Tuesday, December 6, 2016

MOVING PAST STIGMA


One of the dark chapters of pharmacological history happened between 1957 and 1962. The drug thalidomide was marketed as a sedative safe enough for even pregnant women to use. And so, they did. It noticeably helped women dealing with morning sickness and insomnia.



In a post-war era when sleeplessness was prevalent, thalidomide was marketed to a world hooked on tranquilizers and sleeping pills. At the time, one out of seven Americans took them regularly. The demand for sedatives was even higher in some European markets, and the presumed safety of thalidomide, the only non-barbiturate sedative known at the time, gave the drug massive appeal. Sadly, tragedy followed its release, catalyzing the beginnings of the rigorous drug approval and monitoring systems in place at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today.[1]

The horrible side effects began to emerge as babies were born with missing limbs, tiny stubs for fingers and other complications. How tragic it must have been for the chemist that first created the drug and enjoyed the initial praise for doing a good thing.

There is sometimes still a stigma associated with congenital birth defects, degenerative disease and debilitating injuries. We live in a time when we are better educated and teach our children to be respectful, but we also remember the cruel mocking and teasing that we witnessed or participated in when we were young.

During our lifetime, social responsibility has shifted from institutional care and segregation to supportive care and integration into the community. There has been concerted effort to remove shame and stigma from those who have some kind of condition or disease.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

THE REFRESHING WALK





Walk and not be faint…






Matthew 11:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


My doctor told me that people who go for walks live longer and have healthier bodies. High-energy people may want to lift weights, join a Zumba class and train for a triathlon. But, the rest of us can enjoy the rejuvenating effects of a good walk.

While napping is a good way to increase your rest, walking is a good way to push through the fainting lull that comes after a turkey dinner. A walk in the cool of the evening stirs our senses and may reduce our anxious energy.

Our spiritual stamina is increased as we learn to walk with God. Walking is moving forward with great presence. There is no urgent hurrying allowed in a walk. Otherwise, you may as well run.

When you walk, you can stop along the way to enjoy a view, to give a greeting and become more aware of your surroundings. There are faster ways to move, but less likelihood of noticing or getting involved with what’s along the path.

If you feel that you are stuck, too weary to move or disillusioned and lethargic; you may need to be still. You need to let the rest that God gives be your destination in the stillness. Only then, will you be energized for the heights that God wants to take you, patient in the marathon and present in the slow walk around your place. There’s also a time to get up and go again.

Jesus has good news for the burned out and bedraggled—the one that has lost their strength and cannot go on.

Jesus invites us to walk alongside Him. He helps shoulder the burden that is too much for us to bear alone. Have you let Jesus into your burden? God’s gentleness and God’s humility will strengthen your mind; your will and your emotions when you cannot go a step further alone.

Walk with Jesus.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FINISHING WELL




Run and not grow weary...




Isaiah 40:
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.



When I was younger and applied myself I could run long distance. I discovered that pacing, breathing and focusing on my destination kept me moving forward. I found that there is a second wind when you push through the initial waning of power.

It’s not that runners do not get weary; they do. But, they have learned to use their energy, stride and preparation time wisely. There is a certain toughness that pushes through when the flesh says it’s time for a jump in the pool.

The ancient writer wrote:


Hebrews 12: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


In waiting, trusting and resting we train for the human race. We learn from those who have run ahead and alongside us—this great crowd of runners. We learn to let go and put aside the things that slow us down.

We train for life’s race by looking at Jesus’ example. He pressed on and covered the distance because of the joy of winning. People who keep running have learned to pace themselves in ways so they do not lose heart. The runner has the advantage of using their time well and covering lots of ground.



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