Category Archives: Uncategorized

An HGTV Christmas

When you had HGTV in mind for Christmas…

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes; imagine you are a young woman about to become a first-time mom. Chances are you think about the baby’s room. Now, think color choices, decorative themes, furnishings, blankets…the list goes on and on.
You study everything from HGTV to Pinterest looking for ways to prepare the cutest and safest nursery for your bundle of joy.

Now, fast forward and imagine the UN-imaginable. You end up traveling on your due date, and your precious baby is BORN IN A BARN!!! How disgusting and incredibly disappointing! You had so much planned that didn’t come close to reality.

By now you probably realize the analogy is actually from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I doubt anyone reading this comes close to giving birth to a baby in a barn, much less laying a newborn to sleep in a stable instead of a decorated nursery and comfy baby bed.

Like Mary, all of us have disappointments in life; we imagine one situation, and things turn out disappointingly different. As Mary imagined a nursery and got a barn, you may have imagined a career and got laid off, or a marriage and ended up with a divorce, a degree and instead got overwhelmed and dropped out. Disappointments are common in life, and everyone has them.

While dreams sometimes fail, Mary showed us a great attitude to imitate. She bravely endured disappointment and trusted God in spite of her barn-like surroundings.

She could have easily been so blinded by disappointment (“But I gave birth in a BARN!“) that she would have missed the beauty and majesty of the unexpected work of God. Instead, Mary trusted God in spite of what could have been a crushing disappointment, and as she sat in disbelief, she saw local shepherds as well as foreign wise men come to visit the “newborn king.”

For this Christmas, imitate Mary. Don’t let the disappointments of 2020 overshadow the joy and peace of Christmas and the hope that can be found in Jesus. Back then and now, He comes to longing hearts to be Emmanuel (which means “God with us”) in the best and worst of times.

Choose joy, take time to sit quietly in peaceful moments of the season, and trust God for your unknown future as Mary did so long ago. (For more, read the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, Chapter 2).

For a fun and memorable way to teach your kids or grandkids about important Bible heroes like Mary, check out my book “Who Am I?” on Amazon.com. I hope it can be a blessing to that special child (or children) in your life.

joseph-im-not-a-christmas-hero

I’m not a Christmas Hero

Wow, it’s hard to believe that Christmas is just over 3 weeks away, even in a pandemic-crazed year, time flies!

I find it helpful to try to get into a reflective mode about Christmas now, as it has barely started. If I wait until it”gets going” the season is over before I know it and I’ve barely noticed.

So…looking back on that first Christmas…join me in being in awe of who I’ll call “Christmas heroes.” Keep in mind that the people of that first Christmas did NOT have the whole story…they didn’t know how it would all turn out, or even if what they sensed were miraculous events were just that.

Take Joseph. He was probably in his late teen years, engaged to the girl of his dreams (or quite possibly of his parents’ arranging), and then…BAM, she drops this far-fetched bomb on him. “Joseph, I’m pregnant, and the father is God Almighty.”

How would you handle that? How would you respond? I’m afraid I’d handle it poorly, certainly not with the courage, faith and trust of young Joseph. An angel appeared to him in a dream, and rather than talking himself out of it (probably the Stan-thing I would do), he trusted God, and obediently took Mary as his wife.

Go ahead and read the incredible decisions of this young man in the Bible, in Matthew 1:18-25.

I’m amazed by young Joseph. At the point of his obedient choice, there were no angels yet, no wise men, and no shepherds! Just Mary, an unbelievable story, and the most unique dream he had in his life…and…a willingness to trust God in and through circumstances he never saw before, nor would he see again.

Let this young Christmas hero compel you to trust God, in this year (2020) that brought circumstances we’ve never seen before. As Joseph trusted and obeyed God through the unknown, resolve to do the same. Choose peace in the midst of uncertainty. Choose joy in response to the unknown. Jesus didn’t come because everything was right in the world…quite the opposite, Jesus came because the world needed a savior. It still does.

Side Note: If you are looking for a great Christmas gift for a child in your life, check out the book I wrote called “Who Am I” Parents and grandparents love it, and kids have actually thanked me for writing it. It is a fun way to teach kids about the everyday heroes of the Bible; men and women of every age who showed what life looks like when you trust God. View book on Amazon.com here.

When Community Development is in your DNA

At Christian Life Center we are driven by what we call our “God-Sized Vision.” It’s based on some of the last earthly words of Jesus in Acts 1:8. Those who follow Christ are meant to “let their light shine.” This light includes doing good deeds for others to see God’s love through us in practical ways (See Matthew 5: 16). We are to “let our light shine” where we live, across our community, and around the world.

Working side-by-side with neighbors across Greater Dayton is part of who we are at CLC. It is one of our practical expressions of our commitment to Community Development. Wikipedia offers this definition “The United Nations defines community development as ‘a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.'”

On June 27, hundreds of CLC’ers will do exactly that We will join forces with other volunteers across our community from varied urban neighborhoods to make a difference. From urban churches like Mars Hill Community Church, to New Hope Community Church, or youth organizations like The Victory Project, or The Oasis House that fights human trafficking, we are committed to making a difference.

We call this event “Love Dayton.” We set aside one day for a massive effort, but then we “do” Love Dayton projects all throughout the year as well. It is a practical way to do exactly, that….Love…Dayton.

Positive community change comes about little by little, project by project, person by person. None of us can make sweeping changes and magically transform our community for good. But ALL of us can partner with someone else, give a little of our time, our resources, our effort, and together…make a big difference.

Go out and get started, in some small way, today.

A Proverb Chapter A Day

3 Bible Tips for Bible Reading

God’s word is meant to be a part of our daily lives, both reading it and applying it. Unfortunately, we can find ourselves too busy to give the Bible the time and attention it deserves. Here are three quick tips to help you make the most of it. They all start with “R.”

FIRST: Read SOMETHING…it’s better than nothing. Something little you actually read is better than a LOT you never get around to. In other words, if you find yourself talking about, meaning to, but never really getting to sit down for a good…long…read, then at least get something.

Try a Bible app that gives you a verse of the day. A verse a day is better than a chapter sporadically throughout a week or month. I also find it helpful to read one chapter from the book of Proverbs each day. Since there are 31 chapters, you can simply choose the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month, read it, and get at least one nugget of wisdom to use!

SECOND: Recite. One way to become familiar with a passage is to say it out loud. Read it aloud thoughtfully a few times, pause, reflect. It is part of the process of “hiding God’s word in our hearts” that Psalm 103 tells us helps us overcome sin and the trials of life.

THIRD: Reflect. Take a moment and reflect on what you read. Too often we just read it and go. Savor it, ask yourself a few questions: What did this verse originally mean to the audience it was written to? How do I suppose God would like to use this verse in my life today? What does this verse teach me about who God is or how He relates to His creation?

There you have it: READ….RECITE…REFLECT. Try it today, see if it doesn’t help you get a bit more from your daily dose of the truth that transforms.

Come Alive

Could America Come Alive Spiritually with Post-Covid Re-Opening?

I had lunch with a friend this week, and we grieved over the state of our culture while chowing down our burgers, salads and fries (hey, at Red Robin, you MUST get fries). The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has caused damage, confusion and division none of us could have predicted just a few months ago.

The tragic death of George Floyd reminds us of the deep wounds of racism coupled with injustice in our world. Our frail economy makes us all wonder what “normal” will even look like in the months ahead.

He asked me, what do you think it would take to turn our nation around? How can we possibly see harmony, health, peace and justice reign?

We both agreed it seems like an increasingly distant and impossible dream. We also agreed that the only true remedy for our world is a spiritual one.

If you are a Christ-follower, then do your best to make the upcoming season of post-covid reopening a true season of coming alive spiritually. Now more than ever, our world needs Christians who are the salt of the Earth, and the light of the World.

Salt has to do with preservation and flavor. Light helps us find our way. Flavor your workplace, your neighborhood, your church with love, with hope and with an optimistic faith. Let your light shine in a way that shows people a loving, compassionate and forgiving heart that also yearns for justice (see Micah 6:8).

Model a life that has been clarified through three months of a global shutdown. WE SHOULD KNOW the things that really matter. Our faith and love for Jesus, for others, and for ourselves is far more important than the hectic, cluttered pace we lived up until late February 2020.

In the early 1700s, our nation had a societal turnaround that was driven by the ONLY thing that can turn a nation around (in a healthy way). It was a cultural renewal that began in the hearts of the early colonists, historians call it “The Great Awakening.”

Preachers like John Wesley (in England), and George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards in America reminded people that when God is first in our lives, He will guide, provide and bless the rest.

My barber is a young man whose love for God is passionate and contagious. Today, he preached his own mini-sermon to me as his clippers buzzed about my head. He said, “the way I see it, the ONLY thing that can truly help our nation is to heal and restore the hearts of our citizens, and only the creator of our souls can do that.”

People need Jesus. He brings forgiveness and purpose. He enables us to forgive and to love, He softens our hearts and gives us peace.

As you re-enter our post-covid world, do so with a loving passion for Jesus, for your church, and for people who are far from God. Imagine how difficult this season must be for people who don’t have Jesus to help them through it. You must model Him for them! As I am often reminded, you and I are the best, and perhaps the only version of Jesus some people know.

The Perfect Financial Plan - The Pipes

Saving Money and The Perfect Post-Covid Financial Plan

The recent coronavirus pandemic has made an arguably unprecedented impact on humanity in many ways worldwide. Not only has COVID-19 had physical health consequences, people have suffered socially, emotionally, professionally and financially.

Some people have gone through the cultural shut-downs by working remotely and they have suffered no financial effects. Others (millions) have lost jobs and income and struggle to make ends meet. Hopefully (at the time of writing this) we will get back to a healthy ‘new normal’ soon.

How are you doing, and how will you do financially once the pandemic is in the rear view mirror? Did you know the Bible has a pretty straightforward plan to help you succeed with money? It only makes sense. After all, the book of Deuteronomy tells us that God is the one who gives each of us our ability to make wealth in the first place (8:18).

It only makes sense, if God gives us the money we earn in the first place, He probably has a financial plan for us to follow that makes the most of it. This plan works for EVERYONE, whether you make a lot, or not. God wants to provide for your needs, and He wants you to live and spend, saving money and giving in a way that honors Him and blesses you.

I first began teaching this truth to the congregation I serve over twenty five (25) years ago. One day on my day off, I was mowing the lawn, thinking about the upcoming sermon on God’s financial plan, and it hit me! I came up with a timeless way to illustrate God’s plan for your wealth. People at our church simply call it “The Pipes” and it is the MOST REQUESTED ILLUSTRATION I DO!

It is available here for you to watch, put into practice, and enjoy!

Watch Now: The Pipes

Dr. Stan J. Tharp, MBA teaching personal finance and stewardship using his popular sermon illustration known as “The Pipes.”
Memorial Day 2020

Guess: How many military people died for us so far?

It is estimated that over 1.1 million American military members were killed in all wars since our nation was born. The war that birthed our nation, revolutionary war, saw just over 4,400 deaths. By contrast, the greatest casualties were from the Civil war (498,332) and World War 2 respectively (405,399)

Truly the familiar saying “freedom isn’t free” rings no louder in our minds than on this day set aside to “never forget.” Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day;” named after the practice of placing flowers on the graves of war-dead soldiers in 1868.

“For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

– James A. Garfield May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

Over a century later, congress re-named and declared the holiday “memorial day” in 1971. Since then, it is good for us to somberly and gratefully recall the lives of so many spent for us. Aspire to a greater level of civic duty and appreciative patriotism. Display a flag in their honor, exercise your right to vote, and enjoy the freedoms they bought for us all.

Beyond that, let’s consider your memory in general. HOW DO YOU USE YOUR MEMORY? This may be an unfamiliar question. Most people don’t think all that much about their memory, they just “have it.”

We all have things in our past that we would prefer to forget. Shameful things, painful failures, disappointments, the list goes on. Unfortunately, our past can be an ongoing source of struggle and pain. It all depends on how we choose to use our memory!

If you have things in your past that continue to hurt or hinder you inside, realize what a mentor of mine used to say: “We don’t live with our past, we live with what we tell ourselves about our past.”

Please re-read that. Your past is gone, over, never to return. You may say you live with your past, but the truth is you actually don’t live with your past, YOU LIVE WITH WHAT YOU CURRENTLY TELL YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR PAST.

Sadly, our self-talk can repeat damage, rejection, failure and betrayal. Many people live imprisoned with a painful past and re-state it to themselves.

Perhaps you had a harsh, perfectionist for a parent, and you constantly tell yourself “I can never do anything right, I’m worthless.” Or perhaps a spouse cheated on you and rejected you. You can “remember it like it was yesterday” and as such, you repeat the hateful words you heard to yourself, “I’m such a disappointment, no one could ever love me.”

If asked about your painful past, you defend it, “But I was there, and heard what they said.” That is true, to a degree. You were there, that is why it is YOUR past. BUT, there are two potential problems:

Just because someone else said or did it to you, doesn’t mean you have to recall and agree with them every time it comes to mind. If wounded recollections continue to hurt and hinder you, pray for God to give you a healing and healthier interpretation of your past.

Rather than “I’m such a disappointment, no one could ever love me” perhaps you could recall “I have sure been betrayed by those who said they loved me, I’m thankful I am resilient, and worth loving again!”

Instead of re-living condemnation “I can never do anything right”, why not recall “I have stood the test of some pretty unfair criticism, and I’ve stayed strong, that says a lot about how resilient I am, and about how capable I must be.”

This Memorial Day, look back in gratitude to those who paid for our freedom with their lives. But also look back on the painful parts of your past and ask God for grace to enjoy mental and emotional freedom from that pain by helping you begin to say and believe NEW things you’ll tell yourself about your past.

Praying, In Jesus' Name, Amen

…In Jesus’ Name, Amen: Why prayer doesn’t work, and when it does

Last weekend I presented a message titled “Christians are people who pray.” In it I asked the question, “How many of you have ever prayed for something ‘In Jesus’ name’ and it didn’t happen?”

Our messages are currently limited to “live online” due to the Covid crisis; as such, I couldn’t ask for a show of hands from the crowd. However, our tech team told me the chat room “blew up” with people agreeing with this puzzling phenomenon.

Why? Jesus clearly said in John 14:14 “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
He repeats this same amazing invitation (or a variation of it) in 14:13; 15:16; 16: 23, and verse 24.After all, this is GREAT NEWS! The Son of God, the Savior of the World appears to be promising us guaranteed answers to prayer, if we only ask “in Jesus’ name.”

Everyone from Darlene Zschech to Israel Houghton have sung songs about the victory that belongs to Christians “In Jesus’ name.”  I’ve preached about it countless times and try to “practice what I preach.”

I’ve prayed for countless things “in Jesus’ name;” many times those prayers are answered in amazing ways, but here’s the problem, many times they are not. I’ve prayed for the healing of loved ones and friends…nothing. I’ve asked God for opportunities to share my faith with an unsaved acquaintance…nope. I’ve asked Him to move in a certain direction or situation in the church I lead…”crickets” in other words…an apparent overwhelming silence from the Divine who promised “ask anything in my name, you’ve got it!”

I first learned about praying in Jesus’ name as a teenager while I was new in my faith. “Wow” I thought, “This is going to be amazing!” So, I prayed very sincerely, but many times nothing seemed to be granted to me because I did some spiritual name-dropping.

I was convinced enough of my faith in Jesus that I didn’t abandon my beliefs, but later in college (in a Biblical theology class) I investigated my disillusionment. I remember doing a 20 page paper, complete with “Greek work” (analyzing the original language of these New Testament passages) to try to discover what was wrong.

I made a helpful discovery. Prayer in Jesus’ name is not like a spiritual master card that I simply “swipe” at the end of a prayer, expecting my every wish to be His command. Nor is the phrase “in Jesus’ name” some divine magical spell I chant to guarantee compliance from God.

The phrase “in Jesus’ name” must be understood in the context of the conversation Jesus was having at the time He said it. He was with his closest followers as recorded in John 13-17. He is at “the last supper” with his disciples and teaching about the relationship He has called them to. The idea of praying “in Jesus’ name” is less about using a word formula than it is a description of how Jesus wants us to live in relationship with Him.

Now, a brief note from ancient Biblical culture: To a Hebrew, a name meant so much more that what we call someone. To know the name of someone was to be in touch with the person, at their core. To speak or ask in someone’s name was a bestowal of that person’s authority to the one invoking the name. To ask in someone’s name was a reflection of living in a place of privilege due to the closeness of the relationship.

To ask in Jesus’ name reflects a state of one’s life and relationship with Christ. “In Jesus’ name” is in the dative case, reflecting almost a place or state of being, a sort of “being in the zone” spiritually. The context of the Last Supper is an invitation to follow Jesus with heartfelt devotion. To be intimately grafted into His love and purpose. As such, we live fruitful lives and love others patterned after the amazingly selfless way Jesus loved.  We are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and devoted to accomplishing the will of our Heavenly Father that Jesus modeled.

When I pray in Jesus’ name, it is the opposite of trying to muscle God into compliance with my wishes; every time I pray like that, I’m ripe for disappointment. To pray in Jesus’ name is a reflection of a heart deeply devoted to the heart of a Heavenly Father, abiding in the love and purpose of Christ. I find that my will aligns consistently with His will, and invoking His name is just adding the seal of approval of a heart well-placed, and a life being spent bearing fruit that pleases God.

When that is the condition of my heart, my prayers are meaningful, my love is unselfish, and I am “grafted” into His life. When I ask in this place, my prayers are answered with regularity. My joy and desires align with His, and He is eager to say “yes.”

View/Review My CLC Sermon About Prayer Now

Do You Have Unanswered Prayers?

My book “God, Where Are You? dives deeper into why it feels like our prayers go unanswered. I would encourage you to get a copy from Amazon.com and check it out. Hundreds of copies have been sold. Get your copy here.

COVID-19 and Reopening the Economy

What do Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook have in common with Coronavirus, and should it stay that way?

For those who know me, you’ll agree I’m not much of a “tech guy.”  Thankfully, for tech concerns beyond turning on my laptop, getting emails and doing some online research (or keeping up with online friends) we have members of our staff I can turn to for my tech woes. (“How did you say I get a Zoom meeting going again?”)

Still, even I have found myself WAY more online than in the past, and one of our daily staff conversations during this pandemic season is “How do we develop and launch MORE online connections with those we serve?” In the absence of our real world it seems we have all run to a digital one.

Google and Facebook are now places we meet, whether with friends, family or fellow quarantined staff at work. I know we had a “Zoom” Easter with family members, and I’ve had several online meetings that before March I would have been sitting at the same conference table with the person.

To be sure, some genuine digital good has come from the “lockdown.” As talk focuses on reopening the economy and re-engaging in more normal everyday life, I am considering ways to lighten a typically full schedule with virtual meetings that will save me or others the drive time.

Up until “Pandemic 2020” (COVID-19), my connection with distant family and friends has primarily been using my my Apple iPhone in a traditional “phone call sort of way.” Even though I have had Facetime on my phone for years, I’m finally realizing just how nice it is to see people as we talk, it can add to the sense of conversation and connection.

Quarantine has dramatically impacted broadcast media and entertainment, and millions of children are at least temporarily among the homeschool population.  Amazon has helped us shop while our favorite stores are closed; and we can still get favorite meals through delivery services and online ordering (e.g. Kroger ClickList).

I could go on and on about how we have literally shifted an overwhelming percentage of our previous lives to some alternative online dimension. Under the circumstances, most of us would admit the shift has been helpful in many ways. However, the question implied in the title of this article is, “Should this online shift STAY this way once pandemic restrictions are lifted?”

Ask yourself, “How much of life should continue to be done online?” As I mentioned, in our office we are discovering ways we can improve what we offer to those we serve. And online can add to simple activities like making a phone call more personal with a face attached!

Beware as we “return to the new normal.” While handshakes may go by the wayside, and what we used to call “personal space” may increase under the guise of more health-conscious social distances, not every pandemic adjustment was “value adding.”

There is still no replacement for in-person connection. I believe we were created as amazingly complex creatures. The coronavirus shows us how wonderfully we are made, and how the fragile balance that is health, must be respected, nurtured, and protected. I believe that I consist of body, soul and spirit…and so do you. One of my mentors in the field of Psychology used to prompt us as graduate students to “be mindful of how people make you ‘feel,’ how do you feel around them, and be mindful of how you must make them ‘feel’ as well.”

Wow, that says a lot! You know it’s true too.  Take a moment as you read this and imagine different family members, friends and coworkers in your mind. Your memory probably includes a feeling you have about them. When certain people just walk into the room, you do more than see or hear them, you sense about them.

Let’s not lose the value of presence, “in-person, sharing the same room, able to feel what it is to be with each other,” presence! Call me old school, but in my three graduate programs, I most preferred sitting in a classroom with a wise and intelligent professor. There was something about how it ‘felt’ to learn from them. Admittedly, it was more convenient when I took doctoral classes through ‘distance education’ but nothing replaces ‘being there.’

Let digital dimensions of your relationships enhance your personal, in-person connections, not replace them. Keep the personal, personal. I can’t transmit my deepest feelings over the internet, no matter how ‘virtual’ it is. Let’s cherish in a new way what it is to truly ‘be there’ for each other. The greatest dimension of being there for each other (whenever possible) is literally being with each other, in the same room, at the same time. It is a little less convenient, at times a little more imposing, but it is one of the experiences that I believe truly helps define what it means to be human.

Let’s emerge to a re-opening economy better equipped with ways technology can enhance our connections with each other. But let’s also stay on guard that technology never replaces our connections at the deepest soul-deep levels.

 

Apocalypse, and other words heard lately

In more than one recent conversation with friends I’ve heard people say things about the pandemic like “It’s almost apocalyptic.” Dictionary.com defines an apocalypse as “any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: The apocalypse of a nuclear war.

We like to think of an apocalypse as more the subject of a Hollywood movie.  However, by the above definition, the coronavirus of 2019 is indeed a widespread disaster.  With a worldwide death toll over 220,000 (world health organization, April30, 2020), economic losses speculated to be multiple trillions of dollars, and immeasurable social losses, the pandemic of 2019-2020 meets the dictionary definition of an apocalypse.

What do we do now? As of May 1,2020, it seems like the tide is beginning to turn. Nations across the world, including the United States are beginning to report infections, hospitalizations and deaths beginning to plateau and even decline. Talk and speculations now focus on re-entering society and “jump-starting” economies. Optimism is cautiously beginning to return.

No one knows for sure, is the virus reaching its peak? Is a worldwide ‘relapse’ likely? What will our ‘new normal’ be?

Take heart, and let go of some anxiety.  In some ways, the covid-19 crisis is nothing new. Certainly health scares and pandemics have hit us before.

We’ve heard covid-19 compared to the flu pandemic of 1918. Our current issues pale in comparison to the estimated 20-50 million who died and 500 million who were infected across the world from this rampant influenza strain. When you consider modern healthcare to 1918, any comparisons are like comparing apples and airplanes!

More recently there was a flu pandemic in 1968 that killed 1million people, it was officially labelled H3N2, people on the streets just called it the Hong Kong flu (named after the location of first outbreaks). The AIDS/HIV virus has killed an estimated 36 million people since 1981.

The point is this, pandemics are nothing new. Sadly, they come periodically and plague the globe with illness and death. Today’s 24-7 modern media makes us overly aware of every illness and death as though death is perpetually and uniquely on our doorstep.

I fancy myself as a realistic optimist, with a foundation of faith in God. Viewing our world and its history realistically, we realize apocalyptic crises are part of life. In the 1980’s the world watched what is still the worst nuclear disaster when the Chernobyl reactor had a dreaded  meltdown. The nuclear poison has permanently scarred and largely deserted the local landscape.

The 1980”s experienced economic crises as well.  June 19, 1987 is known as “Black Monday” as an unexpected stock market crash struck the global financial markets. In one day, the Dow Jones fell over 22%.

The decade of the 1990’s was war-torn.  Operation Desert Storm was launched on January 17, 1991 by a U.S. led 35 nation coalition against the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq. This was only one of many wars and rumors of wars in this troubled part of the Middle East.  In 1994 the world watched in horror the barbaric slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda due to civil war. (That was over 13% of the country’s total population.)

The new century ushered in one of the greatest false alarms of history known as Y2K. The world breathed a sigh of relief shortly after midnight new year’s day when no computer related apocalypse happened.

Still, that decade had its share of tragedy. On  September 11, 2001 terrorists destroyed the twin towers in New York and the world hasn’t been the same.

Three months later, Enron went bankrupt in 2001 sending economic shockwaves across the investment world and costing $17 billion.  September 29, 2008 is known as “black Monday” as an economic apocalypse seemed to dawn and usher in “the worst economy in the U.S. since the great depression.”

Natural disasters were of apocalyptic proportions in the early 2,000’s as well.  A tsunami killed over 300,000 people in southeast Asia in December 2004, and Hurricane Katrina was a category 5 tropical cyclone that killed over 1,200 people and caused $125 billion in damage in the gulf area of the United States in August 2005.

A new kind of horror became common with mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, followed by similar senseless killings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and a music festival in Las Vegas, just to name a few.

The world can be a dangerous place. We are not immune from disease and natural disasters are world-wide varying only by geographical likelihood (is the area you live in vulnerable to a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or fire?) None of us is immune from economic crises. No ones’ financial future is unconditionally safe.

It only takes a rogue dictator or international misunderstanding to trigger what could bring a military, nuclear apocalypse. We live in a world of vulnerability; we always have, and short of Heaven, we always will.

Here is the GOOD NEWS, depending on how many birthdays you’ve had (I’ve had more than half a century of them) all these horrible and many others things happened in the world, and we survived! In fact, you have probably done much more than survived, in your own way, along with life’s struggles, you have thrived!

Put the covid-19 crisis into a larger historical perspective, it is highly likely, you-will-make-it! Sadly, many lives will be lost, and there will be very painful undesirable costs and ripple effects. But you-will-survive! Not only will you survive, much of your life and lifestyle will bounce back, you will recover, along with most people, and in the future you-will-thrive.