Why?!!

Why?

When the Israelites complained that they did not have food in the Wilderness of Sin, God told Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven on them and they shall go out and gather a certain quota each day so that I may test whether or not they will follow My laws. For on the 6th day they shall prepare what they collect and it shall be twice as much as what they gather." (Exodus 16:4-5)

Moses then spoke to the Israelites and told them to collect 1 omer for each person in their tent (Exodus 16:16) and not to leave any of it until morning. (Exodus 16:19) 


So God wanted the Israelites to collect just enough Manna for each person in their tent from the 1st to 5th day of the week and not to leave any of it until morning because if they did it bred worms and produced a foul smell. (Exodus 16:20) 
But on the 6th day they were still collect the same amount but when  they prepared it, it would be twice as much so that it could feed them on the 6th and 7th day.

He gave this "crazy" instruction of Collect Manna on Day 1 to Day 6 but do not store it overnight except on Day 6 so that He could test the Israelites and see whether they would obey Him.

So if God gives you a "crazy" instruction and you are wondering "Why?!!" understand that He could be testing you to see whether you will obey Him.
To obey God is better than to offer Him a sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22

We can see another example of "crazy" instruction that may have left a person wondering "Why?!!" when He told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac because Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5)  and he and Sarah had waited for many years for this child. 

In addition, at that time Abraham had already sent the son that his wife's maid Hagar had borne him away. (Genesis 21:14) Therefore sacrificing Isaac would mean that he and Sarah would be left childless. 

However Abraham obeyed God without asking "Why?!!" and he reaped numerous blessings because of his obedience. 

Therefore, the next time God gives you a "crazy" instruction, instead of wondering "Why God Why?!!", just do it and you will reap the blessings of your obedience. 

How to reap the blessings of obedience

What?

When?

Devices of the Devil - Deception

The devil uses deception to trick God's people and we can see this from the manner in which the Gibeonites fooled the Israelites.

The Gibeonites Carried old sacks, old wineskins, wore old and put on old garments. The bread they carried was also dry and moldy.

They went to Joshua and told him, "We have come from a far country so make a covenant with us." (Joshua 9:4-6)

The Israelites signed a peace agreement with the Gibeonites and then they discovered that the Gibeonites were actually Their neighbors who dwelt near them. (Joshua 9:16-17)

In addition, these people who were pretending to be paupers were from Gibeon which Was a great city l…all its men were mighty. (Joshua 10:2)

In addition, note that the Israelites they fooled were specialists in long distance travelling since they had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness and therefore they would have known better than anyone else how long distance travelers would look like.

Therefore, learn from the Israelites' mistake and Lean not on your own understanding. Instead, in all your ways acknowledge God and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6) even if you consider yourself a specialist of the issue you are dealing with.


Devices of the Devil uses examples from the Bible to teach 17 tactics that satan uses to fight God’s people so that We are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).  


Devices of the Devil

Aromatherapy for Stress Management

Some of you may know that I am a Certified Aromatherapist who uses essential oils almost on a daily basis and offers Aromatherapy Consultations

I am therefore starting a series on how to use aromatherapy essential oils to manage stress. 

I will focus on lavender essential oil since this series is targeting the novices who have never used essential oils. If you would like to know about other essential oils used to manage stress read Aromatherapy for Stress Management
Aromatherapy for Stress teaches you how to relieve stress naturally by using essential oils. You will learn about: * 10 Essential oils used to help you relax * Aromatherapy carrier oils * Safety measures when using essential oils * How to blend essential oils * 30 Aromatherapy recipes for natural stress management

I will attempt to answer some of the questions people ask when they are told to use aromatherapy essential oils for stress management:


What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is using essential oils for their healing properties.

These essential oils are natural substances which are obtained from plants. For example lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers while peppermint  essential  oil is obtained from the leaves. 
How to use lavender essential oil for stress management


Does Aromatherapy Work? 
My Answer
Buy a bottle of lavender essential oil and place it on  your bedside table. The next time you have very stressful day at work, lie in bed, open the bottle and inhale the aroma several times and you will answer the question for yourself.


The Scientific Answers
A study which compared high school students who inhaled essential oils with those who did not, found that stress levels were lower in those who inhaled the essential oils. These student wore a necklace from which they inhaled the essential oils and the conclusion of this study was that aromatherapy inhalation was an effective stress management method.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19571632)

Another study  examined the effects of an aromatherapy program on elderly adults and found that it reduced stress, depression, anxiety and pain. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25114901

Another study  examined the effects of lavender essential oil on adults found that they felt more relaxed and performed math computations faster and more accurately though they also had increased drowsiness. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10069621)
(Personal note: I do not recommend inhaling lavender for the sole purpose of doing math computations. You can inhale it if you are very stressed and you need to calm down and focus on the maths. If you are not stressed and you need a mentally stimulating essential oil, I recommend peppermint essential oil)

Another study  examined healthy volunteers who inhaled lavender essential oil for 5 minutes found that it decreased their stress levels and the amount of pain they felt when needles were inserted in their bodies. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21854199)

Another study  evaluated the effects of lavender essential oil and clary sage essential oil on work stress in nurses working in an ICU found that they reduced their perception of stress. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317288)

Another study  compared very young infants who were given a bath with lavender bath oil with those who were not. This study found that mothers in the lavender group were more relaxed and they smiled and touched their babies more often as they bathed them. Their babies also looked at them longer, cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after their baths. The levels of a stress hormone known as cortisol in the mothers and babies of the lavender group were also reduced.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053656)

I hope I have therefore convinced you that aromatherapy essential oils can be used to manage stress in persons of all age groups. 
5 evidence based reasons to use aromatherapy for stress management


How Exactly Does Aromatherapy Work? 
When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil, the molecules enter your nose and travel through the olfactory nerve to a part of your brain known as the limbic system. 

This limbic system contains cells that deal with emotions, memory, satiety, the sexual response and other aspects of life. 

The limbic system then sends messages to the hypothalamus and pituitary which are parts of the brain involved in secreting hormones that regulate different functions of the body. 

Therefore by inhaling an essential oil with a certain chemical composition, you can help your body release compounds with the effects you desire. 


Who Should Avoid Lavender Essential Oil?
Though essential oils are natural substances they must be used with caution because they can cause bad, unwanted effects on the body since they are powerful enough to cause their good, wanted effects.   

Persons who should not use/avoid lavender essential oils include the following:
1. Pregnant women should avoid lavender essential oil especially during the first 3 months. 

I'd like to add that lavender essential oil is used in pregnancy in some situations, but if you are experimenting with essential oils at home by yourself and you are pregnant, do not use it. It is better to be safe than sorry.

2. Breastfeeding women should avoid lavender essential oil. 

3. Young boys should avoid lavender essential oil since a study linked shampoos and lotions with lavender and tea tree essential oils to breast development in boys who had not reached puberty. 

This was attributed to the fact that these two essential oils have estrogenic and antiandrogenic properties. This means that they have effects which are similar to those of the female hormone estrogen in the body as well as effects which are contrary to those of male hormones known as androgens. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17267908

I'd also like to add that lavender essential oil is used a lot on children as is attested by the study on its effects on young bathing infants, but I recommend using it "not repeatedly".  

4. Women with risk factors for cancers which need estrogen should not use lavender essential oil because of its estrogen-like effects. These include some cancers of the breast, uterus and ovaries.  

I'd like to note that many patients with cancer use lavender essential oil but I strong advise my clients NOT TO USE IT if they have risk factors for breast cancer, ovary cancer and uterine cancer because once those cancer cells begin multiplying uncontrollably it is very hard to stop them. Once again it is better to be safe than sorry. 

5. Women with hormone dependent conditions like uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts should also avoid using lavender essential oil for the same reasons. 

6. Persons with hypotension or low blood pressure should avoid lavender essential oil.

7. Persons with diabetes should avoid lavender essential oil.

8. Persons taking sleep medications should avoid using lavender essential oil because of its sedative or sleep-inducing properties.

9. Persons taking anxiety medications to reduce anxiety like diazepam should also avoid using lavender essential oil.

10. Person scheduled to have surgery within 2 weeks you should also avoid using lavender essential because of its sedative effects.
Persons who should avoid lavender essential oil

If you do not fall in any of the above named categories, you should also follow these additional measures when using lavender essential oil:
1. Never apply undiluted essential oils on your skin.
You may read of some exceptions to this rule but these are only be followed if you are under the direct supervision of an aromatherapist. 

So if you are experimenting with aromatherapy at home, never apply undiluted essential oils to your skin since they can cause severe reactions.

2. Always do a patch test
Add 3 drops of lavender essential oil to a teaspoon of olive oil and apply the mixture to the inside of your elbow. Bandage the area and wait for 1 to 2 days to see if you will react to it by developing rashes or itchiness. If you react to it, do not use it.

3. Use lavender essential oil and not lavender fragrance.
Lavender fragrance is a very common scent that is used in many things from foods to room fresheners. 

However the fragrance is a manmade molecule which does not have the healing benefits of the natural essential oil.


So how can you tell the difference?
Aromatherapy essential oils are always sold in dark bottles since light and heat reduce their effectiveness while fragrance oils can be sold in clear bottles.

The labels on lavender essential oil bottles usually say " lavender essential oil" while those on fragrance bottles often just say "lavender".

This is not a foolproof way of differentiating the natural essential oils from the synthetic fragrance oils and I suggest sticking to one brand of reputable essential oils and just buying from them. 

I have used the Julia Lawless brand for more than 10 years and I have no complaints todate (Feb 2016). 

(Please note I am not being paid for this article I am just sharing my honest opinion and experience.)

If you cannot find Julia Lawless Essential Oils where you live, you can check online marketplaces for essential oils with many positive reviews before purchasing your own. 
Lavender essential oil for stress management


Stress Management Massage Oil Recipe
If you only want to make one aromatherapy product to manage stress, I recommend the following stress management massage oil
Ingredients
36 drops lavender essential oil
3 ounces (90 ml) jojoba liquid wax

This mixture makes a massage oil with a 2% concentration that can be used by adults on the body.

To make a massage oil for using on the face in adults, and to use on elderly adults and children (on those infrequent occasions) mix 18 drops of lavender essential oil with 3 ounces (90 ml) jojoba liquid wax.


Instructions
Mix the lavender and jojoba in a dark bottle and apply on the body when you need to feel relaxed.
Lavender essential oil and jojoba carrier oil massage oil for stress management


Why Jojoba?
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax but it is classified as a carrier oil because it carries the essential oil into the skin.

There are many carrier oils used in aromatherapy like sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and both fractionated and virgin coconut oil and I use them in different combinations to make different products for my clients. To learn about their different properties read Carrier Oils Guide. 
Aromatherapy carrier oils olive oil, castor oil, jojoba and sunflower oil Aromatherapy carrier oils sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, virgin coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil

However I use jojoba to make my stress management massage oil because of the following reasons:
1. Jojoba penetrates the skin easily because its chemical composition is similar to that of the oil produced by the skin known as sebum. 

2. Jojoba does not leave an oily film on the skin.

3. Jojoba is does not clog the skin pores. 

4. Jojoba can be used on all skin types.

5. Jojoba has natural sunscreens.

6. Jojoba contains vitamins, minerals and fatty acids which nourish the skin.

7. Jojoba has anti-inflammatory properties. 

8. Jojoba can be used on its own without being diluted with other carrier oils.

9. Jojoba has an almost indefinite shelf life.

10. Jojoba does not stain the skin or clothing.
10 reasons to use jojoba as your aromatherapy carrier oil

As a result of these properties of jojoba of lavender essential oil, the stress management massage oil you make with them can be used for:
1. Whole body massages
2. Scalp massages
3. Face massages
4. Back massages
5. Hand and foot massages

You can also used the stress management massage oil to give yourself temple self-massages or hand massages as you meditate on stress relief Bible verses like the following:
It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to those who trouble me. (Adapted 2 Thessalonians 1:6)
It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to those who trouble me. (Adapted 2 Thessalonians 1:6)

When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

I have submitted myself to God, I am resisting the devil and he will flee from me. (James 4:7)
I have submitted myself to God, I am resisting the devil and he will flee from me. (James 4:7)

By this time tomorrow God could have changed my situation. (Adapted 2 Kings 7:1)
By this time tomorrow God could have changed my situation. (Adapted 2 Kings 7:1)

I also glory in trouble because trouble produces perseverance, 
perseverance produces character,
character produces hope
and hope does not disappoint. (Adapted Romans 4:3-5)
I also glory in trouble because trouble produces perseverance,  perseverance produces character, character produces hope and hope does not disappoint. (Adapted Romans 4:3-5)

Take counsel together but it will come to nothing. Speak the word but it shall not stand because God is with me. (Adapted Isaiah 8:10)

Take counsel together but it will come to nothing. Speak the word but it shall not stand because God is with me. (Adapted Isaiah 8:10)

With the measure they have meted to me so shall it be measured for them. (Adapted Mark 4:24)
With the measure they have meted to me so shall it be measured for them. (Adapted Mark 4:24)

Bless the Lord, O my soul and do not forget all His benefits. For He forgives all my sins, heals all my diseases, saves my life from destruction, crowns me with lovingkindness and satisfies my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like an eagle's. (Adapted Psalm 103:1-5)
Bless the Lord, O my soul and do not forget all His benefits. For He forgives all my sins, heals all my diseases, saves my life from destruction, crowns me with lovingkindness and satisfies my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like an eagle's. (Psalm 103:1-5)

I leave you with peace. My peace I give to you .... Do not let your heart be troubled or let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

I leave you with peace. My peace I give to you ... Do not let your heart be troubled or let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

10 Stress Relief Bible Verses

What?!!

what?!!

When the Israelites complained that they did not have food in the Wilderness of Sin, God told Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven and they shall go out and gather certain quota each day." (Exodus 16:4)

The Israelites had been used to eating Egyptian bread and they probably expected that God would also feed them with it in the wilderness. 

However, He did not.  

He gave them A small round substance which was as fine as frost. (Exodus 16:14) It was also Like white coriander seed and it tasted like wafers made with honey. (Exodus 16:31) 

Though the Israelites ate bread in Egypt, this small, white, round substance they were collecting from the ground did not resemble Egyptian bread otherwise they would not have asked each other "What is it?(Exodus 16:15) and called it "What?(Exodus 16:31)

My thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours and My thoughts above your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

One of the lessons we can learn from this incidence is that when God is moving you from one stage of your life to another He can do things differently to what you have been used to signify that you are in a new phase of your life. 

So if you have been used to eating Egyptian bread and God starts feeding you miraculously with "What?(Exodus 16:31) or something that you do not understand, recognize that you are in a new season of your life and start looking forward to where God is taking you to rather than looking backward to where you ate Egyptian bread.


Another lesson we can learn is that God can begin doing things differently in your present so that He can help you break old habits that keep you chained to your past and build better habits that propel you towards your destiny.

For instance if God moves you from a situation where you Sat beside pots of meat and ate bread till you were full (Exodus 16:3) to a situation where you are picking "What?(Exodus 16:31) from the ground, He may be trying to strengthen your faith in Him and in His ability to provide for you. 

A third lesson we can  learn is that God could be trying to remove the taste of things you were used to from your life so that He can help you acquire new tastes that will help adapt to where He is taking you in your future.

For instance, He could have made the "What?!!(Exodus 16:31)  taste like wafers made with honey (Exodus 16:31) so that He could put the taste of the Promised Land He was taking them to in their mouths since He had promised them it would be flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:17)
I know the thoughts I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not evil, thoughts to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11)


Therefore, if you have been lacking something and praying for God to fill that need and what He gives you makes you say, "What?!!(Exodus 16:31)  do not disdain it or throw it away.

Receive it with gratitude and trust Him.

Trust that as you continue using it to fill your need, God will make you understand how it all fits in the great life He has planned for you because He promises you, I know the thoughts I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not evil, thoughts to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11)

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