Sunday, December 3, 2023

The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships. Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer. Best Way to Cook Vegetables.


The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships

The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships“Getting along with people can be hard. A variety of factors can contribute to the breakdown of relationships. What can we do to help restore broken relationships?

Over 25 years ago, in the midst of rioting, Rodney King voiced these memorable words: “Can we all get along?” All these years later, the words still resonate. Rodney King, a man who was severely beaten on camera by Los Angeles police after being apprehended following a car chase, was trying to quell the violence that had started as a result.

Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

In fact, if we go back almost 2,000 years to the first century, we read a similar sentiment by the apostle Paul: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

The point is that relationships are hard. They have always been hard. Humanity has been having a difficult time getting along all the way back to when Cain killed his brother Abel in Genesis 4. Some of the many consequences of broken relationships are violence, estrangement, gossip, feelings of self-superiority, insults or belittling. The list could go on and on.

In our polarized world, people are often at odds with people they haven’t even met, based on their political persuasion, ethnicity, religion, etc. For instance, just quoting the three men above could already bias people for or against us just based on their feelings about Mr. King, Mr. Roosevelt or the Bible.

Can we change this?

Those who believe the Bible have the opportunity to be shining examples of how to heal relationships and love others—because the Bible has so much to say on the topic. Christians can demonstrate that even when mistakes are made—and even though it may be extremely challenging—it is possible to restore and heal a relationship that has been damaged or broken.

It is possible to restore and heal a relationship that has been damaged or broken. But we have to work at it. Strong relationships are perhaps the most difficult things to achieve, but also the most rewarding. None of us do it perfectly, but there are ways we can do it better. This blog post will begin a series of five posts on healing broken relationships.

[NOTE: There is one caveat, however. If physical, mental or emotional abuse is occurring, we should first leave the situation and not focus on reconciliation. If reconciliation is to be achieved in an abusive relationship, it should be done through a professional counselor.]

The five healing Rs

This blog series will cover five keys to healing broken relationships, whether with coworkers and other acquaintances or with our families and close friends.

Here is a preview of what we will be covering. We should:

  • Recognize that our own thinking, speech or behavior has damaged our relationship with someone. The first step to healing any relationship is recognizing our part in damaging it.
  • Repent to God for every way our thoughts, speech or behavior has done damage to a relationship.  
  • Replace hurtful thoughts, speech and behavior with positive and peacemaking ways.
  • Reconcile to make things right with the other person, even if that means things don’t go the way we expect or prefer. 
  • Retry the relationship by starting fresh, putting the past in the past and getting a new perspective.

No relationship is perfect, and we all have flaws to deal with. But healing broken relationships is worth the effort because strong relationships provide great happiness and help us live better lives.”  From:


Private Prayers

Matthew 6:5-6

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

“In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ laid out the foundations of Christianity; and in this section He addresses the wrong and right ways to pray.

Prayer is not for show or to impress other people. It is designed to help us build a personal relationship with our Creator. The core of our prayer life is one-on-one, alone with God. When we pray in private, we can express our deepest emotions and be open with God in a way we could not be in public.

The example of the New Testament Church shows that this does not mean that there is no place for public prayer, as there are many examples of the Church of God praying together (Acts 1:14; 4:24-31; etc.). But we must always be on guard against the attitude of hypocrisy that Jesus warned about. Read more in our article “Private Worship Toward God.”

For more about what the Bible teaches about prayer, see our article “How to Talk to God.” From:


Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer

Matthew 6:7

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

“God does not give us prayers to memorize and repeat mindlessly as a ritual. He is not interested in babble and hearing certain syllables intoned repetitiously, as it seems the pagans believed their “gods” did. He wants His followers to “avoid meaningless, repetitive prayers offered under the misconception that mere length will make prayers efficacious” (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-8).

God is interested in us having an actual conversation with Him, listening to what He says in the Bible and sharing our thoughts, requests, cares and praise with Him in a focused and meaningful way. Repeating someone else’s words over and over again can’t help but become rote and ritual rather than building the relationship God desires.

See more about the communication God desires in our articles “How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer” and “How to Pray.”  From:


Best Way to Cook Vegetables

Transcript of video at:

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Boiling, steaming, microwaving, air frying, and sous vide cooking are put to the test for nutrient retention.

I’ve made videos on how not to die from heart disease, how not to die from cancer, how not to die from other deadly diseases like diabetes, but some of the most popular videos on the site are like …“the best way to cook sweet potatoes.”

All right, then. What’s the best way to cook bell peppers? Here’s the antioxidant power of raw green peppers and red peppers, and microwaving or stir-frying doesn’t seem to do much, though with boiling, there’s a drop. But then, if you measure the antioxidant activity of the leftover boiling water, the antioxidants weren’t destroyed, but just leached out into the cooking water. So, the researcher’s conclusion is that it’s “vital to consume the water used for boiling, in addition to the peppers, as bioactive compounds will be [left over] in the water.” But that’s not the take-away I get from this study. Drink the water or not, red peppers have nearly twice the antioxidant power of green, no matter what you do. So, while both peppers are, by definition, green-light foods, the red peppers, ironically, are even greener.

What about mushrooms? Probably best not to eat them raw, but what’s the best way to cook them? “Since cooking techniques clearly influence the nutritional attributes of mushrooms, the proper selection of [cooking method may be a] key factor to prevent or reduce nutritional losses. And…”microwaving and grilling were established as the best processes to maintain the nutritional profile of mushrooms.” For example, a significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity of mushrooms, especially after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached in some cases higher antioxidant activity.

Boiling had a similar negative impact on the antioxidant power of cauliflower, which serves as just kind of a rough proxy for how many phytonutrients of potential benefit we might be losing. Blanching was better, where the cauliflower here was dunked into boiling water for three minutes and then run under cold water to stop it from cooking. I had never heard of steam blanching, but same idea. Steam for three minutes, then cool off, which appears to be better, since you’re not immersing it in water. Though, note there’s not much difference between steaming for six minutes and steaming for three, and then running under cold water. Too bad they didn’t look at roasting—that’s how you make cauliflower taste good. In fact, I’ve got two recipes on roasted cauliflower in my How Not to Die Cookbook (for which all my proceeds go to charity, of course).

There are certain antioxidants we’re especially interested in, though. Like the eyesight and brain-protecting green vegetable compound lutein. Here’s the back of the eyeball. What lutein does is protect those sensitive light-sensing nerves by blocking the high-energy blue light rays, which helps us see better, and may help us think better too. So, researchers looked at the effects of four different cooking methods on lutein concentrations. The first thing you’ll notice is that broccoli has like 50 times more than cauliflower—not a surprise, since lutein is a plant pigment, and cauliflower is too white. Here is it graphically, so you can appreciate the difference.

Then they compared boiling, steaming, microwaving, and sous vide cooking, which is like a fancy name for boiling in a plastic bag. And, boiling actually made lutein levels go up! How is that possible? Heat can actually disrupt the cell walls, and all the little subcellular compartments that can enhance the release of antioxidant compounds. Sous vide was similar; microwaving detrimental, at least for the broccoli, and… steaming the superstar, nearly doubling lutein levels.

Heat isn’t the only way to liberate lutein from greens. If you finely chop spinach, you can double the amount of lutein released during digestion in this experimental model. And make a green smoothie, or pesto, or some kind of puréed spinach dish, and you may triple the bioavailability. But you have to watch the heat. Steaming or boiling is one thing, but super high heat, like stir-frying, can reduce lutein levels to nearly nothing.

Frying is also bad for the purple pigments in blue potatoes—even air-frying; they just seem sensitive to extremely high heat. These special antioxidant plant pigments appear to be sensitive to really high temperatures; so, we should try to avoid frying, especially deep frying. That was one of the conclusions of an expert panel on cooking methods: avoid deep frying foods. Not only the nutrient losses, but all the added oil—not to mention the production of some toxic compounds at those temperatures. So, that continues to be a challenge to the food industry. What’s their solution? Forget deep-fat frying, let’s try frying in pure molten sugar. It’s like the SnackWell cookie phenomenon taken to its logical conclusion. Oh, you want low-fat? We’ll fry in sugar.”  From:


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Does Jerusalem Belong to Israelis or Palestinians? The Human Potential. Avoiding Cholesterol is a No-Brainer.


Does Jerusalem Belong to Israelis or Palestinians?

“The status of Jerusalem continues to be a controversial issue dividing the world. Does it belong to Israelis or Palestinians? Or to Someone else?

A group of Palestinians pray outside Jerusalem’s Old City while Israeli forces stand guard on Oct. 20, 2023 (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean).

On Oct. 7, 2023, the terror group Hamas launched what they termed, “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge.” Their goal was to rid Palestine and Jerusalem of Jews, who, they believe, occupy the territory illegally. Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al called for the Islamic community to join the holy war in the battle for the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

To understand this, we must understand the importance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Islamic faith. Muhammad founded Islam in the seventh century, setting up Mecca and Medina as the two holiest sites in Islam. Both cities are located in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

According to Muslims, Muhammad was miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem, the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which means the “farthest mosque,” where we are told he met Jesus and the prophets and led them in prayer before being taken up to heaven from the site of the Dome of the Rock. 

After Muhammad’s death in 632, his second successor, Omar bin al-Khattab, conquered Jerusalem and built a mosque on the Temple Mount.

He claimed this Jerusalem mosque to be at the location of Muhammad’s night journey. Hence, it became known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Because of this, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount in particular, became the third holiest site in Islam, behind the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. However, readers should understand that the city of Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in the Koran.

The Jewish claim to Jerusalem

The Jews claim Jerusalem as their capital and the Temple Mount as their most holy place of worship, because it was the location where the first and second temples stood.

Due to the nation’s disobedience, God’s presence left the first temple, and the building was destroyed by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 52:12-13; Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23).

The second temple was constructed under the leadership of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Zerubbabel. However, the Romans destroyed the second temple in A.D. 70.

Today, some Jews seek to build a third temple, which the Palestinians and many Muslims believe will be at the expense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some hardline Jewish Orthodox groups do believe the Al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed for the third temple to take its place. In many ways, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the center of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

(To learn of this conflict’s ancient roots, read “What’s Behind the War Between Israel and Hamas?”)

The Christian claim to Jerusalem

For Christians, Jerusalem is holy because it was the birthplace of Christianity. During the Dark Ages, it was the center of many battles between Muslims and Christians.

Prophecy shows that European forces will once again capture Jerusalem, setting off a series of events leading to Christ’s return. Jerusalem was first captured by Christians in the First Crusade (1099) under the leadership of Pope Urban II. But Christian control was soon lost to Muslim forces led by Saladin in 1187.

There were nine crusades, but the Christian forces were largely unsuccessful in their fight the Islamic armies to regain control of Jerusalem.

Though Europe today is largely secular, Bible prophecy shows that European forces fighting under a Christian banner will once again capture Jerusalem, setting off a series of events leading to Christ’s return. Christ warned, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).

To learn more, read “What Is the Abomination of Desolation?

A city of war

With three faiths claiming Jerusalem, it is the most contested city in the world. In recent history, there have been several wars over the city.

At the inception of the modern nation of Israel in 1948, the Arab nations of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt attacked the fledgling nation, intending to utterly destroy it.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem

This image shows the three religious sites that are a source of conflict at the Temple Mount: the Dome of the Rock (left), the Western Wall (center) and the Al Aqsa Mosque (right).

The result was a victory for Israel, but Jerusalem remained divided—with West Jerusalem under Israel’s control and East Jerusalem under Jordan’s control.

On June 7, 1967, Israeli forces took control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War.

They declared Jerusalem “the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish State,” but to ease conflict over the Temple Mount, they appointed the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments (“Waqf”) as the custodians of the holy site, which continues to this day. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, a status that Jews try to contest.

On Oct. 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War, a surprise attack on the solemn Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). They aimed to regain the territory they lost during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Now, 50 years later, almost to the day (Oct. 7, 2023), on the festival of the Eighth Day (Shemini Atzeret), Hamas launched “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge” to expel Jews from Israel and Jerusalem.

Contention over the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is constantly a place of tension. Consider the following headlines:

The Bible calls the city a “very heavy stone for all peoples,” meaning it will be a burdensome problem for all nations that entangle their affairs with the city (Zechariah 12:3). The question remains: Who has the right to call Jerusalem their capital?

To learn more, read “Temple Mount: Its History and Future.”

The rightful owner of Jerusalem

The most popular solution for Jerusalem is known as the two-state solution. A common form of this proposes that Jerusalem be divided and returned to its pre-1967 borders, with West Jerusalem given to Israelis and East Jerusalem given to Palestinians.

Who Does Jerusalem Really Belong To?

Prophecy shows that before Jesus Christ’s return, the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem and the city divided

Bible prophecy shows that before Jesus Christ’s return, the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem and the city divided (Luke 21:20). But it will not be a solution, nor will it be peaceful. Half the city and inhabitants will be “taken” violently (Zechariah 14:2).

Then Christ will return to earth and punish the nations responsible for this (Joel 3:2).

But what happens after that will be a remarkable transformation. Jesus Christ will establish His world capital at Jerusalem! This shows that the holy city does not belong to any one nation or religion—but belongs to God Himself.

In Zechariah 2:12 God says He “shall choose Jerusalem again” (King James Version). Notice the following prophecies that show what He has planned for the city:

The Bible instructs us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). That means the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. Only then will it fulfill the meaning of its name:   The City of Peace.””  From:


The Human Potential

Psalm 8:6-8

“You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen—even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.

At creation God gave humanity dominion—rulership—over the earth and the other creatures on it (Genesis 1:26-28). God intended for us to learn proper stewardship of what He gave us, and in the process of tending and keeping it, to grow in godly character. But our first parents chose the way of selfishness and shortsightedness, and humanity ever since has misused its dominion and befouled our planet.

The author of Hebrews shows that God’s intention goes beyond even the earth and its creatures. “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8).

God truly meant all things—the whole universe! Jesus Christ came and died that we might be forgiven and offered that wonderful potential as the glorified children of God ( Hebrews 2:9-10 ).”

For more about this awesome potential, see our article on the “Purpose of Life.”  From:


Avoiding Cholesterol is a No-Brainer

“Eggs and brains are the two most concentrated sources of cholesterol in the diet.  

Transcript of video at:

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The egg industry would rather blame the bacon or hash browns, railing against this myth that eggs are the most concentrated source of dietary cholesterol. And it’s true, they’re right. It is a myth. According to the official USDA nutrient database, in a list of the most concentrated cholesterol sources, eggs are not #1; they’re #2. Brains are #1. Veal brains, cow brains, pig brains, lamb brains, raw pig brains, more veal brains, and then eggs. Then more brains, eggs, brains, brains, eggs, brains, eggs, and eggs. The take-home message? If you’re going to do veal brains? Pan-fried, definitely; not braised.

What about omega-3-rich eggs? “The new type of eggs containing omega-3 fatty acids are still loaded with cholesterol,” the Director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre notes. “The answer is not to feed flax seed to the chickens, but rather to put it on the cereal and leave the chicken out of the meal!”

The devastating new review published last year implicating egg consumption did not go over easy with the egg industry. They countered that the overly restrictive 200mg upper safety limit for cholesterol intake, that wouldn’t even allow a single egg, is only for people at risk for heart disease—to which the lead researcher replied, “[Most everyone is] at risk of vascular disease—the only ones who could eat [an] egg yolk regularly with impunity would be those who expect to die prematurely from nonvascular causes…” In other words, his famous “The only [people] who should eat eggs regularly are those [dying of] a terminal illness”—because at that point, who cares? You’re going to drop dead anyway.”

In their landmark review, they conclude that waiting until your first stroke, heart attack, or diabetes diagnosis to avoid eggs is too late. They conclude: “Stopping egg consumption after a [heart attack] or stroke would be like quitting smoking after [a diagnosis of] lung cancer: a necessary action, but late.” From:

But…….. also see infographic and article all about eggs at:


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Should Every Day Be a Day of Thanksgiving?


Should Every Day Be a Day of Thanksgiving?

“The Thanksgiving holiday is widely publicized and celebrated by millions of Americans. But shouldn’t we be thankful every day?

I plan to eat very well this Thanksgiving, as I do every Thanksgiving. I will indulge myself in mashed potatoes and gravy, savor the sweet potato casserole, and eat a week’s worth of protein in turkey. Don’t even get me started on the pies.

Calories don’t count on Thanksgiving, right?

There are many things people do on Thanksgiving besides just eating. Some spend extra time with family members they don’t normally get to see, go around the table listing things each person is thankful for, and (hopefully) begin the meal with a prayer thanking God for His many blessings.

Those are all good things, right?

Is Thanksgiving more than food and football?

But there are also other things people do on this day that aren’t always so positive: extreme overeating (bordering on gluttony), watching football on TV more than speaking to one another, or rushing out to beat others to the best shopping deals.

For many, Thanksgiving is just about food and entertainment. It’s even commonly called “Turkey Day,” as if it’s a day to celebrate an avian life-form. It’s become more about enjoying blessings than giving thanks for them.

Admittedly, it may be unfair to try to stuff (pun intended) an enormous ongoing personal responsibility into just one day out of the year. Is there more to thankfulness than just this one day of the year?

What thanksgiving actually is

The Bible has a lot to say about thanksgiving—that is, the act and mind-set of thankfulness. From God’s perspective, thanksgiving isn’t the fourth Thursday in November; it is a constant way of thinking that God wants us to practice every day.

By giving thanks to God in prayer, we show Him that we acknowledge that all the good things we have in life did not just randomly show up on our doorstep—but are from Him In addition, modern science has shown that being a thankful person is connected to better mental and physical health.

That’s why we should be practicing thanksgiving 365 days a year (and, yes, that also includes the fourth Thursday of November).

One of the primary ways to practice thanksgiving daily is to give thanks to God for what He has given us every day in our prayers.

Studying the Psalms (many of which are actual prayers recorded for us to learn from) can teach us many ways we can integrate thanksgiving into our prayers. (For example, see Psalm 26:7; 50:14; 69:30; 95:2; 100:4; 107:22; 116:17; 147:7; and so many more.)

By giving thanks to God in prayer, we show Him that we acknowledge that all the good things we have in life did not just randomly show up on our doorstep—but are from Him.

Here are some things we can give thanks to God for regularly:

Practical tips on being thankful

So what are some practical ways we can expand thanksgiving from a one-day-a-year thing to an ongoing practice in our life?

  1. Every day in prayer, give thanks to God for blessings we have. Don’t let a single prayer go by without giving God thanks for something He has done (or provided) for us. 
  2. Every day in our conversations, thank someone for something he or she did (or said) that brought something positive into our life or the lives of others. People positively impact us every day, but we don’t always acknowledge it. Start acknowledging it!
  3. Consider blessings we have that we don’t think about often. We can put our stress and difficulties in perspective by actively thinking about all the blessings we have received. Some people find it helpful to write those blessings down in a list. When we look at our list, we will probably find blessings that millions (maybe billions!) of people on the planet do not have. That shouldn’t make us feel better about ourselves. Quite to the contrary, it should help us realize that thanksgiving is designed to lead us to be merciful and giving to others.
  • Are you thankful for consistent electricity? Remember, more than a billion people can’t say the same.
  • Are you thankful for having two loving parents alive? Remember how many billions of people can’t say this, and how many desperately would want this to be true.
  • Are you thankful for a big Thanksgiving dinner in November? Remember how many billions of people in the world will never eat a meal like that in their lives.

Each of us probably has unlimited things to be thankful for!

The benefits of being thankful

Thanksgiving is a way of thinking and a constant action God is looking for in all of us. It helps us to realize God’s power and working in our lives, and it should remind us to be merciful, kind and generous to others. It actually improves our mental and physical well-being. 

Thanksgiving is not just a day in November; it is a way of life. Let’s live it.”  From: