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Loving Revelations

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Message Bill Hammond

As Snoopy would have written, 'It was a dark and stormy evening,' or at least it seemed that way as I lay on the floor, very confused, but slowly becoming aware of the paramedics working to bring me around. My mind slowly started to regain focus. My loving wife was clearly distraught. She knew, prior to our marriage, that my life expectancy was only age 36 so my 37th birthday was very important, and happily I had celebrated that birthday this year... again. I made my peace with God long ago. I hope to meet Him face to face, but I'm in no hurry to do so. Still, after 42 years of marriage, this was the first time she ever had to call 911 for my diabetes.

The National Institutes of Health estimated diabetes killed 450,000 Americans in 2000, when I was fortunate to be one of fewer than 100 to receive the half century award out of roughly 10,000 children starting injections in 1950. That death rate is increasing while all cancer deaths fell to 575,000 last year. The worst form of diabetes strikes children, caused by a virus, not obesity. As I struggled to regain my senses, I again thanked God, realizing I've been very blessed, but without my wife standing beside me with a job providing medical benefits, I would have been dead long ago. Diabetes is just one of many deadly diseases and tens of millions of other Americans aren't so lucky. 

Suddenly my thoughts drifted to the fortunate recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Though Jewish, as was Christ, with her strong support of the Health Care Reform Act, she, like many other Jews and Muslims, more closely followed Christ's directive to "go out and heal the sick" than many professed Christians. Many call themselves Christians but ignore Christ's clear direction. Healing was the very first thing Jesus did after calling His first disciples.( Matthew 5:1-11) It was something He continually did throughout His ministry. More important, while Christ taught us many things, he only directly ordered His disciples to immediately do three things to actively help others: feed the multitudes (the fish & loaves), go out and heal, and spread the Good News. He not only directed His original twelve disciples to go out and heal (Matt. 10:1-8 & Luke 9:1-9) but 72 other followers (Luke 10:1-9) just like you. Christians get complacent regarding healing because they fail to understand an important message Christ delivered in the passage regarding the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46). While those gathered asked (verse 39), "when were you "sick and in prison and we visited you", that's not what Christ said in verse 35. He states, "I was sick and you took care of me (or looked after me), in prison and you visited me". He separated the two conditions and for the sick, not just visiting, but actively participating in the healing He directed earlier.

Like the 12 or 72, few of us are doctors or scientists, but we can actively help in seeking cures and taking care of the sick. Many people opposed health care reform, not because it's bad, but because they were misled by lies spread by political opponents concerning death panels. Prior to passage of the health care reform bill, we did have death panels in this country, set up by the insurance companies, but

the new law outlawed this practice. It didn't reduce Medicare. It cut fraud and reduced the money paid to insurance companies being overpaid to offer restricted benefits to seniors. The Health Care reform law actually INCREASED benefits to Medicare recipients. There's no co-payment for preventative care like colonoscopies and mammograms and insurers can no longer rescind coverage after a person becomes ill. Medicare beneficiaries needing large amounts of prescription drugs can get discounts they really needed, and children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage. These are all big pluses, but the law's certainly not perfect. It needs some change and improvement, but not repeal. Until 2014, Adults with pre-existing conditions are now forced into a very expensive high risk pool they can't afford. The idea behind insurance is to spread the risk to make it affordable for all and we should do that, beginning next year, not waiting until 2014 to open the door for all Americans to be able the get affordable health insurance without regard to pre-existing conditions. Repeal is the exact opposite of what Christ directed and those clamoring for repeal are actually rejecting Christ and churches need to follow in the footsteps of Paul in exposing these false prophets claiming to be Christian while lying to turn Americans against Affordable Health Care solely for political reasons..

Obviously God's not finished with me yet and I believe it's my mission to make sure Christians realize healing is still an important mission and directive of Christ. Stop worshiping Mammon, the antichrist. Follow Christ by calling and writing your Senators and Representative, urging them to improve health care in America, not repeal it. Tell all your friends and neighbors that they need to disregard the lies spread about the Affordable Care Act and support it because it reduces the deficit, improves Medicare, saves lives and helps tens of millions of Americans who need health insurance. It's your opportunity to serve Christ without inflating church's or the country's budget. As a child of God and disciple of Christ, it's the right thing to do. Do it for your friends, neighbors and over one hundred million Americans with pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable and unable to get proper health care if health care reform is not continued and improved. Share God's love. Do it because Christ directs you to help "heal the sick."

If you'd like help in getting your church involved in following Christ, visit

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Bill Hammond is an award winning former reporter and TV news anchor and ordained deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. He was a writer and photographer for The Roanoke Times and Richmond Times Dispatch before becoming a writer and editor (more...)
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