Month: April 2014

A Prayer of Purpose

Reblog from The Life Project

TLP

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Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

The author of Hebrews is now in the final part of the letter, and he opens it with a prayer of purpose.  Let’s take a closer look, for it is quite instructive.

Our God is identified as the God of peace, something we might want to keep in mind, and then goes on to an interesting statement that has a way of summarizing the letter. “The blood of the eternal covenant” is a reminder that God has committed Himself to the New Covenant and its promises.  Notice that…

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gradual freedom from habit

Re-blogged from The Hunt For Truth

the Hunt for Truth

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Creating Stability of Mind and Finding Liberation…

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It’s not what’s happening that’s important.
What’s important is our relationship to what’s happening

~Joseph Goldstein

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Joseph Goldstein forged by leading insight loving-kindness meditation retreats worldwide beginning in 1974. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. I really enjoy listening to Goldstein’s calm voice and strong insights. I decided to feature two of his talks today.

Before taking up with myself a path of deepening spiritual awareness, I was blessed to discover a lot about myself and others by family life, in my career and then via activities in my personal living. Life took its course for me more by happenstance it seems though than by directions for living that I could count upon. I had a vision one day and awakening to divine purpose then became…

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Spring – my favorite

This is a re-blog from The Hunt for Truth

the Hunt for Truth

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I love artistic expression…
so, today, I have some time and
I want to share some images of Springtime.

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Amy Pearce of www.herartfromtheattic.blogspot.com teaches you how to paint magnolias in this fast and easy step by step tutorial. You can use either acrylic or oil paint. If you use oil paint– you will need to wait longer in between layering for paint to dry. See other of Amy’s art tutorials and paintings on her YouTube channel. You can also visit her website at www.herartfromtheattic.blogspot.com

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Spring Posts I LikedToday, is a beautiful day…
I have appreciation for the Spring season.

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The Enkindled Spring
by D. H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit…

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On Indivisibility of Individuals in Therapeutic Regimens

We all know that some medications that are of great efficacy in some people might have no effect on other people with the same disease. Other people might even experience adverse reactions to the same drug or medication that works wonders for another person with the same illness. Molecular and biomedical scientists claim that Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) might be associated with the absorbance and clearance of therapeutic agents. Currently, there seems to be no way of predicting or determining how a particular patient will respond to a certain medication or drug. It is almost a hit and miss situation. Only retrospectively, that is, by studying patient information from previous treatment can a health care provider know how the patient responds to certain medications. No single health provider can predictor with accuracy that the patient before him will experience an adverse immunologic reaction to a particular drug. It is hoped that using SNPs to study the genetics of drug responses will help in the creation of “personalized” medicine. The response of a patient to a drug is linked to common genetic variations in the genes. Individualized medication is gaining momentum in biomedicine.
The individuality or indivisibility of each human being (the individual) is the foundation upon which individualized treatment is based in both the natural realm and the spiritual realm. Biomedicine is following fast on the heels of religion as far as individualized therapeutic approaches are concerned. In the spiritual realm, each human being carries the Imago Dei (Image of God) with a distinct individuality. Mankind exudes organic unity. Each one of us is an indivisible unity of body, soul and spirit dependent upon God for sustenance. To honor our individuality, God deals with each one of us using unique individualized approaches. As such, we are not surprised when Jesus uses mud to open the eyes of one person (John 9: 6-7) and uses only His word for the other (Mark 10: 46-52) for the same physical health problem. When dealing with spiritual maladies, He scathingly rebuked the religious leaders for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23) and gently cautions the woman caught in adultery not to continue in her questionable ways (John 8: 1-11). Each person’s experience with Him is sacred and irreplicable although we can draw important lessons from it. The only variable that serves as a common denominator, equally extended to all of us is His amazing love.

 

What Happened To The Guards Of Jesus Burial Site?????

Reblog from Levi’s Daily Thoughts

Sickle Cell Disease-A Blessing in Disguise???

Malaria parasites cause significant morbidity and mortality in their human hosts in areas where it is endemic. The disease’s virulence is dependent largely on the rate of transmission of the parasites. Several factors that contribute significantly to the pathologic characteristics of severe malaria include cytoadherence, which is the adhesion of late-stage-infected erythrocytes to various receptors such as the intercellular adhesion molecule–1 on the vascular endothelium, chondroitin sulfate A in the placenta, and complement receptor (CR)–1 on red blood cells (RBCs; also called “rosetting”). All this leads to microvascular obstructions in various organs.
During the process of intracellular infection of the erythrocytes, the malaria parasites stay in vacuoles. From the vacuoles they export many proteins in the host cell. These protein secretions play a significant role in the level of the virulence of the Plasmodium parasite so that in some individuals malaria episodes progress to severe life-threatening levels. However, amazingly, there are some cases in which these episodes can be self-limiting. This happens mainly because of host genetic factors such as the sickle cell gene.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sickle cell gene is caused by a mutation in the single amino acid (valine instead of glutamate at the 6th position) in the beta chain of the hemoglobin gene. Inheriting this mutated gene from both parents can lead to sickle cell disease. Individuals who have this disease tend to have shorter life expectancy. However, those people who are carriers for the sickle cell disease (with one sickle gene and one normal hemoglobin gene, also known as sickle cell trait) tend to have a protective advantage against malaria disease. This is the reason why the frequencies of sickle cell carriers are high in malaria-endemic areas.
Morbidity and mortality entered the world through sin. But God’s grace is amazing!! He even turns adversarial events and situations into building blocks that mitigate the impact of disease among His children.

Learn more about God’s power over disease from the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya from Amazon.com

 

 

 

Of Epigenetics and Development of Sanitation and Your Health

It is not only genes that give us a predisposition to various diseases. But our environment as well. The role played by the environment in the etiology of disease is known as epigenetics. Epigenetics is associated with modifications to genes rather than changes to our DNA sequence. Epigenetics is also reported to have the capacity to switch certain genes on and off, thus significantly impacting health outcomes because if the genes that need to remain healthy and vibrant are switched off then adverse health outcomes can certainly ensue. The environment effects are mediated through gene expression. For example, the effects that gene-environment interaction might have on say, mental health, are not only common but they are consequential as well because all organisms do not respond to their environmental change in the same manner. This trait known as within-species variation in response to environmental change involves differences in the genetic endowment of each individual organism.
One disease that is best understood through the study of epigenetics is cancer. Scientists at Sydney’s Garvan Institute indicated that they had identified an epigenetic process which is linked to breast cancer. A comparison of malignant cells with normal cells revealed that the cancer-fighting gene, P16, had been turned off in the malignant cells via a process known as DNA methylation. Scientists are hopeful that it might be possible, in the future, to reverse epigenetic changes linked to cancer, a process that is not possible in genetics.
This is how epigenetics affects our health: During the early developmental stage it is possible for epigenetic marks to pass from parent to the offspring in a manner that completely bypasses the egg and sperm, and avoids the epigenetic purging that happens during early development. This means that inheritance does not only happen through the DNA from the parents, but that the experiences of the parent in the form of epigenetic tags can also be passed down to succeeding generations, also as a form of inheritance. The implications of such occurrences for public health include the fact that there will be need to act quickly as far as implementing intervention programs where there are environmental threats to health in order to prevent widespread epigenetic changes. This branch of genetics is still being widely researched.
God commanded ancient Israel to keep their environment clean. It was not only good stewardship with spiritual benefits, but good environmental and social responsibility as well as sound sanitary habits for enhancing optimum health (Deuteronomy 23: 12). When the environment is polluted in any manner, our health gets polluted as well.

Learn more about your health from the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya from Amazon.com

 

C. S. Lewis and Evolution

Reblogged from The Hunt For Truth

the Hunt for Truth

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C.S. Lewis and Evolution” is the second of three short documentaries inspired by the book The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society. It examines the evolution of Lewis’s views on orthodox Darwinian theory from his time as a college undergraduate to his death in 1963.

Lewis’s first exception to human evolution was his insistence on an actual Fall of Man from an original state of innocence. The creation story (orcosmogonical myths) is similar in ancient cultures. In these, it is suggested that there was a finished creation from which we were fallen into sin, and therefore, we needed a divine presence to restore us to what God had originally created us to be. Lewis emphasized that man prior to the Fall had unimpeded fellowship with God. 

At his time, archaeological discoveries could not tell us whether prehistoric peoples were kind, or courageous, or noble, or just. Nor do…

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J.I. Packer On Our Battle With Pride

Reblogged from Levi’s Daily Thoughts

Spiritual Implications of the Malady of Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is not of God. It is an insidious condition that tends to stealthily encroach upon our mind, particularly as we age. The enemy can use forgetfulness to actualize his ploys against us. Deep sermons that touch the very core of our being are often in danger of being relegated to the dusty trails of antiquity due to failing memory. The precious memory verses we recited enthusiastically in childhood have grown obscure and almost hollow! I am speaking here not about the forgetfulness that is disease-induced, but that which is natural. This type can be prevented or mitigated by diet, natural supplements and ongoing learning and challenging the mind.
God freed ancient Israel from the iron grip of the most powerful empire of that era under Pharaoh, attended by a series of incredible miracles- the plagues that devastated the Egyptian economy and annihilated an entire generation of people (Egypt’s first born population group). They partook of the Passover- a signature ceremony of their new nationhood and spiritual separateness from the rest of the world. They crossed in the middle of a huge body of water (the Red Sea) on dry ground while Pharaoh’s army was decimated during an attempt to recapture them. Then they celebrated their total freedom on the other side of the Red Sea. But three days into the journey they had forgotten all this and complained about lack of drinking water. God gave them water to drink. Shortly afterwards they complained about their diet and selectively longed for the Egyptian dietary system. They had already forgotten about the whips that had torn their backs at the hands of their taskmasters. They had also forgotten how God had literally contended with Pharaoh’s stubbornness and brought him to his knees. Then they faced the Amalekites in war and God delivered them. They buckle in rebellion at the prospect of possessing the Promised Land after the report from some ten spies reveals that the land is occupied by giants, forgetting how God had delivered them in the past! Inevitably, a series of judgments ensue. Finally, after 40 years of wondering in the wilderness, they are standing on the brink of the Promised Land, yet again- a complete new generation, in the plains of Moab. Moses sternly cautions them in Deuteronomy 4:9 to “Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” But this is precisely what happens later. An unhealthy spiritual see-saw pattern develops in their relationship with God: forgetting the Lord their God and being harassed and defeated by enemy nations; remembering Him again and appealing to His mercy; being delivered yet again; forgetting once more, being defeated; remembering…until the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations.

After the Babylonian captivity God is made manifest in the flesh in Christ Jesus to urge all believers “This do in remembrance of Me…” But the tendency to forget continues amid the echoes of this ardent appeal. The consequences are negative spiritual, emotional and physical health outcomes that extend to our day. Only by remembering the counsel from our Creator can we be made whole again.