6 Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

6 Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Prevent Alzheimer's DiseaseYou probably either know or know of someone who developed dementia as they got older. Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – is feared by more adults than any other disease except cancer. But dementia is not inevitable. While you may not be able to guarantee how your mind will function in the future, there’s much you can do to effectively prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

“Senior moments” may lead many middle-aged individuals to worry if these are early signs of dementia. Forgetting where you left your keys or missing an appointment because you forgot can be scary. It’s reassuring to know that most people experience such “senior moments” as they get older, and only rarely do these indicate impending dementia. There’s no need to worry unless these are accompanied by other more serious symptoms, or they begin to affect your daily functioning. Other people who know you well can also provide feedback; if your spouse notices a personality change, or if your coworkers are concerned that you’re no longer doing your job adequately, it’s time for further evaluation.

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disorder involving the death of brain cells. Tangles involving the neurons in the brain, deposits of abnormal proteins such as amyloid, and other specific changes all contribute to this cell death. As more brain cells die, the remaining brain cells eventually become unable to pick up important functions such as memory, communication, and judgment.

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Why You Must Find Your WHY

Why You Must Find Your WHY

Find Your WHYBrianna sat down to chat yesterday. Her second child is nine months old, and she and her husband are planning to try for a third within the next few months. They returned from a trip to France just a matter of days ago, and she couldn’t get enough of the good food there. She’s also trying to complete some extra coursework/certifications to further her nursing career. She knows she needs to make some changes in her lifestyle. “But not right now,” she said. “Perhaps in a couple years, when things settle down, I’ll work on changing my diet and getting healthier.”

I’ve got some news for Brianna. Things will never settle down enough to make it “easy” to get healthier. If she has a third child there will be that many more clothes to wash, doctor’s appointments to keep up with, and daycare or school decisions to make. More career opportunities will only add to potential responsibilities and their attendant stresses. More money could mean even more travel, more interesting restaurants to visit, and more reasons to delay making healthy lifestyle changes.

If you’re waiting until circumstances “settle down,” you’ll never start that exercise program, change your eating habits, have that difficult conversation, launch that business idea, make date night a regular appointment, or study the Bible more. You will only do the truly important things if you find a reason that’s bigger than your current circumstances.

You’ll only make a change when you find your WHY.

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The Single Most Important Way to Avoid Bad Advice

The Single Most Important Way to Avoid Bad Advice

Big brother offering advice to little brotherLearning from people who have experienced the same challenges you have is awesomely wise. It’s one of the most productive and efficient ways to grow, not to mention avoiding pain and heartache. That’s certainly true if the advice is good. But how do you know you’re not getting bad advice?

I’ve received plenty of both good and bad advice over the years. I remember one occasion when I purchased a car based on some bad advice from a friend. Seven months and numerous problems later I was relieved when I sold that car and only lost a few thousand dollars. Bad advice can get you in trouble in a hurry – and not just financial trouble!

Seeking wise advice is Biblical: “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) But not just any counsel will do; it must be godly. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” (Psalm 1:1)

SO, how do you know whether this person or this counsel is wise, godly, and appropriate for you?

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Are You Putting God in a Box?

Are You Putting God in a Box?

[guestpost]This article has been refreshed from May 2012. I believe it is still true today.[/guestpost]
New York City ChurchSo who’s right? You? Your pastor? The Pope? The head of some denomination? The group of church leaders when they vote? Which leaders? Or perhaps the “who’s right” question isn’t the right one because we’re putting God in a box by asking it that way.

Perhaps each one of us is right in how we hear God for ourselves. He can talk to each one of us, right? So in effect, can each one of us hear differently, and still be right?

And what happens when you hear differently from me? Or one pastor hears differently from another? Or one group of church leaders does one thing in the name of God, and another group does something very different?

There are many examples of this kind of divisive religiosity, but one stands out in my mind. During the period of the US Civil War, both the Union and Confederate sides of the conflict appealed to Christianity and Scripture in support of their respective positions, including both slavery and anti-slavery beliefs. Both certainly could not be right!

Sure, we can misunderstand what we believe we hear from God. And there have been plenty of falsehoods taught in the name of Christianity for two thousand years. But is everybody wrong except me? Or you? Or – who???

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How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

Trees from AshesI’ve only been fired once. It happened in one of the worst possible ways. The email arrived on a Sunday night: “You are being taken off the schedule immediately.” There was no warning. No “opportunity for improvement.” No due process. Even looking back from the vantage point of years I can see no warning signs leading up to that traumatic evening. Nobody had the guts to approach me and explain what was going on.

I had it easier than most people who get fired. That position was not the only “job” I had at the time. I was working in three different settings, and was able to quickly increase my hours in the other two positions. Financially I experienced only a minor hiccup, but the internal impact on my psyche wasn’t nearly as minor.

Through that experience I discovered that being fired is good for you. Oh sure, it hurts. But it’s an experience that can spawn a great deal of wisdom, clarity, and maturity if one allows it to.

Here are several things being fired helped me understand, and that you can learn if you have a similar experience:

  1. Life isn’t fair. It’s not worth the emotional angst to try to make it fair. Some people are just jerks.
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