Things I Think…

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48 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    You see so many things as parabolic and they are… The one I am constantly hearing about lately is the flight of many from the flames of West Coast culture. The tipping point of toleration has been exceeded. Political immigration is in full swing. Not all of it is perfectly aligned. Some are just fleeing the flames and the smoke of conflict seeking calmer regions.

    Having just returned from 5 full days and nights in Spokane, I return having not seen the city or the beautiful countryside. My hosts live surrounded by mountains, or so they claimed.

    I fear there is nowhere to flee from what is upon us but I too have begun my flight in many varied forms. Social media, personal possessions, a lifetime collection of books all going away…steadily. Increasingly I want to go home but where?

    The single key I cannot shake is that language has now officially failed us. When humans cannot talk they take dominion by violence. Night is coming…

  2. Michael says:

    We have been fooled…or worse, we have fooled ourselves.
    We have amplified the voices of the few so they sound like thunder while muting the voice of the majority.
    The majority do not agree on everything, but they are mainly decent, reasonable, and “normal” until deceived into believing the worst about each other.
    Language has not failed us…our methods of using it have.
    This is our home for now and we all are making choices about whether to renovate or burn it down.

  3. Em says:

    “Public policy or ecclesiology that ignores the depravity of man is doomed to fail.”
    Sadly, all around us now are voices proclaiming that they are victims…. Trouble is, they have no idea where the problem originates.
    Pray for souls to find their redemption in this chaos. Doesn’t seem possible, but…

    Pastor Dread was in Spokane? The city, itself, IS kind of dull. But still there is a lot to see. My late husband and i hoped to retire there, but God said, “No!”

  4. Xenia says:

    +I recommend becoming as tight with one’s fellow parishioners as possible. This is your family, not the leftists running most of the secular organizations in town, like charities, book clubs, etc. Involve yourself with the lives of the people of your church. Attend church, even if it’s not legally permitted. Don’t fuss over little things like masks and leave the greater things unattended.

    +I recommend filling up your pantry with non-perishables, both to feed yourself and to help out others who are in need. The day may come when political correctness and social unrest will hinder your ability to shop, whether at a store or online. Do you really trust Jeff Bezos to be your source of supplies?

    + I recommend doubling down on prayer-time.

    +i recommend distancing yourself from people who are advocates of wickedness. If they are relatives, come to some sort of agreement that some topics will be off limits.

    + As always, I recommend turning off the radio, throwing out the TV, unsubscribing from Netflix etc and that you use the internet with caution. The internet can be used as a good communication network to learn news and find like-minded Christians, but it can be poison too.

    + Get healthy. Get rid of addictions, be it gourmet-ism, gluttony, alcohol, pOrn, cigarettes, drugs, etc. If you are a Christian hoping to protect your loved ones and do some good in this bizarre world, get strong. Now is not the time to be hampered by indulgences.

    + I suggest following a Church calendar, but I know many Americans don’t have one, so I suggest inventing one that fits with your theology. Anchor it around Christmas and Easter and maybe a thru-the-Bible reading plan. Have a nice, sit-down Sunday dinner every week. Eat family meals together as much as possible. Make Sunday special.

    + Try to maintain a charitable attitude towards those who disagree with you. If they are Christians, try to assume that their Christian conscience is forming their opinions. Don’t immediately jump to “baby killer.” And this goes for the other side: Don’t immediately jump to “you want to lock kids up in cages.” Realize that in these bizarre times, confusion is king (just as the Devil intends) and it’s not all that easy to sort things out.

    + Completely join the Kingdom of God and its citizens in everything you do. Don’t compartmentalize your life. Go all in.

    + Quit excusing yourself. If you have sinned, repent and with God’s help, do better.

    +Give stuff away.

    + Get a dog. 🙂

  5. Xenia says:

    + Read Solzhenitsyn.

  6. Michael says:

    Good list, Xenia…though I don’t recommend attending church if it’s illegal…most churches are open with Covid mitigations.
    Get a cat…

  7. Xenia says:

    though I don’t recommend attending church if it’s illegal<<<

    There is coming a time, and now is, when laws will have to be broken. This is up to the conscience of the individual Christian. No condemnation from me; people have to make up their own minds. And of course, people with health conditions should stay home.

  8. Em says:

    Get healthy? Xenia, you sound like my daughter last night. Eat dark greens, throw out frozen dinners, etc. She said that when she came back from Switzerland, she went into the Safeway and couldn’t find anything to eat. I told her that she was describing life as i knew it growing up. Interesting years, the second half of the 20th century. We thought it was progress, but it was too much, too fast o guess…..

  9. Em says:

    Oh and get a horse – the one animal God designed to be man’s companion – but don’t keep it in the house. 😏

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Xenia

    Thank you. Very good exhortation …

    However, ideological revolutions come from tiny but vocal and implaccable minorities. We are in far worse shape than we think IMO. I think the time has come to operate with equal and opposite intolerance.

    Xenia’s exhortation is riven with loads of intolerance. It produces the kind of constitutional strength that is required of soldiers.

    This blog has been a place of intolerance for a very long time. Intolerance of evil is necessary for civilizations to flourish.

    Half measures won’t do. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence.

  11. Michael says:

    “There is coming a time, and now is, when laws will have to be broken.”

    That time is not here.
    All that churches have been asked to do is employ social distancing and wear masks…worship has not been forbidden.
    We have 200,000 dead from Covid19.

    This is one of the ways we’ve been deceived…there was political hay to be made by opposing Covid19 mitigations and imputing evil motives to those who put them in place.
    Hay was made and stacked in one barn while the other side made plans to burn the barn down.

    As a result, we are now past the point where sober discussions about how we deal with this virus can be had.
    It will be back soon…and the first to die will be Christians who were all in on “liberty”…

  12. Michael says:

    BD,

    We are in whatever shape we perceive ourselves to be.
    If we set up the guillotine outside the major networks, we would soon discover that we still have much in common that is worth preserving.

    We do have to have an intolerance for lawlessness, including our own.

    As I speak, the Medford police are removing a tent city from the major park in town.
    These are not refugees from the fire, but transients and addicts used to living in the burned out areas.
    It is not heartless…they have been offered other resources.
    They are destroying a public space and need to go.
    There will be whining from a minority while the rest of us approve.
    The minority will make more noise…but the park will be cleaned.

  13. Xenia says:

    All that churches have been asked to do is employ social distancing and wear masks…worship has not been forbidden.<<<

    California.

  14. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Where in California are you forbidden to worship?
    Who has said that it is illegal to worship God according to your faith?

  15. Xenia says:

    Some people are having church outside. What will happen when the weather turns?

  16. Michael says:

    `They can gather inside according to whatever mitigation is in place.

    If they are worshipping outside, they have not been forbidden to worship.
    They have been made uncomfortable and inconvenienced, just like everyone else has been… doing anything.
    We could have made this trial one in which we celebrated the goodness of God and demonstrated our patience and perseverance in the Spirit.
    Instead, we joined the political rabble…

  17. Xenia says:

    Instead, we joined the political rabble…<<<

    Knock it off, Michael. You know this is not the case with me or with everyone.

  18. Michael says:

    None of this is to say that there hasn’t been overreach or to end debate about how we deal with the crisis.
    It is to say that we who call on Christ should never be joining in any mob…and shouldn’t be swayed by propaganda.

  19. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Every day my social media is drowned in claims of fraud and fascism related to Covid19, written by Christians.

    You have now advocated violating Scripture by defying the state… on what basis?

  20. Xenia says:

    I would rather obey God than man?

    Listen, I am not suggesting people crowd themselves in pews, nose to nose, without masks. I think reasonable social distancing is more than appropriate. To tell people, as we are told here in CA, that we cannot use our church buildings is more than an inconvenience for liturgical churches. But after seven months with no end in sight? It’s the “no end in sight” that finally got to me.

    As I have repeatedly said, follow your Christ-formed conscience.

    Look, ignore my “go to church” recommendation if it’s a stumbler. Look at the other things on my list, which I believe will be very helpful.

  21. Xenia says:

    The local Catholic church is holding services outside and God bless them for taking the initiative. Again, what will they do when the weather turns? The Baptist church across the street has its services online, and again, God bless them. This would not work for liturgical Christians but it’s a blessing for their congregation.

  22. Michael says:

    ” It’s the “no end in sight” that finally got to me.”

    It’s got to all of us…which implies we believe that our officials have some omniscient ability to know when a virus will run it’s course.
    My doctors believe this fall and winter will be hell.
    It is to those who persevere and overcome that the crowns are given…

  23. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Is there a mandate that one cannot use the church building at all?
    I was unaware of that as I know many who are meeting…

  24. Xenia says:

    Ok Michael, if the upcoming months are going to be hell, then ignore my church recommendation if that’s what your Christ-informed conscience is telling you and encourage people to prepare by maybe stashing food and strengthening their family ties and strengthening their spiritual disciplines. I think we can agree on this.

  25. Xenia says:

    A large number of CA counties are “outside only” for places of worship, and then with restrictions.

  26. Xenia says:

    Michael,

    By the way, I have not joined a mob. If I was in a mood to be offended (I’m not) then I would be offended (I’m not) that you think people who go to church have joined some kind of mob.

    Is it not possible that they believe it’s what God is requiring of them? For reasons that are not political and not informed by social media?

  27. Michael says:

    ” If I was in a mood to be offended (I’m not) then I would be offended (I’m not) that you think people who go to church have joined some kind of mob.”

    Nowhere on this thread or anywhere else have I said that or even thought such a thing.

    If I were in a mood to be offended, I would be offended that you would impute such to me.

    The rabble I spoke of is the one that believes the church is being persecuted and worship of God forbidden for political reasons…when God is worshipped all over your state and mine.

  28. Michael says:

    By the way, the only time we haven’t had church with our group is when I didn’t have power or internet for the Zoom to work.

  29. Xenia says:

    Ok, well it appears that what I had hoped would be a list of helpful suggestions has gone sideways so I’ll leave it alone.

    Follow God, best you can.

    Love to all,
    Xenia

  30. filbertz says:

    X,
    I found your suggestions helpful as intended with a couple of gold star recommendations. I also have found myself having to practice what I preach with my students on-line–it’s the old one finger pointing, four aiming back at me. Changing the world starts with changing myself and this season has been paring off layers of “stuff” that business-as-usual never did or could. I have been praying for renewal first in me and for the Church as a whole secondarily.

  31. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Filbert!

    Yes, renewal starts with a look in the mirror .

  32. Xenia says:

    One more little thing…

    The rabble I spoke of is the one that believes the church is being persecuted and worship of God forbidden for political reasons<<<<

    Can't we grant that many people do believe it's political without claiming they are part of a mob or rabble? Why impute the worst of motives to them?

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    + I want to stay involved with those outside my church, including secular organizations that include people who think differently than I do… something about being “salt and light”.

    + I will be shopping at stores, especially those owned by families, as I want them to be able to survive.

    + Morning and Evening Prayer have served me well for 40 years.

    + As for advocates of wickedness, I recall someone who dined with publicans, tax-collectors and sinners.

    + I listen to news and music on the radio and I’ve seen some great films and series during this time. Like all else in the culture, it’s about making choices.

    + Health is always a good thing. Sometimes, however, we carry health issues as crosses that are not of our own making. Ask my wife, an adult onset Type 1 diabetic.

    + Church calendar is great… and has been for forty years, apocalypse or not.

    + There is a way to charitably disagree. It’s called civil conversation.

    + I think that I joined the Kingdom of God when I was baptized.

    + With God’s help we can all do better.

    + Give stuff away… expecting nothing in return and not just because you’re downsizing.

    + I have an English Bulldog… Maisie.

    + Read Tolkien

    “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
    Martin Luther

  34. Michael says:

    “Can’t we grant that many people do believe it’s political without claiming they are part of a mob or rabble? Why impute the worst of motives to them?”

    Who’s imputing motives besides those who claim that Covid19 mitigations are an attack on the church?

    I’ll say it again…we could have led the way in this crisis by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit instead of engaging in the political battles.
    This, I believe, would have been the better way.
    I understand that choosing that path is unpopular and even considered ignorant, but I won’t call it persecution….

  35. Em says:

    Pastor Dread @ 10:50
    “Intolerance of evil is necessary for civilization to flourish”
    Amen…. probably necessary for civilization to survive even….

  36. filbertz says:

    “read Tolkien.”

    amen.

    “…we could have led the way in this crisis by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit instead of engaging in the political battles. ”

    amen.

  37. Em says:

    This had been an interesting thread to read…

    Just got back from grocery shopping wearing a political mask that one of my daughters sent me – 2 people stopped me to say, “i like your mask!” A middle aged woman and a fellow in a new, but muddy work truck.

    Hard to pigeon hole political preferences by type….
    Old lady, middle aged lady and a jolly, obviously, hard working young man…

    Glad that Xenia and Pastor Dread observed that there are applications of intolerance that are not sinful… Pray we learn discernment, eh?

  38. Dan from Georgia says:

    Get a llama.

    JK

    Actually whatever animal gives you peace and companionship I recommend! Of course if you want a wolf or alligator or an Andean Condor a permit may be required!

    Back when I lived in Minnesota there was a gentleman that owned a dog that may have had some wolf blood in it. Or the other way around. He had the legal right to own it. DNR officials were brought in by the owner to see if they could determine whether it was just a dog or a hybrid. The DNR officials were stumped.

    /diversion

  39. Jim says:

    Duane,

    My son in law is type 1 as well. I broke my neck in a car accident that was the other driver’s fault (no increased covid risk).

    I think that we are outliers, and that most Americans are unhealthy from self induced behavior.

    “Get healthy” is excellent advice for most, with empathy for those who can’t.

  40. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    Agreed… with a very large dose of empathy…

  41. bob1 says:

    Anyone know if Bishop Tutu is available? Maybe he could foster reconcilation and bring all sides together…

  42. UnCCed says:

    Reading the comments today reminded when I was a new believer and freshly exposed to some shocking Biblical passages about the end times and people’s families being their enemy, people cursing God, etc.
    My problem wasn’t believing the verses, as much as how bad it will get and how wicked people can/will be-no, I hadn’t yet learned history.
    If someone had predicted the last few years when in my 20s, I wouldn’t have believed them.
    If someone had explained how worthless (literally) the dead from the pandemic are to the living (more important to feed one’s anger because their original target has grown stale), or the logic from pandemic-profiteers (monetized videos) and their disciples, many of whom who recently “left their first love,” or the predictable (for decades) fires and fallout where again, the victims and those truly suffering are trampled by the phony supporters, I wouldn’t have believed them.
    No, I don’t need the Great Tribulation, the table has been set, all the actors are in place, I’m convinced everything’s ready.
    Also, all this time the REAL persecuted church has been forgotten (again) and I hope their support/prayers weren’t left also.

  43. Em says:

    UnCCed, martyrs today, ghastly treatment in other, Godless, nations…. are we Christians in the U.S. really prepared for what could happen? And, yes, are we praying for them now? Sigh… guilty here, God forgive me….

  44. Mike E. says:

    Yes. That’s why it can be offensive when Christians who are merely being inconvenienced by events out of their control, cry persecution. There is a remnant of our brothers and sisters experienting actual persecution. And they are probably praying for us. Lord, have mercy on us all.

  45. Em says:

    Amen, Mike E, amen indeed
    I’ve been telling God that i didn’t appreciate having to have my nose cut up and skin grafted….
    I wonder if He was thinking, would you rather have your head cut off? Uh oh!
    Just seems there is so much to bring to the Father’s Throne now. . I do need a list – bigger than dear dusty’s i guess…

  46. Muff Potter says:

    @ # 4

    “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.”
    — Ecclesiastes 3:16 —

  47. The loss of Phoenix and surrounding areas sounds devastating. The fact that the EBS failed is frightening. A fast moving fire may be the worst of natural disasters short of a >7.0 earthquake.

    The amount of local theft I see on the Ring network and even on Next door makes me want to turn them off. Related to that…

    After swearing not to get another dog after our elderly Chihuahua passed on, I got a 6 week old Sheprador puppy. She looks like a Black lab but with a long, square snout. Now she’s 16 weeks and almost 30 lbs. And we’ve likely got 25-30 lbs to go. She suddenly has a big dog bark so will be a good guard dog for back fence jumpers which was how I was burglarized twice.

    She’s wicked smart and I call her my “human dog.” She sat on command by the second week. She also gets jealous when I show my human daughter affection but she loves the kids. My daughter wants to get a kitty but I tell her that the dog will kill it so no. “But what if we raised them together?” No. This isn’t a Disney movie.

  48. Em says:

    Hmmm… Lab and German Shepherd? You’ve got a guard dog alright… 😉

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