69 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-25-19

  1. What is it?
    Good morning everyone but Jo.
    Good night Jo.

    I looked out at the weather and looked for my two stars.
    They are gone. Daylight has already come to Greensboro by 6:45.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Morning! I have been awake since 2am….and I am not sleepy still…gonna be a long day!
    Janice’s Birthday tree blossoming…oh there is a hope for Spring!! Oh so lovely…..
    Today shall be another lunch meet up with a sweet friend…coffee will be included for certain.

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  3. Hey, it’s spring in the south! We’re close to it here. Not yet spring by what I consider official standards (green on the trees, as in photo above, and/or the blooming of some flower other than crocus), but the birds are singing and choosing territorities–I walked on the path between two singing cardinals a couple of days ago, and a hawk carrying a stick flew overhead–and overall it has the feel that spring is in the air. Red-winged blackbirds are back in town, too, though I don’t think they nest here. (They nested in huge numbers farther north, but I didn’t see or hear any here last summer, not till fall.) I’m watching for the first warblers and also hoping for wood ducks. It’s definitely too early for most species, including orioles and ruby-throated hummingbirds, but we’re into the beginning of migration season, and I want to see what that brings.

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  4. Back to the grind after a lovely week in Florida and putting 106 miles on my bicycle legs. We lost power in the wind last night and it’s still out so I’m camping out and working in a Panera Bread for the day.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. My snow looks quite hairy this morning. The pines trees were groomed of all their dead needles and many tiny branches of green needles. The apple and maple and other hardwoods lost some of their weaker branches. The snow is no longer pristine, but quite sculpted and littered with forest debris. I sure hope we get a gradual spring or flooding will be as rampant here as it is in some other states right now.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I cut off all the dried hydrangea heads yesterday. Shoots are on the branches and, yes, spring is headed this way.

    But first, we have a week of rain . . . This is the rainest season we’ve ever had in Sonoma County, according to some, and that has made the poor fire victims’ lives even more miserable. 😦

    I just signed up to attend a retreat in Murietta, California–north of San Diego–in March. I will know exactly no one and I’m traveling a long distance to go. It’s with the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa ladies and the speaker is Sally Lloyd-Jones, for those who know who she is.

    It’s been SO LONG since I’ve attended a women’s retreat that has spiritual meat to it. I’m looking forward to it.

    Since it’s not far from my uncle’s house, I’ll stop in and see him that Sunday afternoon on my way back to Los Angeles. I hope to visit my elderly friend in your area, Donna, Monday morning before flying home. I know I’ll miss you, but I might do a driveby . . . . 🙂

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  7. Speaking of chores, which I was, as I was shoveling the snow this morning, philosophizing, an interesting though occurred to me. I don’t recall ever taking a pain reliever (perhaps my mom gave me one when I was down with a fever, but that would have been rare), until after the birth of my first child, in my twenties. Husband remembers not using pain reliever until quite recently, even though he was a marathoner and did a lot of PT in the military. But my children… The ones who did chores consistently did not take them. But as I allowed the older boys to drop off the chore chart so the youngers could step in, they started doing the gym idea and they were often looking for pain relief. I suspect chores give a more real approach to muscle development so the body was prepared for various activities. This comes to mind as seventeen year old son asked for ibuprofen this morning, because he injured his back at National Guard drill this weekend. He has not done chores in years, but does ride his bike so thinks he is in excellent shape. Which is why he failed the PT test last month. None of the children who have consistently done chores has ever failed the Pt test.

    Did I mention that I love shoveling snow? Especially when it is light and fluffy and easy.

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  8. I was thinking it is time to prune the grapes but they are under a lot of snow so it will have to wait.

    The concern to me about so much moisture, is that it will cause lots of lush growth on the hillsides, which could well dry out and become a serious fire hazard again in a hot summer.

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  9. What a beautiful picture, with so much potential waiting to emerge. I hope not to see the same in my area until late April, but that is wishful thinking on my part. The trees usually bloom so beautifully, only to be hit by frost again and again.

    We are supposed to have a week with temps in the 50s. It would be a good time for my goats to kid. Not sure if they will cooperate either.

    I have a day at home, a rare thing for me. I am currently caught up on assignments, so will try to get my taxes together to take to the bookkeeper.

    My turkeys have 10 eggs in the nest. They had over 12 last week, but the cold caused 5 to freeze and crack. I am not sure how many they will lay before they decide to set.

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  10. I just shovel snow off the deck. My children like to shovel out paths for me to the various animals so I can walk in those. And if they want to go anywhere, they shovel the driveway.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Spring is nice, fall is nicer. 🙂

    Interesting how you can sense the next season, though. I always sense that fall is somehow “in the air” before it actually arrives. Spring, too, though I’m happier about the arrival of fall.

    I had a toss-and-turn night last night, rare for me and I hate them. And the cat was exactly in the wrong spot on the bed, too close to the center.

    I’m working from home today since the garage repair person comes between noon and 4. Makes little sense to try to squeeze commute times in around that and basically just wast time during the day. I’m hoping this won’t be an expensive fix. He ‘balanced’ the door in December, a 5-minute job that cost $150. So I’m not sure why this is out of whack again, although it was the painter who installed the automatic system …

    In two weeks we’ll have to move at the office so I’ll need to start tossing out whatever I can at work. They’ll provide boxes for things we need to have moved to our new spaces, although they told us not to plan on taking much. I’ll be working out of a high rise on Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach for those familiar with this area. Not sure what floor we’re on or if there’s any view, we’re right at the water. My 16-mile commute will be a simple one, straight over the harbor bridges. But I’ll be working at a different (physically) paper in the chain which will feel odd.

    The commute will be shorter, much closer both to home and the area that I cover so it all makes sense. My ‘home-base’ paper is moving into a building that’s farther north which would only add time and miles to the commute I already have. It would take me farther away from home & the area I cover.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I love summer! Those crazy hazy days of summer! Outside most of the time, either in the gardens, or with a book. So pleasant with the birds singing and the bald faced hornets competing with the rattlesnakes! I love summer. If I had a favorite season….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the kids and lambs to arrive when there is a good snow cover, it seems so much cleaner and no flies. Does not have to be zero out though, that is a bit cold for those little ears. Such fun watching the lambs running and frolicking out there in the snow this morning. They mostly stick to the paths made by the flock, but every now and then….

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  14. Art got a great report from his heart doctor after the echo cardiogram! The valve repair is working just as it should.

    Along the way home I got a call from Karen. She was headed to the hospital. I wish they had gone yesterday. She has too many major complications to not be monitored in the hospital when she has something like the flu.

    Liked by 7 people

  15. It took us an hour in heavy traffic to get to Art’s doctor this a.m. We have made it to the hospital next door in twenty minutes when we got all green lights in the middle of the night. Atlanta traffic just gets worse and worse. We left at 7:30 and got there at 8:30. Tomorrow we can leave around 8:30 to get fo my eye doctor by 8:40. That is a blessing. I think my healing of the eye is what it should be. My vision is not yet what I had hoped for. After two more weeks I guess I will get corrective glasses.

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  16. I know about traffic.

    Such good news about Art!

    The early part of summer, through July 4, is sweet (provided the temperatures are mild). But generally I just don’t tolerate heat very well, anything much over 80 can feel “too hot” to me these days. The 90s+ are misery.

    And now we have those new, non-native mosquitoes plaguing us … Still, I do look forward to the longer days and time I can spend on the shady patio after work (or on the front porch perhaps now?). I will have to start stocking up on a good, odorless repellant and try to avoid last summer’s biting fest. LA Vector Control is trying to organize neighborhoods this year to battle the insects as they’ve really multiplied; unfortunately, that’s mostly defensive measures, making sure you and your neighbors have no standing water, etc. There doesn’t seem to be anything Vector Control can actually do to combat them beyond that at this stage.

    (Our native mosquitoes prefer to bite birds but these tiny new ones (“ankle biters”) prefer people — and because our bodies have no resistance to them since they’re a new species to us, their bites leave especially intensely itchy groups of welts.)

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  17. I like spring with the warmer weather it brings. But, I am always apprehensive when it is near, as spring means WIND in New Mexico. The cedar trees are ready to pollinate, so allergies are ready to emerge also. Summer is my friend. Fall is my favorite, as it is heavy with harvest. There is always lots of work associated with fall, so I don’t get to enjoy it as I did when the children were young and I could be home more.

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  18. Mumsee, I have thought many times about the absurdity that in our culture it is considered normal to go to the gym and lift weights (instead of lifting things in the course of daily life) and run on a track (instead of walking in the course of daily life). My husband has commented that it is nice to have stores and businesses close to us so that some of our walking is going somewhere and not just walking for the sake of walking. It makes a lot more sense to walk a couple of miles in going to the store and back than to drive to the store and walk around the neighborhood so that we can get exercise! Likewise, it makes more sense to shovel snow than to use a rowing machine.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Winter is my least favorite season, so my favorite seasons have much to do with how far they are from winter–thus fall cannot be a favorite, pretty as it often is. Spring and summer vie to be favorites, and summer generally wins. It’s a bit closer to winter, but it’s also more likely to be warm (very little worry about it being too warm in the Midwest. Plus, spring is setting the stage but summer is the stage. Summer is when most of the blossoms are out, plus baby animals, plus the insects (butterflies, dragonflies, and bees). By late summer plants are looking nibbled and they may be drying out, and we’re moving toward fall. But nothing beats June and July in terms of months I could spend the whole day outside.

    So, favorites in order, summer then spring then fall. But here winter is less snow and more warmth, AND I have a place I can still get outside in winter (as long as it isn’t icy), so winter is better here than anywhere else I have lived in the Midwest. Up north there wasn’t much to see in winter, and I rarely went out for a walk because it just wasn’t worth watching for traffic to see dead plants. But with safe places to walk, and trees and ponds where between them I would almost certainly see something worth seeing, even in winter it has been worth going outside. That is better for my mental and physical health, and I’m glad. I’ve had two or three walks where I saw very little of note, but none in which I didn’t see anything at all that was interesting.

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  20. I remember Midwest summers to be pretty brutal with the high humidity and insects. But the occasional thunder storms were wonderful. (Though they tended only to make the humidity even worse afterward.)

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  21. I guess I need to muster up courage and call to see how Karen is doing. I feel sad and wish to just cry, but it would be bad for my eyes. My brother made me laugh so hard the other day that I had some tears. Salty tears and cataract eye drops don’t mix well together.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Usually in January and February, I spend several weeks working on and off on Valentine’s cards, and by the time I’m finished with them I’m a bit tired of the whole thing. This year I made about 35 cards, but that was leaving off a few kids in my church that I don’t know yet; next year I want to include all the girls, as I usually do, so I’ll have to make about 45 cards. This year while I was finishing them up, I came up with two ideas for cards for next year. One of them requires punching out a lot of hearts, and one of them requires making some mini envelopes and heart pockets. Yesterday I sat down and made the “parts” for dozens of cards. I will still have to put them together (which in one case requires a bit more punching, and in both cases requires gluing and designing), write notes, address envelopes, etc. But enough of the work has now been done that next year I can simply take the container of parts and get going. I already have a template for one, an idea for the second–a lot of the families I send them to have two or more girls, so having more than one concept is good.

    This year practically every parent of the children in my church (fathers as well as mothers) thanked me for sending them, which I haven’t experienced before. (A few of the children thanked me, too, but mostly the parents.) We are in a church that cares deeply about its children, and I love that. (We pay the money for all the children to go to a week of camp–raised through a fun fund-raiser–and we have various events through the year that include the children.)

    Liked by 2 people

  23. My brother has been sick recently and coughing at night to keep him from sleeping. He is working all the time at two different tax offices. He was at Art’s office and called after he had lunch. He started telling me something on the phone about a little tire hanging from the ceiling in Art’s office, and I was wondering which tax client had brought in a miniature tire swing or something and my brother said you can buy three and get one free. We then determined my brother had drifted off to sleep as he was trying to tell me he had gotten down a little spider web in Art’s office. We laughed so hard it made me tear up.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Cheryl, the gym is a good way for people in sedentary jobs to get good, all around, workouts. Walking is not all of it. I’m convinced that it helps keep people healthy. Elvera and I worked out three times a week until 2015. We did that for about 25 years.
    I didn’t realize that I was an old man until I was 85. Then it dawned on me all of a sudden.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Hi all. Popping in with a request for advice from all you wise folks here.

    Yesterday I left Bible study quietly frustrated, and have been mulling over how to address the situation that distressed me. It involved too much chatting and storytelling, IMO, and not enough time spent actually studying the Word.

    The Sunday morning Bible study I attend is scheduled for 9:30-10:15. We almost always start late, even though early church (which is the service all of us “regulars” in the study attend) is usually finished by 9:00 or a little after. In other words, there is a fair amount of time for fellowship after the service and before the Bible studies begin.

    It’s not uncommon for us in the ladies study to spend the first ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes of our “study” time just talking about stuff. There is one lady in particular who tends to get long-winded talking about whatever is on her mind. It might be something that happened last week, or three months ago, or twenty years ago. She’s got a story for everything, and when we’re in the middle of the Bible study and a verse reminds her of something that happened once to someone she knows, then off she goes on that tangent. My best friend, K, who usually leads the study (but isn’t currently, only is offering the opening prayer), does the best she can to bring the study back on topic, saying something like, “And that is why we need this” — and she pats her Bible — then will have us turn to a specific part of the Bible that addresses the underlying issue related to the anecdote that was just shared.

    However, when the storytelling precedes the start of the Bible study, K is too nice to interrupt all the anecdotes to announce that it’s time to start. And when she does begin to say, “Any prayer requests?” often the chatty lady doesn’t hear her (she’s getting hard of hearing) and continues on with her talking. If K and anyone else happen to speak simultaneously, she always yields to the other.

    What really frustrated me about yesterday was that it was after 10:00 before the pre-study chit-chat was done and K could get a word in edgewise to ask if there were any prayer requests. By the time those were mentioned, including one that involved a backstory (told by the chatty lady), it was 10:05 when we finally got started with the prayers and actual study. Ten minutes before we’re supposed to end. (But we rarely end on time, either, since none of the regulars in our group goes to 10:30 service.)

    If it sounds like I was watching the clock yesterday, well, yes I was, since I had to leave right at 10:15 to get to an event that I was committed to elsewhere. Honestly, I was probably more frustrated with myself than anyone that I just wanted to get into the pages of Scripture but was too timid to speak up and say, “Can we please talk about these things later and study the Word now?”

    So…anyway…speaking of long-windedness (sigh), do you, my wise friends, have any advice for how and to whom I can bring this up? Should I speak with K privately, or just learn to speak my mind in the group when things are going sometimes far afield?

    Prayers and advice welcome. I love all these ladies, but am afraid I’m too much of a people-pleaser and am staying silent to spare feelings, at the expense of deep study in the Word, which is what we’re all there for.

    Thanks so much.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. 6 Arrows, I can be guilty of the story telling, though during a Bible study I’m aware that this needs to get to the point I’m making, and do so concisely.

    My suggestion is that you talk to the leader, though that may or may not help. I was once in a ladies’ Sunday school class that was supposed to be 9:30-10:30, with church starting at 10:45. Those who were in the worship team would slip out about 10:10-10:15. Class would actually go till 10:50! During the time I had foster kids, that was especially problematic, because my five- and six-year-olds would be released from Sunday school, with no one watching them, and in those days I would slip out quietly before the class was over so I could collect my kids and take them to the playground for a few minutes so they would burn off some energy and be ready to sit during church.

    I once e-mailed the teacher and told her I had a dilemma, because I wasn’t on the worship team and didn’t need to leave with them, but I didn’t want to go to church late because of her class (!) and I knew I wasn’t the only one, and it seemed that we really needed to be ending on time. She e-mailed back that I was free to leave when I needed to–which didn’t address the problem. My best friend was in that class with me for a while, too, and she told me her first Sunday in the church she was shocked at how few women the church had, because the service had mostly men when it started, but then the women came in 10 or 15 minutes later. (Officially there was supposed to be a 15-minute “coffee hour” between Sunday school and church, and my first Sunday I got there in time for the coffee hour and figured I would meet some people, but hardly anyone was there.) My best friend and I usually went to one of the “mixed” classes, because we weren’t part of the clique and didn’t want to be, but one season we decided to join the women’s class. But having the class end after the starting time of church didn’t sit well with either of us, and after a few months we went back into the co-ed classes.

    Could you by chance volunteer to “corral” the ladies by getting the prayer requests yourself? I personally don’t mind starting with a few minutes of conversation, but maybe allow five minutes and then ask for prayer requests? If you don’t mind being the one cutting off conversation, she might be willing to delegate that to you, and you can help the whole class by doing that. She might be quite relieved to have someone else willing. Just one possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’ve found that true in my experience, too, lots of fellowship (which is pleasant and good and normal, of course). But when time is limited … I think that’s why programs such as BSF have been so successful, it’s a no-nonsense, serious Bible Study with very little chance to wander. Special fellowship nights are held several times a year just for that. But the weekly study itself is on a sharp time table so all the points and questions are covered.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hate to say it, but I suspect women’s groups are more prone to more talk and less study — we’re more relational (I know that’s a huge generalization) and it just comes so naturally for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Bad news about the garage opener, it’s shot — turns out painter used a cheap model (who knew there was that much difference in those?) from Home Depot so … a whole new unit is required, but at least that would be professional grade & comes with guarantees. The one that’s in now is maybe 2 years old and has been nothing but trouble. 😦 I had Real Estate Guy talk to the Garage Door guy by phone just for a 2nd opinion, he said bite the bullet. This was a cutting-corners job that unfortunately backfired.

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  30. Time to head off to school this sunny morning. I think that I od’ on vitamin C yesterday and my body violently reacted. I won’t be doing that again.
    Now to get all of that school stuff done.

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  31. A kitchen timer would work. After a couple of weeks, they would be conditionally trained to get with it. Trey has me use the timer as a motivator at times to stop piddling and get his school work done. It helps him focus on the task and not dawdle. He will ask me to get it out so he can race against it to get finished.

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  32. That is a very common problem in bible studies. The leader simply has to call the group back to the study over and over (and know when to not be rigid). I am just in a new bible study with my husband and other singles and couples. I have had to bring my husband back to the subject at hand a few times. I later told him that I know how difficult it is to keep a group on task. It is led by our pastor and he tends to tell lots of his own stories. (our first with him and first one together in years) Not quite what I would prefer, but I gain in other ways.

    I would talk to the leader first, but I don’t think it would hurt to bring attention to the time issue when others wander too far off from the purpose of the bible study. Prayer is needed for sure, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Is this a Sunday school class or a Bible study? My Tuesday morning class is THE social event for some of these elderly women–but they’re good about making arrangements to chat and go out to lunch AFTER class. So yes, sometimes we’re late starting, but rarely more than 5-10 minutes. Ministry can happen and I try to be conscious of that..

    I usually break in with, “Meanwhile, back at the Bible study,” and everyone laughs and we’re back on track.

    A Sunday school class, though, is confined by specific hours. I’d switch classes. (Which I’ve done).

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  34. We had that problem in a couple evening home groups I belonged to — there certainly was value to getting to know everyone, but by the time we got to whatever we were supposed to be studying or reading, there was like 10 minutes left!

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  35. Thanks for all the great suggestions! Responding to each of you individually:

    Cheryl: Could you by chance volunteer to “corral” the ladies by getting the prayer requests yourself?

    Excellent idea, as I am currently the one writing down the requests in K’s prayer request notebook, since she broke her arm. She calls me her scribe — maybe I can be her timekeeper then, too, for starting off the gathering of prayer requests. 🙂

    DJ: I suspect women’s groups are more prone to more talk and less study — we’re more relational…

    I agree. I think there’s more of a relational, nurturing aspect that comes into play more often in women’s groups than men’s groups. There are certainly times when a sister in Christ is struggling with something difficult where the rest of us have a good opportunity to come alongside her in a sharing-burdens way. That’s good and biblical, and, like Kathaleena notes, it’s important for a leader to know when to not be rigid.

    The problem, of course, comes when the comfort-giving morphs into anecdote-sharing that may not necessarily apply to what the hurting sister needs most. And even if it does stay relatively on-topic, all the stories could be overwhelming to the one that others are trying to help.

    Kare: You don’t want to hurt others’ feelings but… It is frustrating.

    Exactly. It should be people before things, and time is a thing. Yet, I have to wonder (and this next is not directed to you, Kare, or to anyone else, just further thoughts of mine)…

    …are we putting more emphasis on people and earthly concerns than focusing on Jesus. when so much time is regularly allowed for discussion of cultural matters, our personal worries, etc., and Jesus gets whatever time is left after we air all the thoughts we bring to the Bible study room on any particular day?

    Are we making Jesus peripheral (even though none of us in my study would want that)?

    RKessler: A kitchen timer would work. After a couple of weeks, they would be conditionally trained to get with it.

    Now that’s one practical solution! A good way to get started on time.

    Kathaleena: That is a very common problem in bible studies. The leader simply has to call the group back to the study over and over (and know when to not be rigid).

    My brother sometimes leads Bible studies at his church and says the same. Not easy to do, especially when it’s (on occasion) our mom who is the one who goes off on a tangent…

    Michelle: Is this a Sunday school class or a Bible study?

    Well, it’s called a Bible study, but it’s held on Sundays between the early service and late service, so it might better be called a Sunday School class, with its time constraints. As it happens, no one in the class attends the late service, so there isn’t the added incentive to get finished up before the 10:30 service.

    “Meanwhile, back at the Bible study,”…” LOL! I should try that — I know all the ladies would laugh at that. We do all have a sense of humor. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Shoot! I posted a long comment (with no links), responding to several of you, and my comment disappeared after it posted at 7:05. AJ, can you check your spam filter? It was on-screen with a timestamp, and now is gone. The numbers are off, too. The homepage says there are 56 comments on the daily thread, but the inside page of the daily thread only says “55 comments” at the top, probably because my 7:05 is missing.

    What is it with WordPress lately?

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  37. The problem with staying on the subject must be in women’s classes.
    I have never had a problem keeping my classes on the subject.
    Nor have the teachers in the classes I’ve attended. Sometimes we would talk for five maybe ten minutes, but after we started, it was all business.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 6 Arrows, some of my Sunday morning classes have an email before each session that goes out to class members. Maybe y’all could start doing that with an age date to keep your class on a “productive schedule for the purpose of the class.” We do not have the time frame in our email, but it could be one way to handle your situation.

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  39. Janice, one distinctive of our Bible study group is that we don’t have an agenda or timetable for completing any certain study, or covering a certain amount per session. That can be good or bad. Several of the ladies (I’ll admit I’m one of them) have expressed that they’d rather be in an open-ended study that progresses at its own pace, rather than in one where there’s a rushed, we-have-to-get-done-with-this-amount-of-material-in-one-session format. I’ve been in studies like that, where some members have brought up very interesting subtopics related to the study, and the leader said, “Sorry, we don’t have time to talk about that.” Getting to the end of the printed page on the study worksheet by the end of class was the goal. Which is fine, for those who enjoy a highly-structured study. Emailing an agenda is a great plan for a situation like that.

    I like the flexibility of an open-ended Bible study plan (when it doesn’t head toward anything-goes chat mode). Unfortunately, the open-ended format (no specific amount to cover in a day) can sometimes too easily go onto rabbit trails. If they’re Biblical “rabbit trails,” those can be enriching, but if they’re social rabbit trails (“…the story of David and Goliath reminds me of the time my former neighbor’s cousin’s ex-stepson threw a stone and broke another neighbors’ window, and do you know the sad story of how that boy became an ex-stepson?…”), well, numerous stories like that get tiring in a Bible study context.

    There must be a middle ground somewhere, where time is allowed to look into other areas of Scripture that come up (unplanned) as a natural part of the discussion, but not so open as to allow any and all deviance from the topic at hand, no matter how far afield the comments stray.

    Thank you to all who shared your advice and wisdom. You’ve given me a lot of good possibilities on how to approach this. It was a strangely rough day yesterday, and I didn’t want to stew about this all the way to next Sunday.

    Blessings on your week, everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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