Friday, December 2, 2022


Today’s Reading: Acts 11-12

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).


Ruins of a Roman hippodrome in Caesarea. If you look carefully to the left and right, you can see the seats from which the spectators would watch the chariot races taking place in the oval space in the centre. Reynold’s shadow is seen on the bottom right.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Acts 11:16-17

Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?


Our Scripture records an amazing shift in the hearts and minds of these believers in Jesus who practiced the religion of Judaism. Peter had baptized Gentiles without them first becoming Jews. For this breach of Jewish practice, Peter was on the carpet back in Jerusalem defending his unprecedented action. The key point in Peter’s defense was John the Baptist’s prophecy and its fulfillment both in the 120 in the upper room and now with the same “they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” experience.

Consider the two deaths in chapter 12…that of James, the brother of John, and that of Herod. What a stark contrast one with the other. James was put to death by Herod. The end result was the opposite to what Herod intended. The fisherman Apostle, James, now sits with the King of Kings forever. The kingdom Herod sought to hold, crumbled. The glory he sought was instantly lost. The result of his pride was undoubtedly eternal damnation.

Another James, the one known as the brother of Jesus, is rising to leadership. We first hear of him in Mark 6:3. He gave us the book of James. Stay with us daily and we’ll get to James’ book eventually.


Lord Jesus, I thank You that, as John the Baptist said of You, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” By Your grace, may many more be baptized by You in the same way You did for the believers as recorded in the book of Acts. I magnify You in my worship right now. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18-21, I desire with all my heart that I will continue to “be filled with the Spirit.” Amen!!!!


My Grandpa Mainse and his brother Ed would meet each morning at the fence between their farms for prayer. They were what was called “Shouting Methodists.” It is said that they could be heard over on the next concession. I’ve heard my Doctor of Theology father shout for Joy on one occasion. I’ve been so filled with the Spirit at times that it’s next to impossible to keep quiet or to express what’s going on inside of me in my ordinary English language. Of course, one can control one’s exuberance. The Scripture says, “The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet” (1 Corinthians 14:32). I find great strength for each day as my human spirit is filled with God’s Spirit. I experience an effective witness for Jesus and my cup of joy is filled to overflowing. Norma-Jean has recently given to our children and grandchildren a book entitled, “The Blessing.” The subtitle is, “Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit Today,” by Thomas Trask and Wayde Goodall, published by Zondervan. This is an excellent and thorough teaching resource. If you are hungry and thirsty for God’s Spirit in a greater way in your life, I recommend this excellent book (click here for information).

Yours for being “Filled with the Spirit.” By the way, I believe that this daily blog will help you and me to grow in God, so that our capacities for the Spirit of God will increase. I ask myself this: Am I continuing to be a small volume spirit or am I increasing in size? I think I’m growing, and thus I can experience a greater measure of God’s Spirit than ever before.


12 thoughts on “Friday, December 2, 2022

  1. DECEMBER (for yesterday)

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864

    I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

    • A great Christmas carol – thank you for it.
      Dear Lord, may Your Word continue winging and singing its way around this world. May people hear Your voice calling them to You this Christmas season. Bless all the outreaches, the celebrations of Your birth, the gatherings to praise You, Lord Jesus, for coming for us. Thank You, dear Jesus, and may we also go into the highways and byways, inviting others into Life with You, in Jesus’s name, amen

  2. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) one of America’s most popular poets both in his time and today, is remembered for poems such as Paul Revere’s Ride, Evangeline, and The Song of Hiawatha. While Longfellow didn’t write a lot about the Civil War, he watched it unfold as everyone did and was personally affected by it. And he did write one very memorable piece.

    In the spring of 1863, Longfellow’s son Charles enlisted in Battery A of the 1st Massachusetts Artillery. Longfellow, who had many connections with the well placed in government and elsewhere, sought out an officer’s commission for his son, and on April 1st of that year, Charles joined the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry as a 2nd Lieutenant. In the late November-early December Mine Run Campaign in Virginia west of Fredericksburg, Lieutenant Longfellow was shot in the back during a skirmish. Although he recovered, the wound was serious enough to end Charles’ military career.

    On December 25th, 1864, (some sources say a year earlier), Longfellow wrote the poem “Christmas Bells”. The poem begins by describing Christmas bells ringing out the message of “peace on earth, goodwill to men”, but then goes into how the war had ended that and how the writer had plunged into despair. The poem ends on a hopeful note, saying that “the wrong shall fail, the right prevail”.

    The Poem Inspires the Christmas Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

    The poem was set to music as early as the 1870s. It really took off in popularity as a Christmas carol called “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” in the 1950s, when an arrangement by songwriter Johnny Marks was recorded first by Bing Crosby, and followed by many others including Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, and the Carpenters. Not every verse of the poem is incorporated into the song (war reference verses are removed) and it continues be recorded and sung as a popular Christmas carol.

    Carpenters – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

  3. Another interesting Christmas song, but with a hidden message (I heard this for the first time yesterday @ a seniors’ luncheon). Very interesting. There was a period of time – way back when, that the Catholic Church was banned from teaching. To help people keep worshiping & believing, this song was created. I never understood it & thought it was just foolish! A Google search for the meaning of “The 12 Days of Christmas” will explain it all. I pray that you can find this info.

    • The Twelve Days of Christmas
      by Vickey Pahnke

      “The story goes that from 1558 until 1829 people in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During this era, the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ was written as a subtle way of celebrating Christ’s birth in public without risk of prosecution. The song’s lyrics had a hidden meaning known only to members of the church, each element of the twelve days offering code meaning for a religious reality.

      1. The partridge in a pear tree stood for Jesus Christ
      2. The two turtledoves stood for the Old and New Testaments
      3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope, and charity.
      4. The four calling birds were the four gospels
      5. The five gold rings represented the first five books of the Old Testament (the Law).
      6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation
      7. Seven swans a-swimming signified the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.
      8. The eight maids a-milking represented the beatitudes.
      9. The Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Spirit (see the fifth chapter of Galatians).
      10. Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
      11. Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
      12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

      Isn’t that fascinating? Whether or not the story is based on true occurrence, hearing this story gave me pause to reflect on the song. Each element of the lyrics offers a positive reason to celebrate Christianity. With the deeper meaning to contemplate, the song becomes a lighthearted anthem of praise and a tribute to those who dared celebrate, in song, their gratitude for Christ. I do believe I will more fully enjoy the tune from now on.”

      Twelve Days of Christmas with Lyrics Christmas Carol & Song

      • Beverlee, thank you for sharing that very
        interesting story about The Twelve Days of
        Christmas. The explanation of it makes the
        Carol much more meaningful and enjoyable.

        Praise God they found a way to celebrate
        their gratitude for Christ.

  4. The 12 days of Christmas song and meaning is so uplifting.
    Each Christmas Eve the tradition in our family was to sing Carols and end with the 12:days of Christmas, whereby each person in our family would take one of the 12 days to sing their part of the Carol.
    I will share this with my family this year and I am sure this story will have more significance in it as we join our hearts and voices to Jesus, the real meaning behind celebrating Christmas.
    Thank you Beverley for making my day!

  5. Thank you Beverlee for your input. I’m just happy that others are enlightened and know the reason and meaning of the song. Thanks so much.

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