Our Daily Thread 3-20-21

Good Morning!

Finally! πŸ™‚

Spring is here! πŸ™‚

πŸ’πŸ‘’πŸŒΌπŸ‘’πŸŒΌπŸ‘’πŸ’

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Anyone have a QoD?

75 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-20-21

  1. Good morning and happy spring! My favorite season. More sunlight, the beginning of warmer temperatures usually — or at least no more of the sub-zero stuff… Bird song already, and trees will begin budding in early May, just around the corner since we’re almost to April now. πŸ™‚

    It is right around the freezing mark at the moment, but predicted highs are upper 50s for today. Tonight won’t get below freezing, and temps tomorrow are slated to be near mid-60s. This is what we upper-midwesterners call very pleasant weather. πŸ™‚

    Today I really HAVE to get my tax stuff together, though it was somewhat of a relief to see the filing deadline got extended. I’d planned to work on that one weekend a few weeks ago, but, alas, covid came knocking here and threw much off-kilter. Husband is back at work now, and this coming week will see everyone else (with outside jobs) in the household also back to work. It’s a relief to return to some normalcy with the good things in life.

    Though I will say that even though I don’t like teaching piano virtually as much as in-person, these weeks of zoom piano lessons while on quarantine have been beautiful in a certain way: I could see my students’ faces again. No masks covering those sweet features.

    There is a certain amount of connection lost through a screen versus in-person, and there is, at least it feels this way to me, a certain amount of connection lost when in-person but behind masks.

    I so look forward to the day that I can connect again with students and other people outside my home with no masks. The human face is among the most — maybe even the most — of God’s beautiful creations. And the face of a child is so precious.

    Perhaps this worldwide pandemic is helping me appreciate beauty in newfound ways. So easy to take things for granted when life remains the same.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Good morning! Thanks AJ for taking care of us even while you are away! 😊
    The deer walked out of my neighbor’s drive and proceeded to walk single file down the road…they must have not wanted to punch through the snow to come over for a visit…it’s Spring?! We are to get now 6 more inches tomorrow…yep..it’s Spring! It will be 60 out here today!

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  3. As spring starts, I never can quite remember whether spring or summer is my favorite season, and I lean toward spring because it’s such a relief from winter and so pretty in many ways. And then summer starts, and that is when the wildflowers really get going, in Indiana at least, and also when we get butterflies and dragonflies, fawns and baby birds and baby rabbits. And the longest days of the year, the days I have a hard time making myself sit at my desk to edit because I want to be outside. And then I always know summer wins.

    But for now I’m happy to think spring is the nicest part of the year!

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  4. We will have temps up in the 50’s which is above average. We could use some moisture. This is the time of year that fires can start and we don’t want those. We still have snow piles, but there is a lot of brown grass. The deer find the bits of green to eat.

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  5. Good morning. Lots of frost out this morning, but the kids and lambs were happy. As were their mommas. Good to get out in the morning and enjoy seeing some of what God has done.

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  6. I’ll take spring before summer, the temperatures are milder and everything is so beautiful, colorful flowers are breaking out all over.

    Summer brings brown grass and too-hot days and nights.

    I maybe should replace my hanging dead-flower pots today with live flowers..

    No jury duty on Monday, I called the ‘reporting instruction’ line last night, so one day down and four to go. Now I’ll have to call every night next week to see if I need to go in the next day. I still need to do the online orientation this weekend which will save me from having to go in extra early on the first day I do need to report.

    We’re in the low 60s for the week coming up, which is a bit warmer than it’s been here lately but still pleasantly cool.

    Covering all the city and port meetings via zoom has provided some insight. You get to see everyone’s house and observe their strange habits at times. One official likes to wolf down breakfast at a rapid pace which is really pretty distracting — then his giant dog sits on his lap afterward for long periods.

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  7. I’ve met pets and little siblings of students through zoom, and sometimes the parent who doesn’t drive the kids to in-person lessons.

    It’s interesting to see furniture arrangements and wall decor and such, too. Open closet doors are sometimes part of the view — that I could do without seeing. πŸ˜‰

    With virtual learning, my students who are ordinarily distractible tend to have an even tougher time staying focused.

    Some of the kids have no problem whatsoever with paying attention during zoom lessons, however, thankfully. One thing I wondered about with my most recent switch to virtual was whether this fairly new 5-year-old student of mine would do as well with zoom as she did with in-person lessons. She’d started out with 30-minute lessons in January and continued them in February, and has been doing so extremely well that I thought 45-minute lessons would be in order for her. The parents agreed, and so we made plans to lengthen her lesson.

    Well, the day she was supposed to start her longer lessons was the day my husband tested for covid, so I had to switch to virtual starting then. The 5-year-old had always remained very focused during her in-person 30-minute lessons, and we felt she probably would for 45-minute in-person lessons, as well, but I had not thought at all about whether the same might be true of 45-minute virtual lessons.

    I need not have worried one bit — the longer lessons, virtual though they were, had no impact that I could discern on her attention level. The time flew right by, and she was fully attentive with every activity and piece I’d work on with her. Her musical aptitude is stunning, too — when she tries out new concepts I introduce, it’s like she’s been doing them for years!

    And her vocabulary! I really should write down some of the things she says, because I forget them later, even though, as she says them, I think to myself, “She knows that word?!” (And she uses those big words correctly for the context.)

    She’s excited to be moving on to another book in the Chronicles of Narnia series that her parents are reading out loud to her. It’s so neat to know of the very educationally enriched environment her family is providing her.

    And her little sister, who she’s helping potty train πŸ˜‰ has the same name as my granddaughter. She loves sharing little sister and baby brother stories with me during our little pre-lesson chat time. πŸ™‚

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  8. I’ve posted this in the past, but It’s Spring!

    In Spring birds sing.
    Rain falls; love calls.
    Trees green; young men preen.
    Sky is blue; love is true.

    Farmers plant; birds can’t.
    Robins seek, worm in beak.
    Rivers roar; geese soar.
    Spring is sprung; new life begun.
    PSL April, 2007

    Liked by 5 people

  9. A squirrel scampered across my backyard earlier today and climbed up into the dead pine tree. The dogs and cat were all deep into their morning naps.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Once I’ve confirmed this tree has no more hope and can afford to have it removed, I will ask about planting another pine tree in its place. Probably not a Sequoia, but something that will be fast growing and not overwhelm the house?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. DJ, a crepe myrtle would be nice. I bought one from a nursery a long time ago. It had unusual red and white marbled flowers. Unfortunately it did not survive. I probably did not have it placed in the right light. I love the crepe myrtles that are so majestic on the plantations around Charleston. Ut Oh! Is it even okay to mention those? Maybe they have been torn down because they are historic.

    Fast growing trees my neighbors put out were maple on one side and flowering pear on the other. In this climate, the pear is beautiful in spring, and the maple is quite showy in the fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. watching the fog here this Sunday morning.
    I took a few pictures and wanted to post on instagram, but my phone and ipad did not give me that option. Janice, what do I do??

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  13. This is long, but it was a sobering presentation by John MacArthur today at the Ligonier conference in Fla. In his remarks, he suggests that yes, from all appearances now, our nation is under judgement (has been for some time, he adds) and it is essentially too late to turn the nation around, it appears destined to go the way of every other nation in world history.

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  14. DJ did mention evergreen, though. (Pine.) So none of the recommendations so far would seem to match all her specifications.

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  15. I would like another pine tree, but I’d be open to persuasion on something else.

    In a couple months, I’ll probably have the tree dr come back out to “call it” on my tree’s now-presumed death despite the treatments we tried. At that time I can also quiz him on ideas for planting something that would grow fast, whether another pine makes sense (and if not something else that would be pretty and maybe colorful and wouldn’t be a threat to the house foundation). He might also be able to advise me on what would work best in my soil and the yard’s sun exposure.

    I have two very large ficus trees already in the back yard (which are in dire need of a serious trimming).

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  16. Pine trees are nice for bird habitat and that should be nice for the cat. I personally love pine trees. The wind in the pines is why I have planted so many around here. I love listening to the wind, it reminds me of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. DJ, don’t ask just about fast growing but about strong trees. In the South and Midwest, we have two or three kinds of trees that grow fast, but also lose a lot of branches and limbs. One kind of maple (sometimes called silver maple) grows fast and it’s cheap, so they’re often planted in housing developments, but they lose branches with every storm. Bradford pears are also “easy” trees, but once they’re mature, a storm can bring down half or a third of the tree in one storm. IN Nashville, lots of businesses have them, and after a storm, one business might have had two trees destroyed that way (they are round on top, so having half the tree come down destroyed the look completely). Anyway, all that to say look past “fast growing.”

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  18. A rare and welcome note of optimism from today’s LA Times:

    __________________________

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-02-20/covid-19-pandemic-herd-immunity-vaccinations-plummeting-cases

    New optimism that COVID-19 is finally dwindling as L.A. gains some herd immunity

    As coronavirus cases plummet nationwide and vaccinations total 1.7 million Americans a day and rising, health experts are increasingly striking a new tone in their pandemic assessments: optimism.

    β€œI could be wrong, but I don’t think we’re going to see a big fourth surge,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. β€œI think we’ve seen the worst of it.”

    Many epidemiologists and other scientists, while still cautious, say they feel increasingly hopeful that the rest of 2021 will not replay the nightmare of last year. …

    While 12% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, far more people β€” approximately 35% of the nation’s population β€” have already been infected with the coronavirus, Offit estimated. Studies have found that people who survive COVID-19 have immunity for several months, though it likely lasts even longer.

    UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said one of the reasons why cases are dropping so fast in California β€œis because of naturally acquired immunity, mostly in Southern California.” He estimated that 50% of Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the virus at some point. …

    … Herd immunity is reached when so many people have immunity that a virus cannot find new hosts and stops spreading, resulting in community-wide protection. Scientists believe that in the case of the coronavirus, the threshold could be as high as 90%. The United States has not met this threshold but each step toward it slows transmission, experts say.

    The effects may be greatest in places that endured the worst COVID-19 surges, including Los Angeles. After a horrific autumn and winter wave that has killed more than 12,000 people, an estimated 33% to 55% of county residents have already been infected with the coronavirus, according to USC researchers. …

    _______________________________

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  19. Morning! It is beautiful here in the forest this morning…rain moving in around noon then it shall turn into snow…they are telling us to expect 7-10 inches in our area…not putting the snow thrower away quite yet! ⛄️
    Dj my parents planted a plum tree in their front yard about 20 years ago. It has to be pruned every year as it spreads out obstructing their front window. But it is a gorgeous tree with purpley leaves. The blossoms are pretty and aromatic in the Spring. The birds love it as it provides their dessert! My Dad thought it to be an β€œornamental” tree..but while visiting I saw birds plucking away at something…sure enough it was bearing fruit…the sweetest plums you could ever want! Dad was thrilled at the discovery and they would harvest the first fruits every year before the birds happened upon them.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Of course, in your neighborhood you could get away with a pepper tree–but they’re messy and I hated them growing up. (the trees are gone now on my former street.)

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  21. On break: ON fast growing trees, the ‘silver maple’ Cheryl mentions is called a Manitoba maple here, and it is not a true maple species. It is a ‘weed tree’, a colliquial term for a number of fast growing and unstable trees, which also includes poplars and willows. Second in-law is a licensed arborist, and my father is an experienced woodsman, and both would warn those looking to grow a tree in their yard to eschew the fast growing weed trees. As Cheryl says, their branches break off easily, their roots are shallow, and they are short lived. While they may grow quickly, they are liable to topple over and damage something within a few years.

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  22. The message of 7:22?
    It’s too late.
    And I’m afraid he is correct. Too late.
    It was a long time in coming, but got here all of a sudden.
    Lots of things in the bucket, but I believe it was homosexual marriage that pushed us over the edge.

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  23. My intuition keeps hollering at me
    NO! It’s narcotics. Homosexual marriage and all this other stuff is a spin off from the narcotics industry.

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  24. I grew up (from about 9 years old on) in a house that had a plum, orange and banana tree in the backyard (handy base markers for playing baseball). The house we rented just before that had a gigantic pine tree in the front which I used to love climbing or just sitting under, it had heavy branches and needle-covered flooring that provided a play shelter.

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

    On the MacArthur message —

    I thought MacArthur’s discussion of God’s “judgement by abandonment” — Romans 1:24, therefore God gave them up (to go their own way) … — hit the mark in terms of what we may be seeing now. Our pastor has said this as well, that pursuing societal evils such as abortion IS God’s judgement turned back onto us.

    So the “one thing” that caused the turn really is this: a people/nation, who have had the knowledge of God, but chose to reject God and pursue their own instincts. That takes in all kinds of behavirors, but I don’t think those are the “thing” so much as it is the choice and even insistence of doing things “our way.” and rejecting God.

    Drug abuse, abortion, sexual confusion, unworthy leadership — those are all symptoms and, arguably, also our judgement turned back on ourselves as God refrains from restraining our sin.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. MacArthur also noted in his early remarks that we are not unique, that God has permitted, in time, all nations to go their own way. He has abandoned every nation in history – and what does that look like, MacArthur asks? Romans 1.

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  26. Sunny morning here in Ukarumpa. Off to the beginning of a spiritual emphasis week. Looking forward to worshipping together. We have split up into department meetings to keep the numbers down.

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  27. Today felt like a BC day at church–before COVID. We had a wonderful confirmation service, great music, several former members visiting from Oregon and Washington, and a beautiful day.

    I then stayed for the party and attended Sunday school with a couple who lead the study. Everyone else was on Zoom, but we had to rehearse for our Holy Week walkthrough at noon.

    Then a rehearsal, people approaching me about playing/singing Easter music, AND I got to lay hands on and pray for a friend.

    Wonderful. So lovely to see so many I haven’t seen in nearly a year.

    Not normal, but by the time we reach normal, it will all be unusual with a new pastor. He arrives and takes over in a month.

    I realized today I’ve been a Christian three times as long as our new pastor.

    In other numerical interest, we’ve owned our CRV 42 months. It has less than 28K miles on it.

    Our other car, an elderly Saturn, probably hasn’t been driven 1000 miles in the last year.

    Interesting times.

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  28. As to the judgement of God: maybe when we gave the education of our children over to others a couple of centuries ago, and they were taught they were pond scum.

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  29. Snowing…big fat flakes…about 3 inches so far and it appears I am destined to live in a snow globe for the foreseeable future! It is beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This is truly worth a listen/watch for what the Republican lady, Janelle, the woman of color, has to say about the shootings in Atlanta. Art and I enjoy watching this program on Sundays when we can. I did not watch the whole program but I know DJ and others will want to see this lady tell it like it is.

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  31. My thought is that abortion was, along with so many other issues, the result rather than the cause of this long slide. The actual cause was more of a spiritual separation and independence pursued by several generations going back for some time.

    I think I’ve only put 800 or so miles on the Jeep-that-shall-not-be-called-Cherokee since I got it in early October. I don’t know exactly, but the Carfax maintenance account now estimates the mileage at being a lot higher than it actually is.

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  32. It also makes sense to me that the act of rejecting an innate knowledge of God and his laws in a nation would lead rather quickly to denying that we and others are made in God’s image — and then the rest inevitably follows.

    We’re diagnosing our nation’s situation without all the behind-the-scenes spiritual facts, which are God’s alone, so we don’t ultimately know; but as we have more history and context with which to look at where we are in the light of Scripture, MacArthur’s (and my pastor’s from what I’ve understood through listening to him for some time now) assessment makes a certain amount of spiritual sense.

    It’s also maybe a reminder not to place our trust in chariots or horses or presidents or nations, even the “good” ones.

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  33. Our cold winds have returned as the day comes to an end. I still need to feed the backyard-pond fish next door, the neighbors apparently are going to be staying at their desert home a week longer than they originally planned.

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  34. On our downfall: Blame it white supremacy. That’s what the woke left blames on the nation’s problems. [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, I think it started with Madeline Murray-O’Hare and the 1960’s Supreme Court decision based on her lawsuit. God was removed from the public square, children could no longer be taught the Bible or pray in public schools, so a whole generation has been raised with little or no Biblical teaching.

    One could even say it was the Scope’s trial in the ’20s that started it.

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  35. My high school speech teacher/forensics team coach loved The Importance of Being Earnest, I remember her saying. I’ve never seen it. Did you enjoy the play and your weekend, AJ?

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  36. having fun spending my day looking for things, Not! It seems I have all of my stuff, except for any copies of my medical cards. So I am looking and it looks like I left them behind. Which means they are in the crawl in attic at my friends home, who has sciatica and will not be crawling into the attic. We decided to call my dentist, who of course submits claims, and see if they can send me a copy of my card, since we are friends. My friend, who has health problems and goes to the doctor frequently, couldn’t believe that I didn’t have that info. But, I can’t remember ever submitting a claim. The good news is that as I looked online for things, I found that my other immunizations would also be covered. Woohoo! Provided i have the right info, I should get even more of a refund. Who knew???

    Liked by 3 people

  37. lots of folks got mail last week, but not me. Chas, I am still waiting to see your Christmas card. My friend opened it and then mailed it to me without taking a photo of it. Should be interesting to see when it ocmes. This week she took photos of some of my mail, missionary newsletters. But the photos are too small to read. Oh, well….

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  38. 10:56, the infinite regress. But again, the first mover goes back to a spiritual cause — which then manifested itself in actions that became rooted in the nation (because they already were viewed as acceptable).

    So I don’t have to report to jury duty tomorrow (which means it’ll be a workday as usual); I will have to check in again tomorrow night to find out about Tuesday.

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  39. Seems like the fall of a nation is a trajectory, but one that must begin with a spiritual turn. What follows becomes almost predictable when seen in that light.

    But God remains on the throne and is sovereign. And he does judge both individuals and nations.

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  40. I found my insurance cards! So happy to see that I am not losing my mind. Of course I knew those are documents you always have with you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Peter, my church in Chicago made an announcement or two when I was 28 or so that the class for senior citizens was actually open to anyone of any age. The teacher was a few years older than me (married with kids), but everyone else in the class was perhaps sixty and up. I went into it and attended for a year and a half or two. They even sang “Happy Birthday” to me in June; I was an accepted part of the class, though as I recall they didn’t get any other takers to their invitation.

    I found the class frustrating often, generally when I’d see people in their 70s and 80s who’d been in church all their lives and knew very little about the Bible. I remember for instance one discussion in which some were insisting Solomon wasn’t David’s son. And then they showed a film or two “explaining” events of the Old Testament, for instance that manna was actually a product of some particular plant they identified, and that the burning bush was another bush with some unique feature, and that the Red Sea was crossed during the dry season. (How Pharaoh and his army managed to drown wasn’t explained, nor why the other nations were impressed with the crossing.) Several students thought the video exciting, but no one stood up and said, “Wait, don’t you see this is actually presenting the Bible as a fraudulent book for gullible people? It doesn’t prove the Bible is true; it shows that miracles are actually magic tricks.”

    But the last class for me, the one that made me finally decide to stop going, was the one in which the teacher asked students if they were president of the USA and had the authority to pass just one law, what would they choose? Person after person, well over half the class, said they’d put prayer back in the schools. Here were church people who barely knew, and barely defended, the Bible they’d known for many decades, saying that if only we were to force unbelievers into continuing civil religion (hopefully a Christianized god at most schools, though of course others of our children’s schools might well go with Hindu or Muslim or indigenous-people’s gods), that would be enough to make our nation good.

    God gave believers the responsibility to teach their own children about God, and He gave the church that responsibility too. If we aren’t passing on the faith, it isn’t the fault of the public schools.

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  42. Jo!
    It’s OK if you didn’t see my Christmas card.
    But it contained a gift also.
    Normally, I wouldn’t mention this. But did you get the gift?
    Chas
    No. I haven’t checked my bank account.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. yes, the gift was delightful and met so many needs. I sent you a thank you email, did you get that? It is not possible to send mail at this time. Nothing seems to be going through.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Here I am, up pastv bedtime, again. Art’s lens from his glasses popped out around midnight. I tracked down an eyeglass repair kit and struggled with my poor eyesight to fix the problem. Everything that connects those glasses is minute. It was amazing I found that repair kit, and a small miracle that I got the glasses at least temporarily repaired. I am certain that Art did not think I’d be able to do it. God surely helped.

    We watched A Walk in the Woods tonight. It’s pretty good except I’d clean up the language if I could.

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