Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Was Napolean Done in By Doctors?

You know, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that modern medicine is a highly developed and precise art by pristine surroundings and machines that have flashing lights and make interesting buzz and bleep noises.  "Modern medical treatment" is a magical mantra used to soothe the masses into believing that when they see a doctor, they are getting the benefit of a precise, highly developed form of health care.  What we really get is a form of disease management that uses crude tools like toxic chemicals, and surgery to "cure" dis-ease.

The latest study on accidental death at the hand of the medical establishment pegs the number at 195 000.  "If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual list of leading causes of death included medical errors, it would show up as number six, ahead of diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease and renal disease,"

Want to know how screwy the whole system is?  I have a close friend who is a highly skilled and certified midwife.  She has over 1000 births under her belt and runs a tight ship.  She worked out her wage recently, and she makes approximately $7.50 an hour for her work, which is less than minimum wage here.  A recent client of hers had to have a doctor take over her care.  He didn't even make it to the delivery, but he did manage to get in six stitches for the perineal tear at a cost of about $100 per stitch for about 20 minutes worth of work.   Please don't get me started on the butchery to women that usually takes place in the name of "safe hospital deliveries."

Other health related stuff:

Ever watch a thriller and notice how your heart accelerates as if you were there on the screen?  Or how about when you are reading a good book and get to an exciting part?  Here's what Nicholas Regush has to say about this:

If Romantic And Violent Movies Can Make Hormones Surge, What Other Daily Influences On Health Are We Overlooking?

I find it astonishing that reasonably bright people fail to try to understand that they live in a world (or should I say "whirlwind") of ongoing influences that impact the mind and body. Once in a while, science decides to pick out some item of interest that is shown to affect the body and/or mind. And so while it makes perfect sense (to me) that
movies will have an impact on the human body in a variety of ways (mostly ways that we do not yet understand), there continues to be a piecemeal approach to this entire area of environment-mind-body investigation. And when some stimuli - in this case, a type of movie - is linked to a type of physiological effect in the body (a hormone change), this notion is rarely presented in the media and in scientific channels as an important clue to understanding the ongoing, never-ending, dynamic, complex relationship a human being has with the ever-changing environment. Is this because many people like to think that they can control the impact that words, images, and bio-chemical complexes have on their minds and bodies? Yes. And it is delusional, at best. It is anti-science and yet another example of ingrained ignorance, fueled by dogmas of various sorts. This latest little bitty bit of information - that movies can affect the human body - is merely a tease of what will be understood in some future world.
RFD Editor Nicholas Regush

And I say that it will be a good day when Christian researchers can look into mind/body medicine without getting the willies or thinking they are delving into eastern pantheism or witchcraft.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Let It Go
Released February 2004(written by Doyle/Sampson/Daly)

Hey man, you don't know what you're missing
You count your curses and forget about the blessings
Don't you think you should learn a little lesson
What are you waiting for?

Hey man, what makes you so special
Can't seem to find the angels for the devils
Don't you think that if you learned to love a little
You'd live a whole lot more

Let it Go Let it Go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it Go Let it Go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it Go

Lift you head, there's no time for crying
You made your bed but don't think its fit to lie in
Wasted on the ground when you know you should be flying
What are you waiting for?

How can a man not see
It seems so clear to me
You've just got to live and learn
Smile at the simple stuff
This road ain't long enough
To miss a single turn

Great Big Sea has a new CD, Something Beautiful out that I picked up not that long ago. The song above is one of the nicest tunes and lyrics on the CD.   And I like the sentiments of the song.  We often make mountains out of mole hills when we really should just let it go.  Blessing the Lord for the benefits we enjoy doesn't come natural or easy, but it is a better way to live than to always be grumping about life.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Miscellaneous Musings

What I am listening to:  Something Beautiful  by Great Big Sea.

Musing #1.
We live in a blessed time.  In years past if you wanted to listen to music, you either had to make it yourself or find someone to make it for you.  Now we can have all the music we want, and precisely what we want at any time of the day or night with the flip of a switch.  I especially like CD's because I can easily switch back and forth between songs without difficulty.  I often drive my kids crazy because I will listen to the same piece over and over again in order to absorb all that I like about it.    I also drive them crazy because I love to sing along with favorite songs, especially harmony.  Too bad I sound like a crow with tonsillitis.  Even so, singing with favorites gives me a lift every time.

Great Big Sea does a lot of traditional Newfoundland/Celtic music.  But I confess that I tend to like the stuff they write better.  Their newest CD is truly skookum.

Musing #2.
Nothing is as scary as a toddler with a black permanent marker.  I am afraid to go out to the kitchen/living room to see what artistry has been performed there.  Perhaps I shall go straight up the stairs to bed when I leave this place.

Musing #3.
Teens are frustrating.  If you come down hard on them for just reasons, they squawk like nobody's business.  If you act in a reasonable fashion, they run over the top of you.  I hope they all have a dozen just like them to give them pepper in their sunset years.

Musing #4.
As a young person I used to think that young love was the best love in the world.  The love of middle aged people was ridiculous to my youthful eyes.  Now I know that things can only get better as you grow older, especially if you can work through stuff.  Makes me think that the best is yet to come, even as I fall into physical decay.



Thursday, July 22, 2004

Class Picture Posted by Hello

What you have here in this picture is the 2004 Advanced Kinesionics class, consisting of the teacher, nine students and the teacher's dog.  I was part of a select group of people who actually went on to qualify as a certified kinesionics practitioner and who were invited to participate.   It was an intense four days of learning involving a combination of theory and then practice, practice, practice.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time of non-interruption by small children and conversing with adults, but I haf ta tell ya, I don't know how working mothers do it!  I came home wasted every evening and the last thing I wanted to do was make a meal or clean house. 

The Big and Little Picture
One of the appealing facets of Biblical Christianity is the fact that it deals with life from the perspective of the Big and the Little Picture.  But what else would you expect from a Faith that has a God who is both imminent and transcendant at the same time?  God is over all creation, but yet personally with it at the same time.

  I think this aspect of Big and Little Pictures is expressed in the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Q.1  What is man's chief end?

A:  Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. 

God's glory is the Big Picture.  Our enjoyment of Him is the Little Picture.   Biblical Christianity encourages one to relate to God on an individual basis, but also encourages us to see ourselves as part of the larger picture of what God is doing in time and eternity.  Both aspects are important to a mature Christian walk.  We cannot neglect the personal aspect of faith in Christ by chasing after intellectually appealing doctrines without causing that personal aspect to wither on the vine from lack of communion with Christ.  We also cannot expect anything but a truncated spiritual growth if all our attention is focused on "what Christ means to ME"  to the neglect of where we operate in the Body.

Sometimes  our attention will be drawn to one aspect more than another.  In recent days I have been focusing my attention more on the individual aspect of faith.  This is finding some of its expression in music; not that which I make myself (alas for piano lessons that were never put to good use), but that which others make.  One of my favorite CD's to listen to recently is one called Thrive, by the Newsboys. 

The other day I posted some lyrics to one of their songs from this album and subsequently deleted the post because it provoked a number of calls and inquiries about my spiritual state.  It goes to show you how different people can interpret different things.  To many who inquired, it was a post written in despair.  But really, it was a post written with a reflection of thanksgiving and hope that is reflected in the chorus.

Old as the hills, new everyday
It's in the bones like it's DNA
First taste is sweet 'til it rots in your mouth
Another old friend who rats you out
All of the time in this life
Can't loose the ties that bind
They shackle our feet, we trip, we fall
We crawl
I was born in the mess of it all
Then You rescued me, rescued meLord,
with a touch of Your hand
Another captive free again
Who else in heaven could do this but You?
You rescued me, rescued meLord,
with a love out of mind
Oh, You know I love it when
Everyday I am rescued again
Over the years your nature's way
Is turning wrongs into roles you play
Caught in a spell that's overcast
You gain perspective, it doesn't last
All of the time in this life
Can't loose the ties that blind you
They're new everyday, old as the fall
The fall
And I was born in the mess of it all
Every day, every way, every
Every cheap imitation
All of my imagination
Even my self-preservation
Is yours in time
Now this song speaks eloquently to me of the Little Picture.  It is a snapshot of what the Westminster Confession of Faith says in Chapter 5 on Providence, which I posted a few days ago.  God sometimes allows us to look deep into the darkness of our hearts and to see the terrible depravity and wickedness that lurks there ready to spring into action, but for His restraining Hand.  Proverbs tells us that a man without self control is like a city without walls;  there is no defense.  And yet how often does God supply the defense for us when we would do otherwise?  Let's face it:  whenever we are defended, it is GOD who does the defending, not our weak, faulty, and puny wills.  So the song above is a song of hope to me.  For every day I am rescued again from myself.

Another song from this CD that really speaks to my soul lately is the title track.

Down here in the valley
Every shadow You see
Has its own story
Down here in the valley
Every puddle of mud
Comes from tears and blood
And it's so hard just to get warm
That the chill turns into despair
Will You lift me up with tender care?
Will You wash me clean in the palm of Your hand?
Will You hold me close so I can thrive?
When You touch me, that's when I know I'm alive
Down here in the valley
Nothing's able to grow
'Cause the light's too low
Folks spend their days
Digging 'round for diamonds and gold
'Til they just get old
And they don't know anything else
They don't know they're breathing bad air
But I'm tired of living like this
And my soul cries out, "If You're there...
Call me up to Your side
Draw me up to Your light
Let it blind me
Lord, refine me
Refine me out of my mind
Music by Peter Furler / Lyrics by Peter Furler and Steve Taylor

The lyrics in the verses express the hopelessness and despair of life in a sin-wracked world.  It expresses the longing of the soul for communion and life with the only One who can wash us and rescue us from the hopelessness and despair of life under the sun.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The attached photo has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels with patients at St. Joseph Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress will find differences in the two dolphins. If there are many differences found between the dolphins, it means that the person is experiencing significant amount of stress. Look at the photograph. If you find more than one or two differences you may want to take a vacation.
 Posted by Hello

Monday, July 19, 2004

Real Life
"The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and the deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them up to a more close and constant dependance for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends."
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 5.5
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." ~ 1 Cor. 10:13
One of the things I love about Scripture and biblical Christianity is how true to life it is.  I mean, it isn't this pale, shallow shadow that tries to paste a smiley face over the worst of situations.  Instead it spits on both its hands and gets right down in the pit with you and helps you out.
That is one of the reasons we should take joy in trials.   They help us to sort out if we really believe all this "stuff."  Falling into sin, or coming close to it is no fun.  But it does give you practical experience of the lovingkindness and tender mercies of God, not to mention his infinite wisdom and patience.  The One who watches Israel does not sleep, and He will not let his elect fall away finally and forever into sin. 

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Lord's Day, July 11th

I have much I would like to say about my past week and a half, but I am still processing much of it and want to chew it over a bit more before commenting on and relating it for others. Instead, since this is the Lord's Day, and therefore a day to be devoted to Him, I thought I would share some meditations I have recently had in my private worship and the practical outworkings I have seen.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4 [NKJV]

Our usual response when we face a trial is to moan and complain and be anything but full of joy. Trials mean pain most of the time. Yet God tells us, nay, commands us, to consider it a joy when we have trials. Why? Because this is the means that He uses to bring us to maturity and completeness and to conform us to the image of His dear Son.

God tells us to count it all joy and when we take Him at His word, knowing that all that comes into our life is ordained by Him for His glory and our good, then we can rest and find joy knowing that we are not being harmed by God, even when we experience negative providences. Even these are a joy to those who place their trust in the Rock of their salvation. The ability to walk confidently in this knowledge is the evidence of things unseen and the foundation for peace in the midst of trials. It is the basis for freedom from fear of man and circumstance.

I have seen the practical outworkings of this in my own life. Things that were formerly things to make a federal case out of now recede to minor incidents that are to be dealt with calmly. Potential tragedies are opportunities for faith, love, and trust in God. I am convinced, as I walk in this truth experientially, that I have found the secret perspective that enabled Job to say, "Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

How can we not love a God who enables us to rise above the sorrows of life in a sinful world and to experience a joy and a mercy that can undo us when we contemplate its depths?

Bless the Lord, oh my soul! And all that is within me, Bless His holy name!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I'm Still Alive

Sorry for the hiatus in posting, but things have been very busy on this end. The last of my company leaves late Friday night and then I have two days of rest before my advanced kinesionics class starts. I'll try to post an update of how all the events went at the end of it all. For now, it can be summed up as it was one grand party from beginning to end: A baby, a wedding, a baptism, the Lord's Table, lots of visitors and visiting, serious discussion, loads of laughter and not a few tears at parting. And I miss Ed! Wah! Canada will never be the same since he was here, and my house is strangely quiet. Ed, come back soon!

In the meantime, those who would like to read about the wedding and see pictures of it (including the wedding cakes I made), may do so at Ginny's blog.

More photos are available here and here.