Sunday, June 19, 2011

Embraced by the Spirit, Introduction

Energized by our time together last night, I came home and immediately delved into Dr. Swindoll's book. I read the introduction...I wanted to read so much more, but that alone gave me more than enough. More than enough. That is Jesus. God's amazing gift of Jesus is more than enough for me, but being the God he is, he gave us more than enough, he gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, a companion to walk with us when Jesus left.
This week I am going to encourage each of you to read the introduction and spend time with Jesus. Seek out the answer to only one question...who is the Holy Spirit to you? Where are in you in your relationship with our Comforter and Companion? My guess is that we are all in different places, my hope is that at the end of our time together we will all be running, jumping, and leaping toward the same relationship...arms open wide.
I am glad you are on this journey with me, post your thoughts here by Sunday, June 26. If you do not yet have the book do not be discouraged. Catch up when you can. I'll see you here in "bloggy land"!


D. Crowe said...

Swindoll's Aim for the Heart

When the topic of the power of the Holy Spirit and its manifestations today arises a thousand thoughts come to mind, some encouraging, some cautious- I am reminded of the times that I've seen this doctrine both gloriously praising the Truth of God as well as its abuse & misuse of Scripture. Therefore, it is with these thoughts that I started reading Swindoll's Intro. I was glad to read his words on pp.8-9 when he writes "My great hope in these pages is to step away from the head of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help...Candidly, this is a book for the heart much more than for the head." Instead of an expositional or exegetical study of the H.S., Swindoll seems to be writing this book for a believer's edification and encouragement, referencing the Holy Spirit's transforming power rather than its theological nuances (p. 9). And honestly, I'm relieved that instead of debating the functions of the H.S. as its revealed in Scripture we will be focusing on engaging the Spirit of God intimately in our everyday lives as a community (albeit a small one) of believers for growing closer to Christ.

"Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18

Angie Love said...

Daniel, Thank you for being the first to post. Both your heart and head knowledge are apparent in both your writings and your presence. I look forward to hearing more from you in our community. We are in agreement that our God can do amazing things with small numbers. :)

Should the Lord lead you, please feel free to lead one of our chapter discussions.

Lynn Andreas said...

The Holy Spirit for so long was an abstract idea for me and I’m sure many others. I can picture the father and the son, but how do you pray to or begin to understand the Holy Spirit? The past few years I’ve really started to get a grasp on the fact that the Holy Spirit isn’t just an idea, He is a vital part of the trinity and an important aspect in my personal relationship with Christ, but I'm so excited to continue with this book and learn more. My life passage has become 2 Peter 1:5-7 “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” I truly believe if we let the Holy Spirit work in our lives these attributes will increase on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis.

Angie Love said...

Lynn, What a great life verse and I agree whole-heartedly that if you allow the Holy Spirit to be a part of your life those attributes will continue to increase. I often think back to our day in the library after your senior year had ended, to that broken girl. I am amazed at your transformation and encouraged daily by the Godly woman you have become. When it comes to "men", the Holy Spirit is the perfect gentleman, waiting to be asked in to our hearts, never pushy, forever patient. I see him clearly in your life. You have such a powerful testimony to share, especially in the lives of our young people. Thanks for joining us this summer, I am looking forward to the great adventure, regardless of how short it will be!

Laura Andreas said...

After reading the introduction, I'm excited to dig into this book and learn more about the Holy Spirit. I agree with what Lynn said it can be a rather difficult thing to comprehend and then as Daniel mentioned it's often spoken of in theological terms, so I was also excited to see Swindoll write, "this is a book for the heart much more than for the head" (page 9). As I've grown more over the years in my walk, making my faith my own rather than just accepting what people tell me or say has been something I've really tried to be intentional about specifically in more recent years and the questions listed on page 7 and 8 are some of the exact questions I have pondered and tried to work through when understanding the Holy Spirit in this process. I think the part of the intro that really spoke to me though was on page 9 where Swindoll wrote, "He is interested in showing us the Father's will." As I'm kind of in this transition time of my life with just graduating, about to start a new job, and considering a new place to live I have been praying a lot asking God to guide me and show me His will so being reminded that the Holy Spirit is interested in helping me to see the His will was so encouraging and comforting. I'm excited to see God work this summer and to learn more about engaging the Holy Spirit in my everyday life because I know that as Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Cassi Johnson said...

The Holy Spirit. I don't even know how to wrap my head around this, as Lynn said, abstact idea, as I struggle to understand the powerfullness of Christ. I struggle differentiating God and Jesus in my head, now to throw in the Holy Spirit! As I think about this, when I pray am I praying to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Do I get to pick which of the three I am praying too or are they all listening to what I have to say. But aren't they all the same? With this said, I am excited about this endeavor as we read more into this book.

Angie Love said...

So glad you are joining us this summer. I agree, as a newer Christian it was difficult for me to try to "figure" out the roles of the Trinity. The great news is that they are all one, and acting as one, it really doesn't matter who we pray to...Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit...all are one and acting on our behalf!
My prayer is that you just bask in the goodness of our Jesus and enjoy the warmth of His embrace. He will give you clarity along the way as you seek to find more answers for the amazing Christian life. You have an amazing friend in Laura, I know she will be right beside you as you continue to seek answers.