48 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-8-20

  1. An update from [Paul Washer’s] HeartCry Missionary Society on the church in Wuhan…

    “Now it is the 10th day since the city has been separated by quarantine, and protective masks are the most valuable thing in Wuhan. Money is useless because you can’t find a store that sells the masks. People are in a desperate situation. In response, our brothers and sisters preach the gospel and give out tracts and free masks. They are sharing the word of hope and comfort from God. They have become more and more favored in the city, even in the authorities’ eyes.”

    “These churches in Wuhan keep themselves away from all the rumors and political issues, they just do what a true Christian should do in this situation: preaching gospel and being witness of true peace and true hope that come from Jesus Christ in front of the non believers who are in panic and hopelessness.”

    “The yellow (Christians wearing yellow suits for protection) has become the most beautiful color in the city. Christians gained the respect that they never had because of their willingness to risk their health to serve.”

    ——

    1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV
    But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, [concerning them which are asleep], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

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  2. I hope you all have a great day. I am starting to think about what to take to Dallas with me on the 14th. It has come to my attention that except for pumps I have no closed toe shoes. I hope my feet don’t freeze. I also have too many pairs of jeans and only 3 pair that fit. I have 3 pair of black pants and am at a loss for tops to go with them. I went shopping yesterday afternoon but did not end up with anything to wear. I did get a great looking Summer sweater. I love Spring and Summer clothes and hate Winter clothes…see where the problem is?

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  3. Morning all. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Going for a family hike and dinner later.

    My goal is to spend my day in gratitude. I have lots of thank yous to write.

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  4. Good morning.

    Every so often my work WordPress account shows up here and I have trouble switching back. I had to re-sign in to my work WP account yesterday for some reason so it was showing up here too.

    Happy Birthday Jo! What’s the plan for the day?

    I thought Texas was mostly mild and warm, even hot in the summer? Why is Kim going to Dallas? Several people I know have moved there in recent years. I was only in Dallas/Ft Worth area once, but it was in December and it was quite warm as I recall. I love fall/winter clothes (and weather), the opposite of Kim. But I do enjoy the onset of spring each year. I’m hoping to do some planting in the backyard this time.

    There. That’s my Saturday morning stream-of-consciousness monologue. I slept in, exhausted from the work week.

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  5. It snowed this a.m. and when I got home from my writer’s critique group we had a small accumulation. I got some photos before it melts.

    My group met at a Panerra Bread spot within three miles of our home, and I had never seen it there before. It is in a shopping area where I went frequently to carry Wesley to the doctor for a number of years when he was young. The leader of our group said it has been there for years now. That shows how well I know my stomping grounds. We have too much to choose from within one mile so no need to go three miles. I really enjoyed meeting there.

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  6. Friday through Tuesday DJ. The same reason I came to your part of the country. KW’s Family Reunion, it’s work related. There will be breakout sessions for things that are important to me.
    The company is rewriting one of the classes I teach to the new agents and there will be two different sessions on that. There will be one on building your training calendar and I will attend that one, then another on using our new operating system for compliance and I will need to attend that one. I have ticket’s to a couple of private events as well.
    And the other reason I am going? Well,my father always said I would ride a fence post wrapped in barbed wire to get to go somewhere and that is pretty much true.
    The biggest excitement is seeing Simon Sinek speak

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  7. I slept in a little bit this morning (8:30), but almost the moment I got up, my husband said, “You’re going to want to go outside. Snow.” My siblings would have laughed, because they would have assumed he was joking. 🙂 Me, I had a new toy. Only a few of the flakes I saw were the six-sided crystal, but I got a decent number of snow photos. Then I came in, replaced the battery, changed into boots, and headed down to my pond.

    On the way I got the best sighting–and photos to prove it–I have ever gotten of a hawk. Now, I can’t quite say it’s the closest I have ever been to a hawk, because when we lived in the country, a couple of times raptors landed in the hedges right outside our kitchen window, so I’ve seen them up close both from the inside of the window and from the car (as a passenger) driving past the hawk in the hedge at eye level from six or seven feet away–but those hawks flew and I didn’t get to observe them from that close. In this case, I was walking down the sidewalk and about to walk under a tree, and I realized the tree had a red-shouldered hawk in it. Its head was the other side of a branch from me. Bot to see its head and hopefully get photos and to keep from making it fly, I backed off into the parking lot. I was perhaps 15 feet from it at that point, maybe 20–but very, very close to a bird that is the most beautiful species of hawk I’ve seen. (If I had to choose between it and the kestrel, the kestrel would probably win, but the kestrel is a falcon. And the kestrel has never given me close to this good a view.) I took several photos, and then left to leave it in peace. If I can leave without the animal getting stressed enough to flee, I figure it’s success–and it may just make it that much more likely to let me photograph it again if I ever see it again!

    Well, on my way home two hours or so later, as I approached that same patch of sidewalk, I slowed down in case the hawk was still there. It was, but it had moved over one tree, to the end tree on its row, which was closer to me than it would have been in the second tree. It had several branches in its way, but I suspected I wouldn’t spook it if I moved around a little for a better angle, as long as I didn’t get closer. I ended up getting quite a few more shots. Then I went around to go through the parking lot rather than to continue under its tree (I wasn’t sure if it would fly, but figured I’d give it its space). And when I came back onto the sidewalk after my little detour, a jogger was just coming toward me–and as it passed the hawk, it spooked it. If I’d stayed where I had been another five minutes, I probably would have seen it fly. But then, I might have been associated in its mind with it having to fly away. Anyway, lovely sightings and eventually I’ll send a photo or two.

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  8. Did I mention in here that I saw two bald eagles in Colorado?? I took the girls shopping at Kohl’s. Then we walked one shop over to Walmart. There was some empty space between the two stores with a tree. Three of the girls were ahead of me and the two eagles swooped right over them and then landed in the tree. What excitement. I got some photos, but, like Cheryl, didn’t want to spook them and they were mostly turned away from me.

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  9. It has been a beautiful day, cold but clear. My mother was given for Christmas, by an ubelieving friend, one of those crystal hangings that are trendy. It was called an eternity crystal or some such nonsense, with the hanging having a cheap metalwork figurine (in this case an ugly fairy that was supposed to be pretty), a string of beads, and then the heavy faceted synthetic crystal at the end. The hanging had a ridiculous fabricated pagan origin story on its box. My mother was going to get rid of the whole thing, but I said I could detach the crystal from the rest of it and make a prism window ornament out of it. I finally had a chance to do so with a few days off, and I showed it to Tiny and Sixth this afternoon while their parents were planning this year’s garden.

    We have large south facing windows in living and dining room, so I held the crystal prism in the sunlight that was pouring through the windows and spun it on its chain. The little ones laughed in delight at the hundreds of tiny dancing rainbows it reflected into the rooms, they chased them to catch them, spun around to watch them, and stood still to let the rainbows dance over them. I teased them when the rainbows shone on their mouths that they should swallow them quick and asked how they tasted. Tiny, being an imaginative child, said they were delicious. That little bauble entertained them for nearly an hour. There is a full moon this evening, so Tiny wanted to try it in the moonlight, but, alas, the moon’s rays are not powerful enough to make the prism reflect the light.

    When they tired of chasing rainbows this afternoon, my mother, who was also delighted by the prism, and I sat in her western facing room, admiring the different lights the crystal produced as the sun settled in the west (at this time of year, the sun still moves quickly from southeast to southwest), while having a wide ranging discussion. It began with the covenant sign of a rainbow (we were wondering whether rainbow would have been visible through a prism, such as a cut jewel, before the Flood); ranged through our Lord’s Parables of the Kingdom (any beautiful ornament is a reminder of Jesus comparing his Kingdom to pearls and treasure) into the New Creation; and ended on how how God divided people, not by the colour of their skin, but by language (contrasting the conditions if the Old and New Creation). The fun and fellowship gained by a small bauble that I scavenged from an otherwise tawdry hanging remind me of Paul’s words in I Corinthians (3:21-23): ” For everything is yours— whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come—everything is yours, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”

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  10. Roscuro, I once attended a white elephant gift exchange with a home Bible study in which all of us headed home really happy with what we got. Someone had music they didn’t like, so the tape was played in the background and someone else liked it and took it home. I’d bought a package of little stuffed animal fridge magnets to get the raccoon, and I brought the rest of the animals and someone loved them. And so on.

    Someone in the group brought a silly pink fabric flower with a group of three squirrels in the middle. As a unit, it was hideous. But when I claimed it I told them I could pull off the flower and have a cute little piece, and they hadn’t thought about doing that. That was 18 or 19 years ago, and the group of playful squirrels sits on the bookcase beside me–without the flower.

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  11. Roscuro – What a blessing to have such conversations with your mother! And what a blessing for her to have such conversations with her daughter!

    I long for the day when I can have such conversations with my own daughters. And with my grandson.

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  12. This afternoon I watched a movie that I had recorded a couple months ago from one of those non-network affiliated TV channels that plays movies on the weekends. It was a comedy with some “screwball” elements to it. (Mixed Nuts from 1994, starring Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Madeleine Kahn, and a whole bunch of other familiar names.)

    It was just the kind of movie that Hubby would have thoroughly enjoyed watching with me, and I with him.

    Just another one of those things that had me especially missing him. But I did enjoy the movie.

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  13. Morning, Mumsee. I put something on raves, but that was last night. Went for a really long walk yesterday and I’m still tired. We are having missionary lunch today for another couple that I support. I need to make a salad.

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  14. Nightingale had an awkward moment a little while ago. Planning to go out for brunch, she had intended for her and Boy to leave before I got home from church. But I guess he was taking a while to finish getting ready, and then I arrived home. Boy asked if I was coming to brunch, too, which made Nightingale have to say that she wanted it to be just the two of them.

    She was a little apologetic about that, but I told her I understood, and was okay with it. No hard feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We’ve had a little bit of rain, off and on. We’ll take it. No more rain in the forecast for more than week ahead, though. 😦

    Good morning at church, sermon was on Obadiah (short book, the usual long sermon — but we like long sermons 🙂 )

    Touched base with our former soap opera star (a deacon at our church), I’m hoping to do a story on the reunion show (which runs next week on cbs) sometime this week to run on the weekend ahead of the broadcast.

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  16. DJ – How long is a long sermon?

    Since you are familiar with some Twilight Zone episodes, I thought of you earlier this evening as I watched the classic Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, with William Shatner.

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  17. The pastor I had in my old church for about 20 years usually preached at least an hour. I have to admit that I found that tiresome at times.

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  18. Typically 45 minutes. I was surprised when Carol told me her pastor’s sermons (which she only hears via the audios he sends her, of course) are about 15 minutes. Seems a bit short but then I’m used to 45 minutes.

    I do think an hour might cause some restlessness. 🙂

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  19. I’ve never timed ours, but I’d guess 40 minutes or thereabouts.

    My church in Chicago didn’t have an overly long sermon, but it had way too long a song time, and a really bad one the last few years (most songs were only a sentence, but repeated multiple times, sometimes changing a word or two on the second and third times through, such as Father / Jesus / Spirit). They went from meeting at 10:30 to meeting at 10:15 in order to get over by noon, and it still didn’t necessarily work. I learned that I simply couldn’t go to Sunday school; my only way to get through church was to go only to the service.

    And then on Easter they didn’t have Sunday school, started at 10 a.m., and still didn’t finish by noon. I didn’t think that was an ideal way to get visitors to return, but that’s just me. Yes, I know that some cultures have three- or four-hour services. But my mother said they had them in Nigeria, and people would come in and out casually, eat, potty the child on the dirt floor during the service, and so forth. It wasn’t three hours of being fairly formal.

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  20. Hubby’s uncle was a Catholic priest, and he would say that a ten-minute homily is all that is needed. But that’s like settling for a quick snack rather than a nutritious meal.

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  21. In my old church, we would go to Sunday school at 9:15, then service was from 10:30 to a little past 12:30. I feel a bit guilty for saying this, but one of the things I liked about Hope Springs when we first started attending was that service starts at 10 and is usually finished around 11:30. (No regular Sunday school.)

    And I feel almost like a “backslider” to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: When Hubby started having to get up for work in the wee hours, meaning we couldn’t go to Sunday night service (at our old church), I was relieved. Sundays did not feel restful to me, knowing we had to go out again later for another two-hour service. (Hope Springs does not have an evening service.)

    Some pastors make it seem as if the Bible’s admonition to not neglect church service (although that’s not how it is worded, that is the gist) comes with a schedule for Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings, as well as other times. Someone once quoted something that said, “If you love your church, you come on Sunday mornings. If you love your pastor, you come on Sunday evenings, too. And if you really love Jesus, then you come on Wednesday evenings, too.” What a way to guilt-trip a person.

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  22. Kizzie, my husband often points out that Sunday is the Lord’s day, but we have no command to gather for a midweek church service. I’ve been in the “habit” of prayer meeting all my life, though I got out of the habit in our church up north because they pretty much didn’t have one. (I think three or four people gathered, but my husband wasn’t one of them, and I don’t drive at night in areas without street lights.) Here I tried to get back into the habit by attending a couple of times, but they simply pray through the printed prayer sheet (which we can do just as easily at home), and I’m driving at night without my husband if I do go, so I decided I go out enough evenings a week as it is (evening service, Bible study one or two nights a week).

    I do think there is something nice about the morning and evening service though, opening and closing the day with the church family worshiping God, and am glad to be back in a church that has evening services after 15 years in churches that didn’t have them. But also glad we now live less than ten minutes from church, and so it’s easy to get there and back and I can drive myself if my husband isn’t going.

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  23. One of the issues for us was that it was a 20 or 25 minute drive to church. So for morning service and Sunday school, we would leave at 8:45, and with chatting a bit after service, we would get home around 1:15 or 1:30. Going out for evening service, which was another two hours long, would have us out for at least another three hours.

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  24. Dj I am still trying to figure out who your former soap actor/deacon is! 😊
    We had a guest speaker/pastor in training today. I became distracted half way through. I do wish the singing didn’t take up so much time. It does seem like a performance much of the time and today it was especially loud for me….I didn’t have in my hearing aids but the reverberations irritated my eardrum on my left ear…gonna have to pack the earplugs in my purse! When church begins just after 10 and the preaching does not start until 10:45, the sermon doesn’t usually end until 11:45…then the music people have to lead one more song at the end…I get antsy…well unless my more favorite pastor is teaching..then I kind of don’t want it to end!
    We have small group once a week. We gather and eat a full meal together each week. I like my small group…..

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  25. Kizzie, I had the same thing in my last two churches, 25 or 30 minutes away. That makes a long Sunday, and it also makes a long Sunday if you have children. At this point in our lives, being close to church is helpful.

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