51 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-9-18

  1. What are goatheads?
    Cheryl, they likely didn’t ask for permission and were not aware that it was dangerous. Just exciting.
    I see on Fox that a fifth boy was rescued.

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  2. I went barefoot my entire childhood, and I remember landing on two or three of those nasty goatheads at the same time, and then having to pull them out without pricking the fingers too badly. They’re heinous.

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  3. Good Morning Everyone. It seems I missed quite a bit over the weekend. If there was anything I missed that is really important, someone let me know.
    It is back to work for me today and a full week it will be.
    I am already at the office getting prepared. I left Grandpa to catch up on his rest.

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  4. The photo is another of my pictures from the last couple of weeks on the northern Indiana property. The apple orchard next door was in bloom, and I was taking half hour breaks from packing and cleaning to go out with my camera and see what I could see.

    A pair of black-capped chickadees landed in the tree to the right of me one day. I was mostly watching for warblers and other migrating birds, but it’s hard to resist a chickadee or two. (I only got one photo with both in it; the little things move so fast, and they’re so small, that one is lucky even to get one in the lens and in focus. And a pair of birds feeding in the same tree don’t pay a lot of attention to each other; they look for food separately, so they aren’t close enough to be in the same photo very often.)

    One of the really good things about chickadees, though, is that they aren’t shy at all. They are supposed to be the easiest wild bird to hand tame (get it to come to you to eat from your hand). I’ve never hand tamed one, but one of us might go into the yard, and the chickadee would be the only bird to stay in the tree we were walking under, and it would be calling loudly with a tzee-tzee buzzy call, and I always wondered if it was actually talking to me. I imagine Eve calling to one and it coming right to her, and it liked her so much it never quite accepted the change to being a wild bird. Anyway, with the warblers I would inch over, keeping tree branches between me and the bird and so forth, not to scare it while I got close enough to get pictures. With the chickadees, I boldly just walked over by that tree, and they continued to fly back and forth between two trees, not bothered by me at all.

    The apple blossoms were past their prime, and beginning to turn brown before the petals fall off. They’ve been fertilized and have served their purpose on the way to making apples full of seeds. The chickadees’ interest in them seems to be looking for tiny green caterpillars hiding here and there.

    Every few months when I’m taking photos, I look at one I took yesterday or last week and think to myself, “Did I take that one? Wow, I was in the right place at the right time to get that shot!” This shot and one or two others of the little guys from that day fit that category. Chickadees are so hard to photograph because they are so little and so fast. Snapping the photo while it is still on the branch is hard enough, and pretty much sheer luck that it’s a good pose and so forth. But because they are so cute, their challenge is irresistible, and I always try it. Through the years I’ve ended up with several quite decent shots. This is a new favorite.

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  5. Goat heads? Why, that is the front end of the goat, from the neck up. It generally has two eyes, two ears, maybe a couple of horns, a nose, a mouth, sometimes a brain, that sort of thing.

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  6. My understanding was that the flooding came in after the boys and their coach were already in the cave, which of course, they didn’t expect. Is that correct?

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  7. Oh, I imagine they knew the rains were coming, I suspect it happens every year. It is all part of the thrill. But none of us expects to die. We all think, if it floods, I will do such and such and save the crew.

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  8. Cheryl (in reply to your comment to me last night) – I wasn’t necessarily complaining, just mentioning the situation. It was Chickadee’s idea to come over for a family dinner once a week, and the other time when she missed a week, I could tell she had really missed me (as I did her).

    Chickadee and I have a complicated, almost strange relationship. We don’t talk a lot, at least not about her life, but are very close in other ways, if that makes sense. She has taken to calling me “Mama” quite often, which I can tell has a more endearing feeling to her than “Mommy” (which they still call me). We seem to be very attuned to each other’s moods and feelings, which can have its drawbacks at times.

    YF once described Chickadee as empathic, as different from empathetic. She seems that way with me, but I don’t know about others. It could be that she is that way with those she is close to. I don’t even know if I really believe in the whole idea of someone being empathic (when the word is used to indicate a type of extra-sensory type of empathy).

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  9. 8 out, thanks be to God–I’ve been praying for Him to hold back the rains–as I’m sure many have–and He seems to have been doing so.

    What I don’t understand, having looked through so many drawings of how they’re getting out–is why they would creep through such tight spots to begin with.

    So, I’m waiting to hear the full story even while I shake my head over what I know.

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  10. I’ve had a very busy and fun weekend but everyone is heading home this morning and I’ll need to return to my real life.

    Today’s My Utmost for His Highest hit me with a board where I’m struggling in my writing life.

    So, here’s today’s Utmost Response in which I admit it’s really all about me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Utmost Responses= my response to that day’s reading with a link to the reading at the bottom).

    Sigh.

    Utmost Response July 9

    The July 9 reading is a challenge to all of us about where our faith rests.

    “We tend to say, โ€œBut God could never have called me to this. Iโ€™m too unworthy. It canโ€™t mean me.โ€ It does mean you, and the more weak and feeble you are, the better.”

    How often have you reminded the Lord that “Your strength is made perfect in my weakness?”

    (That’s from 2 Corinthians 12:9).

    OC clearly knows that passage well but in today’s reading takes us to the flip side in Joshua 24:21,”we will serve the Lord.”

    This puts the concept into the positive: we recognize our weakness but determine to focus on God’s power instead of our own.

    Why?

    “The person who is still relying and trusting in anything within himself is the last person to even come close to saying, โ€œI will serve the Lord.โ€

    So, we need to take the initiative, set aside our concept of “unworthiness,” and believe that if God has called us to do something HE, and He alone, will receive the glory.

    Because only when we allow our confidence in our abilities, etc., to be set aside for His work can it really be brought to pass.

    Frankly, I’m looking at myself today in this reading and remembering all the times in the last week I’ve said, “But I don’t want to. I don’t have the ability to do this. I can’t believe God is asking me to do this.”

    I won’t bore you with the rest.

    If God is calling you and me to do something we have a choice. We’ll agree with Him, do what we can and sit back to watch what He brings to pass.

    Or we can complain, argue, debate, whine and miss God’s glory.

    Will I examine myself?

    I don’t have to anymore. I’m swallowing and choosing to believe.

    How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    https://utmost.org/will-you-examine-yourself/

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  11. Boys do stupid things.

    In my brief time of teaching college English, one semester I assigned a “how-to” essay. I had 18 or 20 students, roughly half of them female. Two of the boys wrote essays in which they talked about having done something utterly foolish that could have gotten them killed. (One kept hiking to the summit even though he realized he was probably getting frostbite, and one went into a cave with ropes tied together. Interestingly, a different young man wrote about safely negotiating a cave, and mentioned hiking with ropes tied together as one of the things people do when they are being foolish.)

    I wrote on here about a framed letter on the wall of a state park, talking about the letter writer’s childhood exploration, with his younger brother, of a cave that he had heard remained unexplored because the opening was too small for a person to get in. At seven, he was small enough, and so was his six-year-old brother.

    Boys do stupid things.

    I read that a sign said to keep out of the cave, but they went farther anyway. I don’t know if that is true. My thought is that boys do stupid things, including all sorts of things their parents don’t think to warn them against. A parent should be aware of likely dangers in his own environment (including pornography) and caution his son against them, and forbid them. That won’t keep all boys away from them, but it is a wise parent’s responsibility. But there will always be some things the parent doesn’t think of.

    But when you entrust your sons to an adult leader for a specific opportunity (soccer practice), you are generally not also entrusting them for anything else he might dream up. At least in the States, if you want to take the boys in your team out for ice cream after the game, you probably should have signed permission trips on file. I know it doesn’t always operate that way. My older brothers would take me out, sometimes, for example, and I have no idea what kind of conversations they had with Mom about what we could or couldn’t do that day. But had my mom simply entrusted me to a brother to spend time with me, and hadn’t stated any limits, and had he chosen to take me into a cave, no one could have accused any of us of doing anything “wrong.” It may be that the young male leader did indeed have that kind of implied authority. If so, and if he ignored a warning sign, then he still acted foolishly and possibly also criminally. But if his only authority was to be a coach, then I think he should have had permission before taking boys into a cave, especially a cave that clearly had potential for danger.

    Now, I have been an adult with care of children, and children who could have gotten badly hurt on my watch. I know how easily things go wrong, and I think angels brought me and a canoe full of children from camp back to the dock safely when I was sent out with no idea what I was doing. (“Paddle on the left to go right and paddle on the right to go left” is NOT adequate instruction before putting an adult in a canoe with other people’s children, especially when the lake also has large boats on it.)

    I’m glad most of the boys have been rescued, and I hope the rest will be soon, and that all will be OK.

    But I do think “Did they have permission to go into the cave?” is a relevant question, because you just don’t take other people’s children into caves without at least an understanding that you can use your own judgment and do things with the boys beyond the specific activity (sports practice).

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  12. One of the things my dad picked up on that I did not when he came to visit us in Greece was the lack of safety features. We would have had handrails on the slippery stairs, which would have had safety covers installed and they did not. People walked along the same slippery steps as others have for the past couple thousand years. With a deep drop off on one side. But people were expected to pay attention and be responsible.

    A lot of cultures expect “the village” to cooperate on child rearing. We have tended to think it is the parent’s responsibility to train up their children (your child breaks the merchandise, you pay).

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  13. The bus stop for the Rec program is about a five minute walk from us, not a big deal. As we walked there for the first time together, The Boy remarked, “You walk faster than I thought you would, Mimi!” I guess he thought I’d be like a doddering old lady walking that “far”. ๐Ÿ˜€

    *******
    Nightingale wrote on Facebook the other day about having The Boy help her with various chores that morning. As she announced she had one other thing for him to do, he whined, “Oh, nooooo! Not the diiiishes!” (No, it wasn’t the dishes.)

    X’s Mom commented, “He takes after his father.” Nightingale was incensed by that, and deleted her comment. That may sound like an over-reaction, but she felt that it was wrong of X’s Mom to compare her (Nightingale’s) son to her abuser.

    X’s Mom tends to excuse his behavior, out of love or guilt, which, as a mother myself, I can understand. But it has caused Nightingale to distrust her and sometimes feel resentful at her occasional attempts to convince her that he is a different, good man now.

    I remember one time, a few years ago, when we were alarmed at some things X was saying. Nightingale tried to talk to X’s Mom about that, but she refused to listen, saying she didn’t want to hear it, even though Nightingale was framing it as a matter of concern. That was frustrating.

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  14. X’s Mom wants Nightingale to get the protective order lifted. She doesn’t seem to realize the magnitude of what he did to her, how traumatic that was to Nightingale and The Boy. The Boy, out of love for his dad, seems to have forgotten that, too.

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  15. No, Mumsee, I specifically said it depends on what his culturally expected boundaries were. I’ve attended churches with different cultural expectations of adult/child interactions. In one church, babies would get passed around from hand to hand and the mother might not have any idea who had her child. But her child would be under constant surveillance of others; several of us single women, for instance, took special care to watch the children so that the mothers could know they were safe. In a different church, it was expected that any adult could reprimand any child. In the church we just left, one mother was very comfortable with me and her baby, and I would pick the baby up without asking. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to pick up my grandbaby without asking (after the first one, maybe, but not the first one), because that mom’s personality and my daughter’s are very different.

    If it’s culturally acceptable for a man to take the boys off to do manly things, I have no problem with that. In fact, I hate it that in America a grandmother is culturally expected to walk her seven-year-old grandson to something that is five minutes away. Surely a seven-year-old can take a five-minute walk by himself? But in America one might get charged with child abuse (and if something does threaten the child, neighbors might or might not notice or get involved).

    I do think that biblically authority and responsibility are given largely to parents, not to the wider community. So the idea, for instance, that it’s “normal” for fourteen-year-old girls to be sexually involved and other parents can “protect” a child from her parents’ knowledge of her promiscuity is anathema. Even if parents’ expectations are outside cultural norms, within reason they are the ones making the decisions for their children. I don’t think we should be allowing Muslim parents to marry off their six-year-old daughters, just because it’s OK in their culture . . . but it has to be a pretty serious breach, in my opinion, before the state gets involved. Family and neighbors might get “involved” at an earlier level–community does have some responsibility for children. But the farther we get from the family unit and the local community, the less that is true. The United States government should not care one iota whether your children learn to read, for instance. Even the local government probably shouldn’t. But your neighbors might.

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  16. Mumsee, handrails on stairs are about more than paying attention and being responsible. I fell two weeks ago going down stairs, and I was descending with proper care. Handrails are particularly important for the elderly. Now, it may be that in communities without handrails, elderly people never walk anywhere without five or six people walking with them–but handrails are definitely for more than irresponsibility.

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  17. Things I don’t appreciate:
    Adults giving my fifteens and up alcohol
    Adults allowing my sixteen year old to use their wifi or devices because we don’t.
    Adults feeding my other sixteen year old when she was in an eating crisis after we told them to stop.
    Adults letting their children sell my child devices and hiding them from us.
    Other children and their parents taking my child on various river excursions without us even knowing until well after the fact (Oh, three weeks ago, when we went to the river, we were jumping off those cliffs when I lost my new sunglasses)
    Adults allowing my child to shop Amazon on their computers letting son use their credit cards and ship to their homes.

    But it all happens and with some frequency. This boy will have a hard time figuring out what family is.

    But with other children, I have not had a problem with setting most of them into the care of others, trusting them to act appropriately.

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  18. Ah, a second chickadee photo is up. This is the only photo I have ever taken with two chickadees in it. I have no idea which is the male and which the female. If it had only the bottom bird, it wouldn’t be a good photo–that one isn’t fully in the frame and is half hidden by leaves. But the top bird calls attention to itself by being vocal and active–and then you see, “Wait! There’s another one!” It may work even better than if the second bird was fully out in the open too. But I only had a split second to take the photo before one bird flew, so I was glad I got the one shot.

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  19. Of course, they had bars on their windows, metal detection devices at the entries, optical scanners in the bank entry, bullet holes in the walls and windows…

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  20. That was the Parthenon, by the way, I think handrails would have detracted from the ambiance so most elderly did not go. My step mom went but did not go up the stairs or inside. My dad went and worried about her so she didn’t.

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  21. Cheryl – I get your point about The Boy needing an adult to walk him a five-minute walk to the bus stop. Or even just to the top of our lane during the school year. And yet, I am so used to things being this way that it would seem odd to let him go out there alone, even if it weren’t possibly illegal. During the school year, the bus driver cannot let a child off the bus unless there is an adult, that the driver recognizes, waiting for the child.

    In our situation, there is also the concern of X showing up and taking off with him, if he knew he could do so without being seen.

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  22. Kizzie, you definitely have extenuating circumstances. I was very cautious for my children in the first few years after adoption as some of the bio parents were able to find us.

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  23. Chuck’s family loves Chick-fil-a. Two middle GD’s worked there through high school and youngest on holidays while in college.

    Cheryl’s first paragraph at 3:03 reminds me of Becky (first gd). She had/has three. At the end of the church service she would round up her children who were always with someone else. They didn’t care who held them as long as somebody was. The situation still exists. Youngest is six now, but they still do their thing and meet to go home.

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  24. Regarding the Thai boys and the cave, the Wikipedia article states,

    “Since part of the cave system is seasonally flooded, a sign advising against entering the caves during the rainy season (Julyโ€“November) is posted at the entrance.

    “On 23 June 2018, a group of 12 boys aged between 11 and 17 from a local junior football team named the Wild Boars and their 25-year-old coach… went missing after setting out to explore the cave and have a picnic to celebrate the 17th birthday of one of the boys… The group was apparently stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden and continuous downpour after they entered the cave.”

    It’s hard to find articles with much background about the cave amid the abundant articles about the rescue, but I gather that it’s in a park and open to the public. Now that it’s so famous, authorities want to put in more detailed warnings and promote it as a tourist destination.

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  25. I meant to make the point that they went in June 23, before the posted danger window. Cutting it a little close, maybe not paying enough attention to the weather, but not necessarily reckless.

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  26. Since you are discussing about the cave rescue, critics of the coach’s decision are missing one very important fact. He kept those boys together and alive for 10 days.

    Liked by 7 people

  27. And I am thinking, unless they had lots of strong flashlights and batteries, they were in the dark a part of that time if not most. All of them have done really well, in my opinion.

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  28. I am feeling something about the cave rescue, not sure what to say. But the news has reported that they have not told anyone which boys have been rescued, including the families. So the families still do not know who made it out. And the boys, after all the time not sure if they would even live, are being denied the comfort of their families. I understand the reasoning to spare the grief if all do not make it out, but it is also so hard on everyone, especially the boys.

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  29. They are also in isolation a bit out of fear of illness they may have picked up. Probably bat born or mold type.

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  30. There have been cases of rabies from inhaling bat urine. Bat droppings can be dangerous. Also, having been in major sensory deprivation that long, they will need some gentle reorientation and reconditioning to the outside world. Rest and good nutrition will be vital.

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  31. Kizzie, you definitely have extenuating circumstances, so I definitely wasn’t picking on you, but on a culture that simultaneously overprotects its children (eight-year-olds in carseats?!) and underprotects them (babies killed in the womb, and the concept that a parent is needed to walk the child to school because he might not be safe otherwise).

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  32. Sounds like they are being well taken care of. I hope most people see them as their own boys and are glad they are being cared for so well. Only five to go. I read the coach was not brought out first, they brought out the weakest. They also said he was the weakest as he gave all his share of food to the boys. Interesting stories these folk will have!

    I would think there would be all sorts of respiratory potential problems from breathing in an enclosed cave for a couple of weeks.

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  33. This isn’t the same thing as the Thai boys, but remember Baby Jessica McClure? Back in the 80s, she was the 18-month-old (I think) toddler who fell down an open pipe in her backyard and was wedged in tight. The rescue operation involved drilling/digging a hole parallel to hers, that a person could get down, and then over to her. I remember reading that a doctor said they could break every bone in her body if they had to, but they had to get her out of there. (They didn’t have to do that, though.)

    That night, I watched live on CNN as a rescuer was pulled up, holding Baby Jessica. I still get choked up when I think about it.

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  34. It was her aunt’s backyard. Here’s the Wikipedia story on her. . .

    “Jessica McClure Morales (born March 26, 1986) became famous on October 14, 1987, at the age of 18 months after she fell into a well in her aunt’s backyard in Midland, Texas. Between that day and October 16, rescuers worked for 58 hours to free her from the eight-inch (20 cm) well casing 22 feet (6.7 m) below the ground.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_McClure

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  35. Kizzie, I worded the second part of what I was saying incompletely: “the concept that a parent is needed to walk the child to school because he might not be safe otherwise” meaning really, we as a society can’t watch out for children who are not our offspring? A child should be safe walking down our streets because just about any adult will come to his defense instantly. Your grandson’s father shouldn’t even consider the possibility of hurting him (or your daughter) because he knows what happens to people who try such things. But since we pretty much only pay attention to threats to people within our own households, the extra vigilance is needed.

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