67 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-16-16

  1. Several years ago we spent a couple of days in New York City. On the third day, we woke before dawn, drove out of New York, across New Jersey, across Pennsylvania, across Maryland, across West Virginia (which we don’t believe actually exists) and 100 miles down the Shenandoah Valley to eat breakfast at the Southern Kitchen in New Market.

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  2. That is a tough one, Chas. I hope it is no one’s favorite. According to my Dad, our ancestors who lived 150 years ago would have understood it very well.

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  3. Good Morning….the sun is coming up and this will be our last warm day…tomorrow we are predicted to get some snow!! 🙂
    Chas we attended a church for a while that believed in only singing the Psalms….137 was one that was sung….I just could not reconcile that being sung as a worship song…..

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  4. Good morning.

    Sixth Arrow has been studying piano for about six months, and last night it was so neat that she took out our hymnal on her own and started sightreading the psalms that are set to music. So after reading the above discussion, I had to see if Psalm 137 is included.

    Nope. And I can’t imagine that being sung in worship, either, NancyJill.

    Off to begin the day. I hear footsteps above me. Have a wonderful day, all.

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  5. Russians and Saudis apparently tried to hack my website yesterday–MY website? I prefer to believe they tried to take it down owing to their enthusiasm for Oswald Chambers–who died 99 years ago yesterday.

    Anyway, change your passwords is the warning–whether you have a website or not.

    I know. I don’t want to do it either, but . . .

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  6. Greetings from the land of exposed walls and no (proper) bathroom.

    I am forced to replace the spare toilet, it simply won’t do — it won’t flush and is continually leaking from the bottom of the tank (I have to keep a bucket underneath it) so I am waiting for another Roto-Rooter person this morning, I told them to bring a (small, round, basic) toilet. I hope it can be done, the other guys mentioned there would be issues most likely with the plaster wall behind it (it’s attached somehow and there is a crack already) and possibly the floor … Ugh.

    They’re coming between 8 and 10, I’ll have to get in touch with my boss and explain somehow — though i should still be able to get into work today (or work partly from home). Friday also is my deadline to sign up for next year’s med benefits so I have to get that done.

    Meanwhile, Tess has done something to her left hind leg or foot, she’s hopping around on it (and seems spooked every time she has to pass by the haunted-looking bathroom). Hoping she just sprained something and it’ll clear up, I’ll have to keep an eye on her though. A vet visit is the last thing I need on my plate right now.

    I also need to check with the bathtub restorers this morning, I contacted a local one that was recommended to me late yesterday and emailed them several photos (which they requested for an initial assessment as to whether it can or can’t be restored/reglazed).

    The oak floors in there were an intriguing discovery and I’d love to keep those, but … after reading up on the constant maintenance, sealing and re-sealing, required (and the inherent pitfalls) of wood flooring in a bathroom, I’m thinking I’ll stick with my original idea of putting floor tiles over that.

    I’m just grateful there were no major (unseen) problems uncovered yesterday (and that demo was finished in just a day). Real estate guy thought it would be way worse and he kept warning me that once everything was stripped down we’d likely have tons of water, termite, rot damage to deal with and fix — I should be prepared for a real mess in there, he kept saying. But there was, amazingly, none of that. It’s all pretty clean looking. Whew.

    One of the workers said they built houses better in those days, too — sturdy, lots of thick, heavy-duty framing.

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  7. Reading Ps. 137 I kept thinking, well, it’s a lament and we sometimes do sing hymns or psalms that have that as their focus when it’s appropriate — so I poked around online and found this take on how such laments can be or should be used at times in worship …

    The author began with relating a discussion he heard once on Christian radio

    http://peterwallace.org/sermons/Ps137.htm

    _________________________________

    Most evangelical worship emphasizes praising God-“praise and worship!”

    And he was concerned that such worship cannot connect with those who are suffering.

    He even asked, where are the laments in our worship?

    And pointed out that Israel’s hymnal-the Psalms-contained many laments….

    … the central question of Psalm 137 is “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?” …

    Because we are exiles. Peter tells us that we are elect exiles-those whom God has called and chosen to endure through suffering.

    Maybe your marriage is rocky.

    Maybe your colleagues at work are difficult.

    Maybe you feel alone and afraid. …

    And for whatever reason, you don’t feel like “being happy.” You don’t want to try to put a smiley face on your sorrow …

    There is a place for lament.

    There is a place for pouring out your heart before God and saying,

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

    Why aren’t things the way they should be?

    And that place is here-not just here, as in this building-but here, as in these people.

    Psalm 137 teaches us how to weep. …
    ____________________________

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  8. As for using that specific psalm in worship, I don’t think it would fit or make sense in most (99%) cases. But the collective laments of God’s people who are enduring a crisis, personal or national or global, perhaps the result of their own sin or straying away, can be very moving.

    Michelle, that is very strange. One of our reporters had her company-issued cell phone hacked into by “Russians” — or so it was determined after the company received a humongous phone bill. They accused her of watching HBO on her phone which she adamantly denied — so after some tech investigation, it was determined that it came from a foreign source. Weird.

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  9. This morning I received my final high resolution photos for the book from Cadbury research library in the U.K. Two of them are of Oswald Chambers’ military funeral 99 years ago TODAY.

    I’m completely undone; crying. I can view it all in detail and I think I’ve picked out Biddy. I’ve posted it on FB. I don’t know how I’m going to dance in 30 minutes. Maybe I’ll dress in black and take a walk instead.

    I’ll finish fine tuning the edits today as well and bid my book goodbye.

    Of course I’ve said that before . . .

    Thanks for putting up with this the last 18 months.

    Off to find Kleenex.

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  10. Donna, I saw the pictures. If my father was in your neck of the woods, he would jump in to help. He renovated a couple of old century homes that had lath and plaster as a way of making ends meet after he was permanently laid off two years before he was due to retire.

    Re: Psalm 137 being anyone’s favorite: There is an operatic chorus from Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco (meaning Nebuchadnezzar) which closely paraphrases Psalm 137 – in translation the words of the chorus are these:

    Hasten thoughts on golden wings.
    Hasten and rest on the densely wooded hills,
    where warm and fragrant and soft
    are the gentle breezes of our native land!
    The banks of the Jordan we greet
    and the towers of Zion.
    O, my homeland, so beautiful and lost!
    O memories, so dear and yet so deadly!
    Golden harp of our prophets,
    why do you hang silently on the willow?
    Rekindle the memories of our hearts,
    and speak of the times gone by!
    Or, like the fateful Solomon,
    draw a lament of raw sound;
    or permit the Lord to inspire us
    to endure our suffering!

    Verdi wrote the music for Nabucco after a period of deep depression after the loss of his wife and daughter from illness. He had stopped composing. A friend who wrote librettos (librettos are the words of an opera) tried to persuade Verdi to write the music for Nabucco. Verdi took the libretto home and threw it on the table. The manuscript fell open on the above chorus, and Verdi said afterwards that the words so closely followed the King James Bible, which he loved to read, that he sat down and wrote the music for the chorus. The chorus of the Hebrew slaves from Nabucco became something of a national hymn for Italy, as they were struggling to free themselves from the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of Verdi’s writing.

    Here it is:

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  11. I actually liked singing the Psalms….I didn’t particularly believe that was the only one true worship…I happen to like hymns and accompanying music (this church allowed no musical instruments) as well….I just could not bring myself to sing in worship “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!”

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  12. Seems like Second Chapter of Acts had a song on that, very strong. You felt the sorrow and pain, and yet the Hope was there as well. I don’t remember which group but it was back in the seventies.

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  13. Runway Lights!

    I wasn’t watching, it may have been part of a commercial, but a guy on TV said, “What is the sight you were most happy to see.” Immediately, “runway lights” popped into my head.
    It happened every time we came in for a GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) when fog had the airport socked in.
    The controller always said “Take over visually.” about two seconds before we saw anything.
    But There They Are!.
    I know most of you don’t know what I’m talking about. Technology has changed so much.
    I have used GCA as a sermon illustration.

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  14. Well, the mighty hunters did not see an elk yesterday, but just as husband was stepping down an embankment, a mountain lion walked in front of him. He said it was very large and very muscular and the best part was seeing the black tip on the tail. Son got to see it as well so that was good.

    They are out again this morning then off to the big city for an ortho appt for son. Son has been driving himself for months but he is having car trouble. He can’t seem to keep air in the tires so bought himself some used on Craigs list. Husband had told him the problem with buying a car like a BMW was getting parts. Anyway, his friend brought the tires from the purchase place, three hours away, and son learned they do not fit. Lesson learned? I doubt it but getting there. Did I mention he took his car to the car wash and washed off a sticker. The sticker had been placed over a bullet hole, with the bullet still in it. Guess that comes from buying a car from a city guy. Anyway, so he has been borrowing our monster truck which is really just a little Ford Ranger but it has served us well the past twenty five years. But yesterday he punctured a tire. So, husband did not let him borrow his truck but did drive him to his ortho appt.

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  15. OK. This is funny.
    The Facebook icon on my computer is now a photo of DJ’s demolished bathroom. I am not sure how that happened. I think it must have something to do with the photos you look at the most.

    Chas, having flown at night and in fog and other bad weather I always feel better when I can see the ground.

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  16. Just back from Home Depot with plumbers to pick out new toilet — more exclamations of wonder at the age of the old one, holding our breath that everything goes smoothly considering how long that thing has been bolted to the floor in there — carpet will go (no tears over that)

    I like singing the Psalms too (which we do) but like the mix as well with hymns and other songs

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  17. Museum piece toilet out (they had to take it in two pieces it was so heavy).

    I haven’t looked at the space in there yet, am kind of leaving them to do their thing unless I’m needed.

    Bought a round-seat, fairly compact, white American Standard, basic, simple, $119 on sale.

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  18. My neighbor — whose bathrooms are becoming intimately familiar to me now — has those one-piece Kohlers which are very nice and compact. They’re pretty pricey I think (more than the standard 2-piece) but they are clearly space savers.

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  19. My desktop seems to have crashed, so I’m relegated to the slow as molasses backup. 😦

    If things are a little late tomorrow please bare with me. Thanks.

    So now the question is fix it, and can it be fixed, or new?

    This is such a pain considering we’re already car shopping, which is it’s own nightmare. 😦

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  20. Roscuro, I didn’t get back on here yesterday, but I see you made several additional comments, some of which I agree with, and some I have a different perspective.

    You said, “I just cannot comprehend the idea that in order to be independent and a ‘real’ adult, one must live on one’s own and be self supporting.” I wouldn’t agree with that either. If nothing else, that would mean a housewife is not an adult, and it would also mean many elderly people are not. But a person who chooses not to aid the functioning of the household is not an adult, whether she (or he) is choosing not to work, choosing not to give money from that work toward the household, or choosing not to do labor within the home.

    You say that the head of the household is not really a biblical idea, that the husband is head of just his wife. I had really never even thought of them as being the same term, but you are right that they are. I don’t think it’s an unbiblical concept, even if the word itself isn’t used. (I don’t know the original languages, and don’t know whether “head” is used in that context.) The household head was not only the leader of his wife and children, but of the servants as well. My sister is a woman, but as a widowed mom, she is head of her household.

    You point out that you don’t have men spend the night not because of household rules but because of your own beliefs—and that is obviously honorable. I don’t think, though, that that means a father can say “My belief is that men shouldn’t be spending the night with my daughter, but she believes differently, and she’s 21 now and if she wants to have men over, she can.” Whether or not we use the term “head of household,” the concept that he can say, “No, this does not happen in my home” applies. He has that authority. Let’s say you’re living at home and you believe it is OK to drink alcohol and your father does not. Now, he may choose to waive his belief and allow you to drink in his home, but if he has the right to say “No alcohol.” (When I rented out bedrooms in my home, I likewise had that condition in my home. Not because I believed drinking to be wrong, but because it was an easier line to draw than regulating “how much.” And I didn’t have a very big fridge, either. And I did say no unrelated men could spend the night, not even on the couch.) Well, let’s say your father says no alcohol in his home, but you are OK with drinking, and once you have your own home, you keep alcohol. Then one day your mother is a widow and she moves into your house. Your household rules are different, and she either accepts that you have wine in your fridge, or she lives elsewhere, or you choose to limit your freedom in love for your mom. But it is your home and your choice. When I was considering a tenant in Nashville who had a teen daughter (a very iffy situation for me, and the tenant eventually decided no on her own), my sister engaged in this ludicrous “What if” scenario, of what if the teenager is afraid of dogs, would I make Misten an outside dog or give her away? And I said no, absolutely not (which my sister took to mean Misten was more important to me than people); they are moving into my household, and part of the household structure was the presence of a friendly inside dog.

    And if you think about it, it doesn’t really make sense that my husband has authority over me but none at all over 20-something daughters who live in our house. Since they are adults, he gives them freedom, but definitely he can say “No, you can’t smoke in this house” if they decided they wanted to. (He could say that to a guest, too.)

    As to allowing boyfriends or girlfriends to sleep over, in a separate bedroom, because of trusting one’s children: that is a parental choice. For me personally, I’ve heard too many stories of “Once everyone went to bed, we got to snuggling on the couch, and one thing led to another, and soon we were having oral sex. We knew my parents’ door squeaks, and my brother was gone for the weekend, and we wouldn’t get caught.” So for me it isn’t a matter of “trusting” one’s children, but understanding the nature of temptation and how strong the sexual temptation can be for an engaged couple. Wisdom says a dating couple is never alone together behind closed doors, and having everyone asleep in the house does give that chance of being alone. For the record, I was 44 and my husband 50 when we married, but we lived by those standards, too. One time he came to Nashville and brought the girls with him. They stayed in my house; he did not. Likewise, when I came to Indiana to visit his family, though the girls were at home, I stayed with his parents, not in his house. We were here some during the day, when the girls were awake and around, but in the evening he took me back to his parents’ house and dropped me off at a reasonable hour. It has nothing to do with trust, but what we perceived to be wisdom. I understand that different couples and different parents may draw the lines differently, but with the vast majority of couples marrying in the church having engaged in sexual activity before marriage, it seems wiser to use caution, and to realize that privacy is something couples gain by marrying. (I’m not saying they can never have a private conversation at the park with no one else around, but that they are never at a place where it’s impossible for someone else to come along and see them. In the park, it’s possible someone could see them, and that lends some accountability as to “how far you will go,” especially if you believe that premarital sexual activity is a sin and you’d feel ashamed to be caught engaging in it.)

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  21. Oak floors under beige carpet and brick-design linoleum in the spare bathroom (really an old closet turned into a space for toilet & sink). 🙂 In there I could probably keep the wood since there’s no shower and would be heavily used.

    The toilet that was removed (I think) was maybe from the 1930s or so? Big, porcelain wall-mounted tank, but thankfully when it was pulled out, the plaster behind it didn’t all crumble.

    Would have been cool to restore the toilet (I know, I’m a hopeless “first do no harm” to old houses person), but it would have taken time and money for rare parts. And new toilets are nicer. 🙂

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  22. YES!!!! Let’s do the hard wood floors in the powder room. One little rug in front of the vanity. Just for some color. A new vanity with a framed mirror over it. I am still liking a rich chocolate color for it.

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  23. Roscuro re Psalm 137, I was going to mention “Va Pensiero” from Nabucco. Played it this spring.

    There’s settings of the first two verses as a round, covered on a Don McClean album I had as a kid.

    Also “On The Willows” from Godspell incorporates much of this Psalm.

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  24. Plumber says he’ll check out connections for the vanity before they finish and leave, said it could (or could not) be complicated, depending …

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  25. Thanks for the additional thoughts on Psalm 137, all who shared. I enjoyed the music videos, too, especially the first one — Nabucco — and your introductory commentary, Roscuro.

    Speaking of composing (or not composing for a while, as in the case with Verdi), I am enjoying composing in the evening, finding it a relaxing activity after a long day. Sometimes it’s also good as a stress-buster in the middle of the day, if I need it.

    For some reason I can’t exactly put my finger on, I’m a little nervous about the extended piano lesson tonight that I wrote about on here last night. Of course, I don’t know how exactly any lesson will unfold, but I like to work within a fairly tight plan of what to do when, planning my lessons with some margin for flexibility, but with a pretty well-defined framework around it.

    Teaching composition (and I’m not really sure “teaching” is the right word — maybe facilitating? encouraging?) is more open-ended/student-led. And I like that process, as I said last night.

    But it’s usually been just a small part of the lesson with students I’ve had, and while this high school girl has a greater proportion of her total lesson time devoted to composition than any other students I’ve had (about 1/3 of her lesson time), there still is a lot of time remaining to work on the other stuff mostly within the parameters I’ve established.

    Tonight’s 2 1/2 hour lesson will be about 2/3 devoted to composition. That’s a pretty long time of open-endedness, and I am hoping I’ll be able to think well on my feet, ask some appropriate questions to stimulate her thinking beyond what she brings to me, etc.

    My brain is in “planning” mode right now, but I have to step outside of my comfort zone to a larger degree to make the best of our session tonight. Just let it flow, so to speak.

    Maybe this belongs on the prayer thread. 🙂

    In any case, thank you for listening to my many music ramblings. 😉

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  26. Cheryl, on your last paragraph, it almost seems as if you are skeptical that young people can be trustworthy in the midst of temptation – that you think it would be safer to assume the worst will probably happen. Yet, if my parents had not allowed the young man who married my eldest sibling to stay in the house, my eldest sibling might never have married him because she would never have had a chance to get to know him. He was studying at a university that was eight hours drive away, and he had no family or friends in our area (the one mutual acquaintance who introduced him to our family moved away soon after). For their three year courtship – in which they did not even kiss until their wedding day – he drove up every available weekend and stayed with us. My eldest sibling became pregnant so quickly after their marriage that if anything had been going that shouldn’t have during those three years, it wouldn’t have long been concealed (she delivered her first child a few days after their first anniversary). Similarly, my youngest sibling had her first child a month before her first anniversary of marriage – yet again showing that there was nothing going on those outings and long walks by the two of them alone during their six month courtship.
    My parents are not naïve to the temptations of courtship. My father slept around before he became a Christian, and my mother knows of several cases of ‘shotgun’ marriages within her extended family, who were primarily Christian in their identification. My mother has admitted that she and my father faced temptation in that area, though they did not succumb. I think it was their frank discussion of the temptations and pitfalls of young love which helped to keep my siblings alert. Yet my parents were willing to take the risk of something happening, and trusting the Lord, to whom they had committed the care of all of their children, that He would keep them from temptation. They even allowed my second sibling to travel with her future husband to meet his family, who lived several hours journey away, meaning that they stayed with his family overnight. Yes, a great part of my motivation to stay pure is because of Christ, but some part of it is due to the fact that I would not like to shatter that precious trust of my parents.

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  27. Hilariously, that habit of my eldest and youngest siblings to have their first child within the first year led to some confusion on the part of their offspring. After my second sibling was married over a year, we were driving home from church one day while eldest sibling’s family was staying for one of their long visits, meaning we had a few of the grandchildren who wanted to go with grandpa and grandma in the car. Second nephew pipes up, randomly, from the backseat, “Aunt ____ has been married for over a year…. so why hasn’t she had a baby yet?”

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  28. Phos. My sister was married almost three years before her first one came. My parents kept asking “When are you going to get us a grandchild?” She just answered “We’re trying”.
    Their major problem was that he was in the navy and was away for months at a time.
    They eventually had three.

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  29. I can still remember the snowstorm where the power was out for a week and we were on a well, so no water. Oh my! A friend thought it was so beautiful they wanted to leave their daughter with us and left her. I went after them! With no heat and no water, we did not need someone extra staying with us. It was hard enough to survive as the car was stuck in the snow Too.

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  30. Roscuro, “safer to assume the worst will probably happen”? No, definitely not. But I’m aware that many, many people get tripped up by sexual sin. The numbers I’ve read are between 70 and 85% of those marrying in a church have slept with each other . . . and I can only assume that those numbers don’t include oral sex or people who have had sex with other people but not the marriage partner. I’ve read and heard stories by many people who didn’t expect that number to include them, but it did. And stories of many more who say “Well, at least we never had intercourse; we held that line firmly.” So it seems to me that pretty much everyone who doesn’t set firm limits along with their intentions gets into trouble. It is no more proof of “distrust” than the wise parents who don’t let their teen son have a computer in his bedroom because they know how many young boys (and, yes, girls) get caught by internet porn, given the opportunity. It isn’t distrustful, but recognizing the power of sin.

    I did say, though, that your parents had a parental decision to make, and they made it, and that’s their right. I meant that. I wasn’t second-guessing them but explaining why my husband and I were in full agreement that in our household “sleeping over” isn’t wisdom. That doesn’t mean others haven’t successfully done it, just that it wasn’t something we chose to allow. (Full disclosure: it did happen once, by necessity, but with my husband roused out of bed at midnight to explain the circumstances, and with him speaking strongly to the young couple about this being an extraordinary circumstance; we stayed up until our daughter went to bed, and she understood her father would be rising before she did in the morning–definitely the usual pattern here, anyway, but it was stated for clarity.)

    BTW, I definitely was not speaking against long walks by courting couples–I’m very much in favor of such. “Alone behind closed doors” was the standard I referenced, the dangerous line. That’s the young man who lives alone and thinks it’s OK for his girlfriend to come over every weekend and watch television with him for several hours and snuggle on the couch, and that their “decision” to stay sexually pure is enough to keep them that way. The vast majority of couples who make such decisions end up sinning sexually.

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  31. My parents are struggling with not having a flushing toilet – not due to malfunction but due to lack of water. The water table is so low where they are, that the swamps, which are normally full this time of year, do not have enough water to fill a two foot deep test hole that my father dug.

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  32. My 70-something next door neighbor informed my father that if he wanted to become a grandfather he would stop showing up at my house every Saturday at 6:30 am for coffee. 😉

    Of course she was conceived in a doctor’s office so it really didn’t matter.

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  33. Back to the bathtub — emailing photos to local bath restorers trying to find out if it’s restorable — my cousin (who restored an early 1900s house) thinks it is *probably* original to my 1923 house by the photos I sent him. It’s an alcove tub but they had those back in those days, the clawfoots were more before that time though they were still used much at that point.

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  34. Good article, Cheryl.

    Well, the extended lesson tonight went very well. Silly of me to be nervous beforehand. We did her regular lesson first, and ended about the time she usually arrives (7:15), then moved on to the composition contest piece, and an hour and a quarter was about the perfect length of time to comb through the work and decide where changes could be made, and of what nature the changes could be.

    She selected a longer piece she’d composed a couple months ago, which is around 60 measures or so — long enough to allow it to go somewhere, without being too long for the contest guidelines.

    She played through it; we discussed some things, which I summarized in her assignment notebook. Then I played the piece for her (still mostly unedited at that point) so she could listen critically without having to play it at the same time.

    Listening to it played helped her generate many good ideas about not only specific details she wanted to change, but also large, structural changes for the work. I was pleasantly surprised when she Xed through an entire line of music she didn’t like. 😉 She’s definitely not afraid to cut out what isn’t working, and to explore new possibilities, which is a wonderful attitude.

    She is going to rework the piece, make a fresh copy, and stop by my house Saturday after she gets off work to show me the revised manuscript. Her assessment of the original was that it had some good parts, but overall she thought the piece was too boring, and that it didn’t really go anywhere. But that doesn’t depress her — it motivates her. She left tonight very upbeat about the changes she is planning, and I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing her revised version Saturday!

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  35. As a divorced, older, single (I think that I have mentioned this before on here) I consider the elders of my home as the head of my home. In that I would consult them for wisdom in any major decision, like going to the mission field. Not on day to day stuff. I view them as being there for my protection and would seek them out if the need arose.

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  36. Jo, I don’t think that consulting one’s elders or other wise people is unique to single women. I did consult the elders of my church in Nashville when I was considering doing foster care . . . but largely for the simple reason that I needed church support if I was to do such a thing as a single woman. (If they disapproved, then I’d be “on my own.”) I also consulted a couple of them when I was talking to eligible men, and I talked to wise women friends. (My husband, likewise, talked to his own pastor about me before he talked to his friends.) Scripture speaks directly of the wisdom in counselors. Interestingly, it also speaks of the widow having freedom to marry whomever she chooses “only in the Lord.” So she is not required to have anyone sign off on such an important decision as marriage (though with the caveat that we already know there is wisdom in counsel–but she is not sinning if she rejects the advice of other people).

    I do believe that pastors have some spiritual authority, and that such a thing as missionary service should be run by them, if for no other reason because a person who is not a member in good standing of a solid church should be rejected by any mission board. But that’s not the same thing as a father’s authority over his household.

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