Blog posts

Words about fasting and helping

What is true fasting? Maybe not what you think#Isaiah#CHaRA#faithhopelove

 
 
“Fasting, abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes.
 
The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.
 
Fasting has been promoted and practiced from antiquity worldwide
by physicians,
by the founders and followers of many religions,
by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah 58 , HCSB
 
True Fasting
 
“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed! ”
 
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers.
You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
 
Will the fast I choose be like this:
 
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
 
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
 
Isn’t the fast I choose:
 
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
 
 
group of people sitting under a tree
relief outreach by CHaRA
 
 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
 
 
nurse with boy giving shoes
nurse distributing new shoes to children
 
 © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

sharing the HEART of health with CHaRA- Construction, Health, and Relief Acts

photos by Dr. Aletha during a volunteer trip to Africa to assist CHaRA with their humanitarian work

 

 

You may also like Fasting for the body and the soul

 

 

Exploring the HEART of faith, hope, and love

                              Dr. Aletha 

 
 
FAITH LOVE HOPE
These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love.  
1 Corinthians 13:13                          
 Lightstock graphic -affiliate link 
 

Vaccination prevents disease- part 2

In part 1  I discussed the vaccine preventable bacterial diseases . Here we’ll look at viral infections.

 

Virus vs Bacteria

One major difference between bacterial and viral infections is the treatment. We have many more effective antibiotics (drugs which fight bacteria) than we do antiviral drugs.

And antibiotics do not affect viruses. Despite that fact, patients often expect and even demand their physicians prescribe antibiotics for viral infections such as influenza, colds and bronchitis- and unfortunately too often we physicians do it anyway.

 

6 smart facts about antibiotic use

 

Influenza- the vaccine is given annually and targeted to the strains of virus predicted to be active in any given year.

symptoms of influenza
The nasal flu vaccine is not preferred as it is less effective than a shot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measles (rubeola), Mumps, Rubella (German measles) -I am grouping these together since their vaccines are usually given together as the MMR. Recent outbreaks of measles have been attributed to the decline in vaccination rates.

Measles in the United States

Polio, a disease parents feared when I was a child, due to to risk of permanent paralysis, now essentially eradicated in the United States

Rotavirus,  in infants and small children, a common cause of gastroenteritis- vomiting and diarrhea, with or without fever and abdominal pain

HPV, the human papilloma virus, causes warts of all kinds, but the vaccine is targeted to the strains that cause genital warts and can lead to cervical cancer

The cousin viruses, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis is an infection  of the liver, which can range from a mild disease to life threatening. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or other body fluids.

Another set of cousins, Varicella Zoster (VZ) virus causes two different infections and thus has two vaccines. The original infection is  varicella or chickenpox, formerly a common childhood illness but not seen often now due to the vaccine. When it reactivates, usually years later in adulthood, it is known as  zoster or shingles.

 

 

There are also several vaccines usually reserved for travel to specific areas of the world, occupational exposure, military service or other special circumstances. These include vaccines for anthrax, typhoid, cholera, (bacteria) and yellow fever, smallpox,and rabies (viruses). 

Diseases for which there is no vaccine

One of the most serious is malaria, caused by a parasite transmitted by infected mosquitos. Malaria is rarely a risk in northern or extreme southern areas of the world, but for the tropics, especially sub-Saharan Africa it is a major health problem.

Otherwise we all are at risk of other serious infections that we cannot yet prevent with immunization. These include

HIV-human immunodeficiency virus ,and most other sexually transmitted diseases including HSV- herpes simplex virus, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.

HCV- Hepatitis C

Most respiratory viruses, including rhinovirus, cause of the common cold; RSV-respiratory syncytial virus and infectious mononucleosis

The Ebola virus

 

Borrelia, not really a bacteria, it’s a spirochete, which causes Lyme (not lime) disease

And the bacteria Staphylococcus, which causes “staph” (not staff) infections of the skin and Streptococcus, which causes “strep throat”

If you have any questions or concerns about which vaccines you might need to protect yourself against infections, please consult your own personal physician.

Detailed information about vaccines and infectious disease  is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

 

Vaccination prevents disease- part 1

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Christian Lent

Ash Wednesday- an Old Testament tradition for Christians today

Daniel’s prayer for his nation as they faced the future desolation

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.    

man with hands folded in prayer
photo from Lightstock .com, stock photos and graphics(affiliate)

 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying,

“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.

Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy”

Daniel 9:3-5, 17 ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publisher

"faith, hope, love"
Lightstock.com graphic; find it at this affiliate link

exploring and sharing the HEART of health.   

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Dr. Aletha 

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posts on this blog about lent

Good News

Glory

Alleluia

Rest

Light

Sorrow

Tuesday Travels- Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico

If you like art in any form- paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry, woodcarving- then a trip to the Santa Fe and Taos New Mexico area will be a treat for you. You will be able to visit gallery after gallery, shop after shop for days on end, and still not see them all. If you arrive by air your art tour will start right at the airport which is small but sets the tone for what you will see during your stay. As you step outside the terminal you will be greeted by the bronze statue Reverence by artist David Pearson. As described in an art guide, “Hers is a pose of prayer, of openness to powers beyond all understanding,.. Her ancient gesture is transformed into one of welcome and benefaction in her perfect placement at the Santa Fe airport. ”

IMG_2377 IMG_2378 IMG_2379

Taos likewise is an art mecca both within the town and also at the Taos Pueblo, which is also a must see for those interested in  Native American history and culture. At the pueblo, tribe members display and sell handmade arts and crafts.

DSC_0104IMG_2462

As you travel around both cities and the surrounding areas, you don’t have to look for the art- it will find you.

IMG_2485 IMG_2517 IMG_2507

Vaccination prevents disease- part 1

 

Prevention is a focus in healthcare now  and immunization has  been one of the most effective ways to prevent disease ever developed.

The list of diseases that are “vaccine preventable” is long and continues to grow.

Vaccine recommendations may be based on a person’s

  •  age,
  • gender,
  • ethnicity and
  • concurrent conditions, especially diabetes mellitus, chronic lung diseases, heart disease and  immune suppressing disorders.

Vaccine administration may vary by

  • the number of doses recommended,
  • how far apart the doses should be given, and
  • which vaccines can be administered at the same time.

 

Immunization protocols have  become so complex that even physicians have difficulty keeping it straight without the use of paper or digital checklists. This is one area where the Internet and EMRs (electronic medical records) can be useful.

Create an immunization schedule for your child from birth to 6 years of age

2016 recommended immunizations for children
2016 recommended immunizations for children (the 2017 schedule is available on the CDC website)

 

Vaccines for infections caused by bacteria

I use the name of the disease and/or the bacteria, rather than the vaccine name, since there are different brand names for the vaccines depending on the manufacturer.

So successful have these vaccines been that most young doctors have never seen a patient with these diseases (unless perhaps they specialize in infectious disease, immunology, emergency medicine or critical care). And even I, who graduated medical school in 1978, have only seen a few, and none in recent years.

Diphtheria-primarily a respiratory tract illness in young persons

Pertussis, better know as whooping cough, also a respiratory illness, which has made a comeback in recent years, apparently due to a waning of immunity

Tetanus, also called “lockjaw”– due to a toxin which may contaminate a dirty wound

Menigococcal disease, which is one of many causes of meningitis (inflammation of the brain lining), but one of the most deadly, even with treatment

Streptococcal pneumoniae disease; the vaccine is often referred to as the “pneumonia vaccine”, but the bacteria can also cause ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis and sepsis (bloodstream infection)

Haemophilus disease is similar to pneumococcal, but more of a concern in infants and children

 

Six Things YOU Need to Know about Vaccines

 

 

 Pneumococcal Vaccination from JAMA

infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae

 

 

 Pandemic- a book review

Infection is still a major health issue worldwide

and epidemics are still a threat. This book explains why.                 Pandemic by Sonia Shah

Vaccination prevents disease, part 2

Sunday Words about love 

 

let religion be less theory, more love
Lightstock.com (affiliate link) 

 

G.K. Chestertonin full Gilbert Keith Chesterton (born May 29, 1874, London, England—died June 14, 1936, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire), English critic and author of verse, essays, novels, and short stories, known also for his exuberant personality and rotund figure.

“noble beyond her years”

Please read this updated post about Kayla-

A Shining Spirit- Kayla Mueller

 

 

I cannot think of anything else worth saying today other than to express my sadness  for and sympathy to the family of Kayla Mueller. On  the evening news last night I heard Kayla’s aunt describe her as “noble beyond her years.”

I had never heard of Kayla until a few days ago, but her story touches my heart. I have a son about the same age; and like her, his work and passions take him all over the world. I cannot imagine getting an email like the one her parents received confirming her death.

At only 26 years old, Kayla had already traveled to India, Israel, Palestine and Syria on humanitarian endeavors and in Arizona worked at a women’s shelter and with AIDS patients, according to the news reports. And in a letter she wrote to her family from captivity, she expressed regret that she was causing them pain.

I hope the memory of this beautiful young woman brings some comfort to their grieving hearts.