Thinking of the time that I was not a Christian and lived by the flesh, I always chuckle at the different perspective my faith has given me over the almost 20 years that I have been walking with our Lord Jesus Christ! It never ceases to amaze me.
The following was my life profile in early 1986. I was 46 years old, weighed 250 pounds; my blood pressure was frequently 290/190. I was on so much medication that I had to be careful getting out of bed in the morning, or I would faint from the sudden positional change affecting my fragile blood pressure. I had been married and divorced four times, had three grown children, all of whom had the same life-controlling issues that I had, drank a gallon of liquor each day, (This left little time for concern for food; whether healthy or not), smoked five packs of cigarettes a day, and was about to lose a job of almost 30 years because I couldn't leave the young women alone. You can see right off that I was hardly the envy of the yuppie execs of corporate America! And I am not a bit proud of this dubious distinction, but it's a huge testimony of God's power in a virtually worthless life prior to my salvation.
When God finally got His grip on my life, He began by cleaning up my worst habits first. He delivered me from alcohol, then tobacco, gave me a desire for wellness, and finally He helped me with my out-of-control hormonal issues.
After becoming a Christian in 1988, I was called to hike the entire 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail in 1990. This was to be a journey of faith showing people firsthand how God can work in the life of someone who lived it out-of-control for many years, and that it is never too late for Him to clean up the filth that comes from this level of depravity. This was a daunting task for anyone, let alone a blind person like me. I had to trust God for everything during the 258 days in a row that it took me to do this seemingly impossible assignment God so generously bestowed upon me. The human body was not designed to climb over 300 mountain ranges with more than 65 pounds on its back, and not have some physical repercussions. Mine manifested in Osteoarthritis throughout my entire body. I was on the anti-inflammatory dosage of Ibuprofen, 3,200 mgs. per day, and that did not even touch the pain. I prayed for an alternative way to treat this crippling disease. God answered my prayer!
Moving to Maine in 1996 my wife and I met a man at church who had a three-hour long tape of a preacher in Tennessee with a revolutionary approach to health by diet, exercise, sunshine, and good relationships, beginning with our relationship with our Lord. His name was Rev. George Malkmus, but I had no interest in this way of living. I was interested in finding a way to eliminate the massive dosage of Ibuprofen, but I was not ready to listen to three hours of anyone, let alone a message that was sure to convict me of my bad habits. So, I told my new friend that I would do whatever the video told me to do if I didn't have to listen to the whole thing. But I did listen, over and over again!
On May 15, 1997, I began my change to adopt the Hallelujah Lifestyle and have not been sorry one minute of the 10 years since. I did it cold turkey and dropped all my medications the same day I began the program George teaches. Within a few weeks, I was noticeably better, eliminating most of the pain, and within six months, there was no radiographic evidence that I had ever had arthritis. I was so relieved that I had my very active life back that my bride, Debra, and I decided to become health ministers after a year of living the lifestyle. Debra enjoyed eliminating her allergies and is now in perfect health.
We are now able to enjoy life in ways that could never be possible if we were not optimally well. For example, within months after adopting the Hallelujah Lifestyle we began participating in long distance hiking again by attacking the Finger Lakes Trail in New York State. This is a relatively short trail in that it begins to the west at Bradford, Pa. and traverses the 11 Finger Lakes and terminates on the east side near Buffalo, N.Y. We did the first half of its 600 miles in July 1998 and were amazed as to how much easier it was than before our lifestyle change. We also began doing long distance tandem (bicycle built for two riders) cycling that fall by signing up for the BRAT (Bike Ride Across Tennessee, which was 500 miles and lasted 7 days). This was quite a task for us since we had never done any long distance biking before. One day during the ride, I got a 14 year-old boy to be my captain. (Debra rides in front and she is called the captain. I ride in the back, and I'm referred to as the stoker.) Robert and I had no idea that we were going to have 30 mile an hour head winds all day long on our 114 miles, (called a century ride), and it took us all day long to accomplish this daunting goal. We did not come in first place, but we were not ashamed of our finishing time on the race. Since that time, we do regular rides like this and have learned how to do it all and keep 100% compliant to our Hallelujah Lifestyle in the process. In fact, even after 70 to 100 mile rides, Debra and I can go out dancing that evening and feel just as though we had not done anything exhausting that day; Hallelujah!
We are very busy with all that God gives us to do, keeping at least 10-hour work days and frequently many more than that. We have to keep this heavy workload balanced by making sure that we get all of our six basic human needs met on a regular basis and do not allow anything to come between us and our Lord. We keep our focus on Him and are committed to having fun while serving Him in any way that He leads us to serve. We have good personal relationships, and look for the humor that surrounds each of us every day that we live. A day without many laughs is a day not worth living! Another way to say this is: Life is too long to live bugged (stressed)!
Now I work my wellness approach into my Christian Family Counseling and call what I do life coaching. I work with those whose lives are out-of-control to the point that their physical health is jeopardized. Through counseling, I help them to make the lifestyle changes. I work with them on their close personal relationships, (almost everyone who has any of the innumerable, what all opathicmedics call psychosomatic diseases). Mostautoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Glomerulohephritis, Periarteritis, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and many others are usually caused by a non-need satisfying close personal relationship. I see them improve almost immediately. And I do this around the globe as it is done by telephone. In a few months it is wonderful to watch all their symptoms disappear and their state of wellness almost miraculously return. This alone makes my life so rich that it is hard for me to fathom how this multiplied by tens of thousands of similar testimonies must bless Rhonda and George daily! Each day I get out of my bed pain free, and begin my work with others who want freedom from their physical ailments. I look upward to the heavens and thank my Lord for the blessing of my lifestyle and the gifts of being able to help others achieve their seemingly impossible dreams. I am 67 years old and enjoy perfect health, medication-free. I look forward to many more years of serving my Lord by helping others enjoy life in optimal health as much as I do!