Sunday, April 18, 2010

Regulate this…

Smaller government. That seems to be one of the political mantras of the day. I wonder what that really means to those that are doing that chant? Have they thought it through…do they have specific things in mind....and if so…what are they, and are they practical? What programs and regulations do these people want the government to cut? Social Security? Medicaid? Medicare? Wall Street regulations? Banking regulations? Would they like the government to remove the regulations that require businesses to invest in Unemployment Insurance or Workman’s Compensation Insurance? If the government didn’t force employers to provide this coverage, what do you think would happen? Do you think businesses would voluntarily continue to pay your wages and cover all your medical expenses? Let’s face it, without government regulations in place to protect us, we’d be in a world of hurt. It appears to me that the government grows as needs are revealed. In like manner, laws are created when it becomes obvious that a law is needed to govern some behavior. Would it be better if the government just ignored the needs?

This is where we are with health care. The need for health care reform has become obvious. Extremely high health care costs, and thirty million Americans that can’t afford coverage. On top of that you have the baby boomers entering retirement age. Unless there is some reform, the whole system will collapse. President Obama is being honest about this. He isn’t covering it up, he isn’t ignoring it, he isn’t going along with the status quo. He’s taking a lot of heat, too, but he’s acting responsibly. Bottom line, something has to give….and it might be all of us. We all may have to give a bit more so that we can support a humane system. I shudder to think of a time in the United States of America when seniors will be homeless and scattered all over the streets in large numbers because they have lost everything due to health issues and the associated costs of treatment.

And for those of you who say…they can just go to the ER. First off, that cost is laid on the government as well and it’s at a premium. And what about this scenario…you go to the ER and discover that you have cancer or some other issue that requires ongoing treatments. Does the hospital then schedule you for these treatments knowing that you are not able to pay? In my experience, hospitals will refer you to the appropriate specialist for follow up. Just try getting into a doctor’s office or a specialist's office without paying. What about any prescriptions that you may need…maybe for years? Does the hospital give those out for free, too? No, I don’t think that the ER is a good alternative to real health care coverage. I think it’s very likely that there are a lot of people quietly dying because they know they can’t afford to go to a doctor. They may end up in the ER, but by the time they do, it may well be too late.

What kind of America are we going to be? Forgive me for saying so, but I’m thinking of these scriptures…

1 Timothy 6:10…For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Hebrews 13:5…Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Profundity…

As I’m certain was quite typical of the era in which I grew up, I learned the Lords’ prayer, and at an early age was taught to recite it at bedtime each night. Obviously, at 5 years old, it was mostly a routine, with only a basic understanding of the meaning. While still a child, though, I recall struggling to concentrate on the meaning/words in the prayer…instead of just flying through it. If need be, I would say it a number of times…until I felt that I had connected with the words and ‘meant’ what I said.

Now it’s many, many years later, and in some way, that’s happening to me again. This time, though, I’m finding a new dimension of profoundness.

The first word of the Lord’s prayer…the very first word…OUR…is huge to me. Have you tried to really get to that place? To be the larger ‘our’ instead of a me or an I is not easy or natural, but I believe it is a proper place through which to approach God. I see the spirit of that first word as preparation to enter into a true dialog with God. It reminds me a bit of the scripture that says that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3). God doesn’t inhabit just words…but real heartfelt praise somehow enables us to enter into fellowship with God. In the same way, getting to that real place of ‘our’, sets the stage for fellowshipping with God. Can we let go of self long enough to be part of ‘our’?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What has been confirmed again…

I’ve been paying close attention to the political scene in the USA for a few years now. What has been confirmed to me is that we have no hope…no chance…as a species, of EVER getting it together. We are SO absolutely corrupt that the only chance, the only hope we have, is in Christ. The human race will never, and can't ever, get it together. I’m hoping that you understand that. That you understand that your only hope is in the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, that is in Christ Jesus. If you haven’t come to that conclusion yet, I pray that you will…sooner than later.

Jeremiah 17:9...The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Genesis 6:5...The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

Psalms 53:3...Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one.

Isaiah 53:6...We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Psalms 51:5...Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Isaiah 64:6...All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Revelation 12:9…The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

1 John 5:19…We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

Revelation 3:20…Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

John 6:28-29…Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Acts 4:12...Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."