Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Over the last several days I’ve been asked: What is New Age anyway?”  Maybe you wonder the same thing.

Contemporary Use of the Term New Age

“Widespread usage of the term New Age began in the mid-1970s (reflected in the title of monthly periodical New Age Journal) and probably influenced several thousand small metaphysical book- and gift-stores that increasingly defined themselves as “New Age bookstores.”[28][29] As a result of the large-scale activities surrounding the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, the American mass media further popularised the term as a label for the alternative spiritual subculture, including practices such as meditation, channeling, crystal healing, astral projection, psychic experience, holistic health, simple living, and environmentalism; or belief in phenomena such as Earth mysteries, ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects, crop circles, and reincarnation.”

The above source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age

What Does this Mean for Christians?

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Mat 10:16 KJV)

Yes, we need to be wise because we are in a world that is full of false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They  fool many Christians today.  Don’t be one of them.

As Christians there are several “red flags” we can look for that might indicate someone is a New Ager. 

Some New Age Beliefs

Because the New Age is simply an umbrella term which covers a myriad of groups, with scores of authors, it is impossible to identify all its doctrines.

The following, however, is a brief overview of the basic teachings of the majority of the New Age groups.

1) All is one: all reality is a unitary whole;

2) Everything is God (god) and God (god) is everything;

3) You (as an individual) are God. You are divine; God is within you;

4) You will never die; You have lived before and you will live again (reincarnation);

5) You can create your own reality or transform your own consciousness;

6) All religions are true and, therefore, one;

7) A new world is coming; a New Age is dawning.

(Belief Bulletin: New Age Movement, Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, p. 1).  Source:  http://www.watchman.org/na/nadefine.htm

Some New Age Practices and Methods

  • meditation – Eastern
  • hypnosis
  • yoga
  • Reiki – meditation using “life force” channeling to evil spirits
  • Transcendental mediation
  • psychology
  • Kriya Kirtan – a form of meditation
  • Alternative medicine
  • Visualization –  go to a “peaceful place” in our mind.
  • Holistic medicine – body, soul, and mind. 

Several of these techniques will allow our minds to go  into an altered state of consiousness.  This is dangerious because it can open our minds up to the evil spirit world of Satan.  This is against all the Word of God teaches us.  God has never told us to do this.  Instead He has told us to renew our minds with the Word of God.

I’m sure there are other things I could add to this list, but that will give you an idea of what to look for.

Some of these practices are actually being done in churches today. I find that unacceptable and we need to become educated about what we are taught in church, so we can identify the enemy and not be duped by the Devil’s workers.

What Does God’s Word Say?

(Deu 18:9-13 NASB)
“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.

I pray if you are a Christian you will walk in a way that is honoring to our precious Lord and Savior.  If your church is entertaining any of the New Age practices please inform your leadership and help them understand the dangers.

Recommended Reading: “False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?” Warren B. Smith, available at www.Amazon.com.

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It as been brought to my attention that Rick Warren has started a new health program called The Daniel Plan.  If you go to a church that follows Rick Warren you should be aware that this is not as benign as it may seem.

On the surface it might look like a good thing, but when you dig a little deeper you find it is not Christian.  This program was written with the help of three celebrity doctors who believe in new age and Eastern mysticism.  This is hardly proper for a Christian organization.  Doesn’t the Bible teach that we are to be equally yoked?

It doesn’t seem to me that the church should be in the business of health care.  The church should be in the business of getting out the gospel message so that people can know their need for a Savior, and teach saints how to live for Christ.

Here is a good place to start.  This site also has several good links to further your study.

Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Embraces New Age Spirituality – Charlotte apologetics | Examiner.com

TBC NewsWatch:  Purpose-Driven Apostasy

This is a very good article written by The Berean Call  in their February 2011 newsletter.  It explains who these new age doctors are and what they believe. 

http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9009

Here is another blog site that gives a lot more detail of what is behind this Daniel Plan.

http://herescope.blogspot.com/

I pray you will explore these web sites and then make up you own mind as to whether Rick Warren promotes true or false religion.

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What is your heart’s desire?  Is it to be healed from anxiety and fear? 
 
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
 
Do you delight yourself in the Lord?  What does that mean?  Well, you need to meditate on God, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)  You need to think about how wonderful He is and how glorious His creation all around us is.  You need to hunger for greater understanding of His love and grace.  You need to long for Him to come back again.
You need to meditate on everything about our precious Lord and Savior.  You need to be grateful for everything He has done regarding the gospel and how He made a way for your eternal salvation.
 
Out of your heart of thanksgiving you need to serve the Lord.  After all, He saved us and adopted us into His family.  He is Lord over us. He is Sovereign and He is in control.  We need to bow our knee to Christ no matter what our circumstances are.  From the above verse we can see that the first thing we need to do is fix our minds on Him, not ourselves, as we delight ourselves in the Lord.
 
If we are ill; if we are in financial trouble; if we battle fear and anxiety; if we are in bad relationships; if we are in an uncomfortable work situation; if our spouse is not saved and doesn’t like us to live as a Christian; if our children give us terrible problems; if our parents give us problems; if we are challenged in our school work; if we have too much to do; if we are lonely; if we hurt; if we are angry; if we are sad; if we feel inferior; no matter what, we need to put the Lord first in our lives and live to please Him.  Are you willing to die to yourself and put God in first place? 
 
Many people think they need to get things straightened out first then they will get serious with God. “If only God would heal me than I could serve Him.” I used to think that myself. That approach is entirely backwards.  What we need to do, no matter what our problems are, is turn to God, pour out our hearts to Him, and humbly ask Him what we can do for Him.  Not what can He do for us.  Our healing is secondary, and is entirely up to Him.  Please learn to accept that.  Accept that God is in charge of you and your body. 
 
I’ve heard many people say they made a “deal” with God.  I’ll bet you’ve heard that too.  Someone who is  ill may say, “God if you will only heal me of this I will promise to go to church every week.”  You can’t make deals with God.  It won’t work.  We can’t manipulate a God who is Sovereign. Remember that.
 
The truth is God can and will do whatever He wants.  It’s not up to us.  He is our Master, and we are His slaves.  We need to realize this. 
 
Do you love God?  Do you love the Word?  If so, then your first priority is to be in the Word, read it, study it, meditate on verses.  Go to church, get involved in some way.  Serve Christ through the local church.  Take your mind off your own health and how you feel.  Give them all to God to care for.  He is your Father.  Set your mind on others.  Do what you can.  At first it might be that you pray for others.  Do that!  Perhaps the pastor could give you a list of people who are shut-ins or who have missed church for awhile and you could call them to ask how they are doing, and encourage them.  There is much work to be done and there are never enough workers. 
 
If you can’t go to church at this time, still get right with God and keep short accounts with Him.  If you know of a sin in your life, confess it, repent of it, and ask God to forgive you.  Then, get on with your life.  You can even serve God at home as you pray for others.  Pray for this group, and each member.  Pray for me as I need to write and answer emails, not in my own strength, but in the Lords.  Pray for our country, our leaders, and the local leaders where you live.  Pray for family members who are not saved.  Pray for those who seem to be against you.  Oh, there is no end to the things we can do for the Lord.
 
Make the Lord your first priority and you will see your other problems begin to take care of themselves.  As you draw closer to God and delight in Him, your desires will line up with His desires for you.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  He says so!
 
 
 

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Dear friends, I don’t know where you are on the road of sanctification, but I do know we are all at different places. 

For some of you it would be a huge victory just to leave your bedroom and spend time with your families.  For others it might be to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Some of you might need to get your muscle tone in your legs back in shape from laying around so much while you’ve been laid up with worry and anxiety.  Others might be able to leave their homes and shop, but with some difficulty.  Some may be able to work at a job outside of their home and actually do pretty good, but there is still that underlying feeling of ever present danger lurking just under the surface.  Still others may have conquered panic attacks and are now experiencing a more normal life, but every once in awhile a curve is thrown their way and they wind up yielding to the temptation to worry.

There is so much today that we could worry about besides our struggles with panic disorder.  Just look at the world around us, listen to the news, and it can fill us will all kinds of fears and concerns.  So, we not only have to learn how to conquer anxiety to overcome panic attacks but we must also learn how to conquer anxiety in general.

I can remember going to a  church service where the pastor preached on the subject of anxiety.  My ears almost flapped as they tried to take in everything he said so I could learn how to overcome panic attacks.  But, he never went that far. He only talked about anxiety in general as it effected their daily life.  I was disappointed!  I figured that message was not met for me!  The pastor had missed it!

As I look back, I realize that message was  for me!  What I didn’t realize then was if I could learn how to conquer anxiety and fear in normal daily living I could learn to conquer it over panic attacks.  You do it the same way! In fact, if I had learned to conquer daily anxiety before I began having true panic attacks I would never had developed them.  I believe they could have been avoided.  My dad used to say, “Too quick old, too late smart.”

But, you see, in my case I learned how to worry when I was a youngster and thought it was a normal way of life.  Then, when it got out of control in my twenties I had true panic attacks.  That all happened before I became a Christian.  That is important to note. Then, after I  became a Christian no one talked to me about these things.  It took me years to get better because I had to learn on my own through a daily Bible study and then apply the Word to my life by faith.  I finally got there with the Lord’s help.  I finally became free from panic attacks!  I finally got my life back!  I’m forever grateful to God, my precious Heavenly Father who in His infinite mercy looked down upon me with favor.  Thank you God!

Now, remember, believers, we are not of this world. Yes, we live in the world but we don’t belong here.

Php 3:20 NASB For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

Therefore, we don’t have to live like the world, and we don’t have to think like the world.  I’d  like to ask you to do this little exercise:  The next time you are around people who aren’t believers, just listen to what they talk about.  Take note of the tone of their conversation.  Do they talk about things they worry about?  Do they worry?  Just listen and see.  I’ll bet most of the conversations are about things they are very concerned about, and how they are going to solve them.  They have to figure it all out.  They do not have God to do it for them.  So, they fuss and fume over everything.  Oh, you might hear some laughter mixed in, but what is really going on? A lot of people seem happy on the outside while they are miserable on the inside. Have you ever known someone like that?   Also, take note of how much they gossip.  What do they talk about?  

Those kinds of people can pull us down.  It is so easy to join in and not realize it.  I have to really watch this myself. 

Thank God we are not in that group of humanity any more.  We can rise above our problems because God is working them all out.  We have to realize who is in charge now.  God is and He will help us through anything that comes our way.  As John MacArthur has said, “Worry assumes that God doesn’t care, doesn’t know, or doesn’t have the resources to help us.”  That is like a slap in the face to God.  It’s as though we don’t trust Him and don’t believe His Word. 

1Pe 5:7 NASB casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

God really does care for us and will take care of us.  He is God our provider and our counselor.  We don’t have to worry!  Let’s stop living like the world.

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(I originally wrote this for our PD-Overcomers group.)

One thing we all have in common in this group is anxiety.  In fact , if you have panic attacks you have extreme anxiety.  Another thing we have in common is that most of us are Christians.

I’ve been asked many times if Christians should have anxiety.  That is a really good question and one I’d like to attempt to answer.  In order to do that we  need to go to the Bible and see what God has to say on the subject.

I’ve read many books and articles, and listened to tapes on anxiety.  I’ve read the secular along with Christian views.  People say different things, but the one thing I know is that God’s Word is the authority and that is where we must start if we are going to get a handle on this dreadful malady.

Anxiety:  What is it?  Is it a feeling?  Is it nervousness?  Is it fear?  Is it stress?  Is it panic?

I believe it is all of those things in different degrees.  Where does anxiety start?  It starts in the mind.

Who has anxiety?  Everyone at some time or other.  Unbelievers and believers alike. In today’s world it seems everyone is anxious about something.  Just look at the magazine covers in the grocery store.  See how many times you see a title about anxiety or stress.

Or, listen to television news and see all the things going on in the world that make people anxious and fearful. If you listen to the talking heads too long you will certainly become stressful.

What does anxiety do to us?  Anxiety effects us physically.  It can make our blood pressure rise, it increases our heart rate, it makes our palms sweat, it makes us irritable, jittery, and nervous. It can lead to health problems like hypertension.

Anxiety makes us afraid.  It is our enemy.  Fear is our enemy and it is a liar.  It tells us things that are not true and convinces us they are true.  It upsets our life, hurts relationships, and hinders us from being all that God wants us to be.  You can readily see why the enemy grins when he see us full of anxiety and fear.  He has got us right where he wants us.  We are like putty in his hands when we are full of fear.  He is in control and takes us over.  He pulls us along like a dog on a leash and never lets go of his grip.  He gets us to think unhealthy thoughts that tear us down.  He has a hay day with us.  Fear is an ugly four letter word.

Where does fear come from?  Well, way back in the Garden of Eden there was no fear. Everything was peaceful and tranquil until Satan, the serpent, came along and deceived Eve and she ate of the forbidden fruit.  She disobeyed God and sin entered into the world, along with fear.  If you remember, Adam and Eve hid out from God.  What did they do that?  They were afraid.

Gen 3:10 NASB He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

When sin entered the world, Adam’s conscience was opened and he was aware of things he never realized before.  He lost his innocence. That was the beginning of fear and it continues today.  It is part of the sin nature that we acquired as a result of the original sin.

Not all fear is sinful though.  God has put in our hearts a certain kind of fear that protects us.  It is the fear of stepping off a cliff.  Wouldn’t you agree that is a good fear?  Another good kind of fear is the fear of the Lord.  It is the beginning of wisdom.

Psa 111:10a NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

Pro 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 9:10 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Isa 33:6 NASB And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

So you can see that the fear of the Lord is something we should treasure.  We need to have the fear of the Lord in our hearts.  Do you?

But, I’m not going to talk about those kinds of fear right now.  I’m going to write about the debilitating kind of fear.  The kind that ruins lives, marriages, careers, and families.  That kind of fear has to be dealt with.  Worry, fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress; they are all the same and do destructive work in our lives.

 

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Do you have problems?  Does fear and worry seem to follow you around all day long?  Does the future seem scary?  Do you face trials that seem overwhelming?  If you answer “yes,” to any of these questions I want to encourage you today that you can overcome!

How do I know that?  Well, I know because of the written Word.  Yes, the Bible clearly states that we will have trials and temptations.  Look at James.

Jas 1:2-4 NASB Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (4) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

God tests our faith by trials to see if we are genuine. We get through them and as a result we have more endurance and our faith grows which helps us to work toward perfection and completeness.  Of course, we will not be perfect and totally complete until we are in Heaven. 

When anxiety and fear raise their ugly heads in your life, God gives you choices. What do you do?  Do you give in to it? Or do you resist the temptation to sin and set your mind on things of the Lord? 

Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

When you are worried, stop doing that, and think about Bible verses.  Meditate on them.  Read some of the Psalms.  Get your mind on things above and off from your feelings, and fears.  This needs to become a new habit.

We can take comfort in the fact that God will not allow us to undergo a trail or temptation that is too great for us.  He is still there, Sovereign, and in control.  He is our Heavenly Father, loving and kind.  He only allows anything into our lives that will be good for us in the end.  It may not seem that way now, but someday we will see the purpose.

1Co 10:13 NASB No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

“As a ground of encouragement to those who are in temptation and trial. God knows what they are able to endure; and he will sustain them in their temptations. It matters not how severe the trial; or how long it may be continued; or how much they may feel their own feebleness; yet He who has appointed the trial is abundantly able to uphold them. They may, therefore, repose their all upon Him, and trust to His sustaining grace.”  (Barnes commentary)

Remember, that others have survived the same trials and temptations that you are experiencing.  You are not different.  You are not the only one who feels the way you feel. It might not seem that way, but it is true.

God still loves you no matter how you feel.  We sometimes get caught up in our feelings and forget the facts.

Rom 8:35-39 LITV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (36) Even as it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day; we are counted as sheep of slaughter.” Psa. 44:22 (37) But in all these things we more than conquer through Him loving us. (38) For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

No matter what we go through God is there with us and His love sustains us.  That allows us to be “more than conquers through Him loving us.”  That means to over-conquer, to conquer completely without any real threat to personal life or health.  NOTHING can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.  That is an amazing statement. 

Whatever is going on in our life right now we know that God is totally in control. He is raising us up because we are His own children.  Sometimes He allows bad things to come our way in order to test and train us.  We are slowing becoming more and more like Christ as we journey through this life.  We face our trials and we grow in Him.  We learn many lessons and depend on Christ alone to sustain us.

1Jn 4:4 LITV Little children, you are of God and have overcome them, because He in you is greater than he in the world.

Yes, we can be overcomers!  God is greater than the evil one who is in this world.

Again, I ask, “Are you overcome by the trials in your life?”  Seek God and obey the things you learn in the Word.  You will overcome!  You have God on your side!  What a Wonderful Savior!

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Psa 100:1-5 NASB

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
(2)Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
(3)Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
(4)Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
(5)For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

I’ve been rolling that around in my head the past week or so.  There are so many things like family, friends, my home, my husband, good health, enough money. These are all very special but they aren’t the most important things.

I have to reach back 35 years to grab onto the one thing I’m the most thankful for.  My life as I had planned it had vaporized. There I was a desperate, helpless, wretched person.  I had hit bottom.  

 I had lost my job, my new car, and everything that was dear to me.  Material things were all gone.  I only had a few pieces of clothing left to my name.  I did have a roof over my head, but that even leaked. I didn’t have any direction in my life.  I was very ill and didn’t know what was causing all those spells where I’d become so afraid that I thought I would fall down and die, which made me even more afraid. 

I was afraid I was going crazy. Fear had taken control of me.  My body was wracked with anxiety.  I’d think about all the unusual symptoms I had, like when my heart would race, and I’d feel dizzy and out of control.  I knew it wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know what it was.  The fear of the unknown haunted me daily.  How much longer could I hang on? 

I had tried to find the answers.  I tried to hid my fears in alcohol. Yes, it did take the edge of panic off, but it was only a temporary fix.  The fear would return the next day.  At one point I turned to astrology.  I plotted my horoscope and tried to find something good to look forward to.  That didn’t do it. 

I was afraid of telling a doctor how I really felt and avoided them like the plague.  I was sure if I told the truth they would lock me away somewhere and throw away the key.  If I did confess a bit of my maladies to the doctor I’d get a prescription for some kind of medication.  I was afraid of that too.  When I tried it, I got bad side effects and so I’d quit it.  I was getting nowhere fast.  I felt like I merely existed, dredging through each long miserable day. 

By this time I was at home all the time.  I listened to the radio for company and somehow found a Christian station.  I listened to it with interest for several months.  I heard the gospel message given a number of times and was curious, but that was all.  I tried to read a Bible but couldn’t understand it.

One day as I sat on the couch I glanced over at the coffee table and noticed a Sunday school paper someone had sent me in the mail.  Out of boredom I picked it up and read.  There was a true account of a man who was a Christian.  He had turned his back on God at some point and things in his life went steadily downhill.  He lost his wife, his family, his home and job.  He had hit bottom.  I could identify with some of that!  Then, this man woke up one day and realized how he had turned his back on God.  So, he repented of his sinful ways, confessed to God, and came back to him.  It wasn’t long and his life was turned around.

Hum!   I wondered, is that what I’m doing wrong.  That article really got my attention.  My eyes were opened and I realized for the first time that I needed God in my life too.  I had tried so many years to control everything, to figure the angles, and come out on top.  It was hard and didn’t work. I knew in my heart that I too was a sinner and that I needed someone bigger than myself.

I prayed and talked to God.  I told Him I knew His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for our sins.  That we are all sinners, and that I was certainly one.  I asked His forgiveness and said I’d change my ways.  I told Him that I also knew that Jesus rose again from the grave and was alive in Heaven with Him now.  I asked God to allow Jesus to come into my life and in fact take the reins of my life as I could not do it any more.  I simply gave up, stepped down off the throne of my life and let Jesus take that place as Lord.

So, there you have it.  That day in my life is what I’m the most thankful for.  The day that changed my life.  I became a brand new person on the inside.  I was adopted into God’s family and received the Holy Spirit to live in me to help me with my life.  What a glorious day that was!  God in His mercy reached down to me, a wayward sinner, and took me in His arms and gave me a second chance at life.   I’ll be grateful for eternity!

I just want to add that things haven’t been all rosie since that day.  I’ve had my trials and disappointments.  I’ve been ill a lot of the time, but my Lord has gone with me through everything and I can give Him all the glory and honor for getting me through it all.  Without Him I shudder to think where I would be right now.

I’d like to hear what you are most thankful for this year.

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