Words to Celebrate Fathers

“My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!”

In the United States we  celebrate and honor fathers  the third Sunday in June.

In the Bible  Jesus told a story about a special father and two different sons who chose differing paths in life.

The Story of the Lost Son from 

The Message  

 

 Jesus said, “There was once a man who had two sons.
 
The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
 
So the father divided the property between them.
 
It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had.
 
 
man in jeans standing in a path
photo from Lightstock.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
 
That brought him to his senses. He said,
 
All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father.
 
I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.”
 
He got right up and went home to his father.
 
 
 
Pigs graze on farm in countryside of Badajoz, Extremadura.
Pigs graze on farm in countryside of Badajoz, Extremadura.
 
 
 
When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.
 
The son started his speech:
 
“Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.”
 
But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants,
 
“Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it.
We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!”
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com
And they began to have a wonderful time.
 
All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing.
 
Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him,
 
“Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.”
 
 
 
The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen.
 
 
The son said,
“Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends?
Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!”
 
His father said,
“Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate.
 
This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!”

exploring the HEART of healthy families 

The young man who left home in this story, the “lost son”, is sometimes called the prodigal son.

A prodigal is a son/daughter who leaves his or her parents to do things that they do not approve of but then feels sorry and returns home —often used figuratively

merriam-webster.com

I realize not everyone has or had a father who nurtured them, but I hope you can think of someone who played a similar role in your life-another relative, a teacher, a coach, a pastor, maybe even a boss. Please find a way to thank and honor that person. When you have an opportunity to “father” someone who needs it, I hope you will. There are a lot of “prodigals” out there.

                 

This year, 2021, is the first year that both of my sons are fathers. One is the father of a teenager, the other an infant. They both learned the art of fatherhood from their dad, my husband.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

Dr. Aletha

Dr. Aletha

Watercress- from tasty to toxic; and a book recommendation

Fascioliasis is found in all continents except Antarctica, in over 70 countries,  especially where there are sheep or cattle. People usually become infected by eating raw watercress or other water plants contaminated with immature parasite larvae.

In casual reading, I rarely find mention of watercress in any context, so it’s startling when I do. The most recent popped up in a memoir about Bruce Murray, a New Zealand soldier who had escaped a German POW camp in World War II. After almost encountering a small camp of enemy soldiers, he took cover in the only hiding place he could find-a swamp.

He decided to sit tight, confident the soldiers would move on. They didn’t. His food was soon exhausted, so he was reduced to eating some sort of watercress and a palm-like weed that grew nearby.. which with the swamp water he was forced to drink kept him going.

By the 5th day, half delirious, he walked into the German campsite..they delivered him back to the POW camp.

It took days to recover from the severe gastroenteritis he’d contracted from the swamp

written by Doug Gold

watercress- an aquatic species

In another watercress post, my references came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, website. In this post I pulled from another government agency, the Department of the Interior, or DOI. The information is much the same, but looks at watercress from a somewhat different angle.

While the agriculture department’s focus is on farming, food, and nutrition, the interior department focuses on the environment , wildlife, and geology.

The U.S. Geological Survey, USGS, considers watercress a “nonindigenous aquatic species” or NAS. It is native to Eurasia and Asia and introduced to North America by cultivation and dispersed by wind, water, and animals. Characteristics include

  • fast growing, perennial herb
  • aquatic-cold lakes and slow moving streams
  • grows “floating or prostrate in mud”
  • most abundant in summer and autumn
  • flowers March to October
U.S. map showing distribution of Nasturtium officinale
dark areas represent significant presence of watercress

Bruce encountered watercress while being held prisoner in eastern Europe, but watercress has migrated to North America.

Nasturium officinale is
  • a perennial herb that grows at the water’s surface along the edges of cold lakes and reservoirs, and along slow-moving streams and rivers
  • may be a noxious weed or invasive. In arid regions of western states, it can alter function and block streams.

Watercress is
  • an edible green with a peppery flavor that is commonly used in salads, as a garnish, or cooked, and which
  • contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C.
  • Many benefits from eating watercress are claimed, such as that it acts as a mild stimulant, a source of phytochemicals and antioxidants, a diuretic, an expectorant, and a digestive aid. It may also have cancer-suppressing properties, and is widely believed to help defend against lung cancer. 

In Bruce’s case, watercress kept him from starving.

But watercress can be toxic, causing illness. Bruce developed a gastroenteritis -abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting-which might have been due to a variety of bacteria, parasites, or viruses contaminating the water. But he may have had a case of

Fascioliasis

Fascioliasis is a parasitic infection typically caused by Fasciola hepatica, which is also known as “the common liver fluke” or “the sheep liver fluke.”

Fascioliasis is found in all continents except Antarctica, in over 70 countries,  especially where there are sheep or cattle. People usually become infected by eating raw watercress or other water plants contaminated with immature parasite larvae.

The young worms move through the intestinal wall, the abdominal cavity, and the liver tissue, into the bile ducts, where they develop into mature adult flukes that produce eggs. The pathology typically is most pronounced in the bile ducts and liver.

Fasciola hepatica egg in an unstained wet mount (400x magnification): F. hepatica eggs are broadly ellipsoidal, operculated, and measure 130–150 μm by 60–90 μm. (CDC Photo: DPDx)

Fasciola hepatica egg in an unstained wet mount (400x magnification): F. hepatica eggs are broadly ellipsoidal, operculated, and measure 130–150 μm by 60–90 μm. (CDC Photo: DPDx)

 Fasciola infection is both treatable and preventable.No vaccine is available to protect people against Fasciola infection.

In some areas of the world where fascioliasis is found (endemic), special control programs are in place or are planned. Strict control of the growth and sale of watercress and other edible water plants is important.

Individual people can protect themselves by not eating raw watercress and other water plants, especially from Fasciola-endemic grazing areas. As always, travelers to areas with poor sanitation should avoid food and water that might be contaminated (tainted). Vegetables grown in fields that might have been irrigated with polluted water should be thoroughly cooked, as should viscera from potentially infected animals.

The NOTE THROUGH the WIRE

The incredible true story of a prisoner of war and a resistance heroine

Food poisoning from watercress and swamp water were not the only hazards Bruce Murray faced as an Allied POW in Nazi controlled Europe; despite brutal treatment at the hands of sadistic guards, inadequate food, and inclement weather , he risked execution if caught assisting local partisan resistance fighters.

One such resistance fighter was a young woman, Josefine Lobnik, who worked as a courier for the underground resistance movement., passing documents and weapons . Despite the threat of torture and death if caught, she was determined to fight to free her country from enemy occupation which had already caused her family to lose everything.

Author Doug Gold writes about his wife’s parents, telling the story of how the war and their mutual determination to fight the horrors of Nazi aggression brought them together against all odds. Unfortunately, neither of them lived to see their story brought to life.

I could not put this book down and I think you will find it equally engageing. It is an almost unbelievable love story and tribute to all who are willing to risk everything for the sake of democracy and decency. I would recommend it even if it did not mention watercress.

Praised as an “unforgettable love story” by Heather Morris, New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, this is the real-life, unlikely romance between a resistance fighter and prisoner of war set in World War II Europe.

Amazon

exploring the HEART of health

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

Dr. Aletha