Friday, October 30, 2009

Can Your Pets Catch H1N1 Flu Virus?



As a fellow pet lover, it is natural to wonder whether your pet, whatever he or she may be, is susceptible to the H1N1 ('Swine Flu') virus.  Let me put my 'Biochemist's hat' on for a moment and answer the questions like this:  Theoretically 'No' and theoretically 'Yes'.

The 'theoretically No' arm of my response arises from the long-known adage in scientific circles that viruses are often what is known as 'species specific'.  This means that only dogs can get dog viruses and only cats can get cat viruses and only humans can get human viruses and so forth.  One of the reasons for this is that the viruses under question require different temperatures in order to infect (that is, to live and reproduce in a host) and dogs and cats and humans have different body temperatures.    

In fact, the reason infections trigger a 'fever' reaction in the host is the body's innate attempt to 'burn off' the infecting organism, which really means that the body attempts to make it 'too hot' for the infectious agent to comfortably survive and replicate.  Indeed, some of the herbal remedies I recommend, such as Boneset, actually provide an exothermic effect on the body, thus 'amping up the heat', kind of providing or amplifying a useful fever.

Long ago, researchers determined that humans and apes could cross infect.  This was particularly evidenced by studies of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
It has also been known for years that pigs and their tissues are very similar to humans.  We've known for a while that pigs and humans can share diseases, with Trichinosis probably being the most well-known example.

But over the years, things began changing, partly because of human activities and use of antimicrobials, the advent of rapid air travel and the unrelenting tendency of infectious microbes to change (mutate) into more infectious and stronger (more virulent) forms!  It used to be that only birds could get bird (avian) flu and it was specific to only chickens, ducks, etc.  Soon, ALL birds became susceptible to bird flu--all food bird plus wild birds.  Then HUMANS caught avian (bird) flu and that led to wholesale deliberate destruction of all bird populations in some Asian countries.  This action did actually prevent a 'bird flu pandemic'. 

Please note that in Asian countries, it is common for foodstock poultry to have the run of the house and yard, so close proximity is a problem. You can pretty much guess here that the same scenario evolved with swine/pork/pigs, so you won't be surprised to learn that at Sloan-Kettering, our chicken and pig research labs were right next to each other where human diseases were being studied.

Now that you understand the basics, let me tell you that the H1N1 Influenza virus strain used for the vaccine many are waiting for is capable of RAPIDLY MUTATING (CHANGING) and is so infectious that I would not rule out cross-species/cross-genus transmission.

A summation of what this means is as follows:

PET PIGS:  Definitely at risk
FOOD PIGS:  Definitely at risk
DOGS: Potentially at risk
CATS:  Potentially at risk
FERRETS: Definitely at risk

I would suggest that if you love your pets and want to keep them healthy, that you exercise the same hygiene and sanitation principles for them as you do for yourself and your family.  Don't let infected persons pet or handle or feed your pets with unsanitized hands.  Use you common sense when it comes to exposure.  A person with a bad case of H1N1 can also 'catch' a secondary infection of some kind from a pet, remember, so the precautions have to go both ways.  And always remember how important it is for pets and their owners to have a good and healthy diet.

But don't panic and don't go overboard with precautions here with your pets.  Know this is a good season to not shop around with your pet in a carrier.  You don't want your pet to be one of the first cases of human-to-dog or cat transmission of H1N1 or a secondary bacteria, virus, parasite, protozoan, prion or other infectious microbe, do you?

Ordinarily, I would not be saying the above.  But it appears that the H1N1 virus identified by the CDC is capable of rapid mutation and of causing deadly secondary infections, such as bacterial pneumonia.  Please understand that these are my own opinions only and that I am suggesting what I don't routinely recommend for regular seasonal flu.  I just pray I am being overly cautious with our little loved ones and please do talk to your veterinarian for specific advice.
You can do some additional reading at the ASPCA link below!
http://www.aspca.org/news/tri-state/10-02-09.html#1
I hope you find this information useful!
God Bless and Keep You and Your Familes,
Reverend Barbara Sexton
Please understand that I am a biochemist and alternative healthcare provider with several decades of experience in the field of biomedical science. The information provided here is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of your regular medical doctor or healthcare provider and you are urged to follow his/her advice.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

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Here is a video of the event I attended. Please know that you are all in my prayers...I pray that you are kept safe and unafraid at all times...you and your loved ones and for all in Stamford, CT and everywhere. God will see us through this.
God Bless and Keep You!,
Reverend Barbara Sexton (Click 'share' below)
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Posted using ShareThis

POCKET SERMON 3: H1N1 ‘SWINE FLU’ COMES TO STAMFORD, CT

POCKET SERMON 3: H1N1 ‘SWINE FLU’ COMES TO STAMFORD, CT

Take this little sermonette, print it and share it! The way I see it, three things are necessary in order for us all to handle this H1N1 virus pandemic. They are (not necessarily in order): 1) Excellent, state-of-the-art medical care 2) The willingness and ABILITY to not panic over every news report or story we hear and 3) Having a true sense of caring for and having respect for our fellow human beings.

I’ll tell you right now that even in an upscale area such as Stamford, CT it will be difficult for all of us to meet these criteria because the very essence of our ‘human nature’ works against us!

I understand the ‘resentment’ people feel about not being offered the H1N1 vaccine. But the truth is that the shortage is real and even some healthcare workers have yet to be vaccinated and they are exposed to infection every day. But if YOU or your loved one were a healthcare worker, wouldn’t you want them or yourself to be given vaccination priority?

I understand the fear parents feel when they are not appropriately informed, as happened recently at St. Cecilia’s School, about the existence of or the number of H1N1 influenza cases. It is natural for a parent to want to protect their children at all costs. Besides keeping parents informed, I would suggest that school officials keep a flexible absentee policy for the duration, as parents decide to keep their kids at home. The importance of school year calendars pales in importance next to the need to keep our children well.

And for Heaven’s sake, our educators, administrators and school healthcare providers need to COMMUNICATE with each other like their or their children’s lives depend on it. And enough dickering over whether it’s ‘seasonal flu or H1N1 flu’. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Parry reports the same information as the CDC does, that is, that virtually ALL the cases of flu seen this flu season are H1N1 virus flu cases and that is the case in Stamford, apparently.

UPSIDE FACTS: Many can and have already HAD the H1N1 variant, suffered and survived it and lived to tell about it. For some it has been like ‘regular (seasonal) flu’. For some, it was less severe with a H1N1 ‘flu-like’ syndrome. Healthy Individuals with good immune systems should have adequate defenses to deal with this infection, especially with the aid of anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza. Additionally, healthy persons over the age of 65 are particularly resistant to infection by the H1N1 virus, per the CDC and Stamford's Dr. Parry.

DOWNSIDE FACTS: Persons with underlying conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart enlargement, concurrent cancer/chemotherapy/radiotherapy, etc., infants, very young children, pregnant women and the extreme elderly ARE more likely to suffer a more severe case of H1N1 virus, including death from things like pneumonia. Also, data on the efficiency and efficacy of the H1N1 vaccines is yet being collected and the safety of the vaccine, itself, is not completely certain. Additionally, there are questions about the injectable H1N1 vaccine ('dead' virus) vs. inhaled ('live') nasal vaccine not to mention the thimerosal preservative controversy with autism and the adjuvant squalene used in the deposition (single dose) form of the vaccine.  We will be addressing these in the future.

UPSIDE OR DOWNSIDE FACTS, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU LOOK AT THEM: At this time, not that much flu-testing is going on outside of hospital-admission settings. A good number of non-reported cases are probably around in persons who nursed themselves with chicken soup and Oscillococcinum, OTC ('over the counter') drugs and home remedies and comfort measures.  For them personally,  the H1N1 pandemic is no big event.  Intelligent people know when they are sick, know how to treat themselves, know when to see their doctors, and know when they are feeling better.  There is a time and place to bug your doctor for an official 'swine' flu test, but if you have a mild case, please consider that someone else--maybe even a loved one of yours--may need that test more urgently!

As both a member of the faith community and as an alternative healthcare provide who combines the best of traditional medicine with complementary modalities, here is what I suggest: We need to keep our heads, value others while caring for our own, use great common sense (utilizing hand and surface sanitizers, practicing good sneeze and cough hygiene into the sleeve or a disposable tissue, staying HOME while sick and out of circulation in order to not infect others, etc) and, finally, to NOT be afraid.

Jesus, the Great Healer, tells us himself:

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?



"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:23-34 (NIV)

Just remember this: it does seem like the H1N1 virus will, indeed, continue to impact Stamford and environs, maybe severely and maybe not so severely, but it will certainly end eventually. And when it does, how will we be remembered? Will we be one of the ‘panickers’ or will we, instead, channel our energy into useful assistance to conquer this rogue RNA varmint? What kind of face will we present to our children regarding concern for others? How will our bosses and colleagues regard us after we weather this time? Whatever we do and however we react, we will own it forever and it is definitely worth considering our words and actions starting now.

I’m not saying we should be foolish or careless. But the negative energy of fear, anger, dissension, selfishness and bigotry, to name a few ‘sins’, gains us nothing at all in the end. So I am suggesting that we understand the shared plight we potentially face, emboldened by the fact that the community medical care here is superlative and human beings with the help of God can overcome anything that comes their way.
With Love in Christ, Reverend Barbara Sexton 10/29/09



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Click here: http://www.news12.com/index.jsp?location=/Video
Today I attended a forum for clergy and administrators from congregations on disaster preparedness and the H1N1 flu at The First Congregational Church of Darien.    Dr. Michael Parry brought us up to date (see video link above).  I will elaborate shortly.  Reverend Barbara Sexton 10/28/09

Jokes Pastors Can Tell

Humor for the hard times:  The pastor’s family was given a mince pie for Christmas by a devoted parishioner who was a poor cook. The pie was dry and overspiced and had to be thrown out. Faced with being truthful and thanking the kind-hearted lady, the pastor finally said, “We appreciated your gift, and let me assure you that a mince pie like yours does not last long at our house.” —Jim Reed Cotter, AR

In a church bulletin: “At the board meeting, the agenda was adopted, the minutes were approved, and the financial secretary gave a grief report.” —via Rev. Harry Mahoney Dedham, MA

 Words you would never hear from a Mother:

• “Just leave all the lights on. It makes the house look more cheery.”
• “Sure, I used to skip school a lot, too.”
• “If Nancy’s Mom says it’s okay, that’s good enough for me.”
• “I don’t have a tissue with me. Just use your sleeve.”
• “Let me smell that shirt. Yeah, it’s good for another week.”
—via Rev. Dr. Karl R. Kraft Glassboro (NJ) United Methodist Church

above courtesy of:  http://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Happy Kind of Sad

Once in a while, you encounter a bittersweet 'passing'.  As we thank God for this cute little fella therapy dog BAXTER, we can be comforted that while his furry little body may be gone, his loving healing spirit is eternal...Just like all love is!  Still, we extend our condolences to Baxter's owner Melissa Joseph, along with our gratitude to the both of them.  With Love in Christ,
Reverend Barbara Sexton



Click here: Baxter the Therapy Dog Dies - Paw Nation

Saturday, October 24, 2009




God Answers Prayer


                                               
                                                        

http://4.bp.blogspot.com
PRAYER List--Rev. Barbara Sexton
  
Please pray for these folks...they need our prayers very much!  Thank you and God Bless You.  Please send me YOUR prayer requests, so that the world may see them and join us in our devotions.  You can remain completely anonymous, if you like.

Concerns:

DENNIS-cancer
TWO MIDWEST PARENTS--who lost their young daughter
CLO--with an infection that will not go away
H1N1 PATIENTS--who are critically ill
ALL--who are unemployed or at risk of being so
ALL--who are scared/confused about how to deal with the H1N1 Pandemic.
ALL-- those who are facing major financial problems

Joys:

'A'--who has won an entertainment award
'V'--who just had another birthday and just keeps on going : )
Tom--who's Halloween Birthday is coming up.
'B'--who has successfully started up a new bsns in the USA, hiring scores of new workers with an eye towards creating many more jobs.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Morning Prayer Number 'Infinity'--Received From E-Mail (Thank You!)

Relax your mind and humble your heart to focus on Christ. Allow God to be the only person on your mind while you read this anonymous prayer. If we can take the time to read long jokes, stories, etc., we should give the same respect to this prayer. Friends, who pray together, stay together.


Dear Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God. You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you. I ask now for Your forgiveness.


Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.


Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.


Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. Let me continue to see sin through Your eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive Your forgiveness.


And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus' example -- to slip away and find a quiet pl ace to pray.. It's the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits. I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do Your will.


Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those who are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don't know You intimately. I pray for those who will delete this without sharing it with others. I pray for those who don't believe. But I thank you that I believe.


I believe that You change people and You change things. I pray for all my sisters and brothers. For each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than You. Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.

This is my prayer.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

            Newborn Panda Baby--Precious in His Sight

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/                                   Nat'l Geographic

                             Yes, it's a 'Cat Vampire'. 



http://4.bp.blogspot.com
More cuteness.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com
Some cute pictures to brighten your day and remind you of the good and beautiful things in life.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DENNIS: A PRAYER FOR YOU Rev. Barbara Sexton Oct. 21, 2009

                                      DENNIS: A PRAYER FOR YOU      
Dear Lord in Heaven, we come to thee with a great request. We ask for your mercy to be showered down upon your child Dennis. Please Father, relieve Dennis of his pain and affliction and heal his family as well. We realize that we are fragile and perishable beings, if not for You. We know that when we are at our weakest, we are yet at our strongest, because of You. You fill us with your Holy Spirit when we are too ill to ask and our prayers are even prayed for us, as we lay on our sickbeds. How much do we depend on You, dear God, we cannot know! But we see and hear of your miraculous works and so humbly plead for your mercy and healing this day. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, we pray.

Amen
Reverend Barbara Sexton
October 21, 2009

Christian MySpace Graphics

PRAYER REQUEST FOR DENNIS & FAMILY

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for DENNIS and HIS FAMILY.  DENNIS has cancer.  Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to pray for them.      Love,   Reverend Barbara  10/21/09


                                                                              

                                                                               

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aunt Irene's Memorial Wreath 8/09 Dear Ones Healing Ministry Pocket Sermon 2: "GOODNIGHT IRENE"

This is Aunt Irene's beautiful memorial wreath (see Pocket Sermon 2: "Goodnight Irene") Many thanks to our family florist-- Johanna Macaig of http://www.progersflorists.com/ for this spectacular wreath.  After all these years of sending and receiving flowers from P. Rogers--through good times and bad--I can say these folks have a rare, true "flower ministry"...Always compassionate and consoling, uplifting and pragmatic, as need be during people's difficult times.  Thanks & God Bless!  Rev.  Barbara Sexton

POCKET SERMON 2:"GOODNIGHT IRENE" Rev.Barbara Sexton


  POCKET SERMON 2:       "GOODNIGHT, IRENE"


Take this little sermonette, print it and share it! Ever so carefully, I bent to lift the cardboard shipping box up off the floor where it had first been placed on delivery day. It had been sitting there long enough, I felt, at the foot of the family ‘memorial table’. But that day, something didn’t feel right. Aunt Irene led a fascinating, busy and often glamorous life and here she was—what remained of her, anyway—just dumped and forgotten like any old package.

“Well, HELLO IRENE”, I spoke out loud as I carried her over to the dining room table. Did I just really SAY THAT? “I know that you are in a much better place now, but I have to…I have to”….and the emotion welled up in me as I blubbered, “I have to fix you up...”.
Dang, am I CRAZY talking to the air? Even the cats looked up at me with their kitty eyes as if trying to figure out what I was up to, and if food was involved, of course, but--

Distraction aside, I persevered.

Steak knife in hand, I slit open the shipper, suddenly apologizing under my breath to Irene for the assault! Then, just as suddenly, I felt the awesome presence of the Holy Spirit, oh did I ever. I saw that this was now clearly a devotional undertaking and I would treat it as such. The earthly remains of this vivacious red-haired may be in a plain green-black plastic box container, not so very dignified or beautiful at all. But God was being good enough to assure me that I was on the right track fixing things up for the boys, Irene’s nephews. But what could be done to improve this container, I wondered?

Bowing to the collective sensibilities of Aunt Irene’s survivors, this plain plastic box had been chosen, rather than something more expensive. I got that. I agreed with it, for as Paul tells up in 1 Corinthians, “42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” 1Co 15:42-44 (NIV)

This description of the Resurrection Body is sufficient for me to have been able to complete the task at hand, which was to do what all dyed-in-the-wool artistic types and crafters do. You’re probably seeing where this is going, but if not, here’s a hint: As my daughter walked by the dining room table, she stopped, rolled her eyes, and said, “Mom….you’re NOT!” “Not what, dear? Well, yes I am going to decorate Aunt Irene’s container”. That prompted a suitably sarcastic retort from my girl to the effect that she wondered if there was ANYTHING I wouldn’t paint and glitz up, etc and I thanked her for the valuable input and formulated a design.

I decided on a ‘masculine motif’, for my husband and his brothers would be conducting Irene’s service at sea. Being mindful of the fact that Irene was as feminine as she was strong (and I mean this literally, for she continued to wear her beloved high heels way into old age), I also went for ‘elegant’.

Thus with paint, decals and gold netting I completed a fair rendition of “lapis lazuli gift box tied in a gold tulle bow”. Things were barely dry before the boys whisked her off. I was pleased with the job, praying that the paint on plastic would 'hold' long with all the boat motion...All crafters know how difficult it is to paint on and glue plastic.."Please let it dry and hold", I prayed. "Please let it dry and hold!"

Yes, I know my efforts were appreciated and yes I do believe that the Lord was letting Irene peek in on us, just a bit, as she made her final transition. I certainly felt her. We believers in the family were comforted to know by our faith that she was rid of her worn-out physical body and now had a new and improved spiritual one, thanks be to God.

This said, we realize that some do not believe there is such a thing as a spirit body. They might want, then, to talk to an amputee experiencing ‘phantom limb pain’, an acknowledged medical condition. Though the physical limb is removed, it may yet feel as if it is there! It may hurt and itch and can be very disconcerting to some people. It occurs because the person is sensing his spiritual limb, where his physical one had also been. A vexation and curiosity to some, but also potent assurance that our physical vessels have a very real spiritual coexistent substrate.

So, "Goodnight, Irene". Live well in your new life in the Lord.
Amen.
Reverend Barbara Sexton October 20, 2009

www.dearoneshealingministry.blogspot.com

Another little piece of 'Heaven on earth' from Milochka's garden.  Take it and enjoy it for your personal devotions!
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  Revelation  22:1-4 (NIV)


Here is another most beautiful shot of Florida's 'Casey Key' by Milochka.  Click on this beauty to enlarge it.  Milochka says you may freely download this picture for your personal use....as a desktop image, perhaps.  Just please remember to leave the Milochka copyright 2009 and dearoneshealingministry.blogspot.com on it and enjoy!

With Love in Christ,
Reverend Barb

Monday, October 19, 2009

Photo By Milochka


Here is a beautiful shot of Casey Key, FL by my dear friend Milochka.  Click on it to see it in it's full-page glory!  Thanks, M!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

                                            MORE JOKES : )
A woman invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"  "I wouldn't know what to say," the little girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the mother said.
The little girl bowed her head and said: "Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
--via Charles Laine Franklin, TN


A pastor was speaking to a group of second-graders about the resurrection of Jesus when one student asked, "What did Jesus say right after He came out of the grave?  The pastor explained that the Gospels do not tell us what He said.  The hand of one little girl shot up. "I know what He said: He said, 'Tah-dah!'"  
— via Andy Fisher Denville, NJ
the above used with permission:  http://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/  




Courtesy http:www.wittnessed.wordpress.com


Saturday, October 17, 2009

   The One and ONLY MIKE KALUTA

                                                                     
Yes, this is one of my many colorful cousins and seriously one of the greatest artists of the age that I know.  Check his art out at: http://www.kaluta.com/  If memory serves, this was taken several years ago at the family's annual Hulobsyi Festival.  Laugh if you must, but when the smell of steamed cabbage fills the house, you just know a great time is around the corner...up the stairs...aw fer pete's sake, that stuff just wafts ALL OVER the PLACE!  (Ukrainian readers will know just what we're talking about here.)
Reverend Barbara

Friday, October 16, 2009

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 98:4

Periodically, I will be publishing some humorous material from a wonderful periodical I subscribe to called "The Joyful Noiseletter".  I hope you enjoy the jokes, proof that clean humor does have it's time and place...despite what the world says.  Here's a sampling and here's their website: http://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/index.asp
Reverend Barb : )



A young woman had dated her
boyfriend for a long time without
his ever mentioning marriage.



Her boyfriend took her to a
Chinese restaurant one day, and
asked her, “How do you like your
rice? Steamed or fried?”
She looked at the menu and
replied, “Thrown.”



—via Lois Ward
Longmont, CO






Comedian Red Skelton’s recipe
for a good marriage:
“We always hold hands. If I let go,
she shops.”



Hmmm...So Cold, So Soon!


Here is a totally AWESOME picture of the Connecticut River in Middletown sent to us by a friend taken this past week, who says "The change in color doubled in just Sunday to Monday!" 

Well, it sure has gotten cold suddenly!  Here's something I've always sworn by:  if the critters (squirrels and their tails, most notably) seem to have 'early' and particularly thick coats, it just might be a sign of a cold winter to come.  So check out the autumn leaves before they're gone is the message.  Just be sure to wear your mukluks : )

 Thanks for the photo.

Reverend Barb

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

POCKET SERMON 1: IS OUR FORGIVENESS UNFAIR? By Rev Barbara Sexton

POCKET SERMON 1: IS OUR FORGIVENESS UNFAIR???

Take this little sermonette, print it and share it!  Is our concept of Christian forgiveness 'unfair' in a sense?  I've been asked this question several times and have had to defend the very concept of the forgiveness of the Lord.  This may sound incredible, but some resent the very fact that we, as Christians, can--in theory at least--wait up until the very last minute of our earthly life, having a grand old time and doing bad--and then BAM!!!  We can get on our knees and pray for forgiveness and all's well and that's THAT!  And we end up in HEAVEN! with ALL the people who struggled their whole lives to behave as God would have them!

That doesn't sound....RIGHT...does it?

Well...it is, in theory, anyway.  Yes, it is possible to lead a life not so pleasing to God and then at the last minute on our deathbeds to repent and be forgiven and to go to Heaven.  This is the truth.  Implicit in this is the concept that one does, indeed, consider Jesus to be his/her personal Savior ....that one does truly desire change (even at the last minute)....that one is truly repentent (that is, is really, really, sorry)....and that one can withstand God's scrutiny.  But, is this such a good idea and way to go?

What if you are UNABLE to repent at the last minute due to...I don't know...a COMA or something???  And what if there is a glitch of some sort, as in an inability to pass the sniff test of TRUTH at that last minute?  Then, finally, what about the concept the world knows as 'karma'?  What about all that built-up 'bad karma' surrounding last-minute repentent types?  How is the whole of the existence to be balanced out in a case like this, I ask you?

My answers for those who care to read them are:

1)  Truly repentent last-minute Christians are a true blessing to all when they are forgiven by the Lord.  Now, since we can never really completely know the mind of God....nor the intentions of the sorry one....it is best to assume the best in others and worry about our own states of grace and leave it at that.  God is very smart and He makes all things right!

2)  We must not forget that God desires that ALL be saved, and we as Christians are supposed to help with that.  There are many ways to help and cheering on a new Christian certainly is one of them.  I am reminded of the Scripture verses known as 'The Parable of the Lost Sheep'.  JESUS SAYS:  “4 Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:4-7  NIV)

I hope this Pocket Sermon helps you on your spiritual journey.  We'll revisit forgiveness and other Christian wonderments in future issues.

With Love in Christ,

Reverend Barb

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Greetings to you, my dear ones!


‘Dear Ones Healing Ministry’ is intended as a mission honoring goodness and kindness in the name of Jesus Christ. This is our space, time and place to counter the world’s negativity in order to uplift and encourage. It is a very public posting of that which reminds us of God’s loving-kindness to all people—especially to those who feel anything but loved in this cold, cruel world today.

Come, rest a moment with us for a while and you will see a difference!

With love,

Reverend Barbara Sexton

God's Got You Covered

A true challenge for Christian Believers: To 'love' those who 'hate us', but to be WISE about it!

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