70 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-24-18

  1. Or maybe I should say Last!

    Cheryl and I had just climbed into bed around midnight when the phone rang. Elizabeth got sick at Snow Camp so we had to go get her. 4 hours round trip later, I’m home.

    It’s 4am, and I’m going to bed.

    For real this time. 🙂

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  2. Oh dear…praying Elizabeth will be feeling better soon! Get some 💤 AJ!! Meanwhile in CO there are some who shall remain awake… 🙄
    By the way…that is just the sweetest photo up there…just makes me smile…what a gift you have Cheryl!

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  3. I agree, that is a sweet photo.
    Morning all and hopefully sleeping time for Aj and family.
    Finding a lot of roaches around here. I usually don’t see any when I put out the traps. I spray them with poison and they scuttle off to die. But I would prefer not to see any!
    Raining hard outside, nice to be cozy and dry inside. However I know most folks who live nearby, like my aide, are probably suffering with lots of drips.

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  4. I have just finished reading Babylon Code (/i) on my Kindle.
    I have read several books arecently bout the status of America in the end times. Much speculation as to why we aren’t mentioned. The consensus is that, for some reason, America doesn’t exist. One (not this one) speculates that America is Babylon mentioned in Rev. 17:5. i.e. designated for destruction.
    I’ll admit that America has fallen from the position of the world’s great spiritual and moral leader. (I’m convinced that it was.) But we have not yet descended to that level. Yet. I often say, “There ate still ten good men in Sodom”
    That for another discussion. However, I’m reluctant to quarrel with such great scholars of end-time events such as Joel Rosenberg. And others, but there is a common mistake they all seem to make.
    1. Armegeddon is not a battle. Rev. 16:16 says thee armies are destroyed by God. There are no armies involved.
    2. Gog and Magog are battles that will be fought after the millenium.I know lots of Baptists don’t believe in a millenium, but I believe the Bible says there will be a millenium, after which, according to the Bible, (Rev. 20:7f) there will ba another falling away. This could take centuries. i.e. It doesn’t have to happen in one lifetime. There will be a gathering against Israel again. Rev. 20:8 says they will gather and then be destroyed. I think some of those scholars make this contemporary. they just want to bring Russia into this.
    But neither Russia or America are mentioned in end-time prophesy.
    While on the subject, there is an event that disturbs me. There is a battle in Zechariah 14 in which Israel is victorious. It is a real battle, not like Armageddon. Problem is: This hasn’t happened yet. It can’t happen while the Sixth Fleet is in the Med. I believe it will happen.
    But where are we? That is the important question, in my thinking.
    All of this came up by my reading of
    The Babylon Code by Mcguire and Anderson. Interesting read, but they make the same mistake some others make.
    I tend to believe Walid Shoebat and Joel Richardson in God’s War on Terror, in which they postulate that Isalm will be the false ruling religion. Their argument makes so much sense. People speak about Muslim immigrants much as we did Jewish imagrants. Jewish people make good neighbors. Muslims do not live peacably with neighbors. The Koran forbids it. (You may know some who are “good neighbors”. Be advised, the Koran makes you their enemy.)

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  5. Chas, we are told to “Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you, and do good to them who despitefully use you and persecute you.” If the calling of Christ was to avoid those who might hurt or kill you, none of us would have salvation. It is not we who are bringing people from predominantly Muslim countries to live among us, but world events beyond any of our control. It is God, not humans, who ultimately orders world events, and He has given His Church the opportunity to do good to those who may be our enemies, so that they may see the love of Christ demonstrated. “He that saves his life shall lose it; but he that loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s, shall save it.”

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  6. I cannot believe the people I know who are celebrating the death of Billy Graham. Misogynist, racist, homophobe, you name it, they are calling him that and are GLAD he is dead.
    What has happened to people. I have never in my life been glad someone died. Especially someone I didn’t even know personally.
    What have we become?

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  7. Chas, I’ve never understood the tendency to “look for America” in Revelation. Revelation is an Apocalypse; it is imagery showing how completely God puts down His enemies and how thoroughly Jesus is exalted. Trying to find literal parallels and “figure it out” isn’t its point. Knowing that Jesus is exalted over all is. Jesus could return for His own today. If he does, America will have made it “to the end of time.” But we won’t get any brownie points for surviving as a nation until Jesus comes back!

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  8. The chickadee is a black-capped chickadee, and I think he is mega-cute, but a little bird with a lot of attitude. Note, though, the upright twig to his right; it will show up later in another photo I sent to AJ and asked him to post the same day. It won’t be nearly as obvious a part of the other photo. I measured it, and if I measured correctly (that horizontal branch is above my head, so no guarantees I measured correctly), the twig is exactly two inches. Since the chickadee is in a little trough, it looks like that makes it about two inches “tall.” That is not, of course, the way birds are measured; they are measured beak to tail, and it is 5.25″ long, one of the smallest birds in Indiana.

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  9. We had ‘snow camp’ growing up (Girl Scouts, church). It was special because we live in an area that doesn’t normally see snow unless you take a trip to the mountains. Interesting that there’s “snow camp” in Pennsylvania though? You haven’t had enough of it yet? Hope Elizabeth feels better soon.

    I’m reading ‘Acting the Miracle,’ a book about sanctification with chapters written by different people (edited by Piper). It has me pondering the nuances of our natural weaknesses (different for all of us) and sin — sometimes it is both that we see but understanding our (and others’) unique weaknesses is an important ministry for all of us. Chapter 3 by Ed Welch covers physical but mainly the psychological weaknesses found among us.

    It begins with this:

    “It is the Spirit of Power who sanctifies us, so we would expect sanctification to feel like strength. But usually it feels like weakness — visceral, physical weakness. It felt that way for the apostle Paul, as 2 Corinthians 12 shows, and we expect that there are times it will feel that way for us.

    “No one likes physical weakness. It is, at least, a nuisance. At worst, it is a chronic and intrusive pain that leaves people imagining how death is better than life. But it is a frequent accompaniment to spiritual growth. When you generate a list of wise people — Joni Eareckson Tada comes to mind — most of them have been familiar with physical weakness.

    “It makes sense. Sanctification is for the needy, and physical disabilities certainly remind us that we are needy. Notice how much more we pray and ask for prayer when we have a physical weakness. That alone shows how the Spirit uses weakness in our sanctification. As a general rule, we expect that among God’s people, the more broken the vessel, the more obvious the sanctification.”

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  10. Kim, our political reporter ran a ‘mini’ poll on Twitter about whether people put stock anymore in things said by ‘evangelists like Billy Graham.’ No was the resounding response. But my guess is that some of them (most, all?) haven’t a clue about Graham, who he was, etc. My city editor (not a believer) said he was having a hard time “explaining” Billy Graham to someone under 30.

    But yes, I’ve also seen many dismissing Graham — again, people I suppose are not familiar with him at all, they know only that he was an ‘evangelist,’ perhaps akin to the ‘big hair, lots of makeup, super-rich’ TV personalities they’re familiar with today.

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  11. I’m still fighting some kind of congestion bug, lots of coughing and tiredness but no fever. But life goes on — a couple boxes were left on my doorstep the other night that belong to a neighbor several doors down. I left a note on them yesterday for the postal carrier to please re-deliver them but they’re still sitting there so I suppose I need to get those down the street sometime today to find their rightful owner. And it’s another trip to the vet this morning to pick up dog med refills.

    If I have any energy later today I’ll continue finishing up in that computer room. Otherwise, it shall have to remain in its feral state for a little while longer.

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  12. Well I was up until 4:30, fell asleep and awoke at 7:30….gonna be a long day and lots of coffee ☕️
    Kim it is disheartening to read the vile comments of some about a man such as Billy Graham…and it is an all too often observation that some people I am acquainted with can be friendly and civil in most of our interactions, but then there are times when the darkness of their hearts is revealed. 😢

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  13. One of our local radio stations up here kept referring to Graham as a “televangelist” It was quite frustrating.

    Son once had a chickadee land on his head when he was out re-filling our bird feeder. I’ve also had them hopping around me in the bush that hung over our pond when I was cleaning the fountain filler (very close to me). They loved hopping through the spray and seemed very mad that I had turned it off to clean it. Chickadees make me happy.

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  14. I am in the the fourth week (or more) of a sinus infection. The first doctor only gave me 7 days of antibiotic (he said he was giving me 10 days which usually works) I went back and the second doctors gave me 10 days of an entirely different a/b even though I only want 3 more days of the first a/b. This one has done nothing and I am worse than before I went in. It’s so frustrating to have to go to a walk-in clinic and see whoever is on because you can’t get an appointment with your own doctor for at least 3 weeks. At this point maybe that’s what I should have done.

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  15. Thanks for letting me vent. I’m just so annoyed because today is the first warm day and I wanted to get out and do some snowshoeing but I feel so lousy, I don’t think I can.

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  16. I don’t know if it will help, but for me and mine, when there is the first indication of a sinus issue, I boil some water, mix in some salt, let it cool, and then medicine some down the nostrils. It apparently kills everything and relieves the swelling of the mucous membranes and the nose issue departs. It works on me and eleven year old and sixteen boy, this year. Haven’t tried it on others. And I don’t know how effective it would be after a long illness but should help. Put in enough that it can go clear through the system. You will know when it hits your throat and is through.

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  17. Mumsee, I rinse my nose daily with salt water. It helps but I’m very prone to these infections and seeing a different doctor every time becomes an issue because they just think you have a random infection.

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  18. Kim @ 9:34. I posted this while they were doing it. But FoxNews had an hour and a half on Billy Graham. He was preaching the gospel throughout.
    They ran a program again this afternoon, but I didn’t see much of it. I think it was the same thing, but not as lone.
    Some of those Fox commentators are evidently Christians. In any case, they knew what they were talking about.
    No “misogynist” “homophobe” etc. here.

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  19. Kim – This age of online anonymity has brought out the true sinfulness of people. Now they say what’s really in their hearts and no one knows who they are. But God knows and they will meet him in the end. Pray for America that true revival comes.

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  20. Yes, chickadees are very friendly. They will sit on the can my husband uses to refill our feeder. We have a black and white drawing of one on a wall.

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  21. I hope what I have is not a sinus infection. But after 11 days of headache and congestion, I’m probably going to be calling the doctor on Monday. I’m not as tired as I was for a few days, but the “bouncing back” that seemed to be happening has stalled.

    I have nine days left of the “Turtle Triathlon” I’m doing at the Y. I have about 17 more miles to bike, 5.5 miles to walk (or run, which I enjoy more, but my joints won’t take it anymore), and 2300 meters on the rowing machine. I’m a bit slower than usual from not feeling well, but I should be able to do enough to keep on track to finish on schedule.

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  22. I grew up in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist tradition, which had absolutely no use for Billy Graham, and actively propagated scathing criticisms of his work. I have come to understand that the worst of what I heard against Billy Graham was the result of exaggeration and sensationalization (the Fundamentalists excelled in deliberately inflammatory posts before there was social media to share those posts – printed material and radio broadcasts were the way they spread around their somewhat scurrilous attacks on almost every well known Christian outside their own circle). Nevertheless, even Pastor A, who strongly disagreed with the Fundamentalists in most matters, had grave reservations about Graham’s more liberal tendencies. I have a distant respect for Billy Graham as a fellow Christian who sought to serve our Lord faithful and can be glad that he has entered the presence of our Lord, but I see the world having no use for Graham’s preaching of the Gospel as neither surprising nor dismaying. If they praised him, that would be cause to doubt whether Graham’s work was truly worth anything. “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

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  23. Roscuro – You have a good point. But it is still a bit disturbing and sad to see the lies and hatred that people are capable of.

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  24. Yeah, I too have grave reservations about Billy Graham and the whole sort of evangelism “movement.” But other than over-ecumenical stuff, he seemed mostly “above reproach” and I know God used him in some people’s lives. My last living uncle credits Billy Graham with being the one God used for his salvation, and that uncle is the one who led my mom to the Lord.

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  25. Disagree with Graham’s theology all you want — and I do in a lot of matters — just don’t doubt the man’s love for the Lord and his desire to reach the world with the Gospel. Philippians 1:18 – “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” Of course, Paul was not writing of men like Graham, but more of others who had a personal agenda, or “selfish ambition” as some translations put it. But when I hear of someone preaching the Gospel to millions, I can rejoice that the Word is going out and pray that God will open men’s hearts to the truth.

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  26. I do not doubt Graham’s sincerity, Peter. But the lavish praise that prominent Christian figureheads are heaping upon him and the continual mention of how he touched millions of people gives me pause. The vision of Revelation shows the four and twenty elders laying their crowns before the Lamb that was slain. In the parable of the labourers, Jesus relates how the labourers who had ‘borne the burden and the heat of the day’ in the vineyard thought they should receive more than they who had only worked one hour, yet they were paid the same. In the parable of the sower, the wheat ears that bore fruit a hundred fold were from no better seed than the fruit that bore only thirty – it was enough that both bore fruit. In the parable of the talents, the servant who had gained two extra talents was called “good and faithful” right alongside the servant who had gained five extra talents. Christ, in the parable of the unprofitable servant pointed out that doing what one was required to do – and to whom much is given, much will be required – did not add anything to one’s merit. The death of the impoverished and obscure elderly saint who was unknown outside their own family and church is no less precious in the sight of the Lord than the death of Billy Graham, because both of them bear only the merit of Christ. There is perfect equality in the kingdom of heaven, because we were all equally dead in sin without the Lord Jesus Christ and only He is perfect.

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  27. Good night all. Time for me to get some sleep to be prepared for Monday. We had some visitors today who came for the Menya NT dedication. I went to school to work for while and saw them walking by. I went out and invited them in and gave them a tour. All three were from Canada and the couple had worked here for many years. We knew some of the same old timers. I asked them to send us some teachers from Canada.

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  28. It’s almost church time. I stayed home for Sunday school hour because I am just so tired. Saturday’s are particularly loud and crowded in the office and drain me in the sense of being an introvert who loves quiet breaks. I am no longer able to fix good so my diet is not made up as much from fresh foods. I am feeling that, too. We had gotten spoiled.

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  29. Sorry about my phone putting in the apostrophe on Saturdays and changing good to good. I will never understand why the autocorrect is set to autowrong on my phone. When I type and look at the words as I type and I have put them in correctly then I wrongly assume the words will remain like I wrote them. My eyes are too tired and afflicted to double edit all I post. Whoever has set my phone to autowrong is an evil hearted one. “Revenge is mine,” proclaims the Lord.

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  30. We will probably not make it to church this morning. I am too exhausted from dealing with daughter. I heard her up and into things a lot last night but did not find her at it. I did get up when she tripped over a chair.

    Husband is blocked by a snowstorm. If he did put on chains to go over the pass, he would be out of time and not be legal for driving. So he waits.

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  31. Son is struggling and I am afraid I am laughing. We have a phone with the old style of dialing and no answering machine. He is trying to place a call but it keeps making strange noises. Like dial tones and busy signals.

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  32. Janice, your phone clearly doesn’t like the word “food.”

    I’m in from church today, too, woke up at 5:30 still feeling horrible, coughing and with a bad headache on top of that. The headache is gone thanks to some Excedrin but I’m still coughing (the congestion seems to be loosening up, though, which is good). I’m thinking I may have bronchitis because the only other time I had it (that I know of since I’d gone to the doctor that time and was diagnosed) resembles how I’m feeling now, especially with the deep tiredness. Everything just wears me out and I’m probably heading back to bed as soon as I feed the dogs.

    I’m still enjoying the book on sanctification.

    “Perhaps the pinnacle of Christian living is ‘Jesus, help.’ It is a resounding statement of both our need and the reigning of Jesus’s strength. If we assume that sanctification looks like strength, then we will miss Steve’s childlike and exemplary faith (referring to one of the case studies of a man who experiences panic attacks). If we look for strength in weakness, Steve becomes, along with tax collectors and the woman caught in sin, one of our heroes.”

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  33. Cheryl, if Billy Graham led your uncle to Christ and your uncle lead your mother to Christ, it seems that Graham has made a teriffic impact on your life.
    For the good.
    I don’t know how a Christian can say he doesn’t agree with some of Graham’s theology.
    You mostly don’t know what his theology is, except:
    Jesus was born of a virgin according to prophesy, lived a sinless life, was filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism. Was sacrificed for our sins according to the prophesy.
    He was buried and rose again. He ascended into heaven and is on the right hand of God the Father.
    He is coming again.
    There will be a judgment of all men. Those who trust in Jesus for their salvation will have life eternal. Those who die without being born again are condemned to an eternal hell.

    That is the summation of everything you know about Billy Graham’s theology.
    I attended a crusade meeting in Washington years ago. BG preached on “The return of Christ” His message: Jesus is coming again. Those who trust inhim are saved, everyoneelse is lost” That’s it. I left not knowing if he was pre, post, non millenialist. He did not go into deep theology.
    That wasn’t his calling.
    He did what he was called to do. That’s all you want from a person. Faithful in your task.

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  34. As for Graham’s liberal tenancies, I don’t know what they were, except he integrated his crusade meetings. Black and white sitting together.
    Who ever heard of such a thing in 1955?

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  35. I read his column back when he wrote for newspapers. Once someone asked him what he would do if one of his children was gay. His response was that he would love them more because they would need him more. Perhaps that’s was his “liberalism”. I have several gay people in my life that I love. I don’t love them more. I don’t love them less.

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  36. I believe the criticism was more a case of his blurring the lines with liberal and Roman Catholic churches

    https://www.ligonier.org/blog/myth-influence/

    __________________________

    Undoubtedly, Billy Graham was utterly sincere in his pursuit of converts to Christ and in his belief that his strategy was the most effective and influential to that end. But had he been deceived by the myth of influence? Certainly many thousands have attended crusades that would not otherwise have attended. Certainly individuals have been converted at his meetings. Certainly his decisions to be cooperative have contributed to his status as a national icon and a friend of presidents. But has it made him more effective in actually preaching the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ? I believe that from a human perspective more genuine disciples over the years would have been made if he had directed inquirers away from liberal and Roman Catholic churches into biblical Protestant churches. …
    _____________________________

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  37. Chas, Billy Graham went out of his way to make no distinctions among churches, including Roman Catholic churches. All were on equal ground in his Crusades. He also spoke at the funeral of a devout Mormon (J. Willard Marriott), “And so today, we do not say goodbye to you dear Bill . . . We say as the French do, ‘Au revoir,’ till we meet again, because we will.” (From Marriott’s corporate magazine, World, vol. 7, no. 4, special issue, in tribute to J. Willard Marriott, 1900-1985, p. 22)

    So . . . God can use a man who talks of Christ crucified, even if his theology is off, but a man can indeed believe in the virgin birth and all of that and still have false theology. Billy Graham was too ecumenical. Whether he did more of good or harm to the church is for God to judge, not me, but I’m personally not a big fan of the big-tent ecumenical evangelist who represents not a church but a parachurch organization, and himself, and he’s definitely not an exception.

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  38. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/januaryweb-only/1-6-22.0.html

    I remember reading about Peter Jenkins Walk Across America in National Geographic. I was impressed that Mobile, AL was mentioned. This was at a Billy Graham Revival.
    I think my aunt was at the same revival. She had been shot in a bank robbery in 1972 (she was one of 8 people locked in a bathroom and shot). She wanted to be healed. Billy Graham told her he could not heal her. He said something about sin in our family and that led my grandparents to remarrying in February of 1978. They remained married until my grandfather’s death in 1999.
    It also allowed me to scandalize my Christian School when I went to school Monday and told my teachers I had gone to my grandparents wedding. 😉

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  39. Ah, my big fella is up in the header photo. See why I said notice the twig, because you might not notice it in the second photo but it would be there? It’s not nearly as obvious in this photo!

    And no, don’t worry, the hawk didn’t get the chickadee. These photos were taken on different days, and chickadees are way too wary and quick to be caught by any bird that big. This adult Cooper’s hawk has come to the feeder tree at least three times this winter, but the other two times it flew as soon as I got to the kitchen doorway, nowhere near the window. Fortunately on this day I was standing at the kitchen window photographing birds, when suddenly all the birds scattered. One dove on the ground started looking around with a puzzled look of “What?! Where did you all go, and why did you leave?” when this fellow landed on the branch. I glanced at the ground, and the dove was gone, so it made its getaway, too, and the hawk was left without a meal on this landing. But it gave me an up-close-and-personal view and a few good shots before it left.

    That isn’t dandruff on its head and neck, but snow.

    The Cooper’s hawk is the larger of two nearly identical birds, with the smaller being the sharp-shinned hawk. It can be really hard to tell them apart. But the Cooper’s is about 16″ and the sharp-shinned only about 11″ (about the size of a blue jay). This fellow didn’t strike me as blue jay size, but as a larger bird. I went looking in my photos to see if I happened to have a jay or a cardinal in the same spot on the branch, and I ended up finding this little chickadee from a few days before and I thought that made even a cuter contrast. I remeasured the twig, but taking something to stand on this time to get me a better angle at it. I came up with 2.25″ for the branched twig (not counting the little bulge it grows out of), or about 4″ from the top of the twig to the bottom of the horizontal branch from which it grows. Sixteen inches is thus a reasonable size for this bird, and that makes it a Cooper’s hawk, and a threat to all birds its size or smaller that might come to the feeder.

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  40. As DJ’s link states, there were sincere and mature Christians, Pastor A among them, who were genuinely concerned that Graham’s willingness to cooperate with the Catholic church and with liberal denominations who denied parts of Scripture undermined the discipleship and spiritual growth of those who were converted at his Crusades, since converts who came from those churches would be sent back to them.

    In context, there was good reason for such concerns. Working with denominations such as the Catholic church was considered ecumenism, a liberal theological movement which more theologically conservative churches had condemned when it began in the early 1900s. Ecumenism, to conservative Christians, was seen as a slippery slope towards theological compromise over important matters such as the deity of Christ (some liberal denominations have reduced Christ to being simply a good teacher), and his death and resurrection (some liberal denominations have questioned the resurrection), the acceptance of the miracles in Scripture (liberal denominations often naturalized explanations of the miraculous), and the salvation of believers through the redemption of Jesus Christ (both liberal denominations and the Catholic church place emphasis on salvation being at least in part through through good works). The message of Graham’s Crusades was salvation by faith in Christ, but he sent those who came forward back to denominations which would not back up that message.

    Coming out of a Fundamentalist Baptist background, I have come to see that the vituperative criticism the Fundamentalists leveled at anyone who seemed friendly to the Catholics or any less conservative denomination was sinful, and as a result, the Fundamentalists have ended up, like the Pharisees, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. At the same time, I can appreciate Pastor A’s more measured reservations about not sending mixed messages to new Christians. I am not concerned about the lesser matters of controversy between certain denominations, such as the manner of baptism or the style of worship; but I am concerned that Christ and His work of Salvation be properly understood. Although I know Catholics whom I would consider believers, I still see the Catholic traditions of priestly intercession and papal authority as a grave stumbling block to individual believers being able to grow in their understanding of Christ; while the liberal denominations who question or downplay the deity of Christ are deadly, since confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is imperative for salvation. My one surviving grandmother has attended church all her life, but the denomination she attended has had leaders who publicly denied the deity of Christ and generally regards Him simply as another great leader and teacher. That is how she speaks of Jesus. Sharing the Gospel has proved to be very difficult, because she thinks that she already knows and believes the right thing.

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  41. Billy Graham had a big influence on my life and I also heard he was crossing the line. But I appreciate him and his response to God’s call. As mentioned, I came to know about Christ while living in a non believing household. My first five years were quite independent of mentoring other than Billy Graham and Jim Wilson. I look forward to meeting him.

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  42. It is cold outside and windy…that makes it much colder…but I need to go for a walk…wonder if the CA dog park is colder than our park? 🧥
    As far as I know of Billy Graham he was faithful to calling the Lord God placed upon his life…was he flawed…well yes…he was but a man. As for the vile and hateful comments being made about the man…I do not expect those who are lost to speak well of Billy Graham…they are lost and broken. However, it is disheartening to read such hatred spoken against a person who seems to have no consequence to such persons spewing the hate….they do not believe so why should it matter to them? I think I may know the answer to that question……

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  43. 2 Corinthians 2:16
    To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life

    In many cases, it’s the message and not the messenger that is bringing down all that fury.

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  44. Michelle, looks are deceiving. My general description of the character of the chickadee, after years of informal observation, is mean. Other little round birds, such as the sparrow or junco, are content to share feeding space around the bird feeder with other small birds. Not so the chickadee, who chases the others away in order to have it all to himself. I sometimes wonder whether it is worth the effort, since after clearing the deck, the chickadee often grabs a single seed, gulps it down, and then flies away.

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  45. Billy Graham didn’t directly influence my life. But my SS at FBC Columbia while I was at Carolina was saved at a BG crusade. He was a real estate broker in Columbia. Owned the business, hard drinking hard dealing non Christian. He said the only time he was on his knees was to check the lay of a golf ball.
    But BG came to Columbia with a crusade. Emory Harper and his wife attended. His wife responded to the invitation. Emory went down later that same night.
    Both were miraculously change.

    Me?
    I went to SS at Trinity Methodist Church in my early teens. But I didn’t belong to a church. If anyone asked which church I belonged to, I would say “Methodist” I was partly correct. But I wasn’t a Christian.
    My parents didn’t go to church, but their background was the Church of God, Hq.inCleveland, Tenn.
    While I was in basic training in the AF in 1949, I got a letter from my parents saying that they were saved and joined the N. Charleston Church of God. I didn’t know what all that meant, but I thought it was good.
    After basic, I went to Radio Operators School in Biloxi, Miss. I went home for the holidays at Christmas 1949. New Years day, 1950 was a Sunday. That night I went to a church service with my parents. At the end, there was an altar call. I was not sophisticated in such things, but I knew that it was about me. After a few verses, my sister’s bf, Walter, came and touched my shoulders and asked me to go down. I did.
    I wasn’t sure of what I was doing, but I promised (I remember this) that “I’d try” .
    You may not understand that, but in that church, to be saved you had to trust Jesus and start “living right”. I didn’t know about the “living right” business, and didn’t do well at it. But I always attended the base chapel on Sunday. I wasn’t a “good Christian”.
    In 1952, I was a S/Sgt, but I decided to get out to attend USC.
    In my second year, I met Al Tolley. He asked, “Charlie, are you a Chriatian?” I assured him that I was. He invited me to come to some IVCF meetings.
    I did, and liked the people and became involved.
    In those days I, along with most students, went home on the weekends. One Sunday, I was driving back to Columbia. I was listening to Charles Fuller’s “Old Fashoned Revival Hour”. I was convicted and considered that If I was a Christian, I was only a nominal one. I then decided that I would make Christ the center of my life.
    I think I was really saved that Sunday night. But I couldn’t handle the “living right” business until I got a better understanding of what I had done.. It was Al Tolley and Charles Fuller that made a difference.
    I suspect my experience was not unique.

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  46. Having grown up in a liberal church and not heard the gospel until I visited a fundamentalist church at age 14, I had mixed feelings about the refusal of fundamentalist churches to support Billy Graham crusades. I certainly understood not wanting new Christians to be directed to churches where they would not be discipled. But I couldn’t help wondering, when my father and others from the liberal churches volunteered at the crusade, and no one from the fundamentalist churches did, what kind of message did that send to the community about which churches were in agreement with the message of salvation Graham preached? And while the fundamentalists didn’t want to be involved in an activity that directed some new converts to the “wrong” churches, by not being involved, it meant that pretty much *all* those who made decisions for Christ at the crusade would be directed to those churches.

    After college and moving to a new area, I attended a church that not only would not support Billy Graham crusades, it would not support a nearby Bible college that allowed some of its faculty to support the crusades (but otherwise seemed very much like my church in faith and practice). There were plenty of other reasons I left that church after a few years, for a church that identified as “evangelical” rather than “fundamentalist,” but that issue was symbolic to me of the differences between them.

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  47. Pauline, the fact that someone is preaching, singing, or otherwise doing something in a church’s area doesn’t “bind” a specific church to get involved. If it is true that all the churches involved (at least in a given area) were churches that did not really preach the gospel, then perhaps Graham could have taken that as a sign that he was operating outside the authority God gave to churches and would have done better to submit himself to the church. There is no call in Scripture for churches to submit themselves to the parachurch. If a church believes that being involved in a specific event is being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers (being part of the “social gospel,” for instance), then it is proper for it to decline such involvement. God’s hands are not tied by that.

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  48. BTW, Pauline, when you say they would not “support” the Bible college, what do you mean? Do you mean they discouraged their college-age kids from going there, they didn’t support them with money, or what? I attended a Bible college, and from there I attended a local church–but I never thought in terms of local churches supporting or not supporting the college. Some sent vans to pick up students and some did not, and some sent them if they had a driver but not if they didn’t, but I never thought in terms of supporting or not supporting, because we weren’t a denominational college.

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  49. Cheryl, I really don’t remember the specifics, I just remember being surprised both to find out that they didn’t support the college (whatever that meant) and the reason for it.

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  50. Pauline, that’s fair. I know one childhood church of mine wanted all its young people to go to Bob Jones, and they were OK with Pensacola as a second choice. Two of my brothers attended a fundamentalist Bible college (a really small school) in California, and they got vibes it wasn’t good enough since it wasn’t BJU. I just kind of expect that from a fundamentalist church, that only a couple of known schools fit what they want for their students.

    But also, if the Billy Graham association sent an evangelist to our city, our church would definitely not get involved. We just don’t see a parachurch organization as having the authority to call churches together in such a way–evangelism is the role of the church, not the parachurch. The fact that liberal churches (and RC churches) were involved would just make it all the more obvious we have no business getting involved here. It wouldn’t be saying Billy Graham isn’t saved or anything of the sort; it would be choosing not to put the church’s stamp on evangelism that is being done under the official authority of an organization other than the church. We’re fine with church people attending a pro-life banquet or something like that, just not with putting our church’s name and reputation on something that is not the church and that doesn’t have authority over the church, and not linking our church to causes or organizations that deny the gospel.

    The parachurch should support the church or do tasks not given to the church–for instance, operating a seminary or a pregnancy center–but not dictate to the church or usurp its role. That’s why my own Bible college didn’t allow communion at college events, for instance–they said that baptism and the Lord’s supper were given to the church, not to the Bible college. Reformed people would say that it is the church, and not organizations operating “over” the church, that sends out evangelists and missionaries. That doesn’t mean we tell other denominations how to do things, just that when someone comes to town and says, “Well, all the other churches in town are marching in this pro-life parade with the name of their church on a sign, or sponsoring this anti-trafficking rally,” we will say, “Our members are welcome to attend, as citizens, but this is not the role of the church.” On the other hand, for an evangelistic crusade bringing together some churches that preach the gospel and some that don’t, we would say, “Actually, that IS the role of the church, and we aren’t going to (1) pretend that a church that denies the deity of Christ is a true church, or be ‘yoked’ with it in doing evangelism or (2) delegate our responsibility to another organization.”

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