76 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-14-18

  1. Good morning Kim.
    Everyone else was cheating.
    Except Jo.
    Good evening Jo
    πŸ™‚

    I guess Donna was legitimate with Babylon Bee. It was today.
    Do I need to go back to check on yesterday”s?
    Maybe later

    I think Waldo is on a tree in the middle of the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathaleena, I too would not want Christmas songs as part of the service before Thanksgiving–nor a worship team that sang themselves instead of leading congregational singing. In fact, in this church and the last one I have gotten spoiled by having no “special music” (solos, choirs, music teams) of any sort, just congregational singing. It has been lovely! When I was a teenager, I was in a couple of choirs in my churches, not because I have a good voice (no one has ever told me I have a pretty voice, leading me to assume I probably do not) but because it was the only way to be able to join in on more of the singing. Not having choirs at all is even better, and such an aid to congregational singing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl, if the link was about defunding planned parenthood and building the wall, if they passed that, they would no longer have an issue.
    In politics, it’s “the issue” that is important. Not getting anything done. Then, what we run on?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We don’t sing any Christmas hymns (other than choir practice) until Christmas eve. In our Sunday and Wednesday services between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we sing every Advent hymn in our hymnal. I don’t think we even have any Thanksgiving hymns other than those we’d sing all year long.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda, “Now Thank We All Our God” is the only one that comes to mind as one considered to be a “Thanksgiving” hymn.

    But then, I remember growing up we would sing “Faith of Our Fathers” on Father’s Day (and only on Father’s Day), and some song writer even managed to come up with “Faith of Our Mothers” for Mother’s Day. (Shudder.) Very, very happy to have spent the last decade and a half in churches that don’t see the need to celebrate Independence Day and Mother’s Day and every other potential event that has nothing to do with the reason we gather to worship.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chas, that was the point of the link. They say they want to defund it, but with both houses of Congress and a president, and a conservative-leaning Supreme Court, they don’t do it. It’s just a political issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning.

    Our hymnal is arranged in order of the church calendar. Advent is first, covering hymns 1-32. The Thanksgiving hymns are 609-616: We Praise You, O God, Our Redeemer, Creator; Now Thank We All Our God; For the Fruit of His Creation (sung to the tune of Go, My Children, with My Blessing, which may be more familiar); Praise to God, Immortal Praise; Come, You Thankful People, Come; Sing to the Lord of Harvest; We Thank You for Your Blessings; and Feed Your Children, God Most Holy.

    We also have a section of hymns (#233-261) labeled Worship and Praise.

    Neither our congregational nor choir singing jumps ahead to Christmas or other seasons early. Of course we do (in choir) begin practicing Easter and Christmas music early, but it doesn’t get sung in church until Easter, or very close to Christmas. (The Christmas choir concert is generally the Sunday before Christmas.)

    Interesting side note: a friend of mine who is now home with the Lord loved the song Joy to the World. She died on Easter Sunday seven years ago, and we sang the song at her funeral. πŸ™‚

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  8. A huge old tree (really two trees that had grown together) just over our property border in the back came crashing down last evening. Fortunately, it did not land on anything other than the ground. That area is part of our neighbors’ open field. (Their property goes alongside of our house, along the back, and further on.)

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  9. Glad that tree was not where it could do damage.

    Chas, πŸ˜€ You are probably not old enough to remember hymnals.

    Linda, that is part of my peeve. We sang no Advent songs last year until the Christmas Eve service. We are not a liturgical congregation, so are not following that. Our older pastor kept things like this in check. That song was the one I was thinking about.

    I love a good choir and I like Praise bands, too. They are all different and all add to a service, IMO. I just don’t like either to take over the whole service. I think our children lose out if they are not learning some of the classic hymns. Many have terrific theology and words.

    It is often a balance between the older folks and the young.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I loved singing in the choir a couple churches ago (I’ve been told I have a good voice, but I sing best, especially in parts, if I’m surrounded by really strong singers πŸ™‚ — don’t put me next to a off-key singer within a small non-melody part, such as second soprano, or I’ll be dragged right down that rabbit hole with them!).

    But I agree with Cheryl about preferring all congregational singing for worship. We’ve been doing a series of sermons on the role of the church and in talking about singing our pastor brought up the scene in Casablanca where the French national anthem spontaneously sung in the bar drowned out the Nazis’ singing. He said THAT’S the spirit our singing should exemplify. Sing for the light to overcome and to beat back the darkness.

    We’ll intersperse some “Christmas” music into our worship sometimes throughout the year (we sang Joy to the World last summer). They’ll be more noticeably interspersed beginning probably around this time of year (maybe 1 song per Sunday with the other — 5 altogether — hymns we sing), more so as Christmas gets closer. I don’t believe we’ve sung any yet, though.

    We have the Trinity Hymnals in the undercarriages of our seats but mostly people rely on singing from just the words printed in the bulletin or projected onto the screens (some of us hate the screens, our church had done away with them years ago but new ones reappeared during the remodel we did a couple summers ago — it’s a practical matter I suppose; and sometimes helpful with projecting Scripture verses from the sermons to help people follow along).

    Not all of the songs we sing are in the hymnal either. There are some good hymns being written still, you know πŸ™‚

    I’m hoping we decide to purchase copies of the Trinity Psalter Hymnals for our church. Our pastor has suggested we should be singing more of the Psalms so he’s lobbying for it with the other elders. But he says (good-humoredly) that he loses 2 out of 3 ideas he pitches to them so we’ll see.

    Painters are supposed to come by this morning early (they never come early) so I’m having to juggle some work time at home probably this morning. Please let this all be over with soon!

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  11. Apparently our singing doesn’t sound as robust to the pastor as he’d like (and I have sometimes made it a point to look around and have noticed some people not singing at all, which always surprises me). I LOVE to sing. the only times I falter is if I tear up during a piece. Otherwise I sing ’em all and love the fact that all of our music is sung by the entire assembly.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. This morning I have cancelled my health insurance before they do the auto withdrawal for Dec. Now I have to signup for Medicare Advantage tomorrow to get that cranked up to start in Dec. I have set up an appointment with an agent who did the presentation I went to awhile back. Now I need to get inspection stickers for two cars and go to the tag office. Then I can deal with the Driver’s license. Birthdays are so much fun. Especially when you are turning 65. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I was thinking about the Advantage plans and will probably have to switch to that once I stop working. For now, I’m on a PPO plan through United Health Care which does carry monthly premiums to pay. At some point I won’t be able to pay those, probably.

    I always laugh at the “dream” of “Medicare for all!” — as if it’s free. It’s not. (But it is less than what I was having to pay through my employer for full coverage, thankfully.)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. We print the words and melody in our bulletin but being an alto and old-school, I always use the hymnal. Ours is laid out as 6 described (shocker, since we’re both Lutheran). We may have Thanksgiving songs – I’ll have to look. And by the way, other than the few hymns that have 47 verses or alternate verses per season, we always sing all of the verses.

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  15. We almost always sing all the verses. The exception is that the last one we sing is seen as the “doxology,” and for it we only sing two verses. The morning one rotates between two psalms, and the evening between a different two. And you see the toddlers singing right out on those–having some level of repetition is wonderful for the little ones.

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  16. Fairly regularly we’ll skip some of the verses of the last hymn, but usually the rest of the hymns in the service we’ll sing all the verses.

    Recently we had a long hymn, in terms of how many measures there were in each verse, and we sang all six verses. I like the hymn, but it did seem to drag on, as the organist that week was one who tends to play at a slower tempo.

    The congregation has a natural tendency, though, to get behind, and most of our organists tend to follow the congregation’s “lead” then. One of the organists doesn’t, though — she keeps her same tempo throughout, and doesn’t let the congregation drag. I can always tell when she’s the organist, without looking back at the organ, or in the bulletin, where the organist’s name is mentioned. She plays at a good clip, though not too rapidly to sing, and congregational singing sounds more vigorous the times she plays.

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  17. A lot of churches, especially fast growing ones, are going away from hymnals and projecting the words onto a screen. Many do it for financial reasons, as hymnals are not cheap. That I can understand. I don’t like that as you can only see a few lines at a time. I like to see the whole song to get some context. A church where Mrs L’s brother-in-law is pastor, they print the words in the bulletin and project them onto the c\screen. That’s better than just the screen.

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  18. I’m with Linda — using the hymnal for singing. I want to see the alto line, and I switch back and forth between the soprano and alto lines in a lot of hymns.

    A friend recently made an interesting observation: she said she noticed that those who use the screen to watch the words of the hymn sit up straighter than those who use hymnals to sing. I guess there’s a lot of hunching over, looking at one’s hymnal in one’s lap, for those singing from the hymn book.

    I’ve always sat up straight for singing, not leaning my back against the pew or looking down at the hymnal. I hold it up to almost eye level, so that my chin isn’t heading down toward my chest.

    I don’t really like using the screens for another reason (the first being that notes, especially harmony notes are not usually shown on the screen): the screen operator half the time seems to be asleep at the switch. Delayed page “turns,” wrong pages showing, etc. It seems that at least one thing goes wrong nearly every Sunday with the screens. When it sounds like half the congregation suddenly stops, it’s usually because those relying on the screens didn’t get the next hymn verse or part of a recitation or whatever shown to them at the right time. It sometimes makes for what feels to me like disorderly worship. I just like using the hymnal better, so I can keep up.

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  19. When the special Reformation choir that I was a part of sang in church recently, we did two different songs. One was an acappella piece that only the choir sang.

    The other was a choral arrangement of My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, which included organ, brass, SATB choir, and the congregation.

    The order of entrance was organ – brass – congregation & choir on verse 1 – then various groupings of the preceding for the rest of the hymn.

    At the 8:00 a.m. service, the person running the power point put the words to verse 1 up on the screen immediately, and the congregation got confused and came in with the brass, who were playing the melody. So the congregation was singing verse 1 at what was the bottom of the choral octavos first page. (The congregation and choir weren’t supposed to enter until the bottom of the second page, but the congregation wouldn’t know that, with only the words on the screen. It was an understandable mistake — you hear the organ alone, then you hear the brass start the tune everybody knows, why wouldn’t they start singing?) So we ended up singing verse 1 twice, the first time organ, brass, and congregation, and the second time, organ, brass, and choir (and maybe the congregation again, since, fortunately, the power point person kept verse 1 on the screen long enough to get everyone where they were supposed to be.

    At the 10:30 service that day, the power point person didn’t put the words to verse 1 up on the screen until it was time for the congregation and choir to enter after the organ and organ/brass section.

    Confused yet? πŸ™‚

    Some people may prefer screens, but I see them more often a hindrance to congregational togetherness. And the congregational + choir intermixing obviously has its problems sometimes, too.

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  20. I really don’t like the screens. We still print all the words (only) in our weekly bulletins of the pieces being sung that day so I tend to sing off of those. I should use the hymnal and would prefer it but thumbing through to find things takes extra time and logistical juggling. I like seeing all the words and the music also.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I despise those screens in churches. Beautiful old churches with stone walls, stained glass windows, lovely carved baptismal font, pulpit, and lectern, and . . . . . tacky TV screens. Yuk.

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  22. Not only do we not have screens, we have both the old and new psalters (two hymnals per person), though about two out of three weeks we only use the new one. And upon joining the church, you are gifted your own copy with an inscription about when you joined, which is sweet.

    Having the hymnals shows you the music, and it allows you to teach your children to sing along. Having the words on the screen may well encourage people to look up more, but using more familiar songs can do that, too, as can simply asking people to be aware of posture and try to sing “up.” The screens have more drawbacks than gains, it seems to me. Only once (in Chicago) have I ever been a member of a church that used them; in other churches, if we were singing a song that wasn’t in the hymnal, the words were put in the bulletin.

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  23. Don’t make that cake yet Mumsee…I believe Janice’s birthday is in December…she just needs to take care of business before she turns the golden age of 65….I will have to do everything she is doing next summer…before I turn 65….oh the joy! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am old enough to remember hymnals. They are those books in racks behind the pews.
    There was a time when people looked at the words of sings there.

    I have belonged to eight Baptist churches. Not one of them asked the congregation to stand while the Bible text was being read.
    Until the new pastor at this church.
    Has anyone else ever done that?
    It is “in honor of God’s Word”. But this church, I believe, is unique in that respect.
    never heard of it before.

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  25. We always stand for the gospel reading, but not for readings from, for example, the epistles or the Old Testament.

    Sometimes we’ll stand for the reading of the sermon text, other times not. The sermon is often based on one of the day’s readings. Maybe we stand when the sermon text is from the gospel reading of the day? I haven’t made a connection as to when we stand and when we don’t for that; it seems the pastors randomly choose when to have us stand for the sermon text reading, but maybe it’s based on whether the reading is from a gospel or elsewhere?

    I’d never thought about that before.

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  26. I remember hymnals, and I’m the junior member here. Last I saw of the city church, they still had hymnals in the pews, although they were only used on special occasions. Other times they used the screens. People participate in the singing, I’ve heard them, even above the worship team, in which I’ve played both violin and organ. Since my studies in music history have informed me that psalms/hymns used to be fed line by line to the congregation by a clerk or precentor, in a process called lining out, somehow, I don’t think changes in the way congregations are prompted to join in the singing is a sign of degeneracy. No doubt those used to lining out thought hymnbooks were utterly abominable.

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  27. We used to stand for the gospel reading, not for the epistles or Old Testament. Now we don’t stand for any. Our former pastor had us standing for everything under the sun. It did help keep people awake, I suppose.

    Now the praise team will sometimes mention people may stand, if they desire, during a song. That makes for some real confusion. Regulars do what they want, but it is confusing to anyone who is not a usual attender. For that reason, I would not do it, but they will do what they want.

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  28. The pastor who resigned from the tiny family church had us stand “out of reverence for the word of God”, and the church deacons have carried on what he started, although he himself did not, in the end, show much reverence in his life. It makes my mother feel badly, as her arthritis is so bad that she cannot stand up from the pew without a painful struggle, so it is better that she remain seated. Other pastors had the congregation stand, but they didn’t include a phrase that made those unable to stand feel like they are being irreverent.
    In the city church, there is a congregational Scripture reading. As the reading is placed on the screens and read during the singing part of the service, then all who are able are standing already. Someone does the reading of the sermon text for the day just before the sermon – I am among the regular readers – and the congregation is sitting at that time.

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  29. It is mentioned in a couple of other places as well. As I recall, the Greek Orthodox did not even have chairs except for the infirm.

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  30. In 6th Arrow’s piano lesson today, I worked with her on a new and sometimes-difficult-for-young-students technique — playing the melody hand louder than the accompaniment hand.

    In one of her auditions pieces, the left hand has the melody, a line of single notes one after the other, while the right hand plays 3-note chords at the same time. Not an easy thing to minimize, those 3 notes played together in the one hand, while playing firmly on the single notes in the other hand.

    She got it within about 1 or 2 minutes of trying! It can take months sometimes, or even longer, to get those hands to work independently, applying different amounts of pressure simultaneously.

    I was amazed and delighted — she caught on faster than any previous student I’ve had. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 6 people

  31. I did not think I would care for the screens in church, but with eye troubles, they are helpful for that as long as I sit close to the screen.

    I wrote that hours ago but did not get to post it. So I post it now for whatever it is worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Sometimes we stand for the reading of scripture and I feel that it gives reverence to God’s word. We stand for the singing of hymns the majority of the time but maybe sit for one now because it is mostly older and many frail people in the early service I attend. We do have hymnals which we are given the option to use instead of looking at the screen.

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  33. Art is watching the old movie The French Connection. I was watching but the suspense was getting too exciting for me so I have retreated to bed. It’s still raining here and that puts enough suspense in my life without adding more.

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  34. Speaking of the elderly, husband was saying that our resident World War ll guy said he got a phone call from the Pentagon last year telling him he is the last surviving participant in the Normandy Invasion, Utah Beach. Anybody know any other surviving participants? Husband got the name of one on the last cruise, but when he called, it did not connect so it may have been inaccurate info. Joe was looking forward to talking to another guy from there.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Rain? I can’t even imagine …

    Interesting discussion. We meet in a leased space in a business park so we have no beautiful, old church to mar with screens πŸ™‚ But I agree, I just don’t like them.

    Still …

    Wondering if this is something like padded pews — something that has a good, practical use and in no way contradicts anything, certainly, in Scripture. I appreciated Janice’s comments about being able to better see the words on the screen.

    My taste is I don’t like ’em, but I also see where they can be an aid to worship. If I worshipped in a beautiful historic church I’d have more of a problem with them. But it would still come down maybe to taste.

    I think that’s what my own church came to when it decided to bring back the screens after having done away with them for so long.

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  36. OK, I thought I could replace my heater thermostat myself but tonight I looked at the instructions and nearly fainted.

    What?!

    How do people even begin to understand this stuff?

    “(You will need) screwdrivers, wire stripper / cutter, and possibly a drill. … Write down the letters printed near each wire terminal that is sued, and also the color of each wire that is connected to it. … Carefully remove the wires one at a time, and bend them in a manner so that they do not fall back inside the wall. Do not allow bare wire ends to touch each other … ”

    Well, on it goes. My eyes long since glazed over …

    A wire stripper? A drill? That’s all in the first paragraph …

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I was Anon @ 9:53, razzing Kizzie for taking my 62.

    Mine.

    πŸ™‚

    Screens in church: our church was built in 2002, so is modern-looking. No stained glass windows — they were deemed too expensive. The screens don’t look as out of place as they would in an old, beautiful building.

    We didn’t start out with screens, IIRC, when we began worshiping in our new building, but I think they would have been more helpful to me years ago when I was juggling babies, toddlers, hymn books, Bibles, diaper bags, and bulletins that were used to keep little hands busy with drawing. Being able to look up to see the liturgy and words to the hymns sometimes would have been easier than finding and balancing a hymnal in my hands with a wiggly child on my lap.

    Ah, memories. Those young’uns don’t stay little.

    All in all, we can be thankful for the freedom to worship in this country, in whichever way we might do so.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Thursday is the day Aj sleeps inj.
    Good morning anyhow.
    I don’t mind the standing, it’s the jumping up and down I don’ t like.

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