Tag Archives: spiritual health

He’s Got Your Back; The Great Chiropractor

23abe7abedf0156e394a3963be4310a3It is with a heavy heart that I begin writing this month’s topic, “Back Posture And Spine Health.” I chose the title, “He’s Got Your Back,” just days before our beloved dog, “Selah”, took her last breath. If there was ever a time Lillian and I needed to know God had our back it is now (prayers graciously accepted!).

If you had the good fortune of reading April’s edition of HCTW in my article I mentioned a car accident where I went through the windshield of a car, breaking my neck as a result. Even though I was told I would never walk again God miraculously healed me completely and I walked out of the hospital three days later! Years later I took a fall down a flight of ice-covered stairs in Gatlinburg and I was rear ended by another car a few years later. Because of these injuries I visited a chiropractor once a week for a spinal adjustment.

In 1996 Lillian and I moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Florida so I could take a position as an associate pastor and youth pastor in Coral Springs. Our church office was in a shopping center next door to a chiropractor so one day I walked into his office to meet him. The chiropractor was Howard Newman  I shook his hand and said, “How are you?” his response, “Simply spine how are you!” I totally cracked up (no pun intended) little did I know that my former chiropractor in Nashville, graduated from Life Chiropractic with Howard and they were close friends!

Today, 17 years later, I am not only Howard’s patient I am Howard Newman’s friend and he has taught me so much about the spine, its function and the body’s need for alignment. Howard Newman is a wealth of information and his state of the art clinic in Coconut Creek Florida East West Physicians offers the best of western and eastern healing modalities.

One term I picked up from Howard was subluxation, which occurs when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of alignment and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. This can cause a myriad of issues as these nerves run through the bones of you spine thus subluxation causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves. This interference of signals to other parts of the body inhibits the body from operating at 100%.

It does not take much to subluxate your spine believe it or not it is often a little impact like missing a curb, bending over the sink while brushing your teeth, starting an old school lawnmower, bowling or even sneezing! The culprit or pre-condition should be no surprise to anyone…STRESS causes your muscles to tense and tense muscles make it easy for bones to become misaligned or subluxated.

One day while reading the bible I came across a verse I have read countless times Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” and it hit me…there is a big difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping just as there is a big difference between a chiropractor and a masseuse. On a recent trip to Minnesota a dear friend booked a massage for my wife and I and the masseuse would say, “how is that too much pressure not enough?” Although the massage made my muscles a little less sore it certainly didn’t help with my alignment. Yet one visit to the chiropractor and BANG alignment… no questions asked.

In the last 29 years of ministry God seems much more like a chiropractor than He does a masseuse He knows exactly what it takes to move me and bring me back into alignment.

Here is a working definition for alignment:

“The process of adjusting parts so that they are in proper relative positions or order.”

Have you ever driven your car when it is out of alignment? It makes a bumpy road bumpier, a crooked road more crooked and it takes a lot of extra effort and concentration just to keep the car straight because even on a smooth surface there is a constant pull to one side or the other. The problem is compounded when other people choose to ride with you in your misaligned car. And so it is on this journey called life. When your life becomes misaligned with God your journey becomes a perilous one at best things begin to wobble and shake, you are pulled in many directions and eventually you can completely lose control. When you are a leader (leaders are leaders because people are following them!) and your life is misaligned sadly the people who are following you are equally misaligned thus creating a fool’s parade that’s heading nowhere fast.

are you lostSometimes the reason we continue traveling in the wrong direction is pride. I remember a friend telling me that her husband refused to stop and ask directions if they were lost he would say, “I’m not lost you’re lost I know exactly where I am going,” she said once he drove four hours out of their way because he had too much pride to admit he was going the wrong way until finally they ran out of gas!

When you look at the horizon it appears to be the line where Earth meets sky but as you move, the horizon moves with you it’s just an optical illusion. A man can miss his objective by hundreds of miles if he is navigating by magnetic north all the while believing he was following true north. In the bible and throughout history there are accepted terms for men and women who are aligned with God. In the Old Testament God’s criteria for kings was simple, he did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord or he did what was evil and wrong in the sight of the Lord. Words like upright, upstanding, stand up guy and righteous are just a few that are used to denote a person who is aligned with God.

Obviously people who don’t know God are misaligned but even the righteous have their seasons of misalignment I call this, “The horizontal conundrum of the upright man.” Proverbs 24:16, “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.”

You can’t keep a good man down when a righteous man falls he is redeemed when a wicked man falls there is no redemption available for him. Look at the story of King David in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters He restores my soul. He guides (aligns) me in path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, (not death just the shadow!) I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod (correction) and your staff (guidance) they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Sometimes God makes us lie down in the midst of our busy lives to align our souls (thought, will and emotions). Psalm 23 was written on a battlefield. God made David drop his sword and lay down on the battlefield in the midst of a bloody battle; to show David who was really in charge and to bring him to a place of trust and peace in the knowledge that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob HAD HIS BACK!

Remember dear reader it is usually the little things that remain secret that eventually lead to an obvious misalignment with God. Song of Songs 2:15, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards our vineyards that are in bloom” it doesn’t take much to get your life out of alignment and begin careening down the road to ruin. Friend, take a minute and get to a quiet place and do what King David did…ask God for a personal diagnostic test! Psalm 139: 23,24 (A psalm of David) “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God knows you inside and out He wants you to know yourself so you can make the proper adjustments to be aligned with Him. When your car is in alignment you experience a smooth ride because the car is already headed straight and the shock absorbers can more readily do their job. When your life is in alignment your course is set to the straightest road available, the King’s Way! Be advised being in alignment doesn’t patch the potholes or remove the bumps it simply allows the greatest shock absorber in the world, Jesus Christ to do His job, to carry you! No matter what life throws at you always remember, HE HAS YOUR BACK…

                                                                                                              Michael

PERSONAL ALIGNMENT CHECK LIST:

  1. If you were lost on the road would you have too much pride to ask for directions?

  2. Who are you following?

  3. When was the last time you took a self-diagnostic test with The Almighty? What did He show you about you?

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Smoke and Mirrors: Resolve to Quit 2/2

Part 2 – Mirrors Revealed

Here’s the truth, what you believe about your smoking addiction, is an illusion! Addictions are predominantly divided into two categories mental (emotional) or chemical (physiological). The truth is, all addictions are a bit of both, because you cannot affect the mind without the body being affected and visa versa. Lets dispel some classic misconceptions and shatter the illusions that have kept you from quitting.

1) After quitting, you are always one puff away from being addicted again.

Really? A close family member smoked for years, she said she started to look cool. One day she read a report from the American cancer society and never smoked again.

2) Nicotine is a powerful highly addictive drug.

Really? No, cocaine, heroine and opiates like oxycontin are powerful highly addictive drugs. People have quit cigarette smoking with hypnotism, however you will NEVER find it effective with cocaine, heroine or oxycontin. Smoking is predominantly a mental addiction with a slight chemical interaction. I have never met anyone with a nicotine deficiency, likewise, I have never seen junkies snorting, shooting or dropping nicotine.

Here is a list of myths former smokers have shared with me to help you identify your own.

“Smoking makes me look more attractive, calms my nerves, keeps me thin, helps me cope, gives me confidence, helps me focus, makes me look “cool.” ‘

What do YOU believe? Do you believe a wooden stick can cure warts? Do you believe sugar pills can cure cancer? Do you believe a cigarette has power?

The truth is, your addiction is attached to a personal belief system or imagined rsmoke n mirroreality that you have created, all based upon an elaborate…illusion!

Every smoker I have encountered that has been unsuccessful quitting, says the same thing; “I can’t quit, I’ve tried everything!” Look at your words, can’t never could!

The truth is, you have tried everything that doesn’t work. Trying hard has made you skeptical, frustrated, tired and numb.

Lets change that now, first realize that your healing began the moment you started reading this article and truth is gradually replacing the lies that you have been telling yourself for years. Next, begin to laugh at yourself, seriously, see the humor in you, Gods greatest creation being afraid of a piece of paper with tobacco stuffed in it! (If your still not laughing) remember the scene from the “Wizard Of Oz” when Dorothy and her friends were shaking like leaves in the presence of Oz, the great and terrible, when all of a sudden, Dorothy’s dog, Toto pulls back the curtain revealing the real Oz, a short old man with a loudspeaker, smoke and mirrors! Now realize, you don’t have to work or try harder, just change what you believe, change your mind and you will change your LIFE!

Let me leave you with one last story: Years ago, a dear friend of mine (lets call him, David) was beside himself because after trying everything, he could not stop smoking. David’s wife was pregnant with their first child and he wanted to quit before the baby was born. Many of David’s well meaning Christian friends offered suggestions, but it was the advice of a new convert that changed David’s life, he said; forget the patch, forget will power, this is what you do. Every time you walk out to the dock to smoke, hold that joker in the air and say, “God, You know I hate this, but I have been powerless to stop, what can you do for me?” On David’s seventh trip down the dock, he threw his cigarettes into the lake, that was over seven years ago and he has never smoked again.

 I love the word, Emmanuel, it means: God with us! Friend, you are not alone in your struggle.

He is always there, and created you with the ability to overcome any obstacle in your way. I am looking forward to hearing your stories, please write and let us know if this article was helpful.

It is my prayer that you will be ringing in the New Year with a prayer of gratitude on your lips, instead of a cigarette. LOL, which is short for: Lots Of Love, Michael

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The Yeast of Your Problems

Have you ever walked into a kitchen right about the time a fresh baked loaf of bread comes out of the oven? The aroma of fresh baked bread is intoxicating and it fills the entire house with…. Temptation! Then there is the aesthetic value of the golden brown crust virtually spilling over the pan, crunchy on the outside yet hot and moist on the inside. Ok, I confess I just took a break from writing and toasted two slices of bread and covered them with real butter, yum! It is amazing to me that a tiny little organism called yeast makes the bread dough raise and expand; it doesn’t take much a little goes a long way!

This month’s topic is candida albicans, a fungal yeast that can cause numerous health conditions if allowed to proliferate in the human body. If you have read any of my previous articles you are well aware of my angle, I find a spiritual application for each months health topic and leave the clinical info to the guys (or girls!) in the lab coats! With all of that said, candida albicans can make your life miserable, I know I suffered with it for years.

As a teenager, I was blessed with great skin. In high school I would see kids walking the halls with acne covered faces and thank God for my clear skin. When I entered my mid twenties however, things began to change! I developed a form of cystic acne that left untreated usually resulted in permanent scarring. I made an appointment with a dermatologist and he gave me a prescription for tetracycline and said I would need to stay on it indefinitely. Before long the acne disappeared. A few months later other symptoms started to surface, a toenail fungus, bloated abdomen and brain fog (spacey feeling). I went to the doctor and he could not find anything wrong. My health continued to decline, I became weak, tired and started to develop pain in my joints and trigger points for this the doctor prescribed prednisone. Now remember at this point I am a twenty-five year old musician with a poor diet and absolutely no idea what I was doing to myself!

After taking prednisone the joint pain subsided however the bloating got worse and I started bleeding when I used the bathroom. I didn’t notice it for some time but I even started withdrawing socially, my bubbly outgoing personality was morphing into a depressed, isolated survival.

After a year of antibiotics and months of prednisone my immune system started shutting down. I had to avoid sick people like the plague, as I had no defenses left. One day as I was walking in downtown Atlanta and I came across a heath food store and went in. I had no way of knowing that I was about to meet a man who would change my life forever.

I looked past the counter at a man with a kind face and a name tag that said “Bill”. He looked over his glasses at me with that; “you have never been in a health food store in your life” face, then he said, “can I help you son”?

Maybe it was his kind face, maybe it was my desperation but I broke down and told him everything, without emoting he said, “It won’t be easy, but we will beat this thing” What “thing” I asked, the next sixty minutes was like Neo meeting Morpheus!

Bill took saliva samples, checked my pulse, looked at my eyes, had me fill out an exhaustive questionnaire and finally the verdict… you guessed it, candida albicans! Little did I know this “chance” meeting with Bill would catapult me into a lifelong study of health and wellness which would eventually bring me to you today dear reader.

Like I previously mentioned, I will leave the research data and clinical research to the professionals, my job this month is to bring hope and peace and a little spiritual correction to those who suffer or have loved ones who are suffering with this potentially devastating condition. I know what you are thinking, “did you recover”? And if so “how did you do it”? Yes, I recovered, how I did it is another matter all together. You see, there is no “one way’’ of attacking candida albicans it is a living organism that plays a vital role in the body, as long as it remains in check.

 You see it was created to live in symbiosis in your body. God created your body to operate flawlessly as long as there is balance (homeostasis) When we abuse antibiotics, take prednisone (steroidal) and live on a high carbohydrate low protein diet, we create an imbalance in our body which in turn creates the ultimate environment for candida albicans to proliferate. Candida albicans favorite food is sugar, the more you feed it, and the more it grows. So even though candida albicans is more prevalent in females, it is extremely opportunistic anyone with a diet of predominantly carbohydrates (sugars and starches) who is using antibiotics and/or suffers from a deficient immune system is a prime target. Another problem with candida is it doesn’t want to leave it likes the environment you have created for it so it will morph into resistant strains that will require you to occasionally change your protocol to have success beating this stubborn foe. In advanced cases Candida albicans can permeate the blood/brain barrier, which can cause a myriad of problems including psychological issues like, forgetfulness, depression, confusion, brain fog, mood swings even mania. Likewise candida often permeates the intestines causing digestion problems known as leaky gut syndrome. I suffered from all of the above and recovered and so can you IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP!

I wish I had more space to go into detail on my personal protocol, I will share what I can in the space allotted and I would highly recommend reading every article in Barton Publishing “home cures that work” so you will have a comprehensive attack plan.

THE PLAN! 

The first thing you will need to do is radically change your diet! For some of you, removing sugars, starches and most dairy products (especially cheese) from your diet will be a titanic challenge however it is nigh unto impossible to succeed if you don’t. Believe it or not the candida in your body is causing you to crave the food it needs to survive! When I learned this it made me mad enough to do something about it, there was no way I was going to let an opportunistic fungus tell me what I was going to have for dinner!

The next step was realizing that doctors were not initially the modality that offered the best solutions, as many were in denial of the condition all together. There are many wonderful natural alternatives that are extremely effective. Outside of the multitude of candida cleanses available online or at your local health food store, here are four things that you can try that helped me initially.

  1. Pau de Arco tea, a wonderful and unique tea made from the red lapacho tree bark is your new best friend, drink it as often as you like.
  2. A quality probiotic, I used “Bio K” but any good “multi specie” probiotic will help as you will need to get as much “friendly” bacteria in your system as possible to offset the candida overgrowth.
  3. Deodorized (social) garlic capsules at least three times a day and finally
  4. Caprylic acid, this little dynamo is derived from coconuts and will create a ph environment that creates havoc for candida! (Important side note) remember, candida albicans is a living organism if your case is advanced, any remedy that is effective is actually “killing off” the candida, and therefore during the die off stage you may experience a Herxheimer reaction or healing crisis. This healing crisis is completely normal yet can be uncomfortable, symptoms may include, headaches, body odor, dizziness and flu-like aches and pains.

There is nothing to be alarmed about and the quickest way to get instant relief is an old school coffee enema (instructions can be found on google). Everyone responds differently to candida protocols, if you are uncomfortable going it alone you may want to seek a naturopathic doctor in your area or contact one of our qualified contributors.

 Mark 8:15; “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Finally, here is a secret to overcoming your condition. The medical community has an overarching description of candida interestingly they call it a yeast infection. When baking bread the yeast or leaven is added to the dough to make it rise. In the Old Testament especially the book of Exodus, twelfth chapter we see the Israelites are instructed to rid their homes of yeast for seven days and to, verse, 20, “Eat NOTHING made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” A closer examination of the text will help us unlock the mystery. The yeast of the Pharisee and of Herod had a root… PRIDE, which fueled their hypocrisy. You see, leaven or yeast causes the host to rise, become puffed up, self-absorbed, self-centered just like it causes bread to rise.

When we become prideful or self-centered we begin to believe the whole world revolves around us! God was not concerned with the yeast from a nutritional standpoint, it was a symbolic decree, which rightly interpreted said, I want a humble people not a prideful posse of self absorbed worshippers. You see, he asked them to eat unleavened bread, or as it is commonly referred to, humble bread. You see friends, when I was suffering with candida I completely adhered to the proper diet, took all of the right supplements, read every book on the subject, consulted with experts and ultimately only found an element of success. And one day (with help from my wife Lillian) I realized the truth, I had become so obsessed with my “cure” my wellbeing, that everything became about me! As a minister, counselor, friend, husband, I had abandoned my call to give and was only concerned with receiving! When I began to help others with their burdens, mine became lighter, when I began to push past my discomfort to comfort others I was comforted. When I resumed my place as a healer, I was healed! Was the therapy helpful? Yes! Was the diet important? Yes! But the healing came quickly once I determined not to make candida albicans the motivating factor of my life. Pride is subtle it cloaks itself beneath suffering so stealthily that you may believe that nobody cares how much you are suffering, you can actually believe that your condition is more important than anything else in the world.

I read this once and it cut me to the heart, “I once complained that I had no shoes till I met a happier man with no feet.” Friend, if you have candida you WILL recover, but if you live a self-absorbed life of pride, candida will be the yeast of your problems. When you help another hurting soul you will soon discover the healing power of these words, “ It is more blessed to give, than it is to receive.” Be Well! Michael

 

**This is a testimonial, and you may need to consult a physician, or someone who can help you with a diagnosis. This is meant to inform others of the possibilities that exist beyond medicine, not replace medical advice. **

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Holy Toast: Tips for Avoiding Adrenal Fatigue

By nature, humans tend to be overly dramatic and fixated on big things. 

(Read the signs and manifestations of adrenal fatigue here.)  

Jesus continually draws our attention to little things, a mustard seed, the tongue, the little foxes, and of course, a child. In God’s economy, little is big.  The adrenal glands, as mentioned are tiny organs in this human anatomy. In man’s economy, bigger is better and small is often ignored. Jesus was an advocate of downward mobility, with the servant being the master of all.   The purpose of this article series is to bring awareness to the little things that you may have overlooked that have more power than you had realized.

In the natural, your tiny adrenal glands will shut your body down if you don’t learn to nurture them and live in peace.

“Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Anonymous

Here are some practical tips that have miraculously helped people overcome adrenal exhaustion.

1)      Take a Sabbath day: Take one day for yourself a week and turn off computers, cell phones, televisions and needy friends!

2)      Find a good B vitamin supplement (food based) at your local health food store. Make sure the supplement is high in B-12 and folic acid.

3)      The adrenals love licorice! Many have reported amazing results using pure Licorice root extract.

Finally, if I may offer a little Spiritual advice:

1)      Identify the “little things” that are causing big problems. If your ministry becomes more important than your family, re-evaluate your motives for being a minister.

2)      If you have truly “given” your life to Jesus, than start trusting Him with it, it is His life now.

3)      Meditate on this scripture until you have an, “Aha” moment;

2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given (past tense) us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

4)      Realize that God is the center of everything, not you, incase you started to believe your own press, and enjoy the accolades of others.

5)      When exhaustion rears its hideous head, read the psalms! They are the “Gos-pills” for what ails the weary soul.

6)      Rediscover your reason for being; worship the Lord and walk with Him in the cool of the day.

7)      Don’t worry about anything, Pray about everything.

 It is my prayer that this article series will bring life and healing to you, right where you are. You are God’s crowning achievement, take time to laugh, love and listen.

 If you do, you find out that it is better to be an “on fire” Christian, than merely a burnt offering!

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