Tag Archives: Panic

A Protestant Easter


Allow me to recount the personal way my wife and I spent Easter 2020 along with some thoughts on how Easter was shared among believers in the protestant world.

I’ll start with an entry from my journal on Saturday before Easter. “It’s sunny with clouds and a cool east wind on a crisp spring day atop of this beautiful mountain as I read another chapter in Dudley Hall’s, Grace Works.” In the latest chapter he notes, “The major sin of God’s covenant people is that of unbelief… since Gods primary requirement is faith.” “In fact, I would dare say that no violation of the law is ever committed without prior unbelief.”

Profound! Grace and Faith. Faith and Grace. The two key issues with God! (Eph 2:8-9)
Then Abide (John 15:5). No boasting ( I Col 1:29, Jeremiah 9:23-24)!

If you fall back into law or works, pray-repent-admit-be restored at once. The price is paid — Easter 2020. Holy Saturday ends the season of Lent. It’s a good day to ponder such truth. Thank you Lord for leading me. Help me to abide more with You, and in You, and You in me. This is my plea, my prayer for holy Saturday, 2020.

April 12, 2020 Easter

On a beautiful, high overcast morning with a sea of pastel greens and blues below… there is thunder in the area on Easter morning — a power display.

I share “He is Risen!” and “He is Risen Indeed!” — the traditional Easter greeting of the early church — with a few close friends and family by text. Now begins a virtual Easter celebration with our present home church, Fayetteville Fellowship. Strange it seems, real and surreal at the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has much of the planet in isolation, so on one of the most church-attended Sundays of the year in Christendom, the faithful are not allowed to meet! So plans have been made, with a few weeks practice under their belts, for most of the planets churches to meet on line, via streaming, Facebook, YouTube, etc. People are forced to be more private and thoughtful about their beliefs, as they ponder them alone, and with their families, or small groups of believers in a time of uncertainty.

This also allows my wife and I to visit the Easter services of friends in Kansas. And of our Fort Smith, AR church for more than thirty years, before we moved last year. Amazing developments all the way around!

As startling as it is, it’s also refreshing in a sense — to break with tradition and consider what it is you really believe? And why you do what you do?

The outline of our pastors message was:
The Fact — of the resurrection
The Implications — of the resurrection
The Meaning — of the resurrection

You assume His death is the end. His disciple did! The most faithful prepared spices. It’s over.

But within days, Peter, arguably the most prone to act in the flesh or his own strength, has a personal meeting with his risen Lord in Galilee, gets a personal commission, and a few days later the inner empowerment to carry it out, being filled with the same Holy Spirit operative in Jesus.

In similar fashion within a few weeks, Paul a violent, angry religious, Jewish bigot, would meet the risen Lord and receive the same Holy Spirit, along with a new identity. The two of them, in that power, would go on to change the known world of their time extending down to our time. Amazing. Grace.

Or in his own words recorded in Romans 1:1-7

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, promised by the Prophets, Jesus Christ our Lord! News by which everything is changed. A plan to fix and reverse the curse of sin… One Who would come has come.

The implications Paul goes on to say in Romans 8, is that, “We are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And in Romans 10, “If you declare with your mouth, and trust in your heart, you will be saved.” Declare and believe what? “Jesus was raised from the dead!”

It’s the claim of Easter. The victory we walk in. Celebrate!!


Here are two special worship videos going around in our area this season especially apropos the pandemic and the cultural era in which we live.

This one from our home church.

This one from a group of believers in Nashville TN.

Enjoy! He is risen indeed!

Corona Chapter Change

The following is from C. S. Lewis. It was written in 1948 after the dawn of the atomic age.
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

I have a precious Christian sister who lives in Virginia with her husband. They are some of our best friends. As she shared her concerns and fears about the present pandemic in the early days, I found it disturbing that a believer of deep faith could be so fearful about the developing circumstances, and she wasn’t alone as my wife told me about Instagram posts from other friends. So I reached out to her with the previous C.S. Lewis quote. That started a personal sharing by text that I share below — two friends pondering the events unfolding in our country and world. This will also serve as a chapter change of sorts of my comments on the pandemic of COVID-19 or the pandemic of fear. The mule is out of the barn so to speak, so I intend to focus future posts about how Christians might deal with the crisis in keeping with their faith in God and Christ Jesus the Lord, and not whether or not the threat is real.

My friend responded:
I totally agree with CS Lewis, however the reality is we can do everything possible to not panic and keep a level head. The ripple effect will be tremendous economically and we may have to reboot to a new normal.
Our son in law that is a Dr. is very sick at this moment and their family is home quarantined. He was actually tested for the virus yesterday but will not know for 5 days what the results are. The fast track results are only for individuals that are in respiratory distress. He wasn’t yesterday. Today is a different story. His mucus levels are rising and they are doing everything to try to keep them down. Courtney as you know is a nurse. She is trying to take care of him and work from home trying to keep dialysis clinics open with staff dropping like flies all the while she is trying to manage a rowdy energetic 4 year old that has no understanding of any of this. So she is in the trenches. Until now I didn’t quite understand the pandemonium. But having her in that position is making it more clear. If I leave the earth with this virus, all the while having taken precautions then that is how it was meant to be.

Love you guys and pray you and your family stay well.

I responded:

I’m sorry for Courtney and all the millions of mom’s working and now with kids at home… there is rather suddenly a lot of suffering and sacrifice our nation is enduring with the prospect of it getting worse before it gets better. My conviction is (did you read my blogs on this?) that the fear and panic it is causing and going to cause is doing more damage than the disease could or would. Only time will tell. Praying you can find more peace. Love you guys! Abiding…DB

My friend replied:

I really do have peace about it because it truly is in God’s hands. The helplessness feeling I have is further proof that it not ours to control and it will be what it will be. I think we will see many miracles come out of this but not without suffering. I was telling someone weeks ago that our younger generations have not experienced anything to mold them like generations past. (Especially the greatest generation that lived through World Wars and the Great Depression)  I was telling someone that something would happen to really identify what is important and what is not. Our spoiled Millennials that we created are about to find out what life is all about. So I definitely believe in silver linings and that all things will be to the glory of God.

Me:

Yes! You’re on to something there for sure. Only our God is able enough and good enough to oversee something like this. May He have mercy and abundantly supply Grace. Amen thanks:):)

Amen!! I’d love the games and being with you guys. And I know you would share! You’re Two of the most generous people I’ve ever known (can be spelled Gracious) :):) Love you and value your friendship very much… even from afar! :):) Shalom

Got this from one of my best friends (back to college days :)) who recently retired as CEO of a large hospital in NWA about how Drs. Are seeing the crisis, and I loved his last comment. We should all feel this way. ***
Talked to couple of physicians yesterday p.m..  here’s another perspective:   They have both full resolve and are somewhat disheartened!  On one hand, social separation strategy is aimed at getting us to warmer weather with people outside in the hopes the virus dissipates and goes away in 4-6 weeks.  Thus, saving lives potentially.   They think of little else beyond that it seems – economics, jobs, etc.   in my experience this is typical doctor thinking.   They are disheartened by level of cynicism about this feeling if it works people will say -“they over did for nothing”. And if it doesn’t work that “ they weren’t prepared”.   I can understand some of that.  They blame media by in large for distortion of reality – as I do – and the populous for falling for it.  Interesting and thought I’d share.  There are some warriors in healthcare, not all, and I love them for what they do.

My Friend:

I totally agree with his comment on doing too little or not enough. There is no way to win on this one. 

Me:

From the medical side! Yes … probably but from the American leadership side and the populace?? They could have and should have shown more wisdom and faith vs fear, and guts to act on that…. We are more responsible than the medical community for what this has become… they are just doing what they’re charged and trained to do. Maybe the sad fact I don’t want to believe is that our nation has become so secular humanist and non God-fearing or God-trusting … that they’re just acting like you’d expect them to act? Again… God is mercifully showing us ourselves, and what we are without Him. Gratefully He is full of Mercy, Compassion, and Gracious beyond our understanding, and He hears our prayer. Amen

We should thank him for letting this happen and showing us these things… As in the old saying “If you find yourself in a deep pit, first stop digging.” And maybe pray like Eli when he got some bad news, “Let the LORD do what seems best to Him.” Amen אמן

My Friend:

Amen

:):) love ya 

A Medical Perspective

My wife read to me last evening that the governor of our state had ordered the closure of all restaurants and bars. The stock market posted a tiny upswing, and I also read the first article I’ve seen pointing out that the virus may not be as vial or deadly as the media has shouted from the roofs in most of their coverage since the outset.

So where did we get reliable information about this danger anyway? Where does it start? Medical professionals, correct? Why and how does it swell to fear and panic so quickly? I realize that history and time may show that it was merited. But from the beginning it seems the amount of fear and the corresponding over reaction could have been avoided by more truthful and objective reporting of the facts, and more courage and less fear among our leaders and our people.

This particular version of the coronavirus is new and therefore its characteristics are somewhat unknown. I get that. So it’s been under a microscope, pun intended, for a few months now (since December 2019) like other coronavirus cousins of the recent past, SARS and MERS, until their characteristics where better known for tracking, prevention, containment, and future vaccinations.

So we’ve learned that [1] You can be contagious for 14 days before you have any flu like symptoms making it likely you will infect others during that time before you begin staying home to recover. [2] It’s not as contagious as its cousin influenza, the common version of the flu. [3] It’s up to 3x more fatal than the flu in the USA (2%vs.6%), especially in those with other health problems, compromised immune systems, and the elderly.

Just Doing What They Do

While I was pondering all the seemingly irrational reaction to this phenomena, and voicing it to one of my best friends who recently retired as a successful CEO of a large hospital and medical center, he helped me see a little better the medical origins of the scare and how some of those in the medical profession look at it. In a text he related the following:

Talked to couple of physicians yesterday p.m..  here’s another perspective:   They have both full resolve and are somewhat disheartened! On one hand, social separation strategy is aimed at getting us to warmer weather with people outside in the hopes the virus dissipates and goes away in 4-6 weeks.  Thus, saving lives potentially. They think of little else beyond that it seems – economics, jobs, etc.  In my experience this is typical doctor thinking. They are disheartened by the level of cynicism about this, feeling if it works people will say -“they over did it for nothing”. And if it doesn’t work that “ they weren’t prepared”. I can understand some of that. They blame the media by in large for distortion of reality – as I do – and the populous for falling for it. Interesting [their perspective] and thought I’d share. There are some warriors in healthcare, not all, and I love them for what they do.–

Thanks Bill! Well said! Insightful! True!

Medical people are just doing what they are trained to do. Treat patients. Educate people. They even practice drills on how to deal with epidemics or pandemics, to insure they can treat people with the disease while continuing to treat those routinely in their care. They are in many cases “warriors” who sacrifice of themselves to care for others, and we should love them for it, thank them for it, and honor them for it.

The real responsibility is with, I believe, our leaders, our media, and us, the people who’ve “fallen for it.”

The issue at this point is not to cast blame, but to do what we can to come out of it, while noting lessons that can be learned. Especially spiritual lessons.

Thanks Friends

Bob Goff

As the truth about the Coronavirus continues to be researched and debated in the privacy of homes, in the media, and on social media, I’m grateful for some of the best things my friends sent me yesterday. To provide different perspectives, and some big picture truth.

To be honest I’ve been a wee bit angry at our leaders, media, and people for letting fear of this flu virus escalate into panic that has very likely caused unnecessary damage to us all far exceeding anything the virus could have done. And I’m perplexed about all the fear and concern with so little evidence of the danger?

But alas, the possible small crisis has taken on a personality of its own and become a crisis, with little sign of abating until it runs its course. Still I’d like to stand against the storm in some small way and pray others will too. Pray may be the key word. There is One with power to act, and He hears prayer. In fact it’s His idea.

That said, yesterday I received a blog link through an email from my good friend and spiritual mentor for decades. Because I know his spiritual sensitivity, heart, and wisdom, I knew I should give credence to everything he said, and was feeling. So I did. It changed my attitude and helped me get on with the reality of the thing, and remembering people are important, and people serving people. And to be obedient and faithful in natural things, like the presidential directive, was practical and important.

It didn’t take away the truth from anything I was seeing or feeling, but it changed my focus to a trajectory in a healthier direction. Thank you Charles.

The next best thing I got was from a beautiful, sweet spiritual sister who had been very angry about what was happening too. We shared thoughts and she shared something from C.S Lewis someone sent her that deserves a blog all by itself without comment. Thank you Patty.

I share it here:

The following from C. S. Lewis. It was written in 1948 after the dawn of the atomic age.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.