42 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-21-18

  1. Good night Jo
    Hi Tychicus
    Good morning everyone else.
    I know I’m ahead of everyone else but Aj, but I’m still a little late.
    We got up at 6:00 but went back to bed.
    Off to fix breakfast now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kizzie, please don’t let Nightingale borrow money for improvements, NO MATTER WHAT THE GOAL. There’s so much risk in that. Hasn’t your family already been bitten enough by financial decisions? You have no way of predicting the future and your situation is already so fragile. Plus there are way too many possible holes in her plan (zoning, building codes, unexpected additional improvements, and hidden costs). Not to mention paying the loan when the rental sits vacant for a few months. I hope you know I say this in love and concern for you – PLEASE, do not do this.
    I will make you the same offer I make to friends and friends of our kiddos – if you and she would go to Financial Peace University, I will gladly pay for it. It’s a nine-week course, one night a week and it’s offered everywhere.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. We’re anticipating hearing about the layoffs either Friday or Monday but it looks like our newsroom will be spared, thanks to 2 voluntary departures. But those will leave a couple gaping holes (among the people leaving is our longtime and very well-connected cop reporter who’s simply burned out; not old enough to retire but he thinks he’ll just live on his mom’s inheritance for several months and not work, not a great plan in my book but we’ll see; the other reporter is off to be a business reporter for The Tennessean). The editors thought the cop reporter from one of our sister papers might want to transfer over to us but that deal didn’t work out so I’m not sure how we’ll cover crime (and those are among our most read stories online every day) going forward.

    So the hard times roll on, but I am grateful that I’ll be employed a while longer (I think, no guarantee of that just yet). Still, the (very large) writing is on the wall at this point so everyone’s on notice and busy making contingency plans. We figure the next round of layoffs may just be 6-12 months away at this rate.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve been going to bed earlier lately, I think this cold weather makes me want to just hibernate. I watched some of the women’s Olympic figure skating competitions last night, such talent. But I cringe when one of them takes a fall or semi-fall. Can’t imagine how much effort and work goes into training for those few moments — and then to have something like that happen. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kizzie, piggy-backing on what Linda said, I want to emphasize that having a place available to be rented and having it actually rented aren’t necessarily the same thing (in most markets). In Nashville I bought a house two years before I originally intended to do so, partly because my rental situation was proving untenable. (I was renting a bedroom in someone’s house, just a moderate-sized bedroom, 12 x 11 maybe. I was using it both for my office and my bedroom, with bookcases down the middle to divide it into its two uses. I put a good percentage of my possessions in storage. It proved to be way too tight for living quarters, especially since my landlady resisted turning on the air conditioning, turning it on at 78 for about 90 minutes every other evening, which was warm even for me, in a claustrophobic little room. And the couple was renting out a bedroom because the husband was a pilot and he was now flying out of a different city than Nashville, so they had to maintain an apartment for him in that other city as well as their house and they wanted a bit more income to afford that–but every couple of weeks he came home for a few days, and I was especially diligent about staying in my bedroom on those days to give them some much-needed privacy. But it was a far-from-ideal way to start life in a new city where I literally did not know anyone.)

    But the second reason I decided to buy early was that the interest rates came down, to a 40-year low (though not, as it turned out, to the lowest they would get–but I didn’t know that). I did the math on what it would cost to buy, compared to my situation of renting a single bedroom and also paying for a storage locker. I determined that it would cost a little more to buy, but not much more, and IF I managed to rent out a bedroom myself, I’d be paying a little less. I’d be building equity, I would have much more space and more freedom, I’d be putting down roots, and I could get a dog. I knew I couldn’t stay where I was for two more years, but I also didn’t want to move from one rental situation to another.

    Fortunately I didn’t count on renting a bedroom, and I was diligent about finding a house that was reasonably priced, and I still had money in the bank after paying my down payment, because as it turned out, my freelance income has never been as much as I expected . . . because of the eight years I lived in Nashville, I had housemates for less than three, and I had to interview a lot of strangers to get those three. Having a room available to rent never brought in dependable income. I had to turn down a lot of people as totally unsuitable, and I had to toss out one of the ones I accepted. Renting quarters in one’s own house isn’t for sissies–and I didn’t have a child in my house. The people I turned down included one person who had a dog that was allowed on the furniture (she said she thought she could retrain him, but that wasn’t good enough for me), one woman who brought a stack of hundreds of photos and she showed me every one of them (she did not work, but was retired, and I thought it would be way too hard to get my own work done if I had a boarder who didn’t have her own life to some extent), one who stunk of alcohol, one who told me how many people she had sued, one who asked if she could put a lock on her bedroom door because she might have people over sometimes and would need a way to lock them out, etc.

    There are good boarders out there. I have had more good housemates than bad through the years . . . but it’s closer to 50/50 than I would like. Ultimately that’s why I decided to do online dating and more or less actively pursue marriage–because I didn’t like living alone, but I didn’t like the revolving door of interviewing strangers, either. Two out of the three that I had, I would have been willing to have long-term (and the other was sweet but a disaster as a housemate, bouncing all her checks and never cleaning her bathroom as but two examples), but I interviewed several for each one I got, and was between boarders for more than a year most of the time. (I also was “between boarders” for two years intentionally when I did foster care.) I also interviewed some who might have been good renters, but who chose other places–the fact that the bedroom I had to rent out was too small was a real factor, pretty much limiting me to 20-something boarders who didn’t own much yet! If I were looking for a place today, with the idea of renting a room, I’d try to get a house that had a separate mother-in-law suite or some sort, where a tenant could have her own separate bedroom, bathroom, and a room that she could use as an office, sitting room, or whatever she wanted, maybe even put a small fridge and a microwave in it, though I would still want her to feel free to use my kitchen and to interact with me, since part of my own reason for having a housemate has always been not living alone.

    Having rental property can be a very good way of bringing in income–it is in fact one of the very best ways for those who know how to do it well. (I personally know people who have become multi-millionaires in that way.) But there are a lot of pitfalls, too, and it doesn’t work for everyone. I would hate to see you tie up money in the possibility and then find that you couldn’t get renters OR that having renters didn’t work for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I know several people who thought they would make a killing in rental property and ended up losing money. I am not against borrowing money in some instances, but it can really end up hurting in other instances.

    The banks used to do more to refuse credit to those who might end up not being able to repay. That is no longer true and it has hurt a lot of people. I know there were people hurt before, because they would have been good for the loans or the decision was based on bigotry. There are others hurt, though, because loans can be too easy.

    I know the point is moot right now, but it is good food for thought for the future. None of us know what that might be. We are probably going to be amazed what God brings about in Kizzie’s future. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Michelle, I sent him several photos a few days ago, and he has others I’ve sent him in the past that haven’t been used. Others may have sent him some, also. But he likes using the duck photos when he gets them, and he gets some very good ones.


  8. Thanks for all the advice. We are merely in the talking-and-thinking-about-it phase right now. We won’t be in a position to do anything one way or the other for quite a while. If we ever did decide to rent out one part of the house (or move out and rent both), I would go through my church first to find renters. To tell the truth, I am not high on the idea of us being landladies, as I have heard horror stories.

    Linda – We have the Financial Peace materials already. 🙂

    Kim – The attic/third floor is not in good condition. It has been stripped down, and would need a lot of work to bring it back to being livable again. We rarely go up there, but every now and then, it is cool to go up and look around.

    DJ – Oh, yeah. When I am praying for God to bring a good man to her, I usually add that it would be nice if he could be handy, too. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. House repairs. Don’t get me started.

    The window people are coming to finish up “part B” of their work next Thursday (replacing broken/damaged glass panes in the spare bedroom — which I actually may rent out for income at some point, but that would be be more of a roommate setup I suppose — and the front door; ‘tuning up’ the 2 little ‘hopper’ windows in the tiny bathroom & my closet which blow open when it gets windy; and, the big item, installing the 2 replica wood windows I had to have them make as the old ones could not be saved).

    Anyway, Kizzie’s smart and wise and will determine to do what is best in her situation. I tend not to give advice that isn’t asked for although there’s nothing wrong with airing the pros and cons of these tough decisions in a sensitive, helpful way. Then let her take it from there.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. AJ always needs more photos, so send away.


    What AJ really needs is a new mouse. Mine broke, I have touch screen, but it’s annoying.

    I’m off to buy a mouse at some point.


  11. House repairs can weigh heavily, especially as they tend only to get worse and more expensive as time goes on.

    Kizzie, do you still have the original wood windows?


  12. Kathaleena – You write, “We are probably going to be amazed what God brings about in Kizzie’s future.” Oh, I hope so.

    I often think that most probably, Nightingale’s prospects (even if she remains an LPN for quite a while before she can go on to be an RN) will get better with time. Right now, things are tenuous with her status of being part-time but picking up other shifts. Most months she has been very close to full-time, but this month and next month are sparse for some reason, which makes us nervous about what is coming up.

    So I also realize that things could go down instead of up for us. The life insurance money, if we had to live on it, wouldn’t last very long.

    What I am doing is “paying” myself from the life insurance money, the monthly amount that I figured out I will eventually get from Social Security in three years when I turn 60. It’s not enough to completely live on, but it is a nice supplement to Nightingale’s earnings, especially so if she can work full-time hours. I have paid off outstanding bills we had (such as from my cataracts surgeries last year and the smaller medical bills that insurance didn’t pay), and we hope to use the rest only for true emergencies, or if we need the roof fixed or something like that.

    I am trying to not worry about finances, to trust God to lead us and provide for us. He has been doing that so far, so I should trust that He will continue to do so. But I admit I do worry a little.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. I rented out my mom’s house for 7 years before deciding to sell it. I was lucky, though I did have to deal with late rent payments more frequently than I liked. But a colleague went through hell and back with a couple he rented his mom’s house to — he wound up having to go through eviction (which is heavily skewed to protect tenants in our state) and it cost him and his brother $20,000 by the time it was all said and done (the people also had trashed the house and were growing marijuana and cultivating some other drugs in the garage). On paper they looked like great prospects, though, were steadily employed in the film industry (tech people) — and they always paid their rent on time.

    The best scenario is knowing your tenants first I suppose — although then you have the sometimes dicy balance of a mixed relationship with them (friendship + business).

    I didn’t have the temperament to be a landlord, I decided. But some people breeze through and handle it all with no angst.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I just ran to KMart since it’s close by, to grab a mouse.

    When the man asked if he could help me, I told him not at their prices and left.

    No wonder they’re closing stores like crazy. Their prices are not competitive at all. Like triple what I pay for the same brand at WalMart or Big Lots. Just ridiculous.


  15. Interesting portion in this World Magazine article on Graham (to me because of the many familiar local connections, but also what became of Charles Templeton):



    … The second critical course-setting event for Graham came almost a year later, in August 1949, at a training retreat for college students at Forest Home Christian Conference Center in the San Bernardino Mountains above Redlands, Calif. Christian educator Henrietta Mears of Hollywood First Presbyterian Church was leader; Graham and Charles Templeton, a prominent fellow Youth for Christ evangelist from Toronto, were among the speakers.

    Graham and Templeton were close friends. They had barnstormed together across North America and Europe for YFC, preaching at huge rallies and helping to establish YFC branches in more cities. Templeton was the more polished speaker and in great demand; the then 4-year-old National Association of Evangelicals in 1946 had called him the evangelist “best used of God.” He enrolled at Princeton Seminary in 1948 and continued to preach. But he was struggling spiritually, and he questioned the validity of Scripture on many points in conversations with Graham. Soon, Graham was reading contemporary theology and running into questions himself.

    Things came to a head at Forest Home one night in discussions with Mears and other leaders. Templeton was adamant: He no longer could fully trust the Bible. With questions pummeling his own mind, Graham slipped out through the trees under a moonlit sky and knelt at a tree stump. He later recalled for biographer John Pollock how he prayed: “Oh, God, I cannot answer some of the questions Chuck and some of the other people are raising, but I accept this book by faith as your inspired Word.”

    Templeton finished studies at Princeton, served as an evangelist for the National Council of Churches and head of evangelism for the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., but in 1957 publicly announced his loss of faith. He went off to a secular career in broadcasting and publishing. Graham kept his friend on his prayer list and paid occasional visits to him over the years. Templeton died in 2001, broken in body and mind.

    Since that night at Forest Home, Graham often reflected on its importance when addressing pastors and ministry students: “When I preach the Bible straight—no questions, no doubts, no hesitations—then God gives me a power that’s beyond me. When I declare, ‘The Bible says …’ God gives me this incredible power. It’s something I don’t completely understand. But people respond.”

    Prayer and reading the Bible daily were part of Graham’s life (he said he could not remember a day in his ministry when it wasn’t). But there was more. He sought to be winsome—in order to “win some” to Christ, to not offend others and risk turning them away from the gospel. He was humble and self-effacing; he took note of others and went out of his way to encourage them. …

    Liked by 6 people

  16. And here’s another nice piece by religion writer Terry Mattingly:



    Oklahoma was shrouded in grief after the deaths of 168 people – including 19 children – in a homegrown terrorism attack at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

    President Bill Clinton spoke at the memorial service. So did Gov. Frank Keating. But everyone knew who would deliver the sermon and face the hard questions.

    That was a job for the Rev. Billy Graham.

    “The Bible says … there is a devil, that Satan is very real and he has great power,” said Graham, focusing on the 9,000 mourners in the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena. “It also tells us that evil is real and that the human heart is capable of almost limitless evil when it is cut off from God and from the moral law.

    “The prophet Jeremiah said, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?’ That is your heart and my heart without God. … I pray that you will not let bitterness and poison creep into your soul, but that you will turn in faith and trust in God even if we cannot understand. It is better to face something like this with God than without Him.”

    Graham didn’t end those 1995 remarks with an “altar call,” urging sinners to come forward and make a profession of faith. But he could have – even with the president of the United States in the front row.

    Then again, Clinton was from the South and attended Graham’s 1959 crusade in Little Rock, Ark. The young Clinton was so impressed by the preacher’s message, and his refusal to bow to segregationists, that he began sending part of his weekly allowance to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    In the wake of his death this week, at age 99, diplomats, scholars and journalists will struggle to describe Graham’s impact via preaching, television, radio, books and other writings. It’s hard enough to do the math when discussing his 417 crusades in 185 countries, along with countless other gatherings ranging from presidential inaugurations to tiny youth rallies after his 1938 ordination as a Southern Baptist preacher.

    To be blunt, it can be argued that Graham spoke – in person – to more people than any other leader in world history. …

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Funny thing happened . . . Nightingale has been out all day. With The Boy soon to be home from school, I texted her a few minutes ago to ask if she’d be home in time to meet his bus. She replied that she was at work.

    She’d gotten called in to work this morning, but had forgotten to tell me. Good thing I got Janie out of her crate when I heard her whining earlier. I thought Nightingale was just off on some errands or meeting a friend.

    So I guess I will be watching my grandson for a little while this afternoon. Glad I texted her, and didn’t take it for granted that she’d be home in time. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  18. My job is to sell real estate. I know you can make a lot of money buying and selling properties and holding rental properties but you have to have money in reserves to handle the non rented time and you have to have money in reserves to do maintenance and updates.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Speaking as a student renting an attic room in a century home, successful renting all depends on location. If you are close to a post secondary educational institution, whether college or university, you may well rent a room or two with only a bare minimum of repairs and amenities. There are holes in the worn floorboards of the house in which I live – my room has some cheap flooring covering over the original boards (who wants to have anything one drops possibly disappear into the subfloor) but the landing outside my room has several notable gaps in the floorboards. The stairs to the attic creak terribly, as do the hinges of my door, and the old electrical outlets in my room are downright unreliable, but it is an affordable place to stay in a city which not only houses a growing immigrant population, but also an ever shifting population of college, university, and international high school students.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well I was the only one in Zumba class this morning!! Private lesson!! 😊
    It is cold here but the sun is shining and the sky is deep blue…have I mentioned that I love living in CO?!! ⛰

    Liked by 5 people

  21. FoxNews had an hour and a half on Billy Graham this morning. The gospel was perched several times..
    Having said that, He’s on again on Bret Baher’s program. . Straight Gospel.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. It turns out the water problem may be a small gap between the roof of the main house wing, and the outer wall of the bedroom wing. When it warms up and stops raining I’ll fill it. Until then, shop vac and dehumidifier in action.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mumsee, another email with a strange link (which I didn’t click on) appeared in my inbox this morning, using your husband’s name but some weird email address.

    I received a similar one this weekend, using the name of someone from my church. Sometimes I wonder if there’s some problem with my system, that I seem to get so many of these. (It happens every few months.)

    Anyway, just thought I’d let you know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.