79 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-23-20

  1. good morning everyone.
    I see on the net that Trump has made Dec. 24 a federal holiday.
    May as well. I worked at Defense Mappjing and vouch that nothing gets done on Dec. 34. We go around wishing everyone Merry Christmas and participate in celebration where appropriate.
    Now” ???
    Will that practice change over to Dec 23? If so, it’s a failure of purpose.
    OTOH: That kind of day is needed. Maybe this is a mistake.

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  2. Janice the $9,400 was a rough estimate of what the property tax would be on a. 2 million dollar home here if it were homesteader.
    My property tax is somewhere a little above or below $1,000! A year.

    Mr. P wanted to be Grandpa. He didn’t like all those silly grandparent names. One say I told him Little Miss was calling him Papa and that is what he has been ever since. Mostly it’s “Hey Papa” But then you already knew she can’t do no wrong.

    I was having lunch yesterday and explained that with my own child I sent her off to school and when something happened I “coached” her through it so she could learn to deal with the real world. Little Miss, on the other hand if going to have to be homeschooled because the first time some snot nosed brat hurts her feeling I am going to have to beat somebody up. That’s the difference between a parent and a grandparent. 😂😂😂😂😂

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  3. Good morning. I feel better today, not that I have felt really bad with this whatever. Miss Bosley sneezed several times yesterday so she probably has it, too. She never sneezes. When I sneeze she looks so concerned. I cooked some of my lentils/spinach/red onion wellness soup yesterday and some more biscuits so I think that is helping, too.

    I am making a crocheted blue cotton mask lined with blue plaid Izod shirt material (Art had ripped the elbow somehow) for my brother. It is all hand stitched since my sewing machine has not been utilized in years. I use shoestring to make ear loops and the string connects the ear loops around the back of the head so the mask can be dropped down and worn like a necklace or like those eyeglasses on a chain. I had planned on making it for Art, but he did not seem interested due to his general disdain for masks. My brother loves homemade things so he will be glad to have it. It takes a long time to stitch it all by hand.

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  4. Janice, interestingly to me, we are reading the Christmas Chronicles. A fun read covering a lot of history in a fun way so no idea how well researched it is. But the author has Francis of Assisi introducing the idea of nativity scenes around 1100 as part of the remembrance of the incarnation. And carols. It came up last night and I thought of our conversation.

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  5. I put my head in the sand like an ostrich and ignored it. Sorry. I often post information I find interesting but with which I may or may not agree.

    As Lynn Vincent used to say, “it’s to start a discussion.”

    In my opinion, the Sower of the Word tosses seeds all over the place, with disregard to where they land. You don’t see anyone in that parable coming along, shouting at the Sower to be more careful, then sweeping seed on the path into more arable fields.

    You also don’t see the Sower carefully digging a perfect hole, dropping in a perfect seed, patting soil into place, watering it gently, and then stomping on the ground to make sure it doesn’t leave.

    I don’t believe the Holy Spirit works that way.

    As someone else said, it was the Christmas season, nativity, songs, music, story, celebration, that brought me into a fellowship with Jesus.

    Because the Catholic Church also celebrated Christmas, I was familiar with the story.

    It was the Lutherans opening their Bibles to explain and show me how it all fit together that brought me into the Kingdom of God.

    But, if I’d had NO knowledge, the Holy Spirit would have had more difficulty wooing me to Jesus.

    I’ve attended what I call “beige” churches over the years. They don’t make Christmas a different day. They don’t have liturgies. Many rarely included opportunities to corporately confess sins.

    The teaching at three different Calvary Chapels was excellent for seven years. I learned a great deal and during those years, I needed to heal. I was broken by the Navy submarine deployments. I needed someone to tell me, every week, that Jesus loved me and this was why.

    But as one more Advent season approached, I couldn’t stand it anymore. The stripped-down version of Christianity left me, personally, hollow. I needed classical music, classical hymns played on an organ, choirs that weren’t wedded to praise songs.

    I wanted my children to capture a sense of God in His glory in both the physical–seeing, hearing, smelling, even tasting–without it being simply an intellectual exercise. Yes, based in Scripture and excellent teaching, but my walk with God is wider than excellent sermons.

    I wanted, craved, the physical communion service. The pageantry of a liturgical service reminded me of who I worshipped.

    I live in a world full of color, music, smells (well, I used to), beauty. The natural world is not beige. It’s muddy and dirty, and sensual. God is in that.

    Frankly, I think that’s why God gave me, personally, children. I needed to abandon that OCD-leaning sense of the world for one that shakes with vibrant color and bird song.

    So, bring on Advent. Let me put out my nativity set. Let my grandchildren ask questions and give me the opportunity to answer.

    God is in His glory. You don’t have to celebrate the way I do.

    In fact, you shouldn’t.

    Rejoice and worship Him the way He created you, personally, to do so.

    And let’s give everyone else the freedom to do so as well. We simply don’t know what God is doing in another person.

    And if a nativity set on someone’s lawn sparks questions that lead to someone’s salvation. Well, hallelujhah.

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  6. One other comment, because Janice asked a pertinent question the other day about the role of art and literature.

    A friend has a genius child and that only child went to a small private genius school in Washington DC.

    The school encouraged parental involvement–well, wouldn’t you if you were dealing with a bunch of brilliant kids? My friend taught art appreciation.

    “It’s so wonderful, Michelle,” she explained long ago. “They don’t care what art I bring in. So, I get a classical painting and we discuss it–the story, how the painter painted it, the history, and so forth.

    “Then the children ask questions.”

    She laughed. “And I can answer them any way I like. I can’t discuss my Christianity, but I sure can choose paintings that are on a biblical theme or involve a biblical story. And then I’m encouraged to tell the backstory and explain.”

    Her favorite story was the Thanksgiving she brought a painting of the Pilgrims “celebrating their thankfulness to God.”

    One child was perplexed. “Which god were they thanking?”

    And Debbie was off.

    You may not like the popes, but don’t you think it’s interesting they were the patrons of so much classical painting over the years? Don’t you rejoice that those paintings are opportunities for viewers to probe deeper to learn the stories?

    The cathedrals of Europe are enormous and ridiculous, but their walls are covered in biblical stories–important for the illiterate peasants to see. If used properly, those works of art point to Jesus. How else were they to find out anything about their Creator if not through art?

    I think it’s time to put on the Messiah CD–which my children all know very well from hearing it every Christmas of their lives. 🙂

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  7. Wow, Michelle. What an answer! You would love to go see the Christian art museum at Bob Jones University. I think it may have the largest collection of such art in the United States. Greenville is a lovely area, too.

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  8. Thank you Michelle. I agree with every word youu just wrote. If I could express my thoughts and feelings better, it is almost certainly what I would have written.
    While Youngest Son (the Daddy) was sent to Catholic school for a while, I don’t think he is much of a believer, although I do know he was involved at one time with a young woman that was. I don’t know much about DIL’s beliefs. Having a Nativity set for Little MIss to play with has been wonderful. Her Mommy came here one day and Little Miss showed her the creche and the animals and the Mommy and the Daddy and Baby Jesus. It’s a start. Last night we drove around our neighborhood with her and several people had them lit up on there lawns. She pointed them out and we got to talk about it.
    I have two books I haven’t read in a few years that my priest gave me. One is To Dance with God. “Her exquisitly written volume covers the history, psycholog y and spirituality of riual in general and Christian ritual in particular…”
    The other is For the Beauty of the Church – “Once upon a time, the church was deeply involved in the arts, leading the way in beauty, technical ability, and even funding. In many churches today the arts are an afterthought at best and forbidden at worst…”
    When I went back to the church after my breakdown in 2010, and told everything to my priest that was wrong with me, and I got to going to IMS and all that I was taught there he said, “Wow! It’s a miracle you are willing to even darken the doors of a church”.

    It’s no excuse for my snarkiness yesterday and CHERYL I apologize for that, but it is part of the reason I reacted they way I did. To me the LIturgy is one of the most beautiful ways to (show how) worship God.
    Right now the church and the world is dark and hopeless, but tomorrow night and Friday we will welcome the Light that will eventually set us free.

    Perhaps this will be a good way to end this post…

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  9. Still stomping about the house trying to get life organized.

    As the astrophysicist we love and some of you deride, Hugh Ross, says about Reasons to Believe’s ministry, “The Creation story is apologetics, not salvation.”

    The Advent stuff is apologetics–pointing to salvation, placing opportunities for questions and their answers to people who might never have noticed the need before.

    Think about that Bethlehem Star we’ve been talking about this week. Naysayers have been scoffing, “It comes around every 20 years, what’s the big deal?”

    (Other than it hasn’t been this bright in 800 measly years?)

    It’s a big deal if you’re 19 and have never seen it before. Or 41 and never noticed it before, Or 64 and are rejoicing because SO MANY PEOPLE are talking and sharing about it on social media–not realizing that so doing is apologetics.

    I’m sure more than one person has gone looking to find out what that means, “Bethlehem star.”

    The answer: Good News!

    As to the Biblical account, please read my booklet, “Another Look at the Advent Stories,” which is exactly that–looking at the Biblical characters and their Biblical stories. You can get it for free (I’m sure most of you already have) out of this blog post:

    https://www.michelleule.com/2018/12/11/advent-stories/

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  10. I’m having to write an obituary story today for our former city councilwoman. And trying to see how many longshore workers have died due to covid, there are 4 that we know of.

    So it’s that kind of day here. I started by reading the LA Times story about how all the malls are crowded and the clerks are reporting very high rates among their own ranks for Covid now. Sigh.

    The staff call this morning was just about as cheery, everyone just sounds whipped. It’s been a year of awful news that we’ve covered continually and we’re more than over it. You can hear it in our voices. Another county news conference today, more dire numbers being released. Stores struggling to stay afloat while too many crowds congregate everywhere.

    It’s just been an exhausting year.

    It’s hard to believe Christmas is in 2 days?

    But yes, I personally enjoyed the discussion of nativity scenes and other theological issues here.

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  11. Michelle, fortunately I’ve never attended a church that is only “intellectual,” so I’ve never experienced that. For one thing, all the churches I’ve attended have included music. Sometimes bad music that detracted from the service rather than adding to it, but all have included music, and that’s never solely intellectual. The Lord’s supper isn’t solely intellectual, nor is preaching. (I started to say the only preaching that is solely intellectual is that done in Latin if the people don’t understand it–but that’s actually backward. Preaching done in a language the people don’t know isn’t at all intellectual; it might or might not touch the emotions, but it won’t touch the intellect. But preaching that presents Christ to the congregation should affect all of what we are. I have sat through some dry preaching, but that isn’t necessarily preaching that touches the intellect and not the emotions–generally it touches neither.)

    As to how the peasants might learn about the Creator without art: if they had had pastors, they would have learned about Him through the means God ordained, the preaching of the Word. God can use anything, but that doesn’t mean all “means” are equally good ones or equally proper ones. Even the art, BTW, would not “teach” without words. Unless you know what the pictures represent, they are only pictures. How much true knowledge was passed down through generational explanations of the pictures and how much false, I have no way of knowing, but the pictures can never take the place of the words. For example, you can look at a picture of Abraham raising a knife over his son who is bound to the altar and make your own story of what is happening, but it might bear no resemblance to the real one. Abraham might be a cannibal king about to slaughter his enemy. Without words, we don’t know. Transmission of culture and truth doesn’t require pictures, but it does require words.

    Peasants also can learn about creation by seeing it. God has given us many hints of who He is in what He has made. But His primary means of communication are through the Word written and the Word incarnate. It was scandalous for the Roman Catholic “priests” to withhold the Word of God from the people. Literate or illiterate, people need to be taught the Word of God. Giving them pictures instead isn’t a good substitute. Giving both pictures and words (as in Jesus’ parable word pictures) can be quite an aid to understanding.

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  12. I spoke to another former colleague yesterday, a believer, who says he and his wife are refusing to get the vaccine. He’s convinced this is no worse than the swine flu of several years ago, and is much ado about “nothing.”

    I told him enough of the rest of us will get the vaccine to help protect him, as well, in the long run.

    I’m not sure what he thinks the alternative is, living like this for an indefinite number of years? No one ever seems to explain the situation at the hospitals right now, why there’s a very clear crisis that has led to bed and staff shortages, equipment (and sometimes patients) having to be stored in office spaces and hallways.

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  13. I have to say it’s the preaching (and, yes, “good” music, classic hymns) that has me hooked on the Reformed tradition. My former denomination offered very short (15-20 mins) and very “light” sermons.

    When I was exposed to Reform theology and the preach and teaching through the likes of Ligonier Ministries and others, I thought wow, how amazing it would be to actually hear “this” on a Sunday morning!

    I often wind up shedding tears at some point during our services which feature corporate confession of sins and weekly communion — glorious, deep, learned, 40-minute-minimum sermons that probe the depths of Scripture and prompt conviction, gratitude, laughter and tears.

    It’s hardly sterile.

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  14. One of my cousins posted this (I don’t know if she is the author):

    T’was 2 days before 🎄Christmas, and all through the town, people wore masks, that covered their frown. 🙁 The frowns had begun way back in the spring when a global pandemic changed everything.
    They called it corona, but unlike the 🍺beer, It didn’t bring good times, it didn’t bring cheer. ✈️Airplanes were grounded, travel was banned. Borders were closed across air, sea, and land.
    As the world entered lockdown to flatten the curve, the economy halted, and folks lost their nerve. From March to July we rode the first wave, people stayed home, they tried to behave.
    When summer emerged the lockdown was lifted, but away from caution, many folks drifted.
    Now it’s December and cases are spiking, wave two has arrived, much to our disliking. It’s true that this year has had sadness a-plenty, we’ll never forget the year 2020. And just ‘round the corner – The holiday season, but why be merry? Is there even one reason? To decorate the house and put up the tree, who will see it, no one but me. But outside my window, the snow gently falls, and I think to myself, let’s deck the halls! So, I gather the ribbon, The garland, and bows, as I play those old carols, my happiness grows. Christmas is not canceled and neither is hope. If we lean on each other, I know we can cope.

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  15. Kim, the first time I was ever in a liturgical church was as a teenager, 17. My dad had died a few months before, and Mom had moved us kids back down to the Phoenix area (the three youngest of us, 14-17). My brother in Tennessee or Georgia (not sure which he lived in at the time) urged Mom to come for a visit and a break, and she flew back to see him and his family for two weeks, which included three Sundays. None of us drove yet, so we needed a church in walking distance. We tried out a couple of churches before Mom left, and she chose one that I think was Lutheran. (Side note: on that visit Mom would also see a couple with whom she had been friends since before she met and married Dad 32 years earlier. More than a decade later the wife of that couple died, and the husband came a-courting and married Mom.)

    The first Sunday we recited (read) the Apostles’ Creed together. It brought me to tears to hear a couple hundred people stating aloud what we believed. I’ve been a fan of “deliberate” liturgy ever since, though it was at least another 15 years before I was Reformed in terms of belief and almost 20 before I was a member of a Reformed church.

    I forgive the snarkiness. I know it’s personal to you. It is to me, too, but in a different way.

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  16. God gave us five senses—it’s OK to use them all.
    Having attended Greek Orthodox Easter where the entire service was in Greek–If you know the story, you can still enjoy it with all of your other senses. And the food’s not half bad if you stay away from the goat and lamb.

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  17. The way I’ve understood it is that ALL churches have a liturgy, it is simply the order of the worship service.

    I suspect we’ve all experienced the gamut; I’ve sat in all-silent Quaker meetings, been to a number of Roman Catholic services (1 side of our family was RC), Lutheran, Episcopal, Pentecostal (when a friend was considering that option as a new believer), Baptist of course (who hasn’t been to a Baptist church?).

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  18. I have not been to a Greek Orthodox Church though I had a friend years ago who went that route (after she’d bounced through nearly every other “church” option there was, never satisfied). She wasn’t there for long, either, wound up in a cult that was based on space alien visitations.

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  19. If you remember Tammy who used to post here, she and her whole family converted to the Orthodox church.
    The Greek Orthodox church near me does little or nothing for Christmas, they do fast the entire 40 days of Lent and only break fast after the Saturday night Vigil servie, which is where they eat the goat and lamb. Then on Easter afternoon there used to be a large reception at the “Pink House” (in the 1930’s when people were coming over from Greece and living on the Malbis Plantation the men lived in dormatories and the women lived in the Pink House. If you got married you had to move).
    The Easter Reception had ever decadent sweet a person could possibly want. It was fabulous.

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  20. I was outside a few minutes sweeping leaves off the walkway. A masked lady c as me up to me seemingly from no where and said she was doing a survey for Susan B. Anthony group. It was on abortion and the Senate race. I answered her questions. She did get less than six feet away and as she came closer, I told her to not get so close since I was not wearing a mask. She also wanted to know if I could answer for my husband. I have no idea if she was really a representative for that organization. I am so tired of all this election malarkey in Georgia.

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  21. Kim, I was blessed by that music.
    Good news for today: another family is traveling my same route from LA onwards, we are even both staying at the hotel in Port Moresby. God is good. And my friend was praying for someone for me to travel with
    Also I have taught four of their children

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  22. Well…I have been up since 4…Morning! There are a few Waldos in that header photo! Honestly I thought those little puffs were snowballs!! ⛄️
    Praying for those twins Kare….and their parents and grandparents! 💕

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  23. Yes, reciting the creeds, questions-and-answers from the various confessions of faith we adhere to, and portions of scripture together (10 commandments, the greatest commandment) — also part of our weekly gatherings and all an important part of the liturgy. They’re important tools for worship and instruction every week.

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  24. *confessions of faith and catechisms

    I have noticed that my Catholic friend, whom I believe is a believer, does not have a lot of specific grounding in the Scriptures themselves, mostly just in what the church teaches. When I share portions of Scripture with her they seem to be new to her, though she’s always moved by them.

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  25. Michelle your post prompted a childhood memory of a nativity set up on the lawn of our milkman who lived one block up from us. It was the sweetest scene and everyone came by to look at it as it was just so….simple. Nothing extravagant or showy. He had built it himself and it was life size. He was quite artistically gifted and he love our Lord.

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  26. I have not been to a Catholic service except for a funeral for one of Art’s tax clients. It was in a small touristy mountain town and seemed quite similar to any other evangelical funeral I have been to. The most different funerals I have been to are the ones in black churches. I know they are not all the same, of course.

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  27. DJ, the fact that all churches have a liturgy is why I put “deliberate” in quotes. A lot of churches think of “liturgy” as a bad word, and basically they just make sure they get in a certain number of songs, a few prayers, the sermon, the announcements, usually a time to greet other people, and the offering. But there won’t be a call to worship, a benediction, or some other elements setting this off as a worship service.

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  28. The mention of Chex Mix the other day reminded me I liked it a lot as a child. I’m not sure I’ve eaten it since, unless possibly at a party somewhere, and I’m quite sure I haven’t made it since. Rice Chex was pretty much the only ingredient we had, so I put most of the ingredients on the list and made some a couple of days ago. My husband had never had it, and he liked it a lot, so I just finished another batch (since we had the ingredients now), only this time adding a whole lot more nuts, so that I can mix the two batches and have more nuts in them. (I did six cups of nuts this time instead of one.)

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  29. I like both types of services and like that I know the creeds and such for when I infrequently attend that type church. God is orderly and it is nice from that angle to have services set up similarly each week. But sometimes it can feel a bit like doing it all by rote without much heart involved. That is the one difficulty some people might have with the weekly repetitions.

    We have the lighting of an Advent wreath in my Baptist church. I like that when familys do that with special Scfipture readings. This year our pastor is doing the lightings so it seems not quite right somehow. I was surprised to find the Advent wreath in the Baptist church.

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  30. Haha, my neighbor just told me I look “awful.”

    Finally got the groceries picked up (they were out of a few things I’d ordered), clerk said they’re just trying to hang on though it all, short-staffed and exhausted. The parking lot was jam-full of cars.

    I’ve had occasion to attend a couple events and at least one funeral at a black church. At the latter the pastor said he was going to lock the doors so no one could get out before he presented the gospel. 🙂

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  31. Janice, what’s funny is that we were warned that observing communion weekly would make it become “routine.” Nothing could be further from the truth, we’ve all agreed. It is probably the most spiritually and deeply moving part of our service.

    None of it (in an orderly worship service) seems stale to me in the least.

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  32. In making the Chex mix, did you check to see if those cereals are Non-GMO? Many cereals now are GMO, such as Raisin Bran, which I decided to no longer buy. Wesley always loved Chex Mix so I use to get a brand package of it for his visits home from Covenant.

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  33. A friend just sent this message from an email she received. I know this about RZIM has been of interest to several here:
    “Update from RZIM Board: Allegations Against Ravi Zacharias

     

    Intermediate response regarding external investigation.

     

    Dec. 23, 2020

    In August 2020, allegations of sexual misconduct were made against our Founder, Ravi Zacharias. Unfortunately, Ravi had died several months before we first learned of these allegations, so we were unable to explore them with him directly. We engaged Miller & Martin PLLC to investigate these allegations, while also giving them wide latitude to go wherever their investigation might lead them. We have also repeatedly stated our intention not to comment on the investigation until receiving a final report on it.

    However, while the investigation remains ongoing and is not expected to be completed until January or February, yesterday we received a brief interim update on the investigation we felt we needed to share (attached). Sadly, the interim investigation update indicates this assessment of Ravi’s behavior to be true—that he did indeed engage in sexual misconduct.

    This misconduct is deeply troubling and wholly inconsistent with the man Ravi Zacharias presented both publicly and privately to so many over more than four decades of public ministry. We are heartbroken at learning this but feel it necessary to be transparent and to inform our staff, donors, and supporters at this time, even while the investigation continues. We will speak more comprehensively to all concerned after the completion of the investigation.

    We are devastated for those who have suffered from Ravi’s misconduct and for the pain that they are enduring. They have asked for confidentiality and anonymity, and both we and the investigators are committed to honoring their wishes.

    This preliminary statement is not intended to cut short the investigation or predict its full outcome. We want to ensure the investigators have appropriate time and space to complete their work and allow all those who may still desire to have a voice in this process to do so. We ask for continued patience as we complete a lengthy process of investigating serious allegations.

    RZIM will publicly release the Miller & Martin report as given to the Board as soon as possible after the investigation is complete. In the meantime, we share your compassion for any victims of this conduct, and we appreciate your prayers for them and also for Ravi’s family who have been devastated by this information. As ever, the Lord remains our principal hope for healing and restoration.

    The Executive Committee of the RZIM Board of Directors”

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  34. Chex mix is a favorite around here. I had prepared a double batch to take to small group last week which was canceled…so we three downed the entire bunch of it this week!!
    I checked off a yearly doctor appt this morning…another year another thumbs up from my doc!
    Next week the final stage of the tooth implant..and yes of course they are predicting snow that morning….slipping and sliding downhill into the Springs!
    A friend’s husband has tested positive for Covid…she has asked me to fill in for her at her antique shoppe this Saturday as she is now quarantined for 2 weeks. The day after Christmas is huge for her and she is closing her shoppe in January…so off I will go to fill in….

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  35. Oh dear Janice…that is incredibly sad and it would seem by releasing this statement there must be credible evidence. He was affiliated with the denomination of which we belong and one of our elders knew him quite well…which now causes me to wonder…….ugh….

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  36. The twins have arrived! They are beautiful and healthy and DIL is doing great as well. I am so thankful. I am sitting here staring at their picture 🙂

    Thank you for your prayers for their safe delivery.

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  37. Congratulations to Kare and family!

    I made Chex Mix from Kim’s recipe this year, to put in stockings. Let’s just say after sampling it, my family offered to consume it all before Christmas, but I fended them off.

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  38. Janice, even though I’d already seen enough evidence of the truth of the allegations that your 5:15 post isn’t a surprise, it’s sobering and it brings me to tears. This Christmas was going to be a hard one for his widow and children anyway, on top of a year that was hard in so many ways. I’m very glad RZIM is taking it seriously; may God give them and all involved wisdom and peace in this time. My heart especially goes out to his wife, Margie–they had decades of marriage, and there’s no way to know whether she had any inkling of any of this or whether it’s horrible and new now.

    Thank you for letting us know.

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  39. Mumsee everyone is getting a face mask for Christmas! The girls are getting pretty ones, one boy gets a patriotic one, the other boy gets one that looks like a tiger nose and mouth. Daughter is getting one that looks like a bear snout (mama bear) and SIL’s looks like a dog snout 😂

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  40. Watching the Atlanta Symphony with Art right now. Woodwind and horn players unmasked, strings and conductor masked. It just seems so odd. It reminds me of a Talking Heads recording . . . This is not my beautiful . . . orchestra!

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  41. As often happens, I am behind, but jumping in.

    Janice – Earlier today you asked, “I am curious since the nativity discussion was pursued for the sake of learning something new, did anyone learn something new or have their opinion changed?”

    Through the years of reading discussions on the WMB, this blog, and some thoughtful Facebook discussions/debates, I actually have changed or modified some political and theological views. Reading about a view that is different from mine initially may not have any effect, other than to disagree with it. But over time, reading more discussions or articles on a topic, my views may gradually change or at least be modified to some extent.

    So it is possible (even probable) that nobody changed their minds about nativity sets yesterday, but the points made in the discussion may bear fruit in someone’s life at a later time. Kind of like marinating. 🙂

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  42. Kim, I should be thanking you. We have been trying to make this Christmas special in other ways, since the little ones cannot be with their cousins, whom they remember came last Christmas (and I’m not even supposed to be here on the day due to work). That recipe contributed to that.

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  43. Janice’s QoD, did I learn something new? Yes, I learned more about the early church traditions of art. I always learn something, even if it is how to correctly word an argument so that there is not a weak point. Also, it helped me articulate opinions that had been circulating without words in my mind for quite some time, moving ideas from abstract concepts to concrete thoughts and words.

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  44. Survived another day, but am near exhaustion – I was running on adrenaline and am still feeling the effects, that jumpy edgy feeling where you know you’re exhausted but can’t stop or sit still.

    Liked by 6 people

  45. And what Kizzie said (9:14). The marinating process.

    I was startled late today when my phone rang, unrecognized number, and it was my friend Shirley. I nearly jumped out of my chair, but I have seen her brother posting that she has now some very lucid moments and they will be providing some more therapy to better enrich the time she has left.

    She says, “Hi. It’s Shirley.”

    My dumb question: “HOW ARE YOU?”

    ugh. Dumb question, sorry …moving on … But I was so excited to hear her very-normal sounding voice amid all the dire reports of late.

    The conversation was very short, she just said I need to turn on the news to see what’s going on at her hospital (nothing, from what we could tell later, but I think she may have been seeing news clips of picketing nurses at Orange County hospitals). But she said “All hell’s breaking loose, turn on CNN or something. I’m going to a rehab and have to go now. I love you.”

    I said I loved her back. She’s been moved to the same rehab, I saw later, that my Catholic friend’s mom was in some years ago.

    Looks like (from the FB “Shirley’s friends” page) that I was the only one she called which was such an honor.

    Her brother said it’s in and out for her right now, but they’re a bit encouraged for her remaining quality of life at least. Praise be to God, indeed.

    Liked by 7 people

  46. Looks like I’ll get next week off.

    I spent all day today chasing down the news tip about our former city councilwoman having died. Finally confirmed it (the family had not made the information public) and got a call late today from her grandson, who’s a NY college student but is in town now, saying he’ll be the go-between for the family and yes, they’re fine with doing a story now.

    I started working for the now-defunct newspaper in the port the same year that she was elected councilwoman and I covered her quite a bit over the years. I shared with her daughter (who’d now LA City Clerk) that I was covering one of her mom’s ‘state of the district’ speeches in January 1990 when someone tapped me on the shoulder and I got the news about my mom’s heart attack (she was gone already, but I wouldn’t know that until I made it to the hospital).

    The councilwoman’s office later that day sent a bouquet of flowers that I found sitting on the outside steps of my little 1920s Long Beach apartment — she also sent a certificate that they’d adjourned the City Council meeting in my mom’s honor (along with a long list of others, but it was very touching).

    I also covered her “good-bye” party at City Hall when she left office. And I ran into her and her former chief of staff and longtime beau while we all were shopping for refrigerators a few years back, it was nice to catch up. She said she’d really appreciated a story I did that had a very Christian theme to it.

    Anyway, I have that story to do tomorrow.

    After that, I’m off, I guess.

    I have to buy potato salad for Saturday’s cousins get-together.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be quiet, to say the least.

    But I did put out some more battery LED light strings on the porch, it’s blue and white this year, all I could find in my stash of Christmas outdoor lights. I need to get some red and green for next year.

    Liked by 4 people

  47. Some small “bell” earrings arrived today that I’d ordered a while ago on Etsy — because they reminded me of the “bell” earrings I had from Mexico before I had my ears pierced. They were always perfect for Christmas (along with the silver bell pins, also made in Taxco where my mom and I had gone that year).

    These new ones weren’t expensive, but sterling .925 so my ears tolerate those fine. Guess I’ll wear them to the cousins’ gathering. Normally, they’d have been the Christmas Eve service earrings. 😦 Carol was always my Christmas Eve “date” for many years, I’d pick her up wherever she was and off we’d go, sometimes to her Lutheran church, more recently to Hollywood Presbyterian.

    But Carol is gone and so are the services, this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Had a long chat today with the city councilman who defeated the councilwoman who was going for a 4th term. We wrote some very tough stories about him, but it’s funny how, through the years, it fades on both sides.

    We reminisced about his “era,” caught up on things, he’s already sent me a statement for the obituary — everyone seems to “stay” here (and most were born here) so it’s all such a tight-knit community.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. The original Taxco bell earrings were uncomfortable “clip-ons.” But I should probably take them in to a jeweler to get some pierced “hooks” put in them.

    Like

  50. I ordered three happy masks today. yes, that is what they are called. Made to give you more room for air for wearing on long flights.
    Donna, what a schedule. So glad that you got to talk to your friend.

    Liked by 2 people

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