When your Pet is Sick

Discover how pet owners can take better care of their pets, especially when professional veterinary health care is not immediately available.

People across the world are growing more and more lonely.[1] We have fewer children and other family members.[2] We have lost confidence in everyone and everything.[3] Hungry for companionship and trust, more of us own (or “parent”) pets, and our pets become more important in our lives.[4] First responders and emergency management personnel know that pet owners will sometimes risk their own lives to save their pets, and such owners are spending more money on their pets than ever before.[5]

But what do you do when your pet gets sick or injured? Too often professional animal health care is not available. America has a severe shortage of veterinarians.[6] Europe needs more veterinarians as well.[7] Veterinarians care for our pets, but also farm animals, zoo animals, and wild animals. They ensure our food safety and perform research into zoonotic and other conditions. Veterinary technologists and technicians are integral parts of the system at all levels, and their numbers are also limited.

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Health and the 2016 US Presidential Candidates

How important is each candidate’s health in presidential elections? How do the candidates stack up?

The 2016 Presidential Campaign is nearing its end; in only two weeks American voters will decide who, most likely Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, will sit in the Oval Office. The US presidency is a hard job, with grueling hours and the need to make critical decisions at any time, day or night. Campaigning for president is itself a tough physical endeavor, one that speaks loudly of the health of the candidates. This year has been especially bitter, with accusations and recriminations more appropriate to a college dorm than to the highest office in the land.

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Do We Hate Our Bodies?

Our Lord loves us and He gave us our bodies, however they may be, for our enjoyment and His glory. Christians do not hate the material world… we love it. 

The other day I read an article written by a hospice chaplain from South Carolina entitled “What the dying really regret.” The author interviewed an elderly woman who was dying of cancer, who said:

“I know I’m supposed to hate my body…Everyone told me — my family, my school, my church. When I got older, magazines and salesgirls and boyfriends (told me), even if they didn’t say so out loud. The world’s been telling me for 75 years that my body is bad. First for being female, then for being fat and then for being sick…But the one thing I never did understand is, why does everyone else want me to hate my body? What does it matter to them?” Kerry Egan, CNN, 17 Oct 2014

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How to Improve your Health and Health Care

Most people get lost in the maze of health care, and suffer as a result. Some strategies help…

Throughout Central Asia, the Middle East, and much of the developing world, people have told me that they cannot get good medical care. In some cases good care is too expensive, in other cases medical care is affordable but poor quality, and in still other cases medical care, good or bad, does not exist. Some friends with significant health care problems labor in austere conditions never knowing when a medical emergency will strike, and if they will be able to get help when and where they need.

Some people have similar problems in the developed world, even including the United States. America has been swept by debates about health care, especially about how to make quality health care available to all Americans. Medicare is a government single payer program for the elderly and Medicaid is the same for the poor, but these programs pay providers too little and yet are unsustainably expensive for the nation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the most recent Federal attempt to improve Americans’ health, but the results have been mixed. Fundamentally the ACA was health insurance reform, not health care reform, and providing someone with an insurance card is not the same as providing them with health care. Hence we have millions who lost their insurance, millions who got new insurance, and millions waving their new insurance cards in the air who cannot get care because it doesn’t exist in their area, wait times are too long, or the system pays so little that providers cannot afford to take these patients.

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Medical Preparation for Humanitarian Missions

Going on a mission trip or a humanitarian event to a developing country? Prepare yourself by doing this.

“Doctor, this will be a very long war if for every division I have facing the enemy, I must count on a second division in hospital with malaria and a third division convalescing from this debilitating disease.” General Douglas MacArthur to Colonel Paul F. Russell, US Army malaria consultant, May 1943.

Just like soldiers going to war, people on humanitarian missions anywhere in the world can fail to accomplish their mission due to illness or injury. Whether missionaries seeking to advance the gospel of Christ, secular humanitarians trying to dig a well and build a school in a rural African village, or a combination of both, medical problems can inactivate the best intentioned and most capable teams. This article is intended to help people medically prepare themselves to go overseas on humanitarian missions. You can also watch the video.

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Discovery and Innovation in the Business of Health Care

How can you do something that you have never done, or discover something that no one has ever known? Read below for some help. 

Discovering things previously unknown is one of the most important, and most enjoyable, things that anyone can do. Most people do it every day, whether as simple as finding a new restaurant they love or discovering a new comet in the heavens. Fundamentally, new discoveries come from observation, analysis, and experimentation. A husband looking for a new restaurant to try with his wife might observe something that in his experience resembles a restaurant on a street corner. He then analyzes the available information to decide if he wants to try it; what kind of food they, the opening hours, and whether it is clean and inviting. Finally he and his wife try it out, completing the process of discovery.

New discoveries are often far more difficult than finding a great new place to eat. Identifying a new comet can require expensive equipment and uncommon expertise, while sequencing the human genome, learning about subatomic particles or curing cancer are some of the slowest and most resource intensive discoveries of all. The discovery that smoking causes lung cancer followed the same observation-analysis-experimentation sequence. In the 1930s a few surgeons noticed that they seemed to be performing lung cancer surgeries on a lot of smokers. Some published their observations and that induced others to analyze the existing information and hypothesize that smoking is associated with lung cancer. Researchers then developed experiments to test the hypothesis and in 1956 the British Doctors Study provided the first convincing evidence that smoking increased the risk of lung cancer.

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Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 10

Wheat

John 6:31‑58; Matthew 26:26‑29

Since antiquity, wheat has been the most important grain in the world.  China, traditionally considered a rice-eating country, annually consumes 190 lbs per capita of wheat, mostly in noodles.  Each person in the US consumes about 144 lbs per year.  Wheat is even more important in the Middle East, with annual per capita consumption in Israel of 294 lbs and Egypt of 384 lbs.  Wheat is mentioned 52 times in the Bible, and Palestine was a major exporter in ancient times.  Grains such as wheat and rice contain carbohydrates which comprise about 55% percent of a healthy diet.

Jesus taught that man cannot live by (physical) bread alone and said “I am the bread of life”.   Just as physical bread is required for physical life, so spiritual bread, Jesus Christ, is required for eternal life.  In a powerful but frightening statement, He said that unless people eat His flesh and drink His blood, they cannot have eternal life.  Unless we take Jesus’ teachings into our hearts and minds, accept His sacrifice for our sins, and welcome His Holy Spirit into our lives, we cannot have eternal life. 

During the last meal of Jesus’ life, He broke bread and gave it to His disciples to eat, representing His body to be broken by the Crucifixion, just a few hours away.  He then gave them wine, representing His blood to be poured out for their sins.   Earlier in His ministry Jesus taught these men that they needed to let His Spirit reign in them, and in this final hour, He symbolically helped them do so. 

During the Holy Communion, the remembrance of this night, Christians take bread and wine to remember the Lord, and His great sacrifice for us.  Whatever our specific tradition in the Christian faith, this remembrance is a chance to reconnect with His Spirit, and be made more like Him.  But every day, whether Communion or Advent or not, we can thank God for His bountiful blessings.  

As with the other decorations, wheat is a common element in our lives.  Whether we are enjoying bread, noodles, pastries, cereals, or thousands of other food products using wheat, let us remember how Christ is the Bread of Life.  If we eat heartily of His body, our joy in Christmas will be renewed.  If we drink deeply of His blood, our peace in this busy time will be restored.  If we pause and remember vividly His sacrifice, our wonder at the mystery of salvation will grow, and our awe and delight and His unfailing grace will abound. 

Let us slow down and take time to come to Jesus for the bread and wine which sustains us through every trial and tribulation, gives us sustenance and encourages us to grow for Him.