Tag Archives: move

The Plot to Kill Paul

In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.” Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.” The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?” He answered, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.” So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of this.” (Acts 23:12-22, NRSV)

How can these people say they follow a loving God if they vow to not eat or drink until they have killed someone?

What kind of religion causes people to want to kill others simply because they are different from them?

And Paul used to be one of them. It seems that would make them want to listen more because he was the one who was going around rounding up followers of the way so if he is now a part of the way I would want to know why not get rid of him.

So how do we react to those who are different?

Are we open and able to listen, or do we move quickly to get rid of all those who are different?


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Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31, NRSV)

Those who wait on the Lord will soar on the wind like an eagle!

Have you ever seen an eagle glide across the air? It is the most majestic thing to see and this is how God will move you if you wait on Him.

He will give you power and allow you to soar through life, giving you the wind to fill your wings and move you on.

So wait on the Lord and allow Him to move you.


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shake off the dust…

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 9:35-10:23, NRSV)

Jesus called the disciples to go and to share His message. And the instructions were clear. Take nothing with you, receive without payment and give without payment. Only wear what you need nothing more. When you enter a town find one place and dwell there while you are in that town. Give your peace to that place and if it will not accept your peace, take it back. And if they will not listen, shake the dust off your feet so you take none of that place with you and go on to those who will listen.

Seems a little harsh, but Jesus was trying to help the disciples I think. And He was saying if people won’t listen, it is ok, and it is there lose not yours. Do not get hung up on people not being perceptive to the message of grace, just move on to those who will be.

So when you encounter those who don’t want to hear the good news, just shake off the dust and move on…


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Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-13, NRSV)

We are all amazing bodies that function together to let us type and move. We do so many things without thinking about them and forget how amazing the fact we are able to do anything is. And that is how the church is.

The church is the body of Christ and all of us are a part of it. We each have a gift to use in the body.

All of us can’t do the same thing, we all have something special to do.

It is a gift. Use your gift for God.


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Wanting to give up?

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”  (Luke 22:39-46, NRSV)

Have you ever gotten to that point you did not want to go on?

Or maybe you wanted tog o on, you just couldn’t see how you could go on?

Have you ever questioned what you know you are suppose to do with your life?

We have all been there. We feel like there is something we need to do, and yet we are reluctant to try it. We are reluctant to follow where we are being sent…

Maybe we are reluctant for good reason. Maybe part of our life has to die in order for us to move forward. Maybe we have to move to a new place and will lose many friends over what we need to do…

Do not fret, we are in good company. Jesus the night before His trip to the cross asked God if there was another way. “Do we have to do it this way…”

Jesus questioned God. He knew where He was going and what it was going to cost. He did not want to do it. He wanted another option. A plan B…

Yet He did not stop with His question of the plan… He accepted it. He said, “Are you sure this is the only way? And if you are sure, then what you want, not what I think is best.”

We need to give up control, and know that if it is meant to be, God will be in it, and it will happen regardless of how much we get in the way of it!

Step out in faith and know that God will be there as He promised, not to make it easy, but to see you make it through!



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Up or In?

I was talking with someone yesterday about my call story and how I became a pastor. I ran in the beginning as most of my clergy friends did. We think God really isn’t calling us to be a pastor, we know who we were and where we had been and what we had done, so how could God call me.

I ran at first, but God kept after me…

And I said, “And finally I gave up.”

And the person I was talking to asked, “Gave up or gave in?”

I responded, “Gave in because I have not given up…” I have been looking for a congregation for sometime now to lead and guide. God has been with me through this process and I am not without call, but looking for the full time position with a congregation as their spiritual guide/leader.

But I have been thinking about this conversation, and I wonder if gave up is not the right answer.

When I decided to follow where I felt God was leading me, I did give up. I gave up control over my life and said I will follow where you are leading me. I gave up a nice job making good money doing computer support to move my family 8 hours north and go into debt by borrowing money to go to school for 4 more years. I was also entering a profession not known for the money those in it make. I was not doing it for the money though, because I had given up. I gave up control or what control I thought I had on my life.

So I wonder what your thoughts are?

Is there a difference between giving up and giving in?

Is giving in merely trying to maintain and allowing something to happen?

Is giving up a bad thing? (please see my post on the dip)


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