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

Food, Spiritual and Physical, is Medicine

My beloved speaks and says to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:10

On May 17, during my prayer and worship time, the Lord spoke this to my heart:

“Emotions are real. What we do with the emotions we have is the key or the question to be answered. Emotions can be internalized or externalized. They (emotions) can be both extremes (low and high) but being emotionally stable brings peace”.

I asked the Lord this question. “What do you mean? He said “this peace or emotional stability is a product of walking with me in fellowship. I AM the King even of your emotions”. He then reminded me about the fruit of the spirit: peace, patience, love, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. After he spoke this to me, I looked up the definition of externalized and internalized. Let’s look at them both.

externalized: express (a thought or feeling) in words or actions; project (a mental image or process) onto a figure outside oneself (example- “such neuroses are externalized as interpersonal conflicts”).

internalized: make (attitudes or behavior) part of one’s nature by learning or unconscious assimilation

Jesus is the King of our emotions. The fruit of the Holy Spirit (the work which His Presence within accomplishes) is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), goodness, (benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Let us bring all our emotions to Him and let Him heal us for he cares for us. Jesus said that He is the bread of life. The book of John says that Jesus was the Word make flesh and He dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus said the Words I speak to you are spirit and life (John 6:63).

The spiritual food is the Word of God and the drink is the refreshing of His Spirit, the living water of the Holy Spirit that fills us to over flowing. I think eating the Word of God is not just reading the words but ingesting them through meditation and worship. God has spoken throughout His Word the importance of meditating on His Words or bringing them to remembrance. I heard it said that Christian meditation is much like a cow chewing cud. The cow chews the cud then swallows only to regurgitate to chews some more. We are to think on the word God, mulling it over and over, until it gets deep in our spirit. Worship is similar. As we lift our eyes and arms toward Him and open our hearts and sing words of praise and adoration, he deposits more of Himself within us. He blows His refreshing breath on our inner garden where the fruit grows and blooms. It’s like a refreshing rain or drink. There is a beautiful picture of this in chapter 4 of the book of the Song of Songs.

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

Spiritual food is medicine for our spirit (soul) that brings with it physical wellness. Harboring unhealthy emotions over time will increase the risk of physical illness. Jesus is calling us to come away with Him. He wants to awaken us and to bring us into the abundance of His love. He longs to be gracious to us and he rises to show us compassion for He is the Lord of justice and all are blessed who wait for Him! (Isaiah 30:18). Feed on Him today. it will bring you peace and joy! I believe this feeding on Him involves communion for which I will dicuss later.

Physical food is medicine as well. I had several dreams where I was eating. In one dream, I was eating okra and in another I was eating papaya. Eating fruit in a dream can symbolically mean eating (studying) the Word of God. But as I studied these fruits, yes okra is a fruit, I learned they both have healing properties.

Okra is an edible seed pod full of vitamin A, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B6. One cup of okra has 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and no fat. I know my Cajun friends are happy to hear this but unfortunately frying it in oil is not healthy. I did find a recipe online on how to bake it in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper, thyme, and garlic powder (https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/oven-roasted-okra/). Okra is high in antioxidants that take care of free radicals . It’s high in polyphenols that reduce heart disease, reduce blood clots, and are able to pass the blood brain barrier and reduce inflammation in the brain. Okra lowers cholesterol by binding cholesterol in the gut and is high in lectin, which is a protein that may inhibit cancer cells. The protein in okra helps with weight management, blood sugar control, bone structure and muscle mass. Wow! Okra, the power fruit!

Papaya is a tropical fruit with healing properties as well. It contains 200% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and reduces inflammation and stress Papaya has fiber that helps in digestion and lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. It also contains vitamin E and beta-carotene which help reduce skin aging. Papaya has antioxidants and phytonutrients, and flavonoids that reduce colon and prostates cancer. Papaya contains papain that helps digestion and eases and regulates menstrual flow. Papaya also has vitamin A for the eyes .

Both spiritual and physical food is medicine for our bodies and souls. May He awaken us and may we sing for joy!

Isaiah 26:19 But your dead will live again! Their bodies will rise from the dead! It’s time to awaken and sing for joy, you dwellers in the dust! As the glistening, radiant dew refreshes the earth so the Lord will awaken those dwelling among the dead.

Light Overcomes Darkness: Original Intent

“You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

We are living in unprecedented times. As I am writing, the world is gripped by the COVID-19 Virus. The virus has affected the whole world. Sadly, many have died but thankfully many more have recovered. Fear has gripped our nation and the nations of the world but there is hope in the midst of the darkness. His name is Jesus, the Light of the World. 1 John 4:17 says As He is (Jesus) so are we in this world. That means those of us who are in Christ should be shining like bright lights (Philippians 2:15) during this time. This is not a time to shrink back but to rise and shine in the mist of the uncertainty and fear moving though our world. We who are in Christ are the solution to the broken world. Isaiah 60 says “ARISE (FROM the depression and prostration 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! God made us a little lower than the heavenly beings and has crowned us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5-6). We are spirit beings that will leave forever. Through the body and blood of Jesus, we have been re-establish as sons and daughters and His Glory is in and upon us.

I think it is worth discussing just how wonderfully we have been made. With all our wonderful medical science, we still have yet to figure out all the intricate processes of the human body. Recently, the gut microbiome has been a hot topic. Studies are showing that the gut microbiome plays an important role in our physical and emotional health. Interestingly, these gut microbes are found in the soil. You may recall that the Lord formed us from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Our body is essentially the same composition as the soil. The soil He formed us from wasn’t just any soil but it was divine soil full of His Glory! I am amazed by the vastness and richness of God. Let’s look closer at how divinely we have been created.

In Genesis, we read that the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the waters. Water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The next verse says that God said “Let there be Light”. Here in the first chapter in Genesis, we see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God hovered over the waters (Holy Spirit), and said “Let there be Light” or in other words let there be Jesus. I believe evidence of this is in Colossians:

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. 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.

Jesus, the Light of the World, is the First Born of Creation. He was with the Father and always has been. The world was created through Him and all things exist through Him. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit said “Let us make man in our own image in Genesis 1:26-27. Let’s look at it.

God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

We are told in Genesis that God created the heavens, the earth, and all the animals before creating man. We are told that no plant or herb was growing yet because God had not caused it to rain (Gen. 2:5). A mist or a fog rose up from the land and watered the whole surface of the ground. The Lord God then made man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life. The human body is made up of mostly water and elements found in the soil. Friends, this mist was the Holy Spirit and the dust was divine dust. The Glory of the Lord was present and we became a divine being in the likeness of God. We are His Glory! We were one with Him and able to live and move in His presence. The Glory of the Lord was manifested on earth. When Adam and Eve fell for the lie of Satan, we were separated from the Spirit of God but the Glory of the Lord was so present on the earth that the people at that time lived hundred of years. As sin grew upon the earth, the Glory of the Lord slowly lifted. It is only though Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, that we are born again or re-established with the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. We are born again of the Spirit the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead. We are now the vessel to bring the manifest presence of God to the earth! We are again one with Him in spirit and can live and move and have our being in Him. Glory!

God blew His breath into our nostril and he is still breathing life into us today. Through worship, prayer, meditation and declaring His Word, we are transformed into the image of Christ. We take our place as sons and daughters to push back the darkness and bring hope to our areas of influence. In the secret place, we intentionally turn of our hearts and minds towards our Father (Abba) allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us or saturate us with His life giving presence. Worship and renewing our mind with the Word of God are keys to being saturated with the Holy Spirit. We were created to be Worshippers. It is in the secret place with the Lord that a divine exchange takes place.

The purpose of going to the secret place with the Lord is to progresively know Him and to be known by Him. In the secret place, we are filled to over-flowing with the Spirit of the Jesus. In other words, we are to be saturated with His Spirit or the Holy Spirit to the point that “rivers of living water flow from our belly” (John 7:37). Saturation is defined as the “state or process that occurs when no more of something can be absorbed, combined with, or added”(Google Dictionary).

Psalm 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light.

Jesus is the “Fountain of Life”-But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life. John 4:14

Let Him saturate you today with His life giving presence. God is Love. He created us in Love to be loved and to love others. Loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others is the great command. Love covers a host of sin. The greatest love is for a friend to lay down his life for another (John 15:13). God showed us this kind of love through His son. His perfect love is now poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given us (Romans 5:5). I will leave you with this thought from Solomon:

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

The Brain-Gut-Heart Connection

The hot topic in medicine today is our gut. It seems that the gut bacteria or microbiome plays a key role in our health. The balance of gut bacteria is key to the the function and protection of the gut lining. Our gut is the first line of defense against illness housing 70% of our immune system. Research is revealing that neuromuscular diseases like Parkinson’s start in the gut. The gut has it’s own separate nervous system from the brain. The nervous systems of the brain and gut are connected by the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve plays a key role in calming us down. Our breath and feelings of safety are strongly linked to the vagus nerve. Slow deep breaths and meditation have been shown to even lower blood pressure. Another interesting finding is that our gut makes most of our neurotransmitters. Ninety-five percent of our serotonin is made in the gut. Did you know that low serotonin is a contributing factor to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? Studies are showing that often times psychiatric disorders have a coexisting gut problem. Research has determined that over 87% of our current illnesses are stress related. IBS is a stress related disorder. So where did IBS start? Did it start in the gut or did it start in the brain with unhealthy thought life? I don’t have the answer to this question but I know for a fact stress is a contributing factor. Stress is a major cause of illness and has been shown to disrupt the balance of the gut bacteria leading to what many are calling leaky gut. Leaky gut, simply put, is injury to the gut lining that allows harmful substances into our system, increasing inflammation in our body. All illnesses are inflammatory responses, so reducing inflammation is important. Stress increases inflammation and is rooted in fear.

I believe another factor in illness is condemnation either of ourselves or others. Condemnation is a very strong disapproval of something or someone and may even involve punishment. I believe that the root of illness is fear and condemnation, both of which cause us stress. Fear and condemnation cause emotions that cause a physical response in our bodies. Our brain is connected to our immune system through small vessels so negative thoughts produce negative substances that have a negative effect on the body while positive, faith-based thoughts produce good substances that have a positive effect on our body. I do believe that what we eat is important to health, but I strongly believe our emotional health is just as important, if not more important.

There is so much information bombarding the internet regarding health and it is hard to sort it all out out. I have come to the realization that what we are meditating on is key to our health. Getting rid of fear and judgement (condemnation) will lead to peace and joy. Loving ourselves and others brings healing. I love this scripture:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 1 John 4:18

The truth is that we can choose our thoughts. The brain is able to heal and change. Studies have shown that prayer and meditation actually change the synaptic activity at the end of our neurons, eventually changing the brain cells. Choosing to meditate on things that cause us to be frighten or angry can actually damage the brain. This type of negative meditation is called rumination and it can be dangerous to our health. The brain can be taught to think on things that are true, honorable, pure, lovable, kind, gracious, excellent, and praise worthy (Philippians 4:8). It’s your choice what you think or meditate on, but remember, your thoughts can affect you positively or negatively, so choose thoughts that bring life to you and not death.

Studies have shown that meditating on love strengthens neurological circuits that allow us to feel compassion for others. Focusing on fear can damage the anterior cingulate of the brain causing us to lose interest in and even act aggressively towards others. Evil foreboding or expecting the worse to happen increases activity in the amygdala and decreases activity in the anterior cingulate, increasing anxiety and neurotic behavior.

I believe a healthy mind will lead to a healthy body. What we choose to meditate on is key to physical and emotional health. Meditation is a powerful tool and believe it or nor, meditation was always God’s idea. We have a choice of which Kingdom we choose to meditate on or which Kingdom we choose to align with — the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of the Devil. You could say the Kingdom of Light or Kingdom of darkness. The Kingdom of darkness host things like fear, hate, condemnation, greed, lust, bitterness, anger, racism, and envy. The Kingdom of God, through His son Jesus, the Light of the world, is love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities are all produced by the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Jesus in each of us who have accepted him as Savior. Meditation without Christ is taping into the wrong kingdom. The Kingdom of darkness leads us more into ourselves and thinking we are rulers of our own destiny. We become self-focused instead of other focused. It becomes all about me instead of all about Him-Jesus. Unfortunately, today many of us Christians are wavering between these two kingdoms. This is what the Bible calls double minded. A mind on the world (kingdom of darkness) will bring fear but a mind on the Kingdom of God will bring righteous, peace and joy and it’s effect is quietness and confidence (Isaiah 32:17). The amplified bible expresses Isaiah 32:17 like this: And the effect of righteousness will be peace (internal and external), and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.

What we focus on becomes our heart and out of the heart the mouth speaks. Paul prayed this prayer in Ephesians 1:17-18–

[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son].  And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people).

The eyes of are heart are the lamp to our body. Paul prayed that our heart would be flooded with Light or the Light of the world-Jesus. Jesus is the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. Matthew Chapter 6 says that where your treasure is so will be your heart. The eye (heart) is the lamp to the body and if it is sound the entire body will be filled with light but is the eye (heart) is unsound the whole body is full of darkness. This takes us right back to Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful minds works healing but a broken spirit drys up the bones. A heart that is full light is full of Jesus and will be at peace and will produce the fruit of the Spirit–joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A mind filled with cheerful thoughts will bring healing to the soul.

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words (thought or spoken-my addition) are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.

Peace and joy are keys to healing. Filling our mind with the word of God will transform us in mind, body and spirit. Jesus told us that His words are Spirit and Life. The word of God is alive. The Hebrew word for spirit is Ruach which means wind or breath. The Greek word for spirit is pneuma which means to breathe or blow. Literally, by setting our heart and mind on the Lord He blows or breathes life into us. The peace Jesus offers is not the peace the world gives. The Hebrew word Jesus used was Shalom. It means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. Wow, what a wonderful promises. Peace is in Jesus but we must go to Him. He wants to touch your life. Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken and to reveal to us the Father’s heart. Jesus is the Great Physician but he won’t force himself on you but will welcome you into his arms.

In Mark Chapter 5, we read about the woman with the issue of blood. For twelve years, she had endured suffering under the hand of physicians and had spent all that she had but was no better. She had heard of Jesus and ran to Him for healing. She risked a lot because she was considered unclean but she pushed through the crowd to touch the garment of Jesus. She had faith that if she just touched Him, she would be restored to health. Even though Jesus was in a crowd of people pressing hard against Him, He felt the power going out of His body to heal. Friends, faith has POWER. Jesus wanted to know who had touched Him. The woman trembling in fear came to Jesus and He said this to her:

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease. Mark 5:34

Jesus told her to go into peace and be continually healed and freed from distressing bodily disease. Sounds to me that living in peace (internal and external) has something to do with being in health. In summary, it is going to the secret place with Jesus, and allowing Him to fill us with His Life giving Spirit, that we will find rest for our soul. Proverb 17:22 gives us some clues to living in health- a happy heart and cheerful mind. Meditation is the practice of setting our heart and mind on Jesus. Meditation is really practicing the presence of God in our daily. Meditation is intentionally thinking and pondering the wonderful works of the Lord. It involves thinking and speaking (declaring and singing) the word of the Lord. Meditation is worship. It will be different for each one of us. The key is turning our hearts and minds to Jesus the Source of Life, the Prince of Peace.

I will conclude with this prayer for you:

3 John 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.

Designed to Succeed

Early in the morning of May 9, the Lord began to speak theses words to my heart:

“My children have been created in My image. They are powerful not pitiful. They have been filled with the power from above. Rise up My people and take your place as My children. Designed to succeed not to fail. Designed to reign not resolved to mediocrity. You have been created for greatness. You have greatness on the inside. Stop criticizing yourself. You are not a failure or a mistake. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made! Look at your body. Is it not wonderful? Isn’t it amazing?”

We were not created to be fearful but powerful in mind, body, and spirit. You and I are able to do much more than we could ever imagine through the power that resides in us. Begin tapping into that power by spending time with the source of that power-The Holy Spirit (Spirit of our Lord Jesus).

The brain is so amazing but it is also a battlefield. What we think and speak is powerful. Words matter weather spoken or thought. You and I do not have to believe everything that “drops” into our head. We can train our brain to focus on one day at a time. We do not know what our neighbor is thinking nor do we know what the future holds, but God said “I know the plans I have for you and they are good”. Something good happens when we partner with God in understanding who we are and that He has already given us power to overcome every obstacle. He has already given us authority over all the works of the enemy. The power is in thinking, meditating, and speaking His Words over every circumstance. Rise up and take your place. Rise up and partner with God through the Holy Spirit. You and I are over comers. Let’s stop making excuses to stay in unbelief or sin. You and I should be going from Glory to Glory. How do we do it? We do it by partnering with God, believing His Word, and obeying it. He is an amazing Father who will not fail us but we must be willing to obey His voice and follow Him. Yes it is painful at times but the joy and freedom we obtain is worth the pain.

Let’s go to Him. He loves us and wants to empower us to succeed. You and I were created to succeed. You and I were created to over come by the power that has been given to us through the Holy Spirit who gives us strength. You and I can do nothing on our own but through the power of the Holy Spirit and right believing we can do all things. Nothing is impossible for those who believe!

What do you believe about God and yourself? The Power to over come resides in you and me as believers in Jesus Christ. Right believing will produce right living. Thinking Kingdom thoughts and allowing them to penetrate deep into our heart, will transform the words out of our mouth. The words out of our mouth have the power to change the Spiritual atmosphere. As a man thinks so he is in his heart. In order to change our words to life giving words, we must be transformed in our thinking. We must focus our mind on things above, things that are excellent, and things that are good. We must think Kingdom thoughts and release Kingdom words to the world around us. When we do this, we will see the power in us, the Holy Spirit, released to a hurting and dying generation. The power that resides in us raises the dead, heals the sick, and cast demons out. As Jesus is so are we in this world. WOW! He walked in power and in relationship with His Father. He only did what His Father instructed Him to do. He is our example.

It is time for us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and to rise up and learn who we are in Christ and take the authority He has already given us. God is not destroying the world but the world is destroying itself because it has forgotten God the creator of it all. In Genesis, He gave us dominion. One reason things are getting darker is that the children of God have not risen up to take their place as children of God to push back the darkness. We push back the darkness by releasing the love of God to those around us and by sharing the hope we have in Christ. His perfect love cast out fear, heals the sick, and raises the dead.

Let’s rise up and take our place as children of the Most High God. This rising up starts in the secret place of communion with the Father. It takes place in prayer and connecting and communing with Him. It is in the deepening of our relationship with Him, that he is able to trust us with more. Let’s get in the secret place and believe that all things are possible with God!

3 Things To Get Rid of to Experience True Health and Wholeness

Last blog, I discuss 3 steps to health: Thinking the Word of God, Meditating on the Word of God, and Speaking the Word of God. Let’s look at Proverbs 4:21-24 TPT again.

Fill your thoughts with my words
until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
Then, as you unwrap my words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of your being.

So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.
Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words.
Be free from using perverse words no matter what!

We see in this Proverb that thinking Kingdom thoughts and mediating on Kingdom words will bring life and health to our body and soul. Apostle Paul said in 3 John 1:2 that he prayed that we would be in good health as our soul prospered. I firmly believe that a prospering soul or the “welfare of our innermost being” will lead to a healthy mind and body. Thinking, meditating, and speaking God’s life giving promises over ourselves and others will bring peace and joy. God’s Words are Spirit and Life.

I want to discuss three things that we must get rid of to experience true peace and joy in our innermost being. I believe that the Lord Jesus showed me that fear and condemnation are at the root of illness. Doug Addison, who is an author and prophet, said that there are three things that we need to get rid of to hear the voice of God more clearly- fear, lack of love, and judgement. When I heard Doug Addison speak on these three things, I realized that it correlated with what the Holy Spirit had spoken to me about illness. Condemnation can be broken down into lack of love and judgement either of ourselves or others. Lack of love and judgement are rooted in negative emotions and negative emotions left to brood can affect the very core of our being. Being emotionally stable, leads to a healthier more joyful life. Fear and condemnation are very destructive to our physical and emotional health. We learned from my last blog that negative emotions can cause our telomeres to be shorter and die faster leading to accelerated aging and chronic illness. Again, Proverb 4:21-24 gives us great insight into emotional and physical health. We are told that we are to “guard the affections of our heart for they affect all that we are”.

Affection as defined by Wikipedia is a “disposition or state of mind or body that is often associated with feeling or type of love.” In other words, the “affections of our heart” is our love toward ourselves, others, and God. How does one “walk in love” after being rejected or hurt deeply? Our example is Christ, who after being tortured still had the heart to say “Father, forgive them for they know what they are doing.” The love that Christ showed can only come by the supernatural love that He gives to His lovers or believers. The other piece of this puzzle is loving ourselves. We can not truly love others until we love ourselves. Learning to love who we are in Christ is first and far most the first step to loving others. This can only be done by first accepting the love God has shown us through His son, Jesus. Love is an powerful emotion and it affects all that we are. The love of God is shed abroad through our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead. This Holy Spirit resides in us. We have the power to overcome all things through Him who loves us. Our job is to go to Him for healing of our broken and wounded hearts and not allow bitterness, hate, or unforgiveness to take root. This is only done by accepting His peace and His joy. His perfect love drives out fear, hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness.

Words have power weather spoken or thought. The very last verse of our proverbs tells us to be careful with our words. Hurtful words towards others or ourselves are damaging. You and I were created in the very image of God. Everything He has made is beautiful. Love and mercy are the keys that will unlock the doors of our hearts to love as Christ did. Love covers a multitude of sin and mercy triumphs over judgement. My friends, Jesus is the one who will guard our hearts. Our job is to not let our hearts be troubled. All we have to do is go to Him (Jesus) and allow Him to gives us His peace. Love is a choice and not always easy but the reward is great. I will leave you with this meditation for today:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([adefinite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

3 Steps to Take Your Health Back

Taking back your health begins with a thought. Everything you do and say starts with a thought. Your thoughts are powerful. Thoughts are so powerful that they can even affect your health. Really you might say. Yes really! The very cells of your body are listening to your thoughts and to your instructions. Nobel price winners, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel, proved this in their research on telomeres in their book entitled: The Telomere Effect. A telomere is a noncoding DNA segment that lives at the end of each chromosome. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and help determine how fast the cell ages and when it will die. Researcher have found that telomeres can actually lengthen promoting longer life of the cell. In other words, aging is at the cellular level and your thoughts have an affect on telomere length. Telomeres actually respond to the information and instruction you give them. The way you live (think or speak) can speed up or slow down the cellular aging process. The food you eat, the amount of exercise you get, how you handle stress, and the level of trust and safety you feel in your environment can affect your telomeres and aging at the cellular level. Again, everything you do and say starts with a thought. What are you thinking and speaking over your life and body today? In reality, Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel have only discovered what God has already told us in His Word. He has told us in His Word that the power of life and death are in your tongue. The words out of your mouth start with a thought. Furthermore, he has told us to think on things that are good and note worthy and that as a man thinks so he is in his heart (Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 23:7).

Let’s look a little deeper into our cells or our inner being before digging into the Word of God. Dr. Leonard Hayflick a biologist, found in 1961 that human fetal cells were not immortal and would only divide a certain number of times. He also concluded that only cancer cells were immortal. He discovered that the fetal cell doubled about fifty times then stopped. He froze cells at different stages of doubling or making copies of themselves, and found that they remembered the stage of doubling they were in at the time they were frozen. Cells have memory! Cells all reach a stage where they were alive but stopped dividing. Dr. Hayflick called this the senescence stage.

The cells of our body are always renewing themselves. Senescent cells are tired and worn out. If we have too many tired worn out cells, then our health is affected. For example, if your immune cells are not working well then you will be more susceptible to infection. “Senescent cells can leak pro-inflammatory substances that make you vulnerable to more pain, more chronic illness. Eventually, many senescent cells will undergo a preprogrammed death”. (The Telomere Effect pg 9)

Medical science is aware that more than 87% of chronic illness is stress related. Stress ages our cells making us more prone to chronic illness. From the research of Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epal, we see that aging is at the cellular level. Medical science has also proven that our brain is connected to our immune system through small vessels. Every thought releases a chemical that either affects our body or temple positively or negatively. OUR THOUGHT HAVE POWER!

Proverbs 4:20-24 Healing Words
21 Fill your thoughts with my words
until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
22 Then, as you unwrap my words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of your being.

23 So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.

24 Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words.
Be free from using perverse words no matter what!

You can see from this scripture that we are to fill our mind with the word of God and let it penetrate into our spirit. It goes on to say to ponder or study that word. That is meditation. So by meditating or pondering the Word of God, it will bring health to the very core of your being. Interestingly, meditation was one of the practices that promotes longer telomere length. Meditating on the Word of God is anti-aging! Guarding the affections of our heart is very key to our emotional health. Dealing with negative emotions quickly and not letting them go into bitterness, hate, unforgiveness or self-pity is vital to health. This includes unhealthy thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Negative emotions about who we are are just as damaging to our inner well-being as negative emotion about other people. Our emotional or inner health is so important because out of the mouth the heart speaks. The last verse deals with the words that we speak. Words thought or spoken have power. Your telomeres are listening! Thinking, meditating and speaking the word of God are three a powerful tools or steps to a prospering soul and a healthy life. Turning our heart and mind towards Him and connecting with the Holy Spirit brings such peace and joy. To do this we must understand who we are in Christ. We are new creations, blameless in His sight. The old has past a way and the new has come. Meditation or mindfulness was always God’s idea. It is focusing our mind on things above, or things that are good and wholesome. It is filling our mind with the life giving Words of our Father who has made great promises to us as believers. We are not junk. We are not orphans, nor does he see us as sinners but His children. He has made great power available to us to overcome every difficult situation. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy. Are you walking in this reality? You are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ. He is our peace and our joy. If we are always thinking or worrying, we are not walking in the fullness of the kingdom. This internal war left to run a muck, is causing physical illness. This lack of inner peace, is in actually unbelief and rooted in fear. In Isaiah, we are told a mind steadfast on Him (Jesus) will remain at peace. He has promised to never forsake us and he has promised to protect and provide. He just requires we believe in His love, believe in His Word, and believe who we are in Him. What do you believe today?

Years ago, the Lord told me that fear and condemnation were at the root of illness. Stress and negative emotion like depression and anxiety shorten telomeres or accelerate cell aging. Interestingly, Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel along with their college Eli Putterman, studied 250 low stressed women in regards to the effects of negative mind wandering or not living in the present moment. They found that the women who had the most mind wandering had shorter telomeres regardless of stress levels. In other words, if your mind is a mess your health will be negatively affected. Your telomeres will be shorter and you will be sicker. Our inner environment is so important to our physical health. You could be eating the right things, exercising, taking all the right supplements but if you don’t have inner peace, you will still be more at risk for physical and mental illness. A healthy mind is a healthy body. I believe overcoming fear and condemnation is key to living a healthier life. Love and mercy are keys to healing. In the days and weeks to come, I plan to discuss how to have a healthy mind and body using the keys of love and mercy.

Love: Our Greatest Weapon for Health and Wholeness

Back in October, I posted a blog entitled “Weapons of War”. In this blog, I discussed that love was one of the weapons along with worship, prayer, meditation, identity in Christ, and the Word of God. It struck me that worship, prayer, meditation, identity in Christ, and the Word of God are all rooted in LOVE. As I studied 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, I realized that the description of love here corresponds to Galatians 5:22-23 about the “Fruit of the Spirit”. In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, love is described in the Passion Translation like this:

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

The bible tells us that God is love. 1 Corinthians 13 shows us the nature of God-LOVE. When we receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus, we receive the nature of God that is expressed through the “Fruit of the Spirit”. Let’s look at Galatians 5: 22-23 in the Passion Translation.

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

I really like how the Amplified version expresses the last verse: Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Who brings charges against God’s people? The accuser of the brethren-Satan. If we are walking in love, then Satan can not bring any charges against us. The love of God will surround us as a shield:

Psalm 144:2 He’s my shelter of love and my fortress of faith, who wraps himself around me as a secure shield. I hide myself in this one who subdues enemies before me.

Love is our greatest weapon. Love opens the door to health and wholeness not only for ourselves but for others. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that without love our actions and words are meaningless. Our goal, I believe, in the journey of life is to learn to love: God, ourselves, and others. Faith and hope are key factors but love trumps them all. Let’s look at Psalms 19:7-8:

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the [whole] person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure and bright, enlightening the eyes.

The [reverent] fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether

Verse seven states that the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the whole person. The law here is not the ten commandments but the New Testament command to love one another as Jesus has loved us. This is a hefty command because Jesus came to serve and not be served. He also gave up His life for us. The Lord’s perfect love makes us whole. Being “whole” means being well in mind, body, and spirit. Verse eight says the precepts, or the ways of the Lord, are right and rejoice the heart. His ways bring us joy. You may remember from previous blogs that when we are happy our heart releases atrial natriuretic hormone that gives us a since of peace and well-being. The command to love brings peace and light to our eyes. You have seen healthy people. Their skin glows and their eyes are bright. Verse nine is referring to worship as well as to the command or authoritative order to love. This is what Jesus commanded us to do– love others as He has loved us. God is love. In order to express this divine love, we must first understand that He loved us first. It is understanding the love of the Father, expressed through His son, that we can love others like we love ourselves. You truly can’t love others until you love who God has created you to be. Love changes everything. It is the love that Christ showed us that leads us to repentance or to a mind change.

I will leave you with this short video. I also have a new podcast on his very subject. Have a blessed day!

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, Healthy mind healthy body: Weapons of War https://anchor.fm/allison-rolston-pa-c/episodes/Weapons-of-War-e37s6p