40 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-26-18

  1. Morning all. Kare and dj must live in the same place because the picture hasn’t changed yet.
    Two more weeks, but lots to do first. Getting ready for some fun projects in kinder.

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  2. Ah, really lovely sunrise (?) in among the hoarfrost!

    We chose this place to live partly because it is warmer and less snow than where we were living. And indeed it is. (In summer it averages just one or two degrees warmer, in winter five or six, and only 40% of the snow we got.) My husband will tell me it’s 11 degrees warmer here today, or looks like they are getting snow up there.

    I’m inclined, though, not to want to see snow until December (yes, I know, we are almost there) and this year fall color hung on spectacularly late–most of the shrubs still have their leaves, but several species of trees still do, besides the oaks. (Oaks don’t count. Even in Nashville they didn’t lose their leaves till into December or later.) We had 60 just yesterday, but we have also had several hard frosts, a light snow, and maybe a third of an inch of ice. And you have to be stubborn indeed to hold onto your leaves after all of that. I thought the first heavy frost would kill it all off, but that was weeks ago.

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  3. Does anybody else occasionally get “This comment could not be posted”? I have gotten it several times, including trying to post the above. After the first couple of times I received it, I figured out the trick to getting around it (in case anyone else gets it). I just copy my comment, open this in a new tab (or close it and reopen it) and try again, and it has always managed to paste the comment and post it.

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  4. Morning! That is a lovely view up there…cold and frosty with the hope of a bit of warmth off in the distance! The snow covers our land but with the high winds of this latest blizzard no snow landed on our pines. The moon shadows in the evening and wee hours of the morning are a sight to behold…takes my breath away every time…
    I have had that happen Cheryl and have done exactly what you have….technology was developed to confound me I am convinced! 🙃

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  5. That is what it looked like when I went out to do chores. I like to try to beat the sunrise so I can watch it while out there. A great time to praise the Lord! Lots of frost but no snow. I would like snow to protect the ground. But it is beautiful. God is amazing.

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  6. Ouch. What was that? Who was that? Was that Jo? I did not think of her in that light, she seemed so meek and gentle, and yet strong. Now I know a little bit more and will be watching for it. Note to self, always wear body armor if Jo might be anywhere near…

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  7. Snow day. Nancy’s blizzard moved Eadt. We didn’t get a lot of snow (<6") but the wind! I put my car under the carport to keep it from getting covered with snow but the wind covered the car with snow anyway.

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  8. A few questions for y’all. . .

    What is the difference between hoarfrost and frost?

    What do you all think of giving to Salvation Army or Samaritan’s Purse? Are they as good as they seem? If you had to choose to give to only one, which would you choose, and why? Or is there another helping ministry out there that you prefer to support?

    Now that I have a better handle on what’s going on with my finances, I want to start giving to a helping ministry on a regular basis. I recently sent a donation to our local Safe Net Ministries, which provides food packages to the needy, and will probably support them some more. (Nightingale used to get food from them when she was living with X.) I think they do some other things, too, to help people in need.

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  9. Beautiful photo.

    Speaking of seasonal songs (we were at some point I believe), remember “Frosty the Snowman”? That song always made me cry.

    This morning I’m covering an LA city/county news conference (aka dog and pony show 🙂 ) about homelessness (and how the money we all voted in favor of via new taxes is being used). Tomorrow I’m covering a late (early evening) meeting in the harbor about homelessness (and the temporary shelter being built). It’s already a week with a theme.

    Only 4 more days to work, though, and then I’m off Friday and all of the following week, though it’s already piling up with things to do and people to see. And I still haven’t gotten my flu shot, I promised myself I’d get one in October this year.

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  10. Last time I checked, the Salvation Army received very high marks for keeping administrative costs minimal (meaning more of the donations went directly toward the ministries). I’ve always leaned toward giving to them when I can, including giving them any excess household or closet give-aways to them for their stores.

    We have a 100+ year-old Christian homeless mission in the port that our church (along with other area churches) supports year-round and also with special collections at Christmas and Easter. Our church also supports Prison Fellowship every Christmas with gifts for local families provided to us.

    I don’t know much about Samaritan Purse, only generally what the shoebox program is.

    I like it that you’ve given to a program that has been helpful to Nightingale in the past, Kizzie. 🙂

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  11. Karen, I agree with Donna about Salvation Army.
    I send them money occasionally.
    A little incident impressed me about Samaritan’s Purse.
    I was watching a news program a while back. It showed the refugees in the middle east. A news program, mind you, not advertisement for anything.
    It showed a kid arching for a box of food. The camera briefly showed the box. It said “Samaritan’s Purse”. That convinced me that the money was being spent wisely.

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  12. Kizzie, Salvation Army is a denomination; one doesn’t think of them that way, but as a charity. Since they are actually a denomination, and I don’t agree with their theology, I would rather give to my own church. Samaritan’s Purse does apparently have some good programs, but Roscuro posted some good links some time ago about how their Christmas shoebox program is actually not helpful to the poor (in at least some countries) and hurt genuine missions and church planting. I would not give through that particular program again, and I passed the information on to my elders.

    My own choice for giving to the poor would be something that asked something in return from them. The two that come to mind for me are (local) Habitat for Humanity and (international) programs that buy animals for people to start their own businesses, but require recipients to pass some of the offspring on to others, for example Heifer International. My younger brother worked for Habitat for Humanity (as a volunteer) for several years. His idea was this: He could go to school and learn how to do various aspects of construction work, and pay for the privilege, or he could do it as a volunteer, learn how to do it, not have to pay to learn, and be useful at the same time. Now, apparently Habitat works with “minimal” standards, within legal requirements but without going above them, and some of us building our own homes wouldn’t be satisfied with that. But if you are building houses for people who have not been able to own their own homes, and who need something they can afford, that is still better quality than much of the world lives in. And they require those moving into one of their houses to put in sweat equity, and I believe the loans are interest free–they are genuinely doing a service to the poor by giving them skills, and dignity, and housing at an affordable price, all at the same time. I think they also work internationally, as my brother traveled with them to another country or two, seeing it as a wonderful opportunity to brush up on his Spanish. (He had taken some Spanish courses and was manager of a Taco Bell in the Dallas area where he had a lot of Spanish-speaking employees, but he didn’t consider himself fluent.)

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  13. Also, a local-based ministry is indeed an excellent opportunity. In Chicago, it was known through the grapevine that one of our employees collected hygiene supplies (e.g., toothpaste) to take to the local prison, because men have to buy their own out of their scanty earnings. So if you had business to conduct with that department in November or December, you’d take a tube of toothpaste and maybe some shaving cream (she had a list of what they could or couldn’t accept) and give it to her. That was a very practical way to give directly, no administrative cost at all, and I was happy to be involved even though my involvement was minimal.

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  14. Yes, Salvation Army is, in fact, a denomination — even though they’re best known generically for their charity work. We have an officers’ training campus in our area so I sometimes see them in uniform around town.

    While their theology isn’t in line with mine personally, I am confident that the share Christ as a major part of their activities. If I’m going to give to the poor or to a relief effort of any kind (following natural disasters), I prefer to give to one that includes a Christian message and outreach as part of the effort.

    Our denomination also has a relief fund but it’s a bit more tightly focused and not as far reaching as the Salvation Army.

    Habitat is a good choice, though I am not sure how strong its Christian message is these days.

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  15. Kizzie, you can designate where you want the funds to go to through Samaritan’s purse and probably through Salvation Army. I like to give where I know the gospel will be shared along with the giving. I am not sute that Habitat or Heifer do that. Samaritan’s Purse has the programs to give to buy animals for families, help educate children, help children out of bad situations, give clean water, etc. I think World Magazine is connected with a similar outreach as is World Vision. I would want to make sure the people receiving hear that it is because of Christ that they are receiving the help.

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  16. I like our local homeless mission that’s been in the port for more than a century. The man who currently runs it is a former LAPD skid row cop who is just the sweetest guy who really has a heart for those on the streets. A member of our church was instrumental in getting a women’s companion shelter to the mission up and running a few years ago (the mission itself was men-only).

    Several churches throughout our immediate area take turns providing dinners and our pastor along with others give monthly messages. On occasion, some of the men have come to our Sunday services. A few may actually still be attending, though I don’t know them personally well enough to know that for sure — but they do seem to have come from some kind of outreach ministry so there’s a good likelihood that’s the one.

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  17. Salvation Army. We have supported them for years and been involved in their work in Italy. I have no problem with their message: Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human, and Him crucified for our sins, resurrected and coming again. Sounds good to me. We could quibble about maintaining salvation as long as we are faithful and what that means but because I believe He is the giver of faith, it is not really a problem. He still wins.

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  18. And I definitely believe they handle the money best. And they are always in the forefront in providing relief in emergencies, though the Red Cross gets the glory, the Salvation Army is busy providing care and comfort and food.

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  19. I don’t have any strong negative vibes toward Salvation Army, but no personal experience with them either. It is simply that for me personally, if I am going to give to a denomination, it will be one in which I am in theological agreement. My husband and I didn’t support the denomination we were affiliated with in our last church, as a denomination, either, though we might have given to individual missionaries within it. In Nashville, I happened to do volunteer work with two different ministries that were Church of Christ, and they did excellent work. But I wasn’t in agreement with the denomination itself, nor was I in agreement with all the ministries they did. So I gave my time and sometimes material goods (not my money) to that which I could support, driving seniors to doctor appointments and doing foster care.

    I am less and less a fan of parachurch ministries; I think that very often they end up confusing their “mission” with that of the church, and in the process do harm to the church. So I see ministries such as the “Jesus film” that think that they are doing church planting, when what they are doing is in direct conflict with the work of the church. That doesn’t mean God never uses them to bring souls to Himself; the God who can use a donkey to speak to a prophet can certainly use anything He chooses. Anyway, my preference at the moment is to give to ministries that either are explicitly gospel-based (actual missions) such as church planting or printing Bibles and to poverty-relief organizations based on who does the best job in that. I know from experience volunteering for such organizations that they tend to draw Christians as volunteers, and such Christians can build relationships and so on as individuals. It need not be explicitly Christian. Take for example Roscuro’s nursing work; it can be anti-Christian and support abortion and euthanasia, and thus is no place for Christian workers or Christian money. But once you exclude that possibility, it need not be explicitly Christian to do an effective job. Christians within nursing and other “service” careers can then be freed to develop relationships with those to whom they minister. There is in many ways less confusion when we are simply helping poor people have safe drinking water, or helping poor people find proper housing, or helping fight childhood cancer, when the organization is not also trying to “sell” it to donors as the most effective way also to preach the gospel (which is a task given to the church, not to the parachurch).

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  20. For local giving, Salvation Army is better, since, in my understanding, when you give, the money stays local. There are most likely solid Christian organizations in your neck of the woods for local giving. For international ministries, I would suggest Thirsty Ground International, which we support and have friends in it who work in the Middle East. They are a Christian relief organization founded in 2013 and have been involved in relief of several disasters. Our friends work with Syrian refugees in Lebanon. More info here: https://www.thirstyground.org/

    From the “About” page:

    We are a Christian non-profit organization whose mission is to bring hope to those in disaster-stricken areas through the love of Christ. This is manifested in physical aid through projects involving water purification, food delivery, shelter/heating, clothing, blankets, education, and basic medical care. It is also manifested as spiritual aid in the form of counseling affected survivors and sharing with them the truth of God’s saving grace through Christ.

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  21. A group from my church went to Texas after last year’s flooding with Samaritan’s Purse. I was very impressed with their report. Someone was with them onsite to minister to the family and tell them we will be back to continue to help you. We are in it until the work is done.

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  22. Local Lions ar3 going to ring the bell for Salvation Army on 10 December.
    Lions is not a Christian organization, as such, bet all the money given to them goes to needs, primarily vision, in the community.
    Lions have no overhead. We pay our own way.

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  23. We went to see our co-worker who had the stroke. It was great to visit with her at her home and take lunch. Her dog still has a bed here at the office if they eventually get to return. She does not yet have good use of the right side of her body, but she can talk fine with a little memory struggles. I hope she will continue to improve daily.

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  24. Besides church, the ministry I support most now financially is CLI (Christian Library International). I am aware of the transformed lives that result from their work. I have shared a meal with the director and her family, and it is small enough to still feel like family instead of like a corporation. It has a positive influence throughout the world and it puts the works of Christian writers to excellent use.

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  25. The nondenominational city church I attend actually broke off from the Salvation Army. The city church is, needless to say, very orthodox, and the breaking off had been due to doctrinal issues. The Salvation Army’s statement of beliefs is quite orthodox, but where they depart from most Protestant and evangelical denominations on is the eternal security of the believer – they believe it is possible for salvation to be lost.

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  26. I’m working on a book that never says in ten words what can be said in 150. Well, so far he has spent 30 pages telling us what he will eventually tell us, and not yet telling us what I myself could have said in about ten words. When I work with such a book, I always feel like I’m dealing with a lazy elementary student padding the “fact” that bats are birds into a research paper, and I’m biased within a couple of pages into the belief such a book won’t have anything useful to say. With this book, I also face an uphill battle of another bias (not race) as to the likelihood it will be a good book, so if anyone thinks to pray for me as I tackle it, that would be useful. I already have two other books behind it that will pay better than it will, and I really just don’t want to get bogged down in this one. And no, I wouldn’t say anything like this if any of you had the slightest hint of the author, the publisher, the subject, etc.

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  27. There was a sweet widow in my old church, “Sister Kay”, the mom of my friend Michelle, who was beloved in the church for being kind, full of faith, and encouraging. She lived with her daughter and SIL, and their two children. (Well, actually, they lived with her, as it was her house, but it was quit claimed into their names somewhere along the way.)

    Kay had a stroke from which she never fully recovered, having to be in a wheelchair and needing Michelle to take care of her. Among other things, Kay’s stroke affected the area of the brain that contains our verbal filter. It was quite difficult for all of them, because she would say hurtful things in her annoyance at the children or other matters. I think it bothered her as much as it bothered them.

    But they also kept a sense of humor about things, such as the time Kay kind of fell off the toilet while Michelle was trying to help her onto to it. (She was not seriously hurt by that, or else they wouldn’t have been laughing about it.)

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  28. Pretty pictures, Kare, with a nice mix of warm and cool colors.

    Cheryl, I recently read something like you described with that book you’re editing. I kept wondering when the author would end the preliminaries and get to the point. None of the build-up was necessary for understanding the main idea, when it finally came.

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  29. Writers get over that once they take a few journalism courses 🙂

    One must churn, churn, churn, quickly, and keep it short. Then move on.

    Saw the mayor today at a news conference but didn’t have a chance to talk to him about my thermostat and how he didn’t have to come over to install it now.

    I always love seeing the hipster shoes he wears with his slim-cut blue suits, the shoes are tan/brown with pointy toes. One of the mayor’s aides today, a young guy, quite gay, sweet, said he’d read “all” my stories! he was thrilled to meet me and could he have my autograph???? LOL

    Feeling old.

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  30. Chas, early on, when I worked for another paper, management paid our dues to be members of various service clubs in the area — it was part of the ownership’s philosophy that reporters/editors should be active in the community they covered. The group I was in also did the Salvation Army kettle stints and I remember “bell ringing” in front of a market or two on a few occasions.

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  31. Hurt my stupid left arm again — concert week’s always a great time for that to happen, hahahahahahaha.

    Oh, well, I will play and I will survive. 🙂

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  32. Tonight’s Hallmark Christmas mystery features a performance-shy piano teacher as a lead character.

    Cheryl, sure. I remember the jarring transition I had to make as a student who was used to writing long paragraphs with topic sentences.

    No.

    One sentence is a paragraph, then zip (typewriter sound), on to the next paragraph, then (zip) again.

    An editor who doubled as a writing coach at our paper some years ago described imagining that you were telling the story to your roommate or a guy at the coffee shop or your neighbor — blurt out the most important thing first, fill in the gaps as you go, for a breaking news story. Of course, that’s not how you’d write a book — though it would make it short and quite readable. 🙂

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  33. Cheryl – Maybe your author is influenced by the old classics like Moby Dick or Les Miserables. There were so many long, detailed descriptions in those books that I actually skipped entire chapters. Les Mis had several chapters just to describe the Paris sewer system, only to have one or two telling how Jean Valjean escaped with Marius through the sewers. I later heard that those authors were paid by the word. They must have gotten rich!

    Speaking of novels, I stayed up way past my bedtime tonight to finish Poppies. Good job, Michelle!

    Time for bed, even though I don’t have to get up tomorrow, as school is cancelled again.

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