Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stand By Me

Thanks to my friend Paul for posting this on his blog. It's a great montage of singers singing this favorite song.

Stand By Me from Mike Yates on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday Sermon: God as Creator

Visit our church website to hear our Sunday morning, August 9 at 10:00 AM sermon about God's creative force and how we too, are creators.

15 Simple Changes that will Improve your Health

15 Simple Changes That Will Quickly Improve Your Health
by Ali Hale

Did you start January full of health resolutions, determined that this would be the year that you ate better, lost weight and exercised regularly?

If you’re back to your usual habits – skipping breakfast, grabbing chocolate to get you through that afternoon slump, neglecting your fruit and veggie intake and chugging down mug after mug of coffee – don’t feel guilty about it. Your problem isn’t that you lack willpower – it’s that you tried to change too much at once.

Instead, try making some of these very easy changes to your eating, drinking and exercising habits. Once you’ve got used to a few of them, add in more. You’ll be making huge strides towards your health goals, with hardly any conscious effort. Sound good? Read on...

Easy Changes to Your Eating Habits

  1. Eat a piece of fruit before lunch
    Get into the habit of eating an apple, banana, pear or other piece of fruit before lunch each day. It’ll take the edge off your appetite – making you less likely to dig into greasy fast food or bag or crackers. You’ll also be one step closer to hitting your five-a-day.
  2. Don’t use vending machines
    Let’s face it, have you ever bought anything healthy from a vending machine? They’re overpriced and full of sugar-and-salt packed stuff that your body doesn’t need. Plus, they’re open all hours (unlike your corner shop) and they won’t look at you funny if you buy ten candy bars at a time. Make a pact with yourself not to buy anything except bottled water from vending machines.
  3. Go vegetarian one night a week
    Most nutritionists agree that we eat more meat than we need to. Have a meat-free dinner once a week – it’s a great opportunity to try out some new recipes that are packed with vegetables and flavours. You’ll also save yourself some money.
  4. Switch to wholegrain bread
    If your lunchtime sandwich or sub is always on white, switch to wholegrain. The extra goodness in the grains (including lots of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, and various minerals) helps keep your heart healthy and cut your risk of cancer. Plus, fiber-rich foods make you feel you full for a longer period of time – very helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.
  5. Switch to skim milk (1% or less fat)
    Do you drink whole milk or put it on cereal? If so, switch to skim (less than 0.5% fat) or 1% milk. It might seem odd for the first few days, but stick with it for a week or so: your taste buds will quickly adjust. You’ll be getting just as much calcium and protein as before, but cutting fat.

Easy Changes To Your Drinking Habits

  1. Keep a bottle of water on your desk
    Many people mistake slight thirst for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. Keep a bottle on your desk and drink it whenever you get a little mouth crazing. Getting sufficient water also helps prevent you from becoming constipated. Note: Save money by using a refillable thermos or water bottle instead of purchasing bottled water.
  2. Switch half your cups of coffee to herbal tea
    How many coffees (or regular mugs of tea) do you drink in an average day? Try having just half of your usual amount – and make the rest a herbal, caffeine free tea. Many government health authorities recommend that we limit caffeine intake to 400mg per day, which is the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, or seven cups of instant.
  3. Avoid milky drinks from coffee outlets
    Do you have a giant latte every morning? You could be clocking up over 300 calories in just one drink, and chances are, it doesn’t fill you up at all. And don’t assume that being caffeine-free means you can get away with this: a hot chocolate with whipped cream has over 400 calories...
  4. Have four alcohol-free days per week
    If you go out drinking every day after work, or split a nightly bottle of wine with your partner over dinner, your habits are putting your liver under pressure. They could also be stopping you from losing weight: alcohol makes you peckish, and contains calories (around 200 calories in a bottle of beer or a medium-sized glass of wine).
  5. Swap soda for water
    Are you addicted to soda? Even diet sodas aren’t great for you – they generally contain a lot of additives. Try swapping some of your sodas for plain water (add a slice of lemon, or a dash of cordial, if you don’t like your water unflavoured). If it’s the fizz you miss, try carbonated water.

Easy Changes to Your Exercise Habits

  1. Go for a twenty minute walk every lunchtime
    If you’re struggling to fit exercise into your day, get away from your desk for a twenty-minute walk each lunchtime. It’s a good way to force yourself to take a break from work, and refreshes your mind and your body.
  2. Walk (some of) your commute
    Can you walk all or part of your commute? That might mean jumping off the subway a stop earlier, or even just leaving your car in the furthest part of the car park.
  3. Take a gym class once a week
    Wherever you live or work, chances are that you can find a convenient exercise class somewhere nearby. (Many gyms have quick pre-work slots and lunch-time classes, as well as several evening options.) Find one class you can do, once a week – and stick with it.
  4. Make Sunday afternoons active
    As Monday looms ever closer, you might find that your mood and energy levels take a dive. A great way to counter this is to do something active on Sunday afternoons. Mix this up from week to week: how about a long walk, a swim, ice-skating, having a kick around in the park...?
  5. Exercise during commercial breaks
    Whenever you’re watching TV and adverts come on, get up off the sofa and do some exercise. Fit in a few stretches, some jogging on the spot, or some weight lifting. You might only fit in a few minutes at a time, but over the course of an evening’s TV viewing, that could easily add up to half an hour. And if it stops you grabbing yet another snack, it’s definitely helping.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Health Care and Jesus

A friend of mine posted this note on Facebook and is worth a read when thinking about healthcare reform and asking that age old yet very important question, "What would Jesus do?"

Dear Friends,

There is a lot in the news about the health care coverage in the United States and I have heard a lot of people against the proposed plan based on fears that we as tax payers would have to pay more for less. There are fears that we would not have access to the same health care we currently have (which is not true). Also I have heard fears that we would not have the right to make our own health care decisions and the government would decide our fate (again, which is not true).

Right now there are 50 million people in the United States that do not have any health care coverage because they cannot afford it. If you currently have health insurance you are part of the privileged few in the United States. You have the luxury of going to the doctor when you need coverage. What if you were part of the group of people that have jobs that do not provide health insurance and cannot afford to buy your own insurance and you do not qualify for Medicaid/Medicare and will never be able to see a doctor. How would you feel if you have major pains and needed to go to the emergency room and were turned away because you don’t have health insurance? Health Care is a right not a privilege.

Are you willing to give a little more and receive a little less so that all God’s children have health care in the United States? I am willing to pay more taxes so that others in our great country can have health care, what about you? My question to my Christian friends on this list is, “What Would Jesus Do?” Below are passages from the Bible that talk about giving to those who are less fortunate than you.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
—Matthew 6:3-4

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
—Matthew 25:34-46

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
—Luke 6:38

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
—Luke 21:1-4

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
—Acts 11:27-30

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
—2 Corinthians 9:6-12

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
—James 2:15-16

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
—1 Timothy 6:7-10

And he would answer and say to them, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise."
—Luke 3:11

…the righteous gives and does not hold back.
—Proverbs 21:26

He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.
—Proverbs 22:9

He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
—Proverbs 28:27