Reading Proverbs 5. I pick it up and think, “this is about the seductive ways of a woman; why do I need to read about that? What does that have to do with my life? I have been married to a man for almost 30 years. I am not a ‘seductress’, nor will a woman seduce me!”

 Really?

The passage goes on to describe what happens to a ‘son’ who falls for the temptations of an immoral woman. It says he loses his reputation, his money–everything, and that his children will be raised by aliens. The passage says that giving in to ones lust destroys more than just an individule. It destroys a society.

I read the “Oprah” magazine one day.  It was given to me by my mother in law, so that I could read the interview with First Lady, Michelle Obama.

In this issue there was an article urging the readers to “just TRY” lesbianism and see if you like it! Then there were ‘testimonies’ from those had had done just that, and they say that they are now lesbians, because it is so ‘great’!

I often fall asleep in front of the television. The other night I awoke to see an infomercial playing on the screen. I didn’t pay any attention, I just saw two nice looking young women on a couch holding up products, and extolling their good qualities. It could have been tupperware…I did see something plastic. Anyway, I went to shut off lights and lock doors and then came back to shut off the TV. That is when I finally  noticed that those nice looking young women, dressed in their Sunday best, were selling SEX TOYS! They were vile, disgusting apparatuses–things these women should have been embarrassed and ashamed to touch–yet here they were describing the ‘benefits’ of each product and promoting the avarice they represent! This wasn’t on a porn Channel—I erased all those from our channel lists. This was on, guess what? OPRAH’s “Oxygen”  television channel! I had fallen asleep to some innocent movie, and wake up to this perversion.

Lastly, while doing some genealogical research on my ancestor, who was named, “Albert”, I wondered if he might have been named for “Prince Albert”, husband of Queen Victoria. So, I decided to look up Prince Albert to see if the date of the royal wedding coincided with the birth year of my ancestor. I thought this might give me a clue as to the origination of my family’s line….anyway, all of a sudden my eyes were accosted by internet images of penises! Seems, that for some reason the piercing of a penis is called a “Prince Albert”.

So, I guess we invite this “immoral woman” into our homes every day through TV, the internet and magazines.  America has been seduced by the lying lips of the “seductress” that Proverbs 5 was warning about.

I guess this passage does apply to  me…

I just have to say a few (more) words on healthcare.

I believe that one of the reasons that healthcare is such a problem, is that churches and religious groups have shirked their responsiblity to “heal the sick”. Sorry, but that is what I think.

“Healthcare” and hospitals and even nursing was started as a ministry by Christians.  Catholics ran hospitals, and so did the “Deaconesses” to show the suffering the love of Jesus Christ. But, they sold the hopitals for money. To do what? 

Seems that  now days Christian groups, churches and church members, seem to think that entertainment is much more important, than caring for the sick and infirmed. They spend their money on coffee bars and “worship leaders”, which are bands meant to entertain. Instead of building hospitals and clinics; “ministries” build club houses, recording  studios, and television sets–to showcase their talents and stroke their egos. They sell CD’s and DVD’s instead of buying  medicine. What God gave them for free, they sell for a profit. Instead of building God’s Kingdom, they build their own. They changed the name to “ministry”…but it is a Kingdom.

When a television ministy has a toll free number to sell dvd’s and cd’s; but a toll number for prayer–we see that our priorities are all wrong!  And we see who they wish to glorify. Are they selling dvd’s and cd’s to pay for healthcare, or to pay for bigger studios, larger stages– more entertainment?  Do they use the money to help those in need or to line their own pockets and feed their own comfort? What percentage goes to help the sick, dying, hungry and needy? Sometimes a few cents are thrown to those in need; but most goes back into the entertainment, or the lifestyle of the “minister”.

Did Jesus give his blood so that his Ministers could get rich off the gospel?

Didn’t Jesus tell us to go out and heal the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Please show me where he told us to write books, go on book tours, make music, produce movies and build Christian themed amusement parks!

Did Jesus tell us to “make disciples”– or to entertain?

Did Jesus charge people to hear his sermons, or heal the sick? What gives anyone else the right to do so?

Ministers don’t even visit the sick in hospitals anymore. Not one minister that we didn’t know, ever stopped by my daughter’s hospital room, to see if we needed prayer. They are too busy planning “retreats” for members; and working on their powerpoint presentation for Sunday. It use to be that ministers would take a day and visit the sick in the hospitals. But, now churches have a “ministry” that sends flowers to members who are  in the hospital. Or the Pastor will occaisionally visit his members. But, wouldn’t it do so much more good to visit and pray with those who are scared and suffering, and have no Pastor to give them comfort?  It would do so much more if Christians would volunteer and help those who are sick. Pay for their medicine!

Government isn’t the answer to healthcare,  Charity is. Christian charity.

My daughter of course, was homeless, by her own design. But, she lived in a state where they had “public healthcare”. She had to pay a premium, according to her ‘income’.  She had no money, so she had no coverage, most of the time. Medication was sometimes rejected by her state healthcare, because it was too expensive. She needed a special anti psychotic drug, which the state ‘insurance’ could not insure….they said ‘no’–take a cheaper drug–and then she had to pay for part of it. She is living in the street and has no money. My husband and I could not afford the drug either. My daughter wrote to the “big pharma” company and asked for charity. They now supply her with her medication free of charge!

Big Pharma did more for her illness than any Christian group. That is a shame.

She moved to our state, where we do not have state insurance, and has gotten excellent medical care, by doctors and dentists who give of their time for free! She no longer has to pay a premium, nor does she have a copay.  No Christian ministry helped her. Atheists and liberals are healing her sickness. That is wrong!

My husband andI along with two of our children lived in a country with government run healthcare. This care was availible to everyone, but it was not forced on them. This wasn’t a one payer system. The program was supported by a tax on all goods and services. Everything in the nation was taxed with a special tax, that went to healthcare. The people could use the national healthcare, or they could buy their own insurance for private care. I felt the care was poor. Long lines, overworked doctors and nurses and long waits for rationed surgeries. Still, at least the people had some free healthcare, while no one was forced by their government to use the system, or pay for it!  Each paid what they could afford, according to what they could afford to buy!

If the majority of people in the USA want healthcare, they need to accept a general tax to pay for it. But, nothing should be forced on a free people.

Oh, also, that country with the healthcare? Each and every one of their lawmakers had to show up for work, in their Parliment, every single day, to debate both sides of the issues. They all HAD to hear both sides of the debates…everyday. And the laws apply to the lawmakers as well as they people who pay their salaries. WE THE PEOPLE need to demand this same standard in our nation. Laws and taxes are for everyone–lawmakers must be in the house and Senate everysingle day it is open, and debate doesn’t happen on tv, it happens in the chamber, ON C-Span for everyone to see and hear—especially the lawmakers. And the lawmakers need to be accountable to the People. NO PAY RAISES UNLESS THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS APPOVE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION!

Let’s do that. It is bipartisan, and gives us back some power.

My $.02

Thanks for listening,

There once was a very rich man. He had a son, who was a bit spoiled.

The day came for the son’s college graduation. He was anticipating getting a sports car for a gift, from his dad. So, when the father congratulated his son, he told him,

“Son, you are a man now. I have given you every opportunity that God allowed me to give you. I have shared with you all my wealth and my knowledge; and sent you to the best schools.  But, God is not finished with you yet! I want you to have this Bible, which contains the rest of your education. Spend time with the Lord everyday, and he will lead your path. The Lord Jesus Christ  is the last gift you will ever need, and the Gospel is the best present I can ever give you.” 

The son was furious! He told his father that he was “sick and tired of hearing about Jesus everytime he turned around”  He let a stream of profanity flood from his mouth; calling his father every name he could think of, for not giving him the thing he thought he needed, and ‘deserved’ the most; a sportscar. The son threw the Bible on the floor and walked out.

The Father took the gift and carefully placed it on the shelf in his study. He hoped that one day the boy would come to his senses and he would be able to share the gift with his son. The gift would be there, when the boy came back.

But, the father called his son a few weeks later, and found that he had changed his phone number. He searched for his son and finally found him. He went and knocked on the boy’s door. The boy opened the door, saw it was the Father; and slammed the door in his face.

 For many years the man tried to contact his son. But, the son always rejected him. Oh, there were a few times, when the son had gotten himself into trouble, and he called his father to ask for help.  But, after he was out of his problem, he again rejected his father. The son believed he deserved much more than his father gave him.

Years and years passed by. The son matured, and through heartache and failure, he finally came to realise that he was a fool to reject his kind Father.  He decided to visit him, and apologise in person.

When he arrived, he found his father was dying. The son went to his father’s bedside, and was able to apologise. He father happily forgave him; but asked the son if he was ready to accept and read the Bible that the father wanted to give him so many years ago.  The son gratefully accepted the gift and did read the Bible, at his father’s bedside during his illness.  And finally, he found, taped to the back,  a car key and a note signing over all his wealth to his son.

The son could have had the sportscar and great wealth, years and years before. He needlessly suffered, all because he rejected his Father.

Are you suffering because you reject your heavenly Father, and the gospel of His Kingdom?

I am a Christian, I have a great faith in my Lord Jesus Christ. My faith in other people? Not so much.

I had a relative tell me, right now, at this very heartbreaking time of my daughter’s illness,  that some people, (possibly my daughter?) CAN NEVER know the grace of God because God created them for the sole purpose to reveal his wrath.  They are “vessels of wrath”. They are unable to ever be saved. They are created for destruction. And of course others, like my relative, were created to show God’s blessings, as the “vessels of mercy”.  They are “chosen”…they did not choose God, but God chose them, so they are spiritually special and could not be anything but saved and living in God’s kingdom. They have no choice. Vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy–neither of them have a choice, but are created by God, stuck in their created purpose.

Gosh, THAT surely gave me comfort,  uplifted me and encouraged me in faith and hope, at this difficult time, as you can imagine! Being sarcastic here.

I do not believe that. It isn’t what the Bible says. That is an idea of man; a twisting of God’s word. It doesn’t fit the God of the Bible. If God created someone who could not be saved, He would not be fair. The “vessel of wrath” could not possibly suffer God’s ‘wrath’, if it had merely done what God created it to do, now could it?  Why would God be angry at someone that was doing what God created it to do? Why would he be full of wrath at this person? That makes no sense. It would not be fair for these people to be punished and sent to eternal damnation, when they never had a chance!  God is always fair. He is perfect.

The Bible tells us,

“Test all things, hold fast to that which is good.” 1Thes.5:21
I am going to let that idea go, because I really don’t think it would be “good” if my daughter, or even myself, had no possibility of being saved, and were in fact a “vessel of wrath”! That would really be “bad”!  God doesn’t have favorites. We all have an equal shot at God’s salvation.
 
Romans 2:11–“For there is no partiality with God.”

 

I think ideas like this, are the reason it is so important to read the Bible everyday, yourself–with out study guides and other people’s books. When one reads the whole  Bible, from cover to cover instead of passages here and there; one can see the whole message. The whole Gospel.  The Bible clearly tells us, over and over in many different ways,  that God created the world and it was “good’—he created free will and the chance for everyone to choose life or death; and that free will is ‘good’, He loves the world, He died for the world, and God doesn’t want anyone to perish.
 

Deut. 30:19–“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

2 Peter 3:9–  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

 

In the verse which referrenced the “vessels of wrath”, Romans 9:22, it speaks of God’s “longsuffering” and “endurance” with these “vessels of wrath”.  Why would God suffer and endure if the people were really only doing what God created them to do?  “Longsuffering” would denote that God cared enough about these vessels that he suffered about their sin. It hurt Him. He wants them to change, that is why they are alive. Jesus is trying to bring them to himself. As the Bible says, “I stand at the door and knock”…..Jesus is always there…for everyone. Open the door!

Acts 17:26-27– “And He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

1 Tim. 1:4—” Don’t let people waste time in endless speculation over myths and spiritual pedigrees. For these things only cause arguments; they don’t help people live a life of faith in God.”

It is so important for everyone to read the Bible themselves, not to merely read books ABOUT the Bible, that other people have written. The Bible is a whole story. It has context. And yet God’s plans for each of us are individulized. He speaks to each of us, in our own need. He moulds and shapes us individually. So, it is important to read the Bible ourselves and let the Holy Spirit  guide our thoughts and mind…to lead us into truth; real truth.

 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13)

“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.”  (1John 2:27)

“Dear brothers and sisters, I solemnly assure you that the Good News of salvation which I preach is not based on mere human reasoning or logic. For my message came by a direct revelation from Jesus Christ himself. No one else taught me.” (Gal.1:11-12)
 
Teaching others about “vessels of wrath” does NOT help anyone to live a life in Jesus Christ!  So, it is a useless, cruel ideology, that would best be left unsaid to those who are suffering!
 
Also, when Jesus told his disciples that “he chose them, they did not choose him”…read the entire, SENTENCE– in context! He is speaking to his disciples, remember, he asked them to be ‘fishers of men’? And if one finishes John 15:16, Jesus says,
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
 He chose them to bear fruit. To fish for men. To form the foundation of a church.
 
For a true example of God’s mercy and God’s wrath, one can start at the beginning in the Bible.  The story of Adam and Eve. Since God made everything in the Garden “good”, as the Bible clearly states, and Adam and Eve had a choice to sin or not to sin, it is clear that ‘choice’; that’ free will’; are “good”.  Even Satan had free will to choose to sin or not. The Bible tells us in Ezekiel 28, that when he was in the garden of Eden, Satan was a beautiful guardian angel. Then he began to think about how special and beautiful he was; how proud he was of the position God had given him. Satan chose himself. Thus, pride,  became the first sin, and led to Satan’s destruction.
  

 So, in the first story of the Bible we see an example of the “vessels of mercy”—mankind, being given a pardon from death until Jesus came and died for their sins; and the “vessels of wrath”—satan and the fallen angels, who had no chance of salvation through Christ, but when they sin they are cast into the eternal fire, which was prepared for them. But, they do have free will to choose.

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father ” ? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son” ?”– Hebrews 1:5

 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;–2 Peter 2:4

 Mankind are the “vessels of mercy”. Yet the Bible clearly tells us that mankind can choose to suffer the same wrath as the fallen angels, if they reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”–Matthew 25:41

No one in the world was created for wrath. But the Bible gives us plenty of examples of those who suffered God’s wrath because they chose to sin, and reject God’s plan of salvation. Jesus tells us very clearly  in Matthew 25:31-46; that is our choices that determine if we live forever in His Kingdom, or if we go on to eternal punishment.

It has been a hard three weeks. We drove the 500 miles thinking we were going to plan a funeral.
 

 They did not expect her to make it. She not only had the endocarditis, but the staph infection was in her very blood. And it was the antibiotic resistant form, MRSA. It was in her lungs, her heart, her blood, and we found out later—her eye. It did not respond to any antibiotics. She had to have a chest tube inserted to drain fluid from around her heart and lungs. She was unconscious for the first 6 days. She could not breathe as her lungs were filled with fungus and fluid. Her urine was black in the catheter.

 
 Nothing they did was working. She was steadily going down hill. They moved her to the ICU, with the idea that they were going to put her on a respirator—but they kept holding off putting her on it; giving her a “few more hours”. They told me that once they do that, it is hard for a person to recover from that…not impossible, but it is usually the last move before hope is gone. They tried everything. They did not hold anything back. She was surrounded by doctors, nurses and aides. It seemed as if the whole hospital had heard about how sick this beautiful 24 year old girl was, and they all wanted to be a part of helping her recover.  
 
We were also surrounded by family and friends. My sister and her husband stayed overnight at the hospital with my husband and I. Relatives came by at all hours of the day and night. Pastors, who did not know us, and some who did, came to support us, and together we all prayed over her.
  
We have felt the prayers of everyone, and want to thank everyone who prayed those prayers. I ask the Lord everyday to bless everyone who is praying for us; because we have been blessed by your prayers! We felt the strength to keep going, and always felt hope in the Lord. We were at peace, and were even able to find some joy in the middle of it all. We saw the Lord’s hand at work, in us, and in our daughter’s care.
  
It just so happened that the doctor on duty, for the first week, was a young doctor whose specialty is infectious disease. She has connections with the top doctors in the field around the nation, and tried the most current treatments. On one of her worst nights, a nurse came on duty, that doesn’t usually work here. The nurse just happened to be called in to work, because of staff illnesses. She is a nurse practitioner, who is an instructor at the college. The charge nurse, on duty most of the time,  use to work at a rehab center …things like that; all working together for our daughter’s good.
  
One young street pastor who came to pray with us and over our daughter, let us pray with him about finding employment. Praise God, the next day, he got a job!  The first day on the job he was able to witness to a woman who had fallen away from the Lord, and who wanted to rededicate her life to Jesus! God is so good….and in the midst of our need, God allowed us to be a part of helping someone else too.
  
The news for us is full of praise, for our daughter has made a miraculous recovery! She is alert and coherent. They were able to remove her chest tube, and the catheter. She was able to go off the oxygen.  The MRSA began to react to the new antibiotics. Her heart is back to normal. They discharged her from the hospital!
 
Praise the Lord!  
  
She still has some challenges. She has a port in her arm that goes into an artery for further blood draws and IV treatments. Her right eye is blind, her gorgeous blue eye will never see again–there is no sparkle in the eye. Her lungs are still full of abscesses, which leave scar tissue behind. Her legs are also full of small abscesses, which make it difficult and painful to walk. We do not know if she will have permanent damage. She suffers fevers and still must go to the hospital every 12 hours for IV antibiotics.
 
But, God is the God of resurrection, and I have seen it myself!
 

Waiting and waiting. Everything is so quiet here in the ICU. I just hear the sound of my daughter straining to breathe. She moans in pain as she draws up every breath. Her chest rises, her face strains. She loudly moans what would be a shout, if only she had enough energy to shout; whenever she is touched or moved anywhere. There is a tube stuck in her side, that goes to her lung, draining out a horrible mixture of blood and fluid, with the consistancy of cottage cheese. There are puncture wounds up and down her arms and her feet, where the doctors probe her veins looking for a sample to test out the latest antibiotic. She can not speak, nor can she move. She is weighted down with tubes connected to IV bags full of all kinds of antibiotics and medicines, trying to make her well; and monitors watching her heart, pulse rate, oxygen levels and bloodpressure. 

But, she continues to get worse. Nothing is working. They are trying hard! But, nothing is helping. It is in her blood, her heart and her lungs. Her lungs have nodules of fungus throughout, along with fluid. She is burning up with fever.  She has a cathater into her bladder. Every place they have connected her to live saving tubes, the site is a potential source of further infection.

All of this started with a teenage girl who fell in love with a boy. He broke her heart like all teenage boys tend to do….and she just wanted to be a more “fun” girl. A girl who would party. A girl she thought he would like. She just wanted to have fun.

Let me tell you, not much has been fun….

A few hours ago, a nurse from 500 miles away, called to tell me that my daughter is in the hospital. She has endocarditis. IV drug users often get this infection around their heart. When I saw my daughter last, she and her friend, both had staph infections. In fact they had the treatment resistant form: MRSA. Since she is an IV drug user, the infection has now travelled from all her puncture sites, to her heart.

She is very sick and may not live until morning.

I live in a rural area, the airport doesn’t have any flights at night. I have to wait until morning to leave.

So many things are going through my mind. How my husband and I waited and waiting for me to go into labor, when I was pregnant. She was two weeks late, and I was so miserable…and then when my husband hugged me, and I wrapped my arms around his neck; I was back in the hospital, 24 years ago, hanging on to his neck in the same way; breathing hard, trying to endure the waves of pain. It is the same tonight. But, this pain will not end with joy………

I can not talk to her! She is too sick, she is vomiting and having a hard time breathing. My sister and her husband are with her….she won’t be alone. I pray that the Lord will be with her…he does that you know. I once went to visit a little boy who had the end stages of cancer, when I saw him, I asked him how he was doing.. he answered in a way I will never forget, and it has brought me strength. He said, “I was really scared about dying, but, I went into my room and prayed. Jesus came in and sat with me! He told me I was going to be alright!” The boy was beaming; he was excited. So, I know the Lord doesn’t just send help, he shows up himself! I pray that he will show up tonight and comfort my daughter. That He will forgive her and deliver her and help her………and help me and her dad.

This wasn’t suppose to happen.