Blue Cross Blue Shield “Accidentally” Cancelled Coverage

Well, this has been an interesting morning. I went to my ophthalmologist for my yearly eye exam and handed the receptionist my Blue Cross Blue Shield card and my Drivers License for ID.  I sat down to wait and was idly thumbing through a magazine. A moment later, the receptionist came up to me and said, “Your insurance company said your policy had been canceled.” I just looked at her, shocked, and thought about the hefty check I have been sending to the conference each month to pay for my retiree coverage until I am eligible for Medicare.  The receptionist added, “You…

The Immorality of our Current Health Care System

A friend just sent me this link–an article about a woman with a BASKETBALL-sized cyst on her ovary and who finds herself in the classic Catch-22. She can’t afford the surgery, but can’t get health insurance (even through the Affordable Care Act) because without the surgery, she can’t work. Because she lives in the glorious State of Texas, she cannot get Medicaid, and because she lives in Denton County, there is no public hospital where she might get relief. Her only hope right now?  That the cyst will burst and she will get to the hospital in time for them to be…

Solution to the Government Shutdown: Holocaust, US Style

I know how to end the government shutdown and the growing economic crisis that it is causing. My solution may seem drastic to some, but drastic times call for drastic answers. Really, it is quite simple: eliminate all non-productive members of society. No more drains on the federal budget. We reverse the unholy dreaded deficit, and can get back to business as usual. The Criteria for Elimination (Must meet both. We do want to be fair) 1. All who do not pay income taxes themselves. 2. All who receive government aid to survive. My quick take is that the following will be…

Straw Blankets, Ministry With The Poor

It is cold here right now in North Texas.  Wind is blowing wildly, temperatures continue to drop and we are on target for record lows tonight.  Areas just slightly to the west and north are under a frost watch.  I suspect my own garden may get a bit of frostbite because it is on the north side, high up, with a large pasture behind it, so there is nothing to block the wind and cold. I went out and piled straw around all the warm weather plants.  Am hopeful they won’t be damaged.  However, many gardeners and farmers may wake tomorrow to a…

Cold and Comfort, Disquiet at the Disparity

It’s one of those days where I realize just how fortunate I am.  The wind is pretty wild here in Krum and the temperature dropped well into the freezing range overnight.  It’s projected to be bitterly cold here tonight. I personally welcome the cold weather.  I sleep better, and also appreciate the necessity of extended cold for the sake of yard and garden. I am also not poor.  I live in a reasonably well-insulated house with a good heating system, have warm enough clothes, a car with a good heater, and plenty of blankets. No reason not to enjoy this. But I’ve…

Prayers for Annual Conference; unanswered questions to be addressed

Two weeks ago, Bishop Bledsoe invited the clergy of the North Texas Conference into dialogue. Yesterday, he announced his retirement. With Annual Conference starting tomorrow, I find myself deep, deep in prayer for all of us in the NTAC. I am in London on a three month Sabbatical that is also a journey of healing, both physical and spiritual, as I work on a project I am calling The Sustainable Church. I have learned this from my time in London:  time after time, this historic city has seen devastating fires and mass destruction from invading forces, the most recent being WWII.  So…

Is There One Righteous Bishop in The United Methodist Church?

Is there one righteous Bishop in The United Methodist Church?  This would be akin to Abraham asking if there were 50 righteous men in Sodom.  I am just asking for one. I ask for just one righteous Bishop to stand up and say, This is wrong.  All of our colleagues who are in covenant relationship with us as Bishops have just lost their guaranteed appointments, while I am a Bishop for life with a great salary and nice retirement and financial security for self and family.   Those colleagues, whose lives are in my hands, may, at my nearly unaccountable discretion, lose…

The Dialogue: Rational Brain vs Primitive Brain

Dear Readers, Thanks for all the prayers and offer of help as I go into this health journey. Below is a peek into the recesses of my brain. Keep in mind that the Rational Brain (RB) is fully aware of the grace and love of God. The Primitive Brain (PB) still awaits full redemption! RB, “Isn’t modern medicine wonderful? I’m in the hands of caring, skilled medical personnel who will competently walk me through this.” PB, “Run! Fast!” RB, “It was silly to avoid this for so long. What was I thinking?” PB, “They are going to take a knife to you.…

Ministry With the Poor

Today, Dr. Frederick Schmidt posted on his blog here about doing ministry with the poor, on of the four areas of focus of the United Methodist Church mandated by the 2008 General Conference (just a meandering thought:  will all those change with the 2012 General Conference–just when I’m starting to figure this out?). Anyway, I thought Schmidt made a particularly insightful comment when he wrote, “I have no way of “knowing” in the sense that really matters. No one who works on a computer, went to college, pursued graduate work, and writes online knows a thing about what it means to be…