N_SPECT_R's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=N%5FSPECT%5FR N_SPECT_R's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ May 24 Read Acts 12 Herod tried to stop the church http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6494151 The text isn't explicit in why James was killed, other histories indicate that he and Peter were the most vocal about Jesus and it would seem that Herod's thought was to eliminate these two and the movement would stop. But man cannot stop God. I've heard the argument made that it was the prayer vigil which freed Peter, I suppose that's possible but I wonder if God simply wanted Peter regardless of the prayer. I do like Peter's attitude, or what I perceive it to be. He's not lying awake worryi... Thu, 24 May 2018 05:04:49 EST May 23 Read Acts 11 How the church grows http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6493862 Peter returns to Jerusalem and we see that prejudices still run deep, he's criticized for preaching to the gentiles. Also in Phoenicia and Antioch they spoke the word only to Jews. Yet the gentiles heard it also, and the church grew, how is that? Was there a door to door outreach? New carpets? A coffee bar in the lobby? A homeless outreach? Or a feeding program? Nope none of these, we want to make programs to grow the church but that's not how it works. It's a simple message and for some re... Wed, 23 May 2018 05:17:01 EST May 22 Read Acts 10 Why do we argue with God? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6493600 Maybe I speak only for myself but I think that at times we Christians all argue with God. Peter has the attitude that he's better than the common pagan. He's never defiled himself with unclean foods, or by hanging out with the unclean gentiles. Still hung up on the law thing and still trying to make it himself. I think that becomes one of our biggest problems, the self-righteous attitude that I'm doing so good and God wants mess that up and change me. I'm better than I was before, how much b... Tue, 22 May 2018 04:56:46 EST May 21 Read Acts 9 God, are you sure about this? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6493267 Have you ever thought about this question? I must confess that I have. We have ideas about what we think should happen, and we have ideas of what people will or might do, and take action according to those ideas. But many times we're wrong. I empathize with Ananias, Saul has a reputation which isn't very friendly towards Christians. As the saying goes, for Ananias to go looking for Saul is like a mouse looking for a cat. So he questions God. I think God chuckles at this. He says, yes I'm sure... Mon, 21 May 2018 05:12:48 EST May 18 Read Acts 8 Receiving the Holy Spirit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6492441 The debate has gone on for decades, perhaps even centuries as to when a believer receives the Holy Spirit. I'm sure that I won't end it today. This chapter is one reason for the continued discussion. The Samaritans accepted Jesus but there was no evidence of the Holy Spirit until the disciples laid on their hands. So many have concluded that laying on of hands is necessary. And many believe that the Spirit comes separately from salvation. I believe that we receive the Spirit as soon as we acc... Fri, 18 May 2018 05:16:57 EST May 17 Read Acts 7 We are all stiff necked people http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6492144 Stephen's discourse is brilliant on level with genius. He begins with the father Abraham, recounting the history of the nation and hitting on all the great highlights. I imagine the elders are smiling as he tells the stories of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. But when he gets to Moses some of the smiles are gone, perhaps there are some frowns. And as he speaks of how the people rebelled against God by disobeying Moses there is anger. The comparison of Jesus to Moses was not lost on them and likewise... Thu, 17 May 2018 05:03:50 EST May 16 Read Acts 6 Should I give up preaching the word of God to serve tables? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6491854 It's whats recorded as being said by the early apostles but I think they had it wrong. To me serving tables is preaching the word of God. Jesus told us to be servants to all. There are two principles that should dictate the lives of believers, they may be a bit cliché but I think still relevant. Preach Jesus and use words when necessary. Our lives should reflect the gospel that we believe. And the second is that no-one cares what you know until they know that you care. To put this more simply... Wed, 16 May 2018 07:22:22 EST May 15 Read Acts 5 If this is of man, it will fail. But if it is of God, you cannot stop it http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6491555 It's a paraphrase but very accurate. The best arguments for the accuracy of the bible is the continued existence of the Jewish people and the practice of their religion. There is no other nation or people who can still trace their ancestry back as far as Israel. And only one religion, Hinduism is nearly as old. We tend to get excited, just as the pharisees did in the first century, when things are done a bit different. But just as then, it's still now. If this is of God then you can't stop it... Tue, 15 May 2018 04:51:16 EST May 14 The gospel in a broke down truck http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6491234 This is a bit of a different blog today, taking a detour from the book of The Acts. I will reference a scripture later. My thoughts may ramble a bit, I'll try to tie them together so bear with me until the end. I've become a bit of a cynic, well OK I'm a pretty big cynic, life experiences have done that. In the past few years I've become more critical of testimonies, from what I've heard they tend to be either I love God because, God is good because, or God answered my prayers because. My pro... Mon, 14 May 2018 04:48:30 EST May 11 Read Acts 3 The Holy Spirit makes all the difference http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6490487 There are several lessons in this chapter, we could look at the lame man who was healed but I think that gets a lot of attention. What I find most incredible is that just a short time ago Peter would not admit that he knew Jesus and today he's preaching Him. Going so far as to accuse the people in Solomon's porch of denying Jesus and trading Him for a murderer. (That might hit close to home for Peter). The difference is the Holy Spirit, without Him Peter would not be so bold. Fri, 11 May 2018 05:10:36 EST May 10 Read Acts 2 Speaking in other tongues http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6490220 I don't wish to debate anyone about the speaking in tongues, simply looking at the record from a possible different perspective. I think that most of the people I've known believe they were speaking some unknown language and by the Holy Spirit the crowd understood each in their own language. While that may be true, here's another thought. What if those all gathered were each speaking in a different language, one that they did not know beforehand but in one which the visitors to the city knew?... Thu, 10 May 2018 05:06:20 EST May 9 Read Acts 1 So are you going to fix us now? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6489937 I've done this and had people do it to me, in the midst of a conversation the second party thinks they know what the first is going to say or do and blurts it out. Usually it's wrong. When I'm giving instructions and someone does this with the wrong assumption, I sometimes get a bit frustrated. I want to say something like; will you just shut up and listen? Jesus had been teaching for the better part of three years with the same group of people. After all that they've seen and done the main c... Wed, 9 May 2018 04:59:58 EST May 7 Read John 21 Jesus asked; "Do you love me more than...?" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6489295 It's the question He asked Peter but He could ask any of us. Ask most any Christian if they love Jesus and the answer is yes. But most don't really think about it. The first commandment in the Torah was to love The Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength but I doubt that many actually do. Peter made some bold statements in the past few days, not the least of which was that he would never leave Jesus but then he did. So the reason for the question, in three parts, is not for Jesus to know... Mon, 7 May 2018 05:00:24 EST May 4 Read John 20 There's a reason for everything http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6488458 Even mosquitoes have a purpose, I have no idea what that purpose is though. I typically hate the expression that everything happens for a reason. It's usually some lame attempt to bring comfort. In most cases the reason is that someone did something dumb. But here I mean a reason for everything that exists. John says at the end of the gospel that he wrote this down so that you may believe. It's been debated for centuries weather the bible is a book of fiction or historical stories. No-one can... Fri, 4 May 2018 05:22:17 EST May 3 Read John 19 The Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6488169 Just think about this for a moment. Crucifixion is a brutal form of execution. The condemned dies from suffocation, hanging with their arms extended and little support makes it progressively harder to breathe. Breaking someones legs prevents them from standing to get a breath. As if the process wasn't cruel enough to begin with, this simply adds another level. Jesus was already dead but the thieves with Him were not. How much pain must people inflict on others to be satisfied? I think that's ... Thu, 3 May 2018 04:52:13 EST May 2 Read John 18 Whom do you seek and what is truth? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6487863 Two very important questions. I believe that everyone is seeking for someone and we have different motives. The lonely are looking for a friend, some are looking for a teacher, some a student. Some seek the powerful and others to elevate their own status, and some are seeking for God. It's a good question that we need to ask ourselves occasionally, whom do I seek? And the second question, Pilot asked Jesus; "What is truth?". That's a very good question. I had a discussion with a co-worker j... Wed, 2 May 2018 05:20:53 EST May 1 Read John 17 The real Lord's prayer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6487521 We typically call the prayer which Jesus taught His disciples as the Lord's prayer but it's more the disciples' prayer. This chapter is The Lord's prayer. It's Jesus praying right before leaving the upper room. He knows what lies ahead and acknowledging that His time is short prays for His church. It's a prayer for the disciples with Him and it's a prayer for you and me today. Jesus begins with the statement that the hour has come. I think we mostly believe that Jesus looked at the impending ... Tue, 1 May 2018 05:04:36 EST April 30 Read John 16 The Holy Spirit will convict the world http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6487188 Here's the question, do people know when they do wrong? God sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, but does it work? I actually believe it does, but we humans are so hard and stiff that we want to fix things ourselves. There are and always will be choices to be made, we can heed th spirit and make changes or ignore Him and continue. No man can claim that he did not know, scripture plainly teaches that every man will know and have a choice of the truth. As hard as it may be to bel... Mon, 30 Apr 2018 04:42:17 EST April 27 Read John 15 Apart from me you can do nothing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6486313 The skeptic or pagan would say to this it's nonsense. One can drive oneself to work, toil through the day and show accomplishments. Go home, perhaps do yard work and make dinner and all of these things are done without God. Or at least without acknowledging God. And that's the key. All that we have and are, the air I breathe, the job I have and the home I live in are all by God's grace. The difference is admitting it. The men of the world are self made and will not acknowledge God. And they a... Fri, 27 Apr 2018 05:06:09 EST April 26 Read John 14 If you love me, you'll keep my commandments http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6486021 It's a statement of utter freedom to choose. What are Jesus' commandments? There's no long list, it's really quite simple. Love God and love people. The whole concept can be taken a little farther, when you love someone it shows in your actions and relationship with them. It's what should motivate every aspect of our lives. Do I do the things I do because it's required of me or because I love? What if we treated our families and jobs like this. Are the things I do for my spouse because of dut... Thu, 26 Apr 2018 04:55:38 EST April 25 Read John 13 One of you will betray me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6485696 It's what Jesus said to His disciples at the night of His last Passover meal. I once played a part in the play called The Living Last Supper, it takes some poetic license on what the disciples thought about when Jesus said this. Each proclaims that I will not betray Him. You could take the original statement and change it to one day all of you will betray me. That's more like it, at some point we all do it. But it's not what we do but what we do after. Peter came back to Jesus, Judas went to ... Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:09:57 EST April 24 Read John 12 Father, glorify Your name http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6485381 Coming from Jesus at this time is a total surrender to His Father's will. God, do whatever You want to glorify Your name. Can you say that? I must confess that right now I can't. I've had so many losses and so much pain and sorrow through the years that I really don't like it. There is a part in me that wants to say, Yes God, do whatever it takes to glorify yourself, and still another part that just doesn't want any more pain. I'd like to simply believe that's being human and imperfect. Jesus... Tue, 24 Apr 2018 04:46:57 EST April 23 Read John 11 If You had come this wouldn't have happened http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6485067 There's a lot to this chapter that we could look at. I believe that most of us can sympathize at least a little with Martha and Mary. We've had some kind of loss and if God just would have answered then life would be better. Christian friends try to console with dumb platitudes, God has a plan, His ways are not our ways, or my least favorite, all things work together for good. I've often said that if this is all that you can say when someone is hurting then just shut up. Look at what Jesus di... Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:48:52 EST April 20 Read John 10 I and the Father are one http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6484234 John's gospel focuses on Jesus' divinity more than the others. Jesus proclaims Himself to be messiah in several places but the times when he really infuriates the religious folks are when He declares Himself as God. In chapter 8 Jesus says that before Abraham was I Am. There is no mistake in the translation, the tense of the verb is exactly as it should be. I Am is the name that God gave Moses and this was not lost on the Jews. Again in this chapter Jesus declares that He is God and provides ... Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:08:43 EST April 19 Read John 9 Are your troubles because of your sins? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6483879 In our modern philosophical age there are a lot of people who believe that what goes around comes around, a twist on karma. There certainly is some truth to that and there's also a strong possibility that we each cause our own problems. I frequently hear the dumb saying that everything happens for a reason. I want to reply with, yes and the reason is that you're a twit. But Jesus tells us that not everything is a result of our sins, sometimes we suffer from what others have done and sometimes... Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:01:17 EST April 18 Read John 8 Justification by logic http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6483562 All of the arguments in this chapter made by the religious leaders bear the mark of logic. They know the law, in the case of the woman brought to Jesus one could ask that since they already knew that The Law said to stone her, why hadn't it been done already? They trust in being the offspring of Abraham for salvation, and state that they've never been slaves. That's far from true. The nation was captive at least three times, Egypt, Syria and Babylon. And in their current state were subjects o... Wed, 18 Apr 2018 05:09:10 EST April 17 Read John 7 Nit picking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6483226 We use the phrase to mean looking for small or unimportant errors. The origin is to pick out the tiny eggs from head lice, pretty small. In this whole chapter that's what we see. Jesus is doing things that are not with the traditions. He's healed on the Sabbath and it's not the healing that becomes the focus. He won't do what His brothers want, at least not in the way they want. The teachers marvel at His knowledge yet won't accept Him because no prophet has come from Galilee. We still get ni... Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:05:03 EST April 16 Read John 6 Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6482880 Peter said this and it's pretty profound. When we read through the whole chapter we see that the majority of people were coming to Jesus because they wanted something. That's still true today. Some were seeking entertainment, some healing and some more food. Jesus simply took a boy's lunch and fed a multitude. That's why they went looking for Him on the other side. Not for any message about God or eternity but simply for food. I've lately become more conscious of the fact that so many churche... Mon, 16 Apr 2018 05:07:59 EST April 13 Read John 5 You can't handle the truth! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6481929 A line made famous from a classic movie but it's essentially what Jesus told the teachers of The Law in the last section. They recognize there was something different about John and sort of accepted him as a prophet. But Jesus is healing on the Sabbath! That's just not right, we've never done it like that before. Jesus tells them the things which should be plain to any teacher who knew The Law. They've spent years studying the words and never grasped the meanings. Jesus says that Moses accuse... Fri, 13 Apr 2018 04:51:51 EST April 12 Read John 4 Prejudice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6481615 It's something we all have, certain prejudices and they're not always wrong. In the case of Jesus sitting with the Samaritan woman, it's difficult to really describe this to a lot of people today, but I'd equate this to a white man in Alabama in 1940 sitting on a bench next to a black woman. Every nation has histories that are not great. But in this case we see the prejudice coming first from the woman, she's incredulous that a Jew would speak to her. She had an opinion of Jesus before He eve... Thu, 12 Apr 2018 04:59:00 EST April 11 Read John 3 He must increase while I must decrease http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6481256 John said this specifically about Jesus and I believe many times we consider it's because John was simply a prophet and Jesus is God. Maybe it's more than that, maybe it's the humility of one man stepping back so another man can take the center. It's counterintituitive. Most people want to be in the center, receive all of the glory. We see children perform but their parents are in the center. Workers that put forth extra effort and supervisors receive credit. A coach or teacher who says I tau... Wed, 11 Apr 2018 04:06:10 EST April 10 Read John 2 Why are you doing these things? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6480911 It almost always comes down to a question of authority, why was John baptizing, why was Jesus doing what he was doing and later it's a constant challenge of that authority. If you are who you say that you are then prove it. They're asking for signs, it's a challenge to prove who He is. And Jesus issues an ultimatum, destroy this temple and I'll raise it back up. You want proof, there is is. But we know that no-one really understood. I wonder how many of these men, after Jesus resurrection, re... Tue, 10 Apr 2018 05:06:15 EST April 9 Read John 1 Who told you that you can baptize? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6480535 Baptism in the Jewish culture of the day was reserved for the priests and controlled by the Sanhedrin. It was a ritual combined with circumcision. What John was doing was a bit radical, he preached a baptism of a new birth, a new beginning. That people could come to God and be washed and accepted. This caused a stir and those in power wanted to know why and how? It's still a pretty radical idea, man wants to fix his mistakes. Religion says that we must be good and be accepted. The world's rel... Mon, 9 Apr 2018 04:46:18 EST April 6 Read Luke 24 He opened their minds to understand the scriptures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6479568 It's a pretty simple statement but also profound. No-one can really understand the scriptures unless God opens their minds. It's why pagans can read the entire bible and never really grasp what it means and also why a believer can read the same text multiple times and find different meanings. Jesus met with His disciples, men who were with Him for three years and knew the Torah but didn't understand. He had to open their minds, that's why it's necessary to constantly read the scriptures so th... Fri, 6 Apr 2018 05:08:11 EST April 5 Read Luke 23 Did the people know there was no ark? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6479257 Just a thought I had, what was supposed to be behind the temple veil? This was called the most holy place or some say the holy of holies. The ark of the covenant was supposed to be here and the high priest would come before God and His mercy seat each year with a blood sacrifice. But the ark and mercy seat wasn't there. It was taken by Nebuchadnezzar and never seen again. Although some believe the prophet Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave somewhere. But here is the question, for the practicing J... Thu, 5 Apr 2018 04:59:34 EST April 4 Read Luke 21 If you don't have one, buy a sword. Or a gun. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6478858 I've read a lot of differing opinions on this verse. Certainly Jesus wasn't speaking of an armed rebellion, or of His disciples fighting off the soldiers coming for Him. I think it more a warning of times to come. When He was here and sent out the twelve the first time, they had no need for anything. Something was happening that kept them protected and I have no idea what that was. Perhaps simply because they stayed closer to home. But a time was to come when they would be traveling to places... Wed, 4 Apr 2018 05:04:08 EST April 3 Read Luke 21 Man is bent on destruction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6478471 Consider for a moment all the things we humans do. We tear things down to make new things, which last for just a relatively short time. Then we tear those things down and make more new things. In the end everything that man makes gets torn down. If not directly by men, the forces of nature will reclaim what we make in a short time. Jesus speaks of wars where we destroy ourselves, of the temple in all of it's beauty one day being nothing but rubble. Are we ego driven, are we trying to challeng... Tue, 3 Apr 2018 05:05:05 EST April 2 Read Luke 20 Paying taxes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6478129 It's April and that means that tax deadlines are getting close so this is an appropriate subject. I can't say that I'm a fan of taxes but they are necessary. It's how governments finance all of the things we appreciate. The biggest trouble with taxes today though is they are not administered evenly. I don't want this to become a political rant so I'll only focus on the payment. Regardless if we think a tax is fair or not, we're obliged to pay it. So pay your taxes. Mon, 2 Apr 2018 04:30:47 EST March 30 Read Luke 19 At least try, you won't be condemned if you fail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6477266 The parable of talents has had a lot of sermons but here's my simple take on this. God has given us all certain talents, it's our responsibility to do something with what God has given us. The servant who kept his master's money hidden and did nothing was chastened because he didn't even try. Take whatever you have and do something. Don't worry about initial failures, most truly successful people have a lot of past failures. Just try. <BR> <BR> Fri, 30 Mar 2018 07:34:53 EST March 29 Read Luke 18 Are you calling to Jesus or telling others to be quiet? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6476937 This man was blind and somewhere along the way he's heard how Jesus has healed people. There is now something in his spirit that wants Jesus to heal him too. Interesting that the crowd around him wants this man to be quiet. Don't stir things up, don't call attention to us. What is it that would make people not want Jesus to notice them? I think it's guilt and condemnation. Jesus sees us for who and what we are, no secrets and no excuses. The blind man wanted Jesus to notice him, to ask for he... Thu, 29 Mar 2018 05:18:07 EST March 28 Read Luke 17 Faith requires action http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6476604 The comparison of faith to a mustard seed is very common. Usually one will look at the size, the seed being so small seeming to point that one only needs a tiny bit of faith. But I look at the example as a seed that will grow only when planted. And faith is the attitude that when I plant this seed, the tree will grow. Looking at the lepers in this chapter. It's not recored that Jesus told them they were healed, only to go to the priests. This was required under The Law, for a priest to declar... Wed, 28 Mar 2018 05:00:35 EST March 27 Read Luke 16 Jesus commend an embezzler http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6476288 When we read this parable of the corrupt accountant who embezzles his master's funds, at first it seems that Jesus is commending him for his actions. The reality is that He's commending the man on his shrewdness. The lesson is that if all that you trust in are things of this world, be sure to make yourself valuable to as many worldly people as possible, as eventually all of these things will go away. The Pharisees scoffed at this, after all money is needed for everything in the world. In fact... Tue, 27 Mar 2018 05:18:25 EST March 26 Read Luke 15 Parables of the lost http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6475931 Jesus taught with parables that were relevant to nearly everyone. We've probably all been lost at least once and then found. Lost something valuable and found it. In this we experience anxiety and relief. Maybe you haven't been the prodigal who left with your father's money or perhaps you've been the self righteous son who stayed behind. When we're lost, our father looks for us in much the same way that we look for our child or the valuable item we've lost. and even when we've done dumb thin... Mon, 26 Mar 2018 04:56:28 EST March 23 Read Luke 14 So what's your excuse? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6475012 We make excuses for so many things, why we're late for work, why a project isn't done, why you can't volunteer for some church project, why you can't eat right or exercise. It's hard to get why, maybe we think that if the excuse is good enough people will believe that we actually tried. But the question today isn't about going to work or forgetting to pick up milk. It's about accepting Jesus. The story is about a banquet and the excuses are ridiculous in the extreme. Regardless of the excuse,... Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:49:33 EST March 22 Read Luke 13 We're busy praying today, come seek God on Tuesday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6474671 Could you imagine someone saying that? It's essentially what the leader of the synagogue said. But I wonder if the woman came on other days. She's been sick for 18 years, I have to believe that at some point she came during the week. It's all about power, the challenge to authority nearly always causes resentment. Maybe she could have said, I've been here all week and you haven't done anything. That's what religion and rituals do, they want things done in certain ways and certain times. We st... Thu, 22 Mar 2018 05:22:54 EST March 21 Read Luke 12 Have no fear and don't be anxious. Right! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6474333 I've met a lot of people who claim that they have no fears or anxieties and they're all liars. And if you're reading this and claim the same I'll call you a liar too. Life is filled with all sorts of things that cause fear. And I can pretty much guarantee that something will happen today to make all of us a little bit anxious. Maybe the car doesn't start right up. Maybe you went to the store and lost your wallet. Your child is in the next room and screams in pain, or maybe the school called i... Wed, 21 Mar 2018 04:32:41 EST March 20 Read Luke 11. Teach us to pray http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6474015 Jesus prays and a disciple comes to make this request, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. Not knowing just what it was that John taught we are at a bit of a loss here. From this event we get what's called the Lord's prayer or the model prayer. And as a result we typically look at this as a request for the proper formula fr prayer. We like formulas, we like rituals, these are the things our lives revolve around. It's the desire to find the right formula and ritual for prayer that... Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:07:08 EST March 19 Read Luke 10 One of the hardest challenges is overcoming pride http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6473657 In today's reading we see from three different aspects people dealing with pride. Jesus sends out seventy two to preach and heal, they return proud that the demons were subject to them. The lawyer comes to Jesus, proud that he's kept The Law and is essentially bragging, I've done all that I need to get into heaven. I actually know some people who think this way. And in the parable the priest and levite were too busy, or unwilling to take a chance at being unclean to render aid. As if just hol... Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:59:59 EST March 16 Read Luke 8. Who is Jesus according to Herod, Peter and you? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6472713 It says that Herod was perplexed, the commentary on the actual language describes the situation as a traveler coming to a crossroad with many possible paths but only leads to where he wants to go. A decision needs to be made. It also says that Herod sought to see Him but we will learn later that he never did until after the betrayal. Jesus asks the question of His disciples and Peter gives the answer, You are The Christ of God. Jesus still perplexes men today, some want to deny His existence ... Fri, 16 Mar 2018 04:53:01 EST March 15 Read Luke 8 Does life sometimes scare you? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6472388 Most people are familiar with the story of Jesus calming the waters. I find a few things interesting in it today. His disciples spent years with Him, witnessed the miraculous, saw demons cast out and the dead raised up and still they were afraid. Jesus doesn't chastise them for being afraid, He only asks where their faith is and then calms the storms. There are certainly times in life when things just go so wrong and it's OK to be afraid. Sometimes the storms actually will kill people and so... Thu, 15 Mar 2018 05:01:33 EST