Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Search for a National Standard

Much of our political debate seems to revolve around discerning a standard for which we seek.  As a Christian I seek my standard from the Bible.  I suspect that I'd be labeled as a fiscally conservative.  I believe that if you don't have the money, then don't make the purchase, with the exception of a house.  If a credit card is used, then pay all of it off at the end of the month, otherwise don't make the purchase.  This requires some self-discipline.  I believe that self-discipline is the basis of all other disciplines.  I try to live simply.  If I purchase a new shirt, I give a shirt away via Goodwill, Salvation Army, clothing banks, etc.  I have more than enough clothes so I try not to add to my closet, just replace when necessary.  I'm also one who thinks a nation will be judged by GOD in terms of how it treats the poor.  I suspect that I'd be labeled as a social liberal.  I can't ignore this because there are too many verses and sections of the scriptures that speak to this.  For example, Proverbs 29:7, "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."  I really want to be included among the righteous.  I read Ezekiel 22:23-31 in light of our political and religious systems and think, "O my, we're in trouble."  So, I seek a standard and I suppose that I'll be labeled as a fiscally conservative and a social liberal.  The actual truth is that I don't like labels--for me or anyone else.  Labels usually have just enough truth to be descriptive, but just enough falsehood to be misleading.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Practicing Medicine and Health Care

Unfortunately I've had the experience of being in a lot of Physicians offices recently.  My brother has a fractured wrist and left hip.  My wife has arthritis and struggles with nausea.  In the midst of many recent Physician visits, I've been reading Dr. Victoria Sweet's, God's Hotel, A Doctor, A Hospital and a Pilgrimage  to the Heart of Medicine.  Dr. Sweet makes a difference between practicing medicine and doing health care.  Medicine is important because it has to do with tests, prescriptions and the body's chemistry and biology.  Health Care, however, is even more important because it takes into account the whole person.  Health care of the whole person certainly involves tests and prescriptions but, in addition, it requires necessary time to listen to the patients story and their life's circumstances.  Health care looks into the eyes of the person to see the anima or life force stirring in the person's soul or spirit.  In the hospital, Dr. Sweet, reflects on the crucial information she learns from sitting quietly beside the bed of her patients.  Doing good health care requires patience, listening skills, seeking the "big picture" of a person's illness and, sometimes, it involves eliminating whatever it is in the person's life that is in the way of their health rather than adding something else, ex., another test or prescription.  Practicing medicine may be efficiently and effectively accomplished during a quick office visit, but health care cannot be done in a hurry.  It takes time to hear and see the soul of a person.  I think Dr. Sweet would say that practicing medicine is a science, whereas health care is a art.  I recommend Dr. Victoria Sweet's book.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It Isn't Always So Simple

I've just returned from a Doctor's appointment.  On the way home I stopped at a Chick-fil-a restaurant and picked up sandwiches for our lunch.  We are very fond of Chick-fil-a sandwiches and their waffle fries.  In the recent days there has been a lot of media attention to a statement made by the leader of the restaurant chain.  He spoke in favor of traditional marriage between a heterosexual couple.  He termed such marriage as the Biblical model.  After his statement, there has been a protest against Chick-fil-a by those who support gay and lesbian relationships.  There has also been support by those who favor traditional relationships.  I've been a supporter of committed and healthy relationships whether they be traditional, gay or lesbian.  In the midst of all this Chick-fil-a attention, I read a July 25th blog of a dear friend in Louisville who is a Disciples of Christ minister, i.e., titled "Under the ginkgo tree."  She referenced another blog at in which Rev. Hollie wrote about a local Chick-fil-a franchise owner who is in a committed lesbian relationship and she is a committed Believer.  I recommend you read Rev. Hollie's blog regarding Chick-fil-a because things are not always as simple as we might think or wish.  Thank you, Rev. Hollie and Rev. Julie.