Holy Spirit

On the Inside; On the Outside


 

Persistence in Prayer

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Today, Jesus teaches that we should pray with persistence (Luke 11:5-13). Of course, the question comes to mind: if God is such a loving and caring parent who will only give “good” things to us, why do we have to persist in asking? Why do we have to ask at all? The reason is not because God needs persuading. Persistence in prayer is for our benefit. Read More

Being an Evangelist is Not What You Think

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Who wants to be an evangelist? Typically when I ask this question when giving a talk somewhere, no one raises their hand. On very few occasions one or two people have.

It seems evangelism has become a scary word for us. In general, it is a word with which we do not want to be associated. For some, it comes from being on the receiving end of someone else’s evangelism, often coercive, even threatening. For others, it may be that religion isn’t something people talk about; or that one’s faith is private; or simply the desire not to be perceived as one of “those” people.

Whatever the reason, most people not only have little experience in evangelism but are downright frightened of it. And that, of course, cripples our ability to reach out to others with the good news. Today’s story of Jesus’ baptism (John 1:29-34) might be the perfect reading to invite us not only to admit our discomfort with evangelism but also begin to overcome it. Read More

Do You Understand What You Are Reading?

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Have you ever noticed on the back of a hotel door, they post information about your hotel rate as well as instructions of what to do in case of a fire? Ever since I was a member of the fire evacuation team at my former job, this is something that I always check out when I stay at a hotel. I want to share an actual description from one such hotel: Read More

Back to School Time

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Photo Credit: musicpsychology.co.uk

Photo Credit: musicpsychology.co.uk

It’s September, and while the leaves begin to prepare to depart from the security of its tree branches, so our children begin to depart from their families back to school. Summer is officially over, at least according to the school calendar. So as all of our children begin to form new routines and practices, I wanted to share a prayer that has been attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas. Please pass this on to any student that you know so that it can help them in their studies this year.

Prayer Before Study

Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator,
true source of light and fountain of wisdom!

Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect,
dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance.
Grant me a penetrating mind to understand,
a retentive memory, method and ease in learning,
the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself.

Guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to successful completion.

This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man,
living and reigning with you and the Father, forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer Changes Us

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When we were much younger, our intercessory prayers were vibrant and almost imaginative. We prayed for our families, friends, pets, and for lots of presents. As we got older, we found ourselves praying for good grades, team victories, good weather, personal successes, for someone who was ill, meeting the right girl or guy, finding the right job, making the right decisions, and to be happy.

When our prayers were answered, life was good and so was God. But when our prayers were not answered, we floundered a bit. And sometimes we found ourselves doubting that the whole “prayer thing” even worked or that prayer could really change things. Read More

We Need a God with Some Skin

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Today we are celebrating a birth – the birth of the church. Pentecost marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. For that reason, it is often called the “the birthday of the Church.”

During the past six months of the church year, we have been on a journey – a journey of the events in the life of Jesus. It’s the story of the central mystery of our faith – the story of the incarnation where God became human, though still remaining God. When we think of the incarnation, most of us think of it this way: God physically walked on this earth, he died, he rose, and then he returned to heaven. When he left, he sent the Holy Spirit to be present among us – but the actual physical body of Jesus was gone forever. And yet, we often find ourselves wishing that Jesus were still here – right now – in the flesh, so that we could touch him, hear his voice and see the compassion in his eyes.  Read More

It’s Almost Time!!!

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“When you are through changing, you are through.” ~Bruce Barton

All of us will experience change at multiple points in our lives. Often times, those changes are not welcomed. But I am a firm believer that change needs to occur, whether we want it to – or not. Change is necessary for us to experience new things, new ventures, new opportunities, new outlooks, new growth and new visions. If we continue to live our lives within our daily routines, we almost certainly will lose our perspective on where we are and not push ourselves to blossom and grow. Read More

Shortest Sermon Ever!!!

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Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke (Luke 4:14-21) is a hard text to get your head around from preaching. There is no dramatic story for me to break down, no wise and confusing parable for me to explain, nor is there a dramatic miracle that takes place that I can talk about. This is a simple short story about Christ’s first sermon. Read More

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