Three years ago today, February 10, 201l:
The Presence of the Holy Spirit
It was the beginning of the Arab spring/Apocalypse ( Feb.10, 2011 ). My grandson, Noah, two, was with me at the church Ladies’ Tea, sitting on my lap putting blueberries in his mouth. The ladies were talking about Egypt--what just had happened. In the midst of the blueberries, Noah announced, “There was a BIG STORM and Jesus made it stop.”
The ladies stopped mid-sentence and stared at Noah. What did this toddler say? And Noah, unaware that he had just given the answer to everything, kept putting blueberries in his mouth.
" Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger." Psalm 8
"And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying Hosanna to the son of David, they were sore displeased. And said unto him, Hearest hou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea, have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and suckings thou hast perfected praise?" Matthew 21:15,16
The religious leaders knew the Bible and thought Jesus was being unscriptural. They missed Jesus, but the babes, unlearned, knew him by the Spirit.
As Robert Barclay said, (1648-1690) The Bible is not the fountain--it tells of the fountain--the fountain is within.
Jesus said to the disciples, The things I'm telling you now you don't understand, but when the Holy Spirit is come, She will teach you all things. (The gender of the Holy Spirit in Hebrew is feminine.)
If by "gender" is meant grammatical gender, the gender of "Holy Spirit" varies according to the language used. Thus the grammatical gender of the word "spirit" is masculine in Latin ("spiritus") and in Latin-derived languages, as also, for instance, in the German language ("Geist"), while in the Semitic languages such as Hebrew ("רוח"), Aramaic and its descendant Syriac, it is feminine, and in Greek it is neuter ("πνεῦμα"). If speakers of a particular language were to confuse grammatical gender with physical gender, they might then think of the Holy Spirit as male, female or of neither sex, but such confusion does not of course affect the reality of the gender or lack of gender of the Spirit.
(below first paragraphs - This is the beginning---go to complete--http://shiningriver-sheilah.blogspot.com/2010/02/presence-of-holy-spirit.html
The Presence of the Holy Spirit
“The presence of the Holy Spirit means more than the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures
—inspiration must be immediate and continual.”
Howbeit when She, the Spirit of truth, is come,She will guide you into all truth: for She shall not speak of herself; but whatsoever She shall hear, that shall She speak :and She will show you things to come.
Sometimes a truth comes with such strength that you want to shout it everywhere—the secret of the ages! Such a truth is this—what a resolution of conflict if this could be understood!
“The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” (II Corinthians 3:6). This is the battle of the ages, which battle continues to rage--to be led by the Spirit or to follow religious forms. It has been said that there is no hatred like religious hatred and more blood has been shed in the name of religion than in any cause. In these cases a knowledge of scripture becomes not an asset but a liability causing people to ignore in their hearts what the Spirit would teach them as they observe religious dogma.
Is This the End of the Arab Spring?
With a state of emergency declared in Egypt, continued unrest in Bahrain, democracy under threat in Tunisia, Libya, and possibly even Turkey, and an all-out civil war in Syria, is there any hope left for the anti-authoritarian movement that swept through the Middle East?
A Future Worse Than Mubarak's Reign
It would be perverse if the January 2011 revolution paved the way for something worse than what it sought to replace. But that is where Egypt is headed. Under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was repressed, but the repression was never total. The Brotherhood, as the country’s largest opposition force, was allowed room to operate, to contest elections, and to have seats in parliament. Mubarak may have been a dictator, but he was no radical.
It no longer makes much sense to say that Egypt is in the midst of a democratic transition.
The current military government. . .
February 10, 2011 (Noah, my grandson,two years) I wrote:
Noah was adorable --he never ceases to amaze me.
In the morning he kept reminding me of "the Ladies' Tea, the Ladies' Tea".
He woke up from his nap singing:
"This little light of mine,
I'm going to let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel 'No!"
I'm going to let it shine. .
(another verse) .Let it shine till Jesus comes, I'm going to let it shine."
He said the "No!" very loud. In fact, that was the first thing I heard until I realized he was singing a song. I just heard these loud Nos.
We went by subway. "How many stops till the Ladies'Tea?" As I turned the stroller into the church he said, "We're at the Ladies' Tea."
Saying "hello" to Linda and the ladies, he was jumping up and down--so happy to be there.
As we sat around the table, the conversation was on Egypt. Noah,sitting on my lap, in the middle of putting blueberries in his mouth,announced, "There was a BIG STORM and Jesus made it stop."
Everyone stopped mid-sentence and stared at Noah in amazement. What was this toddler saying?
Finally, one lady said, "Well, he knows the Bible." Noah kept putting blueberries in his mouth as he sat there on my lap--seemingly unaware that he had given the answer to everything. I was amazed that he had said something so appropriate--at church talking about the crisis (storm) in Egypt, to remember that Jesus said, "Peace be still" to the storm.
Noah is very perspective in hearing and seeing what is around him. For example, hearing a siren outside as we sat there--which the ladies and I remarked we would have missed--Noah said, "Fire truck!" One lady said, "They like fire trucks. They notice fire trucks."
When we were leaving, Noah said, "I want to hear the music." He remembered other times on Sunday, there was music . He loves music and I hope he will always hear and love good music. Music transcends the worlds.
He was a very good boy and the ladies were enchanted with him.
I am fascinated to watch him play with his toys. He definitely can entertain himself. Often I sit and watch him and interact with him only if he wants to. He isn't bored.
August 2013--2 l/2 years later
Egypt. The killing, the massacre, the violence. Someone said on the news, "We don't know who the good guys are. We don't know how to help." I feel great sadness remembering the young people--how they had cheered and danced in the streets! And now it has come to this unspeakable horror! Their hopes dashed. And it was better with a dictator before all of this Arab spring?
Clearly, there is no human answer. It is obviously beyond the wisdom of flesh and blood.
But there is Someone who knows what to do--The Prince of Peace. We need to do "The One Thing that is needful" and be like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus. He knows The Plan. We must listen so that we may be hands, and feet and voice and arms for God--that the Word become flesh in us--as it was in Jesus, the Pattern Son.
We are told, "Pray for the Peace in Jerusalem." When there is peace in this cradle of the world, there will be peace everywhere. (Did you ever notice that right in the middle of "Jerusalem" is the USA?)
We speak. God listens. God speaks. We listen. Part of prayer is listening. LIstening for The Voice. Martin Buber said, "The Voice speaks to us in the guise of everything that happens."
A Siren. "Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations. . ." Jeremiah 51:27
A firetruck. Fire. As it has been said, "We need fire in our belly." Do we empathize? Or have we become as robots, computers, we have no feeling? What must it be to be a mother, a father and have a two year old--or any child for that matter--or a son, a brother, a husband, a sister, a mother, a wife and see them slaughtered before you?
And how long has this been going on? A few nights ago I saw 4 journalists on C-Span telling how they were prohibited from taking the gruesome pictures of the war. Don't send that back for people to see. The words of Mr. Van Dane in The Diary of Anne Frank come to mind, "You don't know what is happening out there. Chlldren come home from school to find their parents gone. Everyday. . ."
Yes. Everyday. 9/11 everyday for some people. But what can we do? We stand here helpless. If we move to the right, it's wrong. If to the left, it's wrong.
"If the trumpet give an uncertain sound. . ."
Fire. We need fire. The fire of the Holy Spirit! I think of that marvelous story--one of my favorite--"Fear not, for there are more with us than with them. Lord, open his eyes, " the prophet Elisha prayed. And the mountains were filled with the Invisible Host and chariots of fire all around Elisha." (
Richard Strean of World Vision prayed, "Lord, break my heart with the things that break your heart."
Children have no clean water and they die-- no water. And little girls as young as 5 are sold for sex trafficing--her family can't feed her.
Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. Very few listened to him. In fact, they not only didn't listen, they presecuted him putting him in prison and in the dungeon for giving out the Word of God.
He said, "Then I said, I will not make mention of HIm, nor speak any more in His name. But His Word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing and I could not stay." Jeremiah 20:9
No matter what happened to him, because of the fire in his bones, he had to speak. He couldn't hold it in any longer.
I determine. I'm going to speak what God tells me to speak. If people get mad, they'll just have to get mad. I leave it to God to take care of them.
"If anyone speak, let her speak as the oracles of God. . ."
"I have put My words in your mouth and covered you with My hand. . ."
My life's verse: "Let love be your aim. Desire spiritual gifts, especially that you might prophesy." ("I will show you things to come. . . " However, "to prophesy" is not just to speak some future event, but to encourage, exhort, comfort, by a mouthpiece for God.
Back to Egypt. What shall we do? What shall we do for ourselves that "it may be well with us and our children"?
First of all. Where is security? In guns? In policemen? In scanners? In bombs? In war?
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalites and powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places."
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (guns, bombs, knives, etc) but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
Where is security? Security is in the Secret Place. "She who dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1. That's God's 911 number. Memorize the whole Psalm. "Surely He shall deliver thee. . .She shall cover thee with Her feathers (God is both our Father and our Mother) Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror. . .He shall give his angels charge over thee."
How to memorize. For little children who can't read--my children knew chapters before they were 3 years old--it takes very little time and is so easy--for you and for them. Read the passage over everyday out loud. At the end of 10 days, leave out words. If you are doing Psalm 23: "The Lord is my. . ." The child will be so excited to say, "Shepherd!"
For you, after 10 days, close your Bible and stumble through it the best you can. Then open and read again and the places you miss will stand out. At the end of a month, it will be in your heart. This method is better than trying to do it all at once since your sub-conscious mind will work on it -2
Many give testimony that Psalm 91 saved their lives. It's a word to stand on.
Ex. A lady--feathers
Ex. Norman Williams
(1) If you are a Christian and you are advocating for guns as your security, shame on you! I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. That's where you think your security is? Stand your ground? Yes. Here's how you stand your ground.
"Having done all to stand, stand therefore—
(2) Immigration. If you claim to be a follower of The Prince of Peace--if you say you are a follower of Jesus and you are out there advocating for shipping them out, higher fences, detention, no reform etc. shame on you!
"I was hungry. . .thirsty. . .naked. . .a stranger. . .sick. . .in prison. . ." "I was a stranger and you took me in. . ." "You have the heart of a stranger.
Granted all the details of reform may not be clear but somewhat convoluted, but one thing for sure, It should be a policy of compassion. Again, God can show what to do and work out the details. But, first of all, one needs to have a right spirit and attitude. Not selfishness.
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. . .” James 1: 27
All through the Bible, it seems that God has a broken record--over and over--how you treat the widow, the fatherless, the stranger, the poor.
As Jesus said, the whole Bible can be summed up with one word:Love. As Henry Drummond (1851-1897) said in his classic book, The Greatest Thing in the World, "It's not going to be so much what did you believe, but how did you love." (Matthew 25)
What would Jesus do? That's a familiar question.
(3) Our prisons
The prison situation in our country is deplorable. Prisons are big business. Makes jobs for people. We incarcerate more people than any other civilized country. What if we believed in redemption? And then when they are out of prison, what is provided? Les Miserable. "Will the future ever come?" asked Victor Hugo. Millions has seen the broadway musical and the movie and yet our prison system--Les Miserable. Guantanamo Bay--deplorable. You may not know the truth--so much propaganda--but I do. I sought out the matter. I'll attach my findings. The methods we have been using make more terrorists--in fact, recruit them. We have less enemies today, do we? I think not.
Noah, "I want to hear the music."
Yes, little Noah. The music. We must hear the music. Bring back the music. 500 times we are told in the Bible to “Praise the Lord”. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
"Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name for the Lord is good."
What kind of weapons do we have? Praise, faith, love, joy, peace, mercy, grace, redemtion, food, clothing, shelter. Read the story mentioned above and see the demonstration of "if your enemy hunger, feed him. . ."
This, my friends, is the Kingdom of God--the Kingdom of Love, Joy, Peace--the Kingdom of which the angels sang, "Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace."
Jesus has provided everything. "It is finished," he said on the cross. No more death penalty. He paid it--the death penalty in full. There's nothing else Jesus needs to do. But there's something else we need to do. We need to be co-creators with our Creator--to be hands, voice, feet and arms for God. After a disaster, someone raised their hands to heaven and said to God, "How could you let this happen?" And God looked down and said, "How could you let this happen." As Jesus was one with the Father, we are to be one with God, our Redeemer. We aren't just supposed to read the headlines, or predict the headlines, we are to create the headlines by the Holy Spirit within us. S
(Please read the 2 letters to President Obama below this blog. Also The Presence of the Holy Spirit)
from Blue Letter Bible: