a bit reserved today. Dear Wife is still sick, has been for some weeks. We were thinking lupus "flare", combined with a bad cold and/or sinus problems and/or the "gunk" that is "going around" right now, aggravated by all the weird weather. And that may be the case. It may bee pnemonia, also. Or something else Or "just" the "flare": they get pretty nasty some times, and she has not fully recovered from that surgery back in mid-September. Autoimmune diseases are no fun, not for the patient and not for the caregivers either.
It's been two whole days with the "high" temperatures being above freezing. We are grateful for it: our place is poorly insulated, there are some bad water leaks here and there, and I was not able to completely block all of the air leaks. Just found a few today, in fact. So a temp of, say, 38, isn't warm, not by any means, but it beats the heck out of the -5 that is not unknown in this area at this time of year. I keep reminding myself that the shortest day of the year is more than three weeks behind us, that we are gaining about 95 seconds of daylight every single day, which should give us just over ten hours of daylight by the end of the month, which is just over two weeks away. The first day of spring is just over two months away. Doesn't mean flip-flops and swimming, not at all, but it does generally signal the end of sub-zero temperatures, and heralds the end of sub-freezing ones as well. Not a guarantee, but a helpful milestone.
Dear Wife's cascade of health issues mean that she is not able to handle much in the way of temperature variations. How weather is hard on her. So is cold. And the "comfort range" is only a few degrees.
I kep having the reminder that I should be seeking the Lord's direction for something too big and improbable for it to be anything but His doing, but with our involvement. Not sure yet, and heavy-duty intense prayer time is called for.
The Old Testament reading is chapters 36 and 37 of the Genesis. Now we see Joseph, son of Israel.
Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.
For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
These are the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife.
And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.
And these are the sons of Reuel Esau's son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau's wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife.
These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.
These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister was Timna.
And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.
These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.
And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him;
And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
The New Testament reading is verses 1-21 in the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
And charged them that they should not make him known:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.