Pentecost, The Holy Spirit, and Confession

Pentecost, The Holy Spirit, and Confession

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

A true story told by writer Auburn Sandstrom at The Moth, the acclaimed organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytell­ing:

In 1992, Auburn was 29, the mother of a three-year-old son, trapped in an abusive marriage — and a drug addict. One night she hit bottom. She was curled up on a filthy carpet in a cluttered apartment, in horrible withdrawal from a drug she had been addicted to for several years. In her hand was a little piece of paper. For hours, she kept folding and crumbling it. It was the phone number for a Christian counsellor her mother had given her in one of their rare moments of contact. Finally, the desper­ate young mother punched the numbers on her phone. It rang. A man answered.

Hi, I got this number from my mother. Uh, do you think you could talk to me?,” pleaded Auburn.

Auburn heard some shuffling at the other end of the line. A little radio in the background was snapped off and the man who answered became very present. “Yes, yes, yes. What’s going on?”

For the first time, Auburn poured out her story. She told him that she wasn’t feeling good, that things had gotten pretty bad in her marriage, that she had a drug problem, and that she was real scared. Continue reading

The Harvest Is Rich, But The Laborers Are Few.

The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few.

The world famous golfer Tiger Woods was once given a piece of advice by his father: “My dad once told me: no matter what anyone says or writes, really, none of those people has to hit your four-foot putt. You have to do it yourself.”

Perhaps what Mr. Woods senior meant is that there are some things we can only do ourselves regardless of other people. In a slightly different vein is the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” It can be said by exasperated parents who have sent their child to the shop to buy something and the child comes back with something quite different: or perhaps by boss whose staff doesn’t come up to snuff. Self-reliance and a willingness to do things for ourselves may be admirable traits. Indeed, there are some things that we just have to do for ourselves. Continue reading