121 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-2-17

  1. Good morning everyone.
    Time to start the new year. Except it’s probably a holiday.
    Jo is exhausted from talking on the phone?
    Time for her nighty-nite.

    I see that California has enacted a law against holding a phone while driving.
    DIL has phone that uses her radio. She just talks while driving.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I can’t answer my cell phone while driving. I either have it in my shirt pocket or hooked to the charger. Either way, it’s inconvenient to get to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chas, California has had such a law for several years. Before my husband came along–thus six or seven years ago–I was in conversation with a man in Arizona who took frequent trips to California, and sometimes he’d talk to me by phone until he got to the border into California. (I never met him in person and wasn’t really looking for a phone buddy, so eventually I re-registered with the dating website and my husband came along and claimed me. And my husband has hands-free cell.)


  4. The new photo is another junco (snowbird), this time on the corner of the deck. I got the photo sitting in my chair at my computer and looking out the window. I think this one is a female–the females and males overwinter in different places and we get mostly males, but this one, instead of being all black on top and all white underneath is more a gradated gray. These birds were obviously created to do very well in snow, and they seem not to mind it. While the other birds are up on the feeders getting seeds easily, they’re down below, scratching through the snow to find something to eat.

    Most years we’ll have six or eight come at a time, and this year we’ve had maybe 20 at a time, and some of them this year are going for the sunflower feeders and the suet feeders. But usually they just feed on the ground unless the snow is deep and they’re desperate.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hey, AJ, didn’t you get the memo that this is “New Year’s Day (observed)”? You could have claimed it as a holiday and taken the day off.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely header, Cheryl.

    On the way up to my brother’s yesterday there were two squirrels on the road. I thought I had missed hitting them until I heard the tire go crunch. I felt really awful since they had been a pair and then one was left behind. I could not dwell on it though. I had to let it go. But I HATE to hit an animal like that. I am not bothered by killing spiders and bugs, but a furry creature (other than a rat) deserves to live undamaged by vehicles and their drivers.

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  7. Me too Janice.
    I have been using the “Victory Bible Reading Plan” by the late James McKeever. In it you read the Bible chronologically. a Psalm, or Proverb, an OT chapter and a NT chapter. In it, you read the OT chronologically, each Gospel twice, the Psalms twice. etc. I sent off for some more reading guides, but it seems they are no longer in business because I have had zero response in a couple of months. I started on Psalms and Matthew this morning.
    The fault with the other plan, in my opinion, it that the OT gets more attention than it diserves. e.g. e.g. Try to think of Ezekiel 42:f as a devotional.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Janice, I don’t think it has been discussed yet.
    I am about 50% through The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby. It is answering some questions I have always wondered about and creating more. It is also tickling the back of my brain on things I heard as a child and thought were curious. For whatever reason I never understood the Lee Harvey Oswald /Cuba connection. I have always viewed him as a “fall guy”. And why would Jack Ruby kill him? I guess I came through school at a time when John F. Kennedy was still revered, we had a clearly defined enemy (Communism), and Fidel Castro wasn’t anyone who truly interested me. I wouldn’t know personally, but I have heard from those who are in the know that Cuban cigars really aren’t all that good. πŸ˜‰
    I also didn’t understand the significance of the New Orleans connection. Why would a two-bit criminal in New Orleans figure into the assassination of a President? What does a Jesuit Priest at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL have to do with creating an alias? (I received my Master’s degree from that institution).
    My mother always said the CIA killed Kennedy. She was an alcoholic. What did she know? (sarcasm, not that I think she might have known anything) Why would a government agency kill our own President?
    Lot’s of questions, and a few answers. I am not able to plow through this book at my usual speed. I need a chart to keep track of all the names and I have to go back a page or two occasionally to make sure I am comprehending. All in all I am finding the book fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. DJ, I forgot to tell you that the other night I had a dream that you and your friend “Muriel” came to visit me. Muriel was starting to have a little forgetfulness and trouble filtering what she said. You, out of the kindness of your heart, were going to let her live with you. The two of you were passing through because you had brought Muriel to Monroeville, because she was a huge Harper Lee fan. You stopped by to look at my bathrooms to get ideas.
    I had serious reservations about you letting Muriel live with you, but you were too kind to listen to me.

    Good thing it was only a dream. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have started on a calendar plan similar to Chas’. This is the first time I have decided to try this type of plan. I am not a fan of reading in a variety of places. I am not interested in just accomplishing reading the bible. I have done that many times and had a lot of studies. This type of plan would not be the best for any in depth learning, IMO, but any reading can be used by the Holy Spirit. The main thing is to start and set a time aside for it. The time must be what works best for wherever you are in you life right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As for Kennedy. He was not at all popular when he was president.
    As someone said about Elvis Presley when he died. “Good career move.”
    However, Kennedy’s assassination was one of the worst things that happened to the US. It gave us LBJ, and the country let him have his way because of the Kennedy legacy.
    LBJ was our worst president before Obama.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Our car can use Blue Tooth to use the phone over the radio. I am not a big fan, but it does keep the phone out of one’s hand.

    After having our computer hacked, I am feeling overwhelmed by technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Chas, not having lived through it and only reading about it, I don’t think we would have had The Kennedy Legacy if he had served out his term. What is coming out in this book is how much power Bobby had behind the scenes. Jackie created the Camelot Legacy.
    I have never understood the idea of political assassination. It only makes a martyr. I prayed when Obama was elected that no idiot would try to kill him. No one has thankfully. I don’t hold the same hope for Trump. I am in no way saying I want Trump killed. What I am saying is that what I am reading is that there are unhinged people in this country to want to eliminate him by any means possible and they are mostly of the left leaning persuasion. It is sad how divided we have become. We no longer listen to understand. We listen to form our rebuttal.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. The Kid likes to call me when I’m driving, usually to ask when I’ll be home. I’ve learned that when a teenager asks you when you’ll be home to fudge on it a little. Make them think they have more time for the clean up than they do.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. http://krqe.com/2017/01/01/alexa-a-witness-to-murder-prosecutors-seek-amazon-echo-data/

    One of Mr P’s Christmas presents was an Echo TV stick. You plug it in to your TV, connect to it your wireless internet and can simply say “Alexa, find The Crown on Netflix” and it comes up on your TV.
    I had been watching all the Alexa commercials and wondering about a device in your home that can “listen” and turn on lights, sprinklers, play music, etc, but I didn’t think about anything you say in your home could be stored in a database somewhere!!!
    It is already spooky enough that I say say, “So the hamburger meat won’t go bad, I will make Salisbury steak”. I go to my computer and start typing in “salis” and Salisbury steak pops up in the search.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Janice, squirrels do not “pair up” as in forming long-term pair bonds. I don’t know if they would be breeding this time of year or not, but you didn’t break up a pair that has been together leaving a mate “alone.”

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Here’s a Bible reading plan I have used before, and it’s really simple:

    “Start reading in Genesis 1. Read. Then the next day, pick up where you left off. Maybe you miss the next day. That’s okay. You don’t have a whole schedule to re-arrange or a host of passages to catch up on. Just pick up where you left off. Each day, read some more, always picking up where you left off.”

    Read more about it here: https://chadashby.com/2016/01/04/a-quick-bible-reading-plan-for-dummies/

    Right now, I read two OT chapters, 1 or more NT chapters, and a Psalm, chapter of Proverbs, or Ecclesiastes.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Kennedy would not have gotten us embroiled in Viet Nam. Advisors were there since Eisenhower. However, we didn’t have troops on the ground. There never were “good guys” in Viet Nam. Same true for Iraq. We get rid of some bad guys and worse move in. Salaam had the Middle East under control. Removing him was a mistake. Same thing is happening in Syria. .
    But Obama is assisting Iran. That is his purpose. I don’t see how anyone can conclude anything else. He is for Iran.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kim- When I see those Alexa or Google commercials, I think of how lazy most of us are anymore. Instead of getting up and turning on the lights, we use a remote or Alexa. We don’t open a book and look in the index to find something, we either say or type a word or two in a search engine. While technological advances are great in many ways, I think we are becoming to overly dependent on them. That is part of why I refuse to get a smart phone. And if I ever get a car with all the electronic advances, I will probably not use most of them.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Like Peter, I don’t use many of the apps on my phone.
    I do like “follow friends”. And the weather. I’m glad for the dictionary because the print is to small on my shelf dictionary.
    And I can get the correct time anywhere.
    Otherwise. ???
    Some I would probably use if I knew how. I have some pictures, but I seldom use the phone for that. I don’t know why anyone would take a “selfie”.
    Did you know that you can buy extensions for better selfies?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I had little use for GPS in my car before I moved to Greensboro. Now I depend on it.
    I have one in each vehicle.
    Do not leave your GPS on when you aren’t using your car. It drains the battery.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Chas, I think that comes out in the book—that Kennedy had been to Vietnam in the 1950’s and would have stayed out.
    KBells, there are a lot of over-laps that opens a lot of questions about who did it and why. As I said I am only half way through the book and perhaps Linda (who has read it) will show up with another opinion, but the Mafia is looking pretty good for it right now.


  23. I read the same way as Peter, but I don’t start over every year. It’s worked well for 45 years.

    A friend, Diane Storting wrote a one-year Bible plan we discussed a few years ago: http://amzn.to/2iqnIX7

    It’s only 79 cents on Kindle. She’s used it for years in groups. I think Men can use it, too. πŸ™‚


  24. I lean with Kbells that Oswald probably acted along, one of those unlikely quirks in history (but not really, of course) that was pulled off in all unlikeliness.

    Cute snow bird! πŸ™‚

    Janice, that happened to me some years ago on the freeway, a couple squirrels decided, hey, lets run across the road. Whoa. Bad idea. But yeah, it made me feel awful for sometime afterward (and I obviously still remember it) when I felt the crunch under my tires. 😦 Kind of little idiots, squirrels are, but it also made me more cautious about them in the future and I haven’t hit one since (no avoiding it on the fwy, however, but on residential roads I’ve seen them dart out, and then back again the curb, numerous times and have known to slow down until I know what they’re going to do).

    The Echo and Echo dot were the gifts of the season, apparently, several people at work got them.

    I don’t know any Muriel, thankfully. πŸ™‚

    I was just thinking about Bible reading plans, too — now that it’s already Jan. 2. πŸ™‚ It’s something I struggle with every year but I want to make a new push in 2017 to do better.

    Here’s the rundown of all the possible ways in which you can read the Bible in a year (which is daunting alone, frankly): http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Kim, I saw a TV program that looked at all the timetable issues in the assassination. Things like, could he have gotten that many shots off that fast, could he have gotten down the stairs that fast, could he have walked from the warehouse to the theater that quickly. The guys on the show easily reproduce every thing. The timetable is entirely possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So I get a call at 7:40 a.m. this morning that the tile guy would be here in 20 minutes, unplanned to be sure but not entirely unexpected (which is why I begged out of an invitation from a friend to head up this morning to watch the Rose Parade).

    Anyway, that got me out of bed quickly and he’s here now, we exchanged Happy New Year greetings (me in English he in Spanish).

    I just want my bathroom done and didn’t want to risk missing a possible work visit if they wanted to come over today. Real estate guy yesterday came over and set up some of the electrical wiring & boxes, he wants to have all that set to go when they start work in ernest (presumably on Tuesday, tomorrow).

    It’s cold and cloudy and rainy here this morning, it may wind up raining on our big New Year’s parade after all.


  27. Our phone syncs to the car and the button to answer and hangup is on the steering wheel. It plays thru the radio. It’s nice, and safer.

    Now as for Kennedy……



    Hey, if the Democrats can blame them for losing the election without proof, why not this too? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Chas, you can get The Victory Bible Reading Plan book, used, from Alibris or maybe Amazon Marketplace. We buy many used books and find most are in good condition.


  29. Sometime this summer younger daughter was driving, I was in the passenger seat, and older daughter (about to be a bride) was in the backseat. We were probably returning from a bridal shower, but I’m not sure of that. Anyway, a squirrel darted out and we all heard the crunch. Squirrels are radically unpredictable. It makes them hard to catch if you are a hawk, but hard to be sure you’ll avoid them if you’re a driver, since swerving to avoid hitting an animal is a big driving no-no and besides if you swerve just as they swerve it might not do any good.

    Anyway, we all heard the crunch and the driver was quite upset. The other two females in the car, both very definite animal lovers, spent the next few minutes saying “It wasn’t your fault; there wasn’t anything you could do; it came out of nowhere.”

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Anyone have a recommendation on a good mounting piece for cell phone in the car?

    I’ve looked at them online from time to time and can’t decide, but I want one that’s adjustable enough in its grip that I wouldn’t have to peel the phone out of it’s form-fitting rubberized case every time.

    On the windshield? Dash? I may try the Jeep store online to see if there are any designed for my car (which now, I’m sure, is considered quite ancient — 2007). Or maybe just wander into a Best Buy to get some help.


  31. Re the header photo: saying I was sitting at my computer and took that out the window probably made it sound too easy. Those pesky birds spent weeks making a fool of me, because they would land, I would grab my camera, and they would fly before I could take a shot. Or, worse, I’d snap the shot just as the bird flew and I’d have another nice shot of snow but maybe with a bird’s tail at the very edge of the frame. In taking photos of birds, I have discovered how rare it is that songbirds stay on a limb for more than a second or two. Doves and woodpeckers and other large birds tend to be easier to photograph because they’re more likely to stay in the same spot long enough to turn on the camera, zoom in, and focus. So one of the funny things about bird photos is that a bird looks so calm and content, just sitting there, and only the photographer knows it was there for 2.4 seconds and then it was gone.

    But the challenge makes it all the more fun when you do happen to be zoomed in when the bird pauses for half a second longer than usual and you get the shot. And I do love it that there is nothing at all in this photo but the bird and snow–even a tiny bit of snow on her tail.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I started reading in the New Modern Life Study Bible in Genesis using the dummies plan today. It has a lot of extra reading to enrich. My only problem is getting weighted down in the Old Testament. I may try to get one of the used Victory Plan books. I also have a nice checklist of divided readings from my church, the plan my Pastor uses each year. I used that for about half a year before, but it seemed that I was not feeling the continuity I wanted through the plan. The plan is suppose to be on an app, but I have not found it. It’s creator’s last name is Price.


  33. The only Muriel I have ever known that was a girl I was in love with in HS.
    She was not at our 50th reunion. I hear she died of cancer as a young woman.


  34. I just ordered the McKeever plan through Alibris, Chas. I had really expected this big study bible had a check off reading plan that I would use, but it doesn’t. I liked using the check off boxes in the back of my Bible this past year.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Probably the easiest thing for me is to use the readings included in the daily Tabletalk devotional offerings (which gets you through the Bible in a year).

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Well, I guess my friend didn’t make it up to the parade, she said by the time she thought she looked good enough after washing her hair, it was time for the parade to start — so she’s watching it on TV like I am. πŸ™‚

    I’m not a big parade person — and rarely (never?) watch the Rose Parade all the way through, but it is pretty spectacular every year. No sunshine or clear blue skies overhead this year, though.

    Everyone was complaining about the cold yesterday at the dog park, someone who was dressed in multiple layers finally declared “I’ve had enough of this weather already!” and said she couldn’t wait for the first warm day again. πŸ™‚


  37. Thanks Janice, there was one nearby, though I’m not sure if it closed or not (I seem to remember hearing or reading something about that not too long ago …)


  38. Thanks for the Bible reading plans. I don’t necessarily like following a plan, and some years I just think “This year I’ll read through the Pauline epistles repeatedly” . . . but when I do that, invariably I find myself in 2 Corinthians by June. Last year I just determined to read from Genesis on through at no set rate, and while some days I’d read half of 1 Kings in a sitting, other times two weeks might go by. My husband and I read at breakfast when we eat breakfast together (but he usually gets up earlier than I do, and he usually eats within half an hour of waking up and I usually don’t), and a lot of the books I edit require a Scripture check (which is NOT a devotional way to get through Scripture), and of course there is church and sometimes a Bible study . . . but I do want to be more regular and a plan helps with that.

    As Chas mentioned, one of the problems with Bible reading plans is they simply spend too large a percentage of time in the Old Testament. Yet a plan that goes through the OT once and the NT (and Psalms) two or three times adds a lot of extra reading. I’d be inclined to like a plan that took two years to go through the Old Testament and one to go through the New . . . or one that went through Genesis and Exodus and Psalms and Isaiah and most of the New Testament annually, but left the rest of the OT and maybe Revelation to every other year. Something along that line. I don’t find Leviticus unimportant, but would be inclined not to read Numbers on every time through, and maybe 1 and 2 Kings OR 1 and 2 Chronicles, with one on the first year and the other on the second.

    So, let’s see . . . how about a five-year plan:

    Year one: Genesis, the Gospels, Exodus, the Pauline epistles, Leviticus, Hebrews, Revelation.
    Year two: Genesis, Numbers through 2 Kings, the books of poetry, the major prophets, the New Testament.
    Year three: Genesis, 1 Chronicles through Nehemiah, the minor prophets, the New Testament including some portions of Revelation.
    Year four: copy all of the New Testament books by hand.
    Year five: New Testament first, Genesis through Deuteronomy, the Psalms. If you did not complete the hand copying in year four, then work on completing it.

    If you repeat the plan, on the second time through, then year four you read the New Testament but copy by hand select OT passages, perhaps Psalms and Isaiah.


  39. Oh, DJ, it’s -32C here today. With windchill it’s -38C. (that’s -36.4F) So cold, but Keva kept at husband until they both went out for a walk. The things we do for our dogs πŸ™‚


  40. I also like the idea of going deep, spending a month (or whatever) in one book alone, which is one of the options included in this year’s listings.

    Cowboy hates the staple gun noise. He’s staring at me with the most anxious eyes …


  41. Kare, dog park friends would not be happy campers where you are πŸ™‚

    I have this vision of them sitting in their plastic chairs, wrapped in mufflers …

    Of course, one of the loudest complaints come from folks who migrated here from the east coast or Canada, interestingly. It truly is all relative after a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. My engineer fixed my computer (turn it off for one minute, Michelle, then turn it on again. Presto Chango!)

    Anyone interested in this four day wedding we just attended?

    Thursday night: rehearsal dinner. Attire, formal. 78 people; the attendants, their dates and our family members (no kids).

    I never have talked with more lawyers in one place than I did that night.

    Most of the guests were beautiful, smart and some were rich. My dining partner on the left went to Loyola high school in LA, and every Loyola high school graduate I met was a sensitive lawyer. Nice guys–the Jesuits did something right. Which is also true of my nephew, the groom.

    Extraordinary dinner, mostly lame toasts–though many of the lawyers read speeches off. usually, two pages of notes.

    They were sweetly humble: “I’ve only been a lawyer for a year, six months, whatever.”

    We all had driven six hours to get to Santa Barbara that day and left about ten. They broke up the part at midnight.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. KBells, I am not arguing that Oswald did or didn’t act alone…I just think there were more people orchestrating it than him being a “lone wolf”. As I said I am only half way through the book and a lot of names and hints have been dropped. Papa Joe was greasing mob palms and Brother Bobby was a saint on a mission, trying to defeat the mob. The President was “otherwise indisposed”


  44. I think the new law in CA says you can’t even *look* at your cell phone (unless it’s mounted). I use mine a lot for GPS so a mounting unit would really help with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Day 2: pancakes for breakfast at the rental house (my husband rented the largest house he could find last January–there were 14 of us).

    Gorgeous house, therefore, with a stunning view. Extremely pricey, but cheaper than renting 5 hotel rooms in Santa Barbara for three days.

    (We spent more on this wedding than we did on both our two sons’ weddings combined).

    Other brother and fam arrived at 11:30–after three adorables, two parents and I dashed to the Santa Barbara mission for a tour and then the natural history museum for a run through. I’ll write a blog post soon about those experiences.

    Birthday party for sister-in-law. Only groom’s father showed–the rest were sleeping in and preparing for Friday night party.

    Fun time and the only real opportunity to chat with groom’s family.

    Dinner included the Adorables this time as a “fiesta welcome” at a Mexican restaurant.

    As we had lost our babysitters on Wednesday, daughter-in-law’s brother was drafted at the last moment. A 21 year-old college student who lives in Sacramento, he rode the train to Oakland Thursday morning and was picked up on the drive to Santa Barbara.

    Anyway, he proved invaluable–he was the nanny for the kids and babysat them Thursday and Saturday nights. On Friday, he managed them at the restaurant–so I didn’t have to worry about any Adorable being stolen, even if these people were all family friends.

    One of the Adorables sashayed up to my cousin and said, “Hi. My name is__________,” followed by correct spelling. “I’m five and a half years old.” She then spun around to show off her dress.

    He melted. “I want one of those, too.”

    And so on.

    Father of the groom had told us, “I told my daughter, she should ditch the boyfriend and enjoy the wedding. We’ve invited all the people who have been important to us during your growing up years and you should enjoy seeing them again and talking to them.”

    The boyfriend may be on his way out, now, but his comments were true of me. I met again so many people who had known my parents, or had stories about our family. It truly was a lovely memory lane walk for me.

    And we made a potential job contact for STargazer (yet again!).

    Liked by 4 people

  46. Day 3: started with pouring rain and an impromptu breakfast for all my Sicilian relatives quickly arranged at the fiesta the night before! (For those counting, this is party #4 for us).

    As my husband pointed, this was the first time we’ve been able to host these family members, ever, so it was wonderful to have them come and talk and cook and visit and meet the Adorables.

    I got into a lengthy conversation with the cousin who is a flight attendant. Very helpful for all.

    We spent the afternoon getting dolled up and entertaining the Adorables.

    Then, off we went dressed in black tie–which in my husband’s case was the full Navy uniform, medals and all. Wedding was at a very expensive venue on the waterfront.

    Lovely, devoid of spiritual truth, but a besotted bride and groom which made it fun. Everyone looked so elegant. It was glorious.

    My husband was never saluted, but stood out in this liberal crowd–many of whom live in DC. He engaged in so many conversations, told so many stories, was thanked countless times for his service and really hit it off with the wait staff! Very fun–these people have rarely met a military officer. Even a little boy standing in front of the hotel when we entered got wide eyed at seeing him.

    Total fun and educational.

    Music was so loud my ear drums reverberated–band was excellent but WAY too loud.

    Great time, wearing hats and holding champagne glasses while we danced 2016 away.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Day 4: we had to clean house before we left the rental and then went on to a superb brunch at 10–our 6th party of the weekend.

    Bride and groom were there, with the groom staring at the ring on his finger: “I didn’t know what to do with it when I took a shower? Do I take it off?”

    One of the cousins advised him, “no. You wear it forever and it feels strange, after awhile, to not have it on your finger.”

    Many of the guests were headed up to northern California, who were there at 10 that morning. We raced them home.

    California was beautiful in its changing scenery–after the rains everything turns green. The sunlight shifted to astonishing views (none of which I could capture with my phone from the car). Very dry down south, as it has been up here–Lake Cahuga was nearly empty. Which is sobering. We’re okay for water up here this year–and thankful.

    There is nothing on the agenda today for me–first time in a long time. I’m vegging and writing, obviously, on FB and here.

    A blessed 2017 to all; thanks for those who prayed.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. We heard on the radio yesterday while driving, if you even have a phone on or in your hand, automatic ticket. Google maps updated themselves in the last month making peering at your phone trying to see what traffic looks like up ahead, useless.

    Yet another helpful tool destroyed by updating . . .


  49. after the rains everything turns green.

    Even my front yard πŸ™‚ Miracles never cease (although my city-issued Charlie Brown tree hasn’t fully resurrected yet)


  50. Kbells@11:28 – I am one of those rare Americans who believes Oswald acted alone.
    Not American, but I’m another. Assassination conspiracies are usually hidden in plain sight, like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. The very fact that the theories are so varied about Kennedy’s assassination is evidence that there was no conspiracy. As Donna says, the truth is stranger than fiction. No novel plot writer worth their salt would make an insignificant man like Oswald shoot a President and then be shot two days later by a nightclub owner without giving a good explanation of Oswald’s and Jack Ruby’s motivations. But real life does have such random events.

    Liked by 3 people

  51. I intend to go out to the poor little tree sometime today to pull some of the weeds away from the trunk, which can’t be helping.


  52. No joke DJ. Every time I would go to my dad’s house he would have me “talk” to the sweet olive. Supposedly they grow better within the sound of a woman’s voice.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Speaking of kids calling parents, asking when they’re going to get home, I wonder what interesting sounds one might hear from the child on the phone if the parent said, “I’m in the driveway.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  54. There was a guy, several decades ago who was semi-popular with the admonition to “talk to your plants”. I never talked to them, but I used to grow roses in Annandale.
    I used to take a rose into my secretary. She loved getting her rose.
    I suspect I was unique in this.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Bible reading plans:

    I wrote on Rants & Raves over the weekend that I majorly fell off my plan in 2016. It was a case of biting off more than I could chew.

    I had gotten an ESV bible as a gift for Christmas one recent year, and decided that I wanted to read through it, and also read the King James at the same time, which I’m more familiar with, to compare the differences between the two.

    So I decided I would just start from the beginning, reading two chapters a day from the ESV and the same two chapters in the KJV. I knew I wouldn’t finish the Bible in one year, doing essentially only two chapters a day, but I was OK with that.

    Trouble is, I got really bogged down in the Old Testament, and if I’d miss a day, then I would already be four chapters behind (2 from the ESV, 2 from the KJV). At some point I think I decided I would only do one chapter from each version per day, but even that didn’t work.

    I’ve always struggled with remembering what I read in the OT, and making sense of it. I could use commentaries, I suppose, but that makes it feel like I have even more to do. Reading (and especially understanding) the OT is, for me, such a daunting, laborious process.

    One other hard thing about starting at Genesis and just reading in Bible book order, which I tried last year, is that my plan for 2015, which I accomplished, was reading only the book of Jeremiah and no other. 52 chapters, 52 weeks. I’d read the chapter of the week out of a different translation each day of the week (well, 5 or 6 days, not all 7). I settled on Jeremiah for that year because in my trip through the whole bible in 2014, I realized that Jeremiah had been a very difficult book, and I felt like I knew practically nothing about it, so I wanted to go in-depth and study it for a whole year.

    But that means I spent a whole year in one OT book before embarking on the ambitious 4 chapters a day (essentially) plan for 2016, with those many and frequently long OT books leading the way.

    By the end of the year (2016), having had probably more days that I didn’t read the bible than days that I did (especially in the second half of the year), I felt like I was in a parched land, and I was thirsty for the New Testament.

    (I did read some NT in the course of a one-year devotional I did, and was mostly successful in staying on track with that, and finishing out the year, but there wasn’t enough NT reading to amount to much with that.)

    I struggled at the end of the year with deciding what to do for a plan this year. I felt like a failure, having only gotten about seven chapters into 1 Kings by the end of the year.

    Do I try to continue as I’d planned, comparing the KJV with the ESV, chapter by chapter, and just going until I’m done? Or what? (I had some other ideas, too, but my comment is getting long enough.)

    Suffice to say, I decided to start the new year fresh with a new plan, the Ligonier 5X5X5 plan, where you read 5 NT chapters a week. So Monday-Friday, it’ll just be the ESV for me. One NT chapter each of those days. I can handle that.

    And…on the weekends, if the Spirit moves me, I will continue my trek through the OT, but only in the ESV, and however much I want to read.

    I’m done beating myself up. Reading the Bible shouldn’t be a slogging, gotta-get-through-this-no-matter-what experience, IMHO.

    May you all find joy in whatever plans or non-plans you have for your Bible reading/study this year.

    Liked by 4 people

  56. Agreed, 6 arrows, it’s become something I seem to “fail” at year after year so I begin again with trying to have more modest expectations.


  57. I downloaded Michelle’s friend’s guide a couple of years ago. It was hard to follow on my Kindle. I would have probably liked it more in physical form and with a group. Then I got the Note Taker’s Bible and was going to follow The Littlest Way on line, but failed at that. I wish I could find the kind of Student Bible I had in high school. It was a paperback with notes at the bottom of the pages that explained things and told you where to cross reference.
    The Littlest Way is using the New Jerusalem Bible this year.



  58. Oh, and after I’d decided on my 2017 plan, as mentioned above, Christmas 2016 came and 1st Arrow gave me a NKJV edition Daily Chronological Bible. It is set up like a play, if you will, with 3 “acts” and 17 “scenes,” including introductions to each that help put the Bible in context. (The title, with subtitle, is Daily Chronological Bible [NKJV Edition]: God’s Grand Story in Three Acts.)

    I was excited to receive this, as I like the NKJV edition, but did not own one before son gave me this one. Also, because this format might help me in my struggle to understand things in their wider context.

    My excitement about receiving this got me thinking, “Maybe I could read this AND do the 5X5X5 plan I’d originally decided on for 2017!”

    I have since settled down and gone with my original plan only. πŸ™‚ First things first. Line upon line, precept upon precept.

    (A bit out of context, that verse.) πŸ™‚

    Anyway, it will be a lovely Bible to turn to after I’ve become more familiar with the ESV. No need to do it all at once.

    Modest expectations, as DJ wisely points out.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. 6 Arrows, when I was graduating from Bible college, our college offered a “graduation gift” of a chronological Bible . . . in the Living Bible. It isn’t the sort of thing they would have come up with on their own, so I’m sure the Bible publisher gave it to them to give away. I didn’t claim mine. If it had been just about any other version, I would have, even if just out of curiosity (not the Message, either, but I don’t remember if it was even out yet) . . . but I have not the least little bit of desire to own the Living Bible, and being in chronological format made it useless even for work (Scripture checks).


  60. I just saw an interesting definition of debt. And it is correct.
    I checked my dictionary and it says “the state of owing money” etc. That is correct, but really”
    Debt is a claim on future money.
    Seems simple, but a new way of looking at debt.


  61. Cheryl, we had the Living Bible in my childhood home. Never did like that thing. I’m not sure what my parents saw in that, but maybe they came by it through, like you mention, a giveaway of some sort.

    I don’t like The Message, either. It seems too touchy-feely somehow, if that makes sense.


  62. My priest sometimes uses The Message AFTER he has read the REAL scripture. He uses it for illustration not for theology. I find some value in that but no value in it as a source of real Bible wording. I guess I think of it more as a child’s picture book to explain certain concepts.
    I think my grandmother at some point had The Living Bible. I was taught from an early age not to trust it and I don’t think she had it for very long. I do remember it being this drab green color.

    I sometimes think it is good to read a couple of different versions of the same passage to see what remains true and what is glaringly different. That’s why I like going to BibleGateway.com


  63. I like that in the two Bible studies I attend regularly, we don’t all use the same translation. It’s interesting to follow along in one’s own Bible while hearing passages read in another version. Sometimes the picture becomes clearer that way.

    Or glaringly different at times, like Kim said.

    Some of the omissions in some translations can be disturbing, too.


  64. Chas,

    “I admire any guy who can still get into his uniform. I left mine behind when I left Annandale.”

    I can still get into mine. The pants fit, although I did need to use the tabs on the sides to “let them out” a bit.

    The shirt does too….. mostly.

    I just can’t button it now. Well I can button it up to the bottom of my rib cage, but I’m too big in the chest area to get all the way. I was not nearly as big across the shoulders either, so it’s tight there too. But I insist I can still get them on. πŸ™‚

    Same goes for the field jacket. So I gave that too my daughter. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Hi fellow wanderers…. I’m not caught up on today’s thread, but wanted to say I posted a time-sensitive prayer request over on the prayer thread. I’d sure appreciate any and all prayers. Thanks.


  66. I am just going to continue reading through the New Testament with a psalm a day added on. I realized that when I am home later this year, I will probably join three Bible studies and those will be my daily reading. I can’t do both.


  67. Re: Bible reading. I used to try to get through the OT once a year and the NT twice, but lately, I just do the 3 or 4 chapters a day and sometimes get through the OT in a year and a couple of months. It’s not so important how much we read of the Word as follow what it says. Better a chapter a day and live it than 10 a day and not live it.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Those birds are wonderful today!
    It has been raining all day. I had to grocery shop for a few items. Then I put the garbage can by the street since I was already out in the messy weather. I just hope it won’t wash away. I have been unpacking today and trying to feel a bit back to normal. Art went to work, and because of rain and accidents (gotta expect that on a rainy New Years long weekend) it took almost two hours to get home. He looked beat.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 6 Arrows, besides the Message being a paraphrase that is sometimes treated as a translation, it drives me crazy that it works so hard to sound up to the minute that it uses such phrases constantly. I’m not a big fan of cliches used back to back until you want to gag and throw in the towel and throttle someone, or more than one person, the more the merrier. (Get the idea?)

    Liked by 1 person

  70. The current header is one I usually crop to include just the three cardinals and call it “three’s a crowd” since one of the females seems to be leaving. Between the snow coming down, the male with his beak open (vocalizing or eating), and the flying female, there is a lot of action in the shot. And the triangle of the three birds makes a nice visual balance.

    But I do like the junco in the foreground, too, and so when I sent the picture to AJ, I included him.


  71. I am enjoying the birds in the header. From peaceful to…rather active. πŸ™‚

    The current header caught 6th Arrow’s attention. She always enjoys these nature pics on here, and your books, too, Cheryl.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Twice i got the dreaded Slow down. You are posting too quickly.

    So I slowed down, polite person that I am, and some maniac, or, I mean, Hi Cheryl!! zipped on past. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  73. See, I told you it would start to look like that header shot — somebody flying furiously, somebody yelling.



  74. Knit caps, jackets and gloves all around at the dog park at the end of the day today.

    “How cold is it?” someone asked.

    Another person looked on their phone, said it was “54 but ‘feels’ like 52.”

    Earlier after after the tile guy left at around noon, I headed over to the urgent care for a bladder infection I’ve suspected I’ve had for several days but didn’t have time to get checked out — 2 hours from arrival to departure, but I got some reading done in the waiting room & left with a prescription for some antibiotics which I then got filled.

    Of course, I’ll probably wind up catching a cold or the flu from sitting there in the crowded waiting room for so long. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Oooh, a wind chill of 52. So sorry, DJ. At least you have warm dogs to snuggle with afterward to make up for whatever body heat you lost!


  76. It sounds like you’re all smart enough to handle the extreme conditions, then.

    Has Tess regrown most of her coat? Or will you have to find out whether border collies react better than pit bulls?

    Liked by 1 person

  77. Thanks Debra

    I hadn’t thought about her coat, Cheryl, but yes, it has pretty much grown out now that I think about it. I’ve been so distracted by the house and all the goings-on that I feel rather negligent toward the animals these days. But I always do a careful head count before closing up the doggie door for the night, just to make sure everyone’s “in.”


  78. Tomorrow it is supposed to get up to eleven. I don’t know about wind chill. We will just go out and do the chores and play in the snow for a while.


  79. We’re about a day behind you, Mumsee. High of 34Β° tomorrow, high of 4Β° Wednesday, and below zero Wednesday and Thursday nights.

    Former piano student is back in the area and playing a concert (collaborating with a vocalist) Thursday night. A cold night to be out, but I always enjoy attending her performances when she’s in the area — she lives in New Mexico — and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. πŸ™‚

    Take it easy, DJ. Hope the antibiotics clear up the infection.


  80. School starts up here again tomorrow. Back to a routine. Which is good. But the break was also nice. I needed it.

    Nice to have variety in life. So many good gifts from God’s bountiful hands.

    Blessings, all.


  81. My friend who had the knee replacement surgery had to go back to the hospital instead of returning to Ukarumpa tomorrow. I took her to the hospital and encouraged her by telling her now all of my luggage will get to come with me!


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