38 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-24-16

  1. We’re up early today!
    I was just going to check yesterday’s posts. Though I wasn’t part of whatever that was about concerning Jesus representing marriage, or some such.
    Don’t explain it. I don’t want to know.

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  2. Morning Chas. I don’t want to know either.
    I gave the devotion at Bible study/ prayer/share time last night. I briefly went over Habakkuk as it seems so fitting for these times. God is doing His work.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Happiness is being able to spell Habakkuk.
    I did a Kay Arthur Bible Study on it years ago.
    Next week we will resume our Monday night Bible study with Isaiah

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been busy this morning. I have to be at the Board of Realtors today to learn the new commercial MLS system.
    I also needed to finish watching the video about Dr. Terry who will be directing the intervention we are planning for Friday. I am apprehensive about this for many reasons. One being that I will be the one responsible for getting her there. I am afraid she is going to figure us out and not only that but there is a custody hearing over her youngest child–only a few months old. Her mother and her ex-husband will be testifying against her tomorrow. Her mother is the one who sought out this intervention.

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  5. I was reading in Isaiah this morning. 🙂 Good book!

    Miss Bosley is torn between having a cuddle time with me and sitting in the screened open window to be closer to the birds. An indoor cat’s life is filled with decisions between good and best. A few moments with me was all she could manage. Now she is in the window. Birds are thankful for window screens.

    I have some writing projects to work on this week. Going to a conference, like the one I attended, puts enthusiasm into the hearts of attendees. If anyone else here has considered learning more about the craft, get involved with your local Christian writer group. I have to drive an hour to meet with my group. It is worth it. Great people, new friendships. I am happy about this aspect of my life. 🙂 You can attend a group as an observer to see if it is a good fit. I belong to a Word Weavers group, but there are others, and there are people of all ages.

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  6. Just catching up on yesterday’s daily thread. Cheryl mentioned hearing about a heresy years ago that is now coming back into vogue. I would suspect that if we study the heresy battles from Jesus’ resurrection and a few hundred years after, we would find that most heresies just keep coming back in some variation.

    I was reading 2Timothy again today, where Paul tells Timothy to not get into endless arguing with others, yet to maintain the true gospel. It is often difficult to keep that balance.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Janice,

    I was part of a writing group in Nashville for a couple of years, and I mostly enjoyed it. But it ate up hours and hours on a Saturday morning (every other Saturday). And the one who pulled it together was the only one of us who’d had a children’s book published (though I’d had two books for adults published and had in fact written about children’s literature) and so she saw herself as the expert and all the rest of us as novices. So she’s the one who basically guided as and set the rules by which we operated . . . but she felt free to break them.

    We agreed to work with “one chapter, up to ten pages” of each person’s work. The books I had written, the chapters were six to eight pages each, so that worked well. Her own book, the chapters were about four pages each. Over time she was submitting more and more chapters at a sitting, until we were doing about 18 pages of her work per week. If 20 pages had been the limit we set, I could have been submitting two or even three chapters per week, but we had said 10. And she may have been the only one who was a published children’s writer (though she’d published a picture book and none of us, including her, was writing picture books for the critique group), but I was the only one who edited for a living, so I was doing “free” editing of 17 or 18 pages of her work, and increasingly longer batches of everyone else’s as they followed her lead, but I submitted one chapter each week of mine.

    I privately reminded her of the limit we had all agreed to, and that I did this for a living, and that it was taking too much time to work on people’s writings and also the resulting three-to-four hour meetings were too long, as well. She thought I was being nitpicky, and told me if I wanted to stop at ten pages, do so.

    So . . . I decided that since most of my work is adult nonfiction and not children’s fiction, I really didn’t have time for that group once we finished the two books I had written for kids. I had seen myself going on with the series and writing more books once I finished those two, but I actually found that group counterproductive in terms of doing any actual writing, because we all spent so much time critiquing (and then I had to rewrite based on their comments) that all my writing time was spent in “homework” for the group. Perhaps it would have been better if we had met only once a month. I think it would have been better if we had stuck to the 10-page limit and also limited our meetings to two hours.

    I have thought about looking up in my area to see if there are writing groups around here. But I’m torn partly because I’m working on several different genres and it’s hard to know what sort of group even to look for! (I’m still doing the children’s fiction, plus children’s nonfiction, and also the adult nonfiction that is where I have had book-length works published.)

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  8. Quite a photo: ready for take off! That must be some lens you’ve got on your camera, Cheryl.

    I’m lost in publishing land, lots to do, and last night sent an important email to the key of endorsers.

    I keep going back to the passages I read last week about the 12 spies–and hanging on to the two who stuck to their faith the God who had taken them that far would not abandon them now.

    I’m not worrying about being abandoned–it’s the careful nuanced, finessing wordsmithing that may kill me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kathaleena, I didn’t mean a different cycle of this heresy, I mean that a friend had pointed out years ago that these same people who are now (still) teaching heresy were (then) teaching heresy.

    I often tell people, though, that easily one of the most important classes I had in college was church history, and that a look at error and where people went astray in the past is very important. My writing classes and theology classes and all the rest of it were important, too–but that church history class was probably the one that gave me the most “new” material that I hadn’t heard anywhere else. (Churches I grew up in didn’t really talk about church history. I knew vaguely about the Reformation and that was about it.)

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  10. Not to mention all the interruptions that drag me away from carefully laid plans–but that’s life, isn’t it? 🙂

    I’m so glad I’m going offline on vacation soon . . . I really need a brain clearing break.

    Stargazer is home again after a summer of house sitting. He taught his first lab yesterday and has his second today. Five of his students graduated from the same high school he did, so he’s aroused some interest beyond the stars! 🙂

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  11. There was a time in Church history. Mostly teaching by popes who didn’t know/understand the Bible, At that time they got the notion that all sex is bad. Hence, immaculate conception, the doctrine that Mary remained a virgin all her life, priests and nuns couldn’t marry.
    All sorts of weird things due to a simple misunderstanding.
    Cain and Abel, and the others didn’t come because Adam and Eve planned to have them. They arrived because Adam and Eve were doing what they were supposed to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What is the most dangerous step on a ladder?
    Answer: The first one. You are most likely to misjudge the first step and are more likely to be careless. Watch that first step.
    I complained about that shed before. It’s the most difficult wood I’ve ever tried to paint .I just put a second coat on the front. If you came by now, you would say, “That guy did a messy job.” The paint is supposed to have a primer in it, for whatever good that does.

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  13. Thanks, Michelle. Actually, I got that photo because of the number-one thing to know about photographing dragonflies: they return over and over to the same branch. You don’t have to rush and get a photo in the couple of seconds they are on it, but can take your time getting the proper focus, angle, etc., because even if it flies away, there’s about an 80% chance it will return within a minute. In this case, there were lots of dragonflies around, and more than one was using this same perch, so it was a very safe place to focus my camera! As soon as one left, another would take its spot.

    I got this the same day I got the red-winged blackbird on cattails. Our son-in-law’s grandmother has a cabin on the lake, and we were supposed to go out there and see his parents, but they ended up being unable to come. We went anyway, and I ended up walking down to the lake to see what I could see. I got this one and a really flashy one, and the red-winged blackbird, so it was definitely a good photo day.

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  14. Chas reminds me of the two monks who were transcribing passages from the Bible. They got to a word they couldn’t read so the decided to go back to the source document. One says to the other, “Ah, the word is celebRate!”

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  15. Alien! Nice shot. 🙂

    I think there are repeated ‘themes’ in the heresies that the church has seen through the years. And those themes do keep cropping up in one form or another, if you trace it back to its roots. It have new clothing, but underneath it’s based on errors that have been around for centuries. Nothing new under the sun.

    Well, I had to watch/listen to (live, online) an overly long LA school board meeting late yesterday, and it turned out the item we were interested in, while formally introduced, did not get any discussion (and won’t until next meeting). So kind of all for naught. But I used to cover the board regularly years ago (in person back then in the prehistoric, pre-internet days) so it was interesting to see what the latest district news was and who the new crop of players are (I now only know only our own area’s board member, none of the others really).

    When I was covering the district, enrollment was growing & they had to go to year-round calendars for a while, which was an outrage to many parents (and granted, it was disruptive).

    But now, the district is losing enrollment, mostly to families opting out and sending their kids to charter schools — which the district, of course, abhors and appears intent on going after with violation charges, etc. Fewer students = less money for the district, essentially. So losing enrollment at the pace it’s going now can quickly become be disastrous to the bottom line.

    They also spent a good deal of time promoting a November ballot proposition to extend a tax for school money. My friend, the teacher, of course, is asked by the union to campaign in favor of these motions as a way to avoid layoffs and I sympathize with that. But teachers also just got a 10% raise last year, which sounds astronomical to me. It puts veteran teachers just shy of the $100,000 a year mark now.

    And as a taxpayer, I see these propositions to increase our taxes in order to give more money to the district now coming around in nearly every election cycle. Meanwhile, the district seems to be dropping when it comes to tangible results. I have my doubts that it’s strictly a money issue that’s at the root of their performance problems.

    And I personally think charter schools and other alternatives are healthy since it gives parents a choice in their children’s education.

    Our pastor, during an informal Q&A session last week after the service, also brought up the new academic challenges that are being brought to bear against the homeschooling movement. He believes that pressure will increase, in large part due to the cultural pressure for conformity on so many issues these days. It’s a theory that says the state naturally has (and should have) control over children’s education, above and beyond the parents.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. From Chas: “At that time they got the notion that all sex is bad. Hence, immaculate conception, the doctrine that Mary remained a virgin all her life, priests and nuns couldn’t marry.”

    And you see that heresy — that the material world is bad, the ‘spiritual’ is good — cropping up still today in all kinds of ways and wearing ‘new clothes.’

    In recent history, movements like Christian Science embrace that kind of theology. Nothing new under the sun. 🙂

    But it’s not just others.

    The “touch not” legalism among Protestants, for example, with regard to dancing, music, movies, alcohol comes to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. In the nothing new under the sun category…
    I worked at Columbia Mall when I was in college. There were some “punk” guys that hung out there. Leather jacket, mohawk, a chain of safety pins from his ear to his nose…you get the picture.
    A little “Jewish” grandma was in my store. She looked out at him, drew herself up to her full 4’9″, put her hand on her chest and told me “There is nothing new under the sun. I was a Bohemian”.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Isaiah and Habakkuk (sometimes spelled with a c in place of the k at the end). Interesting that Chas thinks it gets good at Chapter 40. Well, I like 1:18 “Come let us reason together…”. Or Chapter 5, which could be applied to the US in 2016. Or Chapter 6 where Isaiah sees the Lord. Lots of good stuff in the first 39 chapters.

    We named our first child Isaiah. My dad, a Roman Catholic who had never read the Bible that I can recall, wrote that he decided to read the book because of his grandson. (There were two older grandsons from my sister.) My older brother wrote him and said, “I’d name a child Habakkuk if it got you to read the Bible.”

    Liked by 7 people

  19. I liked what I read in Isaiah 3 today about God’s word going out and not returning void.

    Cheryl, you would appreciate the Word Weaver’s group. We meet once a month with a limit on words and time allowed for each critique. We have a good variety of materials so we get to learn about different genres. I do find it sometimes challenging in having maybe five different people’s input regarding possible changes. Some are of exact opposite opinions. But we are all very supportive. In WW the sandwich method of critique is used which is to say something positive about what you read, then give constructive criticism, and finally end with a positive statement. That is good practice in people skills in areas outside of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you for your sweet comment/prayer at the end of yesterday’s thread, NancyJill. I fell asleep maybe 20-30 minutes after I posted, and slept straight through to the alarm 4 1/2 hours later. So grateful for good sleep during the very time you were praying I’d rest well. 🙂

    I’ve had a great day so far — well, the daylight hours anyway! I met with a friend at 9:00 this morning, with whom I’ll be performing duets in the fall, and that was fun and pretty hilarious, me trying to sightread some advanced duets with her for over an hour, after little sleep last night. It was better than a cup of coffee for waking up my brain, though!

    After that I drove over to the elementary school in the same town as our practice/performance venue, to drop off my new piano-teaching business cards for the music teacher. I used to teach at that school back in my pre-homeschooling years, and the school secretary was one who had been there when I left. She gave me a hearty welcome, remembering me from when I’d worked there — 23 years ago now since I’ve left! It was great talking to her, and seeing a picture of her grandchildren as her screen saver. I asked her if those were her grandchildren and she said yes — all ten of them. (She’s got 4 adult children, three of the children having two children each, and one having four.)

    Then she asked about my family, saying, “You have two kids, right?” 🙂 (I’d resigned soon after 2nd Arrow was born.)

    Surprise and delight registered on her face when I told her we have six now. 🙂

    Such a fun morning traveling around the district, delivering my cards to the sometimes-familiar, and always friendly, even if I hadn’t met them before, office staff to give to the band, choir and elementary music teachers. I saw my good friend Sue, also, who teaches elementary art, when I went to one of the buildings. We had a nice chat.

    After that, I drove back to my town and distributed more cards to the music teachers/office staff in our district. I didn’t know any of those people, but everyone was so friendly.

    I got home at 1:30, nearly five hours after having left home, and logged nearly 70 miles traveling to the performance venue and 10 different schools. A most exciting day, and I am energized after all these positive encounters!

    Tomorrow I will crash. 🙂 (After the piano teacher’s workshop I’m attending in the morning — a favorite yearly tradition for me.)

    Liked by 6 people

  21. The new photo is, as AJ said, the same yellow pond lily as yesterday, but with a damselfly on it. The damselfly, as you can see, is similar in some ways to a dragonfly, but it is smaller and it holds its wings differently. They can be extremely hard to photograph, because not only do they fly more than they sit, but their bodies are very narrow and they tend to perch (in my limited experience) among grasses, with the grass being about the same width as the insect. So telling the camera where to focus can be difficult, especially since it’s likely to take flight just as you get it focused.

    With this one, the moment I saw that vivid yellow, blue, and green against the dark of the water, I knew I had a winner. My husband gave me some of the highest praise he has ever given on a photo on this one (he has an artist’s eye and doesn’t praise just anything). I didn’t see it until I got home or I would have tried for a different angle and taken a second photo, but if you look inside the flower at the upper left, there is another insect in there . . . or, my hunch, the exoskeleton of this damselfly as it came out of the water and shed its nymph skin to become an adult. But that’s just a guess, and I’m nowhere near an expert on these creatures.

    This was one of three finalists for 8 x 10 photos for the fair, and the one we didn’t choose to enter. When I was looking to mat it, I had two or three colors of mats to consider, and my husband thought it should be matted in blue to “bring out” the blue of the insect. I hadn’t chosen blue as one of the options, because I thought that the insect actually got lost when it was matted with that color. When I showed my husband the matted print, he said the same thing. He didn’t even see the damselfly at first, was thinking it was just a photo of a flower, and he agreed the blue didn’t work after all. But it wasn’t at all clear what color to use for matting, since none of the ones that we tried worked. So it got dropped, but maybe next year I can figure out what to do with it and enter it then.

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  22. It is Thursday here, but tomorrow is a holiday, so no school. So… feels like Friday already.
    God keeps giving me creative ideas. Today to learn about had and has we are going to pass around a little dog puppet. I will say ‘I have the dog,’ then pass it to someone next to me and ask “Who has the dog?” then “Who had the dog?” Passing it to each of my students. When you have eleven students from seven countries, this is a good thing to practice.

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  23. I told you before, and gave an example of why I believe squirrels can cogitate.
    On Fox News, just a few minutes ago, they told and showed a clip of this:
    Some men were out on a boat. A seal that was being harassed by whales came up to the boat and climbed in. The men allowed the seal to remain on the boat until the whales left.
    It takes some presence of mind to consider that these men on a boat were a source of security rather than danger.

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