31 March 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The last day of March, the 2nd full week of Spring.  Woke to a "wintry mix", with some weathercasters predicting up to an inch of accumulated SNOW.  Gaaa!  Tomorrow begins April, and the weather forecast for tomorrow is for a toasty 54 degrees and 72 by Thursday.  We shall see.  As I've noted elsewhere, I can recall one year when we had SNOW on May 1st!  To me, Global Warming seems like A Very Good Thing.  Too bad it's a lie.

Sunday is Easter.  Better people than I have, for nearly 2000 years, been writing on the subject.  It is in my view at least as important as Christmas.

==========================
====================================

The Old Testament reading today is chapters 3, 4, and 5 of the book of the Judges.
The old leaders are gone.  Now things go to pot.  Reminds me of what I see in the world around us today.  The people went out and did everything they'd been told TO do, and did nothing of what they'd been told to NOT do.  With awful results.  The Lord would rescue them, after a time, but the loss and suffering in the interim were quite real, and there is no reason to suppose that only the guilty suffered.  It still works out that way.  Stay tuned for more of the same.
And then consider that the same sort of thing can happen in our time and in our land as well, and for the same reason.

1
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
3
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
4
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
5
And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
6
And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
7
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.
8
Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.
9
And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
10
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.
11
And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
13
And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
14
So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15
But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17
And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18
And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19
But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20
And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlor, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22
And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23
Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlor upon him, and locked them.
24
When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlor were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
25
And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlor; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26
And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
27
And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28
And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29
And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valor; and there escaped not a man.
30
So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
31
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.


1
And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.
2
And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
3
And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
4
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
5
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6
And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
7
And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
8
And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.
9
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10
And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11
Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.
12
And they showed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.
13
And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.
14
And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15
And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
16
But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.
17
Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
18
And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.
19
And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
20
Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21
Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
22
And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.
23
So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
24
And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.


1
Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
2
Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
3
Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.
4
LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.
5
The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
6
In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.
7
The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
8
They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9
My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
10
Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.
11
They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.
12
Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
13
Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
14
Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.
15
And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16
Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17
Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.
18
Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.
19
The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
20
They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21
The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.
22
Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.
23
Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
24
Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25
He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
26
She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
27
At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28
The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
29
Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,
30
Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of divers colors of needlework, of divers colors of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?
31
So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.




==========================
=============================================

The New Testament reading is verses 31-50 in Luke chapter 7.  This includes the account of the sinful woman washing Jesus' feet with her tears and anointing His feet with costly ointment.  She was a person the "upright" would have avoided being near.  Yet she, in her state, sought out Jesus.  Where else should she go?  She washed His feet with her tears.  I've wept more than a few myself, for my sins.  Her sins were forgiven her.  I wish, truly, that we knew what her life and mission was afterwards.
It gives us the song of the day.

31
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
32
They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
33
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35
But wisdom is justified of all her children.
36
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42
And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.



30 March 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 30 March, 2015

Next-to-last day of the month.  Actually have some sunshine going on outside, something not often seen in these parts.  And we've been above freezing for a whole 24 hours now, something else we've not seen much of since around the first of November or so.  So of coure, Yours Truly has been a bit under the weather and unable to enjoy much of it.  Dear Wife has been next door most of the day, "watching" the Beloved Great Niece while Beloved Niece is at work.  So it's been quite around here.

I'm a pretty good situation analyst, one of the best I know, and that's said matter-of-factly, not with pride or joy.  It's not often fun, because you analyze situations and circumstances that give you answers, trends, and likely outcomes that Are Not Good.  Not good for you and those you love, not good for the nation or the world or a whole lot of people.  The Greek mythos had a figure named Cassandra, whose curse from the gods was that she would have the insight to warn people of coming disaster, but that they would not listen and she would have to watch the disasters come about, helpless to change the situation.  I sometimes feel like that.  I see catastrophe coming, and am powerless to change the matter, or even to be heard.  I promise you, that in times coming soon, you will look back on this as the Good Old Days.  I don't expect to survive, which is OK, I have a promise in eternity.  Others are not in that condition, and all I can do is to point others to the One who is the only Security we shall ever have, or need.  Sometimes, one gets discouraged and desperate, but I'm not the one in charge here.  Glad of that, actually.

=================================================
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Old Testament reading is chapters 1 and 2 in the book of the Judges.  The people are in the Promised Land.  The leaders who brought them out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and through a whole lot of warfare, are dead and buried.  Now what?
"What" is predictable to those who understand our fallen human nature, but who also see the Lord's hand and provision.  This book is the story of those the Lord sent to His chosen people, to guide them on the way and to provide direction.

1
Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
2
And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
3
And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
4
And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
5
And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6
But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7
And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
8
Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.
9
And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
10
And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
11
And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:
12
And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
13
And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
14
And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?
15
And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
16
And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
17
And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
18
Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
19
And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
20
And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
21
And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
22
And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.
23
And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
24
And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Show us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will show thee mercy.
25
And when he showed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.
26
And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.
27
Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
28
And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
29
Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
30
Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
31
Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
32
But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
33
Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.
34
And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
35
But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.
36
And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.


1
And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
2
And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
3
Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
4
And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
5
And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.
6
And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
7
And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
8
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
9
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
10
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
11
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
12
And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
13
And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
14
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
15
Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
16
Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
17
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
18
And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
19
And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
20
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
21
I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
22
That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
23
Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.



============================
===============================

The New Testament reading here is verses 1-30 of chapter 7 in the Gospel of Luke.
 Jesus is definitely making an impact here, and reaching out FAR beyond the confines of the Jews.  That was not too hard for Him, and neither was raising the dead.  And He still can, and does.


1
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
2
And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3
And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
4
And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
5
For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
6
Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
7
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
9
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
10
And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
11
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
16
And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
17
And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
18
And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
19
And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20
When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21
And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22
Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
24
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27
This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28
For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
29
And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.





29 March 2015

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Sunday, 29 March 2015

Winding down the month.  Be April soon.  Not that it has much effect on the weather here.  This is the second Sunday in Spring.  I woke to a nice warm 12 degrees this morning, and at that had slept in an extra half hour.  Not exactly what most of us would think of as spring-like weather.  I am happy to report that it is currently all of 44 degrees here, and the snow of the other day has vanished.  Don't think I'm going to go outside barefoot and in shorts.  Not yet.

Dear Wife was pretty miserable yesterday and this morning, and was asleep in bed when I headed out for church services.  And that was a big unusual as well, though OK.  Pastor had some big-time dental work a couple days ago, and the stitches and such are interfering with his ability to talk, and therefore to preach and teach.  So one of the deacons, his son in fact, took over both roles, and did fine.  On top of that, the musician, who is that deacon's wife, was sick in bed.  So we sang acapella, which is no biggie to me:  the church I grew up in NEVER had instruments, ever, unless you count the pitch pipe that the song leader employed to get us on the right key.  We didn't have a pitch pipe this morning, so we kind of "made a joyful noise". 

I only got about 90 minutes of sleep last night, yowling and fighting cats had a lot to do with that.  Not real happy with cats right now, and am looking forward to warmer weather so that the two offenders can become "outside cats".  Can't wait.

========================================
=====================================

Today's reading in the Old Testament concludes the book of Joshua, chapters 23 and 24.  We have in the last three months covered quite a lot of territory.  The Creation.  The Fall.  The Flood,  The Tower of Babel.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  400 years as slaves in Egypt. The Exodus.  The Covenant and the 10 Commandments.  40 years in the wilderness.  The death of Moses..  Crossing the Jordan and the beginning of the occupation of the Promised Land.  And now, the death of Joshua.  Quite a lot.
But hang on, there's still the Rest of the Story, as Paul Harvey had as his signature line.


1
And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
2
And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:
3
And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.
4
Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
5
And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.
6
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;
7
That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
8
But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
9
For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
10
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
11
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
12
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13
Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
14
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
15
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
16
When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.


1
And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
2
And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
3
And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
4
And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
5
I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
6
And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.
7
And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
8
And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
9
Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
10
But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
11
And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.
12
And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.
13
And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.
14
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
16
And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
17
For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
18
And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.
19
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20
If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21
And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.
22
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
23
Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.
24
And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
25
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
26
And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
27
And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
28
So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
29
And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
31
And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.
32
And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
33
And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.





=============================================
============================================

The New Testament reading is verses 27-49 in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of Luke.
More of the Beatitudes.  Yes, Jesus does have a right to tell us how to live.  And these are commandments, not suggestions.  Ones that I for one simply can not follow in my own power.  Fortunately, He gives us the power.  It's still hard, very, and I fall short quite often.


27
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
43
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.