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We continue this week with our series Empowered. God has always worked in history and in life to empower his people. We are no exception. God’s power is available for us and the purpose of this series is to expand and experience the power of God in our lives. The sermon this week is Connect to Listening. Truly listening to one another is a rare event in our world. The primary problem is that we live with a high degree of confusion and distraction.  Technology does make many things easier, but it also brings a level of interaction that can absorb our minds and hearts. We find ourselves being driven by the pack mentality, the media presentation, or empty, mindless entertainment. It causes us to lose track of the truly important realities because we can get caught in a fog of distraction. This impacts our relationship with one another and our relationship with God.  This week we turn to Acts 13:1-9. This is the beginning of the first missionary journey by Barnabus and Paul. The church at Antioch heard the voice of the Holy Spirit and it prompted this church to send a group, led by these two men, to preach the Gospel.  This event is not just about the history of the church but Luke, the writer of Acts, wants us to prepare ourselves to hear the Holy Spirit in our churches and our lives.  Luke recognizes that the Holy Spirit is willing to speak, but we must prepare our hearts to listen!  Where do you need to listen to the voice of God in your life?  When we sharpen our listening skills to listen to God, we will be empowered in ways that we can only imagine.  As you read Acts 13:1-9 it is our prayer that you sense the Holy Spirit filling your heart with God’s power and comfort! Acts 13:1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. 6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said…. ( NIV)