Journal of the People’s Pastor
“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History
PART II: SICKNESS, DEATH AND AGING
“A Consideration of Agelessness”
Moreover, longevity also applies to our brain. It may come as a shock
to some of us that there is an ageless quality regarding our brain.
We may learn slower, but the capacity for growth is still there. In
the November 2007 issue of Prevention Magazine, there is an article
entitled, “Miracle – Grow For Your Mind.” The author,
Dr. Thomas Crook, PhD, discusses the brain’s craving for growth.
He writes that there is an instinctive urge comparable to a thirst or
hunger that the brain has for new experiences. He said, “Animal
studies have shown us that the brain rewards novelty by releasing a
pleasure-inducing chemical called Dopamine. Learning is reinforced because
it’s essential to helping the brain grow and thrive.” He
continued, “Here’s the best part: if you seek out new experiences
throughout your life, your brain will keep growing – sprouting
new cells (neutrons) and the branches between them (dendrites) –
no matter your age. (Wow!) He went on to say, “Science has visual
evidence of this process. Thanks to MRI technology, we can see learning
centers in the human brain light up and witness the birth of neutral
paths when we try something new. These signs of activity and growth
are visible even in the elderly.” Less we should become immobilized
by the challenge of doing new things, Dr. Crook says, that the pursuit
of novelty or newness need not be dramatic or monumental. Under the
heading entitled, Put a New Spin on Old Routines; Dr. Crook lists some
simple, at hand things, we can do:
Brush your teeth using the opposite hand. (My response – the Dr
assume that we have teeth. He may mean, “if we do not have teeth
make the brushing motion anyway.”)
Reverse your usual walking, running, or biking route.
Trade in your favorite game. If you love crosswords or Sudoku puzzles,
or, learn to play one of the dozen of brain training games on your computer.
Eat at an ethnic restaurant.
Rearrange your furniture.
Start planning to visit a new place this weekend, even if it is just
in the next county.
Grab that recipe you clipped and head to a different grocery store to
shop for ingredients.
While Dr. Crook does not include the following in his list of new things
to do, it is, however, in the same vain that he says, “To help
your brain strive, speak to people outside your normal social circle
and listen for fresh perspectives on life.”
Finally, Dr. Crook concludes, “If you do even a few of these things
in a single day, you will be amazed at how all this new found knowledge
enriches your life.”
I am sure we all remember how curious we were when we were children.
We wanted to know everything. We had an endless stream of questions.
As we grew older, our curiosity dwindled and or disappeared. We blamed
it on aging. How wrong we were. We must recapture the joy and excitement
of learning. Curiosity was/is a God-given exercise to enable us to remain
alert and sharp, so as to enjoy life while we are on earth.
There is a Bible verse that we should internalize and repeat to ourselves
often. “I would above all that you may prosper and be in health
even as your soul prospers.” We see again God’s intention
for our lives. Prospering, as here used in the scripture, is not confined
to material stuff. But includes all that makes life meaningful, purposeful
and enjoyable. And the reference to health includes body, mind and spirit.
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday night forums
7pm to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.
We will be hosting a Tribute to Brother Elombe Brath, on Sunday, December
9, 5pm, at the House of the Lord Church.
On Thursday, December 13, 2007, 7pm at the House of the Lord Church,
Rev. Daughtry will be making a report to the community on his trip to
Sudan at the Timbuktu Learning Center.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday
from 2pm to 4pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House
of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord
Church @ (718) 596-1991.