Whatcha macallit

As a semi-serious student of the Bible I have learned that names play an important part in the understanding of the story.  Not just the name, per se, but the interpretation or meaning of the name.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I find reading aloud can, on occasion, spur the mind’s eye into seeing a mystical piece of information. Yes, I will even say information that would have been glossed over by a silent tongue.

Case in point. In the book of Numbers, chapter 22. The whole world is familiar with the story of the talking donkey.  Sure they don’t remember the owner’s name or the angel with the sword or where they were going in such a rush. They just remember a donkey talked. Many a pastor has introduced the sermon by saying, “I guess if God can talk through a donkey, he should be able to use me.” And the whole congregation is trying to decide it it should say “amen”.  So, let me get on with it.

So the donkey is giving his master Balaam the ride of his life. Mostly because the donkey sees the Angel of the Lord standing in the path that Balaam has chosen to go.  Balaam is ready to kill the donkey, because he is hindering the profit er prophet. Balaam hits the donkey three times with his staff, and finally the donkey says,

“What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”

Balaam replies, “Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

Donkey replies, “Am not I thine, upon which thous hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?”

Wait for it…

Balaam: “Nay”

That is laugh out loud funny.

And as long as I am on the subject of names and animals I find the name Philip to be an interesting name.  A concordance tells us that “philippos”, the name means, “fond of horses”.  We know of Philip that runs after the Ethiopian in the chariot, and that guy probably had plenty of horses.  I can tell you right now, that is neither here nor there.

What I want you to do is say “Philip” and as you say it out loud – listen to the sound. Got it?

Now as you marinate that around in your brain remember – Baptist are known for their “Big Days” which means consuming mass quantities of sweet tea, casseroles, and desserts.  So, I submit to  you “fill up” means “Fond of food”.

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Paradise Lost

Martha met him in the way.

In spite of her loss, in spite of her love for her brother and for this man, her eyes were yet red and swollen with bitter tears. Exhausted and drained of weeping for four days, surprisingly her spirit was accusatory and mixed with anger and disappointment. The loss of her brother was a heaviness that hung about her shoulders as a funeral shroud, and knowing Jesus was only now coming was to her grief stricken heart no longer a comfort. So, she spoke the words that had been going around in her head for these last few days, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”.

Martha, the servant, and her sister Mary – (the one who sat a Jesus feet and worshiped), yes, they both spoke these words to the Lord.  I don’t know the tone, or the attitudes of their hearts, but I want to discern something else.

What was Lazarus up to?  He has been dead four days.  His carcass has been entombed, and despite the spices, ointments, and wraps: decay is well under way. This we know from being humans that when death comes the body’s organs go through a process that if not arrested by embalming makes for lightly attended funerals.  Anyone who has ever come across a dead animal, or let the meat defrost overly long knows the smell of death. It stinketh.

As believers we often quote the Apostle Paul by saying to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2Cor5:8) While we have this scene going on in Bethany, we know there is another going on in the heavenlies. Lazarus has come to the Golden City to live eternally in the mansion that has been specifically prepared for him.  No doubt the angels are rejoicing and he is bursting with joy unspeakable.  Paul would not talk about his own visit to the third heaven, and I will not speculate about the beauty of Lazarus’s situation either.

Now he is in Glory with his Saviour and Lord.  And Jesus is beckoning him to his side. The Lord has a mission for Lazarus.  The Lord is going to quicken the mortal body wrapped in grave clothes back in the tomb in Bethany and he is sending Lazarus back to live in it. He is sending Lazarus out of the eternal city, out of the halls of heaven, and banished to the dusty streets of Israel under Roman rule. How his  human mind deals with this –  it is only the limitless Grace of God, His Goodness and His Mercy and His Love and His Higher Calling that moves his heart to do God’s will. How much fruit will this mission bare? Much.

Having never seen heaven I can not even begin to understand the preponderance of what Lazarus was thinking.

But I want to throw another Bible character into this mystery of the All Mighty.

In my mind’s eye I envision him alone and standing in the tall grass of the meadow and sadly staring across the way. He comes here often to bow his head and his heart to just worship and maybe remember with sadness and guilt the former days of paradise. He draws as close as he dares to the flaming sword that guards the way to the tree of life.  He too, like Lazarus has recently died and been removed from the idyllic surroundings of what we consider paradise. He has not yet died a physical death, but a Spiritual one.  He had chosen death by disobedience, and now he too is banished from Eternal life.  God in his great love can not and will not let Adam live forever in his fallen, sinful state.  The light of the presence of the Lord had been replaced by the skins of animals slain to cover the nakedness of the man and his woman.  Centuries later Moses would have this same glowing light on his face from spending time in the presence of the Lord.  His face glowed to the point where he veiled his face.  The veil was there not to prevent people from seeing the glow, but to prevent them from seeing that the glow was fading. Death has come and taken a prominent role in the lives of all the living, and will hold victorious sway over not just mankind, but all creation from generation to generation until the second coming.  Jesus is returning, and one of his names is “The second Adam”.

I can’t help but think in the Kingdom of Heaven that Lazarus and Adam will want to get together and compare notes.  Maybe they’ll sit in one of the gates of pearl, or perhaps by the river that flows from the throne of God and under the trees of life that bare fruit.

But what about you?  Has God quickened your mortal flesh and sent you on a mission? Or have you made a choice to go your own way? Either way. it’s gonna cost you.  Where is your everlasting home?


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Water world

Avoidance. The art of dragging one’s feet. In a less pleasant bodily form it would present itself as the perspiring, moist and warm swamp of procrastination.  Perhaps “avoidance” somehow evokes the possibility of never having to come to execute the actual deed, whereas “procrastination” is just delaying the inevitable. In this case, my case, the case of catching up my creative, yet tortuous outpouring of words – it’s a musky case of procrastination. Not that I think it is my inevitable fate to backspace whole paragraphs at a time, or my duty to write, rewrite, edit, reedit, modify, finalize, and capitulate as often as the wave slams itself against the grains. The earth revolves, the moon waxes and wanes, high tides and low.  In pounding tempest or in peaceful tranquility the abrasive sands receive and absorb both rage and ripple of perpetual breaking wave.

I love the mountains with cedar and fir scented pristine air. I love the lakes with their many sparkling points of light. I love the rivers, woods, and creeks with their mysterious bends and the promise of beauty and adventure just round the next corner.

But I love the vast oceans and beaches above all.  It seems to me to be the time piece of eternity. Yes, we say “Old as the hills”, and we speak of timelessness in many aspects of nature. But the tides are the domain of the Almighty. With all of our learning, with all of our technology, with all of our centuries of searching the heavens…we have yet to find another planet so favored as ours. From space our earth is a blue sphere surrounded by white clouds, in which can be seen variegated patches of vegetation. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4 of the planet is water.  Maybe it should be named “Ocean” instead of “Earth”?

Perhaps it may seem a bit strange to you that someone who loves the beach and the ocean so much would choose to live in the middle of the Arizona desert. Those of you who know me, know that is not the only thing strange about me. But the rich and famous have all the prime beach front real estate. I am neither rich nor famous, so I decided to live on the beach that has no ocean.


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JFSchoolDays56A new day – a new opportunity.  Today was a day like when I was in grade school, and I awoke with the thought of the school day ahead of me, only to realize it was the first day of Summer vacation.  It’s amazing how a change of plans can effect a change of attitude.  Today was like that.  So many possibilities were and are before me.  As the lessons of the school year became lost from focus, they still left a underpinning that has never been lost.

I feel that way about the lessons of my last 21 days.  I never felt deprived, or unable to find a correct way to mitigate my gnawing hunger.  I had stir frys, and roasted vegetables, green salads with homemade vinaigrettes. I never felt I was looking into the refrigerator and seeing “nothing to eat”. I never had that feeling in the last 21 days – that there was something: that “it” that I just couldn’t put my finger on.  I have in foregone days searched through the fridge, and freezer, and pantry multiple times, like a circuit rider – looking for “it”.

Now that the food choices are exponentially expanded I ‘m more selective about what I will allow in.  I am going to keep a vigilant watch for HFC, white sugar, wheat/white flour and any ingredient that comes with a color or a number.  And if it comes with both a color and a number it is really on the Not Welcome list.  Sorry Yellow dye #5, you are banished, and so are your numerous rainbow cousins.

I did have my veggie omelette this morning. No cheese was lost or damaged in the preparation thereof. I decided it would be best if I only added one new ingredient to my diet on my first day back.  It would have been better with cheese, and held together better also. I had no problem wolfing it down, and no problems with digestion, or weird side effects. No headache, no stuffiness, no bulging eyes or zombie-like movements. I felt very comfortable with the meal, not too full, and not running on empty.  I did have the return of the lightheadedness.  I chalked it up to the minimalist way I ate yesterday, but just to be safe I took my blood pressure, and it was low.  So low, in fact, I had to google the range of healthy blood pressure.  Did you know that the internet basically states that there is no such thing as low blood pressure?  Anyway mine was 113/70.  I have never had a 113 reading in my life.  I took it again a few moments later, and it was pretty much the same. So now I am asking myself it I should cut back on some of the meds I’m taking. The jury is still out.  I think I’m going to wait a few days to see what eating semi-normally again will conjure up.

By the time I had my muffin in a minute for lunch all those symptoms had passed.  I also snacked on some organic trailmix. The trailmix came as a surprise package in my last order from Nuts.com.  All in all I managed to stay pretty close to my designated caloric intake per My Fitness Pal’s website.  Another great thing about the various choices that abound around me is that I no longer have that vision of a cheese pizza perusing me in my nightly dreams and waking moments.

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Success at 21

I awarded myself a trip to the chiropractor to get a massage for the successful completion of the Standard Process 21 day detox.  Not sure how the body will feel tomorrow, but I had to ask the massager to back it down a notch.  When the first thing they do to you is to run their elbow from your lower back to the space between the shoulder and the neck, well I’m sure I looked like one of those felt caterpillars doing the wave.  Massager is obviously not the correct term for the person you pay to abuse your flesh. They are sort of like lawyers, in that lawyers get joy from your pockets, and massagers get joy from your sockets.

Still falling short on my caloric requirements.  The requirements are set by the MyFitnessPal website, and not by the SP 21 detox instructions.  Actually the 21 day instructions are pretty vague.  Take all the capsules, drink the shakes and eat twice as many vegetables as you eat fruits.  The documentation urges you not to consume too many of the high sugar fruits, and of course there is the water intake requirement that specifies divide your body weight by 2, and that number is the amount of ounces of water you should be drinking on a daily basis.  I don’t know at what weight that advice becomes impractical, because for a 200 pounder, that 100 ounces in a day. That’s 12 eight ounce glasses.  Since there has been no caffeine in my diet for the last 21 days that doesn’t enter in to the current equation. Because if you take in caffeine you need to consume even more water.(because caffeine is a diuretic; ie makes you go to the bathroom more.) I guess that’s one more rule for the people who take “water pills” and other diuretic medications.  I’m not a doctor, but I believe several of the medication prescribed for high blood pressure have such properties. So remember to drink more water so you can go more. I feel like a program stuck in an endless loop.

That reminds me of a mildly amusing story, but only a software programmer would get any amusement out of it.  Everyone else you have to spend way too much time explaining it, and in the end you don’t know if they got it or not.  Its kind of like the tshirt that says, “There are 10 types of people who understand binary – those who do, and those who don’t”.  The kingdom of geek is almost completely devoid of humor that any normal human being would find amusing.  The greater part of the geeks humor is based upon the unbelievable things normal humans do with, and to their computers.  Let’s face it: analog interface, modem, floppy drive do not for funny stories make, unless someone has mistaken the CD drive as a cup holder.

So, to get back on the subject. I am ready to spread my wings and fly into a new tomorrow.  Planning on an omelette. Haven’t decided it I will dare cheese just yet.  Eggs, definitely, eggs.


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20 down 1 to go

I’m actually semi-agitated regarding tomorrow.  Actually tomorrow is not what concerns me, it’s the day after. I really don’t want to misstep into day zero after day 21.  This style of eating has been labeled “clean eating” by several of the folks who have trodden this path before me.  As much as they all have said the 21 day process is amazing, and they never felt better, they all seem to go into their new beginning by bingeing on foods that are least likely to produce the same level of well being they had just attained.  Out the window goes the veggie to fruit 2 to 1 ratio, portion control, and the sugar plum fairy gives them a full body slam.  I know myself, and I know I have less will power than these trail blazers. So, call it what you will, nerves, trepidation, fear or cowardice – it’s come to stalk my future.

Some will tell you that a little fear is a good thing.  They usually tell you that from the comfort and safety of a bar stool or arm chair. While that certainly does not invalidate the axiom, it comes coated with a sprinkle of salt. ” Fore-warned is for armed” can pull up a chair and make nice in this conversation with no trouble at all.  Jesus said “Don’t worry about tomorrow, sufficient is the evil that you will encounter when you get there.” That’s not exact, but the flavor is nearly correct. But I don’t feel I have over thought what comes next.  If anything, I don’t really have a plan.  For the past 20 days the plan, ze plan – I feel like “Tattoo” from the opening of “Fantasy Island”: “ze plane, ze plane” has morphed into “ze plan, ze plan”. The plan has been everything, and now I am facing a tomorrow without a plan.  “Failure to plan is planning to fail”. Yikes, I’m just covered in platitudes, aren’t I?

I was hoping to have my food allergy results back, but that appears to be a false hope.  Maybe tomorrow I will get a bit more organized and create a food re-introduction schedule/plan.  I truly appreciate “MyFitnessPal.com” for giving me the tools to track my nutrition, and exercise.  It also provides really good feedback on the complicated process of tracking the feeding of my human body. There is, additionally, the ability to go back in time and review the things you have eaten and plot that against the way your body has responded in terms of weight and body measurements.  Did I mention – it’s free. Much appreciation to the folks who design, and maintain the site.

If I could just get on my soapbox for a couple of minutes, I know I would feel a sense of relief.

Every nutrition book, and a large number of nutrition videos have cited the way cavemen ate.  The authors, and film makers are usually from the “science” of nutrition side of the universe.  To them, science is bought and paid for by Dawinian Evolution.  They have their carbon dated digs from 8 gazillion, trillion years ago to give historical evidence of the first pre-humans organic consumption, right up to the first Fred Flintstones brontosaurus steak.  Some tell us we have the digestive system of a herbivore.  While I may look like I have four stomachs, I can assure you that I only have one.  If you can smell bacon frying, and not almost wet yourself, then you are the seed of a being from another world. Live long and prosper.  I, myself, have long ago lost faith in Darwin, when I realized that the spew of a volcano does not build a metropolis. No, it destroys everything in it’s path. Nothing in the universe is getting more organized.  Chickens have baby chicks, cows have calves, horses have colts.  Whales don’t produce seals, and lizards don’t grow feathers.  Apple trees produce apples, sunflower seeds produce sunflowers, weeds still grow without encouragement.

I will not expect you to believe what I believe about the creation of the universe, the earth, and man himself.  I can not sway by argument which is truth “Evolution or Creation.” But my prayer is that you would read the first three chapters of The Bible, and contrast that with “origin of the species”.  Then consider which more closely fits the evidence of the world around you.

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If this were a golf course I would have been finished – day 19

As much as I enjoy this fresh style of eating, it becomes more and more apparent as day 21 approaches, that the need for some more variety is calling louder and louder. So I’m thinki’n… Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors!

Added to my larder today by making a stop at Sprout’s.  Filled my cart with all sorts of produce, but did not venture out into the unknown.  I was tempted by the endive, and had a short discussion in Spanish with a lady who was buying chayote.  In short, she said you need to peel it, and boil it, and it tastes like a potato.  I’m always a little bit standoffish when a food is described as tasting “like” a food group I am already very fond of.  If it’s going to taste like potatoes, why not just buy potatoes? I would much rather support the undocumented agricultural workers in Idaho, than their cousins in Guadalajara.

I believe that there is a certain age where a person has “discovered” all the food groups he is ever going to cook and prepare for his table.  Yes, I admit, I came to avocados very late in life.  And while I appreciate the thing, especially for it’s nutritional value, I could honestly live the rest of my life without it.  Having to live without potatoes…(shudder). The very thought calls up darkened, despised, and malodorous visions of the Irish Potato famine. Blame it on my Irish roots.  The Irish: simple tastes, because as the saying goes “an Irishman’s idea of a 7 course meal is a six-pack and a potato.”

Well, it looks like I have strayed from my habitual, and rather bland description of my 21 days of detox.  There is really nothing new under the sun.  Started back on the capsules today, and have eaten a couple of chicken tenders that were added to my traditional stir fries.  I finished off some quinoa and yellowfin that was taking up precious space in an already overcrowded icebox. And I went an entire day without a shake. (and I feel fine, really.)

Coming down to the end of the road, and still undecided about what to bring back on the breakfast plate on day 22.  I’m still thinking “eggs”.




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18 – Coming of age

Must be in full rebellion because I refused to swallow my required 10 gel caps of SP this and 9 gel caps of SP that.  I really wonder what taking 19 gel caps a day for days on end does to the intestines.  I have suffered a few bouts of diverticulitis in the past, and can witness to you that it is not a whole lot of fun.  For those who can bear with me; diverticulitis is when the wrinkles in the intestines get some bit of food that stays overnight.  The food doesn’t move down and out as per design, but instead takes up residence and starts it’s own fermentation laboratory. This is very unpleasant for the land owner, and it usually requires a visit to the doctor or sometimes the hospital.  In the past I’ve only had to see a doctor to get an antibiotic that attacks and evicts the bad seed. Years ago they thought that strawberries, or small seeds were the direct cause, but with the medical advances in doctor’s brains this last few years, they now admit that the strawberries, and the nuts are not the culprit, and they don’t know what is.

I wonder what the long term outcome is with the numerous gel caps people gobble down in these vitamin, minerals, and anti-one thing or another days of searching for a self medicated fountain of youth .  I haven’t had any symptoms of diverticulitis since I’ve been on the detox, but I have had strange sounds and unusual goings-on down in the lower bowel. I am reminded of the prize fight announcer who always bellows in to the microphone, whilst in the middle of the ring: “Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!” Perhaps, you are saying, “dude, you are detoxing your liver and your bowel, what else would you expect but a few rumbles?” And you would be right.  At least the gel caps disappear, unlike corn.

Which brings up another question.  If the human body can not digest corn, why do we feed it to our livestock?

So, for the last 18 days I have had no:

  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • High sugar content fruit
  • Peanut Butter
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial colors or dyes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds, with the exception of Quinoa
  • Chocolate
  • Starchy vegetables, with the exception of two yams in three weeks.

I have to tell you I feel pretty great.  Sure there have been some crappy days.  The first day with the beet shake comes to mind, and day 5 I was not feeling all that swift.  There have been days of muscle fatigue, and lightheadedness.  The first few days I had headaches, but by and large it has been a good journey, and I feel much healthier than the day before I started.  I know I’ve brought out a lot of negative things, but these are symptomatic, and vastly more important is the overall feeling of “wellness or well being” that so tangible, so palatable; it’s almost spiritual.


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Update #17

Weary, not worn out weary.

But after almost three weeks of this Standard Process detox, I am starting to get a hankering for a food group other than vegetables and protein shakes. The shakes have been a challenging learning experience, but it wasn’t all that difficult to find a combination that is palatable. I mean, I am not going to start drooling in the future, every time I hear the vitamix grind the ice cubes, but I have learned to be content with the shake as a food group.
There are a number of foods I am beginning to see in my mind’s eye:  Refried beans with melted cheese, salsa, and sour cream is just one of those things. A batch of salty corn chips would go nicely with this vision. While I enjoy having an occasional sweet potatoe now, a real heap of russets, reds, or Yukon Gold’s would be really nice. I guess I’m a self-confessed starch-aholic. Carbs, man, carbs.

Perhaps the problem with my life is that I am over-carbureted. Too much fuel for the engine to handle. The unburned stuff gets left in the tank.

So, yet another typical day: I did manage to have a piece of salmon that expressly said on the label in big red letters “Remove product from package before thawing“.  “Before” being the operative word.  As Murphy’s law would dictate, that particular phrase was not recognized, processed, and decoded by my brain until after the product was thawed.  It smelled fine as I was pan frying, but a taste test proved the validity of the warning. It had a distinct plastic-y taste that was just plain nasty. I solved the problem by shredding it into my steamed cabbage and broccoli. I should have just tossed it, but I wasn’t about to waste the protein.  No after or side effects, and I am grateful for that. Plastic is not a food group for a reason.

That’s it. Tomorrow is Sunday and the busies day of the week for me.  Need to get some rack time, so I can shine in the morning.

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Ramming Speed – Day 16

Certainly I felt better today than yesterday. Woke up without muscle fatigue, and that was a great plus.

Made a shake for breakfast; triple berry from Costco was the primary ingredient. Did have a bout or two of lightheadedness between 9 A.M. and noon. I checked my blood pressure and it was fine at 125/79. That’s been my new normal since resuming all my medications. That’s been awhile now, and I seem to have less headaches and such with the BP under control.

I can’t help but wonder if the lightheadedness is not because of this detox and whatever interaction it is having with the BP meds. Since my pressure is reading normal, I suppose I can’t really point a finger in that direction.

Had lunch rather late – around 2 P.M. By then all the lightheadedness had disappeared. Made a nice little stir fry with cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and yellowfin tuna. I was surprised to find out that tuna is not as fatty as salmon, no, not by a long shot. Calories, carbs, and protein are pretty close. Salmon has 25 fat grams per 6 oz portion, Yellowfin for the same portion size has 1. Yeah, could have hit me with a brick. The fish that they want you to eat on this detox are all deep water fatty fish. ie Salmon, Sea Bass and Cod. I’m sure that is not for the protein content, but for the fat content, and possibly the omegas.

Dinner was Quinoa with Olive Oil, and Balsamic. All in all I did pretty well today getting up closer to my caloric goal, went over a bit on the carbs, and fell pretty short on the fiber. The goal for fiber is 30 grams, and I am under by 10 grams. You would think with all the cruciferous vegetables I have been consuming that fiber would not be off that much.

I believe I got my fair share of water today, and even managed a bike ride this evening as the sun was sinking low. The temps were hot, but when the bike starts to move the breeze causes a coolness that makes is seem less. They are calling for a temp of 110° on Monday. Oh, happy day. How fast will I have to ride to get a cooling breeze out of that?

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