2018: Page 77

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • I was able to sleep in a little while before getting up and writing yesterday’s page.
  • I was able to make it to Sunday School this morning where our Bible study class is preparing to begin a study through Hebrews.  This morning we began by looking at some scriptures from throughout the Bible that talk about the supremacy of Jesus in all things.
  • After the Bible study time we had a great worship gathering where David finished up his series through the book of Acts with a message he titled, “Bound and Determined”.  The message highlighted Paul’s determination to preach the gospel in spite of being bound as a prisoner of Rome.
  • Some of the highlights of my take on the message are as follows:
    • Preach the gospel even when you can’t go to the places you would like:  Paul’s imprisonment at the end of the book of Acts greatly limited where he could go to share the gospel.  In fact, while the imprisonment took place in a home it also included a Roman guard at all times.  Paul’s normal practice of going to the synagogues, public places, and anywhere he could find people willing to listen to the gospel was no longer allowed.  Rather than giving up and deciding he had done the best he could, Paul sent for people to come to him so that he could continue to share the gospel even when he couldn’t go to the places he would like.  There are many things that can limit our ability to be where we want to be, but that should never stop us from sharing the gospel wherever we are!
    • Preach the gospel even when your freedom seems limited:  While I’m not aware of many of my readers actually being in prison, most of us experience circumstances that often dictate how we do life in ways that seem to limit our freedom.  Some of those circumstances are of our own doing and others are a result of activities beyond our control.  The book of Acts has numerous examples of people whose freedom to share about Jesus seemed limited — in fact, at times they were commanded by the authorities to not speak of Jesus at all!  But that didn’t stop them any more than Paul’s lack of freedom kept him from preaching the gospel.  Typically hardship has a way of testing us to see what’s inside and what will come out.  When our freedom seems limited in any way, we must choose to continue to share the gospel no matter what!
    • Preach the gospel regardless of what people say about you:  Paul had many issues of reputation stacked against him.  From being a prisoner of Rome for two years to questions of his spiritual practices to his acceptance of Gentiles, the people he needed to share the gospel with had plenty of reason to question just what kind of man this was.  In fact, while little of the accusations of the Jewish leaders back in Jerusalem had followed him, he was still trying to present a message that “everyone was talking against”.  Whether in prison or not, Paul’s defense of the gospel was always about the message of Christ and never about his own reputation.  We can’t control what people say about us and we can’t even control what they say about Christ but we can keep sharing truth!
  • After lunch with my family, I spent some more time going through the snowy owl photos I took yesterday.  Each photo served to remind me of the incredible beauty that God has given us throughout creation.
  • With bright sunshine abounding outside, we headed to Potato Creek for a family walk and to see what we could photograph.
  • While the spring growth within the plant life required a careful search to find any signs of it, the approach of spring was obvious throughout the park.
  • Each spring the osprey return to the park to set up their nests and stay for the summer.  I had seen one osprey fly over a couple days ago, but today was the first that there was an osprey at each nesting pole.  Between the return of the osprey, the sounds of the frogs, and the turtles sunning themselves on every available log; the signs of spring were everywhere.
  • Today’s photo is of a lake scene full of the signs of spring.  While most are not visible in a casual glance at this photo, it contains an osprey on a pole, frogs on logs, a variety of geese and ducks, and sprouts of green beneath the sea of brown.

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