Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Acts 2 …”When the Day of Pentecost had come” The faithful were still waiting when Acts 2 opens… . "Homebounnd" included those bound by drugs Acts 2 …”When the Day of Pentecost had come” The faithful were still waiting when Acts 2 opens…
   When Rol and I went to DC in 1967 I wasn’t waiting because I didn’t know there was anything to wait for or to hope for. But my heart yearned for a closer relationship to the Lord. He had graciously answered our prayers when Gail was dying, and mine when I needed healing.  But none of that was mentioned in the church we attended. I yearned for a closer relationship with Jesus.
  I began teaching "Homebound" children for the county of Fairfax, Virginia. That included those bound by drugs as well as seriously ill students. The former rejected both society and I went through the motions of teaching them. But it seemed like no one was listening.
   Then someone gave me the book, “They Speak with Other Tongues.” by John Sherrill. Within its pages I found references to a “second experience” with God…an infilling of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8). I asked the Lord for that infilling; and that prayer opened a door to a wonderfully intensified relationship with my students.
    Acts 2 describes that infilling. Like the Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem that day, I no longer felt separated from my students. I could grasp what they were saying, and they seemed to understand me. And like the Jews who gathered on the day of Pentacost, I was amazed.
  The barriers fell down of their own accord. I didn’t become wiser or more learned; I didn’t change methodologies; but we were communicating and still do.

  It is nearly thirty years later and the power still enables the impossible. Last night Tom and Brian asked Rol and I out for dinner. What do we have in common with these men? Only the Lord can answer that question. Twelve years ago, on impulse I hired Brian to build a fence. But the Lord had something more in mind. Suddenly Brian was not building barriers, he was tearing them down. He was no longer on the defensive. The unlikely relationship grew into a real friendship...a friendship with each other and with God.  We all learned a lot about the Lord and have been blessed.
   Now these two are leaving, taking a trip across the USA, lead by the Spirit and, like the crowd on the day of Pentecost, their calling. May those who meet them along their way also meet the Lord who leads them. .

Acts One

Journaling with Jesus, Acts 1, The Lord told the disciples to wait (vs4) and the first question out of their mouths was “when?” (vs 6). •When we went on trips with our young children we barely got to the corner before one or the other would ask “when are we going to be there?” and later down the road the second question, “Are we there yet?” •We humans don’t wait easily. The disciples didn’t and neither do we. When, Lord? The explanation, “It is not for you to know” seems more annoying than satisfying. But then comes the big, “BUT” .But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.We are forgiven for our impatience.Our motors are running but we won’t get anywhere without the fuel. . .and the Holy Spirit is the supplier. Anticipate. …”you are not at the end of it yet” What happened when the apostles didn’t wait? They appointed a replacement for Judas. At this point they would have entirely rejected Saul…who was appointed as an apostle by the Lord, Himself. They looked for excuses to make their own appointment .from Ps 69:25 and Ps 109:8 rather than waiting. I can say I prayed …but the disciples and others were “continually devoting themselves to prayers” and they erred. (The question is did they listen?) Do I take scripture out of context to prove my own purposes? Draw my theology from the obscure? . . . Follow the leader without resistance . . .Draw lots (or something like that) without including a “None of These”? It is obvious that the Lord forgave them for their folly. He just went on with his promise (the Holy Spirit) and His plan. What happens when I jump the gun (so to speak).. I run the race, and the Lord is waiting until I come to the end of my choices… Then we try again.