my paper heart will bleed

American was a good time yesterday, and Irvington was enjoyable today. I got a lot of work done on my sermon for next week, actually. I've decided to talk about Paul and Acts 14. When I asked for direction on what to talk about Greg said "talk to the young people Jackson." So hopefully they'll connect with what I say. Last night at the coffee shop it all just kinda rolled off the pen as I outlined the message. Today was a little rougher but I feel good about it overall.

This sermon will be more 'storytelling' than my previous ones. I'm going to set the stage by talking about Saul before he became Paul and establish how much of a villain he was. From there I'll talk about his conversion and how vastly different his life was from there on out. Acts 14 is the focus, and I'm going to actually take them through that entire chapter. After that I'll draw four lessons from Paul's story and wrap it up like that.

Perhaps my favorite story in Acts 14 is when Paul and Barnabas are preaching in Lystra. Paul sees a man in the crowd and God heals the man through Paul. The crowd sees that an is amazed; as Paul and Barnabas are relaxing later, they hear the people ran to the priest of Zeus at the edge of town. Everyone is convinced that Barnabas is Zeus and Paul is Hermes, and they're bringing oxen to sacrifice in their name! The Bible says that Paul and Barnabas ran out and tore their clothes with frustration, shouting at the people "what are you doing?!" Even after Paul explained again that he wasn't a god and was there on behalf of "the living God that created heaven and earth" he had trouble dissuading the people from sacrificing the oxen.

That's one of those "people are stupid" moments that only happens in real life or good comedy. Every now and then I'll read a passage in the Bible and I can really just nod my head and say "yep, that there's a real person." I know it sounds lame, but I can often relegate what I'm reading to the realm of story where the people are characters instead of humans. So I'm happy for the reminders that I'm reading about actual people.

On another note...tell the truth...you wish she were a stewardess on your last flight.

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