Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Story about the Holy Spirit

This past Sunday I preached about the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit is one of six gifts with which God blesses us. An image that I shared that helps me understand the Holy Spirit more clearly is “Footprints in the Sand.” The image comes from the popular poem that is shared on many funeral bulletins. We can look back on events of our life and see the footprints of God—the Holy Spirit. Through faith we can understand that God was leading and directing us—we can practically see the footprints. The video and manuscript of the sermon can be found at

Recently I had a story of these footprints. This past June we ended the first round of hiring a Music Leader at Chain of Lakes New Church. The process ended when the three candidates we were ready to interview in person all dropped out for personal reasons. At the time this was discouraging—mainly because we had to start all over in the process.

At the time I was reading the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. One phrase that he wrote which resonated with me was “pray as if it depends on God; work as if it depends on you.” I decided to apply this idea to our new search for a Music Leader. I made a pledge to God that I would pray on my knees 15 minutes a day until we hired a Music Leader at Chain of Lakes New Church.

I told God on many occasions that I felt like the persistent widow in the story in Luke 18. I acknowledged during my prayer time that I was pleading with God to bring us a quality candidate. During these times on my knees I experienced many impressions (footprints) from God. While praying before the first deadline for applications, I felt an impression that we would receive new applications that week—and we did.

At that first meeting of our Worship Team I asked the group what we would do if we received more candidates. They all agreed that we should keep an open mind. When I got home that day we received an application from Kristel Peters.

During an interview with Kristel I learned that she was living in Bemidji and looking to come back to the Twin Cities. A friend of hers had found out about the position through a flyer that Betty Long—a disciple at Chain of Lakes New Church—had put at Caribou Coffee. This friend E-mailed Kristel to share the information.

If someone had told me at the beginning of the search process that we would hire someone who was living four hours away and that the person would find out about the position from a friend who saw a flyer at a Caribou in the Twin Cities, I would have said, “Wow.” Only God can do that.

Yes—only God. Kristel will be sharing music for the first time in worship this Sunday at Chain of Lakes New Church. Even more exciting is to see the footprints of God in our ministry. Praise the Holy Spirit!

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