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For Jesus And For The Culture. . .Being Black, Christian and a Millennial In America

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace: What it is, What it Isn’t

How to Practice Unforced Rhythms of Grace in Your Daily Life

Dear Reader: 

Whether you are religious or not, the unforced rhythms of grace can be practiced in your daily life.

There is no one way to define grace. It may be defined as the unearned and unmerited favor of God or as an abundance of divine blessings, or it may simply be a state of being that we experience, but regardless of how you define it, you can live by its principles every day.

The most important thing is to be aware of your thoughts and actions. You can do this by paying attention and noticing what you say and do. When you notice thoughts that are unkind, try to replace them with kinder ones. This will help you live a life with unforced rhythms of grace.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Matthew 11:28-30 is a passage from the Bible that explores how Jesus Christ offers a spiritual solution, which can offer relief to those who are looking for rest.

The Benefits of Living a Gracious Life with Grace

We have been conditioned to believe that life is a battle and that we must fight for every inch of the ground. We are taught to be selfish and self-absorbed. We are told that we should always “do it now”, and “have it all”.

But what if there is another way? What if life is not really a battle at all? What if the world is not really out to get us? What if we do not need to control everything in order to feel safe or successful?

What would happen if we could let go of our fears, our constant yearning for approval, and our need for control?

If we could let go of our fears, our constant yearning for approval, and our need for control then we can take a step back and see that the world is much simpler than we think. We’d have more time to relax and spend time with the people who matter most to us. We would be less stressed out, happier, and more creative.

One way to live in the unforced rhythms of grace is to be near nature. The beauty of the world can be overwhelming, especially if you’re someone who’s been living in a city for a while. If you’re feeling suffocated by the urban lifestyle and need to take a break, take some time to visit nature. Living close to nature is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and improve mental health.

Living close to nature is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and improve mental health. A study published in the journal Nature has found that living near green spaces has even been shown to reduce risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Another way to live in the unforced rhythms of grace is to be kind and gracious. Being gracious and living a life with grace is not just about being polite. It is also about being humble, thankful, and compassionate.

A life of grace is a life of humility, gratitude, and compassion. Grace isn’t just about being polite. It’s about taking the time to appreciate the small things in life that are going right. This is why it’s so important to say thank you when someone does something for you, or even just smiles at you in a store.

Graciousness is the act of being kind and considerate to others without expecting anything in return. It can be seen as an aspect of civility, which refers to the social skills that help us get along with others in society.

The word graciousness is defined as the quality of being kind, quick to forgive, and considerate. It is a virtue that we should try and live by.

Let’s try to live a life that dwells in the unforced rhythms of grace today. 

This Christmas, enjoy these classic holiday tunes!

Dear Reader: 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for gift-giving, festive parties, and of course, Christmas music. Whether you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit or just need some background noise while wrapping presents, we’ve got the perfect playlist for you. From classics like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” to modern pop hits like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” these songs are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. So cue up your favorite streaming service and enjoy!

“White Christmas” – Bing Crosby

No Christmas playlist would be complete without Bing Crosby’s signature holiday tune. This classic song has been covered by everyone from Michael Bublé to Lady Gaga, but nothing beats the original. Released in 1942, “White Christmas” went on to become the best-selling single of all time—a title it still holds today.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey

If you’re looking for a modern take on a holiday classic, look no further than Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” This catchy pop tune has become a staple of Christmas radio stations everywhere and is sure to put a smile on your face. Fun fact: the music video was filmed in New York City’s Central Park!

“Silent Night” – various artists

This beautiful song was written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr. Since then, it has been covered by countless artists from all over the world, each imparting their unique style. One of our favorites is The Temptation’s 1970 rendition.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” – Jackson 5

Released in 1987, this catchy holiday hit is sure to get stuck in your head for days. Written by Tommie Connor in 1952, this song tells the story of a child who witnesses their mother kissing Santa Claus—not what you expected, right?

“The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole

Known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or simply “The Christmas Song,” this holiday classic was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944. It was popularized by Nat King Cole’s 1945 version, which is one of the most-played Christmas songs in radio history.

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Legend

John Legend’s 2018 release “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” offers a modern take on this classic holiday song. With its uplifting lyrics and jubilant instrumentals, this track perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas.

“This Christmas” – Donny Hathway

Donny Hathaway’s 1970 track, “This Christmas,” is the perfect song for a holiday party. Full of festive instrumentals and joyous lyrics, you can’t help but smile when listening to this upbeat classic.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” – Whitney Houston

At just 19 years old, Whitney Houston released her first Christmas album in 1987. One of the songs included on that album was this beautiful rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Her powerful voice and rich, soulful sound make this song a must-listen for the holiday season.

“Every Year, Every Christmas” – Luther Vandross

Released in 1995, Luther Vandross’ song “Every Year, Every Christmas” has become a holiday staple. With its upbeat rhythm and catchy lyrics, it’s sure to lift your spirits no matter how you’re feeling. So turn up the volume and enjoy!

“Let it Snow” – Boyz II Men

Although it’s technically a winter song, this Boyz II Men classic is an absolute must-listen during the holidays. It has been covered by everyone from Ariana Grande to Michael Bublé over the years and remains popular to this day.

“Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt’s 1953 song “Santa Baby” is the perfect track to get you in the mood for Christmas. Its sultry vocals and playful lyrics make it a must-listen for any holiday party—try not to sing along!

“Christmas Time is Here” – H.E.R.

R&B singer H.E.R.’s 2019 holiday single, “Christmas Time is Here,” offers a modern take on the classic Charlie Brown song of the same name. This heartfelt track has all the elements of a festive Christmas song—charming instrumentals and sweet lyrics that will make you smile.

“Mary, Did You Know” – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige’s 2013 rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” is a timeless classic that will take you back to your childhood days. So if you’re looking for something nostalgic and sweet, be sure to check out Mary J. Blige’s version!

“Love Comes With Christmas” – The Temptations

Released in 1980, “Love Comes With Christmas” by The Temptations is one of the most beloved holiday songs of all time. Its beautiful lyrics and moving melodies are sure to make you feel all the feels during this joyous time of year.

“That’s What’s Christmas Means To Me” – En Vogue

En Vogue’s 2002 track “That’s What Christmas Means To Me” is a perfect pick-me-up during the holiday season. Full of soulful vocals and sweet melodies, this song will have you tapping your feet and humming along in no time. So turn up the volume and get into the holiday spirit!

Whether you’re looking for classics or modern hits, there’s something for everyone on this list. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the best that Christmas music has to offer! And from all of us here, we wish you a very merry Christmas!

Winter is Coming: A 101 Guide for Adults

Dear Reader: 

Winter can be a tough time of year for adults. You have to worry about things like shoveling snow, making sure your car is winterized and stocking up on supplies in case of a winter storm. It can be tough to keep track of everything, but don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few practical tips to help you get ready for cold weather. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be prepared for anything old man winter can throw your way.

Get your home ready for winter weather

As the leaves begin to turn and the days grow shorter, it’s time to start preparing your home for winter weather. One of the best ways to keep your home warm and cozy is to check for drafts around windows and doors and seal them up with weatherstripping or caulk. Another way to reduce heat loss is to add insulation, especially in the attic and basement. In addition, storm windows or plastic sheeting can be used to further reduce the amount of cold air that enters your home. By taking a few simple steps, you can help keep your home comfortable all winter long.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

 This one is actually new for me as a newer driver and new to car ownership. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for the cold weather. This means things like getting new tires with good tread, making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition, and putting together an emergency kit in case you get stranded in the snow. You should also make sure your car’s battery is in good shape—cold weather can be hard on batteries, so it’s a good idea to get it tested before winter arrives. Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk. If you get stuck in the snow, you can use it to help get some traction so you can get moving again. AND YES BUY YOURSELF THAT GIANT RETRACTABLE SNOW SCRAPER!

Staying Safe and Healthy in the Winter

Once the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to take steps to stay safe and healthy. This means dressing warmly when you go outside, as exposed skin is susceptible to frostbite in very cold conditions. It’s also a good idea to stock up on supplies like food and water so you’re prepared if you get snowed in. And finally, it’s always a good idea to have some basic first-aid supplies on hand in case someone gets hurt while shoveling snow or doing another winter activity. By following these simple tips, you can help make sure everyone stays safe and healthy all winter long.

Dress appropriately for the cold weather

This has always been an issue for me and will probably get worse since I only commute by car. However, It’s crucial to dress for the colder weather as the temperature starts dipping. Wearing layers of clothes is a great way to stay warm, as you can add or remove layers depending on how cold it is outside. It’s also important to make sure that you are protecting your head, hands, and feet from the elements. Covering your head with a hat or scarf will help to keep your body heat from escaping, and wearing gloves and socks will help to keep your extremities from getting too cold. By dressing appropriately for the cold weather, you can stay comfortable all season long.

Stay safe during winter storms

Winter storms can be dangerous, so it’s important to take precautions to stay safe. If possible, avoid driving in bad weather conditions. If you must drive, slow down and leave plenty of distance between cars. Also, be sure to clear your car of snow and ice before driving, and use caution when walking on ice-covered sidewalks and parking lots. If you’re caught in a storm while outdoors, try to find shelter quickly. And if you’re at home during a power outage, use candles or flashlights safely and be careful with heaters and other sources of warmth. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that you’ll weather the storm safely.

Winter can be tough, but with a little preparation, you can make it through anything old man winter throws your way. From preparing your car for cold weather to stocking up on supplies, there are plenty of things adults can do to get ready for winter. Just remember to dress warmly, stay hydrated, and have fun!

How to Fight Seasonal Depression Naturally

Dear Reader:

Winter can be a tough time for a lot of people. The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and it can feel like there’s less to look forward to. For some people, these months can trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or the “winter blues.” According to American Family Physicians, approximately 4 to 6 percent of people are affected by SAD. While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is believed to be related to the body’s production of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood.

Please note that none of the information contained in this blog entry is medical advice; it is just general information. 

Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of sadness, despair, and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities and hobbies
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Thoughts of not wanting to live
  • Having trouble focusing

Fortunately, there are several natural strategies that can help you cope with seasonal depression. If you’re feeling down in the dumps this season and are looking for some natural ways to help, here are four things you can do:

Get Some Sunlight Every Day

One of the main causes of SAD is a lack of sunlight. Make an effort to get outside for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it’s just to take a walk around the block. If it’s cloudy or cold outside, try sitting near a window to get some natural light. You can also buy a light therapy lamp, which emits a bright light that can help improve your mood.

How Sunlight Can Help with SAD

Sunlight helps improve your mood by boosting levels of serotonin, a chemical in your brain that helps regulate your mood. In addition to getting outside more often, there are other things you can do to get more sunlight. For example, sit near a window when you’re indoors, take a walk during your lunch break, or set up a light therapy lamp in your home or office. Light therapy lamps emit a bright light that can help relieve symptoms of SAD. 

Exercise Regularly

When it comes to fighting depression, exercise is a powerful tool. Research has shown that moderate amounts of exercise can be highly effective in boosting mood and alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it. brisk walking, jogging, biking, and swimming are all great options. aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. and don’t forget to cool down and stretch afterward. Taking some time for yourself will do wonders for your mental health.

Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat has a big impact on your mental health. Eating lots of processed and sugary foods can make depression symptoms worse while eating nutrient-rich foods can help improve your mood. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in your diet. Also, limit or avoid caffeine as it can make anxiety and sleep problems worse. Researchers have found that certain nutrients are particularly important for mental health. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and are thought to protect against cognitive decline. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is known as the “relaxation mineral” due to its ability to ease muscle tension and promote sleep. tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is a key neurotransmitter for regulating mood. So, make sure to include these nutrients in your diet to support your mental health.

Connect with Others

When you’re dealing with depression, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone in your struggle. But the truth is that depression is a very common condition, and many people understand what you’re going through. Connecting with others can be a crucial part of maintaining your mental health. Talking to friends and family members about your depression can be a great way to start. Just expressing what you’re feeling can help you to feel better. There are also many support groups available for people with depression. These groups can provide valuable information and support. Seeing a therapist is another great option if you’re struggling with depression. A therapist can help you to understand your condition and develop healthy coping mechanisms. No matter what route you choose, human connection is essential for dealing with depression.

If you are experiencing feelings of depression during the winter months, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you identify the cause of your mood changes and recommend appropriate treatments. In addition, connecting with a supportive community or seeking professional counseling can be very helpful for managing depression. By making these changes, you can improve your overall mental health and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life!

Gratitude is a Practice: The Benefits of a Thankful Heart

Dear Reader: 

From the time we’re young, we’re taught the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.” But as we get older and our lives get busier, it’s easy to forget the power of gratitude. Practicing gratitude is more than just good manners; it’s good for your mental and physical health!

When you show gratitude, you feel happier and more positive. You’re also more likely to help others and receive help when needed. Gratitude can even boost your career by helping you network and build relationships. Not convinced? Keep reading to learn about all the benefits of practicing gratitude!

The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude has been shown to have several benefits for mental and physical health. People who practice gratitude are happier, more optimistic, and less likely to be depressed. They’re also more resilient in the face of stress and more likely to care for their health.

Gratitude also strengthens relationships. When you show appreciation for others, they feel closer to you and are more likely to help you in the future. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your personal and professional relationships, start by expressing your gratitude!

How to Show Gratitude Every Day

The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to practice it daily. There are many ways to do this, so find what works best for you and make it part of your daily routine! Here are a few ideas:

Start a gratitude journal or diary.

Every day, write down a few things you’re grateful for. You could also include things that went well during your day or something you’re looking forward to in the future.

Make a point to thank someone every day.

Whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or stranger, take a moment out of your day to express your appreciation for them. A simple “thank you” goes a long way!

Keep a gratitude jar or box.

Whenever something good happens, or you notice something you’re grateful for, write it down on paper and put it in your jar or box. At the end of each month or year, read through everything you’ve collected and reflected on how far you’ve come!

Reflect daily on gratitude affirmations

Read positive statements about gratitude out loud to yourself, and let them sink in. Some examples are “I am grateful for what I have,” “I am grateful for my health,” or “I am grateful for my family and friends.”

Saying grace before meals

Take a moment to say grace before you eat. If not, simply taking a few seconds to pause and reflect on what you’re about to consume can help you appreciate your food more.

Volunteer your time or resources.

One of the best ways to show gratitude is to give back to your community. Donate your time or resources to a cause you care about, and help make the world a better place!

Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Find what works for you and make it part of your daily routine. The benefits of a grateful heart are well worth the effort!

The Benefits of Being Grateful for the People in Your Life

Dear Reader: 

There are so many benefits to being grateful for the people in your life. Not only does it make you feel good, but it can also improve your relationships and make you a more positive person overall. Here are just a few of the benefits of expressing gratitude to the people in your life:

Gratitude Makes You Feel Good

We all know that happiness and positivity we get when we take the time to appreciate the people in our lives. Something about gratitude just makes us feel good! But did you know that gratitude also has a lot of benefits for your mental and emotional health? Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude regularly are more likely to experience less stress, anxiety, and depression. They report higher satisfaction levels with their lives and relationships and even tend to sleep better! And it’s not just mental health benefits that gratitude can offer. Practicing gratitude has been linked with improved physical health, too! There are plenty of reasons to make gratitude a part of your daily routine – so why not start today?

Gratitude Can Improve Your Relationships

There are a few ways in which gratitude can improve our relationships. First, they feel appreciated and valued when we express gratitude to someone. This can make them more likely to help us in the future and strengthen our bond. Second, grateful people are more likely to have fulfilling Relationships. A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that more grateful individuals had closer friendships, more satisfying marriages, and better relationships than those who were less grateful. And third, expressing gratitude is a great way to start a conversation about emotions. If you have trouble communicating emotions, expressing gratitude is a great start.

So next time you feel grateful, don’t forget to express it! You may find that it improves your relationships more than you think.

Gratitude Makes You More Positive Overall

One of the best things about gratitude is that it can make you more positive overall. It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative and forget all the good in our lives. But if we take the time to focus on what we’re grateful for, we’ll start to see more of the good. Gratitude is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. The more you focus on what’s good in your life, the easier it becomes to see the good in everything. And as your grateful muscles get stronger, you’ll become happier and more optimistic overall. So if you’re looking for a way to increase your overall satisfaction with life, try adding gratitude to your daily routine. You might just find that it makes all the difference.

Gratitude is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to improve your mental and emotional health. Not only does it make you feel good, but it can also improve your relationships and make you more positive overall. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – Just take a few moments each day to think about who or what you’re grateful for. So next time you feel grateful, don’t forget to express it! You may be surprised at how much it can improve your life. Before long, you’ll start reaping all of the wonderful benefits that come with a grateful heart!