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Archive for the ‘what I really want…health’ Category

Stress

Women, according to some experts, are particularly prone to stress due to the natural fluctuations of hormone levels in our bodies.  This somehow does not come as too much of a surprise.

These same experts also warn how stress aggravates certain health issues.  Stressed out cardiovascular patients and those with chronic pain (migraines, arthritis, etc.) seem to have increased issues with their disease.  And as if this isn’t enough bad news, our immune systems suffer with stress leading to more bouts of the common cold and other “bugs” commonly passed around this time of year.

Stress and anxiety are natural responses to changes in our lives, whether negative or positive.  A new baby in the home or a promotion at work can bring on stress though it is an exciting  and positive change.  Stress is basically a fact of life and unavoidable.  So what is the answer?

We know from experience that dwelling on anxious thoughts will only magnify the stress.  Ignoring it doesn’t work either, because the issue often is quite real and won’t disappear.  The answer, though easier said then done, is to release the stress!  We need to take the stress figuratively in our hands with palms open wide and release the stress to the One with all the answers. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 4:6

What stressful circumstance feel like they have a death grip on your heart today?  Don’t dwell on them!  Don’ t ignore them!  Present them to your Father in heaven through prayer, releasing them to His care.  What better place for us to go with our anxieties? 

God knows us inside and out and He loves us…He cares when we are burdened with anxiety due to challenges that surround us. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise…He will guide our steps as we walk through our circumstances.  And God is faithful!  He promises to give us peace in the midst of our challenges.

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It begins with flashing lights and zigzag lines flickering before my eyes. The movement becomes violent, distorting my vision until I can barely see. Then the nausea sets in and the numbness that takes hold of my hand slowly creeps up my arm.  These are the warning signs that another dreaded migraine has begun.

As there are only a few minutes before the pounding begins in my head. I react quickly to brace myself for the impact. Get the medicine, find a dark room and cradle my head in pillows. Then wait for it…the intense pain that robs me of another day. My place of refuge becomes my prison and the pain restrains me as if in chains. There I remain motionless for the better part of a day. Hopeless…Helpless…Defeated.

This agonizing routine has been a consistent part of my life for more than twenty years. As of now, even the best medicine and research has not been able to stop them entirely. So I cope as many of you do and attempt to “get through” one more of those painful days.

What about you? What is your reaction when pain takes hold of your mind or body? I’m sure you have recognized that everyone has a suggestion or remedy. Truth is I know that this is not my eternal body. Someday I will receive a new one that does not experience pain. Until then, I realized that I needed a different approach. Enduring is no longer enough, I want to persevere through the pain. “This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Does that mean that even those pain-ridden days can be productive?

The apostle Paul after having been stripped, beaten and locked up in chains in prison demonstrated for all of us the best solution. Acts 16:25 tells us that during the middle of the night Paul, in his broken, bleeding, agonizing state was praying and singing hymns to God.

Can you imagine? He must have been hurting beyond words and in that state he turned his attention to God. Not to complain or demand change but to praise His name. Then, in verse 26 it tells us that suddenly a violent earthquake shook the prison and the doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose.  Wow – this changes things for me. This takes me from victim to victor regardless of my state of health.

May I suggest to you that we no longer have to be shackled by pain? We do not have to fall victim to painful circumstances. We can be free just as Paul was set free. Even in a motionless state my heart can sing and my soul can praise. Next time those lights begin to flash I will be praying and praising The One who endured pain on the cross before giving His life to set both me and you free for all eternity. So, what are you going to do the next time the warning signs come and life hurts?

Let it be for us as it was with Paul that during those painful moments our praises will be heard and chains will be broken for many!

Read Acts 16: 22-32 and then click on the music video by Selah for more encouragement and healing. It has made a difference for me and it can for you too.


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Healing

The word- Healing is defined as: to mend, cure, make whole, return to original state of health. Sounds wonderful…just what I the asthmatic child…the stroke survivorthe young mother battling cancerthe anorexic teenageryouyour loved ones all need…right?

Back in the days when Jesus was on earth, people sought health and healing also. Matt 14:35 “And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.Remarkable isn’t it? Can you think of anyone who needs a healing touch like that? Who?

What about the individuals who have been dealing with disease or illness for many years? They’ve tried everything, spent hundreds of dollars, and traveled around the globe looking for answers. Reminds me of the woman mentioned in Matt 9:22 who had been bleeding for twelve years. “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” “Jesus turned and saw her… “Your faith has healed you.”…just like that…amazing!

In those days Jewish men wore tassels on the edge of their robes as signs of holiness. People would reach out and touch them for healing. Jesus addressed this action when he stated that healing came from faith in Him.

He then gave us reason to pause and question the  pursuit of placing our physical health as our top priority. In Matthew 9:2 “Some men brought to him a paralytic… when Jesus saw their faith, he said “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” He did this before he told him to “Get up, take your mat, and go home.”…Which the man did leaving all the people watching to stand in awe.

He showed us that we need to be careful if we only come to him for physical healing. Prolonging our lives on earth without securing our eternal lives would indicate that we’ve missed the mark. He taught us that even more important than Physical health is our Spiritual health.

Makes me pause… How many have been fooled into thinking they can prevent death or at least prolong it, while completely ignoring their eternal destination? No matter how hard we work to: eat great, exfoliate, hydrate, medicate, eradicate, radiate, or even synthetically replicate our earthly bodies remain mortal while our spiritual condition is eternal.

Now…anyone come to mind? Who? Pray today – pray now – like those men who brought the paralytic to Jesus, let’s lift up all those who are in need of Spiritual healing which only comes from faith in Jesus Christ.

The following song is an old gospel favorite – He Touched Me…Reminds me to Praise Him today for His Healing Touch.

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“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31

This verse reveals the great purpose for everything we do here on earth… even including our mealtime!  So, when I prepare to put something in my mouth, it is about more then just my own pleasure?  Fad diets and calorie counting aren’t all I should worry about?  According to this verse, any choice we make, including food choices, should glorify God and not reflect negatively on His Name.

How are we supposed to know whether we are glorifying God with what we eat and drink? Here are some hints from Scripture:

*James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
God invites us to seek His wisdom regarding how we live our daily life. Take Him up on that promise. Ask Him to lead you in wisdom as you eat and drink.  It sounds simple…because it is. Just ask!

*I Cor. 6:12 – “‘Everything is permissible for me’–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’–but I will not be mastered by anything.'”
God has given us permission to enjoy His good gifts that bring pleasure into our lives.  Chocolate, fresh ground coffee, tropical fruits, pasta…all this and so much more are gifts from the Lord.  But are you “mastered” by a certain item in your pantry? Ask God to free you from that slavery so you can serve Him wholeheartedly. And keep praying for His strength!

*I Cor. 8:13 – “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”
In Paul’s circumstance, due to a social system where meat from the market may have been sacrificed to a false god, he knew that some of his fellow believer’s might stumble in their faith if they saw him eat meat.  We live in a different time and culture then Paul, but God’s principle remains the same. Is there a certain item you enjoy that you know will be a problem for another person’s spiritual growth? If in doubt, ask God to clarify His perfect will in your heart and then obey His prompting. He will bless your obedience!

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“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18

“Broken-hearted” and “crushed in spirit”…do those words describe you in your quest for a healthy body? It is a feeling of defeat and you are not alone. Negative patterns and personal wounds inflicted by others have left us emotionally raw and weak. We seem to take one step forward but two steps back. We can’t quite win the battle of good health and we are tempted to give up.

But there is good news. God, our Rescuer, sees our pain and promises to be close to us and to even save us. Take a moment to reflect on what those two promises could mean to you personally in your current circumstances.

What might God’s rescue look like for you? Will you immediately experience emotional healing? Will you finally find the success you have sought?  Or will you simply draw closer to His idea of what is healthy.

How will He rescue you? Perhaps it will come in the form of a mentor or a counselor, someone who has walked your path and can help you persevere through the rough spots. Perhaps He will demonstrate His closeness to you through the accountability of a trusted friend. Or maybe He will walk hand in hand with you down this path through the process of keeping a  journal and Bible study.

Pray and ask Him to reveal His perfect plan of rescue to you.  Trust in Him as He keeps His Word.  And keep moving forward, even when you stumble,  reaching out towards true health that glorifies the Lord.

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