Posts tagged ‘Jesus’
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
Can you imagine eating enough Big Macs, milkshakes, french fries, ice cream, and M&Ms to equal 15,000 calories in an hour and a half ?! That’s five times what the normal American male would eat.
Ron Saxen, author of “The Good Eater” more than imagined it. He’s one of an estimated eight million Americans who suffer from binge eating.
Along with other recognized eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, up to 25 million Americans have an unhealthy relationship with food. Long thought to be mainly the purview of women, we’re now finding a large number of men challenged by eating disorders.
Eating for sustenance, occasional enjoyment, and fellowship is considered normal. So what drives people to develop abnormal eating habits?
“Those with binge eating disorder often do not have meaningful relationships with other people, are isolated, believe that life has no purpose or have suffered prior traumatic events and turn to food for emotional comfort,”
Researchers find that those who form unnatural relationships with their food tend to feel out of touch with themselves and others. Therapist Sharon Cox describes eating disorders as beginning to “worship at the altar of eating distress.”
Cox tells us that “…[R]ediscovering a sense of spirituality can be an important element of recovery…In the counseling room, one of the most important things we can enable our clients to feel is that sense of connection … to us, and, more importantly, to themselves”
Interestingly, the Bible mentions food, celebrations, and fellowship a lot. And it reminds me to put a higher being before anything else, including my necessary food. It grounds me in a sense of self-worth and purpose that is beyond food or any other kind of material thing.
Christ Jesus once shared ideals called the Beatitudes as guideposts to life. And they are promises. One of them is about being satisfied:
God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want!
Could it be that this is a benefit some people are missing today? Maybe seeking to understand spiritual laws, and applying them to our lives can be a real help in eating disorders.
In discussing the role of spirituality in treating such disorders, Gillian Markson concludes:
“Whatever direction spirituality takes, …the aid these theories offer can be very effective. It may be a placebo effect, but connecting to one’s own spirituality during this time of self-reinvention can have powerful effects on the ability to see weight-loss through to the end, and make important, healthier lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime.”
What I know of Christmas today is certainly different than what I knew as a child. I was really caught up in the magic of the holiday: the Christmas tree, decorations, presents, special treats, and being out of school for two whole weeks. It was a magical time of year.
As a child I was clueless about the sometimes unfortunate backstory of the magic. Stress, lack of money to buy gifts (or even to eat), being alone when you’re supposed to be with family and friends, broken relationships, overindulgence in alcohol and so on. This special time of year turns out to be the most dreaded for some. It doesn’t have to be the case, though, even in the most dire circumstances.
A different perspective on this season has emerged gently in my thought, and it continues to grow. You might think that my Christian affiliation means Christmas to me is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. But really, that is only the most familiar symbol of what Christmas has to offer.
A passage in the Bible in the book of Isaiah really tells the whole story of Christmas. It is the promise of hope fulfilled. In Isaiah it says that..
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. ( Isaiah 9:2)
What do we hope for? It can mean repaired relationships, finding companionship, financial needs being met, and health restored. Restoring and maintaining health perhaps has been the biggest quest of mankind. The human race has devoted untold resources to alleviating pain and suffering, and prolonging life.
Modern medicine makes the headlines, but the ability to heal one’s self and others through prayer has been around for thousands of years. Christ Jesus taught how to change thought in order to bring healing, and this power is still available for everyone. The promise is for all time and there is current evidence that the promise is being fulfilled.
I found the story of Gabrielle Giffords’ remarkable recovery this year to be a great example of the power of the right mental atmosphere in healing. Not only is Gabby someone who never gives up, but her husband, Mark Kelly, and mother, Gloria, also knew that Gabby would recover as well. They saw that she was surrounded by love and a positive and unlimited attitude. This is a story of strength and courage, living out the fulfillment of the promise.
The backstory of Christmas isn’t hopelessness and despair. It’s fulfillment of the promise. Health is the best gift, and we all have more resources than we know to achieve it. Better than seasonal magic is the hope that Jesus brought to 2000 years ago. And the promise is being fulfilled.
My friend and colleague, Bill Scott, Committee on Publication for Washington, put this post up on his blog a couple of days ago. It is an excellent discussion. It would be well worth your time to read this. John D. Clague, Committee on Publication for Oregon.
Posted on April 13, 2011 by Bill Scott,
Do the expectations and thoughts of the people around a patient influence the patient’s recovery from illness or injury?
Marking today’s 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, it seems a good time to consider the tragic death of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in 1863.
Reading the account of General Jackson’s death, it’s hard not to see a man expectant of his own recovery, but surrounded by those with the opposite belief.
Days after being shot at the Battle of Chancellorsville and having his left arm amputated, Jackson is reported to have been cheerful, expectant of a full recovery and impatient to return to command.
Yet he began to suffer from a fever, which alarmed his physicians and his wife, and fearful pronouncements of his coming death soon began. Jackson continually refuted doctor’s dire predictions that his condition was fatal and worked to reassure his wife declaring, “I do not believe that I shall die at this time, I am persuaded the Almighty has yet a work for me to perform.”
When he was reported as improving and he again expressed confidence that he would recover, he was told with great confidence from those around him that he would not survive. (more…)
My colleague and friend from Florida, Bob Clark, just posted this on his blog. He makes excellent points that all of us should take notice of. And be sure to click the link to the healing. It is quite extraordinary. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
Robert Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida. Posted on April 7, 2011
My friend and colleague in Massachusetts, Ken Girard, did it again. He publisheda blog that made me think.
He was talking about what criteria we use to assess the value of different health care modes. This got me thinking about managing one’s health versus healing. What’s the difference?
Here are what seem to me to be the basic presuppositions of health management, followed by the basic presuppositions of healing:
—Health problems are inevitable.
—Managing my health may become financially burdensome for me, society or both as I age.
—Good health depends on diet, exercise and regular medical check ups, but there are scary wild cards–genetics, contagion, accidents.
—The best I can do when ill health comes along is to manage it wisely.
—Health problems are not inevitable. Every health problem ever known has already been healed and can be healed again. I’m not afraid.
—Healthy and graceful aging is normal, completely possible for me and does not need to burden anyone.
—Spirituality is the most important element of healthy living. Good health is the natural result of learning to trust this timeless truth.
—Healing is permanent and transformational and thus affects the entire being, not just the body. As St. John’s Revelation in the Bible puts it, “Behold, I make all things new.”
— I don’t believe in wild cards.
Here’s a great example of someone who tried managing Alzheimers and then decided to heal it: healing of diagnosed Alzheimer’s.
Once you’ve experienced or witnessed a healing like the one above, let alone a lifetime of them, health management seems like a weak response and healing a logical choice.
A Christian Science perspective: Insights from a writer in Tokyo, Japan on finding peace and calm amid devastation from the earthquake and tsunami.
By Fujiko Signs, The Christian Science Monitor’s religious article for March 14, 2011, shares how Fujiko Signs is praying (from Japan) about the tsunami/earthquake situation.
Here in Tokyo I have created an e-mail file called “earth blessings” (not “earthquake”) – a collection of over 150 messages of blessing, messages of hope that Japan survive one of the saddest events in our recent history.
The reason I named it “earth blessings” is because I insist on seeing the beauty of earth’s gifts, instead of the curse of nature.
The only way we are improving this planet, our home, is to see earth more from a spiritual perspective, in order to realize the significance of “Thy kingdom come” and “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” – Christ Jesus’ declarations in the Lord’s Prayer for all humanity. The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, added her spiritual sense to these lines: “Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present”; and “Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 16-17).
The only light at the end of a long tunnel of materialism is the spiritualization of our thinking. Amid devastation it’s easy to try to measure our existence from a material perspective – fear of deprivation and feeling the necessity to fight over a limited supply, whether it be of energy or opportunity. But this allows us only to repeat the history of material creation and destruction. And trusting in material force to overcome conflicts and unrest is another aspect of the unproductive, material perspective. (more…)