Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How far you go in life

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all these."

George Washington Carver
1864-1943, Scientist

Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks

"ScienceDaily (Dec. 29, 2008) — Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a new report."

More on vitamin D's role in health

"Vitamin D, and in particular Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, has received a massive increase in scrutiny and coverage in the last couple of years. It has long been known that adequate Vitamin D levels are required to prevent osteomalacia and rickets [3], but there is a wealth of data emerging about vitamin D’s role in other processes."

Calmness of the mind

"The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom."

James Allen
1864-1912, Author of As A Man Thinketh

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How not to be a financial Pharisee

Being a Pharisee is easy. In fact, for most of us, it's a kind of ingrained behavior.

I'm referring back, of course, to Jesus' parable in Luke 18.9-14.

"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

The Pharisee in this parable has become the classic example of those who see themselves as good and others as bad. The Pharisee doesn't so much pray as he brags to God, pointing out his goodness, and sneering at the wicked publican who cannot even bring himself to look up to heaven, but bewails his sin.

There are some who are untouched by the current economic crisis. They made smart decisions, borrowed prudently or not at all, and were circumspect in their dealings. Good for them.

What is problematic are those who made such smart decisions and look with scorn on those who did not.

Make no mistake: some who are suffering did make very bad economic calls. Some borrowed far than they should have and spent what they did not own.

Reading the letters columns in various publications is enlightening. There are missives from those who made wise decisions and are scornful of those who did not.

Whether bailouts should be made or stimulus packages given are decisions that will be made by our titans in congress. Whether good or bad, it's not something we have a lot to do with.

I'm glad for all who made good money calls. They are often wise, prudent, and far-seeing.

But there are those who made bad calls. Some of them are likewise wise and prudent.

But they made mistakes. And mistakes are made by everyone.

What we need to remember is that whether we are suffering or not, we are in this together. We should pray that governmental officials make wise decisions, that God provide for all, and those suffering will endure their trials with patience. Scorn is not helpful and usually sinful. Remembering that we, too, could be in a bad place financially is helpful. Scorning those who made bad decisions is not.

Important Vitamin D Update


"A meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials has found that
supplemental vitamin D significantly reduces mortality from all causes.

The analysis emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications
of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency.

Not only are such deficiencies common, but vitamin D deficiency is
implicated in most of the diseases of civilization. Vitamin D's final
metabolic product targets more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of
tissues. One of the most important genes vitamin D up-regulates is for
cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Since vitamin D deficiency is both endemic and is associated with
numerous diseases, it is one of the most important medical problems in
modern society. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy
patients must be individualized due to the numerous factors affecting
vitamin D levels. Steps should be taken to keep patients with chronic
diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency, especially internal cancers,
in the higher normal range of vitamin D blood levels.

Read More About This Important Vitamin D Update Now

a.. Alternative Medicine Review March 2008

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Before I start this comment, please let me strongly emphasize
that if you have not yet viewed my one hour FREE lecture on Vitamin D,
please schedule time to do so. Do it with your family as they all need this

One hour may seem like a long time, but I have studied this
issue for hundreds of hours and personally interviewed the leading vitamin D
experts in the world, and have condensed the most important points for you
in this video.

I don't know ANY single physical factor that could improve your
health more than reviewing, understanding and finally applying this
information. Especially important will be to get your blood levels tested so
you can obtain all the thousands of well documented benefits.

In my view, one of the most impressive vitamin D researchers is
Dr. Cannell. Although he isn't a hard core scientist, like most of the
other experts, and is a practicing physician, he has done an absolutely
masterful job of reviewing and compiling the research and coming up with
powerful observations and recommendations.

Without a doubt, he has been my most important mentor in this
area and that is why I feel the article he published earlier this year is
such an important one, and if you have any interest in this area I would
strongly encourage you to carefully review his article. If you actually
care to see what Dr. Cannell looks and sounds like here is a previous video
I have posted on the site.

Benefits FAR More Than Your Bones

The number of diseases found to be impacted by your vitamin D
levels is rising rapidly. As Dr. Cannell points out in his meta-analysis,
vitamin D appears to reduce your risk of dying from virtually ANY disease.

And it's no wonder, really, when you consider what vitamin D
really is.

It's not "just a vitamin," but rather the only known substrate
for a potent, pleiotropic (meaning it produces multiple effects), repair and
maintenance seco-steroid hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory
functions in your body.

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D
up-regulates is your ability to fight infections. It produces over 200 anti
microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally
occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

And, when you consider the fact that you only have 30,000 genes
in your body, and vitamin D has been shown to influence more than 2,000 of
them, the bigger picture of its true impact on your health can be easily
understood. It may, in fact, have literally thousands of health benefits! So
it's likely we're just beginning to scratch the surface of its true
potential for reversing the modern disease state.

It's absolutely tragic that dermatologists and sunscreen
manufacturers have done such a thorough job of scaring people out of the
sun - your optimal source for natural vitamin D. Dr. Cannell believes, and
I agree, that this is one of the major influences that has contributed to
the vitamin D epidemic we're now facing, and also the autism increases we
have seen.

Their widely dispersed message to avoid the sun as much as
possible, combined with an overall cultural trend of spending more time
indoors during both work and leisure time, has greatly contributed to the
widespread vitamin D deficiency seen today -- which in turn is fueling an
astonishingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, including:

Heart disease

Rheumatoid arthritis

Diabetes 1 and 2
Multiple Sclerosis
Crohn's disease

Cold & Flu
Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Signs of aging

Hearing loss

Muscle pain
Periodontal disease

Macular degeneration
Reduced C-section risk

Pre eclampsia

Cystic fibrosis

Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have calculated that simply increasing levels of
vitamin D3 could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives
throughout the world each year!

Where You Live Impacts Your Vitamin D Levels, and Your Disease

The evidence is very clear that the farther away from the
equator you live, the higher your risk of dying from cancer becomes, for
example. In other words, those who live in higher latitudes have
significantly higher cancer rates than those living in lower latitudes;
directly correlating to the amount of available sunshine you have in your

For example, according to Dr. William Grant -- one of the top
vitamin D researchers in the world - the cancer rate in Iceland is 90 per
100,000 people per year. Those in the tropics, meanwhile, have rates of 25
per 100,000!

And, he points out, the majority of cancer deaths in the United
States are from vitamin-D-sensitive cancers. An estimated 150,000 cases of
cancer could be prevented in the United States alone by increasing vitamin D
levels throughout the population.

Are You Vitamin D Deficient, and if so, What Should You Do About

I still firmly believe that the best way to raise your vitamin D
level is not with supplements, but by exposing your bare skin to sunshine.
However, getting sun exposure is not always practical or even feasible,
depending on where you live.

During the winter, or during other times of the year when sun
exposure is not a possibility for you, then supplementation with vitamin D3
(cholecalciferol) is an option that should be seriously considered.

I have often warned my readers to use extreme caution when
taking oral vitamin D supplements in order to avoid overdosing. However,
more and more research is showing that my fears of toxicity may have been
overly cautious.

That said, the way to proceed is to get your vitamin D levels
tested before you begin, and then at regular intervals so that you can tell
when you reach the optimal level, because the amount of vitamin D required
(whether from sun exposure or supplementation) to reach this level is
different for everyone.

It's thought that 85 percent of the American public is deficient
in vitamin D and over 95 percent of African American or deeply pigmented
individuals. And, in the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is
only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a VERY SERIOUS deficiency state.

You can find out what your levels are by asking your doctor for
a blood test called a 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (Please
note, there are two types of vitamin D tests, and this one is the one you
want.) There are also two primary labs in the U.S. and you ONLY want to use
Lab Corp, NOT Quest, to perform this test.

The OPTIMAL value of vitamin D that you're looking for has
recently been raised to 50-65 ng/ml, with even higher recommended levels
required for more serious disease prevention.

This is one case where keeping on top of the rapid discoveries
can be truly challenging.

I've already amended my recommendations for optimal vitamin D
levels, the use of cod liver oil for vitamin D supplementation, and guidance
on what labs to use to ensure accurate test results, and I'm sure there will
be further updates and revisions as we move forward. So make sure you
continue to read future updates."

Food Additive Jump-Starts Lung Cancer

"Alarming new research shows that inorganic phosphates, which are commonly added to many processed foods, may accelerate the growth of lung cancer tumors and even trigger the development of tumors in people predisposed to lung cancer. Phosphates are routinely added to food products such as cheeses, meats, bakery products, and beverages in order to improve texture and increase water retention.

The research, which was conducted at Seoul National University and appears in the January issue of the American Thoracic Society’s magazine American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, was carried out with mice. Study leader Myung-Haing Cho, D.V.M., Ph.D., said, “Our study indicates that increased intake of inorganic phosphates strongly stimulates lung cancer development in mice, and suggests that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates may be critical for lung cancer treatment as well as prevention.”

Are you risking cancer with this fat?

"You know by now that there are "good" fats and "bad" fats. And you’ve probably heard that small amounts of omega-6 fatty acids from seeds and plants are essential to our body. When combined with omega-3 fatty acids from fish, omega-6's appear to play an integral role in maintaining health. Combined, these two fats can help regulate proper brain development, energy production, immune function and put out the fires of inflammation.

However, large quantities of omega-6 fats can become poisonous."

Top 10 Health Breakthroughs of 2008

"This year marks a major turning point in the theory of wellness and the prevention of disease. The drug-based paradigm of Western medicine is crumbling under the weight of its own massive fraud. New technology is proving how nutrients interact at the fundamental gene level to promote health and prevent disease. The discoveries are occurring at a breakneck pace – these are exciting times."

The secret to getting more done

"One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a TO DO List every day, keep it visible, and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day."

Alan Lakein
Time Management Expert and Author

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Sunday after Christmas

I've been trying to keep up with postings, but not having complete success: you see, we've been in New York since Christmas eve, visiting my wife's family. My computer access is limited, so that's why I'm not completely on the mark for the last few days.

We're heading back to North Carolina tomorrow, leaving here (God willing ... ) at 8, and hoping to get home tomorrow evening.

It's been a good trip: catching up with family, eating too much, visiting the Frick museum, and me and Matt taking in a performance of the opera, La Boheme. All of which I hope to elaborate on this week. In the meantime, please pray for our journeys, and may you all have a blessed week!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Start the new year off right

"OK, I know this is going to sound crazy. But bear with me. Over the Christmas Holidays, my wife and I spent the day after Christmas re-arranging our offices. We cleaned up all the clutter, cleared away a year's worth of 'I'll get to it' debris, disconnected our computers, and re-arranged the furniture. In my office and hers, we positioned each light, each chair, each desk and our individual computers so they were in the 'right' place. Our goal was simple. To create a inviting environment to work in. A place we looked forward to spending time in, and a place that eliminated stress rather than add it. Because so many of us spend so much time in our offices, we sometimes don't see the slow creep of debris that can make the office a not so appealing place. And working in a 'not so appealing' place definitely can cut down on your productivity. So spending a few hours at the start of the new year cleaning up and re-arranging your office to make it a more pleasant place to work, can give you a jump start on the new year. Your newly cleaned, newly rearranged office will give you a fresh outlook and help prepare you to take on the new opportunities and challenges the new year will bring with it. So next time you're in your office, look around. Is it time to do some house cleaning?"

Bill Myers

Next Advances in Health and Environment

"According a convention held by US National Academy of Engineering (NAE),
human being need to identify problems for technology in the 21st century
that, if solved, would change the world. The experts said that the pace
of next advances in technology would means the rate of progress will be
30 times faster in the next half century and that opens up the prospect
of innovation in many fields, including better health and better
sustainable ways of living. Personalised medicine would combine genetic
information with clinical data to tailor drugs and doses to fullfill the
needs of an individual patient. It would mean longer, healthier lives;
communication technology would get faster and cheaper; and we will
hopefully make more sustainable way of life.

Of course old and new threats to personal and public health need more
effective and more readily available treatments. Vulnerabilities to
pandemic conditions, terrorist violence, and natural disasters demand
serious searches for new methods of protection and prevention. The
availability of clean energy was a priority. It is identified that sun
is a source of environmentally friendly power that bathing the Earth
with more energy than the planet's population consumes. Technology
inventions will make solar energy affordable. Sunlight is a free energy
source, but the ability to catch it is limited and expensive at present.
It takes time to use fully those promising future resources

Tolerating Spiders, Using Your Credit Cards, and Other Depression Survival Tactics

"I loathe spiders. My Dad always used to joke that I reacted as if they were man-eating creatures the size of tall buildings, as seen in the B movies. As a kid, I trounced through the woods at night, remarkably unaware of webs caressing my face and giant, hairy things clinging to my clothes. As an adult, they became my worst nightmare. I don’t know why – it just happened that way.

Living near a big lake, my house can be a refuge for crawling things that are out to get me. I am awful when it comes to killing spiders in the house. I have broken or bent more blinds than I can remember because of all the times that I used a hiking boot to kill off a tiny green spider. Accordingly, I have been using a pest control service to spray my house exterior, garage, and porch areas for spider control. This has always helped to control those nasty devils, especially during the warm months.

This year, however, with a depression looming, the spider control service came under my budget-cutting axe and got chopped. So it was the spiders versus me, alone and unarmed."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Solution for Colon Cancer

"Vitamin D can affect a colon cancer cell by adjusting everything from
its gene expression to its cytoskeleton. Recent research shows that one
pathway governs the vitamin's diverse effects, a result which helps to
clarify the actions of a molecule that is undergoing clinical trials as a
cancer therapy.

Vitamin D stymies colon cancer cells in two ways -- it switches on
certain genes, and it induces effects on the cytoskeleton. The net result is
to curb cell division and cause colon cancer cells to differentiate into
epithelial cells that settle down instead of spreading.

The recent study is the first to show that vitamin D's genomic and
nongenomic effects use one simultaneous pathway and integrate to regulate
cell physiology.

a.. Science Daily November 26, 2008
a.. Journal of Cell Biology November 17, 2008; 183(4):697-710

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Here's yet more validation for the assertion that vitamin D has
a MAJOR impact on cancer rates around the world. In fact, there are another
800 scientific articles showing the effects of vitamin D on cancer.

Unfortunately, almost everyone, including people living in
subtropical environments, are deficient in this essential vitamin.

Decades of sun avoidance, excessive use of sunscreen, and air
pollution shielding the sun's ultraviolet rays are now taking their toll on
the human population everywhere.

In one of the largest vitamin D studies ever conducted, it was
determined that if vitamin D3 levels among populations worldwide were
increased, 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented
each year; nearly 150,000 cases of cancer in the United States alone.

But even beyond cancer, researchers have pointed out that
increasing levels of vitamin D3 could prevent numerous diseases that claim
nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year!

How is this possible?

It's possible because vitamin D, aka "the sunshine vitamin," is
different from other vitamins. It's a powerful hormone precursor that
influences your entire body -- receptors that respond to the vitamin have
been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your
bones. And, so far, some 3,000 of your 30,000 genes have been found to be
directly influenced by vitamin D.

It truly gives a whole new meaning to the word "essential"

How Vitamin D Affects Cancer

It's already been established that optimizing your vitamin D
levels could help you to prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer
including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers.

The mechanisms by which vitamin D reduces your cancer risk are
fairly well understood. They include:

a.. enhancing calcium absorption (in the case of colorectal
b.. inducing cell differentiation
c.. increasing cancer cell apoptosis or death
d.. reducing metastasis and proliferation
e.. reducing angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels, which
promotes tumor growth)
f.. downregulating parathyroid hormone (PTH)
g.. up- or downregulating gene expression
Also worth mentioning here is that in another recent study,
researchers discovered that vitamin D induces a specific gene to increase
expression of a key enzyme that protects healthy prostate cells from
oxidative damage by free radicals that can lead to prostate cancer.

According to Yi-Fen Lee, lead researcher of the study published
in the June 15, 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer:

"Many epidemiological studies have suggested the beneficial
properties of vitamin D. Our findings reflect what we see in those studies
and demonstrate that vitamin D not only can be used as a therapy for
prostate cancer, it can prevent prostate cancer from happening."

Optimal vitamin D levels are known to positively influence the
following health conditions:

a.. Cold and flu
b.. Heart disease
c.. Diabetes
d.. Inflammatory bowel disease
e.. Rheumatoid arthritis
f.. Multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis
g.. Autism
The health benefits of optimal vitamin D levels are absolutely
extraordinary, and no one is making a penny from recommending higher vitamin
D status, which is one of the primary reasons why it's not being more widely

But, What are the "Optimal" Vitamin D Levels?

In late winter, the average American's 25-hydroxyvitamin D
levels range from 15 to 18 ng/ml. This is considered a SERIOUS deficiency

Based on the latest research available, the optimal range has
recently been raised to between 50 and 65 ng/ml. This is the range where
your body is finally beginning to store the vitamin in your tissues. Below
this level, your body is using it up as quickly as it's created.

The vitamin D level required for cancer protection, however, is
even higher; between 65-90 ng/ml.

The amount of ingested vitamin D3 and/or UVB exposure required
for optimal protection against cancer is still being determined. Each person
responds differently to UVB exposure and oral intake of vitamin D depending
on such factors as skin pigmentation, body mass index (vitamin D is fat
soluble), age, condition of digestive tract, other dietary factors, etc.

However, as a general guideline, you will get maximal amount of
vitamin D, about 20,000 units, if you are in the sun long enough to turn
large areas of your skin the very lightest pink. Anything beyond that is
unnecessary and will only contribute to premature skin aging, wrinkling and
skin cancer.

The time to achieve this pink color could be as little as a few
minutes in some fair skinned individuals to a few hours for some very dark
skinned people.

If you are dark skinned you will need more sun exposure. If very
fair, you may need less. Use your skin as a guide; once your skin takes on a
very light pink flush, you've maxed out your vitamin D-making capacity. Stay
in the sun longer, and you'll likely just burn, which should be avoided.

The key though is to make sure you monitor your vitamin D levels
by blood testing, to make sure your levels are therapeutic and not toxic. I
advocate getting your vitamin D levels tested regularly, throughout the

But as I reported recently, you now need to beware of where you're
getting your test done. The single biggest concern in this area is Quest
Labs as their lab is reporting results as much as 40 percent higher than
other labs using a more reliable and accurate assay. That means, if you are
seeking to obtain levels similar to those that have been confirmed optimal
in the scientific literature, you will be falsely reassured by Quest's test


The joy of Christmas

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chocolate, wine and tea improve brain performance

( -- All that chocolate might actually help finish the bumper
Christmas crossword over the seasonal period. According to Oxford
researchers working with colleagues in Norway, chocolate, wine and tea
enhance cognitive performance.

The team from Oxford's Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and
Norway examined the relation between cognitive performance and the intake of
three common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea)
in 2,031 older people (aged between 70 and 74).

Metabolic dangers of high-fructose corn syrup

"Americans are being poisoned by a common additive present in a wide array of processed foods like soft drinks and salad dressings, commercially made cakes and cookies, and breakfast cereals and brand-name breads.

This commonplace additive silently increases our risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

The name of this toxic additive is high-fructose corn syrup. It is so ubiquitous in processed foods and so over-consumed by the average American that many experts believe our nation faces the prospect of an epidemic of metabolic disease in the future, related in significant degree to excess consumption of high-fructose corn syrup."

Changing history

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

John F. Kennedy
1917-1963, Thirty-Fifth President of the United States

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The simple mystery of the conception

"Do not speculate beyond the text. Do not require of it something more than what it simply says. Do not ask, 'But precisely how was it that the Spirit accomplished this in a virgin?' For even when nature is at work, it is impossible fully to explain the manner of the formation of the person. How then when the Spirit is accomplishing miracles, shall we be able to express their precise causes?"

St. John Chyrysostom, The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 4.3

The power of visualization

"Many, many years ago, a young boy happened to walk
by a newspaper publishing office. He stopped and peered through the
window and was amazed at the activity he saw in the office. The
activity that surrounded one man in the office especially
interested him. It was the chief editor of the newspaper. The young
boy watched in amazement as the editor barked orders to the
employees around him.

The boy sensed the power that the chief editor possessed - how the
entire newspaper enterprise seemed to revolve around him. The young
boy began to visualize himself as that editor. Every day he pictured
himself as the editor of that newspaper; he dreamed about it at
night. He created a detailed vision in his mind of himself in that
editor's chair. He re-created that vision in his mind day after day.
Who was that young boy? His name was Roger Ferger.Not only did he
become the editor of a large newspaper, he eventually went on to
become the owner and publisher of the Cincinnati Inquirer,
one of the largest newspaper empires in the country today.

Are you visualizing who you want to become?

What is Positive Visualization?

It can be summarized in this one statement:
"We were created in the image of our creator, therefore
we are creators." Think about this statement very carefully.
Everything that you, or anyone else has done since the beginning of
time, began first with a thought.

If you look back at the careers of successful people, you will
find that almost every one of them first visualized who
they wanted to be...long before they actually achieved success.

Stop everything you are doing right now and think about what you
want to accomplish in your life in this new year. Maybe you want a
new career, or you want to be fit and trim and in great shape,
perhaps you want to start a new business, or buy that dream house
you always wanted.

Make a list on paper right now of the things you want to accomplish
this year. Make it a habit to read this list to yourself every day
and visualize that you have already reached the goals in your list.
Create a detailed movie in your mind of the new you that you want
to see in 2007. Be very detailed, if your goal was a new home,
picture yourself walking into that new home,picture every detail,
the color, the style of home, imagine the kitchen in great detail.

If your goal was a new career or promotion, picture yourself in
that new office, believe it with all your heart as if it were
already true. No matter what your goals are, visualize them every

You will find that one day,your visualization will become a
reality! Don't ask me how it works...just know that it works.
Believe me...I have experienced it in my own life."

-- Dan Robey

Setting goals

Some good thoughts for the new year. Even better, don't wait for the new year. Start now. Identify what you want, and go for it.

I donated blood yesterday. The woman from the Red Cross who got the blood talked to me while my pint was collecting.

She felt she had some things out of whack in her life. Too much going to clubs, too much playing pool, among other things. She planned to start -- on New Year's -- getting her life in order.

Which is a great goal. I wished her well. But waiting is not always a good thing. We sometimes imagine that there's this big, perfect day waiting out there. So we wait for that. But -- per the Psalmist -- this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in this day. And start today doing the changes we want in our lives.

"This is perhaps THE most important habit
you can have if you want to succeed in EVERY
area of your life.

Goal Setting

It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of goal-setting
as a positive habit. It can truly be life changing!

Research studies have shown that people who regularly set goals are
far more likely to be successful then people who do not. Napoleon
Hill, author of the best-seller, Think and Grow Rich, once said,
"Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement,
and its lack is the stumbling block for ninety eight out of every
one hundred people because they never really define their goals and
start toward them."

A study was done to determine the importance of goal setting.
College students who had gone on to achieve great success in
business were asked to list their habits. The students who had made
a habit of setting goals were in the top 3% of earnings in the

Goal setting is simple, yet 97% of the population never do it. By
making goal setting a habit, you can start placing yourself in
the top 3% of the population of successful people. Your goal-setting
habit can help you reach any of your goals, regardless of whether
they are for business, personal, relationships, and so on.

Here are some simple steps to help you start your goal-setting

Step 1 Define your destinations, write them down, and be very
specific; capture your goals on paper.

Step 2 Determine what the time line is for reaching your goals;
set specific deadlines for each goal.

Step 3 Identify any obstacles that may stand in your way, list
them, and state how you plan to overcome them.

Step 4 Make a list of the people and/or organizations who will
help you reach your goals."

Dan Robey

Monday, December 22, 2008

FDA Approves Stevia, Ends the Era of Oppression of this Herbal Sweetener

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted GRAS approval for a natural, zero-calorie sweetener it once sought to wipe out from the U.S. marketplace. Following political pressure from powerful consumer product corporations (Coca-Cola and Pepsi, primarily), the FDA has once again fallen in step with the interests of Big Business and legalized a food and beverage ingredient that it once aggressively oppressed.

In this case, however, the approval of this ingredient happens to be in the best interests of consumers. Why? Because it will largely replace aspartame, an artificial sweetener chemical linked to numerous neurological disorders, including headaches, eye disorders and other problems."

Never a time when he did not exist

"Without any doubt, he was made that which he had not previously been according to the flesh. But according to the Spirit he existed beforehand, and there was never a time when he did not exist."

Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans

A more promising future

"When you paint success pictures in your mind, you initiate an inner process whereby your attitudes, hopes, aspirations, and enthusiasm are elevated in response to an image of a more promising future. Every person who aspires must first sell themselves hope, the promise of a better life."

U.S. Andersen

The Truth About Calories And Cholesterol

"In this information age, one is bombarded with information and misinformation. Take the all important subject of calories and cholesterol. When one is confronted with diametrically opposed ideas on food trends, one tends to give up, and often chooses the idea that is more heavily promoted, and that is, unfortunately here, the misinformation. Where does it start? The professors of nutrition must teach whats in the `book`, ( so I have been informed, although they admit know better). From then on, doctors, dieticians, sports trainers, food writers and celebrity chefs will repeat, without any further thought, the same dogma."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Many longed to see his day

"So do not let it surprise you, unbelieving soul, whoever you are, do not let it strike you as impossible that a virgin should give birth, and in giving birth remain a virgin. Realize that it was God who was born, and you will not be surprised at a virgin giving birth."

St. Augustine, Sermon 370.3

Prayer for the end of Advent

"Open our hearts, O Lord, and enlighten us by the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may seek what is well-pleasing to your will; and so order our doings after your commandments that we may be found meet to enter into your unending joys, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Venerable Bede

Saturday, December 20, 2008


"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."

Charles F. Kettering

Is Caroline Kennedy Sarah Palin?

"Sarah Palin may be at home in Alaska right this moment, sitting in perpetual darkness, skinning a moose by candlelight, and wondering why in the hell everyone is being so supportive of Caroline Kennedy's campaign for a Senate appointment. She was never mayor, she was never governor, she was never a beauty-pageant runner-up. And yet she's facing a minuscule fraction of the outcry from the left that Palin faced only a couple of months ago. Palin wouldn't be alone in this sentiment, as a number of conservative voices are speaking up about the double standard of the Kennedy backers. Of course, those wily liberals have found some loopholes that they hope will maintain their intellectual integrity."

Pub Grub

From a New York magazine (Dec. 22-29,2008) review of the Wilfie and Nell bar, 228 W. 4th St., NYC):

"One look at the bill of fare taped to the window of Wilfie and Nell and Ms. U.G. -- who reads menus the way Talmudic scholars read the Torah -- was in a tizzy. Here were shepherd's pies and meat pies. Here were fries with malt vinegar. And here were Scotch eggs, which in case you didn't know are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, then breaded and deep-fried -- or what Ricky Gervais calls 'a delicious and nutritious path to cardiac arrest.'"

(OK, I'm posting this because of the line about Scotch eggs. What a great comment! And BTW, my wife thought the description sounded repulsive, and I thought it sounded appealing, like something I'd like to make, maybe for New Years. But 2 comments of my own: first, the reviewer needs to be more careful. Talmudic scholars study the Talmud, not the Torah. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that. Secondly, "Scotch eggs" is the term normally used, but if it were correct -- I know, somebody remind me it's just a name -- it would be "Scots eggs." "Scotch" is a drink, "Scots" are people or things associated with Scotland. Precision is a wonderful thing).

George Bush: the interview referenced below

Here is what is astounding about this interview.

1. The interview received little publicity.

2. A sitting President admits that this recession is huge, and that an economic collapse is possible.

3. He says that capitalism has failed this time, and it needs bailouts to survive. He laments that he has had to do this.

4. The interviewer is an unknown.

This is a graduate of Harvard Business School. He sounds befuddled.

He looks unsure of himself. This is rare for any President, but especially Bush. He is beaten. He sounds beaten.

Bush says sacrificed free-market principles to save economy

"US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from "collapse."

"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system," Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision "to make sure the economy doesn't collapse."

Bush's comments reflect an extraordinary departure from his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market, as his administration has orchestrated unprecedented government intervention in the face of a dire financial crisis."

Living your life the way you want to


"My father died on December 2. I flew to Oregon for
the memorial service.

I sat down with my mother, age 91, and told her to
write down these words on a sheet of paper:

I want to

I told her to make a list. I suggested half a dozen
things she has said in the past that she wanted to do.

I told her to set up a daily schedule. Take at least
one step per project each day. Do this from a "what to do
today" list. One step per day will get the jobs done.

I told her, "Don't wind up sitting in your deathbed at
age 100, thinking, 'I wish I had done that.' Do it while
you still can."

The older you get, the truer this advice is.

There is an old saying, "He made his bed. Now he must
lie in it."

Turn this around. "You must lie in your bed. Make it
your way." One step per day."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes

"Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared.” He also said he still believes waterboarding was an appropriate method to use on terrorism suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that the agency waterboarded three Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003."

"Good people all this Christmas time": lyrics

Youtube has a number of fine versions of this hymn. One of the best I heard is Allison Krause and Yo-yo Ma's version, but unfortunately I can't embed that one. But here are the lyrics to an often unknown hymn given us -- as so many things -- by our Irish fathers and mothers in the faith.

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

Loreena McKennitt - The wexford carol "Good people all this Christmas time."

The shoes we longed for

"Within a few unlikely seconds, a pair of size 10 shoes have become the most destructive weapon the people of Iraq have managed to throw at the occupying powers, after nearly six years of occupation and formidable resistance. One Iraqi writer called the shoes, hurled by a journalist at George Bush, "Iraq's weapon of comprehensive destruction."

Bush announces $17.4 billion auto bailout

I wish George Bush would stop talking about free markets.

He's never practiced free market practices, and has done everything he could during the 8 years he has acted as president to undermine free markets. (In reality, it's not the markets that should be free; it's people who are free to make lawful market transactions. It's like what we often call "gun rights": guns have no rights, but people have a Constitutional right (upheld this past June in District of Columbia Et al. v. Heller to bear arms in their personal and corporate defense).

So now he's done yet another socialist move, providing a massive bailout to several inefficient, stodgy and hidebound American auto makers, and he blithers on about having to "save the free market." I wish George Bush would just shut up. If he's going to continue his sad and shameful course, just do it. He should stop painting those of us who believe in freedom with his disastrous and disgraceful policies.

The One Vitamin That is Vital for Your Heart

A lack of vitamin D, a nutrient that is generated primarily through
exposure to sunlight, helps boost the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Experts estimate that up to half of adults and 30 percent of children
and teenagers in the United States are vitamin D-deficient. There is a wide
array of studies linking increased cardiovascular risk with vitamin D
deficiency. For example, recent data from the long-running Framingham Heart
Study indicated that someone with vitamin D levels below 15 nanograms per
milliliter of blood is twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or
other cardiovascular problem within two years compared to those with higher

Vitamin D is well known as the "sunshine vitamin" because human skin
makes the nutrient upon exposure to sunlight.
a.. U.S. News & World Report December 1, 2008
a.. Journal of the American College of Cardiology December 9, 2008;

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I've been writing a lot about vitamin D lately, and that's
because I want it to sink in with each and every one of you reading this
just how important it is for your health. I even recorded a one-hour vitamin
D lecture on the topic to help clear up any confusion.

At this time there are at least 36 organ tissues in your body
whose cells respond biologically to vitamin D, including bone marrow,
breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and
uterine tissues.

One of these organs is also your heart, for which vitamin D is

There are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by
vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart
disease, such as:

. An increase in your body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
. The suppression of vascular calcification
. The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth

And according to Dr. James H. O'Keefe, director of preventive
cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and the lead
author of the above study:

"There are a whole array of studies linking increased
cardiovascular risk with vitamin D deficiency. It is associated with major
risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stiffening of the
left ventricle of the heart and blood vessels. Inflammation is really
important for heart disease, and people with vitamin D deficiency have
increased inflammation."

Aside from heart disease, vitamin D influences up to 3,000 of
the 30,000 genes in your body, helping to prevent diseases ranging from
cancer to the flu.

Unfortunately, it's thought that over 95 percent of U.S. senior
citizens and African Americans may be deficient, along with 85 percent of
the American public.

How Much Should You Get (Hint: Don't Listen to the RDA)?

I recently did an expert interview and interviewed one of the
top vitamin D experts in the world, Robert Heaney, MD. He has been studying
vitamin D for over five decades and was one of the consultants that served
on the board in 1997 that actually made the recommendations for our current
vitamin D RDAs.

I won't be posting his interview till the spring but he told me
that over 98% of what is known about vitamin D was learned since 1997. This
was largely because prior to that time there was no simple blood measurement
to detect vitamin D levels.

Be that as it may, the current RDA for vitamin D developed by
the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National
Academies is miserably insufficient as it is only:

. 200 IU for people aged 14-50
. 400 IU for people aged 51-70
. 600 IU for people over 71

The American Academy of Pediatrics has even recently doubled its
recommendation for vitamin D in children to 400 IU a day, and that is also
completely inadequate.

There's simply no way to reap any benefit whatsoever from these
abysmally low amounts.

Consider this -- in the summertime when you put on your bathing
suit and sunbathe, your body produces about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D!

You might wonder how long you need to sunbathe, well the answer
is that it depends and is highly variable. The time you need to generate
maximum vitamin D is how long it takes for your skin to turn the lightest
pink when you are outdoors. This is called the MED or minimal erythemal
dose. For some people it could be a few minutes while for others it may
actually be hours.

Once you have this exposure it makes absolutely NO SENSE to
continue to expose your skin to the sun as you will only increase your risk
of premature skin aging, wrinkling and skin cancer.

During the winter or times when you have no or very limited
exposure to sunshine, you can make up for the lack of sunlight by using a
safe tanning bed or taking a high-quality natural vitamin D3
(cholecalciferol) supplement.

How much should you take? 4,000-5,000 units per day is
appropriate for most adults. If you are very heavy you may need to double
that dose, and for children the dose can be half that.

Important Information About Vitamin D Testing

It's possible to overdose on vitamin D when you take it in
supplement form. Because of this it's very important that you monitor your
vitamin D levels by blood testing to make sure your levels are therapeutic
and not toxic.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lipoic Acid Leads the Pack of Antioxidants that Protect Youth and Slow Aging

(NaturalNews) "Evidence abounds that lipoic acid may be protective of every organ in the body. Among the latest findings are that lipoic acid is a powerful protector of the brain. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective capabilities that make if effective in slowing the aging of the brain and treating Alzheimer's disease. Other recent research shows that lipoic acid prevents the development and progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and protects retina ganglion."

How to grow

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, Poet and Essayist

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

A co-belligerent's blog (that's a joke, Billy!) cited this hymn, which I had never heard. It is truly beautiful, especially with this tune by Elizabeth Poston.

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.


His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell,
His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.


For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.


I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest a while:
I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest a while:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.


This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive:
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive:
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

A prayer for Advent

"We ask you, almighty God, let our souls enjoy this their desire, to be enkindled by your Spirit, that being filled as lamps by your divine gift, we may shine like burning lights before the presence of your Son Christ at his coming, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Gelasian Sacramentary

Aiming too low

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

Michelangelo Buonarroti
1474-1564, Italian Renaissance Painter and Sculptor

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God waits for repentance

"If God delays the punishment of sinner, waiting for them to repent, it is not because his character has changed, so that now he loves sin. Rather he is giving them time to repent."

St. Cyril of Alexandria

What we think about

I'm not pollyannish. I don't pretend that there are not bad things going on, now and nearly always. But we have the option of dwelling on good or bad. We have the option of thinking about the evil that always dwells among us as men. Or we can know that there is good coming, and that there are men and women who seek to do good, creative, and beautiful things. This is a reminder of that.

"If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience."

Eddie Rickenbacker
1890-1973, American Fighter Ace, Race Car Driver and pioneer in air transportation.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's time to end the war on drugs

"Dec. 5 marked the 75th anniversary of America's decision, in 1933, to re-amend the Constitution and set ourselves free from alcohol prohibition, a 13-year failed experiment.

So is it time to free ourselves once more from an impractical and misguided prohibition effort — the ill-starred "war on drugs" of punitive federal and state laws passed since the 1970s? Yes, argued two groups — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation — at a press event here last week. They are urging, instead, legalization and careful public regulation of mind-altering drugs."

Out of darkness into light

"Through him he has called us out of darkness into the light, out of ignorance into the knowledge of his glory, so that we might hope, Lord, in your name, for it is the foundation of all creation."

St. Clement of Rome

Changing your life

"You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you'll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless."

Caroline Myss

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Derinkuyu, the mysterious underground city of Turkey

"In 1963, an inhabitant of Derinkuyu (in the region of Cappadocia, central Anatolia, Turkey), knocking down a wall of his house cave, discovered amazed that behind it was a mysterious room that he had never seen, and this led him room to another and another and another to it ... By chance he had discovered the underground city of Derinkuyu, whose first level could be excavated by the Hittites around 1400 BC."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lack of Vitamin D Ups Heart Risk

(NaturalNews) Vitamin D deficiency has long been linked with weak muscles and bones. Now research shows a lack of the "sunshine" vitamin may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, evidence is mounting from numerous studies that low vitamin D levels could play a role in a host of CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. What's more, a lack of the vitamin may be a direct factor in cardiovascular events, including stroke and congestive heart failure.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Charles Pfeiffer's 'Between the Testaments': an Amazon review

"400 silent years. Silent, not because nothing was happening, but because this is the period between the Old Testament and New Testament canonical books. And silent, also, because most of us know little or nothing about what was going on during that time. This book remedies that lack of knowledge.

Be warned: this is not a flashy book. He's giving history, not telling a story. Although the period doesn't lack for good stories: the Maccabees, Alexander, and Cleopatra among many others. Pfeiffer gives us the structure and chronology to make sense of what happened during this time period, as well as understanding the future events, especially many of the groups and individuals mentioned in the New Testament books, as well as understanding some of the background of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The book is especially good for providing background on the various Jewish sects mentioned in the New Testament: the Pharisees, the Zealots, the Sadducees and the Essenes. I disagree with Pfeiffer's assessment of a relationship between the Qumran manuscripts and the Essenes, but that doesn't detract from the value of his overview of the complex of "denominations" found in first century Palestinian Judaism.

This book is also good for giving an overview of the nature of Hellenism during this time, and the effects Hellenism had on the world into which the New Testament was born."

The humility of Christ

"Christ, you see, was going to come in the flesh, not anyone at all, not an angel, not an ambassador; but 'he himself will come and save you.'"

St. Augustine, Sermon 293.8

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama's atomic umbrella: U.S. nuclear strike if Iran nukes Israel

For a long time, the US has treated Israel as an extension of American territory -- in essence, a US state. This proposal by the impending Obama administration -- which would treat an attack on Israel as an attack on the US, and would bring US nuclear retaliation against Iran -- is a dangerous escalation of the war party in the upcoming administration.

The reality is that the US is completely hypocritical about nuclear weapons. We have no intention of giving up our own weapons (and given US history of attacks using weapons of mass destruction, that should be an obvious first step) and we have no intention of asking Israel to give up their nuclear weapons, but the President-elect is by this action threatening the lives of millions of innocent Iranians. From

"U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's administration will offer Israel a "nuclear umbrella" against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American source said earlier this week. The source, who is close to the new administration, said the U.S. will declare that an attack on Israel by Tehran would result in a devastating U.S. nuclear response against Iran."

More than 10% of kids use alternative treatments

My youngest daughter was recently stricken with a slight skin issue. I suggested that, rather than go through the dermatologist dance, we use tea tree oil. She was skeptical, but agreed to try it, and was astonished that the issue resolved overnight. Literally.

Apparently from this report, she's not alone.

"A surprisingly large number of children — nearly 12% — are using herbal supplements and other complementary and alternative therapies, according to the first national study on the subject, released Wednesday.

"We were struck by the high use in children," given that few children suffer from the chronic aches and pains that drive many adults to unconventional treatments, says report co-author Richard Nahin of the National Institutes of Health."

What is said against us

"I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything."

Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vitamins for Alzheimer's

"While we are on this thread of natural help for disease isn't it timely that I just received this article about how "High Doses of Vitamins Fight Alzheimer's Disease".
And now I am sharing it with you, for your education, and then you can ask your doctor why they aren't recommending them. Vitamin B3 is also used successfully for schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, reducing plaque of arteriosclerosis and cholesterol reduction. It has an excellent anti-inflammatory action."

Studies Provide New Hope for Alzheimer's Patients

(NaturalNews) There's often little hope to be found about the mind-robbing disease known as Alzheimer's and other dementias linked to aging. But two new studies raise the possibility that there are ways to delay, lessen or even successfully treat dementia – including using non-drug approaches based on ancient meditation techniques and exercises.

The death of Zimbabwe

This is a moving video account of what's going on now in Zimbabwe. That country -- which used to be the breadbasket of southern Africa -- is now devastated by hyper-inflation and a tyrannical government. Without a change in that government, it seems that little will change in this very sad country.

If you are unhappy

"Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything - whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out."

Tina Turner

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Binding ourselves to one another

"Let us obey this command and bind ourselves closely to one another. For it is no longer just the weak that he is encouraging, but everyone. If someone wants to break relations with you, do not do the same with him ... Rather display even more love toward him, that you may draw him to you. For he is a member of the body, and when a member is cut off we must do everything we can to unite it again and then pay more attention to it."

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 27

Patience in the face of sadness

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity."

Carl Jung
1875-1961, Psychiatrist

Monday, December 08, 2008

Making others happy

"You will find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."

Lydia M. Child
1802-1880, Abolitionist and Writer

The hand of Christ

"And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den."

Isaiah 11.8

"Hear how the antidote was administered to the flesh: the Word of God became flesh, put his hand into the serpent's den, removed the venom and took away sin. In other words, 'from sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.'"

St. Ambrose, Exposition of the Twelve Psalms, 37.4

The Lego beer song

I don't like beer: I'm just not fond of the taste. I've tried good beers and bad. Expensive and cheap. Domestic and foreign. Those who know me would not be surprised to find that I find reading about the history of beer interesting. But none of the drinking has worked. However, maybe this video would make me like it. You think?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A prayer for being taught

"O you who are everywhere present, filling yet transcending all things; ever acting, ever at rest; you who teach the hearts of the faithful without noise of words: teach us, we pray you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

St. Augustine

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Spirit rests on Jesus

Isaiah 11.2: "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

"The Scriptures state that these gifts of the Holy Spirit were bestowed upon him, not as though he were in need of them but as though they were about to rest upon him, that is, to come to an end with him, so that there would be no more prophets among [his] people as of old."

St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 87

History Of A Sign

A short and moving film: how words change everything.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Hear the word of Yahweh: Essays on Scripture and Archeology in Honor of Horace D. Hummel": an Amazon review

"This is a collection of 15 theological essays in honor of Professor Horace Hummel. Most of them are engaging, well-written, and thought-provoking, often coming from a Lutheran "law/gospel" perspective (especially Paul Schreiber and Andrew Bartelt's respective essays). Especially engaging are Christopher Mitchell's lengthy essay on the Lutheran perspective on the Song of Songs and Roger Cotton's shorter piece on a Biblical theology of Leviticus, drawing especially on Lev. 19. The archeological essays were likewise good, proving once again that archeological discoveries enlighten and inform our perspectives on ancient texts.

What kept me from giving this volume 5 stars was Andrew Steinmann's essay on gender-neutral and gender-sensitive language in the church which seemed somewhat superficial and forced at times."

How Sunshine and Vitamin D Can Help You Eliminate Mercury

I can't recommend this guy's stuff enough. He's a great, sensible, and thought-provoking writer, and you'll seldom go wrong with what he suggests.

"Accumulating data have provided evidence that vitamin D is involved in
brain function. Vitamin D can inhibit the synthesis of inducible nitric
oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting a role for the
hormone in brain detoxification.

The study shows that vitamin D helps remove mercury from your body
safely by radically increasing the amount of intracellular glutathione.

Neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects of this hormone have also
been described in several experimental models, indicating the potential
value of vitamin D in helping neurodegenerative and neuroimmune diseases. In
addition, vitamin D induces glioma cell death, making the hormone of
potential interest in the management of brain tumors.

These results reveal previously unsuspected roles for vitamin D in
brain function and suggest possible areas of future research.
a.. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism April 2002,Volume 13,
Issue 3, 1, Pages 100-105

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The mounting scientific discoveries about the tremendous health impact
of vitamin D are nothing short of a revolution within the field of medicine.
It's turning out to be so vital for so many of your biological functions
that a future revision of the official guidelines on sun exposure is
virtually guaranteed. It's only a matter of time.

But there's no reason for you to sit around and wait. The evidence is
already overwhelming; you absolutely need a certain amount of unprotected,
full-body sun exposure if you want to be optimally healthy.

Every week, more research is being published about the health benefits
of vitamin D. For example, it's already been found that vitamin D can
prevent or treat:

a.. Infections and inflammation
b.. 16 types of cancer
c.. Depression and neurological disorders
d.. Cold and flu
e.. Diabetes
f.. Osteoporosis
g.. Tuberculosis
And that's the short-short list.

This latest paper published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
describes how scientists are now beginning to realize vitamin D is involved
in maintaining the health of your brain as well, as they've recently
discovered vitamin D receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and central
nervous system.

There's even evidence indicating vitamin D improves your brain's
detoxification process.

Vitamin D helps remove mercury from your body safely by radically
increasing the amount of intracellular glutathione.

For those of you who are beginning to wonder whether the multitude of
vitamin D discoveries amount to nothing but hype, or perhaps even some sort
of scientific error, let me explain how it can be that vitamin D is involved
in so many different health aspects. Because if you understand the basic
science of vitamin D, then you can understand its true potential.

How Can Vitamin D Be So Influential?

As Dr. Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, explains so well in
my upcoming Inner Circle interview with him; if you understand that vitamin
D is not a vitamin, but rather the only known substrate for a powerful
repair and maintenance steroid hormone that is involved in numerous
functions of your body and organs, then you can begin to see the bigger

Additionally, if you understand that, like all steroid hormones, it
regulates your body by turning your genes on or off, and that you have about
2,000 genes that are directly influenced by vitamin D, then you will be able
to wrap your mind around the fact that vitamin D may in fact have as many as
2,000 or more mechanisms of action within your body!

This is the fundamental principle that explains why the same
substance, vitamin D, can be involved in, and have a major impact on all the
diseases of civilization. It all depends on which gene is being up- or
down-regulated by the presence, or absence, of vitamin D.

Why the Current Guidelines on Sun Exposure are Catastrophic to Your

It has been clearly established that the only way for your body to
synthesize vitamin D is in your skin once it's exposed to ultraviolet rays
from the sun. Hence, the current guidelines to avoid sun exposure, and the
fervent pushing of sunscreen, are perhaps some of the most misguided and
dangerous health recommendations out there.

You simply cannot obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D from your
diet, as you were never designed to swallow vitamin D but get it from the
sun. This would, of course exclude taking a vitamin D supplement, for which
the government recommended daily allowance (RDA) is still FAR too low to
offer any significant health benefits or contribute to disease reduction.

Consider this; In the summertime, when you put on your bathing suit
and sunbathe for 30 minutes, your body produces about 20,000 IUs of vitamin
D; as much as exists in 200 glasses of milk, or the equivalent of about 50

Meanwhile, the current RDA for vitamin D, developed by the Food and
Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, is
miserably insufficient as it is only:

a.. 200 IU for people aged 14-50
b.. 400 IU for people aged 51-70
c.. 600 IU for people over 71
Folks, there's simply no way to reap any benefit whatsoever from these
abysmally low amounts.

Lately, I've reported extensively on the subject of vitamin D and its
health ramifications. If you've missed any of my previous articles

a.. safe tanning practices
b.. how much sun exposure you really need
c.. the truth about sunshine exposure and melanoma
d.. why you should NOT use commercial sunscreens
e.. why sun exposure is far preferable to oral vitamin D supplements
f.. which type of vitamin D to chose if you decide to take a
g.. how much vitamin D you should really take to reap the benefits,
h.. vital information you need to know about getting your vitamin D
levels tested
then please take a moment to review them now.

You can also check out my Vitamin D Resource Page, which offers links
to the most important pages, and sources for even more information on this
life saver."

Hillary Clinton Constitutionally Ineligible to Serve as Secretary of State

"According to the Ineligibility Clause of the United States Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that has benefited from a salary increase during the time that Senator or Representative served in Congress. A January 2008 Executive Order signed by President Bush during Hillary Clinton's current Senate term increased the salary for Secretary of State, thereby rendering Senator Clinton ineligible for the position."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Disdain for International Law -- Part II

"The appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is nothing less than a betrayal of the anti-war constituency responsible for Barack Obama winning the Democratic Party nomination and his subsequent election as president of the United States. The quintessential Democratic hawk, Senator Clinton has proven to be one of the leading militarists on Capitol Hill and her appointment as the country’s chief foreign policy representative serves notice to the international community that the change they had hoped for will not be forthcoming."

Hillary Clinton's Disdain for International Law -- Change We Can Believe In?

"For those hoping for a dramatic change in U.S. foreign policy under an Obama administration -- particularly regarding human rights, international law, and respect for international institutions -- the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is a bitter disappointment. Indeed, Senator Clinton has more often than not sided with the Bush administration against fellow Democrats on key issues regarding America’s international legal obligations, particularly international humanitarian law."

Obama Vs. Constitution

Lily Tomlin's quip ("No matter how cynical you are, it is impossible to keep up") has more and more relevance as the shape of Obama's presidency unfolds. But the frightening sameness of his appointments pales in comparison to the Constitutional questions that dog him. I'm not sure that his supporters have appreciated the depth of which these questions will undermine his presidency, and how questions of illegitimacy are dangerous to a functioning government.

Too Little Vitamin D Puts Heart at Risk

"Dec. 1, 2008 -- Getting too little vitamin D may be an underappreciated heart disease risk factor that's actually easy to fix. Researchers say a growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of heart disease and is linked to other, well-known heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes."

Blueberries 'reverse memory loss'

"Eating blueberries can reverse memory loss and may have implications in the treatment of diseases like Alzheimer's, University of Reading scientists claim. Scientists found adding foods like blueberries to a regular diet, resulted in improvements in memory."

Developing a mental vision

"Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin."

Kathleen Norris
1880-1966, Novelist

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cancer Doc Issues Warning About Cell Phone Use

(NaturalNews) The director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institutes and the Cancer Centers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has issued a warning to all 3,000 faculty and staff under his supervision, warning them to limit cellular phone use in order to avoid adverse health effects.

"Recently I have become aware of the growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer," the memo from Dr. Ronald Herberman reads. "Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use."

Herberman advises keeping mobile phone conversations as short as possible and using headsets, text messages or speaker phone settings to keep the phone away from the head. He also warns that children should only you cellular phones in emergencies, because their still-developing organs "are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure."

How things turn out best

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

Art Linkletter
Radio and TV Personality

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


"Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."

Marianne Williamson

Another Resveratrol Anti-Aging Breakthrough

"A new mechanism has been identified that explains one novel way that resveratrol not only helps prevent aging but may help reverse it. It involves a unique way in which the resveratrol-activated SIRT1 guards your DNA. In the new study the researchers state: “We see here, through a proof-of-principal demonstration, that elements of aging can be reversed.'"

Melatonin May Save Eyesight In Inflammatory Disease, Study Suggests

"ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2008) — Current research suggests that melatonin therapy may help treat uveitis, a common inflammatory eye disease."

Mumbai Terror: Evidence being deliberately ignored!

"Tying a red thread or cord around the wrist is a Hindu practice and it is unlikely a Muslim, especially one politicized enough to carry out an attack such as this, would observe it. I think this provides more evidence that this was a false flag operation or at least an attack by a non-Muslim group. For more information about the significance of the red thread see wikipedia and this blog post. [Thanks to Uruk]

Additionally, the terrorists inside the Nariman House Building were reported to have stocked up on supplies on Wednesday evening, buying not just food items but liquor, among other things, from a local store [Source]. Again, it is highly unlikely that a Muslim, let alone a ‘Mujahid’, and especially one politicized enough to carry out such an attack, would consume liquor in normal life, let alone hours before his inevitable ‘martyrdom’."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama Fomenting A Constitutional Crisis: Constitutional Lawyer Discusses Ramifications Of Controversy

"Controversy continues to surround President-elect Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, and a case involving his birth certificate waits for its day before the U.S. Supreme Court. A constitutional lawyer said were it to be discovered that Mr. Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen, it would have grave consequences for the nation."

Fast food diet linked to Alzheimer’s

"A diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol could lead to similar changes in substances in the brain which are also seen in the development of Alzheimer’s, according to a new study.

Mice that were fed for nine months on the diet, which represents the nutritional content of most fast food, developed abnormalities in the brain similar to those observed in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, said the study published in a doctoral thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet (KI)."

Cathedral of Brasilia (Brazil)

A website devoted to unusual buildings -- among them some churches.

I don't particularly care for the style of the Brasilia cathedral -- as with many buildings from that particular time, it has nothing that particularly marks it as a church: it could be a Mosque or a synagogue with only small modifications. But the buildings -- and the churches in particular -- are interesting.

Sowell: The legacy of Eric Hoffer

"The twentieth anniversary of the death of Eric Hoffer, in May 1983, passed with very little notice of one of the most incisive thinkers of his time -- a man whose writings continue to have great relevance to our times.

How many people today even know of this remarkable man with no formal schooling, who spent his life in manual labor -- most of it as a longshoreman -- and who wrote some of the most insightful commentary on our society and trends in the world?"

The result of kindness

"Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind."

Eric Hoffer
1902-1983, Author and Philosopher

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Forgiveness begins in Jerusalem

"It was opportune that the preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins through the confession of Christ's name should have started from Jerusalem. Where the splendor of His teaching and virtues, where the triumph of His passion, where the joy of His resurrection and ascension were accomplished, there the first root of faith in Him would be brought forth; there the first shoot of the burgeoning church, like that of some great vine, would be planted ... It was opportune that the preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins, good news to be proclaimed to idolatrous nations and those defiled by various evil deeds, should take its start from Jerusalem, lest any of those defiled, thoroughly terrified by the magnitude of their offenses, should doubt the possibility of obtaining pardon if they performed fruits worthy of repentance, when it was a fact that pardon had been granted to those at Jerusalem who had blasphemed and crucified the Son of God. "

Venerable Bede, Homilies on the Gospels