Monday, April 25, 2011

Infant Potty Training At Age 2

Infant potty training is such a neat adventure. But when you're first starting out, you might wonder just how good your kid will be at going to the potty by a certain age. Well, my daughter just turned two years old. She can now tell me clearly when she needs to go potty. She can also undress, climb up onto the toilet, and go all by herself. The only thing she really still needs help with is the wiping part.

The only time we have any type of "regression" is when she starts teething. During the teething time, you can expect to have a few accidents. That's life. Don't panic and think that Infant Potty Training was a bad idea, or that the regression is permanent. Usually it lasts a day or two and then you're right back on track. I promise.

The Fisher-Price Potty On-the-Go comes in so so handy right now at this age. We've been working on our new farm a lot lately, and it's so convenient to have a portable bathroom available for the kids to use. Our girl also enjoys using her Little Potty. It's so easy for her to use, and it comes in quite handy when other people are using the toilets in the house. She also loves her Sesame Street padded toilet seat insert. You can tell she's so proud of herself when she climbs up on the toilet without any assistance.

At this point, I'd say my girl is a graduate of Infant Potty Training. She was very close at 18 months, and even before that, at a year accidents were rare. But now that she's so independent, I think she's trained.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why I Don't Celebrate Easter

It has come time again for Easter. It causes a lot of confusion for believers and non-believers alike, because they wonder how bunnies and eggs have anything to do with Christ’s crucifixion. And they should be confused too, because they are totally unrel...ated. Easter comes from the pagan worship of Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoreth, and even Venus. These are different names for basically the same pagan goddess down through history. She was a goddess of fertility. Worship of Ishtar, where we get the word Easter, involved fertility rites, what we could safely call orgies. The history is easy enough to find in books or on the Internet, but really I’d like to look at the Bible and see what it says. 

Jeremiah 7:17-20, “Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, Mine anger and My fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.” What’s interesting about these verses is the phrase “queen of heaven”. According to Gesenius’s Lexicon, the term “queen of heaven” refers to Astarte. So, if you reread those verses with that knowledge, things hit a little closer to home. 

Most churches hold their own Easter egg hunts, which in my opinion, is like bringing idolatry (in this case, worship of Astarte) into the house of God. What about sunrise service? Ishtar was also honored by “dawn rites”, meaning people would worship the sunrise on her holiday. Again, what does the Bible say? Ezekiel 8:14-18, “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Tammuz was an idol of vegetable and animal life) Then said He unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.” And He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then He said unto me, “Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose (The original texts read “My nostrils” but it was changed by the Sopherim because they thought it was too anthropomorphic). Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” What is the "branch"? The word in Hebrew is Asherah and it was an idol connected with Ashtoreth aka Astarte. It was shaped like a phallus. If you reread the verse realizing what the branch was shaped like, it gives a whole new meaning to why God is upset. Again, all this goes back to the worship of the fertility goddess Astarte. And yet, we have let these traditions slip into the Church.

So many times the traditions of men go against the Word of God (Col. 2:8, Mark 7:8, Matthew 15:6). Well if we shouldn’t celebrate Easter, what is Acts 12:4 all about? The word rendered “Easter” is actually “pascha” which is the Greek word for Passover. 

Passover is celebrated on the 15th day after the vernal equinox. (Conversely, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox…a whole other study could be done on how Biblically, things to do with the moon are related to Satan.) Nisan, the Hebrew month started on the vernal equinox. Christ was crucified on the 14th day of Nisan, the “preparation day” or the day before Passover. This corresponds to Exodus 12 in which the Passover lamb was slain the evening before the Death angel “passed over” the Hebrew families who had the blood of the Passover lamb on their doorposts. Of course, Christ became our Passover, meaning that His blood protects us from death, that through Him we have eternal life. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” So, instead of teaching our children to look forward to the Easter bunny coming, shouldn’t we instead be teaching them about Jesus Christ, who was crucified for our sins, who defeated death, who gives us eternal life IF we believe upon him? I know it gets tricky, even if you know all these things regarding the pagan aspects of Easter, because many families get together for a big meal and have an egg hunt afterwards. I believe each person has to decide for themselves how to handle these situations. After all, if your children are taught correctly about the crucifixion and resurrection, and if they are taught that the Easter celebrations having to do with eggs and bunnies have nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, then perhaps you could be confident to let them participate in these traditions. Each person has to make up their own mind. 

Personally, I don’t celebrate it, and I won’t do the whole Easter bunny thing with my children, but to each his own. I’ll close with this verse: II Corinthians 6:16-18, “And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? for ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Wherefore “come out from among them, and be ye separate”, saith the LORD, “and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters,” saith the LORD Almighty.”