75 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-5-20

  1. Good morning! I paid the property taxes yesterday, so I was able to order a few Christmas gifts last night. Overtime helps. Its probanly not a good thing to have a debit card and a computer with time on my hands.

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  2. Morning! It is dark in this forest and oh so still. That is a pretty bird up there in the tree…he has a lovely striating color scheme on his chest…tone on tone sepia tones are my favorite…he would fit right in at my house! 😊

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  3. Good morning. We were watching the deer eat in the front yard. Now three are enjoying a siesta just off the yard under the pines. Yesterday I watched as my husband drove the car out of the garage, down the drive way and left. The deer looked a bit at first and then totally ignored him. These deer are way too comfortable.

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  4. The header is a female red-winged blackbird (though I didn’t take the shot).

    Kathaleena, deer on our local trails are way too comfortable, too. Not the bucks and not the does when they have young fawns, but for most of the year, it’s possible to get to within ten or twelve feet of them, and that’s way too close. I move to the far side of the trail and otherwise keep my distance, but I wish they were hunted. It’s better for people (the meat isn’t wasted, they aren’t getting into gardens out of desperation for food, there are fewer to be hit by cars, etc.), but it’s also better for the deer. They’re overcrowded, and they keep reproducing anyway.

    I do think they are really beautiful animals–so graceful, with lovely faces–but I’d rather they be actually wild animals.

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  5. Coyotes can be very cool looking. We’re all fascinated when we unexpectedly see one trotting along the sidewalk, but it’s definitely a love-hate situation in populated urban neighborhoods.

    Argh, property tax time. It’s marked with a BIG X on my wall calendar, gotta get that in the mail before the 10th or pay it online, but I need to get the funds withdrawn and transferred from the Credit Union. I had to increase the amount taken out of my paycheck for that CU savings account so it would now also cover an automatic transfer for my car payment each month.

    ‘Tis the season of juggling.

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  6. My son’s border collie puppy, now 8 months old, is a jumper. We were over early this morning so the Engineer could help the Physicist raise the fence line two feet with lattice. Surely, she can’t jump six feet?

    “The problem is,” Adorable, 10, explained, “she jumps without knowing what’s on the other side.”

    The other issue is she’s not coming back when called, “which is why we can’t start her on agility training,” the same dog lover explained–those she’s chomping at the bit to get started.

    They live on a hill, so the dog can get a running start, not to mention her natural ability and need for activity. She’s also started chewing up the furniture. Obviously, the Adorable, 2, isn’t giving her enough run for her money–though that’s surprising watching him jump around!

    All the Adorables looked adorable in their Living Nativity costumes, which will be held at our church in two weeks if we’re not shut down.

    We’re at 25% capacity open in the ICU beds–but the rest of the counties in our Bay Area are voluntarily complying with the shut down orders. It’s probably only a matter of time for us.

    Meanwhile, the EMT gave training yesterday on 5-minute COVID testing to her people. They all passed, no fails, and are ready to give it as needed.

    American ingenuity, when given the freedom to roar, can get a lot done. I’m just sorry we can’t ship some tests to Roscuro.

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  7. Michelle. The thing that’s new is the additional and various ways of spreading information and misinformation.
    The source didn’t lie in former days.

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  8. Barricades, it’s worked best for me in the end with destructive pups. And a good basic obedience class asap. Then repeat. As often as needed and/or as often as possible. The repetitive, one-on-one work, owner with dog, in these classes is really good exercise, both physical and mental.

    Border collies and Aussies are high energy, mind and body. But you know that already. They’re also breeds that pick up commands very quickly, Tess always was the fastest to learn things in class (faster than I was!).

    Fetch? Tess loved playing fetch and it would keep her mentally and physically occupied for hours. (Cowboy, an Aussie-border collie mix, on the other hand, had no interest in those games and was mentally much more easy going.)

    I’m having the kind of Saturday I figured I’d have. I’m sitting amid a tangle of cords and wires trying for the life of me to figure out what goes to what (I have one heavy black cord that disappears into the floor and goes … no where? Maybe it belonged to the former cable service?) Other mystery cords as well, and all in a confusing jumble.

    Not having the kind of brain that easily “puts things together,” this is a nightmare for me. I look at the mess, pick cords up, shake my head, and walk away to find any kind of distraction I can so I don’t have to deal with it. Like being here.

    I hate these kinds of tasks, I am not (literally) wired for them. Took me forever to put together the cat tree for Annie back in the day. Hours. And hours. I can look at a diagram, look at the part and the connectors I have in my hands, and just not “get it.”

    I guess the first thing I want to do is swap out the very old surge protector for the new one I have. That shouldn’t be hard, right? Unplug old one from the wall, plug new one in … then one by one plug in the cords that were in the old surge protector, untangling as I go?

    Ultimately, I want to get the cords separated, labeled and maybe tied neatly and then be able to pull the surge protector out from behind and under the cabinet legs to set on the chest I’m using for the new TV, so I’ll have easier access.

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

    Looks like Southern California will go down as early as Sunday in the new state/regional stay-at-home order. Our ICU capacity is down to 13% already, I believe. Some are saying (in the LA Times today) that we really should just bite the bullet, shut down everything, including all retail, lock our doors, and wait it out for the next few weeks.

    I read another piece where a medical official suggested not enough emphasis is being put on social distancing; masks are good but without strictly practicing social distancing as well, staying at least 6 feet away from people, whether you know them or not, it’s not going to be that effective. He believes that’s why we’re seeing these numbers. People are actually pretty good about wearing masks, from what I can tell, around here. But social distancing is harder — I noticed that at church when I was attending the outdoor services for a few weeks, it was really hard not to be “too” close to people as you chatted and caught up after the service.

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  9. I have been trying to warm up my feet ever since returning home from prayer walking. I was fine while walking but afterward we stood in the cold shaded area by our cars and talked. I don’t need to stand in the cold after walking a long distance I am not accustomed to walking. My leg started stiffening up. The walk itself was productive, but the talk afterward got a bit disagreeable so that I was in the role of peacekeeper and the one saying that we sometimes have to agree to disagree. I continue to live and learn about people.

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  10. Thanks, Donna.

    I use masking tape to mark what wire goes with what. It helps, marginally.

    It’s time together that makes the difference. You cannot spend more than 15 minutes, wearing a mask, with another person indoors. Outdoors, you wear your mask whenever you move because you cannot control who you will encounter. As long as you keep moving and don’t linger for more than 15 minutes and closer than 6 feet, you’re fine.

    We take off our masks at church outdoors only when seated in our chairs. As soon as we stand up, the mask goes on. It’s been helpful to have that direction and NO ONE has gotten sick from attending our services.

    We may see inlaws next week–an outdoor picnic, sitting 6-10 feet apart (and thus shouting because we’re all old). If we’re that far apart outdoors, Mr. COVID will allow–but it would be better if we wore masks (and the family may insist, which is fine), and stayed only an hour or so.

    We’ve only seen them twice in the last nine months and they live 5 miles away. 😦

    Well, I met my sister-in-law at the nearby vet and we sat outside in masks, 3 feet apart, catching up while the dogs went in. I think that was in July . . .

    In good news, our former brother-in-law, who is terrified of COVID, lives in Seattle and can be trusted to drop off things for Stargazer, if it becomes necessary.

    It probably won’t become necessary, but it’s good for this mama to know someone can help him! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was invited to a housewarming this afternoon but chose not to go because of the upsurge in Covid.

    While we three ladies stood talking beside our cars this morning we were by the driveway at the church for the Covid testing site set up on our church property. That line kept growing longer and longer.

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  12. On break – No property tax to pay, but I do have to renew my professional membership and it is not cheap. Still, having an income at all is a change from my normal – in those years I was without official work, renewing my membership was a dreadful burden.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ok, I called Real Estate Guy, who studied engineering in college, and he slowly walked me through finding the cord trails, unplugging and plugging in to switch the surge protector out, had me methodically haul the old TV out to the patio, along with the old surge protector, so it wouldn’t be in the way and further confusing things.

    I wound up with a pile of 5 cords that seemed to go no where, they were probably cords from some old cable service or devices? I have no idea. But that made for a lot fewer cords!

    So next up is clearing out and hauling the old cedar chest from the spare bedroom to serve as the stand for the new TV; and unpacking the new TV, screwing on the feet. Then Real Estate Guy said to call him back and we’d get that hooked up. I told him it’ll take a little while.

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

    I walk my dogs later in the evenings and I don’t wear a mask, we don’t go all that far these days (all of us have knee issues it seems) and we rarely encounter anyone. If someone’s coming along on the same side as we’re on, we just cross the street, instant social distancing (and needed, too, because Tess can get snippy with other dogs who are too close).

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  14. On dog barricades for furniture, at one point I figured I should buy stock in the baby gate companies. I still use them to keep dogs sufficiently away from all those long, nearly to-the-floor windows. I had a former dog, an Aussie, actually poke his nose right through some of that thin, antique glass when the mail carrier came. She was terrified of him after that, and I can’t blame her.

    The glass pane was left with just a hole the size of his snout at the bottom, but I had to replace the entire panel, of course.

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  15. I finally placed an online order. What a chore. I put in my current credit card info. Then updated my phone number and the credit card infor reverted back to an old one. So I put the info in again. Then I had to update my daughters address for shipping. You guessed it, the credit card info reverted back again. Finally on the third try it worked.
    Frustrating. oh, well.
    At least I can say that I got one thing done today.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. DJ,
    My wife has a terrible sense of direction. When she was first driving she left Downey to get to Long Beach State College, to be sure she could get to her classes. She got on the 605 to get to Long Beach. When she figured that she had gone too far she got off the freeway and asked for help. She was in Irvine.

    She has trouble with putting things together also.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am thinking that I will have to leave my evening Bible study. Just got invited to an evening meal together, potato bar. No one will wear masks and there will be no social distancing. I just can’t do that.

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  18. Catching up with everyone and everything. I got the front doors decorated. Right after I put the ladder away I saw where something had fallen. Oh well, I’ll fix it tomorrow.
    I have everything for Little Miss for Christmas 🎄 and I have a pair of Doc Martens ordered for BG. I have been picking up some stocking stuffers for her so I also get the same thing for LM’s Mommy. Mr P can take care of what son gets and had decided to give them an afghan his grandmother crocheted. It was made some time in the 70’s so I will leave the color combination to your imagination.
    My BIGGEST problem for a Christmas present is Mr. P. The pressure is real. I look and look and can’t find anything. Last year I got him guitar lessons. He was happy with it but I doubt he ever went. Now I have to come up with something. He doesn’t go anywhere nor do anything. I have used the nice ice chest I bought him more than he has.

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  19. And I just saw wolf, lynx and otter tracks! There were tons of deer and elk, squirrel and fox tracks too, but I took pictures only of the first three. I had never seen lynx tracks in the snow before. (All about ½ mile north of my house)

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Kim, You would know if he went.
    I took guitar lessons for a couple of times when I was in the AF in Biloxi, Miss. I gave it up after about the second lesson because I didn’t have a place to practice.
    When you take lessons, you need to practice what you learned.
    There are few things worse than hearing a would-be musician practice.
    Weird sounds.
    Fortunately, Chuck had his own room.

    I don’t know, but I hear the worst sound is a guy trying to learn to yodel.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Bob, yes, it does. I once drove from Tao, N.M., north to Colorado (where I’d driven in from) thinking I was going south, to Albequerque, NM. Missed the flight home.

    Nothing like seeing that sign that said “Welcome to Colorado!”

    What?

    Where’s Rod Serling?

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  22. *Taos

    OK, I’m almost there — waiting for the final plug in which Real Estate Guy insisted he walk me through by phone.

    Honestly, I knew this would be an ordeal, but it was really a lot — so many moving pieces, with furniture to move on top of it all.

    I’m exhausted. Hope I can figure out how the TV works after all this.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. OK. I wrapped all of Little Misses presents 🎁 in 🎅 Santa paper and they are under the tree. Little booger is smart enough to remember the paper and tell me she wanted it.
    The house 🏡 is somewhat cleaner. It’s decorated and I only have the dining room to do. I am going to use Mr P’s mother’s soup tureen and put a giant orchid in it in the middle of the table. I may do something else but who knows?

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  24. Janice – You mentioned cold feet earlier. I find that when my feet are cold, it makes the cold go through my body, and they seem to take forever to warm up. One trick I have in the winter is to take off my slippers and socks (I am hardly ever in actual shoes in the house), and sit on my socks for a minute or so to warm them up, then quickly put them and my slippers back on.

    (My slippers are L.L.Bean slippers that Hubby spoiled me with a few years ago, so they are nice and warm and comfy.)

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  25. Jo, can you skip such get-togethers but continue to be part of the study itself?

    In Chicago I faced a somewhat similar issue. I was part of a weekly Bible study that would periodically get together for an evening of socializing. The problem was, I had signed a commitment that I wouldn’t drink alcohol and their get-togethers apart from the Bible studies always included alcohol, and that felt awkward to me. (It wasn’t that they consumed a lot; they didn’t. I just wasn’t used to being around it at all, plus I would have felt self-conscious if I was the only one not drinking.) I did continue to attend the Bible study itself, and an occasional get-together that sounded interesting (like attending a play in a park), but didn’t attend events like the St Patrick’s Day party that sounded like “excuses” to drink beer. (The person hosting that one never came to our Bible study itself, just the events, and he issued the invitation with a focus on green beer. So I skipped that one.)

    If the Bible study itself is being completely careless about contact, then I could understand why you wouldn’t want to go. I’m not involved in either of the women’s Bible studies at my church right now because I’m not attending any in-person meetings.

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  26. Kim – Hubby was so hard to give gifts to, especially because he just went ahead and bought what he needed or wanted on his own. And I knew that he was picky, and preferred to buy his own stuff. What I ended up doing was baking him brownies with nuts for Christmas each year, unless I stumbled upon something else for him. (Since I don’t like nuts, I would usually not include them in my brownies.)

    Is there something special the two of you like to do together that could be a gift?

    One year for my dad, who traveled for business, I put together a Snack Pack – a box filled with single-serving packages of the various snacks that he enjoyed. When Brother and SIL lived in Maryland for a while, our gift to them was a “Displaced New Englander’s Survival Kit”, with various New England kind of foods, such as a can of Brown Bread, and cans of Boston Baked Beans and New England Clam Chowder. (I forget what else we included. But it was fun to put it together.)

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  27. A month or so ago, on Facebook, MakeItMan had posted photos of some “Comfort Birds” he was in the process of making, and planning on selling. I had inquired about the cost, but the $25 + shipping was more than I could justify spending.

    As time went on, he shared his progress on the little birds (they fit in your hand), and all the sanding he had to do to make them as smooth as they should be. They are supposed to be very smooth, to hold in your hand and be comforted by the One who watches the sparrows.

    Today, he private messaged me, asking if I was still interested. I regretted to tell him that I didn’t think I could afford one. After a little while, he asked if I could afford the shipping, and that he would sell me one for the shipping price (under $10) in memory of Leon. I offered to pay the $25 if the shipping was included (as I know he put a lot of work into these), and he countered with $15.

    I had happy tears in my eyes at his wanting to bless me with one of his birds for what I could afford, in memory of Leon. Then I prayed that God would bless Jim even more than I was being blessed. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  28. That was so sweet of him, Kizzie. A real blessing for you.

    Cheryl, the funny thing is that we just finished deer hunting season before Thanksgiving. The neighbor has a stand across a field just across the road behind the pine in front of our house. I could see blaze orange up in the stand for a whole day during the season.

    Our real estate taxes are always due in May. I would rather have them due then, than right before Christmas. You can pay twice a year. October is when the second payment is due.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I always pay the split bill, it’s up to almost $1,800 each time now. 😦 First payment due Dec. 10, second on April 10 … Then we have a break for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 2300 total here. 2600 for the Boise house. Just paying the rent on our properties we “own”. Winchester is probably significantly lower.

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  31. Mine is about the same as Mumsee. I paid it all to use as a tax deduction since I have been here all year.
    I am actually on my new computer and the a key is not sticking!!!

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  32. It is the Second Sunday of Advent. Enjoy!

    I will be working. Pray for strength, as it will be a very busy, long day, the fourth in a row, and my health problems are sapping my strength.

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  33. I went to a different church virtually today. It is one where a friend goes and another friend may visit. I was surprised to see they have a transitional pastor. I did not expect that. I need to talk to my friend and see what happened. It was a good sermon about missions. And part of it was on Jonah. I had just read in Jonah this a.m. since we start studying it online in my Bible study tomorrow. I had chosen Jonah’s prayer to read in our on the phone prayer time for my church later today. Just another one of those curious coincidences where the same part of God’s word is presented to me from various sources all in the same day. I did not decide which church service to watch this morning until the last moment. I may watch our own service at some point later.

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  34. My property taxes are now about $3,500 a year which is steep for me. Under Prop 13, it can only increase by 2% each year but that really starts to escalate as it’s on the new amount each time.

    I slept well last night after yesterday’s 5-hour TV and furniture moving project – and I’m slowly getting adjusted to the new TV of course, it took a googled question last night to figure out how to just get it back to my regular cable settings as this TV opens up on the Roku platform which is built in (offering a lot of free content).

    Otherwise, it’s a definite improvement over the other TV; only 10″ bigger but that makes it much more pleasant to watch, better sound, better technology — and all for a fraction of the cost ($200) than the other TV cost nearly 10 years ago.

    I had Real Estate Guy on speaker phone for well over an hour yesterday as he helped me untangle and figure out all the wire tangles and put the new surge protector in with what was needed and without what wasn’t (I had five wires “back there” that went to nothing, near as I could tell). He said he felt like NASA trying to guide someone doing something on the moon. lol

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  35. A friend gave me a beautiful small gift yesterday. It included some Andes mints and mini Hershey’s bars which Art and I shared while watching a Hallmark movie. It seems like years since we’d had any candy like that. It is still good!

    The other main gift was an angel pendant constructed of beads and pearl which was made and sold by a group in another country who have been rescued from dire circumstances. Such a sweet gift from one of my church friends.

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  36. Hebrews 10:24-25
    24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

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  37. Mumsee, when believers gather together, the synergy of the parts working together in harmony fill in the gaps of individuals working on their own so that whatever is being done, whether worship or advancing God’s kingdom on earth, becomes more effective. To be a part of that creates enthusiasm and energy in believers.

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  38. 39 when we left for church this morning. When a person moved her chair a little too close outdoors, I put on my mask.

    That kept me warm! LOL

    Yesterday, Mr. Bass and I distance gathered with another soprano, an alto, and a tenor–with the electric piano just inside the door–and rehearsed Christmas carols outside.

    It was so much fun to sing together again that I stepped away after the first song and twirled with delight!

    We’ll record on Tuesday for the carols to be used in services the rest of Advent.

    What surprised me was how meaningful the words felt yesterday–even Silent Night! 🙂

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  39. Janice, that is how I have always seen it. The whole iron sharpens iron thing and the body completing the body. But in reading 1John 1: 5-10, I see that fellowship with one another comes if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light.

    Now, if we are talking Hebrews, that is clearly talking about physically gathering together to stimulate to good works.

    So, on here, we are trying to stimulate each other to good works. We are in fellowship if we are walking in the Light. In our churches, we are in fellowship if we are walking in the Light.

    Apparently, they spoke on the Hebrews section in church today, which is good. I am a proponent of gathering together but am not rigid about it. Right now, I have a one year old who may be going home to her fragile brother at any time, so I am cautious. And there is obey the authority God has placed over us. And love your brother. And listening to the medical people. So much to ponder.

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  40. In the last year’s of their life, neither of my grandparents were able to get out to church. They watched a popular preacher on the television, but it wasn’t really the same, since they didn’t interact with the people on television. But, they remained faithful until death, and their funeral services were filled with people who remembered their faithfulness. One of their sons, who lived in the same house as them, just dropped out of church altogether, due to several bad experiences. His life is very messy now, and his spiritual walk very shaky. The difference is this. My grandparents remained present with their fellow believers in spirit, while my uncle decided that most believers were frauds and hypocrites. My grandparents never forsook the gathering of believers, although they stopped attending church. My uncle forsook the gathering of believers and stopped attending church.

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  41. Roscuro, that is how I am seeing it. As with most if not all things, just a shadow of the reality. Our fellowship is of the Spirit, and in the Spirit but, as we have discussed on here before, we are physical beings so that also plays a part. But the essential is the walking in the Light. We have fellowship because of Him. I have fellowship with believers around the world and, might one say, in other times? Not that we ought to be talking with them and asking for help but rather we are worshipping the same God and therefore in fellowship.

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  42. In the context of Hebrews 10:24-25, the writer has first made a severe warning about apostasy; exhorts his readers, while reassuring them he isn’t saying they are apostate, to remain in the assembly if believers; and then moves on to the hall of faith in Hebrews 11, with Hebrews 12:1-2 concluding:

    “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    That wider context makes it clear that the gathering of believers Hebrews 10:24 is referring to is wider than a local physical gathering.

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  43. Roscuro, curious what you mean by, “the writer has first made a severe warning about apostasy; exhorts his readers, while reassuring them he isn’t saying they are apostate, to remain in the assembly if believers;”

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  44. Husband and I went for a walk (more like a slog) across the fields today. It was so nice out. On the way back, we stopped and made some snow angels. The dogs thought we had lost it 🙂

    Since we are still able to have close friends over, our closest friends are coming on Saturday for borscht and just general fun. It will be sooooo good to be able to visit with people. My sister had friends over to just sit outside around the fire (they aren’t allowed anyone in their house). They did it two nights in a row and had so much fun that tonight it’s bring your own food and we’ll all sit around the fire. They’re lucky to live in Calgary where it’s much warmer than here. They have decided that dad and stepmom will be coming for Christmas dinner regardless. It’s likely to be dad’s last Christmas and no way are we letting them sit at home alone. I just wish we could also be there.

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  45. I figured the if just wondered about the rest. Guess I will need to read the book of Hebrews again, even though it is out of order.

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  46. Or you could just read Hebrews 10 to see what was being summarized in that sentence. It isn’t worded as well as I would like, but I was on a break and I was tired at the end of the day.

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  47. I love when good stories fall into your lap 🙂 daughter (in Fla) of a local Pearl Harbor sailor I did a story on 4 years ago messaged me last night with a sweet followup happening tomorrow.

    Tomorrow is the anniversary, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

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