How to be “astonished” in God’s work.

Acts 10:45a “and those of the circumcision who believed were astonished”

This blog is really a rehash of an earlier blog concerning Peter and the vision of the sheet of unclean animals. God challenged Peter to trust him. Because of the vision, when the three men appeared asking for Peter, he followed them, going against everything he felt. Peter had the vision on his mind, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and encouraged Peter to trust him. The first step is the hardest, but in verses 44-45, we see for the first time the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles. Peter and other Jews (the circumcised) were “astounded.” I want to be astounded in my ministry. Do you?

Are there scriptures that challenge you in your thinking or actions? Has God been dealing with you to change your thinking in an area that feels so comfortable? He is getting ready to lead you to your own”astonishment.”

Read over the earlier blog below about God’s words to Peter (Rise, Kill, Eat)

Acts 10:9 Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

God was planning on using Peter in a new way that would challenge some of his beliefs and traditions. God was opening the gospel to nations outside the Jews. But it was going to require a change in Peter’s thinking and traditions. God put Peter in a trance and lowered a sheet down that had many unclean animals by Peter’s standards. God said Rise, Kill, and Eat. Peter replied, “no, I have never eaten from unclean animals.” God said, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.”

God was calling Peter to change a tradition and belief that was so ingrained that any thought of changing was unthinkable. Sometimes God will call us to change our daily patterns of activity and focus to be used by God. It may challenge us. God may want to use you in a new and fantastic way. To do that, He must give you a revelation, which will require you to change some habits and traditions in your life. After the vision, men from Cornelius arrived to ask for Peter. Peter went with them and followed God’s leading.


God showed Peter the trance to challenge his traditions and beliefs. Peter had to do more than just think about it. He had to put action toward this effort. It may not be an evil habit, but God may want you to change your life habits to open up more time for God. Today we have so many distractions surrounding us with streaming tv, social media, cell phone addiction, sports, and other activities. God may challenge you to change your daily focus. God told Peter to make a change, to do something outside his comfortable daily habits. Peter left with the gentiles. God may be calling you to spend more time with Him, to lead a small group, to change your thoughts about someone or a class of people. Reading more Godly books—volunteer for His purposes. You will need to rise from your normal life and make a change to follow God.


God was not only calling Peter to kill the animals (which he did not do). He called on Peter to kill some of his traditional beliefs. He knew it was God speaking to challenge him in a new way. To not call unclean what God has made clean. Peter was challenged to change his way of thinking. Peter was challenged not to let his past prejudice stop what God was doing. You may be challenged to kill some daily habits, things that would interfere with being used by God. Kill some addictive habits that keep you away from the Bible, prayer, and time to meditate on God and His word.


God was telling Peter this new journey was His plan. Peter was expected to follow God and the Holy Spirit by faith. When Peter later saw what God was doing, it changed his whole life.

God used Peter in powerful ways to grow His church in the Gentile world. God’s revelation to Peter that day on the roof challenged him to take action (Rise) in his life to trust God, to make changes (Kill) in his own traditions, and to walk in faith (Eat) and fellowship with God.

Following God is a challenge and requires changing elements of our own lives and habits. You never know what God will do with a person who, like Peter, will rise, kill, and eat their way to a powerful man or woman of God.

Let you lightnside be challenged by God this week and on to your own “astonishment.”

Be Strong in the Lord

Ephesians 6:10 Be strong in the Lord…

This world can beat you down. Your patience, your hopes, your plans, and your health can be challenging and abruptly changed. We can grow weak and disheartened as our plans and hopes break.

Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord…”

He makes this statement before he adds, “and in His mighty power.” The first part of this statement is to clarify who we are to focus on with our spirit and mind. Who are we to look to when life hits you hard? When dreams are dashed, expectations crumble around you. Paul says, “We are to be strong in the Lord.” ok, HOW?

Be strong by knowing God.

Read your Bible daily, along with times of prayer and meditation in His presence. You will begin to know the creator of the world and the God who loves you. Look at nature and the stars at night. Lift your eyes away from the screens, phones, and social media and observe the wonders of God’s creation and how all elements of His creation have continued since God created the world. The elements, the paths of planets, and the balance and care of nature are all signs of God’s greatness and majesty.

Be Strong by remembering God’s miracles.

When David had a troubled time, he wondered if God still cared. In Psalms 77:7-9 “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” David then began to remember God’s deeds. Psalms 77:10-12 “But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all of your work.” 

 Be strong by knowing God’s interest in you.  

James 1:17″ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Be strong by knowing God’s love.

John 3:16″ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Be strong by trusting God’s plan for you.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Be strong by resting in His presence.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalms 91:1-2 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust.”

Lift your eyes to the Lord. Be strong in the Lord.

Be strong as your mind and spirit are fixed on Him.

No matter what your situation is right now…your Lightnside can

“Be strong in the Lord!”

Who has bewitched you?

Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? 

Some of you may remember the old show Bewitched, about a husband who had a wife that was a witch. Of course, she is displayed as a “kind witch,” but she would say a spell and something supernatural would take place. The show was to bring laughter and entertainment. However, there is a real bewitching in this world. There is a real power of placing a spell on someone, and they become bewitched into believing a lie even if most of the world and the Bible opposes it. Paul reprimanded the Galatian church because evil leaders changed the message from Paul that salvation came through works and not faith.

Jim Jones

Remember the followers of Rev. Jim Jones. Jim created the People’s Temple in Indianapolis in 1955. Beginning in the late 1960s, reports of abuse began to surface as Jones became increasingly vocal in his rejection of traditional Christianity and began promoting a form of communism he called “Apostolic Socialism” and making claims of his own divinity. Jones became progressively more controlling of his followers in Peoples Temple, which at its peak had over 3,000 members. Jones’s followers engaged in a communal lifestyle in which many turned over all their income and property to Jones and Peoples Temple, who directed all aspects of community life. Jim was very charismatic and bold. He would work the people into a frenzy as he twisted the word of God. What was their outcome? In 1974 Jim moved his followers to Jonestown in Guyana, and tragically Jim Jones led his followers in a mass murder/suicide in 1978 by drinking a poison-laced drink. The phrase “don’t drink the Kool-Aid” came from this event.  

Several popular bewitching sermon teaching:

Christians should be wealthy – If you follow God, he will give you riches. No! God will bless you, but you are not guaranteed wealth. If you are blessed financially, it is for giving to missions and ministry.

All religions send people to heaven. The path to heaven is only through Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. John 14:6

WHO has bewitched you?

Much of the bewitching is by the gifting of the speaker. They are usually a very dynamic, immensely likable person. They are someone who makes people happy to be around them. They are great salesmen and speak well or can create a very spiritual atmosphere. They are people you like being around. You will probably be complimented and made to feel very smart and important to their ministry. But understand this, there is a supernatural side to their power. The evil enemy of your soul helps their influence over you to be magnified supernaturally. Your eyes become blind to the truth. You are in a dangerous place.

Warning signs:  

Their truths do not match up with scripture.  

If scripture is used, it is twisted to mean something out of context.

There are not large portions of scripture condoning this truth.

Their teaching is not widely accepted.  

The teaching makes you feel powerful, and only you can understand the truth.

Bible versions of Galatians 3:1

New Living Translation – Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you?

New Life Version – You foolish Galatians! What strange powers are trying to lead you from the way…

New Century Version – But you were foolish; you let someone trick you.

A dear friend spoke biblical truth to me concerning this issue. Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.

Keep your lightnside free of bewitched truths and live in safety.