Pizza Hut, American Girl Dolls, and Acts 9
August 4, 2022
Today I take a closer look at Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul and Ananias both had to own that their journeys were not their own. Somehow that related to Pizza Hut and American Girls Dolls. You’ll have to listen or read below to find out how.
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Welcome to the more to the story podcast I am so glad that you have come along.
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Andy Miller III: So, today, you might have found my title interesting in it and I chose this in part because it's connected to some of the things that have been happening on my podcast lately.
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Andy Miller III: i've had often like when I talk about some of the concerns involving the sexual revolution, it seems to.
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Andy Miller III: heighten the attention and I don't always address those things, but my my appreciate appreciation to those of you.
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Andy Miller III: Who engage me on these very various topics and it means a lot to me for folks who are able to share links to write a review on apple iTunes.
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Andy Miller III: To talk with me when you disagree with me, that means a lot to me and I want to highlight pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: American girl dolls and X nine now that might seem like a funny way to start but i'm going to do that, first by highlighting a recent meme phenomenon now, this is something and those of you who are able to check this out you'll find this interesting as we, as we look at this.
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Andy Miller III: Week come I come at this in a different way now.
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Andy Miller III: You have to be on YouTube plot, probably to see this i'm going to try and describe it, but I don't know if you've seen this meme phenomena I don't think that every.
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Andy Miller III: meme that really takes off has significance, but I think this one scratches an itch, for instance.
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Andy Miller III: my daughter has a host like three American girl dolls and she has one from a certain period one that's called a street chick.
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Andy Miller III: And even on the target said when we when we got a street check, but not homeless like they described every scenario, so people have taken this idea.
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Andy Miller III: and have expanded it so they say, for instance, like this one that's pictured here, we need an American girl doll who's a corporate girly and has a lacroix fully stocked at her desk.
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Andy Miller III: We need an American girl doll who shops at trader joe's and you can see that she's there and dressed just like you would be if you went and trader joe's and then we need an American girl doll who goes on hot walks in her lulu lemon belt and BAT belt bag and hydrates with lacroix.
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Andy Miller III: course, then we need an American girl doll who cried when Nick Jonas was diagnosed with diabetes, we need an American girl doll who is in the room, when the fly landed on Mike pence his head.
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Andy Miller III: We need an American girl doll who's responsible for blocking the Suez Canal.
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Andy Miller III: I think there's something to all this now i'm not suggesting again that all means are like this, I think this is doing something unique, what is it that it's highlighting, I think that.
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Andy Miller III: This phenomena, is trying to say that what we do like what happens in our life is important and we want what we experienced to be remembered, so if there was a an American girl doll that paralleled me as an American boy, it would probably be.
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Andy Miller III: girl that had that wwe jd bright bracelet and listen to silly songs with Larry and.
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Andy Miller III: was waiting for a guy with baggy jeans who was really into DC talk, I mean or something like that, like.
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Andy Miller III: I was always ready in case you were wondering to sing and rap for my future wife kind of girl from DC talking and that was just part part of my.
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Andy Miller III: Christian experience in the United States growing up, but, but what am I trying to highlight with that, like i'm even saying like what I experienced.
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Andy Miller III: is significant, like those of us who live through 911 and those events, those of us who have now obviously been through.
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Andy Miller III: This is a part of history, we want to look back and say what happened in history was important what we experience what we did mattered.
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Andy Miller III: I think that that's in part what's behind that mean in often when we look at what happened to Paul or saw on the road to Damascus, we might look at this guy who was doing all sorts of terrible things to Christians and think man.
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Andy Miller III: He was just crazy he used on almost insane or something.
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Andy Miller III: But I think there's something more to what's going on with Saul Paul I mean he was trying to say my days are significant the things that i'm doing.
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Andy Miller III: matter like i'm committed to this idea, I am committed to the idea of like the narrative of who the people Israel are supposed to be, and this Christian group is getting in the way, hence we see him at the end of stephens stoning, being the one.
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Andy Miller III: Who is collecting coach in approving of his murder, but then, if you just look in Chapter eight we see the way that Paul or saw is engaged in this situation.
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Andy Miller III: It says in verse three Saul was a ravaging the church and entering House after house he dragged off men and women and committed them to pre prison.
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Andy Miller III: And then in verse one and two of Chapter nine, which is what people are most familiar with me just listen to the language they'd be the nav says he was breathing out murderous threats.
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Andy Miller III: Against the disciples of the Lord he went to the high priest and asked him for letter says synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the way men or women.
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Andy Miller III: He might bring them down to Jerusalem you're like kinda.
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Andy Miller III: Emotionally drenched nature of this language I mean I feel like it needs to be played with like heavy metal music and it backer I mean just a guy who's dragging people out breathing out.
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Andy Miller III: murderous sets threats it's like his entire being is focused on this, and if you think about what he was thinking about I know we can't get there completely.
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Andy Miller III: But likely, he was trying to say my time is going to be significant he uses his political power, going to the high priest to make sure that the high priest.
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Andy Miller III: is able to see this as a problem and paul's gonna be want to do it, we know, he was educated, amongst other pharisees better and more, more so than other pharisees like so he uses his knowledge uses education his political influence.
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Andy Miller III: To make his time significant and it's at this point that we see the pivot come in solid paul's life now, sometimes we think that.
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Andy Miller III: Saul had a dramatic moment where his name changes because we have Abraham and all sorts of other people whose name changes, like everything of Peters name changing.
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Andy Miller III: From Simon Peter, but we don't have that necessarily in parts are he probably just use a different form of his name to be able to get into different communities there's like a miss theological reason that he.
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Andy Miller III: Often went by Paul, nevertheless, that he has this traumatic moment that happens in his life when he has called out Saul Saul, why do you persecute me comes from the Lord.
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Andy Miller III: Now I want to share some other pictures as well, while i'm in the middle of you really using YouTube as much as I can, here is another another screen that's going to come up and this highlights.
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Andy Miller III: Something that maybe I have become a little obsessed with now I didn't realize this, you can see in the screen, there is a picture picture of a classic pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: Now I grew up and probably for the first not just growing up for first 40 years of my life I had pizza every Sunday night now recently I have gone more basically gluten free gluten dairy free and I haven't had pizza as much lately, nevertheless, like I have enjoyed.
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Andy Miller III: The process of traveling the country and being reminded of my childhood, if you see this picture of pizza maybe it brings back memories, to you, you can even look on this screen and you can see.
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Andy Miller III: That there is even a shape to the windows, the Red roof this kind of really distinct font and then even inside the restaurant i'm going to show them a little obsessed here that seems a little crazy.
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Andy Miller III: You would know that on either side of the kitchen there was probably an arcade game, maybe even the same games, then, if you came into the middle.
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Andy Miller III: Of the restaurant, you would have a salad bar and the salad bar would have everything place in the exact same place restaurant to restaurant and then you'd have those red stripe plastic.
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Andy Miller III: table coverings those red plastic cups are nice and big and if you got a soda it would come out in a picture and they bring them out for you and and then for those in my generation, we know pizza hut, particularly as well.
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Andy Miller III: Because of something that they did something called the bucket program those of you might know that was a.
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Andy Miller III: If you read so many books your and you did a little report your teacher will give you a bucket certificate and you would get what would you get.
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Andy Miller III: A free personal pan pizza what a great generous sense, but the people pizza hut to do now, I obviously like pizza and I am enjoying pizza in my life.
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Andy Miller III: But I have found it interesting.
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Andy Miller III: To see repurposed pizza hut around the country now I didn't know that I was obsessed with this till about two weeks ago my my family and I were driving across Alabama we are in Selma Alabama.
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Andy Miller III: And we I looked across the street, and there was a pizza hut building that was now functioning as.
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Andy Miller III: A sushi place now Why was this interesting I said sent to my family look that I said I pointed over across the street, I said that has to be an old pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: And then my wife, after two decades of being married to me said yeah you pretty much say that every time you see an old pizza hut she she said it in a very nice way, but she said to kind of that little way yeah you seem to be obsessed here.
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Andy Miller III: And I had them it yep I am so to further the point of my obsession, let me show you a few of these other pizza hut around the country so, for instance.
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Andy Miller III: You can see, we have a pizza hut that might come in.
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Andy Miller III: here's a liberty income tax pizza now this if you're looking on YouTube watch on YouTube you can see that has a pizza hut windows.
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Andy Miller III: And you can see that people are going in and doing their taxes but they're not just doing their taxes.
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Andy Miller III: They are doing their taxes and an old pizza he might even have one of the old chandelier is that had kind of law, I call it the pizza hut stained glass window type of chandelier light fixture that would come down okay.
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Andy Miller III: To me there's no getting around the fact that has to be a pizza then let's see some other examples, now, this is.
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Andy Miller III: A denny's now, if you look closely in this picture they've done everything they can to hide the fact that this was clearly pizza, but it has a red roof.
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Andy Miller III: And it has that column that comes right up in the middle of the roof, and it says denny's American diner america's diner.
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Andy Miller III: There is no hiding the fact that that is not america's diner they were serving pepperoni lovers long before they are serving bacon and eggs.
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Andy Miller III: So there's there's one here's one that was turned into a five guys a pizza now five guys didn't even try to hide that much they just kept this it have the same colors it seemed to fit in well but there's no doubt.
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Andy Miller III: That instead of having those peanuts and hamburgers that are nice and greasy used to serve greasy cheese from pizza JAI.
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Andy Miller III: here's one that's trying to hide it subway subway pizza turned into a subway no doubt about it, they tried to accentuate the roof in such a way so that it would be distinguished but you can't fool me, I know, that was a pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: Then you'll even find some that are in Insurance Office there's an insurance office in an old pizza again this one has a beautiful view.
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Andy Miller III: And you might be in there, working on on your car insurance or home plan, but i'm telling you that is a pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: And then finally one that's close to me here the Asian kitchen and he even has added a drive through.
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Andy Miller III: That but it's Asian kitchen liquor and why now I have heard, I haven't seen these ones myself, some of these there are even pizza hut that are funeral homes.
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Andy Miller III: Now to me if you're sitting down and you're doing your taxes and old pizza hut what you're doing there me you're not just at a pizza you know you're not just.
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Andy Miller III: you're not just doing your taxes you're doing your taxes in a pizza there's a wider context to what's going on and here's what I want to suggest.
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Andy Miller III: that what is happening for Paul on the road to Damascus where he's trying to find significance for his life what's happening there is connected to something else.
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Andy Miller III: what's happening for Paul is connected something else, like just like when you're sitting in a pizza hut that's a former pizza that that was a sushi place.
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Andy Miller III: you're really into pizza in my book, if you were to do an archaeological dig i'm sure you find some bucket certificates and some nice red plastic in some remnants of a pizza there.
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Andy Miller III: what's going on in this scene is different than even Paul understands he thinks, after all, he is persecuting this movement that has risen up to take over the Church.
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Andy Miller III: And even if we just think about it in the light of what is happening in paul's life when he realizes that this is Jesus when he has this conversion moment even that is more it's about more than just him as the name I podcast there's more to that story.
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Andy Miller III: And Paul has to realize here.
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Andy Miller III: That even as he confronts Jesus that his journey.
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Andy Miller III: is not his own he has to own that his journey is not his own and that's the exact same thing that happens with an n is later in this verse as well, it I love the way in and is responds to Jesus.
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Andy Miller III: In verse 10 of Chapter nine says now, there was a disciple at Damascus named and a nice the Lord said to him, innovation and N is and he said here, I am Lord.
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Andy Miller III: You I love how in a nice response, like all the Lord has to say all Jesus has to say to him is his name and then he responds like the Prophet Isaiah like same you'll hear am your servants listening i'm ready to do what you're asking.
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Andy Miller III: But what's interesting about this call to Anand is is it's not about him, but he realizes what are you going to call me do what's the task in front of me like how is my time, going to be significant.
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Andy Miller III: And then he tells him that he's going to interact with solve and you know and and I just reminds the Lord, just in case you didn't know that this guy was one who is trying to kill Christians but, nevertheless, he responds.
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Andy Miller III: In one what Anand is does is he owns the fact that his journey is not his own and we have to own that our journeys are not our own jesus's call is jesus's it's not ours Jesus has called in your life and what he's asking do might not be about you.
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Andy Miller III: know the great thing is, you get included in it, but jesus's car is jesus's and that's exactly what happens to Saul as well what's our ball and he's confronted with this, he said, why do you persecute me.
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Andy Miller III: Now he could have responded by saying look i'm not persecute you.
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Andy Miller III: and persecute in an idea.
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Andy Miller III: notes is interesting thing that I just caught this as it's translated a little differently than i've seen other places in the ESP says saw rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened he saw nothing.
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Andy Miller III: All those eyes were opened he saw nothing now remember what happens in this story it's so easy to jump over the fact that saw Paul for three days was blinded it took him three days before he got to be within an is.
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Andy Miller III: So when he is in this situation, his eyes are actually opened after his encounter after he hears Jesus is called, but he was not yet aware of what all this meant.
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Andy Miller III: It was incomplete what he was doing wasn't necessarily about his healing just in that moment.
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Andy Miller III: And so, when these two people come together what happens is that Anand is verifies.
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Andy Miller III: paul's vision and then is then cooperates with God in the healing of Paul and and is baptized as him and Anna nice doesn't get in the way of what God is wanting to do in his life.
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Andy Miller III: I think, also it's interesting to note that, when we engage Jesus when Jesus comes to us, and he calls us.
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Andy Miller III: we're not confronted with an idea.
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Andy Miller III: or a metaphysical proposition instead we're confronted with the person that God who exist as three persons undivided in essence and co equal and power power and glory comes to us in a personal way.
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Andy Miller III: We don't just come to like kind of as like selfish selves know it's like we are invited in to the eternal personhood of God, in a beautiful way and that's exactly what happens here and then he says that they need.
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Andy Miller III: More wow there's that and I still don't get this I can't understand this ontological Lee how it all works, but somehow when Paul was persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Jesus.
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Andy Miller III: That, and I think Paul likely works through the rest of his life what those words mean when he says we are the body of Christ.
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Andy Miller III: We think of even Matthews, where it's that when you've done it to one of the least of these you've done it unto me I don't understand that.
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Andy Miller III: I believe it, but I don't understand it, but there's something mystical about the reality that that Jesus, that is, has said that we are are Paul says we are the body of Christ, and that when we've done something.
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Andy Miller III: We do something against Christians we're doing it to Jesus and that's what Paul is told here on the road to Damascus.
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Andy Miller III: there's I googled just the top summer song and I found the apple list I don't know if it's by the time this podcast comes out I feel still be a number one song.
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Andy Miller III: And I was surprised I didn't know the song at all, but I saw it, use the word God so it's called it's called this it's a.
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Andy Miller III: Running up that hill a deal with God, and I am clearly demonstrating the fact that I am a 42 year old homeschool dad seminary Professor right guy I am not up on popular culture, I have a podcast but that's about as good as I get here.
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Andy Miller III: So apparently this song has really made it because it's a part of the stranger things TV show I haven't ever seen stranger things.
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Andy Miller III: Judge me, as you will, and I know I probably should, for the sake of connecting with students or something, but I don't know I don't know what stranger about stranger things but there it is.
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Andy Miller III: But I guess it's had a climactic point where there's a self sacrificing moment moment and then this song from the 1980s.
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Andy Miller III: It was written by a woman named Kate Bush and when you listen to it i'm like I couldn't believe that this is the number one song because it sounds so much like from the 1980s and i'm clearly 1990s child and that's also old.
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Andy Miller III: But the words are interested in me I don't know again like if the reason, this is popular is, in part because the message of the song, but it says this if I only could I make a deal with God.
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Andy Miller III: And I get him to swap our places i'd be running up that road, the running up that Hill and those of you know, the song i'm sorry I just put it in your head.
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Andy Miller III: But the essence of the song like what I think it's trying to get at is the long mean we all have for self sacrifice.
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Andy Miller III: We are looking for someone something to enter into our story, who will swap places and we'll make a deal with God right.
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Andy Miller III: We want this we're longing for this and notice how it says, I be running up that hill be writing up that hill.
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Andy Miller III: I think that's what we're if we're all looking for that and i've recently been reading East la Jones and his book word made flesh.
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Andy Miller III: And he talks about how the Cross is in everything how the crosses in our molecular structure that it's in the animal kingdom he even makes this interesting point that I found recently that.
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Andy Miller III: The reason that at least he was writing this in like the 40s the reason.
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Andy Miller III: lions and tigers are on their way towards extinction in those days is because.
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Andy Miller III: They don't have the self sacrificing principle that cats have and essentially Jones is a big fan of cats and he says the same things about wolves and dogs, the reason dogs are making it is because there are servants.
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Andy Miller III: i'm not sure I completely follow everything he's saying there nevertheless he's trying to say that self sacrifice is something that we're all looking for looking for, and so in movies and culture we see this emphasis.
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Andy Miller III: of self sacrifice coming through like we want that we want that ourselves, we want to experience it and that's what we see happening on the road to Damascus.
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Andy Miller III: Is that Jesus steps forward and notice, too, I, like the connection I don't know if it perfectly works out he said i'd be running up the hill Jesus ramp the hill of calvary i'd be running on that road.
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Andy Miller III: Jesus ran on that road of Damascus to get to Paul and to bring him to a place where he could see the self sacrifice that he offers Saul Saul, why are you persecuting me.
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Andy Miller III: If you want to be significant.
00:22:57.660 --> 00:22:58.890
Andy Miller III: You need to give up your life.
00:23:01.020 --> 00:23:11.520
Andy Miller III: If you want to find your purpose, you have to own that your journey is not your own that Jesus is call is about Jesus and not about us.
00:23:12.180 --> 00:23:16.470
Andy Miller III: Not about us trying to find their ways, and this is what I think the kind of connection is the pizza.
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Andy Miller III: Is that what Paul was doing what in an ice was doing was realizing that their story was not about them and that's what I suggest is kind of the connection that pizza so if you're ever eaten in an old pizza hut.
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Andy Miller III: you're eating at five guys that's really pizza you're really in a bigger story.
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Andy Miller III: And that's what Paul realized that day is he was in a bigger story, and when we realize this when we realize that and when we give ourselves up that we are part of a bigger plan that Jesus is call is jesus's.
00:23:46.290 --> 00:24:05.190
Andy Miller III: And that we own that our journey is not our own we might see that what god's asking us to do is not about us what Jesus might be asking you today to do might not be about you comes when we do this, that we find true an ultimate fulfillment.
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Andy Miller III: My kitchen table our kitchen table at our House here in Mississippi we have the very last line of mere Christianity on our wall, so we see it actually it's right behind where I sit, all the time, and I think that this hints at this same idea i'm applying my old version here your Christianity.
00:24:28.500 --> 00:24:30.690
Andy Miller III: And just the very last page it says this.
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Andy Miller III: Look, for yourself, and you will find in the long run.
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Andy Miller III: Only hatred loneliness despair rage ruin and decay.
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Andy Miller III: And that's I think what Paul was experiencing What did he have he had raging raging out breathing out murderous threats we look for ourselves if we look for life to fulfill if we are filming in ourselves, it will only lead hatred loneliness despair rage and ruin and decay, but then.
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Andy Miller III: yeah I almost said he's the only Jones.
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Andy Miller III: CS Lewis ends the book with this sentence, but look for Christ, and you will find him and with him everything else thrown in.
00:25:20.580 --> 00:25:27.510
Andy Miller III: But look for Christ, and you will find him and with him everything else thrown in.
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Andy Miller III: own that your journey is not your own, but when you find that journey with him you'll find everything else thrown in.
00:25:39.540 --> 00:25:46.650
Andy Miller III: And when you realize that Jesus is called is about Jesus, not about the stories that we're trying to create for ourselves.
00:25:47.340 --> 00:26:01.260
Andy Miller III: We end up seeing the discovered meaning we find in crisis, far more significant from from the way we invent and try to craft our own meaning in our own truth instead we commit to his truth, who he's calling us to be.
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Andy Miller III: that's the more of that story podcast today thanks for checking us out we're gonna have some more interviews coming along here soon.
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Andy Miller III: you're interested in some of the other things that we offer you can go to my website at Miller third calm that's Andy Miller, I I calm.
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Andy Miller III: I have my dude course that's there and really thankful for people who are accessing that if you're interested that's a six week course it's available for folks.
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Andy Miller III: For small groups senate school classes there's even some boards that are using it as a way to like.
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Andy Miller III: have their own Bible study and people use it with their families so i'd love to make that available for you, if you're interested, you can check that out at my website thanks so much for checking this out God bless you.