Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Calling, Vocational Holiness and Spiritual Formation in the Workplace

Calling, Vocational Holiness and Spiritual Formation in the Workplace
9-13 November 2015
Malaysia Bible Seminari
Lecturer: Dr Alex Tang

Committed Christians are often concerned about discovering God’s will for their lives in terms of what occupation to take up or who to marry. The deeper question will be to discern what God wants them to be and become. Another concern is how they are to live and have their being in their workplace and marketplace. Central to this is how to maintain the vitality of their spiritual life and growth in the modern lifestyle that is extremely hectic and exhausting. This course will deal with Christian discernment or decision-making and the theology of God’s calling and vocation. It will examine Ignatian and Wesleyan approaches to discernment. The issue of hectic and busy lifestyles will be examined and approaches developed to nurture the spiritual life. The concepts of Missio Dei and Sabbath in their vocations will be developed.

While there will be some overlap with my previous MBS courses, this is a different course which deals with different aspects of our spiritual lives. My previous courses are 2012: Soul Care-The Art & Science of Spiritual Direction (caring for one another in ‘persons-in-formation’); 2013: Leading Change in Spiritual Formation Communities (leadership in a spiritual growing community – ‘persons-in-community formation’); and 2014: Dynamics of Spiritual Formation (understanding spiritual growth – ‘person with Christ-in-formation’). You do not need to have attended my previous courses to attend this. 

Suitable for people who are making important life choices or are interested to know more about Godly decision-making and who are also interested to learn about spiritual maintenance and growth in busy and stressful lifestyles: pastors, lay leaders, church members, and seekers of truth.

Contact: Malaysia Bible Seminari Address: Malaysia, Selangor, Kuang, Lot no. 728 Jalan Kg Sungai Serai邮政编码: 48050


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In solitude I found my fortitude



Saturday, August 01, 2015

Breast feeding and alcohol

Should breast feeding mothers drink alcohol? #breastfeeding #breastmilk #breastmilkalcohol

Pregnant mothers should not drink alcohol. This is because alcohol especially in the first trimester may interfere with the fetal development and causes abnormalities. Fetal Alcohol syndrome is a known condition in newborn that is associated with excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy. What about mothers who are breast feeding? Can they enjoy a glass or two of beef or wine?

A website popular with breast feeding mothers have this to say

The concentration of alcohol in your blood is the concentration of alcohol in your milk. Alcohol gets into your breastmilk from your blood, moving freely from the blood to the breastmilk (and back out again). Alcohol will be in your breastmilk 30–60 minutes after you start drinking.

When alcohol is ingested and absorbed in your gut. It is then detoxed by your liver, broken down into acetaldehyde which are then excreted. This takes time. In the meantime, some of the alcohol is being excreted into the breast milk. Depending on how young your baby is, he or she may not have the enzymes to detox the alcohol. This is what happens when a mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy. The alcohol in the mother’s blood cross the placenta and affect the fetus because the fetal liver do not have the enzymes to detoxify the ethanol. Hence the fetal abnormalities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy on Breast feeding and the use of Human Milk considers alcohol compatible with breastfeeding but recommends

[Thus], ingestion of alcoholic beverages should be minimized and limited to an occasional intake but no more than 0.5 g alcohol per kg body weight, which for a 60 kg mother is approximately 2 oz liquor, 8 oz wine, or 2 beers. Nursing should take place 2 hours or longer after the alcohol intake to minimize its concentration in the ingested milk

Mothers who are breastfeeding can safely consume moderate amount of alcohol. They do not have to throw away their expressed breast milk because breast milk do not contain alcohol unless it was expressed within 2 hours of alcohol consumption. Mothers who consumes large amount of alcohol affects their baby not by their breast milk but in their ability to take good care of their newborn. 

It is a myth that breast feeding mothers cannot drink alcohol. However it is prudent to consume it in moderation.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Storing Expressed Breast Milk

Not all mothers produce enough breast milk for their babies. There are many reasons for this and these mothers should not feel guilty about not producing enough milk. However there are those who produce an abundance of milk. The question then arises on how to store the extra milk.

Make sure you wash your hand and clean your breast before expressing your milk.

·       What type of containers should you use?

The best containers are clean, capped glass or screw capped hard plastic, BPA-free containers. You can also use special plastic bags designed for milk collection and storage. If you use the plastic bags, be careful as they may tear. It will be better to keep these plastic bags in hard plastic containers such as those used for food storage. Try to use smaller containers (like 3-4 oz) so that each container  contain enough milk for one-feed by your baby.
Each container should be labelled with the date and time. It is best to store them at the back of the fridge to protect from fluctuations in temperature when the fridge doors are opened frequently. Use the one who was stored the longest first.

·       How long can expressed breast milk be stored?

The general principle is that expressed breast milk should not be used if it is at room temperature for more than 4 hours. This is especially so in the hot humid climate of Malaysia and Singapore.

Expressed breast milk stored at the lower compartment of the fridge may be kept more than 72 hours but less if the fridge doors are frequently opened.

Expressed breast milk stored in freezer compartment of the fridge may be kept up to 2 weeks.

However if the freezer of the fridge has a separate door, it may be kept up to 3 months.

Those in deep freezer may be kept for up to 12 months. However it is best if used by 6 months as the Vitamin C in the breast milk deteriorate with time.

·       How to thaw stored expressed breast milk?

Stored expressed milk should be thawed to room temperature slowly by immersion in a bowl of warm water. Stored expressed milk should never be thawed by boiling or using the microwave. Boiling and microwave destroy the proteins and other goodies in the breast milk.

·       How to add fresh expressed milk to stored frozen milk?

The best way to add fresh expressed milk is by cooling the milk first, either under running water or with ice packs. Then when it is cold, it may be added to the frozen milk. This is because we do not want the outer frozen milk to thaw as rethawed milk are not healthy.

·       Why are the thawed milk of a different colour?

Thawed expressed breast milk may have a different colour and odour as compared to fresh breast milk. That is normal. Some studies have showed that breast milk may have antibiotic properties. Contaminated milk will smell rancid and taste bitter.

By creating your personal ‘milk bank’ for your baby, you ensure your baby will have a constant supply of your milk even when you are busy or away for some time. Your breast milk is best for your baby because your body has tailored-made it to meet your baby’s nutritional needs. 


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