Bible Study Guides – The Influence of the Mind

April 18 – 24, 2021

Key Text

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 241–259; Education, 123–127.


“As a safeguard against evil, the preoccupation of the mind with good is worth more than unnumbered barriers of law and discipline.” Education, 213.



1.a. Describe the relationship existing between the mind, emotions, and body. Isaiah 21:3, 4.

Note: “Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. … Many die from disease the cause of which is wholly imaginary.” The Ministry of Healing, 241.

“Many are diseased physically, mentally, and morally, because their attention is turned almost exclusively to themselves.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 647.

“Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here. Perhaps some living home trouble is, like a canker, eating to the very soul and weakening the life forces. Remorse for sin sometimes undermines the constitution and unbalances the mind. There are erroneous doctrines also, as that of an eternally burning hell and the endless torment of the wicked, that, by giving exaggerated and distorted views of the character of God, have produced the same result upon sensitive minds.” Ibid., vol. 5, 444.

1.b.      How can you keep your mind and thoughts in good spiritual health? Philippians 2:5–8.

Note: “The relation which exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, from a consciousness of right-doing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it creates a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood, and a toning up of the entire body. The blessing of God is a healing power, and those who are abundant in benefiting others will realize that wondrous blessing in both heart and life.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 13.



2.a. What has a negative effect on the mind? Proverbs 27:3, 4. Name some things which are life-producing. Proverbs 3:13.

 Note: “The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease. This should be made plain. The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.” Education, 197.

2.b.      How does our mind affect our body? Proverbs 17:22.

Note: “A great deal of the sickness which afflicts humanity has its origin in the mind and can only be cured by restoring the mind to health. There are very many more than we imagine who are sick mentally.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 184.



3.a. What directs, commands and controls the human body and its components? Proverbs 23:7, first part.

Note: “The brain is the capital of the body. If the perceptive faculties become benumbed through intemperance of any kind, eternal things are not discerned.” The Review and Herald, September 8, 1874.

“Every organ of the body was made to be servant to the mind. The mind is the capital of the body.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 136.

3.b. How does the Bible describe the effects of alcoholic beverages on the mind? Proverbs 23:29–35.

Note: “On every side, Satan seeks to entice the youth into the path of perdition; and if he can once get their feet set in the way, he hurries them on in their downward course, leading them from one dissipation to another, until his victims lose their tenderness of conscience, and have no more the fear of God before their eyes. They exercise less and less self-restraint. They become addicted to the use of wine and alcohol, tobacco and opium, and go from one stage of debasement to another. They are slaves to appetite. Counsel which they once respected, they learn to despise. They put on swaggering airs, and boast of liberty when they are the servants of corruption. They mean by liberty that they are slaves to selfishness, debased appetite, and licentiousness.” Temperance, 274.



4.a. What principles help us in the cultivation of our own happiness? 1 Peter 1:22; 4:8; John 13:34, 15.

Note: “A cultivated intellect is a great treasure; but without the softening influence of sympathy and sanctified love, it is not of the highest value. We should have words and deeds of tender consideration for others. We can manifest a thousand little attentions in friendly words and pleasant looks, which will be reflected upon us again. Thoughtless Christians manifest by their neglect of others that they are not in union with Christ. It is impossible to be in union with Christ and yet be unkind to others and forgetful of their rights. Many long intensely for friendly sympathy. God has given each of us an identity of our own, which cannot be merged in that of another; but our individual characteristics will be much less prominent if we are indeed Christ’s and His will is ours. Our lives should be consecrated to the good and happiness of others, as was our Saviour’s. We should be self-forgetful, ever looking out for opportunities, even in little things, to show gratitude for the favors we have received of others, and watching for opportunities to cheer others and lighten and relieve their sorrows and burdens by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love. These thoughtful courtesies, that, commencing in our families, extend outside the family circle, help make up the sum of life’s happiness; and the neglect of these little things makes up the sum of life’s bitterness and sorrow.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 539, 540.

4.b. How do heavenly inspired writings affect our mind? Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 19:7, 8.

Note: “The Bible is our guide in the safe paths that lead to eternal life. God has inspired men to write that which will present the truth to us, which will attract, and which, if practised, will enable the receiver to obtain moral power to rank among the most highly educated minds. The minds of all who make the word of God their study will enlarge. Far more than any other study, this is of a nature to increase the powers of comprehension, and endow every faculty with new vigor. It brings the mind in contact with broad, ennobling principles of truth. It brings us into close connection with all heaven, imparting wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 13, 1898.



5.a. List some of the effects of negative mental foods. Mark 7:20–23; 1 Timothy 5:13.

Note: “It is best for every soul to closely investigate what mental food is served up for him to eat. When those come to you who live to talk, and who are all armed and equipped to say, ‘Report, and we will report it,’ stop and think if the conversation will give spiritual help, spiritual efficiency, that in spiritual communication you may eat of the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. … We are not to be tattlers, or gossipers, or talebearers; we are not to bear false witness. We are forbidden by God to engage in trifling, foolish conversation, in jesting, joking, or speaking any idle words. We must give an account of what we say to God. We will be brought into judgment for our hasty words, that do no good to the speaker or to the hearer. Then let us all speak words that will tend to edification. Remember that you are of value with God. Allow no cheap, foolish talk or wrong principles to compose your Christian experience.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 458.

5.b.  Contrast the results obtained from evil thoughts with those of good thoughts. Luke 6:43–45.

Note: “When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie—to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand. In constantly beholding Him, we ‘are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 3:18).” Steps to Christ, 72.



1    Where do most diseases have their origin, and how can such diseases be avoided?

2    What is the commander of the body, and how is it to be protected?

3    How do decision-making and Bible study affect mental health?

4    Explain why a proper mental diet is important.

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Mind

April 11 – 17, 2021

Key Text

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

 Study Help: Medical Ministry, 110–117; Selected Messages, Book 2, 349–353.


“The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 347.



1.a. Where do both good and evil communication and thoughts have their origin? Luke 6:45; Matthew 15:18.

 Note: “The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God, and allies us to heavenly beings.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426.

“When the thought of evil is loved and cherished, however secretly, said Jesus, it shows that sin still reigns in the heart. The soul is still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. He who finds pleasure in dwelling upon scenes of impurity, who indulges the evil thought, the lustful look, may behold in the open sin, with its burden of shame and heart-breaking grief, the true nature of the evil which he has hidden in the chambers of the soul. The season of temptation, under which, it may be, one falls into grievous sin, does not create the evil that is revealed, but only develops or makes manifest that which was hidden and latent in the heart.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 60.

1.b.      What is the function/purpose of the brain? Proverbs 23:7.

Note: “The brain is the capital of the body, the seat of all the nervous forces and of mental action. The nerves proceeding from the brain control the body. By the brain nerves, mental impressions are conveyed to all the nerves of the body as by telegraph wires; and they control the vital action of every part of the system.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 69.

“The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy.” Counsels on Health, 586.

“The brain is the citadel of the being.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 299.



2.a. Describe the relationship between the mind and the physical appearance. Proverbs 15:13, first part; Nehemiah 2:2.

2.b. Why is it so important to protect the healthy function of the mind (heart)? How can we do this? Proverbs 4:23, 27.

Note: “The [spiritual] heart is to be carefully kept and guarded. ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul’ (Mark 8:36, 37)? Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.



3.a. Describe the basic battle of the great controversy within human hearts. Galatians 5:16, 17. Why are we warned in this regard? 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “Satan well knows the material with which he has to deal in the human heart. He knows—for he has studied with fiendish intensity for thousands of years—the points most easily assailed in every character; and through successive generations he has wrought to overthrow the strongest men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.

“In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe, the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release.” Sons and Daughters of God, 328.

3.b. What is Satan doing in these last days? Job 1:7; Revelation 12:12.

Note: “The work of Satan as an accuser began in heaven. This has been his work on earth ever since man’s fall, and it will be his work in a special sense as we approach nearer to the close of this world’s history. As he sees that his time is short, he will work with greater earnestness to deceive and destroy. He is angry when he sees a people on the earth who, even in their weakness and sinfulness, have respect to the law of Jehovah. He is determined that they shall not obey God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 167, 168.

“The temptations of Satan are greater now than ever before, for he knows that his time is short and that very soon every case will be decided, either for life or for death.” Early Writings, 46.



4.a. Explain Satan’s techniques to gain control over the human mind.

  1. Lying: Genesis 3:1–5.
  2. Deception: Matthew 24:4; Acts 5:3.
  3. Flattery and inducements: Luke 4:5, 6.
  4. Threats and intimidation: Acts 4:15–18, 21.
  5. Force: Acts 5:26–29, 40.

Note: “Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1081.

4.b. Upon whom is Satan focusing his main attention in these last days? Matthew 24:24; Revelation 12:17.

Note: “False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God’s people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 293.

“Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12–18. They are to take their stand on the living word: ‘It is written.’ This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope.” Ibid., vol. 9, 16.



5.a. Describe God’s method of developing human mental faculties. Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 23:26; Philippians 2:5.

Note: “The Lord requires His people to use their reason, and not lay it aside for impressions. His work will be intelligible to all His children. His teaching will be such as will commend itself to the understanding of intelligent minds. It is calculated to elevate the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 230.

“God sets before man life and death. He can have his choice.” Early Writings, 221.

“Now we may go into a cellar and stay there and look around into its dark corners, and we can talk of the darkness and say, ‘Oh, it is so dark here,’ and keep talking about it. But will it make it any lighter? Oh, no! What are you going to do? Come out of it; come out of the dark into the upper chamber where the light of God’s countenance shines brightly.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 490, 491.

5.b.      How does God’s method of influencing the mind differ from Satan’s? Isaiah 1:18, 19; John 8:32, 44.

Note: “God does not force the will or judgment of any. He takes no pleasure in a slavish obedience.” The Great Controversy, 541.

“In His dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth. Satan could use what God could not—flattery and deceit.” Ibid., 498.

“God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself.” Ibid., 591.



1    What is the relationship between the mind and the body?

2    Where is the battleground of life’s greatest conflict?

3    What methods does the adversary use to control the will?

4    Discuss God’s methods of developing the human mind in preparation for eternity.

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Training and Education

April 4 – 10, 2021

Key Text

“These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 131–160; vol. 5, 36–45.


“The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the blessedness of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are constantly learning of the Great Teacher.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 471.



1.a. How should the training of children be different from the training of animals? 1 Chronicles 28:9; James 3:3.

 Note: “Children have an intelligent will, which should be directed to control all their powers. Dumb animals need to be trained, for they have not reason and intellect. But the human mind must be taught self-control. It must be educated to rule the human being, while animals are controlled by a master and are trained to be submissive to him. The master is mind, judgment, and will for his beast. A child may be so trained as to have, like the beast, no will of his own. Even his individuality may be merged in the one who superintends his training; his will, to all intents and purposes, is subject to the will of the teacher.

“Children who are thus educated will ever be deficient in moral energy and individual responsibility. They have not been taught to move from reason and principle; their wills have been controlled by another, and the mind has not been called out, that it might expand and strengthen by exercise.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 132.

1.b.      How can “Peter’s ladder” be applied to raising children? 2 Peter 1:5–8.

Note: “The severe training of youth, without properly directing them to think and act for themselves as their own capacity and turn of mind will allow, that by this means they may have growth of thought, feelings of self-respect, and confidence in their own ability to perform, will ever produce a class who are weak in mental and moral power. And when they stand in the world to act for themselves they will reveal the fact that they were trained like the animals, and not educated. …

“Those parents and teachers who boast of having complete control of the minds and wills of the children under their care would cease their boastings could they trace out the future lives of the children who are thus brought into subjection by force or through fear. These are almost wholly unprepared to share in the stern responsibilities of life. When these youth are no longer under their parents and teachers, and are compelled to think and act for themselves, they are almost sure to take a wrong course and yield to the power of temptation. They do not make this life a success, and the same deficiencies are seen in their religious life.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 133, 134.



2.a. Why is manual labor important for every child/youth? Haggai 2:4, last part; 1 Kings 19:19; Lamentations 3:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:7–12. What can we learn from the example of Elisha?

Note: “In the quietude of country life, under the teaching of God and nature and the discipline of useful work, he [Elisha] received the training in habits of simplicity and of obedience to his parents and to God that helped to fit him for the high position he was afterward to occupy. …

“While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God.” Prophets and Kings, 217, 218.

“And now, as in the days of Israel, every youth should be instructed in the duties of practical life. Each should acquire a knowledge of some branch of manual labor by which, if need be, he may obtain a livelihood. This is essential, not only as a safeguard against the vicissitudes of life, but from its bearing upon physical, mental, and moral development. Even if it were certain that one would never need to resort to manual labor for his support, still he should be taught to work. Without physical exercise, no one can have a sound constitution and vigorous health; and the discipline of well-regulated labor is no less essential to the securing of a strong and active mind and a noble character.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 601.

2.b.      What is the four-fold goal of childhood education? Luke 2:40, 52.

 Note: “If the physical powers are not taxed equally with the mental, too much strain is brought upon the latter. Unless every part of the human machinery performs its allotted tasks, the mental powers cannot be used to their highest capability for any length of time.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 522.



3.a  How often are children to be instructed from God’s word? Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

Note: “The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition grows easy, until right thoughts and actions become habitual. If we will we may turn away from all that is cheap and inferior, and rise to a high standard; we may be respected by men and beloved of God.” The Ministry of Healing, 491.



4.a. What things should a person think about to develop a good conscience? Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Note: “The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the failure to do the very thing that the Lord has marked out, one step in the path of wrong principle, often leads to an entire change of the life and action. … We are safe only in following where Christ leads the way.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 320.

4.b.      How is man’s conscience to be educated and guided? John 14:6, 26; 16:13.

Note: “He whose conscience is a sure guide will not stop to reason when light shines upon him out of God’s Word. He will not be guided by human counsel. He will not allow worldly business to stand in the way of obedience. He will lay every selfish interest at the door of investigation and will approach the word of God as one whose eternal interest is hanging in the balance.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 325.

“Every room in the soul temple has become more or less defiled, and needs cleansing. The cobwebbed closet of conscience is to be entered. The windows of the soul are to be closed earthward and thrown wide open heavenward that the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness may have free access. The memory is to be refreshed by Bible principles. The mind is to be kept clear and pure that it may distinguish between good and evil.” Ibid., 327, 328.



5.a. How does a person become changed for the worse? For the better? Jeremiah 2:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Note: “As those sacred precepts in which God has opened to men the perfection and holiness of His character are neglected, and the minds of the people are attracted to human teachings and theories, what marvel that there has followed a decline of living piety in the church.” The Great Controversy, 478.

“Looking unto Jesus we obtain brighter and more distinct views of God, and by beholding we become changed. Goodness, love for our fellow men, becomes our natural instinct. We develop a character which is the counterpart of the divine character. Growing into His likeness, we enlarge our capacity for knowing God. More and more we enter into fellowship with the heavenly world, and we have continually increasing power to receive the riches of the knowledge and wisdom of eternity.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 355.

5.b.      What should one’s personal aim be? Philippians 3:14.

Note: “The specific place appointed us in life is determined by our capabilities. Not all reach the same development or do with equal efficiency the same work. God does not expect the hyssop to attain the proportions of the cedar, or the olive the height of the stately palm. But each should aim just as high as the union of human with divine power makes it possible for him to reach.” Education, 267.

“Let the youth be impressed with the thought that education is not to teach them how to escape life’s disagreeable tasks and heavy burdens; that its purpose is to lighten the work by teaching better methods and higher aims. Teach them that life’s true aim is not to secure the greatest possible gain for themselves, but to honor their Maker in doing their part of the world’s work, and lending a helpful hand to those weaker or more ignorant.” Ibid., 221, 222.



1     Discuss the difference between education and training.

2     How are habits established?

3     Once habits are formed, how do they determine one’s destiny?

4     Discuss the importance of conscience.

5     How can one obtain a symmetrical education?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Christian Home

Let This Mind Be in You

March 28 – April 3, 2021

Key Text

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and He brought her unto the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:21–24).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 349–394.


“As a rule, children inherit the dispositions and tendencies of their parents, and imitate their example.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 118.



1.a. Why did God create Eve? Genesis 2:18.

Note: “Men and women can reach God’s ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. What human wisdom cannot do, His grace will accomplish for those who give themselves to Him in loving trust. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin. Love will not be a mere exchange of soft and flattering words. The loom of heaven weaves with warp and woof finer, yet more firm, than can be woven by the looms of earth. The result is not a tissue fabric, but a texture that will bear wear and test and trial. Heart will be bound to heart in the golden bonds of a love that is enduring.” The Ministry of Healing, 362.

 1.b.      Describe the finding of a wife for Isaac? Genesis 24:37–67.

Note: “God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided ‘an help meet for him’ (Genesis 2:18)—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 46.



2.a. What is the husband’s responsibility when married? Ephesians 5:25.

Note: “It is no evidence of manliness in the husband for him to dwell constantly upon his position as head of the family. It does not increase respect for him to hear him quoting Scripture to sustain his claims to authority. It will not make him more manly to require his wife, the mother of his children, to act upon his plans as if they were infallible. The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church.” The Adventist Home, 215.

2.b. Is only the wife to submit? Ephesians 5:21, 22.

2.c. Ephesians 5:23 says that the husband is the head of the wife, but this has a qualification. If this qualification is not met, then the husband is not the head of the wife and she should not submit to him. What is this qualification? Ephesians 5:25, 28, 29, 33.



3.a. Why are discipline and training necessary in childhood? Proverbs 29:15.

 Note: “Children should never be flattered, for flattery is poison to them; but parents should show a sanctified, tender regard for them, thus gaining their confidence and love.” The Review and Herald, January 24, 1907.

“Whenever the mother can speak a word of commendation for the good conduct of her children, she should do so. She should encourage them by words of approval and looks of love.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 532.

“One of the characteristics that should be especially cherished and cultivated in every child is that self-forgetfulness which imparts to the life such an unconscious grace. Of all excellences of character this is one of the most beautiful, and for every true lifework it is one of the qualifications most essential.

“Children need appreciation, sympathy, and encouragement, but care should be taken not to foster in them a love of praise. It is not wise to give them special notice, or to repeat before them their clever sayings. The parent or teacher who keeps in view the true ideal of character and the possibilities of achievement, cannot cherish or encourage self-sufficiency. He will not encourage in the youth the desire or effort to display their ability or proficiency. He who looks higher than himself will be humble; yet he will possess a dignity that is not abashed or disconcerted by outward display or human greatness.” Education, 237.

 3.b.      What lesson can be learned from the choice of environment as revealed in the experience of Lot? Genesis 13:10–13.

 Note: “The sinful conduct of his [Lot’s] daughters was the result of the evil association of that vile place [the city of Sodom]. Its moral corruption had become so interwoven with their character that they could not distinguish between good and evil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 167, 168.



4.a. What promise is given to those who wisely train up their children? Proverbs 22:6.

 Note: “Neither infants, children, or youth should hear an impatient word from father, mother, or any member of the household; for they receive impressions very early in life, and what parents make them today, they will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. The first lessons impressed upon the child are seldom forgotten. …

“The impressions made on the heart early in life are seen in after years. They may be buried, but they will seldom be obliterated.” Child Guidance, 193, 194.

4.b.      Name Biblical examples of good childhood training. 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15; Luke 1:6, 15, 76, 80.



5.a. What counsels are given against a lack of punishment or training? 1 Samuel 2:29, 30; 3:13, 14.

 Note: “In some families the wish of the child is law. Everything he desires is given him. Everything he dislikes, he is encouraged to dislike. Indulgence is supposed to make the child happy, but it only makes him restless and discontented. Indulgence has spoiled his appetite for plain, healthful food, and for the plain use of his time; self-gratification has done the work of unsettling his character for time and for eternity.” The Review and Herald, May 10, 1898.

“Do not educate your children to think that your love for them must be expressed by indulgence of their pride, extravagance, and love of display.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 451.

5.b.      What things better than wealth can be given a child to help him become a healthy adult? Proverbs 3:11–18.

 Note: “Better than any other inheritance of wealth you can give to your children will be the gift of a healthy body, a sound mind, and a noble character. Those who understand what constitutes life’s true success will be wise betimes. They will keep in view life’s best things in their choice of a home.

“Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. Let the eye rest on the green fields, the groves, and the hills. Look up to the blue sky, unobscured by the city’s dust and smoke, and breathe the invigorating air of heaven. Go where, apart from the distractions and dissipations of city life, you can give your children your companionship, where you can teach them to learn of God through His works, and train them for lives of integrity and usefulness.” The Ministry of Healing, 366, 367.



1    How is environment important in family life?

2    How can husbands and wives help each other in managing a home?

3    Describe how the home atmosphere and surrounding environment affect the early development of children.

4    What lessons should the child learn first even in babyhood from his parents?

5    What are the most important gifts we can give to our growing children?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Winter Greens Salad

Powerhouse Kale

Once upon a time there was a testing procedure used by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine the antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables. It was called the ORAC test (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).

Researchers would look at all the different antioxidants and phytochemicals that are found in a plant food and determine how well they worked together as a team to fight cell-damaging free radicals. The foods were given what is called an ORAC rating. Kale consistently scored as number one among the vegetables. (The ORAC test has since been retired, but kale continues to score high rankings on virtually all the tests that have replaced it.)

Kale is actually a type of cabbage, which means that it has even more health benefits than its antioxidant power alone. Like others in the brassica family, it contains powerful phytochemicals such as cancer-fighting indoles. It’s also high in sulfur, and contains a compound known as sulforaphane, which helps give a boost to the body’s detoxification enzymes and may help fight cancer as well. Sulforaphane is formed when vegetables containing it are chopped or chewed, and it triggers the liver to remove free radicals and other chemicals that may cause DNA damage. Several studies—including one in the Journal of Nutrition—have demonstrated that sulforaphane helps stop breast cancer proliferation.

Kale is also loaded with calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and bone-building K. It contains seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and 10 times as much lutein and zeaxanthin, eye-promoting carotenoids known to help protect against macular degeneration. And 2 cups contain about 4g of protein and 3g of fiber, making it an all-around nutritional powerhouse vegetable. Better Nutrition, February 2020, 17.

Recipe – Winter Greens Salad


1 large bunch curly green kale, ribs removed, chopped into small pieces, sprinkled lightly with salt, massaged for about 30 sec.

1 medium avocado, diced


1/3 cup sundried tomatoes

¼ cup soak water

6-8 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 medium lemon (¼ cup juice), or to taste

1 ½ Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional

½ tsp. salt, scant

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes


Cover sundried tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes to rehydrate. Remove from water; reserve ¼ cup soak water; let cool. Transfer tomatoes and soak water to blender. Add oil, lemon juice and zest, honey, nutritional yeast and salt; blend until smooth. Stir in pepper flakes. Combine prepared kale and dressing; toss until thoroughly coated. Gently fold in avocado and enjoy.

Testimony – On Hearing His Voice

It was my fourth…DUI. The officers cancelled my driver’s license on the spot and removed the license plates from my vehicle. I walked to a nearby motel and checked in. I was despondent beyond words. I could not believe what had just happened to me. It seemed I had no control over my urge to drink and would, without a thought, put myself and others at risk in the process of doing so. I could not stop even though I had been through treatment three or four times over the last 20 years.

I had grown up a Seventh-day Adventist. I knew the truth. I had an Adventist education and when I was in my late teens, I had surrendered my life to Christ and been baptized, but somehow through the years I had lost my hold on Jesus and drifted away. I had attempted to return to Him several times, but the devil always had a foothold in my life and sucked me back into his service. Now alcohol had become my “best friend” and master.

While sitting on the bed in the motel and looking at my hopeless and miserable life, I decided I had no reason to live. Death seemed like a welcome release from my pain. I overdosed on some of my medications hoping never to wake up and then made a noose with my belt and cinched it around my neck as hard as I could wondering how I could hang myself in the motel room. Needless to say, I eventually fell asleep and woke up the next morning. How I wished I hadn’t.

That morning I began pacing the room and wondering what to do. My mind was a buzz with dejected thoughts. I was filled with shame and guilt and misery and hopelessness. Finally, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to I half-heartedly asked God for help … not expecting an answer, given my life of sin in the face of knowing better.

Suddenly, somehow through my gloomy wretched thoughts, I heard the voice of God speaking to my heart. I knew it was Him. I had heard that voice before. He told me that He could and would help me, but I had to be willing to give up some things. What did He ask me to give up?  Well, alcohol, of course, but also caffeine and nicotine. I also had to turn over my money to a trusted friend or relative along with my phone and the keys to my vehicle. I needed to move away from the town I was living in and move in with or by family that loved me and were faithful SDA’s.

Just a few moments after I heard God’s proposal, I went to my knees and emphatically and without reservation agreed to His requests and surrendered my life to Jesus. I held nothing back. Jesus was my only hope, and I knew it and I put my all on the altar.

This experience is described in Matthew 18:8, 9 where Jesus says, “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” I felt I was cutting off a hand and plucking out an eye, but I did so with the utmost determination. My present and future life depended on it.

In my surrender to Jesus, I began confessing my many sins and asking for His forgiveness. I had to have a new heart and a new life. “Therefore if any man (any man! including me!) be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things (All Things! all my “things” were as “filthy rags”) are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Here is another description of my experience found in Ezekiel 36:24–29, last part: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses.”

To this day I can hardly believe the transformation that has taken place in my heart and life from that moment till now. I got up from my knees feeling I was a new man.  My desire for drink and other chemicals left me. I had peace and hope and joy in my heart and felt a cleansing process had begun in my life. Jeremiah 4:14 says, “Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.” I continue that washing and cleansing daily now. I had a conversion, but I need that conversion experience daily yea, hour by hour. Now my greatest joy is Jesus and by the eye of faith I want to see Him standing over me as I drink in His word, discern His presence as I go about my day. I want His companionship more and more and to be like Him in every way.  I still feel my sinfulness. I still bemoan the contrast of my life with the life of my Savior, but I am on His narrow way headed for a home in heaven.

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). I am so happy I have a complete sin-pardoning Savior who can take away my sin. I don’t want to serve sin and the devil. I’ve done so long enough. Moses chose rather to “suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25) and I want to make that choice too. I am not interested in a gospel that does not take away my sin. I want complete victory, not a partial victory over my sins. “Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Oh how much I want to remain “in Him” and He in me.

How about you dear friend? Do you have a “sin which doth so easily beset” you (Hebrews 12:1)? Are your promises to “quit” like the proverbial “ropes of sand”? I’ve been there. I know what that is like. I have been in the miry pit with a sense of hopelessness crushing me. I stand with Paul feeling I am among the “chief” of sinners. But Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He saved me. He saved even me! He can do the same for you. You may feel like surrender is like cutting off an arm or plucking out an eye, but I tell you it is SO worth it! Heaven is cheap enough! Don’t delay. If you have not done so already, why not make that decision, the decision to place your all on the altar. Let Jesus take away your sin, all of your sin, and begin a new life with Him today! He loves you. He is waiting and longing to embrace you and cleanse and heal your heart and mind so you may “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

I am still leaving my money and phone and keys in the hands of someone I am with daily and trust. I can use them when I need to, of course, but I am with someone when I do. It may be that for me I will need this safeguard till Jesus comes. That is fine with me. These have been stumbling blocks to me. If I have Jesus, I am happy and content and need nothing more.

Timothy Rittenour is a retired ER Physician living in Minnesota. He is the father of five children, two of whom are missionaries in Africa.

The Blessing of Humility

How much money does a person need? Many poor people believe that they would be happy if they were well-fixed financially and many who are comfortable believe that they would have less worries if they had more money. The Jones family wish they were like the Ritzes, and the Ritzes wish they were wealthy like the Vanderbilts. So, Jesus’ teaching is a great paradox to what we tend to think. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Happy are the poor?”

Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord revealed the following information to the human race several hundred years before the birth of Christ. “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).

The One who inhabits eternity, says, “I dwell with the one that has a humble spirit.” In Isaiah 66:2, He says, “ ‘All those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord. ‘But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.’ ”

So, the Lord says that He looks on the person who is humble. There are many Bible texts that reveal that a person who is proud is not known by the Lord. After Mary, the mother of Jesus, was informed by the angel Gabriel that she would become the mother of the Messiah, she says, “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state [poor person] of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. … He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty” (Luke 1:47, 48, 53). God has promised to help those who are poor and are of a contrite and poor spirit, but the rich are sent away because they don’t feel any need.

In Revelation the 3rd chapter, there is found a description of the Christian church in the last days. It says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit [spue] you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—” (verses 15–17).

These people are rich in material things, but spiritually they are “miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked.” After Job obtained a vision of his spiritual poverty and he stopped trying to justify himself, his misery and wretchedness came to an end. The Lord delivered him from the problem that the devil had brought upon him. His captivity was turned into victory and he experienced happiness again in his life.

We see the same thing in the life of the prophet Isaiah. When he recognized his spiritual poverty, he cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:5)! He sensed his spiritual imperfection which now appeared to him in a new and hideous light. This changed attitude made it possible for God to cleanse him from his sin and then to use him as a spokesman for others (see Isaiah 6).

Something similar happened to the proud-spirited Simon Peter when he fell at Jesus’ feet. In Luke 5:8–10, it says, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.’ So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” Notice, immediately when he acknowledged his condition, Jesus commissioned him to be a fisher of men.

The apostle Paul was once a proud and haughty Pharisee, but when he was changed he acknowledged himself to be “the chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). When he acknowledged his sinful condition, he was elevated to become the chief of the apostles. So, recognition of our real spiritual condition and need is the first step in the beatitude ladder of spiritual progress that leads to the kingdom of heaven. In the first beatitude Jesus said, “Blessed [that is, happy] are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

The person who is proud in his heart has not yet taken the first step toward the heavenly kingdom. Recognition of sin, the crying out for pardon, for cleansing from guilt, are the beginning of the pathway to Zion and to happiness. There can be no blessed or happy state where there is unconfessed and unforgiven sin. Isaiah 48:22 says, “ ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

So, a contrite, a humble, a penitent spirit is the first qualification for citizenship in the kingdom of God and for service in the cause of righteousness. Jesus, our Saviour, was this way Himself. Notice what He says concerning His own character: “I am gentle [meek] and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29).” He was not proud. Notice what the apostle Paul says about the humility of Jesus: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery [a thing to be grasped] to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5–8). This example of humility by Jesus, the majesty of heaven and king of the universe, is one that no human being could ever match.

In Jesus is an example of unparalleled humility. Jesus said, “I am lowly in heart.” He might have stated this beatitude in the negative. Instead of saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He could have said instead, “Unhappy are the proud in spirit.” It would have been true. Of all people, the poor in spirit are the most happy, and the proud-spirited end up being the most miserable. The proud in spirit are exceedingly sensitive to every little slight or wrong, real or imagined, that causes pain and discomfort. The proud in spirit are touchy and easily offended. They are miserable night and day because of hurt feelings and are often too selfish to be happy. The only remedy for spiritual pride is the crucifixion of the proud, selfish flesh. Those who are dead to sin do not become offended. The apostle Paul said, “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:2, 11).

Dead people are not sensitive. The psalmist wrote, “Great peace have they who love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165 KJV). Offense naturally thrives where sin abounds. It was a proud and sensitive angel who committed the first sin. And the more he sinned, the more sensitive he became. We live in a world where all are suffering with proud flesh. Sinful flesh is always proud. It was impossible for Jesus to keep from offending His hearers because they were so sensitive and proud in their spirit. At the close of one of His sermons, almost everybody fled from Him (see John 6). The Pharisees were continually offended at His teachings. In fact, even the disciples were often grieved. Truth always offends those who are in error and sinners resent their shortcomings being pointed out.

However, a person who is poor in spirit can be corrected, and if willing to be corrected, then they are in position where they can be blessed. Jesus illustrated the contrast between the poor in spirit and the proud in spirit in a story. He told about two worshipers who went up to the temple to pray. “He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted’ ” (Luke 18:9–14).

Notice, the Pharisee did not pray to God. Jesus made it very clear that he prayed a boasting speech to himself. It was not even a prayer at all, but a boast of his inbred and acquired righteousness. He did not even make a request. He simply thanked God that he was everything that he should be. He was grateful that he was different from others, especially from the poor publican.

The publican, however, was poor in spirit. He recognized his spiritual poverty. He cried out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” He alone was justified and justification leads to happiness because the Bible says that when we’re justified by faith, then we have peace with God.  Oftentimes we don’t realize that this same spirit of Phariseeism is the common spirit in Christendom today. The first beatitude is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This beatitude is very up to date because pride of spirit, self-sufficiency is more prevalent in the Christian world today, perhaps, than ever before. Phariseeism is not extinct. In fact, when Jesus speaks of the condition of the Christian church in the last or remnant phase of its existence, it is described as a church with a Pharisaical attitude. As already seen in Revelation 3:15–17, this attitude leads Christians to believe they need nothing when in reality they have need of everything.

The spirit of Phariseeism is the natural spirit of human nature and it is just as prevalent now as in the days when Jesus was among men. The church in its present condition is proud in spirit. Its members do not recognize their spiritual condition; in fact, they even boast of their spiritual wealth. In their own estimation, they are rich and increased in goods. They believe they are ready to go to heaven when in reality, they are wretched, miserable, poor, and blind, and naked, spiritually, and the Lord says, “I’m about to vomit you out of My mouth.” In other words, you are about to commit the unpardonable sin.

The message that describes the spiritual pride of the last-day church also provides a complete remedy. Notice what Jesus says to the church of the last days: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (verse 18). He’s talking about spiritual gold and spiritual clothing, and spiritual eye salve. The gold, spiritual gold, represents the amount of faith and love a person has. Gold enables a person to get whatever they want. In the spiritual world, faith enables you to get whatever you need. In the physical world, if you have gold, you are wealthy. In the spiritual world, if you have love, you are wealthy. The Bible says that love is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14). But Jesus also says, “Buy from me white garments.” The Bible says clearly in Revelation 19 that the white garment is the righteousness of the saints that is imparted to them by Jesus Christ.

Then there is the eye salve which is needed today more than ever before. The modern church, in its own attitude and condition, shows that we are in desperate need of eye salve, which is the ability to discern and tell the difference between good and evil. The solution to our situation is to see and behold the character of Jesus Christ. The more we see in Him, the less we will see to esteem in ourselves. Just as soon as the modern church changes its attitude toward its own condition and needs, Jesus will abundantly supply His people with the pure gold of faith and love. The robe of His spotless righteousness and the anointing with the spiritual eye salve will restore spiritual vision to be able to tell the difference between good and evil.

There is a poverty that makes rich. There was another church described in Revelation that was a very poor church. They, as well as everyone else thought that they were poor, but notice what Jesus says about them: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9).

Spiritual wealth awaits those who feel poverty-stricken in spirit. Many of the poorest people in this world are spiritually rich. In the same way, many of the richest people in this world are moral paupers and spiritual bankrupts. True riches, those that the Lord wants to give you, are the heritage of those only who recognize their spiritual need. The Bible says, “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them who love Him” (James 2:5)?

Paul says, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), there dwells no good thing” (Romans 7:18, literal translation). Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent. If you have a sense of your deep soul poverty, if you know that you have no goodness of your own, you may find righteousness and strength by looking to Jesus. Notice this promise that was given to the poor in spirit. It reads, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

Do you recognize your spiritual poverty, and would you like to exchange that poverty for the riches of His grace? It does not matter what your past experience has been or however discouraging your present circumstances might be. Come to Jesus just the way you are – weak, helpless, and despairing – and you will find that He will take you in. He said, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). While you are a great way off, He will come to you and impart to you His righteousness that will change everything in your life. Trust Him!

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Toxic Drugs Not Needed to Relieve Stress

The vast majority of American adults say they feel anxiety or stress – every day. As one of the most stressed nations on earth, it’s time to start taking a serious look at the connection between chronic stress and the immune system.

What do we already know about chronic stress? We know it has a significant unwanted impact on your immune system. An overview of studies surrounding stress and the immune system shows a link between stress and how the immune system functions that goes back decades. Additional studies have found that chronic stress increases your risk of inflammation, and elevated levels of inflammation increase the likelihood of cancer and heart disease.

When you’re feeling stressed out, depressed, or lonely, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up getting physically sick.

Chronic mental stress is a big threat to your future health, according to many studies

Back in the 1980s, an immunologist and psychologist found it intriguing to see studies linking stress to infection. They went on to do their own study on medical students, discovering that the stress of three-day exams decreased the students’ immunity.

Since then, hundreds of studies have been done on the links between stress and health. Those studies have revealed unique patterns. When people experienced stress for a significant duration of time, their immunity went downhill, leading to the conclusion that too much stress can wreak havoc on the immune system.

How does stress affect your immune system? It triggers chemical reactions in the body, releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which can decrease white blood cells. Keep in mind, white blood cells are designed to help us with infections.

Researchers also discovered that individuals who are already sick or older are at a greater risk of stress-related immune dysfunction. In aging adults, even mild depression may suppress their immune system. Some experts even believe that stress may be responsible for up to 90% of all diseases and illnesses, including the big ones like heart disease and cancer.

Chronic stress also increases the risk of inflammation – which increases the rate of tissue damage and infection risk. The effects of stress tend to be cumulative, which means that every-day stress may eventually lead to serious health problems. Unfortunately, the only “solution” that Western medicine offers is a toxic drug, that only adds to stress – especially in the liver!

Your state of mind and how you respond to stressful situations dramatically influences the development of disease or wellbeing. But if you’re dealing with chronic stress, there’s something you can do to help your body fight it more effectively.

New research conducted by the University of Konstanz psychologists and published in the journal Scientific Reports discovered that giving yourself a few minutes of downtime boosts both physical and mental relaxation significantly. And surprisingly, it only takes ten minutes to see the positive effects!

According to this new research, just ten minutes of massage resulted in higher levels of physiological and psychological relaxation in individuals. And it wasn’t just massage.

Taking ten minutes to rest also increased relaxation, although not quite as much as massage did. This is the first solid indication that even short-term relaxation may reduce stress on both a physical and mental level by boosting the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s main engine for relaxation.

This study shows that massage, and even rest, boosts the parasympathetic nervous system, also resulting in less perceived mental stress. According to researchers, understanding relaxation, which is the opposite of stress, offers an excellent way to better understand the negative effects stress has on the body and mind.

The exciting thing about this new study is that it shows us that even short periods of rest or massage are enough to counteract the effects of stress. Researchers found that you don’t even need a professional massage to reap the relaxation benefits. Having a loved one rub your shoulders for just ten minutes or even taking a moment to close your eyes and relax for ten minutes can boost your body’s own engine of relaxation. Of course, when you add slow, deep breathing to the equation, it’s even more effective!

While massage and rest are beneficial in reducing stress, “Let us turn from the dusty, heated thoroughfares of life to rest in the shadow of Christ’s love. Here we gain strength for conflict. Here we learn how to lessen toil and worry, and how to speak and sing to the praise of God. Let the weary and the heavy-laden learn from Christ the lesson of quiet trust. They must sit under His shadow if they would be possessors of His peace and rest.” Counsels on Health, 251, 252.

Question – What does it mean to be “rich toward God”?


What does it mean to be “rich toward God”?


But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20, 21 NKJV).

“Christ points out the way in which those who have worldly riches and yet are not rich toward God may secure the true riches. He says: Sell that ye have, and give alms, and lay up treasure in heaven. The remedy He proposes for the wealthy is a transfer of their affections from earthly riches to the eternal inheritance. By investing their means in the cause of God to aid in the salvation of souls, and by blessing the needy with their means, they become rich in good works and are ‘laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life’ (1 Timothy 6:19). This will prove a safe investment. But many show by their works that they dare not trust in the bank of heaven. They choose to trust their means in the earth rather than send it before them to heaven, that their hearts may be upon their heavenly treasure.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 681.

“Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.” Early Writings, 56, 57.

“Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:33, 34 NKJV).

Nature – Let it Snow

When the world wears white again and everything disappears under a thick blanket of snow that’s when the magic of winter unfolds as nature unveils a world of wonders in letting it snow.

Snow crystals are natural works of art, as fragile as they are ephemeral. Each crystal is unique, and yet all develop in accordance with the same six-fold symmetry.

When it is barely below freezing, the first snow crystals begin to form inside the clouds. Over time they join up to form bigger flakes and once they’re heavy enough, they fall from the clouds – and it snows. Each flake is unique. No two snowflakes are exactly alike.

Unlike raindrops or hailstones, snowflakes fall gently from the sky. Once a snowflake touches water, it immediately melts, releasing the air inside. This creates a high-pitched sound that is unique to each flake and inaudible to the human ear without the assistance of technology. On the descent to the ground some of these fragile structures run into warmer pockets of air and melt, but most of them make it all the way to the ground where they form a blanket that keeps growing thicker.

During particularly frosty nights, a fascinating phenomenon occurs. The moisture in the air freezes and turns into hoarfrost. Overnight the landscape is covered with ice crystals. The result is a winter panorama picture book. Sun and hoarfrost frequently go hand in hand as cloudless winter weather is especially cold. However, hoarfrost doesn’t only accumulate on boughs and branches, but also on the blanket of snow. Its crystals differ considerably from the snow below. Hoarfrost is created at about minus eight degrees Celsius (between 17° – 18° Fahrenheit) or lower and the moisture in the air freezes directly on surfaces. Freezing cold winter nights provide ice.

Electrostatic fields align the water molecules hexagonally and this basic structure holds steady as the water slowly freezes and the snow crystal gradually grows until its finished. Between minus 12 and minus 18 degrees Celsius (10 and 0° Fahrenheit) the classic six-armed snow stars or dendrites appear. It’s the temperature that determines how finely branched they become. Freezing water gives off heat which decreases at higher temperatures and this, in turn, causes additional variations in structure because a bigger surface facilitates a discharge of heat. Consequently, dendrites turn out to be distinctly less branched when they’re created at lower temperatures. So not all snow is alike and at very low temperatures, snow crystals take on the form of little tiles, columns and cylinders.

The ice of the snow crystals is colorless and transparent. At the border surfaces between ice crystals and air, the white sunlight is reflected and scattered and with enough randomly distributed ice crystals scattering light in all directions, the overall color that results are white.

So-called condensation kernels serve as seeds around which droplets form out of the cloud’s mist. Moisture accumulates around minute particles of dust and soot. Such particles also serve as freezing kernels for snow crystals to begin to form when the clouds are cold enough. Then they grow linked together and descend as snowflakes to the earth.

Let it Snow, The Secrets of Nature, Klaus T. Steindl, ©2008.

“He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes” (Psalm 147:16). “The Lord says, ‘You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool’ (Isaiah 1:18).” Steps to Jesus, 46.