“All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” - Acts 9:21-22 CSB
Hearing the church sermon this morning was quite the experience today. So strong I felt compelled to write this blog. So here we go, I’m Allie Silvernale and I use to be Saul, still working on becoming my own unique version of a Paul.
Now no, I was not murdering people - I wasn’t a “murderous woman”. I’d hope I’d be in prison if I was truly killing people in the name of “hating Christ”. And I wasn’t necessarily a person of “power” BUT I said things like “the Bible is a good book” or “the bible is stories of horrible things in the old testament“ or ”I believe the Bible to be more metaphor then true“. Yes, I said all these things, and more. I had a terrible chip on my shoulder when it came to the Bible. I was confused. I was hateful sometimes. I would question every single thought, phrase and word used. I went in on my journey this January 2020 of reading the Bible chronologically - for the first time ever (in general not just chronologically)- but more as a devil’s advocate then a true believer. To find I was completely, undeniably misinformed.
Little Background: The Old Testament
I’ve had so many people, I lost count, tell me “I don’t really go by the Old Testament!” And now, I am just like WHY? How? How can you not? Oh my goodness the Old Testament is so good! So so good! For so many years I couldn’t stand to even think about reading the bible let alone the Old Testament, but I’m here to stand proudly and say “You are missing the true message of God’s love and forgiveness if you do not ever read that Old Testament.” Oh my goodness, the Old Testament is incredible. It was shortly after the Book of Judges, I started truly seeing things more clearly and I can’t remember the exact moment, but I am pretty sure it was in 1 Samuel that the Bible truly transformed in front of my eyes. And it was incredible! God is love and forgiveness! I do not know how any one can truly read through the entire Old Testament and NOT see how much God loves us and how much He truly forgives us over and over and over again. It truly is incredible and all the way back from the very beginning when Eve ate the fruit, God has shown nothing but kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love.
Back to Saul
So today as I was watching Pastor Joy’s sermon online this morning, before she even gets to the explanations as she was speaking about Saul, I sat there and felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “see how you use to be a Saul.” Again, I wasn’t murdering anyone because of their beliefs, but if I am honest with myself, I was murdering God with my uneducated beliefs. Never really TRULY reading the Bible from start to finish, I was spewing my uneducated, uninformed thoughts as a challenge to anyone who would push theirs on me. It was my defense mechanism. “Don’t tell me!” type of thing.
Praying for Wisdom to “Send Me”
Recently I have been praying for wisdom a lot. Wisdom to follow God humbly. Wisdom to love others and to raise my children in God’s light. Wisdom to follow God with every part of my being. Wisdom on how to become Jesus’ disciple in my every day life. Basically becoming a “reformed modern day unique version of Paul”. But I use that lightly as an expression for this particular blog. Paul was Paul and he did work for God how God called him in his time. I am Allie and I want to do the work God called me to do as Allie Silvernale. If I am meant to lead my children and only them while being a God-fearing role model for them and my closest friends. Okay! If I am meant for a new life in women’s ministry, then *insert large gulp of fear* “Okay, Lord, here I am! Send me!” *knees shaking* lol. But I am serious, I am here, send me Lord!
Even now, as I write this blog, I’m terrified how some will read it and chastise me from my past or what they knew me as before. There’s a fear about stripping your soul and putting it out there, thats what this blog started out to be in the beginning. Basically my personal online blog that I only shared with specific people as I wrote and worked things out that I was no longer able to do in my journal because photo editing has taken a toll on my hands. So when I could barely write a couple sentences without being in extreme pain, I kept feeling a push to start this blog. I have let it guide me, shape me and reveal to me God’s answers for me during this journey. And now I am feeling compelled to share it publicly more and more, and I am terrified. Because let’s be honest, there are wonderful things about living in a small town, but sometimes baring our souls, that’s hard y’all! Past has told me that we small towns aren’t very opening to allowing people to shake things up a bit. However, as I read multiple times as I have been studying the New Testament strongly,
“They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.” - 1 John 4:5 CSB
So then I think, it’s ok, I am not forcing anyone to hear my “Jesus Freak” messages. I am not forcing anyone to click on the link I post to Facebook. Scroll on by if that’s how you see fit.
However, for all who are still reading up till this point: Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself you were a Saul and/or still are a Saul. That’s okay. I invite you to chat with me and tell me your solid reasoning why you are a Saul and demand to still be. I’m here to listen. We can speak respectably about this subject because I have now been on both sides. I went from, as my blog states, thinking the stories of the Bible should be more of a metaphor to believing in His Word as The Truth with a capital T. I’m almost through the bible. I think I have 46 days left on the chronological reading and I am also re-reading the New Testament in 90 days with another beautiful soul of a friend of mine, and the messages are so loud re-reading through all these it’s incredible. And I cannot wait to finish these last 40 days in hopefully less than 20 days so that I can start over and re-read from the very beginning with new fresh eyes.
Like today, I had no idea the Holy Spirit was going to compel me to sit and write after hearing my gorgeous Pastor Joy’s sermon this morning. I never dreamed I would share this link publicly finally. But here I am down to the final minutes before I publish this link and hit share to Facebook.
I invite you to listen to her sermon first. The message is amazing. And then I invite you to go back to the beginning of the month to her first sermon on the Book of Acts and just get caught up. Because every single week the Holy Spirit has been working amazingly through her to teach the Word of God.
But then like her, I invite you to truly hear the Holy Spirit tell you which type of blind you are. Like me, you might hear before she even has to explain, but also like me, you might here you also have a little of Ananias in you too, where you need to currently work on that as well.
Hear the Holy Spirit.
Love people enough to know where you lack and are being called to do more.
Because at the end of the day, God is good. So so good. And in order to be like Christ, we have to first humble ourselves enough to ask the big questions that we don’t want to answer. How do I fix myself in order to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. How do I humble myself in order to make God smile down on me with a proud sense of love and pride? Because that is all that truly matters. Just read the Book of Ecclesiastes people. Truly read Solomon’s words, the man who was blessed with Wisdom from God. A man who had everything in life. Truly everything. And even he knew God’s love was more than any worldly things and/or people of this world.
“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity.” - Ecclesiastes 12:13 CSB
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” - 1 John 2:15-17 CSB
Acts 9: 1-31
“Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he replied. “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time. Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, since they did not believe he was a disciple. Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the apostles and explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers found out, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” - Acts 9:1-31 CSB