Our Daily Thread 7-4-19

Good Morning!

It’s Independence Day!


Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

“Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.”

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world……..”


Anyone have a QoD?

68 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-4-19

  1. Happy Fourth of July! (That is a sentiment everyone can share, whether or not the Fourth is a holiday where you live!) And first.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. USA is 243 years old.
    I wish her another 243. Thought I doubt it.
    Good morning everyone but Jo.
    Celebrate with us Jo. It hasn’t started yet.
    I’m flying my flag, that’s about all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy Independence Day!! 🇺🇸 As we celebrate this day may we continue to pray for our country. That her people will turn hearts back to their Creator….we are living in tenuous times my friends. Our flag is flying high out by the road this morning!
    We are heading over to our friend’s home in a few hours…I am taking a cheese log with Cranberry Pepper topping…and a lemon meringue pie…what a combination!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have a conflict: Whether to follow Kim or NancyJ to their celebrations.
    We never had traditional dinners for the fourth.
    Except when I was very young, I remember the men would be up all night making a Bar-B -Q for a dinner the next day. I was allowed to stay up until about ten, on night.
    They were enjoying themselves. About four if I remember correctly.
    Some of my uncles owned a meat distribution business in those days. “Shull and Moak Sausage”. They sold it to a larger company that degraded the product by taking out the best part of the hog and selling it separately.
    Most people don’t know what they are getting when they buy sausage.
    Leme just say: The best part is sold as ham and pork chops..

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My best memories of July 4th would be when we all gathered at Uncle Bud’s farm in Ohio. He raised corn…what else in Ohio!? Sitting outside of the farmhouse we would take turns churning the homemade ice cream…kids all running around…the men playing horseshoes and the women holding their gab fest in and around the kitchen. You’ve just never tasted fresh creamed corn until you had Aunty Gladys’ delightful concoction!! Sweet memories….

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  6. All we ever did was grill burgers and hotdogs and shoot off fireworks, before going to the big city display at the university stadium. We never paid to get in but would park in the neighborhood next to it and watch the air show. There were things going on in the stadium we couldn’t see, but the air display was usually awesome.

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  7. Those were good days when men could talk politics with each other without getting angry. I’m not sure when that changed. Much of it is due to Obama, but he only made it worse. He didn’t start it. In fact, I suspect Obama is a consequence.
    As is Trump.
    Trump is a radical. He turns a lot of people off. But I think he is what we need.

    The USA is the great experiment of mankind. The foundation is the concept that people can govern themselves. It has created what is undeniable, regardless of how (insert your own epithet here) Keapernick and others think.
    America did at one time have slaves. But America was among the first nation to free them. Other cultures still have them.
    A free people with an elected legislative body and written constitution is one of the great experiments of mankind.
    It may not last.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Enjoy the 4th of July.

    Jo, the Australians celebrate their national holiday on January 26, called, prosaically, Australia Day. The date marks the 1788 arrival of the first British fleet at what became Fort Jackson, New South Wales. The British were seeking to establish a penal colony, so Australians are essentially celebrating the founding of a prison, which considering that about 20 percent of the Australian population is descended from convicts sent to that penal colony, makes sense.

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  9. I see some of my staunch conservative friends are upset at Nike for changing their minds about putting the Betsy Ross flag on sneakers. And I understand that a lot of that anger is directed at Colin Kaepernick for his stance on that.

    But. . .wouldn’t putting the flag, even the Betsy Ross one, on sneakers go against the Flag Code? (See “Respect for Flag, #176.)


    A few years ago, I saw something that skewered some conservatives for declaring their respect for the flag, all the while going against the Flag Code by wearing flag apparel or using paper napkins with the flag on them.


  10. Having the flag on our feet does not sound very respectful to me. (But yes, I guess that that is not the reason that Nike changed their minds. It is the actual reason they changed their minds that has many people upset.)


  11. Peter @ 10:08 AMEN
    Karen, it isn’t that the flag is on a shoe. I think it was a stupid idea to start.
    It’s the reason for pulling it.
    We all know that Kapernick hates America, but not enough to go back to Africa.
    He wants them not to have brought his ancestors here in the first place.

    I don’t know why Frederick Scholl came to America in 1721, I do know that he thought a new start here was better than what he had in Germany.
    America was settled by that kind of person.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. QoD: Reading the opening of the Declaration of Independence, which I have read before, I am again struck by how much the founders of the U.S.A. were influenced by John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government: https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson’s “All men are created equal” is a rewording of Locke’s “all men are by nature equal”: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm. The opening phrases of the Declaration of Independence have influenced many a government’s constitution and the idea of humanity being endowed with inalienable rights has been propagated to the extent that the United Nations now has a mandate to protect human rights around the globe. The Declaration, based on Locke’s ideas, has been a extremely influential document in the 143 since its approval. It might be said that the Declaration of Independence was the crowning document of the Enlightenment.

    But, the Enlightenment movement, which elevated human reason, has long been criticized by Christians as falling short in its assessment of human nature. As interesting a document as Locke’s treatise is and as many good things as it has to say, it is a product of the Enlightenment. Though it recognizes a Creator, it fails to acknowledge that man has rebelled against the Creator. Locke speaks of humans being heirs of Adam, noting that “Adam was created a perfect man, his body and mind in full possession of their strength and reason, and so was capable, from the first instant of his being to provide for his own support and preservation, and govern his actions according to the dictates of the law of reason which God had implanted in him.” But Locke never mentions Adam’s fall and the necessity for a second Adam, Jesus Christ. Bypassing the person of Christ entirely, Locke argues that humans are still in the state Adam was in at Creation and derives all his ideas regarding human rights and limitations of government from that premise.

    Locke is uses the word ‘right’ over 250 times in his treatise, almost all of them used in the sense of a birthright of each human. As I reread the list of rights that Jefferson highlighted, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, I find myself asking, are they really rights according to the words of the Creator Himself? And are rights really the right foundation for human interactions and an adequate limitation to human behaviour?

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  13. I was going to parody the old joke and say, “it’s the fourth of July everywhere” but I guess it’s actually not where Jo is.


  14. The fit of the piano in our living room will be no problem. S gave me what’s called a piano mat to take home that shows the dimensions and cut of each size of grand Young Chang makes. The piano I’m getting is the smallest grand they make. We laid the mat out on the floor when we got home last night, positioning a little of it under our present vertical piano, because the place we’ll put the new grand will slightly overlap with where the other is now, and the grand really won’t come out too far into what are now the fairly ample walking spaces between furniture.

    Hubby and I both wondered if a grand of any size would be too big for our living room space (and there really is no other good space anywhere else in the house for it), so being able to take that mat home first was very helpful in our deciding that having this piano will work.

    The piano’s finish, and especially its tone, is beautiful! I can’t tell you what a joy it was to hear it for the first time yesterday at the store. And it was placed on a wood floor, not carpet, which gave me a good idea of what it would sound like at home, since we have laminate wood flooring in our living room.

    3rd and 6th Arrows took turns playing it yesterday at the store, too, so I walked around to different areas of the store while they played, to hear what it sounded like from a distance.

    Oh my! Gorgeous sound wherever I stood! Of course the acoustical properties of our upstairs, where the piano will be, won’t be an exact match, but everything about it (except a squeaky pedal, which can be fixed easily) — its tone, its touch, and its look, is simply wonderful.

    I feel so blessed.

    Liked by 8 people

  15. Oh, and DJ, S told me that he and his wife bought this instrument at a piano show in Los Angeles. So the piano that will soon be sitting in a Midwestern living room was once in your neck of the woods. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Kizzie,

    Flag code?

    That’s so yesterday. They stopped enforcing that when the Supreme Court said it could be burned as a political statement. It made it moot.


  17. So happy to hear of your new piano!! I have always loved a grand piano. We have what they consider an “upright grand”. We purchased it years ago from a now out of business piano shoppe in the Springs. Jim Brickman would have this very same piano delivered to his room to practice upon when in town for concerts…oh so we were told 😊 🎹
    Oh I believe I must have gone against the “flag code” many times in my teens….I had a woven purse that looked like a flag and I do recall one of the patches sewn onto my jeans looked like a flag….hippie days…anything goes….(but I intended no disrespect!)

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  18. Happy Fourth! A good day to remind ourselves of the good.

    Like Kizzie, I remember the days when the flag image could / should not be worn as clothing not so long ago. That’s rarely remembered and it’s one of the things that has changed so most of us don’t even notice when flag apparel is worn on T-shirts, scarves or even shoes, though I suppose I’d personally still not go there. I used to have a Betsy Ross flag I’d fly from my house (I have a flag pole on one of the porch posts but haven’t put anything in it in a while — I should have thought to do that this year but I didn’t; other than the U.S. flag I’d usually put up one of those decorative ‘garden’ or holiday theme type flags that were very popular out here 20 years ago).

    I always associate the Fourth with hotdogs and potato salad. We’d usually go to the local park and watch the fireworks, it was free. Ever since I’ve had dogs, I typically spend the Fourth in as it’s an upsetting night for them — I can see the fireworks from the beach from my house, though. And, a result of one of the good changes in our new work regime, most of us were OK’d to take Friday, the day after the Fourth, off as a vacation day so it’s a wonderful & rare 4-day weekend for me.

    For a number of years, mostly through the 1990s and early 2000s, I’d watch the Fourth of July show from Washington, D.C. (and, in my defense of my political thread comments yesterday, I never remembered a president ever having any kind of presence there, which made it a completely nonpartisan show, and appropriately so, I thought).

    Chas wonders when the intense political tension here began and it has been long-standing (though seems now to be at a peak). It probably goes back to the 60s and, with a few calm years in between, has been building ever since, I’d say. I think it probably noticeably intensified during W’s term (I actually wondered if he wouldn’t be assassinated before his term was over) and we’ve been on a trajectory ever since that has landed us where we are now. It feels like we’re in a civil war without the actual physical combat.

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  19. Oh Nancyjill, wearing jean flag patches … 🙂

    And I remember the flag burning issue. I actually supported that decision (and still do), as falling under free speech. But while one *can* do it, one (of good character) *shouldn’t* do it. I used to drive another reporter in to work back then, he was quite liberal, and joked that he and his friends, to celebrate the decision, were planning to burn a flag at the beach. He quickly picked up on my disapproval and changed the subject.

    Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. That’s when personal character and regard for symbols and others’ feelings should guide our actions.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. I’m happy for you Six.
    I think Donna is mostly correct.
    I break the flag code all the time.
    Code says you don’t fly it at night without a light shining on it.
    I just don’t take mine down. I will Saturday evening.
    Maybe Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 🙂 Ha! I corrected the absence of the word *years, but not the number of years. I do know 1776 was 243 years ago, but my fingers keeping typing 1 instead of 2 – I did it again while typing this comment, and had to go back and correct it.

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  22. I wonder if many of the flag code rules started getting more widely broken (in terms of night-time, unlighted use) post 9/11. At that point, everyone went out and got flags to fly, many for the first time probably.

    There was a house in our neighborhood I’d pass by on dog walks that had a huge flag pole in the front yard with an inscription plaque engraved into the base. I’d always wondered about it and then did a story interviewing a man whose son was MIA in Vietnam (as of that time his remains had not been found and I’m not sure they ever were).

    Turns out that used to be their house and he put the flag up in honor of his missing son.

    The father died some years ago and at some point the house was sold again (the father hadn’t lived there in years but subsequent owners left the flag in place); the flag pole was removed by the more recent owners.

    That was such a sad story to do, the father was still so heartbroken after all those years and cried easily during the interview; but the story turned up someone else in town who had the boy’s name on her MIA bracelet, one of those that were mass produced and handed out back in the 1970s. She still had it and had no idea the name on her bracelet was for a boy in her own home town.

    And I was sorry to see the huge flag pole removed from their old house. I wonder what became of it …

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  23. And there was a stationary spotlight that shined onto that flag so it flew 24/7. I can understand if a subsequent homeowner didn’t want that in their front yard, but it’s interesting that it nevertheless survived there so long after the family left.

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  24. We just had a pretty good-sized earthquake out in the desert (6.6) but it was felt far and wide, a long, very deep rolling action that had everyone’s chandeliers a-swaying.

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  25. Poor Carol, she becomes very agitated with earthquakes and seems convinced the big one is right around the corner. I keep telling her (she’s a NY native, remember) that we Californians have been hearing that since the 1970s. You learn to pace yourself when it comes to earthquake angst and agitation.

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  26. Liked by 4 people

  27. Thanks, everybody, about the piano. We’re happy and excited here, too. 🙂

    The new piano is of cherry wood with a satin, rather than glossy, finish, which I’m glad of. A black piano can look classy and sharp in the right surroundings, but I think would be too overpowering for the overall color/feel of our living room, which is more muted, with a couple little pops of color. The piano’s color looks a lot more homey than a polished ebony would look, at least in our house.

    It’s also in a French Provincial style, apparently. I don’t know exactly what that means, but the legs are both sturdy and elegantly curved.

    And its tone is round and mellower than my present piano, which has naturally become brighter and harder on the ears as it has aged.

    This new piano is so fitting in many ways. I’m glad my husband got the ball rolling that paved the way for us to get this new piano. The timing of these conversations he had with S and of that piano coming back to them in between the two conversations was amazing.

    Plus, receiving a financial gift a few months ago that my husband agreed could be put toward the purchase price of a piano in the future, was another blessing. I had no idea that a new (or new-to-me, as this grand will be) and significant upgrade would be possible so soon, this grand being both high-quality and even more inexpensive than a new studio or upright vertical piano would be.

    A simply solid and beautiful instrument, and tone to match. I’m so grateful for how God worked out all of this.

    Liked by 8 people

  28. I made an embarrassing faux pas, regarding the flag, years ago when I was a school teacher. I directed a musical one year in which the two main characters were from different countries. The American flag, among others, was on display during one of the dance scenes, propped against a set, I think, and the flagpole slipped to the floor during the musical number. No one took it off the floor after that — in my naivete, I didn’t even know that a flag on the floor was considered disrespectful. Someone from the audience told me later that seeing that flag just lying there, unmoved, bothered him and wasn’t proper form.

    I’m glad he told me, but it was embarrassing that I didn’t know enough to get that picked up as soon as possible, or to have displayed it properly in the first place so that it wouldn’t have fallen to the floor.

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  29. I am tired. Second had to go somewhere and took Sixth with her, leaving Tiny Niece to be watched by my mother. Someone phoned my mother and talked a while, so I ended up watching Tiny Niece, who was playing under the canopy of maples we have next to the house. It is very hot and humid right now, but it was cooler under the trees. Tiny expressed a desire to eat lunch outside on her little picnic table, so she did, and for desert, she and I picked and ate some of the tiny wild strawberries that grow in a large patch on the front lawn. Then I read her the first chapter of The Good Master. Although barely three, her vocabulary and imagination are advanced enough to be able to follow longer stories that do not have pictures on every page, and her mother has been reading books like Little House on the Prairie to her for several months now. All the nieces who were the firstborn were similarly advanced in language and the ability to enjoy complex stories – I remember Eldest Niece’s father read her The Lord of the Rings when she was around five. Tiny said to me when the chapter was finished, “We’ll read more tomorrow.” She is having quiet time now, so I am resting too.

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  30. Oh, I forgot the best part. In between lunch and story reading, when we came in from eating wild strawberries, my father had started washing up the breakfast and lunch dishes. Tiny Niece immediately said she would dry the dishes, and got her little stool and a towel and dried all that she could, and then helped put them away. Since she was a just able to walk and reach up to the counter with her fingertips, she has helped clear away cutlery and dishes, but Sixth has begun honing in on her territory, as he helps clear away now, so Tiny has moved onto more advanced tasks. They are never assigned to her – she comes and asks to help.

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  31. There seems to be no reports of damage — even my neighbor whose 2nd house is near the epicenter said she contacted neighbors out there who didn’t report damage, either.

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  32. 6, I share your excitement about the piano. I dream of a baby grand piano someday.

    My parents have the same upright grand that they got when Eldest Sibling first started taking piano lessons. It was an old piano to begin with and actually has ebony black keys and ivory plates for the white keys; but now the soundboard is cracked, several hammers have snapped off and been glued, it is badly out of tune, and not a few of the ivory plates have become un-glued (they must have had a special glue for ivory, because we have tried several types of glue to stick the ivory back on with only brief success). The last time it was properly tuned, the tuner said that it was probably the last time it could be tuned, so fragile were its inner workings. It was hard on my parents’ bank account then to have it tuned, and things have only gotten more precarious for them since. They are currently trying to scrape together enough to pay for a new furnace, as theirs quit at the tail end of last winter. The Seconds try to help, but Second In-law’s job in a cheese factory pays barely above minimum wage, and supplies such as diapers and wipes do not come cheap. So, a new piano is only a pipe dream at this point.


  33. I just got a phone call to interview for a position I applied to. Interview is on Monday. Pray for the Lord’s will to be done. This would be very close to my parents’ place.

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  34. Correction: There does seem to be damage in the immediate earthquake area — mostly fires and downed power lines.

    I shared this on the political thread, but since the Declaration was discussed here I thought I’d bring it over here as well; it helps when we keep things in the big-picture perspective, I think:

    — Post from our former copy editor chief, now retired — a U.S. history buff who still teaches college classes but spends his summers traveling the nation’s historic sites:

    ~ Philadelphia printer and newspaper publisher John Dunlap had a busy day after the Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 — he was the person charged with printing the first official version of the document so that it could get into circulation. Printers and newspapers across the colonies were key in stirring the people on both sides of the dispute with London as the colonies moved toward this break. As James Madison would say years later, the press had its abuses, but we wouldn’t have a country without it. ~

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  35. The summer I was 16 would have probably been our first or probably second with a TV, the summer Olympics were on, and Mary Lou Retton (also 16) was America’s sweetheart. And my mother was absolutely scandalized that the American gymnasts wore the American flag, basically wrapping the flag around their crotch and having no idea how disrespectful it was to do so. Apparently it had just been decided somewhere that it was OK to put the flag on clothing. She might have thought that the flag on a T-shirt was borderline, but the flag as leotard was way over the top. I tend to agree with her.

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  36. Roscuro – A friend on Facebook, who used to be a regular on the WMB (Kyle A.), had some posts about the meaning of this day, and one was specifically about the Declaration of Independence itself. I posed your question there, and this is his reply:

    “Life — God gave us life. Life and death are in His hands. He forbids murder.

    Liberty — God is sovereign. No human being should claim sovereignty over another human being because that would usurp God’s rightful position. Although slavery was permitted in the Bible, it was a somewhat limited form of slavery, and it was to end in Israel during the Jubilee year.

    Pursuit of Happiness — Our highest happiness is found in glorifying God. In order to glorify God, we must be free to do so. In order to obey His commandments out of love, we must be free to do so.

    In short, acknowledging the rights of other human beings is acknowledging God rather than oneself as sovereign over us all.”

    Liked by 3 people

  37. DJ, Tiny is allowed to play quietly during quiet time, which she likes to spend surrounded by her favourite stuffed animals and toys. I heard her playing quietly for a while, but when I passed by the room to tell my parents the news about the interview, she was fast asleep among her toys.

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  38. Janice, I am sorry to hear of your continuing eye problems. I hope and pray you’ll find good help and restoration of good vision.

    Roscuro, praying for your job interview Monday.

    Tiny Niece sounds like a load of fun. 🙂

    As my daughter’s due date draws ever closer, I find myself wondering what unique little traits my granddaughter will have. I see toddler girls here and there, and I think, will daughter’s little one look like that, act cute like that, etc. etc…?

    And yesterday, after we knew getting the new piano would be a go, I realized that this summer — maybe even this month — I will be getting my first baby grand and my first grandbaby. 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

  39. We went to my brother’s for a hamburger cookout. We had slaw and fresh green beans he had picked this morning. His neighbor stopped by for a burger. It was very hot so we stayed indoors for our meal. We came back home pretty soon after our meal. I am just tired from dealing with my eyes. It will soon be time for my next application of drops. Miss Bosley is glad I and my lap are keeping her company.

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  40. Kizzie, you don’t need to post these in reply to Kyle (wouldn’t want you to end up in a debate by proxy) but here are my thoughts on each point:

    “Life — God gave us life. Life and death are in His hands. He forbids murder.”
    I agree with this point, but I would point out that, as Kyle says, life is a gift from God. This does not automatically make it a right. The command not to kill other humans places a responsibility on each human to not take the life of other humans, but does not endow humans with a right to live. The point may seem a fine one, but if life is a right, then it is not a gift. The utmost that could be drawn regarding human rights from Genesis 9:6, where God forbids the killing of humans, is that humans do not have a right to take human life. The gift of life results not in a right to have life, but in a responsibility not to take it (Genesis 4:9-10).

    “Liberty — God is sovereign. No human being should claim sovereignty over another human being because that would usurp God’s rightful position. Although slavery was permitted in the Bible, it was a somewhat limited form of slavery, and it was to end in Israel during the Jubilee year.”
    This sounds very much like what John Locke said about human government. But we know from Scripture that God grants humans authority over other humans (e.g. Roman 13:1-7). Even Locke ran into difficulties with his position in the matter of children and parents, which he got around by saying that children were not yet fully endowed with human rights while immature (Locke probably did not foresee the abortion debate) and that to honour one’s parents was a law of nature. Furthermore, to address Kyle’s point on slavery, when Paul and Peter addressed the matter of servants and masters in their epistles (I Corinthians 7:20-24, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1, I Peter 2:18), they were not talking to slaves who were under the Jewish law of Moses. There was no Jubilee in the Roman system of slavery. Finally, the Bible is abundantly clear that liberty is only to be found in Christ, any other state being slavery to sin (Romans 6-8, Galatians 5:13, I Peter 2:13-17). To quote the passage from Peter on what liberty looks like in the Christian life:
    “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
    Even in liberty, there is responsibility.

    Pursuit of Happiness — Our highest happiness is found in glorifying God. In order to glorify God, we must be free to do so. In order to obey His commandments out of love, we must be free to do so.
    Here we come to a distinction that Pastor A always used to draw, of the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is an emotional response, triggered by circumstances. Joy is a state of being that exists in response to faith in God’s goodness, even when circumstances are painful, as described in I Peter 1:3-9:
    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
    “Rejoice evermore”, Paul commands (I Thessalonians 5:16). Happiness is a transient emotion, easily lost in adverse circumstances. Joy is a command, another responsibility, and one only truly found, once again, in Christ.

    Humans are endowed by their Creator with a gift of life and a responsibility to find liberty and joy in His Son Jesus Christ. The philosophers and thinkers of the Enlightenment, wise as they often seemed, laid aside the Son, so it is no wonder the heirs of their carefully reasoned systems have forgotten both Son and Father (I John 2:23).


  41. I put the primer onto the little wooden gardening stool (and a portion of paint on me as well); as it dried, I went to Home Depot to pick up some brush cleaner and other supplies.

    Now for the top (turquoise) coat.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. There was, on FoxNews a brief showing of Mike Pence awarding citizenship to people from 29 different countries.
    When I was working in astrotopography at DMA, we had a professor who had emigrated from Egypt working for us one summer. ( He was from Purdue and is the reason I selected Purdue for a master’s degree.)
    Anyhow. Dr. Ed became a citizen during that time. It is amazing how important that is to someone who can become an American. I understand why everyone in the world wants to come here.
    And how blessed we are.

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Amen, Chas.

    I heard only part of the speech. He gives good speeches. Now if he can avoid launching the twitter bombs in the aftermath … 🙂

    I got the top coat (turquoise — “Gulf Stream”) on the bench, it’ll need a 2nd coat though. I love the color, it’s just what I’d been looking for as an accent to the Brandywine house color; very festive combination.

    While I now have white and turquoise paint on my hands, I am happy that I do not have turquoise dogs.

    My mom used to manage to get paint on the dogs during her various projects, it’s something of a family tradition.

    But I do still have a second coat to apply — and fluffy tails can be busy tails.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Roscuro – Kyle would probably enjoy a good discussion with you if you were friends on Facebook. And he would probably agree with much of what you wrote. He is one of my more intellectual and deep-thinking friends, as are you. He is one of my small handful of friends whose Facebook posts elicit thoughtful, respectful discussion and debate.

    I would say that what Kyle wrote was his thought in a nutshell, not fleshed out. Since I don’t want to try to answer for him, the replies I will give will be my own interpretation.

    ~The idea of rights is something that we recognize is due each other. This may be a matter of semantics, but since we agree that we basically have no actual rights before God – He can do what He chooses to do in our lives – the “rights” He gives us are rights we are to acknowledge in each other. They are meant for the horizontal relationships, not the vertical one. (That doesn’t sound quite right, but I know what I mean. 😀 )

    ~I think his mention of the Year of Jubilee was about what God instituted for the Israelites. Although it was eventually forgotten or ignored (as by the Romans) it was still God’s will that slaves not be slaves forever.

    ~Even in liberty/freedom, there is still a degree of authority in each of our lives. The responsibility of an authority is to be just and to not curtail the general liberty of those “under” him more than necessary. Although children are supposed to obey their parents, God also tells fathers not to exasperate their children. Wives are supposed to be respectful and submissive to their husbands, but husbands are supposed to love their wives enough to give up their lives for them. Peter says that a man is to show understanding and honor to his wife, and if not, his prayers will be hindered.

    ~Yes, there is responsibility in liberty. We are talking liberty, not license. One person’s liberty cannot trample on another person’s liberty.

    ~As for happiness vs. joy, I understand and agree. Kyle did refer to “Our highest happiness” which “is found in glorifying God”. I take that as a reference to joy. But note that it is the pursuit of happiness that is mentioned, not that we have a right to happiness itself. That seems to be something hard-wired into humans, to pursue happiness, to pursue an enjoyable and meaningful life. Many, if not most, do it the wrong way, and look for happiness in sinful pleasures and pursuits.

    But it is often in that pursuing, that reaching for something we can’t define, and then not being satisfied with the results (or having the results be disastrous), that can lead one to finally reach out to God. (Yes, I know that we can only do that if God draws us, but this is a method He often uses.)

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Thanks, Kare. It still doesn’t seem quite possible that I’m really getting a grand piano! 🙂

    DJ, beautiful color for the bench! That would look nice with a vase of flowers on it and sitting next to the black piano in your bathroom. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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