62 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-30-18

  1. IT’S FRIDAY!
    You know what that means?’
    It’s Good Friday and it’s a holiday in places around Greensboro.
    I”ve never known Good Friday to be a holiday before.
    Observed with services, but no closures, days off, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have today off from school, but I volunteered to work at the cave since they are expecting bigger crowds. I had off yesterday, but wore myself out doing yard work. I have off Monday, but not at the Baptist university night class. Holiday? I think I’ll read the funnies.

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  3. It is not a holiday in the tax business. We got home around midnight and left home right after 7:30.

    My brother’s water tank got busted yesterday so he will not be here to help today. I had saved up some work during the week for him that now I need to process today while also taking care of the rest of today’s work.

    We had another nice referral couple to get their taxes done last night. That is mostly how we get our clients. We try to send out new homeowner letters, but did not get that marketing tool utilized this year.

    I wish all of you good services and other Holy week activities.

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  4. I have complained about how cold it has been this March, then I remembered that Easter is somewhat early this year (not the earliest it could be) and that my father always said would would get one more cold snap before Easter. He was full of folk wisdom like that. He described one type of weather as “cow killing weather” cold and rainy. The cows would lie down and not get up and die or perhaps he meant it was the time to kill them and dress them out. I suspect it was that the cow would just lie down and die. Too late to ask that question now.
    Those of you who have visited me, know that I have pointed out the pecan trees and said that the cold weather isn’t over until the pecans put out new leaves. They did that last week. My mother in law said that children couldn’t go barefoot until the pecans has sprouted out new leaves, so that is also one of my judgments as to the weather.

    What kind of “folk wisdom” do you know?

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  5. It will be 80 here today, 79 on Easter. We may eat outside. 🙂

    The only folk wisdom I can quickly recall is my mother saying you had to graduate from college before you could get married.

    I’ve since learned that is not true. 🙂

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  6. Folk wisdom: When I asked my mother why it was called “Good Friday”, she said that it was because farmers wanted to get their seed into the ground by Good Friday to get a good crop.
    That probably isn’t true in northern climes.

    As for holiday. My primary experience is with Federal Government. We never got Good Friday off. And never celebrated it. Why celebrate a crucifixion. Celebrate the resurrection. But churches had Good Friday services. We have one tonight, but we won’t go because I don’t drive at night anymore.
    It would probably be unconstitutional to celebrate Good Friday on a federal calendar. Though we do celebrate Christmas. And Thanksgiving.

    As for butchering cows and hogs, They tried to do it in winter because it was cold and they didn’t have to hurry to get the meat into freezers. Leastwise, that’s the way I always heard it.

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  7. Kim’s QoD: My mother is a purveyor of folk wisdom & remedies. She says garden planting should not take place until after the 24th of May. My father has ignored this one, much to my mother’s trepidation, since it risks the tender plants being killed by a late frost, but so far, he has not experienced disaster.

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  8. Michelle, my mother never considered college. I am the first one in my family or Elvera’s to go to college.
    In fact, Elvera’s family wanted her to marry someone with a real job.

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  9. My mother had a greenhouse business and a horticulture license. She never planted before Memorial Day, which was the end of May. Many others did and she made lots of extra money from them returning to the greenhouse to buy more plants to replace those that froze.

    We will have lots of snow and cold for Easter, which is not unusual. We have had Easters in the nineties, however. That was in May, however. We will not be eating outside, although that was my daughter’s hope.

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  10. OC’s on a role this morning, talking about prayer. The whole reading is good, of course (see at utmost.org), but I particularly like this line:

    “When we lose sight of God, we become hard and dogmatic. We throw our petitions at His throne and dictate to Him what we want Him to do.”

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  11. Beautiful banner photo.

    Speaking of religious observances, has anyone else noticed the disappearances of them from many calendars now?

    Cheryl, any resolution on house sale issues?

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  12. Cheryl, people would go buy plants, put them in the ground, watch them freeze, and go back to the nursery for more plants. Meanwhile, people who did not want to spend twice as much on plants would wait until Memorial Day to plant so they did not have to spend so much. She would be in the northern climes to which Chas was referring.

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  13. We are socked in with another beautiful day here. I do need to get up on the roof soon but not when it is potentially icy.

    We have been in the forties and eating outside a lot. The children do so a lot more than I do though.

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  14. The pope now says there is no eternal punishment / hell, that the ‘bad souls’ simply disappear — so interesting to watch what is becoming yet a further drift away from anything resembling orthodoxy in Roman Catholicism

    Vatican says pope was misunderstood (again) – he strikes me as a very loose cannon, theologically, kind of making it up as he goes along. The world loves him of course.

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  15. DJ, I notice more, not less, religious holidays on the calendar, with the addition of Muslim/Hindu/Jewish holidays. In this city, the stores use other religious holidays to boost their sales – I’ve store signs for Chinese New Year, and Eid, and flyers advertising foods for Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colours (I also saw Holi being celebrated with music and thrown dye powder on the university campus – I also see Muslim and Christian events). In The Gambia, Christmas and Easter were holidays alongside the Muslim festivals, and India has Good Friday and Christmas in addition to their Hindu festival, so pluralism in national holidays is fairly common worldwide.

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  16. DJ, thanks for asking. The last two days were a real roller-coaster: first shock. (The element of the house in question actually works, it was just deemed to be “out of code”–we had understood it to be “grandfathered in,” but it isn’t–but it could cost as much as 10% of the sale price to get it up to code.) Then we found out it would probably derail our sale and, with it, our purchase. (The purchase is more important, because this is a hot market and we can sell again without a problem. We’re concerned at losing a unit that was practically perfect for us, in terms of floor plan, location, and price, in a market where any home is hard to get.)

    As of yesterday other options were being explored that are likely to keep everything on track . . . but right now we simply have no choice but to wait. There is nothing more we can do beyond what we have done, so we are waiting to see how God brings this (or another sale and purchase) together. It would be much simpler in every way if this sale could proceed on time, even if it costs us some money (as it will). We have already put a lot of time (and some money) into the new home, with several inspections done, and flooring priced and measured and just awaiting the “go ahead” and the same with toilets and vanities and sinks and paint. And I’ve packed up most of our belongings, including most of my winter and summer clothes, anticipating a move in a few weeks, so relisting the house would be tricky (if it comes to that). We have a motivated buyer (not much for sale in this area and his parents live around the corner from us), so we are hoping he presses through and keeps it all on track.

    But our job right now is simple: we wait and pray. Simple, straightforward, but hard.

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  17. DJ, one of the foremost influential evangelical theologians of the 20th century, John Stott, whom I see/hear quoted by orthodox teachers all the time, believed in annihilationism – that the souls of the damned were destroyed rather than suffering eternally. It is felt by those who read Stott that his doubtful views on the subject did not otherwise influence his theological position. The writer George MacDonald, who influenced C. S. Lewis greatly, believed that only those who chose hell went there. The Protestant church is way ahead of the Catholic church when it comes to endorsing those with liberal views on hell. Individual Catholic scholars throughout history have been liberal or conservative according to their personal convictions – there is a beautiful Holy Week hymn in my hymnbook by Peter Abelard, a late Medieval Catholic theologian who was quite liberal in his views regarding hell and the eternally lost. His theology may have been liberal, but the poetry of the hymn is something any Christian would find to be a blessing.

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  18. I wrote a somewhat lengthy comment but apparently we lost our internet connection while I was writing, so when I clicked Post Comment it vanished. If it should happen to come back at some point and my comments seems redundant, that’s why. But now I’ll divide it into shorter comments just in case.

    Weather here is cool. High is 52 today, same forecast for Easter. My husband thinks rain is particularly appropriate for Good Friday (and for a few years it seemed it did rain every Good Friday), but it looks like the rain won’t come until after midnight.

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  19. I’ve always had Good Friday off from work, even though it’s not an official holiday. And I generally try not to go shopping or use services that make other people work on Good Friday. But tomorrow we have a funeral (a 104-year-old lady from our church) which will take a good chunk of the day, so I’ll do my Saturday grocery shopping today. Plus I scheduled an oil change for my car. I’d been thinking lately it seemed like it had been quite a while since I got an oil change, but the maintenance reminder hadn’t come up on the dashboard. Yesterday it finally occurred to me to check the settings, and I discovered that all the maintenance reminders had been completely cleared. I wonder just how long it’s been?

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  20. My good news for today is that we won’t be going on strike Monday. Yesterday the negotiations finally reached a tentative agreement. Though it still has to be officially approved by both union membership and the board of trustees, otherwise we do go on strike Tuesday (which just happens to be the first day of registration for summer and fall, though that’s mostly handled online and by hourly staff, so the strike shouldn’t have had a major impact).

    I just wonder what precedent this will have set for the next cycle of negotiations. Though that won’t be for three years, as this is a four-year contract (beginning last July, since we haven’t had a contract since then).

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  21. Pope:I also read that the reporter did not report what the Pope actually said but interpreted what he said. The Vatican is saying the Pope believes in Hell.

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  22. I hadn’t expected the men working on the house to be here today on Good Friday, but I guess it’s just another workday to them. They had finished the siding, so they’re dismantling the framework they had used to reach the upper portions of the walls. Not sure what else there is left they have to do, though at some point the shutters need to be put back on, after getting painted. Oh, I guess there’s still the garage – it will be interesting to see what they do with that. Rather than tear it down and rebuild, the contractor thinks he can just put a new shell over it and reshingle the roof.

    Now I guess we need to see what we can do with the yard, now that most of the trees are gone and the house looks better.

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  23. Regarding the date of Easter, the latest it can be with the calendar we use in the U.S. is late April (I think the 25th), but the Eastern Orthodox church uses a different calendar and their Easter can be in May.

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  24. Mumsee, but that has been said (Oh, he was misinterpreted) throughout this pope’s reign. It’s beginning to sound pretty hollow.

    Yes, I realize annihilation is a position taken by others (and I personally find it very appealing, to be honest), but …

    Pluralism is fine on calendars, I have no problem with that. And maybe our calendars are doing something different from Canada’s, but I’m not seeing many religious holidays of any kind on many of the calendars I’ve bought in recent years. I had to look up when Good Friday was this year as I couldn’t find it on my calendar. Probably a safe call to leave it all out — all or nothing so nothing is easier.

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  25. Pauline, very few people have Good Friday off. In Chicago I had it off, and often attended a really tiny midday service at a nearby liturgical church (I was still attending a Baptist church at the time; I don’t remember if that little church was Presbyterian or Lutheran). My PCA churches have not generally had Good Friday services, though my Nashville one had a Maundy Thursday service, and under our previous pastor here we had a service on one of those days. But I’ve never been fully convinced Jesus was crucified on Friday (Thursday seems more likely) and Good Friday has never been particularly meaningful to me, though I did appreciate the Good Friday services the few years I attended them.

    One year while I was still Baptist, my pastor preached a very depressing Easter sermon, something along the line of “If Jesus is alive, why are we still living in defeat?” But it had nothing of the joy of the Resurrection in it, but rather a beating over the head with “Bad Christian, bad Christian; you aren’t joyful enough!” Some years I attended the large Lutheran church near me on Easter, and then my own service, but since that meant an extremely long morning (my service usually started at 10:30, but it started earlier on Easter and was something like 10:00-12:45), I didn’t always do that. I might have started that tradition after this particular depressing service, though. Those of us gathered for Easter dinner (a dozen or so single and/or married and childless people) compared notes on our sermons, and the non-liturgical services had all gotten it horribly and disastrously wrong, and the liturgical churches had celebrated the resurrection.

    Many Reformed folk (including my husband) don’t see Easter as having any special significance at all–because every Lord’s Day is in celebration of the Resurrection. And most of us don’t do all the extrabiblical “extras” of the church calendar, such as Palm Sunday and Lent and so forth (and only a nod to Christmas); I personally like to see Easter as a special celebration but am extremely happy we ignore Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Lent and so forth. (We will probably sing some Easter-themed hymns but may or may not have a specially focused sermon.)

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  26. Hang in there Cheryl. I went through selling/buying simultaneously and it can become very tricky, timing is everything.

    Our conservative Presbyterian church doesn’t follow the church calendar per se (though we do acknowledge and have appropriate music and sermons for Christmas and Easter, recognizing that many visitors attend at those times and it can be a good time for evangelism).

    When I talked to Carol during the week I’d mentioned our sermon last Sunday was on the 4th Commandment and she was somewhat aghast, asking “What about Palm Sunday??” Oh, yeah, that was last Sunday I suppose.

    I don’t recall Good Friday as an observed holiday either — though it used to be customary for some companies to offer a 3-hour break for employees wanting to go to mid-day services. Now they’d just tell you to sign up for a vacation day, which is fine and is what I’ve done in the past. I’m off today on a vacation day, in fact, but will have errands to take care of.

    Dog park worker returns today, getting the wood windows prepped continues. Interesting to see all the colors of the past they’ve been painted through the years, including green and dark red. I believe the body of the house once (originally?) was white, but it’s also been a medium tan and most recently blue. I’ve chosen (pretty much) the colors for the exterior now — my house may wind up being the darkest one on the block, but the body color (‘Brandywine’ by Sherwin Williams) is so rich and warm, and very southwest looking which is the type of house (Spanish-mission) I have.

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  27. Our sister church across the harbor holds a Good Friday service every year, but our church does not. We do have 2 services on Easter Sunday, mostly to handle the crowds, and I try to go to the early one (8:30 a.m.).

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  28. In saying what I did above, I was not endorsing Stott’s position. The last verses of Isaiah and Jesus’ later quoting of those verses during his Sermon on the Mount – “where their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched” – make it clear to me that hell is eternal torment. There is no gladness in saying that, for it is a terrible truth. But the sufferings of the Son of God could be for no less than deliverance from eternal death. It diminishes the greatness of what Christ has done for us to diminish what he died to save us from. I am just not surprised that a pope should say what I know intellectuals from Protestant and Catholic and Eastern Orthodox backgrounds have been toying with for centuries. Human nature perpetually balks at the enormity of hell.

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  29. Painting the house white was appealing but I have this domineering front porch structure (added later most likely) and it simply was a problem if the trim were dark and body color was light. The porch structure just looks and works better in a light trim color. I tried a few things in mock-ups, but darker body color and light trim seemed to be the most logical way to go.

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  30. Well put roscuro — as I said, I find the idea of no hell very appealing. Much better to think of those unbelievers I know and love simply vanishing somehow as opposed to enduring eternal punishment.

    I try to give the pope the benefit of the doubt, realizing things can be misinterpreted, especially by a secular press. But this has now happened SO often (always with excuses following from the Vatican) that I suspect we’re getting a pretty clear picture of what he truly believes in what are his more candid moments.

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  31. I am anxious to get into this discussion about hell, but I don’t have time now.
    rush is talking about that now. But not as a theologian, he’s talking about liberal influence in the Catholic church.

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  32. I agree that every day is a celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. Nevertheless, I also see the need for observances throughout the year. When God created the sun, moon, and stars, he ordained them for days and months and times and years. Later, he gave the Israelites celebrations to mark the passages of the years. Modern skeptical scholars like to claim that the Jews got their holidays from the pagans, but the reality is that God was meeting human need, the need to mark the passage of time and to celebrate the anniversary of yearly events. Of course both pagans and Jews would both mark springtime and harvest, as the coming of those seasons were reasons to celebrate, but that did not mean they were imitating each other. Christians inherited their spring celebration from the Jews’ spring celebration, while their winter one is approximately nine months later – there was a traditional Jewish belief that a great prophet died on the same day he was conceived. As Paul said, we are free to observe the day and free not to. If it helps one, then celebrate. Humans need holidays and only a narrow minded asceticism would deny humans the gift of making merry.

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  33. chas, yes, his personal expression — but that nevertheless carries much weight with Catholics and can influence the direction church doctrine is headed.

    I’ll have to ask my friend at the dog park — the very dignified and proper wife of a diplomat and a very conservative Catholic. You can pick up her dislike of this pope rather quickly, though she doesn’t *say* much. Body language, a facial twitch or two at the mention of his name 🙂

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  34. Husband and I have Good Friday off (as Roscuro said, it is a stat holiday in Canada). I believe he gets Easter Monday as well, but I do not. We won’t be going to our church service today as he has the evil cold I had last week while visiting my family.

    Funny, we deliberately went to Calgary a week before Easter so that we would be at our home church for Easter services and now it looks like we’ll both still be too sick to attend. I’m feeling much better but wear out rather quickly these days.

    He is currently having a nap and I will definitely have one this afternoon 🙂

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  35. Roscuro, that is the passage I quote too, that some celebrate the holy days and some do not. I dislike Mother’s Day and Father’s Day being celebrated as part of the church service (and am glad we do not), and I dislike it that some churches celebrate “American” holidays such as July 4 and Veteran’s Day. I see no indication in Scripture of celebrating Jesus’ birth (to me it makes more sense to celebrate the incarnation itself–not celebrating the baby per se, and not pretending we are celebrating His birthday), but I more and more don’t really see Christmas as a “religious” holiday, but more as a family day. But I know people to whom it is meaningful, and as long as they don’t trivilialize Christ’s coming in how they choose to celebrate it, I think that is a valid personal choice.

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  36. Worst example of American holiday in a church I experienced — when our evangelical Quaker church decided to honor the nation and its veterans (can’t remember which holiday exactly) and the entire service was filed with patriotic music, testimonies from people in uniform about serving their country, having the congregation stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance (!). Oy. And a Quaker church of all things. I (and others) were literally squirming in the pews. It really was quite strange and the pastor apparently heard more than a few strong concerns afterward. He meant well, but sheesh.

    So yes, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, all the patriotic ‘days,’ just don’t belong as any kind of a focus in a church service.

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  37. The Pope said there is no Hell.

    I’m sure he didn’t mean that, likely didn’t mean to say it.
    That is a major element of Christian theology. Catholics even believe in Purgatory. Which I don’t.
    But hell is a critical element of Christian theology. And Muslim theology also. I’m not sure about Hebrew teaching.
    We have to depend on scripture for our understanding of hell. (Copied from my “biblegateway” link:
    From Rev: 20
    11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
    This is the most specific description of hell. But there are lots of people, some Baptists, who question the doctrines from Revelation. Therefore:
    Mark 9:43, Jesus speaks of a place where “the fire is not quenched and the worm doesn’t die”.
    Matt. 10:28, Jesus says that God is able to destroy soul and body in hell.
    I know that we aren’t supposed to make doctrine out of parables, But this is a significant description. In Luke 1519f: Jesus tells about the rich man who is in hell. Not destroyed, mind you, but “tormented in this flame”.
    There are other places, but this is enough to establish that the bible teaches that there is a hell and that it lasts forever.
    The concept of “eternity” is the one that boggles my mind. We aren’t talking about thousands of years. We mean that it never, ever stops.
    The Bible teaches that everyone is resurrected at the end and the lost are cast into hell.

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  38. Snopes rates the report as “unproven” (that the pope said there is no hell) — so we can’t confirm if it’s true or false, unless someone recorded his remarks.

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  39. I was pleasantly surprised a couple of months ago to find the chard had not stopped for the winter. It is still doing well.

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  40. Donna,

    Don’t post that on Facebook. It’s probably got some layers of old lead paint. The state will now declare your house a Superfund site and require that you tent the place, and perform soil remediation costing you millions.

    Sure you laugh, but……

    http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article199899739.html

    “The lawsuit claimed every home built before 1981 is a “public nuisance” if it has lead-based paint. A judge bought the trial attorney’s argument and now California residents are dealing with the consequences.

    Let’s be clear on what that public nuisance language means. Every California homeowner who owns a pre-1981 home could be subject to criminal liability, eminent domain, foreclosure, special taxes to resolve the nuisance, orders to vacate or demolish, loss of tax deductions, and mandatory disclosure on real estate transactions. Their addresses will be entered into a public database.”

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  41. Cheryl, Christ’s birth is an integral part of the Incarnation. His incarnation began when he was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, but without His birth, the conception would mean nothing. As I am reminded each time my siblings carry another child to birth, conception is the beginning of a journey fraught with peril towards birth – miscarriages and stillbirths strongly mark stories of my own family’s history, as the memory of those who died untimely is passed down through the generations – and even after ten births, I still nervously await the announcement of the eleventh. Christ’s birth was the point at which his presence was announced to the shepherds by the angels, it was his birth that was celebrated by the shepherds, and Simeon gave thanks for the infant Jesus, because his eyes could now see God’s salvation. The Incarnation is bound up in the Birth as the Death is bound up in the Resurrection – just as the Death was completed by the Resurrection, the Birth completed the Incarnation.

    I was somewhat nonplussed when the pastor who resigned from our family church introduced an observation of Remembrance Day (November 11) into the service, as a commemoration of the fallen in war felt slightly pagan in a church service; but he came from a military background. I quite was surprised at the city church when they also observed Remembrance Day, the more so since Canada Day (July 1) received barely a mention at all. I do not mind using the liturgical calendar for remembering some aspect of the life of Christ throughout the year, but I would rather patriotic observations be kept out of the church, if for no other reason than the church should be where those from every nation can gather to worship – in a city filled with immigrants and refugees, that is a real consideration.

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  42. Okay, DJ, it’s time. Time to pack up and move to Idaho. Can’t believe I am encouraging California to move to Idaho. Just leave California behind.

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  43. The service went well – I did some of the Scripture readings – and we sang a hymn I had not heard before. That happens not infrequently, but most of them I do not find worth remarking. This one was – ‘Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted’ by Thomas Kelly in 1804, tune a German chorale from 1850:

    Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
    See Him dying on the tree!
    ‘Tis the Christ by man rejected;
    yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
    ‘Tis the long-expected Prophet,
    David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
    by His Son God now has spoken:
    ’tis the true and faithful Word.

    Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
    was there ever grief like His?
    Friends thro’ fear His cause disowning,
    foes insulting is distress;
    many hands were raised to wound Him,
    none would intervene to save;
    but the deepest stroke that pierced Him
    was the stroke that Justice gave.

    Ye who think of sin but lightly
    nor suppose the evil great
    here may view its nature rightly,
    here its guilt may estimate.
    Mark the sacrifice appointed,
    see who bears the awful load;
    ’tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
    Son of Man and Son of God.

    Here we have a firm foundation;
    here the refuge of the lost;
    Christ, the Rock of our salvation,
    His the Name of which we boast.
    Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
    sacrifice to cancel guilt!
    None shall ever be confounded
    who on him their hope have built.

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  44. Heaven knows what’s in and on this house – lead paint for sure. We’ve talked about that … old houses 🏠😐

    I’m sitting in my patio for the first time I’m ages, it’s finally cleared off and the table and chairs are accessible. So nice to listen to the birds singing back and forth as the air cools and the fog rolls in for the evening

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  45. Well, I am in one of the 10select communities (LA County) and my home was built before 1951 (1923). But yeah, that is a scary prospect.

    There’s no place like Winchester (click heels 3 times)

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  46. I have had a rough day. I have felt pecked. Like a mean little red hen has chased and pecked at me.
    I am not far from bed.

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  47. I have a seventh nephew. And for the third time, my father’s second name has been given as a second name to one of his grandsons. That makes eleven small relatives – although the eldest three are no longer small.

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  48. Congratulations Jo.

    Is it the weekend almost? It’s felt like Saturday all day today because I took the day off from work.

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  49. You are just on my schedule, dj. It is Saturday and I am spending the day working on a newsletter. Selecting photos and then cropping, etc. and writing things up or just putting a heading. It takes time.

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