Tag Archives: Acts

Dinner With A Buddy

When was the last time you broke your routine and hung out with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile? Sometimes you just need to reach out, make plans, and just go.

Today, I took a road trip to see my mother. On the return drive home, I called an old hiking buddy and we met at the local brisket bar. A little beef, a little turkey and a some great sides later, we had talked and shared and caught up. Oh, we text, email and even call occasionally … But the face to face fellowship can’t be replaced.

We are losing that dynamic in today’s world. Meta, Zoom, virtual workplaces … the virtual world continues to grow. I understand that they are even beginning to sell real estate in the MetaVerse. Oh yeah, I don’t even have a house in the real world … why would I need a MetaMansion? And churches are beginning to hold Meta Services. This is headed down a pretty wide open dynamic – but I hope it never replaces the person-to-person interaction.

In Acts 2, at the very beginning of the church …. Thousands of new believers began to hang out. This had to be a bit awkward. Hellenists, orthodox Jews, males, females, all walks of life. So how was this interaction?

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts …

Look at this.

– All things in common … they shared, they cared, they held nothing back from each other

– Sold possessions/met needs … sacrificial lifestyle (now I feel bad I didn’t buy dinner for my friend when we had dinner)

– Worshipped together … the bond was primarily a spiritual one. And that goes deeper, lasts longer and praises higher.

– Breaking bread together … okay, many see this as taking communion, but I also see it as hanging out over a meal. There’s just something about hanging out and having Meal today.

This isn’t an exclusive list, but is a good place to start. Today, spend time with a friend.

Sneak Peak for Sunday (1/30)

Gusty Winds … Possible Snow, up to 3” in our area … Football Championship Games … and spending time with my sweet partner in life. That’s the headliners.

But the biggie this weekend, and every weekend, is spending time worshiping our Awesome God with an awesome church family. This weekend, we continue the ‘Be the Church’ series as we are in Acts 2. We see what ingredients are evident in the very first sermon of the very first church service. Peter speaks with boldness and authority and directness.

We will see eight ingredients from this particular text, but the one that stuck in my heart was …

We are filled with ADORATION of our Lord and Savior … Jesus

– His Bride, the Church

Join us this Sunday – live (hopefully) and online (definitely). Evergreen Baptist on FaceBook.

Sunday (1/16) Sneak Peek

The first peek into Sunday reveals one thing … SNOW. They are calling for between 1 and 287 inches, maybe, possibly, probably, ‘your guess is as good as mine’ type prediction. As always, Sunday worship will be on FaceBook Live … but this week, that may the only way to worship together. I’ll be there … but I live 92 yards away. I’ll be there sharing live as long as power and internet make it possible.

The second peek into Sunday reveals two things A new song of the month and a word from Acts that challenges us what we are to be doing during times of waiting. For the song, see my previous post (here). For the Scripture … read below ….

9 After saying this, (Jesus) was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.

Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. (Acts 1, NLT)

Sunday (1/9) Sneak Peek

If you’re in the neighborhood tomorrow (1/9) – join us for worship and digging into Acts 1.

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Don’t be creeped out – but people are watching

Here we go, digging a little deeper into the passage of Acts 28. In verse 3, Paul is bitten by a viper – and it just hangs on to his hands. The natives watch and start the judgement. They think he must be a really bad guy – he survived a shipwreck but justice caught up with him. I guess they don’t realize he was the reason everybody survived. Oh well. So what do they do, they stop what they’re doing and just hang around to watch him. They are waiting for him to swell up and die.

Can you imagine? You are the entertainment. Everybody stops what they are doing and just stares, expecting a show of death – your death. And they are basically saying you deserve this snake bite. What happened to the hospitable natives that were helping just a few minutes ago?

Now Paul doesn’t give them what they want. He shakes the snake off and goes on about his business. And he lives. They are so confused now. They think he is a god.

Now scripture doesn’t go into any deeper details – but I can imagine Paul doesn’t let the moment pass by without telling them of the message of real healing – healing from sin and death – the healing provided through the love of the one and only true God.

Let’s bring this forward two thousand years. Just tonight I was watched and judged as well. I work at a hotel that has a bar – a bar that is connected to the front desk, just mere feet away. Even though I work at the front desk, I do not serve alcohol. This is by choice and management knows my reasons. I always try to show humility. And, I normally don’t even go in to the reasons, I just get another guest service personnel to help the guest.

Tonight, a lady was not appreciative of my choice and was very blatantly expressing her displeasure with loudness and salty language. She then quickly moved to statements like ‘you sound like those judgmental religious people,’ (She did not know I am a pastor) and ‘if you work here you need to do what I ask’ and ‘you are just like those that spread hate and they need to go away.’ Basically, I realized this was not a scenario I would do any help discussing (alcohol had a play in this too) so I just remained quiet and got my coworker to assist her.

Now, the part I regret was not my reaction to this delightful guest. I received her judgment, smiled, and just had to shake it off (See Acts 28.5). My regret is the comment I made to my coworker about this woman. It was a bit snappy. It wasn’t as graceful as I know I should have been. You see, my coworker DOES know I am a Christian, and my comments were not an Ephesians 4.29 type of response. They were not vile or coarse, but they weren’t filled with grace and compassion either.

You see, I do not know if this coworker knows Christ. I know she does not have a high view of the church – and I did not help that. I asked for her forgiveness and she made a polite response, but that does not excuse my comments.

Yes I am human, yes I was tired (just got off a 2800 mile 5 day trip), yes it is …. you know, it doesn’t matter. There are NO excuses. People are watching and we need to be diligent to live lives that honor God. We need to speak words that spread grace on the hearers.

So, coworker, if you are reading this, again, please forgive me.

Now you, my other readers. When it comes to your actions, words, Tweets, FB posts, IG pics, etc – live a life knowing people are watching. Because they are. What are they seeing and hearing? May God be glorified in all of it.

Let’s do this again tomorrow. Be blessed.

todd