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July 2020

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Mike I like your “rough and gruff” question. I for one believe we do not allow the Holy Spirit to tell us how to respond to any given situation or we suppress what we are being led to say and the tone we are being led to speak it in because we are in fear. We fear what others will think of us or that we will offend others. Many of us even believe that if we speak ever so gentile then the person or people we are speaking to will come running to the Lord either for Salvation or to Repentance.

I have been so “rough and gruff” from time to time when speaking or dealing with people at times I have even looked around and said, “Who said that?” I have even dealt gently with people who were out of control, belligerent and just plan “off-the-hook,” when I just wanted to bop the on the head. In a bible study I was leading on the unproductive fig tree, one of the people who lived on the street, a man, became so unruly because of the topic, he began cursing and shouted, “Why are you bringing up this Bible stuff?” I told him, “To seat down, shut up or leave; after all this is a church.” The authority, volume and intensity of my voice stunned even me. About 18 months latter, as I entered a subway train that a very seldom take I hear someone call my name. Recognizing no one on the I proceeded to take a seat. Again, I heard my name and then he added, “This is Padro.” Here before me was the man who had been out of control now in front of me in his right mind and I didn’t even recognize him. He had cleaned himself up, got into rehab, reconnected with his family and was going to church for a reason other than getting a free meal. I was absolutely stunned. When the original incident happened, there were none too few people rebuking me for my “attitude.” However, that “attitude” was what God used to speak to him.

When directed by the Holy Spirit, “rough and gruff” or “sweet as peaches,” God gives you the “attitude” needed to get the job done.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Sadly, rough and gruff comes a bit too easily for me a lot of the time. I often need to show more grace than I do.

The story of Apollos reminds me of the context I was saved in. The Baptist church where I was saved and baptized in 1987 had more or less done away with the Holy Spirit, to the point of referring to Charismatics as children of the Devil simply because they practiced the sign gifts.

I need to blog about that whole experience, I think. It's a big part of why I started drifting quite soon after I was saved. I was young and couldn't just live my whole life on the promise of going to Heaven one day, which was all my church seemed to care about. I wanted life, the fulness of life that I had been promised in the Gospel, but I didn't know how... so I toddled off into the occult and got lost there for 20 years before returning to Christ earlier this year.

He saved me all over again and this time, I'm able to find all the relevant teachings to help me grow online. Once the lockdown is over I pray the Lord will help me find the right church home--One that doesn't deny the gifts of the Spirit.

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