Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

The Bible in a Year is a ministry of Cove Presbyterian Church. We need your support to keep posting. If you find it helpful, you can support this blog by your contributions. They may be sent to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, WV 26062. You can also use the PayPal link below:

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 21, 20...

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 21, 20...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from  the Old Testatment ( Jonah 3:1-5, 10 ),  the  Psalms ( Psalm 62:5-12 ), the Epistles ( 1 Co...

The Lectionary Passages for Thursday, January 18, 2018 (The Confession of Peter)

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Thursday, January 18, ...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from  the First Lesson ( Acts 4:8-13 ),  the  Psalms ( Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19 ), the Epistles ( 1 Co...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 18, 2018 (The Confession of Peter)

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 18, 20...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from  the First Lesson ( Acts 4:8-13 ),  the  Psalms ( Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19 ), the Epistles ( 1 Co...

Bible Readings for January 17, 2018


Today, our passages are Genesis 35:1–36:43; Matthew 12:1-21; Psalm 15:1-5; and Proverbs 3:21-26 The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NX3WLYQG5864L


Genesis 35-36:43 (The Message)


Genesis 35

 1 God spoke to Jacob: "Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau."
 2-3 Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, "Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we're going to Bethel. I'm going to build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere I've gone since."
 4-5 They turned over to Jacob all the alien gods they'd been holding on to, along with their lucky-charm earrings. Jacob buried them under the oak tree in Shechem. Then they set out. A paralyzing fear descended on all the surrounding villages so that they were unable to pursue the sons of Jacob.
 6-7 Jacob and his company arrived at Luz, that is, Bethel, in the land of Canaan. He built an altar there and named it El-Bethel (God-of-Bethel) because that's where God revealed himself to him when he was running from his brother.
 8 And that's when Rebekah's nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried just below Bethel under the oak tree. It was named Allon-Bacuth (Weeping-Oak).
 9-10 God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: "Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that's your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler)."
 11-12 God continued,

   I am The Strong God.
      Have children! Flourish!
   A nation—a whole company of nations!—
      will come from you.
   Kings will come from your loins;
      the land I gave Abraham and Isaac
   I now give to you,
      and pass it on to your descendants.
 13 And then God was gone, ascended from the place where he had spoken with him.
 14-15 Jacob set up a stone pillar on the spot where God had spoken with him. He poured a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. Jacob dedicated the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel (God's-House).

16-17 They left Bethel. They were still quite a ways from Ephrath when Rachel went into labor—hard, hard labor. When her labor pains were at their worst, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid—you have another boy."
 18 With her last breath, for she was now dying, she named him Ben-oni (Son-of-My-Pain), but his father named him Ben-jamin (Son-of-Good-Fortune).
 19-20 Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. Jacob set up a pillar to mark her grave. It is still there today, "Rachel's Grave Stone."

21-22 Israel kept on his way and set up camp at Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went and slept with his father's concubine, Bilhah. And Israel heard of what he did.

22-26 There were twelve sons of Jacob.
The sons by Leah:
   Reuben, Jacob's firstborn
   Simeon
   Levi
   Judah
   Issachar
   Zebulun.
The sons by Rachel:
   Joseph
   Benjamin.
The sons by Bilhah, Rachel's maid:
   Dan
   Naphtali.
The sons by Zilpah, Leah's maid:
   Gad
   Asher.
These were Jacob's sons, born to him in Paddan Aram.

27-29 Finally, Jacob made it back home to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath Arba, present-day Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac had lived. Isaac was now 180 years old. Isaac breathed his last and died—an old man full of years. He was buried with his family by his sons Esau and Jacob.

Genesis 36


 1 This is the family tree of Esau, who is also called Edom. 2-3 Esau married women of Canaan: Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite;
Oholibamah, daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; and Basemath, daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. 4 Adah gave Esau Eliphaz;
   Basemath had Reuel;
 5 Oholibamah had Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
   These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
 6-8 Esau gathered up his wives, sons and daughters, and everybody in his household, along with all his livestock—all the animals and possessions he had gotten in Canaan—and moved a considerable distance away from his brother Jacob. The brothers had too many possessions to live together in the same place; the land couldn't support their combined herds of livestock. So Esau ended up settling in the hill country of Seir (Esau and Edom are the same).
 9-10 So this is the family tree of Esau, ancestor of the people of Edom, in the hill country of Seir. The names of Esau's sons:
   Eliphaz, son of Esau's wife Adah;
   Reuel, son of Esau's wife Basemath.
 11-12 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. (Eliphaz also had a concubine Timna, who had Amalek.) These are the grandsons of Esau's wife Adah.
 13 And these are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah—grandsons of Esau's wife Basemath.
 14 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon. She gave Esau his sons Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
 15-16 These are the chieftains in Esau's family tree. From the sons of Eliphaz, Esau's firstborn, came the chieftains Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam, and Amalek—the chieftains of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; all of them sons of Adah.
 17 From the sons of Esau's son Reuel came the chieftains Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the chieftains of Reuel in the land of Edom; all these were sons of Esau's wife Basemath.
 18 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah: the chieftains Jeush, Jalam, and Korah—chieftains born of Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah.  
 19 These are the sons of Esau, that is, Edom, and these are their chieftains.
 20-21 This is the family tree of Seir the Horite, who were native to that land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These are the chieftains of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom.
 22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam; Lotan's sister was Timna.
 23 The sons of Shobal were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
 24 The sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah—this is the same Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness while herding his father Zibeon's donkeys.  
 25 The children of Anah were Dishon and his daughter Oholibamah.
 26 The sons of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.
 27 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
 28 The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.
 29-30 And these were the Horite chieftains: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan—the Horite chieftains clan by clan in the land of Seir.
 31-39 And these are the kings who ruled in Edom before there was a king in Israel: Bela son of Beor was the king of Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah. When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became the next king. When Jobab died, he was followed by Hushan from the land of the Temanites. When Hushan died, he was followed by Hadad son of Bedad; he was the king who defeated the Midianites in Moab; the name of his city was Avith. When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah became the next king. When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth-on-the-River became king. When Shaul died, he was followed by Baal-Hanan son of Acbor. When Baal-Hanan son of Acbor died, Hadad became king; the name of his city was Pau; his wife's name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-Zahab.
 40-43 And these are the chieftains from the line of Esau, clan by clan, region by region: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram—the chieftains of Edom as they occupied their various regions.
   This accounts for the family tree of Esau, ancestor of all Edomites.

Matthew 12:1-21 (The Message)


Matthew 12

In Charge of the Sabbath
 1-2 One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported them to Jesus: "Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!"
 3-5Jesus said, "Really? Didn't you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn't you ever read in God's Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it's not held against them?
 6-8"There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—'I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual'—you wouldn't be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he's in charge."
 9-10When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, "Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?" They were baiting him.
 11-14He replied, "Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn't, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!" Then he said to the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.
In Charge of Everything
 15-21Jesus, knowing they were out to get him, moved on. A lot of people followed him, and he healed them all. He also cautioned them to keep it quiet, following guidelines set down by Isaiah:

   Look well at my handpicked servant;
         I love him so much, take such delight in him.
   I've placed my Spirit on him;
         he'll decree justice to the nations.
   But he won't yell, won't raise his voice;
         there'll be no commotion in the streets.
   He won't walk over anyone's feelings,
         won't push you into a corner.
   Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
         the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
      among far-off unbelievers.
 

 

Psalm 15:1-5 (The Message)


Psalm 15

A David Psalm
 1 God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
   How do we get on your guest list?

 2 "Walk straight,
      act right,
         tell the truth.

 3-4 "Don't hurt your friend,
      don't blame your neighbor;
         despise the despicable.

 5 "Keep your word even when it costs you,
      make an honest living,
         never take a bribe.
   "You'll never get
   blacklisted
   if you live like this."

Proverbs 3:21-26 (The Message)

Never Walk Away
 21-26 Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
   don't for a minute lose sight of them.
They'll keep your soul alive and well,
   they'll keep you fit and attractive.
You'll travel safely,
   you'll neither tire nor trip.
You'll take afternoon naps without a worry,
   you'll enjoy a good night's sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
   or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner,
Because God will be right there with you;
   he'll keep you safe and sound.
 

 
Verse of the Day
 
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything that they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life. Then on the day when Christ returns, I can take pride in you. I can also know that my work and efforts were not useless.” - Philippians 2:14-16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
 

 
Image result for Pedro Calderon de la BarcaThought for the Day

Dramatist, poet and writer of the Spanish Golden Age, Pedro Calderón de la Barca wrote, “A good action is never lost; it is a treasure laid up and guarded for the doer's need.”

 
Image result for laxatives jokesA Joke for Today

The owner of a drugstore walks in to find a guy leaning heavily against a wall with an odd look on his face.

The owner asks the clerk, "What's with that guy over there by the wall?"

The clerk says, "Well, he came in here at 7 A.M. to get something for his cough. I couldn't find the cough syrup, so I gave him an entire bottle of laxatives."

The owner says, "You idiot! You can't treat a cough with laxatives!"

The clerk says, "Oh yeah? Look at him-he's afraid to cough!"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bible Readings for January 16, 2018


Today, our passages are Genesis 32:13–34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; and Proverbs 3:19-20 The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NX3WLYQG5864L



Genesis 32:13-34:31 (The Message)


 13-16 He slept the night there. Then he prepared a present for his brother Esau from his possessions: two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty camels with their nursing young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. He put a servant in charge of each herd and said, "Go ahead of me and keep a healthy space between each herd."
 17-18 Then he instructed the first one out: "When my brother Esau comes close and asks, 'Who is your master? Where are you going? Who owns these?' —answer him like this, 'Your servant Jacob. They are a gift to my master Esau. He's on his way.'"
 19-20 He gave the same instructions to the second servant and to the third—to each in turn as they set out with their herds: "Say 'Your servant Jacob is on his way behind us.'" He thought, "I will soften him up with the succession of gifts. Then when he sees me face-to-face, maybe he'll be glad to welcome me."
 21 So his gifts went before him while he settled down for the night in the camp.
 22-23 But during the night he got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He got them safely across the brook along with all his possessions.
 24-25 But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn't get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob's hip out of joint.
 26 The man said, "Let me go; it's daybreak."
   Jacob said, "I'm not letting you go 'til you bless me."
 27 The man said, "What's your name?"
   He answered, "Jacob."
 28 The man said, "But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it's Israel (God-Wrestler); you've wrestled with God and you've come through."
 29 Jacob asked, "And what's your name?"
   The man said, "Why do you want to know my name?" And then, right then and there, he blessed him.
 30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God's Face) because, he said, "I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!"
 31-32 The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. (This is why Israelites to this day don't eat the hip muscle; because Jacob's hip was thrown out of joint.)


Genesis 33


 1-4 Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. men. He divided the children between Leah and Rachel and the two maidservants. He put the maidservants out in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He led the way and, as he approached his brother, bowed seven times, honoring his brother. But Esau ran up and embraced him, held him tight and kissed him. And they both wept.
 5 Then Esau looked around and saw the women and children: "And who are these with you?"
   Jacob said, "The children that God saw fit to bless me with."
 6-7 Then the maidservants came up with their children and bowed; then Leah and her children, also bowing; and finally, Joseph and Rachel came up and bowed to Esau.
 8 Esau then asked, "And what was the meaning of all those herds that I met?"
   "I was hoping that they would pave the way for my master to welcome me."
 9 Esau said, "Oh, brother. I have plenty of everything—keep what is yours for yourself."
 10-11 Jacob said, "Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me. Accept the gifts I have brought for you. God has been good to me and I have more than enough." Jacob urged the gifts on him and Esau accepted.
 12 Then Esau said, "Let's start out on our way; I'll take the lead."
 13-14 But Jacob said, "My master can see that the children are frail. And the flocks and herds are nursing, making for slow going. If I push them too hard, even for a day, I'd lose them all. So, master, you go on ahead of your servant, while I take it easy at the pace of my flocks and children. I'll catch up with you in Seir."
 15 Esau said, "Let me at least lend you some of my men."
   "There's no need," said Jacob. "Your generous welcome is all I need or want."
 16 So Esau set out that day and made his way back to Seir.
 17 And Jacob left for Succoth. He built a shelter for himself and sheds for his livestock. That's how the place came to be called Succoth (Sheds).
 18-20 And that's how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan—all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Israel (Mighty Is the God of Israel).

Genesis 34


 1-4 One day Dinah, the daughter Leah had given Jacob, went to visit some of the women in that country. Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite who was chieftain there, saw her and raped her. Then he felt a strong attraction to Dinah, Jacob's daughter, fell in love with her, and wooed her. Shechem went to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl for my wife."
 5-7 Jacob heard that Shechem had raped his daughter Dinah, but his sons were out in the fields with the livestock so he didn't say anything until they got home. Hamor, Shechem's father, went to Jacob to work out marriage arrangements. Meanwhile Jacob's sons on their way back from the fields heard what had happened. They were outraged, explosive with anger. Shechem's rape of Jacob's daughter was intolerable in Israel and not to be put up with.
 8-10 Hamor spoke with Jacob and his sons, "My son Shechem is head over heels in love with your daughter—give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us. Give your daughters to us and we'll give our daughters to you. Live together with us as one family. Settle down among us and make yourselves at home. Prosper among us."
 11-12 Shechem then spoke for himself, addressing Dinah's father and brothers: "Please, say yes. I'll pay anything. Set the bridal price as high as you will—the sky's the limit! Only give me this girl for my wife."
 13-17 Jacob's sons answered Shechem and his father with cunning. Their sister, after all, had been raped. They said, "This is impossible. We could never give our sister to a man who was uncircumcised. Why, we'd be disgraced. The only condition on which we can talk business is if all your men become circumcised like us. Then we will freely exchange daughters in marriage and make ourselves at home among you and become one big, happy family. But if this is not an acceptable condition, we will take our sister and leave."
 18 That seemed fair enough to Hamor and his son Shechem.
 19 The young man was so smitten with Jacob's daughter that he proceeded to do what had been asked. He was also the most admired son in his father's family.
 20-23 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the public square and spoke to the town council: "These men like us; they are our friends. Let them settle down here and make themselves at home; there's plenty of room in the country for them. And, just think, we can even exchange our daughters in marriage. But these men will only accept our invitation to live with us and become one big family on one condition, that all our males become circumcised just as they themselves are. This is a very good deal for us—these people are very wealthy with great herds of livestock and we're going to get our hands on it. So let's do what they ask and have them settle down with us."
 24 Everyone who was anyone in the city agreed with Hamor and his son, Shechem; every male was circumcised.
 25-29 Three days after the circumcision, while all the men were still very sore, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each with his sword in hand, walked into the city as if they owned the place and murdered every man there. They also killed Hamor and his son Shechem, rescued Dinah from Shechem's house, and left. When the rest of Jacob's sons came on the scene of slaughter, they looted the entire city in retaliation for Dinah's rape. Flocks, herds, donkeys, belongings—everything, whether in the city or the fields—they took. And then they took all the wives and children captive and ransacked their homes for anything valuable.
 30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You've made my name stink to high heaven among the people here, these Canaanites and Perizzites. If they decided to gang up on us and attack, as few as we are we wouldn't stand a chance; they'd wipe me and my people right off the map."  
 31 They said, "Nobody is going to treat our sister like a whore and get by with it."

Matthew 11:7-30 (The Message)


 7-10When John's disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. "What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That's right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you'll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, 'I'm sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.'
 11-14"Let me tell you what's going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God's kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God's Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the 'Elijah' you've all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
 15"Are you listening to me? Really listening?
 16-19"How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, 'We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.' John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating."
The Unforced Rhythms of Grace
 20Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.
 21-24"Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they'll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they'll get off easy compared to you."
 25-26Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
 27Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
 28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Psalm 14:1-7 (The Message)


Psalm 14

A David Psalm
 1 Bilious and bloated, they gas, "God is gone."
   Their words are poison gas,
      fouling the air; they poison
   Rivers and skies;
      thistles are their cash crop.

 2 God sticks his head out of heaven.
      He looks around.
   He's looking for someone not stupid—
      one man, even, God-expectant,
      just one God-ready woman.

 3 He comes up empty. A string
      of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
   Sheep, taking turns pretending
      to be Shepherd.
   The ninety and nine
      follow their fellow.

 4 Don't they know anything,
      all these impostors?
   Don't they know
      they can't get away with this—
   Treating people like a fast-food meal
      over which they're too busy to pray?

 5-6 Night is coming for them, and nightmares,
      for God takes the side of victims.
   Do you think you can mess
      with the dreams of the poor?
   You can't, for God
      makes their dreams come true.

 7 Is there anyone around to save Israel?
      Yes. God is around; God turns life around.
   Turned-around Jacob skips rope,
      turned-around Israel sings laughter.
 

 

Proverbs 3:19-20 (The Message)



 19-20 With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth;
   with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven.
They knew when to signal rivers and springs to the surface,
   and dew to descend from the night skies.

Verse of the Day

“[God's Spirit and Our Own Desires]If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires.” - Galatians 5:16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.


VAlfieriFabre.jpgThought for the Day

Italian dramatist and poet, Vittorio Alfieri wrote, “To err is human; but contrition felt for the crime distinguishes the virtuous from the wicked.”

Image result for performance on stage cartoon
Thought for the Day

During a performance for the high school talent show at the local theater, a hole was cracked in the stage floor. Subsequent acts managed to avoid the damaged area until little Freddy, juggling bowling pins, accidentally stepped through the hole up to his knee.

He apologized to the audience for his clumsiness. But a heckler in the back of the theater shouted:

"Don't worry, Freddy! It's just a stage you're going through!"

Monday, January 15, 2018

Bible Readings for January 15, 2018


Today, our passages are Genesis 31:17–32:12; Matthew 10:26– 11:16; Psalm 13:1-6; and Proverbs 3:16-18 The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
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Genesis 31:17-32:12 (The Message)


 17-18 Jacob did it. He put his children and his wives on camels and gathered all his livestock and everything he had gotten, everything acquired in Paddan Aram, to go back home to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
 19-21 Laban was off shearing sheep. Rachel stole her father's household gods. And Jacob had concealed his plans so well that Laban the Aramean had no idea what was going on—he was totally in the dark. Jacob got away with everything he had and was soon across the Euphrates headed for the hill country of Gilead.
 22-24 Three days later, Laban got the news: "Jacob's run off." Laban rounded up his relatives and chased after him. Seven days later they caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. That night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and said, "Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad."
 25 When Laban reached him, Jacob's tents were pitched in the Gilead mountains; Laban pitched his tents there, too.
 26-30 "What do you mean," said Laban, "by keeping me in the dark and sneaking off, hauling my daughters off like prisoners of war? Why did you run off like a thief in the night? Why didn't you tell me? Why, I would have sent you off with a great celebration—music, timbrels, flutes! But you wouldn't permit me so much as a kiss for my daughters and grandchildren. It was a stupid thing for you to do. If I had a mind to, I could destroy you right now, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, 'Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad.' I understand. You left because you were homesick. But why did you steal my household gods?"
 31-32 Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by brute force. But as far as your gods are concerned, if you find that anybody here has them, that person dies. With all of us watching, look around. If you find anything here that belongs to you, take it." Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
 33-35 Laban went through Jacob's tent, Leah's tent, and the tents of the two maids but didn't find them. He went from Leah's tent to Rachel's. But Rachel had taken the household gods, put them inside a camel cushion, and was sitting on them. When Laban had gone through the tent, searching high and low without finding a thing, Rachel said to her father, "Don't think I'm being disrespectful, my master, that I can't stand  before you, but I'm having my period." So even though he turned the place upside down in his search, he didn't find the household gods.
 36-37 Now it was Jacob's turn to get angry. He lit into Laban: "So what's my crime, what wrong have I done you that you badger me like this? You've ransacked the place. Have you turned up a single thing that's yours? Let's see it—display the evidence. Our two families can be the jury and decide between us.
 38-42 "In the twenty years I've worked for you, ewes and she-goats never miscarried. I never feasted on the rams from your flock. I never brought you a torn carcass killed by wild animals but that I paid for it out of my own pocket—actually, you made me pay whether it was my fault or not. I was out in all kinds of weather, from torrid heat to freezing cold, putting in many a sleepless night. For twenty years I've done this: I  slaved away fourteen years for your two daughters and another six years for your flock and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not stuck with me, you would have sent me off penniless. But God saw the fix I was in and how hard I had worked and last night rendered his verdict."
 43-44 Laban defended himself: "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flock is my flock—everything you see is mine. But what can I do about my daughters or for the children they've had? So let's settle things between us, make a covenant—God will be the witness between us."
 45 Jacob took a stone and set it upright as a pillar.
 46-47 Jacob called his family around, "Get stones!" They gathered stones and heaped them up and then ate there beside the pile of stones. Laban named it in Aramaic, Yegar-sahadutha (Witness Monument); Jacob echoed the naming in Hebrew, Galeed (Witness Monument).
 48-50 Laban said, "This monument of stones will be a witness, beginning now, between you and me." (That's why it is called Galeed—Witness Monument.) It is also called Mizpah (Watchtower) because Laban said, "God keep watch between you and me when we are out of each other's sight. If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives when there's no one around to see you, God will see you and stand witness between us."
 51-53 Laban continued to Jacob, "This monument of stones and this stone pillar that I have set up is a witness, a witness that I won't cross this line to hurt you and you won't cross this line to hurt me. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor (the God of their ancestor) will keep things straight between us."
 53-55 Jacob promised, swearing by the Fear, the God of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and worshiped, calling in all his family members to the meal. They ate and slept that night on the mountain. Laban got up early the next morning, kissed his grandchildren and his daughters, blessed them, and then set off for home.

Genesis 32

 1-2 And Jacob went his way. Angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them he said, "Oh! God's Camp!" And he named the place Mahanaim (Campground).
 3-5 Then Jacob sent messengers on ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir in Edom. He instructed them: "Tell my master Esau this, 'A message from your servant Jacob: I've been staying with Laban and couldn't get away until now. I've acquired cattle and donkeys and sheep; also men and women servants. I'm telling you all this, my master, hoping for your approval.'"
 6 The messengers came back to Jacob and said, "We talked to your brother Esau and he's on his way to meet you. But he has four hundred men with him."
 7-8 Jacob was scared. Very scared. Panicked, he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two camps. He thought, "If Esau comes on the first camp and attacks it, the other camp has a chance to get away."
 9-12 And then Jacob prayed, "God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, God who told me, 'Go back to your parents' homeland and I'll treat you well.' I don't deserve all the love and loyalty you've shown me. When I left here and crossed the Jordan I only had the clothes on my back, and now look at me—two camps! Save me, please, from the violence of my brother, my angry brother! I'm afraid he'll come and attack us all, me, the mothers and the children. You yourself said, 'I will treat you well; I'll make your descendants like the sands of the sea, far too many to count.'"

Matthew 10:26-11:16 (The Message)


 26-27"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now.
 28"Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
Forget About Yourself
 29-31"What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries.
 32-33"Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I'll cover for you?
 34-37"Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.
 38-39"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.
 40-42"We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing."

Matthew 11

John the Baptizer
 1When Jesus finished placing this charge before his twelve disciples, he went on to teach and preach in their villages.
 2-3John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, "Are you the One we've been expecting, or are we still waiting?" 4-6Jesus told them, "Go back and tell John what's going on:

   The blind see,
   The lame walk,
   Lepers are cleansed,
   The deaf hear,
   The dead are raised,
   The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.
"Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!"
 7-10When John's disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. "What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That's right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you'll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, 'I'm sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.'
 11-14"Let me tell you what's going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God's kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God's Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the 'Elijah' you've all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
 15"Are you listening to me? Really listening?
 16-19"How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, 'We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.' John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Psalm 13:1-6 (The Message)


Psalm 13

A David Psalm
 1-2 Long enough, God— you've ignored me long enough.
   I've looked at the back of your head
      long enough. Long enough
   I've carried this ton of trouble,
      lived with a stomach full of pain.
   Long enough my arrogant enemies
      have looked down their noses at me.

 3-4 Take a good look at me, God, my God;
      I want to look life in the eye,
   So no enemy can get the best of me
      or laugh when I fall on my face.

 5-6 I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
      I'm celebrating your rescue.
   I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
      I'm so full of answered prayers.
 

 

Proverbs 3:16-18 (The Message)

The Very Tree of Life
 13-18 You're blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
   when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She's worth far more than money in the bank;
   her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
   nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
   with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
   her life wonderfully complete.
She's the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
   Hold her tight—and be blessed!
 

 
Verse of the Day
 
“[The Truth Will Set You Free]Jesus told the people who had faith in him, "If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:31-32
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version
 

Image result for franz grillparzerThought for the Day

Austrian writer who is chiefly known for his dramas, Franz Grillparzer wrote, “The uneducated person perceives only the individual phenomenon, the partly educated person the rule, and the educated person the exception.”
 

A Joke for Today

Image result for three elderly peopleThree elderly people were talking about what their grandchildren would be saying about them fifty years from now.

"I would like my grandchildren to say, 'He was successful in business,'" declared the first man.

"Fifty years from now," said the second, "I want them to say, 'He was a loyal family man.'"

Turning to the third one, a lady, he asked, "So what do you want them to say about you in fifty years?"

"Me?" the third one replied. "I want them to say, 'She certainly looks good for her age.'"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bible Readings for January 14, 2018


Today, our passages are Genesis 30:1–31:16; Matthew 10:1-25; Psalm 12:1-8; and Proverbs 3:13-15 The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
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Genesis 30-31:16 (The Message)


Genesis 30

 1 When Rachel realized that she wasn't having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She told Jacob, "Give me sons or I'll die!"
 2 Jacob got angry with Rachel and said, "Am I God? Am I the one who refused you babies?"
 3-5 Rachel said, "Here's my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her. Let her substitute for me so I can have a child through her and build a family." So she gave him her maid Bilhah for a wife and Jacob slept with her. Bilhah became pregnant and gave Jacob a son.
 6-8 Rachel said, "God took my side and vindicated me. He listened to me and gave me a son." She named him Dan (Vindication). Rachel's maid Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. Rachel said, "I've been in an all-out fight with my sister—and I've won." So she named him Naphtali (Fight).
 9-13 When Leah saw that she wasn't having any more children, she gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob for a wife. Zilpah had a son for Jacob. Leah said, "How fortunate!" and she named him Gad (Lucky). When Leah's maid Zilpah had a second son for Jacob, Leah said, "A happy day! The women will congratulate me in my happiness." So she named him Asher (Happy).
 14 One day during the wheat harvest Reuben found some mandrakes in the field and brought them home to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah, "Could I please have some of your son's mandrakes?"
 15 Leah said, "Wasn't it enough that you got my husband away from me? And now you also want my son's mandrakes?"
   Rachel said, "All right. I'll let him sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son's love-apples."
 16-21 When Jacob came home that evening from the fields, Leah was there to meet him: "Sleep with me tonight; I've bartered my son's mandrakes for a night with you." So he slept with her that night. God listened to Leah; she became pregnant and gave Jacob a fifth son. She said, "God rewarded me for giving my maid to my husband." She named him Issachar (Bartered). Leah became pregnant yet again and gave Jacob a sixth son, saying, "God has given me a great gift. This time my husband will honor me with gifts—I've given him six sons!" She named him Zebulun (Honor). Last of all she had a daughter and named her Dinah.
 22-24 And then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and opened her womb. She became pregnant and had a son. She said, "God has taken away my humiliation." She named him Joseph (Add), praying, "May God add yet another son to me."

25-26 After Rachel had had Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban, "Let me go back home. Give me my wives and children for whom I've served you. You know how hard I've worked for you."
 27-28 Laban said, "If you please, I have learned through divine inquiry that God has blessed me because of you." He went on, "So name your wages. I'll pay you."
 29-30 Jacob replied, "You know well what my work has meant to you and how your livestock has flourished under my care. The little you had when I arrived has increased greatly; everything I did resulted in blessings for you. Isn't it about time that I do something for my own family?"
 31-33 "So, what should I pay you?"
   Jacob said, "You don't have to pay me a thing. But how about this? I will go back to pasture and care for your flocks. Go through your entire flock today and take out every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. That way you can check on my honesty when you assess my wages. If you find any goat that's not speckled or spotted or a sheep that's not black, you will know that I stole it."
 34 "Fair enough," said Laban. "It's a deal."
 35-36 But that very day Laban removed all the mottled and spotted billy goats and all the speckled and spotted nanny goats, every animal that had even a touch of white on it plus all the black sheep and placed them under the care of his sons. Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob. Meanwhile Jacob went on tending what was left of Laban's flock.
 37-42 But Jacob got fresh branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled the bark, leaving white stripes on them. He stuck the peeled branches in front of the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. When the flocks were in heat, they came to drink and mated in front of the streaked branches. Then they gave birth to young that were streaked or spotted or speckled. Jacob placed the ewes before the dark-colored animals of Laban. That way he got distinctive flocks for himself which he didn't mix with Laban's flocks. And when the sturdier animals were mating, Jacob placed branches at the troughs in view of the animals so that they mated in front of the branches. But he wouldn't set up the branches before the feebler animals. That way the feeble animals went to Laban and the sturdy ones to Jacob.
 43 The man got richer and richer, acquiring huge flocks, lots and lots of servants, not to mention camels and donkeys.

Genesis 31

 1-2 Jacob learned that Laban's sons were talking behind his back: "Jacob has used our father's wealth to make himself rich at our father's expense." At the same time, Jacob noticed that Laban had changed toward him. He wasn't treating him the same.
 3 That's when God said to Jacob, "Go back home where you were born. I'll go with you."
 4-9 So Jacob sent word for Rachel and Leah to meet him out in the field where his flocks were. He said, "I notice that your father has changed toward me; he doesn't treat me the same as before. But the God of my father hasn't changed; he's still with me. You know how hard I've worked for your father. Still, your father has cheated me over and over, changing my wages time and again. But God never let him really hurt me. If he said, 'Your wages will consist of speckled animals' the whole flock would start having speckled lambs and kids. And if he said, 'From now on your wages will be streaked animals' the whole flock would have streaked ones. Over and over God used your father's livestock to reward me.
 10-11 "Once, while the flocks were mating, I had a dream and saw the billy goats, all of them streaked, speckled, and mottled, mounting their mates. In the dream an angel of God called out to me, 'Jacob!'
   "I said, 'Yes?'
 12-13 "He said, 'Watch closely. Notice that all the goats in the flock that are mating are streaked, speckled, and mottled. I know what Laban's been doing to you. I'm the God of Bethel where you consecrated a pillar and made a vow to me. Now be on your way, get out of this place, go home to your birthplace.'"
 14-16 Rachel and Leah said, "Has he treated us any better? Aren't we treated worse than outsiders? All he wanted was the money he got from selling us, and he's spent all that. Any wealth that God has seen fit to return to us from our father is justly ours and our children's. Go ahead. Do what God told you."

Matthew 10:1-25 (The Message)


Matthew 10

The Twelve Harvest Hands
 1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent:

   Simon (they called him Peter, or "Rock"),
   Andrew, his brother,
   James, Zebedee's son,
   John, his brother,
   Philip,
   Bartholomew,
   Thomas,
   Matthew, the tax man,
   James, son of Alphaeus,
   Thaddaeus,
   Simon, the Canaanite,
   Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).
 5-8Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
   "Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
 9-10"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and  all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
 11"When you enter a town or village, don't insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.
 12-15"When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don't welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don't make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they'll be mighty sorry—but it's no concern of yours now.
 16"Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don't call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
 17-20"Don't be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don't be upset  when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they've done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.
 21-23"When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you've run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
 24-25"A student doesn't get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn't make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, 'Dungface,' what can the workers expect?

Psalm 12:1-8 (The Message)


Psalm 12

A David Psalm
 1-2 Quick, God, I need your helping hand! The last decent person just went down,
   All the friends I depended on gone.
   Everyone talks in lie language;
   Lies slide off their oily lips.
   They doubletalk with forked tongues.

 3-4 Slice their lips off their faces! Pull
   The braggart tongues from their mouths!
   I'm tired of hearing, "We can talk anyone into anything!
   Our lips manage the world."

 5 Into the hovels of the poor,
   Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks:
   "I've had enough; I'm on my way
   To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched."

 6-8 God's words are pure words,
   Pure silver words refined seven times
   In the fires of his word-kiln,
   Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
   God, keep us safe from their lies,
   From the wicked who stalk us with lies,
   From the wicked who collect honors
   For their wonderful lies.

Proverbs 3:13-15 (The Message)

The Very Tree of Life
 13-18 You're blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
   when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She's worth far more than money in the bank;
   her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
   nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
   with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
   her life wonderfully complete.
She's the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
   Hold her tight—and be blessed!

Verse of the Day
“But if we say we love God and don't love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don't love the people we can see? The commandment that God has given us is: "Love God and love each other!” - 1 John 4:20-21
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.  

Thought for the Day

English nontrinitarian, and Unitarian, John Biddle wrote, “What shall befall me in the pursuance of this work, I refer to the disposal of Almighty God, whose glory is dearer to me, not only than my liberty, but than my life.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for chocolate chip cookieAn elderly man lay dying in his bed.

In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed.

Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled down the stairs.

With labored breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted: the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.

The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with aspatula by his wife.

"Stay out of those," she said, "they're for the funeral."