06 October 2014

Today;s Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 06 October 2014

It is now a year since we relocated from central Alabama to NE Ohio.  We've already had temperatures into the 30's and it's only the first week of October.  By this time next month, we'll probably have seen snow.  And by that time, we'll probably have seen sub-freezing temperatures.  The weather is not one of those things I'd missed during our 20-some years of living in the South.  Dear Wife had missed family, terribly.  We had a get-together Saturday evening.  We picked up her aunt -- she in her late 70's who is back in a cancer situation, and drove another 40-some miles for an evening with HER sister - or half sister at least -- and HER daughters.  Aunt Jo had not seen my wife since she was a baby and most of the cousins had never seen her at all.  Some were in from Indiana, some from North Carolina, and the like.  We didn't get back home until midnight and were so weary from the ordeal we missed church yesterday.
Probably worth doing, and probably also the last meeting between them.

------------

The morning's Old Testament reading is chapters 34, 35, and 36 of Isaiah.

1
Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.
2
For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.
3
Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
4
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
5
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
6
The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
7
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
8
For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.
9
And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
10
It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
11
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
12
They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.
13
And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.
14
The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.
15
There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.
16
Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
17
And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.


1
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3
Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7
And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8
And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


1
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.
2
And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.
3
Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.
4
And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
5
I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
6
Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
7
But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
8
Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
9
How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10
And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
11
Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
12
But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
13
Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
14
Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
15
Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
16
Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
17
Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18
Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, the LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
20
Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
21
But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
22
Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.


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The New Testament reading is chapter 2 of the letter to the Phillipians.

1
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
17
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18
For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
19
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20
For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21
For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
22
But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23
Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24
But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26
For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27
For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28
I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29
Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30
Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

20 September 2014

Today's Readings and Stuff == Saturday, 20 September, 2014

been a long, bumpy week.  Dear Wife has had a raging case of vasculitis, inflammation of the blood vessels, in her legs.  Makes all her skin hurt, touching anything is painful, bruising in several places.  We were worried about blood clots breaking loose, went to doctor Monday.  He took a look and ordered ultrasound to check for that and related issues.  Came back OK for that, which doesn't help the pain or anything.  Called the rheumatologist's office and we went in Thursday so they could pump her full of of heavy-duty steroids to address the problem.  The issue may be related to her various autoimmune diseases.  And she's been pretty much off her feet since, mostly with the feet elevated.  I am her primary caregiver, one reason that I haven't been knocking on doors looking for a job.
So it's been pretty hairy and pretty scary.  And I've been neglecting posting for over a week.  Sorry, but her needs take precedence.
Having said that, the Old Testament passage for today is chapters 10, 11, and 12 in the book of Ecclesiastes.  This book is part of the grouping called the Wisdom literature, and the Jews classify it with the "Writings".  Lots of good observations and advice.


1
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
2
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
3
Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.
4
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
5
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
6
Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
7
I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
8
He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
9
Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.
10
If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
11
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
12
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
13
The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
14
A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
15
The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
16
Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!
17
Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
19
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
20
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.


1
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
2
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
3
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
4
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
5
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
6
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
7
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:
8
But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
9
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
10
Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.


1
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3
In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4
And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
5
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
9
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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The New Testament reading is verses 16-33 of chapter 11 in 2nd Corinthians.

16
I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
17
That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18
Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21
I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22
Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33
And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

12 September 2014

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Friday, 12 September 2014

Happy Friday.  Temps her in the low 60's, not what we'd become accustomed to while living in Lower Alabama all those  years.  Within the week, lows will be in the low 40's, and "highs" in the low 60's, if that.  I hate cold weather, yet I know that it is coming.  Yuck.
Dear Wife took her weekly dose of  the chemotherapy drug last night, so she'll be in tough shape today and probably tomorrow as well. At least.  Niece next door is hosting her brother's 30th birthday party tomorrow, so the place will a bit over-run.
Not a great mood around here.  Next-door nephew and family were at calling hours last night and funeral today for a cousin, his age, who committed suicide over the weekend.  He'd "cleaned up" from the drugs after girlfriend OD'd and died over the Christmas period, but he'd Lost Hope and did himself in.  Not easy.  And got word that other son-in-law's cousin also committed suicide this last week.  Had been deployed, again, into Afghanistan, couldn't get away from the PTSD, and so is another casualty.  Leaves a wife and child.  Military is treating it as a service-related death, so she's getting some help, for what that's worth.  Makes for a tough period.  The latter case is up around the Kansas-Arkansas region, quite a long way from here, so there's little we can do.  And the first case is one where we have really no involvement with niece's husband's cousin, so little we can do there either.  Suicide is tough on all the survivors.

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The Old Testament reading today is Proverbs 21 and 22.  I draw particular attention to verse 2 of Proverbs 21.  Can't count the variations on the totally erroneous statement that "it can't be wrong when it feels so right".  Not a new thing, not by any measure.  Yet we never seem to get to far from it.  Sadly, we see the extent to which that attitude has overtaken the Church, particularly in America.  I don't think that turns out very well, not in any direction.

1
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
3
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
6
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
7
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8
The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
9
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
10
The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
11
When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12
The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
13
Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14
A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
15
It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
16
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
17
He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
18
The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
19
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
20
There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
21
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
22
A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
23
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
24
Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
25
The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26
He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
27
The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
28
A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
29
A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
30
There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
31
The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.


1
A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
2
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
3
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
4
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
5
Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
7
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
8
He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
9
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
10
Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
11
He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
12
The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
13
The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
14
The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
16
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
17
Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
18
For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
19
That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
20
Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21
That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
22
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
23
For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
24
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
25
Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
26
Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
27
If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
28
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
29
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.



====================

The New Testament reading is chapter 4 of 2nd Corinthians.


1
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12
So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.



05 September 2014

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Friday, 05 September 2014

in the event that anyone has noticed, I've been off-line for the last three weeks or so.  My apologies, and the reasons are highly personal.  We seem, perhaps, to be coming out of the situation, but that is not certain at all.  It has been a bumpy year, one of several we have had lately.
We are hoping to be able to attend a local festival tomorrow.  Most of these things are done during the summer, generally because the kids are out of school and families can attend through the week.  And, traditionally, local schools get out around Memorial Day and return to classes the day after Labor Day.  so the biggest of these local events was last week.  But there is another one that is held evenings this week and all day Saturday.  So we are hoping to be able to pay at least a brief visit.  We shall see.  I have not attended it in around 40 years, but when I was a kid it was The Event Of The Year. There are likely to be some people there I haven't seen since the funerals for my parents and others I have not seen since the mid-70's.  Hope to encounter a few of them.
Hoping to get back on a more regular schedule here.

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The Old Testament reading for the day is Proverbs 7 and 8.


1
My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
2
keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3
bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,
5
to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
6
For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice,
7
and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense,
8
passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house
9
in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
10
And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
11
She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home;
12
now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait.
13
She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him,
14
“I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows;
15
“so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16
“I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17
“I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18
“Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love.
19
“For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey;
20
“he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.”
21
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.
22
All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast
23
till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24
And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths,
26
for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27
Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.


1
Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2
On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3
beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4
“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.
5
“O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
6
“Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,
7
“for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8
“All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9
“They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
10
“Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11
“for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
13
“The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
14
“I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
15
“By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
16
“by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.
17
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
18
“Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.
19
“My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
20
“I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
21
“granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
23
“Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24
“When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25
“Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,
26
“before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
27
“When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28
“when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
29
“when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30
“then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
31
“rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
32
“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
33
“Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
34
“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
35
“For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
36
“but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”





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The New Testament passage is verses 212-40 of 1st Corinthians 14


21
In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
22
Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
23
If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?
24
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,
25
the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
26
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
27
If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.
28
But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
29
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.
30
If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.
31
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,
32
and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
33
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
34
the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.
35
If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
36
Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?
37
If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.
38
If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
39
So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40
But all things should be done decently and in order.