ripple effect: vacaville

Paul’s Thoughts on Noah
April 4, 2014, 5:14 pm
Filed under: god

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Protected: d257 Setting Up for the Honeymoon
February 7, 2008, 12:29 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, philip, thomas

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d256 Two Kinds of Betrayal
February 6, 2008, 10:38 am
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, peter, satan

Read John 13:21-38.

1. I know how it feels when someone has betrayed me. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to know that someone is GOING TO betray me. That would be heart-wrenching.
2. I wonder how long they stared at one another. Hmm…is it you, Thomas? Is it you, Nathanael? What about Judas? I’m wondering if it was common knowledge that there was something “off” about Judas.
3. “The disciple whom Jesus loved” is John. So…it’s interesting that Peter asked him to ask Jesus who He meant. John must have been the closest to Jesus, even though Peter seems most like the leader.
4. I wonder if Judas was hearing all of this. I wonder if he was just oblivious to the whole “tipping off” through the dipping off.
5. Satan entered Judas when he took the bread. Interesting. I wonder if Satan kept entering and leaving and re-entering Judas. I mean, we know that Satan entered him when he was cutting deals with the religious leaders too.
6. Jesus just told Judas to get it over with. Of course, nobody else knew what that had meant. They thought he might have been going to the grocery store or to a charity. How wrong they were…

7. This is all about God’s glory being made full in Jesus.
8. Jesus alludes to His going away, but I don’t think the disciples truly understood what He was talking about.
9. I don’t know if “love one another” is a NEW command. Maybe the newness of it is the fact that they now have Jesus’ example to follow. So…would the world know that you are a Christian by the way that you love people?
10. I love Peter. He pledged his undying loyalty to God. Which, if I’m honest, I do quite a bit. Unfortunately, like Peter, I am not capable to make those kinds of pledges and make good on them.
11. Jesus lays the truth on Peter. He’s not as committed as he thinks he is. He will not only not follow Jesus, he will actually deny him three times before daybreak. That’s our belief in self being contrasted with human weakness.

d255 Starting Off on the Right Foot
February 5, 2008, 3:13 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, peter, psalms

Read John 13:1-20.

1. You know, foot-washing is considered a sacrament in some Christian churches, on the same level as communion, baptism, and marriage. I wonder why we aren’t down with the foot washing…
2. Jesus knew that His time was coming, and it appears that He will now show them the full extent of His love…
3. …but do you think that was hard for Him to do, knowing that Judas was going to betray Him?
4. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, knowing that He is all-powerful? Isn’t this something you do when you have no power?
5. Peter balked at the idea of Jesus washing his feet, but then Jesus let him know that this is how he could have a part with Him. In typical Peter fashion, he asks for a bath, then. He he he… I like Peter…
6. I bet that was hard to hear from Jesus, that someone is not clean. I wonder if this caused the other disciples to doubt themselves…
7. Jesus lays is out there. He is the undisputed Leader, and yet He washes feet. We should do likewise. So why don’t we?
8. Do we act like we are too good for Jesus? I mean, people are pretty adamant about praying “The Lord’s Prayer” because that’s what He said to do, so why don’t we have the same passion for foot-washing?

9. So…this betrayal of Jesus is to fulfill a prophecy in Psalms. Judas would have lifted his heel to Jesus because he was lying on his stomach around the table when Jesus went around behind everyone to wash their feet.

d254 The Devil Made Me Do It
February 4, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, luke, peter, satan

Read Luke 22:1-13.

1. Oh, man, here we go. We’re getting close to the Passion of the Christ…
2. Wow…so…we already knew that they were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, and it appears that Satan gave them a solution. Question…do you think Judas had a choice as to whether Satan entered him, or do you think that this was the purpose of Judas’ life? Do you think that Judas’ previous behavior made him more susceptible to being “possessed”? Do you think this still can happen today?
3. Mental note: Jesus probably knows, in all the upcoming events, that Judas is possessed by Satan.
4. Judas knew that if he betrayed Jesus in a crowd that they’d probably not be successful. This was methodical. Why do you think Judas accepted money? I mean, if he was really possessed by Satan, do you think that the devil cares about money?

5. Jesus told Peter and John to get things ready for the Passover. I wonder why it isn’t common for Christians to honor the Passover. I mean, Jesus celebrated it.
6. It’s crazy to think that Jesus and His disciples were essentially homeless. Where would you make a meal if you had no home?
7. Here’s a specific time when Jesus tells them exactly where to go and what to do and what to say. Man, too bad life isn’t always that easy. We do have the compass of the Holy Spirit, though, to guide us towards where God is leading us…

d253 I Just Wanna Be a Sheep
February 3, 2008, 5:42 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, matthew

Read Matthew 25:31-46.

1. Imagine what it will look like when Jesus returns in all of His glory. We know that He will have all His angels around Him, sitting on his throne. Awesome.
2. I don’t want to be a goat.
3. To be a sheep means to be blessed by God, to have an inheritance (the kingdom of God). It also implies that sheep did something with their lives– feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty something to drink, inviting in strangers, clothing the unclothed, looking after the sick, visiting those in prison. I want to be a sheep, but do I live that way? Do you?
4. God places a greater emphasis on loving the unloved than He does worshipping Him. Kind of changes the idea of what the church is for, doesn’t it?
5. I think we need to be more “least”-focused…
6. How would your church change if it behaved more sheep-like? Do you think that a lot of church is a waste of time and effort?

d252 Silly Virgins and the Godfather
February 2, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, matthew

Read Matthew 25:1-30.

1. First of all, when we’re talking about “virgins” here, we’re not talking about whether or not the ladies had sexual experience or not. This simply refers to young women. (I guess, to some degree, it was assumed that younger, unmarried girls wouldn’t have sex.)
2. Why would the ten young girls want to see the groom? This almost seems like a Duracell commercial. Five used the copper top, while the other five used store brand lamps. He he he… Anyone, five were prepared. Go girl scouts!
3. I guess the groom coming at midnight was like him arriving after he got married? Either way, the girls all wanted to see him. And some were prepared and others weren’t. Then the five unprepared ones try to bum some oil off of the smart girls. Do you think that being prepared is a high priority? I remember being in school and knowing kids who simply expected to be able to bum stuff off of their neighbor (like a pen or paper). Is this healthy?
4. How many oil stores are open at midnight?
5. Imagine that, they missed out on the party. Darn. Man, they must have been partying until the early light…
6. So the girls get shut out. What do you think this has to do with the kingdom of God?

7. For the sake of ease, let’s call a talent a G (or 1,000 bucks). One guy gets 5 G’s. The other gets 2 G’s. And the last gets one G. Apparently, the man knew who was skilled or trustworthy and gave them responsibility to coincide with that.
8. 5 G guy made 5 more G’s, making him 10 G guy. Good for him.
9. 2 G guy made 2 more G’s, making him 4 G guy. Good for him too.
10. There might be a reason why 1 G guy got only 1 G. He just dug a hole and put his money in there. Ruh roh… This left him 1 G guy.
11. And now this episode of “The Apprentice” nears its end. The Donald comes in to check how everyone did. 10 G guy is living large and gets a pat on the back and assurances that they will have many more opportunities to do business together.
12. 4 G guy also gets love from the boss man. He will also get more opportunities to work with the master. Niiice.
13. And then 1 G guy comes in. Uh oh. He implies that the master is kind of lazy and evil, maybe like a mafia boss. So…in fear, this guy gives his excuse. Oh oh…
14. The master flips out. He basically says that if he was so afraid of Him, the least he could have done is gained some interest or something. This guy was so scared he did nothing.
15. Mr. 10 G’s becomes 11 G’s. Maybe this is to show the extravagance of perks that one gets if he does well for the master.
16. Mr. 1 G becomes penniless. That’s what you get if you put nothing into it. And, beyond that, this guy is going to get thrown out of the business and experience pain.
17. Why did the guy think that the boss was like a mafia boss? If this whole story is analogy of God’s character and our response to it, do we ever look at God like this harsh mafia boss?
18. Do we make excuses for why we are not productive?
19. Do we actually think that God would prefer for us to do nothing with out talents (out of fear) than to at least fail in an effort to grow His kingdom (the family business)?

d251 Talkin’ ‘Bout My G-Generation
February 1, 2008, 1:15 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, luke

Read Luke 21:25-38.

1. And now there’s more about the end…
2. I guess there’s going to be astrological anomalies…interesting.
3. Wow…how about the whole idea of global warming causing the sea to sweep over cities on the coast. Sounds a little like “nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” I don’t like to interpret stuff like this; but, man, that could be a possibility.
4. The heavenly bodies will be shaken. Hmm…I wonder if that means that there will be a meteor shower or something.
5. Jesus will come down in a cloud with power and glory. Whoah. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. All it says is that you don’t want to turn from your TV’s during that time because IT is about to happen. The world is going to be MADE RIGHT!
6. I actually had a fig tree in my yard; and, indeed, when leaves blossom it’s time for the summer. Incidentally, figs directly off the tree don’t taste that great. They need sugar.
7. What does Jesus mean by “this generation.” Because, if He measures generations like we measure generations, He would have obviously been proven false by this. Because these things didn’t happen in the AD 30-100 generation. So…what is a generation to God?
8. I don’t want my heart to be watered down, intoxicated, or so preoccupied that I am not ready. Man…how does our faith become watered down? How does it become drunk? How does it become preoccupied?
9. We are to pray that we will escape all that is going to happen. The only thing that will matter, at that time, is being able to stand before Jesus.
10. Does all this stuff freak anyone else out?

d250 More from the End
January 31, 2008, 12:52 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, luke

Read Luke 21:1-24.

1. It’s inspirational to think that a woman without much gives more because she gives out of her poverty. I think we measure what we are doing with out offerings to God too much in man’s eyes. That’s why I think that the tithe is brilliant in some ways but deceptive in others. Yeah, for someone without much, 10% might be a huge commitment; but it’s not to someone like Johan Santana (the Mets new pitcher) who’s going to be making 23 million dollars a year. I think as we grow in wealth, we need to consider upping how much we give to God. I mean, isn’t there a place where we have “enough”? Or, as crazy Americans, is there always going to be something else that we “need”?

2. I bet the temple was pretty. But Jesus tells the disciples that it’s not built to last. They wonder when the temple’s going down…
3. Jesus tells them that this end is coming right away. I wonder why so many thought that it was going to happen soon, though. It seems like every generation thinks that their time is the “end of times.” Why is that?
4. You could say that we have nations fighting each other, earthquakes, famines, and whatnot. I don’t know. I don’t pretend to know. How would you live differently if you know that we were, in fact, living in the end times?
5. Also, it appears that their will be an assault on those who follow Christ. See, I don’t think it’s happened to the degree that Jesus is talking about here. Maybe I’m just looking at it from an American perspective. I know people are being persecuted in other parts of the world.
6. Do you think that Jesus is talking about the future, or do you think that, now, He’s talking about the lifetimes of the disciples? Because, I mean, almost all of those guys were sold out and killed…
7. Jerusalem is not really surrounded by armies right now. Has anyone read the “Left Behind” books? When they surround Jerusalem, it’s like a worldwide military assault.
8. I can’t imagine what it will be like to live in those times…
9. Wow…yeah, how would it be to have a baby in your womb or on your hip in a time when it is a free-for-all against Christ-followers? Not good.

d249 Crazy Chicks
January 30, 2008, 12:19 pm
Filed under: abel, god, jesus, matthew, moses, zechariah

Read Matthew 23:1-39.

1. It’s interesting that Jesus is clearly saying that He believes that the religious leaders are hypocrites but that they still must obey them. Wow. He says it is because they are in Moses’ seat, placed their by God. Would you want to follow a hypocrite?
2. The religious leaders make the common person jump through all kinds of hoops to earn salvation, but it seems like they consider it to be automatic for them.
3. They are focused on the outward: wide phylacteries (pieces of scripture woven into their hair), long tassels (I don’t know what the significance of that is), sitting in the big boy chairs, being greeted and recognized, and having people call them by their title and not their name. Note to self…don’t become Rev. Mannino. Stay Paul.
4. This shoots a hole in calling priests, “Father,” doesn’t it. We don’t toss “Rabbi” around, but other people do. We’re not to call another person Master.
5. Why is it so hard for average people to think that they are on the same level as priests, rabbis, and preachers?
6. I wonder if Jesus intended for us to not even call our own dads “Father.” It says that He is our Father. Hmm…
7. Again, wouldn’t we get into a lot of trouble if we didn’t call our teachers “teacher” and our professors “professor.” Is there something deeper that Jesus is talking about here?
8. Incidentally, “minister” means servant. It’s funny how that term is used to elevate people to a “higher” position.
9. And now…the woes. [#1] How do you think they “shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces”? It’s like they are bouncers who won’t let the people experience God.
10. [#2] Wow…so…they are all about “converting” people; but, once they are converted, they become more lost than ever. Hmm…I wouldn’t want to be called a “son of hell.”
11. [#3] He he he…a blind guide would be funny. Think about taking a tour on a bus with a blind guide. He he he… Not funny to Jesus though. For some reason they made up stupid rules about what kind of swear (like a pinky swear) is more important. They’re missing the point.
12. [#4] They are so careful to tithe their spices, but they ignore all the important stuff like LOVING PEOPLE. Now, I know some churches like that…
13. [#5] Again, cleaning the outside but not the inside is a sign of too much concern for outward appearances.
14. [#6] Outside = righeteous, inside = wicked. Not good.
15. [#7] They thought too highly of themselves. They think that they wouldn’t have been jerks to all God’s prophets in the past. Um…based on the way they are treating John the Baptist and Jesus, I’m having a hard time believing that.
16. Snakes! Wow…the whole idea of Jesus petting sheep isn’t really in this verse. He’s bringing it! Jesus tells them that they are so thickheaded that He is sending people to change their minds. Too bad they kill people who think differently than they do. And, when they do that, they are only making things worse. They are already accountable for the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah. The religious leaders have killed God’s people for thousands of years. It’s kind of their trademark.
17. Look at Jesus’ love for His people, though. He wants to tuck them all in “under [His] wings.” These chicks are crazy, though. Are we crazy too?