Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Actions Have Consequences

As a parent, one of my top chores in shaping my kids is to teach them one of life's unalienable truths- actions always have consequences.

As a preface, let me say that everyone makes mistakes in life. However, some can be really costly down the road. Proverbs 14:8 offers this wise counsel---"the wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception."

Unfortunately, you come across stories where some one's action long ago have crippled their plans for today.

Check out such a story about former University Nebraska Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rogers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

God's Harvard and the Skepticism of Scularlism

Throughout the history of our blog, we have occasionally touched upon the issue of secularism and its pervasive growth in our culture.

I want to come back to this issue today, framed in the context of a new book by Hanna Rosin, God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America.

A Christian college on a mission. Wow, is that ever politically incorrect. For some it sounds like the Crusades all over again. Today's secularists scoff at such a narrow minded notion. They see it as uninformed lacking any intellectual or rational basis. You can feel the skepticism of Hann Rosin seeping off the pages of her book.
But, little do they know but most of America's prominent colleges and universities (even Yale and Harvard) at one time in their hallowed histories espoused such a mission. In their early years, both Harvard and Yale were renowned schools for producing pastors!

Most secularists, like the author of this book Hanna Rosin, know no better. Their world view is shaped by a far different perspective.

If anything is true, we are to remind ourselves as believers, that we live in a culture that increasingly does not share our values and principles.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SCHIP Solutions

Here are some solutions we think would fill the current gaps in health care for poor families:

-Fix the tax code as it related to health insurance. Remove the distortion of the tax code with regard to the tax treatment of health insurance. Offer refundable, advanceable tax credits.

-Promote an alternative to traditional employer health coverage. Not all families fit into the employer-based system. Instead, lawmakers need to look for ways to facilitate individual purchases of health care products and stimulate a robust non-employer marketplace.

-Add greater personal choice. Enrol lees should have more coverage choices. Give them the option to use their existing public program allocations to purchase private coverage through the market

These are some of our ideas. What are yours?

SCHIP-Do We Need It?

Today's hot issue...

One of the core values of the Rocky Mountain Family Council is affordable health care for our Rocky Mountain region families.

Having a family health-care package is a valuable but less common employment benefit. Many employers have cut this area of their employee costs by either eliminating coverage for employee family members altogether or requiring the employee to bare some if not all of the cost.

For families at the Federal poverty line ($41,000 for a family of four), buying private health care is often unreachable. The SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) funds insurance for 4 million children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to buy private insurance.

In Colorado, the SCIP Program offers families whose income falls between 151 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level, a one-time registration fee of $25 for one child or a $35 fee for their entire family.

Founded in 1997 as part to the Balanced Budget Act, it originally authorized $20 billion over ten years to assist states in purchasing health care for children from poor families. The law authorizes states to provide health care for targeted low-income children who are not eligible for Medicaid or are not insured.

According to some advocate groups, there may be more than 9 million children nationally without medical insurance. Recently, Congress voted an additional $35 billion over five years to extend the SCHIP coverage to millions of these kids.

This is a sensible program. It legitimately helps poor families and their kids. But like most federal entitlement programs, the DNA of these programs is to grow and expand. And the price tag will grow too. The bump in the road on this one is how large this program should be. Democrats in Congress want to expand this program's coverage while President Bush is seeking to keep it smallish.

Our solution: Provide SCHIP coverage for families who income falls below the federal poverty level. Also, looks for ways to enable insurance companies to offer reduced premiums to families.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Successful Life Prescriptions

We are all familiar with the Beatitudes that Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 5.

We have come up with a set of similar life prescriptions which contain some powerful teachings from scriptures.

Here they are:

*Blessed are those who live each day with eternity in view. For in looking back o life there will be no regrets.

*Blessed are those who embrace a vision greater than themselves, for if that vision is the Kingdom of God, their work will endure forever.

*Blessed are those who treat others as they want to be treated- with mercy, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, love and patience.

*Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall sow seeds for peace.

*Blessed are those who endure temporary trials, persecutions, hardships and illness, knowing that God uses all things to shape them for eternity.

*Blessed aer those who take every opportunity to be salt and light, giving a reasoned answer for their faith to all who ask.

*Blessed are those who love and pray for their enemies irregardless of their response, knowing that few have ever been argued into the Kingdom of God while many have gained entrance because of love.

*Blessed are those who sacrificially meet the needs of others, holding loosely to the temporary material blessings they possess.

*Blessed are those who invest in heaven.

A Happy Marriage Kills Stress

Bristish researchers have reported that a lousy marriage will make you sick. They also found that marital strife can raise your risk for heart disease too. Are you surprised?

Those with the worst close relationships were 34 percent more likely to have heart attacks or other heart related problems.

Their conclusion- stress is often a byproduct of troubled relationships which can lead to health problems.

Our bottomline- Invest some time into your marriage. Maintain it like you would any other valuable possession you have. Don't take it for granted...

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Bulwark of Liberty/Fighting off Leviathan

"The natural family, not the individual, is the source of ordered liberty, the fountain of real democracy, the seedbed of virtue for the nation." That according to a new book by Allan Carlson and Paul Mero. In their book they point to a large body of scientific information that shows that children who grow up in a two parent household with a mom and dad make markedly better citizens. A recent National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that juvenile delinquency was lowest among children from intact married families. The list of advantages go on and on.

Rescuing trouble marriages and families fights off the leviathan. As the family breaks down, leviathan emerges as the state steps in to establish order and supply social services.

The bottomline-marriage and the natural family is great for our culture and nation. Its an antidote to many of the ills we suffer.

Your thoughts?