21 September 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Thursday, 21 September 2017

Another day.  I'm in pain, Wife is running a fever again.  Not a good thing.  But we shall get through.
As I sit here at the desk, there is a gray and white cat head-butting my back, wanting attention and chin scratches and all that stuff.  I'm not a  pet person, but he believes that I am "his" human.  As the old semi-joke has it, "dogs have owners.  Cats have staff.", and it seems to be true.  I am expected to interrupt whatever I am doing and rub his head or something.  I'm safe in the shower, but that's about it.  But then, I can be a pest as well, and too often have been.  They didn't shoot me.  OK, a few tried and I have some knife scars here and there, but I'm still around.  If the Lord didn't let them kill me, I guess I can let even a pesky cat live as well.  And he's better looking, a small distinction to be sure.

The news reports are that there is no electricity at all on Puerto Rico, and  many areas may be without power for a year or so.  Not good.  Now, yes, 150  years ago, there was no electricity on Puerto Rico, and they survived (barely).  But there wasn't any to your house in Cleveland or Chicago or Baltimore either, but I don't hear even the most fervent "greenie" types agitating to rip out the wires and go back to cooking over dried cow dung.  If so, it escaped my attention.  So things are going  to be pretty rough there for a good while.  Numerous groups are sending help, notably faith-based ones, but they're already pretty stretched due to the storm damage in Texas and in Florida.
And they're still finding bodies, and a few survivors, from the 7.1 earthquake just south of Mexico City.  Will be a good while dealing with that.
Trouble all over the place, and getting worse, rapidly.

I came across a column posted by someone I occasionally correspond with, Deanna Chadwell by name.  Among her other accomplishments, she's a teacher at Pacific Bible College, in Oregon.  The column is up at American Thinker, and it is titled as Holes In Our Heads, a discussion of, and a pointer to, several studies here and here, research indicating that various attitudes and lifestyles, like marijuana use for example, seem to have very visible effects upon the brain itself, particularly in the amygdala, and that this may in part explain the truly bizarre behaviors we are seeing on the lefty loons, the "antifa" crowd, the militant homosexuals, and others.  Some discussion on how changes in conduct and belief can affect changes in the other direction.  Interesting, and worth the read.

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Today's Old Testament read, chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the Song of Solomon, is, to say the least, a bit of a change.  Putting it mildly.
It is, incidentally, by no means certain that this came from King Solomon.  Jewish scholars place it after the first Exile.  It was accepted into the Jewish canon with the "Writings", back around 200 B.C.  It seems to be the words between two lovers, husband and wife.   Christians frequently class it as indicative of the love between Christ and the Church, which fits.
This is one of those parts of Scripture that, as a kid including certainly as a teen, I NEVER EVER heard mentioned or taught in that little country church.  Not once, not ever, it was sort of skipped over as if it did not exist, and that is probably still the case in most churches today. 

Song of Solomon 1
1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s. 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; 3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. 4 Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. 5 I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! 7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions? 8 If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. 9 I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. 11 We will make for you ornaments of gold, studded with silver. 12 While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance. 13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi. 15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. 16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; 17 the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.

Song of Solomon 2
1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. 2 As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. 3 As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. 5 Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love. 6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me! 7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. 8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice. 10 My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, 11 “for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12 “The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13 “The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. 14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. 15 “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” 16 My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies. 17 Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle or a young stag on cleft mountains.

Song of Solomon 3
1 On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. 2 I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. 3 The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” 4 Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me. 5 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. 6 What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant? 7 Behold, it is the litter of Solomon! Around it are sixty mighty men, some of the mighty men of Israel, 8 all of them wearing swords and expert in war, each with his sword at his thigh, against terror by night. 9 King Solomon made himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon. 10 He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem. 11 Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.


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Our New Testament reading is chapter 12 of 2nd Corinthians.

II Corinthians 12
1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows– 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses– 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps? 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish–that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

20 September 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- mostly "stuff" -- Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The "stuff" first, I guess.
I've been pretty much off-line for several days.  For several reasons at that.

  • Today is a somber day for me.  Today is the anniversary of my father's passing.  It was six years ago today that I got the call from my youngest brother that simply said, "dad's gone".  We'd been expecting it for some time: not only was he, by far, the longest-lived male member of the family that we had been able to determine, but we had been up visiting around the 4th of July.  He'd not looked well then, and I pretty much knew it would be our last meeting on this earth.  But it was hard, and it still is.  Affects my outlook on things, sorry.  Doesn't help that when both he and my mother passed (she in spring of 2007), we were living nearly a thousand miles away and were lucky to be able to make the trip once or twice a year to see them.  Hard to escape the feelings of guilt there.
  • And then ...  I had an accident with injury Sunday afternoon.  Not a car wreck, but I'd been helping niece's husband, next door, rearrange some kid's play stuff in the yard.  Was carrying a small trampoline, when I stumbled over something and fell, landing with my ribs on the steel frame.  I lay on the ground in pain for a while, was finally able to get back up with difficulty.  It appears that I have either a cracked or a bruised rib now, which will take an appreciable time to heal.  Can barely roll over in bed and getting up is a real challenge.  And, naturally, it's on the side I prefer to lay on:  I've never in my whole life been able to sleep on my back, ever.  So I'm living on heavy doses of wife's 800 mg Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, and aspirin.  It's what we have.
    • added to that is that I'd planned to make a short trip this afternoon to help unload boxes of books being donated to a foreign mission organization.  But as it stands, there is simply no way that I can haul much of anything.  No can do.  Big guilt trip there, but simply out of the question.
So I've been out of the mix for several days.  Likely to be so for several more.  I had to, somehow, drive Wife to the store yesterday (retirement check hit, so we were paying bills hoping to do so before the water, electric, and gas companies shut us off, and then pick up a few groceries), but I did the driving and walked beside her as she pushed the buggy.  That was the extent of my involvement, actually, I wasn't even good at helping her carry the bags into our hovel.
Of course, the trip caused the car to overheat, BIG time: red lights flashing and the thing was boiling over as we debarked.  The new radiator arrived, but it's going to be a few days before I'm up to doing the replacing, more than I can do right now.

Sorry for the tale of woe.
Other people are having a pretty rough time of it.  A category 5 hurricane hit Puerto Rico, where we have a few contacts.  A 7.1 earthquake hit just outside of Mexico City, an area that is near the hometown of younger daughter's mother-in-law, with considerable loss of life.  And the "usual" depredations worldwide of the demon-besotten heathen adherents of Islam.  So things are tough all over.
But we have much to give thanks for.  Things are tough, but I had a place to sleep last night and food to eat, and a beautiful woman beside me.  God is good.  Circumstances sometimes aren't but the game isn't over yet.

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The Old Testament readings for the last few days have been in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Today's passage, chapters 10, 11, and 12, completes that journey.
I've chosen to recreate this today in the ESV version, I think it makes some of the terms more understandable:  the implications of some of those terms has changed since 1611 when the King James came out.  Your mileage may vary.

Ecclesiastes 10
1 Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. 3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. 4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest. 5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves. 8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. 9 He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. 10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. 11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? 15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. 19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. 20 Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.


Ecclesiastes 11
1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. 3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. 4 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. 5 As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. 6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. 7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. 8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.


Ecclesiastes 12
1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and the doors on the street are shut–when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low– 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets– 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. 9 Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. 10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.


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The New Testament readings for the last few days have been in 2nd Corinthians,  Sunday's was chapter 9 and the next few days continuing.  Today's reading is verses 16-33 of chapter 11.
 No, the life of a Christian evangelist is not and has never been an easy one.


II Corinthians 11:16-33
16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.



16 September 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Saturday, 16 September 2017

Last day of the week.  3rd Saturday of the month.  Ending of the last full week of Summer:  a week from yesterday begins Autumn and the slide into yet another awful winter in this part of the country.  I know that there are people who love this time of year, and don't mind Winter either.  I despise both, and always have.  But it's beyond my control, my agreement or lack of same makes no difference whatever. I started getting out the "space bags", the closable plastic bags that we put the off-season clothes in and then suck the air out to reduce the size for easier storage.  As time permits, and as laundry is done, the "warm" weather stuff will go into them, and the COLD weather stuff is coming out, thence to go into the dryer for freshening and be hung up or folded and stored.  That's the theory, at least.
And in about six weeks, 5 November, the change back to "standard time", so we'll be seeing darkness by 6 p.m.

Yesterday got interesting.  When we moved here into this hovel a few years ago, things were, to say the least, "tight" financially.  The place had a dishwasher.  It worked.  It also leaked, badly, something we were not originally aware of.  It leaked out the bottom doing some real damage to the floor and structural elements beneath it.  For obvious reasons, we stopped using it.  So, for several years now, we -- meaning Yours Truly -- has been the scullery maid, doing all by hand.  Not a real Big Deal, it's how I'd lived since a child and in my various abodes up until a bit after Dear Wife and I were wed.  But, as she put it, while her health is bad, what does she do if/when something happens to me?  She's not up to these tasks and there would be no one to do them for her. 
We got a call from her sister last week, she'd bought a used-but-in-good-condition dishwasher, but then discovered that the one she had simply needed a pretty minor repair, which was done.  So did we want this one?  Sure.  Promise was made that it would be brought here Tuesday.  Well, "time on target", a term those who have been in or around the military should understand, is not her strongest point.  To say the least.  So, last night around 6 p.m., as we were getting ready to eat, her boyfriend (not her husband, note) showed up with a dishwasher. 
We spent about 5 hours getting the old one out, likewise getting the "portable" one Wife had bought (utterly polluted with apparent years of non-cleaning of the filters etc. and which weeks of effort had not fully remedied), and hauling the "new" one in.  And installing it. Well, it functions. It also leaks. Apparently, there is a small piece that is involved where the incoming water goes into the cabinet.   Various efforts, accompanied by "blessings" in several languages (but not English) have had mixed results.  We finally sprayed it down with something called "FlexSeal" which I happened to have, and we're letting it set up for a day or so before another test run.  So I just an hour ago finished yet another load of hand-done dishes, etc.
Note:  Wife was, among other things in her pre-Disability days, a restaurant manager.  The Health Board standards for food service joints, is a rinse water of 180°.  I don't know about anyone else, but that sounds to me like a shortcut to a 3rd degree burn and the Emergency Room.  I try to do a good job of this scullery maid stuff, but 3rd (or even 2nd) degree burns are not  on my personal wish list.  So, when doing this chore by hand, I am definitely NOT using a rinse -- or wash -- water in that temperature range.  If that reveals me as a bad person, I'm guilty.

It did give us some time to interact with him.  He is, like so many in this region, what he terms a "confirmed Catholic", meaning his parents made him go through that process of confirmation.  But he abandoned the faith, if indeed he ever had it in any real sense.  And, particularly on public social media forums, he and I go back and forth on a variety of issues relating to faith, politics, culture, and the like.  We get along reasonably well personally, but have very few points of agreement otherwise.  But who knows, perhaps the engagement will eventually show some results.

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Our reading in the Old Testament is Proverbs 30 and 31, completing the Proverbs.
From time to time, we see mention of a "Proverbs 31 woman", and the honor due her as well as recognition of the blessing that she is.  I am fortunate, no, BLESSED, to have such a woman as wife. 

Proverbs 30
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal, 2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. 3 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. 4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? 5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. 7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. 10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty. 11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. 15 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. 17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. 18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. 20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. 21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: 22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; 23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress. 24 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; 26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; 28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. 29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: 30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; 31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up. 32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. 33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

Proverbs 31
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. 2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.



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The New Testament reading is chapter 8 of 2nd Corinthians.

II Corinthians 8
1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. 18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; 19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: 20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: 21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. 23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

15 September 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Friday, 15 September 2017

We woke this morning to the news of more evil being committed by the demon worshipers of Islam.

  • In the UK, a bomb on the "tube", the subway system. The FIFTH such this year, and we're nowhere near the end of the year.  And, of course, the heathens of ISIS are celebrating
  • and in France, another case of a demon-besotted Moslem heathen attacking a soldier with a knife, from behind of course.  And the cry of "Allahu Akbar!" is  heard, to no one's surprise.  Other than the "authorities", of course.
  • again in France, this time in Chalon-sur-SaĆ“ne, another of these heathens attacks two women with a hammer, shouting "Allahu Akbar" of course.
 We have now -- as of this very minute -- seen 31,734 attacks by Moslems since 9/11.  Which does not include the 1400 years of vile behavior before that point.  See here for the current count
  
I was remiss yesterday, calling out the "song of the day".  That was, as a reminder, Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing.   It's a good, a VERY good one.  Always appropriate, no matter when.
But I like the back stories on these hymns.
Here is one of them, as a video 
Here is another


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Today's Old Testament passage is Proverbs 28 and 29.  Incidentally, tomorrow is scheduled to be the last day in the Proverbs.

Proverbs 28
1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. 2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged. 3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food. 4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. 5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. 6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. 7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. 8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. 9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. 10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. 11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out. 12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden. 13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. 15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. 16 The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days. 17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. 18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once. 19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. 20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. 21 To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. 22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. 23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. 24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. 25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. 26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. 27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. 28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.


Proverbs 29
1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. 2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. 3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance. 4 The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it. 5 A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet. 6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice. 7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. 8 Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul. 11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. 12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. 13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes. 14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever. 15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. 16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall. 17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. 18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. 19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. 20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. 21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length. 22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. 23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. 24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not. 25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD. 27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.



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The reading in the New Testament is chapter 7 of 2nd Corinthians

II Corinthians 7
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. 4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. 5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you. 13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. 14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. 15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.