Archive for the ‘Life’s Lessons’ Category

As I get older, but not quite “old”, I feel an ever-increasing need to make a mark, to leave a legacy, and enjoy every moment on this earth to the fullest! God has many purposes for me; some of which I have fulfilled, many I have missed, hopefully many more to come. I mourn the loss of the years I have wasted, and vow to make the most of what I have left.

Where can I help? Where can I go? What can I leave my kids and grandkids?

I am not sure where the phrase YOLO came from, but this is what it means to me:

– Enjoy each and every day as much as possible, striving for new adventures!

– Be efficient and responsible with the time God has given me, knowing that it will end soon.

 – Contribute to our society in some important ways as I feel led.

– Leave a legacy and a good name to my children.

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Every year for the past decade or so, I complete a juice fast around the beginning of the year. Each year I drink nothing but water and home-prepared juice for up to three weeks. It may sound daunting and crazy for those that have not done it (understatement), but I find it of tremendous benefit to my health and well-being!
At first I fasted primarily for health and fitness reasons or to jump start an exercise program that I was embarking on. I have fasted to get rid of a bout with candida yeast left over from the poor diet and medications taken in my youth. I have fasted to get rid of fat, and to quickly detoxify.

In recent years, while I still enjoy the health benefits, I primarily fast for spiritual reasons and to clear my head. I want to make wise choices in the coming year and look to God for direction.

In my opinion fasting is a tremendous option for almost everyone, but those among us who are quite ill should get advise from a qualified alternative medicine physician. Fasting can be sheer drudgery or a very pleasant experience; it all depends on your mental attitude. In order to get through it with the most benefit and the least amount of suffering, you need to educate yourself on its benefits and really believe that you are going to feel great when it is done. If you go into it blindly, every day will be hell.

In order to get properly motivated, I spend several hours re-reading about fasting’s benefits from such websites as http://www.rawpeople.com or the hundreds of other good sites that deal with the subject. I scan through some of my books by Dr. Elson Haas and others about the benefits of detoxifying and fasting. I watch Pastor Jentezen Franklin’s (www.jentezenfranklin.org) tv show where he and both of his very large Churches take part in communal spiritual fasts to remind me that God suggested/directed all of us to fast and pray.

As a family we have been trying to eat healthier food and have spent more time this past year researching where the food we eat comes from. For that reason I watched documentaries like Food Inc. and King Corn which give us a somber look into what goes into our food, especially corn and corn products. These essentially blame large industries and government subisdies for creating processed foods that are making us ill and obese. Forks Over Knives attempts to convince us that veganism is the key to health, though I only agree with parts of this premise.

The most appropriate video I found on this subject is Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead! which is the story of an Austrailian man’s quest for health by completing a long juice fast. He is tormented by scaly disease and impending obesity and is desperate for a cure. The story is especially interesting as you can see his health, and appearance improve each week he is on the fast.

Most of us are not that out of shape or have that much fat to lose, but many of us are in poor health because of many years of a poor diet. We have nagging aches and pains, or cloudy thinking. We have allergies that we do not know where they came from. We want to think clearly, or draw closer to God.

If you follow the general rules of juice fasting you WILL get rid of lots of fat and detoxify your body. I encourage all of you no matter what your health and fitness level to consider fasting as a way to jump start your health and your life!

To me, no one signifies American patriotism, liberty, innovation and work ethic like Benjamin Franklin. His inventions, his public service, his wisdom, and his writings are all American treasures! So many years ago when my wife and I were told that our first child was expected to be a boy who was due to be born around the 4th of July, I got my wife to agree to name the child “Benjamin”. When we had a lovely daughter instead, we postponed the “Ben-naming” until the next child.

At age 20, already a wise man, Franklin came up with a list of virtues that he would strive to improve on.  Each week he would work on one virtue, “leaving all others to their ordinary chance”.  In his autobiography, he wrote: “I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.” 

Here they are, sort of a list of American proverbs based loosely on our Judeo-Christian heritage.

1. Temperance. Eat not to Dulness. Drink not to Elevation:

2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.

3. Order. Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.

4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality. Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry. Lose no Time. Be always employ’d in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.

7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice. Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.

9. Moderation. Avoid Extreams. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no Uncleanness in Body, Cloaths or Habitation.

11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity. Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dulness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another’s Peace or Reputation.

13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Of the many, many great quotes attributed to Benjamin Franklin, it would be difficult to state a favorite. But whenever I am tempted to gossip or say something bad about someone, this comes to mind:

“Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody”