Lots happening right now. COVID-19 is growing in scary conditions and affecting holiday plans. But I know God is faithful and is greater than COVID-19. Seek Him in these times. Let Him be the one who guides your decisions and your words to others. Be diligent, considerate and God-honoring. Don’t be anxious or haughty.

Interpretation: follow all guidelines (masks, social-distance, handwashing, etc.); be respectful to those in authority in proper priority (Rom. 13:1-7, Acts 5:29); consider the health of others; don’t get emotional however you feel; trust God Who will be faithful through it all.

Here’s my thoughts on six topics. Thank you for reading!

  1. A thoughtful approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19

TIME Magazine featured an article I found rather interesting and sensible. Michael Mina wrote “How We Can Stop the Spread of COVID-19 by Christmas,” and I encourage you to read it.

“To win the war on COVID-19,” Mina wrote, “we need a multi-pronged public health strategy that includes a national testing plan that utilizes widespread frequent rapid antigen tests to stop the spread of the virus. We need to think strategically and creatively, be bold, and most importantly, not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

Basically, Mina is proposing for at least half the population on the U.S. to take an at-home test that involves people self-testing every four days.

“Paper-strip antigen tests (the at-home tests Mina is suggesting) are inexpensive, simple to manufacture, give results within minutes, and can be used within the privacy of our own home.”

If half of the population were to start participating in these tests, Mina believes the spread of COVID-19 could be stopped nationwide in a matter of weeks.

“Unlike vaccines, which stop onward transmission through immunity, testing can do this by giving people the tools to know, in real-time, that they are contagious and thus stop themselves from unknowingly spreading to others,” Mina said.

The biggest obstacle to this, Mina wrote, is the tests are not approved by the FDA. “…the FDA is used to regulating medical devices, not public health screening tools,” he said.

Unfortunately, I’m not a health science guy. I’m just somebody who, like you, is concerned about what is happening right now with the rampant virus turning our lives upside down and affecting the health of many.

If you find a flaw with Mina’s proposal, I’m all ears. Give me your feedback.

  1. Different types of Bibles

Andy McLean gives a practical approach to selecting a Bible in his article “How to Make Sense of Different Types of Bibles.” Make no mistake, this is a great privilege we have in the U.S., considering some countries would punish a Christian for having a small chapter of a Bible book in their possession.

But I like what McLean wrote about Study Bibles:

“Study Bibles… supply study notes and other ancillary features that help the reader to better understand select passages.”

I’m a big fan of Study Bibles. I’ve enjoyed my Life Application Study Bible that I’ve had for the last 17 years. I recommend any growing Christian to invest in a Study Bible.

  1. Study Bible example

I’ll share with you how I found a Study Bible helpful. For the past few weeks, I have been meditating on Habakkuk 3:17-18. I think these verses are applicable for what we are experiencing.

Here’s commentary I found from my Study Bible on Hab. 3:17-18:

“Crop failure and the death of animals would devastate Judah. But Habakkuk affirmed that even in the times of starvation and loss, he would still rejoice in the Lord. Habakkuk’ feelings were not controlled by the events around him but by faith in God’s ability to give him strength. When nothing makes sense, and when troubles seem more than you can bear, remember that God gives strength. Take your eyes off difficulties and look to God.”

Can you see how this passage is relevant and how this commentary can be helpful?

  1. Book of James questioned

I enjoyed Michael Kruger’s article “Is the Book of James Really Christian?” Yes, the title has some “clickbait” flavor, but Kruger points out that, in church history, James’ epistle has been questioned, even by Martin Luther.

I remember the great Southern Baptist preacher Adrian Rodgers used to call the Book of James “Christianity in blue jeans.” He found James to offer a practical approach to living the Christian life.

Check out Kruger’s presentation, and it makes sense why James was scrutinized, and yet he also affirms how important this General Epistle is for Christian Living.

“James reminds us that we can preach Christ also by preaching how we should follow Christ, obey Christ, and be like Christ.”

  1. Thunder thoughts

It was a busy week for the Thunder. A lot of acquiring and swapping players and draft picks.

I found a great summarizing article written by Brandon Rahbar titled “After the Whirlwind,” which is a quite fitting title about what happened during the NBA Draft Wednesday night. My conclusions are in line with Rahbar’s.

Also, since Draft Night, the Thunder made another move, trading Kelly Oubre—whom the Thunder picked up in the Chris Paul trade with the Suns this week—to Golden State. I can see how this can be disappointing and confusing, especially since Oubre is a young, up-and-coming player and seems to fit the Thunder’s long-term plans.

However, Oubre has one year left on his current contract, and it could be that Oubre may not want to stick around OKC after this season. As disappointing as it can be, trading Oubre could be better in the grand scheme.

  1. Messenger website makeover

This week, the Baptist Messenger website got a new look. Go check out the main page.

Grant Bivens did a lot of hard work to this redesign, and many have already said they find the website appealing and user-friendly.

I welcome your feedback on the web’s new look!