A Lesson from Bernard of Clairvaux

While I was teaching history to my second and fourth grade boys last year, I ran into the story of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153 AD). Bernard was a Cistercian monk who lived in France, and his life is a mix of complicated and interesting history and theology. Perhaps the best effort of his life was …

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Giving Advice: Common Sense or the Holy Spirit?

For some reason, this post I wrote two years ago has been on my mind, so I’m reblogging it here. 

Which do you value most: common sense or the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

arabah rejoice

As long as I can remember, I have loved reading missionary stories. Recently, I read (or re-read) three: Bruchkoby Bruce Olson, Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger, and The Word Came with Power by Joanne Shetler and Patricia Pervis.

While reading these stories, different things catch my attention and fill my ponderings for the days after, depending on what I am experiencing or thinking about at the time. This time around, I noticed something that was similar in all three of the stories I mentioned.

They all went to the mission field God called them to against the advice of people who were supposed to be their spiritual leaders. Some of the missionaries gained acceptance; but at least initially, they all went despite being told not to go. God prospered their ministries tremendously, after years of love and risk and heart-break went into the places where they were called: Bruce to the Motilone…

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Notes scribbled on the back of a church bulletin

Thoughts are like birds that circle far overhead, and when they swoop down close enough to touch, you have to grab a few silky feathers before they vanish into the atmosphere. I won't tell you where I was when the thoughts came circling, but I rummaged through my purse and found a pencil and a church bulletin. …

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Being Filled with the Holy Spirit (by Simon Fry)

In 1855, a young man was born again and gave his life in service to the Lord. He was fervent and zealous in his work, starting children’s ministries and preaching to thousands. He started a church and traveled to other countries sharing the gospel. Many were saved because of his efforts. He poured himself into …

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