22 July 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Wednesday, 22 July 2015

In the event, however unlikely, that anyone has been following this site, some apologies are in order.  And yes, I've said that before.  Things have been in a bit of disarray here, and so have I.  The subjects highlighted here deserve careful attention, and I've not been in a good shape to do that as regularly has has been the case in other years.  ( This site has been up since around 2006, through quite a lot of
"stuff" in our lives, and some things both good and less so have been going on).
Perhaps things will settle down a bit, perhaps they won't.  We shall see.  Perhaps.  Just over 10 years ago, I was working in a reasonably high level for a manufacturer in western Arkansas that suddenly went into shut-down mode as our major customer announced a soon-to-occur relocation to Mexico.  Which threw a whole lot of people into a problem, us included.  After marking time with some "contract" jobs, I accepted an engineering manager role in eastern Tennessee.  Great.  Until they suddenly shut down in less than 5 months after I arrived, just as the family was on the way in a moving truck.  Not good.  Another half-year or more knocking around with "contract jobs" in the area, and seeing a LOT of Americans pushed out of work in favor of illegal aliens in several operations.  Was offered and accepted another engineering manager position in central Alabama.  Less than six months later, they shut down the plant in Illinois that was also the divisional headquarters, centralized much of the divisional stuff to the Ohio corporate offices, fired all us managers, and moved their buddies from the now-closed Illinois operation into our positions.  Great.  Interviewed a bunch of places, being turned down several times because I don't speak enough vernacular Spanish to communicate well with the ILLEGAL ALIENS that comprised most of the hourly staffs (and, frequently, the 1st level supervisors as well), even worked a while as an executive recruiter paid strictly on commission.  (I stunk:  too honest I guess).  Took a position with a foreign-owned auto components company in the areas at half my "normal" salary on the solemn promise that it would be substantially raised Real Soon Now.  Five-and-a-half-years later, that promise was unfilled, Dear Wife's already fragile health was declining, and fast, and we were a thousand miles from most of family with zero support structure.  Social Security promised she'd be granted Disability status, with a monthly stipend and Medicaid to help with the horrid medical costs, all to be Real Soon Now.  I put in for early retirement, cashed in every nickel of our retirement savings, bought a hovel next to Wife's niece in NE Ohio, and moved.   The Disability and Medicaid did kick in, eventually, seven months after the promise date, and things got Real Bad for us.  We made it.  Just.  But in the last 11 years we've lost everything we had.
So we're trying to keep heads above water.  But she's on 18 meds, and was just told today that she needs to be adding a supplement on top of that (biotin).  And she's been sick and pretty much horizontal for two days.  I'm the caregiver, which can sometimes be an all-encompassing responsibility.  This has been going on like this for quite some time, and from time to time I get overwhelmed.
Yet I believe that the Lord knows what is going on, and has a purpose for all of this.  That belief is a great part of what has, and is now, sustaining us.  Not always easy.  But possible.  Just.

So, sometimes I get overwhelmed by circumstances, and at those times I'm just not up to communicating very much.  The topics, particularly the lessons of Scripture, deserve my best, and that best has just not been very good at times.


The Old Testament passage for the day is Psalms 36 and 37

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.


The New Testament passage is Acts 23, verse 1-11
Paul is speaking the Gospel message, and some of the authorities don't like it.

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

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