Deep and Time Honored Messages of Hope

In the past few months my husband and I have been worshipping on Sunday mornings with a church plant. We gather in a room of a nearby hotel. The musically talented members of our group lead the singing. Sometimes our singing is accompanied by keyboard, by violin or acapella.

We have sung some of the older hymns. Some are new to me. I don’t have a great voice but I enjoy participating, letting the words wash over me. It gives me peace to sing hymns that believers have lifted their voices to over many years.

Samuel Trevor Francis, an English pastor and hymn writer, gave us this hymn:

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches oer His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth oer them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
Tis a haven of sweet rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus.
Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!

We are entering the advent season with the opportunity to hear and sing Christmas carols. I am looking forward to going to Candlelight Carols at Moody Church tomorrow. Our niece is a student at Moody Bible Institute and will be playing in the orchestra.

The hymns and carols are a salve for our soul. Do you have a favorite hymn?

This post is participating in Five Minute Friday. The prompt is: DEEP

Every Baby is Valuable

My daughter gave me the book, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved thousands of American Babies. The cover of the book suited the title.

Saving Premature Babies

The book is an attempt to follow the life and work of a man credited with saving the life of premature babies in the beginning of the  20th   century. At the time, infants weighing less than three pounds seldom survived. Dr. Couney was saving them.

He reserved  space  for  his  sideshow,  Infant Incubators with Living Infants, at expositions and amusement parks. It sounds distasteful to have infants in sideshows. The shows brought in money to cover the cost of infant care with profit.

Medical professionals criticized Dr. Couney for putting infants on display, even though hospitals were not equipped to provide care for little preemies. The author of this book noted that there wasn’t a choice between a sideshow and an ideal situation.  The choice in many cases, was  between a sideshow and letting children die*.

I was impressed by the practical approach that Dr. Couney had. The goal was to insure that the infants received breast milk for nourishment. Sometimes the mother would make daily trips to the show to breast feed her infant. Otherwise a wet nurse provided the breast milk. The infants were fed on schedule around the clock. If the baby couldn’t suck, breast milk was given with a tiny spoon.

Dr. Counney understood the need for absolutely sanitary conditions in the incubators that provided warmth. Babies were bathed and linens were changed. While caring for the infants, the nurses held and cuddled them.

Dr. Couney’s practice was successful in saving the life of many babies born prematurely. He recognized the value of feeding breast milk, maintaining excellent sanitary conditions and human touch.

There are a number of questions that the author pursues in her research. Was Dr. Couney really a doctor? Did he go to a medical school?

Update: Towards the end of the book one more observation about the health and survival of Dr. Couney’s premature babies is given. The author quotes a woman who was saved through Dr. Couney’s incubator care and was examined at New York Hospital when she was nine years old. “They said to my father, ‘There is something we don’t understand. All the babies that were in our incubators are going blind–but your baby’s eyes are good.’ “

Not until years later would the medical profession see the connection between the oxygen concentration that infants received in hospital nurseries and the development of blindness. A high oxygen concentration given to save the premature infant caused retrolental fibroplasia.

This post in linked to Five Minute Friday. Our prompt is: VALUE

*Dawn Raffel, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies, New York: Blue Rider Press, 2018, p. 126.

Experiencing the Goodness of Marriage

Thanksgiving is approaching and I have begun some early preparations. Our family has a favorite cornbread dressing, but it is a complicated and time-consuming recipe. I have made it ahead. While in the kitchen I have been thinking about many blessings in my life, especially one.

I am thankful for my husband. We have been married for 41 years and have experienced good times and difficult times. God has helped us through the hard times.

This past summer we became the interim caregivers for our five grandchildren ages 18 months to twelve years. Our oldest grandchild was suddenly in need of emergency care. Shortly after arriving at the hospital he was taken to the operating room for a bleeding brain aneurysm. Our daughter and son-in-law took turns at his bedside for the month that he was in the hospital.

By God’s grace our grandson received amazing medical care and is recovering. I was glad to have my husband by my side as we managed the daily needs in a busy household.

It was the same way when our son was fighting leukemia. We worked together.

As I thought about this I went and gave my husband a big hug. I told him, “I am thankful for you.” He was a bit surprised by the sudden affection but smiled with gladness.

Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for?

Today’s prompt for the Five Minute Friday writing community is: ONE

Should We Fear the Measles?

News reports about the measles are appearing in several states including Michigan and New York. The tone of the reports is fearful. It urges everyone to be sure they have been vaccinated . . . unless they were born before 1957.

Everyone born before 1957 is assumed to have natural immunity. I had the measles as a kid, and so did my siblings. We had a fever and a rash. We stayed home from school for a week.

Research indicates that a healthy diet and vitamin A supplementation is beneficial in recovering from this childhood illness. The immune system is put to work, is exercised, and that is beneficial to health. The result is natural immunity.

The development of a vaccine for measles has been considered a great step forward in health care. It might be time to review the science and the long term results from a vaccine that was introduced in the 1960s.

An article in BMJ, a British medical journal, discusses the effects of the measles vaccination program on a population.

There is a fact rarely considered by public health officials: vaccination is not an intervention that eliminates disease exposure for individuals. Vaccination replaces wild exposure with artificial exposure, and they are not equal. We are many decades into mass vaccination campaigns, and it is alarming that instead of the medical and scientific community stepping back to examine the overall impact on public and individual health to see if current strategies should be reevaluated, the focus is on those who question or refuse vaccination.

Science must always be open to questions and re-evaluation.

Dr. Semmelweis argued that hand washing was important for doctors tending to women in childbirth, but it was decades before the truth of his claim was realized.

Women were given thalidomide during pregnancy to treat symptoms and later it was realized that thalidomide caused birth defects.

Hormone replacement therapy was common for women in menopause until a national study showed an increased risk for heart disease and cancer.

Currently the media is bashing people that have concerns about the vaccination schedule. The topic has become so hot that objective discussion seems impossible. For the sake of the children in this country we need to address the concerns and pay attention to independent research (free from conflict of interest).

Sharing this post with Tuesdays with a Twist

Pray for Our Elected Officials

Whew, the election is over.

The mood in our country has been intense.

For the first time I went door to door,

passing out flyers, in support of my state representative.

Now there is time to pause and reflect.

People have many different burdens and concerns.

Many are hurting.

We are all sinners in need of forgiveness.

The government can’t save us.

Only Jesus can.

The issues facing our country are complex.

Now is the time to pray for our elected officials.

Pray that they will seek wisdom from God.

It is Friday and I am joining the Five Minute Friday writers. The prompt today is: BURDEN