The 1% is really 100%

This morning another friend died of COVID. I can no longer count the number of former or current church members that have died from this terrible virus. My heart aches for their families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have to learn how to live each day without their loved one in this world. Those who were a Christian have left behind peace, comfort, and hope of a great reunion one day in heaven. Nevertheless, our hearts still long to have them present with us.

Could I ask a favor from some of you? I see a lot of posts that COVID isn’t that bad because less than 1% of the population has died from this virus. That it is just a political grenade used to bring about fear and sway people one way or another. I will not argue whether these posts are fact or fiction, but what I would say is this: Those who have lost someone to COVID are not thinking about the 1%. They are hurting because 100% of the person they loved has died.

So, here is my favor. Please think before you post supposed facts or opinions. As a believer in Christ, think about those whose lives have been hurt and post from a position of compassion, love, empathy, and concern. Write something that shows your Christ-likeness: something that is not divisive, mean-spirited, or slanderous. Post something that is not fueled by anger, rage, bitterness, or meanness. Post something that is going to let those who have lost someone know, “I love you, I care for you, I hurt with you, and I’m praying for you.”

If you disagree with this, you can ignore it and move. But if you’re tired of all the hate, anger, anxiety, fear, and frustration on social media, then share this with others.
Thanks for taking time to get this far. May God bless and keep you and your family safe from the ravages of living in a fallen world!

“The Keeper of the Springs” by Chuck Swindoll

Read Matthew 5:13–14

The late Peter Marshall, an eloquent speaker and for several years  the chaplain of the United States Senate, used to love to tell the story of “The Keeper of the Spring,”¹ a quiet forest dweller who lived high  above an Austrian village along the eastern slopes of the Alps.

The old gentle man had been hired many years earlier by a young town  council to clear away the debris from Continue reading

Without Wax are more interesting than any puzzle. Sometimes the history of a word opens up a window on the habits and customs of a past generation. The common english word “butcher,” for example, takes us  back through the French “boucher,” when “bouc” or goat meat was the chief meat on the diet.

Few words, however, have a more interesting lineage than the word “sincere.” Among the theories advanced to explain this word is the one that sees its derivation from “sine”—without, and “cera”—wax. In the ancient Roman world a sculptor sometimes chipped off too large a piece from the marble. Rather than begin his work over again, he used wax to fasten the piece back onto the image. This would stand the temporary test and the sale would be made, but soon the fraud would show up. It became necessary, in drawing up contracts with sculptors, to insert the word “sinecera”—without wax.

The Greek word used in the classics and in the New Testament to express the idea of sincerity comes from the word meaning “sunlight” and to “unfold.” When a product was examined in the clear light of the sun and found to be pure and unsullied, it was “sincere.”

In the light of these meanings, what vigor is to be found in Paul’s prayer for the Philippians. “That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Jesus Christ”—that ye may be without fraud, unfolded in the sunlight.

The natural man loves darkness rather than light—loves his own opinions rather than God’s revelation (John 3:19). David Nelson indicated, a century ago, that one small, cunningly-devised falsehood will influence the natural man more than one hundred plain and forcible arguments in favor of revelation. It is when a man is born again that he loves light and truth rather than darkness, and can live in a sincere way, that is, without fraud, and unfolded in God’s sunlight. (Donald Grey Barnhouse)

Source: Timeless Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching by Donald Grey Barnhouse, 406.