50 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-25-17

  1. When I saw the bee on the bud, I thought yesterday’s thread was still up.
    But when this gets posted, there will likely be another picture.
    Good morning everyone.
    Aj can’t be first because he’ busy putting up the picture.

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  2. Yesterday I went into the office early to get the new agent we hired processed in, email, go over policies, RECAD etc. Then we had a college Sophomore who is interested in commercial real estate come in to talk to all of us. Then I went to do Broker Price Opinions on two properties. One was in a nice neighborhood and they other was in what I thought was going to be a nice neighborhood but wasn’t. People hanging out in the streets, Pitt Bulls behind fences. If I can make that house worth $5,000 it will be a miracle. One Homey wanted to know if I would give him a ride and let him use my car on the weekends. Mr P pointed out last night they probably thought I was there to buy drugs. Sometimes I can be oblivious.
    Anyway, I had what I consider two “winks from heaven” yesterday. You all know that Big John by Jimmy Dean always reminds me of my dad. It came on Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius radio. Once it was over I didn’t like the next song so I moved over to the 50’s on 5 and here is the song that was playing. My uncle had a huge collection of 45’s and he and my dad used to dance with me to this song. (Which is why I really can’t dance and I certainly can’t dance with short men 🙂 )

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  3. Chas, first you have to sleep with the bedroom windows open, then it has to get a little windy and knock the blinds around, then the birds have to start chirping and singing….
    Dogs have been out, coffee is made and I have already handled an offer on a condo this morning….

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  4. And just because I haven’t bored you to death this year with Mardi Gras, I will share this video of last year’s Mysticss of Time Parade. The 2017 parade is tonight and Mr. P and I are going. This really is the best parade and Vernadean the Dragon is the MOST important feature. Just remember grown men pay a lot of money to be able to do this.

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  5. It’s a Saturday morning, so everybody is probably sleeping in. I was planning on, but I have to readjust to the presence of children in the house. I was traveling yesterday and I’m back in the city, to resume classes on Monday. I always travel on the train now, since my father gets a lot of pain if he drives a long distance.

    Speaking of my parents, the couple is still there. They have been moved up the waiting list for a nursing home, but, as they know, someone has to die for them to get in 😦 Just as I was leaving yesterday, there was a personal support worker (PSW) that came to talk to them about what needed to be done for the wife of the couple. They will be getting a PSW in to help the woman get up in the morning, hopefully taking a load off my mother. I say hopefully, because if the PSW comes too late, my mother will already have done the work. I warned her that if she did everything before the PSW arrived, then they wouldn’t see just how much help the lady needs, but she insisted that she couldn’t just leave the lady when she needs to be changed. I get her point, but I feel like my mother really isn’t going to be helped. A wonderful woman, my mother, but her will is like iron and once she has decided to do something, it will be done*.

    *We children were once called by a relative the strongest willed children he had ever seen, which we inherited it from our mother, but not even our combined efforts can budge her from whatever is her chosen position. That is sometimes a good thing – it meant, in our childhood, that her discipline was effective against our stubbornness – but sometimes we feel helpless to help her as a result. However, she can change her mind if circumstances, conviction by the Holy Spirit, and her own considerable wisdom show her that she needs to change.

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  6. I have been working on the BPO ever since I left you earlier. Mobile is hard to comp and the tax records give different information. I also had to skirt some Fair Housing issues in why I thought risk of vandalism was higher

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  7. Only if you actually care about the names of my goats. The point is to know that she is busy doing what she does and we love her and pray for her. God is using her for His purposes and will be glorified.

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  8. Well I really slept in today — which means I’m getting a late start on things. I have a few things that have to get done, other things I wanted to get done (which probably will have to wait).

    I can’t believe this week will be March already.

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  9. Looks like a crocus with a bee on it to me. Mine will not be up for quite some time. If this was in conjunction with the other pictures, they are not from this year, I believe.

    We watched “The Queen of Katwe” last night and enjoyed it. It would be good to show older children the way some people live. All in all a good story.

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  10. Kathaleena, the crocus with the bee on it was indeed from this year, this week in northern Indiana. We had eight days in a row of sixty-plus weather (a February record) capped off by 71 yesterday (another record) . . . and today it’s in the thirties with some snow.

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  11. The annual fight between spring and winter, we get it in California, too — though with a back-and-forth amid much milder ‘extremes.’

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  12. DJ, we’d normally have this battle sometime in mid to late April or even early May. It’s insanely early. Now, we wouldn’t be getting the snow in May, or probably even in late April, but we don’t usually see bulbs until at least mid-April.

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  13. A BPO is a Broker Property Opinion. A bank usually orders them when they are short selling or foreclosing on a property. They want a real estate agent to give them an impartial opinion. They get agents to do it rather than appraisers. An appraiser would get $400-$500 for what I did for $100. Every time they call they offer me $40 and I tell them no it isn’t worth the liability on my E&O Insurance nor the split with my broker. I am still fighting the photos on the second one and just quit for the day. I may fool with it tomorrow.
    ONE TIME I did one for $75 and they keep trying to negotiate me back down to the . I charge $100 for an external drive by and $150 if I do an external and internal opinion. Right now this company is in to me for about $1000 and haven’t paid me yet, so my fee may go up or I may refuse them until I am paid.
    In the commercial end of real estate they are called BOV’s Broker Opinion of Value. I get about $500 to one of those but lately Guy has been getting Junior to do them and has me training a new agent to do them. We are going to have a conversation about that. If I do all the work he is going to have to pay me.

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  14. Kizzie, that is kind of an interesting article. I do think that giving something up for Lent is quite a way from the biblical model of anything . . . but I don’t think his history is very good. Tracing the Roman Catholics to as early as the fourth century is historically problematic (Trent makes more sense), or connecting the beginning of infant baptism to that, and more. The idea of baptisms only at Easter sounds highly unlikely, first because it assumes the very early church celebrated an Easter season (I don’t believe they did), and that they saved baptisms till then–the biblical pattern is a pretty immediate baptism, and I doubt they did an annual one instead.

    In other words, it would be useful to see his sources for any of that; I would question whether they are very good. The overarching conclusion, that Lent is Roman Catholic and not spiritually useful, I get. (I understand the concept of having it help Easter be special, but I agree that isn’t the best way to do that.)

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  15. By now most of you have probably grasped that the attack of influenza I had left me with residual fatigue. I went grocery shopping today, and I was really struggling with how tired I was before I had even made it to the grocery store. I got my groceries and got them home, but I was done in. The whole thing only took me an hour: about 15 min to walk there, about 20 min to get the groceries, about 15 min to walk back hauling the groceries, and about 10 min to get the heavy groceries up two flights of stairs (that part took me three trips up and down the stairs, which it usually does) and put away; yet my heart was racing and I was sweating from the fatigue. So, I decided to take a nap. Now, another feature of this illness means that naps are often unpleasant experiences when waking up. Today’s nap was no exception – I thought I was awake when I was dreaming (I was dreaming about a real ongoing situation which I sometime find upsetting) and when I actually woke up I was sobbing uncontrollably. It is a real challenge to reorient myself to reality after these naps. I was thinking today that they are more like how people describe drug trips. It makes me very reluctant to nap during the day. Sleeping at night doesn’t produce the same effect. I was hoping I was getting better, but I guess I was mistaken. I might not be coughing or blowing my nose anymore, but I am not at all well.

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  16. Roscuro, husband first got sick about January 10. This morning, he did a few things around the house and then was just completely wiped out and had to sit and rest (dozed for a bit). This flu bug is awful. I hope you’re better quickly.

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  17. Justin Martyr, who is one of the earliest of the early church writers, writing in the mid-100s, mentions the fast of those who are going to be baptized – I remembered reading about that fast when I read Justin’s works. However, the question is whether that baptism was always at Easter, which by the way, was practiced very early on – an existing fragment of a lost letter by Irenaeus (130 – 202) mentions that Polycarp, who was a pupil of the apostle John, observed a feast of the Resurrection. According to this scholar, the history used in the link that Kizzie put up was formerly an accepted theory, but lately it has come under question: http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/193181.pdf.

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  18. Here is Justin Martyr (100-165) on the fast before baptism, from his First Apology to the emperor Pius Antoninius: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ante-Nicene_Fathers/Volume_I/The_First_Apology

    I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, “Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers’ wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls; learn to do well; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if ye refuse and rebel, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

    And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.

    This is Irenaeus’ quote fragement on Easter and on the fast before Easter – the quote doesn’t specifically mention Easter, but that is because the quote from the lost letter appears in the context of a later writing by Eusebius on the subject: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ante-Nicene_Fathers/Volume_I/IRENAEUS/Fragments_from_the_Lost_Writings_of_Irenaeus/III.

    For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast. For some consider themselves bound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors, some of whom probably, being not very accurate in their observance of it, handed down to posterity the custom as it had, through simplicity or private fancy, been [introduced among them]. And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. Thus, in fact, the difference [in observing] the fast establishes the harmony of [our common] faith. And the presbyters preceding Soter in the government of the Church which thou dost now rule—I mean, Anicetus and Pius, Hyginus and Telesphorus, and Sixtus—did neither themselves observe it [after that fashion], nor permit those with them to do so. Notwithstanding this, those who did not keep [the feast in this way] were peacefully disposed towards those who came to them from other dioceses in which it was [so] observed although such observance was [felt] in more decided contrariety [as presented] to those who did not fall in with it; and none were ever cast out [of the Church] for this matter. On the contrary, those presbyters who preceded thee, and who did not observe [this custom], sent the Eucharist to those of other dioceses who did observe it. And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points, they were at once well inclined towards each other [with regard to the matter in hand], not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this head. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other; and Anicetus conceded to Polycarp in the Church the celebration of the Eucharist, by way of showing him respect; so that they parted in peace one from the other, maintaining peace with the whole Church, both those who did observe [this custom] and those who did not.

    That pretty much sums up how the question of Lent, and many other differences between Chrisitans, should be treated, doesn’t it? Wise men, those early church writers.

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  19. BPO — I kept thinking about the Benevolent Protective Order (BPO) of Elks. Community news reporter nerd info.

    I spent a frustrating day with errands (long story) but did get the dogs to the dog park for the first time in a while (due to rain and house and Carol interruptions). Several tree branches were down from the latest windy storm and there was a ton of mud in the parking lot which I slipped-and-slid through going to and from the car, but I managed to stay on my feet.

    More rain starting after midnight but it should clear by 9 a.m. — then more on Monday, we think.

    It was so, so cold at the dog park.

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  20. Roscuro, this flu was rough, I speak from experience. And it does leave you really fatigued for some time. Hope you can get the rest you need. Spring is coming. 🙂

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  21. For those of you who do give up something for Lent, do you exclude Sundays? Michelle, do you let yourself have chocolate on Sundays? Apparently, excluding Sundays from one’s Lenten observance is how it is done.

    I had figured that out when I heard people talk about the 40-day Lenten fast, but realized that there are over 40 days between Ash Wednesday & Easter.

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  22. Nightingale writes on Facebook, “[Little Guy] was doing this free basketball clinic that’s like an “intro to basketball” for little kids. I was honestly surprised with how well he does. Not only has he made several baskets, he actually gets the idea of playing as a team! Today was the last day and afterwards the coach approached me to say [Little Guy] should play on the team this upcoming season. This is the second time a coach has said to me that they want [Little Guy] on their team! I’m so proud of him!”

    She described to me how he passes the ball to others who are “open”, while some other kids tend to “hog the ball”.

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  23. I bought some dark chocolate at the store tonight, guess I’m not giving up chocolate.

    Neither is Carol who is craving something I’d never heard of before — Oreo Peeps?????!

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  24. Speaking of Oreos. . .Some of you have seen the thing I posted on Facebook about them coming out with Cookies & Cream flavor Oreos. IOW, Oreo-flavored Oreos. 🙂

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  25. The only dispensation I take about chocolate during Lent is on Stargazer’s birthday. He then turned the tables on me and asked for pie, instead of chocolate cake. Several years I served apple pie with chocolate ice cream.

    Now, I don’t bother. I even managed a 2.5 week trip to Europe two years ago during Lent without eating chocolate–except I may have gotten a bit in the tiramisu I ate in Venice–though I specifically asked if it had chocolate in it.

    I’ve given up chocolate for Lent for more than 20 years; it’s morphed away from a spiritual focus for me into a personal discipline. Someone suggested putting together 40 bags of clutter this year on FB, and that’s not a bad idea for me either.

    This is a personal conviction–the need to break some of the “holds” in my life. For example, in 2016, I decided to not eat any M&Ms–they’d become a problem almost like alcohol. I got through the year–and still haven’t had any since 2015 New Year’s Eve. (Was very tempted the other day, and then thought, why not keep the discipline going?).

    The Catholic and Orthodox traditions don’t allow for Sunday free days; it has never has occurred to me, Karen.

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  26. I too had heard that Sundays were excluded from Lenten fasting, but here’s what Wikipedia says:

    In the Roman Rite, the definition of Lent varies according to different documents. While the official document on the Lenten season, Paschales Solemnitatis, says that “the first Sunday of Lent marks the beginning of the annual Lenten observance”, the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar says, “The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to but excluding the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive.” The first source represents a period of 40 days and the second a period of 44 days, because both sources agree that the end of Lent comes the evening of Holy Thursday, before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Though some sources try to reconcile this with the phrase “forty days” by excluding Sundays and extending Lent through Holy Saturday no official documents support this interpretation.

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  27. Lent is not on the Bible, so why do it? Are not Christians called to a life of sacrifice all the time? We are to abstain from worldly pleasures that draw us away from holiness. Giving something up for Lent is not wrong, just not necessary.

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  28. I have sometimes used the Lenten season as a time to exert self-control over an area that had gotten out of hand. I don’t pretend to myself that it is a spiritual endeavor, although I know the Lord may choose to bless me in some way &/or draw me closer to Him. Lent just seems to come at a good time to do this, but I could easily do the same thing any other time of year.

    This year, I am again lessening my sweets intake, & asking for deliverance from (or at least a great lessening of) craving for sweets.

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  29. A question: Would a wife disagreeing with her husband on Facebook equal being disrespectful to him?

    The kind of disagreeing I am referring to is not the too-typical arguing that goes on on some Facebook posts, but the kind of respectful debate that some people have on their Facebook posts.

    Hubby sometimes posts things, or makes comments on a mutual friend’s posts, with which I disagree. Although my reply would be written respectfully, I often don’t reply, fearing it could be taken as disrespectful by disagreeing with him “in public”. But I would reply to someone else making the same comment, & it would be considered a respectful disagreement.

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  30. Our church tradition does not observe Lent — but I suppose on a personal level I view such practices as helpful in some cases. Peter points out that Christians are called to a life of sacrifice, which of course is true. But just as we are called to pray always, it is helpful to carve out some time each day for that purpose, otherwise it becomes easy for us to altogether skip praying intentionally and in a focused way.

    So I can see using this season (or any season one chooses) to reflect and to focus on habits or attitudes that have become hindrances in our walk. In that sense, the “church calendar” is personally useful, I think.

    The point to be remembered, I suppose, is not to become a legalist about these things — but to use them if they prove helpful to our own growth and discipleship.

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  31. As a former Catholic, Hubby remembers so many Catholic people he worked with who would give up sweets (that seemed to be the usual thing for the women at least) for Lent, but their attitudes never changed.

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  32. I didn’t grow up observing any part of the liturgy but Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas. We did Advent calendars, but I didn’t hear about the Advent Sundays until I was much older. I relate to Advent, as it is a time of remembering the desire of God’s people as they waited for the Messiah. I’m not so sure about Lent. The city church I go to observes Advent; it also seems that they have some observation of Lent, since they are doing some (optional) activity for Ash Wednesday. Having had the experience of being in a legalistic homeschooling program which encouraged one to fast or abstain from pleasures and pursuits, ranging from novel reading to eating pork, in order to draw closer to God, I shy away from all of that now. I fully understand that Christians are to be self-controlled and not contaminate their pleasures with moral impurity; but we are also allowed to take pleasure in things. As a young teen, I was made to feel guilty if I liked something, as if it was a possible idol; and I continually tried to give up what God had never asked me to give up, because I had worked myself into a state of guilt over it. Having developed the habit of making myself feel guilty over nothing, I still sometimes do it – I have learned to wait and see if it really is the Holy Spirit’s conviction or just my overactive conscience. So Lent seems more of a trap to me than a time of remembering our Lord’s sacrifice. My way of honouring what Christ has done for me is to continue to walk in the freedom he gave me.

    On that topic, the pastor was preaching this morning on Ephesian 4:17-24, and he mentioned that as a teen, from hearing preachers during his childhood, he had developed the philosophy of what he now calls “Christian Buddhism” – that in order to be truly spiritual, one must lose all desires. He was contrasting that teenage confusion with what the Ephesians passage was saying, to put off the old man with its sinful desires, and put on the new man, which will make us desire that which is good. He was emphasizing that sanctification comes by the work of the Spirit in the life of a true believer and he pointed out that the work is gradual, the fruit develops slowly. I have given up things that were truly harmful, or at least unprofitable, to my Christian life; but I have never been able to give them up using my own will and self-control. Only when the Holy Spirit is the one doing the work, can I let them go and never look back.

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  33. By the way, I am not opposed to a time of remembrance leading up to Easter, the way we do with Christmas, but I think it would be better served if we did it in the same way – using songs and appropriate Scripture passages. Scholars think that the fast that Irenaeus speaks about in that quote I gave further up the thread actually occurred between Good Friday and Easter morning, as a way of remembering Christ’s burial (the “forty” in the quote refers to hours, rather than days). That I can understand and relate to – a little bit of living theatre to remind one of the great drama of those three days and nights; it would be at least as significant as having a sunrise service on Easter (something which I’ve never experienced, as the weather in early spring in Canada is not conducive to a service outdoors). I wouldn’t want Easter to become as commercialized as Christmas, but I think there should be as much joy in remembering the accomplishment of the purpose of Christ’s coming as there is in remembering his coming.

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  34. It is a balancing act — so what one “gives up” should only be something that is clearly a hindrance to one’s spiritual walk (and it should be a disposition toward that, not just a physical abstention that’s quickly forgotten and abandoned once “Lent” — or whatever ‘season’ — is over).

    The pendulum swings from one extreme to another so it takes wisdom to make use of some of these spiritual disciplines without falling into those extremes.

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  35. I observe Lent and will not argue for or against it. I see it as a time to hit “reset” and contemplate the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. I have long decided to not “give up” but to take on. 40 days can form a habit. I have one thing to take on that I hope will last well past Lent and another that I may or may not continue but it is hitting the “reset” button on a couple of things.
    More tomorrow as I ask some of you about it, if you’ve done it, what the results were, and if anyone would like to join me.

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  36. Kizzie, I wouldn’t be inclined to disagree with my husband’s Facebook posts on Facebook (if either of us was on there), but if I did consider doing it, I would tell him what I wished to say, and ask him if he would consider it disrespectful if I posted it. (Not that I’d ask him every time, but I’d ask to set a “precedent.” Then if I wanted to post anything stronger at a later date, I would check first.) My husband is perfectly fine with my disagreeing with him, and I do so readily–but usually in private. I’ll state mild disagreement in front of other people, or interact with him and others on issues on which we all have somewhat different views, but especially if it’s a matter that’s important to him, I’ll save strong disagreements for times when we are alone. (I might say something public like “I definitely don’t agree with all of that, but I like the way you said . . .” or something that says I’m not “agreeing” when I choose not to speak up, but without undercutting him in any way. Then later, in private, I’ll tell him, “You know how I said I don’t agree with everything? Well, I didn’t want to say it in front of other people, but in my opinion . . .”)

    Long answer short, see what he says.

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  37. Cheryl – Thanks, that’s how I was leaning. Your description of how you disagree with your husband is the way I handle it, too.

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