Monday, June 18, 2012

Things I Learned from my Puppy

everything is worth a little nibble just to help us understand that thing more
Rolling onto your back is not an act of submission but an invitation to scratch a belly
every moment is a great time to tell me how cute, wonderful, and/or good I am
It is a time to celebrate if I release my waste in appropriate time and places.
Every meal is a huge blessing
I can count on my people.  When I run to them they will catch me up and offer protection and love.
catching my tail is not a waste of time but part of my mission statement,  I will catch it and it deserves to be chewed on and shown who's boss.
Everyday I grow
My space space is my space.
Outside is a wonderful place to explore smell and chew
It is normal for me to mess up and my people will still love me.
Wiggle, bounce, climb, snuggle, lick

My little Molly Mayhem is already part of the family.  I thank the Wheeler family who loved her from birth right on through today.  I am fortunate that such a wise yet silly friend and pet is now a part of my everyday.  Molly is smart and I am blessed by what she is teaching me but terrified about the things I am teaching her unintentionally.  However the basic skills of living together in love are not to be feared.    She is already enjoying the freedom of living in the spirit of grace.  And I am reminded of the gifts of grace and truth and love that have been lavished on me.  Will I bask in them and bound joyfully into the world not fearing the hawk or the hole which may consume me?  Will I make a joyful noise to the Lord just because I can.  I can't wait to see what Molly will teach me next.  Molly!  Molly!  Molly??  MOLLY!  Hey Andy, where's the puppy?  MOLLY?  MOLLY?  oh molly.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Job Description

Holy Spirit Series
Forgotten God                                Francis Chan
The God I Never Knew                    Robert Morris
Commentary                                  Jodi Haier

Forgotten God pp. 74-76

“The Counselor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know and remember.   She is our comforter, our advisor, our encourager, and our strength. She guides us in the way we should go.” (yes I changed the He to She)

Wow let me get this straight.
Job Title: Great Counselor
Job Description: Comfort us in all our struggles.  Advise us to hang on to God amongst all our storms and dramas, Encourage us in meaningful ways that go beyond being a cheerleader.   The Counselor is to be our strength not just when we get to the end of our strength but always.  No days off, no hours off, for all eternity.

Scripture References:  Psalms 143:7-10, John 14-16; Acts 9:31, Acts 13:2, Acts 15:28, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10; 1 John 5: 6-8

Psalm 143: 7-10 (Message)
Hurry with your answer, God! I'm nearly at the end of my rope. Don't turn away; don't ignore me! That would be certain death.
   If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
   Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before you.
   Save me from my enemies, God— you're my only hope!
   Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God.
   Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.

If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice… Isn’t that encouragement?  Isn’t that Comforting?
Point out the road I must travel  Isn’t that asking for critical advise from someone you trust and know you can rely upon. 
Save me from my enemies The role of a counselor to help us realize the resources we have to fight our enemies. 
You’re my only hope! Once again a call for encouragement.
Teach me how to live to please you.  Oops something I left out from the Job Description, life coach; teaching us how to live in the light of God.
Lead me She guides us in the ways we should go.

In one scripture we get this kaleidoscope of understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit.  What more can the Scriptures add?  Please let me know what else needs to be added to the Job Description from the scriptures listed.  

Give Me Words to Speak

Holy Spirit Series
Forgotten God                                           Francis Chan
The God I Never Knew                             Robert Morris
Commentary                                              Jodi Haier

pp. 74-76 Forgotten God

If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, a number of things should (oh how I hate the implications of the word should, but that’s another blog)be a part of your life.”  The book lists several promises of God that we can count on.  I am going to highlight several of them along with the corresponding bible references.

“The spirit helps us speak when we are in precarious situations and need to bear witness.”
Mark 13:11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Now many of us will say, but I will never be arrested and brought to trial.  I say lets look at the language.  The word arrested means stopped. Your focus has been taken into custody by this person or event.  You no longer can do anything else but address this situation.  And as for being brought to trial, well, how often have you felt judged and you have defended your position before your peers and other interested bystanders?   Now that we have put ourselves into the scripture isn’t nice to know that if we will but calm ourselves and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be given exactly the right thing to say.  Gee, how often have we prayed for that.  Well, how often have you actually used the words of the Holy Spirit?  And if the Spirit has remained silent….. hmmm what does that tell you, but SHUT UP!?!

Luke 12:11-12  When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Ok you may say that this is the same verse just a different gospel.  Well, I agree with you.  However, let us look at the language.  “Synagogues, rulers and authorities” are the bosses or leaders of an institution.  They are people of authority, position, honor, influence and standing.  If you are “brought before them” I don’t think it is to discuss your raise.  These are intimidating times.  We have all faced them and often felt alone while doing so.  Here we are not facing the legal system but something far less structured.  Here attitude and relational connections are very valuable.  And who are you to stand before Goliath?  Well, with the help of the Holy Spirit you are you are David and the Spirit has given you exactly the right stones (hee, hee, yes those stones, and confidence too) and reminded you exactly where you have placed your sling.

A person who lives a spirit filled life is in control of what they say and when they are silent.  By listening to the Holy Spirit, we will appear to be wise because our words will reflect our love for God and God’s people. 

Please listen to Aaron Shust’s song: Give Me Words to Speak Here’s the link:

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Holy Spirit is a person

Holy Spirit Series
Forgotten God                     Francis Chan
The God I Never Knew      Robert Morris
Commentary                            Jodi Haier 
June 8, 2012

Forgotten God Chapter 3

“What does the Spirit do?  Her works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity.  How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages?  What did She do before creation began?  How great are the graces She showered on creation?  What power will She wield in the age to come?  She existed She pre-existed She co-existed with the Father and Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.” -St. Basil the Great

Well, I did change the Spirit from a he to a she, but the rest is all St. Basil. 

1.  The Holy Spirit is a person; a person who has an intimate relationship with each of us and with God and Jesus.  We see her working with the Father and Son throughout the Scriptures. 

Matthew 28:16-20 (The Great Commission) 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

2 Corinthians 13:11-14 11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.  12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.  14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

By doing something in someone’s name we are using all the influence and power of that person.  We are acting in the character and under the protection of that person.  And if we succeed, we acknowledge the true victor, the person whose name we lived under.  All glory goes to the one we serve.  That is one reason the Lord’s name is so special.  It implies a relationship that most of us ignore.  This relationship is intense, personal and eternal.  By choosing Christ, and accepting the name Christian we pledge to do all things in the name of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit.  And yet, we sometimes relegate the Holy Spirit to the indefinite article, it.  The Holy Spirit’s personhood is essential to the relationship described above.  The Holy Spirit is not a wisp of a once was but the Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of Christ.  How then can we relegate the Holy Spirit to the Ghost of something past?   
The scripture from 2Corinthians reminds us of how we live in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  It is impossible to be in fellowship with a thing.  Fellowship requires openness, honesty, accountability, communication, forgiveness, love and hard work; qualities that are impossible to conjure up with a thing.  It is the personhood of the Holy Spirit that ensures and affirms that our hope is placed on nothing less Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  That hope is from the salvation that Jesus offers and the opportunity to live life along the path of love.  And the Holy Spirit is our guide, our nurturer, our protector and comforter, the one we can always count on.