January 24, 2017

The ABCs of Reducing Stress

by Rob Fischer

Asthma is a respiratory condition usually triggered by a stimulus that inflames and narrows the airways, making it difficult to breathe. As a result, one may feel out of breath, tightness in the chest, or fall into bouts of coughing or wheezing. Asthma is a threat to our physical health and well-being.

When we think of triggers that induce an asthmatic reaction, we most readily think of things like:

  • Prolonged, heavy exercise.
  • Cool, dry air; air pollution or pollen.
  • But stress is also a common trigger for asthma.[1]

Unfortunately, when stress triggers an asthma attack, stress and anxiety multiply, because an asthmatic reaction brings on additional stress and even fear or panic. This stress works against us, intensifying the constriction of airways and making it more difficult to breathe.

Thank God that we have inhalers under such circumstances to help us get our breathing back to normal. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to avoid more of the stress and anxiety altogether and eliminate those stress-induced asthmatic episodes?

So much of what stresses us seems to be the little things that accumulate over time. Things like: financial pressures, the neighbor’s dog that barks incessantly, a lingering cold, a broken garage door opener, and rush-hour traffic all mount to generate stress, anxiety and frustration. Then often, all it takes to break the dam is something like a flat tire or a minor spat with a co-worker. Suddenly, we find ourselves under major stress triggering a nasty asthma attack.

So, how do we maintain more of an even keel and weather the storms and stresses of life?

We cannot live stress-free, but we can learn to control the effects of stress in our lives. Click to Tweet.

Our Creator has given us a very simple approach to reducing stress. In fact, it’s so simple that I call it the ABCs of stress reduction.

ABCs of Stress Reduction

1. Acknowledge that God loves you unconditionally and that He is in control.

In perhaps the most well-known verse of the Bible, John 3:16, we read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[2]

God loves you more than you can possibly imagine or fathom. That fact alone is extremely comforting, quieting, and de-stressing, but there’s more. Not only are you precious to Him, but He is in sovereign control of the universe.

If you have children, think back when your child was a helpless baby. You protected and provided for that child. In fact, you probably fashioned your life around that child for its safety, growth and well-being. Acknowledge that God is in control. Because He loves you, nothing can come into your life without His say-so. That’s comforting!

2. Believe that He cares for you and will meet your needs.

The Bible instructs us: “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”[3]

Jesus also encourages us with the words, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”[4]

Obviously, the Lord expects us to work hard and to seek to provide for our family.

But when we’ve done all we can, we need to believe that He will take care of us. Trust Him that He will provide. Click to Tweet.

Years ago, my wife and I experienced God’s provision in a remarkable way that has helped bolster our trust in Him. At the time, I was a full-time student and working two part-time jobs. We were married with two small children. In spite of my efforts to provide for my family, I came home from work one evening and my wife shared with me that we had nothing in the house for supper.

Payday wasn’t for another day, and we had no credit card. We were out of money and out of food. I went outside to pray, mindlessly walking around our garden as I did. I was really having a struggle with God about our situation. I was trying very hard to provide for our little family and we lived very frugally. It wouldn’t have hurt me to go without a meal, but I didn’t want to subject my wife and children to that.

It was still early spring and only a few radishes had come up. So as I continued my conversation with God, I pulled a small handful of radishes. In my prayer, I rehearsed the Scriptures I knew that talk about God’s provision for us and I was encouraged. I didn’t know how yet, but I was convinced that God would provide supper for us that evening.

Suddenly, I looked at the small bunch of radishes in my hand and asked out loud, “What can you do with radishes?” And immediately the thought entered my head, “Make cream of radish soup.” I knew that God had just answered our prayers for supper.

I excitedly ran inside and told my wife, “Honey, we’re going to have cream of radish soup for supper tonight.” She looked at me funny and said, “I’ve never heard of cream of radish soup.” To which I responded, “I haven’t either, but it might be good!”

I set about washing and slicing the radishes, making a broth from a couple of bouillon cubes and adding some dried parsley, milk and flour. I can honestly say that the soup was quite delicious and the whole family enjoyed it. Most of all, however, we were amazed and grateful for God’s gracious provision!

3. Cast all your cares on Him.

There’s a beautiful verse in 1 Peter 5:7:“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”[5] I once had a man tell me that it was arrogant to think that God would be concerned for the petty issues of our lives.

But he was wrong! The context of that verse is all about humbling ourselves before God and reminds us that He is opposed to the proud. Then God explains that one of the ways we demonstrate humility toward Him is by casting our cares on Him, because He cares for us! (See 1 Peter 5:5-7.)

Finally, let the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7 encourage you, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”[6]

Acknowledge that God loves you unconditionally and that He is in control.

Believe that He cares for you and will meet your needs.

And cast all your cares on Him.

Those are the simple ABCs of stress reduction and reducing your stress can improve your asthma!

From time to time, as a reminder of God’s goodness and provision, we still serve cream of radish soup. I’d like to share that recipe with you here (with a few minor modifications since that night long ago). I hope you enjoy it and I pray it serves as a reminder to you of God’s love and care for you just as it has for us.

cream of radish soupCream of Radish Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (12) red radishes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups organic milk
  • 1/4 cup flour or 1/4 cup corn starch
  • Tablespoon butter
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash dried basil

Directions

  • Clean and slice radishes into disks about 1/16” to 1/8” thick.
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan and add sliced radishes, salt, pepper and basil. Then simmer.
  • In a shaker, combine cold milk and flour and shake until well blended. Set milk and flour aside.
  • Test radishes for being done. They should be firmly soft, not mushy.
  • When radishes are done, pour milk and flour mix into the pan, and add butter, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to prevent it from boiling. When the broth begins to thicken the soup is done.

Guten Appetit!

Need encouragement? Share YOUR story of God’s miraculous and detailed provision!

 If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

Sources:
[1] WebMD, “Stress and Asthma,” March 27, 2014, http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/stress-asthma.
[2] Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
[3] Matthew 7:11, Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[4] Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV).
[5] NIV.
[6] NLT.

God’s Clean Eating Tips

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about it before, but its true. God cares about you. He cares if you are sick and He wants us to take care of our bodies. Yet what you eat is your choice. You have free will over what you put in your mouth. God cares what you eat, but He is not going dictate your every bite.

In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites specific dietary guidelines. Those principles do not apply to us today.

So why was God so specific about what the Israelites ate? I believe He cared about them and wanted them to be healthy! Think about it. There were millions of people living in the desert, wandering around with no running water or bathrooms. The conditions weren’t exactly sanitary. What if sickness broke out? It would have spread like wildfire! So God set up guidelines to help the Israelites avoid unwanted bacteria and keep their immune systems strong.

Most people have never taken the time to study and understand why God forbade specific foods and practices during that time. They are just happy to know they are no longer bound to these customs! They are free to eat their Cheetos and bacon without consequence.

Biblical Guidelines for Eating

America is definitely not the Garden of Eden. Much of what we eat in the West is a far cry from “farm to table” food. This is a far cry from what God designed for us to eat. Instead, we favor of genetically altered, enhanced, preserved, and processed foods.

There are several verses in the Bible that provide guidelines for eating. The most popular seems to be Deuteronomy 14.  God never forbid any plants for consumption. However, it is this chapter that considers which specific animals are clean to eat or not. The Israelites were forbidden to consume the following animals:f

  • Animals that “chew the cud,” but don’t have a divided hoof. This meant avoiding eating pigs, camels, and rabbits.
  • Creatures in the water that do not have both scales and fins. This eliminated eating fish without scales, such as catfish. It also excluded eating sea creatures without fins, such shrimp, crab, mussels and lobster.
  • Most birds were considered clean except the raven, vulture, eagle, falcon, owl, stork, heron, or bat.
  • Flying insects were considered unclean.

There is a lot of debate today around whether or not we should avoid these animals. Many animals are now “farmed” and are not caught in the wild anymore. Though some farming practices have improved our food, some have made things far worse. A lot has changed in 4000 years!

Many claim that God forbade eating these particular animals because they were scavengers. Scavengers eat garbage, which lends them to higher toxicity levels and overgrowths of bacteria. Shrimp, lobster, and crab are often called the insects of the sea. They feed on the bottom of the ocean and eat the flesh of dead fish and whatever else hits the ocean floor. Catfish and other fish without scales bottom feed, as well. They eat almost anything including other fish’s excrement.

The birds to avoid feed on dead animals, as well. So, of course, these birds are more likely to carry disease and parasites.

But, why avoid pork? Why should we give up our delicious bacon? Many argue it is because pigs can pass trichinosis to us through their meat. This parasitic infection can become a serious, and even life threatening problem for humans. It is also difficult to eliminate trichinosis from our bodies.

But, what if we raise pigs in a clean environment, virtually eliminating the chance of trichinosis? What if we fed them organic grains and other natural foods, instead of letting them feed on waste? Were pigs forbidden just because they are pigs, or because of the potential harm from contamination.

This is where I have to separate my opinion from those who strictly adhere to diets such as The Makers Diet, What Would Jesus Eat, and The Biblical Diet. I don’t agree that avoiding all the foods in Deuteronomy 14 is still necessary. This is because I believe it is “WHY” God forbade something that is important, not solely the WHAT.

Did God forbid high fructose corn syrup?  What about genetically modified organisms? Or better yet, cloned animals? Of course not. These things were not around thousands of years ago! But does that mean they are acceptable and considered healthy for us to eat? One could argue that because they are not mentioned, they are acceptable. But honestly, this is really missing the point.

The big picture here is that God set up guidelines for health. Although we are now not bound to those Old Testament principles anymore, we should take to heart why God was so specific. Under all those rules written in black and white, I believe lies a principle that rings true, even today: Eat clean foods.

Modern Day Clean Eating

Clean can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Telling your children to clean their room has an entirely different meaning than cleaning a surgical room in a hospital. Eating clean foods meant something entirely different to the ancient Israelites than what clean food means to us today.

In the Old Testament, God gave specific rules for cleanliness, both for the sake of ritual and health. Now, thanks to Jesus, we are no longer bound to these rituals. Eating God’s list of approved foods is now optional. Just read Acts 10:9-15:

It was about noon the next day. The men were on their journey and were approaching the city. Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry. He wanted something to eat. While the meal was being prepared, Peter had a vision. 11 He saw heaven open up. There he saw something that looked like a large sheet. It was being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It had all kinds of four-footed animals in it. It also had reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “No, Lord! I will not!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything that is not pure and ‘clean.’”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time. “Do not say anything is not pure that God has made ‘clean,’” it said.

Let me be clear in stating that I don’t believe adhering to Deuteronomy 14 diets are wrong. I believe they are very healthy and have brought many people both wellness and healing. However, I believe that God has made the “unclean” foods acceptable, as it states above.

modern day clean eating principlesSome may take advantage of this verse and say that all things are now considered clean. I have to disagree. This is where common sense and practical wisdom come into play. Personally, I understand the “why” behind the “what” in the list God gave the Israelites.

If the “why” is that those foods contained something that could make them sick, then we should take this principle and apply it to ALL foods. Even foods not listed and foods that have recently joined us in the last 50 years need to be measured against that guideline.

I avoid genetically modified foods, preservatives and artificial ingredients. I don’t consider them clean. They may not be tainted with bacteria, but I know they can make me very sick.

I believe a modern day Clean Diet adheres to these principles:

1. Eat foods in the form God designed them.

This means foods free of pesticides and genetic modifications. This also eliminates artificial ingredients and processed foods. Instead, shop at your local farmers market and health food stores. Or better yet, grow your own in a garden!

2. Eat only animals that are raised humanely in clean environments, free of chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics.

This not only applies to meat, but to eggs and dairy, as well! Look for words like free-range, pastured, grass fed, rBgh free, and organic on labels. These are always much healthier choices.

3. Avoid any food that incites an unnatural response in your body.

Sugar spikes your blood sugar, artificial ingredients can modify cell responses, and excess salt can raise your blood pressure. Even certain “healthyfoods can initiate a response based on your body’s allergies or intolerances. The right foods will make you feel great. They will never make you feel tired, bloated, or sick in any way.

4. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

I can confidently say that nearly everything that God designed for you to eat, you also know how to pronounce. Those big words that sound like chemicals are usually just that! Read labels on everything from your bread to salad dressings. Chemical ingredients hide out everywhere!

5. Don’t overindulge. Moderation is always best!

Even clean and healthy foods can be overdone. For example, eating too much fruit can contribute to insulin resistance. Also, overindulging even with healthy foods can cause weight gain.

Adhering to these principles will not only keep your body clean and free from toxins, but also enhance your ability to fight off disease.

Clean Food Recipes

I don’t know about you, but my garden is currently overflowing with zucchini! This put me on the hunt for clean and healthy recipes to use up this versatile vegetable. I stumbled across this zucchini fritter recipe, and I’m happy I did. These fritters taste delicious and are packed full of healthy ingredients. This recipe is not set in stone. Feel free to experiment by adding other vegetables like shredded carrot, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. I enjoy topping my fritters with a dollop of sour cream and a touch of hot sauce.

grain free zucchini frittersGrain Free Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini grated
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup almond flour or coconut flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying (I used 2 tablespoons coconut oil)

Instructions:

  1. Grate zucchini with a medium sized grater.
  2. Add salt and place shredded zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeeze to get as much liquid out of it as possible.
  3. Once squeezed place back in bowl and add beaten eggs, thinly sliced green onions, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  5. Once oil is shimmering, add spoonfuls of mixture in hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Place on platter lined with paper towels to soak up any grease that sticks to the fritter and serve with sour cream or other condiment.

If you have ever eaten heirloom tomatoes, then you’ve noticed not only their beautiful array shapes and colors, but also their amazing flavor!  God sure got creative when he designed tomatoes! Heirloom tomatoes differ in that they come from seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some seeds have a history of 100-300 years! You can find heirloom tomatoes at your local farmers market.

This recipe utilizes these beautiful and tasty tomatoes in a delicious salad. If you can’t find heirlooms, any fresh tomatoes will do.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Lay sliced tomatoes onto a large, serving platter.
  2. Remove kernels from ear of corn, and spread evenly over tomatoes.
  3. Now sprinkle the plate of tomatoes evenly with the red onion, bacon, basil and blue cheese.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad, and top with a bit more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Though God has given us free will to eat as we please, we won’t be exempt from the consequences of bad food choices. God designed our bodies and he also designed natural foods specifically for those bodies. When we eat what God designed, foods that are natural and free from chemicals and toxins, we reap the benefit of health. When we eat what scientists and chemists designed as food, we reap weight gain and disease.  The choice is yours. Personally, I trust God’s food and I hope you will as well.

 

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.
Grain Free Zucchini Fritters Recipe Adapted from slimpalate.com
Heirloom Tomato Salad Adapted from: laaloosh.com

Our Spirit’s Role in Whole Body Health

by Amanda Box, N.D.

You are a whole person, composed of a triune nature:

MindBodySpirit

Achieving whole health requires a balance of all 3 of your parts. You can’t expect your body to be healthy if your mind is a mess.  Neither can your mind be at peace if your spirit is in turmoil.

Think about it. When you obsess over something and become stressed, your body often manifests the consequences. You may experience a rapid heartbeat, insomnia, or nausea, for example. These are all physical symptoms from something you’ve been experiencing emotionally.

Furthermore, when your body experiences imbalances, your mind often suffers. Ladies, many of you experience this every month during a little something called PMS.

But what about our spirit? Does it really have anything to do with our health?

strong spiritSadly, our western culture focuses primarily on the health of our mind and body, neglecting our spirit. You’ll likely never go to a doctor and hear him talk to you about the condition or health of your spirit. Many doctors don’t even believe we have a spirit, let alone that it contributes to our overall health. Spiritual health just isn’t a part of typical western medicine.

However, Eastern culture has understood the importance of our spirit for thousands of years. Eastern medicine takes into account that a weak spirit can contribute to illness of the mind and body. Eastern doctors recommend prayer and meditation to their patients. They understand the balance of a whole person is what contributes to wellness.  They look deeper than just the symptoms.

It’s pretty easy to understand why our spirit doesn’t get included when we don’t feel well. Our body tends to get the most attention simply because it makes the most noise. It is our body that manifests symptoms, discomforts, and pain. Our body is what typically alerts us when something is out of balance.

Our mind is often the second to show symptoms. Many of us struggle with depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. Even some of our physical symptoms manifest from issues with our mind. What we believe, think about, and express can impact our body. When our symptoms seem to have no physical cause, doctors will then look for psychosomatic roots. They recommend medications, counseling or therapy to reduce symptoms.

However, in searching for the answers for our health, the third and most important part gets disregarded. Honestly, this is a tragedy.

It is our spirit that keeps us strong when we are physically and mentally weak. Click to Tweet.

More importantly, it is our spirit that is our direct connection to God. It does not deserve the back seat. Because we live in a physical and tangible world, we forget the important role of our spirit. It is responsible not only for communing with God, but for keeping us healthy.

Nourishing a Healthy Spirit

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “He/She is in good spirits.” There is so much truth to this idiom. We say this when someone is going through something difficult, yet they remain positive.

We always have more hope when we see someone in good spirits. We understand that this optimism can be what pulls them through whatever obstacles they may have.

I would venture to guess that many of you have never stopped to think about this. But, this example is why making sure you nourish and take care of your spirit is just as important as taking care of your body.

Having a healthy spirit can be what pulls someone from sickness to health. Click to Tweet.

Many of us have a wounded spirit. Unfortunately, none of us are exempt from pain or trauma. We have all experienced wounds, both great and small. Many times we don’t truly heal from life’s pains and disappointments. Instead, we often resort to coping mechanisms. Some of the most common coping mechanisms include:[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

  • Denial: refusing to admit that something happened or that you feel like you do.
  • Idealism: focusing on the good points while ignoring and never dealing with the bad.
  • Addiction: using drugs, alcohol, pornography, or other mechanisms to make us temporarily feel better and avoid feeling the pain.
  • Stuffing: shoving your feelings down deep into a compartment and refusing to talk about them or work through them.
  • Anger: often accompanies one of the above mechanisms. Anger explodes out because the feelings of pain and fear have not been resolved.

Coping, rather than working through life’s pain and disappointments, takes its toll on our mind, and on our spirit. The spirit and mind are so closely connected. What we feel, focus on, and believe can either build our spirit up, or tear it down. This toxic build up of negativity can eventually seep into our body, causing disease.

Mending a broken spirit isn’t as easy as popping a vitamin or trying a new diet. Click to Tweet.

how to build a strong and healthy spiritExercising our body requires pushing our muscles, heart, and lungs to build endurance and strength. Caring for and exercising our spirits, however, requires transparency different kind of regimen.

Just like bodily exercises, repeat these practices often, over and over, to see results. You don’t expect to gain strong arms from doing one push up, right? Neither should you expect to see significant results from walking through these steps one time. This is a lifetime commitment to health.

Here are some great ways to help build a healthy and strong spirit

1. Take a step back and look at the big picture

None of us can truly understand the difficulties of your life. But, you are here for a reason. No matter how unfair or wrong things have gone for you, you have a purpose. I promise you that. Take a step back and look at all the things in your life that hold you back. They are likely more trivial than you’ve let them be. Look for ways to break out of the negativity and set goals for a better future!

2. Forgive others

Forgiveness is deliberate decision. It is not saying that what someone did to you was okay. Instead, it is cutting the tie of resentment and releasing them, which in turn releases you. Wanting people to pay for what they did only keeps you bound to negativity and prevents you from moving forward.  I’m not trivializing what happened to you. But you cannot move forward when chained to unforgiveness.

3. Look for daily blessings

Sometimes it’s just too easy to be the pessimist. We get caught up in what’s going wrong that we forget about how blessed we are. Take the time each day to acknowledge what you’re thankful for. If you have to, start a journal of thankfulness. It might surprise you to realize how many things you take for granted and how blessed you truly are! Making this a habit can turn a pessimist into an optimist.

4. Feed Your Spirit

Take time every day to do something specifically for your spirit. We feed our bodies with food, so feed your spirit, too! Things that feed your spirit include:

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Reading the Bible
  • Positive affirmations

When you pray, don’t pray like a beggar. Pray with expectation and declare God’s goodness. Thank God for your blessings. Read Bible passages that encourage you. Speak positive words out loud over yourself. Really take the time to believe what you’re saying. Science has even proven the power of positive self-talk on health. These practices are as important for your wellness as eating healthy foods and exercising the body!

If you’re looking for whole body health, take the time to give your spirit the nourishment and attention it needs. Let go of negativity, forgive others, and move forward with a thankful heart for all the blessings in your life. The very thing that may be holding you back from breaking free from sickness may be your spirit! Don’t neglect your spirit any longer! Gain health as a balancedwhole person and watch your life change for the better!

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

 

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Faith to See Your Healing

by Michael Tyrrell

I Called To You For Help, And You Healed Me (Psalm 30:2)

This month’s topic, Spiritual Healing, couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been busy the last few months writing a book on healing, Wholetones: The Sound Of Healing. Not only did I write a book, but I also recorded a 7-disk healing frequency music project to go with the book! It is over 2½ hours of music designed to provide the perfect sonic environment for spontaneous healing in the body. This project is one of a kind! Barton Publishing will give you priority to order when it is first released.

As I write this article, I am pondering the ethics of leading pharmaceutical companies. They are producing well-made television commercials about a myriad of medications. This onslaught of media suggests these medications bring relief for everything from arthritis to impotence. What alarms me is the side-effects of the pharmaceutical drugs are often far worse than the condition itself!

It seems strange to me that in an era of medical and technical breakthroughs, Big Pharma fails to produce a drug without life-threatening side-effects.

What makes a bad situation worse is that large law firms pay for television commercials announcing class action suits against these same pharmaceutical companies that leave Americans unprotected from deadly and torturous side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Now, even the Supreme Court is ruling that drugs are exempt from legal liability. (1)

So, let me ask a question. If these pharmaceutical companies have truly performed the exhaustive clinical trials they claim, then why are we seeing so many lawsuits 3 to 7 years after a tragic drug hits the market? The answer is harder to swallow than their pills!

These outrageously wealthy drug companies make so much money during their launch of a medication that by the time a percentage of the consumers are impaired, they can easily settle the law suits leveled against them and STILL make a huge profit on the medication… even IF they are forced to take it off the market.

But with a Supreme Court ruling, if the FDA says a drug is safe, that takes precedent over actual facts, real victims and any and all adverse reactions. This makes Big Pharma exempt from liability for side effects, mislabeling or virtually any other negative reactions caused by their drugs. (2)

healing vs medicatingRemember in the business world it is about the bottom line and profitability, first and foremost.

True Healing

I want to make two very important points before we examine spiritual healing.

  1. There is an obvious difference between healing and medicating.
  2. Human beings are not born with a drug deficiency.

Healing means becoming sound or healthy again; to be restored. Medicating means to administer drugs. Click to Tweet.

When someone is healed, his or her sickness is GONE. But when someone medicates, they only feel relief as long as they take their medication. Do we really believe that man-made, synthetic drugs are necessary for our survival?

The following story from the Bible perfectly illustrates my point.

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.

Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5: 25-34

The secret to healing hinges on one word, FAITH. Faith is far more than merely thinking. Faith is an unshakable belief that one acts upon without seeing any evidence beforehand.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

faithThe difference between thinking and believing is knowing. When you act upon what you know before you see it, you have walked in faith!

Here is an example. When a child has a wart, a doctor will often give the child a wooden tongue depressor and tell them it is a “wart stick.” If they hold the stick on the wart for a couple of days, then the wart will disappear. Usually, it does! The reason that the wart stick works is because the child believes it will, and that is childlike faith in action.

The same holds true in clinical trials; a participant receives a placebo and believes it is a powerful medication. The placebo (sugar pill) is historically from 15 to 72% effective and often outperforms the actual medication![1]

If you will allow me, I can help you move beyond the misunderstanding surrounding childlike faith so you can personally experience true spiritual healing.

Heart of Healing

You see, the heart and the head operate independently. Belief is a product of the heart. Thought is a product of the head (mind).

Infants and young children believe wholeheartedly what they are told is an absolute. (Their minds are not reasoning from past experiences or calculated thought processes.) In turn, they trust that what their parents or authority figures tell them is the truth. They simply believe it.

As these children grow and begin to base their “truth” upon personal experience and reason, “reality” begins to trump what they once believed in their heart.

When you were young, how many of you believed Santa would make a house call on Christmas Eve? You believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a white haired, bearded man in a red suit would leave a pile of gifts under your Christmas tree. You probably believed in Santa until some older kid told you that “Santa” was your parents. Then, it was devastating when you hid in the closet and watched Mom and Dad put the gifts under the tree, drink the milk and take a bite out of the cookies. It wasn’t your mind that was offended; it was your heart that was broken. You probably felt foolish for believing in the first place.

Unbelief is the nemesis of faith. Once you become an unbeliever, you will only believe something if you see it first because your mind is now running the show.

I will never be an unbeliever. I will never forget the life altering divine spiritual healings that I have received from the Hand of God. Here are just a couple true stories I would like to share.

Documented Spiritual Healing

no more glasses by flickr Taylor SloanIn my first year of junior high school I attended a private Christian school. It was in another city so I had a long ride on the school bus every day. I had very poor eyesight, so I wore glasses. I despised them because they made me look goofy. (Designer shades they weren’t!) To add insult to injury, even with corrective lens I could only see the blackboard if my desk was just a few feet away from the teacher’s desk.

One day on my bus ride home, I opened the window and said aloud, “You are God. You can certainly heal my eyes!” and I threw my glasses out the window. I was INSTANTLY healed! I have 20/20 vision to this day and I am 54 years old.

I am not suggesting that you throw your glasses, hearing aid, or oxygen tank away. But I am urging you to trust God. He may choose to heal you!

While touring with the Christian band Mylon Lefevre and Broken Heart in 1986, the driver taking me to a music store hit a parked car. My head went through the windshield of his car because we did not have seatbelts. When I came to, I was strapped down in an ambulance and my neck was in a brace. A wonderful female emergency technician told me what had happened.

When I arrived at the hospital, nurses worked to remove debris from my leg and arm and placed a stabilizing cage around my neck. While I was laying on the gurney, a wonderful Baptist minister sat next to me and began reading me passages from the Book of Psalms.

Suddenly, a rude nurse approached and said, “Your neck is broken and you may not walk again.”

True righteous indignation arose in me and I blurted out, “Either I will walk out of here in three days or you will carry me out in a body bag, Lady. God has plenty for me to do on my feet!”

Then the nurse called for a doctor and said, “He’s in shock. Give him a sedative.”

I told the doctor, “I don’t need a sedative. I am at peace. God will heal me.” And the doctor walked away.

One thing that was frustrating is that I could not move my arms or legs. I had no feeling below my waist so when they took me to x-ray they had to move me around on a board to get the position they needed for the films.

A couple of hours later the band showed up and told me they were leaving for the next gig because I was going to be in the hospital for awhile. They forgot to bring my bags so all I had were the bloody clothes I had on when I got to the hospital.

Later that evening, the surgeon on call came into my room to explain the x-rays. When I saw the film it was shocking! My C4 and C5 vertebrae were destroyed! The surgeon was kind but firm, informing me that I would no longer have use of my legs. They had contacted a renowned neck surgeon from New York who was flying in to see if anything could be done for me.

It was amazing that with all the evidence presented and no feeling in my limbs, I kept seeing myself running and jumping. I knew that I would be healed! I didn’t accept ANY other alternative!

Meanwhile, my fiancé and my mom had hundreds of people praying for me. Thanks to their prayers, I felt God’s presence every minute, though there was no one in my room. Not once did I feel alone.

Sometime in the middle of the night I felt an overwhelming burning sensation that started in my neck and went through my entire body. It was as if I had been literally set ablaze; I thought I was dreaming.

When a nurse woke me up in the morning to take my temperature, she informed me that the surgeon from New York ordered more x-rays. About an hour after the second set of x-ray films, a very kind man walked into my room and was visibly shaken. The man introduced himself and said in all his years of practice he had never seen anything like what he was about to show me.

The renowned surgeon put my x-rays on the screen from when I was first admitted. He showed me the destruction of my C4 and C5 vertebrae. Then he took those x-rays down and put up the x-rays he ordered when he arrived. I was floored! In place of my disintegrated C4 and C5 vertebrae, there were brand-new, perfect C4 and C5 vertebrae!!!

The surgeon went on to say that he was an orthodox Jewish man. Although he does not believe in miracles, he cannot explain how this occurred. What he said next was mind-boggling.

“I see no reason why you should not be able to move your neck or have feeling in your extremities.”

Suddenly, I moved my neck, my fingers and my feet. Up until that moment, I had no sensation, whatsoever! The surgeon smiled, touched my arm and left!

That burning sensation I felt the night before was the touch of God. That, my friends, is a perfect example of healing!

Now the plot thickens! Meanwhile, my fiancé, Lillian, and her friend Leanne were in route to the hospital. Lillian told me later that on the drive to the hospital they were numb and quiet on the trip. When they were about 45 minutes away, they suddenly looked at each other and said, “Oh my God! He is healed!” and joy filled their vehicle.

At approximately the same time, I disconnected my leg sling and neck cage and crawled out of bed. I pulled myself up using a chair and walked into the shower!!!

When Lillian and Leanne got to my hospital room, they heard water running and saw an empty bed. Lillian called out, “Honey, are you in the shower?” I said, “Yes.” Then she asked, “Are you healed?” and I replied, “Yes! I am!”

When I hobbled out of the bathroom I cannot tell you what I felt when I saw Lillian and Leanne. We were completely amazed at what God had done!

They brought me a wheelchair to get me into the elevator because I had stitches in my leg. When the elevator door opened, the rude nurse that told me I wouldn’t walk again was standing right in front of me. I got out of the wheelchair, walked up to her and said, “I told you so!” and had her cut off my hospital bracelet!

You see, friend…NOTHING is impossible to those who believe. What he did for me, God CAN do for you, as He is no respecter of persons.

Spiritual healing is a byproduct of unwavering childlike faith. It is YOUR faith in GOD’S ABILITY that makes you whole…period.

Like the psalmist in Psalm 30:2,

“Lord, MY God, I called to YOU for help, and You healed me.”

Do NOT doubt. ONLY believe. Call out to Him right now.

There is so much more I want to share with you on this subject…not theories but documented divine spiritual healing.

It is my prayer that when Barton Publishing releases my book and CDs, Wholetones: The Sound Of Healing, that you and you loved ones will experience spontaneous divine healing, just as I have.

Faith moves mountains and it also heals the sick.

 

Michael TyrrellMichael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full-time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well-known musician.

 

(1) http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/supreme-court-rules-drug-companies-exempt-from-lawsuits/
(2) Faith Brynie, PhD, “The Placebo Effect: How it Works,” Psychology Today, January 10, 2012, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-sense/201201/the-placebo-effect-how-it-works.

 

 

 

 

Cancer…The Enemy Within

by Michael Tyrrell

Morpheus: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Welcome, dear reader, to our monthly trip down the “rabbit hole” in search of the truth in the midst of pulp culture fiction. As always, I will be your tour guide through the next 1,500 plus words that will hopefully (at the very least) open your heart and mind to the possibility that things may not always be as they appear.

Often, our perspective is flawed. Hence, the necessity to draw attention to true north at times when we are tempted to accept “magnetic” north as our reality.

You see, there is a good reason why the message, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear,” is indelibly printed on the side-view mirror of your vehicle. The manufacturer knows that the mirror’s perspective is skewed and they don’t want the actual proximity of another vehicle in an adjacent lane to prove it to you!

The human mind is a vast uncharted wilderness capable of functions that far exceed Einstein’s assessment of 10% utilization…90% of its ability remains virtually untapped! With that in mind (no pun intended!), consider this passage from the Bible,

 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

Is it possible that what we believe, we conceive? In the book of Job, Job makes this telling statement:

“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has come true.” Job 3:25 (NLT)

And that, dear reader, is our introduction to this month’s topic: cancer.

Top 7 Causes of Cancer

top 7 causes of cancerBefore I continue, I want to be crystal clear as not offend any of my readers who may be battling this terrible disease.

I am NOT saying cancer is only a “by-product” of negative thinking. What I am saying is there are several different theories on how cancer manifests in the body and I want to start by addressing some of them.

Scientists tell us there are at least 200 types of cancer and mention dozens of ways to get it. Here are the top 7 causes of cancer:

1. Carcinogens

The list is quite exhaustive. From everything from solvents to asbestos, food and tobacco, even to the air we breath, so as the old maxim says, “Everything causes cancer in laboratory rats!”

2. Age

Scientists say as we age, we become more fragile and our immune systems become weakened, so we are more susceptible to cancer. I have to admit after having three “centenarians” in our family and a mom and dad that play golf, walk at least a mile a day and hit the gym regularly in their 70s, this one is a real stretch for me.

3. Genetic disposition

No argument, here! However, there is more to that story that I will share later!

4. Sun exposure

As far as skin cancer goes this one is a no-brainer. If you spend a good portion of your time outdoors, then a quality sunscreen is your best friend.

5. Smoking

As far as lung and throat cancer, there is no doubt that it raises your chances of cancer!

6. Bacterial infection

Yes, if the helicobacter pylori bacteria is present, then stomach cancer is a possibility.

7. Viruses

Again, anything that compromises the immune system gives ANY opportunistic disease an advantage.

Now, if you have already surmised that I probably have a different view, from another lens, you would be correct!

Cancer’s Shadow

Here is the Webster’s dictionary definition of cancer:

  1. A serious disease caused by cells that are not normal and that can spread to one or many parts of the body.
  2. Something bad or dangerous that causes other bad things to happen.

Did you catch that second definition? Here is where I ask you to be open-minded and forget what you have previously believed about cancer.

What images does the word, dreadful, create in your mind? If one is full of dread, then that leaves little room for anything else now, doesn’t it?

I know of few things on earth that can instill more fear in a human being than a doctor’s prognosis of cancer. It is paralyzing and rife with morose images and a supposed death sentence.

In the book of Luke (as an interesting side note, Luke was a physician!), we find this statement,

“Men’s hearts failing them for fear…” Luke 21:26 (KJV)

Interesting, I poured over a myriad of statistics, lists of cancer causes, both by the leading oncologists and cancer societies both in America and the U.K. and not one of them mentioned or even eluded to the possibility of fear having any connection to cancer… whatsoever!

Do you recall Job’s statement at the introduction of this article?

“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has come true.” Job 3:25 (NLT)

Why, with all we know about the body’s response to fear, would the medical community not even mention the remote possibility of fear being a factor in a disease that wreaks havoc on a cellular level???

Have you ever been on a drive when suddenly a police car was right on your tail? The red and blue lights are flashing and the officer is motioning you to pull over! What did you feel the moment you saw the police car in your rearview mirror? Fear, dread, and a sick feeling in your stomach, right? That was your body’s response to sudden dread. Immediately, your chemistry changes, an overproduction of stomach acid occurs, your heart races, you perspire, etc., simply at the mere appearance of an officer of the law!

The psalmist writes in Psalm 23:4 (NIV), “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

Do you see it? God’s presence, His light, revealed the truth to the psalmist: it wasn’t actually death, but merely the shadow of death. As dreadful as it appeared, a shadow cannot kill you!

Often, that is all the doctor sees when he looks at your x-ray, a shadow, and yet it is instantly perceived as death when the prognosis comes.

Regardless of medicine or theology, one thing remains an immutable fact: fear and faith can NEVER coexist; they are diametrically opposed.

If you are fearful, then you are faithless. If you are faithful, then you are fearless…period. Click to Tweet.

Cellular Memory

Earlier, I promised to expound on how genetic disposition can be a possible cause of cancer (cause of cancer #3). So, now I will keep my promise.

There is some “cutting edge” scientific research that has been making waves lately called cellular memory, which proposes that latent memory is “stored” in our cells, both good and bad.

For example, from the exhilaration we feel at the birth of our first child to the anguish we feel at the loss of a loved one, life-changing memories are embedded into our cells.

Is cellular memory so hard to believe? After all, you can find out anything you want to know about a tree by its growth rings. Years of draught, years of flooding, a year when a fire burned close by and the year there was an earthquake is all faithfully recorded in the rings of a tree.

So, here is a side of genetic disposition we may not have considered…What if our parent’s cellular memory is passed on to us at birth? I know I am really stretching you here, but knowing that your parents DNA is responsible for how you look, is it really that hard to believe that your cells are affected by what affected your parent’s cells and so forth and so on?

There are many accounts of transplant patients (especially the heart) feeling quite different about things after the surgery; some even changed their color preference!

Here is another example. A pastor friend of mine told me a story about a beautiful young woman who had attended his church for several years. The girl’s mother dropped dead of a heart attack on her 35th birthday and the pastor said that since that day, no matter what he said to persuade her otherwise, the girl would always tell everyone, “I am going to die of a heart attack on my 35th birthday just like my mother did.” The pastor looked at me and said, “Michael, she dropped dead of a heart attack on her 35th birthday, at the same exact time her mother did.”

fear bitterness unforgiveness and cancerRecall our second definition of the word cancer, “Something bad or dangerous that causes other bad things to happen.”

So, right now you are probably thinking, “Okay, Michael, I am tracking with you…but what can I possibly do about it?”

First, whatever protocol you are currently following does not have to change. I am not your doctor, oncologist or holistic practitioner, but I am a friend and minister who is bringing to light a spiritual condition that once properly dealt with could change your life substantially!

You see, I have NEVER counseled anyone with cancer that didn’t also suffer from fear, bitterness, an unforgiving heart, or all three. Often, once these deep-seated emotions (and the images or memories that trigger them) are dealt with and healed, the cancer patient responds miraculously!

 Often, it is the very things you don’t see that are manifesting as the things you do see. Click to Tweet.

We are beings comprised of body, soul and spirit, thus if we are only focusing on physical symptoms, a problem may also be present in the other two-thirds of us that we are not aware of!

Spiritual Defense Against Cancer

Here is your “spiritual protocol” to defend yourself again cancer.

Spiritual Protocol #1

First, grab a fresh piece of paper and pen and write down the names of people (including loved ones) that you feel a grudge, anger or bitterness toward and realize that the negative feelings you have toward each of them are not NOT hurting them…they are hurting YOU. In most cases, they have no idea that you are still harboring these feelings toward them.

forgiveness healsSecondly, take a moment and pray. You may want to say something like,

“Dear Lord, I choose to forgive (insert name) and I ask that you would heal my heart from all of these negative thoughts and memories I have held on to. Amen.”

Afterwards, if you still feel unsettled, then you may want to phone or visit with the person and verbally ask their forgiveness, as well…this is up to you.

Forgiveness is an amazingly powerful attribute that keeps our “ledgers” clean and releases us from bondage and cellular “clutter” so we can be released and healed.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not eagerly angered, IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV, emphasis mine)

Yes, dear friend, it is time to love one another (even your enemies!). Burn the record books and move on toward your total healing.

Finally, I would be remiss in my duty as a minister if I didn’t mention a cancer so virulent and deadly that it not only affects your life in this world but also in the next.

What is this horrible cancer’s name? Its name is UNBELIEF!

It is a cancer that can keep you from any hope of life eternal and the embrace of the one who gave His life for you in hope that you would choose Him. And, dear reader, nothing on earth could be more tragic than missing what awaits us after our time on earth comes to a conclusion.

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you are not living; you are merely surviving. As your friend, I implore you to give your life to the only one qualified to save it: Jesus!

Spiritual Protocol #2

Find a quiet place and talk to Jesus. Ask Him those questions that have been gnawing at you for years. BE HONEST and don’t worry about offending Him; He has heard it all.

Then, you might want to pray something like this,

“Dear Lord, my life is a mess and the harder I try to ‘fix’ it, the worse it seems to get. I give up! I give you this mess of a life. Please forgive me for all of my sins and stupidity. I ask you to make a place in my heart and fill me with your Spirit and transform me into your image. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”

And with that said, I expect things are going to improve exponentially from here on out! Know that all of us at Home Cures That Work truly care and love to hear from you! Please drop us a line and let us know how you are…the good, the bad and the ugly but praying for “the good.”

Love never fails! 

P.S. Morpheus: Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

 

 

Michael TyrrellMichael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full-time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well-known musician.

10 Myths That Obese People Believe And How To Overcome Them

By Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Obesity by Flickr Pam Tremble (pwsammy)

Being a doctor and working with people for over 20 years, trying to help them get healthy, has given me a different perspective on obesity.  I think I have heard every excuse in the book.  Because of this, I no longer tell people what they want to hear, but rather I tell them the truth.

The truth about your obesity begins by finding out the reason for overeating.

Your own personal reason for indulging in food may be different from anyone else.  In dealing with obesity, it is important to understand why you are overweight.  If you don’t deal with this issue, you will not be successful in your efforts to lose weight.

In one case, a woman came in to see me saying she wanted to get off of her diabetes medications because they took away all of her energy.  I explained to her that since she weighed over 250 pounds, the fat would prevent her from achieving her goal of going off medication and we would have to deal with the extra weight first.

She came in faithfully every two weeks for over a year, but didn’t lose a single pound.  She said she was doing everything I suggested, but it just wasn’t working.  Finally, in frustration, I dropped my head into my hands and questioned, more to myself, “Why aren’t you losing weight?”

She timidly answered, “Because I don’t want to.”  Amazed, I looked up and asked, “Why not?”  She went on to explain that she had seen a man on TV who had lost a hundred pounds and they showed his skin hanging down from his arms, legs and abdomen.  “I don’t want to look like that!” she blurted out in tears.

Another woman who wasn’t losing weight on a supposed 500 calorie per day diet offered that she kept the fat on to keep people away.  “I don’t want to get close to people and risk getting hurt. The fat is a very effective way to keep my distance.”  This distance included her family and friends.  She was sabotaging her own efforts on multiple diets over years because of her emotional fears.

10 Common Myths about Overcoming Obesity

Over the years, I have collected some of the most common myths that obese people believe that prevent them from getting healthy.  Many of them are actually touted in the media – or even by mainstream doctors!

Myth #1 – Exercise can make you skinny

This is a huge myth.  If this were true, then Sumo wrestlers would be thin!  They exercise all day, every day, and are able to maintain over a hundred pounds of fat because they eat over six pounds of rice per day.  They get up in the middle of the night to eat rice and maintain their weight.  Many believe they can eat what they want and just exercise more to “burn up the calories” and prevent weight gain.

We were told that a calorie is a calorie, and

(calories in) – (calories out) = (stable weight)

Not true!  If you don’t curb your calorie intake, exercise can actually make more fat deposits in your body.  Don’t get me wrong, exercise is important for maintaining health and strength, but just don’t believe the myth that you can lose fat by exercising.

Myth #2 – Eating less fat causes weight loss

Another common myth is that low-fat diets cause weight loss This false idea was started over thirty years ago, creating a society-wide experiment.  The truth is as people eat less fat, they eat more carbohydrates.

In fact, since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone up dramatically! Now, the average American eats his weight in sugar every year, up from about 30 pounds per person!  This has caused an epidemic of obesity, as well as diabetes.  Over 60% of the population is obese and about 1/5 of the entire population is either diabetic or pre-diabetic!  Low-fat diets don’t lower body fat.

Myth #3 – Low thyroid causes weight gain

I am amazed by the sheer number of people who still believe that they are overweight because of a “thyroid problem.”  Weight loss clinics in the 1980s that gave people high-doses of thyroid hormone were surprisingly unsuccessful.  Multiple studies on the effects of thyroid on weight have failed to find a connection – and yet the myth persists.  There are many medical doctors and other practitioners that perpetuate this myth, telling people, “It’s not your fault, it’s your thyroid.”  They are then given thyroid hormones to take, but don’t lose weight.

Myth #4 – Don’t look at the scale!

When people refuse to allow my office staff to weigh them, then I know there is a deeper problem.  These are the people who don’t want to look at where they know they want to be.  They feel they will get discouraged if they find out they are not losing weight or if their efforts are in vain.

Not looking at the scale when you are trying to lose weight is like getting on to the plane and hearing the pilot say, “We’re not sure where we’re going and our fuel gage isn’t working, so we’ll just see what happens.”  I don’t know about you, but I’d get right off of that plane!

I find the real reason people don’t want to know how much they weigh is because

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Obesity…Bigger Isn’t Always Better

I have been told I have a knack for finding humor in everything. So, I couldn’t resist starting a very serious article on obesity without a light-hearted observation!

As I am writing, my wife, Lillian, is in full-blown holiday mode and the house is a veritable holiday masterpiece. The decorations are beautiful, the preparations are plentiful and the spread will be bountiful; turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin bread pudding and pumpkin pie! Top this all off with with an article on obesity!

Let’s face it. The holiday season is a time for faith, family and food and food and…a New Year resolution that usually includes a diet and a health club membership. To add insult to injury, just recently this was the hot news item: Hostess factories close and it is the end of an icon.

I would like to develop this article a bit differently than I have previously, as the subject of obesity is not only an extremely sensitive one but for me, but quite personal as well.

Those of you that have met me would find it hard to believe that I would know anything about obesity. After all, I am a strapping six foot one 170 pound physically fit man that can keep up with guys half my age in the gym. But, it wasn’t always that way.

I grew up the fat kid in school. In a culture that is cosmetically oriented, being the “fatso” is unacceptable.

When one becomes “unacceptable” to others because of their appearance, people can be ruthless.  You are often the brunt of jokes and belittling ridicule. Insults are not age specific, yet when obese or severely overweight children are constantly maligned by their peers, deep emotional scars can form producing a host of psychological problems, such as:

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling of being totally inferior to others

Without condoning obesity, I want to shed light on why so many extraordinary, beautiful, hard working and extremely gifted people are disqualified from success and making their mark on history because of their weight.

Now, here’s the rest of the story.

Packaging Humanity

Among other “gifts,” my initial success came as a musician. Whenever I would audition for a band or a studio gig, I would almost always land the job. Now granted, I am a talented musician. However, I began to notice that some of the other players auditioning were often more gifted than I — but not as aesthetically pleasing.

As time went by, I started seeing this trend continue far beyond the music industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood, to working retail at the local mall, the “beautiful” people always seemed to have more favor. I didn’t realize at the time, but God was making me aware of this for some reason. Why?

To expose the dehumanization of His creation by man’s packaging of humanity. 

In simpler terms: Reducing people into marketable commodities!

At 24 I was picture perfect, socially acceptable and in demand. Yet, all that had changed was my waistline! I remember watching a television show (60 minutes) where two models from a New York agency (a man and a woman) were fitted with a latex “fat suit” by a Hollywood make-up artist and asked to shop in some high end fashion boutiques in the city.

As the “60 minutes” camera crew followed the two as they shopped, I was appalled at the treatment they received by the store employees. A few days later, the models returned to the shops they had previously visited, this time without the “fat suits” and they were fawned over and treated like royalty! One shop owner even asked if she could take some photos with them! What had changed since the model’s first visit? Only their appearance had changed. Nothing more.

Look at your CD collection and magazines… airbrushed faces and svelte bodies designed and marketed to sell. Business depends on it. Before we look at statistics, lets look at how this packaging of humanity can devastate a generation.

Skinny Envy – The Bigger Picture

In the late 60s, after the Beatles took America by storm and the “British Invasion” hit the fashion world. Models such as Jean “The Shrimp” Shrimpton, Verushka Von Lendorff and Penelope Tree made skinny the new “inny” for American woman.

But one girl exploded on the scene: 17 yr old Leslie Hornby, better know as “Twiggy.”  She was the envy of girls nationwide. What followed was an epidemic of American woman with anorexia, bulimia (binging/purging) trying to adhere to the new “skinny” mandate of the British culture.

To further drive home my point, if one examines famous art from the renaissance period (1300-1600) you will see that skinny was anything but “inny.” In fact, what was considered beautiful then were curvaceous full-figured woman often with their babies or surrounded by “chubby” cherubs! It is safe to say that “Twiggy” would not have graced the canvas of any of the great masters of the renaissance period.

So, maybe you are still not convinced that the cultural packaging of humanity can devastate a generation? 

Consider this. Since each person’s bone structure is different, explain to me how a girl of German descent with large bones could become a waif thin girl? You cannot change bone structure (frame) even if there is less flesh covering it. Your skeleton will still somewhat dictate your size.

What if you were born with a big head (skull) and little heads are in style? You can diet all you want, but you are still going to have a big noggin!

I wish I could count the man hours spent counseling girls as a youth pastor who wanted to be super skinny but were born with large frames. It is very difficult to convince people who want to appear like someone else that they idolize that they are missing the “bigger” picture.

BIG NEWS

Obesity in America is an epidemic. More than ⅓ of adults in the U.S. alone are obese! The overweight condition can lead to:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Sleep apnea

The main cause is rarely a genetic disposition. In fact, every report I have read emphatically says that the epidemic level of obesity in America is primarily due to:

  • The abundance of available food
  • Diets consisting of non-nutritious
  • Uunhealthy or “fast foods”
  • A sedentary lifestyle inclusive of people employed in office positions that require little or no physical activity.

You can also find a map that shows which states have the highest percentage of obese people:

 www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

It is not surprising that the southern states where fried and “fatty” foods prevail top the list with the most obese population: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and West Virginia.

So, what does this tell you? How does Ethiopia compare to America in terms of obesity? Does availability, quality of food, portion size and lack of exercise contribute to obesity? Yes!!! But, does it cause it? No!!!

Mind Over Body

Let me use an example to help you understand what causes obesity.

I love cruise ships. For me, a trip to the Caribbean aboard a ship is the ultimate vacation. However, it is well known that cruise ships provide access to all the food you can eat, 24-hours a day. In fact, you can eat whatever you want whenever you want.  On a seven day cruise, a typical passenger arrives home between an average 5 to 10 pounds heavier!

My wife and I are quite logical. We surmised that considering…

  • The state of the art gym aboard…
  • The abundance of healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables…
  • A variety of challenging off ship excursions available…

…that we could easily lose weight on our cruise. I am happy to report that on every cruise we have been on, we have arrived home at least 2 pounds lighter than when we boarded!

So, what makes someone obese?…Wait for it… YOUR MIND!  

That’s right! Stinking thinking — “As a man/woman thinketh, SO THEY ARE!” 

Listen… after spending the last 28 years of my life ministering to hurting people and overcoming obesity myself, I can assure you, even though there are a myriad of programs, protocols (read the other articles in this edition…they are brilliant!) and supplements that are proven to work, that you will not change your weight until you change your mind.

Dear reader, hear the heart of this formerly fat author…

As long as you believe you are:

  • Inferior
  • Ugly
  • Helpless
  • A victim
  • Unwanted
  • Useless
  • Hopeless
  • Worthless 
  • And have tried everything and nothing works, 

What YOU believe, YOU conceive! 

Here is the truth:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 1 Peter 1:3

If you want to experience this divine power, then the first step is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When you surrender your life to Him, you will discover what it means to really live and see yourself as you truly are. Without His divine power, you will try to overcome your cyclic behavior in your own strength and end up medicating your false sense of self (who you think you are) by constantly overeating.

If you don’t know who you really are, then you create a false image of yourself that leads to depression. When you discover the real you, depression is replaced by peace!

Stand next to me now and let us look in God’s mirror together. Look!  You are already complete!

God has given you EVERYTHING you need pertaining to life and Godliness. When you face that truth, it breaks your false image of yourself. All that remains is a simple weight loss issue!

Now instead of seeing your whole life as a victim, you see yourself as a:

  • Victor
  • Complete
  • Beautiful
  • Powerful
  • Gifted
  • Needed
  • Loved
  • Valued

I lost my weight when I realized God made me beautiful and that through Him I could do anything.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“With God, all things are possible!” Matthew 19:26

You can start the transformation today.

  • Take baby steps.
  • Celebrate each pound you lose.
  • Focus on each victory not the final goal.
  • Stop using food as a medicine.
  • Follow the suggestions found in the other articles in this edition.

And remember: Live! Love! And Laugh… a lot!

After all, it is just weightmind over fatter!

YOU ARE A STAR!

Love,

Michael

 

  1. How did you become hypnotized by your false sense of self-worth?
  2. How can being fat or thin, long haired or bald, short or tall change who you really are?
  3. When you read 1 Peter 1:3 in the article, how did it make you feel?

Michael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well known musician. http://michaeltyrrell.com

 

Emotional Eating and Food Choices

by Amanda Box, N.D.

What we eat is directly affected by our beliefs.

Think about it.

  • If you believe eating healthy is important, then you will eat healthy.
  • If you believe food is food and it makes no difference what you eat, then you will therefore eat whatever you want.
  • If you believe eating pork is an abomination to God, then you don’t eat bacon.

The food choices we make every day are rooted in some sort of belief system. But, what you choose to eat goes even deeper than that.  You may have the knowledge that eating healthy is the right choice to make, but still struggle to choose healthy foods.

This belief lies in what you think about yourself more than what you believe about the foods.  If you don’t have a lot of self-confidence or don’t love and respect yourself, then it makes it difficult to make healthy choices for your body. Your EQ, or emotional quotient, directly affects the food choices you make every day.   Your emotional state and your belief about both food and yourself determine how much you eat and what you eat. Healthy, positive emotions and beliefs about yourself and food, make for a healthy body as well!

Irregular Eating Lowers Your EQ

Can your eating habits affect your emotions? Absolutely!  Many diabetics and hypoglycemics know this from personal experience.  If they skip meals or eat too much sugar, they can experience extreme mood swings, brain fog and impaired thinking. Those who struggle with eating disorders and very rigid eating habits may also suffer from emotional disturbances.

A UK study found that those who struggle with eating issues like anorexia, bulimia, and crash dieting, struggled with identifying different emotions. The women in the study had all been diagnosed with eating disorders.  They were shown cards with faces displaying different emotions.  These women had a hard time distinguishing between scared, mad and sad. Those with the most severe disorders scored the worst. In 2002, another study linked emotional irregularity with abnormal and inconsistent eating.  They found that these rigid dieters, who had a preoccupation with body shape, had more mood disturbances than those who had a more relaxed view of eating. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666301904453

I believe this lack of true nutrition and proper blood sugar maintenance, only exasperates the problem.  This lack sends these women deeper into depression and apathy.  Healthy, vitamin rich, consistent eating, along with proper counseling and care can bring these women into health and wholeness. However, the strong emotional tie in these disorders can make them very difficult to overcome.

Triumph Over Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can manifest out of a false belief or an out of balance emotional state.  The most common disorders are anorexia, bulimia and chronic overeating.  Though these disorders may look very different, they can all have the same terrible consequences.  The worst of those being death! All three of these disorders are rooted in a false belief about oneself.   Some believe they will never be good enough, while others struggle with shame or a need to control when their life feels out of control. Once you change the belief, the eating habits change with it!  To triumph over an eating disorder, you must believe the right things! Here are some great steps to take to change your negative beliefs into positive ones.  Positive beliefs change our emotional state, which leads to a healthier, happy you!

  • Learn to love yourself:  God created you just the way you are!  No matter what you’ve done or what you look like, He is proud of you and loves you deeply.  Your body is a temple and it should be treated with both love and respect.
  • Letting go and letting God: Many times eating disorders are birthed out of control.  When their lives feel out of control, those who struggle with these struggles find comfort in their disorder.  Once you realize that you cannot control your life and that God is in control, you can have peace of mind.  Remember, He has your best interests at heart.  Cast your cares on Him and He will lift you up!
  • Start a thankful journal:  Start focusing on the positive and what you are truly thankful for in your life.  Each day, write those things down. When you start having more positive and thankful thoughts, your whole outlook will change.  The book “1000 Gifts” is a great example of how this positive journaling can transform your life!
  • Get real with a friend:  You don’t have to trumpet it to the world that you struggle with an eating disorder.  But finding a friend you can trust that can walk with you and encourage you, can make a huge difference.

Wrong Mindsets = Wrong Eating Habits

You don’t have to struggle with a full-blown eating disorder to battle with destructive eating habits. Many people don’t even realize they have an unhealthy relationship with food.  They cannot figure out why there are overweight, diabetic or have high blood pressure.  Sometimes, the answer lies in how we were raised or even in a people pleasing personality.

  • Do you feel obligated to finish all the food on your plate? Maybe your parents never let you leave the table growing up until your plate was clean.  You may feel you will hurt the cook’s feelings if you don’t finish the food they prepared.
  • Do you have a hard time turning away food that’s offered to you?  It could be chocolate cake from a birthday celebration or holiday baked goods given to you as a gift.  You may not even be hungry, but you don’t want to hurt the feelings of the one offering it to you.  Though these actions may be good intentioned, they can detrimental to your waistline and health.

Being a people pleaser is an emotional battlefield for your food choices.  The reality is, you must learn to start putting yourself first when it comes to food!  Your health should be your priority, not hurting someone’s feelings because you declined their food offering.  Learning to say no is a good thing!  How you phrase your “No” can make a difference as well.  Try using these responses the next time you are offered food that you wish to decline.

  • Thank them for the offer.
  • Let them know you appreciate them thinking of you, but you have to decline.
  • Tell them you are trying to take steps towards better health with healthy eating.

These are all keys to learning to say no in a kind and respectful way.  Remember, saying no is not a bad thing!  It means you respect yourself enough to set boundaries.

Stress Eating

Stress eating is by far the most common unhealthy eating habit.  It has even been commercialized! You often see someone in a movie or television show whip out a pint of ice cream when love throws them a curve ball.  I believe this commercialization has only encouraged more stress eating.

Many people truly believe that it is okay to bury their problems in pint Ben and Jerry’s or a bag of potato chips. The main problem in this is that stress is unavoidable!  We all have stress in our lives to one degree or another.  If we never truly deal with that stress, but bury it in food, we create a habit. Not just a random splurge.  Some people drink to avoid dealing with life’s problems, others battle with drugs, and some people smoke to relieve stress.

Food can just as easily become one of those additions.  Especially sugar, as gives you a sort of satisfactory, short lived “high”.  Some say sugar is more addictive than cocaine! If you feel like you are one of the thousands, maybe even millions, of people who have a stress-eating problem, take heed.  You can overcome this habit!

Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.

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Smoke And Mirrors

Christmas in Florida by Flickr Gregory J. Urbano

Greetings from sunny Florida, where it is currently a lovely 72 degrees, Fahrenheit! There is something to be said about living in a state where instead of wearing sweaters and coats at Christmas, you are sweating and coating yourself with sunscreen. 🙂

Oh, and before I forget, Happy New Year! January 1st is traditionally a time to make (and often break!) a “new year” resolution. The word “resolution” simply means, “A firm, unwavering decision.” Health clubs and personal trainers know that they will have a bevy of ninety day disciples come January, complete with good intentions and bulging holiday bellies. Unfortunately, like clockwork, dreams of  “6 pack” abs and “buns of steel” soon become “6 packs” of beer and “buns of oatmeal.”

Human beings are notoriously creatures of habit, which leads me to this month’s topic, “How To Quit Smoking.” Before I proceed, let me share this disclaimer: I am a minister, not a doctor or a licensed nutritionist. Each month, this Home Cures That Work publication, offers its readers a variety of articles written by authors who focus on their area of expertise. My modality of healing is predominantly spiritual. However, in no way am I undermining the importance of doctors, psychologists or nutritionists. Though we may see through different lenses, we are all looking for the same result, a healthier more vibrant… you!

It is estimated that 26 million men (25%) and 23 million women (21%) in America smoke. Considering those numbers, few would argue that cigarette smoking is a powerful addiction. If you Google “stop smoking” a multitude of sites pop up, each with a bold promise of instant freedom from your smoking addiction.

What they do not tell you is their success rate! Why? Because a smoker can “quit” the habit on Monday and be chain smoking again by Friday! It is my prayer that this article will help you leave your addiction in the rear view mirror, for good.

In order to get free from this addiction, you must have an open mind, so open in fact, that truth can walk in right now and delete all of the misconceptions you have filed away in your mind concerning your smoking addiction. By the way, I know a little bit about addiction. In fact, in the next few months, I will be sharing how this former crack addict was set free, literally over night!

Divine by Design

Before you can understand your smoking addiction, you must first understand

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