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51 Responses

  1. EricL says:

    Today I’m feeling “blah” after having received my second COVID vaccine shot- typical effects as they warned about. I tried reading the comments over at Linkathon post but y’all exhausted me with your anger. So much hate and condescension expressed toward fellow believers. I honestly don’t know how Michael puts up with it.

    I used to avidly read another website- for professional writers- but that one blew up too about 5 or 6 years ago, with threats and counter-threats on a site that was supposed to be all about the craft and business of writing. The site has never been the same, with most budding writers afraid to post any comments out of fear that their livelihood would be destroyed with fake reviews on their books. I tried posting under an alias there, but the professional camaraderie is gone. The warriors of the right and left razed it all, leaving behind a smoldering website that its owners tries to keep relevant but no longer has fascinating discussion. So sad. I really hope Michael’s website doesn’t blow up like that site.

    I wish I could say Christians behaved better than the world, but we don’t. We are supposed to be known by our love for one another, not our hate. I hope I start to grasp that truth myself.

  2. Michael says:


    I thought I had avoided the side effects…no problem after the first 24 hours.
    The last 48 have been unpleasant, however…nothing major, just sore and tired.

    If I feel I can’t keep this place from going over the edge, I’ll shut it down and adopt more cats.

  3. filbertz says:

    EricL–you said with much more grace and tact what I attempted to write yesterday, but repeatedly deleted. Sadly, the tone of which you speak has a way of affecting others to where all are addressing others with such disregard. It is worse than a virus that infects then runs its course and the person recovers. This gets into the mind and heart and changes people. The prognosis is dim.

  4. Em says:

    Don’t constructive conversations involve disagreements? I know i carry a derogatory label by some here, but it doesn’t bother me much. I just pray for wisdom and understanding by us all.God keep.
    Michael, too many cats will have your neighbors talking. LOL

  5. bob1 says:

    There’s plenty of good news going on right now.

    “We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming” (more or less, largely more)

    Also, I agree with this writer.

    “The people who saved us deserve a ticker tape parade”

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    “Don’t constructive conversations involve disagreements?”

    The other thread started off with anger and accusation. That’s not a disagreement… it’s the verbal equivalent of a drive by shooting…

  7. EricL says:

    I really hope it doesn’t get to that point, Michael, because there have been some great discussions over the years. I’ve learned much here from folks that come from a variety of faith traditions. It has survived many flamers in the past and I hope it survives the latest batch with their righteous blow torches.

    May the Lord guide you on how to guide the topics and conversation here. You’ve done well over the years, I just wish it would come easier for you these days. 🙂

  8. Em says:

    Dr. Duane at 10:29….
    Point taken ! ! !

  9. Michael says:


    I’m doing more to take care of myself…as I have no choice, if I want to remain here at all.
    I spend less time online and more time looking for the small joys in life and enjoying them fully.
    I’ve put off some projects here as I’ve been unsure if I would be able to finish them…hopefully, when the heart issue is resolved I can implement them and see how it goes.

  10. Em says:

    EricL at 10:29
    AMEN ! ! !

  11. EricL says:

    Em, you are a sweetheart and a great commenter here. I don’t agree with everything you post, but you usually say it from a very kind heart. Thank you for being such a blessing on Phoenix Preacher.

  12. Em says:

    Eric, you are kind, thank you but….
    Some who post here wouldn’t agree with “sweetheart” AND i am glad you don’t agree with everything i post… LOL

  13. Michael says:

    When I was a young person going to college I worked in a 7-11.
    My boss and I were cut from the same mold…hot headed and volatile.

    When vendors upset us we would take delight in tossing their stands and product out into the parking lot and demanding they come and get it.

    We fed off each other and we were a mess.

    One day his wife pulled up and navigated around the Hostess rack we’d tossed into the parking lot.

    She called us up front and demanded our attention.

    “I have one thing to say…you both should be about better things”.

    We walked off like chastened puppies…but I’ve never forgotten that line.

    We should all be about better things…

  14. Em says:

    Ah, Hostess cupcakes…..
    There was a little hole in the wall grocery a couple blocks from my route home from grammar school. I would save my milk money and buy a package of two on my way home. Then I’d stuff my face on the three remaining blocks home, so nobody would know….
    That was before i became a Believer in a righteous and just God. Who knows how i would have turned out, if I’d remained “godless.”. 😏

  15. CM says:

    There was Hostess Brands and there was Drakes Cakes.

    Both had their iconic snack cakes brands.

  16. bob1 says:


    That’s a sobering observation.

    It reminds me of something CS Lewis said:

    “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before.”

    Our choices determine our character.

    I agree — we should be acting and siding with our better things, not worse.

    Each of us has that choice.

    Let’s not turn from being a grumbler, into a grumble.

  17. Em says:

    As i recall my milk money was 5 cents ant it took 3 days to save the price of a package of 2 chocolate Hostess cupcakes…. This was waaaay back in the late 1940 s……

  18. EricL says:

    If they ever paint a mural of Michael’s life, will one scene feature the Tossing of the Twinkies?
    Maybe we can paint it on the side of some building in Phoenix OR, preferably not the side of a convenience store. 🙂

  19. Em says:

    Point taken, bob1
    These days i think i could turn into a Grumble…. LOL

  20. EricL says:

    But the greater truth of Michael’s comments is much truer: we should be about better things. That’s a truth worth living.

  21. bob1 says:


    I agree.

    We each have the power to do so, too.

  22. Em says:

    Eric and bob, good words and TRUE ones

  23. Dan from Georgia says:

    Yes, better things indeed. I was tired and turned off by the “discussion” elsewhere. My work-from-home tenure is coming to a close soon, and thankful to still be working. Also am getting anxious to get >>>>>>>> (insert large company’s name) computer equipment out of my room and turn this room into my music/guitar haven.

  24. Dan from Georgia says:

    Also, finding out that learning a new language, especially one with different characters, is rather difficult for me, but worth it. Learning that I have to study this stuff every day to get a grip on the Cyrillic alphabet.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Putting things together for Evening Prayer and suddenly remembered that +Michael Ramsey died on this day in 1988. It seems impossible that so many years have passed…

  26. Linn says:

    I have survived my first week of hybrid teaching. Our kids stay in one place, and the teachers travel to them. I have given up my classroom sanctuary. I go from room to room, each with a different tech setup, humming “I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger…” What I wouldn’t give for two packages of Hostess chocolate cupcakes!!!!!

  27. Everstudy says:


    Did you get a chance to see the movie on Wednesday?

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    Dang, no I missed it. I will FOR SURE be going this Sunday evening. Looking forward to it quite a bit, and trying to avoid spoiler links on Yahoo.

  29. Captain Kevin says:

    “Learning that I have to study this stuff every day to get a grip on the Cyrillic alphabet.”

    Just curious, why are you learning it? Sorry if you’ve already shared the answer.

    I have an “adopted” daughter who lives in Belarus, and I’ve picked up some Russian from her. But the alphabet…yikes!!

  30. Dan from Georgia says:

    Hi CK! Actually learning Russian for nothing other than personal fulfillment. Have always been interested in Russian culture, their military machine, and Russian art. Plus my job schedule has finally allowed me to take a class in the evening. Yes the alphabet is a real challenge…especially the letters that look like English but are not pronounced the same.

  31. Ruth says:

    I’m 2 weeks from 55, had 2nd Moderna yesterday. Had zero side effects from first, so far zero from second. A little bit concerned maybe I don’t have a good enough immune system, but seems like my demographic maybe normal?
    I’ve never had a bad reaction to any previous vaccines, but I’m hyper focused on to this one for sure!

  32. bob1 says:


    I think the pattern is that one experiences more symptoms from the 2nd shot. Of course I’m not a doc, but I think you’ll be fine. I think the symptoms usually manifest the day after the vaccination.

    Praying that you’ll get through. I had my 2nd shot about 3 weeks ago and I have more than one immunocomprised condition. I was tired for a day or so but am fine now.

    It’s been a new lease on life. Now I can hug my kids and their spouses. Wonderful.

  33. I was thinking today. What if the church was more like the chemo infusion center of which I’ve spent the last four weeks with my son. It’s been a place of grace, patience, compassion, bearing others burdens and more. We laugh together. We cry together. We battle a common enemy instead of each other.

  34. The New Victor says:

    Good luck with Russian, Comrade Dan. Sounds challenging.

    When I was a kid (18 or 19), I borrowed a Hebrew alphabet (alef-bet?) Primer they had left over for their young daughters. I went to the college library and learned it in about 3 hours. By “learned” I mean I could then recognize some words I knew aurally, like “boker tov, erev tov, shalom, ha’eretz, toda, Mazel tov,” and a few more. I still can read the few words I know 30 years later, and most of the letters, but that’s it. I also learned Hebrew script (cursive) equivalents, though most of that I’ve forgotten.

    My friend’s 11 year old daughter is trying to learn Japanese. Her teacher chastised her in front of the class, “that isn’t useful, you should learn Mandarin!”

    I work in high tech. Our group of 15 speaks Vietnamese (5) Spanish (2) Thai (1) Swedish (1), Mandarin (1), Hindi and whatever home state language (1). 2 other of us know some Spanish.

    English is the common language. Sorry, Miss Invalidating Crush Your Dreams and Motivations school teacher. You are wrong.

  35. Captain Kevin says:

    NV: “…Miss Invalidating Crush Your Dreams and Motivations school teacher. You are wrong.”

    Amazing! An 11-year old is motivated to learn a language and this “teacher” throws her and her efforts to the curb.

  36. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    One of the things I wish I had done while I was still in college was study at least some Russian and Japanese on account of liking so much Russian music and being the anime fan that I am.

    Btw, Star Blazers 2205 is about to hit this year, last I checked.

    Avoid the remake of the anime Your Name slated here in the U.S. Last I checked the screenwriters attached to the U.S. remake gave us The Amazing Spider-Man 2. 🙁 The original film is a blast.

  37. Linn says:

    Language teacher of almost 40 years-Spanish/ESL/ELD (English Language Development for kids) here. Learning any second language creates people who are more flexible thinkers, who know their first language better, who often have better interpersonal skills, and are highly employable due to their ability to interact with people in a more engaging way (fluency is so much better than just knowing a little bit). And, in my case, it meant that I went directly to the mission field vs spending two years in language school. It really is an advantage to bilingual (or more) and biliterate. I am spending my Saturday translating a women’s conference at my church. What a great way to minister to and love others!

    I have an older friend (in his late 60s) who is currently taking an online Spanish class as he volunteers with our church in a majority Spanish-speaking area. He is doing well, and now able to converse with the parents of the kids in the Bible club, providing better communication about the activities, but also telling them about the Spanish congregation at our church. A few have come to visit!

  38. Dan from Georgia says:

    heheh…Thanks TNV! I think people, if they are interested in learning a second language, shouldn’t just do it out of what is most useful in society (unless their job asks them to learn it or if there is an international relationship), but just out of pure interest. I have always had a weird fascination with, not just Russian, but other languages with different character sets.

    I skipped using Rosetta Stone because from what I have heard, the best way to learn a language is immersion. I don’t plan on going to Russia anytime soon, so I have a great opportunity with an online class (me and 6 other students) with a native Russian speaker, and she has advanced degrees in the Russian language as well.

  39. JD says:

    We used to blow up Hostess Snowballs with firecrackers at the park when we were kids.
    Setting up a music studio in a corner of the family room. Someone hand me a clock and say “It’s time”.

  40. Em says:

    Hmm… according to Linn i am a flexible thinker (3 years Spanish, 1 year German)….
    Flexible? Dunno… Not when it comes to the basics of The Faith!

  41. Linnea says:

    EricL @ 11:41am…. my next huge frustration will be known as “the tossing of the twinkies”. You made me laugh this morning 🙂

    Kurt @9:18 pm…thanks for making that observation about the infusion “lounge” and the church. Oh that we’d know that we’re all broken and needy and to be about encouraging one another in the faith. Love that.

  42. Linn says:


    It means that you can see things from different points of view or solve problems creatively because you can see other solutions. It nowhere means you give up the essentials-but you might be able to reason with someone better because you understand their theology. Think fo the Apostle Paul-he at least spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin, but he also wrote the book of Romans, which is straight “thus says the Lord” theology (along with all the other things he wrote).

  43. Em says:

    Points taken, Linn. 😇. Thanks

  44. Jean says:

    If you are a pet owner (in this case a dog), the worst day in your life, concerning your pet, is the experience of putting him or her down. In this case, the pet was my next door neighbor’s, but going through it with my neighbor brought back my feelings of mourning for my own dogs that I had to put down – like it was yesterday.

  45. bob1 says:


    I’m so sorry.

    My late dad was a WWII guy. The only time I remember him crying was when I was growing up and our rat terrier was hit by a car and died.

    Dogs are really, really, really special. I don’t have the words.

  46. Jean says:

    Thank you Bob!

  47. Dan from Georgia says:

    Bob1 and Jean,

    Man that is so sad. My sympathies Jean. We are going to have to put our beloved beagle Andy down in the next 1-2 weeks….he’s suffered torn ligaments in both hind legs (one we paid for to have surgically repaired, then he tore his other hind leg ligament…can’t afford the surgery again). He’s 10-12yrs old and his mind and attitude are completely there, but his body is giving out.

  48. Jean says:

    Thank you Dan! You have my sympathy as well.

  49. bob1 says:

    My sympathies, Dan.

  50. Michael says:

    Jean…my condolences…cat or dog, it’s terrible to lose a friend.

  51. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Crawford Gribben’s Writing the Rapture was a fascinating read about dispensationalist theology inspiring end-times/prophecy novels as far back as 1910. His new book on survivalism and Christian reconstructionism in the Pacific Northwest just came out and, well, Kindle edition is fairly cheap at the moment and if you can trawl through a hundred or so pages explaining how Doug Wilson is third-wave theonomy it’s a book that I think helps elucidate the “move upstream and influence culture” ethos that Driscoll and others at Mars Hill cultivated over roughly twenty years.

    Gribben’s also got a book on the history of trans-Atlantic millenarian schools of thought I won’t be able to resist grabbing. I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone tackle PNW right-libertarian Christian movements as competently as Gribben has. Dale E Soden’s book was more generally about religious activism in the PNW and was kinda sloppy and frustrating.

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