One of Those Days

I had a moment tonight. 

I stopped to get gas on the way to work around 9:45pm.  It was dark out, and about 45° F.  Cold.  The roads were almost empty due to the quarantine as well as the hour.  It’s my third night shift in a row, so my sleep schedule is all messed up and I didn’t get enough sleep today. A friend in Colorado has been missing since Sunday and her husband and two daughters don’t know where she is, if she’s safe, or what.  So that’s on my mind.  

It’s my birthday.  I got off work around 6:30 in the morning, stopped at the store, and then got home to get about four or five hours of sleep before getting up in time to celebrate my birthday with my wife and kids.  Played a few card games and watched a movie. Took a nap before going back to work at 9:30.  Kind of a ho-hum day. 

And then I found myself standing at the gas pump where it was cold and wet and dark, and I have to get through the next eight hours of work. The quarantine and the weather and some family issues were weighing on me and I started to feel a little low. 

Until I remembered that God is in charge. God knows.  He is not surprised by anything, and He has a plan that He is working out specifically for my good and His glory.  He has both hands on the yoke, and though our aircraft is experiencing turbulence, we are going to land at our destination at exactly the right time.  I prayed as I got to work that Jesus would come back soon.  But until He does it falls to us to slog through the dark days, the sad times, and the ho hum stuff, trusting Him and doing our best in His power to obey and serve. 

I think I need to go fishing. 

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COVID-19 Response

I keep telling people that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and they don’t believe me.

There’s no vaccine for this.  That means there are only two ways to avoid being killed by it:  1. Don’t be exposed to it, or 2. Get infected and survive it.   The first one is a sure thing if you can completely cut yourself off from society.  This thing is contagious BEFORE you have symptoms.  That means that any of the people you interacted with in the past week and a half could have infected you and you don’t even know it yet. 

So we’re pretty much left with number 1: don’t be exposed.  That is why the government, schools, churches and businesses are all saying, “stay home” to one degree or another.  If you can avoid coming into contact with infected people, you won’t get sick. 

The first person to be reported to have this disease was December 1st in China. Now there are over 100 countries with infected people, almost 200,000 people confirmed infected, and over 7,000 deaths.  The average mortality rate worldwide is 3.92%.  To put that into real numbers, if every person on earth (7.8 Billion people) gets infected, the death toll will be around 300 MILLION people.  Imagine if tomorrow every American outside the state of Florida died.  That’s how deadly this is. 

Back to the beginning: this is going to get worse before it gets better.  I don’t have a crystal ball, I haven’t received any new information from God regarding the future, but I can use my medical knowledge, and my understanding of how the world works to let you know that people are going to start panicking worse than they are now.  More people are going to get infected.  The hospitals in the United States are going to start feeling the pinch.  Nurses and doctors are going to get sick, and there will be nobody to replace them on their shifts.  That means the hospitals’ capacity to care for the ill will go down.   I truly believe we are going to get to the point where, like Italy, the government tells us all to simply stay home unless absolutely necessary. 

At some point it’s going to start getting better.  The number of people infected and recovered is going to be higher than the number of sick people and people who haven’t gotten it.   Ninety-six percent of people who get this virus will survive.  We all just need to keep our heads, be safe, take precautions, mourn the dead, and move on.  I pray that this virus is more like measles which, once you get it or get vaccinated, you are protected, and not like influenza which mutates.  It would be horrible if this virus killed off 4% of the population every year. 

So for now, understand that the precautions that those in charge are advising are for everybody’s good: we are trying to prevent the rapid spread of this so that our healthcare system doesn’t have to make decisions like they are making in Italy, where some are reporting that people over 60 should not even come to the hospital because they are prioritizing care for those who have the best chance at survival.

God is still in charge.  If you don’t know Christ as Savior, what better time than now to trust in Him, when you have a 1 in 25 chance of dying in the next few months?  You should figure this out anyway, because you have a 1 in 1 chance of dying (a sure thing) in the next 100 years.  And if you think running out of toilet paper will be bad, imagine living for eternity in hell because you ignored God and your own sin. 

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Deer Hunting

I used to go to Missouri to hunt on my dad’s farm/woods every year. Well, almost every year. There was a run of years when I didn’t miss a single year, but then I stayed home when my wife had radiation therapy, or other situations like that. But I haven’t been there to hunt since 2016.

2018 I had a bum knee. 2017 I’m pretty sure it was job related (I had just started a new job 2 months before, and didn’t want to take a week off).

So I missed two years. No big deal. But now I’m going to miss this year too. I put in for the time off last month so I could drive down there Wednesday (tomorrow), and hunt until Saturday evening when I would drive home. Three days of hunting. But then last week I got some cold virus, and although I’m about 75% over it, and getting better every day, I don’t think the wisest thing to do at this point is to go sit in the cold for 11 hours a day. Plus I don’t really feel physically up to the task of dragging a deer out of the woods right now. So I will have to forego Missouri hunting yet another year.

Looks like I will have to pull my muzzleloader out and try to remember how that thing works, so I can hunt in Iowa in a few weeks. Oh well…at least it will be cheaper.

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Burn Your Cash Here

At work tonight I saw a mail-order catalog that caught my attention. Across the top it says, “Sunnyland Farms”. They sell food. On the front cover is a dish with two loaves of what look to be pumpkin bread. I picked it up because I thought, “Who buys pumpkin bread??  It’s dead easy to make! Also who garnishes it with leaves flour and several raw pecans?”

Y’all, this catalog is for rich people. It must be. I looked through it, and you know how they inflate prices for fundraisers for the Boy Scouts or school, like a small tin of popcorn for $10 when you know you could get one twice as big for $5 at Wal Mart? If there were popcorn in this catalog, that same tin would cost $80.

I’m not kidding. I was curious how much they are asking for the pumpkin bread. It’s on page 25. Can you guess? No? Go ahead and guess.

You’re wrong. It’s $40.60 for two 12 oz loaves. I have no idea why it’s $40.60 and not $40 or $41. What’s with the extra sixty cents? You know how much the ingredients would cost to make these two loaves? I could go to the store and buy everything I would need to make them including bowls, mixing spoons, the bread pans, etc, and it wouldn’t cost $40.60. Assuming you already have all the regular baking equipment, I’m guessing the ingredients would cost about $6 including the pumpkin. And they’re selling it for $40.60. Or you can buy eight loaves at a time for $35.73 a piece.

But that’s not all. I looked through the rest of the catalog. That was a mistake. I started to get upset that there are actually people out there buying these drastically over priced baked goods. They’re selling a pecan pie for $50.35. There isn’t a pie in the world that’s worth more than $15. What do they do: polish the pecans individually?

I saw one cake that sounded really good. It’s called a “Rum Crunch Cake” and it says, “This light, fine-textured pound cake is crusted with sweet coconut flakes and midget pecan pieces. Drizzled with a rum butter sauce, it is moist and delicious. Keep on hand for unexpected guests.” If I have guests unexpectedly showing up at my house, they’re going to get whatever food I have already. I’m not giving them a piece of my Rum Crunch Cake for which I have (presumably) paid $44.30. I think I’ll pay the extra $10 to have the cake covered with clear acrylic so I can display it.

I think the most shocking price-gouge in the catalog is how much they are charging for nuts. Would you like a 2 pound 4 ounce box of whole almonds? You could purchase it for $14.02 from Wal Mart and take it home with you the same day. Orrrrr, you could pay Sunnyland $42.75 and wait a few weeks to get them.

Today I learned again that I’m not rich. Because I don’t see myself ever paying this much for this stuff.

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