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By SMH Webmaster on 7/25/2016 7:54 AM
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3 KJV   King David is credited with the writing of this Psalm while he was being held prisoner by the Philistines.  It was a situation that caused him to be fearful, after all, David had killed Goliath, their champion and routed the Philistine army many years earlier and this looked a lot like an opportunity to avenge their champion and restore Philistine pride.  The Hebrew word translated afraid in this verse is rendered, fear 188 times, afraid 78 times and terrible or terrible thing 29 times in the King James Version of the Bible.  David was not just a little nervous here.  He was afraid for his life.   Fear was not a new emotion for David.  He knew it as a shepherd when he single-handedly fought lions and bears to protect the flock.  He knew it as a youth when he faced the giant, Goliath on the battle field and he knew it when he was hunted by a jealous and enraged King Saul.  The lessons for us in this passage is twofold.  Firstly, fear is not a unique...
By SMH Webmaster on 7/18/2016 7:48 AM
 “…seek peace pursue it.” Psalm 34:14b “If I could just get some peace…!”  It’s the harried cry of a busy mother with no time for herself.  It’s the stressed out response of the busy professional starting the next big project with all of the other demands still snapping at his heels.  It’s the cry of the chronically ill patient who can see no end to their suffering.  It’s the desperate plea of the financially overextended as they look at the ringing telephone knowing instinctively that it’s another harassing call from a debt collector and it’s in the nocturnal tears of someone in a volatile and complex relationship. One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 34.  I love the way that it shows God present, interested and active in the lives of hurting people.  Verse twelve poses the question; who wants a good long life?  The answer that follows includes some restrictive imperatives.  Don’t speak evil, don’t tell lies and don’t do evil things to people but the second part of verse fourteen says what we must do to have...
By SMH Webmaster on 7/5/2016 10:59 AM
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Mathew 5:14-16 NKJV   Jesus makes a bold statement declaring that his followers are the light of the world.  It is also a great compliment because it associates his followers with him.  He declared himself to be the light of the world, promising if any believed in him they would not walk in darkness.  The verse above states that those who are the light of the world have a responsibility to illuminate the world around them. T.D. Jakes states in one of his sermons that light is disruptive, it disrupts darkness.  Darkness can no longer be the same when light is present.  The light that lit the house in Jesus day was a simple oil lamp that produced about as much light as a candle.  When lit, it was placed on a lampstand that allowed more light to fill the room....
By SMH Webmaster on 6/29/2016 9:26 AM
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3 KJV Nature begins each day with worship.  The sun gradually climbs up from below the horizon, its light gently breaking upon the earth.  With every passing second, its brightness increases, coloring the sky with a thousand different hues.  Brighter and brighter it grows, as if directed by a celestial conductor, directing it into a magnificent crescendo until it burns in its fullness, emitting heat and light, declaring, as the Psalmist says in 19:1, “the Glory of God.” The birds begin their morning with a song, quietly at first, then one by one as they awake, each adds its own part to the morning composition, which brand new, makes its debut performance each and every day.  The sound of their chorus clings to the air and is carried on the wind, a morning worship song to their creator. The Psalmist joins in the song of nature by raising his voice in the morning so that his morning...
By SMH Webmaster on 6/20/2016 3:26 PM
 “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31   In 1979, Bo Derek and Dudley Moore co-starred in the romantic comedy, “10”.  A story about composer-playwright in mid-life, pursuing the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, described as an eleven on a scale of ten. Ten is the sought after, perfect score pursued by “Dancing with the Stars” contestants.  Cosmetic companies market products that promise but never deliver, perfect skin.  Imperfect parents want perfect kids with perfect teeth and perfect GPA’s.  What is it about human beings and our quest for perfection?  Is perfection the standard?   The Bible says that God took six days to create the earth and at the end of day’s one through five, as he reviewed the day’s work he declared it, “good.”  On the last day of creation as God reviewed all that he had made, including living creatures and human beings, the Bible says it was, “very good”.  The earth was fresh from...
By SMH Webmaster on 6/13/2016 3:25 PM
“But we had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:32   Jesus told three stories for this parable.  The first is a story about a lost sheep, the second about a lost coin and the third about a lost son.  The stories are tied together by two common threads; we demonstrate the value of that which is lost by the lengths to which we will go to recover it.  The second thread is that we demonstrate the value of what was lost by the enthusiasm with which we celebrate its restoration.   The shepherd left his ninety-nine other sheep safely in the fold and went in search of the one lost sheep.  The woman turned on the lights and swept the whole house, moving everything until she found the lost coin.  The boy’s father constantly looked for his son, hoping every day, that he would come home again.   How did the sheep, coin and boy get lost?  One of the characteristics of sheep is that they are prone to wander off.  Sometimes it is because...
By SMH Webmaster on 6/6/2016 10:44 AM
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:25   Life can often seem unfair.  When for example, you have practiced a healthy lifestyle, you’ve never smoked, you’ve exercised regularly, managed your diet well, the only time you ever drank alcohol, was a sip of champagne at a wedding and now, at sixty years old, you’ve developed colon cancer.  Life can seem unfair when your promising high school student is about to graduate at the top of her class with offers of full scholarships from three universities, but she is found dead under suspicious circumstances.   At times like these, when things go badly or seem terribly unfair when you know you have done the right thing.  When you think God should have taken better care of you because, you’ve been good, and it seems like he doesn’t, what do you do?    If you are anything like me, the temptation is to complain to God and ask, ”Why me?” or “Why this?”   The account of Paul and Silas imprisoned for preaching the Gospel seems like one of those times.  They have both sacrificed, left their families at home and experienced hardships and ridicule.  They have been beaten, mocked and stoned, all because they have chosen to follow Jesus.  Now, as if to add insult to injury, they are arrested and imprisoned and are awaiting possible execution.  What do we find them doing?  Singing and praising God, loudly enough for the entire prison to hear them.  What is really significant is that they do not appear to be worshiping in the hope that they will be released, they are worshiping just because they love God....
By SMH Webmaster on 5/31/2016 11:14 AM
“He also spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.” Luke 13:6 (NKJV) Parables are stories or illustrations from which the hearer can extract meaning and direction that have the power to transform destiny. When Jesus used a parable, and he did so quite often, he did not always explain its meaning. Instead, he often left it to his hearers to figure out what it meant for them. The fig tree in this parable grew in a protected environment, a vineyard.  Here it received the best of the gardener’s attention and resources. It had every advantage to grow and to do that for which it was created, produce figs. After having been the recipient of all this attention, this particular fig tree had failed to yield a crop for three consecutive years. It looked like it could produce fruit. Its foliage was green and lush. It had produced fragrant and abundant blossoms, the promise of fruit, but somehow the promise was never fulfilled. After having...
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...
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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