children

The Cross-Our Adoption Center

Most of us are familiar with the words orphan and adoption.  Moreover, some of us are either orphans ourselves or we know someone who is an orphan. Orphanhood is often characterized by trauma, vulnerability, emotional distress, and material lack. The loss of a parent is a terrible blow at every stage in life. However, the blow is more severe when its victim is a minor and has to rely on other people for sustenance and other essentials of life. Orphanhood disrupts the very foundation of the child’s existence and wellbeing so severely that it can completely alter the entire course of its life. Inexplicable cords of affection and love unconsciously and deeply entwine parents’ and children’s hearts to each other. Parents provide a most intimate context for nurturing their offspring with unconditional love, psychological security, and material sustenance. Orphanhood robs the child of all this. Abigail Eaton- Master, a psychotherapist, claims that a parent’s bond with a child is so deep that it can help them sense when the offspring is in danger. When this bond is severed by the death of the parent, the effects can be catastrophic for the child. According to UNICEF, there are about 140 million orphans worldwide. Orphanhood leaves in its wake children beleaguered with anxiety, uncertainty, and despair. This why many people, both believers and non-believers, have committed themselves to care for orphans often through adoption. They endeavor to mitigate the intensity of the plight of orphanhood by assuming the role of surrogate parenthood.

However, as grim and heart-rending as the loss of biological parents maybe, nothing compares to spiritual orphanhood, which can shatter all prospects of the life to come. In The Fall of Man, humanity was severed and alienated from God, its source of life. Whatever is severed from its source of life dies. A collective death sentence was pronounced on all humanity that day in Adam and Eve.  The curse of death spread to all succeeding generations because we were all in Adam’s loins in Eden. We became estranged from God. The God-shaped place in us turned away to pursue the enemy so that sin became strangely appealing. We self-orphaned ourselves by listening to the Enemy who claimed (and still does) to know more about what was best for the human race than God who created us in His image, and subsequently became one of us Himself in Christ, literally.

After humanity’s isolation from God, anarchy reigned supreme. Murder, theft, envy, moral decadence, and all sorts of despicable vices gripped the human heart, making it desperately vile and wicked. People flagrantly defied God and followed the inclinations of their hearts to glamorize and lust after the profane and to ridicule and scorn the sacred. Evil became unrestrained and gained momentum with each succeeding generation. Senseless killings that started with domestic homicide (Cain vs Able), hatred, rage, and many other forms of wickedness have increased to stunning proportions. Futile human laws have been enacted to harness the appalling depravity of human nature to no avail. A self-orphaned humanity has been strangely contented to bask in its self-inflicted spiritual squalor.

Fortunately, the grace of God transcends human rebellion and sinfulness. In His self-expending love, God became one with us to lead us to a place where could once again experience unmitigated familial love and care and protection. In the cross of Christ, you and I have the privilege of being adopted into the family of God. We are no longer aliens or strangers, but members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). We can come back home. This time forever. We arrive at the cross broken, homeless, sick, and mutilated by sin’s vicious blows, and cuts to the soul. Although outwardly, the world might view us as decent human beings who “have it together,” that is just a façade.  Here is how the Bible describes our orphan status: As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born (Ezekiel 16 4-6, NKJV.

Rejected and cast out and exposed to the elements, we wallowed in our own filth in a deplorable condition. But moved with compassion, God in Christ, adopted us. He deliberately chose you and I to become His eternal children. The cross of Christ is the place where adoption takes place as we are crucified together with Him to this natural world and are raised with Him as God’s children with all the privileges that come with being His children including knowing Him as Abba! Father,” (Romans 8:15). The cross swings open the doors to a new and eternal familial existence. We become brothers and sisters with the rest of the human family with Jesus Christ as our Older Brother (Hebrews 2:11). God loves you and I the way He loves Jesus. As God’s children we receive corporate sonship and become a corporate bride for Christ. Jesus wrote our adoption papers and signed them with His own blood. Satan has no longer any legal claim to them who are in Christ; to you and I.  As adopted children, we are chosen children, desired by the adoptive parent. Being adopted is to enter into a new existence, another world. It is to be close to our God.

Adoption is not an easy task for the adoptive parents. Much soul-searching and reflection goes into the decision to adopt a human being into a family. This is an undertaking for compassionate and courageous people. Often times, the child is adopted because of their problematic situation, and the adoptive parent’s desire is to alleviate the suffering associated with that situation. Similarly, God saw the abject degradation of humanity and unfolded His age-old plan to adopt us in Christ. Adoption is not cheap. The adoptive parents bear the cost of ensuring that the adopted child’s comfort and general well-being are met. They give the child their name and are responsible for it until they die. It cost Jesus His own life to seal our adoption.  He emptied Himself for your sake and mine. Next time you doubt your self-worth, take time to reflect on the cost of adopting you into the family of God. That’s how special you and I are to Him whose opinion of us is the only one that matters, ultimately.

 

 

Young Adult Faith Attrition Crisis: What the Church and Family Can Do

In a global culture that is fast becoming secularized and hostile to religion and the Christian faith in particular, the church has a responsibility to prepare its congregants and especially its children and young adults for Christian apologetics. Apologetics is merely giving a reason and justifying one’s faith. This will not only ground them in the faith and equip them to have an objective foundation for their faith, it will also help them give an answer to everyone who asks them a reason for their hope, particularly as they enter faith war-zones in colleges and universities. Without this foundation, our kids are likely to take books like the Da Vinci Code and mistake them for truth. Most young adults lose their faith in colleges and the main reason they give is that they find Christianity to be “intellectually shallow” (attrition statistics vary, but they should be of concern us). This is why it is important to have a concerted effort between the church and the home, the family, to take steps together to familiarize our children with the ideas that will challenge their faith before sending them out as sheep among wolves, as it were. They need to be aware of the tests they will encounter regarding their faith and learn how to intellectually (and spiritually) engage and interact with those who ridicule their faith without flinching or feeling idiotic. You cannot defend what you do not know. Apologetics answers objections to the faith and builds the faith and intellectual inquiry of the defender. If we neglect this, we will have abdicated our responsibility and in our place will arise “another generation …, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done …” (Joshua 2:10 KJV). This is the time to take seriously the command that “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul… And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 11:18,19 KJV). It is no longer enough to merely raise good boys and girls. We must prepare them to fight the good fight of faith; to be confident men and women, rooted and grounded in their faith. We must pass on a bright torch to our children, not one dimmed by uncertainty, retreat and hesitancy otherwise our children will end up with a distorted view of Christianity. The battle for people’s souls is raging and it will only intensify with time. Apologetics should be part of regular sermons and weekly Bible studies. It should even be part of children’s story time. Children should understand Jesus is a Person. He is not a myth. His historicity is as axiomatic as that of Alexander the Great. Parents should study hard to keep their children in the faith. Praying for them fervently and teaching them how to study their Bibles and draw life-applications from them. Allow your children to ask the questions they are wrestling with. Let them explain to you what salvation means to them. Help them understand that evolution has not debunked the existence of God. Let them understand that science is not against God, but rather explains what God has already made. They should know that there is nothing wrong with faith. The atheist uses it when he or she claims that the universe is their creator or that life sprang from some primordial soup. They were not there to witness the process. Therefore, they are relying on faith that it happened as they believe it did. Christians believe that God created the heavens and the earth. They were not there to witness the creation, but they believe it. Both sided have faith. It is just a matter of where one chooses to place it. Faith is not credulity. That is why the apostle John indicates that “These things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God” (John). The things John is talking about are the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of the eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the church continues to bury its head in the sand, this is what atheists vow to do to our children when they enter college: “we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own…we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization….So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable…” [1]. Apologetics is not a new phenomenon. Jesus faced the Sadducees and defended His reason for believing in the resurrection which they were trying to repudiate. This is not to advocate that Christian students should enter college to fight with those who challenge their faith, but that they should be confident of being able to withstand attacks on what they believe without flinching or feeling intellectually shallow. Alvin Plantinga, a Christian Philosopher said, “The contemporary Western intellectual world is a battleground or arena in which rages a battle for men’s souls,” [2].
Sources
[1]. ‘Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics, pp. 21-22.

[2] Ratio Christi (2016). Are Christian Students Really Ridiculed and Humiliated? Accessed from http://ratiochristi.org/about-us/why-important

http://www.wmturls.com/pp

 

Stigmatized, Yet Favored

The Bible says of Leah that she had weak eyes (Genesis 29:17, ESV), a form of physical disability. Apparently, there had been a genetic mistake, a mutation in the process of transmission of life to her, which left a noticeable effect on her phenotype. But her younger sister is said to have been so beautiful in form and appearance that she immediately caught the attention of Jacob, the new addition to their family. Jacob was the son of Rebekah, their father’s sister. He had fled from the wrath of his twin brother, Esau, after defrauding him of his blessing. Within one month of his arrival, Jacob asked Laban for Rachel’s hand in marriage. The dowry for her was 7 years of labor, but at the end of the 7 years, Laban substituted Leah for Rachel, and Jacob had to work another 7 years for Rachel.
Jacob hated Leah and loved Rachel obviously because Rachel was more beautiful than her older sister. Leah deeply felt the pain and frustration of living with a man who preferred another woman to her. Even the names she gave her sons demonstrate her anguish and agony. There was no affection for her. Their marriage was loveless from the beginning. Leah lived under the shadow of her sister as a woman resented by her husband.
Things have not changed much since then. The World Health Organization statistics of 2011 indicate that there are currently more than one billion people, worldwide, who are living with one form of disability or another. That is about 15% of the entire global population. In most societies, disability is associated with stigma. Disabled people have limited access to healthcare and education, which could help them overcome some of the limitations associated with their disability. The lives of individuals with disabilities continue to be challenged not only by their conditions but by the general public’s response to these conditions often manifested in ostracism, stigma, discrimination, and even outright hostility. In countries where there are no systems for monetary assistance for people with disabilities or programs to assist their rehabilitation, disability can be devastating.
Leah manifested amazing fidelity to Jacob even when she knew he resented her. Her devotedness to family life is one of her amazing virtues. Scripture says that when God saw how Jacob hated Leah, He “opened her womb,” and she became the prolific mother of six sons and one daughter. She had hoped this would win her husband away from Rachel seeing that sons were of great value to their fathers in these times. She called her first born son, Reuben (see, a son). Then she had Simeon (God has heard that I was hated). Her third son was named Levi (because I have born him a third son, my husband will be joined to me now). But Jacob still loved Rachel and resented Leah. When she gave birth to her fourth son, Leah shifted her perspective. Instead of pursuing human love and validation, she looked to God who had always loved her. This was the moment when praise was born in her soul and she called her fourth son, Judah, meaning praise. She did not know it then, but this was her moment of triumph. She had just given birth to the ancestor of the Messiah, the Savior of the entire world. God honored Leah’s faith. Her other sons were Issachar and Zebulun. Her daughter was Dinah.
What is ironic about the whole scenario is that while Leah envied Rachel as the object of Jacob’s love, Rachel envied Leah as the object of God’s favor. God’s love is not contingent upon the physical perfection of its object. As a matter of fact, there is no perfection outside of Him, and genetics is never a measure of a human being to God. Leah’s strong faith in God was well-rewarded. It was Rachel not Leah who decided to be accompanied by their father’s idols when relocating to Canaan.

God cares for you. Check it out: http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Mitigating Their Susceptibility

On Tuesday evening, January 13, 2015, I watched on CNN, with tears in my eyes, as an Illinois mother tearfully begged the individuals who had lured her son to join their military organization to please “Leave our children alone.” I can only imagine her sorrow and agony at the crushed expectations and hopes she had for her son’s life. That lady is one of thousands of other mothers around the world who have or are experiencing similar heartaches as a result of this ghastly debacle. In Uganda, Joseph Kony made it his specialty to forcefully abduct young children to join his rebel forces. Kony did not only abduct the children, he forced them to go back and brutally mutilate and murder their own parents as a form of initiation process to qualify them to be “real soldiers” in his army. Boko Haram forces have been abducting young children to fight both the Nigerian and Cameroonian troops. They are reported to have killed those who tried to resist them. Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 years to fight in battles….the list goes on and on.

There are millions of children whose lives have been irrevocably disrupted by war and armed conflict, according to Save the Children, a leading international nonprofit organization for children’s relief. Why is this important for us to know? Because being aware of a problem is being empowered. It helps individuals and organizations come together as a united force, and take steps toward protecting the children. It also helps parents take more interest into their children’s activities so that they can notice the telltale signs of potential engagement and influence from such forces. Parents should proactively talk to their children about the dangers of exposing themselves to suspicious individuals particularly through the social media, without betraying any tinge of panic or hysteria as this can only arouse the children’s interest. Above all, we need to pray for our children’s safety and give the Lord permission to work in their lives to protect them from the dark dangers stalking impressionable lives. We also need to pray for the families that have already been affected, and even for the perpetrators.

Let The Children Come To Me-Effects of Armed Conflict on Children

I am a public health professional. As such, one of my passions is preventive health for all population groups. But more so for children. We adults owe it to them to protect them because it is the right thing to do. Jesus’ predilection toward children is exemplified in His admonition to His disciples who were trying to downplay the significance of this population group to the Lord: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” (Matthew 19:14).

Graça Machel, widow of former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was entrusted with the task of conducting research on the impact of armed conflict on children by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund in 1995. The ensuing Report is a significant resource for the evaluation of the human rights of children affected by armed conflict or war. The Report highlights the multidimensional plight of children under these circumstances including indiscriminate and senseless slaughter, rape, exploitation, health and nutritional deprivation, separation from families, and the isolation of children placed in refugee camps as a result of war. Armed conflicts are often triggered by an array of political and socioeconomic differences between the warring parties. However, these conflicts are never limited to the sphere of the antagonists only. There is always the issue of collateral damage with the most vulnerable individuals within the sphere of that conflict experiencing the worst form of suffering. One callous strategy characterizing modern wars is the exploitation and conscription of children as child soldiers in which they are programmed to conduct the most heinous atrocities to satisfy their recruiters’ Mephistophelian thirst for blood.

Max Easterman from the Stanley Foundation reports that although the global attention has mostly focused on child soldiers in Africa, industrialized nations also recruit children younger than 18 years as soldiers. For example, the United Kingdom allows children aged 15 ¾ years old to join the army as “junior soldiers.” These child soldiers are subjected to most of the problems their counterparts face around the world as child soldiers. At the Army Foundation College located outside of Harrogate in Northern England, more than a thousand “junior soldiers” aged 16 and 17 are being trained as soldiers each year. Motivation for signing up includes opportunities to travel abroad, holding a steady job with predictable income, and an opportunity to obtain both a military education as well as a civilian one. These “junior soldiers” are allowed to sign up at this age so that by the time they begin training they are at least 16 years old. The reason for recruiting at such an early age, according to Major Dickie Hamzart, the company commander, is that “I think it gets us a better army…They can be molded, even though the decisions they have to make are quite daunting for them, initially…. If we don’t start recruiting at this early age, these people will get into long-term relationships, will look at other aspects of their life in a settled job…. They won’t look to the Army for a career, and they’ll be lost to us.” Children become killer machines without proper comprehension of reasons for killing other human beings except that which has been indoctrinated in them.

What is astonishing is that children are sometimes made to commit monstrous violence in order to “toughen them” or “mold” them into “good” soldiers and yet it is scientifically factual that exposure to violence and participation in its perpetration only desensitizes the children so that they think nothing of committing similar atrocities to their own friends and family members as was the case in Mozambique, Nicaragua, Colombia and Afghanistan. The Machel Report adds Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Israel, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda and Zimbabwe to the list. This seems to me like a global indictment. We are in it together, one way or another. The suffering of the children in the form of psychological and physical maiming is a blatant affront to the moral impetus that inspired the crafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Exposing children to armed conflict whether as active combatants or as a passive victims adversely affects all aspects of their development including physical, mental and emotional development. The disruption of normal food supplies, the destruction of crops in the strategy of scotched earth, the disintegration of the family and community social and moral fiber, the displacement to strange environments and countries, the disruption of their education, the lack of access to proper medical care, sanitation and clean water supplies almost irrevocably ruin the future of these children victims.

We have taken what Jesus elevated to a model population group and sullied it by using it as a tool for quenching our thirst for vendettas. Lord, forgive us.

Sources

Easterman, M. (2003). Britain’s Very Young Guns. Accessed January 16, 2015 from http://www.warchildren.org/young_guns.html

United Nations Report of Graça Machel (1996). Impact of armed conflict on children. United Nations; UNICEF. Accessed January 16, 2015 from http://www.unicef.org/graca/

Global Child Trafficking: The Desecration of Our Future

This stunning statement was released by the FBI: “It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.”[i]

Child trafficking is not only a public health problem, but it is also a horrendous and heinous clandestine activity that is threatening the fiber of our civilization. This practice transcends cultural and national boundaries although it is more endemic in some countries than in others. This is a global epidemic fostered by greed and an impudent disregard for human rights. The International Labor Organization describes child trafficking as “taking children out of their protective environment and preying on their vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation.” The ILO further claims that there are approximately between 980,000 to 1,225,000 children of both genders in forced labor situations across the world as a result of child trafficking.[ii] These are conservative statistics. The numbers could be higher.

Child trafficking occurs internally in countries, across national borders and across continents. It is closely interlinked with the demand for cheap, malleable and docile labor. Usually child trafficking is more rampant in sectors and among employers where work conditions and employee treatment grossly violates the human rights of the children. It is a cruel practice that requires stiff punishment for perpetrators. The children’s places of employment and sleeping quarters are often unacceptably dangerous and squalid, and extremely hazardous to their health and development. Forms of indentured labor include child domestic labor, commercial sexual exploitation and prostitution, drug couriering, and child soldiering as well as exploitative and slavery-like practices in the informal industrial sector. UNICEF has programs such as End Trafficking, Every Child Counts and many others that need our support including lobbying governments, working with communities, and supporting training of professionals working with children rescued from child trafficking. The risk factors for the perpetration of this practice are many, but we can win this battle through a concerted effort, incrementally; one step at a time. The Bible says that children are a heritage from the Lord… a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3). Common sense tells us that squandering an inheritance is one sure way to court poverty.

To learn more about child trafficking, get a copy of The Perfect Prescription from: http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Sources

[i] Federal Bureau of Investigation (2014). Human Trafficking. Accessed from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking

[ii] International Labour Organization (2014). Trafficking in Children. Accessed from http://ilo.org/ipec/areas/Traffickingofchildren/lang–en/index.htm

Child Homelessness-A Public Health Threat against Our Children

It is said that children are the future of every nation. But why does it seem like we are squandering this human capital which holds our future in their hands? The inevitable intersection of poverty and homelessness makes our children vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence and disease. Child homelessness is a problem for both developed and developing nations. Homelessness severs the victim from interconnected social structures.

The World Health Organization claims that there are over 100 million children who are homeless in the world. Most of them are known as street children in their respective societies.

In the United States, the DoSomething.org claims that there are 1.7 million homeless adolescents. The National Center for Family Homelessness says nearly 1 in 30 children experiences homelessness in the United States each year. In some states such as Kentucky the figures are higher-about 1 in 15 children experience homelessness each year. The risk factors for child homelessness are many including home foreclosure rates, failure of parents to pay rent, illness or death of parents, and joblessness of parents leading to evictions.

In some parts of the world vulnerable homeless children are conscripted into armies to serve as child soldiers and to be indoctrinated and turned into killer machines. In other societies, homeless children start early using illicit drugs to muster enough courage to go through the rigors of street life for survival such as committing violence, robberies and engaging in illicit sexual activities. In India it is claimed that the movie, Slum Dog Millionaire, was child’s play in comparison to the actual plight of homeless children there. In Africa, AIDS has left in its wake thousands of homeless or street children open to all forms of exploitation.

Homeless children have more health problems than their counterparts who are not homeless. For example, they are four times more likely to be sick. They have twice as many ear infections, five times as many gastrointestinal problems and asthma, they go hungry twice as often as other children and have emotional and behavioral problems that are three times as high as other children. Sometimes high rates of nutritional deficiencies end up in obesity which is a risk factor for a host of health conditions. It is reported that by the age of 12 some of these children have been exposed to at least one violent or traumatic event. These risk factors culminate into high rates of developmental problems and mental disorders among these children and yet only a few of them receive professional help.

Is child homelessness a sole responsibility of government? Is it the responsibility of charity organizations alone? What are we doing as individuals to alleviate the suffering of these the least of our brethren? To those who thought children to be insignificant, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt. 19:14). How shall we lead them to Him if we turn away from their plight?

http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Epigenetics– Health and Spiritual Implications-Part II

The development of the behavior of a human being is shaped by the interplay among parental practices, dietary habits, cultural practices as well as congenital characteristics. A novel contributor to behavioral development has been identified by scientists in the form of epigenetic inheritance, which is a process of transmitting parental phenotypic responses caused by the challenges of their environment to subsequent generations, according to Lawrence V. Harper in his article, Epigenetic Inheritance and the Intergenerational Transfer of Experience. This transfer can happen even when the offspring themselves may not be directly exposed to the same environmental challenges their parents faced because although the genetic inheritance may not have been altered the expression of the genes has. For example, environmental challenges such as maternal exposure to stressful events during the late stage of a daughter’s gestation is likely to have an adverse effect on the physical development of the daughter as well as that of the daughter’s offspring. Genes and the environment tend to co-act in the behavioral development of an individual so that phenotypic adjustments to environmental events in one generation can result in alterations in the phenotype of the subsequent generation.

Alcohol abuse is an environmental factor which scientists claim is capable of altering epigenetic signatures and gene expression. According to research by Wong and associates even a short-term abuse of a substance such as alcohol has been found to produce long-term epigenetic alterations via DNA methylation as well as histone modification. Epigenetics alterations of gene expression, in such cases, further increase the craving for more alcohol abuse in future, which in turn, increases epigenetic changes. Sadly, exposures to substance abuse by one generation can influence and impact the following generation as well. A research report by Walden and associates in their article, Trajectories of Change in Adolescent Substance Use and Symptomatology: Impact of Paternal and Maternal Use Disorders, suggests that both “paternal and maternal drug use had an addictive effect on the offspring’s drug use trajectory…” What this means is that exposure to substance abuse fosters transmissible epigenetic changes which are passed on to the offspring’s behavioral and physiological development. Because of these findings many are calling for policy enactment and educational campaigns by public health professionals and allied health professionals to spread the awareness among the general public about the inter-generational impact of drug abuse during their adolescent and childbearing phases of life. In epigenetics we inherit more than genes from our parents.

Scripture teaches us that we have a responsibility to keep our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. The Bible also shows us that our personal choices do not only affect us, but that they have a ripple effect that can affect our offspring either positively or negatively. Our sinful indulgences have a tendency to visit our subsequent generations with adverse consequences unless until they are mitigated by the Blood of the Lamb (Romans 5:19).

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/intro/

When Words Are a Perfect Prescription for Healing

Words have monumental force. They can be contrived or fashioned to activate memories, trigger ideas, interpret situations and prompt feelings and actions. Science acknowledges the physiological and psychological power inherent in words.

For example, in one research study, investigators observed that by merely mentioning the word ‘elderly’ their subjects noticeably began to walk more slowly than usual and by reading words such as ‘loving-kindness, mercy and compassion’ their subjects’ moods began to alter positively and anxiety was reduced.

Words are said to be like living organisms which have the potential to grow, change, spread and influence individuals, organizations and societies directly or indirectly, for better or for worse. Words can divide or unite, destroy or build, connect or disconnect. It is also astonishing how much impact words can have on health outcomes. For instance, the findings of a longitudinal research study by Schwartz (2003) revealed that the words parents spoke to their children particularly in their formative years directly affected their health and that of their children for decades.

Children from loving homes where positive affirmations were lavishly diffused had less coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and were less prone to alcoholism than their counterparts raised in families where they were called by negative words constantly.

The Bible has much to say about the power of words. In Proverbs 18:21 it says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” The Apostle James labels the tongue as “a fire, a world of iniquity” (James 3:6). As a foolish person might play with a loaded gun so a person who lacks understanding utters words, carelessly. The words that we speak are an index or litmus test of our mind. Profanity can only come from a profane heart: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” (Luke 6:45). However, when used wisely and appropriately, words can encourage and positively transform lives. They can be a healing balm. God spoke the world into existence. Then He continued to speak to His creation through the prophets and, in these last days, He has spoken to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:1, 2). Jesus, the Word, was made flesh and dwelt among us. This Word has ultimate authority over all other words. Through His Son God speaks to us words of eternal life, words of love, words of victory, words of hope and words of kindness. Jesus infuses healing and regeneration to every atrophying facet of our lives. As the Word, He cancels and makes null and void whatever negative utterances Satan has made against us. http://youtu.be/MWkIVDKfh9w