Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cruel Medical Hoax

This morning I received an email from a friend. She did a forward to all her friends about a "Johns Hopkins Cancer Update" that I have seen before. It is a total hoax that encourages people to not do chemo but follow a list of things that you might see in a herb shop.

It is one thing to proclaim the benefits of an all natural diet but quiet another to make claims that a famous research hospital is telling people to get off meds. It is cruel and and could kill someone.

Sadly I have received a lot of these forwards that are total hoaxes that people just keep sending and resending for decades. People before you resend an email that was a forward to you --- check it out to see if is is true.

Some of these great emails that ask you to forward carry a virus that infects your computer when you forward.

A word to the wise NEVER forward with out checking and knowing. It is better co copy information that you have checked and send a new email than to just forward..  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Green Eyed Monster

In Genesis chapter 37 the brothers of Joseph were convinced that their younger brother was their father’s favorite child. They were green with envy and jealousy every time Joseph was praised by dear old dad.

Their jealousy reached a destructive point and they were willing to beat him, drop him in a well and sell Joseph as a slave. They then faked his death to be rid of him and their feelings of jealousy forever.

Their feelings of jealousy were replaced by feelings of remorse and guilt for what they had done to both Joseph and their father. The green eyed monster of jealousy over ruled love, family and common sense. 

It is easy for us to become jealous of another’s good fortune and dive into “Oh woe is me” and forget our highest moral values in a moment of self loathing. When we become jealous of someone else we forget how much God loves us just as we are. That is a time when evil creeps into our lives and we are capable of creating a lot of pain for others and ourselves as well.

Practice the art of giving thanks for other people's blessings and yours will be more noticeable. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Way of All Flesh

The term “The Way of All Flesh” refers to the fact that all who are born also die. This is part of the master’s plan and I am comfortable with the fact that at some point my physical body will cease to function and my soul will return to the creator of the universe.

"Doctors think that you only call palliative care when your patient is about to die," says Diane Meier, M.D., director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "Patients don't know what it is and don't demand it. They don't realize they have a right to care focused on improving function and quality of life."

As a pastor I have watched many people go through the process of moving from their physical life to their spiritual life. Some people make that journey suddenly because of accident or a swift illness. Others go slowly with advanced age or by way of a slow painful illness. When it comes to the later most doctors don’t like to give up on finding a cure and that is their training.

We each do have a choice to make now before the event of our death is close and emotional. Do I want to fight for life to the bitter end no matter the cost or pain? Do I want to choose the conditions where I can say enough is enough let me go?  I have already done that by creating and signing my “Advance Directives” and informed my family and my doctor.

It is your right and your choice, either way you want, to choose how you prefer to die given a terminal illness. The time to make that decision is now while you have a clear mind and are in control.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Accepting Other Christians as Sisters and Brothers

Some two hundred years ago a person of one Christian denomination could not take Holy Communion in a church of a different denomination. In come cases you could only take communion in the congregation to which you belonged. Sometimes you had to pass a test of faithfulness to take it in your congregation. This was the case with the Presbyterian church When Rev. Thomas Campbell moved from Ireland to America and was assigned to a congregation in Western Pennsylvania.

In the sparsely settled area Thomas Campbell was Pastor of the only church for miles and members from other denominations liked him and began attending. Once when it came time for Holy Communion he decided to make it available to non-members whom he knew to be good Christians who had not been able to take communion in their own distant congregations for many years. 

He got in a lot of trouble for doing that. As part of his defense he wrote a “Declaration and Address” that has been one the founding documents of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ. In it he wrote; “So long as any man, woman or child declares his confidence in Jesus of Nazareth as God’s own son, that He was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification; or, in other words, that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior of men; and so long as he exhibits a willingness to obey Him in all things according to his knowledge, so long will I receive him as a Christian brother and treat him as such.”

Today many denominations are open to Christians of other denominations and invite them to share communion as Sisters and Brothers in Christ. That was a new thing some 200 years ago. We are all one in Christ.