82 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-26-18

  1. Re. Donna’s 8:28 from yesterday.
    I once talked to a lady in Charleston, SC who said she had never seen snow.
    But it does snow in Charleston. But not often.
    I was down there visiting my folks when Charleston had it’s first white Christmas ever.

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  2. Morning! There is the furniture!! How lovely!
    The only time I can recall snow in SC is when it snowed in Clemson…the entire area shut down and no one knew how to drive on snow. It was beautiful and the kiddos enjoyed making snowmen….they used old fallen pecans from the huge tree out front for the eyes, mouth and buttons 😊

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  3. Good morning, all! It’s light jacket weather in Chattanooga—at least for me. Not a hint of snow, and for once I can’t be sorry. Snow would be depressing for Dad right now.

    DJ, your house looks beautiful and cozy and inviting; and that’s just the look I most enjoy! The windows and door are beautifully unique. You can fake the antique look with new construction, but it doesn’t have the same look and feel as the real thing. That’s why it’s so valuable when someone takes the trouble to restore the originals. It was worth all the trouble wasn’t it….at least we think it was worth all your trouble for us to see it! :–)

    It’s a work day here, so have a great day after Christmas (is that Boxing Day?) everyone! :–)

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  4. Good morning! I am working night shift today, so lots to do at home before I go. Looks like we have lots of snow in the forecast. It calls for it to be down to 5 on Saturday. Yuck. That means I need to get wood up on the porch, etc Just hoping the roads stay open. I don’t want to get stuck on either end. It is currently drizzling.

    I love the patio furniture. It is exactly what my eldest daughter needs for her deck in the new house.

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  5. Yes, there’s the furniture. They do have a somewhat larger table but it cost 4 times as much for some reason. I’ll think about it for the future, I could actually use that little side table inside next to a sofa. The company (Direct from Mexico) sometimes has sales and sends out special 20% off coupons. I’ll bide my time …

    Meanwhile, this will work for me. I found a white ceramic luminary (with snowflake cutouts) on sale at CVS a few days ago so I put that on the table for now with a flickering battery tea light candle — adding to the lighted ambiance in the evening with all the other warm white lights.

    Thank you Debra, yes, I am glad I went through all of that to keep the windows intact. Amazing that they’ve lasted nearly 100 years as it is! And some of them still have the original ‘wavy’ antique glass in them, even more amazing. A couple of my dogs have required some of the narrow side panes to be replaced, however. A former dog, Pilgrim, an Aussie, actually punched his nose right through the glass, leaving a round hole! Mail person didn’t want to come up on my porch after that.

    It’s been too cold to actually sit out there yet, and the furniture just arrived last Friday, but I’m looking forward to making use of that little seating space as the weather warms up and the days get longer.

    ____________

    In my lifetime in LA, all we see on occasion is graupel: Graupel, also called soft hail or snow pellets, is precipitation that forms when supercooled water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes, forming 2–5 mm (0.08–0.20 in) balls of rime.

    It did snow in the late 1940s and the old-timers who remember love posting those photos of our snow-covered hills next to fishing slips in the harbor, kids (which some of them were) out building snow men in their front yards. I remember it *almost* snowed sometime in the 1960s, weather forecasters were predicting that it actually could happen one very cold night, but, alas, it didn’t.

    We visited snow in the local mountains as I was growing up, I experienced snow in Iowa on family trips back there (though we more often went in the summer where I experienced mosquitos as big as airplanes); and since then I’ve had 2 white Christmases as an adult — one in Idaho when I was in college and one in NY about 15 years ago when visiting friends on a farm north of Poughkeepsie. I usually would visit them in the late winter or very early springtime when there also would often still be snow.

    Snow is beautiful πŸ™‚ , especially fresh falling snow at Christmas.

    __________________

    Well, my 9 a.m. interview was cancelled and rescheduled for 3 p.m. today. That means I’m not having to rush out of here as planned; it also means that story won’t be ready to run tomorrow. I just texted the photographer, hoping he can alter his schedule today also.

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  6. Oh, and check out the itty-bitty mail slot at the bottom of the door, that must have been the original. It’s so small, but I suppose in the early 1920s there were none of the big pieces of mail we get now, mainly small-sized letters. And it’s so slow, it required the poor mail person to really bend!

    The “new” mail slot next to the door is very similar to the set up I had in the house I grew up in, which was built in 1947 — so my guess is that was added around that same time as well. Mail falls into a slot inside the wall and lands in a ‘box’ with a decorative grate in front of it so you can easily grab it on the inside. Such a great invention. πŸ™‚

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  7. They tell a story in Hawai’i about a local girl who moved to Colorado with her family. One morning she announced “white sticky rice is falling from the sky!”

    My own daughter, who lived at Pearl Harbor from ages 1-5, shivered in the frozen food aisle one day at the grocery store, “I’m so hot, I’m so hot!”

    I laughed. “You’re not hot. You’re cold.”

    “I’m cold, I’m cold. What is cold?”

    She also didn’t know what a sweater was the first time she saw me carrying one. She was 4.

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  8. The house of my long-suffering neighbors is seen in the not-too distance there. Our houses were built at the same time by the same architect — mine originally had a front similar to theirs but was replaced by the long sheltered porch sometime in the 1950s.

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  9. Yes, it is Boxing Day here. In other years, Boxing Day has been a second Christmas for us. This year, it is a time for us to relax after the bustle of Christmas Day. Just as well, as my cold is making me feel tired.

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  10. Although there were some light snow showers on Christmas Eve morning, we did not have a white Christmas, as the snow melted later in the day. Even just a light dusting, to pretty things up, would have been nice.

    But it was pretty inside, so that’s okay.

    Nightingale’s slow cooker chuck roast came out great. We all enjoyed it. And Puppy Janie (at over a year and a half old, she’s not really a puppy anymore, but still acts a lot like one) enjoyed finishing it off, by reaching the leftover roast on the plate on the counter! (We were not happy about that, and Janie ended up banished to her crate for the rest of the evening.)

    After dinner on Christmas Eve, Chickadee ended up staying downstairs alone while the rest of us went upstairs to watch Home Alone with our hot cocoa. She had been with The Boy for a few hours, and was feeling overwhelmed. Nightingale was not happy about that. (She often forgets that Chickadee can’t merely “shake it off” or “suck it up” like others can.)

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  11. That’s a nice porch, DJ. I like the idea of an open porch, and my parents had built one originally, but the mosquitoes made it impracticable and it is a closed in mudroom now, though we still call it a porch.

    I mentioned yesterday that the children had behaved quite well. We have stockings with edibles and a one or two small, generally more practical gifts, e.g. socks & soap, that are opened in the morning, but always wait until after breakfast to open the larger gifts placed under the tree. The gifts are not opened until my father has read the nativity story and a few carols have been sung. In previous years, one or more children have had a hard time waiting, resulting in a meltdown or two. This year, there were no meltdowns, and they waited as patiently as they could. Tiny Niece didn’t even want to stop singing. The singing, by the way, was lovely to hear – all of my nieces and nephews seem to have a good ear for music and the four eldest have all some musical training.

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  12. Love those stories, Michelle. I have a couple about my Southern grandsons. One is about the time he looked down at the slush in the parking lot and asked, “What IS this stuff?” His tone of voice expressed his displeasure. Another time, after seeing fish houses on the lakes on their drive up, he asked why people had all those bird houses on the lakes.

    His younger brother was quite thrilled with snow one winter, so his mom got him all dressed up in warm clothes to go out to play in it. Unfortunately, he was back at the door in less than five minutes. He solemnly told his mom he would go play in the snow when it got warmer. I knew he was definitely not from the north.

    We have snow. It was lightly snowing this morning and a prediction of a snowstorm through Friday starting this evening. My husband had to postpone a medical test scheduled for tomorrow, since it is over an hour drive away. I am sure some of those workers would also prefer not to be out driving during that.

    I prefer snow for Christmas. The glow of lights and beautiful decorations are set off so nicely by all that white. The children have so much fun in the snow, too. I am sure those who snowmobile are hoping for a good bit from this storm.

    We are off to an assisted living place where husband’s jam group will provide some entertainment for those who live there and those who visit. I am sure we will see some of those who just come to hear the group quite regularly. There will be those who are very alert and some brought from the Alzheimer’s unit. Music is so enjoyed by so many. They play the old stuff and it strikes a chord with many of the residents, bringing back memories that are dear to them. It is a joy to see their joy.

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  13. Donna love your front porch and house. Very cute. We wanted an older home, but this area was in a boom time. We ended up building, which has its own blessings. I love older homes with character, though.

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  14. I heard on the radio a tongue-in-cheek argument that ‘Die Hard’ (which I have never watched, although I am aware of its reputation for profane one-liners) should be a traditional holiday film. Are there any unusual films you like to watch during the holidays?

    My non-traditional holiday films would be ‘The Thin Man’ and ‘After the Thin Man’, set around Christmas and New Year’s respectively, both among the best of the smart and sassy feel-good films of the 1930s era. I enjoy the running insults and underlying affection of the lead couple of William Powell and Myrna Loy:

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  15. Gorgeous, DJ! Great choices on all.

    Wesley and I did lunch at my brother’s yesterday. Art did not feel well and stayed home. He went to the office today but did not feel much like going in. He is not well. He still has blood in the urine and pain. He will see the doc tomorrow early in the a.m. i can tell Art is pretty down about it all. I would like to schedule cataract surgery but don’t feel I should with so much going on with Art.

    My first payment for my new Medicare was due on Christmas Day. The bill arrived a few days before Christmas. Who knows if the payment got posted or not or got lost in the mail. My CA friend got the same bill and is really angry. I think she is worried about how the government shut down will affect posting of payments.

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  16. Roscuro, on Christmas Day, Art put on the movie, The Freshman, which is hilarious but not a holiday movie except it does have a bit of “feasting” in it. I was glad he was watching it because it kept him laughing. The Kamoto Dragon running loose in the mall is great.

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  17. We had TCM on at my mother-in-law’s house, and December 23 in the evening we watched three old movies we hadn’t seen before. Three in a row is probably a record for me, or nearly so. They varied in how “Christmassy” they were, though they all had some link to Christmas:

    “All Mine to Give” wasn’t at all light and fluffy; supposedly based on a true story, it ends up with orphaned children needing new homes; the children themselves are really the lead characters, and play their roles well. But sappy and sentimental fare it is not.

    “Holiday Inn” is really just another version of “White Christmas,” including using that song in it. I don’t know which was made first, but the story lines were fairly similar and with some overlap as to talent in them.

    “The Holly and the Ivy” is British, and about a family with secrets (all coming home for Christmas to the home of their recently widowed clergyman father). A review I read after we watched it said that it’s uneven because the humor in the opening scene doesn’t really fit the movie itself; not knowing the story line of the movie when we watched the opening scene, I can’t say. It does have its lighter moments, but is a bit more of a “realistic” family movie, with characters having secrets they have kept from one another, and with reconciliation but not the happily-ever-after, perfect-life-and-family sort. My hunch is this is the one of the three we’d watch again, but we wouldn’t want it every year. When we were about 30-45 minutes into it, my mother-in-law told my husband, “If you don’t want to watch this one, you can go to the other channels and see what else is on.” Meaning, I assume, that she herself wanted a light-and-fluffy movie and was finding herself bored. (She likes the Hallmark Christmas movies and usually watches a good number.) We kept it on and watched to the end, though.

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  18. I just want to walk up to that door and knock.

    All is quiet here again. Only 2 dogs now and husband is outside loading in more wood. I’ve got the washing machine running and I’m hoping the house will somehow get vacuumed today. There are a TON of dog hair dust bunnies everywhere. (There is a ton of dust bunnies?)

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  19. Cheryl, ‘Holiday Inn’ was made in 1942, over a decade before a ‘White Christmas’ in 1954, which is why the more accurate songbooks list “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” as coming from ‘Holiday Inn’, rather than ‘White Christmas’. Bing Crosby had a long career – he began his career in the 1920s – and by the 1950s he was towards the end of his career as a male romantic lead. A lot of the Hollywood ‘Golden Age’ male leads had careers spanning three decades or more, although stars such as Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant were looking a bit long in the tooth by the end of their starring careers in the 1960s. Fewer female stars were able to produce such staying power – Olivia de Havilland was one of the few 1930s female leads still in starring roles in the 1960s.

    This is Bing in 1931:

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  20. Knocking is good since the door bell has been out of order for years. πŸ™‚

    I was thinking of getting a medium-sized California mission-style bell to attach somewhere … with a pretty-sounding ‘clang, clang’ tone?

    I have to say, that picture makes it all look very classy (for me!), especially compared to the ‘before’ versions I can remember with the faded blue stucco and too many assorted “things” (wind chimes, etc.) hanging and sitting on the porch (but no table or chairs). The porch & house sets well above the sidewalk and street on a hill so the porch view is not super visible in a close-up way to anyone … but it surely looks nicer now. πŸ™‚

    Here’s a piece by Tim Challies on hymnals and what we lost when we went to the power-point screens in church:

    https://www.challies.com/articles/what-we-lost-when-we-lost-hymnals/

    ______________________________

    (in short):

    We lost an established body of songs. …
    We lost a deep knowledge of our songs …
    We lost the ability to do harmonies …
    We lost the ability to sing skillfully …
    We lost the ability to have the songs in our homes …

    …. It is probably too late to go back to the hymnal. I am not at all convinced we ought to. But it is still worth considering what we lost along the way and how congregational singing has been utterly transformed by what may appear to have been a simple and practical switch in the media. That little change from book to screen changed nearly everything.
    _______________________________

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  21. mumsee, you’ll drive the dogs nuts just sitting there like that.

    I asked Carol’s boyfriend what his favorite Christmas carol was and he replied “Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.” πŸ™‚ He’s an African-American lifelong LA guy.

    So there you go.

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  22. That’s the second vote for All Mine to Give this week. I’ve never heard of it–but we’d have to pay to watch it on Amazon.

    I’ll look for The Holly and the Ivy. I’m in the mood for a good movie, just not the garbage being portrayed as Christmas-movies on Amazon and Netflix. That includes Die Hard, which I’ve happily never seen either.

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  23. Donna @ 3:16
    Precisely

    You don’t hear mom singing one of the modern songs while working around.
    None of the melodies come to mind at odd times.

    The praise band leader in is uniform, which is jeans with his shirt tail out stands and strums his guitar. Then he says the first lines of a verse.
    Then everyone sings the verse.
    Then he strums some more.
    Then he says the first line of another verse.
    When he leaves, the song leaves. It doesn’t stick with you like “in the Garden” or “”At the Cross”” etc. But that’s what this generation likes.

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  24. Roscuro – I’ve enjoyed the Thin Man movies. The first ones were probably the best. Not too long ago, I watched one of the later movies and was disappointed. It had Nora acting like the silly wife kind of character, interfering with Nick’s investigation and messing things up. That was not the way Nora was supposed to be.

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  25. Speaking of Bing Crosby. . .I’ve been meaning to share this – Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing a combination of The Little Drummer Boy and Peace on Earth. Very nice. (And I remember seeing this when it was on TV back in 1977.)

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  26. This was written a few years ago but let’s hope it is coming to pass, if too slowly for some of us (I think it is)

    _________________________________

    3 Reasons Contemporary Worship IS Declining, and What We Can Do to Help the Church Move On

    …. Here are the three main reasons I see for the decline (if not demise) of the contemporary worship movement.

    (1) Baby boomers are losing their influence. Or, as Gordon more bluntly put it, β€œmy own generation is beginning to die.” Your parents, not your kids, are the biggest proponents of contemporary worship. I’ve seen this in my own ministry. The most committed (and often the most obstinate) defenders of contemporary worship is rapidly becoming the older generation. While their influence remains in many places, it is waning. Within a few short years, contemporary worship will have lost its original impetus and driving force.

    (2) Millennials are seeking old ways of doing things. This (thankfully) doesn’t mean a return to the church of the 1950s, but it (thankfully) means an increasing rejection of the church of the 1990s and 2000s. More emphasis is being placed on liturgy and community, and less on using corporate worship chiefly as a contrived evangelistic tool. …

    (3) Contemporary worship is an unstable and non-theological movement. To be thoroughly contemporary necessitates a slavish allegiance to the new, the current, the hip, the cool, and the commercial. It requires a thorough rejection of what is old, passe, not current, not cool, and what doesn’t make money. The bright shiny objects that get butts in the seats must continue becoming brighter and shinier. This holy bait-and-switch tactic is wearing thin. …
    ___________________________

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  27. Good Afternoon Everyone. I awoke to no voice, a scratchy, burning throat, a stuffy nose, and an assortment of other things. I had intended to go to the office today. So far my major accomplishment has been to make chicken and dumplings. I had some of the “soup”. I couldn’t taste it, but it felt good on my throat.
    Mr. P and the Marine went to see another movie today. They came home with a sound bar to attach to the TV. Apparently, we have needed it for some time. The catalyst is that a Bruce Springsteen concert is being aired tonight and now it will sound better. Whew, I was worried about that. LOL

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  28. Oh, a sound bar. Rock on.

    Something’s going around, Kim, my neighbor said she was coming down with it yesterday. Take care.

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  29. DJ, one premise of that “3 Reasons” article seems to be that baby boomers are the drivers behind contemporary worship. As a baby boomer, I don’t buy that. Do you?

    I think most of my peers are more aligned with the traditional than the contemporary. Contemporary worship appears to be driven more by Gen X and millennials.

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  30. I have the Narnia light post.

    Kevin, I’m not sure — few in any generation in the Reformed circles I’m in like all-out contemporary worship, I’d say.

    But it was the baby boom generation that “invented” the contemporary style in the 1990s with all the ‘hip’ mega churches, guitars and drums, pop Christian music. I’ve read that younger generations now crave a return to liturgy — essentially to something that’s not so worldly but is more “other” worldly. I’m with them on that.

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  31. I am totally confused about church music and who/what drives it. We have such a mix in my church with the traditional service at 9:30 and the contemporary service at 10:30. We do use the screens in my church. Art’s church, as far as I know, does not have screens, and they have choir music mostly, but I think the younger adults may do some other music.Wesley has attended both PCA and Anglican churches which are different, too. Wesley said he liked the Christmas Eve service at my church because it was congregational singing of carols and we did all the verses which are rich in theology. He said he does not understand churches that only sing the first verse of carols.

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  32. I definitely plan to find a place in the ground for these poinsettias — and I have a stretch of cleared out garden area on the south side of the house so that might be just the place.

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  33. I am inclined to think the baby boomers started the trend toward contemporary music. Among the many Christian songbooks and hymnbooks that my parents own are several chorus books from the 1960s/70s folk/rock era. A lot of the hippy/rocker generation who were part of the Jesus movement in the 1970s incorporated their preferred music style into their worship with what was called Jesus music – do the names Larry Norman, Barry McGuire and Keith Green sound familiar? The music was part of what fundamentalists and ultra-conservatives such as Bill Gothard were reacting against with his Basic Youth Conflict seminars starting in the 1970s.

    My rural childhood church was not influenced by the trend until the mid 1990s, when there was a further explosion of CCM with groups like Jars of Clay and artists like Michael W. Smith. As a child, I remember the consternation when Focus on the Family, founded by James Dobson, a member of Chas’ generation, decided to promote CCM in their publications and products. I’m among the older millennials, being born in the first half of the 1980s, and I was only about six or seven when there was a conflict in the church we attended in my childhood over bringing in contemporary music. My parents are among the older baby boomers, both having been born in the last half of the 1940s. Certainly some of the advocates for the contemporary music were teens to twenty somethings in Generation X, but they were not the key decision makers, and were not on the board of elders and deacons, which was primarily baby boomers. The drummer for the new worship team had children about my age and a little younger. My father decided to leave that church amicably, as the style of carols to a rock beat reminded him of his bar hopping days as a hard drinker in the late 1960s and early 70s, but a good many of my parents’ peers remained, a number quite content with the change. In fact, the yeas and nays seemed more split by personality and personal history, than by any other kind of conviction. We kept up with many of the people from that church, who have woven in and out of our lives since. I have seen failure and even apostasy from some who were dead against contemporary music and from some who were all for it, while I have seen continued faithfulness and growth from both groups as well. I witnessed another conflict when I started going to the city church, which was beginning to transition to contemporary music under the leadership of a pastor who was the age of my parents. There were a number of people of several age groups who left the church between the time I had to leave the city and the time I returned when I returned to school

    Personal experience, a growing knowledge of church history, including its music, and a growing understanding of the place music has in Scripture have convinced me that changes in music style are not as important as either the advocates or the opponents of such changes make out. David’s changes to the temple worship were not accompanied by any special revelation as the instructions for building the tabernacles or the order of sacrifices. If he had lived in our day and made those innovations, someone would surely have declared that because he did not receive specific instructions on the particular instruments to make, as Moses did for the silver trumpets, and as the instruments he made were also used in pagan worship (compare David’s instrument list in Psalm 150 with Nebuchadnezzar’s in Daniel 4:4), that he was bringing the world’s methods into the church. The voice of Scripture is laudatory of David’s innovation and skill as a musician, but neither is music treated as the most important element of worship, which is partly why David could be innovative. As trained musician, I find much to deplore in the quality of CCM; as one who values the remembrance of the past, I am critical of musical choices which do not build upon the past – and here, I am bound to say, the millennial worship pastor of the city church does not err, as he does incoporate the past – but I cannot say that those who bring in contemporary music to the church are doing something wrong.

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  34. DJ, that would be the point. Annoy the dogs, eventually, you would come out with some lemon and sugar for my water and I could have a nice lemonade and chat with you by the Narnia lamp post.

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  35. Music: I have not figured it out yet. As a young believer, I had missed out on the first fifteen years of hearing hymns. Though I like them, I don’t seem to have any memorized. I do sing the contemporary music Roscuro mentioned, of the early seventies. A lot of it is straight Scripture set to music. “I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise.” I sing those on my chore route and in the car. I don’t know the current songs but I do enjoy many of them. They are not memorized but the ones from my late teens are. If the songs mean something and bring Truth, I like them, if not, forgetable.

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  36. We quit watching it. It is mostly Springsteen’s stroll down memory lane.
    I am a Gen Xer, and I cannot stand contemporary “Christian Music”. I can tolerate it, but I don’t like it.
    What I really hate is the guy at the Baptist church in town who is the choir director. Every service he has a song or two where the choir’s mic is turned down and his is turned up. I don’t know how he made it through Minister of Music School. In my opinion, he has no talent and grates my nerves. He has been there as long as I have “dabbled” in the church. I get to Sunday school early and listen to the sermon through the speakers in our room. When he starts singing I turn it off.

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  37. I am going to bed not because I am not fit for polite company. I am cranky and irritable. I do not enjoy being sick. I know there are people out there who relish in their illnesses. I am not one of them. I am miserable and figure one of us is enough. Perhaps I will be better in the morning.

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  38. The PCUSC (mainline Presbyterian) church I attended Christmas Eve in Hollywood had wonderful selections and an organ that absolutely filled the sanctuary. The music offered was beautiful and classic, though they did also have a contemporary band that offered a couple pieces along with the formal choir. I thought of Chas when the one guitarist brushed his long hair from his face, wearing a shirt that wasn’t tucked into his jeans πŸ™‚ Not as bothersome to me as some, but I realize it’s a look one probably had to grow up with.

    Mostly it was congregational singing of carols.

    Interesting how some churches which are now more theologically ‘liberal’ have retained more of the liturgical services with classical music.

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  39. I’ll admit that the thing I like about being sick is being off from work and getting to stay up all hours of the night and sleep anytime during the day. And soup.

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  40. I see where Kimberly Guilfoyle is quitting FoxNews to work on her new anti-aging product.
    They all say it’s good. I may try it. Just an hour in the yard and I’m worn out. I just don’t have it anymore.

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  41. Kevin, I’m not a baby boomer, though I’m not far from being one. Yes, in everything I have seen, it is the boomers who like the contemporary music scene. Not all of them for sure, but generations following (and preceding) are not the ones pushing it at all. Now, there are churches that have youth-oriented services with “contemporary” (read “really old-fashioned”?) music, but isn’t the biggest draw of those that one is surrounded by other people the same age?

    At any rate, today’s young adults are being drawn back to the Reformed faith and away from the light and fluffy megachurches, and the baby boomer influence is receding as those go out of style, from what I read.

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  42. Janice, you have probably told us why you go to a different church than Art, but I don’t remember. Does his church refuse to preach the gospel? (I have two friends who do go to a different church than their husbands for just that reason.) I cannot imagine attending elsewhere from my husband.

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  43. Hmm, I wonder why my perception is different. Certainly we boomers had contemporary music in the 70s. But doesn’t every generation do that? There’s always new music. What seems different now is the abandonment of all the old in favor of exclusively new music.

    Until the last ten years I’ve always been in groups that mixed the old with the new. In the 70’s our college group sang from a hymnal and a contemporary songbook. In my Baptist and Presbyterian churches in the 80’s and 90’s we sang mostly traditional old hymns, 19th century gospel songs, and a smattering of newer music.

    Our present church started moving more heavily toward the contemporary in the mid ’00s, and now it’s almost entirely contemporary. The shift started under the leadership of two late-boomer pastors (meaning younger than me) wanting to reach the younger crowd. It’s completed under present leadership that’s mostly GenX and Millennials.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that most of the boomers in my church, like me, would be happy for a return to traditional music, or at least the inclusion of a lot more of it. Maybe I’ll take a poll…

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  44. Cheryl, I didn’t follow this comment of yours: “Now, there are churches that have youth-oriented services with ‘contemporary’ (read ‘really old-fashioned’?) music.” Are you saying that somewhere they have youth-oriented service with old-fashioned music and they call it “contemporary”?

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  45. I like contemporary music. I like hymns. Both only if they are sound and well written. I tend to sing the worship songs myself, when I’m gardening or in the car. I don’t think I’m a lesser Christian because I like those songs. This discussion seems to look down on all those who have different tastes than someone else. Or to make churches that have contemporary music seem that they don’t preach the gospel.

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  46. Fun turn of events: Long ago, when we lived at West Point, twenty plus years ago, we had a friend who was a single officer so he came over quite a bit. He got to know our children and enjoyed them. He was always asking people if they knew of a woman he could convince to marry him. Finally took an assignment looking for her….in Saudi Arabia. Never found her there. Went back to his hometown and onto Harmony. Found her. Interestingly, she was in his state. In his city. In his church! They got married and had a child and have been living there lives. We hear from them once in a while. He called yesterday and he and husband talked for quite a while. Today, husband suggested to son that he contact this guy and make himself known as they live in the same town. Son texted back that he knew the guy, turns out they took a class in their church with the guy as the leader. They go to the same church. Small world.

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  47. Kevin, I think much “contemporary” music is actually quite dated. But the whole idea that each generation has its own music isn’t true, and is quite simply impossible. Only in a pop-culture, recording-and-advertising driven society is that true. For most of human history, culture has changed very slowly. Now we take it as gospel truth that each generation within a culture will start from scratch with new music styles, new clothing and haircut styles, etc. It isn’t particularly healthy.

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  48. Speaking of new things. Seventeen year old spent Christmas day at home. He did that Thanksgiving also. Sadly, we did not know his plans so scheduled our big dinners for other days. Anyway, we noticed that he spent a lot of time sucking on the string tip to his hoodie. Turns out that is the cool thing to do. I mentioned that it seems pretty common for eleventh graders to develop the “new” behavior of sucking on odd things. One year I recalled was those tiny lollipops. Another year was binkeys (pacifiers). I noticed he did not suck on his string the rest of the day. Nothing new under the sun.

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  49. One thing about hymnals I like as opposed to power point: I can see the context of the verses and know how many there are. With the screen, I only see one verse, or even half the verse if it’s more than 4 or 5 lines. I like the context. Also, since I have a basic knowledge of reading music, I can figure out the harmonies easier with the notes in front of me.

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  50. We have one or two hymnals from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The words are printed, but there is no musical notation. They look like books of poetry. I have my paternal grandfather’s hymnal, which he was given in the 1940s. It does have musical notation, but the music and words are printed separately, with the music printed at the top of the page, and the words printed at the bottom of the page. Word and music being printed together in congregational hymnals is a recent innovation.

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  51. Cheryl, I started attending the Baptist church with my son when he needed a youth group. My husband was in choir and was the financial person in his church so felt he could not leave. While at the Methodist church, my husband could never sit with me because the choir remained in the choir loft for the whole service. It was a difficult decision to join a different denomination church, but I felt more aligned theologically with the Baptist church. Since I left that Methodist church, it has had three women pastors. While I was there, the church only had men pastors. The best part of going to two different churches, both within five minutes of where we live, means we have doubled our friendships with church attendees in this liberal area. Also, it was coincidental that the father of my former pastor at the Methodist church was the family doctor for my previous pastor at the Baptist church. Like Mumsee said, it’s a small world. If I were in the early years of marriage, I would not be able to imagine going to a different church from my husband. Then again, I would not imagine having to sit year after year by myself with my husband sitting in the choir loft. Isn’t it great that God wanted to make people as individuals able to choose (at least here), which church they will receive the most spiritual nourishment from?

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  52. I have considered that now since we have an early service that I could go to it and leave after that and go to Art’s church. I really like the choirdirector at Art’s church. I have not yet met the new women pastor there.

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  53. We sing some contemporary songs at our church where the elders must approve hymns and songs before we add them to the lineup. There are some very good new hymns being written — and some of the contemporary songs are sound. Some of the older “traditional” hymns aren’t so sound. It’s complicated, as they say, and labeling music simply as “contemporary” or “traditional” can be misleading.

    But I do think there’s a yearning among many of us for a less “worldly” type of experience on Sunday mornings.

    Some churches that were slow to adapt in the 1990s and early 2000s may just now be moving toward a more ‘contemporary’ worship, belatedly — which I think is why Cheryl referred to some of those worship ‘styles’ and music now as dated, ironically.

    The church can never really keep up with changing cultural styles, it will always be several steps and years behind.

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