Staying out of Hospital, just!

staying out of hospital, had enough of this

As the title says.. I am ‘staying out of hospital… just.’

This is why there was no Sunday post last Sunday. 

My doctor has increased medications and will be ringing me twice a day. No improvement, and it will be hospital. 

Staying out of hospital for this reason

And this is the reason I do not want to go to hospital! Well, one of them.

My doctor’s reason is that I am too vulnerable and could ‘catch something else.”

I very much appreciate her!

I am not a ‘fan’ of prednisone. It has too many side effects, but in the short term it seems to be working. Although it is boring to so what I am told… as little as possible, my oxygen sats are not dropping as low as they were, and that’s when walking a short distance in my home.

By the way, I started separating the non-fiction oxygen writings to another website. It’s not finished by a long way, but it’s started.

You can see it here… https://smpreston.com/

That’s it for now, thank you for reading.

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

Where is God? Has He gone?

Where is God in what is happening in the world

Where is God many wonder, others don’t believe in the God of the Bible.

Just to be clear, I do. In my opinion God is where He always has been. In heaven.

Where is God in all that is going on now?

Same answer, where he always has been.

It goes back to the beginning. When God created humankind, He gave free choice to humans. And men and women have been exercising that choice since Eve took the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That decision affected human nature, she chose to be her own ‘god’ and Adam decided to choose the way of human nature also. They chose to determine their own lives, and we inherited that propensity.

Where is God in the Garden of Eden
Public domain via Wikipedia

However, we all retain our God-given gift of choice. We are not robots.

The Old Testament, (now commonly called the Hebrew Bible) documents the choices and consequences of major ‘players’ in the history of Israel and Judah.

Where was God in the lives of the patriarchs?

Abraham, formerly Abram, was a practising pagan, who although called by God didn’t always respond as quickly, or as truthfully as we would expect. However, God gave him time to change. And change he did, so that he is now venerated by Jewish people, Christians, and Moslems.

Moses – well, he decided to give God a helping hand. In other words to tell God how (and when) to free the Hebrew slaves. It didn’t work, and God did it His way, and freed them around forty years later, after Moses had learned to look after sheep on ‘the back side of the mountain.’

David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’ was humble before God, but made a great many mistakes. When he realized what he had done… or was confronted with the error, he repented.

They chose to do as God called them to do.

Jumping forward many centuries…

In the New Testament…

The disciples Jesus called had to make choices. They had been brought up in Judaism, something Jesus taught against because the traditions were replacing God’s law.

The gospels are full of the stories of the often difficult choices they and the early believers made. It cost them dearly… homes, families, and positions. Have you heard of the ‘rich young ruler?’ The cost was too great for him,  and he chose his possessions.

And Jesus Himself had to make choices to walk through all the challenges and tests without sinning. And then submit to being whipped and crucified for our sakes.
(The description of what he looked like after the whipping is in Psalm 22:17, and also in Isaiah 52: 4)

Where is God now?

Does He know what is going on? Is He indifferent to the Covid-19 virus and pandemic? And what about the fires, the hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, has He noticed.

I believe He is closely watching.

Why watching?

Could it be that He is progressively removing the protection around His people and the nations? Is he looking for something? Perhaps… probably.

Where is the repentance for all the wrong choices we have made? Are we inheriting, and amplifying the errors our choices have led us to make.

I am not young, and can see the world is a vastly different place to the one I grew up in. Nevertheless, I still have the choice in how to respond to all that is going on around me.

I can be part of the problem, and rage, and choose to disobey rules. Rules, by the way, that God gave to nations to rule their citizens and make life fair for them. Well, many of those rulers have not done a good job, but rarely was their a good king or ruler over our predecessors.

As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes – ‘there is nothing new under the sun…’ 

However, what rules we have is better than the chaos that currently seems to be dominating so many of our countries. Or… I can choose to be different, and although that makes me an oddity, I choose to be different.

We all have the choice in how we react… it is a God-given privilege, one we need to think about and appreciate.

Musing again,

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/

It Started Way Back in Eden.

In Eden, the serpent and temptation

It started way back in Eden.

What did?

Choice. 

Whether or not you believe in God, you have to admit humans have choice. Something no other ‘species’ have… and something we do almost without noticing. Choosing that is. Even when we decide we are not going to make a choice… that is a choice. It’s complicated.

By the way, I believe we were created.

So, what started in Eden?”

We were created with the ability to choose, and many of us have been making wrong choices throughout the centuries ever since. But, like Adam and Eve, we don’t like taking responsibility for those choices, so we put the blame on someone else. And this post is after watching a video clip where an atheist said that if there was a God, He was to blame for all the wrong in the world. Really?

There are some terrible things in this world, but most of those are caused by the choices of mankind.

Let’s look at what happened in Eden.

It was after Creation week when Adam was placed in the Garden to ‘tend and keep’ it and given instructions about the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil.’ He was not to eat of it.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2: 7 KJV

After this, Adam named all the animals. Then in verses 20 to 22 we have the creation of Eve…

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. KJV

Still in Eden

Chapter three of the book of Genesis starts with… “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen 3:1  KJV

It looks as if there is no passage of time between the end of chapter two and the start of chapter three. So, we could be left with the thought that God was unfair leaving these two newly created beings at the mercy of the most ‘subtil’ of all the creatures.

I don’t think so.

Did God walk with them in the evenings?

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8.

For a discussion on this verse, and God walking with the Israelites check out https://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/29/gen-38-sufficient-establish-god-was-habit-visiting/

When asked if they had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam blamed Eve, but it was an indirect blaming of God. “The woman you gave me.” Eve blamed the serpent.

The blame game is still going on. Read a newspaper, or scroll through the news on any of the Internet sites https://www.bbc.com/news/world

It started in Eden, and still continues

Look at the world around us. So many fingers pointing at someone else.

Sometimes we are blamed for something we have no control over. Back in the post about  my fragrance sensitivity I gave a couple of examples of this.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/fragrance-sensitivity-is-a-real-condition/

Just a thought, God didn’t assign blame in the Garden of Eden, He let them bear the consequences of their actions.

Something to think about.

Susan

Condition of Entry

condition of entry

There is nothing new about there being a condition of entry – to a place of business, a casino, or to someone’s party. In the Bible there was a condition of entry to a wedding feast in one of the parables Jesus told.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
Matt 22: 11
https://biblehub.com/matthew/22-11.htm

The outcome was that the man was put outside. V 13.

There was a condition of entry.

And there is now…

If I turned up at the casino wearing a ‘tank top’ and thongs (called flip-flops elsewhere in the world,) I would be denied entry.

These things are accepted, but this ‘virus’ pandemic has been turning things on its head.

Condition of entry and human rights clash

Some Australian States have mandated (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/mandated?s=t) that masks have to be worn when out in public.

Some stores have imposed the same condition of entry. However, some human rights people disagree and refuse to comply.

Some people have made claims that the mask requirement is unlawful or a breach of their human rights, and have alleged businesses aren’t allowed to refuse them entry if they’re not wearing one.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-28/face-mask-melbourne-mitchell-shire-coronavirus-legal-human-right/12494100

Whether or not you agree with wearing a mask, or any of the other recommendations, is it acceptable to ignore State or Store laws?

This brought to mind the short talk I had heard by Ravi Zacharias, and wrote about early in July https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/a-divisive-question-potentially/

The speaker divided up the method of answering a potentially divisive question into three categories… Theo nomos (God’s law.) Hetero nomos (Dictated by leadership), then Auto nomos. As you might have guessed, if you did not already know, ‘nomos’ is the Greek word for law.

Condition of entry…

Would be an example of hetero nomos. A condition determined by leadership, or the business owner. But what I see in the objections in my country are examples of auto nomos.

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6. 

However, if my choice differs from your choice, what are we left with? Anarchy? Some would say so. One definition of anarchy is ‘Absolute freedom of the individual.’ The mind boggles.

condition of entry, the mind boggles

In order for society to function, surely while needing to obtain some autonomy, we have to allow others to maintain theirs and cooperate with the law of the land.

If you think the law is unreasonable, use the appropriate channels to change it.

However, if you cannot change it, look to history, or examples in the Bible for inspiration. 

We cannot all have our own way.

Just thinking,

Susan

Who is the God of the Old Testament?

God of the Old Testament, creation

So… who is the God of the Old Testament? Traditionally, we have been taught it is ‘the Father,’ or the One who became known as the Father at the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. But does the Bible give different clues?

Did the God of the Old Testament create mankind?

If so, Who was He? Interesting question. One I used to think was a no-brainer. Then I started writing the Apostle John Series. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/

Have you ever read, properly read and taken in what the beginning of the Gospel of John says?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1: 1-3 KJV

Verse 3 says, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

That verse had me pondering, and researching. Why? Because if we accept that Jesus is the Word, this verse says that He was the one Who created everything, not the one we call the Father.

So, what about the God of the Old Testament?

What does the beginning of the Bible say?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1: 1

Genesis 1:1 refers to God as a plural Being

By Chuck Missler (From his Book “The Creator Beyond Time and Space”)

“In Beginning Elohim”

Within the pages of Scripture we find it clearly stated that there is indeed, only one God.1 This is a fundamental belief of Judaism and Christianity. However, there are indications in the very first verse of Genesis that God is a plural Being.

In the beginning God, created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1

The word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim,” which is a form of the word “El.” In the context of Genesis 1:1, there can certainly be no doubt as to who is doing the creating. In the Hebrew language the “im” ending imputes plurality. Therefore, “Elohim” is the plural from of the word “El.”
http://xwalk.ca/elohim.html

Was Jesus the God of the Old Testament?

This has to be an interesting study, and one which brings forth many questions…

  • Who was the One who met Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day?
  • Who appeared to Abram, later called Abraham? And Who changed his name, and the name of his wife from Sarai, to Sarah?
  • Who brought the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt?
God of the Old Testament, the Exodus
By David Roberts - Usenet, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10293374
  • Who instructed Joshua how to defeat the city of Jericho?
  • Who led so many of the Old Testament battles?

This research could continue a long time, but the question goes back to the beginning… Who was the God who created the world and everything in it?

With the help of a Hebrew/English Interlinear translation, this is an interesting study.

My research journey

Hold the Faith by Susan M B Preston, cover image

Hold the Faith on Smashwords  
(free until 31 July, 2020)

The research for this first book in the series took almost a year. However, the results of that research made it easier to write the next four books in the series; there was a foundation on which to base them.

I hope this encourages you to search out your answers.

God bless,

Susan

The Apostle Paul and Law

Apostle Paul and Law

Letters from the Apostle Paul make up a large part of the New Testament. The following epistles/letters are generally attributed to him, although some doubt his authorship of the book of Hebrews.

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews.

https://www.gotquestions.org/how-many-books-did-Paul-write.html

On the subject of ‘law’ and ‘the Law,’ Paul’s writings sometimes seem contradictory. The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, so he should understand what he was writing and teaching. They had a whole ‘slew’ of laws that they kept.

(I included some of the laws of Judaism in the free series members of my VIP Readers’ Group received.  E.G.

Sample of the Code of Jewish Law

Apostle Paul and Law

The Code of Jewish Law is made up of four volumes and 221 Chapters which attempt to govern every aspect of the life of a Jew.

Chapter 3 deals with Dressing and Deportment.

“It is written (Micah 6: 8) “And to walk humbly with thy God.” Therefore it is the duty of every man to be modest in all his ways. When putting on or removing his shirt or other undergarment, he should be careful not to expose is body unduly. He should put it on or remove it while still lying covered in bed. He should never say to himself: “Lo, I am all alone in my inner chamber and in the dark, who can see me?” For the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, fills the universe, and darkness and light are alike to Him, blessed be His name; and modesty and a sense of shame indicate humility before Him, blessed be His name.”

Chapter 4 deals with not thinking ‘holy thoughts’ in the lavatory.

Chapter 5 deals with the Cleanliness of Places Used for Holy Purposes.

There are many entries about not praying where there is excrement or urine… or bad odors

Was the Apostle Paul schizophrenic?

It can seem that way. Most of the teaching I received in church, or at Bible College held to the view that Paul said Christians did not have to keep the law.

Why then does he say…?

I do confess to you, however, that I worship the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,
Acts 24: 14.  Berean Study Bible

It was important to me to know because my readers deserve an accurate background to the Apostle John Series of books. Then I read something written by a minister which said the definite article was not in the Greek translations of the Bible.

So, wanting accuracy in my books, I checked.

The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about

With the understanding of Paul’s background, could it be that he sometimes refers to the Pharisaic law (which became Judaism), and the Law of God other times? He had been brought up in the strictest sect, Phariaism, as he said himself. In order to ‘protect’ the people from breaking the law and going back into   captivity these laws were added. In fact, the opposite happened, the Law of God was stifled by these laws.  

This is what Jesus meant in Mark 7: 8 when He said,
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

So who was wrong, the Apostle Paul or the translators?

Choosing to be kind, perhaps the translators did not understand the two ‘law’ references that the Apostle Paul understood.

Romans 2: 15 is the only scripture about ‘the’ work and ‘the’ law that is accurately translated from the Greek. The definite articles are present.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/2.htm

It is an interesting study into the writings of Paul to go through them in a reputable Greek/English Interlinear.

The Pharisaic works in Jesus’ and Paul’s day were indeed the heavy burden that Jesus referred to…

Apostle Paul and Law

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Matt 23:4

But Jesus, who advocated keeping the commandments had a different view.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John `4; 15

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:25-30

One question leads to another LOL

God bless

Susan

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

Back soon

Back soon

I will be back soon…blogging, and writing my new series.

First I have to recover more energy and as much strength as will be possible.

Back soon - from where

Well, I have to admit I will not be back to ‘normal’ health. I had to adjust to a  ‘new normal.’ 

However in the last month I have been hospitalised twice, but now with treatment at home am starting to feel better. How long that will last for is not in my hands. Like many with serious chronic/life-threatening conditions, I plod on.

But in the last two days it looks as if this ‘exacerbation’ is turning around. Praise God… well, I do. 

So, pop back and have a look soon. I will be back soon… I hope.

Now comes the thunder. So turn off time.

God bless 

Susan