Life is full of all kinds of strange and wondrous things.
On a visit to my doctor, I discovered the hard callous on my heal was actually a plantar wart! You get them when a virus enters your body through broken skin. A plantar wart is a rough, spongy surface and it can only be found on the soles of your feet. Clustered plantar warts are called mosaic warts. Some people mistakenly think plantar warts are malignant, in fact they are not harmful but can cause irritation or minor pain, depending on their location. A person's risk of getting a wart varies and those with a weakened immune system are more susceptible.
I learned warts grow in the epidermis, the upper skin layer. A typical wart has a raised, rough surface. I know warts are generally harmless and do disappear over time, but for me they're unsightly. I have one on the sole of my foot, and it makes walking and exercise even more painful, plus I find it extra challenging with a bad knee!
Getting rid of warts can also be a challenge, but fortunately, the most effective treatments are the least invasive. Upon closer inspection, the center of my wart had dark flecks, looking like seeds. I discovered these are capillaries that supply the wart with blood. Since I cannot even bring up my knee to see this wart, my husband has been caring for them diligently.
Warts occur when skin cells grow faster than normal, because they are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). I read, all of us can come into contact with HPV repeatedly, when we shake hands, touch a doorknob, as it is spread through skin-to-skin contact, on surfaces in places like a locker room, or shower floors, but only few develop warts. Yet, approximately 70% of the population has this virus, and science can't explain why.
There are many folk remedies for treating warts, and there is no single treatment that works every single time. I will mention the top three.
1) Applying a topical solution of salicylic acid. They suggest soaking your foot/feet for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day, then filing away the dead warty skin with a pumice stone, and applying the salicylic acid ointment, lotion or gel. This is the main ingredient in aspirin and this will cause the wart to gradually peel off, if this treatment is continued for approximately 12 weeks.
2) The second option is freezing, also called cryotherapy. A clinician swabs or sprays liquid nitrogen onto the wart and around the surrounding area. The extreme cold, will burn the skin, causing pain, redness, and usually leaves a blister. Getting rid of a wart(s) with this method usually takes three or four treatments, one every two to three weeks.
3) Duct Tape! This is the option we are presently using, since my husband is such a handy man, and we have dozens of rolls, rolling around. This is low risk, and a low tech approach I could appreciate, and besides what harm will it do until my specialist appointment!? Not that I am a coward, well perhaps just a little, and besides, results showed duct tape is about 45% more effective than cryotherapy.
Martin put duct tape over the surrounding wart area and changed it every three days after a soak, always sterilizing the tools (tweezers etc.). After the dark specks appeared, which look like seeds, he removed patches of dead skin, as he debrided the area he applied polysporin into the large craters which had developed, then he reapplied new duct tape. We have been following this regimen for almost two weeks and there is such a marked improvement, as new skin growth has appeared over the craters. They are almost completely gone after just 20 days of treatment. Why duct tape works isn't clear, perhaps it may deprive the wart of oxygen, or perhaps dead skin and viral particles are being removed along with the tape?
Plantar wart prevention: Wash your hands, wear shower shoes whenever using a public pool, wash your feet thoroughly with a disinfectant soap, keep hands and feet dry to prevent present warts from spreading. Don't touch someone else's wart and don't pick at your own! When getting a pedicure make sure your pedicurist doesn't share her tools with other people before cleaning. (I had a pedicure where she used a knife and made my foot bleed so bad. I wonder if this is how and where my wart developed?). And always consult your family doctor or dermatologist as some skin cancers resemble warts at first. Be suspicious of any wart that bleeds or grows quickly.
By Tina Y. Gerber
A follow up for my required reading of 2018, The Bible.
The Bible is unlike any other book you may read. It is our owner's manual for life. It is only through the message of scripture, in the gospel that we come to experience the transforming power of God's grace, in a relationship through Christ. We need to know God better for our relationship to grow, and scripture makes this happen.
For myself, it produces many emotional and social feelings, about how I choose to live my life, directing me, and providing lasting change. I am more aware than ever that the Bible penetrates deep within and judges our hearts and motivations. When God makes our hearts his own, he removes our sin and gives us the joy that never ends.
James 1:2 - 4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
We make our plans and God directs our steps, he shapes and moulds us, but it is our personal response and attitude that defines us.
I had lost sight of the reality that both trials and triumphs are part of the good story God is writing through me. We are currently half way through our corporate bible study. I have had many questions, which leads to more and more searching and discovery of who I am, and how I got here? When facing the storms of life, understanding the sovereignty of our amazing God is essential.
Many non-believing people refer to the Ten Commandments, as a guideline for life, I disagree!!
As a believing Christian, the judgment seat of Christ in Romans 14:10 does not determine if we go to heaven, but whether or not we receive any rewards for our Christian service.
Being part of a Bible based community is one of the best decisions of my entire life. I know I am certainly growing, growing in love, as He strengthens me as I walk in faith with my brothers and sisters. I understand I am a great sinner but He is a great saviour. God is faithful even when we don't see it, even when we are not faithful to Him!
Jesus never softened the truth, and the truth is that following Him leads to difficult choices. To truly follow Christ means we do not follow anything else and we do make Jesus Lord of our life, Romans 10:9. That every decisions, dream, vision, must be filtered through His word with the goal of glorifying Him in everything we do.
I know I am not saved by the things I do for Christ but by what He has done for me. Ephesians 2:8 - 9 Because of His grace we desire please Him in everything we do, and we must allow the Holly Spirit to have complete control of every area of our lives.
Ephesians 5:18 Our God does everything he promises, in every circumstance, at all times. When life gets hard, he is calling us to lean harder on his word.
I often wondered about seniors and their experiences as they age. A recent study found that people tend to pray more as they age, yet, research shows that the spiritual culture of the time in which a person was raised is related to their present religious activity.
In spite of changes, loss, and health conditions seniors can continue to cultivate a relationship with God, the body may breakdown, but the spirit is capable of growth and renewal.
All Christians, including seniors, need fellowship and the encouragement of other believers. Your sensitivity to a loved one's spiritual needs can comfort and provide stability in a time of change. Even in the midst of trials, God stands ready to lead us out of our suffering into His wonderful presence.
For a non believer, I pray God will give you peace, in knowing your eternal life does not rest on your shoulders, that was taken care of by Jesus on the cross. You are either saved or lost, there is no in-between. Salvation is through repentance and faith in Jesus alone. He paid the price for ALL to be saved, including you if you so choose. So choose Christ and you will spend eternity with Him and all believers.
May God Bless you and use you for His Honour and Glory.