bqvtwyKhNExjfBhcI_O-iw4SkkE Christian Resources: January 2012

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January 30, 2012

Beating Out the Fire

In the winter of 1963, my grandparents moved from Winston, MS to Starkville, MS. My Grandpa Paul, who had never been a pastor of a church before, was now the assistant pastor to a new church. The lead pastor Carol and my grandpa were building a new church. They had cleared the land and built one room of the church house. Now they were working to increase the membership of the new church and finish building the rest of the church. My grandparents lived in a 2 bedroom and one bath small 10ft x 32ft trailer behind the church.  They had two young children and one on the way.

Grandpa Paul was tongue-tied. This caused him many problems with public speaking. However, he was able to compensate for this. He had an interesting way of making a point. Many times people had to wait until he finished speaking before they understood what he was trying to say because he would start with the most interesting statement. Normally it was also the most unusually statement. This useful strategy caused many people to stop and listen to him.

My grandpa Marcus and Pastor Carol would take turns giving the sermons. Pastor Carol never knew what my grandpa would preach on, but he trusted him. One very memorable Sunday, my grandpa was to give the sermon. After the praise and worship was over, Grandpa Marcus quietly walked to the pulpit and calmly asked the congregation a very disturbing question. Without any major emotion in his voice he asked, “Is it wrong to beat the fire out of your wife?” Everyone in the congregation gasped at such a ridiculous question. Everybody knew that beating their wife was wrong and you most certainly did not ask that question at a small church in a small town. Remember this is the 60’s and you simply did not speak of things like this. Lead Pastor Carol looked at Grandpa Marcus with a questioning look in his eye. Then my grandpa further shocked everyone in that small church house. Grandpa Marcus said, “The other night I beat the fire out of my wife and I did right.” Now everyone was looking around wondering why he had been selected to be assistant pastor. Not only was he tongue-tied, he was a wife beater. They also wondered how he could even think it was a good idea to beat his pregnant wife. Pastor Carol started to get up and take the pulpit away from Grandpa Paul, but grandpa said, “Let me finish explaining.”  Pastor Carol requested that the congregation let Grandpa finish. After a few minutes, everyone got quiet and sat back down. Grandpa Marcus started to explain. The only reason Pastor Carol allowed Grandpa Marcus to continue is he personally knew that Marcus had an unusual way of making a very good point. Unfortunately, he was baffled as to how anyone could stand there, confess to beating their wife, and firmly believe that he was doing what God wanted him to do.

Grandpa Marcus continued by saying, “It is not what you do but why you do it. I had a very good reason for beating my wife the other night. By beating her, I saved her life.” Now everyone in the church was scratching their heads and asking each other how beating someone can save their life. Grandpa Marcus continued, “It has been cold lately. We put a space heater in the bathroom. My wife went to the bathroom to get ready for bed. While in the bathroom, her gown caught on fire. She screamed for help. I ran in and grabbed a towel. I then grabbed her arm and commenced to beating her with the towel. After putting out the fire that had engulfed her nightgown, I made sure she was not injured.  Then I calmed her down and helped her finish getting ready for bed. After getting her to bed, I reassured the children that all was alright. I then reminded the children to be extra careful around the space heater.”

She is here today because I beat the fire out of her literally. Therefore it is not what you do, but why you do it.” After church, many people asked my grandma, if this was true. She answered that it was and explained how scared she had been. Many members of the congregation later expressed regret for their first reaction. If Pastor Carol had not requested that Grandpa Marcus be allowed to explain, the congregation would have thrown, my grandpa out of the church.

My grandpa has told this story at many other churches. Those congregations likewise had the same first impression. They also later expressed regret for jumping to conclusions.  Since my grandpa told me the story, he has past away; however, he lives on through his words and actions. I am sure that no one who was there that day and is still living has forgotten my grandpa’s words. When I am baffled by what someone has done, I remember the words of my grandpa. I also remember an old Proverb that says a wise man listens to the end of the matter, but a foolish man speaks quickly. My grandpa took that proverb to heart. Because of the lessons that my grandpa taught me, I try to listen completely before I judge anyone. It is possible that their actions were based on love or good intentions.  I wonder how many times people hear part of a story and jump to the wrong conclusion. I hope that more people could learn to listen to the whole matter before jumping to conclusions. My grandpa Marcus spent his life trying to teach people to listen to the whole story instead of simple jumping to a conclusion.

On Fire
Beating Out the Fire
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Car Trouble

English: Train tracks
Image via Wikipedia
When I was about 7 years old, I lived about five miles outside of a small town with my mom. It had one post office, one gas station, an elementary school, and a small meat market. There were no sidewalks, traffic lights, or streetlights. We did not even have a police station or cell phone towers. There were several churches. In addition, a train track went beside the town. My dad was a long haul truck driver; therefore, he was always gone. Therefore, it was normally just my mom and me. Every Sunday my mom and I would go to church. In own community, all of the churches had two different services on Sunday. There was one in the morning and one at night. Most people, including us, went to both services.

There is one Sunday night that I will remember for the rest of my life. However, it is not the sermon or the singing that I remember about it. I cannot even remember the songs that we sung that night, but we normally sung “Victory in Jesus”. This particular Sunday night stands out in my mind for a different reason. It is the night I first really started comprehending the power of short prayers. I knew that Jesus heard long thought out prayers, but I did not really know that he heard and answered short disorganized prayers that are screamed at him. Until this time, I believed that it was wrong to scream at Jesus and expect him to help. Thankfully, I was wrong. I have since learn, that sometimes it really does not matter how you ask Jesus for help as long as you are sincere with your request. I also started comprehending that Jesus controls many things other than wind and rain. I learned all of this after we left to go home on that Sunday night.

Our drive home started out as it had many other times. All of the other people lived a different direction from our home so we said good-by and was on our way. We had to cross the train tracks to go home. We always tried to get across the tracks before the nightly train came through especially in the fall because it was dark outside and everyone knew that it was only a mother and her child in the car. We came to the tracks and started across. The train had not yet come, but it would be coming soon. The car died on the tracks. It would not start. We are the only ones on that road and it is dark outside. The car refuses to start. My mom gets out and tries to push the car. She is not strong enough and I am no help. This is our only car and we live 5 miles further on a dark lonely country road. There are no pay phones around. If we leave the car, there will be a train wreck. If we stay with the car, the train will kill us. I had heard my mom pray many times before, but never like she did that night. She screams for Jesus’ help with fear in her voice. She tells him that we have just come from church, not a bar. She tells him that the train will be here within the next few minutes. She explains what will happen if the train hit the car. All while trying to calm me down. By this time, I have comprehended that we are in trouble. My idea is to leave the car and walk back to church. My mom knows that this will not work because no one is at the church. My mom then calmly tries again to start the car. The car starts. We quickly got off the tracks. After we get off the tracks, we see the headlight of the train. We then thank Jesus for starting the car and ask him to keep the car going until we get home.

When we finally pull into the driveway, the car dies. We are simple thankful to be home. The people that tried to fix the car could not understand how it started back up and then went all the way to our house before dieing again. I knew that it was the answer to a very simple yet very different kind of prayer. The car never started again. It cost more to repair the car than it was worth. It was about a month later before we got another car. At the time, I wondered why my mom just did not ask Jesus to fix the car since the car apparently obeyed him.

About 4 years later, my mom and I were coming home from buying groceries and we heard a loud sound from the car. I did not know what it was, but my mom had a really good idea because the steering wheel no longer worked. I noticed that she could turn the wheel all the way around, but it had no effect on the car. There are still no cell phone towers and whom would we call anyway. My dad was working. So, we prayed. I had already learned that Jesus could control cars and make them work. Jesus answered our prayer. He caused the car to go around all of the curves and make all of the turns between there and the house. Later, a mechanic was able to fix the steering column there in the yard because you could not steer the car.

Now I know that Jesus is there to help and he answers our prayers. Sometimes he answers them immediately and sometimes it takes a little time. Jesus did not just simple fix the old car, he provided us with a newer better car. He also started teaching me to trust and wait for him and his timing. I saw that when there is no one else to turn to he is always just a prayer away regardless of how you prayed.

Answered Prayer
God Hears our Prayers
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January 28, 2012

Common Ground For a Better World

The population of this world is about 7,000,000,000 people. About 33% are Christians, about 21% are Islam, and about 14% are Hinduism. That covers over half of the people on earth. Most people would love to leave a better world for their children and grandchildren. This got me to thinking about what these three religions may have in common that could help everyone accomplish the goal of leaving a better world for the next generation. Therefore, I have done a little bit of research to see what some of the basic beliefs are of Islam and Hinduism. I already know the beliefs of Christians since I am a Christian.

I discovered that Islam is a branch off of Judaism. They share many of the same prophets. However, they believe that Jesus was only a prophet. They believe that the Bible has been corrupted, but they do have something that is similar to the Ten Commandments. Here are their commandments.

Say, come, I will recite what God has made a sacred duty for you: Ascribe nothing as equal with God;
Be good to your parents;
You shall not kill your children on a plea of want; we provide sustenance for you and for them;
You shall not approach lewd (obscene) behavior whether open or in secret,
You shall not take life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does God command you, that you may learn wisdom.
And you shall not approach the property of the orphan, except to improve it, until he attains the age of maturity.
Give full measure and weight, in justice; no burden should be placed on any soul but that which it can bear.
And if you give your word, do it justice, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill your obligations before God. Thus does God command you, that you may remember. Verily, this is my straight path: follow it, and do not follow other paths which will separate you from God's path. Thus does God command you, that you may be righteous.

I took note that they have a commandment against killing and lying.

I also looked up to see what Hinduism beliefs are. I discovered that they belief in Karma and reincarnation. That means that if you do good and develop good Karma, you will be reincarnated into a better position. If you do evil and develop bad Karma, you will be reincarnated into a lower position. In there belief it is possible to come back as animals. They also teach that everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions and learn from past mistakes.

For those who may not know, Christians all believe in the Ten Commandments. Which are
'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
'Honor your father and your mother.'
'You shall not murder.'
'You shall not commit adultery.'
'You shall not steal.'
'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

From what I have learned, it would seem that about 68% of the population claims to believe that killing is wrong. When I listen to the news I hear about this shooting and that stabbing. In 2011 there was about 16,200 people killed in the United States of America alone. That is very disturbing considering the number of people who openly say they are Christian, Islam, or Hinduism. Maybe if everyone that claims to believe in one of these three religions would stand up and tell the other 32% of the world population to stop and think about what they are doing, the majority could create a better world for our children. I know that there are so many differences in these three beliefs that we could never agree on everything. However, is it not possible to set aside all of those differences for a few moments and come together on the common ground that killing is wrong? If we stop shooting at each other and stop bombing each other, it is possible that we could create a better world for the future generations.

I am sure that some of the other religions have a commandment against killing.

Common Ground
How to make the world better for our children

January 15, 2012

Is football becoming an idol?

The other day I was in Wal-mart and saw something very disturbing. It was a cross with the NFL logo on it. They had used two different types of drink boxes to make the cross with the logo.

I often wonder if Football has not become and idol for many people. They talk about football more than Jesus. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:35). Therefore, you are going to talk about that which you love. Anything that you place about God is an idol. Some people would  rather stay home from church on Superbowl Sunday. That sounds an awful lot like they are placing football before God. 

I do not think it is wrong to play football or watch football. However, we need to be careful that football does not come between God and us. It would be a shame to must out on the blessings of God because we are too busy watching football to go to church, witness, or read the Bible. 

Is Football becoming an Idol
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things
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January 14, 2012

Where to see Love: a poem


Someone said show me love;
A baby appeared.
Someone said show me work;
baby walked.
Someone said show me heart ache;
A baby cried.
Someone said show me patience;
A mother smiled.

January 12, 2012

Love and Marriage

Quadruple combination opened to the Book of Is...
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Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord Ephesians 5:22
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding concerning this scripture. Some people simple ignore the scripture because they don't like what they think it means. Others go overboard trying to enforce this scripture. The Bible says to look at the whole thought and not just take one idea and run with it. I believe that if you look at the scriptures that follow this verse it will make things clearer. 

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a]her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—

It seems to me that there is more said about how a man should love his wife than how a women should bend over backwards for a man. In addition, it says, "as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Now there should not be a Christian who has a problem submitting to Christ. However, there is. It also seems to me that there is sort of a military order to all of this. Christ is the head of everything. He is the first line of defense. The husband is over the woman. He is in charge of taking care of her. What woman does not want someone to love her, care for her, and take care of her? All the woman has to do is respect her husband. If he says do not go somewhere, instead of arguing with him respect his wishes. It is possible that he can see the danger that you can not. With that said, a woman should never do anything that goes against solid Biblical teaching and she should never stay in a situation that causes her harm. Remember a good, true husband loves his wife. There is no fear in love.  If he beats her, causes her shame, humiliation, or fear then that is not a true husband. It is time to leave. 

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January 7, 2012

Meal Time Prayer

Child in high chair eating at dining room table.
Image via Wikipedia
... Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Jesus knows that children have a child like faith that is often lost as we get older. Therefore, it is our job as parents to teach them about Jesus or bring them to him. Sometimes we really have no way of knowing if they are understanding. Other times they do little things that show you that in their own way and as much as it is possible for them at that time, they really understand. Such is the case with my 17 month old son, Brando.
I had been trying to set a good example for my son concerning prayer especially before meals. For several days, before every meal and snack I held my son's hands in an attempt to get him to fold his hands and bow his head. I was not sure if he was catching on or not until one night. I had already fixed Brando's plate and was getting my husband's plate. My husband, Concho, was going to try to help Brando eat when suddenly Brando put both arms straight up in the air. Concho told me to look at Brando. I did and told him the only thing that I could think of. I said, “I have been trying to teach him to pray before eating.” Brando had apparently caught on to the idea of praying before meals and snacks. However, I am still not sure how or where he get the idea to raise both hands up in the air. I guess he saw people praying at church.
Brando has starting to remind me to pray. He has such faith that it does not matter to him who is watching or where he is. He will raise both hands straight up into the air and hold them their until you have finished praying. He does not yet understand the concept of one person saying the blessing for everyone. Therefore, we have all started thinking God for something at meal time and at snack time.
This has caused my whole family to express thankfulness and praise to God throughout the day. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein (Mark 10:15).

It is wise to continually set a good example because you never know when it will effect a child's life.
Child in high chair eating at dining room table.
Image via Wikipedia
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The Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd
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Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep” (John 10:11).

I was in a school reading a book to some children and I asked them if they knew what a shepherd was. Sadly, I got many answers, but none of them was right. This got me to thinking about if I really knew what Jesus was saying when he said he was the good shepherd. I knew that a shepherd is someone who takes care of sheep. What does a shepherd do to take care of sheep? Today, like the children at school, many people do not know what a good shepherd is or does. The people that Jesus was talking to knew about shepherds and their jobs. They knew that shepherds took care of their sheep like a father or mother takes care of a small child.
We can also look at Psalm 23 for some insight. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalms 23:1). A shepherd provides all of the needs of his sheep. He makes sure that they get plenty of green grass and fresh water. He makes sure that they get the rest that they need. That is why Psalms 23 continues by saying; “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalms 23:2).
The Lord is not just any shepherd; he is a good shepherd. A good shepherd loves the sheep. He cares enough about the sheep that he will risk losing his own life to save the sheep. That is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins so that we could have everlasting life.
Jesus also protects us. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). The shepherd also knows and understands when the sheep are scared. During those times, he knows how to comfort the sheep and how to keep them moving.
Notice that in Psalms 23:4, death is only a shadow. Shadows cannot hurt you. Therefore, when we stay close to the good shepherd, Jesus, we can rest assured knowing that even when things look their worst it is only a shadow. Remember we have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd. 

Who is a Good Shepherd
Jesus is the only Good Shepherd
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Children and Nursemaid's Elbow

English: A child sad that his hot dog fell to ...
Image via Wikipedia

I never knew how fragile a child's joints are until the day after New Year's day. I was in the living room playing with my son. He started screaming. I did not know what was wrong. All I knew is he was screaming and his right arm was not moving. As fast as possible, I took him to the ER. Apparently he had rolled over in an odd way onto his arm causing the elbow to dislocate. I now know that this sort of injury can occur many different ways. Until then, I thought that joints dislocated when substantial amount of force is used. A child under the age of 4 can dislocate his or her arm by simply pulling away from his or her parent. I urge all parents to find other ways of leading their young children. If all else fails, simple pick up your child. 

Facts about Nursemaid's elbow from

Nursemaid's Elbow
Nursemaid's elbow is a common injury that is seen most often in children between the ages of 1-3 years . Usually the child has had an incident in which the extended arm was pulled. Most commonly it occurs when a child is falling and the individual holding the hand doesn't let go. Another common mechanism is when the child is swinging while being held by the hands. Occasionally, the injury occurs after a fall. 
Nursemaids elbow is an interposition of the annular ligament into the radial-humerus joint. The annular ligament normally passes around the proximal radius just below the radial head. With traction on the extended arm, the annular ligament slides over the head of the radius into the joint space and becomes entrapped. 
  1. Nursemaid's elbow is more common in girls than boys and more often on the left side.
  2. Usually between 1-3 years of age and rare after age 4.
Clinical presentation
  1. There is usually a history of axial traction. 
  2. have been reports of infants < 6 months old with a history of not using arm after rolling over and their arms getting caught.
  3. At times, there is no history of axial traction or none was observed.
  4. Child will not use the arm and holds the arm slightly flexed and pronated.
  5. May elicit tenderness over the elbow joint but there is no swelling, redness, warmth, abrasions, or ecchymosis.
  1. The diagnosis is by history and physical examination. Radiograph examination is usually not necessary and are normal in most instances. Often during the taking of the xray, the subluxation is reduced when the technician positions the aarm on the plate.
  1. While supporting the radial head, the forearm is supinated or pronated and flexed at the same time. A "click" will be heard or felt. 
  2. After the "reduction", the child will immediately use the arm. There is no indication for immobilization and rarely are analgesics necessary. 
  3. Unless the child doesn't start to use the arm, follow-up is unnecessary.
  4. There is a relatively high incidence of recurrence. Parents should be made aware of this and the mechanism of injury should be explained. It may be useful to teach the parents how to "reduce" the dislocation at home. 
  5. There are no known sequelae.
  1. Choung, Walter, and Heinrich,Stephen. Acute Annunlar Ligament Interposition into the Radiocapitellar Joint in Children (Nursemaid's Elbow). Journal ofPediatric Orthopedics. Vol. 15, No.4 1995
  2. Waander, Hellerstein, and Ballock. Nursemaid's Elbow, Pulling out the Diagnosis  Contemporary Pediatrics June 2000

Nursemaid's elbow
The normally effects children
Diagram of the anastomosis around the elbow-joint.
Image via Wikipedia
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