A Real Shot in the Arm (for all of us)

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(image courtesy of ebay)

Because it was summer vacation, I was allowed to stay up to watch as Astronaut Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the moon. I heard him say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” At 9 years of age those words did not mean a whole lot to me. I was simply awe struck that what seemed crazy or at least implausible was actually happening. There truly was a man on the moon.

As the years rolled on from my childhood, I have often made it a point to watch that first walk on the moon as it is replayed on its anniversary each year. As time has passed, I have come to understand and appreciate what Armstrong was saying as he stepped onto the lunar surface for the first time.

I thought about that famous quote the other day as I received my 2nd vaccination against Covid-19. Please understand, I do not put myself anywhere near the level of that famed astronaut. But as I looked around the large room where the others who had just been vaccinated sat for their 15 minutes of observation, I clearly saw the connection to July 20th, 1969.

Each person in that room had personally taken the small step toward helping themselves and their fellow humans. Individually, my being vaccinated will not have a far reaching effect, as my circle of contacts is quite limited. But that is not the point, and it was not was Neil Armstrong was saying either. Together, as we each take the small step to be vaccinated, we are coming together to help make the ‘giant leap for mankind’ in the fight against this pandemic.

So please, Dear Friends, take that small step when the vaccine becomes available to you.

As it was with my first shot, I had zero side-effects from the second, not even a sore arm.

Be blessed and be a blessing,

Pastor Chuck

C’mon Guys, man up!

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(image courtesy of corrieredellosport.it)

Please note that the following is based solely on my personal experience. There is no scientific research involved.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received the first vaccination against the Covid 19 virus on December 29th. Like I said then, this was not a decision I made lightly. I spent some time in prayer, seeking God’s leading and I did a fair amount of research into the safety of these shots. I came away convinced beyond any doubt that not only were the vaccinations safe, but also that by taking the shot I was living out God’s command to love others as I protect myself and them from spreading this illness.

Actually I was at the hospital where the vaccine is being dispensed twice last week. On Tuesday for my shot, and on Wednesday as I brought one of the residents from the halfway house where I work to get his.

They seem to have a good system going at the local hospital as I was there only about 25 minutes each time. It was during these two visits that gave me the inspiration to write today.

Over those two days I saw approximately 50 people who were either in the fast moving line to register or in the conference room where we waited our 15 minutes to make sure no one had any adverse reactions once inoculated (no one did when I was there).

It was the wide discrepancy in the ratio of women to men that really caught my attention. Counting myself, I saw only 3 males getting vaccinated over those two days I was there. I realize that a large percentage of health care workers are female, but if my total count was accurate, only 6% of those I saw get inoculated were men. Where were they all?

Hence the title, C’mon guys, man up! Roll up your sleeves and get it done. Whatever excuses you may have for not doing this, I am asking that you think again. I had zero side-effects, not even a sore arm. Nor have I sprouted a third eye or have any of my God-given appendages fallen off.

And seriously, during these times when so many have felt so helpless and vulnerable, I believe this is an extremely practical way to show care for your fellow humans. I spoke to a nurse I know earlier and told her I got the shot in part so that I would be one less person she would have to care for. Tears filled her eyes as she thanked me. So c’mon guys, lets do this. If not for yourself, do it for your family, friends and those frontline workers who have given so much of themselves over the previous 10 months combatting this pandemic.

There needs to be a lot of folks getting the Covid shot if we are going to put this issue to bed. I am encouraging everyone who has doubts to do as I did: pray and do research and then ultimately look past just yourself to the larger community around you.

Thank you. Be blessed. And be a blessing by getting vaccinated when it becomes available to you.

Pastor Chuck

A New Suggestion I Give you

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I often marvel, and sometimes even write about the command of Jesus given to his disciples just prior to His arrest, mock trial and crucifixion: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

I have tried to get my head around the fact that Jesus was telling His followers to love as He loved. But, I say to myself, Jesus loved perfectly. I am not capable of coming close to that. As I do these mental gymnastics, I usually come back to the fact that Jesus knows I can’t. He is not expecting perfection from me; but I do believe He wants me to consciously be doing the best I can at all times.

With this somewhat settled, for now, in my mind, I move on to how I can show this love. Jesus has left this part quite open: Love one another. Once again as I examine my track record with this, I find myself behavior overly self-serving. Far too many times I have allowed my wants to interfere with me seeing to the needs of others. I must admit I have missed opportunities to simply love others because I have been too caught up in my own stuff of the moment.

I am ever so grateful for the faithfulness and patience of God. He continues to give me/us opportunities to showcase His love through our actions. Those of us who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ have a wonderful opportunity to act in genuine love now and in the coming months: Get the Covid-19 vaccination!

As many of you know, I work part-time at a halfway house for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Because I do, I am eligible to get the vaccine. I did so just yesterday as I received the first of the two shots.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I did some research. I wanted, as best I could, to understand the process of development and testing. I also considered the possible adverse reactions that might happen. I concluded that I could trust the science that has gone into this. And I remembered to thank God for making this available.

Hence, Dear Cherished Reader, my suggestion to you is this: When it becomes available to you, please get vaccinated. It is a great way to display the love Jesus was talking about for our fellow humans. Jesus told His disciples then that people would recognize them as His followers by the way they loved people. His command (and my suggestion) is the same: Show others that you care enough about their well-being that you are willing to get vaccinated against this virus.

Thank you!

As always, thanks for reading, be blessed and be a blessing,

Pastor Chuck

BTW: I write this 24 hours after receiving the first shot with zero side effects, not even a sore arm.