26 January 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 26 January 2015

in the midst of the snowstorm here. Going to be genuine winter weather for the next week, with lows near zero and "highs" in the teens.  Snowed Saturday evening, all yesterday, most of today.  I went out and shoveled a bit back around noon and at 5:30 p.m., you can barely notice.  We have found serious dampness in the back of our walk-in closet, to the extent that some clothes and some of her MANY shoes were damaged beyond recovery.  Into the trash, which goes tomorrow, fortunately.
Dear nephew-in-law next door (Dear Wife's niece's husband, a great guy) who is a great mechanic and also is an assistant manager in an auto parts store, worked on our car yesterday, gratis.  (thank You Lord!). .We've had it since around July of 2013 and, except for gas and oil and a set of tires, have not been able to maintain it at all.  Hopefully the work done will end the recent series of engine stops as one drives down the road.  He told me the electrodes on the plugs were down to essentially nothing and the other tune-up items were in similar shape.  Which I believe.  Hope it will behave better now.  I am grateful.
Dear Wife has gone next door to "watch" the wonderful great-niece as niece and husband are taken to the movies by -- let me get this right -- niece's step-dad.  Niece's biological dad has nothing whatever to do with her and never has.  Biological grand-father does, though that appears to be driven primarily by HIS current wife, who could not have kids though she greatly wanted some.  So it gets rather weird.   And it's not all that unusual, per some of the stories people have told me, often weeping.
I do not yet see the way to encourage these people to know the Lord.  Perhaps that is why we are here, and I am failing in the calling.  I see a fair amount of "cultural christianity" (small-"c" is deliberate) and some pretty churches, many closing for lack of members and others with a small, sad, aging membership.
 I can't light the Fire, but that is what is needed.

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The Old Testament reading today is chapters 11 and 12 of the Exodus.
This is the Passover, the release of the people from bondage, the death of the firstborn in all of Egypt.  That Passover is still celebrated today, and corresponds as well to the Christian celebration of Easter, when the only begotten Son of God died and we were freed from the bondage of sin.
yes, these Old Testament passages are important.

1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.
2
Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold.
3
And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
4
And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:
5
And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
6
And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.
7
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
8
And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.
9
And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.
10
And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.


1
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
2
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4
And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6
And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
7
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
8
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
9
Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
10
And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
11
And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.
12
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
13
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
14
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
15
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
16
And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
17
And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
18
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
19
Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
20
Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
21
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
22
And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
23
For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
24
And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
25
And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.
26
And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
27
That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.
28
And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
29
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
30
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
31
And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
32
Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
33
And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
34
And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
35
And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
36
And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
37
And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
38
And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
39
And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.
40
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
41
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
42
It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.
43
And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
44
But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
45
A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
46
In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
47
All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
48
And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
49
One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
50
Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
51
And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.




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The New Testament reading is verses 21-35 of the 18th chaper in the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus is speaking about forgiveness.  A very very important matter.

21
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

25 January 2015

Today's Radings and Stuff -- Sunday, 25 January, 2015

cold and drear and snowing hard.  I don't feel well, haven't all day and, in conjunction with all else, I did not make it to church services this morning.  Wife's been sick for weeks, and, while we'd planned to take her to doctor office for blood work tomorrow, I suspect that the combination of car issues, illness, and sure-to-be-awful roads, will keep us housebound for at least one day and possibly two.
Greatly Esteemed nephew-in-law next door just had me run our car over to him:  he's a great mechanic, and we'd worked a deal in late fall under which we sold a couple of items via a for-sale list nearby, split the take with niece, and our "cut" was used to purchase the tuneup parts and such that is needed for the work.  Helps that he also works for an auto parts store and gets a substantial break on pricing.  He has a rather profitable side business working on cars, but also is managing to squeeze us in, for which I am grateful.  The car is 15 years old and has over 220,000 miles on it, but it's all I can afford.  With a bit of luck and care, it will last until my eyes degenerate to the point I can no longer drive.  What happens next I do not know.
Spoke on phone this afternoon to one of my oldest friends.  We've been friends for more than 40 years now, last were face to face 4 years ago,   With our relocation, he's about a 60 mile drive from here, but poverty and car issues have delayed the visit.  He's been through some "stuff":  his wife died of breast cancer while we were living out of the area, something I had not known until we visited 4 years ago, just before my dad died.  He'd lost my phone number and I'd lost his and when I had called him back then, it was just before he was going in to marry his current wife.  Odd, huh?  Anyway, I called him.  And found that he's been through more:  he had a fall and broke his leg in three places.  Still have a few more weeks of being horizontal before they even talk about a walking cast or the like and he hasn't dealt well with the walker or the wheelchair they had for him.  So that's not good,   And his wife also had a mishap of some sort and SHE broke an ankle or something, she's shuttling between hospital and rehab from the surgery, and may be released to go home in the next few days.
So some people are having a real rough time right now.
And I look out on gray, and snow, and darkness, and clouds.  Not a winter person, not me.

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The Old Testament reading is chapters 9 and 10 of the Exodus.  Things keep ratcheting up, and the plagues upon Egypt are getting more and more sever.  Yet Pharaoh still has a stony heart.  We are approaching a crescendo, but not quite yet.

1
Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2
For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
3
Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
4
And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel.
5
And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
6
And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.
7
And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
8
And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
9
And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
10
And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
11
And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
12
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
13
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14
For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
15
For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
16
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
17
As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?
18
Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
19
Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
20
He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
21
And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.
22
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
23
And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24
So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25
And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
27
And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
28
Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.
29
And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD's.
30
But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.
31
And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.
32
But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
33
And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.
34
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
35
And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.


1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him:
2
And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
3
And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
4
Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
5
And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:
6
And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
7
And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?
8
And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
9
And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
10
And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you.
11
Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
12
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.
13
And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
14
And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
15
For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
16
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
17
Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
18
And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD.
19
And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
20
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
21
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
22
And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23
They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
24
And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
25
And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
26
Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
27
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
28
And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
29
And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.





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The New Testament reading is verses 1-20 of the 18th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.


1
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
8
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
10
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13
And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14
Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
15
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.



24 January 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Saturday, 24 January 2015

Dear Wife is still sick.  Neither of us did the night very well, and getting woken up to break up a catfight before dawn did not improve matter.  Cold and dreary and gray, normal for this time of year in NE Ohio near the Great Lakes.  Not happy.
But we've been through worse.

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The Old Testament reading today is chapters 7 and 8 of the Exodus.
I know that all of this occurred a very long time ago.  But, like it or not, it still affects our world today.  Coming out of the bondage, against all odds, from the most powerful empire in the known world at the time, reminds us of the the power of the Lord, a strong thing for the Jews and for the Christians alike.  The areas that surround Israel then, and still today, are the locus of much of the evil that has beset the world for several thousands of years.  And will until The End.
This has Moses getting into Pharaoh's face.  That is the sort of thing that Just Wasn't Done.  Pharaoh was considered to be the closest thing to a god walking around that there was.  The Lord, working through Moses, showed him as powerless.  The Nile was a semi-divine thing, the heartbeat of the agricultural plenty that translated into power in that world.  The Lord, as we see here, turned it to blood, making a mockery of that system.  Yes, the Lord turned that whole world upside down, showing that it is He, and He alone, who is God.  And that reverberates today.


1
And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
2
Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.
3
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
4
But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
5
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
6
And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.
7
And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
8
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
9
When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
10
And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11
Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12
For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
13
And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
14
And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
15
Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
16
And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
17
Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
18
And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.
19
And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
20
And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
21
And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22
And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said.
23
And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.
24
And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.
25
And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.


1
And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2
And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
3
And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
4
And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
5
And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.
6
And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
7
And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
8
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.
9
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?
10
And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God.
11
And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.
12
And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.
13
And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.
14
And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.
15
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
16
And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
17
And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
18
And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
19
Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
20
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
21
Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22
And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
23
And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
24
And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.
25
And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
26
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
27
We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.
28
And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me.
29
And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.
30
And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD.
31
And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.
32
And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.




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The New Testament reading is chapter 17 of the Gospel of Matthew.  Here we see The Transfiguration of Jesus.  That HAD to make an impression on those who were there, and it is one of those "I wish I could have been there" moments.   But...  note that one of those there was Peter.  And it was Peter who, in a short time after, in a serious moment, denied Christ three times.  And the others ran like rabbits when soldiers came.


1
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3
And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
7
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
8
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
9
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
10
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12
But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13
Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
14
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
22
And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
23
And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
24
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
25
He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
26
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
27
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.