Repentance

Repent! Nothing like that word to turn someone off to what you’re going to say next. But, hang with me … We’ve all got issues and problems that we deal with in life. Sometimes the source of our problems keep us from repenting and moving on.

Where do the problems in our life come from?

Are we causing them?
Is Satan the culprit?
Is God testing us?
Is it the Government?
Is it my upbringing?
Is it other people?

We can wrestle with these questions all.day.long. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where they come from! What does matter is what we do with our problems!

God can use the difficult circumstances in your life if you let Him. It’s not what happens to us, it’s what happens in us that matters. For some people, problems bury them. But, think about it … if God is going to make us more like Jesus, then He’s going to take us through some of the similar struggles that Jesus went through. Our perspective of the “junk” in our lives should be viewed as character-building opportunities because that’s EXACTLY what God is doing with us in the midst of trials and tribulations.

God has not promised that all things are good or will be good on Earth. But, He has promised to work out all things FOR good (Romans 8:28). When Jesus walked the Earth, He experienced temptation, loneliness, accusations, difficult people, being misunderstood, being unappreciated, and so much more. If Jesus wasn’t spared from problems in His life, we won’t be either. In America, we are always striving to up our level of comfort. However, God is always more interested in your character development than your comfort development.

What do we do with our problems?

For some people, the problems in life pile up like junk in a junkyard and it becomes discouraging and can even become a crutch or an excuse in life. “Well, look at what’s happened to me … look at all the problems in my life …” At some point, you and I have to make a decision between Jesus and the junk in our life. For some, it’s a big step of faith to be sold out for Jesus. But the most miserable place to be is on the fence. If you have one foot in the faith, and one foot out of the faith, you don’t really have faith, you have confusion. When is straddling a fence ever comfortable? Am I right? You’re not going to grow spiritually trying to live between two different commitments. To really benefit from what Jesus has to offer, you have to commit to Him. You have to be all in, sold out, and totally committed to Him! The best way to let go of your junk and be all in for Jesus is to repent.

Repent

“Repent” isn’t a word we hear every day. It’s pretty counter-cultural. All it means is to admit we’re wrong and God is right. In a world that is constantly attacking absolute truth, you need a strong foundation of authority in your life to point you in the right direction. While the world wants you to point the finger, Jesus teaches us to look in the mirror. God has always been more interested in the condition of our hearts. “… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

When a difficult person or situation in your life arises, you can choose to act in love and humility (Colossians 3:14). No matter how much “ground” we believe we have to point our finger in the opposite direction, God is concerned with you. If there’s even a speck of doubt, insecurity, pride, anger, idolatry, deception, envy … you know when you’re wrong … we’re called to repent of this. Even if we do not act on these ugly inward thoughts, God is concerned about your heart, because everything we do flows from the heart.

Next time you’re in a conflict where someone else is 99% in the wrong, ask yourself what your 1% is in the situation. We should always be compelled to take individual ownership and admit that 1% to the person. Many times, they will then admit their part. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to become a martyr, you just admit your part. One of my favorite quotes on humility says it like this, ”Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less,” (C.S. Lewis). We simply need to accept that we ALL have areas of our life that need improvement (without taking it personally). In order to be more like Jesus, we’re going to face conflicts just like He did. And it’s through these conflicts that we have the opportunity to grow spiritually.

Let’s take it one step deeper!

The Bible teaches us in Acts 17:30 that, “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” God already knows what you’ve done wrong, but He’s waiting for you to admit it. Our wrongdoings (sins) separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 6:23). But the Good News is that when you repent and put your faith in Jesus, you get immediate forgiveness! You get the freedom to live your life to the fullest without a bunch of junk in your spiritual trunk weighing you down.

God wants you to be able to wipe the slate clean. It’s when we repent that we can move forward and God can build a faith that empowers you to tackle problems instead of being sacked by them. So let me ask you this … where are you stuck in a rut? What problems have come up in your life this week, this month, or this year that are weighing you down? What do you need to repent of today?

Repentance is simply this in a nutshell: Say it. And stop doing it. Give it to God, and let Him grow your character. Since no one lives a perfect life, the goal is progress, not perfection, the reality is you’ll need to do this often … so just repent and repeat… Amen.

I would love to hear your thoughts on repentance. Is this a regular habit for you? Is this difficult for you? What are your thoughts on our Prayer Pattern (A.C.T.S.) Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication? Has this worked for you? Do you practice the 10 minutes of A.C.T.S.? What has been most challenging and/or rewarding for you in having or trying to establish a regular prayer life? 

Covid Vaccine … Yes or No?

There are a lot of questions surrounding the various Covid Vaccines and how a person of faith should approach them. I fully realize as I speak to people in the lobby at church on Sundays that several people have gotten their vaccine already. Some greet me with a, “Hey, we’re back, we’ve got our vaccine … so we’re out in public again.” 

I suppose for some people the vaccine has been a mental relief from fear of Covid. I must admit, it saddens me that fear was so propagated and still is, that people were not willing to go out except with a vaccine now. I’ve already stated my view on Covid, Mask Mandates, and other agendas forced upon us. 

My goal of writing this is not to get people fired up on either side of the vaccine debate. I’m going to answer some of the frequently asked questions I’ve received about the vaccine and look at it from a couple of different angles as well as just give you my personal opinion based on my own research. So, take my opinion but check it against your own research. And please, do not go blindly by what you are told in the media. You must research both sides of the vaccine debate and draw your own conclusion based on sound research.

Fetal Cell Tissue

One of the biggest debates is over the use of fetal cell tissue in the vaccines. Of the four vaccines available to the public, two have fetal cell lines and two do not. The two that do not are Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIAID. The two that utilize fetal cell lines are Astrazeneca/University of Oxford and Johnson and Johnson. The debate centers on the ethics of using an aborted or miscarried child’s cell line. The two vaccines that utilize aborted or miscarried fetal cell lines use the cell code to help produce the vaccine. The cell code is replicated as many times as needed year after year. These cell lines were taken from an aborted or miscarried fetus in 1973 and in 1985. See this illustration for more information on fetal cell line usage in vaccines. I do not agree with the use of fetal cell tissue period.

https://lozierinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/09.17.20-Fetal-Cell-Line-Fact-Sheet.pd

The Mark of the Beast

Is the vaccine the Mark of the Beast? The answer is NO. This is not a secret way to inject the Mark of the Beast into your system. Let me give you some clear biblical reasons why it is not the Mark. You can also read Revelation 13 for more information or go to my sermon series from last Summer and Fall on The End Times. Click here: The End Times Series.

1. The Mark of the Beast will be required when the Beast shows up. The Beast is not on the scene leading anything at this point (although I understand that is debatable based on our current circumstances). The Beast as scripture describes him has not revealed himself as of yet.
2. The timing of The Mark will be deep into the Tribulation period.
3. The Mark will be on the forehead or right hand and not injected into your system.
4. The Mark is a token of worship. People will have to pledge allegiance to the Beast in order to receive the Mark. People will literally be lining up to pledge allegiance to the Anti-Christ (the Beast). A person will not accidentally take the Mark of the Beast nor will a person be tricked into taking the Mark. 
5. As Christians, we will not be here when the Beast arrives on the scene. As I taught in the End Times series, the overwhelming evidence in Scripture favors a Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church (Christians). That means we will be with Jesus in Heaven BEFORE the Rule of the Anti-Christ takes shape and the Tribulation is unleashed on the earth.  

Vaccine Side Effects

There have been widely reported side effects of the Covid vaccine. Of course a regular google search will not produce these reports except on page 12 or 13 of the search. They have absolutely buried the statistics. A better search is by using a browser like duckduckgo which puts the most relevant research at the top of the page regardless of political affiliation.

According to investigative reporter James Grundvig when describing comments from one expert and advocate for the vaccines said,
The author neglects to explain that mRNA vaccines are only “authorized for emergency use” and not approved by either the US FDA or the UK’s NHS. She further downplays the 929 deaths and the nearly 16,000 adverse events that have been reported to VAERS in the first few months of administering the experimental vaccines. 

See full report here https://vaxxter.com/the-signals-for-covid-vaccine-mandates-emerge/ 

We also know that recently the Johnson and Johnson version of the Covid vaccine was withdrawn from use after reports of deaths from blood clotting associated with the vaccine. I believe it is back in circulation now. 

Is Your Job Requiring You to Take It?

Some have reached out and said their place of employment is requiring employees to be vaccinated in order to come to work. First of all, this is illegal. The vaccine is only approved for emergency use and it is NOT FDA approved. You would have a very strong lawsuit if they force you to take it. I was thinking about this today, imagine that … in America, we are being threatened with our jobs, our entertainment (sports stadiums requiring vaccines) etc … and on and on, and if we don’t take the vaccine we are on the outside of society. This is wrong in so many ways. I was glad to see someone finally take a stand and say we are not requiring vaccinations…. And that was … NASCAR … which just might be my new favorite sport. 

If you’re being required to take the vaccine, have a serious sit down conversation with your boss and tell him/her you are a person of faith and you cannot take it based on the fact that it contains fetal cell tissue from an aborted baby. Perhaps you can use a religious exemption. Or, tell them your concern over the possible side effects. If they still force you, speak to legal counsel. This puts you in a tough spot no doubt. Pray and ask the Lord to lead you. 

My Personal View

In my research, I see the Covid vaccine as an unproven experiment. We have no idea what the long-term effects could be. We truly do not even know if it is effective. Yet, it is being pushed on us as a MUST. Not only is it a problem for me ethically (especially considering the two vaccines that used aborted fetal cell lines), it is a problem for me as a person who does not like being told what to do by someone I do not trust. The very fact that they are saying, “You must take it” causes me to automatically push back and say, “Oh yeah, watch me NOT take it just because you are forcing it down my throat as if I live in China!”

Furthermore, censoring on social media continues. Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms take the liberty of adding links when buzzwords are recognized. These links are not synonymous with the views of posts such as my last blog, “Un-Masked.” When our voices are silenced, it raises questions and violates our trust in the mandates being enforced.

Covid is not and was not what it was reported to be, then as soon as Biden is in office the PCR tests are changed (see above link on vaxxter) and the numbers are reduced as vaccines are rolled out and championed as the savior. Even though there are two vaccines that do not have the fetal cell line, I still will not be taking those. As a healthy individual who exercises and eats right (most of the time) there is no need to inject my body with an experimental cocktail of mRNA.

Vaccine Anti-Faith?

Taking the vaccine is not necessarily anti-faith. I would discourage anyone from just blindly going and getting the vaccine just because they can. Sometimes vaccines are required in places to move the gospel forward. There are vaccines that missionaries have to take in order to bring the gospel to disease-infected parts of the world. I know many missionaries that are full of faith and they take these vaccines so they can bring the good news to the “least of these.”  

At the end of the day, I do not know of many vaccines that are good at all. I believe they have done a lot of harm to kids especially. Each year the list of required vaccines for a child to go to school continues to grow.  

I believe this is a personal decision that you must make based on your own research. I have given you my research and my opinion on the matter. But, I do not think a person is of lesser faith if they have taken the vaccine. I am just of the opinion that it is not necessary based on the evidence and the limited time the vaccine had to come to market and the limited proof of effectiveness among other reasons. 

For more information read https://www.drtenpenny.com/ who does a good job of laying out vaccine information that you will not get in the MSM. 

I would love to hear your comments and get your thoughts (your measured, researched thoughts) don’t be a jerk. Did you take the vaccine? Did you have any side effects? Are you going to take the vaccine? Are you not going to take the vaccine?

Un-Masked

There is a reality to what has been going on folks…. the good old plain truth is hard to find these days. We’ve said it ever since the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” turned into “15 Months to Keep it Going.”

We’ve been lied to, coerced, manipulated, and worst of all no one’s been held accountable nor has anyone even repented. Despite the facts, the charade continues. That’s just the reality. You may disagree and you are entitled to your opinion but let’s ACTUALLY do what they have been telling us to do since the beginning and “Follow the Science…”

As you follow the science you realize what has been said from legitimate scientists from early studies until now remains the same, Covid is very much like influenza (see below). This is not opinion, this is scientific fact. If you disagree I challenge you to read the Stanford University study below… notice… Stanford, not a Christian University, nor a Conservative University… (some say this is not a Stanford funded study, rather it has Stanford doctors and researchers who participated in the research). One thing we know is that the Main Stream Media is attempting to discredit it. Yet, Stanford is a world renowned University known for its undeniable pedigree in research and science. You must do your research and not blindly follow a political narrative no matter how adamant it is constantly pushed.

The fact that masks do not work against Covid and the lockdowns have done more harm than good is not a useful narrative in California politics nor in Washington D.C. right now. Click the link below to see the facts of more overdose and suicide deaths than Covid deaths…and it’s not even close.

https://fee.org/articles/san-francisco-sees-more-overdose-deaths-than-covid-deaths-in-2020/

Again, this is not the narrative that the current administration wants accessible to the public. So, this post along with many others who have linked the scientific studies are being blocked by Big Tech. This post will more than likely be blocked sooner than later. Even major renowned doctors are being threatened by Twitter and Facebook to remove their posts about this or they will be permanently banned! Welcome to Big Tech Chinamerica.

Understand, this study was also posted by NIH (National Institute of Health)…a governmental agency. It was not picked up by any of the Main Stream Media and it has been buried on the NIH website…. you have to ask yourself WHY? Why are they so afraid of actual science? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

We’ve said it from the beginning, the reason is clear, it has not been about health it has been about control. It has been about Politics over People and enough is enough. We said enough is enough back in June when we opened Skyline Church and we have remained open. We did not require masks (though some chose to wear one, many did not). We are a healthier church community because of it. 99% of people on Sundays at Skyline did not wear a mask and now we have another scientific study to prove our decision was correct. We are healthier because we did not wear a diaper…err…mask on our face. We had NO outbreaks this ENTIRE TIME. How is that possible? Because we followed the actual science!

I want to encourage you as we move into this more magnified era of governmental overreach and control… push back. Never allow this to happen again. Never allow the government to seize your freedoms, dignity, and sense of peace among many other things. We must say NO. No I won’t wear a mask, no I won’t close my church, no I won’t close my business, no I won’t close my school….the science does not support it!

Let me encourage you, when you vote for a political candidate in the future, make sure you know where they stand on these most basic of American freedoms. What did they do during the 2020 year of Covid? What was their stance? Where do they stand today? Make sure you know before you vote or it won’t be long before double mask mandates and egregious lockdowns return.

Here is a link to the Stanford study along with other useful information. https://americanconservativemovement.com/2021/04/17/stanford-study-quietly-published-at-nih-gov-proves-face-masks-are-absolutely-worthless-against-covid/

Due to Big Tech censorship I have little confidence this link will remain working. I have also copied and pasted the study below in case that works better. If you want to know the truth about Covid and the efficacy of masks, read below.

It is a well-researched study and it is lengthy. If you want to see a synopsis, scroll down to Table 1.

What you need to know from me as your pastor and from your church leadership is that no matter the issue, no matter the consequences, we will always fight for the truth to be Un-Masked.

_______________________________________________________________

University of Stanford Study

Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis

Abstract

Many countries across the globe utilized medical and non-medical facemasks as non-pharmaceutical intervention for reducing the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Although, scientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking, adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established. Is has been hypothesized that facemasks have compromised safety and efficacy profile and should be avoided from use. The current article comprehensively summarizes scientific evidences with respect to wearing facemasks in the COVID-19 era, providing prosper information for public health and decisions making.

Introduction

Facemasks are part of non-pharmaceutical interventions providing some breathing barrier to the mouth and nose that have been utilized for reducing the transmission of respiratory pathogens [1]. Facemasks can be medical and non-medical, where two types of the medical masks primarily used by healthcare workers [1], [2]. The first type is National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95 mask, a filtering face-piece respirator, and the second type is a surgical mask [1]. The designed and intended uses of N95 and surgical masks are different in the type of protection they potentially provide. The N95s are typically composed of electret filter media and seal tightly to the face of the wearer, whereas surgical masks are generally loose fitting and may or may not contain electret-filtering media. The N95s are designed to reduce the wearer’s inhalation exposure to infectious and harmful particles from the environment such as during extermination of insects. In contrast, surgical masks are designed to provide a barrier protection against splash, spittle and other body fluids to spray from the wearer (such as surgeon) to the sterile environment (patient during operation) for reducing the risk of contamination [1].

The third type of facemasks are the non-medical cloth or fabric masks. The non-medical facemasks are made from a variety of woven and non-woven materials such as Polypropylene, Cotton, Polyester, Cellulose, Gauze and Silk. Although non-medical cloth or fabric facemasks are neither a medical device nor personal protective equipment, some standards have been developed by the French Standardization Association (AFNOR Group) to define a minimum performance for filtration and breathability capacity [2]. The current article reviews the scientific evidences with respect to safety and efficacy of wearing facemasks, describing the physiological and psychological effects and the potential long-term consequences on health.

Hypothesis

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global public health emergency of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing illness of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) [3]. As of October 1, 2020, worldwide 34,166,633 cases were reported and 1,018,876 have died with virus diagnosis. Interestingly, 99% of the detected cases with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or have mild condition, which contradicts with the virus name (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2) [4]. Although infection fatality rate (number of death cases divided by number of reported cases) initially seems quite high 0.029 (2.9%) [4], this overestimation related to limited number of COVID-19 tests performed which biases towards higher rates. Given the fact that asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times higher than the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate is considerably less than 1% [5]. This was confirmed by the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from US stating, “the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 are similar to those of severe seasonal influenza” [5], having a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1% [5], [6], [7], [8]. In addition, data from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and general public indicate that the majority of deaths were among older and chronically ill individuals, supporting the possibility that the virus may exacerbates existing conditions but rarely causes death by itself [9], [10]. SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects respiratory system and can cause complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), respiratory failure and death [3], [9]. It is not clear however, what the scientific and clinical basis for wearing facemasks as protective strategy, given the fact that facemasks restrict breathing, causing hypoxemia and hypercapnia and increase the risk for respiratory complications, self-contamination and exacerbation of existing chronic conditions [2], [11], [12], [13], [14].

Of note, hyperoxia or oxygen supplementation (breathing air with high partial O2 pressures that above the sea levels) has been well established as therapeutic and curative practice for variety acute and chronic conditions including respiratory complications [11], [15]. It fact, the current standard of care practice for treating hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is breathing 100% oxygen [16], [17], [18]. Although several countries mandated wearing facemask in health care settings and public areas, scientific evidences are lacking supporting their efficacy for reducing morbidity or mortality associated with infectious or viral diseases [2], [14], [19]. Therefore, it has been hypothesized: 1) the practice of wearing facemasks has compromised safety and efficacy profile, 2) Both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to reduce human-to-human transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, 3) Wearing facemasks has adverse physiological and psychological effects, 4) Long-term consequences of wearing facemasks on health are detrimental.

EVOLUTION OF HYPOTHESIS

Breathing Physiology

Breathing is one of the most important physiological functions to sustain life and health. Human body requires a continuous and adequate oxygen (O2) supply to all organs and cells for normal function and survival. Breathing is also an essential process for removing metabolic byproducts [carbon dioxide (CO2)] occurring during cell respiration [12], [13]. It is well established that acute significant deficit in O2 (hypoxemia) and increased levels of CO2 (hypercapnia) even for few minutes can be severely harmful and lethal, while chronic hypoxemia and hypercapnia cause health deterioration, exacerbation of existing conditions, morbidity and ultimately mortality [11], [20], [21], [22]. Emergency medicine demonstrates that 5–6 min of severe hypoxemia during cardiac arrest will cause brain death with extremely poor survival rates [20], [21], [22], [23]. On the other hand, chronic mild or moderate hypoxemia and hypercapnia such as from wearing facemasks resulting in shifting to higher contribution of anaerobic energy metabolism, decrease in pH levels and increase in cells and blood acidity, toxicity, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, immunosuppression and health deterioration [24], [11], [12], [13].

Efficacy of facemasks

The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales [16], [17], [25]. According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)] [16], [17], while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger [25]. Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask [25]. In addition, the efficiency filtration rate of facemasks is poor, ranging from 0.7% in non-surgical, cotton-gauze woven mask to 26% in cotton sweeter material [2]. With respect to surgical and N95 medical facemasks, the efficiency filtration rate falls to 15% and 58%, respectively when even small gap between the mask and the face exists [25].

Clinical scientific evidence challenges further the efficacy of facemasks to block human-to-human transmission or infectivity. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 246 participants [123 (50%) symptomatic)] who were allocated to either wearing or not wearing surgical facemask, assessing viruses transmission including coronavirus [26]. The results of this study showed that among symptomatic individuals (those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose ect…) there was no difference between wearing and not wearing facemask for coronavirus droplets transmission of particles of >5 µm. Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people [26]. This was further supported by a study on infectivity where 445 asymptomatic individuals were exposed to asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier (been positive for SARS-CoV-2) using close contact (shared quarantine space) for a median of 4 to 5 days. The study found that none of the 445 individuals was infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase [27].

A meta-analysis among health care workers found that compared to no masks, surgical mask and N95 respirators were not effective against transmission of viral infections or influenza-like illness based on six RCTs [28]. Using separate analysis of 23 observational studies, this meta-analysis found no protective effect of medical mask or N95 respirators against SARS virus [28]. A recent systematic review of 39 studies including 33,867 participants in community settings (self-report illness), found no difference between N95 respirators versus surgical masks and surgical mask versus no masks in the risk for developing influenza or influenza-like illness, suggesting their ineffectiveness of blocking viral transmissions in community settings [29].

Another meta-analysis of 44 non-RCT studies (n = 25,697 participants) examining the potential risk reduction of facemasks against SARS, middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and COVID-19 transmissions [30]. The meta-analysis included four specific studies on COVID-19 transmission (5,929 participants, primarily health-care workers used N95 masks). Although the overall findings showed reduced risk of virus transmission with facemasks, the analysis had severe limitations to draw conclusions. One of the four COVID-19 studies had zero infected cases in both arms, and was excluded from meta-analytic calculation. Other two COVID-19 studies had unadjusted models, and were also excluded from the overall analysis. The meta-analytic results were based on only one COVID-19, one MERS and 8 SARS studies, resulting in high selection bias of the studies and contamination of the results between different viruses. Based on four COVID-19 studies, the meta-analysis failed to demonstrate risk reduction of facemasks for COVID-19 transmission, where the authors reported that the results of meta-analysis have low certainty and are inconclusive [30].

In early publication the WHO stated that “facemasks are not required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons” [14]. In the same publication, the WHO declared that “cloth (e.g. cotton or gauze) masks are not recommended under any circumstance” [14]. Conversely, in later publication the WHO stated that the usage of fabric-made facemasks (Polypropylene, Cotton, Polyester, Cellulose, Gauze and Silk) is a general community practice for “preventing the infected wearer transmitting the virus to others and/or to offer protection to the healthy wearer against infection (prevention)” [2]. The same publication further conflicted itself by stating that due to the lower filtration, breathability and overall performance of fabric facemasks, the usage of woven fabric mask such as cloth, and/or non-woven fabrics, should only be considered for infected persons and not for prevention practice in asymptomatic individuals [2]. The Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made similar recommendation, stating that only symptomatic persons should consider wearing facemask, while for asymptomatic individuals this practice is not recommended [31]. Consistent with the CDC, clinical scientists from Departments of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in Australia counsel against facemasks usage for health-care workers, arguing that there is no justification for such practice while normal caring relationship between patients and medical staff could be compromised [32]. Moreover, the WHO repeatedly announced that “at present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19) on the effectiveness face masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19”[2]. Despite these controversies, the potential harms and risks of wearing facemasks were clearly acknowledged. These including self-contamination due to hand practice or non-replaced when the mask is wet, soiled or damaged, development of facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis or worsening acne and psychological discomfort. Vulnerable populations such as people with mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, hearing problems, those living in hot and humid environments, children and patients with respiratory conditions are at significant health risk for complications and harm [2].

Physiological effects of wearing facemasks

Wearing facemask mechanically restricts breathing by increasing the resistance of air movement during both inhalation and exhalation process [12], [13]. Although, intermittent (several times a week) and repetitive (10–15 breaths for 2–4 sets) increase in respiration resistance may be adaptive for strengthening respiratory muscles [33], [34], prolonged and continues effect of wearing facemask is maladaptive and could be detrimental for health [11], [12], [13]. In normal conditions at the sea level, air contains 20.93% O2 and 0.03% CO2, providing partial pressures of 100 mmHg and 40 mmHg for these gases in the arterial blood, respectively. These gas concentrations significantly altered when breathing occurs through facemask. A trapped air remaining between the mouth, nose and the facemask is rebreathed repeatedly in and out of the body, containing low O2 and high CO2 concentrations, causing hypoxemia and hypercapnia [35], [36], [11], [12], [13]. Severe hypoxemia may also provoke cardiopulmonary and neurological complications and is considered an important clinical sign in cardiopulmonary medicine [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42]. Low oxygen content in the arterial blood can cause myocardial ischemia, serious arrhythmias, right or left ventricular dysfunction, dizziness, hypotension, syncope and pulmonary hypertension [43]. Chronic low-grade hypoxemia and hypercapnia as result of using facemask can cause exacerbation of existing cardiopulmonary, metabolic, vascular and neurological conditions [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42]. Table 1 summarizes the physiological, psychological effects of wearing facemask and their potential long-term consequences for health

Table 1. Physiological and Psychological Effects of Wearing Facemask and Their Potential Health Consequences.

In addition to hypoxia and hypercapnia, breathing through facemask residues bacterial and germs components on the inner and outside layer of the facemask. These toxic components are repeatedly rebreathed back into the body, causing self-contamination. Breathing through facemasks also increases temperature and humidity in the space between the mouth and the mask, resulting a release of toxic particles from the mask’s materials [1], [2], [19], [26], [35], [36]. A systematic literature review estimated that aerosol contamination levels of facemasks including 13 to 202,549 different viruses [1]. Rebreathing contaminated air with high bacterial and toxic particle concentrations along with low O2 and high CO2 levels continuously challenge the body homeostasis, causing self-toxicity and immunosuppression [1], [2], [19], [26], [35], [36].

A study on 39 patients with renal disease found that wearing N95 facemask during hemodialysis significantly reduced arterial partial oxygen pressure (from PaO2 101.7 to 92.7 mm Hg), increased respiratory rate (from 16.8 to 18.8 breaths/min), and increased the occurrence of chest discomfort and respiratory distress [35]. Respiratory Protection Standards from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labor states that breathing air with O2 concentration below 19.5% is considered oxygen-deficiency, causing physiological and health adverse effects. These include increased breathing frequency, accelerated heartrate and cognitive impairments related to thinking and coordination [36]. A chronic state of mild hypoxia and hypercapnia has been shown as primarily mechanism for developing cognitive dysfunction based on animal studies and studies in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [44].

The adverse physiological effects were confirmed in a study of 53 surgeons where surgical facemask were used during a major operation. After 60 min of facemask wearing the oxygen saturation dropped by more than 1% and heart rate increased by approximately five beats/min [45]. Another study among 158 health-care workers using protective personal equipment primarily N95 facemasks reported that 81% (128 workers) developed new headaches during their work shifts as these become mandatory due to COVID-19 outbreak. For those who used the N95 facemask greater than 4 h per day, the likelihood for developing a headache during the work shift was approximately four times higher [Odds ratio = 3.91, 95% CI (1.35–11.31) p = 0.012], while 82.2% of the N95 wearers developed the headache already within ≤10 to 50 min [46].

With respect to cloth facemask, a RCT using four weeks follow up compared the effect of cloth facemask to medical masks and to no masks on the incidence of clinical respiratory illness, influenza-like illness and laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infections among 1607 participants from 14 hospitals [19]. The results showed that there were no difference between wearing cloth masks, medical masks and no masks for incidence of clinical respiratory illness and laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infections. However, a large harmful effect with more than 13 times higher risk [Relative Risk = 13.25 95% CI (1.74 to 100.97) was observed for influenza-like illness among those who were wearing cloth masks [19]. The study concluded that cloth masks have significant health and safety issues including moisture retention, reuse, poor filtration and increased risk for infection, providing recommendation against the use of cloth masks [19].

Psychological effects of wearing facemasks

Psychologically, wearing facemask fundamentally has negative effects on the wearer and the nearby person. Basic human-to-human connectivity through face expression is compromised and self-identity is somewhat eliminated [47], [48], [49]. These dehumanizing movements partially delete the uniqueness and individuality of person who wearing the facemask as well as the connected person [49]. Social connections and relationships are basic human needs, which innately inherited in all people, whereas reduced human-to-human connections are associated with poor mental and physical health [50], [51]. Despite escalation in technology and globalization that would presumably foster social connections, scientific findings show that people are becoming increasingly more socially isolated, and the prevalence of loneliness is increasing in last few decades [50], [52]. Poor social connections are closely related to isolation and loneliness, considered significant health related risk factors [50], [51], [52], [53].

A meta-analysis of 91 studies of about 400,000 people showed a 13% increased morality risk among people with low compare to high contact frequency [53]. Another meta-analysis of 148 prospective studies (308,849 participants) found that poor social relationships was associated with 50% increased mortality risk. People who were socially isolated or fell lonely had 45% and 40% increased mortality risk, respectively. These findings were consistent across ages, sex, initial health status, cause of death and follow-up periods [52]. Importantly, the increased risk for mortality was found comparable to smoking and exceeding well-established risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity [52]. An umbrella review of 40 systematic reviews including 10 meta-analyses demonstrated that compromised social relationships were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, depression, anxiety suicide, cancer and overall physical illness [51].

As described earlier, wearing facemasks causing hypoxic and hypercapnic state that constantly challenges the normal homeostasis, and activates “fight or flight” stress response, an important survival mechanism in the human body [11], [12], [13]. The acute stress response includes activation of nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and the immune systems [47], [54], [55], [56]. These include activation of the limbic part of the brain, release stress hormones (adrenalin, neuro-adrenalin and cortisol), changes in blood flow distribution (vasodilation of peripheral blood vessels and vasoconstriction of visceral blood vessels) and activation of the immune system response (secretion of macrophages and natural killer cells) [47], [48]. Encountering people who wearing facemasks activates innate stress-fear emotion, which is fundamental to all humans in danger or life threating situations, such as death or unknown, unpredictable outcome. While acute stress response (seconds to minutes) is adaptive reaction to challenges and part of the survival mechanism, chronic and prolonged state of stress-fear is maladaptive and has detrimental effects on physical and mental health. The repeatedly or continuously activated stress-fear response causes the body to operate on survival mode, having sustain increase in blood pressure, pro-inflammatory state and immunosuppression [47], [48].

Long-Term health consequences of wearing facemasks

Long-term practice of wearing facemasks has strong potential for devastating health consequences. Prolonged hypoxic-hypercapnic state compromises normal physiological and psychological balance, deteriorating health and promotes the developing and progression of existing chronic diseases [23], [38], [39], [43], [47], [48], [57], [11], [12], [13]. For instance, ischemic heart disease caused by hypoxic damage to the myocardium is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and is a number one cause of death worldwide (44% of all non-communicable diseases) with 17.9 million deaths occurred in 2016 [57]. Hypoxia also playing an important role in cancer burden [58]. Cellular hypoxia has strong mechanistic feature in promoting cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, predicting clinical outcomes and usually presents a poorer survival in patients with cancer. Most solid tumors present some degree of hypoxia, which is independent predictor of more aggressive disease, resistance to cancer therapies and poorer clinical outcomes [59], [60]. Worth note, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with an estimate of more than 18 million new diagnosed cases and 9.6 million cancer-related deaths occurred in 2018 [61].

With respect to mental health, global estimates showing that COVID-19 will cause a catastrophe due to collateral psychological damage such as quarantine, lockdowns, unemployment, economic collapse, social isolation, violence and suicides [62], [63], [64]. Chronic stress along with hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions knocks the body out of balance, and can cause headaches, fatigue, stomach issues, muscle tension, mood disturbances, insomnia and accelerated aging [47], [48], [65], [66], [67]. This state suppressing the immune system to protect the body from viruses and bacteria, decreasing cognitive function, promoting the developing and exacerbating the major health issues including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer disease, rising anxiety and depression states, causes social isolation and loneliness and increasing the risk for prematurely mortality [47], [48], [51], [56], [66].

Conclusion

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Baruch Vainshelboim: Conceptualization, Data curation, Writing – original draft.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

References

[1] E.M. Fisher, J.D. Noti, W.G. Lindsley, F.M. Blachere, R.E. Shaffer
Validation and application of models to predict facemask influenza contamination in healthcare settings
Risk Anal, 34 (2014), pp. 1423-1434

[2] World Health Organization. Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19. Geneva, Switzerland; 2020.

[3] C. Sohrabi, Z. Alsafi, N. O’Neill, M. Khan, A. Kerwan, A. Al-Jabir, et al.
World Health Organization declares global emergency: A review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Int J Surg, 76 (2020), pp. 71-76

[4] Worldometer. COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. 2020.

[5] A.S. Fauci, H.C. Lane, R.R. Redfield
Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted
N Engl J Med, 382 (2020), pp. 1268-1269

[6] S.S. Shrestha, D.L. Swerdlow, R.H. Borse, V.S. Prabhu, L. Finelli, C.Y. Atkins, et al.
Estimating the burden of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in the United States (April 2009-April 2010)
Clin Infect Dis, 52 (Suppl 1) (2011), pp. S75-S82

[7] W.W. Thompson, E. Weintraub, P. Dhankhar, P.Y. Cheng, L. Brammer, M.I. Meltzer, et al.
Estimates of US influenza-associated deaths made using four different methods
Influenza Other Respir Viruses, 3 (2009), pp. 37-49

[8] Centers for Disease, C., Prevention. Estimates of deaths associated with seasonal influenza — United States, 1976-2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010,59:1057-62.

[9] S. Richardson, J.S. Hirsch, M. Narasimhan, J.M. Crawford, T. McGinn, K.W. Davidson, et al.
Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area
JAMA (2020)

[10] J.P.A. Ioannidis, C. Axfors, D.G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis
Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non-elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters
Environ Res, 188 (2020)

[11] American College of Sports Medicine
ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Priscription
(Sixth ed.), Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins, Baltimore (2010)

[12] P.A. Farrell, M.J. Joyner, V.J. Caiozzo
ACSM’s Advanced Exercise Physiology
(second edition), Lippncott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore (2012)

[13] W.L. Kenney, J.H. Wilmore, D.L. Costill
Physiology of sport and exercise
(5th ed.), Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL (2012)

[14] World Health Organization. Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in health care settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. Geneva, Switzerland; 2020.

[15] B. Sperlich, C. Zinner, A. Hauser, H.C. Holmberg, J. Wegrzyk
The Impact of Hyperoxia on Human Performance and Recovery
Sports Med, 47 (2017), pp. 429-438

[16] W.J. Wiersinga, A. Rhodes, A.C. Cheng, S.J. Peacock, H.C. Prescott
Pathophysiology, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review
JAMA (2020)

[17] N. Zhu, D. Zhang, W. Wang, X. Li, B. Yang, J. Song, et al.
A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019
N Engl J Med, 382 (2020), pp. 727-733

[18] J.T. Poston, B.K. Patel, A.M. Davis
Management of Critically Ill Adults With COVID-19
JAMA (2020)

[19] C.R. MacIntyre, H. Seale, T.C. Dung, N.T. Hien, P.T. Nga, A.A. Chughtai, et al.
A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers
BMJ open, 5 (2015)

[20] K.D. Patil, H.R. Halperin, L.B. Becker
Cardiac arrest: resuscitation and reperfusion
Circ Res, 116 (2015), pp. 2041-2049

[21] M.F. Hazinski, J.P. Nolan, J.E. Billi, B.W. Bottiger, L. Bossaert, A.R. de Caen, et al.
Part 1: Executive summary: 2010 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations
Circulation, 122 (2010), pp. S250-S275

[22] M.E. Kleinman, Z.D. Goldberger, T. Rea, R.A. Swor, B.J. Bobrow, E.E. Brennan, et al.
American Heart Association Focused Update on Adult Basic Life Support and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Quality: An Update to the American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
Circulation, 137 (2018), pp. e7-e13

[23] K.G. Lurie, E.C. Nemergut, D. Yannopoulos, M. Sweeney
The Physiology of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Anesth Analg, 122 (2016), pp. 767-783

[24] B. Chandrasekaran, S. Fernandes
“Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword?” – A physiological hypothesis
Med Hypotheses, 144 (2020)

[25] A. Konda, A. Prakash, G.A. Moss, M. Schmoldt, G.D. Grant, S. Guha
Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks
ACS Nano, 14 (2020), pp. 6339-6347

[26] N.H.L. Leung, D.K.W. Chu, E.Y.C. Shiu, K.H. Chan, J.J. McDevitt, B.J.P. Hau, et al.
Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks
Nat Med, 26 (2020), pp. 676-680

[27] M. Gao, L. Yang, X. Chen, Y. Deng, S. Yang, H. Xu, et al.
A study on infectivity of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers
Respir Med, 169 (2020)

[28] J.D. Smith, C.C. MacDougall, J. Johnstone, R.A. Copes, B. Schwartz, G.E. Garber
Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis
CMAJ, 188 (2016), pp. 567-574

[29] R. Chou, T. Dana, R. Jungbauer, C. Weeks, M.S. McDonagh
Masks for Prevention of Respiratory Virus Infections, Including SARS-CoV-2, in Health Care and Community Settings: A Living Rapid Review
Ann Intern Med (2020)

[30] D.K. Chu, E.A. Akl, S. Duda, K. Solo, S. Yaacoub, H.J. Schunemann, et al.
Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Lancet, 395 (2020), pp. 1973-1987

[31] Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission. Atlanta, Georgia; 2020.

[32] D. Isaacs, P. Britton, A. Howard-Jones, A. Kesson, A. Khatami, B. Marais, et al.
Do facemasks protect against COVID-19?
J Paediatr Child Health, 56 (2020), pp. 976-977

[33] P. Laveneziana, A. Albuquerque, A. Aliverti, T. Babb, E. Barreiro, M. Dres, et al.
ERS statement on respiratory muscle testing at rest and during exercise
Eur Respir J, 53 (2019)

[34] American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory, S
ATS/ERS Statement on respiratory muscle testing
Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 166 (2002), pp. 518-624

[35] T.W. Kao, K.C. Huang, Y.L. Huang, T.J. Tsai, B.S. Hsieh, M.S. Wu
The physiological impact of wearing an N95 mask during hemodialysis as a precaution against SARS in patients with end-stage renal disease
J Formos Med Assoc, 103 (2004), pp. 624-628

[36] United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134; 2007.

[37] ATS/ACCP Statement on cardiopulmonary exercise testing
Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 167 (2003), pp. 211-277

[38] American College of Sports Medicine
ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription
(9th ed.), Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health, Philadelphia (2014)

[39] G.J. Balady, R. Arena, K. Sietsema, J. Myers, L. Coke, G.F. Fletcher, et al.
Clinician’s Guide to cardiopulmonary exercise testing in adults: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association
Circulation, 122 (2010), pp. 191-225

[40] A.M. Ferrazza, D. Martolini, G. Valli, P. Palange
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in the functional and prognostic evaluation of patients with pulmonary diseases
Respiration, 77 (2009), pp. 3-17

[41] G.F. Fletcher, P.A. Ades, P. Kligfield, R. Arena, G.J. Balady, V.A. Bittner, et al.
Exercise standards for testing and training: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association
Circulation, 128 (2013), pp. 873-934

[42] M. Guazzi, V. Adams, V. Conraads, M. Halle, A. Mezzani, L. Vanhees, et al.
EACPR/AHA Scientific Statement. Clinical recommendations for cardiopulmonary exercise testing data assessment in specific patient populations
Circulation, 126 (2012), pp. 2261-2274

[43] R. Naeije, C. Dedobbeleer
Pulmonary hypertension and the right ventricle in hypoxia
Exp Physiol, 98 (2013), pp. 1247-1256

[44] G.Q. Zheng, Y. Wang, X.T. Wang
Chronic hypoxia-hypercapnia influences cognitive function: a possible new model of cognitive dysfunction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Med Hypotheses, 71 (2008), pp. 111-113

[45] A. Beder, U. Buyukkocak, H. Sabuncuoglu, Z.A. Keskil, S. Keskil
Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery
Neurocirugia (Astur), 19 (2008), pp. 121-126

[46] J.J.Y. Ong, C. Bharatendu, Y. Goh, J.Z.Y. Tang, K.W.X. Sooi, Y.L. Tan, et al.
Headaches Associated With Personal Protective Equipment – A Cross-Sectional Study Among Frontline Healthcare Workers During COVID-19
Headache, 60 (2020), pp. 864-877

[47] N. Schneiderman, G. Ironson, S.D. Siegel
Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants
Annu Rev Clin Psychol, 1 (2005), pp. 607-628

[48] P.A. Thoits
Stress and health: major findings and policy implications
J Health Soc Behav, 51 (Suppl) (2010), pp. S41-S53

[49] N. Haslam
Dehumanization: an integrative review
Pers Soc Psychol Rev, 10 (2006), pp. 252-264

[50] S. Cohen
Social relationships and health
Am Psychol, 59 (2004), pp. 676-684

[51] N. Leigh-Hunt, D. Bagguley, K. Bash, V. Turner, S. Turnbull, N. Valtorta, et al.
An overview of systematic reviews on the public health consequences of social isolation and loneliness
Public Health, 152 (2017), pp. 157-171

[52] J. Holt-Lunstad, T.B. Smith, J.B. Layton
Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review
PLoS Med, 7 (2010)

[53] E. Shor, D.J. Roelfs
Social contact frequency and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis and meta-regression
Soc Sci Med, 128 (2015), pp. 76-86

[54] B.S. McEwen
Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators
N Engl J Med, 338 (1998), pp. 171-179

[55] B.S. McEwen
Physiology and neurobiology of stress and adaptation: central role of the brain
Physiol Rev, 87 (2007), pp. 873-904

[56] G.S. Everly, J.M. Lating
A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response
(4th ed.), NY Springer Nature, New York (2019)

[57] World Health Organization. World health statistics 2018: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development goals Geneva, Switzerland; 2018.

[58] World Health Organization. World Cancer Report 2014. Lyon; 2014.

[59] J.M. Wiggins, A.B. Opoku-Acheampong, D.R. Baumfalk, D.W. Siemann, B.J. Behnke
Exercise and the Tumor Microenvironment: Potential Therapeutic Implications
Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 46 (2018), pp. 56-64

[60] K.A. Ashcraft, A.B. Warner, L.W. Jones, M.W. Dewhirst
Exercise as Adjunct Therapy in Cancer
Semin Radiat Oncol, 29 (2019), pp. 16-24

[61] F. Bray, J. Ferlay, I. Soerjomataram, R.L. Siegel, L.A. Torre, A. Jemal
Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries
CA Cancer J Clin (2018)

[62] S.K. Brooks, R.K. Webster, L.E. Smith, L. Woodland, S. Wessely, N. Greenberg, et al.
The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence
Lancet, 395 (2020), pp. 912-920

[63] S. Galea, R.M. Merchant, N. Lurie
The Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19 and Physical Distancing: The Need for Prevention and Early Intervention
JAMA Intern Med, 180 (2020), pp. 817-818

[64] D. Izaguirre-Torres, R. Siche
Covid-19 disease will cause a global catastrophe in terms of mental health: A hypothesis
Med Hypotheses, 143 (2020)

[65] B.M. Kudielka, S. Wust
Human models in acute and chronic stress: assessing determinants of individual hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and reactivity
Stress, 13 (2010), pp. 1-14

[66] J.N. Morey, I.A. Boggero, A.B. Scott, S.C. Segerstrom
Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function
Curr Opin Psychol, 5 (2015), pp. 13-17

[67] R.M. Sapolsky, L.M. Romero, A.U. Munck
How do glucocorticoids influence stress responses? Integrating permissive, suppressive, stimulatory, and preparative actions
Endocr Rev, 21 (2000), pp. 55-89

_______________________________________________________________

Big Tech doesn’t want you to follow the science. They simply want you to follow the narrative. As Steve Cortes learned, no highly credible source is above the ugly censorship rules set by Silicon Valley tyrants.

Kingdom-Minded

What does it mean to be Kindom-minded? Simply stated: We are all on the same team! The goal is to help people find and follow Jesus. And it’s going to take more workers to harvest the billions of people out there who have not experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Our Philosophy in helping staff plant a NEW church.

… the more the merrier! Last month, I visited our Skyline Church Kansas location. It was great to see the work that God is doing there. And while we love our Skyline Church Kansas location, we know it takes many different kinds of churches to reach many different kinds of people. That’s why we have helped others plant different kinds of churches. All of these churches teach the relevance of scripture like Skyline, but each approaches how they do it in slightly different ways. For example, we’ve sent out three church planters and a campus pastor in the last three years.

We’ve come alongside Pastor David Ordaz with One Church, who specializes in bilingual, Spanish and English services. We also sent Pastor Weston Stutz to launch Captivate Church, who focuses on doing life together in a community. More recently, we’ve helped Pastor Scotty James plant The Village Church, who is rooted in simplicity and scripture. Others, like Pastor Jason Sneddon in Kansas, relocated from Skyline Church Lakeside to build the same kind of church … Skyline Church Kansas. Whether people leave the current body to build a new church or the same church, we continue to expand the Kingdom of God!

Am I really Kingdom-minded?

Over time, I’ve seen certain churches with an unsaid (or said) philosophy that says “Keep ‘em and if they want to leave guilt ’em, coerce ’em, or threaten ’em if you have to, but they better not leave!”  This philosophy just doesn’t work. Everyone says they’re “kingdom-minded” … until … they’re tested… And we’re ALL going to be tested in that! Because God is never concerned with building our kingdom. His focus is on building the Kingdom. If we try to compete with His Kingdom building we’re going to lose every time.

If someone is called by God to plant a church, they’re called BY GOD! You might as well support that person because they’re going to go if God is the one telling them to go. We have to remember that it’s all about GOD’S work, not our work. When you let people go to do God’s will, THAT says you are Kingdom-minded. I truly believe that at the end of the day we get Kingdom credit, not Skyline Church credit. I’ve learned that when you have your hands open, God can get a lot more to you than when your hands are closed.

Church Planting Is Brutal

We need to be asking ourselves, “How are we advancing the Kingdom of God?” I want to see people experience the freedom of Christ. THAT is my passion! And the reality is, Church planting is brutal. I’ve been there! You are LITERALLY face-to-face with Satan because he does NOT want new churches being planted. 

By deciding to plant a church, you enter a strategic war. Your heart has to be in the right place. Your process also has to be right. I’ve seen hundreds of church plants die. And, I’ve also seen hundreds of churches succeed! That’s why I lay out a church planting formula for those who feel called to navigate those difficult waters. It fires me up and I’m ready to jump in with you. Still … some people want to do their own thing, and that’s okay. But when someone wants to plant a church, there are some key strategies that can help a new church have the best chance to succeed. I love helping people do that! 

Why Are You Planting A Church?

When I hear someone say they think God wants them to plant a church, my goal is to help that person figure out EXACTLY what God is leading them to do. With that being said, one of the first things I ask a potential church planter is … “Why?” The reason I ask this is because their answer says a lot about God’s calling and their motivation.

The number one reason that you plant a church is to reach new people. Your primary motivation should not be because it’s a beautiful area or because you can pull people from another big church nearby. Your mindset should always be to seek and save the lost. That means we need many different kinds of churches (all grounded in the Word of God) to reach many different kinds of people.

Lastly, I want to know from the church planter what God has specifically been putting on their heart. I want to help them get to the bottom of their motivation. Some may think that they can do it better than their current church. While that may be true, it’s never good to plant something with an attitude of strife and division. If you’re not called to plant the church, you won’t last in planting the church. You want to plant a church with good intentions, a good heart, and a Kingdom-mindset. It’s not about building your own little kingdom or wanting to speak more or be the guy upfront or call the shots or anything other than having a heart for lost people. I like to get to the bottom of the church planter’s motivation to give them their best chance at making a difference for the Kingdom. 

The More The Merrier!

We recognize there are many different ways to do church and that ultimately, we are called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, not a building. At Skyline, we have a very specific way we believe church should be done because we’re intentionally zoned in on our purpose statement. It’s not how every church does it, but we believe in giving you practical ways to apply the Bible on Sunday so you can use it SEVEN days a week. We’re going give you something on Sunday you can use on Monday. We believe that growing people change, you can’t do life alone, saved people serve people, you can’t out-give God, and found people find people! We believe that being Kingdom-minded means helping people plant churches in order to expand the kingdom. The bottom line is this … we serve a BIG God. To be Kingdom-minded, you have to wholeheartedly believe … the more the merrier!

Spring Training Fundamentals

Baseball is back! Opening Day is scheduled for April 1, and while I had my doubts with it falling on April Fool’s Day, I’m so excited for the Padres to finally kick-off the 2021 season! We came close last year, but THIS year … this is the year! Just like every other team, the Padres went through Spring Training for the past six weeks. During this time, they worked on the fundamentals of baseball that prepared us for the year we win The World Series!

Baseball Fundamentals

Rich image of professional baseball player, Fernando Tatis Jr., executing fundamentals of hitting a baseball.

Back when I used to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, we took Spring Training very seriously. And every year we’d look forward to our Farm Director’s (I spent my 10 professional seasons in the minor league ‘farm’ system) speech that starts off the season. (The Farm Director is who tells you whether you’re going up or down the farm system levels.) 

He’d start his speech with the most basic fundamentals, saying, “Gentlemen, this is a baseball. It’s 9 inches in circumference. It’s 5 ounces, made of cowhide, and it has 108 red stitches strung around it … ”

Oh yeah, he’d go into detail! Next, he’d say, “Men, this is a baseball glove …” Then, he’d explain, “This is a baseball bat …” No matter who you are on the team, you attend Spring Training and you get back to the basics. I can imagine the Padres locker room … you have people like Fernando Tatis Jr who recently signed a $340million contract for the next 14-years listening to a similar speech. With money like that, it would be easy for anyone to forget the most basic principles of the game.

You throw the ball. 
You catch the ball. 
And you hit the ball. 

But our Farm Director would finish by saying, “And men, the team that does that the best will win the World Championship!”

Christian Fundamentals

Rich image of Seven Steps class at Skyline Church that teaches about Christian fundamentals and more

Can you tell me why 300 million dollar players enter Spring Training to do the same drills we did in Little League? Or why players like Tatis even have coaches?!

Because the fundamentals are the essentials! It’s the same in the Christian faith. There are basic habits that shape our faith that have to be present for us to experience what it’s like to be a Champion for Christ. At Skyline Church, we discuss these habits in our Seven Steps for Spiritual Growth Class. If you’ve been in the faith very long, you know that a devotional time lays the groundwork for God to move in your life. You’ve also experienced that the habit of prayer is in essence primary to growing in relationship with God. You know that regular giving is pivotal in transforming your heart. In addition to what we do privately, we get together as Christians regularly!

It’s essential! Because no matter how long you’ve been in the faith, we all need to consistently get back to the basics. And while we don’t have a $340 million contract, as years tack on, we too can get comfortable in our faith and neglect to participate in the fundamentals of our faith.

We have devotional time.
We pray!
We give!
And we gather!

Ladies and gentlemen … the believers that do this the best are what I call a Champion for Christ!

Commitment

I’ll finish with this …  when I was a young guy, I liked going out on Saturday night.  Even as I became a Christian I lived in that tension of half-hearted commitment. I had one foot “in the world” and one foot “in Christianity.” That never works. There came a point when I started leaving gatherings with my friends and teammates to go to church. They wanted to know why I was doing this “church” thing so often. I had a decision to make. And, it may seem shallow, but I didn’t have the theological answers at the time. So, I just said, “It makes me feel good.” 

There’s going to come a time where you have to choose between your old habits and some new Christian habits. Some habits may be bad habits that you always knew you needed to let go of. But there are also going to be some “okay” habits that aren’t necessarily bad, but they are prohibiting you from becoming a Champion for Christ. No one makes it to the Major Leagues without sacrificing something. You may sacrifice staying out late with friends to go to church, eating out to give more, sleeping in to have a devotional time … we all have secondary pleasures that get in the way of our primary goals from time to time.

It’s in these moments, that we need to prioritize our commitments and decide what our main goal is. In these moments we need to get back to the basics and practice the fundamentals. 

Applying The Fundamentals

Ask yourself today, what is your main objective in life? Have you decided to prioritize your relationship with God above all else in life? Are you executing the fundamentals of your objective regularly? If you will apply the fundamentals you can bet you’ll be a Champion for Christ.



*Read more blogs and articles from Dr. Jeremy McGarity at JeremyMcGarity.com!