59 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-6-18

  1. Good night JO.
    Good morning everyone else.

    I posted on the prayer thread last night that Elvera’s older sister, Argaree, died. I didn’t tell her until this morning. She is glad that I waited.
    Elvera, Polly and Argaree were closest in age and companionship out of a family of seven siblings. She is disappointed, but taking it well.

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  2. Morning! So very thankful Chas…we shall continue to hold you in prayer….
    Good nite Jo… 😴
    Anyone else not liking this time change? I am an early riser but this 4am stuff is messing with me! 😊

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  3. I am so sorry Chas. It isn’t the same but I am watching it in my aunts and uncles. All 12 of my grandparent’s children lived well into adulthood. My aunt Gaybee was the first to go, then my dad, then my Uncle Beverly (yes), and most recently my Uncle Charles. The eight who are left mourn. The stories and shared memories are gone as well.

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  4. I posted something about Trump on the politics thread. I’m posting this here because it isn’t about politics. It’s about principles.

    I posted several times that I don’t like Trump, the man. He is a loud mouth short fuse who’s mouth runs ahead of his brain.
    Having said that, I like what he’s doing.
    In thinking about that this morning, I recalled something:
    I am not comparing Trump to Martin Luther. Not at all.
    Having said that:
    I told you before that I took a Church History course at Southwestern Seminary about Luther and the reformation.
    Luther, in case you didn’t know, is a hard man to like.
    Some of the students, left the course with a total disliking of Luther.
    He was obstinate and loud. He once banged on the table in a debate with Zwingli, “THIS IS MY BODY”. Luther believed, as Catholics, and likely Lutherand do, that the Lord’s Subber bread turns into the body of Christ when the magic words are said.

    But you don’t have to like Luther to appreciate what he did

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  5. We do NOT believe that the bread turns into the body of Christ. We believe, because Jesus SAID, “This is my body” that we receive in, with, and under the bread and wine, the true body and blood of Christ shed on the cross and that it is a means of grace (as is baptism and the Word). Just clearing that up.

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  6. Daughter is enjoying her new freedom. We put a refrigerator in her room and she went shopping for food after church. I followed along and helped her get her thoughts together. I did tell her she did not need to walk backwards down the aisle each time but could turn her cart around. She thought that was a wonderful idea, made it much easier.
    She bought avocadoes and kiwis and apples, potatoes, milk, bread, margarine, sour cream, cream cheese, hot dogs, sliced ham, macaroni and cheese and pasta roni, pancake mix, cereal, and yogurt. Then off to the pudding for eight containers and the hostess pies. She had a pudding and a pie for dessert the first day, I don’t know what else.
    She made macaroni and cheese and a hot dog and pancakes, with minimal adult supervision Quite happy with the results.

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  7. DJ – Last night you asked if Nightingale had gone to the Unitarian church yet. No, she hasn’t, but then again, The Boy has had his football games on Sunday mornings for the past couple months.

    Let’s pray that that idea will sour in her mind.

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  8. Kizzie — and that Nightingale’s friend & The Boy’s friend will be an influence that will get them thinking about other options. 🙂

    *****

    Kim, yeah, it’s sobering when the generation before us starts passing from the scene. And the information they had that goes with them is something I hadn’t anticipated being so much a part of that until it began happening in our family.

    *****

    I heard from a friend who’d vanished (sort of) — diagnosed with mental illness but refused to take medication — in an email last night. She’d managed to get the city to open the port area’s first dog park probably 15+ years ago and I think i’d first met her in 1998-99, the first time she spoke about the plan at a Harbor Commission meeting I was covering. Way back, I was working at the paper that since closed down, so it must have been before 1998.

    Anyway, it was so good to hear from her. Her parents have been going through a rough time, too, with the mom now diagnosed with dementia.

    *****

    I don’t think Linda would make a good Baptist. There are a lot of nuances in positions regarding the Lord’s Supper and it can be hard to wrap your mind around some of those nuances, admittedly. As I understand it, the Baptists see it merely as a memorial; that is different from the Lutherans and different from the Presbyterians (who are also different from the Lutherans). We’re all, of course, different from the Roman Catholics.

    As might be expected, the more conservative/orthodox Presbyterians have a very wordy explanation of their particular view of the sacrament as a sign, seal and means of grace:

    1. It is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ the night before His death. It came out of His celebration of the Last Supper (the Passover Feast – see Ex. 12:31 – 13:10). But the Lord’s Supper was different in that no animal sacrifice should ever again be made since God’s Lamb would soon be slain. The Apostle Paul wrote: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). So Christ’s commandment is that His people celebrate the Lord’s Supper frequently. …

    2. The elements are simply bread and wine. … Reformed churches do not believe that the bread and wine were anything but bread and wine. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus when the priest pronounces the words, “This is my body” before the altar. This is called “transsubstantiation,” meaning that the elements are actually changed into the body and blood of Christ. Lutherans also think that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus by “consubstantiation,” meaning that, after His resurrection, Jesus’ human body and blood took on divine attributes and therefore are in, with and under the communion elements. … We in the OPC believe that we partake of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, not physically, but spiritually. That is, by taking the bread and wine in memory of His death, the very words of Jesus, “Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you,” means that we are blessed by the Holy Spirit in our hearts when we take the supper in remembrance of Him. He is there spiritually by the Holy Spirit whom He sent to the church on Pentecost to take His place on earth while He lives and reigns in heaven.

    3. The spiritual significance of the Lord’s Supper is that it is a sign, a seal and a means of grace to those who worthily partake. As a sign, it signifies Christ’s death for us on the cross. As a seal, it binds us to Christ as our Savior, just as a body is joined to its head, a bride to her bridegroom. This union is also sealed in baptism. But in baptism, only once because it speaks about the New Birth (John 3:3-8). But in the Lord’s Supper we reaffirm our union with Christ every time we take the bread and wine. That’s why it is also called communion. Jesus celebrated it with His disciples. And the disciples celebrated it with each other. So Communion has a vertical dimension (with Jesus in heaven) and a horizontal dimension (with each other on earth). It’s a seal of our union with Him and each other! As a means of grace, partaking of the bread and wine in remembrance of Him is food for our souls. We “grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

    (It goes on at great length but I’ll end it there 🙂 )

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  9. mumsee, that’s true. Although I do think honing our doctrine, in the right spirit, is important in contending for the truth and keeping the church sharp. That said, we need to also remember many of these issues are secondary and not essential to our salvation. We can agree to disagree on those within friendly (but also mutually challenging) discussions.

    I just cleaned up the backyard, there were scraps of things from the painters, some dog poop, an empty dog food can (???), the remnants of a torn-up plant nutrient bag (yum, says Tess who’s waiting now to bloom) that needed to be bagged and gone.

    I still need to go vote, I keep meaning to sign up for the mail-in ballot but never get to it. I need to start work at 2 p.m. I dread tonight but at least I’ll get off work at 11 p.m. which is relatively early for an election night shift. Some others will need to stay until midnight and others until 2 a.m.

    The editors keep flooding us with emails, in the meantime, about hashtags to use on ‘social,’ links to use in our stories, suggestions for good election night verbs to use, on and on. This whole thing is entirely over-planned. And it’ll all go by in a rush and in a barrage of numbers to constantly update.

    But there will be pizza in the newsroom. That helps.

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  10. Iron sharpens iron. We definitely do need to discuss things, but realize different folk are in different places where God is working. Not getting mad over it unless it is downright leading the folk astray. We are constantly learning and fine tuning.

    The other day, Chas mentioned Paul and where he came from. Somebody responded that Paul was of the elite or some such. I was reading again that Paul was a tent maker or leather worker. Though he had a lot of teaching, he was a hands on guy in the laboring dept. It is easy to hear somebody say something and respond with “Oh yeah, that makes sense” when we need to get into the Word and study. Take what we hear and see how it lines up with Scripture, not just a part of Scripture.

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  11. But one may discuss the nuances without letting it become a source of conflict. Since the beginning of our association together when we were on Whirled Views, we have not let either national, political, or denominational differences sever our unity as Christians, with a few inquirers, from all different walks of life; but have had many rousing debates over the years. So, I will speak for the Baptists among us, by quoting the London Baptist Confession (1689 edition), which nicely sums up the Baptist view of communion, with a couple of direct refutations of popular Catholic practices:

    ‘Chapter 30: Of the Lord’s Supper

    1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other. ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17, 21 )

    2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ’s own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. ( Hebrews 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26, 27 )

    3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants. ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, etc. )

    4. The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. ( Matthew 26:26-28; Matthew 15:9; Exodus 20:4, 5 )

    5. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. ( 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 )

    6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries. ( Acts 3:21; Luke 24:6, 39; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25 )

    7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. ( 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 )

    8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table, and cannot, without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves. ( 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 11:29; Matthew 7:6 )’

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  12. I always find the Presbyterian term “a means of grace” a bit concerning. Grace is unmerited favour. “By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Scripture is clear, neither by inborn nor earned merit do we receive salvation; only by grace, which is solely at the dispensation of God Who does what He wills. Grace, to put it briefly, is the direct contradiction of both birthright and works. So how can anything we do as Christians be “a means of grace”? If we receive grace by doing certain things, however good those things are of themselves, then grace is no longer grace (Romans 11:6).

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  13. True, though God has also given us means by which we nurture that grace in our lives — Scripture, prayer, the Lord’s Supper. We grow through the regular attention given to these that He has given to us.

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  14. I love this blog – it’s so interesting to ‘listen’ to the different discussions here.

    I just had a 2 ½ hourish nap. Feeling much better.

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  15. So availing ourselves of the means of grace does not affect our status as being saved. But it does affect our daily walk and spiritual growth as believers.

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  16. Grace, if it is unmerited favour towards us, cannot be nurtured by us, it can only be nurtured by God. As Pastor A always used to quote, when speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure[emphasis added]” (Philippians 2:12-13). Even our acts of obedience are acts of grace done in us by God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

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  17. I grew up in the Baptist tradition, where I remained until I learned the I don’t need to “accept” Jesus, since He had already accepted me.

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  18. Praying the prayer to “accept Jesus” is a relatively new addition to the Baptist tradition, a habit picked up perhaps in the revival meeting atmosphere of the 1800 and early 1900s, with a dash of Arminianism on the side (traditionally, as evidenced by what the London Baptist Confession has to say on the subject of election, Baptists were what is commonly termed Calvinists). Although I did pray to accept Jesus as a five year old, I now recognize that it was the act of a child who was trying, in the only way she knew, to acknowledge the work of faith that was already being done in her by the Holy Spirit. I no longer date my salvation as having occurred the night I prayed that prayer, although I regard the prayer as the first confession of faith that I expressed.

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  19. I should add that I find that people who sincerely believe, in whatever doctrinal/denominational camp they identify with, generally reveal themselves to be utterly orthodox in their daily life and practice. I have known many a declared Arminian who roundly criticizes Calvinism, who will yet make statements about the character of God which show that they truly believe God is sovereign. Similarly, although I find elements of concern the wording of doctrine in certain denominations, it is usually apparent that the true believer in the ranks of said denominations do not hold an unorthodox view, however awkwardly worded their confessions of faith may be. Where error creeps in is when people who do not have the Holy Spirit cling to the mere words of a manmade confession, and in their ignorance, distort those words into a manmade religion of works.

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  20. “the ordinary channels he has ordained for this purpose and are communicated to Christians supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.”

    So more accurately put, there are ‘ordinary means’ (preaching and reading the Word, the sacraments, and prayer) through which God gives his grace.

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  21. We are really “already” sanctified by God’s grace.

    Yet we also learn to make use of the channels already given to us by God and with the power of the Holy Spirit to grow day-to-day.

    I suspect we’ve all experienced the difference in our walk between those times in which we avail ourselves of those means — or don’t for a season. Yet either way we are still saved by grace alone, and we are still sanctified (as a finished work by Christ) in eternity.

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  22. Does being baptized save us? Going to church? Hearing the Word preached regularly? Partaking of the Lord’s Supper regularly?

    No.

    But … we also know that neglecting those things will affect our pattern of faithfulness and usefulness as Christians.

    And I’d contend that those who have been saved will be drawn to all of the above, if imperfectly obeying always, but drawn to pursue God nevertheless in those means he provides.

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  23. From Ligon Duncan writing here of the means as used congregational within the church:

    https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ordinary-means-growth/
    ________________________

    … God has given to his church spiritual weapons for the bringing down of strongholds. These ordinary means of grace are the Word, sacraments, and prayer.

    They may seem weak in the eyes of the worldly strong. They may seem foolish in the eyes of the worldly wise. But the Gospel message is the power of God unto salvation, and the Gospel means are effectual to salvation. These are the Spiritual instruments given by God with which Christian congregational Spiritual life is nurtured, the Spirit’s tools of grace and growth in grace appointed by God in the Bible. …

    … These are the main ways God’s people grow. We are saved by grace (alone), through faith (alone), in Christ (alone). But the instruments, the tools of God’s grace to bring us to faith and grow us in grace are the Word, prayer, and sacraments. Nothing else we do in the church’s program of ministry should detract from these central instruments of grace, and indeed everything else we do should promote and coalesce with them. …

    … What will a church look like that is committed to the ordinary means of grace? It will be characterized by love for expository Bible preaching, passion for worship, delight in truth, embrace of the Gospel, the Spirit’s work of conversion, a life of godliness; robust family religion; biblical evangelism, biblical discipleship, biblical church membership, mutual accountability in the church, biblical church leadership, and a desire to be a blessing to the nations. Along with this all, there will be an unapologetic, humble, and joyful celebration of the transcendent sovereignty of the one, true, triune God in salvation and all things.
    ____________________________

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  24. And, just to beat a dead horse or dead coyote as I am prone to do, there’s more:

    https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/means-of-grace/

    ______________________________

    … In His grace and in His wisdom, God has provided ways by which we can regularly have our faith in His promises fortified. Historically, we have referred to these ways of strengthening our faith as the ordinary means of grace. Prayer, the preaching of the Word, and the sacraments are not elaborate or fancy methods of giving us what we need to confirm our trust in Christ. To an outside observer, they do not seem special at all. After all, they make use of rather common things such as human speech, bread, wine, and water. But by faith and the work of the Spirit, these common elements are used to do an uncommon work — the confirmation of our trust in Jesus and the strengthening of our wills to flee from sin and rest in Christ alone.

    Preaching is not a powerless human explanation of the biblical text, for the Spirit accompanies it so that God’s Word achieves its purposes (Isa. 55:10–11). Prayer is more than empty words; it establishes communion between us and the Creator, thereby empowering us for belief and faithful, effective service (James 5:16b–18). Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not mere memorials that we do simply because Jesus tells us to do them; rather, we participate mysteriously in Christ Himself when by faith we take part in these ordinances (1 Cor. 10:16).

    Question and answer 65 of the Heidelberg Catechism emphasize the role of the sacraments in confirming our faith. They bless us as we receive them in faith, and if we neglect them, we weaken our trust in God’s work. …
    _____________________________

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  25. rather sad this morning as my ipad won’t turn on. You have to realize that I have 2000 pictures saved on it, mostly of grandkids, and several Bibles. In fact that is what I use for my morning reading. I plugged it in to charge last night. When I went to get it later, the screen was black and has remained black. I am trying to charge it with a charging device that doesn’t plug in.

    What I think happened is that we had low power and it drained the ipad. I had even purchased a new surge protector which I was using. Guess I need something else to protect it, if it ever comes on again. After all night on the charging device, there is still nothing.

    Because of this, I am afraid to plug in my new washing machine. It is the newer electronic kind and I heard that something like this will hurt them.

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  26. To answer a question nobody asked: e.g. ” Why didn’t the Baptist students like Martin Luther?”
    Luther persecuted the Anabaptists as much as the Catholics did. The Anabaptists were a group that existed all throughout Christian history.
    The thing about them in 1517, as always, was that they believed in ‘believer’s baptism”. That is, as most Baptists today believe, that:
    1. Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian.
    2. Baptism comes after you submit to Christ.
    And if you were baptized as a child, you are re- baptized after conversion. Hence Anabaptists.
    It was not, as many Baptists believe, baptism by immersion. That is the proper way of baptism according to most Baptists. Including me.
    However, it was not a requirement of Anabaptists. Sprinkling, pouring, dunking was accepted.
    Though there was a group called “Dunkers”. I don’t know much about them.

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  27. I found out yesterday that I haven’t been good at communicating within my own family what I believe.

    I have been a member of Reformed churches for 15 years now, and I was leaning Reformed for the last three years or so in my Chicago (Baptist) church, but simply waiting until I moved to change churches. (I know it is hard to keep your friends from your old church if you change churches but stay in the same town.)

    Yesterday my oldest brother was here for a visit, and I mentioned casually that we had been expected to be away this past weekend, since so and so was being baptized. He didn’t recognize the name and asked who that was. We said, “Our granddaughter.” You could see the wheels turning in his head as he mentally recognized how young she is.

    With a look of great shock and horror on his face, he said, “They baptize babies?!” His wife discreetly changed the subject.

    After they left, my husband and I compared notes about what we should have said in reply. As the best option, we came up with: “Oh, don’t worry, they can’t drown–we don’t immerse them.”

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  28. Yesterday I received a text from the State of Alabama asking how I planned to vote.
    Today I received another text asking how I voted. I don’t think they are going to like my answers.

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  29. Just got back from the 1st Presbyterian Church which is our neighborhood polling place — I didn’t have to wait in line but there were quite a few people there and when I asked one of the poll workers how it was going she said it had been busier than usual all day.

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  30. I really, really don’t want to go to work. I have to go by polling places in another city searching for newsy stuff — mosh-pit crowds, fist fights, long lines. I doubt I’ll find any of that. And people hate being approached at polling places by someone wanting to interview them.

    Then it’s a long night working on my laptop at a sister paper’s crowded newsroom — I’ve been there several times but it’s still not ‘home’ like out own space would be.

    It’s one of those rare days where I wish I had the flu !!

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  31. Cheryl, if you were Eastern Orthodox, you couldn’t even answer that, as they do immerse infants 🙂 I have the amusing experience of having three strongly Arminian Baptist cousins, a pedobaptist sibling, and a Catholic cousin, all of whom are my friends on FB (they are all cousins of one another). The Arminian Baptists are somewhat forceful on their views, and I often wonder how they would react if they learned one of their cousins was Catholic and another a pedobaptist – they seemed somewhat put out the few times I have gently challenged some of their pet subjects on pagan origins of innocent things and dispensationalism. Then again, some of those cousins are dyed-in-the-wool right wingers and others lean towards the Green Party, so there is plenty of scope for speculative entertainment.

    DJ, I agree that things like prayer, reading and preaching the Word, etc. are weapons of spiritual warfare, for they are clearly described as such. But there is no similarity of connection between the concept of spiritual weapons of warfare and the concept of a “means of grace”.

    Chas, Luther talked too much. The adulation he received in his later years was very bad for him, as he was more tolerant to both Jews and Anabaptists in his younger days. I once wrote a paper, in my homeschooled years, about his life. There is another, less well known protestant reformer, whom I admire more, one whom no denomination really can claim for their own and whose influence, in the English speaking world at least, has been immeasurable, influencing not only the spread of Christianity, but also the language and culture. That is William Tyndale, who lived in obscurity in Europe as he translated the Bible in defiance of the laws of England. The New Testament of the KJV, which secular scholars admit has deeply influenced the development of the English language and thus impacted its culture, was heavily based on Tyndale’s work. Tyndale died a martyr and received no accolades in his life. In the words of author George Eliot, “that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” – Middlemarch

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  32. No long lines here but definitely a bigger turnout than usual for a mid-term election.

    Besides whatever boost this year’s national mood provides, we are electing a new governor in Michigan. We also have three interesting ballot initiatives. One is to “reform” our redistricting process. They claim it will eliminate gerrymandering but I doubt that it would. One is to make voting easier. The third is to legalize marijuana, which I suspect is driving a lot of extra turnout.

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  33. I learn a new word here almost every day, often from Roscuro. I thought “pedobaptist” was a typo until I looked it up. 🙂

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  34. Baptists and Anabaptists are both credobaptists. There the similarity ends. I have a sibling-in-law who was raised Anabaptist, in the sect that named themselves after the Anabaptist pastor Menno Sims, but he now attends a Baptist church. Anabaptists are historically Arminian, denying election. Baptists are historically Calvinist, holding to election. Anabaptists do not generally have a head pastor or elder, Baptists generally do have a head pastor or elder. Anabaptists have long lists of rules and regulations by which one should live to be sanctified. Baptists believe that sanctification is by the Holy Spirit and rules and regulations are ineffective in achieving sanctification. Anabaptists, although they do not baptize infants, believe that children of believers are a part of the Church. Baptists believe children of believers must individually come to faith by the work of the Holy Spirit in order to become a part of the Church. Baptists and Anabaptists do not share a common history, as the Baptist denomination came into being in England after the Reformation there, and there is little evidence that they were ever influenced by the Anabaptists of Central Europe.

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  35. We went in to vote. They told me my son would be in later to help with the voting process. I learn a lot when I go to town, about my family. They offered paper or plastic, I chose paper. They kept telling me it is easy. I told them I moved there to get away from machine voting as I have plenty of experience with the little voting booth and machine. I like the large table and chair with a nice pencil and papers. They gave me a sticker anyway. Husband went with the machine. I was done voting before he got to the machine.

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  36. KIm @ 4:22. I would not answer it at all.
    Ignore the question. No one is supposed to know how you vote.
    I cannot help my wife vote in NC.

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  37. I also have a sibling in law who was raised Catholic, came to faith by means of a Baptist ministry (and met my sibling by means of the Baptist pastor who discipled him, who knew our pastor), and now attends a Presbyterian church. Thus, by a multitude of family connections, have I come to understand quite a bit about the different denominations. I think the only denominations to which I have had no direct connections through either family ties or family friends are the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, and Assyrian branches of the Church, unless one counts the fact I have a few Assyrians, served Copts when I was a waitress at a nondenominational resort, and my father used to attend Orthodox church suppers with an Eastern European friend in his bachelor days. It is amazing what experiences come into one’s life in the short course of nearly three and a half decades.

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  38. Looks like my state is gonna have a Republican governor (unless the count is not finished enough and it tips the other way). Unfortunately, it looks like Chris Murphy has been re-elected Senator.

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  39. This evening I went for a walk. I needed the fresh air and exercise. Well, leaves were at peak over the weekend and now they’re past, and in the area where I walk they have mostly fallen. (We have some near us that are still green, so go figure.) I saw one cardinal, but didn’t see anything else of interest at all, and thought, Well, all the walks I’ve taken, and hadn’t had a dud yet, so I guess it was time for one.

    I decided to walk just a bit farther and turn back. With recent rains, the area where I was walking had water in places where there usually isn’t anyway. In an area where the water is supposed to be, but where I have never seen any interesting creatures (I’ve seen just one frog, and I’ve seen pairs of mallards once or twice), a patch of brown caught my eye up on the bank. I didn’t know if it was trash washed up on the bank or a creature, and didn’t want to scare the creature if it was, so instead of walking farther along (parallel to it), I used my zoom lens. Fur. The animal was fairly big, but all I could really see was a big ball, so I moved my camera down–and there was a beaver tail. A beaver napping on the bank, and not far from me at all (the other side of the narrow little pond and a short fence on my side of the pond–but still, it was only four or five yards from me by the time I got down to the fence). I walked along the trail, sure I’d wake it, and I didn’t, and I walked up to the fence and it still didn’t. I even wondered if it might be dead, but I saw it move a little. I took several photos, but couldn’t see its face, and I wondered if it might possibly be in a trap. Maybe what I did next wasn’t nice, I don’t know, but I took a rock and tossed it into the water (I wanted to make a noise, but not an obviously human noise). The beaver opened its eyes and moved its face a little, and then closed its eyes again. It didn’t really seem the best place for it to sleep with evening coming on, and I did want to see it awake, so I tossed another small stone, and it slowly opened its eyes, and decided to go ahead and get into the water. No rush, just slowly moving down the last few feet to the stream and then ducking under the reeds that may well have been its den. By the way, beavers can be dangerous, like nearly any wild animal–but having the water between me and it, I knew I wasn’t cornering it and thus I was probably safe.

    The funny thing is, several pedestrians went by me as I was taking photos of the beaver, and each time I wondered would that person be fascinated by a chance to see a live beaver, quite close? But no one showed any interest at all in what I might have spotted. I wondered how long it had been there, and how many people had walked or ridden past, and if anyone at all had seen it before I came along as dusk was approaching and suggested the sleepy rodent might be better off napping in the safety of its own bed!

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  40. Mumsee, I haven’t observed beavers enough to know what is “usual” behavior. I sent the photo to a friend who has seen them more than I have, and she said it looks healthy but just sleepy. I’m guessing the bit of “flooding” we had this week gave it the ability to swim into a place it wouldn’t normally be able to access by water, it hasn’t built a den and all of that, and an area next to the water and off the trail felt safe enough. The animals that hang out near the trail (birds and mammals alike) are quite unusually casual about humans, and when it did end up opening its eyes and seeing me, it may have been thinking, “Oh, person. Probably should get back in the water, just to be on the safe side.”

    I’ve seen muskrats being that casual about me (back where we used to live), as long as they are close enough to water to enter it quickly if necessary.

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  41. A lot of animals are rather used to people and most people probably don’t notice them. But beavers do get rabies, so be aware. Yes, many animals are so used to being ignored that they are quite comfortable behaving like that.

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