The Devil Went Down to Georgia

“The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin’ for a soul to steal. He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind and he was lookin to make a deal…”

-Charlie Daniels-

Apparently, COVID was not enough of a problem so two white, alt-right, gun-loving, Georgian red necks decided to initiate another wave in the gun violence pandemic. A video taken by their friend shows them chasing down Ahmaud Arbery an innocent black jogger in a pickup truck and gunning him down in the street.

The fact that he was a black man shot in Georgia leads many Americans to the obvious conclusion that he was killed because he was black. 

I know what you are thinking. He’s fighting the guy with the gun. But then there are only three options when you believe you are going to die; fight, flee or freeze.

Of course this doesn’t help the shooter’s case either.

We do have footage of Arbery looking around a construction site which makes him a curious trespasser. A lot of us have been guilty of that. It doesn’t warrant being shot dead in the street.

Luckily, non-racist white people in pursuit of God’s own heart are demanding justice.

And there is a new surge of white people repenting for being white. One person illustrated the clear parallel between gun-toting white men in Michigan protesting their governor’s violation of their Constitutional Rights with the abundantly clear reality that black peoples do not have 2nd Amendment rights.

“This violence is a singular privilege afforded to Caucasian men in America. People of color aren’t afforded this luxury. They can’t even get close to such ugliness. Heck, they barely get to breathe…

One selfless Christian replied,

“I don’t even care what the 2nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution says. I’ll forfeit all American rights in order to reject the right to bear arms, not just for the sake of my black brothers and sisters but for the sake of my citizenship in the kingdom of God.”

We do know that strict gun control has worked in the past…

Thankfully, the media is providing back to back coverage of the One and only shooting that took place on that day.

2019 Stats were not available at the time of this writing. However the ongoing white on black genocide in the USA is clearly evidenced by the 2018 FBI UCR Crime Stats.

Offenders:  54.9 percent were Black or African American, 42.4 percent were White

Victims: 53.3 percent were Black or African American, 43.8 percent were White

Wait a minute. I’m confused.

Exactly!

For the record, “White” and “Black” are not people. They are adjectives that describe a noun. There are other adjectives that describe nouns like stupid, ignorant, hateful, and dumb. Black and White are not races. There is only one race – the human race.

In terms of skin color, white and black describe a range of 36 hues.

I am

a “White man”.

I am a “#14 man”.

But seriously, we can debate the characters, motivations and agendas of those involved ad Infinitum. One thing is certain, there is an enemy who is always on the prowl seeking to devour, divide, and provoke anyone with a heart to steal, kill, and destroy. These come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and colors from one to thirty-six.

As Christians we need to remember that our God is not concerned with individual differences.

“God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”Acts 10:34-35

Hence Peter’s admonition that we remain “of sober mind”. Drama driven emotion is the antithesis of a sober mind.

We need to keep the nature of the battle at the forefront of our minds. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…”

It is the same battle that began with “did God really say in Gen 3 and

“For God knows that when you eat of it (The forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Adam and Eve ate, their eyes were opened and their focus shifted from God to themselves.

You might need to chew on this for awhile. But here is the breakdown.

In the garden mankind only knew God. He understood his origin and destiny, his identity in God. His new knowledge of good and evil separated him from God. No longer could he know let alone comprehend himself in the context of his originally created state in God. He now stood in opposition to God.

As a result man began to see himself as an origin, a little god with the power to interpret himself and others according to their own scale of good or evil. Hence the frequently misinterpreted words of Isaiah, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” The fallen man wrestles with this because it feels like an attack on the idol of self esteem otherwise known as “my identity”. It is a reiteration of truth. “I” and “Me” are the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Everything that comes from it is a best a filthy rag including our righteous judgments.

Wait there’s more…

In Gen 4 we have the story of the first death. “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” So God curses Cain and makes him “a fugitive and a vagabond”. Of course Cain immediately thinks of himself and protests that “that anyone who finds me will kill me.” To which God replies “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” There is so much depth to this story. Suffice it to say that Cain built the first city and I don’t believe it is a stretch to say that contemporary society, culture and technology, or the “the world” has its roots in Cain’s progeny. Everything that points to and amplifies “self” flows from Cain.

All that we regard as progressive is really just a positive feed back loop that expands as it repeats.

Then Lamech (Cain’s great – great grandson) said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
For I have killed a man for wounding me,
Even a young man for hurting me.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from psychopathic serial killer or a christian missionary.

Every murder be it from the barrel of a gun or a murderous cry for justice in our hearts and minds is the spirit of Cain reasserting and justifying itself in accordance with the knowledge of good and evil.

So what is the answer?

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, 

made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesusthat in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:1-10

Here’s the point.

Satan is the god of this world. As Christians, we need to be aware of the wiles of the devil, but we shouldn’t be surprised or thrown off balance when the world acts like the world or when the devil does what he has done from the beginning. The trap is not so much in the failure to discern the times or the wiles of the devil. The trap lies in that original self-centeredness that drives and justifies the assumption of our false identities as little gods with a right and responsibility to convict or exonerate based upon the knowledge of good and evil.

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

As Christians, we have been restored to our original standing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Does that mean that we don’t say what we see and cry out to God in grief over injustice? Of course not! What happened in Georgia and what happens every day in cities across America is an absolute travesty and tragedy! The unbroken generational curses and resulting trauma resulting from the sins of our predecessors are real and being capitalized on by the father of lies every day.

That said, we need to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. We are most certainly called to identify evil in accordance with Eph 5:11. The danger lies in our unavoidable identification WITH evil and the spirit of Cain any time we react according to the knowledge of good and evil.

Everything in the current world system is represented in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But there was another tree in the garden, The Tree of Life. That tree contains a Vine and we Christians are supposed to be the branches.

Half measures will avail us nothing. In the end, we abide in the vine or we stand convicted with the world according to the knowledge of good and evil.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

He came for everyone.

I hope for your sake that your heart breaks for all three.

Otherwise I’m afraid the devil just might have gotten that “soul he came lookin to steal”.

COVID Correlations and Conspiracies – Watch and Abide

Like a lot of people, I’m still trying to make sense of this COVID crisis and all of its attendant spiritual, political, and socio-economic issues. When it all started, I began by erring on the side of compliance and adopting the data sets supported by those in authority. I wasn’t about to join a proverbial crazy train without looking at the evidence on both sides. I was subsequently attacked, called a communist, and unfriended on Facebook for going along with the mainstream narrative. Now it seems like every new revelation and data set is quickly contradicted by another and you can be attacked or blocked for saying anything.

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.” – Niccolo Machiavelli-

The biblical word for “Watch” in the greek is gray-gor-yoo to “be vigilant, awake, take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtakes one.” Col 4:2. In that sense, I have always been a watchman. Watchers watch because we are in pursuit of God’s will, and we want to understand the times. We tell people what we see because we love them and enjoy conversing about various topics. Perhaps you have a different view of recent events and the road ahead. That’s fine. What I write here should not be taken as my opinion carved in stone let alone a declaration of any absolute truth. I’m looking at things from a different vantage point in this post. I’ll probably try others on for size in subsequent ones. At the end of the day, I’m just thinking aloud and saying what I see.

That still irritates some people.

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. Mat 16:2-4

“In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency… Coping with the nuances of contradictory ideas or experiences is mentally stressful. It requires energy and effort to sit with those seemingly opposite things that all seem true. Festinger argued that some people would inevitably resolve the dissonance by blindly believing whatever they wanted to believe.” Simon and Garfunkel said the same thing.

“A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.”

There is a story circulating online regarding a 2010 white paper by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network titled, Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development. Those posting it, are alleging that it outlines a plan for authoritarian global domination. I’m not so sure about that but it’s definitely an interesting read. As the title implies, scenarios are the subject.

“Scenario planning is a methodology designed to help guide groups and individuals through exactly this creative process. The process begins by identifying forces of change in the world, then combining those forces in different ways to create a set of diverse stories—or scenarios—about how the future could evolve. Scenarios are designed to stretch our thinking about both the opportunities and obstacles that the future might hold; they explore, through narrative, events, and dynamics that might alter, inhibit, or enhance current trends, often in surprising ways…Importantly, scenarios are not predictions. Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future—or more ambitiouslyhow to help shape better futures ourselves.”

Interesting…

hmmm…scenerios...

They call it a conspiracy theory when we do it.

Whatever the microbiological truth is about COVID, it’s cause, Ro factor, and what the mortality rate finally ends up being, one thing is certain. Some very interesting information has come to light. The crisis is driving a fresh narrative in what I call “Tribulation Now” eschatology. For the record, I do not believe we are in the final Rev 13 tribulation. So there is no need to explain that point. But I noticed that people who believe that the biblical mark of the beast is upon us were receiving the same sort of abuse that I was getting for advocating a Rom 13 response to government-mandated mitigation procedures. Anyway, I decided to take a Berean approach and look into the reasons for their concerns. What I found was a proverbial pandora’s box labeled

“Vaccines”

I started reading and hearing more about people like Bill Gates, the computer guy with zero medical background who was leading the charge in managing a viral pandemic. Initially all the numbers and mathematical projections that the CDC and NIAH were using to advise the president came from his foundation. Bill’s dad was Eugenicist who headed up planned parenthood. Bill has spoken for years about the need for global population reduction through vaccination. He’s a guy who was the second biggest donor to the WHO. A guy who is currently being held accountable in places like India and Africa for injuries and death caused by his vaccine experimentation. A guy to whom ideas like “kill granny, hire a teacher” and “death panels” are attributed, and who now wants to save the old people by vaccinating the world?

I’ve never had a strong opinion about vaccines in the past because I never took the time to investigate the claims of people I thought were just loonie, conspiracy theorists.

Yup, I’m guilty of marginalizing people based on my own biases too.

Call me old fashioned. Call me biased. But it’s hard to reconcile the seemingly benign and geeky guy who gave us the word processor with the fact that he repeatedly hung out with people like Jeffery Epstein.

Even if you deny the fact that bad company corrupts good character, you’ll have to admit that Gates has some pretty weird tastes in art, friends, and recreation like Spirit cooking with Marina Abramović. Bill recently resigned as CEO of Microsoft but he remains the largest shareholder. That means he is basically still the boss. As for Abramović I never knew how popular and influential she was among the Hollywood and DC elite until Microsoft made her their poster child. That didn’t last long as the public outcry resulted in a freak out at MS headquarters and she was quickly removed. But it helped to expose some serious darkness.

Not to worry. The internet thoroughly debunked the idea that she’s a Satanist.

“Indeed, Abramović’s art has frequently involved blood, bodies, nudity, pain, and tension, but that doesn’t make her a demonic worshipper of dark entities; it just makes her daring!

Apparently, cannibalism is art.

Who knew?!

“Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it; or, if it should be noticed, excuses must be at hand to be produced immediately.”– Niccolo Machiavelli-

Originally, it was my interest in currency trading that lead me to the truth about global markets and the events and people that drive them. I found there are myriad globalist and philanthropist biographies and white papers that illuminated and illustrated their long-standing intentions and plans.  People like David Rockefeller, who said: “competition is a sin”. He collaborated with the Nazis in WWII and assumed financial control of nearly every area of American society including medical education in order to sell his petroleum-based drugs. Henry Kissinger was a national hero for opening up China to trade with the west. He had a plan to use food among other things as a weapon to depopulate the third world. When I started trading George Soros, an uber-successful Hungarian Jewish trader seemed like a good mentor because he nearly bankrupted the Bank of England when he shorted the British Pound. He finances a lot of ahh…social activism through his Open Society Foundations around the world. It looks good on the surface until you learn that he finances and hedges the conflicts he foments around the world. He describes his boyhood time with the Nazis as one of the happiest years of his life and stated that he was not the least bit disturbed by having to remove and inventory the possessions of his Jewish brethren while they were being hauled off to gas chambers. ‘If I hadn’t done it someone else would have’ he explained. That’s how traders view markets which is probably why he is so good at it. Imagine my surprise when I learned that even one of my childhood favorites Walter Cronkite who told us “the way it is” every evening had in fact sided with Satan while excepting a World Federalist Association award for his support of global governance. One of my favorite authors as a kid, Aldous Huxley whom I thought only wrote fiction explained the whole globalist plan to Mike Wallace in 1958. He said that in the future old forms of terror would be done away with. Instead, people would love their slavery.   Don’t believe me? Just click on the hyperlinks.

I know. Getting Red Pilled can be traumatic at first.

Needless to say, I did not get rich from trading. But God certainly used it to illustrate the reality of Mathew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

As I watched the tsunami roll over Fukushima Japan in live time in 2011, I was more than a little horrified that my very first thought was not the suffering and tragic loss of life, but my own self-interest in the form of a Dollar / Yen trade.

I looked in the mirror and I saw George Soros.

Then shut my computer down.

As I applied my former research to the Tribulation Now narrative I found it is composed of familiar recurring motifs in the form correlations and coincidences like the Gates Foundation’s Event 201 in October 2019, that war-gamed the current pandemic. There is Bill’s Quantum Dot tattoo, for Vaccine registration, to be required if you want to be allowed out of your home to work and travel. There’s his “1bn dollar plan to cover the earth in video surveillance satellites”. This correlates with ID2020, which in turn correlates with the new Microsoft Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data. People will perform various tasks like I don’t know… maybe bowing to the coming AI god in Anthony Levandowski’s Way of the Future Church to earn digital money with which they can buy sell and trade. Yes, these are real things and real intentions. Of course, Elon Musk’s Neuralink Implantable brain chips scheduled for roll out this year should fit right in. Then again, Gates and Musk might be competing, more than conspiring with each other. However, I can’t help noticing that Quantum Dot Tattoos would go in the hand or arm. While Nuerolink chips will be implanted directly in the head. Even so, Musk’s Starlink Satellite system is designed to provide 5G coverage to even the remotest locations on earth and might help provide the required digital infrastructure for these systems. Not sure if or how AOL’s new database MOLOCH fits in but a God to whom people sacrificed their children sure is a weird choice of names. In any case, you can be certain that these advancements are connected to the Transhumanist Agenda of Global Futures 2045. GF2045 was originally lead by Google’s head of R&D Ray Kurzweil who among other things plans to merge man and machine in what he calls the “Singularity” by 2045 and live eternally. Of course, any such agenda would be intimately connected with Gates and his UN partnership, and support for UN Agenda 2030 which in my opinion makes Hunger Games look like a fun day at Disney Land. That’s the same UN that appoints medically untrained members of a designated terror group to lead its world health organization and whose spiritual arm is the Lucis Trust. The Lucis Trust names Lucifer as its archetypal model because after all, he is the “angel who brought light to the world”. Its foundation is based on the teachings of Alice and Foster Bailey, theosophical founder, HP Blavatsky, and their Lucifer Publishing Company. 

Why does this matter? Well, Jesus commanded us to not be deceived. Mat 24:4-5 I could be wrong but it seems like an AI god just might qualify as a false Christ.

Maybe this sounds crazy to you. It sure does to me. In fact, I’m feeling a lot like Ezekiel, as I imagine it, in Ezekiel 8.

“Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” 

In any case, it should be clear why mistaken or not, a certain eschatological scenario might emerge in the minds of some bible-believing Christians. And while I definitely do not believe we are in the final Tribulation,

I am certain that birth pangs have started.

That said, if you believe what is written in the bible then you already know the entire world system is under the control of “the angel who brought light to the world”. 1 John 5:19 Those who conform to it are blinded by him. 2 Cor 4:4 The bible says these people are enemies of God. James 4:4, Of course, all of us were His enemies at one time. Colossians 1:21

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants”. -Albert Camus-

The question for Christians is how should we respond? Colossians 4:2 says we are to “devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Obviously, I am biased toward the watchful part. You might disagree but I think that includes challenging cognitive dissonance through the kind of thinking that goes into the scenario planning that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. Historically unchallenged cognitive dissonance has resulted in real-life scenarios where people ignore the obvious and obediently march off the edge of the proverbial cliff simply because they are told to. Extreme as it may sound, cognitive dissonance is what allowed the German Jews to obediently stand in line awaiting their turn to be gassed or shot.

Cognitive dissonance also resulted in German Christians consenting to the genocide of God’s chosen people.

People in the free world aren’t likely to be lined up and shot…just yet. But they might be lined up to take a shot. In any case, the pertinent question now is; how should we respond as Christians if that happens? And should we speak up before it happens?

After all, Adolf Hitler was elected.

It takes courage to call a spade a spade, to oppose evil, stand for truth, and be mocked or worse. There are always a few with the courage to speak up. We are seeing more than a few scientists and doctors doing exactly that regarding COVID.

Most people are simply managed as planned.

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they can discern that confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment, that which they cannot anticipate.” – Sun Tzu- The Art of War

A watchman looks for that which most people do not anticipate.

As we sit at home, in accordance with our “nonessential” designation, perhaps we should consider the possibility that in the future we might be designated under the heading of what Eugenicist Philosopher Bertrand Russel called useless eaters and as George Bernard Shaw recommended, be brought before a panel every five years to justify our continued existence. These are the guys my teachers and professors idolized when I was in Highschool and College. Consider the possibility that as two California ER Doctors suggested, the powers that be may be evaluating the statistical probability of how much and how fast we can be manipulated into giving up our rights and made to conform. Consider the possibility that there are influential and powerful people who truly believe that 90% of the human population needs to be culled in order to save the planet. Granted, the ideas of a lone missionary in Honduras do not carry a lot of weight. But then these are not my ideas. All I’ve done is compile the ideas and words of others whose ideas may be on the verge of implementation now. There’s no denying they are real unless of course, you have your head in the sand. The question is whether or not we should actively oppose them as Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler?

Or remain passive and trust God like Corrie ten Boom.

Or hide in our houses and tell ourselves it has to get better until it doesn’t like Władysław Szpilman the Polish Jew upon whom the movie The Pianist was based depicting the Nazi persecution of Jews in Poland during WWII.

And while you ponder Scenarios that stretch your thinking about both the opportunities and obstacles that the future might hold… perhaps ask the Lord to clarify the hill you should be willing to die on.

For those Christians who still think this is just another conspiratorial crazy thought train; consider this. The entire old testament was a shadow of things to come. Everything from Abraham and Issac, to the story of Joseph, to the detailed construction of the tabernacle and the sacrifices performed there, pointed to Jesus and God’s plan for mankind’s redemption. Why should things be different now? Many scholars have suggested that the Holocaust is a shadow of things to come for the Church in the last days as described in Mat 24. Similarly, what if the crazy globalist, hive mind, matrix-like techno tyranny scenario to which I provided links isn’t Rev 13 in real-time but also a shadow of things to come? How we respond now will likely determine how we respond when the real “Mark” comes. Again, I am not a prophet. I’m simply looking ahead and imagining Scenarios. “Scenarios are not predictions. Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future.”

Whatever that looks like, the bottom line remains the same.

If you followed the Walter Cronkite link and watched the video, where he sided with Satan, then you also heard him mock Pat Roberson’s statement that the only way ‘we will achieve world government is when the messiah returns.’ This has been the crux of this issue since, the question that led to the fall of man in Genesis Chapter 3,

“Did God really say…?

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of their disobedience and their eyes became opened and fixated upon themselves. They realized they were naked, tried to cover themselves, and self-centeredness was born. The same question and scenario has been repeated throughout history with the exact same results. Mankind questions what He already knows is right, acts in accordance with self-interest then eats the fruit of his own disobedience. Over and over the cycle repeats from being cast out of the Garden, destroyed in the flood, throughout Israel’s repeated cycles of blessing, rebellion, and captivity, to the Tower Babel, to today. God blesses us and we question His sovereignty. He allows us to be broken and then blesses us again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

He won’t allow it to repeat forever.

Whatever is and is to be with regard to COVID, it seems to me that this crisis has brought us back to two root questions.

Is God Sovereign? If so what is the responsibility of man?

We know the days are evil. The question is, what does it look like to be wise? What is the Lord’s will for us in these times? Eph 5:15-17 Should we actively oppose the Eph 5:11 darkness or submit to it as Jesus submitted Himself to His tormentors and the Cross?

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

-Rev 12:11-

I don’t know what lays ahead. I don’t know what or who is to blame or if evil plans and intentions can be stopped. I don’t know what the correct mitigation or treatment for the virus might be. I don’t know if we should oppose or submit continued lockdowns and to a mandatory Covid vaccine. What I do know is that lies upon lies and confusion abound more than I have ever seen. I know that Satan is the author of both and that any possible conclusion drawn from it will always result in cognitive dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance always births the question,

“Did God really say…?

Finally, unity matters. Its the only way that the church will fulfill its purpose and make the fellowship of the mystery known to men as well as the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 3:8-12 Before you engage someone in a heated debate because you think they are so blatantly wrong or that Christians shouldn’t be discussing certain things; be like the Bereans in Acts 17. Make your point. But also hear them out and look for reasons why they might be right. No one solves a puzzle with just one piece. The fact that God is showing you something different may simply mean that you have a different piece to the puzzle. We need all the pieces. And for God’s sake, don’t let ideas become the identity you have to defend at all costs. You are not your ideas. You are God’s idea. Be the branch you were created to be. Share your perspective and tell others what you see. That takes courage, and a willingness to be vulnerable and wrong. But it’s the only way we will ever get to the truth of any matter. It’s the only way we will be wise as serpents, and aware of the wiles of the devil so that after having done all to stand, we will be able to stand… Eph 6:13-14

Now more than ever

it is time to stand watch and abide together in the vine.

Still

Our house

Like a lot of people, we are locked down in our house in Honduras. We are allowed out one day per week to buy groceries based on the last digit on our ID card. There’s time for anyone who thinks they can buck the system.

At the time of this writing, there are over 400 cases of COVID and 32 deaths. The rate of infection was progressing geometrically at first but has since slowed and appears to be restricted to three or four municipalities.

The US State Department keeps us updated with daily “get out while you can” emails announcing what might be the last charter flight out of Honduras.

A fair number of missionaries have taken the warning seriously and returned to the USA. Meanwhile, there is a rumor circulating that the lock-down may be ending on the 20th

Hmmm…

Like a lot of people, we’ve tried to piece together truth regarding COVID. Unfortunately, it’s hard to engage in a discussion without people getting offended. We’ve intentionally remained centric in accordance with Acts 10:34-35, regarding political and personality cult wars. That hasn’t stopped some people from name-calling, blowing up and even blocking us on Facebook. I could be wrong but the apparent inability to think critically and engage in civil debate is our greatest risk factor as a nation. It’s only gotten worse since I last actively engaged in discussions on social media.

My most recent conclusion on COVID: it’s a lot crazier than we imagine.

Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity? Psalm 94:16

Speaking of critical thinking, not every Honduran believes that COVID is real.  Many believe that it is an invention of their president to get money.  The result is “Tomas” which means blocking roads with burning tires and throwing rocks at police. Life is hard here. While most people in the USA live paycheck to paycheck, most Hondurans live day to day. The good news is that some Honduran police take a slightly different approach to their jobs than what you might expect.

These are interesting times. Lots of people are praying that God restores life back to normal. Lots of people forget that God’s mercy sometimes looks like judgment in the eyes of man. One thing is certain, He is in control. Proverbial monkey wrenches don’t get thrown into the gears of our goals apart from His will and Satan can’t sift us without His permission.

Speaking of Satan our friend Chad McGinnis made a good point about him on Facebook.

“The tree took it’s slow sweet time to do this, and 20 feet up and a few years later, you’re trapped. The devil will too, he will simply eat at you until you are devoured. Seek Godly truth. Subject your thoughts to Christ, don’t let fear in. Take time to find God in the smallest things.”

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15. 

We’d best appreciate what have today.  Tomorrow is not promised.

Right now, apart from helping an occasional passing neighbor ( his name is Feliz) with his firewood and mule, missions and ministry look like stillness and finding God in the smallest things.  

Cathy is good at capturing the little things. 

Collecting Job’s Tears

All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah Psalm 66:4

The Lord is speaking.  

Be still and know Him. Psalm 46:10

Character

We are locked down in Honduras as I write. COVID cases have begun to double on a daily basis. The borders and airports are closed. No one can come in or go out. There’s a 6 month to 2-year jail sentence awaiting anyone who violates a curfew.  Hondurans in our little community are obedient and calm. They are familiar with crises.  Two older American friends in another part of the country are locked down too.  He is a retired architect and has had a series of strokes. His wife is left to cope with his rapidly deteriorating condition by herself. They don’t have COVID but COVID is placing his life in jeopardy.

Meanwhile there are about two hundred North Americans, most of whom are short term missionaries stranded here.  Several of them are demanding their rights and that the US State Dept does something to evacuate them.  We strongly encouraged people to postpone their trips weeks before COVID first reared its head.  Unfortunately confirmation bias reigned supreme. I guess their plans, ministry and mission were too important.  I can empathize. I remember thinking and feeling the same way as a short-term missionary myself. 

As Seth Barnes founder of Adventures and Missions, (AIM) an organization with whom we serve as World Race GAP Year Coaches, said in his blog Courage and Prudence

“We are now in a wartime footing in most of the country. Most of us have no idea how to live life there. The things that worked before no longer work. COVID-19 is changing everything.”

Several months ago, I gave a teaching based on the book

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy-What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny. By William Straus and Neil Howe. I had no idea at the time how prophetic it was.

Howe and Strauss are Historians and social scientists who observed an Ecclesiastes 3 cycle in American history that shows a new era, a season or “Turning” every 20 -25 years. Four turns or seasons amount to a Saeculum or the length of a long lifetime. In simplest terms, the most recent “First Turning” 1945 -65 was the “High” and could be likened to a honeymoon period.  It was marked by the end of WWII and the birth to the American dream. Families were strengthened as were social institutions like schools, local governments and church. Individual roles both inside and outside the family were clearly defined.

The “Second Turning”, 1965-85, the “Awakening”, was a period of questioning all those things. It was a time of spiritual upheaval, when the old order came under attack. It was marked by things like the birth of ERA, the Vietnam war and the subsequent student lead peace movements, the Water Gate Trial and Impeachment of Richard Nixon. Basically, every social institution was challenged. 

The “Third Turning”, 1985-2005, the “Unraveling” was a time when the individual reigned supreme. Punk rock and rap glorified criminality and anti-social behavior, swinging, divorce and open homosexuality became normalized. And culminated with the HIV AIDS epidemic and the destruction of the twin towers in New York.  Post Modernism grew to become the dominant world view and continued corruption and government scandals fueled an already growing distrust of nearly all established authority and institutions.  

The “Fourth Turning” 2005 -25 is the “Crisis”. We are in the thick of it now.

As Straus and Howe wrote in 1996.

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation, and empire. . .The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”

The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort — in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.”

Howe and Strauss predicted we Americans will be forced to make decisions that mirror the hardest ones made by our predecessors as

“great peril provokes a societal consensus, an ethic of personal sacrifice, and strong institutional order”.  “And it will require us to admit that our faith in linear progress has often amounted to a Faustian bargain with our children. Faust always ups the ante, and every bet is double or nothing. Through much of the Third Turning, we have managed to postpone the reckoning. But history warns that we can’t defer it beyond the next bend in time.”

There is always talk of the end of days whenever a major crisis hit. I don’t claim to be a prophet and I certainly don’t know for sure.  My own bias is to doubt it.  Even so, my wife Cathy made a keen observation the other day. The beginning of sorrows that Jesus spoke about in Mat 24:8-13 translates to “Birth Pangs”.  Birth pangs progressively increase in frequency and intensity until the water breaks and the baby is born.  If this is the beginning of sorrows it will usher in the millennial reign of Christ. Fourth Turns gradually come to an end and are followed by another High.  

In either case if we are to survive in a war time footing, we need to accurately discern the time. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their lack of discernment in Mathew 16:1-4.

“Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Everything they needed to identify Jesus was already in the scriptures.  The problem was that Jesus did not match their interpretation and resulting expectations and Jesus remained hidden in plain view.

A lot of us have the same problem today.

Signs, wonders and spiritual gifts are all the rage these days.  Myriad charismatic leaders inspire people to follow in their footsteps.  Evangelists, prophets, those with gifts of healing and an angle on prosperity abound. Those with the most dramatic, feel good performances and the biggest followings on social media become heroes of the faith even if their teachings are scripturally unsound.  Jesus said,

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26 and “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Mat 24:37 Noah preached repentance and righteousness 2 Pet 2:5 then built an ark in the middle of the desert. He was mocked and rejected as a result.  How much more are those who preach the same message in 2 Timothy 3 world rejected?  

Cathy just read some headlines as I write. 

“Vegas strip club offers drive through peep shows” in response to COVID and “Man beaten to death by mob for having Corona Virus.” 

You might be on fire for Jesus.  But a quick skim of the daily headlines should be all one needs to discern the times and the message that the world needs.

Discernment drives action

I’ve heard people quote and seen people post Psalm 91 so many times in the past few weeks that everyone including unbelievers should have it memorized by now. Problem is – many receive it as a magic incantation that allows them to fearlessly continue with their lives as if nothing was happening.

A cursory word study quickly reveals that dwelling in secret place of Psalm 91:1 upon which one’s protection is contingent, refers to both the secret place Jesus talked about in Mat 6:6 . It also means a literal “shelter, a hiding place.” 

By the way, has anyone stopped to consider that COVID could peak during Passover?

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

If nothing else this situation is facing us with a very real question.  God or mammon?  

Many young people are assuming, they are invincible and choosing to party rather than comply with recommendations, warnings and ordinances.  We have young friends and relatives who seem utterly oblivious to the crisis at hand.

Spring Break 2020

The keys to surviving a crisis and thriving in the subsequent high lay in how we respond. There were people who jumped to their deaths from high-rises when the market crashed in 1929.  Those more prudent made fortunes. The most grievous error we can make is to fail to discern the time. We may assume a Fourth Turn crisis is the end and enter what AIM calls the “Q” (quit) zone. Or we could mistake the crisis for a First Turn high as so many spring breakers are doing now.

Good things come out of crisis. Rom 8:28

“Great peril provokes a societal consensus, an ethic of personal sacrifice, and strong institutional order.”   That means a return to First Turn values. People have been praying for and prophesying revival for decades.  Yet how soon we forget that revivals begin with radical repentance.  More often than not this repentance is preceded by an event that causes people to recognize their spiritual bankruptcy. An event like like the great San Francisco earthquake that preceded the Azuza Street revival in 1915.   Yes, Jesus healed and does heal people but His primary reason for coming was to be a propitiation for our sin. He came to rescue us from hell.  Miracles and healing look more spectacular to our disbelieving and entertainment hungry eyes. But they are secondary to dealing with our sin. John 1:22   As Ray Comfort says, “God comes to us with a subpoena in one hand and a pardon in the other.”  We love to tell people about the loving pardon while avoiding the subpoena all together. 

As the current COVID crisis grows, I have yet to hear anyone under the age of 85 preach a message of repentance.  There seems to be a correlation between this and the fact that those 80 and older were alive during the previous Fourth Turn.  Hope for a nation that has murdered over 61,000,000 babies’ since Roe v Wade, maligned the name of Jesus as a matter of public policy and rejected His substitutionary work on the cross isn’t going to be found in Psalm 91 without embracing 2 Chron 7:14 first.

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

My oldest surviving uncle Lester will be 90 in June.  He built his own sugar house and makes his own maple syrup in Ashfield Massachusetts because he needs something to do when it’s too cold to work. 

His wife Nancy is a retired biologist with a passion for conservation.

The last time I visited, Aunt Nancy had just chased a mother bear and her cubs away from her beehives on foot. At dinner Lester and I spoke about the last Fourth Turn. Uncle Lester is a retired Navy Vet. His brother fought at Normandy.  He doesn’t speak a lot but when he does it behooves people to find the parable. Uncle Lester grew up poor during the Great Depression but says he didn’t know it. He never complains and talked a lot about the value and power of gratitude and community during hard times.  Elders in places like Ashfield Mass still work hard and have a lot of character. They are our national treasures.

I recently saw a meme directed at chronic COVID complainers.

If our culture persists in a collective belief that our individual rights reign supreme, that we are somehow owed something and that it’s the government’s job to provide it for free at the expense of other people simply because they have more; then I can assure you that the authoritarian outcome or worse mentioned by Straus and Howe is almost certain.

Instead I found an example of the requisite attitude for success, especially for Christians during a Fourth Turn in Acts 14. During the Apostle Paul’s 1st missionary journey he and Baranabas were kicked out of Antioch. So they traveled 85 miles to preach the Gospel in Iconium. Unbelieving Jews stirred up dissension and tried to beat and stone him.  So, Paul and Barnabas moved on to Lystra and Derbe where taught and people were healed. Everyone thought they were Zeus and Hermes and started to worship them.  No sooner had they put an end to that craziness then the previous Jews who had followed them from Iconium showed up.  This time they were successful in stoning Paul.  They dragged what they thought was his dead body outside the city gate and left him there. The disciples gathered around him probably in mourning. But before they could do anything Paul jumped up brushed himself off and went back into the city where;  

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

This May we will have lived in Honduras for three years. We’ve been through our share of crises and we stocked up on beans and rice a few weeks ago in anticipation of what is happening now. The other day we gave some away to a neighbor in need. I’ve been racking my brain as to how we are going to feed people when the food runs out. What will we do if someone gets sick?  How will we care for people?  Last night some girls from the tiny Catholic church down the road delivered dinner to our door.  Being a full-time missionary is teaching me just how unimportant I am.  

I don’t know what is happening or is going to happen. If you read my previous blogs, my conclusions regarding COVID remain the same. 

Believe what we want “We still don’t know jack.”  

What I do know from both God’s Word and my own experience is that

Jesus did not come to give us our best life now. He came to redeem and transform us.

Everything will be shaken. Only what can’t be shaken will remain. Heb 12:26-28

Who we are and what we do “will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” Only that which is of God will survive. 1Cor 3:12-15

While our eternal hope is definitely in Jesus. Our ability to remain in that hope will be determined by our individual and collective character.  Character is produced by perseverance. Tribulation is its catalyst. Rom 5:3-7

Please keep us in prayer. Apart from divine intervention we are in big trouble if COVID gets a hold of us.

If you are receiving this it’s because we love you.

En El Nombre De Jesus!

COVID-19 Actualizar; 14/03/2020. Un mensaje de médicos preocupados

Things are always changing and changing fast. This is some solid information translated for our Honduran friends. It is a rough translation of the article COVID-19 Update; 3/14/2020. Message From Concerned Physicians by Dr. Howard J Luks MD.A This is not our original writing.

Las cosas siempre cambian y cambian rápido. Esta es una información sólida traducida para nuestros amigos hondureños. Es una traducción aproximada del artículo. COVID-19 Update; 3/14/2020. Message From Concerned Physicians by Dr. Howard J Luks MD.A
Esta no es nuestra escritura original.


¿Por qué estamos escribiendo esto?

La pandemia de COVID-19 ha llegado a un punto donde la contención ya no es posible. La amenaza COVID-19 es real y está empeorando rápidamente. Muchos de ustedes están muy nerviosos, algunos no están seguros de la validez de la información que están leyendo. Como líderes médicos, sentimos que era importante crear un recurso en el que se pueda confiar como científicamente preciso y que contenga la mayor cantidad posible de información y orientación procesables.

La información precisa y procesable durante una epidemia puede salvar vidas. Los médicos están en la primera línea de esta epidemia. No solo tratamos a los enfermos, sino que también nos preocupamos por la información errónea que se transmite a través de la transmisión tradicional y las redes sociales. La evidencia importa. Desafortunadamente, la evidencia es a menudo lenta, metódica y aburrida y tiene dificultades para enfrentar los titulares y la exageración. Creemos que una representación precisa de la pandemia actual de COVID-19 seguida de un conjunto de pasos procesables que usted, sus seres queridos, políticos y funcionarios locales pueden utilizar es de suma importancia y, en última instancia, podría salvar decenas de miles de vidas.

COVID-19 no es solo la gripe?

COVID-19 ha sido descrito por algunos como “solo un resfriado”, o simplemente como la gripe común. COVID-19 no es la gripe común. COVID-19 es un orden de magnitud peor que la gripe. La tasa de mortalidad es aproximadamente 10 veces peor que la gripe.

La gripe se propaga de septiembre a abril en los Estados Unidos y de junio a agosto en el hemisferio sur. Sí, causa enfermedades graves en muchos, pero lo hace durante un período de tiempo más largo. El tiempo es una variable que está trabajando en nuestra contra durante este brote de COVID-19. Las víctimas de COVID-19 se presentarán en un hospital que necesite cuidados críticos a una tasa mucho mayor que la que ocurre con la gripe.

Además, estos pacientes requerirán tratamiento hospitalario en el transcurso de unas pocas semanas en lugar de los 3-4 meses de una temporada de gripe típica. El sistema de salud en los Estados Unidos no está listo para manejar decenas de miles o cientos de miles de personas en un corto período de tiempo. En Italia, el sistema de salud se dobló bajo la presión y los equipos de salud ahora se ven obligados a tomar decisiones horribles de vida o muerte.

Gripe versus tasa de mortalidad COVID por edad


Solo hay 2177 casos … ¿por qué todos están tan preocupados?

Si solo una instantánea en el tiempo tuviera relevancia, entonces quizás afirmar que solo hay “solo” 2177 casos (14 de marzo de 2020) [3,000 casos 15/3/20, 6 AM ET; ahora 3,774 casos 16/3/20] serían relevantes y algo reconfortantes. Italia tenía 15,000 casos el 14 de marzo de 2020, hoy (16 de marzo de 2020) tienen 24,747 casos, solo tuvieron unos cientos de casos hace una semana. Afirmar que solo tenemos 1600 casos hoy es absolutamente irrelevante ante la propagación de un virus pandémico en condiciones exponenciales. Ayudaremos a poner el término propagación exponencial en contexto a continuación.

Poblaciones inmunológicamente ingenuas:

Los virus han estado circulando por todo el mundo durante milenios. Una familia de virus que ha estado circulando se conoce como Coronavirus. Alrededor de una cuarta parte de los resfriados comunes son causados ​​por Coronavirus. Nuestros cuerpos forman anticuerpos contra invasores extraños como bacterias o virus. Si tenemos anticuerpos de una exposición previa, entonces podemos aumentar rápidamente la producción de esos anticuerpos si estamos infectados por ese mismo virus en una fecha posterior. Es por eso que solo obtienes varicela y sarampión una vez. El primer episodio genera anticuerpos protectores para que no pueda infectarse por segunda vez. Para otras infecciones, las exposiciones previas no lo hacen inmune a futuras infecciones, pero sí hace que las exposiciones posteriores sean más leves.

COVID-19 es una enfermedad respiratoria grave causada por el virus llamado SARS-CoV2. Es un virus nuevo, lo que significa que nadie en el mundo tiene anticuerpos contra él porque nadie ha sido infectado por él antes. Como tal, cuando el virus COVID-19 invade nuestro cuerpo, no tenemos anticuerpos. No tenemos una plantilla para utilizar de una exposición previa para crear rápidamente una defensa contra el virus. Debido a que nadie tiene anticuerpos, todos corren el riesgo de contraer el virus, enfermarse y propagar el virus para que pueda infectar a quienes lo rodean.

Difusión exponencial:

Las matemáticas exponenciales son muy difíciles de entender. Cada persona con el virus COVID-19 infecta aproximadamente a 2 personas. Algunos menos, algunos más.

El tiempo de duplicación de COVID-19 que se cita ampliamente es de 6 días. Algunos científicos dicen que puede ser tan corto como 2 a 3 días (información de primera mano no publicada). Digamos que la tasa de infección se duplica cada 6 días. Eso significa que si 50,000 personas tienen el virus hoy, entonces en 6 días 100,000 personas lo tendrán. En otros 12 días son 400,000 y menos de dos semanas después son más de un millón de personas. Tenemos 330 millones de personas en los Estados Unidos. Los expertos esperan que el 40-70% de las personas se infecten. El crecimiento exponencial no tarda tanto en llegar a esos números altos y aterradores. Cada 6 días retrasamos el número de infecciones el doble.

¿Es hora de entrar en pánico? NO.

Este documento intenta ayudarlo a comprender la situación actual y no atemorizarlo. Queremos asegurarnos de que comprenda los hechos y comprenda lo que está en juego. Este es un momento de Pearl Harbor para nuestro país. Nos enfrentamos a una amenaza real y debemos enfrentarla con todos nuestros recursos. Cuando las personas denuncian la seriedad de este momento, están conduciendo a nuestro país por un precipicio, necesitamos que todos comprendan que esto es importante y si trabajamos juntos para frenar la propagación, lo superaremos mientras aprendemos de Singapur, Hong Kong, Corea del Sur y China.

La eficacia de nuestro sistema de salud para hacer frente a un repentino tsunami de enfermedad respiratoria es lo que está en riesgo. Si nuestro sistema de salud se dobla bajo la presión de decenas de miles de pacientes, entonces podríamos estar ante una catástrofe.

Riesgo personal versus riesgo sistémico

Cuando hablamos de riesgo, hay muchos elementos diferentes a considerar. Naturalmente, estamos preocupados por nosotros mismos y nuestros seres queridos. Este es un ejemplo de riesgo personal. En general, su riesgo personal es bajo. La tasa de mortalidad general para COVID-19 parece estar alrededor del 0.6% -1%. El límite inferior (0.6%) proviene de los datos de Corea del Sur. Como veremos más adelante, ciertas poblaciones con ciertas enfermedades conllevan un mayor riesgo de una infección grave que ponga en peligro la vida.

Lo que más nos preocupa como médicos es el riesgo sistémico. Los sistemas complejos, como nuestro sistema de salud, funcionan porque todas las piezas móviles se unen e interactúan entre sí de tal manera que el sistema funciona bajo cargas normales, cargas inferiores a las normales y ligeramente más altas que las cargas normales, pero puede romperse bajo Las cargas muy altas que anticipamos con COVID19. Hemos visto con horror lo que está ocurriendo en Italia, donde su sistema de salud está fallando. El sistema de atención médica se vio abrumado por una avalancha de personas que requirieron atención médica crítica y todas llegaron demasiado juntas a tiempo. Italia no tiene suficientes camas de UCI, ventiladores (máquinas de respiración mecánica) y medicamentos para atender a todos los pacientes que lo necesitan. Los médicos en Italia están juzgando quién recibe una cama de UCI y cuidados críticos y quién no porque no hay suficiente suministro para cuidar a todos. No queremos ver que esto suceda aquí. Esto debería ser muy claro:

Esto sucederá aquí, y sucederá pronto, posiblemente en una o dos semanas, si no tomamos medidas muy audaces en este momento.

¿Quién está en riesgo?

Lo más importante, todos estamos en riesgo. Los ancianos y aquellos con problemas médicos como la hipertensión y la diabetes parecen estar en mayor riesgo de un curso de enfermedad grave y muerte. Los niños pueden evitar las consecuencias de una enfermedad grave, aunque pueden ser asintomáticos a los portadores mínimamente sintomáticos del virus, lo que pone a los que son vulnerables en mayor riesgo.

Corea del Sur, que ha informado las tasas de mortalidad por coronavirus más bajas, tiene una tasa de mortalidad COVID-19 más de ocho veces mayor que la de la gripe. La tasa de mortalidad informada en Corea del Sur aumenta por grupos de edad del 0,4% en el grupo de edad de 50-59 a 8,23% en los mayores de 80 años.

Si nuestro sistema de salud falla, todos sufriremos. Si el hospital se ahoga con pacientes con COVID-19, las personas con apendicitis, ataques cardíacos, tobillos rotos, etc., no podrán recibir tratamiento. Esta es la imagen del riesgo sistémico. Todos están en riesgo si hay una falla sistémica en nuestro sistema de salud, no solo aquellos con COVID-19.

El desafío es este: al seguir las medidas de aislamiento social recomendadas apropiadas, salvará vidas no solo de aquellos con un mayor riesgo de infectarse, sino también de aquellos que necesitan otros servicios de atención médica críticos, incluido potencialmente usted mismo. Salvarás la vida de personas que nunca conocerás.

¿Quién debe seguir nuestras medidas de aislamiento social sugeridas? TODO EL MUNDO. Si no necesita salir para un propósito de misión crítica, no lo haga. Nuevamente, estará salvando las vidas de los miembros en riesgo de su propia familia, así como de personas con las que nunca tendrá el placer de conocer.

¿Qué debemos hacer? – La importancia del aislamiento social.

La contención de COVID-19 ya no es posible. El virus ya está en el país y actualmente se está propagando. Necesitamos frenar la propagación. La mitigación es la mejor estrategia actual. Implica un aislamiento social estricto. Si el 50% de la población de EE. UU. Se infecta, el 5% de las personas infectadas necesitarán un ventilador en una UCI, y si solo tenemos un número limitado de ventiladores disponibles en el país, puede ver rápidamente el problema.

Este es un problema extremadamente urgente y extremadamente urgente que debe abordarse ahora. No podemos simplemente fabricar la cantidad de ventiladores necesarios. Necesitamos frenar la propagación y disminuir la tasa general a la que las personas irán al hospital.

Usamos la descripción: debemos aplanar la curva. Eso significa que debemos reducir la tasa de infección para que la cantidad de personas que necesitan servicios hospitalarios permanezca en el rango que nuestro sistema de atención médica puede suministrar. Con los esfuerzos de mitigación ya no estamos tratando de contener el virus, simplemente estamos tratando de disminuir la tasa de infección para evitar que el sistema de salud se derrumbe. En realidad, no podemos aplanar la curva lo suficiente como para evitar que miles de personas se enfermen. Pero cada uno de ustedes que se queda adentro y sigue estrictas medidas de aislamiento salvará innumerables vidas. Muchas de las vidas que salves serán personas que nunca conocerás.

¿Quién debe seguir nuestras medidas de aislamiento social sugeridas? TODO EL MUNDO. Si no necesita salir para un propósito de misión crítica, no lo haga. Nuevamente, estará salvando las vidas de los miembros en riesgo de su propia familia, así como de personas con las que nunca tendrá el placer de conocer.

Todos ustedes pueden salvar vidas a partir de ahora.

Las acciones que tome a partir de hoy salvarán la vida de personas que nunca conocerá.

Some Perspective for Nimrods

My dad used to call me a “nimrod” any time time I said or did something stupid. It was intended to be synonymous with words like stupid, idiot, moron and especially “dumb bunny”. Of course we didn’t have safe spaces back then and being called a idiot by your dad simply meant something needed to be corrected. It certainly wasn’t grounds for being jailed for hate speech.

It wasn’t until later that I learned that Nimrod the builder of the Tower of Babel was the biblical model for self will run riot. Sort of like what we see in people who refuse to be moved by scientific data regarding the possible or even likely risks associated with COVID and the potential consequences of refusing to be prudent.

That said, here is some info for all the doubters and conspiracy theorists out there who continue to deny the medical realities of the COVID, make it about politics and or turn human lives into numerical abstractions to justify their fury over being interrupted and inconvenienced.

  Here is the rebuttal to some popular arguments and false equivalencies concerning COVID-19.

  1. COVID is not the Flu. Flu has been with us along time.  There is a vaccination and natural immunity.  We have neither for COVID.  COVID has already killed more people than SARS and MERS combined.
  2. Comparisons between yearly mortality totals for flu and current numbers for COVID are invalid.  COVID is only several months old.  All we have are two-month totals and mathematical projections for COVID. Hopefully we will not see the worst-case scenarios. Here is the reasoning behind social isolation, cancellations and quarantines.
  3. Arguments that claim COVID is weaker than flu are wrong. Among other things Flu’s mortality rate is 0.1%.  COVID is 3.4%. That’s 34 times higher than Flu. 50-80% of the population will probably be exposed. Do the math. The rate of infection is progressing geometrically in places where testing is actually taking place. Please follow the linked sources here for more info from qualified virologists and epidemiologists. You might not agree with the spiritual conclusions.  The science is rock solid. So are the thoughts about how we think.
  4. As for how COVID actually kills.  Please see this video.
  5. In regard to the petty selfish- self-centered attitudes of those whining about the collective response and resulting inconvenience to their personal recreation and comfort.  Here is a perspective from a Medical Doctor in the trenches.
  6. As for my bold and faithful Christian brothers and sisters quoting Psalm 91 as justification for proceeding with their lives as usual. Please note that verse one begins with “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Strongs concordance defines the word Secret (in the literal sense) as a “covering, covert, disguise, hiding place, privily, protection, secret place”. Jesus talked about the importance of the secret place. Mat 6:6. Now might be a good time to go there.

Maybe you are healthy and won’t be affected if you are exposed. If that is the case then great!  The response to COVID is not about you, your finances or your comfort.  It’s about saving the lives of those most at risk. Public health decisions are based on risk versus reward. Right now the risks outweigh the rewards of allowing you to continue on with life as usual.

How many people would you be willing to kill for the sake of your own convenience, wealth and comfort?

Once again, you might have the right to place yourself at risk. You do not have the right to place others at risk.

Don’t be a Nimrod!

“A Word on Fear”

Applying our God-given 2 Tim 1:7 sound mind in COVID-19 World.

So what do you know?  What have you heard?  You know about this COVID-19 thing… Apart from trusting God; in the natural we could be in a serious pickle if Corona comes to Honduras. I don’t know about you but I’ve never put much faith in mainstream media predominantly owned and controlled by six corporations. Its not I that have a problem with corporations per se. It’s just that the IRS classifies them as individual people. Individual people are biased.

In any case, my wife and I have done some digging amidst the myriad rants we see on social media.  

Specifically, we searched for credentialed sources like  Dr. James Robb former professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, and one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on corona-viruses.  He says,

“The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.” 

That seems balanced and realistic. He also provides some very logical steps for prevention in case you are interested. All my sources are hyperlinked so you can dive deeper if you like.

A more radical view is that of Professor Dr. Francis Boyle from the University of Illinois an author of the 1989 UN Bio-Weapons Treaty who claims he has the legal paper trail that proves that COVID-19 is a genetically engineered bio-weapon sold by UNC research labs to China who then tampered with it further before accidentally? releasing it.  

Another notable medical research scientist Dr. James Weiler  says he initially believed Covid 19 was created in a lab and has since changed his mind.

Perhaps the most prolific view published on social media is that of Dr. Drew, an addiction specialist best known for his role on the show “Celebrity Rehab”. He was livid about media propagated, click-bait driven, misinformation regarding COVID-19.  “Essentially the entire problem we are having is due to panic, not the virus,” he said.  

Dr. James Weiler says that regular MD’s and Public Health officials don’t have the background to understand the intricacies of viruses like COVID-19.

While the rest of the world is taking radical steps to test for and manage COVID-19 our CDC and NIH struggle to explain why at the time of this writing they can’t come up with an adequate number of test kits  They appear to be downplaying the problem.  Which might actually be adding to the panic instead of quelling it.

Then again the social unraveling that might take place in an overwhelmingly narcissistic and lawless society could be worse than the effects of the virus itself.

Investors are freaking out about markets and supply chains. Never the less toilet paper manufacturers are making a killing. People in my home state of Hawaii are buying toilet paper in bulk. That is Hawaii’s first reaction to almost any crisis.  That said, a run on toilet paper, might be an indication that someone is full of something other than the truth.

Just sayin…

But I digress.

Of course, politics is at the top of the narrative. Those who don’t like the current president blame Trump whose legacy is rooted in the economy, accusing him of putting the stock market before the lives of people.

Those who do like him are joining in on the apathy, “it’s all a hoax” argument.  Others not so sure its a hoax are concerned that Trump might be gambling his chances of re-election on Corona being nothing to worry about.

I for one, hope he is right.

That said, I’ve been telling people the Global economy is a giant bubble waiting to be pricked since 2007. The Fed has been kicking the proverbial can down the road with rate hikes and rate cuts since 2008. Recent rate cuts basically prove the previous stimulus didn’t work. It occurs to me that a pandemic makes for a perfect cover for an inevitable global economic crash.  

But what do i know that’s just my own conspiratorial speculation based on my own bias. 

The word “Bias” is key here.

Meanwhile, I see multiple well-intended brothers and sisters in Christ disseminating all kinds of varying numbers, theories and prognostications. Some not old enough to remember Y2K, compare it to Y2K. Others compare it to the Flu, SARs, and MERs.  Still others are fearlessly walking in faith.

I remember someone telling us in mission school that there are “two reasons for suffering and being persecuted in the body of Christ. One is for the sake of righteousness and one is for stupidity.”

It’s great to have great faith.

Sometimes denial masquerades as faith.

Anyway, if we put all this info into our proverbial brain blenders we are faced with one undeniable conclusion. 

We don’t know Jack!!

We don’t like not knowing Jack so we defer to our preferred logical fallacies. Confirmation bias is the biggest. If you want to know more about how this applies to markets and politics you can check out my blog Truth or Trump.

But here is a basic illustration based on an all too common conversation I had when I counseled middle school kids on drugs.

Me: Studies show that regular marijuana use reduces IQ scores an average of eight points.

Client: “Mr. I researched on the internet and found out you are WRONG! Marijuana makes you smarter!

Me: Really? Where did you read that?

Client: Motherjones.com

You get the idea. As the Simon and Garfunkel song says, “a man see’s what he wants to see and disregards the rest.”. The bottom line; everyone has a bias.  Refusing to admit it only makes us dumb, easy to manipulate and possibly dangerous.

Hardcore doomsayers are going to listen to Dr. Francis Boyle and say, “I knew it! Time to stock up on toilet paper, lock and load and dig in”

Uber optimists are going to listen to Dr. Drew and say, “Exactly! See? Nothing to worry about. Party on dudes!”

The next logic fallacy through which we filter our world view is the sister of confirmation bias otherwise known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy determines the accuracy and validity of information by its source alone. We see this everywhere. Conservatives who don’t believe anything on CNN because it comes from CNN and Liberals who reject everything from FOX because its on FOX. By the way, Adolf Hitler claimed to be a Christian therefore all Christians are Nazis. Right?

Which leads me to…

…the false equivalence fallacy that says if one part is the same then everything is the same. Everyone was freaked out by Y2K and but nothing happened. It only follows that everyone is freaked out about COVID now so nothing is going to happen. Granted the gross annual number of deaths from flu far exceed current deaths from COVID-19. The problem is that we’ve only just begun seeing COVID-19. As for SARs and MERs, the regular flu has an average annual mortality rate of 0.1% and as of Feb 18, 2020, “despite the lower case fatality rate, covid-19 has so far resulted in more deaths (1871) than SARS and MERS combined (1632)” The uber optimist argument doesn’t hold. If you watched Dr. James Weiler’s video posted on Feb 24 the Covid-19 mortality rate was at 2.0%. If 50% of the US population is exposed that means three million people could be dead in a year. On March 4th the WHO stated the mortality rate is now at 3.4% but it should drop. One thing is certain. All four are viruses. Things that apply to the Flu, SARS and MERS do not necessarily correlate with COVID-19. Chances are all the COVID- 19 numbers and information will have changed by time you read this. That’s ok. It’s not my main point.

Incidentally the False equivalency fallacy also drives things like climate change, the gun control narrative on the left and the anti-immigration argument on the right. The truth is, most legal gun owners are not criminals. Most Hispanic immigrants just want an opportunity to work hard and get paid in a day what they make in a month in places like Honduras. As for climate change; no real science is ever settled. That’s partly what makes it science. It’s also why we have so much conflicting info about COVID-19. Unfortunately thinking errors and drive society more than logic. Don’t blame the media. They are just saying what people will listen to.

Incidentally, Adolf Hitler was not a Christian.

Finally, we have the appeal to emotion fallacy.  Every advertiser and media outlet knows it’s a nifty tool, whereby people avoid, confuse or otherwise manipulate truth by manipulating the emotions of others. It’s what causes people to confuse feelings with thinking and gets them to buy things they don’t need and invest in sure things that are sure to fail.  Physiologically speaking, our higher functioning cerebral cortex where logical thinking and reason takes place is subordinated to the lower more primitive limbic brain, from which our emotions and physical desires pour forth.

Many refer to this as “Coming from the heart”.

Guilt, fear, and outrage are the most popular emotions to which people appeal.  

The bio-weapon narrative works great here.

There’s been some talk about ISIS creating the bio-weapon. Looks like the caliphate is more concerned than we are.

Does that mean its not a bio-weapon? Heck no!  COVID-19 could be one, all or none of the things I’ve mentioned.

What I know for sure is that I don’t know and neither do you.

Applying our God given sound mind means thinking critically and being honest about our biases, what we know for certain versus what we have been told. It means hearing and trying to see things from another person’s point of view. It means desiring the truth instead of wanting to win. It means clarifying our opinions as opposed to proven facts. It means being willing to be wrong and admitting it when we are. It means seeking the truth not what we want truth to be.

So here’s what I do know.

Approximately 150,000 people in the world die each day.

We are all going to die. At that point the Bible says we will all face judgment.  Heb 9:27  

That might be today or tomorrow. James 4:13-14

If you are a Christian

The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself.” Things might get bad as in really really bad. We haven’t faced this level of uncertainty regarding a virus since the Spanish Flu in 1918. We are committing some of the same thinking errors. That said, its not about you or the risk to you. As a Christian it’s about you looking out for others. You might be healthy and relatively unaffected by COVID-19. However, people who are older and or perhaps those with compromised immunity might be made safe or placed at risk by your actions. You might think it’s all hype and that the precautions are stupid. Do you really believe you have the right to make that determination when another person’s life might be the one at risk? Yeah those are hard words. I know.

The apostle Paul said dying is ultimately better than living.  Phil 1:21

Jesus said if you try to save your life you will lose it. Mat 16:25

I believe the words of Jesus. John 20:28-29

What do you really believe?

If you are not a Christian

You are not alone. The Bible says a lot of people think Christianity is dumb. 1 Cor 1:18

Yes I know. All Christians are hypocrites. That’s why we need Jesus.

People generally don’t recognize their need of a savior until the reality of their frailty and mortality sets in. Mark 2:17

Jesus said there is only one way and He is it. John 14:6

I realize people don’t like “one way” any more than kids like being told marijuana makes you stupid. It doesn’t matter. Marijuana still makes you stupid.

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation. – Herbert Spencer-

Now might be a good time to really question the eternal viability of your world view and seriously investigate the words and claims of Jesus in greater depth.

If you are a Christian

What are you doing to comfort, exhort, encourage and lead people to the Truth?

Granted we walk by faith and not by sight. Ultimately Christianity is a relationship. However, there is a reasoned response to every assertion that Christianity is silly or false or nothing more than blind faith in fairy tales. Do you have questions? Do you need help providing a logical reason for the 1 Peter 3:15-16 hope that is in you. Submit your questions and comments and subscribe to this blog.

As always, if you are receiving this its because we love you.

En el nombre de Jesus!