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I’ve been studying the effects that God has upon the brain. Specifically, neuroscience is finding meditating especially meditating on God actually changes your brain. Now science has shown a strong correlation between spiritual beliefs and practices and the benefits upon our bodies: lower blood pressure, longer life, etc. One study at least has shown that people who attend church regularly live longer than those who do not. Is it a cause and effect? Well maybe people who live longer choose to attend church regularly. But recent studies in neuroscience lead me to believe that there actually may be a cause and effect instead of just a correlation.

Scriptures tell us to worship God with ALL of our heart and ALL of our mind. We would be mistaken to conclude that Jesus was talking about the brain when he was talking about the mind. We now know that within our brains lies the logic and emotional portions of our being. Our literal heart really is just a muscle that pumps blood.

But what I find interesting is that within our brains there are different areas. Some control logic and understanding. Others deal with emotional reactions. Others help us process what is real or at least what seems to be real. And our spiritual and religious practices stimulate different portions of the brain. For example, meditation stimulates the thalamus while decreasing activity in the prefrontal cortex. The result is that we get sense of rest and peace while God and God’s activities become even more real. So the more we mediate, the more real God becomes to us.

Some activities stimulate our logic functions and develop that portion of our brain. Other activities like repetition especially repetitive meditation can stimulate our anterior cingulate, which helps us become more compassionate and empathetic for others.

So this morning, we are going to try to stimulate different portions of the brain.

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