This article reports the new research of neurocardiologist Dr. J. Andrew Armour of the University of Montreal, who first introduced the concept of a functional heart brain in 1991. In this 19-page technical monograph, Dr. Armour states, “the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information coding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “Heart-Brain.” A starling idea is, “the heart can process information and make decisions about its control independent of the CNS (brain and spinal cord); and the heart-brain is 5000 times stronger than the cranial brain. Moreover the heart brain maintains a 2-way dialogue with the Cranial-Brain and the rest of the body. This means, to me, that the heart has a mind of its own and our Father God had it right all along. Now at long last science has caught up with the Bible and neurocardiolology is hurled into the Evangelistic Process of mankind.
Let us explore this magnificent marriage of the Cranial-Brain and the Heart-Brain. The mental mind and the emotional mind of your being.
The KJV Bible states, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for our of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). The Message Bible elaborates “issues of life as the place where life starts and is sustained.”
“Your heart is the common ground where God and you meet. The heart is love. It’s the place where forgiveness is cultivated, where faith takes root, where love grows, where hope blossoms, where mercy reaches fruition. Your heart is God’s greatest gift to you. Loss of heart results in hardness of heart. The heart must be guarded, nurtured and respected.” (The Message Bible, Proverbs 4:23-27)
Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled … ”(John 14:1)
Paul speaks in Philippians 4:6-7; “Be careful for nothing (don’t worry) but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Let it be known. The Heart-Brain is the alpha and omega of thought and feeling. It thinks and feels. This 2-way dialogue accounts for the Heart-Brain’s strength and significancy over the Cranial-Brain, which only thinks and creates. Solomon asked God for an “understanding heart” to rule over the people. “The Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7). For to feel is to understand. And to understand is the empathize and have compassion for another’s feelings, motives or situations. We pray God to “search our hearts and know our thoughts…” (Psalms 139:23-24). We pray for many heart revisions during the search:
(1 Sam. 10:9)
“Uprightness of Heart”
(1 Kings 3:6)
(1 Kings 3:9)
“New Heart and New Spirit
I ask you dear sisters and brothers: “Is thine heart right with God?” (2 Kings 10:15). Get right with God and do it now. God looks for loving people, “whose hearts have been touched.” (1 Sam. 10:26). As God sought David, “a man after His own heart.” (1 Sam. 13:14). Can you affirm that you also follow hard after God’s own heart? (Psalms 63:8); that daily you pray for a clean heart that you might worship and serve God and His Christ Jesus with all your heart, spirit/mind, body and soul?
…To Be Continued
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The Reverend Dr. Rebecca R. Rivka, LPC, is former School Psychologist, Portsmouth and Norfolk Public Schools; (ret.) Professor of Psychology, Norfolk State University; (ret.) Licensed Professional Counselor, Commonwealth of Virginia; Senior Local Elder, The Virginia Annual Conference, The African Methodist Episcopal Church and The Historic Saint John’s AME Church, Norfolk, VA. The Reverend John D. Burton, Senior Pastor. Saint John’s AMEC is the Mother Church of African Methodism in Virginia.