Fire Breathing Dragon

photo credit: muhammad_elarbi <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/132357290@N05/24877953329″>The Fiery Dragon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Though not a fire breathing dragon, he was once as deadly…

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2 KJV).”

Saul (Apostle Paul) He received the transforming breath of the Holy Spirit.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ (Acts 9:3-22 KJV).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PERILS OF PAUL

photo credit: maxinepowerr <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/67777553@N02/37208212582″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

And I think I’ve had problems…

“Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.  Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.  From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.  In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands (2 Corinthians 11:22-33 NKJV).”

 

 

Blindsided on a Blind Date

A BRIGHT LIGHT

Ever been blindsided on a bind date?

In my teen PAM CROPPED 2013years, I had many dates that fell under the blind date category. Two or three of the boys I paired off with were what in my day were popularly labeled losers.

On the brighter side, I am in the blessed state of wedlock with my last blind date. We will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary in three years.

Saul, in his blind date trauma trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, becoming the Apostle Paul. (Acts 9:1-18)

A bright heavenly light blinded his eyes. God sent a reluctant messenger to restore his sight. (Acts 9:10-18)

“Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized (Acts 9:18 NKJ).”

 

Mission Statement

CROPPED NOVEMBER 2012 PROFILE PICTURE

It is becoming the norm. A new ministry or business prepares to open its doors. The leader appoints a committee and gives them a great responsibility. They are to brainstorm, come up with a mission statement, and bring it back for final approval. Apostle Paul’s mission statement  wording would come  from scripture.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 KJV).” Everything Paul did, every thought or action had Christ as priority and purpose.

Ananias’ Assignment

Ananias, available and alert, he arose and acted. God could have used any means to minister to Saul, following his Damascus Road blinding encounter. He might have appointed an angel. Barnabas would seem a good candidate. Soon, Saul would become Paul, and Barnabas would be his co-laborer in carrying the gospel. God would bring that to pass. First, He would entrust the care of Saul into the hands of Ananias.

The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision. He knew that he was available for service, always at His beckoned call. He was present and accounted for. “Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias (Acts 9:10a HCS)!” Just as a student, answering roll call, “Here I am, Lord!’ he said (Acts 9:10b HCS). Ananias, available and alert!

The Lord had his attention and gave him detailed, specific instructions, telling him where to go, what to ask, who to see, and what to do. (Verses 11-12) He was to go to Saul, lay hands on him in order that he would regain his sight. Ananias undoubtedly trusted the LORD’s guidance; yet, he also trusted him enough to share his doubts. (Verses 13-14) Saul had persecuted the church. He came to arrest those who called on Christ’s name. Ananias heard an affirmation from the Almighty.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles, kings, and the sons of Israel. I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for my sake (Acts 9:15-16 HCS)!” Ananias, available and alert, arose and acted. “So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17 HCS).” Saul met the Savior. Ananias acted on God’s word.