Friends May Be Key to Churchgoers’ Happiness

Mental Health
Regular churchgoers may lead more satisfying lives than stay-at-home folks because they create a network of close friends who provide important support, a new study suggests. Conducted at the University of Wisconsin, the researchers found that 28 percent of people who attend church weekly say they are "extremely satisfied" with life as opposed to only 20 percent who never attend services. But the satisfaction comes from more from participating in a religious congregation along with close friends, rather than a spiritual experience, the study found. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Regular churchgoers who have no close friends in their congregations are no more likely to be very satisfied with their lives than those who never attend church, according to the research. Study co-author Chaeyoon Lim said it's long been recognized…
Read More

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 8 – Concluding Bible Study

General Health
Here’s the last of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life, was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 8 of 8: THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? CONCLUDING BIBLE STUDY "Your spiritual wheel must be seen as the most crucial one, because good physical, emotional, and relational health alone will not make you a highly healthy person," says Dr. Walt Larimore in Part 6's reading. "Spiritual well-being has to be a consistent priority." This week's passage offers insights into cultivating a spiritually healthy life, and it also demonstrates the correlation between our…
Read More

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 6 – The Spiritual Wheel of Health

General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here’s the sixth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 6 of 8 THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? THE SPIRITUAL WHEEL KEY BIBLE VERSE: "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10) Dig Deeper: Psalm 32 What does it mean to be in a state of maximum well-being as we relate to our Creator? Obviously, for us to be spiritually healthy, any break in our relationship…
Read More

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 2 – The Four Wheels of Health

General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here’s the second of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 2 of 8: THE FOUR WHEELS OF HEALTH THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? WHO SAID IT … WALT LARIMORE Walt Larimore is one of America's best-known family physicians and has been listed in the Guide to America's Top Family Doctors and the Best Doctors in America. He's been a practicing family physician for around three decades—delivering more than 1,500 babies. Walt has been a medical journalist since 1995 and has served as…
Read More

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 1 – Introduction

General Health, Heart Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here's the first of an eight-part devotional for men. It's based upon a chapter on physical health that I wrote for Coach Joe Gibbs' best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional series was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. That chapter, and this series, are based upon my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 1 of 8. I'll be posting a new part each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of November: Taking good care of our bodies should be important to the serious Christ-follower. After all, the believer's body is God's temple (1 Cor. 6:19) and God shouldn't have to live in a shabby, unkempt shack. But as we'll see in this…
Read More

Yoga: Should Christians Be Concerned?

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health
Yoga is an alternative therapy that raises difficult questions for Christians. The physical and breathing exercises taught in yoga classes may improve general well-being. However, as a deeply religious practice with the goal of union with the divine, it is antitheti- cal to biblical Christianity. In spite of its reputation as a simple calisthen- ics program, reports of physical and spiritual harm continue to surface. A debate between Christian practitioners and opponents of yoga was triggered by Holly Robaina’s 2005 article in Today’s Christian Woman. The author interviewed a woman who was introduced to destructive beliefs through yoga. Ro- baina noted that terms commonly used in “secu- lar” yoga have religious meanings. The “salute to the sun” posture used to begin many classes pays homage to the Hindu sun god,…
Read More

Increased spiritual support may be linked to higher quality of life in cancer patients

Bioethics, Cancer
This headline is likely not news to most of the readers of this blog -- or likely to most people. We all seem to know intuitively that terminal diagnoses cause people to begin to think about spiritaul and eternal issues. HealthDay reports, "Addressing the spiritual needs of someone with advanced cancer could be just as important as taking care of their medical needs." This is based upon a study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study of 670 patients showed that 60 percent "said that their spiritual needs either hadn't been met or were minimally supported," even though patients ranked "pain control and being at peace with God" as the two most important factors "at the end of their lives." Patients who received "greater spiritual support from their…
Read More

Dr. Walt’s Testimony Before Congress on Faith-based Perspectives on the Provision of Community Services

Bioethics, General Health, Medical Economics
Back in 2004, while serving as Vice President of Medical Outreach at Focus on the Family, I was asked to testify before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources on the topic of “Faith-based Perspectives on the Provision of Community Services.” Recently someone asked me to post my comments, so here they are. You can also read them in the Congressional Record here. Mr. Chairman, I am Walter L. Larimore. Prior to joining Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado in February 2001 to become Vice-President of Medical Outreach, I practiced family medicine for over 20 years in small rural towns in North Carolina and Florida. In both practices, I was actively involved in teaching medical students and residents. I was also involved in medical research and writing…
Read More

“Christmas Firsts” – A Christmas story from “Bryson City Seasons”

General Health
My most popular books, at least based upon sales and letters, are the Bryson City series, made up of: Bryson City Tales: Stories of a Doctor's First Year of Practice in the Smoky Mountains (read a chapter here) Bryson City Seasons: More Tales of a Doctors Practice in the Smoky Mountains (read a chapter here) Bryson City Secrets: Even More Tales of a Small-Town Doctor in the Smoky Mountains (read a chapter here) In the second book in this series, Bryson City Seasons, I published an account of caring for my first patient with HIV/AIDS (even before that horrible disease was named). It was in December 1982 and occurred in Bryson City, North Carolina. I've excerpted the story for you and hope it will be a Christmas blessing for you and…
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 5 – What Causes Sickness?

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Theologians tell us that, in one sense, from a Biblical perspective, all sickness has its ultimate origin in sin because human suffering stems from the fall and the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:15 – 17; Romans 1:28 – 32). But that’s not the way many people think of sin causing sickness. It’s very common for me to see patients who believe that their sickness or disease is caused by a specific sin or wrong decision. There are others who believe that all illness is due to specific sin. Is this true or false? More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 11 – Look to the Bible, Not Inner Voices, for Guidance

Alternative Medicine
When investigating an alternative therapy, be concerned about those that involve listening to other spirits. But what about listening to an inner guiding voice? Guidance by intuition and inner voices has become more in vogue today than guidance through reason and objective evidence. Postmodernism has contributed to this acceptance with its notion that we all create our own reality, that whatever we believe is OK. But, is it? More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 10 – Biblical Characters Condemned for Pursuing Certain Forms of Healing

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics
The Bible recognizes the great temptation inherent in healing by evil spirits and illicit healers. The Old Testament describes an intense conflict between legitimate and illegitimate approaches to healing and spirituality. An incident involving King Ahaziah, the eighth king of Israel, clearly demonstrates this: More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 9 – Life Energy and Medical Magic

Alternative Medicine, Cancer, Men's Health, Woman's Health
Alternative therapies based on “life energy” use principles just like those generally attributed to magic. Although “magic” is difficult to define concisely, magical practices do have common features. Magic involves specific techniques or rituals by which people attempt to manipulate supernatural powers to meet their immediate needs. How should Christians respond? More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 8 – Illegitimate Spiritual Practices.

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Alternative medicine as a whole is not rooted in any particular religious tradition, but some therapies are. A number of healing rituals and traditions are part of the Wiccan religion (also called “white witchcraft”). Eastern religions often view healing as dependent on the movement of “life energy” through nonphysical channels that coincide with the physical body. Native-American religion uses herbs as part of its healing rituals. In a number of nature religions, shamans contact spirit beings or guides to get advice on how to treat and heal those under their care. Should Christians be concerned about these practices? More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 7 – Not All Healing is From God

Alternative Medicine, Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
How we pursue health and healing is very important. Our concern, as Christians, is that there are wrong ways (even evil ways) people can pursue and receive healing. We wish to make the case that healing achieved by inappropriate means is healing that is not good and, in our view, is healing that is not from God. More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 6 – Why God’s Response to Prayer Isn’t Always to Heal

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Despite what many television preachers tell us, the Bible does not teach that God’s response to a prayer to cure illness is an immediate physical healing. The overall teaching of the Bible is that sickness can have different origins. Therefore, claims that all illnesses can always be cured by “believing prayer” or “casting out demons” are simply not biblical. Let me explain why. More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 4 – Can Faith be Unhealthy?

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
While faith can have positive effects on health, it can also have negative effects. Although religious beliefs are a source of comfort and support for many people, for others they are a source of stress and emotional turmoil. More Information: (more…)
Read More