61 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-3-18

  1. Morning all. Just got home from school and the weight room. As I was putting things away, I realized that I never went out and did my lunchtime yard duty! oh, no. Last week I forgot and the other teacher came and got me. This week who knows what happened. With doing report cards and packing to go home, I am forgetting other things.

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  2. I don’t understand noting that’s happened so far.
    Looks like a cat in a shoe.
    Cheryl thinks it’s next year
    Donna thinks something should be moving.
    And Jo forgot lunch until a teacher came and got her.
    But it’s Monday. That’s all I know for sure.
    Good morning anyhow.
    Good night Jo.

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  3. Did I win the football pool? I know I missed on Georgia. But I thought I had it for a while.
    In a game like that, you don’t know who is really the best team. Georgia tried a fake punt, a gamble that they lost.

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  4. Good Morning Everyone. Here it is December 3rd already!!!!!
    What have I accomplished this year? Not as much as I wanted but more than the year before.
    Did anyone watch 60 Minutes last night? Bill Clinton, GWB, and Barack Obama spoke about George H. W. Bush. All were very kind.
    Facebook seems to be in an uproar this morning. A photo was posted of President Bush’s service dog Sully, asleep beside his casket. He is only a couple of years old, and had served the President for less than a year. He will go to Walter Reed to work with other veterans. Some are upset that no one in the family is kind enough to let the dog live with them.
    This goes under the heading, “Some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope”.

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  5. I’m nearing the end of several years, reading through the Old Testament and the detailed notes in the Lutheran Study Bible.

    It’s been quite an exercise, I’ve learned so much and seen so many parallels I hadn’t realized before.

    When I got to the minor prophets, even the LSB wasn’t sufficient for me to grasp what was happening, so I added David Guzik’s commentary on Blue Letter Bible. (He’s the pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara).

    Calvary Chapels and LCMS? They agree on a lot of basic theology– if in doubt, I went with the Lutherans.

    What I appreciate about Guzik, is he put events and prophecies into the context of world history. I realized recently that I know nothing about Israel’s history from Nehemiah to Jesus, only about 500 years!

    Will try to remedy that in 2019. 🙂

    Today, his commentary on Zechariah 12 including some interesting notes about the Muslims and Jerusalem:

    i. Muslims claim Jerusalem as their third-holiest city, but Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. In addition, “During the centuries when Jerusalem was under complete Arab control, no Arab ruler or Islamic leader ever made it the object of a religious pilgrimage – again a strange indifference toward a city which is now considered to be the third-holiest religious site in Islam after Mecca and Medina.” (Dave Hunt)

    ii. Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims comes from the belief that in the Dome of the Rock shrine there is a rock where two significant things happened – where Abraham intended to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and where Mohammed allegedly ascended into heaven. Though this tradition is firmly in the Muslim mind, it is of recent origin. It was invented by Yasser Arafat’s uncle – Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was the past Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. He promoted this myth in the 1920’s and 1930’s to arouse Arab passions against the growing Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

    iii. The verse in the Koran that describes Mohammed’s trip to heaven is Surah 17:1: Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place [al-Aqsa] of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! The Islamic interpretation says that the Inviolable Place of Worship is Mecca, and this is accepted by all. It then says that the Far Distant Place of Worship is Jerusalem – but this has no substantiation because Jerusalem had never been a place of Islamic worship to that time, nor would it be for centuries afterward. Jerusalem isn’t even mentioned by name in the Koran, so how could it be a place of worship according to the Koran? Most significantly, inside the Dome of the Rock hundreds of verses from the Koran are inscribed – and Surah 17:1 is not among them! The very passage that later supposedly justified the building of the Dome of the Rock is not even included among the hundreds of passages of the Koran inscribed in it!

    iv. The Dome of the Rock was built not because of the Koran, but because the Muslim ruler Abdal-Malik wanted to gain revenue from pilgrims and worshippers, and because he wanted to prevent the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple. Islamic passion for Jerusalem is indeed like drunkenness.

    v. This is exactly fulfilled in modern Jerusalem. In recent peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel was willing to concede almost everything to the Palestinians in an amazing willingness to make peace. The only thing Israel would not concede was sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the entire deal was ruined over that one point. The problem between Jews and the Arab world has boiled down to one point: Jerusalem.

    vi. If Muslim passion for Jerusalem is a mystery, the Jewish claim to the city is entirely Scriptural. “The very fact that Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible makes it worthy of special attention. This unique city is the only one upon which God has bestowed His distinctive blessing and protection (Ps 132:13-14), and the only city for whose peace we are commanded to pray (Ps 122:6). God says He has chosen Jerusalem as the place where He has put His name forever (2 Chr 6:6; 33:7; Ps 46:4; 48:1-8; 87:3). The new heavens and new earth will contain ‘the city of my God…new Jerusalem’ (Rev 3:12; 21:2). That there will be a ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ (Heb 12:22) but no ‘heavenly’ New York, Paris, London, Damascus, Cairo, etc. speaks volumes.” (Dave Hunt, The Berean Call – September 2000)

    c. I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples: If Jerusalem will be a cup of drunkenness to all her surrounding peoples, it will be a heavy stone – a burden – for all peoples, presenting a problem that cannot be solved (all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces).

    i. “Consider how remarkable even this one prophecy is. Who could have imagined when the Old Testament was written that all the nations of the world would be involved in deciding the fate of Israel? And this involvement of all nations in dividing Israel has occurred exactly as prophesied and is still in the process of being implemented.” (Dave Hunt)

    Who knew?

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  6. Chas, the cat in the shoe is what she was last night when Art took his shoes off. She buried her head in his shoe. She also was on top of his shoes. I told him she was making a statement that he had to stay at home. She really wants to keep us close.

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  7. Michelle, there is lots of heavy stuff in Zachariah’s last chapters. I would like to have a discussion about, but I can’t at this time.

    The thing that I don’t understand is the battle of Zazh. 14. It is the prophesy of a battle that hasn’t happened. And can’t as long as the sixth fleet is in the Med. (You know more about that than I do.)
    Anyhow. It may have to do with the “battle” of Gog and Magog. But that isn’t a battle at all. God wipes out an army with no help from anyone. (Rev. 20:9). Some try to make Gog and Magog a “contemporary” historical battle because they want to bring Russia into it. But Rev. 20:7 specifically says that G&M is 1000 years away.
    I’ve already said more than I meant to. And I don’t have time for a heavy discussion now.

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  8. I would be interested in that discussion. Seems we have heard talk that that is not referring to Jerusalem the city but only to the New Jerusalem. That Christians should not be concerned with this one.

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  9. I was up early for a free porch light estimate from the electrician at Lamps Plus … I think he figured I had a porch light also to install, but because I’m weighing whether (and how) to replace the current old recessed light with a more traditional flush mount light, I needed installers to look at it first. Also to see how much it might cost. If too much, I’d leave the recessed light for now.

    So looks like installation, because of having to put in a new “box” in my case, would cost about double what their normal installation cost would be (which is $135). He also said the base of a new lamp would need to cover 15 inches if it were a round base, 13 inches if square. All information I needed before I picked out a fixture.

    Not sure if I’ll do it or not, I probably won’t be doing it before Christmas at this point. Maybe a job for early next year. Or not.

    Michelle, your study habits put me to shame, I’m already behind in my Advent readings for the year. 😦

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  10. Kim, do they not realize the difference between a trained service dog and a family pet?

    Not that family is obligated to keep even a pet. When Mom died, several of us loved her dog and were tempted to keep her, but we found her another home. She had a chihuahua that was lovely and had a really sweet personality. BUT she was a small, short-haired dog and that isn’t really my thing; she was housebroken to puppy pads and not the outdoors (and known to be a bit careless about that housebreaking); she was a dedicated lapdog and I do not want a pet on my furniture; and she wouldn’t allow people to cut her nails, so they were long and when she was on your lap she was constantly “dancing” with her claws digging into you. The long nails could probably have been fixed, but I didn’t want a dog on my furniture. And I didn’t want a dog that wasn’t dependably housebroken, or one that was already several years old and had always used puppy training pads and might not be easily trained to go outside. And ultimately I don’t really like little dogs much, and planned to get a collie within a few months (I’d already picked out the breeder, though the first breeding didn’t “take” and I had to wait a year for my puppy) and I wasn’t ready for two dogs.

    Had she had a cat instead of a dog, only one of us would have even considered taking a cat, and that family couldn’t afford a pet at that time. Those who think that animals are “part of the family” don’t understand what family means. They aren’t human beings; we owe them proper care, and that’s it.

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  11. Mumsee, I am starting this knowing that it is more than I can deal with at this time.
    But there is a certain theological position, taken by honest Christian theologians. Some hyper-conservatives claim that they don’t believe the Bible. But most of the professors at Southwestern Seminary held this view when I was there.
    That position is “non millennialism”. They do not believe that there is any unfulfilled prophesy in the Bible, except that Jesus will return and end history. That is: No millenium and no prophesy concerning the present Church age. One professor said, “I believe God is finished with Israel”. Many traditional millennialism would say the he doesn’t believe the Bible. But he was a fine Christian man.

    My position? I believe millennialism. But I don’t believe in a pre-trib rapture as most of the people at FBC Hendersonville do. I believe that Christians will endure much of the tribulation. I suspect the rapture occurs at the Seventh trumpet. God’s people endure the same problems others do, unless it the judgment of God, as are the bowls of Wrath.

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  12. Chas, I have heard several of those viewpoints and, like you, believe the holders of those views are still Christians. Our Hope is in Jesus Christ.

    But, like you, I do believe there is more in store and likely, the Christians will be here for part of it at least. But I do not believe my faith will be shaken if He has a different plan than I have. And I find it very interesting to talk about, as long as people are not taking offense or getting obnoxious. We see differences in perspective all the time.

    I was thinking of the song we sang yesterday, In Christ Alone. In the middle, it talks about when Jesus died. And I imagine it was a huge disappointment to the people and wonder what the angels thought as they saw the King of Kings crucified and were held back from their desire to stop it. Did they wonder what had gone wrong? Did they mourn with the rest of creation? Did they hold out hope because they knew He had it in control? And then the glory of the resurrection! God’s plan. Always.

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  13. Dave Hunt is not even close to a reliable historian, by the way, as my husband found out when he was asked to get in on a planned family discussion about Calvinism for the family reunion a few years ago. (My husband did the preparation–lots of it–but it never happened. A couple of my brothers had asked my brother-in-law to discuss it with them, and he was leaning Reformed but not yet Reformed, and he asked my husband to join him. What’s humorous about that is that he told my husband he agreed with infant baptism, but my sister told us after his death that he was researching it but hadn’t yet made a decision. My husband said yes, two months before he died when we visited them, he had told him he had made the decision. She eventually found notes he wrote and told us that he had in fact made a decision–which my husband had heard from his own mouth. But he, not my brothers, invited my husband, who was new to the family at that time, and he himself died a year before the family reunion.) All that to say my husband listened to “sermons” about Calvinism by my preacher brother (they were really more like rants about how awful such a god would be), and he kept quoting Dave Hunt, and my husband got the Dave Hunt book and was shocked how badly it was researched. I asked him for an example or two, and he said, “Give me a little bit.”

    In discrediting Calvinism, Hunt claimed R. C. Sproul said God is the author of sin, but it wasn’t RC but his son who said that. He calls Augustine a “Roman Catholic theologian” multiple times, when of course there was no such thing as Roman Catholicism when Augustine lived, and he claims that the Reformers had been “part of the Roman Catholic church” as though somehow tainted by that instead of being opposed to it and leaving it. Hunt doesn’t know the original languages, and he was warned of the errors in his research but ignored it; he had an agenda. Lawrence Vance, who generally supports Hunt in his hatred of Calvinism, says, Hunt’s book, What Love Is This, is “marred throughout by factual, stylistic, and typographical errors.” Hunt claimed to be quoting John Wesley but was actually quoting Wesley’s mother–just a lot of sloppy stuff.

    There’s a really good reason Jerusalem is controlled by the Muslims now: The time for temple sacrifice is over. What it points to has been fulfilled. The picture is no longer necessary, and would in fact now be gross error. God isn’t allowing it. And it isn’t something that Christians can support, either. Oh, and BTW the Muslims believe it was Ishmael whom Abraham intended to offer, though I don’t remember if that is from the Koran or another source.

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  14. Chas, my husband is amillennial. (I myself don’t hold a position, except that dispensationalism is at odds with Scripture on multiple points. Beyond that, I don’t know.) They wouldn’t say there are no prophecies about the present church age. They / we do believe God’s prophecies to Israel as far as the land and so forth have already been fulfilled, and that believing Jews and believing Gentiles are part of the same body–Paul is very clear about that. My husband does believe there will be a major coming to faith of the Jewish people just before the Lord’s return. The idea that there will be a future Millennium because God has unfulfilled prophecies to Israel doesn’t fit Scripture. I don’t understand how the Millennium fits and all of that, except that it cannot be that, because Scripture already told us that was fulfilled, and the prophecies are ultimately fulfilled in Christ and not in Israel.

    The prophecies of a literal future seven-year Tribulation fall apart if one looks at them at all closely; they are simply cobbled together from spare parts, not a specific prophecy as to an exact period of time. And certainly there is nothing in Scripture that says the church will be removed before such an event happens. A promise to a church in Revelation that existed two thousand years ago cannot possibly be seen as given to the church as a whole today; that’s simply horrible application.

    But I have a full week and I too can’t spend a lot of time on this.

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  15. Michelle, as I said recently, anyone can write a book and make claims, but that does not make the claims true. Has anyone here seen a picture of the interior of the Dome of the Rock? I have, and it is literally built around a rock sitting on the ground, which lies in the centre of the mosque. In other words, the architecture was deliberately constructed around a rock which Muslims considered holy, and the Mosque was built in 691, in the first century of Islam, the oldest extant Islamic mosque – that is right, the mosques in Mecca are not even as old. Furthermore, I know, from historical documentation which I have read that predates the rise of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, that Jerusalem was already, before his day, considered a holy place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

    Moreover, the protests against Jewish settlement in the 1920s and 1930s by Arabs was jointly done by both Christian and Muslim Arabs. The Mufti played a part, but it was a grassroots movement and he was not a leader of the Christians. The leading political Palestinian Arab publication at that time was printed and edited by Arab Christians, and an Arab Christian woman, Matiel Moghannam, co-founded the Palestinian Arab Women’s Congress, which staged peaceful protests. The Christians of the Middle East were as dismayed as the Muslims, not that the Jews were given refuge in Palestine – for the Amir of Mecca himself had been willing to consider giving Jews refuge from persecution in Europe when he made an alliance with Britain in WWI – but that the promises the British made to the Arabs of Palestine and Syria, that they would be allowed to form an independent country, were violated, and Syria, of which Palestine was a part, was divided into French and British protectorates. Yes, there was increasing violence as the decades between the world wars wore on, but it was violence come from an Arab peasantry who had been lied to and then forced off the land their families had farmed for over a millennia as Jewish collectives bought the land they worked from absentee landowners who lived outside Palestine – and there were also Jewish terrorist groups who responded in kind. There is abundant documentary evidence for this, evidence which cannot be ignored.

    Hunt is either is willfully ignoring a wealth of contradictory historical evidence, or he is deliberately fabricating a case of wishful thinking for listeners who are too inclined to put Israel, rather than Christ, at the centre of history. Paul said, in Galatians 4:25 that the physical city of Jerusalem is in bondage with her children, and it is the Jerusalem above, the true city of God, which is the mother of all believers. Any prophecies in the Old Testament must be interpreted in the light of the New Testament, not the other way around. Jerusalem, as the spiritual centre of Judaism, was destroyed, as Christ said it would be, with not one stone left on another, in 70 A.D. That chapter is over. The City of God is the Church, the Bride of Christ (Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 21:2). I consider the constant bickerings of different branches of the Church over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to be idolatrous, so I have even less sympathy with the perception of both Jews and Muslims that visiting Jerusalem will bring them closer to salvation, for that is what both think in visiting their respective sites – the Wailing Wall, by the way, is merely a retaining wall that was low down in the foundations of Herod’s Temple as the Temple itself was utterly destroyed according to prophecy. But I have a real problem with rewriting recent history, as Hunt is doing, to suit a dispensationalist interpretation of Scripture.

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  16. Good afternoon (or morning or evening). Like Cheryl, I’ve got a full week, too, so I’ll wish you all a good one and then skedaddle until this weekend. Wish me luck with my accompanying gig this week (middle school choirs rehearsals and concert), and with the meet-up with my composer friend. I hope I know the right questions to ask! Maybe I should just ask her what questions I should be asking. 🙂

    Have a great one!

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  17. Cheryl, the Koran doesn’t say which son was to be sacrificed. It is simply Muslim tradition to hold that it was Ishmael. The yearly Muslim festival of Eid al Adha, called Tobuski in West Africa, is celebration of how the ram was given to Abraham in substitution. Every family who can afford it slaughters a ram and invites their friends and family to eat it with them; people dress in their best clothes, and children, dressed all up, go from house to house to ask for gifts. It is an excellent opportunity to relate the actual story, which many are quite willing to hear more about, as the Koran’s accounts of Biblical figures tends to be short on detail. I think we can all see the possible opportunity in relating the story of Abraham and the ram.

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  18. By the way, I’m hanging out with you guys, ’cause I’m sick. Not with any infection, just the old asthma making itself known. I had been doing quite nicely up to this point, but since Friday night, I have been having nocturnal asthma attacks (waking up in the wee hours with tightness and fluid in my lungs); and although I tried to go to the clinic this morning, I was feeling pretty rotten and my preceptor kindly drove me home again to rest. I wish I knew what has triggered it.

    If you don’t hear from me for several days after today, not to worry though. It is just that our internet service will be cut off. I am reluctant to pay $80 for a month’s supply of internet for only four more days in the community, so I am just letting it run out. I will resume communications once I return to my parents’ place.

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  19. Hi. I am so far behind on reading comments, still, but had this in mind to tell you all about, and I figure I’ll forget if I wait until I catch up. 😀

    Nightingale is part of a “mommy group” on Facebook, and she was telling me about a comment thread on a post about how Christmas and its trappings were supposedly based on pagan rites. One lady claimed that all the Christians she’s knows are shocked when she tells them that December 25 wasn’t Jesus’ real birth date. Nightingale replied that she grew up in a Christian home, going to church, and that everybody knew that.

    Another lady commented that the story of Jesus’ birth is not even in the Bible! What?!?! Nightingale says there were a bunch of comments on that reply thread, but no one rebutted that. (By that time, she was tired with the thread, so she didn’t bother setting them straight. I wish she had.)

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  20. Ah to Kizzie’s 2:04. I figured the “tobaggan” was an accidental misuse when another word was meant, since I too had only heard the word used of a sled.

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  21. In other news. . .Nightingale has decided to do that Elf-on-a-Shelf thing for The Boy this year.

    *shuddering*

    (She came up with a story about why they hadn’t seen one before now.)

    She also bought a Victorian-style elf which is even creepier than the modern elves. And she plans on starting a collection of them! Why, oh, why?!

    *shuddering some more*

    This is probably the last year he will believe in Santa. He was already beginning to doubt last year, and has expressed some doubt this year, but still really wants to believe in Santa.

    Here’s a link to a Victorian-style elf. Hers is dressed a little classier than this, but the face is much the same. *shudder shudder shudder*

    https://www.brylanehome.com/products/jasper-the-elf/1032524.html#cgid=BH_Seasonal_Christmas_Indoor_Christmas_D%C3%A9cor&start=16

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  22. I posted this on Thanksgiving Day though knowing people were busy with other things, so I’m posting it again now.

    Thanksgiving is probably not the right time to ask this since I’m not even sure who will be on here today. But some of you have seen the PDF e-books I have made of butterflies and/or of woodpeckers. I’m looking to send the books to an agent and try to get them published. I’m hoping these will be just the first two in a series, but I really don’t see any way to self-publish them at a cost people can afford, and of course I’d always rather have a publisher, anyway. I already have photos for several more books (e.g., herons and cranes, insects, rabbits and squirrels, creatures of the swamp, bees and wasps, birds of prey–my current plan is not to move forward with any “subject” until I have good action shots and also photos of young animals and not just adults, and to avoid anything so “narrow” and specific as “robins” but also so broad as “mammals”–all of that subject to change depending on interest). If anyone is willing to give me two or three sentences about one or both books, or how your children liked them, or anything of the sort, I may find a way to include them on my website, in promotion material, etc. I’m looking to use only first names but something about who you are. Something like this:

    “Cheryl’s photos are so beautiful and capture the creatures so well. Even though the books are written for children, I’ve learned a lot from them, too. And my children read the books over and over.”
    –Marcie, homeschooling mom of four

    If anyone has not seen the books, but would like to see them (I have PDFs of both I can send), e-mail me and ask, or get my e-mail address from someone who has it if you don’t. I’d be happy to have a comment or two from men or boys and not just from women. (If you want to comment based on having seen my photos and read my commentary on them through the years, without having seen the books themselves, that would probably work too, because you have seen samples of my work just from being on this site.)

    My purpose in writing the books is twofold: (1) I have been interested in animals all my life, and have read a lot of books about them and watched a lot of nature videos–and the vast majority of such material comes from an evolutionary perspective. I can’t help but think that there are thousands of Christian parents, especially homeschooling parents, who would rejoice to find something available from a creation viewpoint. Quite a few homeschooling parents have agreed with me when I have said that. (2) I have the knowledge of animals, the writing ability, and the photographs to be able to put together such a project. If they get accepted for publication, I would be willing to travel to fill in “gaps.” For instance, I would love to do a book on deer . . . but I don’t think such a book should have only white-tailed deer. I’d need elk, moose, and/or mule deer as well, and I don’t have access to those in Indiana. So those photos would need to come from other sources, or I would have to travel to get them.

    I’m not a professional wildlife photographer, and am not pretending to be. I’m also not trying to put together a book of 10 x 13 prints, so I don’t think that it is necessary that I be. The pileated woodpecker photo from yesterday, for instance, is not detailed enough to be a poster-size print–but it would definitely work as an illustration in a book with text and photos. If a photo is sharp enough to enlarge to 5 x 7, it is plenty sharp enough for such a use, in my opinion.

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  23. It may be more than just asthma, as I feel feverish now, with periods of feeling very hot and sweating, and that curiously detached feeling one gets with a fever. There are any number of bugs in circulation, and it is probably viral in nature.

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  24. Elf on a Shelf, pagan Christmas roots, End Times fever …. It’ll drive us all to drink.

    **Just kidding**

    Then Roscuro says: “I’m hanging out with you guys, ’cause I’m sick.”

    Yeah, well, we all have our reasons. 🙂

    (but hope you feel better soon)

    I just spent a frustrating hour rolling spare coins that have been collecting here for a while now. Not only are those flat, paper coin holders from the bank a pain to use, but I only wound up with about $50 after it was all said and done. Oh well. 🙂

    I used to have some pre-formed coin rolls but I’m not sure where they went … probably in the garage, I got them some years ago but do remember I had some extras. The flat ones are close to useless.

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  25. With regard to the FB ‘mommy’ discussion, it’s going to be interesting as we see a succession of generations being raised with virtually little or no religious training or education/exposure via SS or other activities.

    When I was growing up, it seemed to me that nearly all families in our area had formal ties to a church or synagogue, raising “rogue” children was probably unthinkable. So even if parents weren’t particularly faithful, it was always felt that the children needed to learn the basics of the family’s faith heritage, if nothing else.

    Now, we have what seems like a significant number of young adults and 30-somethings who have had none of that in their upbringing.

    I remember seeing a comment from a former copy editor who now works for a city — her idea is that her son will “choose” his own religion when he grows up or wants to do that. Until then, no church for them, thank you.

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  26. A friend whose daughter married a Muslim has been caught in the middle, but has thought a bi-religious upbringing would be feasible with the grandchildren. She and her family are Irish Catholic and she slips in comments whenever she can. The three grandchildren range in age from 2 (twin girls) to 5 (a boy) and I’m thinking that at some point the husband/father will want to bring them up Muslim (I suspect his wife, my friend’s older daughter, has already converted but hasn’t told her mom).

    My friend says that they do not attend mosque regularly as far as she knows — and she (my friend) tries to slip in comments about her faith whenever she can. But I suspect the kids are reaching an age when the father will probably decide they need some formal religious instruction and that will be Islam (they share a very large, new house with his parents and siblings, who are all practicing Muslims, all originally from Bangladesh).

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  27. That elf is kind of cute, actually. I think the whole “elf on a shelf” thing is silly, but as long as they are seen as make-believe creatures, I have no real issue with them.

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  28. Well, the clothes of that Elf are nicer than the regular Elf on a shelf, but it is still creepy. Imagine finding that thing sitting a different position in a different place each day… after a few days of that, I would be strongly inclined to reposition it into the woodstove in my parents’ basement.

    Kizzie, the pagan origins of Christmas/Easter thing has been a good springboard of conversation with my fellow student, who is intrigued by Wiccanism. I don’t argue, just tell a different point of view, which has been well received. Knowing the person one is speaking to, and communicating face to face helps to be heard.

    DJ, the Muslims I know in both West Africa and Canada are quite happy to join in Christmas celebrations, and will listen politely to the Christmas story.

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  29. It has been snowing today…ever so lightly but it is snow! We drove to Holly Acres and bought a real tree for the family room…if I could create a link to how my room smells right now ya’ll would be sniffing away…it truly is divine!! White l lights are on this tree and the ornaments will go on tomorrow.
    That elf …oh can you just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and having that face staring at you once you turn on the lights!!!??? Yikes!!

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  30. Cheryl – Unfortunately, that elf is supposed to be “real”, and parents put it in a different place each night so the kids think it has moved. That would seriously give me nightmares! (At almost 58 years old, I still have an occasional nightmare about dolls coming to life. The creepiest ones are when the only evidence is that the eyes or head have shifted direction. Or sometimes I’ll see the eyes or head shifting.)

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  31. Nightingale got a real tree this year. Looks nice.

    She put it up and started to decorate it Saturday afternoon. She initially asked me to come upstairs and hold it still while she got it set in the tree stand, but then wanted me to hang out with them in their living room while she started the decorating, with some nice Christmas music playing.

    It was the first time we all hung out together in their living room rather than downstairs. Now that their living room is set up nicely, it is more comfortable, and is a “real” living room. It was a nice time.

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  32. Kizzie, I know it is supposed to be real, thus my comment. If you think it’s cute and you want to sit it somewhere, with the understanding that elves (like gingerbread men, Santa, Frosty, etc.) are not real but are just fun “make-believe,” no problem. Or if a child wants to “pretend” he is real in play, no problem. But once you start “believing in” elves or tricking someone else into believing in them, I too think it’s creepy.

    Dolls and stuffed animals coming alive is a part of storytelling lore, from the Velveteen Rabbit to Raggedy Ann, and then of course there are stuffed animals such as Pooh and friends who are based on stories that are clearly fiction but still have the characters alive. (And Calvin and Hobbes!) I have a children’s picture book that is a collection of such tales, and buying it is when I realized it’s a fairly common theme. But I think the elf on the shelf goes beyond childlike make-believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Roscuro, yes, and my friend’s son-in-law has been open to attending Christmas Eve Mass each Christmas. They did put their foot down regarding “Santa.” I just also think, however, that as the children get a bit older, religious instruction will become more of a focus in their home.

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  34. And he does seem to be way too materialistic to become too austere about his native faith — he now has a city of LA job that pays well over $100,000, he has invested heavily in real estate and just recently bought a Tesla car. Nothing but the best. Hopefully the money holds out.

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  35. OK, final new sheers are up on the last of the paired casement windows in the living room.

    Only the dining room double-hung windows and bedroom casements left (those all get different kinds of curtains, a little less transparent and a different ‘look’).

    I’ll finish those tomorrow and then … On to decorating!

    My neighbor’s giant inflatable snowman is lying victorious on their garage roof, she apparently lost the first round.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Lizzie (7:03), sounds like a really nice time. I am planning to get a ‘real’ tree, too, but wanted to wait a little bit — although someone told me the trees were all cut at the same time (so freshness isn’t an issue?) and there’s a Christmas tree shortage this year, so I’d better get to it.

    My mom used to leave our trees outside in water with occasional full spray-downs for a few days before bringing it in.

    Liked by 1 person

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