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:


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