12 Aug

Casper Pastor Completes Five-Year Journey Writing Book on Psalms

RMCNews with Shayne Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … After a five-year journey of praying, studying, and asking God to bless his work, Shayne Vincent, Casper district pastor, has completed and released his new book, The Red Letter Psalms. It is a rich experience of God speaking directly to the reader for the entirety of the Psalms.

Vincent recalls how the concept came to him. “While contemplating the Psalms, the idea came to me like a whisper in my ear, ‘Flip the Psalm.’ It was an intriguing concept, born, perhaps, of a longing to hear God’s voice. So, I tried it: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,’ became, ‘I, the Lord, am your Shepherd; you shall want for nothing.’  I was struck with the beauty of the shift in perspective.”

As Vincent began his journey writing the book, it was evident that God was leading in this project.

“It became a devotional journey for me. The more I researched, the more it became obvious that the whisper I heard was, indeed, the Spirit. The reversed point of view worked for the entire 150 chapters without any real complexity. Certainly, there were a few sticky passages. David was, after all, a man of war as much as of poetry. What truly convinced me was the beauty of God’s love exploding from psalm after psalm, revealing how intimately God cares for humanity.”

An excerpt of Vincent’s book shows God’s perspective on Psalm 23.

“I, the Lord, am your shepherd; you shall want for nothing. I give you rest in green pastures and lead you beside still waters; I restore your soul. I lead you in paths of lovingkindness; for I keep My word. Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you have nothing to fear, for I am with you. My shepherd’s rod and staff are there to comfort you. I will prepare a banquet for you in the presence of your adversaries. I will anoint your head with oil until your cup overflows. Surely My goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life; and you will live in My house, forever.”

The project has given Vincent an avenue to meet and become acquainted with the Christian community in Casper. “This past July, I was gratified to receive a call from a local pastor whom I have come to love as a brother in Christ. He opened a new book and coffee shop in his church and invited me to share my book at a signing event with two other local authors. I was blessed to meet many local believers and leaders and [received] some news coverage. It even led to a local women’s Bible group using the book for their study.”

Vincent desires that individuals who read the book will be shown that God is love. “So far, I have been encouraged by people sharing how God is moving them as they read, rather than about my book. In reinterpreting the perspective of the Psalms, it has always been my hope that the beauty of God would become clearer, that we might all come to see that God is, indeed, love.”

The Red Letter Psalms is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/3lRWTvM. To read more on the July book signing, please visit the Oil City News https://bit.ly/37tRu5H.  To follow Shayne Vincent’s blog, visit BaringMySoul.com.

–RMCNews with Shayne Mason Vincent, pastor Casper / Wheatland district; photo supplied

11 Aug


By Littleton Adventist News — Littleton, Colorado … “I feel absolutely ecstatic. It is amazing. I am floored at the work, detail, joy, and the love of God that is being poured out to my children. I’m so thankful,” commented Jacki Miller, Littleton church member and parent, on the Vacation Bible School held recently at Littleton Adventist church.

“You are treasured” was the message 65 children discovered during the four-day VBS held recently at the Littleton Adventist church.  The program was one of many Vacation Bible Schools held in RMC this summer.

Every evening, attendees began their adventure-packed night through songs, skits, and an animal buddy, learning about how God loves them because they are treasured by Him.  Volunteers from middle school to high school led children ranging from one to eleven in activities involving crafts, Bible lessons led by adults dressed as Bible characters, and games that often involved a water aspect to help cool the kids during the hot weather.

For Marcus Henry, a high school volunteer, it was a great way to obtain the community volunteer hours his school requires. “Of all the ways to get volunteer hours, this is definitely the funniest I could think of. VBS is always a good time. I remember attending VBS as a kid growing up and now volunteering is great. [I loved] going to the different stations and seeing kids be kids.”

For another high school volunteer, seeing the kids praise Jesus through song was the best part. “I enjoyed seeing all the kids being happy and all the videos we played. Also, seeing them dance to the music was fun,” Noah Warner, a high school volunteer commented.

The countless hours of planning and the detailed behind-the-scenes work that went into planning VBS was worth it for Alise Weber, Littleton pastor for family and children. “Absolutely it was worth it! VBS has a very simple message about how God treasures each child and I want every child to leave knowing they are very special to God.”

The best part of VBS according to Turi Kirkland, age 11, was “KidVid cinema because it had a lot of interesting videos and the games were fun.”

The event ended with a spaghetti dinner that featured homemade sauce, created by a church member, and snow cones for the kids and families gathered on the lawn. However, the one item that made the most memories and was thoroughly enjoyed by the children was the bounce houses including one that involved a water slide.

For the Littleton church, VBS culminates a summer of building multi-generational relationships among members to let them know that they are treasured and loved.

The relationship-building doesn’t stop because summer is over. The church is planning activities for the fall including a father figure and son camping trip and weekly dramas throughout the upcoming Exodus series.

–Littleton Adventist News; photos by Jon Roberts

10 Aug


By Jon Roberts – Worland, Wyoming … Human trafficking is a serious issue also within Christian churches, according to Karen Fettig, founder of Beneath Our Wings ministry based in Worland, Wyoming. Fettig explains that 47% of pastors support or contribute to human trafficking by viewing pornography.

Beneath Our Wings was designed to inform, prevent and educate the public on the signs and dangers of trafficking. Fettig has a unique approach that involves using mules in her ministry.

“I felt impressed to use mules because it was something different. I had a newspaper reporter ask me if it was because they [drug and human traffickers] use mules for smuggling drugs and children. [But it’s because] mules represent the children who are innocent and get forced into partaking in a crime.”

Clergy of all genders engage in pornography according to Fettig. “Women [pastors] are looking at it too. So, it isn’t just the men, but it’s a bit more of the men who are looking at it.”

How is pornography tied to human trafficking? Fettig explains you can’t have one without the other “because most of the people who are posing for pornography are being forced. Pornography can go from pictures to videos to snuff films. Snuff films are the worst of the worst, but it’s also a billion-dollar industry.”

It affects not only girls but boys too, explains Fettig. “It is happening to boys. It’s happening to girls. There are many who are forced into posing for pictures and videos and snuff films. They are put to death in snuff films. They are also doing this to babies. Some babies are being born specifically for human trafficking.”

Fettig began discussing this issue 20 years ago but recently was called by God in 2018 to begin full-time ministry. She travels to schools, churches, meetings, and seminars to help educate the people on the dangers that social media poses for our children and how children can protect themselves from becoming a victim.

The church has not always been open to discuss or breach this topic. “We did a seminar in Worland and no one showed up. People are very resistant to this. I have done seminars in various churches on protecting children from child molesters. I’ve had church members who were very against it. God has never let up on my heart and I’ve wanted to quit so many times,” Fettig commented.

The results and effectiveness of the ministry can often be discovered in one-on-one interactions and conversations. “I had a parent call me and ask if I would send her daughter something on human trafficking. I said, ‘Why don’t I just come and talk to her?’” Fettig went on to explain that it was good she talked with the daughter because she was being groomed by a trafficker.”

To the doubters who claim that the Adventist church doesn’t have to deal with this issue because it is only a world issue, Fettig had strong words. “If there’s molestation happening, I can bet there’s trafficking happening because trafficking is about money. There are silent victims who are crying for help. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you will never help them.”

Some of the statistics tied to human trafficking are very alarming. Every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim of human trafficking and the average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old. One of the most sobering statistics is 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in America per year and 15 times per day, a trafficked minor is sold for sex.

Fettig’s children support her ministry but they also fear for her safety because exposing traffickers can be very dangerous. “They worry about me being hurt doing this. One girl can make a trafficker $250,000 a year. If he’s running five to six girls, he can make a million dollars a year.” Fettig explained that this ministry helps inform and educate individuals on preventing this illicit trade which can cost the traffickers their wealthy lifestyle– the reason for her children’s concern for her safety.

Fettig is available to speak at schools, churches, or community centers.  To discover more about the ministry or to schedule her for a visit, please contact her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BOWMWY or email [email protected].

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

06 Aug


By Rajmund Dabrowski– Denver, Colorado … Accepting the nomination, by a special executive session on July 28, of the Rocky Mountain Conference Executive Committee, Mic Thurber will serve as Conference president, replacing Ed Barnett who will be retiring at the end of August.

Announcing his decision today, the new RMC president said, “Jana and I are both thrilled to be invited to be part of the Rocky Mountain Conference. We’ve met so many kind and gracious people from Rocky Mountain both in the past and recently through the decision process. We feel that the Lord has led both us and your conference leadership team in making this possible.”

“We are very excited to see what God will do with our time together in this beautiful place,” Thurber added.

The outgoing RMC president, Ed Barnett welcomed Thurber’s decision. “It has been a privilege to know Elder Mic Thurber for many years. A man of God, he will be a great President for the Rocky Mountain Conference. I want to thank our Executive Committee for a job well done!”

No stranger to RMC, Thurber has served as the ministerial director for the Mid-America Union Conference since 2013. Mic is the brother of former RMC president Gary Thurber.

Doug Inglish, RMC vice president reflected on the news. “I am very pleased that Mic Thurber has accepted the call to be our president. I have always respected his leadership, and the time I have recently spent with Mic and Jana as I have provided information about Rocky Mountain to help them reach an informed decision has been very enjoyable.”

He added, “I believe that with Darin Gottfried, our incoming VP of Finance, we have an administrative team that I am honored to be a part of.” Thurber will assume his duties on September 1.

Following the special session of the Executive Committee, Hubert Morel Jr., Mid-America Union Conference executive secretary, who chaired the nominating committee on July 28, said, “I was very impressed by the way the Executive Committee functioned in selecting or recommending the person they want as their leader–Mic Thurber.”

Nate Skaife, pastor of Grand Junction church, commented, “It was evident it was God’s will to extend a call to Elder Mic Thurber to serve as our new RMC president. It was a unanimous vote. I am very excited to see how the Lord will work through Elder Thurber’s leadership.”

Thurber, a family man, is known for his support of the church’s ministry and is a preacher of Jesus and His grace. Apart from his outstanding engagement with pastoral service, his skills match the age of technology, as he writes software, and is known for his photography.

Mic Thurber was born in Collegedale, Tennessee, when his parents were students at Southern Missionary College. Mic met his partner in ministry, Jana, 45 years ago and they have worked closely together ever since. They have three children and three grandchildren. Prior to serving at Mid-America Union Conference, he served as pastor of the Keene, Texas church. He was also the ministerial director for the Southeastern California Conference, pastor at Pacific Union College church and Calimesa Adventist church in California. Thurber also taught Bible and music at Sunnydale Academy in Missouri and Mount Pisgah Academy in North Carolina, his alma mater.


–Rajmund Dabrowski is RMC communication director; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

05 Aug


By RMCNews – Greeley, Colorado … With family, friends, church members, and colleagues, Mark Bridgeman, The Adventure Adventist church associate pastor, was ordained to the gospel ministry on July 31.

Born and raised in California, Bridgeman attended Monterey Bay Academy in 1993 and pursued his bachelor’s degree at William Jessup University studying Bible and theology with a second major in youth ministry.

Bridgeman recalls growing up as an Adventist and remembers the moment he decided to walk with Jesus on the journey called life. “I was raised in an Adventist home and attended Adventist schools through high school. I graduated from Monterey Bay Academy in 1993, but it was at Camp Wawona at the age of 11 that I gave my life to Christ, and was baptized a few months later on my 12th birthday.”

During his college years, Bridgeman drifted away from the journey with Christ. “I fell away during college as I started to live for myself. Then came a day when I realized that I had robbed God of the last four years of my life. I wanted to get on track with God.” Bridgeman continued, “The Lord led me to become a student missionary in Brazil through ADRA. It was nine months of challenges. When I returned home, I was unsure of the next step, I asked a friend for advice. She suggested becoming a youth pastor. The Lord poured out the Holy Spirit like never before and it was made clear that I was being called to ministry. Two months later, I was a full-time student and a part-time youth pastor at a local church.”

Being ordained is humbling for Bridgeman. “It is definitely an honor to be ordained, but I must say that my journey has been a humbling experience. Because in the life of a believer, it [being ordained] has nothing to do with you attaining something but has everything to do with maintaining a close and personal walk with the Lord and listening to His leading. When our ears are attentive and we seek to do his bidding, then the only one that gets all the credit is Jesus.”

The path of ministry has been difficult for Bridgeman as he has had to overcome his fear of public speaking. “My call to ministry has always been extremely difficult for me due to major fears over public speaking. I had given it to God 1000 times. The frustration of receiving a call to ministry, and having panic attacks when getting upfront in any way [made the path a difficult one]. If He called me, then why did He not take the burden away from me? But we need to realize that a walk with God is more about trust than understanding. We are not given full understanding, but we are called to trust.”

Bridgeman met his partner in ministry, Alissa, in 2000 at Sunnyvale Adventist church in California, his home church. They are blessed with two children–their son Asher, 12, and their daughter Logan, 10.

Bridgeman’s motto in life is simple: “The believer walks the straightest when they are leaning on Jesus.”

–RMCNews; photos by Susan Inglish

05 Aug


By RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … For the first time in two years, pastors and teachers flocked to Denver to spend three days enhancing their educational and ministerial skills while making connections and rekindling old bonds at the bi-yearly joint pastor and teacher convention.

The atmosphere on Sunday evening was electrified with laughter and hugs as colleagues escaped their square boxes on the screen for in-person fellowship. The common theme overheard, in the multiple circles of friendship was, “It is good to be back”.

“It was wonderful to be back in person with my teacher friends and the pastors! It is often very isolating to teach in a one-teacher school and so to be able to get together and collaborate and socialize always helps to boost my spirit. We spent a lot of our free time with each other and visited and laughed together,” Traci Pike, teacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy in Casper, Wyoming, enthusiastically expressed.

The gathering began with worship and praise music led by a trio of pastors. The excitement of worshipping as one community filled the air in the church sanctuary. The evening concluded after a short worship talk by Claudio Consuegra, NAD family ministries director, with a special service to recognize and appreciate the hard work Ed Barnett, RMC president, has accomplished in the last seven and half years. Barnett, who will be retiring at the end of August, was holding back tears as the pastors and teachers encircled him to sing “Friends” and lay hands on Barnett in a special dedication prayer service as he begins the next chapter in his life.

“It was moving to be prayed over by our pastors and teachers. What an honor to have worked for the last seven and half years in the Rocky Mountain Conference,” Ed Barnett, RMC president said.

Monday, 110 pastors and teachers arrived at the meeting location to find themselves sitting at assigned tables, combining educators and pastors, for a day-long workshop on working together for the mission of the church and school with Pam Consuegra, NAD family ministry director. The first instruction for the morning was received with blank stares and a look of puzzlement as to what to do, when everyone in the room was asked to put away their cell phones and laptops and not utilize them until lunch—a whole three hours disconnected from the world.

“I’m so proud of the Rocky Mountain Conference for making the connection and unity between the pastors and teachers a priority.  Seeing both groups come together for worship and enrichment was inspiring,” Chris Morris, associate pastor at Littleton, commented.

To conclude the three-day event, pastors and teachers separated to focus on specific workshops to enhance their skills.

For Pike, the leadership workshop was very helpful. “I think that meeting with the other principals/administrators was most helpful for me. The challenges that arise with the “principal hat” are different than the “teacher hat.” It was good to see that even the bigger schools in our conference have the same struggles that our little schools do and I think that Diane Harris [RMC director of education] and Paul Negrete [RMC associate director of education] are trying to bring us all together as one team with a common vision.”

Morris led a workshop to help educators discover their Enneagram personality traits and the challenges and success of each type. “It was a privilege to facilitate the Enneagram workshop for the RMC educators. Learning their giftedness and the giftedness of their colleagues can go a long way in strengthening synergy and trust within their respective schools,” Morris stated.

Pike was appreciative of the Enneagram workshop. “The part that stuck with me the most was learning about the Enneagram workshop. I have done temperament tests, spiritual gifts tests, etc., many times in the past, but to go into detail about what motivates the various types of people was eye-opening.”

Teachers were thankful for RMC’s leadership in planning this time together. “Diane Harris and Paul Negrete charged the teachers to keep their passion for teaching at the very center of their thoughts every school day. ‘Why is it a privilege to be a teacher? Because you are an Adventist teacher; you are extraordinary. You are called by God!  We are here to bring one more student to the Tree of Life.’ The room was filled with teachers who are on fire for God, and inspiring stories were shared to show us why we do what we do,” Jodie Aakko, Brighton Adventist Academy headteacher said.

Pike is leaving Denver with a renewed energy and peace of mind that the conference is in good hands. “I came to these meetings with a sense of trepidation because of all of the changes that are taking place in personnel/leadership at the conference office. I left with a feeling of peace and hope as we move forward. I am excited to go into this new year with new knowledge and with confidence in our leadership and in the Lord whom we all serve!”

–RMCNews; photos by Jon Roberts

Claudio Consuegra
05 Aug


RMCNews with Pennie Wredberg – Fort Morgan, Colorado … The usually quiet gymnasium during the summer months at Lighthouse Adventist Christian School, instead was filled with laughter and the sounds of basketballs dribbling during July.

Partnering with Fort Morgan Adventist church, Lighthouse school ran a basketball camp during the mornings and an art camp during the afternoons. Everyone was invited, no matter the age or ability level.

“The first year of having a Lighthouse Basketball Camp was really about learning some basic skills like dribbling and passing,” stated Brian Nadon, volunteer and parent at Lighthouse Adventist Christian School. “We tried to make that fun with games and obstacle courses that focused on improving these skills.”

Pretending to be a pirate, basketball students would steal the ball and dribble away, leaving their friends behind to become the new pirate. They drew a random number and practiced that many chest passes or bounce passes with a partner. To work on accuracy, they bounced the basketball on pretend water lilies on the floor, trying to beat the number of water lilies their friends hit. They even learned to hit the magic corner on the backboard when running a layup.

The planning for both the basketball camp and the art camp began months in advance. The first art camp offered easier projects that were linked to a children’s book. A favorite picture created by the students was of what you would see if you shone a flashlight in the woods at night. Would it be a bear, a skunk, or maybe a bat?

Later in the day, a more advanced art camp utilized multiple mediums in the creation of pieces of art. A picture might use torn paper, chalk pastels, acrylic paint, and a sharpie. Using all those mediums on one piece increased not only the complexity but also the involvement of the participants.

“Last summer was difficult”, said Pennie Wredberg, Lighthouse Head Teacher. “And even during this school year, I saw my students having to relearn social skills. We wanted to provide fun, safe activities this summer where anyone could be involved and feel successful and retain those social skills. I believe we succeeded. What I loved the most was having parents stay and do the projects with their kids or a grandmother practicing basketball skills alongside her grandson.”

–RMCNews with Pennie Wredberg, headteacher at Lighthouse Adventist Christian School; photos supplied

04 Aug


By Jon Roberts – Delta, Colorado … Jodie Gage, teacher at Delta Adventist School, has two passions– teaching children not only academics, but about Jesus, and taking care of the animals in God’s creation.

As a one-room school teacher, Jodie has masterfully blended her two passions into one and her students so love taking care of the animals in their classroom, that they forget they are in school.

Gage explains how a need arrived at her farm, or as her sister-in-law, Traci Pike says, “her zoo” turned into a P.E. class that involved a baby goat.

“I have goats and I had one that had a baby and she wasn’t taking care of it. So, where do I bring her but to school? It was exciting for the kids. We had a goat in school. It was very sick when I brought it in. We learned to pray for our pets and it improved and it became our classroom pet.”

Gage continued, “It [the goat] joined us outside for recess. It learned to run laps with us. The kids encouraged and loved the goat. It was awesome to see the kids talking to the goat and encouraging it to run along with them. The best part? The goat was teaching them to encourage each other.”

According to Gage, the biggest advantage a multi-grade school room has is the chance to grow together as a family. “We’re a family. We work together as a family. We take care of each other. We work on projects together. We’re a family.”

The family atmosphere also enhances the learning experience for all ages. “We have older kids and younger kids. So, the older ones learn to take care of the younger ones. And the younger students pick up more from the older students. When the older students are working on their lessons in science and social studies, the younger grades overhear them and start picking it up. It’s an advantage for the younger grades, but it’s also an advantage for the older students to learn how to cope in life and work with the younger generation.”

Treating the school as a family means the children have chores that they perform daily, which adds to the practical hands-on learning they receive that they may not get from a single-grade classroom.  “I have a chore chart and that chart rotates. And each kid has an opportunity to take care of the pets.”  Some of the other chores that Gage assigns to her students include cleaning the whiteboard, vacuuming the floor, picking up any items lying around, taking out the trash–normal chores you would do in a typical family.

Gage adds that because of the close-knit family unit the students experience in a one-room school, the students are better prepared for high school and what challenges await them next.  She also wants everyone to know that “most of them succeed when they continue with their education.”

Teaching in a multi-grade classroom can be challenging, according to Gage, because the curriculum is not designed for one-room schools.  However, she loves teaching in small schools because it was part of her fabric growing up. “I grew up in a one-room school, so it’s comfortable for me. We’re family. We’re united. We’re closer than a normal school, I feel because we have all different ages. It’s like a family–big brother, big sister.”

Other than the family aspect, the school is a mission field and Gage is a minister serving the community. “It’s pretty much a missionary school. I have one out of ten children that comes from an Adventist family. The others are from different denominations, whether it’s Mormon or Jews, I have also had some that don’t know much about Jesus at all.”

While one-room schools can be very taxing and challenging for the teachers, the benefits and the advantages give evidence that these small schools still play an important part in the education system. While giving hands-on practical learning, teaching the children to build strong healthy relationships with each other, and providing a safe space to grow and learn about Jesus, teachers are not only educators in the multi-grade schools, they are also pastors to the most vulnerable and valuable individuals–the children.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photo by Jon Roberts

04 Aug

Commentary: Where’s your focus?

By Ron Price — How often would you say you feed your body? It’s a safe bet that your answer is daily. Now, if I asked how intentional you are about feeding your body, that might call for a different answer. Fortunately, I do not intend to meddle in that area of your life – at least not in this post.

I’ve been thinking lately though about how strained relationships can be when one or both parties are not operating in peak, or healthy form. Tensions have always existed in our lives, and that is not likely to change any time soon. The case could surely be made, however, that with all we have been through in the past several months, tension in some relationships is at an all-time high.

It is so easy in times of relationship stress and turmoil to focus blame on the other person. Since the other person is indeed a fallible human being, he or she likely does deserve some of the blame, or credit for the negative state of the relationship. But, please don’t try to convince me or anyone else that the fault is solely in their corner.

So that leads me back to my introductory question. How mindful are you about the fuel that you put into your body? And while you’re pondering your response, how about your mind and your emotions?

So often we tend to put our lives, and our relationships, on auto-pilot. That might work well in some circumstances, but not many, and not for very long.

You’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat.” There’s likely some truth in that, but I believe it is even more true that you become what you repeatedly think and feel. To me, that can be good news or not-so-good. Again, it is not my place to tell you or anyone else what you should eat, what you should think, or how you should feel. It is my place, however, to challenge you to give those matters some focus and consideration.

After three decades as a mediator, and two as a life coach, I firmly believe that relationships could be so much healthier if the people in those relationships were individually healthier. Now, before you say “duh”, please do take some time in the coming days to reflect on your precious gift of life. As you have heard, life is fragile, handle with care.  Do that, and I believe you will enjoy more peace and contentment, with far less stress and grief.

— Ron Price MA writes a regular column on www.RonPrice.com.  He is the owner/operator of Productive Outcomes, Inc., and has spent the last 30+ years as a mediator, helping people resolve their differences with others. He provides in-person and virtual training on a variety of life skills. He is a member of Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farmington, New Mexico and a member of the RMC Executive Committee. For more information, visit www.RonPrice.com. To add your name to his weekly mailing list, please send him an email at [email protected]. Photo supplied

This article was reprinted with permission

04 Aug

Become a Virus Fighter: Learn how to increase your Natural Killer Cells

By Tim Arnott M.D. — Natural Killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cell with packets filled with enzymes that can kill cancer cells or cells infected with a virus, including the SARs-CoV-2 virus. Preliminary studies in COVID-19 patients with severe disease suggest a decrease in natural killer cell numbers, resulting in decreased removal of virus-infected cells, and unchecked increase of tissue-damaging inflammation.[1]

Severe complications of COVID-19 are more common in elderly patients and patients with heart and blood vessel diseases and diabetes. NK cell functions are blunted in all these patient groups.  Also, the dangerous cytokine storm is more common in these patients, as their unhealthy NK cells cannot modulate the immune response properly.[2]

Cytokine storm involves an abnormal exaggerated immune response that causes collateral damage greater than the immediate benefit of the immune response.[3] Healthy NK cells are needed to prevent the cytokine storm. NK cells working properly clear the COVID virus-infected cells more quickly and efficiently, helping to prevent the cytokine storm.[4]

The good news is that there are things we can do to improve NK cell function and increase their numbers. “Pure air, sunlight, temperance, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in Divine power are the true remedies.”[5]  Amazingly, science is demonstrating these remedies improve NK cell function and number.

Consider pure air. We understood as early as 1905 “there are life-giving properties in the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir.”[6]  Recently, scientists have discovered that pine trees release chemicals, called Phytoncides, which increase NK cell activity. For example, alpha-pinene, released by the pine tree, more than doubled NK cell activity against leukemia cells.[7]

Thus, to improve NK cell activity, spend more time outside. Phytoncides from Cypress, White Cedar, and Eucalyptus trees had the same effect on NK cell activity.[8]  Truly, there’s life in a tree.[9] God wants to feed our bodies in the air we breathe as well as the food we eat! So, take a walk outside every day. Open the windows at night. Air out the house first thing in the morning. You’ll be better prepared to fight COVID.

Sunlight also improves NK cell function. Sunlight “dramatically stimulates the expression of potent bacteria and virus-fighting proteins, which exist in … natural killer cells”.[10] Additionally, “(vitamin D) acts as an immune system modulator”, preventing the cytokine storm.[11] So, again, be outside in the sunlight and take a daily vitamin D supplement (at least 1000 IU daily) to help protect against viral infections, including COIVD.

Temperance likewise improves your ability to clear COVID. Research shows chronic alcohol consumption decreases NK cell number and function.[12]

Another way to boost NK cell function is to get your rest. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night was associated with 30% lower natural killer cell activity compared to those sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night.[13]  Thus, proper rest may likewise improve your ability to clear a COVID infection.

Get some exercise. Interestingly enough, prolonged intensive exercise (i.e., marathon) impairs NK-cell function and blunts the immune response.[14] On the other hand, moderate-intensity exercise (i.e., walking) “has a large and positive effect on the level of NK cell cytolytic activity.”[15] So, walk, walk, walk. Gradually increase your walking time up to 30 to 60 minutes a day. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

And, of course, diet greatly affects our health. Can the food we eat improve NK cell numbers or function? Most definitely. We have about 2 billion NK cells circulating in our blood.[16] To test the affect of diet on NK cells, athletes ate 1 ½ cups of blueberries for six weeks. Then, they ran for 2.5 hours. NK cell counts “were almost doubled

(~4 billion) in the blueberry group prior to exercise, and this increase was maintained throughout the exercise.”[17]  Similarly, NK cytotoxic activity was twice as high in vegetarians than omnivore control subjects.[18]  Additionally, consuming the spice cardamom dramatically increased NK cell cytotoxicity against lymphoma cells. Thus, it makes sense, in the fight against COVID, to choose a diet of “(whole) grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables … the diet chosen for us by our Creator.”[19]

When adopting a whole food plant-based diet, remember to take vitamin B12 daily, and chew it. Methyl-cobalamin is preferred. Why?  Because “suppressed NK cell activity was noted in patients (B12 deficient) compared with control subjects”, but improved after methyl-B12 treatment.[20]

Drinking mineral water also improved natural killer cell activities compared to tap water.[21] Clearly, minerals are important for optimal NK cell function, but minerals can also be obtained from seeds, beans, greens, and nuts. Thus, enjoy six to eight glasses of purified water daily between meals. Check with your physician first if you have heart failure or kidney disease.

Finally, NK cell activity is impaired in those who have suffered a major loss, for example, in recently widowed women with clinical depression, compared with those without major depression.[22]  Thus, we would encourage all to seek rest, hope, and comfort in Christ.  He has promised, “For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”[23] Thus, take time to come into His presence each morning and “pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.”[24] Remember, “in His presence is fullness of joy…”[25]  Consider reading a chapter from one of the four gospels each morning with a prayer for the blessing of the Holy Spirit.

As you can see, there are many simple steps we can take to improve NK cell function and number, increasing our ability to successfully fight the SARs-CoV-2 virus and help avoid devastating tissue damage caused by cytokine storm.

–Tim Arnott M.D. is the Rocky Mountain Lifestyle Center physician; photo by UnSplash

This material is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment and/or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.




[1] Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 1;21(17):6351.
[2] ibid
[3] N Engl J Med 2020; 383:2255-2273.
[4] Market M, (2020) Flattening the COVID-19 Curve With Natural Killer Cell Based Immunotherapies. Front. Immunol. 11:1512.
[5] White E.G. Ministry of Healing. Pacific Press Pub Assn:  Mountain View, CA, ©1905, p. 127.
[6] White E.G. Ministry of Healing. Pacific Press Pub Assn: Mountainview, CA, © 1905, p. 264.
[7] Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2006;28(2):319-33.
[8] ibid
[9] Deuteronomy 20:19. The Holy Bible. New King James Version. © 1982 Thomas Nelson.
[10] Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40.
[11] ibid
[12] J Leukoc Biol. 2017 Apr;101(4):1015-1027.
[13] Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Oct;25(7):1367-75.
[14] Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015;135:355-80.
[15] Sports Med. 2021; 51(3): 519–530.
[16] Blood. (2008) 112: 461-469.
[17] Appl Physiol Nutr Metab Vol 36, 2011.
[18] Nutr Cancer. 1989;12(3):271-8.
[19] White E.G. Ministry of Healing. Pacific Press Pub Assn:  Mountain View, CA, ©1905, p. 296
[20] Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Apr;116(1):28-32.
[21] Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 May 27;409(1):40-5.
[22] Psychiatry Res. 1994 Apr;52(1):1-10.
[23] Isaiah 54:5. The Holy Bible. New King James Version®. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
[24] Psalm 62:8. The Holy Bible. New King James Version®. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
[25] Psalm 16:11. The Holy Bible. New King James Version®. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.