Passover, Good Friday and the First Blood Moon

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red moon
((Reuters file photo))

“I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all. … I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Ex. 12:12-13).

“Then Moses said … ‘Go … slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. … When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down’” (vv. 21-23).

“Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7).

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31).

What could Passover, Good Friday and the first lunar eclipse of 2014 have in common? Think about it with me.

Passover began at sundown Monday. It is a time set aside by God’s people to remember their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Other than creation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there has never been a more dramatic demonstration of God’s power than the event we refer to as the Exodus.

Passover remembers the time when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. When Pharaoh defied God’s command to let His people go, his mind had to be changed. So God sent to Egypt a series of plagues one at a time, each giving Pharaoh opportunity to repent of his defiance: the water turned to blood; then frogs, gnats, and flies covered the land, followed by the death of the livestock, boils on men and animals, hail, locusts, and darkness. When Pharaoh hardened his heart against God and refused to let God’s people go, the final plague was sent. And it was the worst.

At midnight, God executed His final judgment on Egypt. The angel of death went throughout the land and struck down all the firstborn. From Pharaoh on his throne to the prisoner in the dungeon to the livestock in the barn, the firstborn died. The only ones saved from His judgment were those who placed the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their homes and remained inside, Israelite and Egyptian alike. As a result, Pharaoh repented of his resistance and let God’s people go.

But Passover is not only a remembrance of the power of God to save His people from judgment and to set them free from bondage. It is also a beautiful prophetic picture of another event that will be celebrated this week.

Good Friday is a sacred, holy day that commemorates an event that took place 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was not just crucified but was sacrificed as God’s Lamb on the actual day of Passover. When you and I apply by faith the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to our own hearts and lives, then the judgment of God for our sin passes over us, and we are not only saved from the penalty of sin but saved from the power of sin. We are set free from spiritual bondage.

On this year’s Passover, in a unique way, God seems to be putting a sign of His blood on the doorposts of the heavens. Because on that very day, the moon was to turn to “blood” as it entered into a total lunar eclipse. Could God be warning Planet Earth that judgment is coming and giving us opportunity to repent before it does? Could God be reminding you and me that the only salvation from His judgment is to take refuge under the blood of the Lamb?

I can’t answer those questions, but I do know one thing. I want to make sure that I have been to the cross, repented of my sin and rebellion against God, and claimed the blood of Jesus as my covering. I want to make sure I am safe—saved from God’s judgment whenever it does come, whether it comes this year on earth or at death, when I step into eternity and face a holy God.

This Good Friday, would you thank God for the blood of Jesus by making sure you have applied it to the doorposts of your heart and life?

Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGeL ministries, has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her newest book, Wounded by God’s People, is available at AnneGrahamLotz.com.

Lies And Distortions Of The Health Care

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I am a proponent of the Affordable Health Care Act. After working as an RN for many years I had first hand experience about just how broke the system is or was. The following was posted in the Huffington Post and I want to repost it to try and help people to understand some of the misrepresentation of facts. I am breaking the article up because it is so long and contains a lot of information. This will give everyone time to read and consider what it is  saying.  I am sorry to say that due to circumstances I will be unable to post the second part for a week or so.  Let me know if you find this interesting.  Blessings to all.

 

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The Affordable Care Act Would Add To The Deficit
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The only thing more important than painting the Affordable Care Act as a certain killer of jobs was to paint it as a certain murderer of America’s fiscal future. Surely this big government program was going to push indebtedness to such a height that our servitude to our future Chinese overlords was a fait accompliAs Ryan Grim reported in May of 2010, the CBO disagreed: 

Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period. 

The source said it also extends Medicare’s solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication.

Recently, the CBO updated its ten-year estimate by dropping off the first two years of the law (where there was little to no implementation) and adding two years at the back end (during which time there would be full implementation). As you might imagine, replacing two years of low numbers with two years of higher numbers increased the ten-year estimate. But opponents of the bill immediately freaked out and declared the costs to have skyrocketed. As Jonathan Chait reported

The outcry was so widespread that the CBO took the unusual step of releasing a second update to explain to outraged conservatives that they were completely misreading the whole thing: 

“Some of the commentary on those reports has suggested that CBO and JCT have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That’s not our perspective. … 

Although the latest projections extend the original ones by three years (corresponding to the shift in the regular ten-year projection period since the ACA was first being developed), the projections for each given year have changed little, on net, since March 2010.” 

That is CBO-speak for: “Go home. You people are all crazy.”

As Chait goes on to note, the CBO now projects that “the law would reduce the deficit by slightly more than  had originally forecast.”

 
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The Affordable Care Act $500 Billion Cut From Medicare
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Normally, if you tell Republicans that you’re going to cut $500 billion from Medicare, they will respond by saying, “Hooray, but could we make it $700 billion?” But the moment they got it into their heads that the Affordable Care Act would make that cut from Medicare, suddenly everyone from the party of ending Medicare As We Know It, Forever got all hot with concern about what would happen to these longstanding recipients of government health care. 

In fairness, as Factcheck pointed out, the GOP opponents of Obama’s plan were simply picking up a cudgel that had recently been wielded by the president himself: 

Whether these are “cuts” or much-needed “savings” depends on the political expedience of the moment, it seems. When Republican Sen. John McCain, then a presidential candidate, proposed similar reductions to pay for his health care plan, it was the Obama camp that attacked the Republican for cutting benefits.

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Nevertheless

Whatever you want to call them, it’s a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It’s true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage’s private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare.

The New England Journal of Medicineconcurred

A phased elimination of the substantial overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, which now enroll nearly 25% of Medicare beneficiaries, will produce an estimated $132 billion in savings over 10 years. 

[...] 

The ACA also produces nearly $200 billion in savings by assuming that providers can improve their productivity as firms in other industries have done. On the basis of this presumed improvement, the law reduces Medicare’s annual “market basket” updates for most types of providers – a provision that has generated controversy.

The law doesn’t cut any customer benefits, just the amount that providers get paid. Hospitals and drug companies agreed to these cuts based on the calculation that more people with insurance meant more people consuming what they sell and, more importantly for the hospitals, fewer people getting treated and simply not paying for it.

Tips For A Spring Wedding

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Tips for a Spring Wedding

 

Spring is one of the most popular seasons to get married. Everything is in bloom and just waking up form a long winter’s rest. It is very easy to a beautiful spring wedding on a small budget. All you need to do is set a budget, plan early and shop until you drop with all the cheap resources you can find. Some of the best resources that one can take advantage of when it comes to good cheap spring weddings are, the wedding gown, invitations, the cake, favors for the guests and bridal party, rings and even the photography.

Planning a wedding with a spring theme is very simple. When you start planning consider having the wedding on a beach. You really do not have to pay to have the wedding on the beach so that saves money for other things. Plan a spring wedding buy using certain themes such as a butterfly theme or even a tropical theme. Whatever theme you decide to go with, make sure the wedding invitations, favors, cake and even the wedding gown all match the theme accordingly.

If you really want to plan a spring wedding on the cheap side, skip using a wedding planner, they can cost an arm and leg. You can tons of things for a wedding online such as the photographers, rings, the place to have the wedding, the gown, flowers, caterers, and the invitations. In order to get the perfect spring wedding planned exactly the way you want it, start planning the wedding as early as possible like maybe December or January.

Wedding favors are great little trinkets to let your friends and family know you thank them for coming to your wedding. If you want to find the best selection of favor ideas, go online and search the many different vendors there. You can find some amazing little items for just a dollar or less. How cool is that?

Spring wedding can be gorgeous when it comes to decorating with flowers. Spring flowers are vibrant and colorful when it comes to decorating for a Spring wedding. You should choose flowers such as tulips, daffodils, chrysanthemums, daisies or even carnations. You can make flower arrangements using the same flowers you chose for your wedding bouquet so the entire theme matches.

Buying your wedding dress is probably what takes the most time of any wedding planning. Start looking for the perfect spring wedding dress months in advance, so the alterations are done in time. You should also do the same when it comes to the wedding parties’ attire. When you choose the colors for a spring wedding, use ones such as yellows, peaches, white, yellow and even pink.

A spring wedding really is one of the most beautiful weddings that a person could choose. Getting to use all the pastel colors to decorate and choose a beautiful sleeveless flowing gown are just a couple of perks. Anyone can plan a spring wedding quickly or even on a budget. Remember have fun and plan accordingly.

Here are nine wedding dresses for spring of 2013 fashioned created by todays wedding dress designers. Maybe you will find your style or one of these could give you an idea of what you want your dress to look like.

 

wedding dress2 wedding dress3 wedding dress4 Wedding Dress5 Wedding Dress6 Wedding Dress7 Wedding Dress8 Wedding Dress9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your wedding dress looking. It’s so much fun to dream and to plan that perfect day that only belongs to you and your man.

Top 10 Wedding Songs

This will make you smile. Click Here:Tiny Love Stories

http://posts.fanbox.com/hftw4 Here is another blog showing beautiful dresses.

 

Want Love to Last?

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If you want love to last you might think about marrying your best friend.
 
 
In much of American culture we have this image of love developing from eyes meeting across a crowded room, your socks roll up and down, and then BANG…love ignites! Love seems to happen that way if you watch a lot of Hollywood movies or read a lot of novels. Sadly, too often people make lifelong marital decisions about who to partner with using this template for finding love. More often than not, this method for finding love seems to be a recipe for disaster.

 

Additionally, where do people try and find love and a partner (especially after they complete their education when they are with so many single people of similar age and education)? Online? Bars? Health clubs? Do any of these locations really make much sense in terms of finding your soulmate? After all, who can believe what people post about themselves on the internet? Do you really want to meet your soulmate boozing it up at some bar? Do you really want to meet the life partner of your dreams watching themselves in a mirror while working out? Isn’t there a better way to find love that is more t

 

Want Love To Last

Since the 1970s just about half of all first marriages end in divorce(with the risks of second and third marriages ending in divorce increasing to 60 percent and more). Does anyone ever walk down the aisle on that special marital day saying to oneself, “Gee I have a 50 percent chance of this relationship working out”? The remaining half of marriages who stay together are not always examples of eternal marital bliss either are they? So what can be done to improve your odds of finding lasting love?

 

 

Want Love To Last

Well, some people are pretty negative on this front and argue that fidelity is a concept born of a shorter lifespan. If the average age of marriage is mid to late 20s and the average life span is approaching 80 then that is a lot of time to spend with one person who you thought was pretty hot when they were in their 20s. Some argue that life long partnering is a thing of movies and tradition but not realistic. I beg to differ.  

 

 

Want Love To Last

Of course there are many important factors that contribute to the odds of being happy in love including sexual attraction but one often overlooked element is the notion that you should think seriously about connecting with your pal rather than depending upon who turns you on the most. The day-to-day life of marital partners is so much more about shared interests, values, and perspectives on life and the world rather than who you enjoy looking at and having a fling with for a few hours in your week or month. While this notion seems obvious it is remarkable how few people follow the wisdom on this principle.

 

 

Want Love To Last

So, if you are looking for lifelong love you might want to put the brakes on your impulse to connect with who you think is the hottest and accelerate your relationship with those who you just really enjoy being around. Think about it….which strategy is likely to result in a relationship that lasts a life time?

 

So, when that stimulating attraction is great you don’t want to put all of your eggs in that basket if you want lasting love. What do you think? 

  • This article was written by Dr. Thomas Plante PhD

Mind Boggling

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The BrainHave you ever given any  thought to how amazing the mind is.  The more I read and watch what happens in this world, the more I realize what an amazing creation God gave to us.

Even as slow as I can be at times, it’s the other times that totally blows me away.  I ask myself “how is this possible, because I know me very well and this is not my norm.”  I’m not the brightest bulb in this vast closet we all live in, but I’m not the dimmest either. Why my brain can do what it does I will never figure out.  Some people may think they know, but there is always an area of doubt when it comes to our minds.  Science is making headway into figuring it out, but still has a long way to go.

I have struggled with my mind since I was a child. Over my life time, the majority of the disease processes which has affected me, involved my brain. Two of the main areas were Clinical Depression and Encephalitis. According to the Mayo Clinic

Clinical depression symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep nearly every day
  • Slowed thinking or movement that others can see
  • Fatigue or low energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

The only symptom I don’t have is the recurring thoughts of suicide. I think of death, but not suicide. I deal with it every day. Please don’t think I’m whining because I’m not. It”s just a part of being me.

Encephalitis (en-sef-uh-LI-tis) is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or severe headache, as well as confused thinking, seizures, or problems with senses or movement. Many cases of encephalitis may go unnoticed because they result in only mild flu-like symptoms or even no symptoms. Severe cases of encephalitis, while relatively rare, can be life-threatening.

Because the course of any single case of encephalitis is relatively unpredictable, it’s important to get a timely diagnosis and treatment.

Of course, I had to be one of the rare exceptions. I acquired equine encephalitis from mosquitoes at the same time my Uncle had two horses die from the disease and also a boy in Atoka, Oklahoma did.  He died,  but God decided it wasn’t my time to join him yet and kept me in this world.  I think I was around 12 or 13 when it happened. I’m still dealing with the side effects from the disease.  That’s another one of the “it’s just me” area’s of my life.

Mind BogglingThis reflection of my life  is all due to finding a movie on YouTube this morning called “The Mole People.” I saw that movie in 1956 in Marysville California at a movie theater with my cousins. I was six years old. That is the first time I can remember being in a movie theater.  I never forgot that movie. I told many people about the scenes from that movie over the years.  I ‘m almost 65 years old and I can barely remember my name at times, but I never forgot an old campy horror film. That takes me full circle back to how amazing the brain is.  Of all of the life events I could remember, why is it “The Mole People?”  I guess only God knows that answer and I’ll have to wait to get my answer. Mind boggling, isn’t it?

Here is that wonderful old horror film.  See if you can forget it easier than I could.

The Mole People

Darius Figgaro: Legend of the Shoemaker

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“I swear it’s true, every single word.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Giorgio, I’m unable to accept your statement. What made you think a story  so far-fetched, would  be believed?”

“Why would I lie about something that could cost me my life, Detective Johnson? That man died just as I said he did. I’m an honest man, and I do not lie.”

Detective Johnson got up from the table and walked from one corner of the room to the other. He couldn’t get his brain around the story that Mr. Giorgio was telling. “Do you care if I smoke, Mr. Giorgio?”

“No, I don’t care, Detective.”

“Thank you. Now let’s stop the formality. I’ve known you all of my life. You call me Peter, and I’ll call you, um, um. I don’t know your first name. I’ve never called you anything but Mr. Giorgio.”

Mr. Giorgio smiled as he listened to Peter. “Peter, my first name is Tony. Actually, it’s Antonio, but everyone calls me Tony. I guess it’s easier to remember.”

“May I call you, Tony? I’m sure I will fall back into old habits and call you Mr. Giorgio, but I’ll do my best to call you by your name. Ok, let’s start from the beginning, once again. Don’t leave anything out.”

“I haven’t left out anything, yet. Peter, there is more to this world than what’s here in Summerton. Things people have no idea is happening in this world. Have you ever heard of Darius Figgaro?”

“No, I can’t say I have. Is that the guy’s name we found in your shop?”

“No, I don’t know who that man was. Darius was from the third century BC and a shoemaker as I am. He lived in a small village, in Armenia. He was known everywhere for his excellent shoes. In fact, he was so talented he was chosen to make shoes for the God’s as an offering, when the festival happened, in a few months. Aramazd, and his attendant, Grogh were made boots. For Aramzd’s son, Mehr, he made the softest, kid, leather shoes, and finally for the Goddess Anahit, he made slippers from a new shiny material from China made by worms. Nothing was finer in the entire world.”

“If anything was going to bring the town prosperity, it would be Darius Figgaro’s shoes. The God’s would certainly think of Artashavian as their favorite place. The village leaders were so confident in their plan, they already had a sign made for outside of town. In large red letters, it read: Artasavian, home of the God’s shoes.”

“You’re kidding, towns back in the third century BC didn’t put up signs.”

How do you know, Peter? Were you there? People are remarkably resourceful, no matter when or where they lived. Think about the pyramids in Egypt, or the great lighthouse in Alexandria. All through the ages, people have accomplished exciting and beautiful things. Now back to my story. Are you going to interrupt me anymore?”

“I’m not planning to,” remarked Peter.

“The time for the great festival of the gods arrived in Artashavian. You could palpate the excitement in the air. Everyone was happier and looking forward to the three days of fun and homage to their gods. Darius’s excitement ended abruptly when he went to gather his offering and found the shoe cupboard empty. I know I put those shoes in this cupboard. What am I going to do now? Darius sat on his cobbler’s bench and prayed to the gods to help him find his offering. A loud booming voice sounded in Darius’s head.

“Darius sweep the floor using your new broomstick.”

Darius stood as he thought a moment where his new broom was located. Once he thought of the location, he walked to his back porch and grabbed the broom. “Ok, god, I have the broom, and I am obeying you even though I don’t know what good sweeping the floor will do.”

Sweeping the dirt floor was not an easy thing to do. You had to sweep but not stir up the dust and yet sweep aggressively enough to remove the debris on the floor. Sometimes Darius would place a course woven material down on the floor is he could buy the yardage at a cheap enough price. It’s been awhile since he purchased any, so his floor was bare.

He swept the center out of the floor but then decided he’d best do the corners. There’s a box here. I don’t remember this. When Darius looked inside the box, he yelled aloud, “Thank You, thank you”. There were all of the god’s boots and shoes. Tomorrow I will present them as my offering to the gods.

Before sunrise, the next morning, Darius gathered his box of shoes and headed to the temple. He felt fantastic and had extra energy. It was a glorious day. There were other people gathered at the temple also. Sunrise was the appointed time for giving of gifts. If your gift was accepted by the gods, you received a special blessing. Darius was hoping they would give him continued good health, so he could continue to make his shoes.

Just as the sun was coming over the horizon, Darius placed his offering on the altar. The ground shook and lightening streaked the sky. Women were screaming and running away, but Darius stood his ground. He looked at the altar, and his offering was gone. Everyone else’s was still there. What does this mean? Have I displeased them with my offering?”

“You have not displeased us Darius. You have used your talents to make a personal offering to us. Because you have pleased us so much, we are going to bless you for each pair of shoes you made. Kneel Darius facing the sun.”

Darius was on his knees with the sun shining brightly in his face. He heard a female voice call his name. “Darius, my slippers are magnificent and feel glorious on my feet. For this, you shall have eternal life. You will continue to share your shoes with all you meet. Everyone will want a pair of your shoes. My child’s feet are protected with the soft leather of his shoes. Because you have given him protection, I shall protect you.”

“Thank you, goddess, for your blessing. I could not ask anything more. I will continue to work and make my shoes”, Darius said.

“You shall prosper though your work,” Grogh commanded. “You shall never go without food or fine housing.”

Aramazd asked Darius if there was anything else he desired. Darius declined. “Then go Darius, knowing you will be protected, have a long life and will be sharing your shoes with the world for all time.”

Darius bowed his head as the bright light was removed from his face. He stood, not quite believing what occurred. “I’ve been blessed. What more could I want in this world.”

When Tony finished his story, he looked at Peter and asked, “Do you understand now?”

“Understand what? You told me a fairy tale that has nothing to do with the man’s body in your shop.”

“You are no different than the thousands of other people I have told my story to. You go through this life thinking you know everything, and you actually don’t know anything at all. I can’t explain it any further than what I already have. You have to open your mind, and actually listen to what I said.”

“I don’t have enough evidence to hold you for the man’s murder. I’m going to let you return home but do not try to leave town.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Peter. I will be at my shop working on some shoes. I have a particular order from the Pope. He likes his kid, soft leather shoes.” Tony left the room, heading back to his shop.

Peter kept running Tony’s story around in his mind. Maybe when I hear from the Coroner’s office everything will fall into place. Returning to his office, Peter pulled out the evidence folder on the dead man. It was empty, not one thing to go on so far.

“Peter, the Coroner’s Office is on-line 1.”

“Thanks Sam. Hello, Doc, what do you have for me? You are kidding me, not one thing. What was the cause of death? Heart failure, so it’s natural causes. Sure, I’ll let the prosecutor know about the findings. Thanks, Doc, for the info.” Shaking his head, Peter couldn’t believe it all meant nothing. He knew he wanted to talk to Tony again about the legend of the shoemaker and to tell him about the findings.

When Peter opened the door to go into the shop, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The room was empty. Not one shoe or even a sign anyone had been in the building. Cob webs hung from the ceiling corners, with thick dust on the windowsill. A desk sat up against the wall. It was polished to a brilliant shine and had a paper lying on top. When Peter walked over to the desk and looked down at the paper, it made him take in a deep breath, before reaching down to pick it up. His name was printed on the folded paper. He opened the paper, and he knew his world would never be the same. It read, I am Darius.

 

Avoiding Hypothermia

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Avoiding HypothermiaRight now in the USA a large portion of the country s experiencing extreme cold.  I’m in Oklahoma and at the present time we are having the longest cold stretch (freezing) with wind chills in the single digits that we’ve experienced in many years.  I am lucky that I can stay inside and keep warm by my wood stove and watch the beautiful snow falling outside.  Not everyone is as lucky as I am.  Many, many people have to work in this weather.

Here are some tips to help you avoid hypothermia. I don’t want anyone to experience the problems and possible death that can occur.

The simple way to avoid hypothermia is to dress warmly and stay out of the cold. But things don’t always work out and there may come a time when you don’t dress warmly enough and you’re so cold you can’t remember your name.

Dazed and Confused

No, really. When your body temperature drops below 95 degrees F, you’re hypothermic and one of the symptoms is that you’re dazed and confused, not to mention shivering violently. You also get pale, and your lips, ears, fingers and toes turn blue.

Then things could get really serious. If your temperature should drop as low as 90 degrees F, your organs begin to fail and without immediate medical attention, you’ll likely die.

Forget the Whiskey

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of freezing to death. If you think you could be caught outside in very cold temperatures, dress in layers, preferably wool or other fabrics that can dry quickly. Keep your head covered. Drink plenty of warm fluids, but not alcohol or any caffeinated liquid, both of which hinder the body’s heat-producing mechanisms. So forget about that shot of whiskey getting you through the cold night.

Also, do whatever you can to stay dry. Obviously, you’re not going to go around flopping into streams when it’s freezing outside. But if you should get wet, keep in mind that wet clothing can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating effect, so your risk of hypothermia could rise dramatically.

No Massages, Please

If you’re lucky enough to be with someone when your body starts shutting down, what should they do to save you? First, they should call 911. You’re going to need medical help. They also should get you into shelter, if possible. If they can’t get you indoors, they at least should move you out of the wind. Wherever you are, they should wrap you, including your head, in blankets, towels or even newspapers. Ideally, they should put hot water bottles under your armpits and between your legs, making sure that they don’t put anything on bare skin. Finally, they should keep you flat and move you as little as possible. Movement could cause a severely hypothermic person to have a heart attack.

A few things they shouldn’t do. They shouldn’t rub or massage you. That could cause more damage if you also have frostbite. They shouldn’t get you anything to eat. And they shouldn’t give you anything to drink, especially alcohol, no matter how much you think that’s just what you need.bigstock-Snow-Shoveling-In-Winter-Blizz-4294190

 

 

The Deadly Virus

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Domestic Violence: The Deadly Virus

I am posting this blog because I think it is an important subject to be dealt with all over the world.  The blog was originally posted by a young man from Vietnam named Heynh Nhac Tuyn.  He should be commended for the work he put into it.  I have added the pictures  (along with the warning) so that everyone can see what is really happening in our world.  This is a long post but an important one. Please take the time to read it and pass it around.  The more that people are aware, the greater chance is that change can be made or a life saved.  I wish each of you a multitude of blessing for you and your loved ones.  Merry Christmas   Shirley

 ****** Please be advised,  Pictures may be rough to look at.

Isn’t domestic violence like a deadly virus that’s spreading globally?  Why is abuse at home on the rise even in the developed countries.

Domestic abuse has become sort of a disease now, so much so that we need and awareness month to address it just as we do for breast cancer.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the USA.  Even though this is December it is still the perfect time to write on this topic as it really touches my heart and deserves attention by men and women alike.

Why is this sickening behavior getting out of proportion and what stops us from taking control over this man-made cancer?

There might be many reasons for why domestic violence is on the rise, but there’s one personal quality that can act as a deterrent and an antidote- self-control.

What you need is LUCK- love, understanding, compassion, and kindness.  Maybe that’s too easy to say because the situations that lead to violence aren’t that simple. And, self-control isn’t child’s play either.  Love too either ceases to exist or loses its magic with time.

How else can we deal with domestic abuse, which makes one out of three women suffer around the world?  That’s really too much, isn’t it?  battered-woman1

You’d be surprised to know that it’s not only women who’re the victims, but even men report being abused by women! However, the number of men as victims is much lower and their cases are mostly not as severe as those of women who’re abused by men.

In either case, there are injuries and causalities, and many more lives including children are greatly affected.  If we call ourselves civilized, we need to put an end to domestic violence.

Let’s understand the what, who, and why of this deadly virus that has severely infected the word.  And, in this post, we’ll only take up the issue of violence against women.

“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe.” Rob Jackson

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship.  It can include violence in marriage, courtship, or cohabitation.

An abusive relationship is marked with physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and even financial forms of abuse as explained in the above writing.

All these abuses also happen in domestic violence against women.  Do you have any idea what abused women go through?  It sends a shiver down my spine even as I write this- women and even young girls are subjected to forced rape, sexual assault and even murder! Women are also burned or killed in the name of a dowry and honor killing in some Asian countries.

They can be brutally attacked with acid.  The acid attack victim suffers with burns and scars on the face and body throughout the rest of her life, if she survives.

Besides these severe physical abuses women are also subject to biting, kicking, hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, and choking.  For that matter, even denying medical aid when needed, and depriving the partner of food and sleep causes physical harm.

Domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse.  Some other forms of domestic violence are dominance, forced isolation, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, blaming, endangerment, stalking, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence also includes dating violence.  It’s sad to see how the dating valentines transform their loving relationships to domestic violence.

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, but not everyone is an abuser.  battered-woman2

Who is a Domestic Abuser?

A domestic abuser is no stranger.  The domestic act of violence are always committed by either the spouse, boyfriend, family member, or any know person having intimate relations.

Mostly the abusers are:

.  Youth in the age group of 18 to 30 years

.  Persons from low-income socioeconomic groups

.Unemployed and frustrated

. Uneducated or having lower levels of education

. Employees with low job satisfaction

. Abusers of alcohol and other substances

.Persons with a past history of violence

.  Those who grew up in an abused and violent family

.  People with antisocial personality disorders

.  People with attitudes and beliefs that accept gender inequality

However, exceptions are always there.

The abuser can also be an adult or senior, a person with high-income background- one who’s well placed in career, and even the one who’s not a substance abuser in any form.

One aspect that may surprise many is that most abusers are often charming and loveable in their other relationships. This, people might never suspect them of being aggressive and violent.  Yet, just like the Jekyll and Hyde personality, these charming abusers unleash hell when at home or in privacy.  Further, the domestic abusers are equally prevalent in all types of caste, creed, and race.  They all probably have the same types of reasons for domestic violence.

Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

Arguments, differences, and disputes do occur occasionally in relationships.  An intimate relationship is no different in this respect.  But when things go to extremes, where one or both partners try to establish supremacy- the fair playground gets muddier.

Here are some basic reasons why partners abuse or are abused.  battered-woman6

.  Domestic violence is a learned behavior.  Mostly you do what you see and experience.  You’re most likely to use violence in intimate relationships if you encounter it in your family and around yourself.

.  The kind of parenting you experience I a big factor in your becoming an abuser or victim.  You subconsciously start to imitate your parents and reinforce your observations.

.  Some even consider the effect of genetics, brain development, and biochemistry on the personality and nature of the abuser, and the acts of violence committed in close relationships.

.  Domestic violence occurs because one partner tries to gain power and control over another intimate partner.

. The abuse hurts the victim to induce fear by intimidation and inflicting pain so that the fear of leaving become greater than the fear of staying.

. A lot also depends on the socio-cultural status of the place where the abuser and the abused live.  Some countries or cultures fin the behaviors as normal, while other countries or cultures treat the same as domestic violence.

.  The public depiction of women as objects through videos, movies, songs, books, computer games, and especially pornographic material make women unworthy of respect.  This creates a negative impact in the young tender minds of children and teenagers, who later become abusers.

. Boys or male children are brought up in a way that they think they’re not responsible for their actions.  They think they can do what they want, and always have things their way, including mistreating their partners.

.  People who experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become abusers in their intimate relationships when they grow up.

.  Many religions have beliefs that teach and instruct women to accept male domination, and men to control women.

.  As a rule of nature, a submissive person is generally suppressed, pressurized, controlled and tortured even more by the dominant partner; this is what happens in domestic violence.

.  Acts of violence against women are planned and purposely done.  Men do it either because of a clash of egos, feeling of insecurity, intense dislike, or because they can’t tolerate her as an equal.

.  Domestic violence happens because the abuser is not happy with himself.  One who’s not happy with one’s own self can never be good and happy with others.

Can you think of more reasons?  Mention them in the comments.  Whatever be the reason, abuse of any kind is neither justified nor rational, whether it is against women or men.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victim of domestic violence is battered and shattered.  The person begins to lose self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  But this is not all.

.  Talking about the United States, women who’re the victim of domestic violence are more likely to become homeless.

.  Many women lose their jobs being victims of intimate partner violence.

.Domestic abusers are likely to abuse even their children, besides abusing their wives.

.  Children, who witness or experience domestic abuse, are more likely to do the same when they grow up.  They might even become juvenile delinquents and engage in unsocial activities.

Many young children end up in jail for murdering their battered mother’s abuser.

.  Victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and even sexual dysfunction.

. The abused always fears the abuser, and this fear makes the victim dependent on the abuser.  They fear that leaving the abuser may bring more harm to them.

There may be many effects of domestic violence, so break the silence and come forward to share what you’ve experience, heard, or seen.  Remember, you might be able to help a domestic violence victim through your act.

To avoid the ugly effects of domestic violence, you should be able to recognize the early signs of domestic abuse.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Are you suffering from domestic abuse?  If you’re not sure then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.

I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.

If you come up with having many “Yes’s” then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, whbattered-woman syriano can be a family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.

.  Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and clothes?

.  Have you ever been forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?

.  Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason?  Do you fear going home?

.  Do you blame yourself for the violence?

.  Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from you partner including being called names?

.  Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?

.  Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the internet?

.Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?

.  Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?

.  Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?

.  Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?

.  Are you treated like a servant?

.  Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you, whether you’ve done them or not?

.  Are you never allowed to make big decisions about the family or even yourself?

.  Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take a job?

.  Is your dignity being questioned?  Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all you moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?

.  Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?

.  Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?

.  Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?

.  Does your partner make you do illegal thins, blackmail you or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?

.  Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?

.  Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?

.  Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?

Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.  However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical, but also psychological, emotional, and mental.  Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.

I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.

Why?  That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you from being and developing yourself.

If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.  If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the states of domestic abuse.

Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.  Never ignore these behaviors or patterns.  These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner.  You need to raise a strong voice against it.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”  Mark Caine

What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse

battered-woman5 battered-woman4It’s only you who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.  What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering. I could write a full- fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence but I will give some general suggestions since this post is already very long.

 

First:  Take the initiative and courage to break the silence.  Talk to someone close to you.  If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.

Second:  If you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings.  You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk?  Only you know if you can do that.

Third: If mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.

Fourth:  if nothing works- walk out?  Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.  Your partner can even to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness, but then you must realize that the apologies made are condition, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.

He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened.  Or, maybe his apology is genuine, you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.  Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.

 

Call to Action

 

Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it.  Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.

You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.

Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated.  The choice always lies in your hands.

 

Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.  Always remember that if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.

Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violet behavior.  On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.

You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance, but if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away as fast as you can.  Don’t think twice because your life is precious!

I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.

It’s your life and you have all the right to live it the way you want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live only once.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to Avoid Hypothermia

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bigstock-man-in-winter-storm-50910587Right now in the USA a large portion of the country s experiencing extreme cold.  I’m in Oklahoma and at the present time we are having the longest cold stretch (freezing) with wind chills in the single digits that we’ve experienced in many years.  I am lucky that I can stay inside and keep warm by my wood stove and watch the beautiful snow falling outside.  Not everyone is as lucky as I am.  Many, many people have to work in this weather.

Here are some tips to help you avoid hypothermia. I don’t want anyone to experience the problems and possible death that can occur.

The simple way to avoid hypothermia is to dress warmly and stay out of the cold. But things don’t always work out and there may come a time when you don’t dress warmly enough and you’re so cold you can’t remember your name.

Dazed and Confused

No, really. When your body temperature drops below 95 degrees F, you’re hypothermic and one of the symptoms is that you’re dazed and confused, not to mention shivering violently. You also get pale, and your lips, ears, fingers and toes turn blue.

Then things could get really serious. If your temperature should drop as low as 90 degrees F, your organs begin to fail and without immediate medical attention, you’ll likely die.

Forget the Whiskey

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of freezing to death. If you think you could be caught outside in very cold temperatures, dress in layers, preferably wool or other fabrics that can dry quickly. Keep your head covered. Drink plenty of warm fluids, but not alcohol or any caffeinated liquid, both of which hinder the body’s heat-producing mechanisms. So forget about that shot of whiskey getting you through the cold night.

Also, do whatever you can to stay dry. Obviously, you’re not going to go around flopping into streams when it’s freezing outside. But if you should get wet, keep in mind that wet clothing can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating effect, so your risk of hypothermia could rise dramatically.

No Massages, Please

If you’re lucky enough to be with someone when your body starts shutting down, what should they do to save you? First, they should call 911. You’re going to need medical help. They also should get you into shelter, if possible. If they can’t get you indoors, they at least should move you out of the wind. Wherever you are, they should wrap you, including your head, in blankets, towels or even newspapers. Ideally, they should put hot water bottles under your armpits and between your legs, making sure that they don’t put anything on bare skin. Finally, they should keep you flat and move you as little as possible. Movement could cause a severely hypothermic person to have a heart attack.

A few things they shouldn’t do. They shouldn’t rub or massage you. That could cause more damage if you also have frostbite. They shouldn’t get you anything to eat. And they shouldn’t give you anything to drink, especially alcohol, no matter how much you think that’s just what you need.bigstock-Snow-Shoveling-In-Winter-Blizz-4294190

Dreams and Goals

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November 25, 2013

One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. Think of it: We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families; dream of better financial lives and better emotional or physical lives; certainly dream of better spiritual lives. But what makes this even more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not only to pursue them, but the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams. Powerful! And that is what we will discuss in detail this week: How to dream dreams and establish goals to get those dreams.

What are your dreams and goals? This isn’t what you already have or what you have done, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down and thought through your life values and decided what you really want? Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there. Everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or they may be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there.
So how do we know what our dreams are? This is an interesting process and it relates primarily to the art of listening. This is not listening to others; it is listening to yourself. If we listen to others, we hear their plans and dreams (and many will try to put their plans and dreams on us). If we listen to others, we can never be fulfilled. We will only chase elusive dreams that are not rooted deep within us. No, we must listen to our own hearts.
Let’s take a look at some practical steps/thoughts on hearing from our hearts on what our dreams are:

Planning

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”

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“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”
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“The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don’t have it well designed.”

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The guy says, ‘When you work where I work, by the time you get home, it’s late. You’ve got to have a bite to eat, watch a little TV, relax and get to bed. You can’t sit up half the night planning, planning, planning.’ And he’s the same guy who is behind on his car payment!”

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“Without constant activity, the threats of life will soon overwhelm the values.” – Jim Rohn
Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don’t do enough in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet, to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams. Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cell phone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.

Challenge to Succeed
Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you LOVE to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel great and you will be in the “dream zone.” It is only when we get to this point that we experience what our dreams are.
Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish— remember, you’re dreaming! Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.
Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action, not just dreaming.
Here is the big picture: Life is too short to not pursue your dreams. Someday your life will near its end and all you will be able to do is look backwards. You can reflect with joy or regret. Those who dream, who set goals and act on them to live out their dreams are those who live lives of joy and have a sense of peace when they near the end of their lives. They have finished well, for themselves and for their families.
Remember: These are the dreams and goals that are born out of your heart and mind. These are the goals that are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. Your specific goals are what you want to attain because they are what will make your life joyful and bring your family’s life into congruence with what you want it to be.

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This is a wonderful article by the Life Planner, Jim Rohn. I hope you enjoyed it. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I pray you have a blessed one with your family and friends. Shirley