Friday has found us. Or something like that. Had small gray cat walking back and forth over me beginning around 05:25, augmenting the "waske up and feed me!" alarm with an effort at "washing" my nose with a raspy tongue. There are reasons, good ones and extensive too, why I am not a "pet person". But Dear Wife is. And, in my working days, the last several years of them, I was generally on a ghastly night shift that had me walking in the door right around 05:30, so the cats (we have three) grew to expect that one of my very first acts would be to put down one of those small cans of cat food. Didn't matter that most of their diet was dry food, that can was part of the routine and one better not forget it. And that expectation has continued during the last eight or so months as I entered a period of retirement and relocation. Still have to do it, and it has to be me and it has to be at that time. Better alarm clock than several I've owned. And it's more so this week. We're taking care of niece's dog next door, which means in practice that after feeding cats and perhaps starting a pot of coffee, I "get" to go next door and let the dog out on his lead, making certain he has food and water enough, and that the three indoor cats there are also supplied and haven't destroyed anything much.
At which point, I might as well drink the coffee in the pot I just started, since I won't be going back to bed, and it's past time for reveille anyway. I thought retirement was supposed to be restful.
We did get word that niece & company are returning Sunday, not Wednesday as Dear Wife had thought. Seems several of the party have to go back to work Monday, holiday or no, and great-nephew has to be in school Tuesday.
So this "tend the dog" thing ends soon. I hope. Which is good. I hate dogs as a class. Feel about them about the same affection as I have towards spiders and aphids.
We have had to go buy a new flag and mounting brackets, etc. We have a few flags actually, one of which was part of the patrimony of Wife's late father, a former military officer who was also a POW in two wars of this nation. But it is in no condition to fly, and there is of course a lot of sentimental value. So we bought a new one, made in the USA (I checked) and I put up the brackets and pole and such yesterday. Will be in place for Memorial Day. Picked up some small ones to place on graves of father-in-law and his close friend in cemetery of town of wife's youth, and two more to be placed on two other graves in another town about 20 miles from there. I hope to get down to be able to do similar for my mom and dad and grandparents and uncle, about 40 miles in a separate direction, but that may wait until later in the week, they would have liked flowers but not the flags. And My other grandparents are buried in yet another cemetery in another state (we live about 2 miles from state line) about 20 miles in yet another direction, in a church cemetery I list was in around 1969. Need to call the church and see if there's any map to the plots. So we may be involved in a good bit of that sort of remembrance over the next two weeks. I have cousins on both my mom's and dad's sides that I have not seen in more than 30 years, more actually. And one I only saw at Dad's funeral several years ago, not a great time for get-together that was not somber. This is part of this whole "coming home" endeavor of ours. catching back up, if you can. Have one cousin living in California I last saw around 1972 or so. Another whose whereabouts are a complete mystery.
Good news is that we heard this afternoon from Beloved Older Daughter. They've removed the last of the staples from her major surgery just last week, and the pathologist's report shows no sign of cancer, the whole thing was a HUGE but benign fibrous tumor. Daughter is actually my step-daughter, and recent info was that a step-sister of hers (by a man who was a whole lot less honorable than his position in the community would normally presume) had a nearly-identical issue. As did the man's sisters. Apparently a genetic issue there. But the benign finding was most welcome.
The Old Testament reading this morning is chapters 8, 9, and 10 of 1st Chronicles.
Lots of names here, odd ones to our ears, and perhaps we wonder why the record. There is a hint of it in the 1st verse of chapter 9. This was in part to maintain the record during the Babylonian Captivity period. The Hebrews were organized into tribes and further into families and such. Marriage was within a tribe, only. And families had their assigned places and roles. This plot of land belonged to this person in this family, clan, and tribe. The members of this group of this tribe had these assigned roles, which could be quite specific. It was important to know, and therefore the records.
And it was important, because they had faith that, despite being enslaved into Babylon, they were going back and these matters would be important then. As they were. Failure isn't permanent, unless the Lord says so, or unless we give up. He didn't and they didn't either.
You have role too. So do I. We just generally did not grow up knowing what it was. And, for those who like me have moved around a LOT, knowing what plot of land was assigned to you, seems quite foreign.
Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,
Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.
And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,
And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,
And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram.
And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:
And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.
And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.
And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham,
And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons, heads of the fathers.
And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal.
The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:
Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:
And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,
And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader,
And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;
And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber,
Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;
And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi,
And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel,
And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;
And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel,
And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan,
And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah,
And Iphedeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak;
And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah,
And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham.
These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.
And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife's name was Maachah:
And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,
And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher.
And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them.
And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal; and Meribbaal begat Micah.
And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.
And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,
And Moza begat Binea: Rapha was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:
And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
And the sons of Eshek his brother were, Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.
And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.
So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.
Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.
And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;
Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah.
And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.
And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,
And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephathiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;
And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers.
And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,
And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;
And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;
And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.
And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;
And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;
And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.
And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
Who hitherto waited in the king's gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.
And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the LORD, were keepers of the entry.
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the LORD was with him.
And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the LORD, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.
And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.
For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.
And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.
And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath.
And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.
These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.
And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife's name was Maachah:
And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab.
And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.
And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.
Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
And they put his armor in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.
And when all Jabeshgilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
The New Testament reading is verses 37-59 of John chapter 8.
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.