Sliding queen

How cute is she!!  Seriously, I can’t believe my little baby girl is now so big that she can slide all on her own.

This came as a complete shock to me – maybe I have been smothering her a bit much.  Time to cut some of the apron strings???  *sniff*

Please ignore the screaming mom in the background.  I did not realize I can be that loud.  Now it baffles me even more how Zani can go around pretending not to hear me!

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Look at that!

Look what the Postman – or should we call them the Postperson(?) – delivered at my local post office!

 

A beeeeggg thank you should go to Tanya (Dear Max) for the wonderful competition that she held on her blog.

 

These products are just wonderful.  Zani’s skin has been having a tough time lately with the winter cold, but after ONE (!) application of the ‘Potion Lotion’ it is noticeably better.  I will be stocking up on these products for the future!

 

What did you do on Friday?

On Friday I donated blood for the first time. I was petrified – I have this uncontrollable fear of needles.  I almost bolted when I confessed this to the sister and her reply to me was “Yes, the needle is quite bad”  I mean really!!!  Don’t say that to me when you are closing in upon my arm with said needle!

 

Anyway, I persevered and here is the scar to proof it.

 

My scar

 

It really is such a good cause.  Head on over to their website (http://www.blood.org.za) and find your nearest place to donate.

 

What He did for us

For the past three weeks I have been attending Bible Studies held by the Cape Town Church of Christ (www.ctcoc.co.za).  It has been a very emotional and draining experience, but also very uplifting and inspiring.  I have had some very “in-your-face” moments, but also moments of experiencing intense love and a sense of community.  Overall, it has been amazing.

 

Last night was a very emotional study – The Cross.  It is all about the crucifixion of Jesus and what he experienced – emotionally, physically  and spiritually – during the entire process.

 

I think what really brought the fact home to me was the medical report they presented – written by a doctor that researched the practice of crucifixion – detailing what exactly happens to a person during the time that they are hanging on the cross.  It is harrowing and I was deeply affected by it, so much so that I felt the need to share it with all of you.

 

I really want you to read the following – even if you are not a believer.  If you are a follower of Christ, I hope what you take away from this is the unconditional love God has for you.  So much love, that He actually sacrificed his only Son for you.  I keep trying to put myself in His position – imagine having to sacrifice Zani for someone who is busy ridiculing me and my whole family.  I know (without a shadow of a doubt) that I would not be able to do it.

 

So, here goes…

 

MEDICAL ACCOUNT OF THE CRUCIFIXION

C. TRUMAN DAVIS, M.D. M.S.

 

In this article, I shall discuss some of the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ. We shall follow Him from Gethsemane, through His trial, His scourging, His path along the Via Dolorosa, to His last dying hours on the cross…This led me first to a study of the practice of crucifixion itself~ that is, the torture and execution of a person by fixation to a cross.

The upright post, or stipes, was generally permanently fixed in the ground at the site of execution and the condemned man was forced to carry the patibulum, apparently weighing about 110 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution. Without any historical or biblical proof, medieval and Renaissance painters have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross. Many of these painters and most of the sculptors of crucifixes today show the nails through the palms. Roman historical accounts and experimental work have shown that the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists and not through the palms. Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when they support the weight of a human body. The misconception may have come about through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands” (John 20:27). Anatomists, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrists as part of the hand.

The physical passion of the Christ begins in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of his initial suffering, I shall only discuss the one of physiological interest; the body sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this phrase, apparently under the mistaken impression that this just doesn’t happen.

A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hermadrosis or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

We shall move rapidly through the betrayal and arrest; I must stress that important portions of the passion story are missing from this account. This may be frustrating to you, but in order to adhere to our purpose of discussing only purely the physical aspects of the crucifixion, this is necessary. After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest; it is here that the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.

In the morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, is taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to pass responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate.

It was then, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion. There is much disagreement among authorities about scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who claimed to be the King of the Jews.

 Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands

tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful whether the Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of scourging. The Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes. The Pharisees, always making sure that the law was strictly kept, insisted that only thirty-nine lashes be given. (In case of a miscount, they were sure of remaining within the law.) The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead or bone attached near the ends of each.

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead or bones first produce large, deep bruises, which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back hangs in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognisable mass of torn bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there are copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes excruciating pain…Almost as though He were again being whipped and the wounds again begin to bleed.

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail of the Roman soldiers, headed by a centurion, begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden cross together with the shock produced by copious blood loss is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, elects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross. Jesus follows; still bleeding and sweating the cold clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed. The prisoner is again stripped of His clothes except for a loin cloth, which is allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion begins, Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh; a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the cross on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the, wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wound. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexibility and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the title is reading “This is Jesus, The King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37), is nailed in place.

The left foot is pressed against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the ankles of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralysed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences, which are recorded:

The first looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

The second, to the penitent thief, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke23:43)

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief stricken adolescent John (the beloved Apostle), He said, “There is your mother,” and looking to Mary his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son” (John 19:26-27)

The fourth cry is from the the 22nd Psalm, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down the rough timber: Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

Let us remember again the 22nd Psalm, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me” (Ps 22:14). It is now almost over the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level the compresses heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to grasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their fluid of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28)

Let us remember another verse of the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15)

A sponge soaked in Posca, the cheap, sour wine that is the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, is lifted to His lips. He apparently does not take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremes, and He can feel ~he chill of death creeping through His tissues. The realisation brings out the sixth words, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally He can allow his body to die.

With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and final cry, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46).

The rest you know. In order that the Sabbath not be profaned, the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the crosses. The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crucifracture, the breaking of the bones of the legs. This prevents the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when they came to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently to make double sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs upward through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34 records”…one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing forth a sudden flow of blood and water.” Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the interior of the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Our Lord died, not to the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

Thus we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil which man can exhibit toward man and toward God. This is not a pretty sight and is apt to leave us despondent and depressed. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: A glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man the miracle of the atonement and the expectation of Easter morning.

<I don’t know who to credit for this piece of work – if I did, I would>

 

Once upon a Saturday…

Finally, a Saturday arrived that was all sunshine and no gale force wind to go along with it.

So, after a lovely prayer-walk with a new friend, Zani and I headed to our nearest park to feed the ducks. Deon did not go with us as his ‘man-flu” was acting up again. Shame, he has been in bed for the past two days, but that is an experience for another post.

Anyway, I have been meaning to take Zani to feed the ducks for quite some time, but I always seemed to come up with an excuse not to go. Not so this time! We bundled up (it is still winter here after all) and grabbed some old bread (any bread in our house is bound to be old) and headed for the park.

What a lovely time we had. She was a bit sceptical of these strange waddling creatures, but she soon warmed to them….and the bread as well. At one point she was running after one duck shouting at him because he would not take the bread she was offering – very funny!

Here are some pics from our adventure!

Win eco.kid swag! (via Dear Max)

This is an absolutely fab competition. I love these products. Head on over to Tanya’s blog and try and win some for yourself. Good luck!

Dear Max I get a lot of great products at work to try out, and there is so much to heart and get excited about. Like the eco.kid range, which I've been trying out on you this week. It's hypo-allergenic, smells divine, and be used by adults too (and interestingly, even has braille writing on). I'm giving away a fab eco.kid hamper of TLC, Potion Lotion and Call Me Bubbles. To enter, comment below, subscribe to my email blog posts, or retw … Read More

via Dear Max

The Babyshower

I just got back from the best baby shower ever.  And I might just be saying that because I was responsible for it being held….although not in the having a baby kinda sense.  But it was still totally awesome. 

 

It was so awesome that I’m actually having trouble typing this post as the wine was flowing rather freely at the end.  We did restrict the mom-to-be to decaf cappuccino. 

 

I will so a detailed post about this fab shower, but in the meantime I just want to say that I wish my BFF the sweetest, happiest and CALMEST baby in the world.  But most of all, I just wish her happiness.  She is a wonderful person and I am truly blest to have met her.

 

Where is the wine…..

 

The long awaited update

I know, it has been way too long between posts.  In my defense – it has been one hell of a ride and eventhough using the excuse that you are too busy to blog is a bad one, I’m going to use it in my defense.

So, what has been happening in my life you ask?  Well, within the last month I finished up at my previous company and started at my new company.  It was a very hectic month work wise as I had to ensure that all my work was up to date and handed over to my replacement.  I did not want to leave anything half-finished because I know how easy it is to blame someone for something that has been done wrong when they are not there to defend themselves.  It was also a matter of pride – don’t even ask.

So, I started a my new company on 1 August and although it has only been a week, I have enjoyed it imensly.  Even including the day that I had to get up at 4 in the morning (you read that right) to be on time for a flight to Durban. 

Let me not even get started on the complete and utter culture shock that awaited me on my first day. Upon walking in, my office was show to me, my laptop issued-and my desktop set-up.  On my desk was my 3G card.  I was also informed that if you are finished with your work – feel free to leave for the day.  This is a complete and utter turn around from my previous job.  Here, you are expected to be on Skype/Twitter/Facebook etc.  To say that I am still a bit shell-shocked, might be a bit of an understatement.

The people are also very nice and I think I could be really happy here.  It is a really interesting and exciting company and there is a real ‘team’ feeling already.  They are really going the extra mile to make me feel welcome and it has gone a long way of settling any nervousness associated with starting a new job.  I know it is early day yet, but so far so good.

On a more personal level, things have been good. Deon had a really busy time over the year-end and sometimes days would go by without us seeing each other.  Things seems to have quieten down somewhat and I’m hoping it will stay that way.  I was not cut out to be a single mom – I really have so much respect for those moms and I really don’t know how they cope on their own.

Zani is doing really well and she had really expanded her vocab during the last month.  We even have little sentences (two words and sometimes three) emerging on a regular basis.  She is turning into a real little lady. 

 

Anyway, I promise I won’t be absent for such a long time again. 

 

Speak soon!