Good Morning Friends. I hope you find peace and comfort in these times. We are living in a time of great paradox, as many suffer greatly, yet many still are far from the reach of this global pandemic. America’s numbers are still climbing at alarming rates. But we are finally seeing more victories than defeats as the percentage of closed cases resulting in recoveries has gained several points in the right direction these last two weeks. The numbers of confirmed cases in America are mind-boggling compared to the rest of the world. We will continue to pray a prayer of blessing over all the world.
Today I am sharing another sermon from this weekend. This was from my home church and is a great reminder of the power of words. Never has that reminder been more important than this moment. So many of us have the power of either unleashing good or evil at the end of our fingertips with each press of a letter on the computer keyboard. Social media has changed the face of communication around the world. It has poisoned this culture and, unfortunately, we have all suddenly found ourselves leaning more into social media during quarantine. As I wrote in Common Sense Reborn, I had hoped 2020 would be the year we all took a sabbatical away from social media. I, myself, even after publicly declaring to stay off Facebook and Instagram for all of 2020 only made it through April before I caved in and started scrolling again. And already I am back to being done with these outlets. The hate and ignorance that is readily spread on these mediums is scary. So, instead of spreading truth that usually leads to arguments, today I am sharing this truth about watching what you say, and really what you write.
And as I stated above, I join this global chorus to pray a blessing over all of you. If you share one thing on social media today, share the video below. It’s beautiful.
1And Saul approved of their killing him.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. 3Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison (Acts 8:1-3)
The Rise of Saul. Sounds like a Star War’s movie. Even when I read those lines above, I imagine Saul being like Kylo Ren during the opening scene of Episode 9, hunting down Christians with his red lightsaber and striking them down without mercy. It’s the true story like Saul’s conversion that inspires dramatic changes in Hollywood stories. While Star Wars uses the “Force” to describe the balance of power through the universe, we as Christians know that there is a real life “force” known as the Holy Spirit, and while it can not give you the power to pick things up with just your mind, or shoot lightning from your fingers, the Holy Spirit equips you with much greater powers. The Holy Spirit equips you with the power to heal, change lives, break chains, forgive, find redemption, restore and redeem, and love like no other.
I wanted to make sure we looked at the introduction of Saul and while you read this a few days prior, we will soon be studying the passages that reveal the world-changing conversion Saul will soon experience as he learns the ways of the Holy Spirit and leaves the dark side for one that is eternally good.
Reading plan: Acts 12
Deeper reading plan: Nehemiah 13
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much. Pray for all the businesses trying to recover and keep their associates able to provide for their families. Pray that the world can reopen without a surge of new COVID outbreaks. And pray that the world has undergone a lasting change and the flame of revival has been lit!
Fitness challenge: Sprint work. The ladder sprints are a great way to mix it up. We’ll keep 300 as the furthest we’ll go, but double up on the ladder (make sure you do a good warm-up and stretch):
100, 100, 200, 200, 300, 300, 200, 200, 100, 100
½ mile cool down.