The Holy Spirit: How to Know if You Have Him

Pentacost by Jean II Restout (Photo Credit Wikipedia)

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At church the other night our pastor directed anyone interested in receiving prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to go to the prayer room after the service.

I was amazed. Continue reading

Love Like Jesus: No Family or Rich Friends Allowed

Love Like Jesus No Family or Rich Friends

Kids in the Park

“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” -Jesus Christ, Luke 14:12-14

Family’s Softball Game Has Higher Attendance Than Cubs Game

There’s an old joke about a couple who couldn’t have kids. They sought the help of their pastor who said he would fast and pray the last day of every month until they conceived. Shortly thereafter the husband of the couple took a job in another town, so the couple and the pastor lost touch.

One year of fasting in this fashion passed. Finally, the pastor ran into the woman who couldn’t have kids. He asked if anything happened and she shared they had a set of triplets, and not only that but she was twelve weeks pregnant, and not only that but her doctor said she might be pregnant with twins. The pastor was overjoyed. He asked where her husband was so he could find him and congratulate him. She said, Continue reading

Love Like Jesus: Grace for a Trespass

grace for trespass love like Jesus

Augustin Tünger: Facetiae Latinae et Germanicae, Konstanz 1486, Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, Cod. HB V 24a. – Illustration from the life of St. Peter: Saint Peter paying a fee by extracting coins from the mouth of a fish. Image via wiki commons.

The temple tax collectors approached Peter and asked him directly, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

Peter was on the spot. He didn’t really know if Jesus intended to pay the Temple tax or not. But instead of confessing he didn’t know, he decided to wing it. Sure he does, Peter said.

That was quite an assumption. And that must have been quite a long walk home, wondering the whole way back what Jesus really thought about the Temple tax.

Upon his return, as Peter walks in the door I can see in my mind Jesus chuckling to himself. What do you think Simon? Jesus asks. Who do the kings of the earth collect taxes from–from their own kids, or from others? Continue reading

Love Like Jesus: Jesus Did Not Love Everybody the Same

Jesus did not love everybody the same

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. –Mark 5:37

How Jesus Loved People

Jesus loved everybody, but he didn’t love everybody the same. Do you realize that? He loved (and loves) every person on the planet. He loves every one of us so much, he laid down his life, for each of us. But when he was here, walking the earth, he loved different people differently. He fed 5,000, and then 4,000, for a total of 9,000, but he didn’t feed everybody. The people he fed were those who followed him and listened to him. He didn’t heal everybody. The people he healed were the ones who believed in him and cried out to him. He didn’t train everybody. He trained seventy-two of his closest followers as his ambassadors. (Luke 10) And then there’s the twelve. There were twelve who were especially close to him. He let them in, close, so they could see up close how he lived. He gave the twelve private insights into parables left unexplained to others. (Mark 4:10) And then there’s the three: Peter, James, and John. Jesus let these three in even closer. He loved Peter, James, and John by bringing them with him for the transfiguration, and when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, and when he sweat great drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane just before they took him away to be tried and sentenced to crucifixion in their kangaroo court system. Only the three were allowed to accompany Jesus during these occasions. (Matthew 17:1-11, Mark 5:35-43, Mark 14:32-52) Continue reading