A string of hurricanes and wildfires devastated large areas across the nation this summer. Wildfires in California continue to leave destruction in their wake. Thousands of Liberty HealthShare member families live within the declared disaster areas, with many facing a daunting recovery process as they consider how best to move forward. As members of a Christian community, we are compelled to step up.
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Luke 1:41-45 (ESV)
This time of year, we tend to see a significant increase in the number of member bills submitted for sharing. Though we cannot be sure of the reason for this, it is possible this is due at least in part to the third-party payer model and deadlines by which many of our members have previously functioned. Whatever the reason, we want to remind our members of a few important factors to consider before they submit more bills at this time of year.
When we’re just kids, running and playing with our friends is second nature. When we're free to choose how and when we will play, we have almost limitless energy, but as we get older, something shifts. Usually, thanks to gym class, we no longer run because it’s fun, but rather because the teacher standing on the track is using his stopwatch to rate our performance.
Some Liberty HealthShare members interact with our staff on a regular basis, but some members have never submitted a bill or had any specific need that necessitates a phone conversation. If you're in the latter group, you may understandably feel a bit disconnected from us. You might even wonder whether we function like other larger organizations, where you are routed through automated attendants and multiple menus before you can even reach another human being.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)
From the very moment Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, God began writing a story of restoration for His people. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites succumbed more than once to doubt and sin as they waited for the promised Redeemer. One can only imagine what it was like during the 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the start of Jesus' ministry. God's people must have fought disillusionment even as they clung tightly to the words of the prophets.
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
Here in the United States, we are told from a young age about the Pilgrims who voyaged to America in 1620 and survived largely because of a Native American man named Squanto. It's told as a quaint history of the first Thanksgiving, but the seemingly tidy story doesn't begin to explore the complex circumstances and the lives of the people who were there.
Squanto's story alone is one of bravery and mercy in the face of tragedy and injustice.
The great American holiday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, is this Thursday. Whether you celebrate with turkey and all the fixings or you’re more of a ham family, whether you spend your day serving at a local charity or watching the parade and football, we hope you enjoy a day full of reminiscing over old memories and the creation of new ones.
As you look around the table, don’t forget to take this opportunity to recall the many things you have to be thankful for.
"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!" Psalm 50:23 (ESV)
The holidays give us a chance to slow down, count our blessings, and choose gratitude, but what about the rest of the year? We all know that when times are hard, when money is tight, or when illness invades, cultivating a heart of thanksgiving is easier said than done.