Monthly Archives: May 2018

Advice to students graduating from high school in 2018

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Living and breathing in God

When our heart/mind experiences the love of God through the Holy Spirit, the natural spontaneous response is to offer thanks and praise. The natural response when one is experiencing the loving kindness of God is to love God in return. The more we love God in gratitude, praise, surrender and commitment, the more we are capable of experiencing God’s love to a greater degree. The more we experience God’s love and forgiveness, the more we desire to show that love by loving, serving and forgiving others. The more we express God’s love in service and the more we forgive others, the more we experience God’s love.

We live in a reciprocal relationship of love between God and ourselves and also amongst ourselves and others. When we live this way we are living, moving, and breathing in God.

Our physical bodies live and breathe air. When we live in the Spirit in loving relationship with the source of all Being and others, our souls live and breathe in God.

Thank you God for your loving kindness.
I praise you for your awesome wonder.
Thank you God for your forgiveness. Thank you for helping us to wash our robes.
I surrender to your love.
I forgive others their sins, their debts, and their trespasses just as you have forgiven me.
Help me to discover your kingdom within.

Thank you God for your loving kindness.
We praise you for your awesome wonder.
We thank you God for your forgiveness.
With the help of your Holy Spirit we will sin no more.
We will forgive each other and seek reconciliation.
We surrender to your love.
Guide in those situations where we can be of service to you and to others.
Please give us wisdom and help us to know, experience, and understand the truth as much as we are able.
Let your Kingdom come in the midst of us on earth as it is in heaven.
We are your offspring. You are our loving parent.
Let us live and breathe in God.

Amen

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Praise, gratitude, supplication, and commitment

I added in another verse so this worship song would include Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I was moved when I heard Johnny Cash sing Depeche Mode’s song, “Everybody needs their own personal Jesus, Someone who cares, someone who’s there.” It was a valuable reminder and counsel for me. If you want to open the door to the Father and receive the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit, then humble yourself to Jesus, read his words, and do what he says.

A Song of Praise and Offering

Father

Heavenly Father
El Shalom
Teach us the way of peace

Heavenly Father
El Shaddai
We offer praise to you

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Building your Kingdom on Earth

We want to feel your Holy Spirit
Giving our hearts new birth

Son

Thank you Jesus
Holy Messiah
For showing us the Way

Thank you Jesus
Son of God
In your Holy Name we pray

Teach us to live as brothers and sisters
Sharing the Kingdom within

We want to be your true disciples
Living our lives freed from sin

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit
Heavenly Dove
Fill our hearts with your love

Holy Spirit
Wonderful Counselor
Send us wisdom from above

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Bringing your Kingdom on Earth

We want to see your bright shining presence
Filling the world with new birth

Refrain

We praise you
We give you thanks
For all your wonder
For all of your power
For all of your glory
For all of your mercy
We offer our lives to you

Conclusion

Heavenly Father
Lord of Love
We give our hearts to you

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A Song of Worship

A Song of Worship

Heavenly Father
El Shalom
Teach us the way of peace

Heavenly Father
El Shaddai
We offer praise to you

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Building your Kingdom on Earth

We want to feel your Holy Spirit
Giving our hearts new birth

Holy Spirit
Heavenly Dove
Fill our hearts with your love

Holy Spirit
Wonderful Counselor
Send us wisdom from above

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Bringing your Kingdom on Earth

We want to see your bright shining presence
Filling the world with new birth

We praise you
We give you thanks
For all your wonder
For all of your power
For all of your glory
For all of your mercy
We offer our lives to you

Heavenly Father
Holy Spirit
We give our lives to you

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The Holy Spirit as Counselor

What is the Holy Spirit?

I am not going to try to answer that question because I do not want to try to confine the Holy Spirit in a definition or limit the Holy Spirit to a concept.

For thousand of years, people of faith have discussed and debated the nature and role of the Holy Spirit. According to a search for “Holy Spirit” in blueletterbible.org, “‘Holy and Spirit’ occurs 216 times in 103 verses in the RSV (Revised Standard Version), including 93 exact phrases…” This includes references to verses in both the Old and New Testaments.

In general, throughout the Bible, there is testimony from many books that the Holy Spirit is real and that God works through and reveals truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many Jewish, Christian and Islamic scholars have discussed and debated the nature. identity, and even gender of the Holy Spirit down through the centuries.

In the New Testament, all four gospels, the book of Acts, and numerous epistles mention the Holy Spirit. Every one of these references and testimonies to the Holy Spirit will provide valuable insight enriching the life of faith of those who read them and pray or meditate about them.

In combination, Matthew, Mark, Luke (in his gospel and Acts), Paul, Peter, and Jude provide access to an inexhaustible spiritual treasure house of wisdom and experience regarding the understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit.

Obviously, what is of utmost importance for a person is to experience the Holy Spirit in one’s own life. Jesus promised that those who love God and keep his commandments will indeed experience the Holy Spirit for themselves.

Rather than trying to explore the whole treasure house, I want to look only at one small teaching in John 14 where the Holy Spirit is presented as the παράκλητος (paraklētos). The word means “helper” and is translated in the RSV as “counselor.”

John 14: 16  “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.”

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

These are indeed powerful verses of practical import in our lives of faith.

Jesus here describes the Holy Spirit as the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, who

  1. dwells with us,
  2. will be in us,
  3. will teach us all things and
  4. will bring to our remembrance all that He has taught.

Amen! Hallelujah!

Once, during a period of time when I had not been reading the Bible much, I was sitting at a picnic table drinking a latte. It was a period of time when I was worried about the future and worried about money.

Suddenly a still small voice said, “Do not be anxious about the morrow for the morrow will  take care of itself. Sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof.”

I recognized this as teachings of Jesus I had read before. I was astounded at how revolutionary the words were. I accepted them in prayer and thanksgiving and I felt reassurance and peace.

Very simple, the Holy Spirit counseled me by bringing to remembrance what Jesus had taught.

A guide or a counselor does not usually teach us everything all at once. He teaches us what we need to know according to where we are on the path.

It is wise to ask a teacher to teach us what we need to know at any given instance in time. It is wise for a seeker of Truth to ask the Spirit of Truth to teach us as much as we are capable of understanding. It is wise to ask a Counselor what He thinks we should do each day. Then it is wise to do it.

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.

Amen! Hallelujah!

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