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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 5

When Patty came the next morning, Takara was still asleep. Usually, she was awake well before Patty’s arrival. This time she heard Patty knocking at her door. Takara pulled herself up.

“Takara!” the woman cried out.

Takara went and opened the door. She had set her doorknob lock to the locked position the night before, even though she didn’t think it would be very strong. Takara had had trouble going to sleep that previous night. All she could think about was how she was being denied access to her school and to her father’s room. It seemed she had no way to contact her mother now. Still, it was the fact that she saw Mr. Tyler walking the halls the day before that had driven her to decide to go ahead and make this public display of her mistrust.

“I see you’re sleeping in this morning” Patty observed.

“I guess.” Takara returned. “But really, why does it matter?”

Patty looked surprised and somewhat annoyed as she stepped into the room. Takara closed the door.

“Actually …” the woman started.

Patty and Takara both turned toward the door as it was suddenly reopened — only Patty didn’t appear to be surprised. Takara braced herself for another visit from Mr. Tyler. Instead, it was a different man, who was carrying a box.

“Where should I put it?”

“What?” Takara asked.

“You can set it up on the table. Go ahead and move those books.” Patty directed.

“What’s going on?” Takara questioned.

Patty sighed. She obviously had a very different and very negative opinion of Takara now.

“Mr. Tyler has bought you a computer for your classes.” Patty informed her.

Takara sat on her bed as Patty turned back to the computer technician.

“I’m going to be making the girl her usual breakfast. You don’t need me here, do you?”

“No, I should be fine.” the man returned.

Patty left without another word to Takara. Takara watched the man set to work on the computer. She noticed that he had a badge from a local computer store on his shirt. It occurred to Takara that she was now a prisoner in her own home. The only people she felt she could risk trusting at all were ones who didn’t directly know Mr. Tyler … like this man.

“I guess that one’s going to have parental controls?” Takara asked.

The man looked at her skeptically.

“Of course.” He turned back.

“I guess I’ll have to be careful what I write.”

“No, I don’t think so.” the man said. “You just won’t be visiting any sites but that school’s site — so I guess it’s pretty much the same thing.”

“That’s fine.” Takara laughed.

When the man looked back, Takara was smiling.

“I was bored for so long; even homework sounds pretty good to me now.” Takara declared. Sadly, it was partly true.

The man smiled but looked doubtful. Takara looked off to the side. She could only visit the website of the school … but at least there wasn’t a keystroke logger. Then again, she couldn’t be sure of even that. And certainly, the teachers would report to Mr. Tyler if Takara said anything too provocative; Mr. Tyler wouldn’t have allowed Takara to communicate with a school, even online, if that weren’t the case.

As Takara was thinking these thoughts, Patty returned.

“Here is your usual. I hope it will be okay.”

“It’s fine.” Takara replied.

Takara wished she could go back to the way things were with Patty a week ago, but then she reminded herself it really wasn’t Takara’s fault that there was tension now. How was she supposed to know there would be an issue with her going back to school? How was she to know her asking about it would be viewed as though she were trying to get away with something? Usually kids were questioned for wanting to stay home, not for wanting to go back. Why couldn’t she leave this house or talk to other people anyway? It made no sense. Takara shook her head.

“It’s not to your liking?” Patty asked with an edge to her voice.

Takara just looked at her. What could she say that wouldn’t rub this woman the wrong way?

“It’s fine.” Takara repeated blankly.

Apparently, now she couldn’t even think without being questioned.

“All right. All set.” the computer tech stated.

“Oh, good.” Patty returned.

The cheerfulness in Patty’s voice rang hollow to Takara given Patty’s current treatment of her. The man nodded then looked at Takara.

“I hope you feel better … and enjoy your classes.”

Takara smiled sincerely.

“Thank you.” she said.

“I’ll show you out.” Patty insisted.

As they left, Takara was glad the man hadn’t alluded to their conversation. Takara had been hoping he wouldn’t think much of it if she downplayed it. As long as Patty didn’t give him the third degree, Takara doubted it would come up in conversation. Speaking of Patty, what was with her anyway? The change in her attitude towards Takara was hard to fathom. What could Mr. Tyler have said to change Patty’s opinion of Takara so completely? Takara hardly knew Mr. Tyler — or Patty for that matter. The whole situation was odd. If Takara couldn’t find a way to be viewed as a normal person again, she knew that this harsh treatment of her was bound to take a toll.

Takara stood up and headed for the computer. As she sat down, she braced herself for the possibility of more of the same bad treatment. She couldn’t trust anything completely anymore. Everyone she met online might have the same rotten opinion of her that Patty now had. Takara had effectively been isolated from everyone who knew and liked her. Still, if she didn’t try to connect with those outside the walls of the Institute it wasn’t going to get any better. One thing was for sure: playing nice with Mr. Tyler wasn’t an option. She was just getting further and further trapped in his cage. No, it was best to not care what the people around here thought of her. Her parents had always loved her, and her mother was still alive somewhere … hopefully able to be reached. Takara was determined to reconnect with her. Yes, she would find a way out of this prison they held her in even if she had to lie low for a long time before an opportunity to escape presented itself. She clicked on the power switch to the computer.

Takara ended up being somewhat relieved as she logged on to the course site. There were no people there that were mean to her. However, that might have been because the only one she interacted with on the video relay was a website administrator. The administrator helped Takara through the course selection and registration. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the administrator was merely following a script. Takara feared that this level of emotional distance would be typical of her interaction with the school. If so, it would seem this online school wouldn’t be helpful in Takara’s efforts to contact her mother after all.

The school itself had both positive and negative aspects. The classes seemed interesting enough. Yet, Takara couldn’t help but feel agitated that she had been forced out of her old school for no apparent reason.

“All right, we’re all set here, Takara. You can access your texts online. I will send you a notice with the links.”

“All right.” Takara managed to smile.

“The next term starts on Monday. Some of the teachers have a reading list for you, so you can start working on that.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. If you have any questions, just message us.”

“Okay.”

The woman disappeared from the screen. It was nice, Takara concluded, to have someone not act negatively towards her, even though the interaction was superficial. And in addition, Takara felt a certain level of excitement. She finally had something to do with her time — something to occupy her until she found a way to contact her mother. Maybe this would give her a way to keep her morale up in case it took awhile for her to be freed.

Takara got to work reading the assigned text. Every time she started to feel bored, she would stop. Unfortunately, it was then that she realized it was even more boring to just sit in her room doing nothing. So, she would begin to read again. Unfortunately, after awhile her eyes started to blur.

“What now?” Takara thought.

There was a room down the hall, kind of big and airy. She and her father had spent time there during special occasions such as New Year’s Eve. When her father was very busy, she’d lie on the floor and read in front of the fireplace. When she first came back to the Institute from the hospital, she noticed a lot of people gathered in there. They were all dressed in business attire with drinks in their hands. It seemed the atrium, which was actually a part of her father’s wing, had been taken over by the Institute. Little by little, traces of her father were being erased. Now that her father’s door was locked, how long would it be before someone took over his office? Maybe that was why Mr. Tyler had been there: to stake out the room for himself. If the company was going to encroach this far into her living area, how long would it be before Takara completely lost her home? Or at least what was left of it.

 

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 4

Two weeks passed. It was nighttime, and Patty had left long before. For some reason, Takara found herself awake. Everything was dark, including Takara’s room. And as Takara felt her way to the door, she felt a sense of invisibility. She liked that. She carefully opened her door and found the hall to be deserted and almost as dark as her room. Fortunately, Takara knew these halls, so the barely existent light from the skylight would be enough for her to get to her father’s room. As she progressed, she felt free for the first time since she woke up in the hospital. She felt she could determine where to go in this wing and how long to stay there. Takara breathed. She could remember feeling this way when her father was alive. Suddenly, the emotional heaviness that had weighed on her was gone.

Then, as she dragged her hand along the wall at the correct height, her fingers stumbled upon the knob of her father’s door. It was exhilarating. She opened the door and slipped inside. Then, she made her way to the sofa and sat upon it. She leaned back and listened to the clock tick. Finally, she lay down. She figured she might as well rest in here awhile. After all, it wasn’t hurting anything.

Around midnight, the clock struck; this time the sound was enough to stir Takara. Then again, maybe it wasn’t just the clock. Takara sat up when she heard the sound of feet shuffling out in the hall. The sound appeared to be coming from the entrance to the wing. Takara sat stunned as the sound became louder and louder. Finally, it stopped by the door frame. There was a moment of silence in which she could hear the person breathing. Then, the light came on. Takara squinted. When her eyes finally adjusted, there was Mr. Tyler standing in the doorway glaring at her. After a moment of gawking at her, he suddenly reached for the doorknob and shut the door. The sound of footsteps then retreated back toward where they had come from, and the sound of a large door being shut vibrated in the distance.

 

***

 

About a week earlier, Takara had begun dropping hints that she wanted to go back to school. At first Patty smiled and seemed happy about the progress Takara was making. Then, one morning — the morning after Takara’s run-in with Mr. Tyler — Patty’s reaction to the conversation became decidedly different. She frowned and cast her eyes downward.

“Well, let’s get you something to eat, shall we?” she suggested coolly.

As soon as she got Takara’s order, Patty seemed to dash from the room. Takara was confused. She tried being very nice to the woman when she returned, but after Patty arrived with the food she stood feet away and avoided eye contact. Then, Patty came forward to remove the tray. Takara tried to get the woman to look at her but to no avail.

“Is something wrong?” Takara asked.

The woman looked down at the tray.

“No, it looks like you’ve eaten most of it. Good job.”

She glanced at Takara then departed from the room. Takara didn’t know what to think. She wished she had been more direct with Patty somehow. So, when Takara saw the door slowly reopen to her room she was relieved.

“Patty.”

Takara recoiled when she saw the frame of Mr. Tyler quickly slip through the doorway. He then carefully shut the door behind him.

“Did I scare you? I didn’t mean to.”

Takara ‘s eyes narrowed.

“What …?” she uttered.

“I heard you were planning on going back to school.”

“Yes.”

“So, I thought we should talk about that.”

“Talk about what?”

Mr. Tyler stepped away from the door. Takara did her best to hold her ground while she remained sitting on the bed.

“Well …” Mr. Tyler grabbed a chair and sat in it. He entwined his fingers and leaned forward. Takara questioned what he could possibly be up to.

“I’ve been thinking you’re a smart girl. I think you should be capable of studying from home. There’s an online school I think we might try. You can get your assignments and any help you may need over the school’s network.”

“But why?” Takara pondered.

“Well, what’s the rush in going back to your old school? I realize you’re bored. Really, Takara, this seems to be the best solution given your health. I would hate for you to get sick again. Also, it turns out that they have an advanced program for those as smart as yourself …” He paused. “All right.” The man stood. “I’m glad we had this talk.”

Mr. Tyler quickly left the room. Maybe Takara was being paranoid, but his words felt almost like a threat to her. Either way, it appeared as though Takara’s plan to get out of the Institute had failed.

Takara hadn’t wanted to speak to Patty at dinner, and apparently the feeling was mutual. They barely spoke, except for the necessary niceties such as Takara’s menu selection. This wasn’t going to work. Takara needed to contact her mother. And now she knew for sure there wasn’t anyone here whom she could ask to contact her mother for her. She had to find a way to do it herself. She needed her mother. Her mother was her only family and her only way to get out of this prison.

Needing to think, Takara headed to her father’s office later that night. Only when she got there, she found the door was locked. She pulled at the door in disbelief. Sure enough, the door was locked. Takara headed back to her room. She was grateful for two things: that she already had her mother’s address and that there was no lock on the outside of her bedroom door.

 

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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Psalm 37

A Psalm of David.

 

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plotteth [Or, practiseth] against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

The Lord shall laugh at him: for He seeth that his day is coming.

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

For such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off.

The steps of a good man are ordered [Or, established] by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble.

And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.

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Exodus 6

Then the LORD said unto Moses, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.”

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, “I am the LORD:

“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

“And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.

“And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant.

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

“‘And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

“‘And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.’ ”

And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

“Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

These be the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.

And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.

And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.

The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.

And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.

And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.

And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.

And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.

And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.

And Eleazar Aaron’s son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.

These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.”

These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.

And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,

That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, “I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.”

And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me? (Exodus 6: 1-30)

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Acts 13

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, “Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cypress.

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus:

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and sat down.

And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.

The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought He them out of it.

And about the time of forty years suffered He their manners in the wilderness.

And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, He divided their land to them by lot.

And after that He gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

And when He had removed him, He raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also He gave testimony, and said, “I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MINE OWN HEART, which shall fulfill all My will.”

Of this man’s seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

When John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not He. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose.

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath Day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain.

And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre.

But God raised Him from the dead:

And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people.

And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, “THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.”

And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He said on this wise, “I WILL GIVE YOU THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID.”

Wherefore He saith also in another Psalm, “THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER THINE HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.”

For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

But He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.

Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the Prophets;

“BEHOLD, YE DESPISERS, AND WONDER, AND PERISH: FOR I WORK A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK WHICH YE SHALL IN NO WISE BELIEVE, THOUGH A MAN DECLARE IT UNTO YOU.”

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

And the next Sabbath Day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, “I HAVE SET THEE TO BE A LIGHT OF THE GENTILES, THAT THOU SHOULDEST BE FOR SALVATION UNTO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost (Acts 13: 1-52).

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Romans 12

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth [Or, imparteth], let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY,” saith the Lord.

Therefore “IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN SO DOING THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.”

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12: 1-21).

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Isaiah 18

Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:

That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!

All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

For so the LORD said unto me, “I will take My rest, and I will consider in My dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs [Or, after rain], and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, He shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.

They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the Mount Zion (Isaiah 18: 1-7).

 

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