Monday, August 31, 2009

+DEV+ The Pit of Loneliness

Date: August 31, 2009 8:48 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Pit of Loneliness

The Pit of Loneliness

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68:5-6).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 68:1-6

I visited an elderly man in the hospital. He had pneumonia and was struggling to survive. As I sat by his bed, he opened his lonely heart to me, telling about family close by who didn’t have time to visit, children out of state who didn’t call, and a brother in town who hadn’t come. He said, “Chaplain, thanks for caring and for being here. Please come again.”

“Loneliness” is one of the most desolate words in the English language. It speaks of pain that can hardly be endured.

David, the psalmist, wrote that “God sets the lonely in families.” How sweet is the fellowship of God’s presence and the fellowship with other believers, His family! I think much loneliness would be cured if people would forget about themselves and reach out instead to those who are hurting–the single parent, the one who walks alone, the person in the hospital bed. God knows and understands the anguish of our hearts. He cares, and He wants us to care for others too.

Insight: While people need other people, friendship with the One who has promised never to leave us is the true cure for loneliness.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Date: August 30, 2009 9:42 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Preparing for Urgent Times

Preparing for Urgent Times

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here . . .” (Romans 13:11-12).
Scripture Focus: Romans 13:11-14

My heart skips a beat when I read what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13, giving a fresh call for action to believers in Rome!

The words are as personal and relevant for us today as they were for the early church. Paul warns believers not to get sidetracked into non-essentials and lose sight of the focus we need to make a difference in this world. We live in a time when the possibility of annihilation is a real fear for some. That may cause a loss of peace for most people, but as believers we carry within us the answer to such fears–faith in Jesus Christ. Our hope of living eternally with Christ gives us the incentive to serve Him faithfully on earth.

Paul says, “The hour has come!” It’s time for action. We need to look for opportunities to make a difference–opening our homes, offering meals, listening to brokenhearted stories. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) Let’s share that truth with those who need it.

Insight: Trouble is the common denominator for mankind, but in place of fear Christ offers hope and peace.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

+DEV+ Spiritual Boot Camp

Date: August 27, 2009 9:34 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Spiritual Boot Camp

Spiritual Boot Camp

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).
Scripture Focus: Jude

Jude was the brother of James and half-brother of Jesus. In his short letter of only 25 verses, he spoke directly to believers about the apostasy and false teaching developing at that time.

Now, 2000 years later, we still have the same problems. The key for Christians is to “contend for the faith” as Jude encouraged New Testament believers to do. God directs our lives, but we still have stresses and strains. To learn how to “contend for the faith” and conquer our difficulties, we need to immerse ourselves in the truths of God’s Word.

The apostle Paul prayed that God would strengthen believers “with power through His Spirit” in their inner being,” and that they would be “rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:16-17).

I’ve discovered that being a pastor requires a commitment to continual preparedness. That’s what Jude was warning Christians about, then and now—don’t get caught off guard! God calls us to battle readiness that comes from the daily commitment to our spiritual boot camp.

Insight: The church must be constantly vigilant in order to stay strong in the faith and defend itself against false ideas about God and His Word.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

+DEV+ Out of Control

Date: August 26, 2009 10:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Out of Control

Out of Control

“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. . . But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” (Matthew 14:25-27)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus dismissed His disciples to head by boat to the other side of the lake. He went by Himself to a mountainside to pray. Later, a storm on the lake caused waves to crash against the disciples’ boat. They were terrified when Jesus walked to them on the storm-tossed water. They thought He was a ghost! He spoke soothing words to them: “Take courage! It is I.”

That reminds me of one night when I heard the police dispatcher call out instructions for officers involved in a "chase." As a pastor, I jumped in my car and headed for the scene. A crash had occurred and one of the officers was injured, pinned in his squad car. I asked God to help me with the right words as I walked over to the car. God provided that night as I ministered to the man caught in an out-of-control situation. He and I became good friends, sharing faith in the Lord.

When we find ourselves in out-of-control situations, we can go to the One who is always in control and He promises to help us.

Insight: When people are driven to the edge, Jesus brings an alternative to the disappointments of life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

+DEV+ A Life Boat

Date: August 25, 2009 9:06 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Life Boat

A Life Boat

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:28-29).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 107:23-31

My colleague in ministry showed me a New Testament of the American Bible Society wrapped in a waterproof cover. The label said it was a New Testament for Lifeboats and Rafts. Inside was the name of a World War II veteran who had obviously used it. My mind raced with interest–what could have brought the New Testament to the attention of the one who had taken it? Had he actually ended up in a life raft on the ocean in World War II?

God’s Word is exactly for such times—the storms of life, the insurmountable odds, the unanswered questions. When the ship of life is about to go down, it is His Word that is always timely, adequate, appropriate. “He stilled the storm,” said the author of Psalm 107, reminding us that God rises to the occasion and intercedes on behalf of those who are fearful. He takes control, giving us the direction we need.

An old hymn says: “Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous sea.” He faithfully reminds us of His presence in the lifeboat.

Insight: Any problem or issue we encounter when turned over to Jesus becomes manageable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

+DEV+ God’s Enabling Strength

Date: August 24, 2009 11:31 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God’s Enabling Strength

God’s Enabling Strength

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trust in him, I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 28

Many Christians never fully experience the awesome power of God’s strength. He calls them to do something great and they retreat in fear. “I can’t possibly speak in front of a crowd, Lord. You know how tongue-tied I get.” Or “Don’t ask me to speak up for honesty in our meeting at work.” The impossibility of the task causes them to shrink away from the very One who enables them to go beyond their own limitations and branch out into something far beyond their imagination.

When they finally learn to step out in faith and allow God to do great things through them, they are amazed at the results. On their own, they are weak and unsure, but in God’s strength they are strong and confident.

Whenever David lacked confidence, he petitioned God with absolute surety of His help. Because of this, he continuously gave “thanks to Him in song.” We too can go to God with confidence knowing that He hears and delivers. And we too can give thanks to Him in song for His enabling strength.

Insight: Because God gives us His strength to accomplish great things for Him, we can boldly go with utmost confidence where we have never gone before.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

+DEV+ A Song in Old Age

Date: August 23, 2009 9:10 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Song in Old Age

A Song in Old Age

“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long.” (Psalm 71:23-24)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 71:17-24

An old gospel song says of serving Jesus, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” That’s certainly true no matter what your age, but the Bible emphasizes the joy of serving Him throughout a long life. It refers to Christians like palm trees that “will still bear fruit in old age” and “will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:12-14).

Some of the most dynamic Christians I know are senior citizens, perhaps not able to go or do as much as younger believers, but vibrant in their witness and faithful in giving to spread the Gospel and in their Bible reading and prayer. They have lived long and experienced much, storing up God’s truths in their minds and hearts. Those who have served the Lord over many years can speak from experience about His faithfulness and care. They understand the fears and failures of others because they’ve been there too.

A song of praise on the lips of a battle-scarred but victorious, gray-headed believer is a gift of joy to all who hear it—especially to God.

Insight: The song God gives each believer does not diminish with age, but goes deeper into the soul. It gives God joy and blesses His children.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

+DEV+ Good News

Date: August 20, 2009 10:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Good News

Good News

“The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 61:1-7

Isaiah assured his people that a Savior would come someday and make things right for those who had suffered greatly. Centuries after Isaiah wrote God’s words, Jesus quoted him as evidence that He had come to fulfill that prophecy (Luke 4:16-22).

Today we can look back and see the fulfillment of his words in our own lives. More relevant than ever, the Good News confronts us in our brokenness as we are imprisoned by fear and frustration. A retired officer shared his broken heart with me. He had been strong and tough when he was suddenly crushed with a long illness. I told him about the hope that comes from faith in Jesus.

Like that officer, sometimes we feel our suffering is going to go on forever and we long for relief. When we turn to Jesus, He takes over and releases us from our brokenness, disappointments and thwarted desires as no one else can.

Isaiah shared the good news of Jesus’ coming with his people who longed to be delivered. God expects us to do the same for people today.

Insight: What a privilege and solemn responsibility God gives us–to tell needy people the Good News, that Jesus saves!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

+DEV+ A Righteous Song

Date: August 19, 2009 9:58 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Righteous Song

A Righteous Song

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life. . . . I will walk in my house with a blameless heart.” (Psalm 101:1-2).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 101

Some Bible scholars believe that Psalm 101 may have been written by David to be sung at his son Solomon’s coronation. It shows David’s heart for God which, unfortunately, was not copied by his son with the same fervor.

David’s purpose was to proclaim his commitment to be God’s righteous leader. He praised God for reigning with love and justice, a pattern he wanted to follow as he led God’s people.

Psalm 101, with its emphasis on purity, is a wake-up call for all of us. Every day “vile things” and “men of perverse hearts” assault our senses wherever we turn. It is so easy to become desensitized to the evils of the world and slip almost unaware into their ways. When that happens, it is no wonder unbelievers refuse to listen to us. Our personal lives do not back up our song, and they know it.

David prayed that he would have nothing to do with evil in any form. May that be our daily prayer, so we can sing a righteous song in a sinful world.

Insight: There’s only one way to deal with sin—hate it and refuse to compromise it. Don’t try to justify it or argue with it. Instead, run away from it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

+DEV+ Songs of Deliverance

Date: August 18, 2009 9:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Songs of Deliverance

Songs of Deliverance

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. . . . Rejoice in the Lord and be glad . . . sing, all you who are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:7, 11)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 32

David had complete confidence in God’s protection. No matter what happened to him, no matter what kind of difficulty he was in, he trusted God to get him through it or take him out of it. Then David wasn’t shy about publicly acknowledging God’s help. He joyfully celebrated God’s acts of deliverance.

As David publicly praised God for His help, he was surrounded by others doing the same thing—singing songs of deliverance. It reminds me of praise services I’ve been in. When given the opportunity to tell about God’s work in their lives, people tend to sit shyly, waiting for someone else to go first. But after one or two people had the courage to stand up and share, others popped up, eager to “sing” their songs of deliverance. God invites us to “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).

In small ways and big ways God has done amazing things for us, perhaps in ways we have not yet recognized. Honor Him by telling about them.

Insight: It seems some of us feel free to show our strong emotions about everything—but God. Still He deserves it the most. Sing your song of deliverance today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

+DEV+ Singing of His Love

Date: August 17, 2009 9:08 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Singing of His Love

Singing of His Love

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands forever.” (Psalm 89:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 89:1-8, 14-17

We could sing about God’s love 24-7 for our whole lives and it still wouldn’t be enough to adequately describe it. “The Love of God,” a familiar Gospel song says we could fill the ocean with ink, but trying to write about God’s love would drain the ocean dry. When it comes to His love, we can use all the superlatives we think of—immense, amazing, vast, indescribable—but they aren’t enough. That is why the psalm writer determined to “sing of the Lord’s great love forever.”

We cannot fully comprehend His love, but we yearn to know more about it, and we want to show God our gratitude for it. Of all His attributes—His power, His mercy, His holiness, His perfect knowledge—it is His love that moves us most deeply.

Why? Because God’s love is personal. He loves everyone on the planet, but He also loves you. He is the great Creator and Controller of everything, but He’s also one-on-one with you, up close and personal. It’s no surprise that His love is your favorite song!

Insight: The world hears love songs all the time, but seeing God’s love in your life is a love song they won’t forget.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

+DEV+ Nature’s Song

Date: August 16, 2009 8:23 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Nature’s Song

Nature’s Song

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 148

Bible writers often used figurative language to express joy. However, it’s only in the movies that “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” Singing and clapping hands are ways humans praise God. Nature praises Him in different ways.

Nature’s song is more subtle: the chirping of a bird, the gurgle of a mountain stream, the swish of wind blowing through the trees, the chatter of a squirrel, the scream of an eagle, raindrops spattering against a window, the bark of a dog. These expressions may not always sound like music to us, but they are all praising God in their own way. Their praise is not a conscious act, but whenever any part of God’s great Creation does what He created it to do, He is glorified!

So praise the Lord—angels, sun, moon, shining stars, sea creatures, lightning, hail, mountains, hills, wild animals, and flying birds! Let them praise Him with their own unique songs, and let us look around and be aware that God’s world of nature is praising Him along with us.

Insight: We are not to worship nature, but let it direct our thoughts to God, who made it to glorify Himself just as He made us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

+DEV+ A Song of Restoration

Date: August 13, 2009 11:26 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Song of Restoration

A Song of Restoration

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” (Psalm 126:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 126

As Jewish families traveled to the holy city of Jerusalem for religious celebrations, they climbed the ascending road to the temple and sang songs of praise to God. Psalm 126 is one of those songs, praising Him for restoration.

After living in exile for many years, God’s people laughed with joy as they neared Jerusalem, thankful to be home again. For years they had dreamed of their homeland, and now God had restored them to all they had been denied for so long. Now every time they went to the temple, they rejoiced at being restored to His favor.

Their joy found expression in familiar, well-loved songs of praise. The Christian’s song of restoration is about being restored, through faith in Jesus, to the God who loves us. We don’t need to travel to a holy city to worship Him because we are God’s temple. His Spirit lives within us, restoring us every day to serve and praise Him.

Insight: God restores us by salvation, but also by day after day cleaning up and restructuring our lives, filling us with joy. Our part is to yield to His work in our hearts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

+DEV+ A Thankful Song

Date: August 12, 2009 10:21 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Thankful Song

A Thankful Song

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (Psalm 28:7)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 28

It’s interesting to note how many of David’s psalms start with heartfelt pleas for God’s help and protection, and end with expression of praise and thanks. I don’t think, in most cases, God miraculously solved the problem before the psalm was completed. But just the act of talking to God and giving the problem into God’s hands changed David’s attitude from fear to faith. No matter what troubling situation he was in, talking to his Heavenly Father about it awakened a song of thanks. David praised God, not only for what He had done, but also for what He would do.

How many times have you gone to God in prayer over a problem weighing you down, only to end up thanking Him before He answered your prayer? As we talk to Him, God calms us with His presence and reminds us of all He has done for us in the past.

Somehow, the problems we had on our minds don’t matter so much anymore. We realize that He is all that matters. And we can’t help but thank Him.

Insight: Trusting God may not always make problems disappear, but it certainly cuts them down to a manageable size.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

+DEV+ A Song at Creation

Date: August 11, 2009 10:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Song at Creation

A Song at Creation

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?...On what were its footings set...while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 6-7)
Scripture Focus: Job 38:1-11

When God formed Earth, angels were there to praise the Creator as He did His work. Even the morning stars sang. (Some scholars say this may refer to the planets Venus and Mercury.) This is a personification, a literary device of assigning human qualities to some thing. The stars, we assume, did not literally sing, as humans do, but God used this poetic way to describe the joy of all Creation at His work. There were no people yet to sing to Him, but He did receive praise.

God created people with the gift of music and we can praise Him with our song, but not all people choose to do so. At Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees told Him to tell His followers to stop shouting His praises. Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). More personification? Maybe—maybe not.

The point is that all Creation praises the Creator. Whether it’s morning stars, angels, or people singing—God deserves all our praise now and forever.

Insight: Praise your Creator many times a day with the unique song He has given you. It’s your responsibility and your very great privilege.

Monday, August 10, 2009

+DEV+ The Lord, My Song

Date: August 10, 2009 11:34 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Lord, My Song

The Lord, My Song

“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:13-14)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 118:5-15

The Lord gives me a song, but He also is my song. The psalmist knew it and so did the prophet when he said, “The Lord is my strength and my song” (Isaiah 12:2). What does this mean?

Everything I am and have and do flows out of my relationship with Jesus. He is everything to me. This is what unbelievers don’t grasp about knowing God. It isn’t a matter of going to church or being religious, or doing good and avoiding wrong. Being a Christian is all about personal relationship. God is in every part of my life. Without Him, I am nothing. Before I put my trust in Him, I had no song, no reason to sing. Now His presence in my life expresses itself in a song of joy deep in my heart that sings in every circumstance—good or bad.

The song is always in my heart, but sometimes I allow sin to clog the channel. Then my song can’t be clearly heard by others. God has promised that He will never leave me, but I need to live in obedience to Him to keep the channel open so His song of joy can be heard and seen.

Insight: It’s very difficult to explain how the Lord is my song to anyone who has not experienced it, but my life can be a demonstration of it.

52 Reasons to Reject Obamacare

52 Reasons to Reject Obamacare:

The person producing this list doubled checked and states that these are the true meanings behind each and every listing. The reader is encouraged to look into the matter for him or herself. This is far too important to wait for the agents of “spin” to “explain” the matter.

1. Page 22 of the Healthcare Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

2. Page 30 Sec 123 of Healthcare Bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments and benefits you get.

3. Page 29 lines 4-16 in the Healthcare Bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

4. Page 42 of Healthcare Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your Healthcare Benefits for you. You will have no choice!

5. Page 50 Section 152 in Healthcare Bill - Healthcare will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

6. Page 58 Healthcare Bill - Government will have real-time access to an individual’s finances and a National ID Healthcare Card will be issued!

7. Page 59 Healthcare Bill lines 21-24, Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

8. Page 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions and “community organizations” such as ACORN.

9. Page 72 Lines 8-14, Government is creating another “agency”, the Healthcare Exchange to bring private heathcare plans under government control.

10. Page 84 Sec 203 Healthcare Bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private healthcare plans in the Exchange.

11. Page 85 Line 7 Healthcare Bill – There will be specs regarding benefit levels for Plans: another way in which the Government will ration your healthcare.

12. Page 91 Lines 4-7 Healthcare Bill - Government mandates “linguistic appropriate services”. Translation – Spanish or other languages for illegals.

13. Page 95 Healthcare Bill Lines 8-18, The Government will use groups such as ACORN and Amiericorps to sign up individuals for the government healthcare plan.

14. Page 85 Line 7 Healthcare Bill – A reiteration of the specs regarding benefit levels for Plans which means, AARP members, your health care WILL be rationed no matter what you are being told now.

15. Page 102 Lines 12-18 Healthcare Bill - Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicare; you will have no choice regarding that enrollment.

16. Page 124 lines 24-25 Healthcare Bill - No company can sue the government on a charge of price fixing. No "judicial review" will be permitted against a government monopoly.

17. Page 127 Lines 1-16 Healthcare Bill – Doctors: The Government will tell YOU what you can make.

18. Page 145 Line 15-17, An Employer must automatically enroll employees into the public option plan; there is NO CHOICE. However, this plan is so convoluted that obviously there must be someway this can be avoided (see #s 20 and 21: the mandated payroll taxes for employers who do NOT off the public option); this is an apparent contradiction, but this is what the bill says.

19. Page 126 Lines 22-25, Employers MUST pay for healthcare for part time employees AND their families.

20. Page 149 Lines 16-24, ANY employer with a payroll of 400k and above who does not provide the public option must pay an 8% payroll tax. (see # 18 above)

21. Page 150 Lines 9-13, Businesses with a payroll between 251k & 400k who don’t provide the public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payrolls. (see #18 above)

22. Page 167 Lines 18-23, ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable healthcare according to the government will be taxed 2.5% of his income.

23. Page 170 Lines 1-3 Healthcare Bill - Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes but Americans will pay.

24. Page 195 Healthcare Bill - Officers & employees of Healthcare Administration (Government) will have access to the financial records of ALL Americans.

25. PAGE 203 Line 14-15 Healthcare - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that!

26. Page 239 Line 14-24 Healthcare Bill - Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income and poor affected.

27. Page 241 Line 6-8 Healthcare Bill - Doctors, it doesn’t matter what your specialty is, you will all be paid the same.

28. Page 253 Line 10-18, Government sets value of doctor’s time, professional judgment, experience etc. Literally, the government will be setting the value on human life.

29. Page 265 Sec 1131, Government mandates & controls productivity for private healthcare industries.

30. Page 268 Sec 1141, Fed Government regulates rental & purchase of power drive wheelchairs, scooters etc.

31. Page 272 Sec. 1145, Treatment of certain cancer hospitals - Cancer patients, welcome to rationing!

32. Page 280 Sec 1151,The Government will penalize hospitals for what GOVERNMENT deems preventable re-admissions.

33. Page 298 Lines 9-11, Doctors treating a patient during an initial admission which later results in a re-admission will be penalized by the government.

34. Page 317 L 13-20, PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. The government will tell doctors what and how much they can own.

35. Page 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3, PROHIBITION on expansion. Government is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.

36. Page 321 2-13, Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for an exception BUT “community input” is required. This opens the way to an incredible amount of extortion by “community groups” who might demand a quid pro quo from any hospital wishing to expand.

37. Page335 L 16-25 Page 336-339, Government mandates the establishment of outcome based measures; that means, healthcare as they want it, a/k/a rationing.

38. Page 341 Lines 3-9, Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv. Plans, HMOs etc. thus forcing people into the government plan.

39. Page 354 Sec 1177 - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of “special needs people” a/k/a the handicapped!! Eugenics and euthanasia become a part of medical treatment.

40. Page 379 Sec 1191, Government creates more bureaucracy, that is the “Telehealth Advisory Committee (can you say “healthcare” by phone?).

41. Page 425 Lines 4-12, Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultations for Senior Citizens which in effects lets seniors know that it’s time for them to die and get out of the way.

42. Page 425 Lines 17-19, Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney etc. This will be MANDATORY! (So much for individual liberty and privacy!)

43. Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3, Government provides approved list of “end of life resources” to help guide you into death. I’m sure that “Dr.” Kevorkian will have a job with this group.

44. Page 427 Lines 15-24, Government mandates program for orders at the end of life; the government has a say in HOW and WHEN your life will end. This is called euthanasia.

45. Page 429 Lines 1-9, An “advanced care planning consultation will be used frequently as a patient’s health deteriorates. Again, much American health care involves people with chronic conditions but who can still have many years of productive life WITH PROPER MEDICAL CARE. If you are deemed to be unworthy of such care by virtue of criteria such as your race, gender, socio-economic condition etc., the chances are good that you will be DENIED that care and you life will end far sooner than would otherwise be the case under today’s healthcare system.

46. Page 429 Lines 10-12, The “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans – an ORDER from the GOVERNMENT. Again, we will have government ordained euthanasia – which is nothing less than legalized murder.

47. Page 429 Lines 13-25 - The Government will specify which Doctors can write an “end of life” order. This means that the physician(s) who cared for you may not even be consulted and you will be condemned to death by some uncaring bureaucrat in Washington who knows nothing about you and your situation.

48. Page 430 Lines 11-15, The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at the end of your life.

49. Page 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services regards services provided by non profit organizations like ACORN.

50. Page 472 Lines 14-17, Dictates payment to a community based organization like ACORN for such treatment. Both the treatment and the organization are determined by the government.

51. Page 489 Sec 1308, The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy which means they will insert themselves into your marriage. If you are a Christian, it is possible that the government may be able to intrude into decisions made by your family as a result of your religion.

52. Page 494-498, Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services. Again, you could be adjudged “mentally ill” if you disagree with the prevailing agenda such as homosexual rights, abortion etc.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

+DEV+ Songs in Troubled Times

Date: August 9, 2009 9:02 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Songs in Troubled Times

Songs in Troubled Times

“After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison. . . . About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” (Acts 16:23, 15)
Scripture Focus: Acts 16:16-34

Beaten and jailed for casting an evil spirit from a slave girl in the city of Philippi, Paul and Silas didn’t waste time bemoaning their fate. Instead, they chose to sing praises to God. The other prisoners listened, probably in amazement. God had obviously given the two men a song in their hearts that turned trouble into triumph! They became lights in that dark place.

The jailer and his family trusted in Christ that night. I wonder how many of the prisoners made the same decision because of the songs they had heard. When the doors flew open, not one man took advantage of the moment to escape. Perhaps they stayed to hear how to know God.

God gives each of His children a song of joy, not just in pleasant, happy times, but in times of deep and heartache and trouble. It’s a song for our help and encouragement, but also for demonstrating His love and grace in His children’s lives. People are watching and listening to see how our faith works in tough times. Can they hear it in your song?

Insight: Paul and Silas’ faith gave them a song in time of trouble. Their faith, expressed in song, brought an opportunity for salvation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

+DEV+ David’s Song of Praise

Date: August 6, 2009 9:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+ David’s Song of Praise

David’s Song of Praise

“You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. Therefore I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.” (2 Samuel 22:49-50)
Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 22:1-7, 17-20

David was a warrior-king who consistently went into battle trusting in God’s strength, not his own. God rewarded his faith by giving him victory over his enemies. When the fighting was over and victory won, David knew whom to thank.

He sang praise to God for all to hear: “You armed me with strength for battle . . . you made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes” (2 Samuel 22:40-41). No wonder God called David a man after His own heart!

When Saul was king, he became jealous of David because people praised him for the battles he won more than they praised Saul. David always gave credit to God. If Saul had listened to David, he would have learned important lessons about faith and humility. God wants to do amazing things for His children, but He wants to be acknowledged for what He does. We can never praise Him as much as He deserves.

Think of what God has done for you, answers to prayer and victories for which you can praise Him.

Insight: Every victory in our lives, no matter how small or large, comes from God, and He deserves praise for it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

+DEV+ Song of a Steadfast Heart

Date: August 5, 2009 10:12 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Song of a Steadfast Heart

Song of a Steadfast Heart

“My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. . . . I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the people.” (Psalm 108:1, 3).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 108

David praised God for His love, then asked Him to help him triumph over his enemies. The last verse of Psalm 108 shows David’s confidence in God’s answer: “With God we will gain the victory.”

David told God that his heart was “steadfast”, a word he also used in another psalm, “My heart is steadfast, O God . . . I will sing and make music” (57:7). Then when he confessed his sin, he asked God to “renew a steadfast spirit” in him (51:10).

“Steadfast” means unwavering, resolute, unyielding, deep-rooted. For most of his life, David was a steadfast follower of God. Out of that deep-rooted commitment to God David wrote the beautiful songs of praise that still bless and inspire us today.

Do you wonder how steadfast your heart is today? God brings this into your everyday living when He relates it to the way you cope with bad news that threatens your peace. “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (112:7). The condition of your heart determines the strength of your song in such a time.

Insight: Spending time praising our steadfast, never-failing God will deepen the roots of our trust in Him.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

+DEV+ A Morning Song

Date: August 4, 2009 11:43 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Morning Song

A Morning Song

“I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you.” (Psalm 59:16-17)
Scripture Focus: Mark 1:29-39

In my years in the Military I often got up at five to meet with friends to pray before formation. I must admit that I often found myself dozing as they prayed. Those early devotional times didn’t continue for long, and I sometimes felt guilty about it. Then I heard a godly man say that he had his devotional time in the evening since it took “three cups of coffee and the grace of God” just to get his eyes open in the morning.

Jesus got up early to meet with His Father, but He also prayed throughout the day and even all night long. Anytime we meet God is good and my body is certainly more comfortable with evening devotions, but beginning the day with Him can be a real blessing. I don’t usually feel like singing as soon as I open my eyes in the morning (as my wife will attest), but I can praise God with a song in my heart. What a pleasure to lie under the covers, thinking of His love for me, committing the day to Him and praising Him. If I doze off for a short time it doesn’t matter because when I wake, He is still with me.

Insight: Christian music on a radio or a recording is a great wakeup call every morning. Starting the day with praise helps us focus on Him, not us.

Monday, August 3, 2009

+DEV+ Songs of Satisfaction

Date: August 3, 2009 11:36 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Songs of Satisfaction

Songs of Satisfaction

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. . . . May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us.” (Psalm 90:14, 17)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 90

Satisfaction is not a common state of mind in the western world these days. Most of us live our lives in a constant state of flux, rarely satisfied with anything for long: jobs, homes, weight, children’s grades, government, marriages. In fact, people often receive criticism for being unambitious or lazy if they seem satisfied with things as they are. We view dissatisfaction as praiseworthy because it displays our desire for something better and an unwillingness to settle for the status quo.

Moses, the author of Psalm 90, knew there was only one place to find satisfaction—in God’s love. His love so completely satisfies us that we “sing for joy.” Most people are dissatisfied because they’ve never experienced God’s love for them. Even though it’s right there waiting for them. They haven’t focused on Him. They feel a need for something else, something new, but they don’t realize it’s the created one’s heart crying out for its Creator. Once we admit our need of the Savior and accept Him, we discover what real satisfaction is.

Insight: Advertisements tell us, “Don’t be satisfied with second best, but accept only the very best.” That’s Jesus!

+DEV+ Songs of God’s Rescue

Date: August 3, 2009 12:20 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Songs of God’s Rescue

Songs of God’s Rescue

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)
Scripture Focus: Exodus 15:1-13

The parting of the Red Sea to rescue the Jews went down in their history as one of God’s most amazing interventions for His people. Every schoolboy studied it, old men talked about it and religious leaders read the account of it in the synagogue. The Jewish people, who sang about almost everything, sang about it, perhaps using the same song Moses and his people sang right after the crossing the sea experience.

Imagine groups of suffering Jews singing the reminder to one another. If God had rescued them once, He could do it again, no matter how dire their situation. With hands held high, they could dance and sing together: “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed” (vs. 13).

We sing of an even greater rescue. It’s called salvation—God reaching down to sinners through His Son Jesus to rescue us from Satan’s clutches. The Jews sang of a one-time miraculous rescue from physical danger. We sing of a once-for-all-time rescue from spiritual death to eternal life.

Insight: Remembering what God has done for us in the past, gives us faith for the present, and hope for the future.