Sunday, September 25, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 9-25-2016

A Healing Prayer for America

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your enduring love. A love so great that You sent Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died a violent death to pay the penalty for our sins, to free us from the powers of darkness. On the third day, He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at Your right hand.

As individuals, we are all sinners. As a people, as a nation, we also have sinned and turned away from You. As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We come before You now to place all our sins upon the cross of Jesus, and ask to be washed clean by His precious blood. Forgive us, and help us to turn back to You as our Lord, our Standard, our Authority. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to turn back to You, and follow Your ways once again.

In the Name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray.  Amen.

Please read the Word of God this week!

Reading the Bible on a regular basis is something everyone needs to do. Not just occasionally. Not just once a week. Daily reading of God's Word is essential for building  solid relationship with our Father in Heaven. If you are not doing so already, please make daily Bible reading a part of your life. There are dozens, if not hundreds or more, Bible reading plans you can follow. Your Bible may contain a daily reading plan. Several others can be found at the Bible Gateway website. Ask your pastor or priest for one. I will also start listing suggested readings each week as part of Patriot's Prayers. Or simply design your own reading plan, as random or as organized as you wish. Whatever plan you choose, please start reading the bible every single day.

Sunday = Genesis 1:1 - 2:3
Monday = Genesis 2:4 - 3:24
Monday = John 3:1-21
Tuesday = Ephesians 6:10-19
Wednesday = Psalm 51
Thursday = Luke 5:1-11
Friday = Luke 6:27-36
Saturday = Psalm 119

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 9-18-2016

The Bible teaches us that  "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That "all" includes me, includes you, and includes every American. Calling for the repentance of our nation does no good if we, as individual Americans, refuse to repent in our own lives - to turn back to God - and to seek His forgiveness. Please continue to #PrayForAmerica this week. But also, remember to pray for yourself, as I will pray for myself. Let's reset our footsteps on the path to God once again. 

Prayer for America (short version)

God, we have sinned and deserve the just punishment for our sins, as a nation who has rejected You in every possible way. And, yet, Lord, I cry out for mercy for myself, my family, and this nation. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Prayer for Personal Repentance and Forgiveness

Psalm 51: 1 – 4 (NKJV)

 1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
         According to Your lovingkindness;
         According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
         Blot out my transgressions.
 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
         And cleanse me from my sin.
 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
         And my sin is always before me.
 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
         And done this evil in Your sight—
         That You may be found just when You speak,
         And blameless when You judge.

I confess to my Heavenly Father, all my many sins. I am a sinner and have sinned against you in word, deed, thought, and omission. I come before you now placing all my sins – known and unknown, remembered and forgotten – upon the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that His precious blood wash me clean. I ask to be forgiven and set free. 

I am sincerely sorry for having offended you. I ask forgiveness for all the times I failed to make You Lord over my life. Forgive me for those times I have broken Your commandments. Forgive me for not loving You with all my heart, soul, and mind; for not loving my neighbor as myself; and for disrespecting the temple of Your Holy Spirit by not taking better care of my health. Forgive me for not treating others as I want to be treated. 

Please forgive me for the sins of pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Forgive me for my lack of self-control and discipline, as well as all other forms of unrighteousness.

(Here, please confess any recent specific sins that come to mind.)

I repent of these worldly ways and turn back to You, Lord, and ask forgiveness for these and all my sins. In the Name of Jesus the Christ, I pray. Amen.  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Healthy Ageing Tips for Men

Let's face it men. We are all getting older. In fact, every man reading this article is older today than they were yesterday, and will be older still tomorrow. Ageing g is an avoidable fact of life. And with ageing comes declining health. But poor health doesn't have to be a consequence of aging. No matter how old you are today, here are some healthy ageing tips to ensure good health as you get older. 

1 - Stop smoking. Not only does smoking greatly increase your chances of developing lung cancer and a variety of other cancers, but it also greatly increases your risk of heart diseases you age. Even if you somehow avoid cancer or heart disease, smoking will still impair your immune system, making you more likely to fall victim to colds, flus, and other unpleasant respiratory diseases. Actually, stop using tobacco in all forms. 

2- Get rid of the beer belly. Even being just a few pounds overweight increases your chances of a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even type 2 diabetes, among other illnesses. You don't have to develop a "six-pack" but do make losing your beer belly a top health priority. Strive for a flat stomach region. 

3- Greatly reduce your sugar intake. Even if you avoid eating sweets, chances are you are still getting too much sugar in your diet. The modern American diet, filled with processed foods, is absolutely loaded with sugar. As you age, our body's metabolism will naturally slow down, becoming quite inefficient in processing all that sugar, and leading to that beer belly we want to avoid. Be aware of all the extra sugar in your diet by reading food labels. Look especially at the sugar in your condiments (catsup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, mayonnaise, etc.). Then double or even triple the listed amount per serving because chances are that when you pour on that dressing or whatever, you are using a good bit more than the listed serving size. You may be interested in trying this sugar-free Cave Catsup recipe.

4- Keep your prostate healthy. Many, if not most, men will eventually develop some sort of prostate problem as we get older. To reduce your chances of developing prostate problems, be sure to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and consume lots of lycopene rich foods, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit, and selenium rich foods, such as Brazil nuts, fish, and seafood. The evidence for herbal supplements, such as saw palmetto and stinging nettle, in treating or preventing prostate problems is mixed at best. Men should have regular check-ups, especially after age 40, in order to catch prostate problems early. 

5- Stay Flexible. Our joints become less flexible as we age, and that inflexibility makes us slower, less mobile, and more prone to falls as we get older. Flexibility and balance training should be part of our daily exercise routine. Try yoga, T’ai chi, or martial arts. Or, just include a variety of stretching exercises in your fitness routine.


Disclaimer: The author of this article is not a medical professional. Nothing in this article is intended as professional medical advice, or to diagnose any particular medical problem. All information presented is meant only as "food for thought" and a starting point for your further investigation. If you are having medical problems, I highly encourage you to seek the advice of a doctor or other medical professional. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

How Not To Get Sick This Cold and Flu Season

The days are starting to get shorter, and cooler. School is back in session. And winter will be here before you know it. You know what that means: Cold and Flu season is fast approaching.

Its actually not the cold weather that makes us sick, but the fact that we're all suddenly spending a lot more time indoors, in close contact with lots of other people, allowing diseases to spread like wildfire.

No one like to get sick, so the question is: What can we do to avoid getting sick? Quite a lot, actually!

The Common Sense Basics

>>> Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Hopefully, everyone realizes the importance of hand-washing, so I won't waste time trying to sell you on the idea. Instead, let's define "thoroughly" and "often." Thoroughly: wash your hands with soap and warm water, vigorously rubbing them together for at least twenty seconds. Then dry your hands completely. How often: *VERY* - when you wake up, before each meal and snack, after going to the restroom, after coughing or sneezing on them, after handling money, after being around sick people, after shaking hands with someone, after handling phones, keyboards, & door handles, and before going to bed. Hand sanitizers are okay in a pinch, but are less effective than soap & water; use them until you can get to the nearest wash-basin.

>>> Get plenty of sleep. Unfortunately, modern civilization is a 24/7 event these days, and many folks now brag about (as if it were a contest) how little sleep they need and still be able to get by. You might be able to "get by" with less, but research proves that adults, and their immune systems, actually need 8 - 9  hours of sleep to perform at optimal levels. For example, a 2009 Carnegie Mellon study found that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep are three times more likely to get sick, than adults who get at least 8 hours.

>>> Drink plenty of water. When you are dehydrated, it dries out and reduces the effectiveness of the watery, protective surfaces lining your mouth, throat, eyes, lungs, stomach, and intestines. Stay hydrated!

>>> Eat a healthy diet, including lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and other nutritious foods. Avoid overdoing sugar and alcohol. Both are known to negatively impact the immune system in excessive amounts. Modern, processed foods are typically loaded with lots of sugar of various types, so you may likely be consuming too much sugar even if you avoid sweets - pay attention to labels. Many condiments, such as catsups and salad dressings, are often loaded with sugar AND people typically use more than one "official" serving, thus multiplying the amount of sugar they're getting without realizing it. If you drink alcohol, stick to one glass of red wine a day.

>>> Get plenty of exercise. Exercise pumps up the immune system by boosting the production of disease-fighting white blood cells. It also floods the body with stress-reducing hormones, and less stress means a more efficient immune system.

Additional Steps To Take

>>> Learn to relax. Stress, particularly long-term stress, leads to an overproduction of a class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which suppress the immune system. Exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to calming music, prayer, participating in a hobby, or just quietly reading can all be wonderful ways to relax.

>>> Sanitize the surfaces in your life - keyboards, door handles, phones, etc. - at home and at work. I personally use Lysol Disinfecting Wipes almost daily to wipe down my desk, keyboard, mouse, and phone.

>>> Don't bite your nails. Think about it: the small gaps under your nails make great breeding grounds for germs, and are easy to not clean well when washing your hands.

>>> Make sure your getting enough vitamins and minerals. This is best done by eating a healthy diet with a wide range of fruits & veggies, but a daily vitamin & mineral supplement may add some additional insurance. An article by the Harvard Medical School recently mentioned that deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E can negatively impact the immune system. 

The Difficult-to-Do

>>> Avoid sick people. This one is a lot easier said than done, as we have little control over people who choose to go to work, school, or shopping while sick. But, to the extent you can, avoid being around with people who are sick. This means trying to avoid large crowds whenever possible. When you do have to be around someone who is sick, take proper precautions like washing your hands frequently.

The Controversial

>>> Get a flu shot, or don't. I'm not going to tell you what to do on this one - its up to you. People on both sides of the debate have strong feelings when it comes to vaccines. Pro-vaccine people point to the success of vaccinations with wiping out diseases like polio and smallpox, and fervently believe that modern vaccines are safe. Anti-vaccine people point to a lot of anecdotal evidence that vaccines can cause various problems such as autism and infertility, and they don't trust corporations or the government to tell the truth about the safety of vaccinations. A third set of folks believe that vaccines are generally safe, but that we are way over-medicating ourselves, which could create unintended consequences, therefore are reluctant to take every recommended vaccine that comes on the market.

For More Information: 

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives. discusses the pros and cons of vaccinations in a fairly even-handed way.

The blurb: "Midwife, herbalist, and mother of four, Aviva Jill Romm sifts through the spate of current research on vaccine safety and efficacy and offers a sensible, balanced discussion of the pros and cons of each routine childhood vaccination. She presents the full spectrum of options available to parents: full vaccination on a standardized or individualized schedule, selective vaccination, or no vaccinations at all. Negotiating daycare and school requirements, dealing with other parents, and traveling with an unvaccinated child are covered in detail. The book also suggests ways to strengthen children's immune systems and maintain optimal health and offers herbal and homeopathic remedies for childhood ailments. Emphasizing that no single approach is appropriate for every child, the author guides parents as they make the choices that are right for their child." Available on Amazon.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 9-11-2016

What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Patriots' Prayers is an ongoing feature appearing each Sunday. Please join me in praying for America.

Prayer For Forgiveness and Repentance of the United States

Our Father in heaven, have mercy upon these United States of America, according to Your lovingkindness and tender mercies. Blot out our transgressions, cleanse us of our sins. We acknowledge our transgressions, our many sins against You: We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away by our politicians and leaders. We have allowed Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have allowed the epidemics of abortion, pornography, and sexual immorality to fester out of control. We have allowed perversion, decadence, and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace.

As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance - a returning to You - as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Additional Prayers
  • Bless, O Lord, and have mercy on those who serve as police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, and other first responders. Protect them, and keep them safe, while they are trying to keep us safe.
  • Remember, O Lord, and have mercy upon the whole clergy of Your Church, and grant them the wisdom and strength needed to boldly preach and do Your will during these perilous times. 
  • Bless, O Lord, and have mercy on President Obama. Likewise, have mercy upon all political leaders in America, of all political parties and at all levels. Grant them wisdom, so that they serve Your Will in all things. Block any of plots and schemes that run counter to Your good and perfect Will, or that threaten the inalienable rights You have given to us.
  • Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon the State of Israel. Shield it with Your love, protect it, and let it know peace. Send Your light and wisdom to its leaders, and direct them with Your good counsel.