A Stroke of Healing
by Shirley Grear
Everyday emergencies and stresses creep into our lives uninvited and affect us in unnoticed ways. Last year in the Camp Fire, the loss of our home and the chaos that lasted for months conspired against my husband’s health. At the end of March, 2019, Carl had a massive stroke affecting his left side. The medical facility to which we were sent saved his life. After more than three weeks, we were sent home with over 30 pages of discharge instructions, a walker and a cane, a myriad of medications, doctors’ appointments and more. Carl had brain impairment, confusion, left side weakness, and a vision cut.
Several weeks earlier, I had visited my niece at Weimar where she participated in the NEWSTART Lifestyle Program. Weimar sits on the Sierra Foothills with lush evergreen trees filled with singing birds and miles of hiking and walking trails. Weimar offers a variety of plant based foods and water therapy treatments. The guests I met at Weimar had a wide variety of chronic ailments. It was impressive to learn about their progress, feel the staff’s compassion, and even enjoy a delicious meal in the dining room.
Traditional post-stroke care is generally structured around appointments with a variety of specialists, prescriptions, and specialized therapies. We opted instead to enroll in the very next available NEWSTART session. Some of our family members were more than a little concerned and checked out the NEWSTART Lifestyle Program online. They attempted to assess the program based on traditional medical guidelines. Strokes are not typically considered chronic, and it appeared that Weimar did not have the necessary structure for Carl’s recovery. Carl and I, however, recognized that many stroke triggers had been silently lying dormant: high stress, high blood pressure, cholesterol, weight gain, lack of regular exercise and an inconsistent diet. We needed to address the triggers to reduce the possibility of a second stroke.
Today, we are glad we chose Newstart as his first post-hospital therapy. Unlike other programs, we were deeply impressed by the spiritual commitment and the sincere prayers on our behalf from the doctors and every staff member we encountered. Within the first four days of following the program, Carl’s vision cut disappeared. We cried for joy as he realized that objects no longer appeared to jump in front of the car as I drove down the road. A few days later, with the assistance of hot and cold treatments, he began walking without any assistance from his trek poles.
At one point, with the help of Bonnie, one of the other participants, Carl began singing and reading words from a hymnal as an impromptu choir gathered around the piano. I watched Carl progress in 18 short days. The environment organically provided for us physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Recovery from a stroke can take months, if not years. We still have a long journey ahead of us, but we believe the tools learned at Weimar will make full recovery possible. During our stay, Carl regained his site, lost weight, and started exercising. His blood pressure also fell within normal ranges. Most importantly though, we received the tools we needed to maintain the lifestyle that God has promised leads to health and wellbeing.
She Needed Comfort
by Douglas Garcia
few days ago, we got a call from a lady we’ll name Rosa. Rosa lives in Reno and recently had to cancel her cable TV to save money. As she was scanning her local over-the-air channels to see what was available for free, she providentially stumbled upon Vida Mejor TV, Better Life’s Spanish channel!
Rosa told us she has been watching for three months and the station is a big blessing to her. You see, Rosa has had a difficult life. Fourteen years ago, she lost her husband. Four years ago, she lost her son. And about a year ago, one of her daughters was killed. Rosa said that many of the Vida Mejor TV programs talked about the comfort God brings to our lives and the hope of seeing our loved ones again at the resurrection. This was very comforting to her.
She also began to learn that the church she had been attending was not teaching all the things they should be. As she watched a program on Revelation, she came to understand that we are living in the last days.
The reason Rosa called us was to find the address of a local Adventist church in her area. She wanted a church that taught the same things she was learning on TV. We were happy to find that there was a Spanish Adventist church only about five blocks away! Although she told us that Vida Mejor TV is her spiritual food, we were happy to hear that she wanted to join others in worship too!
At the end of our conversation, we asked if we could pray with her. She agreed, but before we could start, she called for her twelve year old granddaughter to come over and join us. During the prayer we could hear the young person respond with words like, “Yes, Jesus!” which was so sweet.
We are working with the local church to begin Bible studies with Rosa and she is excited.
Thank you for helping Better Life continue to broadcast to souls like Rosa who are searching for hope and comfort.
Path of Life
by Jonathan McCormick
y life began in a teal house in Carson City, Nevada, to two Seventh-day Adventist Christian parents. I was raised with the belief that there is a God who is deeply involved in my welfare and has a special place for those who love Him to spend blissful eternity. As the firstborn, I had a lot of responsibility to set the example for my would-be six younger siblings. I was a natural introvert and very shy. My mother homeschooled me for preschool and kindergarten. I was such an innocent child.
But after my first year in elementary school, I started to catch an attitude. I developed a violent temper which would plague me for many years to come. I started ignoring my teachers’ instructions to do my schoolwork. After all, math is boring and so is grammar, so who needs to pay any attention in class? I had more important things to occupy my mind—like the next wisecrack I would make without regard to appropriate timing. Before long, I had fallen behind in my math abilities. Way behind. I would look at my math papers and realize I was hopelessly unable to do them. So I just didn’t.
But school was not the greatest of my troubles. My parents had arranged for me to attend a summer camp. I went there for a week as an underaged camper and was significantly shorter and physically weaker than all my peers. That spelled trouble for me when I would deliberately annoy some of the biggest and baddest of my fellow male campers. During the course of that week, I was tormented by those bullies. They broke into the shower when I was using it; they ganged up on me to try to give me a swirlee (putting my head in the toilet and flushing it); they detained me in my cabin and slammed the door on my hand when I tried to escape, injuring my fingers; they pantsed me (pulled my pants down) in my cabin and threatened to do it again in front of the girls. This all happened in the absence of my cabin’s counselor. Needless to say, I walked away from that camp a wounded boy physically, mentally, and spiritually. My heart harbored resentment and my spirit was ravaged. My life was in upheaval. My violent temper caused me to lose self-control and destroy property at the snap of a finger. I was on the path to prison.
My poor grades were threatening my hope of a meaningful future. I would hit my head on my desk out of frustration. I was convinced that I was a dummy. I was on the path to failure.
My emotional scars from camp had me questioning the meaning of life, morality, and my very existence. I was on the path to suicide.
I was on the path to destruction, but then there was Jesus. I had grown up in the church, but I never learned the basics of Salvation. When I finally surrendered my life to Christ, I believed in Jesus (John 3:16-17), confessed my sins to God (1 John 1:9), and was baptized (Mark 16:16). My life did not magically become carefree, but it did become changed. Bit by bit, through lots of prayer, striving and grace, Christ led me to a new life in Him.
God led my dad to assign me to read the book of Proverbs once a month until my anger issues were solved. The Holy Spirit helped me overcome my violent temper and I am now on the path to self-control.
With the help of my dad, an understanding teacher, and God, I overcome my terrible grades. I joined the Boy Scouts and have become an Eagle Scout. I graduated high school with highest honors and scored in the 93rd percentile on the ACT. I am now on the path to success.
Finally, God led me to forgive those bullies who treated me so horribly. He showed me that since Christ forgave me of my sins against Him, I must also be willing to forgive those who have sinned against me. I am now on the path of hope.
Because of Christ, I am on the path of life.