Church Pandemic Preparedness, by ShepherdFarmerGeek

Editor’s Introductory Note: Here at SurvivalBlog, over the years, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of good doctrine, when finding a church home. We’ve also delved into discussing the role of local churches in dispensing charity. And we’ve discussed home-churching. And more recently, we’ve discussed the need for organizing and training armed security for churches. But today, we present a new wrinkle: How to keep a church group meeting regularly in times of pandemic, while at teh same time minimizing the risk of communicating diseases. Please prayerfully consider what ShepherdFarmerGeek has to say. If you then feel convicted to do so, please bring up this topic with your church elders, and take some substantive steps.

Pray the 91st Psalm, often. We are surely now living in the day of “…the noisome pestilence.” – JWR

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” – Psalm 91 (KJV)

“Faced with these crises in nature individually, it could be possible to fix the problems causing them. But confronted with multiple interlinked emergencies that in combination amplify one another’s impacts, people are facing unprecedented dangers and many communities cannot cope.”Fiona Harvey

Ah, yes, this global pandemic is coming into focus. Our country will be affected. The virus is worse than the media (and government) wanted us to believe. And so here we are. And we need to give attention to our churches so that their ministry and the Good News (actually Great! News) continues to get out.

We need to break the inertia and normalcy bias and denial and outright un-Biblical theology (God will do it all for us and we “only need to pray”). The time is now.

IDEAS TO CONSIDER

1. Tell people to stay home if they don’t feel well.

2. Have more worship services so that there will be fewer people per service and there can be more space between people. (Space them out!)

3. Live-stream the worship service as well. E-mail (or make available for download) songsheets for that Sunday’s worship songs. The worship team could even send links to YouTube worship sing-along videos if it turns out that worshiping with the live-streamed worship team isn’t working well. Will require an email sign-up.

4. Encourage everyone who can to view worship and preaching online. Offer to send someone if families need technical support for this.

5. Families with young children who cannot maintain masks and goggles and hand hygiene must be encouraged to not come to the building for services.

6. Strongly discourage anyone from attending the worship service without a mask and goggles. If we had a huge supply we could provide them to people who show up without them, but currently the good masks cost about $5 each…

7. Hand out basic hygiene information to everyone who doesn’t already have a copy.

8. Pastor and leaders set a good example for PPE and hygiene. Elbow bumps instead of handshakes and hugs?

9. Pastor must teach about the difference between faith and presumption. Must teach about the role of personal responsibility and preparedness versus trusting God to provide everything. (Seatbelts, fire extinguishers, life insurance, employment…)

10. In a national crisis people will want to turn to God, and might be more interested in attending church than ever once they see that they and their families could be permanently injured or killed by this pandemic. We need to help them understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. This would be a great time to have Bibles (actually New Testaments are more helpful for seekers) and tracts and information about our church to hand out.

11. We need to be equipping our congregation to function as the Church in smaller settings now! What literature do they need? What resources? MP3 song tracks? Songsheets? Who will teach them if the pastor is unavailable, sick or dead and physical meetings are difficult or impossible?

12. Consider putting up a sign outside the main door with these guidelines and an explanation for visitors.

13. Cancel every service that we feel we can – Men’s Bible Study, Sunday School, etc.

14. Run the air handling circulation fan more and cycle in more fresh air to the auditorium.

15. Make sure that the church has a substantial amount of cash on hand to operate if/when banks are closed or inaccessible. Set up an accountability system. If banks close in an economic collapse all of our money in those accounts could be gone.

16. Have a plan – if things get really bad – for the pastor to do his sermons from home. What tech would he need to do this?

17. We need to train and empower our families with “permission” (and written materials) to lead their families or a small group of families in the Lord’s Supper. (We’d recommend going so far as to hand out grape juice and Matzo crackers to every head of household.) And we probably need to have people ready to perform funerals and weddings and maybe even give those persons counseling resources (not books – concise handouts).

18. Many of us have read “Preparing for the Underground Church” – now it’s time to act on those insights. Act! The church must be able to function without its buildings and possibly even without its pastor. (The time to raise up other worship leaders from the congregation, and others capable of pastoral functions is past. Now we’re just going to have to do the best we can do.) See here.

19. Is there an online resource we can use for real-time conference call “meetings”? For prayer, for leadership, etc.

20. We need to get serious about being able to communicate securely. In a crisis, with martial law and an Antichrist in the wings, we simply cannot continue to communicate the way we are.

THE TIME IS NOW

If we don’t start doing this a before COVID becomes a crisis We. Won’t. Be. Ready. – we won’t have developed new habits and families won’t have the needed masks and other resources.

This is going to break down most noticeably with masking/goggles for children. Fortunately, children seem the least affected by the virus, but parents who take them out in public are going to have a massive burden of guilt if their kids do get sick.

Masks and goggles are inconvenient, uncomfortable, strange and seem very un-spiritual for people who supposedly “trust God” to keep them safe. We need to teach a theological basis for preparedness!

The reality is we’re probably going to have to wait until there are prominent deaths or official quarantines (or martial law) before our congregation will comply. The preppers in the congregation should be OK with these measures, but everyone else will hold this against the pastor if the local deaths and social dysfunction don’t turn out to be severe. People may bail from the church until later when the wisdom of these steps becomes obvious.

Whatever we do needs to be sustainable for months, maybe even the entire rest of the year. We can pretty much guarantee that other crisis are going to come up and we’ll need to fit our response to them into the context of our pandemic preparedness.

JUST DO IT

How many of us have thought that these were the End Times? I guess we got complacent? Got too busy? Forgot what the Bible actually says to “make disciples“? Where are the worship leaders and pastors in training? What’s it going to take for us to do what we know we should do?

Trust God. Be prepared. We can do both. Tick tock…

– ShepherdFarmerGeek




34 Comments

  1. Last idea: During the Spanish Flu people held meetings OUTDOORS.

    Even hospitals moved their patients outdoors during the day when their staff would circulate to treat them. Keeping good separation and having any potential viruses diluted by the enormous volume of air makes outdoors a much safer venue.

    Of course that’s not going to work when it’s cold or inclement weather. But it’s an idea to keep in the back of our minds. Maybe we could ask people to bring their own folding chairs and tell them to keep their distance from everyone else and demonstrate for them alternatives to hand shaking.

    It’s really quite simple, and would be much safer for everyone. With “asymptomatic” contagious persons in the community, taking a few simple, free precautions would be better for everyone.

    1. What you seem to be describing is what some church folks use to call ‘camp meeting’. I believe there are still a few denominations that continue this practice. Good old fashioned tent-revival type get togethers. It certainly never hurts to be reminded!

    2. I was going to say this, after reading the article. Anyway, never, ever forget the value of the wilderness in this case. In more populated situations, outdoors will be safer than indoors. If at all possible, stay out of “quarantine centers.” They are probably “get sick” centers.

    3. We could possibly take a lesson from Florence Nightingale. One of the first things upon arriving at a British base hospital in the Crimean War was to **open the windows**. She wrote about this in 1859 and yet modern hospital facilities typically have limited abilities for opening windows (and a nasty alarm that sounds should you opt to do so). After opening windows, Ms. Nightingale’s focus turned to hygiene and cleanliness. Her track record in reducing the mortality rate of soldiers was undeniably successful.

      As for Psalm 91, this sits on my desk and I read it daily. However, I read it with an understanding that our truest form of protection is not from suffering or threats in this life, but the ultimate spiritual protection received from God. I advocate both (1) taking prudent actions to remain healthy and (2) remaining willing to do whatever work we are called to do.

  2. It’s really hard to figure out what to do around this. Big Jewish holiday(Purim) coming up next week and everyone traditionally gathers at the synagogue and has parties etc. So what to do? Costumes(and masks) are traditional for this holiday; guess one could dress up as a HazMat worker in full gear! 😉

    1. Place a HEPA (pronounced like Hep as in Hep cat. Hep ah.) filter in the air system for heater and A/C. Run the system fan continuously while the Purim Holiday is being celebrated. It’s NOT 100% protective; it would just help. The heater/AC itself would come on and off as needed.
      Most public building provide continuous airflow for freshening the air. A HEPA filter would be the key to removing viruses. Here an item from the Internet.

      “HEPA FILTRATION KEEPS HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES BREATHING EASY”

      In a health care setting, environmental sterility and effective disinfection are critical to maintaining patient health and reducing the possibility of harm to those whose immune systems are weak and compromised. It’s especially important that the indoor air of hospitals and health care facilities be kept clean and free of contaminants. Air that contains particulates can cause or aggravate respiratory conditions and further compromise patient health. Worse, indoor air can transmit infectious diseases, plus bacteria, germs, and ~~~>viruses, to patients with already delicate health. In hospitals and health care facilities, HEPA filtration is a powerful weapon against the particulates and biological contaminants that can harm or even kill patients.
      HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filtration systems are extremely effective at capturing and removing airborne particles, microorganisms and other contaminants from a facility’s indoor air. In HVAC settings, filters are categorized according to MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. MERV ratings for standard HVAC systems range from 1 to 16, with higher MERV ratings indicating better filtration. HEPA filtration systems achieve efficiencies of MERV 17 to 20, which means they’re extremely efficient at cleaning indoor air.

      HEPA filters can remove small particles, such as dust, pollen or fibers, and biological material, such as viruses, bacteria, mold spores, fungi, bioaerosols and other contaminants of 0.3 microns or larger. They’re almost 100 percent efficient at this task, reaching efficiency levels of 99.97 percent. In a health care setting, this means that the risk of disease transmission through indoor air is reduced substantially. HEPA filters containing carbon or activated charcoal are also available for filtering out odors, fumes and gases.

      An effective HEPA filtration system can remove airborne contaminants from two major sources:

      Airborne sources: Biological and inorganic contaminants that enter the health care facility through normal doors and windows and through standard HVAC ventilation systems.
      Endogenous sources: Contaminants that are carried in and transferred to the air by outside visitors, personnel, clothing, fresh fruit or flowers, supplies and packaging.
      In a hospital or health care facility, you’re likely to find HEPA filtration systems in areas such as:

      Operating rooms
      Treatment rooms
      Areas where critical procedures are performed
      Testing and research laboratories
      Equipment rooms
      Compounding pharmacies
      Infectious disease areas and isolation rooms
      HEPA filtration is most effective if used at both small and large scales. …
      [More at sobieskiinc[dot]com and elsewhere at the Internet.]
      *****************
      *****************

      A HVAC Contractor could place a HEPA filter into many existing systems. It would help quite a bit in filtering the air. A hospital quality system would be expensive for most people. [Bill Gates probably has one on his bunker … He probably read the articles on Survivalblog about HEPA air filtration.] Companies make HEPA filters for residences too.

  3. I took hand sanitizer bottle to our church foyer and asked greeters to use it.

    Give 10% of your GROSS income to your church, as well as gifts and special offerings. Then and only then can your church survive and complete it’s many missions.

  4. From the article: “In a national crisis people will want to turn to God, and might be more interested in attending church than ever once they see that they and their families could be permanently injured or killed by this pandemic.”

    It’s truly important to find ways to connect with and support seekers and Believers in this time while also working to protect and preserve life. I’ll borrow JWR’s expression here: We can do both!

    An excellent and timely article with lots of good suggestions! Hoping this will help start or further develop conversations ongoing in churches everywhere.

    1. Telesilla, thanks for the reminder that many/some in our communities will be more open to the Gospel during a big crisis, as happened after 9-11. We need to plan to be prepared to help them somehow. Also, when TEOTWAWKI happens, it will try the faith of many believers, similar to how Jews have been tried during times of persecution. During the Old Testament prophetic time, after the Jews lost their land & were in exile, many felt abandoned or rejected by God & lost their faith, while others remained faithful. It was similar during the WW II holocaust. B/c of these ex’s, I believe that TEOTWAWKI will be a deep trial of our faith. Until then, we prepare.

  5. ShepherdFarmerGeek & JWR, thank you for this article & the link to Preparing for the Underground Church. May our wonderful Savior bless & guide both of you, your families, & the flocks that you are part of.

  6. We have our all ministry team meeting scheduled for tomorrow nite and one of the topics to be talked about was a plan “B” for our summer mission trip as well as setting up a more structured security team, you can bet that i will print this item and submit it for further discussion.

  7. Hello Mr. Rawles. I am hoping I might be able to convince you to open a temporary forum / comments section just for your readership to strictly and only post current local news in their respective areas pertaining to the corona-virus on account of the national news is very very slow to catch up with current events if at all. Specificaly cases in their areas.
    It seems to be taking place ad hoc in the comments daily somewhat. It would be nice for all to have an early heads up if and when any cases pop up in their county and or an adjoining county. For instance it was reported on the local radio in Idaho County 3/2/2020 that a child came to a sporting event in Troy presenting all symptoms and as a result the schools in Troy and Genesee are now shut down and are performing extensive cleaning while the school district is awaiting to hear CDC test results.
    P.S. I moved my family here 2013 in great part due to following your advice and listening to God’s subtle slaps in the face. Maaan did he ever open the doors and pave the way to make it happen once my wife and I agreed to take that leap of faith. I could not ever thank you and yours enough. This County is amazing and a conservative homeschooling family’s dream.
    Mr. Pink

    1. Mr Pink, I think that would be a great idea. I have actually limited my time on other news sources/websites as I have found more information searching the comment sections on this site.

      However, if JWR can do this, I really hope that everyone uses it as a “factual resource page” and not “I heard it from my mothers cousin, who heard it from his girlfriends brother, who heard it from……”. Your example of the local radio station is great when I say “factual resource page”.

      We need real information. While my homestead is as prepared as possible, I worry about family out in CA. They are totally oblivious to the need to be prepared so the more information I can get them, I may be able to get them to see the light.

  8. A Heads Up everybody.

    I heard through Paul Begley, Salvation Station this morning, that the CDC (?) (Correction: it was the WHO who said this) is talking about going cashless to halt the spread of the virus on paper money!!!!!??? Whether this is true or not, the fact of the matter is that it is coming and is in our future.

    Umm, Can we all say the “Mark of the Beast” is on our doorstep!

    Anyone who takes this mark will be eternally separated from God the Father! Therefore anyone who doesn’t want to be eternally separated from the Creator God
    (and be cast into Hell, all whose names are not written in the Book of Life) must not take it. Book of Revelation Chapter 13, and 14:9-11. Therefore, we must be prepared as much as we can be, to survive outside of it’s system for as long as God will give to us.

    It’s nearly here. Get ready, If you don’t know Jesus, Repent of your sins, and believe on Him, confess your belief in Him, surrender your life to Him and read the bible.

    Stock up of food water medical supplies, clothes, cooking and lighting methods, barter materials.

    Only Jesus has the power to protect you from Satan’s wrath. Put your trust in HIM.

    Soberly reporting,

    Lily

    Rev 13:1

    And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
    And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
    And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
    And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
    And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    If any man have an ear, let him hear.
    He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
    And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
    And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
    And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
    And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
    And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
    Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

    (The beast system could very well be the World Wide Web WWW. In Hebrew is VavVavVav (ווו) Vav is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet thus is 666. And in order to continue using this system we will have to take an identifying mark that can be scanned to allow us to do anything:buy or sell, banking, medical, accessing the internet, everything!!!)

    Revelation 14:9-11

    And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
    The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
    And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

    1. Just a thought for churches, and also it’s true that handling cash can spread the virus… our church uses this online application for regular tithers:
      https://get.tithe.ly/
      I love it because I set up my monthly giving and it’s automatically withdrawn from my checking account. I never have to worry if I’m out of town or too sick to attend. There is a fee for transactions, but the giver can choose to cover the transaction fee for the church, so as not to transfer that expense to the church. I love using it. It might be helpful for churches to implement this. But, yes, I know, it’s “cashless” Lily, but I don’t consider it a mark of the beast. I consider it a wonderful use of technology. I hope this doesn’t offend you! Much love and hugs.

    2. Thanks so much for this Avalanche Lily. My mother was fascinated with biblical prophecy, especially end times, and I paid attention. Today I celebrated my 69th birthday, and your comments reflect what I was taught as a child. I to this day believe all that my mother taught me, and as you say, “it’s nearly here, get ready”. This is truly a time to contemplate our eternal future. Time passes, God’s word never changes. May God Bless You, thanks for all you do.

    3. The standard method of introducing control is to make the topic easy and convenient, no strings attached, and no hassles. Everyone starts using it after a while. Then the alternatives start to be controlled and shut down. Then the gates start to close. Then you are trapped.

      I do not think a cashless system will require vowing allegience to the anti-Christ. Not until everyone is using it, and there are no longer any alternatives.

      1. Hi JW,

        The scripture says, “…took the Mark…”. If you take the Mark on your body, even before a person is required to worship the Anti-Christ, you’re already lost and damned forever. This is how I understand the scripture. The incremental-ness of the slow noose will deceive, already has deceived, so many Christians and non-believers who haven’t read the Word or believed it. It is a subtle noose. Going cashless is just the next logical step in the evolutionary use of money in this technological age… IT can now be forced with the threat of the virus contaminating paper money and making it a disease spreader. Once one accepts the mark on their body one can never walk back…. I counsel all to NOT do it. Not even participate in the early stages of the cashless society. Believe me when I say, this has me very nervous. We are soo used to running to the store when we need something… But, we will trust in God to provide for us and make a way for us until He calls us home or Raptures us. It will be a new step up level in our faith walk with Him!!

        Blessings,

        Lily

  9. Ani,
    The Hazmat costume idea sounds fantastic! Be aware though that I saw an article or news report that some college kids (I think in Florida) had a “Coronavirus” party with suits, masks, biohazard tape, ect. AND Corona beers with limes and some groups on campus literally had a hissy fit about it saying it was racist towards Asians, insensitive, blah blah blah.
    I however think it’s a great idea & if it were me I’d go for it! (I’ve always been one to do something when someone tells me I can’t, I’m rather rebellious that way
    Let me know how it turns out
    Praying for you and your safety

  10. Great ideas, ShepherdFarmerGeek! My school is talking about this but I don’t think the church is set up yet. Good incentive for all of us to help it get going whatever our tech level.

    Online meeting platforms such as Zoom are free to participate in and practice social distancing. Besides the service and sermon, it’s a safe way to keep those cancelled-in-person Bible studies, youth meetings (the age group hit hardest by social distancing) and even choir practice going. We can even make coffee individually and join online coffee hour after the service in small groups who can encourage and brainstorm solutions with each other (waving at you, fellow Baptists, whose coffee urn never cools 🙂 Fellowship with encouraging believers like those on this forum is as important for your mental health as exercise is for your physical well being.

    Don’t worry about the technology; to sign in you just follow a set of instructions like those for baking a cake. If you’re shy, you can join without turning on your camera so you can see the event but people will just see your name come up as present. There’s even a chat box if you don’t like to speak into a microphone.

    Like a recipe, you have to do specific things on your computer, but the instructions are step by step. People who do virtual meetings at work or school can talk you through it over the phone, or you could let a highly trusted person remotely set up your computer.

    May we all continue to uplift one another and serve God as He wishes even when our physical bodies don’t participate. That’s how we’ll be doing it in Heaven, right? I thank God for all of you who make this difficult time easier with your compassion and common sense.

  11. What if people stayed home when they might be sick. And then, check at the church door to ask people if they, or their children, are sick; and if so ask them politely to stay home rather than to come in.

  12. This is a very timely article. Thank you SFG. I am glad to say that our pastor sent all church members an e-mail concerning the C-Virus events . The main point was to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Spend lots of time in prayer and make wise decisions about the future events as they play out .
    A charter school in Walla Walla , WA. is closed for two days for cleaning ,concerning the C-Virus. No verified cases but lots of concerns.

  13. A great article! Trust God and be prepared is something we can absolutely do as we have plenty of examples to look to, Noah, the Hebrews fleeing Egypt at Passover, David and his slingshot etc. This is definitely a time for prepared folks to lead the way at our churches and hope the leadership listens. I’ve passed this on to one of my pastors and my wife said I was wasting my time. Hopefully not, but she may have a point since someone complained about the decible level of the praise team and the solution was to set out ear plugs and the response to my email today was “Thank you Mike”. A typical corporation type response I feel but I pray that this virus will waken the lukewarm apathetic churches across America before they become totally irrelevant to our society.

  14. I have to chime in about “End Times”. My grandparents lived through the World Wars and my grandfather was especially a student of the scriptures, reading in the Hebrew and the Greek, as well as several English translations. So many times, they thought they could correlate world events with the End of Days. My parents also, students of the scriptures. I too. I finally had to just realize, “No Man knows the Day of His coming” and trust in Him. I am reading through the huge 3 volumes of the Gulag Archipelago. There’s been a dark cloud over me while I am drawn in to the suffering of the Russian people, from the Czar’s, through Lenin, then Stalin, Kruschev, etc. So.Much.Suffering. Man’s inhumanity towards man is unfathomable. I had previously studied the Holocaust. I am aware of China and Iran’s brutalities, and others. My “intellect” tells me that such horrors could happen here too, as much as my emotions can’t allow me to dwell on it. But I digress… one of the things I read about, an historical fact about older Russian Christian women. They were stubborn! They flat out refused to deny Christ. They witnessed to their Captors. No amount of torture or threat of death moved them. Many, of course, were shot (and worse), but they shone to the other prisoners. I thought, Oh Lord, let me be that strong. I know, I’m rambling a bit, but Lily got me going because I know the book of Revelations and I’m always watching the signs of the times. We just don’t know the When, the What, or the How. Very good article and timely! We are the church. May we all stand firm. Amen.

    1. Yes,the depravity of man is unfathomable…the recent holocaust special on history channel on the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz had me crying as I watched it. Just reading thru Revelations also…makes you wonder if people here could treat each other so badly…but deep down,we know they can.

      1. Alexander Solzhenitsyn ponders that question while imprisoned for, I think, 8 years. He was, after all, an officer in the Red Army and was serving the “Motherland” when he was imprisoned. He kept thinking he would be released. He described how various people made decisions. Mostly, though, people reacted to the fear of torture and being imprisoned themselves. People also have this strange, but yet not strange, self-serving, preservation mode they go into when threatened, so they refuse to see the horror before themselves (like in Nazi Germany), and they justify their actions, often for some reason like pride. That is, until they find out, they will go to prison or be shot anyway, no matter whose side they profess to be on. I’m finding this reading difficult, but astonishing. We can all definitely blame Karl Marx, of which the young people are so fond of, hence, Bernie. It’s sad to me that our society is in this place.

  15. I feel as if our ” normal” daily routine has just started changing by the hour. Be prepared, not the big, strong- armed takeover most of us banked on but a microscopic enemy with no boundaries. God bless us one and all. Maui dan

  16. In my opinion, the live stream and zoom technologies are great. We have used them quite a bit in our homeschooling and church. They will be the most helpful in preventing the spread of the virus by encouraging people to stay home, and yet keep in touch. I think it’s great if they can be used for Bible Studies and coffee meetings.

    I like the comment about the HEPA filters. We had great success with these during smoky summers.

    The difficulty with this virus is the potentially long incubation period of up to 24 days, during which a person can be contagious, and the long time it can survive on surfaces – up to 9 days, depending on temperature and humidity, etc.

    It’s great to avoid people with symptoms, or stay home if you have symptoms, but what about asymptomatic transmission?

    At this point, I am of the opinion that the virus is nearly everywhere, or will be soon, due to the frequency of travel, and that it will be nearly impossible to avoid.

    I’m not saying not do as much as possible to avoid it, but honestly, it is very overwhelming to me.

    I have 5 small children a baby, and a husband who works in schools. The difficulty of masking, gloving, and gowning them (as per instructions from where I work) to reduce or prevent the spread of infections, decontaminating before entering our home, decontaminating all our groceries etc, is so overwhelming.

    Another consideration is that this virus is likely to be around for years. Our family, along with most people, cannot be in complete isolation for months, never mind years. I cannot realistically cancel all their lessons and activities indefinitely. Can I? Should I?

    Needless to say, I am overwhelmed. Aside from the basics of washing hands, avoiding crowds, avoiding going anywhere that isn’t ‘necessary’, and increasing vitamins and nutrition, I don’t know what is worth the effort or expense, and if it will really be effective in the end. Not only that, but we live in a condo with shared air circulation.

    Being at peace with family, friends, and God Himself, my life and my family is in Is hands.

    Isn’t there something about living to the Lord and/or dying to the Lord, and whatever you do, in all things doing them for the Lord?

    Thanks kindly for everyone’s information and assistance.

  17. For hundreds of years there was a simple, widely used public health measure that kept huge numbers of people from getting sick or dying. True, the people who used it did not know that. But it worked anyway.

    Gloves. The ordinary gloves that everyone wore up until the 1950’s. You put gloves on when you went out, and took them off when you came home. It didn’t matter how many sick or infected people had touched the same doorknob you did. You had gloves on, and the viruses and bacteria never touched your skin.

    And people wearing gloves simply do not touch their faces very much. Not sure why, but they don’t.

    If this epidemic goes on, it might be a very good idea to go back to the custom of wearing gloves. Real gloves, not those nasty latex things.

    I just bought some.

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