Thursday, March 27, 2008

Medicine's Cutting Edge....Re-growing Organs

Medicine is so cool!! I just have to say that! There is research going on right now that one day (possibly soon) could help people, like Dave, who need organ transplants. Of course the research needs investment capital to further this study...but it’s truly amazing!

There is this substance that can be taken from a pig’s bladder. It’s called extracellular matrix, and surgeons have already been using this protein and connective tissue mixture to repair tendons. It holds some possible secrets behind the emerging new science of regenerative medicine.

Essentially this substance tells the body to start tissue regrowth. Scientist do believe that every tissue in the body has cells which are capable of regeneration, it’s just finding which cells, enough of those cells, and then (in theory) directing them to re-grow.

Successful finger, skin and even bladder regeneration have already been documented!

This is so exciting for people who are on transplant lists. Obviously if a person’s own cells are used to regenerate an organ, there would no longer be the need for anti-rejection meds after the transplant. That would lessen the severe side effects and drastically decrease the chance of cancer in these patients.

Amazing stuff!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I really need to know when it became politically incorrect within the Christian community to use the word “Easter”. I didn’t get the memo, evidently.

Last night as I was paying for a daily devotional at my local Christian bookstore, I wished the lady behind the counter (who is easily 20 years younger than me) a “Happy Easter”. To my surprise she corrected my terminology. Huh??? She says Easter is a pagan holiday, and therefore we now only say Resurrection Day….not Easter. Excuse me? When did that occur? I mean, yeah I’ve seen the phrase. So I tell her, “I still use “Easter” to mean the same thing.” “Well, it’s not”, she continued.

It is this very uptight, condescending behavior that is turning people off from our faith. I mean, come on. I’m hardly glorifying the pagans by buying a daily devotional! We do, however, decorate eggs and the Easter Bunny still comes to our house. So, is that something I should hide from other brothers and sisters in Christ, for fear of being judged? What has happened to all of us? Honestly, when I was a kid….we had egg hunts at church! Now, it’s considered by a lot of Evangelicals to be right up there with worshipping a tree! Have we really become that sanctimonious?

I hope that during this holiest of seasons, especially during the next few days, we can keep our eyes, hearts and minds on the true meaning of what it is we are celebrating. Our Lord died for us, so that we could be forgiven and made whole….and then he ROSE, so that we could share eternity with Him! Let’s celebrate Christ’s victory over death, and through Him, ours as well!!

Happy Easter! He is Risen!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

California and our Wacky Education System

Living in California you are pretty much guaranteed a wonderful climate, awesome beaches, really nice skiing conditions in winter, beautiful sunsets, and…… total insanity when it comes to the education system!

If the news of our current education crisis hasn’t reached all of my friends throughout the USA, let me put it like this….it’s bad! We are currently laying off hundreds of teachers in just the LA /OC area, alone. Our classroom sizes will be immediately affected, causing ratios of over 30+/1 in most grade levels. Taxing the teaching resources that are left, and quite honestly, NOT putting our children first!

Many of my friends have chosen to home school their kids because of so many disagreements they have had with our education system throughout the years. Yes, core beliefs that there is a God who is our Creator was one reason that many opted to teach their own children at home, before the ideas of evolution without any mention of the theory of intelligent design were going to be taught to their little ones. But there was also a strong belief that they could teach their own children more effectively at home. It is a safe, loving, and nurturing environment. The kids socialize with other home schoolers during the day. Sometimes home schooling is done to get a kid through a rough patch, either emotionally or educationally. There were times when I also toyed with the idea, but instead we decided on private school. We are blessed to be able to give our children this option, but there are many who can not.

The California court system has now said that home schooling our children, without a teaching credential, is not allowed. Tens of thousands of kids in our own state face the chance of being truant. Their parents face possible charges and fines if they continue to home school without the teaching credential.

Now I ask you, with the state of education going through all this current upheaval, where classroom sizes are increasing, and staffing is decreasing, why would any caring parent choose now as the time to put their kids back into the system? Why take away our right, as parents, to choose what’s best for our kids? They are OUR kids, after all. Not to mention that most home schooled kids do well above average on their yearly state mandated tests. So, what’s the real issue here? Could it be MONEY???

The district gets about $45 a day per child, IF they are in school. They lose that money if the child should (gasp) get sick and miss a day or two….or worse yet….are home schooled.

I’m not a credentialed educator. I highly respect teachers. I think they are completely under paid, over-worked, and when the poop starts rolling down-hill from the big boys on the school boards, it’s the classroom teachers that are at the bottom of the hill. They have to perform under extreme conditions (I ask you…how would YOU like to have 35 fourth graders in one room?) They have to teach the kids not only the basics, but that which will enable them to score high on the state tests. It’s all about the numbers. If a school does well on the test, the district looks great, then the principal looks great, and, oh yeah, the teacher…well she was just doing her job!

I support my friends who home school their kids. I will vote for whatever will enable them to continue to have the right to choose what’s best for their own children. I also wonder how high this particular case is going to go. We suspect to the State Supreme Court.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Off to Sacramento

Well it's official....I have a big kid! Today my son David has flown up to Sacramento with his 4th grade class to tour the state capital and do assorted fun stuff, like panning for gold at Sutter's Mill and hiking in the foothills. He is so excited! All the kids are hoping that Governor Schwartzenneger will be there to greet them!

If you read this post before Friday night, please cover their trip in prayer. That they may have a wonderful yet safe adventure. Thanks!