Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Trinity
Volume 6 No. 350 May 20, 2016

III. General Weekly Features

Health: Is Your Toothpaste Dangerous?

by Al Sears, MD, CNS

Something you are exposed to every day - something you've been told is good for you - is actually a dangerous toxin.

That toxin is fluoride, which is linked to an array of potentially serious health problems - and there's practically no way to avoid it.

Almost 70% of Americans get fluoride from their water supply… whether they want it or not. And just about all of us get it through toothpaste, mouthwash and processed foods.

For decades now, water fluoridation has been touted as a safe and effective way to improve dental health - even though there's no firm evidence to back up that claim.

In fact, when fluoride is taken internally, it actually damages your teeth. It causes tooth discoloration and dental fluorosis, a deficiency of minerals in tooth enamel.

Even brushing with fluoride is largely ineffective. The protective layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is only the width of a strand of hair. (1) That ultra-thin layer is hardly enough to shield your teeth from the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.

And yet the American Dental Association still tells people that fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults.

What's worse is there's plenty of evidence that fluoride exposure poses wide-ranging health hazards. That includes recent research linking fluoridated water consumption to thyroid dysfunction. (2)

Overexposure to fluoride also contributes to arthritis, bone fracture, gastrointestinal problems, bone cancer and even brain damage. (3)

No doubt that's the reason the U.S. government lowered its recommended dosage for fluoride for the first time in 2012.

But every American is still overexposed to fluoride. The good news is there's an effective natural antidote.

Iodine to the Rescue

Taking iodine is not only the best way to rid your body of dangerous fluoride, but also other toxins such as bromide, chlorine, perchlorates and heavy metals.

Our ancestors had all the iodine they needed. In ancient times, the water and soil were rich with minerals. Plants absorbed the iodine. Animals ate the plants. Humans hunted, fished, and ingested the meat and plants.

Unfortunately, that's no longer the case.

The easiest way to get enough iodine is to season your food with iodized sea salt. You can also try eating edible seaweed, such as wakame and nori, which are high in iodine.

You'll also find iodine in cod, shrimp, fish sticks, tuna (canned in oil), cow's milk, baked potatoes with peel, boiled eggs, cooked navy beans and baked turkey breast.

Or you can supplement. I recommend getting 300 mcg of iodine daily for increased energy levels and optimal fluoride protection. Make sure you also get enough of the trace element selenium. Your body needs it to utilize iodine. (4) Taking too much iodine without selenium can lead to goiter and other thyroid problems. (5)


1. Muller F, Zeitz C, Mantz H, Ehses KH, Soldera F. Schmauch j, Hanniq M, Hufner S., Jacob K. Elemental depth profiling of fluoridated hydroxyapatite..Langmuir 2010 Dec 21;26(24):18750-9

2. Peckham S, Lowery D, Spencer S. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? J Epidemial Community Health doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-204971

3. Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: a systematic review and meta- analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Oct;120(10):1362-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104912. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

4. Cann SA, van Netten JP, van Netten C. "Hypothesis: iodine, selenium and the development of breast cancer." Cancer Causes Control. 2000;11(2):121-7.

5. Xue H et al. "Selenium upregulates CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells in iodine-induced autoimmune thyroiditis model of NOD.H-2(h4) mice." Endocr J. 2010;57(7):595-601


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product. Consult your physician for any health problems.

Family Special: When Trouble Divides Us

by Carla Barnhill

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:1–14

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them."
Ecclesiastes 12:1

There are days - sometimes many of them - when it is hard to remember what it was about your spouse that you once found so lovable. Most of us expect a few waves on the voyage to marital bliss. We might even find humor in our spouse's foibles and failings. But what happens when those waves swell into crushing tsunamis? What do we do when a spouse falls into a depression, when infertility becomes the only topic of conversation, or when one of us loses a job?

In his first year of teaching, my husband walked into a war zone. He taught fourth-grade boys with severe emotional and behavioral problems. Between their physical aggression, verbal hostility and profound inability to control their inappropriate behavior, these young boys sucked the spirit out of my husband. He would come home exhausted, unable to offer our family much of anything.

For the first few months, I remained sympathetic. But as the year went on, I came to resent his job - and his desire to do it - for the toll it was taking on our relationship and our children. That year I lived with Jim at his worst - his most depressed, most damaged, most disillusioned self. There were days when I truly wondered if I could sustain our marriage with him doing that kind of work.

Yet in the midst of all this awfulness, God kept showing me the things I loved about Jim: his heart for broken people, his strength of character, his resilience and tenderness. It would have been easy for me to miss the good Jim was trying to accomplish because of the overwhelming nature of the bad it brought with it. It certainly wasn't my strength that kept our family together during this time; it was God's.

Look carefully at Ecclesiastes 12:1. It doesn't say, "Remember your Creator just in case the days of trouble come." It says trouble will come. It comes to everyone sooner or later. That's not a reason to despair but a reason to shore up our reserves. Like a cruise ship equipped with lifeboats, we need to be prepared for the hard times by treasuring the good.

So spend some time remembering your dating days. Flip through the photos from your honeymoon. Tell each other what you admire about each other and why that will never change. Then, when trouble comes, you'll have a trustworthy life raft to hold you up as you make your way to the calm shore on the other side.

Let's Talk

Was there a time in our marriage when it was hard to remember what we loved about each other? What got us through that time?

How can the memory of that success help us get through the next relational rough patch?

Let's plan a project together - creating a photo album, a compilation CD, a computer slideshow - that tells the story of our life together. When we hit a difficult season, we'll revisit this project to help us remember what holds us together.

Source: NIV Devotions for Couples

Family Picture - Make Time for Your Family

by Gary Rosberg

I was sitting in my favorite chair, studying for the final stages of my doctoral degree, when Sarah announced herself in my presence with a question: "Daddy, do you want to see my family picture?"

"Sarah, Daddy's busy. Come back in a little while, honey."

Good move, right? I was busy. A week's worth of work to squeeze into a weekend. You've been there.

Ten minutes later she swept back into the living room. "Daddy, let me show you my picture."

The heat went up around my collar. "Sarah, I said come back later. This is important."

Three minutes later she stormed into the living room, got three inches from my nose, and barked with all the power a five-year-old could muster: "Do you want to see it or don't you?" The assertive Christian woman in training.

"No," I told her, "I don't."

With that she zoomed out of the room and left me alone. And somehow, being alone at that moment wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be. I felt like a jerk. (Don't agree so loudly.) I went to the front door.

"Sarah," I called, "could you come back inside a minute, please? Daddy would like to see your picture."

She obliged with no recriminations and popped up on my lap.

It was a great picture. She'd even given it a title. Across the top, in her best printing, she had inscribed: "OUR FAMILY BEST."

"Tell me about it," I said.

"Here is Mommy [a stick figure with long yellow curly hair], here is me standing by Mommy [with a smiley face], here is our dog Katie, and here is Missy [her little sister was a stick figure lying in the street in front of the house, about three times bigger than anyone else]." It was a pretty good insight into how she saw our family.

"I love your picture, honey," I told her. "I'll hang it on the dining-room wall, and each night when I come home from work and from class, I'm going to look at it."

She took me at my word, beamed ear to ear, and went outside to play. I went back to my books. But for some reason I kept reading the same paragraph over and over.

Something was making me uneasy.

Something about Sarah's picture.

Something was missing.

I went to the front door. "Sarah," I called, "could you come back inside a minute, please? I want to look at your picture again, honey."

Sarah crawled back into my lap. I can close my eyes right now and see the way she looked. Cheeks rosy from playing outside. Pigtails. Strawberry Shortcake tennis shoes. A Cabbage Patch doll named Nellie tucked limply under her arm.

I asked my little girl a question, but I wasn't sure I wanted to hear the answer.

"Honey…there's Mommy, and Sarah, and Missy. Katie the dog is in the picture, and the sun, and the house, and squirrels, and birdies. But Sarah…where is your Daddy?"

"You're at the library," she said.

With that simple statement my little princess stopped time for me. Lifting her gently off my lap, I sent her back to play in the spring sunshine. I slumped back in my chair with a swirling head and blood pumping furiously through my heart. Even as I type these words into the computer, I can feel those sensations all over again. It was a frightening moment. The fog lifted from my preoccupied brain for a moment—and suddenly I could see. But what I saw scared me to death. It was like being in a ship and coming out of the fog in time to see a huge, sharp rock knifing through the surf just off the port bow.

Sarah's simple pronouncement—"You're at the library"—got my attention big-time. I resolved right then to change—to be a daddy who was there for his kids, who didn't spend every moment studying or at the office, who was an active participant in his children's lives. Sure, it might slow down my career ambitions a bit. But I desperately wanted my daughter to know that she was the pride and joy of my life—and that she could show me her latest drawing anytime.

It was time for this daddy to get back in the picture.

Looking ahead…

by Dr. James C. Dobson

How well I understand the struggle Dr. Rosberg describes in tonight's story. Shortly after the birth of my daughter, Danae, I finished my Ph.D. and the whole world seemed to open up to me. Radio and television opportunities were there for the taking, and a book contract sat on my desk. I was running at incredible speed, just like every other man I knew. Although my pursuits were bringing me professional rewards, my dad wasn't impressed. He wrote me a long and loving letter, gently expressing how great a mistake it would be if I continued to pour every resource into my career and failed to meet my obligations to my wife and infant daughter. He said that my occupational success would be pale and unsatisfying if I lost the love of those I cared about most. Those words shook me to the core and made me reexamine my priorities.

Satan once attempted to entice Jesus with the "authority and splendor" of this world (Luke 4:6). He will try the same with you, making every effort to lure you away from your family with temporary treasures and pleasures. When your day is so filled with "important" activities that you don't have a moment for your spouse or children, it's a victory for the devil. Don't listen to him!

Time is a precious resource that, once lost, can never be recovered. Let's spend it in a way that creates joyful, eternal memories for the loved ones under our roofs.

From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

"Family Picture" by Gary Rosberg. From Guard Your Heart by Gary Rosberg (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1994). Used by permission of the author.

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Think Differently
by Sandy Gallagher

Even though I ran a successful law practice for more than 20 years, it didn't prepare me for becoming an entrepreneur.

In any traditional business, there's a certain way of doing things so that operations flow in a predictable and orderly way.

Entrepreneurship is so far from that. It's a fast-paced and highly uncertain environment.

So what do you do if you're interested in becoming an entrepreneur? How do you make the switch?

You adopt an entrepreneurial mindset.

All entrepreneurs have a different mindset that contributes to their success. When figuring out what will work best for you as you face the challenges of entrepreneurship, it can help to learn from the experiences of others.

So today, I want to share seven ways I adapted my mindset to become a successful entrepreneur.

1) Forget About Rules.

Everything is new when you're an entrepreneur. So, there are no precedents, or right or wrong ways to do things.

To enjoy the phenomenal freedom and the high that come from creating your own destiny, forget about rules. Instead, make the best decisions you can in each moment and always look for a better way to do it the next time.

2) Do the Illogical.

We are creatures of habit, and we're used to doing things a certain way—the logical way. However, you can't use the same logic when you're in a totally different environment and you need different results.

As an entrepreneur, you've got to change your paradigm. Develop a mantra, “Do the illogical,” to help you step outside of your box to do things in a bigger, better and faster way.

3) Go with Your Gut.

You will often have to make decisions with very limited information, sometimes with as little as 10% of what you need to know. You can't just sit there and wait until you have enough information—that will never happen. You've got to keep things moving so you've got to act now, and you do that by trusting your gut.

When I first started working with Bob Proctor, it was really challenging for me to do this. However, now I go with my gut all the time, and it has led to amazing things.

4) Be Willing to Lose It All.

Most everyone is afraid of failing and losing what they have. However, as an entrepreneur, if you're not willing to go out there and fail, you're probably not going to do much of anything. So, realize that, at one point or another, you will fail.

Develop the mindset of, “If I fail, I'm going to get up and I'm going to get stronger. If I created it once, I can create it again.” It's a very freeing idea that leads to more creativity and often unexpected results.

5) Act with Fear.

Fear and growth go hand in hand. Don't ever let fear stop you—embrace it and move through it. When you face the fear, you automatically experience the growth.

6) Don't Second Guess Yourself.

You're constantly coming up with new ideas and developing concepts when you're an entrepreneur. Once you've decided something, don't debate it in your head. Go with it.

Bob Proctor taught me this years ago when I was afraid to send an email to all of my law clients letting them know I was closing the practice. He said, “HIT SEND!” So, I did, and the payoff was huge.

7) Strive for Excellence.

Set and maintain a standard of excellence—be obsessed with quality. The pursuit of excellence brings the very best of you to whatever you are doing.

I hope that you found some things on my list that will help you in your own entrepreneurial adventures.

We're here to help you succeed in any way we can. So, tell us, which entrepreneurial mindset did you find the most inspiring and which would you like more help with? We're all ears.

To your success,

Sandy Gallagher

5 Ways to Fight Back with Joy When Life Seems Dark

by Margaret Feinberg

Over the last year and a half I've been wrestling with a difficult diagnosis. It's brought me to my knees in pain, anguish, and suffering. Yet I've chosen to Fight Back with Joy. It's been one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but I've been discovering that more than whimsy, joy is the weaponry we use to fight life's battles.

Rather than living like a dark rain cloud, as children of God, we're meant to cheer our way through the streets heralding the arrival of God's kingdom, pounding at door of every human heart with hilarity and celebration until the last prodigal crosses heaven's threshold, the last hardened heart is rend, and the last older brother finally plucks his fingers from his ears.

Here are a handful of the practical tips from Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study on how you can boost your joy today.

1. Smile at the people you see today.

A recent study found that smiling can increase our happiness level and make us more productive, but the grin must be genuine. Start in your own home. Smile at your roommate. Your spouse. Your kids. Allow your eyes to light up, your hidden teeth to show. Look each person in the eyes. Remember that you're beaming the joy of God to them. You're reflecting the delight of your Heavenly Father.

2. Let the laughter rip.

God wired your body to benefit from laughter. A good old-fashioned giggle releases chemicals in your brain that equip your body to better handle stress and pain. Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, a quiet person or more of the party-pants type, you can begin laughing more.

Begin making a laugh list today. Who are your favorite comedians? What televisions shows make you laugh the hardest? Who in your life reminds you not to take yourself or life too seriously? Be intentional about spending time with lighthearted people and good clean comedy that help your body heal. Remember the wisdom of Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (NLT).

3. Hum, sing, or belt out a song.

In Philippians 4:4, the apostle Paul instructs us: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (NIV)"

Much like laughter, God designed singing to have a profound physiological response within us. When we sing, our bodies release endorphins and oxytocin which is known to help relieve stress and alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression. Turn up the radio. Select your favorite song on your iPod. Pull out a timeless CD with some of your favorite worship songs. Allow God's joy to flow in and through you.

4. Discover the joy that waits in the mourning.

Sometimes we lose our sense of joy because of a loss, hardship, crisis, or great adversity. Denying the pain often makes it worse. That's why mourning is so important. The Psalms provide a model for mourning in the lament. Psalms 10, 13, 38, and 55 provide prime examples of processing grief with God. Consider writing your own lament to the Lord.

Begin with a few sentences describing what your feeling. Elaborate on the problem and its implications. Then pause to ask God his perspective on the situation. Re-word your complaint and frustration through the lens of how God revealed himself. Then write a concluding statement of who God is in the midst. Include a word of praise and close with a declaration of trust in God.

As you grieve and process pain, you'll find joy reawakening in your heart in a deeper way.

5. Sometimes to get joy you've got to give it away.

Write a note of blessing to someone you love. If you need a fresh infusion of joy, then bless someone else. Grab a notecard and start jotting down all the things you appreciate about the person. Feel the gratitude well up in your heart. Then, pop that notecard in the mail and spread the joy.

You can't choose your circumstances, but you can choose your response. May you experience joy even in the midst of challenging times.

About The Author:

Margaret Feinberg is a popular speaker and author of Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears.

Source: Daily Update

When Nothing's Going Right

by Lysa Terkeurst

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28 (NIV)

I was discouraged.

I'd really started serving God with all my heart and spending more time in His Word than ever. But instead of circumstances getting better, they got much harder!

In two months' time, my life went from being wonderfully fulfilling and clicking right along to being completely topsy-turvy.

My computer went a little crazy and some very important documents disappeared.

A big book deal I was excited about fell through.

Our well broke, and we went several days without water.

My kids were much younger then and required more energy than my worn-down emotions had to give. I carried around this sense of guilt for not being a more patient and fun-loving mom.

Then, on top of a host of other interruptions and haphazard happenings, my husband blew out his knee and had to have major reconstructive surgery, leaving him bedridden for nearly five weeks. I felt myself getting caught in a whirlwind of emotions.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. A friend of mine hit the nail on the head when she said, "Lysa, I think when you go with God to a new level, you get a new devil."

While I'm not sure about the exact theological correctness of that statement, I do know Satan hates the radically obedient soul. He hates it when a person jumps off the fence of complacency and into the center of God's will. A spiritual battle is raging around us and because of that, life can be hard. While saying yes to God does bring blessing, it's not easy.

If our desire for obedience is born merely out of duty, we may be quick to give up. Especially when everything in life seems to be going haywire. However, if our desire is born out of delight, out of a love relationship that burns deep in our souls, it won't be extinguished — no matter the cost.

One of my favorite love stories in the Bible is that of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob's love for Rachel gave him purpose and perspective, which led to amazing persistence. He served Rachel's father for many years to earn the right to marry Rachel because he loved her that much: "So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her" (Genesis 29:20, NIV).

Do you see what love can do for a person's view of his circumstances? When you are crazy in love with someone, you'll do anything for him — and do it with the highest level of sheer joy. I want to be so crazy in love with Jesus that not only do I serve Him, but I do it with absolute delight — even when life gets hard and messy.

You see, a real sign of spiritual maturity is looking to God for purpose and perspective instead of comfort and convenience.

Trust me, I understand asking God for comfort and convenience, but I've seen that often leads me to complacency. Once God solves my issues, I move on and forget to look for lessons I need to learn from what I faced.

But looking to God for purpose and perspective forces me to learn crucial lessons in perseverance and maturity. Then I can understand the meaning of Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV). This does not mean that everything that happens to us will be good, but that God will work in and through every situation to bring good from it.

And let's not miss the last four words of this verse, where we are reminded that it is all "according to his purpose." God has a purpose, and His plans to accomplish that purpose are perfect. Trusting God's purpose, and seeking to understand that He takes all the events from our life and orchestrates good from them, leads to a changed perspective.

So although it may be difficult to maintain the right attitude with technology on the fritz and a house that hasn't been cleaned in weeks, it's important to look to God for that change in perspective. We can trust that in the midst of all the things that seem to go wrong, something will go right.

Dear Lord, I thank You for the purpose You place in everything. Give me Your perspective today as I struggle with some things that may not be going "right." I know You have a greater plan through it all. I love You and long to live for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


James 1:2-3, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)


Praise can help change our perspective. What can you specifically praise God for today — even in the midst of great trials?

Journal about a time in your life when you saw God use difficult circumstances for your good. Remembering His past faithfulness can encourage and strengthen us in the midst of our present struggles.

© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Source: Encouragement for Today

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