Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh, What an Eye-Opener

With the spring season just around the bend, I always feel inspired to do some body ‘spring cleaning.’  This time I wanted to focus on my eyes since I often have blurred vision due to upper respiratory congestion.  I was wondering which internal organ correlates to the eyes? 


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) liver blood deficiency can cause problems such as blurry vision and other vision problems, short-sightedness (myopia), dry eyes or floaters in the eyes. Excess liver heat can cause painful, burning and bloodshot eyes.  TCM has a clear description of emotional connections when the liver is imbalanced.  Anger, frustration and resentment have a correlation to the health of the liver.  


“The liver opens into the eyes. When the liver is harmonized, the eyes can distinguish the five colors.”
~ Chinese wisdom


According to Western medicine it is the function of the liver to act as the body’s filter.  It cleans toxins, breaks down fats, converts glucose (sugar) to glycogen, metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and produces cholesterol; in other words it is one important organ.

Therefore, I decided to help out my liver and give it some extra attention.  I could buy pills or cleansing kits, but something told me that food would be the better liver support.

Since I love fresh vegetable juices, I decided to buy some apples, beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, ginger root, kale, parsley, and pears (best are organic fruits and vegetables).   I don’t have a specific recipe but to make two glasses of fresh juice you need quite a bit.  You always want to give one glass to your honey, since he probably would not go through the trouble of cleaning the produce and juicing it.


Health Benefits of Beets

I learned that beets are particularly beneficial for liver support.  Beets contain many B vitamins, including folate, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, and fiber.  Beet juice is also favorable because it allows the betaine to stay intact.  It is the betaine which gives the liver the power to get rid of the toxins and acts as a bile thinner.


Beet juice

Fresh beet juice can be highly beneficial, as it allows the betaine to stay intact. Betaine is the substance that encourages the liver cells to get rid of toxins. Additionally, betaine acts to defend the liver and bile ducts, which are important if the liver is to function properly. This particular substance is also said by some to decrease the risk of coronary and cerebral artery diseases, as it lowers inflammation in the body, allowing the many systems to work without interruption.  Jay Kordich, the juice man, suggests to start with 2-4 ounces of beet juice and then increase slowly over a few weeks.  Always mix your beet juice with other vegetables, since it has very strong taste.

Cooked Beets

Just in time to support my research on beets, I received Dr. Ben Kim’s newsletter.  He describes how we can use cooked beets for our health.


Pickled Beets

Once you have cooked the beets, removing the skin is very easy.  Cut the bulb into bite-size pieces.  Add some chopped onions, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste; store in the refrigerator in a covered glass.  Yum…. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Live a Sanctified Life

Recently, in our church, we were encouraged to write down a repentance list.  Recognizing ones mistakes of the past is the first step to make a new beginning. That was to be done more deeply than a New Year’s resolution.  I had to look into my life more deeply and honestly because it was done in preparation for Foundation Day.  Foundation Day is the beginning of a whole new era for peace and unity not only for the members of our congregation,  but co-insides with the many predictions for a New Age, The Cosmic Shift, and the Second Coming.

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts..."
~ I PETER 3:15

The meaning of sanctify literally means "to set apart" for special use or purpose, that is, to make holy or sacred. Don’t most religious people live a sanctified life?  We are all unique individuals, with a universal purpose to pursue fulfillment, happiness, and peace.  So, let me ask you: how to live a sanctified life?

How do sanctified people look any different on the outside?

Generally, they don’t look any different than most people whom you work, live and play with.  If you are spiritually sensitive, you can detect a sacred glow in people who are happy, peaceful or had a mystical experience.

à I watched a woman named Anita Moorjani who had a near death experience and came back with a beautiful radiance when she tells about her incident in Heaven. She received an awareness about her existence as a human being.  In the process of deciding to come back to her body, she was healed from cancer.    

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"
~ PSALMS 37:4

à I observe my granddaughter who is nine months old.  She shows me every day what is takes to enjoy life.  She makes the most delightful and enchanting baby sounds.  She also tries to please me by making funny faces or coming to me when I call her.  I cannot help but be amused and uplifted by.

à I study people who are content.  Most people today are so much in a hurry; everything has to happen instantaneously or we give up or become angry.  In order to be present, one has to be observant, enjoy the moment and savor everything with all five senses.  Like smelling the flower, hear the birds, taste the chocolate, touch the surface, and see the sunset.

What do sanctified people do?

That’s probably the easiest way to detect a sanctified person – by their action. 

 à Sanctified people seek God’s point of view.  We are all created in relationship to somebody or something.  In God’s eyes there is no division between race, nationality, or religion.  God created a beautiful universe for our enjoyment and satisfaction to use for food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment.

à Sanctified people take ownership over their lives by being responsible for their spiritual development.  They pray and practice mindfulness and focus on what is happening in the present moment.  They are also good stewards over their physical environment, their finances, and their time. 
They also follow core values and live by absolute principles.

à Sanctified people seek fellowship with others by congregating to play and/or worship together.  They are also committed to create harmonious God-centered families where children learn to love, serve and be grateful.  Everything in the universe exists in relationship.  It is our responsibility to learn and understand how to get along as the family of man.

Where do sanctified people live?

We all live in this world side by side.  Once we recognize that there is not only this physical world we exist in but there is also the invisible spiritual realm, we become aware that our life here on earth is only temporary.  Compared to eternity, our lives here on earth are very short (60 to 100 years).  Obviously, it doesn’t matter which city or country we live in.  Even though sacred geometry or Feng Shui can help us find better dwelling places.

à Create a holy temple – Our body is the dwelling place for our eternal spirit.  Once we are born here on earth, we are to live a pure and God-centered life.  Those who believe in Jesus want to follow his example of sacrifice and service to others.

à Create a healthy body – It is our responsibility to keep our bodies healthy and strong.  Current research shows that we are not completely dependent on our ancestral heritage regarding our genes.  We can even influence our DNA by changing our thinking about health and evolve our brains.

à Create a healthy environment – Feng Shui is a Chinese system of divination to determine where to live, how to arrange furniture in the home and how to avoid disharmony in everyday life.   In the Western world we use divination to locate water wells, use kinesiology to detect imbalance in the body through muscle testing or a pendulum to get answers from the deeper psyche of man.  One we learn more about the invisible spiritual world we can take advantage of the fact that everything is made of energy which is measurable even though we cannot see it.

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
~ 1 JOHN 3:9

Why are sanctified people blessed?

In the Sermon on the Mount we find Jesus’ moral teachings, the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes.  

à Study the scriptures – Reverend Sun Myung Moon encouraged us to read the scriptures every day.  He himself held Hoon Dook Hae everyday, even studying his own sermons.  When he was younger he studied the bible to the point where it was worn and the pages were falling out.  The word of God is our spiritual food.

à Free from sin – Sin means separation from God.  Through the Fall of Man we lost our relationship with God.  All throughout history God has been working to reconnect man to Him.  The various religions were the vehicle to teach men about God and eternal life.


"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh."
~ Genesis 2:24

à Marriage as a sacrament – Marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It is God’s purpose for us to create a harmonious family and through this experience joy and peace.  It is in the family where we experience the basic relationships and learn to love, accept and appreciate each other.  It is the most secure place to safeguard education, prosperity and wealth for all involved.

We all have to make choices in our lives every day.  We can live our lives by default and just ‘go with the flow’ or experience a sanctified life.  Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view.  Isn’t it time that we include it into our lives?  

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate’s many Flavor Notes

I am not talking about a beautiful melody you can serenade your sweetheart with on Valentine’s Day, nor am I referring to love letters, nor the money you buy the diamonds for: I am talking about the many flavors of chocolate.

Last Thursday, we had a very pleasant meeting at our Standing Room Only Toastmaster gathering this month.  Our area governor came and introduced a “Chocolate Tasting.”  We tasted different dark chocolates which are my favorite anyway.  I learned about the different aromas, textures and tastes of chocolate, its origin and how it is made, which inspired me to research some more on the background of this heavenly food.  The literal translation of the cocoa plant which is “theobroma cacao,” means food of the Gods.


Part of our tasting session was to detect the various flavor notes which are composed by their origin of location, the way of fermentation, and the process of roasting.  Obviously, there is no right or wrong conclusion which of the chocolates one prefers.

History of Chocolate

Cacao plants can only grow in tropical countries.  It requires a hot, rainy climate and will only bear fruit in countries within 20 degrees of the equator. Though it needs warm temperatures to thrive, it must be shielded from direct sun, and grows best under the shade of taller trees.

Each tree only produces about 2 pounds of bittersweet chocolate a year.  The delicate process of harvest, fermentation, and the roasting requires a lot of personal attention, that’s why cocoa is produced mostly on small farms.

Just like with wine, the unique flavor notes found in chocolate depend on its country of origin. The taste of a cacao bean, like a wine grape, depends on the soil, growing conditions and type of plant from a particular place. Local harvesting and fermentation practices also affect flavor.

From a delicacy for kings to everyone’s favorite treat, from a sacred and revered health food to a modern scientific wonder, the history of chocolate is rich, varied, and never boring.


The food of the Gods “Theobroma cacao,” has been written about from all different angles.  Cacao is used in all forms of cooking, baking and sweets.  Cocoa by itself is bitter and almost chalky but with added milk, sugar and (cocoa) butter, it becomes irresistible.  The chocolate industry has created many different types of chocolates from white, to milk and dark chocolates.  Additionally, candy contains anything from nuts, coconut, fruits, liqueurs, or even peppery spices.  In the recent years chocolate has been advocated as health food, especially dark chocolate with a cocoa content of more than 35-95% because of its high antioxidant content.

"It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man."
~ Miranda Ingram

Chocolate in Romance

Chocolate is by many standards considered an aphrodisiac; that’s why chocolate is popular as gifts for Valentine’s Day. For that occasion hearts are wrapped in red and pink foils.

Health benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate is considered a superfood which means if you only have that one food, you could survive for quite some time on it.  It is rich in antioxidants, fiber, trace minerals and nutrients beneficial to heart health, antidepressant, and stress-relief.

Harvest of Cocoa beans

Here is a link to a video that show the process of harvesting cocoa pots.
Here is another video link to how chocolate is made or an account of how the process works.

Did I stir your curiosity to go out and buy some chocolate or participate in a chocolate tasting?  Or better yet, get some candy for someone you love and share it together to savor the different flavor notes.  Maybe you will discover that there is more to chocolate than the bars in the check-out isles.  Enjoy the simple bars and delight in the various flavor notes and maybe you will detect which notes are combined in your favorite choice.  Remember, dark chocolates are meant to be savored for their deliciously bitter underlying citrus, caramel, or tobacco like notes.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Family is the basic unit for the Kingdom of Heaven

The family is the most important entity of our society.  Because it plays such a providential role, it should be protected by all involved.  The world over, parents and children can grow the best and the most healthy in the traditional unit of a father, a mother and the children.


“The family and God's Kingdom are the same in form. There are parents, husband and wife, children, and brothers and sisters in a family. The family can be united through love. On this foundation, unification can be established, life can be connected, and the ideal can be realized in a family. Therefore, you become qualified to enter God's Kingdom when you can respect conjugal and parental love.”
~ Sun Myung Moon

The family unit is not a man-made institution but rather a sacred element of God’s plan to build his Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.  The family was instituted by God, for the sake of marriage and parenthood.  In a good family husband and wife were to rely on each other completely.  This kind of environment creates the most favorable atmosphere for human development.  Children can grow best with both a father and a mother present.  It is also a principle factor for the development of wealth for the family, the surest way to prosperity, order, and peace.


The family as the School of Love

It is within the family that we experience all kinds of love relationships.  As husband and wife we experience conjugal love; as children we learn from our parents unconditional, parental love; as brother/sister we practice siblings love.  The child is trained in filial piety to their parents; as such it becomes a supportive member of society and a patriot to the nation.


"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.”
~ Matthew 16:25


All through the bible we find endless mention of family trees and accounts of genealogy.  In the 1st chapter of Matthew we find an account of the lineage of Jesus.  Even though verse 16 mentions that Joseph was the father of Jesus, in the following verses it is revealed that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (verse 18).  In any case, God had prepared a family to receive Jesus.  God wanted to plant his lineage here on earth through Jesus, the bridegroom.  In fact, from the beginning of time, it was God’s will to expand the family.  Unfortunately, the Fall of Man happened and man never reached maturity and Adam and Eve gave birth to Satan’s children (John 8:44 - You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.)

Jesus took on the role of the second Adam or last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45 - Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being;”  the last Adam became a life-giving spirit).  Since Jesus is considered the last Adam, one can conclude that there should be also a last (or second) Eve.  Even though there is no mention in the bible, there are now speculations that Jesus should have gotten married.  A bridegroom needs a bride (not the church) to start a family.

That’s why I truly appreciate Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s teaching.  He explains in detail, based on his meeting Jesus since he was only 16 years old on a mountainside in Korea, about the tragedy that Jesus could not fulfill his mission because he was crucified.  Many Christians believe that Jesus came to die.  If we really understand God’s will for the purpose of the family than we can feel his pain that he lost his lineage with Adam and Eve,  and has been working through restoration to send a second Adam.  Since God never gave up his dream to create an ideal world, he has continued until now to reveal the new providence and to finally recreate the family of God.


When we look at human history only as a history of conflict, struggle over property and land, to gain power and dominion, we can never understand its true purpose.  When we can gain insight in the progression of the development from the family level to the levels of tribes, societies, nations and today a world where basically two opposing ideologies are confronting a belief in God or the denial thereof.  History is God’s story to restore the first family, to recreate Adam and Eve.  Religion played the role of reconnecting people back to God, while Atheism and Liberalism are pulling people in the opposite direction.  Neither side has a clear picture what an ideal, peaceful world would look like since struggle cannot bring peace. 


Only the Principle of Creation gives a clear view of how man can grow to maturity, build a harmonious family and take ownership over the environment by fulfilling the three Great Blessings.


We are living in a wonderful and fearful time of history.  “The Last Days” bring a lot of changes and turmoil.  Our experience can be wonderful and full of many blessing when we believe and follow God’s will; or fearful and tragic if we turn away and deny God.  The choice is ours.


Jesus taught us to pray:    
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from the evil one.

~ Matthew 6:9-13


We have another chance now to build the Kingdom of Heaven.