83 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-4-20

  1. Good morning. It appears I am now getting up at four. It is a good time to be up. Quiet other than the roosters and the sound of daughter preparing to head off. She is gone now so anybody who wakes up now is my responsibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning! Oh so lovely header photo Cheryl!
    4 degrees here this morning with about 3 inches of new fallen snow. Schools are all closed, roads are iffy and we have small group in town this evening…I’m bringing the salad 🥗 so go we must!

    Like

  3. I sent that photo to AJ as one of two photos demonstrating my new toy. Not a new camera, but a snap-on lens for close-up detail. This one shows the scale (it is taken through the lens, but not zoomed in all the way), and another fills the lens with one of those centers–without being the super-sharp detail it would have if I knew how to use the lens and had the camera mounted on a tripod, but enough of a hint to show what I can do with it.

    I’ve just been playing around with it again this morning. That header, by the way, technically isn’t a flower, but the bracts around the flower and the center portion. What you’re seeing: these are probably some form of aster, and after the flower blooms, the center is filled with fluff. Look closely, and each piece of fluff has a seed behind it. The seeds fit in these little holes in the center, and once the seeds blow away, this is the pattern that remains behind it: every bit as pretty as the flower itself. I’ve been photographing these beside the pond all winter, and this weekend I decided to bring them home and photograph them with the new lens. Zoomed out all the way, it has an incredibly narrow depth of field–so much so that without a tripod, it’s impossible to take a photo, since the action of touching the shutter is enough to get it out of focus. It has a slightly bigger depth of field if the zoom isn’t out all the way, but still narrow. Photographing flowers outside is hard anyway, since the slightest breeze gives you a fuzzy photo. So I decided to bring some of the flowerheads inside, so I can practice using the lens in a controlled environment, without a breeze and with my choice of light. This is, however, not at all an elaborate set-up: It’s the top of my stove (rather scratched, I can see through the zoom lens) with the stove light on–but the color of the stove is perfect for these photos, so it works.

    Once summer comes, I’ll be using it to photograph flowers and insects outdoors, and by then I should have some experience in using it. I do have a device that holds a flower still for photography, and if I need to use that and a tripod, I’ll do it. (My husband has tripods.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As luck would have it, look what a friend posted this morning saying this woman is nuttier than a fruitcake. The responses from people on FB are astounding.
    I didn’t see the Halftime Show nor do I care about it, but just know there are people out there giving Christians a bad name with junk like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We are sure having fun with one year old! Hopefully getting used to a baby in the house and “sharing” his adults rather than demanding instant obedience.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A cold one here this morning at 22 degrees. I took a long walk in the woods behind the church, which is the Empire Mine state park. I waited until later in the day, but was still a little fearful. So I am walking along and someone jogs up behind me. It was my pastor. God is good and knows my fears, so He sent someone to calm them. We finished the walk together.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. From what I saw of the halftime show, I really did not like it, and I had a sense that there was an evil purpose behind it all, especially when the children were presented. I have no idea if that was on the screen at church along with the game. I pray they turned it off for that time and took a break. As I was leaving right before halftime it did seem a lot of people had gathered in the foyer to get more snacks and colas. I will be asking if it was turned off and if not why not.

    Like

  8. Ladies, please take care and don’t go out into the wooded areas by yourselves. It’s a different world than it use to be. I don’t want to lose any of my friends. Maybe the news here in the city is always so bad that I am tending toward paranoid, but women and children have been turned into game by a portion of society. All it takes is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Like

  9. On the halftime show, I have never watched a Super Bowl, nor do I ever intend to – Canadians have their own football league and their own championship game, the Grey Cup, so If I liked football, which I don’t, I would watch that. But it is hard to miss on the internet reaction to every Super Bowl Halftime Show. The show is exactly the kind of thing one would encounter if one attended a concert with any well known American female pop artist: Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Shakira, etc. have all produced music videos that make the Halftime Show seem tame. Women in the pop industry, no matter how powerful their voices (several in that list really do have good voices), always get stuck selling their bodies instead of their voices – and that is a problem even outside pop music, as women in classical music have begun to complain about the same kind of objectification – the superstar operatic tenor, Placido Domingo, has recently had a string of MeToo accusations leveled at him. As for the idea that it is cultural, it is actually, quite cultural. Not just to Latin America – ever seen anything of Latin American Mardi Gras celebrations? – but to any other country that allows room for a macho culture apart from women and children where men ‘”will be men” and gives them room to indulge their fantasies about women outside of marriage. That includes North America – Las Vegas anyone? The only thing that the Halftime Show did was drag all that ugliness in ‘over 18’ adult entertainment out into the open, so that instead of young children discovering the secret stash of soft porn in their father’s den, it was put out on in full display on the family room television.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. By the way, I have seen claims that Shakira used the Arabic-style ululation, called zalghouta. I take leave to doubt that. The Middle Eastern ululation has spread anywhere Arabic influence has spread, including West Africa, so I know what it is supposed to sound like and it does not involve sticking out one’s tongue as Shakira is pictured doing. This is a real zalghouta:

    Like

  11. Roscuro: “The show is exactly the kind of thing one would encounter if one attended a concert with any well known American female pop artist: Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Shakira, etc. have all produced music videos that make the Halftime Show seem tame.”

    I think the point was that the halftime shows are quickly catching up.

    Like

  12. DJ, how many attend pop music concerts? The Super Bowl had just over 62,000 people attend. By comparison, the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the one that had a suicide attack, had 14,000 people attend, and that was just one performance on tour. Grande later performed, in the benefit concert One Love at Manchester, before 55,000. Taylor Swift’s 2018 world tour of 53 concerts had a total of 2.8 million attendees. Professional football doesn’t go overseas.

    Like

  13. Janice, I don’t know how many women have told me that they’d never go on the local trails by themselves. For me, I make sure only to go out when it’s light out and to be back home before dark. As far as forested areas, if one is fairly certain to be the only one out there (e.g., private property) or fairly certain to have a good number of people out there, it should be safe. We had a certain trail at our state park that I only walked when my husband was with me, since it wasn’t at all well used, and those are the most dangerous areas. Areas with some people (enough that you’re “in public”) should be safe, and areas that are more or less guaranteed to be alone should also be safe. If you’re driving out somewhere remote and your car is the only one parked in that area–that could draw unwanted attention.

    Reality? I lived and worked in Chicago for 14 years, and that was not a safe place. For about half of that time I lived in a neighborhood where the sound of gunfire was not uncommon. The first few times I heard noises outside when I was in bed, I got up and discreetly looked out the window. One day I chose not to get up, and I prayed and told God I was not going to live in fear, but I was going to trust Him, and after that I never got up.

    That doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t be cautious. Women in particular really need to be cautious. In Chicago, I avoided certain stores, certain gas stations, and I had places I would not go after dark. Caution is wise. But I refuse to live in fear, and I’m happy that my husband doesn’t ask me to. (He has been present at least a couple of times when other people have said they’d never walk the trails alone, and he hasn’t asked me not to.) I’m physically and mentally healthier for getting out and about, and it isn’t realistic for me to limit my outings to times when I have other people to walk with.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Granted, but it’s the ripple effect — the frog in the boiling pot of water, if you will.

    Most of us are pretty aware of the changes in popular culture, it’s hard to avoid frankly. So nothing probably very gasp-shocking about the halftime show (which is why many of us — who once watched that more than the game perhaps — walked away while this one was on). We’re not shocked, it’s more of a moment in which one becomes newly aware of how far the culture has come and how quickly. What’s interesting is the rise in the “me too” movement which would seem to be very much at odds with what we see in the music and entertainment realm.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I walk my dogs at night — I’m watchful (more for coyotes than for human-type culprits these days), and I try not to go out much later than 9. I usually aim for 8 p.m. or so. One of our routes takes us past a very secluded park that’s a great treat during the day but can be something of a teen and others “hang out” during the night so I don’t go there when it’s dark.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Roscuro, the Superbowl is watched on TV by millions. I suspect it is fading in interest (I have seen it twice in my life, neither time the whole thing, and I don’t really pay it much attention), but some churches cancel evening services for it because they don’t expect anyone to come to the service anyway. The attendance live at the event is a really tiny part of the event itself–and those watching on television all get a front-row seat.

    Like

  17. Janice, I have had to live alone in the city, I used discretion and those instincts of danger one develops, but I also walked on the trails in the wooded areas alone. Some basic rule I followed were pay attention to my surroundings, never be predictable (I varied my routes from one day to the next), go at times of day when more people were around, and if I had to be walking after dark, move quickly, walk confidently, and talk on the phone to someone (generally my mother). I will not generally venture far into the woods behind my parent’s house alone, but that is not due to fear of humans, but to the fact that more and more large animal predators are present in the area.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Cheryl, the concerts are attended by millions, and hundreds of millions, even billions, watch the music videos – look at any view count of a popular music video on YouTube.

    Like

  19. I’m not sure what the Super Bowl vs concerts point is?

    I suppose the Super Bowl halftime show (and that should be plural, pushing the envelope in that setting has been going on now for years) is more of a family program in some cases where football is still king. My neighbors next door had their kids and grandkids all over for the game and — as Janice pointed out — some churches apparently(?) host viewing parties after services.

    It’s simply a “venue” that brings the cultural changes front and center, into more living rooms and other settings than attending a concert might.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. My point is that it is not a cultural change, that the culture has been there all the time. The indignation over a Halftime show putting on what is seen in Las Vegas shows all the time merely demonstrates the ability of the human mind to compartmentalize, not a change in a culture of self indulgence.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. um, yes …

    Indignant? I don’t think that’s what we’ve expressed. We’re not Amish. Only that halftimes have changed pretty dramatically in the last generation. Las Vegas, sure, but now spreading to more common, mainstream venues. Sin, yes. Self-indulgence, yes. Shocked? Indignant? Not really.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. DJ, I spoke generally. This blog is not the only place that has been talking about the Halftime Show. The usual conservative commentators have been having their usual field day with it on social media. It seems like only yesterday when Janet Jackson had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Halftime show and caused a similar convulsion, only there was less internet media then (Twitter, for instance, did not exist).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Maybe I misread the tenor of the discussion yesterday, but I think we were just commenting on how far the culture has come in recent years. It was sort of a “here we are” moment with the halftime show this year (but worse than other years? I don’t watch that part of the “game” typically so I don’t know for sure).

    Have cultures been worse during the course of history? Undoubtedly. But just as a microcosm in our own time and place, the halftime show did make an impression and it was simply noted as such.

    Like

  24. And I think discussion about it (being over the line) is good. A sobering moment not just for conservatives, perhaps. That’s not a bad thing.

    And again, it’s so seemingly contrary to our popular messages lately about not objectifying women.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I didn’t see the game, nor the show.
    However, the halftime show has been shown several times.
    I didn’t suspect nor visualize anymore than I saw. Which was plenty, but not obacene.
    All the real halftime shows I remember ended with “Hail Carolina”
    “Here’s health Carolina, forever to thee”

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Small group cancelled…we shall be eating salad for dinner tonight! 😊 thankful however that we will not be slipping and sliding into town!
    I walk our neighborhood area with a friend or the dog and even then I am aware of my surroundings. One time my neighbor purchased a new truck and came up behind me in the park area..scared me out of my wits! I had my jogger’s pepper spray at the ready. I never hike the trails alone.
    We don’t watch football so we didn’t see any of the halftime stuff. I do believe this is a cultural change for the masses. Yes there are those who gravitate towards such “entertainment” but it certainly has not been the norm for our society/culture. The very fact that so many love to watch football “someone” decided it to be good to subject all watching the game to such debauchery. It saddens me greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. “Hail Carolina .. Forever to thee!” — lol

    Now those must have been the days!

    Me? I just want a good marching band with lots of drums 🙂

    We’re all pretty acclimated to the culture, there’s really no escaping it.

    Still …

    Every so often I wonder “What would my grandparents from Iowa have thought of …. (fill in the blank).” Kind of puts some of the changes we’re seeing and have seen into perspective sometimes (modern culture-wise; I know, I know, nothing new under the sun and all … )

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I think it is a norm for the culture, a norm that is kept somewhat hidden from children (though not enough to prevent them from suffering harm from it), and perhaps a certain section of the female population, but one that is there nonetheless. We have all seen the statistics of just how high the percentage of use of porn is. It is easy for Christians to identify the hypocrisy of the world around them, to point out the contradiction of MeToo with the display of the Halftime show, but less easy to confront the immediate problem of porn in the lives of a large percentage of men and a growing percentage of women who attend church. I recently saw an article that called for, in the face of growing ethical questions around Artificial Intelligence, sexual orientation, and personhood, for a theology of anthropology. Such a theology also needs to address the continuing compartmentalization that exists, even in church, between men and women. The Roman culture was also hypersexualized, and Paul addresses that in his call to the leaders of the church to treat younger women as sisters, older women as mothers, relationships that forbid any kind of sexual objectification of women. The modern church has failed miserably in that regard, as recent scandals involving abuse of women by pastors in the church demonstrate. When a respected Southern Baptist minister can mention casually in his sermon that a teenage boy ‘checking out’ an attractive girl in the congregation is just ‘natural’, and his congregation knowingly chuckles in agreement, then there is a problem.

    Like

  29. For the record, when I speak of local trails–the biggest threat is getting run over by a bicycle, since they are very well used. I walked one Sunday afternoon, and it was a 60-degree weekend afternoon in February, and pretty much the whole town turned out. I generally move from one side of the trail to the other, taking photos of whatever is interesting, and I had to turn around constantly to make sure I wasn’t in anybody’s way, because generally there were one or two people coming toward me and two or three people on bicycles behind me. Add the dog walkers (a lot of them), and it can get quite chaotic.

    If I’m out at 8:00 a.m., I may have my part of the trail to myself for a few minutes, but really only on the coldest days am I at all likely to be on it for ten minutes without seeing another person. I try to keep manmade objects out of my photos, but I’m definitely not out in the middle of nowhere on any of my local trails, though the state parks can at times be secluded. I’ve never gone to local state parks without my husband, and didn’t go to the one up north without him until I’d been with him several dozen times and knew it really well.

    Like

  30. Roscuro, I guess that depends on whether that “checking out” is assumed to be sexual. If I heard that term, I would assume it meant he thought the girls were good looking; one might also speak of the girls checking out the boys. I think it is natural for young people to look at each other and form opinions. As long as it’s limited to that, it’s natural and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Also, how healthy is it really to make a habit of determining a member of the opposite sex’s attractiveness, especially in light of Paul’s commands to treat older women as mother and younger women as sisters? I once overheard my father state that he could never think of how attractive his daughters were, since we were his daughters, and I have always thought that was the most clearest demonstration of what Paul meant. On the other hand, I had an uncle who made comments about his daughter’s attractiveness while she was growing up that really hurt her and it didn’t help when her brother followed her father’s example in commenting on the same thing – I have always considered that to be the antithesis to my father’s attitude and an example of how destructive a mindset of objectification of the opposite sex can be.

    I work in a profession that frequently has to deal with more private parts of people’s bodies, and if I cultivated a mindset of determining the physical attractiveness of members of the opposite sex, my patients would undoubtedly sense that and feel more vulnerable when I have to assist them with something so private. It is my matter of fact approach an attitude of respecting for them simply as other human beings that enables them to trust me to do my job without them wondering what I’m thinking about them. It is a mindset that should be cultivated in other relationships between members of the opposite sex outside the healthcare profession.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I guess it is all in context. I knew a married couple who were walking on a street near their home in a nice area and they were stopped and held up at gunpoint. When Wesley was in kindergarten a little friend of his was with his mom and dad and they were held up by gunpoint. I am cautious, too, and don’t want to go walk on trails by myself. In the country there can be lose dogs that run wild like where my brother lives. I do trust in God’s care in the sense that He gave me a brain to be careful. It sounds like you all have good plans of action. So I will not feel overly concerned about you. Everyone has to be aware of their territory. It has gotten a lot worse here in recent years. When I first lived in this house I would walk my dog at night and leave my door unlocked when I went out. I would never do that today.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I have not watched a Superbowl in years so the halftime show was shocking. Art is always involved with taxes by Superbowl time and he usually does not watch it. He got home in time for halftime and the second half this year.

    We don’t have cable and I only get PG or PG-13 movies to watch from the library. I don’t keep up with all the things going on in culture. So you can count me as shocked. I am glad I am shocked and not jaded.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Roscuro, I agree with you that that particular comment was grossly out of line, and I seriously hope he didn’t actually correct the mother for correcting her son.

    Several replies to your 2:32. First, Paul’s instruction on treating younger women as sisters (etc.) was given to Timothy, a young pastor, on how to treat the women in his flock. That doesn’t mean it has no application to the average teenage boy, but neither was it precisely written to him.

    Your ability not to judge how attractive or unattractive a patient is is probably useful in your profession, as being (at least outwardly) “unshockable” is to those who work with criminals. But it’s a personal personality thing, and neither a virtue nor a vice in itself.

    After my sister’s husband died, probably a couple of years later, my husband and I were at her house, and I think one of her sons said something about someday marrying a good-looking woman. She jumped in and said that it didn’t matter whether she was good-looking, that that was a superficial measurement of a person. My husband wouldn’t normally “correct” a mother in front of her son, but at the moment it seemed like a family of fatherless boys was getting only a woman’s perspective on the matter, and he didn’t see it as healthy. So he jumped in and said that a man would see his wife as beautiful, that God created men to see that way, and that not every woman will be beautiful to every man, but that a man’s own woman would be beautiful to him.

    Scripture actually comments quite often on a woman’s beauty. Should teen boys stand at the doorway to the youth group room and look teenage girls up and down as they enter? Absolutely not. But it’s going to be quite natural that a certain girl (or more than one) “catches his eye” as particularly attractive. He should still be able to be kind to girls who don’t seem attractive to him, but physical beauty is a God-given thing, and God gave men a particular interest in female beauty.

    By the way, my sister said she was into her twenties before she realized she was pretty, because even though women had told her that a lot through the years, her own mother never had, and she assumed that if her mother didn’t find her pretty, then the other women must be just being polite. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a parent commenting on a child’s beauty–it just depends on how it is said. A father’s admiration is going to sound different from a suitor’s, but a father’s compliments could give his daughter confidence.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I know Beth Moore is a controversial subject. It was years ago I did a workbook study about the Fruit of the Spirit that she put together. So I read with some interest this except from her new book that came through email from Christianity Today. Does this seem to indicate a change in her from the leader she has been in recent years? I have not really kept up with her.
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/january-web-only/beth-moore-god-uses-your-mistakes-for-good.html?utm_source=todayschristianwoman&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=2434285&utm_content=695584112&utm_campaign=email

    Like

  36. When I was in my early 20s, I was asked to play in a church in a town about an hour’s drive from where we lived. The church was an independent Baptist church, like the one my family attended. After the service, we (I was with a friend, who had been the means of introducing me to this church, and also present were both mine and my friend’s younger siblings) were asked to share lunch with one of the families, who were also feeding the pastor and his teenage sons (the pastor’s wife and daughters were away at some kind of conference). The conversation took several interesting turns and I found out some interesting, and in retrospect, disturbing things about this pastor and his family. Among the topics that came up was how this pastor’s teenage sons interacted with the girls in the church. The pastor himself explained to me that he felt that Jesus’ comment about looking at a woman to lust after her had been misinterpreted to say that a man couldn’t enjoy looking at an attractive woman. He said that he encouraged his sons to enjoy girls’ attractiveness, but not to enter a sexual relationship until marriage.

    Something else came up in the conversation as it continued, about the pastor not liking curly hair in women, and that he required his daughters, several of whom had natural curls, to straighten their hair. Now, I happen to have naturally curly hair, and it took me most of my childhood and youth to accept it for what it is. So I humourously looked at the pastor’s closely cut, thinning hair and remarked it was unfair of him to expect women to do so much with their hair when he had to do so little. My remark occasioned some laughter, but afterwards, on reflection, the pastor’s attitude towards controlling his daughters’ appearance to match what he found attractive (I later met several of his daughters and they were almost overgroomed), while at the same time encouraging his sons to enjoy the attractiveness of girls in the church, seemed very disturbing. Time was to prove my concerns to be valid. That pastor’s sons became the town’s playboys (a small segment in a wider ugly saga that now is not the time to tell), while his daughters ended up competing with one another for a marriage partner in a bitter episode. This church was very conservative, the women all wore skirts, there was no contemporary music, traditional male and female roles were upheld, etc. Yet it turned out to be rotten to the core (as I said, there is a wider tale) and the one clue I had to the rottenness was a few remarks regarding women’s attractiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Does anyone plan to watch the State of the Union address tonight? I always watched them until the Obama years. I hope I get a chance to watch tonight. I may not watch it all. Art would rather watch his programs. At least he got to see Vera, his favorite, last night.

    Like

  38. Cheryl, when doctors and nurses fail to have what you choose to call my personality trait (it is not a natural trait to me, rather one that I have learned), patients are victimized. The recent case of the gymnastics doctor who was revealed to have abused hundreds is what happens when the healthcare professions fail to cultivate such an attitude. It is definitely a virtue to regard people as having inherent value and dignity as human being, without regard to their sex or appearance. I do not claim to be more virtuous than anyone else. As I have said, I learned this and I learned it slowly and painfully. I am not incapable of being aware of physical attractiveness – I simply realize, like my father, that I cannot think of my patients, or indeed, people in general, in that way. It is a matter of doing what Jesus said, of daily taking up one’s cross and following him, dying to the natural lusts and inclinations of our flesh.

    As to Paul’s instructions being for pastors, it has often been said by commentators that Paul’s qualification in I Timothy 3 for elders are qualifications that all Christians should be striving to meet, so I do not think it would be healthy to compartmentalize Paul’s word regarding treating older and younger women as family members to just pastors. Incidentally, Paul’s qualifications for elders is also quite relevant to this discussion, as Paul requires elders to be a ‘one woman man’, a qualification of single-mindedness that means making a habit of generally regarding the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex would be a disqualifier for elder.

    Finally, a parent can reinforce a child’s self image. The remarks my uncle and his son would make on their daughter/sister’s attractiveness were not all uncomplimentary, and she found the complimentary remarks as disturbing as the critical remarks. My mother, a woman has never been shy of complimenting her children’s appearance, but she is a woman like her children, and it was actually to my mother that my father made his statement of not thinking of his daughters in that way.

    Like

  39. Janice I am going to watch what I can of the SOTU address. Seeing the actual state of the nation I am more curious than anything. Some of the more despicable members of the house and Senate have declared they will not attend…good! 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Roscuro, a father who would micromanage his daughters’ appearance for his own standards is indeed acting despicably. On the other hand, a father who asks, “Did you get a new haircut? It’s very pretty” is giving a simple compliment.

    You wrote, “It is definitely a virtue to regard people as having inherent value and dignity as human being, without regard to their sex or appearance.” Of course it is. I walk past people begging for funds on the side of the road, and I’m aware these are people made in the image of God and in a place human beings shouldn’t be in.

    As a rule I don’t notice much whether or not a man is good looking, and I could have married a man who wasn’t. I notice the beauty of sunsets and of flowers and of cardinals–why should I never notice that a human being is lovely? Often when I do notice that a person is lovely, that person doesn’t have “traditional” beauty. She might be an old lady with deep age lines and sparse white hair. Last night I noticed the “beauty” of a little boy in the grocery store who was using a walker but showed his humble sense of humor when he joked to the cashier that he had spilled half his snack on himself. It is actually true that noticing beauty is not lust–but a person can say that to excuse lust. I’m not promoting ogling. Ogling is an activity of lust. But noticing that this person has very nice eyes, this one a lovely smile, this one beautiful curls, this other one is not at all physically beautiful but with a generous spirit that makes people happy to see her . . . one can make mental note of such distinctions without it turning to treating people badly. Again, God is the one who created beauty. Asceticism is not a Christian response to beauty. God has given us good things to enjoy, and that enjoys noticing a lovely smile or iridescent eyes. Coveting that beauty, whether by wishing it were ours or by lusting after it, is not a God-given reply, but noticing it is not a sin.

    As a nurse, you do better not focusing on beauty. As a photographer, I see beauty in places other people don’t. I would imagine thousands of people passed those dried flowerheads in today’s header in the last few months before I picked them and brought them home to photograph–certainly hundreds of people did. How many have noticed their beauty? It would be a tiny percentage. I might be the only one. Portrait photographers must notice the beauty–or at least the interesting features–of their subjects. But they no more have the right to lust after their models than you do after your patients.

    Like

  41. I’ll probably tune in to the State of the Union address, but might not stick with it all the way through. I normally don’t watch them but will read about them later. But this is an interesting juncture we are at as a nation, so it could be interesting. Or not. 🙂

    So I guess NCIS and This is Us won’t be on tonight? 😦

    Like

  42. Cheryl, you are talking about noticing beauty, not sexual attractiveness, and you mention several examples that include people of the same sex as you, as well as the beauty of non-human objects. Whenever I talk about not noticing sexual attractiveness, someone always assumes I am talking about not noticing beauty. I can certainly notice beauty as a nurse, and do – there is great beauty in the silvery new skin forming over a wound, or in the loving care a caregiver shows to an ailing spouse. If I meet a patient who happens to have the proportions we call beautiful, it still registers in my mind – I simply do not connect it to sexual attractiveness.

    The thing is, that pastor I mentioned was arguing he was simply encouraging his sons to enjoy the beauty of girls (as would have Paige Patterson in his anecdote), but he was actually encouraging them to lust. As I recall that pastor’s words, he said it was going further in one’s mind and mentally stripping the girls that was lustful, but to enjoy their beauty was not being lustful. Yet, it was a distinction without a difference. What both pastors failed to distinguish was that they were only encouraging these young men to notice how these girls were attractive in relation to the boy’s own physical reaction to the girl. In other words, the only beauty they were training the boys to see was inherently sexual in nature.

    As I observed among the young men in the College and Career group I occasionally attended, most young men are idiots when it comes to gauging potential partners. They go after all the ones who have the figure or face they find attractive and none of the personality or character. One girl who wreaked havoc among that group worked as a model, so was outwardly quite attractive, but was pure poison, manipulative, sensual, and seemingly incapable of taking responsibility for her actions. Here was the thing, objectively, she was not beautiful. Neither her face nor figure had any of the correct proportions that are said to represent beauty, yet she managed to make a fool of more than one of the young men. In lieu of beauty, she had cultivated and exuded the sexual attractiveness of the kind constantly on display in popular culture. The immature young men thought their fantasies had come to life in a Christian setting. It was like seeing the ‘strange woman’ in Proverbs 7 in real life demonstration. The difference between beauty and sexual attractiveness is a clear one, but it takes maturity to see it clearly.

    Like

  43. DJ, depending on your time zone shows may or may not be pre-empted, but people where they are pre-empted won’t miss anything new. NCIS will be on here at 8 before SOTU at 9.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I will not be watching SOTU for two reasons. First, though I appreciate some of his accomplishments, I get tired of his exaggeration of his importance (always the best whatever of all time). If he says anything important and not predictable I’ll read about it tomorrow.

    More important, though, is that I live in a house divided with people who can’t stand the sight or sound of him.

    Liked by 4 people

  45. The SOTU speeches were always interesting experiences in the newsroom, depending on who was president 🙂 (we had folks on both sides). It usually came on right as I was leaving work (in the old newsroom days from a year ago and earlier) so I’d maybe hear some of it in the car on the drive home, but I acknowledge I had a hard time listening when Obama was in office.

    I’m mostly ambivalent about Trump at this point. Don’t love him, don’t hate him. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. From TV Guide:

    ~ Some of your favorite TV shows will get bumped from their regular airing times. Hearing updates on the current administration’s agenda for domestic and foreign policy is important, sure, but what about This Is Us?!

    This is Us and New Amsterdam will both be postponed due to the State of the Union, as will CBS’s FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, ABC’s mixed-ish and black-ish, and Fox’s The Resident. Luckily for superhero fans, The CW is skipping SOTU coverage and will be airing its two popular superhero shows, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as usual. ~

    Like

  47. Husband definitely will not watch tonight but I will probably go downstairs and watch while on the elliptical 😊
    Janice I read the excerpt about Beth Moore…I am no fan and found some of her statements curious. I am wondering what she means with this statement: Thoughts? (As I have understood the rotten fruit being evil)

    To our great relief, even rotten fruit finds a place in the vineyard. In the efficient economy of cultivation, nothing is wasted. The vinedresser does a curious thing with the rotten fruit. He turns it back into the soil and there, underground, by some spectacular organic miracle of nature, it fertilizes a future harvest

    Like

  48. I like watching the speech because I enjoy watching the people at the speech. The inaugural speech was fun because of all the normal people who were pointed out.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I’ve watched or listened to most SOTU speeches as an adult . . . or, rather, I did until I got married. My husband can’t stand them. Once or twice I have watched them, with him in another room with the door closed, but at that point I’m mostly inclined just to skip them. The reality is that by the time we married, I’d actually mostly gotten out of the habit anyway, since I couldn’t bring myself to watch most of Obama’s. Remember he started out in Illinois, and one of his first noteworthy “achievements” as a politician was being the ONLY one to vote against the “Infants Born Alive” act. I have a good number of black friends (no, I’m not one of those people who just says that), and I really, really “wanted” to be able to celebrate with them that we had a black president (though my hunch is that my black friends didn’t particularly celebrate him, either), but I couldn’t bring myself to be happy about Obama at any level.

    Like

  50. Reading through the comments, I had a feeling that Roscuro was referring to sexual attractiveness, not merely attractiveness or beauty on its own, and that others were referring to the latter. But it seems to have been straightened out now.

    Cheryl (and anyone else who might like to chime in with a thought) – In one of your comments above, you wrote, “Coveting that beauty, whether by wishing it were ours or by lusting after it. . .”

    That reminds me of my own pondering on envy and “wishing”. My thought has been that we can wish we had something that another has (but not in an ungrateful, grasping manner) without it being envy, as long as we do not wish we had it and they didn’t, or resent them for having it when we don’t. Does that sound right to you?

    For instance, with beauty, I might know a woman with beautiful hair, and think, “Oh, I wish my hair was like hers,” but I wouldn’t begrudge her her hair. Or I might see a friend’s new house and wish I could afford something like it, but not resent that she has this great new house. (Those are fictional examples.)

    Along with those thoughts, though, should also come gratitude for what we do have.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Roscuro, aha, your 5:29: when someone speaks of not noticing attractiveness, I don’t assume they mean sexual attractiveness. Since you didn’t say that, I actually didn’t know that’s what you meant.

    Nevertheless, I still don’t think it is wrong to notice sexual attractiveness. Dwelling on it or lusting after it is another thing. Talking about it to others also can get creepy really quickly. But God is the one who endowed us with sexual attractiveness–including, for instance, giving women breasts, which are fairly visible even on most women who are fully clothed.

    Probably the bigger problem is the one you alluded to–people making dating and marriage decisions based ONLY on sexual attractiveness. I don’t think the western system of making such decisions with little to no input from others is very helpful here. And I’m not sure the Christian version is very helpful, either, where people think you’re supposed to get a special word from the Lord as to whether or not to marry this person. No decision making needed, just step right up, get your private word from the Lord. Involving one’s family and/or relational community to some extent seems much wiser, to me, than assuming that one can make such an important decision, under the influence of hormones, completely on one’s own. Maybe in the days when a given community would all have operated on pretty much the same cultural code. But not in a day like today when beliefs and practices are really all over the map, and when the person who attends church with you might be privately viewing porn and have any number of other issues that would concern you if you knew about them.

    Like

  52. Oh ya’ll if you are not watching this you really should…husband is even enjoying watching Pelosi’s face! But even more than that, he is introducing some incredible people in the gallery.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. I don’t pay attention to SOTUs anymore. They are mostly campaign speeches. Although it is sometimes entertaining to see a Senator or Congressperson from the opposition party totally tuned out, but pretending to pay attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. So far my favorite part has been watching the 100 year old Korean War Vet seated near Limbaugh and the first lady jump up and applaud at every opportunity. He’s quite spry for a man his age. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Very enjoyable. Why could Pelosi not stop taking Was she trying to talk to Pence? He seemed to be trying to politely ignore her as he was focused on the speech. She looked like one of my hyperactive children.

    Liked by 3 people

  56. Kizzie, I think if it is a passing thought, then it’s a passing thought. Here’s one of my own: I wish I’d been the one to give birth to my daughters. It’s natural enough, but I can’t “linger” there. That isn’t the life God gave to me, or to them. What He gave me is good, and I need to thank Him for what He has given and not “grasp” what He has not.

    So if we think, “I wish my hair dried as quickly as hers does!” and then shrug and move on, no harm done (I think). But if it is a complaint (murmuring) or covetousness, then it is sin. I think it can easily turn to sin, and I suspect that Jesus did not have so much as those passing thoughts–though we don’t know. At the same time, we do live in a fallen world, and to recognize that is to recognize truth. If you never ever thought “I wish my husband had not died,” it wouldn’t necessarily be a sign of greater sanctification (although it might); it is likely to mean that your relationship hadn’t been a good one. Since it was a good one, you will have those thoughts, and they need not be sin.

    My own rambling 12:30-in-the-morning-with-a-tummy-ache thoughts; take them for what they’re worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. We watched the speech at my Bible study and finally turned it off to get to the study. Aj, will you please post a link in case I can’t find where to watch it? Thanks.
    The parts that I saw were great.

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

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