Restoration

THE NEW LIFE

THE

NEW

LIFE

Trust more, Stress less

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

There is no getting around it, the world we live in is filled with many stress-inducing events. Nightly our minds are bombarded with images of terrorists and mass shootings in seemingly random places. 72% of American express feeling stressed about money at least some of the time and 75% of Americans reported experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the past month. Stress is defined as the body’s physiological and neurological reactions to circumstances that excite, frighten, confuse, irritate or endanger. Now all stress is not bad. However, when the intensity and duration of stress extends beyond an individual’s ability to respond positively then it becomes bad and has adverse effects.

Since we cannot escape from stress we must learn how to respond to it in a healthy way. This is where trust in God comes in. The only way to truly stress less is to trust God more. If we are ever going to find rest in stress, we must anchor the ship of our lives to something outside of ourselves. We must build on something stronger and more durable than ourselves. The foundation that you build on must be immovable. It must be able to withstand a 9.5 magnitude earthquake, a death in the family, a foreclosure and any other disaster that comes our way. If we trust in our job, we can lose it; a spouse, they can leave us; a house, it can be foreclosed; our money, the stock market can crash. You see everything in this life is transitory, it’s not guaranteed. Trust in divine power is the only thing that comes with a guarantee. Why? Because God is self-sustaining and all life is derived from Him. He has no beginning nor does He have an end. His very word is what holds up this earth and prevents it from spiraling out of control. He’s omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere at the same time). What can truly beat that!

References:
http://www.apa.org/topics/stress/

Nutrition

One of the major needs of the body is for good nutrition. In order to get good nutrition, we must eat the proper foods. A profound definition of food is given by Julius Gilbert White, “a food may be defined as any substance which, when absorbed into the blood, will nourish the tissue, repair waste, and furnish force and heat to the body without causing injury to any of its parts.” If we are honest most of the things that masquerades as food today would not meet these criteria.

Nutrition is vitally important because whatever we eat is broken down and converted into blood, which, in turn, feeds our cells, and nourishes our whole bodies. When God formed man back in creation, He gave man a diet that is scientifically proven to be superior to any other invention of man. To mankind He gave a whole-foods plant-based diet, consisting of fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables, which was added after the fall (Genesis 1:29; Genesis 3:18). Numerous studies have shown that a “plant-based diet can prevent and even reverse some of the top killer diseases in the Western world and can be more effective than medication and surgery,” according to Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org.

As important as is it is to get good physical nutrition, it’s even more important to get good spiritual nourishment. Matthew 4:4 tells us that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Live Temperately

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

At the root of temperance is the principle of self-control. Temperance can be defined as the moderation in the use of the things that are good, and total abstinence from the things that are bad. According to Romans 7:25, tells us that it is with our mind that we serve the Lord. In fact, it is via the brain nerves that God communicates with man. It is then of the utmost importance that our minds are preserved in the best state as possible. What many fail to realize that is that our habits of life directly affect how well our minds function. Our lifestyle choices should be such as would strengthen our minds, and preserve clarity of thinking.

Of course we are well aware of the illegal drugs that we need to stay away from. But, many may not realize that there are a number of common lifestyle habits that inhibits the clear functioning of the mind. Among the major culprits are:

  1. Caffeine
    1. Used in most teas, sodas, chocolate, energy drinks, coffee and pain relievers
    2. Fosters addiction, directly affecting the brain and its proper function
    3. Raises blood pressure and heart rate when added to chocolate
    4. Remains in the body for hours
  2. Alcohol
    1. Causes neurological problems, including dementia, stroke and neuropathy
    2. Causes cardiovascular problems
    3. Alcoholics demonstrate poor attention to what is going on around them; need extra time to process visual information; have difficulty with abstraction, problem-solving, and learning new materials; exhibit emotional abnormalities and disinhibitions
    4. Cirrhosis of the liver

Despite what you have heard, a glass of wine is not all that great for your heart. The ingredient in alcohol that is beneficial is Resveratrol, the natural plant compound found in grapes.

  1. Tobacco
    1. Causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
    2. Almost doubles a person’s risk for stroke
    3. Increases the risk of infertility, low bone density, and hip fracture in women
    4. Causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels
  2. Refined White Sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrup
    1. Toxic, and suppresses immune function
    2. Robs the body of B vitamins
    3. Much of it ends up as fat
    4. Distorts the body’s chemistry

Temperance also includes not eating between meals. We should eat between 2-3 meals a day and take nothing in between. When we snack between meals we disrupt our digestion and burden our systems paving a way for disease. Moderation is also needed even in that which is good. The Bible magnifies this principle, the wisest man that ever lived says, while honey is good, we should only eat what is sufficient for us (Proverbs 25:16).

Ultimately we are running a race for more than a gold medal, we are racing for our very lives.

References:
Temperance, page 14, Ellen G. White
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/blood-pressure/faq-20058543
http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/alcoholism
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/65.pdf

Have Refreshing Rest

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

When was the last time you enjoyed refreshing rest? If you are like most Americans, the answer to that might be “it’s been a while.” We live in a time when failing to get adequate rest is considered a sign of being a hard worker. The Centers for Disease Control reports that “insufficient sleep is a public health problem.” While Americans are following the recommended number of hours of sleep per night, the quality of sleep is poor. 20% of Americans report that they don’t wake up feeling refreshed.

When we are at rest our bodies undergo restoration, repair, and detoxing, amongst a whole host of other processes. While lack of sleep is associated with a wide array of health problems, such as headaches, and a depressed immune system.

God recognized the need that we have for rest and so He built into creation a nightly rest. However, God didn’t just stop there. He carved out a weekly rest as well. Every seventh day we are invited to Sabbath (rest) with and in Him.

References:
http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/
https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation

Enjoy sunshine

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalms 84:11

Enjoying sunshine is a crucial factor in enjoying health. The benefits of sunshine on both mental and physical cannot be understated. Sunshine helps to lower cholesterol, boosting the oxygen capacity of the blood. It allows the body to convert cholesterol in the skin into Vitamin D, a vitally important hormone. Sunlight is also a natural stress reliever and helps to elevate the mood.

Despite the wonderful healing properties of the sun, many are afraid of it. There is fear of developing skin cancer. But we need not fear. If the sun is enjoyed with the appropriate amount of exposure at the right times, coupled with a diet low in animal-derived fat and cholesterol, we do not have much to worry about. The ideal times for enjoying sunshine are in the mornings before 10am and 3pm in the afternoons, depending on your specific geographic location, the times will vary.

As the sun rises each day, casting its rays of light across the length and breadth of the world, even so does the Sun of Righteousness desire to awaken in our hearts, flooding it with His healing rays! (Malachi 4:2)

Invest Time in Others

“For none of us liveth unto himself…” Romans 14:7

No man is an island goes the old adage. We are born into the world as dependent beings. For the first years of life we are unable to do anything for ourselves. The simple act of eating or using the bathrooms requires the help of someone else. Without our parents investing time in us we would perish. As we grow we develop more and more independence, nevertheless we experience this independence within the context of an interdependent world. We experience growth as others invest in us, and as we likewise invest in others.

It’s been said that “the pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.” Research also supports this fact. The health benefits of helping others include:

  • Improved sense of well-being
  • May help you live longer
  • Natural stress reduction

In the life of Christ, we find the ultimate example of the importance of investing time in others. Philippians 2:5-7, speaks of Christ taking upon himself the form of a servant and coming down to this earth to save us. It is because He invested time in us that we have an opportunity for eternal life. We are encouraged to adopt this mindset of servanthood. We are called to invest in others not so that we can feel good or receive the health benefits, but because that very act might be the means of saving a soul.

References:
Testimonies for the Church, Volume 4, page 56
https://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/family-health/healthy-benefits-of-helping-others

Exercise

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

The human body is the only machine in the history of the world that wears out by not using it. According to Gunther B. Paulien, PH.D. and author of The Divine Prescription and Science of Health and Healing. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with exercise. We know it’s something that we should do, but the very thought of it often sends us screaming in the opposite direction. Yet “action is a law of our being” and is needful for health. The benefits of exercise are immense, it reduces stress, anxiety and depression; helps with digestion and constipation; helps prevent and fight cancer and other diseases, just to name a few.

Daily exercise is preferable. However, four or five times a week is good. Walking is one of the best exercises, as it calls more muscles into action than any other exercise. You might be wondering how long should your workouts be? Strive for 20 minutes’ minimum for jogging and 40 minutes for walking. You should consult your physician to for how intense of a workout you can do.

Exercise is not only important in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual. As we exercise to build physical muscle, we must do the same to build spiritual muscle. Through the avenues of Bible study, prayer and sharing our faith we build spiritual muscles that enable us to meet the adversities of each day.

References:
Ministry of Healing, Page 237, Ellen G. White

Water

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:10

If you were offered an all-natural supplement that: prevents undesirable clotting, improves your antibody function and mental processing, increases endurance, reduces skin wrinkling, and lowers high blood pressure, would you be interested? How much would you be willing to pay for it? Good news! This wonderful supplement is free of cost, and it’s called “water.” You might have heard of it.

This miracle liquid is found everywhere in the body. 83% of our blood is made up of it and it is crucial to the body’s ability to function properly. Research suggests that just 2% dehydration can reduce the performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor skills, and immediate memory recall. A study also found that drinking just five or more cups of water per day helped to decrease the risk of heart attacks.

You’ve heard the adage that the body requires eight cups of water a day. However, that’s not correct. The truth is that the amount of water needed for the body is different from person to person. But you need to drink at least have your body weight in water. To find out how much water you need, simply divide your weight by two. The resulting number is what you need in ounces.

Many people try to substitute drinking water for other beverages. But the truth is that no other drink can satisfy the body’s thirst, as can water. Likewise in the spiritual sense, there are many who search for happiness and contentment apart from Christ, not realizing that they are only drinking at broken cisterns. Christ is the living water, which if someone drinks they will never thirst again.

References:
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855911

Fresh Air

“And the lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

Air is so essential to life that we can’t go more than three minutes without it. But you’ll notice that heading didn’t just say air but it said “fresh air.” The best air for us is to be found outside, especially the air nearest the ocean, a forest, in the mountains, near a waterfall, or after a thunderstorm. The negative ions found in it has a wonderful health-promoting agents. Negatively charged ions help lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, improve cell enzyme function, and increase cell growth and repair.

As we breathe, the body inhales oxygen while exhaling carbon dioxide, a waste product from cellular metabolism. When we are oxygenated it can increase the number of cancerous cells in our bodies. Not to mention the drowsiness, fatigue, and mental fog that results from a lack of fresh air.

Do you know that many of us do not breathe properly? A baby can teach us a thing or two in regards to this. Here’s some tips on how to breathe correctly:

  • Start by lying down on your back with your knees bent
  • Place your hand lightly on your stomach, just above your naval
  • Inhale slowly through your nose
  • Feel your abdomen expand as you fully engage your diaphragm to breathe
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, pursing your lips as if blowing on hot food
  • Repeat this several times

As the physical bodies soon withers due to a lack of fresh air, even so will we die spiritually if we neglect prayer. We are told that “prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power.”

References:
Gospel Workers, page 254, Ellen G White

Educate Yourself

“For wisdom [is] a defence, [and] money [is] a defence: but the excellency of knowledge [is, that] wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” Ecclesiastes 7:12

How many times have you heard the saying “if you’re not growing you’re dying,” and while that may sound like just another cliche, it’s nevertheless very true. Becoming a lifelong learner is one of the greatest ways to ensure that you keep growing. True health is not simply a matter of physical wellness, but it takes into account the mental as well.

Studies show that among adults who engaged in continuous learning 87% reported benefits to their physical health, reported feeling less ill, were able to manage pain more effectively and felt less tired. Not to mention that continual education slows cognitive decline. The brain needs the challenge and stimulation that comes from learning new information.

Most of us mistakenly believe that learning only happens within a classroom, but there are opportunities for learning all around us. It can be found while cooking in the kitchen as we try a new recipe, or on a good hike as we allow our minds to meditate on how the world around us operates, and countless other activities that we engage in daily. We can continue our mental growth through simply open up a book to read, as reading stimulates the frontal lobe.

The aim of all true education is to develop in the student a knowledge of God. 2 Peter 3:17,18 tells us “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” There is no knowledge that we can gain that will be more valuable, for John 17:3 tells us that life eternal is comprehended in knowing God.

References:
http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/ce/lifelong-learning-benefits-body-mind-and-career/
http://www.learningandwork.org.uk/lifelonglearninginquiry/docs/susanne-sorensen-wellbeing-evidence.pdf?redirectedfrom=niace

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