Posts with the tag “acts”
by Sara Gillepsie on July 19th, 2023
“The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for.”Acts 27:3 ESVIsn't it great that there are so many different personality types in this world? You have people like my friend Ben, who are the epitome of extroverts. They walk into the room, and are the life of the party. Then, you have people like my wife, Annie. She is more o...
by Sara Gillepsie on July 12th, 2023
Paul in front of Agrippa makes for a fascinating scene. Imagine, if you will, what the room would have looked like. Inevitably, there would have been those Jews who were accusing Paul. These Jewish leaders would have been well known to Paul, as he was one of them. He testified to as much.5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest se...
by Sara Gillepsie on July 5th, 2023
Have you ever had to speak up for yourself or defend yourself when talking to someone? Have you ever had to justify your experience? What was that like for you? In Acts 25 Paul boldly defends himself in the face of accusations, saying “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” (Acts 25:8 ESV)
by Sara Gillepsie on June 28th, 2023
Thankfully, I haven’t had a lot of experience sitting in a courtroom. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of speeding tickets, I have a problem, but what I have experience reminded me that justice doesn’t always win; the person in the right isn’t always exonerated, and the system is far from perfect.In our reading for today, Acts 24, we find Paul haven been taken from the courts of the Sanhed...
by Sara Gillepsie on June 21st, 2023
Take CourageSomething I’ve always found startling about Paul’s story is his courage to say things. In Acts 23, Paul makes a controversial statement knowing there were people present who disagreed with him. He says, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial (Acts 23:6, ESV).” In that moment not everyone believe...
by Sara Gillepsie on June 14th, 2023
If you haven’t read Acts 22, you should, and you should, right now before you read this post. A lot is happening that will be referred to in this short article. But a quick overview tells us that Paul is speaking to a crowd like he often does, and he tells them about his conversion. His lengthy testimony is a witness to the calling of God on his life.
by Sara Gillepsie on June 7th, 2023
I'll never forget the inquisitive look on peoples faces. It was a typical Saturday morning. I was watching a preacher deliver a freshly brewed sermon for church, when as the pastor began to speak, they did something unusual.They invited a member of the audience up to the stage, asked them to get on the ground, and then proceeded to kneel on their neck while preaching the rest of their sermon. Inst...
by Sara Gillepsie on May 31st, 2023
“Worth The Risk”What is a life worth risking for? Fame. Money. Reputation. Love. comfort. I don’t know that many besides the bold, and ruggedly honest would admit to risking their lives for money, fame, comfort or love. I mean it wouldn’t be the prudent thing to do, admitting risking the most precious resource we have (life) for such temporal things that fade so quickly. Right?Yet…We regularly hea...
by Sara Gillepsie on May 24th, 2023
Acts 19 is a very interesting chapter indeed. If you have read it, then you know what is going on. If not, you are struck by a few things from the beginning. First, that Appolos had a pretty serious preaching ministry, and many were converted in Ephesus. This is important due to the import of the city itself. Ephesus was a large port town, where the temple of Artemis was located. In some respects,...
by Sara Gillepsie on May 17th, 2023
“Park People.” That was the name of a “community group” seeking new members in Broomfield, Colorado – my suburban town on the outskirts of Denver. Needless to say, I did not sign up. In your own mind, I’m sure that you have your own image of who the members of “Park People” might be...
by Sara Gillepsie on May 10th, 2023
I sat on one side of a large square table in an executive room suite on the top floor of a building. On three walls of the room were projectors and screens, while the fourth wall was a floor to ceiling window overlooking the city landscape. As the players in the room introduced themselves, there was a chief executive officer (CEO), a CFO, a CMO, and loads of other top leaders within the organizati...
by Sara Gillepsie on May 3rd, 2023
What are your dreams? We all have them. You know those pesky yet exciting thoughts that constantly run through the back of our minds? Those are what dreams are made of! For some people, dreams preoccupy almost every ounce of free time they have. Maybe you can relate because you were the kid in school who would daydream all day – I surely never did that. Or, maybe you are the employee who always has fresh vision and.new direction!
by Sara Gillepsie on April 26th, 2023
I used to be really good at making things more complicated than they need to be. As a kid who was fascinated by how things worked, tightening a single bolt on my bike could turn into an afternoon taking the whole thing apart simply because I couldn’t resist the path that my curiosity led me down. As a teenager I hated cleaning my room, but somewhere along the line I realized that the chore was mor...
by Sara Gillepsie on April 19th, 2023
When I first moved to Colorado, I agreed to spend a week up at a summer camp in the Rocky Mountains to speak for their worships and spend time with the campers and staff. After packing for my week in the wild, I made one final stop at a church event before driving up the winding road to Ward, Colorado. As I checked in and began to settle in, I noticed a strange vibe ruminating around the campgroun...
by Sara Gillepsie on April 14th, 2023
This is a long chapter! Of course it would have to be, in order to chronicle the teachings of Paul and Barnabas. Those two were traveling companions who got around Asia Minor in the first centuries. You should really have a map when you are reading these chapters in Acts...
by Sara Gillepsie on March 22nd, 2023
Breakthrough.This is the word that comes to mind when I read Acts 12. If you haven't read Acts 12:1-11, you are in for a treat. It is a story about a man named Peter, who is in prison. One day an angel of the lord appeared to him. And when the angel of the Lord appeared to peter, he said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me...” Ac...
by Sara Gillepsie on March 15th, 2023
Chances are that you have a handful of deeply rooted beliefs and world views. These types of beliefs don't just pop up overnight or come from one experience, they develop over time. If you ask my one-year-old, he might tell you that experience is a critical component of his current journey through working out his opinions on gravity. He is experimenting with when and where gravity exists (We all k...
by Sara Gillepsie on March 8th, 2023
While I was in college I took a job leading worship for a young adult service on Sundays at a church not far from where I lived. During one of our weekly staff meetings, my friend Paul and I started talking about the quirks of our respective faith traditions. In the course of our conversation, he mentioned that most of the Adventists he knew were vegetarian, and he wondered aloud whether that was ...
by Sara Gillepsie on March 1st, 2023
EncountersHave you ever questioned or been unsure of something?Acts 9 recounts the conversion of Saul on the way to Damascus. As Saul faced and spoke with Jesus, the companions with him could not see what was happening. However, they could hear. As Saul is not able to see, they continued with and guided him as he followed the words of God (Acts 9:7-8).Then came the conversation between Ananias and...
by Sara Gillepsie on February 22nd, 2023
Murderers and sorcerers and eunuchs, oh my! Acts 8 is an interesting chapter to stumble upon as the new body of Christ, the church, continues to grow.It begins with the murderer, Saul, who not only oversaw the stoning of Stephen, but was so convicted of his cause and defending how he and the other Jewish leaders interpreted the Scriptures that he was willing to throw men and women into prison to s...
by Sara Gillepsie on February 15th, 2023
Sermons come in every shape and size and are as individual as the preachers who preach them. The discourse in Acts 7 is the longest and most famous in scripture. It comes from Stephen and is long, 51 verses to be exact. And if the effect of a public speech is to move people from one place to another, then this talk had that effect in spades. However, it wasn’t a great outcome. No hearts changed; i...
by Sara Gillepsie on February 8th, 2023
Acts chapter six outlines the beauty and complexity of the church body, and, in a way, sets the tone for Paul to speak of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” Although we find the disciples increasing in number, complaints begin to arise that the widows are no...
by Sara Gillepsie on February 1st, 2023
As a kid I was a habitual truth teller. Sometimes to a fault.Doubly gifted with “no filter” and “no indoor voice,” my uncanny observations about people around me in the grocery store were known to prompt a rapturous departure on the part of my family, leaving our fellow shoppers and clerks alike to wonder about the half-empty shopping cart, wheels still spinning, abandoned in the aisles. More than...
by Sara Gillepsie on January 25th, 2023
Acts 4 contains a passage that I go back to again and again in my own spiritual journey, because I long to be seen by others in the way Peter and John were seen by the leaders of the Jewish council.As the story goes, in Acts 3, Peter and John healed a lame beggar who had been lame his whole life and who had been begging at the temple gate for as long as anyone can remember. Those that frequented t...
by Sara Gillepsie on January 18th, 2023
With the resurrection of Jesus and the blessing of the Holy Spirit poured out on the disciples, the new body of Christ that we refer to as the church, is born. In Acts chapter 3, we continue to see what happens when this occurs and apparently, it involves dancing.I grew up in a faith tradition that frowned upon dancing, which is sad because the result for me was a tall, lanky, uncoordinated man wh...
by Sara Gillepsie on January 11th, 2023
The Holy Spirit was promised, and when it came, the language used was the language of “fulfillment”. These were literally the first words used in the second chapter of Acts. “When the day of Pentecost arrived,” or was fulfilled, the disciples were together in one place. They had not yet been dispersed by the Holy Spirit to go to the ends of the earth, rather, they were finishing their time in Jeru...
by Sara Gillepsie on January 4th, 2023
Welcome to the exciting reality of the book of Acts. It is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who want a faith that is stagnant and boring. We are introduced to the book of Acts through the “former” or “first” book; the Gospel of Luke. In Acts, we are now confronted with the fact that the Holy Spirit has been given, and because of that gift, we are in for quite a ride! The whole of th...