When I was at Pinegrove Baptist Church in Bracebridge I was editor of their yearly newsletter which somehow morphed into three to four times . . . a yearly newsletter. I renamed it Pinegrove Action News or PANews for short. In it I would get many in the congregation to give and write their testimonies, or insights, and wisdom that God had given them about their talents, jobs, health, or other blessings.
In June 2005 I put together a newsletter which I named Fit For His Service and I had so many give me articles that it turned out to be twenty-four pages, or perhaps you could say it was the size of a small magazine. I was reading it at Christmas time, and marveled at how God had used all these talented people to glorify His name in so many wonderful ways. I also noticed my husband Neil had written an article for it which I want to share with you for this months encouragement. Neil went to be with his Lord and Saviour in December 2010. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed hearing his words echo once again in my heart and mind.
Fit By God’s Grace
by Neil Brodie
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Cor. 6:19-20
Do you love yourself and others enough to care for your body? Are you doing what your Lord has instructed you to do with respect to your physical well-being? We all try to do what we know is right, and we all fall short of those goals.
The Bible is clear about what is meant by spiritual and physical well being as it relates to our lives, and ties the spiritual connection to our physical side. When words like eat, bread, drink, grain, herbs, breath, body, feast, honey, milk and so on are used, we see immediately that these words have a spiritual and physical meaning right in the same sentence or verse.
There is much information about good health provided to you by the secular world that can improve your chances for a healthy body. With respect to our bodies, it behooves us to remember clearly what the motives are in the world, and what motives God has for our bodies. There is much room, and need for the skills and knowledge of our health professionals.
Without them, I feel confident, the probability of me still being alive is in no small measure the results of many dedicated and hard working people.
What happens to us, from the time we begin our careers, full of idealism, dedication, and boundless energy, with a great desire to make a difference that will leave the world a better place? Let me explain what I think makes the difference.
I have been fortunate to have had the privilege of being a patient of some of the best professionals available. I have also been exposed to some who have chosen their profession for some of the wrong reasons! There are profound differences between the two groups; the ‘true’ professionals and the ‘other’ professionals.
The ‘true’ professional, beside having the intellectual and physical capacity to perform their tasks, have an inner strength that enables them to have empathy, caring, charity, co-operation, time, respect and honour. These characteristics are those that are inherent in individuals who have developed, I believe, their spiritual side. This side, particularly in Canada, has been of late, sadly lacking.
Every human being has five main areas that have to be developed in a balanced way. These are – 1) the Intellectual side, 2) the Spiritual side, 3) the Physical side, 4) the Emotional side, and 5) the Social side. All five areas require the development of specialized skills and knowledge. They have their own characteristics that when developed in balance, are integrated into a holistic person. My intention here is to try to give some insight into what I mean by developing the physical side in conjunction with the spiritual side. The other three areas will not be dealt with except in a peripheral sense.
Anyone who tries to be a healthy person without balancing it with the spiritual side may find themselves relatively incapable of helping themselves or others. The danger of developing and maintaining a healthy body without a concern of how it fits within the total balance of well-being, may become fanatical towards the body and its appearance. Too much attention, for the wrong reasons, is drawn to having a beautiful body. Our bodies are expected to be the vessel that enables us to carry all five sides in balance.
I know that I fall short many times in keeping my body healthy, but I pick myself up and with God’s hand in mine, I try again. Lessons Learned!
In 1973 while working as a Superintendent of Schools, I had my first heart attack. I was given pills, some which were later proven to be inappropriate, and was told to lose weight, exercise and eat properly. Well, I thought “OK, I can do that!” Of course, I couldn’t do it and I relapsed over time into the same life-style as before, and by 1980, after two more heart attacks, I had a quintuple heart by-pass operation. Hey! I thought to myself, this thing is really getting serious! God had been forgiving, and kept me alive. I was now ready to listen a little harder! The Cavanaugh Clinic taught me how to exercise and monitor my body, and I began reading books on medication and health supplements and with the help of friends, family and prayer, I started paying attention, but unfortunately, still not enough!
By 1985, I had retired from education and after a year, Sybil and I bought a house-keeping resort in Bracebridge. I went from one stressful job to another and soon relapsed and discovered I had new blockages!
The ‘true professionals’ decided on a roto-rooter this time around, which is an invasive flexible shaft drilling tool that was sent into the artery to clean out the plac. I actually watched them do this and yes, heard the drill slow down and moan when it hit the plac. Suffice to say, it worked and I could also say, that God finally had all of my attention.
Time does not permit me to tell how Sybil and I communicated while I was having this procedure done. Without physical means available to us during this time, I now know it was divine intervention. It must also be known that these experiences by me does not come anywhere near the trials and tribulations that Sybil was going through.
I now know definitely there are five major actions to looking after the body that God has given to us and with a little introspection and study, God’s word is under-pinning every one of these statements.
1) Study food sources and what they do for you.
2) Take prescribed medication developed in cooperation with your Doctor.
3) Study supplements (with your doctors co-operation) and how they help as our metabolism changes with age.
4) Exercise and walk every day.
5) Lose weight, if necessary, and of course, smoking and excessive alcohol is a no-no!
I have a personal rule about food. The more that man has intervened or affected the food before it gets to my plate, the more harmful it is for me.
With respect to medication, I make it my business to know what every prescribed pill is suppose to do and its potential side effects and the compatibility with each other.
I take supplements to enhance my food intake because I know we have lost many natural necessary food sources because of man’s intervention in the food chain.
I exercise for at least fifteen minutes every morning and evening, and try to walk every day.
On the weight issue, like many, I struggle with the food quantity and choice.
As I have written this article, it has once again brought to mind some of my limitations. Like you, I work on them daily and with God’s help, I will try to live a life-style that is pleasing to Him.
1Cor.9:27 – No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.