Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’


Happy New Year! Yes. We mean it. We wish happiness for ourselves, but not ours only. We say Happy New Year to our family, friends, and even strangers. We hope for it.  We wish the coming new year could be a smorgasbord of everything that is good, decent, true, and dependable for every living soul upon this earth. If only our lives could be filled with happiness. Oh, what a wonderful world this would be.

Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, we wonder if God is so far above the earth that he can’t see us, feel our pain, or make us happy. With all the big important things that are going on in the universe, does He really know us? We are but a speck of dust or grain of sand that happens to live on the earth. Does He really care? If I’d go out on my deck and wave my arms toward heaven, would He see me? Can He really number the fish in my pond, the blades of grass growing in my yard, and tell me how many spiders are hiding in my very house? Better still, does He really know my name, my thoughts before I think them, and the number of hairs on my head? Am I for sure engraved upon the palms of His hands? Does He ordain every beat of my heart, and exercise His authority over each breath that I take? Is He really that involved in my life? If so, why does God allow so many things to happen that I don’t understand? Why does He allow our country to teeter on Godlessness? Why do innocent children suffer? Why does evil seemingly go unchecked? Why do we constantly struggle with thoughts and actions that are just wrong? If God loves us, why has He allowed our hearts to break so many times? Why is it that family strife never ends, children hurt the parents who love them dearly, and loved ones suffer with physical and mental illnesses that will never be healed. Where is God’s power in our everyday, nitty-gritty lives?

If that’s our view of God, I can say with much assurance that we will not be happy in 2013. What lofty ideas do we have of happiness anyway? If we seek happiness above growth, principles, and honesty, we do not seek true happiness. Living under the principles of God will not make us popular, which can be grievous at times, but will bring true happiness. Happiness is not a deliriously knee-slapping, rollin-on-the-floor happiness, even though those times are a great experience, but rather an indescribable peace that others cannot understand. We possess a calmness, when the world thinks we should lash out, and confidence that God doesn’t need eagle-eyed vision to see us, because He lives within us. His Holy Spirit is a part of us. Every time we shed tears, feel alone in the world, are hurt by loved ones and friends, and just simply don’t know what to think or how to respond, He is there. Each time we suffer a broken heart, don’t know how to pray anymore, and feel like giving up, He is there with abundant comfort. Current events may cause us to fear the year 2013 that looms ahead in the unknown, but God is never asleep, and His watchful eye is upon His children always. Even when we fall into sin, rebell against God, go our own way, and live and curse as though we don’t know Him, He is still there. During the times we least deserve it, God continues to bless, sustain, and convict. We hear that still, small voice as if it is loudly ringing in our ears. It’s impossible to block it out, and He speaks to us in an irresistible, intimate language that melts our cold hearts and draws us into His arms again. Eventually, if we belong to God, we will fall before Him and ask His forgiveness, because His is the only forgiveness that truly matters. He is quick to forgive, restore, and grant us happiness instead of the grief of guilt. I’m awe-struck at God’s grace, and the mighty works He accomplishes in us while we feel we are much too weak. Why do we continue to ask meaningless questions that we wouldn’t understand if God explained the answer to us. God is God, and without Him we can do nothing. It’s His power that keeps the earth hanging in the heavens without support. He beautifies the sky with twinkling stars, turns the sun on everyday, and clicks on the nightlight every night. God indwells us, and it’s His power that energizes us to live everyday of our nitty-gritty lives, and live it victorious.

We will not be totally happy in 2013. We won’t be totally sad either. Like the daily changing weather, we will experience sunshine and rain, and laughter and pain alike. Life is not a party. However, we can celebrate each moment of it, good or bad. Afterall, each day brings us closer to our eternal state. Now that’s happiness!


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I don’t really know what breed of dog it is that happily lumbers around aimlessly with long ears, slobbering as they go. Like me, they have a little too much skin hanging on their face and even when they are deliriously happy, they look sad. They are a little overweight and fight gravity continuously to tighten up that extra skin that hangs in folds here and there.

When the day of the LIFT (Ladies in Fellowship Together) meeting rolls around, I am as excited as a dog with a fresh ham bone. I can’t wait to romp with the other 303 women for an evening of fun, food and faith. On LIFT day, I gawk around aimlessly with great anticipation until it is time to trot out to my car and jump inside. Driving to the church is a time of reflection and prayer for the meeting. With  perky ears and bright eyes, I sling slobbers all over my car as I pant for the word that will be served up by the Holy Spirit through the speaker for the evening. Feeling younger, lighter and more energized than usual, I am always early.

Upon sauntering into the COAC building, the aroma of  lazy days southern cooking, filled the large room. My long nose twitched uncontrollably as I sniffed out my table.  Eagerly, I marked my territory by placing my huge purse in the chair I chose for myself. With that little matter out of the way, my mother heart beat wildly in my chest as I searched for my child (pup). When my eyes finally rested on him, I was overcome with the greatest compulsion to race to him, jump on him and lick his sweet face through playful growling. He just hates it when that happens!

 Since he is in his thirties now, a true man of God, and we were in PUBLIC, I was forced to calm my instincts to rush him. He is always busy setting up the sound system for LIFT. I slowly walked up to him and waited for him to realize I was there. It was all I could do to curtail the urge to jump up and down, run around in circles chasing my tail and refrain from slimeing him. Instead, (we are Baptist) we just hugged.

At this point, my heart was already full. I was a happy canine…er…I mean woman.  Loping back to my table, I marveled at the decorating and the work that had gone into the event. The men of the church wait on the women hand and foot. The food is to die for! Can you imagine sitting down for a meal and not jumping up several times? Oh no, no, no… not at LIFT. Happy, handsome men of all ages, in black slacks, crisp white shirts and dark ties serve the women. Quite efficiently I might add. It is truly a gift to be ministered to in that way. The men are well trained. They even come around at the end of the meal with foil…just in case you need it for your doggy bag!  Oh…it gets better. Like little soldiers, the men disappear to clean the kitchen while the speaker is on stage. They re-appear like magic when the evening is over and begin cleaning the dining room. See…there are still lots of good men in this world.

The music is indescribable! It always amazes me. I remember one month I sat with a petite woman. She must have been the runt of the liter when she was born. As our table candle ignited our centerpiece, she attempted to blow it out. After huffing and puffing, she couldn’t blow the candle out. Some of us hefty breeds, rescuing the effort, snuffed it out instantly. Then I learned she was going to sing. Okay. I was a little worried. “Lord, help this little thing get through her song.” I prayed silently.  As her small frame climbed the three steps to the stage I kept praying. “Help her Lord!”  The music began and she opened her mouth. You could have knocked me over with a dog biscuit. Before she was finished, I thought every light and window in the place was going to pop. The fur on the back of my neck stood at attention. My water bowl runneth over!

The speakers are awesome. The most spirit filled, genuine and selfless women speak at LIFT. Each one makes me glad I too am in love with Jesus as they share stories of their journey with him in this life. The Holy Spirit floods my soul with more than I feel I can contain. Inwardly, (I am Baptist) I sit there barking my head off!

Just when I can’t imagine any more goodness for one evening, God gives me more. The same evening the runt sang, two other women from our table performed to close out the evening. Clips from The Passion of The Christ flashed on the huge screen overhead as they sang. They literally brought the house down! It was the same way last night. Goose bumps covered my arms and I was howling within my soul.

After the meeting, I left with my tail joyfully swishing from side to side. My pup and I were going out to play awhile before I had to leave him.

God is so good. Thank you God for each person that exercises their God given gift to make LIFT possible at First Baptist Church in Clover, SC.

I am standing because He is holding me up……Aggi Stevenson

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