02 June 2007

Great picture

This was found over at Military Motivator site. We have permission of that proprietor to display this picture

It says quite a lot. It is apparently people in Iraq taking cover behind one of our people after a homicide attack. I doubt that you'll see it on CNN or CBS or ABC or the New York Times.

This morning's reading from the Old Testament comes from Second Chronicles, chapters 7, 8, and 9.
There's some real good and real bad stuff here.
Who would not want to have been there for

1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house.
3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
and this passage is familiar to many of us
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

And I do believe that.
But I also believe
19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.
21 And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?
22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.

If you believe in the one, you have to believe the other. And we aren't looking good in that respect.
And, in the midst of all of this, in chapter 8 we see a bad sign
11 And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come.

Egypt was a world they were supposed to have left behind, not to bring back in. Solomon ignored that, and the results affected his posterity, and us as well. Nothing good comes out of introducing sin into your life or your house.

This evening's reading from the New Testament is from the Gospel of John, chapter 13, verses 1 through 17.
This is from the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples in a room together for one more time. We know, from our vantage, what is soon to follow. They did not. But Jesus did. Read the passage with that in mind - that He knew what would happen, how they would respond. He also - and do not miss this - knew that some 2000 years later, we also would be reading and praying over this account. Keep that in mind.
I'm drawn this morning to verse 17
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Do them. Don't just read and admire them. Do them.

01 June 2007

Today's Reading June 01

Happy Friday and Happy New Month.
This morning's Old Testament reading is Second Chronicles, chapters 4,5,6
There are some occasions in the records of Scripture that I dearly wish that I had been there. Here's one of those occasions:

13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

Wouldn't you want to be there for that?

John, chapter 12, verses 20 through 50.
Another great memory verse:
20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

A right and proper statement. We should all say it, all have it in our hearts. Nothing will do until we find Jesus.

31 May 2007

Today's Reading May 31

Today we end the month of May and begin a new book in the Old Testament. Today we begin Second Chronicles, chapters 1, 2, and 3. Solomon is now king. This is a time of new beginnings. The Lord appears to Solomon and grants his wish for wisdom and understanding. Solomon commences the effort to build the temple.

The reading from the New Testament takes us to the 12th chapter of the Gospel of John, verses 1 through 19. Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, while the religious leaders of the day seek Hid demise, and that of Lazarus as well. Being an example of God's mercy is not always safe. It's worth the risk, but it's not always safe.

30 May 2007

Today's Reading May 30

This morning's reading from the Old Testament finishes First Chronicles - we'll go through chapters 28 and 29. This is David's last appearance in Chronicles, and deals primarily with his exhortations to the people with respect to the LORD and to the plans and preparations made for the construction of the First Temple. David had a good way with words - see the Psalms of David for that - and this does not disappoint.

This evening's reading from the New Testament completes chapter 11 of the Gospel of John, verses 47 to 57. Seen in one light, this is the echoes from the raising of Lazarus. And that's true. But it's also the chain of events that will lead, step by step, to the Cross.

29 May 2007

Today's Reading May 29

Old Testament reading
First Chronicles chapters 26 and 27

New Testament reading
Gospel of John, chapter 11, verses 18 through 46
this is, as happens so often in John's gospel, one of those memorable sections. This is the resurrection of the dead Lazarus. I can't pull out the best part - it's all good.

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

No good deed goes unpunished. Someone had to ''tell on'' Jesus for this.

28 May 2007

Today's Reading May 28

Today is Memorial Day. It is a solemn day in America. I am not happy at the way the day has been trivialized. It seems to me that it is disrespectful in the extreme to reduce it to a day of furniture sales and lawn care. The dead deserver more respect and solemnity than this.

My wife's foster brother was able to spend part of his active duty Army service as one of the sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It was his way of paying respects to those who had died in the service of this country, or who had paid a high price in other ways. Let us not forget that the freedoms we enjoy were bought at a high price.
Whether the freedom from the penalty of sin and death that was paid at the Cross. Or the freedom from tyranny that was paid at places like Omaha Beach, or the Battle of Trenton, or Khe Sanh. Or Baghdad.

Thank you.
This morning's reading, from the Old Testament, continues in First Chronicles, chapters 23, 24, and 25. More of the organization of the kingdom with emphasis on the organization of the priestly functions and the support groups. Some 4000 men whose whole job was to praise God. Sounds like a good calling to me!

This evening's reading from the New Testament, comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 11, verses 1 through 17. This is the initial part of the story of Lazarus.

27 May 2007

Today's Reading May 27

Good Sunday morning to all.
This morning's passage from the Old Testament continues in First Chronicles, chapters 20, 21, and 22. A bit of a transition here. The passage begins with more account of war. The 2nd chapter, chapter 21, gets into some memorable things. Satan tempts David to do something he shouldn't have, a census. Consequences follow, but along the way we see established the very location that the LORD established for the Temple. A place that, by the way, remains very contentious to this very day.

18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.
20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.
24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.

And the Islamo-heathens still are motivated by their god, Satan, to deny this site to the Jews.

This evening's reading, from the New Testament, comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verses 22 through 42

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.