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146 Responses

  1. Em says:

    FWIW:
    The picture of the two cats waiting at heaven’s gate is so poignant, so endearing……
    Don’t think my dogs would hang out and wait for me… Maybe Skipper would, but….

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    800,000 dead…

    O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succor. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    (Book of Common Prayer, 1928)

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    My father-in-law is one of the 800,000.

    Thank you Duane for the Common Prayer.

  4. Em says:

    Dan from GA, so sorry – condolences to you, your wife and family
    God keep

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thank you Em!

  6. Dread says:

    No prayer is more common upon the lips of the faithful than “thy kingdom come.” Thus it behooves the faithful to watch carefully for understanding of the great kingdom action for which we pray. Covid cannot frustrate the progress of his great oversight and gracious hand.

    Severity only reflects the cross and so it behooves us to lean our foolish hearts into his fathomless grace for wisdom in a world with none.

    It is not merely his pity we seek but his new creation power and might.

    A world pandemic with 5.4 million dead and much much more suffering is within the action of kingdom renewal and saving judgment.

    We are being saved. You cannot pray for his kingdom to come and see the kingdoms of the world unshaken.

    Let us therefore continue to offer to him the fruit of our lips and our lives.

  7. Michael says:

    Dan,
    Praying for you and yours…our hearts are with you and your family.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Dan

    As the numbers rise, it is touching us all. Praying for you and your family.

  9. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thank you Michael and Duane.

  10. Em says:

    Pastor Dread @8:56
    Good ponder…..

  11. Officerhoppy says:

    I was listening to a pastor on the Calvary Satellite Network. It is a dangerous thing for a pastor who has no, or little Koine Greek understanding to use definition of words to support their text.

    The Greek language is an inflected language and as often as definition, context defines how a word is to be understood.

    I felt bad for the people who were being burdened by this man’s poor understanding of the scriptures and life. He was very idealistic and imported a concept that was not necessarily supported by all of scripture. What it leads to is just more guilt and shame. I dunno….I’ve been a pastor for over 30 years. I am weary of untrained (though passionate) bible teachers.

    I was one of them for years. Then I realized my preaching was deficient and did my best to educate myself. Didn’t have time to go to seminary full time but was fortunate enough to study under (and still do) a professor from DTS and took a few classes from Western Seminary.I’m not the sharpest tack in the box, but I know enough to know my flat sides.

  12. Em says:

    I’m done for today…. EXCEPT
    I’d like to go on record as saying the Democrat Joe Man chin is my hero – think I’m looking at a public servant, not a politician! ! !

  13. Michael says:

    Em,

    He’s highly paid and owned by special interests.

  14. Em says:

    Michael, if that is so, then why is he a Democrat? LOL

  15. Em says:

    In light of the perversity we see in many churches today…..

    Dueteronomy 32 – a portion… “32 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

    2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

    3 Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

    4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

    5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

    6 Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

    7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

    8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

    9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

    10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

    11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

    12 So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him……”

    FWIW

  16. Em says:

    Michael @1:09
    Much of our national debt is being bought up by China… that does seem worrisome to me…
    Thus Joe Manchin fighting to stop egregious loose spending seems wise, but
    What do I know… sigh

  17. Michael says:

    That’s not what he’s fighting for.
    He’s fighting to continue to line the pockets of himself and his lobbyists.

    They are all owned by the same people…and they are not on the side of the working person or the angels…

  18. Em says:

    Michael, do you have names for these people? Not saying you are wrong as most Washington DC regulars ARE owned by someone…..

  19. Michael says:

    Em,

    It’s easy to look up…he’s owned by big energy and pharma.
    You don’t get a yacht like his by being a public servant.

  20. Em says:

    He has a yacht? ? Okay
    Thanks Michael

  21. Dread says:

    Big Pharma is the whore that rides the beast (Congress) be patient … they will turn on each other like the rioters turned on the mayors of the blue cities that welcomed them.

    Actually big business is the brothel these days … the johns are all elected by the mongrel mob.

  22. Em says:

    Dread you are echoing what my smart daughter keeps telling me….
    I believe you both…., but sure wish Manchin was a man of principle… Sigh

  23. Michael says:

    Our system is utterly corrupt and broken…anyone that thinks one side of the whorehouse is better than the other is deluded.

    “Come out of her…”

  24. Dread says:

    Manchin may not be principled but without his hedge government will swallow more of our lives.

    Remember wherever government money goes to that arena goes government mandates — and one day they will make them stick.

    We have various kinds of totalitarian power pressuring us; government and technology are at the forefront. Cultures other than the white evangelical kind are much more dangerous but widely applauded.

  25. Dread says:

    We are corrupt in every conceivable way.

  26. Em says:

    Pride, power lust and hypocrisy/delusion = corruption

  27. Stephen says:

    Hi, I know i don’t frequent the site often, but I’d like to hear thought on a topic that has entered my sphere, if you’d be so kind.

    Husband and wife, both able bodied, are considering changing employment status. Husband has been working a job that he hates (and has taken a toll on his health) and states he can’t get out of without sacrificing even more time with their two young children…which neither the husband nor wife wants to do. He was a missionary for many years and came back to the US with no support (in his 40’s) and had to start making ends meet by working fast food several years ago. Over the years, I order to support his family, he worked up to a government job that not only goes against his values (personal as well as Christian) but has taken a toll on his physical/mental/emotional health and therefore has also impacted his family. No sin nor abuse is apparent and I have no reason to believe there is any.

    Wife has been with the children for 9 years and has been homeschooling and after a few years began working online to supplement income while continuing to take care of the home. She sees the sacrifices he husband makes and desires to help him more. Her house appears in order and the kids are well behaved, biblically raised and knowledgeable in the faith (especially considering their ages).

    They both believe their situation is as “dead end” as it can be because he is unable to change career paths without substantial detriments to his family and he sounds that he is “locked in” to his position at his employer. Meanwhile, they know if she went to work (from home) full time, her sole income would almost be equal to what they currently earn.

    She has the higher earning capacity and potential. Almost double.

    The kids have been homeschooled completely, and the wife fully believes she has reached the limit of her capacity to teach due to language limitations (she is a non-native speaker). The husband has been gifted as a teacher, so would take over homeschooling duties as well and household duties.

    In short, family would be in a better financial position (especially once husband gets a part time job), kids would be taught better, husbands health (physical, mental and emotional) would be in a better place. I suppose wife would feel better overall (kids supposedly taught better, husband in “a better place,” etc.

    They are apparently living within their means, live modestly, but have not enough to do much else, in the current situation.

    What do you think if they made this move (ie: unbiblical, wise, etc)?

    Thank you for any input. I’m kind of stumped. Normally, I’m pretty much in the “man is main provider and wife supplements income while taking care of the home and kids” model, but I can certainly see why their idea makes sense.

    In the husbands words: “why should my family be so ‘hard up’ because of my past choices if we have an alternate option, even if it’s not traditional?”

  28. Michael says:

    I can’t even imagine why it’s a question…it sounds to me that switching roles helps both of them be who God created them to be…

  29. Stephen says:

    I’ll add: I’m in the process of most likely changing my views on the topic away from my prior one toward this brother/sisters thinking.

  30. Stephen says:

    Michael,

    We all want to be in accord with Gods directives, of course, but I agree with you…Perhaps I’m just hesitant to “kill off” old ways without seeing if I’m wrong first.

    Thanks for your time and input

  31. Michael says:

    Stephen,

    I understand…but we have to make sure we’re dealing with biblical directions, not cultural ones.

    I hope they prosper and are blessed…

  32. Stephen says:

    As do I. And believe it or not, I agree with you here 100%

    Thank you again, Michael, for your time.

  33. Stephen says:

    As do I. And believe it or not, I agree with you here 100%

    Thanks again

  34. Em says:

    So sorry to hear the Biden’s have a German Shepherd…. poor, poor dog
    A Dachshund would be more compatible…. Or so it seems to me ? ? ?

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    Enough… It’s not cute, it’s not funny. It’s mean spirited.

  36. Em says:

    Not cute? Not funny? okay, Dr. Duane… BUT
    Having had German Shepherds for over 20 years, it “chaps my hide” to think of such a noble dog in their possession
    I apologize, but I wasn’t trying for either cute or funny…. But
    To those I’ve offended here, please accept my heartfelt apology. 🙏

  37. pstrmike says:

    We used to have German Shepherds. Great dogs, loyal and protective. A few were from strong Schutzhund lines. We’ve had Golden Retrievers for over 20 years. Great dogs, and their temperament agrees with me better than Shepherds.

  38. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    It is simply mean spirited…

  39. bob1 says:

    I had the same exact reaction as Duane.

    How mean spirited and petty.

  40. Dread says:

    Em,

    I’d love to have seen your Shepherd … my dear friends in Abq have admitted me to their hospitality for almost a year and they have fabulous shepherds. They are noble dogs indeed.

  41. Em says:

    Mean spirited? Petty?
    Well. to those here who admire the Biden family, I said yesterday, a heartfelt apology!
    If you knew the breed, you might understand my concern. A German Shepherd IS a shepherd and they’d die defending you.
    Dread, we had the good fortune to get our dogs through a local breeder by the name of Ann Mesdag. They need a firm hand. In fact they thrive on doing good – pleasing you.
    Short story follows…
    When my oldest daughter was in high school there was a fad – kidnap your friend in her pj.s and take her to breakfast in her jammies. When Jean he’s turn came our shepherd sized up the scene and sprung into action. Going up the back of one of the “kidnappers” jaws open target her neck. I shouted, “Bounder! No!” He stopped, dropped and came to my side. One of my cousins, visiting his Texas grandmother was saved from rattlesnakes by a pair of these dogs…
    A shepherd WILL mirror the personality of its owner as do pitbulls. There just are folk who should never own either one. BUT
    If you think J.Biden is a sweet man, I guess you would think a German Shepherd is a good match for him….m. Not me!

    pstrmike, Golden ARE a lovely breed – great family dogs too.

  42. Em says:

    BTW
    Today my scheduled reading was Psalm 94…. Good read for those who think God is just a sweet old man. A man who created us and then said, “Oops.”

  43. Duane Arnold says:

    Biden has owned, trained and shown German Shepherds since he was a child… enough of the pettiness…

  44. pstrmike says:

    for goodness sake Duane! what is wrong with you? Relax!!!

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    pstrmike

    Tired of the pettiness… and the politics.

  46. pstrmike says:

    Duane , it happens with or without us. When get tired of it I take a break. Cue up some U2 and enjoy the day. Blessings to you.

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    More like Tom Petty these days…

  48. pstrmike says:

    Well. Ok then. Stop dragging your heart around! 😎

  49. Duane Arnold says:

    Or, I won’t back down… 😎

  50. Officerhoppy says:

    Some of you are just “Free Fallin’ and just need to learn to fly.

    A bit of a stretch and several hours late…but at least I tried

  51. pstrmike says:

    “ Or, I won’t back down… “

    Good come back. I’m out to go run down down a dream. 😎

    Looking for a local Catholic or Anglican service I could attend late night Christmas Eve. Perhaps I’ll see some of Beth Moore’s disciples there.

    Steve,
    Good try. I’d rather hang out on Reseda….

  52. Officerhoppy says:

    Reseda? That’s fine with me as long as you “Don’t come Around Here no More” cause it could be “The End of the Line” for you and you’d become a “Refugee”.

  53. pstrmike says:

    Round one goes to hoppy

  54. pstrmike says:

    Or maybe not quite yet. I’m moving over to Ventura Boulevard. But I still love Jesus and horses too. OK I gotta go. 😎

  55. Officerhoppy says:

    Mike
    Nice!

  56. Officerhoppy says:

    Listening to Pat Matheny and LyleMays right now as I wrap Xmas gifts. Motivated to change the station to Tom Petty

  57. Dan from Georgia says:

    I love Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays! I have a blu-ray show of theirs recorded in South Korea.

  58. pstrmike says:

    Not a bad idea hoppy. It’s been a long December. I find myself count the crows flying overhead. But one more day in the canyon. It’s rare that I miss LA, but when I think of Petty’s music, I do……

    Maybe this year [coming] will better than the last……..

  59. Officerhoppy says:

    Dan
    I’ve seen them live about 5 times. Sad that Lyle died.He was a musical genius in my estimation.

  60. Dan from Georgia says:

    I went to see Pat live once in Minneapolis…Pat Metheny Trio I believe. Amazing guitar player. Sad indeed that Lyle Mays is no longer with us.

  61. Dread says:

    Em

    I was glad to see you defend yourself yesterday. Missed it until this morning.

    Good for you. I won’t back down either.

  62. Michael says:

    I’m tired and it’s cold here…and this is what I wake up to.

    I have always maintained that we could have productive discussions here that other places could not…because of the quality of people that frequent here.

    I will still maintain that individually that is true…but we are no more able to sort these matters through than any other rag.

    If you are in my personal circle you know that I have as hard a time saying anything good about Biden as I did Trump…maybe even a more difficult time.

    I try to not think of either one of them.

    But to suggest that a man is unworthy of a dog does not add to our understanding or ability to communicate our differences.

    It simply delineates our contempt for the other.

    The last dog I had or will have was a German Shepherd.
    He lived 17 years.
    Noble ,indeed.

    Pets can make us better people…so perhaps we should celebrate whenever one of these people chooses one we admire…perhaps their inherent qualities will rub off.

    I will back down and if need be, shut down…partially or completely.

    These times demand more of us than what we choose to give and will eventually require fully identifying with Christ.

    We have a long way to go to get there…

  63. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thank you Michael.

    I would prefer to talk about music and musicians, and pets as pets.

  64. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I would love to be able to work through some current issues here, but It doesn’t work well.

    When a group of high character individuals cannot have a reasoned conversation, we know where we’re at culturally.

    I spent last night trying to peacefully integrate a new cat in the house…it was hard, but not this hard.

    The new cat is very concerned about her rights…

  65. Xenia says:

    If you just don’t watch the news very much, and this can be accomplished by getting rid of cable, which one should do anyway, one can pass days, even weeks, without thinking about either Trump or Biden. I suggest looking at the headlines on the AP website each morning to see if a nuclear bomb has dropped anywhere or similar, and that should suffice. If you have FB, you can follow your area’s news, which rarely involves politics.

    I am beginning to think it’s sinful to watch cable news day and night. Those who do are filling up their minds with lies and leaving very little room for the Holy Spirit. You can’t hear Him because of all the noise.

  66. Xenia says:

    In Orthodoxy, we talk about eliminating the passions, be it for anger, food, illicit sex, greed, etc. Watching the news is counter productive for eliminating the passions because it incites people, every day, to take up a new fake cause to be angry about. And you can’t take in a daily dose of anger without it affecting you as a person in a very negative way, and it’s not a Christlike way, either.

  67. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I have done just as you say…I refuse to be watch something that has as its purpose a desire to inflame me and incite contempt for half the country.

    I get local news off Facebook and other news from Twitter…and I stay out of the comment sections.

    “News” on TV is as “professional wrestling” was to real sport…a scripted program of false or exaggerated information to create an emotional response…to sell ads.

  68. Xenia says:

    For instance, a serious problem here locally is homelessness. All over the Monterey Peninsula, makeshift campsites have sprung up. It costs a fortune to live here and we only manage it because we bought our house 45 years aog; otherwise it’s be Oklahoma for us. I would very much like to have a discussion with someone about the homeless problem, but every time I try it devolves into a discussion about politics, which never solves anything. Even now, I suspect people will want to reply to this post by blaming one political party or the other. So we can’t really have these conversations here- or anywhere that I am aware of- without blaming others and not looking for genuine answers. Maybe the Salvation Army is the exception here in town, and the handful of churches that offer shelter.

  69. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The objective now is not to solve anything…the objective is to mark and defeat the other.

    I don’t think there’s a place anymore for anything else…

  70. Dan from Georgia says:

    Xenia and Michael,

    The more I consume the news, the more depressed I get. And like Xenia, if I see nothing about a nuclear bomb going off, literally or figuratively, then I’ll be good for the day. Too much news and you end up going nuts.

    Michael, hope it works out with the new cat. Any name for him/her yet?

  71. Dan from Georgia says:

    Pets, and blues and jazz talk here I find interesting.

  72. Michael says:

    Dan,

    She’s been eating here for a couple of years…dine and dash.
    Last week she decided to dine and stay and Lord, what a cat…she is the smartest, most demanding, most irritable cat I’ve ever known.
    I told her last night that this is why I never married…
    I’ve called her Cinnabun for two years…my guess is that a name change is on the horizon…

  73. josh hamrick says:

    And Jesus sayeth unto them, “Good for you. I won’t back down either.”

  74. josh hamrick says:

    Xenia is right about the News stuff, but honestly, my people are more damaged right now by internet news sites. When Fox declared the election for Biden, they said (in our church meetings) that Fox had been taken over by liberals, and they moved on to getting their news from ultra-conservative online news sites. That the stories are obviously 100% lies doesn’t bother them, because if fits that crazy narrative they’ve bought into.
    I stopped watching the news in 2007 after the Virginia Tech shooting. I kept up through twitter, but the last few years that got so toxic that I deleted my twitter this summer. I am here to testify that you still can’t avoid the news loop. It is every where, all the time.

  75. Michael says:

    It’s difficult to be a Christian in America…because it’s so easy to synergize the faith with the American ethos…and we have the freedom to be a stupid as we choose to be…

  76. bob1 says:

    Like Xenia, I think it’s very wise to limit from where we get our news, especially online. There’s so very much confirmation bias that occurd these days, where you read the news in a way that fits your already-formed personal narrative about what’s going on in the world — instead of the opposite, where you look at things objectively and then recalibrate your personal bias

    I’ve always been an advocate of apnews.com, and also, reuters.com

  77. Dread says:

    Did Jesus say that? Cool!

    I got it from Tom and his devotees

    Petty Dread 😇 🤷🏻‍♂️

  78. josh hamrick says:

    Ah man, Dread got that one by me.

    Guess it’s the end of the line, for me.

  79. Michael says:

    Josh,

    A lot of folks are contemplating the end of the line as far as this site is concerned.
    We have some of the finest people I’ve known in the church here, yet we cannot get along.

    I cannot spend much time here…I now have to care for my mother as well as help with my godson and I have little space left for strife.
    Today has been especially difficult…and the day is not yet finished.

    My hope was that we could be a light here…but the light just seems to expose us.

    I think about implementing change…but I cannot change my own heart let alone any other.
    I will stumble along out of habit, if nothing else…until I choose not to get this place up again.

    I will try to enjoy whatever company I have as we go.

  80. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    Can’t go wrong with the Wilbury’s… Just handle with care…

  81. pstrmike says:

    “Guess it’s the end of the line, for me.”

    Only if you’re traveling to Wilbury……………..

    Some of you got and played along, others still might………… its was fun……………

    long December …………

  82. Michael says:

    Obviously, any pop music reference beyond 1959 goes right over my head…back to crisis management…

  83. Xenia says:

    Hi Josh, yeah, you’re right, the internet news sites are even worse than cable news but all I can do is stay away from them and encourage others to do so. It’s an addiction, hard to beat for those who are addicted. But no good comes from saturating ourselves with “news,” and only harm. I wish people could see the harm they are doing to themselves, their families, and their churches.

    But it’s fun for many, I think.

  84. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    It’s obviously a Wilbury Twist… but Roy Orbison (pre-1959) joined in…

  85. Dan from Georgia says:

    throwing this out there….

    Any John Lee Hooker fans? Robert Johnson? Just starting to acquaint myself to some blues music.

  86. Dan from Georgia says:

    …I may not respond for a while…gotta rush home at get out of this Covid-infested workplace.

  87. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I bought their albums because Orbison was on them…just don’t remember much about the albums.

    I can tell you anything you would ever want to know and more about Roy Orbison, though…

  88. JimmieT says:

    You can’t miss with Epoch Times for quality news reporting!

  89. Michael says:

    Jimmie T,

    It’s even better for lining the litter box…

  90. JimmieT says:

    Michael- I don’t know if it was your intention but you put a great big smile on my face 🥰🤠😎🙏🤪

  91. Michael says:

    Jimmie T,

    It wasn’t my intention, but one should find joy where they can…

  92. Officerhoppy says:

    When it comes to the Traveling Wilburys remember to “handle with care” or it’s “the end of the line”

    I love listening to good music and playing it. I am fortunate to be able to play with some great musicians. And right here in the little Rogue Valley. It’s amazing the people who leave the big time music scene and relocate here.

  93. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    U oughta come hear our music in Feb at the Bella Union or Rellik Winery!

  94. JimmieT says:

    Spent the morning in Sedona with a brother who lost his wife on Tuesday from COVID and personally still recovering from the 4 strokes recently and then finding out from my doctor that my recent COVID did not produce any antibodies so I’m in my safe place/my bathtub 😷for a spell

  95. Kevin H says:

    How does a website work as a litter box lining? 😉

  96. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Thanks.
    I no longer go anywhere unless I have to…and my musical taste these days starts and stops with George Jones and Jerry Lee…
    I’m glad there are still venues open though…

  97. JimmieT says:

    If anyone wants to join me I’ll put on some trunks

  98. JimmieT says:

    I’ll bet even money my last comment is a first 🤫on this blog

  99. JimmieT says:

    To put my Marine Corp recon experience to use I’m a avid reader of CNN. It’s always helpful to know what the enemy is up to!

  100. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Robert Johnson and Hooker are a little too “gut bucket” for me.
    I love B.B. King and Bobby Bland…Stevie Ray Vaughn was a wonder in modern blues…

  101. Dan from Georgia says:

    BB King is great and Vaughn too. I remember where I was when I heard Vaughn had died. I haven’t heard of Bobby Bland but I will look him up!

    Covid-19 apparently is spreading fast through my workplace. Most likely Omnicron. Yuck.

    My instrument of choice is the guitar (electric and acoustic), so most of the musicians I listen too are guitar-oriented performers and composers.

  102. Michael says:

    Bobby Bland was a great blues vocalist…for guitar try Albert King and Lonnie Mack if you haven’t already…Robert Cray…a little too polished, but still good…

  103. Michael says:

    I should also mention Howlin Wolf…just because he’s the Wolf…

  104. Em says:

    Stevie Ray Vaughn, died in a plane crash? He was one of my daughter’s favorites.

  105. Michael says:

    “Covid-19 apparently is spreading fast through my workplace. Most likely Omnicron. ”

    Be safe…this seems to never end…

  106. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em,

    I think it was a helicopter crash. After he played a show in Wisconsin. Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in a corn field in Iowa.

    MIchael,

    Albert King and Lonnie Mack I have heard of, but not aquainted myself with their works yet.

  107. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I love Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson (and like a lot of Lonnie for that matter).

    If Open Blogging is on things musical then, well, I was blogging about the harmonic vocabulary of David Bowie’s “Starman” not too long ago.

    https://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2021/12/ethan-hein-discusses-david-bowies.html

  108. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Duane, I finished the Carol Harrison monograph on Augustine recently and am in a Jeremy Begbie reading marathon. A little sad I hadn’t read any of his work earlier but better late than never!

  109. josh hamrick says:

    Seems that I “got” Michael, in the same way Dread got me 🙂 Sorry bud. I’ve left here in a huff on multiple occasions, but this ain’t one of them.

    Blues as a genre I tired of. Too repetitive, too many unoriginal artists out there driving it into the ground. The spirit and feeling of the blues is in everything I listen to. Pretty much where it all started. BB was kind of in his own lane. Wonderful musician.

  110. Officerhoppy says:

    Dan
    You play acoustic? Tell me about your guitar/s. I love the sound and look of a beautifully hand crafted guitar. I’ve had several right now I’m playing two. One is a 2001 Brazilian rosewood 810 taylor. They only made 92 of them that year.

    Then I also have an OM model, hand made guitar out of Canada—a Morgan. Great personality.

    I had an Avalon made by George Lowden in Ireland and a maple back Martin but traded them for the Morgan. It was owned by a good friend and recording artist, Roby Duke. I’m looking for a nice mid level guitar to gig with. Got any recommendations?

  111. Dan from Georgia says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I have never owned an acoustic guitar, but I am planning on buying one very soon. Good brands are Taylor (can be EXPENSIVE though), Martin, Ovation, and Guild. I play them when I can get my hands on one, but I realized that I now need to buy one for myself. Right now I have my eye on a sunburst 12-string Guild. I absolutely LOVE the deep, full and reasonating sound of a 12-string. Also I have a fondness and nostalgic bent for Guilds as my late father owned a (6-string) Guild that I would play. I own 3 electric guitars, but sometime I feel like I can be more creative with an acoustic.

    As mentioned, Taylors and Martins are popular, but some are WELL over $1000! I know some people play Gibson acoustics. Gordon Lightfoot has a nice 12-string Gibson acoustic he showcases in concert and also displays on the cover of one of his albums.

    What style(s) of music do you play?

  112. Officerhoppy says:

    I do a lot in alternate tunings. Mostly pop covers but with my own personality added to them. I have a pretty versatile strumming hand and do finger picking. Sad part is, I’ve developed arthritis in my fingering hand. It’s becoming painful—though bearable, to play. After a month off we’re booked thru December with gigs. Hoping my hand holds up.

  113. josh hamrick says:

    Sounds fun hoppy. Haven’t done any gigs since 2015 or so. Just kind of ran out of time. The kind of community you spoke of in another thread sounds very appealing to me.

    I play cheap guitars. All my money is in my basses, but the music I’m doing for my church doesn’t see me playing bass too often. I’m usually play my low-leverl Fender acoustic guitar, or a very cheap mandolin I’m borrowing from my daughter. Occasionally I get to play my upright bass. Its a german bass I bought for college 20 + years ago. Not on the high-end of upright basses, but those things get very expensive. Paid a couple grand for mine. Have a custom Fender P-Bass, and a fretless Conklin. Other than that, I can only think of my Epi SG. Like I said, my guitars are cheap 🙂

  114. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Despite the fact that I play almost entirely classical guitar I do a fair bit with harmonics and also bottleneck technique. So the usual open chord tunings of D and G I’ve done a bit with. I am staunchly against using a capo! If you want to play something in E flat minor you should be able to play in that key in standard tuning. I’m looking forward to when Asya Selyutina can record the second half of Nikita Koshkin’s 24 preludes and fugues for solo guitar. In 2022 I’m hoping to finally swing the blog back to more musical stuff again. I’m kinda relieved the CT series is over despite the promise/threat of bonus episodes.

    I’m gonna have to see if I can pull off seeing the new Spider-man movie. Yeah, I’m a lifelong fan of Spidey and Bats so I will try to catch those. Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon is something I think is fun.

    I’ve found that when my fretting hand gets cranky that switching to bottleneck can keep me playing without taxing the hand so much but mileage may vary for others. I’ve heard that there are shots for arthritis in earlier phases with knees–is there something comparable for hands?

  115. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    One of my literary heroes, Joan Didion, just died. She and Bruce Campbell (yes, that one) were among the only people I sought autographs from. I’m not sure what that actually says about me. “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” and pretty much all of Slouching Toward Bethlehem changed how I thought about what journalism could do. I enjoyed Tom Wolfe, too, but Didion’s whole approach has been a touchstone for me. Wenatchee The Hatchet wouldn’t likely even be Wenatchee The Hatchet without Didion’s influence.

  116. Officerhoppy says:

    Josh
    Come out west and we can do a gig or two together. I just hired a new bass player. Pretty good and a nice guy. My former boss player was a monster on the instrument. He studied Jaco Pastorius and plays the same instrument—but with the frets intact!

    I was the worship leader and led the song service for years. I really enjoyed the experience. But the worship world seems to be changing (as I’ve mentioned before). The most popular songs are “me” oriented and the focus seems to be moving toward performance rather than participation. Seems much of the church growth is from transfer growth. Now days I find it rewarding and fun to be among the non churched crowd. I get to “be Jesus to people”. As you can guess, by my moniker I was a cop for a lot of years. Without compromising by values or beliefs, I am comfortable among “sinners”.

    Winnie
    I use a capo to maintain the voicing of certain chords. It’s not that I can’t play them—I just like the sound of a more open chord. When I play jazz, it’s a little different game and I seldom use a capo. I love slide guitar. Youdaman!

  117. Officerhoppy says:

    Josh
    I take it you do music in your church. Did you read Marva Dawns book “Worship: A Royal Waste of Time”? It’s older but she seems to have foreseen the direction worship was gonna go and wrote about it. Wenatchee—if you are familiar with her, I just read she died in April of 2021. I also learned she lived up the road a pice in Vancouver Washington.

  118. Dread says:

    Well

    Gender may or may not be a social construct but our Christmas celebrations certainly are. Nevertheless behind the veils of our varied expressions of holiday cheer is the reality of living with one another face to face and generously.

    May you each be blessed in your relationships beyond this page. May you navigate the difficulties with great advantage and joy.

    More than that may our like precious faith be magnified beyond our diverse intense difference. Grace and peace Phoenix Preacher in Christ the LORD.

    Yes I know I’m often the irritant in the sandal. Nevertheless you are the only virtual community with whom I engage. So I wish you all well.

  119. Duane Arnold says:

    “The Word visits the earth, where he has always been present, and sees its evil condition. He takes a human body, born of a pure virgin in whose womb he makes human flesh his own, in which to reveal himself, conquer death, and restore life.”

    Athanasius of Alexandria

    A Blessed Feast of the Nativity to one and all…

  120. Dan from Georgia says:

    Sounds cool Officehoppy. I don’t know how to do any alternative tunings other than “drop D”. I once knew how to play portions of Rain Song by Led Zepplin…very interesting alt tuning.

    Josh, I once wanted to purchase a Gibson SG guitar…I think you were referring to an Epiphone SG…I think they make some SG bases…but evertime I hear someone playing one, I can’t get past the “thin” sound it has, but it felt great playing! I still want to purchase a fretless bass someday.

    Our neighborhood Nextdoor has a musicians group, but no one has planned a get together…probably due to Covid. It’d be cool to see you guys jam together…I’m not up to that point yet.

  121. pstrmike says:

    I had a Fender P- Bass for a few years. It was a good instrument. I sold it to pay the rent. Wish I could have kept it. My Breedlove fretless bass (an older one made in Tumalo) recently sold. I wasn’t using it and it was taking up space, so it sat in a local music store for what seemed like forever and finally sold about a month ago.

    Used to have a Guild D25m, and a Larrivee L19. Both good guitars that I was able to pass on to our sons.

    You can’t go wrong with Taylor IMO. I have an older 814ce (with the Fishman pickup) and a 518 that has the Expression System pickups—that was the one you played, hoppy. I also have a nylon stain Taylor ( I forget the model #) that I need to spend more time with. That an a PRS SE, its a lower end solid body electric, which I haven’t used much lately.

    I like capos, but can play with or without them. To me, its all about the voicing. I’ve noticed more guitar players (both acoustic and electric) are using them in worship sets. A lot of [new] worship songs are sung in B, which sounds better with the capo on the fourth fret than played in standard tuning, unless, you are using power chords.

    Steve,
    Marva Dawn was an incredible writer. She was an important resource in my dissertation, but I have not read the book you mentioned.

    Dan from GA,
    Guild used to put double truss rods in their 12s, I don’t know if that is the case. I had one once, can’t even remember exactly, but I think I traded for a lower end Taylor 6. I have a Breedlove Focus 12 that I bought from the factory almost 20 years ago. They used a bridge truss that took considerable tension of the top, so it resonates well.

  122. Dan from Georgia says:

    pstrmike.

    Oh, I forgot about the Breedlove. The Guitar Center nearby had a 12-strong B’love and I adored it, but couldn’t afford it at the time.

    My electrics are a Fender Strat (USA made), Gibson Les Paul Studio, and an OLD Ibanez…can’t remember the model at the moment, but my claim to fame here is that it is pretty much the same Ibanez model that Michael J Fox is playing during the band audition scene in Back To The Future!

  123. Officerhoppy says:

    Dan
    and easy and un alternate tuning is DADGAD. If you go to youtube you can find a tutorial on chording. It’s really cool and once you learn the 1,4 5, and relative minor I(which wouldn’t take more than a few minutes) you can sound like a rock star. Give it a try. I have a pretty cool version of Amazing Grace that in that tuning.

    Pastor Mike has had some nice guitars. He’s also a pretty competent player.

    Curious, what stings do you guys use? I’ve been using Elixers mostly because I get tired of changing strings all the time. But they cost so dang much. Moved to the coated D’Addario. Speedy but not as much as Elixers.

  124. josh hamrick says:

    I have been a worship leader for the last 28 years. I do feel that time coming to an end. Not sure what the next phase will be for me. Maybe I’ll get to take a couple years and work on a doctorate and then see where God leads after that. Don’t know. Not in a good mental / emotional / spiritual place right now.

    I haven’t released any original music since 2015. I’ve just been so busy. But right now I have the idea for a concept album based around Mt Everest. Anybody here do much home recording?

  125. Officerhoppy says:

    Josh
    I was a worship leader for about the same amount of time as you. I think I did a pretty good job of it and paved the way for the younger guys and gals. It was difficult to step aside after doing it for so many years. I actually became the worship director for 5 years only once in a while, leading. I was a side man for a few groups. I felt like I lost my purpose a bit when I stepped aside. But as I said earlier, I feel as “called” to what I am doing now in pubs, bars, and wineries as I was to the ministry. I feel like I’ve found my way again.

    I get the “not in a good mental, emotional and spiritual space right now” thing. Been there for a lot of years. After being in full time ministry fort about 35 years or so, I’m kinda done with church for a while. I don’t feel badly about that. I’m hanging on with god but sometimes only by a thread. I know a lot about him, but I am not necessarily pursuing a deep and meaningful relationship with him. At times, I feel like I have lost a good friend. But as I’ve said before, the more I’ve learned about him, the less I understand him and that creates doubts. But in my theology, doubt is not a sin. Unbelief is—but not doubt. Doubt, if rightly navigated can lead to deeper understanding. So, right now I just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward doing the best I can to take advantage of the opportunities before me.

    Hang in there friend

  126. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Officerhoppy, she’ll have to get on me to-read list. I’ve heard of her but not read her work yet

  127. pstrmike says:

    Another good book by Marva Dawn is Joy in Our Weakness, a Gift of Hope from the Book of Revelation. A non-dispensational POV, and brings out from teh book good spiritual reflection and application.

  128. josh hamrick says:

    Thanks Hop. Your experience describes mine to a large degree. I hope a big renewal is around the corner for both of us, but like you, I’ve been in the mire for years now. I’ve kind of stopped expecting it to get better.
    I enjoy teaching more than leading worship at this point. Feels weird, because I can convincingly teach any system, but then half the time, I’m not at all sure that what I am teaching is correct. Maybe I’ll get on at a community college or something, where we can explore different options and not have to worry so much about finding one correct answer.

  129. pstrmike says:

    hoppy,
    “Doubt, if rightly navigated can lead to deeper understanding.”

    It can. It can also develop deeper faith. These days, I’d rather have deeper faith over deeper understanding. I’d rather step out with the confidence of sensing God’s leading rather than scurrying around to find a defense to every one who brings my decisions and life under their own scrutiny.

  130. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Mike I agree

    Maybe you can clarify this statement: “ These days, I’d rather have deeper faith over deeper understanding.”

    I guess I don’t want to sacrifice either. I want my faith anchored to something substantial…know what I mean?

    I sometime liken my faith to the rope used in rock climbing (Smith rocks?) The rope is what’s holds me but if it’s not anchored securely I’ll go splat!

  131. pstrmike says:

    Just for clarity, I’m not saying that faith and reason (or understanding) are mutually exclusive. I do believe that our intellect can only take us so far— even though I question whether some ever become aware of their own need to grow more and to plumb the depths of either faith or reason further.

  132. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Officerhoppy! I’ll give it a try.

    This has been interesting commenting here…obviously I am more of a hobbyist with guitar playing that you all, but it’s been good to read about who we all are outside of the PhPx!

  133. pstrmike says:

    Hoppy,
    If you push any systematic theology enough, you will come up with questions that really cannot be answered well. I am learning to have more faith in my ability to hear the still small voice and to have confidence that God has in fact spoken, even if it is, as in most cases, a whisper.

    That is one of the characteristics that draw me to the mystics throughout church history. They trusted that God had spoken, and they responded, Yes, some of them appeared a bit crazy, maybe they were, but they seemed to have a vibrant relationship with God, and were open to His voice through any and all means.

  134. Michael says:

    Theology is in some ways a barbaric art, that of turning a divine Person into words and speculations about that Person in a way that isolates us from the real Person and leaves us with nothing but words and interminable speculations…

    I no longer give a damn about getting it right, I just want to get Him…and that is all the substance I could possibly hope for…

  135. Officerhoppy says:

    PastorMike
    I get you! Thanks for clarifying

    Michael
    You said, “…I just want to get Him”
    I get it! But without a clear and sound theology, which Jesus to you want to get?

    You have a solid theological (tho possibly changing) understanding of scripture. But for those without such a base, they’ve created a Jesus of their own making. One of my teachers, Dr, H. Wayne House wrote a book entitled “The Jesus who never Was”.

    I often say to people who say “the Bible says…”
    “It’s not what the Bible says that is of concern to men but rather. What YOU think it says”

    Know what I mean?

  136. Officerhoppy says:

    Of concern to me…

  137. Duane Arnold says:

    pstrmike

    “I am learning to have more faith in my ability to hear the still small voice and to have confidence that God has in fact spoken, even if it is, as in most cases, a whisper.”

    At a recent Advent quiet day, I concluded that the call of God starts with “a whisper of desire”…

  138. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I’ve been sure I had it right in the past…down to the details.

    I’m not sure which parts I had right, but my faith was cold and my primary concern was correcting other peoples errors.

    If one has the Gospels, the early creeds, and The Holy Spirit…one has the essentials down.

    None of that matters without a personal experience of knowing Jesus.

    The Jesus I encounter in Word and Spirit , I rarely saw in a church.

    To put it another way…I’ve had two main heroes in this life.

    I know all there is to know about the lives and works of both.

    One I met, one I didn’t.

    In one the words came to life…in the other, the words are all I’ll ever have.

    I don’t worry much about the different ways that people perceive Jesus…we’re both friends with pstrmike for example, but the content of those relationships are different.

    Same person, different ways of relating.

  139. Michael says:

    Duane,

    We should have published that…

  140. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “The Angelus” might have people gathering firewood and erecting stakes for us…😁

  141. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question

  142. Michael says:

    “The Angelus” might have people gathering firewood and erecting stakes for us…”

    Which would be different than when? 🙂

  143. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Part of my “faith” is in believing that Jesus went to a lot of work to save me and He’ll make sure I get home.

    My efforts to apprise Him correctly notwithstanding…

  144. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    I too thought i had it right in times past. Was argumentative and pretty legalistic.

    Now I’m not so sure about much. As a result, I’m more open to dialogue and change. But at the same time, i wonder if any of it is true.

    Still hanging in there with god but after 35 plus years of sub committees, white papers, policy statements, strategy papers, etc. I am taking an indefinite break from church and church leadership.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  145. josh hamrick says:

    Hoppy, you are brave. I hope you find something more real, bigger, and greater than you ever found in the box.

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