29 April 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Saturday. 29 April 2017

Happy Saturday to all!
I'm by myself much of the day: Dear Wife felt good enough to accompany the Niece and the Niece-in-law (wife of Nephew) to a "craft show" just on the other side of the state line.  The ladies have a table there and will be attempting to sell their wares: primarily fancy headbands, hairbows, and tutu's and the like, all made by them.  She'll also be attempting to corral the Great-Nieces, probably, and perhaps the great-nephew.  I'd rather herd cats, myself.  So they'll be doing their thing until early/mid afternoon.  A Great Time To Be Had By All.  I guess. They kept to a departure time of 06:00.  A short night for both of us.  Which meant an 04:30 alarm.  And then, well, I was "volunteered" to follow them over and help to unload.  Niece, as previously noted, is pregnant and "due" around June 14, but NO ONE thinks she'll hold off that long.  She's one of those naturally tiny gals, unlike much of the family whose Austrian and Sicilian genes tend to yield "sturdy" women.  She looks like a straw with a basketball glued on.  So, Yours Truly has just now returned from a trip across the state line to help unload and set up.
So, some quiet.  Well, three cats are quite disturbed at her absence.  Quite.  They don't handle change of any sort very well. 

Gives me some quiet down time just for me.  Having essentially been occupied as a full-time caregiver for the last 3-1/2+ years, such has been a rarity.
And for the 5-1/2 years before that, well, it had its moments.  When she was working, we often worked opposite shifts and shared one vehicle.  So I'd get home around 05:30 or so, throw my clothes in the washer, feed cats, file a report by computer  (don't ask), empty out a lunch box, kiss her awake and help her get ready, throw clothes in dryer, kiss her good-bye, load and start the dish washer, and crash at dawn.  Back up around 3:30 p.m., retrieve clothes and put them to "de-wrinkle mode" in dryer, put some muffins in oven, shower, retrieve muffins, retrieve clothes and get dressed, pack a lunch and fill the thermos and thermal mug with coffee, pack up other stuff.  Kiss her hello and get car keys, drive to work.  Sometimes a commute of 30 minutes, sometimes 55-60 minutes.  Put in a 12-hour day, or more.  Repeat.  Often six days a week.  Most of that time I was also a deacon and THE adult Bible study leader in a small church nearby, so I'd sometimes come home, do much of what is noticed above, then get into church clothes, and be there until noon.  Come home, DIE.
Some life, huh?  For HALF my "normal" income, and no O.T. paid, at all.  Right as her health situation worsened rapidly.
Now you know why we took retirement and left.
But it means that the last 3-1/2 years have, blessedly, given us more time together than we'd had in that time.  We're grateful for that, and it also allows her to catch up on these family-related activities like today.  Most of my family is either dead or far-off and I rarely see any of them.
So at least I catch up on some of my reading.
And some stuff around the house.

We (she) have made commitment that we will take a trip Sunday afternoon (her health permitting of course) to attend one of those fund-raising spaghetti dinners that this area is known for.  One of her high school classmates is in throes of SEVERE heart issues, as in may need transplant and will probably never work again, and they're trying to raise money for the family.. Whether for medical care or incipient funeral expenses I do not know.  Things are tough in this region, and I know of several such cases.

Fun fun fun life we lead.
But I had something to eat this morning, a bed under a roof last night, clean clothes to wear, and no one or more than one (to the best of my knowledge and belief), looking for me with a weapon in hand and bad intentions towards me.  Having been in situations where NONE of those thing applied, I am deeply thankful.
So I know that God is good, always, even when the circumstances aren't.  Read the story of David some time, and the psalms he brought as well.

The song of the day is along the lines of where my head is these days, and was in my mind as I drove through the rainy streets past all the abandoned buildings in that little town where the craft show is.
"In The Presence of Jehovah".  Isn't that where we yearn to be?  Forever?  Everything else that we do or to seek seems to be little more than a cheap and tawdry substitute.  We want, we earnestly desire, the Real Thing.  Him.  "As a deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after THEE".   Nothing else can satisfy.


The Old Testament passage for the day is chapters 21 and 22 of 2nd Samuel.  We will, Lord willing, finish this year's trek through 2nd Samuel tomorrow.  Lord willing
This passage gets into some issues.  There is a famine in the whole land.  Punishment.  But, note: the punishment is for deeds done by Saul, the king, and his house.  Yet the whole nation suffers.  Now, no doubt some of those who suffered were those who had personally carried out Saul's bad commands. That might or might not have included some of those sons of Saul that David executed.  But others in the nation had not.  Perhaps some had not yet been born, or who'd been utterly uninvolved.  Yet they also suffered.  Like it or not, there are effects of sin that extend far beyond those directly involved.  I sometimes call it the "splash effect".  It's real, and it didn't vanish with David and Saul, it's very much with us today.

II Samuel 21
1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? 4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them. 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. 14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land. 15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. 16 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succored him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. 18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant. 19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21 And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimeah the brother of David slew him. 22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

II Samuel 22
1 And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: 2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; 6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; 7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. 8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. 9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. 11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. 12 And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. 13 Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. 14 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. 15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. 16 And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 17 He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; 18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. 19 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 20 He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. 24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. 25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. 26 With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt show thyself upright. 27 With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself unsavory. 28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down. 29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. 30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. 31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. 32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? 33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 34 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places. 35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. 36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great. 37 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. 38 I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. 39 And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet. 40 For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. 41 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. 42 They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. 43 Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. 44 Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me. 45 Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me. 46 Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places. 47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. 48 It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. 49 And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. 50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. 51 He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.


The New Testament portion before us is verses 1-30, chapter 22 of the Gospel of Luke.
The Last  Supper.  Need I say more?

Luke 22:1-30
1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. 3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. 6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. 7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

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