Life is Short

Every day I wake up I know that I am one day closer to heaven.  I was thinking the other day about how much time I have left on earth.  Obviously none of us knows how much time we really have, because we could die five minutes from now.  A coworker of mine for the past two years clocked out about six weeks ago and went home.  They found her the next morning. She had had a stroke, and nothing they did to help her worked. She died on February 21st.  She was my age.

But if I live a “normal lifespan” I have about 20-30 years left at the most.  And as I think about how brief that is, I examine my life and can only feel sadness at the enormity of the sin that I have committed in my life. I have served God, but not enough.  Not nearly enough. I feel like Oskar Schindler at the end of Schindler’s List and I know that I will always feel that way. 

Because I am a sinner. 

I choose to do what is wrong.  Every day I sin.  Every day I confess my sins to God, knowing that the next day I will be in the same position, confessing more sins to God, because I have a sin nature. 

Every person sins.  Every. Single. Person.  And it’s not just one sin that we do over and over, it’s a multitude of sins: gluttony, lust, greed, pride, hatred, anger, homosexuality, ignoring God, selfishness, laziness, dishonesty, etc…etc…etc…

My only consolation is that I am born again.  My sin weighs down on me like a thing that is very heavy, but I know with every fiber of my being that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth 2000 years ago and died on the cross to pay the penalty for ALL my sin and the sins of the whole world. 

Are you an angry person? Jesus died for you.  Are you a thief?  Jesus died for you.  Some people think that certain sinners (or should I just say humans) are lost forever and cannot be saved, but there is only one sin that you can commit that God cannot forgive:  rejecting Christ.  If you reject God and the forgiveness that He offers for ALL of your sins, then you cannot be saved from God’s wrath, and you will suffer for eternity in the lake of fire. 

I Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 

That’s a pretty hefty list.  And some people look at that list and say, “See?  There’s certain people who can’t be saved! They are lost forever! There’s no hope for them!”  But these people stopped reading too soon.  Because verse 11 says “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 

See, Paul knew that there were people in the Corinthian church who were former drunks, former homosexuals, former adulterers, former idolaters, former thieves, etc.  But they were washed, they were sanctified. They repented of their sin and turned to God, and they were FORGIVEN! 

As long as you are breathing, it is never too late to repent of your rebellion against God and trust in Christ, no matter what sins you have committed. And once you trust in His sacrifice for you, then everything you say and do should start to come into alignment with what He wants for you. I have said it over and over:  Christians are not sinless, but we should sin less.

And now I start another day, praying to God that I will sin less today, and that He will use me to lead souls to Christ and to glorify Him.  What about you?  Do you know Christ? If so, are you living for Him or for your own selfish desires?  Trust in Christ for salvation, and then trust Him that He knows what is best for you, which includes reading the Bible and examining your life to see what doesn’t match up with what He wants for you. 

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Facebook is Helping Me Leave Them

In 2017 D-list comedienne and avowed liberal Kathy Griffin published a photo of her holding a mask which appeared to be the bloodied, severed head of the new President Donald Trump. It was a disgusting thing to do by anybody’s standards. 

I have been active on the Facebook pages of a few Indianapolis news stations, and comment on their stories. There is a progressive woman named Diana who also posts from time to time.  We have had some good discussions and usually respect each other’s positions with some good-natured back and forth at times.  One thing I don’t like is that for at least the past year she has had as her profile picture the picture of Kathy Griffin that I referenced above. 

In December I saw someone created an alternative version of the photo where they superimposed a picture of Joe Biden’s head over the Trump mask with the caption, “This is Still Funny, Right?”  This second picture points out the inherent problem with the first picture: people happy with the idea of a decapitated Trump would not be happy with the idea of a decapitated Biden, and hopefully they would see that the original photo was disgusting and should not have been published. 

A week before Christmas, Diana replied to a comment of mine, and I saw that her profile picture was unchanged, it was still the decapitated Trump head.  I hit “reply” on her comment and posted the photo, with the comment, “Oh hey there, I see you haven’t changed your profile pic. Time to change it in 24 days. Might I suggest this one?”

An hour later the comment was deleted and I was sent a notification by FB that someone had reported the comment and they agreed that it went against their “community standards.”  I appealed this, because if the photo I posted went against their standards, then surely Diana’s profile picture would also go against their standards.   They disagreed.  On January 15th (yesterday) I was notified that because of this my Facebook profile has been restricted and I am not able to create groups or events. 

But then I tried to comment on someone’s post and Facebook wouldn’t let me.  So I tried commenting in a private group I belong to.  Still nothing.  I have been intending to leave Facebook this year, but their hypocritical policy may cause me to do so even sooner.  

And it is that hypocrisy which is the reason for this post.  There’s no question that both photos are equally objectionable, and yet Facebook, with their known progressive bias, has determined that a photo promoting violence against President Trump is perfectly fine, but a photo promoting violence against President-elect Biden is offensive and punishable.

For my part, I have enjoyed being on Facebook because of the connections that I have forged with my friends and family, as well as the debate and discourse with strangers of all walks of life.  But for the past several years Facebook has been getting more and more progressive and I believe that with the upcoming Democrat control of the House, Senate, and White House, perhaps Zuck and his cronies feel emboldened to start restricting or outright banning Conservatives on their platform. 

Is this their right? Yes. 

Is it right? No.

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COVID Vaccine

Vaccination is a very important tool in our arsenal of weapons to fight disease caused by viruses and bacteria. If it were not for widespread vaccination, millions would be sick, damaged, or dead from measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, etc…

And so I applaud the effort to produce a vaccine for COVID-19. But I have two glaring questions that I would like to have answered. If anybody out there knows the answers to these questions, I would really like to hear them.

1. Do people who already had COVID need to be vaccinated?

2. How long is the vaccine effective?

When someone already has had a certain disease, they don’t need to be vaccinated. They have what’s called “active immunity.” When I became a nurse they asked me if I had received the chicken pox vaccine. I said no, but I had chicken pox and got over it. And that was good enough. I contracted and subsequently recovered from COVID-19 in September. So I have antibodies for it, just like my body would produce if I got vaccinated. And if this is true, I’d really rather not get the vaccine, because every vaccine carries risks. The benefit of the vaccine usually outweighs the risk, but if you don’t need it, why risk it at all?

And I have been told that my naturally acquired active immunity may only last for 2-3 months. Well that’s a new one, because I’ve never heard of a virus that you defeat naturally that can attack you again successfully within a few months without some other disease process interfering with your immune system (like AIDS). I mean, yeah, over time your immunity can wane with certain diseases, requiring a booster shot, but that’s years. Tetanus is a good example of this.

So if all of that is true, then I would really like to know how long they expect the vaccine to be effective? If (as they say) the antibodies only last for 2-3 months, will we need to get this vaccine quarterly?

Also, there’s studies being done that show much longer immunity. There was a Portuguese study published last month showing that “90% of SARS-CoV-2–positive individuals had detectable antibodies from 40 days up to 7 months post-infection, with higher levels in patients with more severe disease.” Considering the fact that we only had large numbers of people who had recovered from COVID infection for about 7 months when the study was done, I’d say that the immunity probably lasts much longer.

This study concludes by saying, “Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 will have protective immunity against circulating viruses for many months after initial infection, the authors conclude.” And that’s good news.

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Vote Counting

As we sit here we still don’t know who the next President is. And that’s fine. I know we all want to know because this result will affect us greatly for the next four years or longer. But they need to count the votes. As I look at the different maps showing how many votes each candidate has and how much percentage of the vote total is in, something occurred to me: there’s a better way. In my opinion, this is how the results from Presidential elections (and maybe all elections) should go:

  1. Hold the election. Have in-person voting on election day, require state-issued ID, and have each person sign on the line in a record confirming they voted (to prevent voting more than once).
  2. Require that ALL mail-in ballots be received before election day. If you want your vote to count, there’s no reason to mail it ON election day. Get it in at least a week early to be safe.
  3. Count the votes. At the close of the polls on election day, every single vote should have already been received. There should be a list of workers who will count the votes along with a registered representative from each of the two largest parties in the race (D & R usually) to keep everybody honest. As each precinct counts their votes and as the absentee counters do their work, they send the completed count to the Secretary of State for that state (or whoever is in charge of the voting in that state).
  4. This is the most important point. The Secretary of State does NOT release any vote totals until the counting is 100% complete. So we would literally have no idea who won that state until the counting was over.

    In this system, we would have a map that is completely blank of color, and then each Secretary of State would come to their podium or whatever, and announce that “Trump won Iowa” or “Biden won Oregon” or whatever. We do this in churches all the time. Many churches hold annual elections for deacon, treasurer, etc… This is almost always a three step process: Take the vote, count the vote, and announce the vote. I think this would be a better system for our country.
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