Month: May 2014

Sleep Disorder-An Epidemic Gathering Momentum!

Recently scientists’ interest has been directed toward the neurobiology of sleep and wakefulness, among other things. Although the two phenomena seem to be somewhat inter-related they still exhibit distinct differences in the neurochemical systems that are involved in their functions. Sleep-wake disorder is becoming one of the most commonly reported health disorders in the United States. Currently, the prevalence of sleep-wake disorders is between 50 to 70 million in the United States alone. At global level sleep disorders constitute an epidemic that affects 45% of the world population. It is no wonder that research is increasingly being directed toward the neurophysiology of sleep and wakefulness in order to try and understand the mechanisms that are involved in regulating these behaviors. The potential roles played by pathways, transmitters as well as receptors is being rigorous examined and analyzed by scientists. One of the components of the sleep-wake regulatory process is the influence exerted by the circadian rhythm. Scientists have discovered that the sleep structure of an individual is mediated by the interaction between circadian and the sleep-wake-dependent oscillatory processes. The circadian pacemaker is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus or the SCN which functions as the motor that drives the circadian program. As such it is known as the brain’s master clock. Any damage to the SCN, particularly damage in the form of lesions of the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT) of the SCN can significantly throw off the sleep pattern of the organism involved. A healthy circadian rhythm gives the organism the necessary flexibility to adapt to environmental fluctuations as well as to physiological cycles of environmental cues. This is what establishes the pattern of sleep-wakefulness that is optimum for the organism’s health needs. There have been claims that the disruption of the circadian rhythm may be linked to a myriad of diseases that include DNA damage responses and abnormal cellular metabolism because scientists posit that specific genes that control the circadian rhythm interact significantly with regulators of the cell cycle. Such types of physiological damages may require the affected individual to seek biomedical evaluation and treatment regimens.
Other times though, insomnia can be caused by spiritual problems. Believers should accept sleep as a gift from God. This is not to say one should live to sleep for the Bible itself cautions us against loving too much sleep because it leads to poverty (Proverbs 20:13). However, it also cautions against depriving ourselves of healthy sleep. There are individuals who feel guilty about sleeping because they believe it takes away the time they need to push themselves to achieve their goals. For such people this is what the Word of God says “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat, for he grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2). A concerted of spiritual leaders and biomedical experts can provide the necessary care and restore a healthy sleep pattern.

To learn more about what the Bible says about your health, get yourself a copy of The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya from Amazon.com

Rest In Peace Courageous One

Maya Angelou, forever in our hearts.

GYA today

Maya

photo credit: unknown

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The Bible: Relic or Treasure? Part II

Daniel Duffs conducted a cohesive research on the topic, “The Study of the Bible as an Effective Tool for Academic Success” in which he synthesized other researchers’ findings about the same topic. Clearly the Bible has emerged as one of the most puissant forces in the world. People have used it to further some twisted agendas. But others have also used it to counter those same twisted agendas. The bequest of the Judeo-Christian tenets continues to be the scaffold on which most moral decisions in the lives of millions of people across the world stand. Some social scientists insist that the salient teachings of the Bible continue to have a great influence on the behavioral choices of most people across cultures. It is also claimed that students who study the Bible have the highest GPA and the most improved behavior. In 2010 William Jeynes also conducted a meta-analysis of previous research studies with the aim of assessing the relationship between Bible literacy and behavioral and academic outcomes among individuals living in urban areas. He used three research questions to guide the study. The first research question about conducting an analysis that included determining effect sizes for the Bible literacy variable from all relevant studies that examined either behavioral or academic outcomes. The second research question was about examining and analyzing the relationship between Bible literacy and behavioral outcomes. The third research question was on the relationship between Bible literacy and academic performance. The number of participants in the studies that qualified for this meta-analysis was 50,000. Jeynes adopted a weighting procedure to calculate the average effect size across all the variables of comparison and then calculated the 95% confidence intervals.
The results of the effect size were as follows: The effect size for Bible literacy as related to research question number 1 (the relationship between Bible literacy and behavioral and academic outcomes) was .33. The effect size for research question number 2 (association between Bible literacy and behavioral outcomes achievement) was .32. Research question 3 analyzed the relationship between Bible literacy and academic performance. This effect size, .73, was greater than the one found in research questions 1 and 2. Overall, the results of this meta-analysis indicate that Bible literacy is associated with positive behavior as well as academic performance. The Bible is a mine of wisdom. Therefore, it should not surprise us that individuals who have significant Bible literacy should demonstrate remarkable behavioral outcomes. The believer knows that he/she is created for a purpose, and that God is the only One who can empower his/her brain to decode and accomplish that purpose. Although most scientists and indeed lay people liken the brain to a computer there is nothing that has been made by a human being that can match the intricacies of the human brain with its 200 billion cells that communicate with each other through trillions of synapses to guide the activities and responses of the entire human body! Marian Diamond, a brain researcher and professor of neuro-anatomy at the University of California at Berkley claims that “This mass of protoplasm has the capacity to think and classify information in the memory beyond what man can understand…No other organ can store more information for 100 years to the degree the brain can. With the intricacies and original creation of ideas that come from the human brain, it is unquestionably the most esoteric functional mass of Earth,” (Hopson, 1985, pp. 22). “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” (John 6:63). The Word of God revitalizes the intellect of the believer every time it is studied by imparting fresh life to it.

To learn more about the overall benefits of biblical principles, get a copy of the Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya from amazon.com

 

John 6:41-42 (Reputations)

Next time you want to label someone according to what they did or what happened to them you might just want to pause and think again.

THE RIVER WALK

bunkbed

Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” (John 6:41-42)

Read: Psalms 68 – 70, 86, 101

Relate: I was in seventh grade when for the first time I went to a retreat exclusively for pastor’s kids. In time this retreat would be one of the highlights of my year and some of those friendships I would develop would be some of the deepest and richest throughout my highschool years and beyond. But that first year was rough. It all started that first night. It was in a room with Will (now the pastor at Two Rivers Assembly) David (now the District Youth Director here in New York) and myself (forever overshadowed…

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The Bible: Relic or Treasure? Part I

Administrators and other authorities in academia continue to conduct research aimed at finding viable techniques that can be applied as tools to improve students’ academic performance. One research study’s findings revealed that there is a significant association between religiosity and academic performance. Although the Bible is fast being relegated to the background as an archaic book whose reliability is fast becoming questionable, it is impossible to study the history of modern civilization without encountering its principles in the documents the govern myriad polities of our time. Sometimes these principles have been etched into stone at the entrance of public buildings. Other times they have graced the units of our currency. Furthermore, these principles function as scaffolds of some of the world’s greatest legislative and judicial systems. For example, the influence of the Bible on the Constitution of the United States is unequivocal and this same Constitution has served as a model for 175 constitutions of other nations around the world! The Bible has even shaped some of the idioms incorporated in everyday verbal exchanges. Listen to what Charles McGrath, a former atheist editor of the New York Times had to say in 2011 about the historical place and influence of the Bible in the United States: “The influence of the King James Bible is so great that the list of idioms from it that have slipped into everyday speech, taking such deep root that we use them all the time without any awareness of their biblical origin, is practically endless: sour grapes; fatted calf; salt of the earth; drop in a bucket; skin of one’s teeth; apple of one’s eye; girded loins; feet of clay; whited sepulchers; filthy lucre; pearls before swine; fly in the ointment; fight the good fight; eat, drink and be merry.” A study of randomly selected students showed that students who had “the highest level of Bible literacy also had the highest GPA, the highest ranking in test and grade results, and the best school behavior…” (Jeynes, 2009). Conversely, students who had the lowest Bible literacy had significantly lower grades and worse behavioral traits than their counterparts. Is it the Bible that is archaic or maybe as William Lane Craig aptly puts it, it is just that there is a need to present biblical tenets in a manner that fosters “a cultural milieu in which the gospel can be heard as a viable option for thinking people”?

To read more about the Bible and its influence in everyday life get a copy of the book, The Perfect Prescription, from amazon.com

 

John 6:28-29 (Great Works)

Immanuel-God with us-God with me.

THE RIVER WALK

Power of God

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

Read: Psalms 22 – 26

Relate: What was God’s greatest miracle? To put it another way, when was God at His greatest? There are so many great and awesome things to chose from, which one resonates the most with you? Some might say it was at Creation. Think of the size and immensity of the stars. Trillions upon trillions of the things spread out over light years adding up to numbers and speeds that the mind cannot comprehend. All of this spoken with a word. Tens of thousands of species of animals, birds, fish, and insects. Diversity and creativity and beauty beyond compare. It was all created from nothing from a few simple words. There are…

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Pitting Science against Christianity???

This is one of my favorite topics. As the challenge against Christianity is gathering momentum so does my desire to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in” me…(1 Peter 3:15). I firmly concur with Erwin Schrodinger who posits:
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very different. Sure, it gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of the beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity: Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.
At creation God’s input was informational: He spoke and it stood fast,” (Ps. 33:9). No other being can or has ever done that! Judging by the way it is fine-tuned this universe, God’s creation, is nothing other than a product of a divinely intelligent mind not a random, serendipitous occurrence.
Science does not contradict Scripture, per se. But it is some scientists who insist on attempting to pit science against Scripture. However, the fact that man can do science confirms that God exists. Professor Lennox argues that “…the entire enterprise of science – a created system of material governed by mathematically predictable laws – gives clear evidence that some kind of divine intelligence or mind best explains the rational intelligibility of the universe.” To raise a question such as “Who created God?”, as Professor Lennox further asserts, is to assume that one is indeed talking about a created God who, of course, is not the God Scripture talks about. Concerning this One the Bible says “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God, (Ps. 90:2). Besides, those who expect Christians to account for where God came from must show that they can account for where the universe came from, and they should also account for the rationality that lies behind scientific axioms.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him. Without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…..” (John 1: 1-5.
This light continues to shine on…..