84 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-8-18

  1. Good afternoon all. School is finished for the next five and one half weeks. Hooray. I will have ten days in Cairns, Australia if anyone wants to join me. My class list for next term keeps changing. Interesting…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So?
    All of us will show up in Carnes, Australia tomorrow.
    They are showing a guy in a C-47 on Fox and Friends.
    I operated radio on a C-47 several times when I was in Arabia. We flew to Asmara, Eretria. It was a chance to get out of Dhahran. .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some of those comics I didn’t get.
    What is this “Me too” business?’
    And if they take the bathing suit out of Miss America, what will they have left?
    There must be some sinister scheme behind this.

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  4. It makes me feel old when I hear a young guy on TV say,
    “Years ago, I went on this website………….”
    He can’t remember not having a computer.

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  5. That’s a fourteenth century fresco on the wall in St. Barbara’s Church in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. Tychicus probably knows it.

    #MeToo has to do with having been sexually harassed or worse in a woman’s lifetime.
    #ChurchToo, which just brought down the fall of Paige Patterson, is Christians agreeing it had happened in church as well.
    😦

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  6. Australia, all?

    Re #me-too — We had two California politicians, a congressman and an assemblyman I believe, Democrats, running this week who had child and under-age sexual molestation charges pending against them. I think they both won, of course, but will face runoffs in November.

    And there’s still a ‘Miss America’ contest? And still a ‘swimsuit’ segment? Who knew?

    Looks like Michelle got to see some fascinating church antiquities on her recent trip — thanks for sharing them.

    More than a year ago an antique furniture restorer — the guy who’d re-done my broken bed frame (after the bedroom ceiling replacement project crashed into it) and an 1800s bedroom cabinet from my maternal grandparents’ Iowa home — took a small trunk that belonged to an ancestor to re-do. I’ve texted him a few times since, wondering what the status is, several months ago he responded that it would be the next project he did. Still no word. So I texted him this morning and asked if maybe I can just come pick it up if it proved too difficult to work on as I really don’t want to lose track of it.

    Frustrating because he did such a good job on my other things. He doesn’t take money up front, only when it’s done and you pick it up, so that’s not the issue — I just want my trunk back and think more than a year is way too long to hold onto something like that. I assume it was either too difficult or it just kept getting shoved to the end of the line. Or there possibly is another explanation, he may have been ill or ?? If he doesn’t text back, I’ll start trying to call him.

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  7. QOD: What is your church doing to encourage Sunday School attendance, particularly for children.

    Despite excellent teachers and a good program, we’re shrinking and don’t know what to do. Looking for some advice.

    I posted the question on FB and got some good answers until someone at my church took over the post . . . sigh. If only we could learn to listen.

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  8. After working from home Tuesday through Thursday, I need to get back into the office today. Working from home is nice and our new editor is very open to our doing that, which is great. There are so few people in our newsroom anymore it’s pretty lonely there. Even the new editor now works out of the Long Beach office 95% of the time. Strange days. Things have changed dramatically in just the past couple of months.

    Ran into our former executive editor yesterday who is now a spokesman for the port (so we’re still regularly in touch for news issues), but I hadn’t seen him in a few months and was surprised to see he’s turned completely gray under the yarmulke (Orthodox Jewish). He now has 3 grandkids, one in LA (but soon moving to Israel), another in NY and another somewhere on the east coast, can’t remember where precisely, with a 4th on the way. His wife still works for us as a designer but she’s in one of our far northeasterly LA newsrooms so I haven’t seen her in ages.

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  9. Another celebrity suicide, Anthony Bourdain. What is going on? Where are we as a population? I know there are hundreds, maybe thousands of suicides every day, but these two were in the public eye, so it does draw attention to the problem.

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  10. Michelle- Get the parents to come and encourage them to bring the children. Also, keep the lessons focused on God without boring them, but at the same time without overstimulating with entertainment. It’s not easy, but children do need to hear the plain Gospel, not a dumbed-down version.

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  11. I’d go to Australia. I’ve always been intrigued by the land down under, with its weird animals and reversed climate. The dryness of the winter months might be good for my asthma.

    Michelle, the city church has lots of families with young children, so the Sunday School is booming. They hold the Sunday School during the church service, so that may make it more convenient for parents – in my childhood, our Sunday School was in the hour before church, which meant that parents had to get their children ready and out the door all the earlier. The city church also makes the children going to Sunday School a regular part of the service – after the singing that starts the service, the children are called by the pastor who presides over the Sunday School to the front of the church, they are talked to about what they are learning and about what we are doing in the service, and prayed for, and then they go to class. So, it isn’t a matter of the children being shuffled off to classrooms so they can be got out of the way, their presence in the church is underscored weekly. Also, the church has policies in place for the children’s protection, which may encourage parents to trust their children with the teachers.

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  12. Anthony Bourdain, that’s so sad. I didn’t watch him but was familiar with him if only through all the promos CNN ran about his show. Very sorry to hear that. The other celebrity suicide this week, of course, was Kate Spade in news that broke just yesterday(?).

    I read a piece recently on Robin Williams’ final year or so and it was sad to see how he was struggling.

    Overall, are suicides actually up? I wonder if it’s part of a culture so accepting of death — first with abortion and now, maybe even more chilling in some respects, euthanasia. It’s all widely accepted and related to the notion that our lives are our own to take or keep.

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  13. We also have many young (and large) families so I’m not sure SS attendance is an issue (but I really don’t know). Our children stay for the entire service (my former church did what roscuro’s does, calls the children to the front for a short lesson and then they’re dismissed from the larger service). The SS, for both children and adults, then is held afterward.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. They are talking of starting a SS in our church but we have let them know our children will not be attending. Children learn a lot from sitting through the service. Even if it is just how to sit quietly for an hour. That is not expected in the schools anymore so they could at least get practice once a week for an hour. But even my twelve year old, sitting sideways staring at people, picks up an amazing amount of the sermon and always has.

    Perhaps we could help by letting people know children can do that.

    But Sunday Schools and other opportunities to teach the Truth are good. They can be very powerful in getting the Word into the mind, it is up to the Spirit to get It into the heart.

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  15. I personally think that a Sunday School program is unnecessary for children after around age twelve. I joined the adult Sunday School at that age, and got a lot more out of it. By the time, I was eleven, it felt like I had heard all the stories about 10 times over and I wasn’t getting anything new out of them. I mean, stories about Old Testament heroes were exciting in the way any good story is exciting (the last Sunday School series I remember doing was on the Judges), but I wasn’t sure what exactly the stories were supposed to be teaching me about how to be a Christian. In the adult Sunday School, I got to hear about doctrine and theology and began to be able to see those stories as part of a larger pattern. At age twelve, puberty is starting, so the child’s brain is starting to make new connections, and it is a perfect time to help them think about spiritual things as an adult.

    Talking about the Sunday School stories, there is one flaw that I see often repeated in the curriculum for children. That is, they make the stories about people in the Bible very moralistic and prescriptive of what we should do. As an adult, I have realized that much of what was said to be prescriptive about Bible stories in my childhood is actually merely descriptive. We were cleaning out some old Sunday School material in the family church a couple of years ago, and we were reading the material. One was a story about King David and it related the times he obeyed God and was kind to people. It concluded that King David was always obedient and kind and basically we should be too. Now, you can only get away with teaching that kind of moralistic pablum to a child who hadn’t read the Biblical account of David’s life, because David was far from being kind all the time and he more than once had to pay severe consequences for being grossly disobedient to God. Portraying the people in the Bible as either heroes to be imitated or villains to be excoriated may be easier to do, but ultimately that child will grow up and think what you taught was utter nonsense, because there is only one Person in the Bible who is truly heroic. All the rest are fatally flawed.

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  16. OK I have to ask a question about the fresco……

    What’s the deal with the bunny with a piece of pizza in it’s mouth at the foot of the cross? I don’t recall the bunny in any of the accounts of Christ’s crucifixion.

    Yet when I look at the fresco…. there’s clearly a bunny with a piece of pizza in his mouth…. 🙂

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  17. AJ, looked like a bunny to me, too, but I thought ‘nah’

    Glad I’m not the only one. I did miss the piece of pizza, though. Good catch.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I am highly in favor of Sunday School. I taught adults for many years.
    Chuck was brought up attending SS, and so were his children.
    Most young people trust Christ through SS influence.
    It’s a place where you study the Bible. No mater how good the preacher is, you don’t learn the Bible from him.
    You get to ask questions about things you doubt, and no one hollers at you.
    Boys get to meet girls there, and girls get met there.
    You learn to interact with others.
    Even, especially, as adults, SS is important in Spiritual growth.

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  19. I am highly in favor of parents taking their children with them to adult Sunday School and then making certain the children behave but can ask and answer questions politely and with reason.

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  20. The Real, it does look like a bunny doesn’t it. The picture is too pixilated to see just what it is clearly, but my guess is that it could be a skull, perhaps a double symbol of both the place where Christ was crucified – Golgotha, the place of a skull – and his victory over death.

    If it is a rabbit, which is doubtful, then the hare and rabbit were used in Christian art from the time of the early church to symbolize the hope of the resurrection:

    In order to understand how and why the rabbit became associated with Easter we have to go back to ancient Mesopotamia and Syria. Three thousand years ago, the hare symbolized death and rebirth to these ancient people. Over time the associations made with hares shifted to rabbits because they have many of the same characteristics.

    This association with death and rebirth may be why rabbits were depicted on gravestones in the Greco-Roman world. Early Christians appropriated the rabbit as a symbol on their gravestones as well. As you can see, there has been a longstanding connection of hares and rabbits with death and rebirth—or in the Christian sense, resurrection.
    (https://www.exploregod.com/the-easter-bunny-and-jesus)

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  21. In my experience of the past twenty years, quite limited, children’s SS and youth groups are good places for children to learn about the latest se.. behaviors and other unhelpful behaviors and actions and ideas.

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  22. Morning! I taught SS at our former church. Fourth graders can be very inquisitive! The challenging aspect of teaching them however was that they had just been released from children’s church….over stimulation of loud jumping up and down “worship” music, shouting, candy, prizes…. 😞
    We no longer have small children and I am uncertain as to how our current church conducts their SS. I do know they are having a week long summer event for children, complete with rock climbing walls, bouncy houses, archery, zip lines, extreme sports type of activities….whatever happened to felt board illustrations and homemade snow globes in baby food jars during VBS?? (And our snacks were graham crackers with milk!)

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  23. I enjoyed teaching Sunday School and VBS for years. But I do not have the energy required for it now. I tried teaching tennis for a few years here, but that was hopeless too as they believed they should all be on the court hitting balls everywhere at the same time and that is how it goes in the school. Can’t fight that. There were a few who were actually there to learn and they were a lot of fun and did well. But it is too dangerous on the tennis court with balls flying everywhere.

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  24. I knew you had started the treatment. Did you have the bull’s eye rash or is that no longer an indicator. Twenty plus years ago, one of my children had the rash but they tested him and he did not have the disease. Did not start him on the protocol and he has shown no symptoms since.

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  25. Michelle, I think that in order to have children coming to Sunday School there needs to be a good program for their parents (ie. adult sunday school that meets different parental needs)

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  26. Mumsee, no, I didn’t have a rash. The rash appears in about 75% of cases, which is not a high enough percentage to rule out the cases where someone knows they were bitten by a tick and have other symptoms of Lyme’s, but do not have a rash. There are also other insect bites that can cause a similar rash, like some spiders. I developed a minor skin infection around where the tick bite was, as some of the tick remained in the skin when I tried to pull it out, so if nothing else, the doxycycline should help clear that up.

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  27. Lynn Vincent had undiagnosed Lyme’s and it took her down for quite some time. Our Jehovah Witness in Uriah all came down with it– youngest child developed rickets, thought to be from the Lyme’s.

    So people I know have suffered, I don’t like to go hiking anymore, just in case. 😦

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  28. Rickets. That doesn’t sound like something you’d want to get.

    Chas: No mater how good the preacher is, you don’t learn the Bible from him. — I guess we’re blessed in our church, our pastor is an amazing, excellent teacher (and preacher) of the Word. (But I’ve had pastors who weren’t so much; part of it I think is our denomination which places so much emphasis on the study of Scripture and our pastor spends a good deal of time in study all week; he says that’s what ‘we pay him’ to do.) Our adult SS is Q & A with our pastor (or with the guest preacher, if he’s gone).

    The furniture guy responded, said he’s “working on it now” and it should be ready in 1 week. Haha. Got him going at least, that’s all I wanted. Having it for more than a year seemed excessive to me — there was certainly no deadline or time limit on when I “needed” it — I don’t need it — but I presumed it should be done within a few months, 6 months tops? It was probably something he kept pushing to the back of the line as more urgent jobs came in.

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  29. Michelle, what really unnerved me was that I had only been outside briefly, and not beyond the outbuildings that are on the edge of the forest in my parents’ backyard. In my childhood, teens, and even early twenties, we hiked for hours in the forest and swamps that form the centre of the block that my parents live on, and we often followed the winding deer trails that are visible in the curly moss beneath the cedar and birch trees. Never once did we find a tick on us after returning from those long walks. Plenty of burrs and mosquito bites, but not ticks. Ticks were not a problem, much less Lyme’s disease. In the past decade, there have been increasing advisories about ticks and Lyme’s in our area, but this is the first year that we have found ticks on our property. Second is concerned, because she feels she won’t be able to let her little ones roam the way we used to.

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  30. My mother had rickets as a child. It is a softening of the bones due to lack of calcium. She was a post-war baby, and milk was expensive. Lack of vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium, will also cause rickets, hence the reason that children in northern climates used to be given cod liver oil in the winter. But a parasite – and the rickettsia that causes Lyme’s essentially acts as a parasite (unlike other bacteria, which attack the body’s cells from the outside, rickettsia live inside the body cells, similar to a virus or the plasmodium which causes malaria) – can suck the nutrients out of a child’s body, leaving them open to all sorts of malnourished conditions.

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  31. Ticks have carried diseases though, for a long time. Husband’s friend’s dad died of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever over forty years ago.

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  32. My children are outside most of the time and so far, no problems. But I do try to keep the grass mowed in the house area so we can see the snakes.

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  33. Mumsee, yes, tick have carried diseases for a long time, and for a long time people have died as a result of those diseases. Yet another reason that the mortality rate was higher and the lifespan was shorter in years gone by. But where we lived was a rare combination. Malaria, which at one time used to be the scourge of swampy and damp regions such as the one around my parents’ place, had long been eliminated through spraying, and Lyme’s also was not a problem. Our cold winters keep any kind of insect limited, so if an insect carrying a disease like malaria is eliminated once, it doesn’t have much of a chance of resurgence (I’m summarizing what a public health official once told me). That has changed, and just why is not really clear. Of course, some might attribute it to climate change, but when I compare our winters and summer now to the ones I remember as a child, I do not think it has really changed enough to trigger such a change in disease rates. We have had a couple of very cold winters and yet only now are we seeing ticks in our backyard. I think it is probably more likely that increased travel has been what has brought the tick and the disease to us. Travel & accompanying trade has brought other scourges to the forest itself, like Dutch elm disease, the emerald ash bore which has already nearly obliterated the ash in our forest, and now a third destroyer of our deciduous trees, the Asian longhorn beetle.

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  34. I put it down to the earth groaning from the impact of sin breaking the relationship and death entering in.

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  35. That is the ultimate cause, of course, Mumsee. But sin is also the cause of disease, and we do not, when confronted with a new disease, simply say, well, this is because of the Fall and leave it at that. No, we look for what is causing the disease, how it spreads, and how it can be treated. The earth does groan like a labouring woman because of the Fall, but that doesn’t mean we should try to alleviate the earth’s condition, any more than we should deny midwifery and medical care to a labouring woman because childbirth was also cursed by the Fall.

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  36. Roscuro, we are called to be caretakers so it makes no sense to leave it to its own devices. But if one is looking for the problem, that is it. How we can caretake best must go from there.

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  37. We are just back from our PE bike ride around the block. I suspect my sweat is contributing to global warming. I did not use gasoline so that is good. The rubber on the tires made the ride smooth but not so good on the environment. So, for me it is a win situation. For the earth, maybe not so much. Will we do it again? Probably.

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  38. Mumsee, it was before atomic energy, but in college physics when I was in school, we were taught that energy is neither created nor destroyed. That is, it is transformed from one form to another.
    Reminds me of an incident I encountered many years ago. They (not me) were burning some brush. Someone commented about them adding heat to the atmosphere. I said, it doesn’t matter, the same amount of heat is emitted. If the brush rots on the ground, it emits the same amount of heat, it just takes all summer to do it.

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  39. https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/what-christ-wants-you-to-know-above-everything
    ___________________________

    Recently, while preparing to teach on John 17 at church, I considered this question, “How would Jesus teach this passage to these people?” I considered how he might explain, illustrate, and apply the points I had prepared and the thought hit me, Jesus would want everybody to know how much he loves them.

    I’m convinced many, if not all, of us suffer because our understanding of Jesus’ love falls short. Maybe we struggle with sin and assume Jesus is angry with us. We go through a difficult season and assume Jesus is punishing us. We see a bleak future on the horizon and assume Jesus has given up on us. Through the ups and downs of life, our confidence in Jesus’ love for us personally can seem to be under constant attack.

    But this is far from the truth clearly taught in God’s Word. The Bible describes the love of God demonstrated in the sending of Christ, the life and death of Christ, and the blessed hope of his soon return (Titus 2:13). …
    ________________________________

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  40. Kizzie, when I killed the snakes in my house in West Africa, I decapitated them, which, according to the villagers, was the only way to ensure they were dead. They twitched for a long time afterwards, and the jaws kept opening and closing. That is how I knew I had killed mambas, because as their jaw convulsively opened and closed, I could clearly see the black on the inside of the mouth which is the hallmark of a mamba. When I went to sweep them on to a dustpan to get rid of them, just touching them with the brush would make them twitch again. I took the third one I killed to show some of the team, and some of our employees also saw it, and confirmed it was a very poisonous snake. I remember a team member poked at the body with her hand, and one of the employees said sharply not to do that, as it was still dangerous.

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  41. I don’t remember what the laws are, but I remember the facts.
    I tried Phos’ link but didn’t understand it and had to back all the way out to get rid of it.

    Donna, in seminary, they drilled into us: “Preaching is for decision”. Every time you preach, you want them to decide something.
    Our pastor in H’ville did have Wednesday nights for teaching sessions. He devoted the first 30 minutes to “Rabbit Chasing”. He would take questions submitted in writing and deal with those issues.

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  42. I agree that children should be in the main service with their parents. Those churches that pull the children out for SS or Children’s church may be doing them a disservice.

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  43. I told you a long time ago that a boy had to be medivaced out because he was disposing of the head of a rattler, tripped, and it brushed against his skin. His parents cleaned and nurtured it but did not realize the venom was there. His arm swelled and he ended up going to Seattle for treatment. Never mess with the head of a venomous snake. They still hold venom and the muscles still react. Ick. We are told to burn them in a very hot fire so nobody steps where they were buried and still gets poisoned.

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  44. Well, I am glad you did not miss it. Though once I turn sixty one in September, you may never see it again.

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  45. Chas, that is a huge, huge difference in the preaching of a Baptist and a Calvinist. The Baptist preaches “for decision” (with some Baptists preaching nearly exclusively to the unbeliever who might happen to be present), and Reformed / Calvinist pastors preach to showcase the goodness of God in Christ and lead believers to worship.

    A preaching focus on “law” (“you should do this; you must do that”) without the Gospel (Christ has done it all) is wearisome to me now, and my husband and I were very deliberate in finding a Gospel-centered church.

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  46. I am not going to Cairns until the 22nd of June, so there is still time for you all to come. Roscuro, there is room in my room for you. But, winter in Cairns you need to think rain forest.

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  47. Sunday School: Our church has very full Sunday school classes, but!!! We have two church services and the children’s Sunday school is during the first one. That service is very full and the children are all in Sunday school. Then they go home with the children never being exposed to church. The adult classes we have all seem to be for us older ones. The younger generation have home Bible studies, which is fine, I would just like to see the children in church.

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  48. Our Baptist church has preachers that are there to equip the saints. This interim guy is going through Colossians and it has been very encouraging. They also invite anybody who is not a believer to come forward and talk with the believers.

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  49. I’m home!

    I wrote an obituary today, someone I’ve known for years in the community. Sometimes that’s hard and I’ve written many obituaries for community members I’ve known, but it’s also a privilege, I realize.

    They do kind of exhaust me, though.

    I have a couple of those candles (in pales) burning here in the patio that are supposed to keep mosquitoes away.

    We have rattlesnakes on the peninsula which is a deterrent to dog walking there in the summer, as beautiful as it is. Someone I knew seriously thought the city needed to do a spay and neuter program for them.

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  50. I’ll admit the comment about preaching for a decision took me aback, but yes — while reformed preaching covers the law and the gospel
    ( and so can prick the hearts of unbelievers), Sunday morning preaching is to admonish and encourage the saints very specifically

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  51. Exhort is probably a more fitting word than admonish, though sometimes both are appropriate — we silently confess our sins and the pardon is pronounced before the sermon

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