Paintings by Monet and Guillaumin with Calming Piano by Brain Crain

La place Valhubert, Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927)

Brian Crain

Piano Opus

Sienna

Piano and Light

A Simple Life

Impressions from Paris to Prague

Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927)

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Quotes on Love and Jesus by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The books I would recommend most by Dostoyevsky are The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

“So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic and more perfect than Jesus.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

“Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once thou perceive this, thou wilt thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until thou come at last to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“If you love all things, you will also attain the divine mystery that is in all things. For then your ability to perceive the truth will grow every day, and your mind will open itself to an all-embracing love.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“God has such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all his heart, as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby’s face.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky 

“To love another person is to see them as God intended them to be.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

“Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so amazingly know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky  

“Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth , which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“It’s not miracles that generate faith, but faith that generates miracles.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“By the experience of active love. Strive to love your neighbour actively and indefatigably. In as far as you advance in love you will grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of your soul. If you attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbour, then you will believe without doubt, and no doubt can possibly enter your soul. This has been tried. This is certain.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people’s sins. Go, and do not be afraid.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Only the heart knows how to find what is precious.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky 

“Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don’t harrass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Do you know I don’t know how one can walk by a tree and not be happy at the sight of it? How can one talk to a man and not be happy in loving him! Oh, it’s only that I’m not able to express it… And what beautiful things there are at every step, that even the most hopeless man must feel to be beautiful! Look at a child! Look at God’s sunrise! Look at the grass, how it grows! Look at the eyes that gaze at you and love you!”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul-then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate… the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal. And it all comes from lying – lying to others and to yourself.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Pray to God for gladness. Be glad as children, as the birds of heaven. And let not the sin of men confound you in your doings. Fear not that it will wear away your work and hinder its being accomplished. Do not say, ‘Sin is mighty, wickedness is mighty, evil environment is mighty, and we are lonely and helpless, and evil environment is wearing us away and hindering our good work from being done.’ Fly from that dejection, children!”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

Healing Naturally with Amino Acids

The Artist’s Garden at Giverny, by Claude Monet, 1900

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The root of many mental and physical health problems are vitamin, mineral, and amino acid deficiencies due to a combination of mineral-depleted farming soil (especially magnesium) and poor food choices in general.

Studies are showing amino acids have the ability to treat issues like sleep, anxiety, and depression. Here are some of the ones I believe have the most promise, and that have helped me the most in these areas. 

Glycine for Sleep – See this Reddit discussion on glycine and collagen peptides. Many have low glycine intake from not eating as many tendons and cartilage as we used to. This can affect sleep quality, which can also lead to anxiety and depression. Taking 3g before bed has enhanced my sleep quality where I wake up feeling more refreshed and anxiety isn’t building up by noon-3pm like it used to. When sleep is fixed, many other issues often fall into place.

NAC for Anxiety – See, NAC Benefits: May Help Lung Problems, Addictions, Autism, Bipolar, and More. This was the first amino acid that really helped me. It stopped years of pacing, reduced unwanted thoughts and irritability. I take 1g, 1-2x a day as needed. It’s also good for reducing various substance withdrawal cravings (often in combination with CBD oil). It helps with allergies and stops mucus production, often prescribed at the 600mg dose foo this purpose.

Agmatine Sulfate for Depression – See, “Agmatine Sulfate, Miracle Substance with Endless Benefits.” Any time I feel depression coming on, I take 1g 2x a day (or 2g before bed). This is the most effective thing I’ve taken for depression.

ALCAR for Morning Energy and Mood Boost – I take 1g in the AM for energy, it helps for getting through a work day or exercise (it’s in many workout and fat burning supplements). This also boosts mood. Before ALCAR it was hard for me to get out of bed and get going in the mornings, it’s one of my most important supplements.

DLPA for Mood Boost/Stabilizer and Sense Enhancement – I found this in the book “Mood Cure.” It boosts mood like ALCAR but also makes the 5 senses feel better, even makes food taste better, songs sound better. I take 1g in the late afternoon as the ALCAR is wearing off. It helps me feel happy naturally by supporting the brains neurotransmitters that are responsible for these feel good emotions (and ones like agmatine that prevent too many of the bad ones from responding).

Many people who do hard drugs I think are just trying to feel better but go too far, aminos are the perfect middle ground of feel-good sobriety.

Since those are all FDA approved supplements sold over the counter with science backing them, it is my belief they are better options to try for these issues over things like antidepressants, benzos, and sleeping pills that should be reserved for the most severe cases. Often it’s a nutritional deficiency causing the issue in the first place.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Hippocrates

Also consider things like fasting/intermittent fasting for gut health, stem cell growth, lower inflammation, and a reduction in risk for cancer. There’s so much we can do for our health that’s natural, low cost, and with few side effects.

Vincit Omnia Veritas

The Japanese Footbridge, Giverny, by Claude Monet, 1922

The Psalms: A Condensed Collection of Favorites

“Cherry Trees in Bloom”, by Carlo Fornara, 1914.

Consider listening to something beautiful while you read.

“The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves.”
― Charles Spurgeon

I maintain that no legend and no manual of devotion has ever yet appeared, or can, superior to the Book of Psalms; and if a man wished either to read or to select what is best, both in example, in legend, and in history, he could not do better than adopt the Book of Psalms.”
― Martin Luther

“The more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Whenever the Psalter is abandoned, an incomparable treasure is lost to the Christian church. With its recovery will come unexpected power.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time…we understand how the Psalter can be prayer to God and yet God’s own Word, precisely because here we encounter the praying Christ…because those who pray the psalms are joining in with the prayer of Jesus Christ, their prayer reaches the ears of God. Christ has become their intercessor…”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Psalms

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 1:1-3

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah”
Psalm 3:3-4

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.  For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”
Psalm 5:11-12

“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”
Psalm 9:2-3

“The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
Psalm 9:9-10

“O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
Psalm 10:17-18

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.  I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalm 13:5-6

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.  I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
Psalm 16:1

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:11

“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”
Psalm 18:1-3

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
Psalm 19:1

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Psalm 20:7

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”
Psalm 25:4-5

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.”
Psalm 25:16-20

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
Psalm 27:4

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!”
Psalm 27:7-9

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
Psalm 27:14

“To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.”
Psalm 28:1-2

“Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.”
Psalm 28:6-9

“Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Psalm 30:4-5

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
Psalm 30:11-12

“In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.”
Psalm 31:1-5

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.”
Psalm 31:24

“Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah”
Psalm 32:6-7

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
Psalm 32:10-11

“Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
Psalm 33:20-22

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”
Psalm 34:1-3

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!”
Psalm 34:4-9

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
Psalm 34:18-19

“Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
Psalm 36:5-7

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
Psalm 37:4-5

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me… But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.”
Psalm 38:9-10,15

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
Psalm 40:1-2

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42:1-2

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalm 42:5-8

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalm 46:1-3

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
Psalm 51:1-4

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 51:10-12

“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Psalm 51:15-17

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 55:22

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.”
Psalm 56:8

“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 56:11

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”
Psalm 57:5

“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me.”
Psalm 59:1

“O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.”
Psalm 59:9

“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Psalm 59:16-17

“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah”
Psalms 61:1-4

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
Psalm 62:5-7

“When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”
Psalm 63:6-7

“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!”
Psalm 66:1

“Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!”
Psalm 66:20

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah”
Psalm 67:1-4

“O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!”
Psalm 68:32-35

“Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. Hide not your face from your servant, for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!”
Psalm 69:16-18

“May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!”
Psalm 70:4-5

“In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”
Psalm 71:1-3

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
Psalm 77:11-14

“Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!”
Psalm 79:8-9

“Restore us,O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!”
Psalm 80:1

“My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”
Psalm 84:2

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:10-1

“Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.”
Psalm 86:1-7

“For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
Psalm 86:10-13

“O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
Psalm 88:1-2

“I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalm 89:1

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Psalm 90:14

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,”
Psalm 92:1-2

“If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
Psalm 94:17-19

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
Psalm 95:1-2

“Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.”
Psalm 96:1-4

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy”
Psalm 96:11-12

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”
Psalm 98:4

“Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!”
Psalm 99:9

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalm 100:1-4

“I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.”
Psalm 101:1-3

“Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!”
Psalm 102:1-2

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.”
Psalm 102:24-27

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.”
Psalm 103:8-13

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.”
Psalm 104:33-34

“Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Psalm 105:1-4

“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Psalm 106:1

“My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!  I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”
Psalm 108:1-5

“But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me! For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.”
Psalm 109:21-22

“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.”
Psalm 111:1-3

“Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!  From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!”
Psalm 113:2-3

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
Psalm 115:1

“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.”
Psalm 116:1-2

“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”
Psalm 116:7-9

“Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!”
Psalm 117:1-2

“Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”
Psalm 118:5-9

“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
Psalm 118:14

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:10-11

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
Psalm 119:37

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
Psalm 119:71

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:1-8

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
Psalm 127:1

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!”
Psalm 130:1-2

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.”
Psalm 139:1-4

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:13-14

“I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.”
Psalm 140:12-13

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”
Psalm 143:8

“For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!”
Psalm 143:11

“Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”
Psalm 144:1-2

“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”
Psalm 145:1-3

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
Psalm 145:8

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”
Psalm 145:18-19

“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”
Psalm 146:1-2

“Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”
Psalm 150:1-6

Paganism, Mythology, and their Connections to the Bible

Chariot of Poseidon, Greco-Roman mosaic, around 2nd Century A.D.

I’ve often feared being ridiculed over topics like this, but I believe it’s all based on history and more people need to be aware of what’s happening.  I’ve collected a lot of this information in pieces and put them on shelves in the back of my mind for years but wasn’t really sure how to piece it all together, but I really do believe at this point everything below is actually based in reality. 

Tartarus and the Titans

Ancient Sumerian texts describe the Anunnaki as “those who from heaven to Earth came”. These fallen ones are now chained up in Tartarus and awaiting judgment for mating with human women (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6, 1 Enoch 6-9), which created offspring called the Nephilim.  According to the Book of Enoch, the angel Urial is watching over Taratus where 200 of the fallen angels are imprisoned until judgement. This all connects to mythology the writings of Plato, Hesiod, Virgil, and Homer where we read of the Titans being imprisoned in Tartarus, an area in Hades. So the Anunnaki = Titans = Fallen Angels.

“For God did not spare the angels having sinned, but having cast them down to Tartarus, in chains of gloomy darkness, delivered them, being kept for judgment.”
2 Peter 2:4

“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.”
Jude 1:6

“Aenaes and the Sybil in Hades,” by Jan Bruegel The Elder, 1598.

Nimrod, the Deluge, and the Tower of Babel

Paganism and mythology from around the world seem to all point back to Nimrod, a “mighty hunter” who we find in Genesis 10:8-9 with the Tower of Babel he built right after in Genesis 11:1-9.

“The Building of the Tower of Babel,” by Hendrick van Cleve, (1525-1589).

When God confused the languages and people were scattered around the world, they took the same pagan story with them, along with the same flood story. The Epic of Gilgamesh (Nimrod) glorified the fallen angels (Anunnaki) as heroes and the Biblical story then corrected it and showed they were the enemies who disobeyed God, mated with human women creating the Nephilim as offspring (Genesis 6:4), and taught man sorcery, how make weapons, etc… Plato’s dialogue “Critias” also talks about the Olympian god Poseidon mating with a mortal woman named Cleito on the island Atlantis, who then gave birth to Atlas. Here we can see the genealogy connections making Atlas, Noah’s great, great, great, grandson!

Athanasius Kircher’s map of Atlantis, 1665.

Paganism in the Old Testament

In Judges we see the Israelite serving the idols honoring Baal (Nimrod) and Ashtoreth (Semiramis). Here are people weeping for Tammuz in Ezekiel. In Jeremiah we find others burning incense and giving offerings to the queen of heaven (Semiramis). More on her here. All the idol worship in the Old Testament seems to be pointing to the false Babylonian pagan system that spread all around the world after Nimrod’s Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).

Some of the mythologies do differ from one another and take off into stories of fiction, but I suggest they are all based on real individuals, real events. After being passed down with oral tradition from generation to generation, the waters have been mucked up a bit, exaggerations made I’m sure, but something major happened for these similar stories to have traveled all around the world and be told in such a similar way.

(For more, check out the article’s “Babylon and Rome,” by F.F. Bruce and “Monotheism as the Predecessor of Polytheism in Sumerian Religion” by Steven Langdon.)

Benevolent Aliens, or Demonic Souls of the Nephilim?

The fallen angels made an inverse of the true Trinity of God with a false pagan beast system (sun god, moon goddess, pagan messiah). Remember, they knew who the true God was before they were cast down from Heaven, so they set this up to confuse people, setting it all up for the final deception. I am concerned what their claims of origin and purpose might be. Are they benevolent aliens that came from another planet in outer space coming to help bring peace to a troubled world? Or are they the demonic souls of the Nephilim who have been here, hidden in plain sight this entire time in a realm we just can’t see clearly yet?

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
Matthew 24:24

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:14

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:12-13

“The Fall of the Rebel Angels,” Luca Giorano, 1666.

Occult Symbology

The upper level Freemason’s (yes, I’m going there) appear to honor Nimrod (Belus) as their original Grand Master Mason, the architect of Babylon. Some have pointed out the similarities to Nimrod and Lucifer as Isaiah 14:4 does mention a “king of Babylon” before the “morning star” passage in Isaiah 14:12. It’s also strange to call Satan “son of the dawn,” since he’s not the son of anyone. That’s why some suggest it’s talking about Nimrod.  There is much debate on this as the “morning star” also alludes to the planet Venus in mythologies. 

Maybe Nimrod was possessed by Satan so in a sense they were the same person for a time, I’m honestly not sure, I have more questions than answers.  My main point is to draw the focus on what some of these pagan occultists might believe, even if it might not be true. They are certainly deceived on many points. 

We also see Jesus speak of seeing Satan “fall like lightning from heaven” in Luke 10:18 and Satan being thrown to the Earth with his angels in Revelation 12:9, so there are connections with the Isaiah 14 Lucifer passages and Satan also.

The prostitute of Babylon in Revelation 17:1-6 also appears to allude to Semiramis/Ishtar, the source of pagan goddess worship, the pagan “Queen of Heaven.”  She and Nimrod are part of the false trinity pagan system God promises to destroy in the end; Babylon will be fall (Revelation 18).

We really do find a lot of Masonic occult symbology all over Washington, D.C. architecture, also Hollywood film and music.  Some suggest this is how they do occult magick, “hidden in plain sight.” The Statue of Liberty does seem to be representing the queen of Babylon/Semiramis holding Nimrod’s torch of illumination, the back of the US dollar puts this right in our faces.

Many have become apathetic from hearing about the Freemasons and “Illuminati” over the past 30 years from tin foil hats and tacky websites but I believe they have mocked a lot of these ideas to keep people away from investigating for fear of ridicule and rejection (hence my opening statement).  Herd instinct is a deeply ingrained psychological survival mechanism in humans and animals because if the group rejects you and you have to fend for yourself in the wilderness, that is an almost certain death sentence.

It’s going to be important in the near future to understand this beast system to not be deceived when the false messiah is put on world display; Nimrod reborn who will promise world peace and unity through a New World Order. 

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Many have (and will) suffer and be killed in this battle, but we know the ending of this story; Babylon will be destroyed (Rev 17-18) and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10).  Then Eden will be restored to God’s people where there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more tears (Rev 21:4); forever and ever. 

“The Lion of St. Mark, Vittore Carpaccio, 1516.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
John 14:6

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

Ministering to the Addicted with Hemp and CBD Oil

Hemp And CBD Oil For Addiction

I’ve often struggled in the past with addiction in attempts to deal with mental and physical pain dealing with autism and nerve issues.  Nearly all of those addiction related issues were resolved with CBD oil and hemp flower, along with much of the anxiety and depression. I’m off all five of the old prescriptions and haven’t had an issue with alcohol for over two years now; and my story isn’t unique, I hear similar ones often.  I believe Christians can support and use cannabis (especially high CBD/CBG oils), even if they are against “getting high.”  If a person doesn’t want a psychoactive effect, all they have to do is use high CBD/low THC strains like hemp and CBD oil.  

Studies are showing a major connection with the endocannabinoid system and addiction.  Alcohol dependence is linked to down-regulation of 2-AG and CB1 brain receptors.  I think it’s possible a poor functioning endocannabinoid system is what could separate the alcoholic from the moderate drinker, and also appears to be the root of many mental issues.

CBD is also showing to be effective in treating addictions to opioids, meth, and cocaine (see links to the studies below).  It helps with stopping the mental cravings, helping to get people away from addictions and prevent relapse for those in recovery.

Newsweek: How Cannabis Ingredient CBD Could Help Tackle the Opioid Crisis

Marijuana Compound CBD Shows Promise For Treating Cocaine And Meth Addiction, Study Suggests

Studies and Scientific Abstracts on CBD for Addiction: Project CBD

CBD oil and hemp flower are both federally legal due to the 2018 US farm bill, however both can cause a person to fail a THC drug test. New drug testing methods are being developed as up to one in seven Americans now use hemp/CBD products, but I wouldn’t recommend hemp or CBD oil if you must pass a THC drug test without notifying your employer first. Hopefully, THC drug testing will soon be fully abandoned.

I believe we can take hemp and CBD oil to millions of hurting people, giving them a tool to battle addiction and ease mental health problems, while pointing them to their much greater spiritual need in Christ.  I believe God gave us this plant as a primary medicine and that we have an amazing opportunity to take this to those who are suffering. According to Scientific American in 1898, cannabis was “one of the most valuable drugs” and I believe soon we will see it that way again. Christians were known for being the ones to start orphanages and hospitals and I believe we can do that again in the area of addiction with hemp.

How Do We Help?  

Anyone interested in hemp/CBD oil should always check for 3rd party lab reports making sure it’s free of heavy metals and pesticides before buying any product. I would never buy a CBD or hemp product at a random store without lab reports. Often the quality is low, or the product isn’t what it claims to be. I only try a new product after it’s been highly recommended by people I trust and I’ve seen the lab tests myself.  

Whenever someone is struggling with addiction, I think we should offer them a small bottle of CBD oil, and possibly a few grams of hemp flower to see if that helps them.  This could help members already in the church and also used in outreach, helping a person with a real physical need and then point them to Christ. Cannabinoids aren’t going to be a cure-all for any situation and won’t stop all addictions, but I think they are an amazing tool in the toolbox for addiction and recovery.  Also a great way to control mental and physical distress without pharmaceuticals. I’ll never go back to the pills, that’s for sure.

Another good thing to supplement is the amino acid NAC. I take 1000mg twice a day and it’s helped with irritation/OCD issues, and has also been proven to help with addiction. I believe combining NAC and CBD can really help a lot of people.

N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of craving in substance use disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Where To Get It?

I get my CBD oil from Lazarus Naturals.  They have one of the best quality oils and an amazing discount for the disabled and Veterans (must email them proof before qualifying). They also have a CBD balm for topical use many recommend but I haven’t tried it yet. Also, CBD for pets!

I do not work for, nor do I get anything from any of these companies for recommending them; I simply have had good experiences and know they have high quality products.

I also buy all my hemp flower online.  I mostly use Fields of Hemp and Tweedle Farms.  They both often have a “smalls/small buds” option.  Those are smaller size flowers, but are sold at a discount.  I look for those since I can’t personally tell the difference in quality between those and regular size flowers. I often look on Reddit’s “hempflowers” sub to see where others are ordering from and the current sales.

How To Use It?

I take CBD oil twice a day under the tongue for 60 seconds then swallow (25mg is a common starting dose), then smoke or vaporize hemp flower as needed.  Some use capsules but I prefer oil under the tongue (sublingual) due to a higher bioavailiability. A healthy way to use hemp rather than smoking is to get a dry herb vaporizer like the Arizer “Extreme Q” (cheaper on Amazon, where I got mine) or the portable Arizer “Solo 2.”  Storz & Bickel have very nice ones like the “Volcano” and the “Mighty”, but at a much higher price point. Many more vaporizer reviews are on Reddit’s “vaporents” sub. Many try smoking it first to see if it helps before investing in a vaporizer.  I’ll smoke hemp on occasion, especially when I go for walks and am away from the vaporizer.  If someone is already a smoker, smoking hemp ends up being a great replacement and helpful for easing off nicotine. I’m hoping hemp replaces much of the tobacco industry in the near future, it’s far safer and without the nicotine, it’s not addictive.  In fact, as we can see, it could be a big part of the answer to addiction. I also enjoy using hemp flower in meals I’m cooking with like I would any other herb or spice, especially in soups and sauces.

Give The Thirsty Water, Then Point Them To The Living Water!

Hemp isn’t the gospel.  But if I see someone who is suffering, I’m going to address that physical need while giving them the gospel. Give the thirsty a glass of water, and then point them to the living water that will satisfy and save their soul.  I do believe cannabinoids have the potential to alleviate a tremendous amount of human suffering, and now that high THC is able to be taken out of the equation (even though THC is medically essential for many issues), we can at least for now talk about CBD and hemp for issues like addiction and mental health apart from that discussion.

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

Please consider sending this to your local church, or friends and family who may know someone who’s struggling with addiction. Feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message via the contact page if you have any questions!

Why Do We Suffer as Christians? What are the Purposes of Affliction?

Brian Crain – Hallelujah

I believe of the most freeing things for a Christian to understand is that all of their pain and suffering isn’t random and is working toward their good (Romans 8:28). We can walk in confidence knowing Christ lives in us (2 Cor 13:5, Gal 2:20), being able to thank Him for affliction and scars as we go down these often dark and lonely paths and sharing in His sufferings (Phil 1:29, 3:10). Always remembering that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39). We can be confident He will finish the good work He started in us (Phil 1:6), as we cast our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). We can be confident He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

We shouldn’t seek suffering or glorify in it, but we can appreciate how it is used for our good and say along with Job, “though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).  Suffering isn’t the only side of the coin, there is also much joy and peace to have in this place as God’s love, grace, and mercy also flows here; along with an eternity to look forward to with no more tears, death, or pain (Revelation 21:4).

While pain and suffering can be a result of evil, they are not an evil in themselves; they can serve to protect us, make us stronger, equip us to comfort others, and draw us closer to God. We must be prepared to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27), facing the reality of persecution in our pursuit of holiness (2 Timothy 3:12). Through many tribulations must we enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22), pressing forward to win the prize in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14), running this race to win (1 Cor 9:24).

No matter how tough things get, we know the victory is already won and we can truly say “it is well with my soul” for we have peace with the Creator of the Universe. All authority on heaven and earth is His (Matt 28:18). By faith in Christ, you have already overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5). He’s collecting your tears (Psalm 56:8) and your suffering isn’t meaningless.

“The flowers smell sweetest after a shower; vines bear the better for bleeding; the walnut-tree is most fruitful when most beaten; saints spring and thrive most internally, when they are most externally afflicted. Afflictions are the mother of virtue.
— Thomas Brooks

Have joy, trials test our faith and produce steadfastness, leading to the crown of life.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind… Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:2-6, 12

Do not be surprised when trials come.  Rejoice, you have the honor of sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”
1 Peter 4:12-16

“Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.”
— Charles Spurgeon

Affliction causes us to rely on God and teaches us to comfort others.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:3-9

“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”
— Charles Spurgeon

God disciplines His children for their good, so that they may share in His holiness and bear fruit.

“For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:6–11

“Affliction, doubtless, is not joyous, but grievous: but it qualifies us for services for which we should otherwise be unfit.”
— Charles Simeon

To show the power belongs to God.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.“
2 Corinthians 4:7-12

The inner self is being renewed, suffering is light and momentary in comparison to the glory ahead. Long term perspective is key.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16–18

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.“
Romans 8:18

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace; behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour; the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow’r.”
— William Cowper

His grace is sufficient, His power made perfect in weakness.  When we are weak, then we are strong.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

“God deliberately chooses weak, suffering, and unlikely candidates to get His work done, so that in the end, the glory goes to God and not the person.”
— Joni E. Tada

“We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own.”
— John Owen

Be humble, casting all your anxieties on Him. Resist the enemy. You aren’t alone in this and the suffering won’t last forever.  Christ will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:6-11

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.”
— Matthew Henry

We rejoice in our suffering because of what it produces; endurance, character, and hope.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5

Afflictions bring us back when we go astray.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.”
Psalm 119:67-68

“Affliction draws away our heart from the love of the world; it makes us long more for the time when we shall be translated from this scene of sin and sorrow.”
— Arthur W. Pink

Our faith is being refined through the trials, rejoice!

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:6-7

“Those who sing loudest in the Kingdom will be those who on earth had the greatest bodily suffering. We pity them now, but then we shall almost envy them.”
— Andrew Bonar

Wait on the Lord, your strength will be renewed.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31

“The Lord measures your temptations and weighs your strength. He gives the shoulders, and fits the burden, and will never lay on you more than He will enable you to bear.”
— Isaac Ambrose

His yoke is easy and His burden is light, He is the rest for your soul.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Always looking to Jesus, the hope of glory.

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Hebrews 12:2-3

Misc Quotes

“In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.”
— Augustine

“Suffering so unbolts the door of the heart, that the Word has easier entrance.”
— Richard Baxter

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so I could but gain souls to Christ.”
— David Brainerd

“Affliction causes the graces in the soul to be lively and active.”
— Wilhelmus à Brakel

“Afflictions are a golden key by which the Lord opens the rich treasure of his word to his people’s souls.”
— Thomas Brooks

“Consider that the trials and troubles, the calamities and miseries, the crosses and losses that you meet with in this world, are all the hell that ever you shall have.”
— Thomas Brooks

“In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.”
— John Bunyan

“Your mercies are more than your afflictions.”
— Jeremiah Burroughs

“You will not find one godly man who came out of an affliction worse than when he went into it. Though for a little while he was shaken, yet, at last, he was better for an affliction. But, a great many godly men have been worse for their prosperity.”
— Jeremiah Burroughs

“In the school of affliction God reads lectures upon his attributes, and expounds himself unto his people, so that many times they come to know more of God by half a year’s suffering, than by many years’ sermons.”
— Thomas Case

“Losses and disappointments are the trials of our faith, our patience, and our obedience. When we are in the midst of prosperity, it is difficult to know whether we have a love for the Benefactor or only for His benefits. It is in the midst of adversity that our piety is put to the trial.”
— John Fawcett

“He feels all our sorrows, needs, and burdens as his own. That is why it is said that the sufferings of believers are called the sufferings of Christ.”
— John Flavel

“Suffering brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them.”
— Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Who can comfort us in our afflictions? None but Jesus. He knew deeper sorrows than we have ever known, or will ever know. His heart is not made of stone. He feels with us. O afflicted believer, commit your weeping, suffering and trembling soul to Jesus.”
— Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“When a man’s eye is closed on Christ and the eternal world, he cannot stand the shock of his afflictions; but if his eyes clearly see Jesus, you may take away houses and lands, his dearest earthly possessions, his loved ones, still his chief treasure is untouched.”
— Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Nothing in this world is more beautiful than a Christian life with many trials and cares — yet remaining ever peaceful and joyous amid them all. This is the real goal of noble Christian living.”
— J.R. Miller

“Though His medicines are all beneficial – they are not all pleasant.”
— John Newton

“God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives. Felt weakness deepens dependence on Christ for strength each day. The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. And the harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away. To live with your ‘thorn’ uncomplainingly — that is, sweet, patient, and free in heart to love and help others, even though every day you feel weak — is true sanctification. It is true healing for the spirit. It is a supreme victory of grace.”
— J.I. Packer

“It is better to be sick, provided Christ comes to the bedside, than to be healthy and never to be visited by God.”
— Samuel Rutherford

“If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other men. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace along the way, and glory at the endall this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions.”
— J.C. Ryle

“The fact is that many of God’s choicest saints are what they are today because God did not heal them.”
— J.C. Ryle

“Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees.”
— J.C. Ryle

“Glory follows afflictions, not as the day follows the night but as the spring follows the winter; for the winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.”
— Richard Sibbes


“As men cherish young plants at first, and fence them about to keep them from hurt, but when they are grown, they remove them, and then leave them to the wind and weather, so God besets His children first with props of inward comforts, but afterwards exposes them to storms and winds, because they are better able to bear it. Therefore let no man think himself the better because he is free from troubles. It is because God sees him not fit to bear greater.”
— Richard Sibbes

“The suffering of the Christian or anyone else in this world is never ultimately an accident. All suffering is within the pale of divine sovereignty. All suffering comes within the broader context of the sovereignty of God.”
— R.C. Sproul

“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“The more bitter the vessel of grief, the sweeter the cup of consolation; the heavier weight of trial here, the brighter the crown of glory hereafter.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved. Approach him and be at peace.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“You will never know the fullness of Christ until you know the emptiness of everything but Christ.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“Our pain and longings make sure we will never be content, but that’s good; it is to our benefit that we do not grow comfortable in a world destined for decay.”
— Joni Eareckson Tada

“When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.”
— A.W. Tozer

“It is in the darkest night that the glory of the Redeemer’s love and grace shines brightest.”
— Paul David Tripp

“A true saint carries Christ in his heart and the cross on his shoulders. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Christ and His cross are never parted. It is too much for a Christian to have two heavens, one here and another hereafter.”
— Thomas Watson

“Afflictions add to the saints’ glory.  The more the diamond is cut, the more it sparkles; the heavier the saints’ cross is, the heavier will be their crown.”
— Thomas Watson

“Christ is the most cheap physician, he takes no fee. He desires us to bring nothing to him but broken hearts; and when he has cured us he desires us to bestow nothing on him but our love.”
— Thomas Watson

“Many pray ‘Let this cup pass away,’ but few, ‘Thy will be done.'”
— Thomas Watson

“The sharp frosts of affliction bring on the spring flowers of grace.”
— Thomas Watson

“One second of glory will extinguish a life-time of suffering.”
— Octavius Winslow

Misc Verses

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job 1:21

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18:2

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:1-4

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.”
Psalm 25:16-18

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psalm 34:18-19

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Psalm 43:5

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.”
Psalm 46:1-2

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”
Psalm 57:1

“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalms 61:1-2

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory;  my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
Psalms 62:5-7

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
Psalm 91:1-2

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
Psalm 119:71

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:1-2, 7-8

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:2

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
Isaiah 54:10

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

Hope in Him

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:21-24

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

What is the Gospel? How can I be saved?

Come rejoice now, O my soul, for His love is my reward. fear is gone and hope is sure, Christ is mine forevermore! – CityAlight

Featured Image: Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1630.

The Cunningham Regimen

A Personal Autism Diet

I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or an expert on autism.  None of this is prescriptive, only sharing what’s helped me so far, everyone is different.  Never change any medication or add supplements without talking to a doctor first. Don’t die a slow and painful death because of something you read on the Internet.

Here’s where I’m at after a few years of researching diet and supplements to try to be more healthy and ease things like anxiety, irritability, depression, and nerve pain. This article is best read while listening to Tchaikovsky.

General Diet and Exercise

Intermittent Fasting – 2-3+ days a week. It has many proven benefits. Consider making “snake juice” to replace electrolytes when fasting, especially for longer term fasts. Low-carb, high healthy fats, grass-fed beef, etc… (basically keto).  Cut out most processed foods and lower sugars. Casein free/Gluten free (within reason, make sure you are getting enough calcium from other sources). I’ll still have cheat meals where I eat whatever I want. I’d like a milkshake right now actually…

Sunlight – If you aren’t able to get outside in the mornings, consider a therapy lamp 15-20 minutes to help with your circadian rhythm for a healthy mood and sleep cycle. Consider starting a small garden outside. I love growing plants from seed, it’s therapeutic and rewarding.  I have plants all over the inside and outside of my house.

Exercise – Take baby steps and be encouraged by small improvements.  This is much better than setting up a program too difficult you likely will fail.  Walking 15 minutes when it’s sunny outside is a good step from nothing. I like kettlebells when I’m inside.  Push ups are great, so is a stabilizer ball. Stretching is more beneficial than you might think. Here is a video on some good stretches for the inflexible, I use this one often.  Check out this video on fixing your posture.

Gut Health – Your gut is like your second brain. Much of my anxiety and depression was eased when I addressed these issues.  Much of the food and supplements I take are related to this.

Avoid Synthetics, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, and Parabens – I’ve done much better overall after researching the ingredients of everything I put on me and in me, avoiding environmental toxins when possible. I usually don’t even drink out of aluminum cans anymore. I realized for years as a child with ASD, I didn’t want to take a shower from anxiety. Much of that panic stopped when I switched to natural soap and shampoo.  Some of course was the sensory overload from the water drops and noise. Dr. Bronner’s hemp and peppermint castile soap I’ve enjoyed.

Natural/Organic Ingredients I use a lot of baking soda, vinegar, and coconut oil. Recipes are available for making your own natural deodorant.  Bonus Tip: Soaking your feet in hot water with half a cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes twice a week will help your feet not smell like feet.

Water  I mostly drink water, carbonated water, or green tea.  Maybe a little 100% juice for some vitamin C or adding to my blender shake.  Avoid soft drinks. Try and avoid caffeine/coffee after noon-3pm. I have cheat days with this also, especially if I’m eating out.

Daily Blender Shake

I don’t enjoy eating vegetables so I like to blend them all up drink it in a smoothie. I start to feel tired and depressed when I go a full day without this. Many would be surprised how vital these whole food sourced nutrients and amino acids actually are.   After intermittent fasting and drinking this shake, I have most of the vitamins I need and then can eat whatever I want at night. I toss this all in, add water, blend it, then chug it down in 5 seconds. Get as many different colors (phytonutrients!) as possible.

Ingredients:

Spinach

Baby Carrots – A great source for beta-carotene (converts to Vitamin A). Regular carrots also work but not nearly as adorable!

Walnuts/Almonds – Also keep on hand for snacking, great fat/protein.

Chia or Flax Seeds – Or both.

Blueberries

Sunflower lecithinCholine source.

Organic Pea Protein powder

(Sometimes I’ll add a little coconut oil depending on my olive/MCT oil intake. Maybe a few mushrooms for selenium, tomato for lycopene, and I eat/cook with a lot of garlic.)

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Always try and get nutrients from healthy, whole foods before looking to supplements in pill/capsule form.

AM

Vitamin D3/K2 – Many are deficient, always take K2 with D3.

Vitamin C – I’m taking 1g 3x a day now and about to move that to 4g. The mood boost reminds me of the feeling after being out in the sun. I was surprised at the sense of happiness I started to feel after a few weeks of higher dose C. 43% saw improvements who were on the spectrum in one study.

CBD OilSuccessful in helping 80% of autistic children.  Always look for 3rd party lab reports when buying CBD oil.  Many “CBD” products on the market aren’t what they say they are since the FDA isn’t regulating this yet.  I use Lazarus Naturals, they have great discounts for the Disabled and Veterans. 10mg under the tongue is a good starter dose; after tolerance I take around 30mg, 3x a day.  It’s been the most beneficial thing I’ve ever taken and wrote more about endocannabinoid deficiencies and the plant in general here. I also find Flowerchild’s CBG oil helpful for social anxiety.

NACAn amino acid that helps with many mental and physical issues. This is one of my most important things to take each morning, it calms my mind in a very specific way.

MCT oil, 1Tbsp – (I replace this with extra virgin olive oil on day’s I’m not intermittent fasting). This is also helping with absorption of the other supplements.

Collagen Peptides – Most people aren’t getting enough of these in their diets from not eating as much cartilage/tendons as we used to since we no longer eat the whole animal. I take the peptides earlier in the day, but extra glycine before bed.

PM

Omega 3 – (I look for high DHA) from fish/krill oil.  Some with autism do well with fish oil, others may not.  Only try one new supplement at a time so if something doesn’t work, so you know which one is helping or causing an issue.

NAC – Often take this a bit earlier in the afternoon when the AM one stops working.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – 1Tbsp. I also cook with this rather than vegetable oils.

Zinc/B6 – Some use Mag/Zinc/B6 all together in a supplement called ZMA for sleep and muscle growth. I was already taking magnesium so I simply added a zinc/b6 supplement. I’d lean towards a lower dose like 15mg rather than the 50mg options and get most of the zinc in food (again, not a doctor).

MagnesiumCalming, good for muscle cramps. It’s difficult to get enough magnesium, even with a healthy diet. Studies have shown 68%-80% of American’s are magnesium deficient. Much of this is due to deficiencies in our soil. Parents have reported up to 46% of children improve with B6 and Magnesium added to their diets.

3g glycineSleep.

Lemon Balm – Helps you stay asleep.  Passion flower, valerian, and chamomile also can help.  If you take melatonin, look for a small dose like .3mg (300mcg); I wouldn’t go above 1mg to avoid daytime drowsiness.  Less is more with melatonin (also see black seed oil below).

Miscellaneous

Turmeric Tea – I drink Turmeric “Golden milk” tea most evenings.  It has many health benefits like reducing inflammation, so I can use it over ibuprofen in most cases.  If I’m lazy I’ll just quickly mix the turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper together in water and drink it quick; maybe along a little olive or MCT oil for better absorption.  If I have more time I’ll heat it up in almond milk and add a little honey.

Kombucha – I got a brewing kit online and just brewed my first batch and it’s helping a lot with gut health issues and I notice a boost in mental well-being. Definitely worth trying and a fun hobby. (edit 8/8/20 – Kefir might be even better)

Sulforaphane – This is found in broccoli and many are growing broccoli sprouts to raise glutathione and reduce symptoms with autism by reducing oxidative stress. See more in this podcast by Dr. Rhonda Patrick. I’ve had best results from sprouting with the Kitchen Crop sprouter tower, and “Broccoli and Friends” seeds (Todd’s seeds). As of 2021, I’m eating way more sprouts and not using my blender shake as much.

Psyllium Husk – A great fiber.  Saves you a fortune on toilet paper and prevents mud-butt.

Probiotic – I take the probiotic saccharomyces boulardii.

Apple Cider Vinegar – 1tsp to 1tbsp.  This helps my heartburn, got me off the prilosec.  Mix it in water to avoid throat irritation.

Black Seed OilPhytochemicals are pretty cool. Helps with pain, relaxation, and mood. Really starting to like this one. Many use it for sleep.

Alpha-GPC – As needed if you want more choline crossing the blood/brain barrier for exercise or greater focus when studying.

I also supplement plenty of Vivaldi.


Christians and Cannabis

I believe cannabis to be one of the most beneficial plants for the human race, designed by God for us to consume for our health and well-being.  Each one of us has an endocannabinoid system that researchers believe can get deficient, which could lead to health problems. One way to produce endocannabinoids naturally is to exercise for the “runner’s high,” but many don’t produce enough for optimal health. Cannabinoids are even in breast milk.  (Hopefully they won’t ban jogging and breast milk!) It’s even tripling survival rates of mice with cancer. The cannabinoid CBD significantly reduces cravings from opioids and could be a major breakthrough for addiction and even used in rehabs. It’s also shown to reduce aggression induced by isolation. Researchers have found that CBG and CBC kill gastrointestinal and bone cancer cells.

“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system is the single most important medical scientific discovery ever and will save more lives than the discovery and application of sterile surgical technique.”
— Dr. David Allen, Cardiovascular Surgeon

These effects produced by the body are closer to what CBD oil or hemp would give rather than some of the high THC/low CBD strains many are familiar with. Some breeders over time have focused heavily on the THC content alone, neglecting the CBD and other cannabinoid levels which have led to many recreational users having anxiety.  There’s over 400 compounds in cannabis including terpenes and cannabinoids that work together synergistically to produce the “Entourage Effect”. So there’s a lot more going on than just CBD and THC. A medicinal balance for optimal synergistic effect is crucial to target each specific issue. Terpenes found in cannabis like linalool are also found in other plants such as lavender. Flavanoids are also exciting compounds in cannabis that are proving to have 30 times more powerful of an anti-inflammatory effect than aspirin. It’s when all these come together it makes a medicine that no man could possibly create in a lab. It’s all quite beautiful.

Cannabis in the Bible

According to the Bible, all seed bearing plants were made for human beings for food, cannabis being one of them as it is a seed-bearing plant.

“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
Genesis 1:29

Many consume cannabis raw. It’s packed with essential amino acids and antioxidants. You can mix it in a smoothie, juice it, or blend it into cooking oils; all those forms producing zero elevation (“high”) in raw form.  It’s only when you decarboxylate the THCA into THC by heating it in an oven or smoking/vaping it does it then have the potential to have any noticeable psychoactive effect.  I often use it as an herb or spice in my food with zero elevation. CBD oil alone works for some, but we absolutely need full plant access for most medical patients. You can use cannabis and never get high, never be associated with any “cannabis culture.” It’s not much different than eating spinach for vitamins, our bodies require cannabinoids to function properly. I honestly believe this is a gift from God to us, primarily for to consume for sustenance.

Some also argue that Exodus 30:22-33 talks about cannabis in a holy anointing oil recipe based on the Hebrew term “Q’aneh-Bosm.” This issue is a tough one to figure out, I’m not convinced either way at this point. My bias towards cannabis wants it to be true, but my desire to know what the text actually is saying is greater, we want exegesis, not eisegesis.  We must seek truth over confirmation bias, retain coherent thought, and consider all possibilities without taking a strong stance until we find enough evidence weighed on all sides to provide a clear answer. Maybe there is one, but I don’t have it yet.

(6/3/20 Edit: with the new archaeological evidence showing cannabis was used in temple worship by the ancient Hebrews, this is now much more likely to be the case).

Correlation to Mental Illness?

According to Harvard Medical School, cannabis does not cause mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Correlation is not causation. People with various mental illnesses do sometimes use cannabis more often, which makes sense because cannabis greatly helps ease mental issues like depression and anxiety.  It’s the same logic of saying Ibuprofen must cause headaches because more people with headaches use Ibuprofen. That being said, someone at risk of psychosis or schizophrenia should avoid the higher THC strains including edibles because that can aggravate issues that are already there.  But it’s not something that’s causing any permanent health disorders. It does not lower IQ. This plant has a remarkable safety profile, no one has ever overdosed or died from any form of cannabis. Anti-Cannabis Propaganda like “Reefer Madness” films have done a great deal of harm to society on many levels and much of it is embedded in racism. I believe it’s time this is all turned around, the stigma is put to rest, and this plant is seen and used as God intended.

Legality Does Not Determine Morality

God alone defines morality and what is sin. “Drugs are bad” is a blanket statement with no consideration of the variety of uses of countless substances for the human body, weighing out the risks and benefits.  Some substances may be beneficial for some people in small doses while harmful in high doses. Others are highly beneficial but with risks. Some build tolerance if taken too often. Substances like poison shouldn’t be put in the body altogether. Regardless, no substance or drug is inherently immoral or evil, it matters what you are doing with it. Context is king with substance/drug/medicinal use (as with Bible interpretation!).

Many law abiding citizens end up addicted to legal opioids every day. Often those who are prescribed pain pills end up on heroin when they realize it’s not that big of a step over, both are derived from the opium poppy. Heroin is often cheaper and the person realizes there’s no difference in morality except that it’s prohibited by law; but in essence, there’s not much of a difference.   Many people wouldn’t touch a legal pain pill if they knew how similar they were to illegal opioids.  Just because a doctor prescribes you a pill, doesn’t mean it’s in all cases moral to take, especially if it’s causing you to sin or doing your body undue harm. With any medicinal substance, many different factors determine if the use is justified or not.

However, as Christians we are commanded to submit to governing authorities as they have been established by God (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Titus 3:1-3). Does this override God’s provision of all seed-bearing plants in Genesis 1:29? To what degree do we obey the law when it begins to harm us and goes against God’s provision? At what point do we risk losing our freedom to seek what helps a child who’s disabled and there are no other options to alleviate their suffering? I personally don’t have all the answers. These are the tough questions those suffering and those whose children are suffering shouldn’t have to face. I in no way advise or suggest anyone to break any laws for any reason, I’m only pointing out all the caveats in this situation many must unfortunately deal with. Many people are suffering over this issue right now who shouldn’t be.

Always consult a licensed medical professional first before changing the dosage of any prescription you are already on because you can die from even a quick reduction in something like a benzo like xanax or klonopin (I had a seizure from forgetting a single klonopin dose one night).  Thankfully with CBD/cannabis oil I was able to consult my doctor and slowly wean off all the old prescriptions including the antidepressant and benzo slowly over time, according to the monthly reduction schedule that was given to me. Never listen to anyone who tells you to change your prescription medicine who isn’t an actual doctor, people have died over this.  This is why I urge people to exhaust all natural options prior to going to synthetic chemicals. It was a mental and physical nightmare being on those pills for 20 years and getting off them was very difficult. Cannabis oil is actually helping me without causing any problems or side effects, and like many other parents and individuals with autism, we have been saying this is the only thing that helps many of us for a long time, and studies have proven our claims.

Recreational Use

Recreational use can also be done without intoxication or without depending on multiple factors. The mental “high” is only a side effect of some strains used by some routes of administration. Either way I believe the recreational use of cannabis falls under Christian freedom (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23-31), being careful not to cause your brother to stumble who may find it offensive (Romans 14:21). If used responsibly and in moderation I believe many Christians can use cannabis in a way that gives glory to God. I really believe this, and it’s not because I want to justify “getting high,” it’s because I’ve seen the medicinal power of this plant and I think all the hysteria over the past 80+ years over this plant is false and was made up so hemp/cannabis wouldn’t take over multiple industries like logging, medical, fuel, building materials (see this house made from hempcrete), animal feed, etc…   Pharmaceutical companies have been trying for years to patent this plant for medical use and the US government already has.

I’ve taken many prescriptions over the years to try and manage my health issues and cannabis is one of the most beneficial ones to my health I’ve ever taken with the fewest side effects, which are often none given I’m taking the strain that’s working best for each issue. For me, I can’t take high THC edibles because it gives me too much elevation, but I can use low to medium THC strains with high CBD in oil form under the tongue, or in a dry herb vaporizer. I recommend sincerely praying before God and seeking Him first (Matthew 6:33), and if cannabis causes you to sin from recreational use, don’t use any more than you need for general health or medication.

My desire is for responsible adults to have a much safer options for recreation, medicine, and even for those who are in desperation to escape from mental or physical pain. It’s not right for alcohol to be the only legal option at every gas station, the only escape. Cannabis is not a gateway drug. If anything it makes helps make sure those who are suffering won’t need to seek out other substances to use as band-aids because it’s likely addressing a endocannabinoid deficiency that’s causing them anxiety or depression in the first place.  CBD and cannabis oil are currently being tested for treating many other addictions, including alcohol and meth. I know for me, all other substance cravings ceased when I started CBD oil alone; and I haven’t touched alcohol since and didn’t need 5 different prescriptions any longer. Cannabis is more of a safeguard to prevent someone from harmful addictions from my own and many others experience. Studies have also proven cannabis isn’t making people lazy, but in fact it’s motivating people to exercise more.

Use discretion and common sense as with anything.  Don’t use a strain or high level of THC that may impair your ability to function before operating machinery or going to work.  Always test new strains or oils at home where you have no important things to do for the day to see how your mind and body react.

Remember, Christians are to remain sober-minded (1 Peter 5:8) and not to get drunk with wine as it leads to debauchery, but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). I personally keep the elevation as low as possible, raising it according to the specific medical need. But even still, cannabis isn’t causing intoxication where people are making aggressive and horrible decisions (including debauchery) as with alcohol or cocaine; so I’d argue it’s difficult to be Biblically intoxicated from cannabis maybe apart from extremely high THC concentrates or decarbed edibles. But I also don’t believe anyone should to go prison or lose their jobs who wants to use any amount of THC in the privacy of their own homes who isn’t harming anyone (same with alcohol). Pray for wisdom, and as with any substance always use responsibly and in moderation. If it causes you to sin in any way, throw it out, stay away from it (Matthew 5:29).

“If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.”
Proverbs 25:16

Hemp Flower

Many recreationally enjoy vaporizing hemp flower with under .03% THC that has no mental elevation, only body relaxation like with CBD oil. I believe it will largely replace tobacco in the near future (Marlboro has already invested 2.4 Billion). Dry herb vaporizers are wonderful; you don’t have to deal with any fluids as with e-cigs, and you are only heating the flower just enough to evaporate the cannabinoids and terpenes off. There is no tar inhaled and the THC levels are far too low to cause any mental effects. This is all very exciting for so many different reasons; it’s actually good for us, not addictive like tobacco, and it doesn’t cause intoxication. It’s a great substance for health and recreation in my opinion. .03% THC is the limit for hemp but I personally find 1-2% THC in medical strains the best for helping my issues with autism, which is confirmed by the studies out of Israel. So we do need the entire cannabis genus legalized, but hemp flower and CBD oil so far are helping millions of people in major ways.

““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”
1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Drug Testing

THC drug tests are testing for minuscule levels of THC where you could test positive for using cannabis 30+ days prior. Theoretically you could even fail from second hand smoke. I think this is ridiculous and this form of testing should be abandoned. People can go to the store and buy a half gallon of 95% grain alcohol and drink all they want on their days off and no one cares. In my opinion no one should be bothered if someone uses cannabis on the weekend on their days off either. Honestly it’s really no one’s business.

The issue is how do we prove if a person is intoxicated with high levels of THC on the job or while driving and that’s something we haven’t figured out yet, but the current form of testing is only harming law abiding citizens and discriminating against the disabled.  This type of testing I strongly believe needs to be abandoned in all 50 states immediately; it’s putting people who use CBD oil at risk for losing their jobs, losing their families, or even going to prison from a failed probation drug test. Surveys have found almost 7% of the Americans are using CBD oil; THC urinalysis at 15-50 ng/ml would cause many of these people to fail one of these tests. There’s simply no known way to tell what amount of THC was introduced in body and when. It’s so sensitive, I would advise not to even use CBD isolate just in case a little THC was left over in the isolation process that could cause a false positive (even hemp seed oil and Vitamin B2/riboflavin can do this).

As a Christian, please consider the countless lives that have been destroyed over cannabis prohibition. Many people need to be let out of jail who should have never been put in there. Millions of disabled people need this medicine and shouldn’t have to be labeled drug addicts or criminals to get it after they have already spent years trying pharmaceuticals that never worked for them. Parents shouldn’t have to watch their kids suffer, or risk losing them and then going to prison over the one thing that has scientifically proven to work for them. We need full plant access and the right to grow this in our own homes for our own needs, whatever that may be; it’s no ones business but ours before God.

How to Talk to Friends and Family

Pray for wisdom (James 1:5), be open and honest, showing your heart on the matter.  Be kind, gentle, and loving (1 Corinthians 13), not forceful or demanding. You are only going to push a person away if you try and force them to believe something they have been told is wrong all their lives, please respect their dignity. Provide evidence from good sources. Show them those who have already been helped in dramatic ways.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

I see CBD oil and hemp as major bridge to all this.  It’s opening many eyes to the medicinal properties and safety profile of this plant.  Ignorance breeds fear, so understanding the endocannabinoid system and how these are natural, God-designed processes in the human body can help alleviate the fears many may have. Once CBD is understood, it helps open a door to the rest of the plant.

Do all to the Glory of God!

Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.  If you can’t do it to God’s glory or it will cause your brother to stumble then don’t do it (1 Cor 10:23-31; Romans 14:21). Also keep in mind self-control being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), keeping irregular appetites of the flesh in check (Romans 13:13-14). These verses alone might prevent you from using cannabis in a recreational sense, but please keep in mind many have no other medical option but to use medicinal cannabis. And others really do need a safe outlet for recreational use that isn’t endangering their lives and the lives of others as many other substances can. It’s one of the few recreational substances that is actually beneficial to the body by encouraging homeostasis.

There’s a lot of good we can do as Christians to help with this situation and do it in the name of Christ Jesus, all to His glory. I think it starts with education and loving those who are hurting all around us, always pointing to the Cross; because it’s the soul that will live for all eternity and that’s in the most desperate need of healing. Physical health will always be secondary to spiritual. All the good health in the world is all meaningless if we then lose our souls (Mark 8:36). Christ alone is the remedy for the soul, He’s the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Only by faith in His sacrifice on the Cross atoning for our sin can we ever have hope of salvation. The Gospel always comes first, but I believe we can take the Gospel with us as we go out and help millions of hurting people with medical cannabis and other natural medicine, all in His name; bringing healing to mind, body, and soul.

Soli Deo gloria!

Resources:

Project CBD: Beginners Guide

Project CBD: Entourage Effect

What Is the Endocannabinoid System and What Is Its Role?

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Bioavailability of CBD: Comparing Methods of CBD Administration

Reddit’s CBD Discussion Sub (great place to ask questions anonymously).

Facebook: “Christians and Cannabis” discussion group

Facebook: “Whole Plant Access for Autism” (over 14k members).

Study: Cannabis oil 80% successful in helping autistic children

Study: CBD From Marijuana Plus Chemotherapy Tripled Cancer Survival Rates In Mice