A Season to be Thankful

                              Oh, Give Thanks unto the Lord for He is Good!


First, let me say a blessed and happy thanksgiving to all!

2017 so far, has been a rough and disastrous year for many: hurricane, earthquake, flood, wild-fire, church shootings, military ambush, financial reverses, and health challenges. Yet, for all that, if you are alive there is something to be thankful for. It is true, a living dog is far better than a dead lion. The dog has hope to see another sunrise, not the lion. In other words, life gives us a hope and a future, something to celebrate.

It is strange that from last year to the beginning months of 2017, I spent much time answering the questions people asked about their personal flourishing. Here are the questions they ask me: Why so many talk blessing, but there are little to no fruits of blessing upon their lives? They live with constant lack, could there be a curse preventing some people from flourishing? Bless and Curse Not, is my answer to these questions.

Even here in the United States, the land of enormous wealth and abundance, there are still people who are dirt poor, and cannot make two ends meet. There are many causes to the problem of poverty including bad social policies, lack of education, lack of opportunity, to name a few. I don’t think blaming the victim absolves a society from providing for its own. Caring for the poor is an act of mercy. We read these words from our Lord, “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy” (Matt.5:7).

Finally, lack or poverty is not only result of social policies and the other reasons named, but in some cases, it is a spiritual problem that cause resources to dry up for some people. This includes curses that people live under for years. People can ignorantly curse their own blessing, because “the tongue has the power of life and death” (Prov.18:21). These issues are addressed in Bless and Curse Not. Thanksgiving and Christmas are seasons of giving, put this resource on your gift list; it will certainly bless someone many years to come.

A blessed Thanksgiving!


Author: Michael Dewar
Mentor, author, spiritual leader.
Lives in New York



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People everywhere are invited to join this hilarious fight.

Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, faces a new rival on Amazon, Dewar’s newly published book, Bless and Curse Not: The Art of Blessing.

A book fight is when two books compete in the marketplace for first place, often a David and a Goliath. In this fight, the Goliath is self-evident. From October 2017 to January 31st, 2018 people will line up behind their book of choice to get first-place or to remain in first-place. Most people, however, tend to purchase both books to make a fair, health comparison and to benefit from the knowledge both books offer. Normally, people return to write a book review on Amazon or wherever the purchase was made.

This current book fight showcases the two books shown here: Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, and Dewar’s book, Bless and Curse Not: The Art of Blessing.

We will watch with interest as these two books duke it out for first place over the next few months. Counting from October 12th, 2017, the book that crosses the finish line first with one million copies sold, will be the first-place winner. Some are saying the Goliath in this fight has never loss a battle before. Others are saying, that true but Goliath has never met David before.

The two books are markedly different; the two authors embrace different set of values, and the books are written to different audiences. It is believed, however, that people will buy both books not only to make a healthy comparison, but to benefit from the knowledge both offer. This way, the people get the best deal when all of this is over.

What are the rules. There is only one rule: do not use Book Fights for political purpose, to denigrate the authors or to write or post bad reviews on them. Reviews must be on the merit of the book only.

Health Insurance Premium Versus Healthcare Cost

Author: Michael Dewar
Dwelling Place Cleansing

This short article is my observation based upon 28 years of interaction with healthcare as the provider of services in a multi-service medical center and hospital setting. I am taking the position that—to truly have affordable healthcare that is sustainable for the American people, five issues must be considered: premium cost, healthcare cost, provider profitability, the marketplace, and physician malpractice cost.

The preceding categories are like five moving parts of the same engine. Or, better yet, think of juggling five balls. The normal way of juggling is: while some balls are going up, others are coming down. But healthcare is a different animal, all five balls must go up and come down at the same time, and must be caught with only two hands. There is always an odd ball to be caught, and the odd ball could be any of the five on each throw. If all balls are not caught, it throws off the entire juggling process. Let’s look at these five balls.

Insurance Premium 

Some people are making the mistake in thinking that if insurance premium falls to the level of consumer affordability that automatically brings down the cost of healthcare, but that is not true. In fact, premium cost coming down could have the reverse effect. It could cause healthcare cost to go up, because there are four other balls putting pressure on the system. When premium falls, the insurance company takes in less money but must continue make payouts as heretofore. That puts pressure on the insurance company to move some things around to make up for lost revenue. In many cases that results in higher deductible and higher copays and reduction in services. These adjustments may not appear dramatic to create alarm up front, but they will become noticeable after a while when you are locked into the system.

For political reasons, government policy makers are greatly focused on lowering premiums because this gives the appearance of affordability in the sight of voters. Plus, it is easier to explain to them, because they are not looking at the other four moving balls. Chances are—they are looking at the odd ball.

Healthcare Cost

There are three categories of people who are quickly affected by the healthcare cost: the insurance people, the provider of services, and the consumer of services. When I speak of healthcare cost, I am speaking of all the services associated with one health crisis or event. Let’s say, Mary fell at home and fractured her right knee. She is rushed by ambulance to the hospital, x-ray reveals she needs a replacement knee. She needs a skilled orthopedic surgeon for the surgery, then three weeks of acute rehabilitation. Upon discharge to home, she needs home care: a visiting nurse, physical therapy, home health aide, and equipment (a walker and cane).

Now, the insurance that Mary has, must be and excellent, top of the line policy to pay for this quality care from ambulance to the last person and service that puts her back on her feet. Chances are her deductible and copay are going to be burdensome, depending on her financial situation. Any home care service over three weeks will have to be paid out-of-pocket, unless she has Medicaid. If she has Medicaid, she is fully covered for the service (at least in NYC), but the quality may not be as good. She will get by, but some service providers do not take Medicaid because of the pittance paid for service. So, right away one can see how quality care is skewed to those that have the best policy (cost more) or those that can private hire extra services.

Provider Profitability

Now, the cost scenarios used in this section is pure fiction, there is nothing like this going on in American healthcare. It is reasonable to say, all the professionals, para-professionals and agencies associated with the care of Mary want to provide services, not at a loss, but at a reasonable profit. Less say, the orthopedic surgeon charges $20,000 for the knee surgery. A good quality, American made prosthetic knee may cost $2,500 depending on type. Some may say that’s a lot of money. But where can you get an orthopedic surgeon at bargain price? And would you prefer a $200 prosthetic knee manufactured in a third world country? Even if you could find one at that price, no orthopedic surgeon would risk his or her reputation using it on a patient.

Or, less say the insurance company will only pay the orthopedic surgeon $5,000 for the surgery and if he or she used cost-effective prosthetic from outside the United States and perform 10 surgeries for the month, $2,000 bonus per surgery will be paid. Now, if this were true, the temptation would be high to compromise on quality to cut cost in favor of the insurance company. And who would know if quality were compromised unless something serious went wrong. The point is—profitability is not a dirty word, and it does not always signal greed. Good healthcare is costly, a fact we already know. But we must still ask the question, what is reasonable profitability? Should there be a reasonable, flat fee for replacement knees from NY to LA?

 The Marketplace

Some people say, like everything else, let market competition regulate the cost. From the preceding paragraph, you begin to see that healthcare is a different animal. Leaving it to be regulated by the marketplace is what brought us to the current crisis. When healthcare is left to the competition of the marketplace to lower costs, on the surface it appears that cost is lower, but below the surface quality is often compromised and fraud becomes wide-spread. Sooner or later, like the housing market the whole system comes crashing down at the expense of the consumer and taxpayer.

How then shall we live as far as healthcare is concerned? I don’t think there is any magic bullet. But a single payer system with incentives for doctors and strict oversight, may be the way to go. We may have to take piece of what works from all the healthcare systems around the world and make it work for the American people. At the same time, the profession of medicine must remain attractive for the brightest students from around the world, less we dumb down medicine to a second-rate profession. We cannot afford to lose our leading edge in healthcare. In the United States, it is easier to spend money on weapons of war than healthcare. The mother of all bombs is rumored to cost $314 million. Yes, one bomb!

Malpractice Coverage

One of the basic reason doctors’ services should not be had at a bargain price from some, and a greedy price from others is the unbelievable high cost of malpractice insurance. Two professions collide in malpractice: the medical and the legal. There are greedy lawyers and there are greedy doctors, but I am not too quick to fault them. The consumer falls in the middle. The right of the consumer must be protected; therefore, settlements must be fair and equitable. Outrageous law suits often driven by greed must be discouraged. Someone needs to rethink the convergence of interests and come up with affordable coverage and reasonable and equitable payouts. Perhaps, a government subsidized malpractice insurance, if not already in existence.

If doctors are poorly paid on the one hand, and greedily paid on the other, and malpractice insurance has gone through the roof, then we are forced to maintain the status quo or come up with a more balanced system that works for all the players, except the greed. We have the skills to do it, but I am not sure we have the will as yet.

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Some in the media are claiming that the President of the United States has “Absolute Power.”  This concept is a carry-over of medieval “divine rights of kings.” Back then, kings of the secular state believed they were appointed by God to rule over all of life including the church. When Papal Rome ruled, they adopted the same concept for a while, exercising authority over kings.

The constitution does not give the President absolute power, or unquestioned authority, not even on immigration matters. I think they are confusing “absolute power” with “exclusive authority.”  The President has exclusive authority on immigration policy matters, but policy must conform to the constitution. The constitution comes closest to absolute power. But not totally absolute, because the constitution can be changed by the people. We the people are vested with absolute power under God. I say, under God, because He is the only one with true absolute power, thus the words, one nation under God.

Author: Michael Dewar
Executive Director/Dwelling Place Cleansing 
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What Do We Mean When We Say We Believe?

The Power of Beliefalaska-eagle-caufgt-fish

Author: Michael Dewar
Executive Director/Dwelling Place Cleansing

The word “believe” could be a very tricky word; lately, it is creating a lot of confusion for some in the public square, government, and the media. So, I decided to take a look at it with the following three use of the word believe:

Hi John, are you going to the concert this Saturday? John gives his answer, “I believe so.” Regardless of his facial expression, this colloquial use of the word expresses uncertainty. John is not quite sure that he will attend the Saturday concert. If he had a strong sense of certainty, he would have used others words like, most definitely! Or, without question!

I believe in Jesus and He forgave me of my sins. Here believe presupposes three things: Knowledge about Jesus, accent or agreement that He is able to forgive, and appropriation (that is personally accepting Him as Savior, so He could do the forgiving). To do all this a person must accept the historical fact of His Virgin Birth, His death, and His resurrection. Upon these foundational truths rooted in factual, historical evidence, people say–you are a believer.

I believe five million undocumented persons voted illegally in the recent election. In this context believe is a notion in my head that has to be substantiated by quantifiable, factual evidence outside of my head. Let me illustrate with the following experience:

I did one year internship (Social Work) in a major psychiatric hospital in Queens, New York. On the first day, I was told to present my credentials to the resident psychiatrist; he supposed to be somewhere on the ward. The first man I saw with a white coat and a stethoscope around his neck I presumed to be the doctor. As I was getting ready to talk to him, a nurse came out and said, “Not him! He is a patient.” He just believes he is a doctor. Later, another patient told we with much conviction that she was the Virgin Mary. She believed that she was. The fact is, the man was not a doctor and the woman was neither Mary or a virgin (she had children). Even faith requires evidence (Heb. 11:1).

We cannot take what is in a person’s head as truth unless we have factual, historical data that is quantifiable. It does not matter whose head the belief finds residence in. I am beginning to think that a psychiatric evaluation should be part of the requirement to run for public office.

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