15 February 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Running waaaaaaaaayyy late today. 
Yesterday wasn't too bad.  Relatively -- by local standards -- nice weather.  And Valentine's Day, a day to again tell my Beloved how much I love and cherish her and what we've been blessed with, together.  It was just over 30 yeas ago that we  first met, neither of us looking, both of us sure that we would never find love.  The Lord had other plans, and we are thankful.
Last night, niece and husband met us for dinner at a "family restaurant".  Despite all our trials, we do still try to have one "special night" a month, and last night was it. 

Today is another day, as we say.
She had trouble sleeping last night, alternated between the bed and the recliner all night.  Didn't do my sleep any particular good, but that comes with the territory.
So I've been playing the Caregiver role today.  She just threw up all over herself, and had a very nasty diarrhea attack at the same moment.  We have some meds for both, and I gave them to her.  She's in the recliner now under blankets and with "her" cat on her lap.
Scary part is that she about fell through the bathtub.  We live in an old mobile home.  All we can afford, frankly, but apparently there was some rot underneath the tub.  A plastic/fiberglass tub isn't the strongest thing in the world, as we've discovered, and there are long cracks running across it.  Result is that you (or at least I) stand at the end right under the shower head, take a quick shower and get out.  She can't stand that long, so there is a built-in seat, lets her sit and use the shower head on a hose and do her thing, then get out.  Only this time she was so shaky she slipped and fell and very nearly fell through a widening crack.  I was, finally, able to get her out.  Tricky, to say the least.
When Spring eventually comes, I'll be looking for one of those special-sized tubs made for mobile homes, and hope to swap it out.  Hopefully used and real cheap, color doesn't matter.  I have a shower stall if it comes to that, but it also will have to wait until warm weather, for there will have to be some structural work anyway, and it take takes a smaller footprint anyway and a large hole in the bathroom floor when it's only 19° is not my idea of a good time. 
Just another day in Happy Land.  No one said it was supposed to be easy, right?

Her cousin is finally out of the  hospital after her kidneys about shut down as a result of high sugar levels in the system.  So that's a good thing.  No further word from the wife of one of my nephews who just suffered a miscarriage.  Another one.
Snowing outside earlier.  Also not my every dream come true.  Oh, well.

Am trying to dodge an issue.  The wife of one of my nephews has been very active in their church, a once very conservative congregation in a very conservative denomination.  She did not grow up in a Christian home.  Neither did her husband, my nephew.  My late father had a great deal with bringing them to know the Lord, which is a wonderful thing, and they've been growing in the faith, especially her.  That's great.  And she has been increasingly involved in that church and the activities.  A few years ago she was named as "worship leader", which in many churches translates to "leads the congregational singing and may lead or assign the opening prayer".  Which is fine.  But lately, they've had her preaching the Sunday morning sermon as well.  She's preparing for one to be brought in mid-March.  And that I do have a problem with, believing that it is contrary to Scripture.  I know it is being done, in many places at that.  Sometimes under the reasoning of "men are not stepping up", which is too often true.  Sometimes under the "if they're gifted in this way, the Lord must want them to use that gift", which is harder.  And sometimes under the "how dare you say that men and women are not IDENTICALLY gifted and called, you discriminator you!".  Identical is not the same as equal.  I have been holding my peace.  I grew up in that very congregation and denomination, still have friends and acquaintances there going back more than 50 years, and don't really have a say as I've not been associated with them for quite a long time.  Indeed, other than the funerals for my mother, and my father, and one visit at Christmas shortly before Dad passed, I'd not been present in a worship setting since around 1970.   But I'm not comfortable with the matter, and hope that I am not called upon to state my belief. 


The day's reading in the Old Testament today is chapters 20 and 21 of Leviticus.
Some of this stuff is more than a bit disquieting.  Prohibitions against stuff that most of us, I hope, would never do.
But some do.
And some did, in that time and in those cultures.  Some variants of those cultures exist today, and some of those behaviors are found in them, still.
Part of the issue, then and now sometimes, is plural marriages, meaning primarily polygamy.  So a male might (hopefully) avoid temptation to be sexually involved with his own mother, or sister.  But the 3rd wife of his father, or his half-sister or the like, fair game in that culture.  In ours too, sadly: the proliferation of what Dear Wife calls "serial monogamy" means that there are a whole lot of half-siblings out there.  Not to mention the sad patterns of sexual immorality of both sexes, such that there may be half-sibs out there who are unaware of it.
Sadly, it's happening in the church as well, check  out the rates of divorce and infidelity and casual sex even among those who claim to be Christians.  Including several in leadership: I personally knew a few who were caught up in that.  Sad.
There is much else here, part of the laws that the Lord was laying down that would distinguish them from the other nations  Regrettably, there is always the temptation to be "just like everyone else".  We've all seen it, too often we've fallen for it.

Leviticus 20
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. 6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. 8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you. 9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. 10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. 13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. 15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. 16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. 18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. 20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle's wife, he hath uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless. 22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. 23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. 24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. 25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. 27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 21
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: 2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother. 3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. 4 But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. 5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. 7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. 8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy. 9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. 10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; 11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. 15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him. 16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19 Or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, 20 Or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. 22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 24 And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.


The reading in the Old Testament is chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew.  This concludes the survey of Matthew's Gospel.
And it is both horrid and wonderful.  Horrid because it comes after the Crucixion, after everyone had abandoned Him.  Wonderful, because He still loved them, and because -- GLORY! -- He arose!  That meeting with the Apostles, those who had abandoned Him, must have been something!

Matthew 28
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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