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By SMH Webmaster on 4/25/2016 3:54 PM
“Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?  It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Luke 13:20-21 NIV   Yeast is used in the Bible as a metaphor that describes the effect of sin in a person’s life.  During Passover, the Jews remove yeast from their homes as a symbolic removal of sin.  Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul make reference to yeast, calling it hypocrisy, malice and wickedness.  Yet in this verse in Luke, Jesus says the kingdom of God is like yeast.  He completely reverses the metaphor.   “Yeast is the driving force behind fermentation, the magical process that allows a dense mass of dough to become a well-risen loaf of bread. And yet yeast is nothing more than a single-celled fungus. How does it do it?    Yeast works by consuming sugar and excreting carbon dioxide and alcohol as byproducts. In bread making, yeast has three major roles. Most of us are familiar with yeast's leavening ability. But you may...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/18/2016 9:28 AM
After 430 years of slavery God sent Moses with a Message to the Pharaoh, “Let my people go”.  When he refused, a series of plagues were visited upon the Ancient Egyptians. The final plague was the death of all the first born of Egypt, from livestock the inmate in the king’s dungeon.  Moses told his the people that the only way to avoid this final plague was to smear the blood of an unblemished lamb on the lintel and door posts of their houses.  Any dwelling thus marked would be passed over.  The Hebrews marked their dwellings and were spared but death was in every Egyptian home, including Pharaoh.  He finally agreed to free them and the descendants of Abraham and according to the Exodus account, 600,000 men plus women and children marched, sang and danced their way out of Egypt that day.  The Passover Holiday has been celebrated by the Jewish people on the 15th to the 22nd day of Nissan (early spring) since 1313 BCE until today.  The celebration includes the lighting of candles, the removal of Chametz (essentially...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/11/2016 9:26 AM
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV   In ancient times, clay vessels, such as jars, bowls and pots, were common and were used for a variety of household functions such as storing food, fetching water, cooking, eating and drinking.  They came in many shapes and sizes and were decorated in a variety of ways.  These types of vessels were also used to store sacred scrolls or valuable documents.  One of the most famous finds of ancient documents were the Dead Sea Scrolls found in tall clay jars with lids in the Qumran Caves.   The Apostle Paul used this metaphor of earthen vessels to convey the idea that God has chosen human beings, made from the dust of the ground, to contain the treasures of the Gospel.  The contrast is quite distinct.  The eternal nature of the Gospel versus, the temporary nature of clay pots.  The high value of the message of the Gospel versus the cheap stone jar.  The power of the Gospel versus...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/4/2016 9:06 AM
“But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” Luke 24:16 ESV   Two very discouraged men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of about eight miles.  At a brisk pace, it might have taken about two hours but their steps were labored because their hearts were heavy.  As they walked, they were deep in conversation about the events that had taken place in Jerusalem over the last three days, so much so, that they were not aware that it was getting late neither did they pay much attention to the identity of the stranger who joined them as they walked.   The stranger noticed their sad countenances and heard the disappointment and sense of loss that was the subject of their conversation.  He sensed the intense emotional pain that their tone of voice, body language and unhurried pace conveyed and as he joined the conversation, he asked what they were talking about.  His question stopped them in their tracks and with great sadness and surprise that he too was not sad, referenced the things that had happened...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/28/2016 9:25 AM
“But I am a worm, and no man;” Psalm 22:6 NKJV   Jesus is called by many names.  In Isaiah, he is referred to as Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace and the Man of Sorrows.  In Songs of Solomon, he is the Rose of Sharon and the Lilly of the Valleys.  In the Gospels, he is the Messiah, the Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, Master and Rabbi.  The final book of the New Testament, Revelation, refers to him as King of kings and Lord of lords.  But not many know that one of the names ascribed to Jesus, is “worm”.  In Psalm 22:6, the Psalmist has the suffering one referring to himself as “a worm”.  Why?   The worm referenced in this passage describes, coccus ilicis, a scarlet worm found in the region of the world where Jesus lived.  The following is quoted from   Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/21/2016 7:38 AM
Zika virus is a viral infection spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. These mosquitos can carry a variety of other viral infections, such as Dengue and Yellow fever, and are found in every continent except Antarctica. They bite primarily during the day. Though rare, there have been reported cases of Zika virus through sexual transmission from an infected male to a female partner.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found a correlation between Zika virus infection in pregnancy and fetal transmission (meaning the virus can cross the placenta and infect the baby while in the womb). Some infants with Zika virus have microcephaly (small head size) or other birth defects. It is not yet known the rate at which mothers pass the virus to their offspring, or how often those babies will exhibit birth defects.  

Most people who are infected with the virus are without any symptoms.  Only 20 percent of infected people will have a mild viral illness, generally lasting from five to seven days, and consisting of conjunctivitis (red eyes), fever, rash and joint pain.  Symptoms typically occur within 10 days of viral exposure.
By SMH Webmaster on 3/15/2016 9:48 AM
“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7 ESV St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world by the Irish and the Irish at heart.  What started out as a Feast Day in honor of Maewyn Succat, who was eventually canonized as St. Patrick, a man who dedicated his life to bringing the Gospel to the people of Ireland, is now mostly celebrated as a secular festival honoring Irish culture. The sources vary slightly in the details but it is generally held that this son of a wealthy Scottish family was kidnapped by Celtic raiders, taken to Ireland and enslaved.  After some years, he escaped and returned home.  In a dream, he perceived a call of God to return to Ireland so he initiated a plan that would result in him becoming a Bishop in the Catholic Church.  He then returned to Ireland as a missionary and is said to be responsible for bringing 135,000 people to faith, establishing 300 churches...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/7/2016 3:15 PM
“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.” Matthew 22:11-12 KJV Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of heaven in which he likened it to a wedding reception which was hosted by a king. The initial guest list included all of the dignitaries, people of high rank and others of like importance. But when the feast was ready and the king sent out his servants to call the invitees to the feast they refused to come, some of them abuse or even killed the messengers who were sent to call them. Furious, the king sent his armies and destroyed those people and their cities. Not wanting to let the let the banquet go to waste, the king sent out more servants with the instructions to invite anyone they could find, regardless of status, or zip code. So the servants did just that and the banquet hall was full of guests. When the feast was in full swing, the...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/29/2016 11:22 AM
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13NIV   Flying this weekend was a little more stressful than usual.  I was scheduled to leave Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon but my flight was canceled and there was nothing else leaving for Orlando, FL until the next day.  On my return trip, I was a little nervous because my trip was routed through Atlanta and my connecting flight was the last flight of the day to Kansas City.  Well, you guessed it, my flight out of Orlando was delayed, leaving me with a twenty-minute window to make my connection.  Needless to say, I was concerned about missing that flight and having to spend the night in Atlanta.     When I arrived at the Orlando airport my first question to the Southwest representative at the gate was whether I would make my connection or not.  She assured me that everyone connecting in Atlanta would make their flights.  I was not convinced.  As I sat nervously at the gate awaiting my delayed flight, an announcement was made assuring travelers with connection out of Atlanta that they would not miss their flights.  I felt a little better when I saw the delayed plane arrive at the gate, earlier than anticipated.  We were told that they would try to make this a quick turnaround and leave as soon as they could.  After about another ten or fifteen minutes a young man in the Southwest uniform stood at the gate and assured us once again that there would be no missed connections in Atlanta.  He was quite emphatic and by this time I was feeling more hopeful....
By SMH Webmaster on 2/22/2016 11:03 AM
“Why are ye so fearful?”  Mark 4:40 KJV The causes of fear in our lives take on many forms. Sometimes we are fearful of losing a job or not getting a promotion. There are times we are fearful of what others might think of us. We are sometimes fearful of losing relationships. Fear of failure is a familiar companion for others and strange as it may sound fear of success is an issue for some. In the hospital setting, fear is never far.  Our patients struggle with fear of the unknown, fear of the strangeness of the environment, fear of what might happen to them, fear of debt, fear of losing their ability to work, the fear of losing a loved one and ultimately the fear of dying.  Think of a time when you were afraid. I mean really afraid. What kind of fear was it? I am not asking about the sources of the fear as mentioned above; I’m asking about the quality of the fear. The Bible passage referenced above is part of a story describing a storm and a miracle at sea that were both causes for great fear. What is interesting,...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/16/2016 10:03 AM
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39   In the 1960’s New Zealand cartoonist, Kim Grove, began writing love notes for her future husband Roberto Casali.  The cartoons featured an adorable couple and a brief statement about what love looked like when practices.  The cartoons were originally published in booklets in the late 1960’s and later in the 1970’s became a popular daily cartoon strip in newspapers around the world.  I imagine that everyone has his or her favorite.  One of things that most of the cartoons appear to have in common is that they portray love as being active.  For example:  “Love is…two hearts traveling the same path.”  “Love is… picking up the pieces and starting again.” Or “Love is…knowing when to say you’re sorry.”  Love is a noun demonstrated by intentional action.  In other works love is a choice.   Two thousand years before Kim Casali, would pick up a pen to draw her adorable married couple. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/8/2016 10:12 AM
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night…” John 3:1-2 NKJV   Nicodemus was an important man. He was a “ruler of the Jews”, a member of the Sanhedrin, we might equate him with being a member of the Supreme Court. He had wealth, status, power and pedigree. On the outside it looked like he had it all together, the kind of life that someone else might wish they had. But something was missing.    The text says that he came to Jesus at night. Jesus was a popular teacher but he was not popular among the ruling class of the Jews so it would not have been politically astute for Nicodemus to be seen with Jesus. Therefore, in order to preserve his image, he had a secret meeting with Jesus. Coming to Jesus at night might also have a spiritual implication. Night could be a metaphor for his emotional or spiritual condition.  Nicodemus did not come to Jesus to secure votes to maintain his position. He came because word of Jesus life transforming work had reached...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/1/2016 9:55 AM
“…But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.”  John 8:6b NKJV   This scripture is part of a narrative often referred to as, “The Woman Caught in Adultery”, John 8:1-11.  Religious leaders brought a woman caught in the act and challenged Jesus as to what should be done with her.  The Law of Moses required that she be stoned (the man also but they did not bring him, hmmmm?).  They did this to see if Jesus would uphold the Law and if he did not, they would be able to discredit his ministry.    Jesus’ first response to their challenge was to appear to ignore them while writing on the ground.  When they pressed him to take action he stood up and challenged them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (verse 7), he stooped down again and recommenced writing. The scripture says that each of her accusers walked away one at a time, from the oldest to the youngest.  When they were all gone, Jesus stood up and asked her where her accusers were, was anyone there to condemn her?  Looking up and seeing no one but Jesus she replied, “No man Lord”, then Jesus added “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more”, (verse 11)....
By SMH Webmaster on 1/25/2016 5:09 PM
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”  1 John 2:1   It’s so nice to get wat you don’t deserve sometimes.  I registered to run the 2016 Miami Marathon/Half Marathon and began my training around May of 2015.  I was doing well, making my targets and feeling confident that I would be able to accomplish my goal.  My training was interrupted by a minor surgical procedure in mid-November and I too a short break from training so that I could heal.  The short break turned into a few weeks and I eventually started training again but I found that with the holidays and traveling to visit family I was not training as hard or as regularly as I should have.  When the holidays were over I hit the gym hard and tried to make up for lost time.    Sounds like a bunch of excuses, doesn’t it.  Apart from the surgery and the need for a short recovery time, all of the rest were just excuses.  Life is like that....
By SMH Webmaster on 1/18/2016 4:45 PM
“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”  Mark 9:35 KJV   I really don’t like this question because it places too much emphasis on being defined by a profession but since it serves my purpose for this reflection I’ll use it.  What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question that many a child is asked by an adult wishing to get acquainted with them.  In answer, most children will tell you of a profession that inspires them such as a fireman or a teacher, some might even say they want to be president.  Rarely, if ever, will you hear the response, “I want to be a servant.”  Yet Jesus teaches that if you want to be the greatest, you must be a servant to all.   The Greek word used in this passage is “διάκονος” (diakonos), which literally means to do menial work, or to wait tables or to follow the orders of a master.  The context suggests that in order to be great one must desire to be, one must choose...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/18/2016 4:07 PM
Did you know that the average American eats at least 2,400 calories during the four to five hours of the Super Bowl? That makes it the second biggest day of gluttony after Thanksgiving.

Even more fun facts: Americans will scarf down roughly 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 3 million pounds of nuts, said the Snack Food Association. They’ll eat nearly 1 billion chicken wings on game day, according to the National Chicken Council. An estimated 48 million Americans will also order takeout, predicted the National Restaurant Association, while another 12 million people eat out during the big game.
By SMH Webmaster on 1/11/2016 10:30 AM
“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”  Matthew 6:31 KJV We are busy people with busy lives that include work, school, children and a variety of social activities.  We all are under pressure to produce more with the same or less resources.  We have to work smarter, be more creative, and stay ahead of the competition.  No wonder, according to a Huffington Post report in April 2014, more than 76% of workers surveyed reported feeling tired at work.  So how do you feel after ten days of 2016?  Are you already wondering if you can sustain the pace of life?  In order for the human body to perform optimally it is critical for us to get regular rest.   The first thing that comes to mind when I think of rest is a good night’s sleep.   But there are those who believe that sleep is a waste of time and pride themselves on getting four hours or less sleep each night.  A phrase that has been attributed to the late...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/4/2016 11:39 AM
“…Behold, I make all things new…” Revelation 21:5   If you’re like me, you enjoy new things.  Most of us gave or received something new for Christmas.  Recall the delight on the faces of the children or adolescent who received a new bicycle, tablet, smart-phone or computer game.  Not only did it delight the receiver but the giver certainly received a lot of satisfaction.  New clothes, even if you buy them for yourself, come with a feel good sensation.  It’s even better if the new dress or jeans are a size or two smaller than you used to wear.  The ladies know what I’m talking about.  What about that new car?  After you have haggled with the sales manager and you feel like you got the best deal and as you’re driving off the lot breathing in that new car smell, there it is, that smile of satisfaction.  Then there is the new home, it doesn’t even have to be the dream home or brand new.  There is a pride of ownership and the hope of raising a family within its walls that just makes you feel good.    New experiences...
By SMH Webmaster on 12/29/2015 8:28 AM
Do you have a big meal or celebration coming up where you know you'll be splurging on unhealthy foods? Sometimes people will skip a meal, like breakfast, in order to save the calories. However, depriving yourself of food can have unintended consequences on your body, which can impact your health now and in the long run.

Here’s what happens after you skip a meal:

Drop in blood sugar
Your body gets its energy from sugar, and if it doesn’t have the right amount, you tend to feel tired and ill. That plummeting blood sugar not only affects your energy, but your concentration and mood as well. 
By SMH Webmaster on 12/29/2015 8:24 AM
Over the next several weeks, family and friends will be gathering together, whether they’re driving across town or flying across the country. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, getting sick can put a damper on any plans. However, it can be hard to avoid coming down with a bug when you’re exhausted from traveling or visiting with a big group of people. This year, keep these tips in mind to stay healthy for all your holiday celebrations.

Get your flu vaccination
If you haven’t received your flu shot, it’s not too late. The vaccine takes about two weeks to take effect, but it can protect you throughout the flu season, which typically peaks in February and can extend into May. It’s your best protection against getting the flu, which can lead to hospitalization or even death, particularly in the elderly. Even if you’re not in a high-risk group, you should get the vaccine to help protect those who are susceptible to complications, including children younger than 5 and people 65 years or older. 
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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Prairie Star
23401 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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