Epidemic or Pandemic?

I live in an area of Seniors+. Some are so afraid, literally being scared to death. I tell them to turn off the news.

I am not a conspiracy theory person. I do not fall for them. I like facts, literal facts. I consider and evaluate circumstances based on facts.

I want to share facts about epidemics and pandemics to give the frightened a common denominator for comparison. The panicking of people by the media needs to stop. The hoarding needs to stop. While common sense isn’t common, people need to think before they sensationalize facts. Unfortunately, yellow journalism sells better.

Report facts. Don’t editorialize, don’t scare. Facts. People can deal with facts. Instruct, teach but, don’t fear monger. Enough is enough.

FACT: The difference between an epidemic and an pandemic is simply a wider spread of an illness. In other words, cases reported in more areas. It is not number of cases. Literally, a pandemic can have fewer deaths than a concentrated epidemic (fewer areas and/or localized to one country).

Historical FACTS on previous pandemics to give you a common denominator for evaluating current facts:

Black Plague 1346-1351

Also known as the Bubonic plague, or Black Death. Originated in East Asia in early 1340’s, transferred along the Silk Road trade routes. It was then carried by fleas on mice that boarded merchant ships in China and bit sailors. Ships landed in Mediterranean ports; sailors spread the disease as they and people they infected traveled up and through all of Europe. It is estimated that 75 to 200 million people died in Eurasia. Unsanitary conditions. Poor health care and lack of medical knowledge was a lot of the problem.

1918 – Spanish Flu (misnamed, it did not come from Spain). 17-50 million died worldwide (may be as high as 100 million) from complications (more than the 16 million WWI deaths at the same time). Reporting varied so it is hard to have a true estimate. Troops moved all over. No origin is for sure. However, it was one of two H121 human virus’ outbreaks. The 2nd was the Swine FLU of 2009. (See note below).

1957-58 Asian FLU –

Type A H2N2 virus. Avian flu (which had been around a long time) met a human flu and mutated. Reports of 1st cases were in E Asia in Feb of ‘57. Arrived in US that summer via travelers. Infected school kids just as school started back. Kids started to school and it spread. 70,000 Americans died. 1-3 million died worldwide. Quarantines were done where needed, mainly ports. Local authorities decided and some did not quarantine because they wanted sailors at the local bars to increase revenue. There was no fear mongering, no mandatory closings. Modern hygiene had already developed. It went dormant and mutated.

1968 Hong Kong Flu

H3N2, was a mutation of Asian flu (mentioned above and mutated from Avian flu). 1-4 million deaths worldwide. I spent two weeks in bed. It was nasty. Again, no quarantine. Media reported facts. Common sense instructions used. No hoarding, fear mongering, hype. Facts. No panic, closings or quarantines. No market crash.

1975 Lymes Disease

Per CDC Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. The first recorded case of Lyme Disease is described by physician Alfred Buchwald in Breslau, Germany in 1883. Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia. They admit it is a low number because all cases are not reported. No quarantines. No fear mongering. Common sense cautions. No hoarding or market crashes. Just facts each year.

Legionnaires’ Disease 1976

Legionnaire’s disease, it is not an influenza virus. But needs to be in the list because of impact. Bacteria called Legionella causes Legionnaire’s. 1st cases were actually in 1973 in Spain due to a hotel’s shower pipes. It is a type of pneumonia. Bacteria grows in moist areas like old AC ducts at the Legions convention. It can also grow in unkept pools, spas, hot tubs. The convention brought it to the attention of the world. Still active if not using proper cleaning. Less than 2000(?)cases reported in over 4 decades worldwide(?). You have to be exposed to water source. Not contagious. Quarantines to specific outbreaks only. Facts. Caution. Common sense. No hoarding, panic, market crashing.

Flu Epidemics: Bird Flu 1997 and 1999

There were two outbreaks of the avian or bird flu (H5N1) in 1997 and in 1999, but neither turned out to be flu epidemics. Facts. Caution. No panics, quarantines, market

2002-2003 SARS

(acute respiratory syndrome) is not a flu. Though both are contagious diseases, they are different viruses. SARS is viral and was caused by a new coronavirus(common cold). The first cases were found in Asia during the winter of 2003. Again. Quarantines where specifically needed. No panics, hoarding, closures, market crashes. FACTS.

Flu Epidemics: 2009-2010

The H1N1 sometimes called swine flu. It spread throughout the world. The first U.S. case was diagnosed in April 2009. It first appeared in Mexico. I pig farmer’s kid contacted from swine. The swine got it from birds (avian flu, always around). This flu epidemic is important in the history of flu because it taught the world about flu facts. According to the CDC, 43 to 89 million people contracted H1N1 within a year of 1st cases, and 8,900 to 18,000 people died (testing and reporting differences). I spent two weeks getting acquainted with it. My youngest daughter also contracted at college in a different state.

I have not contacted a flu since 2009 (no flu shots, but Hong Kong and Swine = antibodies. (Scientists have noted that those who had Asian flu did not contract get Hong Kong flu).

2019 COVID19

This leads us to coronavirus 2019 (COVID19). Coronavirus’ come every year, hence the “19” in ID. It is the common cold. No cure. This one is on steroids. Started in Asia as early as October. First cases reported in December. Most likely already in US by then. I have know several who had horrid colds and even pneumonia but, no tests then. Another mutation of coronavirus, not a surprise. So do a common denominator and fact check per CDC:

“As of early March, the coronavirus outbreak had infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3,000 globally, the majority in China, where the illness was first detected in December. More than 750 people in the United States have been diagnosed, including at least 25 people who have died.

By comparison, influenza

— known as the common flu — has infected as many as 45 million Americans since October and killed as many as 46,000 according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our flu season began in October in the US. No media hype. No fear mongering. No panic. No quarantines. No hoarding. No market crash.

So, all the media needed to do was evoke common sense practices. Educate, not panic. Stay calm. They cannot run amuck for much longer. Yes, cases will continue to be reported through summer. Common sense hygiene will limit spread, like any flu or cold season. Nothing has changed from previous years.

As a Christian I know God is in control and satan* cannot stand it. God has won the war and satan* keeps fighting, still has dominion (that God gave him because man listened to him) over the world’s actions. The devil wants to try to keep churches suppressed and to try and destroy the one country founded on Judea-Christian teachings: One Nation Under God. In God we trust.

Crash the market through fear. Hoarding. Limit supplies. It is an agenda that satan promotes through all too willing pawns. No agenda happened at start of flu season or previous more devastating epidemics and pandemics. Suddenly one was needed within two weeks of a China trade deal signing that would boost America’s economy. Not a coincidence and this not a conspiracy theory. It is simply a fact. Look at the history of pandemics. This coronavirus , though serious, is not new or news. It is the mutation cycle. Why is there fear mongering, hype, sensationalizing? It needs to stop. Quit scaring people, especially the elderly and chronically infirm. Stick to facts. Stop the drama. Be responsible. Demonstrate, educate and encourage common sense cations and practices.

The agenda is satan’s* and he has way too many willing pawns. Yes, satan* has tried through the ages, and is still trying, to destroy worship by God’s people. Trying. Not succeeding. Real worship services are still scheduled. Maybe via YouTube, PodCasts or even Drive-In Style services in church parking lots. One church rented a local drive-in theater, people worshipping in their private cars yet gathering together. People accustom you weekend drive-in flea markets may see cars and drive in to service. Neighbors if Drive is ad church parking lots will hear sermons. People will stumble across YouTube, Podcasts and social media sermons. And God will smile as satan* stomps his disgusted feet. While satan* has dominion God gave him of our world, God is still in control. God is still on His throne. He cares. He loves us. He is not surprised by any of this. He has a plan. We can trust Him.

*lower case because he is one


Truth or Tradition?

Traditions are great. They help us remember and pass on family, heritage and faith to next generations. Until they do not. When traditions morph into legends that take over to the point that the original point is obscure, then it is time to rethink, reevaluate and reform. I believe that some Christmas traditions need to be evaluated.

Growing up mom said, as did many preachers and older Christians:

“If it does not ring true,… if you are not sure … if it sounds different from what you have heard, go to The Word, His Word. What does The Bible say?”

I challenge you to check it out. Check me out. Do not blindly accept what you hear or read. Always compare to God’s Word.

Over the holidays I finally caught The Three Kings celebration performance at a local public presentation. I also viewed many manger scenes. Many churches put on a “walk through Bethlehem” or, a Christmas pageant. While many were impressive, I was stunned at what was presented as fact. In this day and age, when the Bible is readily available in most people groups’ native tongue, what does God’s Word actually give as an account for Jesus’ birth, the shepherds, and the wise men? Bottom line, The Gospels give facts. Facts matter. No words are there by accident. They are there for a reason.

Luke 2

Joseph and Mary WERE NOT immigrants. Joseph was returning to his homeland for a government required census. Shame on churches that used Jesus’ birth as a political statement and presented them in separate, caged stalls; as detained illegal immigrants. Joseph was obeying man’s law for God’s sake. (Romans 13) He was not an immigrant, and he certainly was not detained against his will. Nor was he separated from Mary and Jesus. Jesus’ birth as a political statement by a church? There was no tradition or legend to blame here. It was simply changing facts to suit an agenda. You do not change a character, a story line or setting to suit an agenda, regardless the author. Shame on those churches. Not hard to figure which church type in Revelations they represented.

vs 4-5 NASB “Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.”

He was placed in a manger. The manger was the feeding trough. There was no hay. There were no animals. It was most likely of a harden, clay/brick form. The shepherds were in the field with the flocks. The manger was empty. The stable was empty. That is why they could use it.

vs 6-7 ESV “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

According to Jewish historical facts the temple had shepherds for the sacrificial animals. It was springtime in Bethlehem. (Not December, but that’s okay). That is why they were in the field at night. It was warm enough. These shepherds may have been guarding the temple flock from which the sacrifices came. Temple shepherds would know what an unblemished lamb wrapped in a manger meant.

vs 11- 12 “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

When a sacrifice required an unblemished lamb, the newborn lamb was wrapped in swaddling cloth so it could not be marred or bruised. Then it was placed in the unused stable’s manger awaiting sacrifice; protected from bruising or marring. It was a sacrificial lamb. Jesus was the unblemished, sacrificial lamb. That is why He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in the manger. He was the last sacrifice ever to be needed.

Yes the song says the cattle were there. They were not. Again, that’s okay. This traditional idea does not deter from the meaning of Jesus’ birth. Spread out your nativity figures throughout the room. Make a field for shepherds and animals. Place the magi on the East side of the room. If Jesus is separate from your manger, place him in manger Christmas morn. Wrap Him in a bit of cloth. Be detailed in teaching children and grandchildren as well as visitors. Makes for a great conversation start up.

There are other unfortunate traditions but, I will end with the Magi ones. Three kings at the stable? No, the scriptures say Magi. Nowhere in the Bible does it say kings or that there were only three. May be there were a dozen traveling together. Some beliefs state there were a dozen. That they were actually kings is a tradition that seems to be linked by some to Isaiah 60 and Psalm 72 referring to kings bearing gifts. It really does not matter. It is like the three crosses on Calvary Hill. Only three crosses are shown at Easter because Jesus had a man on either side that spoke to each other. There were many more crucified that day as there were on most days.

There were three gifts so there must have only been three kings? We take tradition as fact. It simple is not in the bible. So no. Nowhere does it say three and certainly they are not named in the Bible. Somewhere along the 6th century a historian decided there were three and that was their names were . Tradition was born. The names came out of traditional, supposed Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior from Persian history. Magi were wise men. It is in the plural form so more than one. Wise men; scholars of law and historians. Advisors to kings.

Three gifts meant three kings to someone and it soon became fact, tradition, the legend. They brought three gifts. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Again, three gifts specified for specific reasons. That should be the emphasis. The gifts had a spiritual significance as well. Gold was offered to kings on earth and frankincense was offered to deities. Myrrh was an embalming substance and symbolized death. Very specific details of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. The gifts were brought to the house where Jesus lived. Jesus was not a baby but, was still under two years old.

So, here are the facts. Magi were never present at the stable, neither should yours be in your nativity scene. I always place mine on the other side of the room, as though traveling from afar. On the East side of the room actually.

According to historical references, wise men, educators, and philosophers in the east studied history from other areas, including Hebrew scrolls. They knew of prophecies and references to the star, to the Messiah. So when the star appeared they went searching.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah: because out of you will come a leader who will shepherd My people Israel.”Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find Him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.”After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. 11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men.

Herod killed children up to two years of age based on when they had seen the star. The star was over Jesus birth place. Jesus was no longer in the stable, not a baby. The wise men entered into a house.

Much of what is wrong with the world’s views of Christians is because of the discrepancies that traditions have brought into the various portions of the Bible through the years. It is never too late to set the record straight. It is never unimportant to stick to the facts. It might be difficult. But, I think it is important we go back to His Word and tell the story of Christmas as it was written with all the significance and emphasis’.

RBGreenDesigns.com 2020

Too Much Too Soon

So many take walking for granted. It’s a work in progress. Today I must rest so I can attend church tomorrow . I pushed too hard yesterday.

I walk leaning on a grocery cart. It is safe, A/C controlled and if I get in trouble there are people around. Besides, people can be interesting.

Then there are those that are not interesting. The toddler in the cart looked at me and asked if I had a baby in my tummy. At times like these, handicapped or not, I just want to give up and go home. The mom nervously laughed, fussed at the child about not saying such things and pushed quickly down the aisle. It was not the child’s fault. Who taught her? Damage was done. I think she was #2 below, Indulging parent.

Truth is, “out of the mouths of babes” means unsuspected wisdom, not misunderstood truths. One of my earlier blogs, Sand Buckets, deals with when a child is ready to learn more about God and spiritual truths. However, it should be applied to all complex facts and truths.

They are all different. Here is an excerpt:

Take time to fill their ‘buckets’

Imagine that your infant arrives on this earth with an empty sand bucket.  It is every parents job to raise that child with their bucket.

  1. A CONTROLLING parent will walk through life holding the child and the bucket deciding everything that goes in the bucket.  That may work in the first few years, but what does the child learn other than being a puppet or robot – a ‘mini-me’. Their views of God will be shallow in that they never learned to seek Him and His truths, they just repeat what they are told.
  2. An INDULGING parent sits the child down on the ground and gives them the bucket loaded with all the information and toys of life.  They want their child to have it all and everyone to brag on them.  They want them to have all the advantages. They want everyone to pat them, the parent, on the back  for their smart and successful child.  They overwhelm the child with knowledge and trinkets, taking away their natural pattern of mental, emotional and spiritual growth.  The children are ‘force fed’ life way too fast.  God is in the mix, but He is not clearly defined.  He is on equal footing with appearance, education and success.
  3. A SELF-CENTERED parent may seem to be over-indulgent.  In truth, they find it easier to give things instead of time. So while indulging the child in their whims and over flowing their buckets too fast, they are doing it as a baby-sittIng device so that they, the parent, have more time for themselves.  They may do the obligatory take them to S.S., church and/or VBS but, will do little to influence their child in spiritual matters themselves.   These parents are all about me and their own bucket.  If their child learns about God it will be on their own as their parent has little interest in their spiritual life.
  4. And last, an INVOLVED parent is the parent that is prayerfully seeking how to raise their child.  They have the manual, God’s word, before them.  Their child comes here and they hold them in one arm and their bucket in another.  The time comes when they sit the child down and help the child to select things to put in their bucket.  At times the bucket becomes heavy, and they help their child carry the bucket.  The time will come when they can carry two buckets.  They hold on to their young firmly at first, then as they grow the palm loosens ever so slightly and finally opened as they are on their own.  However, the hand is always outstretched ready to grasp or be grasped throughout their life.

This trend of overloading kids with agendas, truths, facts and information they were never intended to handle is disastrous in so many ways. Beyond hurting an unsuspecting stranger, their innocence is stolen. You cannot give it back.

Products on the market aim at making your kid smarter, teach them to read faster, make your child gifted. All children are gifted in one way or another. Allow them their own gift and quit forcing academics and facts too early. Allow them to grow and learn. The proverbial “too much on their plate” is beginning earlier every half decade. No longer applied to just adults, it engulfs young innocent children in the way of too many facts.

Answer the questions they ask and do not force feed information they do not need yet or have asked you for. Allow them their childhood.

From agendas and politics to academics, we are stealing their childhood.

©2019 RBGreenDesigns.com

No Rhyme Or Reason

The headache woke me this morning as it always has for 1,464 days. Some nights the nuero pain blocker med gets me to almost 5am. Some nights 12:30am or 3:30 am. No rhyme no reason. I can only take the minimum dose 3x’s a day and be functional. It is what it is, and that is okay.

Looking back to Father’s Day 6/21/15, I realize how far I have come. I can write, sometimes read several paragraphs without starting over. No rhyme or reason to the damage area’s lasting effects on my brain functions.

On that day 4 years ago, it would seem there was not a rhyme or reason to what I was experiencing or what was to come. If I had been given a choice I would have sad, “No thanks Lord, just take me home.” There would be many times I would ask Him for that in months to come. It was not a suicidal thought or depression issue, as doctors insisted I would have. It was just I was in such pain, like I had never known. I knew pain, fear… I thought, until this happened.

2015 ~ For days my head hurt. I felt, odd. Something was wrong. By Father’s Day it was worse. Maybe the pressure, maybe my brain bleed started small. Had it leaked for days? No one knows. I remember going through the ER doors. My husband says I talked after the MRI. I do not remember that test. I remember fighting to not be put in the helicopter for the life-flight to Tampa General. I remember the EMT guy’s big mustache. Brain’s weird.

I remember the word “pray”. Couldn’t. I remember, “need pray”. Bits and pieces, phrases of Scripture. Not whole scriptures or references. Just key words and phrases. God has a provision for when we cannot pray. He thought of every detail.

Romans 8:26-28 NASB “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The pressure of the air flight made my head hurt so bad. Maybe the DVA ruptured then. Maybe it already had. Maybe it bled more. I bled over and into the brain, a double bleed. It left a lesion. Everywhere blood touches it kills brain cells, the only cell our body will not replace. I was born with the DVA. All those years of migraines. Never found in any test. Why now? What rhyme or reason?

I landed. Taken straight for surgery. But, one of our pastors, Dr. Dowdy, arrived and was waiting when they brought me in. He asked to pray for me first. God had sent someone to pray. The scripture I kept vaguely trying to utter. Pray. The Holy Spirit prayed for me. My daughter had people praying. She started with her long time friend, Dr. Dowdy’s daughter Liz. Liz called her dad. He headed to the hospital and was there before Phil arrived (coming from FL Hospital by car). Rhyme and reason. God’s plan.

The bleeding stopped, the pressure dropped. The surgery canceled. I am so glad they did not drill into my brain. Prayer changed things. It always does. Had I died, their prayers would have still been answered. I would be healed and in Heaven. Sometimes we do not realize healing is here, or there. There was a rhyme and reason. I just could not see either.

I remember

  • ICU
  • plasma bags
  • MRIs, EKGs, EEGs, CATs
  • angiograms
  • daily Dopplers.

So much bloodwork my veins unusable. Blood clots in my arms. 

Veins unusable

So many needle bruises
  • Funny compression bags on my legs.
  • room at 60°. The nurses in sweaters bringing heated blankets to Phil (yeah some things you just stay mad about).
  • head surrounded by ice packs
  • headache, oh the headache
  • Confusion

Would it ever end? What was the rhyme or reason to all of this confusion?

10 days in ICU then to the Nuerology floor. The nurse who took a disliking to me so he removed my IVs (once gone doctors orders were I could be discharged). The nurse was fine until he walked in on someone praying for me. For some rhyme or reason he didn’t like what he saw. His demeanor changed. The praying had changed things. He pulled out my IVs and within hours I went from the ICU to the floor, then I was discharged to home. I never went to a rehab.

My IV arm began to swell. The seizures started. Back to the hospital I went for five more days. Rhyme? Reason? That nurse walked into my room, his face froze; he left quickly. He never entered my room again. The admitting nurse had asked about my arm so I told her. I guess he had been reported.

Only God knows His plans and reasons. He does not always tell us why. We can trust He has a reason and let it go. God is sovereign.

So four years have past and I live with a headache, comfortably. Oxymoronic, I know. There is no rhyme or reason why in my way of thinking. I will never know all the “whys”. I just have to know, God’s plan, not mine. He has a “rhyme and reason” to the smallest details of our life. God is sovereign.

Some people meet me and think I am normal. Quit laughing. (Some of you are thinking she was never normal.) I do not want pity, never have. But, there is a rhyme and reason for my pain. It is part of my life, part of my testimony.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 “Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Not “for” all things, “in” all things. Big difference. God is sufficient . I do not thank God for the pain or the circumstances that brought me to this point. I thank Him for His plan, His rhyme and reason for the details. I thank Him that He is sovereign.

We have no idea what pain people live with in their lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally or mentally. Much of which seems to not have rhyme or reason. I guess what I am trying to impart is to trust God with the details. We do not need to know the rhyme and reason. Trust His sovereignty.

As my headache subsides to the status quo of the day, I can move on with the daly routines. I do not fret over that I still have my headache or let it hinder me. It is part of my life. I can trust God‘s plan and that He has a rhyme and reason. I can trust in His sovereignty.


Missing Pieces

As only a child would think he voiced, “Let’s go find the rest of it!” Simple logic. He knew it was all there…. somewhere, and he wanted to go looking. If only we had the faith of a child.

Matthew 18:2-4 New (NASB) And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

God’s Word has the whole picture, all the answers. Unfortunately, as we grow up in The Lord, we tend to forget where to look for the answers. We forget our lessons learned and fail to return to study and search more. We have read so many devotions and been to so many Bible studies; heard so many preachers that we act as though we have heard it all.

We never see all of the rainbow. That is because of what is on the horizon, it blocks the whole view. We never know all about God either. Our view is blocked by our horizon, our life on earth. Sin has corrupted the view of God on earth. Our earthly minds are too small to grasp all His truths and plans. Even if He showed us all of His plan, we could not grasp it, much less even remember all the details. So we must trust His plan and have faith. We hear it all the time but we cannot even grasp that concept.

God made us, so He knows us. He provided His Word for us to know Him and the Holy Spirit to help us. We decide we have heard it all before and read it all. We close ourselves all up and are in a spiritual room with no doors or windows. We take our last spiritual breath and try to hold it. Then we become spiritually dead. There is always more if we return to the Source. Open His door, His Word and breathe again. You cannot breathe it all in so quit trying. One breath at a time is all you need.

Knowledge of God comes bit by bit. The wisest man I ever knew was 97 years old when he died. David Fant read God’s word every day. As an engineer he would stand in front of his engine at every depot and read God’s Word to the passengers as they went by him. He was known as the engineer-evangelist, God’s “Ambassador On Rails”. He had a brass plate on the front of his engine shaped like a Bible with “The Word Is Truth” inscribed. We in the church called him “Dad Fant“. He is responsible for finding the land and helping establish Tocooa Falls Bible College. I never new a finer Biblical scholar or Godly man. He never stopped seeking to know God more. No matter how much he understood or knew there was always more for him to learn. He knew that there was always more to know about God and he would never be finished.

We grow physically older and mature. We are never as old as the last breath we breathe. Our spiritual life is no different. We will only know Him more each day we breathe in His Word. Each breath should make us younger and more childlike in our faith. We may forget Scriptures we have memorized as we age and our minds fail, but, we trust Him. We know we can stand on His Word and truths, His promises. They will never fail. His Word never returns void. Once we have read and heard His Word it never fails us.

Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

May we all return to humble, childlike faith and keep searching for Him breath by breath.

RBGreenDesigns.Com 2019

Bringing up a child, a Proverb.

Bringing up a child, a Proverb.

I once told a child of mine it was going to take Heaven for them to make eleven. They were 10 and driving me insane. Good news. We both made it. They graduated College, married with kids. The point is not that we get pushed to our limits with our kids. It is what we do with that limit’s line. It is just so easy to give into them.

Drawing lines. Boundaries. We make them, we move them. Why? When did we become so pliant as parents?

A proverb, not a promise. They still have free will.

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

The Potter molds the clay. The clay does not tell the clay what to do. Sometimes there is harsh molding, sometimes, gentle strokes, so light and fine, but, there. It depends on the desired effect. Changing the design midstream does not add to the finished project. It weakens it and sometimes destroys it. Remember, just as God is the Potter to His children, you are a potter to yours. Parenting is being the potter. It is a long and tedious process. Taking your hands off and letting them spin out of control results in catastrophe. Sometimes shattered forever. Although, The Potter never makes mistakes, although we do as clay molders. Will there be flaws and defects? Probably. We have them and we have The Potter molding us. Stubborn clay.

Firm molding, hands on. Or, tough love. Call it what you like. I taught mine that every child has a right to a place to sleep, food to eat and an education. And I told them (many times to their chagrin) that no where, no way does that mean they get their own private bedrooms with all the smart technology. No where, no way does that mean they get designer drinks at the local cafe, lobster, steaks and expensive desserts. No where, no way does that mean they get private school when homeschooling or a local good public school is available.

I raised mine with no technology in their bedrooms. Computer was in the family room. They had an alarm clock, and extension to our landline for group school work or team calls. No cell phones, computers or music technology were in their room. They could take a player in to listen to music quietly as they studied. No head phones. That was a place to sleep and study. They were class “A” personalities, in public schools, they each obtained 5 Varsity letters. Education at church and school came first. They earned the plus treats. They were guaranteed a place to sleep, peanut butter sandwiches or school lunches, and bus rides to school. They earned their own bedroom, waffles, pancakes, packed lunches, home-cooked meals, fast food trips, and all theactivity fees plus mom’s taxi to all the extra curricular activities. I put as much as 30,000 miles a year on those taxi’s and as many of their friends as that mini van could carry.

Yes, we gave up the upgrades to a bigger house (we had 1500 sq ft), fantastic vacations, my career job and all that would have afforded. I worked at their schools instead. But, as they strove under my boundaries to achieve, we did all we could to enrich their lives. We still took beach trips occasionally, camped, hiked and went to the water and amusement parks in summer. You just need to set boundaries by the best children’s manual, The Bible, and stick to them.

If you are raising your children with champagne taste on a beer budget, as the colloquialism says, then it is time to take a step back. Why are we putting the pressure on them to live that way? Why are we putting that kind of pressure on the family? Because of our desire to fit in for appearance sake? No, labels on clothes are not wrong. I bought them … on the sale rack? I never bought for the sake of the label. If it was the best buy then that was fine. There was such satisfaction in getting something they wanted on sale. But, there are good clothes, foods, etc. that are not the best appeal to the world. So why do you care what the world thinks? Why would you want to teach a child to do what is okay with others when it is not okay with God? What kind of stewardship are you teaching them? What kind of life will they try to lead on those kind of values?

God’s opinion matters, the world’s does not. It may be painstaking to detoxify your kids and give them a reality check, and by that, I mean a God check. It may take a lesson on The Beatitudes: Attitudes to Be. But, it is much better than the judgement day check we will all receive, both parent and child, if we do not realign ourselves with Biblical values.


A Mom by any other name is…

A Mom by any other name is…

A mom is NOT a

  • Stay at home mom
  • Doesn’t work out of the home mom
  • Homemaker mom
  • Works out of the home mom
  • Career Mom
  • Birth Mom
  • Adoptive Mom
  • Foster Mom
  • Guardian mom

Or any other adjective for ‘MOM”. I understand there are legal purposes where there are adjectives needed to protect a child and or give permission of care. But, that says what they are, not who they are. At some point in time these women must decided to be a mom in actions, not just name.

Not all women that give birth are mom’s. Neither are those that have to take on raising a family member’s children. They might be mothers but they are nothing close to a mothering person. Even if a birth mother keeps their child and raises them, that does not make them a mom. Mom. Mother. We have lost the real meanings of these words.

I stood in the grocery line. The little child, maybe 5 or 6, still clutched the coloring book they had found following behind their adult. She called her mom. But, she was not a mom. Yes, I am judging. But, the evidence was right there in front of the cashier and other shoppers. Eyes rolled, mouths grimaced, fists clinched as we all watched the child. “Mom, she pleaded. It’s all I want. It’s not much.” The mom yanked it out of her hand and shoved it on the magazine rack. “No, I said. I don’t have the money for it.” The little girl had dirty nails. Her hair had not been brushed. Their were stains on her too big clothes; probably hand-me-downs. Her feet were dirty in her flip flops a size too small. The bug bites on her legs were many, some red and looked infected. The mom was a different story. She had on an expensive brand’s label tennis shoes. Her manicure and even tan costly. Her makeup was perfection, her hair layered and highlighted. Her yoga pants (she was not in yoga class – another blog) and top also showed a brand name. Expensive, colored tattoos across her front and upper torso as well as her arms and a leg decorated her body. Her purse also had a designer label. She had two cases of label beer on the grocery conveyor belt and had just asked for brand name cigarettes. The kids cereal, bulk and generic, were next to her power drinks and a package of sushi. I did not see any milk. But, there was generic water. One can only assume.

You guessed it. She whipped out her food stamps for the allowed food items. I glanced at the magazine rack where the coloring book was shoved. A big, red $1.99 was in the right corner. “It’s all I want. It’s not much”…. “I don’t have the money for it.” Translates, I don’t have money for you, time for you. The bottom line. At what cost are you willing to be a mom first and you last?

Mom. Mother. Words that have lost their meanings. We have so labeled them with adjectives that we have diluted them into generic terms. Stay at home, work out of the home. Does not matter. Mom matters. Yes, there are women that need to work for money. There is no choice. There are, however, more and more women that choose to work for bigger houses, better things. And, sadly, more and more find a way to stay at home and be paid by the government but, do not use the money on their kids. Every woman decides how much their kids are worth. When did it become acceptable to put more value on yourself than your child?

Mother ~ Love. Caring. Nurturer. Self-sacrificing. Giver. Comforter. Available. Listener. Sympathizer. Empathizes. And much, much more.

A Mom is…

Being a good mom is taught from generation to generation. With each generation fewer and fewer mothers are raising the next generation. They are giving over to societies views and accepting their terms. More and more mothers are self centered, selfish, me first women. The children are too costly in time, money, convenience. They call themselves mother, even good mothers. Sadly, they do not even know what a good mother is today. We need role models. Moms to stand up and be moms; God first, kids and husband as a priority. A true mother may be somewhere down in the double digits in priority.

Mom. She gives her all and is ridiculed in today’s society. She is worthless in their eyes. She is a stay at home, non working mom. Really? She is more than just mom. She is the mom that fills the gaps at schools, communities, churches and neighborhoods. She may not get paid, but she works outside of the home. Sometimes so much so that she is up late at night and early in the morning to complete all the chores for her own. She may also be the works for pay mom that fills in gaps, cramming 36 hours into 24. She is a real mom. She is selfless. She is exhausted. And, she is worthless in the eyes of the world. Worthless? Not in God’s eyes. She is valuable and rare.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the
teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who
[s]fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [t]product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:25-31 NASB

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms!

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