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Archive for March, 2011

Peter’s Criticism

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 22-36, Peter really lets the crowd have it. He pointedly blames them for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Surprisingly, this approach draws in thousands of new believers.

Acts 2:19-21

March 30, 2011 1 comment

Peter continues his quote from Joel. It concludes with the promise that “everyone who calls / on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
   and signs on the earth below,
   blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood
   before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
   on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (Acts 2:19-21, New International Version, ©2011)

The Little Red Book of Wisdom (Revised Edition) by Mark DeMoss

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’re looking for a quick, insightful read in the tradition of Life’s Little Instruction Book, then I highly recommend this book.

Mr. DeMoss, president of the DeMoss Group, divides his book into two main sections, professional and personal wisdom.

The author shares that he received more feedback about the value of writing pen-and-ink letters as opposed to emails. This is a valuable insight and great advice.

The book is filled with contemporary proverbs like “under-promise, over-deliver” and “knowledge has right answers, wisdom has right questions.”

To collect more pearls of wisdom, read this book!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Not Drunk, Joel

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Peter explains that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit was described by the prophet Joel:

Peter Addresses the Crowd
 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

 17 “‘In the last days, God says,
   I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
   your young men will see visions,
   your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
   I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
   and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:14-18, New International Version, ©2011)

Drunk?

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 1-13, we read about the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

As a result, the disciples start speaking the gospel message in foreign languages.

As impressive as this is, some of the crowd joke that the disciples are drunk.

When we see the impossible, it’s easier to make fun of it than believe it.

Outline of Acts 2

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment
  1. The Holy Spirit arrives
  2. The disciples speak in tongues
  3. Peter chews out the public
  4. 3000 people believe and join the apostles
  5. The believers live in community together

 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”  14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

 17 “‘In the last days, God says,
   I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
   your young men will see visions,
   your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
   I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
   and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
   and signs on the earth below,
   blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood
   before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
   on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

 22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:

   “‘I saw the Lord always before me.
   Because he is at my right hand,
   I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
   my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
   you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

 29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. (Acts 2, New International Version, ©2011)

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

This is the sixth book in the eight-book Ancient Practices series published by Thomas Nelson.

The author shares several personal experiences surrounding her service of Communion as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Each story unearths another level of community and connection via celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Ultimately, she concludes that the practice of Holy Communion is an important window into experiencing the “ongoing incarnation” of Jesus Christ.

If you are interested in learning about how you, too, can experience the Incarnation via the sacred meal, then I recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in return for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Acts 1

March 26, 2011 1 comment

Biblegateway.com now offers the option of embedding the text directly into blogs and other web sites, so I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.

I look forward to including the full Biblical text in some future posts.

Acts 1

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
 1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
 12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

 18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

 20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:

   “‘May his place be deserted;
   let there be no one to dwell in it,’

   and,

   “‘May another take his place of leadership.’

 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1, New International Version, ©2011)

Categories: Acts of the Apostles

Apostle Lotto

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 23-26, we meet Joseph and Matthias, both qualified candidates to take over for Judas.

The believers pray and then essentially flip a coin to pick the new #12.

Who uses chance to pick between two equally valid choices today?

With Experience

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 21-22, Peter wisely suggests that Judas’ replacement be a person who has experienced Jesus’ entire ministry.

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