Someone was ringing the doorbell persistently. My husband went to the door and I looked on, curious. A deliveryman handed a wrapped florist parcel to him. Who is sending flowers? I wondered.
The enclosed card was inscribed, Happy Anniversary. It was from our sister-in-law. And then I remembered. Our 40th anniversary was just days away.
We have been blessed and refined by many years of marriage. The day after the flowers arrived, my husband and I attended a world-view conference led by Dr. Frank Turek. During the course of his presentation he spoke about the benefits of marriage between one man and one woman—and the reason why the government has had an interest in marriage historically. Here are the benefits I jotted down;
Children are raised by a mom and a dad
Perpetuates and stabilizes society
Dr. Turek covers this topic in his book, Correct, Not Politically Correct. He also has a website: cross-examined.org
When God set down the pattern for marriage it was for our good, as a couple, and for society as a whole.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Jesus affirmed this view of marriage: Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?” Matthew 19: 4-5
In our marriage, my husband and I have grown in our faith and helped each other with new skills. We have had good times and hard times. We have sometimes communicated well and at other times not very well. We have learned forgiveness and self-sacrifice. We have raised children and now have three married adult children and seven grandchildren.
How can we pass on a healthy view of marriage to children and grandchildren?
1. When the Bible is a part of our daily life it becomes a guidebook for healthy living. Regular Bible reading and prayer at home is a good thing.
2. We need to discuss sexuality with the children God has placed in our influence. God’s design for sex is healthy and fulfilling; it requires boundaries. Surveys have shown that teens wish that their parents would discuss this topic with them.
3. We can give our testimony as a couple, explaining how God has worked in our life.
4. We can pray for the young people in our circle of influence and look for opportunities to offer words of guidance and encouragement. This morning my husband and I prayed for our grandchildren.
Can you think of additional ways to promote healthy marriages?
It’s Friday and I am joining the community hosted by Kate Motaung. For five minutes we write fast and free. The prompt is: WEAK
Above my writing desk I have a frame with a picture of each of my children. Below their picture is the verse that my husband and I chose for their dedication. Our desire was for each child to know and depend on the Lord.
For our oldest daughter: The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11
For our son who has gone on to be with the Lord: Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71: 3
For our second daughter: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
And for our second son: As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Psalm 18: 30-32
Each of these verses point to the Lord’s strength. When we chose these verses we did not know the trials that would come and the depth of our family’s need for God’s strength. Now, when I read these verses I can praise God because He has been faithful in providing strength and refuge for each of our children.
It is true. We are weak and have a great need for God’s grace, mercy and strength.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14
A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from the University of Illinois about the MMR vaccine. Here is an excerpt from that message: The Illinois Department of Public Health and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District have recommended that students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receive a booster shot of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine as soon as possible, even if they have already received one or two previous vaccinations with the MMR vaccine.
This recommendation is based on the ongoing occurrence of mumps infection in a number of students through the recent spring semester and summer sessions. Most cases on campus had two previous MMR vaccinations.
My son is no longer a student at the University, so he doesn’t have to deal with this. If he were a student, I would encourage him to have titers drawn to determine whether he still had immunity before doing another vaccine. He has already had two doses of this vaccine.
According to the CDC’s website these are the ingredients in the MMR: Medium 199, Minimum Essential Medium, Phosphate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts. For a full list of vaccines and their ingredients click here.
Knowing what I know now I probably would have refused the vaccine when my son was a toddler. The fact that the rubella portion of the vaccine is developed off of aborted fetal cells (human diploid lung fibroblasts) goes against my view of the sanctity of human life and my faith in God’s design of the immune system. If a child gets the measles or mumps it is possible to support the immune system while they are sick. Measles is most virulent for malnourished individuals. Rest, plenty of oral fluids and vitamin A supplementation (for the measles) is recommended. By getting the measles and mumps in childhood an individual develops lifetime immunity.
As a society we are now in an unfortunate position. The vaccine wears off over time. Women that were vaccinated and did not actually have the measles do not have lifetime immunity. They don’t pass an immunity to their infants, which would last 6 to 9 months. Infants and adults may get the measles if exposed to the virus or even exposed to someone who has recently been vaccinated. (It is interesting that during the outbreak in Palatine, Illinois this year the cases involved an adult and infants. Not school age children. No one died.)
Lee Hieb, M.D. wrote about the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine:
In 2006 an epidemic of mumps broke out in my state of Iowa. Ultimately, 11 states reported 2,597 cases of mumps. The majority of mumps cases (1,487) were reported from Iowa. As reported in “Mumps Epidemic – Iowa, 2006,” “Despite control efforts and a highly vaccinated population, this epidemic has spread across Iowa and potentially to neighboring states.” According to the CDC, “During the prevaccine era, nearly everyone in the United States experienced mumps, and 90 percent of cases occurred among children, although 97 percent of children entering school in Iowa had received two doses of MMR vaccine. ” Of note, this outbreak mostly occurred in young adults of college age who had received the vaccine. Only 6 percent of those affected were known to be unvaccinated, 12 percent received one dose of MMR vaccine, 51 percent had two doses of MMR vaccine, and 31 percent (mostly adults) were not sure of their immunization history.
To read her entire article listing the risks and side effects of vaccines click here.
I am not against vaccines for life-threatening epidemics. Vaccines have been helpful, but more research is needed for our vaccine schedule.
My opinion is that we have become increasingly dependent on medications and vaccines while forgetting to address principles of health that support the immune system. Our medical system encourages a quick fix mentality.
Over years of parenting my husband and I became more actively involved in our family’s health. We have made healthy changes. Of course change in habits is difficult. It took time and persistence and we can still improve. Here are seven practices that our family has adopted to support the immune system.
Eliminate (begin by reducing) refined sugar and flour from the diet. Sugar, in a variety of forms, is in every processed food. I learned to read labels.
Less antibiotics. With my youngest son we avoided antibiotics unless truly necessary. We learned that we could wait and see with symptoms of an ear infection. We took milk out of the diet and added garlic for treatment.
Drink plenty of water.
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. Once we eliminated refined sugar our appetite for and enjoyment of fruits and vegetables grew.
Increase the use of garlic and herbs in the diet.
Get adequate sleep. For children this should be 8 to 10 hours each night. We could have done better during the high school years.
Raw honey and elderberry syrup are more recent additions that we have made for cold and flu treatment. More about elderberry syrup in a future post. NOTE: Honey should not be given to a child under one year of age.
For additional thoughts on the MMR vaccine, click here.
UPDATE: The MMR is in the news also because data from vaccine safety studies was destroyed by the research team. Documents from a whistleblower have been given to congress. You can learn more and contact your House Rep. and Senators by clicking here.