Monday, April 21, 2008

Holy Ghost Times

"I just want more of God." Her wide eyes searched my own for response, acknowledgement, compassion. She is a young Chinese woman, recently touched with deep emotional healing by the Lord, and now she is hungry for more.

"Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?" I queried. If not, I knew there was an essential next step. Her quizzical look led to another question. "Do you speak in tongues?"


"Oh, you need to. We need to pray for you to be baptized and to speak in tongues. Tonight we will have some people gather and pray. This afternoon, you need to be praying and seeking God. Come ready!"

Her friend heard and made her request known. "I don't speak in tongues either."

"Well, you come prepared as well then!"

They came expectant, we prayed believing, and indeed, just as the scriptures promise, He gave abundantly. There were tears, shouts, laughter, praise, and tongues -- all freely given by our Father in Heaven who knows how to give good gifts to His children.**

"Go home, pray in tongues regularly. It will build up your inner man.*** Just let it flow!" My husband admonished them to use the gift that God so generously bestowed.

Their joy was unashamed and full. And we all boldly rejoiced with them.

We need more of the Holy Spirit's free movement in our midst; we always need more of Him. I suppose that's why the Bible exhorts us to earnestly desire* spiritual gifts. Making time to wait and hear, learning to trust that small voice, and stepping out in bold faith are all necessary components.

It does not require deep intellectualism (I could not be a participant were that the case) so that all might partake and enjoy. He is not exclusive save for this: you must be born again through child-like faith. All Christians start there. But we sometimes leave such simpleness of heart and soul behind, heading for the safer harbor of profundity and lofty theology, spelling out the forms and rules and how to's. The Father still looks for those who will leave all that behind to venture out on the high seas of the Spirit-led life.

And I say, "Let's go!"

** Luke 11:11-13
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
***Jude 1:20
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
*1Co 12:31
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
1Co 14:39
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two-edged Sword At Work

Funny how such familiar words can still arrest my soul.

Yesterday was a day of sorting clothes. Not only was I putting away winter, taking out summer, but I was determining which newly purchased items were needed to supplement this season's wardrobe. The clothing budget is pretty much depleted; expenditures must be at a minimum. So in spite of Steve and Barry's ridiculously low prices, I want to only keep the necessary articles.

The key word this morning is necessary. The key concept is depleted clothing budget. Keep those two things in mind as you read the following familiar words.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Phil. 4:11-13
I seem to have a very spoiled attitude that goes something like this: I deserve to, at the very least, have current styles and matching colors.
That attitude has been assumed most of my life. And contentment, true contentment that doesn't long for something more, has not been mine apart from the fulfillment of that expectation.
Hmmm. That's a problem according to Philippians 4. That is less than what the Spirit of God has for me.
I've learned contentment with my food budget, travel budget, entertainment budget, education budget, garden budget, and decor budget (well, for the most part...) But clothes - that's a different story.
The Bible is talking about heartfelt contentment. Would I be content (satisfied with what one has, not wanting more or anything else) with outdated hand-me-downs? Now don't get me wrong. I have no problems with hand-me-downs. Consignment shops were my favorite in San Francisco. But outdated hand-me-downs? Therein lies the challenge.
The scripture says "in whatever be content..."
I could live with it. Indeed, for those who are wondering, there have been such seasons. But was I found not wanting more or anything else? That is the question put to me by the Holy Spirit this morning.
Care to join me in such a heart searching question? Scripture is amazingly alive and pertinent. I can feel it dividing soul and spirit this morning, discerning the thoughts and intents of my heart.
May it always have free reign in my life. I stand in desperate need.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On Empty For Now

The schedule has been full. Joyous events but tiring even so. And on the heels of full days comes a cold. So I sit here with a blanket covering my lap, writing not much of anything. I'm depleted.

So, sitting will be the thing. That along with laundry and some routine catch-up. But nothing that requires mind or creative energy. I'm just not there today.

Know what I mean?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Homeward Bound

Heading home today from the sunny, but quite chilly, west coast. It has been 100% delightful. My son-in-law is a wonderful guy, the little one is adorable and charming, and my Danica, well, she's my Danica. If you knew her you'd know just what I mean.

We've been sharing good meals at home, watching movies, and hanging out around their little place these last few days. I really love that best. Just being a part of their lives is my idea of how to spend time out here!

I will miss them dearly. Wishing I could tuck them in a suitcase. I'm already glad to know that in 6 months I will return to help welcome their next little one into this great big world.

But I do long to see my kids "still back East", as they say. I can hardly wait to touch some long wavy red hair, slip my arm around an almost 15 yr. old waist to steal a hug, and hear all about the adventures of a young boy - the kind of adventures only young boys have!

I will hear stories of music and musings from a purveyor of good concerts, some pondering of the heart from my tenderest of girls, catch up on relationships and salon happenings with the business lady, and my student-type boys will fill me in on campus doings.

And then I'll check in on the little yellow house down the street to hear squeals and giggles and see drawings and dress-up and love on my second daughter and her special family.

Ahhhh. Home, sweet home.

Monday, April 07, 2008

California Dreamin'

We've been enjoying our time here immensely, visiting daughter Danica and her family. There have been day trips to Carmel, Big Sur, Saratoga and mountaintop Drive, San Francisco and Tiburon. We've eaten at favorite pizza parlors and Thai restaurants and Seafood Grills, enjoyed a Starbucks as well. Local markets and consignment shops have been perused more than once already.

Attending their church was a highlight so far since local church is so very vital to a healthy life. The pastor is very passionate and inspiring; the congregation is mindful of family, encouraging good habits and helping establish young families in important priorities. How essential!

Tonight we will host the pastor's family for dinner. What a privilege to spend time with this young man of God. This is a 4 year old church plant that Danica and Ryan have "hitched their wagon to" and as seasoned (that's fancy for old) church members and workers, Rick and I are longing to encourage and affirm the work they are doing. I am thrilled about the prospect of an evening together with other believers -- brothers and sisters I don't yet know!

Meanwhile, don't forget to check in at

I'll be home in Madrid on Wednesday. That doesn't leave much time, but we'll try to make the most of it, savoring the moments, not cramming and rushing, but tasting every last bit. Still, it will be gone soon.

Ah, Heaven. I can't wait...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Step Aside, Dave Ramsey

News bulletin:

The youngest financial counselor has been discovered! In a discussion with his sister, Merrick Sinclair revealed uncanny insights into current day financial trends.

Upon remarking that he would still be living at home when he was 37, Carina Sinclair asked him his reason for such certainty. Without pause, Merrick replied, "Because I'm not going to get a job. I'll just live at home and borrow money from the bank when I need it."

Sounds pretty current to me.

"Where did you get this idea of borrowing money from the bank to live on, Merrick?"

"From The Game of LIFE."

Thank you very much, Milton Bradley...