Monday, May 30, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:12-15


Here is the next segment of my Journey with ACTS. For me these few verses reminded me of how easily it can be to forget the importance of spending time with our Great God in prayer. Sometimes we just simply get in way deeper that we should without seeking God's direction. Let me know what you think of these few verses. Blessings,


Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. -Acts 1:12-14 NLT

There isn’t much to say about a bunch of names, is there? Well, there is another aspect to these verses though. If you keep reading until verse 14 you see they all continued to meet together and that they were constantly in prayer. This is a great word of encouragement.

Think about the previous verses for a moment, the disciples were distracted by seeing Jesus ascend. Suddenly two angels tell them to get going, so they do. They head right back to the upper room and begin to pray. I’d like to think they went there seeking direction. There wasn't really any real reason to stay close by but they did and they did so by with drawing to a safe place. Sometimes all we can do when it comes to seeking God is withdraw.

We are told in other places in scripture to ‘go into the closet and pray (Mt. 6:6). Scripture doesn't say God runaround like a cry person. It say's pray. That same verse also tells us to seek a quiet place. Finding a quite place can help you find your focus and I'd like to think that is what the disciples were doing in this instance. 

Maybe this is a message about how we should pray today. God has so many wonderful things to offer us and when we get distracted we can lose sight of those things. Finding time to dedicate to praying with God can help bring our lives to where they need to be in order to move forward.

5/15/16 12:45am


During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. - Acts 1:15 NLT

It’s hard to believe that pretty much every time the apostles came together and prayed, they were in the upper room and many times I’d imagine that they were quite crowded. People were looking for a safe place. To be honest, there were still those who sought to hurt those that followed the way of Jesus, but something was coming. 

Here in this passage, we begin to see just what Jesus was saying when he said ‘another is coming.' It was the beginning of one of the most amazing scenes I've ever read about in the scripture. However, something else was coming as well. Something that might even have send the disciples the wrong way.

Now there are times when we are meant to keep praying and there are times when we need to act. I’d like to believe this moment was one of the latter but I’d be wrong. Many believe this instance was meant to be the former. Peter stood up, and on his own addressed the crowd. He knew many felt lost and probably thought to himself, ‘I know let’s act’ when holding off might have been the better thing to do.

Truthfully, these 120 people weren't just sitting there doing nothing. They were acting, through prayer, and maybe just maybe, they needed to act in that fashion a little bit longer. Why? Well, because God doesn't always speak to us right away. Sometimes what he really wants from us is to simply wait. Let's be honest though, if we know anything, we know that as humans we are often impatient and do act on our own. It's part of our sinful nature.

This can often lead to making a few mistakes.

5/22/16 1:05am

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room" Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV), M.E

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:9-11


Here is the next segment of my Journey with ACTS. I'm been thinking on this verse a lot in the past few weeks.  It's amazing just how much one verse change open your eyes to the reality that is the world around us. I hope you find some encouragement through these few verses.


“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.” 
- Acts 1:9 NLT

Jesus was indeed taken up to heaven.  As the disciples watched while he was taken up into heaven them they must have had some interesting thoughts going through their heads. I can imagine some of them thinking, “what are we going to do now?” or “What was the point of all this if he was just going to leave us?” Honestly, I'd guess many of them were still dumbfounded, or in awe of everything that had just happen.

The reality is, many of us are probably thinking similar things today. It's not easy living in today's world is it? Well, that is where we have to realize that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean that it’s not there. We don’t have to think this way. Why not? It's simple, because of the promise that was given in the previous verses.

Even though we may feel alone at times or wonder why something happened, we can always trust that someone is watching. Sometimes we need to let go of the past, and even the present, to move into a brighter future. It’s never easy to continue on when you’ve been a part of one chapter in your life for so long only to find out the next chapter is on the next page.

Don’t hold on to that one page so much that you lose sight of the page that is on the other side. God has something wonderful in store for each of us just as He did for His disciples. Moving into the next chapter in life will not be easy, but remember that even though we can long longer see our savior face to face that He is indeed with us.

5/12/16, 1:05am

“As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”.
- Acts 1:10-11 NLT

Sometimes we get distracted, just like those that were watching Jesus ascend to Heaven.  When these distractions come we can miss the opportunities right in front of us. In this instance the disciples were so distracted by what was right in front of them that they could not look towards the moments that were to follow.

When the angels appeared they reminded the disciples that Jesus would come back one day and that they needed to get to work.  It was their time to share what they had learned.  There are many opportunities for you to share what you have learned with others all we have to do is look past the distractions of the present moment.

Someday, Jesus will return and he will be asking us, “what did we do to share what we’ve learned with others?” I for one want to be able to say, “Lord, I shared as much as I could with anyone who would listen.” My hope is that all those that claim to believe would desire to have the same answer or at least one that is similar.

5/14/16 6:55pm

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:7-8

Greetings Everyone,  

Here is the next segment of my Journey with Acts, this segment particularly made me think about why I do what I do. It also made me think about what I could to to better prepare myself for what ever God has planned for my family and I in the days ahead. The photo below is my first attempt at a theme for this Journey. Feel free to tell me what you think :-)

“He replied, ‘The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-8 NLT

This is a pretty common passage isn’t it? People use this all the time to encourage us to go forth and share the message of Jesus with the world around us. It serves as a reminder that we have a deeper calling than just going through the motions doesn't it? It is quite an amazing passage if you ask me but there is more to it than what most people think.

Read this passage again and ask yourself, why does Jesus reply this way? Is there something more that we are suppose to be seeing here? Once I did this I began to see the deeper message that is woven into the words of these two verses. While it is meant to encourage the believer, it is also meant to serve as a promise of restoration.

We are given a promise that the Holy Spirit will come upon us. Jesus promises those closest to him, and us today, that there is a purpose for our existence and that when the time is right, that purpose will be revealed to us. The father alone knows when he will restore his chosen people.

Did you know that we are all chosen? It’s true and Jesus will restore us to our divine purpose in life as and when He knows we are ready for it. I know I've been asking myself this lately, who knows though maybe soon a new path will be revealed to all of us. Don’t give up on yourself or whatever dreams you may have, in time your purpose will be revealed.

5/9/16, 1:20am

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),


Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Journey with ACTS: 1:4-6


Here are the next two segments of my Journey with Acts, keep looking here more more. Feel free to share your own thoughts as well. Join me on this journey and God may just change your life as I hope he does to mine. :-)


“Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 1:4-5 NLT

There are going to be times in life in which we are given specific instructions not to move forward or backward. We will be asked to just stay put and bloom where we’ve been planted.  Usually there is a good reason for this instruction as well. We may not always know right off hand what God has in mind but we should take comfort in knowing God has something specific for us.

In verses 4 and 5 Jesus promises his followers that He will provide them (and us) what is needed to bloom in our present circumstances. He promises a new life and a new purpose for each of the apostles and He knew how amazing that gift would be. We too can receive a gift from God today, if we are willing to let go of our own desires and embrace His.

You may be struggling to identify what you were truly created for or you may just be wondering what’s next, as I sometimes do. Take courage in knowing that God is working and that He has promised each of us something that will be worth it in the end. Go forth and ask God to 'baptize' you today with His promises.

5/7/16. 1:15am

“So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?’” Acts 1:6 NLT

We all ask questions sometimes, and that is okay for the most part. We need to ask questions in order to comprehend things better (for our own sake). There are times though when we may need to figure things out for ourselves instead.  We don’t really learn anything from doing it the easy way do we?

In this instance, the apostles should really have known what was going on. But for one reason or another, they really didn’t. Sometimes there will be things placed in front of us while we are on our journey with God that will spark a question or two. The reality is though, We need to remind ourselves daily that God may have already given us the answer or He may want us to figure it out on our own.

As you think about the questions you’ve brought to God in the last few days, ask yourself, are the questions I’m asking really the questions I am suppose to be asking or is there something more or different that I really should asking. God usually provides answers to our questions In the most unexpected ways. Remember to look outside the ordinary.

5/8/16, 1:35am

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Journey with ACTS: 1:1-3


Here is where it all begins. I will begin posting each section I put together as they are finished. If there is one that speaks to you go ahead a share it with someone else. Don't be shy about leaving comments either...
Blessings In Christ,


“In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.” Acts 1:1-3 NLT

Luke is one of my favorite Biblical characters. There is not much share of him as of this point but he plays a huge role in building the foundation of the Early Church. The support he offered those closest to him is immeasurable. As he begins this book, he mentions he is writing to Theophilus. While we do not know much about Theophilus...

What we do know is that his names means “Loved by God”. From my perspective, that means this book is written to all who are “Loved by God.” This means that Luke is speaking directly to us today.

As Luke continues from his previous book, The Gospel of Luke, there is a connection that I believe I’ve not really paid much attention to before. This is a continuation of the gospel and an account of how the church moved from being a small group of Disciples who followed Jesus to what it became a movement of people acting upon what Jesus had taught them. The connection from one to the other and that can guide us today.  

Our actions speak volumes, just as theirs did. When Jesus appeared to His followers, they saw that He was actually alive. For many of them, the appearances were completely unexpected but they responded quite well. When we begin to see the unexpected we, as believers, should embrace how alive the church truly can be. 

God has something for all of us and when he calls our actions should show response. Today’s encouragement can serve as a reminder that we are all “loved by God,” that Jesus is indeed alive and that our actions will speak volumes if taken properly.


Friday, May 6, 2016

New Project; A Journey with Acts

Greetings Readers, 

It has been a while since my last post, other than the reflection I shared the other day, and I have been on a Journey.  Recently, I've been quite busy writing content for different ministry partners, with Finding Philemon, and working on a new book project with one of our writers from Love The Saints Ministries. (This will be a gift for all of the pastors we encounter through that ministry. It will focus on the story of Jacob and how his life can encourage pastors today.) 

This post, however, is about another project. This project is more of a personal project. You see, I'm been praying a lot recently about something I can do to engage my own faith a little more.  I love writing for my different clients for my freelance business and I love writing for our ministry partners, but I've been missing my own time with God more and more. 

The other day I told my wife, I needed to do something more for myself and that I'd been praying about it for some time. I am pleased to say I have come up with an idea, and I'd like to share it with everyone I can. So if you will take the next step with me, here is what I am feeling lead to pursue...

I am calling it "A Journey with Acts", I know not my usual pray on names, but it shares what I want to get across. "A Journey with Acts" is gong to be a pretty intense project. I am planning to read, or watch, the book of acts word for word and write a short reflections on every verse I read. Then I'm going to share the reflection here, at "The Gathering Room" on a weekly basis. There may be some weeks in which I write on more that one verse, but the plan to get through them all. 

Now this project has been coming for a while and even though I've waited until now to share it with you. It's been in the works for a few months. It started as a small nudge in my heart, but has grown into something I really believe in doing. My prayer it that as it encourages me, It will do the same for those that read each Reflection.

Honestly, I know there are going to be weeks when I struggle, especially with everything else that is going on, but I am determined to keep going as long as it takes.  Then I will move on to another book and then another. Eventually, I want to make through the entire Bible, but we'll see how "A Journey with Acts" goes for now.

If you willing to join me on this Journey, I promise to pray for you and ask that you do the same for me. My hearts in this and I know that I'll need encouragement along the way. Don't worry though, when the Lords leads, there will still be a #DevotionalBlog for me to share. 

Well, that's all for now.  Keep your eyes open.

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room"

 Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reflections; The Peaceful Melody

Greetings Friends,

I wrote this a while back and thought I'd share it once more, I have been working on a new Series that I will share more on in the weeks ahead, so keep tight. I know your wondering whats going on. Take a step backwards with me though and share your thoughts on this Reflection Post. It still speaks volumes to me and I believe it can do the same for you dear reader. :-).
Have you ever felt as though everything is going wrong?

Did you feel like no matter what you did you weren't doing anything right and that people were getting all over your case because of it?

It's not easy is it?  You do everything you can to do things the right way and the result is always the same (or at least it feels that way in the moment, right?).  For me, it's been like that for the past few days and I'll be honest, it’s been a bit hard to work through...

found on

There is no need to go into any details, but let me just say, It has gotten better and the hard moments made it possible for God to send me a Peaceful Melody of a reminder today...

I was on my lunch, reading my daily Jesus Calling Devotional, and I was reminded that I needed to focus on finding my quite place.
"I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him" (Psalm 62:1 NLT).

In the Jesus Calling Devotion it stated to "Sit quietly in My (Gods) presence while I bless you." At first I refused, but as I continued to read it stated to "rest in My sufficiency as you consider the challenges this day presents." Talk about a rude awakening, as that moment all I could do was as the devotion instructed.

As I sat quietly, I began to think about the verse I just quoted from Psalm 62. In that moment I was encouraged by the fact that even though I could not see where God was in those harder moments, He was there, struggling to get my attention.  For me to realize this, I needed to find the peaceful melody of God’s grace in the midst of what was going on around me.  This realization changed my whole perspective on the past few days. It helped me find what was unseen in the chaos surrounding me.

I share this briefly, to encourage those that may read this post.  In the midst for the chaos surrounding you, seek to find the peaceful melody of God’s grace. Take a moment to breathe so that God may bestow a blessing upon you, I have no doubt that He will.

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room"
Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),