107 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-22-18

  1. Interesting concept in the song.
    In a NT course at Southwestern, we once had a discussion on when Jesus knew (realized) his destiny. Mary, as the song says, realized as she kissed her baby, that he was unique in the world. At some point, Jesus realized who he was and his destiny. But there is no indication that he performed a miracle before the Spirit came at his baptism. Though John and Jesus knew at the time.
    I have to believe that Jesus went through childhood as a normal kid, shootings hoops and shooting marbles with James and Judas (his brother, Jude. Judas was a good name at the time, as was Jesus.)

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  2. Grandpa, against the wishes of Maddie’s father, has been in communication with his ex-wife. He has sent her photos through FB and told her about the baby. I don’t know if they have spoken on the phone. I told him not to do it, it was his son’s decision and if he wanted his mother to know he would tell her. I distinctly remember the conversation between the two of them. “Are you going to tell your mother about the baby? No. I don’t want your ex-wife to know”. To me, that says the whole story.
    Several months ago a bouncy chair entertainment center arrived at our house from her. There was some discussion but I stayed out of it. I feel it isn’t my place to say too much. Yesterday, a Christmas present arrived for Maddie and Grandpa put it under the tree still in the package it arrived in with complete return address. Middle Son is here. I told Mr. P to either open the package and send whatever was in it home with Maddie or to put it away to be opened later or let me re-wrap it and put it under the tree. She’s a baby. She doesn’t know who gave her what.
    My point is that ex-wife’s own son is here and she is sending a gift to her grandchild. I was afraid it would hurt him. Sure enough, he had been asleep and when he came out in the living room it was the first thing he spotted. He went over and picked it up and said, “Mom, sent this?”
    My heart broke for him. I am trying to tell my husband things out of my own past to ease the hurt and he isn’t listening. He is plowing forward as if the past doesn’t matter.
    I don’t care that he is sending photos and information to his ex-wife about their shared grandchild. I am the one that Maddie loves and I will be the only grandmother she knows for now. I do care that in doing this he may be hurting his relationship with his sons.

    Please pray for my Marine. I hate to see him hurt. He is such a lost and lonely man. Please pray that when he and his brother are together everything will go smoothly and that some healing will happen.

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  3. Kim, perhaps if they see your good and accepting attitude toward their bio mom, and their dad’s forgiveness, they will see Christ and understand that their bio mom is a broken sinner in need of Him, too.

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  4. The Lord has been using things I’ve read, things I’ve seen and a gentle small voice to remind me of a similar time in my life when I was at crossroads and bewildered.

    He reminded me of how He answered prayers and met needs I didn’t know I had. How He never left me nor forsook me and led me in His paths of righteousness–to places I never expected to visit.

    He showed me this morning about blessings upon blessings that I wasn’t sure I wanted before I said yes to Him. And then He paralleled them with something I’m going through right now so I could see a perspective, a prism turn, I wasn’t willing to see or not able to see in the present sorrow.

    The Lord is good. His mercies endure forever. I am grateful for much.

    But, during one of those unforeseen blessings, I lost my mother 23 years ago today.

    She would have died no matter where I was or what we were doing, but He reminded me today that in the midst of that worst hurt, He surrounded me with people who loved me, prayed with me, helped me and blessed me time and time again.

    They sustained me when I felt I didn’t want to move forward in time because that was one more day away from a world where my mother lived.

    Gee, I’m a crying mess this morning! πŸ™‚

    I read Kim’s comments above–and I’ve been texting with her, too, in the middle of this! (Maddie is playing with a delightful toy I suggested!)–and I’m reminded of how tender we, as believers, are called to be with the hurting in this world.

    That’s me this morning, grief rearing its ugly head, but it’s also Kim’s stepson and so many others today. Let’s love them, bless them, pray for them and reach out a hand of grace and mercy.

    Now, on to setting up for cooking baking with Adorables . . . πŸ™‚

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  5. Time to clean the house and bake dog biscuits for all the grand-dogs (yes, I know, sad). But this Christmas has been so good with only home-made or ‘found’ gifts. My gift will be the dog treats. I like the fact that they don’t have to look perfect to be loved πŸ™‚

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  6. Oh dear Jo stay bundled up, for the snow is certainly waiting in the wings! We do hope the 8 inches of snow materializes for Christmas and the day after ⛄️
    Kare I decided to make presents for my friends this year. They have received handmade pin cushions from me, some made with velvet and others with wool. And an antique hat pin was placed in each…it was so fun! My best friend is getting hand sewn wool appliquΓ© pillow…it turned out better than I thought it would!! 😊

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  7. I slept for 10 hours last night and feel much better today. Not good enough probably to stain the side gate, but who knows? It’s back to work for me on Monday followed by the scramble to gather up things to take up to Carol’s residence Christmas Eve night. The cousins and I are getting together Tuesday and then, for me, it’s back to work again and the holidays will pretty much be over for another year (I have to work the New Year’s Day early shift, boooo).

    I’m in awe of companies, and the people who work for them, that simply shut down for 2 weeks for Christmas and New Year’s. I guess that’s just not the kind of career I chose for myself … I’ve managed to sneak in some good vacation time this year during December and that’s been a much-needed break.

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  8. It may seem out of sync with the rest of the world, but I am praising God that Art went to work today!!! Y’all can join the cheering in Georgia. πŸ˜€

    We use to hear from Art’s ex at least at Christmas but haven’t for several years. I am concerned about her but have not tried to make contact. She was married once before Art and once after Art, and both of those husbands died a number of years back, the first as a suicide and the other I think was homeless on the street after they separated.

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  9. Happy Belated Birthday, Linda! I hope it was a fun day for you.

    I have been reading on some threads I missed while involved with kidney stone excitement. So many problems this week have been resolved or found closure. God has answered prayers in many ways according to his good plans.

    Those cats in the header sure appear content! ❀

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  10. The hordes arrived yesterday. There are currently 15 people staying in this house. Every room except the kitchen/dining room, bathrooms, root cellar, and furnace room had at least one person sleeping in them last night – that’s right, even the laundry room serves as sleeping quarters.

    This morning I helped Second Nephew wrap the gifts he had brought for his brothers and one young cousin out of his own money. He is such a sweet kid. He is also a social animal and doesn’t like to be doing ‘nothing’, always wanting to play a game or do an activity. It can be hard to keep up with him and Third Nephew, who also is sweet, but never sits still for five minutes together.

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  11. I finally got around to changing yesterday’s header. πŸ™‚

    For 3 days now I keep thinking I’m better, and then I hit a wall, the symptoms worsen and the fever comes back. 😦

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  12. Feel better, Real. Rest, rest, rest. You’ll have stuff to assemble and wrap and get under that tree in just a couple nights.

    After dropping off the very few Christmas cards I sent this year at the Post Office (non-stop activity there even though I think we all realized we already were mailing things too late πŸ™‚ ). I stopped at the paint store to pick up some preliminary things I’ll need for staining the side gate and for painting my distressed patio bench.

    My internal debate is whether to stain (semi-transparent) the side wooden/redwood gate a natural cedar/redwood or … be daring and go with a blue wash? I have a couple samples I brought home but I think the actual blue stains they had will wind up looking too gray, defeating the whole purpose.

    Then I stopped at the drugstore to pick up some toothpaste and ended up also buying some of their LED battery candles that were 50% off; I’m thinking of little things I could bring with me on Christmas Eve to Carol’s place — not true “gift” fare, but little things in enough quantities that the people we might be with that night could divvy up, something pretty for their rooms.

    Meanwhile, Carol’s speculating (again) about whether her brother is going to send her an Amazon gift card. I sure hope she doesn’t call him and ask, he’ll hit the roof (again).

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  13. Kim and Mumsee – Mumsee, you have a good point about exhibiting forgiveness. My concern, though, is that Kim’s stepson specifically said he did not want her to know, and Mr P went behind his back.

    Kim, didn’t you say something about Mr P making plans for Maddie to spend the night on Christmas Eve against her parents’ wishes? Or without asking the first? He may be setting himself up to be resented and avoided. I pray his son(s) will see his heart beyond the actions.

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  14. AJ, I pray you will fully recover before Christmas Day. Those recycling viruses are the worst! When I was younger I never experienced the recycling variety, but when Wesley was young we started dealing with them. I now am fortunate that the aloe juice seems to work with my body’s chemical makeup so that any time I feel a touch of a cold, I can have about an ounce of it in water to make the cold disappear. I bought more yesterday at Sprouts. I also bought some apple cider vinegar tabs for us to try in helping to dissolve kidney stones. Someone told me recently of success when her family has used that for kidney stone pain. Art hates vinegar so I got some tabs. We shall see.

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  15. Kizzie, I said what I said because it is a done deal. Sometimes it is okay to bring good out of what we consider to be a poor decision. And sometimes we are wrong and the bolder move was the correct one. I don’t know. But because it was already done,…

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  16. I know of an extreme example of something that happened that Kim’s situation reminded me of where a geeat grandmother as far as I know did not get to see the new baby in the family. Her grandson (expectant father) committed a horrible crime and is currently on death row. As far as I know, neither the grandparents of the baby or the great grandmother, who has already passed, got to see the baby. It does not seem fair that the grandparents did not get to know the child, but I think that mom probably wanted to start all over with few reminders of the child’s dad and his family. But as the child grows older, perhaps it will want to seek out info about that side of the family. I felt very sorry for the great grandmother not getting to know the child, but it was probably better that way. Each instance of things like this is so unique and only God knows all the details. Things like this happen because we live in a fallen world. Hurt feelings naturally happen over such things. Jesus and His strength in our lives is the only remedy. He takes our heavy burdens and helps us rise above the hurts. Prayers for you, Kim, to let Jesus lead you through this.

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  17. Michelle – You wrote, “. . . when I felt I didn’t want to move forward in time because that was one more day away from a world where my mother lived.”

    Oh boy, do I understand that! I think that is why this second holiday season without Hubby has been especially difficult. It is a reminder that he is really-really gone, and really-really not coming back. It still breaks my heart that he is not a part of our family life anymore.

    I want this grief, which is hard and wearying, to be over, or at least to recede a lot more, but at the same time, that would mean that Hubby is even further in my past (crying even just typing those words) and that I am leaving him there.

    I still miss him – and “us” – so much it hurts.

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  18. That story about the great-grandmother and grandparents not getting to see the baby reminds me of what my home ec teacher said years ago. She said that most people fear their unwed daughters getting pregnant, but she was more concerned about one of her unwed sons getting a girl pregnant. If her daughter got pregnant, she (the grandmother) would have a part in that child’s life. But if her son impregnated a girl, that girl could choose to cut them out of the child’s life.

    *******************
    DJ – I will be back to “work” (childsitting πŸ˜‰ ) the day after Christmas, too. Nightingale is working second shift Christmas afternoon/night and the next three afternoon/nights, too. (The Boy will be spending Christmas afternoon and night with his dad and other grandparents.) She will also be working New Year’s Eve, also second shift.

    Thursday she worked a double shift, with three hours overtime, for a total of 19 hours. Wow.

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  19. That’s a lot of holiday work shifts, Kizzie.

    I do remember volunteering for every holiday except Christmas one year for the overtime. They later changed the OT formula so it’s not nearly so lucrative now, but back then it gave a significant heft to a paycheck.

    This year, they’ve asked everyone to volunteer for at least one holiday in the year (2 shifts each day to fill) so I’m “it” for Jan. 1 a.m. Some refused, I guess. Not sure, but I think we’ll basically just be doing “breaking new” and cop calls and monitoring …

    So I’ll have a choice to either get extra holiday pay or take a “comp” day off (I’m tempted to do the latter for a 3-day weekend, but probably should take the overtime).

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  20. I just added another string of tiny twinkle lights on the Charlie Brown tree. I love the way that looks at night! The lights have several settings but I put the very long, slow on/off setting on, which makes the different strings (there now are 3) alternately go on and off, in turns.

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  21. I’d say NY, too. I was in the city one year just a couple days before Christmas and it was so much fun (for an outsider). Snow, lots of store and street decorations, people scurrying about with packages …

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  22. Sorry I’m late coming on. The picture is of New York City while crossing on the Staten Island Ferry. It was warm enough to stand on the outside deck and get a good picture. It was the end of an annual trip I take at Christmastime with dear DIL and another friend (and sometimes others who join us). This year, it happened to fall on my birthday. It was a great day.

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  23. Kizzy, I will have the Mommy, the Daddy, the Marine, BG, and Miss Maddie waking up in my house on Christmas morning. We are having white lasagne Christmas Eve for dinner. Christmas morning we will have a savory, croissant and cheese bread pudding and sausage patties, and fruit for breakfast.
    Santa got a new sleigh today or more truthfully Miss Maddie got a new truck. We had been talking about a new truck for Mr. P for about 6 months. The catalyst was Maddie moving to a front facing car seat and not fitting in the existing truck. We now have a Certified Pre-Owned 2018 4 door Titan.
    What tickles me about this is we bought it because of Maddie. Many, many years ago I had a labeler where you spun the dial and did the different letters to label your things. I have written out Kim Black on a red strip. My father somehow ended up with it and put it on the dashboard of his truck. Twenty or so years later he was taking BG to her Nana and Pops every morning and I had calling cards that said Chloe Catherine C—– so I taped one to the dashboard of his truck again and it became Chloe’s truck. Today I told Mr. P the story and I have a labeling machine at work so I am making a label Madelynn Dawn to go on the dashboard of his truck.
    This truck is much smarter than either of its owners by the way.

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  24. I just found a stash of Christmas battery candles I’d forgotten about in a little storage trunk next to the fireplace.

    We’re having a string of “thou shalt not use your fireplace” days lately (and some people in the neighborhood who are hawk eyes and will, I think, probably report you) so I haven’t used the fireplace yet this fall/winter. Maybe early in 2019 when it (hopefully) starts raining again …

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  25. I think my dad had one of those punch labelers they used at work, I remember how fun it was when i was growing up for him to make a label for me for something πŸ™‚

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  26. This is probably the first Christmas since childhood that I did not send out Christmas cards. I have a bag of gifts I have wrapped and a wreath on the door. That is our Christmas. It is not as bad as I thought it would be. Just getting through what we’ve experienced is a big deal to be grateful for. At the same time, it is difficult to think of going through it all again for the other kidney. That’s why the Bible advises us to not borrow troubles from tomorrow because we have enough troubles for today.

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  27. I was looking at that this morning as I was out feeding chickens and turkeys and goats and sheep. Beautiful moon breaking through the clouds. And the deer showed up nicely on the new fallen snow.

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  28. I am not a big present getter, but some of our grands have only us, so we try to come through for them. We are more on spending time and teaching skills rather than spending lots of money, which we really don’t have. It seems like November/December always hits us hard with extra expenses…like property taxes etc. Procrastination also comes in, as I could buy all year long. But then I would probably forget where I put them. Add on the fact that we have 19 grandchildren at current count….I can’t work enough hours to keep up with that.

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  29. JO @ 10:19
    No.
    But I couldn’t keep up with Elvera and Polly in their day either.
    They were the rambling kind.
    Polly is the reason we moved from Annandale to Hendersonville. I didn’t want to do it when we did. But after a couple of years, I was glad we did.
    Amazing how thing have worked out for me.

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  30. Michelle once told me to write out the events in my life for my descendants.
    I have partly done that. But I am considering compiling a list of “if’s”. How I have been blessed by not getting what I thought I wanted.

    For we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, the called according to his purpose. Don’t know the source. I will look it up.

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  31. As soon as I found it, I said, “Chas, you nuthead, this is one of the first scriptures you memorized Romans 8:38
    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

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  32. Rkessler, I have mentioned before that I dont’ buy for grands, or for grown and out children. If they happen to be here for Christmas or birthday, that might be different but that rarely happens. And I don’t see any of my grands deprived of “stuff”. I much prefer to give them time but that is also quite rare.

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  33. DJ, we sang ‘O come, o come Emmanuel’. It was specifically requested by the interim pastor of the family church.

    Did you sing all the words to ‘What Child is this’? So many hymnbooks make the last two lines of the first verse a repeating chorus, when there is really more words to the second and third verses.

    What Child is this who, laid to rest,
    on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
    Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
    while shepherds watch are keeping?
    This, this is Christ the King,
    whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
    haste, haste to bring Him laud,
    the Babe, the Son of Mary.

    Why lies He in such low estate
    where ox and lamb are feeding?
    Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
    the silent Word is pleading.
    Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through;
    the cross be borne for me, for you.
    Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
    the Babe, the Son of Mary.

    So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
    come, peasant, king, to own Him.
    The King of kings salvation brings;
    let loving hearts enthrone Him.
    Raise, raise the song on high.
    The virgin sings her lullaby.
    Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
    the Babe, the Son of Mary!

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  34. mumsee, maybe you’d like to get a gift for Carol? She’s receiving … πŸ™‚

    I think Christmas shopping is fun — but I used to have a friend who would chide me for being a “late” shopper. She had hers all done typically sometime in November and liked to remind us all through the next month as we launched out on our buying trips.

    To me, a late shopper is Christmas Eve. I was shopping one Christmas Eve, the weekly paper I worked for at the time laid several of us off at the holidays so it was a juggle to get signed up with unemployment, etc. I still remember walking through the mall on Christmas Eve, probably just an hour or so before everything was due to close. That wasn’t much fun.

    I don’t do a lot of gift giving or buying these days, but I still enjoy the process. Targeted, online shopping, of course, has taken a lot of the angst out of it, letting you find exactly what you want for someone, no matter how oddball it might be, very quickly. Who really likes going to a mall anymore? And too often leaving with … nothing? Or some random thing grabbed out of desperation.

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  35. Re: My 2:16
    An brief example of what I mean by the β€œif’s” that worked out against my wishes.

    Once, I thought I couldn’t live without Margaret S. That was in the summer of 1955. One night I was reading Psalm 90:4, β€œA thousand years …as a watch in the night.” But, (and it’s still in my old Bible, I looked it up.) I remembered I had just read Ps. 89:47 β€œRemember how short my time is.” Really! I was arguing with God. Don’t hand me that thousand years business. My time is whizzing by.
    The thing is: If I had gotten what I was hoping for in July, 1955, I would not have met woman I lived with over 61 years on the steps of FBC in October.

    Lots of things like that. Romans 8:28 does not say that all things are good. But I can testify that they have worked out for me.
    So far.

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  36. That would make for some interesting reading, Chas.

    Our home is quiet again. Loved the chaos; like the quiet, too. Oh, my it was fun, though.

    Our church was so sparsely attended. The roads were terrible and many may be traveling for family holiday events. Still, I wonder how many just didn’t want to attend two days in a row. How sad.

    The saddest for me was hearing that our church is selling candy bars to help support the church! What!? I am really not sure our church may survive much longer. 😦

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  37. Wesley and I went to Burlington today at the nearby mall. The checkout line was very long. As I viewed it I noticed we seemed to be the only white people in the mix of people of varying races and nationalities. When I was born here the area was all WASPs (does anyone still use that acronym). I told Wesley he could consider himself a true “Christmas shopper” after standing in that line. I do not like to shop on Sunday, but time was running out for him since he did not find much the other day. He did better today.

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  38. We stopped by the home of a friend while going to the mall. GPS said she lived three minutes from us but we used the stop light route and added a couple more minutes. The mall was about half a mile from her house. I had a cookbook to give her and she gave me a zrplock bag of church window cookies and fruitcake cookies she had made. The cookies are the first I have had (except for boxed gingersnaps), this Christmas.

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  39. Wesley and I went to the contemporary service. There were not many young people there because a lot were traveling to see family. The lead pastor had an excellent sermon on love. He said the contemporary service would be using “worship stations” at the back of the chapel for communication and receiving donations rather than passing the plates. I put my contribution in a small box. He said more churches are going to that now.

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  40. Church was packed this morning, though we did not have the pastor vote because we were short on members. Enough visitors and family home to make up for it. I doubt I will ever be a member as I would have to be rebaptized. But I am a regular and I pray for people and help where I can.

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  41. Some folks were missing in our church today, probably traveling. The sermon was on the incarnation, of course, πŸ™‚ , an event that brought truth into a dark world and wasn’t always greeted with joy. As Jesus said of himself, he brought a sword that would result in division even among families. Many were disturbed by it, but the incarnation can be ignored only for so long. Truth has been injected into the world. Jesus will either be our savior or our judge.

    The pastor reminded us before communion to reflect upon the weight of that event and whether we are perceiving it in its full meaning.

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  42. I needed milk and eggs and OJ and a few other things so was forced to make a supermarket run. The store was jam packed, baskets overflowing. It’s officially crunch time.

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  43. I was just out skating! My father checked the ice on the swamp, and it was firm enough to skate. So my father, Eldest, Second, Eldest Niece, Eldest Nephew, Second Nephew, Third Nephew, who is still learning, and I spent about an hour skating. I got new skates this year, as my old ones were falling apart, but I bought hockey skates, while I learned on figure skates, which is what I have been skating for almost three decades. I am ashamed to admit that I fell three times – figure skate have picks on the front of the blade, but hockey skates do not, and every time I forgot that fact and leaned too far forward on my skates, down I went. I was not seriously hurt, but my right knee has a nasty bruise. Despite the falls, it was wonderful fun. My mother came out to see us – it is quite a way into the forest to the swamp – and she was so excited to see us skate again, as the last few years the ice hasn’t frozen correctly to allow for skating.

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  44. My father, by the way, has lost none of his skating ability over the years. He turned seventy two this year, but his teen and preteen grandsons couldn’t keep up with his speed on the ice this afternoon. My father grew up playing shinny (an informal form of hockey) with the kids in his community and I remember him playing on the church’s hockey team (my childhood church was part of a denomination that had a church hockey league – so Canadian, I know). Eldest and Second siblings have also kept up their abilities. In fairness to the grandchildren, they only get a few opportunities each year to skate, while, in my father’s childhood and also my siblings’ and my childhood, we skated every chance we got in the winter, so that the ability to skate is at least as ingrained as the ability to ride a bike, if not more so.

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  45. We sang the Christmas cantata in both services today and will sing selections on Christmas Eve 10:30 service and Christmas Day 10 o’clock service. It was fun and glorious.

    While we sang the Three Wise Men song, it occurred to me that when they arrived to greet the newborn King up to two years later, their visit probably was a confirmation to Mary and Joseph that the wild events of Jesus’ pregnancy really were true.

    If several years had passed, they may have begun to wonder what God was up to. Suddenly a group of magi sweet in with presents and that night Joseph has yet another dream that sets them on the road.

    It would have been interesting, to say the least, to have been walking by faith with Mary and Joseph!

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  46. For the first time in a really long time, I haven’t had anything pressing I had to do the last couple days. I actually sat and wondered on Friday if I hadn’t forgotten something.

    It felt so foreign to not have a list of things I had to do immediately.

    Yesterday we had all the Adorables except the baby her for several hours–two of them were here all day. We played Apples to Apples (DIsney version for kids), wild rounds of Uno and baked cookies.

    It was an excellent day and so wonderful because I could engage and not worry I had other pressing things to do.

    Truly, a major gift.

    Today I’m lounging around, having finished a puzzle we started last night while watching It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve been reading, relaxing and apparently will be dining at oldest son’s house. We have more than enough cooking, feasting and visiting planned for the next three days!

    I am thankful for much.

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  47. Janice – Your comment about seeming to be the only white people there had me thinking about how “colorful” Heaven is going to be. We white people will be in the minority (I’m pretty sure), but no one will have to worry about any kind of prejudice anymore.

    Our church went to the method of using baskets at the front of the church to collect the offering by people going up, “bringing their tithes and offerings,” rather than sitting while ushers passed the plates. I loved the idea of it.

    However, interestingly, giving went way up when we went back to having the ushers pass the offering plates down each row.

    That could also have been because that happened after the previous pastor left. But the interim pastor seemed to think it was related to the method.

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  48. Roscuro – I used to enjoy ice skating, although I was never really good at it. But I could skate around and enjoy myself, so that was fine. (Never could even stand on roller skates, though.)

    My Aunt Janet (my dad’s older sister) was an excellent ice skater, and at 16 or 17 (maybe even as young as 15?) was offered a job with the Ice Follies or Ice Capades (or something like that). Unfortunately, her father would not give his permission, as he thought she was too young to go off traveling around the country with strangers.

    So instead, she got married to Uncle Bill when she was 18. He was 20 or 21 (I think 21), and had been in active duty during World War II. Their marriage lasted 73 years, until her death earlier this year at 91.

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  49. Rollers, not blades for me. But last time I tried roller skating (on the beach bike path in my 40s), I kept falling quite randomly and hard πŸ™‚ I can still ride a bike, but I can’t, somehow, still roller skate.

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  50. Seems like going forward — in front of the congregation — to give tithes and offerings would maybe call attention to those who were giving more or less?

    Our pastor makes a point of saying from time to time that he’s deliberately by choice kept out of the loop in terms of who gives what to our church. Seems going forward would be too much of a display for something that really is between the believer and God.

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  51. Last time I was on ice skates I ended up flat on my back. That ice was so much harder than when I was younger. That was at least a couple of decades ago. I do like to ice skate, but no one to go with me now.

    Our pastor spoke on the different ways people tend to treat the hope of the gospel. He used oranges as an example. Everyone who wanted received an orange as they left. The orange example began with the assumption that the receivers knew nothing about oranges. Upon being assured they tasted wonderful each had a different reaction. One just disbelieved they were tasty outright and threw it out. One licked it and didn’t see anything to even make him want to really eat it. Another bit into the peel and thought the sharer was surely not speaking the truth about it being tasty. The last one pull it opened and enjoyed the fruit as it was meant to be enjoyed.

    What amused me was that this was a scenario in my husband’s family lore. His mom was three years old when she and her sisters came to America on a ship. The three were given an orange to eat, but had never seen anything like it. They bit into the peel and wonder why anyone would eat one. They then proceeded to throw the orange back and forth until it was a squashed, pulpy mess, at which point they tossed them overboard. I am not sure how old she was when she realized what she missed out on. She would laugh when she told us this story from her early life. I am so glad she shared so many stories with us when she was still alive.

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  52. DJ – The thought behind it was that in the Bible we read of people “bringing” their tithes and offerings, so there was something symbolic in going up to put your check or money in the basket. I don’t think anyone could see what anyone else was giving. (There are envelopes to put money or checks in.)

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  53. Well, son won’t be home for Christmas, he is still in Utah. He tests on Monday to see if he will get the CDL. Sounds like he, perhaps, did not pass the first time. Prayers that God’s will be done. I don’t want him to pass if he is going to be a danger to himself or others, but this would be huge for his confidence if he did pass.

    Liked by 3 people

  54. I mentioned other son, same age, got kicked out of Job Corps. He will be spending Christmas with bio family. He did not sound happy about that, but he may have been smoking stuff.

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  55. Other son, same age, said he planned to be here a few months ago but haven’t heard from him in quite some time, other than when he was drunk. He is in the Navy in San Diego so we may see him, may not.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Good morning! In addition to being Christmas Eve, it’s garbage pickup day. I’ve heard two cans rolled to the curb by neighbors. It’s time I get out in this thirty degree weather and roll ours. It is full (adult size pullups add to the bulk . . . hopefully those won’t be needed soon . . . )
    I hear the garbage truck. The race is on!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  57. I’m back. Art has an appointment to get his stent removed a few days after Christmas. He is having a bit more blood in his urine. I think he did not need to go back to work so soon. He came home angry and frustrated last night because his computer has no network connection. He must deal with that today. Who knows if he will make it home for the Christmas Eve service at 5:00 p.m.

    Liked by 1 person

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