09 September 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff --- Friday, 09 September 2016

Long day, started early.  Had to be up to make it to a doctor appointment, mine for once.  A 24-mile drive one way.  Dear Wife had planned to accompany me, but was simply not up to it, so I went alone.  Story of my life, apparently.  Did The Thing, was pronounced alive.  Go back in six months.  Up until two years ago, I had very very rarely gone to see a physician of any kind, not since I was barely out of high school.  Now they have me on some blood pressure meds and something for the cholesterol, and warnings about the sugar level.  The meds require periodic monitoring, which I guess makes some sense.  So, go back in March or so.
Went there via a series of connected freeways.  A bit more distance, but it avoids the wretchedly arranged traffic signals that plague the area.  Came back another way,surprisingly little difference in distance (about 2 miles, 22 rather than 24).  Bad roads, much of it.  And through a dystopian landscape.  This area used to be -- 30 years or so ago - a busy bustling heavy manufacturing area, autos, basic and finished steel, coal mining and processing, stuff like that.  Now, well, in the main the basic steel  -- meaning iron ore and such in one end, steel slabs and coils out the other -- is gone.  Some re-melt of scrap steel into strips and pipe and such, and some fabrication work.  The auto assembly is still there, but the component makers are largely gone.  The coal mines are gone.  The result has been mile after mile after mile, of abandoned factories, closed businesses large and small (except for the taverns, carry-out beer joints that sell lottery tickets, a private prison, and some drug rehab and halfway houses), and weed-choked fields where houses, schools, and churches used to be.  Miles and miles and miles of broken-down houses and broken-down people who have lost everything, beginning with lost hopes, broken lives and dreams.  Drug use, including heroin, supplements the alcoholism.
That's what I drove past.
I believe that we are all here for a reason, including me.  I don't yet know what the Lord wants of me, not really.  But what I saw and know bothers me, and I believe it bothers Him even more so.


The Old  Testament passage is chapters 15 and 16 of the Proverbs

Proverbs 15
1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. 3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. 5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. 6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. 7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so. 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. 10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. 11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men? 12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise. 13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. 14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. 15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. 16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. 18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. 19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain. 20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother. 21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. 22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. 23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! 24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. 25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow. 26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. 27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. 28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. 29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. 30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. 31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. 32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Proverbs 16
1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. 3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. 4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. 5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. 6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. 7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. 9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. 10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment. 11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work. 12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right. 14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. 15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. 16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. 18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. 21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him. 27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. 28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. 29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. 30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass. 31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. 32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.


The New Testament reading is chapter 1 of 2nd Corinthians.

II Corinthians 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 
2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.  
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:  
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:  
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;  
11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.  
12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.  
13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;  
14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our's in the day of the Lord Jesus. 
15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;  
16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.  
17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?  
18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.  
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.  
20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;  
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.  
23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.  
24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

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