117 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-17-21

  1. Good night Jo.
    I have been up over an hou r now.
    Breakfast, devotions, etc are over and ;Im just waiting around until time to get a haircut.

    You know you have an exciting life when getting a haircut becomes an event.
    CULOM

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  2. Chas, I have not had an event such as you describe, a haircut, in a long, long time. It sounds heavenly to me. My hair is getting very long again. Someday before long I will have to get out my hair trimming scissors and do the 5 minute chop chop. But we are having another spell of cooler weather so it can wait a bit.

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  3. Oops! My phone sure likes to change what I type in. I look at the letters as I am typing, but if I don’t go back for a second glance edit, there will be changes that are ugly. Bad on me, and bad, bad phone.

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  4. Such a blessing to see the sunshine after days of rain. Yesterday was beautiful and today promises to be the same. Good morning to all.

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  5. My M&M’s are rationed, but they would not last around me to see if they would last forever. I remember one of my daughters commenting that they were learning about calories and how many times they would have to run back and forth on a football field to get rid of those calories from a package of M&M’s. I don’t remember the number of times, but I remember feeling rather sad that those children were taught to fear the calories so much. We enjoyed our treats so much more when I was young. Although such ignorance made me gain a ton of weight when I was first married. Learning to eat a balanced diet is good, but sometimes it seems we are missing out on the joy and blessing of good food.

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  6. That stuff is all good in moderation but those of us who have no moderation need to stay away from them or have them doled out a little at a time.

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  7. I, alas, am with Mumsee.

    I had absolutely no control when it came to peanut butter M&Ms and decided after much struggle, 3.25 years ago now, that I simply had to go cold turkey.

    I haven’t had an M&M since New Year’s Eve 2017.

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  8. Growing up, I thought that M&M’s pulled a fast one by advertising “The chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” The chocolate didn’t melt, but the candy shell melted badly, faster than you could eat them, leaving you with a multi-colored palm unless you dumped them into your mouth immediately. So it seemed disingenuous to advertise that the chocolate didn’t melt because it was protected by something else that melted instead, and just as messily (or nearly).

    It wasn’t till I was an adult and not living in Phoenix that I realized one can in fact eat a handful of M&Ms without having a rainbow-colored mess!

    In fact, my oldest brother was an artist, showing in galleries (including a one-man show in the Phoenix Art Museum) when I was a child and teenager. (He is still in the art world, but he no longer paints.) One day when I was 12 or 13, he took me with him to visit his manager or a gallery that displayed some of his work or something like that, a professional call at any rate. And the office had a jar of M&M’s with a scoop in it, free for the taking. I took a scoop and dumped it into my hand, and realized immediately I’d taken too many to eat at one time–but in Phoenix you had to eat them all at one time or you had a melty mess. So I dumped them from my hand into my mouth, but hoped nobody saw me, because I thought I would look greedy and in fact I hadn’t meant to take so many. I didn’t want to make myself look bad, but I also didn’t want to make him look bad.

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  9. Good morning. I am not sure why the Lord timed it so that I would be out of action during this time, but I am beginning to be thankful for the respite. Also thankful that now both my parents have gotten their first vaccine dose. Things just keep getting crazier. The caseload is starting to crack the system – they are finally admitting to a nursing shortage. But the provincial government has taken measures that even its scientific advisory board finds bewildering. The big drivers of the increasing caseload are, as I have said before, the large plants, including the Amazon warehouse which has been responsible for 400 cases alone, but are they telling those places to put in better ventilation (HEPA filters) and to increase distance between workers, etc, or even to close down temporarily? Nope. Instead, in addition to the lockdown measures put in place (and keep in mind that this is a Conservative government running the province) golf courses, playgrounds, and outdoor recreation is being shutdown, even though scientists keep saying it is much safer to be outdoors, and police are given the authority to randomly stop people to ask where they are going to ensure they are only out on necessary business, which has both civil rights groups and police groups upset (the police really don’t want an extra job to do).

    The reaction to the provincial announcement was of general bewilderment. We know that the super spreader is being indoors for pronged periods of time in poorly ventilated buildings, which is why all these plants are getting cases, but that isn’t what is being targeted. The Conservative bottomline is always the economy and they have done very little to make the large producers improve working conditions for their low paid employees. Last summer, the highest number of cases were among the migrant farm workers, as the farms had lobbied hard that their migrant workers be exempt from international travel restrictions, insisting they couldn’t use Ontarians as they would be less efficient. Most of these farms are large corporate farms. But the migrant workers housing conditions are often crowded, leading to repeated outbreaks, even while the rest of the province had hardly any cases. Once again,

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  10. I tried reading that once. Didn’t like the narrative style. Most dystopian novels seem to have the same jerky, detached style, which I find distracting and off-putting.

    I am doing a lot of reading, and enjoying it. Read two and half books yesterday, but they were lighter reads. I have another Michael O’Brien book – it is nice to finally find a modern Canadian author who is readable and has hope in their books – ‘The Island of the World’. Unlike the previous book of his I read, ‘Father Elijah’ this isn’t an apocalyptic tale, but a historical novel, set in the turbulence of the Balkans from WWII to the beginning of the 21st century. Then, in non-fiction, I’m working through the densely researched ‘Fatal Misconception’, which narrates the 20th century drive to control world population – I had read portions before, but the prose is very dense and requires time to get through everything. When that is finished, I’ve got the works of Athanasius and John Chrysostom waiting to continue my project to read through the early church father’s. Out loud, I’m reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to my mother, and ‘The Silver Chair’ to Tiny on our journey through Narnia. I think we shall skip ‘The Last Battle’ for now, as it is a bit darker than the other books and she is not yet five.

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  11. Interesting picture. I’d like to know what plant that is.

    Roscuro, I watched Ford’s news conference and was appalled. Although we had a large outdoor gathering out here and now there are about 20 cases from it… where there had been none in that area previously. Sigh. We can’t win for trying.

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  12. Mumsee, the who plot by the Ape and Puzzle is a much grimmer tale of conspiracy than the plots by the White Witch. Tiny can grasp that the Witch is bad, but she would be puzzled by Narnians destroying themselves.

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  13. I’ve been watching the news clips from Prince Philip’s funeral this morning, very sad.

    The Covid numbers are, again, discouraging — but numbers remain fairly low in California so we feel a bit detached from it all right now. It looks like this primary battle with this bug will go on through another entire year at this point, at least ‘here and there’ throughout the world.

    And the unrest in our cities continues, now re-fueled by the Chicago police shooting of a 13-year-old boy. Next week could be worse with the verdict expected in Minnesota.

    This all has been a very strange and disturbing time, socially and politically.
    +++++++++++++++
    I’m trying to motivate myself to get Carol’s things picked up today, I’ve let that go for too long and today’s really the only day I can do it without letting it slide yet another week.

    I also need to check in with my neighbor today to see what the update is on Shirley. I’m really worried about her, it just doesn’t sound all that promising — and she already was so debilitated by her knees that both needed replacement surgeries (and now might not be a possibility). She’d put the surgeries off for several years, afraid of surgery in general (one of her relatives never quite recovered mentally, she said, from the anesthesia some years ago — the MD we both saw for many years also had a knee replacement surgery that didn’t go well, he’d told her he’d never have one if he could do it over again). She’d tried the stem cell injections earlier, maybe 8-10 years ago now, but that gave her only minimal relief that didn’t last for more than a couple years. Now the knees are so bad that her back is developing more pain issues as she is so bent-over when she walks.

    She’d just decided late last year that she was ready to face the knee surgeries, that she couldn’t go on barely able to walk any distance without so much pain; I think she was waiting for the covid situation to die down first. I’d given her the name of the orthopedic surgeon I’d seen for my meniscus issue but I don’t think she ever got so far as calling or seeing a specialist yet.

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  14. DJ, today is the day. It will be reopening a big sadness, but it will be healing as well. And will be helping other people. Those who gain from her things and those who gain from the space available for others to put stuff. I am praying for you.

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  15. Tiny stopped wanting me to read her the Little House books when we reached the part of Little Town on the Prairie where Laura rebels against the teacher Eliza Jane. I thought that was going to happen again when I was reading ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ and we got to the place where the narration is through Eustace’s complaining diary entries. Tiny actually asked if we could skip that part. I didn’t and she enjoyed the rest of the book, but I realized that she struggles with moral complexity- once Eustace became a dragon and then began to behave better, she relaxed.

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  16. Yes, when a young person is listening to a revered adult read about a nasty child, it can seem as though the adult is endorsing it and that can cause confusion because they know better.

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  17. Peanut M & M’s are my favorites, if there happen to be any around, which there usually isn’t except sometimes around Christmas or Easter or Halloween, if someone else buys them. I don’t usually buy candy, except the occasional Snickers bar for myself if I’m out and about and want a snack.

    My favorite thing about M & M’s is how little kids sometimes say it: I’ve heard me-me-my’s and nee-nee-nums. 😉

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  18. Oops, that was me at 1:25, forgetting to log in.

    I am feeling better today after your prayers about the thing from which I resigned this week. I emailed a pass-the-baton sort of report today about the duties I had carried out during my time volunteering, and am relived that’s done. We’ll have one transition meeting, probably next month, when I’ll pass the materials I acquired on to whomever might follow. It’s all organized in a single folder, so that’s done, too.

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  19. OK, they’re checking to see if her things are in storage or more accessible — if they’re in storage we may have to plan on another time, otherwise I should be able to pick it up today.

    Thanks mumsee. I’d just talked myself out of going when I saw your last comment. I really do need to just take care of that.

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  20. It looks as if a family with four children taking various lessons at the music studio are going to be leaving at the end of May. Too many conflicts with sports-related practices and travel, and the kids enjoy sports more than music.

    The youngest is one of my piano students. The studio has quite an extensive wait list, especially with piano, and the girl’s current time is on a popular day and at a convenient time for students — not too early for kids who attend school, and not too late in the evening that would be close to a young student’s bedtime.

    I enjoy having this student, and will miss her if they do decide to leave, but perhaps she and her siblings, if they do withdraw, might feel more of a draw to music learning after they grow older and/or become adults. Especially if they retain memories of the positive musical experiences their teachers have provided in their earlier years, which I hope I have done for this girl, and believe my voice- and cello-teaching colleagues have done with her siblings who study at the studio.

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  21. Do they still make almond M&M’s? I haven’t seen those for years, but they were my favorites for a while in the late 1980s. My mom and I drove up to Sedona in the spring two or three times, and one time I had a bag of those with me and we both enjoyed them. (I knew she would like them.) We usually buy the dark chocolate ones, but we now have some brownie ones, too, after hearing so much about them.

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  22. Remember when snow would fall on the blog? I think AJ should arrange for M & M’s to fall on here. Then we’d really have commotion, Chas. 🙂

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  23. Game camera: lots of interesting things on the camera lately. But last night was the probably the most interesting to me. Some sort of cat climbing down a fence post head first after leaving the chicken yard. I do not know what it is. Any ideas? Do all cats climb head first? I have not seen it. I have seen them jump but this was climbing. We do not live in South America.

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  24. Giant rats? eek.

    A drop of toothpaste landed in Annie’s tail a couple nights ago (she likes to hang out in the bathroom sink — I couldn’t wash it out so just snipped it out this morning. Now she has a cowlick on her tail.

    OK, so the facility called back and we arranged for me to come next Saturday to pick up the things, they wanted to make sure everything is identified and taken out of storage so it’ll be a quicker process, it also gives them time to coordinate with the facility’s social worker on Monday.

    So next Saturday it is.

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  25. But this Saturday is still here.
    But not much. Everything that needed to be doing is done and everyone has gone home.
    It seems really quiet all of a sudden.

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  26. Past noon here. I am getting the bee traps ready. Hopefully they will do as well as last year and we will have minimal yellow jackets and hornets but plenty of honey bees.

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  27. Sixth is a little super man. He wanted to sit at the dinner table to colour. So, with one hand he pulled out a chair. He pulled so quickly and forcefully that the chair tipped over on its side, but without making a clatter, because Sixth still had hold of it with his hand. Before any of the adults present could assist him by setting the chair up again, he put it back up, still with one hand. The other hand was holding his colouring sheet all the time. He is three.

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  28. I watched part of the funeral had tears in my eyes. The passing of a different way of life with Philip’s death.

    We shared a birthday. I always liked him.

    Just picked up a “free” emergency radio from our county. Rather than put up warning sirens, they’re giving away NOAA radios.

    The engineer is skeptical, but told me to go ahead.

    So I did. It was the most organized government program I’ve ever participated in. Drive up, fill out form, get in line, pick up radio, go home. 10 minutes, including drive time.

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  29. It must be fire season on the horizon.

    I went out for an errand but now am home again — I’ve actually had a sore lower back all day today, so not one of those days when I want to move around and bend a lot.

    Gas is back up to over $4 a gallon here.

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  30. what a different world you all live in. Sunday morning here. I did get out for a walk on Saturday, but only two miles. This place is so small that it is hard to get longer walks.
    I also did some cooking and after cooking chicken, shredded it to put in the freezer ready for other meals. That is it for my day.
    Oh, but I might say that chicken was very special. I was looking for some in the store, but couldn’t find any in the freezers. So I looked around the meat counter, though I knew it was closed. The sweet man there greeted me by name and asked what I needed. I said I know you are closed, but was just looking for chicken fillets. He told me they had some and I said I would come back the next day. He said just to wait. And after asking me how much, he went to their walk in freezer and got me all that I asked for, even more. I didn’t ask him to do that, he was just taking care of my needs in a very sweet way.

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  31. I bought a box of Sunmaid Apricots. I thought they would have been grown in CA. Not! They are from Turkey. I keep learning new things every day. I marveled at how far those apricots traveled to get to my mouth. I had some of those with my mini avocado for a good snack. Green and orange and healthier than
    M & M candies. My best friend while growing up loved M & M candies. To me they were okay but not a favorite. I preferred the ones with peanuts. My favorite candies were Heath Bar, Almond Joy, and Snickers.

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  32. Jumping in with a question:

    Do any of you have a digital scale that works well, without bells and whistles? The one I had before my current one worked great (until it died after several years), but the one I currently have (which is the same brand) is inconsistent. When I weigh myself, I do it three times as I am in the bathroom getting ready for the day. I often-to-usually get three different results, often with a difference of three or four pounds between the highest and the lowest. Sometimes two will match, and I’ll guess they are the correct weight.

    Since I am once more tweaking my eating habits to try to start losing weight again, I would like to have an accurate scale. What I mean by “without bells and whistles” is that Nightingale has a scale that also sends info to her phone, and gives more than just the weight, and I think it has memory that will show the previous weight. (I don’t want someone using my scale – as Boy sometimes does – and knowing my weight.) I just want a digital scale that will accurately tell me how much I weigh, thank-you-very-much.

    So. . .if you have an accurate digital scale, could you please tell me the brand and any other info that may help me narrow it down when looking online. (IOW, my current and last scale are the same brand, but different styles or something. The brand has several different kinds of digital scales, but unfortunately, no longer has my previous one anymore.)

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  33. Another question: Years ago, we were told not to have magnets near computers or laptops because they could wipe out information or something. Was that true? If so, is it still true with today’s laptops and desktops?

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  34. I came up with a plan that I could offer the piano student with the soccer / piano scheduling conflict that might provide a way for her to continue studying piano. I offered the mom an option where anytime the daughter was unavailable during her regular lesson time, I could email a creative improvisation exercise that uses a different chord progression each week, and the girl could play it anytime she’s at home.

    Really, the plan would work with anyone but the youngest, newest beginners, and I would still be teaching (via email) at the usual lesson time, and the students would be able to receive their lesson and apply it when it’s convenient.

    So this afternoon I typed up a template with day-by-day improvisation suggestions for a week of practice, emailed it to myself, and will simply forward it to students, as necessary, with a message about what is the chord progression they’ll play that week, and what notes make up those chords. I have a numbered list of 20 common 4-chord progressions and 7 longer progressions, and it would be easy enough to keep track of which progressions any particular student has already been emailed.

    Win-win: I can use the pre-arranged regular time on the student’s behalf, and the student can receive an alternative lesson plan to practice instead of missing a paid-for lesson.

    Hoping this works for the family I mentioned, though I’m not sure. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to have four kids in both competitive soccer and private music lessons. And if they can afford it, well, how much do they want to continue with music? Mom admitted music lessons are more what she wants for them than what they want for themselves, so it could be argued that music would be better set aside when they’re not that thrilled with the experience.

    On the other hand, introducing fresh ideas into lessons — improvisation is something we do a little of, but my primary focus is reading music with most students — can enliven the music experience and bring newfound joy to the process. A change of pace, eight weeks or so of improvisation during her soccer weeks, might just be the thing she needs.

    We’ll see what happens.

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  35. Kizzie, the hard drives in computers are magnetized. I thing a really strong rare earth magnet could damage a hard drive, but I have had weak magnets around my computer and nothing happened.

    DJ, nothing, don’t believe at all in UFO, and suspect they are split the result of seeing familiar phenomena in unfamiliar settings.

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  36. UFO does not mean aliens, it just means unidentified. Just like with my young earth creation beliefs, it won’t bother me if alien life shows up. It just means I was not clear on what God was saying and I am fine with that. Or it could be something else.

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  37. UFOs could be an elaborate hoax. Have they ever determined what happened in the Bermuda Triangle? Then again, UFOs could be a side effect of Covid and vaccinations (bad joke, sorry).

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  38. I don’t think there is life on other planets, as this universe seems to have been built around God displaying His glory to humans made in His own image on this one. It wouldn’t shake my faith to find out otherwise, but I think it very unlikely.

    We do know there are other beings in the universe, however–spirits, both holy and evil. And we know that other civilizations on this planet don’t always share their plans with us.

    All in all, I find UFOs mildly interesting but not worthy of much of my own attention. If I were studying space, I’d likely feel differently, but I’ve never been all that inclined to pursue mysteries I have no chance of solving and that aren’t likely to affect my own life.

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  39. A blessing to be able to watch a service from home and then listen to the service here. I could have gone, but the numbers are limited. Here I could download the powerpoint and listen.

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  40. I normally don’t pay attention to the “UFO” phenomenon either, but there have been increased sightings in the past two years, many over Navy ships off our coasts, of objects that appear to have technologies or abilities we do not (or are not believed to be in the hands of other nations). It’s curious, at the very least. But so far, the military or other agencies have not been able to get a handle on what is being seen — though something odd or unfamiliar is definitely being seen (and not by the usual off-the-wall folks obsessed with this stuff).

    So this seems a little different from the usual UFO fanaticism, a bit more serious and something that (so far) is stumping folks who have studied the sightings.

    I managed to talk myself into going out back to water the plants and the dead tree, so I’m glad that chore at least got done. I also have several loads of laundry going.

    No word today on my neighbor, I left a voicemail on their landline for her husband asking for an update if he had time; and I sent her a text, hoping she at least maybe read it knowing she likely couldn’t manage to answer (but we often send texts back and forth during the weeks and her husband told me she has her cell with her).

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  41. My leaning is more that this is surveillance by other countries, but the sightings seem out of that realm as well, technologically speaking.

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  42. Hugh Ross’ book, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men (A personal favorite), was written circa 2002 and he noted that the people most likely to see UFOs–folks watching the night sky–include astronomers and airline pilots.

    The percentage of UFO sightings by such people was virtually nil at the time he wrote the book.

    He explained that UFO sightings have been mentioned throughout the centuries–notably including generals in Alexander the Great’s armies.

    The one thing they had in common was they seemed to be using the type of technology then available, thus Alexander’s men saw flying shields, folks circa 1860 saw large balloons, and so forth.

    His conclusion?

    If you investigate deeper into the lives of those seeing UFOs, 95% of them have a relative or close friend involved in the occult.

    5% were unexplained.

    He concluded they were manifestations of Satan and his minions.

    Interesting idea, no?

    Lights above Navy ships these days? I’d guess technology espionage from some of the bad guys.

    No offense, DJ, but why would the Navy tell you otherwise?

    Need to know . . .

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  43. Right now there is a fragrance from the kitchen that is identifiable- Mrs L is making no bake cookies for a wiener roast tomorrow.
    Oh, and 75!

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  44. No offense taken, I’ve not been a follower of UFOs, seriously. lol — And my ‘go-to’ most-likely explanation also remains surveillance by other nations.

    However … These more recent reports, partly because of the frequency in the past 2 years, seem to have the attention and curiosity of more regular (and high-placed) folks. It’s just a curiosity — and people are, after all, created to be naturally curious:

    USA Today:

    ~ A former top national intelligence official hinted that an upcoming government report on UFOs will include information that cannot easily be explained.

    “There are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we’ve seen, and when that information becomes declassified, I’ll be able to talk a little bit more about that,” former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox New’s Maria Bartiromo on Friday.

    … Ratfcliffe said some UFO sightings have been declassified in the past, but a report to be released by the Pentagon and other federal agencies will present more information to the American people.

    “There have been sightings all over the world,” Ratcliffe said. “And when we talk about sightings, the other thing I will tell you, it’s not just a pilot or just a satellite or some intelligence collection. Usually, we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things.” …

    Ratcliffe said elements that are hard to explain in the unreleased sightings include movements that are hard to replicate or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without creating a sonic boom.

    The report is expected to be released on June 1, Bartiromo said later in the program. … ~

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  45. Incidentally, my family’s oral history includes a UFO sighting. My maternal grandparents, while working in their garden one evening, saw a circular object with lights hovering in the sky. I remember us debating with our cousins, who watched things like the X-files, over it. Our cousins were of the opinion that such objects might be real and told us about the fabled Area 51, not to mention the Bermuda Triangle – oh, and they thought the moon landing might have been faked. Eldest sibling contended that UFOs might be sightings of angelic beings. We were teens, developing our reasoning capacities, and some of our debates now seem very silly. Having now seen demonic activity and heard firsthand reports from those who have observed more, I am not inclined to ascribe UFOs to demons. Anyway, the spiritual can’t be physically photographed (ghost hunters claims notwithstanding – I’ll take the Bible’s word over theirs), and these UFOs are.

    I have always been fascinated with weather phenomenon, and growing up we had an Usborne book about the weather that I reread many times. I learned about St. Elmo’s fire, most associated with masts on sailing ships during storms, but able to occur in other electrically charged atmospheric conditions. Then there is ball lightning, a still not quite understood phenomenon in which electrical charges during storms form balls that roll down or along man-made structures and then either disappearing – usually smaller balls – or exploding – larger balls. There are sever reports of such balls exploding and damaging ships and once even a church in Devonshire.

    Then there are the cloud phenomena, like halos, sun dogs, etc. Lights can reflect in very odd ways off clouds, and such phenomena change according to where you are on the globe. I saw phenomena in the sky both in West Africa, close to the equator, and in Nunavut, close to the North Pole, that I had never seen here. The sky is electrically charged and things change as to whether one is nearer or farther away from the magnetic poles.

    The UFO sightings recently reported are said to appear when the US Navy is doing exercises. There are two potential explanations for this. A) It is espionage equipment, probably just drones whose perceived shape is distorted by atmospheric conditions – then again, drones have a wide variety of shapes. B) The vessels involved in the exercises are creating, by their proximity and maneuvers, electrically charged atmospheric phenomena. The electrical potential on the surface of the ocean is enormous, as water is a good conductor, and all the vessels are metal. Either way, it is a natural or man made phenomena.

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  46. Cheryl,

    No, I did not receive any from you. I even checked the Spam/Junk, nothing. A hint. I noticed when folks try to email me more than 2 at a time now it gets buggy. Don’t know why, my setting are the same as always, but now it’s an issue.

    Try that.

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  47. UFO
    They are real. There have been too many verifiable sightings for this to be a trick, or someone’s imagination.

    We don’t know who or what they are
    There are no more inhabitable planets in our solar system.
    Other solar systems are, I think, light years away. IN any case interstellar travel in prohibited by natural means.
    They are curious about us, but mean us no harm. They seem to be interested in what we are doing, but also seem determined not to interfere in any way.

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  48. UFO’s, in my opinion, could be extra dimensional, if that is the correct term. Glimpses of the spiritual battle going on. As things draw to a close, becoming more obvious. Remember how things were described in Ezekiel and Revelation and Joel and other places? Things able to move swiftly and with immediate change of direction. God specifically but other things maybe as well. Angels can appear like people, as did God. I don’t know what else they might appear like.

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  49. In our debates about aliens, my siblings and I came to a conclusion. The earth had to be the centre of the universe. The universe will be destroyed eventually and is decaying now, meaning that it was wrecked by the Fall too, meaning that Adam’s sin impacted the stars and it would only have done that if the reason for the universe was the earth. This is confirmed by the Genesis creation account, which expressly stated that the sun, moon and stars were made to marks the days, months, festivals and years on earth. We live, to use the language of physicists, in an anthropocentric universe. The becomes very clear as Scripture continues. The gaze of God is continually directed towards the earth and he is continually engaged with humanity. Jesus was incarcerated as a human and retains his resurrected human form. There is only three persons of the Trinity and there is no salvation offered to alien species. There are of course created spiritual beings and not even they have access to salvation. The conclusion is absolute from Scripture. Human were created in the image of God and saved by God. The created animals do not have souls and the created spirits do not have bodies, and neither are saved by Jesus Christ. To speculate on anything else is to go beyond what Scripture clearly tells us. I have no problem with aliens being the subject of science fiction, just as I have no problem with elves being the subject of fantasy fiction, but in the real world, the world that God created, neither exist.

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  50. Mumsee, angels only appear to certain people. Ezekiel had visions while surrounded by other people and only he saw them (Ezekiel 1:1). The same with Paul on the road to Damascus. Angels only appear in human form to certain people at certain tes. And only to people, not to cameras. People have a spiritual existence, even those who are spiritually dead will enter the spiritual realm at death. So people’s senses can be manipulated, as the Bible says have their “eyes opened” to see angels when God chooses to allow it. Cameras have no existence at all, and are purely physical machines. There is no possible way a camera lense can pick up a purely spiritual phenomenon. So if there is a photograph of a UFO, it is a physical, not a spiritual phenomenon.

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  51. But I was suggesting it is possible for angels to take on forms that are visible. It has happened. And it is all under God’s control. Fairly certain they did not have cameras back in the day. I was suggesting that it is possible that God is allowing us to know that the times are continuing to near an end.

    It is possible it is atmospheric.

    It is possible it is other countries.

    It is possible it is our own country.

    It is possible it is aliens from other places (I don’t think so along the lines of what Roscuro said).

    It is not likely it is imagination.

    And there is my theory.

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  52. Furthermore, the only angel described in Scripture as having a recognizable human form is the messenger, Gabriel, who appears to both Daniel.and Mary. Michael’s appearance is never described, ashe is only ever named. And the cherubim and seraphim are described in Isaiah and Ezekiel and then again in Revelation, which describes them as the four beasts. Isaiah only describes the number of wings of the seraphim and what they say, while Ezekiel describes the Cherubim in extensive detail, making it very clear that they appear as chimeric beasts having four different heads. Incidentally, both Assyria and Egypts chimera – the alabaster bulls of Sennacherib and the Sphinx of Egypt – bear similarities to the descriptions of the cherubim, and the forms of the cherubim were known to Israel before Ezekiel’s descriptions, since Solomon’s cherubim in the Holy of Holies have the same number of wings as Ezekiel’s do. The fallen angels also receive inhuman descriptions, with Satan identified as a serpent and dragon, and the demonic army as chimera resembling scorpions with the heads of lions. There is a lot of solid information in the Bible about spiritual being that often gets ignored for sensational or sentimental human ideas.

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  53. Mumsee, they don’t take on physical forms, rather people’s sense are altered to discern the spiritual form. This is repeatedly stated in Scripture:
    Numbers 22:31 “Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.”

    II Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

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  54. Also, if angels could assume physical form, why was Legion so anxious to go into the herd of pigs. Demons possess living physical things because they have no physical form of their own.

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  55. Janice, 7:35pm yesterday, thanks! But I will give credit where credit is due — 😉 — I heard a similar idea on a podcast this weekend on the TopMusicCo website about make-up lessons, and adapted the information for my use, based on my technology capabilities and other factors. The question of make-up lessons — whether to do them at all, under what circumstances to do them, how to arrange them, etc. — is forever debated in the independent music teaching community. So it was refreshing to hear such a commonsense approach that both allows students to receive lessons (albeit in a different format) that they’ve paid for but can’t attend, while still allowing the teacher to teach during his/her designated hours without either having to give up payment for the time slot they’ve reserved for the student who doesn’t attend or having to find an after-hours time to accommodate the student.

    That website airs a new podcast every Friday, and while I haven’t heard most of the ones they’ve done, I found this podcast to be very timely!

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  56. Mumsee, I already said people’s senses can be altered to see angels. It was the camera that I said could not detect a spiritual being, because it is purely a physical machine. When we take pictures, those pictures are not what our eyes see but what the mechanical lenses and electrical sensors in the camera detect. Ever taken a picture and then thought after it is developed that isn’t what I saw. I do, all the time. The camera is just a flawed piece of human made equipment, it isn’t going to pick up spiritual phenomena. So photographed UFOs are physical phenomena.

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  57. Roscuro, your 11::22 is just about exactly the reasoning for me saying there isn’t life in other places. God could have placed it there, and He never told us He didn’t, so it wouldn’t “shake my faith” to discover life in other places. But it’s kind of like the idea of a gap of millions of years between His creation of the universe and His creation of man–it’s not impossible, but it doesn’t fit what we do know of what He chose to do, and it isn’t at all likely as a reading of Scripture or of the facts we have.

    There is so much about this universe that we don’t know that we can mark it down as a mystery. It’s “likely” this or that, but beyond that we don’t know.

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  58. One of my pastors once preached a sermon or two about angels. He pointed out that spiritual beings don’t have physical essence in the sense that we material/spiritual beings do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t possess “substance” in some form. (That may be the wrong word.) They have form, even if they are spiritual. For instance, (1) they are not omnipresent, which means they are limited to a particular place; they have location. (2) They can act on physical objects, and that means they have some means of doing so.

    Perhaps angels exist in some sort of different dimension or in a form we can’t usually see. But some of the Old Testament appearances of “angels” (messengers) would seem to be the pre-incarnate Christ, a theophany, and we don’t necessarily know whether such appearances were a real body or an appearance of one.

    Scripture actually tells us very little about angels. My husband sometimes wonders aloud if they have a sense of humor, if they laugh, if they find any humor in human jokes. We know so littl, because they aren’t supposed to be a primary focus for us.

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  59. Cheryl, I have read enough scientific material on the topic know that physicists say the earth is in the optimum position for life to exist, Apparently, even the position of our galaxy within the universe is the only point in the universe where life could exist, and I read that in a secular scientific publication. But it fits very well with what the Bible says about the heavens being a tabernacle for the sun (Psalm 19:4), which is the great light made for the earth.Now, the speculation about extra terrestrial life says well maybe the kind of life that is present on earth couldn’t exist anywhere else but maybe there are other kinds of being alive. To which I reply, yes there are and they’re called spirits or angels or demons, but they exist outside the physical universe. Life within the universe can only exist here.

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  60. Wow, covering a lot of ground so far today — I’ve only scanned today’s posts, but will say that my family history includes a supposed “angel sighting” near the old working water pump (now in my garage) in front of my grandparents’ house in Iowa.

    Church, as always, was good, I’m so grateful to be “back” — though the virtual option was also a godsend when needed.

    I’ve seen some news clips of interviews with “evangelicals” leaving a church (not sure which one) telling the interviewer that the virus and vaccines are a complete government hoax and that Bill Gates is trying to “kill” us. I know, probably (I hope) not the prevailing view among Christians, but it’s the impression being shared via some media outlets. And I guess the pastor of that church considers himself a prophet in urging the congregation in these views. Sigh.

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  61. Spoke to R, my neighbor’s husband, last night and he says things are basically the same with the stroke aftermath and recovery process, but that her mood seems good or OK, at least; they may be moving her shortly to a rehab in a neighboring town.

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  62. Yesterday on the prayer thread, in the midst of a prayer request, I mentioned that I have not been back to in-person church yet, and said that I would try to explain later. Forgot about it until now.

    At first, after the church started having in-person services again sometime last summer, I chose to continue doing the online church option for a couple of related reasons. Covid was roaring through the nursing home where Nightingale works, and even with precautions, we knew that it was very possible that we could get the virus ourselves and/or pass it on to others. Add to that that the lady who would pick me up for church, although my own age, has an elderly husband with COPD (and is on oxygen), and the couple who drove me home were older (the husband is in his early 70s, the wife a few years younger). So I did not want to take the risk of very possibly passing the virus on to any of them, nor anyone else.

    Eventually, the infection rate at the nursing home simmered way down (after killing a large number of the residents 😦 ), and after a while, Nightingale received her two vaccinations.

    So what kept me from going back to church then? Well, it had been about a year since I’d been there, and it can be hard to go back to something one has been out of for that long. Along with that, I was nervous about how different it might be with the current precautions.

    But most of all – and I know that this is silly – the thought of sitting by myself makes me uncomfortable, and causes me to miss Hubby all the more. But I know I can’t wait for the social distancing thing to go away, because we have no idea how long that might take. So I have decided to go back after my second dose of the vaccine, which is at the end of April.

    I briefly explained this to Cindy, the lady who would pick me up, and she was understanding. I know that once I walk back into church, and go through a Sunday service, I will feel at home again. But for now I am a bit apprehensive.

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  63. oh, my, you all have been busy. I stayed up too late last night, reading of course, and third grade will be a challenge today. This is my last week as the teacher gets out of quarantine on Friday.

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  64. Wow! Already made 100+. Our Facebook Live service went down today so I missed maybe the last quarter of it. Sad when that happens.

    Kizzie, I’ve said I will return after the main tax season is over when we have fewer exposures to people so less likelihood I would unknowingly take germs into the church. Still praying we can get through this without getting the monster.

    I think the contract is ending for the medical group that has been using our church parking lot for drive through Covid testing. I hope that means fewer people need the service for the long run. Time will tell if it was a premature move.

    I have my prayer call in about twenty minutes. It’s so pretty outside today I should go sit on the porch, but I guess I will be at my usual prayer spot. I feel I pray a lot by being on these prayer calls, but then I realize I don’t pray nearly as much as the devout Muslims pray. So sad to consider all their time spent praying to Allah. More to pray about . . .

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  65. Kizzie, I know partly how you feel. I went back to in-person church for the first time in 14 months today. I was glad to go, but scared at the same time, not knowing what to expect. We registered for church early in the week when there could be 150 people, but then it dropped to only 30 people allowed by the end of the week. It was so very different, but so good to sing with others and to see the pastor in person and to talk (distanced) with those I haven’t talked to in months. It was good.

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  66. It likely will never be the same again.
    WE sat in the “multi-purpose” room. It wasn’t the same, but it was church.

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  67. All understandable Kizzie.

    I also was wondering if it would all just feel so strange and foreign to me after so much time, but in my case it didn’t (it also means getting up earlier on Sundays which I knew would be a bit of a challenge — I’ve compensated by going back to a short afternoon nap on Sundays again).

    The vaccine probably made one of the biggest differences for me, it really does take a big part of the covid threat, either getting it or spreading it, away mentally. (Israel now has 80% of its population vaccinated and mask mandates are going away.)

    Was the couple driving you also able to get vaccinated?

    But I quickly found my place in the section where I always sat before, immediately saw some of the familiar faces also in that section, and it was just so good to be back, masks still mandatory and all.

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  68. Furthermore, the only angel described in Scripture as having a recognizable human form is the messenger, Gabriel, who appears to both Daniel.and Mary.

    If that’s the case, who were the two “men” in Genesis 18 and 19, who are also described as
    “angels”, who went to Sodom to get Lot out?

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  69. We went back to church in person today after not being there since before Easter. The church was almost empty. Covid has now gone through the whole praise team. The person who spoke got Covid (after some others on the praise had it). He was somewhat sick on Easter so he didn’t come to church just in case. It turned out he did have it and the two teens and his wife also got it. His mother was at his home at Easter and was the only one who never got it. She did have two vaccinations. There were several others missing because of Covid, including one in the hospital, although he got out this afternoon; He was not able to go to the hospital he normally would have, because they were too full. He went to another one not too far away. I wouldn’t have gone in person if I knew how many had it, but it was nice to be there.

    One of the people (who has had a light case of Covid) prayed about not living in fear. I just talked to another middle age woman I ran into at a store. She had no mask on, nor did her teen-age son. The store requests it and the law in the state is to have one. I wondered about teaching our young people to obey the governing authorities unless they are asking us to disobey God. She kept telling me she isn’t going to live in fear.

    The bible does tell us to ‘fear not,’ but it doesn’t tell us to be presumptuous. Taking precautions is not being fearful. Many of the people, who keep saying they are ‘not going to live in fear.’ keep a gun, which I could say is because they are fearful. I don’t, because there are many ways to take sensible precautions and that is one of them. I think it is too bad that such things have become so politicized.

    It is that attitude that has somewhat kept us out of church. People who don’t have a healthy fear can be very foolish. Fear, like pain, can be a gift to help us. Irrational fear or fear that stops us from doing what we need (or should) do is not what we are to succumb to. OTOH, having some consideration for others and ourselves and taking proper precaution is just plain common sense, IMO.

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  70. “I won’t live in fear so I don’t wear a seatbelt”
    “I won’t live in fear so I don’t wear a life vest”
    “I won’t live in fear so I don’t stop at stop lights”

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  71. Peter’s question got me thinking about parallels I hadn’t seen before. It has long been the early church’s view that the Lord who appears with the two angels to Abraham on the plains of Mamre is a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ – circa A.D.155, Justin Martyr wrote in his Dialogue with Trypho that the appearance to Abraham was the Christ. It occurs to me that there are parallels to the New Testament. The two angels showing up in Sodom just before judgement strongly remind me of the two witnesses that appear before judgement in Revelation. The other parallel is with the transfiguration, where the two messengers of the Old Testament, Moses the lawgiver and Elijah greatest of the prophets talked with Jesus – the word for angel in the Hebrew Malak means messenger and, depending on context can refer to the Angel of the Lord (almost always viewed as the pre-incarnate Christ), angels, or human messengers.

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  72. Earlier on with the pandemic, I had a brief Facebook discussion with Hubby’s friend Bill. He was using that “won’t live in fear” rhetoric, and also said that we will not die before it is God’s time to take us. My response was that while that may be true, we are also not to test the Lord. I pointed out that we teach our children to look both ways before crossing a street and we don’t eat meat that’s gone bad, among other precautions we take in life.

    A couple or so days ago, I commented briefly on a friend’s Facebook post about the vaccine. (Her post was mocking the fact that one can still get the virus after being vaccinated, as if there is no difference.) A friend of hers commented:

    “You have to be one of the most brainwashed individuals I have ever communicated with. You’re so brainwashed you excluded your own ability to cognitively think for yourself, using basic scientific principles, and mathmatics.

    [Friend’s Name], I am so so soooo glad I stay away from people like this.”

    Then he went on to post in her thread a lot of “scientific” videos from TikTok, of all places. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  73. AJ, I just sent you several emails with a couple of photos attached to each. I included one or two I hadn’t sent the last time.

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