Tag Archives: HELP

Is God Mad?

What have the people of Oklahoma done to make God so mad? Nothing.

My heart goes out to all those who were affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the Midwest. I can’t even imagine what it would be like.

Here in California, we have earthquakes. When we have an earthquake, it’s bad. People die, lose their homes, and more. But in most cases, we can look through the rubble, find pictures and grab some “keepsakes.” In a tornado, where do you start? What do you do when you come back to where your home used to be, only to find a cement slab? Where do you look for pictures, furniture and other items? Do you start five miles away? Ten miles? Do you even bother to look?

It’s heartbreaking. These people have to start over again. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.

With that in mind, don’t you become a victim. I’ve received many emails asking me to give to those in need.

Sure, just click on the link attached, and get screwed.

Many of us would be on site helping if we were close by, but we’re not. The next best thing is to send money. It’s easy to send electronically with the click of a button. Please don’t get sucked in. Stay with known entities: the Red Cross, United Way, and so on.

Several of the local media outlets are listing reputable organizations. Check them out. And don’t send “stuff.” They are begging for people to send money because they have store “stuff” and inventory “stuff” and then match it to individual needs. Money is just easier for them to deal with.

Back to my original thought.

I never professed to be a scholar, but I have been studying the Bible for many years. I do at least have a clue – not all the clues and answers, but a clue nonetheless.

God has set this planet, stars and other things in motion. We have air to breathe, water to drink, sun for nourishment. It’s great the way the rain falls and waters the plants and then fruit grows and we eat. Things are good and God is good.

People say to me, “Joe, look what God did in Oklahoma.” To that I reply, “Did He?” I say no, He didn’t! Insurance companies and ignorant (uninformed) people have blamed God for many things over the years.

First, many people who blame God for these disasters – acts of God – don’t even believe in Him. How hypocritical is that?

Second, many people who blame God for these things won’t let Him in their lives. They want Him out of schools, holidays, Christmas and so on.

My Christian friends know we have an enemy. Remember Satan? If God is love, why would He wipe out your home and family? What kind of love is that? That’s like telling your wife you love her just before you slap her. Really?

Now, here is where I will lose some of you. (Goodbye – see you next week.)

My Bible says, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy but I (Jesus/God) have come that you may have life and life more abundantly.”

God comes to give, Satan comes to take. Satan destroys. He perverts things. God created weather patterns to help the land and the earth to grow vegetation and to give us life, not kill people and destroy them.

God, not the devil, has worked in the hearts and minds of many to send them to help the victims of those storms, to bring them water and food and all their needs in this time – not the government (I know people get them confused at times).

So if you are a God-loving person, pray for the people in the affected areas. If you’re not a praying person, then send positive feelings their way. Just remember: God is not mad at the people in Oklahoma. He loves them, which is why He is sending them help.

God Bless America.

Hurricane Sandy – How To Help

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As Hurricane Sandy begins to weaken and pass, cleanup efforts and relief are needed.  Here is how you can help through the American Red Cross.

NOTE – Only use reputable charities and organizations in order to avoid scams.

FINANCIAL HELP

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  You can donate online by clicking on the following link: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster

Also with the Salvation Army, you can contact your local branch HERE to find out if items are needed such as food, clothing, children’s toys, or other goods.

NON-MONETARY HELP

You can also help in non-financial ways.  To donate blood or platelets, please go to the American Red Cross Blood website:  http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation now to find a location near you where you can help.

RED CROSS APPS

More than 235,000 people have downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.

People have been using the app to find shelters, to set up locations for the app to monitor, to make a disaster plan, and learn what steps they can take to stay safe. The app is available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading.

The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in a person’s hand. Both can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

 

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Baucus’ Bill Passes Committee, Will be Merged With ‘HELP’ Bill

So much attention has been paid to H.R.3200 and the Baucus bill that the HELP bill has been largely ignored.  Now this other Senate bill becomes very important.

This afternoon, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) crossed the aisle and helped get the Senate Finance Committee bill (Baucus Bill) passed by a 14-9 margin.  So now what?   The Baucus Bill will now be merged with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee bill, otherwise known as the Affordable Health Choices Act.

HELP, is basically combines the parts of H.R.3200 with parts of the Finance committee bill.  The real purpose for this bill is probably to smooth things over in conference committee once the Senate successfully merges the Finance and HELP committee bills.  By merging HELP into the Finance bill, we get everything in the Baucus bill but would now have Medicaid for everyone that is at or below 150% times the federal poverty level – up from 133% in the Senate Finance and House Bills.  This increase would put a much larger burden on the States as Medicaid is a State-run program.  The exemption for small employers would be changed so that instead of bypassing businesses with 50 or fewer employees, any business with more than 25 would be required to pay for insurance or pay a penalty.    The most striking change is that it would put a public option into the Senate bill.  This public option is phrased very-similarly to the H.R.3200 language.

When we look at the plan from a cost perspective, there seems to be an instant 4% increase to premiums built into the State “gateway” exchange framework.  The gateway will be paid for by a 4% surcharge on premiums.  That means that health plans now have a 4% increase in administrative costs simply due to participating in the government exchange.  The cost of these exchanges is in every bill.  The HELP bill actually bothers to spell out how much they expect it to cost.  Of course, when health insurance companies are asked to pay for the government framework, you know who will that will be passed on to.

In the coming weeks, the Senate will work to merge these two bills so that a vote before the full Senate can be held.  If the composite bill passes the Senate, it will be taken to Conference Committee to be merged with H.R.3200 and that compromise bill will be voted on in both houses.  Upon passage in both houses, all that is left is Presidential signature.