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"We Are The World" - Is the Carona virus a Message ... many think so!?


"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10

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May 22, 2020 On the way to pick up an item at the Home Depot (been doing a lot of at home projects during the Coronavirus), I turned on one of those oldies stations. The first song that came on was "Reach out and touch, somebody's hand, make this world a better place if you can" by Diana Ross. A great sentiment until I reminded myself that, in this day, there is no reaching out and touching.

After arriving at Home Depot and making my purchase, I left. On went the radio and after a few ending bars of "Paint it Black" by the Stones the Michael Jackson/ Lionel Ritchie classic came on: "We are the world, we are the children; we are the ones to make a better day so lets start giving". A round of "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers and Santana's "Black Magic Woman" followed, and, just as I was arriving home, came Jackie DeShannon's "What the world needs now is Love , sweet love ; it's the only thing that there is just too little of".

It was quite a morning on the radio - just what I needed. "Reach out and touch ... we are the world ... What the world needs now is love". Despite the Coronavirus a good morning after all. May we all remember that we are all, all the world, in this together.


This page was created on March 14, 2020 . Two days before I was writing an article on the Big East basketball Tournament opening round, covering St. John's University in New York, for whom I am a sportswriter. The next day St. John's went into halftime leading the number 7 team in the nation. The team never came back on the court with the game postponed at the half. The playoffs were off as was so many other events around the world.

                                                          So much has changed.

                  Social distancing was an idea not a practice, on March 11th. It is a necessity today.

During the first week in March friends were asking about the times of Revelation. Not so much today. But their questions are worth reviewing. So join me as we briefly look at some Biblical stories that may be models of the present day challenges.

We also offer a sale on a book that talks of hope, The Chest of Visions". A short read, an inexpensive purchase to fill the heart with hope.

Let's remember ... "We are the World, we are the children ... we are the ones who will make a better day so lets start giving".


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May 15,2020 per the Associated Press ... Poll: US believers see message of change from God in virus.

The poll found that 31% of Americans who believe in God feel strongly that the virus is a sign of God telling humanity to change, with the same number feeling that somewhat. Evangelical Protestants are more likely than others to believe that strongly, at 43%, compared with 28% of Catholics and mainline Protestants.

But the virus has prompted negligible change in Americans overall belief in God, with 2% saying they believe in God today, but did not believe before. Fewer than 1% say they do not believe in God today but did before.

Overall, 82% of Americans say they believe in God, and 26% of Americans say their sense of faith or spirituality has grown stronger as a result of the outbreak. Just 1% say it has weakened.

This page began because some individuals wondered if the virus was predictive of the events foretold in the book of Revelation. We do not agree . . . see below. We do wonder about the response of Pharoah to God's call to "Let My People Go". He refused and Egypt was plague ridden until he finally relented. Some Christians have defined the Covid Virus as plague, God calling for change.

Whether God is calling for change in the world through the virus or not, it is wise to ask: what would God like to see changed in modern America? . Let's look to Jesus' last teaching to the people of Israel, per Matthew's gospel. In this passage, Matthew 25:31 - 46, Jesus calls his followers to reach out to:

  • Those who are hungry and thirsty
  • Those who are strangers with the message - "receive them into your homes"
  • Those who were without clothing
  • Those who were in prison
  • Those who were sick
  • This was the last teaching Jesus gave to the Isrealites. Wouldn't we think that what he chose to end his teaching ministry with would be a very important teaching for him to give? Leaving the most important thing for last?

    Do any of the above represent the current political goals of America? Has America turned its back on these teachings in Matthew 25: 31-46?

    Is building a wall to keep needy people out consistent with Jesus' teachings?

    Whether the virus is a "sign of God telling humanity to change"or not it is good to ask what God may wish would change in the world today. Would Jesus ask that the policy to abandon the poor and those, whose lives are in danger, be reversed to demonstrate the love of God in his people?

    "We are the world... we are the children ... we are the one's to make a better day so let's start giving."

    It certainly seems to be an area for correction. . Stand up for Jesus' teaching of reaching out to the needy, whether you know them or not.


    New Genetics Evidence states Science is unsure where this virus emanated

    May 6th per genetics researcher Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute ... A new genetic analysis of the virus that causes Covid-19 taken from more than 7,600 patients around the world shows it has been circulating in people since late last year, and must have spread extremely quickly after the first infection. Researchers in Britain looked at mutations in the virus and found evidence of quick spread, but no evidence the virus is becoming more easily transmitted or more likely to cause serious disease.

    "The virus is changing, but this in itself does not mean it's getting worse," genetics researcher Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute told CNN.

    They also found genetic evidence that supports suspicions the virus was infecting people in Europe, the US and elsewhere weeks or even months before the first official cases were reported in January and February. It will be impossible to find the "first" patient in any country, Balloux said.

    "All these ideas about trying to find a Patient Zero are pointless because there are so many patient zeros," he said.

    So Politicians need to spend time working together with other world leaders and not continue efforts to play the blame game. We Are the World!

    May 5,2020 per Los Angeles Times ... "Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

    In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

    So we are today, April 24, 2020, uncertain of the source and the timing of the virus' arrival in the United States after discovery that people were infected weeks if not months earlier. (see below report dated April 17, 2020 by Peter Forster). Today is Arbor Day, a day set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the important role that they play in our environment. Who is thinking of trees today? But we should. We not only have a disease to conquer but also an environment to save.

    So plant a tree or a plant in your backyard to help the environment as we remain home to social distance and defeat the virus. And please, please ... take the politics out of this battle. We are one world, together fighting this disease. It is time to stop the blame game and make sure all countries of the world cooperate with each other to solve this challenge. If the virus remains active in any country of the world, all countries are threatened.

    All walls, whether figurative, bureaucratic or physical, must be removed immediately to assure full cooperation of all nations.


    Remember ...


  • We are the world ... We are the children
  • We are the ones who make a brighter day ... So, let's start giving
  • Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie understood this in this epic song "We are the World" released during the immigrant friendly years of the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

    People of America - the lyrics of this song are given below. Read them, think about them and then join in the day of prayer for the people of the world to once again come together as one.

    There comes a time when we heed a certain call

    When the world must come together as one

    There are people dying

    And it's time to lend a hand to life

    The greatest gift of all

    We can't go on pretending day by day

    That someone somewhere will soon make a change

    We're all a part of God's great big family

    And the truth, you know

    Love is all we need

    We are the world

    We are the children

    We are the ones who make a brighter day

    So, let's start giving

    There's a choice we're making

    We're saving our own lives

    It's true we'll make a better day

    Just you and me

    Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares

    And their lives will be stronger and free

    As God has shown us by turning stone to bread

    And so we all must lend a helping hand

    -chorus-

    When you're down and out

    There seems no hope at all

    But if you just believe

    There's no way we can fall

    Well, well, well

    Let's realize that a change can only come

    When we stand together as one

    -chorus-


    From Dr. Irene Ken, Physician ... March 30, 2020

    The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code (mutation), and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells. *

    Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies. *

    The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own. *

    HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.

    Read more of Dr. Ken's discussion by clicking: Covid19 Facts


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    Here is a link to our blog on this topic. Please click: Revelation, Bible and the Virus Blog


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    March 29, 2020 Just received from a nurse. Please read.

    "Today was by far the most taxing, exhausting, physically and emotionally draining day I've had in my 12 years of nursing. I wish I could unsee everything I witnessed in the past weeks. I know they don't portray in the media how serious the issue is, but let me assure you, every healthcare worker is at their max. And we haven't even peaked yet.

    Picture people literally begging for their lives, knowing that they are dying. People looking to you, a total stranger, looking for some comfort. Picture their last conversation with their families and friends are through FaceTime, often to say goodbye. They are forced to cope alone, panic alone, and die alone. We, as healthcare providers, are forced to make decisions we have never made before. Are forced to think differently, and are forced to have tremendous guilt on our consciences."

    There are no clear statistics from the United States, to date, on impact on medical professionals. However, per "The Guardian", as of March 26, 2020, statistics from Italy are:

  • The virus has infected more than 5,000 doctors, nurses, technicians, ambulance staff and other health employees. The majority were on the frontline in the badly affected northern regions and contracted the illness at the start of the outbreak when protective equipment was lacking.
  • As if a storm hit': more than 40 Italian health workers have died since crisis began.

  •                          The gravity of the situation is clear. Time for the world to come together. Republicans and Democrats. Natives and immigrants. We defeat the disease together or the disease defeats us. It is that serious.

                     


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    March 14, 2020 ... In response to the Coronavirus pandemic the President of the United States has called for Sunday, March 15th to be a day of prayer. We agree.

    But for whom or for what are we to pray? And why on just one day? Why not everyday?

    Several nations of the world have preached a nationalist message message that leaves out much of the rest of the world. It is a controversial policy, which many support and many oppose.

    Friends of mine have expressed on Facebook a sense that the emergence of the Coronavirus may be the beginning of the days of Revelation.

    We do not think so. The days, described in the book of Revelation, are days of the world coming together under charismatic, evil leaders against those who follow God's call. The dynamics of today's world are different. We live in a world, which desparately needs to come together as one world to fight not a human foe but a microscopic foe - a virus. Please click: Revelation Study


    It not the story of Revelation coming to the modern world. But wouldn't it be nice. At the end of Revelation the World comes together as one under Christ's rule. Why not work to bring us together now - in the present? I am sure our God would be most pleased with our efforts.

    Not the days of Revelation? True. However, there may be another object lesson from Biblical history. In the book of Exodus we read of ten plagues being brought upon Egypt. Is the emergence of the Coronavirus plague-like in nature?

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    There are many, who see the virus as similar to diseases that have emerged in the past and eventually were defeated.

    However, this time around the Coronavirus has had a world-wide impact unlike any of the others. If we are to reference Biblical events as a learning tool, the book of Exodus describes ten plagues that emerged on the land of Egypt. These plagues came and went, offering Pharoah and Egyptian rulers an opportunity to "let God's people go".

    For example, according to Exodus 8:1-2:

    Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go tell Pharoah that the Lord says, 'Let my people go so that they can worship me'. If you refuse, I will punish your country by covering it with frogs."

    The story describes the onslaught of frogs upon Egypt and in verse Exodus 8:15 it reads, "But Pharoah hardened his heart and did not listen as the Lord had said."

    It took eight more plagues before Pharoah would finally listen and let the people go.

    So what does this story have to do with today? Christians have been calling for a more just and loving response to the needs of the world. Nationalism, when it shuts out the needy, is not an answer to world-wide challenges. The call today is work together to meet the needs of all the world. God's call today is not "let my people go", as in the days of Pharoah, but the converse, "Let the needy of the world need come". See Matthew 25: 31-40

    This challenge is most evident in a country's immigration policies. We are not arguing that all, who want asylum, be allowed into any country. Of course an immigration policy needs to be developed. The policy should include reasonable screening. It should be bipartisan and bi-partisan calls for negotiation including the vision of the president, prime minister or any like presidential figure. History demonstrates that the willingness to compromise brings impactful planning. At the end of the book of Revelation Jesus comes and oversees one world of equals. God meant the world to be one world of equals, do we have to wait until the end of revelation when he comes again?

    So back to the beginning.

    For whom and for what are we to pray? And why on just one day? Why not everyday? In the midst of this pandemic and the resultant quarantine on the lives of many, we need to pray - every day - for:

  • Those separated from loved ones, particularly in nursing homes and hospitals due to quarantine regulations.

  • Those struggling with the symptoms of the illness.

  • The health care workers. Hours on the job. Some are dying and others are separated from their family to protect their families from the possibility that they were exposed on the job.

  • The Soul of our individual countries and , thus, the world. As leaders bar non-citizens from their borders, of necessity to combat the spread of the virus, pray that this separation will be quickly dissipated once the danger of disease spread has passed. We are the world - one world.

  • Pray that these circumstances do not harden the hearts of leaders and citizens against those truly in need.

  • Pray that there be a renewed focus on the sentiments expressed in the song "We Are the World", which motivated citizens of the world to reach out to those in need some thirty five years ago. It is time for leaders and citizens of the world to call out for a world-wide not a nationalistic response.

  • Friends ... prayers are not enough. Speak up and share the truth. Not everyone investigates the reality of the situation. Some say, "I'm getting my stimulus check, that's what I want". There is so much more to this crisis..


    Date: April 17, 2020 by Peter Forster

    "The coronavirus outbreak could have started as early as mid-September, and the Chinese city of Wuhan may not be where it began, a scientist looking at the origins of the disease has said. Geneticist Peter Forster, from the U.K.'s University of Cambridge, is leading a research project.

    Based on the data Forster and his colleagues have collected, the coronavirus outbreak appears to have started between September 13 and December 7. He said it is possible the outbreak did not originate in Wuhan, as until January 17, almost all the isolates in Wuhan were type B. In Guangdong, a province about 500 miles from Wuhan, seven of the 11 isolates were type A.

    Identifying the original source of the virus, Forster said, is necessary to ensure it does not happen again. Understanding the different types of virus and what role they play in the spread of COVID-19 is "one of the urgent questions to be looked at," he said.


    From the New York Times, dated 3/23/20 ... WASHINGTON ... "Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, 'Run them over.' This virus is not the fault of Chinese or Asian Americans and such prejudicial behavior requires all Christians to strongly oppose these behaviors.

    She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater."

               This is not the way we defeat the Coronavirus. Prejudice keeps us apart.


                                                                 

    We need to pray, yes ... everyday, for hardened hearts, who turn their backs, in nationalistic rhetoric, on those truly in need in our world. Pray that their hearts will become open and the world will, once again, come together as one.

    May the fact that we have to face this virus together bring about            a realization that we are a world-wide community.


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    Comments very much welcomes. Let's discuss. Write to : Timferguson@lessonsforchristianyouth.com. Blog on new website on this issue coming soon.


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    Price drop on "The Chest of Visions:Secrets of Caperston" during the period of social distancing.

    Come visit a world where people are struggling without hope due to a long history of inequality in "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston". It is a unique world, where people are just learning about the existence of God in a personal way.When a prophet appears and introduces the existence of a Caring Creator, hope arrives and brings about change. Read the story in these times of uncertainty to restrengthen faith.

    As one 13 year old said after reading the story ... " it made me think about many things in my life and in my walk with God".

                                               

    Many new reviews of "The Chest of Visions" have been received this past year and can be read at: Would you read what I read?

    For Purchase and more reviews click: The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston"

    When visiting Caperston, particularly their young people, we hear the gospel message just a little more clearly.

    To return to the Home Page, please click: Lessons for Christian Youth



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