The Blue Zone

Many of you may have heard about the “Blue Zone”. In a November 2005 National Geographic article entitled “The Secrets to a Long Life” by Dan Buettner, his research found a common practice among cultures who had the most male centurions. Buettner identified five regions with the most male centurions and discussed them in his book called The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Below is a chart showing the common practices. Pay attention to the center of this diagram.

A plant-based diet, legumes, no smoking, social engagement, and exercise were key to all groups. The diagram shows three groups but actually five geographic areas where found to have statically more centurions. The other two geographical ares are Nicoya, Costa Rica and Icaria, Greece. We can see from this diagram other commonalities which include empowering women, sunshine, gardening, faith, and whole grains. Here again, just like in the bible, a plant-based diet and no processed foods seems to be a key to living longer. These cultures suffer less from common diseases that kill other people in other parts of the world. Also, a sense of community and belonging are also key elements to a long life. We know that infants who are not loved and nurtured do not thrive. Love is an important human need.

We all deal with stress but when we have support of friends and family it lessens the burden. As I look at this chart, it seems that stress in not a big factor. They spend time outside probably exercising and gardening. They enjoy social contact and acceptance from the community. In our fast paced American lifestyle, much of the sense of family or community is lost. The American family hardly has time together and many do not have the support of a church family.

Also of interest is that all but one of these 5 regions is largely a Christian culture. Sardinia, Italy is a staunchly Christian society with most being Roman Catholic. The same is true of Nicoya, Costa Rica and Icaria, Greece. The Loma Linda group were all Seventh Day Adventist. Here is an excerpt from Dan Buettner from the Blue Zone:

“People who pay attention to their spiritual side have a lower rate of cardiovascular disease, depression, stress, and suicide, and their immune systems seem to work better…To a certain extent, adherence to a religion allows them to relinquish the stresses of everyday life to a higher power.”


Did you see Proverbs 17:22 jump out at you? These centurions paid attention to their spirit and their immune systems worked better. Remember your immune system is made in your bones. Let’s look at this proverb again:

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

Now Jesus did not die to give us a religion but a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. Relationship to God and to other people is vital to health. In 2017, Marino Bruce of Vanderbilt University lead a study looking at the relationship between religiosity, stress and death. The study was call “Church Attendance Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle-Aged Adults“. The study looked at blood pressure and levels of stress hormones which they termed allostatic load. The higher the allostatic load the higher the disease level and early death. To summarize the study findings, church goers had less chronic disease and lived longer than non-church goers.

If I was to summarize the above chart, it would be love. Loving self and loving others. Is this not what Jesus taught us in scripture? Jesus said that he gave us a new command: Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34). Peace is what we are all looking for and it is found in Christ. He is our peace, our hope, and our joy. I don’t believe it is an accident that the command to love is in chapter 13 of the book of John.  The bible tells us that God is Love (1 John 4:8) and in 1 Corinthians 13 love is discussed in detail. I believe 1 Corinthians 13:13 describes well how long life is lived.

1 Corinthians 13:13  And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

When we love ourselves, we take care of the body or our temple. Since the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit(Romans 5:5), we are able to love others without fear of rejection. When we trust God to be our protector and provider, we live without fear knowing that our Father in Heaven loves us and cares for us.

Daniel lived a life of excellence always putting His relationship with His creator first.  His life was dedicated to prayer and fasting. He sought to honor God with his life and in doing so God honored him. God gave Daniel understanding and favor above all those around him. This is the supernatural life of a Christian. I will leave you with what the Lord shared with me on January 3, 2018. May the God of peace bless you and your family abundantly!

True love doesn’t wait but pursues the things of God. Those who love me pursue Me. Pursue your “First Love” and all else will fall into place. My people have forgotten “First Love” (the beauty I have created , provision and protection). They worship things and not the One who created it. They pursue the wisdom of the world and not wisdom from above and in doing so perish from a lack of knowledge. Pursue Me Allison and not just My hand of provision or what I will give you but Me. Teach others to do the same. Pursue to know Me and all else will be given you. You have every spiritual blessing and you lack for nothing. 

Let this be our heart cry, to know Him!

The Abundant Life

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. Proverbs 14:30

The bones are where our immune and blood cells are made. The bible tells us that life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).  Blood represents life and was the atonement for sin in the Old Testament.  We see the power of the blood in the story of the exodus of the Israelite’s from Egypt. The blood of the Lamb, a picture of the perfect Lamb- Christ, was placed over the door post and the angel of death passed over. Today for a born again Christian, it is the perfect blood of Christ that has atoned for our sins once and for all. We step out of death and into life. The abundant life is in the blood of Christ.

Medical science knows all to well the significance of blood. Blood taken from people and even animals can clue us into certain diseases. We know that stress is a major cause of illness. More than 87% of today’s illnesses are stress related. In Proverbs 14:30, we see that envy, jealousy and wrath are harmful to our bones or one could say to our immune system. These emotions are rooted in fear. Fear produces stress on the body and over time suppresses our immune system making it harder for us to fight off illness. The human body has an amazing God-given ability to heal itself if it is cared for properly.

There is so much information about health that it can be overwhelming. Many researchers and holistic medical providers are attributing stress, diet, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), cell phones, and vaccines to many of our illnesses. I researched the average age that people lived during the time of Christ. The average age was somewhere between 35-40 years of age. There was no GMOs, cell phones, antibiotics, or vaccines. They ate from the land yet they did not live long. Why? One thing I know is that the people were stressed by the Roman Empire as well as the Religious elite. There was a big divide between the rich and the poor. Living conditions and sanitation were not that good. The Jews hated the Roman Empire as well as the gentiles. Looks like envy, jealousy and wrath were definitely a problem. In our today’s society, we are living longer but unfortunately many are living with chronic diseases. Is this the abundant life? I think not. In Deuteronomy 28, we read about blessings and curses related to obedience. Sickness is a curse. Guess what! Jesus became a curse so that through Him we could live the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. Healing was purchased at the cross. By His stripes (blood), we have been healed and made whole (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus healed all who came to Him. He tells us that the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy but He came to give us life abundantly.

We have a part to play in this healing. God tells us in scripture that He put before us life and death. He tells us to choose life. Proverbs 14:30 tells us clearly that a calm and undisturbed mind and heart are life and health to the body. Are we choosing life or death? Many of us are choosing fear over trusting a loving, living God. Many of us are choosing a diet that leads to illness instead of one that leads to life. Many of us choose to dwell on fearful thoughts or to over think to a point of frustration and anxiety. Many Christian choose not to set aside time to spend with God, to hear His voice, and to study His Word.  He tells us that His Words are Spirit and life. How can I have a relationship with someone if I don’t take the time to know them? The same is true of God. We should be going from Glory to Glory not just getting by or living with sickness. Sickness is not God’s will for us. Jesus did not put sickness on anyone. God desires us to be well and to prosper in this life. We are to be bright shining stars in this world.

Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may avoid the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27

The life of Daniel gives us clues to living a prosperous life even in the midst of turmoil. Daniel was held captive in Babylon. The King ordered that all the young Israelite men  who were handsome and without physical defect, wise and quick to understand, to be taught the language and literature of the Babylonians. They were to be trained for three years then would enter into the king’s service. The king assigned then a daily amount of food and wine from his table. Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal food and wine. He asked his chief officer if he and his friends (Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah) could be given only vegetables to eat and water to drink. The chief officer agreed to allow them to eat this way for 10 days and at the end of 10 days Daniel and his friends were healthier than all the other men. The chief officer took away the royal food from the other men and gave them vegetables and water as well. Furthermore, God gave Daniel and his friends knowledge and understanding in all kinds of literature and learning and Daniel could understand visions and dreams. The king found Daniel and his friends ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Why was the favor of the Lord on Daniel and his friends? I believe the answer is that they honored and trusted God. Daniel prayed and sought the Lord for answers. We are told that he prayed three times per day and he studied scripture. He did not fear those around him but trusted in the Lord to provide. You know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel continued to pray three times a day even though the king decreed that all the kingdom was to pray to no other god except the king. Now God did not stop Daniel from being put in the lion’s den but He did protect him from being eaten. The king was overjoyed to find Daniel alive and made a decree in Daniel 6:26-27:

I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence  the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Daniel trusted in God to protect him and did not fear the lions. His trust in God’s protection caused a nation to worship the one and only true God. Another common practice for Daniel, was fasting. We see in Daniel chapter 9 and 10 that Daniel fasted and prayed. He prayed for his people and repented for their sins. We are told in chapter 10 of the book of Daniel, that he ate no choice food, no meat or wine touched his lips for three weeks. We see that Daniel was aware that certain foods, or at least too much of certain foods, were not good for him. He must have had meat and wine on occasion or he would not be fasting from them for three weeks as he sought the Lord. Daniel lived in a foreign land but he was highly favored by the king. He prospered in a foreign land. God gave him knowledge and understanding. God still does this today. The Lord says in Jeremiah 33:3 that if we will call out to Him, he will answer and tell us great and unsearchable things we do not know. Daniel’s life is one that can teach us much about living a prosperous life even in the midst all the problems of this world. Daniel was devoted to searching the scriptures, worship, prayer, fasting and ate mostly a plant-based diet. We are told he lived to be over 90 years old.

Like Daniel, we are aliens in this world. This is not our home. As a child of God, you are surrounded by His favor. He is able to lift you up and give you a place of honor wherever He has placed you in this temporary life.  As with any child, a father and mother give more privileges as the child grows and matures. God wants to lavishly bless His children but they must be mature enough to handle the gifts. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). Daniel sought the Lord in all things. He humbled himself in prayer and fasting. He refused to defile himself with the kings food. He chose to listen and to believe God for protection, wisdom, and provision. In due time, the Lord lifted him up and gave him a place of honor under a pagan King. His life of excellence and devotion to God changed the culture around him. He delighted himself in the Lord and the Lord gave him the desires and secret petitions of his heart( Psalm 37:4). Today the Kingdom of God is within every born again believer by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(After all) the kingdom of God is not a matter of (getting the) food and drink (one likes), but instead it is righteousness, and (heart) peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

Righteousness is a free gift through the blood of Christ, whereas peace and joy are fruit of the Spirit.  A mind steadfast on the Lord will remain at perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), and a calm heart and mind are life and health to the body. What is your mind focused on today? What is causing your heart to be troubled? Come to your loving Heavenly Father. He will give you rest. Ask Him how to live the abundant life that His son died to give you.

Energy of Life

In this world so full of information regarding health, it is hard to know what to do. So many people are looking for answers. They are looking for just that right “thing” that will prolong their life. The answer for me is Christ. He is the glue that holds all things together. In John chapter 1, we are told that all things came into being through Him and without Him nothing would exist. In Him is Life and this Life is the Light of men. God created the heavens and the earth and said “Let there be Light” and there was Light.(Genesis 1:3). Jesus called Himself the Light of the world, so essentially God said “Let there be Christ Jesus”! It has become apparent to me that the source of life is in relationship with the Light, the true Light- Christ. He is the energy that holds all things together.

Colossians 1:16-17  For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).

As I studied the periodic chart, I found that our bodies consist of 66 elements. Is this a coincidence? I think not! There are 66 books of the bible. Furthermore, the average 150 pound human contains 7 x 10 to the 27th atoms.  As you may know, 7 and 10 are important numbers in the bible. 7 is the number of completion and 10 represents government and completion. If you study the number 27, you will find that the sun orbits its axis every 27 days and that there are 27 books of the New testament. The Hebrew alphabet is composed of letters that correspond to numbers .  Each letter has a picture associated with it. I mention this to spark your interest in the deeper things of God and to emphasize that Christ is the energy that hold the very atoms together. Nothing in this earth or the universe is by mistake!

God created man from the dust of the ground then He breathe into mans nostrils the spirit of life (Genesis 2:7). God blew the soul of life into man nostrils. The Hebrew language is so fascinating to me. In the bible, there are 3 words used for the soul–Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah.

Nefesh- from root word Nafash meaning to rest.

Ruach-means Spirit but in some places means wind.

Neshamah- comes from Neshimah the Hebrew word for breath.

In essence, God blew the Neshamah or the soul of life into man’s nostrils breathing His spirit or Ruach into him causing His Spirit or “soul of life” to rest on man. The Spirit of God is felt when it moves through us. God is spirit and He is all around us like the air but not always detectable. Air is only felt when it moves. Ruach also means wind, so like the wind, God can only be detected when His Spirit moves through us. The Ruach is the Holy Spirit that connects the soul of man to God. In Hebrew, the word most often used to describe enlightenment is Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that enlightenment or wisdom from above comes to us. The beauty of today is that the Spirit of God does not just rest on a believer in Christ but dwells permanently in him or her. This means that every believer can commune with His spirit and receive wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (Meditation and the Bible by Aryeh Kaplan).

The problem today is that most believers are not connecting with the Father. To connect with Him, we must set aside a time to turn our hearts and minds to Him. This is done not only in prayer but in meditation and contemplation. The dictionary defines contemplation as the act of looking at something thoughtfully for a long time. From a Christian perspective, contemplation is a form of prayer or meditation where a believer seeks to go beyond concepts and mental images to a direct experience with the divine–God. Thomas Merton in his book called Seeds of Contemplation, describes contemplation as a gratitude for life and an awareness that life proceeds from an “invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source”. I want to share with you an excerpt from his book Seeds of Contemplation:

“In other words, then, contemplation reaches out to the knowledge and even to the experience of the transcendent and inexpressible God. It knows God by seemingly to touch Him. Or rather it knows Him as if it had been invisibly touched by Him…Touched by Him Who has no hands, but Who is pure Reality and the source of all that is real! Hence contemplation is a sudden gift of awareness, an awaking to the Real within all that is real. A vivid awareness of infinite Being at the roots of our own limited being. An awareness of our contingent reality as received, as a present from God, a free gift of love. This existential contact of which we speak when we use the metaphor of being ‘touched by God’.”

“Contemplation is also the response to a call; a call from Him Who has no voice, Who speaks in everything that is, and Who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our being: for we ourselves are words of His. But we are words that are meant to respond to Him, to answer Him, to echo Him, and even in some way to contain and signify Him. Contemplation is this echo. It is a deep resonance in the inmost center of our spirit in which our very life loses its separate voice and re-sounds with the majesty and the mercy of the Hidden and Living One. He answers Himself in us and this answer is divine life, divine creativity, making all things new. We ourselves become His echo and His answer.”

So in other words, in contemplation, we connect with His spirit being transformed into His image in order that we can express His true nature to this world. I love how Thomas Merton said the we “are words of His”. Psalm 33:6 says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host by the breath of His mouth. Contemplation is simply worship. It’s a deep knowing that there is One who is greater and that I am one with Him, known by Him, and loved by Him. I am part of something much bigger than myself. I am just a very small part of His creation yet He is mindful of me and has crowned me with honor and glory (Psalms 8:4-5). He who created the world deeply loves me.  Contemplation or worship is a deep appreciation and awe for the Giver of Life. It’s an understanding that in His perfect love, He cares about my every need and concern. This includes my health. Have you asked Him about your health? Have you asked Him about your diet and whether you should exercise? Have you searched scripture for these answers?

Sadly, many of us use God’s grace as an excuse to stay where we are in life instead of using His grace to overcome every obstacle. We use phrases like “He knows my heart” to stay in our sin. Grace is the power to overcome sin. Grace empowers us to go from glory to glory. Sin should not have dominion over us. We are over comers in Christ. Sickness should not reign in our bodies for by His strips we were healed. I believe the answers to health lies in relationship with the Father, listening and obeying His instructions. His Words are Spirit and Life. He says “Call to Me and I 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 

In the next blog, we will look at the life of Daniel. Daniel exemplifies a life devoted to God. He had health as well as deep insight like no one else. We can learn important keys to living the abundant life from him.

Psalm 91:14-16 Because he(you and me) has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.


New Seeds of Conteplation: Thomas Merton
Meditation and the Bible:   Aryeh Kaplan

Forgiveness: Healing the Broken Spirit

Forgiveness is a key to healing the broken spirit. Forgiving ourselves and others has a profound effect on our body. Research continues to show there is a link between the mind and the body and that depression and stress can cause fatigue where as a positive attitude towards life can give us more energy. In 2015 an article entitled How Forgiveness Benefits Your Health: Forgiving Wrongdoers Can Expand Physical Fitness by Lecia Bushak, a study done by Erasmus University and the National University of Singapore concludes that holding a grudge not only weighs us down mentally but also physically. Those participants that had forgiven their wrongdoers actually jumped higher on the average. This reminds me of Matthew 11:28-30:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Wow! Our burdens literally weigh us down. I have experienced this and I am sure you have as well. When we are emotionally troubled, our body feels heavy making it hard to even walk. We may even feel like we can’t get out of bed. Even the Mayo clinic has found that forgiving others has great health benefits. Forgiving others reduces blood pressure, lessens depression and anxiety, strengthens our immune system and helps our heart stay healthy. Interestingly, a study done by Kavita Vedhara, a researcher from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, concluded that the flu vaccine works better if the person is in a good mood when the vaccine is received. Being in a good mood helps lower cortisol which suppresses the immune system. Medical science seems to confirm that Proverbs 17:22 is true and that a “happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones“. Forgiveness opens us up to not only give love but to receive love. When we understand that by receiving Christ into our hearts we have been forgiven completely, we then are able to show mercy to ourselves and others. Our greatest example of forgiveness is Jesus. On the cross, he looked at those who had put nails in his hands and feet and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

Christmas should be a wonderful time of the year but for many it is a very hard time. Much of the sadness or depression revolves around broken or lost relationships with family and friends. Many feel alone or isolated. Christmas, historically, has been a time to reach out to others in need but in many ways it has transgressed to the “What about me” attitude and not an attitude of showing love and mercy to each other. Forgiveness is a powerful key to emotional healing. Feelings of hurt and resentment produce emotions like anger, anxiety and depression.  Robert Enright says in his article Eight Keys to Forgiveness, that “studies have shown that forgiving others produces strong psychological benefits for the one who forgives. It has been shown to decrease depression, anxiety, unhealthy anger, and the symptoms of PTSD. ” I will go even a step further and say that forgiving others and yourself will even produce physical healing.  Anger, hate, sadness, and rejection are powerful emotions and, if left unresolved, can make us sick.  We have all experienced the physical symptoms of being hurt emotionally. We experience these emotional symptoms at different levels of intensity depending on our emotional maturity. Diarrhea, stomach ache, tingling hands, chest pain, headache, heart racing, and sweating are just a few of the symptoms one can experience. Forgiveness is powerful medicine for the mind, body and soul with the end results of peace and a sense of well-being.

Jesus knew the power of forgiveness. On the cross, before He gave up His Spirit, He said to the Father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do”. This is the greatest example of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. We can choose to forgive but may still have feelings of hurt and even anger. Forgiveness is a process that takes time and we may need help from others to completely heal. Forgiveness is something we have to practice and it is not easy but very rewarding. It is just as important to forgive ourselves as it is to forgive others. I heard this once: holding onto unforgiveness  actually makes us slaves to that person. In other words, if I continued to have resentment and anger towards my sexual abuser, I remain emotionally bound or enslaved to that person. I don’t know about you but I want to be free. As I worked through forgiving my attacker, something unexpected happened. I began to have empathy for him. Though his action were horrible, he still was a person created by God and loved by Him. I thought about how much God had shown mercy to me and that if Jesus could forgive His attackers so could I. Not in my own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit. My attacker died in an accident. I felt so sorry for him. I hope that he had ask Jesus into his heart before he died because I would not wish an eternity in hell on my worse enemy.

Robert Enright stated in his article that:

“Scientists have studied what happens in the brain when we think about forgiving and have discovered that, when people successfully imagine forgiving someone (in a hypothetical situation), they show increased activity in the neural circuits responsible for empathy. This tells us that empathy is connected to forgiveness and is an important step in the process.”

Let me state right here that forgiving someone is not condoning their actions or saying what they did was not wrong.  The act of forgiving produces freedom in us allowing us to no longer be bound to that person or to the negative thoughts and emotions. As we have learned over the course of this blog, there is power in our thoughts and words. Thoughts and words can either bring death or life, healing or destructions. The bible is clear that it is the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. One of his weapons is the spirit of offence. He wants us offended at others, ourselves and ultimately God. This spirit tells us lies like: “I am unworthy”,  or “I am unloved”. This spirit will tell us lies about the other person. Many times the person who has offended us doesn’t even know it or has move on while we continue to wallow in our hurt and anger. Healing comes when we release the burden of unforgiveness and choose to love ourselves and the one who has hurt us. 1 John 1:5 tells us that God is Light and that there is no darkness in Him at all. Forgiveness frees us to walk in the Light as He is in the light.  Let’s come into the Light and let Him heal our hearts, minds and bodies.

1 John 2:9-11(Amplified Bible)   Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, [a]born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now. Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [[b]in Christ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

I will leave you with this: I believe fear and condemnation are at the root of illness physical or emotional. Fear makes us self focused or overly critical of ourselves and others. Fear causes us to judge others who don’t think, look or talk like us. Love looks at every person, including ourselves, as valuable and priceless. God thought we were so valuable that He gave us Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Love came down in human form to restore us to the Father making us children of God. God is Love and he who loves is of God. Let’s love ourselves and others showing the true nature of our Heavenly Father. Let’s forgive those who have hurt us like Jesus did. He is our example.


Fire in our Bones

Ecclesiastes 11:5  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.

We have been created for love and to be loved. Every human has been fearfully and wonderfully made. God has put greatness in each one of us. He has given each one of us gifts and talents. Unfortunately, we have an adversary who also has an agenda which is to kill, steal, and destroy. From our very birth, he begins to tell us lies about ourselves and about God. He (Satan) knows we have been created with purpose and he will stop at nothing to make sure you do not fulfil your destiny. He is the “Father of Lies”. Though God has put eternity inside us all, He has given us a choice to love and to be loved. It is in connection to God, the all-consuming fire of perfect love, that the fire in our bones is ignited. I believe this “fire” is love. Hebrews 12:29 says our God is a consuming fire and 1 John 8 states that God is love. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God. Learning to love and to be loved is the greatest quest in this journey called “life”. Perfect love is only found in Christ, through intimate relationship with our Creator who created us from love to be a people unto Him.

The bones house the bone marrow which is responsible for all our blood and immune cells. The blood cells have multiple purposes like carrying oxygen to all parts of our body and helping to stop bleeding when we are injured. Blood and immune cells also help wounds to heal. Our body is truly amazing. It has the ability to heal itself. Leviticus 17:11 states that the life of a creature is in the blood and it was given to us to make atonement for our sins on the altar for it is blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Life is in the blood. This is so true. Without the bone marrow and the production of blood, we can not live. Thousands of people flock to doctors and Naturalist to have their blood check because we know blood can detect disease in our bodies. It is no mistake that life is found in the blood of Jesus. It is His perfect blood that cleanses us of all unrighteousness and by His strips we have been healed. Healing is so important to our Heavenly Father but I think it is deeper than just physical healing. I believe the healing He desires most is the restoration of His relationship to us as His sons and daughters. I believe that the ultimate healing is found in our true identity. God’s purpose for us is to be perfected in love or to be made whole. In communion with the God Head (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), we learn to love like Jesus. He is our example of love. He came to serve not to be served, to lay down His life for us. Do you understand that God Himself came in human form to save His children from death? I know it is hard to grasp that Jesus was fully man and fully God.

 Colossians 1:19  For it pleased (the Father) that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently.

This is an amazing statement because those of us who have ask Christ in our lives are filled with Him through the giving of the Holy Spirit the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. You are filled with power from above, divinely created to live an abundant life, a life of excellence. The battle to living the abundant life is the battle of identity and overcoming the lies of the enemy by believing the truths given to us by our Heavenly Father. Everyone is searching for their place in this world, wondering who they are and why they are here? What is my purpose?

There is a battle going on around us that we can’t see but it is a real battle. The battle is between Satan and God. God is trying to draw His children to His love, restoring us as children of God while Satan is trying to destroy our lives through lies about who we truly are. We were born into a battle one that is won in Christ and in “right believing”. We were created to destroy the works of darkness. How does all this apply to health? I believe right believing leads to divine health. In order to make my case, we must learn how the enemy works and what are his tactics.

In chapter 1 of Ephesians, we learn that we have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. We are told that He chose us before the creation of the world be a people Holy and blameless in His sight and that in love He predestined us to be adopted as sons and daughters through Christ Jesus. Through Christ and His shed blood, we have redemption and forgiveness of our sins and have been marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is our guarantee of our inheritance. We are to be an expression of the true nature of God. Perfected in Love to be a vessel filled and overflowing with the river of life–Jesus through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The enemy works hard to stop up this river with the cares and hurts of the world. He speaks lies against our true nature which is in Christ, in God our creator.

Robert McGee said in his book, The Search For Significance, that the biggest lie of the enemy is: self-worth= Performance + others’ opinions. He breaks this equation down into categories: performance trap, approval addiction, blame game, and shame. Each one of these false beliefs end result is fear. Here lies the greatest tactic of the enemy-FEAR. The performance trap ,which is rooted in the fear of failure and perfectionism, says we have to meet certain standards to feel good about ourselves. The drive to perform may cause us to manipulate others to succeed or cause us to withdraw from healthy risk. Approval addiction is rooted in the fear of rejection. The false belief is that we must have approval of others to feel good about ourselves. This drives us to get approval from others at any cost. We become overly sensitive to criticism and avoid relationships to avoid disapproval. The blame game is rooted in the fear of punishment and blaming others for our personal failures. The false belief is that when others (including ourselves) fail they are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. Lastly, shame is rooted in feelings of hopelessness and inferiority. We become passive, lose our creativity and withdraw from others. The antidote to these false beliefs is found in our true identity which is in Christ. Through His blood, we have been justified through the gift of righteousness making us fully pleasing to the Father. We have been reconciled and adopted as sons and daughters to have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. Through the death of Christ, God showed His deep love for us in that Christ made atonement for our sins once and for all. We are completely forgiven and deeply loved. In receiving Christ as our savior, we become a new creation in Christ.

As you may remember from Proverbs 17:22,  a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones.  Believing a lie empowers it. In other words, it puts out our fire, our ability to love others or love ourselves. Believing the lies of the enemy makes our heart-sick and our mind troubled leading us into physical and mental illness. When we truly understand that we have been divinely created in Love to love and be loved, we find security to be all God has created us to be. We have been given every spiritual blessing which includes physical and mental health. We lack for nothing. We have access to all the Father has. Life abundantly is found in the connection to the ever-burning fire of Love, Perfect Love–God. I will leave you with a verse from the Song of Songs:

Song of Songs 8:6-7 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, it’s jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned. 

The Mind Diet by Allison Rolston PA-C

In a recent blog posted by Amen clinics call Do you have an Abusive Relationship with Sugar?, the hazards of the Standard American Diet (SAD) was discussed. Studies continue to reveal that diets high in simple carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit juice and bread have a 400% increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research is pointing to our sugar-laden diet as the cause of Alzheimer’s and many scientist are calling Alzheimer’s “type 3 diabetes.” There are of course other risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease some of which include hypertension, smoking, heart disease, obesity, drug or alcohol use, insomnia, sleep apnea, low estrogen or testosterone, and thyroid disease. The problems don’t stop there. Our obsession with sugar has also been linked to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, and ADHD. The good news is that Alzheimer’s and the host of other illnesses are either preventable or treatable with lifestyle changes.  Research has shown that a healthy lifestyle can even suppress genes that may have been inherited. In other words, you may have an increase risk of diabetes due to an inherited gene but through a healthy lifestyle that gene does not turn on. This is what researchers are calling the study of epigenetics. I hope you are seeing that diet is key to living a healthy life.  Amen clinics gives us 5 brain-healthy tips to help protect our brain:

  1. Stop the high sugar diet— sugar as we have discussed throughout this blog increase inflammation which is at the root of disease.
  2. Breakfast for the brain– select a balanced breakfast one low in carbohydrates and higher in protein. I love Ezekiel bread with natural almond butter. To sweeten it up you can sprinkle Whole Earth or Stevia on it. Yummy!
  3. Feed your gut (the second brain)- the gut as we have learned is the first line of defense from illness. Worry, stress and poor diet increase gut permeability increasing inflammation in the body. Reducing stress, eating a balanced diet and taking a probiotic can help keep the gut healthy. Another natural supplement, bovine colostrum, has shown helpful in healing leaky-gut and increasing our immune system defense in fighting against disease. Not any colostrum supplement will do. Many bovine colostrum products are processed in such a way that destroys much of the health benefits. I uses a pharmaceutical grade bovine colostrum from Sovereign Laboratories. It has a lysosomal delivery system which preserves the healing properties and allows for better absorption. You may contact me through this blog if you would like to learn more or go to: to learn more. Because I am a medical provider, I get a discount on the bovine colostrum which allows me to pass the savings on to you.
  4. Protein- add healthy proteins to your diet such as salmon, nuts, spinach, eggs, and lean chicken.
  5. Berries- neuroscientist have found that wild blueberries protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

To take this point home further, the AARP magazine publish an article about Alzheimer’s and the link to diet. They discussed a study out of London that also found the link between diet and Alzheimer’s disease. The article listed what they called The Mind Diet. The Mind Diet consist of leafy green vegetables, berries, fish, cheese, whole grains, beans and olive oil. Red wine was also listed as only with the dinner meal. Let’s remember that wine is not a health food and actually too much will have a negative affect on the brain. Dr. Amen recommends no more that two glasses per week.

I believe another diet is of the utmost importance–The Diet of the Word of God. A healthy mind will lead to healthy lifestyle. The bible tells us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). This renewing of your mind has a healing effect on your life both physically and spiritually. In the renewing of your mind, you learn what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God for your life. The Lord so wants you to proper and be in health (1 John 1:2). The Word of God is healing to all your flesh (Proverbs 4:22). You have a choice in life to either choose life or choose death. Unhealthy food choices lead to premature death. I say to you choose life. Health starts in the mind. You must decide to set your mind and keep it set on things above (Colossians 3:2). You have been divinely created for a purpose. As you think and speak God’s Word and promises over your life, His Words not only change your thinking but your heart. Christian meditation is engaging God and saturating your mind and heart with His healing Words. As a man thinks so is he is his heart (Proverbs 23:7). As you think and speak God’s words your heart is changed. The promises of God for those who have accepted His son, Jesus, are promises of unconditional love, protection, prosperity, healing, redemption, and forgiveness. He accepts you fully and loves you deeply. As a believer, you are filled with the Holy Spirit who empowers you to live a life full of righteousness, peace, and joy. This is the Kingdom of God that lives within you. You are not alone. He loves you and is interested in every area of your life. Bring Him all your hurts, sorrows, disappointments of any kind and allow Him to reveal to you how awesome you are. God does not make junk. Ask Him to help you live the abundant life. The abundant life is in Jesus Christ. Remember, the devil comes to steel, kill, and destroy but Jesus came so you could enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) John 10:10.

I have tried to change myself many times but I always failed. I found that as I spent time with the Lord and meditated on His Words, He changed me from the inside out. Gradually over time, I changed. His love changed me. I have learned that I am truly accepted and loved by Him so when he ask me to let go of hurts and wrong mind sets, it’s easy because I know He has my best interest in His heart. My Papa (God) loves me and knows what is best for me. He will never leave me or forsake me. He has such gifts prepared for those who love Him and listen to His voice. He never forces us to do things but leads us into all truth by His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. He really is so good. His love endures forever. Go to Him for He loves you!

Physical Affects Of Fear

Fear is defined as an “unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or is a threat” ( google dictionary). It also can be defined as a feeling of impending doom. Other terms used to describe fear include dread, anxiety, nervousness, worry, unease, unrest, and apprehension. We have all experienced fear at some point in our lives. Fear is a God-given emotion to alert us that something is amiss, but left to run amuck fear will cause physical illness. Fear creates stress on the body. Merriam-Webster defines stress this way:

Definition of stress

  1. 1 :  constraining force or influence: such as:

    a :  a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially :  the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch

    b :  the deformation caused in a body by such a force

    c :  a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation

    d :  a state resulting from a stress; especially :  one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium job-related stress

    e :  strain, pressure the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben

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 stoke. To read more about the physical effects of stress on the body, go to an article entitled Understanding the Stress Response by Harvard Health Publications.

More than 87% of illnesses are stress related and this stress or perceived threat starts in the brain. It does matter what we are thinking or meditating on. Fear can also be a learned response. If you had an anxious parent who was overly concerned about getting sick, then you may have learned to be overly worried about your health. Every ache and pain becomes, in your mind, a serious illness. And that’s when fear kicks in. You may have had a parent that was worried about you getting hurt, not allowing you to try new things, teaching you to be afraid of trying new things or fearing something bad would happen all the time. Of course, life happens and many of us have experienced unfortunate hurts and accidents that have produced fear and trauma in our lives. It’s what we do with the fear and hurt that determines how we will live each day.

Growing up in a stressful environment, I am all too aware of fear and it’s torment. At around the age of eight, a man who worked for our family sexually assaulted me several times. During one of the assaults, I had a candy sucker that I was eating while the event took place. This began may unhealthy relationship with food, using food as a way to deal with my anxiety and, in some ways, to escape reality. I was very over weight as a child and was teased a lot, compounding the feelings that something was wrong with me. As a teenager, I felt that if I was thinner that someone would love me or that I would fit in better at school. I always felt that I never fit in. Food addiction lead to bulimia and then to abusing alcohol to help me “fit in”. I went from one bad relationship to the next. Each time feeling more and more rejected and unloved. Growing up in the church, I learned about sin and thought that I had to be good enough to be loved. I saw God as angry, just waiting to punish me because “bad” people like me deserved to be punished. I had a religion, not a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father. I never learned about grace and the healing power offered to me through the cross of Christ.  I started praying when I was about 9 years old, but because things just seemed to get worse, I believed the lie that I was not lovable. I was depressed, over weight, suicidal at times, and tormented by fear of the future. I spent a month in a Dallas hospital for the bulimia and three months in a halfway house. It was in the halfway house that I had a dream. In the dream, I saw a casket in front of me and over the casket was a bright light. In this dream I heard Jesus say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. I remember being in church, shortly after this dream,  looking at Jesus on the cross saying please help me. It is at this point my life began to change. Things started to get better, but because I had no teaching about who I was as a believer in Christ, I continued to be tormented with fear. You name it, I worried about it. I was addicted to worrying, you might say. My mind was always going, seeming never to shut off. I would do alright for a while but if something happened, I went back into begging God to forgive me or back into condemning myself and thinking how stupid I am. I was extremely hard on myself. I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or thin enough. I feared retribution from God, and I went to church and prayed out of fear, not out of love. I was also very self-righteous and critical of others. I feared the future and was alway concerned about something bad happening. I was afraid to get my hopes up because I knew something bad was just around the corner. I was also very afraid of God because I thought the bad things that happen were from Him – to punish me. In 2007, I came to a place where I sunk down into the pit of depression and condemnation again. It is at this point I told God this: “I have been praying to you since I was 9 years old. I know you are real but I need to KNOW you are REAL!” In other words, I need confirmation that you are with me because I can not live this way anymore. Shortly after this prayer, the Lord sent a wonderful woman who began to teach me the wonder of God and His amazing love. I actually felt the Holy Spirit for the first time and felt His overwhelming love. I learned that I had a stronghold of fear and that I had believed lies from Satan as to who I am and who God really is. I began to look back at my life and I could see God’s hand of protection. I really should have been dead with all the risky behavior and the bulimia. I learned that it was the devil who came to steal, kill, and destroy, and he had been trying to kill me off from the beginning. I began reading in the bible the promises of God and that He was my protector and shield. As I by faith went to Him in prayer and reading the bible, He began to heal my heart and to break one by one every stronghold of fear in my life. He put wonderful people in my life that showed me the love of the Father. All he required of me was to believe Him over the lies of the enemy. It was not easy to trust God for I really trusted no one. I really had let no one get too close for fear of refection. He told me that He would never leave me or forsake me. He began to prove His faithfulness and as a little child I began to receive and believe His love for me. His love has transformed me. He has made me courageous and confident. Not in my own strength but I am confident in His strength, power, and wisdom.

Fear was at the root of my weight problem and had caused me to never really get close to anyone. Fear also drove me to smoke cigarettes because I was told it would help me lose weight. Smoking also help calm my nerves. The Lord delivered me from smoking in 1993 but this food addiction was much harder.  I can say today, I am completely healed of my food addiction. Friends, we have an enemy, Satan, who wants you dead and he will do it anyway he can. His greatest tactic is fear. Fear is a spirit that comes to destroy your life and your health. He also uses condemnation and offense. Condemnation is the beating ourselves up over all the wrongs we have done, punishing ourselves. The bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and that we can come boldly go to the throne of God for mercy and grace. Jesus has taken our sin and removed it as far as the east from the west(Psalm 103:12). Satan works by attacking our mind and our heart.

After the Holy Spirit touched my life so deeply, I began ministering and praying with my patients. I saw God touch their lives. It was so amazing. Then here comes Satan to kill, steal, and destroy. Because it was early in my new walk with the Lord, I still had lots of fear particularly about not upsetting God. I had not learned at that point how the enemy attacks our mind. It was in November 2008 on a plane going to see my daughter, that all of a sudden I had the thought that I had committed the unpardonable sin. The thought keep coming and coming and I could not stop it. It was so tormenting and I was terrified. I called my friend to pray for me but it did not help. I prayed to God asking Him to forgive me repenting for every sin I could possibly repent of.  At one point, I was on the floor in my closet crying out to the Father saying, “God, I have repented for everything I can think of what do you want from me?” He said “It’s not me tormenting you but the devil” and He gave me Psalms 27.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall. (Psalm 27:1-2)

I reached out to a friend who talked me into going to a deliverance session. Well the enemy did not stop his pursuit in trying to stop me from fulfilling my God-given purpose. He used this deliverance session to hurt me more and cause more fear. I was so oppressed and depressed. I would have condemning thoughts and thoughts even against God.  The people who were supposed to helped me abandoned me. The devil wounded my heart with the arrow of rejection. I had nowhere to turn but to God. It is during this time that the Lord taught me that the battlefield is in our mind. He taught me that nothing could separate me from Him and that I did not have to believe everything that “popped” in my head. He also showed me that He had given me authority over all the works of the enemy. I learned to speak out God’s Word and to meditated on it and not the evil the enemy would have me focus on. It took time but I pressed in and little by little, I took back the ground of my mind from the enemy. I was transformed by the renewal of my mind (Romans 12:2).  I also allowed the Lord to heal my heart of rejection by forgiving those who hurt me. I am no longer easily offended because I know it is a tactic of Satan to derail me. I refused to give him a foothold in my life. I go quickly to God with any offense and by His grace forgive quickly.  My journey to healing began by believing that my Heavenly Father loved me and had a good plan for my life. I gained trust in Him as Father and protector. Why am I sharing this with you? Well one reason is that during this mental attack I got sick. I had severe anemia from heavy periods and very low vitamin D. I was so tired I found it hard to get up and go to work everyday. This mental war made me physically and mentally sick. Fear was causing physical illness just like medical studies have shown.

Today, I am stronger and in better health than I have ever been. I have peace in my mind and I have no fear. Sure I feel fear at times but I go to the Father and He turns fear out the door. Maybe the enemy has not attacked your mind like he attack me, but if your mind is always going and is never at rest then you are being attack. The mental war causes physical exhaustion and can cause physical illness at some point. The mind is the battlefield. It is with the mind that we make choices everyday. It is with the mind that I choose what food I eat and if I will exercise or not. The enemy wants you to have Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other illnesses to stop you from making a difference in this world. Don’t let Him. You can find peace and health and it is found in the perfect love of the Father. He is interested in every part of your life. He wants you to be heathy and to prosper in all things. He needs you to fulfill your God ordained purpose to bring life to a broken world.

3 John 1-2       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.

Deuteronomy 31:8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)      It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].

A merry heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing. To obtain a cheerful mind and merry heart requires work. We must decide to think on things that are above or good. We must decide we want to feel better and be in health. We must decide not to allow our heart to be weight down with hurts or unforgiveness. We don’t have to do it alone. We have  helper, the Holy Spirit, who gives us strength to overcome, to walk and not faint. In the last days, the bible tells us that men’s hearts will fail them because of fear (Luke 21:26). Fear is killing the church. Fear makes us critical and afraid to reach out to a hurting world. Fear makes us overly concerned about ourselves. Fear makes it ok to stay secure in the four walls of the church while a world is dying around us. Jesus died for you and me, the Muslim and the Hindu, the Buddhist and the broken in Spirit. We must tell the world of His great love. We don’t do this with a doctrine or religion but by showing the love, the peace, and the prosperity we have in Him. It’s His love that transform us. It is His love working through us that will transform cities and nations. Let Him transform you with His love and lead you to a life that is fearless. A life that knows no limitation because you understand that if God be for you who can be agianst you.