120 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 5-1-21

  1. The dove just cooed! Welcome, May! Enjoy your travels and family, AJ. This Under New Management/Leadership deal seems to be creating quite a stir. We may have Mutiny on the Blog.

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  2. That header flower seemed somehow to have come on upside down (the small petal is on the bottom). I just looked it up on Flickr and corrected it there. 🙂 Anyway, these are tiny little wildflowers, maybe a quarter inch, but quite pretty.

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  3. Love those sweet wildflowers, Cheryl. A friend told me that she went up in the mountains and saw her first ever wild irises. She was over the top with joy since iris is her favorite plant, and she had never seen the small version.

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  4. So Chas and mumsee are in charge? What a combo. Reasoned wisdom and rural quirkiness. It’s like Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy: the straight one and the comedic side-kick. I wonder if Make-it-man gave AJ a scepter Like he did for Lynn back in the old blog. If so, who gets it while AJ is away?

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  5. Ah ha Peter! It reminds me of the first date Paul and I had. I gave him the directions to my house in Ohio from his house in Kentucky….I told him to turn left up the hill and hang right. I waited for over an hour before he called after he drove back home…he said there was no hill…well that might not have been a hill in Kentucky but it was a hill in Ohio!! He made the drive back and here we are 46 years later!! 😂

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  6. NancyJill, hubby and I chuckle that in Florida, many of the small inclines are preceeded by signs that say, “Hill obstructs view.”

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  7. The mountains in New England are sufficiently steep. One unforgettable road trip of my childhood, wending our way through Vermont’s section of the Appalachian range, our van’s brakes started smoking on the downhill sections. That’s a scent I’ll never forget.

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  8. Um, Mumsee, Chas isn’t the one who lives in the middle of nowhere.

    Chas- You have wisdom, and you are reasonable in sharing it. The quirky one lives in the Northwest.

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  9. Roscuro- I have to drive down a steep hill for 1/2 mile every day. Hannibal is nothing but steep river bluffs. I’ve learned to use a lower gear when going down so I don’t wear out my brakes.

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  10. Michelle- Anywhere West of Kansas has mountains. Missouri and Arkansas have the Ozarks. Not high, but steep and rocky.

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  11. Then there are the Adirondacks of northwestern New York, which are connected to the Laurentians that line the northern bank of the St. Lawrence in Quebec. The famous and fabled Catskills of the Hudson, and Poconos of Pennsylvania are both part of the Allegheny Plateau.

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  12. I would argue the mountains of British Columbia are the best. Of course, having lived in a remote warden station in the midst of them, I am a bit biased 🙂 I think the Purcells are my favourite range – much steeper and narrower valleys than the Rockies.

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  13. Alistair Begg: ‘Welcome to Exile. It’s Going to Be OK.’

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/exile-ok/

    _________________________________

    When I was a child, I was taught this chorus:

    This world is not my home,
    I’m just a-passing through.
    My treasures are laid up
    Somewhere beyond the blue.

    Honestly, until recently I had no idea what I was singing. For us in the English-speaking West, this world has tended to feel very much like home, and our treasures have been right before our eyes.

    Perhaps it is only in the last few years in the United States that we have finally faced that what the Bible says is true: in this world we really are sojourners and exiles (1 Pet. 2:11). That reality has been clouded and obscured by the size and legal protection of the church in most of the Western world. But this world is not actually our home. We’re not supposed to settle down here. We’re not supposed to expect the church to be large, influential, and respected.

    Christians are increasingly going to be seen as different, and not in a good way. We are increasingly going to have to choose between obedience and comfort. The next decades will not bring apathy to the gospel, but antagonism. And that’s OK. After all, that has been the reality for most of God’s people through most of history.

    In this sense, as we move ahead in time, we’re going back—back to the world of the first-century church, and back even further to the Babylon of the exiles. And so we have many lessons from early Christians, and from men like Daniel and his friends. …

    … We have seen more than Daniel could. We know the name of the rock; we can look back in history and around in our world and see how the rock became a mountain. Yet we find ourselves complaining about everything, looking back to the good old days and worrying that the church cannot survive the empire of an aggressively secular post-Christendom. Too much of the public face of evangelicalism is characterized by angry venting or panicking—rather than prayerful, humble, calm, and confident belief in a sovereign God who is in control of things.

    How will we handle the onset of persecution? How will we handle the loss of our jobs on account of our Christian faith? How will we handle the closing of public worship? Will we give up, or grow defeatist or angry? Not if we remember that God is God, that he is in control, and that his kingdom ultimately knows no rivals. …

    … Your church may seem small. As you drive to meet with the household of God on a Sunday, you may pass hundreds of houses whose inhabitants give no thought to what you are doing, except politely (or not so politely) to deride it. It may feel little. But God’s kingdom is unsmashable, and it has an embassy in your neighborhood that we call the church. Don’t be discouraged as you meet; don’t be distraught over dwindling numbers or a more and more hostile media. Instead, commit to it. …

    ______________________________

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  14. I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Fells of England’s Lake District: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Fells . My mother has been to the Lake District, in her twenties when she was single. As a preteen, on the shelf of our guest bedroom where I had my school desk, I discovered a wonderful old children’s historical novel, ‘The Shield Ring’, that was set in the Fells and brought them alive. When I finally saw pictures, they were as beautiful as described. The Lake District is where Beatrix Potter lived and it’s landscape can be seen in some of her illustrations. It is also where the influential evangelical Keswick Conference takes place and the location of Capenwray Bible school.

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  15. OK, I turned the calendar page to May. Is that my only chore, dear leaders?

    April was busy, that page was all marked up, including all the notations of big payments due (property tax, homeowners’ insurance, IRS).

    May, so far, looks cleaner, but then I did just turn that page.

    I go back to the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday for a followup and (I hope) another shot in the knee. But I suspect I’ll have an MRI in my future so they can see what’s causing this ‘recovery’ to take so long. And I need to get in for an overdue eye exam and my GP’s office is literally hounding me (nanny medical care, almost daily phone voicemails, now a letter …) about the annual exam that’s now due.

    Weeds — it’s foxtail season here and I have a bunch sprouting in the front yard, as usual, May is the month. So far, I’m keeping the backyard free of them, though — they’re horrible stickers that plague dog paws.

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  16. And I’m tired. I just pulled weeds and mowed for a couple of hours. Now to put in some quarter round along the bedroom baseboards.

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  17. Chas (3:37), and encountering Christ is what brings (or should bring) that concept into clear view for us.

    But as the article points out, we’ve been somewhat lulled in the West where life has been so comfortable in many ways, Christianity generally viewed benignly and even as somewhat “positive.”

    As Begg points out, that is changing, we are now often the “bad” guys in our culture’s view, obstinately standing against social progress.

    So yes, maybe that song is gaining some new meaning for all of us? We are pilgrims, indeed.

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  18. What’s next, mumsee?

    I’ve picked up the backyard (found what appeared to be very big chunks of bird nests on the ground, I probably don’t want to know what commotion led to that).

    I have a prescription to pick up and should replace my dead flowers hanging over the front porch, something that’s on my perennial list now as I just never get the enthusiasm to do that (as it means picking up the pace on watering again, groan).

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  19. Donna, Seriously, you can’t understand this because you haven’t experienced it yet. But when you reach that point, lose someone dear, and know you are on the edge (90 years), then the song has a special meaning.
    It is not that you hate this life. I have been very fortunate; blessed by a godly family and a son who is raising his family for the Lord.

    But I just can’t feel at home in this world anymore. I am comfortable leaving everything with Chuck and family. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

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  20. I went for a walk in the woods, played the piano, and, briefly, flew a kite.

    Because I ordered Christmas cards for my mother from CBD, I now get CBD catalogs. I was glancing through the latest one they sent and was dismayed at the number of study Bibles named after people: the John MacArthur Study Bible, the Joyce Meyer Study Bible, the David Jeremiah Study Bible, etc. Who needs a John MacArthur or Joyce Meyer Study Bible? If one wants to know what an author thinks about something, one can just read their books, there is no need for segments of their works to be added to the pages of a Bible. In the catalogue, there were often multiples for every labelled study Bible as they used different translations.Then there was a Men’s Bible, and a Women’s Bible, and a Teen’s Bible, and then a Teen Girl’s Bible. Those whose names are affixed to such study Bibles of course get a cut of the royalties, and the specialized study Bibles allow for a higher price for publishers for copyrighted material. A couple months ago, we got a merchandise catalog from CBD, the kind with mugs and wind chimes and knick knacks. My mother was horrified that memorial nails, made to look like ancient square nails, were being sold. When I see all this merchandising of the Scriptures, it makes me think of the words of Jesus, “take these things away and do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

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  21. You have to be careful. You could develop poor manners.
    I was having dinner; punched something with my fork. It didn’t work I tried three times. Finally I picked it up with my fingers.
    What manners? Who cares.
    Living alone changes a person.
    It ain’t fun.

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  22. As for “Study Bibles”. I always study the KJV.
    I like one that is easy to understand. I have several other versions, but seem to always go back to “the original Bible”.

    Kinda kidding there. But not entirely. I still read the KJV for devotions; thou I have other versions.

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  23. Roscuro, back in my editing days when I went into an actual office, I’d see the trade magazines that would go to Christian bookstores, and exactly what they were advertising as beneficial for growing in the faith.

    I made copies of the worst elements that I found. Twice that included a stuffed doll to help children sleep and give them comfort.

    Two different manufacturers decided that what your child really needs is a stuffed Jesus.

    If it had been a stuffed Moses or apostle Paul it might have been funny. But deciding that a stuffed Jesus doll is the best way to give a child comfort? (One of them actually had the temerity to quote “Lo, I am with you always” as though perhaps this doll was an actual extension of Jesus.)

    When I used to occasionally hear “The Bible Answer Man” on the radio, I’d hear just how much one needed to donate to receive a Bible that he autographed himself. I think I’d be afraid to autograph a Bible!!

    I know that a lot of people were sad when Christian bookstores started closing. For me, I didn’t see a whole lot of spiritual benefit in a store that sold candles and stickers and other sorts of “Jesus junk,” popular books that usually didn’t say much worth saying, Bibles, and a few books worth reading. The vast majority of floor space seemed devoted to trivia and worse.

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  24. I have ridden my bike to Capenwray in the Lake district. I even went with some of their students on a bus tour of the district.

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  25. I use the New American Standard. It helps to clarify the meaning when they capitalize him and he when referring to God.

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  26. Our pastor posted on FB that his sermons on Jesus in the OT — the series we’ve recently completed — is now bound in a paperback book version. I jokingly asked if there would be a movie (one of his pet peeves are “Jesus” movies).

    Chas, I understand what you’re saying.

    Yes, all the “Christian” bling. I loved browsing the books in Christian bookstores when they used to exist, but the frivolous gift items were disturbing at some level.

    I agree about “names” on study Bibles, though serious study Bibles have their place. I’ve enjoyed and used a couple of the Reformed editions published in the past 20 or so years. My friend Carol used to love her Concordia (Lutheran) Study Bible.

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

    Our infection numbers remain remarkably low in LA County. There’s more talk of the U.S. having “turned a corner” with vaccinations added to natural immunity cases that also have multiplied with the spread of the virus.

    But still some major concerns about other countries that are being hit so hard right now. Many don’t have much in the way of vaccine supplies available.

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  27. You know, Chas, you really ought to get out like I do.

    For example, it’s not often you run into a princess riding a white horse in a city park, but it’s even more unusual to have someone approach you to ask if you’re the clown.

    🙂

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  28. I’ll have you all know I am single and I am dressed and I use real plates and silverware, just not as many pieces as Kim’s proper place settings. lol

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  29. In other news, not five minutes later, the library gave me a note inviting me back inside–they miss me!

    They also invited me to stick around 10 more minutes and the library would sneak me in as a “walk in.”

    I now have 7 fat books to read. I didn’t dare.

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  30. Carol would check out the full 30 she was entitled to. I could never talk her out of that 🙂

    Of course, then we had to schlep them all back when they were due …

    Got a text from the orthopedic surgeon reminding me to wear a mask for my upcoming appointment. The knee feels good today, only a little pain — but bad days outweigh the good.

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  31. Jo, my family has multiple connections to Capenwray, and several family members over the years have attended there. My mother was just visiting – she was a school teacher at the time and on her holidays.

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  32. I like CBD but usually just toss the catalogs. I do buy more than books from them. They have lots of fun toys and games. I would rather send them my money than Amazon. And, not only do I have a MacArthur study NASB, but all of my last eleven children have or had one. I like it. And it helps when we are reading together to have the same text. Sadly, they keep updating so the last two do not have the same words.

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  33. I had a Hebrew Greek with notes by Spiros Zodhiates Study Bible that ATI slightly altered to give Bill Gothard’s opinion of divorce. It cost a pretty penny, but it was marketed by ATI as being the best Bible for one’s spiritual growth. Those notes by Zodhiates did nothing for my spiritual growth as an adolescent. In fact they tormented me because they were inadequate to address my spiritual struggles. Since no man is infallible, there is grave spiritual danger in placing their words on a near equal footing with Scripture, which is the impression that is given by having a Bible that quotes interpretations of passages from some popular Bible teacher.

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  34. Which is certainly true of any study Bible that has interpretations in it.

    I also have a Ryrie study Bible. They certainly interpret differently. Which is why I told my children often that the stuff explaining things was only some guy’s viewpoint and not to be taken as absolute. And why I do not do Bible studies in books. Or led by a lot of people unless I know what they believe.

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  35. I also had a Greek Bible that was approved by the Greek Patriarch because the Greek friend I was doing Bible study with thought that was the only correct Bible to use so she got one for me.

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  36. The best study Bibles have an array of scholars who have contributed to the notes (and no man’s name on the cover?).

    And what about the Scofield Reference Bible, probably one of the first one-man popular volumes that did so much to popularize dispensationalism that took hold so strongly in the church throughout the 1900s.

    It’s interesting that many Christians going forward had no idea there were other (much older, much more rooted in church history) eschatological views at all.

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  37. alas, I believe that you have all gone to sleep. Just got called to teach grade 2 tomorrow. That is fine, but I didn’t want to say that I had dinner with the teacher two nights ago and yesterday we happened to take a walk together. She has been looking totally worn out, so I am not surprised.

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  38. Had a frustrating, but kind of funny (in an absurd way) exchange on Facebook last night on a town page. Here’s how I described it on my own Facebook page:

    “Well, it has happened. A commenter on a town Facebook page labelled me “a Karen”. How did this happen? It’s almost funny.
    .
    A man I’ll call Mr. P shared a post about the number of religious vaccine exemptions in Stafford. Another man asked where he got his “800+” number considering there are only 1500 kids in the school system, and a little over 7% have exemptions. Apparently those two had had go-rounds in the past, so Mr. P refused to answer as to not get into another argument. That’s where I came in, just looking for clarification on the numbers discrepancy. (Btw, my post here is not related to that particular controversy.)
    .
    Right from the get-go, Mr. P was a bit rude, accusing me of wanting those two to get into an argument. Well, no, I don’t, I told him, I was only curious about the numbers. Then he said that I didn’t get his point (which he distilled down to “Stafford can do better), and if I didn’t get his point, then I was beyond his help.
    .
    I should have realized by then that this guy was argumentative and a bit of a jerk, but I commented again, again saying that I was only looking for clarification on the numbers. Well, he still went on being rude in his comments, and then referred to me being “a Karen” as my name is.
    .
    Trying to defuse the situation, I acknowledged that that was kind of funny, although people who know me say that I am nothing like the stereotypical “Karen”. He came back with, “Yes, Karen. The world is out to get you. Nevermind the juxtaposition of you being Karen and you being a Karen. It’s not a stereotype if you’re actually Karening, Karen.” (Where did I even suggest that I thought anyone was out to get me?)
    .
    At that point I realized (later than I should have) that Mr. P is not going to give me a straight answer, and any further comments from me trying to get clarification on the numbers would only serve to “prove” to him that I am “a Karen”. So, to try to show, at least to others, that I was not getting all worked up like “a Karen” would, I added one last comment:
    .
    “But I haven’t even asked to speak to the manager! 😄”
    .
    He shut off commenting shortly after that.”

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  39. It seems quiet today. Maybe everyone’s afraid of Mumsee. Honestly, I can’t see why AJ would leave someone in charge with such a loose grip on reality.

    Chas, you will have to overrule her whenever she goes off the deep end.

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  40. Is the ‘x’ like cancel culture, blog-style?

    I had a rushed morning, I was up a couple times last night to let Cowboy out (usually that happens only once, if at all) and almost overslept. But I was able to hit the shower, get dressed, and out the door in time, albeit with still-wet hair (it dries if I roll down the car window lol).

    Good sermon on grumbling (who, me? sadly, yes) and, as always, nice to connect and catch up with a few folks I normally sit around.

    I’m catching the last part of Chris Wallace (yes, I think he does a good job and hits hard on both sides — we’re just no longer used to that, right?) on fox — but I have a hard time catching MediaBuzz which now airs at 8 a.m. Sundays. I found it once on YouTube, but don’t see an easy way to watch it later through the Fox News website itself, oddly. Everyone hates the media (even me often times these days), but that show offers the most even-handed and dispassionate look at the good/bad/and ugly of today’s media — and it has the advantage of doing it from inside the industry itself. More of that is certainly needed.

    So where is mumsee anyway? Do their church parties just go on all day or what?

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  41. After church in VA where I learned about structure in prayer from Nehemiah, I went to church in Nezperce and learned about being ready for Jesus’ return and being grateful that we are saved from His wrath. So, party hearty!

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  42. Now, I have two children having a competition to see who can pick the most dandelions for our dandelion cordial. Thanks, little brother.

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  43. Thrilled because our new pastor preached his second sermon on his second Sunday with us–right from the Bible!

    Our friends from Nicaragua were with us–they’re in our Zoom Sunday School Class–so I walked up to them wearing my mask and said, “This is what I really look like these days!”

    They laughed.

    Tomorrow is total Freedom Day for me–it says so on my calendar. I stared at that square for quite a while, trying to remember what Freedom meant.

    Ah, yes, I can go anywhere, now. 🙂

    Headed in your direction, DJ, the last weekend in June. 🙂

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  44. I’ve been to online church in TX and GA today. Both were very good. And I have gotten back to catching up on my piles of laundry. The knee is better, but I still have not tried getting in and out of the car. I have written a book review and need to post it to my blog. I have been working in the study guide my Wed. group is using. It has really good quotes mixed in. I really liked this one:
    “There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue; little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.” Any guesses at who said that?

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  45. I have quite a collection of Bibles and some contain study notes from pastors. I tend to give them away to the prison ministry where I think they can be useful. Sometimes if I am reading in a Bible that has no study notes, and I want to know more, I might look at one of the Bibles with notes from a trusted pastor to compare with what another one has said. I really appreciate the Study the Word Bible that has the addition of the Greek and Hebrew words for a selection of words throughout. It helps with deeper understanding. Has anyone used that Bible? I want to get one for Wesley if I find it on sale sometime. I buy Bibles from CBD when they have clearance prices to give as donations to the prison ministry. I buy a variety and keep them for awhile before sending them along their way.

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  46. I did some digging in the backyard of the circular spot that I was pretty sure served as the ‘toxic’ dumping site for the painters. Sure enough, I turned up an old paint brush, work mask, random pieces of painters tape, along with discarded planks of wood, rocks and bricks, all buried … I’m pretty sure they dumped (toxic) liquids there also. (This would have been in late 2017 or 2018, I can’t quite remember anymore; it was the final job in the long-haul house repair process.)

    Anyway, the landscape tree doc who came out last year had suggested that as a possible reason for the pine tree’s demise since he could see no other obvious cause. No tree disease, no beetles, no fungus … Kind of a mystery, he said. But this area is close enough to where some of the tree’s roots would extend out to that it probably makes the most sense.

    Since I may want to plant another tree there, I’m wondering what needs to be done to clean out that area or if I can just add a good-quality garden soil to it. Would that soil toxicity abate on its own after a few years?

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  47. What a coincidence! My (interim) pastor preached from the Bible today, too! 😀

    Speaking of the Bible, a few weeks ago, YA shared a piece that claimed that the reason that many conservative Christians fall for conspiracy theories is that they actually believe in the Bible. So the fact that we believe the Bible must mean that we are gullible. And yet, she claims to love Jesus.

    If she doesn’t truly turn to Him and repent, she is going to be in for a most terrible surprise. Praying that she will be saved before it is too late.

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  48. Janice, the study Bible I mentioned as having had also had selected word studies in Greek and Hebrew. I learned the Greek alphabet and memorized some Greek vocabulary while in ATI, as they were very big on word studies showing ‘original meanings’ – which in their case meant: ‘we reinterpreted this counter to any orthodox interpretation so we need out of context word studies to prove it’. That was how Gothard claimed adultery was not grounds for divorce, by saying the Greek word translated fornication, porneia, meant sexual perversion and somehow adultery wasn’t included in that list according to him. I remember I showed my ATI brand Bible (it was stamped on the spine with the ATI coat of arms) to Pastor A. Pastor A deeply disagreed with ATI, as he said it taught sanctification by works, and sometime later he mentioned in Sunday School that the selected word Greek-Hebrew stud Bibles didn’t allow one to see the grammatical context of a word. He recommended instead a full Greek-Hebrew study Bible that gave a lexicon number to every word. Now of course, one can get that for free on blueletterbible.org.

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  49. Now, having taken a semester of Greek, and learned much more about language, I understand what Pastor A meant. Word meanings are deeply dependent on context. I like to use an English example to show what I mean, the word ‘ball’. It can mean a three dimensional sphere, of any size and material, although to make things more confusing in certain sports the object called a ball is not spherical. It can also mean a formal societal function in which dancing is featured as a recreation. Furthermore, connected to the word ‘ball’ which are a number of idioms which mean very different things, such as ‘dropping the ball’, which means one has failed in one’s responsibility, or ‘having a ball’, which mean one is greatly enjoying themselves. Now, imagine someone who speaks a different language doing a word study on a sentence in which ball occurs without taking into account its context or syntax and only using one of the completely different meaning the word has… That is why individual word can be useless and even dangerous.

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  50. I don’t know Greek or Hebrew — but our pastor does. And those insights are very helpful in passages that can cause some confusion in their English translations.

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  51. My friend Natalie commented on my Facebook post (the one I quoted earlier) and she also sent me a private message. In her message, she said that she went to school with Mr. P, and he hadn’t been like that back then, but he has changed. He called her a Nazi once in a comment. So now I know not to tangle with him again. (Well, I knew that after my own experience, of course.) I don’t often comment on the town Facebook posts anyway.

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  52. It has been a long time since I tried for 100. Partly because posts aren’t numbered and I don’t generally pay attention to the tally at the top of the page.

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  53. So I guess I will nix getting a Word Study Bible for Wesley. In the past we were in a discussion and I used something from that Bible in the discussion and he seemed interested so I had thought he might appreciate having one of those Bibles. Thanks, Roscuro, for helping me be better informed. I learn new things every day and night.

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  54. The quote I posted earlier is from Eugene Peterson. It reminded me of the title of his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. I know many do not care for the paraphrase Message Bible. I did not bring him up to discuss The Message. I just found the quote to be relevant and true.

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  55. The amazing thing to me is a truth that seems to cause quite a few Christians to stumble: God does not fit in a box. He has believers all over in all stages with different life experiences. And different aspects draw them in. I used to believe that all Bibles were the same and everybody had the same kind as us. Then I learned there is a lot of variety, and none of the Bibles are the original text. Somewhere along the line we have to trust God to provide what He wants us to hear. He has many servants. Even took the disciples to task on that.

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  56. Although I should be used to it, I am still sometimes amazed at how rude people can be in comments on public Facebook pages or other comment threads. And how illogical they can be, too.

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  57. Janice, I wasn’t trying to tell you not to get the Bible for your son. You asked if anyone else had used such a Bible and I was just telling my experience with one and thoughts about it. By all means, if he is interested in a Hebrew-Greek Study Bible, get one. But everything that can be found in one of those expensive Hebrew-Greek Bibles can now be found on blueletterbible.org at no cost. I use it frequently, as I will often encounter other people who interpret a word in a different way and I want to see for myself. But I just keep in mind that word studies have limitations.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Today was very interesting. I subbed for a teacher and half of the class was also out. I only had eight students. So in some ways it was a very easy day. The teacher still is not back but another sub will be taking over.
    It is an honor to serve here and God knows the needs.

    Liked by 2 people

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