Jesus > Religion?

I wanted to share a video I was recently shown. Overall, it’s a pretty powerful message, and I it really strikes a chord with me. I have struggled for a long time with my feelings about religion and ‘the church’ seeming to be more important (in some instances) than the core of our beliefs. Especially with regard to some specific Christian denominations. I understand the concept of tithing, of being generous with what God has provided in your life. But at times I have felt like that is the core message: you need to give more time, more money, more effort, etc. And in many cases, especially recently, people are using their ‘religion’ (Christianity) to ridicule the lives of others. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying organized religion is bad — in fact, we absolutely need it to help connect those who are seeking God with His message. But in some churches, I feel like the message is lost in self-righteousness and self-justification. I am someone who strongly believes I do not need someone to ‘intervene’ in my relationship with God. I do not need to seek “permission” or follow a doctrine to take communion or to be worth of worshiping in His house. I only need the love of Jesus to cleanse my sins – not the blessings of a human middle-man.

The speaker in this video, Jefferson Bethke, is a pretty young guy.  So I’m not certain he has all the answers in life, and there are certainly some flaws in this argument. But this poem is powerful, and carries a strong message. Do I agree that ‘Jesus hates religion’? Not entirely. But I do believe strongly in John 14:6, and the idea that is instilled (through some religions or Christian denominations) that you need to be in God’s house, listening to another man speak, to receive His Word and blessing. What do you think?

~Mike

Doctor on Demand

Today, I saw a doctor in California. He gave me a prescription for my pharmacy here in Indiana, and it was filled within an hour. No plane tickets, no red tape, no 2.5 hour wait in a germ-infested waiting room.

Sometimes you have a great experience and you just want to tell everyone about it. That happened to me today, when I decided that instead of going to an immediate care center for my flare-up of gout, I would try ‘Doctor on Demand‘, which is a a “telemedicine” service.  Now, to be fair, I was incentivized to try this service by my employer (and insurance company), who reduced the cost of the visit by about $30. This certainly made it MUCH more appealing than limping out of the house, driving, and sitting in a waiting room. I knew what I had going on, I just wanted/needed some relief.

Setting up my account was pretty simple, and only took a matter of minutes. I could have conducted my visit via my desktop computer, cell phone, or tablet, but decided to use my phone. For one, it will be nice to have that app and ability no matter where I go. And for two, I had a feeling the doctor would want to see my foot (he did) and doing that via my desktop would be more complicated.  Decision made, I downloaded the app for iOS and jumped into the 21st century.

Overall, the visit went well! My doctor, Dr. Schmidt, was very well-spoken and clear. The video and audio of the call were also very clear, though I had to put on my headset for him to hear me (because my LifeProof case makes me sound like I have my face buried in a pillow).  He was very patient, listed to all my explanations and comments, and explained my issue clearly. He gave me an immediate course of treatment, a treatment for future flare-ups, and a follow-up path of treatment should this not work. Overall, it was WAY better than almost any immediate care center visit I’ve ever had! It was still face-to-face, though not being ‘in person’ is a bit strange at first. But seriously, this is the wave of the future, I think.

If you want to try it yourself, just cruise over to http://www.doctorondemand.com and check it out. You can use code ‘michael2526‘ for $10 off your first visit (just in case your insurance doesn’t cover it).  Overall, I highly recommend it!