Friends! Mark your calendars for next Tuesday, October 1st. Why? You’ll be able to snag a copy of Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion.
I found this book to be a superb learning tool (turns out I’m not the only one who forgets they’re filled with the Holy Spirit!), a beautiful peek into many personal and poignant, heart-warming stories of Anne’s and of her family’s, who we all admire, plus excellent ways to become better acquainted with the Holy Spirit.
The book’s divided into 7 parts:
(My favorite is Appendix A: “Learning How to Hear the Holy Spirit’s Whispers When You Read Your Bible.” All four are very thorough!)
There are 27 chapters within these 7 parts. They’re short and sweet, each packing a punch. You’ll find yourself more than once saying, “Wow, I had no idea!”
Anne calls the Holy Spirit her Divine Companion and claims He’s a divine necessity. This was evident when she wrote the book. During this process, her own Father went to Heaven. She was already a widow, and six months after losing her Father, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, having to undergo the horrid effects of chemotheraphy.
She tells us, “Through the ups and downs, the tears and joy, the grief and comfort, I have experienced the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit.”
It’s not lost on me that this very week our family is also dealing with loss. My sweet Father-in-love, who was 91 years young, went to Heaven on Sunday morning. It was a glorious day and a blessing for Dad (I called him Possum) to no longer suffer. Our family would covet your prayers for my Mother-in-love, Adeline, Bill’s wife of almost sixty-nine years as she travels this journey.
After Anne’s children took care of her for fifteen months after Danny’s death, she learned the Holy Spirit can comfort us through the love and care of others. But when she did walk thru’ the door of her empty home, she realized she was still never alone. Her Comforter and Friend were with her all along. She sensed the presence of the Spirit of God. The number of reassurances such as this one fill the book.
One of several “aha” moments occurred when she says, “When He comes to indwell us, the newest believer has as much of the Holy Spirit as the oldest believer has, because we don’t get a person in pieces. Yet regrettably, He seems to get us in pieces.” For example, we give more to Him on Sunday than any other day, buzzing about our own agendas. Ouch and oh-so-true.
Another convicting (but in the best of ways) activity Anne includes is a list of sins for us to take an inventory of. Pure fun, huh?!!! She suggests reading thru’ the list 1-3 times. (See Appendix C)
At one time, Anne felt like she was far away from the Lord. She couldn’t quite put her finger on the problem. After reading thru’ the list a total three times, she said, “I realized I wasn’t as wonderful as I thought I was!” She was happy (and relieved) to report her relationship with the Lord was restored.
Don’t miss her trip to India that almost didn’t happen. The brutal attacks from Satan were so numerous you can’t imagine. It was if she had an iron-clad will to proceed full steam ahead. The lives that were reached for Jesus were almost too numerous to count and many who were with her said their team brought light to the darkness in that country. (See Chapter 6, “Our Strengthener.)
Two other examples I’d never thought of are:
1 – If God said Abraham was His friend three times in Scripture (2 Chronicles 29:7, Isaiah 41:8, and James 2:23), Anne reasoned, “why couldn’t I ask God for me to be His friend?” (This was the inspiration for another beautiful book by Anne, The Magnificent Obsession: Embracing the God Filled Life)
Anne shares with us that one of the things she misses most about her Mother was her understanding and her ability to give her children wise counsel, comfort, and encouragement. She also said she never tired of hearing her Mother pray. She says, “The tone of her prayer was as tho’ she was speaking to a powerful and well-connected FRIEND.” There again, the lovely bonus of being God’s friend.
2 – If Solomon could ask God for wisdom, why can’t we? (2 Chronicles 1:10) One of Anne’s many gifts is showing us multiple ways we can apply God’s Word to our lives. As my friend Caroline says, “This, friends, is where the rubber meets the road.”
A beautiful pray-er, Anne includes written prayers at the end of many chapters. I found myself putting many of her quotes in my journal. She always gets to the heart of the matter, quickly, while I spin in circles!
One more tidbit, so as not to reveal the whole book (!!!), is we learn the Holy Spirit is “the Fire of God.” Anne reminds us that fire is used to describe the Holy Spirit all throughout the Bible. She said, “The Holy Spirit sets our hearts on fire for God Himself…You and I should be FIRED UP all the time!”
Here’s the BEST application question: “What is the spiritual temperature of your heart? Cold? Lukewarm? Or is it on fire? What practical steps can you take to fan into flame the fire of the Holy Spirit?”
You also don’t want to miss where Anne shares what her Mother wrote in her Bible when she became a Christian. I’m not about to spoil that for you. It’s beautiful.
Now you know what I’m about to say…Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab this book! You will LOVE it.
And checkout Anne’s website. It’s full of great information, most of which you can download for your small groups or your own use:
‘Til next time!