44 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-26-19

  1. I hesitate to say this because it’s none of my business. And I know all of you are smart enough to know this already. But here goes.
    Re: Donna’s neighbor from yesterday:
    Unless you are a carpenter and general handyman, you don’t want to buy a fix-it-up.
    A new house is trouble enough. I know.
    Evidently they didn’t know enough to turn off the water to a running toilet. You have to pay for all that water. The water department doesn’t care how you are using it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good morning! I thought of DJ first thing when I saw the header. It’s lovely.
    We watched the movie UP last night. It was very good.
    I am drinking coffee and hope to wakeup soon. We stayed up too late watching the movie. I have been up for quite awhile since I make eggs for Art before he leaves, but I only made coffee a little while ago. I feel like I have been sleep walking.

    I found out yesterday that a young man in our church, age 23, committed suicide. I am so sad about it. He was a great guy. What his mom wrote about him said he had signs of Aspergers which I did not know. A memorial service is planned for Saturday. It is right before a churchwide picnic. The juxtaposition does not feel right to me. The picnic was planned a long time back at Stone Mountain and afterwards people can watch the laser light show. I just can’t go from a low to a high that quickly. I am undecided now about attending either. I really feel almost sick about this because it reminds me of my cousin who took her life a year and a half ago

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s Fort MacArthur in the foreground, looking at the harbor and, of course, the lighthouse.

    My father would take us on outings Sunday afternoons to the tide pools and a few times down to the breakwater leading up to the lighthouse. We never walked all the way out, but poked along and looked at the large rocks and breathed in the splendid ocean air.

    When I was about eight, I spied a dead cat among the rocks and never wanted to go back again. Curious how memories like that come back so fresh a half-century later.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. DJ,

    Have them check with the water company and tell them there was a leak. I had one in Nashville when I first moved into my house (pipe to the street broke–my very strong hunch is that the previous owners backed their U-Haul up the neighbor’s driveway to our front door to load it, which would have taken them right over the pipe). Not only did I have to replace the pipe, but I had an $800 water bill followed by one almost as much for only a few days of the month (since I fixed it just a few days into the new cycle). But I called the water company and they took my bill down to $25 or whatever they thought it would normally be. I’m guessing not all areas do that, but it’s worth a try. After all, for some people a water bill of that size could be a month’s income, money they simply cannot pay, and there should be a way to “cap” the amount you can be liable for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janice – Just this morning I was praying for protection for Chickadee, whom we strongly suspect has Asperger’s, from suicidal thoughts, particularly from acting upon them (since most of us have those thoughts at one time or another, but it is the acting upon them that is the danger). (This is something I pray occasionally.) I then expanded the prayer to include others.

    Up is the animated one with the grumpy old man and the little boy, right? I think if I were to see that again, the montage of the man with his wife, then losing her and being alone, would just about kill me. It made me cry when I first saw it, and now as a widow, it would carry more of a punch in the gut. (I still feel so disappointed that Hubby and I did not get to grow old together. We would talk about how we would be that cute old couple, holding hands in public and still obviously “in love”.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Have you noticed that a lot of the legalism that is found in strict Christian denominations or cults seems aimed at women? No make-up and no jewelry, for instance.

    I have a couple male friends (formerly from WMB, now on Facebook) who are Mennonites. They are godly men, who obviously love the Lord and His word, so I am not picking on them or their faith. But I feel sorry for the women that I see in photos. The men dress as a lot of men dress, but the women have to wear a particular style of dress that is very plain, and their hair is up in a bun, with a white cap. They stand out in public, whereas the men would fit right in.

    I’ve also seen some photos from weddings. The brides do wear a white gown, but they, too, are very plain – no lace, no eyelet, nothing fancy or ornamental.

    The thing is, women in general want to be pretty. We like a little jewelry and many, but not all, would like to wear at least a little make-up, even if it’s only a little lipstick. I’m no raving feminist, but I feel sorry for many of the women in these kinds of denominations or cults.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Chas, it totally depends on the circumstances whether one wants to buy a fixer-upper. In the case being discussed here, it sounds like they are living in another house while they fix this one up over time. Probably they bought it inexpensively and enjoy fixing it up.

    There are different levels of fixer-upper, of course. Some houses need to be taken back to the studs, and you’d really better know what you are doing to buy one of those. Our condo was a fixer-upper in a lot of ways. Basically it was built in 1980 and it was time to replace a lot of things in it. We paid to have all the flooring and windows replaced, and we bought toilets and vanities and sinks and had those put in by volunteer help. We’re painting and stripping wallpaper, and eventually we will redo the closets. We had an electrician come in and add or replace several light fixtures, we replaced the dishwasher, and we will need to replace one shower before we can use it (that’s the only part of this we didn’t know about). And one of these years (we’re hoping at least two or three down the road) we will need to replace the furnace and a.c. We replaced bedroom doors and all the doorknobs. New towel racks and so on in the bathrooms. I think that’s enough to qualify as some level of fixer-upper.

    Thing is, we got a good price on it since it wasn’t in very good shape. Units that go up for sale sell quickly; they are in demand. What we didn’t want to do is have the seller put in new flooring and cabinets and so forth and then increase the price to pay for it! We preferred to be able to choose what goes in here. Most of these things were going to need to be done anyway, and we did them, and now we mostly have a home that is better than brand-new. (We still have a few things that need to be done.)

    Personally, I don’t like it that the trend in home buying and selling is that the seller fixes it up to sell. It’s quite likely they’ll put some things in it you don’t really like, but you’re paying for it in the price, and when you buy it those things are new and you’re not really inclined to replace them. So you live in it for several years, and then when you’re ready to sell it, you fix it up–maybe the way you would have fixed it up yourself several years ago, if it hadn’t been “fixed up” before you bought it! It just makes more sense for the buyer to be the one fixing it up, and getting it the way they want it, and fixing it while the house is empty before you move in.

    I’ve said before, when I was moving to Nashville, the “wisdom” was for sellers to go with with either hardwood floors or white or off-white carpet. At least 80% of the homes I looked at with carpet had white or off-white carpet. One house they were laying the carpet while we walked through the house! But white was an automatic elimination for me. I didn’t want to pay to have carpet laid, but white was “out.” I wanted to be able to wear my shoes inside if I chose to, and I planned to get a dog. I would have rather had old and slightly dirty carpet than new, off-white carpet. Now, if they priced it and found that new carpet would cost x dollars, and they included in the deal that they would hire the work done and replace the carpet with something of your own choosing, I might have gone for that. But homes with new white carpet didn’t get a second look from me.

    Like

  8. I know a situation intimately, where a preacher broke up a family.
    They used to attend the Church of God (Cleveland, Tn). The women dressed plainly and didn’t cut their hair.
    This preacher was preaching against women wearing jewelry.
    But he was wearing a tie tack and cufflinks.
    She got angry and they stopped going to church.
    The husband has since died, the grown children don’t go to church.
    The lady is active in a Methodist Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Don’t feel too sorry for them, Kizzie. Though we are the minority, there are actually quite a few of us who don’t want to worry about makeup and jewelry. A lot of women like to be around similar women so having a group that believes that way does not hurt as long as they don’t confuse it with salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s actually a good question about why the water was left on (presumably?) between their visits. They were last out there about a month ago. (And the water dept is the one that called them when their bill came through, said something was clearly wrong … they’re negotiating through all that).

    This is a couple who are very handy and house-savvy, he’s an electrician and has always done the work on their house (next door to me) with her as his right hand “man.” They’re knowledgable and hard workers, know a lot about houses. If anyone would be smart in buying a fixer-upper it was them. They also enjoy the challenge & the work from what I can tell — and they have 2 grown sons who have their own families and the idea also was that they’d have full vacation use of it as well.

    She spotted this house in the desert, where they always went camping (but were getting old enough that having an actual 2nd house out there seemed appealing and smart — rather than sleeping in an RV or on the ground). It was built in the ’20s and was in poor condition — which meant it was dirt cheap. They paid cash for it and it became their project for all the years since (she also felt since her husband was heading toward retirement that it might be a good project he’d enjoy, which I think he has, though he’s still working full time in his mid-70s). They also hired a guy out there, Vern, to do work on it and to keep an eye on it in between times when they came out. He’s slow — he’s their “Jerry” — but has been a big help once he is given a little kick-push.

    So it’s been just recently that they’ve had the garage permitted and built, the nice floors put in & she’s been able to order some furniture and appliances to make it an actual home away from home they’ve been able to enjoy.

    It’s a fair question about leaving the water on, though, I’ll learn more about what happened from her later. She said they’re going to bite the bullet and try to get it all fixed before coming back, her husband has the week off.

    As I said, they’re haggling now with the water company and it seems that they won’t have to pay the full bill. And the claim has been filed with their homeowners’ insurance, though there’s the usual concern that now they’ll either raise their rates or cancel the policy. So frustrating that you can’t actually use homeowners’ insurance without worrying about that, but *they* tell you not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary. This is clearly one of those cases., though.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The photo shows the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles and ships coming and going — which is why the water is so calm. It also was a hazy day so it’s not as clear a picture as it normally would be.

    As Michelle pointed out, the housing in the foreground is “Fort Mac” — now housing for Air Force officers who are stationed at the Los Angeles Air Force base about 15 miles north. They have some of the best ocean views in town and it’s a beautiful piece of property. For MacArthur was once an Army base that’s been used now for military housing (as it is here) or as city parkland. Some of the old WWII barracks remain on an adjacent park property, now re-used as artist studios and is still popular for film crews.

    Sterling Holloway and some other actors went through Fort MacArthur as recruits back in the day.

    The early 1900s lighthouse — Angels Gate — is now automated but used to house a lighthouse keeper. I’ve been inside, you have to access it by water taxi and then climb up a ladder on the rocks. It recently was refurbished and painted.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I somehow don’t view the Amish or old-order Mennonite communities in the same way I’d see more recently-formed Christian sects that have strict control of dress. Not sure why, but they do seem to have a long and rather graceful history of living life apart (and the men also dress oddly, of course 🙂 ). We probably romanticize it from the outside, of course.

    But I still remember when the beautifully-shot movie “Witness” came out in the 1990s and a few of us in our modern-day evangelical Quaker meeting thought, oh, how cool to be Amish! lol. We would have lasted maybe a week …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The photo, btw, is actually the view looking east. The *real* ocean, which indeed does crash over the rocky shore, is both to the south and west of this.

    There are old photos of the breakwater rocks being brought in and laid — and residents (in the early 1900s) all out in their long dresses and suits and shade umbrellas with picnic lunches watching from the beach.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Back to the house my neighbors bought, the got it partly because it was a fixer upper — she thought it would be a good project her husband would enjoy as he eased into retirement. He may not agree at this stage. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Some people find great joy in remodeling houses. My parents did so until my dad died. They started with a fixer-upper and then built new; always adding on and fixing up. We built and found that, yes, there are even brand new home requires enough work. Now it all needs work and some updating. We do not enjoy that, but have to do it anyway or sell, as I remind my husband.

    I know too many who have committed suicide. Always so very sad and a reminder to sow seeds of hope. We never know what others are really thinking.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. My neighbors are those people, they love doing that kind of thing, he’s always in his back workshop in the backyard, puttering and putting together this or that. They’ve done a good job on this house in the desert, she shows me photos whenever they return from a trip. But it’s taken a lot longer than they thought it would. 😦 It’s fairly remote, not a lot around them, so they can hear the (more respectful, rural) coyotes howling in the distance and see the stars at night. Plus have their cable TV all hooked up and a nice, new refrigerator and comfy furniture. lol. They’re happy ‘campers’ with it all.

    (They also belong to a gold-panning club which is very active and they meet for potlucks and activities nearby there.)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Morning! Cloudy and warm here this day. Off to a ball game in just a bit.
    Kizzie when we lived in Clemson we attended a little church down the road. The people were lovely and teaching was scripturally sound. However, the women wore no make-up and only dresses and skirts. I walked in with my make-up and while I wore dresses on Sunday morning, during our Bible Studies I wore my jeans. They loved me anyway and never ever tried to dissuade me. The Pastor, his wife and her two siblings came out to CO the year we moved here for a visit….how we loved them so…..

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Today is oldest child’s birthday. He is thirty nine. What??? That means youngest bio is thirty three so all of them have now lived longer outside our home than in it.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Mumsee – I know there are a lot of women who don’t want to fuss with make-up or jewelry. One of my dear friends from years ago (whom I still see on Facebook) has short-cropped hair and usually wears t-shirts with sweatpants and sneakers. Quite frankly, I’m sure some mistake her for a lesbian now and then. But she has been happily married for over 30 years, with two great now-grown children. Her husband is a great guy who treats her like a lady.

    My point about those women in certain denominations or cults is that they do not have the choice to be fancy or be casual or whatnot. Their manner of dress is somehow tied to their religion, and I’m sure they have scriptures that are misused to enforce it. I suspect there are some young girls and women who would love to wear a prettier dress, and maybe a little make-up and jewelry, and wear their hair in a pretty hairstyle (or cut it) who feel much guilt for wanting those things, or end up doubting their faith altogether.

    DJ – The Mennonite men I “know” on Facebook wear shirts and jeans, and they don’t wear the hats that the Amish wear, or have the beards. They could fit in anywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I am still feeling quite low about the death of the young man, Noah. I will go to the prayer meeting after a bit and may feel better after praying in a group over it. I am still at the halfway point of accepting that it really happened.

    When we were watching Up I thought about Art’s back troubles and how much the feeble couple resembled us. I did not cry over the film. We will probably watch the movie Departures tonight and it will make me cry. I will be glad for Wesley to finally see it. I had to get it sent from the main library to our branch.

    I have a number to call for someone who does home renovations. Now I just have to be brave.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Janice – I understand. For a while after X’s aunt committed suicide by hanging, I felt sick to my stomach any time I though about it. Thinking about the moments leading up to it, and what her last thoughts may have been, haunted me for a while.

    Like

  22. Kizzie,

    Generally, if it is an actual Christian group, they wear those clothes because they like them, they are comfortable, and they believe they are called to do so. Including, at times, head coverings.
    In a non Christian cult pretending to be Christian, a lot of it is forced.
    But many women like to dress quite conservatively and it is comfortable to be with others of like mind. They don’t complain about others’ choices, this is theirs. As NancyJill mentioned, they will love on you whatever you wear, celebrating your desire to be closer to the Lord. I have met and discussed this issue with a number of them.

    I have a daughter who really does not like to dress up. She does not like the look or feel comfortable. And does not want jewelry. Another likes to dress up and we have to keep her in check a bit. Everyone is different but it is nice to be with those with similar ideas.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. My friend’s mom, who lived next door to my mom, shot herself and it was definitely something that haunted us all for some time. 😦 I’m sorry, Janice, it’s even harder with someone so young.

    And even learning that a former resident/owner of my house hung herself in the garage caused me some unrest. How sad and desperate she must have been (though neighbors who also lived her then and knew her well are still convinced it was a homicide staged by her verbally (at least) abusive husband).

    New photo is the park overlooking the Pacific & Catalina Island; photo is looking south. It’s a popular spot for kite flying as it’s always windy up there. The view is beautiful. This was a less-than spectacular day although Catalina is quite visible which isn’t always the case.

    “UP” was a sweet movie, but sad during the first 10-20 minutes or so as I recall.

    The modest or “plain” dress among some believers goes back a ways to the Puritans & early Quakers as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Yes, Methodists were quite plain in their beginnings. A lot of Non-Conformists in England seemed to be bitten with the ‘plain’ bug. Quakers were another plain dressing group – but I believe some of that was pre-socialism, as it were, as dress style indicated social status, and Quakers were all about flattening out the social classes. That is also why they used the informal singular pronouns ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ rather than the formal singular – which also could be plural – pronouns ‘ye’ and ‘you’ (carryover from the French of the Norman invasion, as French still has the informal singular ‘tu’ and the formal singular or plural ‘vous’ – Spanish has a similar set up with ‘tu’ and ‘vosotros’).

    As for modern Amish and Old Order Mennonites, Second In-law is from an Old Order Mennonite family, and he would very bluntly state that their old fashioned ways hide a grim reality. Those nice, old fashioned dress styles? His father wanted his sisters to wear the Old Order dress (virtually indistinguishable from Amish dress). His sisters, who worked at factory jobs as many Mennonites and Amish do, requested that they be allowed to wear modern clothing because it was safer. They were not talking about the risks of getting caught in machinery. One of the rules of women’s clothing for both Old Order and Amish, is no buttons, as they are worldly. The dresses are held together by pins, and due to the style of the dresses, there are openings between the side and front panels of the dress bodices. The men working on the lines with them knew about those openings and used them to reach over and grope the women working beside them on the line.

    There is an enormous amount of sexual abuse and sexual sin that goes on unchecked within the closed communities of the Old Order. I have a cousin married to a man who was removed from a very abusive Mennonite household as a child and placed in foster care along with his sibling. The elders of the Old Order and Amish community rule absolutely over the community and abuse can on unchecked over generations. The rules the elders think of are frequently absurd. Second In-law, who has family connections to the Mexican Mennonite community, often relates how the elders in Mexico that although the Mennonites could use tractors, they could not use rubber tires. The metal wheels packed the earth, making it untillable. The resulting farming failure led to some Mexican Mennonites turning to the drug trade. Yes, Mennonites are running drugs from Mexico: https://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2016-2017/the-mennonite-connection

    Like

  25. The outfits are cute and quaint, but are probably uncomfortable. And they wouldn’t go with my dangly California turquoise-and-silver earrings.

    And as roscuro points out, it’s the people who ruin it all anyway. 😦

    Interesting how those threads (pun!) of legalism, including in how we can or can’t dress, somehow always convinces us it’ll kill our sin. If only it were all that simple …

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Any attempt to abolish sin through obeying rules in one’s own strength is doomed to not just failure (Colossians 2:20-23), but actually increased sin. That is what Paul is talking about it Galatians 5:
    ‘You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace…
    ‘You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from the One who called you….
    ‘For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love…
    ‘I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
    ‘Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.’
    Legalism and gross abuse go hand in hand, whether it is in a program like ATI, or an Old Order community, or a Orthodox Jewish community, or an Islamic community. Seeking to attain righteousness by the works of the flesh leads to the fruit of the flesh.

    Many of the sins in that list in Ephesians are ones that Second In-law has reported as being prevalent in the Old Order. His own father was addicted to alcohol and repeatedly unfaithful to his mother. Relative after relative of his have been survivors of abuse or, in some cases, perpetrators (he has an elder sibling that he will not allow near his children). Second In-law, and his sisters, whom I know, are not the only witnesses to the widespread and deep seated abuse of the Plain communities. This article contains a brief but extremely graphic and disturbing detail of abuse, but it also shows the underlying mindset of abusers within the Old Order community: https://www.apnews.com/3000fa23351b4d28b1e49c439d0063e9
    From the story, for those who want to avoid the graphic detail:
    ‘The pressure to stay together did not fade when Shirk was charged with child sex crimes in October 2000. He confessed during an interview with police and pleaded guilty the following month to four misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to five years of probation and 15 years on Pennsylvania’s sex offender registry.

    ‘“I never knew there was anything like this that you could get into so much trouble,” Shirk said. “I never knew it was so much trouble in all my life.”

    ‘He was appalled by the court system, law enforcement, child services.

    ‘“This got way out of hand,” he said. “For a little bit of touching that I did wrong. I know that it can be a big emotional thing for the girl, and it can affect their life ever after and stuff like that, and I don’t want to belittle what I did.”

    ‘But, he said, the state doesn’t know how to handle “these things.”

    ‘“There is no forgiveness for one thing,” he said. “The state has no forgiveness, and therefore the church has no forgiveness, because the state is on their case that they’ll put the preacher in jail if they don’t report it.”

    ‘In this case, the church leaders Shirk confessed to did not face charges.

    ‘Some men in the Mennonite community have told Shirk they’re sorry for what he’s gone through, he said, and confided that they’ve committed similar acts.

    ‘“They said they were glad their situation didn’t get into the public like mine did,” he said. He added later: “I believe they were repentant of what they’d done and that they were living a good life.”

    ‘Shirk said he stopped molesting children after his confession in the church. But if he could do it over, Shirk said, he would not confess in church. Instead, he’d find a friend to confide in, and he’d ask that man to help him stop, to hold him accountable without triggering the state’s justice system.

    ‘“I believe what they’re doing to men is way far worse,” he said. “I mean, my daughters that I molested, yeah, as far as I know they are living a normal life. But I sure am not.”

    ‘After his conviction, Shirk was banned from seeing the children.’

    That is how abusers think – they are always more sorry that they got caught and suffered consequences than for what they did. That is why those who commit abuse can never be sheltered by the Church, for doing so will simply make the problem worse.

    Like

  27. Oh Jo! Asking the Lord to give you relief and healing for the journey!
    Baseball game was fun. I didn’t see much of it as I was talking with my friend and husband and her husband didn’t see much due to their talking! It’s all about the fellowship anyway…and the “Vibes” lost. Their mascot…a huge s’more with flames coming out of his head…yeah…hard to get excited about that one! They played against the Utah Raptors…wonder what their mascot is?! 😜

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Kim, Friday is the surgery? Thyroid?

    Jo, hoping and praying you feel better and the ‘twinge’ in your back heals quickly.

    Like

  29. Janice, what are you going to be doing to your house?

    I’d wanted to buy one of the small California El Camino Real bells to attach maybe near the front or back door or on the front porch of my house — but I see they’ve fallen into political incorrectness.

    The bells line some of our freeways in LA, they were markers between the California missions.

    Like

  30. Roscuro is correct about the Amish leaders controlling everything concerning clothing. Some Amish move just so they can go to a more conducive church to their desires. Mrs L grew up in an area with a large Old Order population. One family moved to Kentucky so they could have electricity and still be Old Order.

    As for dress, I have been around enough to tell the difference between an Old Order Amish, a Mennonite, and an “English”. Mainly it is in the color. Old Order have plain cloths, usually dark blue or grey. Mennonites have similar clothing, but have brighter colors (depending on how “liberal” they are) and patterns like floral dresses for women and plaid or checkered shirts for the men.And of course, the rules vary from group to group or region to region. In Iowa near my in-laws, some of the Old Order Amish are allowed cell phones, other churches have “phone booths”. You’ll see them now and then on the back roads you see what looks like an outhouse right by the road, but it’s a wooden phone booth. Individuals can’t own phones, but the church can.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. We had Amish near us where we used to live, and I find the lifestyle interesting but not romantic and not attractive–it’s a substitute for the Gospel.

    The ones near us could have electricity and/or cell phones, for business purposes but not in the home. We have a set of Amish-made bookcases, and my husband would call when he wanted work done (we got some additional shelves made after we married). They couldn’t drive cars, but they could hire drivers. So we often had them in our local restaurants and in our Wal-Mart.

    Recently I edited an “Amish romance,” and of course you were supposed to be rooting for the heroine to agree to become Amish so she could marry the handsome dude. I wasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.