Things I Think…

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38 Responses

  1. Nina says:

    Right on target! Every. darned. point. Thank you!

  2. Em says:

    Yep, what Nina said 🙆

  3. Owen says:

    Well said, Michael….

    I’m beginning to get a little angry with those who say God will protect them from the virus. I wanna shake them and say, “You should be thinking of others, who could likely be harmed by the spread of the virus, not just your own protection!”

    Rant over (for now..)

  4. Xenia@Home says:

    Well… I am not exactly afraid, at least not for myself. I have fear for several family members who still must go to work but I shove that fear in the back of my mind because there’s no point dwelling on it and yes, all the platitudes people spout I find to be VERY helpful. I’m a platitude-loving kind of person.

    We have placed crosses about every door.

    As far as staying home goes, I was born for this. Baskets of yarn, shelves of books, a garden to tend… I wish I was just on house arrest for protesting an abortion clinic rather than staying home because of the virus. But I am trying not to waste this time. I just placed an order for some more vegetable seeds from a local company. (Amazon’s seed won’t arrive til June, they say) I am looking to order some baby chicks as my poor hens are getting pretty old. Ducks? Probably not.

    We watch church on the computer, snuggled up in the bed with the dog and coffee. While we can’t have Communion we can pray with the Church.

    Our grocery situation is pretty good, with a shelf full of food out in the pantry. We order from Walmart online for pick up. Every time their available products are fewer and fewer but we sure do appreciate them.

    My beloved Father Irenei, now Bishop-of-England Irenei, gives really good talks on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ROCORinEurope/

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you, Nina, Em, and Owen!
    Xenia is here!
    Well said and thanks for the reminder that “platitudes” do help some…I get a bit arrogant…

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    So, the parents of a dear friend, along with his brother are in critical condition in NYC. Last night, the husband of a colleague and friend of twenty years was rushed to an ICU of a local hospital. Also last evening, I received a call from the assisted care facility where my mother lives informing me that they have their first confirmed case.

    I do believe that we were ill prepared for this pandemic and that the willful refusal to take it seriously in the beginning will result in a massive loss of life. The antics of some so-called believers in their refusal to take this crisis seriously will also cost lives. While I think Michael is right that many appear to be “doubling down on [their] political opinions” I believe that it is not a division based upon politics, but rather an ethical and moral divide. How else can we describe asking kids to return to a campus? How else can we describe allowing people to die for the sake of the economy? I could go on… What is happening, however, is the result of how we view ourselves and others. The divide is not merely political. It’s about the essence of who we are and what we really believe…

  7. Michael says:

    ” It’s about the essence of who we are and what we really believe…”

    Yes…

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    I see so much good being done by the body of Christ, loving, giving, serving, helping, encouraging, praying… We have yet to see what will come from this. We know the suffering of sickness, death and financial collapse will be immense.

    One area to watch and pray about is how the effects of the public response will adversely impact our world. Does anyone doubt that the effects of what governments did after 9/11 was worse than 9/11? That is where I have a huge concern. We simply do not know what terrible outcomes will ensue.

    What we do know is who we are as the people of God in any circumstance. Not much changes about discipleship in crisis times. We have the same call to love, give, serve etc.

    And yes, lets keep asking each other to stop saying dumb things.

  9. Em says:

    I have a hard time letting go of the idea that this covid19 is the work of a Chinese biological warfare lab – even though i have read a report from biomedical scientists who have examined the virus and report that there is no indication of bioengineering… If it isn’t biological warfare, do we, who are Believers, then conclude God is disciplining the human race by allowing a Satanic assault on the human race?
    Xenia’s account of their crosses over their doors reminded me of a stone cross i was given and placed above my doorbell. The JWs then never rang my doorbell. They knocked on the door instead. If she doesn’t keep the virus away, she should at least be protected from the JWs…..
    God keep all here safe and praising His mercies…. 🙏

  10. Xenia@Home says:

    Remember to value the contributions of everyone stuck at home with you!

    1. Me: Cook and idea person
    2. Husband: Source of strength, source of good humor. Washes the dishes, too.
    3. Dog: Burglar alarm, good companion, bed warmer
    4. Cat: Keeps the household free of rodents.
    5. Rabbit: Eater of left-overs, producer of garden manure. Adorable.
    6. Hens: Eggs, burglar alarm, producer of garden manure

    A job for everyone, all greatly appreciated. Everyone is needed.

  11. Michael says:

    “If it isn’t biological warfare, do we, who are Believers, then conclude God is disciplining the human race by allowing a Satanic assault on the human race?”

    No.

    Good parents never discipline a child without the child knowing why.
    God is a good Father.
    We wrestle with the fact that we do not know “why” except that we live in a fallen, broken world and Jesus is with us in it.

  12. Michael says:

    “Everyone is needed.”

    Amen and amen…

  13. Dan from Georgia says:

    Amen Michael.

    I have a hard time keeping away from the news and feeding on the grim headlines…gee no wonder I have so much anxiety.

    Anyways, I have a friend who texted me and said that “now is not the time for Christians to fear”. I wanted to punch him through my phone and ask him if he’s every sinned since becoming a Christian.

    This past weekend the Newnan Piedmont Hospital was inundated with hundreds of supporters for the healthcare workers during their shift change. Many honked their horns. Most were in prayer. No on was blocking access to the hospital by the way for emergency vehicles.

    I’ve also seen more and more people taking walks, waving to their neighbors, and being friendlier and supportive in giving those in need supplies.

    Overall I see this as kind of post-911 where some people became more human, but many/most just dug in their heels with their biases and predjuices/opinions.

    But for now the best therapy for me is to spend more time looking at the good I am seeing some people do, and try to stay off the steady diet of negativity.

  14. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I don’t turn the TV on…reading news seems to suck some of the emotion out of everything…

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    Agreed Michael. Wife and I have NO TV access in our house…internet news sources we do have access to. Sometimes I need to take a fast from media.

  16. Em says:

    Michael @ 10:47
    Great answer. 😺

  17. bob1 says:

    I agree with all your thoughts, Michael.

    N.T. Wright link below — he echoes your call to learn to lament.

    https://time.com/5808495/coronavirus-christianity/

  18. Em says:

    “now is not the the time for Christians to fear”….. I guess i’d say it all depends on what or who we fear….. ?

  19. filbertz says:

    lament. Yes.
    grieve. Yes
    trust. Yes
    encourage. Yes
    pray. Yes
    pontificate. No. Hell, no.

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em,. My friend who said that is not the most compassionate person in the world and isn’t exactly known for allowing people to work through their struggles on God’s timetable.

  21. Dan from Georgia says:

    I.e., I wouldn’t tell him that I have some fear and anxiety these days. I would have a bunch of scripture thrown at me and probably a few pious comments too.

    God says “come now, let us reason together…”. That isn’t exactly a crack-the-whip, “get your act together” God that many of us were told about. God is working on me through this. And not on my friend’s timetable.

  22. Em says:

    Dan from Georgia, your friend sounds like my late mother in law… LOL…

  23. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, Amen to all 10 “Things!”

    Great conversation here, everyone.

  24. Captain Kevin says:

    Long post alert:

    The following is excerpted from a recent devotion by Paul Tripp. I think it is just another way to say what Michael has already conveyed.

    “Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

    Giving way to fear is characterized by meditating on the trouble we are facing and forgetting God in the process. This fear reveals itself when we allow our minds and hearts to be controlled by what was initially appropriate concern.

    Is the pandemic (or anything that makes you afraid, for that matter) all you think about, all you read about, and all you talk about? If any type of trouble consumes your meditation, the larger it will loom, the more impossible a solution will seem, and the more frightened you will become.

    In this world, you will face danger, so ignoring that reality is not wise. God has given you the ability to be concerned, so acting as if there is no reason for concern is not the solution.

    The problem is that your meditation has been consumed by the trouble you are facing.

    Whenever trouble consumes our meditation, it’s because we have ultimately forgotten God. We have forgotten that there is a Lord of glory, wisdom, goodness, power, and grace who sits on the throne of his universe. No difficulty of any kind – no person, place, or pandemic – can negate his good and glorious promises to his children.

    As you look horizontally, things may seem entirely out of control. But when you look vertically, this world is under careful supervision.

    Do I claim to understand the pandemic? Not at all. Until we’re on the other side, we may never fully understand why God would allow this trouble to enter our lives.

    But we know who he is. We know what he can do. We know what he has promised. We know that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    In this moment of global pandemic, don’t let your meditation be dominated by fear so that you become God-forgetful. Don’t ignore the reality of the situation, don’t be embarrassed by your instinctual ability to respond rapidly when needed, and make wise plans out of appropriate concern.

    Most of all, never stop fearing God.

    Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.”

  25. Michael says:

    That’s good stuff, CK

  26. JoelG says:

    #3 and #4 Amen

    I have a friend who said he believed that Jesus wept because Mary and Martha didn’t have enough faith. Say what?

    Jesus is human and had human emotions. And He understands our fear and anxiety. And He is with us through it. Thank God.

  27. Michael says:

    JoelG…amen and amen…

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    So true JoelG.

    Thank you CK!

  29. My almost 8 year old daughter told me tonight that people get wrapped up in fear, of hoarding, losing their homes, but they don’t need to fear. Their mother is a magical thinker, and D7 saw this on a YouTube video her mom showed her. I said that some people might indeed lose their homes or apartments due to being out of work and that’s a real fear though the hoarding was unwarranted fear.

    I’m back to work for a week. Our Chem Tech told me today that his sister’s car window was broken ($400) in order to steal hand sanitizer she had visible. Likely this wasn’t a “normal” car burglar. Have we stooped that low?

    Last week at a local Wal-Mart I also shop at he saw a guy pluck a package of TP from an elderly lady’s cart. He told an employee and they caught the guy at the exit, told him he was banned from the store, and returned the TP to the old lady. I’m glad I wasn’t there, I might have committed a crime myself… this isn’t even bad. How much worse can we get if it really gets bad? I was there at 715AM last week and got myself TP. We’re set for 2 months. I’m not going to hoard more.

    I was bothered by D7 wasting milk from her cereal last week, telling her that I grew up on powdered milk which was barely palatable. I talked to a Vietnamese co-worker today who told me he wished he’d had powered milk as a kid. Perspective, we’ve lost it.

    I fed the kids salmon and Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Rice, microwave in a package (surprisingly good! Not dry). The kids wasted most of it. I should force them to eat chef boyardee cold from a can which is how I grew up from 12-14.

  30. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Of two minds about salmon. If it was ATLANTIC farmed salmon I could see kids not warming up to it but if it was Pacific salmon they really, seriously, don’t know what they’re missing, but I’m biased as on my Native American side of the family I got to have some spectacular local salmon. People in the PNW are fortunate that they have native Salmon runs in contrast to Atlantic states that basically fished their wild salmon populations into oblivion. For canned salmon one of the cheat methods I use to make it a bit zestier for the canned stuff is to add liquid smoke and if you let it steep that way it’s halfway to smoked salmon.

    One of the things I usually do when I’m stuck at home (currently going on post-lockdown scenario) is write (words) and write music. The pandemic looks like it will ravage concert and arts life.

    A friend was telling me some people think the comics industry is going to die from this now that Diamond’s not delivering shipments. I finally got the Paul Dini/Ty Templeton run spun off from Batman: the animated series, which is really, really fun Batman story-telling. If the post New 52 Batman tanks I honestly won’t feel super bad about it.

  31. Em says:

    Salmon and rice! That’s gourmet food. Fresh salmon, over an alderewood fire – there is nothing better
    Oh how we suffer… 🙆
    However, my nurse daughter says requiring them to care for covid patients without proper protection is the same as sending a fireman into a burning building in his underwear… .😱
    God keep

  32. Jtk says:

    I agree that I’m seeing so much good coming out of the church.

    I’ve never had better conversations with EVERY SINGLE ONE of my neighbors.

    I’ll never forget the TERROR in the eyes of a local college official I ran into at the grocery store this past weekend.

    This affects all of us but we believers have milder (but still awful) symptoms of the overall crisis than nonbelievers from the cheap seats I’m sitting in.

    Praying for y’all.

  33. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em…I still love and like my friend, despite his religious foibles and the harsh background he grew up in. I’ve seen much change in him for the better over the decades. I have my foibles and religious garbage too that rears its ugly head occasionally.

  34. Sarah Wolfe says:

    Oh it is a good thing to pop on here and see so many names I recognize! I agree with so much that has been said above…so just coming on and adding a big Amen.

  35. pstrmike says:

    Hi Sarah! 8)

  36. Em says:

    Dan from GA @ 11:55… is it because we are still occupying a mortal mind and body?

    Good to see Sarah – hope the tornado missed her home…

  37. Michael says:

    Any day Sarah is here is a good one. The tornado missed her, thank God!

  38. Linnea says:

    Echoing what Sarah says…it’s good to see so many names back at the old PP. Yes, great conversation and wonderful relfections.

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