Overtreated: More medical care isnt always better – Yahoo! News

***This is something we’ve suspected for quite some time. -VRH***


Overtreated: More medical care isnt always better – Yahoo! News
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> More medical care won’t necessarily make you healthier — it may make you sicker. It’s an idea that technology-loving Americans find hard to believe.

> Anywhere from one-fifth to nearly one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary, and avoidable care is costly in more ways than the bill: It may lead to dangerous side effects.

> It can start during birth, as some of the nation’s increasing C-sections are triggered by controversial fetal monitors that signal a baby is in trouble when really everything’s fine.
It extends to often futile intensive care at the end of the life.

Read more at [Yahoo! News](http://yhoo.it/bVtVK7).

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Terrifying Sinkhole Opens in Guatemala, Swallows Three-Story Building

Terrifying Sinkhole Opens in Guatemala, Swallows Three-Story Building: “Looks like you could travel to India — or another dimension — through this thing.”

The Guatemalan government posted this picture Monday of a massive 200-foot-deep sinkhole in the capital of Guatemala City, which opened after a weekend of heavy rain from tropical storm Agatha.

A three-story building and at least one man were swallowed by its gaping maw, which officials estimate to be 100 feet in diameter.

About 146 people have died across Central America since Agatha’s landfall, with Guatemala reporting most of the casualties, according to the Daily Mail.

Mudslides are mostly to blame, and to make matters worse, officials are saying ash from the Pacaya volcano has blocked drains. Ash is also keeping Guatemala City’s airport closed, which could hamper international aid efforts.

Sinkholes are pretty common in Guatemala, Florida and other spots; just last month, a farmhouse with four people inside collapsed into a sinkhole in St. Jude, Quebec.

Sinkholes form in places where the underlying ground layer consists of limestone, salt beds or other soluble rock, which dissolves in water. Groundwater coursing beneath the surface eats away at the rock, slowly eroding and destabilizing it. Often, new underground caves are created, which then collapse in catastrophic scenes like this one.

Unfortunately, not much can be done to prevent the phenomenon — other than hope you don’t get swallowed.”

(Via Popular Science.)

[VRH: I am reminded of the words of the Lord Christ: ‘Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ (Luke 13:4–5)]

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Viña Requingua Toro de Piedra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2008

torodepiedracab2008.pngViña Requingua Toro de Piedra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2008

This is a delicious Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon that is delightfully complex! On the dry side, it reminded me a little of a chianti at times with hints of leather, but it is definitely a cab with flavours of pepper, black cherry, cedar, and maybe some mocha. Lots of fun, and modestly priced, too!

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GraphicConverter X for Mac

GraphicConverter XGraphicConverter X for Mac – Graphics editing program and much more. MacUpdate Mac Software Downloads.

This is a very powerful image editing and conversion utility. It’s not in the same class as Photoshop, but it doesn’t try to be. Things that are easy to do in Photoshop may not be so easy in GrachicConverter, and vice versa. As a shareware application, GraphicConverter doesn’t have quite the ‘polish’ of a commercial application, but at the correspondingly lower price, it really packs a lot of power and versatility.

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Thoughts on Determining the Doctrine of the Church

The Rev. Lane Keister posted an insightful quotation from Francis Turretin contrasting the opinions and judgements of individuals with the authoritative teaching of the Church as held forth in her public doctrinal standards.

Hence they are accustomed to drawing nothing from public standards to prove their calumnies, but only from the writings of private divines from which they falsely weave consequences.

Concerning the public and received opinion of any church, a judgment cannot and ought not to be formed from the writings of private persons … because we do not stand or fall with the judgment of each private divine, however illustrious (Volume 1 of Institutes of Elenctic Theology, p. 529).

Turretin is pointing out the problem with attacking the teachings of a Church based strictly upon what this or that individual says or teaches. The synodical determinations of a Church have a different status and authority than the determinations of any one individual member of that Church. It is precisely this point that Turretin is pressing. No single individual speaks definitively for what the Church believes and teaches. Rather, we who are Reformed believe that the definitive statement of a Church’s beliefs is found in her confessional declarations. And we believe that this is by God’s design. It is precisely in this capacity that a Church functions as the pillar and ground of the Truth in upholding and establishing the truth of Scripture through confessional standards.

The Reformed believe that the doctrinal determinations of a Church represented in her confessional standards, if they are true to the Scriptures, ‘are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in his Word.’ (WCF 31.2) There is a ‘power’ (i.e., authority) spoken of there that belongs to the Church corporately and is exercised through her Elders corporately in synod. That authority Continue reading

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Toasted Head Chardonnay

This is not a subtle Chardonnay — it’s very oaky, buttery, and robust. I guess California Chardonnays have that reputation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you don’t mind the lack of subtlety, this is a very fun beverage to enjoy with a more robustly seasoned poultry dish.

Here’s the description from Worldmarket.com.

Bright tangerine and pear fruit aromas are highlighted by clove and nutmeg. Pear and toasty butterscotch oak flavors. Mellow creamy texture. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Pour with citrus-and-herb halibut, a roasted pineapple and avocado salsa. Tropical!

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Tributes to John Calvin

Tributes to John Calvin

At Reformation Heritage Books: The essays in Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of His Quincentenary illuminate Calvin’s times, thought and legacy, and provide a celebratory tribute to one of the most influential people in history. This book commemorates the quincentenary of Calvin’s birth (July 10, 1509), and attests to the remarkable fact that a French religious leader from a tiny village is still remembered half a millennium later.

Twenty-three leading Calvin scholars exhibit a firm understanding of Calvin’s era, theology, and the heritage he bequeathed the church. Their articles cover Calvin’s theology, soteriology, and ecclesiology, as well as his doctrines of assurance, worship, and Scripture. They examine Calvin as a Frenchman, lawyer, and liturgist. Other articles explore Calvin’s impact on the arts, Calvinism in Asia, and the influential women in Calvin’s life.

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Difficulties for a quasi-confessional Church

Those who opposed the so-called good faith subscription model that was officially adopted by the PCA General Assembly several years ago warned of this. A TE from Eastern Carolina Presbytery was denied a transfer to Mississippi Valley Presbytery. The Aquila Report provides the following details from the article Report of Actions at Mississippi Valley Presbytery (PCA) on May 4th, 2010.

The Credentials Committee then gave its report and brought before it two men. One for transfer from Eastern Carolina Presbytery and one for licensure (a minister in good standing from the SBC). Rev. Perry McCall (from the SBC) was examined and preached from Joshua 1:1-9. His licensure was approved. The man who was seeking transfer had a difficult exam. He took exception to WCF 4.1 on creation days. However, by his examination it showed he also held views holding to women deaconesses and women reading Scripture in Public Worship. The Presbytery saw these two were exceptions as well. Following this, the Presbytery voted whether or not to approve his transfer and he was denied despite his willingness to submit to the brethren on these issues.

At the close of the article is the following note.

Editor’s Note: The Aquila Report has requested comment from a large number of members of the Presbytery concerning denying transfer to a TE from another PCA Presbytery based on MVP’S not granting exceptions that are frequently granted in other Presbyteries and had previously been granted within Mississippi Valley Presbytery itself. We will print those comments in a few days, after we have had time to gather then.

The difficulty described here in relation to the transfer of credentials is merely a symptom of the larger problem — that the PCA has no objective standard for unity in doctrine and practice. The PCA’s de facto confessional standard is an unspecified set of ‘vitals of religion’ presumably found somewhere within the commemorative documents we call the Westminster Standards. According to the PCA’s ‘good faith subscription’ model, every court of original jurisdiction defines these vitals, or non-negotiable doctrines, as it sees fit.

While the constitution of a confessional Church is supposed to establish an objective standard of unity in doctrine and practise, the PCA’s model effectively removes that objective standard. As a result, the courts of the PCA will find it increasingly difficulty to function as a single denomination. This is to be expected precisely because the PCA has transformed itself into a loosely connected set of regional mini-denominations called presbyteries, each with its own version of the PCA’s unwritten constitution.

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Calvin on prayer

A friend of mine posted this on facebook. I don’t know where in Calvin’s writings it’s found, but it is a beautiful summary of the biblical doctrine of prayer.

Believers do not pray, with the view of informing God about things unknown to him, or of exciting him to do his duty, or of urging him as though he were reluctant. On the contrary, they pray, in order that they may arouse themselves to seek him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on his promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into his bosom; in a word, that they may declare that from Him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things. God himself, on the other hand, has purposed freely, and without being asked, to bestow blessings upon us; but he promises that he will grant them to our prayers.

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