- From ABC7 News in California: “Reopening California: State superintendent says ‘We will not ask for schools to start until it is safe’”
- From GoAnacortes, in Washington: “The town photo, parade and patriotic program are canceled, and the city is postponing its community fireworks display until it is safe for larger groups to gather, ‘hopefully later in the summer,’ according to a statement Tuesday from the Mayor’s Office.”
- From the NewsReview in Charlevoix, Michigan: “Greensky Hill Indian United Methodist Church invites the community to continue practicing both physical distancing and social connection by continuing online worship, discipleship and fellowship until it is safe to gather in person again; and staying connected by calling and writing each other, especially those unable to connect online.”
- From the Montgomery County, Maryland .gov site: “Our team is ready to provide services and welcome the community back to our facilities, but we will not do so until it is safe,” said Director of Montgomery County Recreation Robin Riley.
- And it’s not just here in the US. Here’s a headline from the Glasgow Times of Scotland: “No return to work until it’s safe to do so says Nicola Sturgeon”
I understand the concern—we don’t want to encourage people to gather if it leads to some of them getting seriously ill, or dying, as a result. However, when did the lockdown become something designed to keep us safe?
The blurb on my news feed was alarming:
Hot tea nearly doubles your risk of esophageal cancer
When we think about tea, we usually associate it with health benefits. But a new study from the International Journal of Cancer, says drinking hot tea increases…
As a passionate tea drinker, my initial take would be one of concern, alarm even—which is just what the news site intended. Oh no, is my tea bad for me? Yet another supposedly healthy food causes cancer? Should I stop drinking it? So of course I click on the link to read the rest of the article—and to inadvertently view all the ads.
Have you ever been afraid to try something because you might fail?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fought this battle. As far back as I can remember, I’ve hesitated to attempt something that I’m not confident about. Let me give you an example.
I was a senior in high school. My grades were excellent and I had applied to a “selective” university that I really wanted to attend. I’d completed all the college track classes I needed—English, math, science, etc., but I still lacked a “fine or practical art.” I really wanted to take photography. I had been given my first SLR camera for Christmas and I wanted to take magnificent photos. However, academically, this was new territory. I knew I could do classwork, and I have a knack for taking exams, but photography was creative. Could I do that too? What if I couldn’t?
There’s a new problem plaguing our society. It’s not caused by a virus, as is Ebola—or the flu. It’s not violence or drugs, although I suspect it’s more pervasive than either of those. No, this is something I had never heard of until I read Brady Boyd’s new book, Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul.
I’m talking about the curse of FOMO. Are you familiar with this condition? A quick Google search turned up over 75 million hits, so you might already be familiar with it (I tend to be out of touch at times). FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. The Urban Dictionary defines it as: “The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.”
As we saw last week, Saul was a fearful man. He was afraid of his enemies. He was afraid of his friends. He was even afraid of being king. Sadly, the one fear he lacked was a fear of God.
When we left Saul, he was in bad shape. His fears had led him to disobey God. As a result, God had rejected him as king over Israel. Now let’s pick up the story in 1 Samuel 16. When Samuel goes to anoint David as Saul’s successor, we’re told at “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” At the same time, “the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul.” As far as heaven was concerned, David was king and Saul was not. However, it would take years for this truth to work itself out on Earth. In the meantime, Saul manages to go from bad to worse. Reading the next few chapters, I tried to feel sorry for the guy, but what I really wanted was to whap him upside the head!
Saul was one messed up king. That’s my conclusion as I read through 1 Samuel, and it’s easy to see why. He screwed up, royally (sorry). From disobeying God’s specific orders (see 1 Samuel 13 and 15) to years of trying to murder his most valuable and devoted subject, David, he seemed to have a hard time getting anything right. I’ve been wondering why God picked him in the first place.
Chapter 9 explains one possible reason:
Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.
I often start my day by turning on my computer and scanning the headlines for the latest news. I want to know if anything major has changed while I slept. Does something new require prayer? Are there events that might affect me, or my friends and family? Has Elvis returned? What will everyone be talking about?
I read that thousands of people have been buried alive in an Afghanistan landslide. Hundreds of teenaged girls, kidnapped from their boarding school, are being held hostage in Nigeria. And “up to 20,000 migrants [from north and east Africa] have died at sea trying to reach Europe over the past 20 years.”
Then there’s the local news. Here are some of today’s headlines: “Homes Hit by Gunfire.” “Pedestrian hit, killed by pickup truck.” “Heroin and cash found in car after crash.”
What I learned from the internet in the last week:
- Beans are good for you. (source)
- Beans are bad for you. (source)
- Whole grains are healthy and we should eat more of them. (source)
- Grains are bad for you. Whole grains are worst. (source)
- Saturated fats (lard, etc.) are good for you. (source)
- Saturated fats (lard, etc.) are bad for you. (source)
- A daily handful of nuts will reduce your risk of heart disease. (source)
- Nuts are toxic and eating them causes heart disease. (source)
- Continue reading
Last month I wrote about our growing “culture of fear”—how information sources from the media to our Facebook friends are all telling us how dangerous the world is. As friend after friend shared their concerns about food or medicine, politics or the environment, I began to wonder. Should we be alarmed about everything?
God tells us that He has everything in hand, so we have no need to worry. Still. I had to ask—are the doomsayers correct? I decided to find out. Since medical choices affect us directly, and because of my biology background, I decided to start there.
Is conventional medicine making us sicker?
Scanning the headlines on my news feed, I read of disaster after disaster. From people being buried alive under collapsing buildings, floods and tornadoes, and seemingly random shootings, to fires, earthquakes, and the massacre of innocent civilians, the world is falling apart.
Listening to the news, you might think you’re going to die any moment. It could be from something you ate. Everything is bad for us. Even foods that were considered beneficial ten or twenty years ago (such as soy) are now touted as dangerous to our health.
You can’t go to this country or that country because you might be assaulted, blown up, or kidnapped. Here at home, our government is spying on its own citizens. And I just read that the next “fiscal cliff” is coming in late February.