Here’s a story of a Christian conversion. Can you guess who’s talking?
So one Sunday, I put on one of the few clean jackets I had, and went over to [a church]. And I heard [a pastor] deliver a sermon … And during the course of that sermon, he introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, He would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in Him. And in time, I came to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world and in my own life.
It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of [this church] one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. The questions I had didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath that cross [at the church], I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works […]
Answer after the break. Read the rest of this entry »
For my Nazarene friends, here’s an index to some thoughts about the “Concerned Nazarenes” DVD that was distributed at General Assembly. CN is a fundamentalist group with strong ideas about the emergent church phenomenon and its relationship to the Church of the Nazarene. Their DVD is reviewed by a fellow named Jeffrey at A Considered Response to the Concerned Nazarenes. The comments seem thoughtful and respectfull.
Long after midnight, some years ago, I found my son in the fetal position on the floor outside our bedroom door, in intense pain. We rushed him to the hospital. Pancreatitis, it was. He received good treatment. And in some days, he mostly recovered.
That night came to mind just now as I read these paragraphs from Sojourners:
Two weeks ago, Sam* died suddenly. He was only 21 years old, strong and healthy, preparing for a life ministering to youth. Cause of death: acute pancreatitis and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Reason for death: no access to health care to treat the incredible pain in his stomach – until it was too late. The bottom line: While angry protesters disrupt town hall meetings and national organizations spread fear-based lies, lives are lost.
The current health-care system leaves you and me just as vulnerable to lack of care as Sam was. Health-care reform is just as much an issue of justice, of preserving and celebrating life, as it is an issue of caring for the vulnerable. […]
[T]he current system “renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all.” […]
[A]t Sam’s funeral there were no angry shouts or accusations. There was only shock and grief among the 400 friends and family members who attended.
Had I been born in a different situation, that death would have happened at my house; that shock and grief at my church. I would still know it today.
How long will we tolerate the fact that profits are more important than lives in America? How did we become so hard-hearted as to turn our backs on the victims of such perversion? What kind of monsters have we become?
* Name changed to protect the privacy of his family.
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Watch this video!
Keith Olbermann reveals the numbers behind those Senators and Congressmen and women who have funded their elections with health industry money, and who now deliver the goods by killing the public option.
I believe that Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley (who lately has joined in the “death panels” fabrication) is among the top ten recipients of health industry contributions in the Senate. Sen. Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, received more campaign money from the industry than from his home state.
The public option is the single greatest cost-cutting measure of this entire process. It creates competition for an industry that operates in near-monopoly conditions. It takes the need to make a profit out of the choices doctors offer their patients.
It is good for Americans but bad for health industry millionaires. And the CEOs are calling in their debts.
The politicians who rode industry money into office know what’s at stake: choke the the public option, or find other money to fund your re-election.
Write your elected officials today. Tell them you want the option to choose insurance that doesn’t connect care with profits. You can find their addresses in the right sidebar, under the heading “E-mail.”
They’ve got the money. But we cast the votes.
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