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Beloved Teacher: My Journey with the Holy Spirit

Beloved Teacher: My Journey with the Holy Spirit

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Beloved Teacher: My Journey with the Holy Spirit

Longitud:
176 página
2 horas
Publicado:
Sep 24, 2012
ISBN:
9781466959392
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Beloved Teacher: my journey with the Holy Spirit is a book that follows the author's spiritual growth from her childhood in Appalachia to the work she did for the past years in the areas of dream therapy, education, family therapy and work in her church. She taught in inner city schools, used poetry as therapy with children at a mental health center and presented workshops in many schools and in communities. All of her experiences have given her a rich background from which to draw personal stories for illustrations.
She has presented a well rounded picture of her daily walk with God, showing both her vulnerability and her desire to grow spiritually. Her willingness to share her faults enables us to see her dependency on the Holy Spirit and to celebrate with her when things go right.
It is the importance of the journey that she brings us to see, and the delight and gratitude for the beloved teacher.
Publicado:
Sep 24, 2012
ISBN:
9781466959392
Formato:
Libro

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Beloved Teacher - Patricia Ramsey

retailers.

© Copyright 2012, 2014 Patricia Ramsey.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author.

isbn: 978-1-4669-5940-8 (sc)

isbn: 978-1-4669-5941-5 (hc)

isbn: 978-1-4669-5939-2 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012917343

Trafford rev. 04/29/2014

www.trafford.com

North America & international

toll-free: 1 888 232 4444 (USA & Canada)

fax: 812 355 4082

Contents

Dedications

Introduction

Preface

Encountering the Holy Spirit

Recognizing the Spirit’s Voice

Being Open to the Spirit

The Spirit’s Presence: More than Feelings

The Holy Spirit as Harbinger of Grace that is Not Cheap Grace

Surrender

Prayer

The Whole of Life

How to Be Present to Listen

Listening Skills and Other Relationships

Listening and Acting

The Regenerating Work of the Spirit

Staying Power

Wooing of the Spirit and Where it Leads

The Spirit Bearing our Sorrow

Suffering

The Holy Spirit as Troubler and One who Makes the Way Smooth

The Holy Spirit: Harbringer of Light

The Incarnation

Passive Consent

Freely you have received, freely give

Temptation

A Spirit of Peace

Peace: A Song in the Night

Gifts of the Spirit

Christian Virtues and Bearing Fruit

Discernment

Healing

Meeting our Needs

Scripture

Putting Your Life Together with the Help of the Holy Spirit

Praise

Joy

Joy: Surprised by Joy

Magical Thinking

Hope

End Notes

Epilogue

About the Author

Dedications

For my children (their spouses), my grandchildren, great grandson and host of friends who are extended family, especially those dear souls at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. I dedicate it to my siblings, their children and my brother, Leslie, who died 2 years ago. I found a card from him recently, in which, he urged me to follow my bliss. I dedicate it to my parents who gifted me by their years of planting a church at Brooks, Ky. I learned the joy in serving.

I dedicate it also to my good friend David Vardeman, who spent a lot of years editing this book. He is a gifted writer who gave up his own writing time for me. He encouraged me to pick it up and finish it. He has truly blessed my life.

For Wade Hall, who was my professor and who became a lifetime mentor. He is dearly loved friend as well. Bill Campbell, who collaborates with me with his beautiful photographs on the cover of this book.

And finally to the young women I have mentored, some who are part of my writing group. They are my daughters, a gift when I asked for a daughter God gave me a host of them. Another example of God’s Holy Spirit who is my dearest friend and counselor, hearing my prayers and pouring out God’s endless grace.

Introduction

I believed in God at a very young age. I remember going up on the mountain behind our little house where dogwoods grew large and branches leaned so low they made a room for me by encircling me. I went there to pray. Neither of my parents told me about God. Many adults in the mountain culture in which I was raised did not become Christians until later in life.

I saw God in my great grandfather, John Stamper, a minister. He was the most wonderful person I have ever known. I learned from him the art of listening to children without being condescending. He saw me as an individual of worth, even as a child. I carried that with me into my therapy work and my teaching of children.

When we moved to the city, I felt alone in the strange culture, but I was still aware of the presence of God. That little flame of belief went with me to the city where two women from my neighborhood took my sister and me to church, and there I became a Christian. These two women listened to the Spirit. I prayed for my parents long before they became Christians. Their faith after conversion helped me grow.

I have always felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was because I have always written and been aware of something that was a part of me but seemed to come unbidden. I came to know that entity as God moving in my life. We are created in His image and like small children we long to create as our parent (God) creates.

My creative work in the Spirit has not always been through art. Sometimes God has channeled my creative impulses into working and loving others. The writing and the love of others both have nurtured the creative gifts in me. I am humbly grateful for that.

Early in my college life I was caught up in the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his notion that we can trust the integrity of our own hearts and intuition based on understanding as we live our lives. Nathaniel Hawthorne said first men’s hearts must be transformed. I can see both sides. I believe in the new birth that establishes not only a new set of values but provides a new Spirit, God’s Spirit. The Spirit not only stimulates and provides food or ideas for the intellect but also provides an inner strength to accomplish the will of God in our lives.

We are created in the image of God and recreated through faith in His redemptive work in Christ as the new birth. We submit through faith to the power of God. We learn about this power as we are taught and led by the Holy Spirit. It has been important to me to mature in my spirit and intellect, that I might present an open mind to receive the wisdom and understanding the Spirit would give me.

Our failure is frustrating to God as He tends toward creativity in and through our spirits. In other words, we can trust our integrity, our intellect and emotions as we become more open to the Holy Spirit of God. We learn to trust our spirit by submitting our spirits to God. This is how we come to know the will of God.

I have lived a life of spiritual adventure by believing in and submitting my mind and spirit to the work of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit God engages me to work for Him. I did not receive instruction about the role of the Holy Spirit as I grew up in the church. Perhaps my denomination feared we would grow away from Christ if we emphasized the Holy Spirit, but I found just as John the Baptist pointed others away from him and toward Christ, the Holy Spirit does the same. My love for the Christ and for humanity deepend because of my life in the Spirit.

I saw the work of the Holy Spirit in my parents’ willingness to use our home for church services, Bible School and as a gathering place for Sunday dinners for visiting pastors and missionaries. I saw the fruits of the Spirit, but no one spoke of the fruits of the Sprit. I have sought to know the source of God’s love and have enjoyed a richer life because I have learned to walk in the Spirit. It does not mean that I fail to hear God’s Spirit, sometimes it does. But that same Spirit ministers to me to turn again toward the work laid out for me.

Preface

Often we begin our journey toward God fearfully, having been taught He is our vengeful parent. Good parenting teaches a child that God is love and that the child can rest in that love. Such a concept grows into a mature view of God as creator, parent, lover and friend. That concept also presents God as One who is awesome in His power and majesty.

He is a God of wonder, of love so deep that we cannot fathom it. Often only the Holy Spirit can describe God’s love when we fall speechless in prayer trying to express that love. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us through a conceptualization of God as powerful creator to God of love and wonder. Such a change in our spiritual understanding of God is a slow process. This change is colored by all we have known and is influenced or contaminated by significant adults whom we have deified whether consciously or unconsciously. Ours is like any close relationship. We think we know the person to whom we have given our hearts but we grow to know their full nature as time passes.

There are those who wish God to remain the good grandfather, removed, distant and who shows up now and then to pat them on the head. Some need the vengeful God who keeps records and will punish them one day for their bad deeds. That view of God leads the believer into a life of misery, always trying to please a God that cannot be pleased. Some want a God who is cavalier and demands nothing of them. There is little respect in their hearts for that kind of God.

By living our lives to the fullest, opening our hearts daily to God’s leading through the Spirit, we come to appreciate, respect and love the God of light, of love. We become what Elton Trueblood, the great Quaker theologian, calls the company of the committed. God is the creator of a balanced covenant. God holds great expectations that we will love Him and love others as He does. The depth of that love is revealed in how He keeps his side of the covenant. His love is most evident in that He does not desert us when we fail to keep our part of the covenant.

A tenuous delicate thread of faith, strong as God himself, will not let us go. Nothing can separate us from God, not principalities or powers, nor life nor death, nor things seen or unseen. That knowledge borne of long association and nurtured by the Holy Spirit enables us at last to see the tiniest bit of the glory of God and to know we shall see Him one day in all of His glory.

Encountering the Holy Spirit

I wake before dawn, and the story of Christ healing the man who was brought to Him on a litter comes to my mind. I have just prayed for God to bless my nephew Joe and his wife Leah as they struggle with his brain cancer. God bless them in performing the daily ordinary tasks that have become so difficult and time consuming. Bless them, Lord, this day.

Christ, unblinded by surface trappings, sees us spiritually. We might be healthy, tanned, educated and physically beautiful, but God sees beneath these attributes to our personality and its sin and its crippling effect on our lives, and He grieves for us.

He also sees our spirit with all of its sweetness and potential for good and for growth and he calls that spirit to be what it was created to be. Christ, in His great mercy, takes pity on us and wants us to grow regardless of our station in life or what we have. That is why, early on in our faith, we need to understand how the Holy Spirit works to help us grow spiritually.

Later, I start my daily devotional with the story to which God had opened my heart in the early dawn. As told in Mark 2:1-12, Christ is teaching in a house to which the friends of a crippled man bring him on a litter. The friends cannot get him into the house, so they make a hole in the roof and lower him into Christ’s presence. Christ looks at the man and says, Your sins are forgiven.

Imagine the incredulous looks on the faces of the men who brought the man to Christ. They are probably bitterly disappointed. Religious leaders begin to accuse Christ of blasphemy, of implying He may forgive the man’s sins. Christ then turns and tells the man to take up his bed and walk. The man obeys and is physically healed.

Christ first offers him the greatest gift, spiritual healing. He ultimately gives the physical gift as well, but it is the lesser one. To the crowd the lesser gift is the greatest. Their spiritual eyes are blinded. They want the physical healing above all else. Most of us would have the same desire.

This is reminiscent of the story of Christ talking to Peter on the seashore after the resurrection. He wants to offer the apostle the greatest gift. Jesus begins by asking Peter, Peter, do you love me? Then He tells him to feed His sheep. The

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