Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

July 7, 2022

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

July 7, 2022
Years ago, Sue and I were able to tour Ireland with some dear friends. One of my favorite parts of our trip was a guided tour of Northern Ireland in which a wonderful Irish man drove us around telling us all about the history of the violence that had been there. For our “tour vehicle” all six of us rode in a London Cabbie, like the ones pictured here.

These particular autos have been an iconic fixture in any London street scene for decades. Now the black taxicab and their extraordinary cabbies are the focal point of a new expedition into Alzheimer’s research. Below is an excerpt from an article written by Cathy Free that describes this new medical study.

“Cabbies have an incredible knowledge of London streets that seems to confer some protection against Alzheimer’s Disease—this could be clinically relevant to struggling patients, or those seeking to mitigate their risks.

Since 1865 London cabbies have been required to pass a difficult test known as ‘the Knowledge’ to prove that they can find 100,000 businesses and landmarks in a labyrinth of tens of thousands of streets. The series of exams — which take three to four years to complete — have been hailed as possibly the most difficult memorization test in the world.

To be fully licensed to drive anywhere in London, a cabbie needs to know how to plot routes without a GPS on about 26,000 streets spanning a six-mile radius from London’s center point.

But London cabbies’ skills are now being tested for a different reason: to determine whether their brains hold clues that might be applied to Alzheimer’s research. A project called ‘Taxi Brains’ is underway at University College London to study the brains of London cabbies as they map out taxi routes while undergoing MRI scans.

The hippocampus regions of taxi drivers’ brains — which play an important role in learning and memory — appear to grow larger the longer the drivers are on the job while the same region is known to shrink in people with Alzheimer’s.

Research lead, Prof. Hugo Spiers said, ‘Maybe there’s something very protective about working out your spatial knowledge on a daily basis, like these guys do. It may not necessarily be spatial, but just using your brain rather than Google Maps might actually help—in the same way that physical fitness is important.’”

All of us “older people” are familiar with brain games that promise to stave off Alzheimer’s or dementia, so perhaps this theory about cabbies’ use of their brains instead of a GPS has merit.

Here’s a thought.

Why not try to keep---not just your soul---but your brain healthy by memorizing God’s Word?

In Ezra’s beloved Psalm 119:11ff he says: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You…I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”

We know that memorizing Scripture is crucial to our spiritual health. As Ezra says this discipline helps steer us away from sin.  I wouldn’t doubt if it has physical benefits as well.

If they did MRI’s of believers who have memorized Scripture---instead of London roads---I believe they would find those hippocampuses bigger as well! So to help you think clearly as long as possible---memorize God’s Word as MUCH as possible!

Keep the SON in your eyes!
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