Pentecost

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Pentecost. Filled with spiritual import.

Briefly, here is a wonderful article by Rick Salbato, who’s writing is always clear and well thought out, the result of a prayerful life.

Judge Sotomayor’s record on abortion, obviously important with Supreme Court nominees, is reviewed at the Supreme Court’s weblog ,(who knew…) The verdict: still out.

On a completely different note, I wonder what Aquila and Prisiclla were doing on the Feast of Pentecost after they met Paul? aquillaprsicilla

"What Concern is it of Yours?"

I love that quote. John 21:22.

It’s just that we so often (and by ‘we’ I am euphamistically referring to ‘me’; and not in the royal sense, but in the sense that I’m of course better than everyone else, [not!]) so where was I again…

We so often get concerned with everything *but* the things we actually need to be concerned with. Peter just gets the word he’ll be killed for JC, and sees John strolling along the peaceful sea shore. Who wouldn’t wonder if there’s a better option? An easier way?

Anyway. It’s in the reading today and I had a moment of spare time. I guess I should unregulate blogging from my spare time and pursue it a bit more intentionally. Perhaps.

What concern is it of yours? We wonder upon so much in life…

We only have to worry about doing the ‘next thing right’; not the ‘next right thing’, anyway.

Peace out, off for a small hike.

The Advocate

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And when he comes he [the Holy Spirit, the Advocate,] will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

That’s pretty amazing. Talk about a different world view. So we’re convicted in sin, righteousness and condemnation?

“Sin because they do not believe in me.”

If we really believe in Jesus Christ our lives change. Our actions change; we can never go back to the old self without a sense of wrong. It’s sort of like the guilty feeling when you quit smoking and suddenly find yourself lighting up out of the blue. It’s just never as enjoyable again, because you know it for what it is.

“Righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me”

What in the world is righteousness anyway (And why don’t I know that by now)? Webster’s defines it as:

The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude.
Note: Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it chiefly occurs, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law.

We’re simply restored in our basic nature by the mysterious salvation which Christ ensures for us.

“Condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned”

Are our lives ordered towards a genuine belief in Jesus Christ, or towards the ‘things of the world’?   The world, created by God, is indeed good.  But we are called to live a properly ordered life; i.e. to have our priorities straight and our heads screwed on right. 

The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will teach us all things and will speak to our conscience about the truth of sin, about growing in holiness and uprightness, and about the enemy of our souls.

Sounds like a pretty good friend to keep in touch with.

Lydia's Example of Faith

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One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.

After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

Lydia is an interesting figure in Acts. She was a ‘woman of God’, and she ‘listened’ when Paul spoke. She heard and understood, and within her heart the flame of knowledge quickened. She invited the missionaries to stay with her, opening her home to them.

She was the first European convert in Paul’s 2nd missionary journey, and was a dealer in purple cloth. Her work required considerable capital, as purple dyes were quite expensive and purple cloth was used for such things as the stripes in Roman Senator’s robes. So Lydia was faithful and emminently successul in working through the ways of the world. In other words, like many early Christians she was wealthy. And the European Church more than likely first convened in her living room.

One often considers that success in the world precludes true faithfulness or growth in holiness. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. To put it humorously:  It’s good to give God credit, but He needs cash too.

Remaining faithful amidst life’s trials is rarely as trying as remaining faithful during times of great success, when our minds and lives are wont to wander and we consider that perhaps we don’t need God since after all we’re succesful. Lydia is one of the many holy woman of the Bible who demonstrates great faith amidst a life of wealth and success.