Your Body

Lesson Purpose:

Your body is a precious gift that should be properly nourished, cleansed, and kept free from harmful substances. By preserving the sanctity of your body, you keep it as a holy temple for your spirit.

The Lesson

And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Bible, Genesis 2:7  
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which  temple ye are.
Bible, 1Cor 3:17
If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.
Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric.
For the body at best
Is a bundle of aches,
Longing for rest;
It cries when it wakes.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Moriturus
Robert Lewis Stevenson is an example of a person living with his body.


I realize that not everyone has a healthy body and that they have to compromise to meet their life’s objectives.


Robert Lewis Stevenson died in the last decade of the nineteenth century at age forty-four.


One of the greatest writers of all time, he said that there was never a day in his life that he was not ill and that he felt strong enough to get out of bed.


But he said that if he didn’t get up, nothing would be accomplished that day.


So he got up and wrote the wonderful literature for young and old that will be enjoyed as long as man can pull a chair up to a lamp and read.


We don’t have to go back that far, do we.


We have a young mother in our town who is horribly crippled and raising her children on her own.


She is a beautiful creature with long black hair that drops down to her waste.


I sometimes see her down by the town lake. Crutches in both hands and braces on her legs, she struggles to walk around the lake.


I go up to her and ask her is she is okay. Can I take her back to her car.


She gives me her beautiful smile and says, “I’m going to try and make it.”


Her picture was in the paper the other day. Habitat for Humanity is building her a house. She is so happy and what did she say? “I’m going to work on that house too.”


And she will. Why? Because she has too, to achieve what she wants to get out life.


Most of us have reasonably healthy bodies.


We should be grateful to God for that.


If people with terrible ailments press on in their lives despite the suffering, we should strive to use our bodies to help others.


And that’s what we do, isn’t it?


We go to work.


We go shopping for groceries.


We pack the kids in the car and take them off to school and sports activities.


We are on the run all the time!


And that is why we have to stop and think and ask ourselves, “Am I taking care of the body that God gave me?”


Do I give my body enough rest?


Do I give my body enough exercise?


Do I feed my body the right foods?


Am I putting dangerous chemicals and drugs into my body?


When did I last have the doctor give me a checkup?


We are what we eat, they say.


And that’s what we like to do most, isn’t it. EAT!


There are two problems here associated with Quality and Quantity.


You can eat all the carrots, lettuce, watermelon, and other such vegetables and fruits, that you want to without ill effects.


Why? There are few calories, but lots of vitamins and minerals that you need.


You can’t eat all the meat, ice cream, cake, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheese, and such, without getting too much fat and too many calories. Fat cells block the C-cells in your pancreas and cause Type II Diabetes. Fat causes heart disease. Watch the amount of dairy products and red meat you eat.


Moderation is the key, isn’t it?


Sure it is.


If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables and much less meat, ice cream, cake, hamburgers, French fries, fried onion rings, etc., you will have more energy and vigor.


Many folks are overweight which leads to heart decease, diabetes and other ailments.


I have to write my daily intake of food down on a sheet of paper everyday so that I don’t over do it.


We need exercise too.


They say that we old folks need at least three thirty-minute exercise periods every week and that hefting a few weights can keep our muscles strong.


Younger people get plenty of exercise, at least most of them, but they still need to watch what they eat.


Tired about me talking about Korea?


Well, this isn’t one of my war stories.


It’s a fact that the doctors working in aid stations and field hospitals in Korea, many who had served in WW II, found that the arteries of the Korean GI’s were heavily laden with plaque. Much more than what the doctors saw in WW II.


The reason was that those that went into W.W.II lived during the “kettle of beans” era of America called the Great Depression.


The diet was not HIGH FAT.


We ate a lot of vegetables. Our mother’s canned fruits and tomatoes.


I remember carrying jars of fruit and vegetables down our basement steps until my arms dropped off.


Then came the hamburger era.


When the war brought money into the land of the poor, we went on a richer diet. We loved ice cream and hamburgers and hot dogs and French fries.


When I was in high school and, even later after the Korean War, at the university, a good lunch was hamburgers with fries.


I paid for it.


Years in industry, after left teaching at Iowa State University, required lots of travel and lots of meals away from home.


I traveled to England, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, Japan, Korea, and on one trip, I flew around the world, crossing the Great Soviet Union after flying over Finland, and then dropping down into Japan.


We ate and ate and ate!


Where ever we went, we ate like hogs.


After I retired and was editor of an industrial magazine, I flew to Mexico, Ecuador and Columbia. In Columbia, I was escorted by guards with machine guns. But I didn’t eat fatty foods.


The reason was that I had bypass surgery and no longer was allowed to eat artery-blocking goodies.


So, what should we eat?
The Nutrition Action Healthletter, published by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 says that the following are good things to eat:


folic acid
Whole-grain bread, crackers
A dozen vitamins and minerals
A dozen vitamins and minerals


High A & C
High C
carotenoids & folic acid
Sweet Potatoes






protein, low-fat, folic acid
Salmon or other fatty fish
omega-3 fatty acids
All-bran or 100% bran cereal
Spinach & kale



Salmon and other fatty fishes reduce the chance of a sudden-death heart attack. All-bran and 100% bran reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.


When you shop for groceries, read the labels.


Quaker 100% Natural Oats & Honey Granola sure sounds healthy to me. Not so says the Center. Too much sugar and fat. Look for a low-fat variety from Mister Quaker if you want granola.


Many plastic-bag items like chips are loaded with fat and salt.


Breakfast sandwiches are packed with fat.


Pizza is loaded with fat. Buy a low-fat brand or eat in moderation.


Donuts and such are loaded with sugar and fat. Look for fat-free varieties.


Noodles and such by themselves are not high in fat, but when you fry them they are. Read the labels.


Hamburgers and fries and malts, etc. Well, you know.


Canned soups can be loaded with salt. Read the labels.


Breakfast eating out. Well, Denny’s Slim Slam is much better for you than the Grand Slam.


What about meat?


My wife lives without it, and she doesn’t feed me much. Some meat, or equivalent, is essential to good health, but purchase lean cuts and eat in moderation. Use it as a garnish more than the main part of the meal.


I make spaghetti using chicken as the meat instead of meat balls. I eat turkey burgers rather than hamburgers.


What about pork?


When I was a boy, I use to work at a hog farm owned by our church. Stink! Wow! The pigs were as big as cars. When I drove through Iowa in 1956, the pigs were still huge.


When I went back to teach at Iowa State University in 1966, the pigs had shrunk. They got smaller still by the time I left in 1974.


All this was accomplished through breeding and diet. The pigs were slimming down.


Lean pork can have a lot less fat than beef. Read the labels at the supermarket.




Some cereal.


Some fruit.


Some vegetables.


Little or no meat.


Some fish once or twice a week if you can stand it. My wife doesn’t cook fish and the trout I catch don’t have much omega-3 fatty acid. I take the pills.


Take a multipurpose vitamin and consider taking extra vitamin C and E.


Well, enough on eating. An annual physical?


Not for many of you youngsters. But middle-aged men should start having an annual physical. Men are subject to prostate problems. The problem is enlargement with the distinct possibility of cancer.


Women are subject to breast and ovarian cancer and need checkups before middle age.


Any person having a family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or other ailment, should notify their doctor of this fact.


Walking is good.


When you are young, you can be as vigorous in exercise as you want. There may be exceptions.


When you are old, walking is the best exercise, or perhaps swimming. My wife swims every morning at 5:00 A.M.


Golf is good if you walk the course pushing your bag or carrying it.


Driving around the course in a cart is not quite as healthy, but you can still get a lot of exercise if you are a bad golfer and spend lots of time in the rough.


England is good for golf. They usually don’t have carts and the rough is really rough. I do love playing golf in England with the brassy weather and the foxes and the kids running out on the course stealing your balls, and all such fun.


Keep your body clean and lean if possible.  


If not, keep it fat and clean.


But obesity is a major health risk for heart attack and cancer.


Make sure you get enough sleep and rest too, and make sure you take time out for recreation to alleviate the stresses of out times.


For The Little Children


Mr. Brown set on the front porch watching the cars go by.


Freddy said, “I’ve never see Mr. Brown out of that chair.”


Peter replied, “That’s because Mr. Brown never gets out of that chair. He brings it out in the morning and sits there until after dark.”


“Yes,” Freddy said, “He’s in that chair even in the winter and late at night. The only difference is that he goes inside the house.”


Peter nodded his head. “Yes, all he needs is that chair and that radio blasting away.”


One day, two of Mr. Brown’s older sons came to the front of the house with an ax. Freddy said, “What are they up to now? I’ve never seen the Brown boys work. They just horse around all day.”


Peter said, “I think they are going to cut down that tree.”


Freddy replied, “What makes you think they can use an ax. They’ll probably cut off a foot.”


The Brown boys started swinging the ax at the tree. They chipped the tree here and there but they couldn’t seem to get the hang of it.


“I can’t believe it!” said Peter.


“You can’t believe what?” asked Freddy.


“Mr. Brown is getting out of that rocking chair!”


“I’ll be!” said Peter.


“Give me that ax!” said Mr. Brown. “You boys don’t know how to swing an ax.” He took the ax and started swinging like Paul Bunyon. He knew how to use an ax and the  chips were flying.


Freddy said, “Look how red his face is getting.”


“More like blue,” said Peter.


Then poor Mr. Brown fell to the ground.


The Brown boys called their mother and she came running out of the house.


She send one of the boys to use the neighbors telephone to call an ambulance.


But it was too late. Poor Mr. Brown was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. He had a massive heart attack.
Mrs. Brown was crying.


Peter and Freddy felt sad. They told the Brown boys they were sorry.


Later, Freddy told his father what happened.


His father said, “It’s too bad. He just wasn’t in good enough health to cut down a tree. You have to keep fit to do that kind of work. You have to know your own limitations.”


Freddy said, “I’ll try to remember that, Father.”


When I’m old, I will walk a lot like Grandfather does. I’ll try to keep healthy and strong.”


His father smiled at him and said, “You are thinking good, Son.”




Yes, this is a true story.


Copyright©2001-2012 by Taylor Jones, John T. Jones, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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