16 January 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 16 January 2017

We seem to have survived the weekend and made it into another Monday.  Not the stuff of legend and movies, but we'll take it.  Not everyone did survive the weekend.  We take it on faith that there is some reason for both realities. 

Dear Wife was able to get up and sit a while in a steamy shower, letting the warm moist air in it hydrate her concretized sinus passages and such.  Makes the achy joints feel a little better, temporarily anyway.  Seems to have helped, some, at least temporarily.
This place is extraordinarily dry during the heating season, and her physical ailments tend in that direction anyway, so the two realities play off of each other.  I get pretty dry myself, I went through 1-1/2 bottles of water during the night, several times being wakened.  During the night, we keep on of those Vick's Vaporizers going in the bedroom, on a dresser right by her side of the bed.  It helps, some.  During the day, we keep a kettle of water going on the stove.  Which also helps, some.  But it certainly makes a person long for the warm weather that, all too briefly, graces this region.  Several months off by the calendar reckoning.
The one "pain" that goes with that is cleanup.  The water coming from the municipal system is notoriously high in lime.  Which deposits on everything, notably to include the inside of that kettle, the heat element of the vaporizer, and, of course, things like the water heater.  I have the vaporizer element soaking in white vinegar, which helps a little bit.  Might try some lemon juice also, which supposedly will work.  If not, then next time I have some money, intend to buy a jug of CLR or Lime Away or something.

She and I have been through rough situations before.  Individually and in our years together.  The Lord carried us through.  Always, or I wouldn't be writing this.  Not by much sometimes, but always.  Her health, and, in earlier years, that of our daughters', has made for some difficult moments.  It has changed us in several ways, some of which don't show up to even close observers.  But long-term and serious health issues change one's life, and that includes those around as well as those with the maladies.

We are supposed to have several days of relatively warm weather.  "Warm" being defined here as being above the freezing point.  We'll take it.  I saw a projected rainfall map, just for today, a region that covers pretty much all the areas that we lived in during our times in the South. Some of those areas are projected to get 3 inches to 4 inches of rain. TODAY!  Others are expected to get MORE than 4 inches of rain. TODAY!  That's after last week's ice storms in the general area.  Wow!  We lived in central Alabama that day back in, I believe, 2008 or 2009 when we got about 3-1/2 inches in one day.  No fun, none at all. Took me nearly two hours and numerous detours to make the usual 20 minute commute home from work.  Much damage and loss of life too.  Today's downpour is likely to be worse. 

This will be a momentous week on the American political scene.  A new President is expected -- Lord willing -- to be inaugurated late this week.  Has been an extremely contentious election season, one that seems to have occupied too much attention for the last two years.  Fasten your seat belts, this may be a bumpy ride.  There are people, including close family members and friends of more than 50 years' standing, who have cut all, and I do mean ALL, contact as a result of disagreements with respect to the political and social scene.  I do not think that the inauguration will heal those wounds.

Had one great thing yesterday.  The little church we've been attending is in an older building.  Which can have its own charms, but sometimes and older building and and older congregation don't mix well.  The sanctuary is well above ground level, which was normal construction techniques for brick structures in the area at the time, possible avoiding heavy costs for excavating the basement and foundations, possibly avoiding some flooding, and possibly in an effort to be more prominent.  It does have the single benefit of making the trek from the outside ground level to either level be half that distance that a different design layout might yield.  But the result is that there are a lot of steps to go up, coming from the outside into the sanctuary.  Those with mobility issues, notably to include one woman in a wheelchair, are in a rough situation.  Yesterday, as ever, three of us dragged her in her wheelchair up those steps.  Getting to the basement, where the restrooms are, would be impossible, the stairs are too narrow and steep.  Well, about six weeks ago, a chair lift was installed on those basement steps going from ground level to the basement.  Due to a 90° turn at the ground level landing in the run from the main floor to the basement, they could not make a single run from the "main floor" to the basement.  Now, as of last Friday, there is an exterior chair lift that goes from ground level to the Sanctuary / main level.  Once some finish work is done, and the state inspectors give an "OK to use" certificate in two weeks' time, a person will be able to go from car up a (new) sidewalk, onto the lift, up to the outside landing, and thence to roll right in.  Sounds good!  Of such things are progress made.  Not probably often mentioned in seminary classes, but needed. This will help Dear Wife a lot.  And others too, hopefully many who have felt physical limits prevent regular attendance.


The Old Testament reading today is chapters 38, 39, and 40 of the Genesis. 
Several things are going on here.   The latter, shown in chapter 40, is the issues of Joseph in Egypt.  Going from being his father's favorite, to a captive in a pit, to a slave hauled far away, to a slave sold off.  To a servant in a household, being commanded to become sexually intimate with the master's wife.  To being falsely accused, and thrown into prison.  Which put him in direct contact with out-of-favor servants of Pharaoh, at that time arguably the most powerful ruler on Earth.  Which will, in a few more chapters, lead to other things, things that affect our world to this very day.
Some other things are going on as well, things that don't reflect well on anyone.  The sons of Jacob were not always well behaved, acting much like that cultures around them.  Lousy cultures at that.  Here we see Judah, a name of one of the children of Israel, one we will be seeing throughout the Bible, behaving badly.  The result has, among other things, given us the name of a practice we now sometimes clinically refer to as "Onanism".    But there is bad behavior, yet the Lord brought something good out of it.  Out of that bad behavior came the other son, whose name was Pharez, sometimes rendered Perez.  Who was one of the ancestors of David, and thus of Jesus.

Genesis 38
1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. 6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. 8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. 11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. 12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. 14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. 16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? 17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? 18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. 19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not. 21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. 22 And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place. 23 And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. 24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. 25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. 26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. 27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. 28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. 29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. 30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

Genesis 39
1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. 2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6 And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored. 7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. 13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: 15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. 16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. 17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: 18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. 19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

Genesis 40
1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward. 5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. 6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. 7 And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? 8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. 9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. 12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. 14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: 15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. 16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: 17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. 18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. 20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: 22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.


The New Testament reading is verses 22-50 of Matthew chapter 12.
Is anyone here still thinking that good deeds will always bring approval and support?  Well, doesn't happen. Then, or now.  Jesus was doing some wonderful things for those with no other hope.  They themselves were grateful.  Those around them, not so much.  The phrase, "no good deed goes unpunished" has been around for a good while.  Sometimes, we think and say, "I wish that I had been there".  But it's at least possible that our reaction would have been no better.  Unfortunately.  There's a song about that, incidentally.  But some of the ones who saw Him heal the sick and do wonderful things, were also in the crowd shouting "Crucify Him!". Sad.  True.

Matthew 12:22-50
22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.  
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?  
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.  
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:  
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?  
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.  
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.  
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.  
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.  
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.  
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.  
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.  
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are free to comment.
I am free to moderate, and I do. Profane, lewd, and unlawful comments will be sent to the Great Beyond, never to be seen again. I reserve all rights to do so for any and all reasons and whims.