Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” by Jim Cybala. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book picture among the blog post pictures and you will find past Book Club entries.
This week, we are focusing on the first chapter. I’m reminded to have a heart of thanksgiving. I have to constantly remind myself of what God is doing in my life to cultivate this heart. However, this simple act of counting my blessings one by one is difficult. I noticed that as I began several months ago, I had a hard time. What are my blessings beyond waking up in the morning, being able to walk, having a home, and having food? Yes, I’ve taken all this for granted. I am repenting of assuming that these are automatic elements of life, although, of all people I should know that is not a reality for everyone.
Then something occurred. I started to get a toothache. I realized what a blessing being able to swallow without pain was. I believe one way that our Great Creator can provide healing is through nature, and I started to look for it. A friend who does extensive research on healing remedies recommended a mouthwash that her husband makes. It includes clove oil and cinnamon oil, among other healing oils. I think beyond using this remedy, prayer has ushered me into being open to how our Almighty Healer, the Creator of all, has provided healing through foods.
That is why “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” is an encouragement to read. Within the first chapter, I’m reminded of how important it is to be honest and sincere before others, but definitely before God. When I started counting my blessings, I admitted to God that I haven’t kept track of them. It was hard for me to see what I was truly thankful for. Shortly after reading this book, in addition to the toothache, I also needed to renew my apartment lease. There were changes within the management, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay or not. I began to pray. And guess what? I also began to be thankful for the blessing of my home.
I don’t want to go through life being thankful for all the blessings God has given me only because they are soon taken away. “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” is teaching me to keep myself humble before Yahweh. My prayer is that my love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that I will be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of the One True King (Philippians 1:9).
Honestly, I have hit a wall with being thankful as I exercise. When I first started reading this book, I was fully motivated to walk every day. I thanked God, I sang, it was very delightful. However, this week, I have only walked once, and five days have passed. I’m going to walk today because I feel accountable to you as a reader. As I walk, one blessing I won’t pass up is thanking the Lord for the ability to walk and speak the scripture to myself, without pain. I will sing and make melodies in my heart, worshipping the Healer for providing health in my mouth and providing a stable and safe home for me to go back to.
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive them of their sins and heal their land.”
1) What are some blessings of health that you are thankful for?
2) Prayer is an essential element to our relationship with the Creator, how has your prayer life changed your health? How about your perspective on health?
3) Is there a testimony you would like to share regarding your health? Prayer?
–Joy Williams, PHW Regional Consultant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for places of worship in NC.