Friday, May 30, 2008

Two articles I have run across in the last two days.

The first is about asthma and allergies. It reports on two studies done trying to find the causes of these ailments. The first study says it may be due to mom’s allergic reactions to the little ones and birth order. This still seems very inconclusive to me.
The second one says they may be due to C-sections. Though this is the smaller study, when you combine the trama ALL c-sections put a baby through with the lack of natural processes that God designed into the system, it does make sense.

This second one is about the increasing rate of pre-maturity in this country. 92% of the increase in pre-mature babies occurs in c-sections. All the midwives in the country are saying “duhhh.”

God designed our bodies to give birth. Modern medicine has done a great job of fixing many of the results of the The Fall. However, they have not limited themselves to just fixing the broken. Modern medicine thinks it can improve on God’s design. 80+% of babies in this country are induced! Man thinks he knows better when a baby should be born than God Himself! I lay odds most of those c-sections are due to “failed” induction attempted before the baby was ready. Doctors with their sonograms think they know what they are doing, but they don’t- obviously!
Today, more and more doctors are acting like the “estimated due date” is an expiration date. The truth is, the “normal 40 week” gestation was set on a whim by some man in Germany, not by scientific study. One study in fact has shown that left untouched, the “average” gestation is 41 weeks and 1 day, with “normals” ranging two weeks on either side.

If you are pregnant, you have rights. You can tell the doctor no. In fact, I believe it best to not go to a specialist in problem pregnancies (obstetrician) in the first place. Go to a family practitioner or a midwife, specialists in “normal.” If you have a problem, they will refer you to the proper specialist. This is one of the few things I think Europe actually does better than us. And you know what? They lose fewer moms AND babies than we do! (Sweden, for example, losses a third as many babies and half as many moms by percentage. More than 70% of their babies are delivered by midwives, half of them at home.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Speaking of tithing your time…

The Bible holds the answer (or at least the principles from which to find the answer) to all of life’s problems. But in order to know those principles, we have to know our Bibles. I have frequently been astonished at how little people who have been saved all their lives know about The Guide Book God has given them. I have known people who were saved for forty years, sometimes even deacons of churches, that didn’t know the simplest, most basic things. The answer to this is, of course, to read the Bible yourself. In this day and age, even illiteracy isn’t an excuse. Audio Bibles are all around us. Our dollar store will even sell you a CD of individual Books such as Corinthians, James, etc. These would work great in the car on the way to work. So here is the plan…

1. Set aside one time per day to read the Bible to yourself. Key it to something you are already doing regularly such as waking up, brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast. In fact, this is how you remember to do things like brush your teeth; you have formed the habit of including it in “Go to bed.” As one book I read put it, “Would you ever remember to brush your teeth if you had to do it at, say, 2:00pm?” Key your Bible reading the same way until it just becomes part of getting up, going to bed, or eating a meal. Also, limit yourself, especially at first, to one chapter per day. What many people do is sit down on the first day of reading and read for an hour. Then the next day they don’t have an hour, so they skip it. No habit ever gets formed because few of us ever have a complete hour everyday we can devote to this. Only read one chapter (five minutes). Your goal is not to get through the Bible in a year, but to get to know God better. In fact, at first I would recommend you read Genesis, Psalms, Samuel, and the New Testament. Save the rest for when you are more in the habit of reading because some of them can take a little more discipline to get through.
Include in this a few minutes of thanking God for everything you can think of. This is a great way to start the day.

2. Once you have the preceding as a habit (Give it two months at least), start reading together as a couple. This is one of the best habits I ever started. I was in the habit of reading the Bible to myself before bed when I got married so on our wedding night I picked up the Gideon off the nightstand and began to read. My hubby asked what I was doing and I explained that I always read to myself before going to sleep. He told me to read it aloud to him. Thus began a habit that has lasted more than 22 years now. We have seldom missed a day. There was the time we both had laryngitis, and the time we went on vacation and forgot the Bible, or the time I simply never made it to bed because of puking children, but the sum total of what we have missed wouldn’t fill two months. We have had many a night of discussing the reading before sleep (not that it happens all the time, but occasionally). This has been a time of sweet fellowship with my hubby and my God. Marriage is a triangle with wife, hubby and God at the points. The closer you draw to one the closer you draw to the other. (I moved my personal reading to first thing in the morning after the honeymoon).

3. When that habit is established, it is time to include the whole family. People in this country used to just except it as fact that if you were a Christian, you read your Bible and prayed (and often sang) after every meal. Today we are far more likely to “worship at the shrine to Hollywood” after (or during) a meal than to worship our God.
We need to spend time as a family reading the Bible. Our children need the example and knowledge of the Word.
What I am suggesting is one time per day (right after a meal seems to be best for most people) you read your Bible to your family (one chapter), pray, and sing one hymn. Don’t worry if you are not a good singer. The Bible says to make a “joyful noise unto the Lord” not necessarily a good noise:-) God appreciates it even if you sound like squalling cats.
I began this habit at bed time when my oldest was less than a year old. I wanted God’s Word to be the last thing on her mind before bed. Today it is the last thing we do before the children go to bed. My children know more about the Bible than most seasoned Christians. They have it stored in their brains to help them when they need it in the future.

All this added together will take less than half an hour; less than ten minutes for you personally, less than ten for you as a couple, and fifteen for the family (including singing time). This adds up to a whole three and a half hours per week. Let me repeat…

Doesn’t your God deserve at least that much?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sabbath keeping

I have come to realize I am a Sabbath keeper. No, not like the “seventh day” churches. I don’t keep it religiously.

But I do set aside one day per week- Sunday- to worship my King and fellowship with my brothers and sisters. I do not engage in recreation. I do not go to work (seldom even throw a load of laundry in the washer). Even when we have out of town company, we go to church. The only valid reasons to not attend, in my family, are:

1. You are very ill. Puking, fainting, broken bones, etc. Little snotty noses don’t count. “Just don’t feel like it” doesn’t count. “Too much trouble” doesn’t count.

2. Vacation. I mean, you, personally, are bodily out of town.

3. Emergencies. I have never experienced this one, actually. But when I was six, we were in a car accident on the way to church. We were all ok, but our car was totaled. My dad called his friend, the assistant pastor of our church, to come pick us up after service. The friend, with a huge Ellis smile, showed up fifteen minutes later (instead of two hours). My dad told him he shouldn’t have missed church just for us. His answer was, “The Sabbath was made for man. Not man for the Sabbath.” And he cheerfully took us home. This is a valid reason to miss.

The Sabbath day was created before the fall of man. It was not part of the Mosaic Law. It was before the law.

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:2

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3 (Don’t let ANYTHING be more important than God)

Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Deuteronomy 5:12 Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.

Isaiah 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

Judge 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.

Jesus and Paul made it clear we are not to keep the Sabbath religiously. And we won’t go to hell if we don’t keep it Holy. But I believe God still wants us to set aside one day to focus on Him.

Let’s do some math:

You have 168 hours in every week. (7 x 24)

If you sleep 8 hours per night you have 112 hours left. (16 x 7)

The Bible says to tithe, or give one tenth of “all that comes into your hand” to God. A tithe of your time would be 11 hours and 12 minutes per week.

I am asking for three hours on Sunday (one hour for our fellowship lunch afterwards:-) and 1 ½ hours on Wednesday. That isn’t even half a tithe.

Don’t you owe your God that much?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My husband the prostitute

We added it up and we have 52 people that “attend” our church. Most, however, only make it to a couple of meetings per month out of nine. This morning we had sixteen people present: ten sleep in my house!
This was my husband’s statement from the pulpit while leading the preliminaries;

“I feel like a prostitute on 4th street. No one loves me. I am just standing around waiting until someone decides they feel like buying my services.”

Having grown up as a pastor’s kid I can tell you that this is just how the ministry of your church feels every time you miss a service. Our ability to worship our King is hampered by each empty chair, especially the ones that have someone “assigned” to them. You know what I mean; You always sit in the second seat of the third row, so no one else will sit there. When you are not there, your seat is screamingly empty. We need you. Even if you never say a word or do anything in service, we NEED YOU! Your presence feeds us spiritually.

It is so very hard to prepare services every week and have no one show up. To love people and know they don’t love you enough to be there.

It is like cooking a twelve course supper with a specially set table with your best china….and your guests decide to go to a movie instead- without even calling to tell you. This is why we burned out at our first church. I have watched the disappointment on my father’s and mother’s faces my whole life, and now I see it on my hubby’s too.

Yes, I am crying while typing this.