Supplements to Consider Taking on Your Next Mission Trip

Standard disclaimer: Always consult your physician before taking any supplement.

In addition to your regular supplements you may want to supplement with some of these for your next mission trip.

Meclizine – Marketed as Bonine & Dramamine II (the non-drowsy version) is an Antihistamine that helps prevent/treat motion sickness and vertigo. I am not normally inclined to motion sickness but two years ago I learned the hard way to prepared. Flying into Guatemala City and making our final decent, landing gear down and we were so close to the ground that I could see the cracks in the runway, when suddenly the pilot accelerated and began a fast assent. We spent the next 20min bouncing in every direction as the pilot navigated around the mountains for another landing attempt.  I was not the only one to fill my air sickness bag (I filled two) on that fight. Now about an hour before flight I take some Meclizine and all is good. In addition to rough flights navigating the local traffic with roads in various states of disrepair can upset even the strongest stomachs.

Anacin – Basically just aspirin and caffeine, the combination gives me quick relief for headaches and other aches and pains from hiking the countryside. It can also take the edge off for you coffee and soda drinkers going through caffeine withdrawal when your favorite drinks can’t be found.

Ciprofloxacin – Ask your Dr for a prescription for this, or another antibiotic they recommend, to take with you should you experience travelers’ diarrhea that may develop from the local water or cuisine. And don’t forget to ask your Dr about other supplements or immunizations you should have before you go.

Probiotics – The research is mixed how effective probiotics are for preventing travelers’ diarrhea, but, they seem to help me and others swear by them. Look for shelf-stable varieties that have include the following strains: Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Most recommend you start taking them at least two weeks before and continue throughout the duration of the trip. Here is one that meets these requirements that won’t break the bank, DrFormulas Nexabiotic.

Valerian Root – This natural, mild sleep aid will help you get the sleep you need when staying in a strange environment or a different time zone. I used to use melatonin, but, it often left me groggy the next day. And yes, it is supposed to smell that way.

Curcumin – I love this supplement. My wife has found it works better on her bursitis than any of the over-the-counter pain killers. Why it’s great to take with you on a mission trip is because of its anti-inflammatory properties. With all the extra walking and moving you will be doing this supplement helps with the aches and pains you will be experiencing. It has many other benefits as well, I encourage you to do a little research into this herb.

Anti-diarrheal medicine – If all else fails be sure to have some anti-diarrheal medicine on hand. Dehydration is bad enough but nothing is worse than having diarrhea on an international flight. You will thank me for this one if needed.

Well, that’s a good start. I’d love to hear about some of the supplements you use on your trips in the comment section.

 

Be Good, Pastor Jay

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The Worst Advice You Can Ever Give (that you have probably already given)

 It happened again just the other day. While scrolling through Facebook, I saw someone giving the worst possible advice to a young woman who was trying to make a huge life decision. It is advice that I see doled out every day to people seeking answers. Advice that I am sure makes the advisor feel sage-like as they sit back and scratch their head as their own life burns.

What is this advice? “Follow your heart.” I know it sounds good and even feels good when we dispense it, but, “Follow your heart” is akin to telling someone to “try the gasoline” when they are trying put out a fire. Why is it so bad? Because the heart is the worst possible place to get decision-making information.

Secular researchers have identified three sources of decision-making information resources in each of us.

The first is the “Heart” – this area is completely dependent upon emotions, which makes it completely unreliable. As emotions and circumstances change, so do our hearts’ directions. The Heart is also influenced by hormonal and chemical imbalances in the body, again making it completely unreliable.

The second is the “Gut” – these are those difficult-to-pin-down feelings that something is right or dreadfully wrong. Difficult to define, the Gut is your experience and your subconscious noticing things your conscious mind has missed, letting you know that something is at odds with the information your conscious mind is receiving. It is much more reliable than the heart, and is heavily influenced by the third factor, the “Mind.”

The Mind is your intellect. It is the facts that you know about the situation. The more you know about a situation, the better the decision you can make. It is by far the best, of the three, at making decisions. But the mind is not without its drawbacks. The Mind and its facts can be manipulated by the Heart, and facts can be made to tell the story the Heart desires.

There is a fourth and more powerful and accurate source for making decisions that is often overlooked by the world and its researchers. That source is God. In addition to having perfect knowledge of coming events, God has given us His Word to lead our decision-making process. He has also given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide our understanding. And He is always just a prayer away. Consider these verses:

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

And just in case you still don’t think that the Heart is the worst place to look for guidance, this is what God says about our heart:

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Be Good, Pastor Jay

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Launch Day for FOCUS!

Today is the official launch day for “FOCUS: Five Critical areas Of Spiritual Growth For Christians And Churches!” I am working with Amazon to offer extremely low prices on both the paperback and downloadable versions for the next few days. The paperback version is only $6.25 and the downloadable version is only $.99. Soon the prices will return to their actual price so order now! I have included links for you below;

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Two dirty little secrets of religious publishing.

 Many of you know my book FOCUS – Five Critical Areas of Spiritual Growth for Christians and Churches” is due to be released next week. This is my first book, and the process has been a learning experience, to say the least. I have made many mistakes along the way, and I have learned many things that should help my writing to become even more productive in the future. During this journey, I learned many things that I don’t think most readers are aware of, at least I was not, and I want to share a couple of them with you.

First, there is a difference between “Writer” and “Author.” In my ignorance, I always used these two terms interchangeably, but they are very different. In short, a writer is a person who writes a work and the author is the person who comes up with the idea that is being written about.  The author is also the person whose name is on the work and controls the copyright over the work. Most of the nonfiction works being authored by celebrity pastors are written by someone else. Some refer to this as “Ghostwriting.”

My first experience with this was when I was working for a New York Times bestselling author, and I was sent to pick up a draft of his book from the real writer so he, the author, could read it before it was published. I had heard about Ghostwriting before but did not realize how prevalent it was, especially in the nonfiction genera. Ghostwriters rarely receive credit for their writing beyond a paycheck, with the author often referring to themselves as the writer or referencing the book “they wrote.” To me, particularly for those writing on Spiritual issues, this seems unethical although it is the industry norm. Some other Pastors feel the same way I do and have begun to share credit with the real writers, with the writer’s name being printed with the author’s name on the front of the book, a move in the industry I applaud.

The argument of using Ghostwriters was that it often produces a final job easier to read and more grammatically correct. I personally will take honesty over grammar, any day.

For the record – FOCUS was 100% written and authored by me, and I’m sure my grammatical mistakes will make that very clear. 🙂

Secondly, when signing with large publishers, an author agrees to use whatever Bible version they are hocking that particular week. Bible version copyrighting is a multibillion-dollar industry and Publishers use the newly released books as promotional tools to push their particular version on the readers. Accuracy takes a backseat to profit. Therefore, you will often see the same pastor use a different Bible version in each of his books. Because the publisher, not the author, writer or God decides which version to use. Again, a very unethical way to get a book to market and make a few extra dollars. For this reason many legitimate Pastors, myself included, are rejecting the larger publishers in favor of the smaller publishing houses or self-publishing their books. It helps them stay true to what God has given them and not the money.

These are just a couple of things I learned while working on my book. I may share a few more at a latter date.

Be Good, Pastor Jay

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13 ways to win an argument with your spouse

 Disagreements in marriages are inevitable. No matter how much you love each other or how understanding you are, the fights are coming. You can’t choose not to argue, but you can choose whether those arguments build up or tear down your marriage. Arguments that build up the relationship, and the people in it, are arguments that everybody wins.

  1. Keep things civil. Derogatory, demeaning comments never have a place between married couples. Tearing someone down to build yourself up makes you a person built upon nothing. Words leave scars, so choose them carefully.
  2. Getting physical is never ok. Arguments that turn violent never help the relationship. Resorting to violence is a sign of immaturity and of someone who is not ready to be in a relationship. If you are the violent spouse, do yourself a favor and separate yourself from the relationship and seek competent Christian counseling before you permanently damage someone. If someone is being violent towards you, even if it’s only occasionally, leave. Find somewhere safe to live while the violent spouse gets counseling and learns to handle themselves as a grown-up.
  3. Start praying for each other before the argument starts. Part of your daily prayer time should be praying for your spouse. Pray for their success and for God’s Will to be done in their life. Pray for God to pour out the very best upon them and your family. You’ll find it hard to fight with someone you have been praying for success for.
  4. It’s ok to tie. Our tendency is to want to win an argument at all costs. Where this may be useful in a courtroom, it is devastating to a marriage. Seek not to win, but to resolve. That usually means each of you are going to give up the concept of winning the argument and see the bigger win in understanding each other.
  5. Agree in public, disagree in private. To the world, and your children, you should always appear as one mind. When there is a disagreement, wait for a private time to resolve. When you fight in public, people will take sides, which sounds appealing on the surface but is extremely unhelpful in resolving the argument. To this day, our kids are still convinced that Vee and I never “fight.”
  6. Remember that you are “one flesh.” When you entered into the covenant of marriage, you and your spouse became one. So, when you disagree, you are actually disagreeing with yourself. I hope that you would never harm yourself or talk down to yourself. Afford your spouse the same courtesy.
  7. Take a break and go to your neutral corners. If things start to get heated and out of hand, take a break. Set a time and agree to come back together in 15 mins, 30 mins, or longer, after each person has had a chance to calm down. Take as many breaks as you need.
  8. Practice seeing things from the other’s point of view. Men and women are different. Shocking, I know, and completely politically incorrect to point it out, but men and woman are different. More important than the physical differences are the emotional and perceptive differences. Vee and I can look at the same exact situation and still see two very different things. This used to frustrate me, but now I have learned that it is one of the reasons I love her. Take a step back and try to see the situation through the eyes and heart of your spouse. Understanding reduces conflict.
  9. Learn your roles. The roles of a husband and wife are very different in a marriage. One of the greatest hindrances to a strong marriage is when one of the spouses fails to live up to their role, forcing the other spouse to pick up the slack. You end up with two people living together where neither is doing what they need to do to create a successful marriage.
  10. Seek out wise counsel. Look for professional, Godly counselors to guide you through the rough spots. Find couples that have successful marriages and watch how they treat each other. See what you can you add to your marriage to make it stronger. By-the-way friends who have never been married or who have failed, or are failing, in their marriages seldom make wise counsel.
  11. Don’t take your problems to Mamma. Avoid sharing your problems with friends and family members. Even well-intentioned friends and family can have their attitude towards your spouse tainted by a casual comment made by you in the heat of passion. Show them the wisdom in your choice of partner, not your failings.
  12. Once it’s done, it’s done. Stay focused on the topic at hand and work to a resolution. Don’t clutter up today with the things of yesterday. Bring up old offenses and you guarantee you won’t resolve today’s problems.
  13. Keep the end in mind. Remember you chose this person for life, so threatening to separate or divorce when you argue tells your spouse that you are not committed to them, the marriage, God, or resolving your differences. Remember that no matter what happens, you are in this relationship for the long haul. You are not a child that runs away every time something gets tough. Taking divorce or separating off the table will help you focus on making your relationship stronger, not tearing it down.

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8 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Prayers

Although not a complete list, these 8 things will supercharge your prayer life and help you better understand God’s workings in your life. I would love to hear your comments on things that have helped you grow your prayer life.

  1. Know who you are praying to. – Randomly speaking out into the air is the act of the mentally disturbed. You are praying to God, specifically, God the Father. In the model prayer Jesus gave us in Matthew 6, He directs us to pray to “Our Father.” Follow the teachings of Jesus and pray to the Father, not angels or dead people; He is the only one with the power to answer.
  2. Make prayer something you are, not something you do. – In Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray without ceasing”; this means we should be in constant conversation with God. Too often, we relegate prayer to something we do before a meal or going to bed. An active prayer life should be so much more than just a task; it is what we are. When you describe yourself as a mother, father, etc., you are describing what you are, not simply what you do occasionally, and so it should be with your prayer life.
  3. Schedule a focused time of prayer. – In addition to the constant contact, we need to spend intimate, alone time talking with God. By scheduling it, maybe first thing in the morning, you will begin to make prayer a habit. Remember, what gets scheduled gets done.
  4. Eliminate distractions during your focused prayer time. – Mathew 6:6 talks about going into your closet to pray. What this means is to get away from distraction. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV and get to a place where people will not distract you.
  5. Don’t focus on the quality as much as on the conversation. – We get hung up on “church words” and think that is how God expects us to pray. God just wants to hear from you. He doesn’t care if you use big words or little ones; just talk to Him.
  6. Keep a prayer list. – Making a list of names of people and things you have been asked to pray for is extremely helpful when praying during our focused prayer time. It will keep you on track and remembering to pray for people every day.
  7. Avoid memorized, repetitious prayers. – Jesus warns us against this in Matthew 6:7. Prayer is supposed to be a living conversation, not some spell we memorize from a book. Talk to God, not at Him.
  8. Include a Bible reading following your prayer time. – Prayer is how we talk to God, and the Bible is how God talks back to us. The first question I ask when someone tells me they are not hearing from God is, “How often are you reading your Bible?” Choosing not to read your Bible is akin to not answering the phone when it rings. Someone wants to talk to you, but you must pick up the phone.

Share some things that have made your prayer life stronger in the comment section and encourage someone else!

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Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog. Welcome to the first post on my blog. Welcome to the third sentence of the first post on my blog. Someone recently told me that your first blog post sets the stage for your success or failure in the blogging world. Wow, that’s not intimidating at all, lol! Not really knowing how to start; I think I will simply start by telling you a little about myself and where I see this blog going.
As you have probably already figured out, my name is Jay McCaig, and I am a father, grandfather, and husband (not necessarily in that order). I have Pastored Crossroads Baptist Church in St. Cloud, FL for the last 11yrs. I have been blessed to have lived my entire life in Florida but have traveled extensively throughout the country. My background before entering the ministry was almost extensively in retail as a Regional or District Manager in Loss Prevention and Operations, mainly in a half-dozen different companies including, Target, Zayre, TJMAXX & GNC. But that seems like a lifetime ago, I often refer to my time in retail as my “past life experience,” a phrase other Pastors love. I have an odd sense of humor, finding humor in the most awkward and inappropriate things. I am convinced that God has given me my wife, Vee, to be my brain filter. I have avoided much trouble because of my beautiful brain filter.
So, what do I hope to accomplish with this blog? Firstly, my desire is to give voice to Christians. What do I mean? When I was a younger Christian, I often knew what I believed, but I couldn’t always tell people exactly what I believed or why I believed it. I hope to be able to put into words what you are thinking so that you will not have the same frustrations I had. We are called to live boldly, but that is hard to do when you are unsure why you believe what you believe or why you don’t believe what you don’t believe.
Secondly, I hope you will learn something along the way – things that will help you live more productively and have a closer, more confident walk in Christ. Things about the Bible, Church, and life in general. Things that I have learned through my successes, failures, and observations.
And thirdly, have some fun! Whether that is just looking at the humorous world we live in or just stirring the pot a little to get people riled up, let’s have some fun. Life is too short to be serious all the time. I encourage you to comment on posts that you like or don’t like, but I won’t argue over things that just don’t matter or entertain negative thoughts, there just isn’t time for that.
Well, that’s how I see things going right now. I have a feeling that a year from now I will look back and see a blog that God has taken in a completely different direction than I ever imagined. Please join me for the journey. Blessings J

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