It is all about people

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Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let those who desire the blessing of God knock and wait at the door of mercy with firm assurance, saying, For Thou, O Lord, hast said, "Everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.. And should anyone dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children? (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings 131-2)
So I took that statement, and have been beginning my morning prayers with "For Thou, O Lord, has said..." On the very top of my prayer list is the petition for a saturation of the Holy Spirit in my life and the ministry of my church.
Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit...This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train.(Desire of Ages 672)
This week, I am on my knees in my devotions, and I decide to leave the two pages of prayer requests I go over and just pray for the Holy Spirit. At the end of my prayer time I sit up in the chair and immediately a dove lights outside my 2nd story window for about 10 seconds. It strikes me as odd, but before any reflection two thoughts come storming into my mind: One - the lyrics of the gospel song, "On the wings of a snow white dove, God sent his pure sweet love, a sign from above..." The second the verses telling the story in the gospel of Luke ("Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove... ~Luke 3:22). This all takes place in about 60 seconds and then a rush of emotions flood me and I actually through my fists in the air thinking, this is real: God, as promised, IS answering my prayers, all prayers, for the Holy Spirit.
So about 2 hours later I am at the church office and I get a call from a pastor friend in another state. We chat about happenings and I'm impressed to share with him about the dove. He listens to my story all the way through and then asks what time this took place. With my answer he tells me that within the same hour of my little blessing - He was outside watering his flowers when a dove landed on the ground right in front of him... striking him as odd. Just like that, I felt a gentle assurance in an almost discernible whisper... "Hey, just so you don't doubt."
So I go home and read the story of Jesus' baptism in The Desire of Ages and it gives this whole experience an extra punch. Not only is the Jordan experience of Jesus a promise of the Holy Spirit but a portent:
The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,--how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. (113)
The Holy Spirit and prayer... answered prayer... is real life.

In other news:
Spent the weekend on an island with a fantastic group of young people... slept on a pontoon boat, kayaked and canoed sunday morning, then water-skied in the afternoon.