Janice Boekhoff
 

Measles is Preventable

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Did you know that measles is ranked among the most contagious viruses? The virus is spread not just through contact, but also through the air. Scientists estimate that one sick person can easily infect 20 other people. In fact, the measles virus can hang suspended in the air for several hours. This means you could get infected by walking into an empty room where someone with measles had spent time hours earlier, never having laid eyes on the person who infected you.

Take all that into account and add in the fact that 90% of the people infected will become sick and it equals one dangerous virus. Measles can cause pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), both of which can be fatal. For those who avoid the fatal complications, measles can cause deafness, high fevers, rash, and ear infections.

This disease was eliminated from the United States in 2000 due to high vaccination rates, which means outbreaks no longer originate from here. The recent outbreak in December 2014 at Disneyland was an imported case of measles brought by a traveller. Worldwide, there are still about 20 million cases of measles. In 2013, approximately 145,000 people died of the disease. We may think we are insulated from this health issue here in the U.S., but the Disneyland outbreak shows us how vulnerable we are in this age of worldwide travel.

In recent years, some people have refused to vaccinate their children due to fears of autism. These fears were based on a 1998 study linking autism to vaccination, but this study was proved fraudulent and was retracted. The Chief Science Officer for Autism Speaks says on the website: “Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.”

Viruses like measles are an unfortunate part of our broken world. But God gave us the ability to fight back against these broken bits of DNA using vaccines. The bottom line is vaccines save lives. We can’t afford to lose the battle against diseases like this one.

Please remember to get vaccinated and to vaccinate your children. The consequences are far worse, not just for you and your kids, but also for those around you that they could infect.

What do you think? Are vaccines worth the risk?

Reference: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/measles-perilous-but-preventable/?_r=0

Photo Credit: N04/15837608614″>Vaccination via photopin (license)

Devotion

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 55:8

The other day I came across construction blocking the right lane of traffic. All I wanted to do was turn right, yet I was stuck behind a half-mile of people going straight and left. I knew this construction wasn’t there last week. I whined about the timing. If only they would have started a week later, then I wouldn’t be stuck.

Life is all about timing isn’t it?

Sometimes when we pray we don’t get a clear answer. If that’s you right now, God might not be saying “No.” He might be saying instead, “Not at this time.”

We’ve all heard that God’s timing is not ours, but what does that mean? It means we can trust His perfect timing.

Who knows? There might be construction in your way and He might just be in the process of removing it from your path.

Dear Lord, help us to be flexible with our plans and desires so we can conform them to Yours. Help us to remove all the obstacles to our faith. Give us the strength to trust in Your perfect timing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Chickenasaurus?

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For years, scientists have been trying to “prove” that dinosaurs evolved into birds by tinkering with the DNA of existing birds.

In May 2015, researchers announced they created the first chicken embryos with longer, flatter snouts, instead of beaks. The scientists say these snouts are a throwback to the evolutionary ancestor of birds, the dinosaurs, but are they really?

To create these embryos, researchers focused on two genes that control the development of the middle of the face in chickens. Now, I bet you’re thinking they modified these genes, but no, they didn’t. They used special molecules to suppress the activity of the proteins these genes produce. The resulting embryos had flatter snouts where the premaxillae (small bones of the upper jaw) were not fused like they are in bird beaks. The scientists referred to these embryos as the ancestral dinosaur state of the chicken.

Although the scientists did not allow the embryos to hatch, they have used the CT scans to claim that it would have been easy for evolution to change a dinosaur snout into a bird beak.

Easy? The scientists themselves admit they are not capable of genetically modifying an embryo into a dinosaur at this point. In fact, their easy method didn’t alter the genes of the chicken at all, just the proteins those genes produced.

Do these experiments really give us any information about evolution? All they tell us is that humans (as intelligent beings) can experimentally change through purposeful actions the complex workings of another creature. In this experiment, the scientists didn’t create anything. They were only able to change what was already there, and not even through random selective pressures, but by design.

What do you think? Can you make a Chickenasaurus in a lab? Would it really be a dinosaur?

 

Reference: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/05/13/chicken-embryos-with-dinosaur-snouts-created-in-lab/

Photo Credit: ID 20749999 © Mr1805 | Dreamstime.com

Devotion

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?

Deuteronomy 4:7

Sometimes, when I come out of worship on Sunday, I feel like I’m practically glowing with God’s amazing love. One Sunday after church, I received the greatest of compliments. An acquaintance shared with me a sad situation then told me that she confided in me because she could tell I really knew Jesus.

She could see Jesus on me.

I don’t tell you this to brag about how spiritual I am. On the contrary, my first thought was—would she have said the same thing about me on Friday or Saturday?

Spending time with God causes us to reflect His beauty, but, like a lot of people, I don’t spend as much time with Him as I should. The only way for Him to be evident on us is if He’s rubbing off on us during our time with Him.

Dear Lord, we thank you that You are always there waiting for us to come see You. Remind us how much we need You. Even other people can tell when we have spent time with You. Help us to always reflect You so others will notice. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love is the Evidence

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Recently, I had someone essentially call me stupid for believing in creation. I wish I could say this doesn’t make me angry, but I’m human and it’s frustrating to have people question your intelligence because they don’t like what you believe.

But I don’t let it stay with me. Because it’s not about me. This person doesn’t know my IQ, how much research I’ve done or the struggle I went through when I became a creationist. All this person knows is that I don’t agree with them.

Is that what we’re coming to in this world? Anyone who doesn’t believe the way we do must not be as enlightened as us? I could spend all day arguing the evidence for creation (and much material on this blog does just that), but I know that scientific arguments aren’t enough evidence to convince skeptics that there is a creator.

Don’t get me wrong, lots of scientific evidence points to creation, but Jesus said,

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 13:35

Love is the evidence.

My own faith wasn’t inspired by arguments, but by a search for the truth, spurred on by the love I saw in my husband’s family. Their love was something entirely unselfish and new to me and I wanted to find out where it came from.

A persuasive argument can reach someone’s head, but not their heart. You can’t argue anyone into or out of love.

So, how do I show love to all those who disagree with my beliefs? I pray.

I pray for good things to happen to them and I pray for God things to happen to them. They may never know that I do this, but somewhere in their life, they will see the evidence of love. And maybe, just maybe, they will question where it came from.

 

Photo Credit: ID 41005283 © Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.com

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