Sunday, November 29, 2009

Make Your Home a Haven That Excites the Senses

You know, the holidays are special to me because they provide the opportunity for me to enjoy my home when otherwise I would be dashing in and out being pre-occupied with other things- whether it is dashing off to work, or on errands, or sitting in front of this computer working for endless hours - I sometimes do not even notice my home.  I do however try to create a haven of rest and relaxation in my home that tends to calm or excite the senses, and that takes my mind off the 'hot topic' of the day.  For this Thanksgiving season , I was a little late with my decorating, but I got it all done on Thanksgiving Day, before the guests arrived!  I created an ambience of the season of fall.  You know, down here in Florida we don't experience the fall season like many of our neighbors up north.  There are no leaves changing color, and very little by way of cold weather, unless of course you came to my house!  In my house I had real leaves of different fall hues (purchased at the grocery store of course!), dried floral arrangements, scented pine cones (I purchased some, but I picked up some unscented ones for free at the park this weekend!), and scented cinnamon broom.  The home smelled of apples and cinnamon, and I completed the effect with a large burning scented candle, and some Christmas lights on a artificial palm tree as a back drop.  I also had miniature indian corns and miniature squashes as all part of the decoration.  I opened the back windows, and let the fresh air from outside cool the outer den, and inside we sat in air conditioned comfort (sorry, I could not open my other windows as they were stuck from years of being too old!).

I think I am beginning to love this old home which I bought.  At first, I was so disappointed that I missed out on purchasing a newer home because of the run on real estate a couple of years ago, and I really hated this house.  I bought out of necessity because we needed a place where my husband could work on cars without interference from neighbors or the city, in our own garage.  We were living previously in an apartment and if our cars broke down, he had nowhere to work on them.  Now I have grown to love this house.  It has become a place of comfort and solace.  I feel comfy here.  It is quiet, I have greenery all around me on the outside, and inside it's a haven.  Many times I feel the presence of God within these walls bringing me peace and joy.

I pray that everyone will make their home a haven - a place where the love of God, and His peace rests, and where you can enjoy all the good things God has given you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday

Now that Thanksgiving is ending, it is time to get ready for Black Friday!  Yeah, the long-anticipated Black Friday is just  a few hours away, and people are gearing up to swoop down on the stores early in the morning, to catch some deep discounts.  As for myself, I will not be venturing out in the morning, but I wish everyone success in getting what they want.  You know, nothing gives quite such a rush as bargain shopping.  You get the same level of excitement and adrenalin rush just as you would in any sport.  It can even get rough and aggressive too.  What out for the little old ladies with shopping carts!  They will run you right over if you are not paying attention.  And what about that mad dash and sprint we do when we see the last item on the shelf and someone else tries to beat us to it.  Don't you feel good when you get there first?

Enjoy the shopping and enjoy the bargains.  Remember to be courteous to your fellow shopper although some can be downright rude.  Show Christian charity.  Hey, it's not the end of the world if you don't get that discount.  Thank God for what you do have, and for what He is going to allow you to have.  Bless others with your shopping, and remember to also buy gifts for people who cannot buy a gift for you in return.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Now It's Cervical Cancer!

I just heard this morning that  the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is recommending that women should start cervical cancer screening at age 21,  and not sooner,  as it now is.  Originally, Pap smear tests were recommended for teenagers who were sexually active, but that is no longer recommended.  This comes upon the heels of the controversial mammogram guidelines.  To read the full article please click on the following link Cervical Cancer Guideline Changes.

I must say I was surprised by this one, as cervical cancer poses a real threat to sexually active women.  Cervical cancer is caused from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  Infection from this virus can lead to cervical cancer in sexually active women.  In non-sexually active women, the body's immune system is usually sufficient enough to conteract the effects of this virus.

Here is the thing.  Those of us who practice sacred Biblical sexuality have little to fear from HPV.  The typical profile of a person with cervical cancer is one who is female, sexually active with multiple partners, and who may have started to have sex at a relatively young age, such as in their teens.  Biblical sexuality condemns 'harlotry', and by harlotry I do not mean being a prostitute.  In the Bible, harlotry means someone who sleeps around with many lovers, "but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers"(Jeremiah 3:1). 

The reality is that we cannot totally depend upon health insurance or the health care system to bail us out of our many ailments.  There are times when health insurance simply just does not want to pay, and my suspicion is that there is a fear that with 'free health insurance' people will not want to take responsibility for their own health.  Ahh... the politics of it all.  At any rate, depending on health care providers to keep you healthy when you can help yourself does, and can overwhelm the system.  As a health care provider myself, I DO make a living when people are sick, but sometimes people come into the hospital with medical conditions that are incurable, because they did not take the appropriate measures when the disease was curable or manageable, and some illnesses are highly preventable, such as cervical cancer.

If we follow the Biblical guidelines for sexuality, we will reap the rewards of good health and long life, and a satisfying relationship with our mate and God.

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee (Proverbs 3:1-2).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Mammogram Guidelines

The new mammogram guidelines have just come out this week, and the new guidelines call for annual mammogram screening starting at age 50, instead of 40, as in the present guidelines.  The new guidelines also call for women to cease self-breast examinations as well.  Not surprisingly then, these guidelines are causing major uproar among women and breast health providers, as many feel that these guidelines will do NOTHING to prevent or decrease death from breast cancer, but may INCREASE the number of deaths from breast cancer, due to late detection.

It is a known fact that breast cancer, when caught early is highly 'curable.'  I put 'curable' in quotes because the treatments which we have for breast cancer are not really cures, but treatments and procedures to remove malignancy.  The later the diagnosis for breast cancer, the poorer the prognosis, and the increase risk of death by breast cancer.  As a physical therapist, I have worked with many patients with breast cancer, and I have even had opportunity to work with post-mastectomy patients in order to heal them of post-mastectomy lymphedema.  I have also worked with women who had suffered from breast contusions/swellings of traumatic origin.  I have found that the longer one waits to make a diagnosis and start treatment, the greater the level of medical involvement that is needed to cure the breast cancer.  While a simple lump can be handled by a lumpectomy, more larger lumps may need mastectomy, in addition to radiation/chemotherapy.  If the cancer metastasizes, then the patient will need extensive chemotherapy.  Needing extensive chemotherapy suggests a very bad prognosis, and many breast cancer patients with metastatic lesions die, in spite of chemotherapy.  When you think of the increased medical costs and loss of life associated with late detection and treatment of breast cancer, it just does not make any sense why the government would endorse a program that would promote late detection.  Below are my ideas about the new guidelines

Eliminate Monthly Breast Exams:  I wholeheartedly agree with this one.  Monthly breast exams in my estimation are useless, and should be eliminated, however I do not endorse the view that breast exams should not be done at all!  Women instead should do daily breast self-caresses.  The breast represents that part of the woman concerned with nurturing.  The breasts were made to nurture a baby.   It says in  Psalm 22:9, "thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts."  The breasts were also made to be nurtured by your spouse as well!

"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19).

Loving caresses of your breasts by your spouse will go a long way towards detection than any random, once-a-month self-exam.  For the pre-menopausal woman, breast tissues change throughout the month.  Sometimes your breast is more lumpy and more tender than usual.  That's normal!  For you to know when a lump is unusual, you have to know your breast!  Practice daily self caresses to your breasts, and as an added bonus, let your spouse know your breasts too, in a loving way.  He too can be your ally in keeping your breasts healthy for your good health, and his pleasure!

Mammograms after 50 instead of 40:  In this I have no expertise.  Maybe there is something to women getting too much radiation exposure, however, if a woman under 50 finds an unusual lump in her breast, then mammograms are great for diagnosis!  The key however is to know your breasts!  I am a woman over 40, and it has been  2 years since my last mammogram.  My first mammogram caused a lot of anxiety for me because they found an unusual spot in one of my breasts.  I was then subjected to a breast ultrasound, and then told to 'watch it.'  I then went for a follow-up the next year, and that spot had disappeared!  Miracle of God, or false postive?  I do not know, but one thing I do know, it is important to know your breasts!

I pray that each and every woman becomes more active in their health and in knowing their body, and for heaven's sake, Get to know your breasts!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pregnancy is Not a Disease

Don't let the title of this blog throw you off!  In this post I will be writing  about the spiritual aspects of money being spent on abortions, as a procedure to terminate pregnancies.

Today I am going to weigh in on the health care debate.  As you know, Congress recently passed a health care reform bill that provides no funding for abortion.  This has sparked controversy nationwide and has pitted the anti-abortionists against the pro-abortionists, as each try to jockey to  have the Stupak amendment either removed, or kept, as the bill goes to the Senate.  In this post, I will try to steer clear away from the politics of it all, and let the powers that be come up with the right solution.  It is my belief that Health Care Reform is something that IS TO COME, and nothing we can really do is going to stop it from coming, HOWEVER, the details of what is contained in any health reform bill is really UP TO US.  This is our opportunity to do the right and moral thing for this country.  This is the time for us to make decisions not based upon selfish goals and ambitions, but upon doing what is right for others, with an attitude of service to others.  The decisions we make in this health care bill will have ramifications of great consequence, not only for this world, but also for the world to come, as God is our judge.

One of the biggest debate surrounding the present health care reform bill is the funding of abortions.   Anti-abortion advocates have successfully lobbied congress to exclude any funding for abortions, while pro-abortionists are now lobbying the Senate to include funding for abortions.  Anti-abortionists do not want government-sponsored abortions included because abortion is a moral sin that takes the life of the unborn.  I totally agree with them.  Why should the government become a co-party to one's sexual indiscretions and help that person cover up or get rid of the fruit of their indiscretions?  What business is it of government to help us hide our sins?  I thought the role of government was to expose sin and punish it -not hide it (Romans 13:1-5).  In addition, in matters of conscience, where the government has NO ROLE, government has no business helping the guilty, the hard-hearted, and the selfish in their mission.  Okay, okay, I have heard about families that cannot afford to feed one more mouth maybe considering abortion as the solution to their financial problem.  To those families I say, you have a real problem because your finances are not allowing you to properly take care of the children you already have, and you feel you cannot handle any more children financially.  What those families need is not an abortion but help.  They need help in learning how to gain mastery over their sexual encounters.  They need help in raising their children.  They need help in getting through the pregnancy.  This is where families, churches and the community at large can help.  Children are a heritage from God, thus if we give aid and help to children, we are actually doing for them as unto Christ (Psalm 127:3, Matthew 18:5; Matthew 25:40).

One of the arguments used by pro-abortionists is that abortion is a medical procedure, and thus should be covered as a health care service.  I say, totally wrong!  Many medical procedures are performed by doctors today, that are not covered as health care.  For example, face lifts, breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and so on.  The reason why those procedures are not covered is because they are not done to treat any type of disease.  Now tell me, what disease is abortion treating?  The last time I looked, pregnancy was not listed as a disease.  Pregnancy is not even a medical condition.  Pregnancy is a natural consequence of the sperm of the male uniting with and fertilizing the egg of  a female.  What develops is a new life which needs to be cared for and protected while in the womb.  During pregnancy, the mother needs to practice healthy lifestyle choices to care for herself and her unborn child.  It is one of the rare opportunities we have to be co-partner with God in the creation process.  It is a life-giving process which brings in new life, which contrasts so vastly with a disease.  Disease tends to the diminishment of life, and it destroys, and kills.  Pregnancy, on the other hand, gives new life and renews.  Pregnancy is therefore not a disease to be treated, but a process by which we honor the body as a living temple, that is capable of bringing forth new life.

Do you know that God considers the unborn to be a person, and not just a 'potential life' as some would like us to think?  If you don't believe me, please read the following scriptures (emphasis supplied).

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being UNPERFECT and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was NONE of them" (Psalm 139:14-16). 

"Before I formed thee in the belly I KNEW thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED  thee, and I ORDAINED thee a prophet unto the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (Isaiah 44:24). 

So we see that the unborn is really a person that is being developed and formed in the womb.  It is the most natural thing to happen and is a part of life.  It is therefore not a disease that needs to be cured or treated.  It is a process that needs to be facilitated along a healthy path - not stopped or thwarted.  In my previous post Sacred Reproduction, I wrote about the sacredness of reproduction, and how it is a power God has given to us to use for His glory.  Destroying a life that is growing within is not a sacred right of reproduction!

Economically speaking, should government finance abortions?  NO!  That money would be better spent on helping pregnant mothers to have safe and healthy pregnancies.  No good government helps its citizens by destroying its own citizens, which include the unborn citizens.  The unborn child is here already, so let him/her come.  Do not become a stumbling block to that process. Jesus warns us to "take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" because it not God's will "that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:10; 14).  Government has no place funding the destruction of its own people.

God is seeking after godly seed (Malachi 2:15), and who knows which of these unborn children will grow up to be a man or woman of God, and a light to this world?  Hey, if the mothers of some of the greatest people on earth thought about their pregnancies as conditions that needed to be corrected, where would we be today?  We would have lost out on some of the greatest minds in the world.  The circumstances surrounding the conception of a child is of less consequence than that the child is conceived.  A new life means someone new to love, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.  Let us not use the child as the sacrifical lamb, to cover up our mistakes and indiscretions.  Let us treat each child, whether born or unborn, as valuable gifts given to us from God.

Have you had an abortion?  Yes, what you did was wrong, but God will forgive you if you repent.  Yes, it is too late for your unborn child to make it alive in this world, but it is not too late for you to turn your life around.  God in His mercies will change your heart, so that you can give and receive love.

For mothers considering abortion, your money is better spent on caring for yourself and your unborn child through this time of pregnancy.  If your financial circumstances are not that great, then now is the time to seek God's help by FAITH, to provide for you, in whatever way He chooses - whether through friends, family, charitable organizations, churches, social services, or miraculously.  May you  find the faith you need to trust Him completely.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Two Economies

Today I begin my series on economics and spirituality.  From time to time, as a Spiritual teacher, I delve into various topics as the Lord leads and as He sees fit.  Although my expertise is in health and wellness, the Lord has seen it fit to give me instructions pertaining to spirituality and economics, as every believer needs to know some basic facts about economics as it relates to their spirituality.  What I will be presenting here in this series of posts is the spiritual side to economics, and how the Biblical model of economics can be applied to our lives today, with GREAT results!

According to the leading economists of the day, the economic crisis is over, but yet, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.  Many Christians as well as non Christians are struggling in this tough economy, and many are in despair, and are giving up hope for a brighter future.  Some have even linked this economic downturn as a sign of an apocalyptic event, and many are terrified of what is to be.  Mayan 2012 end-of-world hysteria is sweeping the nation, and the prospect of 'socialized medicine' is frightening to many.  What I am going to present is the reality of the economic system from a spiritual stand-point, and show that God's people have NOTHING to worry about, regardless of what the economy does.

Few people realize it, but in the world, there are always two economies operating at the same time - the world's economy and God's economy.  Both economics co-exist at the same time, but they run parallel to each other.  The world's economy is based upon the economic models and systems of the world, and may employ one or more of the following economic systems such as capitalism, socialism, communism, and so on.  The world's economic system is based upon money, and the assigned values placed upon material goods such as gold, silver, oil, precious stones, food, textile, and so on.  The world's economy is heavily dependent upon the availabilty of material resources, and wealth is determined by who can amass the most of this world's resources and control it.  It is a system based upon greed, and how much one can acquire.

As Christians, we partake of this world's economy.  We have jobs, businesses, and buy goods and services, as all a part of living in this world.  We cannot help but be a part of this world's economy, and there is no escaping it.  When there is a drought, we are affected.  If there is a famine or food shortages, we are also affected.  When the economy is good, we benefit.  When the economy is bad, we suffer the effects of that too.  The mistake that many Christians make however, is to think that somehow they will be exempt from being affected when the economy is bad.  They think that somehow God is going to exempt them from any suffering, just because they are Christians.  How wrong they have been!  Many Christians can attest to the fact that this economy has caused them to be in dire financial straits, with job losses, business losses, and investment losses.  Consequently, they despair and think somehow that they have done something wrong, or that God is punishing them, or bringing them or the country under judgment.

My dear friends, in my opinion, I think the current economic crisis the world is facing is not a result of God's doing, but man's doing.  God had very little to do with the economic crash on Wall Street, or the banks.  These crashes were the result of the world's economic system gone awry.  What people have failed to realize is that God has an economic system, which is based in the Bible, that contrasts with the present world economic system.  It is an economic system that kept ancient Israel a prosperous country, without Israel having to attack or invade other countries for resources.  If we took the time to  learn about God's economic system, we would be surprised at how simple, yet effective it was for ancient Israel.  A word of warning though - the ancient Biblical system can only be practiced by those of us of faith, who have faith in the power of God to cause an increase in prosperity.  I will call this Biblical system faith-based economics, because it is an economic system that is dependent on faith in God to provide and prosper.

Faith-based economics is an economic system in which man becomes a co-worker with God, and where man puts in the effort, but God provides the increase in prosperity.  It works like this:  We work in faith, believing that God will prosper our work and efforts, and He rewards us by prospering our efforts.  We believe that He will make us prosperous in all that we do, and that He will provide the resources we need to do our jobs and to live.  It is a faith that believes not in the power of self to prosper, but in the power of God to make us prosper.   In 1 Corinthians 3:6,7 we read, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow" (NIV).   In this faith-based economy, the power to obtain wealth comes from God and not just from our own efforts or ingenuity.  We read in Deuteronomy 8:18, that it is God who "giveth thee power to get wealth."  People who practice faith-based economics will totally rely upon God to open doors of opportunity for wealth creation.  God will prosper them with creative and imaginative thoughts and ideas.   He will bring into their lives the right people at the right time.  God will give them the strength and wisdom they need to excel in every area of life that He has called them to excel in.  Such people rely upon God for strength, and not self, and they approach life being confident in God's strength.  Instead of looking  to or depending upon their own natural-born strength and abilities, faith-based practitioners draw heavily upon the immeasurable grace and power of God to succeed in life.  They constantly say to themselves, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phillipians 4:13).

One of the beauties of practicing faith-based economics is that regardless of what the economy does, whether it is good or bad, God can overrule economic situations in your personal favor.  I can think of two persons in the Bible, whom God overruled the then current bad economic situation of the land, in their favor - the widow of 2 Kings 4:1-7 and the widow of  1 Kings 17:1-16.  In both of these situations, there was a famine in the land of Israel, and God sent economic relief for both of these women.  God overruled the tough economic situation in their favor, so that they obtained relief, in spite of the ongoing hardships all around them.  God helped these two women, who had no means of support, and nothing but their faith in God.  He helped them get through a tough economy, and He will do the same for us today.  He will do the same for you.  All you have to do is trust Him, and put your faith in Him that He will carry you through these tough times.

On a personal note,  I have experienced the blessings of God in my life just from practicing faith-based economics.  I remember several years ago I had to give up a very good-paying job, in order to be faithful to the commands of God.  To my co-workers, what I had done was foolish, but I willingly took a demotion from my job, so that I would not have to compromise my faith.  It has been several years now since that incident, but I can say, thank God I followed my faith!  I am now in a much more financially secure job today, and in my job I can practice my faith without hindrance.  Not only that, but one of my past fellow co-worker, who had clinged unto her old job, had recently expressed to me a desire to leave her job.  I, who once looked so foolish for leaving, am now seen as someone wise.  I tell you, when you follow your faith, and trust God to provide for you, He really will!

Economic Crisis

In light of the ongoing economic crisis, and the struggles of many people to survive, I think I will be doing a series of blogs that will help people find inner peace and solutions that will help them survive and thrive through any type of economic turmoil.  In the next couple of days, I will be writing posts in a non political, but definitely Biblical fashion, so don't go away - keep in touch.  You will be blessed beyond all measure!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Psalm 63

And now to wrap up this discussion on human sexuality, I will post Psalm 63, from the New Living Translation.  Remember folks, God is to be our ultimate Desire in life.  He will satisfy every longing, every need, and every desire.  "And I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:7).

1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.

3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.

7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

9 But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.

10 They will die by the sword
and become the food of jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God.
All who trust in him will praise him,
while liars will be silenced.

(Psalm  63, New Living Translation )

Friday, November 6, 2009

Myth #4: Sex is Licit for Post-Menopausal Women Only if They Are Open to the Possibility That Pregnancy Might Occur

The idea of grandma and grandpa having sex in nursing homes gets a reaction of ugh! from many people, yet it is precisely this vision of sex in old age that the above myth seeks to control.  I have found that among the sex for procreation only crowd that some believe that sex should stop once a woman is beyond childbearing years.  Others believe that sex in the post menopausal years is good, only if the couple is open to the idea that God might work a miracle to cause pregnancy.  We can see from this myth how people have taken what God has not forbidden and made a prohibition out of it.  Then, in order to wiggle themselves out of the trap and snare they have created for themselves, they come up with this "open to life" option which in their minds make sex in the postmenopausal years licit.  When I read and hear these wranglings, I just quietly laugh within myself, because nothing in scripture stops post menopausal women from engaging in sex - nothing!

Elizabeth and Zacharias, the parents of John the Baptist, were having sex in their old age, well past menopause, without giving any thought to the possibility that Elizabeth could get pregnant.  I know this is so because the Bible says that Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old.  

"And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years (Luke 1:6-7)."

God wanted to bless their sexual union with a son, and so God sent the angel Gabriel with the message that Elizabeth would become pregnant.  Zecharias totally disbelieved Gabriel because both he and his wife were well past childbearing age.  We read, "And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years (Luke 1:18).  Because of his disbelief, Zecharias was struck dumb by God.  It says here:

"And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season" (Luke 1:19-20).

Was Zecharias commiting a sin when he had sex with his wife even though he did not believe she could get pregnant?  Absolutely not!  God blessed their union, even though Zecharias was not "open to life" during sex. 

Look, unless God personally tells you Himself that you will get pregnant in your post-menopausal years, don't even try to waste time worrying whether or not you have committed a sin by engaging in sex with your spouse without being "open to life."  People who preach this "open to life' doctrine are only fooling themselves, because according to the laws of nature, it is impossible for a post menopausal woman to get pregnant without miraculous, divine intervention.  To which of us millions/billions of women did God promise children in old age?  Was He not the one who created the laws of nature to stop childbearing in the post menopausal years?  From what I understand in the Bible, God does not just perform a miracle for the sake of performing miracles, in order to please our whims and fancies.  He always perform a miracle for a divine purpose, and in the case of Elizabeth and Zecharias, it was to make them the parents of the forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

Let me conclude by saying that we do not have to worry at all if grandma  and grandpa are still enjoying sex.  As long as they are physically able, and are healthy enough to enjoy it, then they should go right ahead!  God's word gives them permission.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sacred Reproduction

I would now like to interject in this conversation the concept of sacred reproduction.  In my previous posts, I had taken the time to bust myths pertaining to human sexuality, but I would be amiss if I did not deal with reproduction as well.  Reproduction is the production of offspring, and is a by-product of sex.  The ability to reproduce is a gift from God, and represents a God-given power to bring new life into the world.  In the sacred sexuality of the Bible, reproduction is recognized as the "fruit of the womb"  or "fruit of the body," and being able to reproduce is seen as a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3; Deuteronomy 28:4).

Like all gifts from God, reproduction can be  a power for good in this world, or misused, and become a power for evil.  The whole purpose of reproduction in sacred sexuality is to raise godly seed, or offspring for the kingdom of God.  In 1 Peter 2:9 we read, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."  For the people of God to be a "holy nation" we must therefore raise up godly seed or offspring, who love God and worship God.  In his counsel to believers who were married to unbelievers, Paul pointed out that the children from such unions were holy because at least one parent was holy.  He says, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" (1 Corinthians 7:14).   We are commanded to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).   In Ezra 9:4 the Jews and their children were described as "holy seed" and in Deuteronomy 7:6, they were described as "an holy people unto the LORD thy God" because God had chosen them to be "a special people unto himself, above all people."  They too were expected to bring up godly children for the kingdom of God - children who loved  and followed God.  By raising up godly children, our reproduction can be a force of good in this world.

Many people however do not view reproduction this way.  People reproduce for various reasons that do not include raising godly children.  Some of the reasons given for having children include:
1. To fulfill oneself
2. To create a lineage or dynasty
3.  To have someone to care for us in our old age
4.  To have extra hands to help out around the home or business
5.  To become powerful and influential in the community
6. To fulfill an obligation or duty
7. To demonstrate virility
8.  To show off one's fertility

Some may see children as an inconvenient reality to incontinence in sexuality, and after the children are conceived, may try to destroy them, either in the womb or outside of the womb when they are born.  Therefore it is not surprising when we hear of the numerous cases of child abuse and neglect that is plaguing families and societies around the world.  I cannot help but wonder about the many children who live in garbage slums, and in unsanitary conditions around the world, and even here in the States, who are victims of post birth child abuse.  Not to mention the numerous abortions performed to cover up sexual indiscretions.

In sacred sexuality, God has given us power over our own bodies, not to do whatever we want with it, but to live responsibly in His sight.  He holds us accountable according to the amount of self-control that we exercise over our bodies.  Paul says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27).  This self-control also extends to sexuality and reproduction as well, as reproduction involves the use of two bodies to produce a new body.  Responsible reproduction is therefore a key principle in godly self-discipline and control.  In responsible reproduction, one respects the body as the means through which new life comes to earth.  The body becomes the medium through which the creative act of God is carried out.  Consequently, anything that is conceived within is loved and cherished as a special blessing from God.

Responsible reproduction also involves taking responsibity for one's sexual actions, and exercising authority and control over one's sexual actions.  It involves a sexual consciousness, where a couple can decide whether they want to engage in sexual relations with the intent of reproducing, or engage in sexual relations with the intent  not to reproduce.  Both decisions involve exercising control over the sex act.  Control over one's sexuality is no less a fruit of the Spirit than control over other actions, for the one who exercises  self-control in sexual matters, has gained a significant control over reckless and indiscriminate passion.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24).

To conclude, let us love our bodies and honor it as a sacred vessel of love, from which can grow the fruit of love.  Let us use that power within our bodies responsibly during the sex act. We need to recognize the sacred responsibility given to us when we reproduce, which is to raise godly children for the kingdom of God, who know God and love God - the Giver of life.