64 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 5-11-18

  1. Morning, Chas. I think I have a cold. The Flonase didn’t work last night, but today I tried some zicam and am now sipping some throat coat tea. Perhaps that will help. It was so nice to have a day at school to just get some work done with no students. Four of us went out to lunch together at the kai bar. Kai is food. They had roasted chicken quarters and chips. I took along a wet washcloth ad my hands always get so greasy eating the chicken. They have put up some little haus wins with hexagon tables. Nice to just relax and visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aj @ 7:06
    Not much anymore. It used to mean tying up loose ends so Monday doesn’t hit you with something you forgot.
    Then, it meant a meeting with Lions and whatever business took me to town.
    Now, hardly anything. My SS class is having a luncheon at 11:30. But I’m not going because I don’t have anyone to stay with TSWITW long enough.

    And Peter kinda defines Friday on the blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another beautiful day here. Rain expected and then clearing to sunshine. Husband is out doing my chores. He did them while I was away and has continued with me home. It has been nice. But he is like that.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. We’ve had lots of iris blooms this year probably due to all the rain. They are beautiful whatever the hue. I only have these which were given to me by a former friend in the neighborhood who loved plants. She got divorced and moved to California. I think she works with the VA out there. I wonder if she has a garden now. She was quite the liberal back then so she moved from one liberal area to an expanded liberal area.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I spoke with my friend, Karen, last night. She was really out of it. I think her asthma is flaring and even with the oxygen tanks, she still is not getting enough for her brain to function properly. I am sad I am not able to help her more.


  6. Friday at last. This week was a bit of a grind to get through, especially the first few days. Today I just need to finish writing up the fisherman.

    It’s overcast with a (slight) chance of rain today, low 60s. My wildflowers were a dud, apparently.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Any thoughts on the Handmaid’s Tale? I watched the first season which was very well done, just started catching up on Season 2. It’s a jarring scenario (and definitely for mature audiences, I’ve taken kitchen or cleaning breaks during a couple of the short scenes that I think are overwrought but you can also skip forward in Hulu; no nudity, but there are scenes, mainly some brief violent ones, that are hard to watch even in glimpses, but they’re the exception rather than any kind of a rule on the shows).

    On FB friend, a former reporter colleague who was no fan of Christianity, posts about how he thinks it can (and maybe is about to?) happen here. It’s a glimpse into how some large segments of our current culture (oddly to me, but …) perceive the faith (though admittedly the far-right fundamentalist versions of it which is disturbing to many of us as well, of course).

    Here’s a take from a writer on The Gospel Coalition, there also have been articles at Christianity Today and the Christian Post. Some of the more liberal Christian sites say it’s a show that “all Christians should watch”; not sure I agree with that, but it is interesting in terms of what the larger culture may be thinking about Christianity.

    “When You Love the Show, But the Show Doesn’t Love You”



    … But, of course, THT (The Handmaid’s Tale) is more than simply a story. It is no secret that when Atwood wrote it in 1985, the book was a pamphlet for the culture wars—a protest against the religious right and its views on abortion, homosexuality and so on. And, given the rhetoric that surrounds this new adaptation, THT still serves that function. It appeals to the prejudices and fears of the intellectual left. It shows us what the makers (and many of the consumers) of the show think religious conservatives want to inflict on women and other minorities.

    This makes watching the show a strange experience for religious conservatives like this one. I watch it, and I’m on Offred’s side. I like her spirit and her strength. I want her to win. I want her to regain her freedom, choices and family. I cheer-on her feisty gay friend. I want to see the people using the Bible to justify their violence overthrown. I want an end to their evil exploitative religion.

    Yet I get the distinct feeling that the people making this show think they are targeting people like me. Flashbacks depict the Waterfords as an ordinary-looking Christian couple (perhaps of the Mary Pride, have-as-many-kids-as-you-can sort) who fail to realise where their radical biblicism is headed. The arguments and euphemisms they use to defend their position sound like a kind of creepy parody of complementarianism—“equal but different” without the equality, or (most significantly) any real consideration of Christ.

    The Handmaid’s Tale is a great production. You’ll love it if you enjoy great storytelling and acting.

    You’ll love it even more if you don’t like conservative Christians.

    And if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself turned upside down by almost every episode.


  8. For more context, this is the beginning the the above Gospel Coalition post — the handmaids are dressed to look like shakers in red, but the scenery is really quite beautiful, set in Massachusetts, suggestively with regard to some of our nation’s early history:


    The current adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is possibly the greatest piece of propaganda I have ever seen.

    I mean this as a compliment as well as a criticism.

    The reason why it’s a compliment is because THT is brilliant television. Atwood’s original vision of a dystopian future, in which (weirdo) neo-Puritan theonomists have overthrown the American government and forced the few fertile women that remain into concubinage, is rendered with care and conviction. When I read the book many years ago, it struck me as contrived and implausible. Yet the Hulu series makes it terrifyingly believable.

    First, the acting is astonishing. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) offers a masterful performance as the eponymous handmaid, communicating worlds of emotion in the tiniest inflections of speech and expression. On Moss’s lips jarring colloquialisms such as “you too”, “you think?” or “sure” become shockingly defiant declarations of an unbowed spirit. June—or “Offred” (of-Fred) as she is patronymically branded—is an immensely sympathetic hero: not necessarily a good person, but a gloriously brave person in an impossible situation.

    Second, THT’s writing and characterisation are extremely subtle. Both the goodies and baddies in this story are depicted as real people with histories and mixed motives. Commander Waterford and his wife—Offred’s jailers and sexual abusers—are shown to be cogs in a machine that abuses them too. Even Aunt Lydia, whose zealous brutality veers closest to caricature, reveals an unexpected tenderness toward her damaged victims.

    Third, the construction of the series is ingenious. THT interleaves its visions of the brutal present with flashbacks to scenes and music from the past (our time). These provide backstory, but, more importantly, they also serve to convince us that our own flawed world—despite its sexual anarchy and infidelity—was infinitely preferable to the false Christian piety of Gilead (the new name for America).


    THT is not subtle about its ideological subtext at this point. Although there are some merciful depictions of mainstream Christianity being repressed—we see a priest hanged, and a church demolished—it is very clear that the sect in charge is meant to be identified as Christian fundamentalist. The greetings and pleasantries of Gilead are a mishmash of clunky grabs from the King James Bible. “Blessed be the fruit” … “May the Lord open,” say handmaids to each other when they meet. “Praise be” is the standard response to every piece of good news. The perverse practice of the handmaid ritual itself (there’s some pretty explicit stuff here, be warned*) is justified by a quote from Genesis 30:3—“Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees.” …



  9. I read The Handmaid’s Tale when it first came out. I think I was in the Quality Paperback Book Club and it could have been one of their selections. I found it interesting, but it was not something that stuck with me to influence my thinking. I did not even know about the current production. I would probably appreciate it’s quality as described, but I would prefer to watch other things. There is just such a great lot of leftist propaganda done well out there these days. Somehow it makes me think of The Shack and how my former pastor had a class on it in which we read and discussed it so we could be in informed conversation with unbelievers about it. I could not read the book.


  10. Mumsee, God hears the prayers of those made righteous through belief in Jesus (by the covering of their sins by His blood shed on the cross), and He hears those who are drawn to God by the Holy Spirit and confess their sinfulness, repent, and move forward in belief. I know you know that. Why do you ask?


  11. Something my friend Karen said when her daughter and her daughter’s wife (I still can’t get use to that terminology) went to Washington for that big Match for Women a while back reminded me of The Handmaid’s Tale and the fears that the liberals were using to justify that march.


  12. Janice, daughter is angry because I don’t listen to her when she is praying aloud, telling God how she will do such and such if He will do this and that. She claims to be a witch. I am looking for Scripture that will let her know God is not going to listen to her from that mindset. She is not claiming to be a Christian. I believe He hears those who are clad in His righteousness. And those calling out in repentance but don’t have Scripture for it other than 1 Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I never read the ‘handmaid’ book but remember it was quite popular at the time. The Hulu production is based on it but I believe it takes on its own story lines and is set, of course, sometime in the future (presumably the somewhat near future). It won numerous top honors last year at the Emmy awards (including best drama and best actress, I believe), which was no real surprise (both considering the high quality of the show but also the story line theme so soon after Trump won the presidency and there was so much fear in many liberal circles, of course — the #metoo movement will probably only serve to increase its popularity and perceived relevance).

    I may not stick with it, depends — the first season was really quite good, the second one so far also is good — focusing on efforts to escape (to Canada) or to overthrow the powers that be which appears to be an impossible task for the most part.

    This week the lead character made it as far as the empty Boston Globe building where she hid for a few weeks but eventually was recaptured and returned to her overlord ‘family.’

    Liked by 1 person

  14. But among the themes for me, I suppose, are how evil persists among human beings, “religious” or not, and how yes, totalitarianism (of all kinds of varieties, I personally think the leftist variety poses more of a threat) can happen here. It’s something to remember as our nation approaches what seems to be something of a vacuum when it comes to our identity and vision as one people.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Maybe Job 38-42 would be a good answer for her which shows God’s sovereignty and how He knows so much more than we know. Maybe the two of you could read it aloud with you being God and she being Job or vice versa depending on if she is a good reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My last comment was directed to Mumsee ❤

    Donna, I don’t think badly of Christians who are mature in the faith and can watch such things with God’s truth inside their hearts and minds overruling the subtle lies so slickly presented. I hope I did not sound “holier than thou” in my comment. I just know myself and the sick feeling I get when I see something that is so anti-Christian and know how many are led astray by it. I sometimes, out of weakness or in feeling helpless against “weapons of mass spiritual destruction,” feel the need to turn away.


  17. Beautiful florals today!! I have spent the day with a coworker in Castle Rock ….we were antiquing and I am exhausted!! We shopped, had lunch, shopped some more (I only purchased two books and some handmade toffee!) and she wanted to know if I wanted to drive into the Springs to shop…I told her I needed to go home and take a nap ….I am old enough to be her mother and it is difficult to keep up with her! 😴

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I understand Janice. And I may ditch the show, but it is also rather compelling (and don’t forget, I’m your mystery, thriller fan here among us anyway).

    The ‘Handmaid’s Tail’ is clearly a tortured and, often, ugly caricature of American Christianity (and a fringe form of it, at that). It’s used as a straw man in this case and there are serious flaws that kind of argument, naturally. But how scary (& easy?) it is for those who are on the ‘outside’ to adopt that kind of a view. And stereotypes do have a kernel of truth in them as well, so you can see where these outrageous (to us) assumptions may get their start.

    And do we have similar misunderstandings about others? I suspect the intended and underlying message in THT is that “religion” is dangerous when it wields forcible power over others (and that’s not been Christianity’s history, certainly). Just interesting as I think most Christians I know now are definitely re-thinking the role we should have in the public square of a nation that, culturally, has pretty much gone off the rails anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shows and books like that are helpful in that they do show how skewed Christianity is portrayed and a good reminder to us to make certain we are not bringing our own prejudices in when we are looking at others. Life is complicated enough.

    Daughter has decided there are not any other witches in Nezperce so she will be a Catholic.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. For a touch of humor, son said that while flying he was having an allergic reaction to the B.O. of someone sitting nearby.

    Oh, dear. I just realized what those initials came to symbolize in the last decade. Sorry for the reminder.


  21. Mumsee @4:43, the verse “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18, KJV) comes to mind regarding your question. You could explain that iniquity is willfully going against the commands of God, and that God forbids the practice of witchcraft. There is a verse in I Samuel 12:23, where Samuel is judging Saul for failing to obey God’s commands, which connect iniquity and witchcraft:
    For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (KJV)

    Looking up the verses that mention witchcraft brought up Galatians 5:20, which is part of a list of the fruits of the works of the flesh. I was trying to think what the connection was in your daughter’s mind between Catholicism and witchcraft, and I think that the Galatians list provides the link. In West Africa, the cultural practices of using charms and spells, i.e. witchcraft, was part of the effort to make alliances with the powers that existed in the world – one seeks, in that culture to not only gain the support of human authorities, but also spiritual ones. Catholicism, with its emphasis on outer rituals such as confession and the Rosary, has been known, in many parts of the world where animism preexisted it, to integrate well with traditional animistic beliefs. The criticism of Catholicism by the reformers was that it sought to produce righteousness by the works of the flesh. In legalism, people seek to contact or please, in essence, to make an alliance with God by their own efforts. Galatians 5:20 warns that such efforts of the flesh leads to, among other things, witchcraft, which is in essence the use of charms and incantations (i.e. the “vain repetition” of Matthew 6:7) to gain spiritual power with God, or other spiritual beings. In Christ, we have no need to carry Rosaries or say a certain number of “Our Father” for our prayers to be heard, but those who do not fully trust the finished work of Christ are drawn to use those old human methods of being heard by God. Perhaps what your daughter needs most is to relearn what Christ has done for her, and that she does not need to do anything at all for God to hear her if she trusts Him.


  22. DJ, I had to chuckle over the ‘escape to Canada’ scenario in the The Handmaid’s Tale show. Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author, and the U.S. is probably the favourite whipping boy when it comes to distopian settings for Canadians. Quite frankly, I think that if any such dystopia arose in the U.S., Canada would not be far behind. I tend to roll my eyes a little at the furor over the T.V. serial of the book, and think that its importance or significance is greatly exaggerated. Perhaps that is due to the ‘prophet is not without honour, save in his own country’ phenomenon, although Margaret Atwood is well known here. I have never read any of her books, but my mother read one and was not impressed, and my dear friend and relative read another and was similarly not impressed. I confess I have little use for dystopian novels. I read one, The Chrysalids, which similarly used an ultra-Conservative Christian society as the setting (in Labrador, incidentally). The irony of the book was that the open minded utopian society which intervened to save the protagonists at the end of the book was just as destructive to other human lives as the ultra-conservative one. I always wondered if that irony was deliberate on the part of the author or unintentional, but it perfectly captures the consequences of the two extremes of human nature. Legalism and libertine-ism both lead to death.

    That being said, I think Christians today need to be willing to take a harder look at the so-called Christian societies, such as the Puritan colonies, which have preexisted them. In the Reformed blogging world, a discussion has recently arisen around the awful historical fact that the Puritans did not simply tolerate the trafficking and enslavement of Africans as a necessary evil, they actually promoted it as something good: https://thethinkingsofthings.com/2018/04/05/learning-from-my-black-family/ (this article has a link to another blog post on the same subject with other links). In some ways, the Puritans’ views do not surprise me, because I had already observed that a twisted Covenant theology had been used to justify the Dutch Reformed colonizers in South Africa and Indonesia in their treatment of the natives in those places as if they were subhuman. But it serves to underscore the fact which I have often reiterated, that at no point in the history of the world since the first coming of Christ has any nation truly been a Christian one, because the kingdom of God will not become ‘of this world’ until the second coming of Christ and the new heaven and earth.


  23. I have not been in a movie theater in over twenty years. Do they still do the reel thing or do they just play a DVD or something?

    That verse and the Job verses will be passed on. She definitely craves doing something to earn God’s approval over accepting that none of us are good enough.


  24. Mumsee, the reel-to-reel has been defunct since the advent of digital film. They would have to construct the reel film from digital images, which would be extremely difficult. It is easier to convert film images into digital images than vice versa.I believe a digital projector is used now as the screen is still a projector screen (digital projectors were also used with the old roll down screens in all of my lectures to project the Power Point lecture slides from the lecturer’s computer). The modern sound systems in movie theatres are something else. You can feel the vibrations of things that happen in the scene, such as car crashes, or trains pulling into stations, or horses galloping, or even clocks striking the hour. It is a multi-sensory experience to be in a movie theatre, which is why I do not go if I am at all uncertain about the film content. I have no wish to be stuck watching disturbingly violent or inappropriate scenes with so much overwhelming sensory input.

    I miss the reel-to-reel, not that I ever saw one in an actual theatre. We used to borrow reel-to-reel films, plus screen and projector, from the library to watch in our living room. Second sibling and I were agreeing the other day that film produced, especially when it came to black and white images, a nearly three dimensional image quality that is still unequaled in digital photography.


  25. A young man called husband yesterday, to ask about pursuing our Navy daughter. Son brought home a lovely young lady last weekend and asked us what we thought of her.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Life is dreary enough without watching or reading about a dismal future. Mr P watches The Handmaids Tale. I watch Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Woman. The chances are not good that I will cook any of it but it doesn’t depress me. Now if I could figure out how to get rid of CNN.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Hallmark is a regular channel for me. I think I was tired of all that happy-ever-after sweetness and just needed a wee little break.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. DJ, I know what you mean about happy-ever-after sweetness becoming cloying after a while. But the grim realities that I face in nursing also make any kind of intense unhappiness and darkness impossible for me to watch as ‘entertainment’. I discovered that when I tried to watch The Pianist after a difficult clinical day during my first nursing course – I had to turn it off partway through, partly because, as good as the acting was (Adrien Brody won best actor for his role) and as well made as the film was, the acted suffering seemed unreal next to the suffering I had witnessed in reality. I take a moderate approach, and watch films where sappy romance is not the whole purpose of the film, but there is still a sense of hopefulness. I like films that tells a story about some aspect of life, and include a cast of characters from all stages of life. It is nice if there is a romantic young couple in the mix there somewhere, but they don’t need to be front and centre in the story, and their romance should be never the only thing that is going on in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The reefer is a refrigerated semi trailer. I think itis 20 ft long. The cool king refrigeration unit did not work. The coolbot attaches to a regular AC unit and will take it down to 34 degrees. Now we can butcher in any weather!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I thought a reefer was a semi trailer but did not realize you had one for butchering. Nice. By the way, I was meaning to ask you when you mentioned it, what do you do with chicken feet? I have never done anything with them though I saw them and combs at the butcher shop in Europe.


  31. Michelle asked if anyone has heard from Ann. I was just thinking about and praying for her within the last day or so. She hasn’t been on Facebook for a little while, either.

    In the last private messages we exchanged on Facebook, she said there were some health issues and personal issues needing prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks, Kizzie I’ve been thinking about her too.

    It’s RAINING ☔️ !!!!!!!!

    A little bit of winter is revisiting us, I’m sitting on my (covered) patio and the dogs are getting wet.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Chicken feet make a very rich broth. For those who do the bone broth thing, there is lots of good cartilage. Put in a little apple cider vinegar when starting the simmering, and it makes it melt into the broth.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Husband and two boys are off to the men’s prayer breakfast. They are cooking this morning. Probably make some pancakes, French toast, eggs, omelettes, ham, biscuits and sausage gravy. The usual. With added rhubarb blackberry sauce and strawberries. They put out quite a table. No idea how many eaters there will be as this is the community yard sale day so they may have quite a few drop ins or fewer than the usual twenty or so. Somebody else will lead the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. That, of course, leaves certain people to clean up after them here and do their chores, which are actually my chores so not such a deal.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I hope to get some mowing done today as the rain has stopped for a while but the weeds and grass have not. I am glad to have the z track, should not be any problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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