52 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-3-18

  1. Evening, Chas.
    It seems we are having a cold spell. It was foggy and misty this evening. I hope it is somewhat clear tomorrow as we are all planning on having a bbq picnic to celebrate the 4th.
    It is 58 degrees and the temperature is going down.
    By the way, that is the inside temperature. We have no heat of any kind.

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  2. in two hrs, 15 minutes, it will be the Fourth in PNG. But they won’t care.
    It’s 75 degrees in Greensboro and going up.


  3. Morning! That is a beautiful bird! What kind of bird might he be?
    It is 60 degrees and going up. The smell of smoke is in the air and we continue to pray for rain. What a dry parched land in which we find ourselves these days. Firefighters are amongst some of the most heroic we know around here. May our Lord keep them safe as they fight back the flames….

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  4. Last night my friend L’s husband (L died from a long battle with cancer in February) hosted us for the “hotel’s” fireworks. It was different. We were told a time to be there – 6pm. It wasn’t the just show up event it has been in the past.
    I had met this woman in the past, but last night I met her as his new interest. I wanted to dislike her. I really did. The problem is that I didn’t. A week or so ago she posted on FB a picture of pear salad. (You know canned pears on lettuce leaves with mayo, a marachino cherry and grated cheddar cheese). I commented that I really wished someone would make it for me—so when I got there last night, I got her off to the side and told her this was awkward for me. I told her I had been used to coming in and taking over the kitchen, and I didn’t want to step on her toes. She smiled and told me she made something for me. She opened the refrigerator and pulled out Pear Salad!!!! With bribery like that, what was I to do? She seems to be making him happy. She is the polar opposite of L.
    It still seems soon, but L was sick a long time and I wasn’t privy to the conversations they may have had. For all I know he may have had her full blessing to move on to this. I know she adored him as well as loved him and she would want him to be happy.

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  5. It was actually comfortable sleeping last night. The weather is supposed to get very hot and humid again, but for now we are enjoying the respite.
    Whether the weather is cold
    Or whether the weather is hot
    Whether the weather is fine
    Or whether the weather is not
    We’ll weather the weather
    Whatever the weather
    Whether we like it or not


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  6. Someone told us when my father found a girlfriend six weeks after my mother’s death that a man who had a good marriage wants to be back in a good marriage as soon as possible.

    That pacified a little bit, but for us, the family, it was way too soon. Our grief was profound but we also had distractions.

    My father’s grief disabled him in a lot of ways, but he refused to deal with it, shrugging, “I’ll get over it, I always do.”

    I turned on him when he said that to me at the airport, dropping me off following the funeral. “I’ll never get over it. How will you?”

    He moved on, sort of. It wasn’t fair to Phyllis whom we later could see as a lovely woman doing the best she could in a difficult situation with a demanding man. He ultimately ruined that relationship and we all felt bad later for what we did in resenting her.

    So, I guess I’m saying that while it didn’t work for my father, it did work for a friend’s father to remarry within a year. His marriage to the second wife actually went long than to his first and his grandchildren only knew the second wife as grandma. When it didn’t sting my friend, it helped her accept the step-mother.

    Emotions are complicated. I’m sure the new interest realizes how awkward it all is, but L’s husband is a catch–even I can see that through FB. As I’m sure you know, the first rebound doesn’t always hold, but sometimes it does and brings a grieving into life again.


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  7. Kim, the senior pastor of the city church who lost his wife last spring to cancer is not only retiring, he is also marrying again. He said that his wife used to tell him that he was not the type who could live alone, and he always used to think that was nonsense, of course he could live alone. He said sheepishly, when he announced his approaching marriage, that his wife had been right about him. Apparently, he had met through school and even dated for a time the woman he is now marrying before he met and married his wife. When he went to visit family and friends after his wife’s death, there was a reunion of classmates, and his future wife was among them. She had never married. They got reacquainted, kept communicating, and the rest is history. He made sure his adult children all accepted her before announcing to the church his planned remarriage. He still chokes up when he talks of the wife he lost, and says he thinks he will always mourn her, but he also recognizes that we do not stop living after losing a loved one to death. He obviously loves his future wife. I think, having seen several widows or widowers remarry, when one marries again after losing a beloved spouse, the love the person has for the second spouse is different than the first. The love is not any lesser or greater, merely different, so that the love for the first spouse never really wanes. The remarrying widow or widower is not replacing their lost love, but only moving into another love.

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  8. Kim, it’s likely it is “too soon.” Widowed men often do that–they cannot stand being “alone” and they panic and marry the first interested woman. I know a widower who married and moved into his new wife’s home (in a different city) and had his father move into his own house, all three or four months after the death of his first wife. It was scorchingly soon, and never getting to meet his new wife I didn’t even have the chance to form an impression of her. (The first couple attended my church; he brought his new girlfriend just once before they married, and I was out of town.) It really felt like running away, and I wasn’t even sure how any woman in her right mind would accept marriage under those circumstances. But it was their choice to make.

    My brother remarried too soon, too, though it was a bit over a year in his case, and his first wife had battled cancer for four years. But he wasn’t finished with active grief, and he ended up getting “stuck” in active grief years after he remarried. My sister lost her husband more than two years after he had remarried, nearly four years after he had lost his first wife, and he told my sister that week that the grief doesn’t get easier over time, but harder–which horrified her for his new wife’s sake.

    Anyway, they are adults and may not need or want your advice, but if you can encourage them somehow that it isn’t a race and they should take their time . . .

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  9. The header: a male Baltimore oriole in one of our trees up north. It is likely the orioles ended up nesting in one of our cottonwoods; we moved soon after they arrived, but it was a good place for oriole nests and they had hung around several days when we moved. (I had only seen a nest in those trees once, and it was before I had a camera with a long zoom and those birds do nest high. But my husband had seen a different nest a few years earlier, and a year or two after the nest I saw, I knew they had nested but I never could see the nest until it fell down during the winter.)

    I was actually disappointed in that regard to be leaving and missing oriole nesting season. There are trade-offs in every move, every change. In that one, we needed and wanted to move, and we are simply thrilled to be past yard care (an acre was a lot to mow but way too much to edge and do fence repair), to be much closer to our new church and to shopping, to be in an area with 40% of the snow we got up there, etc. But we had a beautiful yard full of cottonwood trees on one side, a catalpa tree, sycamores, a blue spruce, and several other trees. Next door we had an apple orchard. They combined to bring us many birds, and behind our yard we had a farm field, and in it additional wildlife. We saw sunsets over that field every evening. And I could take long walks down the street, past more farm fields, and see wildflowers and butterflies, and even muskrats and an occasional glimpse of a mink.

    The last week in that house, this oriole showed up several times, giving me more chances to photograph him than any oriole had ever given me. He isn’t as bright orange as some male orioles, but who can criticize an oriole for that? The orchard next door burst into blossom, too, and I guiltily took breaks from packing to go stand and take some photos of warblers among the apple blossoms, my last season to be able to do that.

    Here we are close to a walking trail, and we are (I think) walking distance from a neighborhood park–having not actually driven down the street on one side of our condos, I’m not sure how far the park is, but I’ve seen signs for it. We are also very close to two lovely state parks, a beautiful state forest, waterfalls, even some lakes–but we haven’t had much chance to get out yet. We have settled into our church and have delighted in how close we are to “everything” (1/5 our old distance from church, about 1/3 the distance from shopping), but I will be happy when we get more chances to explore the beauty that was part of the reason for our move. (This week I will get some chances to go out. Last year I planned to get out again after our visit to the state park, but when I hurt my knee I decided it was safer not to do so until I was sure I hadn’t actually injured it. But I ended up “inside” practically the entire month of June, my favorite month, and that isn’t really good.) We will eventually be able to explore every bit as much beauty as we had at hand, and more variety in it–in general southern Indiana is prettier than northern Indiana–but I did love the birds and the wildflowers that were readily at hand, and I knew I would miss that even as I would be happy to be in a place that “works” better for our needs.

    Far and away the best thing about heaven will be being with Jesus. Everything else pales in comparison with that, and I have no real idea how glorious that will be. But I have long thought that the second best thing (for me at least) is that heaven will bring no trade-offs and no goodbyes. We won’t be losing loved ones in death, moving closer to some family members but farther from others, leaving one set of friends as we make another, loving the condo with a much better floor plan and without the yardwork but still missing the beauty of the property left behind. As I got near daily chance to photograph this oriole our last week, I felt like he was giving me a chance to enjoy one last taste of our country yard and to say goodbye, and that was bittersweet.

    Several women who had married a man who had been previously married and had moved into his home had told me that I would find it really good to choose a home together and move into it. And we both agree this one is better suited for our needs. But as he reminded me of that, I told him I knew that would be true–but I also knew that the house where I could finally be a bride and a mother (and where Misten ran and played in the country yard she was bred for) would always have a special place in my heart and my memories.

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  10. Hey, I’ve never been married and even I told you that, Cheryl. It probably wasn’t always easy, but you adjusted well to those circumstances, it perhaps made for an easier transition for him and the girls in the short run and now you two are enjoying your own place at last. And you get to shop at IKEA.

    It all worked out just the way God had planned.

    Kim, I like that.

    Nancyjill, I know how you feel about living in a dry, parched land anymore. 😦

    We’re heading up to 100 degree temperatures by the weekend And I’m still out sick, I should get some results from some swabs taken at the doctor’s office yesterday to see what’s going on with me. I slept 4 hours yesterday afternoon and then slept 10 hours last night. I’ve actually been tired for 3-4 weeks now, ever since I was attacked by those horrible little sand flies (assuming that’s what it was).

    The steroid cream already is helping the bites remaining on my arms and hands, they don’t look quite so red. There’s a bite (I think that’s what it is) on the side of my nose that is bad looking, though, it’s now scabbed over and still red — the doctor said it could actually be a skin cancer but because it appeared with all these other bites he’s operating on the premise that that’s what it is as well. We’ll see if the steroid cream I’m picking up today gets rid of it or not. If not, they’ll have to do a biopsy. It appeared as a bump right around the time I was getting bitten so I still think it was probably from a bite.

    Meanwhile, we’ve hit a glitch in the painting schedule, the painter’s mom (83 I think) took a fall on Sunday and has been in the hospital ever since so he’s doing mom duty for the foreseeable future, depending on whether she can bounce back or not. She hit her head which is the primary concern, of course.

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  11. Re remarriage: my mother had a young pastor (not the senior pastor) in her church who lost his wife to eclampsia. (She was the third eclampsia death to that doctor in a couple of years, they found out with some horror.) The baby, a little girl, survived. I don’t know how soon he remarried; it may have been two years. But that toddler and his new wife loved each other, and she was becoming “mom” in a way that baby girl would never know another. Mom found great beauty in watching that new little family come together. I seem to recall that the new wife / stepmom held the little girl through part of the ceremony, because the little one was already looking to her as mom.

    One of the wives was Tammy, and one Pammy. I don’t remember which was which; Mom has been gone almost 15 years and I never met any of them. But Mom reported that pastor once saying that for Christians, life doesn’t end at the grave, and so he “loves” (present tense) both Tammy and Pammy, and that his wife knew that and understood it.

    My sister commented once that when my husband said something about his late wife, she watched me for signs of jealousy, and was happy not to see any. Well, I could have wished to be the one who bore my husband’s children–but what good would it be to linger there? I’m the one who is alive and his wife now, and I’m the one who got to watch the children grow into adulthood and who will (Lord willing) rock his grandchildren to sleep at times. When we were getting ready to marry, he told me he was glad I hadn’t been married before, since it brought fewer “complications” (the girls were teens, and it would have complicated things if I had my own children and their call on my affection, and if I also had living parents and in-laws from a previous marriage). I told him that I was happy that he had been married and was not a bachelor. One, the girls–if I could not bear my own children, I was happy that marriage brought me children a different way than by birth. But I told him that a lifelong bachelor at 50 would likely have some bad habits from decades of living alone, but instead he had already learned to love a woman before I came along. So how could I be jealous that God gave him a different woman to love him before we were ready for each other?

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  12. I am thinking of changing my grandmother name. I was Dee to my niece and nephew. I am Mimi to the grandchildren. When my niece has children I can be a Grand Dee. I am sorta liking Grandee.

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  13. I’m visiting the”dry, parched land” of my birth. Right now it is almost 10:00am, the temp is 89° but feels like a Midwest mid 90s. I’m on the patio of our vacation rental listening to the chorus of birds. I can only identify the doves with their soft cooing. I took a short video of the pine tree where most of them seem to be. I’ll post it here so Cheryl could tell us what she hears.

    I did send a picture to AJ of the patio roof where a prickly pear is growing. Those will grow anywhere.

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  14. Catching up on yesterday’s thread: We have a friend who made one of the chicken pluckers. He used an old washing machine tub, I believe. Worked wonderfully.

    We have one relative who married just a few months after being widowed. That was years ago and they are still married. She asked me if I thought it was too early. It was after the fact, so what could I say? I just told her I hope she will be happy.

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  15. Peter, if it’s Inca doves you see and hear, then I’m jealous. Haven’t seen those since I was about 13. I’ve seen white-winged doves a couple of times in Arizona, too, but mourning doves can be seen anywhere. (They breed in all the lower 48 and for all I know in the other two states, too. I have no idea how many resident birds can claim such a distinction.)


  16. My dad had seen several of his friends re-marry within six months of losing their wife and didn’t want that for himself. After mom died he waited exactly a year (dodging widows at church constantly). He had prayed that morning that if F was in church, he would know he should ask her on a date (F lived about 8 hours north of dad). She was in church. He asked, she accepted and 6 months after that, they married. I am very grateful he waited and am also very grateful for F. She moved into dad’s home and was very satisfied with using mom’s things, however, we insisted she should have her own china (for her own sake, not ours. We didn’t want our mom’s china). Slowly they transitioned to new items and it worked well for them. She doesn’t seem to mind us talking about our mom at all. In fact she often brings stuff up. Her grandmother actually saved my great-grandmother in Russia when she was a child. They village had been attacked and the children (my great-grandmother was the oldest) all ran into the corn field to hide. Their parents were attacked my great, great grandfather was murdered and great, great grandmother was raped. When all was quiet the children came out of the corn and were found by F’s grandmother and taken care of. Kind of a horrific but neat connection.

    I’m not sure if I have all the greats straight in the above story, but you get the drift.

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  17. One of the frustrations around here, as mentioned before, is the community subsidizing the child. People let him order things on Amazon and have them delivered to their house rather than home. First, we don’t allow him on a computer so somebody is letting him do that. Second, we have not set him up with a credit card (as we did the others when they became drivers, so they could learn the negatives of credit cards), so somebody is doing that or he is buying prepaid credit cards, Anyway, it appears he purchased for himself a two hundred dollar pair of sunglasses, which he promptly lost when riding a four wheeler at “work”. He persuaded a brother to buy him a pair, using the child’s money, last year which got scratched so were no good. He has champagne tastes with a beer budget as they say.

    It also comes out that people continue to front him money but “he works it off”. Do they not realize that he had asked them for jobs and they declined so he has just manipulated them into giving him a job they did not want to give him? Husband let one guy, who does it a lot, know that son actually has an envelope of money at home he could be using rather than begging. And so it goes, training up the child to be dependent on the State or the people rather than being able to work for what he wants. Instant slavery..

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  18. Michelle, how would you like spending the afternoon watching TV and not know what you’re watching?
    You want to go somewhere, but there is no place you can go?
    You would like to do something, but there’s nothing you can do:
    She decided to take a nap.
    But I doubt if she is asleep.
    I would like to take her someplace, but there’s no place to go and when we returned, she won’t remember that she had been away.
    This is nonsense. I sat here a couple of minutes and stated to delete it.
    But here it is.
    Nor really nonsense. It’s real.

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  19. Thanks, one of the problems we just encountered is that I can’t cook. If it weren’t for the microwave, we would starve to death.
    Not really, I can always get her dressed and take her out.
    But the places we can go is extremely limited. Example, we can’t go to Golden Corral or Cracker Barrel for instance, Crowds are too much. Just like we don’t go to late service anymore. Too much commotion for someone on a walker.
    We can still handle Appleby’s, etc.

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  20. It always takes planning whenever I take Carol anywhere now. Parking, access, crowd issues all come into play. She always thinks she can do everything and go everywhere, of course, which makes it harder. It can be pretty tiring for caregivers.

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  21. Chas, a mother of a young child has many such days when limitations are great and little is “accomplished.” Unless the child is disabled (or terminally ill), generally the mother sees a slow maturing in the child, and a greater ability, and less moment-to-moment need of her. But it still can feel tedious, and it feels like not much happens of note. But in God’s economy, such moment-by-moment faithful love matters more than the billion-dollar deals, I think.

    When my husband-to-be told me he was happy I was a lifelong single and would bring fewer complications into the life of him and the girls, and I told him I was happy that he had been married, one of the things I told him was this: You loved a wife through cancer. Many men walk away, but you stayed and loved her. That tells me you are a man of your word, and a trustworthy man, and that means a lot. He probably told me he didn’t have a choice, that he had made vows and she needed him. But the truth is that it is times like those that show if you really meant those vows. Chas, losing a wife to dementia is harder than losing her to cancer. But you are continuing to give her a home–not just a house, but a safe place, a home. You are loving her well.

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  22. The new oriole photo: The male was down in the grass of the yard next door (not the yard with the apple orchard). The female was on the ground for a while, and in the tree above him for a while, not right up next to him, but close enough that I thought they were probably a mated pair.

    My photos of orioles have been somewhat rare. And you are more likely to see one high in a tree, usually partially obscured by branches. Seeing it on the ground, where I could see the whole bird except maybe whatever part of its feet was buried in the grass, was a treat.

    I took a couple of photos through the window, but I knew I didn’t get any good ones. You really can only get photos through a window if you are aiming straight ahead (or nearly straight). I decided to take my chances and go outside, see if he was intent enough on his feeding to ignore me. Various species, and various individuals, vary greatly in how close they allow a human to get. Distractions like food can sometimes keep a bird from flying away, and a bird that is singing will often ignore a mere human. But I haven’t had enough experience with orioles to know how shy they are. I didn’t want to scare him, but my only chance at getting photos was to try to go out.

    Periodically he was flying up out of the grass and then going back down. I didn’t know what he was doing, but I put the camera on action mode in the chance of getting a flight shot. I didn’t get any really great ones–this one didn’t get his whole top wing, and I had to crop it close enough that it’s a bit fuzzy–but I did get several shots standing on my deck. Then I decided he isn’t bothered by me here, let’s see if I can go all the way to the fence. So I went and stood behind the chain-link fence, no trees or other objects between me and this oriole a dozen yards away or less, and he continued to feed and to hop around, totally ignoring me. Eventually I left, on the chance that my being there was somehow stressing him a bit anyway. I could have happily just stood there and watched him a long time.

    I also still had packing to do.

    Oh, BTW, today I did get out a bit, nothing great, but I got outside a little bit. And I got some photos of flowers blooming by our driveway and of a fox squirrel peering at me from a tree crotch. So I got some fresh air and some heat on my bare feet, and it was probably good for me. And I felt better afterward.


  23. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be the parents of the Thai boys in the cave. To know your child is alive but impossible to bring back at this time.

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  24. Well, Carrizozo cancelled their fireworks display, which is usually where we go to watch. The next closest place I could find was Santa Rosa. It is so dry here, that there are no fireworks allowed unless at a sanctioned event. Sometimes they have them at the Smokey Bear Stampede, but not able to find any confirmation. It is just too dry. Trey and I drove over to Mountainair on Saturday and watched their display.

    Miguel has been down at his mom’s putting a new roof on her house. He brought a grandson home with him, who will be wanting to watch fireworks.


  25. Chas is sitting here, drinking coffee and cogitating about being an American.
    I may post it when the Fourth comes up.


  26. I may post this again when the 4th comes up.

    I was sitting here drinking coffee and thinking about how bad it is here. All the corruption in Washington, millionaire football players disrespecting the flag. All the trouble we are having in America. The immigration problem.
    Then, I thought abut all those people on the Mexican border.

    There are a billion people in the world today who would trade places with me if they could.

    I don’t know any of the details, but my records show that in 1721 a guy named Frederick Scholl showed up in Philadelphia. He had come from southern Germany. I don’t know his situation in Germany, but he knew that he had a better life if he could start over in America.
    Almost all of us are descendants of someone who came here looking for a better life.
    Even the two black ladies who come to help with Elvera are better off now that they would be had not their ancestors been captured and made slaves. The practice of serfdom in Europe was about the same. Those who could escape and come to America did.
    And that’s why we are here.
    God Bless America.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Chas, how can you say that those women are better off now? You and nearly every other descendant of European immigrants to the New World know where you came from, whether you are Scottish, Irish, English, German, Dutch, French ancestry, what your surname is, and who your parents and grandparents were. Those who were kidnapped and sold as slaves lost everything, their tribe, their language, their family history, and their surname. The African American has had to reinvent their culture because it was all taken away from them. Wealth is not everything. Furthermore, just because West Africa, the region from which slaves in the Americas came, is poor now does not mean it was always so. The slave trade helped morally and materially degrade the countries from which they were kidnapped and sold. The countries were colonized for the purpose of trading slaves, and the once proud and powerful West African empires & kingdoms – for they were, when Europe was just a collection of feudal states, very wealthy and developed states – became grubby little offshoots of European empires, that left, when the empires collapsed, a prolonged greed for the wealth of the West, so that every subsequent government has been corrupted by money to a greater or lesser degree. I learned some of the surnames of those who stayed in West Africa – I was within a short drive of the ruins of one former slave fortress (the one featured in the novel & miniseries Roots) – and some of them bore the names of powerful families who ruled in those great West African empires, whose wealth was so fabled that early European explorers died searching for the storied city of Timbuktu. Those who were kidnapped and sold to the Americas lost their surnames and the knowledge of where they came from. No wonder their descendants still struggle with chaos. Evil acts do not bring good fruit.

    And before anyone says, “But that happened so long ago”, you are today celebrating something that happened over two centuries ago, of which you still are experiencing the effects. Not just the great and glorious events of history reverberate down through the ages. The evil ones also continue to bear fruit long after.


  28. Roscuro, I believe he said the descendants are better off. You mention the degradation that has taken place there and how it used to be. It is not how it used to be, it is how it is. We did not participate in slavery. Our ancestors did. As did the ancestors of many black Americans. We are where we are. Slavery has been going on for thousands of years, long before white Europeans got involved or even had much beyond the basics.

    No, I know nothing about my ancestors other than speculation. I do know the surnames of my parents and grands. So do most black Americans today. We are not all that different. Most Black Americans have been in this country since birth, and their parents and grandparents and great grandparents before them. Even my Ethiopian changed his mind about wanting to be living in Ethiopia when he went back to see it.

    Most people living in America today would not really want to trade for what is out there in many countries. We have it pretty good here.

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  29. And, Roscuro, why are thousands fleeing those countries? And have been for years? Thousands dying every year in the attempt? There is something wrong to cause that. South America, Central America, Africa?


  30. Mumsee, what is concerning is the implication that the fact that they are more prosperous now than in their countries of origin somehow reduces the evil of their ancestors being captured and made slaves. God brought good out of Joseph’s enslavement, but his brothers still had to repent of their sin in selling him. Kidnapping a person to sell him into slavery was so great a sin in the eyes of God, that in the law of Moses, it is punishable by death. The modern Church is too quick to look for the good that God brings out of evil, as in so doing, we often bypass the mourning over the sin that caused the evil.

    I suggest that in order to understand what is happening in those countries, that the history of them be researched, particularly the history of them in the past hundred years. Countries in South and Central America such as Guatemala and Chile, Ethiopia and other countries in Africa, and many other countries were made pawns and the site of proxy wars during the Cold War. Their governments were repeatedly disrupted and coups manufactured by one or the other opposing superpowers, because the elected leaders were not to their political or economic liking. Even Iran’s current leadership is the result of the United States supporting a corrupt Shah because the democratically elected Mosaddiq, whom the CIA helped the Shah overthrow, wanted to nationalize Iranian oil, which the U.S. and Britain had business interests in – when the Iranian people, exasperated by the Shah, sought to throw off his tyranny, the Ayatollah took the opportunity to take his place. Such events are even more recent than the end of slavery in the Americas. The past is not dead.


  31. Roscuro, yes that happened. As it has happened throughout history. Reading the Bible shows us that. Powerful countries run roughshod over their neighbors. It is not a good thing, it is a human thing. We live in a fallen world. So, in this current fallen world, many people are running, swimming, flying, walking, riding, to the US, Canada, and Europe. Why is that? Tomorrow or next week or in ten years, it may well be the other way. Five hundred years ago, people were leaving Europe to come here. A while before that, people were leaving all sorts of places to go to Egypt.

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  32. My next question might be, how are we supposed to show our sorrow? I do not like it that Africans kidnapped and sold Africans. I do not like it that others bought them. I do not like that some of my ancestors were probably involved. I don’t like that some of my ancestors probably worked as “slaves”. serfs. peasants, whatever. But there it is. What am I doing now to see it is not happening in my time? I cannot change the past. I cannot even determine for my adult children what they will do or think.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. This discussion started because I could not stomach the idea that people should be glad that they were better of because their ancestors had been kidnapped and sold as slaves. I could, as a Canadian, suggest that the First Nations have access to better healthcare, education, and technology now that they are a part of Canada because they were made a part of Canada by trickery and deceit. That would conveniently gloss over the fact that because of that deceit and trickery, they are less healthy, have shorter lifespan, less well educated, poorer, have higher crime rates and are more likely to be victims of crimes, and have lost much of their culture and history. In other words, I would only be telling part of the story in saying they are better off, and thus, not telling the whole truth. I love my country dearly, and want it to prosper, but it is because I love it, I recognize that it cannot prosper at the expense of the weak. I can be both thankful for my freedom, and condemn injustice.

    One of the founding fathers of the U.S.A famously said, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” The idea of that liberty was that if one was free, it did not matter if one was poor, or obscure, or uneducated, or any other less desirable state of being, as long as one was one’s own master. The slaves who risked their lives in a bid for freedom were acting on that principle, and no amount of reassurance that they were better fed, better clothed, or better housed, seemed to console them for the loss of their freedom. If the slaves descendants are similarly unimpressed by the argument that they are better off because their ancestors were enslaved, then they too understand what was meant by the choice being between liberty and death. Those who suggest that those descendants should be glad of the results of enslavement are the ones who do not understand the founding fathers of the U.S.

    What those who are fleeing are looking for is freedom to live in peace. Their countries are not peaceful and thus, there is no freedom. Their countries are not peaceful because they are not stable. They are all too often not stable because other, more powerful countries have made them so to their own ends. The destabilization of governments has already been mentioned, but there are other ways they have been destabilized. The large amount of young men migrating from Asia to Europe is a clear result of the sex selective procedures – which ended up being used mainly on girls – that the West introduced as a population control measure to Asia, just as the book, Unnatural Selection predicted would happen. There is a Proverb that says, “He that rolls a stone, it will return upon him, and he that digs a pit will fall into it.” The fleeing of so many to the West is a natural result of the West’s actions. Building walls and travel bans will not keep out natural consequences.

    What to do now? “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Humility is a quality not cultivated when it comes to patriotism, yet it is vital for a nation’s survival. Even king Ahab, when he humbled himself after a prophet pronounced judgement on his family, was able to delay that judgement until after his death (I Kings 21:29). Ahab’s worship of Baal involved human sacrifice, and kings worshipped god in those days to secure national prosperity (see Sennachrib’s words to Hezekiah on that subject in Isaiah 36 & 37). As long as one’s country comes before all else, the idol of one’s country will feed on human flesh. How many atrocities have been committed on the weak in the name of securing a country’s greatness? That was Hitler’s reason for interning the Jews in death camps, and Stalin’s reason for his Gulag, and China’s reason for instituting a one-child policy. So long as building a great nation is placed before every other consideration, the committing of national injustices will continue.


  34. So long as human beings are involved, there will be sin.

    Why do I want a great nation? To be able to help others. Why do I want a strong body? To be available to help others as long as God has me here. It is not about seeing how long I could live, I know my days are in His Hands and I would willingly go today. But He does tell me that all is available but I should not necessarily avail myself of all. So I have a hand in what my body becomes. And so with our nations. We have been given a say in it and should exercise that to enable our country to be available to help others.

    As we have seen in Denmark and other countries, opening the doors wide is not the answer. It never has been.

    I don’t believe our countries will last forever, but I do believe God’s Kingdom will. So, we should be working for His Kingdom, but He has also set us in a place where we can be of help to others. We, as a nation, have done damage, but we also have done good. Just like we as individuals. It takes the Perfect Work to bring about perfection, we can’t. But hopefully, we can learn from the past. Not to feel guilty for what our ancestors did, but to learn not to repeat the same thing.

    Can we help others if we allow our country to completely change? I don’t think we can as effectively or the other nations would not be crying out for our help. Love and help given freely is more effective than love and help given by demand of the government. It is the nature of the beast. If you have ever dealt with government services (think border agents) you know what I mean.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. In the micro picture, are my children “better off” being with us? They were in families, with extended relations. In the Ethiopian case, the two youngest were put into an orphanage by their mom, who was blind from birth, had several other children, and her husband (also blind from birth) had left to live with one of his other wives. Of the four children who remained in Ethiopia, three are dead. Of the two who came to America, one is married and taking care of the bio mom. The other is in the Navy, trying to learn life skills so he can help with his mom and other rels.
    Several of the Texas children came from rather difficult times, not what most of us would call normal. With high likelihood of being in gangs or drugged or dead and the girls married off to old men by fourteen as their mom and grandmother were. Worshipping the devil and such.
    Instead, they came here and, we hope, will be able to help their bio families at some point.
    Another group, one of them called yesterday and told us something. We reminded him that he was being manipulated. He said he knew but his grandmother is old. Husband reminded him that she is younger than I am and son responded that she has had a very difficult like and is much older than I am.
    Should they have stayed with their birth families? Or should they have been separated from the lives of crime they were living? Lots of questions. They all say they are happy here and would not change it. Even sixteen year old son says he loves it here and does not want to be anywhere else.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. And, how are we different from forcing the native American children out of their homes and into boarding schools where they had to speak English?


  37. I do not think Chas’ comment meant that the two black ladies should be thankful that their ancestors were kidnapped and sold as slaves, or that that was a good thing in any way, but that even so, even as horrible as that was, they are in a good situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Mumsee, have I said anything about your children? I have been talking about countries, and their collective responsibilities.

    As for a country changing, all countries change over time. Britain has changed wildly over the centuries it has been in existence, sometimes it could be said for the worse, and sometimes for the better. The U.S. is a mere juvenile and Canada a mere baby in comparison to the age of many modern countries. They will undoubtedly change, and not necessarily from outside forces. Many of the most significant changes in England’s history have been from within. The weakest elements I see in Canadian society are entirely homegrown and have roots the culture that was spun from the earlier English, Scottish, Irish, and French immigrants. Those earlier immigrants brought both good and bad with them – Canada’s first political assassination was committed by members of an Irish Catholic extremist group, who were technically terrorists and insurgents in Canada: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/st-patricks-days-troubled-history-in-canada. I see both good and bad from the newer waves of immigrants. Canada is changing, but the ways it is changing for the worse are almost entirely the result of Western prosperity, not the influx of immigrants from poorer and less stable countries.

    As to government agencies, that is a different discussion than about how to deal with the wrongs of the past, but I’ll bite. I agree government agencies can be ineffective about showing compassion and giving help, which is part of what was disturbing people about having government agencies taking charge of children of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers rather than leaving them with their families. But such ineffectiveness is not limited to government agencies. The First Nations children who were taken from their parents in Canada were placed in residential schools run by churches and it was employees of those churches who abused them, physically, emotionally, and sexually. The government of Canada has apologized for sending them to the churches to be abused, but the churches which ran the schools have also had to apologize – two have, the Anglicans & United Churches of Canada, but Pope Francis has refused to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role, which was the largest contributor to the schools: https://globalnews.ca/news/4110276/canada-residential-school-pope-francis-church-apology/. When churches show themselves no better than the government, perhaps the problem with ineffectiveness is not with the government simply because it is a government. Perhaps it is due to self-indulgence and ill-will from individuals within any organization of human making. Plenty of charities have been found to be embezzling funds, fudging reports, and not doing what they said they were going to do over the years, but the only way to stop such ‘charities’ from swindling donors is to hold them accountable through the government. I cannot share the American cultural habit of saying the government is the worst organization for a given job, because I do not know that any other kind of earthly organization is any better. God never limited charity to private individuals. It was actually mandated into Jewish law, while Joseph’s nationalization of grain stores was never condemned as being wrong.


  39. Countries are made up of people. By mentioning my children, I was personalizing the topic. We are discussing real people after all. I don’t see any difference between putting children in foster care when their American parents break the law and putting the children of people from other countries into foster care when the parents break American law. Nor do I agree with a lot of foster care but it is where we are. I don’t agree with the immigration law but it is where we are. If we don’t like it, we need to change it.

    And that is what happened with slavery (though I realize we still have slavery in this country). People did not like the law and changed it. Meantime, a lot of people broke the law in trying to help people get out from under the yoke of slavery. They counted the cost and did what they did, and I commend them for it. I hope I would do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. We have fireworks now. And then some rain came, followed by a big clap of thunder as if God wanted to say He is able to do bigger booms than all the wimpy booms. It was just one big thunder clap and now it seems gone. Miss Bosley may be under the bed.

    Liked by 1 person

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