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believing in god... it's good for the heart...
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Having a 2-way Conversation With God is Possible if You Believe - By Katharine C. Giovanni

Why is this so hard for people to believe? Why can’t we have a conversation with God? A REAL conversation & not simply a one-way chat where you talk & He listens.

When someone talks about God why do many of us get visions of a strong-willed preacher who likes to drive their beliefs down your throat?

In fact, if someone walked up to you today & told you that they just had an actual conversation with God, would you think they had multiple personality disorder or were just simply crazy?

Many would just shake their head in disbelief.

Katharine Giovanni, author of the new book "God, is that you?" would like you to think differently.

For years I have listened to sermons, read books by New Age authors & asked people questions in hopes of finding a way to actually talk to God. What was I searching for?

I wanted God to answer my questions in real, honest-to-goodness English. I wanted to hear actual words that I could understand,” Giovanni says in her new book.

There are many people out there who believe that God will only talk to “special” people. The ministers, priests, rabbi’s & mother Teresa’s of the world. These are the ones who can hear Him, certainly not everyday people like you & I.

Why would He bother with us when He has so much else to do?

The answer? God is here & He does want to talk to you. In fact, Giovanni says it’s quite simple & outlines a very easy method in her new book "God, is that you?"

“Why does everyone assume that God won’t talk to them? Why do they think that He has better things to do? If God created everything around us how hard could it be to have a tiny little conversation with us?

Have the faith of a mustard seed that you can do this & you will. It's as simple as that,” Giovanni says.

To illustrate this point, Giovanni relates an anecdote from her book.

“A few years ago we were having serious financial troubles & we really saw no way out of the financial disaster we found ourselves in. One night I flung myself on my bed & had a conversation with God about how we could get out of the mess we were in.

Actually it wasn’t really a conversation as I was extremely angry at God because I didn’t think he was helping me. After I calmed down, God quietly told me that He could fix it & then proceeded to tell me a story called Mustard Seed Faith.”

Once upon a time, there was a woman who sorely needed to buy groceries, but she had no money. So she decided to ask God what she should do.

"Go to the grocery store & buy your groceries & have the faith of a mustard seed that I will provide the way." God said.

So with her faith firmly in hand & no money in her pocket, she went to the grocery store & placed the items that she needed in her grocery cart. Aisle by aisle, she carefully selected only those items that she really needed. Then she proudly walked to the checkout line at the front of the store.

As she came closer & closer to the checkout clerk, she continued to have the faith that the money would somehow be there when it came time to pay. She knew without a doubt that God would provide the means for her to pay.

When it was finally her turn, she boldly put her purchases onto the conveyor belt & continued to have the faith that the money would be there.

Suddenly, just as the clerk was in the middle of tallying up the purchases, an old friend from her youth walked by. As they talked, the friend remembered that he owed her some money for a favor she did for him a while back - & promptly paid her on the spot. The woman then paid for her groceries.

God then said,This is mustard-seed faith. It's the ultimate form of faith that leaves no room for doubt of any kind. Mustard seed faith in Me will help you move those mountains & will get you thru this.”

Perhaps this is what the world needs right now, a little bit of mustard seed faith that God will talk to us. Imagine how your life would change if you could actually talk to Him! Now you can. In fact, Katharine Giovanni’s method is so easy that anyone can learn how to have a two-way conversation with God.

believing in god... it's good for the heart...
do you believe in God?

Religion is good for the heart, cardiologist says
News from the Web
February 22, 2007

Catholic Explorer (www.dioceseofjoliet.org/explorer)

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Catholic Explorer) - Patients who indicate that they have no religious convictions are 3 times more likely to perish during open heart surgeries than believers, said recognized cardiologist, author & speaker Dr. Bruno Cortis, reflecting upon the correlation between faith & health.

Assistant professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., Cortis presented “The Spiritual Heart: The Power of the Heart & Love to Heal Body, Mind & Spirit” in the worship space at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville. Speaking to the more than 50 people gathered for the program, he said the heart is mentioned nearly 600 times in the Bible.

Coinciding with American Heart Month, Cortis’ presentation promoted physical, emotional & spiritual health. All 3 are interconnected, said Kathy Ford, parish nurse at the Naperville parish, noting that prayerful meditation & spiritual direction often work to decrease hospital stays & lift spirits.

The event was organized by the parish nurses & financed by the people of nearly 20 suburban faith communities, including St. Elizabeth Seton, SS. Peter & Paul & St. Thomas the Apostle parishes in Naperville, Ill., Bethel United Church of Christ in Elmhurst, First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn,Ill., Grace United Methodist & Alleluia Lutheran churches in Naperville & St. Joan of Arc Parish in Lisle,Ill.,St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield, Ill. & St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Romeoville, Ill.

When it comes down to it, we’re all children of God. We need to get this information out,” Ford told the Catholic Explorer before the event as she reflected upon the ecumenical project.

Parish nurses often offer a holistic approach while treating members of congregations. This method considers body, mind & spirit, said Ford. That's the same philosophy promoted by Cortis, she added, talking about the decision to invite the doctor to speak at the gathering.

The 73-year-old cardiologist & author of “Heart & Soul” & “The Spiritual Heart” talked with the Explorer before his presentation about his life-altering decision to bring his message of the importance of physical & spiritual health to people outside the walls of the hospital.

By the time they got to me there, it was too late. They already had heart problems,” Cortis said, noting that he began speaking 15 years ago to help prevent cardiovascular problems thru the promotion of therapeutic spiritual techniques.

I want to touch people’s hearts & change lives,” said Cortis, a fellow of the American Board of Cardiology, as the doctor mulled over the aim of his presentations.

A Catholic believer, Cortis often attends Mass between his duties in the chapel at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center & at St. Luke Parish in River Forest, Ill. Founder of the Exceptional Heart Patient Program & pioneer in the field of laser angioplasty, he stressed that he has discovered over the decades that spirituality can have a positive impact on health.

To that end, the man of science continues to encourage people to cultivate their spirits in an effort to nourish their health. “Health is part of our lives. It’s like cultivating a farm,” he told his audience at Holy Spirit Catholic Community.

During his presentation, Cortis talked about the adverse effects of stress on the heart.

If we don’t learn to control stress, stress will control us,” he said. Apathy, anxiety, irritability & fatigue among many others are signs of stress. Stress can be caused at work or during family situations.

Fear of failure” is a major stressor, he said. The solution is to make life modifications. “We all can change,” he said.

Those with high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension & high blood pressure as well as smokers are at high risk for cardiac problems, said Cortis.

Anger & depression are also common risk factors for heart disease. Social support & pastoral care can help people manage these difficulties, benefiting heart health, the doctor said.

Cortis recommended meditation as a technique for curbing heart-related problems. Meditating decreases stress & reduces blood pressure.

A few minutes of meditation in the morning has a positive impact on the rest of a person’s day, he said. “In prayer, you talk to God.

In meditation, God talks to you,” he said. “If you meditate, you’re life will change,” he emphasized.

Throughout his research on the human body & spirit, Cortis has developed 7 basic Christian principles to encourage “vibrant health.”

Exploring the principles, the doctor encouraged the people present to respect their bodies thru:

  • exercising 
  • eating healthy foods
  • take time to relax 
  • respect themselves emotionally 
  • accept this kind of respect from others
  • sharing feelings 
  • creating life goals

are especially vital to remain healthy.

Loving one’s self & others “unconditionally” is another key to remaining healthy. “Love is the highest sign of mental health,” Cortis said.

Nurturing “your spiritual” health is vital too, he told the people. A person’s beliefs “animate” him or her, sparking a commitment to using his or her gifts for the greater good.

“I hope these ideas will bloom in your mind,” Cortis said, concluding his remarks.

source: Catholic News

How Does God Rate In The Polls? - By Arthur Levine

Arthur Levine 2006

God better watch out, the devil may be gaining on Him.

According to a Fox News poll, 92% of the U.S. population believes in God. This provides an interesting comparison because the PEW Research Institute has statistics that show that roughly 49% of the population attends houses of worship on a regular basis & 49% attend rarely if at all.

Evidently the concept of God is more popular than organized religion or going to Church. The Gallop Poll & the Harris Poll & an ABC News poll also confirm this, but God’s popularity percentage verses the popularity of going to church varies with each poll.

Sometimes I suppose it depends on how the spirit moves you, or what & who you think that God is that determines where, why & how you search for God. Unfortunately according to this poll 71% of the population also believes that the devil exists, but this doesn’t mean he is popular or that anyone is searching for him – thank God.

Of course you can skew the poll results in many different ways depending on how you ask a question & interpret the results. Perhaps this is why the same Fox News poll shows that 85% of the population believes in Heaven.

It's hard to determine if this means that 7% of those that believe in God don’t think they stand a chance in hell of getting into Heaven (92%-85%=7%) or if they just don’t buy into the whole concept of there being a Heaven, but do believe in God just in case.

This same poll shows that 82% of people believe in miracles. Does this mean that they're part of the vast majority of people who believe it will take a miracle for them to get into Heaven?

To make matters worse, while the percentage of people believing in God has stayed relatively constant over the last few years or in some polls decreased, the percentage believing in the existence of the devil has increased from 63% to 71% over roughly the same period of time. I can’t figure out what the hell this part of the poll means. I suppose it is open to interpretation.

I don’t think it is necessary in discussing polls about the popularity of God to mention that these polls are probably correct plus or minus 3% because I doubt that God is running against anybody. Which makes me stop & wonder why if there's no chance of anyone else but God winning, why would anyone take a poll to begin with?

Do you think that the devil has anything to do with this insane desire on the part of certain news organizations to take polls about who does & doesn’t believe in God?

Why can’t we leave the poll taking to the atheists? They know who they are & since they represent such a small & unconvinced percentage (8%) of the population, they should be responsible for paying for these polls in my opinion, or do they have the privilege of invoking minority rights.

And whom would they invoke them to anyway? They certainly can’t turn to God, can they?

There's an obvious Gender Gap in relationship to these God like polls with women more likely than men to believe in most categories including Miracles by 12% & Heaven by 8%. The one notable exception is that 39% of men believe in UFOs verses 30% of women.

I don’t know what UFOs have to do with God, but my wife tells me that if I don’t get off the subject she is going to send me into outer space. I wonder if she is mad or just wants to give me an opportunity to meet my maker? Please don’t rush me honey, I think I am on a fast track as it is.

Of perhaps more value to this discussion on polls about God is the fact that Fox News says republicans are more likely by 8% to ‘say’ they believe in God & by 15% in Heaven & by 17% in the devil, while democrats believe in reincarnation by 14% more than republicans. What do they mean when they use the term “say”? Does that mean the republicans don’t really mean it? Why the disparity when if comes to believing in the devil?

Are the republicans out to get his vote too? How should we interpret the figures on reincarnation? Does this mean the democrats are hoping they can come back as republicans or just hoping for a comeback? This is all too confusing.

Before we leave the subject of polls about God to their eternal resting place, I think it worth noting that this same poll indicates that young people are much more likely to believe in hell by a ratio of 86% to 68% for those over 70 years old.

The same applies to the devil by a ratio of 79% to 69%. Does this mean that for older Americans their hell raising days are over, or does it mean that the younger generations are hell bent on raising the devil with our established religious traditions?

I don’t know. I don’t even know if the younger or older Americans understand their respective positions on hell & the devil any better than those of us caught in the hellish position of being middle aged, which by the way the poll doesn’t cover as an individual age group at all.

I leave these weighty interpretations in God’s hands, who, without the benefit of polling statistics, I am sure, will find the grace to interpolate & understand.

The one part of the poll I'm really happy about I saved for last. This one makes the whole polling thing worthwhile for me. It shows that fully 69% of the population believes that religion plays too small a part in our lives. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.

Before I leave this exercise in my God given right to have opinions on polls about God, I should also make note of the fact that Fox News says that their poll was conducted over two days by telephone to over 900 people.

What about the rest of the almost three hundred million people in the United States? Don’t we get a say? Has anyone tried polling God for his input lately? I wonder what He would have to say about His poll numbers? I bet He will have the final say.

Arthur Levine is the author of The Magic of Faith. Check out more of his
writing and receive a free faith-based Magic Pill. View his blog  to get inspired to find more faith in God.

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