05 July 2017

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Wednesday, 05 June 2017

Day after a holiday is always a weird one, particularly when it is dead center in the normal work week.  Based on far too many years' experience, I doubt that the rest of the week will be one of the more productive ones in quite a few workplaces, including several that I could name.  Several.  Back in my days at various levels of manufacturing engineering and quality engineering, particularly in the automotive sector, this entire week, and often either the one before or the one after, or sometimes (depending on requirements and schedules), all three. we often "down" for the whole operation.  Except, of course, for me and my people.  In automotive, this is frequently the time when the major changes needed to effect the "Model Change" work was done.  Not all of it, because there was generally a few weeks yet in the Old Model vehicles and components, but absolutely as much as could be accomplished.  For those unfamiliar, production on the New Models generally (in my time anyway) would occur around the 2nd or 3rd week of August, or thereabouts. I doubt that it's changed much in the last 3 years or so. 

We got to sleep late (for us) last night.  We have some Moslem neighbors on this street, the house is a big-time gathering place, and they've had quite a crowd, with just about all the males of any age bearing the name of Muhammad.  True.  And it's been Fireworks Central since last Saturday.  Not just little sparklers and such, but some BIG and VERY LOUD ones.  Monday night, they really didn't even get started until around midnight, Sunday night was a bit earlier and Saturday night a bit before that.  Last night, they were going and going and going until well past midnight.  I had occasion yesterday to drive (ride, actually: still having major car trouble) past the big local fireworks distributor.  They had a "buy one, get two free" sale going, and the place was packed.  I can remember when even those little sparklers were banned statewide, and mere possession could get you arrested or at least cited into court.  Now, it's like being on a mortar range.  "Common courtesy" seems to have fallen by the wayside at the same time.

Wife is next door.  With niece.  And my sister-in-law.  They've decided to have a reprise of the "yard sale" that they'd attempted a few weeks ago which led to nasty family squabble.  So they were "setting up" yesterday and today, with the Big Event starting tomorrow morning. All kinds of toys, shoes, clothing from Newborn to "mature" and everything in between, glassware and china, tools, car parts, etc. etc.  I was "volunteered into service to fetch & carry duty.  They're having female-type conversations on the back porch now, and males are not welcome, so I escaped.

Meaning that I'm home, and washing dishes and doing laundry.  Just put the third load in the washer.  Must be some of that "toxic masculinity", "male privilege", or "overarching patriarchy" that the feminazi's regularly inveigh against.  Or something like that.

I see on the news that a body has been found in a local motel, the body evidently in an advanced state of decomposition, such that the investigators had to wear oxygen masks because of the stench.  I have found a body in such a state, and during this time of the year.  The odor is something I don't wish to describe, and wish that I could have forgotten.  I believe that it was only about two weeks ago, perhaps less, that another body (or two) was found in the same low-end motel.  That previous case was attributed to overdose of heavy drugs.
I see on the same news site, a report that a woman overdosed at a local "4th of July" festival not terribly far from here.  She is in the hospital now, having been revived through use of Narcan, but these are just two cases from the last few days.  There are more, and will be more.
When I sometimes refer to the bad behaviors that a loss of hope and no knowledge of the Lord can bring, I have some strong reasons for saying that.  I've seen it, at closer range than I like, and have seen the dead eyes on those still walking around.  Yes, we need revival in our land, and soon too.  All of those who have passed like this, and those on the verge of it, have family, friends (probably) and a past.  Their descent into the grave will affect many others, and for those struggling with hopelessness already, will only add to that.


Our reading in the Old Testament today is chapters 31 and 32 of Job.
Not to anger the "King James only" crowd, but I want to post this from the Holman Standard Bible version.  I think it's actually better, and certainly is accurate. And, yes, your mileage may vary.

Job 31

1 I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I look at a young woman?
2 For what portion [would I have] from God above, or [what] inheritance from the Almighty on high?
3 Doesn't disaster come to the wicked and misfortune to evildoers?
4 Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?
5 If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has rushed to deceit,
6 let God weigh me with an accurate balance, and He will recognize my integrity.
7 If my step has turned from the way, my heart has followed my eyes, or impurity has stained my hands,
8 let someone else eat what I have sown, and let my crops be uprooted.
9 If my heart has been seduced by [my neighbor's] wife or I have lurked at his door,
10 let my own wife grind [grain] for another man, and let other men sleep with her.
11 For that would be a disgrace; it would be a crime deserving punishment.
12 For it is a fire that consumes down to Abaddon; it would destroy my entire harvest.
13 If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me,
14 what could I do when God stands up [to judge]? How should I answer Him when He calls [me] to account?
15 Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb?
16 If I have refused the wishes of the poor or let the widow's eyes go blind,
17 if I have eaten my few crumbs alone without letting the fatherless eat any of it-
18 for from my youth, I raised him as [his] father, and since the day I was born I guided the widow-
19 if I have seen anyone dying for lack of clothing or a needy person without a cloak,
20 if he did not bless me while warming himself with the fleece from my sheep,
21 if I ever cast my vote against a fatherless child when I saw that I had support in the [city] gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my back, and my arm be pulled from its socket.
23 For disaster from God terrifies me, and because of His majesty I could not do [these things].
24 If I placed my confidence in gold or called fine gold my trust,
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth is great or because my own hand has acquired [so] much,
26 if I have gazed at the sun when it was shining or at the moon moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed and I threw them a kiss,
28 this would also be a crime deserving punishment, for I would have denied God above.
29 Have I rejoiced over my enemy's distress, or become excited when trouble came his way?
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking for his life with a curse.
31 Haven't the members of my household said, "Who is there who has not had enough to eat at Job's table?"
32 No stranger had to spend the night on the street, for I opened my door to the traveler.
33 Have I covered my transgressions as others do by hiding my guilt in my heart,
34 because I greatly feared the crowds, and the contempt of the clans terrified me, so I grew silent and would not go outside?
35 If only I had someone to hear my [case]! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me. Let my Opponent compose [His] indictment.
36 I would surely carry it on my shoulder and wear it like a crown.
37 I would give Him an account of all my steps; I would approach Him like a prince.
38 If my land cries out against me and its furrows join in weeping,
39 if I have consumed its produce without payment or shown contempt for its tenants,
40 then let thorns grow instead of wheat and stinkweed instead of barley. The words of Job are concluded.

Job 32

(Elihu's Angry Response)

1 So these three men quit answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
2 Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite from the family of Ram became angry. He was angry at Job because he had justified himself rather than God.
3 He was also angry at Job's three friends because they had failed to refute [him], and yet had condemned him.
4 Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were [all] older than he.
5 But when he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he became angry.
6 So Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite replied: I am young in years, while you are old; therefore I was timid and afraid to tell you what I know.
7 I thought that age should speak and maturity should teach wisdom.
8 But it is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty that give him understanding.
9 It is not [only] the old who are wise or the elderly who understand how to judge.
10 Therefore I say, "Listen to me. I too will declare what I know."
11 Look, I waited for your conclusions; I listened to your insights as you sought for words.
12 I paid close attention to you. Yet no one proved Job wrong; not one of you refuted his arguments.
13 So do not claim, "We have found wisdom; let God deal with him, not man."
14 But Job has not directed his argument to me, and I will not respond to him with your arguments.
15 Job's friends are dismayed and can no longer answer; words have left them.
16 Should I continue to wait now that they are silent, now that they stand [there] and no longer answer?
17 I too will answer; yes, I will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words, and my spirit compels me [to speak].
19 My heart is like unvented wine; it is about to burst like new wineskins.
20 I must speak so that I can find relief; I must open my lips and respond.
21 I will be partial to no one, and I will not give anyone an [undeserved] title.
22 For I do not know how to give [such] titles; otherwise, my Maker would remove me in an instant.


Our New Testament reading is verses 1-23 in chapter 13 of the Acts of the Apostles.
(yes, this is from the KJV)

Acts 13:1-23
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. 6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. 13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

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