God Sends A Helper To Us: Acts 2 1-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11

August 28th, 2014

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Acts 2 1-13, 1 Corinthians 2 10-16 and 12 1-11

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:4

Few people have experienced the Holy Spirit in a rushing wind or tongues of flame that lead to speaking in a foreign language one has never studied. When we hear about people “speaking in tongues,” unless we were raised in a tradition that readily accepts even the idea as a possibility in this time period, we usually shrug it off as someone’s fevered imagination. And when we read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we may gloss over chapter 12’s acknowledgement of spiritual gifts, especially those we have never personally encountered before.

But it doesn’t matter to God whether we believe what the author of Acts says the disciples did or what Paul says about spiritual gifts or not. God promises to send the Holy Spirit, his personal helper, to each of his followers to aid us in doing what God has called us to do. As the writer of Acts says about the disciples in verse 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” God didn’t ask each of Jesus’ followers if they believed the Holy Spirit would give them special abilities, nor did he ask them which abilities they wanted. As they sat together to pray and accepted God’s leading in their lives, God filled each of them with his Spirit so that they could do what he called them to do.

As you read Acts 2 1-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11, try to remember a time in your life in which God’s Spirit was working in you to help you follow God’s call. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Acts 21-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  • In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God sending the Holy Spirit to help you in whatever God calls you to do.
  • Identify a gift or talent you have or think you may have. Find ways to develop your gift, either by classes, workshops, books or some other means, then watch to see where God might want to use you.
  • Take time each day to quiet yourself and listen for God’s whisper.
  • Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God sending the Holy Spirit to help you in whatever God calls you to do.

***

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Front-Cover-25-percentGod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

 

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Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

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Upon Review: Prophecy by Joanna Penn

January 11th, 2012

I love to request free books to review. In fact I subscribe to two review sites: Book Crash and Book Rooster, but sometimes I have the privilege to review a book by an author I know.

I was among several who received a preview copy of Pentecost and I fell in love with the heroine, Morgan. When Joanna asked if I’d review Prophecy, I was ecstatic. The first book was wonderful. Would book 2 be as good or would my friend rush to fill the void left by the first book’s end? Enquiring minds wanted to know.

Here’s the description that so intrigued me on Prophecy by Joanna Penn:

“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8

The prophecy in Revelation declares that a quarter of the world must die and now a shadowy organization has the ability to fulfill these words. Can one woman stop the abomination before it’s too late?

From the catacombs of Paris to the skeletal ossuaries of Sicily and the Czech Republic, Morgan and Jake must find the Devil’s Bible and stop the curse being released into the world before one in four are destroyed in the coming holocaust. Because in just seven days, the final curse will be spoken and the prophecy will be fulfilled.

If the last bite of food is as heavenly as the first, you know you have a culinary masterpiece. Books aren’t much different and Prophecy left me wanting more.

The Good…

While we got to know Morgan and her allies somewhat in Pentecost, each of their characters are deepened in Prophecy. We’ve gone from Prince of Persia two-dimensional characters to Lord of The Rings multi-dimensional people. Every major player pops off the page and makes you feel something.

The action is just as intense, just as Indiana Jones/Lara Croft as before, but the transitions from one scene to the next are even smoother.

I was also thankful that Joanna didn’t go into explicit detail about how certain minor characters looked or felt when they died. Those instances were better left to our imaginations.

Slightly disappointing…

***SPOILER ALERT***

I was haunted by many of the images in this book, but the final battle wasn’t one of them. It was well written and certainly did the job of being climactic, but perhaps just a little B-movie-ish. Noble’s transformation into a demon was too on-the-nose and it felt rushed, as did the rest of the battle.

However, after it was all over, the aftermath scene was perfectly executed. I particularly liked that Jake Timber wasn’t super-human and didn’t easily bounce back from being crushed by the Noble/demon character.

The overall…

If you want a great can’t-put-it-down book and love kick-butt heroines, then pick up a copy of Prophecy by Joanna Penn. It’s money well spent.

Upon Review: Pentecost by Joanna Penn

January 11th, 2012

Spoiler Alert: If you don’t want to know anything about what will happen in Joanna Penn‘s book, Pentecost, then don’t read any further. Suffice it to say it’s a fast-paced, enjoyable read with plenty of cinematic scenes worthy of Ron Howard’s direction.

The Full Review

If you like Indiana Jones action, a Lora Croft style heroine and a mystery steeped in Christian myth and mysticism, then Pentecost is the book for you.

Full of fast-paced action this book hits the ground running from the prologue where we are instantly captivated by the failed escape of a nun, one of the 12 Keepers of the Pentecost stones, and her resulting grisly death. From there we are launched on a whirlwind race around the globe with Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra and Jake Timber from the mysterious ARKANE, a British government agency specializing in paranormal and religious experience. It is up to them to trace the journeys of the Apostles and collect the Pentecost stones to save Morgan’s twin sister and 2-year-old niece from the sadistic Joseph Everett, who plans to use the stones to bring about a new Pentecost. Along the way the duo must also keep a step ahead of the mysterious Thanatos, an organization intent on using the stones to start a holy war.

If the aim of a good story is to take a protagonist, give her a goal, and then throw as much stuff between the protagonist and her goal so as to make it look impossible to reach it, then Joanna Penn has accomplished it with flare. Her use of both expected turns and surprising twists made this story haunt my dreams at night.

There were a few drawbacks that kept me from fully enjoying the entire book. First was some jarring “head hopping” where the POV switches between characters in the middle of a scene. Second was the need to “humanize” Joseph by making his goal to heal his brother with the Pentecost stones and revealing an abusive childhood. Third was that Thanatos’ attempts to liberate the stones from Morgan and Jake were almost laughable considering this was supposed to be a high-powered secret organization. Lastly was one glaring error in biblical attribution — Daniel was thrown to the lions, not into a fiery furnace.

Even with those drawbacks I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action-packed adventure stories, though if you tend toward biblical literalism and need your heroine to believe in God as main-line churches preach I would read something else. All in all, a most enjoyable read.