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I long to lead people to worship God for his practical advice. All scripture gives me practical truth that will show me I’m worse than I realized, then fix the mess it has exposed, purify and perfect me and equip me to help others. God is so smart and caring, yes and kind and powerful etc. etc. Let us worship his wisdom by listening with both the spirit and the understanding then apply it and witness to other of it’s benefit. I need your questions, comments and balance so please become a follower and leave questions and comments.

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Iniquity Sin

Sin? What Sin? I’m Not That Bad! Am I?

Perhaps the worst sins of all are the ones that are hard to spot because they actually look good, or, at least, don’t look as bad as others.


For example, we can sin by deliberately crossing a line. By thinking that we will just dabble with sin “a little.” We figure we spend most of the time living in the good area but have the fun of crossing the line a bit. This is called transgression.

Or we can sin by deliberately saying, “I do not care, I am going to do what I want to do even though I know it is wrong.” Such sins are so obvious that sooner or later we can see the consequences of our choices. These sinners are easier to help.

My pastor worked in Las Vegas and he says he never had anybody have difficulty there with the idea that they were sinners. They just figured they were hopelessly addicted, but they were open to hope. But then he came to Grand Rapids and, Oh boy! All the sinners who think that they are fine saying, “I thank God I am not like those real sinners.”

What are some of the difficult sins to spot?

(And thus are much more dangerous)

  1. Deciding for myself what is right, then doing what we think is right in our own strength, and moaning and groaning about how hard it is or taking the credit. Perhaps this is the most dangerous of all. (aka Iniquity)
  2. Then there are the opposite of the do-gooders: people who do not do deliberately bad things but know they should do something good and choose not to. The Bible says if you know there is good that needs to be done but you do not do it, that is sin. Another place in the Bible says if you know that people are being lead to destruction and you do not intervene, then you are guilty of their death.
  3. Then there are the passive-aggressives who say, “I am trying, I am trying!” Truthfully they are not. They fool everyone, including themselves, that they are going to come through, that they have a good attitude, that they can be counted on.
    Then they make sure they do not do what needs to be done and instead have good excuses or blame others to cover the fact that they did not do their part. (e.g., “Well, if you had been more clear or given me more time or more help, I would have done it.”)
  4. Then there are codependents, like myself. We say, “Yes I am guilty of the sin of being too nice.” We think, “Is it all that bad, after all, if we are too nice?” We really believe that is the fault of the other people for taking advantage of our niceness.
    The apostle Paul says, I am going to love even if the more I love you the more you hate me. That is true love, doing what is best for others not just what pleases them!
    When we do not want to stir up other people and get them mad at us; when we do not want to risk rejection so we say nothing and let them go to their own destruction without intervening, this isn’t love.
    This kind of “niceness” is a great sin but a difficult one to see. It is saying, “The finished work of Jesus on the cross is not enough to buy my worth. I must get everyone to like me by my own niceness, if I want to feel worthwhile!” (Ah, the blasphemy of niceness.)
  5. Then there is putting ourselves down (self-deprecation). It almost feels righteous. “See how humble I am. I am willing to find fault with myself, call myself worthless, hopeless, and helpless.”
    Now, admitting that we are messed up is a first step toward righteous. Then we can go to God, ask for forgiveness, cleansing, and strengthening and then move on into righteousness.
    I am talking about the people who just wallow in their self-contempt and then feel like they are extra humble for putting themselves down. Or the people who say, I just do not have the ability, so do not ask me to do my part.
    They are like Moses claiming he could not talk when he was in fact a mighty man of words.
  6. Or, there is a sin of putting other people on a pedestal where we think we are doing something good by pointing out how wonderful the other person is. The pastor can talk so eloquently, other people can sing so well, and other people are good with kids. (But don’t expect me to do my part because I can’t compete).
    However, in the process of putting them on a pedestal we are comparing ourselves by ourselves and among ourselves and this is unwise. And it is sin.

I have found that people who indulge in these “good-looking” sins are the hardest to reach. People whose sins do not look “all that bad” don’t feel the need to examine themselves and change. How can they get to the point of praying, “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” John says that, if we say we do not sin, we lie.

What Can I Do to Escape These Sins?

I need to pause and say,

Lord help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me to quit thinking “I am not all that bad.” Help me to take the plunge into the “mess of me,” to see the whole of what needs to change and find anew the Mercy and the Grace to keep growing and changing from now til the day I die. Help me not to fight your Holy Spirit with, “What’s so wrong with…? Or I’m sure better than they are.”

This is a faithful saying and one you should accept, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom Verle Bell is chief!”

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Grace

My Sin, the Measure of God’s Love

So, just how big is God’s grace? Infinite!

The problem with infinite is that it is so big that I get no picture in my head.

Picturing grace is like picturing the national debt.

I might be able to picture a $1 million house and, with a lot of work, I might picture a subdivision with 1,000 such houses. And that would be a billion. Now if I try to imagine a thousand such subdivisions (I can’t), I would be at one trillion and am closer to the national debt.

It is like that with grace.

I can’t actually picture how big it is, but I do know, “It is bigger than that!” Bigger than all my sins. (Hard to imagine, huh?)

So why is it important for me to get a good picture of how big grace is?

As it turns out,

  • my gratitude,
  • my willingness to do what ever God asks while seeing it as reasonable,
  • my ability to not whine about the trials in my life,
  • my ability to not judge someone else as hopeless or worthless,
  • my ability to worship and glorified God by sharing with others examples of how great his grace is,
  • and my sense of personal worth

are all connected to seeing just how big a debt I owe and then that God’s grace is bigger than that!

The Bible says that if Abba, Father was willing to sacrifice his own son for me, how will he not also with him give me all things that I need. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for me was so huge that the entire universe is small by comparison. So, however big that is, I can rest in the fact that Grace is bigger than all my sin!

The problem is that I do not want to look at how big my sin is

All Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, that I might be purified and given good work to do. Still I want to jump right from doctrine to ministry and forget all about reproof .

I don’t want to have to look at the details and enormity of my sin.

Yet there will be no correction without looking at what needs to be corrected. That would be like a surgeon trying to take out your appendix without making a diagnosis or looking at what he was doing.

Brace Yourself!

I have found that my sin is like an iceberg, 1/9th sticking out and 8/9ths waiting to pop out when the sun melts some of the visible part of the iceberg. I am willing to guess that that is true about your sin.

We are much worse that we think, but lighten up, his grace is bigger than the iceberg, even bigger than the whole glacier and the whole icepack. He can handle it if we allow him to bring it out into the sun.

Categories
Sin

Everyone Else is Doing it, so it Must be Fun—I Have to Try Just Once!

Boy, that fruit on the tree can still look pretty good. I am sure that Eve just kept thinking, “I wonder what it tastes like, it sure looks good to eat, just one bite cannot hurt.” Oh, boy, was that was a mistake!


Young people growing up see that we have no laws against eating mud or hitting your finger with a hammer because obviously those are nasty. When they are told that they cannot drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, or have sex outside of marriage, they think, “All those other people are doing those things and they seem to be having fun and are getting away with it, can I really go my whole life without finding out what so fun?” (Yes, you can, by God’s grace, and be better off for it.)

  • So often we insist on looking at the attractive fruit on the tree. This raises our desire to try it, just once!
  • We then question, “What’s so wrong with that? Those people seem to be enjoying it.”
  • We question God, and then give in.
  • We then promise to never do it again, then slip again, then promise to quit, only to find ourselves addicted.
  • We then begin to reap the consequences of our sin and we cry out to God and get help to quit.

God will help us, but he does not install chairlifts in the slippery hill of sin. Instead, we have to climb, with him and with the help of others, slowly and painfully out of the valley. This is good because he wants us to get to the place where we trust him when he says “do not.”
He is leading us to the place we trust him when he says, “obey.” He wants me to trust him and not just to avoid getting into trouble.


Way back in the garden of Eden, God gave them a single rule so that they could learn obedience. He is looking today for people to go to his Word, get instructions from the Holy Spirit, and obey him before we get into trouble.

Obey him even when my way seems better to me.

Obey him because I know he is wiser than I.

I need to learn to hate the sin of being my own boss more than I hate the consequences of my bad choices.

It is like the child who disobeys his mother, leaves the yard, and gets injured by a passing car. Instead of saying, ” I am sorry for being disobedient,” he says, “I am sorry for breaking my leg and it was wrong because it hurts.”


“Lord teach me to hate my sin of indulging in “just looking” at the beautiful sin and just wanting one bite. Of wanting to judge for myself. Help me instead to delight in your law, seek out your advice, and follow it with joy before I learn the hard way to trust that you are wiser than I am.

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Uncategorized

Dynamic Balance

These days people just love to take up a stand on one extreme or the other.

They then delight in pointing out

why the other side is crazy and wrong and

why they are right.

Balance in the Home

Husbands and wives do not seek to solve problems and be a team. They seek to win and be the one who is “more right.”

We marry somebody because they are different and we can see how God could use that to balance us—then we try to change them to be exactly like we are.

Even if we admit that there might be two sides to an issue, we want to find a balance that is perfect and does not need to be adjusted from time to time.

We don’t like truth to be dynamic; we like it fixed, always the same balance. Then we can figure out and apply to every situation in the same way and feel in control.

The problem is that static balance does not work!

Take, for example, the balance between work, family, and time for oneself.

  • There are times where you have to put in extra focus on an effort at work
  • and other times where you have to back off of work and put extra focus and time on family
  • and yet other times you need to back off of both and have some quiet time between just you and the Lord.

I think one reason we are so uncomfortable with the fact of the need for a shifting, dynamic balance, is that it can only be found by talking to others and keeping our eyes focused on the Lord at all times. I will never “master” the art so well that I am in control and can handle each situation in my own strength.

In an attempt to maintain balance between work, family, self, and church I have found it helpful to let my wife and children know that I am open to their feedback and that I will adjust accordingly. For me, the hardest was to make sure I took time for myself to renew and rejuvenate.

An Example at the Level of Society

In politics, the Lord says that we need to take care of the needy, that if you have two coats, share one with a person who has none. That it is wrong to say to starving brother “God bless you” and not take care of his need.

On the other hand it says if a man does not work he should not eat and that a widow is not a widow if she has family that can take care of her.

So do we give to needy people or don’t we?

Maybe I have to do a little thinking first, ask others, and spend time in prayer. I need to ask whether I am actually helping the person and not making them weak or dependent.

Balance in Christian Discernment

We are told to judge not lest we be judged with the same judgment we use to judge others. On the other hand Paul says, “although I am not even there, I have judged already.”

So, are we supposed to judge or not?

Maybe I need to see that it is good for others to judge me. To see whether what we are doing is healthy and tell me so. Then I can, in turn, judge others’ choices for their welfare and not to make myself look better.

I am to do “all to the glory of God” and he should be in “all of my thoughts.” However I am to focus on the people and things around me and on meeting their needs and enjoying what I have.

How do I avoid being so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good? I remember a pastor that spent so much time preparing a perfect sermon and praying that he never went to visit or minister to his people.

I am to actively focus on, and hope in, heaven while still enjoying the food and tasks and people around me now.

Just when I get the balance fairly set, what I need to look at and emphasize seems to shift.

Dear Jesus, you be my balance and I will just walk each moment with you trying to see what you see and care about what you care about.

Categories
Sin

Excuses, Why Do We Bother with Them?

Examine myself? Take a “fearless moral inventory?”

Awesome, let me at it!

  • Then I can fearlessly and humbly take part in communion (I Corinthians 11:28).
  • Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6); rebuke a wise man and he will be wiser still (Proverbs 9:8,9).
  • If you think you know, you do not know as you ought to know, which is that you do not know (I Corinthians 8:2 ).
  • In the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14, 24:6).
  • By examining ourselves we avoid the judgment of others and of God (I Corinthians 11:31,32).

Well, that’s how we would consider it if we were sane and thought like Christians.

However, most people never examine themselves, either not caring to see what a mess they are, or assuming that what you don’t see or don’t know can’t hurt you or others.

The truth is always that each of us is, in fact, the chiefest of sinners, the worst of all time. This truth terrifies people because they believe that WORST=HOPELESS. They do not understand grace. They first deny the truth and then, if that does not work, make excuses and blame others.

They ultimately wind up blaming God.

At some level they must realize that no one believes an excuse (except the excuser themselves)! The listener is thinking, “Methinks, thou doest protest too much.”(Shakespeare) The louder the excuse and the longer maintained, the clearer it is to everyone else that the excuse holds no water, but the more the excuser believes their own story.

Because they can’t make anyone accept the excuse, the excuser must try to make others act as if they accept it. They act as if it is worse to doubt their excuse than it is to do the wrong in the first place.

“Don’t you trust me?” NO! (See my blog on Trust You?)

Our society seems to accept that it is OK to sin but it is terrible to point out to the sinner that they are sinning!

If they operated a lethal vehicle in a life threatening way, that is just fine, but if you blow your horn at them, that is terrible.

If you continue to point out that their actions were just plain wrong and their excuse holds no water, they might explode in anger, point out “you’re not so great yourself,” (True but I am not the one denying it.) or resort to, “you are right, I will just go kill myself right now.”

When children are careless and injure another they think that saying, “I did not intend to hurt them” makes it OK.

Maybe the goal is to go through life aware of others and not hurt them in the first place. If we accept excuses for ourselves and others, we just increase the frequency and intensity of our sin and theirs by thinking, “see, we can sin and then get off by blaming someone or something.”

Our race got off to a bad start with Eve and Adam blaming God for their own sins. That did not work then and it does not work now.

Lord, help me to not make excuses and to help others see how pointless they are.

Categories
Christian Living

Act Drunk!

In Acts 2, when people observed Peter and the other disciples after they received the Holy Spirit, they mocked them with “these men are full of wine.” Peter pointed out that it was too early in the day to be drunk, besides, that was not what was going on.

When people look at us, they should see a “peculiar people.” (I know when it says peculiar people in Deuteronomy 14: 2 and 26:18 it means special people set aside for God). But, if we are special and set aside for God, shouldn’t we be crammed with enthusiasm and energy and act totally “weird” from the point of view of those who are not of God’s household? Maybe we should act so “weird” people see what we do and conclude that it must be God and give him credit (Matthew 5:16).

So, what are drunk people like that maybe we should copy?

Well, they get all happy even when things are not so great in their life.

Maybe, we too have reason to be happy even when things are not going well as we focus on higher truth. We do not have to ignore the problems in order to be happy, we can be happy in spite of the problems because our God is bigger.

Drunk people are very open and friendly and lose their social inhibition.

Maybe we should learn to quit worrying what people think about us and, like the apostle Paul, become all things to all people in order to win them to Christ. Maybe we should be focused on enjoying them and making them feel better, on appreciating their jokes and affirming their friendship.

Drunk people feel that they are loved and that they have accomplished great things and that they are worthwhile even when there is no evidence that any of this is true.

Maybe, we too, should remember that, no matter what, we remain in God’s love. That our lives do count. That are feeble efforts are picked up by God and amplified and used to bless others.

Drunk people blurt out what they really think and feel without proper filters.

Maybe, we too, should get in touch with what we really think and feel and get help from the Holy Spirit to cleanse our hearts and then take the risk to be honest and real with those around. We could seek to solve problems rather than create them.

Drunk people are bold.

Maybe we, like Paul, should ask others to pray for us that we too might be filled with holy boldness.


Yes I think that we should all act more drunk in a godly way and stir up those around us to consider that there is a God and that he does make a wonderful positive difference.

Categories
Iniquity Sin

Oh? It IS Worse Than You Think!

We are always running around trying to minimize the severity of problems, especially if it is my problem or my family’s problem.

Trying our Best

People like to say, “Well, my parents did the best they could.” That was the problem!

Anyone who does anything “the best that they can” will mess it up. The Bible is clear that, without God, I can do nothing, and doing anything without him is pointless. Psalms 127 says, “It is vain (pointless) to defend or build the city if God is not in it.” So, first of all, parents should recognize that in their best efforts, they cannot be good parents and that if God is not in their efforts it will not work.

I find it far better when parents admit that raising children is a task beyond themselves, saying, “Lord I can’t, but you can, now show me what to do.”

It is comforting to know that even when we are open to feedback from God’s word, the Holy Spirit and others, we will still mess up some, but the children will do well. As our children observe our humility and our struggle with some of the patterns from our past, they can become motivated to not get into the same struggles and instead to rise above. They will even find that having a good attitude towards parents who struggle humbly will prepare them for important roles in their own lives. Plus, as we grow and learn we will do better than if we “tried my best.”

At least I’m not…

Another sin pattern that keeps us from growing is comparing with others.

  • The people who go to Alcoholic Anonymous say, “I am glad I am not a pedophile.”
  • The pedophiles say, “I am glad I am not an angry rage filled person.”
  • Angry people say, “I am glad I am not a glutton.”
  • And the gluttons say, “I am glad I am not an alcoholic.”

And round it goes. The only ones to get any help from God are those who say,

It is me, it is me, it is me, oh God, standing in the need of prayer!

The apostle Paul said, “this is something that everyone should accept that Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the very worst.”

Anyone who thinks, “well, for sure, the apostle Paul was definitely the very worse and I think I am not as bad,” is like the Pharisee looking up to heaven and saying, “I thank God I am not like that publican!” Remember the Pharisee did not go home justified and the publican did.

I think we are all terrified that if we took a full look at the mess we really are/or how bad our childhood hurt was/ or what a mess the world is in/ that we would discover that it was all hopeless. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The only thing seeing the mess without minimizing or comparison can do is fill us a need for God and with awe when we find that God is bigger than the mess. His grace is bigger than all my sin. And that he gets the last word in the end, no matter what!

When I am working with people in counseling who discover that they are worse than they thought, I often see them scramble for ways to minimize it, excuse it, blame it, or compare it. I advise them to accept that they and their reality are all much worse than they think but God is much bigger than they think he is.

Do not forget, where sin abounds, grace even more abounds. When weakness abounds, and I feel like I am the least and the weakest, then I am much more important than those who think they have it all together.

Dear Lord, help me to go ahead and see the negative reality realistically but never to forget that you are bigger than that (Whatever “that” is). Help me to remember you can fix it, you can bring good out of it, and you have the last word. Praise your holy name.

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Uncategorized

ACT IN WHAT I BELIEVE

We know that when we come to God we must believe that he exists and that it is worth our bother searching him out, for he will reward those that diligently search. We’re told in Proverbs to make it our primary goal to get to know him more and then he will direct our paths.
Sure I know that I should,But do I search him out?


We remember that one of his names is, “The God who always sees everything” El. Roi. We remember that one of the tests for accountability in a court is, “Would you have done it if a policeman were standing right there?” Well, God is standing right there at all times.


Sure I know this,But do I act in ways I never would, if I could see him?
I’m told that I will certainly appear before the judgment seat of God to receive the appropriate reward for what I did while being a human being. Yes I know I will have an advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous one. I remember that only what is done for Christ will last.
Sure I know that,But do I live in such a way that everything I do is, because he asked me to, done in his power and for his Kingdom and his glory?

I believe that all have sinned and must come to repentance or spend eternity separated from God. I believe that being a responsible adult is never enough to earn salvation. Sure I know this,But do I pray and witness to the perishing around me with the earnestness such knowledge should impart?

Peter says, “seeing all material things will be vaporized in a blast of unimaginable heat, what type of person should I then be?” Sure I believe that, But do I put too much focus on the things and the comfort this world affords today?

The Hindu religion suggests that the people, events, and things around us get in the way of seeing the higher truths and that peace is found by not wanting, not enjoying, not caring.// Christ always calls us to a more impossible path. I am to search for him while focusing intensely on the events and things around me. I am to be aware of and delight in the fact that he is always watching. I am to steward and enjoy the material things but see them as tools to minister to others and give me support for the journey. I am to care about relationships intensely and still keep walking when they let me down. I am to look forward with delight to the judgement seat. That will be where Jesus will delight in showing the world what he was able to do through my feeble efforts and get himself much glory. I am to rejoice in being a fellow burden bearer with Jesus, remembering that he has the other side of the yoke, so his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I am to enjoy and delight in the material things God has allowed me to have but carry them in an open palm so that if he takes them back that would be good also.

Lord teach me to grab the “impossible, crazy” higher path to higher ground which you lead me to walk, the path that forces me to stay yoked to you and remember that you are walking it with me and making the impossible happen and the crazy, sane.

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Uncategorized

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Okay gang, I want to announce a new opportunity.

In this hectic day when everyone is so busy, few people have time to pause and read a blog. So I want to thank you, who do read it, for your faithful support. And let you know that there are also podcasts for busy people. I finally figured out how to do them and have been doing them regularly. So people who are busy but drive around in their cars could listen to my podcasts.

I have only had 3 people actually listen to any of my podcast and of course I get rewarded by the Lord for doing the podcasts even if no one listens. By would greatly appreciated if you mention to a friend about my podcasts. They just have to go to VerleBell, MD.com and click on the podcast page.

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Uncategorized

GOT A GUT FEELING?

BOWELS OF MERCY:

The Bible teaches that our “bowels” are directly connected to our passion and focus:

  Jeremiah 4: 19 My bowels, my bowels!  I have pain in my insides and they roar and are unquiet in me; They push me to speak up, and why? Because my soul heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

The Bible says that our bowels: make us long for relationship with others/ long for our children to be safe/ want to be with a lover/ are churned up when we hide our sin/ are stirred up when we see the danger that sinners are in or when we feel remorse for our own rebellion/ when we see destruction come to others. They are refreshed by fellowship. They lead us to have compassion on the needy and meet their needs. Our bowels fill us with love when we see fellow believers serving God and others and lead us to fellowship with and be of one mind with them.

God has rumbling bowels of mercy towards those he loves who are in trouble.

I am to, greatly long after fellowship ( in the bowels of Jesus).

I am to put on bowls of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering.

See: Genesis 43:30, 1Kings 3:26, Job 20:14, Song of songs 5:4, Isaiah 16:11, 63:15, Jeramiah 31:20, Lamentations 1:20, 2:11, 2 Corinthians 6:12, 7:15, Philippians1:8, 2:1, Philemon 7, 20, 1Joh 3:17, Colossians 3:12

Science finds out details of how the bowels do all this!

BRAIN TALKS TO GUT: through: a. chemicals in the blood, b. the spinal cord, c. hormones and d. the vagus nerve.

Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous, have butterflies in your stomach, feel sick to my stomach, feel scared ****less, feel gut heaviness etc?” All these and more are gut responses to the brain signaling that something important is happening and we need to pay attention and relate to the situation according to the type and intensity of challenge.

The bowel nervous system is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells. These are arranged in an intricate double layer of lacework neurons forming a sock around the intestines from esophagus to rectum. The Enteric (gut) Nervous System, ENS, produces more than 30 neurotransmitters that affect the gut walls and bacteria. Together, these are referred to as our “second brain”. When we perceive stress, these neurons are signaled to set the tone of our response.

The cells of the gut wall are instructed to put out cytokines to alert the immune system to fix any damage that might occur.

In the middle of the gut, the bacteria are signaled to put out needed neurotransmitters.

GUT TALKS TO THE BRAIN: Gut bacteria “talk” to the gut-brain and also to the head-brain via: Neurotransmitters, hormones, fatty acids, metabolites and cytokines.

I need to listen to my gut. It (generates a sense of caution even when a situation or opportunity may seem positive to our frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is too “logical” to pick up on concerns that are not really clear, but the gut responds to the “hard to put my finger on” ruminations of the emotional back parts of our brain.


For decades, researchers and doctors knew that anxiety and depression contributed to gut problems. Now we realize that it is also the other way around. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system sends signals up to the central nervous system that trigger mood changes. The vagus nerve sends information about the state of the inner organs to the brain via afferent (upgoing) fibers. Then the Vagus nerve sends messages back to the gut that calm down cytokine production in the lining of the gut. The gut says “watch out!” and the brain answers back, “calm down”. (Cytokines stir up the immune system and, if run too long, cause inflammation.)

The gut sends messages up the Vagus nerve that increase serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine systems in the brain stem. Short term these help us calm down, analyze and take action. Long term this constant release causes depletion of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, and this contributes to mood and anxiety disorders.

“Friendly” gut bacteria (which thrive on fiber diet) have a beneficial effect on mood and anxiety, partly by affecting the activity of the vagus nerve.

“Unfriendly bacteria (which thrive on sugar) will attack the lining of the gut and trigger the immune system and chronic inflammation. The gut lymphoid tissue is the largest immune organ in the body and when stirred up can cause almost every illness known: cancer, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, irritable bowel, asthma etc.

Hormones and peptides that the gut nervous system releases into the blood circulation cross the blood–brain barrier (e.g., ghrelin) and can act synergistically (along) with the vagus nerve to regulate food intake and appetite.

Bacteria in the gut put out chemicals that trigger hunger in the brain for the food that the bacteria like. When these chemicals reach the brain they generate an urge to eat chocolate. Your chocolate bacteria are screaming, “feed me, feed me).

SO WHAT TO DO? Type, “healthy gut” into the search on my b. The good news is if I eat fiber, the fiber-loving bacteria put out chemicals that urge more fiber consumption and the chocolate bugs die or are eliminated. I can

It can seem complicated but it is simple: care about the current moment, seek grace to obey , let it go and cast any leftover care on Jesus because he cares for me. OR ( Stress = put out cortisol = causes holes to appear in the gut lining = trigger an immune response = put out IL6 in blood which calms down cortisol receptors = causes the brain to be even more sensitized to stress = put out more cortisol and round and round.)