I would like to apologize to my readership for not having made posts recently. I had an unanticipated power outage in my area, which I believe has been rectified and I now have Internet services again. My sincere apologies to everyone.
Here is an amazing true story of hope and victory; of the transformative power of the Lord Jesus Christ:
The Angola prison, Louisiana’s State Penitentiary, has over 50% inmates serving life sentences and some are on death row. About 90% of the inmates know that they will never leave the prison. This prison once had the reputation of being one of the bloodiest prisons in the United States. Blood stains were all over the walls and floors from brutal attacks between inmates, even between guards and inmates. On admission inmates were give a dagger to protect themselves with. It was a horrible place to be incarcerated in. But around the mid-1990s drastic change came to the prison when Burl Cain became warden. Cain insisted he would only take the job on his own terms, which were granted to him. From the outset Cain introduced regular Bible studies and worship services for inmates. There would be no more swearing among inmates or employees, no more cursing. Then the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary began offering degrees in ministry to inmates and now many of them have theological qualifications, sometimes even more advanced than some of the people who go to minister to them. Inmate missionary programs have spread to other prisons in the state with inmates traveling to speak at other prisons. Currently the prison has over 1,500 Christians among inmates. Violent gangs have been transformed into gangs of pastors ministering to other inmates. Visitors to the prison are greeted by these words at the gate: “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,” (Philippians 3:13). A hospice program has been set up by inmates to treat and comfort the sick and dying. There is a new dignity to the prison funeral services: cardboard boxes have been replaced by wooden caskets made by inmates. The late wife of world evangelist, Billy Graham, was buried in a casket made at Angola prison. Dr. Graham’s own casket will also be made by the same inmates. No more catcalls are heard when female visitors enter the prison, no matter how attractive. Bible verses have replaced the blood stains on the walls and Bibles are everywhere. Inside the death chamber, on two adjacent walls, are two paintings, one about Daniel in the lions’ den. The other about Elijah ascending to heaven in a chariot of fire. I will let you meditate on the implications of these paintings. Suffice it to say that since Jesus was introduced into the institution, the ambience has changed tremendously. Surprisingly, prisoners are among the population groups Jesus wants us to have compassion for (Matthew 25:43) and Cain is doing just that and more…God accomplishes spectacular things through willing ordinary people. Please check this out as well: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k
The cosmetics and dietary industries incessantly bombard us with messages about how to look younger and enjoy a vibrant life and live a longer by procuring and utilizing their products. Marketers of novel dietary trends and latest fitness fads are constantly waving their products in front of us, urging us to take up the challenge to buy them and live longer. In our desperate attempt to lengthen our life expectancy some of us have succumbed to the pressure only to be told a few years down the road that some of those products were detrimental to health. However, researchers have recently stumbled upon a much safer and less expensive secret for longevity. It is called love. Science claims that being involved in a social relationship is a predictor of 50% longevity. However, most of the benefits of this virtue are dependent on our attitude toward those relationships. Most people are concerned about finding someone to love them. But this research posits that we draw the greatest benefits not in receiving love but in giving love. For example, volunteering to do good for others out of love without expecting any form of acknowledgment or reward was found to be positively associated with longevity in a research study by Konrath of University of Michigan. A later study by Hoge et. al (2013) demonstrated that generating thoughts of love toward others and thoughts of benevolence on regular basis reduces cellular aging (telomere length) considerably. Disseminating love in a manner that enriches the target of that love is linked to mental well-being and physical health. This can even speed up our recovery from illness because of its ability to buffer us from the ravages of stress, and to promote in us a positive outlook to life. Another benefit of loving others is that it strengthens our immune system. The genes that are impacted by our social relationships and love have been found to code for the functions of the immune system and inflammation.
The Bible instructs us to “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord,” (Leviticus 19:18).
Jesus reiterated this instruction when He said “The second [commandment] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:31).
Loving others is a win-win situation.
Read more about this in the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya on Amazon.com
Everybody craves a long life. It is a universal desire. Nutritionists, dieticians, public health professionals and biomedical experts all have tips which they share with us about how to live longer. One such tip is fasting, intermittently. Scientists have conducted a plethora of studies both in animal models and human beings that have demonstrated that a strict diet is associated with a relatively longer life. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the Federal Government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that what you eat and how often you eat it can affect not only the quality of your life but the length of it. The results of the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) research study revealed that overweight participants who reduced their caloric consumption by 20% to 30% through a supervised type of fasting and calorie restriction were able to lower their fasting insulin levels and core body temperature. These changes are positively associated with longevity. The genes that are responsible for aging are concentrated in the fasting-induced upregulated genes, according to a separate 2013 study by Uno et. al. In this study, geneticists analyzed the promoter regions of selected genes as a way of identifying transcription factors responsible for fasting-induced transcriptional changes and thus intermittent-fasting induced longevity. The findings indicated that a significant portion of these genes began to be upregulated within a period of 6 to 9 hours of fasting. In a nutshell, the findings confirmed that the 48 hour fasting period had a greater capacity to extend life span than a 24 hour fasting.
In the Old Testament God commanded the nation of Israel to observe several fasting periods. In the New Testament fasting is neither forbidden nor commanded. Although they were not commanded to do so, most early Christians practiced prayer and fasting often. Jesus Himself confirmed that after His departure His disciples would find fasting a necessity. Fasting has been found to have both spiritual and medical benefits. God had not only our spiritual well-being in mind when he gave us instructions on how to conduct ourselves during our brief pilgrimage on earth. His counsel to us is for our own well-being and it stands firm forever.
“You shall have a place outside the camp and you shall go out to it; and you shall have a paddle with you; and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it, and turn back and cover up your excrement,” (Deuteronomy 23:12-13).
Waste management has become a global problem of significant proportions. The United States alone produces approximately 210 million tons of municipal solid garbage, annually. A safe and healthy waste management system is a public health imperative and a responsibility of all mankind in all societies. Hazardous waste in the form of liquids, solids, sludges as well as gases can wreak havoc to general health and well-being. Hazardous waste can also take the form of discarded pesticides and cleaning materials. An inadequate waste management system can undermine health in numerous ways. For example, we are told that the unsanitary and deplorably filthy conditions of 17th century cities became breeding grounds for flies and other vectors that transmit pathogens to human beings. Because there was no comprehensive sanitation system in place, excrement, urine and garbage lay exposed all over in streets. In the 19th century, cholera and other infectious diseases ravaged Europe simultaneously for the same reason. In the 21st century, in some countries intestinal nematode infections such as ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm transmitted through soil contaminated by fecal matter are endemic due to lack of proper waste management systems. With the re-emergence of dangerously infectious diseases, medical waste has become hazardous. The World Health Organization is frantically trying to urge governments in various nations to design and implement comprehensive waste management systems. Still, a lot of people are dying from preventable diseases whose etiology stems from poor waste management.
A close examination of biblical laws concerning cleanliness, washing, and other forms of hygiene practices reveal to us that they were not merely ceremonial rituals. These laws were given to Israel to protect people from infectious diseases, contagious diseases, plagues and chronic diseases. Over three millennia ago, God gave Israel one of the fundamental principles for safeguarding their health in the biblical text quoted above. This was a comprehensive law that, from a public health perspective, addressed hygiene, environmental pollution and sanitation. If properly applied, universally, this law could contribute significantly to a global reduction in the burden of infectious diseases. This law laid the groundwork for modern sanitary laws and waste management. Learn more from the book, The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya from Amazon.com
The human body contains trillions of different types of cells performing an assortment of functions. For example, muscle cells manufacture energy for movement; bone cells make up the skeleton of vertebrates; red blood cells course through the blood taking food and oxygen to other cells, and fat cells store up energy and fat. Fat cells also control levels of free fatty acids in the bloodstream. Cells come in different sizes and shapes. The longest cell in the human body is called a motor cell which extends from the lower spinal cord all the way to the big toe. It can be up to 4.5 feet in length. Cells produce other cells in a continuous process of cell division. Every time a cell divides DNA re-forms itself. All these cells function in a conscious and coordinated manner to sustain the function of the body. Altogether the human body has 200 different types of cells.
Sadly, a situation can arise in which a cell might rebel and refuse to perform its programmed functions. For example, if a fat cell rebels, it begins to hoard its fat reserves and neglects the needs of the body for energy. It starts to grow exponentially and as it divides it produces daughter cells after its likeness-rebellious and self-serving. Soon a tumor begins to develop, threatening the well-being of the entire organism. Nutritionists claim that most cancers can be prevented by proper nutrition and pure filtered water. They propose a liberal consumption of plant foods such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables which act as inhibitors of the proliferation of cancer while at the same time strengthening, cleansing and repairing the body.
The community of believers, can learn quite a bit from the behavior of our body cells. Ours is a mosaic community composed of a variety of members hailing from diverse backgrounds, professions, ethnic groups and races, forming one body: the Body of Christ. However, if some members of the Body of Christ adopt the unfortunate stance of the fat cells described above and rebel against the Body; if they start utilizing their abilities for their benefit only, a spiritual tumor can easily develop and spread to other parts of the Body, crippling and stunting growth. Some of these spiritual tumors can grow so large that they can develop into cults with devastating consequences. To combat this, the community of believers has been endowed with different specializations and unique abilities which we call spiritual gifts. These are sources of the needed edification for the Body of the Lord. They also provide it with the necessary spiritual nutrition which, in turn, inhibits and prevents the formation of spiritual cancer cells. Check this out: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k
It is no exaggeration to say that humor is highly infectious-even more infectious than a cold. Actually, humor is not only infectious, it is contagious. The sound of a hearty roaring laughter automatically makes us smile even when we have no clue what the person might be laughing at. Laughter has a way of binding us together-sharing in each other’s happiness. Health-wise, laughter has physiological and psychological health outcomes. For example, it fortifies our immune system. It reduces stress levels and pain. It also decreases inter-personal and intra-personal conflict. Interventional scientific studies affirm the preventive and therapeutic properties of spontaneous laughter.
Laughter has been found to have positive effects on the following:
- Blood Pressure: When a person has a hearty laugh, initially their blood pressure rises, but then it immediately falls to levels below normal, and levels off to normal levels.
- Hormones: Science claims that laughter is associated with reduction of four neuro-endocrine hormones that are associated with stress. These hormones are epinephrine, cortisol, dopamine, and growth hormone.
- Immune system: Findings of studies by Leek Berk of Loma Linda University claim that laughter strengthens the immune system and increases infection-fighting antibodies.
- Brain Function: Hearty laughter stimulates both sides of the brain and keeps the brain alert, which in turn enhances learning and information retention.
- The Heart: According to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center, laughter can help protect against heart attack.
- A Good Workout: Laughter is said to be equivalent to internal jogging. William Fry, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, claims that one minute of laughter is equal to ten minutes on the rowing machine.
- Mental and Emotional Health: Our moods are elevated when we find humor in difficult situations.
Is it any wonder then that the Bible asserts that “A merry heart does good, like medicine,” (Proverbs 17:22). Again the Bible has proved to be millennia ahead of science in health promoting principles.
Learn more about biblical health principles from The Perfect Prescription from Amazon.com
Also check this out: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k