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Is Health a Spiritual Issue? Re: Vaccines

Something to ask yourself: is health a spiritual issue? Think it through first. We have a body, a spirit, and a soul (mind). So we would think that they are all connected – and they are. But how much are they connected? Could our day-to-day decisions in one area (body, spirit, soul) affect the others? We say yes. So this post (and possibly some following) will be about how our decisions regarding our body reflect our decisions spiritually. Specifically in this post, we will talk about vaccines and how our decision is affected by, and affects, our spirit.

Vaccines are a very controversial issue, and I’m sure that some of you reading are offended already that we are bringing up this issue. There will be no offense intended in this post one bit, but some things need to come to light. We’ll start by talking about the science behind vaccines, some vaccine facts, and other information before we draw spiritual comparisons and connections.

This may be basic information, but bear with us, since some of the basics even get skewed or sometimes people just don’t know how they work. First, vaccines contain (notice I didn’t say ‘are’) dead viruses. After injecting, the body detects the dead viruses, and creates antibodies for those viruses. The antibodies allow the body’s immune system to identify and attack that type of virus if it should re-enter at some point. To make an analogy out of it, let’s imagine a town in the ‘wild west’. Getting a vaccine would be like hanging up “WANTED” posters for an outlaw. It does help to identify what you’re looking for, but the Sheriff (your immune system) still has to catch the outlaw (although antibodies do sometimes ‘handcuff’ the ‘outlaw’). Vaccines are not foolproof, but they get touted as such. They do not make a person ‘immune’ to any virus or disease, and so we will not refer to them as ‘immunizations’. We’ll unpack that more in the spiritual implications part.

Back to the previous paragraph – vaccines contain (not ‘are’) dead viruses. So what else do they contain? It varies vaccine to vaccine, and manufacturer to manufacturer. Let’s take the MMR vaccine from Merck (very common, one of the ‘mandatory’ ones your kid is supposed to get). It includes: synthetic vitamins, amino acids, fetal bovine serum, sucrose, sodium phosphate, glutamate, recombinant human albumen, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolized gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblast (among other ingredients). Fetal bovine serum comes from the blood drawn from a bovine (cow) fetus via a closed system of collection at the slaughterhouse. Sodium phosphate is a preservative that carries with it the risk of kidney injury. Recombinant human albumen is obtained from human blood – the source of the blood is not given in the vaccine inserts. Recombinant means that it is genetically modified. WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblast is from a 3-month old fetus. Let me run that by you again – the MMR vaccine contains material extracted from a fetus (unborn baby). Whether the fetus (unborn baby) was aborted prior to extraction or whether the extraction aborted the baby, I don’t know. Either way it includes death. Many other vaccines contain some or all of these ingredients, and many also contain thymerisol, which is basically mercury. Even the flu shot from this season contains many questionable ingredients – several which are derived from substances that ‘experts’ say you should not give to your children under one year old. Somehow, despite this, the flu shot is considered safe when administered to anyone over 6 months old.

Now some facts about vaccines. In one study done by Dr. William Torch examining SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) cases, 26% of the deaths occurred within 3 days of receiving the DTaP vaccine. 37% of the deaths occurred within 1 week of the vaccine, 61% occurred within 2 weeks, and 70% within 3 weeks. Most of the time SIDS is attributed more to suffocation, right? Since it’s been recommended that infants sleep on their backs, SIDS cases have dropped by 8.6%. HOWEVER, there was an 11.2% increase in SUIDS (sudden unexplained infant death syndrome). Another fact: over one-third of doctors refuse vaccinations in general, 73% refuse the Hep.B vaccine, and 66% refuse the MMR vaccine (source: American Medical Association’s archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine). So please, please tell me why the doctors that push vaccines on us refuse them themselves? Would you trust a chef who doesn’t taste his own food? In another direction, there is an organization called VAERS – vaccine adverse event reporting system. Vaccine related injuries are to be reported on VAERS, although the definition of vaccine related injury has been so pruned down that it most likely excludes a large portion of legitimately vaccine-caused injury. Over one billion dollars have been awarded through VAERS for vaccine injuries, with thousands of cases pending. Here’s another related tidbit: former FDA director David Kessler once admitted that only 10% of vaccine injury cases are ever reported. Also, vaccines are not tested long-term for adverse reactions. Yet another thing to consider: doctors are paid on average $18 million per year by Merck to promote their vaccines (source: vactruth.com). But wait, at least vaccines brought down the death rates of these diseases, right? And less people get these diseases now because of vaccines? Think again please. It would be too lengthy to write out the exact details of this graph, but featured on vaxtruth.org there is an article titled “Putting Measles Into Perspective”. In this article, two graphs are compared: one from the government, one from an “unofficial source”. The graph from the government actually has a modified scale on the y-axis, which represents “cases and deaths per 100,000 population”. The scale is different from 0.1 to 1 and 2 to 20. What this means is that any visual correlation you may see is now distorted. Imagine if you drew a picture of a person on silly putty (why you would do such a thing, I don’t know). You couldn’t say the picture is accurate anymore if you stretched out the leg portion of the picture, but left the rest as is. The ‘unofficial’ graph shows a straight scale along the y-axis, and this shows us a more accurate picture: there was a sharp decrease in measles cases from 1913 to approximately 1955, and virtually no (scale) reduction from 1968 to present time. When was the measles vaccine introduced? 1968. So basically, the measles disease was drastically reduced BEFORE the vaccine came around. And the last thing I’ll list here is this: the pertussis vaccine is used in laboratory settings to produce brain lesions in lab animals for study because it is very neurotoxic. The pertussis vaccine is included in the DTP and DTaP vaccines (obviously representing the ‘p’ in the acronym) that our children are supposed to receive.

This is all information you don’t hear about from the media, and certainly not from your average doctor. We only hear about how vaccines have ‘saved’ us from this or that disease, or how you’ll get sick and die if you don’t have these vaccines, etc. Anybody who questions vaccines is looked down upon, insulted, and sometimes gets a guilt-trip on top of that. One baby magazine that Courtney got in the mail (they’re almost as bad and persistent as the DirectTV mailings!) said that opponents of vaccines try to convince others with ‘fear tactics’. Let me ask you this: which side do you think is trying to scare the other? We’re only telling you what is actually (evident on Merck’s website, CDC website, and elsewhere) in their vaccines and what their success rate is, they are just saying ‘you’ll get sick and die if you don’t get these’. In fact, many pediatricians will threaten to remove you as their patient if you do not get your child vaccinated, and there have been many cases where the pediatrician threatens (or actually does) to call Child Protective Services if you do not get the vaccinations. On the news we hear cases of people who weren’t vaccinated contracting something commonly vaccinated for. Do they include the cases of ‘fully vaccinated’ individuals coming down with the very same illness? It’s not that uncommon. Did you know that most of all vaccine research is performed by the very drug companies that manufacture vaccines? I wonder if we can trust these companies.

Just a sidenote to go with this: we think we can trust WebMD, right? They’re one of the leading health websites out there. They have a very interesting sponsor. At the bottom of their front page, you will see “sponsored by Merck”. Again, Merck is one of the leading vaccine and drug companies. That being said, is WebMD a credible and objective source for information regarding vaccines and medication? No. Find some other sources.

And now for the time when we dig deeper than all the surface stuff. How does this apply to the spiritual realm? We’ll pick apart some basic themes or topics we see.

-”Immunity”: the average person relies on vaccines to protect them from illness, not God. We think that modern medicine can save us, if we throw enough money into the system. I’m not saying that everyone who vaccinates has this attitude, but it is common. What does the Bible say about trusting others for protection?

Isaiah 31:1 states a clear example, “What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting in their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel”. This is not saying we can never go to modern medicine for help. I believe that trauma / emergency care is very important – I would not put my trust in it, but I don’t think I would have the faith for complete healing if I was horribly beat up in a car accident. In a case like that, I would much appreciate modern emergency care. However, vaccines would be under preventative health care. In the case of vaccines, we are essentially saying that God did not create a sufficient immune system to support our bodies, and that we, in our infinite wisdom and intellect (where did all of our wisdom and intelligence come from, anyways?) can come up with something better. Kind of reminds me of the Tower of Babel – the concept that if we are together using ‘our’ intelligence we won’t need God.

-Deception: dig around, do your research – the information that you are finding, were you told this information up front? Did someone disclose this to you when you vaccinated your kids? Did someone tell your parents this when they took you to get your vaccines? No. We are being deceived. All throughout scripture we see cases of the importance of seeking truth and avoid deception. Adam and Eve rejected truth, and followed the deceiver’s advice. Jacob perpetuated the strife within his family by living up to his name, “deceiver”. The twelve scouts sent to the promised land were deceived by their fears, and therefore deceived the rest of Israel. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram tried to deceive the Israelites into thinking Moses was not set apart to be their leader. The case that I’m thinking of occurs in 1 Kings 13. It’s too long to quote directly in here, but basically a “man of God” gets deceived by someone who claims to also be a prophet to disobey one of God’s original instructions to him. How does it end? A lion comes out and kills the “man of God”. Our intentions do not save us from deception. We need to stay as informed as possible, and search the Word of God to see if things line up.

-Pride: the world of preventative medicine, including vaccines, reeks of pride. We reject any possibility of God’s healing, and instead graft in our own overglorified fantasy of invincibility. When we step back and look at most of the medicines and treatments nowadays, we notice two trends: 1) they treat conditions that could very well have come about due to our negligence nutritionally or chemically, and 2) they cause as many side effects as ‘benefits’. I can’t say this is the case all the time, but I do believe it applies to the majority. It may sound like an atrocious and absurd claim, but I say this after searching these things up for quite some time. Do your own research (refer back to the deception part), put the pieces together, and see if you get the same picture.

According to Proverbs 3:7, “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones”. Makes me wonder what would happen if we humbled ourselves, admitted we can’t even breathe without God providing us with breath, and start seeking His ways regarding preventative health. On a different point, many people say that these modern health treatments are okay because God gave the doctors and drug companies knowledge and wisdom on how to extend our health. But I ask several questions: would God give these people ideas that come with horrible side effects? Does this apply to preventative health, considering God has already given us wisdom regarding this in scripture? Would God approve of the way that these ‘cures’ are marketed and almost forced upon us? Would God, who is declared in scripture to be our healer, suddenly grow weary of His role as healer and pass it along to someone else? Take note: this is not saying there is no purpose in our health system. This is just saying that there is no purpose in the majority of our health system, at least if we would follow God’s advice addressing health. Argue with this if you would like, but only after you search these things up.

-Murder: Exodus 20:13 – “You must not murder”. How does murder relate to vaccines? Well, back in the ingredients of the MMR vaccine (again, very common) we saw that there was ‘material’ from aborted fetuses. If you don’t believe that abortion is murder, then I’m sorry, but you’re really deceived. Take a look at some pictures of what they do in abortions, what tools they use / used to use, etc. – then after you’re done crying and vomiting, see if you can still say that it’s perfectly morally okay. Back to the vaccines though – whether they abort the fetuses for this purpose or use already aborted fetuses for this, I don’t know. I suppose only the manufacturers know this – but let’s think about it for a second. If the manufacturers are aborting the fetuses, we are murdering people for our ‘health’. Even if vaccines were as effective as claimed, we still cannot justify killing innocent people for our health. Now if they are receiving the aborted fetuses from an outside source, are they paying for them? Again, we don’t know. But do you think that abortion clinics (if that is where they get the fetuses) would donate them to the vaccine manufacturers simply out of the goodness in their heart? So it is likely that if the manufacturers are not providing (murdering) the fetuses, then they are in some way supporting the organization or company that does supply (murder) the fetuses. I personally refuse to have any part in this sick cycle of death. Beyond this direct murder, the vaccines themselves sometimes have severe side effects, sometimes leading to death. Vaccines can cause encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain. This swelling can lead to long-term disabilities or in some cases death. It’s one thing to sell a product with a possible side effect, making this known to the general public so that each individual can decide if the stated benefits are worth the potential risks. It is an entirely different matter to hide information, skew information, cover up deaths by creating new categories of death (SIDS, SUIDS, etc.) instead of placing blame on the most likely culprit, harass those who question the effectiveness, pay doctors and medical websites to spread propaganda, pay for roadside billboards promoting vaccines, prosecute parents for shaken baby syndrome when the brain swelling was caused by a reaction to a vaccine, threaten to call CPS on parents who don’t vaccinate, and so on.

-Idolatry: this ties in closely with “immunity” and pride. We have rejected God from our lives as a nation (and as a world), and now we are trying to extend our life through our own health concoctions. I believe it’s good to try to extend your life, and I believe that following God’s advice for eating, health and hygiene are the best way. But extending my life does not come before serving God. God is the one who gives life, and yet the majority of us seek the input of doctors and drug companies, and never give God a single thought in this area. We may not bow down on our knees before a carved wooden image of a doctor, but look at where our trust lies. Anything that comes before God in our priorities is an idol. I ask again – as a nation, do we put our health before God, or God before our health?

Why has the Church done nothing about this? We are too deceived to do anything about it, that’s why. We have failed to question what needs to be questioned- we have just gone along with every bit of misinformation that is spoon-fed into our mouths. Proverbs 14:15 says, “only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps”. To be fair, the cover-up is so thorough that most people (my past self included) aren’t even aware that there is controversy surrounding vaccines. Now that we have raised some questions, the responsibility is on you, the reader, to search these things up. Will you blindly accept the statements of the drug companies? Will you blindly accept our statements? For all you know, we could be lying just as much as Merck (although I assure you, we are not). Search these things up for yourself. This goes for everything else, especially including the Bible. Search your Bible daily, see what it says. Don’t accept doctrine from just anyone – accept it from the Word of God!

Final note: we don’t mean to offend anyone with this post. Many of you reading could be in the health care field, and we appreciate your willingness to serve and help. We believe it takes a special kind of person to make a job out of tending to others’ needs. However, we believe that the current systems are doing more harm than good, and this needs to be stopped. If you wish to comment to chew us out, feel free to do so- only after you search these things up though. But if you’re searching these things up, keep these things in mind: any articles from government agencies should be inspected thoroughly, disqualify articles that don’t contain hard facts, doctors don’t always know best, and look at each article to see who wrote it, who sponsored it, etc.

For real

I feel really good about all of this.  Big change for me, but I’m excited.
I decided to end our 21 day church fast with the deactivation of my facebook- I know, WOAH!  Which, unfortunately for Justin, that may mean more personal, real life, about us updates here.  Justin isn’t into that, but I am.  I believe that being real about this life is all a part of discovering our purpose and the best that God has for us.  I will, however, do my best to keep my personal opinions and research out of this, though I know it will be very difficult for me.  I haven’t yet figured out what my “outlet” for all of this knowledge will be… I have considered myself still allowed to share pictures and articles on facebook, yes, maybe I will do this.  I feel so strongly and passionate about some things, there’s no way to keep it contained… perhaps I will convince Justin to allow me to share of these things here, we’ll see, as long as I tie it into God’s plans for our lives.  But in the meantime, I am very happy to direct you to Sara’s site, Healthy Families for God.  She is a wise lady and very well researched.  I will miss following her on facebook.

I will start Monday I suppose, with all of this.  When I am tempted to go to facebook, I will read my bible, study, then share.  Sounds like a fabulous plan to me.  I gotta get even more focused, man.

Living Soil, Living Man!

I love discovering new things in the Bible.  Most of the time they’re tiny things, but it’s generally a mind-blown moment.  Please excuse me while I share with you my excitement from my reading earlier today-

“God formed man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life.  The man came alive – a living soul!
God took the man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order.”
-Genesis 2:7, 15 MSG

If Adam were to maintain the ground, we can assume without reading anything else in the Bible that the ground was producing some sort of vegetation or crop.  And since it was producing food, we can assume that the ground was living.  Simple, right?  It gets cooler…

A microbe is simply a germ.  Did you know that in soil, also referred to biblically as dust, there are as many as 10,000 different microbes, just in one gram of it?  Same goes for our gut flora.
“Even human intestines-an environment most people consider pretty familiar-are home to perhaps 10,000 kinds of microbes… Indeed, one of the surprises in the decoding of the human genome was that it contains more than 200 genes that come from bacteria.  Microbes not only keep us alive; in some small part, we are made of them.” (Business Week article on the findings of Jo Handelsman)

“Countless numbers of microorganisms live in the soil, in and on plants, and in the human gut.  Inside and out we are at one with the earth (or we should be).  What depth of incomprehensible wisdom lies in the biblical statement of Genesis 2:7.” (Jordan Rubin, The Maker’s Diet)

I know that isn’t necessarily profound, but I found it so cool.  Whenever I read that verse before, I just kinda thought ‘well, that’s kinda weird since dust is.. dust.  Not living.  But cool that God spoke and then man simply just was.’  I may have not even thought on it that much when I’ve read it in the past.  But to think that God created EVERYTHING living…things only die when God is not present…that’s just a cool reminder and more proof (by looking at the relationship between our guts and soil) that we should only consume living things.

Is there anything else that you pull from this simple verse?

“‘From the dust of the ground’ implies that there is nothing fancy about the chemical makeup of our bodies (besides the fact we’re made in God’s image).  The body is a lifeless shell until God brings it alive with His ‘breath of life’.  When God removes His life-giving breath, our bodies once again return to dust.  Our life and worth, therefore, come from God’s Spirit.” (NLT study Bible commentary on Genesis 2:7)

Throwing out the old, creating the new

That’s a fancy title for this post.  I will maybe link it in to being scriptural later on. 
I get in random moods sometimes where I am so sick of living with a bunch of chemicals, so I go psycho and throw a bunch of stuff away.  Thursday and Friday were days like that.  🙂  I feel like if I don’t do it then, it’ll never get done.
Justin got home from work to find me having had thrown away all of the shampoo we owned, all conditioners, all toothpastes, all mouthwash, all mousse and hair gel, all hairspray, all deodorants, all face washes… what else?  Then I sat down and decided the next day (Friday) I’d just make a crapton of formulas and see what works best for us.  I did that, and for now, here’s our recipes (some we already made previous to Friday and have been using – and these are just the listed ingredients.  If someone is actually interested in how much of each ingredient we used, please ask!):

Shampoo (Justin’s)
Dr. Bronner’s Orange Citrus scented soap, diluted

Shampoo plus Conditioner (Courtney’s)
Castile soap
Coconut oil
Honey
Apple cider vinegar
Pureed cucumber
Pureed lemon

Detangler
Water
Marshmallow root (what turns it into a gel)
Apple cider vinegar
Jojoba oil
Essential oil

Hairspray
Sugar
Water
Vodka
Essential oil

Baby lotion
Coconut oil
Cocoa butter
Essential oil

Toothpaste
Coconut oil
Baking soda
Essential oil
Vegetable glycerin
Stevia
Coarse mineral salt

Deodorant
Coconut oil
Baking soda
Arrowroot powder
Sunflower oil
Tea tree oil
Essential oil
Calendula
Chamomile

Lotion/Moisturizer/Aftershave
Coconut oil
Cocoa butter
Tea tree oil
Essential oil(s)
Sweet almond oil

Mouthwash
Water
ACV
Tea tree oil
Essential oil

Baby body wash
*We mainly just use water since soaps aren’t necessary on a baby, but otherwise we’ll use Dr. Bronner’s mild baby soap until Mal can use ours

Adult body wash
Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, diluted

Teething gel
Coconut oil
Cocoa butter
Clove oil

Acne wash
Honey
Lemon
Sugar

Shaving cream
Cocoa butter
Grapeseed oil
Castile soap
Tea tree oil

We’re still in the process of finding an effective styling gel/mousse, and sinus/migraine relief… balm, probably.  For quick relief while Justin’s at work.  We’ll be using peppermint oil and lavender oil most likely.  In a few weeks our project is to create our “natural medicine cabinet”.  🙂  I’m excited for that too!

I so enjoy living this way.  And who would have thought it’d be so cheap and easy!

Here’s how this post is scriptural:

^ that post is from December something.  I was going to post it but forgot.  Justin saw it and recommended only writing purpose-related posts… that offended me a bit because I thought I was, because I’m being a good steward, but he’s right.  I’ll work on this.

I wanted to copy and paste a comment I posted on facebook just a few minutes ago, on a group of which i am a part of.  It’s a group for christian ladies seeking prayer, advice, encouragement, etc.  The post I commented on asked what our New Years resolutions are.  So you’re in the loop, here’s ours: 

Well… where do I start?  😉
There are so many things we’re implementing into our lives lately, beginning over the last six months about.  This year is going to be amazing, we just know it.
We started the year off by creating a ‘Thankful Jar’ that JulieAnne had shared of a bit ago, that’s been fun.  I’m looking forward to reading them at the end of the year already, since Justin and I haven’t shared our thankful notes with one another, kind of as fun surprises for one another too once we read them on new years eve 2013.
Mal is doing so well, we’re so blessed by him.  I can’t wait to see what we experience with him this year.  Yep, he’s already growing so fast, but oh how lovely our time has been.  He makes my Shortly after Mal was born we went ‘completely natural’ with our lives- no processed, packaged foods, we threw out all of the chemicals in our house, and now we make most of the products we use.  I’m jealous of Pamela Reed, if I could move to a farm now I would, haha- *that’s a dream of mine, is to someday live on a farm.  Where we can raise our own cows and chickens, and for fun a fainting goat 😉 Where we can get raw milk, raw butter and raw cheese, cage-free eggs, all grass-fed or with non-GMO feed.  Kind of a weird dream, but whatever.  Justin’s dream is to live on Lake Michigan.. so I have no idea where we’d find a farm on Lake Michigan, but here’s to hoping 😉  If it was near an Amish community, that’d be best.  I love homemade everything, and Justin loves making wood items.  It’s like we’re going back in time or something- should have been Amish.  ;P


Anyways!  Our natural lifestyle has also brought on our convictions toward medical interventions- we’re so against this.  I know many of you won’t agree with me, but again, our convictions.  We don’t use medication or mainstream items, it’s as simple as that.  We believe that God created our bodies to function properly and correctly.  We believe that with the proper and a natural diet, our immune systems are the best fighters of disease.  We’re those weirdos you’ll see who research everything thoroughly before acting and who makes and drinks kombucha, makes our own sauerkraut and kefir, makes our own toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, lotions, cleaning solutions, and “medications”, who don’t vaccinate their kids,and believe in extended breastfeeding.  Being stewards of our bodies is SO important- I grew up in a household opposite of these beliefs, so I’ve seen the results of poor habits. We’ve completely changed our diet, and this year we’re working on an exercise program that suits us best.  Basically though, we’re following The Maker’s Diet, and with all organic.. well, basically everything, not just produce.  That’s how God made our fruits and veggies, was organic in nature.  I am so thankful for support and encouragement by others such as Amy, who live this way too.  I am soooo thankful to God (haha!  Gotta tag everyone, right?;]) for stretching our dollars and making it possible for us to do ALL of this on a $10.50/hour budget.  We used to get government assistance but we chose to stop benefits because we didn’t want it to become a crutch for us (*though, I am SO tempted to go on them again since discovering that Oryana accepts EBT cards!  But that wouldn’t be right.  We’re so poor we were getting $300/month for groceries!  And it’d be even more since Mal’s here…it’d be so nice, but if we’re making it now living on organic food, that wouldn’t be right).


Sorry, I ramble.  But I get excited.  Our medicine cabinet was our latest project- instead of tylenol, ibuprofen, neosporin, etc., it includes tea tree oil, benzonite clay, colloidal silver, elderberry syrup, and we make sure to always have fresh garlic and raw honey around.  God created these foods to be so powerful for a reason- our “medicines”, our food,is right before us.


But alas, we enjoy vehicles and don’t plan on getting a horse and buggy anytime soon. 😉  but it’s been lovely not having a tv the last three years (but it’s been AWESOME having aprojector so when we rent movies it’s projected on the wall, equivalent of a 150″ tv, hehe)


Sorry, rambling again.


There’s so much we’ve changed in 2012 and we plan to continue change into this year.  We have several new spiritual disciplines we’ve incorporated and began this morning, that we’ll get in a routine with especially during the church fast, which will then become habits/part of our lifestyle.


We want to increase our giving by a lot this year, but we’re not sure by how much.  We give to the church our 10% by check, any extra by cash, and do “outside of the church givings” by cash and debit card.  We believe to be giving at least 30% by the end of the year.  Before we bought our house and got more bills, we were up to 35%.  Maybe we’ll be there again soon.  C:


I don’t know if it’s possible since I’m still breastfeeding and my periods have not returned, but we hope to get pregnant within the next couple of months again- God’s timing is what we want though.  Whenever it happens, I do ask your agreement on a healthy pregnancy.  We’ll attempt a homebirth again.  Our midwife is an amazing, God-fearing woman who lives in Marion.  I trust her with my life.  We kind of want twins, mainly to get it over with since we want maybe 3 kids total, haha.. but whatever we receive, we’ll love.


In this new year, we thank God for new beginnings.
❤ Newness and a refreshing year in our marriage, clarity on the discipleship of our children, basically a brand new life health-wise… and spiritually, this will be the most growing year for us yet, I claim it ❤ We thank God for new beginnings with the church, for healing, and for clearer perspectives. We thank Jesus for being the foundation of our family. I thank Him for more knowledge, wisdom, and boldness. I thank Him for His spirit already being in Malachi, our little prophet, claimed since before conception. And Father, I thank You for prosperity. In our relationships and in our finances. I thank You for restricting my urge to buy all of this health stuff, as You know i want to, haha. I just thank You SO freaking MUCH, again, for opening our hearts and minds, even though my family is filled with those in the medical profession and who oppose us, so that we were able to find Truth and see the true benefits of Your creation. I pray this year Lord that more people's eyes, ears, hearts would be opened in these last days, and that our lack of knowledge would be so little as to where it wouldn't destroy us. I thank You for my life, Justin's life, Mal's life, and our cutie Unger's life. He just fits our 'tarded little fam so well :} i thank You for the lives of those around us and i pray that this year we're able to give back to them as they have to us. ❤ (i could go on and on, so I'll end it here)

Yep, that was what I posted.  Most of it, y’all already know.  I will probably continue that prayer later on in this post.  But for now I just wanted to talk about, I guess what you guys want to talk about.  I need an output for what I learn, but I am stuck in what to share.  So, help a sister out, wouldya?  🙂 



what do you struggle with?



Have you found your purpose yet?

I am SO determined for this to be a purposeful year.  Justin and I are starting the Daniel Fast next Sunday for ten days, that’ll be awesome.  I can’t really fast food since I’m breastfeeding, but we’re fasting other things, and expecting the start of lots of growth.

Comment here and direct my output, would you?

Blessings
















I will call these… Christmas brownies! I guess.

I created my first ever baking recipe tonight.  I’m pretty excited about it.

Christmas Brownies
(Egg nog cheesecake cocoa brownies!)

2/3 of an 8 ounce block of cream cheese
23 tablespoons Shetler Family Dairy egg nog (or any other brand, but we think theirs is the best)
2 tablespoons Bacardi rum (or a different brand)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

10 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar in the raw
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large, cold eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Combine cream cheese, Bacardi and egg nog, combine with electric mixer until yogurt consistency.  Mixture will be just slightly lumpy (from cold cream cheese).  Set aside.

Pour melted butter into separate bowl.  Slowly pour in, as you’re mixing constantly, cocoa, sugar and salt.  As you’re still mixing it, add in the vanilla extract, one egg, then the other egg.  Slowly add in the flour.  Mixture will be pretty thick.

Place parchment paper in a 9×13 baking dish, rub with coconut oil or cooking spray or something.  Scoop brownie batter onto paper and spread around to cover bottom of dish.  Pour egg nog batter on.  Bake at 325° for 35 minutes, then for 5 minutes at 375°.

Let cool to room temperature, then freeze for 10 minutes, move parchment paper to cutting board then cut and serve.  Store in fridge.

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Psalm 37:23-24

Psalm 37:23-24
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the LORD holds them by the hand.”

I was reading my Bible on break today, and actually started at Psalm 38.  But I just felt like rereading some of what I read yesterday, and ran across these two awesome verses.  But you know what?  I’m not going to break it down for you, the reader.  The reason I’m not going to do this is because what can I add to scripture that makes it “better”?  Nothing.  The only thing I will try to do is give some suggestions on how to break down verses.  That leaves all the work to you, which works very much to your advantage because God will reveal specific things to each person. 
Imagine this:  there is a certain artist in the area who, upon request, will paint a unique original painting for you.  One of a kind.  (weird analogy, but it came to mind, so I’ll go with it!)  He paints it specifically for you after determining your personality type and certain things about you that will make it totally unique to you.  Your friend receives his painting one day, and he’s going on and on about how intriguing and interesting and amazing it is.  So, in an effort to save time, do you just take a photograph of his and print it out poster size, or do you go to the artist and get your own?
Okay, that wasn’t the best analogy.  But do you get the point?  God is going to show something different to each person, even though it’s the same verse.  So we shouldn’t rely on someone else’s commentary on a verse, we should just analyze the verse ourselves. 
What I would recommend to do for this verse is read it.  Then read it again.  And again.  Just see if anything comes to mind.  Next, make it personal – put your name in there, or change the context to ‘me’ instead of ‘you/him/her’.  So it would read something like, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of my life.  Though I stumble, I will never fall, for the LORD holds me by the hand.”  Then I’d go through the verse one word at a time, working out a full definition for each (apart from very basic words).  So who is the LORD?  What does it mean to direct?  What are our steps?  Are the steps literal, or metaphorical, or what?  What does it mean to be godly?  As you go through this verse, put the words in the context of the rest of the verse – so for example, ‘godly’ doesn’t mean perfect, because it says later on ‘though they stumble’.  You should also read the verse in the context of the whole chapter (and book) as well.  Otherwise, it might not line up – like if you read a verse in the book of Job (not work- it’s a guy’s name!) where his friends are saying some pretty messed up statements about God.  Pray while you’re doing this that God would reveal what he wants to reveal to you.
Now it’s your turn to break down those two verses.  If you get anything like I got out of it, you will be glad you gave it a try.  If you’d like, leave a comment on what you found.  We’d love to hear about what you found.

More annoying health ramblings ;)

Justin’s wisdom always amazes me.  I missed his posts.  You can definitely tell when the Holy Spirit is directing him or not.  Within the year that he didn’t write any posts I’d ask him to here and there, but I’m glad now that he didn’t.  I do feel the need to clarify though – the reasons behind “our” ministry were actually Justin’s reasons – I had my own, lol.  I never really had the mindset in the beginning that it’d get big, so I would never check the stats anyway.  But here lay my biggest issue – I didn’t believe that God could really use us to help others, so I just typed whatever.. well, I can’t say that.  I meant what I posted of course, and I really did dig deep to find what I did for my posts.  So, I can’t entirely say that, but I mainly did it as an outflow/output of what I was learning, not intending to actually help others, because I didn’t believe what I was learning was special enough or different enough.  So, I did it for fun, though it did help me to grow in my relationship with God.  But because I stopped writing, just out of lack of discipline and not enough motivation, I fell behind in growing in my relationship with God.  So, that is why I am back, so it is different than Justin’s reasons still.  But, I do hope that what I am learning will help out others too.  My posts so far haven’t been very helpful [since I’ve been back to posting], since I am still learning the habit of writing.  But as I have mentioned in the last couple of posts, soon!  I will start sharing again, or so I hope.  🙂  I am believing for it.  I think I will begin to share from the study I am going through, Disciplines of a Godly Woman.  I did the first three chapters several months back, but because of lack of discipline (ha!), fell behind, so now I am redoing those chapters.  It’s been good so far!  But the first couple of chapters are more difficult to share of… but, I still will as I dig deeper, as the content goes deeper.  It’ll come eventually.  😉
Right now I’m not even sure what to write, so I guess I’ll just ramble, as I have been.  At this exact moment I am sitting in some pjs (red wings pants, one of Justin’s work shirts), sitting on the newly rearranged living room furniture, nice fire going in the woodstove, Malachi in his bouncy chair talking to himself and eating a flashlight, Unger’s lying on the couch next to me, awaiting Justin’s arrival home in about 30 minutes.  I have no idea what I’ll make for supper… we don’t have many groceries right now, but that’s intentional, because I’m forcing myself to use up all of the odds and ends items that we have in the pantry so that we can sort of “start over” in our shopping, if you will.  We still have a few boxed dinners that I want to eat so that we can never buy that stuff again (make sense?  I don’t just want to throw it out… but I don’t want to ever feed my family it again afterward, since it’s so processed and I wouldn’t consider it real food.  So, starting anew!).  Because we’ve been very limited in our foods (I am so excited though to have almost bare cupboards, so that EVERYTHING we buy can now be organic/natural), I’ve been having to be creative with all of our meals.  This morning for breakfast I had a big plate of scrambled eggs – before putting them in the heated pan I added to the whipped eggs some hot sauce, homemade hummus, raw milk cheddar cheese, large granule sea salt, and wheat germ.  It tasted pretty good!  Was weird, but good.  We have some shredded chicken from the roast I made last week that I will use for dinner, along with our last package of white, bleached, enriched (so, not very natural lol) alphabet pasta.  For a sauce I will throw something together that uses butter.. and flour.. maybe cornmeal.. haha, not sure, I will definitely have to be creative there too.  For a vegetable I will just steam some carrots most likely.  But we’re going shopping tomorrow, so I will write another meal plan tonight for the next week-two weeks.  🙂  I very much enjoy meal planning.  I’ve done it for several weeks now but didn’t this past week since I wanted to use up EVERYTHING in our cupboards.  We’ve almost met this goal!  It’s exciting. 

Oh yeah, and why organic?  A lot of people seem to think it’s only because of the pesticides – that’s not the only reason why, though that contributes.  Many people argue that point though that they’re not entirely pesticide free, since neighboring non-organic pesticides blow over onto the organic crops – this is true, though it’s still LESS pesticides, and that’s what we’re going for (but that’s also why it’s most important to choose LOCAL and organic).  We’ll never be able to completely avoid this junk, as processed and artificial as our world has become.  But, we’re going to try, since we’re supposed to be the best stewards of our body as possible.  Have you ever heard of GMOs?  This for me is a bigger reason for going organic than avoiding the pesticides is.  GMOs are genetically modified organisms (plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology.  It merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding)  – used in over EIGHTY PERCENT OF ALL OF OUR FOOD.  Crazy stuff, it is.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining what they are since you can look that up for yourself, as I believe you should, but I’ll say a little on them, as an overview:
-Though GMOs are in that much of our food, very few studies have been conducted to determine whether they’re harmful to human health or not.  But the studies that have been done, show that they produce several different types of cancer
-GMOs may trigger allergies in people – Genetic engineering may involve the transfer of new and unidentified proteins from one food to another, with the potential of setting off allergic reactions.  And allergies aren’t simply a matter of slight discomfort; they can potentially result in life-threatening anaphylactic shock.  Without the labeling of GMOs, which isn’t required by the FDA, people with allergies won’t know if they are eating foods that contain genes from other foods to which they are allergic
-Genetic engineering may create new toxins harmful to human health – In 1989, a genetically engineered version of tryptophan, a dietary supplement, produced toxic contaminants.  Before it was recalled by the FDA, the mutated tryptophan wreaked havoc by killing 37 Americans, permanently disabling 1,500 people, and 5,000 became ill with a blood disorder called eosinophilia myalgia sydrome.  This may not sound like that big of a deal because the numbers aren’t huge, but we’re supposed to be able to trust our food*
(*food to me are items that have not been man-made or modified)
Here’s more info, I could explain more in depth, but will not as to not take up more space in this post than necessary:
-Biotech companies want to use farm crops to grow pharmaceutical drugs
-British study finds that genetically engineered bacteria lives on in human gut
-Genetic engineering may lead to antibiotic resistance
(all this information was taken from “The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods” website)

More on GMOs real quick:
-Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide.  Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.  Benefit is only for the pharmaceutical company, the doctors, the government, and the grower of these modified things
-A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights
-Most developed countries do not consider GMOs to be safe.  In nearly 50 countries around the world (including Australia, Japan and all countries in the EU), there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.  In the US, the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale
-Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance.  As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced.  GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs”, which can only be killed with even more toxic poisons
-These products are considered to be very high-risk for GMO production:  Alfalfa, corn, flax, rice, sugar beets, yellow summer squash, canola, cotton, papaya, soy, zucchini, milk, meat, eggs, honey and other bee products
-GMOs began to really be incorporated into our foods in 1996
-Some of the health risks of eating GMO products, apart from cancer, include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in organ and the gastrointestinal system
-Genetic modification is radically different from natural breeding
(This information is taken from The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, ResponsibleTechnology.org, The Non-GMO Project, and from the book and documentary Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey M. Smith)
Alright, that’s more information that I intended to provide, but it’s so important for us to do our own research.  No more said on GMOs now.  🙂

GMOs, pesticides, what else have I forgotten?  Oh!  Artificial flavoring, food dyes, and processed foods.  Please, don’t get me started.  😉  The taste is SOOOOO different in natural foods than those that have artificial flavorings.  SO different, ugh.  You can’t even compare them.  Less sugar and more flavor, the way it was intended.  Have you ever had an organic toaster pastry, and compared it to the Poptart brand?  I will never eat a regular poptart after tasting an organic one.  Yes, they look much different as well, because there are not any food dyes in the organic/natural ones.  Strawberry flavor is a dull brown flavor, not a bright, happy red.  Lemon flavor is actually a boring brown, not a cheery, bright yellow dye.  It’s amazing, the differences!  Justin and I laugh whenever we see a processed food labeled “Made with REAL FRUIT!” In the first place, oh my goodness, they actually need to advertise that?  Shouldn’t a FRUIT pastry have fruit in it to begin with?  If you then flip the container over to read the ingredients, it says that it’s made with less than 2% of the following: apple juice concentrate, pear concentrate, and artificial berry flavor (when the flavor of the poptarts was wild berry).  WHAT?!  Where’s the real fruit?  And the real berries?  Man, how far astray we’ve been led as a nation… in every area.
Food dyes have been proven to cause cancer, allergies, hyperactivity, lack of attention, sleep problems, mood swings, violence/aggression, lack of impulse control, bed-wetting, skin ailments, breathing problems, compulsiveness, not consistent in reactions to dyes, and have no nutritional value. (article “The Case Against Artificial Food Colorings: Should You Be Concerned?” by Dan Shapley, published April 01, 2011 and by Rebecca Evans in her “Die, Food Dye!” blog)

Okay, I really don’t want you to stop reading this article out of boredom, but if you’re still interested in learning more, check out these links (some of my favorites), and be educated!  

http://www.naturalnews.com
http://www.healthyfamiliesforgod.com
http://www.raisingnaturalkids.com
http://www.gaia-health.com
http://www.theorganicmomma.com
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com

Sometimes I myself think I take this stuff too seriously, but then I take a few steps back and realize how much better I feel, how much better I look (even though I’m gaining weight!), and how inexpensive it can actually be.  Though we’re buying all organic now, since we haven’t been buying much unnecessary extra it has come to be about the same price.  Meal planning really helps keep costs down too, and otherwise all of your choices may become overwhelming.  If us poor folk can do it, you can for sure!

Just one more related article, that describes me well too I think:

“It’s not often, but sometimes I get flack – whether it be in the form of a roll of the eyes, a look, a sneer, a backhanded comment or an outright why bother, everyone else is doing it and they are okay.  Sometimes someone will go so far as to sneak my children something when I am not looking, because they don’t want to say ‘no’, or because they think it’s okay (in all fairness this has only happened twice – that I know of!)

Sometimes friend and strangers alike get overwhelmed with the information that I impart, and I get responses like, “I can’t worry about the chemicals in the car seats when I have to worry about so many other things.” “I’m feeding my kids fruit and vegetables so it’s okay if they have what everyone else is eating too (re preserved foods packed with dyes and chemicals),” or “toxins in hoses too?  Come on.”  And guess what?  Sometimes I feel that same way.  The information is overwhelming.  We live in a society so dependent on making things bigger and better that they (the people adding the unnecessary junk into our foods, toys, clothing and every day products) don’t care at what expense it comes (except for price to make – that’s why they make it how they do!)

So why go to the extreme?  Because the information is available if you look for it.  Because avoiding toxic chemicals on foods, furniture, cars, bedding, etc. does make a difference.  Because not being aware can and does seriously injure and kill people.  A woman I recently came into contact with, Danielle Barry, wishes she had known about the chemicals in car seats before her son ended up  chemical burns as a baby.  A friend of mine wishes she had done her research on vaccines before her son became injured due to just one injection.  Families of people diagnosed with non genetic forms of cancer are wishing that they knew about the dangers of pesticides both on the foods they had eaten and on the lawn they once only cared about having look green and lush.

I don’t want to one day be one of those people who get sick down the road and have no idea why (yet their lifestyle and diet clearly give some clues).  I will ‘go to the extreme’ to keep my family as safe as possible so that they can live a healthy life, because we’re called to be good stewards.  I will avoid as much as I can so that the baby thriving inside of me doesn’t have 200 to 300 toxins in his/her cordblood from the likes of things like teflon, pesticides and flame retardants.

Life is about living, living free from illness and inflammation that slow people down.  Of course we are all going to get sick at some point, whether it is a cold, a virus, food poisoning, etc. but those are the illnesses that we are supposed to get; the ones that ultimately make our immune system stronger from having to battle them; the ones that we feed our bodies the nutrients and supplements it needs to fight them quickly and effectively, while avoiding the refined sugars, chemicals and fever reducers that will only hinder our healing process.

Life is about enjoying food, playing, laughing and loving.  I am making sure that my family does so far a long, long time, healthily!  (Note from Courtney:  Of course, our purpose is to serve God and bring Him glory in everything we do, but the longer we live the longer we’re able to do this, and the longer we’re able to do more for His kingdom!  ← THAT is a reason alone to live like this.)”

(article taken from RaisingNaturalKids, a wordpress.com blog)

Whew!  Enough of that, now?  🙂
A lot has happened since beginning this post.  Justin has come home from work, we went into Kingsley, we hung out a bit and chatted, Justin has typed a post, Mal is in bed, the woodstove fire has died (almost), and dinner was consumed a couple of hours ago.  It’s now 8:50p.  I’m going to post this soon I think, because for now I am out of what to say.  Sorry this post wasn’t too exciting, I just worked up over these issues, because it’s important to me (not WORKED UP worked up, like I don’t get angry over it, I just have a passion to share it since it’s important to be educated, and I wish that upon all people, since I believe it’s destroying our nation – again, refer to Hosea 4:6)

Maybe later I’ll share why I have a passion for sharing on non-vaxxing our kids… or not, I suppose that isn’t the purpose of this blog.. but it is important for us to be educated, and since becoming a mom these things are of utmost importance to me, are now my passions; vaccinations, breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding, and healthy living.

Man, I’m very much looking forward to when we are able to get internet at our house, transferring documents from our computers to my phone to post is annoying, lol.  Oh well, somehow it’s good for me?

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