12 December 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 12 December 2016

Cold here.  Cold and quiet. 

Last night, I was dismayed to observe that we actually have some rust through our back door, a metal door.  NOT the best way to be heading into the real Winter season.  The latch/knob system is "iffy" already, but it looks like I'm going to have to try to nurse it through the cold weather season, meanwhile looking around for a replacement on the used parts market.  I've got an old blanket covering the affected area and that will have to do.  The arrangement of our place on  our lot is such that the door in question has been our primary means of entrance and egress.  That may have to change over the winter.  I've  had worse problems, it's just an aggravation.

And, yes, we are into the cold.  We're expecting a low around 5 degrees for Wednesday night, and zero degrees on Thursday night.  I believe that on Thursday or Friday we may actually see a "high" that is above freezing, the weathercaster said 39 degrees.  Then back to a stretch of sub-freezing daily "high" temperatures.  Sure wish that "global warming" was a reality, and not just a raft of lies by creeps like Gore.  By the way, I'm hearing complaints of what our friends and former neighbors and co-workers around the South, one as far south as Mobile, Alabama, regard as horrible cold temperatures.  So, no, it's not just those of us stranded near the "North Coast", the Great Lakes.  It's around much of the country.  Lots of snow in Hawaii, even, though on mountain peaks that's not terribly rare.

Dear Wife is set to "watch" the Beloved Great-Niece from next door, tomorrow.  Doesn't need to be there until around 10:30, unlike most such  occasions when she's over there around 06:45 and still there at 6:30 p.m.  Mom, her niece, has to be at work at 11:00 and dad will be home by 5:00 to take Little One somewhere.  So it should be a relatively easy day for her.  A good thing, considering.  These times with the Little One are good for both of them.  A bit of bonding, and there are some issues with the grandmothers.  When our kids were little, particularly before we moved out of the area, Wife and I were both of us working, lots of hours and I was trying to finish an engineering degree.  (not easy for a full-time worker who is also a husband and father, trying to honor all those commitments).  We had to divert a noticeable amount of our limited income towards paying baby sitters.  When we left the area, older daughter was 7, younger was turning 3.  So we were accustomed to paying sitters.  We don't get paid for watching the Little One, though we do have some mutually beneficial arrangements with niece and her husband, so it works out good for all.  But it is different.  Would have been nice had various family members been so helpful for us, but that is 25 years or more in the rear view mirror. 


The Old Testament passage today is chapters 12, 13, and 14 of Hosea.  Pretty stark warnings of judgment.  Warnings that were ignored.  And judgment that came.

Hosea 12
1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt. 2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. 3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: 4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; 5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial. 6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually. 7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. 8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin. 9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. 10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets. 11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields. 12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. 13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. 14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his LORD return unto him.

Hosea 13
1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died. 2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. 3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney. 4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. 5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. 7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: 8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. 9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. 10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. 12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. 13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children. 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. 15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. 16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Hosea 14
1 O israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. 4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. 8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. 9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.


The New Testament reading is chapter 3 of the Revelation.
As said before, I don't tend to comment on the Revelation.  I will break that pattern, briefly
These are warnings.  Both to specific churches.  But also to types.  We don't, or at least I don't, live in Sardis or any of these other places in Asia.  But the issues that are called out are familiar to anyone who has been associated with the Church in our time.  Lukewarm?  You bet!  Lost our first love for the Lord?  Yes, indeed.  All the rest.  And, note, this is intended to be received by the New Testament Church.  That's us.  Regard it with seriousness, because it is serious.

Revelation 3
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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