On Becoming a Spiritually and Physically Fit Disciple

Published July 31, 2014 in 

Richard Ramos will be implementing a health and wellness program at First Church as part of his project thesis as he completes a Doctor of Ministry program at Perkins School of Theology.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6

Several years ago, I suffered from very high blood pressure and high cholesterol even though my weight and blood glucose looked perfect. I didn’t realize I had serious health issues until I started to feel constant discomfort, especially dizziness, and began experiencing a heavy feeling. My doctor told me that if these health problems were left untreated, sooner or later they would lead to heart disease/attack, stroke, kidney damage and other cardiovascular problems, and I would have to take medications for the rest of my life. He advised me to eat a healthy diet and to engage regularly in physical activity.  

Honestly, I took the doctor’s warning as a warning from God. It really scared me and caused me to start praying fervently. I had questions in my mind as to why these things were happening to me since I pray, worship and read my Bible daily; I am engaged in mission work, never smoke nor drink alcohol and have no family history of these types of health problems. But during my prayer time, the Spirit of God impressed on my heart that I had a very undisciplined lifestyle regarding my food consumption and I was also physically inactive. I was not protecting and keeping His temple (my body) well; I was even abusing it. 

I repented and told God that I do not want to suffer from all of these diseases and I don’t want to have to take medications for the rest of my life. I asked God for healing and for the gift of good health. I expressed my desire to God that I want to live a long and healthy life. Praise be to God! Since then, all of my health data looks great and I have never needed long-term medication. I believe God’s best for us is that we all become both spiritually and physically healthy, but it takes knowledge, discipline and responsibility. Scripture even says that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (awareness/education) – Hosea 4:6.

Medical research shows that there are nearly 80 million Americans diagnosed with hypertension. High blood pressure is not only a silent killer, but also the single biggest risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems including kidney damage, vision and memory loss (Heart Insight, A Publication of the American Heart, February 2014). Countless Americans do not know that they already have high blood pressure. Research scientists declare that children today will not live longer than their parents if nothing is done to change their eating habits and lifestyle.

Let’s begin to have a culture of wellness in our families and in our community by keeping the temple of God (our physical body) in good shape! We can start by participating in a Heart360 program offered at our church. The Heart360 is a cardiovascular wellness tool designed to help reduce/manage the blood pressure of the members of our congregation and can also track other helpful health data such as weight and physical activity. This is a free healthcare tool being provided by the American Heart/Stroke Association in partnership with First Church. We need at least 10 health volunteers and 50 participants in order to implement this. You can sign up your family and friends, including those who are not members of our church. Please seriously consider participating in this effort to help bring us all into improved spiritual and physical health, as we seek to follow God’s plan for our bodies. This is also a great tool to reach out and share the love and care of Jesus Christ with our neighbors. Please see me or email me at richard.ramos@heart.org for more information or to sign up as a volunteer or participant.

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