Ps 31:1 – I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be put to shame. Rescue me, for you always do what is right.

Luke 22:39-71

39 Leaving there, he went, as he so often did, to Mount Olives. The disciples followed him. 40 When they arrived at the place, he said, “Pray that you don’t give in to temptation.41 He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” 43 At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. 44 He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face. 45 He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. 46 He said, “What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptation.”

47 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than a crowd showed up, Judas, the one from the Twelve, in the lead. He came right up to Jesus to kiss him. 48 Jesus said, “Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” 50 One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. 51 Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him. 52 Jesus spoke to those who had come – high priests, Temple police, religion leaders: “What is this, jumping me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? 53 Day after day I’ve been with you in the Temple and you’ve not so much as lifted a hand against me. But do it your way – it’s a dark night, a dark hour.”

54 Arresting Jesus, they marched him off and took him into the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but at a safe distance. 55 In the middle of the courtyard some people had started a fire and were sitting around it, trying to keep warm. 56 One of the serving maids sitting at the fire noticed him, then took a second look and said, “This man was with him!” 57 He denied it, “Woman, I don’t even know him.” 58 A short time later, someone else noticed him and said, “You’re one of them.” But Peter denied it: “Man, I am not.” 59 About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.” 60 Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. 61 Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 62 He went out and cried and cried and cried.

63 The men in charge of Jesus began poking fun at him, slapping him around. 64 They put a blindfold on him and taunted, “Who hit you that time?” 65 They were having a grand time with him. 66 When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. 67 They said, “Are you the Messiah?” 68 If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. 69 So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.70 They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?” “You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said. 71 But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.”

Genesis 40

1 As time went on, it happened that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt crossed their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the head cupbearer and the head baker, 3 and put them in custody under the captain of the guard; it was the same jail where Joseph was held. 4 The captain of the guard assigned Joseph to see to their needs.

5 the king’s cupbearer and baker, while being held in the jail, both had a dream on the same night, each dream having its own meaning. 6 When Joseph arrived in the morning, he noticed that they were feeling low. 7 So he asked them, the two officials of Pharaoh who had been thrown into jail with him, “What’s wrong? Why the long faces?” 8 They said, “We dreamed dreams and there’s no one to interpret them.” Joseph said, “Don’t interpretations come from God? Tell me the dreams.” 9 First the head cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine in front of me 10 with three branches on it: It budded, blossomed, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 I was holding Pharaoh’s cup; I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh.” 12 Joseph said, “Here’s the meaning. The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work – you’ll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me when things are going well with you again – tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. 15 I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews. And since I’ve been here, I’ve done nothing to deserve being put in this hole.16 When the head baker saw how well Joseph’s interpretation turned out, he spoke up: “My dream went like this: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; 17 the top basket had assorted pastries from the bakery and birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.” 18 Joseph said, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days; 19 within three days Pharaoh will take off your head, impale you on a post, and the birds will pick your bones clean.”

20 And sure enough, on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he threw a feast for all his servants. He set the head cupbearer and the head baker in places of honor in the presence of all the guests. 21 Then he restored the head cupbearer to his cupbearing post; he handed Pharaoh his cup just as before. 22 And then he impaled the head baker on a post, following Joseph’s interpretations exactly. 23 But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.

Psalms 31

1 I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don’t let me down! Take me seriously this time! 2 Get down on my level and listen, and please – no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety. 3 You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. 4 Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. 5 I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down. 6 I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. 7 I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, 8 You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.

9 Be kind to me, God – I’m in deep, deep trouble again. I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. 10 My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder. 11 To my enemies I’m a monster; I’m ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. 12 They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave, discard me like a broken dish in the trash. 13 The street-talk gossip has me “criminally insane”! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good. 14 Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! 15 Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. 16 Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me. 17 Don’t embarrass me by not showing up; I’ve given you plenty of notice. Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell. 18 Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls.

19 What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. 20 You hide them safely away from the opposition. As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces, you silence the poisonous gossip. 21 Blessed God! His love is the wonder of the world. 22 I panicked. “Out of sight, out of mind,” I said. But you heard me say it, you heard and listened. 23 Love God, all you saints; God takes care of all who stay close to him, But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone. 24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.


– 1/31/2005 4:26:45 PM

You mean Elisa? Yeah.. ..I’m going tomorrow to help the band and then I’mma go next sunday to see them perform. We’ll see after that.

– 1/31/2005 4:28:03 PM

And.. Benvolio…. He’s a character in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


I give you all the credit, God – you got me out of that mess, you didn’t let my foes gloat.

Luke 22:1-38

1 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. 2 The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks. 3 That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. 4 Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. 5 They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. 6 He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.

(Notes from Phil: Some believe that the word betray was mistranslated as the word also means to handover or deliver. – Food for thought – In the Hebrew Names Version of World English Bible, 22:4 is translated He went away, and talked with the chief Kohanim and captains about how he might deliver him to them. )

7 The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.” 9 They said, “Where do you want us to do this?” 10 He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. 11 Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.” 13 They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal. 14 When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, 15 and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. 16 It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.17 Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. 18 As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.19 Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.” 20 He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.

21 “Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? 22 It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out – no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.” 23 They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this. 24 Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. 25 But Jesus intervened: “Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. 26 It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant. 27 “Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. 28 And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. 29 Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me 30 so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people. 31 “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. 32 Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” 33 Peter said, “Master, I’m ready for anything with you. I’d go to jail for you. I’d die for you!” 34 Jesus said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Peter, but before the rooster crows you will have three times denied that you know me.” 35 Then Jesus said, “When I sent you out and told you to travel light, to take only the bare necessities, did you get along all right?” “Certainly,” they said, “we got along just fine.” 36 He said, “This is different. Get ready for trouble. Look to what you’ll need; there are difficult times ahead. Pawn your coat and get a sword. 37 What was written in Scripture, ‘He was lumped in with the criminals,’ gets its final meaning in me. Everything written about me is now coming to a conclusion.38 They said, “Look, Master, two swords!” But he said, “Enough of that; no more sword talk!”

Again the word betray is used 22:21 – in the Young’s Literal Translation it says: “But, lo, the hand of him delivering me up [is] with me on the table,”

Genesis 39

1 After Joseph had been taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites, Potiphar an Egyptian, one of Pharaoh’s officials and the manager of his household, bought him from them. 2 As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. 4 He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. 5 From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian – all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, 6 and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.

7 As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, “Sleep with me.” 8 He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here – he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. 9 He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?” 10 She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her. 11 On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. 12 She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, “Sleep with me!” He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house.

13 When she realized that he had left his coat in her hand and run outside, 14 she called to her house servants: “Look – this Hebrew shows up and before you know it he’s trying to seduce us. He tried to make love to me but I yelled as loud as I could. 15 With all my yelling and screaming, he left his coat beside me here and ran outside.” 16 She kept his coat right there until his master came home. 17 She told him the same story. She said, “The Hebrew slave, the one you brought to us, came after me and tried to use me for his plaything. 18 When I yelled and screamed, he left his coat with me and ran outside.”

19 When his master heard his wife’s story, telling him, “These are the things your slave did to me,” he was furious. 20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail 21 God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. 22 The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners – he ended up managing the whole operation. 23 The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.

Psalms 30

1 I give you all the credit, God – you got me out of that mess, you didn’t let my foes gloat. 2 God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. 3 God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out. 4 All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! 5 He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.

6 When things were going great I crowed, “I’ve got it made. 7 I’m God’s favorite. He made me king of the mountain.” Then you looked the other way and I fell to pieces. 8 I called out to you, God; I laid my case before you: 9 “Can you sell me for a profit when I’m dead? auction me off at a cemetery yard sale? When I’m ‘dust to dust’ my songs and stories of you won’t sell. 10 So listen! and be kind! Help me out of this!” 11 You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. 12 I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.


– 1/30/2005 11:20:11 PM

My name is only because I love having “benvolio” in the name but everything else was taken with “Benvolio” in it. I went to church today. It wasn’t too bad… …I know the pastor’s daughter and we were goofing off and such. Tonight, I will try something new. Even though I don’t believe in it… I will try it. Tonight… Oraré para usted. Sueños dulces.

Be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. – Luke 21:34

Luke 21

1 Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. 2 Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. 3 He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. 4 All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all!

5 One day people were standing around talking about the Temple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, 6 “All this you’re admiring so much – the time is coming when every stone in that building will end up in a heap of rubble.” 7 They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?” 8 He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.” 10 He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. 11 Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’ll think at times that the very sky is falling. 12 “But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. 13 You’ll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. 14 Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. 15 I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters. 16 “You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. 17 There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. 18 Even so, every detail of your body and soul – even the hairs of your head! – is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. 19 Staying with it – that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.

20 “When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you’ll know that she is about to be devastated. 21 If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you’re in the city, get out quickly. If you’re out in the fields, don’t go home to get your coat. 22 This is Vengeance Day everything written about it will come to a head. 23 Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! 24 People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do. 25 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose – sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, 26 in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. 27 “And then – then! – they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style – a glorious welcome! 28 When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”

29 He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. 30 When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. 31 The same here – when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. 32 Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too – these things will happen. 33 Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. 34 “But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, 35 for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. 36 So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.37 He spent his days in the Temple teaching, but his nights out on the mountain called Olives. 38 All the people were up at the crack of dawn to come to the Temple and listen to him.

Genesis 38

1 About that time, Judah separated from his brothers and hooked up with a man in Adullam named Hirah. 2 While there, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua. He married her, they went to bed, 3 she became pregnant and had a son named Er. 4 She got pregnant again and had a son named Onan. 5 She had still another son; she named this one Shelah. They were living at Kezib when she had him. 6 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn. Her name was Tamar. 7 But Judah’s firstborn, Er, grievously offended God and God took his life. 8 So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” 9 But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. 10 God was much offended by what he did and also took his life. 11 So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up.” He was worried that Shelah would also end up dead, just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live with her father.

12 Time passed. Judah’s wife, Shua’s daughter, died. When the time of mourning was over, Judah with his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah for the sheep shearing. 13 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law has gone to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 She took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the road to Timnah. She realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to be married to him. 15 Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. 16 He left the road and went over to her. He said, “Let me sleep with you.” He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you pay me?” 17 “I’ll send you,” he said, “a kid goat from the flock.” She said, “Not unless you give me a pledge until you send it.” 18 “So what would you want in the way of a pledge?” She said, “Your personal seal-and-cord and the staff you carry.” He handed them over to her and slept with her. And she got pregnant. 19 She then left and went home. She removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on. 20 Judah sent the kid goat by his friend from Adullam to recover the pledge from the woman. But he couldn’t find her. 21 He asked the men of that place, “Where’s the prostitute that used to sit by the road here near Enaim?” They said, “There’s never been a prostitute here.” 22 He went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The men there said there never has been a prostitute there.” 23 Judah said, “Let her have it then. If we keep looking, everyone will be poking fun at us. I kept my part of the bargain – I sent the kid goat but you couldn’t find her.”

24 Three months or so later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law has been playing the whore – and now she’s a pregnant whore.” Judah yelled, “Get her out here. Burn her up!” 25 As they brought her out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. Identify them, please. Who’s the owner of the seal-and-cord and the staff?26 Judah saw they were his. He said, “She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong – I wouldn’t let her marry my son Shelah.” He never slept with her again. 27 When her time came to give birth, it turned out that there were twins in her womb. 28 As she was giving birth, one put his hand out; the midwife tied a red thread on his hand, saying, “This one came first.” 29 But then he pulled it back and his brother came out. She said, “Oh! A breakout!” So she named him Perez (Breakout). 30 Then his brother came out with the red thread on his hand. They named him Zerah (Bright).

Psalms 29

1 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!” 2 In awe before the glory, in awe before God’s visible power. Stand at attention! Dress your best to honor him! 3 God thunders across the waters, Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness – God, across the flood waters. 4 God’s thunder tympanic, God’s thunder symphonic. 5 God’s thunder smashes cedars, God topples the northern cedars. 6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts, The high ridges jump like wild kid goats. 7 God’s thunder spits fire. 8 God thunders, the wilderness quakes; He makes the desert of Kadesh shake. 9 God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches. We fall to our knees – we call out, “Glory!” 10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne from which his power flows, from which he rules the world. 11 God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.


– 1/29/2005 10:54:50 AM

Yeah.. worry doesn’t help anything.. I’m fine, I will always be fine.. Sueños dulces.

The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger – so why should I tremble?

Morning Reading from Bible in A Year on

Psalms 27

1 Light, space, zest – that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. 2 When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, Those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. 3 When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. 4 I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. 5 That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. 6 God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.

7 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!” 8 When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!” 9 Don’t hide from me now! You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn your back on me now. Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open. 10 My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in. 11 Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on. 12 Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats. 13 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. 14 Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God.

Luke 20:1-26

1 One day he was teaching the people in the Temple, proclaiming the Message. The high priests, religion scholars, and leaders confronted 2 him and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?” 3 Jesus answered, “First, let me ask you a question: 4 About the baptism of John – who authorized it, heaven or humans?” 5 They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, “If we say ‘heaven,’ he’ll ask us why we didn’t believe him; 6 if we say ‘humans,’ the people will tear us limb from limb, convinced as they are that John was God’s prophet.” 7 They agreed to concede that round to Jesus and said they didn’t know. 8 Jesus said, “Then neither will I answer your question.”

9 Jesus told another story to the people: “A man planted a vineyard. He handed it over to farmhands and went off on a trip. He was gone a long time. 10 In time he sent a servant back to the farmhands to collect the profits, but they beat him up and sent him off empty-handed. 11 He decided to try again and sent another servant. That one they beat black and blue, and sent him off empty-handed. 12 He tried a third time. They worked that servant over from head to foot and dumped him in the street. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘I know what I’ll do: I’ll send my beloved son. They’re bound to respect my son.’ 14 “But when the farmhands saw him coming, they quickly put their heads together. ‘This is our chance – this is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all to ourselves.’ 15 They killed him and threw him over the fence. “What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? 16 Right. He’ll come and clean house. Then he’ll assign the care of the vineyard to others.” Those who were listening said, “Oh, no! He’d never do that!” 17 But Jesus didn’t back down. “Why, then, do you think this was written: That stone the masons threw out – It’s now the cornerstone!? 18 “Anyone falling over that stone will break every bone in his body; if the stone falls on anyone, it will be a total smashup.” 19 The religion scholars and high priests wanted to lynch him on the spot, but they were intimidated by public opinion. They knew the story was about them.

20 Watching for a chance to get him, they sent spies who posed as honest inquirers, hoping to trick him into saying something that would get him in trouble with the law. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you’re honest and straightforward when you teach, that you don’t pander to anyone but teach the way of God accurately. 22 Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He knew they were laying for him and said, 24 “Show me a coin. Now, this engraving, who does it look like and what does it say?” 25 “Caesar,” they said. Jesus said, “Then give Caesar what is his and give God what is his.” 26 Try as they might, they couldn’t trap him into saying anything incriminating. His answer caught them off guard and left them speechless.

Genesis 35,36

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 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, 3 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 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. 5 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 Jacob and his company arrived at Luz, that is, Bethel, in the land of Canaan. 7 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 God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: 10 “Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that’s your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler).” 11 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; 12 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 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. 15 Jacob dedicated the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel (God’s-House).

16 They left Bethel. They were still quite a ways from Ephrath when Rachel went into labor – hard, hard labor. 17 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 Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. 20 Jacob set up a pillar to mark her grave. It is still there today, “Rachel’s Grave Stone.”

21 Israel kept on his way and set up camp at Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went and slept with his father’s concubine, Bilhah. And Israel heard of what he did. There were twelve sons of Jacob. 23 The sons by Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn Simeon Levi Judah Issachar Zebulun. 24 The sons by Rachel: Joseph Benjamin. 25 The sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan Naphtali. 26 The sons by Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad Asher. These were Jacob’s sons, born to him in Paddan Aram. 27 Finally, Jacob made it back home to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath Arba, present-day Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28 Isaac was now 180 years old. 29 Isaac breathed his last and died – an old man full of years. He was buried with his family by his sons Esau and Jacob.

1 This is the family tree of Esau, who is also called Edom. 2 Esau married women of Canaan: Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite; Oholibamah, daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3 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 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. 7 The brothers had too many possessions to live together in the same place; the land couldn’t support their combined herds of livestock. 8 So Esau ended up settling in the hill country of Seir (Esau and Edom are the same).

9 So this is the family tree of Esau, ancestor of the people of Edom, in the hill country of Seir. 10 The names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz, son of Esau’s wife Adah; Reuel, son of Esau’s wife Basemath. 11 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 (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 These are the chieftains in Esau’s family tree. From the sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn, came the chieftains Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 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 This is the family tree of Seir the Horite, who were native to that land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 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 And these were the Horite chieftains: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan – the Horite chieftains clan by clan in the land of Seir.

31 And these are the kings who ruled in Edom before there was a king in Israel: 32 Bela son of Beor was the king of Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah. 33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became the next king. 34 When Jobab died, he was followed by Hushan from the land of the Temanites. 35 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. 36 When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah became the next king. 37 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth-on-the-River became king. 38 When Shaul died, he was followed by Baal-Hanan son of Acbor. 39 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 And these are the chieftains from the line of Esau, clan by clan, region by region: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 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.