Info

Christian Natural Health

Christian Natural Health is the podcast that teaches you about natural health from a biblical perspective. I'm Dr. Lauren Deville, a practicing naturopathic physician in Tucson, AZ. In this podcast, my guests and I will cover topics ranging from nutrition, sleep, hormone balancing and exercise, to specific health concerns like hair loss, anxiety, and hypothyroidism. Once a week, I'll include a bonus episode, meditating on a Bible verse or passage. I'll also interweave biblical principles as they apply throughout the podcast--because true health is body, mind, and spirit. Learn more about me at http://www.drlaurendeville.com/
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
2020
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Category: general
Oct 16, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Melatonin for Pain.

Oct 9, 2020

Today's meditation is on Jesus cursing the fig tree, but the retelling covers Matthew 21:1-22, Mark 11:1-24, Luke 19:28-47, and John 12:1-19.

Introduction
 
The context of this event is very important: Jesus has just ridden into Jerusalem for the last time on the first Palm Sunday. The people have all heard about Lazarus’s resurrection and turn out in droves, crying “Hosanna in the highest!”, carpeting the road before him with their cloaks and with palm branches like they did for the kings of old—effectively declaring Him king and Messiah. How heartbreaking that must have been for Jesus: He so desperately wanted the love and allegiance of His people, and they appeared to be giving it to Him; yet He knew that not only would they turn on Him, many of them would even cry out for His blood in less than a week. 
 
His emotions are running high. Right after the initial encounter with the fig tree (by Mark’s depiction), Jesus enters the Temple of Jerusalem and finds it overrun with commerce, just as John’s gospel tells us it was at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This fills Him with righteous indignation, and he turns over the tables just as he did the first time, driving out the sellers and money changers. The Temple supposed to be the place of prayer and worship to the Father, and yet His people have turned it into something mercenary. He knows His earthly ministry is coming to a close. He’s done all He can do, and here’s evidence that the Jews’ hearts are still hardened. 
 
The fig tree was a symbol of Israel (Hosea 9:10, Jeremiah 8:13 and chapter 24, Micah 4:4, Luke 13:6-9). In Jesus’ parable of the fig tree in Luke 13, after three years (the length of Jesus’ own ministry to the Jews), it is barren, not producing fruit (of repentance, of righteousness). The owner wants to chop it down, while the dresser of the vineyard pleads that it should be given special treatment for a bit longer. If it is still unfruitful, then it should be chopped down—as in fact happens when Jerusalem is sacked by the Roman army in 70 A.D. Meanwhile, the apostles spread the gospel to the Gentiles. 
 
So when Jesus sees the fig tree with leaves, which should mean that it is bearing fruit (the figs precede the leaves on a fig tree, at least on the variety that grow in Jerusalem), and then He finds that it is barren, he curses it. I’m sure that this was not just because He was hungry and frustrated in his attempt to eat; to Him it was probably another symbolic representation of the spiritual state of Israel. By and large, they still had not received Him.
 
Yet this event turned into one of Jesus’ clearest teachings to the disciples on the subject of faith. Matthew’s account indicates that the fig tree withered immediately, while Mark shows a delay: a day after Jesus curses it, they pass by the tree and find it withered. The two accounts can be harmonized with Jesus’ subsequent teaching in Mark 11:23-24: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” 
 
Several important points here: first, Jesus says to speak directly to the mountain (or as he did: to the fig tree). Not to pray to God about your mountain. Second, he must believeand not doubt. If believing automatically excluded doubt, He would not have made this distinction—so it is possible to believe and to doubt at the same time (as was implied in the Parable of the Sower, Mark 4:3-20, and James 1:6-8). The doubt can negate the faith, working in the opposite direction for a net effect of zero. Third, he should believe he receiveswhen he prays, not when he sees the manifestation. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Fourth, the manifestation may not be instantaneous, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been done (Mark 4:28). In this case, Matthew said that the tree withered instantly while Mark said it was the next day. Both are true: the tree instantly died at the root, but it took a day for the results to manifest on the visible parts of the tree. Even though Jesus did not see instant manifestation of His words, He did not doubt that it was already done. When the disciples passed by the next day and saw that the tree was withered, Peter pointed it out to Jesus in amazement. Jesus was probably exasperated when he replied, “Have faith in God,” to this. Remember, this is the last few days of His earthly ministry. He’s passing the baton to these disciples, and for three years now He has tried to impart these same ideas to them… yet Peter’s amazement indicates that He still hasn’t gotten it. 
 
Fictionalized Retelling
 
The energy of the crowd was palpable, the dull roar of their excited chatter at a fever’s pitch. Jesus had stopped them between Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. His throat was thick with emotion as he instructed Matthew and Bartholomew, “Go into the village opposite you,” here he pointed to Bethphage, “and as soon as you have entered it you will find a donkey and a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose them and bring them. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ’The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them here.”
 
The two disciples nodded and hastened to obey. Jesus waited for them now, standing aloof from the rest of his disciples, and from the crowd. 
 
How many of them knew that he was doing this in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9? he wondered. He had told his disciples over and over again that he was going to his death, but he knew they didn’t understand what he meant. They thought it was a euphemism for something else. Particularly now, when he was surrounded by adoring worshippers, all bubbling over with excitement that their king was about to enter Jerusalem. 
 
This was the culmination of his earthly ministry. The earth had been waiting for this moment, for the King of Kings to enter the Holy City in glory, since the fall of man in the Garden. There was almost a “charge" in the air, of the spirit converging upon the physical; the people could do nothing but worship. Yet these same people would turn on him and cry out for his blood in less than a week. 
 
He felt so very alone. 
 
Thank you, Father, he prayed silently, that You never leave me or forsake me. 
 
Normally people crowded Jesus everywhere he went, but something about His troubled expression today must have put them off. Many instead clustered around the exuberant Bartimaeus, whom Jesus had healed of blindness just a few hours earlier. He and his formerly blind friend had since cast off their beggar’s cloaks and joined his entourage. Of the two, Bartimaeus was by far the more gregarious, and he entertained the crowds. He seemed a born performer.
 
Matthew and Bartholomew returned, leading the colt and the donkey to Jesus by the reins. The people saw this, and immediately understood that they were about to head into the city now. They got busy, excitedly throwing their cloaks over the animals’ backs for Jesus to sit upon. Some of the people threw their cloaks in the road, an ancient Jewish practice for welcoming a conquering king. Others cried out, “Palm branches too!” This was a reference to a wider cultural practice of the same, and it met with great enthusiasm. The crowd scurried about, retrieving fallen palm branches and snapping or sawing off those that they could reach from nearby palm trees.
 
Jesus meanwhile mounted the colt. It meekly accepted his weight, despite the fact that it was unbroken. Matthew and Bartholomew raised their eyebrows and exchanged a look at this, impressed, but said nothing. Beside the colt which Jesus rode, John led the donkey by the reins like a groomsman. As his most empathic disciple, Jesus suspected that John sensed his mood and lingered nearby for emotional support. He felt a rush of affection for his friend. 
 
As Jesus began the journey, the people spread the branches they had collected on the ground before the colt along with their cloaks, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 
 
From oldest to youngest, they all picked up this refrain as Jesus began his last ride into Jerusalem. The people danced and sang, and once he’d passed over cloaks and palms, they picked them up again and ran forward, laying them on the road before him. Jesus’ chest constricted with conflicting emotions. The people who worshipped him now did so genuinely; and yet, their hearts were the stony ground of his parable. They were those who would immediately receive the word with gladness, but when tribulation or persecution arose, they would stumble and scatter. It would come all too soon. 
 
The commotion of Jesus’ entourage drew a crowd of onlookers from Bethany as they descended the Mount of Olives, whispering among themselves. Jesus knew what they were saying. Many asked who he was that drew such a response. Others, the scribes and Pharisees who joined the onlookers, murmured amongst themselves against him. Finally, one of them cried out, “Teacher, do you hear what these are saying? Rebuke your disciples!” 
 
Jesus looked at the one who had shouted and replied in as steady a tone as he could manage, “Yes, I hear. I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones themselves would cry out.” 
 
The Pharisee who heard him turned to his fellows with furious grumbling. Jesus turned away, and from his position on the slope of the Mount of Olives, he saw Jerusalem spread out before him in the distance. The tears that he had kept at bay until then sprung unbidden to his eyes, and spilled over his cheeks. Most of the people did not notice, but John did, and placed his free hand on Jesus’ shoulder in comfort. Jesus cast him a quick, sad smile, and then looked back at the city. 
 
“If you had known,” he whispered, “even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” He saw it all by the Spirit: the sacking of the city by the Romans in about forty years. It didn’t have to happen. After all of the Father’s promises to the Jewish nation under the Mosaic covenant, if they would obey… after he paid with his blood for a new Covenant that would not even require their physical obedience as such, only their love and worship… his stiff-necked people would still reject him. And with him, they would reject his blessing and protection, and would be scattered to the four corners of the earth. It broke his heart. 
 
The sun began its descent in the sky just as Jesus descended the mountain, the crowd still crying out behind and before him. The journey was only two miles, but with the entourage on foot, retrieving the branches and cloaks from behind and laying them again before him, it was a slow procession. 
 
Once they entered Jerusalem, though, more onlookers gathered and whispered. Jesus, now giving the donkey the opportunity to bear his weight, steered it toward the Temple at nightfall. He narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth. Most of the customers had gone, and the merchants’ booths were closing up for the night. 
 
“We will come back here first thing tomorrow morning,” he growled to his disciples.
 
Peter and Andrew were nearest him when he said this, and nodded, understanding what he meant. They had been with him at the beginning of his ministry, when he had once before overturned tables of the money-changers and those who were buying and selling, and driven them out of the Temple. Now, three years later, they were back to all their old practices. They knew what was coming. 
 
“Lord, should we return to Lazarus’s home for the night?” John suggested, as he looked around. “Most of the crowd has dispersed, so I’m sure we could return a lot faster than we came.” 
 
Jesus sighed, troubled and weary. “Yes, let us go back. I do wish to be among friends tonight.” 
 
As they passed by Bethphage, Bartholomew and Matthew returned the colt and the donkey to their owners, with Jesus’ thanks. Mary pressed Jesus and his disciples to stay with them every night of their sojourn in Jerusalem, if they so chose. 
 
In the morning, the disciples rose before Lazarus and his sisters, mostly because Jesus did not wish for Martha particularly to feel obligated to feed all thirteen of them breakfast. So on their return journey to Jerusalem on foot the next morning, they were hungry. As they went, Jesus spied a curious sight: a fig tree in the distance already bore leaves, though it was not the season for figs. Fig trees typically bore figs before leaves, though, so this one seemed to promise a good breakfast for them all. Jesus veered off the path to the tree, and the others followed. But when he came to the tree, he found it barren: there was nothing but leaves.
 
He closed his eyes for a second as the symbolism of this hit him.
 
“I saw your fathers as the first fruits on the fig tree in its first season,” he quoted to himself in a whisper. “Yet now, ‘no grapes shall be on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things I have given them shall pass away from them.’” He opened his eyes again, envisioning what he knew he was about to encounter in the Temple and suddenly shaking with rage. He responded to the fig tree, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again!” 
 
Then he marched on inexorably toward the Temple, so fast that the disciples had no almost jog to keep up with him. No one said a word for the rest of the journey, partly because they dared not when Jesus was in such a mood, and partly because they had no extra breath for it. 
 
Jesus burst into the outer courts of the Temple without breaking his stride, and went straight to the nearest booth, in which merchant and customer were exchanging coins. The two of them looked up only when he was almost upon them, and had just time enough for their eyes to widen and to duck for cover as Jesus lifted the table and tossed it on its side, coins jingling to the ground all around them. 
 
“Out!” he shouted, seething with rage as all the people scattered away from him. He turned to the next nearest table, one selling doves for sacrifice. The doves’ wings beat in their cages in terror, and flew to the tops of them just in time, as Jesus lifted the booth and all its wares in a mighty heave, sending it all crashing to the ground. The squawking of the doves mingled with the angry shouts of the merchants, but Jesus was louder than them all. 
 
“You there!” he shouted, pointing at another merchant who had tried to pass unnoticed behind the onlooking crowds, his arms heavy with wares. “Out! Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves!’” 
 
The customers beat a path to the door, now congested with merchants also trying to escape. None of them dared to confront Jesus. The scribes and the Pharisees alone lingered in their wake, consulting one another in angry whispers. Jesus knew what they plotted against him. He further knew that in a matter of days, he would willingly submit to their schemes by the will of the Father; for a short while, they would believe they had succeeded. He turned to glare at them now, though, as if daring them to speak aloud what they only had the courage to whisper. 
 
Meanwhile, a young man ventured tentatively into the outer court of the Temple, leading a blind beggar by the hand. The beggar was one they all recognized. He had sat outside the Temple, begging for alms for many years. The pair hesitated, the young man looking anxiously at Jesus. 
 
Jesus turned away from the Pharisees and saw the young man and the beggar, his face instantly softening. He reached out an arm and beckoned them forward. The young man’s face flooded with hope.
 
“Is… is it all right?” asked the young man. “Would you heal him?” 
 
“The answer to that is always yes,” Jesus replied. “Come.” 
 
The disciples watched and marveled as the atmosphere in the outer courts changed in minutes. Word must have spread throughout Jerusalem that Jesus had come to the Temple, and that he was healing all those brought to him. Soon the crowds were so thick that they could barely move inside the outer courts, and they spilled outside onto the streets. As it was on most days of Jesus’ ministry, he healed everyone who came to him, for many hours. The blind saw. The lame walked. The children cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” 
 
The Pharisees gnashed their teeth as they heard this, and elbowed through the crowd just as Jesus laid hands on an invalid boy and he sat up again, grinning at Jesus. 
 
“Teacher! Do you hear what these are saying?” they demanded, indignant. 
 
Jesus, still grinning back at the boy as he gave him back to his mother, did not bother to even look at the Pharisee who had spoken to him. He responded, still smiling but his voice now hard, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise’?” 
 
“That verse reads ‘strength,’ not praise,” the Pharisee muttered back.
 
“You do not realize that the two words are interchangeable,” Jesus replied. “Their strength is found in their praise of me.” 
 
When the hour was late and the people at last dispersed, Jesus and his disciples wearily made their way back to Bethany once more. They had inadvertently fasted all day, simply because they never had the opportunity to get away to eat. But Martha, bless her, would be expecting them for dinner, though they arrived well after nightfall. 
 
They made their way back into the city the next morning. On their way, Peter happened to glance at the fig tree that Jesus had cursed. He blinked at it, astonished. 
 
“Rabbi, look!” he pointed. “The fig tree which you cursed has withered away!” 
 
Jesus too looked astonished, but at Peter, not at the tree. He had been with them now for three years. He had less than a week left on earth. After all they had seen, did they yet not understand? 
 
I must be yet more explicit, Jesus thought, pausing to steady himself before he answered. “Have faith in God,” he said, very clearly. “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,” he pointed at the Mount of Olives behind them, “‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
 
Jesus kept walking as the disciples hung back, puzzling among themselves what he meant by this. He knew what they were thinking. He couldn’t really have meant he could speak to the mountain and remove it. That was a figure of speech, surely. Did he really mean you should believe you have what you ask for the moment you ask? Even if things look exactly the same in the natural? No, he couldn’t have meant that… well if he didn’t mean that, why did he say that? What did he mean, then? I don’t know, why don’t you ask him? …Me? Why don’t YOU ask him?
 
Jesus sighed, and prayed to the Holy Spirit, When You come, You’ll remind them, of this, and of everything I’ve said and done. He prayed this mostly to encourage and remind himself. They don’t understand now, but they don’t have You living inside of them yet to help them. By themselves, they can do nothing. But when they have You, they will understand all these things. It will be enough. 
 
The Holy Spirit replied, Yes. It will be enough. They seem weak and confused now. Yet with these men, I will set the world on fire.
Oct 2, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, The Redox (Oxidation/Reduction) pathways

Sep 18, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Maintaining Your Peace

This is the handout on defeating anxiety and control. 

Sep 4, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Get the Most Out of Your EFAs

Our sponsor link is trylgc.com/CNHomega, and enter the coupon code CNH20 for 20% off your order.

Aug 21, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post: Detoxing: Glucuronidation.

Aug 7, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post: EMF: How Do You Know If It's Too High?

Our sponsor: trylgc.com/cnhthyroid, and enter the coupon code CNH20 for 20% off your order.

Jul 24, 2020

Today's podcast is an interview with the newest doctor to our care team at Nature Cure Family Health, Dr Laura Villa. To learn more about Dr Villa, click here. https://www.naturecurefamilyhealth.com/doctors/dr-laura-villa/

Jul 10, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, EMF and Mitochondrial Toxicity.

Our sponsor: trylgc.com/cnhomega, and enter the coupon code CNH20 for 20% off your order.

Jun 26, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Wisdom in a Time of Chaos.

The TED talk mentioned can be found here

Let's Get Checked: trylgc.com/cnh, and enter the coupon code CNH20 for 20% off your order.

Jun 12, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post by Dr Mariah Mosley: Germ vs Terrain Theory.

The link for Let's Get Checked for thyroid testing is https://trylgc.com/CNHthyroid

May 29, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, The Effects of CBD.

May 15, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO

May 8, 2020

This week's podcast is a meditation on and a retelling of 1 Kings 18. 

I read the text with some discussion first, and then read my retelling (below). 

I was still in the home of the widow of Zarephath and her son, who now adored me and followed me around like a shadow, when the word of the Lord came to me again. 
 
“Go,” He said, “show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 
 
It had been three and a half years since I had originally prophesied the draught to Ahab. The famine had been severe even when I came to the widow two and a half years ago. People were dying of starvation. Still, I wasn’t thrilled about returning to Ahab, for I knew that as soon as the draught ended, he would try to kill me. Probably he would have done so already, had he been able to find me. 
 
I said my goodbyes to the widow and her son, and the little boy clung to me despite my prickly animal hair garments. I’d been his father figure for the last two and a half years, and I would never see them again, more than likely. A lump rose to my throat as I hugged him goodbye. I was less emotional than I might have been, though, had I not been so distracted by the prospect of what awaited me. 
 
One hundred miles I traversed from Zarephath back to Israel. This trip was less bitter than my original journey had been, because I carried water with me from the widow’s well. I also must have followed a slightly different path, because after I had reentered Israel’s borders, I came upon a spring of water in a valley. The jar I had brought with me from Phoenecia was long since dry, and I gratefully refilled it. 
 
When I straightened again, I saw a man I recognized from Ahab’s court coming toward me. He seemed hesitant at first, and then ran and fell on his face before me. 
 
“Is that you, my lord Elijah?” 
 
I knew him as Obadiah, who was in charge of Ahab’s household. Yet I also knew that he feared the Lord. He must have kept that from the king and queen, or he would surely be dead now. 
 
“It is I,” I replied. “Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’"
 
A shadow of terror passed over Obadiah’s face. “H-how have I sinned,” he replied, “that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you.” 
 
Huh, I thought. No wonder the Lord sent me all the way to Zarephath
 
Obadiah went on, "And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’ And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water?” 
 
I started at this—I had not known. I was impressed, too: for Obadiah to do such a thing right under Ahab’s nose! 
 
Obadiah finished, "And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here,’ and he will kill me!”
 
I promised him, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” To emphasize my point, I sat down, indicating that I would wait right there. 
 
Obadiah grimaced. “As you say, my lord.” 
 
Obadiah must have believed me enough to tell Ahab where to find me, but not enough to return with him when he came. Presently, Ahab crested the hill alone before the valley where I sat. When he was still a long way off, he cried out to me, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” 
 
I balked a little. I knew he blamed me, but really! I called back, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals!” He approached me, and I stood up to look him in the eye. “Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
 
Ahab narrowed his eyes at me, understanding my implied challenge. Mount Carmel was where the altar of the Lord had been during the time of the Judges, before Jezebel’s prophets had thrown it down. He knew I meant for this to be a showdown. No doubt in his mind, it would end with my public execution. I suspected that was the reason for the malevolent glint in his eyes as he hissed, “Agreed. I shall assemble them all there at sunrise tomorrow. In the meantime,” he took a step closer, until we were nose to nose, “you will come with me. I’m not letting you out of my sight again.” 
 
I grinned back at him, lifting my chin a bit to show that he did not intimidate me in the least. “I am a man of my word, Ahab. I told you I would be there, and I will be there. But do not attempt to arrest me now. It’s just you and me here, and if it came to a struggle—we both know who would win.” 
 
Ahab blinked, gritted his teeth, and took a step back, fixing me with a gaze of purest hatred. My threat rang true: though Ahab and I were evenly matched in terms of size and strength, I had the Lord on my side, as the three and a half year draught clearly proved. The king was a coward at heart. I knew he would back down. 
 
“Sunrise," he snarled.
 
“Sunrise,” I agreed. 
 
Then he was gone. 
 
I climbed to the summit of Mount Carmel the next morning when streaks of pink stretched across the morning sky, and found that I was almost the last to arrive. Hundreds, if not thousands of Israelites had camped out on Ahab’s orders--awaiting my bloodshed, probably. Obadiah was there among Ahab’s servants. He caught my eye and gave me the tiniest nod of encouragement. My servant was already on top of Carmel as well, waiting for me. Behind the prophets, I saw that some of Ahab’s servants had brought animals for sacrifice. Good. 
 
The dull roar of chatter died down as soon as I made my appearance. “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” I cried out to the people. “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” I stopped, waiting for a reply. They gave none, but hung on my every word. “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men,” I went on. I knew this wasn’t strictly true because of what Obadiah had told me, but it still was, for practical purposes. I was the only prophet no longer in hiding. “Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” 
 
I didn’t know whether or not the people would understand my reference. As it was written in the Chronicles, when Solomon built and consecrated the Temple, the Lord answered with fire from heaven, consuming the sacrifices. Whether they caught the reference or not, though, a murmuring ripple passed through the crowd.
 
“That sounds fair,” I heard several of the braver voices say, and, “It is well spoken.” 
 
I turned to the prophets next, and cried out, still in my stage voice, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 
 
One of Ahab’s servants came forward with the largest and finest bull they had brought, and the crowd of prophets swarmed around it. The bellows of the bull abruptly ceased, and many of the prophets took part in preparing its remains for the sacrifice. They laid it upon the wood on their altar, and formed a ring around it. The people hushed, and then the prophets raised their voices as one. 
 
“O Baal, answer us!” they cried out. “O Baal, burn up this offering we have prepared for you! O Baal, answer with fire!” 
 
The cacophony of supplications grew louder. They danced, they leapt, they raised their arms to heaven. But nothing happened. Hours passed. Their shouts grew hoarse. Their dancing turned to limping. The people grew restless. Many of them stopped watching altogether, unpacking the food they had brought with them and chatting amongst themselves. I smirked.
 
“Cry aloud,” I taunted the false prophets, “for he is a god. Either he is musing, or perhaps he is relieving himself! Or he is on a journey. Or perhaps he is asleep, and must be awakened!” 
 
The prophets cried out all the more at this, unsheathing their swords and lances and drawing their own blood, as was their custom. When there was still no reply, they cut themselves all the more, until they were too weak to dance or shout, covered in their own blood. 
 
Enough of this, I thought, getting to my feet. I grew bored myself, and I’d made my point. It was clear nothing was going to happen, and most of the people had now finished their lunch. 
 
“Come near to me,” I called out to the people of Israel, who had scattered. “Gather around.” I waited until they had obeyed, though most of them still looked as if they didn’t expect much. With my servant’s help, I began to repair the twelve stones of the altar of the Lord from antiquity. A few of the men of Israel, when they saw what I was doing, reluctantly moved to help me. When we had finished, I dug a deep trench all around the altar. The men who had been helping me looked at me quizzically, but I did not bother to explain. Two of them took over. 
 
“Deeper,” I commanded when they looked to me for direction. I, meanwhile, assembled the wood, and slaughtered the bull given me for my sacrifice. 
 
“Is this deep enough?” one of the men digging the trench asked me. It was about enough for one seah of seed. I shook my head.
 
“Double it,” I commanded. The three men exchanged a look, but did not argue and set again to work. 
 
Meanwhile, my servant and I cut the bull’s carcass in pieces, laying it upon the wood. When the men had finished digging, next I commanded them, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” I glanced at Ahab when I said this, whose expression deepened into a scowl. Water was a precious commodity these days. I didn’t care. The men did what I asked, filling jars down at the Kishon Brook at the base of the mountain and returning again to douse the offering. Then I commanded, “Do it a second time.” They hesitated slightly, glancing at each other and at Ahab, whose arms were crossed tightly across his chest with disapproval. But he did not contradict me, so they obeyed. “Do it a third time,” I told them when they’d finished. 
 
I had everyone’s attention now. With the third drenching, the people now understood the purpose of my trench: the water saturated the offering, the wood, the altar, and filled up the trench too. It was yet another taunt against the false prophets, without words. Doesn’t matter how hard you make this, it told them. The Lord can handle it. I glanced at Obadiah, whose lips twitched, trying not to smile at my audacity. 
 
My heart pounded in my chest with anticipation. I was not afraid, though; I knew full well that the Lord was about to do something spectacular. I raised my hands to the sky. “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” I declared in a booming voice, “let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back!” 
 
The answering bolt of lightning seemed to rent the heavens in two. I was momentarily both blind and deaf with the sound and the flash of it. When the dust cleared, there was nothing left at all: the offering, wood, stones, water, and indeed a huge chunk of the ground beneath the altar had been vaporized, leaving a crater behind. 
 
There was a moment of terrified silence, and then to a man, the people of Israel fell on their faces and cried out, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God!” 
 
I looked to the prophets of Baal. They were frozen, shaking in terror. I turned back to the people on their faces, and commanded, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape!” 
 
My words galvanized everyone at once. The prophets began to flee down the mountainside, while the people pursued them. I met them all down at the Kishon, and drew my sword. I had not known why I had brought it, until this moment. The Lord had commanded the death of the false prophets in Deuteronomy, lest his people be led astray by them. And who was there now to carry out the word of the Lord but me?
 
So, at the Kishon Brook, I slaughtered every last one of them. The men of Israel apprehended the prophets, each of them awaiting my sword of vengeance. 
 
I cannot explain how I did it. I’d never killed anyone before, yet suddenly I killed eight hundred and fifty men in a single day. A part of me was utterly horrified even as it was happening. Ahab watched, but did not intervene—not that he could have, if he’d wanted to. The hearts of the people were with me now. 
 
When I’d finished, I was as soaked in blood as if I’d bathed in it. I turned to Ahab, who seemed transfixed in utter disbelief. I stalked toward him, trembling all over with left over adrenaline, and pointed at his carriage. Then I declared, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 
 
The sky was blue and cloudless, but Ahab’s eyes widened. He had not eaten throughout the ordeal, though I did not doubt that he had brought a feast with him from the fortress. Without a word, he moved toward his carriage with his servants—including Obadiah, I noted. He tried to catch my eye, but I turned away.  
 
I threaded my way through the crowd of amazed onlookers, and gestured to my servant to follow me. Together, we climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel, and the men of Israel, their wives and children, dispersed to their homes. 
 
When I reached the summit, I sat down beside the crater that had once been the altar of the Lord, and put my face between my knees. I did not want to look at the sky, to behold its cloudlessness. I needed to see with my spirit, rather than with my eyes. My servant said nothing, probably too shellshocked at everything we had witnessed that day to question my strange behavior. 
 
With my head hidden and my voice muffled, I told my servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea. Then return and tell me what you see.” He went, and as he was gone, I prayed, Lord, bring rain. You commanded me to bring rain. Fulfill your word now
 
I heard my servant’s footsteps return. “There is nothing,” he declared. 
 
“Go again,” I told him. Again, the footsteps receded, and I prayed,  Lord, bring rain. Fulfill your word
 
Seven times we did this. Never once did I look up to the sky. The seventh time, the servant returned, and told me, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” 
 
I lifted my head from between my knees, and smiled. Then I pointed at the base of the mountain where Ahab still feasted with his servants. “Go, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot an go down, lest the rain stop you.’”
 
My servant did as he was told. As he went, I watched as the heavens grew black with clouds. The wind kicked up, and Ahab climbed into his chariot down below and made for Jezreel. I stood too, and began my descent from Carmel. As I did so, the first drops of water began to fall from the sky. 
 
As I drew level with my servant who waited for me at the foot of the mountain, something came over me—the hand of the Lord? The desire to burn off the excess buzz of energy from the day I’d just had? Regardless, I felt the sudden need to run. I tucked my garment in my waistband, and flew like the wind just as the heavens opened and the downpour began. 
 
“Where are you—?” I heard my servant begin to ask, but the rest of his question was lost in the sound of rushing rain. Behind me, I thought I heard him swear in frustration.
 
Ahab had quite the head start, and he was in a chariot while I was on foot, yet I outstripped him in moments. Why was I running to Jezreel, anyway? I had no idea. But where else would I go? I had only just come from Zarephath, in Phoenicia, and I was now essentially homeless. The Lord had not yet told me where to go next, nor what to do. 
 
For now, though, I was fully in the moment. My muscles burned with the joy of exertion, and the water washed away the blood of the false prophets, making me clean again. It was the most glorious bath I’d ever had.
May 1, 2020

Today's podcast is an interview with Dr Kyrin Dunston.

Leading by example, OBGYN Dr. Kyrin Dunston lost a life-changing 100 lbs. and healed herself from chronic disease by addressing the root causes of her overweight and dysfunction.  She left OBGYN practice in 2011 to pursue helping women heal with this revolutionary type of natural medicine after becoming fellowship trained in Anti-Aging, Metabolic and Functional Medicine. She is the author of “Cracking the Bikini Code:  6 Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss Success”, the host of “Her Brilliant Health Radio Podcast” and The Menopause Boss Youtube series, and she coaches private clients in her Menopause Boss Jumpstart virtual coaching program.

Dr. Kyrin has been featured in numerous podcasts and summits and on NBC, CBS, Fox, Reader’s Digest, The Huffington Post, First for Woman & Best Self Magazines. She has been invited to give a TED talk in June of 2020.

Dr Kyrin offers a 20 min guided Meditation for Brilliant Hormone Balance. Click here!

For more on Dr Kyrin, please go to kyrindunstonmd.com

Apr 17, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, COVID-19 Naturopathic Strategies.

I also reference this blog post by Dr Mariah Mosley on How Fear Affects Your Immune System. 

Mar 20, 2020

Today's podcast is a meditation on and retelling of the book of Jonah. 

Mar 6, 2020

Today's podcast is a meditation on the prophecy of the birth of Isaac to Abraham, and a retelling of the story from Genesis 13-21. 

Feb 28, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Nutrition for Anti-Aging. As always, the mentioned articles are linked within the post. 

Feb 21, 2020

Today's podcast is a meditation on and retelling of the story of the Shunammite Woman in 2 Kings 4, her son's miraculous birth and the second story of the dead being raised in the Bible. 

Feb 14, 2020

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Decaf Coffee: Safe or Not?

Jan 31, 2020

Today's podcast is an interview with Kara Landau. Kara, known as “The Prebiotic Dietitian,” is a highly respected NYC based Australian Registered Dietitian and Founder of Uplift Food – Good Mood Food - The world's first dietitian created functional food brand to focus exclusively on the mood supportive benefits of gut healthy prebiotics. A previous spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, and now the media representative nutrition advisor for the Global Prebiotic Association, Kara has been recognised as an entrepreneurial leader in the prebiotic space by Forbes, Women's Health and more; and can regularly be found presenting across the globe at leading gut health and industry trade shows on the importance of prebiotics and their role in your diet. 

Follow her on Instagram as The Prebiotic Dietitian, or find her online at upliftfood.com. 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 7