Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"




  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Reformation
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

    Stand

    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold







    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".


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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia



    Pandemic Influenza


    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.



    Seasonal Influenza


    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.



    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."


    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain


    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.



    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".





    Pandemic Severity Index


    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale





    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services



    Isolation


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.



    Quarantine


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at http://www.preparedcitizens.org.




    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.


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  • standingfirm

The Parable of the Closed Door

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 5, 2008

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.

The Parable of the Closed Door

And he went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and journeying on unto Jerusalem. And one said unto him, Lord, are they few that are saved?

And he said unto them, Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are;

then shall ye begin to say, We did eat and drink in thy presence, and thou didst teach in our streets; and he shall say,

I tell you, I know not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast forth without.

And they shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

And behold, there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last.

Luke 13:22-30

When I read this parable of Jesus I think back to the description of the days of Noah. Noah built an ark as a testimony to his obedience and faith. He heard the warning of the Lord God and he prepared the ark out of strict obedience to the message laid on to his heart. I doubt his friends and neighbors allowed his behavior to pass unnoticed and I can imagine the ridicule AND the frustration that he must have experienced.

The parable of the closed door…God shut the doors of the ark. Once the rains came no one else could enter the ark. Seeing the evidence, faith was no more. Proof had come. I cannot imagine how it must have been to hear the cries of those left behind as the flood waters rose. Weeping and gnashing of teeth can be taken as an accurate description I would think.

This parable of Jesus speaks about a time that is still to come. We are reminded that as it was in the days of Noah so it will be again at the appearing of the Son of Man.

The physician Luke tells us

“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man, They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Luke 17:26-27

There is a lot of speculation about what the days of Noah were like. Truly I do not know. But I do know that other Scripture is describing our days now as being part of that end process. Timing is not entirely for us to know, with good reason. Faith is still the key.

I look at the closed door on two levels. From a preparedness standpoint, we cannot wait to get ready for a pandemic until after it begins. From the faith standpoint, we cannot ready our souls for the end after the end of our lives. Once the evidence is apparent the choice cannot be made. Faith comes before seeing and this is what those living in the days of Noah did not understand. They waited too long, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth and those that died perished for all of eternity.

So I apply Acts 17:11 to all that I say. Please do not take my word for anything. Search the Scriptures, see if what I say is true. I lay out these points because if I am right and Jesus Christ is the Messiah and you see him in faith, you have gained eternity, and I have gained new brothers and sisters. If I am wrong, nothing has been lost.

The closed door…is a warning.

The door is the narrow gate that Jesus speaks about in Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Jesus tells us what the door is. It is the way of faith in him, the Son of God. The door/gate is narrow because we cannot have faith in anyone or anything else. We can only go through with our souls…our belief…everything else we must cast aside. No works or deeds will allow us to enter. Once we have entered through the door we work and do deeds because of our faith.

The door will close, which side will you be on?

“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”  Matthew 7:21-23

All good works done without faith is iniquity in the eyes of the Lord. If you do not have faith this statement will bother you, make you angry, it may even seem judgmental. These are not my words, these are the words of Jesus. Good works cannot save us. Upon entering the door our love changes. Selfish love leaves us and we grow in the kind of love that allows us to love others they way that God loves us. We leave our own way behind. We are no longer workers of iniquity. Our purpose is to glorify God with ever fiber of our being. Good works result.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the council of twenty three judges appointed in Israel, the Sanhedrin. But there was something about Jesus Christ that intrigued him and he sought his council one night.

Did he seek him at night  because of a need for secrecy, we can only guess at this motivation. It is hard to find the narrow path, and once found it is harder still to start walking on that path. Ridicule, fear of change…its all there.

The New Birth
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

It is hard to take matters on faith. We live in an evidence based world. An even with evidence staring us in the face, still we do not want to believe and act on what we believe.

So I bring to you the Parable of the Closed Door. One day the door will be closed for physical preparation before the day of trouble and the narrow spiritual gate will close too, just as it did in the days of Noah.

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2 Responses to “The Parable of the Closed Door”

  1. nigelthomas said

    Good to see you are quoting Michael Osterholm on your blog!

    Unfortunately he has finally “thrown in the towel” and given up pushing pandemic preparedness. Not because he has changed his belief that a pandemic is coming, but he’s fed up of having his warnings ignored by just about every regulatory body he manages to get to listen.

    With his voice silenced we need to work even harder to keep pushing the message out.

    Well done on your good work.

    Nigel Thomas
    For free references and resources go to Bird Flu Manual Online or, if you need more comprehensive tutorials, tools and templates, consider Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for your influenza pandemic preparedness.

  2. preparedcitizens said

    Hi Nigel, I wasn’t aware that Michael has thrown in the towel completely. I was under the the impression that he was going forward with his message differently.

    If he truly has “thrown in the towel” I say God bless him. I owe him a debt of gratitude for all he has done. Godspeed Michael.

    Thank you for your comments Nigel and the congratulations too. Many hands!

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