Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Healing Power of Exercise

Exercise has healing power. Our bodies are designed to move. The more we move the stronger we will be. Yet we spend much time sitting. We all slow down some as we age but we must keep moving.

Dr. Andrew Weil in his book Healthy Aging says “Human bodies are designed for regular physical activity. The inactivity of many people today undermines both general health and brain health and probably plays a significant role in the epidemic of depression today.”

Dr. Henry Lodge in his book, Younger Next Year says “Aging can be reversed and delayed by exercise.” This message is repeated over and over in his book.  He tells of sedentary 70 year old men who doubled their leg strength in three months. He also says that arthritis is an inflammatory disease of sedentary societies.

Both of these doctors say it’s important to vary the exercise, to do weight lifting as well as walking and that you gain more strength and benefit when you push yourself.  I’ve been a regular exerciser for decades and I added weight lifting several years ago. I can attest to the fact that this helps. My balance is better as well as my energy and strength. I won’t be younger next year but I hope to be stronger!

“I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Psalm 119 Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God

This is the sixteenth section of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter and the longest Psalm in the Bible. There are 8 different terms referring to Scripture used through out. These are: law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word and ordinances. I'm journaling through it verse by verse.

Ayin. February 8, 2016

121 I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.

Father, I have kept your just laws and surrendered my life to you;
Don’t abandon me to this corrupt and lost world.

122 Be surety for Your servant for good;
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.

Father, Go to bat for me, your Christ follower for good;
Don’t let proud, know-it-all acquaintances get me down.

123 My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation
And for Your righteous word.

Father, My eyes yearn to see the salvation of family members; for your word to penetrate their hearts.

124 Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
And teach me Your statutes.

Father, Be gentle with me according to your great love,
I’m a work in progress, teach me your Word.

125 I am Your servant; give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.

Lord, I am yours, I bow before you, give me discernment,
So I will follow Your will and way in all my days ahead.

126 It is time for the Lord to act,
For they have broken Your law.

Father, I believe it is about time for You to act,
The world is lost and many don’t value or keep your law.

127 Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.

Father, Thank you for drawing me back so I love and worship you and support your church, I value this knowledge above all else, it is more precious than anything else.

128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

Father, I value highly all your directions for life, your will for everything,
I cringe and despise every false way.

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Q. I’m tired and I have little energy. My doctor can find nothing wrong with me after many tests. I’ve increased the hours I sleep at night and I exercise some but I’m still listless. I’ve been to a counselor but that didn’t help either. I have a good job, a good marriage and good kids. My doctor suggested an anti-depressant but I don’t want to take medication. What else can I do to overcome my sluggishness?

A. Try singing! New evidence suggests that singing is good for our health and boosts our energy levels. Lilias Folan, well known yoga teacher, in one of her articles some time ago told of a Benedictine monastery in France. The Benedictines are a silent order. They begin their day early each morning with chanting and prayers followed by manual labor and more chanting at intervals throughout the day and into the night. 

When there were conflicts about whether to chant in Latin or in English, a new young abbot decided to eliminate chanting. After several months of not chanting, the monks became tired and listless. Doctors were called in and various remedies were tried including giving them more sleep and changing their diet. These changes did not help; instead, the monks became even more fatigued.
Another doctor was called in. He found a majority of the monks “slumped in their cells like wet dish rags.”  This doctor speculated that the chanting which the monks had previously done served to recharge them. Chanting was reintroduced and the monks gradually returned to health.
Research shows that music can affect our health positively in many ways. Soothing sounds are credited with preventing colds, easing labor pains, lowering blood pressure, increasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), calming anxiety and boosting our immune system. 
One study found that surgery patients exposed to soothing music had less pain and shorter recovery time than those who were not. Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor, author of Sounds of Healing, uses harmonious sounds in helping cancer patients recover. “I’ve never found anything more powerful than sound and voice and music to begin to heal and transform every aspect of people’s lives” Gaynor says. Music makes a difference even before we’re born. The unborn child is capable of hearing for half the pregnancy and is “affected profoundly” by what he or she hears according to Gaynor.

The sounds of soothing music are low. Sounds above 90 decibels cause stress and ear damage - the opposite effect. Disharmony and noise jar our nerves and cause depressed or pessimistic thoughts or feelings. 

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine studied choir members who sang a Beethoven choral number. The researchers found that a protein used by the immune system to fight disease increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240 percent during a performance. The boost seemed related to the singers’ happy or euphoric state of mind. The more passionate they felt while singing, the greater the increase.
This research suggests that we should all rush out and join a choir! We at least should find a place of worship with a great deal of uplifting singing and music. Short of that we certainly should sing in the shower, chant or sing as we meditate or pray and listen to comforting or uplifting music on a daily basis.
It also suggests we should avoid disharmony. Many stress producing sounds bombard our ears every day. We can’t totally avoid the shouting boss, the noise of jackhammers or the sounds of traffic. But we can mute the jarring TV commercials, choose to turn off the violent or pessimistic fare offered on TV and keep our voices pleasant at home. And we can sing!

“I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.”  2 Samuel 22:50

Blessings, Dottie

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Seeking God in Silence

Silence is viewed as toxic in our culture. Noise saturates and over stimulates us. Television, cell phones, radio, and computers consume our time and distract our minds. We need silence to slow down and breathe. We need silence to relax our body and soul. We need silence to release our cares and concerns to God.

We must empty our minds and be still. Silence brings us in touch with inner longings and needs. Silence touches our deepest feelings; brings to mind our hurts, angers, frustrations and flaws. We would rather run away from these. Once we face these things and cry out to God we can abide in Him. If silence continues long enough we will face our sins and humble our hearts before God. Then we will sense the sweet presence of God in new ways.

We must be silent to sense His presence. There are spiritual broadcasts that are timeless and eternal but we must tune into these through silence. These broadcasts can easily be jammed. They are heard only in the silence.
We need silence during worship to face our sins and sense the presence of God.

Scripture says:
·       Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10 NIV)

·       “They who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31 ESV)

·       “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” (Ps. 62:5-6 NASB)

To deepen your relationship with Christ, spend ten minutes or more in silence every day. Commit to taking time for this period of silence and stillness. The longer you do this the more meaningful this time will become.

Father I thank you for your peace in my heart and for your Word and your Spirit. I know your Spirit is in me. Help me rest in you – not wrestle and clench my teeth. Help me relax and yet do what needs to be done. Bless and guide this day. I read 1 Corinthians 13 in the Montgomery translation and it says: “Love knows how to be silent.” We can’t hear you unless we know how to be silent and most of us talk more than we listen. Help me be a better listener. Help me be still and know that you are God. Increase my love, trust, hope, patience and perseverance. Let all I do glorify you.”

“Love knows how to be silent; it is trustful hopeful, patient, enduring.” 
1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Blessings, Dottie