88 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-10-20

  1. Good morning, AJ and Chas. I made apple fritters for this mornings breakfast, last night before I came to work.

    Aj, I am praying for you! We have been through those times ourselves. Not fun, but you make it through.

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  2. Text from Matthew 27:28-29 and Psalm 2:9:

    Ἐξέδυσάν με τὰ ἱμάτιά μου
    They took my garments
    καὶ ἐνέδυσάν με χλαμῦδα κοκκίνην.
    and placed a scarlet robe about me.
    Ἔθηκαν ἐπί τὴν κεφαλήν μου στέφανον ἐξ ἀκανθῶν
    They fixed on my head a crown of thorns
    καὶ ἐπί τὴν δεξιάν μου χείραν ἔδωκαν κάλαμον
    and gave into my right hand a reed
    ἴνα συντρίψω αὐτούς ὡς σκεύη κεραμέως.
    for I will break them as a potter’s vessel.

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  3. Mumsee, I was looking out the window this morning while it was still dark. Then I saw a spot of sunlight on a tree across the way.
    It reminded me of Elvera’s practice in Hendersonville, NC. We had a house with a gas fired fireplace. Elvera would get up early in the wintertime. Go in and start the fire and sit there in her ;lazy-boy recliner and watch the sunlight up the tip of trees on a hill across the way. The light would creep down until the entire world became bright.

    There’s a lesson there somewhere. .

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  4. Good morning! It’s much cooler here and very windy. I heard that tornados are forcast for the SE on Easter Sunday.

    I am still thinking about getting groceries. When there are so many choices, that can make it daunting. I do like the delivery, and Instacart seems most likely.

    I am pondering why a first responder, new client, would have Art do their taxes yesterday and not be wearing a mask. Any thoughts? Some things that people do are beyond my limited knowledge to understand in a positive way.

    The azalea bushes have been so full of blossoms this year They are starting to drop off now and with this wind there may not be many blooms left for Easter.

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  5. Chas, just finishing up reading in Revelation. No need for sun or moon as Jesus is the Light. So it is with us. And so we should be to those in our reach. But it is good to see the sunlight and it is good to know the One Who created it and keeps it going.

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  6. In response to DJ from last night: sorry to gloat, but we still have an entire case of each and more from before the virus became a thing. We tend to be well stocked with the idea our grocery buyer may be off on some exciting adventure and those of us left at home will still be trudging along, not wanting to go to a store.

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  7. Speaking of the virus: interesting to see ventilators being returned and mobile hospitals being shut down and shipped to other places without ever seeing a patient. Hearing about the dearth of activity in hospitals, being reminded that ninety eight percent of us will be fine after getting the virus. Did we overreact? Did our actions do the work desired? Is the cure worse than the disease? Will we return to “normal”?

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  8. Having grown up near a Greek “Plantation” and attended several Orthodox Easter services that video gave me chills. The lament in the voice. I never understood the service as it was in Greek, but I sure did feel it. The Greek community acknowledge Christmas but Easter is the real celebration. There will be an Easter Vigil tomorrow night and sometime in the early hours of Sunday the men will start cooking. The celebration will be Sunday afternoon with food and pastries.
    My friend Tino educated me on this. When I was pregnant with BG I wanted pizza for lunch. He was fasting for 40 days and only eating bread and drinking water. We went to an all you can eat buffet. I ate all the toppings off the pizza and he ate the crust. I made myself sick and didn’t want pizza again for a very long time.
    Last night on CNN they had Pastor Rick Warren. He reminded people that this isn’t the first Easter that Christians have been sequestered. The followers of Jesus were behind locked doors in fear of the authorities coming for them.

    I went to find a link for you and found nothing but ugliness. Most of you know that I am not a fan of Mega-churches. The comments on Rick Warren being on Anderson Cooper’s show last night were nothing but hatred saying that “if he were such a good Christian he would close his church and go help the poor. Why is it that the “world” expects Christians to do more than they are willing to do. I happen to have served on the vestry of my church. The priests and staff were paid a good salary but nothing extravagant. Most of the money brought into the church went out to support other missions. An orphanage in Haiti,and a fresh water mission, a school in Africa, a missionary in France, (surprised me too), a church in New Orleans, Ecumenical Ministry, Waterfront Rescue Mission. What more does the secular world want from us?

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  9. Chas, we get a lovely view of the sunrise out of our two windows that face east-to-southeast and I frequently get up early and sit with my first cup of tea and watch it.

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  10. Mumsee, it is not over yet. Besides, the whole point of social distancing was to stop the spread. It would be silly to complain that it worked, but then, human nature being what it is, people will probably complain.

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  11. Kim, pay no attention. First of all, people like to complain and will do so at the slightest opportunity. Secondly, Christ said to expect such revoking. Thirdly, Christ also said not to give our alms to be seen of men, so if they cannot see the charity of churches, then mission accomplished.

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  12. Morning! We had a lovely sunrise this morning. I can watch the glow of the skies from my kitchen window while waiting for my coffee to brew. Sometimes it takes my breath away to watch the sky turn orange as it peeks through the pines 😊
    I am off this morning to experience a “curbside pickup” at a small business in town….hoping to keep alive a struggling small business in difficult days….

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  13. Mumsee, in Indiana we have already had more deaths from COVID than in a typical flu season (I read that yesterday, not sure what day it was written), we haven’t hit peak yet, and we’ve been social distancing in Indiana for weeks. (Our last in-person church service was March 8, which my husband and I actually both missed since we had the flu. But that is more than a month of social distancing in our own area.) How much worse could it have been if life was still operating as usual? Those are the kinds of questions Aslan doesn’t answer. But such shutdowns as keeping visitors out of nursing homes would alone have saved many lives in this time, it seems to me. And again, yeah, it isn’t over yet.

    Also, whether it’s 2 percent of people who get it who die from it, or some other number, it apparently has the potential to do bodily damage to some survivors, and is extremely unpleasant for many. All around, it does seem a disease best avoided, if one can avoid it.

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  14. Oh, we joined in on the church’s Zoom prayer meeting last night. It was kinda weird, actually, at least for me. But they got tons more people than in the “live” version they used to have. Generally they fit around a conference table, mostly old people (enough so that they recently changed the time to meet during daylight hours). Last night there were more than two screens worth of households (we went to the second page of nine but didn’t look past that, but others did participate who weren’t among those first 18), some of them with children present, and at least one household had children praying. I’m suspecting this may renew prayer meetings in at least some churches. Get families with children involved for a few weeks or months and then open the church back up, and we just might have more than the old people coming. (I have often commented that I tend to be one of the youngest people in prayer meeting–I actually haven’t even gone very often in this church, though I went faithfully until we married and moved to a church that didn’t really have one–but that all my siblings seem to be involved too, though we are from generations that don’t generally attend prayer meeting. Anyway, I wondered if the difference was that our peers were attending AWANA and other groups intended for children while we were attending prayer meeting with our parents. We got into the habit in childhood and continued it, but others never had any habit to continue.)

    What’s funny, though, is that my husband has worn a mask to church the whole time we’ve been at this church. (He had a sinus infection that lasted a better part of a year, and antibiotics did nothing, and after that he decided just to wear a mask in public for safety.) When we showed up on the screen, someone commented that they got to see what my husband looks like. 🙂 He told them that actually he was wearing a mask; that wasn’t his real face.

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  15. Prayer meeting: I used to take my children to prayer meeting and mid week Bible study. Tried it here but meeting got later and was already past bedtime (theirs and mine).

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  16. “Rise Again” is one of my favorite song from the 70s. Working at a radio station I got to hear a lot of the music before it came out. Most of it was so-so. But the first time I heard this one I knew it was going to be a classic.

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  17. Bright sunshine here. Donna still has our rain, but it will be moving on. I appreciated every drop of that rain and snow, but so glad to see the sun.
    Someone was going to Costco for me, but I do not know when to expect him to deliver. Oh, well, I am not doing much. But I was thinking of going and walking another section of the golf course.

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  18. I’m in a tricky spot in this biography at day 6 of writing. I need to explain the theology behind the Cowman’s decisions. This and Lettie’s prayer life/seemingly prophetic insight are the two most challenging parts for me to write intelligently and respectfully. As many of you know, theology is not my strong suit.

    I’ve read several books, many articles and talked with people trying to get a grasp on what the Holiness Movement is/was and why people had trouble with it. It’s still not clear.

    Yesterday, I began, praying the Lord would help me. I have about 1/2-a page to do that!

    But twice yesterday men I don’t know but with whom I’ve chatted or written in conjunction with ministry, asked me what they could pray about for me.

    That’s very generous and I’m always willing to share a prayer request. That’s what came out of my mouth and fingers. Then, I thought I should ask you all as well!

    So a bunch of people prayed for me.

    I haven’t written come up with the answer yet, though R and I talked at length about the subject.

    I have an hour to write until the work staff meeting. My prayer is I can make headway on that part of the book and then move forward the rest of the day.

    So, is this a prayer request, or am I just telling you about how curious my days end up?

    Take your pick. Either way, God is good. 🙂

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  19. It rained all day and night — now it’s stopped and, apart from some showers this morning, it appears to have left our forecast. Very satisfying, though, considering how dry January and February were. We may have even gotten up to what is close to normal for us.

    I was able to order a large quantity of Bounty paper towels on Amazon, finally, last night. No guarantee of a delivery date, but that’s OK. Still no Scott TP, but I have enough to get me through the rest of this siege, I think, especially if we’re “peaking” and the numbers begin to come down in the next week or so.

    There will be a lot of hindsight to take advantage of when this is all over — but also there will probably continue to be disagreement on whether it was an overreaction or not. It is what it is, as they say, but I am glad to see the death projections seem to be now coming down.

    My elder texted last night to see how things are going, he’s apparently still going in to work (a tech/cyber security firm in government work mostly). We’re having zoom prayer meetings at church on Sunday, but I have yet to use zoom. Maybe I can get though this period without having to do it? 🙂

    A box of Cheerios came with my grocery order yesterday. I have more cereal in the cupboard than I have had in ages, it just seemed like the most practical thing to order during this period.

    Better hit that shower so I’ll be awake for the editor conference call; I think I *may* have a fairly easy day with just a story about the cancelled sunrise services to write. Let’s hope next week begins to bring back a bit of normalcy if we can begin to see the ride downhill at last? But I agree, the sheltering was important. Still, if this thing will be back our way again, I can’t help but remember what my veterinarian said — that we’ll all eventually be exposed and probably catch it at some point in the next couple years. But if we can get the medications and a vaccine in place, we’ll at least have some protections and the cases won’t be as severe.

    AJ, praying for you guys — but maybe if things settle down in another month or so, the furlough might be shortened. And thankfully the unemployment coffers have been built up with some of the extra stimulus funds. It’s shocking how many people are losing work through this. Let’s hope for a quick re-hiring in those situations.

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  20. I just watched the President and others praying for America in the Oval Office. Some folks are going to go nuts over that. 😀

    I will post the video as soon as I can find it.

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  21. Michelle, at least some people had problems with the holiness movement because at least some aspects of it were pharaisaical (sp?). We aren’t given authority to invent all sorts of new rules, nor do they lead to holiness. I’ve had little personal interaction with it, but my in-laws got married in a “holiness” church. They had to wait till they got to the parking lot to exchange rings, since jewelry wasn’t allowed. That’s an extrabiblical restriction. Likewise, my father-in-law’s sisters were known to be grim people (my husband hated visiting them as a boy, and years later he found out his parents didn’t enjoy it either). One noteworthy incident that still gets talked about: one of my husband’s aunts apparently was always commenting on the way people dressed (or maybe I’m reading into that part of the story, I don’t know, but at any rate most clothing didn’t meet her approval, whether or not she usually spoke that aloud). One day she commented, “Now, that’s what a good Christian woman wears!” The problem? The person whose attire she applauded was not a Christian at all, but an Orthodox Jew!

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  22. Yeah, Cheryl. I can see that. I’m pleased to report, however, that when I sat down to just write it 20 minutes ago, it all went into place. My husband read through the page and gave me the go-ahead. That’s a relief. Now on to more thorny issues, but at least readers will have a context in which to place what happened next.

    It’s also important, in my mind, to remember that while motivated by “old-fashioned Wesleyan holiness,” the Cowmans used their “enthusiasm” to much good–especially the salvation of millions of people.

    Who am I just typing away in my comfortable office? 🙂

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  23. Michelle, I’m not very familiar with the Cowmans. How did their lives result in the salvation of millions of people? (I don’t need a long answer.)

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  24. It’s too early to pronounce COVID-19 over, but my daughter is relaxing. They have issues right now with people stealing masks from the rigs (especially now that LA County has made wearing them mandatory) and her father is coaching her on how management could respond.

    My husband has coached all the kids in some aspect of their job or another. It gives him great joy and has been helpful for them. Our daughter even sent him a EMT-logoed box of goodies in thanks!

    We’re all very thankful for him.

    He just tried to give me a lecture on the difference between Arminianism and Calvinism with a swing into Spurgeon’s teachings as he preached both. My brain went to the same place when he tries to explain insurance and we laughed. I’m glad someone understands it.

    Interesting, though, I could spout all the historical details, even if I couldn’t handle the concepts!

    Back to work. Thanks.

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  25. They founded the Oriental Missionary Society–with a few others–set up a Bible Training Institute in Tokyo which welcomed two students from Korea. The Korean Holiness Church came out of that meeting. They went on to open Bible colleges in Korea, China, India and Columbia. Now called One Mission Society, they’re still an active missionary organization 120 years later.

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  26. I always recommend Sproul’s “The Holiness of God” when it comes to understanding the doctrines of grace (what some people refer to ‘calvinism,’ though I don’t care for that label). It’s a book that was instrumental in many people’s growth and understanding, including Chuck Colson’s.

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  27. I often just listen to those videos, and the images are brief. But now I have a question. Can a Presbyterian be an archeaologist or historian, if glimpsing the odd artistic portrayal is a problem? There is significant historical information to be gained from historical church paintings, modsics, frescos, statuary, illuminated manuscripts, etc.

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  28. I don’t personally have a problem with images like that in those contexts — and I doubt those in my church would be bothered either, though we understand the problems that can come with incorporating such images into a form of worship (and the issues that arise from such films as Gibson’s The Passion from a number of years ago, for example).

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  29. Kim (“What more does the secular world want from us?”)

    Essentially to stop preaching and insisting that Jesus is the only way to God and salvation.

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  30. Roscuro, of course “glimpsing the odd artistic portrayal” isn’t a problem. But that video spent lingering time with one image twice, and then went to another one, and I wasn’t even very far in. So it would seem to be more than a glimpse, but a deliberate focus of the video. That’s at best “distracting” for those of us who avoid images of our Savior.

    My headphones aren’t really very well done for my situation. To watch anything, I have to sit leaning forward a bit. So unless I shut my eyes, the images are going to be fairly prominent. But I rarely watch the music videos on here unless more than one person comments on one . . .

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  31. DJ, I have never watched Gibson’s The Passion, and have never had desire to. I do not even like the use of the Jesus film in evangelism, not because I think Passion plays are absolutely forbidden (theatre was certainly used by God in the Old Testament, but generally in a more symbolic, indirect way); but because I know imagery can be confusing out of context. The icons of the Greek orthodox church reflect their context, and the icons of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox church reflect their context, i.e. the human images portrayed look like Greeks or Ethiopians, and wear familiar clothes and are surrounded by familiar objects – that is why church art is so valuable to historians and archaeologists, because it portrays the viewpoint of Christians in a given time period and place. But the case of the Portuguese influence on the St. Thomas Christians in India is an instance of what I mean about the context of the Jesus film. The Portuguese basically coerced the St. Thomas Christians to follow European Catholic tradition – some St. Thomas Christians refused, causing a schism. Now, in modern Indian film productions that portray Christians and Christian imagery, the images all look like European people, i.e. they are light skinned (they are also very tacky). In Indian culture, the caste system partially – there are other factors as well – discriminates based on skin colour, lighter skinned people are generally of higher castes, darker skinned people are generally of lower caste. Portraying Christ as a light skinned European to Indians, who are often of the lower castes, creates a barrier, one that is exacerbated and further confused by the fact that Hindu mythical beings, such as fairies, are also portrayed as light skinned. Similarly, using the Jesus film to audiences of different ethnicities only helps reinforce the idea of Christianity as the ‘white man’s religion’.

    Most of the Baptist/non-denominational Christians I have attended church with prefer not to use pictures of Jesus in worship context, not because they consider them idolatrous, but because they consider them distracting. Nevertheless, most of us enjoy art, including some famous portrayals of scenes from the life of Jesus. I found those images in that video I shared to be unecessary, mostly because they were a jarring departure from the setting of the Orthodox monks singing in Hagia Sophia – the images were modern, even those one that imitated an older style, and Hagia Sophia has beautiful mosaics of its own that have been at least partially restored (the Muslims plastered the priceless mosaics over when it was used as a mosque). But I also understand the Orthodox mindset of those who made the video.

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  32. Cheryl, Youtube is the only format on which to share sound. I actually do have a recording of this same piece, but there is no way to share it online.

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  33. Re: AJ’s 2;23
    It is possible that Pence may have written that speech. But I think that only a born again Christian could say “our Lord and savior Jesus Christ”
    I haven’t heard such direct Christian references since Jimmy Carter.,

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  34. Here is some information debunking those who are skeptical (particularly those who think there is some kind of conspiracy-type thing going on) about how serious the coronavirus is.

    Mumsee – Here’s what it has to say about hospitals:

    “It’s true that many hospitals are less busy than normal and have mostly-empty parking lots, but that’s because non-essential appointments were cancelled. People who would have once raced to the emergency room are staying away. Some parts of the United States have seen relatively few COVID-19 patients, which is shown in official figures, but caution may still be keeping people away from ERs. As a result, some hospitals are virtually empty. But the suggestion that NYC intensive care units are not slammed is offensively false.”

    (Been busy with Boy today, so I am jumping in with this, so someone else may have already had a similar comment.)

    https://arcdigital.media/debunking-coronavirus-trutherism-c290fc660a12

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  35. Mumsee, what about the Yamomami? The fact that a 15 year old from the tribe died is ominous. Those isolated tribes are already vulnerable to diseases from outsiders and a new disease will further threaten their existence.

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  36. It is by no means certain yet that having it makes one immune. That is a concerning feature of the coronaviruses in general, they do not necessarily trigger lifelong immunity.

    Testing on the isolated population of Iceland, which has the target of testing everyone, has found that half are asymptomatic at the time if testing, which is not to say that they all remain asymptomatic. But even at 50 percent asymptomatic, if we took that to say that cases in our countries were twice as high as tested, that still would not, at the present time, mean that most of us had it. It would only bring Canada’s cases up to about 53,000, for example, which is not most of Canada.

    The number of tigers in zoos testing positive is also concerning, indicating that at least animals can host the virus. If tigers, what about the domestic cat. I said, when Italy started showing cases, that it was possible there was a non- human carrier transferring the virus.

    Just looking at Canada’s figures for today, I saw the world mortality rate had exceeded 100,000. It has gone from about 3,000 to over 1000,000 in less than a month, even with social distancing and lockdowned, demonstrating the speed with which this spreads and kills.

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  37. Tiny is so lonely for company, she is imagining it. Today she came into my room and said, “Aunt (Youngest) sends everyone a hug and a kiss.” She then hugged me and gave me her version of a kiss – for all she is so articulate, she cannot make the kissing motion with her lips yet. I asked her if she had talked to Youngest, and she said, “Yes, on my phone.” She also said she had talked to Little, and Baby, and Fifth, and even a bit to Seventh, who is generally a shy wee laddie with little to say. I was happy to hear it, as we have all been feeling the separation from the Youngests and considering if we could try to Skype with them. But when I mentioned it to my mother, she said she also had a hug and kiss, but that Tiny said it came from our dear friend and relative, whom Tiny also calls by the title of Aunt. So then I had to ask Second which one it had been. She said Tiny had not talked to anyone, and the messages had come from her imagination.

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  38. Jumping in again. A friend wants me to watch a video by a guy named Sid Roth. That name rings a bell, but I don’t know why? Anyone have anything to say about him?

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  39. I’ve been wondering, myself, where Kevin has been / how he is. I know he’s in a higher-risk group for COVID with his heart problems.

    Last week sometime I read an article naming five states that would were predicted to be the next hot spots for the virus. Michigan was one of those states. So were Georgia, Connecticut, and Indiana, all states where we have blog members. So my best friend and I, in our Friday morning Bible study by phone last week, prayed for Kevin, Cheryl, Kizzie, and Janice and families.

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  40. AJ, you and Cheryl are in my prayers, too, with the job situation.

    Thanks for all the music posted lately. I had time to listen to the Monday through Thursday music postings yesterday. All delightful, as well as today’s, which I listened to earlier.

    Peter, the Getty family video was very enjoyable. Third Arrow and I watched and especially loved seeing their kids joining in. Lovely singers, and we both got a good chuckle at the end of the video when ice cream time was announced. 🙂

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  41. I ran into town and picked up my curbside goodies. I waved to my friend through the glass door as it must be a “no contact” transaction. I left tulips, her favorite cookies and sumo oranges in a bag by the door.. 😊
    I came home a had a little over 4 mile walk with the husband then a nap..not a bad day….not bad at all 😊
    Kevin….check in!! ❤️

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  42. Normally I wouldn’t email, but given the Covid outbreak, I decided to send him one. Told him we just wanted to make sure he and his family are OK and that we’re praying for them. Told him he could email me, or stop by the blog.

    I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

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  43. Argh, just lost it with the neighbors and their loose-running dogs. I headed out for our leash walk and there was the new pit bull, loose and barking on their front lawn; we got by OK, but those dogs, which I’ve never trusted and never will, should NEVER be unleashed and outside of a secure fence, ever. Then when we came home from the other direction, we were heading up the driveway and here comes one of the little ones, which belongs to her sister around the corner, charging up at my dogs and Tess immediately tries to fight (a pretty natural reaction for dogs). I yelled out “Please keep your dogs contained.” I’ll really have to talk to them, it’s just so annoying and now that they have a pit bull I’m nervous every time I go out for a walk with my dogs.

    Ugh.

    Ok, rant over.

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  44. I do not trust pit bulls. One of our dogs was attacked by one years ago and my sister had one that turned on her after it had killed her chickens. She hit him in the head with a shovel as he charged at her, knocking him out….he was put down. I have a couple of times shouted out to owners to please control their out of control unleashed dogs…Those encounters can be very emotionally charged 😞 (I once threw the milk box at a lab who was snarling and coming after Fly…the owner was aghast. Hey it was the only thing I had to fend it off at the time…and he was on my property!)

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  45. Yes, unleashed ‘charging’ dogs and leashed dogs equal big problems, no matter what the breed.

    But a pit bull completely unnerves me. I’ve read and heard too many horror stories (and yes, I have known a sweet one from the dog dog park – but … even the ‘dog whisperer’ said they still have that 10-20% of ‘genetics’ that can come out and they have to be completely kept under control, i.e. training, leashes and secure fences — if for nothing else, the neighborhood’s and mail carriers’ peace of mind!).

    I’ve also had dogs attacked by pits, once on a leash walk some years ago with my former aussie/shepherd dog Mercy. Cost me a pretty penny at the vet’s — the pit was being “walked” unleash by two kids who were way too small for that dog; as soon as I saw them across the street my stomach did a summersault and, sure enough, the dog broke free and came charging right at my dog, had her down on her back in an instant.

    I tried to file a report with animal control but they said I needed the address of the other dog and the kids took off. A neighbor guy fortunately was outside at the time and came running over to drag the pit bull off my poor dog. He told me the dog had been a problem before, but he didn’t know where the owners lived.

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  46. walked ‘onleash’ — a word spell check really doesn’t like; but these two kids, probably about 10-12 years old, were barely able to hang onto the leash once that dog started lunging at the sight of mine across the street

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  47. I just realized that I am feeling sad. Easter is coming and it is a family day. I do not want to be alone on Easter. Maybe I could just sneak over to someone’s home and just watch????

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  48. Jo, my mother-in-law would usually be with family too. But one member of the family works at CVS, and when she told us she was debating not going, we encouraged her “leaning” that way. I’m sorry you are feeling sad in a season that celebrates the very heart of joy. I recommend 1 Corinthians 15 and that you look to set up a FaceTime call or two. (We’ve never done that with family, but I’m thinking that you have.)

    I already have on my to-do list calling a church member or two who lives alone . . .

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