90 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-12-18

  1. I had to use the ice scraper this morning on the windshields, the heat has been running most of the night, it’s 25 degrees, and I’m not happy about any of it. 😦

    I hate cold weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Found It!
    I started not to post this because the mystery is partly solved.
    But it is interesting anyhow, so I will tell it.
    Nothing significant. If you’re in a harry, skip this:

    For out 60th anniversary, I gave Elvera a diamond necklace with an inscription on the back.
    To wit:
    I Loved you then
    I Love you still.
    I always have
    I always will”

    Since she is limited now, the only place she wears it is to church.

    Elvera wore her church clothes all day yesterday.
    I always change to more comfortable clothes, but she doesn’t.
    As I was undressing her for bed, I noticed that the necklace was missing.
    Big mystery. The only place she has been today is Church, the car and here. It has to be somewhere.
    But I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked all about
    But couldn’t find it. It has to be taken off, and the necklace is so small that you can’t remove it without some effort.
    Couldn’t find it anywhere last night.
    This morning, realizing that it had to be here, I searched again, this time in unlikely places.
    I found it.
    It was in a basket on the floor with her socks.
    No. I have no idea how it got there. But now I don’t care.
    Strange, but it worked out OK.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Chas – With my MIL Mary, we often found food stashed in places. She didn’t want to eat much, so she would hide some of her food to get rid of it. Some of the funnier moments we still laugh about now and then: slipping half a hamburger up her sleeve, stuffing broccoli between couch cushions, and stashing a hot dog in the cabinet under the bathroom sink. (I’ve probably written of this before.)

    I would also have to go through her purse to take out any food she hid in there while at the adult daycare center she went to for a while.

    Someone on the WMB once chastised me for sharing a funny story like that, saying it was wrong to laugh at these things, because dementia is such a horrible thing. But we weren’t laughing at Mary, making fun of her – we were laughing at the absurdity of the situation. Many times, it was a choice of laugh, or cry with frustration.

    Nightingale says that nurses often develop a dark sense of humor. It is a way of dealing with tough situations that could take a toll on one’s emotions.

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  4. That’s a lovely inscription, Chas. I’m glad you located Elvera’s necklace.

    I wonder if the clasp got caught in her clothes as you were undressing her, and opened up so that the necklace slid silently off her neck? Was she standing hear the basket while getting ready for bed? Is the clasp broken?

    Just a couple possibilities that came to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That would be, was she standing near the basket. I was thinking that one wouldn’t hear a necklace fall into a sock basket, so my fingers must have typed part of what I was thinking, while rejecting the rest of that thought.

    It apparently is Monday morning. 😉

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  6. “persnicketyneedy/selfish is someone else’s opinion.
    You can’t control it.
    if something is important to you, stand up for it.
    You can’t control the outcome, just the action.

    The basket with the socks is near the bed. how the neck lass got off, I do not know. The necklaces is small enough that it takes some effort. It cannot slip off. It was removed.

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  7. Kizzie, a friend of mine who died several years ago would talk about convictions vs. preferences. I don’t know if this applies to what you’re asking, but maybe you might be able to answer your question by determining if you’re thinking of a conviction or a preference.

    If a conviction, then you stand up for that. It’s not selfish to do so.

    If it’s a preference, then there may be some give and take (some compromise), some gray areas, some flex room, some yielding to others in the spirit of esteeming others as higher than ourselves.

    That’s all pretty general, I know, and probably doesn’t yield specific answers.

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  8. Chas and I cross-posted. His “if something is important to you, stand up for it” is much more concise than my post saying basically that same thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Morning! It is snowing and 12 degrees in this here forest! We have about 7 inches of snow on the ground this morning. Schools are closed and I shall again be in for the day….oh so thankful for the moisture! And it is absolutely beautiful as I sit here with coffee in hand looking out my windows….. ⛄️ ❄️

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  10. OK, so I may sometimes exaggerate, but that picture looks as cold as my house feels this morning. My heater thermostat isn’t working now — I was having problems with it last night so took it apart to put new batteries in it and now it’s completely dead. I’ll go to a hardware store today to get a replacement and then hope-hope-hope that fixes it. Burrrrr. I need to find my mittens.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Two more shootings in town last night in the wake of three that occurred on Friday night (all in our town or adjacent town). The gang activity seems to be ticking up again after a long lull. 😦

    Kizzie, journalists definitely develop a dark sense of humor as well. All that exposure to the worst of human nature and the horrible events that happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am married to a former corpsman in the Navy. He and my stepmother (a retired nurse) often look at my veins and comment on them. What they find humorous the rest of us would find offensive. It is a coping mechanism. Things are said by those dealing with tough situations that the rest of us haven’t experienced and cannot judge.

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  13. Definitely sometimes you either laugh or cry, and if you love the person, it isn’t laughing “at” them even if they are not currently mentally capable of laughing at the idea because they no longer see how ridiculous the situation is.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Persnickety: requiring a particularly precise or careful approach. Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details.
    Needy: A person lacking the necessities of life. Needing a lot of attention, affection, or emotional support.
    Selfish: Lacking consideration for others: concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

    Frankly, Kizzie, if I had to pick one word to describe you, I would say needy. You are TOO considerate of others, which contributes to the neediness. I definitely wouldn’t call you persnickety. (I am the poster child for persnickety).

    Your neediness stems from your circumstances. You do not drive and as a result, you are forced to depend on others. You are also only a year into being a widow. Who wouldn’t be needy? Ten years later the grief of losing my father sometimes overwhelms me. It means we are people meant to love and be loved.

    Selfish????? Well, there is no need to go into detail on that one. You are the LEAST selfish person I know of.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Was I wearing short sleeves when I met Mr. P? I’ve got tracks up and down my arms–from years of blood donations . . . .

    I’ve spent the last few hours talking, finally, to my Veteran (who has a semi-day off) before I go to work! I’ve also been back to my Poppy media stuff after a week away.

    I feel like I’ve been gone for a month!

    Meanwhile, a tentative approach from a southern megachurch about speaking on Mrs. OC.

    Janice–do you live near Atlanta? 🙂

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  16. They do have cute little sweaters. Which they are unlikely to ever wear while living here. Though they were just at the beauty parlor and have fresh haircuts. Manny and Espn are doing quite well, thank you. Espn is sitting on husband and Manny is lying in his bed by my feet, between me and the stove, in a spot of sunshine.

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  17. Pondering something: Several times I have heard (as a standard for whether or not attire is modest): “Does it draw attention to your face or to your body?”

    I’m totally mystified by that, as I cannot imagine how clothing could possibly call attention to one’s face. Makeup or hair or a hat, sure, but not clothing. If a person wants to say that clothing should not draw excessive attention to one’s body, or that it should not call attention to one’s sexual parts, that makes sense. The other doesn’t, at least to me.

    The last time someone tossed that at me, I replied by telling her that when I adorned myself in a bridal gown, it wasn’t so that people would walk around saying, “Cheryl has such a lovely face!” No, it wasn’t so they would say, “Ooh, what a pretty body she has,” either–but it was so that all of me would be lovely.

    The person who said that last has long since retired into frumpy (and she’s younger than I am, in her mid-forties last time I saw her). Is that what it means to “call attention to one’s face”–wearing clothes that no one would consider looking at? Roscuro, is this a Gothard line, or did it come from somewhere else?

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  18. That picture is taken with the tide out – the ice floating on top is left behind on the shore. It is interesting to see how it freezes into round pans. There is a wonderful children’s book about living in the Arctic called Very Last First Time, about another community that also has significant tides and how the ice forms a cave when the tide goes out, which the people living there go down into to dig mussels while the tide is out. I think there are too many rocks on the tide floor here for the ice to freeze like that – the book about the doctor who worked here noted difficulties in getting the dogsled over the broken tidal ice and how it got smoother out toward the middle of the fjord – but the whole idea of an ocean inlet freezing over solid enough for travel, even as the tides go in and out, is fascinating.

    It wasn’t really that cold the day I took this picture. Today I went for a walk, and it was a bit colder. There was frost on the fur around my hood when I returned.


  19. Cheryl, yes, it is very much a Gothard line. There was even an activity, in both the Advanced Seminar Textbook and one of the wisdom booklets, with numbered pencil sketches of typical women’s clothing styles (from the 1980’s that is – apparently they didn’t believe in updating them) to identify the “eye catching” features in each one. One identified the dropped waist in one of those loose fitting 80s dresses with big collars (they looked like something a little girl would wear in the early 1900s) as drawing too much attention to the hips. Another identified a slit to just below the knee (not the thigh, the knee) in an A-line skirt as the improper eye catcher. Yet another said the colorful design on a loose sweater, in addition to low hanging knotted beads drew the eyes down from the face. Trim on the hemline was problematic, a neckline extending more than one inch below the collarbone was problematic, a couple of buttons undone at the top of a shirt was problematic (one button was acceptable), print t-shirts or hanging scarves were problematic … the list was seemingly endless, and preparing one’s clothes when one went to an IBLP/ATI Training Center for any reason was an extensive task. We have sewn up button up skirts (the skirts had to be at least mid calf length), inserted gussets into slits, constructed inserts to make V-necklines acceptable, and generally altered clothing to be appropriate. In the end, it was easier just to make one’s own skirts and shirts than have to alter premade clothes – but sometimes the premade patterns had to be altered too.


  20. Roscuro, I’ve seen the information about eye traps and so on, and how pretty much anyone in that movement must have time to do nothing but look at women’s clothing to see if it’s appropriate. And I’ve read horror stories from women who as well-endowed teenagers were chastised for V-neck tops, round-necked tops, and square-necked tops, for slightly tight tops and then for loose-fitting tops, with each and every variety seen as being particularly enticing in getting boys to imagine her naked.

    But that particular line, that clothing should call attention to one’s face, has always been a “Huh?” one, and just today it occurred to me it might be more Gothard nonsense.


  21. Speaking of eye catching, the trio of peaks up now always catches my camera lens when I’m out walking and taking pictures. I don’t know if you can see it clearly, but the third one over from the right always stands out to me, as it looks like a step pyramid on an angle. The lower hillock in front of the peaks is kind of a peninsula into the middle of the fjord. This is in the direction of the park Kare mentioned, although there is still a long ways to go to get into the park from that point. The park is famous for its unique peaks, which are even higher than the mountains seen in these photos, including the world’s highest sheer rock face, having a vertical drop of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft) and twin cylindrical peaks, the highest of which is 2,015 metres (6,611 ft). The mountains in these pictures are somewhat lower with the highest mountain that is directly overlooking the community (there are two mountains overshadowing the hamlet) measuring only 850 metres (2,790 ft). That is plenty high enough to block the sun when it is low on the horizon.


  22. I came through all that garbage about the way a woman should dress when I was in a Christian School K-11th grade. I never have worn provocative clothing but if a glimpse at my knobby knees that I inherited straight from my father sends you into lustful thoughts that is on you and not on me.
    Clothing should enhance you, not stand out as “oh look at me”; as should make up.
    I dress nicely and if I incite lust in your heart—well my usual quip about that now is that it has been so long since I was sexually harassed that now it would be flattery—but I am a mature woman. I am not going to dress like an asexual bag lady to keep YOU from sinning.

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  23. Kinder is always interesting. A boy who was playing in the construction centre came to me and said another boy had taken something he had. So, I went over and asked the other boy about it. He said, “I needed it!” I told him he didn’t need it he wanted it and sent him somewhere else. That whole concept that he could take it because he needed it. He is the youngest in his family and probably gets away with a lot. He will learn much in my class.

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  24. Here’s an example of some of Gothard’s modesty material that mentions the face:


    So it was possible to start with the verse “Ye are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hid” and follow the wandering flow of Gothard’s logic into the realm of lust and women’s dress.

    In Wisdom Booklet 15, Gothard informs his followers that “apart from your words, your countenance can be the most effective means you have to show the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to others around you. In fact, your face can actually cancel the effect of your words, so powerful are its expressions.”

    He goes on to use words like “shining” and “glowing,” and explain that a sad face directs attention to yourself and away from God. By this time, most of us were drawn in. We sensed a connection between “light of the world” and “bright countenance.” From there, it was an easy step to “we should direct attention to our faces, where we show Jesus’ love to others.” And then we found ourselves taking fashion advice from Bill Gothard.


    Eye traps

    This catchy little phrase meant a great deal to ATI girls. It referred to anything about our clothes that drew a man’s eyes away from our faces. Since Jesus said that any man who lusted after a woman in his heart committed adultery with her, it was up to us women to make sure we didn’t stir up that lust.

    Pictures of “inappropriate” (in Gothard’s eyes) dress are included at the link.


  25. I like those mountains. Arizona is the only place I have lived that mountains were regularly part of the scenery, but they’re such a lovely and majestic part!


  26. Kim – Thank you for your sweet words.

    But yeah, I can be persnickety, or at least picky. But I usually end up bending to the habits and preferences of those pesky people we call family. 😉

    Actually, I don’t think of my preferences as picky, but my family always has. I would have a much neater, tidier home if I had my way. Somehow I manage to get it to be “good enough”. It took years for me to learn that “good enough” really is good enough.

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  27. Roscuro, more breathtaking photos. So thankful to see them.

    When I worked at the downtown Atlanta large department store which was bought out by Macy’s, another young sales associate who was a follower of the Grateful Dead band (Deadheads) told me she did not want her clothes to draw attention away from the person. I was always struck by that thought and pondered exactly what she meant. It’s funny to consider that in comparison to the Gothard requirements for women’s clothing.


  28. I should mention that when I took these pictures, it was getting on for 12 noon, so the shadow in the picture of the shoreline is as light as it gets on this side of the fjord now. As I type this, it has been dark for over an hour

    6, that is the activity I mentioned which is pictured in the link.

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  29. This isn’t about modesty, but years ago I was present at Christmas when my brother (who I have only recently learned to be a Gothard devotee) and his children were opening presents. His oldest son was maybe eight at the time, and he opened a gift that was a bunch of small figures, just a bit bigger than army men as I recall. My sister-in-law saw two of them (the bad guys) and told her son to take them to his dad for his assessment.

    My brother looked at them and said, “Yeah, those are demonic. We need to throw those out.”

    His son, fighting not to cry, said, “But I like them!”

    “You shouldn’t like them, Son,” my brother said, raising his voice for emphasis. “They’re evil.”

    I never saw the toys up close, but I sat there thinking how can a toy with a quarter-inch or half-inch face register so clearly as “evil” and “demonic” that it needs to be thrown out? And obviously those are the bad guys; much of boys’ play involves battling with evil and learning to fight for what is right. Throwing away tiny little representations of the bad guys hardly accomplishes that.

    This father and son aren’t all that close today, as the son raises his own family. And that year I was on Facebook, I saw that his wife sometimes wears clothes that are mildly immodest by my standards, grievously immodest by the standards of most others in my family (showing maybe half an inch of cleavage at times). Ultimately I don’t think the training “worked.”


  30. Cheryl – Is that nephew still a believer?

    It saddens me when I read things by people who grew up in overly strict, in one way or another, Christian homes, with rules upon rules, who not only have rejected that kind of upbringing, but see it and portray it as common in evangelical Christianity.

    Speaking of supposedly immodest fashions, I’ve probably mentioned this before. A friend from years ago had gone to a fairly strict Bible college. At the time (early 70s, I think), the midi skirt, which comes down to mid-calf, was popular. The school deemed it inappropriate simply because it was popular. Girls could wear modest over-the-knee-length skirts or long skirts, but not midi skirts. If it’s popular, it must be bad.


  31. Cheryl, that is the story of my late childhood (I was eight when we joined ATI) and adolescence. There was so much I was made to feel guilty for liking, so much that was innocent and harmless that I was made to feel was demonic and evil. It was not my parents’ fault. They themselves did not pressure us to consider innocent things evil – I can recall more than one occasion when my father seemed bewildered when something he had no problem with was declared by his daughters to be wrong. But other parents did enact similar scenes to the one you described with their children, some of which we witnessed. Once I was even induced by a controlling mother, as a young teen, to go through her music and determine whether it had that evil ‘backbeat’ Gothard warned of – I later bitterly regretted it and could not blame her children for the resentment they showed toward me. It was exasperating to those children. We did not turn on our parents, because although they made honest mistakes, they never were petty tyrants. But we witnessed several of our peers turn on their parents, because they had been pushed to the point of wrath (Ephesians 6:4 & Colossians 3:21).

    I did, like your nephew, suffer heartbreak in throwing things I liked out, but it was the pressure of ATI materials I had read on my misguided conscience, and my equally overzealous siblings, which pushed me to do so. It is such a relief to be out from that burden, but when I recall it, I could weep for the struggling child I was then. When I was in my twenties, I read many of the beautiful children’s and young people’s books that I dared not when I was in ATI. Although I did read Austen’s and Dickens’ novels in my teen years, even that I did against my misguided conscience, as ATI gave many anecdotes about how detrimental novels were and how spiritual people, like Susanna Wesley, never read novels. Now, the novels of Susanna Wesley’s day would have been things like Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, which were, even by today’s standards, quite racy. But ATI neglected to mention that little fact, and proceeded to lump together all novels as being equally detrimental. I remember, in my early teens, hearing a testimony from a lovely ATI girl, of the type Gothard liked, about how she made a commitment to give up reading the Anne of Green Gables books, and I knew here was another sacrifice I needed to make to be able to grow spiritually. Oh, it is painful to recall all of that petty misery that I was induced to bear! No wonder I nearly went mad with obsessive fears.


  32. Kizzie, I prefer ankle length skirts – they are more effective at keeping either hot or cold air out, and if a stiff breeze catches them, they will only go up about knee level. Besides, one can swoop about in them like a grand lady 🙂 They are, however, not that practical for everyday use, so I reserve them for special occasions, such as church.

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  33. We never followed any of the Gothard stuff. (I didn’t actually hear about it until after I was online, 13 years after beginning homeschooling.) I don’t know if anyone in our local homeschooling community was involved in ATI — Vision Forum and No Greater Joy were the most-commonly-talked-about philosophies among homeschooling friends of mine.

    There was a homeschool-materials company I was familiar with, though, who, like ATI, was also anti-fiction books. They reprinted old books that met very exacting standards. Some of them were quite goody-goody — books that had characters with certain vices would never be sold by this company, even if the characters grew and were transformed by the end of the story. There may have been one or two works of fiction that made the cut, but nothing like Anne of Green Gables or the Little House books would have qualified.

    This company also wrote some of their own materials, and I did buy some of them. Some items were fairly benign, but their character journals were ultimately what stopped me from purchasing from them any longer. Each journal was based on one character trait, and after the main text in the front section of the journal, there was a 30-day fill-in-the-blank journal section in the back that had the same questions for each day, getting the child to write down how well he/she did that day working on the featured character trait.

    The questions were worded in such a way that they focused on the negative: what did you do wrong today?; how will you try to do better tomorrow? etc. It was a very works-oriented, graceless way to look at one’s life.

    My eyes were opened when I saw one of my daughters, one who has struggled with being hard on herself, crying while filling out one of those journal pages. I got rid of those journals after that, wondering why it took me so long to see how detrimental it was. (I’d probably already bought a dozen of those things, and many had been filled out.)

    What I thought would be a good thing — the front of those books contained lots of Bible verses — turned into a repeatedly punitive exercise in the back section. God and His grace, the gift of His Spirit working in us — all banished in those journal pages.

    What a one-sided view; a wicked deception, to put it mildly.

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  34. Good news: I’ve got my fifth judged lined up now! We’re all set! To be honest, though, I shouldn’t say *I’ve* got the judge lined up. My mentor was actually the one who contacted this most recent judge. I am grateful for her help. The first four came through pretty easily for me, but I was getting several “No, sorry” replies when trying to get a fifth judge. I mentioned this to my mentor, and she texted someone she had in mind — a new teacher who works at her studio and does not plan to enter students in the auditions yet this year. Today I learned that this teacher said, “Yes.”

    Yay! This will be her first time judging, and I’d already lined up judges for the state-track kids, who are mostly more advanced than the district-track kids. I’m glad she was willing to judge, because not all the judges on the list want the younger and/or district-track kids.

    She’s still in college, studying piano pedagogy and performance, and competed herself in local auditions when she was growing up. I think she will be a great fit, working with the younger entrants in the auditions. They can start as early as first grade.

    Now to get a couple local backup judges lined up, just in case of illness or bad weather. (Oh, I hope there won’t be really crummy weather on audition day, because some are coming from a couple of hours away. But with late-March weather in the Upper Midwest, one never knows.)

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  35. Looking back, I was raised in a fairly liberal mainline Presbyterian church associated with a private liberal arts college. My brother got connected with some other groups and that lead him into ATI. My brother seemed to become pretty rigid and wanted to take the helm in religious leadership within our family. I really balked at that although I realized that something was missing in my own religious walk. I was pretty sad when Wesley was little and his only relative (besides grandmothers) would give us the ATI giant character trait books. I knew he spent a lot for them, but it was not what I wanted for Wesley. I feel sad thinking back on that. Also, my brother likes to give me clothes as presents and they are high quality, but they would fit those ATI standards. Y’all have opened my eyes with this discussion.


  36. I like long, flowing skirts too. It’s hard to sit in knee-length skirts.

    Roscuro, I am so sorry that you had any involvement with that nonsense. Your ability to talk about it now is so helpful for all of us, though.

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  37. I’ll let you all know if anything comes of this sort-of invite. I’m flattered.

    But, I’m even more thrilled at the lovely letters I’ve received from people I don’t know who have read Poppy. She’s doing exactly what I hoped and I’m so grateful.

    Several, of course, asked if she was me. 🙂

    Elements of me . . .

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Michelle, did you ever get asked if the cover photo on Mrs. OC was you? That was the one where I saw similarity, but I’ve never met you in person so that was going only on photos.

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  39. Michelle, I can’t wait until I have the physical copy to read and savour. Even though I’ve read it already, I have a feeling I won’t be able to put it down on the second time through. Now that I know she is more a part of you than your imagination, it will be intriguing to read it again.

    I attended a couple of the Institute conferences as a teen. We went as a youth group – thankfully none of us were caught up in it. I mostly remember playing football with the youth during the lunch breaks.

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  40. Has anybody else noticed that in whatever family a person grows up, that is actually a good thing? Kind of like God knows what He is doing when He forms us in our mother’s womb.

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  41. It’s rather coincidental that except for my brother, I never knew of anyone else who was involved with ATI until I “met” y’all. And so many here either were involved or knew someone who was involved with it.


  42. Interestingly to me, raised in an unbelieving family with parents who never made comments about our clothes, I find your listing of despicable fashion ideas goes along fairly close to my personal beliefs growing up, if I had ever thought of them. I would have been shocked to see a female collar bone, let alone what passes at church these days.


  43. For a little while as a teen I attended a Baptist church with my best friend’s family. My friend and I, and others from the small youth group, attended some kind of weekend youth conference that may have been put on by ATI or something similar.

    All I actually remember is when the boys and girls were split up, and a woman was addressing us girls. I remember she said that we should not wear pants because they’ll either make us look fat or sexy. Another thing she said that I still remember was in talking about when we marry, and our husbands are head of the house. In talking about our having to bolster our husband’s feeling of masculinity and power, she suggested asking him to open jars that we know we can easily open ourselves, but make a big deal about how strong he is. That struck me as so deceptive and silly, and now, as an adult, I also think the idea lacks a true wifely respect for her husband.


  44. Something I remember about being in that youth group – We all loved the youth pastor, Pastor Rick, and his wife Becky. My friend and her slightly older sister had nice clothes and were pretty girls. Pastor Rick, and others, often commented on their dresses. I didn’t have nice dresses, as I was chubby, and back then dressy clothes for chubby girls were not readily available. Plus, my parents weren’t really thrilled with my attending church, so they were not likely to buy me some nice church clothes.

    Anyway, I always wished Pastor Rick or someone would think I looked nice. I can still feel the sadness of not feeling attractive or that I fit in.

    The choir director was starting up a youth choir, and made it clear that no one overweight could be in it, because they were obviously sinning by overeating. I didn’t sing well anyway, so I wouldn’t have tried out for it, but that struck me as “mean” and made me feel self-conscious around him.


  45. Speaking of my friend and her sister – The sister, Donna, insisted that she was not going to get married and have children, but would remain single and free. We made a bet (not seriously) to meet at some landmark in ten years time. Well, we never met at that landmark, and by then I had been out of touch with my friend and her family for several years.

    A few years ago, I reconnected with my friend on Facebook. So what happened to Donna? She is married with four kids! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. One of the girls in that youth group was a niece of Dolly Parton’s (by marriage). She said that Dolly was truly a nice lady.


  47. “Honey, could you open this jar for me? … Ooh, you’re so strong!”

    Hubby would look at me like I’d lost my marbles if I’d say something like that to him.


    Liked by 1 person

  48. Mumsee, if you held views like ATI’s once, you do not now, as ATI’s dress code would condemn as immodest the sort of clothes you currently wear. The fact that your ideas growing up didn’t come from church is evidence that they are not, as ATI claimed they were, in any way inherently Christian or godly. After all, strict Muslims and Jews, who both practice a religion of works, also hold to similar ideas regarding women’s dress. Creating rules about the length of a skirt or the height of a neckline to enforce modesty and reduce lust is trying to obtain righteousness by the efforts of the flesh. Muslims and Jews know no better way, but Christians have the words inspired by God to warn them against following such a dangerous path: “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3). It was memorizing the book of Galatians which finally made me realize that ATI was dead – spiritually dead – wrong.

    I can’t say that whatever family one grows up in is a good thing. The reminiscences about the families we knew in the same program brought to mind an ongoing horror story of one such family. The poison of the rotten fruit from that one family keeps spreading, and when I contemplate just how far it has spread, my mind boggles at the implications. We must not make the mistake of calling evil good, simply because God is capable of bringing good out of evil. The fact that God can bring good out of evil does not negate the consequences of the sins that parents can commit against their children. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Galatians 6:7-8).

    Liked by 2 people

  49. 6, No Greater Joy had direct links to ATI – the Pearls often mentioned in their newsletters the Russian orphans they took in for the summer, and those orphans came from ATI’s orphanage in Moscow (which is a whole other can of worms). As for Vision Forum, Doug Phillips was as much a fraud as Gothard. ATI had character quality worksheets and a life notebook which sounds similar to those journals. As one wisdom booklet activity, they reprinted the 19th century revivalist’s, Charles Finney, sermon “Break up your fallow ground”, which exhorted readers to go back over their lives and identify all their sins, even the ones they had forgotten, in order to repent of them individually. It was not until years later that I learned Finney was a Pelagian heretic who denied substitutionary atonement in the death of Christ, saying instead that Jesus had only died as our example and we could attain righteousness by our works. Guess who tried to do that activity? I was already in a bad mental state at the time with my fears of sinning the unforgiveable sin, and that sermon made me think more than ever that I was eternally damned. What Jesus said about offending one of His little ones comes to mind.

    Kizzie, if it was an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church, then there is your explanation for the ugly teachings. It was hard to distinguish between ATI and the IFB churches with which we had ties. They had very similar rules. Indeed, some prominent members of the IFB had direct connections to ATI.


  50. Those Russian boys were from ATI’s orphanage? I didn’t even know they had an orphanage (or plural). And I had no idea NGJ and ATI were connected. Not surprising, though.

    What, if anything, did the Pearls say after Gothard’s big fall? I’m almost positive I was still getting their (NGJ’s) newsletters at that time, but wasn’t reading them at all. They’d come in the mail, I’d page through them, and toss them in the garbage, unlike in the early years, when I’d practically devour them. I don’t remember seeing anything written about Gothard in my skimming years.


  51. 6 Arrows, I’m not sure true fans of Gothard have ever acknowledged he had a “fall.” My brother (with whom I have only discussed Gothard once, as I recall, and right in the middle of when all the garbage was coming out) simply saw it as Gothard being persecuted by people misusing the internet, and he scoffed that anyone can be accused of sexual harassment, and sexual harassment can mean almost anything. When I said a few things that it actually did mean in this case, he then went back to bearing false witness and unproven attacks, or something along that line.


  52. 6, yes, ATI had more than one orphanage – they also had one in Romania. I believe the Pearls did begin questioning the methods of organizations and homeschooling methods such as ATI, in a series of articles they did titled ‘Jumping Ship’. They were not, however, very inclined to believe the allegations against Bill Gothard – I saw a post by Debi Pearl which accused Gothard’s critics of gossiping. Then again, Michael Pearl had some very questionable doctrines of his own.


  53. Eye opening.

    I don’t remember hearing or reading anything about Gothard until this blog, though some of those ideas are always floating around the far edges of Christianity.

    I was raised in a moral but not super ‘religious’ home; my mom was a Christian who for some reason became a non-church goer but mostly I think due to the pull of my dad who was not a believer (and, unfortunately, me, who kicked a fuss when she had me going to Sunday School for a while).

    She was always wary of very strict Christians, she told me that my SS teacher was cold as ice when we ran into him once on the trolley in Hollywood (we were associated with the Baptist Church there and it was where we lived at the time). She said she said Hi and he sternly just looked away. She really disliked believers who were so strict that they were barely human! Now maybe he was preoccupied or just didn’t recognize her, but it’s interesting how that brief moment “stuck” in her mind and heart.

    Later, we went to a less-intense Baptist church. Our family background was largely Presbyterian, Methodist/Episcopalian.

    But I was raised with strong morals and there were strong boundaries. My mom also stressed (always) befriending the friendless. She was also our Girl Scout troop co-leader.

    chas, we’re not surprised by your skirt length preferences based on your well-known Fox News affections. 🙂 Shortest, tightest skirts ever. They look SO uncomfortable.

    We had some unexpected news today — we are free to take the day after Thanksgiving off (as personal vacation days, it’s still not a “paid holiday”). In the past, under our former editors, it was forbidden to even dare to ASK for that day off so none of us ever did. The new regime feels as long as there’s one reporter in each newsroom that day — and we provide extra copy for the weekend before we leave on Wednesday — it’s game on.

    So I may get the day after Thanksgiving off for the first time in, oh, since the early 1990s?? What a treat!!

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Oh, those Jumping Ship articles — I remember those now. But names like Bill Gothard, ATI, IBLP (if that’s the correct acronym) wouldn’t have been familiar to me at that time, so I’ve forgotten the details of the articles, just remember the gist of them.

    Cheryl and Roscuro, it is unfortunate that so often when darkness is exposed, or bad doctrine is called out, those who speak out on it are labeled as gossips, slanderers, bearers of false witness. To be sure, those things do happen — unfounded accusations can and do occur in this world — but the rush to blame a person who calls out a public figure on his/her doctrines or actions serves no one.


  55. And all of our upbringings, while perhaps not “ideal” in a perfect world (whose was?), are uniquely used by God in our own stories. It all works together for good …


    Liked by 3 people

  56. Amen.

    And I would “like” your post at 11:20, DJ, with the day-after-Thanksgiving-treat part, if I knew how to do the “Like” thing. 🙂

    Anyway, yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Actually, I liked SS.

    I just didn’t like getting into a dress on a weekend as we had to wear them all week for school back then. 🙂

    I was a little disappointed the morning my mom said forget it! she finally gave up after one of my resistance episodes.

    My grandfather had given me a Bible, which I still have, that was white with a zipper and a small gold cross on the zipper pull. I think it was dated 1960 or 1962 in his title page signature, I will have to double check. Unfortunately, it keeps getting misplaced in this house — even though I am always putting it where I won’t lose it when it does pop up from time to time.


    Organizational skills were never my strong suit.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Michelle asked: “Janice–do you live near Atlanta?”

    Well, I live about 70 miles from Atlanta, Missouri. But I don’t think she means that little town. It doesn’t have a mega church, but I think the Baptist church has a few hundred members.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Thanks 6, yes, the day after Thanksgiving has always been the hardest day to go in to work since the whole country now seems to have it off.

    We’d all be stuck doing the tedious day-after shopping stories at the mall or finishing up whatever story we’d been able to scrounge up earlier in the week to leave for the weekend (since no one would be available for interviews on that Friday, either!).


  60. Speaking of mountains — someone was, I think — my usual view of the mountains north of LA on my drive to work was completely obscured this week by the heavy, dense, gray-brown layer of smoke from all the fires. 😦


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