steps, Acts 13, the first of three, ordered

3 Apr

‘49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy ‘Spirit.’

Joy, my joy, comes from His words, His word. In community with the Spirit,

I come

Then we, the Spirit and I come to

Finally, I come to believe

these are the first steps, the first 3 steps-my steps

1 Peter 2: 18-22

‘Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.’

forming questions; Acts 13

31 Mar

Luke writes a rich narrative text Images of mist and darkness; questions and desired power lace Acts 13 with the result of questions being formed, and perhaps reformed as actions and responses…

Acts 13 ‘The two

( Saul and Barnabas- note Saul’s name hasn’t changed to ‘Paul’ yet)

…of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.

why the word ‘proclaim’v Not teach? Not Preach here? Perhaps all good teachings begin with open ended questions, active listening and all of the teacher’s internal answers reserved without judgements…

“6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.’

why the teaching here? What were they teaching about our Lord?

Let us seek leading, soft and tender hands …His stretched wounded hands.

Open hands, loving hands, hands in mine.a hand in mine…

questions, Acts 13

31 Mar

question the text today, questions…

Acts 13 /‘ The two…

( Saul and Barnabas- note Saul’s name hasn’t changed to ‘Paul’ yet)

…of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.

why the word ‘proclaim’v Not teach? Not Preach?

6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.’

why ‘teaching’here? What were they teaching? How were they teaching? Were they yelling? Quiet? Dancing?

How did they teach?

twice, deeply in love

30 Mar

in Acts 13 the church at Antioch worship and fast…and the Spirit audibly speaks…and then, in love with the Spirit; in love for God’s voice … so they fast and pray a second time,…

‘13Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas,Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them And sent them off.’

love, sent and spoken to, in love

lulu videos from nyc

27 Mar
dancing with sharks
losing and winning the Charlotte & Sam play fight
schools out 4’ever

Stretched: earnest, earned prayer Acts 12

25 Mar

today’s word… Acts 12

before the Word, a thought…

I have a dear friend, Adam, whose father died a week past. 17 March was the year anniversary Adam, himself, almost passed at 34 years of age due to cancer. I spoke to him on the 20th of March and he said he felt ‘locked’ up…

At times I feel the same… at times I am sure others feel this virus has ‘locked’ them up; , and I am sure that you have felt, if you are not at this moment, feeling this also…

In the passage below Peter is ‘locked’ in prison by Herod. What is his only way out of lock up? Earnest prayer; not prayer, but earnest thankful and heartfelt prayer

‘he ( Herod) proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.’

Earnest in the Greek (ektenos) means to be stretched. Stretched as in being away from others, friends and family, lovers and fellow workers… stretched not in reaching outward, but items opposite: being contracted, collapsed, reverse stretch into a tight space: locked up.

The way out of another’s stretching, whether yourself or an emotion; whether a situation or a virus is to reach ever outward with prayer.

Pray without ceasing; with zeal; emotion and love; with all your heart and soul and might.

This is how Jesus prayed on his cross- arms stretched out; with a last breath preforming one last miracle: forgiving in prayer to his father those who killed him not knowing what they were doing…

pray as Jesus, stretch

In this time, Act 11 & 12 … time eternal

25 Mar

acts 11:27-30 and acts 12: 1-2 ‘…this time’

Life seems fast and slow; in and out of time; but, in fact, there is only one time, one moment, it is this time…

Luke is writing about the recent past as though it is totally present; …this time is the here, the now, his life, …This time is Luke and he sees and writes…

‘27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.’

The disciples of Antioch’s gift is not specifically named of detailed. But, as probably with the Magi of Jesus’ birth, Barnabas and Saul carried something items easy to transport and of some value, as gold and precious myrrh. Only two were sent. But those two were Antioch’s teaching leaders, their brothers and givers, their dearly love. Antioch’s leaders sent their best. In this time, this time of need and famine, Antioch sent their heart.

And in Acts 12…

‘It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.‘

Herod arrested some, intending to persecute those taken. He kills James by the sword, this one, so that the rest would be bathed in fear. In this time, , this same moment, Antioch gives; and Herod takes. In this time, evil is present with good.

In famine, in this time, in this moment, for these eternal moments, I choose to give, not take, love not destroy, be and not diminish.

I choose Jesus.

Priscilla & charlie, lulu nyc, 17 March 2020

17 Mar

Our St Patrick’s Day in NYC lulu…


Today, there is a slight misty mountain like rain in NYC. From the cold last night, we awoke today to Charlotte, grand daughter age 7 and grand son Samuel 9, Cuckoo cries for Coca Puffs…
( sorry for all the cultural references above😎)

NYC is closed down from schools to bars and restaurants ( a good closure on the bars as today is St Patrick’s day and … ‘nuf said) to movies and to hospitals as they restructure ( my needed right knee surgery is postponed ) …

But Priscilla and I are happy as she is in full ‘grandma mode’…cooking pancakes with chocolate chips and marshmallows and whipped cream! ( no problems with food supplies here) ……(( and we will have pictures at charlesosewalt.com) )

So, my doctor called me yesterday and gave me the option of having surgery this week, as opposed to 27 March, as all ‘elective’ surgeries after this week will not occur till a later date. We are a little busy this week and I need some more time to sort out some personal details. I choose a later date TBD.
This will be my third surgery on this leg and I am a little discouraged but still hopeful as returning to travel, especially the UK, London, Scotland and to infinities and beyond.
And my writing is going consistently well ( I believe) and I hope to publish a new work by 1 May.

Priscilla is thriving in her Bible Study Fellowships and her art work. She is so consistently faithful. ( I will also post her art images at charlesosewalt.com)
As we age, eyes legs, shoulders, toes may fail.But our hearts are our Lord’s; and we are His.

In closing, someone, a close close friend, sent us an email saying, asking, are you in need of anything? Please ask, as you are family?’
Family, our only ‘need’ is to hear from you that you are well.
As our dear friends from New Zealand always said goodbye in their closing to us

Much, much love
Charlie and I have been reflecting on Titus this passage; His generosity…

‘At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.’ from Titus 3

breathe, Acts 9, Ananias (b)

10 Mar

the second part on my Acts 9 reflection on Ananias….“breathes…”

Ananias breathes…

“The Lord told him (Ananias), “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

At first, he, Ananias, can’t breathe- He can’t move from his house till he takes a breathe, till he breathes…

He, Ananias, sitting in his home, frightened, loving his Lord, breathes his response to His Lord, facts…

What does his heart breathe tell him? Possibly that…

‘God knows, creates and has created all facts; all life; He allows all Saul’s breathes to come to life. And He, my Lord, both commands and explains what I should do, and do in faith….’

15 “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, …”

Ananias embraces what he feared. He holds Saul. A brother.

“…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.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”

Once again, Ananias can breathe; and he can embrace; once he speaks his fears to God; he can touch hold his fear; speak, call a murderous foe ‘brother.’ Why? And How is Ananias like you and me?

My mother three years past had massive heart surgery. She was in an induced coma for three weeks: why? She could not take a full breathe; her breathes were short and rapid ; Conscious or Unconscious she could not abide the tube in her throat ..her fears stopped her breathes.

She could not pause and breathe. The nurses and doctors could not understand why she couldn’t… I do.

She did not know of Ananias. She did not, could not breathe with Jesus, with His name, His saving name.

Breathe today with Him; embrace your fears; let His name touch your lips, even without spoken words, silently in your heart… ‘Jesus…’

Today, breathe ‘Jesus’

breathe…Acts 9 ( first of two reflections)

8 Mar

from Acts 9

today, we start with verse 10 of Acts 9; we start with a man called by God, Ananias …

10 ‘In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.’

‘ …he answered…’

Ananias was called by God to help Saul… he was frightened; his emotions overflowed and were on the verge of controlling him, stopping him from helping Saul…why,,. Because of Saul’s breath, his bad, murderous breathe….

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and 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. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

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.”

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

10 In Damascus there was a little Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and 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. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

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.”

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

The men travelling with Saul are ‘speechless’; they are without words; they are only breathe. But Ananias, he can use his breathe to speak; to respond; to answer…

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.”


Use on breathe to answer today; answer His call. Listen, respond; answer.