Health Education, Overcoming by Grace, & Spirituality
0. "My dear friends, we are now God's children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He really is" (1 John 3:2, GNT). Are you preparing to meet Christ? Is His coming an event of deep, personal significance on your agenda? Are you making all things ready for His entrance? These are His expectations—"...that your body is as healthy as... your soul is" (3 John 1:2, TLB), as you prepare to "...come safely through the terrible persecution... [with] washed... robes... [of character] made... white with the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14, GNT | Daniel 12:1, GNT | Exodus 14 GNT—Crossing at Pi-hahiroth). "This calls for endurance on the part of God's people—those who obey God's commandments and are faithful to Jesus" (Revelation 14:12, GNT | Revelation 22:14, GNT | John 14:15, GNT). The period of terrible persecution and the inevitable endurance, which it requires, will include the primary fitness components of "...cardiorespiratory capacity, muscular capacity, flexibility, and body composition;" in addition to the "secondary fitness components of balance, coordination, agility, reaction time, speed, power, and mental capacity" (Human Kinetics). Health education is not only inextricably interwoven with fitness, but also with "preventing disease and injury, improving health, and enhancing quality of life" (Healthy People 2020). More importantly, health is one God given instrument for spiritual development.
"The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for growth in grace..." (Counsels for the Church, p. 237). "There is to be growth in grace, that is constant progress and improvement. The mind is to be disciplined, trained, [and] educated; for the child of God is to do service for God in ways that are NOT natural, or in harmony with inborn inclination" (Christian Education, p. 122). "Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon the physical strength and activity. Whatever promotes physical health promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character" (Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 2, p. 406).
1. There is an important personal work to accomplish in our lives while we wait for translation, at the coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This personal work is the forerunner, that is, it presages what we shall become. Ignore that personal, preparatory work and we can kiss translation goodbye. What do you mean?
- "All should be very careful to preserve the body in the best condition of health that they may render to God perfect service, and do their duty in the family and in society. To keep the body in a healthy condition, in order that all parts of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be a study of our life" (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, ps. 53-54). "Teach the people that it is better to know how to keep well than how to cure disease" (Counsels for the Church, p. 238).
- "We are under solemn obligations to God to keep the spirit pure and the body healthy, that we may be a benefit to humanity and render to God perfect service" (The Adventist Home, p. 123).
- "The obligation resting upon us to keep the body in health is an individual responsibility. ...The Lord requires each one... to unite with Him in keeping the body pure and healthy, and the whole being sanctified to Him" (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 300).
As we learn how to keep the body healthy, and practice what we learn, we fulfilll a component of the office of "...ambassadors of the Messiah..." (2 Corinthians 5:20, CJB). Hence, both the knowledge and practice of health reform transmit from us to others in keeping with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20). Health maintenance is both an individual responsibility and a public trust. The American Public Health Association, (APHA), is on the record, (OTR), with this statement—
"While a doctor treats people who are sick, those of us working in public health try to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place" (APHA).
APHA's counterpart in Cananda states—
"A key element of a population health approach is the recognition that improving health is a shared responsibility. Intersectoral collaboration is the joint action among health and other groups to improve health outcomes" (Public Health Agency of Canada).
Applying the principle of Matthew 5:13, CJB—"You are salt for the Land...", Christian, health reformers comprise one of many community groups, (see the chart below), that can make a contribution to the health of others and the effectiveness of The Public Health System to "...increase the range of people, organizations, and communities who are able to address health problems..." (A Framework for Building Capacity to Improve Health). "It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or woman who has tasted of the love of Christ and has received into the heart the divine illumination is required of God to shed light on the dark pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way" (The Adventist Home, p. 428). The Lord strategically "...placed [Jerusalem] at the center of the nations" (Ezekiel 5:5, NLT) that her influence might be omnidirectional. By our interaction and sometimes collaboration with others, we can share knowledge and skills that communicate health of the body must be recognized as an asset and treated accordingly. "In order to do its work properly, the human machinery needs careful attention. The harmonious action of the different parts must be preserved" (Counsels on Health, p. 593). In other words, we should be learning how to cooperate with the body's immune system, which "...participate greatly to the maintenance of homeostasis, ...[in the absence of which there is] emergence of diseases" (Poletaev & Boura, 2011, p.298). The value of this work is set forth in the following statement— "The gospel of health..., when properly conducted, ...is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel's message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place..." (Counsels on Health, p.435). In other words, Health Education is an integral component of Evangelism. 2. This review presents a rationale and an imperative for the promise of what we will become aided by Health Reform, through Health Education. As noble as that objective might be, like medications, it comes with an unintended side effect. What do you mean? This review might arouse feelings of discomfort, especially if beset by chronic conditions, or if reminded of intemperance, or neglect of attention to personal wellness, or if puzzled by excess morbidity—chronic diseases—among family, friends, and/or community groups. Upon exposure to Health Education, minor discomfort is normal and helpful if it motivates you to inventory your lifestyle and start a regimen of greater care for at least your mind, body, emotions, and spirit, which is the specific aim of this review. Preparation for Christ's return is not only spiritual (2 Timothy 4:7, GNT), but also physical (1 Corinthians 9:27, GNT), emotional (Psalm 119:165, GNT), social (Malachi 3:16, GNT), mental (Isaiah 26:3, TLB), and environmental (Revelation 11:18). Therefore, "...we should recognize that whole-person care... is a great way to live life" (Adventist Midwest Health); because "health status and health related behaviors are determined by influences at multiple levels..." (Healthy People 2020). Research has identified these levels as "the fundamental conditions and resources for health..., [which includes] peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic prerequisites" (Israel, Checkoway, Schulz, & Zimmerman, 1994, p. 149). The table that follows present a framework for the aforementioned conditions and resources for health; suggesting that one must care for the diverse aspects of one's humanity.Click here for a clearer view of the image. 3. Productive activity during the pre-translational period consists of—"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). Thus, to promote greater involvement in personal wellness and spiritual excellence, it is necessary to raise awareness about not abusing the personal health bank account. God has set in motion a chain of events, whereby members of the human family are "...fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14). Therefore, hold in high regard God's gift of health to you. Health is a divine investment, an asset, which requires systematic assessment, protection, and management if we are to "...walk uprightly and work righteousness..." (Psalm 15:2, NKJV). Admittedly, "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But God, "...having overlooked the times of ignorance, ...is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent" (Acts 17:30, NASB). "Don't be conceited about your own wisdom; but fear Adonai [Revelation 14:7 | Exodus 1:17 | Exodus 18:21 | Deuteronomy 6:2 | Deuteronomy 10:12 | Joshua 4:24], and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and give strength to your bones" (Proverbs 3:7-8, CJB). "My purpose is to invite sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think themselves already good enough" (Luke 5:32, TLB). The review is a bit lengthy, thus enticement to read it is apropos. That enticement is set forth in the expected coverage outlined below:
Why should the Christian have a broad focus on Health Education and improving health? "No one who has kindled a lamp hides it or places it under a bowl; rather, [s/he] puts it on a stand, so that those coming in may see its light" (Luke 11:33, CJB).
"It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or woman who has tasted of the love of Christ and has received into the heart the divine illumination is required of God to shed light on the dark pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way" (The Adventist Home, p. 428).
The Lord strategically "...placed [Jerusalem] at the center of the nations" (Ezekiel 5:5, NLT) that her influence might be omnidirectional. By our interaction and sometimes collaboration with others, we can share knowledge and skills that communicate health of the body must be recognized as an asset and treated accordingly.
"In order to do its work properly, the human machinery needs careful attention. The harmonious action of the different parts must be preserved" (Counsels on Health, p. 593).
In other words, we should be learning how to cooperate with the body's immune system, which "...participate greatly to the maintenance of homeostasis, ...[in the absence of which there is] emergence of diseases" (Poletaev & Boura, 2011, p.298). The value of this work is set forth in the following statement—
"The gospel of health..., when properly conducted, ...is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel's message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place..." (Counsels on Health, p.435).
In other words, Health Education is an integral component of Evangelism.
2. This review presents a rationale and an imperative for the promise of what we will become aided by Health Reform, through Health Education. As noble as that objective might be, like medications, it comes with an unintended side effect. What do you mean? This review might arouse feelings of discomfort, especially if beset by chronic conditions, or if reminded of intemperance, or neglect of attention to personal wellness, or if puzzled by excess morbidity—chronic diseases—among family, friends, and/or community groups. Upon exposure to Health Education, minor discomfort is normal and helpful if it motivates you to inventory your lifestyle and start a regimen of greater care for at least your mind, body, emotions, and spirit, which is the specific aim of this review. Preparation for Christ's return is not only spiritual (2 Timothy 4:7, GNT), but also physical (1 Corinthians 9:27, GNT), emotional (Psalm 119:165, GNT), social (Malachi 3:16, GNT), mental (Isaiah 26:3, TLB), and environmental (Revelation 11:18). Therefore, "...we should recognize that whole-person care... is a great way to live life" (Adventist Midwest Health); because "health status and health related behaviors are determined by influences at multiple levels..." (Healthy People 2020). Research has identified these levels as "the fundamental conditions and resources for health..., [which includes] peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic prerequisites" (Israel, Checkoway, Schulz, & Zimmerman, 1994, p. 149). The table that follows present a framework for the aforementioned conditions and resources for health; suggesting that one must care for the diverse aspects of one's humanity.Click here for a clearer view of the image.
3. Productive activity during the pre-translational period consists of—"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). Thus, to promote greater involvement in personal wellness and spiritual excellence, it is necessary to raise awareness about not abusing the personal health bank account. God has set in motion a chain of events, whereby members of the human family are "...fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14). Therefore, hold in high regard God's gift of health to you. Health is a divine investment, an asset, which requires systematic assessment, protection, and management if we are to "...walk uprightly and work righteousness..." (Psalm 15:2, NKJV). Admittedly, "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But God, "...having overlooked the times of ignorance, ...is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent" (Acts 17:30, NASB). "Don't be conceited about your own wisdom; but fear Adonai [Revelation 14:7 | Exodus 1:17 | Exodus 18:21 | Deuteronomy 6:2 | Deuteronomy 10:12 | Joshua 4:24], and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and give strength to your bones" (Proverbs 3:7-8, CJB). "My purpose is to invite sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think themselves already good enough" (Luke 5:32, TLB). The review is a bit lengthy, thus enticement to read it is apropos. That enticement is set forth in the expected coverage outlined below:
4. Health education is an important vehicle for individual and community development, productivity, and quality of life. But what is Health Education? The World Health Organization, (WHO), describes Health education [as] any combination of learning experiences to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes" (WHO). This definition appears rather broad and somewhat elusive. Can you put it into a more usable context? Certainly! Look at the graphic that follows.Click here for a clearer view of the image. The idea behind Health Education is to progressively and to gently motivate people to higher states of health-related functioning through "...mental capital initiatives... [that help people to] connect, ...be active, ...be curious, ...learn, ...and give..." (Salvador-Carulla & Garcia-Gutierrez, 2011, ps. 6-7). Perhaps the next graphic does a better job of communicating that idea.Click here for a clearer view of the image. Now that the foundation for Health Education is cast, it is important to move on and make a much-needed distinction between Health Education and an ally profession—medicine. Health Educators, unless they are physicians or nurses by professional preparation, are not disease managers. Therefore, Health Education is not license to practice medicine because its focus is NOT disease diagnosis, treatment, and post treatment monitoring; but disease prevention—primary prevention—through education, skills development, stages of behavioral change, sense of susceptibility, healthy attitude formation, behavioral capability, and things of that nature. Having said that, Dr. John La Puma, a practicing physician and professionally trained chef—i.e., an MD with a culinary degree—may disagree because he believes Food is Medicine (The Super Doctor of Super Foods). No one should refer to the good doctor as a lunatic because he is only echoing Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who said: "Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine" (Hopkins Medicine, Winter 2010). "An understanding of the association between food and the gut for increased immunity and overall health is gaining momentum..." (Today's Dietitian, June 2012, Vol. 14, No. 6, p. 58) after humans largely departed from Eden's culinary preferences—"...I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every... seed-bearing fruit" (Genesis 1:29, CJB). "...Plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, particularly cancer. It is now clear that there are components—[bioactive compounds], known as phytochemicals[—for example, saponins, flavonoids, and coumarins—] rather than traditional nutrients, in... [Medicine and Food Dual Purpose Plants, (MFDPP), that] can be health beneficial" (Zhao, Lv, Chen, & Li, 2011, ps.7453 & 7456). Current research is confirming the Edenic diet! The American Institute for Cancer Research has offered one summary of many "...laboratory studies, [which] have shown that phytochemicals have the potential to:
- Stimulate the immune system,
- Block substances we eat, drink, and breathe from becoming carcinogens,
- Reduce the kind of inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely,
- Prevent DNA damage and help with DNA repair,
- Reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can spark cancer,
- Slow the growth rate of cancer cells,
- Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce, and
- Help to regulate hormones (Phytochemicals: The Cancer Fighters in the Foods We Eat | AICR's Foods That Fight Cancer).
The fundamental case being made here is—God can be trusted! For it is He who said—"...I know what plans I have in mind for you, ...plans for well-being... so that you can have hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11, CJB)! Science is not creating the evidence that is currently available, but only now discovering what Almighty God set in motion from antiquity. This is an important point for consideration because protection of physiology is a necessary condition for experiencing higher levels of functioning (Maslow's Hierarchy). Read this confirmatory abstract from The Journal of Nutrition in an article titled Potential Synergy of Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention: Mechanisms of Action.
"...The individual antioxidants studied in clinical trials do not appear to have consistent preventive effects. ...Fruits and vegetable phytochemical extracts exhibit strong antioxidant and antiproliferative activities and... the major part of total antioxidant activity is from the combination of phytochemicals. ...The additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are responsible for... potent antioxidant and anticancer activities and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods. This explains why no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables to achieve the health benefits. The evidence suggests that antioxidants or bioactive compounds are best acquired through whole-food consumption, not from expensive dietary supplements. We believe that a recommendation that consumers eat 5 to 10 servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily is an appropriate strategy for significantly reducing the risk of chronic diseases and to meet their nutrient requirements for optimum health" (Liu, 2004, p.3479S)
5. God has equipped the human body with mechanisms, which when rightly aided, protect your health. "The power of the human constitution to resist the abuses put upon it is wonderful; but persistent wrong habits in excessive eating and drinking will enfeeble every function of the body" (Temperance, p. 17). But God has done all in His power to ensure His children are not weakened and compromised. Examine excerpts from The Journal of Translational Immunology and the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, respectively:
"Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the prominent part of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and represents almost 70% of the entire immune system. Moreover, about 80% of plasma cells, [mainly immunoglobulin A—(IgA), bearing cells] reside in GALT. [In simpler language, the preceding statements summarize this way]—...approximately 70% of the entire immune system is found in... [the gut] and... in the lamina propria there are about 80% of all plasma cells responsible for IgA antibody production" (Vighi, Marcucci, Sensi, Di Cara, & Frati 2008, p.3)
Click here for a clearer view of the image.
"IgA is critical at protecting mucosal surfaces from toxins, virus and bacteria by direct neutralization or by prevention of binding to the mucosal surface. Intracellular IgA may also be important in preventing bacterial or viral infection and/or pathogenesis[—development of disease]. For example, ...preventing Clostridium difficile toxin A damage to epithelial cells" (Schroeder & Cavacini, 2010, p.11).
Clostridium difficile, a.k.a., C diff should not be glossed over because it "...is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis" (Medline Plus, Page last updated 4 June 2015). In view of these things, readers may use information presented on this webpage to first self-assess, that is, take an inventory of one's lifestyle and being to develop a "...personal health record...—a collection of information about your health" (Mayo Clinic, June 25, 2014). Review your personal health knowledge, skills, behaviors, environments, and cultures related to nutrition, exercise, rest, hydration, substance use, stress management, coping skills, resilency, risk-taking, protective health assets, health risks factors, along with other areas pertinent to wellness, defined here as "...a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving [your] full potential" (National Wellness Institute). Beginning to intelligently and to intentionally achieve wellness means caring for the whole person, which includes your immune system. This approach is important for a variety of reasons, which includes having command of your faculties for functioning over your entire being and lifespan.Click here for a clearer view of the image. In life, sometimes the best of individual human efforts fail to maximize full potential, "...but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14, NKJV) if you understand and can effectively communicate your health-related needs. This interpersonal engagement process works best if you have been working a plan to keep yourself healthy and you require additional human assistance. Then you are at least prepared to hold informed dialog with elected leaders, community-based organizations, primary or specialty care health professionals, and likeminded peers to close gaps in your individual personal health protection strategy. In other words, it helps to think about your investment in personal health as the instructions given before commercial airliners pull away from the boarding gate. If the cabin loses pressure and oxygen masks deploy, put on your oxygen mask before rendering assistance to others. You should never forget that instruction during flight because "symptoms of mild cerebral hypoxia include inattentiveness, poor judgment, memory loss, and a decrease in motor coordination. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation and can begin to die within five minutes after oxygen supply has been cut off" (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Burrowing from that safety tip, after you have been diligent in caring for your own body, then you are equipped, if you choose to, engage in overtly advertising the benefits of Health Education to family, friends, neighbors, and associates, which may include sharing educational materials, informal discussions, blogging, or formal activities.
6. First things first—"Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain..." (Joel 2:1, NKJV). Why? "...The Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion..." (Isaiah 24:23); and "...in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance..." (Joel 2:32). Remind them of God's unfailing promise—"If you will listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and obey it, and do what is right, then I will not make you suffer the diseases I sent on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15:26, TLB, CJB). "...O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper" (2 Chronicles 13:12, NKJV). "...For it is He who gives you power to get wealth that He may establish HIs covenant, which He swore to your fathers..." (Deuteronomy 8:18, NKJV | Proverbs 8:21, CJB). And the wealth God has for His children is indexed by the spirituality of their souls (3 John 1:2, CJB). The main point here is—health and holiness are inseparable, like the two-halves of a coin. If you are dedicated, wholly unto the Lord (Psalm 4:3), then take interests in your personal health for God has a standard for acceptable offerings. Let us examine this requirement in some detail. Jesus Christ, "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8), "whom God set forth as a propitiation—[substitutionary sacrifice]..." (Romans 3:25, NKJV), "...He offered up Himself..., for the errors of the people," (Hebrews 9:7 | Hebrews 7:27) "...as... a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:19 | Hebrews 9:14). Thus, when the sacrificial system, of the Old Testament was installed, a key requirement of the burnt sacrifice was being "...without blemish" (Leviticus 4:32, NKJV | Leviticus 1:3, NKJV | Exodus 12:5, NKJV | Exodus 29:1, NKJV). Can you identify the quality that the two systems of sacrifices shared? What does that quality say to you about the living sacrifice, which God requires from you?
7. Christ's death ended the sacrificial system, not the characteristics of the offerings God accepts. Just as the lamb was without spot and blemish, similarly, you require purification of your whole being (1 Peter 1:22, NKJV) to be the kind of living offering characterized by "...tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another..." (Colossians 3:12-13, NKJV). "God requires the [human] body to be rendered a living sacrifice to Him, not a dead or a dying sacrifice (Romans 12:1). The offerings of the ancient Hebrews were to be without blemish, and will it be pleasing to God to accept a human offering that is filled with disease and corruption" (Counsels on Health, p. 139)? What do you mean? "Poor cognitive function, depression, decreased functional status, and chronic disease are closely associated..." (Sejin Ju & Kyung-Sook Kim, 2015, p. 1). "...With the mind I myself serve the law of God..." (Romans 7:25, NKJV), and "...glorify God..." (Romans 15:6, NKJV). Then prepare yourself by training and self-study to serve God acceptably by first living a healthy and holy life before you start sharing health information with others, because you want to show the evidence, i.e., fruit, of what you are telling others. The responsibility of being a living witness of health reform, if you choose to accept it, even garners support from a position adopted by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which calls for "Supporting efforts to effectively educate the public about their health and prevention of chronic disease" (NCSL). "If we want to truly reform health care to benefit American families, we need to transition from a system focused primarily on treating the sick to one that helps keep people well throughout their lives" (Putting Americans In Control of Their Health Care). Many years ago, one commentary reported that "health care setting such as hospitals, clinics, community health centers, health maintenance organizations, and private physicians' offices offer unique possibilities... [for promoting health-enhancing behaviors and inhibiting health-compromising behaviors]. ...Despite the obvious potential, however, our health care system has, in general, retained as its primary emphasis the treatment of disease rather than the enhancement of health" (Orlandi, 1987). One hopes this situation has changed since first reported.
8. A stronger emphasis on disease prevention is overdue. "...Tens of thousands of people today are asleep to the condition of their spiritual and their physical health. They are far from the better way of life and DO NOT sense their peril. Faithful watchmen are needed to point out the way of health and holiness. ...The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the Word. It is the Lord's design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be part of the last great efforts to proclaim the gospel message" (A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, ps. 6 & 9). This work requires immediate attention. "...Millions struggle every day with health and safety challenges such as chronic disease, falls, and mental health issues..., [which place upon humanity a disease burden that]... can severely impact quality of life" (National Council on Aging). Nearly 80% of the 10,000 people who turn 65 each day have at least 1 chronic health condition, and most have multiple chronic conditions" (Monroe & Thomas, 2013). The effects of chronic diseases are evident, not just here in the United States, but abroad especially "in low-and-middle-income countries, ...[where] the magnitude of... diseases continues to rise..., [and warrants] reversing the epidemic. [We can collectively make a difference] by... implementation of evidence-based measures to reduce risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, ....harmful alcohol use, and improving access to cost-effective healthcare interventions to prevent complications, disabilities and premature death" (World Health Organization Global Status Report on Non-Communicable Diseases)
9. A divine mandate for health education and health promotion exist. While upon the earth, Christ demonstrated His commitment to saving lives and protecting people by the miracles, which He did (Mark 5:34, CJB).
"Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth. ...[By] obeying the laws of health and striving to perfect holiness in [the] fear [of God], He will impart... His life" (Counsels on Health, ps. 121 | & 347), in fulfillment of the promise—"...The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).
"God is not a man that He should lie..." (Numbers 23:19, NKJV). Regarding the laws of health, it should not surprise you that public health research speaks to "...regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, abstinence from smoking, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, and maintenance of a healthy weight [as playing] an important role in promoting longevity and delaying illness and death" (Housman & Dorman, 2005, p. 303-304 | Havard Health Publications). The point here is wellness does not guarantee, but increases the probability of years of healthier life, with health related functioning and shorter duration of life with disabilities so that we can give maximum glory to God in our bodies with a mind alert and response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, public health promotion principles align with divine principles of health, and testify to both the omniscience and omnipotence of "...God, who does not lie, promised us this life [of health in Christ] before the beginning of time" (Titus 1:2, GNT). Moreover, to illustrate the need for healthy decision-making, the graph that follows, though outdated, visually depicts the toll of diseases and the imperative for Health Education, Health Promotion, unless you subscribe to the dual view that whereas disease prevention is futile, disease treatment is fertile.
Click here for a clearer view of FIGURE 3. If there is a specific disease state, of interest to you, that was not included in the previous graph, then click 10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, United States—2012.
10. Health is a precursor for spirituality. Far too few grasp the gravitas of the relationship between health and spirituality.
"You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life, which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ. You will not make those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His Word requires, and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 65)
Imagine that we can compromise experiencing 1 Corinthians 15:53 by wrong habits of eating. This is what we are saying!
"A diseased body affects the brain. With the mind we serve the Lord" (Spiritual Gifts 4a, 147 | Romans 7:25, NLT). "The brain nerves which communicate to the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man, and affects his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 348).
"There has been a continual backsliding in health reform, and as a result God is dishonored by a great lack of spirituality" (Counsels on Health, p. 578). "Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere" (Counsels on Health, p. 325). In the past, it was noted that "chronic medical illness is consistently associated with an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms and disorders. ...The presence of a chronic medical illness may reduce the likelihood that physicians or other health care providers recognize or treat depression" (West J Med. 2001 Nov; 175(5): 292-293). The graphs that follow, though outdated, captures documented prevalence either of mental illness, which can exist independently or as comorbidities alongside non-communicable, chronic disease states.
Click here for a clearer view of the figure. "In 2013, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults (NIMH-Major Depression Among Adults).Click here for a clearer view of the image. Click here for statistics on depression by state—U.S. States with the highest rates of adults meeting the criteria for depression. Click here for statistics on anxiety disorders—the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting... 18% of the population. He who said—"For I know what plans I have in mind for you, ...plans for well-being, ...so that you can have hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11, CJB) must be saddened by the pervasiveness of disease and the downward spiral of negative emotions that exist in the world.Click here for a clearer view of the image.
11. Health and spirituality are inseparable like the sides of a coin. Together, they form the plan of salvation, which God set in motion from the beginning.
"By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation was granted. To restore in [humanity] the image of [the] Maker, to bring [us] back to the perfection in which [we were] created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul that the divine purpose in [our] creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life" (Education, p. 14).
"It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through [health reform] is not only health, but perfection and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds" (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 1, p. 555). This reminder is an important to "...foreigners and refugees on earth" (Hebrews 11:13, GNT) who are called to "...be holy in all that [they] do, just as God who called [them] is holy" (1 Peter 1:15, GNT). "...So then, let us purify ourselves from everything that makes body or soul unclean, and let us be completely holy by living in awe of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1, GNT).
"When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health. He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby. But let all understand that they have a work to do. God WILL NOT WORK in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who are taking a sure course to make themselves sick, by their careless inattention to the laws of health" (Spiritual Gifts 4a, 145).
In other words, "If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear" (Proverbs 28:9, GNT). This might seem harsh to your psyche, but to be forewarned is to prepare you NOT to be presumptuous. In the book Evangelism, there is a section titled—Not to Depend on Miracles. It reads this way.
"God does not generally work miracles to advance His truth. If the husbandman neglects to cultivate the soil after sowing his seed, God works no miracle to counteract the sure result of neglect. In the harvest, he will find his field barren. God works according to great principles which He has presented to the human family, and it is our part to mature wise plans, and set in operation the means whereby God shall bring about certain results" (Evangelism, p. 653).
"If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death. If you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life" (Galatians 6:8, GNT).
13. The facts about chronic diseases are surprising. As we prepare to end this review, click here and browse "19 Surprising Stats About Chronic Disease." There is a jewel nested in the last sentence in the Conclusion statements—It reads thus—"But with modern treatment methods, proper health coverage and a few healthy habits, you can avoid the majority of chronic diseases." The inclusion of an emphasis on healthy habits may seem like an overstatement or even engaging in victim blaming. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—"...the nation's disease prevention and wellness promotion agency..."—states that "Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems (CDC, May 18, 2015). Many years ago, one author penned these words—"Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies largely at the foundation of feebleness and premature death" (Counsels for the Church, p. 234). In these words lie a call for reforms in health attitudes and behaviors. We may accomplish this reformatory work by attention to and acquisition of Health Education knowledge and skills, which is our opportunity and responsibility to protect God's investment of health that He has placed within us so that we can "...bring [Him] glory" (Isaiah 43:7, GNT). Guard personal health with intelligent and discretionary behaviors, or contribute to expansion of the healthcare market (Walgreens) in an industry in which "managing symptoms is very lucrative and preventive medicine is bad for business" (Linda Carney, MD). Therefore, the emerging list of topics that appear below are a small attempt to motivate readers to pursue cultivation of the soil of the mind so that the noble objective of cooperation with God for restoration of His image and character in our being might be achieved during this lifetime!
Reducing Risk of Exposure to Diseases
- Cancer Prevention
- Sausages, Ham Are Cancer-Causing, Red Meat Probably Too: UN Agency
- Cruciferous Vegetables Protect Against Cancer
- Preventing Non-Communicable Diseases: Fact Sheets
- Publications on Diabetes
- Phytochemicals: The Cancer Fighters in the Foods We Eat
- Living Foods for the Living Body
- AICR's Foods That Fight Cancer
- Reducing Consumption of Red & Processed Meat
- Cutting Red Meat for a Longer Life
- The Dirty Dozen
- The Dirty Dozen Plus
- Dirty Dozen Produce
- Genetically Modified|Engineered Food: 1 | 2
- Becoming a Vegetarian
- Lowering Salt in Your Diet
- Shaking the Salt Habit
- Key Minerals to Help Control Blood Pressure
- Nutrition for Everyone: Carbohydrates
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Vitamin B Complex Benefits
- Five Principles of Sexual Responsibility
- List of Acid/Alkaline Forming Foods
- Immune Boosting Foods Slideshow
- Alkaline Diets
- Spiritual Principles of Health
- Mind Body Connection
- Medication Less Stress Management
- Soy Phytochemicals and Tea Bioactive Components...
- Good Mental Health Supports Physical Well-Being
- Stress and Hormones
- All Endocrine Disorders
- Chronic Inflammation and Chronic Disease
- Raising Awareness about Kidney Stones
- Raising Awareness about Ear Infection
- Creatinine Blood Test
- Raising Awareness about Dementia
- Raising Awareness about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Raising Awareness of Hypoglycemia
- Raising Awareness of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Raising Awareness about Corneal Dystrophies
- Raising Awareness of Metabolic Syndrome
Population Health Trends
- Trends in Meat Consumption in the United States
- Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from... Cohort Studies
- Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt)
- Salty Six - Common Foods Loaded with Excess Sodium
- Salmon Full of Cocaine and Antidepressants
- Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load
- Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods
- Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid: A Conceptual Framework
- The Vegetarian Food Pyramid
- Caring for Your Joints
- Avocado Compound Holds Promise for Treating Leukemia
- Lactic Acidosis & Exercise
- What Should I Eat Before Exercise?
- The Benefits of Exercise Go Way Beyond the Muscles
- Thyroid Gland: 1 | 2
Health Education Controversies or Cutting-Edge Research
- Popular Exercise... Accelerate Aging & Cause Middle-Age Wgt Gain
- Hopkins Medicine: Take Two Carrots and Call Me in the Morning
- Know the functions of B-Vitamins
- Brief Description & Health Benefits of Vitamin F
- Brief Description & Health Benefits of Vitamin A
- Brief Description & Health Benefits of Selenium
- Brief Description & Health Benefits of Magnesium
- Health Benefits of Magnesium
- A Primer on Potassium
- Normal Laboratory Values
- Glucose, Triglycerides & Cholesterol Normal Ranges
- Blood Glucose Management
Videos & Documentation
- Enzyme Basics - Audio Visual
- Enzyme - Print
- Burn Belly Flab - Audio Visual
- The Secret Healing Power of Superfoods, Pt 1
- Best Blood Pressure Plan & More
- The Krebs Cycle