36 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 5-22-18

  1. Good early morning! Those are the sweetest birds in the header, and early birds or late night owls to keep me company. I need to read yesterday’s posts. I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to figure out how to do something on the website. I know there has to be a way, but I have yet to figure out the secret combination.

    I think the meeting to decide if our church sanctuary will be rented to Andy Stanley’s church must have happened last night. I look forward to knowing what was decided. I have never heard Andy Stanley preach, but my friend, Karen, told me today she has seen him on television and likes him and his way of presenting the gospel.

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  2. Roscuro – You said yesterday that doctors don’t seem to believe you about your asthma. That must be frustrating. Maybe your mother, or a sister, could accompany you, and back up what you say?

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  3. Michelle, I read your link on Ruth last night and did not have time to comment. I had heard my priest say that the uncovering of Boaz’s feet was an “intimate act” and compromised Ruth so that he would be duty bound to marry her. I had never heard or read it in that depth before. I would be interested to know how your class goes and what the thoughts are from them.

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  4. Roscuro, my ex sister in law was treated for asthma for a number of years. She went to a different doctor and was told it was something else. She is being treated for that and her asthma conditions are gone. I am not sure, maybe a type of reflux. I am sure you know your symptoms and triggers,but thought I would toss that out just in case it could be something simpler and fixable.
    I once caused my ex husband (who had asthma as a child) into an asthma attack. We lived in an older cottage, he kept sneezing, had watery eyes and congestion. I gave him benadryl and some other allergy medication. It caused him to have a full blown asthma attack. It was quite scary, so I have something of a reference.

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  5. Concerning Ruth: This really isn’t complicated. According to Jewish law, there had to be a descendant of the male of the family. Therefore, a child born to Ruth had the heritage of Naomi’s husband.
    Naomi is really he hero of this story. She lost her husband and sons. She returned home with only Ruth.
    When she saw that Boaz was giving Ruth special privilege, she understood what was going on. Boaz had a thing for Ruth.
    Turns out, he was close kin. She had Ruth go to him in the night. This was for sex. He was to father a descendant for Elimileic’s heritage. according to Jewish tradition. Having sex with Ruth was his job, So they thought..
    Boaz was willing, but said, “Not that simple, let me try to work this out”
    Naomi had him figured when she said, “He won’t rest until he has this worked out.”
    And he did.
    We wouldn’t know about this except that Ruth, a Moabites, was a great grandmother of David.

    Compromising Boaz was not an issue. He was ready and willing. According to Jewish law/tradition, nothing was wrong with this.

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  6. Morning! Oh those doves!! Have I told ya’ll how I just love mourning doves?! Sweetest things.
    Andy Stanley gives me pause….and red flags…. 😳
    I am off to plant the flowers I purchased yesterday…we had some rain last night and the ground is soft and moist…good for pulling weeds and planting non weeds!

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  7. I understand all that, Chas, but it is the going under cover of darkness etc. on Ruth’s part that is being questioned.

    There was another male relative closer, apparently. Boaz should have approached him, but was not doing so. Naomi knew he needed a ‘nudge’ apparently. That seems on par with women often being more aware of body language than man are. Their brains are wired that way.

    If Naomi had misread the whole situation, Ruth’s reputation would have suffered. That much is clear from the text.

    I do not find it conniving in an underhanded way, but more in the spirit of matchmaking. Helping Ruth find provision was necessary. It was a time of being totally dependent of men, but men are only human. None of us know what the prayers of Naomi or Ruth hearts were.

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  8. That is–I agree with you, Chas, about Naomi understanding what was going on in Boaz’s head. However, I am still not at all sure about the ‘laying under the blanket at his feet.’ I have heard all the explanations mentioned so far, but not Naomi being a conniver. She certainly would not have been the first conniver among God’s people.

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  9. That was what I found so interesting about the link–that actually Naomi was not acting in faith but in well-meaning manipulation.

    (Unfortunately, it was easy for me to understand why she would want to push the choice to Boaz and thus come up with quite a scheme).

    I think tricking Boaz into sleeping with Ruth may have been at the base of her suggestions–remember, this was in the time of Judges where everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Also, she had been living in Moab for 11 years and her faith may have waffled.

    Remember her words when she returned to Bethlehem–“call me bitter.”

    We’ll see what the wise ladies say–most of whom have known this story since before I was born! It also makes subsequent actions slightly different–Boaz and Ruth were more attuned to God than Naomi. Boaz did everything in the light of day and correctly–which is God honoring.

    The link noted Boaz and Ruth were acknowledged as righteous, but NOT Naomi.

    God’s will–done correctly–will not be mocked. Had Naomi’s purported scheme worked, it would have thrown into question Obed’s character and shadowed that of David’s.

    Interesting, indeed. We think we know we’re doing right when we “help” God . . .

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  10. I would like to think that Boaz and Ruth’s actions turned Naomi around. Took her well meaning manipulations and helped her see Truth and her need to use her abilities in a godly way rather than self (or Ruth) serving. Apparently her daughter in laws both loved and cared for her.

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  11. “16 But Ruth replied, β€œDon’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.””

    That’s a pretty profound statement.

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  12. Odd day here, our closest (geograhically speaking) sister paper saw the exodus of nearly its entire staff today when 3 of them (yes, 3 people qualify as a “mass” for us these days) up and quit.

    They’re leaving to be part of a new online news venture in the large city they cover.

    The editor, the young crime reporter & the long-time local columnist — all gone, leaving just one reporter who had just transferred in from one of the other papers in OC sitting alone in the office.

    Not sure how they’ll handle going forward with that situation.

    Just as grim at our papers on the other side of the country:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-digital-first-newspapers-cuts-20180517-story.html

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  13. NancyJill – I don’t follow Andy Stanley, but I sometimes read a couple articles when something he says causes a stir. Often, he will say, as he did in that article, that his remarks were taken out of context, and when he explains what he meant, it sounds much better than the initially quoted remark. He says he tries to present the gospel in ways people aren’t used to hearing, and that gets him into trouble.

    But as I said, I don’t closely follow him, so I don’t know for sure if his detractors are accurate or not.

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  14. Janice – Reading that article on Ruth that Michelle shared made me think of your friend on Facebook (I forget her name) who mentioned loving the Book of Ruth, and that she had been doing a lot of thinking about it recently. Maybe you might want to share that article and tag her in it?

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  15. Just saw a headline that “Transgender kids’ brain resemble their gender identity not their biological sex”, from LGBTQNation,com. 😦

    This cannot be true, of course, but would love to read a rebuttal of this. If anyone happens to see anything, please share it with me.

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  16. The article mentions the brains of children. And yet, 80 – 90% of kids who think they are the wrong sex will accept their biological sex as they grow up. And I think it is true that our behavior affects our brains, not only the other way around.

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  17. Kizzie, there are not enough details about the study being released, i.e. sample size (very important, as too small a sample size skews the statistical results), the type of statistical analysis used (need to know which results were statistically significant or if any were), the kind of control group used, or even the methods used. It sounds as though the study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, since its finding were only presented at a conference. Finally, evidence based medical practice is not supposed to be based on one study. Study results have to be replicated repeatedly to make sure that the results were not due to chance alone. As we have been taught over and over in school, best practice comes from reviews of multiple studies which show consistent results. This is just popular news coverage about one study about which the writers of the article appear to know very little.

    Re: Andy Stanley – The College and Career group my siblings attended, and I attended occasionally, often used Andy Stanley videos to guide Bible study time (we and other members of the group asked the leaders several times to stop using video series, but I think the leaders found it easier). We were not impressed at all with Stanley. The last message I saw from him made me very upset. He was ‘doing’ a video series of Jonah. He started out by saying that it didn’t matter if you considered Jonah to be an actual event or not, it was just the moral lessons we should be taking away from the story. That is a classic liberal Christian bait and switch technique right there. It doesn’t matter if Noah’s flood happened or not, it is just the moral lessons we should take away from the story; it doesn’t matter if the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, it is just the moral lessons of the story; it doesn’t matter if Adam and Eve existed, it is just the moral lesson of the story; and, eventually, it doesn’t matter if Christ rose from the dead or not, it is just his moral example we should follow.

    We can easily see the deadly heresy in the last statement, but the Adam and Eve question follows close on its heels, since Christ is called the second Adam, and it was because he was the second Adam that he could save us (Romans 5:17). Such an attitude towards the Flood and the Red Sea crossing is poisonous, because the one shows the willingness of God to judge the wicked and to save the righteous, while the other shows the power of God to protect His people from their enemies in the most impossible of circumstances. One of the discussion topics that arose in the College and Careers group from watching the Andy Stanley message about Jonah was about how God controls our circumstances (in justice to the leaders, they were less liberal than Stanley, though why they tolerated his little barbs of doubt was puzzling). There was a newly professing Christian who was struggling, and she said she didn’t think she could accept that God allowed the circumstances she was facing. Stanley, in raising the question whether Jonah actually happened or not, defanged the power of a story in which a powerful God raised storms and controlled the fish of the deep in order to teach one individual a lesson, and rendered the story a harmless morality tale. His empty moralism did not help that young believer, who has since walked away from faith.

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  18. On Ruth 3 & Naomi’s instructions: The commentator Matthew Henry is of the opinion that Naomi was implementing a questionable contrivance (I’m surprised at his squeamishness, since the practice of bundling was not unknown in his era) and that only Boaz and Ruth’s integrity saved the situation. But Henry is not always the most unbiased of commentators and too often interpreted events in the Bible from his own cultural lens, as evidenced by his awful misapplication of Noah’s curse to Ham (rather than to Canaan, on whom the curse actually fell) as being fulfilled in the African slave trade. Not every commentator is inclined to think so ill of Naomi’s methods – Robert Jamieson’s commentary has this to say:

    go in, and uncover his feet and lay thee down–Singular as these directions may appear to us, there was no impropriety in them, according to the simplicity of rural manners in Beth-lehem. In ordinary circumstances these would have seemed indecorous to the world; but in the case of Ruth, it was a method, doubtless conformable to prevailing usage, of reminding Boaz of the duty which devolved on him as the kinsman of her deceased husband. Boaz probably slept upon a mat or skin; Ruth lay crosswise at his feet–a position in which Eastern servants frequently sleep in the same chamber or tent with their master; and if they want a covering, custom allows them that benefit from part of the covering on their master’s bed. Resting, as the Orientals do at night, in the same clothes they wear during the day, there was no indelicacy in a stranger, or even a woman, putting the extremity of this cover over her.

    I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman–She had already drawn part of the mantle over her; and she asked him now to do it, that the act might become his own. To spread a skirt over one is, in the East, a symbolical action denoting protection. To this day in many parts of the East, to say of anyone that he put his skirt over a woman, is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus, one part of the ceremony is for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride. [Link: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Rth/Rth_003.cfm?a=235004%5D

    So, it all depends on how willing one is to put a seamy construction on what is a simple description of events that happened.

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  19. I think you people are looking for trouble where there isn’t any.
    For trouble, read I Chronicles 1-2 where David tells Solomon to take care of the situations where he made vows not hot kill anyone.

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  20. Roscuro – You and I know that that study needs to be better understood (such as all the questions you raised), and replicated, before it should be accepted, but we also know that many people are going to grasp on to this and use it as “proof”. Years ago, a scientist or researcher (who turned out to be homosexual himself) claimed to have found that the brains of homosexuals were different from the brains of heterosexuals. It turned out either not to be true, or to have another explanation (I don’t recall the details), but it is still mentioned as “proof” that homosexuals are “born that way.”

    This kind of thing hurts my heart for those who are already confused about their sex/gender. Not only will many of them believe that this is solid evidence, but their “allies” will, too, and those of us trying to stand for truth will be shut down and shut out. My concern is not for our sake, but for the sake of those confused people following, or being pushed into, diving deeper into the confusion and sin.

    (Which brings up this question – What would be the sin of a transgender person? Being mentally/emotionally confused, unstable, or ill is not a sin. Perhaps it is the rejection of how God made them? Or if they have a sexual relationship with a person of their same biological sex? IOW, is feeling that one is transgender necessarily a sin?)

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  21. Chas, you are referring to Shimei, the man who cursed David as he fled from Absalom and later pleaded for clemency when David was victorious and the instructions David gave to Solomon about him (II Samuel 2:8-9)? My thought is that Shimei was never truly repentant, and had only said sorry to avoid suffering the consequences of his actions, and David wasn’t about to mar his return to Jerusalem by seeming to wreak personal vengeance on him. But cursing the ruler of your people was an offense in the law of Moses, so Shimei judicially deserved the death penalty (Exodus 22:28). Solomon gave Shimei a chance by making Jerusalem a city of refuge to him, but Shimei was obviously overconfident and presumptuous, which is evidence for him not being truly repentant .

    As for Joab, the other person David told Solomon to see was not allowed to die in peace. he was a traitor in the end, and had twice murdered military leaders who were allied with or worked for David because of his own personal vendettas against them. His end was in justice to the sentence of Genesis 9, “Who sheds man’s blood, by man his blood will be shed.”

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  22. Kizzie, I know that it will be used as ‘proof’. For all the accusation thrown at those who believe in a six-day Creation being anti-science, the secular world has grown increasingly dismissive of science, particularly medical science, in the last few decades. From anti-vaccination conspiracy theories to attacks against sex distinctions based on human biology to activists seeking to silence the increasing evidence that marijuana high in THC can damage the brain, the world does not want to listen to the healthcare field when it does not suit them. It would prefer to drag out any past human errors as proof the healthcare field is not to be trusted rather than to listen. The thing is, there is really nothing I can do about the refusal to listen. I can choose to fear the consequences of their obstinacy, or I can trust that God is still in control and that truth will eventually prevail. So, I don’t allow myself to be swayed by the results of one study, and just keep going, glad if others join me, but realizing I am only responsible for my own actions. As Jesus said to Peter, when Peter asked Him what would happen to John, “What is that to you? Follow me.”

    About whether transgender is a sin or not. the Preacher was not speaking hyperbole when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The attempt to change gender may have new technology and terminology, but its practice is very ancient. India has a whole caste of people who assume the manners of the opposites sex, whose presence is deeply intertwined in that very ancient culture. Some of them are involved in the sex trade, some are more like entertainers and their presence at life events such as weddings or births is considered a blessing. Eunuchs were often made to assume a feminine persona, and the emperor Nero was reported to have used a castrated man ‘as a wife.’ The feminized ‘dancing boys’ of the warlords in Kabul is the modern day remnant of an ancient practice, one that the Afghan tribes may well have learned from their Greek conquerors when Alexander the Great won battles there.

    The command in Leviticus that women cannot wear that which pertains to a man and a man cannot wear that which pertains to a woman is referencing the presence of such a practice in surrounding cultures. Women and men’s clothing was quite similar – both wore long shirts or tunics – so it wasn’t about wearing similar clothing to one another (i.e. the command cannot be used as an argument, as I grew hearing it used, against women wearing trousers), but about assuming the persona or role of a person of the opposite sex. Such role playing is something that is known to be used for purposes of sexual gratification, and the command appears in a list of commands against forbidden sexual practices. I think there are actually three different groups of people who are being confounded by the term transgender. The first would be the group I mentioned just now, those who gain sexual gratification from acting like the opposite sex. ‘Drag queens’ and ‘crossdressers’ are two of the terms that have been applied to this group.

    The second group is those with a gender dysphoria, as it is currently termed in the DSM manual. They have a persistent belief that they are trapped in the wrong body. Some members of this group have begun to come forward and say that sex change operations did nothing to help the underlying mental health issues that their gender confusion was only a symptoms of and to decry the popular political transgender movement as not truly meeting their needs. It is unpopular and unfashionable (perhaps the greater crime of the two in the public eye) to question the current treatment pharmacological and surgical treatment of gender dysphoria. The question arises if the first group has hijacked the second, who are an object of sympathy for their mental struggles, for political purposes. I think that history will frown at the current treatment of the second group the way it does now at the castration of young boys to give them better singing voices or render them safe servants in the ruler’s harem.

    The third group is what is now called intersex. This group has either an unusual combination of sex chromosomes, or a hormone imbalance means that their superficial genitals appear to be opposite to their body chromosomes. The fact of their existence is dragged out continually as proof that gender is fluid. What those with an intersex condition think of being used as pawns in this debate is almost never asked. I remember reading a short life bio in a high school biology textbook of a man with Klinefelter’s, who have one extra X chromosome, so that their genotype is XXY. He wanted to be a husband and father, but the extra chromosome generally renders such a man infertile, so he was delighted that his girlfriend had a child that he planned to adopt and raise as his own. Such a man would not appreciate being held up as being ‘genderfluid’. Other times, the mixture of chromosomes is never noticed at all. I found a case study of a child who was born with a mosaic of chromosomes, some of the child’s body cells had XX and some had XY. The cells that made up this child’s sex organs, however, must have been XY (there was a 3:2 ratio of XY to XX in the cell makeup), since at puberty, without any artificial hormone treatment, not only did the child develop all the secondary sex characteristics of a male, but was also entirely fertile. The reality is that intersex people prove nothing, since each one is unique, with their own story to tell.

    I think Christians would agree that seeking sexual gratification at all costs is sinful even in the confines of marriage (I have seen some argue that a married heterosexual couple can role play if they wish), that the mentally ill cannot always be held fully responsible for their actions and thus require protection from those who would use them, and that Christ did say that some were born eunuchs. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He knows who needs conviction of sin and who does not. I would not make a blanket statement that being transgender is sin, since the word does not really address the very human issues that are being covered up by a popular movement.

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  23. By the way, my anatomy and physiology professor in university pointed out that the Y chromosome is the sex identifying chromosome. Both men and women have X chromosomes, so the presence or the absence of a Y is what determines male or female. Obviously, those who have a mosaic condition, where some of their cells have only X chromosomes and some have Y chromosomes are unique, and not all such mosaic intersex develop so clearly into a male or female as the case I related above, others with the condition will have the internal organs of both men and women. But the condition is very rare and the other intersex conditions, where the appearance of the superficial genitals does not appear to match the chromosomes due to a hormone imbalance, still have the internal sex organs that match their actual chromosomes.

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  24. Roscuro – I agree with you that merely being transgender is not a sin in itself, which is why I asked that kind-of-but-kind-of-not rhetorical question. Some Christians see it as a sin in itself, but I see a lot of hurting people being deceived into embracing their dysfunction rather than dealing with it. Someone connected to my family (married to my niece) is a trans man. I love this woman, and pray for her salvation, deliverance, and healing (and the same for my niece).

    I also have a Facebook friend, in her 20s, who has recently decided she is a he, but was showing evidence of being mentally/emotionally unstable before that. She was with a much older trans woman (who sadly looks so much like the older-middle-aged man he is, trying to look like a girl) in a supposedly lesbian relationship. From their Facebook posts, you could see there was a lot of emotional, and immature, “drama” between the two of them, with break-ups and then getting back together again.

    Then, all of a sudden, she decided that she really is a trans man, and changed her name, and they got married, with her in an ill-fitting suit, but still with a more feminine hair style. But her body language in her photos, especially theirs together, screams that she is really a woman, and even feels like one but is trying to suppress it. (I wonder if her now “wife” pushed her, even subconsciously, into deciding to be a man.) My heart goes out to them, and I pray for both of them.

    My posts here have been more of a heart-cry of sadness, and even anger (at the Deceiver), than actually looking for answers. But still, it would be good to come across an article that critiques that study.

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  25. Kizzie, it is heartbreaking to watch people suffer because no one is willing to admit that they need help. My family church has a case of a couple with a son who began to come to the church. The man either was in the process of deciding to become a woman. The woman had told her husband that she would divorce him if he did so, because she had married a man and had no desire to live in a lesbian relationship. The man was told he was welcome to continue to attend church, but warned about taking communion (he did refrain) based on I Corinthians 11. He no longer attends, though at no point was he told to leave – he never became a member. The woman has been accepted as a member of the church upon her request. In all the tragedy, it has become pretty clear that the man has been emotionally abusive of his wife, that he still wanted to be considered the ‘head’ of the household even while changing genders, and that he did not care how his decision affected either his wife or his son, who became depressed to the point of contemplating suicide at one point. The son, who is an older teen, has recently said to his mother somewhat bitterly, when she asked his opinion about the LGBT movement, that the only people who were not given special consideration were those who didn’t practice alternative lifestyles. It has been horrible to watch the two of them suffer and we offer what emotional and practical support we can (the separation has been a real financial hardship to the mother and son). The Preacher was right and injustice is still being dealt to the powerless, and the powerful are still oblivious to how they are making people suffer. But, we can trust in the God who is just and will see right done, and pray for Him to make things right.

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  26. I’m late getting access to the internet today, but I think it’s kinda cool which of my bird photos happened to be up today: one (the pair of doves) from my old house (the back deck) and one (three tom turkeys) from my new hometown (out the back window of the friend who hosted my husband and me on several of our trips to come down and buy a place and fix it up).

    Unpacking getting done, but some things quite slowly. We are one part short of having a working bathroom sink, still waiting on toilets (though we did reinstall an old one), and can’t shower here till the tub has been caulked. But we have a temporary dining room table set up, some food in the house, and more unpacked. And we have met a lot of friendly neighbors.

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  27. Morning! Good to hear from you Cheryl and it sounds like quite the sweet adventure…. 😊
    Morning Chas….appears it is just us turkeys hanging about on this early morn!! πŸ™ƒ

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