Ben Silk

Bible Review: Faithlife Study Bible

This NIV Study Bible is amazing.

It has a ton of cool info-graphic features that really helped bring a greater meaning and understanding to certain passages of scripture. For example, being able to see a genealogy chart in Numbers really helped me to follow along with the huge list of names that are being presented. I don’t know about you but being able to visualize it in a family tree definitely helped me see connections and the magnitude of what had been recorded much easier.

The font is bigger than my other Bibles, which makes it easy to read, especially with all the study notes that are included on each page.

I attended a conference on how to study the Word of God and happened to bring along this Bible. The pastor made several references to study notes that were in this Bible already! That helped bring credibility to what he was saying and knowing that the study notes were solid.

If you are looking for a study Bible that has those extra features, this is definitely the Bible you should be picking up. It contains family trees, overview articles on key themes and topics, several maps and special time lines of Jesus’ life, and many other cool features.

The I Factor by Van Moody

The very first book I reviewed for BookLook Bloggers was The People Factor by Van Moody. In his follow up book, The I Factor, Van Moody focuses on how building a relationship with yourself is the key to a happy, successful life.

I knew I would love this book considering how much his previous book poured into my life. This book is full of biblical stories and scriptures to help you build a great relationship with yourself. Each chapter has what he calls “Internal Building Blocks” and are essentially a review of the major points of the chapter; a feature I found very useful. The chapters also contain reflection questions to help apply the principles and concepts shared throughout.

This book is definitely one I suggest you take a good amount of time to read and re-read and not just run through it. One of my favourite sections is where he talks about the importance of knowing your identity and defining clearly your foundation to live your life from. If you are struggling to find your identity or where to start on how to build a successful relationship with yourself and with God, I would recommend you give this a read.

Favourite Quotes:

“From God’s perspective, the wilderness is the proving ground of our identities; it’s the place where we pass or fail the test of knowing who we really are.”

“Until we understand and live out of our identities, we can easily become our own worst enemies and set up stumbling blocks for ourselves, often without even realizing it.

“God is so committed to His will for your life that He will not release you to your next step of destiny until He knows you are ready and until you have proven your readiness to yourself.”

“Your identity is the compass that guides you through every aspect of your life and keeps you grounded and centered in the things that matter most to you.”

How’s Your Soul? By Judah Smith

How's Your Soul? Book Cover How's Your Soul?
Judah Smith
Religion
HarperCollins Christian Publishing
November 15, 2016
224

How’s your soul?

Such a simple question, perhaps not such a simple answer. Full of vulnerability and personal stories, as is the norm with Judah, this book asks a question that needs to be asked, especially in today’s culture. How are you doing, or how is your day are questions that 99% of the time receive a one-word answer with zero reflection. I have done it, frankly, we all do it. Asking “how is your soul?” however, requires some introspection to answer properly.

Judah Smith’s book is aimed not only at Christians but those searching for more. It’s a book that can make you go through a field of emotions, from laughing to crying to deep thought and back to laughing… all in about three sentences! He uses his expository skills to show that our souls need rest, responsibility and restraint. This book is clear and easy to read, and the overall size of the book makes it a great gift as well.

Favourite Quotes:

“Guess what parenting is all about? Leading our kids to a place where they can say no for themselves, even when they want to say yes.”

In the journey of life, emotions make great companions but terrible leaders.”

What if we all counted to three and then simultaneously did whatever we felt like doing? Play it out mentally. It would be complete and utter chaos. You think zombies are bad? Imagine billions of people whose only criteria for decision making were their feelings and emotions and desires. It would be like shopping on Black Friday.”

Either life is meaningless and my existence doesn’t matter — or God is the only hope I have”

Even when we confront, we do so from an attitude and an expectation that our love is not going to be withdrawn no matter what happens”

Do I live according to who I really am, or do I live according to who people perceive me to be or want me to be?”

Rather than asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” we should ask a far more important question: “What do you want your life to look like?” Or maybe, “What kind of soul do you want to have?””

Too many times as Christians we imply that people have to first behave and believe the right way before they can belong to our communities. We don’t do it on purpose, but our actions and reactions when we see their flaws leave little doubt that they are outsiders.”

All we need to have healthy soul identities:

  • We have our identities set firmly in Jesus, the source and definition of who we really are.
  • We have a Saviour who is superior to all authority and power, and he declares that we are blessed and approved.
  • We have a salvation that is great, that is complete, final and free.
  • We have a community of Jesus followers where we belong even if we don’t believe or behave exactly right.

Whatever God starts, he finishes. Think about that. You can’t find one place in the Bible where God started something and said, “Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I lost interest. This is too much work. I’m out.””

Life’s complexities and challenges would be far less complex and far less challenging if we could approach every day like Jesus did: from heaven to earth.”

 

 

Book Review: The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer Book Cover The Lord's Prayer
Rick Warren
Juvenile Nonfiction
November 1, 2016
32

This iconic prayer is paired with flowing illustrations by award-winning artist Richard Jesse Watson and thoughtful insights by bestselling author Rick Warren, resulting in a book that rejuvenates the familiar prayer for a younger audience. Using poetic scripture from the King James Version, The Lord's Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness helps familiarize children with real biblical text while also presenting contemporary illustrations and insightful words that make this beautiful prayer come alive.

Now that I have a daughter, I have been on the look out for books to read to her. Rick Warren’s The Lord’s Prayer is a perfect fit. The writing is huge, there isn’t a lot of text on each page and the pictures are beautiful. Research shows that big letters, repetition, and talking clearly and loudly, help babies learn to read. This book meets that criteria. On top of all that, it is about The Lord’s Prayer. It’s a perfect book to read to Olivia (my daughter) to bed. It will teach her how to pray before she is even aware of what prayer is. It also shares and breaks down each line of the prayer to further explain the love of God and His Son, Jesus.

The book comes in a hardcover option which I chose. The pages are big and the quality is great. If you are looking for a simple book to teach your children The Lord’s Prayer, this is the perfect choice.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com. If you like to read Christian books I suggest you check them out!

Falling Free by Shannan Martin

Falling Free by Shannan Martin

Favourite Quotes:

“Our culture bombards us with the message that we should aspire to have more and do less…God offers a better way: have less and do more.”

“There’s a difference between being too scared to do hard things and doing hard things scared. Communing with the God of the universe will inspire all kinds of unscripted movement and giant leaps past “normal.” It’ll make surrendering seem like the safest way.”

Great Questions she asks:

“In a world where we possess the power to distract or buy our way out of most discomfort, can we ever really mean it when we say God is all we need?”

“Can I really trust enough to believe my plans are meaningless apart from him?”

I actually chose to review this book for my wife to read. Instead I ended up reading the first chapter and was unable to put it down and so, decided to read it for myself. This is a story about Shannan Martin and her family and how she ended up being rescued from the life she always wanted. It makes you question whether that perfect dream life you imagine for yourself is really the life you should aim for. Perhaps, when we are fully in God’s will there is an even better dream life that we couldn’t even imagine.

Falling Free is a story that will challenge you emotionally and spiritually as you learn story after story of their surrender and sacrifice. It is written like you are having a coffee table conversation about life, full of raw honesty, humour and questioning whether the choices she makes are the right ones. Her story really helped add a new perspective to what it means to surrender to what God wants to do with our life.” As an example, they go from living their dream life to living in what most would call the ghetto as she feels led by the Holy Spirit. They give up their life savings and their dream farm house, then deal with her quitting her job and her husband then losing his. They adopt one child, to then adopt another, to then adopter another(!!), then let a 19 year live with them. Enough surrendering and sacrifice than most of us would typically like to admit we would want to handle. If you want a story to challenge you to do more, be more grateful for what you have and push yourself closer to surrendering your whole life to God, then read this.

This book was given to me to review by booklook bloggers and has no impact on how I review. If you are an avid reader and would like to receive free books to review, I highly recommend you checking out www.booklookbloggers.com

 

 

What House Will You Choose?

by Ben Silk 0 Comments
What House Will You Choose?

 

I was listening to a message recently on salvation and it brought up a well known question of whether you can be “saved” more than once. Does salvation just come from accepting Jesus into your life or is there more to it than that?

The quickest answer is, yes and no.

In order for us to be “saved” there needs to be a saviour. We need to be rescued by a person, not by a list of laws. That person, can’t just be any person. When we look to a friend, family member, celebrity figure or anyone else we may idolize, as our saviour, that person will always fail. Why? Because just like they us, they make mistakes, they are imperfect and they were not created to be an example for all mankind.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

At some point, if we are going to be rescued by our true saviour, Jesus Christ, we have to accept and acknowledge who He is. After that, we have to build a relationship with Him so that we can protect ourselves as we continue to live out our lives and fulfill our purpose here on earth. Imagine the President meeting his secret service, sworn to protect him, and then he just leaves them where he met them and never returns. That would be pretty stupid, useless and wouldn’t make any sense.  How are they supposed to protect him when they are not in his presence? It’s the same for our Protector, how can we expect Him to protect us if we are not in His presence, if we aren’t building a relationship with Him?

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:1,4 NLT)

As I was listening to the message, some pretty intense imagery was put in my mind of just how upside-down our citizenship in the Kingdom of God can look.

Imagine you are walking down a street, it’s a beautiful neighbourhood. Each home you walk past the owner of the home is trying to persuade you to buy it. The first house you come by appeals to your lusts, you know it’s not the place for you but you can’t control yourself and you want it anyway. The second house you come to appeals to your greed, they tell you they will sell it to you cheap and you can sell it and make way more in the future. Another house appeals to your fears, if you don’t take their home you will be homeless. Another home owner tries to tell you if you buy their house you will be content with life, that this home is really what you need to be happy. One of the owners goes for ego and pride and tries to tell you how great you will feel, how everyone will admire and look up to you, if only you purchase their home.

Eventually you get to the last house, which was really the first house, you just ignored it because it looked so ordinary and out of place. The owner of the home comes to greet you and His name is Jesus. He tells you that he saved this home just for you, that you can have it, for free. He smiles at you and hands you the key. You walk in and are in awe of the splendor and magnificence of the home. You don’t understand why someone would just give something so amazing away for free. How could something so ordinary looking on the outside be so beautiful? In His presence you find real Freedom. As you spend more and more time in the home you begin to fall in love with Jesus.

For most of us, we skip by the ordinary mundane things and get distracted by what the world has to offer. Everything around us pulls at our lusts, our temptations, our need for more, our desire for comfort, for safety, and perhaps the biggest for a lot of us, our pride. It’s easy to fall victim to the owner of the other houses on that street, Satan.

Just look at what the Bible has to say:

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21, MSG)

Isn’t that so many of us? I know that has definitely been me. Carrying around past hurts and bitterness. Seeking happiness in the wrong places. Thinking, if I have this or that item I will be happier, people will like me more, I will like me more. I used to question whether I would ever get a girlfriend or be married. Receive one thing I wanted and instead of being grateful, immediately thinking of the next thing I wanted and why I don’t have it yet. Questions of abandonment, addicted to being numb and pretending everything is okay.

I mean, I look at that list and see that I have been most of those things at point in my life, and that scarily is what the world has to offer. So many of us are lost and broken and don’t even know it. We can always try and fill these holes in our life with what the world offers, but just like Paul says in Galatians, “if you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.” It’s like we are repeatedly putting a square peg in a round hole, as much as we can try and make it fit and jam it in there, it will never fit. Jesus is the only peg meant to be in that hole in our life.

So how should we use our freedom given to us in Christ? One thing that is clear is that we are called to make disciples. Sometimes when I read the Bible, I come to a passage and just find myself stopping there, camping out, meditating on why that scripture stuck out so much for me. One such passage recently is 2 Corinthians 5:18 where Paul states that God “has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” We are called to be ambassadors, to show people who that perfect fitting peg is and what a life living in His presence looks like.

How can we have others realize that we are different than the rest of the world? It is irrational, illogical acts of grace and love, our testimony, our consistency to care when the world won’t, our concern for the poor and broken-hearted; especially if they are against us, that will cause people to wonder why we are doing the things we as Christians, ought to do. This type of impact in their daily lives, along with a searching curiosity, will help others be reconciled with God. As modeled in Acts, good deeds done by the body of Christ should always precede sharing the Good News. It allows for good will to be built so that an open atmosphere can be created to share the gospel effectively.

Which brings us back to that ordinary yet royal home Jesus gave us the key to. In order for us to make disciples we are forced out into the world where we most definitely will come face to face with the enemy. Just like a soldier heads out to battle with armor, we are called to equip ourselves with the armor of God:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:14-18, NIV)

If the passage in Galatians is a template of what we don’t want our life to become, what does a life walking in Freedom look like? Our goal isn’t to be perfect, but to be whole. The only way we can ever achieve this is by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)

How do we do that? By allowing the Holy Spirit to overtake us.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. (Galatians 5:16, NLT)

How can this be, what about all my past mistakes? Amazingly, God’s economy isn’t built on a normal ledger keeping track of what you have spent and how much you owe. It’s built on an economy of grace. Our Father has freely given us all a clean slate in Jesus. He is forgiving us for all our past mistakes and all our future mistakes.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10, MSG)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8, 18, NIV)

So what house will you choose?

As for me and my family, we’ll worship God. (Joshua 24:15)

Devotions For A Deeper Life – Oswald Chambers

Devotions For A Deeper Life – Oswald Chambers
Devotions for a Deeper Life Book Cover Devotions for a Deeper Life
Oswald Chambers
Religion
November 1, 2016
416

This is a 365 Day Devotional. This is a collection of writings by Oswald Chambers, most known for writing My Utmost for His Highest. You can definitely sense the style of writing that was used back in the early 1900s. The amazing thing is that it is still so relevant today. Each devotion contains a scripture, a writing by Oswald, a prayer thought and suggested reading. So far the devotions I have read have been awesome, challenging and brought a different perspective to the scripture. In this sense, the devotion lives up to its name of bringing about a deeper life.

As far as the quality and size of this devotional, it is amazing. Hard cover, pages are thick and glossy, with grey and gold theme. It also comes with bookmark.

The one thing I would change is the Bible translation. It uses KJV and boy was that hard for me to understand. Often I just looked up the scripture in my Bible or on my phone so I could understand what it said. I understand this is most likely what Oswald was using and they wanted to keep it genuine to that, however, I believe NKJV could have been used to allow for a better user experience. If using a KJV version for scripture, or checking your own Bible to read the scripture doesn’t bother you than I would definitely recommend this devotional, as the actual content that Oswald Chambers shares is on point.

 

For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk

For Better Or for Kids Book Cover For Better Or for Kids
Patrick Schwenk, Ruth Schwenk,
Families
July 12, 2016
224

For Better or For Worse…I mean Kids. This book is about staying encouraged and equipped to handle life and marriage with kids in it. The book is narrated by both Patrick and Ruth, both sharing their perspectives on different topics. As our daughter is only 3 months old it is a little early to apply most of what is being talked about in this book. Nevertheless, I found this book as a great guide of what is to be expected in the very near future. Patrick and Ruth talk about how to live a God-centered marriage instead of a child or me-centered marriage.

Just like a puzzle, we need to start by seeing the overall picture of marriage as God designed it so we can know and be excited about what we are trying to build.

Each chapter has a feature called “Just the Two of Us”. They contain a ton of great thought provoking questions that are designed to be discussed together to help cultivate a stronger marriage, especially now that kids are in the picture.

They also talk about how to find balance in the chaos of raising children, how to not neglect yourself and your spouse and most importantly how to effectively communicate with each other.

One of my favourite quotes from the book,

Even before they reach adulthood, children help us battle other intangible enemies, like cynicism, meaninglessness, and self-centeredness. Who can sneer at the world when gazing into a baby’s first smile? Who can feel replaceable when a child’s whole existence depends on you? And who can cling to selfish ambition and vain conceit when a child is tugging at your elbow, begging to play?

Now having a child it makes every little problem feel less significant. Making time for each other is something that we have to fight for, as everything around us fights for our attention.

Marriage is both a blessing we receive and a battle we fight for in love, commitment, sacrifice, and grace. The challenge in marriage is not how it starts, but how it continues, grows, matures, and flourishes over time.

One thing I definitely need to be reminded of:

Marriage is not 50/50. A Christian marriage is 100/100. You put in 100 percent and your wife puts in 100 percent. This is how Christ loved the church. He didn’t just put in 50 percent.

Overall, I found this book to be very well rounded and cover a wide array of topics and situations I know will definitely come up as our daughter (and future children) get older. I would recommend this book if you have children over the age of 1, especially multiple children.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9)

God’s Calling, Have you answered?

by Ben Silk 0 Comments

I believe God calls all of us to do something great with our lives.

The problem is some of us put him on hold, or give him the busy signal; we tell him:

“Not right now God, can’t you see I’m busy having fun drinking/partying my life away, forgetting my problems and not fixing them…”

Or we answer and hang up once we realize who’s calling or just don’t even bother to answer…so agitated He’s even calling…thinking jeez you’ve called me 100 times don’t you get it that I don’t want to talk to you?

Most of us act as if it’s a telemarketer calling us at dinner time; this nuisance…not our Father calling to tell us how much he loves and cares about us, desperately wanting to hear from us and encourage us and share in our challenges and victories.

Or we think He’s calling us to judge us, and tell us how poorly we have done…and since we know we aren’t living up to our full potential we are afraid to answer…not realizing that in His Kingdom, the currency is Grace…God loves you for you…He created you to be unique just like each snowflake is unique.

Too often we only choose to listen once we’ve become broken or hopeless and realized what all our friends have told us, what the world has told us isn’t true and isn’t working that we finally say… alright what is it that you wanted to tell me God?

Francis Chan said, “The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.”

I know that I wish I had picked up sooner, however I am so grateful He never stopped calling, that our Father is persistent and unwavering with His unconditional love. That He protects us and is there for us when we need Him the most. I pray that one day you’ll pick up the phone when He calls and learn to have a conversation with Him. For I know that your life will be changed forever.

So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. (Isaiah 30:18 NLT)

My Journey to Elevate

by Ben Silk 1 Comment
My Journey to Elevate
Elevate Youth Camp

I remember in high school being told in order to graduate we would have to do 40 hours of volunteer work. At this point I didn’t have a job (other than babysitting), and could care less about serving. I loved the thought of helping others, but was just too shy to do anything about it. I wasn’t involved in anything outside of school to attach volunteer status to. As a lot of us can be, I was selfish with my time. I didn’t see the point in doing something that didn’t benefit me directly.

On my journey to becoming a Christian I started to see the value in serving others, especially with no direct benefit to myself. When Ayanda and I made the decision to join the church, we knew we were either going all in or nothing. That meant going every weekend to service, going to Wednesday night prayer – even when the thought of praying together as a group for an hour was uncomfortable, taking the T1 classes, going to C group and most importantly tithing money and time. I say most importantly, because every other activity is giving something to us, whereas the last two allow us to give back to the church community.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)

I looked at all the areas I could serve in the church and saw that positions for the café were open, so I stepped in to the café to serve. I never worked in the fast food industry so for myself it was actually fun doing stock, and learning all the little cogs in the wheel that make the café such a great place to build relationships. I knew I had to have the mindset of doing any small thing that was needed and find joy in it. I knew that if I was booked to volunteer to make sure I wouldn’t allow my social life to interfere with the commitment I made. I wouldn’t even try and find out what others were doing when I would help because I didn’t want to let it soil my attitude wishing I was somewhere else.

Once we had our daughter, Olivia, I knew it would be time to step down in the café. I loved the opportunity to grow friendships with the others in the café and see peoples’ reactions to the café and our quality as a first time visitor. Although the time commitment wouldn’t work out for Saturday nights with our little one in tow, I didn’t want to stop volunteering altogether. So I took some time to really think about where I could make the best investment of my time, where I could help others grow and do something I can see myself doing long term with passion.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

I’d pray about it and my heart would always lead me to youth. Perhaps because I look much younger than I am, I have always felt that I would end up helping youth in someway. I used to think of this anti-aging process as annoying, but now I choose to look at it as a gift. So I approached Ryan about how I could help out and learned how Elevate worked and the vision for it moving forward. After having our conversation I knew it would be somewhere I would enjoy and could make a commitment to. Growing up, having a mentor or someone to speak into my life was sometimes lacking. When it was there, I always valued it. Becoming a father, I see the value even more for others to speak into our childrens’ lives.

Even though it’s only been a couple months and one amazing Youth Camp,  I have loved getting to know the kids and the opportunity to slowly build relationships with them. I can see that all the other crew leaders along with Ryan and Jayme are heavily invested in our youth and that’s what makes Elevate special. No one is there because they are being forced to be there, or that a position was needed to be filled. They are all there because they want to be there, to see our youth anchored and growing in their relationship with Jesus.

I don’t know about you but I love it when God uses multiple platforms to share a message. I’ve often read a book and received a word, only to go to church and have the message be on the same topic, and then find an example in my life or someone else close to me to apply it to. To me that’s God telling me, He knows my situation and cares enough to orchestrate everything as if it is speaking directly to me.

Lately for me that has been the Lord’s Prayer. I listened to a message of it recently being broken down, read about it in a book and listened to a ton of Elevation Church’s song Here as in Heaven. So I was super excited to find out that song was the main song for our worship at youth camp!

The whole weekend was based around learning what it means to be anchored in Christ, finding a promise from God, and understanding that we can trust God to keep that promise. So when I woke up in the morning on the Sunday to my Bible app verse, it blew me away.

God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. (Psalm 18:30 NIV)

Over the Youth Camp weekend, we saw 8 kids commit to Jesus! A group of them also received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues! They prayed prayers of forgiveness and unchecked sin in their lives and best of all, each and every one of them received a promise from God for their lives.