John Steward of Jesus
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Balm in Gilead

These postings were made on a forum at

As more years pass, and as I accumulate more "trials and errors", and see others do the same, I am increasingly impressed with the difficulty of diagnosing, understanding, predicting, or prescribing the facts regarding any individual's health, nutrition, and well-being.

You and others have helped to make me aware of many valid general observations. But the individual application seems to me to remain an art or a gift. Those who in my judgment do best do so with one form or another of specific guidance.

On this Thanksgiving weekend I make this entry as an expression of thanks to our Creator for the healing I have experienced, and as an encouragement to others who may be led to walk unconventional paths toward healing.

As one who doesn't "have" a "doctor", and hasn't for decades, I thought for years that the only time I might really need one would probably be a time when I might think that I had broken one or more bones which might need "setting" and casting. Now I realize that even that is not so certain.

On June 27 I fell backward and headfirst off a scaffold plank on the top of six-foot ladders and landed with my left shoulder on hard ground.  After confirming that I seemed to be alive and breathing, and that I could wiggle my toes and use my right arm, I learned that my left arm was limp and unusable. I could move my fingers, but when I tried to raise my arm it fell limply to the side.

Those nearby wanted to call 911, but I called a friend who brought me home. It was one of the most painful and challenging experiences of my life. When I got to my bed I lay flat on my back, where I stayed in that position for a week or two. My wife cut off my shirt.

We are blessed to have several people nearby who have helped others in the name of the Lord in discerning the causes of specific individual maladies and the steps which may lead toward healing. They make extensive use of "muscle testing" in discernment. Suggested steps are varied and include the use of herbs, supplements, essential oils, foods to avoid or emphasize for a short or long period of time, exercises, environmental changes, schedule changes or disciplines, water consumption, baths, pressure-point massage, skeletal adjustment, and other non-medical therapies.

One of these practitioners was of great help to me, in consultation with the others. "Testing" indicated that my shoulder had a fracture but not a break which had separated or misplaced so that it needed to be "set" or restored. Immobility would permit it to heal. The rest of the damage was severe stretching and bruising of tendons and ligaments.
Those who have experienced such damage know it is very slow in healing.

After the days spent flat on my back I spent weeks in a "shoulder immobilizer" (a harness and strap arrangement), weeks in a lighter sling, and further weeks recovering mobility and strength in the shoulder and arm. Ten weeks after the injury I was able to return to the house where it happened and finish the painting work I had in process. Since then the progress continues so that I am optimistic that I will be given a full recovery.

I could try to entertain you and probably bore you with all the details but the details are really not significant because they will be different in every situation.

How we respond to serious maladies is conditioned by the way we respond to small maladies--colds, flu, splinters, cat scratches, bruises, indigestion, constipation, etc.

May this testimony be an encouragement to all those who are seeking to avoid the contemporary pagan sorcerers and promote a therapeutic fellowship with others in the Spirit of the Lord. He has always been the great Healer.

There is still balm in Gilead.