Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

Now then, you Congressmen clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?  But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

Shame to you Congressmen, because you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

Shame to you Congressmen, because you love the most important seats in the Senate and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

Shame to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it and have no idea of the corruption that’s a few inches beneath their feet.

And you experts in the law, shame to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

Shame to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.

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Letter to the Senate Healthcare Working Group

Dear Sirs,

I am a constituent of New Orleans. I work in nonprofit and my husband works in the film industry. We are taxpayers and voters. We are also foster parents of an active 6-year-old boy. We are teaching him how to read, what foods are healthy, showing him how to play soccer, and be a good friend. He has ADHD, on medication, and sees a psychiatrist monthly. Due to his speech delays, he also has a speech therapist. He wears glasses because he has a weak eye. Will all of these issues he is being cared for be considered a preexisting condition in his future?    

I asked him yesterday if he understood why he had to leave his parents’ home to live with us (strangers). He said “because my parents are sick.” I asked him how he knew that and he said “my brain told me.” This is how he makes sense of his world.

In truth, they are “sick.” They are fighting a disease of addiction that has affected their entire family. Both birth parents are fighting for their health and for him. They are in treatment and are working their plan set up by the state in order to put the pieces back together of their family. It is clear to us that they love him. They call and visit weekly. However, they are also fragile and need the community to come together to fight this epidemic with them and for them.

I often wonder, what would they do if they did not have access to healthcare and treatment? When this little 6-year-old grows up, am I going to be the one to tell him that his parents tried very hard to get him back but failed because they didn’t have access to the medical care they so desperately need? Their recovery has only just begun. They will forever have a pre-existing condition. They will forever need access to quality healthcare.

We have a duty as humans to care for the sick! It’s not even a new concept and we are late to the game. Why can’t we look at what is working in other countries and replicate (or improve it) for the United States? For example, I lived in Israel for 3 years (2004-2007) as a foreigner; I had access to their universal health care plan. If we are the “greatest” country, then let’s be great at healthcare!

Sincerely,

 

Ms. Observative

 

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” James 2:1

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:35-40

Multiple Dimensions of NOLA

IMG_4625I live in New Orleans; city of festivals, Mardi Gras, tourism, Cajun food, and jazz music. The one year anniversary of taking faith steps of moving here is around the corner. The city and I have become good friends, quickly. I slid right into step with the culture. Although I’m not native I am proud to now consider myself a local. I can give you directions and tell you the best places to eat. I have bowls of beads on my table. I know not to wear flip-flops to the quarter. I’ve experienced roaches bigger than my dog and been swarmed by termites.  I’ve also become pretty much ok with being soaked with sweat any given day of the very long summer.

Put Me In Coach!

Over the last year I’ve been Read more

Reblog: NOLA Church Writes 44 Cards of Inspiration

NOLA Church partnered with Free-NOLA and on March 5th hosted an awareness event for individuals who want to personally get involved in local rescue efforts. A human trafficking film, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, was screened followed by the honored guest and speaker Diane Amos. Written on Your Heart hosted a card making table at the event and collected 44 cards from the guests. These cards will be sent to Eden House in New Orleans and two other safe houses in Ohio and Colorado. READ MORE…

 

Running for Runaways

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Whelp, I signed up to RUN for RUNAWAY youth. I’m running a 10K in the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans. I have a fundraising goal of only $200 and I would love to bust through that number!

CLICK HERE to help!

I’ve been volunteering at Covenant House since June. They provide a safe haven for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth (ages 22 and under). They have provided over 20,000 kids with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, educational & vocational support, individual & family counseling, job readiness & placement, short & long-term housing, life skills, and more. I’ve seen firsthand how big their hearts are for the youth of New Orleans. Read more

The Women in John

Since meeting my goal to read all the books of the Bible*, I’ve been asking, “Where should I start next?” God answered me in so many ways. First, I attended an IF:Local Mandeville/Northshore at St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church. This year’s IF:Gathering dove into the Book of John. Then the following Sunday at Vintage Church the message “Big Easy Jesus: I am the bread” focused on John 6:25-69. And finally, in conversation with a friend, she casually mentioned that she was reading through John this Lent Season.

Ok, God… Got it! John it is… Read more

Open Letter to My Friends about Starbucks.

Dear Friends,

Peppermint MochaI’m starting to get excited about the upcoming holidays! I’m looking forward to eating myself into a stupor for Thanksgiving while trying to remember all the ways I’m thankful. I’m looking forward to the smells of cinnamon and pine in the air. I’m looking forward to glitter and sparkle. I’m looking forward to that awful Christmas music that we all love and hate. (You know you sing along). I’m also looking forward to my Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. Read more

Promises, Plans, and Questions

FullSizeRender 4Another month goes by and my heart breaks just a little more. I had a simple question that I prayed with hands over my face, tears in my hands. I asked and He answered.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Read more

Done.

Peace, Hope, & Love Fest: Restoring Faith in the City

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Never let anyone dull your sparkle

The goal of this project was to host a family friendly event to the surrounding community but there is a back story that put this idea on our hearts. There is a lot of violence in New Orleans, particularly amongst our youth. Last month, not far from Annunciation Park, a little boy’s foot caught a stray bullet. At the scene a police officer was asked by an outsider “How do you feel about this?” His response “How do YOU feel?” That conversation set things in motion. What are we doing? What can we do? How can we individually take responsibility to make a difference? So, we wanted to come together to offer a fun, safe, family friendly event to be a light in this world by showing love to our neighbors, to each other. We were just three people backed by a lot of others who have stepped up and given their time, talents, and resources to make this happen. Read more

Pray for One

God please give me one person to share your love with, Amen!

… and then we are sitting at a bar…

Encouraged by leadership and mission of Manchester Christian Church, my husband and I have been praying for one person to share God’s love with and to be a light. Our small group has also been focusing on this mission and prayed for God to prepare the hearts of co-workers before we moved to NOLA. We have this as one of our family’s missions: individually, in our marriage, and anywhere or how God wants to use us. We’re also very human and have all the uncomfortable and too comfortable flaws that come with being human. Sometimes we forget or lose momentum in the prayer and have to remind ourselves and refocus. We submitted a prayer request, for one, with a new church, Vintage Church New Orleans, we attended and we prayed it together in our final prayer that evening.

The following night Read more