Faith and Health


In the ABC hit show Scandal Jeff Perry  plays the role of Cyrus Beene.  Cyrus is the White House chief of staff who is famousImage for his rants and raves.  The stress level that he endures as President Grant’s right hand person is already extremely high but in Cyrus’ attempt to make sure that everything  goes just right he often blows a gasket.  (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/blogs/scandal-sheet/cyrus-beene-best-rants). The culmination of this stress, intense desire to succeed, work a holic  syndrome, micro managing details and managing President Grant’s relationships was a heart attack.

As we look at Cyrus Beene and realize that he is a fictional character whose rants and raves are over the top, the reality is many of us readily recognize glimpses of our own behavior and related stress in the life of Cyrus.  We have all experienced  times where dealing with co-workers can be annoying, dealing with children can provoke you to lose your temper, and when you have been working toward a big event  you can be exacerbated to the point of giving up when other team mates are not pulling their weight.  Life events including graduating, getting married, getting divorced, moving, and many other life events can cause stress in our lives.

“Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  (The Mayo Clinic)”

I just do not see this as the life God has designed for us.

Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NRSV)

The life events that would stress us need to be taken to God in prayer if we want to experience peace. We are encouraged to give thanks for the nuisances, disappointments and annoyances that could cause debilitating stress.  We need to seek God’s wisdom and voice for guidance when we are not sure what to do next.

Next time you see someone stressing and going overboard in expressing their frustration simply say “Don’t go all Cyrus on me” or “Don’t worry about this, God’s got this

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I am not a professional fitness coach. I am an overweight middle aged African American male who refuses to be a part of the negative health statistics.

  • Black men live 7.1 years less than other racial groups
  • Black men have higher death rates than women for all leading causes of death
  • Black men experience disproportionately higher death rates in all the leading causes of death
  • 40% of black men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21% of white men

http://menshealth.about.com/od/blackhealth/a/Af_amer_stats.htm

I ultimately need to 80 pounds to be in the healthy range so I am beginning the journey by losing 10 pounds in 30 days. I am inviting friends and family to join me and to hold me accountable. Ultimately I am developing new lifestyle disciplines for healthy living. I am having my annual physical this month. I will have my cholesterol, sugar level and prostate checked. I am going to learn new ways to eat. I love fried food and for 30 days I will not eat fried food. I loved pastries and for 30 days I will not eat candy, pastries or add sugar to my coffee. I will drink 8 glasses of water for 30 days and walk at least 1 mile a day and exercise 3 times per week in addition to walking.

I invite you to join me.

Patients have spiritual needs to address

By ALLYSON HELVIE Hospice ChaplainPublished: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 6:42 p.m.

When a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, there are many facets to what happens in his/her life. We are surrounded by a medical model of health care, and one has test after test to determine the exact type of cancer.

By the time one receives a final diagnosis, she has encountered several doctors, nurses, technicians, and many other medical personnel. She has met with non-medical professionals to address her financial and emotional concerns.

With her medical plan in place, her physical needs are being met, and she has excellent support from the team of medical caregivers. There is another important aspect of her life, as well. Human beings are “whole” persons, and there is a spiritual aspect that should not be looked over when caring for those who are undergoing cancer treatment.

Many feelings may arise in times such as this: guilt, loneliness, fear and anger. People may begin to question God and ask, “Where is God in all of this?”

There may be other questions, such as “How could God allow this to happen to me? Why me? How do I cope?”

Read the Entire Article

I find this article extremely helpful.  I have have experienced a greater awareness among our congregations about cancer and pastors are swamped with people outside of their congregation on a spiritual journey trying to understand how God is involved in their cancer.

I  asked a question on Facebook August 14th, “What would Jesus say at a town meeting about healthcare reform?”  Here are a few of the responses.  I wrote this article on the 15th but have not had an opportunity to post until today. Please feel free to add your comments.

 1.  Be honest and truthful. everyone.

 2.  Be Healed!

 3. How about “Get those money-changers out of the temple!”

 4. I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly!

 5. He would say that healthcare is a right and not a privilege in this great country of ours. He would say that we are one another’s brothers and sisters and we should all take care of one another. “If you are in pain than I am in pain.”

He would be horrified with the greed and corruption of the private insurance industry today, and the corruption of the private insurance industry today, and the corrupt legislators and the pharmaceutical industry. He would say that we need to even out the playing field and re-define and revamp the system, which means switching the role of the private insurance into a secondary role. They can offer supplemental insurance as they do in other industrialized countries. But other industrialized countries do not make a profit off the suffering of their people and their systems are innovative, and their life expectancy exceeds U.S. life expectancy. We need to cover everyone with good preventative care and changing the system is the way to do it.

  6. get er done

 7. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3845

This article says alot about the corporate ties between the private insurance industry and media companies. Please read y’all when you have a moment!

 8.  Surprisingly enough, the ONLY people Jesus ever ‘shouted down’ were those who put money or personal welfare above the responsibility of caring for others. Jesus might in fact be shouting at a town hall meeting, but it would be at those who are shouting, selfish, unconcerned and uncaring and not at those who are concerned about people without medical coverage.

 9. Do the best for the least among you.

Sheila Fowler is 43. She has short brown hair, a soft, girlish voice and three grandchildren. What she does not have is teeth, or a way to pay for dentures. But Fowler is stoic; she jokes that she’s got tough gums, adding that she can even eat pretzels if she sucks on them for a bit.

Fowler has made the hourlong journey from her home in Cleveland, Va., to the small town of Wise to take advantage of a huge annual medical and dental expedition set up by Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit organization that provides basic medical and dental care to people in the world’s most inaccessible regions. This year, more than 1,800 volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and assistants descended on the small town near the Kentucky border, setting up enormous field-hospital-style tents in which they saw roughly 2,500 patients over the course of two and a half days in late July. The Wise operation is coordinated locally by a team of nurses with the Health Wagon, a tiny health-care outreach program.

By the end of the weekend, the medical team, had extracted 3,857 painfully decayed teeth, administered 156 mammograms, screened hundreds of people for diabetes and heart disease, and given out 1,003 pairs of eyeglasses. About 30 people, chosen by lottery, were fitted for free dentures. Hundreds of people were turned away by volunteers who headed off cars at the main intersection when the clinic reached capacity.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

I really like this once a year free clinic but I am sure that as disciples of Christ we can do better.  We spend hundreds of dollars and lots of time on mission trips overseas and in South America.  I am not suggesting that we stop these trips but I would like to challenge the church to spend some quality time here at home. Jesus introduced himeself to many of the first century communities through healing someone. What an awesome way to introduce Christ to the marginalized and poor in every state of the Union. In every state there is at least one community where a free clinic is needed. In every state there are at least 50 churches that can collaboratively provide a free clinic. The poorest of the poor, those limited by transportation and cultural isolated populations can experience a benefit. 

We are called to follow the lead of Jesus

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
      to preach good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
      and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
    19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Universal healthcare would be nice but with or without universal healthcare the church can do better at meeting the healthcare needs of the poor here in the United States.  As disciples we have a responsibility to find a way to bring healing to all of God’s people.

Sounding Alarm About Disease
In Charles County, Where Men Are Dying From Prostate Cancer At Startling Rates, a Campaign Aims to Educate Those At Risk

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 27, 2008; C01

The preacher’s words took flight in a small Pentecostal sanctuary in Southern Maryland, where men are dying needlessly of a treatable disease.

“Your body is special to God!” Bishop James M. Briscoe declaimed to 45 Sunday worshipers in the pews above the weathered linoleum floor of Free Gospel Church of Bryans Road. “God has not designed this thing for you to die prematurely! Some of you would rather not go to doctors. They would rather be in the darkness about their health. But the scripture doesn’t say that.”

So began a public health campaign to educate, examine and treat the men of Charles County as prostate cancer becomes a disease that is striking and killing them at an alarming rate.

Men, black and white, in Southern Maryland’s largest county have the highest prostate cancer diagnosis and death rates in the state, and significantly above the national average. Local rates are climbing even as cases level off nationwide.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

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