Five Minutes with Tony Agnesi
That was Yesterday
My friend was an atheist and a struggling alcoholic. In one of several attempts to overcome his alcohol addiction, he placed a 3X5 card on our shared bulletin board with the words, “That was Yesterday.” In this podcast, Tony talks about experiencing a metanoia, and turning away from yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow. Scripture: On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now 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, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:3-9 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. –Romans 8:18 Reflections: Was there an experience that turned your life around? Have you put your old self behind you? Can you say “That was yesterday” about a time in your life before Christ?
You're Gonna Serve Somebody
One evening, while driving to the jail, I realized that, in my haste, I hadn’t prepared anything to talk about. As I began to reflect on what might be a good theme for the night, Bob Dylan’s old song, Gotta Serve Somebody, came on the radio.
Jesus Take the Wheel
Then, my navigation screen flashed, the car slowed to 40 mph, and the message on the navigation system read, “Powering Down, Seek Service Immediately!” In this podcast, Tony talks about a breakdown in South Carolina on a trip to Florida, and how everything worked out, as if by divine intervention, once he surrendered to God’s will. Scripture: He who plans a thing will be successful; happy is he who trusts in the Lord! Proverbs 16:20 But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. Proverbs 28:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25 Reflections: Have you ever thought you were in complete control and found out you weren’t? Have you ever been in such a tough situation that you simply had to turn things over to the Lord? Is is difficult for you to give up control?
Healed Not Cured
In this podcast, Tony discusses the difference between being healed and cured. He talks about the paralytic and his encounter with Jesus from Luke’s gospel. As we live our lives, with the trials, diseases, and infirmities we might experience, it’s OK to pray for a cure, but more importantly, let’s pray for healing! Scripture: One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:17-20 Reflection: Do you understand the difference between healing and a cure? What is more important, you are cured or your sins are forgiven? What do you think was going through the minds of the friends of the paralyzed man following his encounter with the Lord?
You Give Love a Bad Name
As I pulled into my office parking lot, I was approached by a man with a gasoline can. “Hey man, can you help me with a few dollars for gas?” He asked. “No,” I replied hurriedly, as I made my way into the office. What he didn’t know, is that he has approached me three times with the same gas can story, and that he has been observed in our parking lot and a few of the nearby lots with the same story for the past month. In this podcast, Tony discusses the question of what we should do when approached by a panhandler on the streets. Scripture: And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. Luke 16:20-23 Reflection: What did you do the last time you were asked for money on the street? Do you ever stop and give a donation to a panhandler on the freeway exit or street corner? How can you tell if the person is really in need or just a scam artist?
Two Dollars and a Bus Pass
It was a cold winter day and I decided to stop at the local fast food restaurant for a roast beef sandwich and a coke. Although it wasn’t yet one o’clock, the restaurant was nearly empty and I was the only person in line. In this podcast Tony talks about what happened next, and how it changed his view of generosity. Scripture: When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor woman put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood. Luke 21:1-4 Reflections: What can we learn from the poor widow in the gospels? Do you find that the people who have little and more inclined to share what they have than people with more? The young girl didn’t have much but she offered to share what little she had. Have you ever been in this position? How did you react? If you have enjoyed listening to this podcast, please subscribe by clicking the Follow Link on the lest hand side of the page. Don't miss a single Five Minutes with Tony Podcast!