Monday, November 3, 2008

Today's reading comes from the book of Ecclesiasticus again. There are many days I find myself disagreeing with the words of scripture. This is one of them. I think that incredible wisdom comes from those laborers that are described in the following passage. Read it, engage in it, talk to God about it. God loves to engage in dialogue!  My grandfather, God rest his soul, was an amazing craftsman. He made his living as an engraver. I remember sitting next to him when I was a child and watch while he  carefully engraved etchings into copper that would become a piece of art or a logo for some business. He was a loving and steady  presence in an otherwise chaotic childhood. 

Also, I ask your prayers today for Tracie Schissel and the repose of the soul of her sister, Leslie. Leslie died yesterday from Lyme disease. I met Tracie and Leslie a few weeks ago at a Lyme Disease Conference. Leslie looked healthy and vibrant, but Lyme is a very strange disease. I went to the conference to learn more about Lyme because my son Cory (32 years old) was diagnosed with it. He moved in with us 6 months ago so we can help him. You can follow the link  to if you wish to know more about Lyme disease. It is more prevalent than you might think. Patty Butler's niece is recovering from it and MaryJane Ostrom's son was diagnosed with it several months ago. Please hold them all in prayer.

Here is the reading and a poem for today:

 Ecclesiasticus 38:24-34
"The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure; only the one who has little business can become wise.  How can one become wise who handles the plow, and who glories in the shaft of a goad, who drives oxen and is occupied with their work, 
and whose talk is about bulls?  He sets his heart on plowing furrows, and he is careful about fodder for the heifers.  So it is with every artisan and master artisan who labors by night as well as by day; those who cut the signets of seals, each is diligent in making a great variety; they set their heart on painting a lifelike image, and they are careful to finish their work. 

So it is with the smith, sitting by the anvil, intent on his iron-work; the breath of the fire melts his flesh, 
and he struggles with the heat of the furnace; the sound of the hammer deafens his ears, and his eyes are on the pattern of the object. 
He sets his heart on finishing his handiwork, and he is careful to complete its decoration.  So it is with the potter sitting at his work 
and turning the wheel with his feet; he is always deeply concerned over his products, and he produces them in quantity.  He molds the clay with his arm and makes it pliable with his feet; he sets his heart to finish the glazing, and he takes care in firing  the kiln. 

All these rely on their hands, and all are skillful in their own work.  Without them no city can be inhabited, 
and wherever they live, they will not go hungry. Yet they are not sought out for the council of the people, nor do they
attain eminence in the public assembly. They do not sit in the judge's seat, nor do they understand the decisions of the courts; 
they cannot expound discipline or judgment, and they are not found among the rulers.  But they maintain the fabric of the world, 
and their concern is for  the exercise of their trade. How different the one who devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High!"

Tracie Schissel and Leslie Wermers

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