ripple effect: vacaville

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…


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.

d247 I Spy Something that Isn’t Going to Work
January 28, 2008, 1:40 pm
Filed under: abraham, caesar, god, isaac, jacob, jesus, luke, moses

Read Luke 20:20-40.

1. Does anyone really think that you could use spies on Jesus? He’s God. Um…you’re not going to fool Him.
2. They didn’t know how to deal with Jesus, so they decided to try to trap Him into saying something that would get Him arrested for political (not religious) reasons. You have to admire their perseverance…
3. Why are they even wasting time trying to butter Jesus up?
4. I guess they assumed that, since Jesus was the Christ (the One who would free the Jews from oppression), He would say, “Viva la revolucion! To heck with paying taxes to Caesar.” They were wrong…
5. Jesus’ answer is awesome. Follow your obligations to give money to Caesar (his image IS on the danarius coin). But since the image of God is on you, you need to give your life to God. Awesome!
6. He stupefied them.

7. OK, so the Sadducees didn’t believe in life after death. How sad, you see. He he he…that sounds like Sadducee. He he he…
8. More of the law of Moses. This almost sounds like a riddle. But, indeed, this is a law in the Old Testament. If a guy dies, the next oldest brother marries the widow and preserves the line by having a kid for the older brother. It sounds weird. But that’s what they used to do.
9. I’d be wondering if that woman was poisonous or something.
10. It is a good question, though, who will she be married to at the resurrection because all seven brothers were her husband.
11. Does it bother any of you to see that Jesus doesn’t seem to say that marriage really exists in heaven?
12. My wife, Mary Kate, would be more like my sister in heaven. You know, I think that might even be better in a lot of ways. We will be children of God.
13. Wow, and Jesus says that even Moses believed that people weren’t dead after their lives on earth. He calls God “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus says that this was understood that none of those guys were “no longer” even though they were dead.
14. I picture some British teachers saying, “Tally ho! Good show! Touche’!” He he he…
15. Any more questions? No. Ok. He he he…

d239 The Apprentice
January 20, 2008, 2:27 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, luke, zaccheaus

Read Luke 19:1-27.

1. OK, so we’re still in Jericho; and we hear about this rich tax collector named Zaccheaus. Of course, we need to understand that tax collectors usually became wealthy by overtaxing the poor and “skimming off the top” some money for themselves. Over time, this is a great way to become rich, while hurting a lot of people in the process.
2. If the Bible says you are short, you are short.
3. How about this guy? You have to give him some credit. The guy climbs a tree because He wants to see Jesus.
4. Imagine the scandal! Jesus wants to stay with this sinner, this guy who everyone probably hates. And Zaccheaus, well, do you think that he expected to be entertaining Jesus at his house?
5. People got mad because Jesus went to be with a sinner. I guess people expect holy people to roll with holy people…that’s what makes them holy-rollers.
6. Instantly, Zacchaeus REPENTS. He goes back to the error of his ways and decides that he needs to make things right. He decides to give half of what he has to the poor. You know Jesus loves that! And he also decides to repay everyone that he has cheated four times the value of what he took. This could very well bankrupt Zaccheaus, but he wants to follow Jesus. You’ve got to love his response…
7. Jesus tells him that he’s getting salvation. Repentance for salvation? Sounds like a deal that even a tax collector would accept.

8. So…Jesus tells this parable because people thought the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. Ok…
9. OK…it’s like “The Apprentice.” In this challenge, you get ten minas; and you need to invest it and make a profit. Got it.
10. In this story, the subjects didn’t want the guy to be king. Well, they couldn’t really stop him…
11. The challenge ended, and it was time for the apprentices to show what they had done. Contestant number one increased his minas 100%. Sweet. The reward is being able to manage ten cities. (Hey, on the show they get to run a Trump company.) The next guy increased his by 50% and got a pretty sweet gig himself. And then we get to the guy who is about to be “fired”…
12. This guy was afraid of the king, saying that he was hard. Hmm… I’m not sure, but it seems that he also implies that the king profits off of not doing much work. He hangs himself with those words.
13. The king says that he is a businessman, and the guy should have at least gotten some interest on the money. He then gives the winner his mina. Then the king says that those who have will be given more. Have what? Righteous deeds? And those who have nothing will be taken away. Is this about following God?
14. And then, for good measure, the king wants to have the people who didn’t want him to be king killed. Dude.
15. So…um…what does all this have to do with the kingdom of God coming?

d234 Prayin’ and Ballin’
January 15, 2008, 3:26 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, luke

Read Luke 18:1-14.

1. I like that we know that the reason of the first parable is to understand that we need to pray and not give up.
2. So…basically, this judge caves because of the widow’s persistence. He didn’t want to be bothered. Jesus says that God isn’t like that (because that would mean that He’s kind of mean). Instead, He says that, since we are His “chosen ones,” wouldn’t our persistence in prayer yield that much better results because He is a good God.
3. Would you consider yourself “persistent” when it comes to your prayer life?

4. Why on earth would someone be cocky in front of God? Silliness. He puffs himself up and knocks other people down. But, then again, isn’t that what we do sometimes?
5. Funny story, back in the day, you were supposed to fast twice a week. A legend about the original St. Nicholas says that he was devout, even from his birth. When he was a baby, he refused to nurse on the two forbidden days. He he he…
6. I like the tax collector’s prayer. It’s about God. And he, in the words of the Rock, knows his role.
7. Why would you puff yourself up in front of God? That would be like me challenging Kobe Bryant to a game of one-on-one just because I could beat my twelve-year-old cousin. When we compare ourselves to other Christians, we might look ok; but when we compare ourselves to a holy God…well…that’s a whole other story.

d233 I Wish We’d All Been Ready
January 14, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, lot, luke, noah

Read Luke 17:20-37.

1. Jesus says that the “kingdom of God” is within us. So, what are we really praying for when we pray, “Thy kingdom come…”?
2. Jesus talks about how He is going to go away. And, His coming back will be quite dramatic. Before that, though, He says that He’s going to suffer.
3. Jesus uses the stories of Noah and Lot to allude to the fact that people will be clueless about what’s going on up until the day that Jesus returns.
4. Jesus will come back; and, when He does, people should not seek anything else but to follow Him. Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt instead of experiencing salvation because she longed for her life back in Sodom.
5. This part of the Bible reminds me of that DC Talk song about being ready.
6. What do you think it will look like when people are taken to be with Jesus? Do you think it will be the “rapture” that people describe, where people up and disappear?
7. What on earth is Jesus talking about here with the vultures?

So…if Jesus says no one is going to know when He will return, why do people obsess over trying to figure out when Jesus will return?