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Monday, November 19, 2018


Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 9-22

9 Does this blessedness apply only to the circumcised, or to the uncircumcised as well? Now we assert that “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was he circumcised or not? He was not circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal on the righteousness received through faith while he was uncircumcised. Thus he was to be the father of all the uncircumcised who believe, so that to them [also] righteousness might be credited, 12 as well as the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised, but also follow the path of faith that our father Abraham walked while still uncircumcised. Inheritance through Faith. 13 It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. 14 For if those who adhere to the law are the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law produces wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. 16 For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. 18 He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body as [already] dead (for he was almost a hundred years old) and the dead womb of Sarah. 20 He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God 21 and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. 22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

World Toilet Day[1]
World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refers to lack of access to clean drinking water, toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year. World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.
World Toilet Day Facts & Quotes

·         1 in 8 people in the world practices open defecation, meaning that the person must relieve him/herself without cover or shelter from other people. 
·         The average person spends one hour and 42 minutes a week on the toilet, or nearly 92 days over his/her lifetime.
·         Diarrhea is the second leading cause of deaths in children under age 5 in developing countries. Diarrhea is primarily due to poor hygiene and sanitation
·         The 2030 Agenda calls on us to renew our efforts in providing access to adequate sanitation worldwide. We must continue to educate and protect communities at risk, and to change cultural perceptions and long-standing practices that hinder the quest for dignity. – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.


World Toilet Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch a movie about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Guts For Change (2015), A New Culture of Water (2004) and A Thirsty World (2012).
·         Spread awareness by using the hashtag #WorldToiletDay, #WeCantWait and #ToiletAccessIsARight.
·         Tour a local sanitation plant. Sanitation plants throughout the US exist to recycle and clean water while properly disposing of human excrement and other waste.
·         Donate to the World Toilet Organization. All proceeds are used by the organization to help break the taboo around the toilet and sanitation crisis. They help lobby governments, public and private sector stakeholders to prioritize sanitation on the agenda.
·         Read a book about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Sanitation & Water Supply in Low-Income Countries, Sitting Pretty An Uninhibited History of the Toilet and The Big Necessity.
·         Check out Earthship technology.


San Francisco and Chicago America’s Privies

Love and bathrooms should never be in short supply. But with only 24 public toilets across San Francisco (none of which are open 8pm to 7am), our 7,500 houseless neighbors are being forced to use the sidewalk as a bathroom. That’s a toilet-to-person ratio far less than what the United Nations mandates for refugee camps. To raise awareness about the lack of access to hygiene and inspire positive change in San Francisco and beyond, artist Anna Sergeeva is organizing a public performance in partnership with Lava Mae on World Toilet Day, Monday November 19th.
If you have a free hour that day, please register here to join a group of volunteers as we post removable vinyl stickers that say "you are loved" in publicly accessible restrooms across San Francisco. Volunteers will meet at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts the morning of November 19 to pick up supplies and a thank you from Lava Mae including Aesop goodies - please save this event in your calendar and look for an email with more information soon! If you can't join as a volunteer, we'd still love for you to spread the word at your office, gym, favorite coffee shop or community center. Please download a free "you are loved" poster here: lovesticks.org
More about the problem:
Providing access to bathrooms for people to maintain their dignity, health and well-being is an act of love that everyone deserves. If people lack access to toilets and showers, their health and the health of the community at large is negatively impacted. Moreover, one of the main complaints of San Francisco residents is unclean streets littered with human feces and other waste. According to a recent investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle, “our city spends more than four times as much as Chicago does to keep streets clean, and Chicago, at 227 square miles, is almost five times larger than San Francisco. San Francisco also spends three times as much as Los Angeles — whose population is more than four times greater. Do the math, and San Francisco’s fiscal 2016-17 spending total of $35 million worked out to more than $40 per resident to clean its streets.” Instead of spending taxpayer money only dealing with the side effects of this problem, let's urge the City to get to the root cause and provide safe and convenient 24/7 access to toilets and showers across San Francisco! Learn more & take part in the solution here.
To Squat or Not That is the Question
Enter the Squatty Potty[2]

One time, I took a dump in my backyard because the toilet had been broken for two weeks (blame our absentee slumlord). My best friend never let me live it down, but you know what? I didn't care, because on that crisp fall day in 2007, when the gas station whose toilets I had been relying on was unexpectedly closed, I learned something. Specifically, I learned that pooping outside is… kind of pleasant. But it wasn't until the advent of the Squatty Potty that I really started to analyze why that was. Basically, if you use a Western toilet on the reg, you're fighting against your body's anatomy. But now, there's a way to poop optimally that doesn't involve squatting behind the shrubs and hoping a neighbor won't walk by (though I do recommend everyone try that at least once). Here it is.
You don't know squat. The Squatty Potty is a small footstool designed to fit a toilet's curves. The idea is to elevate your feet and knees, so your body is closer to a squatting angle -- a natural pooping position -- than the upright position imposed on it by a porcelain throne. This isn't just hippie BS, either. There's actual science as to why a squat is the way to go when moving your bowels. "Defecating is actually really complicated, and involves a lot of nerves and muscles relaxing and moving," says Dr. Michelle Cohen, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai. "When you sit, the puborectalis muscle is pulled in around the colon to create an angle, so the stool can't drop out."
Think of a kinked hose and you might be able to picture what's happening in your colon as the puborectalis muscle stays tight around it. In some cases, particularly in people with constipation or dyssynergic defecation (when your muscles fail to relax, making pooping more difficult), sitting with your thighs perpendicular to the ground can make it much harder to poop. Enter the Squatty Potty
The Squatty Potty was born in 2010 because of this exact scenario. "They say necessity is the mother of invention," says Bobby Edwards, CEO and co-creator of the defecation device. "My mother was constipated. It was definitely out of need." Edwards says his mother's physical therapist explained that constipation is, in many cases, "an anatomical thing," and that if she elevated her feet while eliminating, it would change the angle of the colon and make the whole process work smoothly, the way nature intended. She propped her feet up on a stool and loved the results, but the process wasn't ideal. "She couldn't quite get comfortable with a regular stool, and it was in the way in the bathroom," Edwards says. "I was taking design classes, and she asked if I could design a stool for the toilet, with the height and width to simulate a natural squat."

Boy, could he. Edwards made five prototypes before hitting on the perfect model. Delighted, his mother gave proto-Squatty Potties to constipated friends for Christmas gifts. "She thought everybody needed to be squatting," Edwards says. Word of mouth spread, and in 2012, Edwards launched the website. A media blitz ensued, and the rest is history.

Putting the potty to the test. I was pretty intrigued by the "squatting is better" maxim, so much so that I tried literally squatting on my toilet. Surprisingly (or not?), a militant vegan has uploaded a YouTube video about how to do exactly that. It was a little weird, and there was some serious splashback when shit hit the water, but I could tell stuff was rearranging itself in my colon -- that's the medical terminology, right? It felt good and correct, and I understood why my cats wear such serene, noble expressions when they poop.

Not only is that method impractical, it's probably dangerous for older folks, people with physical challenges or injuries, and, well, everyone, honestly. I needed to try the real deal. The Squatty Potty was delivered to my office in a freaking huge (but mercifully unmarked) brown cardboard box. I sneaked it out to my car, hoping to dodge co-workers and the inevitable, "Ooh, what's that?" The box contained the white plastic stool, a Burger King-like crown with the hashtag #pooplikeroyalty, and a button that read "I Pooped Today!" (Though Squatty Potty entreats its Twitter followers to "share your Poop Like Royalty pics! #pooplikeroyalty," only one brave soul had risen to the challenge as of press time.)

The Way[3] Purity

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

 The spotless purity of John's whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains. Don't forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

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