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Influence

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“They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ When he had said this, he died.” (Acts 7:59-60, New English Translation) Acts 6 and 7 introduce us to two notable New Testament men: Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Saul, who passionately persecuted the young church. Under different circumstance, the two may have become good friends. Both were Greek-speaking Jews born elsewhere but now living in Jerusalem. Both were passionate about their faith. Perhaps they…

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister” (Romans 14:12-13, Christian Standard Bible). When I was a small child, one of the hymns sometimes sung was “Watching You.” The chorus went like this: Watching you, watching you, Ev’ry day mind the course you pursue, Watching you, watching you, There’s an all seeing Eye watching you.                            …

    It was a typical trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru. My granddaughter had her order figured out—the McNuggets Happy Meal. As I repeat it back to her, I stated, “And milk with that.”
    “No. I want a frozen strawberry lemonade.”
    “But you don’t even like lemonade,” I objected. “It’s tart. You won’t like it,”
    “I want a frozen strawberry lemonade. Not milk.” The voice from the backseat was emphatic. After a couple more attempts to dissuade her, each rebuffed, I ordered the frozen strawberry lemonade for her. All the while, I wondered where this idea had originated. My picky eater will seldom try new things and then not willingly. Unusual.