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October 27 2015 By dvirtue THE GREAT MULTITUDE: Revelation 7:9-17

Where have they gone? When our loved ones depart on a journey we are curious as to their destination. Our minds imagine what it must be like to travel to exotic places. St. John is given a vision of the faithful departed.

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne, and in front of the Lamb."

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October 20 2015 By dvirtue WHEN IS IT LOVING TO CONFRONT EVIL? Acts 13:1-12

What is not noticed is that this tale implies either a stupendous claim on the part of the narrator or a confession of total agnosticism. Either it implies that the narrator is in the position of the king among the blind men: he knows the reality after which the religions of the world blindly grope. In that case we must ask him to share this knowledge with us, and allow us to test its claims. Or else it implies total agnosticism: the reality after which religions grope is unknowable.

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October 13 2015 By dvirtue RESCUE FROM PRISON: Acts 12

When we have moved to a new home we grieve the loss of our friends and favorite places. A former member of the Chapel, while rejoicing in her move, lamented that she had tried six or seven churches and has not been able to replace the Chapel. She misses her friends here. A Bible study group comes to an end and there is nothing comparable to succeed it. We are imprisoned sometimes by our past memories and cannot seem to move on to new opportunities.

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October 07 2015 By dvirtue Cornelius the Roman Centurion: The Military Christian: Acts 10

In the meantime Peter is experiencing another vision in which all the dietary rules he had been taught all his life as distinctive of his identity as an Israelite were swept away. This signified that the barrier between Jew and Gentile was abolished through the Cross of Christ. The people of God were to be multi-racial and international. Then the Spirit commanded him to go with the three men who had come for him.

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September 30 2015 By dvirtue A Case Study in Death and Resurrection: Acts 9:32-43

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25) How is that possible? Jesus died and was raised from the dead so that we might share in his victory over death. "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father, we too may have new life.

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September 27 2015 By dvirtue A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Acts 9

The first stage we may call the stage of defense. Saul was educated in the best Jewish and Greek schools of his day. He was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen. His family must have been of some wealth and position. He demonstrated a cruel zeal to eliminate the followers of Jesus. His revered teacher, Gamaliel, counseled leaving the Christians alone but Saul had Stephen stoned to death, and pursued a vendetta beyond Jerusalem. What caused this fanaticism?

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September 23 2015 By dvirtue What is Your View on Aging?

Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste of adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul.

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September 18 2015 By dvirtue The Difference Between Being A Christian In Name Only (Cino) And A Real Christian: Acts 8:4-40

In Acts 8 Philip escapes from persecution in Jerusalem and went to Samaria where he preached the word of the Gospel of Christ and prayed for those possessed by evil spirits, and those who were crippled. He brought healing and joy wherever he went. One of his converts was a local celebrity, Simon, a sorcerer, who had quite a following. Simon, we are told, believed, was baptized and followed Philip everywhere. He jumped onto the bandwagon of this new movement.

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September 10 2015 By dvirtue Be Full of The Spirit or Resist The Holy Spirit?: Acts 6:1-8:3

Stephen is described as (2) being full of the Holy Spirit. Those who observed him noted that he was able to do great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. He manifested the power of the Spirit. He was effective in his ministry and showed the confidence of one who was guided by the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit means being filled to overflowing so that you reach out to others in the love and joy of Christ. "May the

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August 25 2015 By dvirtue THE SCANDAL OF CHRISTIANITY: Acts 4:1-31

"Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

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