Monday, April 2, 2018

Generosity Through Abundance

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On Pills and Needles by Rick Van Warner - A Review

Another binge read.

Had to force myself to put it down Friday night, read enough Saturday to almost give myself nightmares that night and finished it Sunday after Easter festivities.

So much is in the news these days about opioid addiction but I had no idea what I would learn by reading this book.

The nightmare: thinking about how easy it is for a young person to become addicted, how many die from overdose daily, and how hard it is to get off opioids  Of course the same is true for many older people but reading a father’s story of his young sons horrible journey in addiction made me think about my own precious children. It could have easily been one of them.

It starts with the drug makers and the money to be made. They promised a drug that was non-addictive but the billions they made was because it was so addictive. The politicians who could have curbed the problem before it careened out of control were bought off by the companies.

The recovery industry many times is part of the problem as well. As long as you have money upfront or good insurance, they will “help” but in so many cases they just care about making money off suffering individuals and families and in most cases don’t provide lasting aid.

The story of the family in this book isn’t sanitized. Sure it would be easy to tell a story about the teenage addict but what fills in the gaps is what was going on with the other family members. At this point the marriage has survived but that wasn’t always assured. Husband and wife constantly fighting, sometimes due to their own issues, sometimes because of the stress of the whole thing, sometimes vehemently disagreeing about the course of treatment. Siblings impacted. Debt incurred in the six figures from one treatment center after another, multiple relapses, vowing no more help, giving in again and providing help. Behavior contracts signed and soon broken. Child allowed in the home again and soon forced to leave. A father having to face his own issues. Heartache by the ton.

Questions were raised why some addicts can go through a program or not go through a program and then never use again. Encouragement and hope came and soon after was dashed. Lessons were learned about what their son really needed. As I turned each page I wondered what would come next. Would their son survive? Would the story end with relapse and death?

If you want to know the conclusion then you will have to read it yourself. But that is not all you will find out. In the end you too will understand this problem in a whole new way.

I hope this book becomes a bestseller. I hope we can learn more about this horrible addiction and the poor souls held in its grasp.



Monday, February 19, 2018

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved - Review

I got this book yesterday and finished reading it today. I think what grabbed me was how similar it was to a story in my family.

It’s a story of cancer. A story where it comes suddenly. It appears at Stage IV and has spread to the liver and who knows where else. Maybe life can be prolonged but there will be no cure.
So where is God in all of this?

You may think it would be a sad book and not one that you would want to read. I understand that. Of course, there has to be sadness in a terrible story like this but there is also so much that can be learned when you are given an intimate window into the life of the one who is afflicted.

So where is God in all of this? That’s what the book is about. And you will be surprised at all of the twists and turns there are in thinking about that.

It’s also a book that can help us who are on the outside to better know what helps and what doesn’t.

I can’t recommend it enough!

Find more about the book here:

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Problem With Weight Loss

Me - before and after.
The problem with weight loss is: What will you do once you reach your goal? Many people decide that they will celebrate with all of the foods they have deprived themselves of. Most have no idea as they have never thought about it, somehow thinking that things will magically change once the pounds are gone.

The common thing is for people to go back to the same eating habits and before long they have regained all the weight they lost and usually more.

That is the problem with most diets. The way you eat on them is not something you can or want to continue to do.

Losing weight is hard. I know. It was over 7 years ago that I began a weight loss journey. In 9 months I lost 70 pounds. I have not gained it back. Statistically I am in a very small percentage of people.

We want a fast and easy way to lose weight that doesn’t require us to change anything long-term. The result is the long-term works against us.

In the last 7 years I have been saddened over and over to see so many friends try one fad diet after another. I think the lack of success finally convinces them that it is impossible and they might as well get used to being overweight and unhealthy.

Do you know that if you reduce your daily calorie intake by just 500 calories you can lose a pound a week? Of course that requires knowing how many calories you should have each day. You also have to track the calories of what goes into your mouth. It’s actually a lot easier that you might think.

A bunch of small steps will lead to great progress. Slow and steady wins this race.

The path I followed and the one I live by is not easy but it’s not all that hard either. It sure beats being winded by just walking up the stairs from the basement. A life change is what we need. Yes, change is hard but after a while it becomes normal and that normal can be so liberating.

I invite you to read about my journey. Your path may be a little different but I think you will find it to be a commonsense and doable way of life. Nothing for sale and no fads. Follow this link to get started: My Weight Loss Journey - 70 pounds gone. 

The problem with losing weight is that most people find it again. Don't let that be you,

Here’s to a better you!

Philip


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