24 July 2016

Today's Readings and so forth, Sunday, 24 July 2016

Rough day, and got worse.  I got word from a friend of more than 40 years' duration recently that his daughter, quite ill, had entered into hospice care.  Subsequent information was that she was fading.  This evening, I got the word we'd feared, that she'd entered into Eternity.
It's very rough to have to bury your children.  I'd known both parents, even before they knew each others, knew them when the met and married, and, sadly, when they divorced and remarried.  With a baby daughter caught up in that.  The baby daughter, now more than 30 years old, never married, and has now passed.
Arrangements have not been made known to me.  Under the circumstances, I imagine something has been planned, but am not aware of it, yet.
So this will be a tough week.  Situations like this sometimes bring out the best in people, sometimes it brings out the worst.  I've no idea what to expect.
So I will be distracted, as I have been for the last few weeks.

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The Old Testament reading is Psalms 41, 42, and 43


1
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3
The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4
I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5
Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6
And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7
All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8
An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
10
But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11
By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12
And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.


1
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10
As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.


1
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2
For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3
O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
5
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.




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The New Testament reading is chapter 24 of the Acts.


1
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2
And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3
We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4
Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5
For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
6
Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
7
But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
8
Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
9
And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
10
Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
11
Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
12
And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
13
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
14
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15
And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
17
Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
18
Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
19
Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
20
Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
21
Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
22
And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
23
And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
24
And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
26
He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
27
But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

23 July 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Saturday, 23 July 2016

Quiet here.  Dear Wife had yet another rough night, spent much of the night semi-sleeping in the recliner, finally came back to bed around 04:00 and stayed there until around 08:00.  I was up well before then, of course, and had crept out of bed and dressed, hoping to let her sleep. 

Niece and husband next door have their 5th wedding anniversary today.  Her side of the family is going with them to the zoo in Akron.  We were tentatively scheduled to go along, but Wife is simply not up to it: she has not recovered from the baseball game excursion of Thursday.  So they went, we stayed home.  I just let their dog out for a while.  She's invigorated enough that she's making them a fancy cake to mark the occasion.  Of course, that meant I had to make a "quick trip" to the store to pick up some items that are needed. 

About six weeks ago, she ordered, via e-bay, a new keyboard for our desktop computer.  The old one, the one I'm using, is dying, keys either not working well, or double striking.  It's bothersome, I've been at least a semi-touch typist for more than 40 years (being a geek) and she's not far behind.  So we ordered a keyboard.  Nice appearance, said to be "ergonomic", wireless, has a touch pad.  Except that several of the keys, alphabet ones, not ones that are hardly ever used, but ones like the "R" and the "E", don't work AT ALL.  Much back and forth, the seller even demanded a video.  Duly supplied.  Five weeks ago!!  So, finally, about 10 days ago, we received notice that a replacement, not as nice by far, but said to be functional, was shipping.  Via the USPS.  Got word a week ago yesterday that it was in some awful suburb of Philadelphia.  And, to this very day, we have not received it.  We got another package, around 09:00 today, of something we sorely needed, from Amazon.  But no keyboard, and no way to track it either.  Color us very dissatisfied.

We had two rounds of very heavy rain yesterday.  Still no cucumbers to eat, but a bunch of flowers on the vines and the vines continue to grow.  The dill is quite large.  The zucchini are huge, biggest we've ever seen, and the fruits are regular now.  Some pole beans doing well, at least the plants are.  No beans yet.  Most of the tomato plants are doing well, except those that are being crowded out by the enormous zucchini.  Getting some peppers too.

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The Old Testament reading is Psalms 38, 39, and 40


1
O lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2
For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
3
There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5
My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6
I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7
For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8
I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10
My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
11
My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12
They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
13
But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
14
Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15
For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
16
For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
17
For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
18
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
19
But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
20
They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
21
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
22
Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.


1
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
2
I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
3
My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,
4
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.
5
Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
6
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
7
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
8
Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.
10
Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
11
When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.
12
Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13
O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.


1
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10
I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11
Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12
For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
14
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15
Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.




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The New Testament passage is verses 12-35 of Acts 23

12
And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
13
And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
14
And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
15
Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
16
And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
17
Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
18
So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
19
Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
20
And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
21
But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
22
So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
23
And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
24
And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
25
And he wrote a letter after this manner:
26
Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
27
This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
28
And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
29
Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30
And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
31
Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32
On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
33
Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
34
And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
35
I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.




22 July 2016

More Stuff and Nonsense -- Friday, 22 July 2016

Dear Wife is next door to "watch" the Beloved Great Niece there.  We were out and about a bit last evening -- were invited to a game not too far from here involving a local minor league baseball team.  Went once last year, this will probably be our one and only trip this year.  Local team looked terrible, and not a whole lot of extra effort, or even basic performance going on. 

One nice thing did happen.  Right behind us a family came in.  Turns out he and I grew up together, our parents were good friends.  I hadn't seen him since around 1970 or so.  His wife was with him, we'd never met.  Their son and his wife and their 2-month-old baby were there as well.  Had a nice conversation, and then, being as bored as me, left around the 7th inning.  They didn't miss much.  We had to hang until the very last out.  We were up in the "nosebleed section" by the 3rd base foul pole, not great seats but no loss.  Dear Wife has a lot of trouble walking very far, particularly up and down steps.  They have elevators, but those are only for the Important People, which does not include us, and they don't have them in the cheap seats anyway.  So the getting in and out was an effort for all.

Got home late, went to bed almost immediately.  She didn't sleep well, was up for a couple hours in the night (I had to help her relocate) needing to stretch out on recliner (elevating her bad foot) and drinking cocoa which helps her sleep.  She finally came back to bed and slept until after 09:00.  I was awake long before that, so slid out quietly to let her get the much needed rest.  Which worked until a terrible thunderstorm rolled in, that one lightening strike could not have hit more than half a mile from here, don't know what was hit, yet.  Lots of people in the area out of power, and many will remain out until some time tonight, if not later.  And the racket woke her up.

So the day began.  We had some mail and a package come; I do feel sorry for the mail carrier and the UPS driver having to  maneuver in that and run back and forth in the driving rain.  By the way, the "elites" of the chattering classes assured us that this summer would be a terrible drought.  It has been drier than normal, but I've SEEN drought, SEEN (and lived in) areas that got zero rain from mid-May to early September.  This isn't drought, that's just "boob bait" to get clicks on the usual web sites demanding that Government Do Something Right Now!  Idiots.

After the rain, the heat.  Making the area feel like a Turkish bath.
Until, just now, the crash of thunder alerts me that we have a second round of storms on top of us.  It would appear that I won't need to be watering the garden today.

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The Old Testament passage here is Psalms 36 and 37

1
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3
The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4
He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
5
Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
6
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
7
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
8
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
9
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
10
O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
11
Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
12
There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.


1
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13
The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14
The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15
Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
18
The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20
But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21
The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22
For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27
Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28
For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30
The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32
The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33
The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36
Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40
And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.



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The New Testament reading is verses 1-11 of Acts 23.

1
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2
And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
3
Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
4
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
5
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
6
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
11
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.




21 July 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff, briefly -- Thursday, 21 July 2016

short shrift. 
I've been informed that we must join Wife's sister and her boyfriend (her husband is at work),  wife's niece and her husband and daughter, wife's nephew and his wife and kids, to attend the $1 night for the local minor league baseball team.  $1 meaning $1 to get in, drinks and hot dogs for $1, etc.  Cheap date, and the park isn't bad.  Certainly in a much better neighborhood than the minor league team back in Montgomery, Alabama (the Biscuits).  The attendance at the minor league team's park in Knoxville, Tennessee (the Smokies) was good enough that they didn't need to run specials like this.
So we're leaving in a very short time and won't be back much before midnight, if then.

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The Old Testament reading is Psalms 34 and 35.


1
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20
He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21
Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22
The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.


1
Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3
Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5
Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6
Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7
For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8
Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10
All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11
False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12
They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13
But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14
I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15
But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16
With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17
Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18
I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20
For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21
Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22
This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23
Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24
Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25
Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26
Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28
And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.




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The New Testament passage is chapter 22 of the Acts.


1
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2
(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
3
I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4
And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5
As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6
And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
7
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
10
And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
11
And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
12
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
14
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
15
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
17
And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
18
And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19
And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20
And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
21
And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
22
And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
23
And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,
24
The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
25
And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26
When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
27
Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
28
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
29
Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30
On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.