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Eulogy For My Dear Friend, Sonny Hambrick

George F. Hambrick Jr.
(May 4, 1961 – September 7, 2015)

I can think of a thousand places I would rather be today than speaking at a funeral service, especially one for my cherished friend, Sonny Hambrick. At the same time, there is no place that I would rather be than right here, right now. You see, we cannot truly appreciate the joy and ecstasy of life until we experience the agony and separation of death.

Yes, there is a time for everything under heaven, even grief. Despite our culture of immediate gratification and the avoidance of anything difficult or painful, we all find ourselves compelled to be here to honor the memory of Sonny Hambrick because of one reason: we loved him or someone in his immediate family.

I am honored to be here today to speak on behalf of Sonny and his family. When Rhonda asked me if I would be willing to share some stories about Sonny with you, I began to think about which words I would use to describe him:

Sonny was Bold and Fearless – When we were young and full of vim and vigor, if you found yourself in an unpleasant situation where you needed someone to have your back, there was no one better than Sonny. He was not afraid of anyone or anything, and he was always ready to “throw down” if he had the opportunity. Sonny would have made a great NFL football player or a terrific soldier… except for the fact that Sonny didn’t particularly care for people telling him what to do.

Sonny was Loving and Kind – If you talk to others about Sonny or read what has been written about him by friends, family and coworkers since his untimely death, a common theme begins to emerge of his humility and kindness. I knew this side of Sonny even when he was young and full of bravado, but life has a way of softening even the toughest among us if we will allow it to. Sonny loved people and he loved animals, especially dogs.

Sonny was Spontaneous and Fun Loving – Sonny enjoyed life to its fullest, and I think that is what attracted us to each other when I first came to Savannah Christian for my junior year of high school. It didn’t take us long to become running mates. He was always ready for an adventure, whether it be a road trip, or a midnight sailing excursion.

Sonny loved the University of Georgia and his Bulldogs. We attended UGA together as room mates in the Fall of 1980 during the glory years of UGA football, when Hershel Walker ran over anyone in his path, when Erk Russell stalked the sidelines with blood all over his face from head butting his defenders, when James Brown thrilled Sanford Stadium with his song, “Dooley’s Junkyard Dawgs”. We soaked up every moment of that incredible year when UGA won the National Championship. We were together when Larry Munson screamed “Run Lindsay! Run Lindsay!” and “Look at the sugar falling from the sky!”.

We had no idea how blessed we were and how special those times were. It was fun to win and fun to learn. Fun to work and fun to play. The legal drinking age was 18 when Sonny and I arrived in Athens, and lets just say we took maximum advantage of that fact. I’m not going to get too far into what we did in those days, other than to say two things:

1. Thank you Lord for looking after us in our stupidity.
2. I’m so glad we didn’t have cell phones and YouTube!

I remember one frigid night in February, Sonny and I got into a silly disagreement and got separated at a fraternity party. I ended up catching a ride back to our dorm, which for those of you who know Athens, was on the first floor of Milledge Hall. I didn’t have my room key so I knocked on the door. No answer. “So this is how its gonna be.” “I said I’m sorry, you blankety blank! Let me in!” Still no answer. After banging on the door for a few more minutes, it was obvious that he was determined to ignore me, so I did what any responsible, level headed young man would do in that situation. I went outside and kicked one of the window panes in – only to find that Sonny was not in there. When he showed up a short time later, I told him the story and we nearly died that night of laughter and the sub freezing temperature in our room.

Sonny and I both married our high school sweethearts. Unfortunately, my dear wife Jahn could not be here with us today because of unavoidable conflicts, but trust me, she is here in spirit. She and Rhonda used to burn up the highways together between here and Athens every weekend. When I asked Jahn what her favorite memory of Sonny was, she said “Walking into your dorm room to the sound of Sonny singing Kenny Rogers love songs to Rhonda”.

I hate to admit it, but Sonny and I were both kind of free flowing in our love of the ladies when we were young. You might have even called us “Lady’s men”. However, when Sonny fell for Rhonda, he fell hard. Rhonda put a spell on Sonny that no one saw coming. He didn’t care that people said he was robbing the cradle. He was madly in love, and the fact that she was barely a teenager was irrelevant. Rhonda has stayed by his side through thick and thin ever since, and I can’t imagine how lost she must feel at this moment. Rhonda, I pray that God will comfort you in your temporary separation from Sonny, and He will fill your mind with all the many sweet memories you have together.

Sonny cherished his family – all of them. From his sweet mom Miss Ann who I affectionately called Mom too, to his lovable Dad George who tried his best to keep us out of trouble, to sweet Pam who he adored, Deborah and all the extended family. But most of all, he loved Rhonda and his precious children Trey and Macy. He loved to call and tell me all about how they were doing. He called me and asked for prayer when Rhonda lost her job, and called to let me know when she got a better one. He was incredibly proud of you Trey and Macy, and he will remain your greatest fan as you embrace an uncertain future without him. I pledge to each of you today – as do many people in this room – to be there for you should you need me.

I will miss getting those phone calls out of the blue when I answer my phone and all he says is “Hey”, and instantly I am transported back in time to our magical days of college and of starting our families together. With Sonny and me, time was irrelevant. We always picked up where we left off without missing a beat. Frankly, he did a better job than I did of staying in touch, but what a sweet friendship we had. He knew me as well as anyone on this earth – and loved me anyway.

Today we celebrate Sonny’s life and his legacy of love. His light burned brightly, and his departure from this earth leaves us feeling the stinging pain of grief. Grief as they say, is the price of love. However, even as we grieve, there is a celebration of homecoming for Sonny in heaven.

Its funny; You would never have voted either of us “Most likely to become Sunday School Teachers”, but God’s amazing grace and loving protection covered us in our youthful exuberance, and He used every experience, every choice – good and bad – and every precious relationship to grow and mold us.

Don’t get me wrong… neither of us are saints, and neither of us are evangelists, but if Sonny were able to stand before you today after meeting His savior face to face, he would remind you all of your mortality, and he would implore you to settle in your mind and in your heart the most critically important question you will ever be confronted with: That is “Who is Jesus Christ, and how does the answer to that question affect me?”
For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of righteousness. The wages of our sin is death, or separation from God. But God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Sonny has left the prison of his flesh and entered into eternity in the presence of and in direct fellowship with God. He no longer suffers from compromised liver or kidney function, and the weaknesses that kept him keenly aware of his dependence on God no longer hinder him. Sonny has been rewarded for his faith, and now he is at perfect peace.

I take great comfort in that, and I sincerely hope that you do too.

God Bless you all.

Is Your Health Being Undermined by This Common but Deadly Sleep Disorder?

Several years ago, at the request of my dear wife, I got tested for sleep apnea, and it probably saved my life. She had patiently endured my snoring, but as a nurse, she was disturbed by the increasing frequency of episodes when I appeared to stop breathing – as well as my increasing weight gain and levels of fatigue and irritability. So off to the sleep center I went…

In case you aren’t familiar with this condition, apnea means “no breath,” and obstructive sleep apnea is the periodic stoppage of breathing while asleep. It is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the airway by the tissues in the back of the throat. Oxygen levels in the blood drop and carbon dioxide rises, waking you up just enough to start breathing, but not enough to be aware of the feeling of terror that comes with not being able to breathe. For those who have severe sleep apnea, the result is you wake up feeling exhausted, perhaps covered in sweat and often with a dry mouth and sore throat.

People who suffer with even mild sleep apnea get sleepy during the day, and it’s no wonder. This continuous arousal prevents them from getting adequate rapid eye movement (REM) sleep—the deepest, most rejuvenating and essential level of sleep.

During my evaluation for sleep apnea, I had 110 attacks of apnea (spells when I stopped breathing for 10 seconds or longer) in one hour. Not a good thing! My oxygen level was low, and I got virtually no restorative REM sleep.

Sleep Apnea Is Catastrophic to Your Overall Health

A ton of research reveals links between sleep deprivation and a broad range of health concerns. In addition to making you exhausted and cranky, poor sleep can trash your memory and mood, make you gain weight, raise your blood pressure and blood sugar, stress your immune system, increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and dementia.

Sleep apnea can set off a cascading nightmare of deteriorating health that spirals out of control before you know it. The combination of deprivation of REM sleep plus other ill effects of sleep apnea (such as significant drops in oxygen levels in the blood, fluctuations in hormone levels, and elevations in blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output) wreaks havoc on the body.

Lower blood oxygen levels in men who have severe sleep apnea slows testosterone production in the testes, resulting in weight gain, loss of energy and stamina, impaired focus and motivation and even lead to chronic anxiety or depression.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people with sleep apnea have three times the risk of developing high blood pressure as those without this sleep problem. Sleep apnea is also an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke. These conditions are associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, C-reactive protein, and clotting factors, and all of these are elevated in people with sleep apnea. Cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure are also much more common among sleep apnea sufferers.

It is said that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from sleep apnea to some degree. There is also a significant relationship between sleep apnea, elevated blood sugar and insulin, and insulin resistance. Severe sleep apnea is associated with a five-fold increased risk of diabetes. Obesity, a related condition, is also associated with sleep apnea, although the exact relationship is harder to understand since obesity is often a primary cause of sleep apnea as well. Erectile problems, immune dysfunction, memory loss and concentration difficulties… the list of problems associated with sleep apnea goes on and on.

The Most Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment

When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, I immediately began using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which is a device worn at night that delivers a steady stream of air to keep the airways open. I couldn’t believe how much it improved my quality of life. Some people complain that their CPAPs or APAPs (an automatic version of CPAP) are uncomfortable, and they do take some getting used to.

Since I started using this sleep apnea treatment, I’ve slept without my CPAP machine only rarely, and not by choice. I may occasionally forget to pack something, but I (almost) never forget my CPAP because I am so convinced of the tremendous benefits offered by a good night’s sleep.

Automatic and continuous positive airway pressure (APAP and CPAP) machines are hands down the best-studied and most effective treatment for sleep apnea. Attempting to lose weight without a CPAP is very difficult because each episode of apnea releases stress hormones that promote weight gain. Although I’ve been using this therapy myself for years and have never had any problems, I do understand that not everyone tolerates it so well. For me, I found that a small mask covering only my nose worked much better than a full face mask.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, compliance rates hover around 60 percent, and mask discomfort and nasal issues are common roadblocks. However, because sleep apnea has such serious adverse effects on your health, the benefits of treatment far outweigh the discomforts of the therapy. That’s why, if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed APAP or CPAP, you need to work with your doctor to try different masks, a humidifier, and other potential solutions before giving up on it.

Secondary Treatments for Sleep Apnea

I wish there was a proven alternative to CPAP/APAP for those who simply cannot tolerate this sleep apnea treatment. Oral appliances, dental interventions, surgical procedures, and positional therapies are certainly worth a try, but can’t guarantee results. That being said, everyone with sleep apnea can and should use natural therapies to address underlying health problems such as thyroid insufficiency, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.

Almost everyone with sleep apnea will benefit from losing weight. In fact, adequate weight loss will completely eliminate the condition in many, and losing 20 to 30 pounds will result in significant improvements. Avoiding alcohol may also be helpful. This is especially true for individuals with mild cases, who may snore and have episodes of apnea only after having a drink. Taking sedatives or analgesics at bedtime can have similar effects, so getting off such drugs may help.

Research published in 2009 suggested that specific throat exercises can help by preventing airway collapse during sleep, resulting in better sleep, less snoring, a significant reduction in neck circumference, and an overall decrease in sleep apnea.

Here are a few of the exercises you can do on your own:

1) Repeat the vowels (A, E, I, O, U) over and over again exaggerating enunciation.
2) Do multiple long, drawn-out yawning movements, opening your mouth wide and tightening the muscles in the back of your throat.
3) Push your tongue up against the back of your front teeth, slowly run it back over the roof of your mouth as far as you can, then slide the tongue back to its original position against the front teeth. Per the study, about 30 minutes daily of these and similar exercises, which can be done throughout the day, are required for maximum benefits.

Bottom Line: Sleep Apnea is Deadly if Left Untreated!

If you snore, are overweight, and/or have metabolic syndrome, you need to get tested for sleep apnea. If you are or have been diagnosed with this condition, try the CPAP/APAP treatments, start an exercise and weight loss regimen, and take supplements that naturally address some of the underlying issues associated with it. Dramatic changes in sleep apnea symptoms are usually seen in patients losing a mere 10-15% of their body weight as fat.

Logos Nutritionals offers several supplements that can be tremendously helpful. First, for those who need to safely lose weight, MagnifiThin is a wonderful aid to boost metabolism and curb your appetite. For those battling with insulin resistance or Metabolic Syndrome, FitCose 1C is a remarkable breakthrough blood sugar support formula. Last but certainly not least, Sleep Advance has proven to be a superior solution for calming the mind and promoting deep, restful sleep.

Finally, to learn everything you ever wanted to know about sleep, read this very informative article.

Happy 4th of July!

Flag and eagle We pray that this weekend will be a satisfying time of fellowship with friends and family as we celebrate our heritage of freedom. Thank you for giving Logos Nutritionals the opportunity to help improve the quality of your life.

 

Firework Safety

Some states, if not all, hold parents liable for any damages or injuries caused by their children using fireworks. Here are a few tips:

** Always read directions.
** Use fireworks outdoors only.
** Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials.
** Light one at a time.
** Keep a safe distance.
** Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
** Never experiment with fireworks.
** Have a bucket of water and a hose handy.
** Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
** Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
** Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
** Fireworks are not toys.
** Use only State Fire Marshal approved fireworks.

Enjoy the holiday and please be careful!

CATCHING PIGS

A dear friend sent me this today in an email, and I just had to share it.  This is a perfect description of the changes we have seen in our country:

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.

"You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn.  When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.

When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.

The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths: There is no such thing as a free lunch and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

You see, all of this wonderful government ‘help’ is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America. God help us all when the gate slams shut!

Quote for today.
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living." – – Anonymous

Cool Website and Newsletter

Please check out Dr. Philip Princetta’s website and enroll in his free newsletter.  Dr. Princetta is a brilliant practitioner of chiropractic and natural medicine, and a long term supporter of the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol.  He maintains the health of very grateful patients in San Diego and Atlanta, but his practice is impacting the health of many others worldwide.

Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas WreathThere is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a spiritual reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, now you know!  And a very Merry Christmas to each and all of you!

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone!

10 Ways Not to Break The Bank for Christmas

From one of my favorite sites, All Pro Dad:

     

    Christmas 2005 017Male or female, young or old, religious or not, everybody seems to love Christmas. The fun, the giving, the excitement, the children, the food, the tradition – what’s not to love?  Yet, every year without fail, so many of us arrive at December 25th tired, disappointed, overextended, and—in a word—broke.

    It seems like we get caught up in a stampede of sorts and, by the time the first credit card statement hits the mailbox, we’re in over our heads and it’s tough to remember how we got there. Yet alone understand.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s possible to love Christmas, participate in the giving, add meaning we usually miss by a mile, and at the same time avoid the pitfalls of spending more than we can afford.

    It’s all about initial trajectory, about heading into December with a good idea of where we’re going and why. It’s about finding Christmas and not losing our way.

    All Pro Dad offers the following suggestions when it comes to “not breaking the bank this Christmas.” (Most of these ideas have been sampled from the 2008 book, “In My Heart I Carry A Star: stories for Advent”.)

  1. Move into December directly from Thanksgiving:

    Think of the Thanksgiving celebration as your launching pad into the Christmas Spirit. Thanksgiving is defined by gratitude for what we have. Gratitude is the most appropriate context possible for giving. It’s hard to be confused about overextending ourselves when we’re thinking about the Pilgrims who barely survived that first winter (1620-1621).

  2. Make a budget and stick to it:

    We know, easier said than done! But there is a foundational principle at play here. We must control our spending, or it will simply run away with itself

  3. Save over the next few weeks, place cash in envelopes designated by name, then purchase gifts using the cash:

    This makes the budgeting process more concrete, clear-cut, and easy to follow.

  4. Be clear about the meaning of Christmas:

    Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by priorities that turn out to be valueless. Who is making the decisions about money? Is it you, and the values your family espouses? Or is it our culture, the power of advertizing, and peer pressure? After all, isn’t it your money?

  5. Make a family decision to give to a charity instead of buying things no-one really needs:

    Several things happen when you give in this way:

    – Deep satisfaction

    – You know how much you’re giving and you stick to it

    -  A purer understanding of what it means to give

    -  A sense of perspective

  6. Shop early, as you can afford items, and then save them for Christmas:

    Why not start shopping early, little by little, and buy what you can afford as the money becomes available?

  7. Choose ahead of time not to use a credit card, and then put the promise in writing:

    Making an active decision always makes a difference in behavior. Once credit is out of the equation, it frees our thinking up for alternative ideas and more realistic priorities

  8. Pay attention to cues from your family, and get gifts that will bring joy rather than gifts that will make you feel generous:

    Are you buying that expensive bracelet because it will make your wife happy? Or because it will make you feel generous? Learn to listen, plan ahead, and make the giving experience a real treasure hunt.

  9. Handmade gifts reflect planning, effort, creativity and love:

    They are, in effect, more valuable because they represent creative thought and personal effort.

  10. Value thoughtfulness over cost:

    “It’s the thought that counts” may be a cliché… but it’s a cliché because it’s true. Raw dollar amounts say nothing about the gift. We are deceived if we believe that a gift is “better” because it has a larger price tag.

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