Posted in Christian Ethics

When you have time to think too much…

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When you are sick you have a lot of time on your hands to just think. This past couple of months I have experienced the slowing down to a painfully slow crawl and at times a moment or two of complete discontinue of all human function other than rest and painful recovery with the brain’s refusal to stop thinking and retracing the current state of events.

In an attempt to stop my mind from playing evil games with me I started to read. Jacob has been the recent focus of my reading. I can really identify with Jacob. Jacob had a promise from God to be blessed and have the inheritance of his Father Isaac. However, in his inability to be patient for God’s timing he schemed and manipulated to get what he wanted and knew what was to be his. Like Jacob, I am a control freak. If something needs done I will find a way to get the job done or the problem fixed. If I can’t get it done myself I will seek out people to get it done. And please don’t get in my way of bulldozing or you may become a casualty of my desire to fix a problem. In some ways this can be viewed as an asset. In many other ways it is a weakness and has caused great harm to those I love most.

Unfortunately, this lack of faith also causes me grief from frustration, depression, and unproductive and wasted time of stress. During my time of illness from influenza and then pneumonia, I have been reflecting on how out of balance I have been between work and home life. This has really been on my mind for the past year. Nonetheless, this has been taking its toll on my health physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My frustration with several situations within my career has contributed to my distraction from my being an influencer of encouragement and growth to see team members achieve their greatest potential and coaching and leading the team to meeting their goals; rather, I have been focused on what has not been going right and the obstacles which have appeared to not be moving from our path no matter how much prayer I have been soaking into the problem.

Yes, I have been reading my Bible and asking for prayer from my family and prayer warriors to get guidance in this situation. However, God has appeared to be silent or saying not yet at the least. So remember I am a Jacob personality and really have been wrestling with my emotions and God as to why it is taking so long. Patience is not my virtue for sure!

The phone call came today which has really thrown me for a loop. I have humbly stated I would be willing to change my position for the best interest of the team and my family. However, this was never acted upon. Today I was given a gift. At first I wondered what I had done wrong, but then I remembered what I had been praying about all along. I wanted God’s will and God’s action to place me where he wanted me. He has done it at his timing. I have grown and gained strength in perseverance in praying harder and living in the moment rather than for the future. This is no easy task and I know I will have to continue to fight my urge to bulldoze through the next hurtle. I will have to log this experience into my brain’s computer for future reference to be sure I don’t forget; God is God, he will take care of the situation, I just have to get out of the way and let him put the players in place and the pieces together to make the perfect design.

 

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 The Message (MSG)

8-11 We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.

 

Romans 9:20-33 The Message (MSG)

20-33 Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well:

I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”
they’re calling you “God’s living children.”

Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:

If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled “chosen of God,”
They’d be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus.

Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth:

If our powerful God
had not provided us a legacy of living children,
We would have ended up like ghost towns,
like Sodom and Gomorrah.

How can we sum this up? All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:

Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can’t get around.
But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me,
you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.

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Posted in Family life events

When we need to say goodbye

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Precious

We recently experienced a death of a dear pet and a family member.  How to present this life event to a child with limited life experiences proved to be an undertaking for our family. I also discovered there were varying attitudes in handling this task even within the same household. To make sure we were doing the most loving discussion for each child, I did some reviewing how to accomplishing the conversation. I have outlined some simple concepts I used and have found very helpful over the years with my own children.

  • Don’t delay having a conversation with your child. Your child may overhear a conversation or learn the news from someone else. Hearing from you in a secure and loving manner will be less frightening to your child.
  • Be honest and present the information in a simple manner with age-appropriate explanation the family member died. Giving vague explanations like the person went to sleep or has gone away will leave an opening for wondering if the child will die during their sleep or a fear of separation from other family members. The dis-honest explanation will give a sense of hope for the loved one’s return or unresolved grief due to the loss not being recognized.  You can give simple explanation of “I have something sad to tell you. The loved one has died. They are not alive anymore and we won’t be able to see or play with them anymore.” Then quietly wait for their response and listen. Reading age appropriate books on bereavement is also a good way to further introduce the topic to children.
  • Value fears and answer questions even when you don’t have the answer and simple have to reveal there is no simple explanation. Some children will be satisfied with simple facts while others will ask many questions for days. Death can be very scary for children. Comfort and reassure your child with simple conversations. Talk opening with your child and re-assure them the death was not their fault.
  • Let children see you grieve. Children need to know that grieving is O.K. Emotional pain is part of losing a loved one and it is acceptable to cry. Attending the family get together and funeral is sometimes a benefit for children to be included in the process of expressing fear and grief over the loss of a loved one. If your child expresses fear about seeing the body during calling hours, do not force the issue. It is ok to stay in another room or stay with a family member during this particular tradition. Never force a child to kiss the cheek of a corpse.
  • Cherish the memories. Grief is circular ongoing process. Look for ways the child can remember and work through their emotions as they appear. Look through photo albums; talk about the fun times we had with the loved one; make a scrap-book; have the child make a card or write a letter to the loved one and place alongside the other gifts during the calling hours and funeral; make a memory box; or plant a tree or bush in the memory of the loved one.
  • Be sensitive to the developmental stage and a child’s unique personality. Infants and toddlers do not understand death but are very aware of the emotions of the adults in their lives.  Children need to be comforted and their routines kept intact to allow for security during this time.  Preschool age children think in concrete terms and very literal.  Death is seen as temporary as seen on cartoons.   Between 6 and 9 years of age children develop the ability to understand simple concepts of death. Some children may withdraw while others will speak out or act inappropriately. At around 10 to 12 years they begin to understand abstract ideas and personalize them. They begin to understand the permanence of death. Teens are choosing their values and want clear –cut solutions. Teens are also challenging the family members they might be disagreeing with or challenging their perceptions of the life event.

For me and my household we also have our faith to help us work through the process of grief. Through God’s word we have the comfort of knowing death is not the ending but a passing through to the next better part of our life. We may be sad but we will again be able to see our loved one in Heaven. I know this is not a belief all parents have. However, this is an important part of our family’s values and beliefs. Instilling in our children how we believe will allow our children to see us live out our faith in a real and practical way.

Ecclesiastes 3:1–2
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.” (NLT)

John 14:1–4
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (NIV)

Romans 8:38–39
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 6:14
“By his power, God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” (NIV)

Children will observe us and model our reactions to death and grief. We need to show children the events of death and grief are a normal part of life. Every experience the child has with loss will be building their strength to deal with negative life events as they mature. I hope these ideas have been a help to you. I have included a link to the resources I have used over the years.

After a Loved One Dies— How Children Grieve And how parents and other adults can support them booklet

Focus on the Family, helping your child grieve

Parents – grief

Healthy Children – Death

Posted in Family First Aid

Avoid Insect Stings and Bites

 

The best way to deal with bites and stings is not to get them in the first place!

Here are a few tips you can do to try to avoid them:
Scent Secrets
Bees and wasps go for flowers. So don’t look or smell like one! Don’t wear bright or flowery colors. Also, don’t wear perfumes or other scented products.
Clothing Tips
Cover your skin. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and especially shoes. To keep ticks away from your skin, tuck long pants into your socks.
Wear light clothing. (Mosquitoes seem more attracted to dark colors, and light clothing makes ticks easier to see.)
Shake out your boots, shoes, and other clothing before putting them on if you live around scorpions or dangerous spiders.
Know Where and When Insects Hang Out

Watch where you reach! Spiders hang out in wood or rock piles and dark corners. Put on garden gloves before reaching into such places. To avoid ticks, don’t walk through tall weeds and grass or brush against trees and bushes.
Be extra careful outdoors between sunset and sunrise, especially when it is also hot and humid. That’s when mosquitoes are most active.
If you have a dog—or a cat that spends time outdoors—make sure they have flea protection. That’s because fleas are usually brought into a house and yard by pets.
Don’t Attract Bugs with Food or Garbage
Don’t allow water to collect and sit for days in birdbaths, trash bins, or other things in your yard. (This is where mosquitoes like to lay eggs.) Keep food and garbage covered outdoors.
Don’t “Bug” Them!
If you see stingers or biters, admire them from a safe distance—don’t touch, swat, or mess with them. Be especially careful around wasp or hornet nests.
Check yourself for ticks regularly. It takes time for bacteria to get from a tick into a bite. If you remove any ticks you find right away, you should be safe. To remove an attached tick, use tweezers to grab it near the head. Then slowly pull it straight out and apply antiseptic to the spot.
If you DO get stung or bitten, let an adult know right away so you can get any help you might need.

Information provided by:
National Wildlife Federation avoid-insect-stings-and-bites.

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Posted in Christian Ethics

Pedophiles as a New Gender??????

gender identity

When I read this today I was floored……   I first heard of this a few weeks ago from a news channel on the Answers In Genesis regarding the research of James Cantor PHD, CPsych.  He has acclaimed from his research “pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation just like, for example, heterosexuality.  No one chooses to be a pedophile, no one can cease being one.”  Are you truly serious?

I had to see if this is just a one article acclaim or a new gender formation and began looking around.  Nope, it is a new gender formation.  I found further information from the AFA.net article further explaining their view on the push to accept the pedophilia as a gender and thus acceptance as an acceptable way of life.  Affinty is further reporting what is really at the push behind the acceptance of pedophiles as a gender, these individuals want the right to have the ability to be accepted and able to carry through with their activities with no reprisal from the community and change culture to be accepting of what has been held as depravity behavior and harmful to children as long as they do not physically act on their thoughts.

I went on a further study of just what is gender?  Well just as I thought I found no mention of pedophilia in there, or as of yet anyway.  As we are being asked to accept and even encourage children to identify at a very young age what sex they want to identify with, we are also sending the mix message children are too young to make decisions for their safety and it is up to the parent to direct the good choices with limits and positive re-enforcement to help them learn appropriate behaviors.  You really can’t have it both ways, are five-year olds really capable of making a choice?  Are we going to encourage children to change their sexual orientation every six months based on their current mood swing?

The state of California has already approved and is sending out the curriculum for children as noted in the California Family Council to have in their daily education include the acceptance and approval of a diverse introduction to gender naturalization as also driven by several agencies just one of them being CTA.  This curriculum is not reserved for sex education which would allow parents to opt out.  The legislation was created in such a way to leave gender not included and not making parents aware when this is being tought to children as young as kindergarten as noted in the National Review.  California has often been the introducer of concepts to be streamlined into the educational systems and has been confirmed in the Ed Source web site for CA educators and parents.

Now I am not saying all pedophiles are child molesters, as noted in WebMD and many other publications. There are individuals who are staying away from children and seeking help.  However, to say we are to accept this as a gender opens the door to accepting their need to seek out their “fix” on-line or in other ways indirectly of physical contact with children.  The fact is children will always be affected whether viewed on the internet or through paper materials.  There are no non-victims here.  An example of this is the publication of an article as noted on Life Site of the normalization from the act of sex for lust rather than love. I further researched this writer as Thomas O’Carroll who’s publication was approved as worthy by other researchers to allow publication.  Is this an example of the open door we have allowed for questioning the moral standard and moving this standard from a non-questionable statute to a fluid interpretation based on the public opinions of the time?

Further, with the push for anyone to be able to use a restroom no matter their physical attributes but rather their current identifiable choice of the day of their sexual orientation is discerning to me.  I am also putting it out there, do not identify me as a homophobe.  Rather, I want to make it very clear I still continue to view each and every person as a child of God who was made in the womb in the image of God.  All of humanity deserves the respect of life by me because of this fact.  However, this does not change the issue I will no longer know who is in the restroom with me and this is concerning to me.   I have included a brief description below of the many genders which are being identified.  I was totally confused as to who, why and what about this topic so to help you as much as I needed the help I have included a couple of charts.

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My intent in writing regarding this topic is not a scare tactic, rather to make you aware there are changes on the horizon.  We as parents, grand parents, and citizens of our nation, we need to be certain we are aware of what is being discussed in the political venues.  We each have a voice.  It is up to us to use it and make our voices heard regarding our desire to keep the current morals or adapt morals which no longer define standards which are based on the foundations of our nation’s heritage.

 

 

Posted in Family First Aid

When baby is playing….and then choking

I had the American Red Cross contact me about teaching child safety again.  This got me thinking about how long it has been since I had taken my last class.  We will be having little ones in the house again.  They are magnets for learning by putting everything they see in their little mouths.  I try to keep updated with my information every few months, however, this past year I have been focused on work and let this slip.  So here are the tips I am using to review my skills.  My goal is to post a new item each week.  I have also attached the Infant Child American Red Cross tip guide for your down load.  Red Cross now has an opportunity to take their Adult child and baby First Aid/CPR courses on line.   The emergency kits can be made at home from a small plastic box and putting items needed by the age level of children in your family.  How things have changed since I have been teaching First Aid.  Hope you never have to use this information but here it is just in case.

infant CPR

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Here is a really well made video showing what to do if your infant has started to choke:

Posted in Reminsces

In the beginning….

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Nope this is not a post about the beginning of the world.  This is just my beginning.  Or maybe a new start of sorts, this is the first official post of this beginning.  I have written a blog before and really enjoyed it.  Then, things went a little cattie weltered and had to stop.  I have found during those years I lost my direction trying to hold on to the side of the boat for dear life and find a way around the fog.  No success, the fog just kept moving with me.

So here I am still in the boat, but I think I see the horizon up ahead.  I may even see a glimmer of the sunshine.  What I have learned is Papa, (my personal name for my Lord, Father, and God) does not make any promises he is going to fix things like I want him to.  How I think things should turn out is not going to always happen.  People are not going to make wiser choices; illness is not going to go away; and I am not going to be able to do things over.

However, Papa does make me a promise I can count on.  I won’t be alone in the boat in the fog.  I won’t have to ride the storm out without him controlling the ruder.  The boat may crash, but I will be o.k.  He will make sure of that.

So, I am going to start writing again.  Returning to my first love with children is where I am headed at the moment.  Sounds like a good beginning, then who knows were my reminiscing will go……

 

Jeremiah 29:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.