82 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-27-17

  1. Since this is Friday, it means that I take Elvera to the “Adult Center for Enrichment”. What it is, is a senior center. She goes there every Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 2.
    She likes it and it gives her a chance to get away and mix with some other people.
    She needs that.

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  2. I’ve been awake since 4, I just made myself stay in bed–like you do with a toddler–until a more reasonable hour.

    Houseguests and a weekend of church activities (with house guests who don’t go to church). Fortunately, they’re young cousins and we’re farming them among our children for tourism over the next three days!

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  3. Chas, history is irrelevant if the words used can stir up hatred.

    Going into the office a little later today. I need to figure out best times to avoid traffic which is a lot worse than it used to be.

    A tax office is full of stories of people’s lives. Yesterday I heard one I wish I had not concerning a woman beaten up and left for dead by her former boyfriend. Thankful she is alive.

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  4. I am cold enough here. Snow is pretty, but that looks cold. I would have to almost sit in the fireplace to stay warm.
    Chas, we don’t teach history in a way that people can learn from it anymore.

    I refrain these days from making a lot of comments on FB. Sometimes I will type in a comment then erase. Yesterday I made a comment on BG’s FB page. Some people I have known a long time liked my comment. Some commented themselves and one private message. I really wish I had the nerve to delete my account and walk away, but it is how I keep up with some people.
    It stings that the people I had known the longest and had witnessed the hell of my childhood and adolescence are the very people who have turned on me. They think I voted for Trump and in their liberal minds that makes me their enemy. Never mind 30 plus years of what I though was friendship. It stings. Actually it hurts. It is just one more nail in the coffin of the people who should love and support you have the ability to hurt you the most. Is it any wonder I read sappy little romances where everything works out in the end and they live happily ever after?

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  5. Lovely snow header.
    Our temp has gone back down in the thirties here at night so I did not leave the windows open overnight. Miss Bosley stood by a window and meowed earlier. She does not understand weather outside her home territory.

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  6. Janice, when I was in college, I worked one tax season for an accountant. She had an intake form and I gathered information before she or one of the other accountants saw the client. I was going down the list of tax deductions.
    Do you have a safe deposit box?
    Yes. I mean no. I mean if I claim it can the government see what I have in it?

    Then there was the man who brought all of his papers in a suitcase and left it for whenever.

    Then there was the city councilman that everyone knew was on the take but couldn’t prove it AND he paid the taxes on it, so they couldn’t catch him that way either.

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  7. Yes, Chas, that is snow–and it is also a sunrise. That’s the view out my front door, and I like the limited palette in it. (I also like the ones with lots and lots of color, like the sunsets.) I sent AJ this one in the same batch as the sunset he posted on inauguration day, and I kind of thought this one would end up on the header later in the day and I could say “No, this is a sunrise.” 🙂 As you can see, a sunrise doesn’t have nearly as open a view as our sunsets over an open field with trees off in the distance . . .

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  8. Chas – You may remember me sometimes writing about taking care of my Alzheimer’s-afflicted MIL, Mary. She came to live with us in 2000, & we took care of her until we couldn’t anymore. (It had become a dangerous situation in that, although unstable on her feet, she was physically resisting my help, pushing me – or anyone else who tried to help – away. There was concern that one or both of us would get seriously hurt.)

    After having to try to keep her happy/busy/amused every day for three months, I was about to lose my mind. She was very contrary (“Mary, Mary, quite contrary” could have been written for her), & made it clear she didn’t want to do the various things I would come up with to do. I made a lot of calls, & found an adult day care center that even had a van that came out to our town to pick people up. She started there three days a week, but eventually went to five days a week. (They also gave her a shower once a week.)

    Mary had always been one to be out & about, so it was great that she had a place to go each day. (On Saturday afternoons, a lady would come & take her to Catholic mass, & we took her to our church with us on Sundays.)

    That used up the rest of her money, & then she went on Medicare, which paid for it. It was a God-send for us all.

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  9. Pretty view, Cheryl.

    KH–I understand your pain. The worst part is knowing that people who should have known you (and so, not assumed the worse) still did that. Be it family or friends it is very sad.

    I have taken comfort from the beatitudes recently, where we are told that if we suffer for ‘righteousness’ sake we are blessed. We are also told we are blessed if we suffer for Jesus’ sake and that we should rejoice. It is only recently that I have divided these two statements. They have always run together in my mind.

    We are in sad state in this country. Never before have I understood the pain of the Civil War and its divisiveness like I have now.

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  10. Picturing all of us in sunglasses and hats and trench coats for anonymity.

    I scrolled through FB last night before going to bed and (again) was amazed at all the political (anti-Trump) posts, one after the other, an endless stream of them. So boring, so annoying. It really does make it not a very fun place to go anymore.

    I keep thinking people will eventually “get a grip” on themselves, but it’s not happening. 😦 They’ve come completely undone over this election and they can’t stop posting impeachment petitions, RESIST memes and near-hysterical, chicken-little alarms over what Trump is doing (and is surely going to do).

    My bathroom will get up and running either Saturday or Sunday, amigo is calling me today to set it up. At last. Dreaming of hot water and steam. I may never come out.

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  11. Pretty soon we will all be initials and scenic photos. “So, CJ, it seems to me that last night you were discussing DJ’s response to CM when LB chimed in, and you seemed to agree with him (her?) but then you said something that made me think you might have agreed with CM or maybe even with what JQ said earlier. What is your actual opinion on it? If you’re afraid you might hurt GP’s feelings posting on here, you can email me at HT@anon.com.”

    And then CJ will come on and say “Were you talking to me? I think it was CK who had that conversation.”

    “Sorry, my mistake; my finger must have slipped. Yep, I meant CK.”

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  12. So, I was looking at an article in World. Remind me again, what is the difference between Baptists and Presbyterians and Calvinists? I wonder because the pastor here thinks I am all of them and they are all wrong. So I wondered what he thought I believed.

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  13. Mumsee, Baptists are rarely Calvinists and Baptists are never Presbyterians. In short:

    Baptists believe in being baptized by immersion after being saved, even if one has already been baptized as a baby or baptized as a believer by another mode than immersion. Generally Baptists believe salvation is an individual’s choice, not God’s election, though some Reformed Baptists exist. Baptists generally believe in congregational rule (they vote on everything rather than letting elders make decisions). In my experience most Baptists have deacons, not elders, but their deacons function as elders. Baptists have many, many different denominations, and many Baptist churches aren’t really part of any specific denomination.

    Calvinists believe more or less in the five points of Calvinism (TULIP). The term is often used as an insult, and people who use the term to identify themselves might believe pretty much any combination of stuff they associate with Calvinism. Many who call themselves Calvinists are Reformed, but in my experience Reformed people are more likely to call themselves Reformed, and Calvinism is more commonly used as an insult than as a self-identifying marker.

    Presbyterianism is a form of government, not specifically a belief system, though most Presbyterians are at least nominally Reformed. Presbyterianism contains some of the most liberal church goers–the PC(USA)–but also many conservative branches. Presbyterianism itself is elder-led not Congregational (the congregation will vote on elders and on other decisions, but elders make most of the decisions by themselves–as a body, not just the pastor–and the congregation is often simply assenting). One could belong to any number of beliefs but have a presbyterian form of government. Presbyterians have both deacons and elders; elders come in two classes, ruling elders (pastors) and teaching elders. Presbyterians (like pretty much everyone other than Baptists) sprinkle babies who are born into believing families, believing baptism to be the New Testament sign of the covenant, akin to circumcision in the OT (much like the Lord’s supper is a New Testament version of Passover).

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  14. I think I’ll change my name to Burt.
    😆

    Kathleena, the pain of the Civil War should be over by now.. It was an issue in the South so long because of the Radical Reconstruction. That’s what hurt the South. The worst thing for the South was the assassination of Lincoln. “With charity for all and malice toward none” would have united the country much quicker. But the Radical Republicans and carpetbaggers caused more damage than the fighting.
    But that’s over by now.
    What did your parents tell you when you asked what your navel was?
    Mine said, “That’s where the Yankee shot you.”

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  15. My husband and I are amused. I like Land o’Lakes cocoa (particularly the raspberry, which is for some reason harder to find than most other varieties–local stores don’t carry it, and online vendors either don’t carry it at all or they often charge more for it than for other varieties). He ended up finding the cocoa (but no raspberry) through Wal-Mart online, and he ordered some of it and some other items as well to get up to the $50 point for free shipping.

    Yesterday we received a box with some of the items he ordered. Today we received two boxes, measured as 18.5 x 14. 5 x 9.5 each. Inside each was a lot of packing material and a smaller box with more packing material. Once we got through the packing material, one smaller box contained one Land o’Lakes box (12 individual portions, 15 ounces total) and one contained two. The rest of his order has yet to come. Each of the smaller boxes could have contained all three boxes of cocoa, and the product is not breakable. The larger boxes were not needed at all, nor did we need the second of the smaller boxes. We are guessing that whoever packed it is either (1) paid by the piece or (2) mad at the company and deliberately wasting their resources. And it is going to take at least four boxes in all (four would assume we only receive one additional box) to ship $50 worth of product for which we paid no shipping.

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  16. Several months ago, in the discussion about Syrian refugees, Kizzie asked me a question. At the time, I was unable to answer it due to other things going on, but I have thought about it a lot. Her question was about the concept of loving one’s neighbour, and whether, it was loving to one’s atheist neighbour to invite a Muslim into the country, who might be an extremist and kill the atheist neighbour – that is a summary, though not the exact wording of the question. Now, as I watch the ongoing debate on the News Thread and read the comments here, I see a similar question emerging. From what I gather, the American cultural patriotism says that American citizens are first, then the rest of the world. This attitude is similar to the attitude of the Jews in the time of Jesus, who placed helping other Jews in terms of priority. It is a typical attitude – I have watched several films from India which state the same thing, that a good Indian always helps other Indians. It is human nature to care about those who are most like oneself. As Christ said, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.?” (Luke 6:32-33)

    That was the context of Christ’s parable about the Good Samaritan. The lawyer who was questioning him was trying to justify himself, by implying that one’s neighbour is the one who lives close to you. By making the one in need a Jew and the hero a Samaritan, Christ was sending an unmistakable message. The Samaritans were half-breeds, in both ethnicity and religion (II Kings 17:24-31), which excluded them from the congregation of Israel. They were even lower than the pagans, because they had polluted Jewish blood. They were so hated, that the disciples thought nothing of obliterating an entire Samaritan village – for which they received a severe rebuke (Luke 9:54-55). For a Samaritan to help a Jew was not only an act of selflessness, it was one that presented some risk. Much has been made of the fact the Samaritan not taking the man home, to, as the lawyer tried, justify giving aid to people from other countries but not taking them in, but the simple reason for the Samaritan leaving him at the inn is that the rough journey to Samaria could kill the severely injured man. The whole point of Christ telling that story was that one’s neighbour is the one who is in need (Luke 10:25-37). Their nationality, ethnicity, or religion is irrelevant.

    Christ was born a Jew, and died for all the world, with the curses of his country’s leaders in his ears. Paul dearly loved his fellow Israelites, to the point where he could almost wish himself accursed for their salvation (Romans 9:1-5), but he left them and took the Gospel to the Gentiles. He ended up being treated as a traitor by his countrymen (Acts 21:27-28). When Peter subjugated his mandate as a Christian to his ethnic and national identity, Paul severely rebuked him (Galatians 1:11-14). Christ and his apostles demonstrated that one’s nationality or ethnicity can never supersede one’s calling to follow Christ, which includes his command to love our neighbour as ourselves.

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  17. Cheryl, Amazon does the same thing. Some of that is because of computerized criteria, some is dependent on the supply location. It can be annoyingly inefficient. I’ve seen a single cd that could easily fit in a jiffy envelope for the mailbox, packed in a box big enough to hold a full set of encyclopedias.

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  18. Cheryl, historically, Baptists have believed in the doctrines of Grace. Both the London Baptist confessions of 1644 and 1699 speak about election and predestination. For brevity, here is the 1699 version on the subject:

    3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
    5. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.

    The Southern Baptists and the Fundamental Baptists are actually unusual in that sense of not holding to election. In my own family circle, which was purely Baptist growing up and contained several Baptist pastors, they seemed to be firmly against the idea of predestination. However, the most respected minister among them was quietly convinced about the doctrine of election. Now many of my extended family concede the doctrine is Biblical. There are a few who are still against it, but they are in the minority. Of course, we also have a cousin who became Catholic 🙂 When I read the article in World, I kept wondering when someone was going to cite the London Confessions. Nobody did, but then Baptists are good at forgetting their own history. So is everybody else. When my eldest sibling and her family joined the Presbyterian church, she started referring to us as Anabaptists. Now, the Baptist have never been Anabaptists. The Baptists originated from England independent of the Anabaptist movement in Europe. She stopped using that term after a while, so I think the history has been corrected there. Funnily enough, my second sibling did marry someone from an Anabaptist (Mennonite) background, but he prefers the Baptist church. I enjoy reading the writings of the Reformers, but I remain convinced about baptism belonging to believers. That is one difference I look forward to being resolved in the resurrection.

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  19. These United States were a radical experiment when it happened. No other place in the world had a concept such as in our Constitution. We still believe the Constitution to be the ideal way to run a government in a fallen world. It has been mostly successful through many trials.
    We have welcomed immigrants from many places. They were generally, though not always (No Irish need apply), welcomed if they wanted to be Americans. The main thing is, “Do you want to be American?”
    There are people who believe the Sharia is Allah’s law and it applies not only to religion, but to every phase of life.
    Muslims cannot live in a democracy. If our leaders had known that we would not have removed Sadaam. Only a strong dictator can keep a Muslim country peaceful

    Bottom line: We want to restrict immigration to those who want to live under our Constitution. Any judge or lawmaker who considers Sharia in deciding a case needs to be removed immediately.
    We are allowing people who want to harm us into our country.

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  20. Chas, thanks for the memory and laugh.
    “That’s where the Yankee shot you” was sometimes followed by “If you don’t settle down, I will unscrew your belly button until your arms and legs fall off”.

    Kathaleena, the divisiveness wearies me.

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  21. In all fairness to my friend this morning, he read my post at 5 am and it made him laugh.
    What I had posted to BG was. You, Miss BG were prayed into existence and you were baptized in the Episcopal Church. I was there.”

    My friend, not remembering that she was a science project, commented:

    “Then I read down and saw your comment about praying her into existence, and I couldn’t help but think that while I don’t know as much about Episcopalians as you, I do know that at the time she came into existence you were doing something decidedly UN prayer like. I can get you a pamphlet or something.”

    I misunderstood.

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  22. Chas, the U.S. is a secular country, therefore, as every other country has and will do, it will place its own interests first. However, the Christians among the U.S. are called to, as Paul did, place their love of country after to their love for God and for their neighbours, wherever those neighbours may be.

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  23. We were discussing that very idea on the walk down from the mailbox a couple of days ago. Just who is your neighbor? How do we love all of the people in China? We don’t even know them and we have no way of giving them a cup of water. We can pray for them. Does prayer mean anything or is that just the easy way out? God treasures our prayers. We also need to love the neighbor right in front of us, whoever that may be.

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  24. Well, that is where I am on it. None of us have it exact but we continue to work with each other to get to where we can without seeing Him face to Face.

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  25. I realized that saying I came from a purely Baptist background when my paternal grandmother goes to the United Church might cause some confusion. When I refer to my extended family growing up, those who surrounded me at family gatherings were nearly always from my mother’s side. My father came from Nova Scotia and his siblings are scattered across Canada. He came to the Lord after leaving home. My mother came from Ontario, and all of her siblings lived in Ontario, so that my aunts and uncles and cousins from that side were very close growing up (many of them still are, though now my mother and her siblings are the patriarchs and matriarchs of their married children and grandchildren, so we see less of each other). My mother’s grandparents helped to found one of the largest Baptist churches in a certain city, hence the extensive Baptist connections with which I was surrounded.

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  26. I agree with both — as Christians, we see no boundaries when it comes to our ‘neighbors.’ But nation states also have a responsibility to look after its citizens and that includes maintaining geographical borders.

    I really don’t see any contradiction there.

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  27. Funny that Mumsee asked that question. A few weeks ago five-year-old granddaughter asked me what is the difference between what we believe as Lutherans and most of her classmates (at an independent Christian school) who mostly go to a large independent “fundamental” church. I told her that they believe that acceptance of Christ, baptism, and communion are all things that show God how much they love him, while we believe that they are God showing us that He loves us. Remember, this was an explanation for a five-year old.

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  28. Roscuro, I do understand that about a lot of the history of the Baptists. But now, “reformed Baptists” are a subset. I grew up Baptist (many different denominations) and so did my husband (GARB). Today all six of my siblings are still more or less Baptist; one is Reformed Baptist; two of them are in full-time ministry within the Baptist context. So my Baptist background is deeper than my Reformed.

    Re infant baptism, I wish Scripture were clearer about the means, purpose, and person for baptism. But there is a decently good biblical argument for it, and the alternative is a rare exception within the Christian world.

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  29. Cheryl, I had a problem with infant baptism once upon a time. My priest explained that it was like adoption. In baptism I was making my child a member of God’s family and giving her back to Him. At confirmation she would make the decision to stay a member of that family. Not too long ago I made the comment that God gave her to us and we gave her back to Him.

    I am covered. I was sprinkled as an infant and dunked as a 12 year old.

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  30. Then to add humor to my above post I saw a photo of a baby talking on the cell phone with this caption:
    “So today, in church, a guy in a dress tried to drown me. And, I kid you not, my family just stood there taking pictures!

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  31. Roscuro that also emphasizes something my priest always says. “God acts. We react.”. God moved to love us first. He sent his son. We react by loving Him and accepting His son as our Savior.

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  32. The new photo is a kingfisher, the only one I’ve seen at our favorite state park. I saw it fly in, so I stopped and took some photos. I’d love to photograph one in flight–they are really lovely birds in flight.

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  33. Kim (& Cheryl) I get it. My eldest sibling was moved to join the Presbyterian church she and her husband attended when her eldest was born – with the full agreement of her husband, who was born into a nominal Catholic family and had come to Christ under a Baptist ministry. There was something of a mother’s concern for her child in deciding to baptize her child. That eldest child has since made her own profession of faith and is a communicant member of their church. My difficulty with child baptism is rooted in my belief in the Doctrines of Grace, namely Total Depravity, which is the first letter of TULIP. If I believe that we are all born in Adam dead in sin, then how can I say that the children born to Christians can be placed, without evidence of faith, into a different spiritual position than the children born to, say, a Muslim or a Hindu? I do not think that an infant who dies goes to hell, but that has more to do with the idea that they cannot be held accountable yet – and such an exception would naturally apply to the infant born to a Muslim or a Hindu as well. I agree that it is God who calls us, but I also believe that the evidence of his calling is our faith. It is impossible to tell with an infant if they have faith or not.

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  34. Mumsee, the image isn’t the first thing that shows up, you have to scroll down the article, to the photo under the title ‘About the Sacrament of Holy Baptism’.

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  35. This post has another picture – clearly this little one thinks getting wet is great: http://www.pravmir.com/infant-baptism-orthodox-church/. The article is interesting, because it admits that adult baptism of children born to Christian parents wasn’t unheard of in the early church:

    The first recorded opposition to the practice comes from Tertullian in the third century. He objected to the practice of baptizing infants because of the heretical idea that sin after baptism was nearly unforgivable. His dissention should be understood within the larger debates of his day, centered around perceived laxity in church morals and government. Many of the greatest Fathers of the third and fourth centuries were not baptized until they were adults, despite having been born to Christian parents. Among them were St. Basil the Great, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome. The later baptism of these men reflects a larger crisis in the newly legalized Church under St. Constantine. One reason postponing baptism became popular was the desire of some Christians to counteract the new wave of baptisms of pagans wishing only to belong to the faith of their emperor. While not yet a requirement of Roman loyalty or citizenship, baptism ensured that one was on the right side of Rome. Postponing baptism emphasized the significance of the rite, and was an attempt to preserve the genuineness of the life for which baptism served as the initiation. Postponement had nothing to do with the validity of a child’s baptism. Many of those Fathers whose baptism was postponed insisted later on that families baptize their new born children, notably St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, and St. Cyril of Alexandria.

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  36. Some advice from you culinary experts please:

    Since I’m fixing, we usually have pre-prepared meals at home. Not bad, except they are usually high on starchy stuff (macaroni, mostly). It’s cheap.
    Today I was in the supermarket and decided to have German for dinner. So I bought a can of German potato salad and some bratwurst. I fixed a salad to go with it. I’m pretty good at that.
    Two things:
    1. I think something else was supposed to go with the bratwurst and potato salad, but I don’t remember what.
    2 I cooked the bratwurst in a frying pan and it seemed done. However, when I cut into it, it was mostly raw. I finished it out with a couple of minutes in the microwave. I don’t eat raw bratwurst.
    Questions: What else goes with that meal?
    And, why didn’t that bratwurst cook on the inside? Elvera never had that problem. Is it OK for me to just microwave it?

    We didn’t leave hungry. We had store-bought pecan pie for dissert.

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  37. Roscuro- Thanks for the picture. I had never seen a baby dunked and had no idea anyone did that! If I were the mother I would be a basket case.

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  38. Chas, A lot of people boil the bratwurst first then finish it on a grill or in a skillet. Try that next time.
    I do brats in hotdog buns with grilled onions and green pepper and yellow mustard.
    I would think sauerkraut would go with brats. Having a salad with dinner is always good.
    There are several websites that if you Google you can find some ideas.

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  39. Here is one list I found
    Top Ten Best Bratwurst Sides
    cast iron bratwurst cooker
    Cook perfect brats, hot dogs, and cornbread over a fire with thiscast-iron bratwurst cooker!
    1. Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut and bratwurst go together like, well, sauerkraut and bratwurst. This is a can’t miss bratwurst side and satisfies the traditionalists.
    2. German-style potato salad. This is basically a typical potato salad but minus the mayo. Hard to go wrong with potato salad and any grilled meat.
    3. Spaetzle. This is another traditional German side that can be made as either an egg noodle or dumpling style dish.
    4. Grilled corn on the cob. This one is a nod to American-style grilling, with corn on the cob the perfect accent to bratwurst and lots of other grilled foods.
    5. Cabbage. Sweet and sour red cabbage and red cabbage slaw are another popular nod to the Germanic roots of bratwurst.
    6. Baked beans. Not a lot to add here. Baked beans are good.
    7. Not a salad. Seriously. Don’t ever serve salad anywhere near you brats. An abomination that must be avoided.
    8. Potato pancakes. Shredded pancakes (aka Reibekuchen) are potato fritters that are much beloved in German cuisine.
    9. Pickled red eggs. Another German delicacy that combines eggs and beets and packs a bit of a bite.
    10. Cole slaw. Cole slaw is a tried and true side dish that works well with many different meats.
    Related

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  40. Ouch, I was reading that Debra got to see the pics and then read KH and learned that a lot of folk just grill their brats… This place is getting quite bizarre, especially when put with what I was just reading at the end of Deuteronomy.

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  41. Mumsee, think of a small kiddie pool sunken in the floor of the church. Now imagine the priest “passing” the baby through the water. That is the Orthodox method.
    In our “sprinking” tradition we have a baptismal font and the priest takes a handful of water and pours it over the baby’s head or sometimes a baptismal ewer is used.

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  42. Working on catching up on today’s comments, but came across this & wanted to address it now. . .

    Roscuro – Earlier today you wrote, “Several months ago, in the discussion about Syrian refugees, Kizzie asked me a question. At the time, I was unable to answer it due to other things going on, but I have thought about it a lot. Her question was about the concept of loving one’s neighbour, and whether, it was loving to one’s atheist neighbour to invite a Muslim into the country, who might be an extremist and kill the atheist neighbour – that is a summary, though not the exact wording of the question.”

    Are you sure that was me? I don’t recall asking that, but if I did, I may have asked that in the attitude of looking at varying angles of the situation, but I have been one who has been in favor of letting refugees in.

    Here’s a brief piece I read earlier today on that subject. . .

    “Dear Fellow Christians: It’s Time to Speak Up for Refugees
    If we are pro-life, we are pro-refugee.”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/january/how-to-respond-as-follower-of-christ-to-trumps-ban-of-refug.html?utm_source=ctdirect-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=9474712&utm_content=491909254&utm_campaign=email

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  43. My first born was stripped and dunked completely underwater at 7 weeks. He’s fine. 🙂

    All my children were baptized at different churches with different traditions.

    Oh, wait #3 was baptized at the same church as #1, but under a different pastor who felt differently. #3 was also 2 years old . . . it took us a while to get back to our home church.

    I was baptized as an infant, a couple months old with sprinkling. When child #2 at the age of 10 decided he wanted to be immersed, I went with him so people would stop asking me if I’d been immersed.

    It made no difference to me, but the church leadership was happy. We then moved. (Again).

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  44. Thanks Kim. It was sauerkraut I was thinking of. But Elvera doesn’t like vinegary stuff. I’m going with baked beans next time. And the idea of boiling bratwurst sounds like a good one.
    What I did with the poorly cooked this time was to microwave it for two minutes.
    And I may try corn on the cob. You can’t mess that up.
    I can’t make Cole slaw Maybe I can buy it. But I make a good salad. I know you said “DON’T”. But I did anyhow.

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  45. Jo, some among those who have had this influenza have described the sore throat as the worst they have ever had. My sore throat lasted three days, before any other symptoms started. Normally, I would start thinking that it was strep throat after that many days, but I had already encountered others who had the influenza who said the sore throat prevented them from being able to swallow food or speak.

    Kizzie, I am sure you asked the question. I am accustomed to you asking such questions purely in the spirit of inquiry 🙂

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  46. Roscuro, it’s interesting, thought, that the New Testament says that the child of a believing parent is sanctified by that parent’s faith (1 Cor. 7:15). I actually think this verse is an excellent biblical argument for infant baptism: “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

    Debra, they actually have swimming classes for infants, because infants instinctively know not to breathe while underwater. I have a hunch that if you had seen hundreds of infants baptized by immersion over the course of your life, it wouldn’t seem scary at all. I’ve never seen it myself; I haven’t even seen many infants baptized at all. But had I spent my entire life in a church that did that, I would have seen hundreds or thousands by now, and I imagine for a parent it would be mostly a sweet thing to say, possibly with a tinge of nervousness–like giving away one’s child in marriage.

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  47. My husband always boils bratwurst before grilling it. Some people like to boil it in beer. You do not have to do this, but it does make it less dried out, I think, while still making sure it is done.

    He likes to make polish or other types of sausage (but not brats) in sauerkraut. I am not a big fan of sauerkraut, but will have a smidgen.

    It probably also makes a difference if your bratwurst is raw or precooked. You can purchase either.

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  48. Aw, speaking of dinner …

    A baby sandpiper learns to find food (since I had to write a caption for a photo of sandpipers on our shoreline today)

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  49. Cheryl, in the passage you quote, it also says that the unbelieving spouse is made holy by the believing spouse, yet no church has ever baptized the unbelieving spouse of a Christian. If I might point out a situation that doesn’t occur to most Western Christians, and which only became clear to me in seeing what happens to converts in other countries, I am convinced the passage is speaking of the lawfulness of a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian. Say for example, that the wife of a Hindu couple becomes a Christian. Now, the Hindu wedding ceremony is stepped in that religion – it is frequently depicted in their films – and its accompanying superstitions. The wife might well wonder if her marriage, which was a pagan ritual, is a legitimate marriage. Paul is reassuring those in such situations that their marriage is valid, that they should still live conjugally with their unbelieving spouse (rendering them that due benevolence which Paul earlier said was due to both the husband and wife in a marriage), and that the children born in that marriage are legitimate. Paul does add the clause, however, that if the unbelieving spouse chooses to end the marriage, the believing spouse is not under the same obligation as they would if they were married to a believer. That is a very helpful clause to those who convert to Christianity and then are forcibly divorced for their conversion. It renders them free to marry within the faith. However, they are never to instigate such a divorce from their unbelieving spouse. They are married in the eyes of God, though their marriage was marked by pagan or secular rituals.

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  50. Roscuro, I wonder whether the early church might not have baptized a whole family if the father became a believer–it’s possible. At any rate, clearly in the Old Testament a baby was circumcised because of his parents’ faith, not his own. I suspect that “now are your children holy” meant something more than they are legitimate–even the children of unbelievers are legitimate if their parents are married.

    I don’t think either side is heretical–it isn’t spelled out absolutely clearly in Scripture. But my husband makes an excellent point when he says that Jewish believers would have read the New Testament with a covenantal understanding and a background of circumcision, so any “ambiguity” should probably be weighted in that direction, not in the direction of Western individualism. I myself wish it were clearer.

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  51. If circumcision is to be compared to baptism, then Romans 4:9-12 would be a strong argument for limiting baptism to those who were of faith:

    For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.” [NASB]

    The circumcision functioned as a physical record of the faith of Abraham, drawing the line of his descendants to Christ. Yet, it was lacking, because there were those of the circumcision of the flesh who were not circumcised in the heart (Ezekiel 44:7, Romans 2:25). Paul speaks of an inward circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29), not made with hands (Colossians 2:11), while calling outward circumcision useless (Galatians 5:5, 6:15). Yet, baptism is an outward act.

    Circumcision, as an outward physical change, foreshadowed the inward change of heart that the new birth would bring. The necessity for circumcision ended with Christ, while baptism began with the call to repentance of John the Baptist. Baptism is a physical symbol, a reenactment, of the spiritual reality of having died with Christ and been raised to new life (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12). Peter draws a parallel of baptism, not to circumcision, but to Noah and his family being saved in the flood: “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:21, NASB). While the Old Covenant had many shadows in it, the things of the Old Covenant do not directly parallel that of the New Covenant – for example, the role of Christ as High Priest is not one that directly parallels that of the High Priest in the law of Moses (though the High Priest foreshadowed Christ), for Christ is of the order of Melchizedek, one who is both High Priest and King. Circumcision and baptism, while closely related, are not direct parallels. It would be faulty to argue that because the physical descendant of Abraham were circumcised as infants, so those who are the descendants of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:7) should baptize their infants. The only way to be a spiritual descendant of Abraham is by faith.

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  52. Chatted with my neighbor tonight through her kitchen window when I got home, she’s had a relapse from the flu, was back in bed for 5 days, just got up a couple days ago — her husband also has it now.

    Be careful out there.

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  53. She told me that the doctor (we go to the same GP) told her his wife had it to the point where he almost admitted her to the hospital.

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