Thursday, March 7, 2013

Whole Health

Last year's posts dealt mostly with issues pertaining to health and the body.The health of our bodies is indeed very important.  We need strong bodies to perform our every day tasks, as well as maintain longevity to accomplish our purpose on earth, be there for our children etc. God even has a word to say about the health of our bodies:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)

Strong, healthy bodies enable us to serve others and, well, enjoy our lives. Take it from somebody who knows, if you do not feel well, your outlook is much bleaker and you are far less productive. My battle with fibromyalgia began when I was 19 and has become increasingly more challenging as I age and carried/gave birth to two children. Couple that with poor lifestyle choices (in the forms of food and exercise), and my life consisted mostly of just making it through the day. One day Hubs asked me what I considered fun, and I could not give him an answer! I had lived with pain and fatigue for so long that nothing seemed fun to me anymore. It was, after all, a major chore just to brush my hair and the thought of going out and having a full day of activity was exhausting. That kind of life makes is near impossible to fully "glorify God in your body".

However, we must be careful to not be so caught up in "being healthy", that we lose our perspective and neglect the health of that which is even more important. "That" being the health and condition of our souls. Our eternal souls. I left off seven important words in the verse above. It is the end of the verse upon which I want to focus. Here is the verse in its entirety:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Our spiritual condition is so much more important than our physical one.

But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NKJV)

The beloved Billy Graham is quoted as saying, "When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."

Obviously taking care of our bodies is important, but what value is it at the end of your life? None of us know when we will take our last breath.  We may die from "natural causes" or life could end in a tragic accident. One thing is for certain, if God delays the rapture, we all will one day die regardless of how healthy our bodies were.  We will someday be faced with that tunnel leading into eternity. It profits us nothing if we chose to treasure our bodies, if we devoted our time to the "whole foods" and "green" causes and neglected to treasure our very souls. It is all about priorities.

 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:31-33

   And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-4

Does this mean eating Big Macs three times a day won't hurt us if we first thank God for it? Certainly not. God also instructs us to be "sober minded", dealing in wisdom. Purposefully, and repeatedly, causing ourselves harm while asking God to save us from the consequences is foolish, dangerous and smug.

To sum it all up, we should care for our bodies as good stewards, knowing a strong body will help us serve and glorify God in a broader capacity. However, we should not become so engrossed in matters of healthy living that we make an idol of the temporal, and thus neglecting the eternal.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Past has, um, passed

When I was a preteen one of my favorite music groups was The Judds.  I still enjoy listening to their greatest hits from time to time. One of my favorites has always been "Grandpa (Tell Me Bout the Good Ol' Days)". Remember that one?

  I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of this nation we all love so well. My dad and I have had a few lengthy discussions on the matter.  He is very "old-schooled" and struggles stubbornly with the fact that this is not the same world he grew up in, even if we do live in what is left of the "Bible Belt". He grumbles every time he finds one of our vehicles locked. "You shouldn't have to lock your car!", he exclaims. I can appreciate how he feels and long myself for the time when you didn't even have to lock your house.

Sadly, though, those days are passed.  Still I find myself asking, "What if?"

What If......

*human life was valued and respected?
*movies/games de-valuing human life was abhorred?
*it was unthinkable to end a life before it had a chance to take an independent breath?

*a man's word was his bond?
*that same man was faced with shame when his word was broken?
*a man took responsibility for himself and his family, fulfilling the role God ordained for him?
*the above were the same for women?
*men treated women the way God intends?
*women treated men the way God intends?
*the dad made sure his family walked in integrity, bowed their heads in prayer and were in church every time the doors were open?

*the biggest school problems were talking and chewing gum?
*the Bible was the primary textbook?
*getting in "trouble" at school resulted in actual (painful) consequences?
*those consequences repeated themselves at home, when the parents found out, instead of the parents cursing out the teacher or school system?

*shame and guilt were the results of lying, stealing, cheating, unfaithfulness and (gasp) even laziness?

*what if women spent more time creating a peaceful home, loving their husbands and nurturing their children than they did talking on the phone or piddling on the computer?(ouch)
*motherhood was valued as the most important of all jobs?
*wives/mothers were sensible, wise, prudent and frugal enough to make their husbands' incomes the only income needed?
*husbands/dads did what he had to (within the law of both God and man) to provide for his family?
*marriage was seen as a sanctified covenant and husbands and wives took seriously their individual roles?

*churches taught God's word straight from the Bible
*we were more concerned about being Biblically correct than politically correct?
*the above were actually the same thing?
*even those who were not Christians saw the value/benefit of its virtues/teachings?

*people took responsibility for their own actions and gave up the blame game?

*we put others before ourselves?

*neighbors not only knew one another, but looked out for one another?

*spent more time counting our blessings than harboring our disappointments?

Just What If these were the norm?

Perhaps we'd live in a completely different world, with fewer broken homes, far fewer school shootings, less crowded prisons.....perhaps.....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's Not Just for Men!

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: today I turn 36!  That number seems surreal to me. Am I really only four years away from 40? I don't mind, it just seems like yesterday that I was graduating college at twenty-two.

Anyway, in celebration of my reaching the mid-thirties I want to talk about hormones! Okay, only one hormone in particular: testosterone. It isn't just for men ya know.   You may be wondering why I chose this topic for my birthday post. Well, I'll tell you. I have really been struggling lately with chronic fatigue, brain fog, unexplained depression etc.  Sick and tired of the roller coaster ride, yesterday I had my first appointment with a hormone replenishment clinic that specializes in bioidentical hormone replenishment.  The initial screening suggests I may be severely low in testosterone (a blood test will give more accurate and reliable results. Just FYI, I am having all my levels tested, from hormones to adrenals to Vitamin D etc) . I told Hubs I was just too much woman for my own good. He didn't think it was funny. So. Testosterone. What is it and what does it do?

Testosterone is a hormone most prevalent in men, but it is necessary in women as well. Women produce testosterone in the ovaries and adrenals, though in lower dosages than men, the levels of which are regulated by the pituitary gland. A deficiency in testosterone can lead to a low libido, fatigue, decreased endurance and/or strength, moodiness, depression, lack of joy in life, sagging skin, dry skin and loss of skin elasticity. Testosterone levels are highest in the teens and early adulthood. Levels begin to drop 1 percent/year after thirty.

I mentioned I visited a clinic that specializes in bioidentical hormone replenishment. Bioidentical hormones are just that: identical in molecular structure as a woman's naturally produced hormones.  They are "created" in a lab using yams and soy. Synthetic hormones, which have been charged with increasing the risk of cancer later in life, such as Premarin, are made using pregnant horse urine. Hmmm. Yams or horse urine. The choice seems obvious. Other synthetic hormones such as Cenestin is made from plants, but lacks the bioidentical features. They do not share the same molecular structure as what a woman's body naturally produces. The drugs mentioned above are for estrogen replacement, not testosterone, but what applies to estrogen bioidenticals applies to testosterone. Testosterone replenishment usually comes in the form of a gel or cream.

If you need more reassurance that bioidentical hormones do not cause cancer, take a look at this site.

Testosterone therapy can not only reverse the above symptoms but can also aid in weight loss, increase mental clarity and decrease risk of heart disease and diabetes.

But will I become hairy and bulky if I take testosterone?  That's another beauty of bioidentical testosterone. When you see a specialist in bioidentical therapies, they run a test to determine YOUR exact level of deficiency. The prescribed therapy is then tailored specifically to YOUR needs, and you will be prescribed a customized testosterone for women.

So, there you have it. I'll let you know how things work out for me. Have you ever tried hormone replenishment?

I gleaned my information from the following sources: Harvard Health Publications
                                                                                HRT Medical Centers of America
                                                                               as well as the sources linked throughout the post

Obviously I am not a medical professional and all information contained here is for general informational purposes. Do your own research and consult your own physician for treatment appropriate for you.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Psalms Sunday-Psalms 15

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
    And works righteousness,
    And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
    Nor does evil to his neighbor,
    Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
    Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved. (NKJV)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Video-End Times Study

Today, I would like to share with you a very informative video concerning End Times.  It is rather lengthy (and I must admit, sometimes a bit dry) but if you are truly interested in studying end times prophecy, this video provides a general overview for the beginner. There are many, MANY, end times videos available on youtube that are sensationalized to induce a feeling of urgency and/or fear in an effort to get people's attention. They have their place, but this video is not one of them. It is informational in nature.  For the record, I personally do not agree with every view that is expressed, but it is interesting to hear the differing views of our brothers (FYI, I do agree with Nathan Jones, featured guest.).

I will post some of my thoughts concerning some of the topics (read:aliens?) presented here in the near future.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

48 hours can make such a difference!

Two days ago, it was 61 degrees. We played outside with no more than a thin long sleeved shirt. Hubs even hand washed the barn grime off his old truck. Yesterday was warm, but very windy and rainy.  Here is Ky today:

According to the Weather Channel app, it is 28 degrees but feels like 16 and snowing.  Gotta love this weather! Is the weather nutty where you live?