Heart Disease: Heart Healthy Eating

Heart Disease: Heart Healthy Eating


We should learn about our hearts: “The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body.

“What is a heart healthy diet” my doctor asked me on April 12, 2017. That shocked me, she’s a medical doctor, she should know I thought. You see, when I first went to her a year ago for my yearly check up, my only complaint was my weight. And now one year later, I am down over 20 pounds. When she asked what have I been doing, I replied, “I’m eating a heart healthy diet!”

I guess it means different things to different people. I decided to do some more research and decided we might want to share exactly what we are doing, although we mentioned it previously here. Continue reading

Heart Disease: Metabolic Syndrome


April 2017. Bill has lost over 40 pounds and I’ve lost over 20. We didn’t try to do this, just changing our diet caused the weight to literally melt off! Our before picture is below.

Have you ever heard of Metabolic Syndrome? If you are like us, we never did, until December 22, 2016 when Bill was informed he had it. He was still reeling from the fact the week prior, he was told he was at risk for a massive heart attack and/or had heart disease. Like everyone who gets such a scary diagnosis, you never imagine it could happen to you.

In one way, it was a relief! It explained why Bill couldn’t lose a pound when he tried! We are a very active couple, living a lifestyle that demands activity. Or else, we chose this lifestyle because we love activity!

We love the outdoors, either to take hikes, or walk through forests, or go on long beach walks. Bill was in shock and denial because of the long hikes, going up and down some pretty steep mountains and never once felt out of breath! So I guess this means, it can happen to just about anyone without any symptoms or warnings. We know of several active men who literally dropped dead from a massive heart attack that also didn’t seem to have any symptoms. Continue reading

Heart Disease: Entering a New Country

Bill often said he felt like he was in a new country when he began to eat a Heart Healthy diet. The shock has finally subsided since he learned he had heart disease and Metabolic Syndrome on December 15, 2016, details here in case you missed it. Thankfully, Bill is a strong-willed person. When he decides he is going to do something, he does it, and usually in a big way.  He learned to accept it, written about here, and decided he would do whatever he had to do to overcome any obstacles that might hinder his lifestyle. The next step he had to go through was to decide how to live with it, written here.

Now let’s fast forward to April 11, 2017. The day finally arrived for us to meet again with Dr. Jeffrey Askew. I was very positive, but Bill’s nature was to be reserved and apprehensive. It’s a family trait! Well, drum roll…. Continue reading

Heart Disease: Understanding and how to live with it!

We are so grateful to Bill’s brother, David, and his wife, Linda. They really helped us through our first week of the shocking revelation that Bill was at risk of a massive heart attack and heart disease, written about here, in case you missed it. Thankfully, they not only are medical professionals – have attended continuing education to stay on top of their fields – but they have also focused on heart disease since David has had a heart attack.

They figured out how to live with heart disease and we have watched their lifestyle from a distance since they live states away. We don’t usually see each other more than once a year. Normally, when a sibling has a heart attack, it raises your chances. But Bill felt he and his brother had such different lifestyles, he was not at risk. Guess he was proven wrong now!

We had to wait a week before we met with a new cardiologist, Jeffrey E. Askew, MD. He happens to be one of the cardiologists intimately familiar with the Heart Calcium Scan Score. In the meantime, they told us a few things he would suggest the next step would be: possibly a heart cauterization to actually look inside his arteries to see what is going on; and/or a stress test. But more than anything, adopting a heart healthy lifestyle will be the #1 suggestion.

That is exactly what we did. We began to educate ourselves on what we were putting into our bodies. Granted, we have more or less bragged that we eat healthy, we certainly are active with walking and hiking, and we really haven’t been sick much in our lifetimes. We were deluded….

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 

Proverbs 14:12

We heard a sermon this winter that helped us see our own delusion. We tend to overestimate how “good” we are (in whatever way: fitness, relationship with the Lord, relationship with others, our health, our weight….) and underestimate the reality! We replay that a lot to each other. We knew we were gradually gaining weight, but we thought it was part of the aging process.  We told ourselves, we were eating healthy and were exercising…we aren’t that old, we did eat a basically healthy diet – but we were ignorant about preservatives, additives and how many cookies and klondike “no sugar added” ice cream squares we were eating! That undid the nine miles we may have just hiked!!!

Our sister-in-law, Linda, was our best teacher about the additives, etc. in the foods we eat and then we began to do our own research. We were shocked at some of the ingredients we were consuming in the foods we eat. We began to look up each word we didn’t know what it was – and what a shock! We began to eliminate processed foods from our diet.

We began to research what we could about heart disease. Here are a few facts we began to realize and incorporate into our lives:

It’s important to note that one common heart health mistake is to believe that lowering cholesterol levels is the key factor in preventing cardiovascular disease. Actually, the body needs cholesterol to perform many of its functions, so the ultimate goal should be to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and to protect that cholesterol from oxidative stress.

You know it’s true for everyone: having a balance and variety of foods is key to a healthy, nutritious diet. Of course, fad diets come and go, and while some stick around longer than others because of dramatic, temporary results, they all lead to nutritional deficiencies of some type.

So how do you achieve a proper balance while maintaining a healthy weight? What’s important is to manage your ratio of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. For adults, proteins should be between 10 and 35 percent of the diet, fats between 20 and 35 percent and carbohydrates between 45 and 65 percent. And in addition to helping you achieve your weight-loss goals, eating the correct ratio of foods may help you permanently change your eating habits, which can improve your long-term health.

Make sure your diet includes a wide variety of micronutrients as well. You’ll find a great deal of these in fresh, colorful vegetables and fruits. Make sure the majority of the food you eat is nutrient dense, as opposed to empty calories from processed food.
From USANA Health Sciences

We never thought about the ratios of the fats, proteins and carbs. That was the key point Linda made when she suggested we start tracking everything we eat in the Lose it! app. Since Bill doesn’t use a smart phone, I downloaded it and became his food coach, monitoring his every bite he ate! Then I downloaded the FoodEducate app to do the same for me, after all, I want him to succeed. To be honest, I needed to lose some weight and take care of my heart as well. So while his app showed us those percentages, my app also showed the “value” of the nutrition. So while we’ve basically had a high carb diet (I avoid bread and potatoes – but he ate regularly), we learned fast we needed to change! Within a few days of food tracking, we could see many carbs we now are eating are “good” carbs (mainly fresh fruit)….there is a lot to this nutrition thing! Here is a sampling of the Lose It! app:

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Bill began to see food as the “enemy” as we transitioned from a processed food diet, to one of more “whole” foods. In just one week, he lost four pounds! And that was really eliminating the junk food we didn’t really acknowledge we had in our lives. In time, he has balanced out his view of food and now knows food was created for our good! It’s just best in its more natural state!

“Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:18).

It is now Thursday, December 22, 2016. Yes, right before Christmas and we are ready to learn more about Bill’s condition. When Dr. Askew came in, he had a look, “Where is the patient?” He was not expecting a rather tall, relatively slim and healthy looking guy! We joked about it, but the reality of the facts, numbers and our concern were all he needed to start explaining where we were.

The first thing he told us was that Bill had metabolic syndrome! This was actually the good news! It explained why Bill had been unable to lose any weight this past year. We had both tried to no avail.  Let’s simplify it by copying from WebMD, with my notes in italics:

Metabolic syndrome is a health condition that everyone’s talking about. (Really? We never heard of it until Bill was diagnosed with it!)

Although it was only identified less than 20 years ago, metabolic syndrome is as widespread as pimples and the common cold. According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans have it. That’s almost a staggering one out of every six people. The syndrome runs in families and is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. (Bill is none of these, he’s of Irish descent.) The risks of developing metabolic syndrome increases as you age.

Indeed, metabolic syndrome seems to be a condition that many people have, but no one knows very much about. It’s also debated by the experts — not all doctors agree that metabolic syndrome should be viewed as a distinct condition….

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself. Instead, it’s a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat. (Later, the article says to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you would have at least three of these risk factors – which is all Bill has.)

Obviously, having any one of these risk factors isn’t good. But when they’re combined, they set the stage for serious problems. These risk factors double your risk of blood vessel and heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They increase your risk of diabetes by five times.


The excellent brochure provided by Dr. Askew. Note this excerpt: “Primary care physicians, who are already experts at managing patients who have multiple medical conditions, have what it takes to reverse metabolic syndrome. Initial prevention and treatment tactics center on diet and exercise interventions.”

Dr. Askew was a great teacher. Since it was almost 4 months ago, I don’t recall exactly what he said. But Bill got it! What was so strange, is that Bill has had high triglycerides nearly ever since he has had his blood work monitored. In fact, the only concern any doctor had about Bill was his cholesterol. And Bill pushed back because it runs in the family as well as longevity.

What about triglycerides?

They are important to life and are the main form of fat – they are sometimes called “lipids” — in the body. When you think of fat developing and being stored in your hips or belly, you’re thinking of triglycerides.

They are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in food. Some are made in the body from other energy sources, such as carbohydrates. When you’re between meals and need more energy, your body’s hormones release them so you tap those unused calories.

Bottom line is that Bill experienced the perfect storm, and there was no denying he has this syndrome. And now for the great news about it, and this was the doctor’s focus: “A good diet and exercise plan can lower triglyceride levels, improve cholesterol, and decrease the chance of heart disease.”

Dr. Askew then went into great detail about the heart function, arteries and how the calcium score revealed his risk factors. Here is what we learned in a nutshell, to better understand what Bill is facing, from Medicinenet:

Heart (cardiovascular) disease definition and facts

  • Heart disease refers to various types of conditions that can affect heart function. These types include:
    • Coronary artery (atherosclerotic) heart disease that affects the arteries to the heart
    • Valvular heart disease that affects how the valves function to regulate blood flow in and out of the heart
    • Cardiomyopathy that affects how the heart muscle squeezes
    • Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) that affect the electrical conduction
    • Heart infections where the heart has structural problems that develop before birth
  • Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in the US.
  • Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle and coronary artery disease occurs when there is a buildup of cholesterol plaque inside the artery walls. Over time, this buildup of plaque may partially block the artery and decrease blood flow through it.
  • A heart attack occurs when a plaque ruptures and forms a clot in the artery causing a complete blockage. That part of the heart muscle that is denied blood supply starts to die.
  • Classic signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease may include:
    • Chest pain (angina) – This pain may radiate or move to the arm, neck or back.
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sweating
    • Nausea

Now for more good news! Bill is probably in the early stages of coronary artery disease, but since he has none of the classic signs and symptoms, he is a great candidate to turn his prognosis around. While the doctor said Bill’s calcium score will never change, he can make positive changes to his health by a radical adjustment in his diet and exercise.

Dr. Askew recommended a Mediterranean type diet and suggested we look up the diet recommended by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD. He added, it is a radical diet but this is Bill’s best hope for a long healthy life. David did go on this diet and lost 50 pounds. He was transformed into a mean, lean, fighting machine! But there was a downside…so we’ll learn about it next post.

Dr. Askew did not feel he needed to do a heart cauterization (hallelujah!) but only needs a nuclear stress test at this time. Phew, we haven’t mentioned planned to leave Virginia for three months, to go to warmer climates for the winter. It looks like we can still leave in early January.

Dr. Askew was also very optimistic about Bill’s future. He didn’t think he needs to be on any heart medicine at this time, Not even a statin – although if Bill wanted to go forward with the one the other cardiologist prescribed, it was up to him.

We left feeling somewhat optimistic, but we learned an awful lot of new information. It was going to take time for it to make sense and for us to absorb it. We just need for Bill to take that one more test, which he felt we could get scheduled within the week. And we had to get a grip on the diet.

Next up, the radical dietary changes begin.

All In!

We are amazed as we visit a different church most Sundays. The themes and sermons build on each other. What is great is when we keep talking about a sermon or remember points about it weeks afterwards. And the sermon we heard on February 25, 2017 was one such message. We discovered a church close to us when we were staying in Davis Bayou Gulf Seashore National Park in Ocean Springs, Mississippi (link goes to our Travel Blog about our time there).

Sometimes, I can just sense the sermon is one where I want to take detailed notes. And that I did! So here are my notes and feeble attempt to recreate this wonderful sermon that speaks clearly to us! I will have a post soon about our new physical health journey that plays into this sermon – which might be why it speaks so loudly to us.

All In (sermon series)
(Sermon theme) ”We overestimate how good things are between us and God”

The Pastor started by sharing how he overestimated his ability to participate in an exercise class last winter. He and his wife decided to join the Y and “get into shape.” He read about a spinning class, you know, you “just ride” a stationary bicycle. That can’t be too hard, can it, he asked? If you know what he was talking about, you know he was in for a rude awakening. He and his wife signed up for the classes – but they were told they needed to take the beginners class first to learn how it goes. He joked with his wife, “really? Learn how to ride a stationary bike?” But they complied.

At first, the instructor seemed so kind and sweet….then she turned into a drill sergeant! After a time of being run ragged, he glanced at his wife, who was also also sweating profusely, then he looked at his watch. He was going to say, “let’s sneak out.” What a shock to see only 5 minutes had passed and the class was 45 minutes long! Needless to say, they had to finish it because they would have had to pull their bikes out in front of the class, then EVERYONE would know they were quitters. He just had to endure the pain! His point was how we all tend to overestimate our abilities. Not just physical, but spiritual as well.  That usually means we then have to go though a period of testing, just like he did. And there will more than likely be pain! Was he “all in” for the exercise class? He thought he was – but once in it, he realized he wasn’t ready for it. 

Much like what the disciples went through, in particular, Peter. Peter was always ready to jump into whatever task was at hand. But was he “all in” as a disciple?  He thought he was. Peter experienced a defining moment, like we all do – we either experience a spiritual break through or a break down. We either move forward or backwards.

Our text was Luke 22:31-34, 54-62, and is noted below.

First, note that Jesus is NOW calling him Simon, whereas when HE first called him, he renamed him Peter and said “Upon this rock, I will build my church.” So this tells us that Simon Peter had “regressed” or is about to fail his first test. Jesus tried to warn Peter he wasn’t ready, or wasn’t really “all in” as Peter thought.

Luke 22:31-34 ”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”  Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

Does Peter sound a bit optimistic about his stand for the Lord? Previously, the disciples had been arguing who was going to be the greatest (back up to Luke 22:24). We don’t really know who was the instigator, but some scholars think it was Peter because of being named the Rock and how he always speaking without thinking – and then says, “LORD I AM READY TO GO WITH YOU BOTH TO PRISON AND TO DEATH.” We know how this turns out, but, first let’s notice the Lord reminded him of times past, how he did take care of them:

Luke 22:35-37 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Then the TEST, Peter now tested:

Luke 22:54-62 Then they seized him (the Lord) and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now let’s look back at Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” The pastor then demonstrated how this was done back in the day, when you go back to the original Greek word for sift – It is actually to “beat” the wheat! 

I decided to look up this process as it is so important to understand what is actually happening. This is actually a common theme in a number of Bible Studies and other sermons, but this was the first time we had it so clearly, and maybe painfully, taught us! Anyway, I loved the visual he created for us. He actually had a fistful of wheat and began to “beat” it on the ground. Here is a picture and some further explanation. According to an article, sifting wheat back in the day is a two step process:  The first is manual threshing, and the second is winnowing (which he also demonstrated).

Threshing: The first step in the process of sifting wheat is to loosen the chaff from the edible grain, which is called threshing. The old fashioned way to do this is to spread the wheat onto a floor made from stone, concrete, or tamped earth.

Voices Against the Grain

Picture borrowed from another blog that also teaches on this subject:  click here to go to Voices Against the Grain

Winnowing: The next step is called winnowing, where the loosened chaff is removed from the grain. The old fashioned way of doing this was to throw the grain in the air, the lighter chaff would be blown off by even a decent breeze. The heavier grains would fall back to the ground below where they were thrown. The wheat gets sifted, so the hard outer shell can be broken through and removed. You want the actual wheat to remain and nothing extra.  As you can imagine, that’s the same process a person has to go through. God breaks down the outer shell of a person, so the real seed of life can remain.

WOW, no wonder our trials hurt so much….

Back to the sermon

Before Peter can be the leader, the Lord still needs to do a work in him before he can fulfill his destiny. The Lord had to see Peter humbled before he was ready to be built up as the leader of the new church. So when you build a house, you have to ask, how deep do you want your footers? If you live in a trailer or manufactured home, they are put on cinderblocks. And we know they can blow away in a severe storm….but skyscrapers have deep, deep, deep footers. We were asked, “how deep are the footers in your life? Are they big enough for the floor plans God has for your life?”

Back to V 31. Satan is a tool for Jesus. To sift wheat, remember it is shaken and beaten violently. Then the grain is thrown into the air, the lighter chaff (or those on cinderblock footers) are blown away with a breeze! Satan asked permission to shake us, and to beat us until our grain falls off the stalk. That’s what Satan wants. Ouch, and Jesus said go for it! Much like Job. God knew Job was faithful and would survive, but Job didn’t know it! So in our painful moments, we want to give up!

Two results of shifting: detaches grain of wheat from the stalk. Then it prepares the grain of wheat into something “useful.” (IMPORTANT teaching point)

Strong winds blow chaff away but heavy grain falls straight to the ground!

V32-Jesus in essence said, “I have prayed for you, when you turn back, you will strengthen your brothers!” After the threshing and winnowing, the grain becomes energy for us, just as Peter now has the energy to be an encourager! Just like the wheat is a source of energy.

From John 21:15, after the Lord is resurrected, “…Peter do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!” “Jesus said, ‘feed my sheep.’”  Three times he asked him. Because he has been sifted, He can now feed His sheep. God can’t use you fully until God has broken you and turned you into something “useful!”

Was satan’s purpose accomplished or was Jesus’s purpose when you went through a similar defining moment?

Are we just detached or can we now see how God can use us after our trials?
Do you need to be restored? Or redeemed? (time for the alter call.)

There is a purpose in the pain.

Are we living in a way we can encourage the brothers and sisters in our faith?

Sometimes we question whether we are really living for the Lord. If we are following Him or asking Him to join us. Many times in our doubting, the Lord clearly shows us how He is using us. And one way is to be encouragers as we travel about. Our first sermon when we arrived in Florida for our winter travels was just that perfect sermon to help us prepare for what was lying ahead in our travels. (Oh where are my notes? It was so powerful and needs to be memorialized like this one.) We know we fall short, but we do hope and pray, we are ALL IN for the duration of what the Lord has for us!

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Wytheville, Virginia and the end of our summer travels

This is a bit long. It’s our last post of our summer travels.

Follow the Tumble Lees!

What beautiful West Virginia mountains we drove over and through!

While traveling for years, we’ve bought fuel in the Wytheville, Virginia area. It is at the crossroads of I-81 and I-77 in southwestern Virginia. Bill once said we should visit one day, so finally, we spent seven nights here, July 21-28, 2016. It was a  230 miles drive from Carters Cave State Resort Park. Click here if you missed that post.

If you’ve ever been through West Virginia, you can imagine it wasn’t Bill’s favorite state to drive through in our big rig….but thankfully the interstate system was great and all went smoothly. Note the beauty in this picture, above. Bill’s enjoyed our travels all summer, going around or even less than 100 miles per move.  This final leg of our summer was just a bit long. Thankfully, we were almost to our final summer destination: time with our…

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Philadelphia: The Faithful Church

FBC London

Picture I took as we walked up to First Baptist Church, London, Kentucky

We attended First Baptist Church of London, Kentucky on July 10, 2016. If you recall, that was just two days after the massacre of five police officers and wounding of nine others in Dallas, Texas. I could sense the need for not only an inspirational worship service and sermon after that horrific event, but our country needs the hope of Jesus. I’m only going to share the highlights from the sermon as it spoke to me.

The service was exceptional, full of prayers and heart rendering* praise and worship music to a presentation from a Gideon about how God uses a simple Bible to capture the heart of a lost soul. He gave two compelling examples. Do you know about the horrific homicides by “Son of Sam” in New York City? Granted it was long time ago. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 after killing six and wounding seven the previous summer. About 10 years later, he became “Son of Hope” after learning Jesus loved him and would forgive him of his sins. It’s a beautiful testimony and can be found here. His background was horrific, as is typical with many serial killers. Another inmate began to tell him about how Jesus had set him free and gave him a Gideon Bible, allowed in Prison. David writes:  Continue reading

Campground Churches

Church Service

What a great welcome sign!

My mom and step-dad, Cliff, were full-time RVers for a short season, right after they married.  When Bill and I decided to start RVing, Cliff became our mentor. He had owned all types of RVs for decades. He and his first wife, Hazel, traveled regularly in them. He was a wealth of information and helped us a lot as we began our RV journey.

One of my main concerns with going “full-time” was what about church? We were faithful members and attenders after God restored our marriage. I couldn’t imagine traveling away from our church for more than a week or two.  Cliff was a man of faith and was also a loyal member of a local congregation. He simply said, “most campgrounds have Sunday services.” Continue reading

“Real Faith for Real Life!”

IMG_2857We were blessed to attend Crosspath Church in Chattanooga when we were in the area. My last post was about the first two days of our trip there and click here to read about the rest of the trip. When Pastor William Jacques said he’s been preaching a series from the book of James titled, “Real Faith for Real Life,” I knew the message on this date (May 22, 2016) was for me (and I’d blog about it). And as he went on, Bill nodded and nudged me, so I guess it was for him, too. Or else, he knew it was for me. 😬

I don’t know about anyone else, but the book of James is one of my favorites. There is so much in there and the one scripture I pray for myself and for others as I pray for them, is from James 1:5, “…if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” I guess I assume everyone needs wisdom so when people ask me to pray for them or if I sense a need to pray for someone, I always include for the Lord to give them the wisdom they need.

The Pastor used the Jerry McQuire movie as an illustration to set up the sermon. I do remember watching the movie and it was about Jerry seeking to find meaning in his life.  The line I remembered from the movie was “Show me the money.” But apparently there was another famous line the Pastor used.  I guess I didn’t really watch the movie that closely as I missed it!  Jerry had been successful as a sports writer, he wanted to be better, but he was fired instead! He then had to reinvent himself and went out on his own, with one lone client he was going to help.  As he was seeking to make money and help this client, he also began to fall in love with the only employee (female) who agreed to work for him after he was fired.  The movie seemed to climax where he declared his love to her by saying the now famous line, “you complete me.” WOW, what a statement of love (?). It seems we are all seeking something to complete ourselves.

And that was the crux of the sermon, we are all seeking something. Many of us find that really nothing this world has to offer “completes us” or satisfies our soul. I just read the Book of Ecclesiastes written by Solomon, not only the wisest man in the world, but also the richest in his day.  He virtually had it all and in the end of his life, decided it was all meaningless, only the Lord satisfied his soul.

What we liked and where Bill and I nudged each other more were the parts where the Pastor talked about about “know it alls” or very opinionated people. Not his words, he was gracious as he spoke, but it was what we felt some conviction on and something we do see a lot in our life style. I’ve learned if you see something in others, you best first look at yourself as you will probably see the same trait in yourself. OUCH. I really want to only let the Bible be my foundation for opinions. I’m working on it….

I only took a few notes from the sermon, so I’m only sharing what I took away from it. If you would like to hear (and see) it in it’s entirety, it’s here and on their website as an MP3. The subtitle of this sermon could also be “Two Kinds of Wisdom” as noted in my Bible from the verses he centered the sermon on (which I love when the sermon is straight from God’s Word):

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

No one wants to be seen as a fool. But from the Bible, we learn there is meekness in wisdom and I’m repeating it, James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. If we think we are so “wise” we should also display meekness as a trait. The Bible also says in Proverbs 4:7a “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” And we do notice those who “know it all” usually aren’t acting very meek. So we need to watch ourselves as we portend to know it all!

What a great series Pastor Jacques has covered about faith under these headings and from these scriptures:  Faith Perseveres James 1:1-11; Faith Triumphs; James 1:12-18;Faith Obeys James 1:19-27; Faith Loves James 2:1-13; Faith Acts James 2:14-26; Faith Speaks James 3:1-12; and for us, we heard, Faith Seeks James 3:13-18.

A great reminder for me, to seek Wisdom from above in all I think, do, say, act and finally write! We are to seek fulfillment in this lifetime, but not from the world as Jerry MacQuire attempted.


Chattanooga, Tennessee (5/19-24/2016)

From our “couple’s blog”

Follow the Tumble Lees!

Top of Lookout Mountain Top of Lookout Mountain overlooking Chattanooga and the Tennessee River We are starting our second year in our motor home, Tiffany. What a challenge this trip started out to be! We are headed to Red Bay, Alabama for our yearly service. Chattanooga was only about 200 miles from our last stop, Waynesville, NC, and then Red Bay is only about 200 more miles. So it made sense to stop here. But we weren’t sure we would be able to find a place to camp in Chattanooga, TN. I was determined for us to stop here after reading there are 57 trails within 15 miles or so of downtown! My kind of place!

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