70 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-20-17

  1. According to the internet, Spring is already here. 6.27 this morning.
    Good morning almost everyone.
    Hi Tychicus
    Sweet Dreams Jo.

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  2. Tess looks so happy. 🙂

    As you all know, I think, Heidi sleeps in our bed with us. I like it that way.

    We’ve noticed that when one of us gets up, but the other is still in bed, she will usually stay with the one abed.

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  3. That comforter looks familiar. One like it is in the linen closet. It came with Mr. P.

    BG is still in the hospital. Her dad was supposed to spend the night but decided the cot would hurt his back. He was then going to get up and go by the hospital to check on her this morning before his 8am conference call. I awoke to a text message that he didn’t make it, he would come back over and check on her after his call. I got dressed and went. There has been a shift change and the doctor hasn’t made rounds so I really couldn’t find out anything from the new nurse. I tried to wake BG but she wanted to sleep. I came home. I have to work some time and G can handle it. He is just reminding me all of the reasons he is divorced. Any and everything is more important than his child and (used to be) me.

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  4. BG has been sleeping with Bear Bear. She has had him since she was 15 months old. He is almost “real”.
    From The Velveteen Rabbit:
    “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, “Does it mean having things that buzz inside You and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how You are made,” said the Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to You. When someone loves You for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves You, then You become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Horse, for he was always truthful. “When You are Real You don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?” asked the Rabbit. “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Horse. “You become. It can take a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time You are Real, most of Your hair has been loved off, and Your eyes drop out and You get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once You are Real You can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
    “I suppose You are real?”
    said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Horse might be sensitive. But the Horse only smiled. “The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years
    ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for
    always.”

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  5. Real life returns today. I’m off to the gym for the first time in 6 weeks. I had no idea it took so long to heal from bruised ribs. But you know what? While walking isn’t as good as dancing in the exercise department, it’s beneficial in other ways–especially now spring is blooming.

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  6. Happy spring everyone.

    Yes, Jo, this is why beds can’t be on the floor. My dogs actually don’t sleep on the bed with me, but they have dog beds on the floor they will use next to the bed. Now the dog beds are almost like extensions of my bed.

    The cat likes to sleep on top of me.

    It will be so nice to get the bed frame back. I was reading online that it’s actually possible to extend these beds so they’re a regular “full” size which is only a matter of a couple inches, apparently — making the purchase of future mattresses especially much easier.

    It really is time to replace the 20-year-old box spring and mattress on that bed also, but it requires a special order and I can’t currently get the measurements of the frame, of course, which is needed (apparently measuring just the old mattress is dicey as those can have irregular / misleading measurements when making a new one). I may call or text the repair guy to ask if he could measure for me when he has a chance (probably won’t be right away, though, he sounds busy and I doubt he’d be putting my bed frame back together again anytime soon in the process; but maybe he has an easy way to figure it for me).

    We’re in for some more rain this week (tomorrow, maybe Wednesday and again on Saturday). It’s so nice to see everything so green and colorful for a change — the drought really did take some of the usual beauty our of our springtime.

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  7. Several photos into that link is one from the Palos Verdes Peninsula which is where I live — not just the desert, the flowers on the peninsula are spectacular.

    Hope BG gets to come home today. 😦 Poor kid.

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  8. After helping me milk goats and walking the dogs and a few other chores, fifteen year old daughter came in with a hunger for eggs. I had set the frying pan on the stove for her. She washed her hands and hustled and bustled, getting butter out of the dish and such. After a while of watching the pan, she exclaimed, “Oh yes, the eggs!” And went to get some eggs to put in the pan. And so my day goes.

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  9. I think I’ll have eggs this morning. 🙂

    I liked this post from one of our former elders (the family moved to Tenn recently, so fun to see pics posted of their 5 — soon-to-be 6 — kids romping and having such a grand time in the open fields near their new house 🙂 )

    Hey, don’t let all of the noise and drama and spiritual air pollution get you down. Remember, you can’t fix the whole world and all of its problems. I understand it’s disheartening at times, all the things that aren’t right, compromised, confused, offenses, misunderstandings, but all you’re supposed to do is believe the gospel, love God and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s pretty much the whole program. And when God wants the fix the world, or politics, or the economy, he will, because he can. And when God wants to cure the church, or your church, or draw more people to himself, he will, because he can. And if he has good reasons of his own for letting things be a little different than you are pretty sure they should be, he might have reasons of his own for allowing things to be the way they are. But being happy is largely finding God’s will to be good regardless of how that plays out in our earthly lives. Happiness and holiness tend to ride together and trusting him should bring a peace that transcends the world 😀
    Philippians 4

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  10. DJ:
    place pan on stove.
    turn on heat
    break desired bowls into bowl
    butter pan
    when butter bubbles, pour eggs into pan
    sprinkle with salt and pepper
    put bread in toaster
    after the clear egg turns white, turn eggs with spatula
    add slice of cheese to top of eggs
    cook a bit longer, then remove to plate
    remove pan from burner
    turn burner off
    butter toast
    go eat eggs and toast and piece of toast and drink glass of goat milk

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  11. I did that almost exactly (no salt or pepper and no goat milk; bread still in toaster, but I’m not eating my eggs 🙂 )

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  12. Yesterday was a two pots of coffee and an extra large unsweetened ice tea day for me. I have cut down to one pot of coffee with the tea today. My pots of coffee are just two cups worth at a time.

    It was suppose to be a quiet day at the office, but the phone is ringing, ringing, ringing. Uncle Sam’s business is booming right now. My brother does not like the distraction of my gizmos and gadgets which makevdings and tweeting sounds along so I had to take the battery out of my phone to get it to be quiet. It would come back on when I turned it off. Too smart for its casing!

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  13. I didn’t allow Misten onto any furniture, though part of me thought it would be easier to snuggle with her if she was up where I was. Still I didn’t want furniture destroyed by claws, I didn’t want any question about which one of us was in charge, I didn’t want the vast amount of hair a collie produces in my bed or on my couch . . . and I also knew that most men don’t like dogs in the bed and I hadn’t ruled out marrying someday.

    I’m glad I thought ahead to that last one, because as it turned out, my husband didn’t even want Misten IN the bedroom, lying beside the bed, and it took a bit of work to train her to stay out since she was so used to sleeping next to my bed. (The first night she actually paced the hall the whole night, her claws going click-click-click all night long.) But I didn’t have to retrain her to stay off furniture, or find her sneaking on and have to get her off it.

    My brother near Chattanooga used to have a little white terrier, unneutered male, that was allowed on the furniture and that rather saw himself as the king of the castle. He made Misten’s life miserable when we visited because of his constant mounting of her. She had to keep jumping to keep her face his way after he’d run around to her backside, and she really tired of it. Anyway, one time we went over there to visit, and the moment I let Misten off the leash she walked over to the couch and jumped onto it. She’d never even tried that at home, nor had she done it there, but somehow it went through her mind “Dogs are allowed on the couch in this house” and so she just jumped up onto it as though she did it every day! I quickly got her down, and she never tried it again. (She did, however, once jump onto my lap when I was sitting on their couch. My young nephew came out with the vacuum, not Misten’s favorite noise, and turned it on, and suddenly I had a very long collie in my lap, with at least three of her four paws on my legs–how she managed that, I have no idea–I’d love to see a video! The whole room laughed, and once again I put her off. A fifty-pound collie landing on one’s lap with a single bound is a rather startling experience!)

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  14. It was in the 40s earlier and is now in the high 50s. That’s about right for spring.

    So sorry to hear all BG continues to suffer.

    Glad Michelle can feel up to her exercise class. I feel sure her friends there have missed her.

    I have offered to do all the filing in the office because it is good exercise. My offer was not refused since filing is everyone’s least favorite of duties that must be done.

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  15. Thanks Janice, I would never remember to make my tax appt if it weren’t for you this year 🙂 Too much going on.

    My dogs aren’t allowed on the sofa and I will ‘barricade’ it when I’m gone (after all, I’m gone much of every day and dogs will be dogs … ). The bed is usually theirs when I’m not in it. 🙂

    And cats can’t really be corralled to be (or not be) anywhere in particular.

    As far as dogs on the bed, well, that depends on the guy I’d say. I know several couples who love it that their dogs sleep with them.

    In my experience, there are animal people and non-animal people — it’s hardwired mostly, I think, though could also have something to do with how you’re brought up.

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  16. Lulabelle has ruined a really expensive leather ottoman because her human has trained her that it is hers. Actually it was MINE and I paid way too much for it in another life. He has also gnawed the wooden legs. Amos, on the other hand, has always been allowed on the furniture. It isn’t fair but that’s the way it is. He also sleeps with me, except now he is getting a little older and wants to snuggle more so he waits until everyone is asleep and nuzzles in between us. He has been somewhat confused with his Girl home. He also wants to spend part of the night in bed with her.

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  17. Mumsee’s egg recipe is as odd as her cake recipes: …break desired bowls into bowl

    I guess she likes the crunchiness of broken bowls in her eggs. I’d just use the shell if I wanted crunch.

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  18. Keva is only allowed on the furniture if we spread a washable blanket out and then invite him up – he doesn’t go up on his own. Duke on the other hand just helps himself and climbs up. So, my couch and chairs all have sheets draped over them. Oh the joys of pets. 🙂

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  19. Donna,

    While changing the photo, I couldn’t help but notice the dog bed on the floor in the lower left, unused. They got you trained. 😀

    If you’re not careful, you’ll end up sleeping there, since it will be the only space available. 😲

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  20. Good job, Linda.

    Why do cats like to sleep on top of you? That really surprised me when I got Annie (although I grew up with cats, but I really don’t remember them doing that though they did often sleep with me). Annie likes the crook in between my hip and ribs (I’m a side sleeper). But she sometimes gets up on my arm/shoulder, purring, so she can bat my face when it’s time to get up.

    My leather furniture is heavily covered. Will have to get a cover for the bed when it comes back, too, one of those thin bedspread type coverings. I think I may have tossed one of those out in the recent clean-out frenzy, but it was old and kind of tattered.

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  21. My heart valve replacement via cath is scheduled for May 10. I have to stop in the afternoon before for some lab work, then check in first thing in the morning. After that I should be in the hospital for just one night, then home the next day. Amazing what they can do now without cutting you open!

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  22. Our cats sleep on us. The male Siamese on me and the female on hubby (although if one or the other go to bed first, they both start out there until their sleeping partner shows up). The little gray rescue (that I call the Generic Replacement for the lost Siamese) sleeps on my pillow, half on my head.

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  23. A friend reminded me of the dog crate I had in my bedroom (but was moved out for ceiling work). She said maybe the dogs would let me sleep in that.

    Coyotes in Michigan:

    http://www.lenconnect.com/news/20170319/coyote-population-causing-concern-for-lenawee

    ____________________________________

    “The problem is obvious,” Knutson said. “I thought we’d get about 30 coming in. We knew the population was up but we were totally shocked as to the level of the problem.”

    Knutson said one customer has been killing 50 coyotes a year — last year, the state authorized year-round hunting for coyotes — off a 500-acre property.

    “It’s almost like a plague,” he said. …

    … England said a neighbor put a trail camera near a coyote den for two weeks. When reviewing the footage, the neighbor counted 14 fawns had been dragged to the den for food.

    That, in turn, England said is causing deer to migrate into villages and towns because they now fear people less than coyotes.

    “There are not enough hunters with enough time to get out to help get their population under control,” England said. “So the coyote are winning.”

    _________________________________________

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  24. “We just think perhaps that the sheer numbers of coyotes have gone through the roof, so that they don’t have enough prey available to them to go after their food sources, so now they are attacking our pets in our own backyard” ~ veterinarian in Chicago following the fatal attack on a client/family’s dog

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  25. Nice to have a time frame isn’t it, little brother? And it is neat how they can do so much invasive stuff without being quite so invasive!

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  26. 🙂 I just read in a book, a woman was described “as southern as sweet tea”.
    You just can’t get more southern than that.

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  27. Lenawee County in the article DJ linked is the county immediately south of us. Here in Washtenaw County we’re more urbanized, though there’s plenty of wide open spaces between the cities and towns. So far I haven’t heard too much about a coyote problem but I imagine it’s coming.

    Deer have been on the rise for a number of years and have become quite a nuisance in Ann Arbor. The city has authorized a deer cull the last couple years, which has a lot of people up in arms. It will be interesting to see how the deer population and the city’s efforts to keep it down interacts with the coming coyote apocalypse.

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  28. DJ, there are different levels of being an animal “lover.” I can admire cats from a distance and even pet them if they come up to me for petting, but I don’t want them in my space. (I’d never want one as a pet, and I can’t tolerate their trespassing into my yard.) Yet my husband dislikes them more than I do–he doesn’t admire their beauty, and I at least do that. I spend more time watching wild animals than he does, too, but he appreciates being made aware of a special sighting such as a flock of sandhill cranes or an owl hooting over the driveway. But I’m the person who could have six or eight exotic pets if I had the space and the money to feed them, and people to care for them if I go out of town, and he’s more inclined to have one well-behaved dog.

    I’m definitely a dog lover; I’ve done a lot of reading about them through the years, and I know the characteristics of a lot of breeds, and when I’m at the house of a friend with a dog, I want to interact with the dog. But I have several breeds I don’t really like and won’t seek out (if they seek me out, I’ll pet them), including Labs and particularly yappy terriers. And I don’t find pets on the furniture to be worth the mess, especially since my preference is far and away for long-haired dogs and I have enough problems with insomnia without a dog pushing its way into my space. My husband had had a bad experience with the family’s last dog (which really sounds like a nasty little dog, a terrier to make all terriers look bad) and he admitted that he was open to Misten for my sake but wouldn’t choose to have another dog right away on his own initiative. Yet he grew to love her and was really playful with her, and I’ve seen him really engage well with other people’s dogs. So he’s definitely a dog lover, but just not the sort that would choose to have a small dog that has its own seat at the kitchen table (as my brother’s dog had for a time). But he does allow the dogs in the house, so that’s a step “above” Mumsee, right?

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  29. Next Tuesday, March 28th is National Respect Your Cat Day.

    Kevin, now you know why the deer are on the move.

    On the “animal” vs. non-“animal” people — True, some admire from afar. But I’ve noticed that some of my friends aren’t attuned to really notice animals exactly. It’s like a missing gene or something (not being critical, just saying some are really just not that conscious of animals).

    I have a friend who has way too many cats for my taste (we’re talking double digits; she is a cat lady). I have limits on the numbers I’d have in my house, but have always somehow had that 6th sense that takes notice of animals. My former roommate grew up with multiple dogs and is the opposite, she doesn’t dislike pets, she just has no connection for them somehow.

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  30. When it comes to coyotes here in California, we’re still trying find a way to peacefully co-exist. We will all be happy. We are convinced this can be achieved.

    🙂

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  31. My sister once said of her late husband that he didn’t like either dogs or cats. I told her that I couldn’t marry someone like that; whether or not it’s an actual character flaw, it “feels” like one. Like a bit of a sympathy/tenderness gene is missing. I also couldn’t marry someone who disliked children or who never read a novel. (I’ve known two people, one man and one woman, who disliked novels as a matter of course, and both were lacking in empathy. I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg, but novels put you in another person’s shoes, and I think the connection is real.) She was offended when I said I couldn’t marry someone who didn’t like either dogs or cats, but I pointed out that such a person would be really a bad match for me and me for him–he would never be able to “understand” me. I go out for a walk and stop to watch a ladybug. If a dog is looking at me from behind a fence, I talk to the dog.

    Not everyone is a dog person, and not everyone is a cat person. I’m not a cat person–I don’t like their unpredictability, their capability of showing revenge, or the inability to keep them off the furniture or tell them you are sleeping in today. If my husband were a cat person, he’d have to be the kind of cat person who can accept “I don’t want one in my house.” So by default that means I had to marry a dog person. If he were the kind of dog person who wanted to let a dog sleep on our bed, I could probably have learned to live with that. If he were the kind of dog person who thinks it’s cute if Fluffy bites the mailman or snaps at a toddler, that wouldn’t work. But a dog person who says, “Yes, you can keep your dog, and we can have her in the house–just not in the bedroom–and I’ll teach her some new games.” If he were not an animal person at all, he’d find me annoying, and I’d find him unsympathetic. It wouldn’t have been a good match.

    That doesn’t mean everyone needs to love animals–but I do think that God made us to have a tender spot for some of His creation. We don’t have to like snakes or spiders or cats or rodents, but by the time we say, “I don’t like dogs or cats or birds or butterflies–or any animals, really” I think we’re closing ourselves off to one of God’s very good gifts. Not everyone likes sunsets, either, but it you don’t like sunsets OR rainbows OR flowers OR the beauty of trees or rugged mountain peaks, then it’s probably time to look more closely at the glory that all of it was created by the One who made us in his image.

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  32. Yeah, Jo, allergies are a whole other issue. I’d have married my husband, even if it meant getting rid of Misten, if he’d been allergic to dogs. But not if he outright disapproved of human/animal friendship.

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  33. Over the weekend one or two people posted concerns about church people not volunteering; I forget who posted it, or the precise details, but I’ve heard more than once the statistic of 80% of people doing 20% of the work.

    Even before seeing the posts this weekend I’ve thought about this topic a lot. And what I’ve concluded is that a big reason for the complaint is that churches ask their people to do things they have no business asking. Many churches are doing the equivalent of a professor assigning “busy work” assignments; other churches are insisting on volunteers doing tasks that a church ought not to be doing, or that at best are optional tasks, or that are the specific responsibilities of the elders and deacons.

    I am not saying this is 100% of the problem. It isn’t. But I think if we were to eliminate the parts covered by those categories, we would often find that the problem either disappears or is greatly reduced.

    For example, let’s say that Sue Harris is on her church’s rotation to be in the nursery every second Sunday, she sings on the worship team, she sends notes to the children for their birthdays, and on every third Sunday she stands with her husband in the lobby handing out bulletins and answering visitor questions. She is the designated substitute for her Tuesday night women’s Bible study, which means she ends up teaching on average every six weeks, including two weeks in a row every spring when the main teacher goes on spring break with her family. She has been asked to teach second and third grade Sunday school, but she has just finished a year off and has rather enjoyed being able to be in Sunday school herself for the past year. And she resents that she does so much and many of the people in church aren’t involved at all.

    Parsing those activities: a church that understands that its children belong in worship with their families has no need of a nursery. The church has no need of a “worship team” to sing in place of God’s people singing, so she should feel quite free to quit that activity without guilt. (Not that a worship team is “wrong,” but it is an optional church function, in the “busywork” category.) Sending notes to children is a nice touch, but hardly a spiritual obligation; if she cannot do it with joy, she can stop doing it or see if anyone else is interested. Handing out bulletins once a month shouldn’t feel like an imposition if she isn’t already burdened with many other tasks, nor should occasional substitution of a class. But Sunday school and a designated women’s Bible study also aren’t biblical mandates for a church, and I actually wonder if age-graded children’s Sunday school classes might not often do more harm than good in children’s lives. (Children who are taught Scripture at home are likely to find it quite boring, and a huge percentage of children’s Sunday school teachers do quite a bad job—most published curriculum is awful and does little to help children learn the Bible.) I’m inclined to think that churches would probably be better off seeing teaching as largely a task of qualified elders and/or teaching in family groups. (No one person is the teacher, but fathers take turns leading, with other parents sitting in and contributing, and children permitted to engage as well. I’ve been very impressed with the idea when I have seen it done.)

    The church needs people to do practical tasks, such as duplicating sermon tapes, counting the offering, sweeping the foyer. But signing people up for all sorts of extra tasks isn’t a good way to keep people available for the tasks that do need to be done. And those tasks quite naturally can fall under the roles of deacons, or sometimes they can be paid functions. Most churches are also going to have someone keep track of who just had a new baby and can use some meals—but most churches have someone who enjoys overseeing such tasks if she isn’t already overextended in several other chores. Also, oftentimes teenagers happily man the sound booth, collect the offering, and do other such tasks if they aren’t kept away from the gathered community of the church and in their own little enclaves.

    All in all, I think churches have filled members’ calendars with so much busywork they’ve come to see them all as necessary tasks of the church. But members have full lives, and aren’t interested in a task for every day of the week. Letting go of tasks that the church shouldn’t be doing at all, delegating tasks specifically to the elders and deacons where appropriate, and allowing miscellaneous tasks such as handing out bulletins and running the sound booth to be done by those with a heart for such tasks would go a long way to get rid of the “member guilt” announcements so many churches do regularly.

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  34. Cheryl, when you said, “Children who are taught Scripture at home are likely to find it quite boring”, did you mean they are likely to find the teaching at church quite boring?

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  35. Not everyone is a cheesecake person, either. I’m not sure I could marry someone who isn’t a cheesecake person. It would certainly be a deal breaker if she isn’t willing to have cheesecake in the house. Fortunately that was not an issue between me and my wife.

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  36. I’m with Jo. Just reading about pets on beds makes me remember how my lungs get tight and congested, and I start coughing merely from pet hair present in the room where I sleep. Asthma triggered by pet hair prevents me from doing much more than appreciating that pets are animals created by God and not to be treated cruelly. I might scratch behind their ears, and I have on occasion, tolerated a cat climbing into my lap (I was sitting outside, which provided better ventilation), but further affection I cannot show. If I take care of a pet for someone, the pet will be kept clean, watered, and have proper exercise and shelter, but I can’t let it share my living space. Even sitting on a couch or chair with pet hair may cause problems later on, as asthmatic attacks can occur at night due to trigger exposure during the day.

    Children, on the other hand, are non-allergenic, unless they’ve been rolling in dust or pollen, and they seem to get along with me all right 😀

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  37. Kevin, yes, I meant that children who are taught Scripture at home are likely to find dumbed-down lessons “for their age level” intolerably boring and repetitive. That’s not the case if they are sitting with open Bibles and doing exploration into them, but with Sunday school lessons focused on Bible stories divorced from context (one week the lesson will be from Matthew, the next from Genesis, and the next from Acts), with applications that usually aren’t well grounded in the text, home-taught children are likely to feel very bored and very frustrated.

    Anecdotal evidence tells me it’s only a tiny percentage of children (past about second or third grade) who like Sunday school at all. Teachers try hard to make it relevant and fun, but children don’t learn much, they don’t enjoy it, and it builds resentment for church. It’s SO much better, in my admittedly limited experience, to have families learning together: parents learn from watching other parents teach, children get to know other adults in the church, children are pulled away from the peer focus inherent in most Sunday school classes, with different ages involved classes are kept moving and students keep learning, and it’s simply much better pedagogically to teach from Scripture, catechisms, or good books of church history than from curriculum written quickly by non-experts for low pay.

    So all in all I’m inclined to say don’t sequester by age but have small classes of families, with a choice of subject matter (say one Old Testament, one New Testament, and one on church history or missions or some other topic of interest), and perhaps some additional meaty classes for adults and older kids. I suspect that will lead to better retention of children into adult years, better relationships, better learning, and adults who can do a much better job teaching their own children at home because they get actual practice of intergenerational conversation and get to observe those adults who do it particularly well. You also avoid the pitfalls of the cliquish youth groups complete with sexual sin and misfits who aren’t really welcome, and teenagers reliant on immature “adult” leaders as their mentors, and more attuned to their parents and other adults within the church.

    Believe it or not, our married daughter sat with us in church until she was actually engaged to her fiance, at which time she started sitting with him, and our younger daughter still sits with us and hangs around for an hour or two after the service talking with people on the weeks she doesn’t work in the nursing home in the afternoon. When I was 13, Tuesday was my favorite day of the week because that was the day our pastor had a Bible study in his home. I would have been much less thrilled about teens getting together to play silly games.

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  38. Kevin, have no fear, when our daughter has requested cheesecake as her birthday cake, I have bought one for her. One year my husband bought it, and he bought me a miniature “turtle” cake so I had something I could eat as well. But cheesecake is allowed in my fridge, just not in my mouth.

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  39. Cheryl, I hear you about Sunday School, but then, I was an unusually precocious child (and a smart-aleck) in my primary school years. [You come to the realization that you were an insufferable show-off in church when one of your former Sunday School teachers admits to having been intimidated by you.] The church we attended as young children used Regular Baptist Press, which repeated the same stories over and over and had terrible moralistic application. Recently, we dug out some old Sunday School story books, and shook our heads over them – one about King David and Mephibosheth concluded, “And Kind David was always kind to those around him.” [You’re gonna have fun trying to explain the rest of David’s life now.]

    However, when my Little Niece was born, from babyhood, she sat quietly in church, so by the time she was a toddler, people couldn’t get over how well behaved she was. We had an adult Sunday School, but there was no other children in the church. So, she would sit on a little chair, with a small New Testament that was among the church Bibles through the adult Sunday School. One day, I watched her at she sat there, looking through her Testament and she came across a clipped out illustration from some old Sunday School material that she found between the pages. She held the picture in her hands and gazed at it for the longest time. It broke my heart a little, as I realized she was trying to figure out what it meant.

    So, using text straight from the Bible, but abridging it simply by removing words and phrases which were necessary but added to much detail to the outline of the story, I made booklets for her, using old Sunday School paper illustrations to accompany the text. I knew she already loved to listen to stories, so it was the best teaching method for her. I began with Creation – I already had a beautifully illustrated book which simply used the text for that. Then Adam and Eve, The Fall, The Flood, Abraham, Isaak, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel & David, making sure to bring out in the text the linking words, e.g. Egypt, God’s promise, etc. Then, finally, I did booklets for the Birth, Life, Death, & Resurrection of Christ. She loved them, and during Sunday School, we would sit and read them, with her always asking for more when I finished one. Her younger sister, Baby Niece, has a much more active personality, but my mother tells me that she will sometimes ask for my booklets to be read to her, as she watched me reading to Little Niece.

    So, for the child who wants to understand more, it would be kind to simplify the stories and concepts to their comprehension level. Children are not little adults, and must be given appropriate tools to learn. We do not expect a young child to understand Shakespeare, how can we expect them to comprehend a passage of the Bible? And, in a larger church, such as the one I go to now, the children who attend church may not necessarily have any teaching at home – grandparents are not infrequently the ones who bring the children to church.

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  40. Roscuro, that’s why I was speaking of family classes and not just children attending “adult” classes. Done well, the idea is teaching the children, with them free to engage, ask and answer questions, and multiple adults engaging with them. I’ve only sat in on such a class once, but I was impressed. My own church did something similar for a while, but then most of the children outgrew it, the one family still attending left the church, and most of our children now are toddlers and babies. (I have no problem with having a nursery for the littlest children during Sunday school, but such a class can involve all those old enough to listen and understand. And by the time the children are reaching their teen years, they can decide whether to continue to attend–doing more of the helping others understand than they did when they were younger–or to join one of the classes for adults, or even whether to help in the nursery that is held during Sunday school.)

    All in all, I think Sunday school is “optional,” and if it aids children’s understanding, great. But if it makes them have to sit too long, or go over stories they have known since infancy as though they were knew, or if it teaches wrongly, then it’s OK for parents to skip it and simply take their children to church.

    Also, children don’t always understand everything, but that’s OK. Children learn by not understanding a word or a concept the first time they hear it, but hearing it enough that over time it makes sense–I suspect one-room schoolhouses might have had children more thoroughly knowing their lessons based on just that principle–you hear what you have not yet learned, then you learn it, then you review it by hearing other people say it. Then later children might understand part of something they are hearing (like what the Lord’s supper is about, or why we take an offering) but ask questions about what they don’t understand. My Nashville pastor periodically encouraged parents to take time during the service to explain such concepts as the Lord’s supper, and I did so when I had foster children. But children can gain a great deal just by watching their parents participate, and they themselves participating at a level they can. We used to have a little boy in our service just around two years old who knew all the words to the Doxology and would sing it loud and clear and sweet. I imagine that blessed the heart of God, and it blessed adult worshipers as well.

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  41. Precious photos of DJ’s sweet doggies!! ❤ We don't allow our dogs on furniture…but they are allowed in the house 🙂
    Thankful to hear of your upcoming procedure Kevin…it is amazing what they can do these days! Praying all goes quickly, cleanly and beautifully!!
    After work on Saturday I learned we were blessed with a new grandson…on Facebook….I learned that my daughter was pregnant last fall….on Facebook….and today I learned the baby's name….on Facebook….I still do not now how much baby weighed or how long he was…or any other detail….I am just a bit peeved but I will get over it….perhaps daughter will learn of my death on day on Facebook…and that all the inheritance has been spent…by me before I kicked the bucket….on Facebook!!!!! Rant over…..(he is a cutie and I am blessed he was born…and his name is Michael Sage 🙂 )

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  42. Although Heidi is quite shaggy, she sheds very little. It shows up when I dump the stuff out of the vacuum after vacuuming, but it is not apparent on the furniture nor on the dark living room carpet.

    Our former vet was allergic to both dogs & cats. But since she loved them so much, & could control her symptoms with medicine, she became a vet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I teach our Bible curriculum using the scriptures. I admit a word here and there, but I want them to know and think about what the actual scripture says.
    My pet peeve is always kids who know that story because they have the video. I tell them to listen and see if their video matches what the Bible says.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Thanks Kizzie and Jo…it does hurt…daughter just doesn’t seem to get it…or perhaps I just don’t get it…there are certain proprieties that have been instilled in me…and I attempted to instill them in my children….good manners and consideration being amongst them….seems social media has trumped all my efforts 😛

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  45. Nancy Jill, when my sister-in-law was dying, my brother asked me to be the one to call family when she died, and I readily agreed. I had dial-up internet, so the day I knew she was dying, I stayed off the ‘net to keep the line open for his call. Then he called me and asked, “Have you been to Caring Bridge?” “Um, no, why?” “Fifteen minutes ago I posted that J is dead.” Oh, OK, I guess strangers know before family on this one!

    Meanwhile, when my sister’s husband died, fortunately their family wasn’t on Facebook, because she found out later someone had posted “Pray for A’s family, because B is dead and she is on her way home from the hospital to tell their children.” She appreciated the prayers but wasn’t quite sure what she thought about the mention on Facebook–and she was glad no one who saw it called her house before she got there! (Her kids were five to fifteen; she’d left the house in haste when told her husband was being transported from work to the hospital by ambulance, and the children thus knew the situation was serious, but she did not know he was dead until she arrived at the hospital.)

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