a letter from a prisoner

My father has challenged me to write in my blog everyday for 60 days..I was (and still am) a bit nervous about it. Writing is something I have always found joy in doing..but it is also a task that drains me..it requires a great deal of thought as well as time..the level of concentration it requires transforms me into an extreme introvert. I dont like to write about things that are pointless or shallow; for me to be able to “scribble things to life” (as i like to call it) I have to be passionate about the subject, and with a 5 year old running around and a 7 month old demanding my time constantly, as any of you who are raising or have raised children know, it can be pretty stinkin hard to find passion even for your husband, let alone for something to blog about. How am I supposed to work something, that asks so much of me, into my daily schedule without compromising it..When I voiced these concerns to my father..he simply said, “it’ll come to you”..and.. Like always, my father’s advice has, thus far, been right.

I was talking to a friend of mine today, when she told me an odd story..thankfully she shared this with me, because until she did, I had no idea what I was going to write about today. She told me about a letter she received. The letter was from a person that she has not spoken to in quite some time…it was from a guy who is now in prison. In the letter he asked her to please call his parents..he wanted her to tell them how sorry he was and that he loved them..he wanted her to ask his mom to please come and see him. My friend can be somewhat shy at times and she told me she was nervous about calling them. My advice to her was that she should do it. The next text I sent her read..thats sad that they havent gone and seen him..shame on them. No matter what your kids do you dont give up on them. If Rory was in prison for murdering someone i would still love him…as I pressed the send button..I knew what I would write about today.

When I look down and see the beautiful face of my son, I forget that one day from his smooth little chin whiskers will grow..as Jonathan hangs Trinitee’s towel up to dry after giving her a bath, Im sure that the last thing he thinks about is how this nights completed bathtime is just one more check on a short list…before he knows it daddy’s little girl wont be so little anymore. No matter how much we beg for the clock to stop and for time to exclude our children it cannot be done. The little hands that reach out for me..the tiny hands that hold onto mine so tightly..this lays upon my soul such sadness to say..but, one day these sweet little hands could become the hands that take a person’s life. If this dark scenario were to one day become reality, my love would not lessen. No amount of evil or wrongdoing done by my child could ever cause me to deny him..I would never fail to be there when he reached out for me..no matter the amount of sinful blood dripping from his hands..I would never let them go.

For almost a decade, I was the constant tears that flooded my mother’s heart. I was the pain that cut into my father’s soul. I was the constant prayer on their lips. My parents never gave up me..they never stopped praying for me. They never gave up on the promise they were given by God. Ive failed my parents more times than I can count..but to them, I have never been a failure..and in the back of my mind, I always knew that. If any parents are reading this who have children that are running from God..dont ever give up on them. Let their name be the constant prayer on your lips..regardless of the evil that has them blinded..dont ever stop being there when they reach out for you. No matter the distance into a pit of despair that they have fallen..never let their hand go. The progress and the change that the Lord has made in me shows the power a mother’s prayer can hold.

If the love of a mother and father can be so unconditional…think about the love that God has for us. If you are reading this and you realize that you are a prisoner trapped in the despair of your own guilt and self hatred..just know..there is no distance that one can travel to that God cannot reach. There is no amount of sin that God cannot cleanse. Even if you are unsure of who God is..in written words or spoken words write him a letter..tell him that you are sorry..tell him you love him (or that you want someone like him to love)..and if you ask him to come and see you(or for him to help you understand who he is)..i promise that he will. The darkest most disgusting crimes will not stop God from answering your letter..The thickest bars and the highest razor wire cant stop the love that God has for you.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

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my thoughts on fluoride

This post will just share some different articles that I have found on the dangers of fluoride. Many people, myself included.. until just recently, never think twice before filling  a glass up with water from the tap and taking a big ole swig of it. I know we are so blessed to live in a country that water is so convenient when, at this very moment, there are millions of people walking great distances and struggling just to have dirty contaminated water to drink..but that is a different tragic matter all together. I am trying not to be ungrateful for the blessings I have.. for some reason or another God decided that I should be born into a country that is blessed with water..so I am thankful, but I am also entitled to be upset because my family and I are being unethically medicated without choice.  I am not going to write much..i am just going to share some information from articles. This is obviously my opinion and in no way am I forcing anyone to read this..but staying informed on a matter that numerous studies have shown to be harmful is important..at least it is to me. My main objections to fluoride are simple..the water i pay for is full of the toxic by-product of the fertilizer and aluminum industry (not the naturally occurring fluoride that many think is in their water).. even after 50 years of research, the FDA still rates it an “unapproved drug”..it is illegal to dump the SAME chemicals that fluoridate our water into the ocean (if something is too harmful to fish..why the heck is it ok for my children to be exposed to it!)…and finally even if it is beneficial to teeth (which if you read below you will see some of the most recent findings that show the supposed benefits of fluoride are untrue) I should be given the choice to take it..dont worry about my teeth..theyre MY teeth! I am tired of spending money on gallons of water just so my family wont be exposed to fluoride. Please dont automaticly close your mind to this just because of what youve been told. Do your own research and please let me know your thoughts below.

The following is from an article that you can find here

Updated August, 2011 

By Paul Connett, PhD and other members of the Fluoride Action Network (including James Beck, MD, PhD, Michael Connett, JD, Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, David McRae and Spedding Micklem, D.Phil.)

Introduction

Fluoridation is the practice of adding a fluoride compound to the public drinking water supply ostensibly for the purpose of fighting tooth decay. The levels used range from 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride ion per liter (or parts per million, ppm). The practice began in the U.S. in 1945 and was endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in 1950. Very few countries have adopted this practice to any significant extent. Only eight countries in the world have more than 50% of their populations drinking artificially fluoridated water (Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S.). In Europe, only Ireland (with 73% of the population fluoridated), the U.K. (10%) and Spain (10%) fluoridate some of their water supplies. In the U.S., about 70% of the population is drinking fluoridated water – that is approximately 200 million people and about half the number of people drinking artificially fluoridated water worldwide. Some countries have areas with high natural fluoride levels in the water. These include India, China and parts of Africa. In these countries measures are being taken to remove the fluoride because of the health problems that fluoride can cause.

Fluoridation is a bad medical practice

  1. Fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies fluoride as a drug when used to prevent or mitigate disease (FDA 2000). As a matter of basic logic, adding fluoride to water for the sole purpose of preventing tooth decay (a non-waterborne disease) is a form of medical treatment. All other water treatment chemicals are added to improve the water’s quality or safety, which fluoride does not do.
  2. Fluoridation is unethical. Informed consent is standard practice for all medication, and one of the key reasons why most of Western Europe has ruled against fluoridation. With water fluoridation we are allowing governments to do to whole communities (forcing people to take a medicine irrespective of their consent) what individual doctors cannot do to individual patients. While referenda are preferential to imposed policies from government, it still leaves the problem of individual rights versus majority rule. Put another way: Does a voter have the right to require that their neighbor ingest a certain medication (even if it is against that neighbor’s will)?
    • The fluoride goes to everyone regardless of age, health or vulnerability. According to Dr. Arvid Carlsson, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology and one of the scientists who helped keep fluoridation out of Sweden:

    “Water fluoridation goes against leading principles of pharmacotherapy, which is progressing from a stereotyped medication — of the type 1 tablet 3 times a day — to a much more individualized therapy as regards both dosage and selection of drugs. The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy” (Carlsson 1978).

  • Fluoride is not an essential nutrient (National Research Council [NRC] 1993; Institute of Medicine [IOM] 1997, NRC 2006). No disease has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency. It has never been shown that ingested fluoride is needed to produce decay-free teeth. Not a single biological process has been shown to require fluoride. On the contrary there is extensive evidence that fluoride can interfere with many important biological processes. Fluoride interferes with numerous enzymes (Waldbott 1978). In combination with aluminum, fluoride interferes with G-proteins (Bigay 1985, 1987). Such interactions give aluminum-fluoride complexes the potential to interfere with signals from growth factors, hormones and neurotransmitters (Strunecka & Patocka 1999; Li 2003). More and more studies are indicating that fluoride can interfere with biochemistry in fundamental ways (Barbier 2010).
  • The level in mothers’ milk is very low. Considering reason #6 it is perhaps not surprising that the level of fluoride in mother’s milk is remarkably low (0.004 ppm, NRC, 2006). This means that a bottle-fed baby consuming fluoridated water (0.6 – 1.2 ppm) can get up to 300 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby. There are no benefits (see reasons #11-19), only risks (see reasons #21-36), for infants ingesting this heightened level of fluoride at such an early age (an age where susceptibility to environmental toxins is particularly high).
  • Fluoride accumulates in the body. Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50 to 60% of the fluoride they ingest each day (Marier & Rose 1971). The remainder accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as the bones and pineal gland (Luke 1997, 2001). Infants and children excrete less fluoride from their kidneys and take up to 80% of ingested fluoride into their bones (Ekstrand 1994). The fluoride concentration in bone steadily increases over a lifetime (NRC 2006).
  • No health agency in fluoridated countries is monitoring fluoride exposure or side effects. No regular measurements are being made of the levels of fluoride in urine, blood, bones, hair, or nails of either the general population or sensitive subparts of the population (e.g., individuals with kidney disease).
  • There has never been a single randomized clinical trial to demonstrate fluoridation’s effectiveness or safety. Despite the fact that fluoride has been added to community water supplies for over 60 years, “there have been no randomized trials of water fluoridation” (Cheng 2007). Randomized studies are the standard method for determining the safety and effectiveness of any purportedly beneficial medical treatment. In 2000, the British Government’s “York Review” could not give a single fluoridation trial a Grade A classification – despite 50 years of research (McDonagh 2000). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to classify fluoride as an “unapproved new drug.”
  • Swallowing fluoride provides no (or very little) benefit
    • Benefit is topical not systemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 1999, 2001) has now acknowledged that the mechanism of fluoride’s benefits are mainly topical, not systemic. There is no need whatsoever, therefore, to swallow fluoride to protect teeth. Since the purported benefit of fluoride is topical, and the risks are systemic, it makes more sense to deliver the fluoride directly to the tooth in the form of toothpaste. Since swallowing fluoride is unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, there is no justification for forcing people (against their will) to ingest fluoride through their water supply.
    • Fluoridation is not necessary. Most western, industrialized countries have rejected water fluoridation, but have nevertheless experienced the same decline in childhood dental decay as fluoridated countries. (See data from World Health Organization presented graphically in Figure 1).

    Tooth Decay Trends

    • Fluoridation’s role in the decline of tooth decay is in serious doubt. The largest survey ever conducted in the US (over 39,000 children from 84 communities) by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Hileman 1989). According to NIDR researchers, the study found an average difference of only 0.6 DMFS (Decayed, Missing, and Filled Surfaces) in the permanent teeth of children aged 5-17 residing their entire lives in either fluoridated or unfluoridated areas (Brunelle & Carlos, 1990). This difference is less than one tooth surface, and less than 1% of the 100+ tooth surfaces available in a child’s mouth. Large surveys from three Australian states have found even less of a benefit, with decay reductions ranging from 0 to 0.3 of one permanent tooth surface (Spencer 1996; Armfield & Spencer 2004). None of these studies have allowed for the possible delayed eruption of the teeth that may be caused by exposure to fluoride, for which there is some evidence (Komarek 2005). A one-year delay in eruption of the permanent teeth would eliminate the very small benefit recorded in these modern studies.
    • NIH-funded study on individual fluoride ingestion and tooth decay failed to find a significant correlation. A multi-million dollar, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) -funded study (Warren 2009) found no relation between tooth decay and the amount of fluoride ingested by children. This is the first time that tooth decay has been investigated as a function of individual exposure as opposed to mere residence in a fluoridated community.
    • Tooth decay is high in low-income communities that have been fluoridated for years. Despite some claims to the contrary, water fluoridation cannot prevent the oral health crises that result from rampant poverty, inadequate nutrition, and lack of access to dental care. There have been numerous reports of severe dental crises in low-income neighborhoods of US cities that have been fluoridated for over 20 years (e.g., Boston, Cincinnati, New York City, and Pittsburgh). In addition, fluoridation has been repeatedly found to be ineffective at preventing the most serious oral health problem facing poor children, namely “baby bottle tooth decay,” otherwise known as early childhood caries (Barnes 1992; Shiboski 2003).
    • Tooth decay does not go up when fluoridation is stopped. Where fluoridation has been discontinued in communities from Canada, the former East Germany, Cuba and Finland, dental decay has not increased but has generally continued to decrease (Maupomé 2001; Kunzel & Fischer, 1997, 2000; Kunzel 2000; Seppa 2000).
    • Tooth decay was coming down before fluoridation started. Modern research (e.g., Diesendorf 1986; Colquhoun 1997) shows that decay rates were coming down before fluoridation was introduced in Australia and New Zealand and have continued to decline even after its benefits would have been maximized (see Figure 2). Many other factors influence tooth decay.

    Number of Decayed Teeth Per Child

    Figure 2. The number of decayed teeth in 5-year olds in New Zealand, over the period 1930-1990. The percentage of the population drinking fluoridated water and the percentage of the total toothpaste sold containing fluoride are shown on the right hand axis (Colquhoun, 1993).

    • The studies that launched fluoridation were methodologically flawed. The early trials conducted between 1945 and 1955 in North America that helped to launch fluoridation, have been heavily criticized for their poor methodology and poor choice of control communities (De Stefano 1954; Sutton 1959, 1960, 1996; Ziegelbecker 1970). According to Dr. Hubert Arnold, a statistician from the University of California at Davis, the early fluoridation trials “are especially rich in fallacies, improper design, invalid use of statistical methods, omissions of contrary data, and just plain muddleheadedness and hebetude.” Serious questions have also been raised about Trendley Dean’s (the father of fluoridation) famous 21-city study from 1942 (Ziegelbecker 1981).

Children are being over-exposed to fluoride

  • Children are being over-exposed to fluoride. The fluoridation program has massively failed to achieve one of its key objectives, i.e., to lower dental decay rates while limiting the occurrence of dental fluorosis (a discoloring of tooth enamel caused by too much fluoride. The goal of the early promoters of fluoridation was to limit dental fluorosis (in its very mild form) to 10% of children (NRC 1993, pp. 6-7). In 2010, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 41% of American adolescents had dental fluorosis, with 8.6% having mild fluorosis and 3.6% having either moderate or severe dental fluorosis (Beltran-Aguilar 2010). As the 41% prevalence figure is a national average and includes children living in fluoridated and unfluoridated areas, the fluorosis rate in fluoridated communities will obviously be higher. The British Government’s York Review estimated that up to 48% of children in fluoridated areas worldwide have dental fluorosis in all forms, with 12.5% having fluorosis of aesthetic concern (McDonagh, 2000).
  • The highest doses of fluoride are going to bottle-fed babies. Because of their sole reliance on liquids for their food intake, infants consuming formula made with fluoridated water have the highest exposure to fluoride, by bodyweight, in the population. Because infant exposure to fluoridated water has been repeatedly found to be a major risk factor for developing dental fluorosis later in life (Marshall 2004; Hong 2006; Levy 2010), a number of dental researchers have recommended that parents of newborns not use fluoridated water when reconstituting formula (Ekstrand 1996; Pendrys 1998; Fomon 2000; Brothwell 2003; Marshall 2004). Even the American Dental Association (ADA), the most ardent institutional proponent of fluoridation, distributed a November 6, 2006 email alert to its members recommending that parents be advised that formula should be made with “low or no-fluoride water.” Unfortunately, the ADA has done little to get this information into the hands of parents. As a result, many parents remain unaware of the fluorosis risk from infant exposure to fluoridated water.

Evidence of harm to other tissues

  • Dental fluorosis may be an indicator of wider systemic damage. There have been many suggestions as to the possible biochemical mechanisms underlying the development of dental fluorosis (Matsuo 1998; Den Besten 1999; Sharma 2008; Duan 2011; Tye 2011) and they are complicated for a lay reader. While promoters of fluoridation are content to dismiss dental fluorosis (in its milder forms) as merely a cosmetic effect, it is rash to assume that fluoride is not impacting other developing tissues when it is visibly damaging the teeth by some biochemical mechanism (Groth 1973; Colquhoun 1997). Moreover, ingested fluoride can only cause dental fluorosis during the period before the permanent teeth have erupted (6-8 years), other tissues are potentially susceptible to damage throughout life. For example, in areas of naturally high levels of fluoride the first indicator of harm is dental fluorosis in children. In the same communities many older people develop skeletal fluorosis.
  • Fluoride may damage the brain. According to the National Research Council (2006), “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.” In a review of the literature commissioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fluoride has been listed among about 100 chemicals for which there is “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Animal experiments show that fluoride accumulates in the brain and alters mental behavior in a manner consistent with a neurotoxic agent (Mullenix 1995). In total, there have now been over 100 animal experiments showing that fluoride can damage the brain and impact learning and behavior. According to fluoridation proponents, these animal studies can be ignored because high doses were used. However, it is important to note that it takes 5-20 times more fluoride to reach the same plasma levels in rats as reached in humans (Sawan 2010). In fact, one animal experiment found effects at remarkably low doses (Varner 1998). In this study, rats fed for one year with 1 ppm fluoride in their water (the same level used in fluoridation programs), using either sodium fluoride or aluminum fluoride, had morphological changes to their kidneys and brains, an increased uptake of aluminum in the brain, and the formation of beta-amyloid deposits which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Other animal studies have found effects on the brain at water fluoride levels as low as 5 ppm (Liu 2010).(For a complete listing of these studies.
  • Fluoride may lower IQ. There have now been 24 studies from China, Iran, India and Mexico that have reported an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ. One of these studies (Lin Fa-Fu 1991) indicates that even just moderate levels of fluoride exposure (e.g., 0.9 ppm in the water) can exacerbate the neurological defects of iodine deficiency. In the absence of iodine deficiency, another research team (Xiang 2003a,b) estimated that fluoride may lower IQ at 1.9 ppm, while a recent preliminary study (Ding 2011) found a lowering of IQ in children drinking water at levels ranging from 0.3 to 3 ppm. The authors of this latter study reported that for each increase of 1 ppm fluoride measured in the urine there was a loss of 0.59 IQ points. None of these studies indicates an adequate margin of safety to protect all children drinking artificially fluoridated water from this affect. According to the National Research Council (2006), “the consistency of the results [in fluoride/IQ studies] appears significant enough to warrant additional research on the effects of fluoride on intelligence.” Except for an early and small IQ study from New Zealand (Shannon et al., 1986) no fluoridating country has investigated the matter for themselves.
  • Fluoride may cause non-IQ neurotoxic effects. Reduced IQ is not the only neurotoxic effect that may result from fluoride exposure. At least three human studies have reported an association between fluoride exposure and impaired visual-spatial organization (Calderon 2000; Li 2004; Rocha-Amador 2009); while three other studies have found an association between prenatal fluoride exposure and fetal brain damage (Han 1989; Du 1992; Yu 1996).
  • Fluoride affects the pineal gland. Studies by Jennifer Luke (2001) show that fluoride accumulates in the human pineal gland to very high levels. In her Ph.D. thesis, Luke has also shown in animal studies that fluoride reduces melatonin production and leads to an earlier onset of puberty (Luke 1997). Consistent with Luke’s findings, one of the earliest fluoridation trials in the U.S. (Schlesinger 1956) reported that on average young girls in the fluoridated community reached menstruation 5 months earlier than girls in the non-fluoridated community. Inexplicably, no fluoridating country has attempted to reproduce either Luke’s or Schlesinger’s findings or examine the issue any further.
  • Fluoride affects thyroid function. According to the U.S. National Research Council (2006), “several lines of information indicate an effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function.” In the Ukraine, Bachinskii (1985) found a lowering of thyroid function, among otherwise healthy people, at 2.3 ppm fluoride in water. In the middle of the 20th century, fluoride was prescribed by a number of European doctors to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for those suffering from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) (Stecher 1960; Waldbott 1978). According to a clinical study by Galletti and Joyet (1958), the thyroid function of hyperthyroid patients was effectively reduced at just 2.3 to 4.5 mg/day of fluoride ion. To put this finding in perspective, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, 1991) has estimated that total fluoride exposure in fluoridated communities ranges from 1.6 to 6.6 mg/day. This is a remarkable fact, particularly considering the rampant and increasing problem of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in the United States and other fluoridated countries. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased cholesterol levels, and heart disease. In 2010, the second most prescribed drug of the year was Synthroid (sodium levothyroxine) which is a hormone replacement drug used to treat an underactive thyroid.
  • Fluoride causes arthritic symptoms. Some of the early symptoms of skeletal fluorosis (a fluoride-induced bone and joint disease that impacts millions of people in India, China, and Africa), mimic the symptoms of arthritis (Singh 1963; Franke 1975; Teotia 1976; Carnow 1981; Czerwinski 1988; DHHS 1991). According to a review on fluoridation published in Chemical & Engineering News, “Because some of the clinical symptoms mimic arthritis, the first two clinical phases of skeletal fluorosis could be easily misdiagnosed” (Hileman 1988). Few, if any, studies have been done to determine the extent of this misdiagnosis, and whether the high prevalence of arthritis in America (1 in 3 Americans have some form of arthritis – CDC, 2002) and other fluoridated countries is related to growing fluoride exposure, which is highly plausible. Even when individuals in the U.S. suffer advanced forms of skeletal fluorosis (from drinking large amounts of tea), it has taken years of misdiagnoses before doctors finally correctly diagnosed the condition as fluorosis.
  • Fluoride damages bone. An early fluoridation trial (Newburgh-Kingston 1945-55) found a significant two-fold increase in cortical bone defects among children in the fluoridated community (Schlesinger 1956). The cortical bone is the outside layer of the bone and is important to protect against fracture. While this result was not considered important at the time with respect to bone fractures, it did prompt questions about a possible link to osteosarcoma (Caffey, 1955; NAS, 1977). In 2001, Alarcon-Herrera and co-workers reported a linear correlation between the severity of dental fluorosis and the frequency of bone fractures in both children and adults in a high fluoride area in Mexico.
  • Fluoride may increase hip fractures in the elderly. When high doses of fluoride (average 26 mg per day) were used in trials to treat patients with osteoporosis in an effort to harden their bones and reduce fracture rates, it actually led to a higher number of fractures, particularly hip fractures (Inkovaara 1975; Gerster 1983; Dambacher 1986; O’Duffy 1986; Hedlund 1989; Bayley 1990; Gutteridge 1990. 2002; Orcel 1990; Riggs 1990 and Schnitzler 1990). Hip fracture is a very serious issue for the elderly, often leading to a loss of independence or a shortened life. There have been over a dozen studies published since 1990 that have investigated a possible relationship between hip fractures and long term consumption of artificially fluoridated water or water with high natural levels. The results have been mixed – some have found an association and others have not. Some have even claimed a protective effect. One very important study in China, which examined hip fractures in six Chinese villages, found what appears to be a dose-related increase in hip fracture as the concentration of fluoride rose from 1 ppm to 8 ppm (Li 2001) offering little comfort to those who drink a lot of fluoridated water. Moreover, in the only human epidemiological study to assess bone strength as a function of bone fluoride concentration, researchers from the University of Toronto found that (as with animal studies) the strength of bone declined with increasing fluoride content (Chachra 2010). Finally, a recent study from Iowa (Levy 2009), published data suggesting that low-level fluoride exposure may have a detrimental effect on cortical bone density in girls (an effect that has been repeatedly documented in clinical trials and which has been posited as an important mechanism by which fluoride may increase bone fracture rates).
  • People with impaired kidney function are particularly vulnerable to bone damage. Because of their inability to effectively excrete fluoride, people with kidney disease are prone to accumulating high levels of fluoride in their bone and blood. As a result of this high fluoride body burden, kidney patients have an elevated risk for developing skeletal fluorosis. In one of the few U.S. studies investigating the matter, crippling skeletal fluorosis was documented among patients with severe kidney disease drinking water with just 1.7 ppm fluoride (Johnson 1979). Since severe skeletal fluorosis in kidney patients has been detected in small case studies, it is likely that larger, systematic studies would detect skeletal fluorosis at even lower fluoride levels.
  • Fluoride may cause bone cancer (osteosarcoma). A U.S. government-funded animal study found a dose-dependent increase in bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in fluoride-treated, male rats (NTP 1990). Following the results of this study, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed national cancer data in the U.S. and found a significantly higher rate of osteosarcoma (a bone cancer) in young men in fluoridated versus unfluoridated areas (Hoover et al 1991a). While the NCI concluded (based on an analysis lacking statistical power) that fluoridation was not the cause (Hoover et al 1991b), no explanation was provided to explain the higher rates in the fluoridated areas. A smaller study from New Jersey (Cohn 1992) found osteosarcoma rates to be up to 6 times higher in young men living in fluoridated versus unfluoridated areas. Other epidemiological studies of varying size and quality have failed to find this relationship (a summary of these can be found in Bassin, 2001 and Connett & Neurath, 2005). There are three reasons why a fluoride-osteosarcoma connection is plausible: First, fluoride accumulates to a high level in bone. Second, fluoride stimulates bone growth. And, third, fluoride can interfere with the genetic apparatus of bone cells in several ways; it has been shown to be mutagenic, cause chromosome damage, and interfere with the enzymes involved with DNA repair in both cell and tissue studies (Tsutsui 1984; Caspary 1987; Kishi 1993; Mihashi 1996; Zhang 2009). In addition to cell and tissue studies, a correlation between fluoride exposure and chromosome damage in humans has also been reported (Sheth 1994; Wu 1995; Meng 1997; Joseph 2000).
  • Proponents have failed to refute the Bassin-Osteosarcoma study. In 2001, Elise Bassin, a dentist, successfully defended her doctoral thesis at Harvard in which she found that young boys had a five-to-seven fold increased risk of getting osteosarcoma by the age of 20 if they drank fluoridated water during their mid-childhood growth spurt (age 6 to 8). The study was published in 2006 (Bassin 2006) but has been largely discounted by fluoridating countries because her thesis adviser Professor Chester Douglass (a promoter of fluoridation and a consultant for Colgate) promised a larger study that he claimed would discount her thesis (Douglass and Joshipura, 2006). Now, after 5 years of waiting the Douglass study has finally been published (Kim 2011) but in no way does this study discount Bassin’s findings. The study, which used far fewer controls than Bassin’s analysis, did not even attempt to assess the age-specific window of risk that Bassin identified. Indeed, by the authors’ own admission, the study had no capacity to assess the risk of osteosarcoma among children and adolescents (the precise population of concern). For a critique of the Douglass study, click here.
  • Fluoride may cause reproductive problems. Fluoride administered to animals at high doses wreaks havoc on the male reproductive system – it damages sperm and increases the rate of infertility in a number of different species (Kour 1980; Chinoy 1989; Chinoy 1991; Susheela 1991; Chinoy 1994; Kumar 1994; Narayana 1994a,b; Zhao 1995; Elbetieha 2000; Ghosh 2002; Zakrzewska 2002). In addition, an epidemiological study from the US found increased rates of infertility among couples living in areas with 3 ppm or more fluoride in the water (Freni 1994), two studies have found reduced level of circulating testosterone in males living in high fluoride areas (Susheela 1996; Barot 1998), and a study of fluoride-exposed workers reported a “subclinical reproductive effect” (Ortiz-Perez 2003). While animal studies by FDA researchers have failed to find evidence of reproductive toxicity in fluoride-exposed rats (Sprando 1996, 1997, 1998), the National Research Council (2006) has recommended that, “the relationship between fluoride and fertility requires additional study.”
  • Some individuals are highly sensitive to low levels of fluoride as shown by case studies and double blind studies (Shea 1967; Waldbott 1978; Moolenburgh 1987). In one study, which lasted 13 years, Feltman and Kosel (1961) showed that about 1% of patients given 1 mg of fluoride each day developed negative reactions. Many individuals have reported suffering from symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, rashes and stomach and gastro intestinal tract problems, which disappear when they avoid fluoride in their water and diet. Frequently the symptoms reappear when they are unwittingly exposed to fluoride again (Spittle, 2008). No fluoridating government has conducted scientific studies to take this issue beyond these anecdotal reports. Without the willingness of governments to investigate these reports scientifically, should we as a society be forcing these people to ingest fluoride?
  • Other subsets of population are more vulnerable to fluoride’s toxicity. In addition to people suffering from impaired kidney function discussed in reason #30 other subsets of the population are more vulnerable.to fluoride’s toxic effects. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR 1993) these include: infants, the elderly and diabetics. Also vulnerable are those who suffer from malnutrition (e.g., calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and iodine deficiencies and protein-poor diets. See: Massler & Schour 1952; Marier & Rose 1977; Lin Fa-Fu 1991; Chen 1997; Teotia 1998).

No Margin of Safety

  • There is no margin of safety for several health effects. No one can deny that high natural levels of fluoride damage health. Millions of people in India and China have had their health compromised by fluoride. The real argument is about whether there is an adequate margin of safety between the doses that have been shown to cause harm in published studies and the total dose people receive consuming uncontrolled amounts of fluoridated water and non-water sources of fluoride. This margin of safety has to take into account the wide range of individual sensitivity expected in a large population (a safety factor of 10 is usually applied to the lowest level causing harm). Another safety factor is also needed to take into account the wide range of doses to which people are exposed. There is clearly no margin of safety for dental fluorosis (CDC, 2010) and based on the following studies nowhere near an adequate margin of safety for lowered IQ (Xiang 2003a,b; Ding 2011); lowered thyroid function (Galletti & Joyet 1958; Bachinskii 1985; Lin 1991); bone fractures in children (Alarcon-Herrera 2001) or hip fractures in the elderly (Kurttio 1999; Li 2001). All these harmful effects are discussed in the NRC (2006) review.

Environmental Justice

  • Low-income families penalized by fluoridation. Those most likely to suffer from poor nutrition, and thus more likely to be more vulnerable to fluoride’s toxic effects, are the poor, who unfortunately, are the very people being targeted by new fluoridation programs. While at heightened risk, poor families are least able to afford avoiding fluoride once it is added to the water supply. No financial support is being offered to these families to help them get alternative water supplies or to help pay the costs of treating unsightly cases of dental fluorosis.
  • Black and Hispanic children are more vulnerable to fluoride’s toxicity. According to the CDC’s national survey of dental fluorosis, black and Mexican-American children have significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis than white children (Beltran-Aguilar 2005, Table 23). The recognition that minority children appear to be more vulnerable to toxic effects of fluoride, combined with the fact that low-income families are less able to avoid drinking fluoridated water, has prompted prominent leaders in the environmental-justice movement to oppose mandatory fluoridation in Georgia. In a statement issued in May 2011, the Rev. Andrew Young, a colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr., and former Mayor of Atlanta and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, stated:

“I am most deeply concerned for poor families who have babies: if they cannot afford unfluoridated water for their babies’ milk formula, do their babies not count? Of course they do. This is an issue of fairness, civil rights, and compassion. We must find better ways to prevent cavities, such as helping those most at risk for cavities obtain access to the services of a dentist…My father was a dentist. I formerly was a strong believer in the benefits of water fluoridation for preventing cavities. But many things that we began to do 50 or more years ago we now no longer do, because we have learned further information that changes our practices and policies. So it is with fluoridation.” (see: http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Alert/United-States/Georgia/Atlanta-Civil-Rights-Leaders-Callfor- Halt-to-Water-Fluoridation)

  • Minorities are not being warned about their vulnerabilities to fluoride. The CDC is not warning black and Mexican-American children that they have higher rates of dental fluorosis than Caucasian children (see #38). This extra vulnerability may extend to other toxic effects of fluoride. Black Americans have higher rates of lactose intolerance, kidney problems and diabetes, all of which may exacerbate fluoride’s toxicity.
  • Tooth decay reflects low-income not low-fluoride intake. Since dental decay is most concentrated in poor communities, we should be spending our efforts trying to increase the access to dental care for low-income families. The highest rates of tooth decay today can be found in low-income areas that have been fluoridated for many years. The real “Oral Health Crisis” that exists today in the United States, is not a lack of fluoride but poverty and lack of dental insurance. The Surgeon General has estimated that 80% of dentists in the US do not treat children on Medicaid.

The largely untested chemicals used in fluoridation programs

  • The chemicals used to fluoridate water are not pharmaceutical grade. Instead, they largely come from the wet scrubbing systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry. These chemicals (90% of which are sodium fluorosilicate and fluorosilicic acid), are classified hazardous wastes contaminated with various impurities. Recent testing by the National Sanitation Foundation suggest that the levels of arsenic in these silicon fluorides are relatively high (up to 1.6 ppb after dilution into public water) and of potential concern (NSF 2000 and Wang 2000). Arsenic is a known human carcinogen for which there is no safe level. This one contaminant alone could be increasing cancer rates – and unnecessarily so.
  • The silicon fluorides have not been tested comprehensively. The chemical usually tested in animal studies is pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride, not industrial grade fluorosilicic acid. Proponents claim that once the silicon fluorides have been diluted at the public water works they are completely dissociated to free fluoride ions and hydrated silica and thus there is no need to examine the toxicology of these compounds. However, while a study from the University of Michigan (Finney et al., 2006) showed complete dissociation at neutral pH, in acidic conditions (pH 3) there was a stable complex containing five fluoride ions. Thus the possibility arises that such a complex may be regenerated in the stomach where the pH lies between 1 and 2.
  • The silicon fluorides may increase lead uptake into children’s blood. Studies by Masters and Coplan 1999, 2000, 2007 show an association between the use of fluorosilicic acid (and its sodium salt) to fluoridate water and an increased uptake of lead into children’s blood. Because of lead’s acknowledged ability to damage the developing brain, this is a very serious finding. Nevertheless, it is being largely ignored by fluoridating countries. This association received some strong biochemical support from an animal study by Sawan et al. (2010) who found that exposure of rats to a combination of fluorosilicic acid and lead in their drinking water increased the uptake of lead into blood some threefold over exposure to lead alone.
  • Fluoride may leach lead from pipes, brass fittings and soldered joints. Maas et al (2007) have shown that fluoridating agents in combination with chlorinating agents such as chloroamine increase the leaching of lead from brass fittings used in plumbing. While proponents may argue about the neurotoxic effects of low levels of fluoride there is no argument that lead at very low levels lowers IQ in children.

Continued promotion of fluoridation is unscientific

  • Key health studies have not been done. In the January 2008 issue of Scientific American, Professor John Doull, the chairman of the important 2006 National Research Council review, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of EPA’s Standards, is quoted as saying:

What the committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long really—and now we need to take a fresh look . . . In the scientific community people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the top 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on.

The absence of studies is being used by promoters as meaning the absence of harm. This is an irresponsible position.

  • Endorsements do not represent scientific evidence. Many of those promoting fluoridation rely heavily on a list of endorsements. However, the U.S. PHS first endorsed fluoridation in 1950, before one single trial had been completed and before any significant health studies had been published (see chapters 9 and 10 in The Case Against Fluoride for the significance of this PHS endorsement for the future promotion of fluoridation). Many other endorsements swiftly followed with little evidence of any scientific rational for doing so. The continued use of these endorsements has more to do with political science than medical science.
  • Review panels hand-picked to deliver a pro-fluoridation result. Every so often, particularly when their fluoridation program is under threat, governments of fluoridating countries hand-pick panels to deliver reports that provide the necessary re-endorsement of the practice.

In their recent book Fluoride Wars (2009), which is otherwise slanted toward fluoridation, Alan Freeze and Jay Lehr concede this point when they write:

There is one anti-fluoridationist charge that does have some truth to it. Anti-fluoride forces have always claimed that the many government-sponsored review panels set up over the years to assess the costs and benefits of fluoridation were stacked in favor of fluoridation. A review of the membership of the various panels confirms this charge. The expert committees that put together reports by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1941, 1944 and 1954; the National Academy of Sciences in 1951, 1971, 1977 and 1993; the World Health Organization in 1958 and 1970; and the U.S. Public Health Service in 1991 are rife with the names of well-known medical and dental researchers who actively campaigned on behalf of fluoridation or whose research was held in high regard in the pro-fluoridation movement. Membership was interlocking and incestuous.

The most recent examples of these self-fulfilling prophecies have come from the Irish Fluoridation Forum (2002); the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, 2007) and Health Canada (2008, 2010). The latter used a panel of six experts to review the health literature. Four of the six were pro-fluoridation dentists and the other two had no demonstrated expertise on fluoride. A notable exception to this trend was the appointment by the U.S. National Research Council of the first balanced panel of experts ever selected to look at fluoride’s toxicity in the U.S. This panel of twelve reviewed the US EPA’s safe drinking water standards for fluoride. After three and half years the panel concluded in a 507- page report that the safe drinking water standard was not protective of health and a new maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) should be determined (NRC, 2006). If normal toxicological procedures and appropriate margins of safety were applied to their findings this report should spell an end to water fluoridation. Unfortunately in January of 2011 the US EPA Office of Water made it clear that they would not determine a value for the MCLG that would jeopardize the water fluoridation program (EPA press release, Jan 7, 2011. Once again politics was allowed to trump science.

More and more independent scientists oppose fluoridation

  • Many scientists oppose fluoridation. Proponents of fluoridation have maintained for many years— despite the fact that the earliest opponents of fluoridation were biochemists—that the only people opposed to fluoridation are not bona fide scientists. Today, as more and more scientists, doctors, dentists and other professionals, read the primary literature for themselves, rather than relying on self-serving statements from the ADA and the CDC, they are realizing that they and the general public have not been diligently informed by their professional bodies on this subject. As of July 2011, over 3700 professionals have signed a statement calling for an end to water fluoridation worldwide. This statement and a list of signatories can be found on the website of the Fluoride Action Network (see: www.FluorideAlert.org). A glimpse of the caliber of those opposing fluoridation can be gleaned by watching the 28-minute video “Professional Perspectives on Water fluoridation” which can be viewed online at the same FAN site.

Proponents’ dubious tactics

  • Proponents usually refuse to defend fluoridation in open debate. While pro-fluoridation officials continue to promote fluoridation with undiminished fervor, they usually refuse to defend the practice in open public debate – even when challenged to do so by organizations such as the Association for Science in the Public Interest, the American College of Toxicology, or the U.S. EPA (Bryson 2004). According to Dr. Michael Easley, a prominent lobbyist for fluoridation in the US, “Debates give the illusion that a scientific controversy exists when no credible people support the fluorophobics’ view” (Easley, 1999). In light of proponents’ refusal to debate this issue, Dr. Edward Groth, a Senior Scientist at Consumers Union, observed that, “the political profluoridation stance has evolved into a dogmatic, authoritarian, essentially antiscientific posture, one that discourages open debate of scientific issues” (Martin 1991).
  • Proponents use very dubious tactics to promote fluoridation. Many scientists, doctors and dentists who have spoken out publicly on this issue have been subjected to censorship and intimidation (Martin 1991). Dr. Phyllis Mullenix was fired from her position as Chair of Toxicology at Forsythe Dental Center for publishing her findings on fluoride and the brain (Mullenix 1995); and Dr. William Marcus was fired from the EPA for questioning the government’s handling of the NTP’s fluoride-cancer study (Bryson 2004). Many dentists and even doctors tell opponents in private that they are opposed to this practice but dare not speak out in public because of peer pressure and the fear of recriminations. Tactics like this would not be necessary if those promoting fluoridation were on secure scientific and ethical grounds.

Conclusion

When it comes to controversies surrounding toxic chemicals, vested interests traditionally do their very best to discount animal studies and quibble with epidemiological findings. In the past, political pressures have led government agencies to drag their feet on regulating asbestos, benzene, DDT, PCBs, tetraethyl lead, tobacco and dioxins. With fluoridation we have had a sixty-year delay. Unfortunately, because government officials and dental leaders have put so much of their credibility on the line defending fluoridation, and because of the huge liabilities waiting in the wings if they admit that fluoridation has caused an increase in hip fracture, arthritis, bone cancer, brain disorders or thyroid problems, it will be very difficult for them to speak honestly and openly about the issue. But they must, not only to protect millions of people from unnecessary harm, but to protect the notion that, at its core, public health policy must be based on sound science not political expediency. They have a tool with which to do this: it’s called the Precautionary Principle. Simply put, this says: if in doubt leave it out. This is what most European countries have done and their children’s teeth have not suffered, while their public’s trust has been strengthened.

Just how much doubt is needed on just one of the health concerns identified above, to override a benefit, which when quantified in the largest survey ever conducted in the US, amounts to less than one tooth surface (out of 128) in a child’s mouth?

While fluoridation may not be the greatest environmental health threat, it is one of the easiest to end. It is as easy as turning off a spigot in the public water works. But to turn off that spigot takes political will and to get that we need masses more people informed and organized. Please get these 50 reasons to all your friends and encourage them to get fluoride out of their community and to help ban this practice worldwide.

The following article was written by a doctor and can be found here

I regularly get asked questions about the dangers of fluoride and water fluoridation (often misspelled as flouride and flouridation). In fact, one of my employees was recently speaking with me about the sodium fluoride drops his daughter’s pediatrician had prescribed.

In response to the questions and concerns, I’ve put together this article which is loaded with information about fluoride (flouride), symptoms of fluoridation, and the dangers of consuming fluoride.

I hope this helps answer your questions!

  • The fluoride used for water fluoridation does not have FDA approval and is considered by the FDA as an “unapproved drug”. The proper use of any drug requires an understanding of how much is too much. Since fluoride is already in many foods and beverages, an estimated total intake of existing fluoride amounts is imperative. Research shows fluoridation is unnecessary since we’re already receiving 300% or more of the American Dental Association’s recommended daily amount.#
  • The chemicals used for fluoridation are not high purity, pharmaceutical quality products. Rather they are byproducts of aluminum and fertilizer manufacturing and contain a high concentration of toxins and heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and chromium. All proven to be carcinogens.#
  • Newsweek Magazine advised the public that “political decisions [about fluoridation] were at odds with expert advice” and “fluoride from your tap may not do much good-and may cause cancer.” Then, in 1992, Newsweek published another fluoride safety related article, “Is Science Censored?, a look at how political considerations influence what scientific studies get published.”#
  • The first noticeable signs of excessive exposure to fluoride in contaminated water, air, and food products include discolorations of the enamel. Dental fluorosis during tooth growth and loss of dentition in adulthood are two consequences of chronic intoxication with fluorine compounds. Abnormalities in mineralization processes affect by and large the osteoarticular system and are associated with changes in the density and structure of the bone presenting as irregular mineralization of the osteoid.*
  • Children’s sodium fluoride anti-cavity supplements were never found safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).They were never even tested.So why are these prescription drugs allowed despite no FDA approval? Because fluoride supplements were “grandfathered in” before the 1938 law was enacted requiring drug testing.So, products on the market before 1938 were presumed safe by the FDA who allowed grandfathered drugs to be sold without any testing. Once a drug is on the market for any reason, doctors can use them to treat any disease or condition.Sodium fluoride was on the market pre-1938, but not to stop cavities and not for any medical reason. Sodium fluoride sold as a rat poison.

    So, in effect, the FDA says – since sodium fluoride safely and effectively killed rats before 1938, the FDA considers it is safe to give to little children to prevent tooth decay.From a 1951 American Dental Association brochure:
    “There is no proof that commercial preparations such as tablets, dentifrices, mouthwashes or chewing gum containing fluorides are effective in preventing dental decay. Unfortunately such preparations are being offered to the public without adequate scientific evidence of their value.”*

  • 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. (While some European countries add fluoride to salt, the majority do not.) Thus, rather than mandating fluoride treatment for the whole population, western Europe allows individuals the right to choose, or refuse, fluoride.^
  • Contrary to previous belief, fluoride has minimal benefit when swallowed. When water fluoridation began in the 1940s and ’50s, dentists believed that fluoride needed to be swallowed in order to be most effective. This belief, however, has now been discredited by an extensive body of modern research (1).According to the Centers for Disease Control, fluoride’s “predominant effect is posteruptive and topical” (2). In other words, any benefits that accrue from the use of fluoride, come from the direct application of fluoride to the outside of teeth (after they have erupted into the mouth) and not from ingestion. There is no need, therefore, to expose all other tissues to fluoride by swallowing it.^
  • Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit, but many risks. Whereas fluoride’s benefits come from topical contact with teeth, its risks to health (which involve many more tissues than the teeth) result from being swallowed.Adverse effects from fluoride ingestion have been associated with doses attainable by people living in fluoridated areas. For example:
    • Risk to the brain. According to the National Research Council (NRC), fluoride can damage the brain. Animal studies conducted in the 1990s by EPA scientists found dementia-like effects at the same concentration (1 ppm) used to fluoridate water, while human studies have found adverse effects on IQ at levels as low as 0.9 ppm among children with nutrient deficiencies, and 1.8 ppm among children with adequate nutrient intake. (7-10)
    • Risk to the thyroid gland. According to the NRC, fluoride is an “endocrine disrupter.” Most notably, the NRC has warned that doses of fluoride (0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day) achievable by drinking fluoridated water, may reduce the function of the thyroid among individuals with low-iodine intake. Reduction of thyroid activity can lead to loss of mental acuity, depression and weight gain (11)
    • Risk to bones. According to the NRC, fluoride can diminish bone strength and increase the risk for bone fracture. While the NRC was unable to determine what level of fluoride is safe for bones, it noted that the best available information suggests that fracture risk may be increased at levels as low 1.5 ppm, which is only slightly higher than the concentration (0.7-1.2 ppm) added to water for fluoridation. (12)
    • Risk for bone cancer. Animal and human studies – including a recent study from a team of Harvard scientists – have found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in males under the age of 20. The connection between fluoride and osteosarcoma has been described by the National Toxicology Program as “biologically plausible.” Up to half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis. (13-16)
    • Risk to kidney patients. People with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity. The heightened risk stems from an impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. As a result, toxic levels of fluoride can accumulate in the bones, intensify the toxicity of aluminum build-up, and cause or exacerbate a painful bone disease known as renal osteodystrophy. (17-19)^

on the beauty that pain can bring

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching The Passion of the Christ (its on Netflix. if you havent seen it you should watch it) I went and saw it in the movie theater when it came out in 2004..but I didnt have the greatest experience. I will not say any names..but..the person i went to go see it with decided to take a bottle of whiskey into the movie theater..so I barely was able to watch the movie because I was in fear the whole time that someone would smell the terrible scent of it and the person i was with would be hauled to jail (they were underage) It surprises me that I wasnt drinking right along with them..the person I was in 2004 was..well..i guess ill just say an idiot. Even then, during a time in my life that I had no relationship, what so ever, with the Lord, I knew better. I remember sitting there with tears running down my face and the person I was with telling me how ridiculous I was being..we ended up leaving before the movie was over…so yesterday, I saw the end of the movie for the first time.

The movie is wonderful..it is powerful. I skipped some of the more gruesome scenes, like when Jesus was whipped, but for the most part Trinitee watched the whole thing. Some may think how terrible I am for letting a five year old watch a R rated movie..well think all you want. I want her to know at what price her salvation was bought. The things Jesus endured for us on Calvary were far worse than an R rating. I normally have a hard time getting her to watch anything that’s not a cartoon or has talking animals running around..but yesterday she hardly moved.  Since it’s in Aramaic, I read her the subtitles to some parts..but even without knowing the dialog she knew what was going on. I used to have a cd with the song Watch the Lamb on it, but it has been over a year since we’ve listened to it..shes smart though..when she saw the part when Jesus could no longer carry the cross and Simon of Cyrene was made to help, she said, “There’s Daddy Daddy and there’s his little boy!”

I was somewhat disappointed yesterday when the screen went black after Jesus died…why would they show how Christ was seemingly defeated without showing the final result of his victory, I thought. The screen was black for a moment and then a flash of bright light penetrated the darkness as the stone was being rolled away from the entrance of the tomb. The last scene of the movie shows Jesus stand up..he is now clean..his body is no longer covered with dried sweat and blood..his skin bears no bruises or lacerations from the whip..then the camera scrolls down to show the hole in his hand from the nail, and then the screen goes black and the credits start.  The last vision of Jesus’ nail scarred hand really affected me.

So many times I question the Lord and get upset with him for letting “bad” things happen to me. Just because I am a christian doesn’t mean that I wont be subjected to pain..sometimes I forget that. Pain is still able to affect the lives of even the most dedicated christian. The resurrection of Jesus is the utmost example of the rewards God gives to those who obey his will..but even here, we see evidence of pain – we see the scars in Jesus’ hand. Why did Jesus keep the scars in his hands, feet and side? During the time after he died he went and conquered death, hell and the grave..dont you think he would have been able to remove his scars?

  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. John 20:7

Jesus’ scars were the only thing that would prove to Thomas that Jesus had risen..the only thing that made Thomas believe. What if the pain and the scars we carry are tools the Lord wants us to use to witness and to reach people living in doubt. What if the Lord were to allow one of his faithful followers to fall ill with cancer just so they would be able to witness to the lost man in the hospital bed beside them..would you say that the Lord is wrong? No matter how painful things in life may be..stay strong in the Lord..seek his will..pray that, from out of your scars..from out of your pain, he will cause beautiful things to rise.

prayers for forgotten children

The time now, as I begin this post is 12:09 pm. It will be hours before I post this..I have to write when my motherly duties (which, by the way, I am so grateful to be able to do again now that my back is feeling a great deal better) will spare me a few moments. Again, it is 12:09 pm, Trinitee got up this morning at 8:30..since then she has had cheddar cheese grits (with real bacon bits in them..just the way she likes) a large glass of milk, a pack of grilled cheese Lance crackers, a juice box, and a string cheese. Like clockwork, we normally eat lunch at noon but on Saturdays Jonathan gets off work at one..so on Saturdays we snack a little after breakfast and wait until he gets home to eat lunch. Without failure, every Saturday, regardless of the snacks she has had, “mommy I’m starving” is what I hear shortly after the clock strikes 12..and today, just a few minutes ago, it was her saying those exact words that sparked my mind to write this.

Throughout the day, i usually spend my free time roaming the internet for articles and for things i feel are worth the few moments of “me” time that i get. Most of the time i end up on websites that drive me into a mad rage..to what degree these things upset me is pointless because no matter what i do..i cant force people to agree or to wake up and take notice. These websites, Jonathan says, have turned his wife into a conspiracy theorist. (Ha..he knew what he was getting into before he married me) Sometimes i try to be normal and do normal things like play games or search around on ebay (how is a girl with no extra money supposed to look on ebay?…i am not capable of “window shopping” without morphing into this “woe is me” jealous person) ive even tried to start a pintrest thing. None of my “normal” endeavors are ever successfull..i always feel like im wasting precious time and short-changing my brain by investing in things that just don’t matter. So…i end up reading articles about fluoride or about the corruption that drips from planned parenthood and other things that i cant change..things that just upset me..things that, according to the authors, only Ron Paul can stop..unfortunatly the probability of most of these things changing is the same as Ron Paul actually becoming president (media black-balled ) so i get all fired up and it usually fizzles out half an hour or so after i get in bed and finally calm myself down enough to sleep. I have sent emails and made phone calls to senators from time to time but, im not an idiot, i know this doesnt do anything. In the perfect manner of this dark earth, yesterday i stumbled upon an article that i cannot shake..an article that, after reading it, has made me come to the conclusion that i will never be the same.

I was only 10 when these things happened..I was off in my peachy little world of no worries and lisa frank trapper-keepers..I had no clue of what it feels like to love a child, or how precious a childs worth is. I know that there are many who do remember this when it happened..something that makes the soul ache, to such severity, is not easily forgotten. I attempt to really understand what makes this world go ’round..I try, with shallow results usually, to really understand politics,…i always come up short, even still, with my limited political knowledge, I can see how this matter should (17 years later) still be a relevent concern.

The article I read was about the 1995 documentary called, “The Dying Rooms.”  Three British film makers, over the course of two years, posed as orphanage workers (with hidden cameras) in several chinese state-run facilities. The footage is shocking, to say the least, I was sick after watching it. It all seems too monstrous to be reality. Here are some exerts from the article:

Mei-ming has lain this way for 10 days now: tied up in urine-soaked blankets, scabs of dried mucus growing across her eyes, her face shrinking to a skull, malnutrition slowly shrivelling her two-year old body. The orphanage staff call her room the “dying room”, and they have abandoned here for the very same reasons her parents abandoned her shortly after she was born. She is a girl.

When Mei-ming dies four days later,it will be of sheer neglect. Afterward, the orphanage will deny she ever existed. She will be just another invisible victim of the collision between China’s one-child policy and its traditional preference for male heirs. She is one of perhaps 15 million female babies who have disappeared from China’s demograph

Two years ago, the South China Morning Post gave the world evidence of dying rooms at Nanning orphanage, in the Guangxi autonomous region. Staff and regular visitors freely admitted that 90 percent of the 50 to 60 baby girls who arrived at the orphanage each month would end their lives there. Nanning orhanage was then overhauled, and the dying rooms there ceased to exist. Sadly, though, the British team’s harrowing report suggests that attitudes toward baby girls so prevalent at Nanning two years ago are rife elsewhere.

To proect those who helped the team gain access to orphanages and whom Blewett interviewed, the documentary does not riamc any of the orphanages In one, a dozen or so baby girls sit on bamboo benches in the middle of a courtyard. Their wrists and ankles are tied to the armrests and legs of the bench. A row of plastic buckets is lined up beneath holes in their seats to catch their urine and excrement. The children will not be moved again until night, when they will be lifted out and tied to their beds.

“They had no stimulation, nothing to play with, no one to touch them,” says Blewett. In one scene, a handicapped older boy walks up to one of the girls tied to a bench and begins head-butting her relentlessly. The girl doesn’t move or make a sound. Such is the lack of stimulation for the children that few of them will ever learn to speak. An endless rocking is the only exercise, the only stimulation, the only pleasure in their lives.

An official of the orphanage tells Blewett that last year, the orphanage had some 400 inmates. They were kept five to a bed in one airless room. The summer temperatures soared to around 100 degrees. In a couple of weeks, 20 percent of the babies died. “If 80 children died last summer, there should be 320 left,” Blewett says to one of the assistants, “but there don’t appear to be more than a couple of dozen children here. Where are the others?” The girl replies; “They disappear. If I ask where they go, I am just told they die. That’s all. I am afraid to ask any more.” 

Brutal neglect is the common theme of many of the orphanage scenes. In one sequence, a lame child sits on a bench near the orphanage pharmacy. It is full of medicines, but none of the staff can be bothered to administer them. The child rocks listlessly back and forth. The camera focuses on her vacant face, trails down her skinny body, and settles on her leg. It is swollen with gangrene. The worst orphanage, the home of Mei-ming, was in Guangdong, one of the richest provinces in China. When the documentary team arrived,there were no children to be seen or heard. Then from under one of the blankets laid over a cot. there was the sound of crying. Lifting the blanket and unwrapping a tied bundle of cloth, Blewett found a baby girl. The last layer of her swaddling was a plastic bag filled with urine and feces. The next cot was the same, and the next and the next. Many of the children had deep lesions where the string they were tied with had cut into their bodies. One child, described by staff as “normal,” was suffering from vitamin B and C deficiencies, acute liver failure, and severe impetigo on her scalp. All the non-handicapped children were girls.

After the documentary aired there was an uproar that spread across the world..it aired in 26 different countries and won several awards even an American Emmy. Chinese officials flat out denied any existence of such “dying rooms,”   (it is spoken about here) they stated that the documentary was a complete fabrication, even though, if you watch it (warning: its tough to handle) it is hard to imagine how such a thing could have been faked. There are also damning reports from the chinese physician Zhang Shuyun, who fled the country with evidence she had collected between 1988 and 1993 proving the rumors of systematic abuse and fatal neglect to be true. Here is a bit from an article that speaks of  Zhang Shuyun’s findings..

The evidence of barbaric behaviour came from detailed official records smuggled out of the country by a doctor, Zhang Shuyun: she worked at the Shanghai Children’s Welfare Institute from 1988 to 1993, and escaped from China last March. Numerous case studies document deliberate starvation, torture and sexual assault over many years. The records indicate that between 1986 and 1992 at this one Shanghai institution alone, more than 1,000 children died unnatural deaths.  

Only after The Dying Rooms thrust these deplorable exterminations into the world spotlight did things start to improve in these state funded orphanages..well at least things improved at the orphanages we are allowed to know about. One report states..

 From 1999 to 2004, the numbers of child welfare homes and residents almost doubled.. Another change during this period is that the central government enacted policies regarding the right to protection for children and social welfare for orphans and children with disabilities, such as, the enactment of the Law of Adoption and the establishment of guidelines for work with orphans and children with disabilities by the central government. Recent efforts have been on promoting relative caring and foster homes supplemental to child welfare homes.

An orphanage in Wuhu, in eastern China’s Anhui province in Aug. 2009.

As you see in the picture above, the conditions in this orphanage have greatly improved from the earlier circumstances where sometimes six infants would be crammed in one rusty crib. Things look so much better..it gives you a sense of hope and relief…until you look to the far right of this picture and see the infant laying there who is nothing but skin and bone. It is wonderful that these  babies are being fed and that their basic needs are being met, however, many studies have proven that babies desperately need to be touched and loved to thrive..even to the point that some infants can lose the will to live because they are not nurtured. it rips my heart apart to think of babies..just like my priceless baby..who dont have anyone to love them. Thankfully adoption has given many of these unwanted children a life where they are wanted.. where they are loved.

Im sure it seems that i have gone on and on about this..but really, what I have written is only the tip of the iceberg. Some are probably thinking right now..why the heck would somebody write about this..that was 17 years ago! Well my response is..why the heck would i not write about this!

Why i am writing this..why i think it still matters, is simple, even for me to understand.(that means pretty simple) You gotta remember that china is a communist country. We see what they allow..what they want us to see. The same force that was in charge while all the documented abuse took place..they are still in charge today. Most recently with the Chen Guangcheng story, the world has been exposed to the gut wrenching stories of the women who are kidnapped and forced to have abortions, many times in their ninth month of pregnancy..the black veil of communism has parted enough for us to see the callous faces of these men..these men who tie women down during labor and wait for the baby to be born..these men who take a newly delivered baby and throw it into a bucket of water like worthless trash.. while gasping for breath in a cold bucket of water, the first and last sound these beautiful babies will  hear is their mother crying helplessly for the baby she never got to touch..all because, to these men, life means nothing. Thank goodness for the millions of good people living in China and for the outside influence that, to some degree, holds the Communist Party of China accountable.. without them, I am afraid to think of how these sweet children would be treated..because to Hu Jintao and the Communist Party of China, these orphans are illegal.. these blameless children are guilty of breaking the law before they are even born.

Let me just requote something from an above article..

Two years ago, the South China Morning Post gave the world evidence of dying rooms at Nanning orphanage, in the Guangxi autonomous region. Staff and regular visitors freely admitted that 90 percent of the 50 to 60 baby girls who arrived at the orphanage each month would end their lives there. Nanning orhanage was then overhauled, and the dying rooms there ceased to exist. Sadly, though, the British team’s harrowing report suggests that attitudes toward baby girls so prevalent at Nanning two years ago are rife elsewhere.

As this shows, these deplorable acts were first exposed in 1993..two years later when this was published nothing had changed. The orphanage in question was reformed but nothing was done to help the innocent life trapped in any of the other institutions. My only prayer is that, in the places kept from the world, history is not being repeated. According to China Daily and ministry statistics there are currently 100,000 abandoned children (mostly girls) living in chinese orphanages. For a country with 1.3 billion people (and, not to mention, a strict population control policy and, especially in rural areas, a strong cultural tradition that values only male heirs) i find it almost impossible to believe that calculation. The Mystery of China’s Orphans, A 2007 piece from The New York Times reaffirms my suspicions..

 According to a U.S. State Department report released last week, American citizens adopted 6,493 children from China in 2006, a decline of 18 percent from the previous year’s total of 7,906. And yet,over a month ago, The New York Times reported that China had prepared strict new criteria for foreign adoption applications because the country claimed it lacked “available” babies to meet the “spike” in demand.

China has always limited foreign adoptions, and it does not publish reliable statistics on the number of children in its orphanages. So how is one to know whether the decrease in adoptions reflects a lack of supply or a lack of demand?

In the week following the report on the new guidelines, more than one bewildered person said to me, “But I thought there were lots of babies in orphanages in China!” My response was to helplessly reply, “So did I.” My understanding of this was based not on conjecture, but on having been to China twice to adopt, having seen orphanages with my own eyes, and on research and other eyewitness accounts. Many hundreds and perhaps thousands of orphanages operate in China, most of them full of girls.

According to a February 2005 report in the Weekend Standard, a Chinese business newspaper, demographers in China found a ratio of 117 boys per 100 girls under the age of 5 in the 2000 census. Thanks to China’s one-child policy, put into effect in 1979 in order to curb population growth, and a strong cultural preference for male children, this gender gap could result in as many as 60 million “missing” girls from the population by the end of the decade.

And what happened to these girls? According to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (a term that takes on a whole new meaning when referring to China), there are about 7 million abortions in China per year, 70 percent of which are estimated to be of females. That adds up to around 5 million per year, or 50 million by the end of the decade; so where are the other 10 million girls? If even 10 percent end up in orphanages — well, you do the math.

The issue of abandoned and institutionalized children remains a taboo subject in China, a problem the government does not even acknowledge exists.

China has announced the lifting of restrictions for foreign journalists in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. Perhaps this will allow reporters to look for answers to some basic questions: How many children are there in institutions in China? Why do visitors need approval to visit orphanages? Why are only certain orphanages allowed to participate in the international adoption program, and what is going on in the ones that are not?

So what am I supposed to do? How are my tears going to infiltrate the hearts of those in charge. After reading these things.. my spirit was badly broken..thankfully, Trinitee and Rory were at my moms so they didnt witness my sadness. I seriously had a small mental break..crying and screaming at God..asking him how He could let things happen like this. God wasnt too upset by my screams..he never gave me that answer I was looking for..but a sudden peace flooded my soul, and I was reminded that every one of those “forgotten” children were now in the loving arms of Jesus..no matter how unwanted or unloved they were here..in heaven they are held..they are touched..they are priceless.

Today is the first time i have thought about these little children in quite sometime. Usually when Trinitee tells me she is starving I just laugh it off and tell her she’s being silly because she has had plenty to eat. I mean, she’s a child..her precious little mind is set on the schedule that I have put her on..I can’t get upset with her for being over dramatic or naively ungrateful. But today was different…Today when she told me how starving she was..the images of those little girls from The Dying Room flooded my mind.. I immediately started crying. She looked up at me, her eyes full of love..she hugged me..”whats wrong mommy?” I explained to her that she doesnt need to say she’s starving anymore..i told her how blessed she was..that there are children who really are starving. She asked me..”what is starving” i tried to explain it the best i could..telling her that some children are so hungry they die. This may seem extreme to some..but I want to raise her to know the truth. I found a picture on my phone of a child who was truly starving..and i showed it to her…”this is what starving means,” i said. She picked up my phone and held it close..almost as if she was trying to look into the child’s soul. A few more silent seconds passed..as she put the phone down I noticed the tears that quietly fell down her sweet little face. She looked at me and said, “im not starving, mommy.” I held her in my arms for a minute before she popped her head up and said, “lets pray for that little girl.”  In our little living room, we held hands and trinitee prayed for that little girl. Her prayer was simple..but so pure..i know the Lord heard Trinitee’s prayer because I felt his presence fill our little living room as she prayed today. We may not be able to win all the battles of this world..but we can pray. We may not be able to save all the innocent little children in China..or all the neglected children across this planet..but Trinitee reminded me today that WE CAN PRAY. We have a God who listens to our prayers..we have a God who is mighty. If any of you have actually read to this point (i know this is way too long..but i cant help myself) please stop and pray…pray for all the innocent children who are alone in this world. Im not sure why I felt the need to write this..but hopefully, God will place a fire inside your soul like he did in mine.

my thoughts on “pastor” charles t worley

IS THIS MAN INSANE!?

A few nights ago, I saw this story on the local news and “ohhh no” was the thought that kept replaying in my head as mystomach turned in disgust. I knew that within days this would be all over the national media..and I was right. I’ve already seen several articles just today talking about the things this NC pastor said…

“Build a great, big, large fence—150 or 100 miles long—put all the lesbians in there. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out..you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

Why would a preacher say such a thing!? I really can’t wrap my hands around it. It is statements such as this that make people think so badly of christians. People who do not go to a good, bible teaching church or have not had a good influence of what christianity is, this is what they hear..this is their idea of Christ..and it hurts my heart. I know for sure that its a rare occurance to ever see any thing positive in the news about christianity..its only the nut job declarations made by nut jobs such as this guy that make the news..and that makes me nauseous. I am a true believer in the bible..but put homosexuals in a fence and let them die out..ARE YOU SERIOUS! What about all the other sinners in this world..WE ARE ALL SINNERS! Its only by the transforming power of Jesus that any of us are granted freedom from sin and even then we fail..speaking for myself, I fail the Lord everyday. I have to lean on Gods grace to cover me and the daily act of repentance..where would I be without Gods grace? where would any of us be? According to this guy we would all need to be in a fence to “die out”..his message not only spits hatred but it gives the redeeming grace and the love of our Lord no credit. As a follower of Jesus Christ may I just say that the things this man said are a rotten example of what Jesus would say.

on sadness and redemption part 2

Before I go any further I must make a few things clear..first off, I am not a bible scholar. I am speaking from my heart..from my own personal experiences. I pray that the things I write are pleasing to the Lord and that they match the direction that He would like me to follow..be it so, I’m sure that some of my lowly mortal ideas are not one hundred percent on target. Please do not hold any of my opinions as being undeniable truth unless, of course, it be a direct quote from the bible or a statement obviously made with biblical truth to back it..for example- ”Jesus loves you.” How I interpret things may be completely different from how you see it..but now, that is why I started a blog..so that I can say what I feel like saying. The second thing, which I’m sure my writing thus far has already proved..I am not an english major,if I was id probably be failing terribly. My grammar is ”briana grammar” and if you know me..then you know nothing about me is proper…ever. I may need to copy this onto the front page of my blog because I’m sure that the need to say this will be a repeated one. So now..after all that is said, let me move on to why I am really here..sadness and redemption part two.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. – Jonah 2:7
The story of Jonah and the whale is a story that children who are taught the bible (which unfortunately is far too few these days) are fascinated by. The idea of a man being in the belly of a whale is an exciting concept for children and i was reminded of this the other night. Trinitee and i have an illustrated childrens bible that we read every night before her bedtime..i think i enjoy it almost as much as she does..but, a few nights ago we read the story of Jonah. She clung to every word..her eyes grew wider with excitement the more i read. It got me thinking..as an adult,you really don’t hear about ol’ Jonah too often. Could it be that the idea of a giant fish throwing up some dude on a beach somewhere is just too far-fetched for a sophisticated adult to believe? This is a perfect example why the Lord urges us to come before him as a child would. The story of Jonah is breathtaking..it is a story so many hurting, lost people need to hear. The bible does not lie. The truth it holds is so concrete that even the catastrophes of Armageddon could not (and will not) shake it. It grieves my heart to think of all the souls that are blinded by pride or by scientific “reason” who curse our Lord and spit hatred onto the sovereign word of God..it will take these catastrophes of Armageddon mentioned above to finally open their eyes to the bibles truth..and sadly by that point, it will likely be far too late for many of them to recant their stubborn choice to refuse the Lord’s invitation to lifesaving redemption. Why so many hate christianity i just can’t understand. It is a message based on selfless love and nothing else..so many people skew the word of God to make christianity into something that it is not..but it is simple..God loves us so much he sent his son to die an agonizing death so an evil humanity could have the choice to believe and to be freed from the chains of sin. He loves us so much he had his son butchered just so we could choose to have life.
If i woke up tomorrow morning to news reports proclaiming the outbreak of a virus that, without exception, was deadly..a virus that every baby born on this planet would have and every person alive would eventually catch, i would be devastated beyond description. But what would be even more devastating would be a knock on the door from men telling me that Rory was the only human on this planet that possessed the supernatural antibody needed to create a cure but “unfortunately mam, the child will have to sacrifice his life for us to have access to the antibody, this is humanities only hope of survival..the child will feel no pain..it will be like he is going to sleep.” I cannot even imagine the affliction that would drown my soul..but i would have to say yes. i would first make sure that my son’s life would not be taken in vain..i would mandate that this miracle cure be given to EVERYONE, whether they want it or not. If my son is going to give his life to save humanity then this virus shall not make a mockery of his life! Not one person shall die from this virus if my son gives his life! Any parent who reads this i’m sure can understand. Think about God..God is not some all controlling dictator who forces us to accept the cure that the death of his only son has granted us. He loves us so much he allowed his son not to be painlessly “put to sleep” but to be mercilessly slaughtered just so we could have the choice to live. And Jesus.. before his resurrection he was a mortal man..he could have chosen to walk away. The night before he was crucified he was scared..our Lord was scared..he cried and begged God to let his fate be different. but, it could not be different..Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us. The blood that dripped down the cross..the cross that Jesus died an excruciating, agonizing death upon..was filled with the selfless, pure antibody that is our only hope for life..the only cure..yet so many reject it.
Just like Jonah, my life was being chiseled down..almost to nothing. I was so barred beneath my sin..but through that black void of my life i continued to cry out to God..even though i was sure that i had gone too far to be recovered..even though i believed that i was too torn and dirty to be refurbushed..i knew he was there. My cries..the prayers that came out of my filthy mouth – He still allowed them to enter into his presence – He heard them. That selfless, pure blood of Jesus.. it reached down into the hopeless pit of death that i was in and it cured me from the certain death that i deserved.
 WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED.  BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.
 Jesus does not discriminate..he does not reject one who asks him to save them..no matter how filthy they are..no matter how dark their sin. The redemption that has brought me back to life is available to ANYONE who asks. Jesus loves you no matter how much you belive that you don’t deserve it. What he has done for me he will do for any who asks. Because of Him i am now
WORTHY. HOPEFUL. SIGNIFICANT. FOUND. FRUITFUL. DELIGHTFUL. CLEAN. FULL OF LIFE.

on sadness and redemption part 1

To begin this entry I am going to share a very private journal entry from my past. It is from a time in my life that I am not proud of…a period of somber darkness. The date I wrote this was December 18, 2008.

What do you do when you feel as though I do? Heartbeats stop all together. The severity of this situation has consumed me entirely. I am a mess, truly damned beyond return. My world is nothing but a crumbling Atlantis. The never-ending fiery arrows of hate and worthlessness have maimed my being beyond repair. I will never again be worthy. Oh! how I pray to be still worthy. At what moment in this whirlwind of happenings, that i call my life, did i wave a solemn farewell to my Lord? Does He remember my face? Is my name still moist upon his lips? Or has he cast me aside like the unwanted trash that i have allowed myself to become… The tides of survival have washed my sand castles of hope into oblivion. The true disease of my well-being is something that my pen cannot breathe life into. But still – I mark into this book a stamp of my current mind.

WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED. BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.

I have composed this mortal symphony of waste, and now in this mournful requiem i must reside.

When I opened my old journal the other day, to say that the things i read were shocking would be an understatement. The declarations of despair held between the leather bindings of that book is my life – or better said – was my life.

The soul who sins shall die…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. – Ezekiel 18:20

It is hard for me to pinpoint when I decided to walk away from my faith. Through the years i have tried to figure out what happened to me – what caused the drastic change…i have always failed to find the answer. It definitely was not like the stereotypical scenario that many think of – a child stands in the candy isle, a pack of sweetarts clutched tight in a shaky hand..the child has no money..but no one is watching. On one shoulder a little man in a red cape dances around – above the other shoulder floats a beautiful blonde lady wearing white. It definitely wasnt like that. I was raised..or better said..i was born into loving Jesus. The example shown to me by my parents empowered me to have a deep relationship with Christ at a very young age. I loved the Lord – He was the joy of my heart as a child. The dark force whose one goal is to drag you and me to hell (aka satan) was far too smart to try and derail my salvation overnight – it was a gradual descent. It was a slow deception that led me into the bleak wasteland that nearly became my grave. I remember on multiple occasions crying out to God..begging him to allow me to just go back – to find myself – to find that little girl who had once loved him so. Sin had blinded me to the point that I, with great sorrow, accepted my self-imposed sentence of irreversible damnation. I was dead. Emotional death, mental death, spiritual death, the only one that the grace of Jesus allowed me to dodge was physical death. Even though there were many times I pleaded with God to end me – to snuff me out. Thankyou my most merciful Savior! He had other plans for me.

My rambling mind is far too long-winded for me to finish this tonight. I will continue tomorrow, Lord willing…until then I will leave you with this:

In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me. 
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’ 
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head. 
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit. – Jonah 2