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Looking for help?  You are looking in the right direction!  God will help, if you will seek him.  He is a very present help in times of trouble.  Stephen knew this and he looked up when he was faced with adversity.

Acts 7:44-56 (WEB)
44) “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen;
45) which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,
46) who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
47) But Solomon built him a house.
48) However, the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,
49) ‘heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord; ‘or what is the place of my rest?
50) Didn’t my hand make all these things?’
51) “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
52) Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
53) You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”
54) Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55) But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56) and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
When I saw the president on TV yesterday, it occurred to me that he didn't have a plan to address yet another crisis; he just wanted to talk.  I thought how powerless he looked and realized he was very alone.  When I saw this picture, it occurred to me that he just needs to look to God for help and then DO SOMETHING!!! 

OT Bible Reading 8/9

Aug. 9
Nehemiah 4-6

Neh 4:1 But it happened that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
Neh 4:2 He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?
Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall.
Neh 4:4 Hear, our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach on their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity;
Neh 4:5 and don't cover their iniquity, and don't let their sin be blotted out from before you; for they have provoked you to anger before the builders.
Neh 4:6 So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to half the height of it: for the people had a mind to work.
Neh 4:7 But it happened that when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very angry;
Neh 4:8 and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein.
Neh 4:9 But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
Neh 4:10 Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 Our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, until we come into the midst of them, and kill them, and cause the work to cease.
Neh 4:12 It happened that when the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us ten times from all places, You must return to us.
Neh 4:13 Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set there the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
Neh 4:14 I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Don't be afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 It happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, everyone to his work.
Neh 4:16 It happened from that time forth, that half of my servants worked in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They all built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves; everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon;
Neh 4:18 and the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and so built. He who sounded the trumpet was by me.
Neh 4:19 I said to the nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another:
Neh 4:20 in whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally there to us; our God will fight for us.
Neh 4:21 So we worked in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared.
Neh 4:22 Likewise at the same time said I to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labor in the day.
Neh 4:23 So neither I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, everyone went with his weapon to the water.
Neh 5:1 Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.
Neh 5:2 For there were that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many: let us get grain, that we may eat and live.
Neh 5:3 Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses: let us get grain, because of the dearth.
Neh 5:4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute on our fields and our vineyards.
Neh 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children: and behold, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already: neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.
Neh 5:6 I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
Neh 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, You exact usury, everyone of his brother. I held a great assembly against them.
Neh 5:8 I said to them, We after our ability have redeemed our brothers the Jews, that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us? Then held they their peace, and found never a word.
Neh 5:9 Also I said, The thing that you do is not good: ought you not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies?
Neh 5:10 I likewise, my brothers and my servants, do lend them money and grain. Please let us leave off this usury.
Neh 5:11 Please restore to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you exact of them.
Neh 5:12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as you say. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise.
Neh 5:13 Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that doesn't perform this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. All the assembly said, Amen, and praised Yahweh. The people did according to this promise.
Neh 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.
Neh 5:15 But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn't do so, because of the fear of God.
Neh 5:16 Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered there to the work.
Neh 5:17 Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us.
Neh 5:18 Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I didn't demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people.
Neh 5:19 Remember to me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.

Neh 6:1 Now it happened, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates;)
Neh 6:2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
Neh 6:3 I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I can't come down: why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?
Neh 6:4 They sent to me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Neh 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant to me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand,
Neh 6:6 in which was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause you are building the wall: and you would be their king, according to these words.
Neh 6:7 You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
Neh 6:8 Then I sent to him, saying, There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart.
Neh 6:9 For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, God, strengthen my hands.
Neh 6:10 I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to kill you; yes, in the night will they come to kill you.
Neh 6:11 I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 I discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me: and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
Neh 6:13 For this cause was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
Neh 6:14 Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.
Neh 6:16 It happened, when all our enemies heard of it, that all the nations that were about us feared, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was worked of our God.
Neh 6:17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them.
Neh 6:18 For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.
Neh 6:19 Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

NT Bible Reading 8/9, 8/10

Aug. 9, 10
Acts 23

Act 23:1 Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, "Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day."
Act 23:2 The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
Act 23:3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?"
Act 23:4 Those who stood by said, "Do you malign God's high priest?"
Act 23:5 Paul said, "I didn't know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, 'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.' "
Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"
Act 23:7 When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
Act 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these.
Act 23:9 A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying, "We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let's not fight against God!"
Act 23:10 When a great argument arose, the commanding officer, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
Act 23:11 The following night, the Lord stood by him, and said, "Cheer up, Paul, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must testify also at Rome."
Act 23:12 When it was day, some of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.
Act 23:13 There were more than forty people who had made this conspiracy.
Act 23:14 They came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, "We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.
Act 23:15 Now therefore, you with the council inform the commanding officer that he should bring him down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to judge his case more exactly. We are ready to kill him before he comes near."
Act 23:16 But Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, and he came and entered into the barracks and told Paul.
Act 23:17 Paul summoned one of the centurions, and said, "Bring this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to tell him."
Act 23:18 So he took him, and brought him to the commanding officer, and said, "Paul, the prisoner, summoned me and asked me to bring this young man to you, who has something to tell you."
Act 23:19 The commanding officer took him by the hand, and going aside, asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?"
Act 23:20 He said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though intending to inquire somewhat more accurately concerning him.
Act 23:21 Therefore don't yield to them, for more than forty men lie in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor to drink until they have killed him. Now they are ready, looking for the promise from you."
Act 23:22 So the commanding officer let the young man go, charging him, "Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me."
Act 23:23 He called to himself two of the centurions, and said, "Prepare two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen, and two hundred men armed with spears, at the third hour of the night."
Act 23:24 He asked them to provide animals, that they might set Paul on one, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.
Act 23:25 He wrote a letter like this:
Act 23:26 "Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.
Act 23:27 "This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.
Act 23:28 Desiring to know the cause why they accused him, I brought him down to their council.
Act 23:29 I found him to be accused about questions of their law, but not to be charged with anything worthy of death or of imprisonment.
Act 23:30 When I was told that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him to you immediately, charging his accusers also to bring their accusations against him before you. Farewell."
Act 23:31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.
Act 23:32 But on the next day they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the barracks.
Act 23:33 When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.
Act 23:34 When the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. When he understood that he was from Cilicia, he said,
Act 23:35 "I will hear you fully when your accusers also arrive." He commanded that he be kept in Herod's palace.