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    Thoughtworthy (Anniversary, Romans 13, Caring & More!)

    May 8, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    We spent our 19th anniversary in a real restaurant, which was unexpected and oh so wonderful. Of course, the tyrants shut it down two days later. 🙁 That’s unfortunate, and I hope the business makes it. They have already fired half their staff. How they are to survive, I don’t know. We did what we could and supported them as we could. It’s one of our favorite places.

    I also went to the first protest I’ve been to in years as part of the Kern Liberty Coalition. That was totally fun. I mean, I didn’t go for the purpose of having fun, but it turns out seeing people is good for your mental health.

    That reminds me: if you know someone who is isolated alone without family, make sure you check on them from time to time. Humans were not created to be alone and serious declines in mental and physical health can happen as a result of extended periods of isolation.

    :: 2 ::

    We’re in the final stretch for school lessons. Only four weeks left. It’s bittersweet. It always feels good finishing strong at the end of a year, but I’d hoped for a better celebration for my son’s graduation. We’ll see. Four weeks can change a lot. I feel bad for him. His 18th birthday is also coming up. These are two special things that I fear will not be justly honored, though we’ll do what we can.

    :: 3 ::

    Something to think about, from my pastor, Chad Vegas (stitched together and slightly edited by me to make sense in this context):

    Christian Friends~It is not a violation of Romans 13 to disobey Governor Gavin Newsom. It is a violation of Romans 13 to disobey a lawful and constitutional order of Governor Gavin Newsom. We have no king. We are a constitutional republic. Please mark the difference.

    [W]e aren’t under the same form of government as Rome in the 1st century. Our government is a constitutional republic. Thus, only those laws that are constitutional must be obeyed. Further, Governors don’t write laws. Did you hear about the Legislature meeting to pass any of his current laws? Nope. One step further, when does the Governor have the right to overturn the Bill of Rights for as long as he deems necessary?

    I am not valuing our constitution above God’s word. I am pointing out that you can’t apply a command in 1st century Rome regarding government in exactly the same way in the American context. It disregards the nature of government. We are NOT under a Caesar. We are NOT under those who are appointed by Caesar. We are UNDER a constitution. That is the law of the land. Any law that is in accord with that is what we are under. Any law not in accord with that, we are not under. Now, how one sorts through that isn’t easy. But I have plenty of constitutional attorneys around me who claim that the Governor has massively overstepped his authority, in spite of that article from the dispatch. Incidentally, I have never violated the order in my county. With that said, I don’t believe the order is constitutional. I think it should be overturned. But civil disobedience is NOT my first response. Further, does [the] view [that disobeying the Governor is a violation of Romans 13] apply if the Governor permanently declares this an emergency and says your church can’t meet? At what point do you disobey? He is saying potentially not until Fall. Then what if it spikes again and he closes it until June 2021? Do you keep applying Romans 13 and 1 Pet 2 in the same way you are now? Of course you don’t. Frankly, I think the church is suspending obedience to the command to gather for a time. But I don’t believe what we are doing is in accord with what scripture commands about gathering, the sacraments etc. So, yes, we are patient now. But at some point we disobey, which under the Bill of Rights, a document above Gavin, is not actually disobedience.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2015:

    It can feel like all is lost when you realize that caring is the test of success for a Charlotte Mason education. It doesn’t have to be, though. This post contains my initial thoughts on the subject.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    • 1M, A Homeopath’s Podcast: Special Episode: Jeremy Sherr Covid-19 Update #4
      • This podcast is so inside baseball, I almost didn’t share it. But it really is my favorite episode of everything I listened to this week! (I listen while I take a walk or fold laundry.)
      • This is super specialized and you have to have studied quite a lot of homeopathy to begin to grasp it. Jeremy Sherr is an expert on homeopathic treatments for use in epidemics — so he’s not just repertoirizing individual cases, but rather he’s trying to collect hundreds and even thousands of cases in order to repertoirize the entire Covid-19 epidemic. The hours of sessions he’s been sharing for free are amazing if you like to geek out on this stuff.

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    :: 7 ::

    Corona reads:

    Short version of the disclaimer I gave last week: I like to read articles, studies, etc. but I am not a doctor. If I tell you something I do, please don’t mistake it for medical advice.

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  • Reply Katie May 9, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I love everything about this post. I can’t wait to check out the 1M podcast (I finish homeopathic training in a couple months.) I’m very excited!! Question/request: would you be willing to reflect on some of the theological implications of what is going on (in addition to what you said today)? I’ve had a Christian sister call me selfish for not wearing a mask (in her defense, she is immunocompromised). I have also wondered about the flat-out fear of death that my fellow Christians, who are suppose to claim faith in the One who has conquered death, are exhibiting. Anyway, I’d love a good article about how our theology applies to this strange time, or a reference to an article you love ☺️

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      I think your sister fails to recognize a couple things. First, I have NEVER seen ANYONE wearing a mask in public that would actually be effective. I know there are cute memes floating around about mask effectiveness, but the reality is that viruses are so small, they even slip through N-95s, which most people don’t even have. The second is more important: some of us HAVE to be willing to contract the illness (and hopefully fight it off without many symptoms) so that we can PROVIDE her immunity for those who are weak. In my opinion, refusing to wear a mask (in public; obviously we have to be very careful around those who are at risk) can be the exact opposite of selfish.

      I think this situation has revealed fears for a lot of us; not just fears of sickness and death but fears of tyranny and fears of poverty. On the one hand, we should be concerned about all these things, but on the other hand, when we find ourselves governed by fear, I think we are having a serious moment because our idols are being shown us in full force.

  • Reply Kt May 9, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Happy anniversary! You got married the same year I did. Our funniest wedding anniversary was when we were on holiday in France. We’d been out of phone / text contact with everyone and as the ferry neared home, we both got a text from my mother-in-law saying happy anniversary (can’t remember if it was for that day, or the day before). My husband and I both looked at each other and laughed, because BOTH of us had completely forgotten it was our anniversary at all!

    On a different note, I believe I substantially worsened my pre-existing iodine deficiency by supplementing selenium without also taking iodine; I’d be pretty cautious about using either one without the other. Iodine is needed to produce the ‘inactive’ thyroid hormone, T4, and selenium is needed to convert it to the active form, T3. I suspect that too much of the latter process without enough production of T4 in the first place was the cause of the problem, though that’s only speculation on my part.

    A couple of examples which came up on a quick look on PubMed:

    “Two months of selenium supplementation was shown to modify the serum thyroid hormones parameters in clinically euthyroid subjects and to induce a dramatic fall of the already impaired thyroid function in clinically hypothyroid subjects.” [the context for this was iodine deficiency]

    ” In regions of combined severe iodine and selenium deficiency, normalization of iodine supply is mandatory before initiation of selenium supplementation in order to prevent hypothyroidism.”

    On the specific recommendation made here – I personally would NOT supplement iodine without also supplementing selenium because they work together. If I’ve not been taking iodine and selenium and then re-start, then taking iodine alone causes what I believe are selenium deficiency symptoms after about 24 hours. But I’m not a doctor, and this is not intended to be medical advice, merely my opinion.

    On the other hand, there is some evidence that adequate dietary selenium protects against the effects of dietary iodine deficiency in some cases. I think you just need both together.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 12, 2020 at 11:57 am

      That’s a good point about selenium and iodine and their interactions. Thanks for the links. I’ll try to remember to include those next week for further reading. We supplement iodine here, too, but I didn’t think to mention it in the iodine context last week. Thanks, Katie!

  • Reply Noelle May 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I bet you would like Dr David Katz’s opinions on coronavirus.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 12, 2020 at 11:55 am

      Do you have a link, Noelle? I don’t think I’m familiar with him.

  • Reply Kelly May 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Another thing is that Romans 13 also says, ” For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” So if they’re reversing that they aren’t do what God made governments for in the first place.

  • Reply Heather May 8, 2020 at 9:52 am

    As a fellow Californian (far north, near Chico), I greatly appreciated your pastor’s thoughts about Romans 13. This is something I have been wrestling with, but that quote really “hit home” and helped clarify the issue. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 8, 2020 at 10:45 am

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad it was helpful. ♥

    • Reply Jenn Discher May 9, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      I also appreciated your pastor’s comments! I haven’t heard anyone else articulate it quite like that and it was really helpful. Thank you for sharing them!

  • Reply Amber May 8, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Happy Anniversary! We celebrated 19 years in mid-March, but had decided to postpone going out because our favorite restaurant was going to be closed that day. Then a week later everything closed…. we really hadn’t planned on postponing quite this long, but obviously it isn’t something we have any control over. We could do take-out… but with a house full of kids, that isn’t exactly very appealing. 🙂 Anyway, happy anniversary again, and I’m glad you did get the chance to go out!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 8, 2020 at 10:47 am

      I hope you get to go out soon! Are you in Phase 2 yet there? I hope that helps!

      I was at the point where I was willing to eat takeout from the tailgate, but sitting in a real chair was much nicer. 😉

      • Reply Amber May 9, 2020 at 12:54 pm

        If my husband’s seasonal allergies weren’t so brutal right now, I’d seriously consider it! 🙂 We have just entered the first part of phase 2 as of yesterday. Case counts have been very low, especially in our part of the county—only in the teens with no deaths. 2/3 of the cases and the only death are in the other main population area in this county, which is about 45 min away. It is a little strange though, this part of the county has 80% of the population and is much closer to other major population areas. But nonetheless, we have a very large 65 and over population in this county, so people are feeling extremely cautious. So we’ll see…

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