5/26/20

Downgrade at Southern Seminary: Critical Theory & Al Mohler (Part III)

Dr. Russell Fuller talks about the effect of Jarvis Williams and Matthew Hall's teachings on students, as well as Al Mohler's reaction to them Video: To Help: Donate to Enemies Within the Church (501c3) https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/#donate Go Fund Me for fired SBTS who won't sign Separation Agreement https://www.gofundme.com/f/sbts-profs Grace Baptist Church benevolence fund to help SBTS professors (501c3) http://truegraceofgod.org/giving/ Dr. Fuller Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/russell.fuller.982 Information Mentioned in This Video: Episode III Accompanying Notes https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Episode-III-Accompanying-Notes.pdf Dr. Russell Fuller's Speech Against Promoting Matthew Hall https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Russell-Fullers-Speech-Against-Promoting-Matthew-Hall.pdf Montage of Hall, Williams, and Wood's Teachings https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/2019/08/30/critical-race-theory-promoted-by-three-professors-at-flagship-southern-baptist-seminary/ Confronting Racist Evangelical History - Dr. Otis Moss III and Dr. Matthew Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx-7LrvJmsk Seminaries And Racial Reconciliation With Matthew Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwI82hKUTgI ONE Presents: "Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention Panel" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imN8SvGTWz4 Dr. Jarvis Williams - February 12, 2018 - OBU Chapel Message https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMHHqggHbXg Dr. Jarvis Williams & Dr. Kevin Jones - February 14, 2018 - OBU Chapel Message https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6TRHdLWVno What's the Word Forum http://cdn.sbts.edu/media/video/student-life/20160217-ONE-whats-the-word-forum To support or subscribe to Jon's podcast: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/worldviewconversation Subscribe: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/ Follow Us on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast Follow Us on Gab: https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation Follow Jon on Twitter https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos Subscribe on Minds https://www.minds.com/worldviewconversation More Ways to Listen: https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

5/21/20

Downgrade at Southern Seminary: Postmodernism (Part II)

Dr. Russell Fuller discusses the subject of Postmodernism, and Dr. Al Mohler's role in knowingly promoting and endorsing a book by Jonathan Pennington who advocated for the view, on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Video:


Audio:

To Help: Donate to Enemies Within the Church (501c3) https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/#donate Go Fund Me for fired SBTS who won't sign Separation Agreement https://www.gofundme.com/f/sbts-profs Grace Baptist Church benevolence fund to help SBTS professors (501c3) http://truegraceofgod.org/giving/ Dr. Russell Fuller Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/russell.fuller.982 Documents Mentioned in This Video: Russell Fuller's Questions for Dr. Pennington submitted to Dean https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Questions-for-Pennington.pdf Jonathan Pennington's Book "Reading the Gospels Wisely https://books.google.com/books?id=GirTSf0SDr8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=jonathan+pennington+reading+the+gospels+wisely&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjOpOCxjcXpAhWhlHIEHRv-BckQ6wEwAHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false Al Mohler's Endorsement as one of the "10 Books Every Preacher Should Read https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/mohlers-10-books-every-preacher-should-read/ Jonathan Pennington's 2015 ETS Speech (1) https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pennington-1.pdf Jonathan Pennington's Revision of Speech (2) (This was handed out to students. It includes a denial of Isaiah 53's Messianic interpretation. "As Crump points out over several pages, one is hard pressed to make convincing arguments that many key.") https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pennington-2.pdf Jonathan Pennington's Revision of Speech (3) https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pennington-3.pdf Jonathan Pennington's Revision of Speech (4) https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pennington-4.pdf Jonathan Pennington's Attempts to Clarify https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pennington-Concerns.pdf Russell Fuller's Speech at Full Professors Meeting Concerning Jonathan Pennington's Views https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Speech-at-Full-Professors-Meeting.pdf Dr. Fuller's Separation Agreement https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Fuller-NDC.pdf Follow Jon's Work: http://www.worldviewconversation.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/worldviewconversation Subscribe: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/ Follow Us on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast Follow Us on Gab: https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation Follow Jon on Twitter https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos Subscribe on Minds https://www.minds.com/worldviewconversation More Ways to Listen: https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

5/18/20

Downgrade at Southern Seminary: Higher Criticism (Part I)

Dr. Russell Fuller discusses the subject of Higher Biblical Criticism, and Dr. Al Mohler's role in knowingly hiring Dominick Hernandez who advocated for the approach, on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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To Help:

Donate to Enemies Within the Church (501c3)

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Mentioned in this Video:

Concerns Concerning Dr. Dominick Hernandez

Mythopoetic Imagery Relating to the Firstborn of Death and
the King of Terrors, Society of Biblical Literature
(2017)

Dominick Hernandez Dissertation: Will the lamp of the wicked wane? : the prosperity of the wicked as a theme in Job and the Ancient Near East (2016)

Dr. Fuller Separation Agreement

5/13/20

Wrong Approaches to a Pandemic: Critiquing a Jonathan Leeman Post

By: Grant Kolkow

A recent post by Jonathan Leeman[1] correctly identifies the pressing issue on the minds of most pastors.  His article is well-written from a literary standpoint.  His crisp style allows him to get straight to his points.  His flow of thought is easy to follow.  Yet his content is wrong on numerous fronts.

First, the framework is wrong.  As the title and a nearly identical follow-up question reveal, the emphasis is upon what the government says and when churches should engage in civil disobedience.  Stating the premise in this manner purposefully makes pastors nervous at the onset.  A corrective is necessary to redirect attention upon what God says and the greater threat of divine disobedience.  Reframing the argument encourages biblical preachers not to cower from the issue, but rather to stand up and declare, “Thus saith the Lord!” as they seek to lead their congregations biblically during this difficult season.

While Leeman lacks intimidation to take a swipe at capitalism as found in his statement about the stock market—albeit a rightfully deserved critique since the financial world loves wealth—yet he offers no critical comment regarding government.  Our government receives a free pass as if their only interest is in the physical health of its citizens.  Indeed, government is a blessing from God that helps keep a fallen world with a natural affinity towards chaos in check (cf. Romans 13:1-5).  The opposite choice of anarchy is a nasty alternative.  But it would be na├»ve to think our government generally possesses a neutral or favorable disposition toward churches with a willingness to place politics on hold until after the pandemic runs its course.

Second, the application is wrong.  “Governments possess authority,” Leeman declares, “if for no other reason, then to preserve human life (see Gen. 9:5-6).”  He then advances the principle that this gives government the God-given right to do whatever in the name of preserving life.  Does Genesis 9:5-6 teach or imply this?  If so, the author must supply at least some exposition.  God’s concern is the shedding of innocent blood, whether by beast or man, because mankind is made in His image.  God gives government responsibility to preserve life, but only within a limited context (i.e. capital punishment).  Romans 13:4 confirms the same.  God grants government the right of bearing the sword, but within a narrowly defined application of being against those practicing evil.

Why is this important?  Depravity affects government as well as individuals.  Granting more responsibility to a powerful governmental entity is dangerous.  Thus God grants such in an objective manner.  This brings definability, limitation, and recognizable boundary.  He doesn’t do so in a subjective manner that invites ambiguity, open-endedness, and prejudice.  That distinction is critical.  The former controls government’s power whereas the latter empowers it.  To write our government a check objectively is to fill in the amount.  To write our government a check subjectively is to leave the amount open while still providing a signature.

Essentially what Leeman is telling churches is that God has given our government a blank check when it comes to the enforcement of preserving life.  Such power extends all the way to a pandemic.  Sadly the subjective fruit is evident to see: inconsistent categorization of essentials versus non-essentials, assembling together as churches is rendered non-essential, decisions made regardless of data (e.g. ongoing lockdown measures in California), overstepping constitutional rights has our government contradicting our government, and the list goes on. 

Third, the worldview is wrong.  Leeman notes conflict between the “church’s jurisdictional obligation and right to gather” and the “government’s obligation to protect life,” even providing a diagram illustrating “our pandemical moment.”  This jurisdictional overlap, however, is seriously flawed.  As believers in Christ, we live entirely within the sphere of God’s authority as revealed in the Scripture (biblical worldview).  The ultimate reason we submit to government authority is because the authority of the Bible tells us to.  When the two disagree, we always side with God and obey Him (cf. Daniel 6:10; Acts 4:19-20; 5:29, 41-42).  Jurisdictional obligation must always yield to divine obligation!

Asking the question, “Why should the government’s authority come first?” should make the hair on our necks bristle.  Yes, a place exists—as the author does—to resort to logic and facts in buttressing one’s position.  That approach works both ways.  For example, Leeman poignantly argues, “Yet stopping a pandemic which kills more than 50,000 U.S. citizens within a month strikes me as pretty reasonable.”  Yet the tragic 2017-18 winter flu season is on record of killing 80,000 people in the U.S. alone; the worst in four decades.[2]  Statistics are comparable to now, yet no hospitals were overrun or churches mandated to shut down then.  Here is the greater concern rather than differences in argumentation: an authority may exist above the Bible if certain conditions demand!  Whatever worldview this article advocates is clearly not biblical.

And fourth, the conclusion is wrong.  With so many wrong stances, the conclusion has nowhere to go but astray.  Leeman offers this summary that “churches should submit to government restrictions for the foreseeable future.”  Then comes this shocking statement, “Plus, Christians should utterly exhaust all ordinary means of legal recourse before contemplating disobedience.”  A deep breath is necessary.  Legal recourse takes money and time.  Are churches to empty their coffers in legal battles from where they pay salaries, do ministry, and support missionaries?  Do churches place Gospel proclamation on the back burner and continue to hit the pause button until the courts decide what we can or can’t do? 

The author’s final point about an evangelistic witness has a degree of truth.  It does show care for our community and love for our neighbors to refrain gathering together when a pandemic rages.  Vast majority of churches have acknowledged this by refraining from meeting.  But is this testimony overshadowing another important testimony understood by churches down through the centuries?

When Hebrews 10:25 provides instruction of “not forsaking our own assembling together,” it includes no less but involves much more.  The much more also includes evangelistic witness.  Whether in times of persecution or pandemic, gathering churches testify to the supreme authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Currently satanic brilliance is on display when a cough or sneeze or a frown from our government causes the saints to scatter and stay scattered.

Should churches look to reopen their doors during this pandemic crisis; particularly when the hard data fails to support this ongoing drastic action?  Individual churches will prayerfully need to decide.  Yet Leeman’s article is not helpful simply because wrong information or interpretation never helps us make good decisions.  Yes, churches need to honor and to obey our civil authorities, but not at the expense of honoring and obeying the Lord Jesus.

Grant Kolkow has twenty-four years of pastoral ministry experience.  Presently he pastors at Orland Evangelical Free Church in California.  He received his Masters of Divinity (2003) and Doctorate of Ministry (2013) degrees from the Master’s Seminary.

[1] “When Should Churches Reject Governmental Guidelines on Gathering and Engage in Civil Disobedience,” www.9marks.org, May 2, 2020.

[2] See https://www.statnews.com/2018/09/26/cdc-us-flu-deaths-winter/, accessed May 11, 2020.

A Follow Up on the Tragic Ahmaud Arbery Situation

Jon follows up on the Arbery/McMichael situation and answers some objections to his last video.

Topics Addressed:

- Emoting vs. Reasoning.
- Revenge vs. Justice.
- Exodus 22 (Robbery in day vs. night).
- Reasonable Force.
- Probable Cause.
- Patiently waiting for due process.

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5/11/20

Ahmaud Arbery, Woke Evangelicals, and Biblical Justice

First, a report of what we know happened between the McMichaels and Arbery. Then, an examination of the woke evangelical perspective. Finally, how biblical justice contrasts with social justice.

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5/7/20

The Privileged Pandemic


Is the cure worse than the disease? This is the question of our time, and continues to crowd the radio and television airwaves as well as cell tower and Wi-Fi signals. Over the last several weeks, the people of Planet Earth have entered into possibly the strangest and most bizarre period of their collective existence as countries throughout the world have raced one another to prove how prepared and powerful they are to lockdown their populaces to defend against an illness that few seem to understand or have any concrete answers to. As the questions mount (How long are we doing this? What are we waiting for to open up? etc.), the consequences of sequestering populations begin arriving in increasingly dramatic fashion. In countries like Australia, where Covid-19 infections and fatalities have remained fairly low, it’s being suggested that epidemic suicide may trounce any illness deaths[i]. Heart wrenching stories coming from third world nations speak to families and individuals already in danger of starvation being pushed to the brink[ii]. These are more dramatic examples, but don’t even scratch the surface of the billions of individual stories of economic hardship and ruin.     

Despite the uptick in non-Covid related threats to life and livelihood, an extraordinarily reactionary segment of the public has become increasingly vitriolic in anti-opening rhetoric, at least in the West. In what has become typical irony, the political lines being rapidly scratched out are at least somewhat counter-intuitive (unless perhaps one looks closely at the greater issues at play). Those on the right are quickly latching onto the pro-opening platform, while those on the left seem to tend toward a – “lockdown as long as we need to” platform. What makes the drift toward the anti-opening position on the left so ironic is that the political segment of population that claims to be anti-corporate is supporting the most corporate advancing agenda in history. The same political segment spends much time bringing attention to the plight of the poor and middle class, while the lockdown policies being advocated affect these groups in unbelievably destructive ways. Again, the same political segment prizes immigration (legal or not) as something close to a religious sacrament, while advocating policies that have virtually ended immigration (for a fairly significant amount of time).
 Many who are not on the left have grown particularly tired of being lectured, chided and harangued about privilege. After all, the great sin of the 21st century is the exercise of one’s racial, economic or social privilege, unless of course one gets out in front of it and confesses the sin by identifying these privileges. In light of this paradigm, it is indeed a strange and dizzying thing to observe possibly the greatest exercise of privilege in the history of mankind not even remotely being labeled as such. As the bulk of the world “locks down,” apparently none of the privilege police realized that a large percentage of this earth doesn’t have the personal infrastructure to do so in any sustainable way. To “shelter-in-place” assumes that one has a shelter, and many across this earth do not.
Strangely enough, despite the coming pestilence upon the poor, middle class and small business owners, the truly privileged have so far treated the Corona situation like a novelty. Celebrities posture for the government and tech companies by parroting “stay at home” catchphrases while showing us how to cook their favorite pasta dish. Late night hosts sacrifice their laugh tracks, and news anchors bravely broadcast from their basements. Politicians show us their favorite ice cream. Throngs of other privileged people who can afford to “stay home to stop the spread” repost memes making light of the first world problems they experience while staying in their 3,000 square feet dwellings. Few to little “privilege confessions” are made, after all, if staying home is a “heroic” act, these are our intrepid models.
Unfortunately, many live in a completely different world. One where $1200 paid rent for the family for one month, and that’s just about it. Where life savings went to pay a small businesses’ three employees so they could continue to put food on the table. Where the closure of the local outdoor market means that the day’s catch can’t be sold, and no food will be able to be purchased for the foreseeable future. Where one’s dream that took decades to realize has gone completely up in smoke in a matter of weeks.
              Those who are less “woke” know that being financially successful and having a social platform are not things to be ashamed of – they are blessings to be thankful for. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned, it’s this: privilege, prestige and popularity fail to deliver one thing vitally needed at this time: perspective. Without this fourth asset, many will bitterly remember the Corona Crisis as the Privileged Pandemic.


5/6/20

Mega Edition: Seminaries, Church Meetings and Malum in se, Jonathan Leeman's Identity Politics

First, Jon talks about alternatives to "woke" seminary and gives an update on his own work. Then, some thoughts on whether it's sinful to meet for church diving Covid-19. 00:38 Finally, Jon dissects Jonathan Leeman's article on Identity Politics. 1:05 Video:
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5/1/20

There’s Nothing Heroic about Staying in Your House (yes, the title is meant to be provocative)


By an anonymous contributor:

“In these trying times…”
 “Do your part to stop the spread.”

“We’re all in this together.”

and yesterday I heard this one:
“Be a hero, stay 6 feet away.”

Scanning through the radio, flipping through the TV or scrolling through social media, you simply cannot avoid the above three catchphrases at any point of your day unless you’re sitting on a mountainside in the Canadian Rockies without cell service. They seem to clog any moment not engaged in another thought. As someone who tends toward the cynical side, I find most popular catchphrases to become annoying after hearing them more than five times in a day. Other popular sayings that come to mind include, “give your garbage another life, “the more you spend the more you save” and probably the worst of all, “love is love” (the latter seems to borrow without permission from Gertrude Stein’s famous poem: “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”). However, there’s been something particularly concerning, almost alarming, about our current sayings, something that I’ve not been able to quite put my finger on.
As of today, I finally realize why they bother me.
We’ve been told that the current world crisis is our generation’s “World War II,” “September 11” and Spanish Flu all wrapped into one. I realize that at the time these words are typed, we’re seeing every day more and more that this is not any of those things (though I’ll submit to the possibility that the fallout could be on par or even worse to some of them). That being said, the lockdowns continue, and an increasingly stark divide seems to forming between the “open everything up so we don’t lose our businesses and the third world doesn’t starve” people and the “stay locked down for as long as Google and my governor says to” people. I’m not that interested in the political fray – the reader can guess where the writer stands. But the question remains: if  it is the case that this is our World War II moment, then why are millions of healthy, able bodied young people spending entire days, weeks and now months quite literally scrolling through their Instragram feeds and “binging” Netflix shows?  Where is the home gardening movement? The accelerated nurse training programs? The openings at the ventilator factory?
              I anticipate the immediate backlash: “Of course they’re at home; EVERYBODY should be at home to stop the spread!” I understand that. I also understand the reason that heavy-handed quarantine restrictions were put in place. I also understand that young people in particular sometimes act selfishly and go to beaches to party instead of “sheltering-in-place.” I understand that many people, even young people have medical conditions that require them to try to limit exposure to anything that will destroy their immune system (for a nightmare level version of this in particular, see “The Spanish Flu”). Believe it or not, I even understand that we’re in a time and place where security is valued far above freedom. All of that makes sense. Now let me tell you what I don’t understand.
              I don’t understand how we can be “all in this together” if we’re by definition on our own, except for $1200 we got to pay the rent and Google Hangouts. I don’t understand why Elephant Butte, New Mexico should have the same lockdown restrictions as New York City. I don’t understand why economically disastrous lockdown decisions have been made almost exclusively by individuals who will not have to suffer any of the consequences of these decisions. I don’t understand why so many of us get our up-to-the-minute information from media outlets and pundits who only realized 15 minutes ago that locking down Nigeria would mean that people couldn’t sell their fish at the local market and thus wouldn’t be eating that night or any nights to follow till the lockdowns are lifted. Most of all, I don’t understand what’s noble about a sturdy 20-year old staring at their phone screen in their room for 16 hours a day simply because they aren’t doing the same thing at the local coffee shop while there are half-a-dozen openings at the local grocery store and hospital. Unfortunately, these barely scratch the surface of what doesn’t make sense about collective human behavior in 2020.
             
Here’s a question: what should healthy, young people who have a very limited risk of becoming gravely ill from Covid-19 be doing with their time (assuming they are working in an “essential” field and their lives are currently on a sort of hiatus)? Is there any way for a young person to act intrepidly or bravely in the midst of the pandemic? After all, I don’t want it to seem like I’m just lambasting young adults for sitting at home when they could be contributing to the overall betterment of their town/city/country/world by working in an “essential” field or using the extra time to do something entrepreneurial (I realize that may have seemed like another backhanded slap). I understand that many are in difficult positions, and even more just don’t know what to do, and if they’re listening to the media they think they’ll die if they walk outside without a mask. What I find immensely concerning about the group response to Covid-19 is that we’ve now normalized inaction as the ideal, even heroic response to illness. Rather than give a generation something to aspire to, we’ve instead decided to kill the concept of heroism in the face of pandemic.  Young people are definitely not the only ones to blame for this – paranoid parents, local politicians striving to appear “in-control” and a obsessively risk-averse culture have.
To be sure, heroes have reared their heads during this time, and I don’t need to go through a list of who they are because if there’s one thing that we’ve done decently as a society, it’s show our appreciation for those who have kept going to work (though I’m almost itching to death to point out that they still have jobs and will more than likely continue to after the lockdowns lift). As long as we’re talking about heroes, who exactly the heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic? Scientists? Doctors? Nurses? Nurse’s Aides? What about nursing home staff? Grocery workers? Politicians? All essential workers? People who “follow the rules?” I wouldn’t argue that the individuals above could fit into the heroic category, but there seems to be at least one crucial category missing: Where are the people who are willing to potentially expose themselves to the virus to provide comfort/care to the dying (excluding hospital staff of course)? Pastors, church leaders, musicians or really anyone who would be willing to take a risk while staying with the suffering infected and dying – but there is no place for such individuals in a 2020 pandemic, all of that pressure must fall on doctors, nurses and medical aides alone.
Let’s make it more personal. The problem is that if you’re a young person with a strong immune system, there’s nothing heroic about staying inside your house for two months. There’s also nothing healthy about it. In fact, homebound individuals are generally considered to be unhealthy in some way – that’s usually why they’re homebound and require assistance from outside sources. Additionally, while the statistics will more than likely take years to come out, the uptick of tech and pornography addiction, as well as drug and alcohol abuse probably defies the imagination at this point. There are macro reasons to stay home and everyone’s situation is different, but on a micro level there are almost certainly opportunities in your local area to chip in somewhere and help your community, or to financially better yourself and/or your family.
          Here are some practical ideas especially if you’re a young person who doesn’t have a compromised immune system:
1) If you belong to a church or community group of any kind, go through the directory and call the people (especially elderly ones) and ask if there’s anything they need, any help they could use (gardening, chores around the property, etc.) or even just talk to them for bit. 

2) Sign up for a food delivery service like Doordash, Instacart or Postmates­ (availability will depend on location). Not only can you assist people who need assistance, you can make money while doing it (you can even make money from people who are simply too paranoid to go out themselves).

3) As lockdowns start to ease, volunteer to go into areas that have Covid-19 positive patients (if you’re allowed to) and play guitar, read a book or just talk to the patients. It’s very lonely sitting in a hospital bed day after day without anyone to visit you.

4) Get a job in a local restaurant or grocery store. There are loads of openings due to increased demand. This is an opportunity to have a regular life during this bizarre time in our history.

5) Plan. Times ahead will probably be tough economically speaking. Many are unwilling to work at all for fear of exposure or simply because they’ve tasted getting a paycheck without working. Think long and hard about how to emerge from this period better off financially, physically, mentally and spiritually then you went in. Then make plans.



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