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Archive for the ‘Life issues’ Category

[Ezerwoman’s note: The following is excerpted from the March 2021 edition of the AAPS News. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) was founded in 1943 as a voice for private physicians. The purpose of the AAPS is to protect the patient-physician relationship. The AAPS encourages doctors and patients to speak out together. Unfortunately, the mainstream media seems silent on the research and work of the AAPS.]

The wokeness mob’s attempt to cancel six popular children’s books by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) might push us toward a tipping point and an awakening. The motive is ostensibly to wipe out a virus of racism lurking in a few cartoons. These conceivably might be micro- (or nano or pico) aggressions.

An affiliate of the Southern Poverty Law Center declared the books racist, but Tucker Carlson says they were targeted precisely because they are not. Rather, they take a “race-neutral” approach. The Plain-Belly and the Star-Belly Sneetches’ ultimate “acceptance” of each other “doesn’t address the idea that historical narratives impact present-day power structures,” writes program associate Gabriel Smith (https://tinyurl.com/334sjhvp).

Ironically, Geisel was a leftist whose progressive views suffused his writings. “Generations of progressive activists may not trace their political views to their early exposure to Dr. Seuss, but without doubt this shy…genius played a role in sensitizing them to abuses of power,” writes Peter Dreier (tinyurl.com/yzne5aa7). Geisel was one of the earliest to fight anti-Semitism and racism.

Objections to implanting progressive or woke views into vulnerable children would be “fascist”—but they must be guarded against positive views of Western culture or American history.

The wokeness virus threatens to become incorporated into our cultural genome. Will persons born white be constantly trying to atone for “white privilege”? Will white physicians constantly have to document efforts to eradicate racial injustice in medicine (see JAMA 8/4/20)—originally perpetrated by the AMA?

Dr. Nathan Davis, considered AMA’s father, excluded women and blacks from the house of delegates. His bust has been removed from public view, and his name from an award, writes CEO James Madara (tinyurl.com/c7cnr3bf). Just recently, however, AMA honored Thomas Huxley (JAMA 8/18/20), though he once said that “no rational man…believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior of the white man” (Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews, New York, Appleton, 1871, p 20). But Edward Livingstone, M.D., “who is White,” had to resign as JAMA deputy editor over a February 2021 podcast in which he questioned the concept of systemic racism and said, “Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist.” Editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner, M.D., called the podcast “offensive” and “hurtful” (https://tinyurl.com/wr4ewrty).

In the wokeness culture, sticks, stones, and broken bones might be tolerated, but not words that might give offense—or those who use them.  We must bid “goodbye to cultural icons, large and small—goodbye to all vestiges of the past, replete with their ‘bigoted’ value systems,” writes Ben Shapiro, so that individuals can “self-create” (tinyurl.com/4268zxtb).

 What Is a Human Being?

Disconnected from cultural moorings, atomized individuals  will not be liberated, but treated as vectors of literal or metaphorical viruses, who must be sufficiently vaccinated and tracked. Living a somewhat normal daily life is fast becoming a privilege. Will handing out electronic permission slips become a new function of physicians, asks Pat Conrad, M.D. (tinyurl.com/yrj7x5fc). Will medical boards or insurers require constant logging of a patient’s COVID status and documentation of vaccination counseling, as with controlled-substances data bases or smoking cessation? Will every communication be screened for subversive content?

Engineered  Language

Viral memes, like the genetically modified COVID-19 products, are engineered. Merriam-Webster altered the definition of “vaccine” for the occasion. On Feb 5, 2021, the definition was: “a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms, that is administered to produce or artificially to increase immunity to a particular disease.” As of Feb 6, a “vaccine” is: “a preparation that is administered…to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious disease…. (b) a preparation of genetic material (such as a strand of synthesized messenger RNA) that is used by the cells of the body to produce an antigenic substance (such as a fragment of virus spike protein).” Vaccines are generally viewed as long-established and safe, though they are biologic agents, subject to a less stringent regulatory regime than drugs. The COVID products are novel, bioengineered, genetically modified biologic agents. They are vaccines only by a socially modified definition. As with vaccines, their manufacturers are immune from product liability.

Is There a Freedom (or Logic) Virus?

There are signs of resistance. When an Israeli airline forced a father and an 18-month-old off a flight because the child would not wear a mask, all the other passengers deplaned also in solidarity (tinyurl.com/rrssf7p6). Mask-burning rallies in many Idaho cities trigger woke activists (tinyurl.com/rwnpb2ps). With Lockdown 3.0 descending on Britain, “only dissent can save us now,” writes Irish science journalist Peter Andrews (tinyurl.com/nsnmx3yw). “It is time to draw a line in the sand.” Physicians, such as Dr. Mark Trozzi of Canada, are “surrendering personal income and security” to speak out (tinyurl.com/2zczz9eh).

Fortunately, Yertle the Turtle and Horton Hears a Who! are still acceptable. The small can bring down the mighty—if Jo-Jo, the “smallest of all” the Whos, speaks out to save the entire community. What if doctors and patients spoke out together?

AAPS News March 2021 – Going Viral – AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (aapsonline.org)

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Controversial Things

As good neighbors, how should we deal with controversial things such as the “vaccine?”

It would seem that, first, everyone should have the right to ask questions, seek information, dialogue with those they trust, pray, wrestle with conscience, and then decide for themselves what they think is best. No one–not scientist, theologian or best friend–should say, “Take the vaccine.”

Someone I hold in high regard recently posted: “Take the vaccine.” But physicians, surgeons, immunologists, virologists, pediatricians, and the like are not on the same page concerning this present “vaccine.” Health care workers and first responders have genuine concerns. Their concerns range from use of fetal cell lines to “warp speed” production to long-term consequences and everything in between. All are worthy of consideration.

Pro-life folks have expressed concerns about using the cell lines of aborted babies. The answer sometimes given is, “Well, those abortions were a long time ago.” Or, “Today we could hardly recognize those cells as once being human.” If someone feels guilt in using a vaccine (or cosmetic or food product, for that matter) that contains tissue from aborted babies, there is forgiveness. Sure and certain forgiveness in Christ. Someone else may come at this “vaccine” dilemma by asking the question: “Just because we can, should we?” In all things medical and theological, this is never a bad question to ask.

This morning, Facebook featured a “public service announcement” that read: “Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine — Public figures share their experiences.” Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples and Richard Branson were included. Underneath, in fine print, I read: “These posts were selected by a team of experienced journalists at Facebook.” What am I to think of this? Should I put my trust in these “public figures” or Facebook’s “team of experienced journalists?”

After a choice, forgiveness is real. Thank you dear God for Your mercy and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Before a choice, we can remember that because God has created us, He has given us our mind; our “reason and all our senses.”

3-19-21

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(Note: I am sharing this public information as a blog because I was told by Facebook that I could not post it without suffering limited exposure or other kinds of restrictions.)

Dr. Tal Zaks is the chief medical officer at Moderna, Inc. He explained in a 2017 TED talk how the company’s mRNA vaccine was designed to work: “I’m here to tell you that we are actually hacking the software of life.” Moderna describes its new vaccine as “a computer operating system.” You can listen to Dr. Zak’s TED talk here https://leohohmann.com/2021/03/09/modernas-top-scientist-we-are-actually-hacking-the-software-of-life/

Dr. David Martin is a professor, researcher, author, inventor, and business visionary. His first invention was a laser integrated system to target and treat inoperable tumors. His mathematics helped unravel the way the human body processes hormones. Dr. Martin explains that the injections being supplied by Moderna and Pfizer are not vaccines. According to Dr. Martin, these manufacturers disguised their treatments as vaccines in order to fit them under the 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts U.S. Supreme Court case, a ruling that has been interpreted [some say misinterpreted] as a license for states to mandate vaccines during health emergencies.

Dr. Martin says, “. . . This is not a vaccine. This is . . . a medical device designed to stimulate the human cell into becoming a pathogen creator. It is not a vaccine. Vaccines are actually a legally defined term. And they’re a legally defined term under public health law. They’re a legally defined term under CDC and FDA standards, and a vaccine specifically has to stimulate . . . an immunity within the person receiving it but it also has to disrupt transmission. And that’s not what this is. They have been abundantly clear in saying that the mRNA strand going into the cell is not to stop transmission. It is a treatment. But if it was discussed as a treatment it would not get the sympathetic ear of the public health authorities because then people would say well what other treatments are there?”

Dr. Martin continues, “The use of the term vaccine is unconscionable for both the legal definition of it, but also because it actually is the sucker punch to open and free discourse, because by saying ‘vaccine’ you dump it into a thing where you could be anti or pro ‘the therapy,’ but if you actually talked about it as a therapy, and remember–and people forget this–Moderna was started as a chemotherapy company for cancer, not a vaccine manufacturer for SARS-COV2. If we said we’re going to give people prophylactic therapy for the cancer they don’t have, you’d be laughed out of a room, because that’s a stupid idea. That’s eactly what this is. This is a mechanical device in the form of a very small packet of technology that is being inserted into the human system to activate the cell to become a pathogen-manufacturing site.”

Dr. Martin expresses frustration when he hears activists and lawyers and others say they’re “going to fight the vaccine.” Why? Because, he says, “if you stipulate that it’s a vaccine you’ve already lost the battle. It is not a vaccine. . . . Eighty percent of the people who get the virus are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms at all. Eighty percent of the the people who get this injection have a clinical adverse event. You are getting injected with a chemical substance to induce illness, not to induce an immuno-transmissive response. In other words, nothing about this is going to stop you from transmitting anything. This is about getting you sick, and having your own cells being the thing that get you sick.”

I’m in over my head here, friends of Ezerwoman. This isn’t my area of expertise in any way, shape, or form. But because I was forbidden from sharing this information by Facebook “fact checkers,” I’m taking a risk and sharing it on my own blog site. You can read more of what Dr. Martin has to explain here https://leohohmann.com/2021/03/12/heres-why-mrna-injections-do-not-meet-the-legal-definition-of-vaccine/

There is one last thing. Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS News reporter, is the author of the book Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship. She explains that the media will use loaded words to steer you away from factual reports that do damage to the false narrative they are trying to feed into the public psyche. Attkisson explains that there are powerful interests that don’t want you to see or believe a particular study, report, or news article. They are trying to control the information.

So, because the information I shared above seems credible, I am attempting my first evasive maneuver around the Facebook thought police.

March 14, 2021

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John Bunyan described Christian as a pilgrim progressing on an earthly journey. Christian travels over hills of difficulty and through dark valleys. He meets Despair and Doubting, but also Faithful and Hopeful. At one point on the journey,

Hopeful began to get very sleepy. Christian, shaking his friend’s arm, exclaimed, “Remember, the shepherds warned us about the Enchanted Ground. We must stay alert!”

“What would have happened to me if I’d been by myself?” Hopeful wondered. “I’m thankful you are here with me!”

Christian said, “To keep us from falling asleep, let’s talk….”*

Today, we might say that Christian is traveling through the Land of Covid. It is unfamiliar to him and like no place he has ever been. The River of Fear flows along the trail. Some travelers have already slipped into the River. Others have set camp near the River.

A voice calls to Christian. “Come camp with us. There is no need for talk here. Close your eyes for a while. We will keep you safe.” The invitation is tempting, but Christian is bold to ask, “What does this mean?

Stepping away from the camp, Christian scouts the area. His reason and all his senses are alert. He looks right, then left, then ahead. There, Christian sees other travelers walking away from the River. Moving closer, Christian hears them talking and telling stories of where they have been and what they have seen.

Christian looks back toward the camp where he was invited to close his eyes and feel safe. Then he looks to the talkers moving on the trail. Christian is deceived neither by the campers nor the talkers. He knows the Savior of his life and trusts the guidance of Wisdom.

In Wisdom, Christian walks.

To keep from falling asleep, Christian talks. In humility, he asks questions. With discretion, he listens. The way does not become easier.

But in Wisdom, Christian walks.

 

L. Bartlett, 5-7-20

*From Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s Classic Story Adapted for Children,
Great Commission Publications.

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A pregnant woman is not autonomous.

Her pregnancy is not “a cancer.”

And the placenta knows it!

When serving as president of National Lutherans For Life, I had long discussions with my Ob/Gyn friend, Karen Rehder, M.D. I’ve never forgotten what Karen told me: “Birth is a miracle. Were it not for the placenta, the mother would reject the baby as something foreign to her body just like a transplant patient rejects a liver or kidney.”

Two separate entities—baby and mother—are attached by umbilical cord and placenta. The placenta tells us that a pregnant woman is not autonomous.

The placenta “is the only organ made in cooperation by two people,” explains Dr. Kristin Collier. It is “the organ through which the baby and mother interface.” Dr. Collier is Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and practices general Internal Medicine. She also serves as Director of the U of Michigan’s Medical School program on Health, Spirituality, and Religion.

The placenta, “made from the growing baby’s tissue and the mother’s tissue together . . . is known as a ‘feto-maternal’ organ . . . [that] helps provide nutrition, produces hormones, and protects the baby against infection.” This “purposely transient organ” acts like “a lung, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, and the endocrine and immune system.”

The placenta is so important that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. has a research arm called the Human Placenta Project. A “healthy placenta is not only crucial for healthy development of the prenatal child, but also affects the health of the child and mother for years to come.”

There is “a unique transfer of cellular materials that happens across the placenta. In science, microchimerism refers to the presence of a small population of genetically distinct and separately derived cells within an individual. In pregnancy, small amounts of cells travel across the placenta. Some of these cells are the prenatal child’s cells that travel from the baby into her mother, and some cells also pass from the mother into her child. The cells from the prenatal child into her mother are pluripotent, which means they haven’t yet differentiated into the type of cell specific for one organ or tissue in particular. These cells find their way into mother’s tissue and start acting like the tissue in which they find themselves. This process is known as feto-maternal microchimerism.”

Scientifically, we can say that mother is helped by her unborn baby. “For example, these [fetal] cells have been found in Caesarean sections incisions helping to make collagen to help mom heal after a surgical delivery. These cells have been found in the maternal breast and have been hypothesized to help reduce mom’s risk of breast cancer in her later years.”

The “gift of these cells from the baby, entering into mom’s body and helping her heal and protecting her from cancer, is amazing to think of and really challenges our ideas of people as autonomous beings.” Just as amazing is the fact that “these cells that enter the mother are allowed to survive and are not attacked by the mother’s immune system, even though they are somewhat ‘foreign.’ This again speaks to a cooperation, at the cellular level, between mother and child.”

This science sheds new light on the abortion debate. “Every dehumanizing ideology succumbs to the same temptation—to see the undesirable other as a non-person. In the abortion debate, as in similar debates around marginalized vulnerable populations, language is used when describing the undesirable other that is dehumanizing. In the abortion debate, the prenatal child is referred to as a ‘clump of cells’ or even a ‘parasite.’” We must “resist appeals to individual autonomy that detach us from our duty to aid others, and resist language, practices, and social structures that detach us from the full reality and dignity of . . . marginalized [persons]. A radical view of autonomy that leads to the end of another human life is one that is anti-life and oppresses the rights of another in the name of ‘freedom.’”

Dr. Collier admits that she is not a theologian, but she encourages us to think of biology “in a relational sense that mirrors the nature of God. The scriptures speak of a God who is in relationship with his people. We then would only expect that God, being the author of biology, would create our bodily nature in a way that was also relational—even down to the level of the cell.” Dr. Collier draws our attention to the “cells from the incarnate word of God, Jesus Christ, in his mother, the Virgin Mary [who] not only carried the Son of God in her body when he was in her womb, but . . . likely carried his cells in her body throughout her life . . .”

It is a loss to the human family when we pervert the language of conception and pregnancy. May we instead share God’s hope for mother and child revealed through the miracle of the placenta. A baby in the womb is not “a cancer”—and the placenta knows it!

 

by Linda Bartlett 2-16-20
(Source: “Together, baby; forever, baby,”
an interview by Carolyn Moynihan with Dr. Kristin Collier
in MercatorNet.com, 2-5-20)

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“Abortion is the sacrifice I made for myself.” That is the way that some women describe the most difficult decision of their life.

But God does not ask for such sacrifice. He does not ask for the blood of an unborn son or daughter. He asks that we turn our eyes to the cross where the sacrificial blood of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ has covered every fear, doubt, and repentant sin.

January 22 of 2020 marked 47 years of legalized abortion in the United States. The reasons for abortion are most often fear-based. “I fear for my future.” “I fear losing my boyfriend.” “I fear the disappointment of my parents.” “I fear inconvenience.” “I fear the unknown.”

Since 1973, Americans have offered the blood sacrifice of 61,628,584 unborn children. That is 2,362 abortions daily and 98 abortions per hour every hour in the U.S. Our nation cannot sacrifice the lives of sons, daughters, cousins, grandchildren, and neighbors and be better for it. There is no hope in the blood shed by abortion.

But there is hope in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:7). Forgiveness for abortion—and any other sin—is costly. But it is a cost that Jesus was willing to pay. Why? Because nothing else would save us.

King David’s bones were wasting away under the weight of his sin. The blood of another human being was on his hands and for as long as he refused to confess his guilt he suffered. Day and night, God’s hand was heavy upon him. His “strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” But then David acknowledged his sin. He said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’” and he was forgiven. (Psalm 32:3-5).

“Yes!” says the woman who’s had an abortion “I believe that even a murderer like David can be forgiven. But how can God possibly forgive me, a mother who has killed her own child?”

To believe that abortion is “the unforgiveable sin” is to believe the lie of Satan. It is to sit in the darkness of doubt and despair, held captive by “the thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

The blood of abortion may stain the hands of a mother, father, or grandparent, but the blood of Jesus makes us white like snow. (Isaiah 1:18) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

God has compassion on “a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17). God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Jesus sets the sorry heart free! Jesus says, “There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

Linda Bartlett
Titus 2 for Life

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There are dozens of different genders. (If I disagree, I’m a hater.) Women must allow men to use their locker rooms, bathrooms, and showers. (If I disagree, I’m a bigot.) Marriage can be between two men or two women. (If I disagree, I’m a hater.) It’s ok for a child to have two mommies or two daddies. (If I disagree, I’m a bigot.) Abortion should be legal up to the moment of birth. (If I disagree, I hate women.)

BUT… I don’t hate women. A great deal of my life has been spent listening to women who’ve had abortions explain their grief, regret, and hope that younger women will not choose to do what they did. With concern for mother and child (and in spite of my own inadequacies), I try to defend both.

I am not a hater or a bigot. I respect my fellow human beings. Even when someone chooses to live differently from me, I do not turn my back on them. Their personhood–body and soul–matters to me. If they want me as their friend, I will strive to be an honest and persevering friend on good days and bad. As a Christian, I simply believe that God the Creator of male, female, and marriage gets to define male, female, and marriage. I trust that He knows better than me how His creation and design benefits every generation for the good of society.

In this period of time described in Romans 1, I realize that some will call me a hater, a bigot, small-minded, deplorable, judgmental, and even dangerous. But, in the end, it matters most what Jesus Christ has done for me and, therefore, why I need to draw closer to Him rather than to the world. God help me.

L. Bartlett

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My dear niece,

In our communications, you have expressed the desire to see the “bigger picture.” I understand what you’re saying. You believe it would be helpful to know what God is doing through you and for what purpose.

Two people come to mind who most likely had this same desire. My mom–your grandmother–didn’t talk about her cancer very much, not even to her family. Instead, she lived. While she had strength, she kept doing the things she had always done. She kept working from home, stayed involved at church, kept up with her friends, and encouraged family activities. Your grandmother corresponded regularly with a man sentenced to life imprisonment. Every morning at 8:00, your grandmother called her recently widowed friend, Gladys, to help her start her new day. Gladys told me many times how important those calls were; calls from someone who put aside her own discomfort and fears to reach out to a grieving friend.

Edwin is the father of my close friend, Mary. When Edwin was 34, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He lived a faithful life into his 60s. Everyone who knew Edwin agreed that he was a humble, always cheerful, helpful, and encouraging man. He chose to live each day as he always had: working on the farm, raising his son and daughter, volunteering at church, and being a good neighbor. Edwin turned conversations to the matters of life that are most important. He seemed to realize that he had a window of opportunity, not to do something for himself, but to become more bold in directing people’s attention to the Word and work of Christ. Edwin was well-studied by medical students. He impacted lives with his “it’s not all about me” attitude. Even when Edwin’s vision and speech were impaired, he continued teaching Sunday school. He would laugh and explain to the children why he talked differently. He would ask them to be patient whenever he mispronounced a blurry word. Those children still remember him. Edwin didn’t just pass the Christian faith on to his son and daughter. He showed how it can be lived out. Mary remembers her dad saying, “Be kind to your mother. Support her. Be the family she needs you to be.”

Dear niece, I could speak to you like Job’s friends Zophar, Eliphaz, and Bildad spoke to him. They came to sit with Job in the ashes, but their words provided little comfort. Job asked: “Where is my hope?” I cannot come and sit with you, but I can be like Job’s friend Elihu who faithfully reminded his suffering friend of God’s Word and work. Elihu understood that he didn’t have any great wisdom or advice for Job. All he had was love for his friend and reverence for God.

“God is greater than man,” Elihu said.

“God does no wrong.”

“God is mighty in strength and understanding.”

“God delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.”

Elihu was faithful to his friend, not by showing him all the things Job could do but reminding Job of all that God does.

The Pharisees wanted to know why the man had been born blind. “Who sinned,” they asked, “the blind man or his parents?” Jesus replied that it was not because of a particular sin that the man was blind. Instead, he was blind so “that the work of God might be displayed in him.” God’s strength “is made perfect in weakness” (1 Cor. 12:9). Elihu seemed to understand this, assuring Job that God often uses affliction not for punishment but for deliverance. Affliction opens ears to learn the Lord’s purposes and opens mouths in praises.

Elihu never presumed to speak for God. Nor do I. (Eve did that and regretted it the rest of her life.) But, Elihu was faithful in reminding Job to fear and love God; to be humbled and in awe of His power. I, too, want to be faithful in reminding you to fear and love God. Why? Because the best thing you and I can do for each other is to help one another be ready for God’s visitation. On the day that the Lord visits us, all that will matter is our confidence in the mercy and saving work of Jesus Christ.

My dear niece, I continue to pray that you have peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

A letter to my niece who bears the cross of brain cancer.

Photo credit: celebbabylaundry.com

 

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My niece, a young wife and mom, is dealing with cancerous brain tumors. My husband’s nephew, a young husband and father, is dealing with thyroid cancer. It is my way to encourage them through written letters. Here’s the one I sent them both today.

This morning in my devotions I read about Ezekiel’s call from God. What happens between God and Ezekiel strikes me as very significant for you. Let me try to paraphrase:

God tells Ezekiel to stand up so He can speak to Him. The Spirit enters Ezekiel and he hears God’s instruction. God tells Ezekiel to go to the stubborn and rebellious Israelites. God tells Ezekiel not to be afraid of them, even if “thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions.” Then God tells Ezekiel to open his mouth and eat the scroll that He puts in his mouth. He tells Ezekiel to go speak “My words to them … the house of Israel.”

God explains that the people of Israel won’t want to listen to Ezekiel because those people have “a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.” But then He says, “Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” (Excerpts from Ezekiel 2:1-3:11)

Now, you haven’t been asked to go speak to rebellious Israelites, but you are up against a stubborn and rebellious enemy who hates the human life that God so loves. As God’s child you are not only living in a world broken by sin, but your body and soul are engaged in physical and spiritual battle. In sickness and difficulty, Satan wants you to doubt the mercy and work of Jesus Christ. He wants you to think that God has abandoned you.

God has not told you to “eat this scroll” and then speak to a rebellious nation, but He has told you to digest the Word He has given you for life—the Word fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He wants you to trust His Word and then use it to speak to the fear and doubt that comes in your weak and weary moments.

Here’s the profound part of the dialogue between God and Ezekiel that I think applies to you. God made Ezekiel’s “face as hard as their faces” and his “forehead as hard as their foreheads.” In other words, the Lord prepared Ezekiel for the challenge he would experience. He gave to Ezekiel the strength and determination needed to stand up to strong-willed and determined people. He comforts Ezekiel, saying, “Fear them not.” I believe that God has prepared you for your own challenge. With the faith He has given you comes determination and courage even in the face of cancer. He promises you His Spirit who comforts you and intercedes for you (Romans 8:26). And when a neighbor or caregiver struggling with their own difficulties and fears sees your eyes resting on the Cross of Christ, can you deny that God might work through you to turn their eyes there, too?

God is God. And He will be exalted (Psalm 46:10-11). Repeatedly throughout all of Scripture, we read how God is exalted at those very times when Adam or Abraham or Jacob or David or even the disciples believed everything was hopeless and lost. That is how it is with Almighty God. That’s how He works. Nothing overcomes Him. He overcomes everything. In His way. And for His purpose. If this mighty yet merciful Lord and Savior is our God, then you and I have nothing to fear.

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Maura is “hooked,” but she has faith in the Savior of her life. His Word is real to her. It will speak to her conscience. Maura also has a friend who will be honest with her and always remind her why setting boundaries and guarding body, mind and soul is healthy and hopeful.

But, Nichole has faith in the things of the world. She doesn’t have a friend who will be honest with her. She, too, is “hooked,” but doesn’t realize it. Nichole, like Maura and most every other young (or older) woman, doesn’t know about neurochemicals.

Oxytocin is a neurochemical. It is present in both male and female, but is primarily active in females. The female body releases oxytocin at four different times. Take note! Each has to do with procreation and the care of children. Oxytocin is released:

During meaningful or intimate touching with another person (Action: bonding and trust)
During sexual intercourse (Action: bonding and trust)
During the onset of labor in a pregnant woman (Action: causes uterine contractions, results in birth)
After baby’s delivery (Action: stimulates nipples and produces flow of milk from mom for nursing)

How does the human race continue? God said that husband and wife would become “one flesh.” Sexual intimacy results not only in the bonding of two people, but in procreation. Oxytocin plays a vital role in the continuation of the human race. With sexual touch, the woman’s brain is flooded with oxytocin. She wants to be with the man she has bonded to. Long-term connectedness often results in healthy male-female relationships. It is actually rare for an American woman in an intact marriage to have sexual intercourse with anyone except her husband. Such stability is affected by oxytocin. Think of the significance. The bonding of father and mother greatly increases the chance for a child to be raised in a healthy, two-parent home. Such a child is blessed, not necessarily with a perfect home (do they exist?), but with a hopeful environment for becoming all God desires them to be.

The world speaks about the emotions of love. The emotions of connectedness. In reality, the desire to connect is more than an emotional feeling. Bonding is like glue. And it can’t be undone or ripped apart without great emotional pain.

Whether Maura or Nichole realize it, they are “hooked” to the men with whom they are sexually intimate. The flow of oxytocin serves to promote trust. Oxytocin will trigger the bonding process even if a girl hasn’t “gone all the way,” but has kissed and hugged a boy. For this reason, if he wants to “do more,” it will become increasingly difficult for her to say “no.” Parents! Do you know this? When you allow your thirteen-year-old daughter to spend long periods of time with a boy, you are placing her in serious jeopardy. Her protective boundary of modesty and inhibition will gradually break down with each kiss, each touch, each pledge of love… even though the boy she’s with has no intention of marrying her or having children with her.

Maura’s confession to me said it all. “. . . It’s so very strange. The more time I spend with my boyfriend, the more I need to be with him.” Does Nichole find herself in the same circumstance? Before a well-meaning counselor, Planned Parenthood clinic, or parent gets her on The Pill (or whatever), do they tell her about oxytocin? Do they explain that she’s going to be “hooked” because neurochemicals are doing what they’re supposed to do?

The cruelty is this. Our culture removes all the boundaries. It encourages sexual activity among boys and girls. Then it washes its hands by saying, “We explained how to do this safely.” But, who turns off the oxytocin? Maura has difficulty breaking with the boyfriend who isn’t good for her because she has bonded with him. Nichole has been in several intimate relationships. She has “hooked up.” Has “friends with benefits.” All seems so casual. So harmless. So sophisticated. But, oxytocin is at work. Every time that Nichole and her “friend” break up and she moves on to a new sexual partner, a bond is being broken. This is emotional. Painful. Sometimes paralyzing.

In truth, being sexually intimate with one person, breaking up, and being sexually intimate with another is like a divorce. Repeating this cycle again and again places a girl in danger of negative emotional consequences. Nichole doesn’t realize it, but she is acting against — actually fighting — her own body and the way she was designed to function. Eventually, damage is done to her brain’s natural connecting or bonding mechanism.

Sexual intimacy, as Maura has discovered, is addictive. But, she has the hope for change in God’s Word and the honesty of a friend. What does Nichole have? Who will speak on her behalf? Who will guard her body? Mind? Soul?

(Source: Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children by Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., M.D., and Freda McKissic Bush, M.D.) Recommended reading: The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity by Linda Bartlett)

Note: This blog was first posted on May 18, 2011. Since that time, Maura separated herself from an unbelieving and verbally abusive man to begin a new life. Today, Maura cares for others as a nurse and has stepped in to rescue her youngest sister from a mom addicted to meth. Maura, who sees what is good and right, has undertaken the huge responsibility of raising a sister, yet she herself is still “hooked” to sexual intimacy outside of marriage. There is someone special in Maura’s life, and she hopes to marry. But while the neurochemicals of her female body tell her that she should become the wife of a loving and protective man, her fears seem to have paralyzed her. My prayer is that Maura will trust the One Man, Jesus Christ, who knows her body, mind, and soul.

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