Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Notes: Global Health

Thursday, Global Health
Dr. Scott Morris, UM pastor and medical doctor. Church Health Center, Memphis TN. Private, church run health care system.

Third of the New Testament is about healing the sick. Problem today is that hospitals in the healing business are separated from worshipping congregations. What does it mean today to be involved in a healing ministry?
James 5 – Is anyone among you sick? Call the elders and they will anoint you with oil.
Matthew 25 – goats and sheep. When we minister to the sick we are ministering to Jesus. If you want to be a disciple of Christ and you want to find him, you will find him among the sick, the poor, and those in prison. We should be looking in these places if we want to find Jesus.
Wesley understood this. Every Friday he spent time in his dispensary caring for the sick. He saw a static electricity demonstration by Ben Franklin and invented his own device he called “electrifier.” He wrote book “Primitive Physik”, widely used in the mid-19th century in America. People used to go to their pastors for healing. Darwin influenced the separation between faith and healing. Also there was a separation of body and spirit. Medicine dealt with body. Church dealt with spirit. This is a non-Christian idea.

People come to doctors today for reasons they used to go to pastors. Medicine today does not recognize spiritual dimension of life. In medicine, the spirit does not exist. You can’t MRI the spirit.

Our task as disciples is to find a healing mission. We need young doctors who will commit to healing the poor. This is not on the Church’s agenda.

Church needs to care about:
1. End of life. 25% of medicare budget is spent on last 6 months of peoples’ lives.
2. Keeping people healthy. Childhood obesity is major problem. Often the least healthy meal we eat is at church! If we don’t take care of our bodies we are not being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ! UM clergy are 20% heavier than rest of population.
3. Global health. Top three diseases are preventable. Malaria, TB, HIV. Many lives could be saved if Africans had access to condoms. News magazine from Church Health Center in Memphis.

You have to walk the walk. What are you doing to improve your health? Are you eating right, exercising? Wesley believed that riding a horse was the best exercise. Average American gains 3-5 lbs a year. Three things you can do:
1. Figure out your average daily steps. Goal is to increase that number by 2000 steps.
2. Decrease your calorie intake by 100 a day.
3. Eat three servings of dairy a day. Yogurt, milk, cheese.

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