Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Eating during breast cancer treatment (Part 2)

Eating during breast cancer treatment (Part 2) - Health - Jamaica Gleaner - Wednesday | October 31, 2012

By Marsha N. Woolery
(Part 1 was published October 24)
Cancer treatment has several side effects that may affect health and nutritional status. These side effects are often the reasons that many persons with breast cancer choose not to receive treatment. The side effects of treatment include loss of appetite, early satiety, loss of muscle, oedema, nausea, pain, loneliness, and emotional changes.
The loss of appetite may sometimes be as a result of one's state of mind, the disease itself, and medication. The loss of appetite may be treated by consuming small, frequent meals that are nutrient dense and using appetite-enhancing medications as prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
Early satiety is feeling full shortly after starting to eat a meal. Foods that are nutrient dense should be consumed, such as thick porridges with extra skimmed milk and margarine, one-pot meals such as soup with meat, grated or cubes of cheese, seasoned rice with vegetables and chicken, shakes made with oats, milk and fruits or vegetables.
Small, frequent meals
Small, frequent meals with snacks in-between meals are also recommended. Milk powder, cheese and margarine may be added to food items for extra protein and energy. Fatty foods should be avoided because they take a long time to be digested and absorbed. Muscle wasting or loss of lean body mass may be as a result of tumour growth. Protein intake should be increased along with exercise - especially endurance activities such as walking to improve upper- and lower-body strength and self-image.
Oedema, or excess fluid in cells, which is sometimes interpreted as weight gain, is treated by limiting salt or sodium containing foods in the diet. Nausea may be caused by the medication or cancer treatment and the smell of food. Small meals made up of dry foods such as baked chicken, toast and crackers should be consumed frequently. Liquids should be had between meals in order not to cause nausea. After eating, one should remain seated in an upright position. Meals should not be skipped, and it is recommended that persons receiving treatment drink plenty of water the day before and after chemotherapy.
Emotional changes
Pain can cause persons to eat less. Therefore, it is recommended that meals and snacks be consumed when pain is at its lowest, and nutrient-dense foods should be offered. The feeling of loneliness or emotional changes can be alleviated by encouraging eating in the company of others. Foods eaten should be liked, and the foods eaten in company should be the same as others so that the person won't feel different at mealtimes.
All the above conditions may lead to malnutrition if not treated or managed properly, which in turn may result in premature suffering and death. Persons with breast cancer can improve their quality of life and wellness profile with proper nutrition. Small, frequent, well-balanced, nutrient-dense meals and snacks that are low in animal fat, red meat and refined foods and high in fruits, vegetables, unrefined carbohydrate-rich foods, peas, beans, nuts and low-fat animal foods should be consumed in a comfortable, relaxing environment. The texture and taste of food should be changed to benefit the person being treated with breast cancer.
Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist in private practice and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:

Monday, 29 October 2012

Revived by His Word (No Good Offer?) - Joshua 9

There are so many lessons that are forthcoming from this chapter.  Here are a few:

God Never Refuses a Good Offer
God could have revealed to Israel, outside of their failing to consult Him, who these people were, but He allowed the Gibeonites to deceive them.  Like a shrewd businessman God never refuses a good offer; people who reach out to God in a sincere desire not to fall in His hands are never refused.  Remember Rahab?  We recall how Jesus commended the "wise servant" (Luke 16) who realizing he was about to lose his position called in his master's debtors and made deals with them.  Does God approve any form of dishonesty?  Never!  But He always acknowledges a genuine desire to live.

What Am I Willing To Be for God?
 So the Gibeonites secured a deal - they became woodcutters and water bearers.  What am I willing to settle for, if only to belong to the people of God?  The Psalmist was willing to be a doorkeeper.  Psalm 84: 10.

Never Safe to Run Ahead of God
Seemingly this deal seemed to have worked out a measurably good deal for Israel - at least for now anyway, but there is still a lesson to be learned about consulting or not consulting God before any decisions are made.  Things may not have worked out so well for the Israelites.  It is never safe to run ahead of God.

Whose Reputation: Yours or God's?
What is my reputation?  Is it mine or God's?  Do people talk about me or my God?  You couldn't miss it in this chapter the affirmation that God received from the Gibeonites, which reflected what obtained with all the other nations around, “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the Lord your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt." Josh. 9: 9.

To read the chapter and other related blogs go to

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Eating during breast cancer treatment (Part 1)

Eating during breast cancer treatment - Health - Jamaica Gleaner - Wednesday | October 24, 2012

By Marsha N. Woolery, Healthy Eating & Diet

Nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. A person's nutritional status depends on food intake, stage of cancer, type of treatment or therapy - whether surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy or a combination - side effects of therapy and nutritional status before treatment started.
Research has shown that treatment will not be as effective if good eating habits are not practised.
Good eating habits are needed to promote a healthy body, to lower the risk of the cancer spreading, to maintain and or reach a healthy appropriate weight, if obese (weight loss is recommended, but only for the loss of fat not muscle), to control side effects of treatment, to promote wound healing and prevent infection for persons who remove breast(s) and tissues (mastectomy) and to increase survival, wellness and quality of life.
To promote good nutrition in persons with breast cancer, it is important to encourage the consumption of foods from all six Caribbean food groups.
Staples, the unrefined type such as yam, banana, potatoes and whole grains; foods from animals that are low in fat such as skinless chicken with visible fat removed, fish, eggs, low-fat cheeses and milk; legumes such as red peas, broad beans and peanuts; fruits with a variety of colours; vegetables with many different colours and fats and oils from plant sources that are unsaturated such as corn, safflower, olive and soy.
The consumption of more coloured fruits and vegetables have been proven to be effective, as the fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that help to reduce cell damage which decreases the risk of cancer cells multiplying and spreading.
Maintain healthy weight
Maintaining or reaching a healthy weight is important because excess fat on the body increases the risk of breast cancer and the spread of the disease. It is, therefore, recommended that the amount of calories or energy consumed is not excessive to cause weight gain. One should not overeat because excess energy is stored as fat. Exercise should be done for at least 30 minutes every day to increase muscle on body and get rid of excess or stored fat. The body mass index should be less than or as close to 25 as possible.
Increase protein intake
Many persons with breast cancer remove breast(s) and, possibly, some tissues near the breast and, or receive treatment to get rid of cancer cells and good healthy cells, therefore, it is important to increase the intake of protein during and after treatment. Protein is needed by the body for the making of new cells and for the repair of tissues that are destroyed during treatment.
It is recommended that high protein foods such as chicken, fish, peas, beans and milk be eaten, but they should be low in fat. The use of high-fat salad dressings, butter, margarine, ackee and pear should be limited. Processed meats such as ham, bacon, sausages, smoked meats and fish and fatty red meat should be avoided or limited.
The treatment for cancer has several side effects that may affect the health and nutritional status of the person receiving the treatment. These side effects include loss of appetite, early satiety, loss of muscle, oedema, nausea, pain and loneliness and emotional changes.
The loss of appetite may be as a result of one's state of mind, the disease itself and medication. The loss of appetite may be treated by consuming small, frequent meals that are nutrientdense and using appetite enhancing medications as prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist in private practice and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Vigilantism: victors, victims, and villains

Letter Of The Day - Vigilantism: victors, victims, and villains - Letters - Jamaica Gleaner - Saturday | October 20, 2012

How and when is the wave of vigilante killings going to end? Jamaica, we cannot continue executing people like this! As Dr Garth Rattray remarked in his Gleaner column of October 1, 2012, mob justice is one of the greatest oxymorons known to Jamaica; there is no "justice" in mob justice.
According to Wikipedia, "Vigilante justice is rationalised by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either non-existent or insufficient. Vigilantes typically see government as ineffective in enforcing the law; and ... persons alleged to be 'escaping the law' are sometimes the victims of vigilantism."
But this is a frightening philosophy. When ordinary citizens, often imbued with raw emotions, decide to become judge, jury and executioner, society - you, me and everyone else - descends perilously closer to mayhem and destruction.
There are no victors in mob justice. Well, Madden's, Dovecot, the mannish water man, et al may emerge victors, but is this the preferred enrichment that a society seeks?
So, yes, I'm hearing my naysayers saying, "Mek him stay there with him philosophy, 'cause him don't know what a gwaan." Bear with me. If it becomes okay to take the law into our hands, we are not much better than cold-blooded killers. Civil society, we've got to make our voices heard; our silence is tantamount to consent. For every victim that suffers at the hand of a mob, each of us becomes a victim - imprisoned by a vicious system that is self-perpetuating.
not truly free
Russian philosopher Bakunin posits: "I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free." Until we purge ourselves of this scourge called vigilante justice, until we bite the bullet and stand up for order and true justice, none of us will ever be truly free.
If Dr Rattray could have been cornered by a taxi driver and a cab full of passengers hell-bent on hacking him to death, save for the vigorous intervention of the police, who else can be truly safe from such idiocy?
Sadly, oftentimes the actual victims are indeed innocent. Consider Mr Donovan Hazley, the gentleman who was hacked to death in Trelawny because the mob was unable to apprehend the 'real culprit' - a suspected child molester.
Consider Damon Thibodeaux, the Louisiana man who spent 15 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, then finally released after the real culprit confessed. Suppose vigilantes had earlier 'taken care of' Mr Thibodeaux? The point is that even when it appears to be a solid case, we dare not take the law into our own hands.
Who then are the villains? Can I dare suggest that there are many outwardly upright, rational citizens who are just as villainous in their desires and thoughts? Responsibility for these heinous acts does not rest with the machete-wielders only - it rests with every Jamaican who embraces the concept of self-justice, who gives implicit approval to mob killings.
Yes, our justice system may be fraught with imperfections, but a half-system is always better than no system at all, and certainly superior to vigilantism.
My fellow citizens, I appeal to your conscience; please, for heaven's sake, let good sense prevail.
Mandeville, Manchester

Get your spouse on the psychiatrist's couch before marriage

Get your spouse on the psychiatrist's couch before marriage

SHOULD individuals do a psychological profile before they get married? I ask this question against the background of a story shared on television by a victim of spousal abuse recently. She shared how her then husband threatened to kill himself if she left him, told her she would be useless without him, and whenever she went to sleep, he (a licensed firearm holder) would clean his gun beside her, clicking it and spinning the barrel of the gun which drove fear into her.
She shared how trapped she felt and the deep depression she was in for many years. Fortunately she was delivered from that situation before it was too late.

Perhaps a psychological assessment would have warned her of his abusive traits, allowing her to think twice about venturing into marriage and sparing her those years of misery and abuse.
There are many Jamaican women who are living under similar conditions. They are trapped physically, emotionally and psychologically in marriages that drain them of hope. This type of situation is not class specific, because a number of professional women who sometimes earn more than their husbands are in these abusive marriages. These women develop learned helplessness: they resign themselves to stay in the situation, may be paralysed by fear, some stay to keep up appearances, others because of the children, the reasons vary.
Because marriage is such an important institution, individuals should think carefully before making the big step. Not because he looks good or he is 'such a gentleman'; or because she is nice or she looks like somebody you could spend the rest of life with, means you are compatible. What someone looks like, sounds like, or acts like in public or even during dating are quite often much different from who he or she really is. These true selves tend to slowly unveil after the wedding ceremony. This is why I think, both individuals should undergo a psychological profile during their premarital counselling. They should do a battery of tests to reveal their personality type and possible pathological problems.
The psychological profile can help to identify disorders or behaviours that could be potential danger signals for the marriage. It can help bring into awareness unresolved issues that either partner may need to address before getting married.
It helps both individuals beforehand to have a better understanding of differences, strengths or weaknesses so they'll be better able to make informed decisions about whether this is the type of person they are willing to live with.
Ladies, I'm sure if you knew the gentleman had control issues that could make him manipulative or abusive you would think twice before you marry him. Gentlemen, I'm sure if you knew the lady had serious issues with her moods that make her almost impossible to please, you would have thought twice before marrying her.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that individuals with personality or other disorders shouldn't marry. I am positing that when persons are aware of situations they can make more informed decisions.
The reality is, some persons are not even aware they possess these traits, and unless they get these professional tests done, they will not be able to know and get help.
There is too much psychological trauma that results from unhappy marriages for individuals to not think seriously about who they plan to marry. Apart from the spouse who suffers the abuse, when children are involved, they too suffer, sometimes silently.
Venese Madden, MSc, is an instructor in the Behavioural Sciences Department at the Northern Caribbean University in Manchester.

Capital punishment from a national and biblical perspective

Capital punishment from a national and biblical perspective

ONCE again, the nation is making a clarion call for the reactivation of the death penalty. On September 30, 2012, on the front page of one of our papers was the headline, "Hang them - Jamaicans call for death penalty...". Interestingly, even some formerly passive Christian leaders have now joined their voices in calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty.
In church recently, I heard a little boy praying that the death penalty be implemented. It touched my heart and caused me to recognise how our nation's children are affected by this wave of violence. If the government fails to reactivate the death penalty, vigilantism will increase and become commonplace.
The debate concerning the legitimacy of capital punishment is to a large extent influenced by the apparent tension between the Old and New Testaments. However, there is no disparity between the Testaments on this issue; it's a matter of interpretation. The Mosaic civil laws speak to the matter of justice and the application of the laws in godly and just societies. One principle in this law states that if a person takes the life of another maliciously, his life should also be taken (Exodus 21:12).
Jesus later spoke about forgiveness and mercy, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy', but I say unto you, love your enemies..." (Matthew 5:43-44). Jesus was not objecting to punishment for wrongdoing; He magnified the law (see also Matthew 5:21-22).
The etymology of three Hebrew words used in scripture, "Ratsach," "Muth," and "Nakah", can give more clarity on the matter. These words are respectively translated "to murder", "to kill", "to strike". The KJV renders Exodus 20:13 as "Thou shall not kill," Ratsach, while the NIV translates it, "You shall not murder." A more accurate rendering of "Ratsach" is taking another's life through malice, hatred or treachery. "Muth" could be best interpreted as God putting His creatures to death. Deuteronomy 32:39 NIV, says, "There is no God beside Me. I put to death and bring to life." Also, "Nakah" speaks to the unintentional death of a person struck by another. "And this is the case of manslayer... Whosoever kills his brother unintentionally, not having hated him in time past." Deuteronomy 19:4, NKJV. Besides, the Bible term "manslayer" is similar to the legal term "manslaughter", used in our courts today.
From a biblical perspective, killing suggests that all murder is killing, but not all killing is murder. In Exodus 20:13, the Bible emphatically condemns committing murder; that is, taking a person's life through treachery and malice. However, it does not condemn capital punishment as some would suggest. Embedded in the Mosaic Law are civil laws that speak to killing and murder. Exodus 21:12-14 NKJV, states, "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait, God delivered him into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place where he may flee. But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbour, to kill him with guile, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die."
Contrary to the thinking of many, the Bible supports killing by the state, but only under certain conditions. The Bible suggests that one should be put to death in the case of premeditated murders, but not in the case of accidental killings, in which case the guilty party can seek refuge - protection from angry mobs or family members who might seek revenge. Murderers who sought refuge in the city of refuge were sent back into the community to be judged by the law.
The Bible clearly sets out the punishment for murder. Some might argue that in no case should the state take a life, but mercy and grace do not negate punishment and judgement. Jesus, who personifies mercy and grace, also spoke about judgement that will eventually destroy the wicked at the end of the age. While the Christian church in general does not promote the taking of human life, many Christians believe the state should be proactive in enforcing capital punishment that is at present on the books.
Jamaica's dilemma
Society has been overtaken by criminals who are unleashing a reign of terror and death upon this nation. Our prisons are jammed with criminals, some of whom are on death row. Are we allowing nothing to happen because we allow organisations like the Privy Council, Amnesty International, and some other human rights groups to tie our hands? We should not allow external or internal forces to dictate how we handle criminals in this country. After all, some of those advocating against the death penalty cannot identify with the level of crime that exists in this country because they have not lived here.
Prime Minister, I call upon you and all ministers of government to reactivate the death penalty for murderers without further delay.
Dr Earl PW Cameron is associate professor at the School of Religion and Theology, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Manchester.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Boyhood Lessons on Deut. 33: 27

"The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms...." Deut. 33: 27
When I was a boy I had a childhood friend with whom I was playing one day.  I was chasing him around.  In his desperate bid to evade me, he dashed right under his mother's dress.  Though I was but a boy, I knew that area was out of bounds for me.  So as long as my friend stayed there, he was safe.Aren't you thankful that there is a place that we can run to, where the devil dares not venture?  "The eternal God is (our) refuge...." Verse 27.

Then there's another boyhood experience I had of coming from church in the nights when I was too drunk with sleep to keep apace with my mother and older siblings.  That's when someone would carry me on his/her back.  It was great to have been the youngest then!
Does the journey seem a little too much for you?  Not to worry, because we have the assurance that the Lord will bear us up with His "everlasting arms." Verse 27.
To read the full chapter and other blogs please visit

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nip sibling rivalry in the bud

THE New World Online Encyclopaedia defines sibling rivalry as the "intense competition that exists between brothers and sisters for the attention of their parents".
It says children are sensitive from the age of one year to differences in parental treatment. From 18 months on, siblings can understand family rules and know how to comfort and hurt each other. By three years old, children have a sophisticated grasp of social rules, can evaluate themselves in relation to their siblings, and know how to adapt to circumstances within the family. The sibling bond is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as parental treatment, birth order, personality, and people and experiences outside the family.


The stories of Esau and Jacob and Cain and Abel are evidence that sibling rivalry is not new. Recently though, sibling rivalry has created much havoc in our society and has left many families hurting.
It is important for parents to know about of the dangers of sibling rivalry. Parents should also be cognisant of the causes and the steps that should be taken in order to stem such negative behaviour.
Everyone in the family should be made to feel very special but oftentimes this is not so. Each child should understand his/her position in the family and his/her role in the home. Also, everything should be done to quell jealousies and ill feeling among siblings. Parents should not wait until the situation gets ugly or out of control before putting plans in place to deal with sibling rivalry.
Here are some suggestions for parents/guardians who want to be proactive in an attempt to eliminate or lessen sibling rivalry and the dangers associated with it.
* When parents are expecting to have another child in the family, they should prepare everyone in the home, including the children, especially the younger ones. Mental preparation will make it easier for young children to receive the new child as a part of the family.
* Do not neglect the other family members; do not neglect your child/children because your family has grown. Remember that each person is unique and each person has a special role to play.
* Care for your child/children by treating them in a kind and loving way. Love your family members and model positive behaviour at all times.
* Do things together as a family and ensure that each one knows his/her roles. Make sure that each one takes turn in doing things for the baby or the new addition to the family.
* Make it clear to everyone that rude, impolite and negative behaviours will not go unnoticed.
* Treat the children equally well; give them lots of love and equal opportunities as much as is possible. Try never to criticise, compare or cause one child to feel inferior to his/her sibling/siblings.
* Verbalise your affection for each child and find creative ways to prove your love and commitment to your family.
* Build a family altar and pray regularly for each other; believe in the power in prayer.
* Never say never. Do not believe that you are immune to having sibling rivalry in your family, it can happen in any family, and especially in families where parents are not on the lookout for its occurrence.
* If you desire a particular gender and you are disappointed, keep this information away from the other children in the home. Whether you were disappointed or not, love the newborn anyway. Remember that each child is a precious gift.
* Talk with successful parents and ask them to share their parenting tips with you, for although each family is unique, you can still learn some useful tips to help you and your family.
* Try very hard not to show favouritism.
Doing all that is in your power to eliminate sibling rivalry will not necessarily mean that it may never surface in your home, but you should at least be in a better position to keep it at a minimum if you are aware of the dangers it may cause and if you take the steps to guard against it.
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.

What would you do if you caught him in the act?

THERE is a well known Bible story about a woman who was taken to Jesus because she was caught 'in the very act'. Many persons wanted to put the woman to death and that was acceptable at the time. In fact, it was the order of the day to stone such a person to death. Fortunately or unfortunately for us, we are far removed from such practices. However, since we no longer abide by such rules, have you ever considered what you would do if the worst should happen and you caught your significant other 'in the very act?'
It is not my intention to disturb your peace of mind or anything of the sort, but ask any psychologist and he/she will tell you that it is quite in order to think about a bad situation and make a sensible plan of action about what you would do -- God forbid, in the event the worst should happen.
While it is not advisable to dwell on the negatives, one must never be afraid to use brief moments to think on negative situations, such as the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, unpleasant surprises, or, like I said earlier, what you would do should your hubby be caught 'in the very act'.
I conducted an informal survey on the matter. Here are three of the interesting responses that I got.
* 40-year-old businesswoman: I would be disappointed but not devastated. I pray to God it doesn't happen because that would be very serious business. Since no one is perfect though, I think I would have to get to the point where I would have to forgive. I would have to do that because as a couple we have made a pledge that nothing will cause us to separate from each other.
* 55-year-old schoolteacher: I know that I would throw something at him; anything I could find to throw I would throw. Even if I kill him, after he is dead, I would still be thumping him. I am glad that I have never ever had any inkling that he would do such a thing. Really though, I am glad that you asked because maybe I would have to think twice, otherwise I could end up in prison.
* 57-year-old deacon: I cannot even deal with the thought of it, but I would have to forgive my wife. I would have to do that, try to forgive. I have planned already that should it happen, that is what I would do. Honestly though, at the moment, I do not know how I would really react at the time but in the end there would have to be some kind of understanding and hopefully forgiveness. It would be very painful and it would be hard to live with after that.
Whatever you do, try to mull over the concept and make your plan of action regarding your steps should the worst happen. It may not be that you caught him/her in the act and I hope it doesn't happen, but it could be something else. Maybe your life or even the life of another could be spared because you set the time aside to think on these things.

Jacqueline Champier is a lecturer and counselling psychologist from Mandeville.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Revived by His Word - Deuteronomy 26

Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arm - verse 8
God's mighty hand speaks to the His superior strength and power over what would otherwise be formidable obstacles for us escaping suppressive situations.  Our challenges today could be sinful addictions, unfavourable family, work and school situations.  In the midst of all these challenges we can afford to say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil 4: 13.

The outstretched arm of God reminds me that He cares.  I see here a father or a husband slipping a reassuring arm around a child or wife as they sit together in worship. Or maybe he holds their hands as they wait to hear the child or wife's name called to go in a see the doctor and to get results from a critical medical examination.  The outstretched arm moves at the impulse of a caring heart.  Of Jerusalem Jesus did say, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!"  Luke 13: 34.  So Peter says, "Casting all your care on Him, for He careth for you." 1 Pet. 5: 7.

Giving Back
As we seek to give as we have been given we’ll discover an amazing synergy when God’s people unite for such a purpose.  Nature’s lesson book provides us with a simple lesson in rainfall:

It takes many little raindrops to create a flood that can totally reshape a landscape, both physically and socially.  The key is consistency.  What indeed this church would be able to accomplish if every member gave, even a little at a time, consistently.  LORD, please help us to be faithful.

God has done a lot for us; He’s the source of all the good things we possess.  He didn’t supply us so we can hoard, but that we participate in His great work of reaching the lost, destitute, and hungry.  Our possessions must not be viewed as blessing, but rather great stores of potential blessings – because it is how we use it that will determine whether it is a blessing or a curse.  Let us give faithfully, for indeed it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Read or listen to the passage and read other blogs at

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The 4G Twist

The thing I like most about my 4G wireless modem is that I can take it pretty everywhere I go these days.  And given appropriate conditions, it can almost work… anywhere!  Unfortunately though the conditions aren’t always right, and so I don’t always have Internet connection.  But that isn’t the 4G I really want to talk about.  There is another one that is even more amazing, it’s free, and it works… everywhere!

This is a four-dimensional character composite the covers ones relationship with others, self, and most importantly, God.  There are four words that encapsulate these ideas: gratitude, generosity, gumption, and Godlikeness.

Gratitude and generosity address ones relationship with others.  Gratitude speaks to being constantly aware and appreciative of the value that others bring to your life.  With this attitude you’ll complain less, you’ll be less stressed, and you’ll always see the glass half-full as opposed to being half-empty.

Generosity is the value you bring to others; the offering of yourself through your resources to others.  Coupled with gratitude then we’ll have the makings of a great community.  The only thing that was not good during the creation week was that man was at some point alone.  God made us for community.  Generosity makes for a better community.

Gumption addresses issues of self-esteem and the commitment to making the best of one’s self.  It speaks to the tenacity with which one is committed to established personal goals.  With respect to gratitude and generosity, gumption makes the best of opportunities others offer, even as it does so to empower one to be of greater useful service to others.  Gumption takes, remakes and gives.

Godlikeness is the final dimension to this 4G technology composite.  Godlikeness is the virtue of being like God: affirmative and gracious, kind and good, all knowing and all powerful.  These are not natural human characteristics, but when the Spirit of God dwells within, we become like God.  Philippians 4: 13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Through Christ I can be grateful, generous, and can manifest gumption - all accomplished to a level that is God-like in its proportions.  It is available for all people everywhere and it’s – well it’s not exactly free.  You will have to at least be willing to submit to God’s leading.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Physics of Kicking a Bad Habit

A reliable source of frustration comes from drinking juice from those little boxes that come with a straw attached to the side of it.  The ones I usually get are small, and no sooner than I start drinking it’d finish.  I usually find out that it is finished when the sides of the little carton gets squashed in.  Thanks to my high school Physics I think I understand why that happens.

As soon as the liquid content is extracted it is replaced by a sufficient supply of air that maintains the equilibrium of air pressure inside and outside the carton.  When the fluid is complete but one continues to the suction motion air begins to come out.  As soon as the air extraction begins (creating a vacuum) the pressure inside the box is reduced below the pressure outside the box.  This causes the external air pressure to force the sides of the carton in, causing a crumpling effect.  Huh! It’s finished.

A similar mental effect of “crumpling” occurs when a certain technique of just trying to quit a bad habit is used to get rid of a bad habit is used.  This idea presupposes that as a living organism one always has to be doing something.  Hence to stop doing something without simultaneously replacing it with something else is to create a vacuum effect that is likely to produce effects that are similar to those seen in persons in a detox clinic.  A less traumatic and more effective way of kicking a bad habit is to not focus so much on the habit you want to quit, but to focus on cultivating the new habit you wish to develop. Note, you cannot create a vacuum; you must replace or displace the undesirable habit with a preferred one. It's like getting air out of a bottle.  You could try to pull it out, but it's a whole lot easier to displace the air with some... water.