53 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-28-18

  1. Yes and yes. 🙂

    Cheryl’s home sick today after coming home early yesterday. Poor thing. I hope she improves over the weekend.


    I’ll be away a few days next week so behave yourselves and play nice. I’ll check in from time to time.



    I found a bunch of your comments in SPAM this AM. I sent some thru and deleted what looked like doubles. Sorry about that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My problem is that Elvera is trying to make sense of what’s happening on TV.
    Have you ever tried to explain what’s happening so that it makes sense?
    Try it some time.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Next to a local walking trail is a small pond (not the “hidden pond” where I have taken so many photos of herons, kingfisher, wood ducks, etc.), and this summer when I walked by it I would often hear a quick splash as some creature or other escaped observation by jumping into the water. I figured muskrats and frogs lived in, but the benefit went to the animal every time, because parts of the pond were obscured from view from the trail, and you couldn’t get to the parts that were open without a creature having a chance to see you. So all summer long I heard plops but never saw a creature. Near the end of summer I finally saw one measly little frog, and one day a pair of mallards.

    And then one evening a beaver was asleep on the bank. The pond had flooded its banks a bit, and I am fairly sure the beaver had just “moved in” that week, with the flooding. Since that sighting (but not before it) the area has had beaver “sign” (cut trees, a small dam). But the pond already had muskrats. (The bank had their holes, and I would sometimes see stalks rustling in a way that suggested muskrats down below.)

    One day I went out at dawn, earlier than I have been out before–I’ve seen warnings not to be on that trail in the dark, and I pay attention to such cautions–and I was on the trail soon after. It occurred to me I might see creatures I wouldn’t normally see, and what came to mind were owls, skunks, raccoons, and possibly even another sighting of the beaver. Well, I was walking along slowly, and heard the rustling I equate with muskrats, and so I just stood there for a while. In a minute it showed itself, but it was a bit too early to get photos. I knew from experience that muskrats really aren’t shy, and don’t mind being seen by someone who isn’t making sudden moves as long as they are in water or near enough to jump in. So I figured I might be able to watch it until it grew light enough to get photos. And that’s what happened.

    For half an hour or so I watched this little guy. He (or she) had a pattern to his activity. He would sit in the location where he is photographed and chew on the stalks around him. Whether eating, preparing nesting material, or both, I don’t know. (Like beavers, they are vegetarians.) You can see that his fur is wet. Every few minutes, he would dive and swim up close to the bank where I was standing, and then he would go down headfirst and his tail would be whipping around near the top of the water and even outside the water, apparently doing some underwater construction work. The first time he dove, I waited to see if he would come back on top, and he did. After that first time, I used the times he was underwater to move my location a bit, and get a better (or just different) viewing angle when he came back up. Initially I was a ways back from the edge of the pond, and I moved closer. Initially I was hidden by vegetation, and later I was not. I was eight to ten feet away when I took this shot. Most creatures won’t let you get that close. I wouldn’t get that close to a deer, raccoon, skunk, or beaver even if it did allow me to–it’s not good for the creature and it’s a possible danger to me. But a muskrat has a sense of being protected by its ability to dive, and it will do so if it feels a threat. One time it did give me a quick glance when it came up and I was in a different spot, but then it returned to feeding or chewing its building material, determining I was still not a threat. Eventually I left, but I waited until it was underwater to do so. It did occur to me to wonder if even my relatively “low threat” status might stress the critter a bit, but mostly I enjoyed being able not just to see, but actively to watch, a cute little creature of God’s handiwork.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Morning! A very cute muskrat indeed!! Now I am going to have that song stuck in my head all day…some of you know what I am talking about!!
    Chas nothing makes sense on TV….especially if you are watching the news….
    Praying for quick recovery for Cheryl…and hoping you are getting some recovery rest as well AJ!
    I am going to take the other tree down today…I have the house to myself and can finally get some stuff done…husband will be back in the morning after being the caretaker of Barr Camp for the past few days…he shall have many stories to tell once off that mountain…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Talk about trying to explain something . . . the other day, while reading a book about mummies, seven-year-old granddaughter asked me what “B.C.” meant.


  6. It occurred to me last night that Ephesians 5:19 does contain a reference to instrumental music, not just in the word Psalm, which denotes a song that is instrumentally accompanied, but also in the phrase “singing and making melody”. I confirmed it with the lexicon, the word behind the phrase ‘making melody’ is psallo, which refers to playing an instrument: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5567&t=KJV. It can be translated ‘sing’ in the sense of singing to instrumental accompaniment, but in the context of Ephesians 5:19, it is redundant to have “singing and singing”. The HCSB makes the passage quite clear:
    “speaking to one another
    in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,
    singing and making music
    from your heart to the Lord”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yes, that song came to my mind, too.

    I, recently, photographed a beaver on the side of the road. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stay still to get a good shot once we stopped. I only had my phone or I may have gotten some good ones. I do believe that is the only time I have seen one right on the side of the road.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good morning! We have been having quite the rainstorm. I hope it all clears out soon or we may float down to Hilton Head instead of driving.

    Finally last night Art said he was feeling better. His stent was removed yesterday morning. He did say his chest is sore. I am thinking that may be from clenching up so much each time he had the great pain from trying to pass kidney stone fragments.

    I got my glasses repaired yesterday so I can see in the distance (not to drive 😣). I can check next week about scheduling cataract surgery.

    While at the eye center I had the delight of visiting with a couple from Art’s church. The wife use to be Baptist and a member of my church. They are conservative. The husband is the one who came to help us on that Christmas night when I blew two tires by running over a curb. This is just an example of how it is nice to know people in two different congregations. We are always running into people at the grocery store or post office. In a big city it is nice to have a sense of Christian community.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I hope Cheryl J. recovers soon. It seems a lot of people have been afflicted with the “crud” lately. We have been fortunate so far. I was afraid that Wesley might bring a virus with him from his flight. Thank God for Art’s sake that he did not. Wesley is with us awhile longer.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Peter, I thought it was somebody being wise, then I realized, after reading, that it was serious, a typo on real TV.
    Somebody heard about that.


  11. Good to see Roscuro has been busted out of jail.

    I’m waiting for the handyman/plumber to check out the running water. Some things in my life never change, apparently. I can hear it on the outside in the kitchen wall next to the hot water heater. I checked my water usage chart online and while it did spike in Sept.-Nov period, it wasn’t off the charts. Whatever this is started very recently.



  12. I have survived the worst of it. I broke down yesterday and bought Afrin. Despite being from the South, I am NOT a mouth breather. I also bought TheraFlu PM so I slept well last night. Lastly, I bought Vic’s Vapor Rub and put it on my chest when I went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night and my husband told me, “You stink”. This morning he told me he almost had to go to the sofa because of the smell. Ahhhh….I loved the way I smelled last night because my grandfather that I adored had emphysema and always put Vic’s on his chest before he went to bed.
    I still am not 100 percent, but am so much better than I was.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Peter, I couldn’t resist buying my mother and father in law an anniversary card one year that said:
    You may think it’s funny
    To kiss your honey,
    When your nose is all runny,
    But it snot.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. My cousin came down with whatever that was that was going around several days before Christmas — last night she said she was ‘starting’ to come out of it but was still really tired.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Roscuro, Ephesians 5:19 is one of the verses we discussed in Sunday school recently, “making melody in your heart.” So I looked it up on Bible Gateway just now, and chose “show all translations.” A few do say “with,” but more say “in.” Without further study, it would seem not to be a compelling argument either way. The voice and the heart are both “instruments” that can praise God.

    After I went to bed last night, a different thought crossed my mind. Namely, singing to the Lord with psaltery and harp and so forth is an invitation, not a command. That is, of course, a different question than whether or not we use instruments in public worship today, but it does mean it is not an error to choose not to do so. The difference may seem insignificant, or even a matter of “of course, we live in an age of grace, and not of law,” but I don’t think that really works, simply because we are commanded to sing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19 being a prime example). If we were commanded to sing and use an instrument (other than our voices), then the command would not be given to “trained musicians,” but to everyone, and it would be a required part of worship. Furthermore, we understand that all of the service is under the authority and oversight of elders. In other words, the elders can decide “we will use only piano,” and it doesn’t matter how well trained the flautist might be, she is not invited to use her training and gifts. Also, no command in Scripture is given to only trained laity. That is, there are commands specifically to pastors and elders, and there are commands to the congregation. And yes, there are even commands to people based on “if you have this spiritual gift, then do this” and to women, or married people, or children, or slaves, but none saying “if you are trained in this skill, then you must use it in public worship.” Music would be an odd exception, if this were referring to instruments other than the voice. Instead, we have the delightful invitation and command to sing to God, even if we do not sing well! Nothing is wrong with getting training to sing better, but all of us, trained and untrained, are invited to praise God in song!

    As to the regulative principle of worship, of course Reformed / Presbyterian folk do believe it is biblical (we are not to add or take away, we are called to worship God correctly, etc.), but some of the “practical” understanding of it is simply this: Elders do not have authority to require what is not biblically required. Churches can (and should) institute church discipline against those who stop attending the worship service, or who attend only occasionally. But let’s say a church decides to throw a July 4 extravaganza and consider it a “worship service.” (I’ve known churches to do that.) Can the elders insist that all members must attend? No, they have no such authority from Scripture. They are free to throw a July 4 event as a party, but it is not a worship service. So what about including cute little extras as part of the worship service to which the people of God have been called, a puppet show or a mime, or singing a few patriotic songs, or a talk on environmentalism? Elders have no such authority. My husband would add that the pastors and elders also have no authority to ask the flock to sing man-made songs as part of worship. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” for instance, is offensive to many of us; it was not a song of worship, but a song confusing military might with Christ’s judgment. Can elders rightly call God’s people to sing it? Or how about “In the Garden,” a song that has nothing to do with corporate worship but seems to revel in individualism? Then there is “Away in a Manger,” which ranges from sappy sentimentality to outright untrue speculation (“no crying he makes”). And obviously these are nowhere near the worst examples I could have given. Calling members to corporate worship is calling them to join in on corporate singing–and including a wide range of theologically dubious lyrics to outright error is not helpful.

    BTW, it isn’t factionalism to choose to continue what a denomination has always done, and what it believes to be biblical. If anything, the “factionalism” comes from adding instruments and adding hymns and choruses–because we are simply doing what we have always done, and what a huge percentage of the church has always done. We won’t come to your church and protest your use of instruments, but we aren’t being divisive for continuing in the same path we were on three hundred years ago when others have since moved onto a different path. (And by the way, it is possible to choose not to be “Psalms only,” but “Scripture only” and include other Scripture portions in the texts that may be sung. That is actually my husband’s position, and I think it’s a good one. But since the Psalms were explicitly intended to be sung, they do contain the vast majority of readily singable texts.)


  16. I think that I pulled a Kim yesterday. I ended my day at a nice department store and got aa couple of things for myself. Then, I just had to go check the infants department for something for Lucy. It ended up being several somethings. So fun to buy cute little girl clothes.

    I also went to the teacher store and got some things for our school. I knew they had what I wanted, but could not find it online. Sure enough, when I asked about it, they said that they don’t put those things online. So… I had to purchase and will have to fit large, flat decorations in my suitcase. But the school office will look so nice for years.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Ah-ha!

    I cleared everything out from under the kitchen sink and, sure enough, a couple things way in the back had water on them — not a lot, but there was wetness. So I think that is a good thing, it means (I hope) that we can pinpoint the source of the problem pretty quickly and get this thing fixed. Without a lot of hoopla? I hope.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. Kim @ 11:45: Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    As for explaining the news, it is far easier than trying to figure out the reason for arguments over types of music in worship services.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Your laugh at Kim moment.
    You all know that I am the only child of an only child and I raised an only child.
    This morning, I surfaced long enough to walk through the bedrooms and baths to collect all the towels that have been used and needed to be washed.
    For the FIRST time in my life, I had to set the washing machine to Super Size Load to wash all the towels. 🙂

    Liked by 10 people

  20. Good morning. I am snowed in. 10 inches currently, still snowing, and it is drifting. nmroads.com shows severe driving conditions between here and work. I am scheduled to work the next 3 days. If diving conditions change from red to yellow, I may try to make it.

    The good news is that Trey and Miguel made it home last night.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. OK, leak found amid much shouting from under the house — a quarter inch hole in elbow of copper pipe right under kitchen sink. Sidekick took a video and it’s just shooting out of there like crazy, so they’ve turned the water off and have gone to Home Depot to buy new pipe sections and a “shark bite.”

    Mini lecture first on how my Christmas decoration star on the porch is a 5-pointed star and is really worshiping Satan. “Christians don’t know these things” he says.

    But back to the leak …


    Liked by 5 people

  22. My family all went to Six Flags or to work. My husband and I have the house to ourselves and I’ll spend it trying to catch up, cooking, and figuring out the next couple days of festivities.

    It’s wonderful to have them around; it’s great to be home almost alone. 🙂

    We may even end the Christmas decorations. 🙂

    The Peter Jackson film yesterday was terrific–especially him coming on after the movie to explain how they did everything.

    My family has been laughing ever since at his casual reference to, “when the sound people weren’t sure what a WWI howitzer sounded like, I just got out mine and let them fire it. After all, doesn’t everyone have an extra WWI howitzer in their backyard?”

    The kids looked at me.

    I don’t have one. 🙂

    I just have poppies.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. We have over a foot of snow here. Ruidoso, where I am supposed to be working right now, has over 24 in. They said that as soon as maintenance shovels the sidewalks, it is covered and deep almost instantly.

    The good news is that Try has got to use his sled that he received for Christmas last year. This is more snow than we had the entire winter combined last year. I am always happy for the moisture.

    Trey got a guitar and drum set when he got home. We will not be bored.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. It’s Auburn 53/Purdue 14 at the end of the third quarter.
    I think Ill turn to something exciting. Like a panel discussing the government shut down.
    Better still. I think I’ll go fix dinner.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Chas- that reminds me of the 1968 Sun Bowl. We Arizona fans were all excited that our team was going to be on national TV! The opponent was some team I had never heard of in my 11 years of life: Auburn. The Wildcats gotten slaughtered by the Tigers. Oh, well. My sister was in the Arizona marching band and we think we saw her at half time (remember when they showed the marching bands at half time?). We think it was my sister, as she was the shortest member of then trumpet section.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. On the question of what the early church did, the earliest of the early church writers, from the first hundred years after the apostles – Ignatius, Barnabas, Polycarp, Justin Martyr – say nothing one way or another. I confirmed that, although I was pretty certain, having read all their extant works, that was the case. Justin Martyr, in his description of the weekly services of Christian in his First Apology, mentions preaching and prayer, but doesn’t even mention singing – if his description was taken as a complete example of what the early church did in their Sunday meetings, even singing the Psalms would be an innovation. The earliest of the writers to touch on music was Clement of Alexandria, writing c.190 A.D.

    Now, although I find the early church writers interesting for their historical value, and for the witness they pay to the presence of the canon of Scripture and the constancy of the core doctrines of the church, there is not one of them I find without flaw. Ignatius assigns more authority to church elders than Paul gives them. Barnabas’ epistle is not part of the canon, although it was likely written by Barnabas himself, because he is too credulous in giving undue weight to overly imaginative interpretations of the Old Testament. Polycarp even has a few flaws, as widely respected as that pupil of John the Baptist was. Justin Martyr is a towering figure in the history of Old Testament prophetic interpretation, but he sometimes neglects a plain reading of Scripture in making interpretations – I was interested to observe that he insisted we had free will to choose or not choose salvation long before the Calvinist-Arminius debate.

    So it is no surprise to find that Clement of Alexandria is not, despite his good reputation, without fault or error. The book, the 2nd volume of his The Instructor in which Clement addresses the topic of music is, it must be said, in direct violation of Paul’s warning against voluntary humility and will worship of manmade rules in Colossians 2, as it seeks to give regulations to every area of a Christians’ life, including admonitions to not speak with one’s mouth full and not to gulp one’s drink, as well as instructions for men to walk in bare feet, unless he is a soldier, while women should always wear shoes [Link: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ante-Nicene_Christian_Library/The_Instructor:_Book_2%5D. Clement even manages to suggest that most laughter is worldly. This then, is the context for his remarks on music, found under his chapter ‘On Feasts’. Clement incorporated Greek philosophical tradition with Christian thought and his remarks on what he thinks are the effects of instruments bear similarity to Plato’s in The Republic, as like Plato, he thinks the pipe should be left to shepherds. He also tries to spiritualize the mention of instruments in the Psalms, saying alternately that the instruments are our bodies and then that they are the Word. But in spite of his generally negative attitude towards instrumental music and belief that certain musical instruments have licentious effects, Clement admits:

    For the apostle adds again, “Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to God.” And again, “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and His Father.” This is our thankful revelry. And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame. Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God.


  27. Well, Eldest in-law won the bet. Sixth nephew was giving signs of being ready to walk, so at the beginning of the Christmas season, we took bets on what day he would start to walk. Eldest in-law guessed today.

    Liked by 5 people

  28. The bet, by the way, did not involve any exchange of money, although a reward was promised to the correct guess.

    Several of Sixth’s cousins had bet on Christmas Day, so they tried to egg him on to walk then. That day, Sixth was generally wreaking havoc by dropping things into the bin we had to collect used wrapping paper, causing his mother to fear some important piece of someone’s gift would go missing. While standing and apparently supporting himself by the bin, he lifted it up using both hands. We laughed and accused him of hiding his real abilities, at which he grinned and lifted both hands to show he could stand by himself. He doesn’t say much more than ‘Ma-ma’ and ‘Da-da’ but he knows what we’re talking about.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Trouble is, when they start walking, you never know where they are.
    They move so fast.
    Chuck was always fascinated with trash cans. He cold empty one in seconds.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Chas, Sixth is already nicknamed for his lightning speed. We have gates on the stairs, but if he sees the gate open he is at the stairs before you have time to turn around, and that is when he crawls.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. The new muskrat photo is from a different (later) day but the same location. Whether it is the same rodent or not, I don’t know. It was drinking water, with another one asleep under the brush behind it. I would not have seen the sleeping one had I not seen this one. But this one is a close-up showing what the fur looks like dry. Doesn’t that fur look soft and strokable? Photographed close up, one gets the sense it is larger than it really is. It’s quite a small creature; at the range I was from it, size alone said it was not a beaver. (The tail is a lot different, also, and someone with tons of experience with the critters could probably tell them apart in other ways. I’ve seen muskrats quite a few times now, but only passing glimpses of beaver except for the one sleeping on the bank.)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m heading home to pay the piper after dashing to the bank. As of 5 p.m. the charges had reached $425 and they still had another hour or more of work. Groan.

    Well, at least it’ll be fixed.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Oh Dj…duck tape wouldn’t work on it? 🙃
    We are currently at 8 degrees heading to 4 tonight….pipe bursting weather! We have had “glitter snow” off and on all day…the roads in our area are slick….wonder if Rk’s roads are slick under all that snow? The weather guy said tonight that this band of snow is headed your way Rk….are you expecting another foot or so!?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Not sure how much more is expected. The roads are closed though, and I am happy to be home. I think they set up a shelter at the school for stranded motorists. Our community will feed them at the Baptist church, which is right across the street.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I’m glad to be safe at home. I drove over to Oroville today to see my friends who were burned out in the Camp Fire. They lost everything. They are raising support to come to Ukarumpa, where they served several years ago. They have three boys. I taught the middle son who is sweeter than sweet and will have the youngest in my class next year. I left their home at sunset and then stopped at Walmart, That meant I drove over an hour home on busy roads. My night vision is not so good anymore, so I was very glad to get home.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. They have to come back tomorrow – for tonight, no water, no bueno

    This is so like old times. Where did I find those blueprints for building a backyard outhouse again?

    Liked by 6 people

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