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More of the Story: Truth

But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. “Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!” Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped up his body,then carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it…

More of the Story: Needing each other

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. ~ Acts 4:32-37


Every human interaction offers you the chance to make things better or to make things worse. ~ Barbara Brown Taylor


Things had already been worse.

The teacher had been killed. The followers scattered.

And before that even, the Romans had subjected …

More of the Story: Giving in to Grace

So (the chief priests and elders) called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old. After they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. ~ Acts 4:18-23
Grace has been out of hand for more than 2000 years now. We best get used to it. ~ Rachel Held Evans
For the leaders of the temple things had gotten out of hand. The people were on board with these Jesus followers. They could see it happening. They didn't know how to stop it. They gave in - at least for now - and…

More of the Story: Being seen for who you are

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand. ~ Acts 4:1-4


Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. ~ Brene Brown



The disciples - now apostles - weren't hiding any more.

Remember that Peter had denied knowing Jesus? So really, he had denied who he himself was.

Remember that it was the women - not the disciples - who showed up at the foot of the cross.

Remember that it was the disciples - Peter included - who hid in a room after Jesus had died.

And now they were showing up.

They had been so scared to be arrested after Jesus' death. And now? Now they were arrested for teaching about the risen Chr…

More of the Story: Breaking the Rules

(Peter said) "In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’ And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ When God raise…

More the Story: What we can do!

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at th…

More of the Story: Saved

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. ~ Acts 2:43-47


This is what God's kingdom is like: a bunch to outcasts and oddballs, gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry; because they said yes. And there's always room for more. ~ Rachel Held Evans



A point of privilege. As I write this piece, it is during a week that Christian blogger, writer, speaker, theologian, and young wife and mother, Rachel Held Evans succumbed to an illness and died at the age of 37. I'll pr…