ALCOHOL – MODERATION OR MEDICINE?
“Did Jesus really turn water into wine?” This question may well be one of the more common ones throughout this holy season – and even more so during the wedding and graduation party discussions ahead. Many people over the centuries have argued that the Bible encourages modest alcohol consumption – and that all mention of ‘wine’ therein refers to a fermented drink. Let us first recognize that the fermentation process was instigated by man – not the Creator of the vine and grain from which the process begins. The resulting drink has been classified as a depressant drug in recent history. Curiously though, the term ‘juice’ is no where to be found in any English translation. Is this because people never drank the liquid from fresh pressed grapes? Surely they did. The sensible conclusion must then be that the word ‘wine’ referred to fresh juice in some references and perhaps to fermented juice in others. Analysis of the original scripture languages reveals several different terms which were all translated into the generic word ‘wine’ (from Latin, meaning ‘vine’). Because of this, the context in which it is used determines whether it was of the fermented variety.
Note that one Hebrew word often referenced in the Old Testament is ‘tirosh’ – which literally translates as ‘grape’ . The term ‘yayin’ refers to ‘grape juice’. Either term may or may not imply fermentation. There are many OT references which fully decry the use of “strong drink” or ‘shekar’ in Hebrew (Isaiah chapters 5,22,& 28; Micah 2:11; 1 Samuel 1:15; Proverbs 20:1). In Proverbs 23:31, King Solomon warned that it is unwise to drink wine when it “moves aright” (ferment bubbles). Interestingly, some alcohol advocates point out Deuteronomy 14:26, in which God actually says that the Israelites may buy fermented drinks. However, this may have simply referred to medicinal usage. Even if regular consumption was permitted by Him, it was clearly not encouraged. Polygamy and divorce also appeared to be tolerated by God, but the original intent of the Creator was thoroughly explained in Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6.
Many scripture references include phrases which mention the forbidding of both “wine and strong drink”. The former here is clearly distinguished as juice – which though not toxic like alcohol (see ‘Alcohol Expert’ link), is highly concentrated fruit sugars which can provide quick energy – but may interfere with concentration and judgment. King Lemuel advised in Proverbs 31:6 that intoxicating drinks be given only to the dying (presumably as a sedative and pain reliever). He further recommended that “wine” (pure juice) should be given to those in distress – perhaps due to its sweet and pleasing taste that can be, at least initially, mood lifting. The exception for undiluted usage may have only been when the Old Testament scriptures mentioned the drinking of wine as a symbol for blood on the occasion of Passover. During that time, the children of Israel were forbidden from consuming yeast – a symbol for sin. Therefore, the necessarily unfermented (yeastless) wine must have actually been fresh ‘yayin’. (Note: It matters not whether additional yeast is added or if fermentation occurs from a natural guided process of several weeks.)
In the New Testament Greek, the term for grape juice is ‘oinos’. For the commemoration of Passover, the drink served at the last supper of Jesus was also certainly mere juice. The same then should be the case in all modern Christian Communion church practices. The wine at Cana was most definitely unfermented as well – otherwise Christ’s willingness to make more would have indicated that He endorsed the inevitable sinful behavior which would have ensued as a result of its continued consumption. Also important to understand is that the term ‘drunk’ does not always refer to intoxication in Scripture – but very often merely to excessive drinking – correlative to gluttony as with food. In Rev. 1:6, the angel, in speaking to John, calls Christians ‘kings and priests’ – who have always been Biblically instructed to abstain from alcohol in order to maintain a state of holy living.
Countless lives throughout the centuries (and to this very day) have been tragically shattered because of persistent alcohol consumption – even among professing Christians. Though many attempt, none can argue with any credibility that it is wiser to advocate the drinking of alcohol as opposed to abstinence. Fully sober families are virtually free of physical abuse, cirrhosis, DUIs, promiscuity, etc. God Almighty knows that habitual use of this drug – even though perhaps intended for only moderate consumption – still risks the high likelihood of leading people into its typical sinful and unhealthy conditions. Nevertheless, we must each give account to the LORD for how we advise others on this important issue. Pray we all will seek His will in every health and morality matter throughout this fleeting existence!
GREAT LINKS – Filled or Falling: http://www.learnthebible.org/jesus-and-wine.html
Health Expert: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/mar/07/safe-level-alcohol-consumption
Bible Wine: https://faithfullynoted.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/did-jesus-make-or-drink-alcohol/ AND http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/what-are-historical-and-scriptural-facts-about-fermented-drinks-bible
ANY Alcohol: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/health/2017/november/even-light-alcohol-consumption-increases-cancer-risk
MENTAL HEALTH REMEDIES – OR REINFORCERS?
The most lucrative drugs for the thriving pharmaceutical market today are the so-called psychological health medicines. People who chronically suffer from depression or anxiety are termed mentally dysfunctional. This informative section will detail the true culprits and lasting remedies for these all too common conditions.
“We are too blessed to be stressed (or depressed)!” How simple to utter those words, but difficult to absorb them when your life appears dominated by feelings of continuous uncertainty and hopelessness. All of us have stories to relate about occurrences which seemed like a pattern of terribly bad luck. This kind of rationalizing is simply the wrong perspective – excluding a firm belief in God’s providence. Nevertheless, no one is exempt from such disappointments and hardships – neither hedonist nor saint. While some prolonged cases of depression have been induced from a victimized set of circumstances – still more are inflicted through repetitively wrong diet choices or even from toxic environmental exposures. Sadly, the down-and-out among us are often tempted to pop the typically prescribed depression drugs for a chemically boosted state of mind. A wiser solution – minus those negative side effects – can be found with the following suggestions for dealing with this seemingly chronic state of sadness.
* PRAY to your Creator to help you take stock (perhaps in a journal) of what seems to most often cause your depressed moods. Strategize ways to avoid these triggers or to deal with them more positively.
* For physical and spiritual benefit – have a good cry and ask God why! This desperate and humble act will help release the built-up adrenalin as well as to unload your stressed mind. Realize that our Creator is able and willing to flood your soul with perfect peace about what the future holds.
* Spend at least one hour outside during the day – avoid dim lighting and excessive quiet when inside (Soothing music or clean comedy are great for breaking silence and releasing your body’s pleasurable endorphins).
* Eat energy and mood lifting foods such as berries, oranges, pineapple, almonds, carrots, spinach, kelp (iodine), extra virgin olive oil, and wild salmon.
* Drink fluoride-free water – in order to improve your thyroid function and weight maintenance – thereby significantly lifting your moods.
* Reduce your intake of gluten, refined sugars and white processed grains – all which bring you up for a brief time – yet down for much longer.
* Add the supplements Omega 3, iron (if menstrual) and St. John’s Wort – as well as vitamins A, B6 and D3 (extra in winter) to your daily regimen.
* Avoid being physically alone for too long. Associate with people who are positive and encouraging for a good while each day. When you must be solitary for an extended period – ask your Creator to reveal His Presence with you (He draws near when we simply ASK!).
* Finally, PRAY for the will and strength to make changes from unhealthy lifestyle habits which greatly hinder you in overcoming this chronic condition.
* Read these uplifting scripture references: 2 Samuel 22, Psalm 34, James 4, and 1 Peter 4
Extra Encouragement: See my post entitled “Invincible Self-esteem” along with its links and references.
Site for more Insight: http://www.holisticdepressionhelp.com/causes-of-depression-metal-mineral-toxicity/
We all experience feelings of worry and distress to various degrees in our lives. Sometimes they are based on reactions to truly difficult circumstances – but most often, they are repetitive negative thoughts regarding accumulated minor upsets. In whichever case, such difficulties can be greatly reduced by the following helpful measures:
* Whether severe – or mild, but frequent culprits – pray to your Creator for peace and guidance (First and foremost!).
* Recognize that very much of what you worry will happen never actually comes to pass – simply because circumstances in our lives are so subject to change (from the weather forecast – to even the attitudes and actions of others toward us.)
* Spend at least thirty minutes outside daily for deep-breathed oxygen, vitamin D, moderate exercise, and/or relaxing social activities.
* Avoid alcohol, caffeine, simple carbohydrates (‘white’ sugars, flours, or potatoes), gluten, and unnatural food additives as much as possible.
* Consume adrenal supportive foods and supplements such as oats, various fruits, chicken, steamed broccoli, walnuts, ginger, garlic, theanine, pantothenic acid, iodine, and licorice root.
* Get a minimum of seven hours uninterrupted sleep after having any of the following: a warm bath or feet soak with Epsom salts (magnesium) or lavender oil, almond milk or berry sweetened yogurt (serotonin), chamomile or peppermint tea, cherries (melatonin), turkey or cashews (tryptophan).
* As suggested in the Healthlight February post ‘Living God’s Love’, try searching for others with anxieties in order to encourage them – while providing a diversion from yours.
* Read faith-building scriptures such as: Psalm 34, Matthew 6, and Romans 8
Breathe and relax – this is a healing ride!
The all too common tragic story goes something like this: Sighing with relief that the bleeding has ended – numbness engulfs her body with the realization that she is no longer pregnant. Whether her experience of losing a fetus was unexpected or induced, there are still common feelings of sadness along with the physical discomfort experienced during recovery.
A miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion, will of course bring emotions which express a deep hurt over the loss of the (usually) quite wanted child. Women not yet mothers often suffer the most depression in such cases – questioning whether God loves them – or if they are undeserving to be given children. The truth, however, is far from both of these speculations. Science has revealed that the great majority of women miscarry because of toxic exposures. Sometimes these can be deep-seated in the form of an actual mutation in a gene (MTHFR). Other impetuses may include mercury in dental fillings, accumulation of various metals from many sources – and even common chemicals around the house and in processed foods. Intoxicated embryos are so damaged that they cannot be sustained in the womb. Prospective mothers must fully balance and detox their bodies prior to seeking impregnation. The Creator provides in nature all that is needed to accomplish this. In the mean time, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate Comforter as she grieves. Even better, He is able to give her every desire of the heart according to His perfect will for her life.
Deliberate abortions occur for various reasons – most often out of a desperate attempt to hide a promiscuous lifestyle. These teen girls are ill-prepared for motherhood and easily deceived into believing that a conception is but a tiny clump of meaningless cells. Young adult women, determined to delay parenting and establish their careers – bring forth the same argument to excuse the fetal death. Some even rationalize this well beyond the first trimester – when limbs are clearly apparent on sonograms – and various organs are functioning to sustain the tiny life. Many theists debate over when such a creature receives a soul – becoming fully human in the eyes of God. Some deem this occurrence as happening after the first month when there are measurable brain waves. The only logical response, however, is at the moment when the DNA of both parents combines to form a unique person – at the very point of conception. Many unsuspecting women come to this understanding only years after having had one or more abortion procedures. The realization of what they have actually done often brings the most overwhelming grief imaginable. The solution and most effective counsel for such a person is found only in communicating the unconditional love of our all-forgiving Savior, Jesus Christ. He is able to not only remove the sin and guilt, for which He suffered and died – but also to bring hope for tomorrow – and life everlasting!
Words for Weeping: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5
Comfort Site: https://prolifeacrossamerica.org/need-help/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwvo6wBRCG3Zv92ZSLlIYBEiQA5PLVAsxw_3FBTyhvvrpS4oMbB4VaZVEP6RSxzkaC9vDf_UMaAnzS8P8HAQ