Happy Friday everyone! As we bask in the warm, infinite sunshine of SW Florida, we want to wish you a happy February, and may all of your “Snow”-pocalypse dreams come true!
As more and more progress is being made on the new album, we want to let you know of a few things heading your way. Very shortly we will have a video update on how you can be a part of the recording and production process, as well as give you a little insight on the process of releasing a project at the level that we are planning on doing. There are a lot of exciting plans surrounding the release of this album, including a lot of firsts for us. Stay tuned in the next few days as we explain how you can be partners with us in releasing our first full length professional project.
:Even Saul Became Paul
I’m not going to go into my usual thought of the week today. It can wait for another time. There is a pressing subject that has been weighing on me for some time that I wanted to talk about.
We have been inundated over the last few weeks and months with reports from News, Social Media, and the Church communities about the persecution of Christians around the world. We often take for granted the liberties that we have every day here in America. From the turmoil that is ever present and increasingly rampant in the Middle East, to the enslavement, and genocide of believers in the African continent. Every corner of the earth is seeing more than its fair share of martyrdom in the name of Christ. My heart breaks with every article, video, or report of our brothers and sisters being put to death in the name of a relentless pursuit of earned grace. As we watch these events from the safety of our home and haven of our churches, I wonder.... How are we to react? How do we combat such behavior and animosity?
Not to politicize movements, or to apply unjust causation to larger events; but I have been personally convicted of my own apathetic resolve in regard to these atrocities. Have I even prayed for God’s will to prevail over these things? Sadly, No... Do I pray for the Holy Spirit to penetrate the hearts of these men?
It does not often come to mind that even Paul, one of the greatest evangelists in history was not so different than one of these monsters. At one time, Paul was single handedly responsible for the slaughtering of countless of Christians. He would go door to door finding those who believed in the messiah and would have them imprisoned, tortured and murdered.. most likely taking great pleasure in his deeds. His heart was full of the darkest hate imaginable. But.. Even Saul Can Become Paul.
- Acts 9:
1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.
2 He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
- “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,“Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
All things are possible. All is not lost. Christ's Love and Grace is sufficient for ALL, no matter the atrocities that may have been committed. Do we pray for the scales to fall from their eyes? Does it break our hearts enough that those who commit these deeds are doomed to an eternity separated from God? Do we secretly seek damnation and condemnation to those we perceive as "Un-savable"?
These are days where the world needs Christ the more than ever.
SO PRAY! Pray and Love our enemies. Even the most seemingly lost causes can be radically and miraculously transformed when the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of ourselves, as well as in our greatest enemies.
Remember, Even Saul Became Paul.
For A Season