101 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-14-18

  1. Michelle, about your cover, I am so tired of a woman’s face being the cover, I like the second choice much better, though it is a rough draft.
    If Chas doesn’t understand this comment, he will have to subscribe to Michelle’s newsletter. 🙂

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  2. Mumsee, I read the book, but didn’t connect the name.
    I thought she might have something to do with Watergate, or Russian collusion or kneeling for the Anthem, or something.

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  3. Morning all! And here I thought I was up early!!
    Husband left at 3am to climb Mt Elbert. Thankfully I did fall back to sleep for an extra 3 hours…now to finish this first cup of coffee! 😊
    Safe travels Peter!

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  4. Eating my breakfast. Four thirty was a good time to get up, get some scything done, chop some thistles before the bees came out, feed the chicks and the young chickens and the young turkeys, read the Bible, water the plants in the greenhouse, and get the children up at seven. Now it is Saturday Morning Cleanup. Then it will be hot and time to read a book, play a game, chat…

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  5. I voted on Michelle’s book cover. Cover number two. Do you get her newsletter? You can probably click on her name somewhere and go to her site and choose, I don’t know. We get to tell Michelle what to do. It is fun being bossy.

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  6. Something I was thinking about this morning . . . Shortly after Hubby’s death, an old friend said that his death would have me questioning my identity, or some similar wording. I told her that I have always had a fairly strong sense of identity, not totally wrapped up in being “Hubby’s Wife”.

    Since then, I have wondered if maybe my identity was wrapped up more in being “Hubby’s Wife” than I realized. There is definitely a hole in my life, in who I am. But the more I thought about that this morning, the clearer I came to see that it is not so much a matter of identity, although it is partly that, of course, but of purpose.

    The overarching purpose in my life was being wife to my husband. Perhaps my purposes as mother and grandmother took more time out of my days, but those purposes flowed from the primary purpose of being Hubby’s Wife.

    Now my purpose still revolves around being a mother (although my daughters are grown, Nightingale and I are interdependent financially, and other ways) and a caregiving-grandmother. In some ways, I feel that what I do for them is still a way of being faithful to my former role as Hubby’s wife, that what I am doing is for him as well as for them. IOW, he would want me to be here, caring for and praying for our beloved family, especially since he can’t.

    But I miss the privilege of doing the little things for him that I used to do, like making coffee or tea for him and bringing him a cup, or filling his pill box. And being his “listening post”, and praying with him and for him. As I’ve said before, I miss “us”, and I guess I can add, I miss being part of “us”.

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  7. I slept in and haven’t voted yet (or looked at the options, but I did see the notice flash on my phone).

    I feel like I’m coming down with a cold or something, scratchy throat, congestion. It made it hard to get to sleep, but then I slept really late. And I just feel really tired this morning. I think I’m still half asleep though.

    I’ll have to get up super early tomorrow and be in place and ready to cover that game by 6 a.m. or so, just to get a parking space that’s anywhere close. I guess the good part is I’ll be able to do all my standing outdoors this time instead of in a dark, crowded bar. And all goes down in the early morning, the game starts at 8 a.m. our time, so it shouldn’t be overly warm. And the game will be over by 10 a.m. If I’m lucky, the story will be written and it’ll all be behind me by noon or 1 p.m.

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  8. Husband is taking the children to Prairie Day, the annual families come back to town and party into the night celebration. They will watch the parade and get a bag of candy each that I will put next to the bag from last year, available to them but they don’t eat it. Then maybe some Lion’s burgers, some music, some this and that until supper which they will get there. I will have something like nine hours to find something to do. I can manage, don’t worry. First, I shall go play the piano a bit.

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  9. Here’s the meme that was going around our parts after Croatia won Wednesday’s game against England in the World Cup.

    This also is one of the more spectacular aerial shots of our area — I drove Kim into town via the road you see on the cliffs to the left. I’m one of the houses to the right. And our favorite local park is at the “point,” where it’s almost always 10+ degrees cooler than the rest of the town. There’s an 1800s lighthouse in the park and it’s also where there are concerts and Shakespeare By the Sea performances every summer.

    Farther to the right is the Port of Los Angeles and the shipping channel protected by the breakwater seen jutting out to the right. And yes, we have a vibrant Croatian community, most of whom arrived in the early 1900s and also following WWII to escape what had become ‘Yugoslavia’ that had gobbled up their homeland. Independence for Croatia finally came in the 1990s.

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  10. That looks like a very pretty place to live. I am glad people live there It looks like a lot of them do. I like the park area.

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  11. The green park to the right in the photo (right before the houses begin again) is where we wanted to put the dog park (people already off-leash illegally there).

    But yes, there are some spectacular open spaces all along that coastline. Whenever I go there (and it’s literally minutes from my house) my reaction to the views is always the same — wow

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  12. The park to the left in the photo, I meant to say.

    The town itself is still very working class, it grew up around the fishing industry and still has that feel from the early days. They say it’s the only ‘affordable’ beach town left in LA (though affordable is a relative term — still, housing there remains lower than in other LA & OC coastal areas).

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  13. Hello from the office!

    I put a review on Amazon for Treasured and Teachable: Homeschooling to College with Hope, Joy and Asperger’s by Elizabeth Bauman. It is a wonderful book for anyone who is homeschooling. It is a story of one family’s journey that is very similar to our journey with Wesley. The author is in my critique group so I had the pleasure of critiquing some of the chapters.

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  14. You could carry it all the way through from the cowboy breakfast to the street dance without a problem. Probably get some compliments though and have to stop to talk about how you got it and are you selling it.

    Yes, it is.

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  15. I get chatty. 🙂

    Here’s one of my quick videos after the big game Wednesday, guy at the end is the councilman (former lapd officer who represents the Watts-to-Harbor district).

    I was recording the passing, honking traffic when I kept feeling someone rubbing my back and heard my name. Then he popped in front of the camera, like all good politicians, and got some screen time.

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  16. Wish it would rain here, but at least our temperatures are back down to what’s more normal for us this time of year (overing just over and/or just under 80).

    I really hope we get bucket loads of rain this winter.

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  17. Looks like we are getting some mist. The cold is gone for now, but we will get more. 60’s are fine with no heat, but the 50’s are a little chilly.

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  18. Is that Pt. Fermin park? I’ve never seen my hometown from that angle before.

    Thanks for voting and comments. I’ll report more later, today it’s off to the next event!

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  19. It is pouring and booming at the office now.

    This week I went to our closest mall, within a mile from our house, to drop some mail in the P.O. box. I saw a lot of cars and trailers in the almost always empty lot. There were signs about crew members so I figured it meant a movie was being filmed in the area. I just checked to see what it might be. The article said that Clint Eastwood has been seen at the mall. They are filming his movie, The Mule. Interesting. We will have to see that one if it is not R rated. Of course, our general vicinity has been changing so much that I probably won’t see anything I am familiar with in it, LOL.

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  20. Completed CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) re-certification today. There are certain requirements for clinical placement that must be renewed annually and that is one of them.

    My father is getting restless. He was doing too much on his injured foot and it was swelling badly and threatening another infection, so he was told to stay off it and keep it elevated for several days. My mother witnessed him today riding on the ride-on mower that he had just fixed, trimming tree branches above his head. When she tried to suggest that maybe he shouldn’t be doing that, he insisted that he was staying off his injured foot and even keeping it elevated. How he elevated his foot while sitting on a lawn mower, I’m not really certain, but if he keeps that up he could end up in the ER with another injury.

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  21. Roscuro, I am sorry to hear about his compulsion to do the work instead of getting the rest he needs. My friend, Karen, is much the same but with different chores that get her into troubles. It is painful to witness and know that they not only hurt themselves but also cause much grief for loved ones.

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  22. Janice, that’s funny that “The Mule” is being filmed where you live. There was an article in the local paper about it being filmed in NM.

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  23. phos. I know it’s a problem. But it’s difficult for a man who had done things all his life, to not be doing something.
    It ain’t the money, but it really bothers me to pay a guy to cut my grass.
    But they tell me that I need to walk for exercise, but don’t cut the grass.
    Go figure.

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  24. Janice, he insists that if he didn’t do the work, it wouldn’t get done. It is true that the mowing had fallen behind somewhat, but there had been no working lawn mowers (the one he ran his foot over with broke when Second In-law tried to use it after my father was injured). Second In-law is kept busy with the business he is starting and Second with her two small children. My mother’s mobility is not good and I have to be cautious working outdoors because my asthma will flare up if I do too much, but we have both been making an effort to care for the garden. Second also tries when she can catch a spare moment – earlier in the spring, her infant boy would lay quietly in the stroller under a mosquito net while she worked, but he is more active now. Both my mother and I have tried to point out to my father that when my siblings and I were small, our parents couldn’t do as much care of the property as they have been doing lately, and it wasn’t mowed as far back as it is now (my father mows partway into the forest now) and the gardens were not as well tended – one summer when I was nine or ten, my mother had her first acute attack of inflammatory arthritis and she was mostly bedridden, and the lower of their two vegetable gardens went entirely to weeds. But my father does not like to be kept in enforced idleness and refuses to be comforted with reminders of what things used to be like.

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  25. Chas, the push lawn mower is heavy, and I find it hard on my asthma to try to use it. Mowing the lawn is much more physically demanding than just walking.
    The greatest problem with my father’s insistence on doing things is that it is delaying his foot from healing. The swelling and the pressure from the constant movement don’t give the body much of a chance to knit together the torn tissues of the foot. When he first injured his foot, the wound was sewn together and they left the stitches in for about two weeks, through the infection that he had. But after they took the stitches out, the edges that had appeared to be healing together came apart again, and probably part of the reason they came apart was because he was using his foot too much. The resulting open wound is taking a much longer time to heal. When I see it, I think it will be at least another month before it is closed over.

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  26. The Mule:

    From Wikipedia: “Principal photography on the film began on June 4, 2018 in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia. It will also be shot in New Mexico.”

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dianne-wiest-michael-pena-join-clint-eastwoods-mule-1116755

    ________________________

    … The story, per the studio, focuses on Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. What he discovers is that he has just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel.

    Stone does the job so well that his cargo increases exponentially, and he is assigned a handler. But he also comes on the radar of hard-charging DEA agent. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Stone’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him. …

    Eastwood is playing Stone, while Cooper is a hard-charging DEA agent hot on his tail.

    In what is said to be a meaty role, Wiest will play Stone’s ex-wife. Pena is the enforcer.

    Nick Schenk, who wrote Eastwood’s Gran Torino, wrote the script. …
    ______________________________

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  27. Seems I really stirred the pot on the Politics thread.
    I just want things to make sense before I offer an opinion.

    We studied 2 Samuel 13 in SS this morning. It’s about Amnon raping Tamar and Absolom killing Amnon in revenge. In all my 60+ years of Bible study, I have never heard anyone put the finger on the real culprit in this mess.
    It was Amnon’s cousin, Jonadab. Without his “wise” council, none of this would have happened.
    There were a couple of lapses of good judgment in this also.
    Tamar may have been a naïve young woman, but she should have suspected something when Amnon made everyone but her leave (13:9-10). Pretty sick, this guy. But she was young and naïve.
    OTOH, David should have suspected something when Absolom would not -absolutely could not – have had a feast at the sheep shearing until the man who raped his sister joined them.
    The thing I respect about the Bible is that it tells it like it is.

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  28. Chas, why should Tamar suspect her own brother? A half-sibling is still a sibling. Tamar had been told by her father to go and serve her brother. So far as she knew, she was helping out a close blood relative and should have had nothing to fear from him. Sick and twisted indeed is the man who lusts after his close blood relatives.

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  29. Apparently, there is a controversy in Christian circles about temptation and sin, probably a controversy that has been around a long time. According to what I read, the idea that being tempted is not in itself a sin is a Catholic belief (although I am not Catholic, and this is what I have tended to believe), and the idea that even being tempted is a sin is a Reformed belief.

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  30. Aw, Croatia lost — but played a very good game, so no regrets really. They could have won, it just didn’t fall their way. Soccer’s an odd game.

    There were about 2,000 people in the street to watch the big screen projection of the early morning game. Afterward, many cried and hugged. But they were only solemn for a while.

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  31. Well, there’s this at the Gospel Coalition, a Reformed site:

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/temptation-is-not-the-same-as-sin/

    _________________________________

    It’s one of those things we know to be true on an intellectual level, but we forget it easily in personal experience.

    Temptation is not the same as sin.

    This truth is obvious from the Scriptures. In the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught to pray “forgive us our debts” and “lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6:12-13). Debts and trespasses require forgiveness; temptation needs deliverance. They are not the same. Just because you are struggling with temptation does not mean you are mired in sin. The spiritual progression in the human heart goes from desire to temptation to sin to death (James 1:14-15). We are told to flee temptation, not because we’ve already sinned, but because in the midst of temptation we desperately feel like we want to. If being tempted was in itself a mark of wickedness, we could not confess that Jesus Christ “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). It is possible to experience profound temptations to sin while still being blameless from that sin. …

    … By all means, let us be quick to repent when we sin in thought, word, or deed. Let us beseech God to forgive us our real debts. Let us also pray with frequency and fervency “lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the Evil One.” Sin and temptation are not identical, but they are both threats to the Christian.
    ____________________________________

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  32. Looked out the backdoor a little while ago and saw a little sprinkler jetting streams of water about a foot into the air. We don’t have a sprinkler hooked up out there right now.

    I suspect a critter (maybe the groundhog we see occasionally?) may have bitten the hose that is out there. (I ran out and turned off the outside water. No more sprinkler.)

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  33. DJ – That expresses how I think of temptation and sin. I was surprised, in the other article I read, to see that thinking of temptation as sin in itself is a Reformed belief, because I hadn’t picked that up from any of you on here.

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  34. I have never heard of temptation being a sin before.
    In Islam (the way I read it), it is the woman who sins if she is uncovered and tempts a man.

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  35. Acting on the temptation is a sin. Jesus didn’t tell the woman at the well, “Don’t be tempted or you’ll sin.”

    He said, “Go and sin no more.”

    Tamar was NOT in a position of power–her brother was. Raping her was his fault.

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  36. My younger son is now an Eagle Scout! When he was a Cub Scout I saved stuff from his Scouting activities because another Scout mother told me I’d want them if he ever became an Eagle Scout, to display at the ceremony. At the time I had a hard time imagining he’d ever get that far, but he did. We are very proud of him.

    Regarding my husband’s knee, he is able to get around short distances without the cane, and hopes to be able to eventually not use it for longer distances either. (Short means around the house, long would be crossing a large parking lot.) He says most of the pain is gone, and he hopes to get back to swimming at the Y once the wound on his (other) leg heals. There was a large blister in early May, and after a week we found it had popped. Since then we’ve been trying to keep it clean and help it heal, but due to his diabetes it is very slow.

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  37. I haven’t read the thread yet. My hubby and I got back from a couple days away (daughter’s baby shower–sweet visit). FYI, the singing bird posted Friday afternoon was a song sparrow. So I was wrong about the first one being the last species of the apple-tree shots I had sent to AJ.

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  38. Yes, Amnon was responsible for his actions. Should David have been more aware? Of course. Should Tamar? Of course. I am sure there were earlier indications that he was in danger of falling. But he was ultimately responsible for his actions. Jonadab was also responsible for his words. They had been told that that behavior was a sin, just like many other behaviors. People sin. They are responsible for their sin but Christ elected to take that responsibility if we submit to Him. And it is clear to this day that there are people who believe that because David did, it is okay for them. Or Isaac, or any of the rest who participated in polygamy or marrying their sisters as Abraham did.

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  39. I asked on the rants and raves, but will repeat it here:
    I would like to have my class and I learn a hymn of the month. Any suggestions? and where to begin?

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  40. Can’t think of one right away Jo, but be sure to get a hymn that’s singable.
    e.g. “How Great Thou Art” wouldn’t be good because the timing and range would be difficult for untrained voices.

    My quarrel with modern church music is that it isn’t poetry because it doesn’t rhyme. and it doesn’t have a melody. Just beat.

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  41. Mumsee, even most non-Christian humans find something wrong with close blood relatives being sexually interested in one another. Paul told Timothy to treat the Christians of his church as family members, the older men as fathers, the older women as mothers, the younger men as brothers, and the younger women as sisters, for that was the way to maintain purity in church relationships (I Timothy 5:1-2).There are many relationships that occur in Genesis which are later forbidden and Abraham was not a pattern to be followed, as is clear from the law given to Moses:
    “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home.” (Leviticus 18:9)
    Tamar was not responsible and the Bible never holds her responsible in relating the story. She was the victim of first her half brother and then her full brother Absalom, who prevented her from making a public accusation against Amnon. Amnon was an evil man and by the laws given to Moses he deserved death, but it should have been at the hands of the proper authorities. Absalom was determined to pursue his own personal vengeance at the expense of his sister, who was left desolate in his house after his injunction for her silence. Perhaps Absalom saw political gain from the murder, since Amnon was the elder brother and firstborn son. Two very evil men, those eldest and third sons of David, and his fourth son, Adonijah, was just as bad. As evil men, they were eventually all destroyed.

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  42. It’s a quiet afternoon going into evening for us. Art had church meetings this afternoon so we did not ride into the office.

    Thanks for the info on The Mule, Donna. They were also filming in the town where our office is. That was the first I heard of it because Art had read about it in the little town newsletter we receive. They are getting all over the place.

    I am really liking church a lot more lately because it seems to be going in a better direction than it was for quite some time under the direction of the former pastor. I not sure what he could have changed in his position, but so much is being revamped as the new church.

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  43. Jo, do you want to give a little bit a of history of the hymn? If so, I recommend the website hymnary.org, which contains extensive historical information on hundreds of hymns, and also has words and sheet music and sometimes sound clips of the hymns.
    I don’t know if you have a hymnal that you and the children are most familiar with, so I’m not sure what is most accessible for you to use, but I can recommend the shorter and simpler of my favorite hymns:
    – The Doxology
    – Praise God from whom all blessings flow (tune: Old One Hundredth, same tune as Doxology)
    – Glory be to God the Father (words by Bonar, tune by Weisse)
    – Come we that love the Lord (Watts, tune name: St Thomas)
    – Children of the Heavenly Father (by Berg, translated by Olson)
    – Fairest Lord Jesus
    – How sweet the name of Jesus sounds (Newton, tune: St. Peter)
    – Jesus, the very thought of Thee (Bernard of Clairvaux, tune: St. Agnes)
    – When I survey the wondrous cross (Watts, tune: Hamburg)
    – The King shall come (Brownlie, tune: Kentucky Harmony)
    – There’s a wideness in God’s mercy (Faber, tune: Wellesley)
    – Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness (Count von Zinzendorf, tune: Germany)
    – My song shall be of Jesus (Crosby, tune: Alstyne)
    – Amazing Grace (Newton, tune: Amazing Grace)
    – Be Thou my vision (Traditional, tune: Slane)
    – God is my strong salvation (Montgomery, tune: Wedlock)
    – If thou but suffer God to guide thee (Neumark, tune: Neumark)

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  44. That is true. I did not say she was condemned, I said she could have been more aware. It happens. Why did that queen not dance before her husband’s friends? She knew better and she lost her position for it.

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  45. Jo I agree with more easily sung hymns to begin with teaching smaller kiddos.
    Be thou my vision is a beautiful hymn
    What a Friend we have in Jesus
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Blessed Assurance
    Holy Holy Holy
    Just to name a few…. 😊

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  46. JaniceG,
    His project was creating fish habitats in some ponds in a park area outside town. When the idea was originally suggested (by one of the conservation officers, I think), it was to use discarded Christmas trees, dropping them into the ponds in designated areas. The suggestion wasn’t made until December, though, which didn’t leave nearly enough time to plan the project. They changed to using trees from that park area which were chosen by the conservation officers to be cut down (it’s a heavily wooded area around the ponds), then the Scouts attached cement blocks to them and dropped them into the ponds where directed. A lot of the work was transporting cement blocks and trees, I imagine. I declined to help with the heavy lifting, and ended up being the assigned person to go to in case of emergency (which there weren’t any, for which I was very glad).

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  47. From Kizzie’s link: basically, the command against coveting tells us it is indeed a sin to desire sin, even if one doesn’t act on it (the rest of this is a quote from her link; I don’t know how to do block quotes on here):

    The current debate about gay Christianity traces back to a centuries-old dispute between Protestants and Catholics about the doctrine of man and the doctrine of sin. Roman Catholics do not regard involuntary desire for sin (i.e., “concupiscence”) to be sinful. Reformed Protestants do.

    This stark difference explains why Belgau has denied that same-sex attraction is sinful. For example, Belgau has written:

    “The desire to have sex with others of our own sex is a temptation to sin which is a result of the fall, but it is not, in itself, sinful.

    “I believe that gay sex is sinful, and that the desire for gay sex, though not itself sinful, is a temptation…

    When Belgau argues that same-sex desire is not sinful, he is being a good Roman Catholic. But he is also articulating a viewpoint that is at odds with the Reformed tradition and, more importantly, with scripture. ”

    The Bible teaches that our desires—all of them, voluntary or involuntary—are morally implicated. Desire is teleological, and its moral character is determined by its object. If someone desires a good thing, then the desire itself is good (e.g., 1 Tim. 3:1; Matt. 13:17). If someone desires an evil thing, then the desire itself is evil, quite apart from whether or not the desire is voluntary (e.g., 1 Cor. 10:6). This holds for all human desire, including but not exclusively sexual desire.

    Where does the Bible teach this? This teaching is throughout scripture, but perhaps the best place to start is with the tenth commandment:

    “You must not desire your neighbor’s house; you must not desire your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exod. 20:17, our translation)

    Note that the English renderings “covet” and “lust” are but two ways of describing illicit desire. In both Hebrew and Greek, the underlying terms mean desire, which can be either good desire or evil desire depending on the object of the desire. See here for a fuller explanation.

    In the other commandments, many actions (conscious acts of the will) are forbidden. In the tenth commandment, however, God forbids even desiring those prohibited actions. For example, the seventh commandment prohibits adultery, and the tenth commandment prohibits the desire for adultery (“you must not desire your neighbor’s wife”). There is no stipulation about whether the desire is voluntary or involuntary. All such desire is prohibited.

    Jesus was not innovating when he said that looking at a woman to desire her sexually was tantamount to adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). As the master teacher, he was simply highlighting the connection that already existed between the seventh and tenth commandments. He was teaching us that desire for sin is itself sinful.

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  48. Kizzie, I think the current confusion about whether temptation is a sin or not is because the lines have been blurred between temptation and the natural fallen human lusts of the flesh. Jesus was tempted, yes, by his own hunger and Satan’s suggestions, but he did not have the sinful lusts of the flesh, such as gluttony or pride, that Satan was suggesting to him. Remember, Jesus was tempted on all points the way we are, but without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Some translations translate that phrase ‘without sin’ as ‘but he did not sin’, but the Greek word for without means separate or away from. Jesus was not a son of the first Adam and thus had not inherited a sin nature.

    The current debate over temptation and sin is in the context of the popular idea that Christians can identify themselves by their particular brand of sexual attraction, i.e. gay or same-sex attracted Christians. As long as they remain celibate, they are only experiencing temptation, not sinning. The problem, however, is that before the same sex attraction question arose, Christians that would identify as heterosexually attracted had already blurred the lines between temptation and lust. Jesus said that looking at a woman for the purpose of lusting after her was already sin. But modern Christians have compartmentalized their thought life from their physical actions and justify thinking sinful thoughts as being simply temptation, so that Paige Patterson, the former head of Southwestern Theological Seminary, could tell a story about a teenage boy lusting after an attractive girl as being an illustration of God’s original creation: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/05/10/southern-baptist-leader-apologizes-for-sermon-example-about-teenage-girls-physical-appearance/. But sexual lust was never a part of God’s original creation. It was not until Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of both good and evil that they saw their nakedness as being shameful and needing covering. Only then could they see how to pervert the beauty of sex into ugliness. Adam, in his originally created state, would never have found any other woman but Eve to be sexually attractive. It simply would not have occurred to him.

    Human beings have natural hormonal urges to have sex, but to lust for or think of having sexual contact with someone else, outside of the marriage relationship between one man and one woman, is sin. Here someone may say, that it is impossible to stay absolutely pure then, since the human mind often very quickly focuses on sex when one encounters someone whom they find attractive. But that is exactly the point. We humans cannot save ourselves. Christ is the only one who can save us and he does save us. Christians still have fleshly lusts, but by the Holy Spirit, they become dead to those lusts (Romans 6:1-7, 8:1-5). But if they do not sorrow over their sin, and justify it by calling it a natural temptation, then they need to repent of their disobedience. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

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  49. Mumsee, Vashti refusing to be on sexual display before Ahasuerus’ ministers, who were in no way related to her, is not the same as Tamar being told to care for a sick half-brother. I repeat, no one should have to be suspicious of their close blood relatives.

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  50. True, they should not. But I thought the culture indicated she should not have been alone with him and where was her dad to allow it? Or was he as surprised as she to find the boy had sent everybody else out of the room? They were not supposed to marry many wives either, but they did. People were every bit as much sinners then as now. Believe me, I know that improper relationships happen. And, it seems to me, they always have and people were aware of it. Of course we should be able to walk wherever with no concern, but that is not the real world. Of course he should not have done what he did. He could have asked his dad to let him marry her and he probably would have allowed it, based on his own many marriages.

    But then, I do not believe women are to be living in victimhood either. They need to be aware of others and act appropriately. And still, bad things happen.

    If I go walking in the forest, I don’t walk quietly. I don’t want to surprise a bear. It is due caution.

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  51. Kizzie,

    Here is a fuller answer. First of all, you basically are jumping in right in the middle of a major ongoing controversy within the PCA. Since two of my last three churches have been PCA, and there is reason to be concerned about the “direction” of the PCA, I have followed this controversy, but chances are no one on here, or no more than one or two of you, have followed it. “Adult” situations ahead in this discussion.

    I will attempt to summarize what is happening, and then I will post a link that should be read if you want to see Kizzie’s link in context. This is not just coming out of thin air. Conservatives are NOT arguing that when Satan said to Jesus, “Throw yourself down from here” that Jesus, being tempted, sinned. Nor would we say that when your boss says, “Here, do this to the figures, and then you and I will split the profits” that such an external temptation is sin. We are saying that our lusts (our internal temptations, if you will) are themselves sinful. The article I will link in a moment shows people, in their own words, absolutely reveling in their temptations, savoring them, figuring that if God forbids the sinful action they can at least enjoy the arousal and can put themselves in a special class of people based on their sinful temptations. Out of context, that link above may have looked like being holier than thou about other people’s temptations. That is far from the reality here. Here’s the summary and the link.

    Summary: A PCA church is set to host a conference called Revoice, given for people who consider themselves gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, etc. but believe that acting on the temptation is sin. Except that nowhere in Scripture do we see any ground for identifying ourselves by sins that tempt us but that we do not commit, so far so good. They are very clear that acting on homosexual temptation is sin, and that’s good. In fact, when I first heard about the conference, I was vaguely uneasy about the concept of bringing together huge crowds of people whose defining characteristic was struggling with one specific sin (would the conference itself be a place where people would face great temptation to lust and some would even be soliciting sexual liasions?), but with the insistence on chastity, I at least didn’t see a theological problem and wondered why it was drawing such controversy.

    The more I’ve read, the clearer it has gotten. Many of these people are recommending that churches carve out a place where those with homosexual temptations can in effect have their own “singles groups,” where they can do anything and everything short of actual sex, and they wish to label themselves by their temptations. For instance, they call themselves gay Christians, the conference material uses the term “sexual minorities” (this is another special-interest group, not repentant sinners), and the conference will consider the place of “queer literature” and the gay subculture. Keynote speakers at the conference are suggesting covenantal friendships in which two people who are tempted by homosexuality will do literally everything but have sex. They will consider themselves covenantally bound to a same-sex friend who also experiences homosexual temptation, may buy a house together, adopt together, dance together, take this special friend home to meet Mom and Dad, and they want the church to recognize their covenantal friendship as every bit as important as the marriages within the church. This is NOT fleeing temptation while being persecuted for being tempted. This is baptizing the homosexual equivalent of Bill Clinton’s insistence he didn’t have sex because it was just oral sex. By the time you are saying, “This is my covenanted special someone with whom I slow dance, with whom I cuddle on the couch, and whose body I love to look at,” it’s a technicality that the two of you haven’t had actual sex. (Haven’t had sex yet, most likely–that one is probably coming, too.)

    This is the link. Notice this is not pretty; some of it is rather gritty stuff. But if you care about what is being accepted under the guise of “Christianity” and what is being written off as mere tempation (and thus not sinful), it is important that you at least look at some of this: https://colinsmothers.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/revoice-in-their-own-voice/

    This is what Kizzie’s link is dealing with, NOT a fleeting thought that we immediately nail to the Cross.

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  52. Mumsee, when I lived in Nashville, my den was the best room in the house for sleeping. Previous owners had put up room-darkening shades, and I bought an expensive futon that had a better mattress than my own bed had. One of my brothers travels for a living, and on his way home, once in a while he would call me and tell me he was too tired to get all the way home that night, so could he stop and spend the night at my house, then have breakfast with me and drive home?

    The first time he asked, I thought, “What would the neighbors think if they saw that a man spends the night at my house?” But immediately I realized that was an utterly irrelevant consideration. In fact, if my brother came to visit me and a bunch of family were gathered around, and he suggested that he and I go into another room by ourselves, it would never cross my mind that he might be wanting to do something untoward. I would figure he wanted to get away from the hubbub or maybe he had something private that he wasn’t yet ready to tell everyone.

    Scripture does not reproach Tamar. A virgin in a culture in which men and women largely operated in separate worlds would not necessarily have had any reason to suspect her half-brother had any evil designs on her. Her own father had apparently either not seen need for caution or had overlooked it–if she had any misgivings at all, she might have told herself, “Well, Dad thinks it’s OK.” Scripture doesn’t reproach her, and I don’t think we dare do so, either.

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  53. Cheryl, thanks for the links and information on Revoice, I had not heard of that movement in the PCA.

    With the struggle nowadays over whether we are born with or naturally inclined toward (by genetics) particular behaviors, the divide over temptation and action can become less black and white than we’d like.

    And as I was thinking about it earlier (before I passed out in a deep nap for the afternoon), I had thought about Jesus’ stress on not just our actions but on our heart-attitudes, from which actions stem. Temptation, indeed, can move into a realm of a desire and attitudes that we choose to nurture, rather than resist, deny and fight — or at least consider benign in and of themselves, so long as we take no action. If we continue to feed covetousness or lust or other unbiblical mindsets Scripture warns us about, can it not edge into sinfulness itself?

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  54. I’m trying to catch up on the watering before it gets dark, I’ve not been out to water for nearly a week and am afraid I may lose a couple potted plants 😦

    No word on when painting might resume, other than dog park painter is hoping to get back tomorrow for some short days at least (his mom is still in need of his help at home). At least our weather has cooled off and is back to normal for the most part. Still warm, but not unbearably hot.

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  55. Mumsee, are we supposed to go around being cautious of family members? Should I be suspecting my father if we go alone anywhere? Yes, abuse does happen between family members, but that only means that those who commit abuse of family members are treacherous. It does not mean their victims were naive or heedless. A child who is abused by the father they trusted isn’t naive, for that child had every reason to depend on their father not to break the trust that exists between parent and child. So it is with brother and sister. The perpetrator of familial abuse is a traitor.

    As for not wanting people to live in permanent victimhood, Tamar lived in victimhood because her brother made her keep silent and her father, when he heard about it, took no action. It is when we tell those who have been abused to keep quiet, for fear of breaking up a family or destroying an institution, that we create permanent victims. The current movements to expose abusers in both the church and the secular world are because people have been kept silent too long about the crimes that were done to them.

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  56. Something has been mentioned that in a culture that was sex-segregated, Tamar should have been suspicious. But in sex-segregated cultures, brothers are not segregated from their sisters. Perhaps one of the most sex-segregated cultures that has existed in recent memory was the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Under Taliban laws, a woman could not go anywhere outside of her house, unless she was accompanied by a male blood relative. So, even under the Taliban’s regime, which was as conservative as it gets about sex-segregation, it would have been considered acceptable for Tamar to be alone with Amnon.

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  57. Well, she knew what he did was wrong. She was not the guilty party. We all agree on that. I am always sad for her when I read the story. As I would be for anybody. But their culture, in reading the Bible, appears to be rife with this sort of thing and that family was no exception. I am just saying it took a bunch of people to allow it to happen. First, the inclination of Amnon, second the words of his cousin, third, the dad allowing her to be the only person on the planet that could help him, and fourth, the people leaving her alone in the room. None of it made sense;

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  58. Only one person made it happen. Amnon. He chose to focus on Tamar lustfully, he chose to listen to Jonadab’s advice, he chose to fake his sickness, he chose to ask his father to send Tamar to him, he chose to send his servants out of the room, he chose to ignore Tamar’s pleas, he chose to rape Tamar.

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  59. Interesting as we see events unfolding within God’s sovereignty. Sometimes straight forward, sometimes more nuanced with one thing leading to another until …

    God is sovereign over all, yet in the end we are all fully culpable for our sin.

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