Happy Saturday to all.
Woke up to 41 degrees outside, a hungry grey cat "washing" my nose in an effort to get me awake to feed him, and a need to go next door to take care of niece's dog. All of which I did Managing, in the process, to lock my key to niece's house inside that house. Dear Wife called sister-in-law, who will come by later and open the door for me. For now, dog is outside and supplier with food and water.
Dear Wife has a BP cuff on me as I sit at keyboard, the high reading is 163, which Is Not Good, and she suggests that drinking two or three of those 4-cup pots of coffee per day is probably not the best approach, and I might be well advise to drink water instead. "And she's probably right", he said, sipping from another full 12-ounce mug of the stuff, a mug with a Waffle House logo on the side.
This is the weekend of Memorial Day. Means many things, and the unofficial first day of summer is just one of them. As a kid, it marked the last week of school, we'd go back Monday, and the Friday was The Last Day.
But it is also a day to remember those who have gone before, those who made this life possible. My father-in-law died in 1992. We've not been able to visit the grave site not to place a flag or flower in the last 22 years. Hope to do so this week. My mother died in 2007, and, except for my dad's funeral in 2011, haven't been back since. Hope to do so soon. Found that my mother-in-law, who passed in 2007 also (just weeks after my mom) and who was cremated, still has her ashes with no resting place, unless you count sister-in-law's china cupboard. May see about that as well. May not be able to visit any parades or large-scale patriotic efforts. Possibly on Independence Day.
We'd intended to get up in the middle of the night to view the meteor display. Alarm went off at 02:00, we saw the temperature outside, and went back to bed. 39-40 degrees in late May is just not that appealing.
The Old Testament reading today is chapters 11, 12, and 13 of 1st Chronicles
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.
And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.
Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.
And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate!
And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD.
And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.
And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
Of the three, he was more honorable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
Behold, he was honorable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.
Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite,
Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.
Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.
The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite.
And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,
Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,
And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.
And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.
These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.
And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.
As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.
And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valor, and were captains in the host.
For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.
And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.
The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.
And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;
And Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father's house twenty and two captains.
And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valor, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.
All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.
And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.
And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubim, whose name is called on it.
And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.
And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.
The New Testament passage is verses 1-23 in the 9th chapter of the Gospel of John.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.