Monday, February 23, 2015

How Can Anyone "Delight in the Fear of the Lord?"

Part 6 – Revelation of Jesus’ Interaction with the Holy Spirit

In the light of this powerful prophetic revelation offered to us by Isaiah, in chapter 11, the first and foremost aspect for us to see and to understand, so that we may digest carefully what the prophet has shared with us here, is not only his picture of our Redeemer Himself, but also with Him, the abiding Presence of the Spirit of God resting forever on Jesus.

In His state of humiliation, in which Jesus permitted Himself to become dependent on the third Person of the Triune Godhead, the Holy Spirit, our King also became for us the truest example of steadfast and unfailingly obedient humanity.

Jesus’ example for us, is the best one which we all can choose to emulate, in our own growing dependent faith in God Almighty, living by faith and trust in Someone beyond ourselves, our own resources, or our own devices.

Isaiah’s description that follows, is a complex revelation, touching on the interaction of Jesus as the incarnated GodMan (Theanthropos), with His unique human and divine natures in hypostatic union in one Person, and His interactions with the Holy Spirit during His time on the earth, but also giving evidence of His continuous, intimate, eternal coordination with the Holy Spirit:   

ISAIAH 11:2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord—

The Hebrew word used here by Isaiah, translated as “rest” in English is nuwach or nuah, conveying a basic sense of absence of movement and of being settled in a particular place with overtones of finality.

W. E. Vine, in his Expository Dictionary notes that "To rest’ can sometimes indicate a complete envelopment and thus permeation, as in the spirit of Elijah “resting” on Elisha (2 KINGS 2:15), the hand of God “resting” on the mountain (ISAIAH 25:10), and when Wisdom “rests in the heart of him that hath understanding.” (PROVERBS 14:33)

The Septuagint translates nuwach, with the Greek verb anapauo in the sense of "to settle on an object" as exemplified by the Spirit resting on believers who are reviled. (1PETER 4:14)

The Holy Spirit will rest on the Messiah (permanently; not temporarily come upon, e.g., NUMBERS 11:25, 26), a prophecy that was fulfilled at His first coming, but will also be fulfilled at His Second Coming.

This is a fascinating and somewhat mysterious statement, in view of the unity of the Trinity and yet the Gospels speak very prominently of the ongoing role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus.

While this is indeed a great mystery, Jesus' dependence on the Holy Spirit to control and empower ministry during His time on earth, should also be a great encouragement to all believers and strong motivation for each of us to seek to learn to walk by the Spirit, keeping in step with Him!  (GALATIANS 5:16, EPHESIANS 5:18)

After laying the revelatory foundation that the Holy Spirit will eternally rest on the Messiah, Isaiah continues to unfold the revelation before us, showing that this is the sevenfold Spirit, Who is from the beginning and is without end!

The Holy Spirit is first and foremost, the Spirit of God, the Lord, Who as third Person of the Trinity, is co-essential with the Father and the Son, having every attribute of the Godhead within Himself.

After this firm foundation concerning His deity is laid, the prophet reveals six other amazing attributes or qualities of the Holy Spirit of God:

Spirit of Wisdom – indicating a level of discernment and discretion that can come through experience and/or revelation/insight that causes the most appropriate, or proper application, of knowledge into a particular situation, to bring about the best solution to the problems that are being faced.

Spirit of Understanding - the ability of perceive and comprehend moral, ethical, and abstract truths which can also come through both revelation and insight from the Lord, as well as experientially.

Spirit of Counsel – this attribute of applied knowledge, to strategize and to capitalize on understandings that have been retrieved, itemized, catalogued, and integrated, to form a plan, is coupled in a special way, linguistically termed a hendiadys, a figure of speech used for emphasis, where two words joined by and are used to express a single complex idea, in this case with the Spirit of Might.

Spirit of Might – once a wise plan, using insightful understanding, is properly applied with strategic precision, it must have the power or might to be acted upon – thus Counsel must have Might to move to completion and conclusion.

Spirit of Knowledge - the accumulated accrual of practical and useful facts about the material and spiritual reality in which we live, used as a resource to draw upon in addressing issues and solving problems

Spirit of Reverential and Obedient Fear of the Lord – implies a true core, intimate, experiential knowledge of God, just Who and what He is, which comes from a basic foundation of believing, saving faith in Him, serving to separate the follower of Jesus, yet also engendering respectful, honoring, reverence to the ultimate Source of all that is, and the almighty Ruler above all that is, was, or ever will be, bringing about obedient surrender of selfish, willful, thoughtless living, into selfless, passionate desire to serve Him lovingly, worship Him totally, creating within and acting out of compassionate care for all others.
Neil Uniacke
Executive Director

Monday, February 16, 2015


Memories can be pleasant or unpleasant. Sometimes a memory of a certain event can have both good and bad connotations associated with it. Measles has been in the news lately due to the fact that some parents have chosen not to have their children vaccinated and people are worried (and rightly so) that this serious illness will make an unwanted comeback.

Most times when a person recalls their own encounter with measles, the memory is not a happy one; however, while my own experience with this illness certainly had its unpleasantness, it also evokes a sweet memory of my mother. My mother has been gone for almost nine years and this month would have marked her 89th birthday. In memory of her, I share this memory.

Most people in my generation (which was way before the vaccination was available) had the disease as a child, but I progressed into my teenage years without being exposed to it, or if I was, I didn’t contract it. Finally, when I had less than two weeks remaining in my freshman year of high school, I came down with the measles.  Besides being miserable, I was concerned that I would not be able to complete the necessary studies or assignments that needed to be finished before the school year ended.
Of course the school was understanding and I was allowed to do my work at home. However, one of the discomforts of measles is watery eyes which makes it difficult to read. Also, it was thought that if you didn’t protect your eyes from the light while having the measles you could end up with serious eye issues and even ultimately blindness. (I think this is just a myth. My Google research hints at that.) Anyway, like everyone else did in that era, I laid in bed in a dark room so as to protect my eyes from any horrible lingering effects of the disease. Of course this didn’t bode well for doing schoolwork.
I was taking an Advanced Reading class and I still had a book to read before the end of the year. This is when my mother entered the picture. The book I needed to read was “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She picked up the book and sat by my bed and read the entire book out loud to me while I lay with a cloth over my eyes to protect them from any light. I actually think she read by flashlight instead of turning the ceiling light on, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that. Mother was a great reader and made the story come alive and we both became absorbed in the exploits of Scout and Atticus.
When I went back to school there was just a few days left and I honestly don’t remember how I did in any of my other classes, but on the test for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” I got 100%. I returned home that day and said to Mother, “We did it. We aced the test!”
So although to most people, the work measles strikes fear in their hearts or a reminder of a painful experience, it brings to my mind the picture of a 15-year-old girl lying ill in bed, and her mother sitting beside her, reading a book out loud. It is a memory I will always treasure.
I think it does us good to revisit a special memory from time to time, especially when the person is no longer with us. It is also important to share those memories with others (particularly those who also knew the person), so they too can be reminded of times shared together with that special someone. Do you have a memory that triggers a sweet remembrance of someone who has gone on before you? Share it with someone who would appreciate hearing about it.
Mary Lehman



Monday, February 9, 2015

Stories from Door #128

This is the door where we receive most of the donations that our friends and neighbors bring in so that we can stock the Community Closet Thrift Store. If the back door at 128 TownsEdge Drive, Quarryville could talk, there would be some very interesting stories that you might hear.
Some days Door 128 would tell you happy stories.  Someone lost weight and is donating clothing that no longer fits them.  The kids are getting bigger and a parent drops off clothes that are too small and toys that are no longer played with. A couple got married and doesn’t need all the pictures and decorative items that they accumulated.  Christmas is coming, and a family will be getting new items so they are cleaning out some things that they no longer want.
Some days Door 128 would tell you stories of grief and sadness.  A loved one passed away either suddenly or after a long illness.  Those who are donating do so with a heavy heart and a weary look.  They bring us things that belonged to their mom, dad, husband or wife.  The unspoken words are of missing someone who means so much to the person who is donating these items.
Some days Door 128 would tell you angry stories.  A relationship fell apart and they no longer want to remember the other person.
Some days the stories from Door 128 would make you laugh.  Clothing comes in that was in style 20 or 30 years ago and today makes us smile.  People hide things in their shoes and we have stories of dentures and bullets found in these hiding places.
But every day, Door 128 tells stories of our neighbors' generosity.  They donate their little or their much to help their neighbors who cannot afford faith based counseling.  They donate so that the Strengthening Families program can run and families can learn how to communicate better with each other.
We don't always know the stories that are behind the donations.  But, we hope that when you donate to the Community Closet Thrift Store, you are greeted with kindness.  We thank God for you and we pray for you often.  Thank you that your story is part of our story.
Deb Riddell
Closet Manager

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pray Until Something Happens

  I wrestled over what to share for this blog posting. Usually one will share some element of day to day living. In the counseling profession, it may be some therapeutic nugget to help with the struggles in life. I hope that my present struggle will help in some way.

     Being Life Coach at New Hope is just one faucet of my educational experiences as I am also nearing the completion of a Master’s degree in professional counseling. While not much of this journey is left one major part of this journey is the completion of a practicum and then internship. As I search, for almost a year now to secure an agency in which to complete these requirements, my deadline is quickly drawing near (two weeks left) with no practicum site secured.

     I have prayed and cried out to God, what are You doing? I mean I know God has His timeframe for everything, but Lord, so does my University and the two are not meeting up!  I try to have faith that God would not have brought me this far in this journey to leave me hanging… would He?

     I was sharing my anxiety about this matter to my husband David and he asked me if I ever heard this story. When I read it God spoke to me and hopefully as I share it He will do the same for you.

“A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing? “The Lord responded compassionately,

“My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens!

When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. …

When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. …

When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. …

When your money looks funny and the bills are due, P.U.S.H. …

When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H

And yes, when my path is not visible...I’ll pray till something happens 

     At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God actually wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

Connie Hanten, BCMCLC
New Hope Life Coach