60 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-15-19

  1. Clarifying yesterday’s discussion.
    We are “old school”. People were not “together” until they were married.
    I realize that it is different now. But didn’t think of it.
    We “went out together” for 21 months before we married.

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  2. Six, I’ve seriously hesitated to comment on your piano posts, but since you’ve continued posting and asked for prayer, I’m going to play “Dave Ramsey” and throw in my very unpopular two cents. In the past, you’ve commented that you are stressed about financial strains in your family. If that is still the case or if you have any debt, you shouldn’t be buying a piano but rather, should be using this money to become debt-free and have a three-to-six month emergency fund. I know you want it and have convinced yourself you need it, but it is a luxury that shouldn’t take precedence over the financial health of your family. We are friends and I love you, so please take this in the graceful spirit in which it intended.

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  3. I haven’t seen a soft-shell turtle since the early 80s. I had a roommate who had a turtle collection in two aquariums. He had a soft-shell along with a couple of box turtles and a Chinese box turtle. All bu the Chinese were ones he got when helping his zoology professor in a herpetology study. They found the soft shell when they accidentally ran over it. Since the road was soggy and the turtle small, it survived.

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  4. On one hand, the piano may seem like a luxury item, but on the other hand, 6 needs a good piano for giving lessons on. They were planning on getting another piano anyway, with some money that had come to them.

    But I also see that if the current piano will do for a while longer, it may be wise to wait. Unless the “deal” they get is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.

    So with this comment, I have managed to be on both sides of the matter. 🙂

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  5. Yesterday, attending the tiny church my parents and Youngest’s family attends, a serious situation arose that I need some advice about.

    I have mentioned on here that after Pastor A retired, another pastor was called (while I was away in West Africa) who resigned after three years, and that after his resignation, he left his wife and walked away from the faith. I have also mentioned how the senior deacon of the church fawned over the pastor that resigned while he was still pastor. What I have not mentioned is that the elder deacon has continued, in the three years since the resignation (all the time I was away at school), the elder deacon has maintained contact with the pastor who resigned. Yesterday, the pastor who resigned showed up again at the church. Not to preach, as the interim pastor did that, but he greeted us all as if the events following his resignation had never taken place. The elder deacon was very happy and emotional about it all.

    Here is my question. I am all for restoring those who have wandered away from the faith, provided, in the case of a former pastor who has disqualified himself from ministry, they simply become members of the church and not leaders in the church. But should the former pastor be restored by a church where he formerly led?

    I suppose, in some churches, where the elders were mature and wise, that a former pastor’s restoration to fellowship but not leadership, might be possible. But the three deacons that head the tiny church are not equipped for this. The elder deacon has repeatedly shown poor judgement – including the time he tried to bring his philandering son (the one who abandoned his wife and four children) back to the church. The other two deacons are Youngest in-law, whose proclivities for conspiracy theories (which were helped along by the influence of the pastor who resigned, as he also peddled in his own conspiracy theories regarding the Jesuits) I have related, and an older man who generally defers to what the other two decide. I just do not think that the church is equipped for such a restoration (and I haven’t heard that the former pastor is fully repentant either) but I do not know how to make the danger clear from Scripture.

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  6. I will say that to a musician, their instrument is not a luxury, but a necessary tool of the trade. Were I to teach piano again, purchasing another piano would be a necessary condition of me beginning to teach, even before I paid off any debts. It is like, if I get a job requiring me to drive, I would have to get a car before beginning to pay off my student loan. Musical instruments are expensive, but they are not luxuries to those who use them to make a living.

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  7. Roscuro, has the former pastor said he’s returning to the faith, or was his visit more of a social one to see people?

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  8. I think that it is always best that a pastor leave a church he used to pastor. Regardless of his position, he has a following. However, I don’t know what you can do about it, Phos.
    It may be wise for you to stay out of it.
    I doubt that you can help anyone and the person who will get hurt is you.

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  9. Good morning! I was grocery shopping at Publix at 7 a.m. and have been pretty busy this morning so far.

    On the piano, I do not know much about purchasing one, but I have known other teachers who do not teach on a baby grand. That is the part that seems like luxury. I have no doubt that it is deserved and would be nice, but if other things should take priority for now then waiting is probably wise.

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  10. My former pastor, when he retired, transferred his membership to one of our sister churches, saying he did not think it wise to remain in the congregation he once led (this also was a very small church). He said it potentially becomes awkward for whomever is called as the new pastor.

    So I think there is generally a precedent for that. I was thinking about it recently as our pastor is in his 60s and, while still very youthful and saying he’s not thinking of retiring soon, he will, eventually. But he’s been pastor of that church for more than 30 years, I believe, since before it joined with the Presbyterian denomination (which is around the time I transferred there, maybe 15 years ago now?).

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  11. It’s the first official day of ‘vacation,’ but I have some advance captions to write up (for photos I’ve assigned) that I didn’t get to on Friday due to a late-breaking story I had to write (on top of the one I already was writing that took most of the day). I also need to send an email to the editor to remind him I’m off and to pass on a few phone numbers they might need if someone has to cover something on my beat. Then I hope not to have to think about any of that until I have to (when I return to work a week from tomorrow).

    Real Estate Guy is coming by to take a look at the toilet in the spare bedroom, it is not filling up with water. Easy explanation might be that the handyman/plumber/painter turned it off at some point while he was still working around here, but I cannot turn the valve either way — I tried using one of those lid grippers and (gently) a wrench, but it feels like it’s frozen. (Toilet is 2 years old and plumbers cleared out the plumbing in there at that time). I’m hoping this is simple. If it’s not, it’ll be a call to Roto-Rooter and another house expense. Sigh.

    Porch light will be delivered tomorrow, according to FedEx, then I’ll set up the installation asap, hoping for Wednesday.

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  12. DJ, there is more to the story which becomes extremely complicated the more detail I add. Basically, the former pastor showed up ostensibly to meet with an estranged family member (who occasionally attends the church) that the elder deacon had also been trying to reconcile to the former pastor. No, this family member was not the former pastor’s wife or children, but rather the birth mother of the former pastor, who was adopted. The family member had been led to Christ by the former pastor, and I have gathered, from a conversation I heard a couple of weeks ago, that the elder deacon hopes to bring the family member’s spouse to faith as well. The family member and family member’s spouse were also present. Incidentally, the family member’s spouse has recently completed a sentence for child abuse – I did bring that part up to Youngest, who assured me that both legalities and child protection for her children, who are the only children in the church, were being looked after.

    I believe I have mentioned that church lunches are held after nearly every service, in the house the church owns, of which the Youngests’ rent part. My parents and I did not stay for lunch, as we are concerned about the stress it puts upon Youngest, but every time we try to tell the elder deacon that the number of such meals needs to be reduced, he finds a reason to keep having them. Youngest is currently suffering from prolonged after effects of a concussion she had about a month ago, so the added stress of the continual Sunday meals is doing nothing to help her heal.

    Chas, I have interfered before, when the elder deacon tried to bring his son back. I did so through my father, who contacted the pastor, and the son was barred. I did so for the sake of others in the church, including Youngest, who at one time in our youth, had been a prospective candidate of marriage for the deacon’s son, by both his parents and himself (my father had no use for the son, which relieved Youngest’s mind, who felt considerable pressure to reciprocate).

    It must all seem a bit fantastical to you all, reading these details. They seem so to me. But I am not exaggerating, if anything, I am downplaying it all.

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  13. I think I’ve listened to enough answers given by Dave Ramsey to safely say he would insist that continuing with the current piano is the way to go until debt is paid and there is a sufficient emergency fund. The quality of the piano isn’t dictating the quality of the lessons. I think he would also suggest that even if she didn’t already have a serviceable instrument, she could come up with another solution, like using one at a neighbor’s house or at a nearby church.
    I have to laugh at some of your comments about this because, per DR, you are using all kinds of excuses to justify doing something that you want to do. Just sayin’ – just channeling DR.

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  14. Roscuro – We had a pastor who had to resign due to infidelity. He was the one who preached at our wedding. He and the family left the church, but the wife and daughters maintained fellowship with some of our members (my sister was the wife’s close friend). He later repented and they all returned to the church, but only as members. After a while they felt they needed to leave again, so they went to another church in town. We later learned that the couple divorced. After a few years they reconciled, then she died of cancer.

    I have heard that he eventually returned to the faith, but I don’t think he has reconciled or asked the church for forgiveness.

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  15. As for advice, if it is the church of which you are a member, then approach the deacons with humility and express your concerns. If it is not your church, then mention these things to your parents. Whatever you do, PRAY.

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  16. Morning! A warm week ahead around here…and rather busy too! House is quiet this morning and I am settling back into “normal” 😊
    I re-read the post concerning the Pastor who left the faith and his family….does the wife continue to attend that small church? I believe there is some “manipulation” happening with this guy. If he were truly humble and contrite he would not venture back…or so it would seem to me.
    Ramsey would say not to purchase if there is debt. That being said….was not the monies gifted to be used for a piano…I thought that was said previously. Continuing to pray for wisdom and discernment for you and husband 6Arrows. In the end you proceed as our Lord leads 😊 ♥️

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  17. Re the piano: I believe 6 Arrows said the money was a gift to buy a new instrument, and I don’t recall whether she has spoken of debt or simply of tight finances.

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  18. Nancy Jill, no, the wife does not attend the church. We have not heard from her since he resigned. I know from hints that Youngest, as a deacon’s wife, has dropped, that the former pastor blamed her, and I think the deacons of the church were at least partially persuaded to that viewpoint – it would be part of a pattern, the elder deacon also tried to blame his former daughter-in-law for his son’s infidelity, even though she was the one abandoned with the children.

    Peter, this is the elder deacon’s idea. As I said regarding the post-service meals, the elder deacon does not listen to our concerns – my father specifically asked that the meals be stopped until Youngest recovers, but that did not happen.

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  19. that turtle: a face only a mother could love? 🙂

    OK, finished all the captions, emailed the editor, work should (finally) be done.

    Our teen-tiny, non-native black mosquitoes are back and I’ve been bitten up a couple times (I actually saw one of them late yesterday on the patio as he prepared to land on my arm).

    But the bites this year aren’t nearly as awful as last summer’s — I’m told that the initial reactions are so severe because we have no immunity to this new (to us) species; but once we get bit about 20 times (my random-guess number), the immunity will build and the bites won’t feel as severe. As often as I was bit last year, I figure my body now much have at least some resistance to the mad itching. I’m still having to use ointments to calm down the itch, but they are working much better than last year and I’m no longer waking up in the middle of the night scratching myself until the bites bleed and get inflamed. Progress.

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  20. DJ, it doesn’t really sound like a small-church problem, but a whole lot of sin issues.

    As Peter already mentioned, the turtle is a softshell, specifically a spiny softshell turtle. I never saw one till this year, but I have now seen this one (or another in the same pond) basking several times, and now it seems to have stopped jumping in the moment it sees me. Turtles tend to be quick to do that, but the softshell was jumping in when I was far enough away that the other turtles basking near it weren’t jumping in. Between that and the awkward location of its basking spot, I had a hard time getting good photos until it decided I wasn’t dangerous.

    This species is as long as a common snapping turtle, so it is a fairly big animal (I don’t know about the weight comparison, but females can grow to up to 11 inches long). I think it is a fascinating animal in many ways, but I particularly like its snorkel nose. Today I saw one swimming in the pond and saw only that nose and its eyes. In this photo it is still partially in the water.

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  21. If the money was a gift for the purpose of buying a piano, Ramsey’s answer might be different.

    Look at it another way. If, instead of being given money for a piano, you were given an actual piano, would you sell it to take care of debt or other financial stress? If you would keep the gift of a piano, that’s the same answer as buying a piano with the gift money.

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  22. Cheryl, agreed (small church problem vs sin problem). But it’s sometimes amazing how much can be going among so few people

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  23. DJ, it is indeed. Pastor A was a good pastor, and those who tried to make trouble always ended up leaving under his relentless focus on the truth of Jesus Christ. But since his retirement, the little church seems to be a magnet for all those who twist the truth. Paul was accurate when he warned the Ephesians of what would happen when he left, that from both outside and in, wolves would appear to devour the flock.

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  24. My mother says that she understands that some, including the elder deacon’s wife, in the church have maintained contact with the former pastor’s wife. She is inclined to be more optimistic that all this might be a sign of repentance, but I pointed out that reconciling the former pastor with other family members and church members before he is reconciled to those he is most responsible for, his wife and family, is putting the cart before the horse. The elder deacon’s blind support for his son led to him losing all contact with his grandchildren because of that very thing. She and I are at least agreed that if this becomes a regular thing, the whole church needs to discuss this.

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  25. Roscuro, I talked the discussion over a bit with my husband (since he was an elder in our previous church and has studied and experienced church disciple matters much more as a result). He said really the biggest question is whether this is a one-time thing, that it’s a whole different matter whether he shows up once or intends to keep coming, that if he intends to keep coming, then matters of repentance and apologies to his family and the church are definitely in order. It occurs to me that you might use the passage that we are not even to eat with the unrepentant sinner who calls himself a believer. It sounds like he was never put under formal church discipline (because there was no chance to do so), but surely the public, grievous nature of his sins is such that he might attend church as a visitor, but should not be joining in the meal as “family.” (Yes, visitors might be welcome to join the meal, but for a professed but unrepentant believer to join in would be seeming to fellowship with him, and accept him “as is,” and we aren’t permitted to do that–and doing so puts the flock in grave danger, as it sends a message that the sin was “no big deal.”)

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  26. Roscuro – Is your sibling responsible for the meal preparation and/or clean up? You said she lives in another part of the house. Does she have a separate kitchen? It seems to me that if the church is using the house for fellowship meals, then the people in the church should take responsibility to do their share of the work.

    The pastor I mentioned before used to have the meetings in his house before the small church got a building. Al the women pitched in to prepare dishes for the weekly fellowship meal and clean up. And each family took a Saturday afternoon to vacuum and clean the living room and dining room, as well as clean the bathroom we used on Sundays.

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  27. Cheryl, we left before the meal began, but I do know that they all went into the house after the service, so I believe that he was welcomed to the meal (we have yet to hear from Youngest what happened after we left). Certainly, I heard the elder deacon emphasize from the pulpit that all were welcome to join them. Incidentally, the staying for meals is something that began under that former pastor.

    Peter, there is only one kitchen in the house, so the church uses it as well as my sibling and her family. While the other women do help, since the kitchen is within the living space of the Youngests, my sibling often has to tell them where to find things, etc. The times I have stayed for the meal, Youngest does not sit down to eat until after everyone else. Youngest’s personality is such that it is very difficult for her to say no, so she often extends herself far beyond her strength in order to serve others. When the Youngests’ first rented the space, the elder deacon said that, legally (in order to maintain the charitable status of the property), the Youngests could not be required to perform duties, such as caretaking, for the church. But they do. Furthermore, since the interim pastor’s wife has poor health and never attends, Youngest effectively acts in the role of pastor’s wife. She is the one hosting women’s meetings, etc., and frequently providing emotional support to women within the church.

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  28. Real Estate Guy is off to the hardware store after looking over the toilet hookup and saying “hmmm,” “huh,” and “wow” a few times.

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  29. Roscuro – Would Youngest’s Husband consider stepping in to make sure Youngest doesn’t overdo? Perhaps even telling her to sit down, or asking someone else to take over, or making it known that she cannot host these various functions until she is fully healed? Would he be open to advice (maybe from your father?) about that?

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  30. I remember when my friend R was heavily pregnant with her sixth child, and it was a somewhat high risk pregnancy. Her husband had her mowing the lawn, and also decided that he might like to sell the house, so an intensely thorough cleaning, including in the attic had to be done. She was exhausted by the end of it, but – thank God – she had a healthy delivery.

    Her husband was not open to listening to anybody giving him advice on how to handle his family, and I think R did not feel that she could refuse his demands because of his temper.

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  31. Kizzie, my father said when he brought up the subject with the elder deacon that Youngest in-law was present and did not seem entirely supportive of my father’s suggestion. Young husbands sometimes do not understand just how much pressure their wives are facing – when my mother discussed her concerns with Youngest’s mother-in-law, who also regularly attends the church and does try to alleviate some of the burden, the mother-in-law replied that her own husband had been similarly insensitive when her children were young, until he had to take care of his children himself after she became ill and had to be hospitalized. I do not think Youngest in-law fully grasps just what his wife is going through – concussions do long lasting damage, but they produce no symptoms visible to the outside observer.

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  32. Kizzie, my sibling did, in fact, a few years ago during such an after service meal, miscarry. But even though everyone knew it happened, it has not stopped the meals. The elder deacon sometimes seems like an addict – when we get after him (we have done so often), he’ll agree that the meals should be done less often and state his intention to not have one next week, but the next week we will discover that he changed his mind and it is on again.

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  33. A few more ‘hems’ and ‘hahs’ and ” *!?&%’s” later, and having to turn the water to the house off, Real Estate Guy got it fixed. Paid him and he’s on his way.

    Meanwhile, porch light arrived and I set up the install for Wednesday.

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  34. Roscuro – That is sad. Too bad that the other people go along with him. If no one, or at least fewer people, stayed for the meals, that might get through to him.

    I’m no feminist, but so often I have seen wives taken advantage of in similar ways.

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  35. I would add that my Youngest sibling is a very talented woman, and her talents lie in the realm of hospitality and serving. Her cooking and baking ability is superb. Those who stay after church rave endlessly over her desserts, as she can make the finest cakes and pastries entirely from scratch. When Second, Youngest, and I worked together as waitresses in a Christian resort centre, Youngest would go into the kitchen after our work in the dining room was finished and help the pastry cook prepare the baked goods, gaining the ability to bake large quantities and different kinds of baked goods quickly and efficiently. Her training in flower arranging means that her presentation is always tasteful and attractive. I do not blame others for enjoying her productions and I think baking has become an outlet for her natural creativity, which has become somewhat stopped up in other areas as the Youngests’ become more and more ultra conservative about their interpretation of the Bible regarding women’s roles. But she is also the mother of four children, all under the age of six, and somewhat isolated, being the only young mother in the church. She and her husband are understandably cautious about protecting their children even from other adults within the church (knowing the proclivities of predators to target churches), so she has the job of supervising very energetic little ones, while being the hospitable hostess at the Sunday dinners.

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  36. A lot of good discussion here today. I can’t speak to the pastor issue, but let me clarify a few things about the piano part of the conversation.

    Regarding the gift money: my parents have gifted our family (and my siblings’ families) money three times — in 2001, 2018, and 2019. The first time was the only time that they specified its use, and that was to put toward my piano teaching business. My piano, though, was only 12 years old at the time — obviously not in need of replacement — so we invested the gift money in conservative mutual funds for the time being.

    It might seem improbable, but I’d forgotten, until reading this conversation today, that that was my parents’ original stated purpose for that money! They wanted to assist me in my piano teaching endeavors. (And the funds they gave my brother were designated toward a similar purpose, as he was upgrading his farm operations at the time. They’ve always been verbally supportive of our home businesses — a real blessing — and that time they were financially supportive, as well, which is another blessing.)

    Anyway, I made the decision in 2003 to temporarily stop teaching piano to the general public, due to family circumstances (another move my parents supported, verbally, though not financially). I didn’t reopen my business until late 2014, so my “piano gift money from 2001” radar was almost non-existent during the 11 1/2 years I didn’t teach others. Money for routine piano tunings and music for my kids, to whom I continued to teach piano, came out of my husband’s paycheck, and I forgot that we even had piano money tucked away in investments. (Too many other things to think about, what with having more babies [5th & 6th Arrows were born during that time] and with homeschooling growing to be a bigger number of kids over several of those years; up to 5 at the most.)

    With the two most recent of my parents’ gifts, they did not specify how the money should be used. My husband and I decided to use their 2018 gift to start an emergency fund (giving us about 4-5 months’ worth), and to use this year’s gift to put toward a different piano. (Hubby and I having forgotten, as I said before, about the piano gift money we’d received in 2001, which is still invested and growing.)

    Regarding debt: our only debt right now is paying for the septic system installed in 2017. When we got the 2018 gift (which would have covered about half of our septic debt), my husband said he’d rather put it toward an emergency fund than to pay off half the loan when interest rates were so low. So that’s what we did.

    The 2019 gift amount, as I said in one of my recent piano posts, is enough to cover that first grand I talked about, plus tax and the accessories I mentioned. No new debt, or even diverting other funds, would be involved. That gift money alone, however, would not be enough to cover any repairs that might be needed on said piano because of those faulty strings and tuning history. Thus my wanting to do as much research as I could to ascertain whether this would be a long-term financial drain of resources if I bought a piano of that condition.

    The larger, used grand that is at the other store I mentioned, is about $3,000 more than the amount of the 2019 gift, thus my saying (before I remembered the invested piano funds from 2001) that, if I got that piano, it would either involve diverting funds from other sources (i.e., our savings) to add up, with the 2019 gift, to the price of the piano, or waiting until I had enough piano lesson money to add to the 2019 gift without diverting funds.

    Waiting to buy is still an option on the table. I’m not sure if the frequency of my posts on this matter, or something I said in them, gave the impression that I “have convinced [my]self [I] need it,” but that isn’t accurate. 🙂 Eventually I will need it. (My original estimate this year, when I mentioned it to my husband, was that the piano will need replacing in approximately five years, but since my husband got the ball rolling on it, going to talk to our friend at the first music store, and then them repossessing that piano…etc. etc., I decided that was as good a time as any to start doing some significant research on what’s available. Thus my frequent posts on the process lately — researching and then writing about it helps me remember things better long-term.)

    As far as a grand piano being a luxury item compared to an upright, well, there’s more to look at than simple size (grandiosity?) of an instrument.

    The 16-year-old 5 ft. 4 in. grand by a reputable brand for $12,000 is at the same store as a new upright piano of another reputable brand for $11,100. If a person can get a solid workhorse of an instrument and pay only $900 more than a new vertical that will need twice as many tunings over its lifespan because of the shorter string length, is that a frivolous or luxury-minded purchase because the initial cost of the grand is slightly higher than that of the $11,100 new vertical?

    I’d be careful about equating “grand piano” with “luxury.” Sometimes they make more financial sense in the long-term, and if they can be bought without going into debt (which is the case with all of the used grands I looked at), all the better.

    In other words, sometimes it’s better stewardship of funds to purchase a used grand than a new upright, and has nothing to do with luxury. Piano teachers with grands have not necessarily spent more money to buy them than those teachers who bought verticals.

    Thanks for all the advice and prayers on the piano business. I appreciate all of it. Off to get ready for piano teaching, then supper and string quartet practice tonight. (I’m playing in church again Sunday.)

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  37. For a while when I was away in the city, my parents were staying just to help out. But my mother has been sick on and off for much of the first part of the year, and just within the last couple of weeks has been able to get back to church. Her mobility is increasingly limited. She stated yesterday that she was in pain, and when my mother, who has endured nearly three decades of pain, says she is in pain, it must be very bad.

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  38. 6, totally understand the situation. The smaller the piano, the less they stay in tune. But it is also a matter of quality of tone as well, as it is important for students to learn what a good instrument sounds like. It is also beneficial experience for them to experience the feel of a grand, which is far different than an upright. My teachers all had uprights, as did my parents, and to transition to a grand for exams, as I often did, was a challenge that I felt affected my playing, as the keys no longer responded the way I expected them to do.

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  39. For what it’s worth 6arrows…..both of our piano teachers taught on a grand piano. Our first teacher, who retired, said she would have none other…that was her preference and she said she was taught by “the nuns” and they taught on grands as well 😊
    Second teacher required self taught theory and practice a half hour before the actual lesson in an adjoining room. When the lesson time came, the student entered the “grand room”! 🎹 My girls loved lessons. And now that I think of it, I was taught on a grand as well…long long ago!

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  40. DJ, 7:05, LOL! And then some. 🙂

    Linda/linea — I like that; it reminds me of Linnea in Monet’s Garden 🙂 https://www.amazon.com/Linnea-Monets-Garden-Christina-Bj%C3%B6rk/dp/1402277296/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?hvadid=77927940732979&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=linnea+in+monet%27s+garden&qid=1563240530&s=books&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1

    :

    For the record, I appreciate your viewpoint, and don’t at all consider your input as your “very unpopular two cents.” I was hoping you’d weigh in, and almost emailed you to ask a Dave Ramsey-related question, but decided I could look things up on my own on his site.

    Now DR ads regularly appear on my email homepage. 🙂

    This touched me, and meant a lot:

    “We are friends and I love you, so please take this in the graceful spirit in which it intended.”

    Absolutely, and back at you, friend. 🙂

    Please don’t be afraid to tell me you disagree with me, or offer me advice. I may have reacted badly in the past, but the past is the past, and we are beyond it and moving forward.

    Much love and many blessings to you.

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  41. Roscuro and NancyJill, 5:20 and 5;29, about teachers with grands or uprights, my first teacher had an upright, but my second and third teachers both had grands. Then I went to college, where my piano professor had two grands in his office. As a music major, I was really glad to have had experience playing on a grand before doing all of the accompanying and solo work I did at uni. I never had a grand growing up, so to be able to play on one every week at my lessons played an important part in my musical development.

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  42. Using “DR” for Dave Ramsey reminds me of the teen boy who used to comment on the WMB, who used his initials – DR. Anyone remember him?

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  43. The upright vs grand piano reminded me of Keith Green. I saw him several times at various venues. Once it was a coffee house with an ancient upright painted a bright color. He banged away on that thing and made it sound good. Another time he came to the church I attended, which had a brand new 9′ concert Steinway. He said later that he’d rather play the older pianos because his style didn’t fit the fancy piano. I couldn’t tell, as he still banged away on that piano and it sounded a little better.

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  44. Can I start claiming 57 when I turn 57 this year?

    Hey, I just thought of something. You ’57ers are turning 62 this year, and I, a ’62er (sixty-tour?) am turning 57. So maybe we can do some number swaps when we get to the key digits. 🙂

    I meant to respond to one other comment before, but forgot. This:

    The quality of the piano isn’t dictating the quality of the lessons.

    Yes and no. Having a quality piano teacher is more important than having a quality piano on which to play, but a good teacher is going to be limited in some of what s/he can impart if the piano isn’t good quality.

    Here are two examples.

    The piece below would never be able to be played as rapidly on a vertical piano. No teacher, no matter how good, could play it Presto, the composer’s tempo marking (meaning very fast), on an upright. Not even Martha Argerich, the concert pianist below, could do it. It’s impossible with the way hammers strike the strings of an upright piano, moving vertically through a limited space.

    The whole character of the piece would be compromised when played at a much slower pace. The piece would be painfully boring with all those repeated notes, and good teachers want their students to not only think about the character of the pieces they play, but to give them the tools to play with effective expression. (Tempo being an important part of expression.) A teacher can’t do that as well with a sub-standard piano for the task.

    Another example of something very important to teach piano students is the concept of voicing — the means of bringing out the melody in part of one hand while the accompaniment notes that are played by the same hand at the same time as the melody are subdued. The musical balance and aesthetic beauty of tone that are enhanced by proper voicing technique are very very difficult to achieve on anything but a grand piano, because most uprights will have inconsistent tone quality from key to key. Each note of the accompaniment will almost never come out equally soft when played on an upright, because of the randomness of the amount of speed with which you have to drop your finger into the key to equal the softness of the preceding accompaniment notes.

    It’s an exercise in frustration both for the teacher trying to model the technique, and for the student to learn the technique. Some degree of musicality is invariably lost when playing on a piano with insufficient tonal response.

    Note the lovely sound, however, in this example of a piece you’ve probably heard at one time or another: Moonlight Sonata, movement 1. It’s the superb voicing that makes one want to hum along.

    Gorgeous. The way music was meant to sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Good night, wanderers. I will spare you anymore details about piano thoughts this summer. Thank you for indulging me through this leg of the journey.

    Liked by 2 people

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