16 July 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Sunday, 16 July 2017

Well, we are now in the second half of the month of July.  August is only a few weeks away, and September, the first of the hated months ending in "-ber", rhyming with BRRRR! follows thereafter.  Color me somewhat less joyful than I should be at that thought.  But it's not an issue settled by a vote.  We shall see what the future holds for us all.
Wife is back in bed.  Shortly before I got home from church, she had stuck her head outside,and got stung by "something".  We don't know what.  Evidently not a wasp or a bee, or we'd have been using the Epi-pen, she is extremely reactive to their stings to the point of stopped breathing, so the Epi-pen and a fast trip to the ER would have been in order.  Probably a sweat bee or the like.  Made her hand, the area stung, all numb and such.  She had me give her two of the off-brand Benadryl that we keep around here.  That would have knocked most people out, but not her.  Several hours later, she chose to go take a nap, and is busy at that right now.

I'm spending a little while disconnecting some things.  When we moved here, we wanted Internet access, as good as a deal combining cost and speed as we could get or at least afford.  And a phone line: where we'd lived before, the flood of promises from AT&T of improved tower placement and signal strength were assiduously dishonored.  We had to be 1/4 mile or more from home for the cell phones to work at all.  So we HAD to have a "land line", and we presumed the same would be needed here.  Time-Warner made a number of promises, broke almost all of them, gave lousy service and skyrocketing prices.  We really didn't want the TV package, we're not TV people, really, but they told us it was only with a TV+ internet package that we could get the internet speed we wanted.  And the phone was part of that.  Service has been wretched, promises made unkept, and we're tired of talking to service reps for whom English is a second or third language.  The merger that created Spectrum has dropped that package requirement.  So, effective yesterday, we have no cable TV (rarely watched anyway) and no "land line" phones either.  Inasmuch as that same "organization" has been the ones at fault for numerous cases of 911 lines down to numerous police and fire departments in the area, it's a small loss. So I've got loose cables and cable boxes, etc., stacked around and will haul the lot to their office tomorrow.  And good riddance to them.  Heartily UN-recommended.

Niece and great-niece and sister-in-law are still at the county fair, the last day of it.  Sister-in-law and husband are members of an antique tractor club that displays there, and it's a Big Deal to them, although the club will have some sort of show at their club grounds in a month or so, I guess.

I really didn''t want to check the news.  Seems more and more like being on the ground during the times of King Ahab or another of the Old Testament kings just before the nation fell to the Assyrians.  There are those who think that could never happen.  I wish that I could agree, but it seems more possible every day.  After that, well, it 's in the Lord's hands.   We've told him to get lost, so perhaps he will remove His hand of protection.  Would be only fair.


Our reading in the Old Testament today is Psalms 19, 20, and 21
Psalm 19 is a personal favorite of mine.  Yes, indeed.  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
David, especially in his younger years, spent a lot of time outside, and more than a few nights out there with the sheep.  No "light pollution" to distract from the night sky.  And some spectacular sights in the day.  He saw most of the world as the Lord had created it, before humans built cities and towns.

Psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalm 20
1 The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. 4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel. 5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. 6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. 9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

Psalm 21
1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! 2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. 3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. 4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. 5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. 6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. 7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. 8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. 9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. 10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. 11 For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. 12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. 13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.


Our reading from the New Testament continues in the 19th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, with verses 21-41

There are those who would counsel that the  Gospel message be "massaged" in order to be acceptable to the World, and not "upset people", or, to use the current in-term, be "triggering".  WRONG!! 
The Gospel message, then and now, is inherently upsetting to many, it goes against all they believe and are comfortable with.  Preaching it will, and always has, drawn opposition and anger.  Always will, until the Lord returns.

Acts 19:21-41
21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season. 23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; 25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. 26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. 28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. 30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. 31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. 32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. 33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. 34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. 37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. 38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. 39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. 40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. 41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

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