Sunday, April 24, 2005

Encouraged

Today, my church got away from the lectionary and did a themed service around the idea of encouragement. It got me thinking about how things are going in my life, and how blessed I am by the people around me. I am trying to give back, to show my appreciation for the love shown to me. I am faced with some big decisions right now about my career and the life ahead of me. The people around me are helping me by praying that God will guide me to where he wants me to work. Many of them have confessed some internal conflict on the matter, since they want us to stay but know that job success may very well lead me away. I appreciate their honesty in this. It is part of why I consider them friends.

I keep thinking of one of the scripture passages from today: Hebrews 12:1-2:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God."

I am running a race with forks in the path. I pray that I stay on course, because I fear I've drifted somewhat away from my purpose.

I've gotten a couple of new readers, and they, too, are encouraging to me. Two of my students who have heard me talk about exploring my thoughts in writing, often pointing to this blog as an example, wanted to read, and I gave them the address. Occasionally, I stumble onto something profound or deep, but a lot of this is just my process for doing a mental inventory--what was I thinking about today, sort of thing. So, for those of you still reading, thank you for the encouragement you give me.

--G

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root, is a native plant of arctic Siberia. For centuries it has been used by eastern European and Asian cultures for physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders.

The first recorded medicinal applications of rodia riza (renamed Rhodiola Rosea) was made by the Greek physician, Dioscorides, in 77 C.E. in 'De Materia Medica'. Rhodiola Rosea has been included in official Russian medicine since 1969.

Despite its long history, the Western world has only recently become aware of the health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea. It has come to the attention of many natural health practitioners because of studies which tested its affects on combating anxiety and stress.

Rhodiola Rosea is considered an adaptogen. This means it has an overall stabilizing effect on the body without disrupting other functions. Its ability to normalize hormones may be effective for treating depression and anxiety.

Studies of Rhodiola Rosea show that it stimulates neurotransmitters and enhances their effects on the brain. This includes the ability for the brain to process serotonin which helps the body to adapt to stress.

Since adaptogens improve the body's overall ability to handle stress, it has been studied to identify it's effects on biological, chemical and physical stress.

A study was performed to test the effects of Rhodiola Rosea when stress or stress relief is caused by intense mental work (such as final exams). Such tests concluded that using Rhodiola Rosea improved the amount and quality of work, increasing mental clarity and reducing the effects of fatigue.

The effects of Rhodiola Rosea have also been tested on stress and anxiety from both physical and emotional sources. A report by the American Botanical Council states that "Most users find that it improves their mood, energy level, and mental clarity." They also report on a study that indicated Rhodiola Rosea could increase stress tolerance while at the same time protecting the brain and heart from the physical affects of stress.

This report included details of studies which highlight the overall health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day. The active properties should be a minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin.

It is important for consumers to know that Rhodiola may be sold using other species that do not share the properties of Rhodiola Rosea, stress relief, or at ineffective strengths for treatment. Anyone with depression or anxiety should also check with a health professional when treating these symptoms.

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