Paul spent two years in jail in Caesarea after his trial before Felix, even though it seems clear that Felix did not believe Paul to be a dangerous criminal. Last night we did the progressive dinner, where I met and talked to Chris & Jamie, Bobby’s mom Barbara, Frank & Carolyn, the Olsens, David Watkins, and Mark Knister. Caleb really enjoyed talking to Bobby’s mom and hearing about Bobby as a child. I enjoyed talking to ____ Olsen, because he has experienced alot of the things I want to try, like the house church and relying on God to provide the daily bread.
Monthly Archives: December 2005
Paul today testified before the Sanhedrin, although he really didn’t say anything. Yesterday at work there was a discussion of what Felix wants in a church. Felix, Charlton, and, I think, Renee, are all catholic. It was nice to see them discussing religion. I invited Felix to church with us. I would like to see these conversations more often, and I would like to be able to be used by God to help them along. It feels like all three of them are open right now. Felix was talking about church services, Charlton is reading “A Purpose-Driven Life,” and Renee was talking about how it’s more important to live a spiritual life than it is to attend church. Please, Lord, grant me the courage and wisdom to share with each of them at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way.
Not much time this morning. I read Paul’s testimony to the Jews and their rejection of him. My weight is up a little, I need to bring that down. I have been thinking maybe I could apply for a LLM next year (07-08) — it would require trusting God to put us in the right place, but it would be a 4-year block that could possibly allow us to take the $40,000 without fear of spending a year apart.
Paul went to Jerusalem even though he was repeatedly urged not to go. He seems to have been stubborn; God definitely seemed to be steering Paul away from Jerusalem. God still used his return to Jerusalem, but I wonder what Paul’s ministry could have been. I pray that God will allow me to hear his message.
I wonder what God has planned for us. I have been thinking that I would like our next house to have a large meeting room, whether that is a big, open basement or just a large living room. I wonder where God will send us next. Where will God settle us? Especially since it is our desire for our next assignment to be our last. I wonder if that is God’s desire as well.
For now, I want to continue to study my Bible, becoming more familiar with it every day. My reading of Acts has been very informative and enjoyable.
I am having difficulty concentrating this morning. I am a little tired and my mind keeps wandering to the FEB next week, to Warhammer, to the Rubik’s Cube, to my dream last night. I would like to be able to meditate on what I just read, but I slept through it.
Yesterday, we thought we might have won some money, but it turns out we “won” a trip for two to Florida. The trip will cost us $650 to book for the four of us and won’t include meals and can’t be booked anywhere near holidays. It makes me wonder what they think we won. For a while, I fantasized about winning the big prize — $50K, and how $12.5K would go to taxes, and another $5K would go to the church, but then we would have $32.5K to spend as we saw fit. We could finish saving for China, afford the vasectomy reversal, and still afford to pay down the 2nd mortgage or pay off the student loans. I thought it might be God’s provision for our farm. More to follow, breakfast is ready.
Today I read Acts 19. Two things stood out to me: (1) the use of relics for healing, and (2) the order of belief, baptism, laying on of hands, and receipt of the Holy Spirit. The commentary really doesn’t spend much time on the relics, but does a great job of explaining the baptism/belief/Holy Spirit cycle.
Yesterday, I admitted (tersely) to Gina that I struggle with doubts that I have just been brain-washed into believing. I want God to take these doubts away, or to give me more experiences that I can combat the doubts with.
I want it to be God’s will that Mom-mom comes to visit. Both Caleb & Meagan have been praying for it; I don’t want their hopes crushed. I also would love to see Mom-mom at least one more time.
Paul left Athens, went to Corinth where he met Aquila and Priscilla, left Corinth with them and went to Ephesus, where he left them, and returned home to Antioch. Last night, Bobby preached about orphans in India and it touched my heart and made me want to help, but I don’t know how. The other thing Bobby talked about is dedicating or consecrating the firstborn to the ministry. I freely do that with Caleb. I freely do that with all my children. What joy that would be for me to train up my children and send them out into the world as arrows of light.
Finally, I want to email Bobby and ask him about baptism. I do not want Caleb to get baptized unless it is the right thing to do. I know Bobby favors child baptism, but I want to have my anxieties eased by my earthly shepherd.
One of the things I enjoy about reading Acts is how it makes me dream of having a meeting hall area in our farmhouse and starating a church there. Could it be that God is calling me in that direction? Another thing I like is that most preaching is extemporaneous — the sermon wasn’t prepared, the preacher was.
I am excited about the prospect of owning a farm and working it. The part that concerns me most is that I feel like I will be removing myself from society. I don’t think it would be right to do this if it limits my ministry, so I pray that God has a plan to bring us to a farm where we can then establish our ministry.
Now that I have begun my journal, I am having a hard time remembering why I wanted to do it. Satan’s attacks are crafty. Last night, we took the kids to see the Nutcracker and I was happy with my ability to resist temptation. Actually, not my ability, but God’s provision. I love Gina immensely and do not want any harm to come to her. Intellectually, I know that sin also hurts Jesus, but I am honestly more concerned about hurting Gina than I am about hurting God. This indicates to me that my priorities are still not right. This must be why the gift of singleness was so important to Paul. I will probably always struggle with my desire to honor Gina more than God. Help me with this, Lord. Please!
I read Acts 16 today. What a great book Acts is. I can feel it calling me to the mission field — not necessarily foreign or long-term, but some mission to reach out for God. I was surprised byt he implication of Luke’s joining with Paul, Silas, and Timothy, without it being explicit.
I think I would like to see about Caleb being baptized over Christmas weekend, while Mom, Dad, and Mom-mom will be here. Caleb believes in God and knows that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to Earth to die for our sins. I need to verify whether Caleb knows that the only way to be saved is to trust Jesus.
On a secular note, I would like to get Gina a non-traditional Christmas tree — either a Saguaro or a Mesquite tree, that could then be planted in our front yard after Christmas.
I read today the final chapter of The Purpose-Driven Life. I was encouraged to write out a Life Purpose Statement. I think I would like to do this in the near future.
I also read Acts 15, in which Peter states Gentiles do not need to obey the law of Moses and be circumcised in order to be saved. Also, Paul & Barnabas part company in this chapter. I tend to agree with the commentary that both Paul & Barnabas were wrong — I’m not sure there could have been such a great schism without pride on both sides. How sad.
Larry Menegay has cancer and is very upbeat about God’s plans. I’m not sure how to pray. I ahve really moved to a feeling that we must pray for God’s will to be done — although it will be done even without my prayers. When I make a request to God, am I not saying that I think this would be best? I struggle with the concept that I am substituting my own judgment for God’s. But it seems right to pray for opportunities to share the gospel. I am struggling with this right now. I hope clarification will come soon.