“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” -Genesis 8:1
I remember the time when my dad took my youth pastor and me deep sea fishing. For some reason, at four in the morning I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger and fries. So, now I had this brick in my gut as we’re heading out to sea for several days on this big, smelly fishing boat.
During the entire trip, I was seasick and curled up in a ball on my bunk as we experienced nothing but torrential waters. It was one of the only times in life I really wanted to die. If someone had approached me in this little room filled with sick people where I was sleeping and said, “Here’s a big-gulp-sized glass of hemlock; enjoy your freedom,” I might have seriously been tempted to poison myself.
I wouldn’t have, obviously. Why? Because I knew about land. I knew land was coming! I knew someday, somewhere this boat would pull into a harbor, the waves would stop, I would get off the boat, and I would feel fine again. However, if there had been no land to look forward to, and that rocking, reeling boat was going to be my new reality, I don’t know how I could have carried on.
It’s the hope that something better is coming that keeps us, in the midst of our suffering, from falling into utter despair, or quitting on life, or just giving up, or just checking out and saying, “I’m done with this; I quit.” It’s knowing that “solid land” is coming to relieve us from out “stormy seas.” That’s what hope is!
Prayer: Dear Lord, in the midst of my suffering, you are my solid rock. Whenever life is too much to bear, I know that my future is filled with hope because of you. Amen.
Reflection: When you have experienced a season of suffering, what got you through?
As baby boomers enter middle age and beyond, many of them struggle with mild to intense physical agony caused by bone degeneration. Whether this degeneration is due to swelling of the tissues that line the joints, muscle strain, or fatigue, the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons break down too soon for one out of every four American midlifers.
The joint problems they experience can initiate changes in both body and mind that ultimately affect the spirit. Joint problems cause mental stress as well, which increases the release of adrenaline. Ultimately, excess adrenaline leads to exhaustion.
Then depression sets in because serotonin levels drop when the action of “feel good” brain chemicals is hindered. Sleep is disrupted by the pain, tension and exhaustion, further inhibiting the body’s ability to release natural mood elevators known as endorphins.
In an effort to break the cycle of pain so they can carry on with their daily responsibilities, midlifers often use over-the-counter or prescription medications. They spend billions of dollars on NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitors.
Boomers are usually too busy, too stressed, and too tired to actively take care of their muscles and joints. They believe they have to live with this “inevitable” part of midlife. A friend recently told me that these days his back goes out more than he does!
Can midlifers find relief from the pain and suffering that affects their bodies and minds–without taking medications that have negative side effects?
Absolutely! But they must become active participants in their own recovery through the use of natural therapies.
Some nutritional approaches are highly effective. In fact, there is hope that natural substances will someday revolutionize the treatment and management of arthritic disease. They may even help the body rebuild functioning joints.
Willow bark is rich in salicin and salicylates that metabolize into salicylic acid. Salicylic acid, the base of aspirin, was first prepared from willow bark in the late 1930s. Willow bark has fewer side effects than aspirin and has a long tradition of use in Europe. It has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Fish oil helps regulate inflammation. Omega-3 oils (EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil suppress inflammation especially well in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.Publications from around the world now confirm that omega-3 oils are effective in relieving morning stiffness and the tender joints associated with RA. In some instances omega-3 oil actually eliminated the need for NSAIDs. Further, fish oil and low-dose aspirin taken together have been found to have better effects on inflammation than either substance alone.
Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of cartilage that reduces pain while increasing range of motion with long-term use.
Glucosamine alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate is becoming the treatment of choice for osteoarthritis (OA). It has the ability to repair and improve joint function in addition to providing pain relief. Most important of all, it offers no dangerous side effects.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been reported to diminish pain. Free-radical damage is a factor in the development of OA and RA patients.
Nettle leaf has a long history of use as a safe remedy for arthritis in Germany. It is a natural COX2 inhibitor, which means it suppresses the pro-inflammatory enzyme known as Cyclooxygenase-2.
Ginger root (not to be confused with wild ginger, which can be hazardous) is a powerful herb that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been used for thousands of years in China for rheumatism, stomach distress and nausea.Natural therapies can be effective for the midlife pain that comes with arthritis. They should be tried first, in my opinion, because they can provide relief from pain and inflammation without the negative side effects common to NSAIDs.
Janet Maccaro, Ph.D, CNC, is a respected lecturer and the author of several books on health and nutrition. Her most recent release is 100 Answers to 100 Questions about How to Live Longer (Christian Life).
The sun shines down on the water as the waves gently rock the boat. Lines are prepared, hooks are baited, and optimism runs high for a great haul of fish. Some people dream of spending their days out on the water fishing, but for Chris Neau, professional bass angler, it’s a reality.
When his family moved to New Orleans, La., in 1989, it gave the then 12-year-old the opportunity to improve his fishing skills on the Louisiana Delta. His love for the sport grew over the years and, at the age of 15, Neau attended the Bassmaster Classic at the Superdome in New Orleans.
As he sat among the 40,000 attendees he felt the presence of the Lord with him. “The Lord told me that professional bass fishing would be the way I would glorify Him,” says Neau.
Not knowing how that calling would play out, Neau pursued other activities in high school. But over the years, the water called to him as he spent time fishing out on the canal in Louisiana. “The more time I spent fishing, the more peace I felt,” Neau says.
Having grown more attached to the sport of fishing, Neau was worried what it would mean for his hobby when his family moved to California in 2000.
“I researched the area we were moving to and found that we would be within 45 minutes of the California Delta, one of the top fishing spots in the world,” he said. It was there where he earned a role as a co-angler.
Neau worked a full-time job as he patiently waited and saved up for a boat and truck that would further his fishing career. At 24, the Lord spoke to Neau and told him that he would one day compete on the professional level in bass fishing.
“I was working at Safeway and was $20,000 short of having enough to be able to go on tour. But the Lord kept telling me I’d go full time fishing in 2005,” he said.
At the end of 2004, Neau took a step of faith and submitted notice to his boss, indicating he would be quitting at the end of the year. It didn’t take long for him to receive confirmation from the Lord in an unexpected meeting with his boss. “The next week my boss said that Safeway wanted to offer me a buyout in the amount of $21,000,” he said.
In 2005, Neau made the move to full time professional bass fishing and quickly reached his peak within the first two years. His swift rise to success proved to be problematic, though, as he allowed his pride to take over.
“As a young kid my pride got so big in life that I thought I could do it all by myself. That’s when I lost everything, including my sponsorships,” he said. In the midst of this setback, he began to rely on God again and felt the same peace and presence he had years before.
In 2010, during a tournament in Shasta, Calif., Neau received the confirmation he needed.
“As I weighed in that day, the director of FLW congratulated me and told me I’d been invited to be part of the FLW majors,” he said. The FLW Majors is considered by bass anglers to be the largest and most prestigious bass tournament trail in the world. The opportunity showed him that the call God had once placed on his life was still there.
Neau’s second chance message has opened doors for him to reach beyond the basic audience of bass tournaments as a means for him to share his faith.
Participating in tournaments and speaking engagements across the country, he shares his story and his faith with adults and teens with many telling him that the message of a second chance resonates with them. Churches often reach out to Neau and bring him in to conduct a bass fishing seminar. In the opening session Neau shares his testimony with the group then moves along to the instructional portion of the seminar.
“People in professional sports can reach a different group of people than pastors can,” Neau said. “If the church holds a fishing seminar on Saturday and announces that I’ll be coming back on Sunday to share my testimony in service, either in a 5-to-10-minute format or for the entire service, it can attract guys who wouldn’t normally come to church.”
Neau’s main goal at the seminars is to touch someone’s heart, but also hopes that the seminars will offer a fun way for parents and their kids to connect over an activity.
“It’s natural for fathers and sons to want to spend time together,” he said. “If you can point people in the right direction with an activity, they’ll go out and do it. We provide the opportunity to do this through fishing.”
After an event concludes, Neau can often be found chatting with attendees, providing contact information to allow them to get in touch with him, and answering questions.
“Sometimes people who have gone to the seminars will contact me and ask for advice on fishing in their area. I’ll research it for them and offer tips on how they can improve their skills,” he says.
Beyond getting to share his faith and love for the sport of fishing, Neau takes great pleasure in seeing lasting change in the family relationships of those who have attended his seminars.
“In one city I went to there was a kid who had some learning challenges. His dad wasn’t usually around, but I came out and did the seminar and he and his dad stayed and talked to me,” he said. “I gave them fishing lures and signed things for them and really tried to show them that they’re special. The following Sunday they were at church on the front row. As it turns out, the boy and his dad are still fishing together and now enjoy other activities together.”
Sharing a passion for reaching the lost, Assemblies of God Men’s Ministries has partnered with Neau to reach men through his fishing seminars nationwide.
“I know that the celebrity of sports figures can often get the attention of men when many of our other attempts at evangelism go unnoticed,” says Tom Greene, Men’s Ministries National Director.
With that in mind, Men’s Ministries recently agreed to become a jersey sponsor for Neau.
“Our national team responded positively to be one of Chris’s jersey sponsors out of respect to the many thousands of our own Assemblies of God outdoorsmen,” Greene said. “In addition, outdoor sports play an amazing role in our ‘Reach, Teach, Release’ strategy in AG Men’s Ministries. We are blessed to have Chris represent us in events from coast to coast.”
Click here for the original article at men.ag.org.
But elevated mercury levels, which can also come from eating more fish – depending on the fish – were tied to a higher risk of developing the symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness.
Though the study did not prove cause and effect, and did not use a formal diagnosis of ADHD, it may offer insights into a condition that’s estimated to have an impact on one in 10 children in the United States, researchers say.
“Just stay away from mercury-containing fish, because these protective effects are pretty important.”
Sagiv said it’s best to stay away from “big fishes,” such as tuna and swordfish, which typically contain the most mercury. Instead, stick to fishes such as haddock and salmon.
Past studies looking at the link between mercury and ADHD have produced conflicting results.
For the new study, the researchers followed 788 children who were born near New Bedford, Massachusetts, between 1993 and 1998. They used hair samples taken from the mothers right after delivery to test their mercury levels, and food diaries to see how much fish they ate.
Then, once the children were about 8 years old, the researchers asked their teachers to evaluate the kids’ behaviors to see how many exhibited ADHD-like symptoms.
After taking all of the information into account, the researchers found 1 microgram of mercury per gram of a mother’s hair – about eight times the average levels found in similar women’s hair in another analysis – was tied to about a 60 percent increase in the risk of their child exhibiting ADHD-like behaviors.
But there was no link below 1 microgram of mercury per gram of a mother’s hair.
Sagiv added that the negative effects from lower levels of mercury may be canceled out by the benefits from eating fish. The children appeared to be 60 percent less likely to exhibit impulsive or hyperactive behaviors if their mothers ate two or more servings of fish per week.
That finding conflicts with the U.S. government’s recommendation that says pregnant women should eat no more than two six-ounce servings of fish per week to limit their exposure to mercury.
“I think it does call into question those guidelines, but this is only one study and the results should be confirmed,” Sagiv told Reuters health.
In an editorial that appeared with the study, Bruce Lanphear at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, echoed Sagiv’s advice on avoiding “big fishes.”
In the long term, we have to really find ways to fight contamination levels in fish so years from now we don’t have to give this advice,” he added. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/Ms92Cy
On the fifth day of creation God took fire and water, and out of these two elements He made the fishes of the sea. The animals in the water are much more numerous than those on land. For every species on land, excepting only the weasel, there is a corresponding species in the water, and, besides, there are many found only in the water.
The ruler over the sea-animals is leviathan. With all the other fishes he was made on the fifth day. Originally he was created male and female like all the other animals. But when it appeared that a pair of these monsters might annihilate the whole earth with their united strength, God killed the female. So enormous is leviathan that to quench his thirst he needs all the water that flows from the Jordan into the sea. His food consists of the fish which go between his jaws of their own accord. When he is hungry, a hot breath blows from his nostrils, and it makes the waters of the great sea seething hot. Formidable though behemot, the other monster, is, he feels insecure until he is certain that leviathan has satisfied his thirst. The only thing that can keep him in check is the stickleback, a little fish which was created for the purpose, and of which he stands in great awe. But leviathan is more than merely large and strong; he is wonderfully made besides. His fins radiate brilliant light, the very sun is obscured by it, and also his eyes shed such splendor that frequently the sea is illuminated suddenly by it. No wonder that this marvellous beast is the plaything of God, in whom He takes His pastime.
There is but one thing that makes leviathan repulsive, his foul smell: which is so strong that if it penetrated thither, it would render Paradise itself an impossible abode.
The real purpose of leviathan is to be served up as a dainty to the pious in the world to come. The female was put into brine as soon as she was killed, to be preserved against the time when her flesh will be needed. The male is destined to offer a delectable sight to all beholders before he is consumed. When his last hour arrives, God will summon the angels to enter into combat with the monster. But no sooner will leviathan cast his glance at them than they will flee in fear and dismay from the field of battle. They will return to the charge with swords, but in vain, for his scales can turn back steel like straw. They will be equally unsuccessful when they attempt to kill him by throwing darts and slinging stones; such missiles will rebound without leaving the least impression on his body. Disheartened, the angels will give up the combat, and God will command leviathan and behemot to enter into a duel with each other. The issue will be that both will drop dead, behemot slaughtered by a blow of leviathan’s fins, and leviathan killed by a lash of behemot’s tail. From the skin of leviathan God will construct tents to shelter companies of the pious while they enjoy the dishes made of his flesh. The amount assigned to each of the pious will be in proportion to his deserts, and none will envy or begrudge the other his better share. What is left of leviathan’s skin will be stretched out over Jerusalem as a canopy, and the light streaming from it will illumine the whole world, and what is left of his flesh after the pious have appeased their appetite, will be distributed among the rest of men, to carry on traffic therewith.
On the same day with the fishes, the birds were created, for these two kinds of animals are closely related to each other. Fish are fashioned out of water, and birds out of marshy ground saturated with water.
As leviathan is the king of fishes, so the ziz is appointed to rule over the birds. His name comes from the variety of tastes his flesh has; it tastes like this, zeh, and like that, zeh. The ziz is as monstrous of size as leviathan himself. His ankles rest on the earth, and his head reaches to the very sky.
It once happened that travellers on a vessel noticed a bird. As he stood in the water, it merely covered his feet, and his head knocked against the sky. The onlookers thought the water could not have any depth at that point, and they prepared to take a bath there. A heavenly voice warned them: “Alight not here! Once a carpenter’s axe slipped from his hand at this spot, and it took it seven years to touch bottom.” The bird the travellers saw was none other than the ziz. His wings are so huge that unfurled they darken the sun. They protect the earth against the storms of the south; without their aid the earth would not be able to resist the winds blowing thence. Once an egg of the ziz fell to the ground and broke. The fluid from it flooded sixty cities, and the shock crushed three hundred cedars. Fortunately such accidents do not occur frequently. As a rule the bird lets her eggs slide gently into her nest. This one mishap was due to the fact that the egg was rotten, and the bird cast it away carelessly. The ziz has another name, Renanin, because he is the celestial singer. On account of his relation to the heavenly regions he is also called Sekwi, the seer, and, besides, he is called “son of the nest,” because his fledgling birds break away from the shell without being hatched by the mother bird; they spring directly from the nest, as it were. Like leviathan, so ziz is a delicacy to be served to the pious at the end of time, to compensate them for the privations which abstaining from the unclean fowls imposed upon them.