Tongues of fire in our garden
And all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:3
A Testimony to the Flame by Reinhard Bonnke
The flame of Christ's compassion for the world has never exhausted itself. What exploded at the Cross is a stream of fire to this day. Calvary is not an extinct volcano. Eternal fires are still there for all who spiritually visit that place. Those shuddering hours of crucifixion were a special work, but not a final "peak." God's love has neither peaks nor valleys, waves or troughs: His compassions are steadfast, "new every morning." (Lamentations 3:23)
Our Spiritual Mother
God blessed us with a spiritual father in our dear friend Feico as we were beginning to plant our feet on the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, and not long after, a spiritual mother in Pierre, a close childhood friend of my mother's. Pierre and my mother had attended third grade together in Annapolis and were still in touch. From across the Atlantic, Feico, a kindly Dutchman, gave us our first, sweet taste of God's Word. It made sense to us in a world that was making less and less sense every day on every front. We needed a moral compass on our ship, and an anchor -- answers for ourselves, but also for our children.
Dear friends at the church we were attending at the time, invited us to an intro night for Bible Study Fellowship one fall. They were doing a year-long study of the Book of Acts. Lee and I loved what we heard that night and signed up. Bible Study Fellowship was just what we needed, an in-depth study of God's Word. We were introduced to the Holy Spirit through that study, the fire behind the early church. Jesus had promised His disciples that God would be sending "another Helper," that would abide with them forever. (John 14:15) He said, "when the Helper comes, whom I shall send from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." (John 15:26) He also said the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would empower them to be witnesses to Him "to the ends of the earth." Jesus had instructed his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for "the Promise of the Father."
One hundred twenty of Jesus' followers, including the disciples, returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, where they had watched the risen Jesus ascend into heaven. They went up into an upper room in the place where they were staying, and prayed for several days. They were "all of one accord [in complete harmony of mind and spirit] in one place," waiting. On the Day of Pentecost the promised "Helper" came. It sounded like a mighty rushing wind and appeared as flames of fire, resting on the heads of each person who was there.
During the study of the Book of Acts we heard about a book that was making waves in the Episcopal church, Miracle in Darien by Bob Slosser. This book documented a powerful move of the Holy Spirit at St. Paul's Episcopal church in Darien, CT. Pierrie lived in Darien and attended St. Pauls's. When she came to visit my parents that year, God joined our hearts.
Pierrie was on fire for how God was awakening His church. The mighty rushing wind and flames of fire could be heard and seen in our land and around the globe, and Pierrie was following it closely. She shared everything she was learning with us, and we were eager recipients. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God were the glue in our relationship with Pierrie, our spiritual mother. Pierrie went home to Jesus, three weeks after my mother. They were both 94 years old.
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul,
Therefore I hope in Him!
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.