Sunday February 16th – Open Thread

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen †

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70 Responses to Sunday February 16th – Open Thread

  1. DanDeplorable says:

    Liked by 5 people

  2. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 11 people

  3. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Garrison Hall says:

    Have a wonderful Sunday, Treepers! Billy Jo Shaver is a speaker of truth . . .

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Deplorable_Infidel says:

    Are You A Token Grace Believer?

    By Pastor Ricky Kurth

    “We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

    “Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God” (II Thes. 1:4,5).

    In 32 years of pastoral ministry, this writer has had the privilege to officiate at many a wedding ceremony. When it comes time for the groom to say “I do,” we initiate this response by asking him, “Do you give your ring, and accept your bride’s ring, as a token that you will keep the pledge and perform the vows that you have made this day?” Since the word token has been defined as “something that serves as an indication or an expression of something else,” we then conclude the ring ceremony by saying, “These gold rings will serve as continual reminders of the lasting and imperishable faith that you have pledged to one another this day.”

    In the Bible, we read that God gave the rainbow as a “token” of His promise to never again destroy the world with a universal flood (Gen. 9:11-13). Similarly, circumcision is said to be a “token” of the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:11), and the blood of the Passover lamb was said to be a “token” of God’s promise to Israel to spare their firstborn (Ex. 12:13).

    Here in our text, the apostle Paul says that the patient manner in which the Thessalonians were enduring persecution was “a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.” That is, their patient endurance of tribulation was a sign that, when God finally does judge the world, “He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31), for He will be paying the world back for persecuting His people. As Paul goes on to say in the verse that follows our text,

    “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (II Thes. 1:6).

    You see, when a Christian is persecuted for his faith, an injustice has taken place; an unrighteous thing has occurred. In God’s perfect system of justice, which can leave the debt of no sin unsettled, this injustice must be paid for, and God solemnly vows to right this wrong “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

    “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (II Thes. 1:7-9).

    Here God vows that He will someday avenge the Thessalonians for the tribulations given to them by their persecutors, beginning with the destruction that He will bring upon the world at His Second Coming. Of course, God knows that He will be charged with unrighteousness, as He always is when He is forced to sit in judgment upon men. This is why the Book of Revelation is sprinkled with affirmations that God’s Tribulation judgments are not unrighteous, that they are rather “just and true” (Rev. 15:3), and “righteous” (16:5-7; 19:2). Similarly, here in our text, Paul is defending the righteousness of the Lord’s Second
    Coming judgments.

    Next, Paul says that the righteous judgment of God on these persecutors of God’s people will then continue in the Lake of Fire, the “everlasting destruction” of which he goes on to speak of here in II Thessalonians 1:9. Here we see clear evidence that all those in any age who reject God’s provision for their sins will die in their sins (cf. John 8:24), and must themselves be made to pay for their sins.

    Of course, the Thessalonians themselves could have retaliated against their persecutors, and forced them to pay for the crimes they committed against them. Surely there were times when they felt like evening the score. However, had they done so, it would then be unrighteous for God to someday recompense tribulation to their persecutors, and God will not be guilty of double jeopardy. As it was, Paul was able to tell the Thessalonians that the “patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure…is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.” If the world should someday ask why God is troubling them, He can reply, “Well, you used to trouble My people, so now, by the same token, I am troubling you!”

    There is a lesson that we can learn from this. If we take vengeance on those who trouble us, that means God can’t. What an incentive to leave vengeance to the One whose judgments are always fair and equitable! When we take vengeance, we often retaliate too little, leaving our sense of justice feeling unsatisfied. Or we retaliate too much, creating an additional imbalance of justice that leaves our adversary feeling a need to strike at us again. “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things” (Rom. 2:2). God will judge all men fairly, for His judgment will be according to truth. No wonder Judgment Day is called “the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (2:5).

    Are you a token grace believer? Is your patient endurance of those who trouble you a token that, when God judges your persecutors, He will do so in righteousness? None of us would ever knowingly and purposely take something away from God that He says belongs to Him, and yet this is what we do when we take vengeance away from the One who has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Rom. 12:19). If you are thinking of making someone pay for what they did to you, why not determine right now to leave it all with Him?

    Liked by 2 people

    • P says:

      D__I: Thank you so much for posting the above. To it, I would only add, that maybe while we “leave it all with Him” and wait, we should also say what our Savior said while on the cross: “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do….” Luke 23:34

      Please never stop posting. : )


  6. Mary Van Deusen says:

    Still obsessed with Earthview. This new video is a gentler look at landscape as art abstractions.

    Earthview Abstractions 2 – Telemann, Concerto Polonois – 1st movement – Dolce Allegro.

    Liked by 7 people

    • andeclain says:

      This stuff is great. The images alone are wonderful, but the way you mix with the music is magic. (I’ve tried to write this comment without using the word “Awesome” as it has become devalued, but your work is A*e*s*m*)


      • Mary Van Deusen says:

        You really do know how to make somebody’s day, andeclain. The most sincere thanks. This stuff is taking me over. Working now on a Blanchard version in shades of brown. Most of the time is spent picking out music. I’ve been passing them on to a Boston Museum of Fine Arts volunteer, who’s passing them around there. On the video above, notice that each image picks up a color from the previous image

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Dora says:

    Liked by 2 people

  8. duchess01 says:

    Verse of the Day

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
    Matthew 7:12 (KJV)

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Dora says:

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dora says:

    I love these birds. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. WeeWeed says:

    Mornin’ infidels!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ausonius says:

    I am still discovering marvelous things after nearly 7 decades, and am very grateful for the opportunity to do so! 😉

    I offered this last week under a different topic: Nikolai Tcherepnin was a marvelous composer whose career went from the late 1890’s to the 1940’s. Unfortunately, the Communist Revolution in Russia ruined his career there, and tried to restart it in exile, both in France and then in the U.S., but without too much success. His son Alexander Tcherepnin also became a composer of great merit (check out his Piano Concerto #2), and grandson Ivan was involved in the development of the synthesizer.

    Nikolai Tcherepnin’s The Distant Princess (La Princesse Lontaine) will give you about 9 minutes of the most beautiful music you have ever heard: dramatic, wistful, yearning, mysterious, and more in under 10 minutes.

    Let me also recommend Nikolai Tcherepnin’s ballet Narcissus and Echo (also known in French as “Narcisse et Echo”) : again, marvelous music! A new recording is now available from a German orchestra on the CPO label. Perhaps finally his oeuvre will be recorded and find a large audience 75 years after his death.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. CountryDoc says:

    Good Morning Patriots. It is a good day to be alive! Blessings about and much to be grateful for. America is still the best nation in which to claim citizenship. Do the next right thing, improve your conscious contact with God, seek Truth, and carry the message of hope as God has blessed you with it.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. just stevie says:


    “Arise from the dead.” Eph. v. 14

    All initiative is not inspired. A man may say to you – “Buck up, take your disinclination by the throat, throw it overboard, and walk out into the thing.” That is ordinary human initiative. But when the Spirit of God comes in and says, in effect, “Buck up,” we find that the initiative is inspired.

    We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young, but sooner or later we find that we have no power to make them real. We cannot do the things we long to do, and we are apt to settle down to the visions and ideals as dead, and God has to come and say – “Arise from the dead.” When the inspiration of God does come, it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life comes after we do the “bucking up.” God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life AS WE OVERCOME. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says – “Arise from the dead,” we have to get up; God does not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand – “Stretch forth thy hand,” and as soon as the man did so, his hand was healed, but he had to take the initiative. If we will do the overcoming, we shall find we are inspired of God because He gives life immediately.

    Oswald Chambers
    February 16th Devotional

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sepp says:

    . . . but deliver us from the Evil One.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Sepp says:

    “When you pray to God by means of prayers that you know, to which you have grown accustomed, say in your heart: “Lord! Thou art ever the same. My heart changes and grows cold to the words of the prayer, but yet their power remains the same, Thou, too, art eternally The Same.”

    From “My Life in Christ” by Saint John of Kronstadt

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Sepp says:

    To Ponder

    Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as the foundation stone:

    1. As the foundation stone in the building of personal character.
    2. As the foundation stone of families and peoples.
    3. As the foundation stone of every social change and undertaking that is for the good of mankind.

    From “The Prologue from Ohrid” by Saint Nikolai (Serbian-born Bishop who reposed in the USA and was a former prisoner at Dachau) for today – February 3rd – on the traditional Calendar of the Orthodox Christian Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kay123 says:

    Our Lord in Heaven, Please hear our prayers.
    It is wrong to think ill of others……it is wrong to
    say unkind things.
    But I learned early in life…..” life is what we make it”.
    Lord…. is this going to be our “hell” ….
    and our “punishment?”

    The evil seems to be stronger than the angelic anymore.
    I’m trying my best to do the right thing, but the world
    seems to be running off the rails.

    Seems people are going berserk over EVERYTHING!!!!
    Everybody is divided about everything……it is not the
    USA I remember from the 50’s. It was a safe place….
    where everyone on my street knew EVERY NEIGHBOR in
    the addition …. their kids names……dogs names….and who they were
    friends with.

    1945 WWII ended people were close knit, thankful it was over.
    and everything was peaceful on the home fronts.

    Then 1961 JFK was murdered.
    1970’s Lyndon’s war in Vietnam divided the county.
    Disgraced our military and soldiers. Killed 500,000
    US soldiers. Killed in a senseless war designed by LBJ.
    Everything changed. Politics changed. People changed. Families changed.

    Then came computers in the 1990’s. Nobody’s safe anywhere.
    Lord, living in a world without safety is like living in hell…..


  19. amwick says:

    Somehow MSM missed this..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. H.M.P.D. says:

    Even though Daytona 500 was postponed…it was epic to see our POTUS & FLOTUS there to kick it off! The flyover from our US Airforce Thunderbirds was Awesome as well. Such a feel good patriotic scene. Much Love To All Our Military & Vets! ❤


  21. Sepp says:

    Great Lent approaches in the Orthodox Church.

    Sunday of the Prodigal Son

    “On this Sunday we commemorate the Parable of the Prodigal Son, from the Holy Gospel, which our most Divine Fathers appointed to be read after the Parable of the Publican and Pharisee.”

    From the Synaxaria of the Triodion

    “Having foolishly abandoned Thy paternal glory, I squandered on vices the wealth which Thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry unto Thee with the voice of the prodigal: I have sinned before Thee, O compassionate Father. Receive me as one repentant, and make me as one of Thy hired servants.”

    The Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke 15 : 11 – 32 is explained by Saint Theophylact at the following link.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. auscitizenmom says:

    lilbirdee12’s prayer:

    Our Heavenly Father, Your children come to you tonight to ask for healing and peace throughout our country so that we may return to being One Nation Under God. Guide us to be leaders in Your Kingdom, spreading Your Love and Salvation to all. Forgive us our sins and deliver us from evil.

    Lord, we ask for a blanket of protection over all our troops and law enforcement who serve to defend and protect us. Bless our representatives with the strength and wisdom they need to achieve the path You have chosen for us.

    Please place Your Guardian Angels of Protection around Donald Trump and Mike Pence and their families as they seek to lead America back to You.

    Grant us patience, Lord, as the evil ones try to anger us and cause us to fall.
    Spread blessings over Israel and Netanyahu.

    We humbly ask that You please comfort those who are grieving and in pain.
    Thank you Father, for Your Love and the gift of Life.

    In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. auscitizenmom says:

    A prayer for Justice Kavanaugh and Gen. Flynn:

    Prayer to St. Michael

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
    be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
    and do you, O prince of the heavenly host,
    by the power of God,
    thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits
    who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.

    In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

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