16 June 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Friday, 16 June

Happy Friday!🎈
Nearing the end of yet another week.  Been quiet here yesterday and last evening.  Which can change quickly.
Niece next door was "due" on the 18th, meaning Sunday.  She had a doc appointment yesterday morning.  I don't understand all the jargon about dilation and advancement and all that. Glad I'm not a betting man:  I would have given odds that she's have the baby LAST weekend!  She's a tiny thing, and looked like someone glued a basketball to a straw.  And she was uncomfortable and ready to be DONE.

Now, around 10 p.m. last night, we did get a call.  Possibly false alarm, but I made sure we had a bag packed with our nightly necessities in case they decided to head towards the hospital.
Around 10:45, we got another.  And we went over.  After some indecision, things began to demand attention.  By 11:30, they were en route and we were "watching" a 4-1/2 year old.
And then, The Call.  Packed up the Great-Niece, and off to the hospital.  And there we met for the first time, our new Great Nephew, all 8 pounds 1 ounce of him.  Little sister got to meet him and hold him and all that.   Much ado, but mom was getting tired.  So we left, went back and put the little one under a blanket on the couch, Wife under a  blanket on the recliner and me similar.  Back home by 05:15 after a very long day.  But a good one.

The birth of a child is a wonderful thing, and this is no exception.
But it will restart a family dispute.  The niece grew up -- during our absence -- in my militantly atheist sister-in-law's home.  She never grew up singing "Jesus Love Me" or in Sunday School or given a Bible of her own when she could read.  Her parents divorced before she was even born, her mother's parents died before she was 6, and her dad's parents were busy with their own lives.  Her husband's family is Methodist (I guess), but I've seen little inclination on his part in that direction other than hitting "like" on some of  his mother (and sisters' ) FaceBook posts, whether out of real agreement or just keeping the peace I don't know.  When the little Great-Niece was born, his mother wanted her christened.  Niece said no, and invoked our belief in what I regard as Scriptural Baptism freely entered into at an age of responsibility. Which led to one of those nasty in-law squabbles that pops up with distressing frequency.   This birth may restart that issue, and probably will.  We've apparently made little or no headway with either of them, and I really don't want to reinvigorate already existing in-law-type tensions.  Not sure what to do.  Prayerful attention is about it at this point.

Wife spent yesterday horizontal.  I tried -- not very well as she could tell you -- to cook for her, and got her the meds she wanted, covered her or uncovered her as her sense of temperature varied, and all that stuff.  We shall see.

And had a call from an Old Friend, one of more than 40 years' standing.  He's wanting us to come visit, which I'd like to do, but Wife is not up to it.  Moreover, his grand-daughter desperately wants to come along.  It's nearly an hour's drive, so in any event right now we don't have the available gas money anyway.  I've known him for a long time, his daughters all regarded me as a big brother and now some of them have grand-kids themselves, that's how long it has been.  I'd had little face-to-face contact with him during our nearly 25 year absence.  His wife had died during our absence, and one of his daughters as well.  Two of his daughters live 1200 miles away and very rarely come to see him:  we saw them at Christmas of 2015 and not since.  His other daughter has gone blind from a very bad case of diabetes.   So it is he and his wife.  He's 10 years older than I and not doing well, his second wife now is about my age and had to take disability retirement from her nursing job, so they're kind of "stuck".  I know the feeling.
Yes, there's a lot of loneliness in this world.

There are old friends (well, one or two actually) that I've not seen in more than 40 years.  Other than a few people at the church here, I really have no friends in the area whatever, and very very few out of the area.  Like Wife, and actually far more so, I've been a loner just about forever.  That's one thing when you're 14 (and it was very hard even then) and another thing when you're on the far side of 60 as I am.

And the numbers dwindle.  Saturday afternoon, we're off to yet another "memorial" service at a nearby funeral home.  Friend of Wife, the  one that dropped dead the other day  3 days after diagnosed with cancer.  Not a believer, never was.  As are far too many.  I met him once, so have nothing to add.  And with Wife's condition, it's not certain she's going herself but she wants to.  Then again, when one of her favorite relatives, a great-aunt, passed a year or so ago, she was too sick to go, which troubled her greatly.
I'm about out of relatives, there are none at all from the previous generation.  I have several cousins in the area who are considerably older than I (my dad and mom were both the youngest in their families and didn't marry until age 30, so go figure).   So services for them in the near future wouldn't be surprising. And it was just this last year that a cousin lost his wife after a prolonged bout with cancer.
It does put a person into a particular train of thought.  Not a bright and sunny one either.

I fully believe that we have come into this area for a deeper reason.  Not sure what.  We have certainly been blessed in very many ways, no matter what our current struggles are, and I'm mindful of Luke 12:48, "... For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." (NKJV).  Those blessing weren't given to make my life easy and carefree, they were given in order to carry out the Lord's mission.

Today we begin the book of Nehemiah.  Ezra was charged with the rebuilding of the Temple, the reinstitution of the worship of the Lord, and in cleaning up some of the  bad practices among the people.  Nehemiah is sent to rebuild the walls and gates of the city of Jerusalem.  
And there are and will be troubles and opposition and the like, in part from those who want to cozy up, those representing cultures that the Jews were supposed to be separate from.  All the problems that come from having to deal with people who don't have the vision the Lord had given him.  (As one who has at times earned his living developing and carrying on major projects, even secular ones without the spiritual battle, are quite tough enough.).  And bear in mind through all of this, they didn't have powered cranes, or backhoes, or any of the equipment that in our world we would expect to be on hand and ready to go.  But they didn't have the unions and the building trades council and a bevy of avaricious building inspectors with their hands out either, so that's something.

Nehemiah 1
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, 5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: 6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. 7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: 9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. 11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

Nehemiah 2
1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. 2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, 3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? 4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. 6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; 8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. 9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. 11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. 13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. 14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. 15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned. 16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. 17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 3
1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. 2 And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. 3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 4 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. 5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their LORD. 6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 7 And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. 8 Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall. 9 And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem. 10 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces. 12 And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. 13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate. 14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 15 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty. 17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part. 18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah. 19 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain. 23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house. 24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh. 26 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out. 27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel. 28 From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. 29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. 30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. 31 After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner. 32 And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.


Our New Testament passage is verses 1-13 from chapter 2 of the Acts.  
Pentecost has come.  What else needs to be said?

Acts 2:1-13
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,  
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,  
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.  
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

==========I ============================

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.