05 January 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Thursday, 05 January 2016

Sigh.  Another of "those days".  Or weeks, perhaps.

We had this part of the week somewhat planned.  Yesterday, Dear Wife was going to cut my hair.  Today she was going to "watch" the Little One, the great-niece next door.  And a few other things were in the works as well.  Didn't happen.  Wife has been running a low-grade fever for more than a week now.  One of the nasty effects of the autoimmune diseases that she suffers with, is that the immune systems, having nothing better to do, attack the good things in the body.  Things like skin, eyes, heart, kidneys, and, well, you get the idea.  The remedy is drugs that suppress the immune systems,  Which, in turn, keep those systems from fighting the real germs, etc., as well as having their own sometimes nasty side effects.  So she's probably got a low level sinus thing going, or a cold, or whatever.  One of those drugs, a very good one but extremely high dollar, is taken weekly by self-administered injections and is on the schedule for today, but will be skipped.  And we have a doctor appointment set for Monday morning.  At which time, hopefully, her situation will be addressed.  There have been some new, worrisome developments.  Like hives or welts or rashes or something that mysteriously appear on her back or arms or legs, generally where she's resting her arms on the chair or has wrinkles in her dress in the back or such.  A bit of hydrocortisone cream on the affected areas gets some relief, often nearly immediately, and also helps with the intense itching that seems to accompany all of this.  Perhaps the doc can shed some light on this as well.

But the result of all of this is that she wasn't able to be upright long enough to do the barber thing yesterday, and it may be awhile before she can.  So I look like Jeremiah Johnson.

And it also meant that she didn't feel up to taking care of the Little One today, and asked Niece to find an alternate.  Didn't help that great-niece is sick herself.  Niece asked her mother to substitute, but it would appear that this didn't happen either, as niece's car is still next door.  I'd imagine that she had to call off work herself, which is not what they need right now.

Niece and her husband went to doc yesterday for an ultrasound.  She's recently (Christmas Day) announced that "they" are pregnant.   Due in June in fact.  And as a result of yesterday, it is thought that the new arrival will be a boy.  Neat!  And the name is now set.  The father's name is Robert.  His father's name is Robert.  HIS father's name is Robert (and he's still with us).   So we expect to have a Robert IV later this year.  Not the worst heritage, but I'm glad I didn't get my dad's first name, a rather obscure Biblical one, thought not quite as bad as Habakkuk.

So Wife is on the recliner, with a blanket doubled up over her and an orange cat on top of that, staying warm.

She had a rough night, not helped by that "rescue" kitten/cat getting a "bug" or a "conniption" and racing through the place, using us as part of the race course, leading to me tossing her (the cat) out of the bedroom and securing the door.  Wife got a bit of fitful sleep after that, as did I, but when we were wakened at 04:58 by several "starving" creatures at the bedroom door, I got up and fed them, and she decided to relocate to the recliner.  She often sleeps better in it than in bed, and that proved to be the case, and she slept, hard, until nearly 10:00, which was probably what she needed.  I also laid down in bed and slept, hard for an hour or so, and then kept things quiet so she could sleep as long as possible.  I sat quietly and read. 

Not the most exciting life, but we had a place to sleep and food to eat, and the Lord looking over it all.  We're blessed and grateful.  Now, a miraculous healing would be most welcome, but perhaps He has a better plan.  We shall see.


The Old Testament reading today is chapters 12, 13, and 14 of the Genesis.  Abram is being led by the Lord from where he was to where the Lord wanted him to be.  And we see here the Lord's promises to him, of the possession of a land that his descendants would have.  Descendants that he, Abram, already an old man, had none of.  None.  I'm sure Abram was sorely tempted to wonder, "Are You kidding me, Lord?".  Tempted, because none of this seemed possible in any way.  Except that it did come to pass.  Not without struggle, and those struggles continue to this very day.  Look up on maps some of those locations.  Hebron, for example.  It's on the "West Bank" of the Jordan River, south of Jerusalem.  The ill-named "palestinians" claim it, but it was and still is part of the patrimony granted by the Lord to the Jews.  Same for Bethel, which is north of Jerusalem.  The louts of the U.N. deny all of that, sadly with the connivance of Obama, but the Lord over-rules all of them.
We also see here the appearance of one Melchizedek, king of Salem.  I presume that "Salem" later became known as "Jerusalem". 

Genesis 12
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. 10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

Genesis 13
1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. 5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. 8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. 14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Genesis 14
1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. 7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar. 8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; 9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. 10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. 11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. 17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. 21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.


The New Testament passage is verses 1-26 from the 5th chapter in the Gospel of Matthew.
This is the beginning of what is normally called the Sermon on the Mount.  This is as good an exposition of our faith as there is to be found.  One could, and should, meditate at length on every individual verse and phrase.  Doing so for a year, or a month, wouldn't be a bad element of any serious Bible study.  This is setting one's heart to hear and obey the Lord in everything, beginning with our innermost thoughts and attitudes.  It certainly makes my own to be lacking His perfection, but that's the point of having a target.

Matthew 5:1-26
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,  
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.  
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;  
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.  
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

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