Daily Archives: June 14, 2011

Better-informed patients can help cut costs, study shows

A combination of giving patients more information about their conditions and better managing their medications can slow the revolving door of Medicare patients in and out of hospitals by about 20%, a study released Monday by Harvard University shows.

Researchers determined that physicians often did not have a complete list of medications that other doctors had prescribed for a patient, so they prescribed drugs that reacted badly with the patient’s other medications, said Randi Berkowitz, a geriatrics instructor at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Most often, Berkowitz said, patients did not understand the care they were receiving or needed.

“They think they’re sicker than they are, or they don’t understand how sick they are,” Berkowitz said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine

Today's entry from the Isn't it Fun to Live in America Box

Home values in Snohomish County continued a prolonged slide this year, according to assessment notices that should arrive soon.

Assessment notices being mailed this week show a dip of nearly 13 percent in value for residential properties. That’s the largest falloff since 2008, when housing declines began to show up in county assessments….

You might think then that the taxes on real estate would therefore be less. You would be wrong–they could be, but they may not be. Why?

Because of Washington’s budget-based taxing system, taxes can go up even when property values decline.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, Taxes

Garry Weatherill elected as the new Anglican Bishop of Ballarat

Commenting on his election, and in a message to the Diocese, Bishop Weatherill said:
“I’m very excited about coming to join the clergy and people in the Diocese as we rejoice in the abundant life that is Jesus’ promise to us, and as we search for new ways to be ambassadors of hope, love, forgiveness and justice.

“I know that the Diocese has been through a dark time, but I hope and pray that together we can be authentic disciples and apostles of Jesus and continue to build on all the good of previous years. Please pray for me that I will serve you with grace, wisdom and humility.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

New Evangelisation begins with heart says Pope Benedict XVI

“Faith is not conserved by its own merits in the world, it is not automatically transmitted to the human heart, but must always be announced. To be effective the proclamation of faith must begin with a heart that believes, hopes, loves, a heart that loves Christ and believes in the power of the Holy Spirit!”

This was Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the bishops, clergy religious and laity of his diocese Monday evening, gathered together in the basilica of St John Lateran to open the annual convention of the Diocese of Rome.

The Holy Father called priests, parents and catechists to launch a new evangelisation, to transmit a living faith to the future generation of Romans and create a community of believers in the eternal city where the Gospel is not only preached but put into practice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Evangelism and Church Growth, Italy, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

The Archbishop of Canterbury's statement on South Kordofan, Sudan

Along with the Christian leaders represented in the Sudan Ecumenical Forum and Council of Churches and many more throughout the world, we deplore the mounting level of aggression and bloodshed in South Kordofan State and the indiscriminate violence on the part of government troops against civilians. Numerous villages have been bombed. More than 53,000 people have been driven from their homes. The new Anglican cathedral in Kadugli has been burned down. UN personnel in the capital, Kadugli, are confined to their compound and are unable to protect civilians; the city has been overrun by the army, and heavy force is being used by government troops to subdue militias in the area, with dire results for local people. Many brutal killings are being reported.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sudan

(Washington Post) CIA to operate drones over Yemen

The CIA is expected to begin operating armed drone aircraft over Yemen, expanding the hunt for al-Qaeda operatives in a country where counter-terrorism efforts have been disrupted by political chaos, U.S. officials said.

The plan to move CIA-operated Predator and other unmanned aircraft into the region reflects a decision by President Obama that the al-Qaeda threat in Yemen has grown so serious that patrols by U.S. military drones are not enough.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Yemen

Archbishop Nichols: marriage is a public good

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has praised traditional marriage as a “public good”.

Archbishop Nichols said it was “vitally important” for the “whole of society” to support marriage at a time when more British couples than ever were choosing to live together outside of marriage and to have children out of wedlock.

He said the country had acknowledged the importance of marriage by rejoicing over the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(USA Today) Bruce Kluger–Has America lost that loving feeling?

…where is love?

An alien landing on our shores would be hard-pressed to answer that question, because, these days, love certainly isn’t front and center. We rarely see it on television, where “reality” shows like Jersey Shore and The Bachelor”” which purport to be about the human bond ”” are more about heaping abuse on one another or competing for affection.

Love isn’t on the Internet’s roughly 1,500 online dating sites, which despite annual revenue now in the billions of dollars, have reduced the mate-selection process to something akin to ordering off a Chinese takeout menu.

And, tragically, it has all but disappeared from organized religion, where the sacred tenets of compassion, charity and, yes, love, are often drowned out by the clatter of political posturing, bitter infighting and scandal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Psychology

(Sightings) Martin E. Marty–Who Lost Europe?

…what [Frits] Bolkestein fails to deal with is this: the answer to “Who lost Europe?” could be, simply, Europe, whose citizens nowadays tend to desert the chapels and cathedrals and abandon the beliefs long associated with these. Many an honest analyst would say in contentions which can be tested: masses in Europe stopped believing in God, in the stories which animated European life, in the symbols that made them vivid, in the community that embodied them.

There are some counter-signs, signals of new Christian vitalities. But before accusing the U.N., the Muslims, the agents who produce masochism, it might make more sense to analyze the losses in Europe’s faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, History, Religion & Culture

(WSJ Europe) Frits Bolkestein–The Roots of Europe's Cultural Masochism

….Christianity appears to be a spent force in Europe, with the exceptions of Poland and Ireland. But for Christians in Asia, Africa, Arabia and beyond, it is not the anemic religion that it has become here. These Third World Christians rightly feel deserted.

If they have any doubt about the importance of Christianity in contemporary Western life, these non-European Christians need only look to locales such as England’s Oxford. There, in a land with an established Christian church, the municipality has decided to replace Christmas with a “Winter Light Festival.” According to a spokesman, this ensures that equal attention is paid to all religions.

Europeans weren’t always so self-hating….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, History, Religion & Culture

(RNS) Being a Pastor is Hard, and Failure Is Easy

Scot McKnight, blogger and professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, isn’t surprised that the issue of failure has struck a nerve with ministers. He said that ministry can be especially difficult for pastors of nondenominational churches who don’t have the support structure or a network of peers that a denomination can provide.

He sees signs for hope, though. McKnight said that older church members expected their pastors to be perfect. That’s not always the case with younger church-goers.

“In the previous generation, there was a lot of emphasis that the pastor had to be distant, apart from the congregation, and holy,” he said. “Failure was seen as a sign of betrayal. For this generation, admitting failure is part of the pastoral task.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Tuesday Mental Health Break–Star Wars Subway Car

Watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Basil the Great

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Basil of Caesarea, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who according to thy promise hast given thy Holy Spirit to us thy people, that we might know the freedom of thy children and taste on earth our heavenly inheritance: Grant that we may ever hold fast the unity which he gives, and, living in his power, may be thy witnesses to all men; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Church of South India

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Pentecost, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

[Jesus]… said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him by what he said; but marveling at his answer they were silent.

–Luke 20:25-26

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture