26 July 2016

Today's Stuff -- Tuesday, 26 July 2016

If all goes as planned, in about 22 hours I will be meeting with some old friends, some of them who were at one time closer than family, and who are still dear to me after friendships of some 40 years or so.  It will be a hard get together, as we gather to carry out the series of actions that will lay their daughter, sister, niece, grand daughter, cousin, and friend, to rest after a long struggle.  A very tough time.  I don't know who all is going to be there.  I know that one, a cousin of the deceased who was and perhaps still is, almost a little sister to me, is flying up from Florida, and perhaps bringing her sister along.  I know that there is a sister of the deceased who has been working in Paris, France.  Don't know if she'll be able to be present.  And a brother coming from New Jersey.  And many more such cases.  So my heart is heavy, funerals and good-byes have been too much a part of my whole life, from my childhood.  Colors one's outlook on life.

Dear Wife is planning to go with me to the calling hours tomorrow night.  The funeral service itself, Thursday morning, she is committed to "watching" a very active 3-year-old, an obligation she can't escape, and the child wouldn't handle a funeral Mass very well.  Not sure that I will, but I'm planning to be there.  So we shall see.

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The Old Testament reading is Psalms 47, 48. and 49.

Psalm 47
1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. 2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. 3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. 4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. 5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. 8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. 9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

Psalm 48
1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. 2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. 3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge. 4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. 5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. 6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. 8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. 9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. 10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. 13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Psalm 49
1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: 2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together. 3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. 4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. 5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? 6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; 7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: 8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) 9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. 10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. 14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. 16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. 20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.



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The New Testament reading is chapter 26 of the Acts.  This contains one of those sad phrases, perhaps thrown aside at the time without much thought, that later became the title and theme of a great hymn, "Almost Persuaded".  Almost.  But not.  Been there.  Not a good place to be.

Acts 26
1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? 9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. 24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. 25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. 30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.




25 July 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 25 July 2016

This will be a tough week.
As I reported last evening, the daughter of two old friends passed away last night after a very long illness, a sickness that had some treatments but no cure and no real hope of recovery.  She finally gave up, entered into hospice care, and passed in just over a week.  A very tough thing, though we know that she is in a better place.  I knew here parents back in the early 1970's, knew both before they met each other in fact.  Their marriage was short and rocky, but provided a daughter.  Both parents remarried, mom had about four or five more, dad is still on the only other and is at around 36 years now.  Calling hours and funeral Mass this week.  Will be "interesting" to see the interplay of persons, some of whom I've not seen for 35 years or more. 

Wife's been pretty much flat all day and still is.  She came out on porch in the mid-morning to see next door niece and her daughter and to oversee me harvesting a couple of enormous zucchini from the garden.  A whole army of green tomatoes of all varieties and sizes, but none to pick.  Beans soon, we hope.  A couple of cucumbers growing but not "there" yet.  Should be good.

Neighbor next door has a crew building a 2nd garage to hold his race car, he'd purchased the vacant lot next to him (side away from us) to do it.  Crew started digging, and found some hidden problems.  Evidently, there had been a house there at one time.  For whatever reason, it was demolished and the materials shoved into the basement and covered.  No one knew it.  Until the digging for the foundation began.  So ..........  panic call for a construction dumpster to be delivered, now the stuff has to be dug up and put in dumpster, and more "fill" will be required, meaning more time and effort and dollar$$.  Some people are NOT happy, at all.

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The Old Testament reading is Psalms 44, 45, and 46

Psalm 44
1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.  
2 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. 
 3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.  
4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. 
5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.  
6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.  
7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.  
8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.  
9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.  
10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. 
11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.  
12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.  
13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.  
14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.  
15 My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,  
16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.  
17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.  
18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;  
19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.   
20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 
21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.  
22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.  
23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. 
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?  
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. 
 26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake. 

Psalm 45
1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. 2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. 3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. 5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. 6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. 7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. 9 Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. 10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. 12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. 13 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. 14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. 15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. 16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. 17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. 9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.


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The New Testament reading is chapter 25 of the Acts/  Paul is off to Rome, there to proclaim the Gospel.  And the Romans are paying his passage.  One way to look at it.

Acts 25
1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. 4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. 5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him. 6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. 7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. 8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. 9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. 13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: 15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. 16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. 17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. 18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar. 22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth. 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. 27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.



24 July 2016

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

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

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


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


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


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




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The New Testament reading is chapter 24 of the Acts.


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

23 July 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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




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

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