The FaithWalker’s Daily — Jan. 9: Flu Outbreak Humbling, National Cathedral Same-Sex Marriages, Earth One of 17 Billion


The FaithWalker’s Daily is a quick review of key news stories of the day from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world.

  • Flu Outbreak Reminds Us How Helpless We Are

The Basics —

The annual flu season in the US has already claimed the lives of 18 children and hospitalized more than 2,200 people as hospitals take extreme measures to accommodate the ill.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via USA Today: “The medical industry is concerned because this is the earliest flu season the U.S. has seen in the past 10 to 12 years.”
  • Says Gregory Poland, professor of medicine and infectious disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.:”We have this cultural thing in the U.S. about, ‘Oh, it’s just the flu.’ I was telling a group yesterday, imagine in October I said, ‘We expect a virus to be circulating in the U.S. and it will kill 30- or 40,000 Americans.’ Can you imagine the panic that would ensue?”
  • Via NBC Philadelphia, triage tents are being used outside hospitals there.
  • Some Chicago hospitals are asking ambulances to take patients elsewhere if they can.

A Few Thoughts…

A simple virus reminds us that in spite of our significant scientific accomplishments, there is still much that lies outside of our medical prowess.  Hence our need to humbly depend on God for our daily living — including our health. Wise reminders to wash our hands and use good health practices remind me that we should also be engaging in daily spiritual health practices while still trusting God to do the work in our hearts. God is sovereign, and we are responsible. Take care out there, but do not fear.

The Great Physician heals the sick — of all sorts. 

  • National Cathedral to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

The Basics —

 The National Cathedral, an Episcopalian church by denomination, will begin performing same-sex marriage ceremonies now that it is legal to do so in DC and Maryland.

Dig Deeper:

  • The full story Via Fox News: “As the nation’s most prominent church, the decision carries huge symbolism. The 106-year-old cathedral has long been a spiritual center for the nation, hosting presidential inaugural services and funerals for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.”
  • The Very Rev. Gary Dean, the cathedral’s dean: “I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,” Hall told the AP. “And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be.”
  • Yet another reason why I don’t think paedophilia is all that far off.

A Few Thoughts…

It’s not a question of how seriously one reads the Bible, nor is it about fundamentalists. The Devil reads it more seriously than any of us. And he trembles when reading it, which is more than I can say for the Very Rev. Dean. The reality is that Scripture is very plain on this issue. If I love the Rev. Dean, I will speak that truth as kindly as possible, but speak it nonetheless. It is only in recent years that some in the Church have sought to creatively reinterpret it to fit the cultural decline. From a practical standpoint, it’s just another church doing what we already knew was being done. From a symbolic standpoint, it carries greater weight in the public consciousness and, perhaps, in God’s eyes.

Symbols matter because they teach us about ourselves.


  • New Estimate: Earth One of 17 Billion Planets in Milky Way

The Basics —

 Two new astronomy studies estimate that the Earth is one of over 17 billion planets in our galaxy that are similar in size.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via Fox News, more details of the two studies. Key graph: “Despite the explosion of exoplanet discoveries in recent years, one find remains elusive: A planet that’s not only the right size but also in the so-called Goldilocks zone where it’s not too hot or too cold for water to be in liquid form on the surface.”
  • Media bias alert: “It’s the first reliable tally of the number of worlds outside the solar system that are the size of Earth, but the hunt for our twin is far from over.”
  • Explore more about arguments for fine tuning here.

A Few Thoughts….

What hunt? The only reason we are desperate to find a similar planet, or even one with water, is to give some credence to the theory that life sprang out of nothing apart from any action by an outside entity. Namely, God. The fact that 17 billion planets are similar in structure and yet only one earth has conditions right for life as we know it, lends weight to the argument for the “fine tuning” of the universe. The odds of conditions being just right for life on earth are statistically impossible if left to random chance. But if we can find something somewhere to show that it happened twice…. But even if we did, it still doesn’t explain earth’s own finely-tuned setting.

The earth is the Lord’s — and all the other 17 billion planets in our galaxy.


A Few More Stories You Might Hear About Today

A Little Something to Grow Your Faith….

A holy life does not live in a closet, but it cannot live without the closet. ~ E. M. Bounds

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