15 Incredible Benefits of a Life Extending Calorie Restricted Diet

Studio ProductsIf interested in enjoying a long, healthy life, you should learn about one of the most incredible “anti-aging” discoveries ever. It was reported in the famous 1935 Cornell Calorie Restriction Study. In that year, rats fed a calorie restricted diet achieved radically-extended mean and maximum life spans, along with a delayed onset of age-related diseases. Since this finding was published 79 years ago, dozens of experiments on humans and mammals have validated that reducing the number of ingested calories—while maintaining healthy intake of essential nutrients—triggers a cascade of anti-aging mechanisms in the body extending life up to 50% longer!

This, in a simplified summary, is how CR works. The body responds to the low-level stress produced by lower food intake by reducing the rate of cell growth while preserving irreplaceable cells. Spurred by activation of a family of vital youth genes, the natural reaction in response to calorie restriction triggers an array of incredible biological benefits including:
fasting-benefits-11) Weight loss
2) Reduced risk of heart disease
3) Deep, restful sleep
4) Increased energy levels
5) Decreased cholesterol
6) Decreased triglycerides
7) Improved immune system
8) Lowered blood glucose levels
9) Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
10) Inhibited cell mutation which provides cancer protection
11) Decreased inflammation which wards off arthritis, wrinkles and diseases of aging
12) Activated brain-alertness chemicals which improves concentration and mood
chart213) Creates a more youthful physiology which translate into feeling and looking younger than your biological age
14) Up-regulates genes that suppress cancer and down-regulates genes that permit cancers to form or spread
15) Prevents cancer cell reproduction and proliferation, while inhibiting the blood vessel growth cancer cells require to develop and metastasize.

imagesFast forward from 1935 to 2014, Joe Cordell is a living testimony of someone who has found the fountain of youth through calorie restriction (CR). Researchers say that at age 51, he has the body of a 20 year old athlete. Dr. Mehmet Oz featured Joe in an expose on “Living Longer with a CR Diet”. Dr. Oz states, “It might be possible for some people to live to see their 120th birthdays.” He goes on to say, “I’m talking about very specifically allowing us to go into our second century of life with the vitality and the bounciness that you have when you’re a young person.” Learn more from Dr. Oz and Joe in this article, “The Benefits of Calorie Restriction”.

DavidMurdockDavid Murdock is an amazing 90 year old who does 50 push-ups without a break, jogs, has the blood pressure of a teenager and doesn’t take one pharmaceutical drug! His goal: to live to be 125! See Oprah’s interview in this video: David Murdock’s Diet and Fitness Routine. In over 100 hours of research for this series on CR, I found many, many examples of men and women who live healthy, active, virile lives into their 90’s and past 100 using a CR diet. Scientific evidence and testimonies presented in this blog such as David’s and Joe’s should give you hope that you can live long and thrive.

Once again, Okinawans have beat science to the punch! This is one more reason why I have modeled my extended series on “living longer and thriving” on the Okinawan Way. For centuries the Okinawans have practiced what they call “Hara Hachi Bu” which means that they eat until 80% full. That’s probably one of the reasons why you will never see a fat Okinawan who follows the “Traditional Ways”. In our society, most of us eat too much and too many of the wrong foods which leads to weight gain. And weight gain leads to metabolic syndrome which leads to all kinds of diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

img_33806_bigThis is the first of a series on the benefits and implementation of a calorie restricted diet. It forms the “5th Pillar of the Traditional Okinawan Way”. Subsequent posts will discuss ways to implement a CR diet, precautions, other methods that mimic many of the same benefits of CR, and scientific studies supporting CR. In fact, in a very exciting Harvard Medical School study, the “genetic switch” responsible for slowing the aging process that Joe Cordell spoke of is revealed! I will share more on this landmark, breakthrough study in the next post.

ushqime-anti-plakeSince I want you to stick with me through this series, you need to know that calorie restriction does not mean starving yourself. As a matter of fact, you can eat a lot of food! It simply means eating nutritionally dense foods that contain fewer calories like selected vegetables and fruits while, in some cases, adding nutritional supplementation. I will share how to implement a CR diet in the 3rd post of this series. But before that, I thought you’d want to be convinced that changing to a CR diet is scientifically proven. So, we’ll take up the “scientific evidence” in our next post in a couple days. See you then!

Posted in Arthritis, Calorie Restriction, Cancer, Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, Harvard Medical School, Heart Attack, Immune System, Inflammation, Life Extension, Longevity, Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrition, Stroke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Great Ways to Develop Strength

Hrithik Roshan“Now it’s time to grab life by the throat and not let go until you succeed”! (Quoting Sylvester Stallone) I love this man’s attitude! He is Rocky Balboa! He took a career that was going nowhere and became a huge success by doing what was necessary. And that is the challenge for you and me in regards to living long and thriving. We have to decide today that we are going to discipline ourselves to follow “The Six Pillars of the Traditional Okinawan Way” so that we may reap the benefits of a long, healthy, active life. In practical terms, this means that in your 90’s and beyond 100 years of age, you will be able to take long walks, jog if you like, hike into the mountains, dance with your sweetheart and participate in all the wondrous activities and adventures that life has to offer. Or you may want to take the 10 week transformation like Hrithik Roshan, age 40. (Pictured right) But this is only available to you if you pay the price of discipline. I challenge you to go for it! Grab hold of these longevity principles and don’t let go until you have succeeded. And when you look back at the end of your life, you will see that it was well worth it.

This post concludes the series on the 4th Pillar of the Traditional Okinawan Way; exercise. Today, I will suggest five ways to build strength. Any good program will include not only strength training but a healthy diet rich in protein, supplementation as mentioned in Solving the Underlying Cause of Fatigue Naturally (Part 2), mineral dense water and rest. These will make a huge difference in not only building muscles but in reviving youthful vitality, virility and excitement for life!

There are plenty of exercise programs to choose from. I tried a lot and they all work…if I consistently worked them. Here are five I like:
total gym1. Total Gym: I like the idea of using my own body weight to exercise. Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley enthusiastically advertise the Total Gym. It uses the body’s weight as resistance to perform over 250 exercises ensuring that every muscle group has a chance to develop. And you can do it from the comfort of your home. If it keeps Chuck looking buff at 74, I’m for it. And gals, Christie looks pretty good at any age much less 60!
Sly Moves2. Sly Moves: When I was looking for a body building program that was self-paced, I turned to a man who developed an amazing physique; Sylvester Stallone. He not only provides an incredible and simple workout plan but tips for well-rounded meal plans, advice about carbs and setting goals.
3. Personal Trainer: A good idea, especially when starting to exercise, is to get a personal trainer. They’re professionals and save you a lot of time and also save you from doing exercises the wrong way. Set goals and your trainer will develop a plan with you.
tony horton4. P90 or P90X: www.BeachBody.com chartered top-flight trainer, Tony Horton, to develop a program that sculpts bodies in 90 days. Tony has led tens of thousands of students through a well-developed program where he promises to shock you with the results. And you will be shocked when you see the results people are achieving on their web site! P90 is an easier routine. P90X uses the principle of muscle confusion so that you never plateau. Beware, though, the P90X program is very strenuous. This program has become so popular that Independent Beachbody Coaches like Alisa Perkins Lofton in Frisco, Texas are joining Tony to help thousands live healthier.
5. My Personalized Plan: I’m gently working my way back into shape at almost 69. Since I’m a big fan of using body resistance, my regimen consists of push-ups (shoulders, triceps, abs, pecs), crunches (abs), planks (abs, thighs, obliques, glutes, hams, back) dips (triceps, deltoids, chest), chin ups (biceps, lats, upper back, posterior shoulder, forearms, abs) and walking/jogging (hams, quads, rear, abs, arms, shoulders,). I like the simplicity of a few basic exercises starting out.

elder-hiking-coupleThere is a lot of freedom in developing muscular strength due to the various available methods. My advice is to get help from a qualified trainer if you are starting out. Your age and health could of course limit your choices. Consult a physician before beginning. If you are already in you 80’s or beyond, you might consider starting with an exercise chair. The important point is that you must start no matter what age! Studies show that some health conditions can even be reversed with exercise, even if elderly. The benefits are worth the effort as pointed out in 25 Phenomenal Benefits from Developing Muscular Strength. So, grab hold of life and the “Six Pillars of the Traditional Okinawan Way” until you reach your goal of living long and thriving. You and living life to the fullest are worth it!

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25 Phenomenal Benefits of Developing Muscular Strength

f3e64e808fd8abc216663ac0948e0d8eHow would you like to increase your energy levels, improve your health, prevent disease, develop physical strength, and slow the aging process by doing one thing? Those are just some of the benefits resulting from developing muscular strength. So, throw out the excuses of not enough time to exercise, job demands, too tired or whatever lame excuse you might have. It’s time to exercise, to take care of your body and live long and thrive. After all, it’s the only body you have! I’ll wager that when you’re leaving this world, you won’t be saying, “I wish I had more time left to go to the office”. Or, “I wish I had more time to watch the ‘Voice’!” No, you will want more time with the people you love. So, let’s get moving and take care of ourselves by building muscular strength!

Here are 25 amazing benefits from developing muscular strength. I think you will be surprised at how much you will gain and, hopefully, you will want to get started building your muscles right away!
1) Increased energy30-Reasons-Women-Should-Strength-Train
2) More endurance, power and strength
3) Improved digestion and elimination processes
4) Improved intellectual capacity and productivity
5) Enables a better sleep pattern to develop
6) Weight loss: Muscle burns more calories than
7) Strong bones as imposed loads increased bone mineral density
8) Controls depression
9) Decreased stress
10) Added protection from Cardiovascular Disease
11) Reduce risk of type 2 Diabetes or it can slow the progression and even reverse it
12) Lung function increases and promotes breathing
13) Less likely to develop hypertension
14) Prevents constipation
15) Slows the aging process
16) Prevents the degeneration of aging where ambulatory devices are required
17) Can help prevent cancer
18) Body fat percentage decreases and lean tissue percentage increases
19) Can help prevent hormonal disorders
20) Serum cholesterol decreases
21) Range of motion and flexibility increases
22) Increases in tendon and ligament strength
23) Cardiovascular circulation capacity increases
24) Less likely to develop hyperlipidemia; elevated levels of lipids
25) Increased self-confidence, self-image, self-perception, and outward self-projection

4878f71d3194f8f137e6efdaf53c8c0bResearch indicates that unless we strength train regularly; we lose about one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 30. Unless we implement a safe and effective weight lifting program, our muscles gradually decrease in size and strength in the process called “atrophy.” Without a regular muscle strengthening program, we lose the benefits above. And the physiological processes below will inevitably result:

1) Body fat percentage increases
2) Lean Tissue Percentage decreases
3) Blood Pressure readings increases
4) Heart Rate increases
5) Serum cholesterol increases
6) Range of motion and flexibility decreases
7) Strength decreases
8) Lung function decreases
9) Bone mineral density decreases
10) Cardiovascular circulation capacity decreases

John-Glen-FINAL-NEW-BACKGROUND-CROP-FINALThe physiological processes above remind me of so many of our aged. But it doesn’t have to be. John Glenn, the Astronaut and US Senator, is a splendid example of someone who has slowed the aging process. He is vital, strong, moves with grace, and exudes health and vibrancy at age 93. Senator Glenn recently said, “The aging process is normal, but getting weak and feeble is not. From my experience and available research, we know a long life of being strong, healthy, and never feeling that you’re a day over forty is in the cards.”

Age is a ConceptThe short and sweet of it is that strength building will, along with the other “6 Pillars of the Traditional Okinawan Way”, prepare you to live long and thrive into your 90’s and even past 100 years of age. There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be physically, mentally, socially, and sexually active, living a healthy vibrant life until our last day on Earth! Next time we will discuss suggestions on strengthening our muscles.

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Ideal Exercises for Extending Your Life 4.5 Years

PhysicalActivityChart1Now that you are on board with a plan to extend your lifespan with 4.5 more virile years, what is the ideal exercise for you? The choices are endless and it’s really up to you as to what you prefer as long as you exercise moderately for 7.5 hours weekly or vigorously for 3.6 hours! See the last post, “How Much Exercise Do You Need?” for guidelines. Of course, if you want to live less, you can reduce your exercise time and/or intensity. Or you could leave planet earth 4.5 years earlier than the rest of us in the “Live Long and Thrive Exercise Team” by doing nothing. Or you can do what the Okinawans have been doing for centuries to live past 100 years of age active and mentally sharp.

Okinawa’s Ushi Okushima still gardening at age 109Okinawans for generations have gotten their exercise mainly through hours of gardening and walking daily. Those who follow the “Six Pillars of the Traditional Okinawan Wayclimb trees, jog and participate in martial arts past 100 years of age like Okinawa’s Ushi Okushima (pictured left) who still gardens at age 109! I love what Star Lawrence said in an article for WebMD. “Gardening can be a great workout and boost body and soul…if you do it right.” Jeff Restuccio, first degree black belt, gives some excellent guidelines in his book, “Fitness and the Dynamic Gardening Way”. Excerpts from his book and more are contained in the WebMD article. In this article from Weightwatchers (click link), they recommend gardening as a workout and provide excellent guidelines. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans classified gardening as a moderate exercise. Using the National Cancer Institute’s exhaustive Longevity and Exercise Study, if you gardened and/or combined other moderate exercises for at least 7.5 hours weekly, you could extend your lifespan by 4.5 years. As you can see, our Okinawan friends had already unlocked one of the secrets to longevity long before modern scientist.

talk045__s009_fOkinawans don’t walk for exercise; this is simply a part of their lifestyle. And we can do the same. My neighbor, Bob, walks to the store to get the latest financial news, walks to visit, walks to get groceries and walks with his wife to enjoy time together. In his late 60’s, he’s lean, fit and virile. Walking is an ideal exercise for many people—it doesn’t require any special equipment, can be done any time, any place, is generally safe and inexpensive. The graphic right shows that nurses in the 5th quintile who got the most exercise had less risk for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Studies such as the 1999 Nurses’ Health Study (Coronary Heart Disease), the 1999 Nurses’ Health Study (Type 2 Diabetes), the 2002 Health Professionals Follow-up Study (CHD Men), the 2001 Women’s Health Study (CHD), the 2000 Harvard Alumni Health Study (CHD Men), the 2003 National Health Interview Survey (Mortality), the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (CHD), the 1999 Honolulu Heart Program (CHD Men), and the 2009 Black Women’s Health Study (Type 2 Diabetes) have demonstrated that this simple form of exercise substantially reduces the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

I hope that you feel fully educated on the benefits of walking. Being a sprinter in high school and college, I always thought walking was for sissies. No longer! I like to run (6 MPH) for 1/8th mile and walk (4 MPH) for 1/8th mile. That gets my heart rate up, keeps it up and is not as hard on my knees as jogging the entire time. Here are some other ideas if walking or gardening are not your ideal exercise:

Moderate Intensity Exercises:intensity
• Walking—very brisk (4 mph)
• Bicycling—light effort (10–12 mph)
• Tennis—doubles
• Water aerobics
• Ballroom dancing
• General gardening
• Cleaning—heavy (washing windows, vacuuming, mopping)
• Mowing lawn (power mower)
• Badminton—recreational

Vigorous Intensity Exercises:
• Jogging at 6 mph kraemer-tips3b2
• Race walking
• Bicycling fast (14–16 mph)
• Swimming laps
• Tennis (singles)
• Soccer game
• Aerobic dancing
• Jumping rope
• Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing, with heart rate increases)
• Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
• Shoveling
• Carrying heavy loads
• Basketball game

Any exercise that makes your heart work harder under the length and intensity guidelines will increase the quality and length of your life. If you aren’t currently exercising, consult a physician before starting. Start with a shorter, less-intense amount of activity, and gradually increase over time until you can reach or exceed your goal.

20exercisebenefitsExercise is one of those rare things where the hype actually meets reality. Next to not smoking, getting regular physical activity is arguably the best thing you can do for your health. Any amount of exercise is better than none. The more you get, though, the better. And remember cutting back on television-watching and other sedentary pastimes is just as important as becoming more active. Muscle strengthening is also very important for your health. Tune in next time as we explore how this will improve the quality of your life.

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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Exercising CartoonIf exercise can keep me breathing 4.5 years longer, I’m all for it! I’m sure most of you will agree that when it comes our time to leave this orb, we wouldn’t turn down one more day with our loved ones much less four and a half years! The question is; what kind of exercise and how much of it do we need? We’ll cover different exercises that lengthen lifespan next time. But the good news is that if you aren’t currently exercising, “anyincrease in physical activity is good. Aerobic physical activity (activity that causes a noticeable increase in your heart rate) is especially beneficial for disease prevention. According to the Harvard Medical School, studies show that walking briskly for even one to two hours a week (15 to 20 minutes a day) starts to decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, developing diabetes, or dying prematurely! That sounds good to me!!

PhysicalActivityChart1A Longevity and Exercise Study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of over 650,000 people ages 21 to 90 years over ten years demonstrated incredible statistics. These results were similar to other studies; The 1986 Harvard Alumni Study, The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report, The 2011 Taiwanese Study Published in Lancet, The Framingham Heart Study, and The 2009 Uppsala Longitudinal Study. The National Cancer Institute results appeared in PLoS magazine on November 6, 2012 showing that:

  • Brisk walking (4 mph) for up to 1 ¼ hours per week was associated with a gain of 1.8 years in life expectancy relative to no leisure time activity.
  • Brisk walking from 2 ½ hours to 5 hours per week resulted in a gain of 3.4 years.
  • Brisk walking from 5 hours to 7 ½ hours per week resulted in a gain of 4.2 years.
  • Brisk walking for 7 ½ plus hours per week resulted in a gain of 4.5 years.

PhysicalActivityChart2So, are you ready to join me for a nice brisk walk? If not convinced, click on the graphic to the right. It shows what could be your years lost due to various levels of exercise at different body weights. If your ready to join the “Live Long and Thrive” exercise brigade, below are excellent guidelines found in The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. They recommend that healthy adults get a minimum of either:

  • 2 ½ hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity which is any activity that causes a slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate. One way to gauge moderate activity is with the “talk test”; exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation. (Equivalent of the 2 ½ hours of brisk walking (4 mph) mentioned in the NCI study.)
  • 1 ¼ hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (6 mph jogging) which causes more rapid breathing and a greater increase in heart rate, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation with shorter sentences. (Equivalent of the 2 ½ hours of brisk walking mentioned in the NCI study.)
  • Or a combination of the two.
  • It’s fine to break up your activity into smaller bursts as long as you sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes.
  • Adults should also do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days for the week. (More on this in an upcoming post.)
  • Guidelines for adults over 65: Key Guidelines for Older Adults

Keep in mind that what feels like moderate activity for one person may actually be very vigorous activity for another. One way to gauge how hard you are exercising is to use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. It’s a relative scale that matches how hard you feel you are working with numbers from 6 to 20. Exercise experts measure activity in a different way, using metabolic equivalents, or METs. For more info on exercise intensity, check out this list of light, moderate and vigorous-intensity activities.

71959_600I’d like to challenge you to walking briskly (4 mph) for 7 ½ hours a week. Or if you chose, you could run at 6 mph for 3 5/8 hours a week. Moderate and vigorous lifestyle activities such as dancing, mowing the lawn with a push mower, chopping wood, and so on can count toward our weekly total if they are sustained for at least 10 minutes. So, what could happen? We’d get to live 4.5 years longer together, we’d feel more energized and we’d lose weight! This is my weakness. So, by accepting my challenge you will help me. Let me know if you’re ready to join me.

Shooting-the-scale-cartoonWe also need to include resistance training or weight training into our “Live Long and Thrive Regimen”. I’ll discuss the importance of this in a future blog. Aren’t you glad you tuned in today? Next time, I’ll recommend other exercises besides walking and jogging to extend the quality and length of your years. And as an added benefit, if you take action, you won’t have to put your scale out of its misery!

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10 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Regular Exercise

PhysicalActivityChart1Exercise, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), extends life expectancy up to 4.5 years even at low levels of activity. Click on the NIH link above to see how many years longer you can live. In our series on how the Okinawans became the documented “Longest Living People”, exercise is the 4th of six contributing factors. Over the past three months we have shared the first three principals: 1) drinking mineral dense water, 2) eating a mineral/nutrient rich diet and 3) effectively managing stress. (The preceding links are the beginning posts for a series of posts on each of these topics.) Unfortunately, in the West we face obstacles that prevent us from achieving the same longevity and health results as the Okinawans. No worries, however, as we’ve shown ways to circumvent these roadblocks and actually improve on the Okinawan Way. In today’s post, we will share ten mind-blowing benefits of exercise and the implications of inactivity.

Much of livin20130613_CVD_risk_factors_v1ag long healthily is achieved by taking preventative action to thwart disease and slow cellular aging. Exercise is another one of the essentials. Unfortunately, in our fast paced society, many of us find it hard to exercise. If you are one of those, we thought it motivational to share the cost of inactivity. Btw, you are not alone if not exercising. Less than 30% of Americans report that they get regular exercise during their leisure time as referenced in the National Center for Health Statistics. According to analyses by a team from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, inactivity was associated with more than 9 million cases of cardiovascular disease in 2001. Another CDC Analysis suggests that if inactive people moderately exercised only 2.5 hours weekly the U.S. could cut yearly medical costs by more than $70 billion. With rising healthcare costs, exercise could save you a considerable amount of money.

Sitting StudyWhat about “couch potatoes” and office workers who are inactive for hours each day? Studies have found that people who spend more time each day watching television, sitting, or riding in cars have a greater chance of dying earlier than people who spend less time on their duffs. The chart (right) reflects results from a fourteen year study of 69,776 women conducted by the American Cancer Society. It showed that women who sat more hours daily then women who exercised the same amount of time had a higher risk of death. This was true no matter how long the women exercised. Researchers speculate that sitting for hours on end may change peoples’ metabolism in ways that promote obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

AW2516_13_RM_01According to the Harvard Medical School, regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better, keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay and is a key ingredient for losing weight. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, being physically active on a regular basis:
1) Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
2) Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
3) Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
4) Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
5) Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
6) Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss
7) Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
8) Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
9) Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
10) Improves sleep

schwinn-recumbentNext time, we’ll share quantifiable guidelines on how much exercise you need to maintain good health. A hint; the more exercise, the healthier you will be.



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Identifying and Eliminating the Underlying Root Cause of Your Stress Part 4

09decp343ba800x500I hope by now that you have come to understand that “fear” is the underlying root cause of most serious emotionally induced stress. The recent post on the devastating effects of stress illustrates how important it is to our health and our lifespan to set ourselves free from fear. If you have not read Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, please do. As I’ve looked back on my life I saw a pattern emerge where God had intervened in my life numerous times for my good. And as a result of God’s great love and inexhaustible power, I eventually gave Him control over my life; including those events which cause stress. Today, we thought it might be helpful to explain how I have sustained this trust that set me free from fear.

intimacy-300x196One of my most important desires is to gain intimacy with God and my Savior Jesus Christ. Over the years I’ve gone from giving God a couple hours a week on Sundays to giving Him my full attention for hours each day. Why not? God has loved me so much that He not only sacrificed His one and only begotten Son to save me from the pit of hell, but He has demonstrated His great love for me in the many experiences I’ve already shared. After all, don’t we desire to spend time with those we love? And as a result, God has given me peace as a gift through the knowledge of Himself and Jesus.

images2One of the favorite times of the day starts in the early morning in what I call a Quiet Time. It is modeled off Jesus’ practice of rising early to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is a good guide if you are looking for a prayer format. Over the years, God has led me in a process that I love. It begins with worship, focusing on His Word, talking with Him and listening to Him as He shares His love for me and gives me instruction. This is one of the sweetest and most refreshing periods of my day. Time with God extends into the day as I take time to become still and listen to Him. And at the end of the day, I have the peaceful experience of reading the important passages of my morning Quiet Time and reviewing the day with Him.

21As mentioned in Part 2 of this series, experiencing the miracles of God in my life have been a wonderful confirmation of God’s love and demonstration of His power. However, God has also invited me to join Him in what He is doing in the lives of others. Some of my most powerful experiences were in ministering to prisoners. I’ve witnessed a contract killer, other hardened killers and many others soften in the hands of God and admit that only God could change them. On another occasion I was asked to lead a small group in street witnessing in Acuna, Mexico. This was my first experience in this form of witnessing and it wasn’t until my enthusiastic band had corralled their first “victim” that I realized that I didn’t know what to do. After calling upon God to enable, me five adult men came to know Christ within one hour and fifteen minutes! One even invited us to his home where the entire family accepted Christ! There is not room to go into detail or share more experiences of God’s goodness. But in summary, once I was blessed to see the power of God, I was never the same. As a result, these experiences I have not only developed an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe but have obtained the security of knowing that God is in control of all of the circumstances in my life.

The God We Worship_215442_lgWorshiping God and gaining a greater knowledge of Him along with other believers in a Church environment has been a sustaining and energizing time for me. When I was ill and could only spend one hour a day out of the house, I felt totally energized when I entered our Church. I know it sounds strange to anyone who has not experienced this. However, I believe that the Spirit of God moves mightily in the community of believers.

Perfect LoveWhile I have not been able to go into as much detail as I would like, I hope that this has been helpful in understanding how God has sustained my trust in His ability to calm the storms in my life. Prayer, intimate communion with God, seeing God at work in my life as well as others, and being a part of a community of believers has contributed to sustaining my trust in God’s love for me and His power to do good in my life.

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