39 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-18-20

  1. Yes, RK. You are first.
    good morning everyone.

    Phos: I know it seems to be too much at the moment. But several of us are praying for you and it will work out.
    As for the visitation, You can do it. Just do the next right thing and it will work out.
    What is the “right” thing? What helps them with their problem.
    I used to be a supervisor and never-ever did I give someone a job I didn’t think they could handle.
    You can do it.
    In fact. You may find that you like it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Chloe is in recovery and I am waiting in the discharge parking lot. They didn’t find anything but I may be in love with this doctor. He is going to call this weekend to check on her and said to call if she gets sick again. Finally someone looking beyond the surface.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Good morning, all. And soon the sun will rise.

    As to Phos, I believe her concern is how her health will hold out, including asthma in “strange” environments. As well as going into odd corners where people don’t have the same respect for life. But in this, God, too is present. Walking with you, preparing the path. And will be with you in whatever circumstances He allows. May you sense His Presence throughout.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Good morning. It’s been busy for me, making two batches of biscuits and then heading out to grocery shop. Next a friend and I will have a phone chat. We were childhood buddies. We set a time for the call. So much to catch up on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An unusual Christmas carol by Benjamin Britten, written in 1942 while he was floating on a Swedish ship in the North Atlantic, hoping to get back to England from the US.

    Take a look at the words:

    This little Babe so few days old is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
    All hell doth at his presence quake, though he himself for cold do shake;
    For in this weak unarmèd wise the gates of hell he will surprise.

    With tears he fights and wins the field, his naked breast stands for a shield;
    His battering shot are babish cries, his arrows looks of weeping eyes,
    His martial ensigns Cold and Need, and feeble Flesh his warrior’s steed.

    His camp is pitchèd in a stall, his bulwark but a broken wall;
    The crib his trench, haystacks his stakes; of shepherds he his muster makes;
    And thus, as sure his foe to wound, the angels’ trumps alarum sound.

    My soul, with Christ join thou in fight, stick to the tents that he hath pight.
    Within his crib is surest ward, this little Babe will be thy guard.
    If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, then flit not from this heavenly Boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Never heard that one before, Michelle, and I don’t think I like it. It wasn’t through His babyhood (lying in a manger and crying) that He brought us salvation. Besides, don’t we already have it on good authority that He never cried as a baby?

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  7. Beautiful ice waterfall!

    Last night I asked my husband about the weather this morning, confirmed we were likely to have frost, and set out a couple of small pinecones and a leaf to see what they looked like with frost on them. Which is hilarious to me now, because as it turned out there were so many natural items covered with frost that setting out more was rather redundant. I even found three spiderwebs! Everything I looked at was more beautiful than the thing before, and over it all a layer of fog. I’ve seen photos of frosted spiderwebs before, but I’d never managed to find a web and frost at the same time (I hadn’t seen a web for several weeks when I found the three this morning–and yes, I found them in a place I walk several times a week).

    Anyway, telling the twenty-year-old me that I would someday be outside for three hours in twenty-something weather because there’s frost out there would have met with a great deal of skepticism. But God painted my neighborhood in magnificent beauty this morning, and it’s fitting that someone be there to see it.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Chas, Mumsee is correct. My allergies are the reason I asked for health accomodation. I have visited homes before, and come away with my lungs burning and not been able to sleep during the night because I couldn’t breathe properly (up to this time, I have only done evening visits – once at midnight). I have no doubt you were a good supervisor, but there are reasons that I cannot relate here that I know I cannot trust mine.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Roscuro, non-metaphorically, King Herod tried to kill Jesus as a baby and did kill a bunch of other babies in the attempt. But that isn’t because Herod was afraid that Jesus as a baby could do him harm. If you kill the baby, you keep him from growing up and becoming a threat. It happened a few times to those in kingly lines in the Old Testament, too.

    Jesus’ babyhood is important because it shows He was a real human being. And Jesus even as a baby was in one sense taking our place–He was living a sinless life even as an infant, fulfilling the Law perfectly.

    But it was His death and resurrection, not His babyhood, that saved us. We’ve said before that sometimes songs don’t survive because they aren’t really very good, and I would put this one in that category. Historically interesting, but not one to stand the test of time. But I’m not a musical expert, and for all I know it’s very well known in other places but I’ve just never heard it.

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  10. After today, I get a 3-day weekend; followed (I hope) by New Year’s week off, but we’ll see.

    The news is all so grim surrounding our Covid situation. We heard yesterday that our young pastor at the sister church was now battling a 102 fever. His wife is caring for him (they have 4 young children) so there are also concerns about family protection also. He had been one of the extremely careful ones when it came to masks and social distancing, but the spread seems so much greater in general right now where we are.

    Looks like our home church is going forward with indoor meetings as usual this weekend. 😦

    Briefly saw and spoke to my veterinarian in the parking lot yesterday while I was waiting for them to bring out the dog meds, he sounded weary as well and said we shouldn’t look for next year to be much different. I’m still hopeful that by summer we will be turning a corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anyone here sign up for the online ‘exposure notifications’ via phone text? Those are being somewhat pushed here now but I don’t really like the idea. I am still looking out for symptoms following my haircut last Saturday, but feel like I’m getting past the more likely infection period.

    Never heard of that carol either.

    Online virtual church sermon this Sunday is on Daniel 4:34-35

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Maybe those notifications are available in CA only, just noticed they come from the California Department of Public Health

    I’m really running out of steam this week

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  13. Here is a piece by Albert Mohler on the Covid vaccine. I’m am quoting this one portion because the subject came up recently:

    “Secondly, we must consider the derivation of the vaccine itself—what kind of technology was involved in the development of a vaccine? As is the case with many vaccines and in the background of medical treatments, many advances come through morally problematic cell lines. This, of course, brings us to the issue of abortion and the issue of human cells as well as tissue taken without consent.

    In most of the major COVID-19 vaccines, there was a use of fetal cell lines, which are known as HEK-293. The original cells for that line were taken from tissues derived from an abortion in the Netherlands in the 1960s. The cell line developed around 1972. There is also the HeLa line that goes back to 1951. These cells were taken from an African American woman, Henrietta Lacks, who suffered from terminal cancer. Cells were taken from her body without her consent or knowledge. This makes the use of cells from that line a complicated issue within medical ethics.

    How then ought Christians think about all of this? First of all, we must condemn in the strongest of terms the use of any tissues from aborted human babies. That is a nonnegotiable issue for Christians as we consider medical advances and treatments. There are, however, complexities involved as Christians contemplate these incredibly serious moral questions.

    Specifically, with the issue of the COVID-19 vaccine, Christians need to understand that no step in producing these vaccines had any direct involvement in an abortion of a single child. There is also the issue of proximity. The further you go in history, the harder it is to keep a clear line of culpability in morally significant events. That said, the good news about the COVID-19 vaccines is that even as these cells (most importantly from HEK-293) were used to create the basic shape of the vaccine, no fetal tissue was used.

    At the same time, however, the vaccine’s structure relied upon the cell line of HEK-293, which originated with an aborted fetus. This is a tragedy of history. A horrifying wrong was done—but that does not mean that good cannot come from that harm, even as it is a good tainted by the realities of a sinful world. This idea is expressed, for Christians, as the doctrine of double effect. Some actions have more than one effect. For Christians, the primary intention must aim at virtue and good. The intention behind an act must never seek harm or evil or any moral reality and outcome against God’s will. We must never be complicit in intending sin, and certainly this applies to every dimension of abortion. But the Christian also acknowledges a potential double effect, for every moral act can lead to consequences not intended, but unavoidable. If the abortion of even a single human baby was required for this vaccine, or if abortion-derived materials were included in the vaccine, Christians would be rightly outraged. This is not the case. The vaccine can be taken by pro-life Christians with legitimacy.”

    https://albertmohler.com/2020/12/14/vaccines-and-the-christian-worldview-principles-for-christian-thinking-in-the-context-of-covid

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m concerned about that, too, Janice. Once there are confirmed cases, it can so easily spread even if everyone’s being careful. It’s one of the hallmarks we do know about this virus, how swiftly and easily it moves from one person to the next.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kizzie. Interesting article. God can always produce good from seemingly bad situations. Immunotherapy for cancer treat is based on the AIDS virus.
    While it would have been better that the child not be aborted it was done 50+ years ago.

    I realize I am not explaining myself well and
    Do not
    Wish to debate what I have said. I am operating on about 4 hours sleep and in addition to worrying about BG I has two situations at work with the potential to blow up and a toddler in the middle of a meltdown and a standoff with her papa over knocking the blocks off the table

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I declined the tracking on my phone and was really angry that I could not use my phone until I clicked on the “notice” and then it started automatically downloading onto my phone.

    I turned off the phone and later reopened it in settings and canceled anything to do with COVID tracking information.

    This is how it is managed in China–only it’s where you work that monitors you.

    BTW, if you live in an apartment complex in China and someone in the complex gets COVID, they shut down and quarantine the entire complex with a guard (carrying a gun). The only thing allowed in is food for the duration of the quarantine.

    That’s how they’ve managed COVID.

    I was in a staff meeting just now when the three of us who live in our country all got screaming emergency alerts to stay home except for essential business.

    It is grim, even worse in LA. Our EMT still plans to drive home tomorrow. We’ll see.

    We’re all fatigued.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. So, I walked around the lake (wearing masks) with my friend, the mother of a local police officer.

    Afterward, through a surprising turn of events, I stopped at an empty hardware store to have a key made, then decided to go home a different way and stop for some cash at the ATM.

    I parked north, rather than south, and as I got out of the car, “it seemed” like the Lord was telling me to give the person wrapped in a jacket $20.

    So, I got my cash, walked over and said, “Jesus told me to give you $20. Can I pray for you?”

    She took the money and began to cry. I was an angel.

    I listened to her story–including police brutality while seeing to get out of the rain in the library’s portico. Then she let me pray for her.

    All of that was unusual but good.

    One of my teachers likes to point out that homeless people know about God.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Oh Kim. Hang in there, sister.

    Grim, yes. And realizing next week is (really) “Christmas”? Huh. What a very strange and hard year.

    I took a break in the work day to haul the neighbor’s empty trash cans up (along with mine), he’s been grabbing both of our’s for the past couple weeks after he gets home from work as I’ve been so locked in with work. We try to trade off.

    I have two stories to do today — cargo and a ‘pandemic hero’ profile — plus I’ve had to reach out to my assigned group of hospitals for updates on room capacities, etc. PIO for the group is a former reporter for the LA Daily News, our sister paper, so she’s terrific in terms of getting back to us and understanding what we need for our purposes.

    Back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Our local schools closed down when some children and staff came down with covid, presumably but not assuredly from an essential football game. Including the Superintendent.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well it’s Friday….and it is snowing…and cold. We took a ride out on the dirt roads and ended up in Elizabeth. Not too many people out and about but we did manage to find a lovely antique Morris chair at my favorite antique shoppe and brought it home 😊
    Asking the Lord to bring you strength Kim…and healing for BG ♥️
    Dj I have had those notification alerts on my phone but I won’t install it. I don’t want to be tracked nor notified. (If someone I have been around has gotten it or have been exposed I would appreciate it THEY told me though) I won’t get the vaccine which is very controversial with a couple of my friends. They believe everyone should be mandated to get it…and I don’t see it that way….

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Yeah, the tracker alerts are kind of creepy. On mine, you can “find out more” but then cancel any option to install after that which I’ve done.

    We received another email from the sister church saying no in-person services for the next “few weeks” and also mentions people (plural) who are currently infected, but no indication if these are from the same (presumable) source as the pastor’s infection — i.e. the outdoor services they’ve been holding up through last Sunday.

    Another church member’s mom fell and fractured her femur, she’s in ER and awaiting a consultation with the orthopedic surgeon.

    Just so many things right now, how hard it is for so many.

    Our (already skyrocketing) numbers were up again today countywide. Everyone must have had a pretty big party.

    Like

  22. NancyJill – I think that people should be strongly urged to get the vaccine, but the idea of a mandate makes me uncomfortable. Connecticut is considering doing away with the religious exemption for vaccines in general, which I think is a very bad idea. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Mohler appears to be misinformed. The structure of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were comes from a computer model based on the sequence of part of the virus and the vaccine is manufactured using a copying and pasting mechanism – I believe it is similar to the one used in forensic DNA testing, that is completely extracellular (outside a cell). The only time HEK 293 cells were used was to test if the sequence created could produce a response in a cell. And, as I noted before, the source of the fetal HEK 293 cells does not have a clear history, as it is not known if the loss was due to a spontaneous or voluntary abortion.

    Now if it was definitely due to a voluntary abortion would I feel differently? Well, I would certainly not encourage the use of voluntarily aborted fetal cells in medical research. However, the fetal cell lines in existence were not obtained deliberately, that is, the mothers were not paid to have the abortion in order so that researchers could harvest cells. Ben Carson was, at the beginning of his political career, accused by pro-lifers of having participated in a study that used fetal cell tissue. He replied that researchers use whatever tissue they can find. It is true, and the scientists who ended up creating HEK 293 would have simply been sifting through available human tissue for ones that had promise in producing a lasting human cell line that they could conduct experiments with. When they found one that worked, they kept it. Those cell lines Mohler mentioned have been used so much in medical research that there is probably not a field of treatment that has not in some way benefitted from them. In other words, if one wishes to avoid being tainted with benefitting from those cell lines, one should refuse all medical treatment

    On the one hand, there are those who are outraged that the West benefitted from enrichment via slavery and colonization, both of which did produce atrocities. On the other hand, there are those who are outraged that our medical advances are built on cell lines of unethical origin, and undoubtedly, voluntary abortion and, in the case of Henrietta Lacks, stealing (the physician kept samples of her tumour and then passed them on to researchers without her consent) are wrong. I would say that it is good that the wrongs of the past are being recognized and acknowledged, but, as has often been said regarding the recent BLM protests, the past cannot be undone. So, what can we do for the present? Well, since slavery and colonization have already been discussed several times, perhaps some suggestions for the area of medical research would be in order. We can oppose creating new fetal cell lines and we can encourage the development of human cell lines from ethical sources such as donated umbilical cord cells (there is a Catholic research institute that is working on a vaccine using cord cells). The cell line of HEK 293 is actually running out, as cells can only divide so many times before they can divide not longer, so it needs replacing, and those who care can help ensure the next cell lines are not from an unethical source.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I am so sorry to hear that about your friend Dj…praying for her comfort and peace during this time
    I sense that there are people who are believing this vaccine will be a cure or something. I had a flu shot once in my life and I got deathly ill. The year the chickenpox vaccine came out our doctor would not give it to our daughter as he felt there was not enough research nor trials executed on that vaccine. I think if someone wants the vaccine that is great, but for me…no thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I turned off the location function on my phone when all of this started, as I don’t think it is the government’s business where and when I go. Early on in Covid, they were welding the doors shut on apartment buildings in China where positive citizens lived.

    I am not taking the vaccine as I feel that it has not been fully vetted and there is no idea as to long term effects. Give it 5 years and let them work the kinks out and I may consider it. I wear a mask all the time anyway, so what would be the point. I wear an N95 when out shopping, as I feel I am most likely to get it there, rather than at work.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The vaccine isn’t a cure, but from what I understand it can help us turn the corner — provided 70%(?) or so of the population receive it. That creates the “herd immunity” we hear so much about and the virus can no longer spread as easily as it’s doing now. Right now, we’re completely unprotected for the most part, easy prey.

    I’ve been fortunate in not having any ill reactions to vaccines, whether for the flu or other conditions. So I have no eason to turn down this one when my turn comes.

    I often think how much more discouraging it would be if we did not have at least this hope of getting out of this predicament that has caused so much death, illness, and disruption — personal, cultural and economic. I for one am feeling grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Looks like the group of cousins will brave the virus & get together on the day after Christmas — just 3 of us. Gotta do something other than just sit around by ourselves, right?

    The news is very grim for Shirley, stage 4 lung cancer that’s already spreading to her brain, doctors give her days or weeks.

    What a sad, exhausting year.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. From our story today on the pandemic:

    ~ Beyond medical teams, the goal is to vaccinate 80% or so of the U.S. population by mid-2021 — an effort to spread enough immunity to effectively deaden the pandemic.

    That moment alone represents “hope and promise of what lies ahead,” said said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the director of the county’s Department of Health Services, which administrates the county’s system of hospitals.

    But even while joining Ghaly to buoy the vaccinations, Spellman warned that they won’t be an immediate answer to long-sought prayers.

    “While we now see the light at the tunnel, we have not reached the light yet,” he said. “The pandemic will continue for many, many months after we begin vaccinating people. This is not the time to start ignoring public health advice and recommendations.” ~

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