29 March 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Been a rough few days, and we're not done yet.

Wife got her CPAP machine yesterday, an attempt to deal with the sleep apnea.  She slept pretty well last night, something that she sorely needed, and woke up on her own feeling pretty well rested.  That's a good thing.  We have a doctor appointment for her on Friday morning, and perhaps something good can come of it.  We shall see.

In other news, it's a hard day for me.  It was exactly ten years ago, March 29, 2007 that I was interrupted in a meeting in my then-office by a phone call.  It was my younger brother, calling all the way from Mahoning County Ohio to Montgomery County Alabama.  He had a brief message: "mom's gone".  Nothing more needed to be said.  
Of course, I had to halt the meeting with the sales guy.  I was the relatively new engineerng manager at a major firm in the city, the sales guy was trying to sell me some pretty major capital equipment.   But this took priority.  
I told him that we would have to reschedule this for a later date, and why.  He looked at me and, very gently, said, "that's OK.  You'll see her again". 
That was what I needed to hear.  It is true, of course, and it reminded me that even in grief and sorrow, this world, this life, is temporary.
I don't believe that it was coincidental that he was where he was, just at the right time.  I believe that the Lord had sent him, just to deliver that message.  I am grateful.  May we do as well.

Now, that was also necessary in light of what was to come.  Three weeks after I returned from the funeral, the company that employed me had a major "restructure".  That meant that they shut down what had been the divisional headquarters in Illinois, fired all of us managers (except for the plant manager who took a step down), and gave their Illinois buddies our jobs.  More tough times.
(Two weeks after that, Dear Wife's mother passed.  She was not a Christian, which is the nicest way that I can put it, and we won't be seeing her again).
So, today, I remember Mom.  She deserved a better son than I, and I know she's in a place of joy today.  That is worth quite a lot.  We have a lot to talk about, when That Day comes, if it matters to us then.

Some nominees for Song of the Day
His Eye Is On the Sparrow.   It's true, of course.  I forget that too, sometimes.  There is a temptation, a terrible one, to think that whatever I'm going through: the worry, doubt, fears, angers, all of it, that they occur in a blind spot that no one can see,  Not even the Lord.  That He can't see, or, worse, refuses to.  THAT is frightening, that I could be so far gone that He's turned His face away.  But, yes, His eye IS on the sparrow.  And on me as well.  That is worth quite a lot.

or
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.  Great old song, of course, and like many, was based on Scripture.
Deuteronomy 33:27  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms
Or from Psalm 46,

46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

or perhaps, Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you believe that?  I do.  Didn't always, and sometimes still stumble. But it is on these things that we trust.

------------================================
======================================

Today, we complete our passage through the book of Joshua, with chapters 23 and 24.
Joshua was faithful.  A few words, but powerful.  I wish they could be inscribed on my tombstone (though it's unlikely I'll ever have one: an old coffee can with some ashes in it is likely to be it for me).  A good heritage to leave behind.  Joshua did well.

Joshua 23
1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. 2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: 3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you. 4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. 5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. 6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; 7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: 8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. 9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. 10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. 11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. 12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: 13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. 14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. 15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. 16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.


Joshua 24
1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. 3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. 4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. 6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. 7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. 8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: 10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. 11 And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. 13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. 14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; 17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God. 19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. 21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. 22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. 24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. 28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.


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

Our New Testament reading is verses 27-49 from chapter 6 in the Gospel of Luke.
This is Jesus, not only teaching, but commanding.  "Love your enemies" is not advice, it's marching orders.  I don't do it well, nor any of the others, frankly.  Which should bother me, and all of us. Are we Christ-like?  Does the world see something in us, in me, that reveals the character of our Lord and Savior?  It should.  It must.

 
Luke 6:27-49
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.  
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:  
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.  
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.


28 March 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Been a rough 24 hours (or more).  Dear Wife decided yesterday morning that she didn't want to go to the Emergency Room nor to call the doctor to try to get in.  And our insurance doesn't cover, at all, visits to an "urgent care" clinic, so those were our options.  Other than tough it out and hope the problem goes away.  Well, it didn't.  So late last evening, we got dressed again, and off to the Emergency Room in the town due west of here, a 30-mile round trip.   (The closest one is not "in-network" so that was  out).  She was thinking it was a gallstone attack, or perhaps even the beginnings of a heart attack.  NOT what you want to be making light of.  So, an EKG.  Heart looking OK.  An hour or two later, some sort of sonogram.  Two hours later, the attending physician told us there's no sign of gallstones, no evidence of ruptures or the like.  Might be a severe case of gastritis made worse by the underlying autoimmune conditions.  So, despite being in agonizing pain, they discharged her. 
Part of me understands the reluctance on dispensing pain meds.  On a gurney ten feet away was a guy brought in with a heroin overdose case.  He lived.  His friend did not.  I overheard some of the conversations among the staff.  It's a war zone, all too often, and it is affecting them as well.  Wife and I have both seen, at all too close a range, the effects of addictions on people we once loved.  It's not a pretty sight, believe me.

She had a previously scheduled appointment this morning to be set up with one of those CPAP machines to deal with her horrid sleep apnea.  So we came home, slept (or laid down) for about three hours, then got back up, and headed out.  The place we had to go is only a few blocks from the hospital last night.  Went through the routine, got the machine and mask and instructions for use, then home.  I got her something to eat (I hadn't eaten since about 5:30 p.m. yesterday) and went to the Big Box store to get some over-the-counter pain meds, and some bland food.  And a gallon of distilled water for the CPAP device: filtered water isn't good enough.   So I came home, found her asleep which is precisely what she needs, heated up some leftovers, and sat down to do this.  I could use a nap myself, but as we were told, "there's no rest for the wicked, and the righteous don't need any".  My dad thought that was funny, sometimes it loses the entertainment value.

A very good link here:  The title of the piece is  5 Christian Clich├ęs that Need to Die   
It's published on the site of the Gospel Coalition, and I think it's worth reading. 

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

Our reading in the Old Testament is chapters 21 and 22 of Joshua.

Joshua 21
1 Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; 2 And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. 3 And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs. 4 And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities. 5 And the rest of the children of Kohath had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities. 6 And the children of Gershon had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities. 7 The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities. 8 And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. 9 And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name. 10 Which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had: for theirs was the first lot. 11 And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it. 12 But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession. 13 Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Libnah with her suburbs, 14 And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs, 15 And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs, 16 And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes. 17 And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs, 18 Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities. 19 All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs. 20 And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim. 21 For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs, 22 And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities. 23 And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs, 24 Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities. 25 And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities. 26 All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained. 27 And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities. 28 And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs, 29 Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities. 30 And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs, 31 Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities. 32 And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities. 33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs. 34 And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs, 35 Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities. 36 And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs, 37 Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities. 38 And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs, 39 Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all. 40 So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities. 41 All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs. 42 These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities. 43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

Joshua 22
1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 2 And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: 3 Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. 4 And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan. 5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. 6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents. 7 Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan: but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them, 8 And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren. 9 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 10 And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to. 11 And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel. 12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them. 13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel. 15 And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying, 16 Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the LORD? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, 18 But that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD's tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity. 21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22 The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,) 23 That we have built us an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if to offer thereon burnt offering or meat offering, or if to offer peace offerings thereon, let the LORD himself require it; 24 And if we have not rather done it for fear of this thing, saying, In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying, What have ye to do with the LORD God of Israel? 25 For the LORD hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the LORD: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD. 26 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: 27 But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the LORD before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the LORD. 28 Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you. 29 God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle. 30 And when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation and heads of the thousands of Israel which were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spake, it pleased them. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we perceive that the LORD is among us, because ye have not committed this trespass against the LORD: now ye have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the LORD. 32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again. 33 And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt. 34 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the LORD is God.





--========================================================
=======================================================

 The reading for the day from the New Testament is verses 1-26 of chapter 6 in the Gospel of Luke.
As you read, as I hope you will, from the article I linked above, keep the verses in the latter part of this passage in mind.

Luke 6:1-26
1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. 2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? 3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; 4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? 5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. 6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. 7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? 10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. 12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. 17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; 18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

 

27 March 2017

A nervous quickie -- 3/27

Wife woke this morning and decided to delay the doctor call.  OK.

Now it's going on 10:00 p.m., and she's thinking it's gallstones or even a heart attack!  Gall bladder attack being much more likely.  She's lying down in bed right now, as the fully horizontal position is easier for her than even the most reclined position of the recliner.

There's at least a 50% chance we'll be heading off to a local Emergency Room before this night is over, but I've been wrong -- in both directions -- several times so All is Up In The Air.
In any event, my usual morning post is likely to be seriously delayed.  Apologies.

Prayers are welcome and solicited.

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 27 March, 2017

I guess this counts as being pretty late in the month.  The great-niece was outside yesterday riding a scooter around, and without a coat on!  Very glad to see it! 

We're planning to call the doctor this morning.  Wife has been in some real pain for several days.  From the location and the circumstances, it might be gall bladder problems: not good.  Or it might be a flare of gastritis.  Or something else, there's no M.D. after my name.  So we shall see what the doc wants to do.  And she's already scheduled to go to the one site on Tuesday morning to be equipped with a CPAP device for her awful sleep apnea.  The way it's being set up, we'll be getting the machine on a "rent-to-own" arrangement.  So we'll have that.
Of course, that Tuesday appointment coincides with us "watching" the great-niece from next door, so we'll haul a 4-year-old (who we love dearly) off to an appointment like this.  Should be all kinds of "fun", but there's not much option open.
So we'll have an interesting few days.




A couple of nominees for the song of the day, and I like them both
Ever feel that things were impossible, the Lord isn't helping, and it all feels hopeless?  Probably we've all been there.  We've wondered if the Lord has rejected us, or if the problem is beyond His help or His interest.  Sure we have.
But we're wrong to do that.

So song 1 is  "My Name is Lazarus".  No, the incidents related are out of order.  But as they note in the first verse, this is an illustration.  Take it as such.  Lazarus had quite a testimony.  So do some of us.
The second nomination is entitled "Four Days Late". 
We sometimes want the Lord to do what we want, and right now too.  Doesn't necessarily work that way.  Again, how much do we trust Him?  Sometimes -- and I'm there now, perhaps -- we get worried when we need Him and there's no sign of Him.  Sometimes, and it was mentioned in church yesterday, we need to remember that we're supposed to be focusing on the eternal, not on the worldly.

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

Our Old Testament passage is chapters 19 and 20 of Joshua.  Might be interesting to look up these places on a map.

Joshua 19
1 And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. 2 And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah, 3 And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, 4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, 5 And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, 6 And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. 9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them. 10 And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: 11 And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; 12 And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia, 13 And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah; 14 And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel: 15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages. 16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. 17 And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. 18 And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, 19 And Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, 20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, 21 And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez; 22 And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. 23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages. 24 And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families. 25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, 26 And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath; 27 And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand, 28 And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; 29 And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib: 30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages. 31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages. 32 The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families. 33 And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan: 34 And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising. 35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth, 36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, 37 And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor, 38 And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. 39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages. 40 And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. 41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, 42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, 43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, 44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 45 And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon, 46 And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho. 47 And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. 48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages. 49 When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: 50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein. 51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.

Joshua 20
1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. 5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbor unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled. 7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. 9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.



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

The passage from the New Testament is verses 17-39 of chapter 5 of the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 5:17-39
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. 27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. 33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.




26 March 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Sunday, 26 March 2017

Entering into the last Sunday in the month of March.  Lord willing, a week from now we will be well established into April.  As I've often said, I prefer the months whose names are short.  April, May, June sound MUCH better to me than December, January, or Februrary, etc.  "March" is somewhat "iffy", the name is short but the weather isn't nice, we had snow on the ground a week ago.  I hate that stuff and always did.  So we're heading in the right direction I believe.

We survived the Birthday Gala of the Season yesterday.  The 10-year-old Great Nephew is well and truly launched.  We went, hung around a bit -- long enough to see the presents being opened and recorded.  Left early.  Wife came home and we got horizontal on the recliners for a while, recovering.  Honor was served, I guess.  His sister, great-niece #2 has something of the sort on schedule for the summer months.  Hope that we survive that one as well.

+--================

I struggled all night long with the "Song of the Day" question.

So, two versions of one, the 2nd version being the story behind the song.  I STRONGLY urge listening to that story.  Our faith demands not the "easy beliefism" that Dietrich Bohnoeffer, among others, rightly condemned.   It demands a real transformation, a commitment, that thing that our culture hates and fears.
I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
I Have Decided   with story

and, in an odd way that only makes sense to a person with a weird way of looking at the world, had a country song in mind.  Amarillo By Morning.   Odd, yes?  Sure, odd tie-in.  Admitted.  But in an odd way, I've "been there".  I've been, personally, out there, with NOTHING but the clothes on my back, in an unfamiliar area, bent on a course that is uncertain.  Sometimes, the demands of our faith are like that.  Not the "safe space" that the "snowflakes" demand, but walking away from it all, heading into uncertain territory.  I hope we have a higher motive than that of the likely character in the song, but if a rodeo competitor would do this, why can't a Christian?

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

Our Old Testament passage today is chapters 16, 17, and 18 of Joshua.
I was walking around meditating on this during the Gala.  (yes, I'm a notorious multi-tasker).  And both before and after the event we attended..
Most of our readings, certainly those in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua, deal with some real day-to-day struggles of God's people.  War, slavery, an uncertain daily life in a very hostile terrain, and mostly surrounded by nasty people who wished them ill.  All the stuff of life.
The wars, for example.  This was all close-quarter hand-to-hand combat against trained and motivated foes in lands they were invading.  This gets very personal, very fast.
I found myself wondering why the Lord didn't simply, using His  power, transmit them in a flash from Egypt to the Promised Land, a land already cleared of hostile forces, a land with all the necessities of life already in place, a land that they would neither have to fight for, nor tame.
Why?  He could, after all.  He invented light and gravity, after all.  This immediate transfer would have been well within His powers, and He knew it.  But He didn't.  Why?
It's not an unreasonable question.  Most of us, certainly including me, have wondered why the Lord didn't just miraculously remove the tumor, heal the damaged relationships, fill the bank account, make things Right as we measure them.  And, yes, sometimes He does things that only He can do.  We are grateful I hope.  But other times no.
And, sometimes, He sets us to work on the matter.
As he did here in these issues.  They only answer I can come up with is that the struggles, journeys, hardships,  and all the rest of it, changed them as well as their circumstances.  I am reminded of a quote attributed to Thomas Paine, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;".  Those struggles that we still go through affect us.  Relying upon the Lord, with our own whole-hearted commitment, changes us.  Among other things, it teaches us that we can and must rely upon Him, but that we may have a part to play as well.  Not in salvation of course, that is a work of the Lord.  But going from bondage, whether slavery in Egypt or drug addiction or any of a number of other things, requires our involvement and effort as well.  The Exodus changed the character of the children of Israel.  It affects our world to this very day.  An easy blink of an eye would not have done that.

Joshua 16
1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel, 2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth, 3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer; and the goings out thereof are at the sea. 4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance. 5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper; 6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah; 7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan. 8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families. 9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. 10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.


Joshua 17
1 There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan. 2 There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families. 3 But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father. 5 And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan; 6 Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead. 7 And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah. 8 Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim; 9 And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea: 10 Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east. 11 And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries. 12 Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 13 Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, but did not utterly drive them out. 14 And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto? 15 And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. 16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. 17 And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: 18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.


Joshua 18
1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. 2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? 4 Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me. 5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 6 Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 7 But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them. 8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh. 9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh. 10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions. 11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. 12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven. 13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron. 14 And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. 15 And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah: 16 And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel, 17 And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, 18 And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah: 19 And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast. 20 And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families. 21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz, 22 And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, 23 And Avim, and Pharah, and Ophrah, 24 And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: 25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, 27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.




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

Our reading from the New Testament is verses 1-16 from chapter 5 in the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus is both teaching and working wonders.  And here we see Him encountering Peter, James, and John.  (Remember the little song?  ).  He was not only addressing crowds, He was also ministering the individual needs of individuals with their own specific needs, ones not necessarily common to the community at large.  I admit to wishing that I knew what became of this man after being healed of leprosy.  Certainly his life was changed.  An encounter with Jesus will do that.  Still happens, too.
But also, pay attention to the last verse.  Jesus found it necessary to go off by Himself to pray.  We should follow that example, consistently.

Luke 5:1-16
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. 12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. 14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.