13 July 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Thursday, 13 July 2017

Another day.  We had rain last evening, much of the night, and much of the morning,  And then it stopped.  National Weather Service -- the same ones who confidently predict the average temperature of the entire Earth, 50 years hence, had been predicting from 3 to 5 inches of rain and flash floods.  Except that, while we did have rain, we didn't come close to 5 inches.  Or 3.  And the flash flood watch has been quietly called off.  "Your Tax Dollars At Work", as the signs by the highway used to say.

Dear Wife has been flat about all day.  She's not doing real well.  We're are hoping and praying that the bunch (four) of doctors and oral surgeon visits next week will overcome some of that.  We hope.  It's been very hard on her, and hard to have to helplessly watch.

I had to make a quick run over to the pharmacy (watching the temperature needle the whole time) to pick up some meds, refills.  This time, they're for Yours Truly.  BP stuff and a cholesterol drug.  Fortunately, they dispense these in 90-day amounts so I'm covered well into October (not that far away, BOOO!).  And got an over-the-counter thing for bladder pain for her and a thing of frozen cranberry juice, a prevention thing for UTI's for women.  And then back. 

Ground  outside is mucky, soft, and muddy.  But I braved it some so as to go out and pull weeds in our vegetable patch.  I'd been sloughing that off FAR too long, and the weeds had nearly taken over.  Embarrassing is what it is, I know better.  So I spend as much time as I could until just the bending over was about to make me pass out on the ground, something I can't afford right now.  I can see where I'd been, which is both a good thing and a terrible reproach.  And, like any such effort, the weeding done reveals even more of them that at first  you couldn't see.
Life is like that.  We try to walk with the Lord in the light of His truth, and it changes us.  It is supposed to change us.  And the more we do, the further we go along that path, the more of our own faults we see.  It can be discouraging, if we let it be so.  The way may be muddy, or mundane, and sometimes it seems as if no progress has been made, not as we measure things.
Which suggests our "song of the day", from 1887, "Trust and Obey". 


The readings in the Old Testament are Psalms 10, 11, and 12.  Be certain that when David was speaking of the wicked, he had some very specific examples in mind.  And he had close-up knowledge of the specifics of the evils done.

Psalm 10
1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? 2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. 3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. 4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. 6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. 7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. 9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. 10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. 11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. 12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. 13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. 14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none. 16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. 17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: 18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

Psalm 11
1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? 2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. 3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? 4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Psalm 12
1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.


Our reading in the New Testament is verses 16-34 from chapter 17 in the Acts of the Apostles.
Everywhere they went, the preached the Gospel, and it caused a stir.  And planted the seeds.  Athens was one of the greatest cities in the world at the time, so the sprouted seeds planted here could, and did, travel from there all through much of the known world.

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. 18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. 19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? 20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. 21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

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