welcome to the National Day of Prayer. Originally, it was the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, I believe, but fasting seems to be seriously out of fashion. From the looks of things I've seen in the last 25 years or so, living in or doing occasional business or visits in areas as diverse as Charlevoix. Michigan on the north to Plaquemine, Louisiana, and Clearwater, Florida on the south, and from Paramus, New Jersey on the east to McPherson, Kansas on the west, fasting is probably something that might be a worthwhile practice. Some serious gluttony going on. Me included.
And prayer is definitely in order.
In our house too. We got a call Tuesday night from older daughter. She had taken a teaching job in central Oklahoma this year, teaching high school during the day and chasing her Master's at night. It's a 3-hour drive from the house she and her husband have back in NW Arkansas, which adds to the stress. And she's had a rough year on top of that. Back in November, after a series of illnesses, they discovered a rupturing gall bladder, one of those "we're going into surgery NOW!" moments, with us about a thousand miles away and broke, and husband about 150 miles away, she was in a tense time all alone. She made it OK, but the recovery has been slow and there have been several bumps along the way. She's been sick a LOT, to the point that I doubt seriously she'll be asked back to that school next year and I can't blame them. She'd been in intense pain and throwing up a lot, and finally went to the urgent care clinic. Passed out there and they stuck her in a hospital room for a few hours and did more tests. Not good: the Word is that she has "a large mass" behind the ovaries. Not necessarily cancerous, that remains to be seen. But definitely not a trivial matter either. She and Brian hadn't planned on any kids anyway, but this is a potentially life-threatening situation.
and we got an update from her a short while ago. Did another MRI. The MRI that was done in November -- late November at that -- did not show this "mass". It's now showing, and the size of a cantaloupe. Big. That's some pretty fast growth, which is Not A Good Sign. Good chance it is a fibroid tumor, but in any event they're scheduling surgical removal in two weeks. Good chance of a full hysterectomy at the time, which is a bit of a hit for a woman in her late 20's.
Dear Wife is still not doing well: the additional meds that the rheumatologist has her on are helping some, but are costly (very), such that we fully expect to get hit as the ramifications of the disaster of Obamacare hit. The term "death panels" was mocked when Sarah Palin used it, but it's quite accurate and we are likely to be an early example of the reality of it. We had a doctor visit scheduled for this past Tuesday, but got a call in the early morning that the Doc was down with the flu and would be out all week. So we have that appointment pushed back by two weeks.
She has about 3 teeth left in her mouth after the oral surgery back in January. Just had another fitting for dentures last week, and perhaps a final a week from today. After that, ..... we shall see. She's maintained a better attitude through this than I could have.
And we heard from younger daughter yesterday. May not sound like much, but while we hear from older daughter about daily and sometimes more, we may not hear from the younger one for a month at a time. I can't say much: I was much the same towards my parents, both of whom are now gone. So it was nice to hear from her. She is finishing up school for the term. Probably going to take a class or two over the summer, maybe work a bit. University is about an hour's drive from the apartment her late father-in-law had set up in his house for her and her husband. So they get together when they can, but her major eats enormous amounts of time, not unknown to be "in studio" 50-60 hours per week. Ignoring the needs of the other classes. Two hours per day of commute on top of that is just not an option.
so it's an "interesting" time in our lives.
The Old Testament reading today is chapters 1 and 2 of 1st Kings. The time of David is drawing to a close and the time of Solomon will be coming.
Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.
But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:
But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.
And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?
And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.
And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:
And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.
And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.
And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.
And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.
But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.
Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not showed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?
Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king.
And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,
Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.
Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.
The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:
And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon.
Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.
As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.
So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.
And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?
And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came; and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.
And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.
And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule:
And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard.
And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.
And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.
And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.
And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.
And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword.
And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.
So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man;
And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.
And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.
And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD.
And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.
Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.
And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.
Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.
Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.
And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the LORD God before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.
So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.
And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.
So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.
And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.
For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.
And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.
And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;
And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
The New Testament reading is verses 54-71 of Luke 22
Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.
And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.
And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,
Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:
And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.
And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.