Reno − the city of divorce,
The city of green felt and slots,
Where few have ever shown remorse,
Where drugs are sold and women bought−
Becomes transformed within a year
From Satan’s harmful realm of sin
To a stronghold where God appears
And his great army fights and wins.
Gamblers once seen to bet their green
Go kneel and pray on public streets,
Freezers that once were bare or lean
Are heaped, through gifts, with pounds of meats.
While thieves return their stolen goods,
With broken marriages restored,
People with plenty share their food
And sing their praises to the Lord.
The city blossoms with Good News,
With healings, prophecies and tongues.
No churches have sufficient pews
To seat the eager old and young.
A fresh wind blows the dark skies clear,
A rainfall cleanses city streets,
The Gospel is proclaimed by seers
To the policemen on their beats,
To housewives shopping in the malls,
To poor with carts of clothes and cans,
To children holding Barbie dolls
And to the lines of football fans.
In hospitals the beds are bare
As prayers bring patients back to health.
The city’s power lies in prayer,
The city boasts of sacred wealth.
Reporters, who descend in droves
To see what changed the gambling town,
View miracles like Jesus’ loaves
Inside a town turned upside down.
The news is broadcast everywhere,
From San Francisco to Cape Cod,
To Florida and Delaware,
That Reno knows the living God.
“We know there’s been a bad mistake,”
Remark the cynics in the East.
“Perhaps they’re actors, frauds and fakes−
It can’t be true it’s Kingdom yeast.”
Yet the sick keep coming to Reno,
And they keep leaving healed, with smiles,
As preachers teach in old casinos
And Satan’s ways go out of style.
In Reno Jesus rules the hearts,
Freedom in Christ has turned the key.
Rebirths of Christian healing arts
Unbind the blind, so they can see.
Pilgrims arrive to gain new lifts
And see Lord Jesus’ people shine.
Many receive the Spirit’s gifts
And God reveals Himself by signs.
As people see with the Spirit’s eyes,
The Word of God is spread around;
Those once called fools are known as wise,
As God converts the gambling town.
Often, to amuse themselves, crew members Capture an albatross, large bird of seas, That follows, lazy friend of the voyage, The boat gliding along the bitter gulfs. Scarcely have they lain them down on the boards, That these kings of azure, awkward and shy, Piteously let out their great white wings Similar to oars dragging at their sides. This winged traveler, how clumsy and how weak! Him, lately so fine, how comic, how plain! The one leads on its beak with a pipe, One mimes, limping, the cripple who could fly! The Poet is like the prince of the clouds Who haunts tempests and laughs at the archer; Exiled onto the sun amid booing, His giant wings keeping him from walking. ~Charles Baudelaire
NUMBERS CHAPTER THREE
1 This is the story of the family
Aaron and of Moses when the LORD
Conversed with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 And
The names of Aaron’s sons were Nadab, who
Was firstborn, and Abihu, Ithamar,
And then Eleazar. 3 Those were the names
Of Aaron’s sons, anointed priests, who were
Ordained to serve as priests. 4 But Nadab and
Abihu fell down dead before the LORD
When those two offered up unauthorized
Fire in his presence in the Sinai Desert.
They had no sons; so Eleazar and
Ithamar served alone as priests while Aaron
Their father was alive. 5 The LORD told Moses,
6 “Bring Levi’s tribe; present them to Priest Aaron
To help him, 7 and they must perform their duties
For him and for the whole community
Right at the Meeting Tent by doing work
They must do at the tabernacle. 8 They
Are to take care of all the furnishings
There for the Meeting Tent, which will fulfill
The obligations of the Israelites
By doing tabernacle work, 9 and give
Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are
The Israelites who give themselves entirely
To him. 10 Have Aaron and his sons to serve
As priests, and anybody else who comes
Up to the sanctuary must be killed.”
11 God also said to Moses, 12 “I have taken
The Levites from among the Israelites
In the place of the first male offspring of
Each woman Israelite. The Levites are
Mine, 13 for all the firstborn are mine. When
I struck the firstborn down in Egypt, I
Did set off for myself each firstborn in
Israel, whether man or animal.
They shall be mine. I am the LORD.” 14 The LORD
Told Moses in the Sinai Desert, 15 “Count
The Levites by their families and clans.
Count every male a month old or more.” 16 So
Moses did count them, as God told him to.
17 The names of Levi’s sons were: Gershon, Kohath
And, last, Merari. 18 And these were the names
Of Gershonite clans: Libni, Shimei.
19 And Kohathite clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron
And Uzziel. 20 The Merarite clans: Mahli
And Mushi. These were Levite clans, by their
Families. 21 Gershon had the clans of Libnites
And Shimeites; these were the Gershonite
Clans. 22 Now the number of the males a month
Old or more who were counted was seven thousand
Five hundred. 23 And the clans of Gershonites
Were to pitch camp upon the west, behind
The tabernacle. 24 And Eliasaph
Led families of the Gershonites, 25 and at
The Meeting Tent the Gershonites took care
Of tabernacle and tent, coverings,
The curtain at the entrance to the Tent
Of Meeting, 26 courtyard curtains, curtain at
The entrance to the courtyard that surrounds
The tabernacle and the altar, and
The ropes−and everything that is related
To using them. 27 To Kohath were the clans
Of Amramites and Izharites, the He-
Bronites and Uzzielites; all these were
Kohathite clans. 28 The number of all males
A month old or more was eight thousand and
Six hundred. Kohathites were responsible
To take care of the sanctuary; 29 clans
Of Kohathites pitched camp upon the south
Side of the tabernacle. 30 And the son
Of Uzziel, Elizaphan, was head
Of clans of Kohathites. 31 Their duties were
To take care of the ark, the table, lampstand,
The altars, and the sanctuary items
Used in the ministry, the curtain, and
All things related to their use. 32 The chief
Leader of Levites was Eleazar
Son of Priest Aaron, for he was appointed
To supervise the ones responsible
To take care of the sanctuary. 33 To
Merari were the clans of Mahlites and
Mushites; these were the clans of Merarites.
34 The number of the males a month old or
More who were counted was six thousand and
Two hundred. 35 Family leader of the clans
Of Merarites was Zuriel the son
Of Abihail; they were to camp upon
The tabernacle’s north side. 36 Merarites’
Duties were to care for the tabernacle
Frames, and its crossbars, bases, posts, all its
Equipment, and all that’s related to
Their use, 37 plus posts of the surrounding courtyard
With their ropes, bases, and their tent pegs. 38 Moses
And Aaron and his sons were to encamp
East of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise,
Before the Meeting Tent. They took care of
The sanctuary for the Israelites.
Anybody else who approached the spot
Was to be put to death. 39 In all, the Levites
Counted at God’s command by Moses and
Aaron according to their clans, including
Each male who was a month old or more, was
Twenty-two thousand. 40 God told Moses, “Count
All the male firstborn Israelites who are
A month old or more and write down their names.
41 Take Levites for me in place of the firstborn
Israelites, and the Levites’ livestock in
Place of all firstborn of the livestock of
The Israelites. I am the LORD.” 42 So Moses
Counted all firstborn of the Israelites,
As God commanded him. 43 The total number
Of firstborn males a month old or more, listed
By name, was twenty-two thousand two hundred
Seventy-three. 44 The LORD told Moses, too:
45 “Take Levites in the place of all the firstborn
Of Israel, and take the Levites’ livestock
In place of their own livestock. Levites shall
Be mine. I am the LORD. 46 And to redeem
Two hundred seventy-three Israelites,
The firstborn, who exceed the number of
The Levites, 47 take five shekels for each one,
By sanctuary shekel, which weighs in
At twenty gerahs. 48 Give the money to
Redeem the other Israelites to Aaron
And his sons.” 49 Therefore Moses gathered money
For the redemption from the ones who went
Over the number Levites had redeemed.
50 And from the firstborn of the Israelites
He took in silver weighing in at
One thousand and three hundred sixty-five
Shekels, by sanctuary shekel. 51 Moses
Gave Aaron and his sons the money for
Redemption, as the word of God told him.