19 May 2007

Today's Reading May 19

This morning's reading from the Old Testament is from Second Kings, chapters 23, 24, and 25, which completes the books of the Kings. It begins very well with the accession of King Josiah. The last good king for a very long time. But Josiah is killed in battle over near Megiddo (right by Armageddon, by the way) and his son takes over and things go bad right away. His son is evil, and so are all the successors until the Babylonians come in, wreck the place, and drag off most of the remainder to Babylon. (right outside modern-day Baghdad, by the way, some things never change).
I can't help but wonder why good kings, like Hezekiah, Josiah, David, etc. are so often followed by sons who are of a different sort. One would like to think that one who ably rules a kingdom could do as well in his own household. That again still is seen today.

This evening's passage from the New Testament is still in the Gospel of John, chapter 7, verses 1 through 31. Jesus has gone secretly into the Temple during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, and teaches there. And immediately stirs up opposition. There are those who involved in various cult groups do not believe either in the divinity of Jesus, or that He claimed such, are or should be very nervous about passages such as this. Indeed, they should be nervous about the whole Gospel of John. But then, they don't seem to pay much attention to the Bible anyway.

18 May 2007

Today's Reading May 18

This morning's reading is from Second Kings, chapters 20, 21, and 22.
The same old story - Hezekiah dies, his son takes over. And his son is wicked. So is his son. Josiah, the next king, is of a different sort. Josiah is a godly man.

The afternoon's passage is from the Gospel of John, chapter 6, verses 45 through 71.
This is enormously important, and there are several important passage. One of my very favorites is verses 67-69.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 May 2007

Today's Reading May 17

Sorry for the lateness of the posting today. It does render the term ''morning reading'' inaccurate, for which I do apologize. Exigent circumstances, and all that stuff.
But at any rate:
Morning Old Testament continues in Second Kings chapters 18 and 19. Here we find, at long last, a good king. Hezekiah, a great king. One who was, wholeheartedly, a man who loved, trusted, obeyed, and followed the Lord. A rarity, in other words. And, as is to be expected, one who generated enemies. Read the story of what happened when Jerusalem was besieged. Would have been quite a sight as it says in

35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

That's 185,000 dead Assyrians, all in one night. Not bad.
This evening's reading, from the New Testament, continues in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, verses 22 through 44. A great bit of stuff. One great verse:
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

16 May 2007

Today's Reading May 16

This morning's reading comes from Second Kings, chapters 15, 16, and 17.
More of the same. More of the people of Israel and Judah becoming just like that nations around them. Desperately wicked and daily more so, and coming under God's judgment as a result. Murder, assassination, human sacrifice, worship of false gods. Sounds like the world today. I know what happened in Judah and Israel. I don't think Western civilization, what we used to call ''Christendom'', will fare any better.

This evening's reading is from the Gospel of John chapter 6, verses 1 through 21.
This passage begins with Jesus feeding of the 5000 men, plus women and children. It ends with Jesus walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee in a storm. When He got in the boat, the storm was over and they were at their destination. Yes, we can trust Him to get us where we are going, even in the storms of life.
I believe that. Do you?

15 May 2007

Today's Reading May 15

This morning's reading from the Old Testament comes from Second Kings, chapters 12, 13, and 14. This is interesting, but a bit hard going. It reminds me somewhat of the accounts back in the book of the Judges - the kings were mostly evil, the people were mostly doing wickedly, and the results were predictable: the Lord removed His protection from them and they were attacked by their enemies. Some of those enemies were internal - one king was killed by his own servants. Elisha dies during all of this time and the desire for the true God is little seen. Sounds familiar, actually.

This evening's reading from the New Testament is from the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verses 25 through 47. Jesus continues to teach those who do not want to hear. There are some harsh words here, and they're still valid.

37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
41 I receive not honour from men.
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Tough stuff to hear. Worse to ignore.

14 May 2007

Today's Reading May 14

Sorry for the absence of the last few days. I'm running low on close relatives to bury, so perhaps we'll settle down a bit.

This morning's reading from the Old Testament is from Second Kings, chapters 9, 10, and 11. This is not light reading. This is judgment against the house of Ahab. There is a lot of death here, a lot of the consequences of evil deeds and worse attitudes. And it's not over yet.

This evening's reading from the New Testament comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verses 1 through 24. It begins with Jesus healing the infirm man at the Bethesda pool, and doing so on Sabbath. It ends with Jesus warning the religious leaders,

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Do you believe that? I do. That's the Gospel.

Today May 14 brief and personal

Good morning

We are back to our modest home. We got in late last night after a thousand-mile car trip that began at dawn and went on and on and on. I have new respect for over-the-road truck drivers - I would not like to spend my life this way.

Having the funerary rites for your mother-in-law on the day before Mother's Day is not the best of all possible situations. I think that is not a controversial statement. We got to see a number of family members and old friends and acquaintances. Some made us to recall better times. Some reminded us why we had not had contact with them in more than 20 years. Some of the situations were just plain awkward. One woman showed up, most of us did not know who she was; she was one of the many children that my brother-in-law had fathered by his many wives (I think he's closing in on a dozen now, but that may be low) and numerous ''meaningful overnight relationships''. She seemed nice enough but it did make for some interesting dynamics. There were all the varieties of social dynamic that seem to accompany such things - the sides that were taken in various intra-family disputes played out as islands of people clumps were in the midst of the eddies of the marginally involved.

At any rate, we are glad to be home. I paid $3.199 / gallon for gas in NE Ohio - as we traveled south and west it fell and fell. I think I saw a sign saying $2.82 last night but by then I was bleary-eyed. Matt Drudge's site is showing $4 + in some places - I imagine it's those places ''blessed'' by the sort of superior leaders that the evening TV propaganda shows think we need to have in office. A plague be upon them.

The area we were in is bounded by Akron in the west and the Mahoning Valley in the east. It used to be a major manufacturing center. Now, the combination of offshore manufacturing, thick-headed management, absolutely venal unions, corrupt politicians, the Mafia (yes, I mean that), the illegitimati in the EPA, and a one-party region (yes, the Democrap one), have collided to yield rows of empty factories, closed stores, empty parking lots, and burned-out houses. We went by one facility Friday morning en route to the funeral home. It's 3/4 mile long complex dedicated to automotive components. It used to be called Packard Electric, Division of General Motors Corp., but it now is under the dead weight of the bankrupt Delphi Automotive Corp., and the employee lots that are not totally empty have only a few cars. I am told that, once all of the realignment and downsizing is complete, that the operation which once employed well over 10,000 will have 700 total. But they still have their idiot union which totally supports the Democrat stranglehold on the area. And I know of many similar situations - drive through Akron some time if you doubt me.

It's been a week to think about death a lot. Of individuals, obviously. But also of hopes, dreams, communities, efforts. Too much of those thoughts and a whole lot of windshield time on a 16-1/2 hour drive. Sorry to be negative today. It's been a rough spring.