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Beginner's Guide to Receiving the Holy Spirit:
"Removing Obstacles to a Deeper
(From the the above titled book)
I was thrilled to be attending this wedding of Nan and Joe in a stone chapel overlooking the breathtaking snowcapped Colorado mountains near Vail. The ceremony was an answer to the prayers our family had prayed for Nan, now in her late thirties, who had waited many years for a Christian husband.
As they exchanged vows, my thoughts drifted back to a night eight years earlier when Nan had been a guest in our home. She and our daughter had moved from Dallas to Colorado to be roommates and were staying with us as they hunted for jobs and a house to rent.
One Wednesday night Nan went with us to a service at our small interdenominational church. Since she'd been raised in a strict denominational setting, our style of worship seemed a bit strange to her. Our pastor taught about receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Later, as we sat around our dining table that night, snacking, she plied us with questions:
Wasn't I filled with the Holy Spirit when I accepted Christ as a child?
Why do I need another experience?
What will the Holy Spirit do for me -- will I know God better?
Do I have to speak in tongues?
On and on the questions went. I answered as best I could, while encouraging her to continue the seeking process she had begun. Nan began attending our church regularly, no longer considering our services "strange." Many times I saw her face light up with the joy of the Lord as we sang praises to him. I don't know whether she ever prayed to receive the Holy Spirit, but she did become comfortable worshipping with Spirit-filled people. At her wedding, at the request of the bride and groom, the minister invited anyone present who did not know Jesus personally to accept him right then and there.
In the years that followed, as I tried to explain to many other Nans the benefits of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I dreamed of writing a book for beginners on this topic Ieven wrote out a two-page handout to give to those who asked me similar questions.
When our friends at Servant asked Ruthanne and me to write The Beginner's Guide to Receiving the Holy Spirit, we jumped at the opportunity. I remembered my own experience, many years ago, when I'd had a multitude of doubts and questions, just like Nan's.
We were in the middle of writing this book when, on September 11, 2001, terrorist suicide pilots destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and struck the U.S. Pentagon. The horror of the attack and the huge loss of life left Americans numb with shock. In the following days and weeks our nation turned to God, led by our president. The Holy Spirit was present, even in the midst of the tragedy, ministering to people in all walks of life. We heard many stories of God's protection, direction, and comfort, both during the crisis and beyond.
For instance, AnneMarie, my friend who lives in New York, had spent twenty years trying to get her neighbor to accept the Lord. She showered her with kindness, holiday gifts, and backyard fence talks. On the night of September 11, with AnneMarie present, this neighbor not only accepted the Lord, she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit -- all in the same evening!
Just a few weeks after the attack, I was scheduled to teach a seminar on prayer at a large church on the West Coast. "Before September 11, I wouldn't have said that we were a praying church," the leader told me plainly. "But now we're open for the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray." On a Friday night -- an evening when church members usually attended sports events -- the place was packed as people came for a two-hour session on how to pray.
Afterward, a pastor's wife from another church asked me to pray for her to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, though she said her husband and church would not approve. "I'm so hungry for more of the Lord -- for the Holy Spirit to minister to me, so I will be better equipped to minister to our congregation," she said.
Two months after giving me her story for this book (chapter 3), my friend Hilda lost her husband to heart disease. She is feeling the Holy Spirit's comfort today, just as she felt his joy and love the night she knelt in her den more than thirty years ago to welcome the Holy Spirit into her life.
In these pages you will meet many people who have received this gift and discovered the empowerment, guidance, and comfort of the Holy Spirit in their everyday lives. It is our hope that you, as a seeker, will find here the biblical answers to your questions, and that you will receive the precious gift the Lord has for you.
We pray you will develop an intimate relationship with the Third Person of the Trinity, so that as you arise each morning you can say, "Holy Spirit, you are welcome in my life today. Speak to me. Love through me. Come, direct my every step, my every conversation, my every decision."
You will discover that no matter what the future holds, you can rely upon the Holy Spirit to sustain and guide you in every situation.
- Quin Sherrer
Are you "filled with the Spirit"?
Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot live the abundant life that Jesus promised us. The Beginner's Guide to Receiving the Holy Spirit will help you take the first step into a fuller Christian life.
How can you personally experience God's Spirit? Must you speak in tongues? Who is the Holy Spirit anyway? Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock provide scriptural, anecdotal, and historical evidence of God's desire for us to receive His Spirit -- and practical advice on how to maintain lifelong spiritual vigor.
Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock are best-selling authors of A Woman's Guide to Spirit-Filled Living, A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, and more than a dozen other books. Quin is a national conference speaker who lives with her husband LeRoy in Colorado. Ruthanne travels widely from her home in Texas, teaching in leadership seminars with her husband John.
More: Who is Holy Spirit?