Sunday, December 28, 2008

Devotional of the Week December 28-January 3

Proverbs 16: 1-7

"The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth inquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

May the love and peace of God rest and abide with us all during this holiday season, and throughout the new year. Love, peace, happiness, and prosperity is my New Year's wish.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Proverbs 17:22

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

'This the season to be jolly. Let us over the course of the next 1-2 weeks take time out to be jolly and merry. Let us turn off the negative news on the TV that is forcing itself upon us during this holiday season, which is threatening to spoil our holiday fun. Let us instead focus on what is happy, pleasant and cheerful. Crying over the economy is certainly not going to fix it, but it will definitely cause us to become depressed. Why should we lose our health and peace of mind over something we cannot change, such as the economy? Let us therefore do the healthy thing, which is to change those things we can change, and leave the rest to God. May we all have a happy and holy season, filled with joy and gladness.

Devotional of the Week December 21-27

Psalm 51: 10-19

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach trangressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

God is not impressed with our money! You cannot buy God's favor by donating or giving large sums of money to His church or other ministries, while hiding behind a heart of sin. Seek cleansing for your sin first. Repent and turn away from doing wrong; then God will reward you with His blessings when you do give to His cause.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

1 Timothy 6:10

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Money is just an object. It is currency used to purchase goods and services and is very valuable. What gets us into trouble is not that we value money, but that we value money more than anything else in life. For the sake of making a buck, people sometimes commit crimes, lie, cheat, murder, etc. and hurt others. The love for money becomes the driving force behind their motives, and money is placed on a higher pedestal than anything else.

Let us reassess the value we place on money, and see it just for what it is - a useful tool of value and not an object to be cherished above all else.

Devotional of the Week December 14-20

Psalm 107: 1-15

  1. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  2. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
  3. And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
  4. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
  5. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
  6. Then they cried out unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
  7. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
  8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  9. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
  10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
  11. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the coundsel of the most High:
  12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; and they fell down and there was none to help.
  13. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
  14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
  15. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

'Tis the season to be jolly, trah lah lah lah lah. Let us spend our time praising God and giving thanks to Him for ALL He has done for us throughout the year. I know it is tempting for us to give into sadness and despair because of the many trials of life, but we should never let such negative thoughts rob us of our joy. Worrying never solved anything, and it might also make the problem feel much worse than it really is! The power to think positive is just as much within our reach as the power to think negatively. All we have to do is choose. Do we choose sadness and despair, or do we choose thankfulness, gratefulness and praise? Do we choose feeling down and out or do we choose an attitude of a cheerful spirit? I would rather be broke and happy than broke and sad! Rejoicing in God will give us the strength to overcome ANY problem. When He sees a cheerful and thankful heart rejoicing in Him, He empowers us with what we need to overcome the storms of life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Matthew 7:11

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

We have been told by economists time and time again that the only way to increase economic prosperity is to go out and spend, spend, spend. When you spend money, you are putting money into the economy, stimulating business and producing jobs, which in turn produces more money and more businesses and more jobs. Herein lies a Biblical principle which teaches that generosity tends to prosperity while stinginess tends to economic depression. In Proverbs 11: 24-25 it says, "Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (New Living Translation).

In the upcoming Christmas season do not hold back on giving to others just because you heard on the news that we are in an economic recession. Holding back on money will certainly not improve the economic situation, unless of course your are unsure of your job situation and finances, and then you will have to be more viligant with your money. Be assured however that being generous and going out and buying good gifts for others is NEVER a waste of money! Just make sure that the money you are spending is yours, and is not borrowed money such as money from credit cards. May you all have a great season of spending and giving.

Devotional of the Week December 7-13

Isaiah 7: 10-14

"Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

We have now entered into the Christmas season. I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and are now preparing yourselves to have a happy and holy holiday season. Let us use this time not to indulge drunkeness and excess, but as a time of wholesome reflection, joy and fun, and sharing the Christmas message of peace and goodwill on earth to all men.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Psalm 27: 3

"Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident."

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India last week, which started on November 26, 2008 has left a trail of economic and political upheaval in that country, in addition to the emotional and mental distress which was felt by all, there and around the world. Here is the thing. Financial attacks can come from a variety of sources and a variety of circumstances. We can never tell what life events are going to occur that can have a financial impact in our lives. A divorce, loss of a job, major illnesses, natural disasters, and wars all have economic consequences that many of us are ill-equipped to deal with, and sometimes are beyond our control. In circumstances like these, we need to put our full confidence and trust in God to lead us out of crisis. We should never let circumstances dictate the path of our lives, instead we need to look to God to help us keep our sanity during rough times, and to help us come out victorious!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Proverbs 37:21

"The wicked borroweth and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy and giveth."

The righteous person is a giver, but the wicked person is a taker. People who take and take but never give are always a drain on society and others. They are a drain both financially and emotionally. Who likes to be around people who are mean and stingy? Who likes to be around people who are always trying to hustle you? Who likes to be around people who take advantage of your generosity to enrich themselves at your expense? They honor selfishness and greed, which are negative traits. Let us instead become givers. Givers enrich the world with their generosity, and spread goodwill and prosperity. It is only through giving that we can all find peace and true prosperity.

Devotional of the Week November 23-29

1 Corinthians 1: 18-25

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and weakness of God is stronger than men."

Ah yes, the mystery of the gospel! To some the message of the gospel is foolishness, and to others the gospel just gets in the way of what we want to do. A religion of do's and dont's is the last thing people are looking for in today's world; yet without the do's and dont's the whole world would fall into chaos. The message of the gospel says, "Do love your neighbor, do nice things for others, do help others in need, etc., etc." The message of the gospel also says, "Don't hurt others, don't kill, don't steal, don't lie; however, if you do these things forgiveness is available for all who repent."

Does this sound like a message for you? It's your choice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1 Timothy 6:8

"Having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

In today's modern economy we are trained to be discontent with what we have or do not have. We feel as if we need more and more stuff in order to be content. The apostle Paul was an itinerant preacher of the gospel to the Gentile communities of the Roman empire. He had to be on the road a lot, away from home, yet he found contentment in having very little, and was satisfied as long as he had food and clothing. This is a great lesson for us today. We need to train ourselves to find peace, joy, and happiness, even when we have very little. You see, contentment is really a state of mind and attitude that one adopts regardless of circumstances. Yes, when we lack basic necessities we will feel miserable; however, when we learn how to control our insatiable desire for more and more material goods, then we will find that we do not need to have 100 pairs of shoes, 5 cars, a TV in every room, the lastest gadgets, and the newest fashion fad to be happy. We instead need to learn how to find joy and happiness from within than from without. The joy which leads to contentment and happiness from within is lasting and real. The pleasure from material goods is temporary, and if we do not continue to fill our lives with new things, then our pleasure diminishes. That is why an economic depression is a depression. People get depressed when they cannot go out and spend money and buy a lot of things!

In this time of economic crisis many are forced to live on less. Some have adapted very well, and continue to enjoy their lives, in spite of having less money to spend. Others however have become depressed because of shattered dreams due to the weakening ability to purchase. Let me tell you something, I too had been disappointed in my lack of ability to purchase or build my dream house; but you know something, I have learned to be satisfied with what I have, and take pleasure in what I have. I have food, clothing, and shelter; that is more than millions of people around the world. I am thankful for what I have, and if God chooses to open that opportunity again for me to get that dream house, then I wait on that.

Devotional of the Week November 16-22

Acts 4: 13-20

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled: and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak hencerforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

Whenever we are faced with life's challenges, we are sometimes tempted to give up or give in. The early disciples of Christ faced many challenges and opposition to the gospel, but they never even gave a second thought to giving up or giving in to the opposition. As children of God, we too should never give up or give in to opposition when we are doing God's work. People may oppose us, or try to malign us, but the work which we do speaks for itself. The good works that we do stand as living proof as to what we are all about. When we feel discouraged or disheartened, all we have to do is look at our work, and the fruit of that work, and take pleasure from knowing that we are making a positive difference in the world.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Luke 6:38

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

During this time of financial crisis, many interpret this scripture to mean that if we give money then we will receive more money than what we had given away. Unfortunately however, this is a very narrow interpretation of this verse. In addition, no mention is made of money in this verse, yet many of us assume that Jesus was speaking about money. All that Jesus was really saying is that if you are a giver, or a person who is generous, then you will benefit abundantly from the generosity of others in return.

Do you want to experience true abundance? Then give of yourself, time, talent, and finances to others. Give money to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless. Perform those random acts of kindness to even perfect strangers. Give love and affection to those around you, spend more time with your children and/or spouse, volunteer at your children's school, or at a hospital. There are just so many ways in which we can give of ourselves, time, and resources. If we do that, and give of ourselves to others, then God will look down from heaven, and reward us for our generosity.

I know for myself, volunteering at church to teach the teen class has been a rewarding experience. No, I do not get paid for my services at church, but teaching this class has sharpened my Biblical knowledge, and has led me to a closer walk with God. Because of those weekly classes, I am able to have a positive impact on the youth in our church. My reward has been the satisfication of knowing that I am helping others and making a difference in their lives. In addition, teaching the teen class has also helped me in my career as a Physical Therapist. My ability to educate and instruct my patients and co-workers in healthy living has become more effective, because of better teaching skills on my part. Truly, when you give, you get back so much more.

Here are some practical tips:

1. Are you out of work with lots of spare time on hand? Try volunteering somewhere. When you volunteer, you gain practical skills that can help you land a future job. The volunteer job can also provide you with valuable references and the ability to network with others in finding a job.

2. If you are employed, volunteer to do extra work at your job. Your boss will see you as a valuable employee, and will be more reluctant to fire you or lay you off from the job.

3. Be kind to others, but do not look for the person to whom you have been generous, to return the favor. You may be in for a big let down; but people sometimes do surprise us and return a favor, especially in situations of need. In most instances however, your reward will come from someone else whom God will send to reward you, or from someone who remembered some kind thing you did for them long ago, and they now want to show their appreciation with some type of material gift. People have acquired houses, cars, money, furniture and so on, in this way, because someone wanted to reward them for their kind acts.

In conclusion, be generous and life will be generous to you!

Devotional of the Week November 9-15

Psalm 46

1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Let us take comfort knowing that God will always be there for us, even during our times of greatest need. We can always rely on Him to give us the strength we need to face our problems, and to give us joy, hope and peace. He brings us calm, even in the midst of the storms in our lives. There is nothing and no one who is as great, and all-powerful as our God. He will save us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ecclesiastes 9:10

"Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

In this tough economy, people are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment. Many have been laid off jobs, and are having a hard time finding new work. For people who are unemployed I say, do not despair. It may be that being unemployed may afford you the opportunity to discover new skills that you did not know you had. It may be an opportunity for a career change, and to start something new. It was because of job loss that I discovered my present career as a Physical Therapist.

If I had not lost my job at the bank, which I hated, but thought I could not afford to leave, I would have never thought that there was a career waiting out there for me, that gave me personal satisfaction, and security. In my walk with God, I had developed a keen interest in natural health and wholesome living. My old job at the bank did not afford me opportunities to explore the world of wholistic living, but I kept myself well-informed on the subject while on the old job. When I lost that job and started working in health care, I continued to deepen my study in wholistic health and became quite knowledgeable, but I still did not know which liflelong career path to choose. Should I be a nurse? A physician? Finally, I met a fellow student at college who was studying to become a Physical Therapist, and she told me all about the career. From that instant I was hooked, and God opened up opportunities for me to study and excel in this field. By keeping myself busy,and never giving up, I was able to make a career change for my life.

Devotional of the Week November 2-8

Romans 10:5-17

"For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalf confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Take comfort in knowing that God is a God of all peoples. He is not just the God of the Jews, or the God of white people, black people, or red people. He is the God of us all, regardless of our nationality or ethnic background. Because we are all His people, we can rest assured that His promises in the Bible are for us all, and are not just for a special group of people. We can read His word and claim His promises for our lives, just as the children of Israel claimed His promises for their lives. In His love, Jesus has broken down the partition and wall of separation, that separates us from God. We can therefore go with confidence before God with our requests, needs and wants, knowing that He hears us when we call upon Him.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Proverbs 24: 33-34

"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."

Dozing off on the job? Studies show that many Americans do not get enough sleep at night, due to insomnia, staying up too late at nights, fatigue and burn out. Consequently, we are always feeling tired and lethargic during the day, when we should be awake and alert! This constant state of fatigue and tiredness causes us to underperform at our jobs, and makes us poor workers. The key to a productive day on the job is therefore a good night's rest that leaves us energized and refreshed the next day. Cut out the late night snacking, and late night watching of TV. Remove the TV from the bedroom. Engage in something relaxing and soothing before bed, such as taking a hot bath, listening to soft soothing music, inhaling aromatic oils, etc. Make your bedroom a haven of rest and relaxation, so that you will be energized for work the next day.

Devotional of the Week October 26-November 1

1 Corinthians 12: 4-20

"Now there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, wheter we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore no to the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where where the smelling? But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body."

"United we stand divided we fall" so the saying goes. In unity there is indeed strength, because it is when we are divided that we are at our weakest. One of the easiest ways in which to destroy a home or nation is to cause strife between people within that home or within that nation. Currently, our country is going through a financial crisis and an election. People are divided on the issues, and plenty of attacks have gone forth between the two opposing sides. While the competition to gain our votes is a natural part of elections, it does nothing to improve the state of our ailing economy. A lot of good energy which could have been used productively is wasted when we fight with one another. Instead of channelling our energies towards negative actions and deeds, let us channel our energies instead into doing what is right, and what is good. By coming together in a spirit of unity, we can do GREAT things!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Stock Market Crash

"Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall be increased" (Proverbs 13:11).

We are living in a time when people are very nervous about the stock market. The ups and downs of the stock market is causing an emotional roller coaster in the minds of many. Here is the thing. We need to stop watching the stock market! Instead of depending upon the stock market to increase our wealth, we need to go back to old, tried and proven methods of prosperity, which is hard work and investing in real assets, instead of these so-called "paper assets" that are so prevalent on Wall Street. Trading and betting on the price of commodities and futures has its risks, and would have come crashing down sooner or later.

As God's children we need to handle our finances in a way that is based upon solid principles. The Bible is a great source of information, that puts the Believer on a firm financial foundation.

Devotional of the Week October 19-25

Matthew 28: 16-20

"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

Jesus will leave us or forsake us. He will always be here with us through the good times and the bad times. We are never alone. No matter what trials we are facing in life, we can take great comfort knowing that God will always be there to help us through. We worship God, but we doubt him. We doubt whether He will do anything to help us. Let us however put our minds at ease, because according to His word, we don't have to face life all alone. We don't have to try to fix our problems on our own. God is here - Jesus is here. Let us therefore cast our cares upon Him, for Jesus will carry us through, and right through to the end.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Financial Health

The current economic crisis that the country is going through is getting everyone real jittery. People are panicking, and are in a real state of distress with the news of the job losses, failing banks, and the plunging stock market. It is during times like these that people go through severe psychological and mental stress, as they try to come to grips with the fact that they may lose everything they have worked so hard for over the years. The anxiety and stress associated with financial hardship is real, and can have a detrimental effect on the health of the body on a whole. Stress and anxiety has been associated with multiple health conditions such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, adrenalin overload, chronic fatigue, strokes, mental illness, depression, and suicide. The purpose of my next series of blogs therefore is to bring words of comfort, faith, and assurance from scripture, that will help us get through this economic crisis, with our minds, bodies, and spirits intact. For spiritual, mental, and financial health, we need to "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 they paths" (Proverbs 3: 5-6). Do not try to understand it all. Do not worry about how you are going to figure it all out. Trust God and go to Him, so that He can guide you and direct you along the path of prosperity.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sex and Functionality

Here is my final post on the series SEX AND SPIRITUALITY. I hope my posts have proven useful and informative so far, and it is my wish to continue bringing informative posts from time to time, to help others in finding health, happiness, and wellness in God.

In my profession of Physical Therapy, one of the functions of life that seems to diminish with ill health is sexual function. When people are sick and laid up in the hospital, sex is usually the last thing on the minds of patients and Physicians, unless of course the illness is sexually related. Illnesses however, that result in physical impairments/disablities, can have a devastating effect on sexual function, regardless of the health of the sexual organs. People who suffer from stroke, Parkinsons disease, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and severe arthritic conditions, may find themselves with decreased sexual function, or none at all in some cases. That is because there is a direct relationship between sexual function and physical function.

The sexual act is an activity that requires physical action on the part of the participants. Persons with disabilties, whose physical abilities have been decreased, may find the physical aspects of sex challenging to say the least, due to physical weaknesses and impairments. Sexual performance is a whole body exercise,which involves ALL body systems. For optimal performance, one needs flexibilty in joints and muscles for optimal positioning. One needs strength in muscles to provide movement and intensity. A good working nervous system is needed to provide feedback about quality of movement, and to send correct messages to the brain to register pain or pleasure. One needs to have a good cardipulmonary and circulatory system for optimal function as well. The heart provides blood to all the vital organs for proper functioning, as well as to muscles, joints, bones, and nervous system. Persons with strong, healthy hearts will have the endurance needed to perform, and will be able to 'work' harder and longer. Persons with weak hearts will quickly run out of steam and may even become short of breath during performance, and run the risk of having a heart attack! I am sure many of you have heard of persons who had died from a heart attack during the act (think Anna Nicole's late husband according to gossip)!

Proper lungs are essential to provide the increased oxygen uptake needed for sexual physical activity, and the cirulatory system is essential for the distribution of of oxygen to all body systems, including the brain. They say the brain is the greatest sexual organ, and this may be true, because while the other body systems are involved in the physical aspects, it is only the brain that registers whether sexual activity is pleasurable or not. Before we enter the act, it is our minds that determine our desire for sex or not. If we desire sex, then our bodies will seek it out; but if we do not desire sex, then our bodies will not seek it out. The difficulty that many of us have in controlling our sexual appetites is therefore a condition of the mind and not the body. Once sex is controlled at the mind level, then we will have control of the sexual destiny of our bodies.

Sex is a gift of God meant for our enjoyment. He has given us the faculties and physical strength needed to enjoy this gift, but it is up to us to keep our bodies in good physical health for us to continue enjoying this gift from God. We must also keep our minds in good spiritual health as well, so we can develop a healthy and wholesome attitude towards sex, that creates pleasure for us, and that pleases God.

Devotional of the Week October 12-18

Galatians 1: 11-24

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the tradition of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them who were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me."

The power of a changed life is the greatest testimony of the power of God. The apostle Paul was a fierce opposer and persecuter of the Christians, but through the power of God and his 'Damascus experience,' Paul became the greatest and foremost evangelist to the Gentile world.

God is reaching out to those of us who are seeking a spiritual makeover in Him. Are you struggling with bad habits that you just cannot break? Are you struggling with addictions and obsessions? You have tried everything, and have gone through those '12-step programs,' attended group meetings, support groups, and seen shrinks and counsellors. Nothing is working for you. You find that you cannot change yourself, no matter how hard you try. Sheer will power is weak in breaking the strongholds in your life.

Today there is hope. Hope in the God of changed lives. He will turn your life around and change your circumstances. He will give you the power to break even the most strongest addictions. All you have to do is submit your life to Him, and put your trust in His power to change.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Devotional of the Week October 5-11

Acts 1: 3-11

" To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

"Jesus is coming soon" is the eternal Christian hope for a better life than what is offered here on Earth. With all the economic turmoil in the world, many are seeking for a way out of the financial crisis but are unable to find none. Jesus offers us the hope that one day this turmoil will all be over, and we will finally get to enjoy true prosperity and peace of mind. Imagine a world where there is no care, no worries, no lack, no fear. That is what Jesus is offering to us today, and forevermore.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Devotional of the Week September 28- October 4

Ephesians 2: 11-22

"Wherefore remember, that ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which was afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are buildeth together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

We are all God's children. He has broken down the wall of separation between people, so that we can all come together as one happy family. He has removed the artificial barriers and walls that separate us, so that can full access to Him and each other. In the place of a wall, God is erecting a beautiful temple of Believers, where we all come together on the solid foundation of Christ. Each one of us are stones in His temple, and without the stones the temple cannot be built. If one or more stones are missing, then the structure will be weak, and will fall. It is only through bringing all the stones together that we can build a strong temple of love and brotherhood, that will never fail.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prevent Sexual Diseases by Practicing Biblically Safe Sex

Sexual diseases have become a scourge on our society, especially with the rise in the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide and in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are currently over 1 million people infected with the HIV virus in the United States, and about 55, ooo new cases occur each year (1). Medical science has failed to give us a cure, but there are many drugs on the market that are useful (and expensive), that can control the symptoms of HIV/AIDS to a certain extent. To date, the best cure for sexual disease is not drugs and medical treatment, but prevention.

You have all heard the saying "cleanliness is next to godliness." This saying is especially true in the case of sexual diseases. Not allowing your body to become defiled with sexual diseases is the best way to combat these diseases, because once you have these diseases, they may be difficult or impossible to cure. Even curable sexual diseases such as syphillis and gonorrhea are becoming increasingly difficult to cure, as they have become increasingly resistant to drug treatment (2). How then can we prevent sexual diseases? We prevent sexual diseases by practicing Biblically safe sex. Biblically safe sex involves:

  1. Avoiding sexual immorality (Hebrews 13:4)

  2. Practicing monogamy (Mark 10: 6-8; 1 Timothy 3: 1-2)

  3. Avoiding sexual contact with infected body fluids (Leviticus 15: 1-15, 25-30)

  4. Avoiding risky sexual behavior (Leviticus 15: 24; Leviticus 18: 20, 22-24)

  5. Practicing good personal sexual hygiene (Leviticus 15: 16-23)

  6. Obeying God's moral and health laws (Exodus 15:26)

The above practices are good for persons who are disease free, and who want to keep themselves free of disease. In the case of persons who already have a sexual disease, my advice is that you seek medical care to control or cure the disease, so that you do not pass the disease on to your partner. If you are infected and incurable, then there are a few options open to you in order to prevent the spread of disease. These options include:

  1. Abstinence: Avoid all sexual contact. Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence however is not 100% effective in preventing the spread of AIDS, as AIDS can also be spread in non-sexual ways, such as by blood transfusions, using contaminated medical equipment that pierce the skin, which allows entry of the virus into the blood stream, and through breast-feeding and pregnancy (3). It has recently being brought to my attention that the rapid rise of AIDS in Africa is not mainly due to promiscuity, although sexual contact plays a huge role in spreading the disease, but that the main cause of the spread of AIDS in Africa is the use of contaminated medical equipment and tainted blood in blood transfusions, in the delivery of health care ( 4)(5). In America, disease transmission in health care is controlled and prevented by the use of disposable medical equipment, and by screening blood for HIV. In poor African countries, and other poor countries around the world, they cannot afford disposable medical equipment and thus have to re-use medical equipment, that SHOULD BE DISCARDED, or in many cases are poorly sanitized. In addition, blood used for blood transfusions may also be contaminated due to inadequate screening of blood for HIV/AIDS (6).

  2. Use of condoms: Condoms however are not 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Latex condoms are 80-90% effective in the prevention of the spread of disease, but they spread disease if they tear or slip off (7)(8). Condoms made of porous material offer very little protection against sexually transmitted diseases as they allow germs to pass through.

  3. Practice good sanitary habits: Do not let anyone else come in contact with your blood or body fluids. Clean up soiled surfaces, and dispose of contaminated material. Do not share needles or personal care items such as toothbrushes or razors, which may have microscopic amounts of blood or germs on them (9).

  4. Pray: Pray that God will cure you or lead you to a cure for your disease (3 John 2).

For more information about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, please feel free to go the government website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at


(2) Tortora, Gerard J and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 7th ed. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 962.




(6) Ibid.

(7) Tortora, Gerard J and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 7th ed. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 958.


(9) Ibid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Make Your Own Body Powder

I want to share with you guys an easy recipe for body powder. I have been making and using this body powder for several months now, as part of my personal hygiene, and I quite pleased. It contains two non-toxic ingredients that are good for the body and the environment: corn starch and baking soda. This powder is effective and will prevent and cure skin rashes due to body moisture, and can also be used to control body odor. Use it in areas where body moisture tends to problematic such as in skin folds/creases, under the breasts, in the groin area, and between the thighs.

Mix together:

1 cup of constarch
1 teaspoon baking soda

Shake well to blend the ingredients together. Use liberally and enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Believe in Miracles

As a health care professional and Physical Therapist, it is very hard not to believe in miracles. In caring for my patients, I have witnessed many instances where patients recover unexpectedly, when they should not have recovered at all! This just goes to show that healing is a process that involves both the physical input of man and the miraculous input of God. We are His co-partners in healing, and we work alongside Him in healing others, but He is the ultimate source of healing. When we are sick we should pray to Him for guidance, and help to recover. He will direct us along the right path to healing, by sending us good information and to good health care practitioners who are knowledgeable in their fields. I know this for a fact, because this has happened to me, when I was suffering from a very serious, life-threatening case of fibroids. My first attempt at curing these fibroids in 1996 failed, because I was trusting in the wisdom of myself and medical providers to find a cure. The fibroids were removed, but grew back with a vengeance, and much more than before. The condition was so bad that my life was threatened. I never received a cure until 2005, after I finally gave up and gave the problem to God. He started to direct my health care, and opened up opportunites for me to get good books on the subject. I learned about the causes, and was educated on the different herbs,and lifestyle changes needed. I also consulted with my medical providers, and chose one who respected my decision to eliminate the fibroids, instead of performing a hysterectomy. Finally, in December 2005, the fibroids shrank to sufficient size, where they could be safely removed, without causing major harm or removal of my uterus.

God has provided resources here on Earth for us to get well in the form of herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, and modern medicine. If these resources are used correctly, we can manage and cure many physical ailments successfully. In our modern world, with great scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, many diseases and medical conditions are still considered incurable. Diseases and medical conditions such as the common cold, influenza, polio, AIDS, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Parkinson disease, Stroke, Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, and so on, are all incurable. Yes, many of these can be "managed" but there is no real cure; however, many of these conditions can be controlled, reversed, or even cured, if one understands how to apply the wisdom of natural medicine with modern medicine, and miraculous healing.

Wisdom is needed to know when to skillfully apply the three methods of healing, which is natural healing, modern medicine, and miraculous healing. A good health care practitioner will realize that he/she cannot do it alone, and that all three methods of healing may have to be utilized for effective healing. The tendency to tout one method as superior to the other is dangerous, and any health care practitioner that denies the healing power that can be derived from any one of the other two methods of healing is not a good practitioner. How many times have you heard medical doctors deride natural healers and faith healers? How many times have you heard faith healers deride medical doctors and natural healers? How many times have you heard natural healers deride medical doctors and faith healers? Here is the truth. God is our ultimate healer, and He is the great Physician; but He has placed resources here on Earth for us to use, and He expects us to use them. He wants us to look to Him for wisdom and instruction in the application of those resources. He wants us to increase in knowledge on how to take care of our bodies and how to keep it healthy. He wants us to be good stewards of our health, and to live a lifestyle that promotes health, so as to avoid sickness and disease. He knows we will get sick, so He makes provision for that through natural remedies and medicinal cures. He also knows that not all diseases are curable, but He has the power of miraculous healing for those incurable conditions. Do you want to be healed? Put your trust in the wisdom of God and not man.

"Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding...Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings: and the years of thy life shall be many" (Proverbs 4: 7, 10).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Your Body is God's Temple

Where does God live? Does He live in heaven, or does He live in all the earth? According to 1 Corithinans 6: 13, God lives inside of us too! You see, He has His throne in heaven (Psalm 11:4), and Earth is His footstool (Isaiah 66:1), but He also has a place within our hearts (Ephesians 4: 6). He is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere; therefore, He is in heaven, on earth, and in our hearts all at the same time! All true Believers, who have dedicated their lives to the service of God, have the presence of God within. When He lives within us, our bodies become His temple, and a place in which to serve Him. Yes, our bodies belong to Him, because He has created it; but when we accept Him into our hearts, we become His temple. That is why then, as His followers, we are careful about the way we treat and use our bodies. We treat our bodies with respect, appreciation, and care, because it is God's temple.

God's temple is holy, therefore our body temples are holy (1 Corinthians 3: 17). We refrain from using our bodies for purposes that are displeasing to God, because it is holy. Any sinful act, and any act which is a defilement to the body we try to avoid, in order to keep our body temples pure and holy. Sickness and disease, especially infectious diseases, are all defilements to the purity, strength, and physical health of our body temples. They weaken our body temples, and decrease its usefulness and ability to function normally. Sexual immorality, which is a spiritual defilement of our body temple, puts us at risk for both physical and emotional defilement, that cause disease and emotional instability respectively. Sexual immorality, which is sex that confers intimacy upon someone who is not entitled to this privilege, is the cause of many broken hearts, nervous breakdowns, unwanted pregnancies, broken homes, financial hardships, dead beat parents, unwanted children, dyfunctional families, and sexual diseases. Using a person merely as an object of sex to satisfy an urge, instead of as a beneficiary of love, reduces the value of that person as a whole person. Sexual love that is accompanied by true love, respect, admiration, commitment, and care for the other person is what God desires for each of us. Our body temples are portals to intimacy, but this intimacy is sacred. It is meant to be shared within the bonds of married love, exclusive of all others.

Persons who have not invited God within, to live inside, may not understand the concept of a body temple. As a matter of fact, although their bodies belong to God because He is their Creator, their bodies are not His temple because they do not belong to Him in a spiritual way. When the temptation to be sexually immoral presents itself to them, they may find it hard to resist, as they do not have the benefit of God's power residing in them to give them victory over sexual sins. They give in to temptation, and may end up regretting the choices made. Those of us who have made our bodies God's temple, are also tempted too, but the God within gives us the power to resist, and to turn away from temptation. If however, we do falter, the God within gives us the courage to face our mistakes, and bring us into true repentance. He is ever willing to forgive, as long as we are honest with Him. Let us therefore give our lives and bodies over to the will of God, so that we can avoid the deception of sexual immorality, and turn to the living God, the One who has created true intimacy, for us all to enjoy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Birth Control and the Creator

The issue of birth control has become front and center in the national media with the rise of Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, as the GOP Vice Presidential Candidate. In Christian circles, many are divided as to the proper place, if any, for birth control in our society, and the controversy surrounding abortion still rages on. In this blog, I will be looking at birth control from a spiritual and natural viewpoint, in order to learn more about our Creator's plan, if any, pertaining to birth and population control.

In the beginning of time, when God created the world, the world was uninhabited by man except for two persons, Adam and Eve. In order to populate the planet with people, God commanded Adam and Eve to be "fruitful and multiply" in order to fill the earth with people. It has been a long time now since that initial command was given to Adam and Eve, and the world is now filled with lots of people. Every continent of the world, except for Antartica, teems with millions of people, including even islands in the sea. Some countries have huge populations such as India and China, and in China, regulations are in place to control and prevent overpopulation, with government mandated birth control programs. The question may thus be asked, "Is population control through birth control part of the Creator plan or does it go against the Creator?" To answer such a question, we need look no further than the Bible itself and the laws of nature to find our answer.

The Creator's Birth Control Program

Many people do not realize it, but our Creator does have a birth control program to prevent overpopulation once the world becomes populated. This program is a multi-faceted program that ensures that overpopulation does not occur, and that the Earth can support all of her inhabitants. The Creator's birth and population control program from the Bible and nature consists of:

  1. A decreased life span for man. Man's lifespan was decreased from 900+ years to 70-120 years(Genesis 6: 3; Psalm 90: 10; Isaiah 66: 20). The shorter life span of man reduces the total number of people on the planet at any one time.

  2. Strict sex laws. Prohibitions against incestuous relationships (Leviticus 18), extramaritial afffairs (Leviticus 20: 10-12), and pre-maritial sex (Deuteronomy 22: 20-29), limited the number and type of homes which could legally produce children. It should be noted however that children produced outside of "legitimacy" were still entitled to legal rights, care, support, and protection by parents, under common law, as seen in the concubine relationships of ancient societies (Genesis 25: 6; 2 Chronicles 11: 21-23).

  3. Female infertility. Women who were naturally incapable of bearing children were called "barren" (Isaiah 54:1).

  4. Male infertility. Men who were unable to reproduce were called "eunuchs" (Matthew 19: 12).

  5. Limited fertility. A woman's natural reproductive cycle limits fertility to only a few days within the month(1). In addition, pregnancy risk is reduced in mothers who are nursing(2).

  6. Menopause. Women lose the ability to bear children at menopause, due to inability to ovulate(3).

  7. Male senile infertility. Men have reduced ability to father children in old age due to decreased numbers of viable sperm, and impotence (4).

  8. Abstinence. Avoiding sexual contact during periods of fasting and religious exercises (Exodus 19: 14-16; 1 Corinthians 7: 5).

  9. Celibacy. Abstaining from sexual relationships for religious or other reasons (Matthew 19: 12; 1 Corinthians 7: 1,7-8).

  10. Withdrawal or other method in which the sperm does not enter the woman to cause conception (Leviticus 15: 16-18).

Birth/population control methods in the Bible condemned by the Creator

  1. Child sacrifices (Leviticus 18: 21).

  2. Ethnic cleansings for the purpose of destroying or reducing the population of certain races or ethnic groups because there are "too many of them" (Exodus 1: 9-10).

  3. Infanticide/massacres (Exodus 1: 15-21).

  4. Refusing to reproduce in cases where reproduction is mandated (Genesis 38: 7-10).

Modern birth control methods

  1. Birth control pills

  2. Condoms

  3. Intrauterine devices

  4. Hormone implants

  5. "Morning after" pills

  6. Abortion

From the above examples, one can see that God's birth control program is a way for Him to manage the Earth's population, so that we can all benefit from the Earth's resources. The problem therefore is not that one practices birth control, as birth control is built into the very laws of God and nature, but lies with the method used. Make sure that the method you use is in keeping with the will of our Creator, and the call He has for your life. The practice of birth control is a personal, intimate decision between yourself and God, and is thus not subject to the whims and fancy, and dictates of others. He will guide you to choose a method that is humane, just, and righteous, and that does not go against His will.

(1) Tortura, Gerard, and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 957.

(2) Ibid. p.990

(3) Lauersen, Niels M.D. and Whitney, Steven. It's Your Body: A Woman's Guide to Gynecology. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1983, p. 118.

(4) Tortura, Gerard, and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 959.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Devotional of the Week September 7-13

Hosea 11: 1-4

" When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them."

God has done so much for so many of us, and yet we take His love for granted! No matter how much He does for us, it always seems as if it is not enough. Man is always dissatisfied with the provisions of our Creator, and it seems that we are hard to please. We depise the every day miracles of God, and keep demanding greater and greater miracles every day, as if it is our right to demand from God what we want Him to do for us. Herein lies the unhappiness of life which traps so many of us. We are unhappy not because life is tough, but because we do not recognize the love and care that God has for us. We tend to focus on our problems and on what we do not have, instead of on what God has done for us and what He has given to us. Let us therefore cease from complaining, and begin thanking and praising God.

Sex and Spirituality

The recent controversy regarding Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, and her pregnant unmarried daughter, has again sparked the national debate about whether sex education and abstinence programs should be taught in schools. In light of the ongoing controversy, I would like to dedicate a series of blogs under the label SEX AND SPIRITUALITY, to deal with the issue of sex from a natural and spiritual level, and to learn more about this act, which is practiced by all of creation.

Sex is a natural act that is practiced by all creatures, whether plant or animal, for the purposes of reproduction and the continuation of the species. It is an act which God has created to ensure the continuation of the various species of plants and animals He has created, and to prevent extinction. In the book of Genesis we read where God told the birds and sea creatures to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1: 22), in order to populate the earth. Without sexual reproduction, all life on this planet would eventually become extinct, as the living members die off. Sex therefore is ESSENTIAL to the continuation of life on Earth.

In God's creation of man, His command to man was no less than His command to the plants and animals. In Genesis 1: 27-28, we read where God COMMANDED Adam and Eve to engage in sexual reproduction, and He BLESSED them with the gift of sex! It says:

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

The original plan was for Adam and Eve to have many children, who in turn would have many children, and so on, until the whole earth was inhabited by man, along with the various species of plants and animals. In addition, man had the responsiblity of "replenishing the earth," which was to make sure that the resources of the earth which were used up were replaced, and to "subdue" the earth, which was to take responsibility and authority for the care of all living creatures on earth. The end result and blessing of sex would have been a world that was populated by a people who lived at one and in peace with God and nature. Alas however, sin and death entered into the world in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). Consequently, sex took on a secondary function which, in addition to populating the earth, sex was also used to REPLACE those members of the race which had died. Thus we can see that sex was, and still is important for the continuation and survival of the human race.

In additon to reproduction, sex was created for a man and his wife to enjoy as a social activity, and for pleasure. In Proverbs 5: 18-19 we read:

"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as a loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love."

King Solomon also enjoyed the sexual pleasures of his wife, and this is well documented in the book Song of Solomon. In this book we can read about the intimate desires expressed between king Solomon and his wife, who was Pharoah's daughter (1 Kings 7:8; Song 7: 1). In Song of Solomon 7: 10-12, Solomon's wife expressed her deep desire for her husband when she said,

"I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards: let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grapes appear, and the pomengrantes bud forth: there will I give thee my loves."

What a powerful statement of desire and intimacy, expressed in poetic terms within the pages of the Bible! Who knew, that the Bible endorsed sex as a pleasurable activity to be practiced between a man and a woman in marriage! Some would have us believe that sex was only for reproduction, but here is living proof that was sex was also created for pleasure. In the book of Hebrews we read that "marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13: 4). The sexual act in marriage is therefore not a dirty thing and unclean, but is actually a pure act, which is blessed by God. It is also a holy act, which is set apart by God for special use within the confines of marriage, but is only deemed unholy if practiced outside of marriage.

Yes, the debate about sex continues, and will continue as long as man is on earth. We need however to understand that sex is a natural part of life, is essential for life, and is a gift given to us by our Creator, for a blessing. Keep checking back for more blogs pertaining to this subject, under the label SEX AND SPIRITUALITY. I will be tackling more material pertaining to sex such as functionality and sex (from a physical therapy perspective), and also controversial topics such as birth control, sexual immorality, and sexual diseases. Have a great day!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Natural Healing for Burns

It's that time of the year again, when family and friends come together to celebrate the holidays. Holidays are usually a time for great festivities, fun activities, and food. As we enjoy the holidays, let us keep in mind however that it is around holidays that the incidence of burns increases. The cause of the increase incidence of burns around the holidays are varied, but most occur during cooking especially during barbeques, cook outs, or large catered gatherings (self-catered or professionally catered). Many sunburns also occur when people are outside for long periods in the sun such as at picnics, on the beach, or participating in outdoor activities. While we should do our best to prevent burns, it is also important for us to know about the different types of burns, and which burns can be treated at home, and which require professional medical treatment. We also need to know what we can do at home to prevent burns from getting worse, and how we can promote healing using simple home remedies. Make sure however, that you check with your doctor for a professional assessment of your burn, to determine the right treatment.

Burns can be classified into four major groups: 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and 4th degree burns. The first two (1st and 2nd degree), can usually be sucessfully treated at home. The second two (3rd and 4th degree) requires IMMEDIATE medical care, and are LIFETHREATENING(1). Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the type of burn that you have, and you should see a doctor for a professional diagnosis of your burn. As a Physical Therapist, the treatment of burns and skin ulcerations is a part of my training, but it is also a speciality within the profession. The following tips will assist you to heal burns naturally by minimizing damage, preventing infection, and promoting healing.

When any burn occurs, the first thing to do is to plunge the body part IMMEDIATELY in cold water. This will stop the burn process and prevent the burn from getting worse. DO NOT USE ICE or ice water, as the ice will cause "freezer burn" and make the effect of the burn worse. After the area has cooled down, one can assess the area to see what kind of burn it is, and then determine the treatment. In a 1st degree burn, the skin is red and painful but still intact and not broken. This burn can be easily treated by applying Aloe Vera gel to the burn. The Aloe Vera plant is a well-known herbal remedy for burns, and the gel can be usually found in the Sun Care aisle of the grocery store or pharmacy, with the sun tan and sun block lotions. Aloe is especially cooling to the skin, and promotes healing of skin tissues(2).

The next type of burn which can occur is the 2nd degree burn. Second degree burns are characterized by red, painful skin that is DAMAGED. Typically, fluid-filled blisters develop and the whole area is swollen and painful. Do not pick at these blisters as you can cause an infection! These blisters result from the damage done to the top, supericial, but protective layer of the skin, called the epidermis. If these blisters are opened, the second layer of the skin, called the dermis, will be exposed to the environment and germs. An infected 2nd degree burn can EASILY become like to a 3rd degree burn! HOME TREATMENT: Apply Aloe Vera gel to burned skin, and wrap area lightly with guaze. Once blisters are open, protect the underlying skin by covering the area with guaze. To prevent infections and promote healing, check with your doctor or pharmacist for use of topical antibiotic creams. To promote healing, oral and/or topical zinc preparations can be used, but again check with your doctor(3). DO NOT USE PETROLEUM JELLY. Petroleum jelly may act as a moisture barrier but it PREVENTS THE SKIN FROM BREATHING, and may block natural healing. After the area has been healed, topical Cocoa Butter can be used to restore the natural look of the skin, if hyperpigmentation or blotchiness of the skin occur(4).

If after a burn the skin is charred, dry, and dark, then it is either a 3rd degree or 4th degree burn(5). Both 3rd degree and 4th degree burns are highly dangerous, and you can die from them(6)! Get to a hospital right away. In a 3rd degree burn, the first top two layers of the skin is COMPLETEY BURNT OFF, and is NOT PAINFUL AT FIRST, as the superficial nerves of the skin are burned up and destroyed. In a 4th degree burn, the first top THREE layers of skin are burnt, and can even reach down to the muscle and bone. Both types of burns are extremely dangerous and SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AT HOME.

(1). Gould, Barbara, Pathophysiology for the Health Related Professions. Philadephia: W.B. Saunder Company, 1997, p. 20.
(5) Gould, Barabara, Pathophysiology for Health Related Professions. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunder Company, 1997, p. 20.
(6). Ibid.

Disclaimer: Information above is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice to treat or diagnose any particular disease or medical condition. One should always consult a physician or health professional before starting any treatment regimen.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Devotional of the Week August 24-30

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-22

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Timeless advice and words of wisdom for all. As we walk with God along life's journey, let us not forget to rejoice along the way for His goodness and love. God and His goodness should be constant in our thoughts day by day, and we ought to give Him thanks for all that He has done for us. As we continue to honor Him with our lives, and follow His commands, we will grow closer to Him. We will lose our desire for all that is or appears to be evil, and will cling to the goodness of life.

Energy For Life

One of the most frequent complaints I get as a Physical Therapist from patients is, lack of energy. Many times I get patients to rehabilitate who have gone through a period of hospitalization after a major illness, and who had become weak in the process. They have very low energy levels, complain of feeling "weak," and are unable to physically function on even the most basic levels. Many have difficulty getting themselves out of bed without assistance, many are unable to walk or get off the toilet without assistance!

You too maybe feeling "weak" and lack the energy to perform day to day tasks. It may not be where you need assistance to walk or get out of bed, but you lack the vitality, drive and vibrancy needed to feel good. Your energy levels are low, and you are popping vitamin pills hoping to increase your energy. You may be also loading up on caffeine to stay awake and energized throughout the day. You always feel tired and stressed out, and to make it worse, you cannot sleep at nights! You go to the doctor and have a check up done, and they find nothing wrong with you. Your doctor tells you "eat right and exercise" and tells you to return in six months for another check up. You are absolutely frustated, and do not know what to do.

Does this sound like you? Many Americans, who are otherwise healthy, suffer from these symptoms every day. Doctors have come up with may labels to describe these physical symptoms such as Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Adrenalin overload, stress, depression, and so on. Regardless of the diagnosis however, one thing is clear: We need to get a better handle and control of these symptoms, as they threaten our quality of life.

In my professional experience, I have found that of all the "treatments" given to increase energy levels, only one "treatment" does an effective job in boosting energy levels. Many of the traditional treatments for low energy levels do work to a certain extent, but their effects are usually short-lived. Drinking energy drinks, popping vitamins, caffeine, and taking medications all have short-lived effects, and some may even have adverse side effects. Exercise is good, but can also leave you feeling more fatigued due to muscular fatigue. For myself however, I have found three things which if done in combination, will increase your energy levels.

1. Eat whole foods
Stay away from processed foods as much as you can. The life-giving properties are usually removed or destroyed in processed foods. Examples of processed foods include products made from white flour, white sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and food additives. If what you are eating cannot be found in nature, then it is junk, and you should stay away from it. There is no man made food, however "nutritious," that can ever take the place of or improve upon what God has created to nourish our bodies.

2. Get plenty of exercise in clean air
Our sedentary lifestyles is one of the leading causes of obesity and poor health. People who are sedentary are more likely to make have low energy levels versus non sedentary people. Most people feel more tired after a day of hanging around the house doing nothing, than doing actual work! One of the best ways to get exercise and be productive at the same time is to do some physical work. Physical work includes gardening, housework, yard work, grocery shopping, working on the house, taking care of little children, building something, and so on. Fun activities that are also exercise include sports, hiking, bicycling, roller blading, white water rafting, aerobic dance, swimming, and so on. Spiritual activities that promote exercise include lithurgical dance, nature walks, church outings, church program activities, and church missionary activities. God created our bodies with the intent to move. Movement is life. When He created Adam, He did not place Adam in a house with all the amenities of convenience, but placed him in a garden to tend the garden and take care of it. Adam was placed where he could enjoy nature and commune with God in the fresh, clean air of Eden. Breathing in clean, fresh air energizes us. As we exercise, our bodies requires more oxygen, and our cells are revitalized by the increased intake of oxygen. That air however needs to be clean and pure, for our cells to function properly. The inhalation of toxic, smoke-filled air has led to many diseases including emphysema, and lung cancer. Medically speaking, people with low oxygen intake, below normal, exhibit decreased energy levels and decreased ability to perform work and function physically. Therefore, if you want to be at your optimum energy level, then you must take in adequate amounts of pure, clean air.

3. Seek spiritual renewal
Spiritual renewal is usually the one thing that is ignored in seeking increased energy levels, yet without spiritual renewal, all our best efforts may be useless. In our search for physical wholeness, it is important that one achieve wholeness in mind, body, and spirit. Wholeness of mind means that you are emotionally stable. Wholeness of body means that you are free of disease, and wholeness of spirit means that you have a healthy relationship with your Creator. All three aspects of physical wholeness are however actually interrelated, and therefore one cannot achieve true wholeness of body or mind, without the spiritual input of the our Creator. When we have a healthy relationship with God, He restores our health and gives us healthy minds. He takes away our worries and cares, as we lean upon His strength. He revitalizes our bodies and renews our energies. It is only through trust in Him, that many have found the real and only cure for their low energy levels. In Isaiah 40: 29-31 it says,

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 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."

The key therefore to physical wholeness and wellness is spiritual wholeness. Spiritual wholeness is characterized by spirtual holiness in body, soul, and mind (1 Thessalonians 5:23), where your whole body, soul, and mind (spirit) are under the control of God and His power, as you give your life over to Him. You no longer depend on your ways, instead, you put complete trust in His ways and His will, as He leads you along the path of righteousness and true wholeness. May you find your strength in Him.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prophecy Corner

By now you have all heard the news about the flooding in Iowa and the death of the four Boy Scouts in a tornado. Let us keep the families involved in this natural disaster in our prayers as they suffer through this unfortunate event, and let us do all that we can to render aid and assistance.

In this age of catastrophic size natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, and tsunamis, the question many people are asking is this, "Are natural disasters a sign of God's judgment?" Many so-called modern day prophets of doom have used this argument repeatedly to rationalize the destructions caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Louisiana, the earthquake in China, the Tsunamis in Asia, and natural disasters in Third World countries. Is there really any true justification for such a rationale? Do these events occur because God is angry at us?

Jesus was asked these same questions when He was on Earth, and it is interesting to note His answer. Back in His day, when He walked the Earth, a tower had collapsed and killed eighteen people. Many were upset about this, and some wondered if this had happened because those eighteen people were evil persons. Some had concluded that those eighteen persons must have been evil for such a thing to happen to them. Surely God would not allow such a thing to happen to good people, right? The answer Jesus gave however was both eye-opening and startling. He said,

"...Those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:4-5).

People who perish in natural disasters are not inherently more evil than anyone else. Natural disasters can happen to anyone whether good or bad. The thing we are to do then is not try to judge others when disasters occur, but offer prayers and help, knowing that disaster can strike ANYONE at any time. Yes, the eighteen people of Luke 13:4-5 perished with their sins, but not because their sins were more grievious than anyone else's. We are all sinners and have done wrong against God and others, so these things can happen to anyone of us at any time. Jesus is therefore calling us to repentance from sin, which is to turn away from sin in our personal lives, so that when a disaster strikes, our soul will not perish, even if our body perishes: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in Him will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Natural disasters are going to occur, and even more frequently as we draw towards the end of time (Matthew 24:3-7). We need to do all that we can to prepare for such events, because their coming is inevitable. We must reinforce our homes, stock up on emergency supplies, plan an evacuation route, formulate an emergency plan, move away from disaster-prone areas if possible, etc. Most importantly however, we must secure the safety of our souls, so that if we perish in the disaster bodily, we are assured of the salvation of our souls. Let us therefore put away our personal judgments against anyone who has suffered in a natural disaster, and reach out in sympathy and love to offer comfort and aid, knowing full well that such things can happen to anyone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Comfort

With the rising cost of fuel affecting our country, the new buzz word in town is conservation. Energy conservation is good thing which not only saves you money, but is also good for the planet. There are many ways in which we can all do our part in conserving energy, but it does not mean sacrificing comfort in order to save on costs. Listed here are some conservation tips which will help in saving energy. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and all are welcome to add ideas and suggestions to this list.

Save on gas by running multiple errands in one outing. It is better to go to one or two locations to complete your errands than to drive all over town to multiple destinations. Try to choose stores and malls that offer "one stop shopping."

Try carpooling. Carpooling allows you to share the cost of fuel, saves on overall gas,decreases overall wear and tear to your car, and cuts down on traffic.

If possible, try working at home instead of at the office. Many companies now allow employees to work out from their homes instead of the office. This saves on gas, transportation costs, and costs associated with going to work in an office such as clothing, lunch money, etc.

Update your vehicle to a hybrid or an alternate fuel car.

Work closer to home.

Turn off lights when you leave a room.

In the cooler months try opening your windows to let in fresh air and turn off the A/C.

In the colder months, only heat up the areas of your home that you use. For example, if you live in a four bedroom home, but you only use two bedrooms, close off the vents in the other two bedrooms. In smaller homes, a space heater in one or two rooms may be all that is needed.

In the warmer months, set your A/C thermostat higher when you leave the house, eg. 84 degrees. The house will be warm, but not too hot when you get home. The higher thermostat temperature will cause the A/C to not chip in too often while you are away. When you get home, you can lower the thermostat to the temperature you desire. If you turn the A/C totally off while you are away during the day, the house will get oppressively hot, and it may take a very long time for it to cool off when you turn the A/C back on in the evening. This will also cause the A/C to work extra hard.

Wait for a full load before you use your washer, or dryer, or dishwasher.

If you have a private backyard, you can try sun-drying of laundry. This costs nothing!

Hang up clothing immediately after doing laundry. This discourages wrinkles and cuts down on the need to iron clothing.

Turn off lawn sprinklers during rainy months.

Landscape your home with indigenous plants. These require less fertilizers/pesticides, and adapt more readily to changes in the climate.

These are just a few suggestions for conserving energy. I welcome any additonal suggestions.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hair Care

Are you suffering from dull, lifeless hair? It may be due to the build up of hair products over time such as shampoos, conditioners, mousse, setting lotion, etc. One easy way to remove build up and restore shine and body to dull, lifeless hair is to use plain old white vinegar. Apply a generous amount of vinegar to hair and massage it into scalp and hair for about five minutes. Rinse and shampoo hair, then condition or style as usual. Hair will look more healthy, and the natural shine will be restored. In addition, dirt and oil which tends to clog the hairshaft and cause the hair to break or fall out, will be removed. This simple home treatment can be done as often as needed, and eliminates the need for harsh and or expensive treatments. It can be used also on all hair types, natural hair, and processed hair, regardless of race or ethnic background. Give this treatment a try and let me know. I welcome your comments.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Devotional of the Week June 8-14

John 4: 21-26

"Jesus saith unto her, 'Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.'
The woman saith unto him, 'I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.'
Jesus saith unto her, 'I that speak unto thee am he.'"

Are you feeling confused about your worship? Are you unsure of where to worship, how to worship, and when to worship? Are you church hopping, looking for the "perfect" church? They have a saying (and I paraphrase), "when you find the perfect church do not join it because it would not be perfect anymore." Instead of trying to look at the externals of worship to fulfill us, such as our church affiliations, congregation size, church activities and programs, we should rather look to God Himself to come inside of us and fill our hearts with His presence. Only a true and close relationship with our heavenly Father can fill the hunger within our souls for a meaningful worship experience.