Friday, July 31, 2009

Can You SAY That Word? V......

Warning: This blog is for adults only. Please be aware, while I will not be vulgar, I will be blunt and may say things some people may not like.

I'm going to very, very serious with this blog. There are a couple of things that have been bothering me quite a lot these last couple of years, more so in the last six months or so. But it was an article on the Florida Gater's Quarter Back, Tim Tebow, as well as a series of commercials for the Gardasil vaccine, that finally got me to looking into something that seems to affect younger and younger women.

Cervical cancer and STDs.

Let's start with the commercials for Gardasil. Their big push is "Now you have a choice." They're saying this is a vaccine to protect girls and women, ages 9 to 26, from cervical cancer (except if you already have the cancer or if you're pregnant). They play on a mother's fear of her daughter contracting cancer and all that word implies.

What they don't tell you is that the largest factor in contracting cervical cancer is Sexually Transmitted Diseases, especially HPV (human papilloma virus). According to an article on *, "Teens are especially at risk for STDs, including HPV and herpes. There are sixty known types of [HPV], but only a few can cause [cervical] cells to become cancerous. Up to 90% of cervical cancers show evidence of HPV infection. (though no all HPV infections turn cancerous.)"

Here's the thing, they are trying to tell us that our kids are going to go out and have sex, no matter what. We've already taught them about condoms (and we see how that's slowed down STDs and teen pregnancy!) so now let's get the girls a vaccine to stop the cervical cancer virus. But, shhh!, don't tell anyone it's really a vaccine against certain sexual viruses! And they're laying it at the parents' door. Especially the mothers. (I certainly don't see any dads in that Gardasil commercial... not that any dad I've ever heard of condones the idea of his daughter having sex in her teens. Shoot! He can barely handle the idea that it will happen when she gets married!) They're trying to guilt-trip mothers into giving their kids a license to have sex. But, that same article on also points out that "the developing [cervical] cells of a young woman are more fragile than the mature cervical cells of older women, and more likely to be damaged from the slight abrasions caused by frequent intercourse." (which can lead to abnormal -i.e. cancerous - cervical cell growth) But let's give the girls this shot, pat them on the head and tell them to have sex anyway.

Now they're telling us young teens are performing oral sex and don't think they're having "real" sex. They're what's called a "technical virgin" because they didn't "go all the way" (i.e. have actual, genital intercourse). Right. And studies have proven that you can still get STDs from oral sex. See, you can get STDs from oral sex because bodily fluids are exchanged when the skin of a persons mouth comes into contact with an open lesion or genital warts. Congratulations. You now have a "non-sexually transmitted" STD. (by the way, oral sex is still sex)

I'm sure by now you're asking what all this has to to do with the Florida Gater's Tim Tebow. Well, here's the thing. Tim is an active Christian, a Missionary's son and (gasp) a virgin! Yes, there IS a young man out there who's not afraid to admit he's going to wait until he's married to have sex. When I read this on-line article, there was a "reply to this article" button at the end. Let me tell you, most of the replies were rude, crude, obnoxious, cynical and just plain mean. I'm not going to tell them to you, but a number of "men" (and I use the term loosely) took leave to doubt that a) Tim was really a virgin, but he'd likely have his pick of willing volunteers, now, or b) that he'd (Tim) be able to find a woman in this world who was still a virgin herself (after all, women lie..... what, and men don't? We're human and sinners. We all lie at some point, even if we try not to.) Well, Mr. Cynic (probably a Hollywood producer-wanna-be), let me tell you something. There are still plenty of honest women out there. We just tend to avoid jerks who think we're all liars. No sense in constantly defending ourselves to the unbeliever.

(and here's where I'm about to take a pounding)

The word "virgin" is frowned upon by almost everyone. The secular world, led by Hollywood, makes fun of it (reference the movie "The 40 Year Old Virgin"... I've never seen it, but I hate it!). I have found myself loathe to use the word "virgin" in public , almost resorting to whispering whenever I use the word. The world has turned it into an anathema. They want no part of it since it smacks of morality. (I'm not saying the non-Christians are less moral than me, I know some unsaved people who have very high moral standards). But, one of the responders to the article on Tim Tebow made the comment that people who have sex outside of marriage aren't less moral than so-called Christians, they just have "different morals." O.o* Ahhh.... what?

Well, yes, actually, you are less moral; not than me, specifically, but by God's standards. God has the right to tell me/us what my/our morals will be. He has said "NO!" to sex outside of marriage. Period. No debate. No argument. No "But, God, I know you'll understand if I just...." "No" means "No". But Hollywood and the world would rather ignore STDs and all this other "kerfluffle" and concentrate on making the state of virginity a joke. Something to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible! (and laughed at all the while)

Guess what, world? *I* am a 41 year old virgin. If a 19/20-something young man can admit it to a reporter, and be PROUD of it, why should I not? I'm not ugly. I know a lot of non-Christian guys so I could have "taken care of it" at some point, if I'd wanted to. I chose not to (and God helped out a lot, I'm sure. He protects His children!). See, here's the thing about Tim and myself (something, I'm proud to say, that is shared by my sister and several other women and men I know personally), we have an abiding respect for ourselves and others. We do not hold ourselves cheaply. Nor is our self-worth bound up in whether or not we've had sexual relations in the last day, week, month or year. Our self-worth is bound up in God and in His Son, Jesus.

God thought I was worth the life of His Son. Jesus also thought I was worth the price of His life. How amazing is that? And how could I turn my back on such a precious gift by holding my virginity so cheaply as to throw it away on the first man to tell me he really, really liked me. And, if I really, really liked him, I'd do something about it. Young ladies, let me tell you, if a guy really, really DID like you, he wouldn't try to get you to "prove it" to him. HE'D prove it to you by NOT asking for sexual favors. (this works both ways, by the way. There are young women out there determined to tempt a guy into "being her first" because she really "likes" and "respects" him... HOGWASH! Young men, you be just as vigilant as the young ladies!)

This is not to say there are not Christians who haven't gone down the wrong road. Like I said, we're human, we fail. King David failed spectacularly in this area, but God forgave him. Why? Because of the sincere repentance in his heart when confronted with his sin. By the way, that's why David was called a man after God's own heart. God doesn't try to hide David's failings from us. On the contrary, they were many and, well, spectacular. But, time and again, whenever he sinned, big sin, little sin, whatever, David sought the face and heart of God and begged forgiveness. And God forgave him every time. But, He didn't keep David from having to face the results of his sin. That's not how it works. David's sin in the sexual arena was his adultery with Bathsheba. For that sin, they lost the child that was conceived in that illicit union. But, God forgave a truly repentant David and their next son became the greatest king Israel had ever known. Solomon.

Do I think STDs like HIV, HPV, etc., etc. are results of sin? Of course I do. Look at it this way. If every single person on this Earth decided they would no longer be promiscuous but would have one spouse and "keep ye only to him/her till death do ye part", as in have sex with no other person, don't you think all those STDs would eventually disappear? If it's not sexually transmitted from partner to partner to partner, it has nowhere to go! If it has nowhere to go..... then.....

Virginity is not a joke. It's a common sense decision to teach our children. Don't teach them about condoms (they are not that reliable, they sometimes break, they're only latex after all) and don't decide to get them the Gardasil shot. Teach them that God designed sex for a husband and wife, after marriage, only. Teach them that oral sex is still sex. Teach them the Song of Solomon and that sex IS beautiful when it's a husband and wife expressing their love in a physical manner.

Teach them. Or lose them to STDs and cancer.

**by the way, HPV has also been linked to throat cancer. You can read about it here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Toe Smooshing Episode II: How Does a Christian Woman Know She Loves God?

Okay, here's the promised second half of Mrs. Teacher's lesson (and my toe smooshedness... not as bad, but still attention getting.)

So, how does a Christian woman know she loves God? Why, you say, she goes to church! Okay. That's one answer. What else?

Uhm... she, uh, I know! She sings in the choir!

Hmm, not what I'm looking for, but another good answer. Anyone else?

O! O! Mr. Kotter! Mr. Kotter! I know! She invites people to church!

Okay, all very good answers, but not quite where this lesson is heading. Ready? Buckle in 'cause here we go!

1. She enjoys spending time with Him (reading the Bible and praying).
She is constantly learning about Him.
She is constantly sharing with others about Him.

2. She enjoys talking with God in prayer
She sets aside a special time in her day for Him, blocks it out completely (others know not to disturb her during this time)
She prays throughout the day because she enjoys talking to Him
She asks for His direction in everything, even the little things (what does He want from her)
She talks to Him about others (where better to go? talking about other to others can so easily become gossip ~ unless you're getting counselling from your pastor, and you know it!)
She confesses her sin (this brings her closer to her Heavenly Father)

3. She enjoys spending time thinking of ways to please God
She gives Him her talent to use, whatever that may be (art, playing an instrument, what about just vacuming the Sanctuary or cleaning the restrooms? whatever it may be!)

4. She enjoys knowing God is with her everywhere
God's love is enduring. He never stops loving us (no matter what)
She doesn't fear God knowing what's going on in her mind (and He always does, doesn't He?)
Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me."

5. She wants to make God happy with her thoughts and actions
She has no desire to sin on purpose!! (we're human, it happens, but don't go looking for it!)
She asks Him to find and fix her motives for sin
She follows Prov. 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."

6. She believes God should be the most important being in her life.
God > Husband > Family > Church Family > Friends (which are often part of the church)

God should be first in our lives, but this can be very difficult to accomplish because we can see/hear/touch our family and friends. Oft times it is SO much easier to go to them for advice, a shoulder to cry on, a place to vent, because the response is immediate and visible. God can't be seen with the eyes or touched by the hand and our human mind equates that with uncaring. But, He cares very deeply. He feels our hurts and our emotional pains. And He will help, we just have to accept that it's in His perfect time and His perfect will, not our own.

Learning to establish a right relationship with God now, while I'm a single woman, is so very important. If I don't, and God allows me to marry, how can I establish a right relationship with my husband if God is not first and my relationship to Him not right? This is a difficult habit to build. I will admit now that I skipped my Bible last night. I played first, rather than doing what I knew was right first. God got shunted to the side. This is not an easy habit, but it's one I'm determined to build. I want a right relationship with God. I want to give Him my talents and let Him use them, or not, at His choosing (not mine).

So, before coming on-line to play (and blog) tonight, I sat down and had my devotion time. Yes, I read my "Tea Lovers Devotional" by Mrs. Emilie Barnes, again. I'm finding there are some areas that, scripturally, I have to disagree with Mrs. Barnes. Again, I use the KJV, no other "versions" allowed (I will, perhaps, blog as to the "why" of this another time). Tonight, in the chapter titled "That Inner Feeling" Mrs. Barnes (mis)quoted part of Lamentations 2:17. Her follow up advice went something like this (condensed for interests' sake):

"In order to live intuitively one must have some quiet times to read and think." So far, I'm partially with her. I don't know about the "intuitively" part, but we do need to take time to read God's Word and think on it. He tells us to. Even David said "In thy law will I meditate day and night."

Mrs. Barnes went on to say "God has taught me to read, think and dwell upon what my heart knows to be true. I'm more in tune now with the beat of my heart." Then she gives what she calls "Heart Action: Find the calmer pace of your heart and soul. Take time to listen to your heart so you can discover the truths it holds about yourself, your faith and your Creator."

Mrs. Barnes means well, and is headed in the right direction, but it seems more like she's using verses to validate what she wants to say rather than what should be said. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." According to what scripture teaches us, our hearts are deceitful, wicked, ... who can know it but God? No, if I want to find and learn what I need to know, I need to obey Prov. 16:1-3 that says "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit [my] works unto the Lord, and [my] thoughts shall be established."

God wants to establish my thoughts! How amazingly wonderful! He cares enough to want to help me to think right! I must not listen to my own heart when I'm uncertain (my heart may want an ice cream Sundae or to go watch t.v.) but instead I must find that calm, quiet place (even if I have to into a closet and shut the door) and pray for God's guidance, committing my thoughts to Him, then listen to what His heart tells me.

He's never wrong!
**the above picture is by Ms. Cheri Bladholm which she drew as one of several illustrations in the book "Tell Me The Story Of Jesus" by Gil Beers. I used it to remind us, He cares about even the smallest joys (or cares) in our lives. I truly enjoy Ms. Bladholms' work because she draws Jesus as caring and approachable, not distant and ephimeral. May God continue to bless her skills.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tea and Devotions

I have begun something I'm almost ashamed to have to admit; and, yet, young Christians need to know that even those who have been saved a long time can fall by the way side. I have been, to my shame, a lazy Christian. I grew up in church, I heard the Bible "stories" all my life and could tell you all about Daniel and the Lion's Den or the Three Hebrew Children in the Fiery Furnace; I can talk about King David and how Jesus, the Messiah, is of the direct lineage of David through His mother, Mary.

But.... I don't know my Bible. Therefore, I don't know my heavenly Father.

Until recently, this hasn't bothered me too much. I could teach Sunday school (I can only be glad God promised His Word would not return unto Him void) and I would feel the pinch of the Holy Spirit from time to time as I would point out how God wants His children to live, but I was able to rationalize it away or ignore it or procrastinate it into oblivion.

How wrong of me.

I don't teach Sunday school right now, and this is a good thing because I'm going to Sunday school. And, BOY, has God used my teacher recently. My toes have been turned into MUSH from her recent lessons and the Holy Spirits gentle stomping (remember, in the Old Testament, He came to Elija, not in the thunder or the wind, but in a still, small voice). Mrs. Teacher has been giving us lessons entitled "What's On YOUR Plate?" Yes, that's a deliberate play on the credit card commercial. The first lesson I remember well, she gave each lady two paper plates, a tissue, a Q-tip and a cookie. Then, she had us take one plate and lick it.

Then kiss it.

Then blow our noses on the tissue and wipe it on the plate.

Then clean our ears and wipe it on the plate.

Then put it on the floor and step all over it.

Then, she told us to take the cookie, put it on either the clean or dirty plate, and offer it to the lady on our left.... O_o*

Yes, we all chose the clean plate!

But, her point was, our lives are like those dirty plates. We have to "clean" them daily by confessing our sins to the Father. I missed the next couple of lessons due to being out of town, but I know she's been working on grounding us in Prov. 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established." as well as Matt. 22:37-38 "Jesus sayeth unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."

I found myself asking me... do I? Do I love Him with ALL my heart, with ALL my soul, with ALL my mind? And I have to answer, no. I don't.

But, then, I can say, praise God that He's a loving and patient God. That He hasn't given up on me, yet. And that He's given me a wonderful woman like Mrs. Teacher who is willing to be used of Him to get His point across.

So, to the Toe Smooshing Episode, Part I:

Two Sundays ago, the lesson was on Sweet Christian Women (i.e. the type of Christian who's just there for the "feel good" part of God's love):

Her Bible Reading:

1. She likes the "empty calories" of God's Word, not the "protein" (i.e., just the "stories", not the lessons God has for her) (owie!)

2. She'll read the Bible quickly, but get nothing from it (just reads because "she should")

3. She "forgets" to read her Bible because she "gets it at church" (ouch!)

Her Prayer Life:

1. She doesn't take time to talk to God (just, "thankyoulordamen!") (smoosh!)

2. She puts it off until later (eep!)

3. She doesn't think she's unspiritual, but she doesn't care enough to put any effort into her/my relationship with God (Mrs. Teacher says to substitute "me, my, I" for all the points.... erg!)

Her Love for God:
1. Is good until she doesn't like what His Word has to say (Mark 4:16-17 - obedience)

2. Is iffy when obeying the law (well, it's just a few miles over the speed limit, no one will know I did [insert sin here] etc.)

3. Her fiscal responsibility/stewardship to God (Prov. 16:3!!!) (don't stop tithing because it doesn't seem like it should work! OBEY God's commands.)


A "Sweet Christian" blames God for whatever goes wrong rather than allowing Him to go through it with her. She doesn't have enough of a relationship with her heavenly Father to know He's right there, no matter what, and wants her to lean on Him.

Right after this lesson, I found a devotional called "The Tea Lover's Devotional" by Emilie Barnes. I'm enjoying it, and it's helping me read my Bible (I have to because Mrs. Barnes doesn't use just the KJV, and I do) but it's making me think, too. This is good. God wants me to think. In one devotional Mrs. Barnes titles "The Humble Shall Hear" she is pointing out how we need to make our praise to God public so that the unsaved can see and hear and know that God is good. And I agree...


The entire little chapter is about praising Him for all the good things in our lives. And we should. Every good thing comes from God. But, we should also praise God for the bad things that happen.

Yes, I said that. So did King David and, if ever anyone had low, low, low points in his life, it was King David. Yet almost the entire book of Psalms is praise to God, even for the seemingly bad things that occured in his life (the rest is a plea for cleansing from his sins "create in me a clean heart") In the New Testament, I Thess. 5:16-18 says "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Rejoicing, praying and praising God go hand in hand in all situations. If the unsaved see me praise God only for the good, what good have I done?

(next post ~ Toe Smooshing Episode II: How Does A Christian Woman Know She Loves God?)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Stones Would ...Cry Out!

There's a verse in the Bible, the book of Luke, that talks about the stones praising Jesus. Let me set the scene before I quote; Jesus has just begun His final trip to Jerusalem riding on the colt of an ass and the people are praising Him. OF COURSE the Pharisees are way upset about this (when are they not upset about anything to do with Jesus... or that He has ~ or hasn't ~ done?). Here are the verses from Luke:

Luke 19:37-40 (KJV)
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them,
I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

I've always thought that would be SO cool to hear... the very stones themselves praising the King of Kings. Well, turns out that we have begun to hold our peace when it comes to praising Him. And, it turns out, all of creation sings His praise in more ways than we knew. Now, that IS cool!

I enjoy going to a particular web site that shows amazing photos of deep space. Sadly, everything is from a non-Christian perspective so everything is pro-evolution. However, they are scientists and they do learn some interesting facts that, in my mind, merely corroborate what the Bible already teaches (not that they will ever admit it!)

~Actually, "they" will denegrate, flagellate and decry anyone who's opinion of science rests on what the Bible teaches. OBVIOUSLY we are uneducated, mentally lazy and too narrow minded to accept "accredited facts" as they've been taught evolution to be. Yes, I know they do THIS for a fact, it happened to me. A Jewish evolutionist tore me a new one when I dared to state I couldn't be swayed to evolution because I believed what the Bible taught in Genesis 1:1. After some back-and-forth (no, I never lost my temper) in which I quoted the Old Testament (and HE mis-quoted several modern sayings... yes, I politely corrected him) I was told I'd "lost the argument because I'd mentioned Nazi's first" (there's an "unwritten law" called "Godwin's Law" that, if you're losing an argument and call someone a Nazi, you've lost... how-some-ever, I didn't call
him a Nazi, I was using the Nuremburg trials in an example I was quoting to him... and he couldn't even get "Godwin's Law" correct, he called it something entirely else - snerk!) It never occurs to them that, when the monkey thinks it's learned where the banana is, it'll keep going back even when the banana-well runs dry!~ (in case you want to read about Godwin's Law)

So, back to the part about the stones - in specific - and creation - in general - singing praises. On this web-site I love so much, scientists have learned that, not only does the Earth "hum", but black holes emit musical tones. Yes, they do, only the human ear will never hear the music of black holes because their tone is 57 octaves below middle C. Wow! So, let me quote a couple of the articles I've read about Earth's music and the music of Black Holes:

(condensed from the article "Source of Earth's Hum Revealed, Space Symphony Possible" by Robert Roy Britt and published on 26 March 2000)
Competing with the natural emissions from stars and other celestial objects, our Earth sings like a canary -- it drones on in a constant hum of a gazillion notes.
In recent years scientists have used seismographs to sort out these subsurface sound waves from earthquakes (all seismic waves are, essentially, the in-ground equivalent of sound waves). But what causes the hum, which researchers call the background-free oscillation, has been a mystery. [aside: refer to Luke 19:40 to solve said mystery]
The apparent answer, revealed in the March 24 issue of the journal Science, is as surprising as the hum itself.
Kiwamu Nishida of the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute has, along with colleagues, analyzed 10 years of seismic data and tied the seismic waves to similar oscillations in the atmosphere.
Inaudible sound waves in the lower atmosphere push and pull on the ground, the researchers say, creating coupled "sound" waves, or seismic waves, inside Earth. The initial source, as yet not determined, could be changes in atmospheric pressure. The researchers also did not rule out possible oceanic sources, such as pounding waves, as the cause of Earth's hum.
The strange-but-true solution was first proposed in 1997 by Naoki Kobayashi, a theorist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and co-author of the new paper.

(condensed from the article "Black Hole Strikes Deepest Musical Note Ever Heard" by Robert Roy Britt.... prolific, ain't he?.... published on 09 September 2003)
Astronomers have detected the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos, a B-flat flying through space like a ripple on an invisible pond. No human will actually hear the note, because it is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano.
The detection was made with NASA's
Chandra X-ray Observatory and announced at a press conference today.
The sound waves appear to be heating gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster, some 250 million light-years away, potentially solving a longstanding mystery about why the gas surrounding this cluster and others does not chill out as existing theory predicts.
The gas is apparently dancing excitedly to the eons-long drone of a deep B-flat.
Black hole music
Astronomers were not surprised to find the supermassive black hole making a strong sub-bass sound. Though these greatest known matter sinks are by nature dark and invisible, they create bright and chaotic environments in which many forms of radiation -- from radio waves to visible light to X-rays -- have been recorded. These electromagnetic waves all travel at the speed of light.
Sound waves are similar, but they travel far more slowly and are more physical in nature. Sound you hear, for example, can be produced by the visible compression and expansion of a stereo speaker. The waves physically compress the stuff through which they move, be it air, water, or hot interstellar gas.
Musical production appears to be ubiquitous in Nature. Scientists often call it flicker noise, and it has also been detected in the X-ray outputs of magnetic fields within our solar system. Even Earth
hums its own tune. Musical analogies are found in everything from seascapes to brainwaves.

So.... everything has some sort of musical intonation or beat (I know, there are those who are "tone deaf", but science has even stated the human heart has a musical sound as it works). I could go to other sources and articles about the "music" in all of Nature, but I think the point has been made. Nature sings, in her own peculiar way, the praises of, and to, the King of Kings.

Why aren't we?