Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

God’s Current

As far back as I can remember in the history of cell phones I have always overcharged my phone. I use it so much for taking pictures or Googling random facts, that I don’t like to let it out of my sight long enough to charge until I’m ready to hit the hay. At the end of the day I plug it in, thinking, I won’t fall asleep before I unplug the phone, but inevitably I always doze off before it’s done charging. It’s a bad habit that ruins my phone battery and keeps me running on empty throughout the day, but it always happens.

One evening I was winding down for the day and went to plug in the phone, but the end of the cord that connects to the phone was fried. In my sleep a few nights before I had unplugged the phone and left the cord plugged into the wall. It had been like that for who knows how long, and it had finally gotten too hot and melted the outer shell of the plug. Fortunately this did not cause a fire, but from the appearances of it, it very well could have. 9597bc0b-3382-455e-a663-e83d75bcb989

As I reflected on my foolish mistake, I realized that we neglect our spiritual lives just the same. We power up on Sundays, neglect God all week, and return the next Sunday ready to refuel. And just like I didn’t unplug the cord from the outlet, so God does not unplug from us. His Holy Spirit current is still flowing to us, but we are disengaged. We fail to receive His power because we’ve detached ourselves from the source. It is not that He ever denies us the Holy Spirit, in fact, it is still flowing at the same speed and same strength as it ever did. And like the cord that got so hot it melted, so we can feel the Holy Spirit tongues like fire (Acts 2:3) roaring in us, to the point of it spilling over, erupting from us. God uses that precious overflow to reach those around us that are yet to know His power.

Today and everyday, God invites us to reconnect, refuel, and allow His goodness to spill over in our lives if only we take the time to plug in.

Zealand Worship – Your Love is Wild (Official Video) Published on May 23, 2016

Resting and Being Yourself

Ever been offered an opportunity to do something you love, but your plate is already close to full? It’s hard to turn down that opportunity. It’s also hard to say no to something that needs to be done when you know no one else will do it. Life is full of things that need to be done, that are actually, in reality, optional. Examine what’s on your plate, and you will likely find things that could fall off without anyone noticing.

This past week I was asked to be on several different “teams.” All of the teams sounded great, fun, amazing. I was asked if I wanted to communicate. I love talking, writing, and sharing information. Yes! That’s for me! The kid’s team asked me to help out in the classroom. I worked with kids for six years at my old church, and it was fun. That would be an easy one for me. Maybe I should do that. The third team that approached me was the outreach team. I have been wanting to be a part of an outreach team for years, and as the team leader described the areas she envisioned us focusing on, I wanted to volunteer for them all. After receiving these three offers, I was so excited, but then reality sunk in. My past complaints about serving so much in church, included not having as much time to volunteer with other favorite non-profits, not enough time to enjoy the hobbies that help me reenergize, resenting my volunteer duties, etc. Do I really want to put myself back into that situation?

I’d like to say that when those thoughts arose, I went straight to God in prayer, but alas, I didn’t go to Him right away. Instead I went to my mom, my friends, and my sleep. You see, when I’m stressed I have nightmares, and I did. I had nightmares about losing control, feeling overworked and burdened by responsibility. Why didn’t I just go to God? You’d think I would have learned by now.

The next day, after tossing and turning all night, I did get up and pray about it. I was reminded that my blog really is my outlet for “communication” and writing. While I would enjoy time with the kiddos, maybe now is not the season to volunteer in children’s ministry. Outreach is really where I’m most passionate in this season of my life, and where I have been most passionate most of my life. I love helping people, meeting needs, and improving my community. I felt God nudge me in this direction, but I still felt so bad saying no to the Communication team and the Kid’s team. Then in a last-ditch effort God provided, not one, but a whole week’s worth of devotions on resting. Day after day I read messages that reminded me to rest my body and my mind for, not only, my physical and mental health but my spiritual health. It took me back to times when I was riddled with anxiety and stress, not that taking part in the communication and kids teams would do that, but I know myself and once I start taking on responsibility, I don’t slow down.

As a result of God’s undeniable answer to my prayer, I did contact the two team leaders for the teams I had to decline. I sent thoughtful responses and expected them to beg for my assistance despite my turning them down, but instead I was met with encouragement and understanding. Perhaps I reminded them they needed to rest too.

I believe that, as a Christian, when I truly rest, I experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent him to be our counselor, and what a gentle and kind counselor he is. He makes my spirit feel like it is lying down in a green pasture beside still waters, full of peace. It is in this time that I feel truly myself, the way God created me, a creative, kind, compassionate, quirky, funny woman. I feel free to create art, write letters, chat with friends, laugh at a favorite movie, talk to God out-loud, and totally recharge. It is in this Holy Spirit time that I “fill my tank” as my dear friend Scott would say.

When your soul is resting, your emotions are okay, your mind is okay, and your will is at peace with God, not resisting what He’s doing.    – Joyce Meyer

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Christianese Translated: “Look to God”

If you are a Christian, you probably don’t even notice you are doing it, but you are most likely speaking Christianese to your non-Christian friends. I have many friends of different ethnic backgrounds, many of whom are at least bilingual. It’s not usually fun to be the third wheel in a conversation spoken in a language you don’t comprehend. So why do Christians speak in these phrases that so many non-Christians understand?

Well, rather than try to explain the why, how about I teach you a Christian phrase so you don’t feel so out-of-place next time your friends are speaking Christianese. The song, the one at the end of this post, it was played at my church this morning. I love this song. It has some great lyrics, “Our eyes are on You.” What does this mean? If you are a non-Christian, you might be wondering what it means, but as a Christian you might be wondering the same.

The song almost implies that God can be seen somewhere “up there.” It says, “We lift our eyes to You.” Does God live on a mountain, in the sky? Does He fly? Maybe He is like Superman, flying over. Non-Christian, much of what Christians say is metaphor, but what we believe is not. We believe that Jesus ascended to Heaven, so yes, He lives there, He sits at God’s right hand. Does Jesus solely exist in Heaven? No. After Jesus’ resurrection He sent the Holy Spirit. Even if you are not a believer you may have felt the Holy Spirit before. It sometimes manifests as a nudging toward the right thing to do or a subconscious guilt when we are about to make an unwise choice. In many ways the Holy Spirit is like a counselor and guide.

Christians believe that God is made of three persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. If God is three parts, then we don’t have to look up to see God. In fact, we don’t have to look at our pastor, at the wooden cross hung above the altar, or at the most godly person we know. If you are Christian the Holy Spirit lives in you, which means that you don’t have to look far. God is always with you just like your heart is always with you, your lungs are always with you, your brain is always with you. Is it easy to go a day without your lungs or your heart?

Next time you sing this song or think of the phrase “look to God”, look to the purist thing inside you, your compass for the wilderness of life, to guide you home.

The Holy Spirit: Why you can’t plan your day around your eye makeup

Putting on my makeup last Sunday, I chose from my two options of mascara and opted for regular, as opposed to waterproof. Yes, I have to present “my three boys” with their diplomas after teaching them six years, but I will be able to keep my tears under control. I won’t be saddened by the fact that I will be moving to a new church after this Sunday, will I? I feel I’ve already grieved that loss, and now feel I am just growing my extended family.

As I drive to church, I am so proud that I am going to make it on time for once. I will have time to have all six teachers sign the diplomas before I present them to the students. I even had time this morning to plan a few words of encouragement for the teachers and students. No one will even remember this is my last day, and I will get to leave quietly without any embarrassing acknowledgements.

Whew! The service is over. I made it through without black streaks of mascara rolling down my cheeks. Then the part-time minister decides to pray a closing prayer. While everyone’s heads were bowed, the minister paused, “If you have an encouraging word to share with someone, please feel free to share it with them.” Immediately his wife took the microphone and turned to me to share her words of encouragement as I transition to a new church family. I thanked her and started to reach for my purse, and then one after another got up and took the microphone and shared their encouraging words with me.

It turns out that just because you wear regular mascara, doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit isn’t going to come and woo you into tears. Last Sunday I was sent out to grow my church family, to grow as a disciple and a Christ-follower, and to develop community in my community. It feels so good to know that my existing church family is behind me all the way.

A Day with My Lover

As the eldest of three sisters and still single at nearly 34 years of age, I experience both real and assumed pressure to walk down the aisle sometime this century. Some people beat around the bush, and others just blurt it out, “Are you ever going to get married?”

Well, first off, getting married is not a one-person decision, neither is it a two-person decision, but a bride, groom, and God decision. When people ask me if I’m ever going to get married I feel like screaming! When has it ever been okay to ask a barren woman when she will ever have children? Don’t you think if I had a choice in the matter that I would get you off my back in an instant if I could?

Sometimes, however, no one has said anything, but I just feel a pressure to not be single anymore, to give my parents the grandchildren that they want so very much, but again, it is not my choice. Sure there are things I could have done differently in life that may have gotten me hitched, but I can’t change the past now. Fortunately God has given me so many other reasons to live and enjoy His creation. Believe it or not, world, life goes on even when you are single, and life can go on down in the dumps or happily jumping in the puddles while the storm blows through.

Yesterday I missed my friends’ wedding because I didn’t want to face the questions of why I am still single. That’s sad. I instead slept in, had church at home in the peacefulness of my living room while listening to the choir at the church next door belt out hymns (talk about making a joyful noise!), sang some worship songs of my own (well, not my own), read the word, and prayed and listened. You know what? After I prayed, asking God if I should go to my friends’ wedding, telling Him my fears of judgment, and listened quietly, all I heard was God’s perfect peace telling me to just rest in His goodness. There would be enough guests to celebrate with my friends, and without me there would surely be more food for them. At that moment I was feeling the joy of being with my Heavenly Lover, and He knew that was all I needed. Plus I knew my friends would understand.

Instead of saying someday God will give me all I wish for, I say I wish for all that God has for me because He’s already given me more than I deserve, more than I wished for…and that was exactly what I needed to feel yesterday, today, and forever. I’ve spent the last several weeks feeling like the future was too far away, but it’s true what they say, the present is a gift (or a present).

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You understand my every need. You know when to make me rest and when to get me up moving around, serving others. You give me strength in my weakness, and wealth of spirit when I am poor in spirit. Sometimes You let me suffer, but You always rescue me before I fall to pieces. You catch me in Your arms, not only like a father catches his child, but like a groom carries his bride. Thank You for Your gentleness, Your mercy, and Your grace. Even when I have forgotten all You have given me, You still give me more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have you ever had a special day with Jesus that you would like to share?

Also, I just want to take this opportunity to wish my friend Maura a very happy birthday. Thanks for always reading my blog.

The Down Pour

The last few days I have felt hit by the flood of rumors regarding a storm headed for the Bay Area. My gut reaction is to shrink the issue. ‘The weather report is never right. What do they know?!?!’
Sure the storm wasn’t hurricane status, but there were flash floods on freeways and local city streets. This reminds me of when I was much younger Christian, and I would hear people talk about the Holy Spirit. I thought to myself, ‘It couldn’t be as amazing as they say. What do they know?!?!’ Guess what. They knew! The Holy Spirit forecast is that of sweeping transformation in your life and overflowing joy.
There is a reason people refer to the Holy Spirit raining down, even flooding your soul. It’s because you feel soaked, you feel filled to the brim, you feel the skies have opened, and that you are experiencing a flash flood in your soul.

God, we thank you that you give us the sensory experience of a storm, a down pour, so that we can know how much more you give us through your Holy Spirit. Just as the rain nourishes the crops, so you nourish our souls. Amen.