Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Walking in the Light

2 Peter 3:8 One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

Many read this scripture and think it can't possibly be taken literally. Well, I came across something very interesting that proves once again that Father really does know best and He doesn't just say things for effect!

Albert Einstein was the first to see and note the connection between time and light. His work has proven that light is the only unchangeable constant in the universe. Energy changes, light cannot. Before we go further - the bible says God is light (1 John 1:5), so keep that in mind.

Light also has a measurable speed - it moves at 186,000 miles per second. Nothing is known to move faster and Einstein himself said that the only thing that could possibly cross the threshold of the speed of light would have to be called "eternity." In 1 Timothy 6:15-16 God Himself is described as living in unapproachable light!

In James 1:17 we learn that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. In other words, God, Who is light, doesn't change - He is constant. God dwells in unapproachable light - nothing can get close to or go beyond God's light. Einstein said life as we know it couldn't cross the threshold of light speed without somehow changing. Let's go further with this - it's awesome!

While you are reading this post, God has already had the opportunity to travel around the world at least 7 times. This is how He can be everywhere at one time. Einstein said the faster you travel, accelerating toward the threshold of light speed, the slower time becomes. If you could cross that threshold, you'd step over into eternity, where God, Who is absolute light, lives. Keep that in mind as I relate what a scientist in California described. This is a documented scientific model:

If a rocket carrying astronauts was launched maintaining a speed that is 80% of the speed of light and traveling away from earth 15 days and back 15 days, there would be a strange result. Inside the rocket the astronauts would age 30 days - 15 days out and 15 back that they traveled. But at 80% of light speed, they would return to find people on earth had aged 60 days. Traveling at 80% of the speed of light caused the astronauts to experience a stretching or slowing down of time as compared to the people living on earth.

He repeated the model only this time the astronauts traveled 15 days each way traveling 85% of light speed. The result this time was that even though the astronauts only aged 30 days, a 5% increase of the speed of light caused a slowing of time that resulted in the people on earth aging 10 years!

Finally, the astronauts traveled at the threshold of light speed. That's as close to the speed of light as you could travel without going beyond it. Again they traveled 15 days out and 15 back. Arriving back home they would find the earth had aged 30,000 years while they only aged 30 days. These are mathematically proven models.

Look again at the scripture at the beginning of this post - it is a perfect confirmation of this scientific model. The ratio between 30 days and 30,000 years, reduces to 1/1000. One day is as a 1,000 years!!

The closer you get to light speed the more slowly time elapses. So the practical application is that the more you walk in the light of God, the more time will slow for you and enable you to effortlessly accomplish more! Talk about a stress reducer!

You may be wondering exactly how you can do that - well, since God is light and God and His Word are one, you can walk in the light by getting into the Word of God. Prayer will usher you into His presence. Anytime you are communing with God, you are in His presence and "walking in the light."

Try it and see if it isn't true for you. Everywhere you go, everything you do, commune with God, talk to Him, be consciously aware of His presence, include Him in every thought, decision, problem and circumstance. Be conscious and aware of God every minute of the day and you will be walking in the light. I can tell you from personal experience, you'll be amazed not only at how much you accomplish, but at how effortless it seems.

I challenge you to try this and then let me know what happens for you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Heart of the Matter

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Another translation says it is the source of all life. Once again, the Father is sharing a very deep and important truth - not only spiritually but physically as well.

It is very true that our motives, our heart, is what God considers. In 1 Samuel 16:7, remember when God had Samuel looking at Jesse's sons in order to anoint one to be king, he kept looking at their outer appearance, but God corrected him and said not to do that. God said that He looks at the heart, not at how tall or kingly he might look on the outside.

You can do the nicest thing for someone and yet if you do it for the wrong reason or with a bad attitude it corrupts your blessing. Physically we know that heart health is critical. However, what I would like to focus on here is how central our heart is to every aspect of life. We consider the heart to be the core of our being, as in getting to the heart of a matter. We encourage others to speak and act from their heart or to follow or listen to their heart.

Much research has been done on how your heart rhythms affect your immune, hormonal and nervous systems. Your heart rhythm is a powerful energetic force that not only affects you, but also is felt by those around you. Did you know that your heart's energy field can be felt across the room? Just recall a time when a very angry person entered a crowded room and how that one person's energy changed the entire atmosphere of the room! Your heart-felt emotions and energy powerfully affect, not only you, but also the people around you. If you are a mom, that's your children and husband; at work your boss and coworkers. The converse is also true - you are also affected by other people's heart energy waves.

If you are constantly around negative, stressed out, angry people, it will begin to affect you - if you do not guard your heart. Spiritually, it can cause you to slip into fear or doubt. Emotionally, you may become stressed out, anxious, worried or depressed. Physically you may experience palpitations, headaches, digestive problems or elevated blood pressure.

The Father never gives us a command we are unable to obey. And if He tells us to do something, we can be sure it is for our good - always.

You may be thinking - "But how can I guard my heart?" Besides being aware of how others may be affecting you and limiting your exposure to toxic people and situations whenever possible, you can actually learn to control your heart rhythms.

When your heart rhythms are smooth, coherent and harmonious, you think more clearly, your mood is calm and positive and it impacts your physical health in a powerfully positive way. There are very simple techniques you can learn that can improve every area of your physical health as well as the atmosphere in your home and workplace.

I would encourage you to visit heartmath.org. They have a wealth of information, as well as books, educational tools and other resources to enable you to effectively "guard your heart."

You will reap incredible health benefits and your relationships may improve as well! Father definitely always knows best!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who Do You Believe?

1 Thessalonians 5:21 But test and prove all things (until you can recognize) what is good; (to that) hold fast.

Contrary to what some believe, God never intended for us to blindly believe and follow - anyone! Including Him. He created us with a functioning mind, intellect, common sense (I know, we could disagree here) and freedom to make our own choices and decisions. Unfortunately, in some areas we become lazy and complacent and allow ourselves to accept biased, false information as if it were truth. Where our health is concerned, this can mean the difference between life and death - literally.

Studies are conducted all the time as to how effective different drugs and natural supplements are for specific conditions. Just recently, the media ran news stories reporting a study showing that vitamins C, D and E do not prevent heart attack, stroke or breast cancer. Those findings were extremely shocking and a huge blow to those of us who avoid pharmaceutical drugs as much as possible and stick to natural supplements and a whole food diet. At first glance, I am sure many people could have said - "Gee I guess my vitamins don't work - why bother buying them anymore?" That's the danger here: many people using these supplements may simply believe the media message - trusting that the study was conducted by people much smarter than they - not bother getting clarification and stop using the supplements.

We have a huge responsibility to follow God's command in the verse above and test and prove all things. Whenever results of a study are released, the first thing we should do is find out who commissioned the study. What these news stories rarely provide are the details of the study - that doesn't sell - sensational headlines do. Chances are if it is a pharmaceutical company conducting the research, the results will most always (big surprise) be in favor of a drug as opposed to a vitamin or other natural supplement. In fact, statistics show that when a drug company funds a study there is a 90% chance the drug is perceived as being effective compared to 50% for a non-drug company funded study!

In the case of the study I mentioned, there were many serious flaws which render the findings worthless, but unless you were aware of that, you could easily be misled. For example:

The study subjects were all doctors who admitted they did not even take the supplements they were supposed to for the study;

In fact, about a quarter of the subjects admitted they had not taken two-thirds of their supplements, yet this study counted them as having taken full doses;

A synthetic form of Vitamin E was used which is known to be a much less effective form of the vitamin;

The subjects who actually took the supplements, only took them every other day;

The potencies used were too low as proven by previous research;

The very "efficient and scientific" method used to track supplement usage in this case was to depend on their memories and recollection - the subjects were to remember what they did in detail over an eight year period!! (I don't know about you, but sometimes remembering what I did yesterday is a challenge.) Very accurate and scientific - don't you think?

It is so unfortunate and downright dangerous that the bottom line is not our health and well-being, but the almighty dollar. Too many people will believe the false information and then be deprived of effective, natural ways to improve and protect their most valuable asset - their health.

There's no denying there are genuine experts - whether they are researchers, scientists or doctors and they are educated and have a great deal of information. However, the responsibility for your health ultimately rests with you. You never have to accept any information or recommendation - regardless of the source - solely on face value.

Remember - the Father says we are to test and prove all things to determine what is truly good - and He always knows best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Spice it Up!

Genesis 43:11 Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift - a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh...
Isaiah 39:2 Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oils...
Revelation 22:2 ...On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yeilding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Some people have taken Revelation 22:2 to mean that we should not eat meat. However, it's clear Jesus ate meat and fish as well as whole grains and I believe a true Biblically-based diet includes the clean animal protein set forth in Deuteronomy 14. That being said, rather than resorting to pharmaceutical drugs, I believe we should begin with what God has already provided.

This verse in Genesis highlights an aspect of our nutrition we have overlooked for far too long. Researchers are studying the health benefits contained in spices such as turmeric, cumin, rosemary and cinnamon. They are merely scratching the surface of understanding the various chemical components they contain and how they can impact and improve our health.

God Himself created and provided these foods. Cinnamon not only makes my oatmeal tastier, it has been proven to help regulate and lower blood sugar. Turmeric gives my vegetables a delicious flavor and is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. We've all read about the many health benefits green tea provides.

I want to encourage you to experiment with a variety of herbs and spices and make teas your drink of choice, after water, of course! Dr. Eric Braverman says by simply flavoring our meals with a variety of different herbs and spices we can increase the nutrient content by 1,000%! What a simple way God has provided to make clean, whole foods even more nutrient dense.

Spices are mentioned throughout the Bible and are always included along with silver, gold and fine oils as the most valuable and precious resources as the verses above illustrate. The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. Two of the three gifts are herbs yet they were considered valuable enough to be a gift to the King of kings!

Green tea is only one tea that has been shown to contain health-promoting compounds - use a variety of teas and even combine two or more for a delicious beverage! You can choose from white tea, oolong, ginger, peppermint, fenugreek, red raspberry, apricot, pau d'arco, roobios - the list is endless.

God never intended for our diets to be plain, boring and bland. He has provided herbs, spices and teas to add flavor to our food (and our lives!) and to bump up the nutritional value of our meals - Father really does know best!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Seventh Year

Numbers 13:23 And they came to the Valley of Eschol and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes and they carried it on a pole between two of them...

I don't know about you but I have a hard time getting my mind wrapped around the picture of a cluster of grapes so big that two grown men had to carry it between them! It made me wonder how they grew so large and lush and then I got an email message about viable solutions to soil depletion and I had the answer!

Soil depletion is a very serious problem that affects every single one of us. It is simply a condition where the natural components (minerals and other organic substances) that create fertility in our soils is depleted - used up and not replaced.

If you think it doesn't affect you, think again. Depleted soil that is deficient in vital minerals and vitamins produces fruits and vegetables that are sorely lacking in essential nutrients. Basically, we are eating food that may look good but in reality is not truly nourishing us. You might as well be eating cardboard.

Father God knew this, of course, which is why He instructed His people in Leviticus 25:1-7 to plant for six years and then give the land a sabbath rest in the seventh year in order for the soil to be replenished. This is the principle behind crop rotation as well. However, and unfortunately, most have gotten away from doing this.

This principle is true physically and spiritually. We can't continually take and not replace, whether it is the minerals in our soil, our physical nutrition, or spiritually by building up our spirits with the Word of God.

The word depleted means used up, exhausted, consumed, empty, drained and bankrupt. Just as the soil needs a sabbath rest, so do we in order to replenish ourselves physically and spiritually. I don't know about you but I want my spiritual fruit to be enormous and full of life and vitality!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing...

Continuing the theme of the last post on gratitude, I want to touch on a different aspect of negativity we often gloss over and that is complaining. From this scripture it's pretty clear we are not to complain or argue - about anything!

I know you may be thinking that's impossible to do, yet if God tells us to do it, then it is possible. First of all, maybe we need to get specific about just what complaining actually is. When I study out the Greek words translated "complaining" in this verse they are defined as blaming, discontented, criticism, dissatisfaction, grumbling, murmurings and quarreling. It's also defined as "to express pain, grief or discontent."

Now before we go off the deep end, it does not mean you can never point out a mistake or problem. You can state facts about a situation without slipping into complaining mode. We are told to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). So, we can correct someone by stating the facts in a loving way and refraining from making it personal and emotional.

While we surely can express our feelings honestly at the appropriate time, to continually harp on what is wrong only magnifies that in your thinking and then in your life (remember, as a man thinks so is he; and you can have what you say!).

We are told in Philippians 4:8 that we are to think on positive things and to magnify and exalt only God with every fiber of our beings (Psalms 34:3 and Philippians 1:20). Complaining creates dissatisfaction. We've seen from the previous post how negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions set a cascade of destructive hormones in motion. If complaining is a problem for you as it is for most of us - at least at certain times - visit www.acomplaintfreeworld.org for a very unique way to replace this destructive habit with a positive, healthy one!

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ...give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Gratitude is more than saying a perfunctory "thanks" over your meal or celebrating Thanksgiving. It is a powerful force both spiritually as well as physically. In 1 Timothy 2:1 God includes the giving of thanksgiving as a prerequisite to true worship. Consider the story of the ten lepers Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-17. Ten men suffering the ravages of leprosy saw Jesus on the road and begged Him to heal them of that devastating disease. His instructions to them were to go show themselves to the priests and it says "as they went they were cleansed." Obedience by faith caused the cleansing of that physical disease. However, it goes on to say only one, a Samaritan, a despised foreigner, returned to praise and glorify God and thank Jesus when he realized what had taken place in his body. Jesus' response seems incredulous - He asks, "Were not ten cleansed - where are the other nine?" Gratitude is precious to Him. Jesus then tells this grateful man that his faith has made him "well." When I look at that word in the original Greek it actually means "to be made whole." This suggests that perhaps the nine were cleansed of the disease but that thankful man was not only cleansed but made whole. If leprosy had damaged his fingers, toes, nose, ears, they were made whole again! He received so much more than simply being healed.

It is true in the physical realm as well. Studies conducted on the effects of gratitude reveal that thankful people:

Handle stress better;
Are more optimistic;
Are more alert and energetic;
Attract gratitude and kindness from others; and
Are healthier overall.

The reasons for this are due to the fascinating manner in which God created our bodies. It is related to our nervous system which is divided into two parts, the voluntary and autonomic or involuntary. The voluntary controls movement and sensations and the autonomic is concerned with functions we don't even have to think about like digestion and blood pressure.The autonomic is further divided into two more branches - the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic is the fight-or-flight system. It is concerned with our survival in a dangerous or stressful situation and acts as the body's defense system by activating organs and glands that provide the extra energy needed at those times. Because it necessitates so much energy expenditure, it breaks down the body if it is in operation too often or for too long. We now read about how the release of too much cortisol (the stress hormone) damages our bodies. The parasympathetic system is the rebuilding, nourishing, healing system. It stimulates the systems and organs that cause cleansing, stimulate our immune and digestive systems like the liver, stomach and pancreas. One or the other of these two systems are activated most of the time. Since the sympathetic system deals with our physical survival, it tends to overshadow the other. However, to enable your body to heal, rebuild and repair itself, it is critical to turn off the sympathetic system as much as possible while activating the parasympathetic. When you are experiencing chronic stress, even though it is not actual, physical danger causing the release of those hormones, it is damaging and breaks down your body systems. Stress of any type, as well as thinking negative, anxious, angry, fearful thoughts, activates the sympathetic nervous system.On the other hand, the parasympathetic system is activated by rest, relaxation and positive, happy thoughts, especially gratitude! Several studies found that healthy parasympathetic dominance occurs very infrequently and only in spiritually developed people as they tend to live in a state of peace, contentment and gratitude. It's hard to argue that Father really doesn't always know best!

Research was also done on how to optimize the coherence of the heart, or what they also refer to as the "emotional heart." Coherence simply refers to the heart's ability to adapt to certain situations and remain harmonious. The impact of thoughts and emotions in the test subjects was visible immediately as their heartbeats were observed on a monitor. Fearful, angry, anxious thoughts caused erratic rhythms. However, when the subjects exercised thoughts and feelings of joy, gratitude or love, the parasympathetic system normalized the heart rhythms.

The effective activation of the parasympathetic system naturally declines with age. However, as with any muscle in the body, or spiritual quality, it will respond if we exercise it consistently! We can consciously choose to exercise gratitude and joy daily and not only live happier lives, but healthier ones as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It is More Than Just Contagious!

Luke 6:38 Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
1 Corinthians 10:24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 ...always try to be kind to each other and everyone else.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people...

Did you know that as many as 500 scientific studies demonstrate not only the truth of these words but that by being kind and helping others you enhance your own health as well! We are created to feel good and live longer by imitating our Father as we "live to give" and help others.

Research was done monitoring the brains of people as they made decisions to donate time or money to a worthy cause. The MRI's revealed that the same area of their brains that would be activated in response to positive stimuli (like receiving a gift) was activated by their decision to give of themselves in some way. Their brains actually produced feel-good chemicals, endorphins, in response!

Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit that is already part of our spiritual makeup just as skin and bones are part of our physical makeup. We have to be intentional about exercising it. Spiritual qualities are very similar to physical muscles in that we have to make a point of using them in order to strengthen and develop them. Just as you have to schedule time to exercise on purpose, you have to keep your eyes open to the opportunities all around you to exercise kindness on purpose.

The old axiom "it is better to give than to receive" is actually very true physically as well as spiritually. Consider some of the benefits the "giver" receives:

Decreased feelings of depression and loneliness;
Decreased intensity and awareness of pain;
Reduced negative emotions such as hostility, anger, envy;
Decreased lung constriction leading to asthma attacks; and
Reduced stress by shifting focus from yourself and your problems.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (www.actsofkindness.org) encourages people "to practice kindness and pass it on to others." Well, isn't that exactly what our Father told us in Matthew 7:12? I love the way the Message Translation puts the Golden Rule: "Here is a simple rule of thumb guide for behavior: ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them." There are wonderful "Kindness is Contagious" programs in many elementary school, including my childrens'. While I believe children should be taught these principles at home, it is wonderful to have our schools build on these principles as well.

Being kind can be as simple as smiling at a clerk, thanking a soldier for his or her sacrifice and service, making a special meal for your husband, shoveling the sidewalk for an elderly neighbor or speaking words of encouragement to a child. Being kind is simple but oh, so effective. And it's a win-win proposition - it benefits you as much as the recipient!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Real Treasure!

Proverbs 18:22 NLT The man who finds a wife finds a treasure...
Message Translation Find a good spouse, you find a good life...

Fellas, there is more truth to this scripture than you may think! Studies prove that married men are consistently healthier and actually live up to five years longer than single, divorced or widowed men. In fact, you blessed hubbies between the ages of 18 and 44 are noticeably healthier than men of the same ages. If you are single don't run out and marry the first girl you meet just to protect and prolong your life because there is a little more to it than that.

I've already mentioned in a previous post that stress from a half-hour argument can slow wound healing by at least a day. Long-term marital stress can set the stage for much more serious health problems. Anxiety and stress disrupt your immune system, and if that's a constant condition, it can open you up to stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Cardiologists actually report that a contentious, stressful marriage slows cardiac recovery time. Constant fighting, accusations and resentment seriously compromise the body's healing ability.

Perhaps this is why men are reminded that rice and beans eaten in a peaceful, loving atmosphere is better than surf and turf in a house full of anger and strife (Proverbs 17:1). In fact, there are several verses along these lines. Obviously the quality of the marriage is critical. While these scriptures seem to put all the responsibility on the wife, it "takes two to tango" as the saying goes!

Husbands, if you want to live a long, healthy, peaceful life, consider these suggestions:

Be concerned with how to please your wife daily (1 Corinthians 7:33);
Love her sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25); and
Praise her sincerely, liberally and often (Proverbs 31:28, 29).

That being said, one interesting study shows that in order to have a healthy, fulfilling marriage, partners must focus on each other's good qualities rather than on the irritating habits that may cause friction. Well, duh! Proverbs 10:12, 1 Corinthians 13:7 and Romans 12:18 clearly set forth three simple keys to harmonious living: allow your love to act as a covering for your spouse's shortcomings and flaws; think the best of them; and do whatever it takes to live in peace. Simple, and although it is not necessarily always easy, it is certainly worth the effort.

So, guys, if you have a wife, treat her like the gift from God that she is and enjoy a longer, healthier life!

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

The economy is on everyone's mind right now. The news is full of doom and gloom about the health of the stock market and banking industry. People are stressing about rising food prices, health care costs, home heating oil this winter, retirement funds, layoffs, college loans, buying a car, mortgages and the list goes on and on. Everyone I know is looking for ways to be a good steward, invest and spend wisely and save money wherever possible.

With that in mind, I read a very interesting email from Health Sciences Institute today. It told about a study performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for its research on the placebo effect. You may be familiar with the placebo effect. During World War II, Dr. Henry Beecher used saline injections on injured soldiers because morphine was in such short supply. The soldiers' pain was relieved simply because they believed the "medicine" they were given would do so. Dr. Beecher coined the expression "placebo effect." His continued research revealed that up to 35% of response to any medical treatment could be attributed to the patient's belief about it. This placebo effect has been proven to be an actual, measurable change in brain chemistry.

These researchers at MIT did a very interesting study. They took 80 subjects and gave them a mild electrical shock on their wrists. Each of those subjects were then given what they were told was a painkilling drug. With that drug (which was a placebo - it had absolutely no active ingredients of any kind) half were given a brochure describing the "drug" as newly approved by the FDA and costing $2.50 per dose. The other half were told their drug cost 10 cents per dose.

Each subject was then given the electrical shock again. Here's the really interesting part: of those subjects whose brochure described the "drug" as costing $2.50 per dose, 85% said their pain from the second electrical shock was reduced. Of the other half who were told their drug cost 10 cents a dose - only 60% said they experienced less pain.

The researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that these results explain why patients who switch from brand-name drugs to generic drugs with exactly the same active ingredients often report that the generic is less effective. The conclusion was that doctors should de-emphasize the fact that a generic drug is less expensive and plant the idea in the patient's mind that the drug is just as good as the brand-name!

In my opinion this is just one more indication of how status conscious our society has become. It has to be the biggest, best, most expensive, impressive brand name - whether we can afford it or not!! Maybe that's why many are finding themselves in a precarious financial situation right now? Who are we trying to impress? What ever happened to integrity, wisdom and common sense? Why do we care what anyone else thinks about the size of our home, our car or our clothes? They aren't making the payments on those things, we are! I think the problem is that we only equate value with price. Just because something is more expensive doesn't necessarily mean it is of a better quality.

In some instances, the higher priced product is superior. I will not deny that. For instance, in purchasing vitamins, where the ingredients come from and how they are processed matters greatly and many times the superior product is more expensive. However, when we compare labels and all the ingredients are exactly the same, but one is a "name brand" and the other is not, choosing the name brand simply because of the name is in itself worthy of the Ig Nobel Prize. By the way, that really is an award, the Ig stands for ignoble (which means of low character or aims) and is awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research.

To me it comes down to motive. If you truly feel it is a superior product and you have done research, used all the information at your disposal, and you can afford it, then go for it. If, however, as is the case much more often, you are either too lazy to do the research and just "trust" the name brand is better or having others see that you have the name brand just makes you feel better about yourself - I'd suggest you examine your motives. Are you looking for the best value or trying to make yourself feel better by impressing others?

Get to the Root!

Matthew 3:10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.

When you have a headache, you may take an aspirin or Advil. You may have come to expect that drug to "cure" your headache. However, the truth is it only masks the pain in your head, which by the way, is simply a symptom. The definition of a symptom is something that indicates the presence of a bodily disorder. Hmm, maybe you've never thought about it much, but the headache isn't a "disease" it's only a symptom of something else going on in your body. Through that pain your body may be trying to tell you any number of things - eat something, you're hungry; get some sleep, you are tired; take a break from the computer, your eyes need a rest; relax, you are stressed. The one thing I can confidently tell you it is not saying is that you have an "Advil deficiency!"

In order to change or improve any health issue you must address the root cause, not just deal with the symptom you are experiencing. Jesus shows us this principle. In Mark 11:20-21 we read the passage where Jesus had seen a fig tree full of leaves which indicated that it should also have figs. When it did not, He cursed the tree and upon seeing the tree the next day, the disciples saw that it had "withered from the roots." Jesus didn't just deal with the leaves or the stem, He went directly to the source of the problem - the roots. Romans 11:16, 17 tells us the root supports the plant and if the root is holy the rest of the tree is holy. A plant is only as healthy as its root system.

The same is true for us. Unless the root cause of a disease is addressed and corrected, all the drugs in the world will only mask pain or discomfort and manage the disease. The pain may be gone temporarily, but the root cause, the disease, is still there. Drugs simply treat symptoms. As Dr. Darren R. Weissman explains so eloquently in his excellent book, The Power of Infinite Love and Gratitude, by masking symptoms with drugs we are silencing our bodies' only method of communication!

Our bodies are magnificent creations of Almighty God. Let's not just drug them, but listen to them. Don't just look for the quick fix. God built into our bodies His own infinite wisdom and healing power, if we just take the time to listen.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Genes or Habits?

Exodus 34:7 He punishes the children and their children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations...

"Everyone in my family is overweight - it's just the way we are."
"High cholesterol/heart diseast/diabetes/cancer runs in my family."
"My mother didn't cook vegetables so I just never learned to like them."

If any of these statements sounds familiar, chances are you're playing the "genes" card! It's very easy to look at your family history and decide that whatever health issue you are dealing with, it is genetic and there's little you can do about it.

I am not denying that your family history may predispose you to certain diseases. All of my grandparents except for one, most of my aunts and uncles and my mother all died from cancer. Does it seem to run in my family? Gallop may be more like it. I acknowledge the history but I do not believe it destines me or my children to go down the same path.

Consider a different question - what really runs in your family, genes or habits? Research confirms that although heredity and familial disposition toward certain conditions have an effect on physical health, it only accounts for approximately 20% - lifestyle and nutrition account for close to 80%! This tells me that while we can acknowledge our family's health history and be aware of it, we need not repeat it. Rather than just continue to perpetuate the habits we may have grown up with, we have the power to choose to change them and improve the outcome.

While changing lifelong habits may not be easy, remember, your choices not only affect you, but future generations as well. We need not feel we're doomed to suffer from the same problems and diseases as our parents and grandparents. Deuteronomy 30:19 encourages us to choose life, for ourselves and for our children. We can choose to do things differently. Our parents did the best they knew to do. Since we know better, we must make the choice to do better.

We must also embrace the truth that as Christians we now have a different, better Bloodline, one in which there is no disease! By doing these things we can create a new "history" and pass down vibrant health, wholeness and faith for generations to come.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Your Life Depends on It

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of a creature is in the blood...

Our blood is a truly amazing substance. It is the fluid that transports nutrients and oxygen to every cell throughout your body; it carries carbon dioxide and other waste products from the cells; it regulates body temperature; it has white cells that fight infection and disease and it carries hormones and other chemical substances that regulate bodily functions. It is very clear that our very life depends on the health of our blood. The functions and properties of our physical blood are a beautiful picture of what Christ's Blood does for us as believers spiritually. Consider these similarities:

Our blood is comprised of three basic parts - red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. What our blood does for our physical bodies - nourish, heal, detoxify, cleanse and energize - Jesus' Blood does for our spirits, souls and bodies. It cleanses us of sin, protects us as we plead the Blood, nourishes and heals our relationship with the Father by allowing us to enter His Presence.

When someone becomes anemic, they are weakened and easily fatigued. By keeping the blood healthy through proper nutrition, we experience energy and strength. Jesus' Blood also has energy. It gives us the boldness to enter His Presence and energizes us to continue walking by faith. His Blood actually acts in the spiritual realm as antibodies act in the physical realm. Once exposed to a particular germ, white blood cells create antibodies to kill that specific bacteria or virus and you develop immunity against it. Once you accept the shedding of His Blood on your behalf, and honor it, you begin building immunity to the sins that once so captivated you.

One of the most important functions of the blood is to regulate your temperature. If it deviates too far either way from the normal of 98.6 degrees, permanent brain and organ damage can occur. In a very real way, Christ's Blood regulates our spiritual temperature. Revelation 3:16 tells us that God will spit lukewarm Christians out of His mouth. Depending on the Blood daily not only to cleanse us from sin, but to reconcile us to the Father and sanctify us for His use corrects our "spiritual temperature."

Red blood cells carry oxygen to every cell of our bodies without which we would die. Jesus' Blood also floods every part of us with newness of life. Platelets cause the blood to clot when you cut or injure yourself, otherwise you would bleed to death. Likewise, His Blood is the assurance that we can never lose our salvation. His Blood contains our spiritual platelets!

Honor His Blood and nourish your physical blood - our life is in the blood.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A Donkey?

Jeremiah 14:6 ...their eyesight fails because there is no grass.

While this scripture actually refers to wild donkeys, the amazing truth relates to us as well. You may be wondering what grass has to do with healthy eyesight. Although the connection may seem a little obscure to us, as always, Father knows best!

You may have heard about "green drinks" and how nutritious they are for you. Or you may know a "health nut" like me who downs a big, green glass of goodness several times a day. Exactly what are green drinks? Essentially the main component of all the best green drinks you'll find at your health food store are cereal grasses: oat, wheat, alfalfa, barley, rye and kamut grasses. Many also have algaes as well such as chlorella and spirulina, but for our purposes in this post we will concentrate on the grasses here.

According to David Sandoval, a well-known expert on this subject, and author of The Green Foods Bible, these cereal grasses are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, enzymes, proteins and chlorophyll. They not only contain all the nutrients in whole food form that a body needs to be healthy and vibrant, they also alkalize our systems (making them resistant to illness) and aid in cleansing, detoxifying and neutralizing harmful substances as well.

Perhaps you have heard that organic, grass-fed beef is a healthy alternative as opposed to grain fed beef. Is it any wonder that cows allowed to feed on chlorophyll-rich grasses produce a superior meat? In fact, these animals God created sometimes seem to have more sense than we do - grazing animals never eat jointed grass if there is unjointed grass available. What does that mean? Well, most of the nutrients in the plant reach their peak concentrations just prior to the jointing stage of the plant. If grasses are cut just before jointing, nutritionally, they make a nearly perfect food. Animals instinctively know this.

Back to the eyesight - cereal grasses are a rich source of beta carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A. This vitamin is not only critical for maintaining good vision, but also plays an important role in healthy skin, maintaining endothelial health (the health of the cells lining the interior surfaces of your body), regulating cell division and growth and stimulating the production and activity of white blood cells for a strong immune system.

So, once again, Father knew and knows best. Let's take a hint from the wild donkeys and make "grass" part of our daily nutrition!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Choose Life!

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live...

One of the greatest gifts we have been given is the ability to choose. It not only separates us from all other living creatures, but is one way in which we are created in the image of our Heavenly Father (Genesis 1:27).

We can choose to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or live life on our own terms. We can choose to follow God's nutritional principles or we can eat whatever junk strikes our fancy. We can make rest and exercise part of our daily routine or we can burn the candle at both ends and be world class couch potatoes! Regardless of our choices one thing is certain and unchanging one hundred percent of the time - we will most definitely reap whatever we sow.

That being said, how can we make life enhancing choices? In the area of nutrition, the efficiency and health of our digestive system is critical. It's so true that we only benefit from the food we actually digest and assimilate. You can eat pounds of organic fruits and vegetables and take handfuls of supplements, but if your body cannot use the nutrients they contain, it does you no good. One easy way to choose life is to supplement with probiotics. The word "probiotic" actually means in favor of (pro) life (bio)! A healthy digestive system should contain several pounds of these friendly, life-giving organisms. The most common, well-known probiotic is acidophilus, the live bacteria culture usually found in yogurt. Probiotics are also readily found in other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and miso.

Choosing life doesn't have to be complicated. We can begin with our nutrition and digestion by doing the following:
Using a good probiotic supplement to replenish our reserves;
Avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics (which actually means "against life"!) and
other over-the-counter and prescription drugs;
Using digestive enzymes to help our bodies more fully utilize the nutrients in
in our foods; and
Avoiding or severely limiting sugar and empty processed foods.

When we eat whole foods - nutrient dense, natural foods the way God created them, we are choosing life! And that choice doesn't only impact us and our health, the consequences extend to our children as well. They develop the eating habits that we teach them. They also tend to repeat what we do. It is our responsibility as parents to model the right habits. By choosing life for ourselves with these simple choices, it may just be the difference between life and death for our children as well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So What Do You Think??

Proverbs 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

What we think in our hearts is our perception, our belief. We have been touching on this over the last few posts. Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD has pioneered a field called, epigenetics, the "new biology." (To learn more visit www.brucelipton.com.) Very simply stated, he says your thoughts, perceptions and beliefs can either heal you or allow sickness to flourish in your body. He says our perception controls our biology (and he is not the only one who does). The ability of our minds is limitless. We do, after all, have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)!

Consider a woman who lives in fear of developing breast cancer because her mother or sister had it. If she believes it long enough, Dr. Lipton says it will influence the expression of her genes and she will have what she believes. Now recall the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20, 21). She believed Jesus could heal her and kept saying if she just touched his cloak she would be healed - and she was.

I don't want to make this sound too simplistic. There should be no condemnation (Romans 8:1) if you find yourself dealing with illness. There are so many variables involved. Dr. Lipton explains that our beliefs are energy fields that we control. However, so many things play a role - including childhood traumas (and who hasn't had at least one), overall outlook on life, fear, anxiety, guilt and any number of other things including your environment. Unbelief around you can impact your ability to believe! In Mark 6:5 we see Jesus could do no great works or miracles and only healed a few sick people because of the lack of faith in his hometown. That environment of unbelief effectively shut down the miracle-working power available through Him. This is why we are commanded in Romans 12:2 not to be conformed to this (negative, unbelieving) world and its customs but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

This field is exciting and the concept is simple - believe! (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?) However, simple is not the same thing as easy. There is effort involved. We must consciously renew our minds on a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment basis and stand against doubt, negativity and unbelief. But just as the Father told us - when we think health, wholeness and vitality, we enable our bodies to create it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Half Full or Half Empty?

Philippians 4:13 Amplified: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in His sufficiency.)

This scripture is more than a positive confession that makes us feel better emotionally. We should consider Philippians 4:13 to be a powerful immune boosting substance! Several different studies conducted show that optimists have stronger immune systems and get sick less often than pessimists.

First, what exactly is an optimist? By definition it is someone who is inclined to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or who anticipates the best possible outcome. So, then, how we perceive an action or event and then explain it to ourselves is of the utmost importance. Scientists have developed two systems for measuring what they term "dispositional optimism," which is a person's expectations for the future and "explanatory style," which is how a person explains what happens to them. How can we be anything but optimists when God has told us in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for us are only for good - to prosper us, give us hope and a future?

Various studies find that optimists actually have a 55% lower risk of death from all causes and pessimists tend to suffer from twice as many infectious diseases. In fact a Johns Hopkins University study revealed people who saw themselves as having poor health (whether they actually did or not), doubled their risk of death within five years.

This scripture in Phillippians is the picture of a resilient, optimistic person. Studies reveal that people who believe they have a measure of control over seemingly unmanageable events, release certain brain chemicals which actually increase their resilience, reduce anxiety and cause that stressful memory to be a less vivid one.

Joel 3:10 tells us we are to "let the weak say I am strong." That is much more than just a catchy song lyric or wishful thinking. Studies find that pessimists tend to assume blame for bad news, feeling it was somehow their fault, believe their negative circumstance will last forever and impact everything they do! Perhaps that is why scripture tells us to speak the desired result, not what we now have (Romans 4:17) and meditate on the Word of God.

You may think you were born a pessimist and there's nothing you can do to change that - but you are wrong! In Psalms 42:5 David asks himself, "Why are you downcast, O my soul?" Do as David did and ask yourself why you look at a situation as you do. Your perception may be completely wrong! That alone could be the difference between being optimistic and pessimistic. As Christians, we know God is in control, He desires only our best and all things ultimately work together for our good and His glory. So, consciously choose to look on the bright side, search for the silver lining and you just may reap better health as a bonus!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Which Do You Think is Easier?

Matthew 9:5 For which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?

God created harmony, order and wholeness. Everything in creation expresses that, including our bodies. I'd like to continue and expand on this theme of wholeness we touched on in the last post. We are not meant to be solely spiritual beings while on this earth. We are spirits, who have a soul and live in a physical body. God specifically created us in this way in order for us to be able to function on this planet. Without our physical bodies, we could not survive on planet earth. Let's look at several passages that I find thought-provoking.

The woman with the issue of blood has been heralded for her faith. However, what I would like to concentrate on here is how her physical infirmity affected her spirit and soul. In the culture of her day a woman with that affliction, or even during her monthly period, was not allowed to attend worship services or to have relations with her husband. She had this bleeding problem for twelve, long years! Can you imagine how it must have devastated her personal relationships as well as her spiritual life? When Jesus healed the paralytic in Matthew 9:2-8, He equated forgiveness of sins with physical healing as the opening scripture shows.

Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:23 in the Amplified version: And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through - that is, separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God - and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete (and found) blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

There is a branch of science called psychoneuroimmunology - a huge mouthful that refers to he study of how our thoughts and beliefs affect our physical health and most specifically our immune systems. Guilt, shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear and anger cause very specific physical consequences. Brain scans show that when you imagine an event, your thoughts activate the areas of your brain that were triggered during the actual event. So, if you continually replay a stressful event in your mind, your body reacts as if it was really occurring - over and over! When your brain is activated it causes different chemical and hormonal responses to take place.

We now know how chronic stress can cause adrenal fatigue, heart disease, diabetes and is even a factor in obesity. But even minor stress, such as an argument or anxiety about an exam, hinders the immune system. In fact, research shows that anger from an argument delays wound healing by at least a day!

That certainly gives new meaning to God's command to "be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). Every one of His commands is for our good - spirit, soul and body - after all, He really does know best!

Monday, September 29, 2008

One for All and All for One!

1 Corinthians 12:20, 26 But now indeed there are many members yet one body...And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.

On the surface this may seem like a "duh" rather than an "aha" moment. Which one of us can pray and worship God wholeheartedly when our head is splitting or our back is aching? It's very clear our physical condition impacts both our spirit and our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions and vice versa. If you are upset with one of your children or worried about something, you may experience the effects of that anxiety and tension in the form of a neck ache or upset stomach. Conversely, just try to sit quietly and read your devotional when you are angry or hurt by something your husband or a friend said - it is nearly impossible!

However, what has amazed me about the deeper truth of this scripture is that our bodies are created to work as integrated systems - each part works in concert with the others. When we are healthy, we are experiencing this harmony of cells, organs and systems. Our God is very big on wholeness (shalom - nothing missing, nothing broken).

Referring to the Body of Christ, this scripture points out that even we who make up His little toe are just as important as those who comprise His heart. It holds true physically as well. (Just stub your toe and you'll agree!) This was brought into sharp relief recently when a friend was experiencing dental problems. She had an infected tooth that was causing problems not only in her mouth, but in her sinuses, head, neck and eyes as well! Research now shows that gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular problems. Left untreated, that bacteria has been proven to directly cause heart problems, which another friend can certainly attest to. She related that her cousin was advised by her dentist after a checkup to contact a cardiologist immediately as she had advanced gum disease. She ignored the warning until she began experiencing alarming symptoms several years later. By then, her heart was so damaged, her only medical recourse was a heart transplant. Imagine, the impact of one tiny tooth! This may sound extreme, but it is true.

Perhaps a more obvious connection is how dental health affects digestion. Missing teeth may cause the inability to chew food properly which negatively impacts your digestion. Without proper digestion, your entire body suffers. Some health practitioners, particularly those versed in Chinese medicine, even see a connection between your dental health and your respiratory system.

We truly are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). God created every cell of our bodies for a specific purpose, just as He created each one of us to fulfill a specific plan and purpose with our lives. Let's honor God by caring for these amazing bodies He so carefully and lovingly created for us!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What You Speak Has a Profound Impact on Your Health!

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

If you've been a Christian for very long you have heard numerous teachings on the power of your words. Sometimes I think we tend to over-spiritualize verses like these. The temptation is to relegate them solely to the spiritual realm and make them ethereal and impractical rather than apply them to our physical lives in a real way. The research of Dr. Masaru Emoto dramatically illustrates the literal truth of this verse and so many others relating to the power of speech. Before I even share the research let me say this - one website that ran this post had a complaint from a Christian lady saying that they should not include it because Dr. Emoto is not Christian. I just want to clarify that I am sharing his research because it excites me when science finally catches up to scripture. I make it a point in whatever I read to take what is valuable and leave the rest. Kenneth Hagin put it this way - eat the hay and spit out the sticks. So to clarify, I am not promoting the man, just sharing the research.

Dr. Emoto did scientific research on how water responds to words - spoken or written. He chose to study water because it is the most abundant substance on earth and in our bodies as well. He found that words of love, blessing and gratitude created perfect, beautiful, ordered ice crystals - whether spoken over the water or written on the container! Words of anger, hatred and cursing created ugly, distorted crystals. The dramatic photographs of his results are startling. You can see these amazing pictures in his books, such as "The Hidden Messages in Water," which are available from http://www.amazon.com/.

Without a doubt his research confirms the truth of God's Word. The Bible says pleasant words are health to our bones (Proverbs 16:24); a wholesome tongue is a tree of life (Proverbs 15:4) and by guarding our mouths we preserve our lives (Proverbs 13:3). It gives new meaning to the power of prayer to sanctify our food (1 Timothy 4:5)! Our words are vibrations and every emotion and thought expressed has a particular vibrational energy. In fact, we are "electrical" beings who are constantly transmitting vibrations with out thoughts and words, affecting not just ourselves, but those around us as well. You could say we are continally broadcasting! Just think about how an angry person affects the atmosphere in a room. Is it any wonder our words can change things on a molecular level? Research shows the electromagnetic frequencies of our bodies controls every chemical reaction.

Scientists have proven that the energy of our thoughts, feelings and emotions can positively or negatively effect our DNA structure - our very genes!! We've all heard about how someone taking a placebo is healed simply because they believe the medication (which actually has no medicinal value) will heal them. Worry and stress changes the pH of your body from alkaline to acidic very quickly. Even our food has energy - natural, whole food the way God created it does - and that energy is vital to health.

While all words are powerful, God's Word is especially power-packed (Hebrews 4:12). Speak and think words of life, health and blessing to yourself and others - we truly do have the power of death and life in our mouths.

In the Beginning...

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

As a biblical health coach, I am fascinated by how God's principles of health and wholeness are daily being recognized and proven scientifically. John G. Lake, a missionary, faith healer and mighty man of God, has said, "science is God's way of doing things" and I wholeheartedly agree! While some say science superseces God's Word, I respectfully disagree. I've actually heard people say, 'You can't take what God says literally because He wasn't a scientist!' Science is the natural progression, the outgrowth of understanding the "how" behind the "what" of God's Word. Only now do we have sophisticated enough equipment to reveal and understand these magnificent mysteries. Our God is most definitely a God of order. He sets principles and laws in motion concerning not just our spirits, souls and bodies, but our physical world as well. He is concerned with wholeness, the root meaning of the Hebrew word, shalom, in every area of our lives.

In case you were wondering about the title of the blog, in the 1950's and '60's there was a very popular television show called, "Father Knows Best." You may be too young to remember it (obviously I'm not!) but I felt the spin on the title was very appropriate. Who could possibly know better the intricasies of how our bodies are supposed to function, than the Creator of those bodies Himself?

As I read about medical and health research and studies, it brings certain scriptures to light, and I am continually amazed by how practical and relevant His Word truly is. In future blog posts we will consider:
how Deuteronomy 31:19 relates to probiotics;
is laughter really "medicine" (Proverbs 17:22);
how speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:11) extends life;
how your speech impacts your health (Proverbs 18:21);
how Abel's blood (Genesis 4:10) could literally cry out to God;
and MUCH more!

I invite you to join me in an eye-opening, faith-building journey as we study scripture and science side-by-side. I guarantee together we will see the unmistakable imprint of God's wisdom, power and love as we, too, say -

"Father really does know best!"