Publisher: Thankful for freedom in a pandemic

By Brian Whitmore/Publisher

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic my daughter would thank God for the quarantine in her prayers. She said it gave her more time with Mom and Dad. She said it was giving families more time together.

We've tried to keep things normal the past four months. I don't want the craziness of this time to scar by daughter the way it has some adults.

A new kitten, an inflatable above ground pool and weekend activities (dairy tour, rodeo and train ride) have helped create normal, among chaos.

My daughter is right, family time with God is a blessing.

Freedom in the midst of a pandemic also is a blessing:

1. Free will. God created us with free will. He's never forced us to love Him. He gives us an opportunity to respond to His love. He gives us some laws to follow to benefit us, but we have the choice to follow Him or the world.

It's always better when we have a choice. That's what makes the United States an exceptional nation. We are free to make choices. Yes, we have laws to follow, but those laws don't infringe on our freedom and I pray they never will.

I'm blessed to live in Laurens County, South Carolina. I will do what is right for my family and others. I'll wear a mask for you, as a good neighbor. I am glad the government gives me a choice.

2. Freedom to worship. At the beginning of the year, I took assembling at church for granted. Today, every day I can enter His church is a blessing, a gift from God.

Jesus is the bread of life and living water. He is more essential to me than a grocery store. Thank you God that I live in South Carolina, where we can worship freely without government overreach.

I’m happy to see churches open. Dying without Jesus is eternally fatal. In the midst of a pandemic, now is the time for Christians to draw closer to Christ and for the lost to be found.

3. Freedom to cut off the news. If you sit in front of your television watching 24/7 COVID coverage and Facebook rants, you are not in good mental health. Cut it off.

My family recently added PureFlix streaming and we now enjoy Christian movies and television. My favorite: The Encounter. The movies and series show how an encounter with Jesus can change a life.

PureFlix is much needed encouragement in a crazy world. I’m going to be more deliberate about what my family watches on the tube.

4. Freedom to enjoy sports. What sports? Well, they're starting to come back. As I said above, we recently attended a local rodeo. At the event, a prayer was offered in Jesus' name and the flag of our great country was honored.

As national sports try to make political statements, local sports just do what they are supposed to — entertain.

5. Freedom to choose how our children will learn. Thank you District 56 for providing parents a choice. I pray we never take the decisions on how to best educate our children out of the parent's hands.

God, thank you for freedom, the ultimate freedom coming in a relationship with You. Help us to show grace to the other side of every argument in a sin sick world.


Brian Whitmore is the publisher of The Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. Whitmore can be reached at

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