22 July 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Saturday, 22 July 2017 slight update

Raining here now.  It started sometime in the night, after the point at which we could -- finally -- fall asleep after a long and tough couple of days.  So it seems to be destined to be a "stay indoors and read" sort of day.  Oh, and "drink coffee" at the same time, which I think we can organize.  Barely.
I need to "make" coffee creamer in a few minutes.  We save money by not buying liquid creamer at all.  We get the dry powdered non-dairy stuff, BIG jugs from Wally Mart or Sams Club, mix with hot water in a 1 part dry to 2 parts water, and voila!  liquid creamer.  Works, cheap too.

After all the running around yesterday, Wife came home and took her "weekly" Humira.  The scare quotes are because, due to the tooth and jaw infections, taking drugs that suppress the immune system are a very poor idea, so she's been foregoing the matter for well over a month, and it makes a very great difference.  So, as of yesterday afternoon, she's back on it again.  Of course, today is the "day after" so she won't be up to much until, probably, late tomorrow afternoon.  But it's a desired step forward, and we'll be grateful for it.  And are.

I haven't yet troubled to go through all the news, local  or otherwise.  It gets tiresome eventually.  Friday nights, at least around here, are the time for drunken misbehavior, with the predictable results, and  probably last night's results, including the body counts, are in keeping with that.  Been going on for as long as I can remember, surely.  And we saw similar, sometimes worse, patterns of conduct in several of our homes during our many years living elsewhere in the country.  Specifics vary, somewhat, but the overall paths are pretty similar.  Worse, sometimes, in periods of economic upheaval:  those who claim the inability to pay the rent or buy food, still seem able to buy beer, whiskey, marijuana, etc. or to go out "clubbing" looking for a "meaningful overnight relationship".  Need I interpret that last?  No?
When we give up the prospect of real joy, and substitute a pattern of seeking happiness, even momentary happiness, a lot of things can happen, and often do.  Not always, of course: there's probably nothing wrong with watching your nephew's kid get a hit in the Little League outing or in enjoying a good burger or watching your favorite team score the touchdown.  It that sort of thing becomes the focus of our whole lives, then trouble is probably not far away.  If our attitude depends purely on our circumstances, it's easy to become discouraged and to seek to alter those circumstances, or our perceptions of them at least, in whatever way seem to be most convenient at the moment.  I've done it, I'm prone to it in fact.  Probably, based upon police reports and other information, am not alone in that.

     (added):  after I originally posted this, I was reminded of a country song from "several" years ago.  No, not with a Christian theme, but one that somewhat fits.  Remember "Looking for love in all the wrong places"?  It's linked here if you need the reminder.   There are a whole lot of people around us in a similar mind-set.  With generally bad results.

Joy is not to be found in our immediate circumstances.  We're cheating ourselves, and those around us too, when we look only there in the circumstances that may, and often do, change abruptly.  Joy, true joy, eternal joy, is to be found only in our walk with the Lord.  Anything else is simply counterfeit.  Yes, we feel joy when we also walk with Him in concert with others, like our wives and children and other believers near and far.

We see some of that in our readings today, both in the Old and New Testaments.
In Psalms 36 and 37, we see David in trouble, yet looking to the Lord.
In Acts 23:1-11, we see Paul, surrounded by those who really really did not like him and despised his message, nevertheless confident and determined, walking in the joy of the Lord.


Psalm 36
1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. 3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. 4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil. 5 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. 6 Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. 7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. 8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. 9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. 10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. 11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. 12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

Psalm 37
1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. 22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. 28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.


Acts 23:1-11
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. 6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. 10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. 11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

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