Pandemic Not to Be of Epic Proportions

This just in: The pandemic was oversold. Read Madeline Osburn’s full story at The Federalist: “The Scientist Whose Doomsday Pandemic Model Predicted Armageddon Just Walked Back the Apocalyptic Predictions.”

Key Quotes

“British scientist Neil Ferguson ignited the world’s drastic response to the novel Wuhan coronavirus when he published the bombshell report predicting 2.2 million Americans and more than half a million Brits would be killed.”

“But after tens of thousands of restaurants, bars, and businesses closed, Ferguson is now retracting his modeling, saying he feels ‘reasonably confident’ our health care system can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in a few weeks.”

“Ferguson, who has since tested positive for the Wuhan virus himself, has not issued any official retraction or apologies for his incorrect predictions.”

What’s It Like Treating the Wuhan Coronavirus?

In the latest Cross Examined podcast, medical doctor Dr. Dan Eichenberger joins Dr. Frank Turek to describe his research and firsthand experience with COVID-19.

Here’s some of the questions and issues Frank and Dr. Dan discuss:

  • Why is the media not reporting the death rate?
  • What is the death rate?
  • How contagious is this compared to other viruses?
  • You’re treating a coronavirus patient right now. What drugs are working?
  • We hear a lot about flattening the curve. Explain what that is, and will we be successful?
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom thinks 25 million in his state of 40 million will get infected. Is that reasonable?
  • We hear we have fewer hospital beds than in Europe. How does that give the wrong impression?
  • Why is Korea beyond the problem but Italy still has it?
  • What do you think will happen in the US with the infection rate in the coming months?
  • What is your advice to the Christians and non-Christians listening to this?

For all of the Cross Examined podcasts, visit crossexamined.org!

What Does the Bible Say about Trials and Temptations?

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you…”

Jesus, John 15:4

What better way to remain in Christ, than to abide in His Word? This gentle teaching shares God’s truth about trials and temptations, encouraging you to walk closely with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Better Data Needed

This article does a fine job of showing why better data is needed to inform the United States’ response to the Wuhan coronavirus.

A Few Quotes

1)”‘Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.’ These are the words of W. Edwards Deming, who helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

2)“[H]ow does the number of cases compare to current influenza cases, for example? We don’t know. Are numbers adjusted for population to make comparisons easier and meaningful? The media simply reports new cases without context and warns the public to stay home to stop the spread of the virus.”

3)“The New York Times reports that in the United States and United Kingdom, national quarantine decisions were strongly influenced by a report from Imperial College that simulated the possible courses of the pandemic and the impact on each country’s health-care system. The simulation was done based using the best available data—from Italy and China—but it was necessary to make many assumptions because there are so many unknowns.

“We counted approximately 20 such assumptions that have yet to be proven. The key unknown factors were:

  • How infectious the disease will be in the United States and United Kingdom.
  • The length of the incubation time.
  • Whether individuals are immune to re-infection in the short term.
  • The number of people who will require critical care.
  • The proportion of people in critical care who will die of the disease.

This modelling exercise assumes the rates from China and Italy a) reported accurately and b) applicable to the United States. But it is unknown how country specific factors like population density, use of public transportation, waste treatment, smoking rates, population age distribution, and others affect the applicability of the data to the United States.

“Even if reported accurately, the rates from Italy and China will not precisely reflect what will happen in the United States. But are they close enough that our current decisions based on that data are correct?”

4)“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could do tests with representative samples and repeat it every three days in the coming weeks. The relatively small number of tests diverted to gather data wouldn’t meaningfully detract from ongoing treatment.”

Coronavirus: Unshakable Faith in a World That is Being Shaken

The following is a World Challenge podcast. It was originally published here.

We are living in shaky times. As a global pandemic of coronavirus makes its way around the globe, taking lives, crashing stock markets and threatening the livelihood of millions, people are afraid. How are you doing handling the fear. Or maybe put another way, how’s your faith holding up? In this special edition of the Gary Wilkerson podcast, Gary is joined by Keith Holloway, the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge to talk about faith in a time of fear. We hope this podcast gives you hope and encouragement that even in desperate times like these, God is in control.

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

“…in the midst of all the shaking that’s going on in the world today, there is an unshakable foundation. There is an internal foundation of an unshakable faith, of an unshakable hope, of an unshakable resolve that I know my Redeemer lives and I know there’s joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Gary Wilkerson

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Martin Luther

“We are born again believers. We’re walking in the natural, but we’re also being led and guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, it’s an awesome time for us to not feel diminished, but to actually feel prepared for this hour where we have an answer of the hope that lies within us…”

Keith Holloway

Bible Verses Mentioned in the Podcast

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

Hebrews 12:26-28, NLT

“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice;”

Psalm 91:1a, NIV

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast 

About Keith Holloway

Keith Holloway is the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge. Keith is a CHE trainer, facilitator, and a member of the Global CHE Network’s Representative Council. He and his wife Maureen live in Colorado Springs; they have six grown children and seven grandchildren. 

About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Let’s Repent

“[I]f my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
— The Lord, 2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV

We need to repent. Specifically, we need to repent and be healed from the taking of innocent life and the distortion of marriage:

  • murder (infanticide, labeled abortion, was legalized the U.S. in 1973)
  • homosexuality (false marriage, between two men or two women, was legalized in the U.S. in 2015)

Take heart: God hears us when we pray!

Fear Not

“‘[N]o weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me’…” — The Lord, Isaiah 54:17, NIV

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
— Jesus, John 14:27, NIV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

Weathering the Storms of Fear

Steve is still battling health issues as a result of fungal pneumonia last fall. Yesterday we found ourselves back in the doctor’s office, getting results from tests and bloodwork completed last week.

We were hoping for, “You are great! Let’s get you off this medicine and on to living your life as usual.” Instead, we got, “Let’s keep you on the medicine another six months before we do another CT. We’ll do more blood work in June to check all your levels. Right now, your lungs are stable.”

Stable. That’s good, right?

Our minds were spinning.  This season of prolonged illness has left us both tired on all fronts; mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. We would love nothing better than to lift a prayer heavenward, and pouf… instant healing.  

I have seen and believe God to be Healer. I have also seen God use times of sickness to take an individual beyond physical healing. He goes deep into the heart of man for transformation. This was one of those times, and I knew it.

As we left the doctor’s office, we made light of the news we had been given. We stopped to grab some lunch, laughing at trivial things. On the outside, we looked normal. But I knew on the inside there was a storm of questions brewing that would surface as the day went on.

The storm of questions hit late that evening. How is the prolonged use of this medicine going to impact his overall health? What are the side effects? How do we strengthen his immune system? If his immune system is compromised, then what do we do to protect him against Coronavirus (yes, it just hit our town)? How do we keep ourselves encouraged in the faith and not driven by fear?

We sat holding each other tightly. Tears ran down our cheeks. At that moment, there was no trying to “fix each other.” We gave each other permission to process through the pain. So, we wept. And through our sobbing, we gave voice to our fears.

I am not sure how long we sat crumpled on the floor holding each other. What I do know is that mingled in with that voice of fear was a whisper of hope. Earlier that day I read Hebrews 10:23. The words latched on to my heart and followed me throughout the day. Now, they were competing for the attention of my heart.
 

So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us,
 knowing that God always keeps His promises!

Hebrews 10:23, TPT

Regardless of the storms we face, when the clouds roll in it is easy to forget that just beyond those black clouds, the sun still shines. This whisper from Hebrews was a reminder that the Son was still shining. He had not left us. Though the clouds of uncertainty hung over us, His promise to complete the work He had started in us remained.

We fell into bed, worn but with a renewed sense that we were not alone.

Just like the wind moves the storm clouds along, God’s Spirit blew through the night as we slept, moving fear out of the way. This morning we woke with a renewed sense of hope. God gave us a verse that we are holding on to today.

But in the day that I’m afraid,
I lay all my fears before you and trust in you
With all my heart.

Psalm 56:3

My friends, whatever storm you may be facing regardless of how big or small it seems, grab hold of God’s promises. Open up His Word or turn to your Bible app and listen. Ask God to give you a promise to cling to today. Don’t be afraid to wait in the silence for His gentle whisper. He wants us to rely on His goodness and grace. Let His promises be the anchor that tethers you to the hope found in His faithfulness.

Until next time, let’s find hope in the journey.
Evelyn

P.S. If you have a promise that you are clinging to at this time in your life, I would love to share that with me. Just send me a quick reply via email. Let’s keep encouraging one another to stand strong in our faith.


Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of my blogs, visit my website Hope for the Journey.