Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

cherry_blossoms.jpgCherry Blossoms

tulipTulip

poppies.jpgPoppies

Foxglove_flowers.jpgFoxglovesWild_Morning_Glory.jpg
Wild Morning Glory

lacecap_hydrangeas.jpg
Lacecap Hydrangeas

RockroseRockrose
Everlasting_Pea_flowers
Everlasting Pea

All of the above photos were taken in Washington State, by Tom Irvine

 

Read Full Post »

Catholic Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, I consecrate myself today anew and without reserve to your divine Heart. I consecrate to you my body with all its senses, my soul with all its faculties, my entire being. I consecrate to you all my thoughts, words and deeds, all my sufferings and labors, all my hopes, consolations and joys. In particular I consecrate to you this poor heart of mine so that it may love only you and may be consumed as a victim in the fire of your love. I place my trust in you without reserve and I hope for the remission of my sins through your infinite mercy. I place within your hands all my cares and anxieties. I promise to love you and to honor you till the last moment of my life, and to spread, as much as I can, devotion to your most Sacred Heart. Do with me what you will, my Jesus. I deserve no other reward except your greater glory and your holy love. Take this offering of myself and give me a place within your divine Heart forever. Amen.
__________________

2 Nephi 2

[1] And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
[2] Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
__________________

“Whatever you do, make it an offering to me–the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering.”

~ Bhagavad Gita  9:27    (Eknath Easwaran translation)

__________________

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Alpha & Omega

Revelations 1

[8] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

[11] Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Revelations 21:6

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Revelations 22:13

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last

3 Nephi 9:18

I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

* * *

Alpha and Omega also appears in the following verses of the Doctrine & Covenants: 19:1, 35:1, 38:1, 45:7, 54:1, 61:1, 63:60, 68:35, 75:1, 81:1, 84:120, 112:34, 132:66

An example is:

Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ. Doctrine & Covenants 63:60

* * * *

Related verses:

Isaiah 44:6

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 48:12

Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.

* * * *

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Among the Jewish rabbis, it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end.

The Hebrew equivalent is:   Ani h’aleph v’tav – I am the Aleph (א) and Tav (ת).

* * * *

Bhagavad Gita 9:18

Krishna declares to Arjuna:

I am the Supreme Goal of all living beings, and I am also their Sustainer, Master, Witness, Abode, Shelter, and Friend. I am the Origin, End, and Resting Place of creation; I am the Storehouse and Eternal Seed.

* * * *

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Christian Finances

[6] For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

[7] If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

[8] But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Deuteronomy 15

_____________________________

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 14:31

_____________________________

[20] A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
[22] He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

Proverbs 28
_____________________________

“Haste to be rich” may apply to “get rich quick” schemes.

[8] Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
[9] Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Proverbs 30

_____________________________

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Psalms 122:6

_____________________________

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.

Isaiah 58:10

_____________________________

[8] Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

[9] Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
[10] Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 8
_____________________________

[19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

[20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Matthew 6

_____________________________

Mark 4

Jesus teaches the parable of the sower:

[3] Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
[7] And some (seeds) fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
[18] And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
[19] And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

_____________________________

Mark 12

[41] And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
[42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
[43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
[44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

_____________________________

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:38

_____________________________

[15] And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
[27] Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
[28] If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
[29] And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
[31] But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
[32] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
[33] Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
[34] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12

_____________________________

[1] AND he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
[2] And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

[3] And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
[4] For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Luke 21

_____________________________

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

_____________________________

[6] But godliness with contentment is great gain.

[7] For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
[8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
[9] But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
[10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
[11] But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1 Timothy 6

_____________________________

[30] But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their God. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.
[51] Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

2 Nephi 9

_____________________________

[17] Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
[18] But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
[19] And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

Jacob 2

_____________________________

Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.

Alma 39:14

_____________________________

Interest

Finally, the fourth item, the bank. It is a symbol of our financial well-being. I learned a great lesson early in my business career. My boss called me into his office. I could tell he had something on his mind. He said, “Give me a definition of interest.” Of course, I reached back in my training and gave him a definition I had learned from a textbook. He said, “No, no, no, that’s not the one I want. You listen and remember this one: Thems that understands it, earns it; and thems that don’t, pays it.”

Now it doesn’t take a genius to understand that before you can collect interest, you must first have some savings. Having savings while continuing to increase one’s standard of living requires understanding of one simple practice and then religiously applying it. After paying your tithing of 10 percent to the Lord, you pay yourself a predetermined amount directly into savings. That leaves you a balance of your income to budget for taxes, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. It is amazing to me that so many people work all of their lives for the grocer, the landlord, the power company, the automobile salesman, and the bank, and yet think so little of their own efforts that they pay themselves nothing.

L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign, Nov. 1991

_____________________________

Interest, Debt

Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. Wisely we have been counseled to avoid debt as we would avoid the plague. President J. Reuben Clark fearlessly and repeatedly counseled members of the Church to take action.
“Live within your means. Get out of debt. Keep out of debt. Lay by for a rainy day which has always come and will come again. Practice and increase your habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1937, p. 107). We should have displayed in a prominent place President Clark’s description of interest:

“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103).

L. Tom Perry, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1995

_____________________________

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Our Thoughts…

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

Proverbs 23:7
___

The faith of all humans conforms to the nature of their mind. All people possess faith, and whatever the nature of their faith, that is verily what they are.

Bhagavad Gita 17:3

____

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”

― Gautama Buddha

____

See also:  Thoughts, Words & Deeds

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Anxiety & Fear

To fear God is to have absolute reverence and awe for an Almighty God, the Creator of all things. But the fear discussed in this post is the dread of potential loss or calamity.

Turn your anxiety over to God.

* * *

Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

* * *

Psalm 55:22 

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

* * *

Psalm 118:6

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

* * *

Isaiah 41:13

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

* * *

1 Peter 5

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

* * *

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Moroni 8:16

Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

* * *

Doctrine & Covenants 6:36

Look unto me (Jesus Christ) in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

Doctrine & Covenants 68:6

Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

* * *

The Hymn “How Firm a Foundation” contains this verse:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

The Hymn “Let Us all Press On” contains the following phrase in its chorus:

Fear not, though the enemy deride;
Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

* * *

A Few Secular Quotes on Fear:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

– President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 inaugural address, during the Great Depression

* * *

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”

— Rudyard Kipling

* * *

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

— Marie Curie

* * *

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”
– Dan Zadra

* * *

The reason fear is considered the opposite of faith is that fear is negative belief while faith is positive belief. When you believe something will harm you or that something bad will happen you experience fear, however when you believe something or someone will do you good or that something good will happen, you have faith. It is similar to how hot and cold are opposites. Both are temperature descriptions differentiated by the amount of thermal energy available. Faith is positive belief, while fear is negative belief.

– Eyitayo Adenuga

* * *

See also:  Peace through Jesus Christ

–  Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Empathy

1 Corinthians 12:26

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
____________

No man is an island,
entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were.
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

– John Donne

____________

Mosiah 18

[7] And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.

[8] And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

[9] Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life —

[10] Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

[11] And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

_________

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest states of spiritual union.

O Arjuna, one who regards with equanimity the happiness and distress of all others, as if it were their own, is considered the best of yogîs.

The Bhagavad Gita  (6:32)

equanimity – mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation

_________

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Apostle Paul

APOSTLE PAUL

Paul, or Saul, was a Jew (Acts 21:39 & 22:3).

He was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1).
He was a missionary to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21, Acts 26:17-18, Romans15:16).
Paul

He was a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37-38).
He was a tentmaker by trade (Acts 18:3).
He was a Pharisee (Acts 23:5, Acts 26:6, Philippians 3:5).
He was from the tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:5).
He was beaten with rods thrice, stoned once, and suffered shipwrecks thrice (2 Corinthians 11:25).

He raised a young man named Eutychus who fell from a third story window and who was thought to be dead (Acts 20:9-10).

Paul saw Jesus Christ (Acts 9:17, 1 Corinthians 9:1, 1 Corinthians 15:8).
Paul was caught up into paradise and into the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:1-4)

His mission was to testify of Jesus Christ unto “the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)

Acts 7-8

Saul was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia. Tarsus is now in southern Turkey.

Saul supported the stoning of Stephen, as a young man. The men who stoned Stephen laid down their coats at Saul’s feet.

Saul persecuted the Church. He committed the men and women of the church to prison.

Acts 9

Saul received a letter from the high priest that if he found any Christians on the way to Damascus he could bring them bound to Jerusalem.

As he journeyed near Damascus a light from heaven shined about him. Saul fell to the ground. The Lord spoke to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

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

Farmers used oxen for plowing. They kept the oxen in the furrow by pricking them with a pole that had a nail fixed at the end. The pole is also called a goad. The ox is not pricked as long as he walks straight down the furrow. He is pricked, however, if he strays. Furthermore, an ox is pricked if he kicks back at the farmer. Saul thought that he was doing the will of God by persecuting the Church. In reality, he was “kicking against the pricks” of God’s will.

Saul was trembling and astonished. He asked the Lord, “What will thou have me do?” The Lord replied, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Saul arose from the ground, but he was blind. The men traveling with Saul led him by hand to Damascus, where he stayed in the house of Judas. Saul did not eat or drink for three days.

Ananias was a disciple who lived in Damascus. The Lord told Ananias in a dream that he should visit Saul and lay his hands upon him to restore his sight. Ananias replied that Saul had done evil by arresting the saints. But the Lord told Ananias, “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.”

Ananias they visited Saul. He placed his hands upon Saul to restore his sight. Saul’s vision returned. Saul was baptized, and he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

Saul stayed with disciples in Damascus for a number of days. He than began preaching that Jesus Christ was the Son of God in the synagogues. Some of the Jews sought to kill Saul, but Saul escaped and traveled to Jerusalem.

The disciples at Jerusalem were afraid of Saul.

Barnabas was a Levite of Cyprus (Acts 4:36). He was regarded as an apostle, although he was not one of the Twelve Apostles. Barnabas told the disciples at Jerusalem that Saul had received a vision of the Lord. So the disciples accepted Saul. Saul boldly testified of Jesus Christ to the people of Jerusalem. Some of them sought to kill Saul. So Saul left for Caesarea and then traveled to Tarsus.
John Mark accompanied Barnabas and Saul to Tarsus. John Mark was either a cousin or nephew of Barnabas.

Acts 12-13, Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Saul name was changed to Paul.

Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark left Jerusalem on a missionary journey. They traveled to Paphos, which was the capital of the Island of Cyprus. They met Bar-jesus who was a false prophet and a sorcerer. The sorcerer was also known as Elymas. Paul cursed him so that he became blind.

Paul and Barnabas traveled to Antioch, while John Mark returned to Jerusalem. Paul was aggravated that John Mark would not continue with them. Some Bible scholars have concluded the John Mark returned to Jerusalem because he was not prepared to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

Paul preached in the synagogue that Jesus was a descendant of King David. Paul testified of Christ’ resurrection. Many of the Gentiles believed in Jesus Christ. The Jews of the city, however, persecuted Paul and Barnabas.

Acts 14

Paul and Barnabas traveled to Iconium where they testified boldly of Jesus Christ in a synagogue. Some of the people believed their teachings, but the unbelieving Jews sought to stone Paul and Barnabas.

The two apostles fled to Lystra and Derbe. Paul healed a crippled man in Lystra. The people were amazed and thought that Barnabas was the Greek god Jupiter and that Paul was Mercury.

Paul declared in response:

Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
The unbelieving Jews then came from Antioch and Iconium and stoned Paul until he was apparently dead. Paul recovered, however. Paul and Barnabas continued preaching in Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, and other cities in the region.

Acts 15, Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

There was a controversy in the Church at Antioch regarding whether Gentiles should be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to discuss this with the apostles and to give a report of their missionary work.

Peter and the other apostles in Jerusalem determined that circumcision was not required for the Gentiles. Silas accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their return from Jerusalem to Antioch to deliver this message to the Church.

Barnabas desired that John Mark should accompany them on their future missionary journeys. Paul disagreed, however. Paul felt that John Mark was unreliable because he had returned to Jerusalem when Paul and Barnabas had traveled to Antioch (Acts 13:13).

As a result, Paul and Barnabas split up. Barnabas and Mark traveled to Cyprus. Paul took Silas to the churches throughout Cilicia and Syria.

Acts 16

Paul and Silas traveled to Derbe, Lystra, and other cities. They met Timothy in Lystra.

Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewess.
Timothy joined Paul and Silas on their missionary journey. Luke, the author of Acts, also joined with Paul.

Paul had a vision in which a man of Macedonia plead with Paul to come help him. Paul and his companions thus traveled to the city of Philippi in Macedonia.
Paul baptized a woman named Lydia and her household in Philippi. Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, which was expensive. The dye for the cloth came from mollusk, a type of shellfish.

Lydia’s conversion was the start of the establishment of the Church in Philippi.
Paul cast an evil spirit out of a woman who was a soothsayer. The woman had been earning money for her masters but could no longer do so after the evil spirit was cast out. The woman’s masters then had Paul and Silas beaten and cast into prison.

Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns in prison. At midnight, an earthquake shook the prison. The prison doors opened. The prison keeper was scared that Paul and Silas had escape, but they had not. As a result, Paul preached to the keeper, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
The keeper and his household were baptized.

The magistrates told the keeper to free Paul and Silas. Paul and Silas returned to Lydia’s house.

Acts 17

Paul and Silas preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Thessalonica. The unbelieving Jews persecuted Paul and Silas.

Pauls, Silas and Timothy traveled to Athens. The people of Athens worshipped idols.

Paul declared:

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found than altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.

Paul further taught that man is the offspring of God. He also testifed of the resurrection.

Some of people mocked Paul, but Dionysius, Damaris, and a few others believed.

Acts 18

Paul went to Corinth. He stayed with Aquila and his wife Priscilla. Aquila was a tentmaker like Paul. Silas and Timothy later joined Paul.

Paul testified that Jesus was the Christ. Paul visited Justus how was a believer. Crispus and others believed and were baptized. Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months after the Lord told him in a vision that he had “much people in this city.”

Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla then sailed to Syria. Paul then sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea, and then to Galatia, visiting churches along the way.

A Jew named Apollos came to Ephesus. Apollos knew of the “baptism of John.”
Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos “the way of God more perfectly.” Apollos boldly declared using the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 19

Paul traveled to Ephesus.

Paul conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost on certain disciples who had been baptized “unto John’s baptism. ” The disciples then spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Paul performed miracles such as healing the sick.

Paul sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia.

The Ephesians worshipped the goddess Diana. A silversmith named Demetrius made shrines for Diana. He worried that his craft was being threatened by Paul’s preaching. He stirred the people against Paul, but the townclerk calmed them down.

Acts 20

Paul went to Macedonia and Troas.

A young man named Eutychus fell from a loft and was taken up dead. Paul then raised him from the dead.

Paul desired to return to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost.

He went to Ephesus and gave a farewell speech to the elders of the Church:
And now, behold I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Save the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 21

Paul traveled by ship to Tyre, where he met some disciples. He then journey to Caesarea where he stayed with Philip the evangelist. A prophet named Agabus told Paul that the Jews at Jerusalem would bind him and deliver him to the Gentiles.

Paul answered:

What men ye to weep and break my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Paul and his companions then traveled to Jerusalem. Paul gave a report of his missionary labors to James and the elders.

Paul went to the Temple after he purified himself. The Jews stirred up the people against Paul. The Jews sought to kill Paul because they thought that Paul was preaching against the Law of Moses.

The chief captain sent soldiers to stop the mob from killing Paul.
The soldiers imprisoned Paul. Paul asked the chief captain for permission to speak to the mob. The captain agreed to Paul’s request.

Acts 22

Paul tells the Jews of his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. He recounted his vision of the Lord:

And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me? And I answered, Who art thou Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecuteth.

The Jews were still angry at Paul. The chief captain had Paul bound and imprisoned. Paul received some consideration given that he was a Roman citizen.

Acts 23

Ananias the high priest commanded that Paul be smitten.

Some Pharisees and Sadduces were gathered together. Paul declared that he was a Pharisee, who believed in the resurrection. This caused a contention between the Pharisees and the Sadduces, because the Sadduces did not believe in the resurrection.

The chief captain imprisoned Paul.

The Lord visited Paul and said:

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou has testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Forty Jews took an oath to kill Paul. Paul’s nephew discovered their plan and told the chief captain.

The chief captain sent Paul escorted by soldiers to Felix, the governor in Caesarea.

Acts 24

Ananias the high priest accused Paul of sedition before Felix. Paul told Felix that he had a hope in God and in the resurrection.

Ananias the high priest and Ananias the disciple at Damascus were two different men with the same name.

Felix left Paul in jail for two years. Porcius Festus succeeded Felix as governor.

Acts 25

The Jews again sought to kill Paul.

Paul had a trial before Festus and then again before King Agrippa. Festus found that Paul had committed “nothing worthy of death.”

Paul appealed to have a trial before Augustus Caesar.

Acts 26

Paul testified of the appearance of Jesus to him on the Road to Damascus. He spoke of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Festus said that Paul was mad. Agrippa said unto Paul, “Almost thou persuaded me to be a Christian.”

Agrippa told Festus that Paul would have been freed if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Recall that the Lord said that Paul would bear His name before “the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15

Acts 27

Paul was sent by ship on a journey from Caesarea to Rome.

They stopped at Sidon, which is on the coast north of Caesarea. Next, they sailed to Cyprus.

Then they sailed to Myra, a city of Lycia. They boarded another ship and sailed to the city of Fair Havens on the Island of Crete.

Paul warned:

Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

Nevertheless, the centurion set sail for Phenice, on the southwest of Crete. A severe storm arose. The ship was tossed by the tempest. The men through supplies overboard to lighten the ship. The men began losing hope after the storm persisted for many days.

Then Paul told the men to be of good cheer since everyone would survive even though the ship would be lost. Paul explained that he receive this message from an angel. The angel also told Paul that he must appear before Caesar.

On the fourteenth day, they came near an island, called Melita or Malta. The shipmen drove the ship aground. The aft end of the ship was broken by the waves. Everyone on ship swam safely to the shore, some using boards.

Acts 28

The people of the island made a fire. Paul was bitten by a viper as he gathered a bundle of sticks for the fire. The viper hung onto Paul’s arm. Paul shook the viper into the fire and suffered no harm.

Publius was the head of the island. Paul healed Publius’ father who had been suffering from a fever and blood problem. Paul then healed others from the island from their illnesses.

After three months, Paul and the others sailed to Syracuse, on the island of Sicily.

Paul was then taken as a prisoner to Rome. Paul preached the Lord Jesus Christ to Gentiles and Jews for two years, as a prisoner.

According to tradition, Paul was acquited. He then traveled briefly to Spain, and then returned to the East. He was arrested again and taken to Rome where he was beheaded.

(Paul’s planned trip to Spain is mentioned briefly in Romans 15:24 & 28).

Paul describes his trials.

2 Corinthians 11

[25] Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
[26] In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
[27] In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
[28] Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
[30] If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Paul’s Speech to the Athenians at the hill Areopagus, Acts 17:28:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

_________

Paul quoted the first phase from Epimenides’ Cretica, “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

Epimenides was a 6th Century BC philosopher and religious prophet and a contemporary of more famous philosophers like Aristotle and Plato, who also refer to him in their writings.
_________

Paul quoting the second phrase from Aratus’ poem Phaenomena, and also Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus which has the same words.

Aratus was a Cilician, one of Paul’s own countrymen, and with his writings St. Paul was undoubtedly well acquainted, though he had flourished about 300 years before that time.
__________

“From Zeus begin; never let us leave

His name unloved. With Him, with Zeus, are filled

All paths we tread, and all the marts of men;

Filled, too, the sea, and every creek and bay;

And all in all things need we help of Zeus,

For we too are his offspring.”

—Aratus, Phænom. 1–5.

__________

“Most glorious of immortals, many-named,

Almighty and for ever, thee, O Zeus,

Sovran o’er Nature, guiding with thy hand

All things that are, we greet with praises. Thee

’Tis meet that mortals call with one accord,

For we thine offspring are, and we alone

Of all that live and move upon this earth,

Receive the gift of imitative speech.”

—Cleanthes, Hymn to Zeus

______

Isaiah 1:2

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

______

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Messianic Scripture – Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53

[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
[8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken

Read by the Ethiopian Eunuch

Acts 8

[32] The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
[33] In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
[34] And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
[35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »