Tag Archives: God’s Spirit

Flying on God’s Spirit

Flying on God’s Spirit

I’ve been reading The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by T.E.Carhart. It’s not an exciting adventure story but it is a fascinating presentation of piano’s and playing them to make music for your soul. In the Chapter called The Master Class, a famous pianist, named Sebok, speaks, “The best technique is one that does not exist, a kind of disappearing act so the real focus is on where the technique comes from: an inner calm…not the same as relaxation…” rather from all human emotions but not fear. “Music is blocked by fear…There is no such thing as music note by note just as there is no such thing as a book, word by word. There is no perfection, just a life long process of making music; once technique and commitment have been suitably mastered, you have to decide for yourself the right interpretation. It is a complex message.”

As I read this today, I realized that for me, Carhart was giving words to my understanding of faith and life. The Bible like a musical score is a document not to be understood word by word, but as a whole. It gives direction for me to interpret for my life. I can master the techniques it gives – the commandments and the teachings of Jesus. I can make the commitment to knowing them so completely that they disappear and my life becomes God’s song through the interpretation of my living.

I call it “flying on God’s Spirit”.  Others call it “letting go and letting God.” Occasionally, I achieve that amazing interpretation. Usually those moments come when I am loving someone, caring for someone, preaching, mentoring, and writing. Worry about self, and how I am doing and what is right totally disappears. I get out of the way and God’s Spirit shines through. Theologians call it becoming “the Christ” for that moment.

As Carhart says, “there is no perfection” in making music. My thought is that there is no perfection in living. There are “moments”, wonderful, spectacular moments when my soul is at peace, and my interpretation of God’s music reaches out and touches souls – mine and others – through my writing, my preaching, my living. For those moments I am truly grateful.

“What Was That, Anyway?”

Can You Recognize God’s Spirit?

Tears of Joy
Tears of Joy

At choir practice a number of years ago, my good friend, Cathy had the seat beside me. We giggled and laughed and enjoyed our friendship even as we worked hard at singing. One night at practice, we stood up and sang with great gusto the African hymn, “We are Marching in the Light of God.” I felt tears of joy fill my eyes as our voices filled the sanctuary. When we sat down, Cathy leaned over and said, “Wow, that made the hair on my arms stand up. What was that, anyway?”

My immediate response, “God’s Spirit just joined in our fun.”

She looked at me and frowned, but said nothing more. After practice we went for coffee. As soon as we sat down, Cathy asked, “What did you mean by, ‘God’s spirit just joined in our fun.’?”

I shared stories with her of other special moments when I had felt the Spirit’s presence. I told her of the tears of joy that came with my child’s first step, my daughter’s marriage, when I first held in my hands a book I had written and more. Each time, God’s Spirit came it brought a physical response – tears of joy flowed down my cheeks, the hair on my arms stood up, or a shiver ran from my toes to my head. The Bible tells us we cannot control God’s Spirit; she comes when and where she chooses. Our job is to recognize her presence. “Thank you,” was all Cathy said.

On Sunday morning two weeks later, one of our choir soloists sang, “Mary Did you Know”. When she finished, Cathy leaned over and said, “Did you feel it? Did you feel God’s Spirit. Look!” She touched a tear on her cheek. “I think God enjoyed Linda’s solo as much as the rest of us. Thank you for naming God’s Spirit for me.“

God had used me, not to preach, but to share my faith stories. Together we made a crack and God seeped in. I am grateful.

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 8)

Sharing the Spirit

When I pull into my driveway, I am welcomed by glorious flowers. Yellows, reds, purples, all the colours of the rainbow shimmer in the summer sun. I smile and relax. “Thank you, God, for the gift of your presence here in my home,” I whisper.

When I step through the doorway at our Dunsford church, I am greeted by God’s  Holy Spirit, pouring out from the eyes, smiles and hugs of individuals in the congregation. Even on weekdays, when the building is empty, the echoes of their love enfold me as soon as I enter. “Thank you, God,” I whisper. “Thank you God for the gift of your presence here in this, your house of prayer.”

Last month, I was blessed with the privilege of gathering for worship at two Christian Conferences, one for writers and one for the wider church. Both times, my heart lifted in the presence of God’s Spirit that emanated from hundreds of others.

No wonder we lament our shrinking congregations. We speak of needing members to fill the pews, do the work and give the money. Those are real needs, yes, but more than anything, we yearn for the feeding of the Spirit that comes with numbers. Each one of us brings God’s Spirit with us everywhere we go. When we gather together, in God’s name, God’s Spirit rises up and overflows among us. Why are we missed when we stay home on Sunday mornings? Our bit of God’s Spirit is missing.

It’s easy to forget that others need us to share our gift of God’s Spirit. We focus on criticism, judgment, sadness, and we horde God’s gift of Spirit. When we do, we diminish ourselves, others and God. Next time you join with a gathering of Christians, intentionally invite God’s Holy Spirit to well up within you and flow out to others. Give God thanks for sharing the Holy Spirit through you.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)