Photo by Eva Rinaldi
- Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
- ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
- Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
- The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
- Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
- The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
- When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun. ~John Newton
— National Gallery (@NationalGallery) October 11, 2016
The roses and poppy anemones seen in this painting by Jan van Huysum may have come from his own garden in Amsterdam
1 At this time Amraphel king of Shinar,
Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedor-
Laomer king of Elam and the Goiim
King Tida 2 went to war with Bera king
Of Sodom, Birsha the king of Gomorrah,
Shinab the king of Admah, Shemeber,
Zeboiim’s king; and Bela’s king (that
Is, Zoar). 3 All these latter kings joined forces
In Siddim Valley (the Salt Sea ). 4 For twelve
Years they had been Kedorlaomer’s subjects,
But in year thirteen they rebelled, 5 and in
The fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and
The kings allied with him went and defeated
The Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim,
The Zuzites out of Ham, the Emites out
In Shaveh Kiriathaim 6 and the Horites
In the hill country of Seir, as far
As El Paran beside the wilderness.
7 They turned around then and went to En Mishpat
(That’s known as Kadesh), and they conquered all
The area of the Amalekites,
As well as Amorites, who lived in Haz
Azon Tamar. 8 Then Sodom’s king, Gomorrah’s
King, Admah’s king, the king of Zeboiim
As well as king of Bela (that is, Zoar)
Marched out and drew up battle lines within
The Siddim Valley 9 to take on Kedor-
Laomer king of Elam, Tidal king
Of Goiim, Amraphel the Shinar king,
And Arioch the king of Ellasar–
Four kings to five. 10 The Siddim Valley was
Replete with tar pits, and when Sodom and
Gomorrah’s kings fled, some of the men fell
In them and all the rest fled to the hills.
11 The four kings seized all goods of Sodom and
Gomorrah and their food; then went away,
12 And they abducted Abram’s nephew Lot
And his possessions, since he was residing
In Sodom. 13 One who had escaped came and told
This to the Hebrew Abram, who lived near
The great trees of the Amorite named Mamre,
Eschol and Aner’s brother–who were all
Allied with Abram– 14 and when Abram heard
His relative had been abducted, he
Called out three hundred eighteen trained men born
In his own household and pursued to Dan.
15 In nighttime Abram split his men up to
Attack them and he routed them and chased
Them far as Hobah, past Damascus in
The north, 16 and he recovered all the goods
And brought back Lot, his relative, and his
Goods, with the women and the other people.
17 Now after Abram came back from defeating
Kedorlaomer and the kings allied
With him, the king of Sodom came to meet
Him in the Shaveh Valley (known too as
King’s Valley), 18 then Melchizedek the king
Of Salem brought out bread and wine, for he
Was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram,
Saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most
High, the Creator of heaven and earth,
20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered
Your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram
Gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king
Of Sodom said to Abram, “Let me have
The people and you can retain the goods,”
22 And Abram told the king of Sodom, “I
Have raised my hand unto the LORD, God Most
High, the Creator of heaven and earth,
And I have sworn an oath 23 that I will not
Accept a thing that’s yours, no, not a thread
Or sandal thong, so that you never can
Brag, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept
Nothing but what my men have eaten and
The share belonging to the men who went
With me– to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre.
Let them have their share, for each has a stake.”
1 So Abram went from Egypt to the Negev;
He had his wife and his belongings, and
Lot traveled with him. 2 Abram had become
Well-off in livestock, gold and silver. 3 From
The Negev Abram went from place to place
Until he came to Bethel, to the place
Between Bethel and Ai where his tent
Was earlier 4 and where he had first built
An altar. Abram there called on the name
Of God. 5 Now Lot, who moved about with Abram,
Had flocks and herds and tents, too, 6 but the land
Could not support them while they stayed together,
For their possessions were so great, they could
Not stay together– 7 quarreling then rose
Up between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen.
The Canaanites and Perizzites were also
Residing in the land, 8 so Abram said
To Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling
Between you and me, or between your herdsmen
And mine, for we are brothers. 9 The whole land
Is there before you, is it not? Let us
Part company. If you go to the left,
I will go to the right; if you go to
The right, I will go to the left.” 10 Lot looked
Up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan
Was watered well, like the LORD’s garden, like
The land of Egypt, near to Zoar. (This
Occurred before the LORD destroyed both Sodom
And Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself
The Jordan’s whole plain and he set out toward
The east, the two men parting company,
12 With Abram living in the land of Canaan,
While Lot resided in the cities of
The plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now
The men of Sodom were depraved and they
Were sinning mightily against the LORD.
14 The LORD told Abram after Lot had left
Him, “Lift your eyes up from where you are and
Look north and south, and east and west. 15 All land
You see I will give to you and your offspring
Forever, 16 and I’ll make your offspring like
The dust of earth, so that if anyone
Could count the dust, your offspring could be counted.
17 Go, walk the length and breadth throughout the land,
Because I give you it,” 18 so Abram moved
His tents and went to live near the great trees
Of Mamre right at Hebron, where he built
An altar to the LORD upon a hill.
Let me say how I see myself:
You’ll know me better than before.
I ask for your indulgence;
Don’t grab your coat and push the door.
I’ve lived in places ‘round the world
And given viewpoints careful thought.
I feel a good way to begin
Is to inform you what I’m not.
If I said I’m a Communist,
You’d listen with an open mind.
They say they’re for equality
And that objective fits your lines.
And if I told you I was gay,
You might say you are liberal, too.
What other people do in rooms
Doesn’t matter much to you.
If I said I’m in real estate,
Had made a fortune from my plan,
You’d stick around to hear the spiel,
So you’d get rich quick, too, on land.
And if I talked of hatred of
Folks for the color of their skins,
I bet that some would listen,
Hoping racial hate would win.
If I said I loved drugs and sex,
You might want to join in my game.
You might be one to go along,
Neglecting health, neglecting shame.
And if I said my skin was green
Or blue, or gender was unknown,
And wanted crayons and safe space,
You’d follow me across time zones.
So when I say that I’m a Christian
I wonder why you close your ears.
Why do you close your “open mind”
And flood your mind and heart with fears?
I only said I was a Christian.
I didn’t poke you in the face,
I didn’t hit you with a Bible
Or occupy your private space.
I only want to tell you I
Believe in Christ, Christ crucified,
His body buried in a guarded tomb
While men lost heart and women cried.
That man came back to life again
And ate a fish and honeycomb.
He gave disciples more commands,
Ascended to his holy home.
You might say it’s a fairy tale,
That there’s no life once people die.
If you can prove He didn’t rise,
Then I will bid my faith good-bye.
You hear about hypocrisy,
Not of the good works of the Lord:
How people’s lives have changed for good,
How people are revived, restored.
No, you will hear about the troubles−
That is what makes the stories sell.
You’ll seldom see them cover it
If God has made a crushed man well.
The Gospel’s name means it’s Good News,
News of salvation and God’s light.
God’s Good News is His love for you . . .
Thank you for listening tonight.
Ratifying the Constitution did
Inspire a Grand Procession in the Honor of
Ratification, “The most interesting
Scene,” wrote the Journal, “in this world’s part ever
Exhibited,” for every Citizen
Who wished to live beneath a Government
Capable to protect his person and
His property, united with the Farmers,
The Merchants and Mechanics, to create
This morning scene at nine: Three thousand people
Gathered on Philpot’s Hill, directed by
Plunket and Moore, both captains: Seven guns
From Major Smith’s and Captain Furnival’s
Park of Artillery, to which Huzzahs
(Three in all) signaled the Procession had
Begun, and the whole line moved to Fells’-Point
And from there through the Town’s main Streets amidst
The Acclamations of a Number of
Spectators (“a prodigious number”) to
Federal-Hill, where they were greeted by
A Seven-Gun Salute, and they partook
Of Entertainment brought forth for the Purpose.
They sat down at a Table (circular,
Three thousand and six hundred feet, with Standards
And the Devices of their Orders, which
Were flown as usual and showed the Town
And shipping in the Harbour what looked like
A brilliant camp, and the Repast was set
Out gracefully, with local food alone.
With Mr. Peters’ first-rate Ale, they closed
With Thirteen Toasts and were accompanied
By Thirteen federal discharges. Toasts
Were to the People’s Majesty, the late
Convention, Congress, Seven States which had
Adopted the Federal Constitution,
A speedy Ratification by those
Remaining six, without Amendments, to
George Washington (Toast number six), to His
Most Christian Majesty and other Allies,
The Maryland Convention’s virtuous
Sixty-three, and Toast number nine was to
The Agriculture, Manufactories
And Commerce of America, while ten:
The Memory of those who had
Fallen while in America’s defense.
Number eleven: Massachusetts’ worthy
Minority; that in each Quarter of
The Globe the flag of America be
Respected, and as Number Thirteen Toast:
Continuance of unanimity
Among inhabitants of Baltimore-
Town; and, the Business of the Day complete,
The different classes of the Citizens
Returned in separate Divisions to
Their proper Stations and continued their
Celebrations in many rational
And lofty Pleasures ‘til each heart was full.
See “A Grand Procession in Baltimore from the Debate on the Constitution,” Part 2, The Library of America, compiled by Bernard Bail
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country,
Your people and your father’s household and
Go to the land that I will show you. 2 I
Will make you into a great nation and
I’ll bless you; I will make your name great, and
You’ll be a blessing: 3 I will bless those who
Bless you; whoever curses you I’ll curse;
Through you all the earth’s peoples will be blessed.”
4 So, as the LORD had told him, Abram left;
And Lot accompanied him. Abram was
Seventy-five years old when he set out
From Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, Lot,
His nephew, all possessions that they had
Accumulated and the people they
Had gained in Haran, and they set out for
The land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 And Abram traveled through the land and reached
The site of the great tree of Moreh at
Shechem, and at that time the Canaanites
Were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram
And said, “I’ll give this land to your own offspring.”
And so he built an altar there to God,
Who had appeared to him, 8 and from there he
Went on toward the hills east of Bethel and
He pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west,
Ai on the east, where he built up an altar
To God and called on God’s name. 9 Abram then
Set out and he continued toward the Negev.
10 The land now had a famine. Abram went
To Egypt to live there for a while because
The famine was severe, 11 and as he was
About to enter Egypt, he told his
Wife Sarai, “I know what a pretty woman
You are, 12 and when Egyptians see you, they
Will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill
Me but will let you live, 13 so say you are
My sister, so I will be treated well
For your own sake and my life will be spared
Because of you.” 14 When Abram came to Egypt,
Egyptians saw she was a beautiful
Woman. 15 When Pharaoh’s staff saw her, they praised
Her to the Pharaoh, and she was taken into
His palace, 16 and he treated Abram well
For Sarai’s sake, and Abram gathered sheep
And cattle, male and female donkeys, men-
Servants and maidservants, and camels, 17 but
The LORD inflicted serious diseases
On Pharaoh and his household due to Abram’s
Wife Sarai. 18 Pharaoh therefore summoned Abram.
“What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t
You tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did
You say, ‘She is my sister,’ so I took
Her to be my wife? Now then, here’s your wife.
Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave some orders
To men concerning Abram, and they sent
Him off with Sarai and all he possessed.
No deal: He let us down. He didn’t try hard enough. He failed. Orange Man Bad.
Deal: He gave up too much. He didn’t get enough. He let us down. He failed. Orange Man Bad.