Feb 26, 2013


It’s hard to describe the feelings that came over me as the cop placed handcuffs on me and helped me into the back of the police car. A little remorse; a little anger, and a lot of wonder. I never thought I would be the one riding in the back seat of a black and white.

I’ve worked around cops throughout my entire career. There’s a lot of mutual respect between cops, firefighters and paramedics. We have a kind of brotherhood. Incidents like the 9/11 disaster have made us all a little closer.

After I got away from the grip my wife had on my shirt, I ran to my car, started it up and drove away. I wanted to put as much distance between us as possible. She ran after me, but stumbled in the parking lot trying to catch me. She yelled for me to come back.

“Come back?” I thought. “Why the hell should I come back? So you can take another swing at me?”

I sped through the parking lot and as I approached the road, I saw two police cruisers inbound with their emergency lights on. I knew who they were looking for.

I figured it would be best to stop and talk with them rather than make them come after me. I had done nothing wrong after all, except maybe being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I stopped the car, got out and motioned to the first cop that drove by. He stopped, got out and approached me.

“I think you’re probably looking for me”, I said. I glanced back toward where our incident took place and noticed that my wife was talking to a crowd of people, explaining to them what happened.

The cop asked me to step over next to his car and put my hands on the trunk. He patted me down, asked for my ID then asked what happened. I told him that my wife got pissed off and took a swing at me and the only way I could think of to prevent a fight was to get in my car and leave. He asked more questions then opened the rear door of the cruiser and invited me to have a seat. I got as comfortable as I could on the hard fiberglass bench seat.

The surreal nature of what was happening caused me to begin wondering what divine purpose was being worked out in all of this. I decided to place the circumstances at God’s feet, figuring it was just another bizarre turn in the road. I leaned back, smiled and waited for the cop to return with the news I expected, but didn’t really want to hear. He got back in the cruiser, drove me to the other side of the school parking lot and parked.  When a second police cruiser arrived, he asked me to step out.

The other cop asked me to stand at the rear of the police car with my hands on the trunk and my feet spread. I was patted down again.

“We don’t want your kids to see this”, he said. “We moved you here so they wouldn’t have to watch. I need you to turn around so I can put handcuffs on you.”

I smiled as I turned and extended my arms backward to make it easier to get the cuffs on. They informed me that I was under arrest and said I could speak with an attorney before answering any more questions. They helped me into the back of cruiser and drove me to jail.

Most states in the US have laws requiring one person to be arrested if police are called to a possible domestic violence. Years ago the investigating officer could use discretion and decide not to arrest anyone if it seemed like there was no real assault. But now the laws require someone to be charged. She had a better story than I did...and she had witnesses. Men are arrested in 80% of the cases of domestic violence in the US.

At the jail, I was fingerprinted and given a nice-fitting orange jumpsuit to wear. They let me call my girlfriend. I told her where I was and asked her to meet me at the courthouse the next afternoon for my arraignment. They took my phone and dropped it in a plastic bag with the rest of my stuff then led me to my cell.

I layed down on an empty bunk in a dimly lit room full of strangers. I couldn’t believe what was happening. And I was scared, thinking about all the crazy things I’d heard about that happen to people in jail. I had about five minutes to myself before someone asked what I was arrested for. I told them the story and they began to laugh and encourage me. Of the 15 or so guys who were there, about half were in for domestic violence. Misery truly does love company.

Feb 23, 2013


In 1995, after years of working private ambulance for little more than minimum wage, I gave in and tested for a job with the fire department. The decision was mostly financial. I never wanted to be a fire medic. But my wife and I were on the verge of bankruptcy. We’d didn’t manage our finances well. We always spent more than we earned.  Fire departments paid a lot more than private ambulance. But the new job didn't save us. A year after being hired by the fire department we would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

I was hired with two other guys, who would become good friends of mine. I came onboard with high expectations. At the beginning of every shift, we had to count and sign off for the narcotics in the drug safe with the off going crew. I immediately noticed what appeared to be tampering with the vials. After discussing the tampering with one of the other newly hired medics, we brought it to our Captain’s attention. The Captain informed the Chief and an investigation began. I wondered what in the world I gotten myself into.

During the investigation, I saw what appeared to be an attempt to steer the investigation away from certain people. Only the three of us who were newly hired were given a polygraph test. All of us were given a urine test, but it was delayed three times and wasn’t done until a week later. A week is plenty of time for narcotics to be cleared from your body. The police investigation never revealed who was stealing the narcotics.

A year later, one of the paramedic Lieutenants was found lying on the floor in the middle of the night with a needle in his arm in front of the open drug safe. The Lieutenant happened to be a friend of the Chief, who held him up as a model for the rest of the department to follow. His conviction for narcotic diversion became a hornet’s nest.

I was deeply bothered by what I perceived to be a cover-up during the investigation. On several occasions I got in the Chief’s face over it. Being angry is one thing. But only a fool goes toe to toe with the Chief who has the power to hire and fire him. I was angry, indignant and filled with pride. C.S. Lewis said that pride is like a cancer that will rob you even of common sense. If I had any common sense, I never would have confronted the Chief.

In 2001, the Chief had suffered enough of my antagonism. He did a little creative investigative work and accused me of violating medical protocols. I underwent a long investigation that would ultimately lead to my termination.

I had been a Christian for a little more than a year. My wife was not a believer and we argued a lot about my spiritual views and activities. If I wanted to go to church on Sunday with the kinds, she complained that I was being selfish. She resented the time I spent in bible study. Slowly but surely, we were growing more distant.

My wife became concerned about my activities at work. She was friends with my paramedic partner. They talked from time to time about my problems, including some poor decisions I’d made. When the Chief launched his investigation, she demanded to know what I’d done to violate protocol. I brought home the paperwork from the calls in question and explained in detail everything that happened and showed her that my documentation proved that I had done nothing wrong. She wasn’t convinced.

Although there was no evidence of any wrong-doing on my part, my wife sided with the chief. She was convinced I had to be guilty of doing something wrong.

Her sympathy with my chief made it difficult to want to share anything with her. I felt like I was living with the prosecuting attorney in my own trial. For the next three years, her mistrust toward me would grow. During that time, I would come to know what it felt like to be emotionally and physically abandoned by my best friend and lover.

During those years, I tried to focus on my relationship with God. In 2003, I would lose my job with the fire department and be unemployed for a year and a half. Though we were in dire straits financially, my wife refused to consider working. The stress of not knowing where the money would come from each month forced me to rely completely on God for our financial provision.  As my trust in God grew, my trust in my wife quickly eroded.

In hindsight, my professed love for God may have been more of a journey into the depths of religion. Rather than being transformed into a loving and compassionate man, I became a judgmental, bible-thumping zealot. I saw my wife not as my life partner - but as a deceived and wicked person who needed to repent. The fact that I saw her that way legitimized my feelings of disdain toward her. I treated her more as an evangelistic project than a wife. I certainly wasn't displaying the love of God toward her.

The season of unemployment ended when I was hired by a community ambulance service on the coast, 120 miles from where we lived. My shift started at 7am. It was a 2 ½ hour drive. My shifts were four days on duty and four days off. I awoke at 4am, packed up a huge Rubbermaid bin with enough stuff to last me four days and trekked to the beach.

Every morning on the way to work I would see elk standing in the twilight near the side of the road somewhere along the way. The time away from home allowed me to reflect on what God was doing in my life. It was during this time when I bought my first guitar and started learning to play. I took solace in singing songs of praise to the God who had shown me His faithfulness.

But changes would soon come that would cause me to hide from the God who loved me so faithfully.

Feb 20, 2013

Bacteria and the Brain

Bacteria & The Brain: The Powerful Behavior-Modifying Effects of The Gut

by Michael McEvoy Originally posted here.

Digestive System2 Dream Designs
The gut has been called "the second brain". Research reveals that the enteric nervous system (ENS), a branch of the autonomic nervous system that is found in the GI tract, can communicate with, and function independently of the brain. The enteric nervous system of the gut is comprised of about 500 million neurons. The enteric nervous system can "think", "remember" and "learn" on its own accord.

The enteric nervous system lines the mucosa of various organs: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, gall bladder, and biliary tree.

The ENS is involved in the regulation of several essential digestive functions. Most notably:

  • Peristalsis, intestinal motility: bowel muscular contractions
  • Digestive enzyme secretion: to break down food particles
  • Participates in the regulation of esophageal muscles: moving food to your stomach
  • Motility of the gall bladder, releasing bile into the duodenum
  • Assists the hormone secretin in releasing pancreatic enzymes
  • Exchange of fluids and electrolytes in the gut
  • Blood flow through the gastric mucosa
  • Also involved in the regulation of the gastic and esophageal sphincters: preventing acid food from entering the throat, and allowing food to pass into the duodenum from the stomach
  • Uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, including serotonin, GABA, dopamine, acetylcholine
Many researchers postulate that the enteric neurons have an important role to play in regulating behavior. This is likely due to the fact that the enteric nervous system communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve. It is known that strains of intestinal bacteria have a powerful regulatory effect on the enteric neurons. It is also known that these same bacterial colonies can induce behavior-modifying effects.

In 2011, researchers from the Journal of Neurogastroenterology stated: "As Bifidobacterium longum decreases excitability of enteric neurons, it may signal to the central nervous system by activating vagal pathways at the level of the enteric nervous system."

What this means is that behavior is directly linked to intestinal bacteria and gut function.

Behavior & Leaky Gut
It is now well established that gut permeability, known as "leaky gut" has a direct effect on behavior. Studies such as this have demonstrated the link between intestinal permeability, gut infections and depression.

A key mechanism with how intestinal permeability plays a crucial role in behavioral disorders is most due to the effect that pathogens and bacterial species have on brain and neurotransmitter function. For example, streptococcal infections have shown to cause symptoms of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), tics, and Tourette's. Additionally, the immune response that is invoked from strep and other infections, causes tremendous systemic inflammation, including to that of the brain.

The outer casing of gram-negative bacteria, known as lipo-polysaccharides (LPS), have shown in studies to induce massive systemic inflammation, including the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a in the brain, as well as brain microglial activation.

Because of the essential role of "tight junctions" in the gut lining for protecting the organism from invading antigens, a diminishment of the tight junctions leads to an increased level of permeability, allowing various pathogenic microbes easy access into circulation. This permeability of the gut wall induces high levels of inflammatory activity in the brain, nervous system and in many other locations in the body.
Additionally, leaky gut will also feature imbalanced gut flora, and especially in the presence of pathogens and with an overgrowth of opportunistic organisms. This may involve imbalances in the same gut bacteria that communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve. So behavior and brain function are affected by the gut in more than one way.

The Role Of Intestinal Flora In Modifying Behavior: Gut Microbiome Axis
The intestinal flora makes up roughly 80% of the total immune defenses of the body. The gut is lined with more than 100 trillion micro-organisms, nearly ten times the amount of cells that make up the human body. There are thought to be between 400-1000 different species of bacteria that are normally found in the gut, and there exist intrinsic relationships and complex communication networks among the bacterial species.
Immediately following birth, the act of breastfeeding results in the implantation of essential floral colonies into the infant's gut. Studies have demonstrated that breast feeding significantly reduces the risk of childhood asthma.Breast feeding for more than 12 months has been shown to be protective against the development of rheumatoid arthritis. One study found a correlation between a shorter duration of breast feeding and the development of ADHD in children.

Many recent studies have focused on the role that certain probiotic strains have on regulating behavior. This is fascinating because it shows the relationship between bacteria and the brain. The probiotic strain bifido infantis 35624 has been studied for its role in possibly reducing depression. Additionally, bifido infantis powerfully reduces IBS symptoms.

Lactobacillus reuteri has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects and for its powerful modulation of the immune system, especially the inhibition of TNF-a

Additionally, L-reuteri is well established to modify the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the central nervous system. The same is true for lactobacillus rhamnosous. 

L-helveticus and B-longum have been studied for effectively reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

There are a plethora of additional studies that demonstrate the role of gut microbes in regulating behavior.
Without a doubt, continual research will emerge that identifies the intricate but profound role that bacterial balance in the gut plays at modifying behavior.

Repair the Gut: Reduce Inflammation, Improve Cognition 
Any serious health-improvement program should address the function of the gut flora and mucosal barrier. This is magnified exponentially if one has chronic gut issues, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, and behavioral issues.

Because there are so many factors that will impede upon your intestinal flora, maintaining proper digestion, assimilation and intestinal immunity is paramount. All of these factors work together.

It is extremely common that when the gut is severely compromised, the mucsoal barrier is damaged, and the "tight junctions" that normally exist to keep pathogens at bay, are compromised. If this is the case, there will most likely be a greater degree of inflammation that can manifest at places in the body you wouldn't necessarily suspect (such as the brain).

Often accompanying gut flora imbalances are food intolerances of varying degrees. In fact, food allergies and sensitivities may be amplified when one's gut flora is compromised. For some individuals eliminating gluten, dairy and eggs may be essential. For others, low-oxalate diets may be important.

In many instances, it may take years of persistent attention to the gut before long-term results are achieved.

It is the opinion of this author, from firsthand experience, that proper, individualized nutrition is the foundation for restoring the function of the gut mucosal barrier.

Michael McEvoy has a private nutritional consulting practice. He works with clients nationally and internationally. Please contact him to learn more about his nutritional consulting services and programs.













British Journal of Nutrition (2011)Michae ̈l Messaoudi1*, Robert Lalonde2, Nicolas Violle1, Herve ́ Javelot3, Didier Desor4, Amine Nejdi1, Jean-Franc ̧ois Bisson1, Catherine Rougeot5, Matthieu Pichelin6, Murielle Cazaubiel6 and Jean-Marc Cazaubiel6: "Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects"


Feb 17, 2013

Messengers of Power

Rick Joyner Shares a revelation he was given about people God is raising up to walk as Messengers of Power. Maybe you're one of them.

Feb 14, 2013

Why Was The Man Born Blind?

My guest blogger today is Richard Murray. 
This is a discussion about the man who was born blind as discussed in John chapter 9. The original message was posted here.

This passage is so twisted by wrath-mongers. They love to cite it for the proposition that God struck this poor man at his birth with blindness so that Jesus would get the glory thirty years later when healed him. This is insane! God gets the glory for healing a man He struck blind to begin with? Thirty years of this man's stumbling in the darkness brings God glory?

We must avoid the trap of becoming too caught up in the exact cause of a current evil situation. Millions of tangential factors could be working in complex combination to sow the harvest of the particular destruction we are considering.

Let me use the metaphor of a large lake. Every thought or action we take is like a rock thrown into this lake of causation. It causes ripples which affect ourselves and others. Now multiply these ripples by the trillion other rocks of thoughts and actions hurled into the lake 24\7 by billions of other people past, present and future.

Also consider how those ripples may work together to cause a single tidal wave of calamity, or the waves may violently crash into each other causing multiple minor chaotic events and buffetings. Only God can know and safely navigate through and around all the interference patterns of sin, sickness and unbelief.

Why anyone wave of affliction crashes at any time on any one person is beyond our ability to know. But we can trust that God knows and always hastens to the highest available good.

Jesus only occasionally cited the source of a sickness or demon-possession, and then only in the most general of terms. Once He cited the sin of the afflicted as a causative factor. Jn. 5:1-14. Another time He stated Satan as the cause. Lu. 13:11-16. Peter was clear that Satan was always involved in every sickness and affliction at some ultimate level: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 10:38.

Yet, on still another occasion (Jn. 9:1-7), Jesus stated that the cause of a man born blind's affliction was irrelevant and NOT due to either the sin of the afflicted or his parents. When asked by onlookers whether it was the man's own sin in the womb which caused his blindness, or, alternatively, was it his parents' previous sin which caused the man to be born blind, Jesus, in the original Greek, answered: “NEITHER, nonetheless let the glory of God be revealed” (literal translation of Jn. 9:3; “Grammatically ‘hina phaneroo’ could be construed as an imperative: ‘Let the works of God be displayed in him!’ For such a construction cf. Mk. 5:23; Eph. 5:33; 2 Cor. 2:7; possible Johannine instances are 14:31; 15:25; see C.F.D. Moule, An Idiom Book of NT Greek [Cambridge: Cup 1953] 144-145, with literature there cited, and N. Turner in Moulton’s Grammar of NT Greek 3:95 . . ." World Bible Commentary, Vol. 36, George R. Beasley-Murray, Word Books (1987), p. 151.).

Also consider the Contemporary English Version’s alternate translation of these verses: "As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. Jesus’ disciples asked, 'Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?' 'No, it wasn’t!' Jesus answered. 'But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him.'" Jn. 9:1-3.

Another well-respected translation by renowned scholar George Lamsa based on the Peshitta, the ancient Aramaic version which serves as the authorized Bible of the Church of the East, reads as follows: "Jesus said to them, 'Neither did this man sin nor his parents. But that the works of God might be seen in him, I must do the works of Him who sent me....'"John 9:3.

The point is that there are many alternative renderings of this passage which are much more in line with God's character as revealed in Jesus Christ. The other translations which suggest that God cruelly struck the man blind at birth so that His OWN glory would somehow be revealed thirty years later, are simply untenable and dishonoring of the divine nature. If scholars disagree on translation issues, we should always go with the translation which best honors God and more closely resembles the heroic view of God Jesus revealed.

Getting too caught up in the specific cause of the current affliction can cause blame, condemnation and shame to pollute the atmosphere resulting in faith not being released. This is not to say prior sin of the afflicted is never to be broached, but only if the Spirit wills it. The vast majority of healings Jesus ministered never involved specific sin being exposed, but rather focused on the release of God’s glory.

Let us likewise be glory-focused. Rather than looking back on what seeds caused the evil harvest, we must hear God about what seed of faith is needed NOW to sow salvation into the situation. Sometimes that seed will be repentance over some sin by the afflicted, and sometimes it will not. Jas. 5:14-16 seems to put this burden on the afflicted as to whether a particular sin should be confessed as a cause of the current illness.

Our primary focus should always be on the “how” (to release healing) rather than the “why” (is the person afflicted). The healing is always in the “how,” not the “why.” It does not appear Jesus required repentance over sickness-causing sins before He would heal the afflicted. Of course all men need to repent for all sins, whether it be sooner or later. Yet, Jesus never made it a precondition for His healing glory to be released. However, repentance is crucial to keep the same or worse affliction from returning. (Jn. 5:14).

Feb 8, 2013

Put Down Your Checklist

My guest blogger today is Joel CoResurrected Adifon.

You won't learn how to effectively heal the sick by reading your favorite revivalist's latest book or by watching his new teaching and applying his 'foolproof' principles.

You'll learn how to heal the sick by understanding there is no longer any separation between you and the man who became a life-giving Spirit.

As you spend your day breaking bread with Him and growing to trust in the fact that this Jesus believes in you, you will become acquainted with each of His intricate mannerisms – the way He talks, the way He walks, the way He cracks a joke, the way He can have a laugh at your expense without making you feel like your dignity is lowered in any way, the way that He lets you lean on His chest, on days when the world seems against you, and asks you to tell Him everything – it is from this place that we are called to minister, from a place of knowing Him.

Healing is not about us. Healing is not even about the person in front of us.

It's about Jesus.

And as cliche as the above statement sounds, I can't even tell you how easy it is to overlook this pretty important fact.

My dude and bro Caleb New shared something with me that has been absolutely undoing the way I think about ministry. He vocalized something that Holy Spirit has been teaching me, but I didn't quite have language for.

This is a paraphrase of our conversation, not a direct quote.

"When you want to pray for healing – before you do anything else, before you command, before you release, before you speak a word – ask Jesus how He wants to minister to that person. Ask Him how He would pray and what He would do. Then, quiet your heart, turn your affections towards Heaven and watch Him. Watch where He places His hands, listen to what He says over the person, feel the way He touches the brokenness. Then, do that."

Away with all our formulas and gazillion-step methods!

Away with all our efforts to do ministry without resting in His abiding presence!

Away with all our attempts to learn to function in the gifts apart from the Anointing that teachings us all things!

The Christian life is not a journey to become some super-anointed revivalist or the next big apostle-prophet-overseer-evangelist-whatchamacallit.

The Christian life is about enjoying Christ and being satisfied in an ever-unfolding relationship with Perfect Love.

A relationship has no 'method'. A relationship has no 'strategy'. A relationship has no 'mapping'. A relationship has no 'manual'.

Go take a walk with Jesus and ask Him what it was like for Him to grow up in Nazareth.

Next time you go to watch a movie, ask Him what He wants to watch.

Take Him out for a night out and ask Him what restaurant He wants to go to.

If any of these things sound silly to us, then it's clear we need more work learning to practice His presence and realizing just how tangible He really is.

When you learn to live every moment with the understanding that He's always with you, you'll have no problem asking Him what to do to make a tumor disappear or raise a dead body back to life.

Put down your checklist.

Pick up relationship.

Feb 7, 2013

Feb 2, 2013

Dr Issam Nemeh Interview part 2

This is part 2 of an interview with Dr. Issam Nemeh.