04 July 2009

Something Nancy Piglousy Fears

These words

"When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then, indeed, their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the State, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1774.

Today's Reading -- 04 July 2009

Happy Birthday, America!!

This is the day to especially remember our country, the long period of blessing that the Lord has provided for her, and those who went before us to, sometimes sacrificially, defend this nation and secure those blessings.

Lest we forget ....

And go HERE for a wonderful tribute from the good people at
GoDaddy.com Wonderful!

By the way, I strongly urge you to read and consider this document. Look at the nation we have become. Ask yourself if those brave men would be proud of what we have become. I am not certain that they would not wail in sorrow.

This morning, Job chapters 29 and 30

Job 29
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
3 When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
20 My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
24 If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.

Job 30
1 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
3 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
6 To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.

This evening, chapter 12 of the Acts. You think you've been in a prayer meeting? THIS was a prayer meeting!
Acts 12
1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.
20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

03 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 03 July 2009

Friday, I guess. What with me being off work all this week, I've rather lost track of things. Dear Wife had to be at work at 05:00 this morning, so when the alarm went off, I got up too. Made coffee, fed cats (anyone want to adopt some cats? PLEASE??!?). Helped her find her ''stuff''. Saw her off. Then it was time for Beloved Younger Daughter. B.Y.D. stayed the night with friends, but had to be at a medical clinic at 07:00, and I had to drive her there. Then spend some time doing things around the house that I had planned for Monday-Tuesday. heh-heh.

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US. Hope everyone celebrates it appropriately.,

This morning we continue in Job with chapters 26, 27, and 28. ''Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the wicked flourish while the 'good' (meaning, generally, us) suffer? Where is God in all of this? How could He allow this to happen? WHY??? We know He could fix this, why doesn't He??

There may be some who have never ''been there''. But I have, and know I'm not alone in that: the record of Job proves that, at least. I don't have an answer, not a completely satisfactory one. I do know a few things. He knows, He cares. It has not escaped His attention. There is more to it than we see or can see. We have to trust Him, trust His heart. Not always easy. But as Job said earlier, ''.. though He slay me, still will I trust Him. '' And sometimes that is all we can do.

Job 26
1 But Job answered and said,
2 How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?
3 How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?
4 To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?
5 Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.
9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.
10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
12 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.
13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Job 27
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
2 As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;
3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
7 Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous.
8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?
9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?
11 I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.
12 Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain?
13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty.
14 If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.
15 Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.
16 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;
17 He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver.
18 He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh.
19 The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.
20 Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night.
21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.
22 For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand.
23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.

Job 28
1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.
3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen:
8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.
9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.
10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.
11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

This evening's passage is chapter 11 of the Acts.
Again, we are seeing something truly revolutionary at work here, something that made it possible for even such as I to be part of the family of God. We do not have to be born into it genetically, we can come by grace through faith in Christ. Unimaginable to many in that early group, and not always nicely received either.
Acts 11
1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

02 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 02 July 2009

Good morning.

This morning's reading is chapters 23, 24, and 25 of Job.

Job 23
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.

Job 24
1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?
2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
5 Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.
6 They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
10 They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;
11 Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.
12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.
13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.
15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.
20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.
21 He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.
22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.
23 Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.
25 And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?

Job 25
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?
4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

This evening's assignment is verses 24-48 of the 10th chapter of the Acts. This changed the scope of the Church, far more than most of us can imagine.
Acts 10:24-48
24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

01 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 01 July 2009

A bit awry this day. I pre-wrote some of the day's thoughts late last night and THOUGHT they were saved to be called up, suspecting that the morning might be a bit rushed. It was, but they had all gone into The Great Beyond, never to be seen again. Perhaps they weren't as worthy as I had imagined and the Lord was just keeping me from looking more foolish than usual. Ah well.

At any rate, this will be greatly abbreviated.
Old Testament passage: chapters 21 and 22 of Job.

New Testament passage: verses 1- 23 of the 10th chapter of the Acts.
Most of us do not realize how truly revolutionary a change this passage records.

Acts 10:1-23
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

30 June 2009

Today's Reading -- 30 June 2009

Good Last Day of the First Half of The Year to you. Approximately, at least. This has been 'interesting' so far. The second half may be even more so.

This morning's passage is chapters 19 and 2o of Job. When I was younger, Job did not make much sense to me. Why make a record of pain, misery, death, and endless chatter? Why indeed? What I did not know then, and have come to find out, is that pain and misery and death are part of the human experience. They can drag us down into hopelessness all too easily. Yet, despite everything, Job never lets go of God. Never. Cries to Him, speaks of Him, refers to Him, constantly. Admits he doesn't understand Him. Feel familiar? Yet there is that great phrase, '' though He slay me, still will I trust Him''. (chapter 13, verse 15).
So, we have here a few more of my favorite verses in the Bible, verses 25-27 ''For I know that my Redeemer liveth!''. Might make good text for a song, don't you agree?

Job 19
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
4 And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
5 If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
6 Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
10 He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
12 His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
13 He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
15 They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
16 I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
18 Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
22 Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

Job 20
1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
2 Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste.
3 I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.
4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?
8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
9 The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.
10 His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.
11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
16 He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.
17 He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.
18 That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.
19 Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
20 Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired.
21 There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods.
22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.
23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.
25 It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him.
26 All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.
27 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him.
28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

This evening's reading is verses 23 -43 of the 9th chapter of the Acts.
Things are really getting going.
Acts 9:23-43
23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
43 And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

29 June 2009

Today's Reading -- 29 June 2009

Good Monday morning to you. Hope you're having a good morning. This is going out a bit later in the day than usual. I'm off work all this week: the fall-off in the economy and the automotive sector in particular, has the plants down for the week. I'm grateful even at that. We know, don't we, of auto plants that are going down until August, and others that are closing forever. Having ''been there'' for more of such than I want to dwell on, I can live with a week down, particularly when I can charge some of that to the vacation account and have at least a bit coming in. Things aren't great, but they're tolerable and we have been through MUCH worse. The Lord sees to us, for some reason. Thanks.

This morning we're in Job, chapters 16, 17, and 18. Now there was a guy who went through it! If you are ever tempted, as I am, to pout and fuss about what we are going through, look back on Job. Lost his kids, lost his wealth, lost his health, lost the support of his wife, felt that the Lord was against him, and now his ''friends'' come by to make things worse. Sometimes help ain't help, as they used to say. But he hung on, and sometimes that's all we need to do. Sometimes, that's all we can do, and the Lord knows it. Don't forget that part. He sees and He knows. Trust Him.

Job 16
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?
4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.
5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
11 God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
13 His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.
14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.
16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.
18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.
19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.
20 My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!
22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Job 17
1 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.
2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.

Job 18
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak.
3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?
4 He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?
5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.
6 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.
7 The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.
9 The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.
10 The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.
11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.
12 His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side.
13 It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength.
14 His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors.
15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
16 His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.
17 His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.
18 He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world.
19 He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings.
20 They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

This evening's reading is verses 1 - 22 of the 9th chapter of the Acts. A few days ago, we read of the martyrdom of Stephen, and there was mention of a guy named Saul who happened to be there. Now we get into the story of Saul. Saul is no weak reed, not him. A devout and energetic sort of person. Determined to stamp out this Christian nonsense. Until he meets the Lord at at time and place when he was not looking for Him. It often happens that way. The Lord does things we don't expect. I have reason to know that in my own history.
And when the Lord encounters us, things change. In this case, Saul the persecutor of Christians becomes Paul, the great evangelist and explainer of the faith, and author of more of the New Testament than any other human.
Acts 9:1-22
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

28 June 2009

Today's Reading -- 28 June 2009

Good Sunday morning to all. We all have much to be thankful for, this or any other day. There have been times in my life, and certainly over the last few years, when the worries and fears of the day crowd out the sense of wonderment and gratitude that are the proper reactions to what the Lord has done for me and mine. That is my fault and no one else's. Time to spend some effort and some time with Him getting back on track. He deserves no less, and it does me good as well. We are greatly blessed, often in part by the efforts of those whose names we do not even know.

This morning's passage is chapters 13, 14, and 15 of Job. Our friend Job is still wrestling with his situation and with that most difficult question, ''WHY??''. Who among us has never asked that question of the Lord?

Job 13
1 Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.
2 What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.
3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
4 But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?
8 Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?
9 Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
10 He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?
12 Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
13 Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.
14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
16 He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
17 Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
18 Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.
19 Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.
20 Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.
21 Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.
22 Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me.
23 How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?
25 Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?
26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.
27 Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.
28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten.

Job 14
1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
3 And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
6 Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?
17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.
18 And surely the mountains falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place.
19 The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.
20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.
21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
22 But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.

Job 15
1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.
6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.
7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?
8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?
9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.
11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?
12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,
13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?
14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
17 I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;
18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it:
19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.
20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.
21 A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.
23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.
25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.
26 He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:
27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.
28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.
29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.
30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.
31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.

This evening's passage is verses 26-40 of the 8th chapter of the Acts. Want to see something radical? Look here. Look closely. Up to this point, up to the time of the last few chapters of Acts, a relationship of ANY kind with the Lord was restricted to the Jews. And even then there were restrictions. No lepers, for example. Here we have the Lord sending an evangelist to a non-Jew. No one, I think, could mistake an Ethiopian for a Jew. And a eunuch as well! Such were also non-admissable, even if Jews. Yes, there has been a change. And it was the Lord who put them together.
Acts 8:26-40
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.