Epiphany: Open Yourself to Inspiration This Year
On Jan. 6 every year, the Christian church observes Epiphany. Deeply considering its meaning, from both a spiritual and practical standpoint, can help us get off to a solid start for the new year. From a spiritual standpoint, Epiphany celebrates the Wise Men arriving to witness and worship the living God among us, Jesus. The story is recounted in Matthew 2:1–12. Just rereading the Biblical account of Epiphany gave me an epiphany. to find Jesus in a house, as revealed by Matthew 2:11. The same verse describes Jesus as a “child.” Biblical scholars have concluded the visit actually occurred several months to two years after the birth. There’s Biblical evidence for that. Matthew 2:16 reports the murderous King Herod, who feared Jesus would overthrow him, ordered the slaughter of all children two and under who lived around Bethlehem. The Magi were also wise not to tell Herod where to find Jesus, despite Herod’s devious plea to tell him under the guise he wanted to worship Jesus, too. Practically speaking, one of the best definitions I found for “epiphany” is from the Collins English Dictionary: “A moment of sudden insight or understanding.” The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek “epiphainein,” which means “reveal.” An epiphany can be a spiritual or intellectual phenomenon where we experience a sudden, profound insight into the essence of something, even life itself. History records great spiritual epiphanies like Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, which led to him becoming the apostle, Paul. Then there are scientific ones that also changed the world. Legend has it Sir Isaac Newton realized how gravity worked when he got beaned by an apple falling from a tree. But epiphanies aren’t limited to the historical giants. We are all eligible for inspiration, and we can keep ourselves open to it by using the Wise Men as a model. Here are two things they taught us: Contrary to traditional depictions of the Wise Men gathered around the newborn baby in a manger, the Magi actually arrived
1. Be present. The Wise Men — who were, after all, wise — showed up. They threw themselves headlong into the moment, worshipping and giving lavish gifts to the newborn King. That tells us to invest in the present moment, make the most of it, and be open to what it can show us. 2. Think clearly. The Wise Men knew exactly what to do when they arrived at the house and when they sidestepped Herod’s evil intentions. How many of our thoughts in life are cluttered with stuff that just doesn’t matter? Clear out the junk. Put down the phone. Don’t be afraid to be bored — remember the French philosopher Rene Descartes, who discovered a vital principle of geolocation while lying in bed bored, trying to figure out how to describe the location of a fly on the ceiling. He figured out he could do it using a ceiling corner as a reference point. Thus came Cartesian mapping, which gives us map coordinates to pinpoint locations. Here’s hoping your new year is full of the wonder, joy, and inspiration that can come when you least expect it — if you’re open to it. –Rob Usry 864.582.0416
MOM REALLY DOES KNOW BEST 3 WIVES’ TALES PROVEN TRUE
HEARTBURN MEANS A HAIRY BABY It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based on intuition, but a few that sound odd are legitimate. In 2007, a study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy would mean a hairy baby at birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth. JOINT PAIN PREDICTS THE WEATHER Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.
“Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.” You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives tales have been known as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. GARLIC CURES COLDS For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the-counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold, so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet. Testimonial SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT US It’s hard to decide where to begin when writing this review. No review is enough to say what a great experience I had while dealing with the worst situation I’ve ever faced. Rob Usry sets the bar impossibly high for lawyers. He is a professional, kind, generous, fair, and respectful man. Rob will do everything in his power to obtain the best result on your case possible. He is now the obvious choice for me and my family when any legal matters arise. Not only do I have wonderful things to say about Rob, but his staff is just as great as he is. Furthermore, he is worth so much more than he charges. It is not his goal to take every dime you have when you are already in a vulnerable position. Instead, he focuses on making your life and circumstances better. I walked into Rob’s office upset, lost, and scared. Rob was open and honest about what to expect and presented multiple options on how to handle the situation. He listened before he spoke and allowed me to tell him the entire story. I never felt as though I was being judged, and he calmed my fears and made me feel completely comfortable. I hired him immediately and felt confident I was in the right hands while walking out of his office. By the time I got home, Rob was already calling with a huge update on the case. He started working the minute I hired him!
Rob continued to work tirelessly and called with every update. I never had to wonder what the status of my case was. If I had a question, his staff was knowledgeable and more than willing to help. If they could not answer, Rob called with an answer quickly. He even called after hours just to check on me and my family. Rob continuously told me to take care of myself during the process and he would take care of the rest. He did just that. Before I knew it, my entire case was handled. Rob secured a dismissal based on the facts of the case and made sure I maintained my sanity until that happened. I could have been uprooted from my home, lost my job, and faced jail time. Rob went above and beyond to make sure he defended me on every possible front and let none of these things happen. He even offered guidance when he didn’t have to. I cannot express how thankful I am for him and his staff. They turned a situation that could have been life-altering into a bump in the road. Rob has my highest recommendation for anything you are facing.
–An anonymous, satisfied client
Criminal Charges Are Serious YOUR LAWYER SHOULD TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY
TRUST The No. 1 quality to look for in an attorney is a feeling of trust. Your case is in your lawyer’s hands. If you don’t trust them, it’s impossible to navigate the process. EXPERIENCE Make sure your lawyer regularly handles criminal cases, especially cases like yours. Be sure he or she can tell you the elements of the crime for which you’re charged and the possible penalties for a conviction, in addition to potential defenses. Ask about your lawyer’s track record in these cases. ATTENTION Your lawyer needs to make you a priority. If they won’t promise you complete involvement in every aspect of your case, look elsewhere. HONESTY Your lawyer should answer your questions openly, even when those answers hurt. There is too much at stake to choose somebody who’ll tell you what you want to hear rather than providing an honest assessment of the good, bad, and ugly of your case.
The holiday season is a stressful time with gifts to buy, parties to attend, and relatives to contact. That stress, though, is nothing compared to the pressure you’ll face if you’re ever charged with a criminal offense. For most people, with the possible exception of mobsters, being arrested isn’t part of the plan. When it happens, you’re probably at a loss for how to proceed. After all, handling a criminal charge isn’t something you’re taught in school. If you are up against criminal charges, the No. 1 step you can take is to do your research and hire the best attorney possible. While bargain shopping may be useful when you’re buying a blender, it’s not advisable when your freedom is at stake. We hope that you choose our firm to help you fight the most important battle of your life, but regardless of your decisions, here are the characteristics to look for when considering a criminal defense attorney.
If you want to see how our firm measures up in these areas, give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3
BRUSSELS SPROUT HASH
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, fear not, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 cups Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. In a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan, heat oil to medium. 2. Once shimmering, add rosemary for 1 minute, then remove sprig. 3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion and garlic, and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. 4. Increase heat to medium-high, add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. 5. Using a large spoon, create 4 wells for eggs. Pour 1 egg into each well and cook until set. 6. Carefully remove eggs and Brussels sprouts from pan and serve.
Inspired by Food Republic
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* This newsletter is intended to educate the public about personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal defense, and family law issues. You can copy and distribute it as long as you copy the entire newsletter. But the newsletter is not intended to be legal advice; you should ask a lawyer about your specific case. Every case is different, and all case outcomes depend on unique facts and laws.
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INSIDE this issue
Epiphany: Open Yourself to Inspiration This Year
3 Wives’ Tales That Are True Testimonial What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney Brussels Sprout Hash
3 Ways the Winter Weather Helps You Burn Calories
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SHOVELING, SCRAPING, AND SHIVERING
3 Ways the Winter Weather Helps You Burn Calories
2. SCRAPING In addition to shoveling snow, you can also get a workout by scraping those layers of ice off your windshield. In fact, you can burn up to 56 calories during a 15-minute scrape session. What’s more, you can’t slack off and skip this activity; it’s a necessary part of your morning routine. 3. SHIVERING Your body works hard to maintain a healthy temperature, and when that freezing wind rolls in, you’ll likely notice your body start to shiver. Shivering is a physiological response that produces heat through small, rapid muscle movements. It also assists with weight loss; you can burn up to 100 calories in 15 minutes of shivering. Of course, you should never purposefully make yourself chilly just to shed a few pounds, but if you have to be outside for a prolonged period of time this winter, know that your body is helping you out in more ways than one.
Winter can make it hard to stay physically fit. Between the aversion to stepping outside onto your ice-covered porch and the urge to drink that third cup of hot chocolate, these winter months can lead to unwanted weight gain. Nowadays, people will try almost anything to get rid of those extra pounds — yoga with goats, hula hoop fitness routines, and even underwater spinning classes. Believe it or not, you’re already working harder than you think this time of year. Here are three ways the winter weather helps you burn calories. 1. SHOVELING Love it or hate it, if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, shoveling is a necessary chore every time it snows. While the repetition associated with this task bothers a lot of people, according to a Harvard study, you actually burn approximately 230 calories for every 30 minutes you shovel.
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