The Ultimate GMO

*Image is from Rodale’s Organic Life

Genetics. We can’t get away from them. Pretty much everything we eat, unless you are a strict geophagist, has a genetic component. And what constitutes a genetically modified organism? People have been modifying the genomes of plants and animals for millennia. Just look at all of the varieties of apples we have, or man’s best friend.

It seems that the term, GMO, is reserved for creatures whose genome has been altered by means that are beyond natural cross-breeding; alterations that would never happen in nature, by any stretch of the imagination.

And what about our genomes? We are finding that things people once thought were simple choices, like alcoholism, lesbianism, being socially insensitive most of the time (now known as autism) have very strong genetic components.

I, of course, struggle with autism, and I am certain I could very easily become an alcoholic, which is why I am very careful about how much and when I drink.

So why does God tell me through the Bible,

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)?

God does not say I shouldn’t drink alcohol at all, but I shouldn’t let it take me over, instead, I should let Him take me over. But for someone who is a candidate for alcoholism, I can understand how that would be a very tough statement for someone who actually does struggle with alcoholism.

And why, when God knows it is extremely difficult for me to think of the perspective of others (actually it is impossible, on my own, without a lot of coaching, first), does he say this in Philippians 2:1-4:

(1) Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose.

(3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

As I was talking with a friend about this the other day, suddenly the following flowed out of our conversation. Now, keep in mind that I have a biology minor, so I am somewhat well-versed in the scientific perspective of biology in general, and genetics in particular. But as we were talking, God seemed to pour this through us:

Yes, we are all genetically predisposed to various things, be it singing, stealing, dancing, dealing, cooking, cheating, making things, murder, smiling, smoldering, you get the picture. It is impossible for us, on our own power, to follow what the Bible says, to even want to follow what the Bible says, without this:

(5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (7)So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ (8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you it is with people born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 5-8)

So, Jesus is saying that to be part of His kingdom, I need to be genetically modified. I need to be unnaturally changed by the supernatural to even be interested in living life to the fullest.

Does God actually change our physical genome, or does he just give us the supernatural power to overcome our genome, I don’t know.  I just know that I want that!

Jesus, later in that chapter tells us how we can experience being born again:

(16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16 -17)

Believe in Jesus, and God will genetically modify you by giving you his Holy Spirit to help you do the impossible.

Wow! I want to be the ultimate GMO! How about you?

Pee and Perseverance

“If you don’t quit, you can’t fail.”

Cat pee. Is there a liquid whose smell is more difficult to remove from your daughter’s favorite sweatshirt or your family’s favorite couch?

I am on week four of cleaning up from what seemed like a good idea. A neighbor needed a safe place for her cat while her house was being remodeled. We have two of our own cats, but we have watched my parents’ cat in the past with no ill effects from cat pee. Yes, the furniture and curtains were a little more loved after she left, and the basement bathroom was a bit torn apart. But no problems from cat pee. When we adopted the second cat several years ago, again, no drama from cat pee. So, while cat number one has been known to pee outside her litter box when we have overnight human guests, we have had no such problem from her with feline visitants.

As it turned out, our cats were terrified of the newcomer. So they let her have the basement, thus, all three litter boxes, and they decided to use our bathroom… rugs, tub. They then moved onto my daughter’s bedroom rug, clothes, my daughter’s clothes anywhere they were strewn about the house. You knew they were desperate when they even used my son’s rug – they are generally leary of him and try to avoid him as much as possible. So his room is one that they usually never even enter. They did still use their litter box during the day when the interloper was in hiding, so we didn’t realize that they were also using the couches until the couches were so soaked that pee was dried on the top of one of the cushions. Ack!!

Needless to say, I had to have the neighbor take her cat back. We had already watched it one more week than originally agreed upon, so I didn’t feel bad. She wasn’t done with the construction, but it wasn’t causing health concerns any longer, so it was safe for kitty three to go home.

Did you know that it takes three rinses and then two days of soaking in laundry detergent and Oxi Clean to rid a couch cushion of cat pee? Then it takes literally weeks of squeezing and fanning (with an industrial strength fan, no less) to get them dry. They are still not dry. I will be working on that week 5. It also takes days of scrubbing and soaking hide-a-bed netting and gears. Not to mention the large swath of grass that needs to be replanted now that the mattresses (two hide-a-beds were hit) were rinsed and soaked in the same toxic mixture.

All of the gentle stomping to work soap in, then out, then work out the water from mattresses and cushions has been a great lower body workout. So, if you have trouble getting to the gym like me, ask a friend if they have cat-stained cushions they need help with!

per·se·ver·ance
pərsəˈvirəns/
noun
steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success

I have learned from past cat pee episodes that just because I can’t smell the pee doesn’t mean that they can’t. So after everything is cleaned to human acceptance, everything gets a thorough spraying from Nature’s Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer. This does keep them from trying that same place again, for several years, anyway. Yes, as I said, I have experience in this area.

I have to admit that I had a few, why me tantrums during all of this cleanup. But at church last Sunday the sermon was on perseverance and the speaker ended with the quote I started with. It, along with God’s strength, and help from my great hubby and kids kept me plugging away.

I think the pee is conquered, and I definitely have grown in my endurance even more. I won’t know if I am definitely successful until after I let my monsters out of the basement/kitchen that they have been confined to during cleanup. But I am not letting them tell me until after the weekend. I need some couches for guests to sit on this evening!

 

Genetics of Autism

My children and I just spit into bottles for science.

There is a group doing research on the genetics of Autism, so they asked for DNA from those known to be affected by Autism and their blood relatives.

A part of me is very excited to see what the research will find. It could have the potential to help a lot of people. But another part of me is wondering if I did the right thing. There is also a huge potential for loss, should accurate genetics markers for Autism be found.

I was talking to my son, who is educationally evaluated and found to have Autism, about this dilemma. I told him how I am concerned that people who are pregnant with a baby who is found to have autism, according to genetic markers, will choose to abort that baby.

“Why would they do that? It’s not like Autism is a bad disease. It is just a different way of living,” was his response.

I was pleased, but a bit surprised by his response. He has struggled with thoughts of suicide for the last year, feeling that life is just too complicated and stressful. As a matter of fact, just a few months ago he told me that he wished I had aborted him so that he could be in heaven instead of on earth.

So to hear him say that he didn’t think people with Autism should be aborted, told me that he has truly received the peace that God offers to all of us, a peace that is above understanding, a peace that comforts us and guides us even when life doesn’t seem to make sense.

I pray that the researchers use their information for good and not harm, and I pray that we can all find God’s love, joy and peace so that we, too, can be glad that we are here on earth, sharing who God has made us to be!

Love is

Our pastor was mentioning Sunday that the only way we will be able to reach people for God is through God’s perfect love. So I thought I would dive into a refresher course on what that love is.

Well, the Bible says God is love. Hmmm, but that’s kind of a broad place to start…

Oh, wait. There is that section about love.

Love is patient…

Oh boy, I have a long way to go!

My Heart Goes out to Orlando

I pray that everyone affected by the devastating event that took place Sunday evening in Orlando

(and, I guess that is every one of us, to one degree or another)

finds the love, joy and peace that we are looking for –

the search of those things drove people to that night club in the first place.

Humble Yourselves Before God
God Loves you!                                                                              http://www.crosscards.com

 

psalms 94:19
God gives us joy!                                                                                                                                   dailyverses.net

 

john 14:27
Only Jesus gives lasting peace.                                                                                               dailyverses.net

 

God bless you with his Love, Joy and Peace, today and forever!