While I hear that the coronavirus really isn’t brand new, it (along with COVID-19) has become the most used words in 2020 thus far. It’s the lead story in every newscast and on the lips and in the minds of many.

My Horry News, in the weekly online opinion poll asked the public if this is being “overhyped”. And as I checked the results while writing this evening, I see the public believes it probably is, by a margin of more than 2-1.

I know this is a disease and it can be life-threatening. It has and is killing and seems to be spreading. But the paranoia and mania in the news and in our grocery stores seems “overdone” as we have seen this same type of thing over and over. I guess my question is how much of the information coming from broadcast media is fueled more by politics and economics than actual medicine?

In my lifetime we’ve dealt with many, many diseases and plagues, at home and around the globe. I have a small round scar from the smallpox vaccination on my left shoulder. I remember getting the Salk polio vaccine and standing in line for the Sabin oral polio vaccine (on the sugar cube). I lived through my time with measles and mumps and when chickenpox came into the community, kids were exposed to it so we could get it over with (didn’t know about shingles back then?).

At preschool I had the DPT immunization and have had other tetanus shots and immunizations since then. Our world has gone through many kinds of flu (some more deadly than others), the SARS pandemic of 2003, Ebola and other things. And I’m sure there will be more coming down the road.

We should, at all times, be clean and sanitary. We should take normal precautions against disease, for ourselves and against spreading it to others. But I am concerned about the panic that has seized normally rational people and caused irrational behavior such as I’ve seen in some of our local stores of late.

I’ve kept coming back to a verse of Scripture that God has impressed on my heart of late. In II Timothy 1:7, the Holy Spirit, through the quill of Paul, tells Timothy, and us today, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I believe in the sovereignty of God and know that any plague or disease comes either because He sent it (for a purpose) or He allowed it (also for a purpose).

Perhaps this sudden disease has arrived to cause the world to consider our own frailty and mortality. Unless the Lord intervenes, 100 percent of the earth’s population will die. At some point in time, you will be the very next person to die.

More people die in car accidents, by cancer, heart attacks and flu than by COVID-19 (to date). And sadly, more unborn children are killed in abortion clinics than will ever die of Corona! We are weak, sinful people living in a sinful, dying world. But there is a “disease” far worse than COVID-19; that is the disease of sin.

Doctors and researchers are working on a cure for Corona and an immunization against it. Mankind will never come up with a cure for sin and we are all born with it; our human nature is a sinful one. There is nothing you can do to take care of your sin problem. And it will eventually take your life and then destine your eternal soul and spirit to everlasting death in what the Bible describes as a “lake of fire”.

Washing your hands with alcohol or Clorox won’t help. Wearing a mask won’t help. There is no shot or pill or liquid that can help. The church won’t help. Religion won’t help. Turning over a new leaf and trying to do better won’t help. And being better than the next guy won’t help. But there is good news.

I’m sure that one day soon we’ll find the “cure” for Corona (and probably won’t be able to afford it). But the cure for sin and its penalty has been taken care of.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth, became like one of us, a human, lived a perfect life and died my and your death when He was nailed to the cross.

There in the darkness, God put our sins on His Son and there Jesus paid the full price…He suffered what you and I would suffer in hell’s eternity. Then He cried, “It is finished” (the debt is paid in full) and died. Three days later He rose again and today He’s offering to you and me the “cure” for sin’s eternal penalty.

You don’t need a Medicare card or health insurance. You don’t need a theological degree or a preacher. You simply need to understand your sinful condition, inability to help yourself, and in complete faith, trusting His finished work, throw yourself on His mercy and grace and in repentance accept the free gift of eternal life.

Thinking about it? Read: John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-15; Ephesians 2:1-10.

Be careful; take precautions to keep from getting any disease. But more importantly, take God’s cure for that most “incurable” disease that we all suffer from!

Cancellations and Postponements

Langston Baptist Church has canceled the Adam’s Road concert scheduled for Sunday.

Also, Help4Kids is canceling all food drives and the VOSCA rebuilding project.

Other events and services announced in Church Talk are subject to being canceled or postponed and rescheduled. Please check with the church or venue for each activity’s current status.

Trip of A Lifetime

Wayne and Joy Brown are taking the “trip of a lifetime” and are inviting you to accompany them. This trip to the Holy Land and Germany will include the magnificent and world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play put on every ten years since the early 1600s. The trip will start July 23 and conclude Aug. 3.

This trip is all inclusive: air transportation from JFK (New York), breakfast and dinner daily, first class hotels, ground transportation, all entrance fees, taxes, tips and gratuities. It is truly going to be a “trip of a lifetime”.

To receive a descriptive brochure with complete itinerary and additional information, call or text the Browns at (843) 796-0397; you may email to Wayne@WayneandJoyBrown.com. Or request in writing at: Wayne and Joy Brown, P.O. Box 70777, Myrtle Beach SC 29572.

Upcoming Events

Springtime Jubilee, the old-time Gospel Conference for “mature and senior” adults is coming to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center April 27-29.

Musicians include Ricky Skaggs, the Booth Brothers, Karen Peck & New River, the New Speer Family and Gold City. Speakers include Johnny Hunt and Dr. Robert Jeffress. Go to jubileeconferences.com or phone 1-800-616-8863.

Rise Up! The Women of Joy 2020 Tour. Myrtle Beach Convention Center May 1-3. Enjoy Sheila Walsh, Mark Lowry, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Lisa Bevere, Michael W. Smith, Lysa Terkeurst and Charles Billingsley.

Register at the website: womenofjoy.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Juniper Bay Baptist Church, 5265 Juniper Bay Road, will have a Youth Revival March 22-25 with guest speaker Caleb Blue.

Sunday’s services will focus on middle and high school youth (grades 6-12). Come at 4:30 p.m. for pizza and fellowship and stay for the 6 p.m. worship service. Conway Christian Praise Band will lead worship. If coming on Sunday, please RSVP to (843) 907-2683 or email jbutlermd@gmail.com. Monday-Wednesday services will begin at 7 p.m. Phone (843) 397-2787.

■ First United Methodist Church, 1001 Fifth Ave., will offer Lenten Organ Meditations Wednesdays at noon during Lent, continuing through April 1. Area organists will present 30-minute concerts on the church’s Schantz Organ. This is free and open to the public.

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, invites you to the Stations of the Cross each Friday during Lent at 6 p.m. Then enjoy a free meal at 6:30 p.m. Contact Suzanne McDonough at (843) 347-5168.

■ The Refuge Savannah Bluff, formerly East Conway PH Church, 306 S.C. 544, invites you to its Spring Festival March 28. Browse and buy at the yard sale going on from 7 a.m.- 4 p.m., or rent a 10’x10’ space for $20 to earn extra cash, and enjoy the festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be music, food (BBQ sandwiches or by the pound) and drinks, bouncy house, games and much more. Phone (843) 347-3406 or (843) 503-3070.

■ Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road, will hold its 27th Annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament March 28 in the church gym. This is a double elimination tournament, four-man teams, age 15 and up.

There is no charge to play or attend. A free lunch will be served and this is a great family activity. The gym opens at 9 a.m. and games begin at 9:30 a.m. You must pre-register your team. Phone David Rickert at (843) 248-3488 or the church at (843) 369-7729. If you receive no answer, please leave your name and a callback number.

■ Mt. Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, 57 11th Ave. in Aynor, invites you to revival services March 31-April 2 at 7 p.m. Guest speakers will be the Rev. Murrell Riggins and Dr. Norman Gamble. Phone (843) 254-2944 or (843) 331-9200.

■ Living Water Baptist Church, 1569 S.C. 9 East in Longs, invites you to an incredible presentation of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be heart-moving music from the choir and a play that will bring you to tears and lift your spirit to the fact that our Lord and Savior is risen! This will be held April 2, 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. and April 5 at 3 p.m. Go to info@livingwaterbaptist.org to learn more.

■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites you to an unforgettable Easter family experience: Walk With Jesus. Bring the whole family and drop in to the Family Life Center from 9:30 a.m.-noon on April 4. Contact Kathie Tindal at (843) 222-7775 or e-mail to ktindal@hotmail.com.

And mark on your calendars that the annual Coastal Evangelism Conference will be held at Langston Aug. 5-7. More information as it becomes available.

■ Brown Swamp United Methodist Church, U.S. 501 West, will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt April 4 from 10:30 a.m.-noon with a hot dog lunch. Candy and prizes for all kids through elementary school-age.

■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those having lost someone to suicide, meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the church: 4619 S.C. 90. Phone (803) 566-0702.

■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., and Stepnfaith Ministries will present Music Extravaganza 2020 in May and also the Battle of the Voices, a competition for soloists and choirs. Auditions and rehearsals are going on now. These will be led by Minister of Music Kenzie Carey, and you will want to participate. Winners will receive monetary prizes. Phone (843) 248-4900.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Mt. Olive Church, 1108 Carver St., invites you to a 14-week Strengthening Families Program, each Tuesday through June 9 at 6 p.m. Phone (803) 791-5513 or e-mail thodge@growinghomesse.com.

■ St. Philip Lutheran Church, 6200 N. Kings Highway, will offer Lenten Suppers and Worship each Wednesday through April 1. Supper begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall; Worship begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Phone (843) 449-5345 or to online to www.stphiliplutheranchurchmb.com.

■ Together in Christ announces these Christ-centered, community, free events. March 1-April 9: 40-Day Global Fast; and Community Prayer & Worship, March 27, noon-midnight. at Ignite Church, 4808 N. Kings Hwy.

■ The New Beginnings food distribution that includes free groceries, lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table, will be held Saturday and again April 18, May 16 and June 20 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ Trinity Church, 3000 North Kings Highway, invites you to a special event! The church’s music program, in cooperation with the Grand Strand Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present 24 Hours of Bach. That’s right, 24 hours of continuous all-Bach concerts, beginning the evening of March 27, continuing through the night and into

the morning of March 28, concluding with a 3 p.m. choral concert featuring selections from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

The concert schedule includes a 6 p.m. children’s concert followed by cake and ice cream, four half-hour lectures on Bach’s life and music and two special guest organists, as well as solo and studio recitals by local musicians.

The Royal School of Church Music Treble Festival has chosen Trinity Church as its location for 2020! April 26 will feature two services sung by 50 young choristers from throughout the Carolinas, directed by Dr. Charles Hogan; this will be a 10:30 a.m. service and a 4:30 p.m. evensong, preceded by a 4 p.m. student organ recital.

Concerts and services are free and all are welcome. Phone (843) 448-8426.

■ Tidelands Ford will sponsor a Charity Glowball Golf Tournament April 24 at Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet. Proceeds will benefit Help4Kids and there are some wonderful prizes. Go to info@help4kidssc.org.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave., in Murrells Inlet will have a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Business 17 near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour. Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.-noon,

On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Conversion, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County that provides shelter and meals for those in need.

Please bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers), bath towels, laundry soap, toothpaste and brushes and cleaning supplies. We are continuing to collect new packages of children’s underwear and socks. Bring your donations to the Rosen Center and place in the basket provided by the front door. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated! Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Steffi Nathan Scholarship Fund for Jewish Students, awarded each semester, has applications in Temple Office.

Youth 12-16, the Jewish Historical Society of SC has a contest just for you: create an essay or media piece on the topic: My South Carolina Jewish History. Phone (843) 953-4930 or go to the website jhssc.org/contest.

■ Don’t miss the 12th Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival to be held April 25. Sign up your team today.

■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries sponsor Drive-Thru Food Distributions at the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 101 Philip Gray Drive. These are no-cost community events and will be held at 3 p.m. on the following Fridays: May 1, July 10, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out, browse and buy, and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

■ Mark the Date: The 24th Annual Blessing of the Inlet at Belin United Methodist Church, Murrells Inlet, will be held May 2. More information coming up in Church Talk.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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