Posts Tagged ‘holy spirit

01
May
09

Light Weight

orange-glowIn various things I’ve been reading on some of the blogs I frequent, and in just assessing myself and my approach to both the physical and the spiritual world, I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole “light of Christ” and “light of God” thing.

That is, as a Christian, I should be a reflection, as much as possible, of my savior and my father in Heaven. Their light, via the Holy Spirit, should shine through me. Ideally, in promoting the gospel, I will be both a beacon to draw people into discussions about faith and salvation, and a lighthouse to help point them in the right direction. Or a candle to help them study something and understand it as it relates to the Word of God.

But it occurs to me that this is a much heavier burden and responsibility than it might at first seem. It’s already daunting enough to try to be the best person I can be and to sometimes stop thinking of my wants so that my duty to God can be carried out.

What is more daunting is to realize that light isn’t always a good thing. We are supposed to be lights for God and Jesus, but sometimes, we don’t illuminate but rather blind people.

Shining a flashlight into a person’s eyes is not generally something that person will desire. It will make them look away, and it might evoke a nasty response if the flashlight is held there long enough. Going overboard and saying too much, too fast to someone about Christianity can be so generally blinding as to make it impossible to see the core truths and foundational things a person needs to start with before they dive deeply into a faith walk.

And, well, the military and special forces police officers sometimes uses flash grenades to stun and disorient people. That’s essentially light as a weapon.

I try to be light in this blog. And I don’t refrain from being snarky and even obnoxious at times. I don’t know that any of that will change any time soon, but I wonder if it must one day. Do the words and attitudes I throw out help to guide people in to learn more?

Or are the words I use (foul or otherwise) actually flash grenades that will do nothing but harm?

I don’t have answers. But it does bear examination.

And, hopefully, personal illumination.

15
Apr
09

Triple Play

three-golden-cogsI do not believe that God and Jesus are the same entity. I simply don’t. If Jesus was God Himself, just in human form, he couldn’t have died. And therefore there could be no true resurrection. In fact, no true sacrifice at all. And if he were God, avoiding sin would have been a piece of cake.

The reason Jesus matters so much is…well, there are a lot of reasons. But some of the chief among them are that he was the only begotten son of God, and thus had direct communion with God and came out of the starting gate clean. But at the same time, he was human, and could be tempted. He knew what it felt like to be lured by sin, yet he was also able to resist it.

A lot of people get hung up on the idea that God and Jesus are the same being, and that the Holy Spirit is the third aspect of this single being. Catholics are among the biggest bloc in this regard.

It doesn’t wash with me. I know things of Heaven are supposed to be out of the realm of true understanding by anyone still stuck on this Earth who wasn’t named Jesus but still, it doesn’t seem that there would be any point in God and Jesus being the same being.

And so, I don’t buy into the Trinity concept, at least not in that regard. Yes, there is a Trinity, but I see it like this: God the Father is the ultimate authority and power. Jesus is his right-hand man, so to speak, as well as being his son and heir to all that is God’s. The Holy Spirit, I believe, is an entity with a distinct personality and purpose to guide and edify us, but is a being that is generate as a result of God’s spirit being in humans to a small degree.

The three of them serve important roles, but they are not the same being, and ultimately, I believe that Jesus and the Holy Ghost answer to God.

This is important, I think, because each is to be respected and approached in different ways. Appreciated and thanked for different reasons. Leaned on more in one case and less in another. We need all three of them.

But they ain’t the same being.

20
Feb
09

Tongue-Tied: A Message to My Fellow Christians

tongue-tied-imagerySometimes, as Christians wanting to share the good news of Christ, we try too hard. We don’t know what to say and we trip over ourselves. Or we get so eager that we say too much, too soon, too fast for the other person to be able to absorb. Or want to, for that matter.

Sometimes, frankly, we just need to shut up.

Evangelism, I think, is less about talking that it is about simply being there. Being there to listen. Being there to be a good example of what Jesus told us we should be. Being there to answer questions if necessary. Being there to act when action is needed to help someone.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t sometimes jump in and somehow suggest to someone that Jesus might be the path he or she needs. But too often, I think Christians jump in way too soon.

We have the Holy Spirit to guide us and that means that more often than not, we need to quiet our minds and quell our eagerness and listen. We need to listen to the Spirit of God and let ourselves be guided, not to force the people around us to listen to what we want them to when we want them to.

The people around us who aren’t born again don’t always need to hear from us about Jesus. More often, I think, they need to see Jesus, through our actions.

Because, in the end, no one becomes born again because a Christian convinces them to. That would be empty and false. No, they are born again because they choose that path, and I think more people would choose it if we would just closed our mouths, listened to them, and avoided some tongue-tied, awkward attempt to cajole them into choosing the path of God.

05
Jan
09

Listening to that Inner Voice

For a while now, my little girl has been singing some ditty that goes like this:

“What do you do with the serving pirates? Make them happy!”

I figured it was just random creative weirdness, and there’s still a good chance it is, though I was searching, just out of curiosity (in case this was some odd song she picked up at daycare) and found a song from the Backyardigans cartoon that is called “What Do You Do With a Scurvy Pirate?”

I know they don’t often watch TV at the daycare, and Little Girl Blue has been slow to warm to the Backyardigans (she’s been singing that line I noted above for months but is only in the past week or so willing to sit down and watch the show)…so I’m suspecting that if she did pick it up at daycare, it was from some CD of Backyardigans songs or a general collection of top songs from Nickelodeon-produced cartoon shows.

But none of that is really my point; just me being long-winded and slow to get to my topic (and this was supposed to be a short, quick post in case I can’t break away from work-related stuff later to post 😳 so I guess I’ve already failed there…)

My point is that kids are funny that way. They make up stuff that we don’t quite understand but which makes perfect sense to them. Or they hear something and get it entirely wrong.

We, as parents, need to listen and try to hear them. Or at least appreciate the child’s unique frame of mind.

By the same token, we need to listen to that internal voice. For my brothers and sisters in Christ, that would be the Holy Spirit. It may not speak in words, but you know it speaks to you on some level and you know that you’re ignoring it regularly. I can’t be the only one. And for those of you who aren’t Christian, well, that voice inside would be your conscience. Conscience isn’t quite as potent as the Holy Spirit, but it’s a good start.

We need to listen to that voice inside more often (providing it isn’t telling us to kill our family in the middle of the night or something, in which case you need counseling and medication for a really bad case of schizophrenia probably). We shouldn’t just disregard it as background noise.

Because, just like with Little Girl Blue’s ditty, it might just very well have a real and valid meaning that we just aren’t cluing into, because it’s so much easier to just ignore the voice and move on.

For those of you who are interested, these are apparently the lyrics to the Backyardigans song “What Do You Do With a Scurvy Pirate?” I have no idea how the tune goes, as I haven’t seen this particular episode yet.

What do you do with a scurvy pirate?
raid their ship and then hot-wire it
what do you do with a scurvy pirate?
make him walk the plank!
What do you do with a scurvy pirate?
Load the cannon up and fire it
what do you do with a scurvy pirate?
make ’em walk the plank!
We’ll raid their scurvy pirate ship
and make ’em walk the plank
we’ll grab up all their treasure
and put it in the bank
what do you do with a scurvy pirate?
take their treasure if you desire it
what do you do with a scurvy pirate?
make ’em walk the plank!

30
May
08

We ain’t afraid of no ghost

As for the title of today’s post, don’t worry, we won’t need any Ghostbusters to come out and put the smackdown on some specters. I just wanted to say a quick word about the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Holy Ghost (and I didn’t want my announcement earlier today of Miz Pink’s temporary takeover of the blog to be the only post of the day; I need to give you something substantive).

Anyway, if you haven’t thought much about the Holy Spirit, you’re not alone, and it either means you aren’t Christian—or you’re one of the probably 75% of Christians or more who just never think about the Holy Spirit.

Like, I said, you have a lot of company.

Oh, you read about him in the Bible from time to time, but he hardly gets any play. We’re so focused on God the father and creator, and on Jesus the messiah and savior, that we just don’t really pay any attention to the third party in the upper management structure of the universe. Granted, I was of the same mind from the time I became born again up until maybe a couple years ago. I did my best to serve God and to honor Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, but I never gave the Holy Spirit a second thought.

At least not until I went to a church that focused on the Holy Spirit. Now, that wasn’t altogether a good thing, mind you. Some churches, Pentacostal ones among them, have a tendency to get a little too worked up about the Holy Ghost and forget to give enough time to God and Jesus. So, while it was a good thing I went to the church in question long enough to get an appreciation for the Holy Spirit, I’m very glad I’m not going there anymore.

So, who is the Holy Spirit and why should you care? Upon becoming born again by accepting Jesus as lord and savior, you essentially build the bridge between you and God that has been missing all your life. Sin and corruption separated you from a personal relationship with God. Jesus made it possible for the bridge to be built. Once you accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit enters into you and voila, the bridge is complete.

Oversimplified description perhaps, but why stop with the oversimplification now? Another way to think of the Holy Spirit is as a super-conscience. Once you are born again, God essentially lives inside you, or at least a portion of Him does. This isn’t possession, because you still call the shots about what you are, or aren’t, going to do for God and whether you are going to take the paths in life that He wants you to or not. But the quality of your spiritual life depends a lot on how much you are willing to heed the nudgings of the Holy Spirit and how much you are willing to listen to him.

And yes, I’ve said “him” a couple times now. The Holy Spirit is a being, every bit as much as God and Jesus are. Whether or not God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are separate beings representing a Trinity or whether they are all the same being in three different presentations is irrelevant. Regardless of which it is, the Holy Spirit is still someone to be respected, honored and listened to. The Holy Spirit is the comforter that Jesus sends to you and the guide for your faith walk.

So, don’t get so caught up in the Spirit that you lose perspective and forget to give proper attention to your creator and your savior. But at the same time, make sure you don’t ignore him, either, in your Christian walk. Because to do so is to be someone who is saved in terms of your soul, but perhaps lost in terms of getting through life in the best way possible for you and those around you.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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