Great and long suffering is the patience of God, but yet he eventually executes judgment.

Luke 13:1-17

1 About that time some people came up and told him about the Galileans Pilate had killed while they were at worship, mixing their blood with the blood of the sacrifices on the altar. 2 Jesus responded, “Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you too will die. 4 And those eighteen in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse citizens than all other Jerusalemites? 5 Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you too will die.”

6 Then he told them a story: “A man had an apple tree planted in his front yard. He came to it expecting to find apples, but there weren’t any. 7 He said to his gardener, ‘What’s going on here? For three years now I’ve come to this tree expecting apples and not one apple have I found. Chop it down! Why waste good ground with it any longer?’ 8 “The gardener said, ‘Let’s give it another year. I’ll dig around it and fertilize, 9 and maybe it will produce next year; if it doesn’t, then chop it down.'”

10 He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. 11 There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” 13 He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God. 14 The meeting-place president, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, “Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.” 15 But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. 16 So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?” 17 When he put it that way, his critics were left looking quite silly and red-faced. The congregation was delighted and cheered him on.

Genesis 23

1 Sarah lived 127 years. 2 Sarah died in Kiriath Arba, present-day Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Abraham mourned for Sarah and wept.

3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites: 4 “I know I’m only an outsider here among you, but sell me a burial plot so that I can bury my dead decently.” 5 The Hittites responded, 6 “Why, you’re no mere outsider here with us, you’re a prince of God! Bury your dead wife in the best of our burial sites. None of us will refuse you a place for burial.” 7 Then Abraham got up, bowed respectfully to the people of the land, the Hittites, 8 and said, “If you’re serious about helping me give my wife a proper burial, intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar. 9 Ask him to sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, the one at the end of his land. Ask him to sell it to me at its full price for a burial plot, with you as witnesses.” 10 Ephron was part of the local Hittite community. Then Ephron the Hittite spoke up, answering Abraham with all the Hittites who were part of the town council listening: 11 “Oh no, my master! I couldn’t do that. The field is yours – a gift. I’ll give it and the cave to you. With my people as witnesses, I give it to you. Bury your deceased wife.” 12 Abraham bowed respectfully before the assembled council 13 and answered Ephron: “Please allow me – I want to pay the price of the land; take my money so that I can go ahead and bury my wife.” 14 Then Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “If you insist, master. What’s four hundred silver shekels between us? Now go ahead and bury your wife.”

16 Abraham accepted Ephron’s offer and paid out the sum that Ephron had named before the town council of Hittites – four hundred silver shekels at the current exchange rate. 17 That’s how Ephron’s field next to Mamre – the field, its cave, and all the trees within its borders – 18 became Abraham’s property. The town council of Hittites witnessed the transaction. 19 Abraham then proceeded to bury his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah that is next to Mamre, present-day Hebron, in the land of Canaan. 20 The field and its cave went from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burial plot.

Psalms 16

1 Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you. 2 I say to God, “Be my Lord!” Without you, nothing makes sense. 3 And these God-chosen lives all around – what splendid friends they make! 4 Don’t just go shopping for a god. Gods are not for sale. I swear I’ll never treat god-names like brand-names. 5 My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! 6 You set me up with a house and yard. And then you made me your heir! 7 The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart.

8 Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. 9 I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. 10 You canceled my ticket to hell – that’s not my destination! 11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.


– 1/16/2005 2:08:31 PM

I work in a flower shop doing whatever is needed of me. If it’s delivering or helping customers at the register, I’m there.

– 1/16/2005 9:16:24 PM

Phil, Sadly, we had to do a funeral arrangement. The woman was sad and crying. I cried with her. I’m very… sentimental? I want to thank you, for caring so much..


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