Three emails which are shown
here were sent on consecutive weekdays (my computer stays off on weekends)
starting March 20, 2020. A fourth email sent Friday, April 3, was added
later to this page. Then, a fifth email was included on May 7. I thought
initially about making it a separate file because of the death causes
comparison. However, I opted for the easier route of making it a continuation
of the other four. I have placed them in the order they were sent, so
the top one is the oldest, and the bottom one the most recent. Because
this is still a current even as I load this onto my website, I am going
to leave the links in the emails active. No doubt, over time, they will
eventually no longer be viable. If you discover one that is not, please
let me know. Thank you.
From: William Gibbons
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 6:01 PM
To: william's email list 2018
Subject: Trying to stay positive in a crisis time
Greetings to each of you,
I know I just recently emailed all of you, and it
has been my practice to not get too frequent with emails. But, even
as a person of faith, the constant barrage of news regarding the coronavirus
can be discouraging, and worrisome. I was just speaking with my 88 year
old mother, and reminded her that, even if one contracted the virus,
the survival rate is somewhere around 98%. That is better than the 94%
success rate they told me when I had open heart surgery in 2006.
Still, it is easy to absorb all of the fear energy
in the air these days. So, I thought I would share some things as I
felt uplifted by them. One is this quote excerpt from a Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association email I just read.
Maybe your heart has been gripped by fears as
millions of others have because of the coronavirus pandemic, but I want
you to know that God loves you. He made you. He created you. He knows
everything about your life. You don’t need to be afraid. Jesus said,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Franklin Graham (BGEA)
The other is a three minute mp4 video from an email
I received today from the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints missionaries. I have tried to attach the file to this email,
but have also included it as a link in case the file attachment is too
large for emailing.
Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them
Whether or not you are Christian, God still is the
Creator of all. God still loves you. Be well. Hang in there.
Notes appear automatically at the end of emails I send as a part of
my signature. Here I have deleted them except on the last email)
From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 1:19 PM
To: william's email list 2018
Subject: FW Sharing
Greetings to each of you,
As the volunteer director of
william’s works, I just sent the below T&SC email to those directly
affiliated with the organization. Since the Teaching & Sharing Centers
organization has not yet recreated its own mailing list, nor has the
means to send multiple recipient emails, I am forwarding it to you also,
my personal mailing list. Many of you on this list have been a part
of my work over the years.
Although I provided three contact
names in that email to those still directly connected with the organization,
I would be the main contact for you on my list seeing this for the first
time. If you are on one (or more) of the lists who received the original
email, this is simply a duplicate, with no additional information. Be
well. Hang in there.
From: Teaching & Sharing Centers
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 12:57 PM
To: T&SC Board of Trustees; T&SC Lifetime Members; T&SC Members;
T&SC the poet's circle
Greetings to each of you,
I wrote the poem at left back in 1986 before
there was a T&SC non-profit corporation. In fact, when only “a
touch of william” was beginning. But, the same spirit of sharing
remains center stage as an organization.
And, while we are small, and seldom have more
money than what is necessary to pay our primary bills, we do have
a little of the basic need household items. Things like toilet
paper, facial tissue, and paper towels for our bathrooms.
Stores continue to restock, but for those of
you who live locally, should you truly find yourself in a crunch
for something we might use as well, call us. We can share what
we have. I live next door to the center. If I cannot be reached,
Michelle Lawson, a trustee, lives about five minutes away, and
Rick McKenzie, one of the co-founders, is about 10-15 minutes
from the center. All of our trustees have keys, but most do not
live here in the Grand Ledge area.
william 517 627-7366
Michelle (517) 627-5845
Rick (517) 627-6202
Amazingly enough, one of the things william’s
works has in abundance is good old fashioned rags. For years,
I have cut my worn out cloths into rags for applying stain to
picture frames, and other uses.
Even though the center building is closed, we are
here, and we believe in sharing. No one needs to try to face the challenging
days ahead alone.
May God guide each and every one of us through these
unsettling times, and keep us mindful of sharing.
is a branch of the Teaching & Sharing Centers 501c3 IRS approved non-profit
organization. william is the volunteer director of the branch, which
highlights his work.
From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 11:33 AM
To: william's email list 2018
Subject: The Coronavirus Explained
Greetings to each of you,
It is not my intention to make this a daily exercise,
but I received just now an email from Philip Yancey, one of my favorite
authors, titled Living In Plague Times. I am on his group list,
just as you are on mine. In fact, it was his style of starting a blog
as a short email, then providing a link for the rest of it, if interested,
that started me doing the same with my longer newsletters. He offered
some links in his online blog. The first, an animated You Tube, was
quite impressive in its simplicity of presentation. In his words . .
“This link provides a nuts-and-bolts overview of
the science behind the virus in an entertaining animated format.”
The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do
The other links in his blog were also good, but I
will let you decide which you might wish to access by using his blog
link . . . .
One of his other links is to another of my favorite
writers, Richard Rohr. There is also a link about how Martin Luther
responded to the plagues of Europe in his time. But, even if you do
not read any of those, I thought the final quote he highlighted from
Luther was worth sharing . . . .
“Luther lived before people understood how disease
germs are spread. Yet on balance the great Reformer offers wise
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 neighbour 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."
One reply, to a previous email I sent, took me to
task for using general survival rates as provided by Consumers Reports,
and the official State of Michigan Covid19 website, pointing out that
the survival rate for those at high risk like my mother, or even me,
is much lower. I sincerely hope each of you understands this, and make
good choices accordingly.
Be well. The Creator of all that is seen, and unseen,
is still sovereign.
From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Friday, April 3, 2020 11:58 AM
To: william's email list 2018
Subject: FW: Coronavirus News Article
Greetings to each of you,
The primary purpose of this email is to share the
attached PDF article quoting Dr. David
Price of the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Dave
is an ICU doctor who is on the frontlines at the center of the U.S.
outbreak, at a hospital where 20% of New York state’s coronavirus cases
are being treated. Most of what I have seen on the TV from hospitals
are stories of frustration, stress, and the fears of those on the frontlines.
This is justifiably so considering the enormous burden they are dealing
with. The attached document, while realistic, is more upbeat than the
typical TV news.
For my information, I tend to rely on emails received
from the Mayo Clinic, Consumer Reports, Medicare, and the CDC and State
of Michigan Covid19 websites. But, sometimes you just need a break from
it all. Wednesday was Donna’s and my 27th wedding anniversary. For lunch,
we drove through Burger King (her favorite fast food), and took our
Whopper meals down by the river to have while sitting in the car near
Delta Mills Park. At dinner time she cooked some shrimp we had in the
freezer, and we made some nice salads. In the evening, we started reviewing
pictures from our 25th anniversary trip to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. We are narrowing down the 7,380 pictures I
took, to something more reasonable for a computer slide show for us
to have. I never saw the news, or visited a website, all day. It was
a great day.
The rest of this email is basically some thoughts
from me for those on my mailing list who deem themselves to be Christian.
The fact that God has not stepped in to miraculously
rid us of the Covid19 virus, does not mean He is incapable of doing
so. The Creator of all that is seen, and unseen, is still sovereign
. . . even over viruses. As I have stated before, I am very grateful
we have experts with the God given talents, knowledge, and wisdom, to
understand and ultimately combat this disease.
Having said that, I must confess that with my particular
belief of the omnipotence of God, this is therefore something that God
has allowed. That naturally leads me to conclude, while using all of
our gifts to the utmost of our abilities, this is a time for great humility.
I once saw a quote where someone said that God can fill anyone with
His spirit except those who are already full of themselves. As a nation,
we have gotten pretty full of ourselves regardless of where one falls
on the political, or religious, spectrum. Humility is not one of our
strong suits, until now perhaps.
My particular worry if I were to somehow get Covid19
is not dying. In my 70th year, much more life has gone by than is left
before I must die, just like everyone else. Yet, even as a person in
an “at risk” group, I would have better odds of surviving the disease
than dying from it. Quadruple by-pass heart surgery was no tip toe through
the tulips either. But heart disease is not contagious. No, my biggest
fear regarding Covid19 is that, if contracted, I could pass it on to
someone else even before I knew I had it. I have always prayed that
my words would be truth, and my actions, presence, or anything shared,
would not bring harm to anyone. My solace is, that if I try to do the
things we are told by the experts are needed to keep that from happening,
like the Martin Luther quote shared in an earlier email states, it puts
the responsibility back into God’s hands, should it become so. But there
are things, even beyond what those focused on combating the disease
are saying, that I can contribute. I can ask the question “what would
Jesus have me do?”
Several months prior to Covid19 taking center stage
in the world, in my morning time of prayer and meditation, I started
getting thoughts of developing an In His Steps Groups program to offer
through the Teaching & Sharing Centers. Usually, I do not like to talk
about something still in the works because things change frequently,
and so much depends on my time availability. I have not even typed up
all the details from my notes yet. Then those need to be emailed to
the T&SC Board of Trustees to see if they would prefer to offer it as
a part of the christian life programs branch, rather than
william’s works. After that, my intent is to introduce it as a part
of an Independence Day newsletter this year. However, even though that
has not all transpired yet, I can still ask myself the question . .
. what would Jesus have me do?
Submission to Governing Authorities
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority except that which God has established. The
authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1
“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities,
not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”
Romans 13:1 NIV
While these two quotes from Scripture are Paul speaking,
Jesus intimates in what He says, and does, that unless something is
in direct contradiction to what God tells us to do, or not do, I should
indeed obey authorities. So, this solidifies I should be listening to,
and practicing, what the experts are saying to do.
Sharing (Not Hoarding)
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should
share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the
same.” Luke 3:11 NIV
Again this is someone (John the Baptist) other than
Jesus speaking. I did not take the time to find where Jesus says the
exact same thing in one of the other Gospels. It seems reasonable Jesus
would have me gather in enough to obey the experts stay home mandate.
But if I am hoarding to the detriment of others, or know someone who
has none of what I have several of, I think I am supposed to share,
even if there is a chance it might leave me a little short.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not
condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken
together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the
measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38
It is easy to see the flaws in the politicians I
do not like, and overlook the ones in those who see things more my way.
The same applies to everyone else who crosses my path. But, I should
not be passing judgment on anyone. We are all in the same boat, just
struggling to find our way, complete with our own flaws, failings, and
misperceptions. I thinks Jesus would have me cut everybody some slack
in these trying times, and even well beyond them . . . like the rest
of my life.
Jesus admonition to forgive, and His actions of forgiveness,
abound in Scripture. The Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:12, Luke 11:14) I recite
with others whenever I go to church, and often elsewhere, has the line
“forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against
us.” Every time I say that prayer, I am asking God to treat me exactly
how I treat others. I think Jesus would expect me to get better at forgiving
others especially now, when stress and fear abound. And, I think He
would like me to learn to forgive myself more when I try, but fail to
live up to all I think Jesus would have me do.
Be well. Hang in there.
General Notes: My computer is turned off at sundown
on Friday (beginning of the original Sabbath) through sundown on Saturday,
and depending how tired I am of working in front of a computer screen,
often until very late on Sunday (end of the Lord's Day). Therefore,
I typically do not see, nor have the opportunity to act on, reply to,
or send, emails except on weekdays. Plus, I normally only check
emails once each weekday (after I exercise). Depending on when that
happens, emails might not be seen until the next day (or Monday if sent
on a Friday). Please keep this in mind when deciding whether to
email or phone.
I am not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social
media site. My online presence is the wsharing.com website. I encourage
you to visit it. I added a “what is new” page, linked at the top of
the home page, when I stopped sending notifications by email in 2017.
As all of my work became part of the Teaching & Sharing Centers non-profit
(william’s works branch), I resumed some “originating” emailing in 2018,
but to a newly built list, so I know those on it still wish to be there.
If you would like to be on the new email list, simply reply to my email
address to request addition to (or removal from if you should change
your mind later) william’s list 2018.
Helping to identify or stop spam, and the misuse of
your email address:
All emails from me clearly state the topic in the
subject line, and will have this signature in the body of the letter.
If there are any links, the complete URL is shown, and the reason for
the link described in the text. If I am including any attachments, they
will be mentioned and identified in the body of the letter as well.
When mailing to my list, I always use the blind carbon copy (Bcc) line
so your email address does not appear in the email. My address books
are kept only in my computer and not online anywhere. I do not forward
petitions, lists, or similar items that show addresses, as these can
be bogus attempts by spammers, or hackers, to collect them. If you receive
anything which states it is from me, but does not meet the above criteria,
delete the email without clicking on any links or attachments. You might
first forward it to me with “suspicious email” as the subject.
If you add me to a list of yours, or whenever you
are sending me an email going to multiple recipients, I would appreciate
it if you would please use my email@example.com email address.
It is my most public address.
“Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and
hatred with love.” - Peace Pilgrim
“You can show your love to others by not wishing
that they should be better Christians.” - Francis of Assisi
“We must bear patiently not being good . . . and not
being thought good.” - Francis of Assisi
A Doctor On The Frontlines
Breaks Down How It’s Believed
That Most People Are Getting The Coronavirus
by Dane Rivera
March 30, 2020
The United States of America now leads the world
in the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases — surpassing Wuhan,
China, the origin of the virus, and Italy, the epicenter of the European
outbreak. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute
of Allergy And Infectious Diseases (and America’s expert on all things
coronavirus), has said that it’s “entirely conceivable” that over 1
million people will contract COVID-19, which would likely amount to
roughly 100,000 deaths. As such, it’s a very real possibility that you
or someone you know will contract COVID-19, which probably has you more
than a little freaked out. We’re right there with you!
Let’s remember the facts though, as of Sunday evening,
March 29th, there were 722,289 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with
33,984 deaths, and over 151,901 recovered cases, with many more hundreds
of thousands on their way to recovery. This disease is certainly scary,
but we will beat it and every day we’re finding out a little more about
the virus. The more we know, the safer we’ll be. So turn off the TV,
stop watching the insane daily press conferences, and beef up your coronavirus
knowledge by listening to an expert.
No, we don’t mean us. We’re talking about the expertise
of Dr. David Price of the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.
Dr. Dave is an ICU doctor who is on the frontlines at the center of
the U.S. outbreak, at a hospital where 20% of New York state’s coronavirus
cases are being treated.
Late last week, Dr. Dave shared everything he knows
about the deadly virus in a recent online Q&A posted on Vimeo, and his
wealth of firsthand knowledge will make even the most frightened amongst
us breathe a sigh of relief. To put it in his, “when you know that the
only way you’re going to get this disease is if your hands are dirty,
and if you touch your face, and if you’re way too close to that person,
that becomes incredibly liberating. All of a sudden the person at the
store isn’t your enemy, they’re someone who is going through this with
The full hour-long interview is worth a watch, but
we gathered the most essential points so you could get back to binge-watching
ten-year-old television shows. Here is everything you need to know about
coronavirus, from how people are getting it and how you can keep you
and your loved ones safe, to what to do if you already have it.
What are the symptoms for COVID-19?
This is one of the most common coronavirus-related
questions and one of the most difficult to answer. Searching “what are
the symptoms of the coronavirus?” might as well direct you to a GIF
of someone shrugging. According to Dr. Dave, “Whatcommonly people have
is fever, cough, and then sore throat… Your lungs will primarily be
affected. 80% of people just don’t feel good, mild cough maybe a little
So while your paranoia and your stuffy nose and sudden
diarrhea is alarming, take a breath, it’s probably not the coronavirus.
How do you get COVID-19?
“The overwhelming majority of people are getting
this from physically touching someone who has this disease, or will
develop it in the next one to two days, and then touching their face.”
Dr. Dave repeatedly stresses in his video that we must all become “hand
nazis.” Under no circumstance should we be touching our face if we’re
out in public, so do whatever you have to do to make this your new favorite
“The vast vast vast majority of COVID-19 transmission
is droplet… A droplet — something that comes from the mouth — either
goes onto your hand or falls onto a surface and then is very quickly
taken up, touched, and then put on your face.”
So… you can’t get it from the air?
While it’s certainly possible, “The thought at this
point is that you actually have to have very long sustained contact
with someone… I’m talking about over fifteen to thirty minutes in an
unprotected environment, meaning you’re in a very closed room without
any type of mask.” This will likely put a lot of us at ease. It’s highly
unlikely that we’re going to get this thing from picking up food from
our favorite restaurant, or by saying “hi” to whoever is delivering
How do we keep ourselves safe in public?
Again, don’t touch your face. “Know where your hands
are and know that they’re clean at all times… Walk around with Purell…
when I leave my apartment, everything that I see that I’m going to touch,
I make sure I Purell first. When I leave my apartment door and I go
to the elevator, it’s okay if I touch it with my hand, but then I Purell,”
says Dr. Dave, stressing, “This is not a disease that we’re getting
because someone is sick and then touched something, and then an entire
community of 10 people get it because they touched it… it’s mostly from
sustained contact with people who have COVID-19… keep your hands clean
and you will not get this disease.”
But just because you have good hand discipline, doesn’t
mean you’re above smart social distancing, “If you’re going to go to
the grocery store, if you’re going to touch the cart — just clean the
handle. If you go into the store and you see people around, don’t touch
them… distance yourself. You don’t have to wait directly in line with
somebody, you can stand a couple of feet back.”
Should I be wearing a mask?
Dr. Dave is all for wearing masks, but mostly because
having a mask on your face is an easy way to train yourself now to touch
it. So don’t hoard medical masks, donate your supply to your local hospital
and tie a bandana around your face, bandit-style.
“You don’t need a medical mask. These masks that
people are wearing are not preventing them from getting the disease…
the general community has zero need for N95 masks.”
I’m still hanging out with my friends on the weekend…
What is wrong with you. Stop doing that. Please.
Do you want us to be quarantined longer than April?!
“You have to shrink your social circle,” says Dr.
Dave, “Find your isolation group, find your group of three people, four
people, your family — and set boundaries. The people who are going to
get this are people who maintain large social circles at this point.”
I’m a great social distancer… but what if my less
responsible housemate gets it?
Despite the fact that a large majority of this virus’
spread comes from family transmission, according to Dr. Dave, “Simply
being in the home with someone who has COVID-19 will not get you that
disease.” However, please understand that even if you feel fine, you’ll
essentially have to be quarantined for as long as the infected person
in the event you’re an asymptomatic spreader.
“Isolate yourself from your family… if you’re able,
have the person in a separate room… have the person who is sick have
their own bathroom… if the person has to come out and interact with
the family, this is the perfect indication for one medical mask for
the person who is sick.”
What if I just have a cold?
Might as well play it safe, just so long as we’re
all in quarantine. “I think if you have something that feels like a
cold or you feel like you’re getting sick, take the precautions like
you have COVID-19 for one to two days. If in one to two days you’re
feeling much better and this is like the thousand other colds you’ve
had in the past year… you don’t have COVID-19.”
How safe is interacting with take-out or grocery
“I think it’s a reasonable idea to have the delivery
person leave the food that they’re delivering to you outside your door.
You can probably pick it up with a glove and open the bag and all the
inside contents are fine. That’s an overabundance of caution, but it
think it’s reasonable,” says Dr. Dave, adding, “What you don’t want
to do is high-five the delivery man, you don’t want to shake the delivery
man’s hand, you don’t want to pick up the plastic bag you’re getting…
and have a huge long interaction with that bag… but if you follow the
rules and everything you touch you just clean your hands, you will not
So it’s not just old people getting it?
No, so it’s time to stop acting like this is someone
else’s problem. The way we beat this is by being responsible. “This
disease affects everyone… 23-year-olds, 35-yearolds, 45-year-olds with
zero medical problems are getting this disease, people like that are
coming to the hospital, people like that are going on ventilators. There
is a very evil narrative early in this disease that said that this is
only a disease of old people and people that have hypertension and diabetes,
that is not true… it hits the entire spectrum of ages.”
Okay, I have it, how do I keep the people isolating
with me safe?
Keep your distance, from everyone. “If you have a
vulnerable population in your family… you need to find another living
arrangement for that patient or practice incredibly strict isolation
of that family member.” It’s also not a bad idea to contact everyone
you’ve seen up to two days before you first developed symptoms (see
why social distancing is important?). Dr. Dave explains, “It’s likely
that people who get this disease are shedding the disease one to two
days before they have a fever… If you develop COVID-19 and have a fever,
know who the people are in your life who you interact with over the
prior 2-3 days and let them know.”
Should I get tested?
Look, we all want to get tested, especially those
of us who still have to go to work or those of us who live with a vulnerable
population. Unfortunately, even on a state level, we’re not really where
we need to be in terms of testing availability. “It depends on the availability
of testing in your community. If you have symptoms like the flu, it’s
likely you have COVID-19,” but Dr. Dave is quick to clarify that even
if you did get tested, when it comes to your treatment, “not a lot would
change by knowing that test result.”
Should I go to the hospital?
Depends. If you think you might have COVID-19, absolutely
don’t go to the hospital — you might be putting people at risk. Instead,
call your health care provider (or your county’s public health office
if you don’t have insurance) and await the next steps. In all likelihood,
you’ll be able to self-treat at home, only those who are having trouble
breathing should consider treatment at a hospital.
“If you’re feeling short of breath come to the hospital…
it’s not, ‘I have a fever,’ it’s not ‘I think I have COVID-19,’ it’s
not, “I can’t stop having these body aches,” it’s ‘I feel short of breath
when I get up to go to the bathroom,’ those are the people who should
come to the hospital and be evaluated.”
What’s this I’m hearing about Ibuprofen making
This is a weird one, but it would appear that some
early data suggests Ibuprofen is not an effective treatment — no one
can say why yet. “There is really good data from Germany that there
are worse outcomes and more inflammation from people who are using Ibuprofen.
If you have a fever take acetaminophen.”
What are my chances of needing to go to the emergency
If you’re generally healthy and not an at-risk population,
you’re likely going to get through this with little more than a handful
of awful days. “Of the entire population of people who get COVID-19,
about 10% need to go to the hospital because they get short of breath.
Of the 10% who are coming to the hospital, about one to two to three
percent of those are requiring admission to the ICU and should be put
on a ventilator.”
What if I need to be put on a ventilator?
Don’t panic — it’s not the end. “The vast majority
of people come off the ventilator… usually seven to ten days later.
Going to the hospital is not a death sentence, it’s a safe place to
Is there a chance of the coronavirus weakening?
It’s too soon to tell if warmer weather will have
a strong effect on the coronavirus, but time is guaranteed to have an
effect on this virus. It won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be next year, but
according to Dr. Dave, “as it mutates it’s going to get milder and milder,
five years from now you’re going to get coronavirus, this exact COVID-19,
and it’s going to feel like a cold.”
From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 3:11 PM
To: william's email list 2018
Subject: Masks, Prayer Day, Covid19 vs. Other Deaths Stats
Greetings to each of you,
Earlier in the week, I got a Mayo Clinic newsletter
email which included a brief article about masks. Because there has
been some confusion about masks, I thought I would forward it, but save
it for Friday to see if anything else came in before doing so. Then
I started thinking about how people are clamoring about getting back
to "normal." But, much like the previous deep recession we dealt with
not all that long ago, I began wondering how many people realize it
was the previous "normal" that allowed this mess to begin with. Instead
of asking when we can get back to normal, some different questions might
be in order. Perhaps starting with, what was it about our prior "normal"
that got us into this? Many other questions can follow that, but one
of the very first that I usually ask is what is the spiritual component
in this? Usually, the life we live today is based on the choices we
made yesterday, and the expectations we have for tomorrow. Very few
of us truly just live in the moment. That reminded me of Peace Pilgrim.
Then I got a regular mail newsletter from the Right to Life of Michigan
organization which had an interesting chart. After all that, yesterday
I opened an email from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association inviting
Christians to join in a special time of prayer. Since that is happening
tonight, I woke up this morning thinking I needed this email to go today.
Well here is the deal, to try to make this as simple
to put together as possible in a short time (since this is also the
day I prepare and upload a new picture of the week to my website), I
am using the BGEA email as a forward. [That email will not appear in
this online version because of its single event status.] Its details
are at the bottom after everything else. Before that there will be a
Peace Pilgrim excerpt, two Mayo Clinic links I thought might be good
to share, and the RTL chart I scanned. That scan will also have updated
numbers following it that I copied at around 2:00 a.m. this morning
(which was a still working last night hour for me) from the mentioned
Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words
CHAPTER 6: Solving Life’s Problems
“THE PURPOSE OF PROBLEMS is to push you toward obedience
to God's laws, which are exact and cannot be changed. We have the free
will to obey them or disobey them. Obedience will bring harmony, disobedience
will bring you more problems.
Likewise, when societies get out of harmony, problems
develop within the society. Collective problems. Their purpose is to
push the whole society toward harmony. Individuals can discover that
they can not only grow and learn through individual problem solving,
they can learn and grow through collective problem solving. I often
say I've run out of personal problems, then every once in a while a
little one presents itself somewhere. But I hardly recognize it as a
problem because it seems so insignificant. Actually, I want to do all
my learning and growing now by helping to solve collective problems.
There was a time when I thought it was a nuisance
to be confronted with a problem. I tried to get rid of it. I tried to
get somebody else to solve it for me. But that time was long ago. It
was a great day in my life when I discovered the wonderful purpose of
problems. Yes, they have a wonderful purpose.
Some people wish for a life of no problems, but I
would never wish such a life for any of you. What I wish for you is
the great inner strength to solve your problems meaningfully and grow.
Problems are learning and growing experiences. A life without problems
would be a barren existence, without the opportunity for spiritual growth.”
RTL Scanned Excerpt
One caveat about abortion numbers. I learned last
fall from family events that when a baby dies from natural causes in
the womb, including miscarriages, the removal operation is shown medically
on documents as an abortion. I brought this up with local RTL people
who indicated there was no source available to separate the numbers
from elective abortion. Still, about 75% would need to fall into the
non-elective category to remove abortion from its position. My pro-life
opinion is well known, and does not matter. God's opinion is the only
one that counts in the big picture of things. My actual fascination
with this chart was that the time period was fairly early in the Covid19
era. I wondered if it would climb the chart as the year progressed, and
the numbers changed. And, they do change even while you are on the website.
So, here is what things looked like around 2:00 a.m.
Seasonal flu deaths this year
Covid19 deaths this year
Deaths caused by malaria this year
Suicides this year
Road traffic accident fatalities this year
Deaths caused by HIV/AIDS this year
Deaths caused by alcohol this year
Deaths caused by smoking this year
Deaths caused by cancer this year
Abortions this year
For some reason, the second
largest category of hunger was not among those I copied and pasted
late last night. Perhaps it was on a separate page just like the
Covid19 deaths were. I have no doubt it likely maintained its
position in the chart.
At any rate, I am not so
convinced that I want to get back to yesterday's "normal" at all.
We can do better than that.