53 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-20-21

  1. Morning! That is a bit confusing…AJ usually would post it as “1+20=21” wouldn’t he? 😊
    I found this article on Tim Challies’ blog which I found more centering than other articles I have read as of late. It does not target a certain race of people which in my view is divisive, but all believers…
    I awakened this morning singing the Twila Paris penned worship song “He is Exalted”…this song has been playing over and over in my head all last evening and first thing this morning…may it be so with us all….I will praise HIM! ♥️

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Good morning! Gorgeous sunny day, cold and clear, a diamonds-in-the-snow day.

    Interesting article, NancyJill. It is certainly spiritually dangerous to conflate the temporary nation in which one lives with the kingdom of God. I often think of the believers in China, where it is a matter of civil disobedience to refuse to engage in worship of the state. I have encountered non-Christian Chinese international students, and they are militant in protecting their country. I heard one of them on the city bus ranting that the university had no right to criticize her country – there actually was an incident where the Chinese international students tried to intimidate a Uighur speaker who was going to speak about the persecution of the Uighurs in China at the university. Idolatry of country can turn very ugly, and Christians need to beware of patriotism that blurs into faith.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Good piece by Challies, Nancyjill.

    ~ The end result is that theology becomes the handmaiden of political agendas. In turn, patriotism becomes one and the same with Christianity for so many. Among the multitude of factors that have given rise to this fact in the United States is the combination of American exceptionalism and Dispensationalist theology.

    American exceptionalism is the belief that the United States is qualitatively and fundamentally different and better than other nations. …

    … The belief in American exceptionalism was wedded to the growing theological movement known as Dispensationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dispensationalism, a novel theological movement that was popularized by J.N. Darby and C.I. Schofield, convinced Christians that they could most certainly find American exceptionalism in the Scriptures. Through the vehicle of Dispensationalism, America became the pinnacle of Christendom, the “City on a Hill,” but not in the manner it was originally used by John Winthrop when he quoted Matthew 5:14 in 1630. …

    … I am deeply thankful that I have the privilege of living in the United States. I believe that the principles upon which it was founded are rooted in a biblical understanding of human dignity and justice. As such, opportunity has been afforded those who live here that would not have happened in other countries. But as Christians we cannot look at the global scope of the Gospel and think for a moment that the United States is biblically more important than any other nation, tribe, or people. If the apostle Paul could write, “there is neither Jew nor Greek…for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) then we certainly cannot now say that America has any special claim on God’s Kingdom…. ~


    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good reminder on this inauguration day.

    Anybody going to watch the ceremony? I think our staff call will cut into it at the end. I hand’t planned to watch it, but I may turn it on.

    I was thinking about it last night and realized I haven’t been truly ‘excited’ about a new presidency since George W. Bush! That’s a long time ago.

    God has His ways. We’ll remain faithful to Him, always — and see what unfolds.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Not watching today 😔
    Every time I log in here and see that tree I think “stepping stones for frogs”…I suppose that comes from living in Florida with tree frogs sticking on the windows and trees! 😂
    It is a beautiful day here today with temps going to hit 50! Snow is melting and I am going to visit a friend’s new European and American primitive antiques booth in the Springs…she is so excited to open up a booth after having closed her store…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I caught just the last bit of the speech, was racing around here trying to get things printed out and ready for what will be a busy workday.

    The inaugurals area always moving and hopeful, even if “your” guy didn’t win. And good for VP Pence for being there.

    Looks like a beautiful day in DC, bright blue skies — and so many flags.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nineteen year old clogged her sink again, but rather than mention it, decided to fix it herself. She tore the sink off the wall (a pedestal sink as she destroyed the cabinet one), and pulled the pipe out of the wall and out of the pedestal so she was just running water straight onto the floor which she cleaned up by throwing toilet paper and cotton balls at it and leaving a big mushy mess. I have cleaned the floor but am waiting on husband to decide if he wants to attack it to the wall again before reconnecting the pipes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I had it on the TV, and paid attention to some of it. I thought Biden’s speech was pretty good. Let’s hope he actually meant some of those nice, encouraging things he said.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My bathroom (pedestal) sink will need plunging again soon. I found a hair catcher to fit over the pop-up drain, maybe that will help prevent this so often in the future. I try to be careful about hair in the sink, but of course some will always slip down the drain; the cat also likes to get into the sink and her fur is probably a big factor as well. Even though I keep wiping it down, some hairs make it through — and it’s a small drain pipe so maybe clogs easily.

    It’s not clogged currently, just starting to run “slow” again.


  10. Mumsee – Wow! And I thought my day started bad, having to deal with a clogged toilet. (It’s fixed now, but was resistant for a while.)


  11. Well, we could have had Bernie. While this may not be a “good” thing in some of our minds, it could have been worse. And even those presidents we initially support can wind up being not so good, right?

    A flawed world with flawed people.

    It will be a tough time to govern going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I use strainers in the shower/tub & in the kitchen sink, of course, but finding one to fit over a popup bathroom sink was trickier. It’s too big and is ugly, but will be useful (and is removable).


  13. I have been out mowing (vacuuming) the leaves off the yard while it is sunny today. I started yesterday. I have to go back and forth over it many times so it takes forever. I did not get out there until noon and I just came in. I have about that much more left to finish before dark. My face may be sunburned. I should have worn a hat. I had on large sunglasses so I will have that stylish look if I am sunburned. I totally missed seeing anything on television since cleaning up the yard has been long overdue. I was praying for Mumsee as I mowed along with others.

    My Bible study was wonderful as usual. We were in 1 Peter: 2 about submitting to governmental authorities among other things. Appropriate for today: Respond in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I use a zip tie to pull hair clogs out of my drains. Works quite well. You just cut nicks into the sides and they grab and pull the hair right out.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I think that at its best the United States has been exceptional, exceptionally blessed in many ways, and exceptional in doing good in the world. I believe that without attaching to it some special divine “chosen-ness”. If we have been blessed yesterday and today, that does not mean we will be blessed tomorrow.

    To whom much is given, much will be required.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Roscuro Aaak

    Kare I also have something like that but haven’t tried it yet.

    We had just a smattering of rain/drizzle last night during the wind storm. It’s still somewhat windy today, but yesterday was wild. I’m surprised our power didn’t go out, though the lights did flicker a couple times.

    Looks like we should get some modest amounts of rain next week, beginning this weekend – maybe.


  17. America’s exceptionalism (in Winthrop’s references, a history buff and friend tells me) would more likely have referred to our form of government in a time dominated by monarchies and dictatorships.

    But yes, God does both bless and rebuke nations.

    It doesn’t seem unusual that a single nation, over the course of time, might experience both.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Here’s my latest word usage pet peeve. I’ve been noticing more frequently that people start a sentence with “As such” to mean “Therefore”. Our township supervisor does it in almost every update letter she sends everyone. Challies did it in his article a couple times.

    “As such” should equate the subject of the following sentence with something just mentioned:

    “I was licensed as an amateur radio operator when I was 14. As such (as an amateur radio operator), I participated in several public service events.”

    “Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice-President today. As such (as Vice-President), she is a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

    “AJ has been the host of Wandering Views for something like nine years. As such (as the long-time host) he has served us faithfully day after day for 3000 days.”

    “I am deeply thankful that I have the privilege of living in the United States. I believe that the principles upon which it was founded are rooted in a biblical understanding of human dignity and justice. As such (as WHAT?), opportunity has been afforded those who live here that would not have happened in other countries.”

    He means “Therefore”. I don’t disagree with his point, I just tripped over his word usage.

    Okay, now I have that out of my system. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  19. I was just going to say that, NancyJill, that someone other than Challies wrote the article you linked to. I knew Challies couldn’t have written about being thankful he had the privilege of living in the United States, because he lives in Canada. He’s a fellow Ontarian.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I cringe every time I hear someone talk about American exceptualism because they’re usually referring to some kind of entitlement to rule the world or something. I love my country and am so grateful to have been born here. But I sincerely hope other people feel the same about their own countries and cultural histories. That’s part of what makes the world a fascinating place.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Nightingale had another dinner date with Coach last evening. Afterwards, they were sitting in his truck, in our driveway, talking for a while. Coach mentioned a text he got from his sister asking how the date went, and his reply was “Who said it was a date?”

    Well, you can imagine how awkward Nightingale felt, because she thought they were dating. She thought to herself something like, “You’re with a woman wearing red lipstick and you don’t think this is a date?”

    Later, they were texting each other, and somehow that came up. He admitted that he does indeed consider that they are dating, but he didn’t want to overstep to assume that she thought the same. 😀

    Oh, and as they were sitting in the truck talking, our two neighbor ladies – the one next door and the one across the lane (Gabby’s mom) – walked up to the truck to say hi and introduce themselves. Yup, we have nosy neighbors. (But we already knew that.) 😀

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Funny thing is, I haven’t even met him yet, but our neighbors have!

    These days, I guess, people who are dating often don’t introduce their boyfriend/girlfriend to their parents until they are sure it is getting serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Kizzie, it has been the case all my life that people (often) don’t introduce the person to parents until they’re getting serious. In college, girls would talk about “he wants to introduce me to his parents!” as a big deal, but I was almost 10 and almost 13 when my two oldest brothers got married, and we (the parents and the kids still at home) didn’t meet the ladies until they were fairly serious, and didn’t meet other girls my brothers had dated before meeting “the one.”

    I actually think there is something to be said for bringing people in more casually earlier–feedback from others before you’re “in love” and determined to marry can be quite useful–but it often is a bit of a “step” for some people. (For me, I didn’t meet my husband myself until we were “serious,” so I couldn’t introduce him before we were serious! And the friends who hosted him for every one of his trips to Nashville actually met him in person before I did, since I met him at their house. But I was also being intentional with involving others, believing there is wisdom in that.)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kizzie I did chuckle when I read the part about the red lipstick! 🙃
    Neighbor and I had a nice walk though the neighborhood today as several other neighbors were out for walking their dogs and having an afternoon run. 50 degrees yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Just had an hourlong interview w/former port director who’s written a very academic history of the port, dense with footnotes. Fascinating, though I’ve only perused parts of the book. Interview was good, she now teaches engineering at USC since retiring.

    Now to cull a story out of it and figure out photos …

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I really overdid it in the yard. There is still more under a tree that I decided should be raked rather than mowed. I let my exhaustion creep up on me until I almost passed out. Since it was so cool, I did not pace myself as well as I do in hot weather. But for all the discomfort, the yard looks so much better. Now to figure out what we will have for dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Debra, thank you. It can sometimes feel when the idea of American exceptionalism is raised that those who believe in it think the rest of the people on the planet are somehow inferior. I can completely understand loving the country one was born in or one chose to emigrate to. But what has always puzzled me about American exceptionalist types was that they couldn’t seem to understand that everyone else in the world might similarly love their own country. I have a commonplace book in which I like to note down quotes, and one such quote I wrote was a translation of the Roman philosopher Seneca, who was a citizen of an empire that knew a thing or two about world domination. Yet, despite being a citizen of the most powerful country in the world, Seneca had the insight to say, “No man loves his country for its size or its eminence, but because it is his own.”

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Morning all, yes, we still have 10 minutes left of morning here. God took care of me every step and flight of the way. Including someone to carry my luggage right to my door. Only someone on the flights with all of us could do it due to very strict quarantine rules. God is good. I brought 3 fifty pound suitcases plus my carryons which were overweight but no one asked. The best was with my very last bit of energy at 5 pm. I unrolled the mattress pad, of three inch memory foam. that was in my trunk – given as a Christmas gift a year ago – and made my bed. So comfortable. I was in bed before 6pm with just a few slices of cheese for dinner as other things were frozen. Got up at 1:40 and then fell asleep until 4am when I got up. That is when I finally had my dinner. I think I took another nap after that, but it is all rather vague. This flying around the world with three overnight flights in a row messes with your internal clock.

    Now I have to figure out how to comply with the regulations on the government app to follow me.

    Liked by 7 people

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