46 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-4-19

  1. I saw this on Drudge just before I came here. Thought I would show it to you.
    I don’t know. I’ve never heard of Kanye West.

    “Over 1,000” commit lives to Christ at Kanye West’s Sunday Service in Baton Rouge: pastor”

    Good morning everyone but Jo.
    My phone says it’s 9:30 in Port Mausby. So good night Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes two minutes to type in the correction when you notice an error. And You notice that it takes even longer if you have typos in your correction.
    Off to get things going now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanx AJ. I see nothing wrong in this. Great News!

    At breakfast this morning, she said, “We never did get down to see daddy, did we?”
    I said. “No” “Too far”

    What happens is she remembered a conversation we had at Appleby’s yesterday.
    She mentioned going down to see her father.
    I mentioned that we couldn’t go all the way to Greenwood, SC now because it was too far and we didn’t have time this afternoon.
    But we did have a short conversation about going to Greenwood to visit her father.
    That’s what she remembered this morning.

    What never occurred to her, and I didn’t mention it.
    Her father died in 1967.
    .

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It is a blessing, Chas, that she has good feelings about her father and wants to see him again. That is the silver lining. Some people in that state of mind would be cursing their fathers. My mother was in a number of rehab situations with roommates after she had surgeries so we got to be around several different kind of ladies who opened our eyes to how blessed we were to have our sweet mom. My mother did not have the memory issues, but when a person is in the rehab for physical therapy with all the pain, memory loss such as ladies have with childbirth would be welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For anyone unfamiliar with this song, this is what we sang yesterday (with piano accompaniment). Sidenote: if you notice there is a woman beside Gloria Gather who wipes tears from her eyes. If I had to wear her earrings, I would cry, too.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Cheryl, from yesterday, the guitar, the violin, the flute, and a number of percussion instruments are imports to Europe from the Middle East. Cultural styles are not found in the instruments used, as the piano can be used to play Indian ragas and the violin to play Chinese folksongs, but in how the instruments are used. The music in the video is very much in modern Egyptian music tradition, as the Egyptian musical scene did not freeze in time while the rest of the world moved on. The clapping done in the video is in the Middle Eastern style, rhythmically, as part of the percussive effects. Here is a demonstration of how Middle Eastern clapping interacts with percussion (beginning at 2:00 mark):

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  7. I have no enthusiasm over West’s supposed conversion and church services. No one ordained him to run a church. If he is a new convert, he should be under the care and discipleship of a church, not running one himself, “not a novice”. I recall reading about Bob Dylan’s similar supposed conversion, a profession which did not last, but one that Dylan enthusiastically touted while it lasted.

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  8. Rapper Kanye West (from Gospel Coalition, which has posted a number of articles about his very recent conversion; some excerpts):

    _______________________________

    Global celebrity rapper Kanye West, husband to Kim Kardashian, is confessing Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

    Kanye’s life has been marked by some of the hardest-to-penetrate “buffers” our secular age has to offer: fame, wealth, significance. All his studio albums have gone platinum. He’s created a high-end fashion line. He’s married to American entertainment royalty, Kim Kardashian. And Kanye hasn’t shied away from boasting in his worldly success. His 2013 album Yeezus even has a track called “I Am a God.”

    … It’s refreshing to hear a public figure—especially one so famous—being open about their (newfound) faith in Christ. There’s no embarrassment or shame: Kanye is happy to tell the world who his Lord is. The same goes for his famous wife, who said on the talk show The View, “[Kanye] has had this amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.”

    Sure, they’re Americans speaking in an American context. ‘God talk’ is more acceptable in the US than it is in other parts of the Anglosphere. But in an age where Christianity has moved from being seen as idiosyncratic—to being seen as harmful for its stance on marriage and human sexuality—it’s interesting to see famous people (especially in the entertainment industry) being positive about Christianity.

    And yet.

    Before we get carried away with a cultural icon such as Kanye embracing the faith, there are things we should keep in mind: both the dangers of a megastar such as Kanye confessing Christ, and the potential opportunities this brings. …

    +++++++++++++++++++

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/kanye-west-justin-bieber-make-celebrity-conversions/

    Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and What to Make of Celebrity Conversions
    SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 | Trevin Wax

    Kanye West has undergone a conversion to Christianity, according to his wife, Kim Kardashian. “He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ,” she says. The conversion has resulted in a forthcoming album that will include Gospel songs, as well as hip-hop church services as part of a tour that has included New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.

    In other news, Justin Bieber recently spoke about his struggles with childhood fame, heavy drug abuse, and the pain he inflicted on the people closest to him. He credits several pastors (some associated with Hillsong) for helping him through the fallout from some terrible decisions, and he urges his fans to consider the “unfailing love of Jesus” for them.

    We could multiply examples of celebrities in recent years who’ve demonstrated a connection to Christianity, from Chris Pratt to Shia LaBeouf. I’m old enough now to see a pattern that goes back decades—to when the Jonas Brothers were championing “True Love Waits” and Miley Cyrus was talking about her relationship with Jesus. An older generation still talks about Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan’s “Jesus phase.”

    Two Reactions

    Whenever a celebrity claims Christianity, we see a couple of reactions among Christians. Some rush to praise the superstar and to share far and wide the great things said about the love and grace of God. Others cast a wary eye toward the celebrity, responding with cynicism regarding the star’s words and actions.

    For the first group, it’s as if a celebrity conversion conveys a sense of validation for many Christians. Isn’t it wonderful? This rich and famous (and super cool) person has found Jesus! Too often, it feels like underneath this reaction is an inferiority complex: See, Christianity isn’t so uncool, after all! The result is then to lift up the celebrity as a great example of Christian faith.

    For the second group, it’s as if a celebrity conversion is merely a pretext for extending their fan base, finding personal enrichment, or adopting a cultural Christianity that is therapeutic, not doctrinal. Yeah, we’ll see how long this lasts. Besides, you can tell from other things they’re saying or doing that they’re not seriously following Jesus. The result is to diminish the celebrity’s statements and to remain skeptical about their sincerity. …
    ________________________________

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The electric guitar, as the modern descendant of the Egyptian ud, incorporates very well into Middle Eastern styles, as does any stringed instrument, since the stringed instruments are able to play the quarter tones of Middle Eastern scales. The National Arab Orchestra uses both electric guitar and an orchestral string section, as well as more ‘traditional’ instruments such as the ud, the riq (tambour), the tarbuk, and the nay (flute), to play traditional styles very effectively (the electric guitar can be heard at the 2:00 minute mark):

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  10. Dylan’s a bit of a mystery. I still hope and pray his conversion was genuine — genuine enough to stop talking so openly about it as he goes deeper.

    But yes, genuine concerns about celebrities such as West who suddenly “take the lead” in conducting revivals and “preaching” with only a few months in the faith. Dylan did not do that, he produced a gospel-focused album but that was pretty much the extent of his *public* faith. Yes, he did publicly seem to move away from it at some point, but for the most part he’s been silent, at least from what I know (which isn’t much, granted).

    It’s in what’s been a long public silence on the matter that hope remains, I think.

    Kanye? time will tell, but there are cautions in his being “elevated” so instantly, leading others? Hmmm. We’ll watch and wait.

    As for large scale revivals, it’s the same — watch and wait, see if it all starts bearing fruit, or if it seems to just be a few popular headlines and then fades as quickly as it came, with shallow or no roots.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. DJ, I recall one of the resident trolls at World mockingly pointing out some quote by Kim Kardashian about the importance of her Christian faith, before she married Kanye and shortly after her divorce from a previous husband. The Kardashians, being of Armenian descent, would have had some nominal relationship to the Armenian church, hence the claim to Christianity, but I recall defenders replying to the troll by saying that claiming to be a Christian wasn’t enough, that one’s life had to change too. How quickly the past is forgotten in the present.

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  12. City workers are tearing up the street in front of our houses right now. Not sure what the project entails, but they’ve had “no parking” cones out along our curbs for 2 weeks now; at least they’ve finally started doing what they’re going to do. But it looks like it’s going to be a very loud day, I may be heading in to the office in Long Beach.

    I like how the newly-stained gate turned out, but the color was quite a bit darker than I thought it would be. I chose “Redwood” and maybe should have chosen “Cedar.” They didn’t provide samples, only swatches, so it was rather hard to tell. Oh well. Either way, it certainly looks nicer than it did before, the wood had become very bleached out and was taking on a ‘gray’ tone.

    My other gate on the other side of the house is newer and still is a nice color; I bought the clear seal for that one.

    And primarily it all helps to protect the wood from sun, rain and the other elements.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Roscuro, well, as public as Kanye is, that should be evident one way or the other, in time. 🙂 Dylan always seemed fairly private, so hard to know in those cases.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Back to the “applause” trend in U.S. churches — My sense is it’s more of a Baby Boomer thing and a mega-church thing. As churches grew to enormous numbers and worked hard to become more and more a mirror of the culture around them (from the ‘hip’ music to casual dress to drinking coffee during services), applauding performances seemed not unusual.

    From what I’ve heard, younger Christians yearn more for a return of a more set-apart liturgy.

    If I want to go to a rock concert, I’ll do that on my own, non-Sunday morning time. 🙂 Church should, at some level, bring us out of the day-to-day norm; it should remind us that we are not of this world in the deepest sense. Coffee and applause (I think, but maybe it’s just me) seem to work against that goal for a worship service.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. The piano does not incoporate so well into Middle Eastern music, because the piano cannot play quarter tones. But jazz musicians, another genre which also uses quarter tones (the influence of Middle Eastern scales and rhythm on jazz often goes unacknowledged), get around that by playing two adjacent notes together on the piano. That is the technique Omar Khairet, one of Egypt’s foremost composers of the mid to late 20th century also used, seen here playing a catchy theme from one of his film scores with piano and orchestra:

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  16. Roscuro, I didn’t watch much of the link yesterday–electric guitar is physically painful for me, and I had to stop the video pretty quickly. I wasn’t trying to say that they did get some or all of their worship style from the West, but that they could have. The worship team being up front with instruments behind them, the way it was all conducted, looked similar to the styles that infiltrated American evangelical churches in the nineties or so. Who copied whom, I have no idea. For the entire decade of the nineties (1989-2003 in all), I was attending a church that was more than half black (with a black pastor for most of that time), and the rhythmic clapping as part of congregational singing was very much part of congregational worship. The applauding songs after they had finished was only part of things the last two or three years, though.

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  17. The only time I can recall hearing applause in the city church was after someone was baptized. It surprised me a little, but it occurred to me that it was the congregation’s way of communicating to the person baptized that they approved of the person’s action and were welcoming them to the fellowship. Applause is not just acclaim, it is also a form of communication.

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  18. Cheryl, that is the way Middle Eastern (and indeed any musical tradition, including traditional Western music) performances are done, with the singers up front and the musicians behind. There is a very practical reason for that, going back to before electronic amplification. Musical instrument are louder and have greater natural amplification than the human voice, so having the soloist singers behind the instruments would be drowned out by the instruments. A chorus or choir of human voices can make itself heard over instruments, so choirs and choruses, and back-up singers, often stand behind the instruments, but not a soloist.

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  19. Our applause ‘breakouts’ are limited to new members taking their vows & baptisms. So it’s minimal and thus tolerable and I understand the urge of the congregation to express itself on those occasions.

    Having no solos or other ‘special’ music as part of our worship service probably cuts down on applause urges otherwise, although I suspect our particular church & denomination would be restrained even then (in terms of applauding).

    We have a couple women in our congregation, one black, who will say “amen” during the sermons and that (I think) is appreciated by all. Some raise their hands during singing, most don’t. Also accepted as appropriate I’d say (though we had a special SS speaker from the denomination once suggest that, being Presbyterian and concerned about order and the full corporate nature of the worship service, either everyone should raise their hands or no one should, which made us all laugh — as he intended, I believe.

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  20. Morning! Oh what a lovely bird in the header photo! It speaks Springtime to me…while I look out onto a snow covered forest 😊
    We had baptism yesterday and the congregation clapped upon the baptized emergence from the water. I alway tear up a bit when witnessing a baptism…
    There is no clapping during our worship but some do raise their hands in praise and worship.
    We do not have particularly “gifted” worship leaders and some of the notes hit cause me to whence….therefore none are actually highlighted in their “talent”…we mostly make a joyful noise…. 🎶
    I am off to grab some lettuce and fixins’ for Small group tonight…I have been reading over a list of veggie products recalled due to Listeria outbreak. I will just skip the prepackaged and get the loose fresh lettuce in hopes that will be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. DJ, the city church has special music all the time, sometimes the worship team, sometimes the choir, sometimes soloists, and those special music interludes are never applauded. Just baptisms.

    Unless it can be demonstrated from Scripture that something is wrong, we should be careful about judging it for being worldly. David played, sang, and danced before the Ark of the Covenant. He instituted an order of worship ‘teams’ to serve each month in the Temple (I Chronicles 16:37-42), something that was not at all spelled out in the law given to Moses. The instruments he had made for the Temple worship were very similar to the instruments used in pagan worship (compare Psalm 150 with Daniel 3:4-5) – it is hard, after all, to get beyond the basic instrumental structure used to make music [which is made either through strings plucked (harp and any kind of guitar), vibrated (any bowed instrument), or struck (dulcimer, piano); altering columns of air (any wind instrument); or the vibrations of hollow structures when struck (any percussion instrument)] to make a different kind of instrument. The worshippers of God in the Old Testament did not seem at all worried about the similarity of their instruments to the nations around them – after all, God expressly told Moses to make silver trumpets, an instrument that every nation around also had, so God wasn’t worried either.

    There is a verse in Ecclesiastes which says, oddly, “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?” (7:16). When I first saw that verse, I found it bewildering, since I had been indoctrinate to think you never could be too zealous in avoiding and eliminating all traces of earthly influences. But the verse is talking about just that kind of attitude. I recently read a very wise article on Rahab which pointed the same thing out: https://myonlycomfort.com/2019/10/18/rahab-and-the-gospel/

    The first musician may have been a descendant of Cain, but God amply showed in the following history of the Old Testament that musicians can also be people of faith. The final vision in revelation is of all the people of God praising God with instruments. We are humans, so we share the same skills in making and playing instruments with the rest of the world. Just as it is not the instrument that determines what culture’s music is played, so it is not the instrument that determines whether secular or sacred music is played. Bach composed music for both in and out of church, using the same contrapuntal style for both, and many other composers followed his example of composing for both secular and sacred spaces in their own unique style. In the quire music of rural churches in England, the village musicians both played for church service and fiddled for village dances. There were naysayers who condemned Bach’s church music as being worldly, and those who felt that an organ would be more seemly than fiddles in church. To quote Ecclesiastes again “there is nothing new under the sun.”

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  22. Roscuro, there are different theologies in place as to how we judge what is proper worship. The Reformed perspective is that God tells us what is to be used in worship; we don’t just avoid something that is expressly forbidden and hope that what we do use doesn’t offend too many people.

    I’m not sure puppet shows as part of worship are expressly forbidden, or even the pastor dressing up as a clown and miming instead of preaching . . . but the burden isn’t on me to prove from Scripture that these are inappropriate in public worship. The burden is on the one who would use them. Likewise, if three-quarters of the congregation believes that applauding the music distracts from worship instead of adding to it, the burden shouldn’t be on them to suck it up–hey, some people think it adds to worship, and the most godly ones among us don’t care either way. The elders should be actively determining whether it is an appropriate part of a worship service, and discouraging it or forbidding it if they believe it isn’t. We worship God corporately, not as individuals coming with our own ideas, and it should be the elders leading in worship and not individuals adding their own personal touches.

    I doubt most of us would be offended by a quiet “Amen.” But a good number of us would be distracted by someone in the second row swaying with hands raised and speaking in tongues during the sermon. (I’ve been in a service where that happened.) Two of the women in our church cover their heads during the service (one takes off the covering immediately afterward, and one keeps it on.) As long as they aren’t going around and telling other women we are in sin for not following them, they aren’t bothering anyone. But if some women decide that all females should wear head coverings and dresses down to the floor, it would be proper for elders to say no, you don’t get to make up your own rules about what is appropriate for worship.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Looking for puppets and clown nose …

    Our pastor, long before he was a reformed Presbyterian, embarrassingly talks about the time he sprayed the congregation with a garden hose. It was meant to say something, I’m not sure if he even remembers exactly what. It was kind of an anything-goes 30 years ago when their (our) church began as an independent congregation that was heavily influenced by the Christian culture of the day.

    Meanwhile, our church is offering this on Friday night (which I’m hoping to attend):

    ~ A panel discussion followed by questions and answers about the relationship between our Biblical Worldview and our understanding and involvement in civic affairs. Some of the topics will include the Separation of Church and State, the role of the Gospel in the Transformation of the Nations, the Relationship between Ethics, Law, and Justice. ~

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  24. I also think distinctions can be made between Sunday worship and other, less formal, gatherings of church members where the same protocol might not be in place.

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  25. Re- Roscuro’s video of Egyptian worship: I noticed the rhythmic clapping, which I often do when we clap along to a song (not very often in our circle). But then, I am of Mediterranean descent, and rhythm seems to be part of our genetics.

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  26. Well, the mystery plays of the church often used puppets, since at least the ninth century… The shows took place in churches, as a method of teaching Bible stories, and it was not until the late middle ages that the Catholic Church began to ban puppet shows. The Council of Trent really cramped everyone’s style – the reaction to the Reformation was that the Catholic Church became Puritanical about the little things, while not changing on the big ones. The law of unintended consequences meant that puppeteers were left to their own devices outside the Church. Puppetry became quite secular in the following centuries, developing into the now traditional, but raucous and bawdy Punch and Judy (known in each country under a slightly different name, Pulcinella, Petruska, Pierrot, Kaspar etc.) type of comedy, now termed Commedia dell Arte.

    About lifting hands, there is this: “I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument” (I Timothy 2:8).There are certainly many examples of lifting hands in prayer and worship in both Old and New Testament, (Nehemiah 8:6, Psalm 63:4, Psalm 134:2, Lamentation 3:10, Habbakuk 3:10). Very much like a specific instruction…

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  27. Lifting hands is all good in my church.

    So I’ve been prepping for 2 p.m. conference call with some city planners about the expansion of a cruise ship terminal; but now it’s delayed until “later” this afternoon.

    Meanwhile, I have the eye exam with the specialist at 11;10 tomorrow where they’ll dilate my eyes; whole exam will take about 90 minutes and it’s a 30-minute drive both ways, so i’d asked my editor today if I would be able to take a sick day. No problem he said.

    But now …

    There’s a LB election tomorrow which has the rest of the tiny staff running in circles but also a City Council meeting that has 2 major items on it that the top editor insists we be present at; we being me as I’m the only possible person left. It starts at 5 p.m. so as long as my eyes have cleared up by then I said I’d probably be able to do it … Ugh. Not my favorite plan, especially since I don’t regularly cover this city (long beach) and will be pretty much going in blind (haha, maybe literally with the dilation!) for what will be a long evening (I’ll have to file at least one of the 2 anticipated stories that night).

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Peter, I agree that genetics seems to have a definite role to play in how one expresses oneself musically. Celtic Europeans seem to have a genetic predisposition to keeping rhythm through their feet, hence the different styles of step dancing to be found among Irish, Scottish, English, and French Canadians. The Metis tradition is a fascinating one, because it combines the tradition of Celtic settlers with the traditions of the First Nations people. The Inuit, who have, especially where I was, also took up the Celtic folkmusic traditions. I have a book about a German immigrant doctor who came to work in the community where I was placed in the mid-20th century, and it talks about how Christmas Eve gatherings at the trading post involved fiddling and dancing to the early morning hours, a tradition that the Inuit told me still existed on Christmas Eve. Having had the privilege of watching First Nations dance traditional dances, I know the first North Americans are very good at their footwork, although their traditional footwear of soft leather does not allow for the rhythm to be heard the way tap shoes make it heard.

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  29. 2 p.m. interview call finally came at 4:30 and the 3 interviewees had little to say. I’d ask a question, long silence, then someone would answer with 2 words. Argh. Very frustrating day.

    And it’s already getting dark, feels later than it is I know.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Long day. Something came in out of the blue. Talk is cheap. I will listen to what they have to say. I’m not unhappy where I am.

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  31. Michelle (or anyone who may know) – You mentioned that the fault for the power outages is split between PG&E and the state government. What was it that the government did that contributed to the problem?

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  32. Years of lax “oversight” by the Public Utilities Company, made up of lawyers who don’t do anything and provide no oversight.

    Insurance companies told the state that since they were not allowed to raise commiserate with costs, they would not write policies in CA if the state did not find P, G, &E accountable and liable for the fires.

    Insistence that P, G, & E focus on “green” technologies rather than proven ones. I can’t guess at how much money has been squandered over the years on such schemes, or to mention funds were not used on proven means.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Morning all.
    Isn’t it time for you all to be up and at em?? It is getting late here.
    I had friends for dinner and we had a good visit, but time for some sleep.

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