Friday, December 31, 2010

The close of 2010

As I reflect on 2010, I am reminded of all the wonderful things that the Lord has taught me. Some things were ever so painful, but molded my character in such an amazing way. Other parts of 2010 were just wonderful, like my brothers wedding in September. And I have been blessed with some amazing friends through facebook this year! I have been blessed with like minded Believers who have encouraged me to press on and keep YHVH at the center of my life. The Lord has been so good to my family this year and I am so grateful. Tonight we celebrated our first Shabbat meal together and it was a wonderful experience. I made my first loaf of Challah bread and my husband read from the book of Matthew about our Messiah's last supper with His apostles. Nathan was eager to partake in the communion we shared together as we remembered the body and blood that Yeshua gave for us! We turned off the lights and ate by candlelight. It was a wonderful meal shared and I believe YHVH was honored. As 2010 comes to a close and another year begins I am reminded that our Messiah will return again soon! We must eagerly await Him and run the race on earth with perseverance. When He returns may He find us all faithful servants!

To all my family and friends, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Religion of My Messiah

It has been awhile since I have written a post once again. These past few weeks have been both shocking and amazing at the same time. As most of you know, I grew up in a "christian" home and was blessed to have had the Bible a part of my life. My parents were first generation Christians and so they did the best they could despite their lack of knowledge and lack of family support. I grew up quite conservative and never once questioned my faith. Throughout the years I met some wonderful "Christians" and also some terrible ones. At many times the "bad" ones seemed to outweigh the "good" ones. Sadly, many of these "bad" ones were closely related to the "church" and at times they were the pastors themselves. Though many men let me down, I know my eyes had to stay on the only perfect man -- Jesus. While I most certainly was a "Christian", I was not well educated in my faith. Sure I believed that God sent his only Son who died on a cross for my sins. I believed that He rose from the grave three days later and one day will return again. I remember that wonderful night when I knelt down in my bedroom and asked Jesus to come into my heart. As a teenager I followed the Messiah's example by also being water baptized. I even went to Bible college for two years! But after all that I still didn't know my heritage. I had always believed that I had been adopted into God's family. But what does that mean? My Messiah was a Jew. What did I know about my Messiah and His people? The very sad answer was, no! The more I saw how "Christians" acted, the more I was convinced this is not how my Messiah wanted His followers to act. I understand we are all humans and make mistakes and sin, but the sins and offenses that seem to be within the "Christian" circles and churches seem to be so frequent and so hateful at times. There is so much division, so much judgement passed, so much gossip and so much arguing. Surely these were not character traits that my Messiah wanted me to emulate. I must admit I was guilty of of being in that crowd to! God forgive me! As a follower of the Messiah I should have been different. I should have been the one to turn the other cheek. But pride got in my so many times and a desire to be right. As I began seeking God once again and reading His words to me, I began to realize their must be something missing. Where was the faith that the apostles taught? Where had the New Testament Believers gone? The very early "Christians"? The ones who were known by the Romans to live meagerly and to love everyone. The Believers who wouldn't even take their "brother" to court. Who met in homes weekly with other like minded Believers to study scripture, share a meal and remember the Lords death. Where did they go? So I began to earnestly study!

History about the groups that followed the apostolic traditions is very sketchy and comes almost exclusively from the church fathers (who were considered Catholic at that time). Under Theodosius and later on an emperor names Valentinan, all writings hostile to the Catholic church -- including "christian" works deemed heretical, were burned! Jewish Christians who maintained the apostolic legacy were accepted by neither Jew nor professing Christian. From the middle of the second century Catholic churchmen strongly condemned their beliefs as unworthy of Christ. Very likely the group known as the Nazarenes represented the Jewish Christianity taught by the apostles. The term "Nazarene" is first mentioned in Acts 24:5.

The conflict between Judaism and Catholic belief become sharper from the second century onward. Instead of accepting their common heritage, the church fathers sought ways to reinterpret the Scriptures and to show the superiority of their new religious movement.

In the 430's, the Christian Council of Laodicea ruled in detail against Christian observance of the Jewish Sabbath, their acceptance of the unleavened bread from the Jews, and their keeping of Jewish festivals. Later on, even Martin Luther who was considered a key person in the Protestant Reformation, began to show a hatred for the Jewish people when they did not accept his version of religion. He made many comments and even wrote about the Jewish people which was full of hatred. He wanted Jews to be done away with once and for all. Later on, Hitler (a professing Christian!) claimed to finish the work that Martin Luther had wanted. How sad and tragic! Martin Luther and many other church fathers had started to believe in what we call Replacement Theology. This theology leads to a dangerous path! They believe the promises and covenants made with Israel in the Scriptures are no longer valid. They believe that the Jews were the Messiah killers and that they are now they scum of the earth because of this and have forfeited their blessings. They believe the blessings and promises to come will be given to the "church" instead. The Bible is not to be taken literally when it comes to Israel, but rather metaphorically (they believe). I don't believe that God breaks His covenants or promises! It is this theology that has crept into many evangelical churches today. I am reminded of just how deceptive Satan can be. This theology was fuel to the Holocaust and was even fuel to the White Supremacy movement. What a tragic thing! Now so many people who believe in Replacement Theology might not even realize its anti-Jewish origin and agenda. I never had any idea either until I studied.

The more I studied, the more I realized just how far we have strayed from our Jewish roots. Our Messiah was a Jew and yet we dont often much about the Jewish people or their feasts and holy days. The Bible is so rich with information on the feasts. I know many will say that we are no longer under the law because Jesus destroyed the Law. But I believe that the Bible says that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and to give a New Covenant (which in the translation is a renewed covenant). Just as we have a new moon, yet it is not truly "new" but rather a renewed moon, so the Covenant has been renewed. I believe that God is unchanging and His word can be trusted. He would never break a covenant, He only added to it in the New Testament. Not only were we to not murder, but hatred was the same as murder. And He gave us a new commandment, to love one another (one we sadly do not follow much). The Messiah wrote these renewed and amended commandments on our hearts now. While I dont believe we are under the legalism of the old law, I do believe that a faith in the Messiah brings forth a desire to obey and honor His law. I have so much more to learn and perhaps shall write more when my journey is further. In the meantime, I desire to learn more about the life my Messiah lived. I desire to start celebrating the feasts as He did not out of a legalistic requirement, but as an act of love and out of a desire to walk more in His footsteps. I believe the feasts were rich with meaning. I look forward to celebrating Passover and remembering that Jesus was the Passover Lamb who was slain for us. I am eager to celebrate the feast of Trumpets which reminds me that one day the trumpet shall sound and my Messiah will return! I am compelled in my heart to remember Him as often as I can and to learn the significance of the things He did or participated in. I want to become more like the New Testament Believers of the very early "church". I want to shy away from the politics and apostasy that I see in so many church buildings. I dont believe that sharing the good news of my Messiah was ever intended to be a paid career, but rather an obligation of every Believer. I want to remember that the greatest of these is love! I dont want to get into the trap of pride by believing that I am any better of a person for believing any of these things or by celebrating the Biblical feasts. I want to be known by others as someone who loves people! I desire to unified with other Believers, not separated by different denominations. I desire to heed the admonition and warning of the apostle Jude when he urged Christians at the end of the first century.

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under the gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day -- just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." Jude 3-7

I write this with a humble heart and full of love. We are all equal in His sight and He desires us all to come to a saving knowledge of His son, Yeshua, our Messiah. May I be faithful until the end!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cancer Prevention

Alright, I promise everyone that this is my last post for the day on my blog. I just have so much information I have gathered and feel the need to share it while I have a few moments of peace.

There have been hundreds of Egyptian bodies exhumed and their tissues examined for cancer cells and only one body contained cancer. There were arguments that maybe these people didn't live long enough to get cancer, but many bodies showed signs of other digeneritive diseases of aging. Dr Mercola is someone whose research and writings I trust and he has recently suggested that most of the cancers are brought on by diet, lifestyle and chemicals -- which are things we can change and/or limit and lessen our exposure to. He suggests three ways to help prevent and even fight cancer. I would like to share then with you here.

#1 - Optimize your levels of vitamin D year-round!

If people around the world did this, cancer deaths could be slashed by 30% - which amounts to 2 million people worldwide and 200,000 in the United States - each year! On a personal level you can decrease your risk of cancer by over half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. Vitamin D increases self destruction of of mutated cells, reduces the spread and reproduction of cancer cells, causes cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack this) and it reduces the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous.

#2 - Optimize your Insulin levels!

Otto Warburn won the Nobel Prize in 1934 for discovering the physiology of cancer cells. This discovery clearly demonstrated that cancer cells require more sugar to thrive. All of our processed grains and refined grains and sugar are contributing to this growing cancer epidemic. More insulin is being required to be secreted by the pancreas to keep up with the loads of sugar we are putting into our bodies. This increased insulin level created a perfect breeding ground for cancer!

#3 - Opt for safer cancer screenings!

Routine mammography delivers an unrecognized high dose of radiation. If a woman follows the current guidelines for premenopausal screening, over a ten year period she would recieve a total dosage of about 5 rads. This approximates the level of exposure to radiation of a Japanese woman one mile from the epicenter of atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki! There is an alternative!

Thermographic breast screening! Thermography measures the radiation of infrared heat from your body and translates this information into anatomical images. Thermography uses no mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of breast cancer as much as ten years earlier than mammography or a physical exam - before a tumor has even formed! This is made possible because it can image the early stages of angiogenesis - the formation of a direct blood supply to cancer cells, which is a necessary step before they can grow into a tumors of size.

The American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. And they are conservative in their numbers! I really believe that number is much higher!

In regards to all these things I have been discovering that are lurking in your daily personal products, your cleaning agents and so much more... I'd like to quote a German philosopher. Two hundred years ago Arthur Schopenhauer said this, "All truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed and finally it is widely accepted." How true is this statement? What about BPA? That is something that was laughable at one time, then totally opposed and now it has actually become widely accepted that BPA is dangerous for your body! Don't count on the government to know whats better for you before you do. Many things are labeled as "safe" by our government only to be recalled and discovered to have caused actual deaths! I believe we need to be wise and research things for ourselves. We must not let the government (or anyone for that matter) think for us!

Antibiotics in your soap! (and other horrible things I'm discovering)

Ok, so as you can tell I am really researching and studying the chemicals that are in our everyday products. I am quite convinced that our ancestors did not have 20 different shampoos to choose from with a list of ingredients that I can't even pronounce! The same goes for toothpaste, soaps, deoderant...etc. This whole subject about parabens, antibiotics, sodium lauryl sulfate and many other chemicals really has me searching for good, sound research.

Did you know that 72% of all the liquid soap in the U.S contains antibacterial ingredients? The active ingredient in most antibacterial soap is triclosan, an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and inhibits bacterial growth. But not only does Triclosan kill bacteria, it also has been shown to kill human cells. Triclosan was introduced into consumer products in 1995, and its use has rapidly spread. Many scientists fear that the widespread use could lead to a strain of resistant bacteria, or "superbugs", and cause the ingredients to lose effectiveness for the times when they are really needed. Children who are not exposed to common bacteria, which are wiped out by antibacterial soap, may be more prone to allergies and asthma. Even the American Medical Association does not recommend these products!

Then there are the deoderants out there. Most offensive, the anti-perspirent ones. All of these contain aluminum which has been shown to cause alzheimer disease. That is not its only offense. Some chemicals in regular deoderant are also found in the breast tumors of cancer patients! There are lymph nodes that are located in the arm pit area and these lymph nodes drain right into the breast tissue. We all know that substances enter our bodies via the skin (examples include nicotine patches and birth control patches) so whatever we are putting on our skin is getting into our body. However when a women shaves it really opens up her pores, causing the substances applied to really go into the skin and into the body. And since we use deoderant every day (most of us) then just imagine in the course of a lifetime how much of our deoderant is in our body?

I could go on and on... but I will spare you :) This week I have made the switch to all natural, chemical free shampoo, soap and deoderant. We also use natural toothpaste and mouthwash. This might seem overwhelming to some of you, but make little changes. Its the little changes you make that add up to big difference in your health!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate

You are probably looking at this post saying "what the heck is she talking about?" I am crazy at times.. and yes I seem to have another recent obsession. I am quite perplexed at what I am hearing about these two ingredients (the subject of my post) that are found in almost all shampoo, conditioner, soap, bubble bath and the list goes on. These ingredients are chemically known as surfactants and they are chemicals that help things to foam up. For the sake of saving my fingers some typing we will refer to them as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). SLS and SLES are estes of sulphuric acid. SLS is known by over 150 different names. SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than SLS, it cannot be metabolized by the liver and its effects therefore are much longer lasting.

SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS, to menopausal symptoms, dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where Oestrogen levels are known to be involved.

Carcinogenic nitrates can form in the manufacturing of SLS or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient (many shampoos contain nitrate compounds). A single shampooing can produce more cancer-causing nitrates in the body than eating a pound of bacon! Yikes!

So I read all this, and thought to myself... Do I really want to use commercial shampoo that badly? Why are cancer rates soaring and in children to? I know our body completely absorbs what we soak or wash in. Ever have to go to the bathroom after taking a bath or shower? Of course, cause your body soaked all that water in. It is very important obviously what we put on our scalp, skin.. etc. I have always read up on and been interested in healthy foods for our internal body, but I haven't given much thought to what is used externally. Completely natural shampoos, conditioners, soaps and bubble bath can be purchased but not very frugally. So in order for me to combine my passion for healthy, natural living with my passion (and necessity for living frugally) I had to come up with an alternative. A dear friend of mine uses baking soda mixed with water (to form a paste) to wash her hair and said it works just fine. Of course her hair is much shorter and finer than mine so I decided to add the recommended vinegar rinse. Let me just say that the baking soda worked fine though it left my hair very dry, until I put the vinegar rinse on which solved the dry problem but the odor... yikes! It was then so gently pointed out to me by the same dear friend that I should NOT have used white vinegar but the apple cider vinegar which has a much milder odor. Lesson learned! I rinsed my hair with some water that had lavendar essential oil added to it and that helped the smell alot. Finally I put some coconut oil on the ends of my hair to tame the frizz and help with the dry ends. Honestly, I think my hair turned out just as good as it does with the luscious, wonderful smelling but expensive Pantene shampoo. I am going to experiment some.. but I think I am going to stay with this natural and frugal idea.

By now you all probably think I am nuts :) But for those of you who dont and have ideas to share on recipes for shampoo or even for soaps and deodarents (another topic I will try to write about soon) please comment! I would love some feedback and other ideas!