevail. ❤️🇺🇸🙏
I'll forever see this Christmas carol in a different way. May the peace that passes all understanding be with you today!
I may have to dive more into this later.....
Fear not my friends! It is only detrimental to your overall health! That's a fact.
I really feel strongly that this is a season of personal growth for our entire world.... an awakening of sorts. Even tho I'm still working more than 40hrs/week from home or as an "essential worker" at the pharmacy during our "time alone together", I'm trying to carve out time to seek knowledge as I am led to it.
Today, after lunch, I spent about 35 minutes at one of my favorite quickie education sources: https://www.prageru.com/ .
Today's dive into being better versed in the world of current events have left me 😭😭😭😭 . I may be worthless now for the rest of the day 😭, but this was information we ALL need to know exists so that we can put a stop to it collectively.
Child Sex Trafficking. (I hate even typing those words out 😭 ). I first learned about this industry (for sadly, it IS that) in 2016, and it hasn't left my mind since.
Here are some quick stats:
👤 8 Million children are trafficked each year
👤 Child trafficking is the fastest growing "industry" in the world today.
👤 There's been a 5000% increase in "dark web" child rape videos in the last few years (little kids... under the age of 12)👤 There are currently an estimated 250,000 children actively trafficked in the USA.
👤 The USA is the NUMBER 1 consumer of child rape videos in the world. 😭
👤 There are more people (30 million adults and children) currently being trafficked in the world than there has ever been in any time in history.
" It takes guts to listen, and it takes guts to engage."
I encourage everyone to take a listen to this video and be changed forever. Ignorance is not bliss. Collective ignorance is a large part of why this beast exists and it must stop.
Join me, won't you? If we all take an hour or so out of our "at home experience" to work on something that will improve other people's lives...... imagine how much better the 🌎world will be when we all step outside collectively, and breathe a big sigh of relief. Even if we were to have to stay cooped up for a month or two.... it's a small price to pay if we collectively make the world better when it's all over.... isn't it?
hugs and love friends~ liz
Have you ever felt like you were at a crossroads in your life? I’m not talking about a midlife crisis, but rather something bigger and more profound.
About 3 years ago, we took a pretty long road trip to pick up a bull in a remote (VERY REMOTE) area in West Texas. I mean…… drive to the very edge of civilization and then head 3 hours further…..the kind of remote that requires a physical map instead of cell phone/ GPS service. Without a map or good navigational tools, you’re sunk kind of remote. As you might guess, we confidently drove down the road….. in the wrong direction because we thought we knew where we were going. It cost us about 3 extra hours that day. We were reminded the value of an old school map and a dose of intuition!
This kind of parallels the last 15+ years of my life. I have been a pharmacist since 1991. I graduated, and like most health professionals…. upon graduation…… was pretty sure I had a really good grasp of the profession. I’m not saying I was God’s gift to pharmacy (hardly!), but I certainly thought I knew enough to make a difference in people’s lives. I toodled along in pharmacy doing the absolute best job I could do (because that’s my nature….. never tackle anything halfway).
When I was in my 30’s I thought we were living the dream. Charlie and I both had good jobs, had bought our farm, and had begun building our home (by hand, ourselves…. because that’s how we do things…. with all our heart and soul). We worked super hard…. 40-60 hrs a week at our respective jobs and then swung hammers and wielded paint brushes on nights and weekends for about 3 years before completing our home. It was somewhere during that time that I broke my wrist, was subsequently diagnosed with osteopenia , and both Charlie and I were diagnosed with high cholesterol. In hindsight, that broken wrist was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I won’t go into great detail (you can read more about that journey here and the second half here), but it was a big fat hairy road sign to stop and assess what I thought I knew.
That broken wrist reopened a different avenue of education for me…. only this time, it was not subsidized by the pharmaceutical industry and there was some skin in the game…. my own. When you are a pharmacist, you’re in the business of knowing side effects of meds. The good news is…. you know the potential side effects. The bad news is…. you know the potential side effects. I wasn’t willing to go down that road given the med options they were dangling in front of me. My gut said no way, and once my research started it changed my life forever. It all began with raw milk. From there, my research extended into finding access to truly healthy and healing foods. Each time I thought I knew enough, I found that more pieces to health puzzles were MIA…. not just my puzzle, but everyone else’s too.
About the same time, I went to work at a pharmacy that specialized in rare diseases, oncology, auto-immune disorders, and infertility (which frequently has an auto-immune component). Sadly, this pharmacy represented the outcome of people living in toxin filled environments. Silly me. I still thought I was helping people. I guess I was. Kindness matters, especially when you are dealing with life altering body dysfunctions….. but kindness and pharmaceuticals don’t dissolve the problems these patients face every day.
Another personal puzzle piece fell into place after I was diagnosed with something called interstitial cystitis and discovered (after 9 years of no REM sleep and frequent trips to the bathroom), that it could be managed well with a fresh and healthy, but limited, diet. Expensive medication and daily catheterization are the common treatments. Ummm, no thank you. I would later learn that IC is part of the autoimmune disorder family. Not surprisingly, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the USA are card carrying autoimmune disorder patients. I had been given my card.
Eight years ago, my dad was diagnosed with dementia. It made no sense to me and we had no family history of dementia. I backtracked the onset to a statin drug (commonly prescribed for high cholesterol). In the finest of the fine print of this class of drugs you will find information alluding to possible memory loss with these drugs. Dig deeply and you’ll find it. I thank God for leading me to raw milk to lower my cholesterol instead of that which stole my dad’s memory. I don’t blame the pharmaceutical industry for burying the whole ‘memory loss’ side effect in the fine print. I mean, would you want to take a drug that could potentially rob you of your memory as a side effect? Ummmm, no thank you.
By now, I’ve truly begun second guessing pharmaceuticals. I began educating myself on everything I could get my hands on that gave honest and documented proof that maybe what I knew wasn’t EVERYTHING…… that perhaps there were some gaps in my education and knowledge base. I dug deep deep deep into gut health and discovered the link to most autoimmune disorders. I studied sleep patterns, herbs, thyroid and hormones. I picked up yoga and began healing my posture and my stress level. That led to my recent certification (7 years later) as a Christian yoga instructor.
I had a life changing accident 3 years ago this week, and (eventually… after a 3 month recovery) walked out of it when I should have been an amputee. Last week I walked a 37 minute 5K with many close friends. Thank God. Despite the severity of my injury, I have no pain day to day and am not on any medication. I’ve got oils, supplements and a little thing called Dolphin MPS that rocked my recovery world so much so that I decided to begin taking classes so that I could help others as I was helped…. another tool in my toolbox that wasn’t related to pharmacy.
The last 18 years, by serendipity or Divine design (I believe the latter), I have been gathering tools to help people (myself included) heal physically and emotionally. What had started out as a mission to care for myself and my family gradually extended to include friends and strangers who have become dear friends. The more truth in healing I gleaned, the more uncomfortable I became in my white lab coat. Back in the day, we took an oath to do no harm (that oath has been changed and no longer includes that phrase).
Once you know something, you can’t unknow it.
I have grown uncomfortable in my pharmacist skin (and coat)….. able to speak only truths that are approved talking points regulated by the pharmaceutical industry.
Once I found that there are better, safer, more life sustainable ways to heal, it became harder and harder to deny people access to these opportunities in wellness……. because they exist for the taking.
Every day, people make unconscious choices that affect their health….. making poor food choices, drinking chemically treated water, watching too much media and not exercising enough…. taking meds without researching them thoroughly first. They think a pill will solve their ills. I’m here to tell you that medications are simply adding to the already hefty toxin load within all of us. The heavier the load, the sicker the individual.
I’ve had several people in the last many months call me a healer. I don’t claim that moniker. I feel more like a shepherd, leading those who are thirsty to a safe place to drink, eat, and rest. It gives me great peace, and it makes my heart sing a song it’s never sung before.
I have straddled both worlds now for many years, and being true to myself is becoming increasingly difficult despite the six figure income that comes with the white coat. I fill prescriptions for people I have grown to love in the community, knowing that they can be helped in other ways that actually heal. I respect my duty as a pharmacist and do not step outside that boundary……but I feel God’s hand firmly on my back telling me to Go. Do. Become. Shepherd those I send your way.
And so I prayed. “Lord, if it is your will, send me those who need me.” I began praying this daily about 5 months ago. God has a sense of humor. I’m sure of it. About a month ago, I had to alter my prayer a tiny bit. ” Lord, if it is your will, can I have a little breather so I can adequately help those you sent so far? ” God is so very good.
I would have never in a million years guessed that I would step away from pharmacy more than halfway thru my career. Pharmacy has taught me so much. Perhaps most importantly, it has given me the gift of scientific discernment: the ability to understand fact from fiction or skewed data.
When I was a young pup out of pharmacy school, I thought my life was set on auto pilot. I couldn’t have been more wrong. God took me down a completely different path, guiding me and giving me tools along the way: pharmacy, nutrition, exercise, yoga, health coaching, scientific based knowledge of essential oils, supplements, and herbs, Dolphin MPS, and most importantly the empathy acquired from personal experiences.
God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.
Here’s to the journey! I can’t wait to see what the second half of my life holds.
Hugs and love, Liz
PS: I am not completely stepping away from the pharmacy just yet. You will still see me in a white coat one or two days a week.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!