Friday, March 31, 2006

The Cup













On February 26, I celebrated my 48th birthday. No biggy! Well, of course, any day ABOVE ground is a good day! Very uneventful birthday though. James and I were installing wood flooring in our home. We went to church, the choir sang "Happy Birthday" to me during practice, grabbed a bite to eat on our way home and began working again.

Two weeks later, my sweet friend, Gina, brought me a gift to church and apologized for not getting it to me earlier. If you know me at all, you will know I do not mind getting gifts late. I HATE getting gifts early. I like surprises and I don't want them early. I'm weird that way. If you gave me something today and told me not to open it until Christmas I wouldn't. I could look at the package every day and still not want to open it. So, Gina, don't ever apologize for being late.

Gina knows me well. She knows that I love coffee and she knows I love Starbucks because every Wednesday night I walk into Choir Practice with a Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte and no, I do not want to know how many calories are in it. James and I have made it sort of a date. We go to Starbucks every Wednesday evening before my practice and his class. As a matter of fact, for Valentines I bought James a gift card for Starbucks and guess what James bought me? A gift card for Starbucks. We love our Starbucks dates.

I also love the cups and have a small collection of Starbucks cups. Josh sent me two from Seattle. James surprised me with an insulated blue metallic cup. My neighbor bought me the cute pink one with heart and the saucer to go with it. Gina bought me another Starbucks cup for my birthday (pictured above).
The next morning, I washed my new cup and filled it with my home brew. I remember saying out loud, "Gina, I'm drinking from your cup." It came to me so sweetly. I needed to truly drink from Gina's cup. I began to pray for Gina and asked God to let me feel what Gina was feeling on that day. Let me stand in the gap for Gina -- let me drink from Gina's cup.

It was a sweet day for me. I began to walk through my home. I took inventory in my home. I would pick up treasures that had been given to me and I would pray for the person who gave it to me. I picked up a cup and saucer that MamMaw had given me. MamMaw is in heaven but I thanked God for how she had blessed me and loved me all throughout my life. I paused at the wedding portrait of James and I and thanked God for my husband. I paused at the Grandfather clock and remembered how my grandson, Kyle, had written on it in chapstick when he was 2. I prayed for Kyle and I blessed him. The refrigerator. Oh my! There were visions of Kyle, Brooke, Josiah, Ava Beth, Mason. And oh, how I blessed each of them. My grandchildren are so special to me. The ones I have and the ones I will have. I found items each of the children have given me. I was soon crying tears of joy as I spoke out loud the names of our children, Lori, Randy, Mandi, Jeremy, Josh and Desiree. Each of them has given me more than any gift they could have bought. They have given me such joy. Memories of my daddy flooded me as I looked at a picture I have of him. Daddy is with Jesus but I still have my memories.

I found myself holding a doily that my friend, Janet, had crocheted for me. I blessed her and prayed for her. I blessed my friend Kathy as I touched items she had blessed me with (or loaned me). My friends, Jeri, Lori, Joy, Delores and many more. Later in the day I was putting up some laundry and found something I had forgotten. It has been in a drawer for years now but I used to have it sitting out in my "little girl" days. It was a little square block of wood, painted black and had pictures of pretty ladies on it. It was a decoupage made by my cousin, Curtis, and sent to me after he moved to New York. I was only in the second grade. My cousins moved and I was heart broken. I prayed for Curtis and his family.

Some days I need to forget about all that is going on in my life and just stand in the gap for those I love and for those who love me. When you give me something, I keep it and I pray for you. I may not have it sitting out but I have it. I will come across it and I will touch it, hold it, and pray for you. I will bless you.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:
Matthew 26:39

What was the cup? Did it represent His cross? Oh, the cross. The weight of all our sins upon Him. It was MY cup.

...This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
I Corinthians 11:25 & 26

Oh Father, in the name of Jesus, give me the heart of an intercessor. Give me a clean heart. Purify me. Help me to stand in the gap for those You have put in my life. Help me to intercede to You on behalf of my children and my grandchildren. Let me "drink from the cup" of those I love and those I will love. Thank You for my precious friends and loved ones. Let me have a compassionate heart and feel the pain they feel. Give me wisdom to impart Your Word into their lives. Father, I want to always remember what You have done for me. You sent Your only Son to die in atonement for my sin. I am reconciled and redeemed because Jesus paid the price for me. Amen

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Miss Ruby - revised

It was actually June 11, 2003 -- almost two years ago, that Miss Ruby came into my life.

Miss Ruby

On June 11, 2004, Miss Ruby came into my life. Her daughter, Debbie, brought her to my salon for a facial. While she was getting prepared for her facial I looked over the questionnaire that she had previously filled out. I found out she had a pacemaker, used to be a sun lover, was allergic to aspirin, taking Coumadin, had a hip implant, used Dove Soap and Oil of Olay. The questionnaire did not (well, of course not) ask for her weight. However, I guessed Miss Ruby to weigh maybe 80 lbs. Her expectations for her facial were simple: Hydration.

I will never forget this facial. Miss Ruby felt like fragile alabaster in my hands. She was so tiny and frail and I was afraid I would break her. I cleansed, exfoliated and toned. I then applied a hydrating masque. While her masque was setting I massaged Miss Ruby's hands and feet. While my client was relaxing and I was massaging I made it a practice to pray for my client and to bless my client. Miss Ruby was so easy to pray for and to bless. She had such a precious and gentle spirit about her. As I held her tiny hands and arms I remember seeing her bracelet taped to her arm so it would not fall off her tiny little hands. This bracelet let everyone know that Miss Ruby was taking Coumadin. I remember thinking how precious her little hands were. I thought of all Miss Ruby had touched in her life. The meals these hands had cooked for her family, the pats on the heads she had given her children and grandchildren. The times she had reached out to her husband through their years. I prayed that God would bless those little hands and that everything Miss Ruby touched would be blessed as she was. I remember thinking of how I wanted this same spirit she possessed: so gentle, so mild, so peaceful. I then moved to her precious little feet. "How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them who bring good news . . . " This scripture kept coming to me. This precious lady loved the Lord and I knew it just by being in her presence. As I held her tiny feet in my hands I couldn't help but wonder where these feet had traveled in her life. Where had these feet taken Miss Ruby? Oh yes, Miss Ruby was so easy to pray for and bless.


It was time to take Miss Ruby's masque off. I removed her masque and applied a deep hydrating moisturizer, turned on the steam and let the steam and moisturizer do their job. I began to massage her frail little shoulder area and as I massaged I couldn't help but notice her pacemaker. I began to think of her "heart". I wondered how many times her heart had been broken but knew it was a place where Jesus felt comfortable. I prayed for her health and prayed protection over her heart.

That was a beautiful day and I remember it well.

My salon business changed somewhat. I gave up my spa services and began doing hair only. Miss Ruby came to me for her hair. Over the past several months we had her on a schedule of every other Saturday at 1:00.

Debbie called me this past Monday to tell me Miss Ruby would not be at her Saturday appointment. You see, Debbie buried her mother, my precious Miss Ruby, yesterday. Just a simple little service with her close family. Those precious little feet are dancing on streets of gold today. Miss Ruby's precious little hands are uplifted praising her Lord. No more pacemaker, no more Coumadin, no more "taped-on" bracelet, because Miss Ruby was made perfect the moment she saw the face of Jesus. God did not TAKE Miss Ruby, God RECEIVED Miss Ruby.

As I went through my appointment book erasing "Miss Ruby" from her upcoming appointments I couldn't help but cry. Miss Ruby changed my life. She enriched my life. All she asked me to do was "hydrate" her but Miss Ruby, in fact, hydrated ME. She poured a sweet oil over my life. She bathed me in the love of Jesus. She loved me and I knew it. She was a joy and a delight. I will miss my precious Miss Ruby.

Oh, my precious Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask you to comfort this family today. Miss Ruby is with You and may her family rest knowing that. Thank you, Father, for letting me enjoy Miss Ruby. Help me to be more like Miss Ruby and more like You. Amen

We never know who God is putting in our lives and for what reason. Miss Ruby did not speak very much but her life and her very presence spoke volumes. I learned a valuable lesson from this precious soul: I need to "hydrate" those who come into my life. I need to bathe my friends and family in prayer. I need to love people deeply.

Goodbye Miss Ruby. I will miss you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

MiMi


I love being MiMi!

This week was Spring Break for Brooke. She will be 9 on April 9. Brooke can make her MiMi feel like a million bucks. She is always fun to be with and has a great sense of humor. One thing I really enjoy about spending time with Brooke is that she is so easy going and is happy to do whatever we want to do. She had asked me earlier in the day if I would take her to a movie. I told her I would. We never made it to the movie Monday. We went to the tubes and played with Brooke's little cousins and 2 more of my precious grandchildren, Josiah and Ava Beth. So here's 3 out of 4 with MiMi sandwiched in the middle. There's not a sweeter time in the world than when you have your babies all around you and ON you.

Kyle, Brooke, Josiah and Ava Beth, MiMi loves you more than you know. You are precious to me. Each of you have qualities about you that make you unique. You all make me smile and there is nothing sweeter than hearing you say "MiMi". Ava Beth said "MiMi for the first time this past weekend. I loved it. Josiah and Brooke had no problems saying "MiMi" but Kyle, now you were a different story. It took you a little while, but boy, when you did, I felt like a million bucks!

There is one other thing that makes being MiMi so great -- I have PawPaw.

Appointed

Do you remember the story about Adam and Eve? My grandson, Josiah, says "Madam and Ebe, God said don eat dat pruit." We should all be familiar with Adam and Eve, especially Eve. It is Eve's fault that we girls go through the things we girls go through. I love Adam's response to God. Today it would sound something like this: "Don't look at me, God. It's that woman You gave me -- she did it." (Refer to Genesis 2:7 through 4:26 for the complete story as told by God.)

The story continues with Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam and Eve. I'm sure you are familiar with this part of the story as well. Cain killed his own brother, Abel. Can you imagine the horror of that? A man killing his own brother? Can you imagine what Eve, as a mother, felt like? She lost one son because of the other son. Ultimately, Eve lost both her sons on the same day to the same death. Abel is dead and Cain would be forever on the run and dead to her. Talk about a family curse. Talk about disfunction. She must have asked God a million times, "WHY?" "Was it MY sin?" I cannot begin to imagine the grief this mother felt. This mother had no mother of her own. None of us fully understand how God populated the world but it's my understanding that Eve was a woman in a man's world. Eve did not have girlfriends to console her. She had no mother, no grandmother, no aunts, no cousins, no GIRLS! Girls can be the very reason for stress in our lives at times but I'll tell you this, I never want to live in a world without my girlfriends. I need my girlfriends.

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed to me another seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew. (Genesis 4:25)

Adam slept with Eve; Eve gave birth to another son; Eve named her son Seth. Seth because God had appointed Eve another seed instead of Abel. In those days, the Father almost always was the parent to name the child. In this case Eve named the child. Read the scripture again. Eve did not mention Cain except in a negative sense. The seed to be replaced was Abel NOT Cain. Cain was just as much her son as Abel but I'm sure she felt anger and disgust toward Cain. Cain sure messed up their happy little family, did he not. Of course, we all know Eve is the one that started all of this because of her disobedience to God all those years before. Just think, had Eve not sinned, she and the rest of us could have had our children with NO PAIN.

This is the part of the scripture I like: "For God, said she, hath appointed . . ." Appointed means to name officially. God was the Official and Eve was the Appointee. God NAMED Eve to bare Seth. Eve appropriately named the child, which was important in those days and still important in these days.

You may have grief in your life. You may have lost someone through natural death or otherwise. You may have done things in your life that are not pleasing to God. You have wept and you have grieved the loss of relationships. But you have an "appointment" to bare yet another seed instead of the one you lost. What have you lost? What have you given up? God is going to provide the replacement. You are appointed -- officially named. You see, God knows you by name. He was there in the secret place when you were formed in your mother's womb. He knew you before you had a name. You are His child; His daughter. Eve messed up BAD. All these thousands of years later and we are still talking about that girl. But God officially named Eve to bare Seth -- another seed. He must have forgiven Eve. Hmmmmm (and a heavy sigh). If God forgave Eve, God will forgive YOU. If God used Eve again, God will use YOU again.

Check this out:

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos; then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26

This is so powerful. The scripture says, ". . . THEN began men to call upon the name of the Lord." Ultimately God used Eve (even after she had sinned so badly against God) to bring men to call upon the name of the Lord. The curse was reversed! God used Eve. Yes, Eve. The very one that sinned in the first place. God used Eve to bring forth change.

My prayer today:

Father, in the name of Jesus, I lift up my girlfriends to You today. Love on them, Jesus. Show them that You love them and You will forgive them their sins. There is nothing in their past that You will not forgive. There is is no curse that You cannot reverse. Your Word teaches us that what is blessed cannot be cursed. BLESS my girlfriends today, my precious Lord. BLESS them. Change them. Love them. Forgive them. Thank You, God, for using Eve again. Use us again, God. Amen

To conclude, read Genesis 5 in its entirety. You may not like all the "begat" stuff but it is really important. Look at the bloodline of Seth (Eve). There are many names that you have never heard and will never see again in the Bible. Then, you will run across names like Methuselah, Noah, etc. This bloodline ultimately will lead you to Jesus. Imagine that -- from the seed appointed BY God TO Eve --- SETH.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Will

In April of 1996, James' job with Union Pacific Railroad transferred us to Houston. Our second grandchild and first granddaughter, Brooke, was just 1 week old. Our emotions were bitter sweet. We had never lived outside the Fort Worth/Dallas area. We were leaving our children and our grandchildren behind. It was just James and me! It seemed very romantic at the time. James and Karen -- empty nesters. I soon found out, empty nesting was difficult. See, our little birds didn't fly out of the nest, WE left the nest. No one felt the emotional roller coaster ride like I did. While I was happy to be all alone with my husband, what I soon found out was that when James was at work, I was truly alone. I had never been so lonely in my life. Just one year prior, my Mammaw Ritter had died. I cared for her for some time before her death. She dies, we move, no children, no grandchildren, James working a lot and traveling a lot, and Karen all alone in a big empty house. I could walk for miles and meet person after person and no one would know my name. I could go to grocery stores and malls and never run into a single person that knew me or that even looked familiar to me. Mammaw no longer needed me. My kids were going on about their lives. What was I supposed to do?

Little did I know that HOUSTON would change my life. Houston was where I got intimate with Jesus. Houston was my "backside of the desert". Houston was my "green pasture he maketh me to lie down in". Houston was exactly where God wanted me and where God ultimately changed me.

Just 4 years ago, Union Pacific transferred James back to Fort Worth. We live in Burleson and we often spend time with our children and grandchildren. Since the Houston days, we have added to our family. We have another son inlaw and 2 more grandchildren. Josh moved to Seattle but has added Desiree and Mason to our family. It seems like we have it all now -- Faith -Family - Friends.

Guess what? There are still times when I wonder "what am I supposed to do?". I have days that I feel lonely. What does God want me to do? What do I want God to do? Many days I find myself standing in front of a poem I framed. I read it and I cry. It was a poem written by a precious lady. She wrote this and presented it to James and I in 1996, 1 week before we were to leave for our new home -- Houston. You probably do not know her. Her writings have not been published. She told James and I that the Holy Spirit awakened her in the night and gave her these words for us. What the Holy Spirit spoke to her that night speaks to me time and time again.

MY WILL -- NOT THINE

The couple checked their luggage
As they prepared to board
The ship of Trust and Faith -
The great ship of our Lord

As she read the checklist
He sorted and replied
"Is the belt of truth there?" she asked
"Yes" he said and put it aside

She checked that off and continued
"Breastplate of righteousness is next"
He held it up to confirm to her
And put her mind to rest

The readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
That will fit upon their feet
"Yes, it's here as well, my Love"
And he folds it nice and neat

Next on the list is the Shield of Faith
This we'll need for sure
For we do not know what lies ahead
And with this, Satan's arrows we'll endure

The Helmet of Salvation
Was held up for her to see
And the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God)
Now made their list complete

He neatly tucked them in the bag
All that's needed for their trip
Then they proceeded up the gangway
To board the glorious ship

"Take our things from the luggage
We must wear them says the Lord"
So they began to don each peace
According to His Word

They looked back and waved good-bye
To their friends left on the dock
We're still a part of just one body
That was built upon the rock"

They stood by the rail in total silence
And wondered what lay in store
"Lord, it's so hard to leave our loved ones
We need your peace and much, much more"

The Captain strolled up to them
And put an arm around each one
"Here aboard Ship Trust and Faith
It's not your will, but mine be done"

"Use us, Lord", they whispered
Take us where we'll serve you best
The Captain then smiled upon them
And put all anxieties to rest

God bless you, James and Karen
We will miss you
Words of love
By Cookie Birdsinger


My precious Lord, I want your perfect will for my life. I truly want to be where You will use us best. I want to be used for Your Kingdom with my husband, just as You designed in Your Word. Lord, bless Cookie today. Wrap your arms around her and pour out a blessing on her. Thank You for speaking to Cookie and giving her this word that even today would bring comfort and confirmation to James and I. When we are confused and we wonder, "Where do You want us?" we find comfort in the words You so sweetly spoke to and through Cookie Birdsinger. Amen

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ride of My Life

In June of last year I hit the bottom of the pit. I woke up one morning and began to cry. It seemed I cried for days. I tried to keep it to myself but it overwhelmed me. I had never experienced such sadness in all my life. I was willing to do most anything to be happy again. I prayed that God would help me.

It was time for my yearly well woman check up so I made my appointment. My family doctor recommended a female gynecologist that he believed I would really like. I went to my appointment. The nurse showed me into my room and said she would like to ask me a few questions. The first question she asked, I burst into tears. It was like a dam had broken and the flood of tears poured out of me. I was embarrassed. The nurse was absolutely awesome. She handed me a tissue and asked me if I needed some time alone. I didn't, I needed her to stay in there with me and tell me what was wrong with me. I couldn't speak. She must have sensed this because she walked over and patted me on the shoulder and said, "It's going to be OK." That was really all I needed her to say, "It's going to be OK." Thank God for compassionate women in our lives. She told me she needed to draw some blood and I was happy for that because nothing gets your mind off your pity party like a needle and a little blood letting. She drew the blood and told me she would be back. She again told me, "It's going to be OK."

It seemed like hours later when she and the doctor came in. Guess what? The blood results explained everything. I will never forget these words, "Sweetheart, you are in menopause!" SWEETHEART?!?!?!?!? I will never be sweet again. I went from unbelievable sadness to full blown crazy at the mention of those two words -- SWEETHEART - MENOPAUSE. Those two words can't even be used in the same sentence. Yes, you are going through "the CHANGE". I don't want to change. I like me like I am. What's wrong with what I've been -- why do I have to change? I don't want to CHANGE!

OK, I know I have younger readers who cannot relate to this. But, please listen to me, I'm trying to prepare you now for what is going to happen to you. As women, we have been dealing with hormones since "the day we became a woman". You remember the day? I was 11 years old, in the 6th grade, just came in from recess, just played an awesome game of dodgeball and I had to come in and "become a woman". Oh no! Call my mom! Don't tell my daddy! Can I walk like this? Can I take a bath? Can I even stand up? My very first (of many to come) panic attacks. OK, here's another panic attack awaiting this 11 year old - - - the very next month, it happened again. I have never understood why my mother didn't tell me it was going to happen again. The third time it happened I asked, "How many times is this going to happen to me?" I did not like the answer.

Well, here I am now - 37 years later - still a woman! This past year has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for me. Mood swings that I have prayed myself through. Fat days where I have changed clothes 3 or 4 times. Refusal to go into dressing rooms because I hate all those mirrors. Nothing is where it used to be. Nothing looks like it used to look. I am changing -- right before my own eyes. I forget things I KNOW. I lose things I need. Sleeplessness and restlessness. Rambling. Talking to myself. Now, as of the past month -- HOT FLASHES and night sweats. What would it be like to sleep a full night? I wake up almost every two hours -- you could set a clock by my "episodes". I don't know why they call them "flashes" - they seem to last forever. They begin in my core and then travel directly to my face. All those stories of people who "went up" in spontaneous combustion must have been menopausal women. I have heard women say, "They are not hot flashes, they are power surges." I'm not getting the power surge -- I absolutely feel powerless. It can be debilitating and why on earth do I feel the urge to let everyone in the room know and suddenly out of my mouth flies, "I'm about to burst into flames."

How do I pray? God deliver me from my hormones? No, then I would be a MAN! No more shopping! No more bling! I love being a woman. I love being a girlie girl. I was designed and fashioned.

I will praise thee;
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works;
and THAT my soul knoweth right well.
Psalm 139:14

God designed me so God will sustain me. As far as I know, no one has ever died from menopause. No one has ever died from PMS. (People may have been KILLED because of it.) I like to think of it as a metamorphosis, much like a butterfly. I am changing. I am not changed. It is a process.

My daughter, Amanda, and my friend, Chelsea, sang for our church's last women's retreat. It was a beautiful song that my daughter had given to me as a gift. (We do that in our family -- we give each other songs that connect us and mean something.) It is a Martina McBride song and I have no idea why it never made the #1 list. I believe the name of the song is "Butterfly" or maybe "She's a Butterfly". There is a verse that talks about getting her wings and the colors. During our retreat we focused on the butterfly and what the butterfly had to go through to become beautiful. Ladies/Girls, it's all about changing. We are constantly changing. We change physically. We change emotionally. We change spiritually. God never changes but He changes us. We are changed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:2 says it like this:

And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind;
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Amanda has written more than once on "It's a new season". She is not menopausal -- she is far too young. Amanda is experiencing "change" in her spiritual life. It is called maturity. Amanda is becoming a seasoned young woman of God. It is because of her knowledge of the Word that she is growing and changing and experiencing new seasons in her life. It is that maturity in God that will sustain her throughout her life and when she does go through "the change" she will have the Word of God, just as I do, to sustain her in those dark days that (they say) are inevitable. It is the way God created women. We don't understand it but it's a God thing. And it's the one God thing that causes us to act in a fashion that is not so Godly.

Through these days I have learned that I need God more than ever. Maybe that's why God designed us to go through menopause. Maybe He thought we would become too comfortable and not feel a need for Him. There are many things I don't understand and you can be sure that one of the first things on my agenda, after seeing the face of Jesus, is to ask Him, "Why hot flashes?"

But until then, I will continue in His Word. I will continue to pray and metamorphosed into what God wants me to be. I can't go back to that day when I was 11 years old. I don't even want to. I must go forward and see all the new changes God has for me.

Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18&19
Life is a ride we cannot get off.
I choose to buckle up and enjoy the adventure --
it's the ride of my life!

Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the spirit is
love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance;
against which there is no law.
Galatians 6:22&23


Most of us can quote this scripture. We learned it in Sunday School. We have heard many sermons about it. I remember teaching it to my Sunday School class of 8 and 9 years old about 10 years ago. We labeled different fruit and they memorized it.

Through the years of my knowledge of this scripture I have thought to myself; I know I have joy and peace, but do I have longsuffering and temperance? Is the fruit of the spirit like the spiritual gifts we read about in I Corinthians 14:13-15? Do you get to pick ONE? Does God give you one or the other? Does your personality lend itself to one or all? The fruit of the spirit is nothing like the spiritual gifts.

When I taught this to my Sunday School class we had 9 fruit and we labeled them, the children held them up and that is how they memorized the verse. While this method worked well for memorization it was not accurate. You see, there are not 9 different fruits, there is ONE fruit. Read the scripture again,

But the fruit of the spirit . . .

We do not get to "pick a fruit". We must have them ALL because all of them together is THE fruit of the spirit. If we walk in the spirit we will have all of these qualities and characteristics. The Holy Spirit is our "comforter". If the Holy Spirit represents "comfort" then as we walk in the spirit we will comfort with . . .

love, joy, peace,

longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,

faith, meekness, temperance