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Filled with the Spirit

Peter and CorneliusI’m still trying to figure Peter out.

He got famous in Joppa by raising that lady from the dead, so you’d think he’d want to stay there because the people are probably giving him all kinds of treats and things.

But now these other guys showed up and asked Peter to come with him and he’s just going to go.

Leave all those treats behind.

Or maybe they offered Peter even more treats.

Okay, I’ll listen.

***

The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along.

***

Now I get it.

Peter brought along some of the people who would give him treats.

I am listening.

***

The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

***

A party?

There’s lots of food at a party.

I’ll listen. I’ll listen.

***

As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.

***

Oh, I get it now.

Peter is even more famous in Caesarea.

***

But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

***

Peter, you blew it.

You really should have taken advantage of that.

I would have.

***

Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

***

Peter, they’re just trying to get your treats from you.

I am too listening.

***

Cornelius answered, “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.

***

Peter, tell them to give you treats.

***

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

***

Does that include dogs?

***

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

***

That must have been a safer place after Jesus got through with it.

I bet everybody was even nicer to the dogs.

***

We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. The killed him by hanging him on a tree, …

***

I don’t get it.

Jesus made that place safer and they killed him for it?

Alright, I’ll keep listening.

I think I ran out of things to say anyway.

***

 

…but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

***

So if I believe in Jesus I’m forgiven for all my mischief?

Woo woo!

***

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

***

I guess those Jewish believers thought they were special, but God showed them.

God thinks everyone is special.

Even us dogs.

***

Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

***

I want to be baptized.

It’s kind of like swimming, isn’t it?

And then afterwards, we can celebrate with treats.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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Hungry Vision

The vision painted by Domenico FettiI’ve been waiting all week to see if Peter is going to leave all his treats or not.

Those people were about to come and try to take Peter away from where he became famous for raising a lady from the dead.

So what is it?

Will Peter stay, or will he go?

I am listening.

***

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.

***

If he’s up on the roof those people won’t find him and he can stay.

Yes I am listening.

***

Peter became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance.

***

Peter, I’m on my way!

You are going to share some of that meal with me aren’t you?

***

Peter saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

***

I’ve never had food that fresh before.

I’m on my way Peter!

Okay, I’ll listen. This is getting good.

***

“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

***

I’ll eat it.

***

The voice spoke to Peter a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

***

Get that Peter?

That stuff’s good to eat.

I’m almost there!

***

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

***

Pretend you’re not there Peter.

They’re going to take away all your treats.

***

While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.

***

I hope the Spirit is going to give Peter some treats then.

***

Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you are looking for. Why have you come?”

***

I bet they just want to steal Peter’s treats.

Okay, I’ll listen.

***

The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say. Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

***

Peter, do you still have room for a dog?

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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Go Get Peter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_the_Centurion#mediaviewer/File:Gerbrand_van_den_Eeckhout_-_Vision_of_Cornelius_the_Centurion_-_Walters_372492.jpgI bet Peter got lots of treats for what he did in last week’s story.

You know, when he raised Dorcas from the dead in Joppa.

He became a celebrity in Joppa after that.

That’s probably why he stayed there for awhile.

I bet everyone liked him so much that they were always giving him treats.

What do you mean, he was being obedient to Jesus and he didn’t care about the treats?

I’d care.

You want me to listen to more of the story?

Do I get treats for listening?

***

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.

***

What does Cornelius have to do with Peter?

Okay, I’ll listen.

***

Cornelius and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

***

Did he give Peter treats?

Maybe he’ll give me treats.

***

One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

***

That angel must not have had any treats with him.

Otherwise he wouldn’t have been scary.

I am listening.

***

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.

***

Wait a minute.

If Cornelius makes Peter leave Joppa where he’s famous, then won’t Peter be going to a place where he’s not famous?

Who will give him treats then?

***

When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

***

You mean I have to wait until next week’s story to find out if Peter is going to leave all those treats and go with Cornelius’ servants?

Oh, wait.

That means I still have a week to hang out with Peter and get some of his treats.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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Peter Does It

Masolino da Panicale [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsWait a minute.

Last week Saul turned into a basket case and now you’re telling me Peter’s doing miracles like Jesus did?

What happened to the basket case?

The disciples in Jerusalem were afraid of him and the Grecian Jews wanted to kill him so the disciples who had stopped being afraid of him sent him to Tarsus?

Okay.

So what did Peter do?

***

As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas, Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.

***

Is it that simple?

All you have to do is say, “Jesus Christ heals you,” and they’re healed?

What do you mean, I can’t say that.

I can too talk—“Woof, woof woof.”

Doesn’t that sound like what Peter said?

I am listening.

***

All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

***

What if someone pretended to be paralyzed and get healed?

Would that work?

What do you mean, not in a small town?

Okay, I’ll listen.

***

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which when translated, is Dorcas) who was always doing good and helping the poor.

***

I do good.

Why are you laughing person?

I’m always listening.

***

About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

***

I wonder if they offered Peter treats to come.

I’d come for treats.

***

Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

***

As long as they don’t make me wear any of those clothes.

I’m listening. I’m listening.

***

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

***

Boy was she obedient.

I hope Peter gave her some treats.

***

Peter took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. The he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa and many people believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

***

So, if I bring someone back from the dead and many people believe in the Lord because of it, will Jesus give me treats?

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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Sneaking Out

Saul lowered in a basketSo last week we left Saul eating and not leaving anything for me.

He’s going to get fat.

He isn’t?

Oh. He goes on lots of walks?

Well, how come he doesn’t take me on a walk?

Okay, I’m listening.

***

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

***

Saul sure did a turn around after Jesus zapped him with that light, didn’t he?

I am listening.

***

All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on his name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

***

Maybe Saul should come here. There’s lots of people here who need proof that Jesus is the Christ.

***

After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,…

***

Oh no! I’d better warn him.

Oh wait. Saul isn’t leaving any food for me.

I’ll make him a deal.

I’ll warn him if he leaves me some food.

I am listening.

***

…but Saul learned of their plan.

***

And he didn’t give me any food for telling him.

***

Day and night the Jews kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill Saul. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

***

Did you say that Saul was a basket case?

In that case he probably forgot where he put all his food.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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A Scary Sight

Ananias Restoring Sight by Benjamin WestThere’s more to the story about Saul?

I liked it where we left him last week – blind and not eating.

Can’t we just leave him there forever?

I mean, he’s a real meanie.

Okay, I’ll listen.

***

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called him in a vision. “Ananias!”

***

I bet the Lord is warning him about Saul.

He already knows about him?

He’d better start running.

I am listening.

***

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

***

Oh no!

I think Ananias is in trouble.

***

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priest to arrest all who call on your name.”

***

I don’t get it.

If Ananias knows all that, how come he didn’t start running a long time ago?

***

But the Lord said to Ananias “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

***

Now the Lord’s talking.

Make that mean old Saul suffer.

***

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

***

This isn’t good.

If Saul is going to start eating again that’s less food for me.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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It’s Saul’s Turn

Hans Speckaert (circa 1540–circa 1577) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsWait a minute!

You told me that story about Philip who popped in and out and then went on his way preaching the gospel.

I guess God helped Philip pop far enough away from Saul that he didn’t have to worry about him.

Hey, what about that mean old Saul, anyway?

I thought you said someone was going to take care of him.

What?

You’re going to tell me about that right now?

Okay, I’m all ears.

***

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.

***

I’ll breathe out murderous threats on you Saul.

I’ll listen, but who’s gonna take care of Saul?

It might have to be me.

***

Saul went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

***

Okay, I’m going after him.

Oh, wait. Did you say Saul was going to Damascus?

Isn’t that in Syria?

I might not have to take care of Saul.

Maybe he’ll run into ISIS.

I am listening.

***

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

***

Wait a minute.

Did I just hear that right?

I don’t have to do anything to Saul, and ISIS won’t get a chance – because Jesus took care of him?

And when Saul was persecuting Jesus’ followers he was really persecuting Jesus?

That means ISIS is in trouble.

***

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

***

That serves Saul right.

And if he’s not eating that’s extra treats for me.

Thank you Jesus.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Bongo, Dogology, humor

 

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