Mickey Rooney

Joseph Yule, Jr. –better known to the world by his stage name Mickey Rooney, passed away last week. He was 93. I never had the privilege of meeting him personally, but like many of you, I had only seen him in the movies.

I prayed for him from time to time because I knew he had the opportunity as a Christian brother to be a witness to Hollywood, and God knows how they need that. What? Mickey Rooney a Christian brother? Wasn’t he married 8 times? Didn’t he have a sordid past with drugs and alcohol as a younger man?

Yes, I’m afraid that Mickey too was sick and needed a physician–as Jesus Christ once described it. I remember seeing him on the Mike Douglas Show (or was it Merv Griffin?) when I was younger. I stood amazed at how the host and another guest berated him openly about that past. He took it for a while and then demanded that they give him the opportunity to defend himself. They said that they had to jump to a commercial but he stood his ground and said they weren’t going to a commercial until he had said his peace.

THEN, calmly and clearly, he gave the purest gospel message that I have ever heard on national television before or since. He admitted that he was a sinner and that he was sure he had disappointed his Lord many times in the past. He told them that his salvation was not based upon his good works or any of his own efforts to stop sinning. His salvation was based only upon his faith in his personal Savior, Jesus Christ who had died on the cross to pay for his sins. They then went quickly to a commercial and when they returned he was gone.

Yes, Mickey was a sinner. I’m sure you’ll hear plenty about that this month. But the world that day heard the message of what salvation is all about and how to receive it. Praise the Lord for Mickey Rooney. And thank God for salvation by grace, through faith. And that not of ourselves. It is a gift from God. Not by works lest any man should boast.

Christians and the Welfare State

I was recently informed that another Christian brother has now placed himself on the public dole and is using the state Medicaid system to finance his healthcare. Frankly, that bothers me.  As I see the list of brothers and sisters in Christ that substitute the power and faithfulness of God for a belly full of bread increase, I believe that through this, they disappoint the Father and dishonor Him as well.

How does this differ from the Israelites leaving Egypt after 400 years of slavery that did the same? As soon as it got a little tough, they “wished they had stayed in Egypt for the leaks and garlics” rather than trusting God  to provide for them.

No one could have used the government to provide for his family more justly than my own father. He raised 6 children through tough times after serving his country in the Armed Forces and even spent over nine months missing in action. Never once did he use state monies, taken from the people, to provide for his family. He worked two jobs and often used vacation time to work even more by picking fruit during the harvest. No family trips to Disneyland for us. He taught us to trust in God to provide through both his words AND through his actions.

King David taught this principle better than anything I can say.

Psalms 37:25
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

That wasn’t because God’s people had enrolled themselves in the welfare state of the Roman Empire. They trusted in the God that Provides (Jehovah Jireh).

Phil 4:19-20
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Buck up. Trust in our God. What kind of testimony are you giving to Him?

 

 

I’m Back

Well, it’s official. I am back to blogging again after what seemed like quite a drought–well at least it did to me. But it’s not like I’ve been sitting around doing nothing all day.

As many of you know, I’ve been busy opening a new medical practice called Assurance Healthcare and Counseling Center. It’s designed around the concept of membership medicine. What that means is that rather than paying an insurance company $600-$700 dollars a month to NOT provide healthcare (having discouraging issues like co-pays and large deductibles), people pay me $95 a month (less for children and a bit more for seniors) to provide all the acute and preventative care they want or need.

Although everyone is welcome to become a member, it is especially designed to meet the needs of small business owners who can’t afford to buy insurance for their employees or individuals who are unable to pay for insurance on the infamous exchange.

Membership also includes the mental health counseling we all may need from time to time and remember, all our records are truly confidential. No records are included in the Obamacare fiasco or sent online to any government agency. No other clinic in town can say that.

Thank you everybody for all the supporting words of encouragement you have given over the past few months while this has come together. And hey, get sick and drop in. We’ll be glad to see you and meet your medical and psychological needs.

Meaningful Use

In the late 1930s the German government empowered the medical field to help improve the German society by forcing nurses and physicians to make careful records of individual citizen’s personal health records. They were to record those who eventually would become known as “Life unworthy of life.”

It would grow to include the homosexuals, the insane (those with mental health issues), children with mental retardation or congenital birth defects, and many more who were a drain on the social services and possible contaminants to the Aryan gene pool.

With the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), physicians and nursing staff are now empowered through promised, but not yet delivered, financial incentives to do just the same. It started innocently enough with us being told to meet “meaningful use” data by registering each patient’s smoking status, and BMI (a ratio of your height to weight). What’s the big deal about that?

This week, after my computers had been automatically updated on the weekend, a few more questions had been added that my ignorant and less conservative nursing staff began including “because after the update there were more questions listed that needed to be asked.”

A patient asked me what owning a handgun or his sexual preference had to do with the sore toe he came in for. Obviously nothing. And a quick visit with my nursing staff quickly put a stop to that–for now.

What is your physician and nursing staff putting into your records? What personal information are you being asked to include in your seemingly innocent medical record that meets the meaningful use requirements of Obamacare?

In Germany, more than 275,000 were killed because of this information. Good luck with that.

The Lion and the Bear

I suffer from anxiety. Not all the time but more than I certainly care to admit. I know that many of you do too.

Recently, I was encouraged by a passage of scripture and I want to share it with you because it helped me feel less guilty about my shortcoming. I was strengthened by it. May you be strengthened too.

It came from the David’s battle with Goliath, the Philistine giant well known to most of even the non-churched world. The story is told in 1Samuel chapter 17–AND IT REALLY HAPPENED! Here’s a small portion of it.

1 Sam 17:34-37  But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Wow! Remember that David was a young man at this time, probably not even twenty. Yet at some time even earlier in his youth he had defeated a lion and a bear even “when they turned on him.” He didn’t have a 30-06 high power rifle. He didn’t even have a handgun. He had a slingshot at best.

Why was David so confident that he could defeat in battle this giant soldier, trained in the art of killing? Because he had experienced God helping him before! David recalled these past victories over the lion and the bear and used them to give strength and courage for this battle.

Do what my Mental Health Counselor (daughter) encourages me to do. Write down where I see God giving me victory so that I can train my mind to not doubt but to have faith. God has helped me defeat my own lions and bears, so to speak, in the past. Use those victories to claim victory today.

 

Sticks and Stones

My mother always said, “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.” Of course, in many ways that is not true. Words do hurt–especially those words that are not true. But mom was just trying to help me grow up to be a man and not a wimp.

I have been called names all my life. Even some of you who read these blogs are very good at that. You’re apparently unable to hear an opinion that may differ from yours, think about it, expand on it, or even disagree with it without lowering yourselves to the maturity level of an elementary student.

There is that apparent need to not only express your thoughts–which is encouraged so that we all may grow, but to also add insulting words that lead to derision and hate. Welcome to elementary school.

But unlike a child who wears his feelings on his sleeves, I have learned to ward them off like water off a duck’s back. As my mother also taught me, they depict the immaturity of the person saying them rather than any necessary weakness of my character.

Our press has apparently now decided that the black race is no more mature than a group of elementary kids. They race to the rescue and worry far more than the Blacks actually do about people using the N word as they say today.

I’ve had the privilege of growing up in a very multicultural society and I’ve been called a Cracker, Honky, WASP, and a few other names–usually in Spanish, that I never even understood.

That never bothered me because I was taught that these are just words that reveal the character of the one speaking, not the ears of the one receiving them. How hard is that?

I can hardly wait until the press finds something else to grab hold of so we can get on living life and not dwelling on petty words. Racism will never go away so let’s stop thinking that we can legislate it.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but wouldn’t you like to have a stick in your hand when a member of the self-righteous press showed up.

Freedom of the Press

Is anyone as disappointed in the state of the American press corps as I am? As we have recently seen throughout the coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, it is apparently no longer the coveted institution the founders of our Constitution felt necessary to protect.

The withholding of key points of information, such as Trayvon Martin’s storied past, his positive drug test that showed he had made the choice to smoke pot that same evening (perhaps causing paranoia–one of marijuana’s primary side effects that no one has apparently felt important enough to mention, by the way), continuing to only show a picture of him when he was about 12, and altering the 911 phone call made by Mr. Zimmerman to stir up racial tensions are despicable at best.

These actions are irresponsible and another blatant indication of the failure of this institution to inform the body public it was designed to protect rather than influence. Let’s start holding the press responsible just as we do those who choose to keep and bear arms. As with any privilege, there comes with it great responsibility.

Who’s doing the greater damage? Is it a press corps that withholds information, distorts the truth to drum up sales, and stirs the public to protest a decision by a jury of our peers or is it a citizen protecting him or herself with a loaded gun?

Representation Without Taxation

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, it’s time to once again celebrate the freedoms that have been handed down to us from those ancestors that pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

Their sacrifice of life, comfort, and prosperity allows us the freedom to live as they desired but couldn’t. We need to reread those stories where God so graciously intervened on behalf of those brave men and women who refused to submit to tyranny expressed most often as taxation without representation.

Who would ever have believed that roughly 240 years later, tyranny would come from a completely opposite direction? Now tyranny comes through those who are given the privilege of a vote without the requirement that they be a part of those taxed for the decisions they make.

Almost 50% of the voting public doesn’t pay an income tax and yet they are given the privilege to force higher taxation on all of the rest. It has lead to the enactment of legislations that force those of us who work hard to pay unfairly for those that don’t (won’t).

Happy Fourth of July! We are still the greatest nation on the earth but we will need to make changes to keep it that way. VOTE!

Half Staff

Well, I almost wrecked my car last night when I heard over the radio that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered the flag lowered to half staff (mast) in memorial to the sudden death of Saprano actor James Gandolfini. He died of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Rome.

Give me a break! The tradition of lowering the flag to half staff is to honor those to whom honor is due. Traditionally, this practice has been reserved (actually restricted) to our deceased governmental leaders and to military men and women who have died in active combat.

James Gandolfini will best be remembered, of course, for contributing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to our society.

James Gandolfini was known to have both a cocaine and alcohol addiction and stories of his last few days sound the same. How sad. But worse than this is Governor Christie’s attempt to honor this man by diluting this historically honored tradition.

I thought it was best stated in an article I once read, “But just as an American serviceman killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan is not deserving of a Grammy award, musicians and celebrities are not deserving of the lowering of the American flag.” I agree.

We Have No King!

I am ashamed, but not really surprised how even some of the more “intelligent” people on television and the airwaves are so readily willing to give up the very freedoms that this nation was founded upon.

With the recent discovery of the despicable acts of the Internal Revenue Service, this has been especially revealing. Jon Stewart recently made a big mockery of Bill O’Reilly for pointing out the seriousness of these IRS behaviors, especially because the directive to target conservatives such as members of the Tea Party may have come directly from the White House.

Our constitution states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL… That means that WE HAVE NO KING-nor do we want one.  We don’t consider any one citizen to be greater than another. Neither rich nor poor, neither male nor female, neither young nor old….

The very foundational beliefs that this nation was founded upon demands that the IRS be severely punished for these crimes against the people of the United Sates. This is not a trivial matter. For us to sit idly by and do nothing is tantamount to permitting us to become the next Nazi Germany.