Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 15: Conversion of the Jailer

Conversion of the Jailer, Giuseppi Sereni Acts 16:25 - 34 (plus 35 - 40)

Conversion of the Jailer, Giuseppi Sereni, Acts 16:25 – 34 (plus 35 – 40)

Acts 16:25 – 40

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains were shaken.  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself!  We are all here!”

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” Continue reading

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Farm Life: Color, Pollinator Garden

P1040549Where we live, you ask someone, “Do you have a garden or flowers”.  Gardens are vegetables.  Flowers are flowerbed.  Usually the two do not mix.  More likely, “He gardens (e.g. the husband, with the royal He)” or,  “She has flowers (e.g. the wife, with the royal She).  We are advocates of acknowledging our feminine and masculine qualities, thus we both garden and have flowers.  Beyond being colorful, our flowers serve the garden by attracting pollinator insects and birds.  Yes, there are lots of insects in addition to honey bees that pollinate flowers.  Various wild bees, flies, wasps, butterflies, and moths transport the pollen from stamen to pistil.  Meanwhile, we enjoy the colorful displays, whether it is brief flowering day lily or chicory, or a long-lasting rose.  Oh, don’t forget those hummingbirds which deliver pollen while taking a sip of nectar. Continue reading

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Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 14: Paul and Silas Flogged at Philippi

Paul and Silas Flogged at Philippi, Vincenzo Marani Acts 16:19 - 24

Paul and Silas Flogged at Philippi, Vincenzo Marani, Acts 16:20 – 24

Acts 16:20 – 24

They (the owners of the slave girl) brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fasted their feet in the stocks.
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Farm Life: Color, Ducklings

P1040653Farms are places where seasons and cycles dominate life.  We raise animals and vegetables for food, protection, and companionship.  When populations grow too large, it’s time for some to go to “freezer camp”.  Recently, we decided that having seven drakes was too many in the duck pecking-order.  A neighbor helped us butcher five of them.  That day, two of the hens hatched 21 ducklings.  Three days later, another hen hatched 10 more.  We are loosing this population count for the moment. Continue reading

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Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 13: Exorcism at Philippi

Exorcism at Philippi (Slave Girl, fortune teller), Luigi Cochetti Act 16: 16 - 18

Exorcism at Philippi (Slave Girl, fortune-teller), Luigi Cochetti, Act 16: 16 – 18

Acts 16:16 – 19

Once we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.  She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days.  Finally, Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her.”  At that moment the spirit left her.

When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hopes of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
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Poem: Rumors

Conversations that never happened,
According to those who were not there. Continue reading

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Color, Blackwater Falls, WV

P1050463To continue on my themes of wildflowers and color, I had my camera along when we took a day hike at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.  The rhododendrons were opening.  We spent the morning hiking on one of the far trails of the park, in solitude.  The masses of day-trippers and motorcycle clubs stopped at the view for the falls, had some ice cream and gifts, then headed out to the road again. Continue reading

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