Friday, May 24, 2013

Health Care and Memorial Day 2013

After the Civil War ended, there rose up a group of individuals who dedicated themselves to promote the need to remember the fallen soldiers of that horrific conflict. No other war before or since had as much devastating and catastrophic results on American lives than the “War of Northern Aggression,” as it was called in the South, or “The Great Rebellion” as it was known in the northern states. Over 600,000 men and women in uniform on both sides gave up their lives in the ultimate sacrifice to fight for what they believed. Regardless of the political leaning of state rights versus the federal mandate of ending slavery and preserving the Union, the true loss as a result of four terribly bloody years of war was that so many died.

To honor those who gave up their lives, a national holiday was created to memorialize those individuals. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” the graves were decorated with flowers, flags, and letters of remembrance. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868, by then General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in the general order No. 11 and the first observance. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May. Celebrating on the Monday ensures that a 3-day weekend is observed for Federal holidays.

Unfortunately the traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten he meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of those fallen have become increasingly ignored whereas they used to be decorated with American flags and the like. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in quite some time.

There are those who take Memorial Day to honor the dead, not just those in battle. But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

To assist people in remembering, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December of 2000 which asks at 3pm local time, for all Americans to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of silence to remember and respect and pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or otherwise listening to ‘Taps.’ For some more background information on this very special holiday, you can go to .




The long Memorial Day holiday weekend is on the horizon and for many, plans will include taking to the highway, pulling out the grill for a backyard barbecue or having fun in the water. The American Red Cross ( ) has steps everyone can follow to stay safe whatever their plans include.

1.) DRIVE SAFELY--With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If plans include drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink. Other tips for a safe trip include:

--Give one’s full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
--Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
--Use caution in work zones.
--Make frequent stops.
--Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night.
--Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive the headlights.

2.) GRILLING SAFETY--The Red Cross offers these tips to stay safe while cooking those tasty cookout treats:

--Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
--Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
--Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
--Keep the chef safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
--Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
--Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
--Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch any falling ash or grease.
--Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
--Wash one’s hands in hot soapy water before preparing food, after touching raw meat and after any interruptions such as using the bathroom, handling pets, stopping to do something with children.

3.) SWIMMING SAFETY--Learning to swim is one of the best steps someone can take to be safe around water. People can contact the local Red Cross and learn how to swim as well as get the facts about water safety, home pool safety, first aid and CPR classes. Other swimming safety tips include:

--Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
--Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
--Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
--Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
--Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

4.) POOL SAFETY--It’s important to constantly supervise children when they are near water.

--Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.

--Avoid distractions when supervising children around water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

Regardless of your reason to celebrate Memorial Day, and whatever your activities may be, always remember to be safe, so you’re not sorry later. This national holiday has special meaning not only to the nation, but also to the families of those who lost friends and family in any case when serving in uniform. Then, take some time to reflect on your blessings of living in the “land of the free, and the home of the brave.” Ask God to continue to protect your family and those who serve in harm’s way. Seek His divine guidance not only for yourself, but also for those who are in positions of leadership in the armed forces and in all levels of government—local, state, and national. Look to Him for all your needs.

Until next time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Health Care and Fire

At some point in early human history, mankind discovered fire. That incident must have been one of the most exciting events ever experienced up to that point. No one really knows how fire was originally found. Perhaps it came about through an accident, or maybe it happened through a supernatural occurrence. However fire was first brought about on the planet, the first person to have seen it surely found out quickly that it could at once be a tremendous tool, but at the same time extremely dangerous. After all, fire is hot, and it burns.

Fire can destroy your house and all of your possession¬s in less than an hour, and it can reduce an entire forest to a pile of ash and charred wood. It's also a terrifying weapon, with nearly unlimited destructive power. Fire kills more people every year than any other force of nature, according to How Stuff Works.

But at the same time, fire is extraordinarily helpful. It gave humans the first form of portable light and heat. It also gave us the ability to cook food, forge metal tools, form pottery, harden bricks and drive power plants. There are few things that have done as much harm to humanity as fire, and few things that have done as much good. It is certainly one of the most important ¬forces in human history. But what is it, exactly?

The ancient Greeks considered fire one of the major elements in the universe, alongside water, earth and air. This grouping makes intuitive sense: You can feel fire, just like you can feel earth, water and air. You can also see it and smell it, and you can move it from place to place. But fire is really something completely different. Earth, water and air are all forms of matter -- they are made up of millions and millions of atoms collected together. Fire isn't matter at all. It's a visible, tangible side effect of matter changing form.

Typically, fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and some sort of fuel (wood or gasoline, for example). Much more information can be found at this website: .

Fires often occur in structures like homes and apartment buildings, and many take place during night time hours. Unfortunately, according to, many kids will try to hide from a fire, often in a closet, under a bed, or in a corner. But if taught basic fire facts, they'd be better able to protect themselves. Teach your kids that fires spread quickly, that most fire-related deaths are not from burns but from smoke inhalation, and that dangerous fumes can overcome a person in just a few minutes. Here are some fire safety tips that everyone should learn:

• Cover your mouth and nose with a moist towel or an article of clothing to keep out dangerous fumes while evacuating.
• Crawl under the smoke to safety, staying as low to the ground as possible (smoke always rises).
• Touch any door (not the doorknob) to see if it is hot, and if it is, not to open it — find another exit.
• Locate the nearest stairway marked "Fire Exit" if you live in an apartment building, or a fire escape if the stairway isn't accessible — always avoid elevators during a fire.
• Never stop to take personal belongings or pets or to make a phone call (even to 911) while evacuating.
• Never go back into a burning building once safely outside.
• Stop, drop, and roll to extinguish flames if an article of clothing catches on fire.
• Kids should also always be dressed for bed in flame-retardant sleepwear.

Kids have fire drills at school and adults have them at work. Why shouldn't you have them at home, too? Fires are frightening and can cause panic. By rehearsing different scenarios, your family will be less likely to waste precious time trying to figure out what to do. Planned escape routes are a necessity, especially if a fire were to occur during the night. Go through each room in your house and think about the possible exits. You should have in your mind two escape routes from each room, in case one is blocked by fire. Inspect the room to make sure that furniture and other objects are not blocking doorways or windows, according to the Kids Health website.

Make sure that the windows in every room are easy to open and are not painted over or nailed shut — remember, these may be your only way out in a fire. If you live in an apartment building, make sure any safety bars on windows are removable in an emergency. Be sure to know the locations of the closest stairwells or fire escapes and where they lead. If your house is more than one story tall or if you live above the ground floor of an apartment building, an escape ladder is an important safety feature. You should have one escape ladder made of fire-safe material (aluminum, not rope) in each upper-story bedroom that is occupied by a person who is capable of using it.

Like fire extinguishers, escape ladders should be operated by adults only. The ladder must be approved by an independent testing laboratory, its length must be appropriate for your home, and it must support the weight of the heaviest adult in the house. Discuss and rehearse the escape routes you've planned for each room of your home. Designate a meeting place outside your house or apartment building that is a safe distance away (a mailbox, a fence, or even a distinctive-looking tree will do) where everyone can be accounted for after they escape.

Then, every so often, test your plan. Use your finger to set off the smoke detector and let everyone know it's time for a fire drill. See if everyone can evacuate your home and gather outside within 3 minutes — the time it can take for an entire house to go up in flames. Be sure any babysitters in your home know all escape routes and plans in case of a fire. More details about fire safety can also be found at this site: .

According to, burns are classified based upon their depth and are as follows:

• A first degree burn is considered superficial, causing localized inflammation of tissues. Most mild sunburns fall into this category.

• Second degree burns are deeper and, in addition to increased pain, cause inflammation and reddening of the skin. Blisters will also be present.

• Third degree burns are moving layers deeper, involving all layers of the skin and severely damaging it. Third degree burns are often whitish and leathery in appearance, due to the nerve and blood vessel damage.

First aid treatment for 2nd and 3rd degree burns:

• Remove the victim from the fire, explosion, or heat source, remembering not to take on any undue risk yourself.
• Remove any burning material from the victim’s body and/or the affected area.
• Call 911 or activate the emergency response system in your area.
• Once the victim is safely secured from additional harm, treat the person for shock by keeping him or her warm, still, and focused on conversation. Try to wrap the injured areas in a clean sheet if possible.
• DO NOT use ice or cold water to treat the burn or the victim, as this may result in a drop in body temperature, increasing the risk for shock and hypothermia.
• Burns on the face, hands, and feet are always to be considered a significant injury.

Treatment of minor burns (1st or 2nd degree in a small area of the body):

• Gently clean and cool the wound with lukewarm water.
• Do NOT use butter or oil to treat the burn.
• Remove all rings, bracelets, and articles that may cause further issues as swelling occurs.
• Apply a topical antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to help treat the burn.
• If the burn appears to be more severe than initially thought and you suspect 2nd or 3rd degree burn status, medical advice should be sought.

Fire destroys billions of dollars each year in property and kills thousands of people. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,389,500 fires. These fires resulted n 3,005 civilian fire fatalities, 17,500 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $11,659,000,000 in direct property loss. There was a civilian fire death every 208 minutes and a civilian fire injury every 30 minutes in 2011, the most recent year of recorded incidents. Home fires caused 2,520, or 84%, of the civilian fire deaths. Fires accounted for five percent of the 30,098,000 total calls. Always be careful around any type of fire. If the fire is destructive in nature, run to safety if at all possible to save your life and the lives of those around you.

Until next time.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Health Care and Sewage

One of the most disgusting health care hazards is the one created by the problem of sewage, especially if it is caused by faulty plumbing or drainage issues. Also, it is a severe problem when left untreated or available in open spaces. Not only does it smell, but the medical conditions that are caused by exposure are potentially life threatening.

According to , every year hundreds of billions of gallons of untreated sewage flow into our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Unknowingly, many Americans and their loved ones risk serious illness when untreated sewage seeps into the water they use for recreation or drinking. The EPA estimates that up to 3.5 million people fall ill from swimming in waters contaminated by sanitary sewer overflows alone ever year. However, the number of illnesses caused by raw sewage could be much higher. Many people that get sick from untreated sewage aren’t aware of the cause of their illness and don’t report it to their doctors or local health officials. Over 850 million gallons of untreated sewage overflows from combined sewer systems every year.

Raw sewage can be a serious health risk particularly if it enters drinking water or even water that is used for fishing and swimming. The pathogens related to untreated sewage are bacteria, parasites and viruses that are most commonly associated with acute illnesses like diarrhea. However, there is one virus that can cause an acute respiratory illness which are the adenoviruses (but they are also associated with illnesses such as gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis and rash illness), according to American Rivers.

The symptoms of respiratory illness caused by the adenovirus from untreated sewage can range from the common cold to pneumonia, croup and bronchitis. Those persons with compromised immune systems could be at serious risk of complications related to the adenovirus. If one is also in a condition of stress and overcrowding, you can develop acute respiratory disease (ARD). Some adenoviruses, like Adv36 (AD-36) may be associated with causing obesity. More information can be found at this website: .

According to this commercial site: , sewage backup hazards are better understood once you learn what, in fact, sewage is; or as it also called raw sewage, sewage sludge, or septic tank waste. Raw sewage is mainly gray or black water. It usually contains the organic waste and wastewater produced by household and industrial sources. Sewage typically contains everything from soap to solid waste, human excrement, industrial effluent, and debris. It is discharged by drains and sewer lines. Excrement is the major source of harmful microorganisms such as coliform, fecal coliform, Escherichia coliform (E. coli), and Enterococcus. Exposure to sewage or its products may result in a number of diseases:

Gastroenteritis--An inflammation of the stomach and the intestine. Gastroenteritis may result in diarrhea with vomiting and cramps when irritation is excessive. When caused by an infectious agent, it is often associated with fever.

Hepatitis--Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis caused by a virus is known as viral hepatitis. When Hepatitis is a result of sewage backup it is often characterized by inflammation of the liver and jaundice.

Occupational Asthma--A respiratory disorder characterized by attacks of breathlessness, chest tightness and wheezing.

Weil's Disease--An acute feverish disease marked by gastroenteritis, mild jaundice, persistent and severe headache.

Allergic Alveolitis--Inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs. It is rarely reported with relation to sewage backup. However, when reported it is characterized by fever, breathlessness, dry cough, and aching muscles and joints.

Per the abovementioned site, here are some additional health risks:

• Fatal damage to liver, kidneys and blood
• Infection of skin or eyes

There are 3 common transmission ways for microorganisms to enter a human body:

1. Hand-to-Mouth Contact: This is the most common transmission way and it occurs during eating, drinking and smoking. Hand-to-mouth contact also happens while wiping the face with contaminated hands or gloves, or by licking splashes from the skin.

2. Skin Contact Skin contact with contaminated organisms is often possible through cuts, scratches, or penetrating wounds. Certain organisms can enter the body through the surfaces of the eyes, nose and mouth.

3. Inhalation Contaminated organisms may penetrate the body simply as we breathe aerosolized particles or contaminated dust.

According to this article: , the general public is the one being at risk of sewage damage. It is ordinary to hear and read news about cases of hepatitis, cholera and other diseases due to exposure to untreated sewage. Over 120 variants of viruses can be seen in human feces, urine and sewage damage which can lead their way to sewage. Parasitic agents such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium can cause chronic intestinal illnesses in children and adults. Bacterial pathogens abound in places with sewage damage can consist of strains of gram-negative organisms like Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli.

Aside from the strains of gram-negative bacteria, gram-negative bacteria also produce endotoxins which occur at the point of cell's death and elimination. Endotoxins can manifest in the air through remediation, take for example the cleaning and drying of infected carpets. Public health risks can also be incurred through improper sewage damage disposal and transport from hospitals and other industrial companies. These could lead to public health's declining status due to unscrupulous manner of managing their wastes, per the ezine article.

Exposure to sewage is dangerous. Any time you see it, you should report the case immediately to health authorities, or even call 911. Stay away from any open sewage or areas that have been recently damaged by the waste. If your home or office suffers from an issue regarding this health hazard, deal with it right away by contacting reputable companies that specialize in treatment, removal, and restoration. Sewage can cause life threatening diseases, so be careful when any problems develop.

Until next time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Health Care and Tanning Beds

If you have ever had time in the sun, either for work or play or vacation, you know that unless you have a good tan, it is almost certain that without proper prevention for protection against the burning rays of the sun that you are going to get red skin, and a good burn. That’s why you need a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Formula), especially if you are young.

Over time, in particular during the summer when the UV rays are at their peak and can cause the most damage, your level of tanning increases if you don’t have proper coverage of your skin. If you are interested in getting a good layer of tanned skin built up before being a sun worshipper during the hotter months of the year, then by all means start working your way up to a reasonable level without eventually looking like an old leather suitcase. Be smart about your tanning initiative.

According to, tanning beds and booths basically imitate the sun. The sun emits three kinds of UV rays (the ones that make you tan). UV-C has the shortest wavelength of the three, and is also the most harmful. The sun emits UV-C light, but then it's absorbed by the ozone layer and pollution. Tanning lamps filter out this type of UV light. UV-B, the middle wavelength, starts the tanning process, but overexposure can cause sunburn. UV-A has the longest wavelength, and it completes the tanning process. Tanning lamps use the best ratio of UV-B and UV-A light to provide optimal tanning results, with a lowered risk of overexposure.

When you tan at an indoor tanning facility, your skin produces a tan the same way it does when you lay out in the sun: through ultraviolet (UV) light. There is one important difference, though. When you are out in the sun, you cannot control the amount of UV light you are exposed to, because it is affected by changes in the atmosphere. Indoor tanning is one way to regulate the amount of UV light you are exposed to, because it is a controlled environment. You can gradually increase your exposure time to make sure you don't get a sunburn, which is harmful to the skin. More material about tanning beds can be found at this site: .

Indoor tanning beds would come with new warnings about the risk of cancer and be subject to more stringent federal oversight under a proposal unveiled Monday by the Food and Drug Administration, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and many other major news outlets. The FDA has regulated tanning beds and sun lamps for over 30 years, but for the first time ever the agency says those devices should not be used by people under age 18. The agency wants that warning on the devices and pamphlets, catalogues and websites that promote indoor tanning. And regulators are also proposing that manufacturers meet certain safety and design requirements, including timers and limits on radiation emitted.

The government action is aimed at curbing cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which have been on the rise for about 30 years. An estimated 2.3 million U.S. teenagers tan indoors each year, and melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among young adults, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Recent studies have shown that the risk of melanoma is 75 percent higher in people who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning.

While most cases are diagnosed in people in their 40s and 50s, the disease is linked to sun exposure at a young age. Physician groups have been urging the U.S. government to take action on tanning beds for years, citing increases in the number of cases of skin cancer among people in their teens and 20s. More information can be found at this website: .

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the FDA also says some people go too often, using tanning beds three times a week, for example, when its research shows once a week would provide visually the same tan. The tanning bed debate isn't an excuse to roast in the sun instead. Nor is melanoma the only risk. Also linked to UV exposure are basal and squamous cell carcinomas, which affect more than 1 million Americans a year.

They're usually easily removed but the American Cancer Society counts 2,000 annual deaths. Melanoma is more lethal: Nearly 69,000 U.S. cases were diagnosed last year, and about 8,650 people died. Fair-skinned people who don't tan easily are at highest risk. Melanoma is particularly linked to sunburns at a young age, and while it usually strikes in the 40s and 50s, doctors are seeing ever-younger cases. More information can be found at this website: .

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published some interesting statistics on users of tanning beds and indoor tanning:

According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the following proportions of youth report indoor tanning.

• 13% of all high school students.
• 21% of high school girls.
• 32% of girls in the 12th grade.
• 29% of white high school girls.

According to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, indoor tanners tended to be young, non-Hispanic white women.

• 32% of non-Hispanic white women aged 18–21 years reported indoor tanning. Those who reported indoor tanning device use reported an average of 28 sessions in the past year.

• Among non-Hispanic white adults who used an indoor tanning device in the past year, 58% of women and 40% of men used one 10 times or more in the past year.

• Non-Hispanic white women between the ages of 18 and 21 years residing in the Midwest (44%) and non-Hispanic white women between the ages of 22 and 25 old in the South (36%) were most likely to use indoor tanning devices.

More information can be found at their website: .

The bottom line is that overuse of tanning beds is dangerous. It can lead to cancer over time if limited use is not followed, and those who are most at risk tend to be younger. When you are getting ready for the summer season and fun in the sun (or for any other special occasion), practice common sense when it comes to indoor tanning and the use of tanning beds. Protection of your skin is vitally important to your overall health.

Until next time.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Health Care and Prayer

There is something to be said about the healing power of prayer. For thousands of years, since the dawn of civilization in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, mankind has had the ability and opportunity to communicate with God. Over time, that dependence has dwindled; however, that change is not due to the movement of God away from man, but from man’s movement away from God. Man has increased in stature in his own mind, and God has lessened in importance.

The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and most all ancient cultures believed in multiple deities, and prayed to all of them. There were hundreds of gods, and each one had a defined purpose—for the weather, for crops, for fertility, and for any and all kinds of everyday needs. It wasn’t until the Hebrews through Abraham brought back the concept of a monotheistic religion that people started considering that you could get by with talking to only one God.

One of the most desired components of a religious life is prayer. People pray about everything. Some wish to have more success, and others wish to be free of problems. Many individuals want wisdom and still others desire help with everyday challenges. Too often, though, God unintentionally may be seen through the uplifted eyes of the faithful as a cosmic Santa Claus.

One major aspect of prayer is the ability to see definitive results in some cases when it is used for health care needs. As science investigates connections between the mind and the body, some scientists have found that a person's faith can help him or her live a longer, healthier life. Prayer may lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can contribute to a more virile immune system, according to this website: .

Other studies have found that people who are religiously active tend to be healthier, according to the same website. This may be due to the power of prayer, but it could also be explained by a tendency toward clean living, as many religions call upon their devotees to foreswear health risks like alcohol, cigarettes and casual sex. In addition, people active in their communities of faith may receive the help of social bonds within their religious groups. One study at the University of California - Berkeley factored in smoking and other lifestyle choices and still found that religious people have less risk for disease and death. Inside the scientific community and out, many accept that praying can prove beneficial for a person’s health.

According to US News & World Report, while most doctors aren't about to hand their stethoscopes over to a higher power, more and more medical professionals are taking seriously the relationship between spirituality and physical health. "There's been a sea change in the way the medical community looks at spirituality."

In recent years, a growing number of rigorous studies have shown that spirituality—including prayer, meditation, and attendance at religious services—benefits health in ways that science hasn't fully explained. Among other effects, regular worship and other spiritual acts appear to lengthen life expectancy, strengthen immunity, improve the body's response to stress, and boost other measures of physical health according to the magazine article found here: .

However, it is natural to be frightened when you become ill. You probably feel vulnerable. You worry; and you want to know that everything is going to turn out all right. Sometimes you may feel alone even when loved ones are by your side. The illness lies inside, and no one else knows exactly how you feel. Prayer has the power to transform your fear into faith. It reminds you that you are never alone. Everything you are, body and soul, is in the hand of God, whose presence fills the universe and who is as close to you as your own breath, especially for Believers. No matter what this unpredictable world sends your way, with God by your side you can find the strength to confront your fears. Prayer welcomes God’s healing power. Much more information on this subject can be found at this website: .

Here are a few Bible verses that lend credence to prayer and healing:
3 John 1:2 ESV: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

1 Peter 2:24 ESV: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

Isaiah 53:5 ESV: “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

James 5:14-16 ESV: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

Today, May 2, 2013, marks the National Day of Prayer, a day set aside on the first Thursday in May each year for the nation to pray for healing. President Harry Truman signed the official law passed by Congress in 1952 recognizing this day to be observed each year. But prior to the nation's founding, the Continental Congress, acknowledging the need for national prayer, issued a proclamation recommending "a day of publick [sic] humiliation, fasting, and prayer" be observed on July 20, 1775”.

“ The Honorable Congress having recommended it to the United States to set apart Thursday the 6th of May next to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, to acknowledge the gracious interpositions of Providence to deprecate [to pray or intreat that a present evil may be removed] deserved punishment for our Sins and Ingratitiude, to unitedly implore the Protection of Heaven; Success to our Arms and the Arms of our Ally: The Commander in Chief enjoins a religious observance of said day and directs the Chaplains to prepare discourses proper for the occasion; strictly forbidding all recreations and unnecessary labors.” –George Washington.

The Washington Post provides today an Op Ed article by Pastor Greg Laurie, Honorary Chairman of the task force for the National Day of Prayer, and the founder of the Harvest Crusades: .

When you go about your business today, at some point during the day pause and give thanks to God who provides wisdom, healing, forgiveness, and grace. Ask Him to work in your life and in America to heal the nation and to be more personal in your life every day.

Until next time.