Saturday, July 31, 2010

NIPTO, Day 174

Hello allllll.

Today was pretty busy. But it didn't seem too bad.

Got up... chilled for a while. Ate breakfast. Took a shower. Chilled for a little bit longer. Drove Mom&Dad to the bank... (Dad drove everywhere else) then to the Nickle's bread store (it smells SO good in there!) and the thrift store (to get some "short pant" and "sneaker" and a Bible for Ehne Thau... she leaves for camp tomorrow) I found a cute hoodie that's light pink and has blue owls on it. I like it. Mom found a couple of pairs of jeans... it was a very successful trip.
Then we went to Marcs... I got a new wallet (I've been looking for one of those flat ones... but they cost like, $12 at Target, and I didn't really want to spend that much on one... but they  had them for $3, so I got one) and Mom got M&M's (A must in our household, if you didn't know that already! =P)
I drove home from Marcs.
We ate lunch (leftover pizza) and then we taught Dad a little bit of the Dance Day dance (you can find the instructional video here) because today is National Dance Day and then I made brownies and Hannah and I got dressed in Panera uniforms (Polo, khaki pants, belt, hat) and recorded us doing the dance! It was fun...

I read some blogs... and then went to the church picnic! It was fun... I mostly hung out with Elysia and Rachel and Jon and Caleb and Miles. We had a good time. Ate food. Talked. They played cornhole. I took a bunch of pictures. Held Hailey. Took more pictures. Came home. Filled the neighbor's pond/watered plants. Read a book while waiting for the pond to fill. Walked home. Finished my book. Checked facebook, now this.
Tomorrow we have church... not sure if I'm helping with music... We'll see.

There was a quote in the book I was reading that I really liked. So I thought I'd share it with all o' y'all :)
"I guess at some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening."
A quote from "The Cupcake Queen" by Heather Hepler.

OH! We got an update from Katie today... she is currently in Cologne, Germany. She's staying with the pastor from the GCM church there. They'll be there until... Wednesday? Then they'll go to Brügge, Germany for a couple days and then they'll go to Amsterdam for a few days! And Katie'll be home in approximately (assuming she'll get in at/around 6 pm) 187 hours. =D I'm excited to see her.
You can read her update here (that's her blog. Here's today's post) :)

To be honest, I don't really feel like doing NIPTO. I think I might be able to count on 1 (or 2) hand(s) the number of times I haven't wanted to do NIPTO. Today is one of those days though. I'm tired. I'm still sick. (It's been 2 weeks, officially.) And I'm just plain "tard and feathered" But. I've made a commitment to do this and I'm going to do this. I can't guarantee how coherent or comprehensive this will be. I'll probably be lazy and won't pick things apart too much. But it's not really up to me. It's up to God. Soooooo here goes...

Acts 10:34-48
34Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

Alrighty. Peter is in Ceaserea with some people he wouldn't normally associate with, right? So he goes on to say that it's very true that God doesn't play favorites. He accepts anyone who trusts him and fears him and does what's right.
Do we accept everyone, regardless of nationality or position in life? Not usually... *sigh* And that's sad.

36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Now Peter kind of goes through and makes sure that they know what's been going on throughout Judea. That's basically what this right here is. Making sure they know who Jesus actually is and what he did.

 39"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Craziness. I'm not sure if this is a figure of speech or if they (the people in Ceaserea) were actual witnesses, but they were witnesses in some kind of way/shape/form. They knew that the Jews killed him and that God raised him from the dead. They knew that Jesus wasn't seen by everyone, but that he was seen by some people that God had chosen. 
People ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He just had holes in his hands and feet.

42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

And then, after they ate and drank together he commanded them to tell people about himself. To tell people that he is the one that God chose and appointed as judge over the living and the dead. (And maybe the living dead too! Oh wait, that's just Jesus =P)
All of the prophets testified about him. They told people that if they believed in Jesus, they would receive forgiveness through his name. What a crazy/spectacular gift we have!

 44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Soooo interesting/awesome! Peter's still talking and the Holy Spirit is simply being poured out on these people. And the guys who came with Peter were like, 'woah. even these people who aren't us are being given the Holy Spirit. That's pretty sweet'
How did they know this? They were speaking in tongues and praising God. Always praising God...

   Then Peter said, 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Then Peter asks if anyone can keep them from being baptized with water (because they'd just been baptized in the Holy Spirit, basically.) So he ordered in the name of Jesus Christ that they be baptized. So they were and Peter stayed with them for a few days.

Okay. SOoo that's all fine and dandy. But I just took a break in the middle of that. And I read today's "My Utmost for His Highest" (by Oswald Chambers (I stand in awe of you [awe]oswald. I stand in AWE of you God;))
And it was good. So I'm going to post that here too. If you've already read it (*cough*katie*cough*) read it again. It's good. And I've memorized James 1:4, but this is a different translation (KJV, I'm guessing). And I like it.
So here ya go :) (This isn't actually the version that I read. I (I meaning Hannah) have the updated version. But I like this too)

"Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete, with never a defect." James 1:4 (MOFFATT)
Many of us are all right in the main, but there are some domains in which we are slovenly. It is not a question of sin, but of the remnants of the carnal life which are apt to make us slovenly. Slovenliness is an insult to the Holy Ghost. There should be nothing slovenly, whether it be in the way we eat and drink, or in the way we worship God.
Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the external expression of that relationship must be right. Ultimately God will let nothing escape, every detail is under His scrutiny. In numberless ways God will bring us back to the same point over and over again. He never tires of bringing us to the one point until we learn the lesson, because He is producing the finished product. It may be a question of impulse, and again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to the one particular point; or it may be mental wool-gathering, or independent individuality. God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right.
We have been having a wonderful time this Session over the revelation of God's Redemption, our hearts are perfect towards Him; His wonderful work in us makes us know that in the main we are right with Him. "Now," says the Spirit, through St. James, "let your endurance be a finished product." Watch the slipshod bits - "Oh, that will have to do for now." Whatever it is, God will point it out with persistence until we are entirely His.

I like the part that says "Let your endurance [patience in the other version] be a finished product." I like it.
NOW. Sleep.
Goodnight. I love you all. Even if I don't know who you are. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

NIPTO, Day 173

Whew. Today's been... busy.

Got up. Sat in bed for half an hour. Ate breakfast. Read blogs. Went to Target with Mom&Hannah... got 2 sweeeet folders for school. Went to McDonalds and got a Happy Meal. Went to Kohls... got a new shirt. Went to Wal-Mart and got a planner.

Then we came home. (Hannah got a bunch of stuff for school at those places!)

I just kinda chilled for a while... then went over to the neighbors so I could do my job. Then went with Dad to pick up pizza. Drove on the express way on the way home and didn't die! YAY! (Not dying is always a good thing in my book!)
Ate dinner... went on a walk... watched an episode of Psych. 

And then I did the dangerous thing of looking at cameras. There are so many beautiful cameras out there. And I really shouldn't want another one. Or a different one. And I don't really because I don't have the money, but yeah. I'm interested to see what Hannah's camera is like when it comes!

I'm also interested to see what KATIE looks like when she comes to our house!!!!! She'll be leaving Dresden... soon? Then going to Cologne, Germany, then... somewhere I don't remember that's supposed to be GORGEOUS. Then to Amsterdam where she flies out to come home next Sunday!! She'll fly from Amsterdam to Philadelphia, then to Akron/Canton!!! And we pick her up and hug her. And cry. Probably. haha. I can't wait to see her face! And it's just a little over a week!
If she gets in at 6 pm on Sunday night, here are the stats as of RIGHT NOW: 8 days. 211 hours. 12,676 minutes. And I'm not going into seconds. hahaha. Here's the link to the countdown! It's pretty cool.

AH! I'm so easily distracted. I just went through my saved "SAT Question of the Day" e-mails that I haven't looked at... since I made them automatically go into their own folder. So now I do them in bulk. Except for the math ones. I flag those to do later when I have more time. The improving sentences and whatnot I have no trouble with. For the most part. I probably got... 4 or 5 out of the... 17 wrong. 

Okay. I neeeed to do NIPTO. And then sleep. I'm tired.

Acts 10:23b-33
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."

Alrighty. Peter goes with the guys... and some of the people from the church in Joppa decide to come with. So they get to Caesarea and Cornelius is there waiting for them. He told his family and close friends to come and they did. Peter gets into the house and Cornelius just falls at his feet. Peter's like, "Dude. I'm just a guy. Get up."

 27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"

Peter talks to him for a bit and then they go inside and there are a bunch of people! He gives them all the "It's technically illegal for me to be here associating with you, but God told me that I shouldn't call anyone/thing impure or unclean" talk. (Remember the sheet and the voice telling him to go and kill and eat? That was what God was getting at: Nothing that he's made is unclean.)
So he's kinda getting to "Why did you want me to come?"

 30Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.' 33So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."

Then Cornelius starts talking. He was praying and this guy in shiny clothes comes and tells him that God hasn't forgotten that he's generous and gives stuff to the poor. And that he should send for Simon. 
So Cornelius obeyed the "shiny guy" and sent for him. Now Cornelius wants Peter to shed his wisdom on them. "[To] listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us." 
I'm going to give this an overview: Paul goes to a city to share the gospel with people who he wouldn't normally associate because this other guy was visited by an... angel? and the angel? told him to. 
When God speaks to you, and you listen, amazing things can happen.

And now I am going to go to sleeeeeeep. 
We have our church picnic tomorrow! I should take all the 1,388 pictures off of my camera before that... HEH.
Now: G'night!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NIPTO, Day 172

Today is just an ordinary day.

Got up... finished Shiver. (A faaantastic book.)

Mom, Hannah, and I washed the hardwood floors. Mom's cleaned the carpet. I went outside and read a book in the sunshine. Then I came in (after getting pooped on by a bird (just a tiny bit on my arm)) and took a shower (not because of the bird poop, though). Then we went to pick up:
Ehne Thau

Eh Dah Doe

and Be Bin
for Rachel's grad party!

We ate and played outside at the playground... I played a game of Euchre with Rachel, Nathan, and Erin... (Nathan and I won!) Annnnd we played Ninja and various other games.

Rachel, Hannah, and myself

Hannah looking adorable on the Elephant at the park
It was a good time. We didn't get home until late... annnd now I'm blogging. But I get to sleep in tomorrow morning! YAY!

Here are a couple pictures of what I like to call my "encouragement wall." It's under my bed and it's the first thing I see when I wake up. It's fantastic.

The wall in its entirety. (For the most part. You can't see my mailbox from LT...)

My favorite "art" on a sign that I did.

Very first thing I see when I wake up!! =D
Yup... Andd now: NIPTO!

Acts 10:9-23
9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.

Okay. Soooo they're traveling and they went to a city and Peter goes up to this roof to pray. He's praying and he gets hungry. Soooo there's a meal being prepared, but Peter falls into a trance. Kinda strange.

11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

Peter sees heaven open and... I'm repeating exactly what it says. 
It doesn't seem that strange for the voice to tell him to "kill and eat." But all of these thing were things that they weren't allowed to eat for "religious reasons."

14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Soo Peter tells God, "Look. I've never eaten anything that's not clean/pure." And the voice is like, "Don't call anything that God made unclean. God made everything clean."
And that happened 3 times and then the sheet thingy went back up into heaven. Innnteresting. 

17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
Peter's all like, "woah... what just happened? What does it all mean?" The guys who were sent by Cornelius found his house and they asked if he was staying there. 

19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
So Pete's still thinking. And then the Holy Spirit tells him that there are 3 guys looking for him and that he should go get ready for company. And that he shouldn't be hesitant about going with them. Because the Spirit told him that he sent them.

21Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"
22The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say." 23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
So Peter goes downstairs and tells the guys that he's the one that they've been looking for and asks them why they're there. They tell him about Cornelius and that he wants to hear what Peter has to say. So Peter invites them in to be his guests. 

And that's all for tonight, folks! I need to get ready for bed... I think we might be going shopping tomorrow for Hannah's college stuff. FUN!
G'night everyone!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NIPTO, Day 171

Oh my. Today has been crazy. But not really. I had driving school today. You can read about that here.
I got home from driving school. And I ate lunch. And I read a book. (Shiver. Good book. Not nearly as creepy as it sounds.) Annnd I ate dinner. And went and did a job that I have... I'm going to have to go back tomorrow morning to finish it because the 'rents had to leave for a meeting with the other pastors&their wives.
And then I played WICKED songs for a while. It was great fun. And the most I've played the piano in a long time.

Now I'm watching So You Think You Can Dance... and pizza sounds really good right now. HAH. Oh commercials. That's what they're supposed to do.
Ahahaha there was a commercial of a girl from Cleveland talking about her Ford. She had such a Cleveland accent! "It's like that little blaack dress that you haave to haave."


Acts 10:1-8
1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.

Naaana na na na na na na na cor-ne-le-us! He's a centurion. Aka soldier. In the "Italian Regiment."

2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

Okay. So Cornelius is a good guy. God fearing, generous, prays regularly. Got the picture?

3One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
 4Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked.
   The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 
5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea."

Angel alert! Cornelius sees an angel and he kinda looks at him... and he's kinda scared.  The angel tells him that his generous giving to the poor is like a memorial offering to God. Sooo he tells him to go to Joppa to bring Simon-Peter back to Caesarea. And then the angel tells him where he is. 

7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

So, in true Cornelius fashion, he obeys. He calls 2 servants&a soldier (and attendant) and tells them what happened and then sent them off to Joppa. 

Seems like... not a lot. But that's what I've got for today!
And I'm sleepy, so I'm going to go to bed now.

Driving With Abby - Driving School: Day 3


Hi. Today was another day of driving school. Right off the bat, after roll-call and counting off and making sure that everyone who was on the list was actually there, we talked about alcohol. And a lot of other stuff. Such as: what to do if you get pulled over, drugs, when it's legal to drink when you're under 21 (aka when you're with your parents, they give you the alcohol and you consume it in front of them. That's when it's legal. And no where else.), insurance, the car inspection that you get when you take your drivers test, and purchasing and maintaining a car.

During the last hourish (45 minutes, really) some people took the test (if it were their second week of class) and the rest of us just reviewed and looked at a crossword puzzle that's impossible. HAHA. (I got 1. You had to come up with the actual answers on your own, so it was more of a crossword AND a word search. Insane.)

And one last thing: We watched this horribly acted movie about this teenager who was on his way home from prom with his girlfriend and his friend and his friend's date, and they got into an accident. And the guy looked like Zach from Saved by the Bell. And his girlfriend's name was Kelly. It was hori-blay.

And now I'm done until next MONDAY! WOOHOO!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NIPTO, Day 170

Whew! Today has been a whirlwind of a day.

Driving school: post on that later
Home to eat&whatnot... read for a while... a long while... went down to Kayt's. We talked&hung out for a while... came home... read some more... ate dinner... went to Tarbucks with Kayt&walked around the plaza. There were newborn gerbils at Pet Supplies Plus! Crazy... like, just born! And we went to Deals and Dots and Panera to say "HI" to Hannah... annnnd Sally Beauty was closed. :(

And then we went back to Kayt's house and hung out for a while... she talked to her dad about soccer&stuff... and Paige was there too.

NIPTO, I guess?

Acts 9:32-42
32As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34"Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up. 35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Okay. There are several awesome things here. The first being: "he went to visit the saints in Lydda." YAY saints! I'm a saint. Everyone in God's family is a saint! You don't have to be   dead for a certain number of years to be a saint. Because we're already saints who are redeemed by Jesus' blood. 
And then there's this healing. Aeneas hadn't walked in EIGHT years. That's a long time. Peter healed him. And because Peter healed him, everyone who saw him in Lydda and Sharon turned to God. How fantastic is that?!? (Very!)

 36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"

Joppa... that's where Jonah was in when he ran from God. Awesome! haha.
And so there's this awesome and amazing disciple in Joppa named Tabitha (or Dorcas). She was awesome. Like Mother Theresa. But she got sick. And she died. :(
Lydda, where Peter was, was close to Joppa. So they called him over and were like, "Hey! Come to Joppa!"

 39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

:( Peter went and everyone was crying. And they showed him all the amazing awesome clothes that Dorcas/Tabitha had made while she was alive... (which kind of makes sense... she didn't make clothing when she was dead! hah)

 40Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Oh my dear Lord. This is quite amazing/ridiculous. Prayer is an amazing thing.

41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

He helped her up (she'd been mostly dead all day!) and called everyone and was like, "Hey look people! She's alive!" And then that spread... In a small town like Joppa, things like that spread like wildfire! (I have no clue if Joppa was a small town or not. Probably not. I like to make things up. But I generally tell you on here if I'm making something up because there is so much serious stuff.)
And then Peter stayed with a tanner named Simon. 

And now it's time for me to sleep. Driving school bright and early tomorrow!

Driving With Abby - Driving School: Day 2

Hola! Driving school... It's fun. We watched at least 2 movies today. (45 minutes&21 minutes from what I can remember)
We talked about bad weather conditions. You basically do the same things for rain, snow, and fog... just with little variations, but not really. hah.

We talked about motorcycles and trucks... annd blind spots on trucks&stuff... I drew on my paper a lot today... A sweet musical staff (wavy! hah) and some hearts and peace signs&more musical notes. It was pretty win.

I talked to a girl whose name I can't remember during break... she goes to Manchester... she knows Cat&Connie because they play soccer together, so that's cool. She finishes tomorrow... I have another 3 days. But I'm cool with it. I like how it's set up M, T, W, and then another M, T, W. It makes it easier and makes you more sane.

I should take a picture of this writing on the table... I think it says something like "Sanity is not underrated" or something like that. People draw all kinds of stuff on the table that I sit at. I'm tempted to add a musical note to it. :)

But yeah. It wasn't crazy today... we're talking about drugs&alcohol during one of our classes tomorrow...
And I figured out from a statistic today that 10 of the people in our class (statiscially speaking) will be in an accident involving a drunk driver. Also, two people from my family of 5 will be involved in a crash. CRAZY. (2 out of 5 people... 25 people in the room, 10 out of 25. Craazy.)

Annnnd I think that's about it for today. I'll try to blog earlier tomorrow so I remember more... I was lazy and read all day today! hahaha.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Driving With Abby - Driving School: Day 1

I can guarantee that that is not the first thing that comes to anybody's mind when driving school is mentioned.
But I really don't think that driving school (from here on out referred to as DS) isn't that bad.

We got there... and waited a little bit because the instructor wasn't there yet. She got there and we went inside. Dad paid&stuff... I had to sign some papers... other people had to pay&sign papers&stuff... so then class started and we kinda just jumped in. We talked about highway driving, pedestrians, maneuverability, and what to do if you get into an accident during the first 2 hours... then we had a 15 minute break... a lot of the kids (there were 21 in the class!) went to Subway (or Dollar General) to get food . I went to Subway so I could get a cup for water... I left my water bottle at home this morning :(
Then during the next 2 hours we talked about signs and parking.
Pretty basic stuff. There were a few things I didn't know, but I knew a lot of stuff. But it's still good to review stuff or whatever.

That was Day 1 in a nutshell! (A pretty big nutshell, but still a nutshell)

NIPTO, Day 169

You're just getting a NIPTO post in here today. 
I'm going to write a post about driving school. It's wonderful. If I get there early enough that not many people are there, I'll take pictures so they can go with the posts hah.


Acts 9:19b-31
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

Okay. Lotsa stuff going on. Saul stayed in  Damascus for a couple days. And at once he began to preach that Jesus was the Son of God. That's fantastic. I wish more people were like the converted Saul.
But then there are all these people who knew what Saul was like before he was converted and they're all confused. They're like "soo... he's the guy who used to put these people in prison... and now he's one of them... what's going on?!?  And Saul just keeps getting more powerful. And people are confused. The end. But not quite.

 23After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

So the Jews (of all people) decide that they're going to kill Saul. But, fortunately, Saul heard what was going on and escaped via basket over the wall.

 26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.

That's gotta be discouraging. You're all fired up for God and you go to the epicenter... and everyone is scared of you and won't let you in their "group." So sad.

27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.

God bless Barnabas. He heard Saul's story and he told the apostles what really happened. Shweeet. Thanks Barnabas! :)

28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

So Saul's just goin' around Jerusalem talking about Jesus... he was talking to the Greek Jews and they tried to kill him. Heh. The "guys" (apostles? brothers...) heard and were like, "Dude. We gotta move you." So they took him to Caesarea and sent him on his merry way to Tarsus.

 31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

This is an awesome verse. The church in those areas were strengthened and encouraged. They grew which is always an amazing thing for the church. 

The end. Look for a post on DRIVING SCHOOL coming soon to a... computer near you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NIPTO, Day 168

Hello people!

Today was a good day.

We did music at church. A good set. We spoke. I didn't do anything majorly bad. So that's good.

Then we went to Elysia's grad party after church... we ate and hung out and held babies. It was great.
Then we came home... and sat around for a little bit. Then Dad asked me if I wanted to drive the van around the neighborhood. So I did. And then he asked if I wanted to drive to Giant Eagle. So I did. And it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually really like driving the van because I feel like I can see SO much more. And I have less lane to negotiate with. Which is good and bad. But I feel like it's mostly good. (The turning isn't as easy, but that'll come with practice.)

So Dad and I went to GE and got a newspaper and returned some hamburger buns. And then we got gas in the van. I drove home. No one died. It was a successful outing :)

Came home... talked to Katie for a little bit on Skype... went for a walk... ate dinner... watched a Psych... now this. :)
Annnd I should really do NIPTO because I have to be up early tomorrow. Oh they joys of having to be at driving school by 7:45 (AM) tomorrow. Bleh. I'm sure I'll have oodles of things to talk about... NOT. =P Everyone says driving school is boring... I'll have to see if they're right. Maybe I'll know someone in my class! (Doubt it.) We'll see.


Acts 9:1-19
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Wooooooooah. This is intensity right here. Saul. Crazy dude. He seriously hates Christians (members of "the Way") So. Because he hates these people so much. He goes to the high priest and asks if he can go and arrest a bunch of people and take them as prisoners in Jerusalem. Crazy. (He's going to Damascus to get the letters that he needs. I think.)

3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

So he's headed to Damascus. And there's this SUPER bright light from heaven. And he falls down and hears this voice. "Saul, Saul, [he repeats the name twice! Importance... =P] why do you persecute me?" I would be kinda freaked out.

 5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
   "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 
6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

He asks who it is. And it's Jesus. The one you're persecuting. Duh. Now. Go to the city and someone will tell you what to do.
This is crazy. Like. Seriously. If this happened today, it would probably be on the news. Saul was this super important (or at least well known) guy. So this was... bigish news.

 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

Okay. If I were one of the people who were with them, I would definitely have been speechless. I mean, there's this voice, but there's no body to go with the voice. They can't see anyone! It's all insane. But Saul gets up... and opens his eyes. But he can't see anything. So they had to lead him by hand to Damascus. Crazy. (I've used crazy like... 5 times... so far.)
He was blind for 3 days. And he didn't eat or drink. Wow.  

10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
      "Yes, Lord," he answered.
11The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

Sooooo now we go to Damascus. And there's this guy named Ananias. And God spoke to him and told him to go to this guy's house and to ask for Saul. Saul was praying and he saw a vision of someone named... you guessed it! Ananias to come heal him.

 13"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
 15But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Ananias was kinda hesitant because he'd heard of Saul. He heard that he was one of the major persecutors of the church. And he knew that he had come to Damascus to arrest everyone who believed in God. 
But God told him to go anyways. God revealed to Ananias that Saul was chosen by God to be his witness. And God told Ananias that he would show Saul just how much he would have to suffer for God's name.

17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

So Ananias goes to the house and goes over to Saul. He kinda tells Saul why he's there (announces it, really) and then "something like scales fell from Saul's eyes." Uh wow... uh... Yeah. And he could see again. Then... here's something that I've overlooked in the many times that I've read this: Saul got up and was baptized. And then he ate and was strong again. 

WOW. This is a ridiculous story. And I think you can probably see how ridiculous it is. So I'm going to go to bed now. Soooooooooooooooooooo. GOODNIGHT!