16 June 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Tuesday, 16 June 2015

just realized that we are nearing the first Official Day of Summer, the Solstice.  Seems like a very short time ago that we had a foot or more of snow on the ground and were hoping that the temperature might creep somewhat above ZERO.  Not up to freezing (though that would have been nice, very) but into the positive numbers.  And sometimes it didn't.  So the Solstice reminds us that we've hit the high point, temp-wise, for the year and now we begin the long trek back to the COLD that seems to be the normal state around here. I hate winter.  Always have, always did, always will.  I did not miss that, not one bit.  Missed some of the friends and family, true, but the weather and the gray skies and the people with no hope in their eyes, no, not a bit.
Yes, the true source of Hope has nothing to do with the weather, or the economy, or the rest of that.  Hope comes from the Lord, and ONLY from Him.  That too, is rarely seen around here, which may explain the alcoholism and much else.  And, perhaps, the economic issues too:  drunks are not great employees, and I would be hesitant to locate a company here needing many reliable honest people.  Have been down that road, here, and it wasn't pretty 30 years ago, and is worse now.
Perhaps that is part of why we were sent here.  Perhaps.

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The Old Testament reading today is chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Nehemiah. 
The last few days have been in the book of Ezra.  After the collapse of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, the sacking of Jerusalem, the Captivity of the people, a period of 70 years elapsed.  Then Ezra was directed and empowered to rebuild the Temple and to reinstitute the system of worship that was centered around that Temple. Now comes Nehemiah, and his marching orders are to rebuild the defenses of the city, the walls and gates.  Note the order of things:  the Lord first, then everything else.  Getting things out of order was what had led to the issues.


1
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2
That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
4
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5
And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
7
We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
8
Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
9
But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
10
Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
11
O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.


1
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
2
Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3
And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4
Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5
And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
6
And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7
Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8
And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9
Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
10
When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
11
So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
12
And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
13
And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
14
Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15
Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
16
And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
17
Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18
Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19
But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
20
Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.


1
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.
2
And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.
3
But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
4
And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.
5
And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their LORD.
6
Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
7
And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.
8
Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.
9
And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.
10
And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.
11
Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
12
And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
13
The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.
14
But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
15
But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.
16
After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.
17
After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
18
After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.
19
And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.
20
After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
21
After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
22
And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.
23
After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.
24
After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.
25
Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.
26
Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.
27
After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.
28
From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.
29
After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.
30
After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.
31
After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.
32
And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.



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The New Testament reading is verses 1-13 in the 2nd chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles.  Jesus has ascended to the Father, just as He said.  Now the Spirit comes, just as He said.

1
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 June 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Sunday, 14 June 2015

we've been on a bit of a hiatus here.  Some stuff going on that is of no interest, mostly, other than to us.  For us, of course, some of these matters are of GREAT importance, hence the hiatus.  Apologies to all who may have wondered.
It's Sunday evening as I sit at the keyboard.  Raining and storming most of the day, doing so quite vigorously right now.  Winds gusting, some pretty strong (at least one semi-truck was pushed over, earlier today) and some very nearby lightening.  Gets serious.
Briefly, I've been down sick the last few days, missed church services this morning which is uncommon for me.  Feeling a tad bit better now, we'll see if that continues through the night.
Dear Wife will be crashing soon, she is set to "watch" the Beloved Great-Niece tomorrow morning, so the alarm goes off at 06:00 and, while she's been napping on and off several times today, she needs some extended period of REM stage sleep.  I could use it myself.

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The Old Testament reading for today is chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Ezra.  This is both a discouraging and greatly encouraging period. Looking back over the readings of the last few months, the Lord brought His Chosen People out of bondage in Egypt, through all manner of challenges and adventures, into the Promised Land.  A piece of ground not chosen at random, but at the very crossroads of the ancient world (and also today, in many ways) and established them there.  Fast forward a bit and they demanded a king, just like the nations around them.  Got one.  Got several, in fact.  Got all manner of problems too, not least of which was an increasing apostasy and wickedness among the nation from the throne room to the meanest hovel.  They rejected the Lord, so He removed His hand of protection.  And the neighboring nations, then as now,  lusted to take over.  And did.  With lots of grief and loss and pain.  Carried off as captives/slaved in fact.  For 70 years.  Then, when that period was up, and the people started to understand what they'd done and what --- and Who -- they'd lost, then the plan long in abeyance , took over, and Ezra was ordered by the Persian (today, we'd say Iranian) king ordered the rebuilding of the temple, and the re-institution of the worship of the true God in that place.  That's where we are here.  There are names and genealogies here.  They don't mean much to us, probably.  But they were known to the Lord, every one, and every one had a part to play.  Just like now.  Don't think your efforts don't matter and the Lord overlooks you.  He doesn't.


1
Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
2
And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:
3
In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
4
With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house:
5
And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.
6
Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:
7
Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.
8
Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.
9
And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:
10
That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
11
Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.
12
And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
13
Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.
14
And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
15
And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
16
And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.
17
And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18
And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.
19
And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.
20
For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21
And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,
22
And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.


1
Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
2
The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3
The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4
The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5
The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:
6
This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
7
And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9
For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
10
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
11
Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
12
Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
13
I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
14
Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;
15
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
16
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
17
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.
19
The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
20
And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.
21
And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
22
Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
23
Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24
Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
25
And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.
26
And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27
Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:
28
And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.


1
These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
2
Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.
3
Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.
4
Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.
5
Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
6
Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.
7
And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.
8
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.
9
Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
10
And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.
11
And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
12
And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.
13
And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.
14
Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.
15
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.
16
Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
17
And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.
18
And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;
19
And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;
20
Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.
21
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22
For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
23
So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
24
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,
25
And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:
26
I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;
27
Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
28
And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.
29
Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.
30
So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
31
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.
32
And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
33
Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;
34
By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.
35
Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.
36
And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.



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The New Testament passage is chapter 21 of the Gospel of John.  This completes the Gospels.

1
After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2
There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4
But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5
Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6
And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7
Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8
And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9
As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10
Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11
Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12
Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13
Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
14
This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
20
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
25
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

19 May 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Tuesday, 19 May 2015

a bit, a teeny bit, better today.  Cats were fighting during the night; it does my mood no particular good to be unable to sleep until midnight, then be woken by a vicious fight at 03:05 right outside the bedroom door.  I separated the combatants, chased one into the bedroom and shut the door.  Woke back up at 04:20 to wails of hunger from the multitude, finding at the time that the bedroom door, which absolutely had been latched, was ajar.  Evidently they've found some way to defeat that latch.  So I fed them the daily ration, and went back to bed, staring at the ceiling for an hour, awake.  Dear wife got up at around 06:00, showered, and went onto the living room recliner and took charge of the evil filis domesticus.  At which point, I could get a couple hours of horribly needed rest.  Got up, thought of hot showers but opted for a hot coffee first.  Which was interrupted by a suddenly perceived "need" by She Who Must Be Obeyed, that a donut or three is needed.  So I pulled on jeans, ran to nearby grocery (nice people, actually), picked up a box of assorteds made in the store itself, swung by the church a few blocks away to pick up something that had been set out form me, came home and had coffee and donuts.  Thoughts of the now-delayed hot shower were once again interrupted, this time by a call from the dentist office.  Can I come in right now?  I guess so.  I'd been in about two weeks previous for a regular appointment, at which time I let them know that my upper dentures, received a year ago, were not and had really never been, fitting and locking.  They had me leave the appliances with them, told me they'd let me know.  Well, they let me know.  So I changed and drove in.  Got there 20 minutes early. Sat in waiting room for an hour.  Then they called me in, worked on things for the better part of an hour, and perhaps things are Right, finally.  We shall see.
Came home, picked up Wife, went to Perkins.  Tuesday is Old Folks Day there, a 20% savings for all retirees.  Ate.  Left.
Off to the Wally Mart.  (today is when my SS check hits the bank).  Picked up some stuff w were out of/low on.  Back home, put stuff away.  Water the garden.  Get the mail.  Kick back.  Do this.
Quite a life.

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The Old TEstament reading today is chapters 23, 24, and 25 of 2nd Kings.  This completes the books of the Kings.  It doesn't end nicely.


1
And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.
2
And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.
3
And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.
4
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.
5
And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
6
And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.
7
And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.
8
And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.
9
Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.
10
And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
11
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
12
And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
13
And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
14
And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.
15
Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.
16
And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
17
Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.
18
And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
19
And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.
20
And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.
21
And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.
22
Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;
23
But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.
24
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
25
And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
26
Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.
27
And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
28
Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
29
In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.
30
And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.
31
Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
32
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
33
And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.
34
And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there.
35
And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.
36
Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
37
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.


1
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.
2
And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
3
Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
4
And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.
5
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
6
So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
7
And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
8
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
9
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.
10
At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.
11
And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.
12
And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.
13
And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.
14
And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
15
And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
16
And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
17
And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18
Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
19
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
20
For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.


1
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.
2
And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
3
And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
4
And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
5
And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.
6
So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.
7
And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.
8
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:
9
And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.
10
And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.
11
Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.
12
But the captain of the guard left of the door of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.
13
And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.
14
And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
15
And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.
16
The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight.
17
The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathed work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathed work.
18
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:
19
And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:
20
And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:
21
And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
22
And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.
23
And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
24
And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.
25
But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.
26
And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.
27
And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;
28
And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;
29
And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.
30
And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.







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The New Testament reading is verses 1-31 in the 7th chapter of the Gospel of John.  Jesus is really upsetting some people, making others happy.  Works that way.

1
After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2
Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand.
3
His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
4
For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
5
For neither did his brethren believe in him.
6
Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
7
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8
Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
9
When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
10
But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
11
Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
12
And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
13
Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
14
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
15
And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
16
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18
He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
19
Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
20
The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
21
Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
22
Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23
If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
25
Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
26
But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
27
Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
28
Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.
29
But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
30
Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
31
And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?