Spring: The season for blowing your nose

It’s a beautiful time of year, but amid the warbling of the birds and the warm caresses of spring winds on your face, there’s a good chance you’ll hear the honking of people near you blowing their noses. Why? It’s allergy season. And this year could be worse than most. This comes from an ABC News report:

This is the time of year when allergy sufferers are hit the hardest, but scientists insist this year is special.

“The pollen this year is out in full force,” said Amanda Campbell, a botanist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “And a couple of reasons for that … [are that] there was a very cold long winter … [a] relatively wet year last year, very wet winter in many parts of the country and now we have a compressed bloom season.”

So, enjoy the spring as much as you can and make sure you have a tissue nearby. Here are some more tips to help survive allergy season.

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H1N1: What you need to know about the flu from the CDC

Click on the image to see the interactive map
Click on the image to see the interactive map

The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has set up a Web site that tracks the flu season and how hard it is hitting various parts of the country as seen in the image above. Along with that, the CDC also has a page that answers different questions you may  have about flu season and how to deal with it.

Cancer and the Christian: There is no such thing as a divine accident

Christians are never anywhere by divine accident. There are reasons for why we wind up where we do. Consider what Jesus said about painful, unplanned circumstances: “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness” (Luke 21:12 -13). So it is with cancer. This will be an opportunity to bear witness. Christ is infinitely worthy. Here is a golden opportunity to show that he is worth more than life. Don’t waste it.

— John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Cancer

RachelBarkeyRachel Barkey is dying of cancer, and she knows it. She battled breast cancer for four-and-a-half years, but was recently diagnosed with terminal bone and liver cancer. On March 4, she spoke to a group of about 600 women in Richmond, British Columbia. “The gospel is not just a ticket to heaven. It is a whole way of living,” she told the women in attendance. And what does that mean? It means a woman who is coming to the unexpected end of her life and the imminent removal from the  family she loves can stand in front of hundreds of women (and thousands more via the Internet) and speak clearly about what faith really is and her confidence in God. What a beautiful testimony to a great God. This woman knows why she was put on her earth and, even in her illness, she is doing it. She is glorifying God. Please watch her talk or listen to it.

Clayton’s Story: A young man at the end of his life

Clayton McDonald was taken from the earth to eternal glory on March 16 at age 18. These videos are powerful because they show a young man who saw life more clearly than most people.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15