66 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-28-18

  1. Good morning! It’s 27Ā° here with wind chill making it feel in the teens. We need to early vote this week but decided we could wait. We have two runoff elections.

    The cuddler, Baby B, is in my arms. Miss Bosley turns into a kitten in the morning for some cuddles. Her fur is so soft. The
    I ams

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  2. What do people buy for tbeir thirty-something age offspring for Christmas? All our son ever seems to want is books. He gave me a list, and I ordered from Amazon. He did ask for some noise cancelling headphones. Does anyone know what kind is best? I do like to have a few surprise things but I am out of ideas this year.

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  3. The header photo is from just last week. The berries look like blueberries but I don’t know what they are. They’re growing wild. Somehow, however, the leaves on these shrubs down near the pond had survived several frosts, a light snowfall . . . and the storm in which leaves and grass were all encased in ice for a few hours . . . to still be colorful and ready to be frosted again. The flower photo yesterday was the first frost of the season, some weeks ago, but this one was just days ago, and I was surprised at how much color was still out, since I really thought the ice would have killed and wilted whatever was still alive.

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  4. I wondered what happened Janice. I thought maybe your phone had taken over your comment. :–)

    I have enjoyed seeing the photos of ice and frost. There is something so beautiful about ice-covered objects–especially when the sun shines on them. Some of the most breathtaking sights I have seen in nature was in an ice storm. When we lived in Indiana, there were several severe ice storms. They are horribly dangerous if you must be outside (and I have been), but I have rarely seen anything so glorious. A tree or shrub wholly encrusted with glassy ice is blindingly gorgeous when it catches the sun’s rays. Even a telephone pole and electric wire acquire a magical beauty. But all that beauty can be deadly when you’re out and about, so I hope our photographer is staying safe. :–)

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  5. This morning: you know your brain is running low on creative energy when you awaken from a dream in which you are reading an encyclopedia entry on setting the table, and you turn the page and find that the text fills most of that spread, too, and there are no pictures on either page, and so you wake up.

    Teams fire coaches all the time when they don’t like their winning record. Is it possible to fire one’s creative director of dreams?

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  6. I hear Bose sound cancelling are good.

    I got my son an Audible subscription one year–he had a commute and enjoyed listening.

    My other son commutes an hour each way and listens to books onver audio through Hoopla– available at the library. I read ebooks through Hoopla when I travel.

    Stargazer generallly gets something new to wear since he has little money and doesn’t care what he wears.

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  7. Morning! It is 34 degrees in this forest and we are predicted to have a high of 50! This weekend the bottom falls out and our highs for the next week will not reach 30…with snow…winter!!! šŸ˜Š
    How blessed to have an offspring who requests books Janice!! That is always my desire to pick out books for my grandkids and for the most part they enjoy it I believe. I do much research and probe their brains as to what their current interest might be….
    I do not know what the most popular noise cancelling headset might be but Paul has a pair of Bose and he likes them….

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  8. Twelve year old loved his dream the other night. He dreamed he was ordering food in a restaurant and the wait person asked him to repeat and show him what he wanted on the menu. He loves eating out.

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  9. I don’t generally give gifts to my adult children Most of them are making much more than I am and are quite set in what they like so buy for themselves. They don’t want a bunch of “stuff” but what they do want, they get.

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  10. It’s not fair that it’s so cold down in Atlanta and warmer up in the far North!

    Thanks for telling me about Bose headphones. I am blessed that son usually only asks for books. We do sometimes help with his airfare costs which can be significant.

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  11. Airfare, that might be something to give them. But they fly all over. One son is currently in St Croix They probably all fly for basically free due to sky miles. I don’t know how that works. Husband uses them at times.

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  12. Good morning. Temperature here is in the mid-teens. Twenty-something? Thirty-something? If only. šŸ™‚

    Just sayin’. šŸ˜‰

    Well, I changed all my passwords, but am still occasionally getting a message while in gmail that I’ve got another account open simultaneously, when I don’t. I can click on “Details” under the message, and it shows when I’ve logged into my gmail account, and what the access type is. (It normally says Browser (Chrome), but there’s the occasional access type listed as Unknown.)

    I think I have figured out what’s going on when “Unknown” appears, and the message that another account is also open appears. I get a lot of business emails with documents attached, some of them with Google Docs, others with other attachments, like PDFs, for example, of last year’s catering order for Auditions day, etc. It appears that going into those documents registers as a new location, but doesn’t recognize it as access through the browser I have open.

    Technology can be so strange.

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  13. A month or so ago, Nightingale and I were involved in a discussion on one of YA’s posts. On one of the reply threads – and I don’t remember how the topic of missionaries came up, but it had – YA said that when she was younger, she was dismayed to find out that some missionaries (although she didn’t say “some”) require attendance at their church or to hear a gospel message in exchange for food or other physical help. She then went on to say that she disagrees with the methods of the vast majority of missionaries. Among other things she disagreed with was forcing people to deny their culture.

    At the time, the main discussion had been going on for a while and I was tired of it, and the missionary mention was off the main topic, so I gave a quick response and didn’t pursue it further. But her comment about disagreeing with the “vast majority” of missionary practices has bugged me since then. Does she have any idea how many different kinds of missionary practices and methods there are across the world?

    Anyway, I came across this article a couple days ago, which answers some of what she had to say. I shared it for my “Christian Friends” list on Facebook, and tagged her in the comments. I also commented that there are many, many different kinds of missionaries. I don’t know if she will bother commenting, but I am hoping that she at least reads it.

    (If you are a Facebook friend of mine, and would like to see this and whatever comments may come up, but don’t see it, let me know. I think I have all my blog-and-Facebook friends on my Christian Friends list, but I may have missed some.)

    https://haretranslation.blogspot.com/2018/11/3-internet-accusations-against.html?fbclid=IwAR1-XC4CSEb553-jr5-PwAaNUPoeoHwI274wBzkl8y_9vG5CtF205ioTuUw

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  14. Yup, she replied. She says that she knows “very well what missionaries do.” She also knows several people involved in missions and has done a short-term mission trip herself, and their experiences and hers, of course, reinforce her views. (She always claims to know zillions of people who just happen to match whatever view she is espousing.)

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  15. Seriously, though, I don’t think there is any orthodox Christian teaching that YA agrees with. She claims to absolutely love Jesus, but rejects so much of His actual teaching, including that we need to believe in Him for salvation. Please pray that God opens her eyes and convicts her heart.

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  16. Good article, Kizzie. Whenever you get the urge to do something about YA, you need to pray. If you ignore her otherwise for a long time then she will begin to wonder what happened. Engage and provide for Chickadee in whatever interests her. My parents only wanted to engage with me in what was of interest to them and that sadly left a void even though we loved each other. I saw that wonderful photo that you posted on Facebook that Chickadee took. Maybe there is a photography club you two could join together to grow closer. I know y’all don’t drive, but perhaps your church family could assist there. There may be online clubs that help learning the skill. I am equatting this to my Word Weavers writing group. It offers both in person and online. Something like this could make your relationship blossom. This puts the focus on you and Chickadee and lessens the influence of YA in a positive way. To break negative habits you have to find a good substitute. This is all IMHO.

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  17. Bose is the go-t grand for sound. I don’t have the headphones but do have a sound-touch device in my home that has great sound. They’re pricey but they last and are probably worth the investment over the long-term.

    Remember “stereo” components where you had to buy the turntable and speakers and hook everything up and it took up so much space? šŸ™‚

    Kizzie, I’ll have to look up that post. I’d suggest that her overriding but unspoken objection is rooted in a denial of or rebellion to what Jesus preached, that he is the ‘only’ way. It’s a sticking point that liberals find essentially unacceptable, as did many of the people in Jesus’ time. šŸ™‚

    I’d say that’s what rankles most people who argue the point about allowing people to maintain their “culture” while missionaries simply go about doing relief work and then go home, thank you.

    Our denomination got its start over that debate — the mainline (as we’d call them now) Presbyterians (this was some 100 years ago now) set out the change the focus of the denomination’s missionary teams from preaching the gospel as the first and primary priority to providing material relief and aid as being the primary role. Sharing the gospel could and should be done, so the argument went, but it should a secondary concern.

    Both of those activities probably are hand-in-glove for most missionaries working in the field, I’d think. But consciously relegating sharing the gospel to a lesser priority became the sticking point that caused more orthodox Presbyterians to leave what was becoming an increasingly liberal body. Those early years in the 1900s were when Christian denominations began seriously drifting, though we think of it as happening later, in the 1960s. It all probably matured and came to fruition by that time, but it was a movement that had been going on for quite some time due to the rise of higher criticism in the field of theology.

    *** Higher criticism treats the Bible as a text created by human beings at a particular historical time and for various human motives, in contrast with the treatment of the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Lower criticism is used for attempts to interpret Biblical texts based only on the internal evidence from the texts themselves. (from the New World Encyclopedia online)

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  18. Janice – I hadn’t commented on anything of YA’s in a while until this past week. (I said that other discussion was a month or so ago, but it could have been closer to two months. I don’t remember.) The comments I made this past week were friendly, humorous ones on non-hot-topic matters, such as our cats’ behavior. I make a point to occasionally comment on those kinds of things in a friendly manner to help defuse any bad feelings she might have.

    I will certainly encourage Chickadee to get more involved in her photography again. I also think we are onto something with having an occasional movie night. She seems to really enjoy that.

    Our visit the other day turned into a game day, ending with a crazy round of Uno that seemed like it would never end. We laughed a lot over getting confused on which direction we were supposed to be taking turns in, as we kept playing the Reverse cards. Finally, Nightingale drew two circles on different papers, one with an arrow pointing clockwise, the other with an arrow pointing counter-clockwise. That helped! (And I won that round!)

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  19. It was 15Ā° when I left this morning. Supposed to get into the 30s. It’s hard to come back to school after 6 days off.

    As for gift giving, we all get things for the grandchildren, but the adults exchange names.

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  20. It’s 60 degrees here!!

    I suspect this crowd isn’t impressed with our cold, morning weather, though. Rain arrives tonight and goes through tomorrow, maybe more through the days following. The more the better, just so it doesn’t cause mud slides. After fire, we usually segue into mudslide, those being our normal seasons out here.

    Two more days to work then I’m off for a week + this Friday. I need it.

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  21. I don’t get things for the grandchildren either. Sad to me, but their parents know what the parents want and provide it. In the past, the gifts given were appreciated and sent out with the next downsizing load. Understandable. So I don’t worry about it.

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  22. The Gospel is good for everybody, regardless of their culture. The things we add to it, maybe not so much. But I think a lot of missionaries have figured that out. Making everybody into a white American is not much of a goal. Offering the Truth to all so they can be rid of their fears and lies is a blessing.

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  23. PETER L: I’m running 1-2 days behind reading here and just saw your question from yesterday. I’m up for pigskin picks any time you want to organize it. I think we can somehow manage without Cheryl.

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  24. Sounds like YA loves the jesus of her own making instead of the Jesus of the Bible. When the Only One Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life comes back, it won’t be pretty for the Many-Roads-to-God believers.

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  25. We include a mix of hymns and songs in our service, we definitely rely on many of the good old ones from our (Trinity) hymnal but also include newer pieces that are deemed theologically sound and good for congregational singing.

    They’re all vetted by our 12-member board of elders first before they’re added to the lineup of what we sing in church on Sundays.

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  26. One’s position and activity in the realm of social justice has largely taken the place of the gospel in liberal Christian denominations. Jesus as a social justice and equality warrior is held up to be followed as the means by which people are considered “good” and faithful.

    I also think just the concept of eternal salvation itself no longer carries the biblical connotation in many of the more liberal churches. My guess is that these are the folks who believe people are basically good and that living a “good,” (socially or politically) caring life is what counts in the end (and also perhaps that all people, maybe with the exception of Hitler or Trump šŸ™‚ , go to a “better” place after death anyway?).

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  27. From what YA has written, I would say that she probably believes that Jesus’ death and resurrection saved everyone. Belief in Him is nice, but not necessary. A couple of the blog posts she has shared from liberal Christian sites have indicated a belief in universalism.

    As for people being basically good, she has made it clear that she does not believe that.

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  28. Is she angry that the people who aren’t “basically good” (maybe us evil non-SJW types?) also get salvation under the universal umbrella? IOW, in her thinking, do some people not deserve salvation, but get it anyway?

    What makes her so hot under the collar about orthodox Christian belief?

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  29. To clarify my 3:27, of course none of us deserves salvation. My statement was because I get the impression she thinks some are more deserving of salvation than others.

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  30. 6 Arrows – She seems to have a skewed view of what we orthodox/evangelical Christians believe, based, I think, on some in her extended family. We hate gays, minorities, the poor. women who get abortions, and people of other religions. And we are arrogant enough to think that only believing in Jesus will get one to Heaven.

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  31. Jo, I liked that book, and loaned it to my daughter who thought about doing a semester in Oxford but ended up doing a semester in Ireland instead. She liked the book too.

    The new header photo is MY favorite of the ice ones. My husband’s favorite went up yesterday, but he tends to like the ones with lots of color less than I do. He likes more muted colors, and he liked the big and little drops of ice. This one was from the “burning bush” right outside my office window, after its berries and leaves got encased in ice. I like the berry and stems encased in ice, but I also like the other colors in the background. The colors definitely say “fall,” but the ice says “winter.” I think this might make a good Christmas card, and it’s likely to make it onto my Christmas letter.

    BTW, I am very cautious about ice and as much as I wanted to go out in it, I wasn’t at all sure of the footing. The area outside one of our doors had been salted, but it sloped, and the area outside the other door hadn’t been salted. In my twenties, I once went running across a gas station parking lot (trying to catch a bus) and slipped on ice I didn’t know was there. (We’d had a bunch of warm days.) I’ve been cautious of it ever since. And a few years ago I slipped on our back deck, some moss that had grown on it, and hit my head hard, and last summer I slipped on some pine needles that weren’t even wet and went down and hurt my knee, and that injury took months to heal because I ended up with an allergic reaction to the antibiotic ointment. So going out on icey sidewalks to take photos, no matter how beautiful the photos might be, didn’t seem a worthwhile risk. But I told my husband I wished I could, and when he took out the trash he deemed it safe, and so I went out. (My husband has much better balance than I do, but he wouldn’t tell me it was safe if it wasn’t safe for me.) By the time I went out, the sidewalks were clear and the ice on bushes and trees was beginning to thaw–but enough of this exquisite beauty was left in place that I got some good photos.

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  32. On another note – Last week, Nightingale bought a pretty throw pillow with a picture of cardinals and some snow-covered red berries. I exclaimed about how pretty I thought it was.

    So today, she came home from shopping with another pillow with a large cardinal on it – for me! I was thrilled. She happened to mention that she thinks it is prettier than the one she bought for herself, so I offered to trade, but she said that wasn’t necessary. Then she said she knew I would suggest switching, “because that’s who you are”.

    While she was out at the bus stop to get The Boy, I went upstairs and switched the pillows. šŸ™‚

    Turns out I actually like the one she initially had, and now I have, more than the one she bought for me, which she likes better. šŸ™‚

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  33. For those who may know – How common is it for missionaries to give their help – with food or medical help or whatnot – with a “string” of the people being helped having to convert or attend a service?

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  34. I think we can somehow manage without Cheryl.

    Since she has only participated in the Pigskin Picks once or twice in all the time it’s been going. Now, if only AJ would let me know his choice for the tie breaker.

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  35. Cheryl could get her own slapstick show with lots of pratfalls.

    That was quite a string of them outlined at 4:52.

    I only remember 2 falls on ice, but since I don’t live where there is any of it that is probably about right. It really hurt but I suspect it looked pretty funny.

    A couple weeks ago I tripped over a large cardboard box that was in the living room and went down hard on both knees (yeah very funny God, got the message). Ouch! Anyway, it really hurt and the skin and other tissues remain tender (I put Cortisone 10 on every night, it’s mostly a surface/skin tenderness that is painful to the touch though it’s getting much less so — I got up fine and had no trouble walking afterward so I knew there wasn’t any deeper injury than the rather widespread and deep bruising).

    So Cheryl and I will be glad to entertain you all.

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  36. Kizzie, on your question about giving help with strings attached: it is not common at all. The team I worked with did not even require their employees in the educational and medical outreaches to be Christians; therefore, the vast majority those employees were not Christians. Only the most naive of mission agencies would think that giving benefits with strings attached is a good way of gaining converts. It is simply a sure way of not planting a lasting church, because the the seed plant will spring up in rocky soil with no root, and, when tribulation or persecution arises, the plant will wither away. Moreover, requiring conversion as a prerequisite to helping people is not the pattern Christ or his Apostles set for the Church.

    As for the tragic case of Mr. Chau, we are called to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The mission agency I went with would not accept me until they had talked to my pastor and the church had confirmed my calling. Paul did not go as a missionary until he was called by his local church, and even then, when his desire to go into Asia was thwarted, he awaited the Spirit’s leading, instead of making the mistake of thinking his desire to go into Asia was a calling and going anyway. God does open doors, but we must have patience. The idea that we have to push our way in when the door is closed is not an idea borne out by the missionary work of the New Testament church.

    I have read the Poisonwood Bible. There is an element of truth to the novel, which is careful to say not all missionaries were like that (it is not a book I recommend for reading, but that doesn’t mean it is entirely unrealistic). The veteran missionaries I knew were wise as serpents and the best anthropologists I have ever encountered. But I saw in several of the new missionaries to the field the same blind idealism of pushing through all obstacles, instead of considering whether the obstacle was placed there by God. The novices frequently chafed at the cautions of the veterans for patience. The impatient novices are no longer there, while the veterans continue on. Missions are not built on adventurous impulses, but long patient labour.

    As for the cultural element, there is some truth to that accusation of trying to change the culture. Hudson Taylor noted the problem in his day. Too many Western missionaries have not considered carefully what elements of their lifestyles are influenced by their Christianity and what are merely influenced by their culture. Many customs that other cultures have are not inherently pagan and have no need to be changed, and the changes that do need to occur will happen as the believers in the culture come to spiritual maturity. There is a difference between giving new believers the equipment to decide how they should live in their culture, and forcing them to change their culture because it doesn’t match what we do. In fact, Paul made it apparent that missionaries should observe the harmless customs of their host culture: “to the Greeks I became as Greek… I am become all things to all men…”

    The first missionary to the area where I am now translated sections of the Bible into Inuktitut. Before then, most Inuit were illiterate. When they were given the Bible to read in their language, the Inuit continued their traditional lifestyle, but they taught each other to read and write. They became literate without going to school, even communicating with each other by writing. They still lived in their camps, getting what they needed off the land. But later missionaries decided, along with the government, that they needed a modern education, and Inuit children were taken and put into residential schools. In so doing, they stripped a generation of their cultural knowledge of how to survive in the harsh environment, rendering them dependent on outside help. There was nothing inherently wrong with how the Inuit lived traditionally, and they were very receptive to Christianity. There was no need to make them change their lifestyles or to force them to conform to our ideas of what education is.

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  37. FB comment from someone regarding cats at Christmas:

    Anyone know how to keep them the heck off the Xmas tree? They are driving us nuts, they keep on knocking it over. Iā€™m afraid of electrocution

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  38. Kizzie, I would rather you didn’t. I understand that you are trying to change YA’s mind, but I didn’t put this comment on the FB thread for reasons. It contained too much information about real life people. But the biggest reason is that YA is not open to hearing anything but her own opinion on topics. That is why I make no attempt to engage her in conversation. Do not feel you have to persuade her of anything. I understand you keep the communication lines open because of Chickadee, but frankly, if you cast my somewhat small pearl before YA, she would trample it under her feet and turn on you. Can I make a suggestion? By all means, put up the posts you do on FB. But do not draw YA’s attention to them. If she reads them fine, if she doesn’t read them, that is also fine. But by asking her to speak on your posts, you are giving her another platform to spew venom, which is all she will ever do.

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  39. How to keep cats away from Christmas trees:
    Lock them in a room for the next month;
    Put them outside;
    Don’t put up a tree;
    Electric fence around the tree.

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  40. Roscuro – I understand. And you are right – she is not open to anyone else’s opinion, even if that other person has more experience and knowledge than she.

    The few other times I have tagged YA in something, I have also added “no obligation to comment”, which I forgot this time.

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  41. Kizzie, I know you want her to see it by tagging her, but I have a strong impression from what I have that she justifies her rude and aggressive treatment of you with the fact that you tagged her. The “no obligation to comment” means nothing to her – once again, from observation I would say she considers it a passive aggressive challenge to comment.

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