Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Breaking free from addictions that like parasite, demand much from us and give nothing in return. Its promises are vain and its pleasures empty....
Fireproof Your Relationships: Sermon Four
Today’s message starts with something I have never spoken about before from the pulpit. I want to talk with you about parasites! Has anyone here ever picked up a parasite?
The South Africa military field exercises were often conducted in tick infested areas and bilharzia infested waters - not intentionally but simply because so much of the outdoors is infested with these parasites. So when you came in from field exercises you would have to check yourself for ticks - and it would not be unusual to find 4 or 5 or even up to 10 or more ticks crawling around on you and in your hair. Tick bite fever can be a terrible deadly disease if not treated - and rather debilitating even when treated. There were always a few guys running around the infirmary with tick bite fever. The thing is that when a tick gets on you, it finds a comfortable spot and then starts chewing its way into your skin.
And, as you know, once a tick has bitten into you, you cannot simply pull them off. They bite so deep and so hard they clench their teeth down and simply will not let go. Their bite is so strong that if you keep pulling you will break their heads off in your skin - and it will turn septic. There are only two ways to simply remove a tick from you once it has bitten into you. The one is heat - you can use a match or a lighter and if you hold the flame close to the tick long enough (without burning yourself) the tick cannot stand the heat and will open its mouth. The other is to suffocate him - cover him with some Vaseline or petroleum jelly so that he cannot breathe and after a while he will let go of his own accord.
Now ticks are easy - you can feel them and you can remove them. But there are a bunch of parasites that are not as kind or pretty.
For instance, take this little blighter - Hookworm.
This picture shows a hookworm feasting on the inside of a human intestine. They normally enter the body through the skin and migrate through the bloodstream to the lungs or the intestines. He will kill you from the inside and you will not even know he is there.
Here is another bad boy - Roundworm.
This is staggering - according to WHO - the World Health Organization, about 25% of all adults in the world are hosts to roundworm. These fellas also live in your intestine and can grow up to 15 inches long and lay 300 000 eggs per day inside of you.
More than 500 million people (mainly children) around the world share their bodies and their beds with this beauty. Measuring in at about 1/3 of an inch, this guy wakes you up in the middle of the night with intense anal itching. The reason for this is it sneaks out at night to lay their eggs on the fertile skin surrounding the anus.
Next to malaria these parasites are the greatest danger to humans. You can find them in affected open bodies of water where they quietly burrow into your skin and make their homes in your blood vessels, bladder, rectum, intestines, liver, spleen, and lungs - or pretty much anywhere else in your body. About 200 million people are home to these nasties.
And here’s my favorite - the familiar parasite of choice - the familiar tape worm. These friends can grow more than 20 feet long. Check out this picture from the Oprah show - where Oprah and Dr. Oz are holding a single specimen of this monster. By the way, you can hook up with these guys up by eating, amongst other things, beef. And they have bad old nasty symptoms that go with their bad old nasty selves.
Now fortunately, because of where we live and our level of hygiene, most of us do not have to worry about these guys very often. But parasites are very real and diminish the quality of life for millions of people on our planet.
But what we do need to worry about in America, and what does diminish the quality of life for millions of people in our country are relational parasites.
In the film we’ve been talking about for the last few weeks, Fireproof, Caleb Holt struggles with one of these parasites in his own life. Watch this clip and you’ll see what I mean.
Show Clip 4 - clip length = 2:16.
Watch out for parasites. A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and leeches from you. In other words, it makes unreasonable demands on your resources (like time, money, thought life, affection) without giving anything useful or adequate in return. It will suck the life out of your relationships.