27 January 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff --- Friday, 27 January 2017 updated

Another morning has broken.  Chilly, but not bitter cold.  Which is a Good Thing. 
Wife is quite ill, I've called the doctor office and they are "working us in", so we'll be leaving here shortly.  A small amount of snow on the roads, and some really interesting traffic accidents.

I owe a bit of apology and explanation.
I know that my gripes about the weather, etc. seem a bit tiresome.  After 20-some years living in the South, and in areas where snow and cold were either very rare or nonexistent, coming back to snow and cold is, well, not my every dream come true.  Yes, I lived in this area for many years before the move South, hated it thoroughly then, and I was 25-30 years or more younger than now.  I will never ever like winter, ever, but it comes with the territory.  I do derive a little bit of satisfaction (not much) from noting the lengthening of the "day" part of the 24 hour cycle.  The astronomers tell us that the "day" part today will be 9 hours 55 minutes, with tomorrow being a bit over 2 minutes longer than that, so we should be passing the 10 hour mark in a few more days.  It's something:  I do get glum when I look outside and find it dark before, WELL before, 5 pm.  Every day, the sun comes up a minute or so earlier, and sets a minute or so later.  It's some progress anyway.  But there is snow on the ground now.

And another apology and explanation.  I often make mention of Dear Wife's physical problems.  Perhaps it is of little interest to others, but it is very much a part of our existence.  Having a "complex condition" as the doctors sometimes refer to her case, means that everything is tricky.  And that means we spend a lot more time, attention, and money with doctors, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacists, than most people do.  Before our marriage, I had had some issues when in my teens, but cleared up within a few years, and really hadn't seen a doctor in quite a few years, and had no particular interest in doing so.  But now, we frequently are seeing a doctor or clinic several times a month, and often more often.  She takes around 18 or so (I lost count and it changes from time to time) medicines every day.  Some in the morning, several at night, several both times, and one to be taken morning noon and night. They are setting up an infusion of Reclast to treat her osteoporosis, which will require four DAYS of absolute bed rest.  Just for one example.  So it occupies much of  our attention, and there are times she really can't do much, and is feeling downright awful.  As she was last night.  She completed a course of antibiotics Tuesday morning for a sinus / upper respiratory infection.  We'd decided to hold of on re-starting the weekly Humira shots, just to let things settle.  But last evening, late afternoon really, she came back from "watching" the great-niece, and she was running a fever, feeling dreadful, and went to bed for about three hours.  She'd really not eaten all day -- definitely an anomaly -- and didn't eat until she got up for a little while.  I made her some dinner and she took some of her meds.  Going back to bed shortly after.  I suspect a kidney infection, which is very VERY dangerous for her.
Our plan was to make the 20-mile trek (each way) to the doctor office this morning for a 2nd pass at a urine sample, the first one didn't look good, but the combination of nausea and the diarrhea from the ulcerative colitis had, to no one's surprise, left her dehydrated.  Also very dangerous.  So we intend to make the trip, but she's calling them to warn that she may have something else going on and the doc may need to see her, not just have the nursing staff collect the sample.  Just part of our life.
We all understand, vaguely, that at some point our bodies aren't quite the same as when we were 18 or so.  We get into some denial there, and some people even go through things like liposuction, Botox, face lifts (and other things lifted also),  hair color, viagra, hair plugs, etc. trying to delay the inevitable.  But sometimes reality forces our attention.  I have been blessed to still have most of my faculties and I can physically take care of most of her day-to-day needs.  But that may not always be the case.  That reality weighs heavily on me.  I was living far from here when my own parents were in their final years, and had very few times of contact with them.  Others stepped up.  In our case, there may be no one else.  My hope and prayer is to be granted the ability to take care of her along the entire path.  After that, I don't really care.
So please forgive what must surely be less than cheerful and boring.  God has brought us both through quite a lot, and we are grateful for that.  But sometimes, like that "stone in the shoe", the moment's reality forces our attention.  Apologies.

We took in a small kitten on a rescue thing about 2 months ago.  Tiny, orphaned (someone had driven over her mother and siblings and squished them: I had to clean that up also), and nearly starved.  And cold.  So we took her in, and she's prospered.  Now as big as the adult males.  And now, going into "heat".  We've not been able to have her spayed, and she was too young anyway.  But the result is for the last few days, and probably for the next week or two, she's wandering around the place squalling.  Loudly.  Just another day in Paradise.  It does make me laugh, some, at the behavior she exhibits, being not a whole lot different from the behaviors that one can observe when humans are also ruled by their hormones.  Examples are not hard to find, are they?  We don't expect a cat to know better.  These days, we don't seem to expect much more than that behavior from humans. 
I'd like to think that we are called to something better.  The kitten hadn't had enough time with the mother to learn some basic things that even instinct doesn't cover, they get taught by one generation (mom) to the next.  As humans should.  But I see far too many cases with humans where mom didn't teach some pretty important things, sometimes because she'd never been taught them herself (which frequently gets into why she has those kids), and that also perpetuates itself.  And, too often, dad is absent or anonymous.  Not good, in cats or people.  Which is why it is so important to hand down these things, the lessons, behaviors, wisdom, and history that they will need in life. Vital.  We'll be seeing some of that throughout the Exodus and the rest of the Pentateuch.


The Old Testament reading here is chapters 13, 14, and 15 of the Exodus.
The people are -- finally!  after 430 years! -- on their way out of Egypt and being led to the Promised Land.  Great day!  and celebrated every year, even today, thousands of years later!  And the message and the tradition and the "remember" are very definitely passed down, the memory kept alive.
But Pharaoh had a change of heart,.  And decided to break his promise and recover those slaves.  Had to terrify the people, seeing the chariots and horsemen chasing them and only the sea in front of them.  One of those "impossible" situations.  One of those "Lord, why are You doing this?!  Moses you tricked us!" moments.  Had to be.  But the Lord had another plan.  A miracle,if you like.  And the Jews remember that miracle to this day, as we should.  The Lord is in the rescuing business.  Trust me, I know this to be true.  Just when you think all hope is gone, He has an opening to step in, often in ways we couldn't have imagined.
Yet, notice another thing:  when things get scary, they start to think that the life they had known, bondage and slavery, wasn't quite so bad after all, maybe.  Sounds a lot like the "backsliding" that we used to hear about, but, oddly, is rarely a subject these days.

Exodus 13
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. 3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. 4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. 5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. 6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 8 And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. 17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. 20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 14
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honored upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so. 5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? 6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: 7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. 9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. 10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. 13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. 21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

Exodus 15
1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. 14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. 15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. 16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. 17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established. 18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. 19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. 20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. 27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.


The New Testament reading here is verses 1-15 of Matthew 19.
Sad to say, much of this is no longer much taught in many churches, not "politically correct" you know.  Like the naming of two and only two sexes: male and female.  Nothing in between and no changing one to the other.  And divorce is a no-go.

Matthew 19:1-15
1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. 13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

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