Monday, October 13, 2014

When "Pandemic" Is More Than Just Family Game Night-Reality Check : Ebola Crisis in the Making

Photo Credit Creation Swap, Travis Silva  Inside Light

Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“Are you prepared for an Ebola Pandemic?”

That was the headline staring at me from my inbox this morning.   

I know I don’t want to think about or talk about Ebola, and maybe you don’t either-but the truth of the matter is that it's out there.  The potential for mass death and destruction is real.  And the buzz is starting to get louder, so it is probably time to take a look in the eyes of Ebola and the potential it has to alter the future for you, me and everyone on planet earth.

The closest I have ever come to this thought before now is through a board game my family has called “Pandemic.”  In the game, everyone works together to contain and stop the spread of deadly diseases using their specialized “powers” as assigned by various cards.  These days the idea of “playing” Pandemic sounds less than amusing when we are on the cusp of a very real possibility of having to live it out.

Bringing Ebola to our own backyard

Fear-inciting stories of illnesses with potential outbreak status are swirling on the horizon.   

First, there was the report that Ebola was causing many to fall ill and even die across the pond in Africa.  But it was an ocean away.  So, it was easier to turn a blind eye to tragedy when it wasn’t on our own shores.

Next, they shipped workers here for treatment.  Scary, but okay-they were careful.  The people recovered.  Resume life as normal…

But then there was Thomas Duncan.  According to articles, he was sick with Ebola when he came into the country.  He was sent home from the hospital and possibly came into contact with DOZENS before they finally diagnosed him and admitted him to the hospital where he died a few days after that.  

Now one of the Texas healthcare workers who took care of Duncan is ill, and dozens of others who came into contact with the sick parties are being observed. But there have to be hundreds of people exposed just from the chain of connections that have not yet been reported…  

Fear of the Unknown

I shudder to think that anyone really believes that they can “contain” this disease.  When it appears we are unclear on transmission, how can we possibly prevent it from spreading?  Or worse than that-how can we really presume to control something we have absolutely NO control over?

I read an article today where a Dutch doctor said "It seems that Ebola can present without fever especially in the first phase."  This Doctor had to shut down a hospital he was running in which 4 out 5 of his nurses died from the disease when exposed to people who had NO fever.  His hospital is not the only one that has been closed in West Africa.

But perhaps worse than that, he also said, "This outbreak is completely out of control, and the only way to stop (it) is to find every case, isolate them and trace their contacts”.

For a “soft” hypochondriac like myself, this thought gets me worrying.  

“Find every case”?  That is nothing short of impossible.  No one is safe from the potential of coming into contact with this disease.  How is it possible to “isolate” everyone who ever comes into contact with someone who has the disease?  It isn’t possible or plausible, even.  

Death Sentence

The worst part is that there are people dying from the disease-a LOT of people.  And they suffer a great deal before they die.  Yes, some have recovered, but this is not the majority.  So far, the death toll has the upper hand.

Whoa.  Wait a minute.  This can KILL me if I get it.  And suddenly, if you are like me, we begin to respond in fear and not even realize it.

It really hit me that I was afraid after I heard about the man that died in Texas.  I started wondering about everyone I was coming into contact with.  I wondered if they had been on a plane recently.  I wondered if any of their family had been on a plane or out of the country.  My brain started lighting up a germ radar for everything I touched.

I noticed my subtle fear caused me to reconsider plans we have made.  We are thinking of attending a football game in a big city and going to the mall there later on this month.   I thought, maybe we shouldn’t go-maybe someone who slipped through the cracks would be out and about, and me or my family might come into contact with them.

My family is also thinking of taking a trip to Florida this winter.  But honestly?  I am seriously reconsidering that decision, too.  I thought about people that my husband and my KIDS would come into contact with….  What if we got sick?  Could the facility I am admitted to really take care of me?  What if they quarantine us and we can’t go back home?  Or?? 

Maybe I just want to quarantine myself and my family.  Maybe we will just stay home.  Then we won’t be at risk...right?

Eternal security amid insecurity

With my mind racing and traveling well beyond the here and now, I realized that this is NOT something I can analyze and fix.  It is so far outside my scope of ability and I truly can’t do anything beyond this very moment.  And folks, the real truth is that This. Moment. Right. Now. is all ANY of us has.

We are not promised any time on earth beyond this moment.  I can try to “plan” for the worst or try to prevent it from happening.  Yet, there is no amount of worry or energy I can expend to stop God’s sovereign plan for mine or my family’s life.  Even if that plan includes cancer, death or even the dreaded Ebola virus.

So now you know one of my secrets…

All I have to do is start thinking about little micro-organisms that can result in me or my family getting sick and then, my faith is knocked on its hind-end.   

Those little 'no-see-ums' march my mind right into battle once again.  In moments like this, the fight for faith is renewed.   

I have to look at the memorials of truth that God left for me in His word.  I need to preach those truths to myself and remember that He is faithful even when I am faithless, and that He is altogether WORTHY of my trust in Him.

Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing can stand in the way of that love.  If you or I are in the love of Christ there is NOTHING at any time that can take that love away.  Not even the dreaded Ebola Virus or a doom and gloom pandemic of biblical proportions.  Or anything at all.

God promised that His people would be safe and secure in Him wherever we may find ourselves.  But God never said we wouldn’t get sick or suffer loss or pain.  Instead, He GUARANTEED that we would experience to these things.   

But though we experience these things, He promised that we can have PEACE that He has already “overcome the world”.

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

As I set my eyes on the truth that Christ overcame my sinful state and made me a friend of God, I can step forward in confidence that I will meet my redeemer in Heaven one day.  

This truth is more powerful than the bonds of disease or suffering-as these are just temporary afflictions.   

The truth that Jesus restored me to God is everlasting!  And that day when my faith becomes sight, I will throw off the chains of fear that try to bind me in this world! 

Until then, I will "press on" to the mark looking ahead to the "Author and Finisher of my fate"! 

Knowing that God has carefully designed my destiny to bring Him glory is what helps me move forward in this life no matter what the future holds!

David Willman, Unease Over Ebola Signs, Tribune Washington Bureau    October 13, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Can Call Me “Little Miss ‘Son’-shine”

©CreationSwap/Nathan Gamble


Before the world began, there was a void in time too sparse to even imagine what complete nothingness is truly like.

And then, GOD. SPOKE.

With the power of His words, He took that darkness and caused light to shine by saying:

Suddenly, light BURST onto the scene.   

The darkness could not resist, reply or recoil.  All it could do was submit to, and be overtaken by the Masterful Creator and God who had a greater purpose for the nothingness. 

God indeed, had made light appear from nothing when He created the “Sun” shine…

In the same way, He so powerfully entered the scene of my life when there was nothing but darkness. He turned my very own little heart to love Him.    In a way, He made me “Little Miss Son-shine.”

As I ponder this thought, I am in awe of what God has done not only in the beginning of time to create a world, but I am amazed that He would desire to work by that same power IN ME. 
God has given us a beautiful verse to remind us that HE accomplishes this work in us, and it serves as tangible proof as to why we can trust Him.

2 Corinthians 4:6 is a powerful reminder of the beginning.  It says,“For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. “


Based on this verse, the mere fact that there is light in this world (or even a world) to begin with confirms that God IS.  That alone would be encouragement enough, but He doesn’t stop there…
The God who spoke light into existence when there was only darkness has given me “knowledge of the glory of God”.  

I don’t know about you, but when I speak the only “stuff” that I create many times is strife.  I know I certainly cannot speak a universe into existence, nor could I even build one if you gave me all the materials I need to accomplish it!!

 But how did He take me from that place of darkness and replace it with His "Son"-shine?

God revealed to me that I NEED Him by showing me my sinful state before Him. When I see myself in the light of His holiness, my state of “darkness” is magnified; and I am brought to a high view of God.  I echo the words of Isaiah when he says: 

“And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"

But there’s MORE!! 

In His grace, God solved my sin problem for me by sending Jesus as an acceptable, atoning sacrifice to restore my fellowship with Him.  I can never attain God’s favor all by myself.  I need something more. 

And then? 

He “shone in my heart” giving me knowledge of that truth!!

God reminds me of this truth every day when the sun bursts onto the morning sky.  God reminds us through His creation that HE HAS THE POWER TO ACCOMPLISH ALL THAT HE SAYS HE WILL.

I stand in awe of His presence.   I worship the God of glory and truth who chose to do “shining” work in me! 

And I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep it in! 

Just like you can’t put a drape over the sun to stop the rays from pouring forth, you can’t stop this “Little Miss 'Son'-shine” from pouring out the glories of God in Jesus!!  

And if He has so worked in you, get YOUR shine on!  Don't hold it back!  Share, share, SHARE it with anyone who will listen!

Written that the name of Jesus be Praised,
Christy Pearce

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blinded by the Light


I was reminded of the power of our sun today while driving the girls to school.  I turned a corner to get on Main Street and, POW!!  That sunlight was like, RIGHT. THERE. in my face.  

There was no seeing around it.  I had to lean over in my seat toward a few trees that were blocking the sun because I honestly didn’t want to make that left turn “by faith”.  I wanted to see where I was going.  

In that moment, sitting there with that big bright sun in my face, the only thing I could think about was the fact that I COULD NOT see.  Even though I tried to escape, I was completely enveloped in the sun’s rays.  

I was forced to act based upon its presence, and my senses were dulled-no, they were overtaken by its radiance.

Isn’t that just like God, though?  And what better illustration to help us relate with His character than this enormous, bright star affixed in the center of the universe?

I am just toddling along in my life “blinded by the light”.  Yet, most times, I manage to find a few shade trees to get a break from the intense illumination of His glory.  I find ways to see around that overwhelming and blinding brightness so I can focus on things I want to see.

I WANT to see and KNOW where I am headed.   

But God just doesn’t give us that kind of perception to see the future events of our lives.  In fact, there are no guarantees except those promised to us in Christ.  Just because something is on our calendar doesn't secure the fact that any plans we have made will come to fruition.   But His plans?  Ah, yes-they will ALWAYS succeed.  

These thoughts cause me to fall under conviction.  I am afraid when I can’t see the path, when instead; I should be unafraid when I see HIS illuminating work in my life.  

The trouble is that I am usually trying to see around Him or past Him in order to get what I want-and then seek His approval later.   

God forgive me when I do such a thing.  Help me to submit to your plans and your ways.  Help me, Lord to have the kind faith that is thankful to grope around in the brightness of your glory knowing that even though I can’t see the road ahead, YOU CAN.  

The bottom line is that God has taken care of our greatest need.  I don’t see the completion of that, but He saw it all from the beginning.  He chose me, He loves me and He knows what is best even when I don’t “see” it.

So, sometimes "not seeing" can be believing.  

Welcome to the definition of "blind faith"!  (Is there really any other kind of faith?)  

May God be ever increasing our love for and knowledge of HIM!

Written that the name of Jesus be Praised,


Photo credit to Free Christian Wallpaper

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Billboard Jesus

I just recently returned home from a month long trip across country.
That means miles and miles and MILES of highway stretched out before us decorated with road signs and billboards.

I saw a bunch of billboards along the way advertising hotels, theme parks, political/social agendas and also a few promoting religious concepts (or degradation of them).

One or two Christian themed billboards that I saw had very short messages about repentance or a snippet about Hell.

It got me to thinking...

What if I were to put just one verse or one single spiritual concept on a billboard for all to see?  What would it be?

How about you?  What would yours say?

The more I thought about it, the more I decided I couldn't put just one thing on a billboard.
Don't get me wrong, I don't underestimate the power of God's word.  If He wants to bring someone to faith and repentance from just one verse of the Bible or a simple presentation of gospel truth, then it will happen.

Right now, I just find myself submerged in learning what it really means to live in community with the people that God has placed in my life.  That means, a verse here, some encouragement there... a testimony here, some hospitality there...

It means INVESTING in people a little at a time.

A billboard won't get community done.  That is just the honest truth.

God has done a wonderful thing by putting people in our little worlds for us to share our lives with.  He doesn't intend for us to live autonomously.

Mat 5:14-16  "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

In order for the light to shine before others, other people need to be around!!  There are people EVERYWHERE-under our own noses in our homes, at the work place, within our local body of Christ, and just think of how many people you come into contact with on a daily basis. 


It would be easy to set out to BE a light in this world.  We could figure out what it looks like to have the light in us and model it, yet all the while not be one who possesses it.

God has done a work in me.  I can't escape it.  As I learn more about Who God is and what He has done, He increases my knowledge of what is pleasing to Him.  In turn, my desire to do what He asks also increases.

The light resides in me because GOD put it there, and since He put it there it WILL shine.

How do I describe that "shining"?

I think of the shining as sharing.  It is sharing the truth of God's gracious gift toward sinful people through loving and doing things for them.

God demonstrated His love for us in Christ.  He desires us to be demonstrators of that great love to those who don't know Him.  Share the motivation behind the loving things you do or sinful works you avoid!  If your motivation is something other than Christ and HIS love and grace upon your life, I urge you to examine yourselves as Paul suggests to the Corinthians.  Faith in anything but Christ is not true faith.

This is not something that you can effectively or concisely paste on a billboard.

BUT, I found a way around that one-thought-billboard problem.

You know those flashing, digitized billboards?  THAT is what I would use!  Granted, people would either hold up traffic or have to pull over to read it!

For now though, I will pay closer attention to what God wants me to do and say to those around me.
By God's grace I will lovingly share the truth in word and in deed in effort to bring more people to the knowledge of Christ, all the while trusting God for the results.


I am opting to live a Billboard LIFE.

That means I will point to Jesus for successes, praise Him for victories and lean on Him through trials and failures...all while the world watches.  

Because let's face it-they are already watching anyway...

Written that the name of Jesus be praised,