Blame or Choice?

blame leads to a fight

With all the riots, protests and demonstrations in so many places around the world, blaming someone else is easy. It is usually someone in authority we point the finger of blame at, but are we joining a herd response?

On a personal level, who is to blame for the fact I have not had an Internet connection for a few days?

Does it really matter?

Perhaps.

There were many mistakes, as well as frustrations, but the start of it all was a choice I made.

Nearly every situation that goes wrong can trace itself back to a choice on our part or, in this instance, on my part. It should have moved smoothly but it did not.

The blame game

pointing the finger of blame

Pointing the finger and blaming someone else is not a ‘new’ phenomenon. Currently in many countries in the world there is a lot of pointing fingers of blame. It is more prevalent in recent times, but the history of blaming someone else takes us back to the beginning of recorded human history.

Most people know the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent… some blame the serpent, some blame Eve, some blame Adam.

Which of them was to blame?

My opinion? We can rule out the serpent. As it says in Genesis 3: 1 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…

The serpent did not force either of them to eat the fruit of the tree they were told not to eat. He distorted what God had said, but first the woman chose to disobey God’s instructions, then Adam also disobeyed.

They each made choices, and neither of them accepted the blame for the choice they had made.

When questioned by God later… Adam excused himself by saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.” Gen 3: 12

Interesting. Adam blamed the woman… and is there a hint of blame toward God? ‘The woman whom You gave me.’ Sounds a bit as if there is.

Adam also blamed Eve. Yet Adam had been instructed by God before this incident. He should have intervened.

Was Eve to blame?

Traditionally she has been blamed, but look at her response.

She blamed the serpent. Her response to God’s question was ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

In fact, neither she nor Adam took responsibility for their own actions.

Are we any different? Do we accept blame if we have made a wrong choice?

Each of us is the only one who can answer that. Can we do it honestly?

Interesting story here

If asked, how would we respond if questioned about the actions we took, or chose not to take?

Something to think about,

God bless

Susan

The death of a child

death of a child brings pain

 

The death of a child is always horrendous, whatever the reason. But what if the child is missing, presumed dead? A thread of hope perhaps?

As a relative of one missing person relates… “… [the sister of the missing person] said her parents still suffered from the doubt surrounding the disappearance.”

www.news.com.au/news/vanished-without-a-trace-the-mystery-of-the-girls-who-went-missing/news-story/1f9da6564bf58fdfb6f6532c5e7b5d2f

What’s worse? Missing, presumed dead, or confirmation of the death.

Any parent whose child has died will tell you a similar thing. You don’t ‘get over’ the death of a child, but over time you get used to it, but there is always that ‘empty chair,’ that space in the heart.

Murder is not the only cause of death though.

death of a child is traumatic

Death of a child by suicide

This leaves so many unanswered questions for those who are left behind.

Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016. https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

Stigma – some people never admit that their child was a suicide. Those who know the family sometimes avoid the subject.

The isolation of the parent(s) is therefore increased.

Guilt and blame – Feeling guilty about an argument with a child before the suicide? The cause was more than one argument. For a child (or anyone) to commit suicide the causes have been building up for a long time.

“Losing any relative to suicide is traumatic, but there’s probably no greater nightmare [than losing a child to suicide], since parents feel their job is to support their children, care for them, make them happy, and make their lives good, so suicide can make parents feel like a failure in this most important job of their lives,” he commented. (Dr Zisook)

https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/suicide-and-self-harm/those-left-behind-working-with-suicide-bereaved-families/

Disease as the cause of the death of a child

The picture that springs to mind is of Mum and/or Dad sitting by the bed of a child dying of cancer, or leukaemia, but there are many more causes of death of a child. Some of this is dependent on what part of the world in which the family lives. Starvation, dysentery, pneumonia or other diseases which could be cured by antibiotics are distressing causes of childhood deaths.

This report gives some information https://www.unicef.org/health/childhood-diseases

There are other causes

Perhaps, like me, you, or someone you know has had ‘the knock’ and there is a policeman or two on the door.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/why-i-hated-silent-night/

My thoughts and prayers are with those whose children have died, I know the shock and I know the pain.

God bless

Susan

Father’s Day, Australia

Father's Day Australia in spring

Father’s Day in Australia is on Sunday 6th September. Well, this year it was. It falls each year on the first Sunday in September. Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday in May.

There are many ‘picky’ comments about why the day is celebrated on different days in the countries that ‘keep’ it, however, in this post, I will look at the origin. At the same time, I recognize that this is not a ‘happy’ time for many children, or fathers. Although it is another subject,  I wanted to recognize this fact.

Origin of Father’s Day

“In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad , William Jackson Smart. Dodd’s mother had died in childbirth, and Dodd’s father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility of singlehandedly raising the newborn and his other five children.

The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5th, her father’s birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city.”
Read more

Father’s Day, Australia

There is no definitive explanation why Father’s Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on the first Sunday in September, though it is clear that the custom of the September date began in the mid 1930s.

An article in the Western Herald in 1964 said the day was officially designated as the first Sunday in September across the Commonwealth in 1964 and that the date was chosen for commercial reasons to distance it from other celebrations. This is similar to the date selected in Scandanavia, where November was also chosen to maximise its commercial value.
Read more

Jumping back in time

Could this be the start?

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord God gives you.
Exodus 20.12

And in case you read over it without paying too much attention, as we are often prone to do… here is another way of looking at it…

God says in Leviticus 20 verse 9…

“For every one that curses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be on him.”

Therefore it is clear that God’s instruction in the 5th commandment to honor parents was not a mere suggestion for children.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/old-covenant-new-covenant/

Fathers and children

Here is a recognition for you…

Hugs

Happy Father's Day, Australia

Tread softly, and remember we are not wearing their shoes.

Susan

Origin of the Medical Symbol

Medical symbol on UN flag

Medical symbols adorn much of my equipment, and it was one on a replacement oxygen tube that caught my attention the other day. How many people know what it means? I didn’t know the origin of it until researching for the Apostle John Series.
The first book in the series, Hold the Faith is where some of that research was used.

Origin of the medical symbol

What is often called the ‘Staff of Asclepius’ is the ‘Staff of Hermes’ – more about that later. But an easy way to tell the difference is wings and snakes. If it has wings and two snakes, it is Hermes, not Asclepius,

The staff, or rod, of Asclepius was the symbol of the serpent god Asclepius, and was mentioned in Hold the Faith. (Book 1 in the Apostle John Series.)

Excerpt from Hold the Faith

“Polycarp poured some wine into a small metal cup and encouraged Thanos to drink.

When he did start to speak, Thanos said bitterly, “It was because of those pagan priests of Asclepius and their healing school.”

“Do they still only allow those they think will live to enter their asklepieion?” John asked.

Nodding, Thanos replied, “Yes, they still have that sign saying that death is not welcome there.” He choked on a sob, then continued, “And we have heard tales that those who are accepted for healing are given a drink that makes them sleep and dream. The dormitory where they spend the night is full of snakes, non-poisonous ones,” he added. “When the people wake they tell their dreams to the priests who interpret their dreams and make them treatments. The people seeking healing make clay images of the body parts they want healed.”

Benjamin shuddered, “Why put people where snakes crawl around them all night?”

“The priests tell them that the snakes carry the healing power of the serpent god Asclepius. If one slithers over the person during the night, he is told it is a sign of divine favour, and that he will be healed.” Stopping, Thanos took a sip of the wine and let out a shuddering sigh.”

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/hold-the-faith/

Available on Amazon

Available from other eBook retailers

First Medical Symbol

The original had one snake, (as mentioned before and shown in the featured image), so how come the modern medical symbol has two snakes around the rod?

“It seems the mix up didn’t take place until the 20th century. In 1902 the US Army Medical Corp adopted the caduceus as their symbol. The reason isn’t clear as the American Medical Association, Royal Army Medical Corp and the French Military Service all would happily adopt the staff of Asclepius. This decision to choose the caduceus has been credited either to a Captain Frederick P. Reynolds or a Colonel Hoff. The Americans Public Health Service and US Marine Hospital would also take Hermes’s symbol as their own.”
Further in the article it states “This confusion seems to be uniquely American and driven by commercialisation.”

https://mcdreeamiemusings.com/blog/2019/8/10/ij6eryurmzq9pz9scmwkisgifxes2m

It is interesting what researching for a novel will turn up.

Particularly in the US, the one commonly used as the medical symbol  is the caduceus, the staff of Hermes.

Medical symbol, caduceus

Susan

Further reading: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439707/

A divisive question, potentially

A divisive question

A potentially divisive question was asked of Ravi Zacharias, “How do you respond to non-believers who accuse Christians of being hateful to people who support lifestyles that are not according to the precepts of our faith?”

He broke it down into 3 panels of an answer, and it fascinated me, so I kept watching.

1st panel logical problem. 2nd panel theological problem, 3rd the relational problem

He went on to give another example… and asked the questioner to define the culture we are living in.

The options were…

  1. Theo nomos culture – where the law of God is so embedded in our hearts that we all emotively think in the same category.
  2. Hetero nomos culture (subject to a law or standard external to itself.) Dictated to by the leadership at the top.
  3. Auto nomos culture. Each person dictates their own moral standards
    1. Then he asked another question, “If you disagree with me will you switch to a heteronomous mood and dictate to me what you think I should believe?’

Autonomous cultures run into a conflict when everyone has their own autonomy.

“Nomos, (Greek: “law,” or “custom”,) plural Nomoi, in law, the concept of law in ancient Greek philosophy. https://www.britannica.com/topic/nomos-Greek-philosophy

Put the divisive question in one of those categories

meet the brief, the Bible

Theo nomos would clearly be what the Bible teaches, since Theo is Greek for God so the words mean ‘God law.’

law, a divisive question answered

Hetero nomos would then be according to the law of the land.

Self-isolation, or quarantine is a recent example of the law of the land. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/rebellious-what-do-you-mean/

Auto nomos would be everyone deciding for themselves.

 

However, is it hateful if my choice differs from your choice? Not unless I am in a position of power and legislate that your choice is ‘hateful’ because it differs from mine.

God gives us choice, we saw that at the beginning of the Book, and He allowed Adam and Eve to make the wrong one. He did not ‘wipe them out,’ instead, allowing them to live with the consequences of the choice, as do we.

A short talk but it gave me much ‘food for thought.’

Susan

You can view the talk on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPYRXop7aPA&fbclid=IwAR3yT-3UQlroqP4bbND0or1GtEYarZlySrv6PU8ERX0m88l_vqIpkHN_tGM

Side effects of Covid-19

side effects of covid-19

What are the side effects of Covid-19? Well, beneath the surface, there are many theories, but no one really knows because it is too ‘new.’ Some of the theorized side effects are alarming, some are dismissive of their being any side effects, but the honest truth is that even the scientists are guessing.

Potential side effects of Covid-19

You can scare yourself by reading some of the various professional opinions… long-term lung damage, heart disease, kidney disease, memory problems… then read on and see that evidence is still being gathered.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-52506669

Or, you can look at what the ‘lockdown’ measures are training us to live like.

  • Social isolation – many already were socially isolated, but now vast numbers of people are being told to avoid, or limit human to human contact.
  • Stay at home/shelter in place – again, some people are already housebound, but in most countries there is a variation of this ‘stay home’ rule.

Think about it. What is this doing to our need for friendship, social contact, and human relationships?

“Increased social isolation, loneliness, health anxiety, stress and an economic downturn are a perfect storm to harm people’s mental health,” he said.” Rory O’Connor, professor of health psychology at Glasgow University.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/02/coronavirus-britons-health-problems-covid-19

side effects of covid-19, park closed

The hidden side effects of covid-19

There is another aspect to ‘lockdown’ and self-isolation… the buildup of toxins in your home. The method we use to control them can make our lives worse… if we are using chemical cleaners or air-fresheners. As I have written about before, I had to get rid of most chemical cleaners and the like because of the fragrance, or odour. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/fragrance-sensitivity-is-a-real-condition/

Most of my cleaners are things like cleaning vinegar, baking soda and the like. Interestingly I was contacted by John, the clean air guy with a link to an article he published, and discovered even more dangers and solutions.
https://aircontrolguy.com/toxic-chemicals-in-your-home-everything-you-need-to-know/?msID=941b4267-0f7a-4824-8823-df47e5c6b086

indoor plants to clear toxins from the air

In an associated article on the value of house plants, it states… “Since we are spending so much of our time indoors, it is important to understand the health impacts of breathing in these pollutants every day.  Some people will experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, nausea or allergies due to daily exposure.  In extreme cases, serious diseases such as nervous system disorders, lung disease or cancer can develop.”
https://aircontrolguy.com/top-10-air-purifying-plants-for-the-home/

To deal with the side effects of covid-19

  • Keep your home as fresh and toxin free as possible.
  • Let in fresh air
  • Keep in touch with people via phone or Internet
  • Be as encouraging as you can to others because it will make you feel better.
  • Pray for others
  • Plan to be sensible when the restrictions are eased. (Do not plan a big party.)

Make your own plan for life after covid-19

Be considerate, there are some very vulnerable people in our communities, and some very frightened ones.

“Walk gently,” 

Susan

After the Funeral

After the funeral, condolence cards

After the funeral is over do any of these statements fit? I no longer knew who I was. My ‘role’ was no longer required, a Carer was no longer needed. I had time but the routine was gone.

  • The time I spent caring, accompanying him/her to hospital or doctor appointments, sitting by the bedside is no longer needed
  • I lost sleep when the ambulance took him/her to hospital and worried if he/she would be alive the next day when I visited.
  • Our lives revolved around each other.
  • My life revolved around caring for his/her needs.

As another friend and I shared experiences recently… when you are a Carer, even shopping trips need to be timed and worked out to fit with the needs of the person you are caring for. How much time is there? Standing in a queue at a supermarket, or even attending your own doctor appointment can be too long.

After the funeral is over

You/I forget to care for your/myself.

So when there is the time, what do we do with it?

I ‘muddled through’ but I see now there are many sites where you can find others sharing.
https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2017/10/coping-grief

Would we not rather have less time and have the person we cared for back… rhetorical ‘cos it just does not happen.

Some of us make new roles, but for the most part they are secondary to the ones that are lost.

Then when something special happens – the one you most want to share it with is no longer there.

Keep the Flame Medalist seal

The role of the redundant Carer can be lonely…

However, new roles CAN be developed. What is gone is not something that can be found, but some of those functions can be channelled in other areas. It will take however long you need it to take. Reflect back on your life as a carer.
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/the-lonely-life-of-a-carer/

Ever wondered why the best people who understand what you are going through help? Probably because they have tread the road before you.

Take hope, that person survived. So can you.

No one has ever suffered your loss, walked in your shoes. They walked their own, and know how difficult it is.

Tread softly

Susan

after the funeral, kangaroos in the memorial park

My husband sleeps in a Memorial Park in a bushland setting.

Freedom of Speech. Really?

Freedom of speech. Really?

Freedom of speech is defined by dictionary.com as “noun: the power or right to express one’s opinions without censorship, restraint, or legal penalty.” 
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=freedom+of+speech

That is the ideal, but sadly it is not happening.

Freedom of speech only counts if it is politically correct

This past week on the news it was announced that Margaret Court would not be presenting the women’s singles trophy at this year’s Australian Open.

Don’t know who Margaret Court is?

“Court is one of only three players to have achieved a career “boxed set” of Grand Slam titles, winning every possible Grand Slam title – singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles – at all four Grand Slam events. The others are Doris Hart and Martina Navratilova. Court, however, is the only person to have won all 12 Grand Slam events at least twice. She also is unique in having completed a boxed set before the start of the open era in 1968 and a separate boxed set after the start of the open era.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Court

Her rejection by Tennis Australia is caused by her stand on the Biblical view of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage in Australia. In 2012, she opposed proposed same-sex marriage reforms.

What happened to ‘agree to differ?’

Freedom of speech, agree to differ

When I was a young person, and then a not-so-young-person, people were not penalized for holding contrary views. Well, in most situations. There were some exceptions. For example it would not have gone down well to be drawing wages from your employer, then going out and demonstrating against him.

I have lived long enough to see many things I disagreed with, however just because I disagree doesn’t mean everyone else has to do the same.

You have a right to your opinion, I have mine

I will not impose my beliefs on you, so please don’t try to impose your beliefs on me.

It can be a prickly subject

It is a sad day…

When what a person believes trumps what he or she has achieved.

The Aussie tennis legend, who holds the grand slam record with 24 major titles, is marking the 50th anniversary of the year she won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in a calendar year at Melbourne Park starting next week.

Just a note: I am not a member of the church run by Margaret Court, nor do I intend to become a member. My beliefs are quite different from her faith. I can agree to differ with what she believes and still recognize the awesome career she has had.

To be honest, I am disappointed by the state of the times that has led to this decision.

Susan

 

Tammuz – who, or what?

Tammuz, cakes made for the queen of heaven

Who or what is Tammuz. Well, he is a who, and it is a what. When I was young, I would have referred to such a statement as being ‘Irish.’ (No offence to the Irish intended. I am part Irish myself.)

It was my intention to write on ‘traditions,’ however, I find I need to go a little back to cover the source of one of the traditions.

So, who is Tammuz?

As a ‘he,’ Tammuz is an important person… or god.

“Tammuz, Sumerian Dumuzi, in Mesopotamian religion, god of fertility embodying the powers for new life in nature in the spring. The name Tammuz seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid, The Flawless Young, which in later standard Sumerian became Dumu-zid, or Dumuzi.”
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tammuz-Mesopotamian-god

Then there are rather confusing statements.

He has to do with Easter

Nimrod was killed because of his violence and iniquity against the true and living God and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom. His wife/mother told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called “Baal”, the sun god. Semiramis was creating a mystery religion, and with the help of Satan, she set herself up as a goddess. Semiramis claimed that she was immaculately conceived. She taught that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28 day cycle and ovulated when full and that she had come down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River at sunrise at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox, on a Sunday. Semiramis became known as “Ishtar” which is pronounced “Ish-tar” referred to as Ashtoreth in scripture, and her moon egg became known as “Ishtar’s” egg.” One of her titles was the Queen of Heaven, and two of her fertility symbols were the rabbit and the egg. She soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal (the ascended Nimrod) that caused her to conceive.

Here comes Tammuz

The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz. Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-god, Baal. Tammuz, like his supposed father, became a hunter. The day came when Tammuz was killed by a wild pig. Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be with the worshipers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit.
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Neglected_Commandments/Idolatry/Easter

To add to the confusion…

There is some link to Christmas…

The Saturnalia was named for Saturn, otherwise known as Cronus. Cronus is an alias for Tammuz. Tammuz was Nimrod reborn – alias, his son. His wife and mother was Rhea (Semiramis). Egyptian and Babylonian antiquities recognize his mother as Semiramis, and his birthday is celebrated on 25th December. Semiramis was depicted as a virgin Madonna holding the “Christ” child.

Ezekiel sees the women weeping for Tammuz

The Saturnalia, therefore, was just another observance for Tammuz/Nimrod, the Babylonian, counterfeit redeemer.

Ezekiel was shown some of the abominations taking place in the temple with the people incorporating the worship of Tammuz in their religious observances. (Ezekiel/Yehezqel 8:15-16).
https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Neglected_Commandments/Idolatry/Satan’s_Birthday

Confused? There is more…

What is Tammuz?

Tammuz (Hebrew: תמוז‎: Standard Tammuz, Tiberian Tammûz), or Tamuz, is the tenth month of the civil year and the fourth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, and the Assyrian calendar. It is a boreal summer month of 29 days, which occurs on the Gregorian calendar around June–July.

The name of the month was adopted from the Assyrian and Babylonian month Araḫ Dumuzu, named in honour of the Assyro-Babylonian god Tammuz.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammuz_(Hebrew_month)

And here we have something that has answered something that puzzled me when I looked at the Hebrew months back when researching the Apostle John Series. Why would the Hebrew calendar have the name of a Babylonian/Assyrian  god?

They brought the tradition back with them after the Babylonian captivity.

Next week, God willing, I will cover what I intended… tradition.

Susan

Half truth… is it a lie?

Well, half a truth is also half a lie.
Quite a confrontation if you have never thought of it before. 

Dictionary definition… “a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to mislead someone.”
Or, there is this … “Half the truth is often a whole lie. … If you do not tell the whole truth, you can mislead people just as if you tell them an outright lie.”

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Half+the+truth+is+often+a+whole+lie

Does a half truth harm anyone?

Sometimes. The obvious reply is through ‘half truth advertising.’ But there is another way…

Even though the reason might be to spare someone, the whole truth is hidden. However, in most instances, a half truth is to protect the self. Other times it can be to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings.

With the latter – does it protect the other person in the long run? This is a question a friend confronted me with over the fact I was not fully being honest about how bad my health is. She had a point, and I will rectify the situation because I saw from what she said that it would be more hurtful when/if the full truth comes out.

The same applies to not telling the full truth to cover a fault, or something we have done that we don’t want known. There’s an old saying, ‘The truth will out.’ In this day and age there are more ways for the truth to come out than there were before.

A half truth can be dangerous when it covers depression…
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/depression-is-not-always-seen/

What about ‘fake news?’

Is it the same?

I had to look this up to see what it really meant.

half truth and fake news

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news.

So, there may or may not be an element of truth in the ‘fake news.’

Half truths and lies

I will close with this quote from rhl school…
http://www.rhlschool.com/read8n1.htm

“Advertisers will sometimes use half-truths. It’s against the law to make false claims so they try to mislead you with the truth. An ad might boast, “Nine out of ten doctors recommend Yucky Pills to cure nose pimples.” It fails to mention that they only asked ten doctors and nine of them work for the Yucky Corporation.”

This kind of deception happens too often. It’s a sad fact of life: Lies are lies, and sometimes the truth can lie as well.

Therefore, we must be on guard, and monitor ourselves as well as watching what we read, see, and checking ‘facts’ carefully.

Half truth+half truth ≠ truth

Sharing some thoughts

Susan