Another milestone….

Posted by on May 27, 2017 in All Posts, Our Family | 1 comment

My second born grand daughter, MacKenzie Staley, graduated yesterday from highschool. How could that be? She is still just a little tow headed little toddler? And I bet I’m not the only one that feels that way – eh Jay & Nicci? Sigh…..time marches on.

‘Kenzie’ is a beautiful, sweet, gentle and loving young lady. She is way too grown up for her age of course, but she has come thru the trials of her short life in grand style. Her beauty comes from the inside … and we are so proud of her!

As we sit at your graduation, my dear, watching you ‘walk the walk’ … we pray earnestly that the Creator of all takes a moment and smiles down upon you and you feel His presence … and walk in His shalom!

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Ahhhh….spring

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in All Posts, Herbs, In the Garden & Round the House | 1 comment

Ahhhh….spring

Yes…another winter behind us…another spring opening up before us. The essence of the breezes are lighter, full of scents that refresh the psyche and put a spring in the step. Several springs.

This is my 65th spring….that is mind blowing. But I relish every moment, taking the time to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ and sometimes I just sit on the deck and marvel at the beauty that the Holy One, the Creator of everything in the Universe has blessed His children with.

The garden is beginning to look alive…green is everywhere and salads have been gracing our table with fresh asparagus, kale, dandelions, violets, wild onions and redbud flowers. What a bounty He has blessed us with if you know where to look!

Today was an exceptional day – even though it was a bit cloudy. The stinging nettle has been transplanted into the herb garden, searching strawberry plants have been moved to some new spots, passion flower shoots bedded down into new homes, tomatoes, peppers, and squash out in their respective hills….and tonight we’ll be enjoying a soothing tea of stinging nettle, blackberry leaves and a bit of ginger.

Here’s to loving spring!

Dandelion, dandelions everywhere! Let’s make Jelly!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in All Posts, Herbs, Recipes | 0 comments

 

This is an easy recipe and you’ll love the idea of sending out the kids to pick dandelion flowers! It will keep them busy for at least an hour (hehe). But, seriously – this is a good one!

Gather as many dandelion flowers as you want or until you get tired of bending over. This recipe fills six 8oz mason jars. You can revamp it to fill up what you would rather use.

DANDELION JELLY!

2 quarts water

1 package powdered pectin

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 1/2 cups sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
The only part you want of the flower is the yellow – snip off any green, or as much as you can. this recipe calls for about 4 cups of the yellow petals. When using wild flowers, or anything you pick, always rinse them in a colander to remove any debris. You can also soak them in a sink full of water with a bit of vinegar in the water as well.
Get out your large pot (enough to hold 4 quarts if you can) and fill the pot with 1/2 that much water boiling the petals for 3-4 minutes. Then cool that water down till it is tepid (may take a couple hours!).  Doing this will give you the prettiest color possible. After it’s cool, then strain your tea being careful to not lose any of the precious ‘tea’.
Now, simply measure out about 3 cups of your dandelion ‘tea’ add your lemon juice and pectin and bring again to a boil. Make sure your pot is deep enough or it will boil over! When it’s at a rolling boil, add your sugar, stir and boil for about 3 minutes. Then just turn off the heat, skim any nasties from the surface and pour into your processed jars.
Let it sit….and then enjoy this delicious goldness!

Pretty little Violets

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in Essential Oils & Herbs, Herbs, Recipes | 0 comments

 

Ever admire those pretty little purple flowers popping up all over in the springtime? Well, here’s an easy and sweetly tasting recipe for some Violet Jelly! Try it out and let us know what you think! Well, here’s an inspiration that I tried from a FB post – try it – easy peasy and you’ll love it!

 

VIOLET JELLY

1 pint violet flowers

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 cups sugar

3 oz. liquid pectin

Directions:

Gather lots and lots of little violet flowers and gently press them down into your very clean mason jar. After you are sure you can’t get anymore into that jar (I used an 8oz jar for this recipe, but you can do whatever size jar you desire just adjust ingredient measurements), pour boiling water into your jar until it’s full. Stir or push down the violets with a wooden spoon to release any air bubbles.

Now, just put the lid on your jar, and set aside out of the sunlight for at least 24-36 hours. The beautiful violet color will fade to a gorgeous blue but don’t give up yet. After the jar has set for at least 24 hours, strain the violet tea thru a small mesh or colander to remove the small particles. For this recipe, you can add a bit more water to the mix so that you have 2 cups.

Now, the final magic – in a deep pot so that it doesn’t boil over (ask me how I know this!) add the lemon juice and bring it to a boil. After about a minute, add the sugar and pectin and boil again for about a minute. Then, just turn off the heat, skimp the top  and pour into your processed jars! The color will turn back into that beautiful purple color and you will have a wonderful, sweetly scented Violet Jelly! Enjoy!

 

Click here to try Dandelion Jelly!

Esther…and Concealment – Part 2

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 in All Posts, Purim | 0 comments

Esther…and Concealment – Part 2

(miss part 1? Click here!)

Part 2

So, here we are – it seems that Esther & Mordechai have saved the day! But not quite. Even though Haman (who by the way was a descendant of Agag the Amalakite – sworn lifetime enemy of Israel) was out of the picture, the decree that he finagled to kill the Jews was not! Now comes the crux of the story. Would the Queen who has been concealed all this time in the pages of history reveal herself and be able to save her people? Let’s review.

Esther has just revealed that she has a ‘people’ other than her Persian subjects! Her perfect anonymity was shattered and she would have to face the consequences and the past! She had just shown King Achashveirosh that she is not just Mother Persia! There is more to her than meets the eye. She has a past, a present and a future. However, the King seems to have accepted this side of her as well and has rewarded both her and Mordechai with more honor and many splendid gifts – what more could they want he must have thought! But the story isn’t over here.

Let’s go back to what Esther said to the King at the 2nd banquet:

“If I have found favor in the king’s eyes, and if it pleases the king – then give me my life as my request, and [the life of] my people as my petition. For me and my people have been sold – to be destroyed, killed, and annihilated…” (Esther 7:3-4)

Sold? That wasn’t in the decree was it? Where do these sentiments come from? Where have we heard them before? Search your memory … do you remember? Continue on to Chapter 8 of Esther so we can tie this together. She goes again into the King’s chambers and begs for mercy:

For how can I bear to see the evil that will overcome my people? How can I endure seeing the extermination of my kinsmen?” Esther8:6

Look at these words carefully in Hebrew:

ki eichecha uchal v’raiti baraah asher yimtza et ami

“ the evil that will befall my people.

Where have we heard that in another story played out before? Somewhere, somewhere – yes! In Genesis, in the story of Judah and Benjamin! Judah said the exact same words to Pharaoh as he stood before him begging to save the life of his little brother! Exact same words with the exception of only one syllable! Instead of AMI he replaced it with AVI – my father! You find those words in Genesis 44! Judah says:

“eich ereh bara asher yimtza et avi”,

how can I possibly bear to see the evil that will befall my father?”

Coincidence? Ok – maybe. But look closer – she said that her people were sold! Could she be referring back to when the sons of Leah sold her ancestor Joseph as a slave? Could she be pointing back to that time in history when the sibling rivalry became entrenched? Coincidence? Well, then consider that she just might have started with that, but then Mordechai reminds her that they are still one family! And her memories go to the part where Judah begs Pharaoh for the life of Benjamin – the son whom his father loves more than all the other sons! In fact, let’s read what Judah said to Pharaoh:

He repeated what his father said: ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons: the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I haven’t seen him since. Now if you take this one away from me too, and something happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sh’ol with grief.’

“MY WIFE”? What happened to Leah? 2 sons? Weren’t there 10 more? For Judah to be able to come to himself, repent fully of what he had done and vow not to repeat history by offering his own life to take the place of Benjamin is the epitome of self-sacrifice. Joseph knew, then and there that he had changed, that he had turned around and completely repented of his past actions. Judah was  able to realize that his father loved Rachael more than his own mother, Leah. He came to grips with the fact that Jacob loved Joseph and Benjamin more than the other ten sons. He became, then and there, the Lion that saved the tribe of Benjamin! He colored his canvas with the good memories.

This Megillah (scroll) is about the heroism of a young Jewish girl, originally named Hadassah, but now called by her Persian name Esther and as you can see, has everything to do with memories. The past meeting the present which will determine the future!  This book is actually called Parshat Zachor, the Parsha of Remembrance.  And it certainly is! As we have seen, both Mordechai and Esther remember what has happened in the past; the good, the bad and the ugly. But they rise to the occasion and remember the good and in doing so, help in healing a family.

The Holy One has blessed us with memory – even when we sometimes wish to forget! But memory is not just about the past – it’s something that we carry with us every moment of our lives. This little thing called memory affects every part of our lives. Not only does it change our present actions – it changes our future in many ways, some that we are not yet aware of. It colors our perception of circumstances! We can’t help it – it just does.

But the story of Esther, with all its twists and turns and ups and downs and intrigue and romance, well, it gives us a wonderful example of how to deal with our memory! Our memories consist of two sides – comforting events that happened and horrible, never-want-to-go-there-again memories. Two sides of the same coin.  We have a choice of how that coin lands.

It is our choice on how we paint that canvas that counts in the end.  Put yourself in Judah’s shoes. He faced the hurtful memory of his father’s unconditional love for Rachael and her children over the children of Leah. What pain and devastation must have overcome him as he finally realized the fact, in its fullest extent, that his father’s most favored and loved sons were Rachael’s.  Benjamin’s life was now fully in his hands.  He stood before the Pharaoh, weighing the choice of walking away and saving himself or redeeming his father’s favored son, Benjamin. The decision must have been monumental. But it was also life-changing – for him, for his brothers and for all of Israel! It changed the course of history!

Now we arrive at another pivotal point in history, where King Achashveirosh of Persia has conquered 127 provinces and has much at stake in keeping that control. He depends on his image of strength and wealth and that of his Queen to cement the image of power. Vashti failed him in his third year of reign. Esther, chosen in the 7th year, was to be the perfect image of Mother Persia and the embodiment of all that was grace and beauty. The story unfolds with so many ‘coincidences‘ woven throughout this story.  But we know, in hindsight, they are not coincidences. It is simply our own King working behind the scenes as the players are presented choices. Just as we are presented with choices. One choice that is given to us is our choice to ‘remember‘. Our memories can color our story. As they colored this one.

Esther is forced to look at the memories. She is called to remember and to decide which way to color her story. How does she deal with the painful memories of her ancestors when they sold Joseph? How does she paint in her mind the years that Joseph spent in prison while his father languished in years of heartache at his beloved son’s fate? And then, how does she weigh the memories of what happened when Judah finally spoke up and saved the family that she emerged from? She deals with them only as a Queen of the Most High God would – she colors those memories good. She does not turn her back on the bad memories, the painful times that she must have wanted to forget.  She can’t … neither can we. We can try, but it doesn’t work that way. She weighed the force of those memories, and her canvas highlighted the good.

Memory, however, is a choice. Your choice. You are the one telling your story and it is up to you what you will do and how you will color your story. Stop here and ask yourself, do you allow the bad memories to lead and simply throw in a ‘good’ word here and there? Is that your story? Or do you choose to do what Esther chose to do? She made a choice on how to color her story. Yes, the bad memories of the sibling rivalry rose up to try to be the lead in that story but then she also brought forth the memories of the tremendous good that came about! And she colored her story with good, with redemption, with sacrifice, and with power. She knew that the author of the story was none other than the Creator of the Universe – and his color is always good!

Each and everyone of us are in an Esther time right now. No matter what circumstances you are going through, no matter how dark and black your story looks, know that the God of Israel, the King of Kings, is working behind the scenes – always! He has not forgotten any of us – whether our family ties come from Rachael … or Leah … or wherever. He is working behind the scenes to restore the whole House. His House….the House of Israel – as He promised. And we will run into many ‘coincidences’ along the way. Choose your crayons wisely.

So let us leave this story here (even though there is so much more to uncover!) and go forward this day, remembering the good and the bad and …

let us CHOOSE to color our story with the GOOD and realize that the ‘bad stuff‘ simply leads us to that climatic good ending! Go forth and be filled with COLOR!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esther…and Concealment

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 in Ezer Kenegdo, Purim | 0 comments

We all know the story – have read it a hundred times – is there anything new in there? Let’s see if we can look back in time and dig a little deeper shall we?

Setting aside all the nuances of Esther and Haman and Mordechai and the King, let’s look at a layer that is right there before us, but glanced over for what we deem to be mystical and spiritual. Now I have everyone’s attention – yes? What don’t we know about this Queen?

Well, first of all – this short excerpt will barely scratch the surface but we will scratch anyway. It will then be up to you to pursue the road less traveled and discover the nuggets that are hidden in plain sight in the book of Esther, the concealed Queen where Yahuah (God) is never mentioned even once!

First of all, remember that in the beginning of the story the narrator makes sure that we know that both Esther and Mordechai hail from the tribe of BENJAMIN. First clue! Then if we slow down even further and actually examine the words that Esther and Mordechai actually speak (to each other and to the King) – oh my! It will blow your mind and have you retracing your steps all the way back to Genesis! Are you scratching your head at this point and asking what is she talking about?

Well, let’s take a look at what Mordechai says to Esther after finding out about the decree that Haman was able to finagle out of the King to annihilate a whole group of people! His words echo a story … see if you can discover what he is referring to. Mordechai says to Esther:

If you keep silent at this time, salvation will come to the Jews from somewhere else, and you and your father’s house will be destroyed. And who knows if it was for this moment that you became queen? Esther 4:14

Think about that ….he offers her a way out of doing this (because she knows she may be killed on the spot for entering the King’s presence without permission), but then he says that her and her father’s house will be destroyed anyway! What? What is he really saying here? There must be more to this then meets the eye! And there is. First of all, when do cowards deserve death? Even in Deuteronomy it tells us the Kohen would ask the soldiers going out to war if they were afraid to go home. They didn’t wipe out the cowards…why is Mordechai offering her an opt out card but saying she will be annihilated anyway?

Well, again, we must remember that her father’s house was the House of Benjamin. She was not from the tribe of Judah, even though this ‘nation‘ fell under the banner of being called ‘Jews’. When Persia conquered Babylon, many of the exiles of Judah (and a bit of Benjamin and a few other tribal stragglers) were then carted off to Persia. But, let’s leave that for a minute and see what else is said and tie it together a bit more.

Purim is a time of ‘remembering’ it is called the Parshat Zachor – or the Parsha of Remembrance. And Mordechai is hinting to her to ‘remember’ the family. Esther does remember, she remembers all the way back to when ‘the family’ the brothers of her ancestor Joseph sold him to a bunch of traveling Ishmalites and wiped their hands of his destiny. They were going to kill him, but then Judah spoke up and encouraged them to just ‘sell him’ so that there would not be any blood on their hands. Interesting you say, but where are we going with this? Please hold on – we’ll get there.

So she approaches the King and finds his favor to come near and her words ring out – “Please save my people” … uhh…no… that’s not what she actually said – she said “COME TO DINNER“! Again – we say WHAT? She invites him to a dinner – and to top it off she also invites Haman? What nonsense is this you might ask! I certainly did and I’m sure the King was asking the same question in his own heart.

So let’s move on – the dinner goes exceptionally well, despite the fact that the King must have scratched his head once or twice wondering why she wanted to entertain Haman. But Haman left in an altered state – he was head over heels believing he was so important and proceeded to go home to tell his wife and friends how blessed he was. Unfortunately he met Mordechai along the way who did not bow to him and it set his rage afire. His wife suggested building a gallows for Mordechai and beseeching the King to let him kill the Jew.

Well, as you know, the story proceeds that the King & Haman are not able to sleep that nite and just by coincidence they meet up.  The King reads where he has not rewarded Mordechai for his loyalty and asks Haman what he would do if he wanted to honor a man of the kingdom. Haman thinks the King is talking about  him and suggests his own fantasy!  Haman is certainly put in his place when he has to lead Mordechai all around the kingdom in the King’s clothes, seated on the King’s horse and wearing the King’s crown! How humiliating for him! Then of course comes the next banquet that Esther sets for the two of them. Haman’s bubble has been burst and must be wondering what is going on and we can only imagine what the King is thinking at this point.

Imagine that second banquet spread out before the two of them. The table is set, the wine is flowing and the King again asks Esther – ‘tell me your request – up to half my kingdom is yours‘!  What does she reply? Listen carefully:

“If I have found favor in the king’s eyes, and if it pleases the king – then give me my life as my request, and [the life of] my people as my petition. For me and my people have been sold – to be destroyed, killed, and annihilated…” (Esther 7:3-4)

The king says WHO is going to kill MY Queen? And there you have it – its all out in the open –she has stealthily let the King know that she DOES have a people, that she is  a member of another nation and that her people are to be killed! The King jumps on the first part – someone is about to kill HIS QUEEN! Does he even hear the rest of what she says? He storms out of the banquet and when he returns, the eunich that brought Haman to the party just happens to slip and tell the King that Haman had built a gallows in his yard to hang Mordechai on! Well, perfect answer – the King demands that Haman be hanged on his own gallows! So be it.

Continue on to Part 2 if you are up to it 🙂

 

Going and Coming

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in All Posts, All Things Biblical, Ezer Kenegdo | 0 comments

Going and Coming

A great message by Skip Moen – if you enjoy his teachings, please make sure to join us in August where he will be speaking in Kansas City, MO!

 

Going and Coming
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. John 14:16 NASB

Another helper – We all know this Greek word, Paraklete, “the Helper.” Growing up in the Western Church, we were told that this is a circumlocution for the Holy Spirit. This verse in John is typically used to establish the person of the Holy Spirit, the “other” helper who will come after Yeshua leaves. Sure enough, the Greek text reads allos parakleton, an accusative, singular, masculine noun. This construction indicates that the

Paraklete is the direct object of the Father’s action. “He will give another helper.”

Now let’s put this into Jewish/Hebraic thought. The “spirit” is the personal power of the presence of YHVH or His Messiah. There is no person called the Holy Spirit. In fact, until about 380 CE, there wasn’t even any official doctrine about the “Spirit” in Christianity. In Jewish thinking, the “spirit” is the expression of God’s action among men, whether it is found in Genesis 1:2, at Sinai, in the words of the prophets or in the life of the Messiah. It is God personally displayed.[1]

Given this Jewish idea, I want to point out an interesting connection. Yeshua tells us that the role of this personal presence of YHVH is to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8), to provide encouragement (John 14:18)[2] and to testify of the Messiah (John 15:26). We might summarize these functions as offering truthful criticism and conviction, providing nourishing support and witnessing to God’s great gift in the Messiah. Here’s the interesting connection. This is essentially the role of the ‘ezer kenegdo, the woman of Genesis 2. She is to offer truthful criticism to her husband in order that he maintains a life of righteousness. She is to judge his intentions and actions in light of God’s goodness. She is to provide nourishment, encouragement and support when he is in alignment with God’s purposes. And she is to be the embodiment of God’s offer of forgiveness. Maimonides points out that the unusual preposition kenegdo entails the action of both coming and going. It means to draw toward when the husband is following YHVH, and to pull away when he is not. Could it be that Yeshua’s departure is also one side of the mystery of the ‘ezer kenegdo while the Paraklete is the other? “Going and coming” seem to be a pattern in God’s interactions with men. Maybe one of these patterns is the going to the Messiah because of the evil of this age and the coming of God’s presence to bring about the ‘olam ha’ba.

Of course, this is probably a stretch. It’s probably more than the text will support. But we do know that YHVH deliberately designed the ‘ezer kenegdo after His own character and we know what she is supposed to do. Why wouldn’t the Messiah’s role also include these intentions?

Topical Index: Paraklete, ‘ezer kenegdo, John 14:16

[1] For the Christian position concerning the “person” of the Spirit in this verse, you might look at http://irr.org/part-three-holy-spirit-paraclete-in-john

[2] Notice that it is YHVH who is the author of comfort according to Paul (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Vinegar – A staple you need to have!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in All Posts, Natural Affair, Resources | 2 comments

Everyone has it … and if you don’t, you should have! What is it? VINEGAR! Yes, that old staple that is in everyone’s pantry. This wonder product just simply doesn’t get enough credit. Good thing probably – that’s why it’s still so cheap to buy!

There are so many do-it-yourself projects that one can incorporate with this wonder water that you will wonder why you never thought of it before. So let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with vinegar which is a cheap and organic way to help get you through the day.

  • Freshen up your Dishwasher or Coffee Pot
    This is an easy one – simply pour 1 cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher, then run a full cycle – same with coffee pot! Just do this easy cleaning once a month and you’ll have fresh coffee and a clean dishwasher.
  • Equal parts of White Vinegar and Water
    Mix a bowl of 1/2 and 1/2 and wipe down your fridge for a clean, fresh smelling fridge!
  • Keeps flowers fresh
    Add a shot of vinegar and a dash of sugar into your flower vase and your flowers will stay fresh twice as long.
  • Miracle Bathtub Cleanup
    Here’s an easy way to clean your tub! Just take a spray bottle, put in a warm mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup liquid (Dawn) dish soap and spray down your tub, shower walls and fixtures. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and wipe off with clean sponge. You will not believe how easy it is!
  • Clean those Showerheads
    Mix a solution of a ½ cup of vinegar to 1 quart of water. Dip your showerhead into the mixture or put the mixture in a plastic bag and secure to the showerhead. The best unplugging solution you need!
  • Drains stink?
    Good tip here – pour ½ cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar down the offending drain. When it stops foaming, just run hot water down the drain for a minute or so. Not only does it help freshen but it also clears out the drains!
  • Oust those Weeds
    This is soooo easy! Pour full strength white vinegar in the area where you want to get rid of the weeds. Bingo! Gone!
  • Keep it handy!
    In our house, we always have a spray bottle handy filled with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and then add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, shake it good and it’s ready to go. You can spray it around the doors, windows to keep out bugs, spray your counter tops for getting rid of bacteria and so much more.

 

Mold – What? Not in my house!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in All Posts, Natural Affair, Resources | 3 comments

After dealing with this invisible hazard for almost two years and finally being able to get a positive diagnosis, we are in the process of almost a total rehab of our house – from top to bottom. Extensive research, study and private-eye snooping, here is probably one of the best articles I’ve found on the subject. Mold is everywhere and no one is too clean to escape it!

MOLD

Mold has certainly made its way into people’s homes as well as the headlines recently.  Many people still don’t fully understand the health hazards of fungal exposure.  The term toxic mold is somewhat misleading as it exudes an idea that certain molds are toxic, when actually certain types of molds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins.  The correct term is mycotoxins.  Airborne mycotoxins can definitely destroy one’s health. Sometimes, people are unaware that they are breathing mold spores and mycotoxins until they are very sick. Certain people have a minor allergic reactions to the some molds,  but once you leave the affected area they most likely recover with few serious side effects. However, if they have been exposed to the dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, they could suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heartproblems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more.

The molds that produce airborne toxins that can cause serious symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and acid reflux. Common ailments from toxigenic mold—including allergies (hypersensitivity after initial toxicity), and excessive bruising—usually can be treated and reduced after people leave their contaminated environment. Often medication, diet, and other treatment protocols are necessary.  But other health problems may remain permanently, such as brain damage and weakened immune systems.  Eyesight, memory, coordination/balance, and hearing are generally the most common residual effects that often do not improve after treatment in most cases.

Molds can be found wherever there is moisture, oxygen, and something to feed on. In the fall, they grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, especially in moist, shady areas. In gardens, they can be found in compost piles and on certain grasses and weeds. Molds grow in our homes in moist warm areas like damp basements, closets, and bathrooms, even after the moisture has dried up. Also, molds can grow in places where fresh food is stored, refrigerator drip trays, house plants, humidifiers, garbage pails, mattresses, upholstered furniture, or foam rubber pillows. The worst place that molds can grow, however, is inside wall cavities and flooring of our homes, wherever there may be cellulose materials they can feed on, such as wood, ceiling tiles, or plasterboard, even if they are not visible, and they have sustained water damage at one time or another. This is very common if there has been a plumbing leak or an inadequate roof.  Actually, any type of water damage can cause a mold problem.  Mold and cellulose eating insects are often partners in crime in water damaged portions of your home. Due to similar conditions required for each to thrive, the presence of one may indicate the other.

Mold also needs an organic source of food. People might be confused as mold can grow on glass, tile, stainless steel, cookware, etc., but it is generally feeding off of some organic source deposited on this material (oils, film, dirt, skin cells, etc.). The fiberglass insulation which some assume that mold does not grow on their product which is a fairly true statement, however, it grows on the organic debris that become trapped in these products. Mold also grows on things such as wood, fabric, leather, gypsum, fiberboard, drywall, stucco, and many insulation fibrous materials. All molds require some form of moisture to grow however, like temperature, the amount of moisture varies for different species. Some are xerophillic (colonize under very dry conditions) some are xerotolerant (colonize under a wide range of moisture levels) and some are hydrophilic (colonize at high moisture levels). It does not have to be a leak. . . Humidity or moisture content of the substrate can often be sufficient (relative humidity 50% start becoming problematic in many indoor cases). It can spread very easily through any HVAC system.

Sick buildings are one of the major causes of fungal illness, primarily mycotoxicosis or systemic fungal disease, in industrialized nations today.  The United States is the least developed in fungal illness research and assistament to the community due to the high costs and fear of reprisals, so sadly, most American physicians have little or no education in treating this health crisis.  The average American physician knows only how to identify a mold hyphae under a microscope, at best. due to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry funds the medical schools.  Mycotoxicosis, often mistakenly called “Toxic Mold Syndrome” out of ignorance, has reached epidemic proportions at a national level in the United States due to defective construction, lack of regular maintenance, shoddy and inappropriate building materials, ignorance, and lack of government  involvement; all or in part due to the high costs of standard and substandard remediation.

This illness has been so misunderstood, some who profit from the misfortunes of these poor individuals even go so low as to claim that there is no evidence to back up the fact that mold can cause permanent neurological, psychological, immunological and pathological damage, despite the medical data from well respected physicians all over the world.

 

Excerpts from MOLD HELP – please take time to read the whole article if you or someone you know is suffering from chronic coughing, sneezing or any of the symptoms listed below:

A New Purim

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in All Posts, All Things Biblical, Purim, Women in the Bible | 0 comments

A New Purim

The megillah (story) of Esther (hidden star) will be read throughout the world by many of the Jewish faith next week to remember the festival of Purim. A fast was called to open the doors of heaven for a miracle during that time. The story line was about an egotistical, arrogant adviser to the king, named Haman, who devised a plan to exterminate all the Jews in the land of Persia (which is modern day Iran). The unlikely hero of the story was a young Jewish girl named Hadassah (a myrtle branch) who was called upon by her uncle Mordechai to go before the King, against protocol and intercede for her people. This theme has played out many times in history, and it seems as if it simply keeps replaying itself in history.

In 2015, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, traveled to the United States, breaking protocol, and stood before a divided House. He came, for such a time as this, to plead his case for his people against another Haman. Benjamin Netanyahu’s name means ‘the gift of the Lord’ or ‘YAHWEH has given’. That gift came to this land, presented his case with strength and conviction, but in the end, must leave the ‘lot’ in the hands of the Supreme Powers. This year, Bibi returned with a more positive attitude, an encouraging handshake with the new leader of the most powerful nation on earth. We hope that he left with a renewed resolve to continue to stand in the gap!

The sages say that the story of Ester and Mordechai is all about lots …. or chances and fate. But whose chances or lots are we really talking about? Is it only the lots that Haman thought he cast?  He took great care to design extensive plans and carefully measured all his ideas so that the lots were cast in his favor…. it looked as if he had everything perfectly executed. But one thing he could not do, nor can any of us …. was to control the end result! The consequences, no matter how well the plan is executed, can never be predicted with perfect accuracy!

The ‘hidden hand’ of the Almighty causes all things to work out for HIS purposes … and His purposes are only seen in the consequences of man’s actions. The hidden hand in the destiny of mankind, the gift of Yahweh reaches out to save His people in the most precarious of times.  So no matter what the world looks like, no matter what lots are cast or by whom, no matter what the outcome may appear to be, the deciding vote is always cast from above.

So we must look carefully at the events being played out in our own lives and ask ourselves …. are we at that time in history where the lots have been cast and we are now waiting for the final vote? If that is the case, are you ready…..for such a time as this? If not, get prepared ~ fast, pray and anoint yourself until you emerge with the fragrance of Messiah, leaving behind all traces of your own scent!