I remember my college days.
Going to Ateneo everyday was tough.
If I drove Dad’s car, it would take me 20 minutes.
But usually, Dad’s car wasn’t free. (Boohoo.)
So I rode the public jeepney almost everyday. And it would take me an hour to go through the traffic.
Why that long?
First, Jeepney drivers are very friendly, sociable guys who like to stop in the middle of the road to chitchat with other drivers.
Second, Jeepney drivers drive very slowly, because they use secondhand engines that overheat if they go faster than 30 kph.
Third, Jeepney drivers are known to wait for passengers to fill their seats. So even if the passenger was still inside his home, eating his breakfast or taking a shower—the driver will still wait for him.
I’m kidding. Just having fun here.
Here’s my point: If you’re not the driver, you can only complain.
Friend, in any vehicle, there are really only two seats: The Driver’s seat and the Rider’s seat.
Let me ask you this big question…
In the vehicle of your life, where are you seated?
Where You’re Seated Spells The Difference
A lot of people are Riders.
They don’t take charge.
All they do is complain.
“Why am I not getting a promotion in my job?”
“Why is my relationship not working?”
“Why am I so sickly?”
Let me give you a universal principle you can take to the bank: The amount of blessings you’ll receive is in direct proportion to the amount of responsibility you’re willing to take. The more responsibility you take in, the more blessings you take in as well.
Blessings and Responsibility are really two sides of one coin.
Do you want more blessings?
Take more responsibility.
Let me give you an example. Why does a manager earn more than a messenger? Because the manager has more responsibility than a messenger.
This principle applies in your spiritual life too.
If you want more blessings for your spiritual life, you’ve got to take charge over your spiritual needs.
And this applies to your health as well.
What am I saying?
When it comes to your life, don’t be a Rider.
God calls you to be the Driver.
God wants you to hold the steering wheel of your life.
God wants you to take charge.
Take charge over your finances.
Take charge over your relationships.
And take charge over your health!
You have more control over your health than you think.
The Bible says that if you follow God and take care of your health, you’ll avoid many diseases. (Exodus 15:26) Obviously, there are many exceptions. But generally, there are many health benefits to following God.
Let me give you three prescriptions on how to avoid disease.
One of the best things you can do for your health is to take charge how much toxins you take into your body.
To do this, you need to follow these three crucial prescriptions, all of them requiring that you take charge of your health:
Prescription #1: Clean Living
Prescription #2: Natural Eating
Prescription #2: Holistic Healing
Prescription #1: Clean Living
You’ll be amazed by this.
The Bible was so ahead of its time when it came to hygiene and sanitation. This is mind blowing, considering that Biblical authors had no scientific understanding of germs yet, something that Louis Pasteur would discover only in the year 1860.
Let me give you four examples…
Quarantine Contagious Diseases
Because our kids are small, all of us sleep in one room. (It’s a win-win. The kids love it because they’re with Mommy and Daddy. And Mommy and Daddy love it because we save on electricity!)
But when one of us gets sick, that person sleeps in a separate room—to avoid spreading the sickness.
The Bible talked about this a long time ago.
It talked about separating people with leprosy and other contagious diseases (Leviticus 13:46). Even their clothes were to be burned.
But centuries later, these simple procedures were forgotten. Thus, from the year 1000 to 1200, leprosy killed millions of people in Europe. And in the 14th century, also in Europe, the Black Death or the Bubonic plague killed more than 60 million people.
Let me give you a rather obvious example.
Would you believe?
Toilet training is in the Bible.
The Bible tells the Israelites to “have a place outside the camp where you can go when you need to relieve yourselves. Carry a stick as part of your equipment, so that when you have a bowel movement you can dig a hole and cover it up.” (Deuteronomy 23:13-14)
In the newer Bible versions, it says, “Carry a stick and toilet paper—preferably double ply…”
Back in those days, you couldn’t flush.
So people used a stick.
The key here was to dig your dump—and cover with soil.
But during the middle ages, this simple sanitary method wasn’t done in the many capital cities of Europe. Especially in the slums. In fact, the common practice was that people just dumped their poop on the street.
Imagine the flies. Imagine the rats. Imagine the stink.
And imagine the epidemics of cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever that exploded in those cities.
All I can say is, “Thank God we can flush!”
Take A Bath
When I was a kid, Mom forcedme to take a bath.
I don’t remember now why, but bathing to me was like water torture.
But the Bible was pretty big on washing (Numbers 19:11-22). It even gave the ingredients for soap—so that hand-washing will take more than 15 seconds—enough to remove the germs.
During Biblical times, this was a religious ritual. Today, we realize it’s a very important hygienic practice.
But during the middle ages, bathing fell out of custom.
Are you ready to be shocked again? During the middle ages, in Europe, most people took a bath one, two, three, or four times in their whole life.
I’m not kidding.
In Old Testament times, religion supported bathing.
In the middle ages, religion supported not bathing.
For example, the monks felt it was vain to take a bath.
St. Francis of Assisi believed that to be dirty was a sign of a holy person. Even St. Benedict recommended that those who are young and strong should seldom take a bath. It was said that St. Catherine of Siena avoided washing. And St. Agnes, who died at the age of 13, had never taken a bath.
Queen Isabella of Spain was proud to say that she only took two baths in her whole lifetime.
And Queen Elizabeth of England was seen as a very vain woman. Why? Because she bathed once a month.
Sexual Purity For A Healthy Life
The Bible’s Laws on Sex were also Laws on Health.
When people hear the 6th commandment, “Don’t commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), some say, “God is just a killjoy. He doesn’t want us to have fun.”
But the opposite is true.
He wants us to have the greatest joy in the world.
And the only way to do that is to be sexually faithful.
When you’re faithful to your spouse, you don’t only get blessed spiritually, you also get blessed physically.
How? You virtually make the entire army of venereal diseases not your personal concern. They’re irrelevant. I’m talking about syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis B, and AIDS.
Condoms And Antibiotics
Don’t Solve The Problem
When I was in college, I heard a classmate tell another classmate, “Just use a condom”. With that piece of rubber in their pocket, they felt safe.
But it’s now a scientific fact: Condoms minimize the chances of getting the infection, but the failure rate is still alarming. Especially for AIDS, condoms won’t completely protect you.
Imagine this scenario.
You’re in a theme park. And you’re lining up for the giant Roller Coaster ride.
After buying the ticket, you turn it over and see this written at the back: “Warning: Roller Coaster can spin off and disengage from the track, causing certain death, 15% of the time. To the 85% who won’t die, enjoy your ride.”
Now tell me, will you still ride?
I don’t think so.
The same thing is happening with antibiotics.
For awhile, antibiotics were curing many people from venereal diseases.
When I was a teenager, I remember listening to a “liberated” teacher telling us, “Before visiting a prostitute, take 500 milligrams of antibiotics. After sex, take another 500 milligrams. And you’ll be okay.”
Today, drug-resistant bacteria of venereal diseases are spreading all over the world. Because of this, sexually transmitted diseases are now more deadly, more dangerous, and more contagious than ever before.
How Widespread Is STD?
This information shocked me.
World Health Organization (WHO) says that one million people are being infected by venereal diseases every single day.
When we watch TV, we’re awed by the beautiful and handsome young people that jump from one bed to another. In the sitcoms and movies we watch, sex is nothing more than a recreational activity—much like dancing and videogames.
We envy their freedom.
We want their pleasure.
But Hollywood isn’t showing you the darker side: In America, 1 out of 4 teenage girls have a venereal disease. Among those who said they already had sex, 40% has a venereal disease.
Worldwide, 35 million people in the world have AIDS.
Appalled? That’s nothing when you compare that to Hepa B.
Worldwide, Hepatitis B has now infected 2 billion people.
That’s 1 out of 3 people in the entire world.
Take charge over your health.
Practice Prescription 1: Clean Living.
Here’s my second prescription…
Germs aren’t your only enemy.
We now have new enemies: Modern, manmade Toxins.
And it’s in our food.
Let me tell you about Jack Lalanne, a Fitness Teacher.
He is 96 years old.
At his age, he still works out twice a day. That’s 2 hours of weight training in the morning and another 2 hours of swimming or walking in the afternoon.
When people ask him what’s his best advice for becoming healthy, he tells them, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”
Once upon a time, we ate food made by God.
I love it when the Bible says, “…and they ate what grew in the fields. They found wild honey among the rocks; their olive trees flourished in stony ground. Their cows and goats gave plenty of milk; they had the best sheep, goats, and cattle, the finest wheat, and the choicest wine (Deuteronomy 32:12-14).
I agree with Jack Lalanne.
I believe many people are sick today because of the amount of processed food we eat.
Here’s what you need to watch out for…
1. Zero Nutrition
Many times, all the nutrition in processed food has been wiped out by its “process”. But the packaging say it’s “enriched” because they put a few vitamins in it. Crazy.
2. Preservatives and Additives
Because food companies want to increase their product’s shelf life, they’ve loaded them with preservatives. Because they want their food to be tasty yet cheap (and increase profits), they put additives and other chemicals to make them taste like the real thing. And many of these chemicals are not healthy for us.
3. Chemicals In Our Meat
A few years back, a chick required 45 days to become a fully-grown chicken. Today, because of these chemicals, growth hormones, and antibiotics, some chickens are ready for “harvesting” at only 28 days.
A cow, by its natural self, produces 500 gallons of milk a year. Today, “super cows” produce 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of milk a year. That’s because of the chemicals that they inject into these animals. (Super cows don’t move around anymore. They’re held by a steel frame. And they’ve got tubes connected to their udders 12 hours a day.) These chemicals are what we ingest when we eat or drink their produce.
By nature, cows are vegetarian. But in many parts of the world, cows and pigs have become cannibals. They eat their own kind. How? To increase their bulk, protein has been added to their feeds. And the most available protein would come from dead cows and pigs—usually who died of sickness. Their carcasses, even their bones, are crushed to powder and mixed with the animal feeds.
Some scientists believe that this is the main cause of the foot and mouth disease.
Here’s my advice: Eat natural foods as much as possible. Decrease your processed food intake.
For breakfast, instead of eating hotdogs, tocino, pancakes, white bread, and sugared drinks, I suggest papaya, pineapple, melon, watermelon, banana, mangoes and other local fruits. (Organic if possible. If not available, wash them very well.)
For snacks, instead of chichiria, sodas, and bottled juices, eat kamoteng kahoy, raw nuts, and fresh fruit juices (made in your home).
For lunch and dinner, instead of corned beef, instant noodles, and white rice, I suggest kangkong, okra, talbos, lato, carrots, other vegetable salads, tofu, fish, and unpolished rice.
If you want to eat meat, look for “organic” meat. These are grass-fed cattle and free-range chickens. These are more difficult to find but not impossible.
Once again, take charge over your health.
Eat natural food.
Here’s my third prescription…
Before I discuss this, let me state an obvious fact: I believe doctors are God’s gifts to us. (Sirach 38:12-14)
We need doctors.
Imagine it’s New Years Eve and I get hit with a stray bullet. Please rush me to the hospital, slice me up, and pull out the metal slug. Don’t ask, “Bo, what are the emotional roots of your bullet wound?”
Once again, we need doctors.
However, I also believe many get sick because of over-medication and wrong medication.
In a study made by the National Institutes of Health, they say that between 35 to 40 percent of all hospital patients are there because of wrong medical care.
Perhaps it was a misdiagnosis.
Perhaps the patient was given the wrong medicine.
Perhaps the patient received too much medicines.
Perhaps the medicines had side effects.
Perhaps while in the hospital, the patient got infected with another sickness.
This was a study made in the States. Somehow, I want to believe it’s not that bad here in the Philippines. (For example, my friend doctors are more spiritual and relational in nature.)
Whenever possible, I always tell people to take the least invasive medical procedure—and be more invasive when it comes to changing their emotional life, spiritual life, lifestyle, and diet.
See Yourself As Body And Soul
My friend, Dr. Romy Paredes, MD, emailed me last month, and he explained it to me this way…
“The bottom line truth: The immune system is a divinely designed system.
But this was not emphasized in Medical school.
What was emphasized was what drug to give for every disease.
Ironically, my favorite subject in Med school (and also the subject where I got my highest grade 1.0, hehe) is pharmacology…only to find out that somewhere later in my career, I decided to walk the less travelled road of medicine…
Prescription pads nowadays are filled with drugs. That was how I was trained.
Now I prescribe water, sunlight, words like forgive, love more, spend more time with your loved ones, a minimal amount of supplements,…”
I agree with him.
Because 99% of the time, medicines suppresses the symptoms but never cures the cause of the sickness—which can be emotional, spiritual, or nutritional in nature.
Here’s what I mean: When a person comes to me with ulcers, chest pains, back problems, cancers, I advice him not just to pop a pill or go under a knife, but to look at his entire life—body, soul, and spirit. I ask him to awaken the healer within himself.
I ask him to ask himself, “What’s causing this disease?”
85% of the time, it’s an unresolved emotion buried in his heart. Heavy stress. A relationship conflict. A spiritual problem.
15% of the time, it’s a very unhealthy lifestyle that needs to change. A lack of real nutrition. (You can be fat but totally malnourished.) A lack of exercise. A lack of sunlight. A lack of oxygen. A lack of rest.
So I ask him, “Don’t just pop a pill. Change your life.”
Let me tell you a story that happened just last week…
Instead of Popping Pills,
Awaken The Healer
Last Tuesday, my 5-year old son Francis woke up coughing.
By afternoon, he had fever.
A few years back, we would—without much thought—give him paracetamol and cough syrup. If the cough and fever didn’t go away, we’d give him antibiotics.
Today, we’re much wiser.
What do we do?
We awaken the healer in our kids.
Believe me, it’s the most powerful thing we’ve ever seen.
Starve A Fever
Haven’t you noticed? When we get sick, we usually lose our appetite. There’s a purpose to this. Our bodies are telling us something.
Observe your pets. When they get sick, they don’t want to eat too. They stay in a corner and sleep or sulk.
Years ago, when our kids got sick, we force-fed them. We scolded them, “Eat your rice! Eat your chicken! So you’ll have energy to fight the germs!”
We no longer do that craziness.
When we’re sick, we lose our appetites (our tongues can’t even taste food) because our bodies are telling us a simple message: “Don’t eat. I want to use all my energy fighting the disease.” Remember that digestion takes up huge amounts of energy. Your body wants to focus on defense.
So what do we do now when our kids get sick?
We “arm” their immune system with weapons necessary for the fight. How?
Let “Natural” Food Be Your Medicine
When Francis got sick last week, we made him drink fresh fruit juices. We threw in fresh fruits in a blender. Watermelon. Mango. Melon. Banana. Any local fruits we could get our hands on.
For the entire day, that was all he had.
Virtually no solids. He wasn’t hungry anyway.
He lay down on the coach, in the arms of Mommy, watching Jurrasic Park, sipping his fresh fruit juicemany times that day.
Here’s the amazing thing: The following day, his fever and cough were gone. We couldn’t believe it.
The Healer in him won!
(Note: If a child still has fever for more than three days, that’s the time you bring him to a doctor.)
I’m not a doctor.
So please. Before you apply what I’m asking you to do, consult your doctor. Ask a second, third, and fourth opinion.
Like my friend Dr. Romy, there are a growing number of doctors who are growing dissatisfied with the mechanical model of their medical practice.
And in their own way, they’re practicing Holistic Healing.
More and more, they’re realizing that people aren’t machines.
They’re body and soul—and if you want to heal the body, you have to heal the soul too.
Friend, take charge of your life.
Hold the steering wheel of your life.
Go to the place of health, healing, and abundance.
May your dreams come true,
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