We settled in our seats to await the beginning of the evening program. We were in the elementary school multipurpose room. The fourth and fifth grade students marched in, led by their teachers, and found their place on the risers at the front of the room.
One of the benefits of being a grandparent is the invitation to special events. Our granddaughter was wearing a sparkling silver dress. All of the students were dressed up. Some years ago we would have said their Sunday best.
The students performed songs from a variety of musicals including TheMusic Man, The King and I, and Hamilton. The boys and girls had learned synchronized hand motions and executed them flawlessly. They were having a good time!
They also performed a tribute to George Cohan by singing Give My Regards to Broadway and my favorite song of the evening, You’re a Grand Old Flag.
You’re a grand old flag
You’re a high-flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave
You’re the emblem of
The land I love
The home of the free and the brave
Ev’ry heart beats true
Under red, white and blue
Where there’s never a boast or brag
But should old acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand old flag
I was glad to see children celebrating our heritage in song. Do you remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance at school?
Hans Christian Anderson wrote fairy tales that I read as a child. Recently one of those stories has come to mind.
In The Emperors New Clothes swindlers approach a self-indulgent King with a proposal. They have devised a very clever lie with their plot. They tell the King that the magical clothes they produce will only be visible to wise and educated people. People who are fools will not be able to see the clothes. The King is intrigued and agrees to their proposal.
The swindlers go about weaving imaginary cloth and sewing the “cloth” into a suit of clothes.
When court officials are asked to view the progress of the swindlers they are afraid to say that they don’t see anything—because they would be admitting that they are fools.
Eventually the King parades his new clothes in a procession. The people of the kingdom stare, but are afraid to say that they don’t see the magical clothes. They don’t want to appear as fools.
At last a little boy says, “But he has got nothing on.”
At the back of the book there are 57 pages of notes. Erik Larson has written a meticulous history based on government documents, letters and diaries.
The book, In the Garden of the Beasts, provides a view of Nazi Germany through the eyes of the American ambassador. William Dodd was a history professor. He was an interesting choice for ambassador to Germany.
The Dodd family (William, his wife, daughter and son) arrived in Germany in 1933 when Hitler was ascending to power.
As I read the book I was dismayed to see the difficulty that the Dodds had in picking up alarming signs. Dodd’s daughter viewed the atmosphere in Germany with warmth and cheerfulness.
Rabbi Wise was listening to accounts by refugees in London and Paris and informing Dodd. The American consul general, George Messersmith had been in Germany longer and was sharing his concerns.
At first the Dodds thought that perhaps the Jews had brought this on themselves. Violence against an Aryan woman who was engaged to a Jewish man was passed off as an isolated event.
At the end of the first year William Dodd began to be troubled. He raised concerns with the U.S. state department but he wasn’t taken seriously.
After the defeat in WWI the German people wanted to believe that their country was on an upward trajectory. The German government began to censor any unfavorable news. What happens when news and different points of view are censored?
It scared me to see how deception moved forward like a mist. Can it happen now?
Currently there are topics that are censored and policies are being forced forward.
If you have been following my blog you know that I have concerns about the current vaccine schedule. More and more vaccines are being added without concern for side effects and longterm consequences. I sympathize with parents of a child who was disabled or died as a result of vaccination.
On Monday (September 9) a bill was signed into law in California despite the protests of hundreds of parents and grandparents. Sb276 mandates the vaccines recommended by the CDC for all children who attend public school without concern for their health history. No exemptions. If a doctor writes a medical exemption, the exemption must be approved by a government bureaucrat. If a doctor writes as many as five medical exemptions in one year he will be placed under surveillance.
Over the past few years fear of the measles has been ginned up. Measles is a common childhood illness that lasts 1—2 weeks. It is a serious illness in third world countries because of nutritional deficiencies and sanitation issues. We have learned that vitamin A supplementation during the illness helps with recovery.
The vaccination program has actually created an issue. When children developed the illness and their God given immune system was exercised in fighting the disease, they developed lifetime immunity. The vaccine does not give lifetime immunity. That is why we are seeing adults get the measles now.
Instead of listening to concerns of researchers, doctors and parents, legislators are bowing to pressure from the pharmaceuticals. (Pharmaceuticals are the largest lobbying group in the U.S.)
Have you heard about the protests in California? None of the news outlets are covering it. And Google is censoring the topic of vaccines in its search engine.
Del Bigtree covers this issue on his website: theHighWire.com.
Also this week, on September 10 Steve Scalise held a congressional hearing on infant born alive protection. Jill Stanek testified and you can read about it here.
The Speaker of the House has blocked the bill, Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, from going to a vote multiple times.
What do we do? Are our convictions important? We must be willing to speak up and stand for what we believe.
Our pastor has begun a series of messages from the book of Exodus and he pointed out the strong women mentioned in the first two chapters of this book.
When the Egyptian King decreed that the Hebrew midwives should kill all Hebrew male babies Shiprah and Puah did not obey the decree.
But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. Exodus 1:17
So they were called before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and questioned.
The midwives explained that the male babies survived,“because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” Exodus 1:19
Were the midwives lying? They were circumventing the king’s command. Their answer indicated that they had experience attending Egyptian and Hebrew women.
Women that are physically active—the Hebrew women worked hard as slaves— are in better physical condition, more likely to have a labor that progresses well—more likely to walk, squat and change position throughout labor. The Hebrew women may have given birth with the assistance of relatives that had learned basic skills from the midwives.
And then Pharaoh made a new decree. He asked the Egyptians to be on the alert and to throw any Hebrew male babies into the Nile.
One Hebrew woman (Jochebed) realized that her three month old baby boy was becoming increasingly hard to hide. So she made a little basket sea worthy, and asked Miriam (the baby boy’s sister) to place him in the river.
Jochebed instructed the Miriam to watch him.
Pharaoh’s daughter saw the unusual floating basket and asked her maid to bring it to her. The Princess realized that the baby was a Hebrew boy whom her father had ordered to be drowned. She ignored her father’s decree.
When Miriam saw the Princess holding her baby brother she offered to get a nurse from the Hebrew women to breastfeed the child. She offered to bring the baby’s mother, and Pharaoh’s daughter agreed.
The five women (midwives, Jochabed, Miriam, King’s daughter) were disobeying the King’s order. They were defending life! Despite the possibility that harm might come to themselves, they nurtured the baby boy who would one day be a leader of Israel.
Women have been entrusted by God with the gift of bearing and nurturing life. These five women offer examples of faith and courage as they persevered, defending the life of a baby. They were gutsy women.
In our own time nine men, Supreme Court Justices, decided that a woman has the right to abort (kill) her unborn baby based on a right to privacy. Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973. The law opened the opportunity for boyfriends and family members to urge a confused and panicked woman to end an unplanned pregnancy with abortion.
Exactly one year after the Roe v. Wade decision 20,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. for a March for Life. Nellie Gray, another gutsy woman, organized this first March for Life that took place on January 22, 1974. The protest of Roe v. Wade has taken place every January since then. Icy cold weather, snow and wind, have not deterred thousands of men, women and teens from participating in the March for Life.
The moms in California fighting for the health of their children are also gutsy women. Who are the strong women that you know?
During WWII children were being evacuated from France and Paris. I just finished reading Until We Find Home, a historical novel by Cathy Gohlke. It is a story of unexpected hospitality.
When Claire arrives at her aunt’s home in Windemere England with five French Jewish children she completely surprises her aunt who has become somewhat of a recluse.
Everyone is challenged in making this household work. England is rationing food and petrol. Three more children, this time from Germany, arrive. The household has cultural differences that all must learn to accept.
It is good to look back at difficult times in history and learn from them. The book has lots of meaning for my daughter (she recommended it to me). She and her husband are involved in foster care. They have adopted children from foster care.
Our situation is different from WWII. But we have needs for hospitality and self sacrifice. The church has a great opportunity to grow in hospitality by participating in or supporting foster care. There is a great need for foster care families in the United States.
At first I considered writing about my five favorite herbs, or maybe five summer recipes. And then I made another connection. I have three grandchildren that are five years old. Children are a blessing.
Being a mom is the best thing I have done. There have been moments of wonder. There have been hard times. Sometimes I have stumbled. I have learned my need for God’s help and have been blessed by His presence. My adult children are a source of joy and blessing. And now there are grandchildren.
Children are a gift from God. Here are five Bible verses that instruct us.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
Jesus said, “Truly I say unto you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart . . . Make them known to your children and your children’s children. Deuteronomy 4:9
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged. Proverbs 17:6a
For the past several years the leaves on my cherry tree and raspberry bushes have been devoured by beetles. Only the veins of the leaf remain after Japanese beetles have had their feast.
So I have been devising strategies to rid my yard of these pests. I tried the pheromone traps that brought more beetles to my yard. Then I did walking tours to tip them off the leaves into a bowl of soapy water. I have shaken branches and jumped when one of the beetles fell down my shirt.
This year I sprayed my tree with neem oil and continued the walking tours with my bowl of soapy water. It is working.
In the midst of my annoyance I have to admit that I have a bit of wonder over the Japanese beetle. They have a metallic green/brown color that catches the light.
Sometime they fall in my bowl of water when I tip a leaf—other times they get their wings out in an instant and fly off. The female beetles emit a pheromone that attracts the male beetles. So a few females on the leaves of a plant soon becomes a party.
The beetles have wiry legs (I have felt them on my hand). The female beetle is able to dig down into the earth to deposit her eggs and then climb out. Over a summer she may deposit as many as 60 eggs. The eggs develop into grubs and in one year—sometimes two—they will be an adult beetle. They are unique insects.
Yesterday, while I was with the grandchildren I showed them how to tip the beetles off a raspberry bush into soapy water. The boys were fascinated, the girls said that beetles were gross. We captured 20 beetles.
A little while later I was sitting with the children while they had bedtime snacks. The two year old pointed to the top of my head. I was in the middle of a sentence when my granddaughter said, “Grandma there is a beetle in your hair.” She giggled when I picked it out of my hair and put it into our bowl of soapy water.
Later that I night I was praying with my grandson. I thanked God for the blessings of the day and the interesting beetles. And then these words slipped out of my mouth, “but God I don’t know why you made them.”
After praying we talked a little more about the beetles. Some things in our world are puzzling. The beetles do so much damage to plants. My grandson said, “Maybe they do something good that we don’t know about.”
In January and February I receive seed catalogues in the mail. I page through them, planning what I will plant in the spring, and I send in my order (or place it on-line).
When the seed packets arrive they hold the promise of plants—herbs, flowers and vegetables. It is my pleasure to start some of the plants inside, watching for them to sprout. Each seed will sprout according to its kind, just the way it is recorded in the Bible.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. Genesis 1:11 KJV
The word, seed, appears in the Bible a great number of times referring to descendants. When Mary sings the magnificat she alludes to the descendants of Abraham.
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. Luke 1: 54-55 KJV
In the Hebrews chapter on faith, Sara’s pregnancy is mentioned.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11: 11 KJV
There is joy and blessing in fertility and fruitfulness.
When we visited Botanica, the Wichita Gardens, I especially enjoyed the focus on women and children. There is a children’s garden area where they can water plants. The children can walk through monster trees and climb the stairs to a fairy house.
The peonies, roses, irises and clematis were in bloom.
Throughout the gardens sculptures of women graced the landscape.
Recently I read the novel, Saving Amelie, by Cathy Gohlke. It is historical fiction set in Nazi Germany. The story involves twin girls who were the subjects of medical experimentation. The story was riveting.
I didn’t know that there actually was a doctor (gynecologist) who was working on a vaccine that could surreptitiously cause infertility. Dr. Carl Clauberg’s goal was to have a vaccine for non-Aryan woman that would be given to them during physical examinations. This morning I read an article on-line (salem-news.com; Nov-07-2011) that referenced him. The article titled “Have the Rabbis Forgotten the Experiments on Jewish Women at Auschwitz?” was written by Rachel Goldstein.
“Auschwitz was the largest and one of the most infamous of the camps and the site of numerous ‘medical’ experiments. This historical study uses primary source documents obtained from archives in England and Germany to describe one type of experiment carried out at Auschwitz — the sterilization experiments… “
It is immoral to experiment on human beings. The MMR vaccine may have done some good, but it can also be considered an experiment on children. I recently read through the documentation of the licensing of this vaccine. It amazed me that the vaccine was approved. A summary of the document can be read here.
It troubles me to know about all the experimentation on aborted fetuses that led to the development of the rubella portion of the MMR. I wrote about the research on a previous blog.
Because children are now receiving so many vaccines and medications for chronic illness it is hard to isolate the cause of autism. A research study describes the possible association between vaccines and autism.
The reason for the rapid rise of autism in the United States that began in the 1990s is a mystery. Although individuals probably have a genetic predisposition to develop autism, researchers suspect that one or more environmental triggers are also needed. One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive. . . . The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT [autism] or SLI [speech and language impairment]. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 2011;74(14) 903-16 You can access the abstract here.
With have lessons from history. At this time, when there is great concern about measles cases, we have the opportunity to learn about the issue and ask that the vaccines children receive are given greater scrutiny. We can ask that the vaccine schedule be reviewed for safety and effectiveness. I am learning ways to reach out to my legislators with questions and research articles.