Hope Rises...or Does It Come Down?

#1  This is not a blog about those Holy Spirit questions I had mentioned last time. #2  But I'm sure I'll mention the Holy Spirit at some point anyway...

Hope Rises... Or does it come down?...
Or is it always within us???  (...the thing with feathers???  per Emily Dickinson)
I like this poem by Alexander Hope...I mean, Pope:

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;Man never is, but always to be blessed:The soul, uneasy and confined from home,Rests and expatiates in a life to come.– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

"The soul, uneasy and confined from home" makes me start singing this oldie I grew up listening to on my mom's record player:

IT'S SO TRUE THOUGH!  This world is not my home.  I'm thankful for hope in something better, something eternal, something that comes from....wait for it...
THE HOLY SPIRIT!!!  (Insert cheers and applause here.)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you…

Bojangles and the Holy Spirit

#1 I love's my favorite. #2 I love my husband, but he says Bojangles can NOT be my favorite. #3 That's why I was eating there alone today.
It was a Sunday (today, in fact). We had just left First Baptist Church where we watched my niece get baptized. IV had to go to work and I was about to head north to pick up our kids from their Nana and Poppy. It was a little early, so I asked IV if he wanted to eat a quick lunch before we went our separate ways. He declined because he knew they would be having food at the station that afternoon.  I said, "Okay," and headed for Bojangles...just for spite. ;)
While I was waiting in the drive through the song I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons came on the radio. I felt a small stir of the Spirit within me...a little random, so I started to pray (which is what I recommend doing if this ever happens to you).
Me: Lord, what do I need to wait for? ...I'm waiting on the closing on our new home, and I realize it may …

Run Free

Recently, IV and I were walking back after spending some good, quality time in the fields watching for deer.  It was getting cold quickly since the sun had set. IV was carrying my gun, because he's nice like that, and I was ready to break into a jog in order to get inside to the warm fire a little quicker. However, as soon as I started to trot I remembered that even though I wasn't carrying any extra weight, IV was still carrying two guns, so I slowed my pace back down.  That's when this verse popped into my mind: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12:1-2) Since I had handed over my weight to someone else I w…

A Reminder: My take-away from a day in the Pilates and yoga world.

1. I spent today in Atlanta at a certification course for a Pilates and yoga blend fitness class.
2. This reminded me of two things from my past that I seem to have lost passion for...

A Reminder The first thing I was reminded of today was that I really LOVE Pilates as a form of exercise. 
I started doing Pilates shortly after King was born in 2004.  I bought some DVDs I saw advertised on TV by Daisy Fuentes.  (They're still here on Amazon if anyone is interested.  They're basically the same quality workouts I learned today...good, old, stuff.) 
However, I haven't practiced Pilates regularly in quite a while since I've been teaching HIIT (high intensity interval training) at the YMCA and running a lot on my own.  Therefore, I was happy to reconnect with it today.  It makes me feel tall and strong, and teaches muscle control and postural alignment like nothing else. 
I like to teach it too. 

That leads to the second thing of which I was reminded...
I really LOVE to …

Keep Coming Back

#1 I got to teach at the youth girls' retreat this past weekend.
#2 Teaching is always a learning experience.

Keep Coming Back
We studied from Annie Downs' book Looking for Lovely:

The key verse was Romans 5:3-5:
3 Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
(We had to push fast through the book since it was only a weekend retreat but Casey, Jennifer, and I tag-teamed the teaching and got it done in style. :)
Here's what I took away from the study:
She talked a lot about persevering through hard times by looking for good moment's of God's blessings in those times, and not giving up, but holding on to hope through it all.
Most of us have fairly easy lives...we're fed and clothed and have some sort of a home, but we stil…

Look for it!

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”  ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
#1 Somedays are just harder than others.
#2 Sometimes there's no apparent reason for the change.
#3 Today was one of those days.

Look for it! Iv and I have been looking on and off for a house to buy for the past 6 years or so. We put in another offer today. I doubt they'll accept our offer. That's okay.
Usually, I would have already started praying that we would be able to get the house.
I didn't want to pray this time.
"What's the use? We'll either be able to get it or we won't...whatever the Lord wants to do, He's going to do anyway. Right?  Why pray?"
Like the quote at the top - Joke's on me.
I prayed about it anyway...half-heart…

The Holy Spirit: snippets from the college girls' retreat

#1 This past weekend was unbelievably fantastic...I had the most humbling privilege to share and teach the Word of God to an awesome group of college girls at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

#2 Being at the beach was just icing on the cake.

I wanted to share just a snippet of what I taught...It seems fairly applicable to the present troubles.  Though really I wish I could somehow pass to you the joy, love, peace, and fun we all shared.

The Holy Spirit A few months ago, when Wendy asked me to speak, I immediately started to search for a topic or Scripture.

At my Wednesday night Bible Study, the Lord gave me the idea to study up on the Holy Spirit...
Specifically, how we, as Christians, often ignore the God who lives inside us.

That's where the adventure began!

At first, I thought, "The reason we ignore the Spirit is because we dilute it with outside distractions."

I was thinking the bombardment of social media, media in general, TV, music, etc. was just drowning it ou…