In this fourth episode of Dr. Paula’s START2DAY to LIV2DAY series, Dr. Paula raises the undeniable issue of rising mental stress and anxiety in our culture and in the world we’re living in today. Before we can stand strong in the battlefield, we must first attend to our own health. Maintaining balance of the mind, spirit and body is simply more challenging when external stressors are growing in magnitude in our everyday lives. Dr. Paula walks us through a “self-check” to keep us on watch over our own well-being. And then with our health intact, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-18, “Put on the armor of God….” Now is the time for Christians to stand strong, together.


Hi there. I'm Dr. Paul McDonald. And I welcome you to my podcast live today. It's here that Together, we'll explore the concept of balance, as God designed it to be, for us, his children, balance of the mind, the body in the Spirit. And it's what I've named Theo synthesis, and it's here waiting for you. Well, hello, everyone, this is Dr. Paul McDonald. And I'm coming to you today with a heavy heart that I know most of you are probably experiencing as well. Because if you've turned on any type of media outlet, whether it be the news, social media, wherever you're finding where you go to get your news, all we hear about are the world events, and they're not good right now, the world is in turmoil, and we've been in turmoil for the last two years. And you better believe that it's going to take a toll on your mental and emotional well being. I know for myself, when I start to feel the effects of being emotionally overrun with data coming in bad news, you know, stress, I see it first, in that I don't, I'm not nearly as calm and kind to, to others, I get snappy. And that for me, I have learned when I start seeing that side of me come out, that's when I know. Alright, Paula, it is time to refocus and take a step back. And what I mean by that is, it's time to do a really big self check. And so as we've been in this series of start today, looking at our mind and our body in our spirit, we're going to refocus today on the mind. Because right now, I can't think of a better time than to refocus on how you are doing mentally, how are your family members doing mentally? How are your children doing mentally, and I have to share something really horrible. That happened in our little town just recently. And we're a population of about 9000. So it's a small Texas town. So when, when there's a big event, it affects everyone. And as a sitting school board trustee, and as a former high school teacher, I know that when we lose kids in our school district, in any form or fashion, it's difficult, and it reaches down and touches everyone, the cafeteria workers, the school bus drivers who pick these kids up, they're the first people who see these children each and every day. And they're the last ones to see them off as they go home. And of course, their teachers, their counselors, the administrators, and of course, and most importantly, their friends. So what happened was, we needed to do a well check on a family because two of the students had not been to school. And what was discovered was horrific, it would ended up being a triple homicide with a fourth person committing suicide. So the entire family was deceased, when they found them, and two of them were children. And so this rocks our community when something like this happens, and so you, you couple that with what's going on in Ukraine, and Russia, and all of the things that are going on that we've been dealing with, with the the writing the cost going up just everything, our own personal health, you know, people putting us on a fear mongering tour for the last two years. And so you guys mental strength, stress is at an all time high. And I told you that story, as a reminder that none of us know what people are dealing with or how they're dealing with or how they're not dealing with something behind closed doors. So we don't know, when we meet somebody at the grocery store, and they're being rude. We don't know that they are really coming from a tough situation. So it's important more now than ever, that despite how you're feeling when you're out and about people are looking to us as believers, to give them some sense of hope and stability

and and to shine that light. We are to be light in a very dark world. And right now I would have to say that we're in a dark world. So our lights need to be shining brighter than ever. And one of the stories that I've often referred to is the story in the Bible, where the disciples are out on the sea, and they're in the boat, and this horrible storm whips up really quickly, and they are frightened. And they look and they see Jesus and he's coming toward them. walking on the water, and brave Peter jumps out of the boat, and he starts walking on the water as well towards Jesus. And he's so excited to see Jesus. And then Peter looks down and realizes, oh my gosh, I'm walking on water, and he starts to sink. And Jesus says, Look at me, and he reaches his handout, and Peter comes back up. And that's such a beautiful reminder to all believers, that when we feel like we are sinking, when we feel like all is lost, if we extend our hand to Jesus, and we put our eyes back on him, that's when we are able to rise up and to be strong. And to continue on. Because right now, this is not a time for believers to run inside and bury our heads underneath our covers. We can do that for a short time. But we have to get back up. We have to get back out there. You guys, people need you. People need to see Jesus's light. So how can you do that? Well, at the same time, protecting your own heart? Well, to start with, you need to take care of yourself first. It's just like that oxygen mask, when it comes down, you have to put it on the person next to you first,

and then put yours on. No, I'm sorry, I got that backwards, you got to put yours on first and then help that person.

There we go. And so you have your mask on. And now you're breathing that oxygen. And you're thinking clearly, and you can help those around you. So in order for you to put your oxygen mask on first, there's some things that you can do. And one of those is to recognize, okay, I'm stressed out. And I need to take a step back. And so what does that look like for you? I don't know. But for me, it means maybe taking a day off. Just staying home, and getting into my Bible, opening God's word and saying, God, I desperately need to hear from you. I'm tired, I'm weary, I'm battle weary. And he will show you, He will direct you. He will comfort you. And even if you're just even too tired to even pray, we know that the Holy Spirit intercedes with us when we can't even formulate the words. So it's important just to recognize, okay, I need to slow down I need to shift gears. And then secondly, do a quick self check on Have you eaten? Well, have you been missing meals? Or have you been overeating, the type of foods you don't need, because that's not the type of fuel you need. When you're in a stress environment, you need the best wholesome food you can get into your body so that your mind can function properly, your body can function properly. And then also, are you hydrated? Are you drinking enough good fresh water. Those are just simple things that well, they seem simple, but a lot of people really have trouble with them. Because when you get stressed out, you just shut down and you just stop thinking clearly. And so do a lot quick self assessment. And then if you need to take a nap, take a nap, rest, whatever that rest looks like for you. You need to do that. So it's an order to really get healthy mentally and strong mentally, is take care of your body. Take care of your nutritional needs, take care of your hydration needs. Go for a walk, get out of the house, do something different. And then come back and take a deep breath and say, Father, where would you have me go? What would you have me do during these times? Because when you step out that door, that's when people are looking, you may not know that people are looking at believers right now to see how are we handling all of this? Are we running away? Are we running into the storm with Jesus? How are you handling it? And so as I've said, and reminded you have revelation 1111 Where it's that verse in the Bible, that were the two witnesses which I believe the Two Witnesses represent the church and believers, the church which is made up of believers, and then also God's word. Those are the witnesses of Christ. And they're dead in the street. And right before revelation 1111 And everyone thinks Yes, dingdong the witch is dead. The Word of God has gone in the Bible has no relevance. And we are seeing that today. We are seeing people trying to destroy God's word and everything in it. Day by day chipping away at God's creation, chipping away at how He created me Man and Woman, just everything we're seeing it. And so I love this verse, because in Revelation 1111, it says, And God breathed life into them, and they stood up, and those around them were terror filled. Wow. When you think about that, in the context of believers, receiving the Holy Spirit, which we have, and God's breathing life into us, he's telling his church, wake up, it is time to get ready to fight, stand up, and be prepared. And so that's why Paul was so important. He wrote that important verse, those verses in Ephesians, six through 10.

You need to put on your armor of God each and every day. We need to be battle ready. And yes, warriors do get weary. And that's all the more reason why you've got to take care of yourself right now, more than ever. And so each day, when you're finding yourself getting a little more weary, take a step back, reassess, and then make the changes that you need to make, because you guys, all of us get tired. But we need each other more than ever. The Church must stand together, as we continue to hear the news unfolding. And we need to be able to go out there and offer the light of Christ to those who have no light, they have no hope. And I've often said, I don't know how people deal with horrific situations in their life, when they're not believers. Because what's the hope? What's the purpose? If we just live this life? To just oh, okay, Sunday, I'm just going to die. And I'm just going to go back to being dirt. Yeah, there's no hope in that. There's no life in that. But for those of us who believe we know, there is light at the end of the tunnel, we know that there's life at the end of this life. And that alone should bring such an amazing comfort. And when we put our eyes back onto Jesus, that's when the storms within us can calm down. That's when we can refocus and say yes, Jesus, and hold his hand tightly through the storms. And these daily storms are going to keep coming. The world is going to keep being upside down. But what doesn't change is Christ, God's love for us, His promises to us, his character, none of those change. Even though the world is absolutely insane right now, the one thing I know that does not change, and then I can rely on 100% is God's word, and what he's told us, and the promises that he's made to you and I.

So as you're dealing with your own emotions, don't forget to take a look at your children and your grandchildren. You guys, we are starting to really see the effects of motion, emotional and mental stress onto our children. They've come through two very tough years, just as we have. And so imagine the stress on children. I mean, they've heard things like, oh my gosh, if you go to school, without a mask, and you come home and you get grandma sick, then you're responsible for killing her. I mean, that is terrible. But that's what these kids, that's what they hear. You know, they see adults afraid to go out, touch each other. Get close to one another smile at each other. You guys, it's crazy. And so, two years later, I'm telling you what we are seeing the effects of how it's affecting our children. So we must, we must make sure that we're taking care of these kids. And when you see a child, you kneel down to them, you smile right in their face and you give them a warm hug. We need to get back to that we need to get back to this is how God designed us. He designed us to breathe fresh oxygen. He did not design us to cover our faces and breathe in our own co2. That entire thing is absolutely ludicrous. And you guys we all fell into it hook, line and sinker. And I know this podcast could be extremely controversial at this time. But God has been telling me to stand strong. Stand up, speak up and speak out for Logic and wisdom and truth. And I don't get it from myself. I receive this straight from the Holy Spirit, and straight from the Word of God. And so remember that part of revelation 1111, where after it says God breathed life into them, and they stood up, they didn't stay laying down, they stood up. He's asking us to stand up and stand with him. And then the third part of that verse, those around them were terror filled? Well, when you think about it, what better way to divide and conquer nations than to keep the people apart. If we're apart, we can't band together, we can't come together as a force. And so that's exactly what that verse means at the end is when those around them are going to be terror filled, when the church when all of us wake up to this tyranny. And we say, no, no more. And we stand together as United Christians, not divided Christians, because it's true. If we are divided, we are going to fall. And so God has never encouraged us to stay apart. In fact, his Word tells us over and over that we are to be together with like minded believers, we are to come together and worship and pray and encourage and help our communities. And we can't do that. If we're all staying apart in our own little homes. So I say no more. Never again, will I allow anyone, any government to tell me what I'm supposed to do with my own body, and with my own time.

So I know I'm getting, I'm getting in there. And this may be banned. But that's okay. I am doing what God's telling me to do. And that's to speak up. And you guys, it's time, when we rise together and be strong. That's when we're gonna make a huge difference. So you must be strong, mentally and emotionally. Because when God calls you, you need to be ready. So every day when you get up, you think about those four things we put on. In Ephesians. We put on our helmet, we put on our breastplate, we put on our sash, and we put on our feet being ready. And then the two things that we hold, are a sword and a shield. And you think about it, a shield is used to defend. But in the other hand, your sword is used as a weapon. And so God's word, that's our whip weapon. He is our shield. And we are to open our mouths and speak truth. We are to be bold. So, you know, right now you guys, it is it is a tough time. There is no doubt. And so my prayer for each of you that are listening, is that today, you've heard two things, one, take care of yourself, reassess. But number two, don't stay there. It got to stand back up. And so my I'm going to pray, I'm going to close in prayer. And I really pray that those of you who are hurting, and are just lost right now that you will take everything to the throne, go to the throne before you go to the phone. Don't call a friend right now just go to him. You can call your friend later, go to the throne, and really put your needs before him. Father God, we are in a tough time, the world appears to be upside down. Things are scary. But what we do know is that you have chosen us to be here for such a time as this. You've put us on this earth at this exact moment in history. And so for us as believers, we ask for an extra measure of strength and endurance, and light. Help us to be that light that others around us need to see in this very chaotic and dark world. I pray for every listener and I pray that their hearts are pierced with the knowing that you love them and that you are in control. And it's in your name we pray. Amen. So until next time, you all I hope that you're starting today to fully live today. Thank you for joining me friends. My prayer for you is that you would seek to live today and everyday in balance and an abundant connection with God