Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Why Wash Your Hands With ANY Soap For 20 Seconds?

SHORT, SWEET, IMPORTANT.   Let's get this thing handled. VIA My Bad Influence

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dr. David Jeremiah: Is the Coronvirus A Sign of the End Times? What Does It Mean?

VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING SERMON FOR OUR CURRENT TURBULENT TIMES FROM A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW. I am not a big rapture believer but I think this is nevertheless a precious teaching. I do not think anything stands in the way of Christ's Second Coming at this point. What I do know is Christ has come to bring salvation to everyone who repents and believes and Christ will come again to judge our world in truth and righteousness at the End of the Age whenever that is. Still there is a sense of urgency...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Joe Carter: Nine Things You Should Know About the 1918 Pandemic

I'D READ MUCH OF THIS BEFORE, YET THINK IT BEARS REPEATING.  Joe Carter @ The Gospel Coalition  says it  with clarity and succinctness....In spite of the extremely contagious and lethal 1918 pandemic and catastrophic predictions for Covid19,  I personally do not think this virus will come close to the severity of the one a hundred years ago for many reasons though our fear is probably greater.  I don't mean to be cavalier however.  Read on---including Joe's important Addendum---and decide for yourself: 

THE DISCOVERY AND SPREAD OF A NOVEL CORONAVIRUS disease in 2019 and 2020 (COVID-19) has led to a plethora of comparisons to the deadly pandemic that occurred a century earlier—the 1918 influenza pandemic, known colloquially as the “Spanish flu.”

Here is what you should know about the 1918 pandemic that became one of the largest public health crises in modern history.

1. This 1918 influenza pandemic, caused by the Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, produced the greatest influenza (flu) death toll in recorded history. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States (in comparison, the total number of deaths of World War I was around 20 million). From 1917 to 1920, the virus infected one-third of the Earth’s population, which at the time was about 500 million people. If the same ratio of infections were to happen today, it would be the equivalent of 2.5 billion. That would roughly be the equivalent today of every man, woman, and child in Africa, Europe, and North America becoming infected.

2. The pandemic was commonly known in the United States and Europe as the “Spanish Flu” or the “Spanish Lady.” This was a misnomer, though, as the disease is unlikely to have originated in Spain. The nickname was the result of a widespread misunderstanding caused by wartime news blackouts. To avoid affecting morale, both Allied and Central Powers nations suppressed news about the flu. But because Spain remained neutral during World War I, the Spanish media was free to cover the story. “Since nations undergoing a media blackout could only read in depth accounts from Spanish news sources, they naturally assumed that the country was the pandemic’s ground zero,” says Evan Andrews of History.com. “The Spanish, meanwhile, believed the virus had spread to them from France, so they took to calling it the ‘French Flu.’”

3. While the sources of the flu is still unknown (avian and swine origins have been proposed), the first outbreaks appeared in the United States. On March 4, 1918, a U.S. Army private reported to the hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas, complaining of sore throat, fever, and headache. By noon, more than 100 of his fellow soldiers had reported similar symptoms. Other outbreaks soon appeared in Army camps and prisons in various regions of the country. The disease soon spread to Europe with the American soldiers traveling to the battlefields of France. (In the two months after the outbreak at Fort Riley, 202,000 U.S. troops traveled by ship to Europe.)

4. The pandemic occurred in several waves that spread across the globe. The first wave occurred in North America from March through May 1918, and from May through July 1918 in Europe. The second wave—which caused the greatest number of deaths—began in August 1918 and spread across the globe over the next five months. By the end of summer 1918, numerous cases had been reported in China, India, New Zealand, Japan, North Africa, the Philippines, and Russia. A third pandemic wave began in early 1919, just 10 months after the first wave. Some historians also claim that a fourth wave occurred in early 1920.

5. The pandemic was exacerbated by poor sanitation, overcrowding, and limited health services during World War I. Many U.S. soldiers with immune systems that has never been exposed to the flu were crowded into hastily built camps and ships. Each day in summer 1918, an average of 10,000 U.S. soldiers crammed onto ships bound for France, and 45,000 soldiers were corralled into camps built to accommodate 36,000. As a result, in 1918 more American troops died from flu than they did on the battlefield
6. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an unusual characteristic of this virus was the high death rate it caused among healthy adults 15 to 34 years of age. The pandemic lowered the average life expectancy in the United States by more than 12 years. The estimated case fatality rate was 1.7 percent. A comparable death rate has not been observed during any of the known flu seasons or pandemics that have occurred either prior to or following the 1918 pandemic. (The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1 percent in the United States.) The rate of death was likely higher because, at the time, there were no flu vaccines, antiviral drugs, antibiotics, or mechanical ventilators. About one-third of doctors and nurses from the United States were also serving in the war, making treatment in the United States less available.

7. Because there was no coordinated effort by the U.S. government to implement mitigation efforts, local communities implemented their own measures. For instance, the health commission of New York City attempted to slow the transmission of the flu by ordering businesses to open and close on staggered shifts to avoid overcrowding on the subways. At the time, 43 U.S. cities had a population of more than 100,000. Cities that implemented measures such as school closures, bans on public gatherings, and isolation or quarantine orders experienced delayed and reduced peak death rates compared with cities that implemented interventions later.

8. During the pandemic, restrictions on public gatherings affected churches. In Washington, D.C., a group of Protestant ministers “voted unanimously to accede to the request of the District Commissioners that churches be closed in the city.” Churches were also closed in cities such as Dallas, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Seattle, yet remained open in Chicago and San Francisco. But, much like today, such measures weren’t always popular. A Baptist pastor in Murray, Kentucky, held services on January 26, 1919 in violation of the state’s ban and was arrested in his pulpit at the evening service. A Catholic priest in St. Louis was allegedly turned in to police after 200 parishioners were seen at the church. The priest told police the people snuck in through the church’s side windows ,and he didn’t see them. No charges were pressed.

9. Since 1918, there have been several other influenza pandemics. A flu pandemic from 1957 to 1958 killed around 2 million people worldwide, including some 70,000 people in the United States, and a pandemic from 1968 to 1969 killed approximately 1 million people, including some 34,000 Americans. More than 12,000 Americans perished during the H1N1 (or “swine flu”) pandemic that occurred from 2009 to 2010. 

But the 1918 influenza pandemic has remained not only the deadliest flu of the modern age, but also one of the most lethal virus-borne diseases, killing more people than all subsequent flu pandemics, yellow fever (late 1800s), the Cholera 6 outbreak (1817-1923), SARS (2002-2003), Ebola (2014-2016), and HIV/AIDS (1981–present) combined.

Addendum: While there are several similarities between the 1918 flu pandemic and COVID-19 (short for novel coronavirus 2019), they are different in numerous and significant ways. COVID-19 is not a strain of flu, but rather a disease caused by a strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). What we call “flu” is several different types and strains of influenza viruses. Coronaviruses are a different and distinct type of virus.

The key reason COVID-19 is currently more dangerous than common strains of flu is because we have no protection against it (NB: the 1918 flu was an uncommon strain). For all of us alive today, strains of the flu have existed our entire life. Almost everyone gets the flu at some stage of life and are therefore able to build up immunity. We also have vaccines created each year that protect people from new strains. Despite these immunities, we still have 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide from the flu each year.

SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus for which we haven’t built up an immunity. Also, unlike many influenza strains, we have no vaccines to protect us against the virus. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be about seven- to ten-times more lethal than the average strain of influenza. Because of these factors, COVID-19 has the potential to kill many more times as many people as are killed by the annual strains of flu. The COVID-19 infections also have to be treated in addition to the hospitalizations and deaths that occur from influenza. Our health-care system already becomes strained each year during flu season, so adding tens or hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases at one time will stretch our system to the breaking point (as it has already done in Italy).

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020

How To Survive A Life Like Yours: Why Self-Help is Never Enough For Permanently Solving Our Life Problems

Article by

IT MADE FOR A SENSATIONAL VIRAL VIDEO. Jordan Peterson, the bestselling psychology professor and life guru, sat on a panel during convocation at Liberty University. Suddenly, someone in the large audience, apparently a student, rushed the stage. In the seconds before the security team closed in around him, the student cried out through tears, “I need help! I just wanted to meet you. I need help.”

Though the event would continue after an impromptu prayer and escorting of the student off stage, the words “I need help” seemed to linger like a specter in the building.

The truth is that every year millions of Americans admit they need help, and many do so by running to self-help gurus. The self-help genre is one of the most reliable, most lucrative genres in publishing. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life is merely one of the latest phenomena: over three million copies have sold since 2018. Meanwhile, self-help literature colonizes the bestseller lists year after year, decade after decade, from newer authors such as Jen Sincero, Rachel Hollis, and Eckhart Tolle, to old standbys Dale Carenegie, Tony Robbins, and Norman Vincent Peale.

Though these authors are diverse in their language, method, and perspective, one thing unites them all: they want to fix your problems, and they’ve each discovered the best way to do it.

The Craving for Wisdom

It’s easy for evangelicals to sneer at the self-help genre. That’s been the dominant attitude I’ve encountered in gospel-centered Christian circles toward the books. In many ways, the cynicism is warranted. There’s something deeply deceptive in the majority of self-help lit: a middle-class prosperity gospel of expressive individualism.
Yet we err if we only go so far as to critique. It’s better to ask whether we as Christians can learn anything about ourselves or our world from the success of the self-help genre.

Self-help lit flourishes because human beings crave wisdom. Without a conscious recognition that life is hard and confusing and we need more help than is within ourselves, self-help and motivational lit would sell nothing. For believers, the question is not whether we should be trying to gain wisdom for life. The question is what kind of wisdom we need.

The majority of self-help lit answers that question with overtly middle-class appeals to new methods, inspirational mantras, and (most importantly) buying as much of the guru’s product as possible. It also tends to pit the complex realities of life against one another, as if doggedly holding on to one’s sense of self-esteem in the face of hardship or criticism can make the facts of failure and brokenness disappear.
While some self-help writing really does offer helpful habits or bring us back to common sense, it almost always does so with a blind eye toward the many areas of life where the guru’s wisdom cannot go.

Inspired Wisdom Literature

There is an alternative. Rather than, on one hand, mocking readers eager for self-improvement or, on the other, conceding the arena of truth to secular soothsayers, we can turn elsewhere for an inexhaustible fountain of real-life insight, whole-person help, and ever-present grace: biblical wisdom literature.

Unfortunately, many evangelicals would likely struggle to even identify which books of the Bible classify as “wisdom.” The scope and significance of biblical wisdom is often lost on us. We may mine Proverbs for Tweetable nuggets. We mutter at Job’s sufferings something about God’s being absolutely sovereign. We avoid Ecclesiastes altogether! No wonder secular gurus flood the cavity left by our missing the richness of the Creator’s wisdom.

Biblical wisdom literature is more than punchy insights into trusting God or poetic flourishes on the meaning (or lack thereof) in life. It’s also more than a hurdle for preachers to leap over in their beeline to the gospel. Rather, biblical wisdom is a coherent and illuminated rule of life that reveals the true nature of everything: God, humans, the universe itself.

The Soft Glow of Self-Help

The best self-help books are the ones that, perhaps despite themselves, really do help us see reality as it is. Amid the wreckage of misguided inspirationalism, effective self-help lit brings to mind something obvious that we tend to miss: attitude matters; people respond to kindness far better than harshness; clean your room.
But even the best, most natural-law-cognizant self-help lit is like a glowstick in a dark room. It can cast a light, but not far and not for long. Biblical wisdom, on the other hand, is like a brilliant chandelier, majestically illuminating everything from high above.

Because secular self-help lit starts with me — my felt needs, my sense of self — it is fatally limited. Biblical wisdom, on the other hand, starts with God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Biblical wisdom has a cosmic perspective, not merely an individual one.

The Fresh Air of Revelation

The book of Job, a masterpiece of literature even by secular standards, is an astonishing illustration of this. Like much self-help lit, Job is focused on suffering. But unlike all self-help lit, Job gives a heavenly perspective, a point of view that sees the spiritual warfare and divine providence over earthly existence.
We learn from Job that suffering tends to exceed our understanding; we cannot fully “get” cancer, or the death of children, or a fiery helicopter crash. There’s no amount of therapeutic work that can help us make sense of a universe that is “red in tooth and claw.” Instead, there is the reality of God — his presence, his right to reign, and his care over his creation. This awareness enables far more than mere positivity. It enables the worship that will both unleash the peace that passes all understanding, and ultimately result in our resurrection and redemption from all death.

Biblical wisdom also illuminates the world as it really is. Every generation tends to have a skewed vision of reality. We turn our attention to cultural gurus who either affirm the spirit of the age (self-actualization at all costs) or make waves for standing against it (make sacrifices; lose yourself in commitment to something). The wisdom in Scripture corrects both of our errors.

True wisdom reveals that hard work is often rewarded, but not every time (Proverbs 13:23). It pushes us toward making the most of life, while making sure we never forget about our imminent death (Ecclesiastes 3:19). Biblical wisdom reminds us that it is good to earn, but also that earning will never satisfy (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

If you’re looking for myopic perspectives or simplistic clich├ęs, pass on by. If you’re looking for divine realism that enables you to receive and live in the world as it truly is, come and see.

We Need More Than Motivation

But the highest point at which biblical wisdom differs from self-help is its offer of grace. Neither the most rah-rah motivational alpha male nor the most spirited “you go girl” cheerleader can compete with the grace that God’s wisdom offers.
Why? Because this wisdom calls out to the simple. Biblical wisdom is utterly unique: It is for the foolish, not the wise. It is for the needy, not the clever. Hear the call of wisdom:
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” (Proverbs 1:20–23)
Biblical wisdom can make the foolish wise. That is good news for weak-willed people like me who need more than motivation. We need forgiveness. It’s not enough to be assured that I can do it. I have to know that I’m safe and secure even at the end of the days where I didn’t do it. That’s the promise of Wisdom incarnate: Jesus, “who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
It’s not too late for us to commit to putting ourselves in the way of God’s wisdom, meditating on it day and night as we grow strong and nourished like a tree in a riverbank (Psalm 1:1–3). Find the help you need to see clearly in a dark world, and the grace you need to get back up when you stumble, in the pages of God’s perfect, gracious, all-sufficient wisdom.

Short Sermon of Day from Desiring God: True Honesty Minimizes Misunderstanding

THIS IS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATURITY IN CHRIST. BTW, I will post some thoughts on this pandemic crisis later today. Some of them are not conventional wisdom.

Monday, March 16, 2020

After Almost Three Years Living In France, G-Boy Comes Back to USA Three Months Early, Today!


And why not?  Schools in France have closed,  his daddy was working from home.

USA! USA! USA! I give God great thanks for this blessing!