Some people know sooooooo much about what they've learned sooooooo little.
Churches as well as politicians, professors, media, entertainment and...know all about that.
Read 1 Timothy 3:6; though the context is humbling.
Well, because I'm a speed reader and insufferable academic, I've been searching for intersecting truth by consuming so much crap from ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CDC, ESPN, NY Times, DC Post, Chicago Tribune and on and on and on; except for The View because I have not yet descended into hell.
While I am not like Sister-Bertha-who-knows-better-than-you/me/everybody, here's my ignorant intersecting truth about the Wuhanese COVID-19 Challenge and Opportunity.
The truth is it is an unprecedented, fluid and incrementally unfolding challenge and no one, not even you/me/them, knows the magnitude and duration.
BTW, and this is for sheepdogs not sheep who are moving to hysteria and panic by tapping into the hyperbolized confusion of people who don't know what the hell/heaven that they're talking about, you may want to do a little study on the word placebo. Try placebo effect via Google.
Now here's the opportunity.
Intimacy with God by grace through faith in Jesus by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit that never contradicts Jesus by the book is the only - let me repeat - only way to live triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, misery and miscreance of life in the modern world.
Intimacy with God, as OC wrote, is the only way to increase "strong calm sanity" in the midst of storms.
As Joe likes to say, period.
Anyone can increase intimacy with God through worship.
David sang, "God inhabits the praises of His people."
Worship is the most "essential" exercise during crisis.
Praise God for the many faithful churches that are live-streaming their worship services.
Reading the Bible is a regular opportunity to increase intimacy with God and, ergo, increase our strong calm sanity through this stormy challenge.
I recommend starting with the Psalms and red letters of the New Testament; and while I'm only scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus by the book, I read Matthew 5-7 almost every day.
As you and I increase our intimacy with God and, ergo, our strong calm sanity, we have the opportunity to share this good news of overcoming with others.
Frankly, or Shirley if you prefer, while all of us have our weak moments and must dive back into worship and Word, people who are drowning are just not intimate with God in a Matthew 7:24ff kinda way.
So the greatest opportunity for us is to be a part of the most "essential" ministry and movement through this storm.
Remember, by grace through faith in Jesus, we experience paradise (His word), the first nano-second after the past breath; which is why true believers say the worst thing that can happen to us in time is the best thing that can happen to us forever.
1 Corinthians 15.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Someone once said, "Tough times don't build character but rather betray it."
These times distinguish believers from others.
More than less, believers have strong calm sanity, survive and live triumphantly with an eternal perspective.
Others drown in deep waters.
Yes, we have a tough challenge.
Yes, yes, yes, we have a wonderful opportunity to help save people from drowning.
Heralding Jesus as Lord and Savior!
Praying with people to receive Him into the head, heart and gut as Lord and Savior and, together, overcoming this challenge by the greatest opportunity extended to humanity since creation - the assurance of eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus that causes us to live confidently through this/any meantime.
Blessings and Love!
P.S. I have included some words from JLB via KHR that are very encouraging about our exceptional republic and its patriots (scroll down).
James Lee Burke (Read below for his encouraging words)
Hello, everyone. These are depressing times, but I would like to share with you some memories and lessons I always found helpful in dealing with what Gram Parsons called "In My Darkest Hour."
I remember how frightened I was when, on December 7, at 1:15 P.M., a radio music program was interrupted in the little cafe where I was eating Sunday dinner with my parents. A news broadcaster informed everyone the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. No one moved or spoke, as though they were inside a motion picture film and the projector had frozen the image on the screen. When a child sees fear in the faces of adults, the fear transfers to him like a contagion, magnified many times.
But I learned a quick lesson about the country I was born in. Men and women all over the nation stood in long lines to volunteer for the armed services. Every week President Franklin Roosevelt had one of his Fireside Chats with over one hundred million people, assuring us that the only fear we needed to fear was fear itself. Food and gasoline were immediately rationed, but no one complained. My family's ration book allowed us one small chicken and one small roast a week. It was impossible to buy sugar or butter. In four years I saw only one instance of hoarding, A man down the street was caught with a garage full of canned goods and and fined heavily. He also lived the rest of his life in disgrace.
We had other problems as well. My family lived in the polio capitol of America. Nobody knew what caused it or the origins of the virus. At age eight I spent almost one year in bed with perhaps a case of polio or perhaps rheumatic fever or perhaps both. Diagnostic medicine was often based on speculation and was nothing like it is today. But I felt very sick and lived in fear of diseases that had control of my body, but could not be confronted or medicated or even adequately defined.
After I was better, my best friend and I went from house to house towing a red wagon, asking both strangers and our neighbors for their old newspapers, unwanted coat-hangers, rubber-bands, and bacon grease. We took the newspapers and coat-hangers to our local firehouse where we dumped them inside a red-white-and-blue picket enclosure. The balls of rubber bands were turned in at the grocery store and so were the jars of kitchen grease (the latter was used to make nitroglycerin).
People dropped rifles,shotguns, and pistols into donation barrels at the biggest sporting goods store in the city so they could be shipped to England in advance of what everyone believed would be a German invasion. (The invasion never happened, but the Brits have never forgotten the gesture.)
Wake Island and the Philippines fell, and many nights we had air-raid exercises and blackouts. Rumors spread about inflammable (that's the way the word used to be spelled and it still remains the correct spelling) materials that the Japanese sowed in American cities; supposedly they would burst alight when a child picked one up. There were riots on the West Coast, and many innocent American-born Japanese had their businesses and homes vandalized, and eventually many thousands were sent to "internment" camps by FDR, who in so doing besmirched his long history of compassion and decency.
But in those dark days we began to hear names of great heroes who came from humble origins and the kinds of neighborhoods that most Depression-era Americans lived in. Colin Kelly went down in flames attacking the entirety of the Japanese Air Force. Audie Murphy, five-foot-five, who went to the sixth grade, stayed on top of a burning tank working a fifty-caliber with half his hip shot away, thereby saving his whole regiment.
In 1942 American troops were wading onto the sands of Guadalcanal. Jimmy Doolittle bombed Tokyo with B-25s that no one thought could fly from a carrier. At Midway navy and marine fighter pilots sank four Japanese carriers, a solitary event that decided the outcome of the war.
At home, the unity and love of our country was probably like no other time in our history. We knew we were on the side of right, and if we failed, that the light of civilization would die forever.
We're faced now with a situation that bears many similarities to the war years in which I grew up, and for that reason I think we need to remind ourselves of who we are. In 1945 we were the only country in the would in possession of atomic weapons. We could have turned the earth into a slave camp with barbed wire and machine-gun towers. Instead, through the Marshall Plan, we rebuilt the countries of our enemies and turned them into democracies. No country in human history ever acted with such generosity.
There is no mystery to who people are. They are what they do. We are the same people we were when I was pulling the red wagon with my best friend, whose name was Tommy Kroutter. We don't let fear into our hearts; we do not turn on our brother or our sister; we do not shirk sacrifice; we do not compromise our role as the leader of the free world, or as the country whose Constitution is the model for every emerging democracy on earth.
This is still the greatest country in human history; it was, it is, and it will remain so, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Keep the faith, and grin and walk through the cannon smoke. It drives the bad guys crazy. You're the best people in the world.
Best to all of you,