Review of Part 1
Spiritual depravity, sickness, disease, addictions are all a direct result of the fall of man. God did not intend for us to have anything but a blessed life…but sin entered the world and man was under a curse however, when we come to Christ, Paul through the Holy Spirit tells us this
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Science has finally caught up to scripture in that we may change our genetic make-up, getting free of the curse science says this through processes called…
Epigenetics – is the influencing our genetic expression through various outside sources, in other words through doing things (that are biblical by the way) we can change our genes
Neurogenesis – we have been told brain cells die off and can not be restored but studies over the last 30 years now tell us differently, we can form new neurons in the brain, well into our 90’s. This is something God has enabled us to control
And through another process called neuroplasticity we can rewire and reshape our brains and once again the funny thing is following basic biblical principles enables us to do this…
- Times of quiet and meditation, prayer
- Proper nutrition
- Controlling stress – be at peace, do not worry or be anxious, renewing our minds, casting our cares on him
- Exercise –
We must realize that we have the power to choose to live this way or not….the blessing is prosperity and success
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
As God has granted us free will we must decide we are going to make a choice
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
These five points, if we choose to heed God’s word will quite literally change our physical and mental well being…but we must choose to let God’s peace and wisdom dwell in our hearts
Last week we covered…
- Mediation, prayer being in the word
- Sleep, rest
We began going down the road of…
- Proper Nutrition
- Our times of meditating on God’s word allows our brains to actually create new pathways which enable us to live longer
- Sleep – gives our brain time to detox and allows the conductor of our brains the DMN (default mode network) to recharge and reorganize so we have a more productive day, deals with depression and anxiety as does prayer…
- Eating – bringing our appetites under control over indulgence has created a scenario where our brains are being blasted by sugars and are not able to recoup, causing a deterioration of pathways rather than allowing for a renewing so we begin today with how do we control our eating..
Begin Part 2
One way to do that is to have a fasting regimen….
Jesus said Matthew 6:16-18
And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Fasting was a normal part of the early church life
…science now tells us that something called intermittent fasting can fight insulin resistance which is at the root of most weight issues, prediabetes and so many more issues with our health
The early disciples fasted and it was a discipline of the church for hundreds of years. Over thirty years ago I had someone challenge me to do a 40 day fast and I have done one nearly every year since then.
That is pretty extreme but research has found that as the Bible has challenged us to fast, as Jesus has challenged us to fast. It is a great way to control the glucose and insulin levels in our bodies which are critical to controlling inflammation, diabetes, obesity, and a host of other problems
I have been on and off with a process called intermittent fasting basically eating from around noon to 6pm every day and only then making sure I’m drinking plenty of water… my consistency has paid off as so far I have lost 16 pounds and generally feel better…I will find out about my blood work in a month or so but I do not have a problem with cholesterol or triglycerides but my genetics says I will.
Basically, we have been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It may be for children but not adults…by intermittent fasting I am controlling the insulin resistance and glucose release in my body, helping me to lost weight without sever strain or giving up foods I enjoy
When done properly fasting gives you more time to spend with the Lord, less time for food prep and clean up, more time to be with Him. Someone once told me when they get hungry during a fast, it is reminder to pray….the only trouble I have with this type of fast is breakfast meetings which I will eat breakfast and adjust my fasting regimen on those days or completely fast the next day until the following days lunch….Sunday’s are a free day for me
Fasting gives your internal organs a Sabbath as well…for me doing a complete fast for 40 days is like a tithe of my eating each year…Most Americans due to their BMI (body mass index) could fast way more than 40 days without causing any harm to their muscles only devouring fat cells and cells out of order.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid
Easy to say, and yes we are even to give God all of our burdens but just like God’s mercies are new every morning so are the stressors…so we need to make sure we are living in God’s mercy, but
get jolted awake by alarm clock
getting kids ready for school while listening to disturbing news
fight traffic into work
bills are due
Parents are sickly or having trouble
Kids are struggling
Maybe if we understand what stress does to us, we would focus on handling it
Chronic versus acute stress
- stress inflammation in the brain and body unbalance neurotransmitters…inflammatory states the leads to insulin resistance, reduces your immune system
- chemical changes in your gut biome – regulates all manner of metabolism, regulates neurotransmitters…changes your gene expression as the microbiome is changed by stress
- increases blood sugar – insulin resistance that leads to weight gain and diabetes
- cortisol is a hormone meant to help fight or flight responses, floods your body full of glucose so your muscles and organs have the energy to fight or flight but without the need to do this we marinate in glucose causing insulin resistance
- most of are stressor are not life threatening we catastrophize things…we believe we are going to be fired when we are not, we assume the worst outcome about what our kids are going through, what will happen with our home, car, family…basically that Eeyore mentality I have talked about
- because we are always worrying or stressing about these things both real and imagined our bodies are in chronic stress mode and this causes us to produce more cortisol which long term exposure shrinks the hippocampus part of the brain where short term memory is housed and it decrease the production of oxytocin which is the hormone that is the love/feel good/ connection hormone
the key is not stress but how you handle it…everyone has stress
In animal studies where animals have tumors that are producing high levels of cortisol, the hippocampus shrinks but once the tumors are removed that brain begins to restore
To Lower stress
– Meditation, prayer, help reduce the stress and begin healing process-prayer and meditation on God’s word
– sleep and rest – do things you enjoy
– seek joy, gratitude
– Stop trying to multitask focus on one thing at a time
– Keep your relationships healthy
– Laughter reduces stress
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
we are so busy with life we don’t have time for exercise. we sleep, get out of bed, get in our cars, go to work, sit at a desk, then hop in our cars to go home then go home and sit and watch TV then go to bed and start the routine all over again.
we think that so much of our faith is simply spiritual but we need to remember our spirit man is housed in a physical body and if we do not take care of this Body we can shorten the ability to serve the Lord.
here are some verses that refer to taking care of our physical bodies
1 Timothy 4:8
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
If we lack appropriate exercise, approximately 150 minutes ( 2 1/2 hours) per week our bodies become sedentary. What a sedentary lifestyle does to your body, it also does to your brain. As we get older our brains are like silly putty that has sat out. It has the ability to be flexible if you place it in your hands, warm it up and it will eventually become more plastic, that is part of what exercise does to your brain.
Let’s look at the benefit to exercise and challenges to our lack of exercise.
exercise – reduces stress and also increases oxytocin the love and connection hormone, it also increases our ability to sleep and also by increasing all of the “feel good” chemicals in our brains which reduce and can improve depression
Exercise is one of the most important factors for creating Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
– BDNF is miracle grow for the brain, it creates through the process of neurogenesis, new neurons and dendrites to grow in the brain. It also encourages new connections between neurons healing damaged parts of our brains.
- BDNF also causes the brain to function faster. Increases the amount of neuroplasticity so your brain and develop and function better longer
- BDNF improves cognition, memory formation and memory function
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which is critical for a healthy and alive brain. Increases blood flow helps your brain clean up the messes of pollutants and problem areas of your brain. It also immediately reduces stress levels.
Reduces inflammation which relates control of insulin and glucose (blood sugar). It increases the flow of oxytocin which then lowers the cortisol, (fight or flight hormone).
Our brains are 3-4% of body weight but consumes 40% of our blood oxygen and exercise enables that stimulating cell renewal.
People who are active even starting in your 30’s influences the ability to stop or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. (study from Columbia study)
Exercise can be working out, gardening, chasing your kids or grandkids, urban aerobics, lawn maintenance
BTW BDNF is also created by drinking coffee in moderation
God has already put in place systems and patterns to keep us healthy so we can fulfill God’s plan and purpose
We must choose
- to meditate, pray and read the word
- have times of rest and quality sleep
- eating in to live not living to eat
- being at peace and only stressing when needed
- get out and get walking, gardening…man was created to work…God put Adam to work in the garden
Our genetics are a map that may very well be linked to the fallen sin nature of man and God has given us a way of escape through His word that science is now proving