Quality of Life – DNA or Attitude                                                                     Written  By Sis. Linda Schreckenberg

Sis. Vickie Hodges, please tell us about yourself and your ministry.

I reside in Pearland, TX. with my husband, William. We have two sons and four grandchildren. I’m a survivor of childhood abuse, which I was born into. So, for the past 38 years my profession has been Early Childhood Education, with a strong focus on Brain Development Research in regard to the science of thought as it pertains to thinking, learning and understanding. My passion is linking neuroscience with scripture and witnessing how science is catching up with what is written in the Bible.

What determines most of our quality of life? DNA or attitude? What do you mean by ‘quality of life?’

Most of our quality of life is determined by our attitude and not by our DNA. We’re not victims of our biological makeup. People have different views regarding the term quality of life. Many believe this term speaks of the monetary goods we have in life, such as cars, houses, money, land, etc. But, if all those things truly determine our quality of life, then why do we still long for love, joy, peace, happiness, acceptance and belonging? Quality of life really has everything to do with how much love, joy, peace and happiness we obtain throughout our lives.

What can you point to as a foundation for understanding this concept? Why is understanding this important? How does it affect us as Apostolic Christians?

Our thoughts affect us both physically and emotionally. Through conscious effort, we can gain control of our thoughts and emotions/feelings. By doing so, we actually change the chemistry and programming of our brain. As Apostolic Christians, this empowers us to no longer settle for a life filled with damaged emotions and unhealed memories. We no longer settle for a life of defeat. As our culture goes through an epidemic of toxic thoughts that are left unchecked, we, as Apostolic Christians, can rise above culture and society. We can begin proclaiming and declaring 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Explain the process of epigenetic (i.e. non-DNA influences) on our life choices and attitudes.

Our thoughts actually become a physical reality in our brain and body. They affect our mental and physical health. Thoughts form our attitude, our state of mind. Our state of mind is a real, physical, electromagnetic quantum and chemical flow in our brain that turns groups of cells on or off in a positive or negative direction, based on our choices and reactions. This is called epigenetics.

As simply as possible, share some of the concepts that support this belief of attitude influencing our quality of life?

Our brain responds to our thoughts by sending neurological signals throughout our body, which means our thoughts and emotions are transformed into physiological effects. Physiological experiences transform into mental and emotional states. The thought literally takes on a physical existence as a positive or negative change in our cells. And, to think we are in control of this! The choices we make on a daily basis has a major impact upon our 3-part being of spirit, soul and body.

Which scriptural references are linked to this concept? What is God telling us by these passages of scripture?

The scripture reference linked to epigenetics is the enactment of Deuteronomy 30:19, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”
Neurogenesis is the daily birthing of new nerve cells and is linked to the scripture in Lamentations 3:22-23 that tells us “….the Lord’s mercies are new every morning.” Romans 12:2 shows us how to get control over our thoughts, “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….” God is telling us that every moment of each day is a new beginning, a new chance to make the right choices. We can mess up in one second, and the very next second is a new chance, a new choice. Therefore, we must choose wisely.

In a nutshell and in layman’s terms, describe what actually happens when thoughts enter the brain.

Our brain responds to our thoughts through our mind (our feelings, emotions, memories and will) by sending neurological signals throughout our body. Our thoughts and emotions are then transformed into physiological and spiritual affects. It is then that the physiological experiences transition into our mental and emotional state, which is seen through our actions and behavior.

Share several practical ways a person can take control of their thoughts and attitudes to bring about positive change in their lives?

1) Gather their thoughts: This helps them become aware of their thoughts, examine their thoughts and take captive their thoughts.
2) Focused Reflection: This is a deep, intellectual, disciplined thinking, with attention to body awareness, emotion regulation and a sense of self that changes the brain positively. They are making a choice.
3) Write or journal: This step consolidates their thoughts and allows them to see their non-conscious and conscious thoughts visually.
4) Revisit Reflection: This step helps them self-reflect and sort out their thoughts. This is the revealing process, and this stage is where they are able to make change happen. They decide which choices they will make.
5) Reach: They are now able to get results when they put the actions behind the choice or choices they’ve made. They will know they’ve made the right choice when their choice is in alignment with Philippians 4:8, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Tell us about your ministry and how you are involved in teaching people to bring about spiritual life changes.

LIFE (Living In Freedom EVERYDAY) is a Recovery Series for people who need a recovery for damaged emotions and unhealed memories caused by life’s hurts, pains, traumas and abuses. I travel to different states, cities, colleges and community events, teaching LIFE Seminars/ Workshops. Whether raised on a pew or out in the streets, living in a mansion or under a bridge, Christian or non-Christian, we all go through the same emotional healing stages. Contact me at www.VickieHodgesSharingLIFE.com, message me at (281) 489-0055 or text (281) 433-4976.

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