Sky Links, 3-28-20

Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years. This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you. – Bob Dylan

 China IS to Blame for COVID-19!
-Glenn Beck

The Virus is Not Invincible, But It’s Exposing Who’s Irreplaceable
-Victor Davis Hanson

In all the gloom and doom, and media-driven nihilism, there is actually an array of good news. As many predicted, as testing spreads, and we get a better idea of the actual number and nature of cases, the death rate from coronavirus slowly but also seems to steadily decline.

Early estimates from the World Health Organization and the modeling of pessimists of a constant 4 percent death rate for those infected with the virus are for now proving exaggerated for the United States. More likely, as testing spreads, our fatality rates could descend to near 1 percent.

There is some evidence from Germany and to a lesser extent South Korea, that it may be possible to see the fatality rate dip below 1 percent. And with the breathing space from the lockdown, better hygiene (the degree of constant and near-obsessive cleaning at businesses that are still open is quite amazing), more knowledge and data, better medical protocols, the use of some efficacious drugs, warmer weather, and experience with the disease will, in perfect-storm fashion, begin to mitigate the effects of the virus.

Should we get the lethality rate down to German levels (currently two to three in 1,000), then we can cautiously assume that those who predicted that the coronavirus could eventually be contextualized as a bad, H1N1-like flu will no longer be demonized as nuts, and life can resume with reasonable precautions and focused quarantines and isolation.

In two or three weeks, if we can just allow most businesses to reopen, gear up to pandemic testing, track cases and contacts in the manner of past protocols that lessened polio, tuberculosis, AIDS, and measles outbreaks, and focus on the ill and elderly, then the economy will reboot.

The Life and Death Question That The Church Is not Asking
-Mario Murillo

I remember when a wise man of God told me, “Answer the question that wasn’t asked.” Example: when Jesus told His disciples that Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed and not one stone would be left upon another, the disciples reacted by asking Him when this would happen. Instead, of answering that question, He answered the question they should have asked, “Take heed that you be not deceived.” The question they should have asked was, “What is the most important thing we should to be ready?”

What question should pastors and the American church be asking right now about the coronavirus?

700 preachers recently participated in a conference-call with Trump and Pence, yet none of them asked the one question they should have asked.

The twelve disciples wanted to know the date of the destruction of Jerusalem, so they could make arrangements. That was their deception. And most pastors just want to know the date when they can reopen their church. That is our deception.

So, what was the question these preachers should have asked the President?

What is that question? That question is, “Why haven’t we repented?”

The Loneliest Generation
-Wayne Jacobsen with Josh Packard (podcast interview)

Current research is demonstrating that young people between thirteen and twenty-five are the loneliest generation of Americans—perhaps ever! Nearly 40% of them report that at times they have no one to talk to, and regular attendance at a religious gathering has no affect on these numbers whatsoever. Our favorite researcher, Josh Packard of the Springtide Research Institute joins Wayne for this podcast about the great need among youth to connect with a caring adult to help them sort out meaning and belonging in our world. The fields are truly ripe unto harvest. Josh is also the author of Church Refugees published in 2015, and the author of a new report, Belonging: Reconnecting America\’s Loneliest Generation. How can caring adults come alongside these lonely and isolated people and give them the belonging and care they crave?

Word of The Lord for March 
-Gene Redlin (posted 3-1-20)

As you come into a new season on this first day of March, know that I lead the parade as your banner Adonai Nissi. March together on the road to victory. I have a new destination for you to march toward. Your enemies and opposition are humiliated in defeat as you march them to their end. They have nothing for you and what they held against you is now defeated.

March with confidence as you move persevering against the enemy. Your march is steady; the drumbeat of your victory is heard above the noise of the world. The darkness you have endured, the stuck place, the place of winter is thawing as you march forward.

Your season is changing before your eyes. March, March forward. People seldom march in defeat. They march in victory. You have a cause; the cause is victory over your enemies.

March is the time for your sacrifice and the winter frost to be dispelled by the latter rains. The latter rains coming in this season will nurture a plentiful harvest for you. The former rains came when you planted a seed.. but now as you march forward into this season of latter rain, the seed you planted will come forth, first the shoot, then the full ear.

There will be dark clouds and wind that might cause you to shrink back from your Jericho march toward victory, but remember, he who regards the wind will not sow and he who regards the rain will not harvest. The clouds are fear, the wind is bad news, the result can be discouragement. It is the enemy that is the author of fear. Keep your eyes on me my children.

It’s your season and plenty is coming. Have no fear. March with faith for your future.

 Conversation with Chuck Pierce
-Dutch Sheets

On Wednesday, March 25, Dutch interviewed his good friend Chuck Pierce. On January 26, 2020, Chuck gave a prophetic word about a \”massive plague-like invasion that will test us through Passover.\” Covid-19 is now affecting the whole world. What is God’s plan and what is HE saying about this virus? You don\’t want to miss this very informative podcast.

10 things you should do differently when preaching online
-John Willison

 1. Preach Shorter

Think in terms of a 12-18 minute sermon, not 35-40 minutes. 

2. Preach up-close and personal

You’re not on stage. You’re up close. People can see your eyes, your face, your smile. Speak softer. Look into the camera. Don’t wave your arms. Don’t shout. Don’t pace back and forth.

3. Have a conversation

Think of your sermon more as a “fireside chat” with friends.

4. Invite people into your home

Let people see the pictures on your wall, your family, your pets, your office, your sofa and your kitchen.

5. Keep things moving

Have your main camera, and then a side-angle to mix things up. Vary your scenes, props, positions and camera angles. People get bored quicker online.

6. Don’t repeat yourself

People are paying attention to every sentence.

7. Prepare differently

Prep like a movie-producer not a preacher from a pulpit. Think location, props, scenes. Are you walking? Sitting? Standing? Inside? Outside?

8. Plan ahead

Deadlines are different – get your sermon recorded by Thursday so your people have time for post-production – adding words on the screen, improving the sound, getting it ready to put online.

9. Trust your young people like you never have done before!

If you’re a digital immigrant, listen to digital natives in your church. Digital natives are people who grew up knowing about this stuff and can\’t remember a time before the internet. Trust them. They know what they\’re talking about.

10. Take the limits off

Don’t limit yourself to one weekly sermon. You can produce daily five-minute devotionals, or prayers. Aim to share content regularly and find a rhythm of the day – particularly as people may be on lockdown and the days can blur.

Some Things You Might Not Know … (about the Corona virus)
-Blue Collar Logic

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19
-Geri Ungurean

The Passion Translation?

I’ve known Brian Simmons for a good number of years, he and his wife were Bible translators in Jungles of the Amazon, somewhere like that. The Lord called them back to the States, he pastored a thriving church in Connecticut, and then felt called out of that in the mist of successful ministry, to devote himself fully to Bible translation.

So he reveres the Word, he’s a great lover of the Word, he’s a God fearing man, who really reveres and loves the Word. And has devoted more of his life to Bible translation than most human beings you’ll ever, ever meet. So that’s one thing.

Second thing is, the ‘Passion Translation’, that’s a good name for it, it is passionate, it is vibrant, it is powerful, it is beautiful. But it is not really a ‘translation’. It is more a paraphrase than a translation in my opinion. Now it’s not a paraphrase on the level that ‘The Message’ is. The Message is a more radical paraphrase. Brian Simmons’ rendering is closer to the original. But I would not use it as my primary Bible. Because it is not close enough to the literal sense in that regard.

Now, no translation is word for word, because you cannot go directly from one foreign language to another word for word and have it make perfect sense. Sentence structure is going to be different, emphasis is going to be different, grammar is going to be different. But you can get closer to that, for example the NASB shoots to get closer to that type of translation. And the NIV would be a little bit more free to try to get things in more smooth flowing English. So translations are more literal verses more dynamic.

And then you have a paraphrase like the NLT, the New Living Translation, that’s a mild paraphrase. The Living Bible, little more extreme paraphrase. The Message, a really extreme paraphrase. The Passion Translation fits in with those paraphrases. And that’s why I say don’t use it as your primary Bible, use it in a secondary way.

Brian also relies on the Aramaic Peshitta more than I would. But he does so in a mature way. And has wrestled for a long period of time to really try to get the nuance of a word here or there correct. And it’s not impassive in it to have one person do a translation or paraphrase, whether it was JB Phillips, whether it was Moffatt, whether it was Peterson, for better for worse. And those will reflect the gifts and strengths of the individuals involved.

But that being said, if Bill Johnson is preaching from it, my take would be, that he is thoroughly familiar with the scriptures, that he’s been through these texts many times, and he likes the way this reads. If he replaced his Bible reading, and just read that all the time, I would say that he would get more used to the way Brian has rendered things with his particular nuances.

So I would highly recommend the Passion Translation as a secondary version. So you’re reading through the Bible and you’re wanting another translation, or you want to read, let’s just read through this in the Passion Translation and see how it flows, and then go back and compare with the translations I normally use. And if I’m preaching, I have no problem pulling a passage out of the New Living translation, I’ve pulled a passage out of The Message, as much as I have problems with other parts of it…

Adam Andrzejewski is the founder and CEO of openthebooks.com, the world\’s largest database of public sector spending, whether at the federal, state, or local level. 

How Many Lives Is Our National Lockdown Going to Cost?
-Scott McKay

There is an episode of HBO’s Band of Brothers — it’s toward the end of the series, and perhaps even the last episode — when the war has just ended and the shooting has stopped, but they’re all still in Germany, and the guys in the company are strangely dying at a similar rate to when they were fighting.

They’re dying of accidents, alcohol-related incidents, stupid behavior, and so on.

Everybody ought to go watch that episode, because we’re about to be living it as this economic lockdown the media and those among us they’ve hooked have begged for continues.

People stuck in miserable conditions they have no power to change will engage in pathological behavior very quickly, and consequences will ensue. Drive through any American ghetto, barrio, or dying hillbilly town and you’ll see it in technicolor.

Consequences like what? How much time have you got?

How about suicides? In 2017, some 1.4 million Americans tried to kill themselves. Forty-seven thousand — some 129 per day — succeeded. Now that we’ve crashed our economy, to the tune that they’re now saying second-quarter GDP will fall off by 10 percent or more, how many people do you think will despair upon being economically ruined? Is it so hard to imagine a 10-percent spike in suicide rates?

Democrats in Purgatory | The Andrew Klavan Show Ep. 868

Jason Blum | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 87

Jason Blum — Award-winning film and television producer, founder and CEO of Blumhouse productions with hits including \”Get Out,\” \”The Purge,\” \”Split,\” \”Paranormal Activity,\” and his newest film, \”The Hunt\” — joins Ben to discuss how he got into the film business, the relationship between politics and storytelling, bias in Hollywood, the future of the movie business, Harvey Weinstein, President Trump, the controversy surrounding his latest project, and much more. 

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