This is a picture of my cat Cagney. She died some time ago and I still miss her smiling face. She was a very gentle little soul and was as tiny as a kitten. She was about 15 when she died and yet for her entire life, she never weighed more than five pounds. Not because she was sick, but because she was small. We rescued her from Animal control and she was a welcome addition to our family.
I was thinking about her (and a few of the other pets I've had over the years) today, when I came across something interesting in Genesis. Here is the verse I found in the 1917 JPS (Jewish Publication Society) edition:
...all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, whatsoever was in the dry land, died. - Genesis 7:22, JPS
Have you heard about the International Day of the Girl? It is a day established by the United Nations General Assembly, dedicated to highlighting the unique needs and challenges girls face, specifically in developing countries. The need and challenge? Something women in most countries take for granted - sanitary napkins.
This year on October 11, Compassion Canada wants to invite both men and women to help combat a problem, that really shouldn't be a problem at all. But Compassion Canada knows this isn't the case for the women in the 25 countries they’re active in.
Here is the problem - sanitary pads cost approximately one dollar for a package of seven. Unfortunately this is a burden for families living in extreme poverty. As a result, women are forced to improvise. Jacky, the director of the Compassion Child development centre at the Mulatsi Church of Uganda shares the following: “One woman told me she uses newspapers; another, rugs; another, cloth from old blankets; and still another said they cut off part of an old mattress.”
Can you imagine having to do this each and every month? It's bad enough we get periods and all the trouble they can bring, but to have to worry about how to catch our flow? As a woman, doesn't that make you want to send over boxes and boxes of sanitary napkins to Uganda?
There is a better way. And remarkably it has come from the men in this community. At first, they were largely ignorant to the needs of their wives and daughters but when the Compassion team in Mulatsi realized that girls were dropping out of school once a month because they had no way to manage their periods, they knew they had to act.
At first they bought and distributed pads to Compassion beneficiaries. However, this was not sustainable and proved expensive. So they applied for funding to teach their communities how to make reusable sanitary pads. One set of seven reusable pads costs $1.50 to make and will last an entire year. And guess who is making them? The men in the village!
The following comes from the Compassion website:
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:1-7, NKJV)
Have you ever noticed how the Apostle John started his first book? I'm sure you have as it's not hard to miss. He is clearly making a statement about new beginnings and he does it by using Genesis as his foundation. He is making two points very strongly by using Genesis. The first is a not-so-subtle message to the Jewish people - God has started something new - pay attention. He then follows that up with who he meant by God.
This post has been a long time coming. I feel that I need to explain to those of you who read my blogs, where I have been and why. First, I haven't been writing. At all. As some of you know, I have stage 3 lipo-lymphedema which is a painful fat disorder that affects my lymphatic system. It has resulted in an increase of congested tissue that I have running down my leg from my knees to my ankles. This is also painful and makes my legs immobile. If I want to go out my husband literally has to move my legs for me to get me in the car. So, needless to say I am finding it hard to concentrate on anything right now. On top of that, I have severe arthritis that has affected my spine which is degenerating and I also have meralgia parasthetica, (caused by the congested tissue) which feels like someone has picked a hot poker out of the fire and is constantly stabbing me with it. So, that is what is going on with me right now.
Do I need prayer? Yes, please! I am constantly fighting off depression, have increased insomnia because of the pain, and writing has become a thing of the past. I desperately wanted to finish my Bible Study on Revelation that I was writing, but I simply can't do it - right now. I have every confidence that if God wants it written, it will be written at the right time and not before. God knows what I'm going through and He knows what I am capable of (or not capable of) right now.
In the meantime, I am able to keep Interviews & Reviews up and running and it is providing a creative outlet for me (of sorts) in the form of writing book and movie reviews. So I apologize to everyone who has been coming here and expecting more. More will come - I just don't know when.
That said, today I once again missed church because of all the stuff I'm going through, but the wonderful part is that I can still attend online. Today, on Resurrection Sunday, our Pastor talked about hope. A message I desperately needed because sometimes when you are dealing with constant pain and sickness you start to feel there is no hope in sight. It gets depressing when every day is the same. It gets lonely when you have no Christian fellowship. You start to feel you have no purpose and you wonder, "Why am I here, anyway? What is my purpose?" So I needed the reminder that I am not living for today, but for eternity. And everything I say and do will have an impact on where I spend my eternity and how I will spend it. This pain is for but a moment, but eternity - well . . . it's forever! And this blog of mine may not reach a lot of people, but I know it will reach someone who needs a word of encouragement today. I am writing and posting it only because of Jesus, who is my hope.
My Pastor shared this video by Francis Chan at church today. If you are experiencing a life that "seems" hopeless and without purpose, this might change your perspective a little bit. I know it lifted my heart.
Happy Resurrection Sunday!