Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Findings from the CDC regarding the Swine Flu

I wanted to share this link with you about Swine Flu, Flu Shots and Pneumonia.

Please click here to read these very interesting facts related to those who have died with the H1N1 Flu.

I will try to paste the article, but it will more than likely be difficult to read with the paragraph breaks etc.

The article from Yahoo Health Home News is as follows:
Bacteria co-infections common in swine flu deaths: CDC

By AFP - Wed Sep 30, 4:39 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Many people who have died from swine flu in the United States were also infected with other bacteria, including one which can cause pneumonia or meningitis, US health officials said Wednesday.

A syringe of the H1N1 vaccine. Many people who have died from swine flu in the United States were also infected with other bacteria, including one which can cause pneumonia or meningitis, US health officials said Wednesday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David Greedy)

Scientists who analyzed the cases of 77 patients who had the new strain of H1N1 flu and died found evidence of bacterial co-infection in around a third of the cases.
Of the 22 patients found to have a bacterial co-infection, nearly half had Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria which can cause pneumonia and "likely contributed to their death," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report.

Seven of the patients had Staphylococcus aureus, and one had haemophilus influenzae, which can also cause pneumonia. The rest showed a variety of co-infections.

The patients ranged in age from two months to 56 years, with a median age of 31 years.
CDC epidemiologist Matthew Moore recommended that, in the light of the findings, "those at high risk for the serious complications from influenza check with their provider when they get their influenza vaccine about being vaccinated against pneumococcus."

The CDC recommends in any case that children under the age of five, "all persons between the age of two and 64 with high-risk conditions" and senior citizens older than 65 be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumonia, but says only a small proportion of patients actually get the shots.

No data were available on the vaccination status of the 22 patients who had H1N1 flu and a bacterial co-infection, the CDC said, but one patient was younger than five-years-old and 15 others "had underlying medical conditions" that were indications for pneumococcal vaccine.

I posted this not to cause alarm or fear, but to inform. I believe God gave Doctors and medical researchers wisdom to help our bodies heal.
So, as soon as I get the "all clear" from my doctor, I will be getting my flu shot, my swine flu vaccine, and the pneumococcus shot! (Do you know how many times I had to scroll back up to spell that word???!!!)
Who's going with me?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trust His Heart

I am thinking of the song that goes something like this,
"When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart...."

How fitting to dwell on that today.

Last night a minister friend of ours entered the gates of heaven.
We expected him to be around here a little while longer planting a church in NWA and creating websites.

God had other plans.

I have to be honest. I did not know Jim that well, nor his lovely wife. I just know from my son-in-law that they are fine people and extremely talented.

My first reaction was, "God, what are You thinking!? Don't You realize what an opportunity You are missing by not doing the miraculous healing thing?!"

Immediately I thought of several verses in the Bible that talk about trusting Him.


I think I have issues with that word sometimes.

Like today.

I cannot imagine the pain and the sense of loss this family must be feeling.

But God IS in control.
He DOES have a plan.
He KNOWS what is best for everyone.
All things DO work together for the GOOD of those who love Him.

Sometimes we can't see the angle He is going for.
Sometimes we just don't get what His purpose is.
Sometimes we can't trace His hand.
That is exactly when we need to learn to trust His heart.

Please pray for this dear family.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Isaiah Saw the LORD

I have often wondered exactly how Isaiah felt when he "saw the Lord" in the year King Uzziah died. Please read this short chapter to better get an idea of where I am going with this:

Isaiah 6 NIV
Isaiah's Commission
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
There is a part of me that wants to do the Matthew Henry Study on this verse, but the other part wants to just speculate on the wonder of what went through Isaiah's mind and spirit.
So bear with me for just a moment as I imagine:
Isaiah is praying and seeking the face of Yahweh. His heart is being stirred to do something more, to say something more, to be something more.
As he follows after his God with his whole heart, he suddenly is keenly aware that God is with him.
His heart beats a little faster. There is a holiness in the place.
Where is this place?
In the very throne room of heaven!
For some reason he feels nothing with his physical senses, but his spirit man is on high alert.
He opens the eyes of his heart.
And there~
right before him~
is his Creator!
His only response is repentance.
Suddenly every good and righteous thing he has ever attempted is nothing but filth.
For here, he stands in the very presence of God Almighty,
Yahweh Himself!
His Holiness is encompassing.
Were it not for the ever present Mercy and Compassion of The Most Holy God,
the spirit of Isaiah would have crumbled under the realization of his sinfulness.
God Himself, on His Throne, high and lifted up.
The Glory of His presence was more than the human body can stand, but Isaiah was allowed a small insight to His Majesty.
Isaiah is afraid, yet at peace.
Repentant, yet joyful.
The moment was not one of just sights, for being in the presence of the Almighty was something the whole man~body, soul, and spirit~ absorbed, not just experienced.
He almost missed the seraphim. He couldn't take his eyes off of the LORD.
But he heard the seraphim.
"Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Their voice was as one voice.
Their voices were a chorus of infinity.
They circled the throne.
Each time they circled the very throne of the LORD, they, the seraphim, received another glimpse of His Eternal Holiness.
They had been singing from the moment of their existence.
They would sing of His Holiness forever.
When they spoke, the temple was filled with smoke.
All Isaiah could do was realize his feeble existence and his utter uncleanness, his wretchedness.
"Woe is me!", he cried, "For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the KING, the LORD ALMIGHTY."
His lips tried to form the words, "Forgive me!", but his heart almost failed from fear. His body quivered in terror.
The realization of the Holiness of God and the sinfulness of man was greater than he ever imagined.
In the moment he knew the wrath of God must have justice and he would die, a seraph flew to him and extended the redemption of his HOLY GOD.
The seraph took a live coal from the altar and touched his lips. The heat, the scorching, and the burning were a relief to his sin sick soul.
What happened next, Isaiah never expected.
Yahweh spoke.
"Whom shall I send" And who will go for Us?"
Isaiah's immediate response after experiencing the atonement was, "Here am I. Send me!"
God Almighty answered, "Go!".
I can't begin to imagine experiencing an encounter such as that!
I would hope that we embrace His Presence in our everyday prayer lives, and that we encounter His Holiness and are repulsed by our own sin.
It is then that we hear His voice saying, "Go!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Master's Plan

The Master's Plan is to make us "fisher of men".

I am reading a book right now called The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman.

Talk about convicting!!!

Mr. Coleman points out that everything Jesus did while on earth was for a purpose, including the three years He spent with the 12 disciples. He had purposeful and life changing daily encounters with these men. All of it was to make them "fisher of men".

I have heard that term all of my life.

I know what it means.

I read the book.

Did the college course.

Heard the sermons.

So, why, today- at the mere age of 40+ is my heart so captured by this discipleship concept- this lifestyle?

I think, just maybe, somewhere in "all of my earthly gathering of knowledge" I have missed the big picture of being a "fisher of men".

I am re=thinking my idea of church.


No, not in doctrine or The Message, but in why do we do what we do?
No, I don't think my "idea" of church has been so tragically wrong all of these years.

But, maybe, just maybe I have gotten so wrapped up in our culture, that I lose sight of The Master's Plan.

Maybe, just maybe, I get so wrapped up in "doing" church that I forget about the "fishing" part.

Pushing off the boat.
Casting the nets.
Drawing in the catch.

Let me share with you some quotes from Mr. Coleman's book:

Men were His Method-
"His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow."
"The initial objective of Jesus' plan was to enlist men who could bear witness to His life and carry on His work after He returned to the Father."
~ p. 27

"In an age when facilities for rapid communication of the gospel are available to the church as never before, there are actually more unevangelized people on the earth today than before the invention of the 'horseless carriage'. " ~ p. 38

So, I close my blog today with this thought~ I want to follow WHOLEHEARTEDLY the Master's Plan of Evangelism. I want to be a fisher of men. I want to be a disciple who disciples.


The Master Plan of Evangelism
by Robert E. Coleman
c 1963, Published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Morning Like This!

As I drove into to work this morning, maternal bliss was reaching the point of fleshly pride. A smile was plastered on my face and my hormones were at peace!

Ahhhhh...... If only every morning could be like this!

Everyone had a sock to match the other one.
Everyone knew where their books and backpacks were.
Everyone had time to actually eat the breakfast my wonderful, handsome and loving husband cooked (like he does EVERY morning!). (And it is ONE husband, as in Rusty Blann- not husbandS like I had at first before our wonderful Administrative Assistant caught my typo! Thanks Beth!)
Everyone loved each other!


The "ahhhhh...." is so much better because of the "ARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!" of yesterday!

Yesterday was not peaceful, loving, or joyful~ AT ALL!

Everyone was cranky.
All the backpacks and homework and books were MIA.
Oh, but attitudes were on hand ~ galore!
And I think Satan himself picked on my hormones!
Love was not the feeling we were getting yesterday.

It was an "ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!" morning.

But you know what? Even in the roughness of yesterday, God was right there with us. His Spirit was encouraging us to respond in the manner that pleases Him. He was drawing, convicting and speaking.

He was there today also! But it was easier to hear Him and yield to Him because we were a little more prepared to handle our morning.

We laid out clothes the night before.
We put homework and books in backpacks.
We put the backpacks by the door.
We knew where the matching socks were.
The clincher~ we woke up a little earlier.

It is amazing what a little discipline will do to help us develop fruit of the Spirit in even the smallest things.

So, I want all mornings to be like this. I want them peaceful, joyful and love filled! Oh, I know, there will still be those mornings where chaos has run of the place, but I want those few and far between.

May God receive glory in all that I say, do and think.

Psalm 19:14
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." NIV

I like the way The Message puts it:
"These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-my-Altar."

I love you guys! I'm glad to be back! Not sure how regular I will be. I am working full-time now and haven't gotten the hang of this new schedule, but I'm getting there!!!

Stay in the Word!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Love

The silence was deafening.

A single tear slid down her cheek as she choked back the sobs in her heart.

It wasn't supposed to be like this!

Memories of the love and passion raced through her mind and her cold heart.

The memories were replaced with icy questions of "Why?" and "How?".

All she wanted was for everything to be the way it used to be, or even better. She craved the joy, the love, the desire. She wanted to have that glowing happiness again. But why wouldn't He just do this one thing?!!

She had grown accustomed to people frequently commenting on her bubbly personality.

Now she felt like an old soda gone flat and dull. You know, the kind you spew out of your mouth because it is so nasty.

Before she could catch herself, streams of tears had followed the lone tear that led the rest.

It was no use!
Who was she kidding? Couldn't everyone see what she really knew?

She glanced at the clock that screamed for her to obey it's demands.
She had a choice. Do the same thing she had been doing and continue dieing this slow and agonizing death, or forget the routine and go for the passion she craved from the inside out.

With a quickening of her heart beat she knew what she had to do.

She almost ran to the bedroom and fell on her face. By now the sobs were uncontrollable.

She cried out to her Savior. She asked forgiveness for her cold heart.
She repented of every pretentious and pious deed that had steered her so far from the joyful life the Lover of her soul had planned for her.

She still didn't have all the answers.

Time seemed to stand still as she fell into His arms, His embrace, His Presence.

There was still a silence on the "demands" she had made, but now it didn't matter.

She surrendered her will and buried it inside of His.

Her heart that had been cold and bitter was now melting in His peace and embrace.
She allowed Him into that one place she had barred shut. He now had open access to do as He pleased.

The relief of not being in control flooded her soul almost as much as the warmth of His Presence.

The clock was still screaming missed appointments and failed deadlines. When He was finished, she picked herself up and headed for His appointments.

Joy consumed her. Peace filled her. Love emanated from her and happiness described her!

She had returned to her first love.

Revelation 2:4-5
"But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent."