Session 11: Getting the Best out of Life…Part 2
- Many people like Guita Sazan Silverstein and the German couple Annika and Daniel have their priorities mixed up. To get the best out of life, we need to evaluate our priorities and tie it in with purpose and commitment.
- As we’ve discovered in the last presentation, Jesus purpose was to come and seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), knowing very well that God’s will was that everyone would be saved and raised in the last day (John 6:40). His commitment is ultimately sealed at the Cross, when He willingly died and went all the way to the grave for our sakes.
- The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is God’s charge to us; in it He gives us our purpose and seeks our commitment. The essence of the Great Commission can be summed up into 1) Go, 2) Make disciples / teach, and 3) Baptize.
- Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24,25), and while work and all that is important, He simply tells us that our number one priority is to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
- In preaching the Kingdom of God, Jesus includes a healing / wellbeing aspect of the gospel (Luke 9:2, 11; 10:9)
2. CREATION Health
- Based on www.creationhealth.com, this is an acronym that helps live to the fullest with some lifestyle principles.
- Choice is the first step toward improved health because people who believe they are in control over their own lives are healthier and live longer.
- The idea of choice is prevalent throughout the entire Bible, as found in passages like Joshua 24:15 (Choose you this day…). See also Presentation 7 – What Would You Do If You Were God?
- As human beings, the development of our frontal lobe allows us to make choices that no other species on earth can (refer to the case study of Phineas Gage).
- When it comes to what we do with our bodies, God has given us specific instructions, that we are to glorify God as we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 10:31)
- Rest is good sleep and also taking time to relax. Relaxation lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.
- Studies show that for adults, seven to eight hours a night is best. In the classic Alameda County Study, which included nearly 7,000 people, researchers found that this figure was associated with the greatest longevity. Researchers discovered that subjects who reported short (six or less hours per night) or long sleep (nine or more hours) shortened their lives by an average of nine years when compared with people who slept seven to eight hours per night.
- Some facts about sleep:
i. Effects of sleeping < 4hrs/night for 6 consecutive nights1:
1. 40% lower blood sugar uptake into the tissues
2. 30% lower insulin release from the pancrease
ii. Loss of sleep appears to raise stress hormone levels2
iii. Task (in this case, typing a sequence of keys on a keyboard) executed 20% faster and more accurate after a good night’s sleep3
1.K.Spiegel, Impact of Sleep Debt on Metabolic and Endocrine Function”, The Lancet, October 23, 1999, 354 (9188): 1435-1439
2. G.Lac, “Elevated Salivary Cortisol Levels as a result of Sleep Deprivation in a Shift Worker”, Occupational Medicine, March 2003, 53 (2):143-14
3. M.P.Walker, “Practice With Sleep Makes Perfect: Sleep Dependent Motor Skill Learning”, Neuron, July 3, 2002: 205-211
- Boosting your melatonin, which helps with sleep:
i. Exposure to bright light early in the day
ii. Sleep in a dark room
iii. Sleep before midnight
iv. Diet (rich in tryptophan): almonds, sesame seeds, tofu
v. Avoid caffeine, tobacco and alcohol
- Rest in Jesus, and connect with Him through the Sabbath (see Presentation 9 – The Ultimate Connection to God)
- Environment is our external world but also affects what happens within us for the better or worst.
- A messy house or room will certainly have a different effect from a beautiful stream amongst pine trees or a beautiful beach
- God initially gave the Garden of Eden for us to tend and keep it (Genesis 2:15); we should be mindful of how we spend our time and the environment we’re constantly in (the music we listen to, the TV we watch, our smartphones etc.)
- God wants to meet us in nature (Psalm 19:1-2)
- Activity includes physical and mental conditioning. Our goal is to be active in mind, body and spirit.
- The expert panel included the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. They have given us the following physical activity guidelines: To promote and maintain health, all healthy adults aged 18–65 years need moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes five days each week OR vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes three days each week.
- Exercise can be accumulated toward the 30-minute minimum as long as the exercise lasts at least 10 minutes. It is also recommended that eight to ten exercises be performed on two or more non-consecutive days each week using the major muscle groups.
Trust in God
- Trust in God speaks to the relationship between spirituality and healing. A link exists between faith and wellness.
- With this series, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface; the premise that God is love dominates the Bible and the lives of those who have found healing and strength through Him (like Brryan Jackson, Corrie Ten Boom, Devon Franklin and Diana and Fred Adams).
- God has promised to keep us in perfect peace if we trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3), and that He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5,6)
- Interpersonal relationships strengthen our well being. Social connection fortifies our resolve and improves our health.
- Dr. Dean Ornish, in his book, Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy writes, "I’m not aware of any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and the premature death from all causes than does love and intimacy.
- Outlook creates our reality. Our mind influences our body and our attitude impacts our health.
- God has promised to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11); how we look at this (“the glasses we wear”) will determine our outlook on life.
- Some people will always choose to see a half-empty glass, and look at the “worse” from “Godisnowhere”, as in “God is nowhere” as opposed to “God is now here”.
- Nutrition is the fuel that drives the whole system. Small improvements and strategic substitutions produce profound results.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, women are supposed to drink 2.2 litres of water (9 cups) a day, while men are supposed to drink 3 litres (13 cups) a day - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
- Intrinsically, we know what is bad and what is good for us.
- God wants us to be in good health (3 John 1:2), and His original diet for us was herb, grains, nuts and fruit (Genesis 1:29).
- However, with the flood, God permitted meat (Genesis 7:2), but even then He made the distinction between clean and unclean meet (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14)
- God also warned sternly against consuming alcohol (Proverbs 20:1, 23:29-32)
- Ultimately it’s because God made us “very good” (Genesis 1:31)
God wants us live life abundantly (John 10:10), and these principles, based on the Bible, will certainly help us achieve that. However, it still comes down to choices and priorities – do we want to make that commitment to do what is right and to really connect with God? Do we want to get the best out of life?