The big picture

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“Virus cases mount at a grim and worrying pace,” “Day-care system suffers as virus runs roughshod,” “State rules hobble would-be nurses,” “Grim forecast in Silicon Valley,” “County leaders at odds in a time of crisis,” “Experts say growth rate could swamp hospitals” … Shall I go on?  Just a few of today’s headlines from one section of the paper. It’s enough to make you want to go back to bed. Read further and you start to get into finger-pointing and “I told you so” theories of who’s responsible. Then you get into cover-up, denials, false hopes and anybody’s guess as to how long it will be before things return to normal.

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Posted in God's love, pandemic | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Opening Day

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Today is Opening Day of the 2020 baseball season. The Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, published a letter this morning to all baseball fans that reads: “Opening Day holds an important place in our hearts. It signifies the arrival of spring, the promise of new beginnings, the return of following your favorite team on a long journey filled with twists and turns, and the hope that your team will put together a magical season you will remember forever.” Then he calls on us all to channel that optimism and determination into facing the challenges presented to us by the current pandemic.

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Posted in Baseball, pandemic | Tagged , | 10 Comments

How to wash your hands in a pandemic

This just in … Catch member comes up with the perfect hand-washing technique for these coronavirus-sensitive days.

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Frequent hand washing has been recommended as one of the simple practices we can perform to reduce our chances of contracting the virus. Experts say at least 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap and hot water will do the job. But how long is 20 seconds? Someone said it takes 20 seconds to sing Happy Birthday, but I’m getting real tired of that, besides, who do I sing it to? Whoever pops into my mind? I sang it to Donald for a while (as in “Trump.”) That was actually not a bad idea because I said a little prayer for him at the same time.

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Posted in body life, church, pandemic | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Just outside my door

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I didn’t even plant these. They just came up.

I went for a short walk this morning just a little ways outside my house. I breathed in the crisp fresh air. No coronavirus there. I felt the warm sun radiate on my face contrasting with the cold air all around me, making me feel like I was standing in front of a radiator 93 million miles away. No virus there. I noticed the trees growing into each other, and the early spring flowers bunched together trying to beat each other in reaching for the sun. No social distancing there. I took in the clouds, billowing white and gray far above everything, uninfected. Out there on my street, in just a few things I could see of God’s creation, everything’s okay.

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Posted in Art and Life, Beauty, Natural beauty, pandemic | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

How to safely gather together a group of over 10 people

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Sunday night’s Church at the Catch witnessed even more interaction — the most interaction we’ve had involving many who otherwise would have attended a local church but couldn’t because services were canceled due to self-imposed quarantines as an aid to prevention against the spread of the coronavirus. There may be a silver lining on this pandemic (indeed, I bet there will be many good things that will come out of this one truly bad thing) and that is that the Catch Ministries have already “bought our place in cyberspace” and we have a place for you that is “social” and safe.

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Posted in church, community, discipleship, pandemic | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

When can I get a hug?

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Stay-at-home Mom. Stay-at-home Dad. Stay-at-home schoolchildren. Stay-at-home non-essential workers. I guess just about everybody is staying at home. And all you need to confirm this is to drive on the L.A. freeways during rush hour and find out there is no rush.

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Posted in church, community, pandemic | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Good out of bad

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Last night we had our first International Online Video Conferencing Bible Study and it was a huge success. Fifteen people took part with representatives from the U.S. and Canada. It was a meeting that would have been “illegal” — or at least not recommended in a home, church or workplace due to restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak — but was perfectly safe and enjoyable online. And except for touching and hugging, it had all the elements of an in-person meeting.

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The end of all things is near

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Make no mistake, it feels a little like the end of the world out there, if you do get out. I was out driving at 1:30 am Sunday night and during a twenty-minute stretch on the most traveled road around here, Pacific Coast Highway, better known as PCH, or Hwy 1, I saw a total of three cars out driving. And I’m sure many of you have encountered the scene in the picture above which is the paper towel and toilet paper aisle in the local supermarket just last night. “Closed” signs are everywhere. Twenty-four-hour stores are now only twelve-hour-stores, and whatever restaurants are still open have taken out half their tables. It’s the Grand Canyon between you and the next table.

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Posted in discipleship, Tragedy | Tagged , | 1 Comment