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Daily Devotional with Mr. Jeffrey A. Hale 10.23.18 ♥

🎶Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light🎶

“Blinded by the Light” is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen, although it is mostly known by its 1977 #1 hit version recorded by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Mann’s remake was released in the United Kingdom in August 1976, where it reached No. 6 in the charts. A song that speaks of blindness similar to Paul on the Damascus road. Paul had a powerful testimony, but not everyone knew what to make of his sudden turn around. Could he be trusted? Would it last? Was he safe? Perhaps it was for everybody’s sake he was sent home to sort himself out. Verses in Acts 31-32 are one of a series of summary interludes Luke uses between sections of his story, but one wonders how much the “time of peace” in 31 is the calm after the disturbance of someone who saw the truth about Yeshua/Jesus uncomfortably clearly. New converts often have the strengths of their weaknesses. Uninhibited boldness. A fresh experience. A new story. It is a pity if growth in sensitivity and tact and a growing awareness of the complexities in life and faith dull clear testimony. It does not have to be. Paul was not an instantly mature Believer, never mind a leader. He knew a lot, but had to discover what it meant to be a disciple. Over a long period he learnt how to be more relevant and less abrasive, when to speak and when to keep quiet and what to say, but if he grew in wisdom he did not fail in courage and neither need we. A reckless witness is careless of the risks to others, and also uncaring about effectiveness. A living gracious witness can speaking for Yeshua/Jesus and be both bold and sensitive and which knows what can be done and what risks to run. Again we need grace to grow as Paul did, and wisdom to handle Paul’s God which He is sending to stir up our sleepy fellowships. Thank YeHoVaH/God for people like Barnabas. Pray for those who may be brash young disciples today, but who will be our “church” and mission leaders tomorrow. We need to be open to what He wants us to do. We are often surprised how YeHoVaH/God chooses to work. Just like those in Acts 9:21. God is in the business of calling the people we least expect. No one more fits the bill than Paul. YeHoVaH/God had to get his attention. Yeshua/Jesus the light of the world turned up in a big way and Paul was “Blinded by the Light” Amen?

https://youtu.be/lcWVL4B-4pI

https://youtu.be/K3JfPCFFcfA

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Christianity, diet, Faith, Inspiration, life, lyrics, Music, Personal Journey, spiritual growth

Daily Devotional with Mr. Jeffrey A. Hale ❤️

Boston sang “Don’t look back” on WLS in Chicago late in the summer of 1978. (I was glued to my AM radio back then) WLS was about all I listened too. How can you beat Larry Lujack? Long before Boston sang “Don’t look back” there was the Apostle Paul was telling Believers, in so many words, ”Don’t look back!” Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, ”Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the upward call of YeHoVaH/God in Yeshua/Jesus.” His word to us is, ”Don’t look back!” Like the Apostle Paul we must forget ”what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.” There is a natural, human tendency for us to look back. And there can be great value in looking back. We look back to learn. We look back to affirm the places and faces and circumstances from whence we have come. Facebook friends, ”It’s mainly for some clue to where I am going that I search through where I’ve been, for some hint as to whom I am becoming or failing to become that I delve into what used to be.” So there is, indeed, a time for us to look back, if that looking back carries with it a positive purpose. At the same time Paul tells us to ”forget what lies behind.” But Paul is saying don’t look back in a way that will keep us from going forward. Don’t look back in a way that makes us prisoners of our past, because looking back in the wrong way enslaves us or enslaves others to past mistakes and sins. Looking back in the wrong way does not allow the healing of old hurts and painful memories. Even looking back at past accomplishments and successes can keep us from discovering what lies ahead. So the advice that’s given to us is, ”Don’t look back!” Imagine how miserable the Apostle Paul would have been if he had not put behind the sins and mistakes of his past. Think back on Paul’s earlier years.

Before his conversion Paul was named Saul, and he was the number one enemy of the church. He was responsible for the gruesome persecution and even the murder of people who professed faith in Yeshua/Jesus. When Stephen, the great witness for Yeshua/Jesus, was stoned to death, Luke tells us that ”Saul was consenting to his death.” In Acts, Luke goes on to say ”that a great persecution arose against the church” and ”Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Paul’s past was cluttered with atrocious acts of evil. And he wasn’t perfect after he became a Believer. He, like us, continually struggled with his sinfulness. Yet he was forgiven. Through the grace of YeHoVaH/God Paul was forgiven. He affirmed in his letter to the Colossians, ”He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Paul was able to forget the awfulness of his past because YeHoVaH/God had forgotten and forgiven Paul’s past. In Hebrews Yeshua/Jesus tells us that He will ”remember our sins and misdeeds no more.” There’s no reason for us to remain enslaved to the mistakes and sins and shortcomings of our past. We don’t have to continually feel guilty and ”second rate” because of something we did years ago or even yesterday. YeHoVaH/God in Yeshua/Jesus has forgiven us, and all we do is accept His forgiveness and say ”thank you.” It’s as simple as that. Don’t look back at past mistakes! Amen?

Christianity, Faith, God, Heaven, Jesus, Life, lifestyle, Music, Personal Journey

Daily Devotional with Mr. Jeffrey A. Hale 9.12.18 ♥

🎶And if I say to you tomorrow. Take my hand, child, come with me.
It’s to a castle I will take you, where what’s to be, they say will be. Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.
But the wind won’t blow, you really shouldn’t go, it only goes to show
That you will be mine, by takin’ our time🎶

The song is about a man trying to take his beloved woman to a magical place. He wants to be the ringleader, as she will follow him wherever he goes. The only thing that can stop them from a magical journey is “what is” and “what should never be.” Those are the woman’s two choices: to follow him (what is) or to leave him (what should never be). She can have everything she’s ever wanted, the majestic sunrise, all her dreams come true, but if she doesn’t get those things, then she can only blame herself.

🎶So if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new. And happiness is what you need so bad, girl, the answer lies with you🎶

This song is about inner contentment, about true inner happiness. The kind of happiness that comes from inside, from a deep thankfulness with what is going on in your life. Be content in what you already have. Remind yourself that you have food on the table, a roof over your head, friends and a loving family. We think that happiness and contentment is conditional and only comes once we’ve reached our dreams, whether it be a dream job, dream relationship, dream financial situation. Now even if those dreams do not come true, we can still be grateful, thankful, content. It has taken Jeffrey A. Hale 48 years to learn that happiness can not be found in “Things” as they are only “Things” Happiness or contentment is in our attitude to life. The song is right “the answer lies with you”

Philippians 4:11-12
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need”

Paul the great apostle writes about true happiness and contentment coming from the inside. He describes it as something he has learned and knows. “I know” and “I have learned” Facebook friends, the poignant question is “Where does our happiness and contentment come from?” Is it founded in the things we have or does it come from a deeper place. Paul says “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” To be content when you have nothing as well as when you have much. Paul could also be writing about the power within that keeps his life on track. We cannot do anything without the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. The Holy Spirit himself brings us to the place of deep happiness and contentment. The world would be a happier place if all of us learned to be content and happy not in “Stuff” or “Things” but happiness and being content. Amen?

https://youtu.be/an1Bv3n_Fq4

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