Exodus 5:10-14, Psalms 124-127

April 8, 2014

And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I will not give you straw. Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.’ ” So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.” Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?” (Exodus 5:10-14)
      LORD God, in so many offices and workplaces more and more is demanded of the workers with fewer resources being provided. Have mercy on your people and protect them from harsh taskmasters.

“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,” let Israel now say– “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.” Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:1-8 )
      Thank you, Father, that just as you rescued the childrenof Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh, so you will rescue the oppressed in our day.

Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people from this time forth and forever. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity. Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them away with the workers of iniquity. Peace be upon Israel! (Psalm 125:1-5)
      Holy Spirit, guide us in your righteous ways so that we may know your peace and your vindication.

When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:1-6)
      Jesus, thank you for setting us free from captivity: captivity to sin and captivity to oppression. We cried out to you many times with tears and you heard and answered us. Thank you.

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my famly, that You have brought me this far? (2 Samuel 7:18 )
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he gives his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
(Psalm 127:1-5)
      LORD, you have built my house and have given us rest and children. Thank you for our full quiver.

Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123 * 124, 125, 126, [127]; Exod. 5:1-6:1: 1 Cor. 14:20-33a,39-40: Mark 9:42-50
Wednesday: 119:145-176 * 128, 129, 130; Exod. 7:8-24: 2 Cor. 2:14-3:6: Mark 10:1-16

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** PRAYR TABLE REPORT ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM, (Monday, April 7, 2014; 10-11 a.m. in front of our church on Division Street. A nice day — 48 degrees and no wind.)

a — signifies anointed with Holy Oil.
f — signifies received free non-perishable food we offer.

a,f — REBECCA — Came for prayer for continued and complete healing of her balky left knee. She is off the walking cane now and has opted to NOT have surgery.

f — NANCY — Received prayer for problems she is having. “Everybody around here is having a rough time these days,” she said of our neighborhood.

f-MAN (no name given) — Prayed for his well-being and safety. He was walking with a golf club as a kind of crutch.

ANIMAL CONTROL WOMAN — She slowed her car down, rolled down the window and wished us well. She said “Thank you being out here all these cold winter days to help people.” That was nice of her!

MEN ON THE STREET CORNER — We prayed for the safety of four men from the city setting up notices of road work to be done on the bridge across to Route 5S which starts Tuesday. Cars were buzzing past them and not slowing down.

MAILMAN — Prayed for his protection as he goes along his route.

f — MIKE, EVANS, ANNA and RICO — These four family members came as a group for much-needed food. They were very grateful. We prayed for their good health and protection.

JOHN — This troubled young man seems to have mental problems and was cursing and gesturing at us as we took the table down. We prayed for God to still his fears and calm his mind.

Note: One important thing to pass along — “Nancy” mentioned above is a Roman Catholic and until about 6 months ago avoided us and wouldn’t set foot by the prayer table because she did not trust us. Gradually, she has started to come over and get food and prayer, even asking questions about what we in our church believe. Today when I prayed for “Rebecca,” Nancy also put her hand on Rebecca’s shoulder as I prayed for her and joined in the prayer. What a breakthrough! Praise God.

Albany Intercessor

Lent Poems – Christina Rossetti: Who Shall Deliver Me

April 8, 2014

Recently, while working on updating our compilations of poems for Holy Week and Good Friday, I came across this powerful poem by Christina Rossetti, which is very appropriate for Lenten reading and reflection.  It echos some of my own emotions and spiritual struggles of this Lent, when I have known all too well the truth of Apostle Paul’s lament in Romans 7 – leaving the good I want to do undone, and doing the evil that I do not want to do.  Thanks be to God that we have a Savior!


Who Shall Deliver Me?
God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.

— by Christina Georgina Rossetti

from here

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