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healthy th(ink)ing by KeithWommack
Keith Wommack
Mar 28, 2012 | 14430 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Health regardless of diet, lifestyle, and genes
by KeithWommack
Jun 21, 2016 | 26 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

One hundred and fifty years ago, after a couple of decades of research, trials, and victories, a woman in New England - Mary Baker Eddy - discovered it was possible to experience health regardless of lifestyle, diet, and genes.

In 1866 she had a significant healing that pointed away from these presumed materialistic aids to health in a way that the citizens of Roseto, Pennsylvania, just under a century later, might have felt some kinship with. 

Why?

Because, during a ten-year span from 1955 to 1965, the residents, mostly immigrants from Roseto Valfortore, Italy, were found to be surprisingly healthier than the rest of the United States. Yet it was proved that their consistent wellbeing couldn’t be linked to those commonly accepted influences of lifestyle, diet, or genes.

How? 

By scientists, curious about their profound healthy conditions. In 1961, an extensive study was launched into their lives. Findings from the research showed that residents of a nearby town, Bangor, didn’t exhibit such consistent pictures of health. Just one mile separated the Bangor residents from the predictable and robust health caused by what researchers refer to as “the Roseto Effect”.

Once their research had concluded that the health of Roseto residents wasn’t due to lifestyle or diet, the researchers turned their attention to the family gene pools for evidences of extraordinary health tendencies. They examined the lives of immigrants from Roseto Valfortore, Italy, who resided in other parts of the United States and found that they were no healthier than the average American. So “genes” were scratched off the list of potential causes.

Next, researchers looked at the Roseto water supply and quality of medical care, but came up empty. Roseto’s water source was the same as the neighboring towns of Nazareth and Bangor. All three communities also shared the same hospital.

In the end, researchers concluded that the Roseto Effect had no medical or physical explanation. They and others chalked it up to the effect of people nourishing people. The Rosetans daily visited one another. They stopped to chat or cook for each other in their backyards. Extended family clans were the norm. Three generations commonly lived under the same roof. They also had the calming and unifying effect of regularly attending church. And there were twenty-two civic associations in a town of less than two thousand people.

Sadly, Roseto’s oasis of healthy living faded. Extended family clans gave way to single family homes and helping others gave way to self-absorbed lives. As social ties weakened, so did the Roseto Effect. Soon, the physical health of the Rosetans mirrored the rest of Americans.

The Roseto story pokes holes in the theories that say hygiene, physical fitness, and diet regulation are what ultimately keep us healthy. So did the wise sayings of someone whom the Bible records as having a remarkable track record of helping others gain and retain health. Jesus is quoted as saying, “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing?”

After the researchers left Roseto, there remained unanswered questions. How can love and heartfelt consideration from others, and for others, cause such measurable physiological differences? Do people nourish people? Or is there something more behind that? What drove the 1960s Rosetans to care for one another? What was the source of their family and community spirit?

Perhaps, the answer to those questions - the final piece of the 1960s Roseto puzzle - had already been discovered in the 1860s when Mary Baker Eddy found that health had a spiritual cause. Could it be that the nourishing care and community spirit in 1960 were divinely animated? If so, then the Roseto Effect could be considered the Christ-Effect because, as many are proving in their lives today, health-giving and healing love such as the Roseto residents expressed and experienced can be found in the Christ, God’s goodness, love, and power active in human affairs.

Eddy called her spiritual discovery Christian Science because of Christ’s consistent availability to care for individual and community needs. And years before the Roseto story unfolded, writing about the broad effects of Christ, Eddy explained how Christian Science erases from our thinking the belief we’re merely made up of matter and in need of material things to sustain our health and instead it “induces rest in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man.”

“As power divine is the healer, why should mortals concern themselves with the chemistry of food? Jesus said: 'Take no thought what ye shall eat,'” she added.

We don’t create the love we lavish on others. As spiritual beings, created by God, we reflect the boundless love that is sourced in the Divine. The Roseto Effect of loving care that benefitted the town’s residents can be even more consistently experienced when the cause of love and life is seen to be divine and we begin to increasingly express a more spiritual wisdom and compassion.

– Keith Wommack is a Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Why You Need Love To Be Healthy
by KeithWommack
Jun 07, 2016 | 3618 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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“You don’t need a medical degree to say, ‘I love you,’” writes Pamela Wible, MD, in an article at KevinMD.com. “Just three simple words can heal more wounds than all the doctors in the world.”

Studies show that love heals physical wounds and reduces stress. Researchers are also looking into whether love improves the immune system. I believe they will find love to be a medicine for every ill.

With all the health benefits of love, shouldn’t we be offering others a loving word or thought? It took an incident and a ton of dirt on a hot Texas afternoon before I considered saying, “I love you,” to complete strangers.

When we lived in Houston, my wife and I drove 45 minutes, each way, so that our two boys could attend a private kindergarten and first grade.

One sweltering, 100° day, when returning home with the boys, a dump truck in front of my car lost control and its entire load of dirt spilled onto the road in front of us.

I was already hot and tired, and because of the delay we faced, I immediately felt angry and frustrated.

At that moment, I realized I could grumble and complain, or I could try something different. Delays like this happened in Houston all the time, and if I was to experience more harmonious commutes, I needed to adjust my attitude.

The “different” involved three simple words. As we slowly made our way around the accident, it came to me to silently say, “I love you,” to everyone I saw. This was not going to be easy while driving the busy freeways and streets of Houston.

At first, I was just mouthing words each time I looked at another driver, a passenger in a vehicle, or someone walking out of a store. However, within a short period of time, the words began to mean something. I exchanged tossing out stale I love you’s for heartfelt statements.

Fifteen minutes after we’d maneuvered around the truck and dirt, the anger and frustration faded. I was conscious of a wonderful peace and joy as my attempts at loving others turned into meaningful moments.

The unique and divine individuality of every one I saw became real to me. Loving them calmed me down, woke me up, and inspired me. I had tapped into something special. I felt a solid and lovely order and goodness to everything and everyone.

The awareness of this divine order and goodness has remained an essential element in my Christian Science healing practice ever since. The less I think about myself, the more I’m able to remain conscious of this spiritual harmony and help others express dominion over their thoughts and bodies. For example:

Recently, a woman called me. She was frantic and she wanted prayerful help.

She told me that she was feeling cold and had covered herself with a light blanket, but had begun shaking uncontrollably. She’d never experienced this before.

The woman also told me that a thumb and forefinger had been twitching for three years. The slight movements had never interfered with her daily activities.

A month earlier she had gone to a family doctor. When the doctor noticed that her thumb and forefinger were twitching, he asked her how long she had been experiencing the twitching. When she answered, “three years,” the doctor promptly told her she had Parkinson’s disease.

After the woman called, I prayed. Just as I did the day the dump truck overturned, I quickly embraced her with a loving sense I knew to be divine. This type of spiritual acknowledgment is a prayerful healing treatment. I knew she was finding relief.

Within fifteen minutes after we had talked, the woman’s shaking subdued and then stopped. But not only did the uncontrollable shaking stop, the twitching of the thumb and forefinger stopped, as well. She hasn’t experienced twitching or shaking since.

Since studies are showing a connection between love and health, why not take this information to a logical conclusion. I know that love healed this woman, a love more powerful than human affection. Love and health are inseparable because they are, ultimately, spiritual qualities and conditions.

And just in case you were wondering how three simple words can heal more wounds than all the doctors in the world, the answer could reside in another three words: God is love.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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You Can Beat Addiction
by KeithWommack
May 17, 2016 | 186 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

“I always had a cigarette in my mouth. The first thing I did in the morning was light up.”

Bob was addicted to smoking. He was a “four packs a day” man. He knew his habit could destroy his health but that didn’t seem to make any difference.

“I was having difficulty breathing. I would run out of breath just walking up stairs,” he recently recalled.

This all changed after Bob talked with a friend of his family. The friend was a Christian Science practitioner, someone who prays with others to accomplish healing.  

Bob said, “The Christian Science practitioner explained to me that God is my Father-Mother and that He is only good; and that God created me in His image and likeness and that this likeness was spiritual, now and always.”

The words made sense to Bob. The practitioner then gave him Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and he began to read it. The book is based on the Bible. Its author, Mary Baker Eddy, explains how the healing works accomplished by Jesus were not just past marvels but point to the present possibility of healing and helping ourselves and others.

While freedom didn’t come overnight for Bob, a few months after first speaking with the practitioner he finally found himself to be a “no packs a day” man. But more than just getting out of the habit of lighting up, Bob no longer even had the desire to smoke. It just fell away. Now, years later, Bob’s professional life is devoted to helping others overcome their fears, pains, and addictions as a Christian Science practitioner.

The list of addictions plaguing mankind is long. Alcohol, gambling, illegal and prescription drugs, and pornography are just part of the inventory. Each causes havoc on the lives of the addicted and those close to them. Because of this, it's important to conquer addiction with urgency. Neglecting a need is not an option. 

Many others have learned the lesson that Bob learned - that a growing spiritual understanding could beat a seemingly tenacious addiction. One man, for instance, found freedom from an addiction to Internet pornography. In describing his spiritual journey of healing, he pinpointed what he felt were three particularly important aspects en route to finding his freedom.

First, he wrote: “I saw that the addiction was actually unnatural... not part of my true spiritual being. ...acquiescing to the addiction had deadened my spiritual perception, limited my ability to express affection and other Godlike qualities, and curtailed much of what was good in my experience.”

Second: “[I] simply [had] to stop doing the things that …were being revealed to me as clearly wrong—as the total opposite of spiritual good. ...The pull of online pornography was magnetic and overwhelming at times. But as I progressed spiritually, I became more aware of the authority I had from God to stop acting in such an immoral and demeaning way and instead to live my life with dignity and love.”

Third: “I recognized that if I ever stopped forgiving myself for making mistakes, then I would be inviting an endless cycle of guilt, resentment, and self-hatred to play out in my thinking and my life.”

This man learned he had to keep loving himself as God loved him. As he did, he began to understand that he could never be separate from God’s love and, therefore, was able to rise above anger and self-loathing, and he found his freedom.

Despite the perceived attraction of whatever we might seem to be addicted to, divinity alone provides the foundation for a spiritually fulfilled and deeply satisfying life experience. Because we are actually spiritual beings, God is not just a substitute for the habit we believe can fill the hole in our lives. God is the very source of everything we truly need for life, health, and joy.

An understanding that addictions are unnatural for God’s spiritual man and woman frees us to utilize our divine authority. Exercising this authority enables us to stop participating in self-destructive acts and to find and love what God has made us to be.

If you are wrestling with addiction, you, too, can find help, not just for coping, but for healing. 

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Neutralizing The Pressure To Cause Harm
by KeithWommack
Mar 24, 2016 | 462 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

“I just felt like something was pressuring me to do it,” John LaDue told his mother after his arrest in 2014.

LaDue had hatched a well thought-out plan, according to CNN. His goal was to carry out the worst school massacre in US history.

Mercifully for his intended victims, the 11th grader’s plot was foiled before it could be put into action.

And it was fortunate for LaDue, too. The plot’s failure meant his sole sentence was for possessing an explosive device, the only offense he could be charged with. He has now completed his jail sentence and has agreed to stay on probation and receive treatment for a fixation on violence. 

Sadly, as this case illustrates, it is not only men and women that can feel a “pressure” to harm themselves and others, but also kids and teens.

Is there anything that could help free them from the influence of such malicious mental arm-twisting?

Perhaps spirituality could play a significant role.

In her book, The Spiritual Child – The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, Columbia University psychologist Lisa Miller, PhD, reveals why psychological and neurological researchers have reached the conclusion that spirituality is the way to help children and teens. Evidence reveals that it supplies a protective and healthy advantage to them.

Miller writes, “Spiritual development through the early years prepares the adolescent to grapple more successfully with the predictably difficult and potentially disorienting existential questions that make adolescence so deeply challenging for teens (and their parents.) It also provides a protective health benefit, reducing the risk of depression, substance abuse, aggression, and high-risk behaviors, including physical risk taking.”

As a parent, Sunday School teacher, and Christian Science practitioner, I have observed the benefits a spiritual focus can bring to youngsters. I’ve seen how daily prayer and spiritual studies empower our children to resist harmful influences in the first place or help free them when they are feeling pressured to make wrong choices.

These valuable moments of considering spiritual ideas or divine truths are more than a passive intake of second-hand ideas. They could be thought of as a shepherding of the child’s thought into greener pastures where they feel safer and more loved.

That echoes what we see in an examination of the ancient relationship between a shepherd and his flock. Each day, sheep and goats, individually, approached their shepherd to be called by name, receive a hug, and have their chin rubbed. This daily attention, appreciation, and affection kept them mentally and physically safe. They felt loved and were quick to respond to the shepherd’s wise commands.

Yet, at times, a sheep or goat would become confused, as though under an influence, and would refuse to approach the shepherd. Unwilling to allow this mesmeric state to affect even one of his flock, the shepherd would single out the spellbound one and lift his rod high over its head. Then, with authority, he would swiftly bring the rod down, stopping just a centimeter before striking the animal. This action broke the mesmerism, allowing the sheep or goat to reawaken to its true nature as an obedient and loving member of the flock.

“He restores my soul,” is how such shepherding action is described in the third verse of the 23rd Psalm. David, the Psalmist, had been a shepherd not only of sheep but also of an entire nation, as the king of Israel.

Why does spirituality help children and teens resist the pressure to harm themselves or others? Because spirituality is not a small or insignificant part of their identity. Like all of us, they are first and foremost spiritual beings.

That’s why moments with the Shepherd, God, bring peace and mental dominion to their remembrance. Bible study allows the Shepherd to speak to each child. The following are just some examples of the messages they will hear:

“Do not be afraid... I am your shield.” (Gen 15:1 NRSV)

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex 33:14 NRSV)

“...I know you by name.” (Ex 33:17 NRSV)

When mental pressures come as a suggestion to think, plot, or act violently, unlovingly, immorally, or illegally, it is important that children have such tools at hand to help them quickly resist the harmful influence.

Our children’s best friend during such trials is not human will-power, but instead the divine Mind that is their shepherding God. The human mind is too susceptible to being wrongly influenced. Yielding thought, through prayer, to the Divine enables a child to begin to recognize and express his or her innate spiritual goodness, strength, and control.

The best expresser of this spiritual control was Jesus. He reflected God, the divine Shepherd, completely. His ability to refuse to give in to evil and, ultimately, to give it reality, was masterful. No wonder the Bible describes Jesus as “that great shepherd of the sheep.” (Heb 13:20 NRSV)

Jesus encouraged his followers to watch and pray. It is vital that our children learn to mentally and consistently affirm their identity as God’s spiritual and individual expression. This is a form of prayer. It is also important that they learn to watch -- watch their thoughts that no dark suggestion makes them believe evil can have power over them. Persistent spiritual growth gives us all a clearer sense of evil's essential unreality.

Mary Baker Eddy, Christian author and the founder of the spiritual healing system called Christian Science, learned the importance of spending time with the Shepherd. Through these precious hours with God, Eddy discovered how Jesus utilized divine power and its ability to release oneself and others from evil’s seeming influences.

In 1881, Eddy visited the prison cell of the man who had assassinated President Garfield. The assassin felt his criminal action was justified because Garfield had not chosen him to be  an ambassador. He’d carried out what he thought was a just act. When Eddy briefly spoke to him her words had an immediate impact. The spiritual authority behind her words were like that shepherd’s rod to the sheep.

Apparently, sensing for the first time that he had done something wrong, the man sank back in his chair, limp and pale; his flippancy was gone. The jailer thanked Mary Baker Eddy, and said, “Other visitors have brought to him flowers, but you have brought what will do him good.”

Prayer can awaken us all to act like the obedient, healthy, and loving members of society we each inherently desire to be.

The pressure to cause harm can be resisted when we and our children cherish our spirituality and accept another of the Shepherd’s tender promises, “I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”  (Gen 12:2 NRSV)

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Grammy: Can Lady Gaga teach you about God?
by KeithWommack
Feb 17, 2016 | 616 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Several years ago, Neil Strauss, in his The Wall Street Journal article God at the Grammys: The Chosen Ones, wrote:

Before they were famous, many of the biggest pop stars in the world believed that God wanted them to be famous, that this was his plan for them, just as it was his plan for the rest of us not to be famous. Conversely, many equally talented but slightly less famous musicians I’ve interviewed felt their success was accidental or undeserved–and soon after fell out of the limelight.

This faith gap, I’ve noticed in the interviews I’ve done, is often what sets the merely famous apart from the ridiculously famous. It can make the difference between achieving what’s possible and accomplishing what seems impossible.

This isn’t to say that every person who tops the charts believes in God’s will. There are plenty of exceptions, but fewer than you’d think.

Some may say, after reading Strauss’ piece, that these musicians are delusional if they believe a God handpicked them for mega-success and left the rest of us in the dust.

However, perhaps there is more to this story.

What if God made us all to be at the top of our game? What if God hasn’t been picking and choosing? Maybe, the supreme creator bestowed star-power and overflowing talent on each of us. Perhaps, you and I are chosen ones, as well.

Wouldn’t low self-esteem begin to vanish if we accepted that the divine Spirit made each one of us to be spiritual, dynamic, and show-stopping?

Stars like Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, and Christina Aguilera may have caught a glimpse of a magnificent life, a life that celebrates the unlimited, divine qualities available to each of us. Whether they know it or not, perhaps their real gift may have been their stubborn refusal to let a material sense of talent and individuality smother the grand spiritual lives they were destined to live.

“The lives of great men and women are miracles of patience and perseverance. Every luminary in the constellation of human greatness, like the stars, comes out in the darkness to shine with the reflected light of God.” — Mary Baker Eddy

 These words of Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, should encourage us all to cherish our own reflected abilities and opportunities. The more consistent we are at claiming our spiritual selfhoods, the more our light will shine.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Hold on to a healthy heartbeat
by KeithWommack
Nov 23, 2015 | 1120 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

How many times have you watched a drum line perform and found yourself moving to the beat of those drums?

There’s a pulse, a rhythm to life, and the sounds of synchronized drumming somehow seem to stir us to recognize the marvel of that.

And there’s more to the beating of drums than meets the eye (or ear). Researchers studying the effects of drumming acknowledge that an involvement with stimulating rhythms supplies us with health benefits.

And apparently the drums themselves are optional!

Waves breaking on a shore, raindrops on a tin roof, as well as footsteps hitting the pavement during a morning run are all stimulating rhythmic patterns. They, too, can be life-enhancing cadences. 

What makes captivating beats so beneficial? Could it be that the audible patterns that enrich us echo a deeper, spiritual lilt that has a divine origin?

I believe they do. While performing music myself, or listening to the musical performances of others, I’ve found it helpful to acknowledge the “spiritual cadence”, or underlying truth, that each measure of music might represent.

Here is what I’ve seen.

First measure: Principle governs every moment

The principle of music insures the order and synchronization of each performance. Just so, God is in charge of the harmony of our lives. The divine Principle keeps us healthy and productive.

Prayer helps us prove this. It helps sync us with the divine. In other words, exchanging a physical focus for one that’s more spiritual, allows mind and body to better reflect the divine order and balance.

Second measure: Spirit is the source of health

Just as the beauty and harmony of musical works exist before they are ever heard, those beneficial cadences exist even before the drumsticks first hit the drum skins.

The recognition that these cadences exist before the physical action makes their presence felt points to a similar truth I’ve learned in relation to health. It already exists in Spirit, God, and the more we understand and trust this, the more naturally health and healing follow in our bodies. Just as the drum brings those hidden cadences to life, so prayer to understand the divine Principle that governs all animates and awakens us to the practical nature of spiritual life and its harmonies.

Third measure: Principle keeps you well, so act like it

That’s what a woman, who noticed something wasn’t right with her pulse, eventually discovered. Lindsay wrote of her experience in the Christian Science Sentinel.  

She said, “I was having spells of a racing heartbeat as if I had just done strenuous physical activity, although I hadn’t.” The spells first lasted for hours and then days.

Lindsay had prayed about other physical troubles with good results and was confident this condition could be healed, too. Yet, she was afraid. Indeed, the fear was so overpowering one morning that she stayed in bed.  

She was waiting for her body to give her a signal that all was well. But then she had second thoughts, based on her understanding that she was made “in the image and likeness of God”, as the Bible says.

“It dawned on me that I had it backward. If freedom was really a part of my nature, then I could start acting that way now and expect the body, as they say, to ‘get with the program’; to ‘follow suit’; to ‘get in line’ with the spiritual facts. I didn’t need to take unnecessary risks, but I could insist that my freedom wasn’t an abstract concept—it was mine to experience right then,” Lindsay wrote.

Inspired by this idea, Lindsay got out of bed and went to help her husband fix dinner. Before she got to the kitchen, she felt completely free. She wrote, “No more fear, and no more racing heartbeat. I was so grateful—I didn’t dance, but I could have!”

Lindsay explained that the condition briefly tried to make a comeback a few months later, but she stood by what she had spiritually discerned and, again, the body got in line with the spiritual facts.

She concluded, “That issue has never again returned in the decade or so since.”

Fourth measure: You can find your rhythm

Waves break, drums are beaten, and we thrive because Principle establishes the profound harmony and health that physical functions and formations only hint at. 

God is ever-present and constantly expressed. Therefore, the rhythms of our lives can be affirmed as safe and sound in Principle’s care.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Love’s Story includes its healing power
by KeithWommack
Oct 15, 2015 | 1376 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

The seven-night Oprah Winfrey television series, Belief, airing October 18 - 24, explores our “ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves.”  

The second in the series, Belief: Love’s Storyexplores loving unconditionally, love that unites, and loving your enemies. As critical as these are to those yearning to put their faith into practice, I believe that “Love’s Story” is even richer if you also take a look at Love’s power to heal the body. 

If we were made, assembled, like a car or truck, there would be no need for compassion and care when it came to our mental and physical health care needs. Switch out a part or two, bang out a dent, and we would be good to go.

However, we know there is more to us than body parts, and health care means more than just cleaning out a filter and changing spark plugs, so to speak.

Pamela Wible, MD, recently wrote, “Just three simple words can heal more wounds than all the doctors in the world.” The three words are “I love you.”

Other health care professionals have discovered love's potential. Studies(1) show that love heals physical wounds and reduces stress. Researchers are also looking into whether love improves the immune system. I believe they will eventually find love to be a medicine for every ill.

The special words, “I love you,” often regarded as mere human emotion, can represent a magnificent, spiritual creator’s relationship to His children. The Bible states God is love, and our understanding of the divine allness and care can heal.

Several years ago, I attended a talk by a Christian Science practitioner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the lecture, the practitioner explained how a woman had come to his office looking like the “perfect presentation of a Walt Disney witch.” He said she was disheveled, dark in her expression and disposition. The woman came to him for relief from a physical ailment.

The practitioner took the case, and shared with the woman what he felt were meaningful, spiritual truths. Previously in his practice, he had seen that when the facts about a patient’s spiritual nature were understood and affirmed, mental and physical relief came.

That’s because while belief in God is generally helpful to well-being, it’s more powerful to have faith that has, through spiritual growth, developed into a true understanding of God’s infinite power and unconditional love for each of us. That assurance overcomes fear and its negative effects on the body. This unshakeable understanding, which is based on divine laws of health and harmony, allows us to experience the healing that Love, God, can bring.

So that’s how the practitioner prayed for the woman. He felt he was feeding her with spiritual inspiration. After several visits and discussions, the woman simply turned to him with teary eyes and said, “If you would only love me, I know I would be healed.”

Her statement shocked him. Hadn’t he been loving her, caring for her in his prayerful treatment for her all along? Or, on the contrary, had he been merely seeing a poor soul that needed what he had to offer?

He was humbled. Then he felt love pouring into him and out from him to this woman. She, like so many of us, was in need, not only of physical healing, but of the most vital comforting antidote: loving care.

He loved her not with pity, but with compassion and tender respect. He endeavored to love her, to some degree, as he knew God loved her--perfect and free.

The next time the woman returned to his office, not only was she physically healed, he said that her whole face had changed. She no longer looked like a Disney witch. She was open, and bright, and lovely. Love’s work was complete.

I’ve heard that a wise physician once said to his patient, “I’ve been practicing medicine for 30 years, and have prescribed many things. But in the long run I’ve learned that, for most of what ails the human creature the best medicine is love.” When asked, “What if it doesn’t work?” He answered, “Double the dose.”  

  1. Studies   

 

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Walk in the Park Improves Health
by KeithWommack
Oct 05, 2015 | 1332 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
GlOW IMAGES - Model used for illustrative purposes
GlOW IMAGES - Model used for illustrative purposes
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Throughout history, moments spent strolling through floral paths, even planting vegetable and herb gardens, have been found to be therapeutic.

Health & Science article in The Washington Post put a spotlight on the benefits of nature moments. It examined Robert Zarr’s “innovative community health program,” DC Parks Rx, which is “committed to combating the woes of urban living by prescribing time outdoors.”

Zarr, a pediatrician, is convinced that a “growing body of scientific evidence” indicates “that many of the chronic scourges of city life can be prevented or alleviated by reconnecting with nature.”

How does communing with nature help?

Studies on ecotherapy are showing that spending time outside provides help to those suffering with physical illnesses. You might conclude that refreshing breezes and beautiful views are distractions from the stresses and fears that cause depression and many illnesses. Yet, there is more to it.

I believe that a walk in the park isn’t just a walk in the park. There is something seemingly magical but spiritually natural behind the advantages of what we experience outdoors. Nature’s beauty can represent the presence of a creative intelligence. The majesty, peace, and vitality of nature help remind us of the divine order and harmony of life.

Author, teacher, and religious leader, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, — all point to [the divine] Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect.”

If nature — really, all of life — expresses spiritual wisdom, shouldn’t the definition of “stepping outside” be expanded? What if the benefits of a stroll in nature signaled the advantages of moving thought beyond a confining sense of existence? A paradigm shift from a fragile focus to a sturdy spiritual focus has already been shown to cause emotional and physical changes for the better.

A friend of mine experienced such a transformation.  

One month before her wedding, Susanne was struck by a car. At the hospital, where she was taken, doctors said she had abrasions and contusions as well as a broken left collarbone. However, because she’d experienced the power of prayer to heal in her past, Susanne chose to merely have the wounds cleaned. Then she was released to go home.

Once home, she asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer. The contusions and abrasions healed very quickly, and no traces were visible when she and her husband married.

The collarbone, however, did not heal so quickly. Susanne was able to function, but decided to go to an orthopedist who told her that it was necessary to pin the fracture since the bone was not mending on its own.

After meeting with the doctor, she went outside. She was frustrated that she wasn’t seeing progress. But as she walked outside, she had a turn of thought.

She reconnected with the beautiful nature of Mind, God. She felt more of God’s complete control over her experience. She could sense that her health, as part of the beautiful universe, was an ordered state of this divine Mind.

From that moment, the healing came quickly. Within a few days the collarbone mended, without any pinning. It has never been sensitive to changes in weather, as the orthopedist had predicted, nor has she experienced limitations with her weight training she’s enjoyed for years.

David, the Psalmist, must have known that God surrounds us with His beauty and care. He wrote, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul [my spiritual sense of things].”

A walk outside allows us to recognize that, ultimately, each created thing, from the least to the greatest, is stunningly real, when we learn to regard it from a spiritual viewpoint.

Again, history shows that time spent in lush meadows and floral paths has been therapeutic. Today, we find why stepping outside can improve health.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

 
 
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Suicide and the Lifeline Of Your Spiritual Authority
by KeithWommack
Sep 14, 2015 | 1279 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

The tragedy of fifteen-year-old Sadie Walker has me thinking about lifelines.

Sadie took her life on Christmas Day last year, according to the Dallas Morning News, and her story suggests that doom and gloom thinking can be contagious.

Sadie had joined an online chat group of teenagers talking about self-harm – a community of silent co-sufferers hidden behind the veil of Internet privacy laws.

She had joined out of compassion, hoping to offer comfort and support to those struggling. Instead, the negative environment consumed her. Sadie quickly became overwhelmed and took her own life.

There are immediate telephone lifelines for those finding themselves drawn into such a downward spiral. Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, or who knows someone who is, can do something about it, today. In the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255.

In addition, there’s another kind of lifeline that many are finding sustainably practical. It is spirituality. An increasing number of psychologists and physicians are recognizing a connection between spirituality, resiliency, self-control, and health.

It’s clear that all too often unfairness, pain, alienation, and isolation hijack our thoughts. However, research shows that the right kind of spirituality can promote thoughts and acts that are beneficial. It can enable us to face down emptiness and make us mentally stronger. It can bolster health and healing.

At a conference I attended two years ago, one of the conference speakers, Dr. Kenneth Pargament, Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green University, spoke of how spirituality can actually jump-start both the lives of the client and a healthcare provider. Spirituality lessens anxiety and depression, and provides a better quality of life.

In a related summary, Pargament stated, “A religion that is internalized, intrinsically motivated, and built on a belief in a greater meaning in life, a secure relationship with God, and a sense of spiritual connectedness with others has positive implications for well-being.”

In my spiritual practice, I’ve additionally found that understanding the Divine as all-good and all-loving brings a spiritual authority that can put a stop to mesmeric, dark and evil influences.

That’s what happened for David, a friend of mine who told me, “Thoughts of suicide started early with me in my high school years. Our family physician committed suicide, and I suppose it stuck in my thought that suicide was always an option.”

Feelings of lack of worth, not belonging, no purpose or clear direction for his life, swirled together with self-hatred and self-absorption and became overwhelming.

“I could not see beyond those dark feelings. So, at one point, I decided to do the deed. At the time I wasn’t sure what stopped me, but I ended up firing a bullet into the closet instead,” he recalled.

In the midst of his struggles, David turned to psychiatry and psychology for help, attending individual and group therapy sessions. He said, “It was somewhat helpful to be with others, talk about our problems and to feel some support. But for me, it turned out to be not enough.”

Finally David’s quest for healing took a more spiritual turn. He began reading the Bible and was introduced to a book titled, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

He told me, “It was then that I felt a spark. And even though thoughts of suicide were still rampant, the spark I felt began to support me. As I read, helpful ideas came to me — ideas that were uplifting — ideas that guided me. For instance, the idea that my life was eternal was extremely helpful.”

From that initial spark, David began to gain self-control by appraising the thoughts that came to him and differentiating whether they came from the divine Mind (God) or the human mind. He was less overwhelmed and began to have a better sense of worth and purpose. He is now married and has two beautiful children.

Looking back, David added, “I now think I pulled back from my earlier attempt at suicide because deep down, I was acting on the truth that my life is eternal — it was the law of Life, God, operating on my behalf. It was God and God’s love for me that saved me.”

For my part, I pray that each person, struggling with suicidal thoughts, will discover just how unique and special they are; that they have a spiritual selfhood.

At first, it may seem hard to push past pain that seems solid and unyielding. Yet, we can begin to reason more effectively when we learn where our authority comes from.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.”

Sometimes depression or unworthiness stem merely from believing God is far off or nonexistent. I find reassurance in these verses from the book of Psalms, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell at the end of the sea, even there Your hand shall guide me, and Your right hand shall take hold of me.”

To learn about God’s ever-present love, and your spiritual worth and authority, you can start with the Bible online or utilize phone apps. Both the Bible and Science and Health can be read here: http://bit.ly/Bible-SH

As well, attending church can introduce you to others who can help you learn more about your spiritual selfhood.

You are precious and unique and your life is intended to serve a blessed and profound purpose. You have the God-given ability to defend and fulfill that purpose.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Are You Rich Enough To Be Generous
by KeithWommack
Aug 17, 2015 | 1732 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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Are you seeking “Lower blood pressure, lower risk of dementia, less anxiety and depression, reduced cardiovascular risk, and overall greater happiness”?

Well there just might be “a magic pill for happiness and longevity” that can help you get such benefits, according to Terri Yablonsky Stat, in the Chicago Tribune - "It's a simple way to stay healthier".

It is being generous.

It seems that generosity, no matter the age of the benefactor, benefits the giver physically and psychologically. In other words, it pays to be nice.

However, a hand isn’t moved to give unless a mind is moving it. So, what triggers the mind to give? 

Is it wealth? Yes, it does help to possess something to be generous with. But material wealth, by itself, doesn’t always lead to generosity.  

But how about spiritual wealth? I believe that there is a spiritual sense within each of us that actually compels us to give. It provides the human mind with the fearlessness, compassion, strength, and expectancy of good that lead to generosity. 

What is the spiritual sense that does that? It could be thought of as our innate sense of the divine naturalness of goodness, nurtured by our capacity to understand God and the tender way that He cares for us.

But if spirituality triggers giving, is it in fact the spirituality behind our giving that is benefiting the giver physically?  

In her recent New York Times Best Seller, Dr. Lisa Miller wrote, “Research in medicine and psychology has found that people with a developed spirituality get sick less, are happier, and feel more connected and less isolated. In the context of illness, people with a developed spirituality show positive effects for resilience, healing, and recovery.”

Indeed, writing of developmental depression and spiritual awakening, Miller also pointed to MRI studies showing positive results for those people in “families at risk for depression” who had sustained a sense of spirituality or religion as highly important to them for at least five years.” They possessed healthier states than those who hadn’t.

So, yes, the spirituality that causes us to be “a cheerful giver” (as the Bible puts it) does itself lead us to experience bodily improvements. But couldn’t these improvements through spiritual means also hint at some deeper conclusions?

  • Health is primarily Spirit-based 
  • We are subject to divine powers
  • Physical betterment is actually God’s ceaseless care finding expression in a way we can understand

These are three points I have come to lean on as the very basis of my own healing practice over many years, in which I have regularly seen how a deepened spirituality can restore well-being. 

Like many people, I have utilized Bible studies to help cultivate the needed spiritual sense which can bring about such healing, including the following passage that relates giving and spirituality: "Now [God] who provides seed for sowing and bread for food will provide the seed for you to sow;  he will multiply it and swell the harvest of your benevolence, and you will always be rich enough to be generous." (II Cor. 9:10 New English Bible)

What a guarantee for each of us! As God’s creations - reflecting the divine nature - we are always rich enough with joy to be generous, rich enough with love to distribute, rich enough in spirit to brighten every encounter, rich enough with holiness to uplift the experiences of those around us.

You are always rich enough to be generous, and to do so tirelessly.

Mary Baker Eddy, Christian author and healer, once wrote, “Goodness and benevolence never tire. They maintain themselves and others and never stop from exhaustion. He who is afraid of being too generous has lost the power of being magnanimous. The best man or woman is the most unselfed."

When rich in spirit, you will always be rich enough to be generous. And as you give, you will be blessed.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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