75 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-29-18

  1. Phos from yesterday.
    I have seriously considered this.
    I have noticed that adults have a myriad of other things to worry about.
    Young children have nothing at all to do but figure out how to outsmart their adults.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Morning! 6 degrees and another inch or so of “snow glitter” on the ground. This forest is glistening in the moonlight!! And it is reported the roads are a mess!
    Happy Birthday Kathaleena!!
    Living room tree has been broken down and all garlands and bows are boxed away…whew…!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Roscuro,

    Not to keep the discussion going into another day, but I was looking at the thread from two days ago, partly to make sure I read the “moderated” comments you had tried to make, and I realized you spoke of churches not using instruments because they saw them as being somehow inferior, or culturally “low.” I’m fairly new to this discussion myself. A decade ago I knew mostly that many Church of Christ churches did not use instruments (and I don’t agree with CoC overall). Which denominations see instruments as being somehow uncouth, and thus dismiss them?

    By the way, I found this Church of Christ article that I think summarizes the issues extremely well. I don’t agree with the Church of Christ belief that the whole Old Testament law is basically irrelevant to us; it points to Christ, and the moral law is still in effect. But overall this is an excellent, brief overview, giving the argument, the history, and a number of quotes from historical figures. Well worth reading for anyone with interest in the church, even if you think the a capella / instrument discussion is much ado about nothing.

    The rest of this is from https://www.housetohouse.com/why-do-churches-of-christ-not-use-instrumental-music/

    Worship is the most important thing humans do. It is a privilege to worship—more specifically, to be one from whom God accepts worship. In the Old Testament, believers offered sacrifices through priests. In the New, all Christians are priests—a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6). As a holy priesthood we offer spiritual sacrifices to Him who called us out of darkness (1 Peter 2:5, 9).

    Every faithful member can participate in worship. Congregational singing reflects this. Instrumentals, choirs, and solos hinder all-member participation. . . .

    The voice is a wonderful gift. You could say God gave each of us a musical instrument to use in His worship. We may not think we have a good voice, but God looks at (listens to) our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). A sincere song from a faithful child pleases Him. The relevant question is not, “Do we have a voice?” but “Do we have a song?” God loves to hear His children sing.

    How one approaches God in worship is of fundamental importance. Individually and congregationally, worship is either accepted or refused by God. We must not assume that God automatically accepts anything we offer. He doesn’t. God has always rejected worship He did not like (Genesis 4:4–7; Isaiah 1:13). He does not like vain worship (Matthew 15:9), which (in the context) ritualistically continues human traditions; ignorant worship (Acts 17:20–23), which results from not seeking God’s Word on the subject; and will-worship (Colossians 2:23), which offers what we want instead of what He wills. . . .

    Collectively, God only accepts “in truth” worship, which means according to His Word (John 17:17). We have no authority to put words in God’s mouth, or to ignore words from His mouth (Matthew 4:4; Revelation 22:18–19). Man is not at liberty to select a worship form that appeals to him. The danger for any church is to make worship entertainment oriented. The important thing is not what draws a crowd but what pleases God. Loving God supremely means acquiescing to His will (Matthew 7:21; 22:37–38; 23:23; John 7:17). . . .

    The church of Christ sang a cappella in the days of the apostles, so the church of Christ sings a cappella today. It really is as simple as that. . . .

    No scholar (of whom I am aware) says early Christians used instruments. No Bible verse records it. The phrase a cappella, which now means “without instrumental accompaniment,” originally meant “as in church.” Instruments were available and widely used in pagan worship and theaters, as well as the Jewish temple, but they were not used by the church.


  4. Cheryl, did you see my post yesterday about Clement of Alexandria and his low view of instruments, and how I remarked on the similarity between his view and Plato’s? Clement’s treatise from which his remarks on musical instruments came on how the Christian life should be moderated bore a remarkable resemblance in general to Plato’s The Republic. As I said in my original comments on the low reputation of musicians and instrumental music, it is not solely a phenomenon observed in the Puritans, as other religions, other philosophies, other cultures, have a similarly low view of musicians and the instruments they play. In the village in West Africa, I recall encountering one man, who had a reputation for being one of the strictest practicing Muslims in the community. He was by birth in the musiciancaste, called the gewal or griot caste, but he would not allow his family to ply their traditional occupation, because his devout Muslim faith precluded the use of instruments or the singing of secular songs. The gewal caste, which as I mentioned two days ago was the second lowest to the slave caste in traditional West African cultural, was so despised that gewal were not allowed to be buried, as it would curse the earth, and their bodies were instead placed inside the hollow trunks of baobab trees. In Senegal, there is a great baobab tree which holds the bodies of some of Senegal’s most famous musician. Ponder for a moment – those musicians were famous, but their bodies were not thought worthy of burial. Throughout history and cultures, people have enjoyed musicians’ music, but despised them in their heart, as Michel despised David dancing before the Ark.


  5. So you weren’t speaking of modern denominations, then? I misunderstood you to be saying that’s part of the reasons that many Protestant Christians don’t use instruments.

    It is extremely sad that there would be such a thing as a lower “caste” of human being. We don’t officially have such a system in America, though we do sort of have our own untouchables. I recoiled in shock a few months ago when a book I was reading mentioned my own father’s occupation at the time of his retirement as basically being the “untouchable” of the working world, and I realized how he had struggled so to raise seven children, and do so without the most basic of government aid. (In the days when I was in school, most children didn’t qualify for free lunches; Mom once told me we would qualify even if there were fewer of us. But we made our own lunches, except once a month when we bought the school lunch with our own money. We knew our parents would not help us buy our first car–or allow us to use theirs–or help with college or with weddings, and that once we had a job and were saving up for those things, we would be paying rent to our parents. So we had a slow start, in some ways, in getting “launched.” But we also benefited from our dad’s work ethic and most of us–all of us, I think–have seen a lot more financial “success” than he did. But he successfully launched seven children–or set the foundation for us all to be launched, as three of us were still minors when he died.)

    Scripture certainly doesn’t despise musical instruments, or people who play them–David being a really prime example of that–and neither can we. As far as I know, however, that attitude plays no portion of any church’s decision to have voices be the only instrument raised in praise to God.


  6. Good morning from the land of no running water. Fortunately I had a case of bottled water on hand, but not having a working bathroom is a challenge.

    The heater is going, though, so at least the house will warm up some. I’m hoping the workers are planning to start ‘early’ today and can figure out a way to get that broken pipe fixed. Part of the issue is the pipes were wedged next to the add-on slab foundation for the kitchen sometime in the 1960s/70s and they’re having a really hard time accessing the area enough to get replacement pipes in and aligned correctly. He said it looked like some of the pipes had bent over the years from possibly a shift in the slab.

    I don’t understand a lot of that exactly, only that it’s making the job extremely difficult and the working space under the house in that southwest corner is very tight and awkward to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good Morning Everyone. It was a rough night around here. A certain Little Miss was not happy. She and grandpa were up most of the night. They are separated now with on in the bedroom and one on the sofa- both 😴 asleep. Me? Well I hauled myself to the sofa last night, drank my Thera-Flu, applied my Vic’s and somewhat slept.

    Regarding music. Psalm 100 says “Make a joyful noise all ye lands”. I find it sad that God gives these gifts to us and others try to stifle it. It is well known that I cannot sing and have no musical ability but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying it and singing along when I can’t be heard.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. In thinking about how musicians are generally despised, I am reminded of the season of the year it still is, as the twelve days of Christmas have not yet passed. The family church interim pastor mentioned in his sermon about how the shepherds were a despised profession in the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. They had apparently forgotten that their greatest king had been a shepherd. The Jews were not alone in despising the profession of shepherd. Plato, in saying the pipe should not be used in the music of his ideal society, said the pipe should be left to the shepherd to play (a statement practically repeated verbatim by Clement of Alexandria), thus insinuating that the shepherd was excluded from his ideal society. In West Africa, the herdsmen are the Fulani, who are generally despised by other West African tribes. The pastor pointed out how in the story of Christ’s coming, the world is turned on its head. As Mary’s song of praise states, “He has put down the mighty, and exalted them of low degree” (Luke 1:46-55). The testimony of women and shepherds was both invalid in Jewish courts of Jesus day, yet God had shepherds and women bear witness to Christ’s birth, and He had women bear witness to Christ’s resurrection – in initially dismissing the women’s testimony of the empty tomb, the disciples were displaying the typical worldly attitude of their day. Jesus assigned to himself the despised profession of shepherd. In so doing, He declared himself to be the true heir to the throne of his early ancestor of the same profession, and the fulfillment of the songs sung by that ancestor.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kim and I will be the ones in Heaven making a joyful noise. If anybody wants to complain, take it up with the Creator. Of course, He may refine our voices then. Until then, make a joyful noise!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I do not understand despising musicians. Perhaps because I am not so talented, I admire them very much. Which is why I encourage others to join me in praying for them. It is probably fairly easy to take the admiration of others and then begin to think more highly of oneself rather than deflecting the praise to He Who is Worthy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Don’t worry, Mumsee and Kim, no one on here despises musicians or endorses stifling music! I don’t have much musical talent–I can read music a little bit–but I respect those who do. And it’s a delight to be part of a church with a lot of musical talent and a lot of interest in music (as is the case in my current church).

    Liked by 2 people

  12. There were several Fula with whom I worked in West Africa. I played the violin for them once on a quiet day at the clinic, and they told me they had a similar instrument – we both got it from the Arabs I believe. We had to be careful about singing or playing instruments publicly. After playing the violin, one of the employees (not a Fula) asked me if it was something I just did for fun. I replied yes, since I am not a professional musician, although I have played publicly (in church, primarily). When I replied yes, he nodded in a way that denoted satisfaction. I realized afterward that he was probably relived that I was not a professional, as that would have made me a gewal. The other team members told me that they once made the mistake of singing for the village elders, which seriously setback their reputation.


  13. It was a bit ironic, because although we would have been shaming ourselves by singing publicly, those who lived nearest to where we met for worship services often would tell us that our singing was neex, sweet. We did sound pretty sweet, though I say it myself. At prayers meetings, we sang mostly modern choruses, in a cappella harmony, echoing back and forth the Marantha Singers’ settings of the Psalms. At worship services, we used hymnbooks, and I accompanied the singing with my violin – the singers said that they were better able to sing harmony when I played the melody. I’ll never forget the Sunday it was pouring with rain, causing a thunderous noise on the roof, and we sang above the din, with violin and vocal harmony blending together to sound like the swelling of an organ.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. I made it through Christmas with a baby crawling all over my house without losing a Christmas ornament. The Marine came home from his couple of nights with friends and on the way to bed knocked one with his bag and broke it. 8 month old versus 30 year old! ( I am laughing, not complaining)

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Chas- it doesn’t look like your team is doing well. And since Purdue lost, well… At least your favorites made it to bowl games. Arizona and Mizzou? Waiting for next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Worker #2 has arrived.

    Will I have running water by tonight?

    Or will I be sloshing buckets of water from my neighbors’ hose spigot to keep at least the toilets semi-functioning?

    At least the porch is cute.


  17. Well, it’s not sounding good down there. They got different tool to try something new they thought would “resolve” it but it didn’t work. …


  18. They tested the latest fix by turning on the water. Worker #2 was under the house at the pipe and yelled “OFF! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF” and then started banging on the pipe.

    I interpreted that as not good.

    Now they’ve gone back under to try again …


  19. Sure is a cute porch you have there, DJ. I like the Narnia lamppost. And the furniture from Mexico. And the address sign. Nice job! A fine place to relax and watch the neighbors go by. And the Charlie Brown tree grow. Will it be offering shade eventually?

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks for the birthday wishes. We enjoyed trying out a new restaurant that we hadn’t visited before. It was just for lunch since the roads are terrible and it gets dark so early. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the time there, a brief shopping stop and a stop for some ice cream on the way home.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Filled up a bucket of water from my neighbors’ hose so that’s now in the bathroom … she also provided me with 3 jugs of tap water. She refers to the workers as Mutt and Jeff and figures they’ll be working on this for at least another day.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I really like the front porch. Very peaceful and pretty and easy. Pleasant place to sit and chat with the neighbor. And the Narnia lamppost. And the address sign. And the windows. Pretty color of paint on the walls and trim. And the tree is doing well

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Sorry about the new photo. Michelle. You probably like the real rodents better.

    To everyone else, isn’t she pretty? And isn’t the setting just perfect for her to stand there and pose for her portrait? She’s a few yards off a trail I walk, but I had to walk up to a chain-link fence and shoot through it. She just stood there and looked at me. Eventually her fawn came in from the other direction (off the right side of this photo) as if to ask, “Mom, what’s taking you so long? Are we still going to go raid that garden?” So I zoomed out a little and got the fawn too, but it was nearly grown and not still “cute” and I ended up liking this shot better. She stood there for several minutes, though, and finally I’m the one who left.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. After 10 hours of sleep, I think I’ve recovered from yet another house repair crisis. While it wound on for two days, it really could have been worse. I think the leak was discovered quickly by me (it may have been dripping for a while but when I became aware of that faint noise in the walls right after Christmas I suspect it had broken through to the full-on “spray” that workers found once they went under the house on Friday for the first time.

    It cost me $600, but I’m quite sure a plumber would have charged double that if not more (though the leak may have gotten fixed faster, granted).

    I was about ready to put the “For Sale — fresh paint, cute porch” sign out at one point.

    After missing yesterday’s shower due to no running water, this morning’s shower felt especially good.

    Cute deer, with apologies to Michelle.

    I overheard one of the workers under the house yesterday comment on finding a rat dropping.

    Did I mention they also found a mysterious, round metal box with a lid, too? And a closed up old cardboard box.

    Right away I’m thinking a treasure trove of hidden money.

    Workers figured it would more likely contain buried evidence of a cold-case murder from the 1930s.

    I don’t think they ever opened the boxes up, so the mystery remains …

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Jo, that ain’t nuthin’ 😉 We have a few more days, until after New Year’s, of seven adults (with an eighth possibly coming for a couple of days – there was another eighth over Christmas) and seven children in the house.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Behind on reading the comments again, but jumping in with a question.

    When we get to the new year, will you be saying the year is “Twenty-nineteen” or “Two-thousand, nineteen”?

    For those who choose the latter, when the year hits 2020, will you switch to saying “Twenty-twenty” (and then “Twenty-twenty-one” and so on) or stay with “Two-thousand, twenty”?


  27. I’ve been mostly saying “Two thousand and . . .” all along. But I think twenty-twenty (which I realized decades ago would be known as the year of the eye) and that whole decade may be the way to go.


  28. Kim, no, and it all ended so abruptly the subject just never came up. I should have asked them to pull them out when they first mentioned them to me.

    I think twenty (etc.) has been standard for several years now, at least in California. I remember saying two-thousand in the early part of the century, especially before 2010, but since there most people now say twentyXX).


  29. We all said twenty eighteen, why change?
    i think every one will say twenty nineteen. It’s easier that way.
    In fact, I hadn’t thought of an alternative.


  30. I say “twenty-. . .” but I’ve heard some others, including in my family, say “Two-thousand-. . .” That made me wonder how others say it.


  31. I should have put some things away today, but I just couldn’t get the energy up for it.

    I think I’ll leave the white lights on the front porch for now, they’ll be very easy to dismantle and they still look so cute, even post-Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I didn’t do near the decorating I’d planned to do this year. It was disappointing at the time in many ways … and yet now, I’m somewhat glad 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  33. We de-decorate later in January. It is nice to have the pretty, festive things around for a while in the midst of a cold month, although I will begin putting the little knickknacky things away very soon. Sometimes the tree doesn’t come down until February because we keep putting it off.

    One year, I joked that our Valentine’s Day tree looked a lot like our Christmas tree – because of course, it was our Christmas tree! Another year, for one reason or another, the tree didn’t get taken down until April!

    Liked by 3 people

  34. I de decorated on Friday and some more yesterday. The wreath is still hanging on the tree out by the road and it will stay a bit longer…I love the way it looks out there! I have three small pines I keep out all year round. One on the mantel, on top of my cabinets and one on a bookshelf in the living room…I live in the pines…why not have some “saplings” in the house!? I do miss the soft glow of lights and I am trying to figure out how to put some white lights on something to turn off and on year round… 😐 More snow and cold coming in tomorrow….did Rk ever dig out to get to work?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Son wants Christmas lights to be called winter lights because our winters are so long. I like that idea. 🙂

    NancyJill, I wrapped some of those microdot battery light loosely around candles in a lantern. They come on in the evening and it’s so pretty.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Our traditional de-decorating day when I was growing up was Jan. 1, a day to be dreaded as a kid. All work and no play on what also was the last day off before going back to school after the Christmas break.

    And the work was so depressing, undoing all the prettiness and festiveness of Christmas. Sad, dreary, tedious.

    It’s all so much more fun to put up.

    Anyone ever see the movie “The Book of Eli”? Watching it tonight.


    Liked by 1 person

  37. I’ll say “two thousand nineteen” but might switch in 2020. The Spanish uses the “two thousand” method. I was glad when the year switched from mil novecientos noventa y nueve (one thousand nine hundred ninety nine) to dos mil.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. I may be coming down with that cold that’s going around, I’m feeling pretty miserable tonight — it also could be a reaction to the dry, cold windy weather, too, though … will know in the morning


    Liked by 2 people

  39. I’m posting tomorrow’s posts in a bit. Too much to do in the AM before leaving, so it’ll be tonight. I’ll post a new header from Cheryl which will stay up until later this week. See ya’s, and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 5 people

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