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Proverbs 19-21
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Proverbs 22:1     A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

2     The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.

3     A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.

4     By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.

5     Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6     Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

7     The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.

8     He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.

9     He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.

10     Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

11     He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.

12     The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the faithless.

13     The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”

14     The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

15     Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

16     He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

Sayings of the Wise

17     Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18     For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19     So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20     Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21     That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?

22     Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23     For the Lord will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

24     Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25     Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.

26     Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
27     If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?

28     Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.

29     Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.

Proverbs 23:1     When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2     And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3     Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.

4     Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5     Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

6     Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7     For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8     The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.

9     Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10     Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11     For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.

12     Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13     Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14     You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.

15     My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16     Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

17     Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18     For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19     Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20     Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21     For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22     Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23     Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24     The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25     Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

26     My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27     For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28     She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.

29     Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30     Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31     Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32     At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33     Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34     Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35     “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

Proverbs 24:1     Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them;
2     For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
3     Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4     By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

5     A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
6     For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

7     Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

8     He who plots to do evil
Will be called a schemer.
9     The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10     If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.

11     Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12     If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
13     My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14     So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15     Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16     For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

17     Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18     Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.

19     Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20     For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21     My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22     For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23     These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
24     He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25     But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.

26     He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.

27     Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.

28     Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips?
29     Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30     I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31     And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32     When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33     A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34     So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.

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  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     “There are but 155 years left… at which time… the world will come to an end? wrote Christopher Columbus in his book Libro de Las Profecias.“The sign which convinces me that our Lord is hastening the end… is the preaching of the Gospel… in so many lands.” Though his predictions were off, Columbus described in detail his motivation for setting sail this day, August 3, 1492, with the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. He carried a letter from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to the Gran Khan of India, with the instructions “to see the said princes and peoples… and the manner which should be used to bring about their conversion to our Holy Faith.”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

Love is my standard,
hope is my mandate,
faith is my lifestyle.
--- Brandon Lee

Let this encourage thy heart, O saint, in a dying hour, and not only make thee patient in death, but in a holy manner impatient till thou be gone; for whither is thy soul now going, but to that bosom of love whence Christ came? John 17: 24. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am:” and where is he but in that bosom of glory and love where he lay before the world was? ver. 5. O then let every believer encourage his soul; comfort ye one another with these words, I am leaving the bosom of a creature, I am going to the bosom of God.
--- John Flavel

Life comes before literature, as the material always comes before the work. The hills are full of marble before the world blooms with statues.
--- Phillips Brooks

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     4. Hereupon the people of Taricheae loudly commended him; but those of Tiberias, with the rest of the company, gave him hard names, and threatened what they would do to him; so both sides left off quarrelling with Josephus, and fell on quarrelling with one another. So he grew bold upon the dependence he had on his friends, which were the people of Taricheae, and about forty thousand in number, and spake more freely to the whole multitude, and reproached them greatly for their rashness; and told them, that with this money he would build walls about Taricheae, and would put the other cities in a state of security also; for that they should not want money, if they would but agree for whose benefit it was to be procured, and would not suffer themselves to be irritated against him who procured it for them.

     5. Hereupon the rest of the multitude that had been deluded retired; but yet so that they went away angry, and two thousand of them made an assault upon him in their armor; and as he was already gone to his own house, they stood without and threatened him. On which occasion Josephus again used a second stratagem to escape them; for he got upon the top of his house, and with his right hand desired them to be silent, and said to them, "I cannot tell what you would have, nor can hear what you say, for the confused noise you make;" but he said that he would comply with all their demands, in case they would but send some of their number in to him that might talk with him about it. And when the principal of them, with their leaders, heard this, they came into the house. He then drew them to the most retired part of the house, and shut the door of that hall where he put them, and then had them whipped till every one of their inward parts appeared naked. In the mean time the multitude stood round the house, and supposed that he had a long discourse with those that were gone in about what they claimed of him. He had then the doors set open immediately, and sent the men out all bloody, which so terribly affrighted those that had before threatened him, that they threw away their arms and ran away.

     6. But as for John, his envy grew greater [upon this escape of Josephus], and he framed a new plot against him; he pretended to be sick, and by a letter desired that Josephus would give him leave to use the hot baths that were at Tiberias, for the recovery of his health. Hereupon Josephus, who hitherto suspected nothing of John's plots against him, wrote to the governors of the city, that they would provide a lodging and necessaries for John; which favors, when he had made use of, in two days' time he did what he came about; some he corrupted with delusive frauds, and others with money, and so persuaded them to revolt from Josephus. This Silas, who was appointed guardian of the city by Josephus, wrote to him immediately, and informed him of the plot against him; which epistle when Josephus had received, he marched with great diligence all night, and came early in the Morning to Tiberias; at which time the rest of the multitude met him. But John, who suspected that his coming was not for his advantage, sent however one of his friends, and pretended that he was sick, and that being confined to his bed, he could not come to pay him his respects. But as soon as Josephus had got the people of Tiberias together in the stadium, and tried to discourse with them about the letters that he had received, John privately sent some armed men, and gave them orders to slay him. But when the people saw that the armed men were about to draw their swords, they cried out; at which cry Josephus turned himself about, and when he saw that the swords were just at his throat, he marched away in great haste to the sea-shore, and left off that speech which he was going to make to the people, upon an elevation of six cubits high. He then seized on a ship which lay in the haven, and leaped into it, with two of his guards, and fled away into the midst of the lake.

     7. But now the soldiers he had with him took up their arms immediately, and marched against the plotters; but Josephus was afraid lest a civil war should be raised by the envy of a few men, and bring the city to ruin; so he sent some of his party to tell them, that they should do no more than provide for their own safety; that they should not kill any body, nor accuse any for the occasion they had afforded [of disorder]. Accordingly, these men obeyed his orders, and were quiet; but the people of the neighboring country, when they were informed of this plot, and of the plotter, they got together in great multitudes to oppose John. But he prevented their attempt, and fled away to Gischala, his native city, while the Galileans came running out of their several cities to Josephus; and as they were now become many ten thousands of armed men, they cried out, that they were come against John the common plotter against their interest, and would at the same time burn him, and that city which had received him. Hereupon Josephus told them that he took their good-will to him kindly, but still he restrained their fury, and intended to subdue his enemies by prudent conduct, rather than by slaying them; so he excepted those of every city which had joined in this revolt with John, by name, who had readily been shown him by these that came from every city, and caused public proclamation to be made, that he would seize upon the effects of those that did not forsake John within five days' time, and would burn both their houses and their families with fire. Whereupon three thousand of John's party left him immediately, who came to Josephus, and threw their arms down at his feet. John then betook himself, together with his two thousand Syrian runagates, from open attempts, to more secret ways of treachery. Accordingly, he privately sent messengers to Jerusalem, to accuse Josephus, as having to great power, and to let them know that he would soon come as a tyrant to their metropolis, unless they prevented him. This accusation the people were aware of beforehand, but had no regard to it. However, some of the grandees, out of envy, and some of the rulers also, sent money to John privately, that he might be able to get together mercenary soldiers, in order to fight Josephus; they also made a decree of themselves, and this for recalling him from his government, yet did they not think that decree sufficient; so they sent withal two thousand five hundred armed men, and four persons of the highest rank amongst them; Joazar the son of Nomicus, and Ananias the son of Sadduk, as also Simon and Judas the sons of Jonathan, all very able men in speaking, that these persons might withdraw the good-will of the people from Josephus. These had it in charge, that if he would voluntarily come away, they should permit him to [come and] give an account of his conduct; but if he obstinately insisted upon continuing in his government, they should treat him as an enemy. Now Josephus's friends had sent him word that an army was coming against him, but they gave him no notice beforehand what the reason of their coming was, that being only known among some secret councils of his enemies; and by this means it was that four cities revolted from him immediately, Sepphoris, and Gamala, and Gischala, and Tiberias. Yet did he recover these cities without war; and when he had routed those four commanders by stratagems, and had taken the most potent of their warriors, he sent them to Jerusalem; and the people [of Galilee] had great indignation at them, and were in a zealous disposition to slay, not only these forces, but those that sent them also, had not these forces prevented it by running away.

          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 22:9
     by D.H. Stern

9     He who is generous is blessed,
because he shares his food with the poor.

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


     Changing your mind is for all the world like changing your clothes. You may easily make a mistake, especially if the process is performed in the dark. And, as a matter of fact, a man is usually more or less in the dark at the moment in which he changes his mind. An absent-minded friend of mine went upstairs the other day to prepare for a social function. To the consternation of his unhappy wife he came down again wearing his old gardening suit. A man may quite easily make a mistake. Before he enters upon the process of robing he must be sure of three things: (1) He must be quite clear that the clothes he proposes to doff are unsuitable. (2) He must be sure that his wardrobe contains more appropriate apparel. (3) And he must be certain that the folded garments that he takes from the drawer are actually those that he made up his mind to wear. It is a good thing, similarly, to change one's mind. But the thing must be done very deliberately, and even with scientific precision, or a man may make himself perfectly ridiculous. Let me produce a pair of illustrations, one from Boswell, which is good; and one from the Bible, which is better.

     (1) Dr. Samuel Johnson was a frequent visitor at the house of Mr. Richardson, the famous novelist. One day, whilst Johnson was there, Hogarth called. Hogarth soon started a discussion with Mr. Richardson as to the justice of the execution of Dr. Cameron. 'While he was talking, he perceived a person standing at a window in the room, shaking his head, and rolling himself about in a strange, ridiculous manner. He concluded that he was an idiot, whom his relations had put under the care of Mr. Richardson, as being a very good man. To his great surprise, however, this figure stalked forwards to where he and Mr. Richardson were sitting, and all at once took up the argument. He displayed such a power of eloquence that Hogarth looked at him with astonishment, and actually imagined that he was inspired.' Thus far Boswell.

     (2) Paul was shipwrecked, as everybody knows, at Malta. He was gathering sticks for the fire, when a viper, thawed by the warm flesh and the fierce flame, fastened on his finger. When the natives saw the snake hanging on his hand, they regarded it as a judgement, and said that no doubt he was a murderer. But when they saw that he was none the worse for the bite, 'they changed their minds, and said that he was a god!'

     Hogarth thought Johnson was a lunatic. He changed his mind, and said he was inspired!

     The Maltese thought Paul was a murderer. They changed their minds, and said he was a god!

     They were all wrong, and always wrong. It is the case of my poor absent-minded friend over again. It was quite clear that his clothes wanted changing, but he put on the wrong suit. It was evident that Hogarth's verdict on Johnson wanted revising, but he rushed from Scylla to Charybdis. It was manifest that the Maltese view of Paul needed correcting, but they swung, like a pendulum, from one ludicrous extreme to the opposite. In each case, the hero reappears, wearing the wrong clothes. In each case he only makes himself ridiculous. If my mind wants changing, I must be very cautious as to the way in which I do it.

     And, of course, a man must sometimes change both his clothes and his mind—his mind at any rate. How can you go to a conjuring entertainment, for example, without changing your mind a hundred times in the course of the performance? For a second you think that the vanished billiard ball is here. Then, in a trice, you change your mind, and conclude that it is there! First, you believe that, appearances notwithstanding, the magician really has no hat in his hand. Then, in a flash, you change your mind, and you fancy he has two! You think for a moment that the clever trick is done in this way, and then you become certain that it is done in that! I once witnessed in London a very clever artist, who walked up and down the stage, passing midway behind a screen. And as he reappeared on the other side, after having been hidden from sight for only a fraction of a second, he was differently dressed. He stepped behind the screen a soldier, and emerged a policeman. He disappeared a huntsman, he reappeared a clergyman. He went a convict, he came again a sailor. He wore a score of uniforms in almost as many seconds.

     I began by saying that changing your mind is for all the world like changing your clothes. It is less tedious, however. I have no idea how my London friend managed to change his garments many times in a minute. But many a magician has made me change my mind at a lightning pace. Yes, many a magician. For the universe is, after all, a kind of magic. The wand of the wizard is at its wonderful work. It is the highest type of legerdemain. It is very weird and very wonderful, a thing of marvel and of mystery. No man can sit down and gaze for five minutes with wide open eyes upon God's worlds without changing his mind at least five times. The man who never changes his mind will soon discover to his shame that he is draped in intellectual rags and tatters.

     I rather think that Macaulay's illustration is as good as any. 'A traveller,' he says in his essay on Sir James Mackintosh, 'falls in with a berry which he has never before seen. He tastes it, and finds it sweet and refreshing. He presses it, and resolves to introduce it into his own country. But in a few minutes he is taken violently sick; he is convulsed; he is at the point of death. He, of course, changes his mind, pronounces this delicious food a poison, blames his own folly in tasting it, and cautions his friends against it. After a long and violent struggle he recovers, and finds himself much exhausted by his sufferings, but free from chronic complaints which had been the torment of his life. He then changes his mind again, and pronounces this fruit a very powerful remedy, which ought to be employed only in extreme cases, and with great caution, but which ought not to be absolutely excluded from the Pharmacopoeia. Would it not be the height of absurdity to call such a man fickle and inconsistent because he had repeatedly altered his judgement?' Of course it would. A man cannot go all through life wearing the same suit of clothes. For two reasons. It will not always fit, and it will wear out. And, in precisely the same way, and for identically similar reasons, a man must sometimes change his opinions. It is refreshing to think of Augustine carefully compiling a list of the mistakes that had crept into his writings, so that he might take every opportunity of repudiating and correcting them. I never consult my copies of Archbishop Trench's great works on The Parables and The Miracles without glancing, always with a glow of admiration, at that splendid sentence with which the 'Publisher's Note' concludes: 'The author never allowed his books to be stereotyped, in order that he might constantly improve them, and permanence has only become possible now that his diligent hand can touch the work no more.' That always strikes me as being very fine.

     But the thing must be done methodically. Let me not rush upstairs and change either my clothes or my mind for the mere sake of making a change. Nor must I tumble into the first suit that I happen to find—in either wardrobe. When I reappear, the change must commend itself to the respect, if not the admiration, of my fellows. I do not want men to laugh at my change as we have laughed at these Maltese natives, at old Hogarth, and at my absent-minded friend. I want to be quite sure that the clothes that I doff are the wrong clothes, and that the clothes that I don are the right ones.

     Mr. Gladstone once thought out very thoroughly this whole question as to how frequently and how radically a man may change his mental outfit without forfeiting the confidence of those who have come to value his judgements. And, as a result of that hard thinking, the great man reached half a dozen very clear and very concise conclusions. (1) He concluded that a change of front is very often not only permissible but creditable. 'A change of mind,' he says, 'is a sign of life. If you are alive, you must change. It is only the dead who remain the same. I have changed my point of view on a score of subjects, and my convictions as to many of them.' (2) He concluded that a great change, involving a drastic social cleavage, not unlike a change in religion, should certainly occur not more than once in a lifetime. (3) He concluded that a great and cataclysmic change should never be sudden or precipitate. (4) He concluded that no change ought to be characterized by a contemptuous repudiation of old memories and old associations. (5) He concluded that no change ought to be regarded as final or worthy of implicit confidence if it involved the convert in temporal gain or worldly advantage. (6) And he concluded that any change, to command respect, must be frankly confessed, and not be hooded, slurred over, or denied.

     All this is good, as far as it goes. But even Mr. Gladstone must not be too hard on sudden and cataclysmic changes. What about Saul on the road to Damascus? What about Augustine that morning in his garden? What about Brother Laurence and the dry tree? What about Stephen Grellet in the American forest? What about Luther on Pilate's staircase? What about Bunyan and Newton, Wesley and Spurgeon? What about the tales that Harold Begbie tells? And what about the work of General Booth? Professor James, in his The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature, has a good deal to say that would lead Mr. Gladstone to yet one more change of mind concerning the startling suddenness with which the greatest of all changes may be precipitated.

     And this, too, must be said. Every wise man has, locked away in his heart, a few treasures that he will never either give or sell or exchange. It is a mistake to suppose that all our opinions are open to revision. They are not. There are some things too sacred to be always open to scrutiny and investigation. No self-respecting man will spend his time inquiring as to his wife's probity and honour. He makes up his mind as to that when he marries her; and henceforth that question is settled. It is not open to review. He would feel insulted if an investigation were suggested. It is only the small things of life that we are eternally questioning. We are reverently restful and serenely silent about the biggest things of all. A man does not discuss his wife's virtue or his soul's salvation on the kerbstone. The martyrs all went to their deaths with brave hearts and morning faces, because they were not prepared to reconsider or review the greatest decision they had ever made. There are some things on which no wise man will think of changing his mind. And he will decline to contemplate a change because he knows that his wardrobe holds no better garb. It is of no use doffing the robes of princes to don the rags of paupers. 'Eighty and six years have I served Christ,' exclaimed the triumphant Polycarp; and he mounted the heavens in wreathing smoke and leaping flame rather than change his mind after so long and so lovely an experience.

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

                The big compelling of God

     Behold, we go up to Jerusalem. --- Luke 18:31.

     Jerusalem stands in the life of Our Lord as the place where He reached the climax of His Father’s will. “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” That was the one dominating interest all through Our Lord’s life, and the things He met with on the way, joy or sorrow, success or failure, never deterred Him from His purpose. “He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.”

     The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God’s purpose, not our own. Naturally, our ambitions are our own; in the Christian life we have no aim of our own. There is so much said to-day about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament it is the aspect of God’s compelling that is brought out. “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God’s purpose, we are taken up into God’s purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God’s aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God’s purpose is—‘I am meant to go here or there’; ‘God has called me to do this special work’; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big coming of God. “He took unto Him the twelve,” He takes us all the time. There is more than we have got at as yet.

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

     the Poetry of RS Thomas


And one voice says: Come
Back to the rain and manure
Of Siloh, to the small talk,
Of the wind, and the chapel's

Temptation; to the pale,
Sickly half-smile of
The daughter of the village
Grover. The other says: Come.

To the streets, where the pound
Sings and the doors open
To its music, with life
Like an express train running

To time. And I stay
Here, listening to them, blowing
On the small soul in my
Keeping with such breath as I have.


Richard Steven Adams
     Have You Noticed

Have you noticed?
Circumstances prune the unprepared.
Why do you lean on moonlight
Instead of walking
By the light of day?

No wonder you fall
And fall often.

Are you the artist,
Too embarrassed
To walk the gallery
Of your own creativity?

You forbid visitors
To the cellar of your heart
And wonder why
Your dawn fed days
Melt in the silence
Of the audience
That never showed.

They never knew
You bled for them.

Richard Steven Adams

Searching For Meaning In Midrash
     Exodus 13:17–19

     By the measure that a person measures, so is he measured.

Exodus 13:17–19 / Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, “The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds.

     Now the Israelites went up armed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will be sure to take notice of you: then you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”

     MIDRASH TEXT / Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael, Be-shallaḥ 1 / By the measure that a person measures, so is he measured. Miriam waited for Moses a while, as it says, “And his sister stationed herself at a distance …” (
Exodus 2:4). And in the wilderness, God caused the Ark, the Shekhinah, the Kohanim, all of Israel, and the seven clouds of glory to wait for her, as it says, “And the people did not march on until Miriam was readmitted” (Numbers 12:15).

     Joseph [alone] was worthy of burying his father, since none of his brothers was greater than he, as it says, “So Joseph went up to bury his father.… Chariots, too, and horsemen …” (
Genesis 50:7, 9). Who is greater than Joseph, for none other than Moses occupied himself with burying Joseph’s bones? Moses occupied himself with Joseph’s bones, for none is greater than him in Israel, as it says, “And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph.” Who is greater than Moses, for none other than the Holy One, praised is He, occupied Himself with him, as it says, “He [God] buried him [Moses] in the valley” (Deuteronomy 34:6)? And what’s more: The officials of Pharaoh and senior members of his court went up with Jacob, as it says, “And with him went up all the officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court” (Genesis 50:7), while the Ark, the Shekhinah, the Kohanim, Levi’im, all of Israel, and the seven clouds of glory went up with Joseph. Not only that, but the coffin אֲרוֹן/aron] of Joseph went alongside the Ark [אֲרוֹן/aron] of the Life of the World.

     CONTEXT / The Rabbis found great comfort in seeing the world as an orderly place, with God’s divine justice prevailing. Thus, they teach that by the measure that a person measures, so is he measured. We are treated the same way we treat others—good or bad. Miriam waited for her brother Moses a while when he was an infant. In order to save Moses’ life, his mother placed him in a wicker basket in the Nile, as it says “And his sister stationed herself at a distance to learn what would befall him” (
Exodus 2:4). Miriam showed kindness and patience toward her infant brother, saving his life. Later, this kindness would be repaid to her. Miriam is afflicted with a scaly-white skin disease as punishment for having spoken out against Moses’ Cushite wife. And in the wilderness, God caused the Ark, the Shekhinah, God’s Divine Presence and its manifestation in the Israelite camp, the Kohanim, all of Israel, and the seven clouds of glory, a rabbinic reading of the cloud that came over the mishkan or Tabernacle, to wait for her, as it says, “So Miriam was shut up [with this disease] for seven days, and the people did not march on until Miriam was readmitted” (Numbers 12:15). The kindness and patience she showed another was repaid to her in kind.

     Just as Joseph showed kindness to his father, Moses showed kindness to Joseph. At the death of his father, Jacob, Joseph was already a great man in Egypt. The text does not emphasize that Jacob’s family went to bury him in Canaan, but rather that Joseph [alone] was worthy of burying his father, since none of his brothers is greater than he, as it says, “So Joseph went up to bury his father.…” Since Joseph is mentioned as the central figure of this verse, the Rabbis can ask, Who is greater than Joseph, for none other than Moses, also a great man, occupied himself with burying Joseph’s bones? This is seen by the Rabbis as a repayment, measure-for-measure, for Joseph’s act of kindness to his father, Jacob.

     Moses occupied himself with Joseph’s bones, for none is greater than him in Israel.… Clearly, no one was a greater leader than Moses. If Moses was to be repaid measure-for-measure, then only God could repay this act of kindness! For none other than the Holy One, praised is He, occupied Himself with him, as it says, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, at the command of the Lord. He, God, buried him in the valley” (
Deuteronomy 34:6).

     The Rabbis conclude by returning to the transfer of the coffin of Joseph. Since Jacob received an honor guard—And what’s more: The officials of Pharaoh and senior members of his court went up with Jacob, as it says, “And with him went up all the officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court …”—so too Joseph also deserved an honor guard: the Ark, the Shekhinah, the Kohanim, Levi’im, all of Israel, and the seven clouds of glory went up with Joseph, an even greater entourage. Not only that, but the coffin [אֲרוֹן/aron] of Joseph went alongside the Ark [אֲרוֹן/aron] of the Life of the World, that is, God. The same Hebrew word, אֲרוֹן/aron, can mean both “coffin” and “Ark.” The Rabbis use the repetition of the word aron to show the great honor given to Joseph: Just as something holy and notable was being carried in one אֲרוֹן/aron, God’s “Ark of the Covenant,” so too something holy and notable was being carried in the other אֲרוֹן/aron, the bones of Joseph. No greater honor could be bestowed upon a human being.

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     August 3

     Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
--- Habakkuk 2:3.

     Faith, hope, love, these are great gifts. ISBN-13: 978-0825440458 Yet not all of them together will bring you through with honor. For that, something more is needed. Remember, says Saint Anthony, of all the virtues, perseverance alone wins the crown. Have you the courage that, checked and beaten back, can hold its ground and never think of giving way? For that is often what I need in those who would serve me, says God. Though it linger, wait.

     “We all thought,” said Baxter, speaking of the Civil War, “that one battle would end it, but we were all very much mistaken.” And so most of us expected that our spiritual lives would move on much faster than they have. We knew we had certain temptations, but we were going to knock them on the head and put an end to that; yet perhaps some of them visit us to this day. We were aware that we were prone to this and that sin and weakness. But Christ would break them for us. Yet, perhaps, some of them persist.

     We saw the glory of life as Christ led it, and our hearts ran out to that eagerly. But it has proved difficult to weave our characters into his likeness! We too have need of Paul’s prayer for his friends—that our faith may become a thing of power. For it seems sometimes curiously ineffective, doesn’t it?

     Perhaps you are haunted by a feeling that after all your faith and efforts you are painfully little changed, that if Christ were really in your life surely there would be more to show. Look, your heart cries, how it was in his time! Everywhere he went were extraordinary happenings, there for all to see. But I, what can I show?

     Into a liquid is dropped one drop, a second, and there is no result—another and another—and then one more, precisely like the rest, and all of a sudden everything is changed! And day by day doggedly we pray and hope and toil and believe. And what is there to show for it? Not much, to outward appearance. Yet, is far more going on than our eyes see? And one day, one other prayer, one other ordinary act of ordinary faith, one more looking toward Jesus Christ, may bring the long process to its culmination, and we waken satisfied because we are in his likeness—at last!
--- Arthur John Gossip

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

On This Day
     The Boxer Rebellion  August 3

     Between 1830 and 1949, China became the largest Protestant mission field in the world, occupying up to 8,000 missionaries at any one time. It also became the scene of Protestant mission’s largest massacre when, in 1900, a rabidly anti-Christian group known as the Society of Harmonious Fists, or the Boxers, waged a virtual war against believers. Nearly 200 missionary adults and children and 30,000 national Chinese Christians perished. Among them was missionary Lizzie Atwater who wrote her family on August 3, 1900:

     Dear ones, I long for a sight of your dear faces, but I fear we shall not meet on earth. I am preparing for the end very quietly and calmly. The Lord is wonderfully near, and he will not fail me. I was very restless and excited while there seemed a chance of life, but God has taken away that feeling, and now I just pray for grace to meet the terrible end bravely. The pain will soon be over, and oh the sweetness of the welcome above!

     My little baby will go with me. I think God will give it to me in Heaven, and my dear mother will be so glad to see us. I cannot imagine the Savior’s welcome. Oh, that will compensate for all these days of suspense. Dear ones, live near God and cling less closely to earth. There is no other way by which we can receive that peace from God which passeth understanding. …

     … I just keep calm these hours. I do not regret coming to China, but am sorry I have done so little. My married life, two precious years, has been so very full of happiness. We will die together, my dear husband and I. I send my love to you all, the dear friends who remember me.

     Twelve days later the Atwaters perished. But it was not for nothing. When tensions subsided the missionary army returned, remaining until expelled by the Communists in 1949. The number of Chinese Christians grew to about 5 to 7 million by 1980, and has since mushroomed to an estimated 50 million—and counting.

     Our people defeated Satan because of the blood of the Lamb and the message of God. They were willing to give up their lives.
--- Revelation 12:11.

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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - August 3

     “The Lamb is the light thereof.” --- Revelation 21:23.

     Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus. Each one of these thoughts shall be to them like a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol. Light is also the cause of beauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl; and thus all the beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus. As planets, they reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they live as beams proceeding from the central orb. If he withdrew, they must die; if his glory were veiled, their glory must expire. Light is also the emblem of knowledge. In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus himself will be the fountain of it. Dark providences, never understood before, will then be clearly seen, and all that puzzles us now will become plain to us in the light of the Lamb. Oh! what unfoldings there will be and what glorifying of the God of love! Light also means manifestation. Light manifests. In this world it doth not yet appear what we shall be. God’s people are a hidden people, but when Christ receives his people into heaven, he will touch them with the wand of his own love, and change them into the image of his manifested glory. They were poor and wretched, but what a transformation! They were stained with sin, but one touch of his finger, and they are bright as the sun, and clear as crystal. Oh! what a manifestation! All this proceeds from the exalted Lamb. Whatever there may be of effulgent splendour, Jesus shall be the centre and soul of it all. Oh! to be present and to see him in his own light, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!

          Evening - August 3

     “But as he went.” --- Luke 8:42.

     Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, to raise the ruler’s dead daughter; but he is so profuse in goodness that he works another miracle while upon the road. While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose, straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend our energies by the way. Hastening to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit, and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling. But our Master knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, his path is radiant with lovingkindness. He is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained target, but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from flowers; and it always will be emanating from him, as water from a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to his word now, and at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee? But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee, and make thy suppliant whole.

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

Amazing Grace
     August 3


     Benjamin Schmolck, 1672–1737

     Translated by Jane L. Borthwick, 1813–1897

     I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:8)

     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

     Following the decision to accept God’s provision for salvation, our next most important decision is to do God’s will, regardless of what the future may bring. Often, however, we have difficulty in discerning God’s will. George Mueller, one of the great men of prayer, has given these insights from his own life regarding this matter:

•     Seek to get your heart in such a condition that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Do not depend upon feelings or impressions.
•     Seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God.
•     Take into account providential circumstances.
•     Ask God in prayer to reveal His will clearly.

     Thus, through prayer to God, the study of His Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. I have found this method always effective.

     “My Jesus, As Thou Wilt!” first appeared in a German hymnal in 1704. Later it was translated into English by Jane Borthwick and appeared in the collection Hymns from the Land of Luther, published in 1820. These words have since reminded believers that it is only as we yield our wills to God that He can empower us for living victoriously for Him:
     My Jesus, as Thou wilt! O may Thy will be mine! Into Thy hand of love I would my all resign. Through sorrow or through joy, conduct me as Thine own; and help me still to say, “My Lord, Thy will be done.”
     My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Though seen through many a tear, let not my star of hope grow dim or disappear. Since Thou on earth hast wept, and sorrowed oft alone, if I must weep with Thee, My Lord, Thy will be done.
     My Jesus, as Thou wilt! All shall be well for me; each changing future scene I gladly trust with Thee. Straight to my home above I travel calmly on, and sing, in life or death, “My Lord, Thy will be done.”

     For Today: Matthew 6:10; Ephesians 5:17; Colossians 1:9; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 2:17

     How do you try to discern God’s will for your life? Are you willing to accept and do whatever He may reveal to you? Use this hymn to help in your reflection ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Thursday, August 3, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 12, Thursday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     (Psalm 70) 71
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 74
Old Testament     2 Samuel 4:1–12
New Testament     Acts 16:25–40
Gospel     Mark 7:1–23

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
(Psalm 70) 71

[     To the leader. Of David, for the memorial offering.

1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O LORD, make haste to help me!
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who desire to hurt me.
3 Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.

4 Let all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
5 But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, do not delay!     ]

1 In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

7 I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person
whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”

12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all day long,
though their number is past my knowledge.
16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD,
I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

17 O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
to all the generations to come.
Your power 19 and your righteousness, O God,
reach the high heavens.

You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my honor,
and comfort me once again.

22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have rescued.
24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
have been put to shame, and disgraced.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 74

A Maskil of Asaph.

1 O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
3 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

4 Your foes have roared within your holy place;
they set up their emblems there.
5 At the upper entrance they hacked
the wooden trellis with axes.
6 And then, with hatchets and hammers,
they smashed all its carved work.
7 They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it to the ground.
8 They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

9 We do not see our emblems;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is no one among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

12 Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.

20 Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

Old Testament
2 Samuel 4:1–12

4 When Saul’s son Ishbaal heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Saul’s son had two captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon a Benjaminite from Beeroth—for Beeroth is considered to belong to Benjamin. 3 (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are there as resident aliens to this day).

4 Saul’s son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled; and, in her haste to flee, it happened that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.

5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal, while he was taking his noonday rest. 6 They came inside the house as though to take wheat, and they struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7 Now they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long. 8 They brought the head of Ishbaal to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbaal, son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.”

9 David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10 when the one who told me, ‘See, Saul is dead,’ thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag—this was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more then, when wicked men have killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?” 12 So David commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and feet, and hung their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. But the head of Ishbaal they took and buried in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.

New Testament
Acts 16:25–40

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34 He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

35 When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; 39 so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40 After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

Mark 7:1–23

7 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

9 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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

Generosity Forum    Tim McTavish   
Denver Seminary

Truth Decay Introduction
Douglas Groothuis    Denver Seminary

Understanding the Postmodern Mind
Douglas Groothuis    Denver Seminary

Understanding the Postmodern Mind 2
Douglas Groothuis    Denver Seminary

Interview    Vernon Grounds    Denver Seminary

Pascal's Anthropological Argument
Douglas Groothuis    Denver Seminary

Are All Religions Created Equal?
Doug Groothuis    Denver Seminary

Bruce Demarest    Denver Seminary

Marching To or Rescuing Zion?
Stephen Gunter   
Duke University Divinity School

Jus' Couldn't Keep It to Myself
Dale P. Andrews   
Duke University Divinity School

Measuring Grace
Dale P. Andrews   
Duke University Divinity School

Faith and Fiction   Doctoral Discussion   
Biola University

Hermits and Harlots: The Church in Culture   
Kyle Donn   Biola University

Faith and Feminism    Sarah Schwartz   
Biola University

The Power of Generosity   Jordan Wagner   
Biola University

Finding God and Each Other
Matthew Weathers   Biola University

Women in Management   
Gloria Nelund   Biola University

Lect 1 Sermon on the Mount
Bill Mounce

Lect 2 Beatitutdes Part 2
Bill Mounce