Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 8

What an opening sentence!

Acts 8:1 And Saul approved of their killing him.

Wow.  Isn't this the same Saul that becomes Paul?  Let's read on . . .

3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Well, while Saul was being nasty, others were busy preaching the good news about Jesus.  Most notably in this chapter we read more about Philip.  He did many miraculous things in Jesus' name.  He even impressed Simon who was a sorcerer who was also doing great things, however, Simon was doing them for his own glory, and not for Jesus.  Philip's deeds impressed Simon so much that Simon tried to buy favors from Philip.  This of course was wrong, and so Philip rebuked Simon and said that was sinful to try to buy favors, and that you can't buy God's grace.  

After this Philip continued down the "desert road".  There he met up with a eunuch who is unnamed.  However, it does say that this eunuch/man was  reading the writings of Isaiah.  He was reading the prophecy of Jesus.  Philip asked the man if he understood what they meant, and the man said that he didn't understand.  Then the man asked Philip to explain it to him.  Of course Philip was more than happy to tell one more man about Jesus. :)

After hearing about Jesus, the man wanted to be baptized. 

39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

This is one of those times when I wish the bible had a bit more information.  It sounds like God 'teleported' Philip - much like what we would see in Star Trek. :)  He just disappeared from the eunuch's presence, and reappeared at Azotus.  Interesting, isn't it. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 6 & 7

So I'm reading Acts 6, and figure I'll do chapter 6 & 7 this time.  It's the same story with no noticeable break between chapters.

We start out in Chapter 6 with the Twelve saying they'd rather not deal with the financial day to day matters, and so they delegate that job to Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus.  They prayed over these men, and set them off to do the accountant jobs.

Stephen was "full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8) and many worldly men started arguing with him, but he was speaking with God's Holy Spirit, and so they couldn't win that way.  So, what do they do but hire/persuade others to lie about Stephen.

Since he was accused, he was brought before the Sanhedrin. (into Chapter 7)
Stephen then gave the priests a history lesson. Counting down from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and to the 12 patriarchs - including Joseph.  On throughthe story of Moses and continuing with Solomon.  He was very brief in the history.  He then called out the priests with...

Acts 7:51  "You stiff-necked people . . . You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? ... You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it"

This of course made the priests/Sanhedrin very very mad ... Can you say PO'd?    Stephen of course didn't see this, because he was busy gazing on the sight of Jesus on the right hand of God.  The priests attacked Stephen and took him outside to stone him.  And while they were stoning him, Stephen "cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" (Acts 7:60).

I don't know if I can do that.  Could I forgive my murderers as they were murdering me?  That would be one of the most difficult things to do. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 5

I read Acts 5 today.  I'm not really up to summarizing it though, so please go read it for yourselves :)


The verses that stood out for me today are.

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

Acts 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Any thoughts?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 4

Acts 4 opens with Peter and John being arrested by the Saduccees for what they had done and what they were saying about Jesus.  The next day they were brought before the leaders and asked (Acts 4:7b) "By what power or in what name have you done this?"  They of course say it's because of Jesus. Proclaiming the good news as well.

Acts 4:12  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

The leaders were upset by this and ordered Peter & John to leave.  The leaders also said that no one can talk about Jesus anymore. Peter & John responded with (Acts 4:19-20) "Whether it's right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

After this Peter and John went back to the followers and reported what happened, and immediately began talking about God and Jesus again.  They also prayed to God for boldness in speaking His Word.

The group then began selling all personal possessions and giving to the group to be used as needed. They held nothing back for their own personal use, but let it all be used for the apostles to use.

My thoughts: I think it took great courage for Peter and John to respond as they did.  It would be very difficult to be told not to do something, and then immediately do it.  However, it would also take great faith and believing that you were the in the right.  An interesting position to put yourself in.  How many international missionaries are in similar positions?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recent Photos & New Recipe for Breakfast

A lemon meringue pie I made on Monday.

 A weird looking European Starling that's been visiting our yard.  I don't see many starlings here at home, so it was worth a picture.  They used to be numerous at our yard in Iowa .. but haven't seen as many here in WI.
 House Sparrows.
 A White Crowned Sparrow .. These are another bird that's fairly rare to the yard.  I see one once in awhile, but it's been a long time since the last one.
 And here is a photo of what I had for breakfast/brunch.  I've had this quinoa fruit recipe sitting on my desk, and today I decided to try it.  It's mixed with apples and raisins with a little honey and cinnamon and milk.  It tasted ok .. but it's not my favorite.  Probably way to healthy for my taste buds to fully appreciate it!

Bible Study: Acts 3

Last night I read Acts chapter 3.

This chapter talks about when Peter and John healed the lame man outside the temple gate.Peter then goes on to remind the onlookers of the prophecy and the power of God.

One verse that stands out is:

(NIV) Acts 3:19  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

I like this other version ...

(HCB) Acts 3:19b ...that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

...seasons of refreshing ... from the PRESENCE of the Lord.

It's nice to know that we can be refreshed just by being in the presence of the Lord.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bible Study Acts 2

Acts 2:1-47

In summary - this is the tale of Pentecost, rushing wind, and tongues of flame came down and rested "on each of them".  All speaking in different languages led by the Holy Spirit.  Peter than gave a sermon reminding all present of prophesies that had been fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled. A reminder of Jesus being descended from David.  A reminder of Forgiveness through Jesus.

Acts 2:38-39 'Repent," Peter said to them, "and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

The group broke up then, and sold what they had and gave to those with need. 

Don't have any insights today, but one verse I'd like to ponder for now ..

Acts 2:46b-47a "... They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God ....."




Monday, October 1, 2012

Bible Study

I've convinced myself, finally accepted, realized that I need to read more of His Word.  I know, we all could read more, no matter how much we read right now, we could still read more.

I'm going to let you ' all know about what I'm reading each day.  Hope you enjoy.  Feel free to comment at any time.  It's always good to discuss His Word.

My intention was to start with Acts 1:1 .. however, I scrolled back a few verses, and this struck me. 

John 21:25  ".. there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if they were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written."

It really made me stop and think for a moment.  How many books are in your home library?  Ok.  How many books in your public library?  Imagine if all of those books contained stories about one man, Jesus?  That is mind boggling in itself.  But the verse says "not even the world itself could contain" .. which means even if the earth were covered in books written about Jesus it still would not contain everything which Jesus did while on earth.  I thought he did a lot before I read that verse, but this tells me that not even my imagination can come up with everything he was capable of doing, or of what he actually did do.

mmmm .. continuing on ....

Bible Reading: Acts 1

As I read Acts 1, it's mroe of a telling of a few things that happened.  Jesus appearing with the apostles, and then being raised up to heaven while is disciples watched.  The two angels appearing and telling the disciples that Jesus would return again in the same manner as he had just left.

Then of course the disciples, et al, traveled back to Jerusalem and there selected a replacement among the 12 for Judas. (They chose Matthias.)

What strikes me is this verse ....

Acts 1:14a  "All these were continually united in prayer, ...."

What does it mean to be united in prayer?  What about the continually?  This is speaking about while they were traveling and after they arrived and were in the process of selecting a replacement. 

Not sure I could put into words what it means.  Just something to think about.

Acts 1:14a "All these were continually united in prayer, ...."

More Misc from September

Here's a selection of photos from the month of September ...

Nothing that can make you smile more than a curious cat with her nose into everything! :)

Of course, she also has to try out every seat, especially if it's in the sun!

I was driving out with Rob one Sunday - and we saw this Cormorant in the pond by the entrance to our subdivision.  My first cormorant! :)

This woodpecker, I can't remember where I saw it .. but probably somewhere in Ozaukee County, WI.

The first Blue Jay for our yard. There was actually a pair, but they didn't stay where I could photograph them for long.  I was VERY lucky to get this photo!

At the same time the Blue Jays were catching my attention, the other birds were busy taking turns on the bird bath.

These are some Canada Geese off of the South Beach in Port Washington, WI.

Coming home that same day, I saw this bow and arrow in the sky.  It's funny because Joel and I have started bow/arrow shooting .. "archery" I guess the correct term is.  We have a target and are doing target practice.  We have the requisite bruises on our forearms to prove it! lol.  The string tends to catch both of us in the arm.  I have arm guards on order, so we should be protected by the end of the week!

A bunch of baby hats and booties that I made from one skein of yarn. Also included is a premie baby afghan as well. (All items are from 1 skein - and that little bow like thing is the remains of the skein!)

A couple of hats I made while I was in IA helping mom out.  So, these are actually August knitting, but I took the picture in September, so "what the hey! :)"

We had an early frost which killed all my tomatoes.  So, we picked all the green tomatoes of any decent size and without too many blemishes .. and lo-and-behold .. we found a tomato shaped like a heart!  :)  Love it!  Even when I'm upset by a very early frost .. God finds a way to make me smile !

Occasionally Joel likes bake up something.  Here is an apple cobbler that he made from a Peach Cobbler recipe found in one of my cookbooks.  He did it all by himself, I didn't even watch him!  I think he did a great job.  Tasted good too!