Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jesus came for every race, every nation (Acts 10:24-48, Matthew 15:21-28)

We are still having some crazy weather in New Jersey.  Thunderstorms are on the way.  Usually that's a good thing because then the humidity clears out and it cools down.  I've been working on pastel paintings.  They actually have pastels that are water soluble now. So you can make paintings that way.  So fun!  Plus it's non-toxic.  Very good, I won't pass out while working on that beautiful sunset : )

I don't know if people in other nations have these problems but now and then people get into fights because of race (the color of their skin).  It doesn't make much sense, skin doesn't define our hearts, or our courage.  As far as I know skin is the outer wrapper that holds our organs in the right place.  So what if God likes variety, and makes people different?   I'm an artist, I think it's cool!  When Jesus was walking with the disciples, people were like they are today.  We really don't change through the years, we just swap places when we go to Heaven.  Jesus had a lot to teach people while He walked on earth.  One of them was people are designed and crafted by God.

Here's how Jesus handled racism.
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon- possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
I think this was a set up so Jesus could teach the disciples some manners. : )  He has a great way of doing that!  Even today.
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
So He walks on and the woman persists.  
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
Jesus knows what we're about to say before we even think it.  No way to hide. I should note that women weren't allowed to do much in society at this time.  So Jesus healed a Gentile and a woman.  He has no boundaries.
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
(Matthew 15:21-28 NKJV)
So we left off last week where Peter and Cornelius met and became friends.

24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
This is the new Peter.  He's no longer yelling at people for doing stupid things, he's polite. God changed me that way too when I became a Christian, so grateful!  I had terrible language and He made me nice and sweet (err most of the time).  < Not perfect at all!

30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you. ’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
An angel visited Cornelius wearing bright clothing.  That would be so amazing.  Until now Gentiles (people who weren't Jewish) were considered unclean.  Peter had a vision about food that wasn't blessed by a Priest.  I'm wondering if the day he spent with Jesus and the Gentile woman came to mind.  This is the future of Christianity, it's for all nations, all races, all languages.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said:  “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 

39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

This is one of the verses that helped me clear my guilty conscience:
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
(1 John 1:9-10 NKJV)
God is not distracted by race, in His eyes we're all beautiful.  He loves all of us.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
There are many interpretations of the use of tongues in the Church.  It's when a Believer speaks in a tongue they don't know.  If I went to Russia and immediately spoke Russian, that would be a miracle of the Holy Spirit.  I don't know any languages : )   My personal belief is that God gave us the gift of tongues for when we need it.  Some consider it a holy personal language for prayer.  I'm not able to do that.  I'm too logical and want to speak direct with God.  It's one of the lesser spiritual gifts.  But it can sure be helpful in trying to communicate with people.  I do remember when I was a little girl a Spanish girl came to my neighborhood.  She seemed lonely so we made friends.  We spoke together just fine.  Later she told me I was the only one who understood her and would speak to her.  Hmmm that's interesting : )

Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
(Acts 10:24-48 NKJV)
So Peter baptized the first Gentiles that day. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You and praise You for allowing those of us who aren't Jewish into Your kingdom.  I am so grateful for Jews for Jesus and pray we will be able to share with each other and grow stronger.  I pray for wisdom in selecting our next president.  Bless the News Reporters to do their jobs well, so we can know the facts and have good leadership again in the USA.  I lift up the Supreme Court and pray Your Holy Spirit will guide them as they make decisions this week.  Remind them how important Moms and Dads are for little children.  Thank You for Israel and the shining light they are.  

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Hillsong, Touch the Sky (link)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A meeting with an Angel and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-23, John 3:8, Isaiah 30:21)

"We usually never know when we meet angels"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

My husband just called to let me know he has to get a hair cut to do a TV commercial where he works.  I'm so proud of him.  How fun!  I never paid much attention to this chapter about Cornelius but it's a really sweet story.

1 There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. 2 He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer
This is like a dream come true.  Cornelius spent his life honoring God and praying for others.  He led everyone in his house to worship God.  He was known as a man who helped people.  It reminds me to "bless and not curse."  Be sure to pray for others and not just grumble right?

3 One day about three o'clock in the afternoon he had a vision. An angel of God, as real as his next–door neighbor, came in and said, "Cornelius."
Wouldn't it be wonderful to meet an angel of God?  We imagine and maybe sometimes don't realize an angel is present.

4 Cornelius stared hard, wondering if he was seeing things. Then he said, "What do you want, sir?"

The angel said, "Your prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God's attention. 5 Here's what you are to do. Send men to Joppa to get Simon, the one everyone calls Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the Tanner, whose house is down by the sea."
It's always a good thing when God sends an angel to say how proud God is of you.  Not so much if you've done something really bad.  But we can find forgiveness by acknowledging and repenting a sin.  Now I would be all over this running out the door before the angel finished what he was saying.  But not Cornelius.  He must've been full of faith, steady, a good man.

7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two servants and one particularly devout soldier from the guard. 8 He went over with them in great detail everything that had just happened, and then sent them off to Joppa.
It sounds like Cornelius didn't want to stop doing his good deeds and sent servants in his place.  I'm sure we would've liked him and will like him in Heaven.  Maybe he'll tell us stories.

9 The next day as the three travelers were approaching the town, Peter went out on the balcony to pray. It was about noon. 10 Peter got hungry and started thinking about lunch. While lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the skies open up.

Something that looked like a huge blanket lowered by ropes at its four corners settled on the ground. 12 Every kind of animal and reptile and bird you could think of was on it. 13 Then a voice came:"Go to it, Peter––kill and eat."

14 Peter said, "Oh, no, Lord. I've never so much as tasted food that was not kosher."
15 The voice came a second time:"If God says it's okay, it's okay."
I think God smiled when Peter said that he wouldn't eat the food unless it was blessed by a Priest (kosher).

16 This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the skies.
17 As Peter, puzzled, sat there trying to figure out what it all meant, the men sent by Cornelius showed up at Simon's front door. 18 They called in, asking if there was a Simon, also called Peter, staying there. 19 Peter, lost in thought, didn't hear them, so the Spirit whispered to him, "Three men are knocking at the door looking for you. 20 Get down there and go with them. Don't ask any questions. I sent them to get you."
We don't understand all that happens around and to us.  It reminds me of these verses:
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
(John 3:8 NKJV)
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
(Isaiah 30:21 NKJV)
It's fascinating to think we could be talking to an angel one day and not even realize.

21 Peter went down and said to the men, "I think I'm the man you're looking for. What's up?"

22 They said, "Captain Cornelius, a God–fearing man well–known for his fair play––ask any Jew in this part of the country––was commanded by a holy angel to get you and bring you to his house so he could hear what you had to say." 23 Peter invited them in and made them feel at home.
(Acts 10:1-23 Message)

Here's a song-
Toby Mac, Speak Life (link)

Friday, May 15, 2015

One man (or lady) sharpens another (Acts 9:17-43, Acts 9:5, Proverbs 27:17)

Peter & Paul (Saul)
Growing in Christ

A few years ago my cousins asked me to get on Facebook so we could all talk.  So I did.  I've never been fond of Facebook because I like my privacy.  So then I started getting all these Christian friends.  And then there were some nice graphics.  And now I need to focus on my artwork more for sure and my blog!!?  It can be very time consuming.  I like the Christian stuff that's being passed around though.  My husband said the same thing.   

We left off with Saul being led to Ananias and accepting Christ as Savior.  It's interesting this is also where the Television series left off last Sunday night.  So we can see how the Bible and the movie are the same.

We left off with Saul trying to destroy all the Christians.  Then Jesus Himself spoke to him and asked, "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?"

Saul asked Jesus who he was. 

Acts 9:5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."

After that Saul lost his vision.  Jesus sent him to Ananias another disciple.  Jesus must've known He could trust Ananias to help Saul.  He was a terrible tyrant that tried to kill Christians.  I'd be nervous if I met the old Saul.

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
This would take a lot of courage on everyone's part.  One thing that comes to mind is Saul's character.  He realized he made a mistake and then changed.  Here's what he did next:
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
I was lost and now I'm found.  This is the message we all share.  There's a point when we realize we're just plain lost.  We don't know how to fix our lives but we know it's on the wrong track.  So Saul who set out to destroy Christians wound up sharing Christ.  So the Jews wanted him killed.

23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
This is just the beginning of some of the fun stories with the disciples, angels came, walls fell down, all sorts of wonders happened.  Lots of people became Christians.

I would be terrified too!!!  I'm basically a wimp.  I confess.  But Saul wanted to go to Jerusalem and join the disciples there.
26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.
Paul was from Tarsus.  He was uh, enthusiastic in his pursuit to lead others to Christ.  I imagine him as like a tiger, so eager to get the job done.  Err actually that was my reputation in business, I was lovingly called, "Mad dog,"  because I always got the job done  when others couldn't.  Paul is the "Mad dog" of evangelism!  (truth is I prayed a lot! and I have a high pitched voice  : )

Paul is one of my Bible heroes.  I gotta admit, it would've been good if he could've been a little bit more tactful.  He wound up in prison and all sorts of stuff.  Life is hard sometimes isn't it?  All or nothing is good, especially with a mixture of love.

31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Wow Paul left to go to Tarsus and everyone had peace...  Hmmm.  I can't wait to meet him in Heaven.  He must've had so much energy and enthusiasm.

32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 

34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
So Paul is gone for a bit and Peter starts to show more compassion.  Remember he told a man he couldn't be a Christian because he asked if he could pay them to get what they had.  We know it's not about money but the poor man didn't understand. God brings unusual friends together to sharpen and shape each other.  I've prayed and seen the Lord heal people.  It's amazing.  I don't know if I would have the courage to tell someone to get up and walk.  The secret here is God's Holy Spirit within the people.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
18 The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.
(Proverbs 27:17-18 NIV)
Ok and here's a great lady for those of us who are women:
36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. 37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. 43 So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.
(Acts 9:20-43 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You and praise You for helping us find friends that help us grow.  I am so glad we aren't alone.  I pray You will step in and sort out the middle east.  I know so little about it.  I pray for wisdom in selecting our next president.  Bless the News reporters to do their jobs well, so we can have good leadership again in the USA.  I lift up the Supreme Court and pray Your Holy Spirit will guide them as they make decisions this week.  Help them not break the constitution.  Remind them how important Moms and Dads are.  Thank You for Israel and the shining light they are.  

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Need to breathe, Multiplied (link)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

USA National Day of Prayer (Prayer of George Washington)

Many have died for this country. 
This flag is not to be tampered with.

I wanted to start with one of the prayers George Washington wrote many years ago:

"Holy and eternal Lord God who art King of heaven, and the watchman of Israel, that never slumberest or sleepest, what shall we render unto thee for all thy benefits; because thou hast inclined thine ears unto me, therefore I will call on thee as long as I live, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same let thy name be praised. Among the infinite riches of thy mercy towards me, I desire to render thanks & praise for thy merciful preservation of me this day, as well as all the days of my life; and for the many other blessings & mercies spiritual &temporal which thou hast bestowed on me, contrary to my deserving. All these thy mercies call on me to be thankful and my infirmities & wants call for a continuance of thy tender mercies; cleanse my soul,

O Lord, I beseech thee, from whatever is offensive to thee, and hurtful to me, and give me what is convenient for me. Watch over me this night, and give me comfortable and sweet sleep to fit me for the service of the day following. Let my soul watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus; let my bed put me in mind of my grave, and my rising from there of my last resurrection;

O heavenly Father, so frame this heart of mine, that I may ever delight to live according to thy will and command, in holiness and righteousness before thee all the days of my life. Let me remember, O Lord, the time will come when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise and stand before the judgment seat, and give an account of whatever they have done in the body, and let me so prepare my soul, that I may do it with joy and not with grief.

Bless the rulers and people of this and forget not those who are under any affliction or oppression. Let thy favor be extended to all my relations, friends, and all others who I ought to remember in prayer and hear me I beseech thee for the sake of my dear redeemer in whose most holy words, I farther pray, Our Father, & ( Washington_Williamson)"

George Washington's Prayer Journal, 1752 Age 20

...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 
2 Chronicles 7:14

Things are looking right for a miracle.

Generald Wilson, God bless America (link)

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this great nation.  I am so grateful for free speech, Churches to worship in and sing to You.  I pray You will guide us.  We have lost our way and many are confused believing things that aren't true.  Grant us wisdom as we select the next president.  Help us to hold on to hope, faith and love.  I pray You will help those in foreign lands that are facing persecution.  Bless the children with good educations that are true and not destructive.   Bring peace to Jerusalem.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19, John 3:7-8)

"I hope these are really oxen : )"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
Ok I have a confession.  I have always lived in cities, except Utah and I don't remember seeing any oxen there.  So I'm not sure but I hope these are oxen.  If not we can all imagine hahaha.

Sometimes we think we have it all figured out.  The real problem in the world is because other people are different.  They just don't understand or, "get it."  Saul was one of these people.  If he had all the believers taken to Jerusalem where they could be destroyed his life would be so much easier, better.  But that's not exactly what God had in mind...  It's not what God has in mind for us today. 

1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
Basically Jesus is telling Saul, "I am Lord, you can't run away." 
It's a lesson for us too.  Sometimes life takes turns and events take place that make us wonder if the planet is falling apart.  Maybe these are times when Jesus is guiding us to new thoughts and ideas.  He can use anything to help us succeed in His kingdom.

Jesus is describing how a man goads an oxe to go in the right direction to plow fields.  A good farmer would use the stick to gently move the oxen along.  So, here's Jesus speaking in the wind to Saul.  We've seen lots of people like Saul who have a plan in mind and everyone WILL agree and go along or take the consequences.  I found a link that describes more about, "kicking against the goads (link)."

I love how Jesus just shows up and speaks to Saul.  A light shone around him and he fell to the ground.  He asks who He is.  He must've known it wasn't just a man.  So Jesus tells Saul He's the one he's been persecuting.  That would be frightening for sure!  It reminded me of the verse below. 
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
(John 3:7-8 NKJV)

If I was in Saul's shoes I'd be looking for a way of escape!  But Saul realizes he's been killing people that were innocent.  And that would be scarey.  I've always believed Saul was a man who thought he was doing something just and true.  But he had nowhere to turn except to the Lord with the real truth.  I felt that way too when I came to Jesus.  Everything was so messed up at home I finally gave up and accepted Jesus as my Savior.
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?
Then the Lord said to him, “ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.
Now comes the "yeah buts"...  I'd be pretty scared about this assignment.  But honestly when the Lord has a tough job for me He usually provides this amazing joy and peace.

13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake.”
And he did!  Most of the letters in the Bible, "Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Romans, Thessalonians, Corinthians and Colossians," were written by the new, "Saul," who became the Apostle, "Paul."  Jesus changed him in wonderful ways.  Paul had the knowledge and self-discipline of a Roman military leader and the formal education from the top Bible teacher of the time, "Gamaliel." 

To Ananias' credit and faith, he obeyed Jesus and treated Saul as a brother.  He may have had some jitters and wobbly knees in the process : )  But it went extremely well.  It usually does when it comes from the Lord.

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
When you read Paul's letters he writes of his vision problems.  This made him rely on Timothy and others to write for him.  I have wondered if Jesus allowed him to keep some of the problems with his eyes so he would remember.  We all have weaknesses and thorns in our sides.  I would've loved to hear the discussion with Paul and the disciples.  I imagine lots of hand gestures, laughter, and serious discussions.

19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
(Acts 9:1-19 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank and praise You for the changes taking place in Baltimore. I pray for parents, teachers and the Police to join together to make inner cities safer for kids to grow up in.
  Bless the fathers with jobs so they can stay home and raise their kids with their wives.  Let Your Church arise in Your name to bring healing and hope to these people.  I've been so busy praying Father, I forgot about Nepal. Let Your loving hand and the angels comfort those who are mourning.  This is such a poor nation to begin with I can't imagine the pain and depression. I continue to lift up the middle-east:  Saudi Arabia, Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Israel. Bless France, Egypt and all those in harms way.  You know all and see all.  I pray the good will prevail.  Please bless our nation with wisdom as we elect the next President.  I pray You will revive our Churches and encourage our people
to work together and look out for each other's needs.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Here's a song from Matthew West, "Day One" (link)