35 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-28-18

  1. A belated bonne anniversaire to Cheryl.

    I have been busy unpacking & fitting myself into my room, with ample breaks of being with my family. Tiny Niece makes frequent requests to: read to her, be allowed to play with my dollhouse, hear me play the violin or piano, etc. The dollhouse has so far been unavailable, as it has been surrounded by things being unpacked, but she plead very hard that it be cleared yesterday, and I have now accomplished that.

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  2. Morning! Oh that header “I think I can I think I can”….that is determination right there!! 😊
    As my Mother would say “it is hotter than blue blazes” around these parts! Today’s high is to be 100. And we thought yesterday’s 96 was bad!! 🙃 we are not accustomed to these temps!
    Busy day again today and I am looking forward to the weekend of not rushing about.
    Roscuro your description of little niece hovering about you brings a smile. Aunties can be such fun mates! 😊

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  3. DJ, on the SCOTUS judge appointment you mentioned from yesterday, the erstwhile Conservative federal government of Canada had appointed the current majority of the judges on the bench of Canada’s Supreme Court. It is this panel of majority Conservative-appointed judges that declared assisted dying was a human right, and recently handed down a decision saying that the law school of a Christian university, Trinity Western University, could be denied accreditation by two separate provincial law societies because the university’s code of conduct, which mandated that its students affirm that sexual activity was confined to marriage between one man and one woman was, in the law societies’ opinion, discriminatory: https://world.wng.org/content/canadian_high_court_rules_against_christian_law_school. The verse that came to my mind as I woke up the morning after Canada’s last federal election, when the Conservatives were defeated and the Liberals came to power, was Psalm 146:3, “Put not your trust in princes… in whom there is no help.” That verse not only applies to the current Liberal government, but also the former Conservative one, which, despite the claims of the former Prime Minister to be a Christian, really was no help to Christian convictions. I have some personal risk in my profession, as a result of decisions by both the Conservative-appointed Supreme Court and the current Liberal federal government, as neither have shown themselves friendly to those with strong convictions about the sanctity of all human life, but when I focus on the Lord, I do not fear that risk.

    I have read the Canadian judges’ decision regarding the Christian university, and I actually can see their point. One of the judges pointed out that if the university student body was confined to Christians, they would have some reason for their code of conduct, but observed that the university deliberately admits non-Christian students, making their code discriminatory. I have had doubts for a while about Christian schools’ strict codes of conducts, for the simple reason we were not commissioned by Christ to build schools to make disciples, but to plant churches. I have a paper with some statistics about Christianity, and one of the sets of figures concerns me in that regard. In 1970, the worldwide income of churches was about 50 billion, while parachurch organizations & institutions (i.e. Christian schools, apologetics organizations, etc.) made about 30 billion, and mission income was 3 billion. By the year 2000, parachurch organizations & institutions (income 190 billion) made 60 billion more than churches (income 130 billion), with mission only making 18 billion. In just 17 years, that difference ballooned to nearly 200 billion, as in 2017, parachurch organizations & institutions made 540 billion, while churches made 360 billion, with missions only receiving 53 billion (Source: World Christian database, http://www.worldchristiandatabase.org). That is a significant difference and shows just where Christians are focusing their priorities, and it is not on the Church.

    The Church is supposed to be the central hub of Christianity and all that we do as Christians in the service of Christ is supposed to grow out of the Church. When there are scandals about parachurch organizations such as ATI or Bob Jones University or Ravi Zacharias’ apologetics organization, it really should not be surprising. Such parachurch organizations frequently have no oversight from a local church, and thus are not held responsible through fenced communion and church discipline for moral failures – such moral failures are not just sexual in nature, as Paul lists other sins requiring church discipline in I Corinthians 5:11. I am beginning to think that decisions such as the one Canada’s Supreme Court made about Trinity Western University are actually God’s way of disciplining his people, reminding them that using the world’s methods to populate the church is not His will, as the Holy Spirit goes where He wills (John 3:5-8). Sometimes, I think that the proliferation of parachurch organizations, e.g. the ADF or the ACLJ, is a sign of Christians’ determination to force God’s hand to do what they want Him to do, which is primarily guaranteeing their continuing freedom of religion in the West. But God never promised that our faith would be safe. In fact, Christ said that to follow Him was distinctly unsafe (John 15:18-16:4). Religious freedom has been a gift which should be used in the service of the Great Commission. Christians have instead squandered it in the proliferation of parachurch organizations that all too often do not focus on honouring the name of Christ. After all, how can they, when that is the purpose of the Church?

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  4. Oh look! Squirrel!
    Or Tree Rat. You decide.
    My friend lives in a very posh neighborhood in Richmond. Her next door neighbor kills them and actually eats them. I think it’s funny this is happening under some rather snooty noses.

    I posted something late last night on the other thread. From that photo you can understand why I was so upset with BG in May.

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  5. Squirrel!

    I want to mow the lawn this morning, as it is the last chance before it gets too hot. Plus we leave Saturday for a trip, so I won’t get another chance until two weeks from now. The problem is, it rained last night and has been threatening all day with distant thunder. Can’t mow a wet lawn or in a thunderstorm. :sigh:

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  6. I just got back, hot and sweaty Peter.
    My problem is, I’m getting too old. Don’t have the energy anymore. But K keep on just to keep on.
    Can’t give up.
    Chuck & Linda and the guy across the street wish I would hire him .
    It ain’t the money. It’s that I need to keep doing it.

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  7. That is what my dad does. He has daughter there and she could do it for him, but he likes to and needs to get out and do it.

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  8. I love the dentist. I lay in the chair looking at the poster on the ceiling and reflect on how much wealthier and more cherished I am than King Tut.

    He had terrible teeth.

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  9. Yeah, we could all have wooden teeth! I’m overdue for my cleaning, I canceled last time and they were supposed to put me on the stand-by list but I never heard back from them (and I made the mistake, as did they, of not at least re-scheduling a real appointment in the meantime).

    A couple squirrels, this is one of them, make my dogs crazy by running up and down the power pole and then across the line (once I actually did see a rat up there!). My neighbor has a lot of fruit trees so I think they find some goodies over there which makes our back corner hub such a popular hangout for them.

    Oooh, the worker took off the screen door yesterday (to prep the front door for painting) and the house looks so cute without it. The door matches my long casement windows, with the narrow wood grid running along the margins, all original woodwork and glass. It really is a big improvement. I see that Michelle sent me a Home Depot sale notice for the retractable screen doors. I kind of wish they had those for my windows. Screen shopping will probably happen after the painting is done.

    Roscuro, no worries, I’ve long since left my trust in princes and government behind. My interest in this latest turn of events is very much as an “outsider looking in” watching the unfolding game of politics (I’ve said this before, but in the U.S. politics is something of a national pastime; kind of like baseball). I truly have few (if any) dogs in the race anymore when it comes to our political landscape. Not that I don’t think it’s important, it is. And a good government (or as good as we can hope to get in this fallen world with fallen people) can make a big difference in the lives of the people. We always should be striving for that. But when the culture is so fractured, government tends merely to reflect that, it can accomplish little else with the people in an uproar and continually warring among themselves as we are today.

    It mostly just grieves me that our nation is so divided, more so than I can remember in my lifetime (other than perhaps in the late 1960s, early 1970s?) — in that sense, no kind of appointment can ever “fix” that mess we find ourselves in.

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  10. Which is why I’ve sometimes thought libertarianism may be the best we can do in this kind of climate and fractured cultural environment. Unfortunately, it also provides a formal framework for every man to do what is right in his own eyes. But since no one seems to be able to agree on a consensus of “what is right” …

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  11. DJ, a people without self-control need external control or you have chaos. I don’t see libertarianism working; I see a real police state a more likely future.

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  12. DJ @11:34, in the 1958 John Ford film, ‘The Last Hurrah’, the main character, played by Spencer Tracy, asks a sports reporter, “What is the biggest spectator sport in America?” He then answers his own question, “It’s politics.” In Charles Dickens’ American Notes, he observes, in his account of traveling on a New England train in 1942:
    “Politics are much discussed, so are banks, so is cotton. Quiet people avoid the question of the Presidency, for there will be a new election in three years and a half, and party feeling runs very high: the great constitutional feature of this institution being, that directly the acrimony of the last election is over, the acrimony of the next one begins; which is an unspeakable comfort to all strong politicians and true lover of their country: that is to say, to ninety-nine men and boys out of every ninety-nine and a quarter.”
    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? As my father always says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

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  13. Cheryl, and not even a common cultural agreement anymore on what the right or moral mark is to reach for with our behavior.

    Pure libertarianism doesn’t function well with real human beings, I’m afraid.

    One of the more worrisome cultural shifts has been in the popularity of assisted suicide. It has gained rather broad acceptance fairly quickly, which I suppose is most consistent with an atheist view point.

    Strange morning, we’ve had a young woman missing for a few days, last seen hiking at the bottom of the cliffs where I often take my dogs — some of her belongings were found there but then this morning a body washed up. I literally followed the coroner’s van down the hill. Thankfully, our crime reporter was able to drive in from Long Beach to relieve me, the family was expected to arrive shortly.

    While we were waiting earlier, the local mammal care center arrived to release 2 recovered sea lions back into the ocean. So you had a group of people with that expedition who were laughing and taking videos (and a few surfers in the ocean right there, too) while just down the trail from that, the white tent set up on the shoreline with the coroner’s van parked alongside it. 😦 😦

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  14. I see California has a new problem. With the legalization of marijuana comes marijuana growers, which they have always had. Now they must acknowledge that the marijuana growers are endangering the spotted owls and the humboldt martens. Oh what a tangled web we weave….

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  15. Donna, make California it’s own country.
    Seriously? That’s what we should do with Porto Rico. And Hawaii should also have been it’s own country.
    Not Alaska, we bought it, fair.

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  16. We’ve always had the problem with the poor, impoverished, good-for-the-common man, mom and pop marijuana growers. They’ve been siphoning water out of the rivers we specifically rejuvenated (at great financial lost to lumbermen and farmers) for the wild salmon.

    Somehow, though, no one seems to remember that . . .

    California–some of us are called to be ministers of the Gospel here. Please don’t make it harder on us. Prayer would be good. It can be difficult to live here.

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  17. And with the marijuana comes lots of violence–including, inexplicitly, people who fly from Virginia to break into homes, kill people and steal their marijuana. I ask you, wouldn’t it have been simpler and cheaper to stop in Colorado instead? 😦

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  18. When I was home, I kept hearing about all of the marijuana growers in the woods. Made me glad that I bought in a neighborhood with security guards, etc. Living in the beautiful woods is no longer very appealing.

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  19. My student made it to London fine, her mom wrote me today. Thanks for the prayers.

    N’s mom also sent me a short video (not the one I’m posting) of part of a piece N and her group played in their kickoff concert before leaving the States. I love this piece — Also Sprach Zarathustra — and especially this part, the Sunrise theme.

    It starts out extremely quietly at a very low pitch, but beware of turning up your speaker volume, thinking they’re not working — I don’t want you to get a blast to the ears partway into the music… !

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  20. Marijuana is officially legalized in Canada now. It is supposed to be regulated. We shall see what happens. Tobacco and alcohol have been successfully regulated, but there is a very lucrative illegal industry that will be reluctant to see its profits dwindle.

    6, I believe Also Spach Zarathustra is the theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey – never seen the film, but heard the ‘theme’ of the film more than once and recognize it as Richard Strauss’ piece. Strauss’ title is from Friedrich Nietzsche’s book of the same title.

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  21. Roscuro, yes, I think that’s the movie it’s featured in, though I haven’t seen it, either.

    The Sunrise excerpt from Also Sprach Zarathustra was one of the pieces featured in a listening contest I enrolled my public school music students in one year. There were ten pieces they had to identify, and there was also a round where they heard other pieces not on the list and had to determine whether they were Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Contemporary.

    Two of the other pieces on the list that year were Fanfare for the Common Man and the finale from The Firebird Suite.

    Great music, all of it.

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  22. What is with the fires, Nancyjill? Son and dil have property on wagon creek ranch or thereabouts. They think it is burning soon, though nothing for them is in danger but the trees.

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