I don't usually do this, but a friend of mine who is a United Methodist pastor in the Pittsburgh area wrote an especially good blog recently, and I thought I would share it with you as my weekly email.

My friend writes about a TV news anchor who has COVID-19, and a doctor gave him some essential advice on how to beat it. It may be advice that we need to hear too, even if we don't have the virus.


The news anchor felt terrible, he had a high fever, he was hurting and unable to move or sleep. He was just lying in bed.

The doctor told him to get up and stretch his body, even though it hurt. The doctor said to take a deep breath and hold it, even though he didn't think he could. The doctor said, "I saw your x-rays, it's in your lungs. You've got the right sense of fear, about how bad this virus can be. But you've got the wrong approach. You can't wait it out. You have to fight. You've got to do the things that will beat this virus. You've got to breathe deep when it hurts. You've got to move, you've got to drink plenty of liquids, take Tylenol, fight back."

The news anchor summarized the doctor's approach this way: "The virus is banking on you doing nothing. It wants you passive, on your back. You have to fight."

It's the same for us, even though most of us do not have the virus. But in so many ways, the virus is attacking us. It's attacking our souls and spirits with anxiety, depression, fear, anger, frustration, boredom, and more. Those are the tools the enemy is using against us; it wants us doing nothing, passive, on our backs.

But we have to fight back. We have to do what will beat it, even if it's uncomfortable or even painful. Yes, we need to shelter at home, but that doesn't mean to hunker down or cower in fear until it passes. Whether we like it or not, we are in a fight, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will give us the power to do what it takes to beat this thing.

If you are feeling lonely or depressed, reach out and call someone. Hear a voice. Send a note or an email. Connect on Facebook.

If you are feeling anxious, reach out and help someone else. Make a "Thank you" sign to health workers. Make a mask to give away. Make a donation to a food bank. Donate blood. Reach out to an elderly neighbor. Make a difference. You might not feel up to it but do it anyway.

Pray and ask for God's wisdom. Read the Bible for a few minutes each day so you can hear from God.

Every day make a list of 15 things you are thankful for. There might be a lot wrong, but there are many more things that are right. Don't take them for granted.

Take a step to advance the Kingdom of God. Pray for your family and friends, your neighbors and coworkers to come to Christ. Invite someone to watch our services and hear our inspirational messages online. Invite them to come to worship in person when we resume.

Don't do only what you feel like doing. You've got to fight! The virus wants us passive - God calls us to fight. Remember those stirring words from Ephesians 6:10-11: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane