Random Acts of Construction

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I’m making some little changes to the site (typography fixes, etc.). While I generally put the site into maintenance mode when I make design changes, I’m not always going to be doing that these little things. So you may notice some inconsistencies as you move through pages.

The biggest change I’m making is adding images to the headers of blog posts. New posts will have images when they’re posted, and I’ve already added images to a few of the older posts. Obviously, it’ll take time to find appropriate images for all of the older posts, so you will certainly notice that some posts have images while others don’t. I hope to eventually get everything nice, clean, and in order.

The Mustard Seed

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“Growth for the sake of growth,” wrote Edward Abbey, kind-of-but-not-exactly, “is the ideology of a cancer cell.”

We are a culture that loves growth. We love stories of small things getting big and big things getting bigger.

We love the idea of a Horatio Alger rags-to-riches universe where someone who starts with a little, through hard work and clean living, grows to have a lot. We love stories of kids who started tinkering with electronics in their parents garage or playing with code in their college dorm room and, through hard work and slightly-less-than-clean living, grow multinational businesses and become phenomenally rich. We love heroes who start as scrawny 98-pound weaklings and who, through hard work and personal tragedy and super serum, become heroes who are larger-than-life.

We are a culture that loves growth. We love stories of small things getting big and big things getting bigger.

We love mustard.

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Acts of Prophecy

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In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

When Peter says these words, he’s quoting the prophet Joel… and he’s trying to give an explanation.

You see, the disciples are all together in one place when a sound like the rush of a violent wind comes from heaven and tongues of fire appear and those tongues rest on the disciples and they begin to speak in other languages.

And the people of Jerusalem gather around, hearing these Galileans speak of God’s power, each in their own language.

And some of the people are amazed. And some of the people think that the disciples are drunk… because, as we all know, when you’re drunk you can speak other languages.

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Absolutely Nothing

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Philip, I have to imagine, has been having a hard time.

A few chapters ago, we were casually introduced to a split in the young Christian community. In those days, when the disciples were growing in number, there were Hebrews and there were Hellenists.

The Hebrews spoke Hebrew or Aramaic and were, probably, less connected to the Greco-Roman culture that dominated their world. But they included, of course, the twelve, the apostles, the big-shots.

The Hellenists spoke Greek and were more connected to that Greco-Roman culture that dominated their world. They were probably a little looked down upon by the Hebrews.

And the Hellenists went to the Hebrews with a complaint: when the food is being distributed each day, our widows are being neglected.

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Open Our Eyes

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In this story, Jesus has already appeared to a couple of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. He walked with them and he talked with them. He showed them where the prophets had said that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again. He took bread and he blessed it and he broke it and he gave it to them and their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he disappeared.

These disciples start telling the other disciples what happened to them: The Lord has risen and he appeared to us and he took bread an he blessed it and he broke it and he gave it to us and our eyes were opened and we recognized him and he disappeared.

And while they are talking about this, Jesus reappears to all of them, even Thomas, and they are frightened. Which is good because when your friend and teacher is murdered and then appears among you, that is frightening.

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