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Proverbs 27-29
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Proverbs 27:1     Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2     Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

3     A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them.

4     Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,
But who is able to stand before jealousy?
5     Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.

6     Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

7     A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

8     Like a bird that wanders from its nest
Is a man who wanders from his place.

9     Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

10     Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

11     My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me.

12     A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.

13     Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.

14     He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the Morning,
It will be counted a curse to him.

15     A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
16     Whoever restrains her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.

17     As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

18     Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored.

19     As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man.

20     Hell and Destruction are never full;
So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

21     The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.

22     Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

23     Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
24     For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25     When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26     The lambs will provide your clothing,
And the goats the price of a field;
27     You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants.

Proverbs 28:1     The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

2     Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes;
But by a man of understanding and knowledge
Right will be prolonged.

3     A poor man who oppresses the poor
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

4     Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But such as keep the law contend with them.

5     Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all.

6     Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

7     Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son,
But a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8     One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion
Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.

9     One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

Like James 5:16, (.... The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.) but much stronger.

10     Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.

11     The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

12     When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory;
But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

13     He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14     Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

     Ecclesiastes 1:18     For in much wisdom is much grief,

     And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. Knowledge is an opportunity for more humility and love
(wisdom), but more answers without recognizing the new questions can lead to knowledge alone. Knowledge
alone, like technology, reminds me of a saying of E.A. Robinson. "Man is like a child in a kindergarten, trying to
spell God with the wrong blocks."
     Statistics have too many exceptions to be anything but probability generators. Jesus says, "
Come." He does not
say, "You must understand," but "
You must be born again." Only a fool would read the conversation between
Nicodemus and Jesus and think Nicodemus a simpleton. His devotion and sincerity to God, his astuteness of
Scripture, and his life style would probably (statistics again) put almost everyone who has called them self a
Christian this past two thousand years to shame.
     Have you chosen who will bury you, speak at your funeral? Do you think Jesus did? We would all do well to stand
before Jesus as Nicodemus did and confess we do not understand.

15     Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people.
16     A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor,
But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.

17     A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit;
Let no one help him.

18     Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved,
But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

19     He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!

20     A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

21     To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

22     A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

23     He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

24     Whoever robs his father or his mother,
And says, “It is no transgression,”
The same is companion to a destroyer.

25     He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.

26     He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

27     He who gives to the poor will not lack,
But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

28     When the wicked arise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

Proverbs 29:1     He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

2     When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

3     Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.

4     The king establishes the land by justice,
But he who receives bribes overthrows it.

5     A man who flatters his neighbor
Spreads a net for his feet.

6     By transgression an evil man is snared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

7     The righteous considers the cause of the poor,
But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.

8     Scoffers set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away wrath.

9     If a wise man contends with a foolish man,
Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.

10     The bloodthirsty hate the blameless,
But the upright seek his well-being.

11     A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.

12     If a ruler pays attention to lies,
All his servants become wicked.

13     The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.

14     The king who judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

15     The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

16     When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

17     Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

18     Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.

19     A servant will not be corrected by mere words;
For though he understands, he will not respond.

20     Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

21     He who pampers his servant from childhood
Will have him as a son in the end.

22     An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.

23     A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

24     Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.

25     The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

26     Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.

27     An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.

The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]

  • Civil War Morality 2
  • Civil War & Religion 3
  • World Anglicanism?

#1 Harry S. Stout  
Yale University Divinity School


#2 Harry S. Stout   
Yale University Divinity School


#3 Robin Eames   
Yale University Divinity School


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Over 3,000 American troops were killed or wounded when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. 20,000 died on the infamous Bataan Death March, when Japanese forced starving prisoners to march through jungles. 100,000 died retaking Okinawa and other islands. Though devastating, President Truman’s decision to drop the Atomic Bomb prevented an estimated one million casualties and Emperor Hirohito surrendered Japan on this day, August 14, 1945. Father Cummings, a chaplain who was captured and died in the Philippines, told his men: “There are no atheists in the foxholes.”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

The moment your Christianity
becomes controversial
is the moment
it actually becomes Christianity.
--- Damon Thompson

Patience and Diligence,
like faith, remove mountains.
--- William Penn

My will is not my own till Thou has made it Thine; if it would reach the monarch’s throne it must its crown resign. It only stands unbent amid the clashing strife, till on Thy bosom it has leant and found in Thee its life.
--- George Matheson

I think every conscious person, every person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself. I hate this more than anything. This is the hardest principle within Christian spirituality for me to deal with. The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.
Donald Miller
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

... from here, there and everywhere

Why Did The Gladiator Games End?

     I was listening to Ravi Zacharias, ‘His Work Will Always Cause You To Win’ and he mentioned how The Roman Gladiator Games came to an end. It sounded familiar, but I wanted to research it.
     I learned the Gladiator games in Rome ended January 1st, A.D. 404 because the Emperor Honorius was upset by the murder of Telemachus. Telemachus tried to stop the bloody combat and the crowd stoned him.
     In these games of Honorius, the inhuman combats of gladiators polluted, for the last time, the amphitheater of Rome. The first Christian emperor may claim the honor of the first edict which condemned the art and amusement of shedding human blood;3665 but this benevolent law expressed the wishes of the prince, without reforming an inveterate abuse, which degraded a civilized nation below the condition of savage cannibals. Several hundred, perhaps several thousand, victims were annually slaughtered in the great cities of the empire; and the month of December, more peculiarly devoted to the combats of gladiators, still exhibited to the eyes of the Roman people a grateful spectacle of blood and cruelty. Amidst the general joy of the victory of Pollentia, a Christian poet exhorted the emperor to extirpate, by his authority, the horrid custom which had so long resisted the voice of humanity and religion. The pathetic representations of Prudentius were less effectual than the generous boldness of Telemachus, and Asiatic monk, whose death was more useful to mankind than his life. The Romans were provoked by the interruption of their pleasures; and the rash monk, who had descended into the arena to separate the gladiators, was overwhelmed under a shower of stones. But the madness of the people soon subsided; they respected the memory of Telemachus, who had deserved the honors of martyrdom; and they submitted, without a murmur, to the laws of Honorius, which abolished forever the human sacrifices of the amphitheater.
Gibbon, E. (2004). The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. (H. H. Milman, Ed.

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     6. On the next day the Jews made another attack upon the Romans, and went out of the walls and fought a much more desperate battle with them than before. For they were now become more courageous than formerly, and that on account of the unexpected good opposition they had made the day before, as they found the Romans also to fight more desperately; for a sense of shame inflamed these into a passion, as esteeming their failure of a sudden victory to be a kind of defeat. Thus did the Romans try to make an impression upon the Jews till the fifth day continually, while the people of Jotapata made sallies out, and fought at the walls most desperately; nor were the Jews affrighted at the strength of the enemy, nor were the Romans discouraged at the difficulties they met with in taking the city.

     7. Now Jotapata is almost all of it built on a precipice, having on all the other sides of it every way valleys immensely deep and steep, insomuch that those who would look down would have their sight fail them before it reaches to the bottom. It is only to be come at on the north side, where the utmost part of the city is built on the mountain, as it ends obliquely at a plain. This mountain Josephus had encompassed with a wall when he fortified the city, that its top might not be capable of being seized upon by the enemies. The city is covered all round with other mountains, and can no way be seen till a man comes just upon it. And this was the strong situation of Jotapata.

     8. Vespasian, therefore, in order to try how he might overcome the natural strength of the place, as well as the bold defense of the Jews, made a resolution to prosecute the siege with vigor. To that end he called the commanders that were under him to a council of war, and consulted with them which way the assault might be managed to the best advantage. And when the resolution was there taken to raise a bank against that part of the wall which was practicable, he sent his whole army abroad to get the materials together. So when they had cut down all the trees on the mountains that adjoined to the city, and had gotten together a vast heap of stones, besides the wood they had cut down, some of them brought hurdles, in order to avoid the effects of the darts that were shot from above them. These hurdles they spread over their banks, under cover whereof they formed their bank, and so were little or nothing hurt by the darts that were thrown upon them from the wall, while others pulled the neighboring hillocks to pieces, and perpetually brought earth to them; so that while they were busy three sorts of ways, nobody was idle. However, the Jews cast great stones from the walls upon the hurdles which protected the men, with all sorts of darts also; and the noise of what could not reach them was yet so terrible, that it was some impediment to the workmen.

     9. Vespasian then set the engines for throwing stones and darts round about the city. The number of the engines was in all a hundred and sixty, and bid them fall to work, and dislodge those that were upon the wall. At the same time such engines as were intended for that purpose threw at once lances upon them with a great noise, and stones of the weight of a talent were thrown by the engines that were prepared for that purpose, together with fire, and a vast multitude of arrows, which made the wall so dangerous, that the Jews durst not only not come upon it, but durst not come to those parts within the walls which were reached by the engines; for the multitude of the Arabian archers, as well also as all those that threw darts and slung stones, fell to work at the same time with the engines. Yet did not the others lie still, when they could not throw at the Romans from a higher place; for they then made sallies out of the city, like private robbers, by parties, and pulled away the hurdles that covered the workmen, and killed them when they were thus naked; and when those workmen gave way, these cast away the earth that composed the bank, and burnt the wooden parts of it, together with the hurdles, till at length Vespasian perceived that the intervals there were between the works were of disadvantage to him; for those spaces of ground afforded the Jews a place for assaulting the Romans. So he united the hurdles, and at the same time joined one part of the army to the other, which prevented the private excursions of the Jews.

     10. And when the bank was now raised, and brought nearer than ever to the battlements that belonged to the walls, Josephus thought it would be entirely wrong in him if he could make no contrivances in opposition to theirs, and that might be for the city's preservation; so he got together his workmen, and ordered them to build the wall higher; and while they said that this was impossible to be done while so many darts were thrown at them, he invented this sort of cover for them: He bid them fix piles, and expand before them the raw hides of oxen newly killed, that these hides by yielding and hollowing themselves when the stones were thrown at them might receive them, for that the other darts would slide off them, and the fire that was thrown would be quenched by the moisture that was in them. And these he set before the workmen, and under them these workmen went on with their works in safety, and raised the wall higher, and that both by day and by night, till it was twenty cubits high. He also built a good number of towers upon the wall, and fitted it to strong battlements. This greatly discouraged the Romans, who in their own opinions were already gotten within the walls, while they were now at once astonished at Josephus's contrivance, and at the fortitude of the citizens that were in the city.

     11. And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at the great subtlety of this stratagem, and at the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata; for taking heart again upon the building of this wall, they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties, together with all such contrivances, as robbers make use of, and with the plundering of all that came to hand, as also with the setting fire to all the other works; and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy by want of provisions, or if they should have the courage to hold out till the last, they should perish by famine: and he concluded he should conquer them the more easily in fighting, if he gave them an interval, and then fell upon them when they were weakened by famine; but still he gave orders that they should guard against their coming out of the city.

          The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)

Proverbs 22:28
     by D.H. Stern

28     Don’t move the ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
Mushrooms On The Moor
     by Frank W. Boreham


     I love a margin. There is something delicious, luxurious, glorious in the spacious field of creamy paper bounded by the black letterpress on the one side and the gilt edges on the other. Could anything be more abominable than a book that is printed to the uttermost extremities of every page? It is an outrage, I aver, on human nature. Indeed, it is an outrage upon Nature herself, for Nature loves her margins even more than I do. She goes in for margins on a truly stupendous scale. She wants a bird, so a dozen are hatched. She knows perfectly well that eleven out of the twelve are merely margin. She will throw them to the cats, and the foxes, and the weasels, and the snakes, and only keep the best of the batch. She wants a tree, so she plants a hundred. She knows that ninety and nine are margin, to be browsed down by cattle, but she means to make sure of her one. 'The roe of a cod,' Grant Alien tells me, 'contains nearly ten million eggs; but, if each of those eggs produced a young fish which arrived at maturity, the whole sea would immediately become a solid mass of closely packed cod-fish.' But Nature has no intention of turning her bright blue ocean into a gigantic box of sardines; she is simply providing herself with a margin. Linnaeus says that a fly may multiply itself ten thousandfold in a fortnight. If this increase continued during the three summer months, he says, one fly at the beginning of summer would produce one hundred millions of millions of millions before the three months were over, and the air would be black with the horror. The probability, however, is that there are never one hundred millions of millions of millions of flies in the whole world. Nature is not arranging for a repetition of the plague of Egypt; she is simply gratifying her appetite for a margin. As Tennyson sings in 'In Memoriam,'

     of fifty seeds She often brings but one to bear.

     So I suppose I learned my love of margins from her. At any rate, if anybody thinks me extravagant, they must quarrel with her and not with me.

     I fancy there's a good deal in it. It is the margin that makes all the difference. If the work that absolutely must be done occupies every waking moment of my time, I am a slave; but if it leaves a margin of a single hour, I am in clover. If my receipts will only just balance my expenditure, I am living a mere hand-to-mouth existence; but if they leave me a margin, I jingle the odd coins in my pocket with the pride of a prince. Mr. Micawber's philosophy comes back to us. 'Annual income—twenty pounds; annual expenditure—nineteen nineteen six; result—happiness. Annual income—twenty pounds; annual expenditure—twenty pounds ought and six; result—misery.' I believe that one of the supreme aims of a man's life should be to secure a margin. Nature does it, and we must copy her. A good life, like a good book, should have a good margin. I hate books whose pages are so crowded that you cannot handle them without putting your thumbs on the type. And, in exactly the same way, there are very few things more repelling than the feeling that a man has no time for you. It may be a most excellent book; but if it has no margin, I shall never grow fond of it. He may be a most excellent man; but if he lacks leisure, restfulness, poise, I shall never be able to love him.

     It is difficult to account for it; but the fact most certainly is that the most winsome people in the world are the people who make you feel that they are never in a hurry. The man whom you trust most readily is the man with a little time to spare, or who makes you think that he has. When my life gets tangled and twisted, and I want a minister to help me, I shall be too timid to approach the man who is always in a fluster. I feel instinctively that he is far too busy for poor me. He tears through life like a superannuated whirlwind. If I meet him on the street, his coat tails are always flying out behind him; his eyes wear a hunted look; and a sense of feverish haste is stamped upon his countenance. He reminds me of poor John Gilpin, for it is always neck or nothing with him. He seems to be everlastingly consulting his watch, and is always muttering something about his next engagement. He gets through an amazing number of odd jobs in the course of a day, and his diary will be a wonder to posterity. But he would be much better off in the long run if he cultivated a margin. He makes people feel at present that he is too busy for them. A poor woman, who is in great trouble about her son, heard him preach last Sunday, and felt that she would give anything to have a quiet talk with him about her sorrow, and kneel with him as he commended both her and her wayward boy to the Throne of the heavenly grace. But she dreads to be caught in the whirl of his week-a-day flurry, and stays away, her grief eating her heart out the while. A shrinking young girl is in perplexity about her love affairs, and she feels sure, from some things he said in his sermon a few weeks ago, that he could help her. But she remembers that in his study he keeps a motto to remind her that his time is precious. If the words 'Beware of the dog!' were painted on his study door, they could not be more terrifying. She fears that, before she has half unfolded the tender tale that she scarcely likes to tell, his hand will be upon the doorknob. The tendency of the time is indisputably towards flurry—the flurry of business or the flurry of pleasure. I feel very sorry for these busy folk. Their energy is prodigious. But, for all that, they are losing life's best. Surely William Cowper had a secret in his soul when he told us that, in his mad career, John Gilpin lost the wine!

'And now, as he went bowing down,
    His reeking head full low,
  The bottles twain behind his back
    Were shattered at a blow
  Down ran the wine into the road,
    Most piteous to be seen,
  Which made his horses' flanks to smoke
    As they had basted been.

     It is very easy to go too fast. In his Forest, Mr. Stewart White gives us some lessons in bushmanship. 'As long as you restrain yourself,' he says, 'to a certain leisurely plodding, you get along without extraordinary effort; but even a slight increase of speed drags fiercely at your feet. One good step is worth six stumbling steps; go only fast enough to assure that good one. An expert woods-walker is never in a hurry.' I was chatting the other day with the captain of a great steamship. The vessel is capable of steaming at the rate of seventeen knots an hour; but I noticed from the log that she never exceeds fifteen. I asked the reason. 'It is too expensive!' the captain answered. And then he told me the difference in the consumption of coal between steaming at fifteen and steaming at seventeen knots an hour. It was astounding. I recognized at once his wisdom in keeping the margin. When I next meet my busy brother, I shall tell him the story—if he can spare the time to listen. For, apart from the expense to himself of driving the engines at that high pressure, and apart from the loss of the wine, I feel sure that the folk who most need him love the ministry of a man with a margin. Even as I write, there rush back upon my mind the memories of the great doctors and eminent lawyers whose biographies I have read. How careful these busy men were to convey a certain impression of leisureliness! It will never do for a doctor to burst in upon his poor feverish patient, and throw everything into commotion. And see how composedly the lawyer listens to his client's tale! Wise men these; and I must not be too proud to learn from them.

     Great souls have ever been leisurely souls. I have no right to allow the rush and throb and tear of life to rob me of my restfulness. I must keep a quiet heart. I must be jealous of my margins. I must find time to climb the hills, to scour the valleys, to explore the bush, to row on the river, to stroll along the sands, to poke among the rocks, and to fish in the stream. I must cultivate the friendship of the fields and the ferns and the flowers. I must lie back in my easy chair, with my feet on the fender, and laugh with my friends. And pity me, men and angels, if I am too busy to romp with the children and to tell them a tale if they want it! There are many things in a man's life that he can give up, just as there are many things in a book that can be skipped, but the last thing to go must be the margin.

     Now, rising from my desk for a moment, just to stretch my legs a little, I glance out of my study window at the busy world outside. I see men making bargains, reading newspapers, and talking politics. And really, when you come to analyse the thing, this matter of the margin touches that bustling world at every point. To begin with, the essential difference between life here in Australia and life in the old world is mainly a difference in the breadth of the margin. Here life is not so hemmed in and cramped up as it must of necessity be there. Then, too, the whole tendency of modern legislation is in the direction of widening the margin. Everything tends to increase the leisure of the people. Early closing has come into its own. Shopkeepers put up their shutters quite early in the evening; the hours of the labourer have been considerably curtailed; and in other ways the leisure of the people has been greatly increased. Now in this broadening of life's margin there lie both tremendous possibilities and tremendous perils. The idleness of an entire community during a considerable proportion of its waking hours may become a huge national asset or a serious menace to the general wellbeing. People are too apt to suppose that character is determined by the main business of life. It is a fallacy. It is, as I have said, the margin that really matters. There is a section of time that remains to a man after the main business of life has been dealt with. It is the use to which that margin is put that reveals the true propensities of the individual and that, in the long run, determines the destiny of the nation.

     Here, for example, are two bricklayers. They walk down the street side by side on their way to their work. From the time that the hour strikes for them to commence operations until the time comes to lay aside their trowels for the day, they are pretty much alike. The one may be a philosopher and the other a scoundrel; but these traits will have small opportunity of betraying themselves as they chip away at the bricks in their hands, and ply their busy tasks. The intellectual proclivities of the one, and the vicious propensities of the other, will be held in the severest restraint as they labour side by side. The inexorable laws of industrial competition will keep their work up to a certain standard of excellence. But the moment that the tools are thrown aside the character of each man stands revealed. He is his own master. He is like a hound unleashed, and will now follow his bent without let or hindrance. And the more the State restricts the hours of toil, and multiplies the hours of leisure, the more does it increase the possibilities of good in the one case and the perils of evil-doing in the other. It is during that lengthened leisure that the one will apply himself to self-improvement, and, by developing himself, will increase the value of his citizenship to the State; and it is during that prolonged immunity from restraint that the other will compass his own deterioration and exert his influence for the general impoverishment.

     Precisely the same law holds good in relation to the expenditure of money. The way in which a people spends its money represents the most crucial test of national character. If a man spends his money wisely, he is a wise man; if he spends his money foolishly, he is a foolish man. But it is not along the main line of expenditure that the revelation is made. The principal items of expenditure are inevitable, and beyond the control of the individual, whoever or whatever he may be. A man must eat and wear clothes, whether he be a burglar or a bishop. The butcher, the baker, the grocer, and the milkman will call at every door; and you cannot argue as to the morals of a man from the fact that he eats bread, that he is fond of beef, or that he takes sugar with his porridge. There are certain main lines of expenditure along which each man, whatever his characteristics and idiosyncrasies, is resistlessly driven. But after he has submitted to this stern compulsion, and has paid his butcher, his baker, his grocer, and his milkman, then comes the test. What about the margin? Is there a margin? For upon the margin everything depends. We will suppose that, after paying for the things that he eats and the things that he wears, he still jingles in his pocket a dozen coins, with which he may do exactly as he likes. Now it is in the expenditure of that margin of money—as, in the other case, it was in the expenditure of that margin of leisure—that the real man will reveal himself. It is the use to which he puts that margin that declares his true character and determines the contribution that he, as an individual citizen, will make to the national weal or woe.

     Now, if this broadening margin means anything at all, it means that the responsibilities of the Church are increasing. For the Church is essentially the Mistress of the Margin. Concerning the expenditure of the hours occupied with labour, and concerning the money spent in the actual requisites of life, the statesman may have something to say. Legislation may deal with the hours of labour and the rate of wages. It may even influence the precise amount of the butcher's or the baker's bills. But when it comes to the hours that follow toil, and to the cash that remains after the principal accounts have been paid, the legislator finds himself in difficulties. He has come to the end of his tether. He cannot direct the people as to how to spend their spare cash. And, as we have seen, it is just this spare time and spare cash that determine everything. It is the dominating and deciding factor in the whole situation. It is manifest, therefore, that, important as are the functions of statesmanship, the really fundamental factors of individual conduct and of national life elude the most searching enactments of the most vigilant legislators. As the hours of labour shorten, and the margin of spare cash increases, the authority of the egislator becomes less and less; and the need for some force that shall shape the moral tone of the people becomes greater and greater. If the Church cannot supply that force, and become the Mistress of the Margin, the outlook is by no means reassuring. On one phase of this matter of the margin the Church holds a wonderful secret. She knows that there are people who, through no fault of their own, are marginless. They have neither a moment nor a penny to spare. Sickness, trouble, and the war of the world have been too much for them. They are right up against the wall; and they know it. But the matter does not end there. I remember once entering a dingy little dwelling in the slums of London. In the squalid room a cripple girl sat sewing, and as she sewed she sang:

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
  He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
  Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
  His coffers are full—He has riches untold.
  I'm the child of a King! the child of a King!
  With Jesus my Saviour, I'm the child of a King!

     What did this mean but that she had discovered that her cramped and narrow life had a spacious white margin after all? In a recent speech at Glasgow, Mr. Lloyd George told a fine story of a quaint old Welsh preacher who was conducting the funeral service of a poor old fellow, a member of his church, who, through no fault of his own, had had a very bad time of it. They could hardly find a space in the churchyard for his tomb. At last they got enough to make a brickless grave amidst towering monuments that pressed upon it, and the old minister, standing above it, said, 'Well, Davie, vach, you have had a narrow time right through life, and you have a very narrow place in death; but never you mind, old friend, I can see a day dawning for you when you will rise out of your narrow bed, and find plenty of room at the last. Ah!' he cried in a burst of natural eloquence, 'I can see it coming! I can see the day of the resurrection! I can see the dawn of immortality! There will be room, room, room, even for the poor! The light of that morning already gilds the hilltops!' What did he mean, that old Welsh minister, as he shaded his eyes with his hands and looked towards the East? He was pointing away from life's black and crowded letterpress to the white and spacious margin—the margin with the gilt edge—that was all.

Mushrooms on the Moor
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers


     Despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.
--- Hebrews 12:5.

     It is very easy to quench the Spirit; we do it by despising the chastening of the Lord, by fainting when we are rebuked by Him. If we have only a shallow experience of sanctification, we mistake the shadow for the reality, and when the Spirit of God begins to check, we say—‘Oh, that must be the devil.’

     Never quench the Spirit, and do not despise Him when He says to you—‘Don’t be blind on this point any more; you are not where you thought you were. Up to the present, I have not been able to reveal it to you, but I reveal it now.’ When the Lord chastens you like that, let Him have His way. Let Him relate you rightly to God.

     “Nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.” We get into sulks with God and say—‘Oh well, I can’t help it; I did pray and things did not turn out right, and I am going to give it all up.’ Think what would happen if we talked like this in any other domain of life!

     Am I prepared to let God grip me by His power and do a work in me that is worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me wholly.

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

The River
     the Poetry of RS Thomas

                The River

And the cobbled water
Of the stream with the trout's indelible
Shadows that winter
Has not erased -- I walk it
Again under a clean
Sky with the fish, speckled like thrushes,
Silently singing among the weed's
     I bring the heart
Not the mind to the interpretation
Of their music, letting the stream
Comb me, feeling it fresh
In my veins, revisiting the sources
That are as near now
As on the Morning I set out from them.


Searching For Meaning In Midrash

     It’s a dreary day at the cemetery. As the rabbi leaves graveside, she sees an old woman standing alone at a nearby monument. The lady looks tired and drained. “It’s cold out,” the rabbi tells her.

     And she answers her, “It’s not so cold for me. I’m used to it.”

     “This must be hard for you,” the rabbi says.

     “Who said it would be easy?” she replies, “We were married for over fifty years.”

     The rabbi notices her tears. “That’s a long time. It must be emotional coming here to visit.”

     “It’s emotional, but I want to be here. It’s where I belong. Today is my late husband’s yahrzeit, the anniversary of his death.”

     “Where are you from?” queries the rabbi.

     “From Brooklyn.”

     “That’s not around the corner,” the rabbi tells her, adding, “It must be an effort for you to get here.”

     “I don’t drive, so I have to take a subway and a train, and then a bus. It takes me over two hours each way.”

     “That’s incredible,” responds the rabbi, “you must have been very devoted to each other.”

     With this, the old woman looks up at the rabbi. “I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. But you look like a nice woman, so I’ll tell you. It’s a long, difficult trip. I come here three times every year—once for our wedding anniversary, once for his birthday, and once for his yahrzeit. We shared everything for over fifty years. Over fifty years! I’m eighty now. My feet ache. It’s cold out. And I have to take a bus, and then a train, and then a subway just to get home and soak my aching feet. But it’s my late husband’s yahrzeit, and he’ll always have a special place in my heart, and so I’m here. That’s the long and the short of it.”

     A tear wells up in the rabbi’s eye. She has been married far fewer years, and her feet don’t ache yet. But she feels this woman’s pain, as well as her love, inside. “I’ll drive you to the train station,” she tells her. “But take your time. Take your time.”

     We demonstrate that something is important to us by finding a way to make it happen. Even when our bodies are tired and our minds are strained, we have to make sure that our feet carry us there. How else can we show that we care so much?

     ANOTHER D’RASH / Think of the human body as a ship: The captain is situated somewhere in the brain. He’s plotted out a course on his navigational charts, and he’s ready to cast off and set sail. He sends a message down to the boiler room (the feet): “I want you to head in this direction, at such-and-such a speed.” And the feet respond “Aye aye, captain!” and they do their duty and follow their orders.

     But where we end up in life, and how we get there, isn’t always so logical.

     “Hey, everybody,” the father calls out to his family. “Get in the car.”

     “Where we goin’, Dad?”

     “For a ride,” the father answers.

     “Where to, Honey?” the wife asks.

     “I don’t know—it’s such a gorgeous day; it’s a shame to stay cooped up here in the house. I’ll put my foot on the gas, and we’ll just go. Let’s be explorers and see what’s out there! If it looks interesting to the right, we’ll go to the right! If we come across something inviting, we’ll pull over and investigate. Come on! Let’s make this a ‘magical mystery tour’!”

     Later, when they tell their friends of the incredible place they went to, the family will say “You won’t believe it, but we were out for a drive and we literally stumbled upon it …” or “Our feet just sort of tripped over this terrific spot.…”

     But at other times, how we end up at our destination is a lot more complex.

     “Dr. Freud, you’ve got to help me!”

     “Vat zeems to be ze problem, Mr. Bailey?”

     “More than anything else in the world, I want to get out of this crummy little town. But every time I make plans, something comes up and I get stuck here. I can’t understand it! It’s driving me crazy! I’m ready to jump off a bridge!”

     “Calm down, George. Vat keeps coming up?”

     “I was ready to go to Europe, and my father had a stroke. I was all set to go off to college, when Mr. Potter tried to take over the Building and Loan. I was ready to turn things over to my brother, when he got married and got a great offer for a job in research. And then, just as Mary and I were about to go off on our honeymoon, there was a run on the bank, and I had to stay. Can you believe what bad luck I have? Every time I try to leave Bedford Falls, something happens.”

     Dr. Freud stroked his goatee and shook his head. “Mr. Bailey, we zychoanalysts believe zat zere are no accidents or coincidences. You could have chozen to leave on any of zose occasions. But you decided to ztay. Yes, zere is a part of you zat vonders vat it vould be like to go someplace else. But deep down, you really vant to ztay. Your zubconscious vill not permit you to leave, because your home is here. Your destiny is here. Vhere your feet take you is the place you vanted to be—vhether your head admits it or not.”

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     August 14

     Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.
--- Matthew 6:19.

     At the end of the world, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge, he will gather all nations before him. (The Early Church Fathers--Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series: 14 Volumes (The Early Church Fathers, First Series , So14)) To those on his right he will say, “Come,… take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). But to those on the left, “Depart from me… into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (v. 41).

     Why so great a reward or so great a punishment? Why will the first receive the kingdom? “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat” (v. 35). Why will the others depart into eternal fire? “For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat” (v. 42). Those who receive the kingdom gave as good and faithful Christians. Had they not done so, this barrenness would surely not have accorded with their good lives. Maybe they were chaste, not drunkards, and kept themselves from evil works. Yet if they had not added good works, they would have remained barren. For they would have kept, “Turn from evil,” but they would not have kept, “and do good”
(Ps. 34:14; 1 Peter 3:11).

     Give away your earthly bread and knock for the heavenly! How will the Lord give to you who do not give to those in need? [Others] are in need before you, and you are in need before Another. Do then to others as you would have done to you. Though he is the Lord and doesn’t need our goods, yet that we might do something for him, he has submitted to be hungry in his poor.

     John said to those who came to him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:7–8). The crowd asked him, “What should we do then?” (v. 10). That is, what are these fruits that you exhort us to bring forth? He said, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same” (v. 11). What other meaning then can it have when he said, “Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (v. 9), but the same that they on the left will hear, “Depart from me.… For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat.” It is only a small matter to depart from sins, if you neglect to cure what is past. If then you will be heard when you pray for pardon of your sins, forgive, and it will be forgiven you; give, and it will be given you.
--- Augustine of Hippo

Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers

On This Day
     And to Die Is Gain  August 14

     On a sizzling summer’s day in 1925, 17-year-old Bill Wallace sat in a garage working on a dismantled Ford, but his thoughts were on the future. Putting down his wrench, he reached for his New Testament and scrawled a decision on its grease-stained flyleaf. He would become a medical missionary.

     Ten years later he arrived at Stout Memorial Hospital in Wuchow, South China. War was brewing between the warlords of Kwangsi Province and the government of Chiang Kai-shek, and many missionaries had fled. Wallace remained at the hospital, performing surgery, making rounds, and sharing Christ.

     He survived the dangers only to face a greater one. It was Japan, intent on a conquest of the Chinese mainland. Still Wallace stayed, treating the wounded and performing surgery amid exploding bombs and flying bullets. Not until 1940 did he return to America on furlough. When time came to return, his friends questioned him; but he said, “When I was trying to decide what I should do with my life, I became convinced God wanted me to be a medical missionary. That decision took me to China. And that, along with the fact that I was extremely happy there, will take me back.” He returned on August 14, 1942, and began dispensing medical and spiritual help during World War II.

     Then an even greater threat emerged—the Communist takeover of China. Still Wallace stayed, performing duties with a hero’s valor. Finally, during predawn of December 19, 1950, Communist solders came to arrest the “best surgeon in China” on trumped-up espionage charges. He was placed in a small cell where he preached to passersby from a tiny window. Brutal interrogations followed, and Wallace, wearing down, stuck verses of Scripture on the walls of his cell. When he died from the ordeal, the Communists tried to say he had hanged himself; but his body showed no signs of suicide. He was buried in a cheap wooden coffin in a bamboo-shaded cemetery. The inscription on his grave simply said: For to Me to Live Is Christ.

On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - August 14

     “Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work.” --- Psalm 92:4.

     Do you believe that your sins are forgiven, and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be! How you should live above the common trials and troubles of the world! Since sin is forgiven, can it matter what happens to you now? Luther said, “Smite, Lord, smite, for my sin is forgiven; if thou hast but forgiven me, smite as hard as thou wilt”; and in a similar spirit you may say, “Send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, what thou wilt, thou hast forgiven me, and my soul is glad.” Christian, if thou art thus saved, whilst thou art glad, be grateful and loving. Cling to that cross which took thy sin away; serve thou him who served thee. “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Let not your zeal evaporate in some little ebullition of song. Show your love in expressive tokens. Love the brethren of him who loved you. If there be a Mephibosheth anywhere who is lame or halt, help him for Jonathan’s sake. If there be a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of him who wept for thee and carried thy sins. Since thou art thus forgiven freely for Christ’s sake, go and tell to others the joyful news of pardoning mercy. Be not contented with this unspeakable blessing for thyself alone, but publish abroad the story of the cross. Holy gladness and holy boldness will make you a good preacher, and all the world will be a pulpit for you to preach in. Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of RS Thomas, but the Lord must give it you. Seek it this Morning before you go into the world. When it is the Lord’s work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad.

          Evening - August 14

     “I know their sorrows.” --- Exodus 3:7.

     The child is cheered as he sings, “This my father knows”; and shall not we be comforted as we discern that our dear Friend and tender soul-husband knows all about us?

     1. He is the Physician, and if he knows all, there is no need that the patient should know. Hush, thou silly, fluttering heart, prying, peeping, and suspecting! What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter, and meanwhile Jesus, the beloved Physician, knows thy soul in adversities. Why need the patient analyze all the medicine, or estimate all the symptoms? This is the Physician’s work, not mine; it is my business to trust, and his to prescribe. If he shall write his prescription in uncouth characters which I cannot read, I will not be uneasy on that account, but rely upon his unfailing skill to make all plain in the result, however mysterious in the working.

     2. He is the Master, and his knowledge is to serve us instead of our own; we are to obey, not to judge: “The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth.” Shall the architect explain his plans to every hodman on the works? If he knows his own intent, is it not enough? The vessel on the wheel cannot guess to what pattern it shall be conformed, but if the potter understands his art, what matters the ignorance of the clay? My Lord must not be cross-questioned any more by one so ignorant as I am.

     3. He is the Head. All understanding centres there. What judgment has the arm? What comprehension has the foot? All the power to know lies in the head. Why should the member have a brain of its own when the head fulfils for it every intellectual office? Here, then, must the believer rest his comfort in sickness, not that he himself can see the end, but that Jesus knows all. Sweet Lord, be thou for ever eye, and soul, and head for us, and let us be content to know only what thou choosest to reveal.

Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

Amazing Grace
     August 14


     William D. Longstaff, 1822 -1894

     But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:15, 16)

     The valuable guidelines given in this hymn for living a holy life are just as pertinent for believers today as they were when William Longstaff wrote them more than a century ago. God still requires a holy lifestyle for His people. We sometimes confuse holiness with piety, which can be merely a hypocritical goodness that masks inner deceit or impurity. A truly holy or Christ-like life reveals the virtues mentioned in 2 Peter 1:5, 6: Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. We are surrounded today by so much sham and insincerity that we are often unconsciously affected by such influences. To maintain the quality of life that God demands, we must determine to take time to develop a life that is genuinely and consistently holy in every area.

     William Longstaff, though financially independent (son of a wealthy English ship owner), was a humble and devout Christian layman and a close friend and supporter of the Moody-Sankey evangelistic team that stirred England with great revival campaigns during the late 19th century. After hearing a sermon on 1 Peter 1:16—“Be ye holy, for I am holy”—with reference to the book of Leviticus from which it was originally taken, young William began to make the achievement of holiness his life’s goal. Although this was his only hymn, these words have since been an invaluable influence for sincere believers everywhere who truly desire to live a genuine Christian life:

     Take time to be holy. Speak oft with thy Lord; abide in Him always and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children. Help those who are weak, forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
     Take time to be holy. The world rushes on; spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
     Take time to be holy. Let Him be thy guide, and run not before Him, whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord, and, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
     Take time to be holy. Be calm in thy soul—Each thought and each motive beneath His control. Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

     For Today: Leviticus 20:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:23, 24; 1 Timothy 1:8; Hebrews 12:14

     Reflect on all of the various suggestions for holy living listed in this hymn text. Sing these truths as you go realizing you need to ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Monday, August 14, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 14, Monday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 89:1–18
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 89:19–52
Old Testament     2 Samuel 13:23–39
New Testament     Acts 20:17–38
Gospel     Mark 9:42–50

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 89:1–18

1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’ ”     Selah

5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD,
7 a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and awesome above all that are around him?
8 O LORD God of hosts,
who is as mighty as you, O LORD?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
12 The north and the south—you created them;
Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance;
16 they exult in your name all day long,
and extol your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the LORD,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 89:19–52

19 Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:
“I have set the crown on one who is mighty,
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found my servant David;
with my holy oil I have anointed him;
21 my hand shall always remain with him;
my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;
and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’
27 I will make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
and my covenant with him will stand firm.
29 I will establish his line forever,
and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
30 If his children forsake my law
and do not walk according to my ordinances,
31 if they violate my statutes
and do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod
and their iniquity with scourges;
33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love,
or be false to my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant,
or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35 Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall continue forever,
and his throne endure before me like the sun.
37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
an enduring witness in the skies.”     Selah

38 But now you have spurned and rejected him;
you are full of wrath against your anointed.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
you have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken through all his walls;
you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by plunder him;
he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 Moreover, you have turned back the edge of his sword,
and you have not supported him in battle.
44 You have removed the scepter from his hand,
and hurled his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;
you have covered him with shame. Selah

46 How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is—
for what vanity you have created all mortals!
48 Who can live and never see death?
Who can escape the power of Sheol?     Selah

49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted;
how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,
51 with which your enemies taunt, O LORD,
with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed.

52 Blessed be the LORD forever.
Amen and Amen.

Old Testament
2 Samuel 13:23–39

23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king, and said, “Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants please go with your servant?” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, or else we will be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Absalom made a feast like a king’s feast. 28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Watch when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons rose, and each mounted his mule and fled.

30 While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them was left. 31 The king rose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. 32 But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom from the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take it to heart, as if all the king’s sons were dead; for Amnon alone is dead.”

34 But Absalom fled. When the young man who kept watch looked up, he saw many people coming from the Horonaim road by the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived, and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly.

37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son day after day. 38 Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years. 39 And the heart of the king went out, yearning for Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.

New Testament
Acts 20:17–38

17 From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. 18 When they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. 20 I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. 22 And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. 24 But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

25 “And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. 26 Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. 29 I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. 35 In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

36 When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. 37 There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.

Mark 9:42–50

42 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

49 “For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church

Theology Live    Dorothy Bass   
Yale University Divinity School

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Theology Live    Stanley Hauerwas   
Yale University Divinity School

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Reclaiming Virginity-Reclaiming Self
John Kinney   
Yale University Divinity School

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A Politically Engaged Spirituality
William Sloane Coffin, Jr.   
Yale University Divinity School

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The Future of Ministry in the Prophetic Tradition
David Kelsey   
Yale University Divinity School

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God and War at Yale    Panel   
Yale University Divinity School

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A New Method of Religious Enquiry
Don Cupitt   
Yale University Divinity School

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Faith and Activism: The Legacy of the '60s Generation
Yale University Divinity School

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The Transfiguration of Healing: The Care of Survivors of Mass Violence and Torture
Richard Mollica   
Yale University Divinity School

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Vatican II: Did Anything Happen?
John W. O'Malley   
Yale University Divinity School

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Preaching Morality in America's Civil War I:
And the War Came    Harry S. Stout   
Yale University Divinity School

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Spirits of Liberty   Fiona Price
Biola University

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Follow Me   David Fandey
Biola University

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The Uncomfortable Names of God    Rick Langer
Biola University

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Christ and the City 1   Christopher Brooks
Biola University

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Christ and the City 2   Christopher Brooks
Biola University

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