Daily Archives: April 1, 2014

(W. Post) A growing number of primary-care doctors are burning out. How does this affect patients?

Martin Kanovsky, an internist in Chevy Chase, used to see patients every 15 minutes and worry at times about what he might be missing by moving so fast. In December, the 61-year-old doctor reduced his practice to a small pool of people who pay a premium for longer visits and round-the-clock access to him. “There’s no such thing as double-booking,” he said.

Janis Finer, 57, a primary-care physician in Tulsa, Okla., gave up her busy practice two years ago to care full time for hospitalized patients. The lure? Regular shifts, every other week off and a 10 percent increase in pay

Tim Devitt, a family physician in rural Wisconsin, took calls on nights and weekends, delivered babies and visited his patients in the hospital. The stress took a toll, though: He retired six years ago, at 62.

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

(CC) Barbara Brown Taylor–Light without sight: A different way of seeing

[Let us reflect on]…the light the mystics see when they meditate in the night hours, picking up their pens in the morning to write down their revelations. It is the light Moses saw in the darkness on Mount Sinai, where the glory of God came wrapped in dazzling darkness. Dionysius the Areopagite called it “the unapproachable light in which God dwells.”

My guess is that this idea is as incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it as it is indisputable to those who have. No one has described it better for me than Jacques Lusseyran, a blind French resistance fighter who wrote about his experience in a memoir called And There Was Light. Lusseyran was not born blind, though his parents noticed that he was having trouble reading and fitted him with glasses while he was still quite young. Beyond that, he was an ordinary boy who did all the things that other boys do, including getting into fights at school. During one such scuffle he fell hard against the corner of his teacher’s desk, driving one arm of his glasses deep into his right eye while another part of the frame tore the retina in his left. When he woke up in the hospital he could no longer see. His right eye was gone and the left was beyond repair. At the age of seven he was completely and permanently blind.

As he wrote in a second volume, he learned from the reactions of those around him what a total disaster this was. In those days blind people were swept to the margins of society, where those who could not learn how to cane chairs or play an instrument for religious services often became beggars. Lusseyran’s doctors suggested sending him to a residential school for the blind in Paris but his parents refused, wanting their son to stay in the local public school where he could learn to function in the seeing world. His mother learned Braille with him. He learned to use a Braille typewriter. The principal of his school ordered a special desk for him that was large enough to hold his extra equipment. But the best thing his parents did for him was never to pity him. They never described him as “unfortunate.” They were not among those who spoke of the “night” into which his blindness had pushed him. Soon after his accident his father, who deeply understood the spiritual life, said, “Always tell us when you discover something.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Church History, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

South Korea Sex Change Doctor– I correct 'God's mistakes'

As Dr. Kim Seok-Kwun begins surgery to create a functioning penis for a Buddhist monk who was born female, he is well aware of the unease his work creates in this deeply conservative country. The devout Protestant known as the “father of South Korean transgender people” once wrestled with similar feelings.

“I’ve decided to defy God’s will,” Kim, 61, said in an interview before the monk’s recent successful surgery to become a man. “At first, I agonized over whether I should do these operations because I wondered if I was defying God. I was overcome with a sense of shame. But my patients desperately wanted these surgeries. Without them, they’d kill themselves.”

Kim is a pioneer in slowly changing views on sexuality and gender in South Korea, where many have long considered even discussions of sexuality a taboo. He has conducted about 320 sex change operations over the past 28 years, widely believed to be the most by any single doctor in the country.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, South Korea, Theology, Women

(Telegraph Ltr) John Overton–The C of E will have difficulty in relating to the law on marriage

I had hoped that Church of England liturgy would come to include provisions for church blessing of civil partnerships. I fear that the precipitate and profoundly undemocratic way in which the Marriage Bill was hustled into law has set obstacles in the way of persuasive change. The Church of England will now have extreme difficulty in relating to the law on marriage.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Stand Firm April Fool's 2007–Kendall Harmon to Cease and desist from Blogging

Tenuous connection to reality or not, Harmon says he is excited about combining exercise with his diet. “Now that I won’t be spending nine, ten, eleven hours a day parked in front of a computer working on this stupid blog, I can spend more time on my pilates.” Neighbors even claim they have been awakened in pre-dawn hours by the sound of Tae-Bo tapes, coming from Harmon’s residence.

“He used to be such a nice boy,” said Mrs. Mildred Kratz, an across-the-street neighbor of Harmon’s. “Always blogging. I’d see him in the yard and say, ”˜Now Kendall, you need to get back in there and blog. That blog’s not going to write itself!’ And we’d just laugh and laugh. Nowadays, the only time I see him is when he walks down the driveway to get the mail, and even then, he doesn’t speak”¦ just makes a big point to flex his glutes as he walks back inside.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Blogging & the Internet, Humor / Trivia

J John–April Fooled

When it comes to April Fools’ Day, human ingenuity seems to know no limits. Let me list a few of my favourite hoaxes and pranks from April the 1st:

”¢ The full-page advertisement by Burger King announcing the arrival of the Left-Handed Whopper burger, ”˜especially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans’.
Ӣ The statement that the next Popemobile would be pulled by a donkey.
Ӣ The announcement from Virgin Atlantic that they would launch an Airbus with a transparent viewing strip on the bottom, so that passengers could look straight down onto clouds.

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Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Humor / Trivia

(Wired) 10 Best: April Fools' Gags (the Web Is Closing for Spring Cleaning!)

1976 At precisely 9:47 am on April 1, Pluto will pass behind Jupiter, causing a brief reduction in Earth’s gravitational pull. Astronomer Patrick Moore urges his BBC Radio audience to jump into the air at that exact moment to experience a floating sensation. At 9:48, dozens of light-headed listeners begin calling the station to report their success.

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Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

**Exclusive***Archishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's real name is Justin Thyme

A special undercover investigation has revealed that Justin’s Welby’s Father, who is well-known now to have been a sort of Walter Mitty character, not only reinvented himself numerous times but changed his name on multiple occasions. His real family name was in fact Thyme.

There are possibilities, also, that Justin Thyme has a secret and unknown half-brother Steppen Thyme but these are as yet uncorroborated.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Humor / Trivia

(BBC) Richard III Leicester cathedral plans get green light

A major refit of Leicester Cathedral to host the bones of Richard III has been given the go-ahead.

Delayed since September, plans to move the altar, wooden screens and fit new stained glass have now been backed by the Church of England’s planning panel.

But details of a redesigned tomb for the king, a major source of argument, are being kept secret while a legal case about his reinterment is ongoing.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(FT) A Profile of (London Office Cleaner) Franca Odega–Part of office life, but not colleagues

Waking at 4.30am every day she says her prayers before getting ready to make the trip from the flat she shares with her sister’s family in Walworth Road, south London, to get to work by 7am. The best bit of her job is the pay. She earns the so-called living wage, which in London is set at £8.80 an hour. The boost in her pay ”“ which was previously the adult minimum wage rate of £6.31 ”“ has made her “lighter” and “happy inside”, less stressed over financial struggles.

A secondary school teacher with a degree in social and political science as well as a masters in education, she came to Britain in 2005 from Nigeria to improve her living standards. She has always been resourceful. In Nigeria, as well as teaching, she ran a catering company and imported fashion accessories from Europe.

Her first few months in London were spent finding her feet in a city she found unwelcoming. It is the social life she misses: in Nigeria “we live like brothers and sisters”, she says. There she could rely on neighbours to watch her children; here she has never even met the person who lives next door. The local Anglican church has proved her social salvation. “That is where my happiness lies. When I go to church, it’s like I’m back in Africa.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Nigeria, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of F.D. Maurice

Almighty God, who hast restored our human nature to heavenly glory through the perfect obedience of our Savior Jesus Christ: Keep alive in thy Church, we beseech thee, a passion for justice and truth; that we, like thy servant Federick Denison Maurice, may work and pray for the triumph of the kingdom of thy Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, in whose presence is fullness of joy, and whose power is made perfect in our weakness: Grant us so to dwell in thy presence, that we may ever be glad of heart; and so to rest on thy strength, that we may have victory over evil; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Before March 2014 endeth: many Congratulations to Stand Firm for their 10th Birthday this Month

By 2005 we had indeed joined the ranks of smaller Anglican blogs, and got regular mentions from the Big Guys. In late August of that year, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I found myself as the channel through which the American Anglican Council sent tens of thousands of dollars of relief money to coast residents. I made many trips to the coast on their behalf and helped countless families through the generosity of blog readers and AAC members.

I had also started to “franchise” the blog, setting up state “chapters” like Louisiana, West Virginia, and Alabama. The Alabama group was particularly energetic, but eventually all the state chapters proved unable to maintain the posting level that was then being required of Anglican blogs if they wanted to build and maintain an audience of any size.

In early 2006, I shut down the state sites, audaciously changed the slogan to “Traditional Anglicanism in America,” and recruited two new writers. Andy Figueroa was first aboard, and in my search for a second I found Matt Kennedy. I noticed that when I read comment threads at TitusOneNine, I would begin reading a comment and find myself smiling and agreeing with whoever it was writing it. Every single time, it was Matt. I sent him an email asking him if he’d like to join me, and he’s been a fixture at Stand Firm ever since.

Take the time to read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

(BBC) Death toll in Boko Haram attacks 'reach 1,500'

Will Ross reports on the challenge of fighting Boko Haram, and watches rare footage filmed by the group of a recent attack.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

NCC Urges President Obama to Help the Armenian Community of Kessab

The National Council of Churches (NCC) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern about the plight of Christian communities in Syria, especially the depopulation of the Armenian community of Kessab, stating: “While Syrians of all religious communities are caught up in this horrible conflict, of particular concern to us are the Christian communities, which are often the most vulnerable.”

“One situation that has just come to our attention is the attack on the Armenian villages of Kessab. Though this attack comes in the wider context of the overall Syrian conflict, it nevertheless has brought death and destruction to the Christian communities there,” the NCC letter reads in part. The letter specifically urges the President to “safeguard the vulnerable Christian communities” and to “restore stability to the Armenian communities of Kessab.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology, Violence

In British Columbia, Anglicans and Catholics debate the Eucharist

When Anglicans and Catholics recently gathered to discuss their differing beliefs about the Eucharist, the atmosphere was notably friction-free.

“It’s awkward to talk about our differences because we can’t do anything about them in terms of resolving them,” said Christophe Potworowski, Redeemer Pacific College theology professor. “It’s not really in our hands. The point is really how to live with those differences.”

He and the Rev. Richard Leggett of St. Faith’s Anglican Church shared their ideas about communion with about 100 hundred people March 23. Much of what they discussed covered areas of mutual agreement.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology