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!"