Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christians: Taken Advantage Of?

Does anyone else get super annoyed about how Christians treat Christians? Or even how non-Christians treat Christians?

I feel as if the church, para church organizations, non-Christians, and Christian schools treat Christians "badly" because they know they can get away with it.


Today while I was at Fuller, I was trying to get some things taken care of in the registrar office. The guy at the front desk was anything BUT helpful. He literally was treating me like I was 5 years old, telling me that their office was unable to help me, because they like to encourage everyone to use the internet for answers. I was trying to make a case for the fact that I was present now, and only commute once a week to Pasadena, but he wasn't having it.

So, I wasn't very nice. Or maybe I wasn't that bad, but I knew I wasn't acting in the "Christian ways" that I was probably expected to act like. The systems at Fuller (excuse the french...) suck. Most all of them just really suck. But I feel like a lot of the employees there just feel as if they can get away with this because, as Christians, we won't "cause any problems" in getting our stuff taken care of.

My friends know how I am - I get my way, and I get the job done. I finally had to walk away and just give up on the issue, and I felt so angry at the fact that the only reason I gave up was because I didn't want to be judged as a bad Christian for being pushy.

Another time, I was at work (recently) and I was having a reeeally bad day. Like, just the worst day ever. I was SO busy, and I just didn't have time to be my "cheerful" self, which is fake half of the time (but that's what I get paid for...). One of my coworkers noticed this, and schooled me in how I should be acting because I was Christian. Coming from someone who isn't a Christian, I was like, what the heck? Are you serious right now? Christians can be REAL people too!! But I swallowed my pride and just took the hit as I continuously apologized. Deep down, I don't want any problems, and I have no problem with that coworker, in fact, I like her a lot, but I also am just a human being... I am not Jesus Christ. I can try to be like Him... but I am fallen.

So I started to think about all the other ways that business' and organizations with "Christian" attached to them mistreat people a lot of time. A lot of these places get away with murder, and I don't like it. Or how often do you pray at a public restaurant, are caught by the waitress, and then therefore feel like you have to tip well?

Maybe you think I am being extreme in my statements, but I would like to hear your opinions on this. Have you experienced a time where you felt taken advantage of as a Christian? How do you think a Christian should respond?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Health Insurance Reform

"After a century of struggle and a year of debate, health insurance reform became law six months ago today -- and this week, key provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect.

Today, we also celebrate an end to some of the worst insurance company abuses, like rescinding coverage when someone needs it most. Those previously considered uninsurable because of a pre-existing condition -- 400,000 Americans -- now have access to insurance through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. And all new health plans must now provide free preventive care, like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, and pre-natal care.

Millions will see expanded benefits -- and more control over the care they receive.

This is real change."

Click here for more stories...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Urban Health Ministry Conference

Wow - a month since I have last blogged?! Weird.

Well, I am back (for now), and want to share a few things I learned at a conference I went to this past weekend. I went to the "Urban Health Ministry Conference", which was held at Fuller Seminary. I heard about the conference only a few days before it was happening, so I quickly registered, and anxiously awaited Friday. When I arrived Friday evening, I had no idea what to expect, but was welcomed by many wonderful people. Later I learned that the majority of these "wonderful people" were doctors, or med students... a little intimidating to say the least.

The first plenary session was taught by Dr. Rick Donlon, who is a mighty force in Urban Health Ministry. Honestly, before meeting Dr. Donlon, I didn't know that people like him existed. Dr. Donlon was one of the doctors who founded "Christ Community Health Services" (clinics) in Tennessee. After a few years of working there, he realized that he was leaving the "hood" every day to go home to the nice suburbs, where he hid from his neighbors. He had a desire to be IN the community he served. His wife later agreed, and they moved there with their SIX children (2 adopted from China, and his wife is now prego with the 7th).

Dr. Donlon told us heartwarming stories about how he has been able to be 100x more effective because he was not just working in an inner city, but was a part of one completely. Not only does Dr. Donlon run a clinic and live in his neighborhood, his family also hosts "house church", where the neighbors come to worship. They are truly living out a "Christian community", and it's a beautiful thing.

On Saturday the sessions were filled with just as inspiring people. Doctors, nurses, and lay people all had a special part. So I just want to share some random thoughts from the notes I took:
  • Remember the differences between "heath" and "health care"
  • Just as there is a huge fear of death in America, there is also a huge fear of losing health
  • "Life is not a necessity, it is a miracle.. life is to be graciously received"
  • "Many people pretend to look well, but they are not"
  • "Fetal prenatal care is a chance for a do-over in many people's minds.. one day it might be considered illegal to have a disabled child..."
  • "Idolatrous health for ourselves is leaving others without any care"
  • "We are no more healthy than our sickest neighbor"
  • 2.7 Million people are uninsured in Los Angeles - this is 28.9% of residents
  • God loves to heal (Jeremiah 33:6, Exodus 15:26, Proverbs 14:31)
  • "In the health care field, we oppress the poor"
  • gospel = holistic
  • "We tend to deny the reality of the impoverished person, assuming they are lazy"
I was so thankful for God providing me a way to attend this conference, as it has inspired me to continue in my endeavors of making some kind of difference within the world of "health" and "health care".