good day to all
-- let's see, the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring by the astronomer's standard, is only a few days away, less than a week.
-- Opening Day for Major League baseball is three weeks away. Still hoping for a World Series between the Cleveland Indians (per Dear Wife and yours truly) and the Chicago Cubs (per older son-in-law). To be won by the Indians, of course. Been hoping for that for more than 40 years. Could this be The Year?
had a dentist appointment today. First one I've been in a position to do in about five years. Results are about what I expected: several need to come out, primarily the remnants of a few broken ones. Several more need fillings. And we are probably looking at a partial, at least, in the relatively near future.
repeating what I posted yesterday. You are doubtless aware of the goings-on in Ukraine. We have friends back in Alabama who are operating a ministry to orphans in Ukraine, half a world away. Conditions there before the Russian invasion were already awful - the all-too-frequent career path for orphan girls, for example, after they have to leave the orphanages there, is as a prostitute. Career path for boys is no better. And that was before the invasion. The ministry's location in Ukraine is actually in Crimea, which is now occupied land and they have to move. One of the staffers is already in Ukraine, and Rev. Tom Benz is flying out tomorrow I believe. They badly need our fervent prayers and any temporal support would be helpful as well.
Look it up at the Bridges of Faith site on the web or on FaceBook.
The Old Testament reading is chapters23, 24, and 25 of Deuteronomy.
“No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
“No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord.
“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever,
“because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
“But the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you.
“You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.
“You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land.
“Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the Lord.
“When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.
“If any man among you becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp,
“but when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp.
“You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it.
“And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement.
“Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.
“You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.
“He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him.
“None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute.
“You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.
“You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest.
“You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
“If you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin.
“But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin.
“You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.
“If you go into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag.
“If you go into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain.
“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house,
“and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife,
“and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife,
“then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
“No one shall take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge, for that would be taking a life in pledge.
“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
“Take care, in a case of leprous disease, to be very careful to do according to all that the Levitical priests shall direct you. As I commanded them, so you shall be careful to do.
“Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt.
“When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not go into his house to collect his pledge.
“You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you.
“And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge.
“You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the Lord your God.
“You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns.
“You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin.
“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.
“You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge,
“but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.
“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
“When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
“When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.
“If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty,
“then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense.
“Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.
“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.
“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.
“And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
“And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’
“Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’
“then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’
“And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’
“When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts,
“then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.
“You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small.
“You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small.
“A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
“For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.
“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt,
“how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.
“Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.
The New Testament passage is verses 51-72 from Mark 14. Jesus before the religious leaders on trial.