Inner Beauty: A Spirit at Rest and Health to the Body

But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:4

So often, we spend more time and energy on how we look on the outside, instead of paying attention to our inner beauty. More and more scientific studies are linking our emotional health, and inner thought life, to physical health. Stress, unhealthy diet, and unhealthy emotions can definitely age us faster.

In a book called the Telomere Effect, two researcher confirmed that, stress and unhealthy diet, accelerated cell division and cell death. Telomeres (noncoding DNA) are caps on the ends of our chromosomes that keep our genetic material from unraveling. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and determine how quickly our cells age and die. Old cells are called senescent cells. Senescent cells are tired and worn out. Senescent cells produce inflammatory substances that can increase pain and make us more susceptible to chronic illness. Telomeres do not follow a pre-programed genetic code, but are listening to us. In other words, telomeres respond to internal and external stimuli. If we are stressed and worried, eating an unhealthy diet, and not exercising, our telomeres divide faster causing our cells to get age faster. The converse is true, if we are at peace, eating a healthy diet, and exercising, our telomere length is longer and our cells live longer.

“The foods you eat, your response to emotional challenges, the amount of exercise you get, whether you were exposed to childhood stress, and even the level of trust and safety in your neighborhood-all of these factors and more appear to influence your telomeres and can prevent pre-mature aging at the cellular level. In short, one of the keys to a long healthspan is simply doing our part to foster healthy cell renewal.” The Telomere Effect, pg 7.

Telomerase is an enzyme that replenishes the telomeres by restoring the DNA lost during cell division. The telomerase renews the telomeres. So to sum things up, longer telomeres and more telomerase slow the cellular aging process ,whereas less telomerase speeds up the cellular aging. Studies have shown that the more stressed you are, the shorter your telomere length, and lower your telomerase level. Through the work of Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel, we have learned that we can have an impact on changing the length of our telomeres by our life experiences, and how we respond to those experiences.

Inner peace and joy are just as key to a healthy life as reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. There is nothing wrong with trying to look our best, but paying attention to our inner beauty will bring true health and happiness. We are living in very stressful times. Many are struggling with their health physically and mentally. Many factors are involved in being healthy in mind, body and spirit, and yes they are connected.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. 3John 1:2

The song that has been on my heart all week is the song by Cody Carnes-Run to the Father. The Creator of the Universe knows what we need. He is a good Father and nothing but good. He is love and there is no darkness in Him. He created us and loves us perfectly. Learning and believing that God loved me, began my journey of healing in mind, body, and spirit. His love has been shed abroad in my heart through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). His love is like no other. He is not angry but is standing with arms wide open to welcome us into His presence. It is in His presence, that we can experience true love and acceptance, and healing for our body and soul. Run to the Father, and ask Him about your health. Ask Him to show you His love for you. Call out to Him and he will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand). Jeremiah 33:3

I will leave you with a few scripture to meditate on today, as well as the YouTube video of the song, Run to the Father. In the days to come, I will be writing more about gut health, and it’s affects on our physical and mental health. Be blessed! You are greatly loved.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6

In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! Psalms 94:19

For Such A Time as This!

And in the days of these [final ten] kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break and crush and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever. Daniel 2

This morning (October 13th) in my prayer time, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to go to chapter 2 of the book of Daniel. I have been asking Abba to reveal to me the deep and secret things, for He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:20-22). I believe this is what He said:

I AM establishing a kingdom within each believer (Luke 17:21) that can not be shaken or destroyed. A time is coming of great upheaval and grace. The evil one is plotting more destruction, and there are those who will partner with him, but I have a greater army and the victory is mine, says the Lord.”

Great is My Glory among the nations who seek Me and My ways. I AM looking for a people, who will love Me and follow Me without hypocrisy. You (all my believers) are among those who I AM establishing as My pioneers to a new era, for such a time as this, for such a time as this!

I asked the Lord, “What is this upheaval”? The Spirit of the Lord said, “Strife, unprecedented strife among the people and this nation, but I will resolve it all in My people. They will arise and shine in this new era. I AM preparing my army. My people, who will not turn back or be afraid, but will shine in the darkness in this day and this hour. Be not afraid of the days ahead, for I have already won the battle for you and My people. My people are blessed and prosperous, a people stable and fixed, strong in mind and spirit.

Strong in Mind and Spirit: Taming the “Fight or Flight” Response

“Our research shows that the nervous system is in constant control of the development of immune cells, which are required for fighting cancers and infections,” Nevin and Srivastava tell Inverse in a joint email. “Key parts of the immune system are not able to develop normally in the absence of signals from the nervous system; indeed, they develop abnormally. These abnormal immune cells are quite deleterious for fighting cancer and potentially, infections.” https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/nervous-system-fight-or-flight-cancer-immunity

The “fight or flight” response is our bodies response to threatening experiences and prepares our body to respond to the threat, but if this response never subsides, then it can have adverse affects on our immune system. I felt this would be a good time to revisit how stress and fear can negatively affect our immune system.

The natural bodily response to fear or stress is called the Fight or flight response.  The brain receives information regarding stimuli (the threat) from the eyes and ears alerting the amygdala. When the amygdala interprets the message as a threat it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This activates the autonomic nervous system which controls heart rate, pupil dilation, blood pressure, breathing, and vessel dilation or constriction. The Autonomic Nervous system is composed of two parts: parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The Sympathetic Nervous System elicits the Fight or Flight response. Adrenaline is released increasing blood flow to the muscles and increasing the heart rate preparing the body to make a quick exist. Adrenaline also triggers the release of glucose and fat increasing energy. As the adrenaline begins to subside, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal is then activated. Hormones are released that stimulate the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol will continue to be released as long as the brain continues to perceive something as a threat. Cortisol will go down when the perceived threat is over. The parasympathetic nervous system will then kick in causing relaxation and calm.

Studies have shown that chronic levels of stress continue to activate the release of cortisol. Overtime, cortisol suppresses the immune system increasing our risk of illness. Cortisol also promotes weight gain. Increase levels of adrenaline also can damage arteries and increase blood pressure increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke.

“Scientists know chronic, long-term stress can negatively influence immunity by increasing inflammation and decreasing levels of white blood cells called lymphocytes. It’s also been shown that heightened sympathetic nervous system activity due to stress can impair effective cancer immunity” (https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/nervous-system-fight-or-flight-cancer-immunity).

In this Inverse article, researchers took mice implanted with cancer, and manipulated their sympathetic nervous system, disrupting the production of norepinephrine. This disruption interfered with an important signal. Without this signal, myeloid-derived suppressor cells could not mature. These immature cells accumulated, which suppressed the immune system, and promoted tumor growth. Researchers concluded:

“We show that a steady but low-level sympathetic nervous signal is required to drive the maturation of immune cells capable of fighting tumors, and potentially infections,” Nevin and Srivastava explain.

These researchers hope to develop drugs that will help cancer patients in the future. The key, I want to make here, is that our sympathetic nervous system is important to the normal production of immune cells. Immune cells help us fight cancer and infections. Low level activity is the key, not a constant “Fight or Flight” response.

So how can we tame our sympathetic nervous system? How can we help our sympathetic nervous system remain activate at low levels and not be over activated to the point of physical illness? I believe the answer in found in Christ, in His Presence.

Fear and stress activate the “Fight or Flight” response, so peace and joy are the antidotes. Two keys to taming the sympathetic nervous system are found in Proverb 17:22:

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Our mind is connected to our immune system through small vessels. Fearful and negative thoughts release chemicals that can have a negative affect on our health. Choosing to think faith based thoughts and choosing joy over despair, brings life to our body and soul.

My peace came, when I understood and choose, to believe that I was loved and cared for by my Heavenly Father. Understanding His perfect love, drove out fear (1 John 4:18). Anxiety is restlessness and torment. Trying to protect myself, my family, and my patients was exhausting. I feared retribution from God, believing I had to performed rightly in order to be loved and protected by God-Abba. I have since learned that God loved me before I was born, and all I have to do is submit to His care, and believe that His love surrounds me like a shield. The process began with the renewing of my mind. I committed myself to reading and hearing the word, worship, and prayer. This is what Psalms 91 calls the “secret place” or alone time with the Father. In the “secret place”, Abba began to show me that He was able to protect and to heal. My healing began with first believing that God loved me, would not leave me, and that He desired to have an intimate relationship me. I made the decision to seek Him with all my heart, to know Him, and His ways. It has brought me peace, joy, and prosperity. I realized I could not protect or save myself, and I needed assurance that can only be found in Christ.

 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Recently, I saw on the news a drone video clip of a surfer. The water was a beautiful aqua blue and very calm. All of a sudden, a shark came out of no where towards the surfer. The shark was inches from attacking the surfer, but suddenly, it turned away diving back down into the ocean. This scene, was to me, a prophetic picture of the protection of Christ. In this world, there are unseen dangers, but He has promised protection and care for us who dwell in His safety.

The days ahead may have ups and downs, but if we are rooted in LOVE, we can prosper even in the storms of life.

Isaiah 26:3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

I believe the answer to a healthy immune system is a mind and heart focused on Christ. Where and what are you focused on today?

Focusing your heart and mind on Christ, will bring peace and hope. Christ said, “if you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus came to heal and to restore us back to himself. God disarmed the principalities and powers that rage against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it the cross (Colossians 2:15). A mind focused on Jesus, and the Kingdom of God, will strengthen the spirit and bring health to the body. Remember John’s prayer:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers (3 John 1:2).

Being strong in mind and spirit, will helps us navigate the days ahead. Let’s be like these heads of household:

And these were the heads of their fathers’ houses: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of strength of mind and spirit [enabling them to encounter danger with firmness and personal bravery], famous men, and heads of the houses of their fathers. 1 Chronicles 5:24

You are loved. You have always been loved. The Father is calling you back to His perfect love, the love Adam and Eve had in the garden. They were made in Love to experience that Love in it’s fullness. We have that same access. Run to Him, because He will run to you and shower you with kisses (Luke 15:20)!

The Healing Balm and Salve: Perfect Love

Healthy love has positive effects on the body. Feelings of love have been shown to reduce heart disease, lower blood pressure , improve the immune system, help us recover faster from illness, and increase longevity. When in love, our brain increases dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in memory, attention, reward, and regulating movements of the body. Also oxytocin, a hormone, is release from the pituitary promoting feelings of attachment, trust, and safety. Oxytocin has been termed the “cuddle hormone” because it is released when we bond socially or snuggle close to another. When we love something or someone, we think about that object or person often. These thoughts are generated in the anterior cingulate of the brain which is also thought to be involved in obsessive compulsive thoughts. We may even become jealous if something or someone interferes with our relationship to that person or object. Jealousy implies a strong commitment. The bible states that God is jealous for us and His thought towards us are more numerous than the sand.

How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139: 17-18

For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God Exodus 34:14

Impassioned means filled with passion or zeal or showing great warmth or intensity of feeling (Merriam Webster). In other words, God is filled with passion for us and His thoughts of love are obsessive towards us. His jealous love comes against the things that interfere with His Perfect Love. He wants to fill us with His love until it overflows, spilling out on others and the world around us.

There is no fear in Love. His love is perfect and it turns fear out the door and removes all since of terror! God is Love and He made us in Love, in His image. He is not mad at the human race but longing to re-establish us back to union with Him and His perfect love that provides healing and protection. Why are so many sick, stressed, and fearful? I think it’s because we have forgotten the Perfect Love of the Father shown to us through His son, the Great Physician. Think on this scripture:

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people restored? [Because Zion no longer enjoyed the presence of the Great Physician!] Jeremiah 8:22

The balm of Gilead in scripture was used as merchandise, as a gift, but also as an medicament or substance used for healing. The Hebrew word for balm of Gilead is tsori or tseri. The Hebrew root word is z-r-h which means to run blood or bleed with connection to an Arabic word that means an odoriferous tree or gum. Immediately, I saw this as a spiritual reference to Christ’s shed blood upon the cross. His shed blood and broken body paid the price for our healing. He is the perfect sacrifice and the healing balm that heals our wounds. By His stripes, we are healed and restored to our original intent: a people created in the image of God, created to rule and reign with Him.

I looked up the difference between balm and salve. A balm is thicker and more wax like providing more skin protection. It sits on top of the skin helping to prevent skin damage. A salve is softer allowing it to penetrate the skin more deeply, making it better for the healing of wounds. As I studied these words in scripture (Amplified bible), I found that balm was mentioned in the Old Testament and slave was mentioned in the New Testament in the Book of Revelation:

Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. Revelation 3:18

Often times in the bible, eyes represent the heart. In Ephesians, Paul prayed that we would be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation and that the eyes of our heart would be flooded with light (Ephesian 1:17-19).

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the people and provided protection, but in the New Testament the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus) now dwells in us and around us. Jesus is the balm that provides protection for our physical body well as our spirit. He also is the salve that goes deep into our wounds providing healing for our body and spirit. Even bigger than our individual body, Jesus is the healing balm and the salve for His Body, the church and for this world.

This brings me back to meditation and Proverbs 17:22- A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones. What is your heart and mind focused on? The world is a chaotic place always changing but there is a Love that doesn’t change and will never turn you away. The mind and heart that is full of fear and worry actually increases our risk of physical illness by suppressing our immune system. We learned earlier that a mind in love improves the immune system. Proverbs 4:20-23 provides more insight:

My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Meditating on the Love of God and attending to His Words are life and healing to our flesh. When we choose to turn our spiritual eyes toward Jesus (by meditating on the Word of God and God’s Love) our hearts and minds are flooded with Light, the Light of Perfect Love.

Protection and healing are found in the Love of Christ. It’s time to dwell with Him in the secret place. It is in this place that Love will fill you, heal you, and propel you to live the abundant life Jesus died to give you! Let Psalm 91:1-3 get deep into you spirit.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

The Lord is longing to be Gracious to You!

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! Isaiah 30:18

This verse is fascinating to me. It says the Lord lifts Himself up that He may have mercy on us and show loving kindness to us. Literally, the Lord did this at the cross. Think on this. Jesus said that if you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). We are also told in Colossians that the whole Godhead was in Christ and now lives in us.

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].

Wow! God Himself lifted Himself up on the cross. Love was lifted on the cross reconciling the world to Himself. We ,who believe, are now filled with the Godhead–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are one with Him in complete union, in complete love. This is the love of the Father that cast out all fear. Are you expecting His love, His peace, His joy, His favor, His matchless, unbroken companionship today?

The heart of the Father, the Godhead, is union or intimate relationship. His heart longs for His children, and not just the children who believe, but for all of His children to come to the knowledge of His love. He is longing for us to come back to intimate union with Him. He is wooing us back to union with Him. We are the object of His love, the apple of His eye. Longing means a yearning desire. He yearns for us! Yield today to His love! He will not turn you away no matter what you have done. You don’t have to get yourself right before going to Him. It is His love that will transform you! I will leave you with these scriptures to ponder.

As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6

Stress and Diet is the Greatest Threat to the Immune System

Stress: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

Stress is a part of life. There is healthy stress that prompts us daily to live productive lives, and there is unhealthy stress that can lead to physical illness. Stressful situations will surely come, but it is how we handle the stress that is key to living a healthy life. Currently, the world is experiencing the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic. It has caused chaos and fear across the globe. Sadly, the most affected by the virus are the immunocompromised and the elderly.

Obesity is an immunocompromised state and it seems those who are obese have not fared well during the pandemic: (https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200820/Research-finds-link-between-COVID-19-mortality-and-morbid-obesity.aspx). Obesity causes chronic inflammation and inflammation can suppress our immune system. Obesity is a growing problem in the nation and the world, affecting 650 million people per a World Health Organization report from 2016. The same report said that there are 1.9 billion people, 18 and older, who are overweight. Sadly, 38 million children under 5 years of age were either overweight or obese the study reported. Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic illness and it has a negative impact on the immune system. Chronic inflammation is most likely at the root:

“Unlike acute inflammation, which benefits health by promoting healing and recovery, chronic inflammation is characterized by persistent increases in inflammatory proteins all throughout the body and can damage health and promote several major diseases,” says George Slavich, associate professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, referring to small proteins called cytokines that the immune system releases at the site of an injury to promote recovery.

Individuals often learn they have chronic inflammation when they develop an autoimmune disease, such as Crohn’s disease, lupus, or Type 1 diabetes, since inflammation is a hallmark of autoimmune disorders. But experts believe chronic inflammation also plays a role in developing heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, neurodegenerative disorders, cognitive decline and mental health illnesses, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. (//www.washinghealthtonnic-inflammation-is-long-lasting-insidious-dangerous-and-you-may-not-even-know-you-have-it/2020/01/post.com//chro17/93ab0fa2-316f-11ea-9313-6cba89b1b9fb_story.html)

In other words, chronic inflammation causes the immune system to stay active, slowly wearing out the immune cells, making them less able to fight when hit with a virus or other pathogens. Our body is so amazing. God has surely wonderfully and fearfully made us. When our body is attacked by a virus or bacterial infection, our immune system goes to battle to fight off the offending agent. If our immune system is not healthy, then the fight may be harder or worse yet, be lost.

I have noticed in my practice, that many of my patients are gaining weight during this stressful time. I believe stress and inactivity are to blame. The underlying stressor is fear- Fear of getting sick, fear of one of our family members getting sick, and fear of the future. Other stressors include caring for the sick and the stress of losing loved ones to the virus and other tragedies. These times are very stressful and trying on our emotions and our physical bodies.

Shalom is an amazing Hebrew word. It means peace, wholeness, harmony, tranquility, completeness, prosperity and welfare. Studies are showing that our internal state, or the state of our inner self, is one key to health. In other words, if our inner being is not peaceful or at rest, it can lead to physical and mental illness. This is what medical science is now revealing to the world. But guess what. The bible revealed this to us long ago.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. 3 John 2:3

As children of God, we are Kings and Priest unto Him. I was reading about Asa, the King of Judah. Asa did right in the sight of the Lord and the land had rest (no wars) for 10 years. He removed all the high places and foreign altars and tore down the idols and the symbols of the goddess Asherah. He also commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, to inquire of and for Him, and to crave Him as their vital need and to obey the law and the commandments. Asa built fortified cities because there were no wars during his reign and the Lord gave him peace. The people built and prospered during this time.

Therefore he said to Judah, Let us build these cities and surround them with walls, towers, gates, and bars. The land is still ours, because we sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him (yearning for Him will all our desire) and He has given us rest and peace on every side. So they built and prospered. 2 Chronicles 14:7

The people and the cities prospered when they made it their goal to seek the Lord as their vital need and to follow His commandments. The key to health, prosperity, wholeness, completeness, and tranquillity is found in resting in the arms of Jesus, the King of Peace, seeking His guidance, and following his directions.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

What I am about to disclose will probably be offensive to some, but food to many has become an idol. Food has become the comfort we seek to ease our anxiety instead of seeking the Lord for our emotional and physical needs. Many use food just like an alcoholic uses alcohol: to numb emotional pain and trauma. On the flip side rejecting food to the point of starvation or physical decline is just as destructive. Both reveal a deeper emotional issue.

I have been a Physician Assistant for almost 21 years. Each year, our practice is seeing more and more mental health issues. Chronic illness is also on the rise. I am not a psychiatrist, but a person who has experience emotional and physical trauma. I used food as my emotional comfort for most of my life. It was experiencing the love of God that transformed my life. The more emotionally healed I became, the less food was my choice to numb my anxiety or settle my stress. In His presence and His love, I let go of past hurts, anger, and old mindsets about myself and others. My journey has been much like the peeling of an onion, one layer at a time. I love this scripture in the book of Psalms:

Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]! Psalms 103:5

If you have gained weight or loss weight due to this stressful season, do not spend time beating yourself up, but go to Him, go to Jesus, and allow Him to pour the healing balm, the healing oil on your wounds for he deeply cares for you:

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7

Jeremiah ask two questions in chapter 8:2- Is there no balm in Gilead? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people restored? The amplified bible gives the answer–because Zion no longer enjoyed the presence of the Great Physician. Jesus is the Great Physician, and he knows exactly what you need. Isaiah 61:1-3 tells us what he came to do:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Invite Him to come and show you the path to life. He died to give you life more abundantly. It’s time for us to seek Him as our vital need and follow Him in His instruction, so that we can live healthy, peaceful, and prosperous lives even in the midst of any storm. It is possible. God has given us everything we need for life. He has made our bodies so wonderfully, and when cared for it properly, no weapon formed against it will prosper! Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you (2 Thess 3:16).

Shalom!

I hear the Sound of Abundance of Rain!

1 Kings 18:41 And Elijah said to Ahab, Go up to eat and drink, for there is the sound of abundance of rain.

Isaiah 45:8 Shower down righteousness, O heavens above. Let the clouds drip with deliverance! Let earth’s wound open up and bear salvation fruit with righteousness rising up beside it! I, Yahweh, have created all of them.

I have had several dreams that I felt lead by God to release over the African-American and African churches. The first dream, I felt was about the African-American church and the next generation of believers. I saw an older African-American woman singing, but she was looking down at the ground instead of at the audience. Behind her were three back-up singers, who were younger, dancing and singing. One young African-American woman (back-up singer closest to the older woman) stepped forward singing boldly with her head held high and smiling. I then realized this stage was the American Idol stage. I looked out at the audience and saw the judges and the audience were standing and clapping for this young woman.

I felt this is a picture of the next generation of African-American believers, rising up with a new song over our nation with confidence and no shame.

O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have wrought salvation for Him.

The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness has He openly shown in the sight of the nations. Psalms 98:1-2

This new song will bring unity and healing. It’s time to rise my African-American brothers and sister and sing a new song of revival! Unity is on the heart of God for all believers.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

The second dream, I felt was over African churches. I saw what I believe was a talk show. I saw that the talk show host was sitting behind a desk, and to her right were 3-4 guest. All of these African women were dressed in native attire that was trimmed in gold. I knew that their dress was that of royalty. Suddenly, two of the guest bowed their heads forward in honor of the Lord, with their hand raised up to heaven. I knew in my spirit that the Spirit of the Lord had fallen upon them. They said, “Thank you Lord”. I felt that the Lord was showing me, that the reverent awe and worshipful fear of the Lord, would fall upon the African churches for the world to see. Bowing also represents humility.

I hear the sound of the abundance of rain. Rain is a symbol of revival and resurrection. Revival is coming! The Lord is moving across the nations of the world. God is moving on His church, His people of all nationalities. He is calling the Body of Christ back to “first love”—Jesus!

Serve and worship the awe-inspiring God.
Recognize his greatness and bow before him,
trembling with reverence in his presence.
 Fall facedown before him and kiss the Son
before his anger is roused against you.
Remember that his wrath can be quickly kindled!
But many blessings are waiting for all
who turn aside to hide themselves in him!
Psalm 2:11-12

Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs. Isaiah 61:7

Emotional Health Closely Linked to Physical Health

I posted a short YouTube video about how gut health is important to mental health. In this video, I discuss ways you can optimize the health of your gut, and by doing so improve your emotional health and the health of your brain.

Now, I would like to address how our emotional health is closely linked to our physical health. Let’s take a look at Proverbs 14:30:

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness to the bones.

Unhealthy emotions can suppress the immune system increasing our risk of disease. Recently, in a book by Dr. Gordon Crozier entitled Healing One Cell at A Time, I read that the cells of our body vibrate. They have a sound. Healthy cells have a totally different vibration than unhealthy cells. The vibration of healthy cells allows nutrients to get into the cell whereas unhealthy cells suffer form inadequate nutrition. Dr. Crozier stated that studies have shown that certain tones can have a healing effect on the body and that emotions and self-talk also affect how our cells vibrate.

“Changing our emotions to be positive ones can in fact change the very vibration of our cells.” – Dr. Gordon Crozier

This makes me think about telomeres. Telomeres are non-coding DNA at the tips of our chromosomes that are involved in cell division. Telomeres don’t follow a pre-programed genetic code but are listening to us! Stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise accelerate telomere division causing our cells to age faster and produce more inflammation. In other words, shorter telomeres means shorter life of the cell and longer telomeres means longer life of the cell. Lifestyle habits that prolong the life of our cells are diet, exercise, stress reduction, and meditation. What you think, feel and speak matters!

Every thought or belief, though invisible and even unconscious, becomes the chemistry that flows through our viens. This ‘psycochemistry’ has an incredible influence upon every cell that it bathes and envelopes. It possesses inherent power to nourish as well as destroy. ” – Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

“Focusing on positive emotions and being thankful for what I have-rather than focusing on what I don’t have-makes all the difference. Focusing on the negative causes every cell to be focused on death and destruction.” – Dr. Gordon Crozier

Our thoughts, emotions, and words have inherent power to heal or destroy. Negative emotions can have a detrimental impact not only on our body but to our spirit as well. Inflammation is at the root of unhealthy cells and chronic stress can increase our risk of cancer by 32%.

What we feed ourselves, physically and spiritually, is so very important to living a healthy life. What we allow ourselves to meditate on and speak matters as well. When you place your hand on your chest and speak, you can feel the vibration. The words we speak have the power to bring encouragement or to bring discouragement. Our words have a sound or a vibration. We have all been around people who speak negatively, and you can feel the atmosphere in the room change. The same is true when you are aound people whose words are filled with encouragement and joy. The atmosphere is alive and uplifting. You have also been around people who are peaceful and calm and just being around them brings peace to your soul. What sound or vibration are you releasing?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life] Proverbs 18:21

Here we go agian with the concept of eating. Feeding ourselves the wrong things, physically and spiritually, can causes physical and spiritual death. Jesus said that the Words He speaks (He is still speaking today) are Spirit and Life. When we think and speak the Word of the Lord over our lives, it brings life not only to our body, but to those around us. It’s time to align our hearts and minds to our Heavenly Father. He is the Giver of Life. He is good and nothing is too hard for Him.

He is looking for a people to be His Voice in this time. To know His heart and to bring words of healing, deliverance, and love to a hurting world. His heart is for all people to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and for all people to understand that His love has no limits, and is extended to all who will believe in His son-Jesus. You have a VOICE in this season. Will your voice be filled with death and destruction or filled with grace and truth?

An example of what I am saying is found in Numbers Chapter 13 and 14. Moses sent out the 12 spies to scout out the land that the Lord was giving to His people. The spies came back and reported that the land was good, but it was inhabited by a strong people with fortified cites. Not only that, it was filled with giants. Caleb immediately quieted the people saying, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it (Numbers 13:30).” Unfortunately, the people continued to speak negatively against the Lord complaining that he brought them to this land to die by the sword. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces, and Caleb and Joshua tore their clothes, in response to the peoples words. Caleb and Joshua reminded the people that the land is exceedingly good, and if the Lord is pleased with them, that He will bring them into the land and give it to them. They told the people not to be fearful of the people in the land because the Lord was with them. The people angered the Lord with their lack of trust in Him after all the miracles and care he had shown them coming out of Egypt. He told Moses he would smite them with pestilence and dispose of them, and that he would make Moses into a nation greater and mightier than they were. Moses interceded for the people reminding the Lord that the Egyptians would hear that He could not bring this people into the land. Moses prayed: “Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as you also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now (Numbers 14:19)”.

Here’s what really struck my heart. The Lord pardon the people according to the word of Moses but would not allow them see the promised land. Wow, the words of Moses changed the heart of God towards a rebellious people. Moses interceded for the people as the High Priest and God listened. We now have a perfect High Priest, Jesus, that intercedes for us! Glory to God! Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that was poured out, not only to saves us, but translates us into the Kingdom of God. We are now heirs to this Kingdom, and as Jesus is, so are we in this world. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and so are we! We are Kings and Priest giving us authority to declare “on earth as it is in heaven”. We are adopted as His beloved sons and daughters. We are not slaves but are children! This is the good news of the Gospel! Jesus is alive and has imputed righteous to me and you as a gift, a gift not based on my or your behavior or righteousness, but the loveingkindness and favor of the Father. Jesus is the person of GRACE!

Let’s continue this story, God said that Caleb and his descendants would enter the land because Caleb had a different spirit and fully followed the Lord. What spirit did he have? I think 2 Timothy 1:7 says it all:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. He didn’t have a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.

Furthermore, the Lord told Moses to tell the people that as they have spoken, he would surely do to them. They would die in the wilderness but their children would enter the promise land. OUR WORDS (THOUGHT OR SPOKEN) HAVE POWER!

Often times, under pressure, we can see what is really in our hearts. The Israelites thought they were small (like grasshoppers) in their own sight. They let their minds focus on the gaints in the land and thoughts of dying, instead of focusing their hearts and minds on their God who had never forsaken them or left them. They let fear and complaining overtake them, and they died spiritually and physically. They listened to the voice of fear (the enemy) instead of the VOICE of their loving Father who had told them not to fear. They let their hearts be troubled and their minds to go to the worst case scenario. Remember Proverb 14:30: A calm mind and undisturbed heart is health to the body.

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. John 14:1

How do we not let our heart be troubled? It starts but not letting our mind focus on the world but focus on the Kingdom of God, the finished work of Jesus, and who we are in Him. What we focus on or meditate on, will begin to manifest in our lives. The Israelites focused on the giants and not the goodness and love of their Heavenly Father. They focused on the enemy and not the God who had delivered them and cared for them. The Israelites forgot their identity: God’s chosen people and people jealously loved by Him.

This is much like today. The people of God have forgotten who they are and have partnered with unbelief and fear. People of God, our Heavenly Father is for us not against us. If God be for us, who can be against us! The land we are entering to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drink rain from heaven (Deuteronomy 11:11).

Mountains in scripture have a symbolic meaning: spiritual high place, heaven possibilities, place of worship, place of transformation, separation, God’s Glory, refuge, obstacles, pride, or unbelief. A valley is also symbolic: depression, hopelessness, discouragement, fear, separation, the enemy’s domain, weeping, trail, tribulation, or hidden in secret. Rain is symbolic of abundance and the favor of God. So in other words, the land or era the people of God are entering into, will have obstacles and trials, but the Glory of the Lord has risen upon us. He is with us, and we can take the land.

We, who are in Christ, should be going from Glory to Glory. The earth is moaning and groaning awaiting for the sons and daughters to arise. It’s time for us to arise and take our place as sons and daughters of the King. In other words, align our thoughts and words to His Word, and His Voice. It’s time to listen and to obey. Speaking the heart of God over ourselves and circumstances changes things! His Words will not go out void! Hear His VOICE: You are my beloved! I am jealous for you. I desire you to come and sit and eat with Me.

His love is a burning fire that drives fear out of our heart, mind, and body. If we remain fearful after receiving Jesus as our Savior, it’s because we do not know the love of Father through Christ His Son. Fear expects punishment or evil but in Christ there is no condemnation. How do I know this? The bible says that Jesus disarmed all principalities and powers that raged against the cross (Colossians 2:15). People of God, it’s time to know our idenity as children of God. Hear these words from Isaiah:

Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Isaiah 60:1

The Glory of God has risen over us!

What will you chose today? Life or death? The health of our body and the health of the Body of Christ begins with a healthy mind-the mind of Christ. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind and the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Health and every good things comes from the Lord. He is able to give us instruction to live productive and healthy lives. All is required is to go to Him, receive His gift of no condemnation, and let His love transform you. This means taking time out to be with Him. Paul said that his only aim was: knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly] (Philippians 3:8). Let this be our heart in this whirlwind call COVID-19. To know Him and to know who we are in Him. Don’t partner with fear but partner with the one who died to give us life more abundantly-Jesus. Trust Him. He is faithful and just. His yoke is easy and light. He cares for you. He is the healer, and He is the bread of life. Let faith and hope arise today! You are loved.

Choose Joy: Mental health Important to Gut Health

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil (by anxious thoughts and forebodings), but he who has a glad heart has a continued feast (regardless of circumstances). Proverbs 15:15

Despond: become dejected and lose confidence

Desponding: to be depressed by loss of hope, confidence, or courage

Afflicted: (of a problem or illness) cause pain or suffering to; afflict or trouble

Foreboding: fearful apprehension, a feeling that something bad will happen

Feast: 1 a: an elaborate and usually abundant meal often accompanied by a ceremony or entertainment; b (1): something that gives unusual or abundant enjoyment, (2): abundance, profusion (Merriam-Webster)

Many people today, even in the Body of Christ, are expecting evil days instead of expecting good. They have become despondent, afflicted, and foreboding. As believers in Christ, we have a hope and expectation of good. God has told us that His plan is to prosper us, not harm us but to give us hope and a future. In this time of the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic, many have lost confidence, courage, and hope by fearing that more evil days are ahead.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the days ahead of us are good (God will bless us, and the ends of the earth shall reverently fear Him- Psalm 67:7). God’s promises of protection, health, and prosperity are available to us today. God is for us, not against us. Many in the Body of Christ are falling ill mentally, physically, and spiritually due to partnering with a spirit of fear. Yes, fear is a spirit that comes to steal your health, joy, and peace. We have not been give a spirit of fear but a Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7). Foreboding, or fearful apprehension, stresses our body which can lead to mental, physical and spiritual illness. We fight foreboding by looking away from everything that distracts us from Jesus. In other words, we must take our eyes off the things of the world and fix our gaze on Jesus, who gives us our faith and leads us forward into faith’s protection.

As we learned in the last blog post, a happy heart is good medicine. Joy is a healing balm for our mind, body and soul. When we choose joy or choose to be cheerful (a cheerful mind brings healing- Proverbs 17:22) everyday will bring an expectation of good and more and more hope. We are entering into a new era. God wants us healthy and strong for the journey ahead. To be healthy in mind, body and spirit, we must be careful what we are feeding ourselves spiritually and physically. Feasting on negative reports and messages will bring despair and hopelessness. Feasting on the Word of God and His precious promises to His children will bring joy. He is worthy, faithful, trustworthy, and able to do all that He has promised.

The Bible states that good days are ahead of us. God has given us great promises. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. We are not alone and we are not helpless. We are victors not victims. We have the power of life and death in our tongue. We must learn to speak life over ourselves, each other, and our circumstances. God has told us that he has given us authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy and nothing will harm you (Luke 10:19). His Word is Spirit and Life. Speaking, praying and decreeing His Word is the power that changes circumstances and brings the Kingdom of God to earth. Children are not given full authority until they mature. The same is true as children of God. As we spend time with the Father, the relationship of trust develops. As we yield more and more of ourselves to Him, more authority is given. Now is the time to turn to Jesus and ask Him to show you how to live healthy – mentally, spiritually, and physically.

The Lord has taught me a lot about the mind/body/spirit connection to physical, emotional, and spiritual health. There is a growing understanding that gut health is important to mental health. Most of our neurotransmitters are actually made in the gut not the brain. The balance of the gut bacteria plays an intricate role in the process in making neurotransmitters and protecting the gut lining. Stress, poor diet, and both over-the-counter and prescription medications can hurt the balance of the gut microbes.

Interestingly, the gut also house 70% of our immune system. Researchers have found that our brain is connected to the immune system through small vessel so our thought life also is very important. Negative thoughts release substances that can have a negative effect on our body and gut bacteria. Negative thoughts and stress have a negative effect on the gut bacteria making us more susceptible to illness and gut related issues like diarrhea, constipation, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and heartburn. More and more studies are linking imbalance in the gut microbiome to depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficient Disorder. Changes in diet have proven to be beneficial to many mental health issues.

Dr. Daniel Amen found through SPECT scan imaging that 40% of patients with anxiety, depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and ADHD had had a traumatic brain injury sometime in their life. Many of these patient could not recall ever having a significant head injury. As you can see, many factors are at play in our mental health issues. The brain can be injured or have deficiency in appropriate neurotransmitters for many reason. The brain can heal with the right treatment. Dr. Amen did a study on NFL football players who were having emotional and memory issues. Through a protocol of supplements, diet, and exercise along with correcting any hormone or vitamin deficiency, these NFL players improved. God created our body with the innate ability to heal itself when we care for our mind, spirit, and body as we should.

If you are strugging with emotional and physical issues, you are not alone. Please seek out a health provider that will listen to you, seek to get to the root of your emotional, physical, and, yes, spiritual issues. It’s important to check labs such as thyroid, Vitamin D, hormone levels, complete blood count, and chemistries. Diet and exercise are also important because I do believe food (physical and spiritual) is medicine. If you have had a concussion or traumatic head injury you might want to read Concussion Rescue: A Comprehensive Program to Heal Traumatic Brain Injury by Dr. Kabran Chapek. There is help for you. Don’t give up. Your life matters!

I believe that changing the way we think is critical to changing our life. Changing the way we think is the first step to leading a healthy life. This has been true in my on life. Though I was successful and healthy, I experience fatigue, weight fluctuations, and emotional ups and downs. I worried constantly and had difficulty shutting off my thoughts. I worried about everything and had internal unrest. My mind never rested. I grew up in the church and prayed daily but feared displeasing God. Growing up in a more traditional church, I never learned about the grace of God or the rest I could have in Him. I did not know that my unrest was rooted in fear and not understanding what Jesus had done for me at the cross. I did not know that I did not have to perform for God or be good enough to receive His love. I learned that through the blood of Jesus, I had been made right in Him and that I could now come boldly to the throne of Grace.

I began my journey of being transformed by the renewing of my mind in 2007. I had such a stronghold of fear. This fear was mainly rooted in fear of God’s judgement. I thought I had to be good to earn my way into His graces so that He would not send me to hell. The revelation came that I couldn’t follow all the rules and that’s why I needed a Savior. I didn’t have to be perfect but that Jesus gave me His righteousness so now I am blameless before the Father. This is good news! Now I can relax knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:38) and nothing can snatch me from His Hand (John 10:28). I feared making a mistake. I feared failure. I feared conflict. I feared the future. I feared dying. I feared something bad happening all the time which is foreboding.

Thankfully, God put people in my life that began to reveal to me that I had believed lies about God and myself. These lies, or strongholds, began to break down when I made a decision to believe God over the lies of the enemy. I was scared, but I grabbed hold of the hand of the Lord and trusted he would help me (Isaiah 41:13). I didn’t know that I could choose my thoughts and that I did not have to believe everything that popped into my head. If the thought did not line up with God’s truth, I did not have to believe it. I learned that Satan uses thoughts to comdemn and to tempt us. He is the accuser of the brethren. He is the father of lies. He attacked my mind heavily but I fought back with the Sword of God’s Word. I began to choose to think and speak God’s Word. I slowly began to trust Him more and more asking Him to show me He was a good Father. I ask Him to help me listen and obey His instruction.

My journey has not been easy. My mind was a mess, I was addicted to sugar and carbs, and I was not as physically in shape as I am today. My thoughts about myself and the world were so negative. I appeared on the outside calm and “all together” but on the inside, I was in turmoil. The Lord told me to get in line with what He was saying about me. I began to learn who I was in Christ. I choose to meditate on His Word. I listened to faith filled message about His love and about His Grace. I woke up early to spend time with Him and to listen for His voice. His Voice of Love and no conmdemation has forever changed me.

He drew me up out of a horrible pit (a pit of tumult and destruction), out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and established my goings. Psalms 40:2

Grace is so powerful. Grace is the power to overcome sin, not the permission to continue sinning. Grace is the person of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us so that we could be restored as children of the Father God. It requires sacrifice on our part. We must chose to seek Him and allow Him to heal our hearts and minds. He is good and His mercy and loving kindness endure forever (2 Chronicles 5:13). The joy of the Lord really is our strength. You can have a feast of joy regardless of your circumstance when you understand that His perfect Love drives out all fear! CHOOSE JOY!

Psalms 50: 14-15 Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay vows to the Most High, and call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall honor and glorify Me.

Psalms 50:23 he who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his way aright (who prepares the way that I may show him), to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God.

Food, physical and spiritual, is medicine: Medicine can heal but Jesus cures

Proverbs 17:22:  A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Exodus 21:19:  “If he rise again, and walk about leaning upon his staff, then he that struck him shall be clear, except he must pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.”

As a Physician Assistant for almost 21 years, I have learned that I can help bring healing, but I am not the cure. Medical Science has learned much about the body, particularly the mind and gut connections. We know that the brain and gut are connected by way of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has cardiac branches that slow our heart rate and digestive branches that stimulate peristalsis and gastrointestinal secretions. The gut houses 70% of our immune system and is the first line of defense from illness. The brain is connected to our immune system by small vessels, so our thoughts and what we meditate on is important to our physical health. The gut bacteria also plays an important role in health. The imbalance of the gut microbiome caused by our Standard American Diet has been indicted as the cause of chronic illness. Recently, I found a study that revealed suppression of IgA in the gut may contribute to obesity and diabetes. Good bacteria like lactobacillus and bidofidobacteria actually protect the gut lining. The diet that best promotes and healthy gut, brain, and heart is the Mediterranean diet. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324221#mediterranean-diet

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The above is a brief review and so much more could be shared. The human body is so amazing that researchers have only scratched the surface of learning about all the intricate processes our body performs everyday (Ps. 139: 13-14). What we are feeding our mind, body and soul is very important to physical and spiritual health which leads me to Exodus 21:19 and Proverbs 17:22. The Word of God is so rich and filled with life giving instructions. The Hebrew language is also rich and its words have such deep meanings. Jewish teachers, called Rabbi’s, say that each scripture has at least 70 different meanings. In my quest to learn how a happy heart is good medicine, I came across a blog post that studied the difference meanings of the words heal and cure (https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2015/06/word-study-heal-or-cure-גהה-רפא/). In the blog post, the author quoted from the Talmud (Bava Kamma 85a) the English translation of Exodus 21:19:

“He shall pay for the loss of his work, and he shall fully heal him.” 

Some Jewish teachers interpreted this to mean that a physician, a medical provider is allowed to heal but he or she is not allowed to pronounce a person incurable. In other words, a physician can heal but only God can cure. The Jewish teachers state that there are no synonyms in the Hebrew language so there must be a subtle difference between heal and cure. The Hebrew word for heal in rapha whereas the Hebrew word for cure is gehah. I was excited to learn that this word gehah is only used once in the Bible and it is in Proverbs 17:22 as the word for medicine. Further study of this word gehah revealed the idea of being freed or set free. Interestingly, the Aramaic version of the word gehah is identical to the Hebrew version and means to stoop over as to protect. The author of this blog stated that gehah could be further described as someone throwing his or her body on a grenade to protect another person from shrapnel. Wow! Isn’t that what Christ did for us? He gave His body for us so that we could be could be set free, healed, and protected. In other words, Jesus is the cure, the medicine that heals the broken hearted and brings happiness. So a merry heart is protection. In short, a medical provider can heal (rapha) but only Jesus can cure (gehah), only He can protect.

Medical providers can give instructions and education on leading a healthy lifestyle, which usually includes diet and exercise. Sadly, most do not address the issues of the heart or the soul. Much has been learned about stress and how it leads to chronic illness. Our inner self or our emotional state also contributes to chronic illness. Unhealthy emotions, not dealt with properly, can have a negative impact on our health and how we react to those around us. What we feed our body, mind and spirit is very important. Yes, it is very important what foods we are putting into our body, but what we are putting into our minds through our eyes and ears is just as important because for as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

What are you feeding your mind today? Are you feeding your mind fear, doom and gloom? Is your heart troubled? If you are a Christian, you have precious promises of hope, prosperity, and life. Yes, we are living in trying times but nothing is too hard for our God. Let’s not be like the ten spies who saw the giants in the promised land. They forgot all that God had done. Let’s be like Caleb and declare that our God is able and if He be for us who can be against us. Caleb had a different spirit. He did not have a spirit of fear. He was ready to take the land and process it because he believed and trusted God fully. The giant many are facing now is fear. Messages of fear, doom, and gloom are not the message of the good news of the Gospel. People of God arise and take your place as sons and daughters of the King. God is for us not against us, He is for us. His heart is to see everyone come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and be saved. He is not angry but is looking for a people to usher in His Glory. You and I were created to push back the darkness and to bring hope to the nations.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

The Bible tells us in the Book of John, that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself (John 1.1). The book of John goes on to say that the Word became flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is the cure for the broken heart, the angry heart, the racist heart, and the forgotten heart. Come to Him today and feed on Him in your heart and mind. He is able to cure and protect. He is the answer for todays problems but remember that Jesus didn’t come into the world with a political agenda. His agenda was YOU and ME! His agenda was to reveal the heart of the Father for His creation. Jesus restored us to the status of heirs to an eternal Kingdom. He restored us to our former Glory in the garden. We are not orphans but children and heirs to His Kingdom. We are new creations in Christ and are meant to go from Glory to Glory. We are not victums but victors. We have a promised land and a destiny.

The key to good health lies in what we are feeding ourselves physically and spiritually. A happy heart is good medicine (protection) for the body and a cheerful mind works healing. It’s times for us to prepare our hearts and minds. It’s the healing of our hearts and minds that will bring transformation and healing to the nations. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds and this begins by choosing to think on things that are above or praise worthy. In other words, we need to be Kingdom minded. The Word of God is Spirit and Life. Jesus is the Word and He is the bread of life. Feed on Him in your hearts by faith and thanksgiving. Let Proverbs 30: 5, 8 be our prayer:

Father God, your every word is tried and purified; You are a shield to those who trust and take refuge in You. Remove from my heart and mind any falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches but feed me with the food that is needful for me. In Jesus name. Amen