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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

So, the plan to redesign Finish Period: Going the Distance in Ministry in the New Year hit a couple of snags during the first week of 2022. Number one was the new design being the product of this same old mind operating at that same old speed. Deleting pages wasn't a problem, the delete button being clear and unobstructed. Creating new pages and making them function properly has been another issue. So, here we are three weeks later still limping through the redesign. Pray for patience to be a lead in my spiritual giftedness.

The new thing is real, however, even with these stumbling techno steps. Through Isiah God reminded his people "Behold, I am doing a new thing..." (Isaiah 43: 19, ESV). So, perhaps this new thing for me in 2022 is learning to wait, pray, study, and let his new thing work in me before it eases into every other part of life.

That'll be my prayer. How about you?

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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Harriet and I were talking about the Covid-19 vaccines and discussing whether or not we would take them. We had read much of the hype about them and were undecided. An ad popped up on the TV screen that grabbed my attention. It promoted shopping locally. Somehow that made sense even in our vaccine debate.

Yes, we all know the decline in mom and pop retail locations in our vast global economy. Day by day local entrepreneurs close shop because they cannot compete with the big box companies. You ask, how in the world could a TV spot about retail marketing influence our vaccine decision? Simple. It reminded me that I didn't have to rely on the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci (President Biden's chief medical advisor) or Dr. Vivek H. Murthy (Surgeon General of the United States) to evaluate the Covid-19 vaccine decision. No, I don't know them or much about them. Nor do I know the medical personnel at the Center for Disease Control, CNN, or the Cartoon Channel. Why should I let these unknowns counsel me about such personal matters?

After that commercial, I called my family doctor, made an appointment to see him, and asked his advice. You see, I do know him. He's monitored my Type 2 Diabetes for 18 years, coached me through extensive cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and all the other medical situations people my age experience. Now, he's not my only doctor. There's a urologist, oncologist, dermatologist, optometrist, ophthalmologist, audiologist, a wife, and the Great Physician upstairs. I chose my family doctor because I know him best. I've trusted his diagnostic abilities and treatment plans for a long time. So, I asked him whether or not we should take the Covid vaccines. He said there was much about the Corona virus and the vaccines we didn't know. Then he added that he didn't know any reason we should not receive the vaccine. We shopped locally.

The Apostle Paul strongly defended his ministry in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. They had compared him to false apostles who taught faulty doctrine. He wrote, "Look at what is before your eyes" (2 Corinthians 10: 7, ESV). Under Divine guidance he advised them to pay attention to what is right before them. Now, that doesn't have anything to do with Covid-19 or our treatment of it. But, it does remind us to be alert to what is right in front of us. And, our answers about this Covid mystery might be closer than we think.

Ask your most trusted doctor. Shop locally.

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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Our governing documents include terms like the common good and the general welfare to shape the ideals of "we the people" and democratic process. Yet, that new nation still permitted slavery, vast separation of the social classes, voting restrictions, and more. You see, the common good is elusive to us humans.

We're hot wired around self. Egocentric humans worship the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I above most other interests. Legislatures, government systems, and the legal community seek fairness, equality, and dignity in the human arena. Still, there are many barriers to creating a culture where the common good is the norm. And, most will agree that the road to what is best for everyone is beyond government, the niceties of human behavior, education, or our many desires to make thr ground level for everyone.

The common good is really a spiritual discipline. Scripture tracks a clear path to understanding where others fit into our lives.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12: 31, ESV

Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me.

Matthew 25: 40, ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2: 4, ESV

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

1 Corinthians 10: 24, ESV

And, there are many others. It's true, where we place others in our priority system is the beginning point of achieving the common good. And, in this context, it was one of the final factors that drove Harriet and I to the vaccination site to receive the Covid-19 shots. Yes, we both had the Corona virus and we knew the debilitating symptoms. Doctors are still undecided about whether we can have second rounds of Covid-19 or whether or not the vaccines have an expirations date. But, we didn't want to transmit this virus to our family or friends. So, shot time.

Tomorrow I will discuss the final impetus that took us to the vaccine place. I call it Shop Local. Join me.


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