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By SMH Webmaster on 5/23/2016 8:47 AM
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” John 17:21 NIV   The most famous prayer that Jesus prayed is known as the Lord’s Prayer, some refer to it as, the Our Father. It’s a prayer that most of us have prayed since we were children and for many, it provides a structure or framework for our prayers.  It begins with worship, then moves to submission of our will to his.  Then there are a series of requests, for our daily needs to be supplied, for his forgiveness and for the spirit of forgiveness to be in us, for victory over temptation and finally for deliverance from evil of ever kind. Then it closes with worship and adoration that acknowledges God’s dominion, power and glory.   There is another lesser known prayer yet interestingly, it the longest prayer that Jesus prayed. Recorded in John’s Gospel chapter seventeen, it is a special prayer for three reasons: who is praying, who is being prayed for and what is being requested. First of all who...
By SMH Webmaster on 5/16/2016 8:20 AM
Elijah, a mighty prophet of God, was called upon by God to deliver the bad news to Ahab, king of Israel, that there was going to be a three year drought because the people had turned away from God and were worshiping the gods of the surrounding nations.  God made provision for the prophet by sending him to live in a ravine east of the River Jordan where he would have water to drink from a brook and where the ravens, at God’s command, would bring him meat and bread daily.   After some time the brook dried up and God sent the prophet to a poor widow in Zarephath whom he was told would provide for him until the drought was over. When he met her she was in the midst of preparing a last meal for her and her son.  The story goes that the prophet asked her to make him a meal first and assured her if she did so, the little provision that she had would last until the drought was over.  She trusted him and somehow there was always enough for her to make one more meal for them every day until the drought ended.   It seems that God sometimes has strange ways of meeting his children’s needs.  He sent ravens to bring a daily supply of meat and bread to his prophet.  He allows a brook the only source of water to dry up, he sent the prophet to a poor woman who had so little she thought she and her son were going to die after they ate their last meal....
By SMH Webmaster on 5/9/2016 3:46 PM
“I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.  Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” 1 Samuel 1:27-27   Hannah was childless and in ancient Israel, as it is still is in some parts of the world, she was looked upon as a woman cursed or at the very least, overlooked by God.  This situation was compounded by the fact that she was the wife Elkanah, a man who had two wives and his other wife had already borne children, the Bible does not say how many.  Hannah dealt with the constant taunts and put-downs of her rival and this only increased her desire to have a child and deepened her sorrow that God did not seem to be hearing her prayers.   On the occasion of one of the annual feasts, the family went up to Jerusalem to present a sacrifice and worship.  Hannah went to the Temple to pray.  Her deep sorrow was misinterpreted by the High Priest as drunkenness and as she was being rebuked by him she was able to pour out her pain and he heard her. He prophesied...
By SMH Webmaster on 5/9/2016 10:05 AM
Strangulation, sexual assault, physical abuse, human bite injuries - these are the horrific crimes that lead female and male victims to seek help from Shawnee Mission Health’s (SMH) Forensic Assessment Consultation and Treatment (FACT) program.

In the past seven years, more than 2,300 victims of assault have been treated in an exam room with an unmarked door at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. As an advanced forensic nurse practitioner and founder of Kansas City’s FACT program, I have not only heard first-hand the stories of these patients but have played an important role in their quest for healing and justice.
By SMH Webmaster on 5/2/2016 11:43 AM
"Then your light will appear like the dawn, and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the LORD’s glory will be your rear guard," Isaiah 58:8 KJV. This Thursday, May 5th, 2016, by Presidential proclamation, will mark the 65th National Day of Prayer.  People of faith from every religious worldview across this great country will be invited to join together to pray for the nation.  I don't think that anyone would disagree that the nation is in need of prayer. And while I do not fault the President for observing this long held tradition, I have to ask the question, is it enough? In the 58th chapter of the book of Isaiah, the prophet addresses the Nation of Israel on the subject of prayer and fasting. There was great concern that they were praying and fasting yet it seems that their prayers were unanswered, and their fasting was unnoticed by God. They had the religious formulas correct, denying themselves food, dusting themselves with ashes and covering themselves with sackcloth...
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...
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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