Archive for January, 2015

James D. McCusker – A Great American

Jim McCusker was my friend from the first moment we met back in 1988 as young men trying to forge a career in (at that time) life insurance sales at Mass Mutual. We spent a lot of time together; at the office studying or preparing proposals, on the road making sales calls, or after work unwinding from the day. Through it all, if you were with Jim, there was never a dull moment. Truth be told, we played as hard or harder than we worked, but I will always cherish the laughs and meals we shared, the late nights drinking scotch and playing putt putt in the office, and the many long conversations (OK yes I mostly listened) in which we pondered all manner of problems and opportunities under creation.

Several things immediately struck me when I befriended Jim:

Jim was at all times and in all circumstances, absolutely unflappable. Never at a loss for words, Jim could talk to anyone about anything, and he often would. He never met a stranger. He was inquisitive by nature and genuinely interested in others.

Jim was smart. Really smart. He was without a doubt the greatest thinker I have ever known. Jim never shared with me what his IQ was, but his vast vocabulary was ever expanding, and he literally knew a little something about everything. And if he didn’t know about something, he was such a skilled pontificator that you would never realize it!

Jim and I shared a healthy general disdain for the powers that be and a certain detachment from the standards that supposedly govern our little region of the universe. We soon picked up on that commonality, and I think it was Jim who coined the term “Burgstiner Time” to describe my more European approach to time management.

Finally, and most importantly, Jim had an immense capacity to love. He was a gentle and kind soul, bold yet humble, and always a servant – especially to young people. Jim was a devoted husband, brother and son, but by far his greatest joy was being a Dad.

As his close friend, I was a grateful recipient of the love that overflowed from Jim’s heart, and it was he more so than I who made the consistent effort to stay in touch once our career paths diverged, even when we moved away to Atlanta. Whenever we got together, whether in person or by phone, it was like no time had passed. We delighted in each other’s company and encouraged one another in our struggles.

Like all of us, Jim was not perfect, but he left behind a legacy of love and a willingness to dream that impacted all who were fortunate enough to be loved by him. Jim’s soaring mind and sweet soul were released from the limited confines of his mortal body on March 26, 2014. We all miss him now, but I look forward with great anticipation to being reunited with him in paradise one day, where the answers to the many questions we pondered together will finally be understood.

THREE RESOLUTIONS WORTH KEEPING

 

Its two thirdbigstock-I-m-The-Best-324629s of the way through January now. Have you, like most Americans, already come up short on keeping your new year’s resolutions if you even bothered with them at all this year? We start out with the best of intentions, but so easily end up getting distracted by the hectic pace and inevitable chaos of life.

 

Despite the advantages of living in the “Information Age” with easy access to all manner of conveniences that are designed to maximize our productivity and quality of life, we are living in challenging times. Our bodies and minds are being bombarded with unprecedented levels of stress. From the relentless demands of immediate interpersonal access (smart phones) to the cumulative burdens of environmental and emotional toxicity associated with living in these days, we would be wise to heed the words of the Apostle Paul who exhorts us to “Be no longer conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds”. (Romans 12:2)

Even though we recognize that our body is a temple, it is far too easy to take it for granted and mortgage our future with poor choices today. With that in mind, lets look at a few concrete changes or resolutions that are well worth incorporating into our day to day living for 2015 and beyond:

1. HYDRATE – Dehydration is rampant in our culture, and the insidious toll it takes on your health is even more so considering how easily avoidable it is. The leading cause of kidney stones and constipation, dehydration bogs down your metabolism, making even your cells tired. Make cool filtered water (and a little fresh lemon to help alkalize the body) your drink of choice today, and toss the sodas (especially diet). Drink at least a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, and up to twice that amount if you exercise (which you should) or drink alcohol or caffeine (which perhaps you shouldn’t – certainly not in excess).

2. GET MOVING – Regular moderate exercise will do wonders for your metabolism, your energy level, your dress or pant size, and your outlook on life. Not to mention all those infamous markers of health such as blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels that your doctor uses to assess your body’s obvious lack of pharmaceuticals. Forty five minutes of brisk walking three times a week is enough to make dramatic improvements, but adding some anaerobic exercise and light weight bearing repetitions will greatly enhance and diversify your results (i.e.- bone mass gains,etc.).

3. EAT TO LIVE – We have never had so many choices of foods (and cheaply manufactured items masquerading as food) to eat as Americans do today. Only in the last generation has the demand for consumer convenience and extended shelf life made such a happy marriage, creating massive conglomerates that enjoy obscene profits at the expense of our ignorance and our health.

The “patterns of this world” are ever changing in response to the insatiable lusts of mankind, but make no mistake; the things of this world are fiercely set against the wisdom of God and His children. Paul could scarcely have imagined that 2,000 years after he wrote those inspired words, we would be sitting on the couch mindlessly watching television and snacking on fast foods and soda or a highly processed mixture of genetically modified grains, sugar and toxic fats with a few synthetic vitamins added back in to create an illusion of wholesomeness. God knew that the message He gave to the first century church to avoid the corruption of this world would be pure wisdom for all ages, but especially so in these last days.

In order to eat to live, we need to eat living food, and living food does not generally come processed in a box. Reject the foolishness of man’s wisdom and its culture of death, and take advantage of the wonderful diversity of nutrient dense, organic foods that God has made readily available.

Granted, this is easier said than done, as man’s greed has corrupted all of our food sources to some extent through factory farming, genetic engineering and the indiscriminate use of hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and a host of other synthetic chemicals that are ever escalating our toxic burden. It is no wonder that so many people suffer from chronic degenerative illnesses, the symptoms of which are the body’s way of revealing a compromised bioterrain within.

This is where Logos Nutritionals and the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol can make such a profound difference in one’s quality of life. The authentic natural medicines that we offer are designed to strengthen the body’s detoxification pathways, restore the integrity of organ systems and revitalize cellular energy and immunity. My father once pointed out to me that “Man turns to excellence just as surely as a flower to the sun”. This is true, whether in the beauty of the arts, the dependable efficacy of a nutritional supplement, or the thrill of athletic competition. We rejoice in the opportunity to serve, both through the quality of our products and the priceless impact of the message of God’s love that we share.

The three resolutions presented here are ones that must be embraced as a lifestyle if you hope to thrive during these difficult times. There are others that may be more obvious and pressing such as stopping smoking or any habit that may be holding you back from achieving your goals. Personally, having for the most part successfully internalized these big three over the years, my main resolution for this year is to write more consistently. To that end, I wholeheartedly solicit the prayers of my readers.

So here’s to 2015; may it be a year of breakthrough in your health, your attitude and your relationships!

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