SIGNS
SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS

SIGNS
THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS


This page was created on August 8, 2002
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005


Review -click here
Trailers, Photos -click here
Spiritual Connections -click here

Forum -click here
SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS

Click to enlargeA CONVERSATION BETWEEN GOD AND A MAN
M. Night Shyamalan speaks of this film as essentially a conversation between God and a man. Watch this short 1 1/2 minute video for his thoughts.
REAL VIDEO

ANSWERED PRAYER AS A SIGN FROM GOD
Father Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) has lost his faith. God uses "signs" to bring Hess to a point were he has nothing left except tattered faith. "I hate you," Hess says to God. A starting point. Next God helps Hess' son through his asmatic condition when medicine was not available. God honors Hess' prayers -true signs.

HARVARD AND UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA STUDIES.
For the past 30 years, Harvard scientist Herbert Benson, MD, has conducted scientific studies on prayer. Benson has documented on MRI brain scans the physical changes that take place in the body when someone prays. When combined with recent research from the University of Pennsylvania, what emerges is a picture of complex and documented brain activity. It is truly amazing. (Source: WebMD)

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE.
”Research focusing on the power of prayer in healing has nearly doubled in the past 10 years,” says David Larson, MD, MSPH, president of the National Institute for Healthcare Research, a private nonprofit agency. Even the NIH -- which "refused to even review a study with the word prayer in it four years ago" -- is now funding one prayer study through its Frontier Medicine Initiative (Source: WebMD).

DUKE UNIVERSITY.
Mitchell Krucoff, MD, a cardiovascular specialist at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. has been studying prayer and spirituality since 1996 -- and practicing it much longer in his patient care. He says, "We're seeing systematic investigations -- clinical research -- as well as position statements from professional societies supporting this research, federal subsidies from the NIH, funding from Congress. All of these studies, all the reports, are remarkably consistent in suggesting the potential measurable health benefit associated with prayer or spiritual interventions." (Source: WebMD)

PRAYER AND SPIRITUALITY:
WHAT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS REVEALING

PRAYER AND FAITH REDUCES FEAR
Koenig, H.G. (1988): Religion and death anxiety in later life. The Hospice Journal, 4 (1), 3 24, reports, "Subjects very likely to use religious beliefs and prayer during stress were less likely to report anxiety and fear about death than were those not likely to use prayer or religious beliefs."

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE HAVE HEALTHIER LIFE STYLES
(2002). Journal of Religion and Health, 41(3):263-278 reports, "Religious activities and attitudes were inversely related to measures of physical illness severity and functional disability, and were less common among patients with prior psychiatric problems, hospitalizations for depression, drinking problems, and those currently taking psychotropic drugs."

CHURCH ATTENDANCE IMPROVES SURVIVAL
(1999). Does religious attendance prolong survival? A six-year follow-up study of 3,968 older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 54A(7), M370-M376, reports: "Investigators concluded that older adults, particularly women, who attend religious services at least once a week appear to have a survival advantage over those attending services less frequently."

RELIGION DECREASES HOSPITAL VISITS
(1998). Use of hospital services, church attendance, and religious affiliation. Southern Medical Journal, 91, 925-932, reports: "Investigators found an inverse relationship between frequency of religious service attendance and likelihood of hospital admission. Those who attended church weekly or oftener were significantly less likely in the previous year to have been admitted to the hospital, had fewer hospital admissions, and spent fewer days in the hospital than those attending less often; these associations retained their significance after controlling for covariates. Patients unaffiliated with a religious community had significantly longer index hospital stays than those affiliated."

SPIRITUALITY IMPROVES THE IMMUNE FUNCTION
Koenig, H.G., Cohen, H.J., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B., Blazer, D.G. (1997) reports, "Attendance at religious services, interleukin-6, and other biological indicators of immune function in older adults. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 27, 233-250. These findings suggest that persons who attend church frequently may have more stable immune systems than less frequent attenders, which may help explain why frequent attenders have better physical health outcomes."

THERE ARE SOME NEGATIVE SPIRITUAL ASPECTS ON HEALTH
Journal of Gerontology (Medical Sciences), 55A, M400-M405 reports: "Patients who believed that God was punishing them, had abandoned them, didn't love them, didn't have the power to help, or felt their church had deserted them, experienced 19% to 28% greater mortality during the 2-year period following hospital discharge."

INTERESTING THOUGHTS ON PRAYER

SØREN AABYE KIERKEGAARD (1813–1855):
A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer is listening.

PLATO (C. 428–348 B.C.):
All men, Socrates, who have any degree of right feeling at the beginning of every enterprise, whether small or great, always call upon God.

AMY CARMICHAEL (1867–1951):
God always answers us in the deeps, never in the shallows of our soul.

BIBLICAL CONNECTIONS
MIRACLES
GOD SHOWS HIS PRESENCE AND POWER

Adapted from Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs
Copyright c 1993 by Foundation for Reformation

1 Kings 17:22:
The Lord heard Elijah's prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he came back to life!

Scripture has no single word for miracle. The concept is a blend of the thoughts expressed by three terms:
wonder,
mighty work,
and sign.

Wonder is the primary notion. (Miracle, from the Latin miraculum, means something that evokes wonder.) A miracle is an observed event that triggers awareness of God’s presence and power. Striking providences and coincidences, and awesome events such as childbirth, no less than works of new creative power, are properly called miracles since they communicate this awareness. In this sense, at least, there are miracles today.

Mighty work (work of power) focuses on the impression that miracles make, and points to the presence in Bible history of supernatural acts of God involving the power that created the world from nothing. Thus, the raising of the dead to life, which Jesus did three times, not counting his own resurrection (Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56; John 11:38-44), and Elijah, Elisha, Peter, and Paul did once each (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37; Acts 9:36-41; 20:9-12), is a work of this creative power; it cannot be explained in terms of coincidence or of nature taking its course. The same is true of organic healings, of which the Gospels recount many; they too exhibit supernatural re-creating and restoring.

Sign as a label for miracles (the label regularly used in John’s Gospel, where seven key miracles are recorded) means that they signify something; in other words, they carry a message. The miracles in Scripture are nearly all clustered in the time of the Exodus, of Elijah and Elisha, and of Christ and his apostles. First of all, they authenticate the miracle workers themselves as God’s representatives and messengers (cf. Exod. 4:1-9; 1 Kings 17:24; John 10:38; 14:11; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4); and they also show forth something of God’s power in salvation and judgment. Such is their significance.

Belief in the miraculous is integral to faith. Theologians who discard all miracles, thus obliging themselves to deny Jesus’ incarnation and resurrection, the two supreme miracles of Scripture, should not claim to be spiritual or even Christian: the claim is not valid. The rejection of miracles by yesterday’s scientists sprang not from science but from the dogma of a universe of absolute uniformity that scientists brought to their scientific work. There is nothing irrational about believing that God who made the world can still intrude creatively into it. We should recognize that it is not faith in the biblical miracles, and in God’s ability to work miracles today should he so wish, but doubt about these things, that is unreasonable.


 

 

Review -click here
Trailers, Photos -click here
Spiritual Connections -click here

Forum -click here
 

OFFICIAL SITE
Signs © 2002 Touchstone Pictures. All rights reserved.

Hollywood Jesus News Letter
Receive the Hollywood Jesus Newsletter FREE.
SIGN UP HERE