Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
March 28th, 2009


Since I wrote about the baptism in the Spirit a week or so ago, I have been musing about the gift of tongues which often accompanies the Spirit baptism.  As I see it, scripture talks about three uses of tongues.

The first type is that which occurred at Pentecost when all those in the upper room began to speak in tongues “as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Those who heard them said, “how is that we hear, each in his own language?”    Either the disciples actually spoke in the various languages of those present, or God opened the ears of the listeners so each could hear in his own language.  I’ve heard of missionaries who have gone to foreign lands and were enabled to speak in the language of the new country without studying it, but I have had no personal experience of this gift.  So, on to the next.

Second, in 1 Cor. 12 we read: “There are varieties of gifts… another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”  I’ve seen this gift displayed a few times – it could actually be considered the gift of prophecy as it is a word from God to the people.  One person speaks in tongues and a second person is given an understanding of what is being said, thereby “interpreting.”

Third is the more usual gift of tongues, often received with the baptism in the Spirit.  In the previous two examples, the gift of tongues is used to speak to the people.  In this third one, it is used to speak to God – to praise, plea, or whatever.  In Acts 10 we see that the people in Caesarea had not even been baptized but “the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God.”  And Peter said, “can anyone forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”  The gift of tongues was taken in this case as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit and was being used to praise God.  In 1 Cor. 14:2 we read: “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands him.”  I’d like to write a little of my experience with this particular kind of tongue-speaking.

Prayer meetings were a new phenomenon in the Catholic church when I attended my first one in the early 1970s.  I had heard unusual things about such meetings and curiosity led me to look into them.  The meetings were more “loose” than the ordinary Catholic service but I enjoyed them and have been going ever since.  Not long after that I learned that another Catholic church in the area was having a series of teachings on the baptism in the Spirit given by some Sisters from New York.  Again, I went, just out of curiosity.  I thought I was already committed to following Jesus and there was not much more needed.  We were told that at the end of the series we could be prayed with to receive the Spirit as the people did in the early church.  I considered not going forward for prayer as I was still agoraphobic at that time and not inclined to sit in the front of the church – but I went along with the program.  We sat in alternate pews, said a prayer of repentance, and then invited the Holy Spirit into our lives while others laid hands on our shoulders and prayed along with us.

Nothing seemed to happen.  After the meeting I browsed through the books on sale and selected The Cross and the Switchblade, not for myself  but thinking it was something my children might be willing to read.  As I reached to open the car door to go home I noticed that my lower jaw was shivering, and it was a little chilly.  At the next prayer meeting, Fr. Joe asked those who hadn’t received the gift of tongues to go into another room with him and we would pray for it.  Father prayed in tongues and soon my lower jaw was shaking again and I kind of warbled.  No words, but Father declared it was tongues and that was that.

Still dubious, a few days later, in my bedroom, the cat was on my bed and she purred as I petted her.  Interesting.  She purred when she received a loving touch.  She also purred when she was grooming and feeding her kittens.  I wondered if maybe the gift of tongues was similar?  Something inside vibrates when touched by the Spirit of Love?  Again my jaw shivered and I warbled and this time I knew I was using this gift to praise God.

Since that time my tongue has become more involved, sometimes forward in my mouth as in a la-la sound, sometimes near the throat with a more gutteral sound.  Also since that time I notice that when I sing my voice has a tremolo that it didn’t have previously.

I have chosen this video to show what the gift can sound like.  I do not know Lonnie Mackley but he seemed like a straightforward kind of guy with an impressive story.

In 2006 a study with brain scans of people speaking in tongues showed  no changes in the language areas, indicating that tongues did not involve the speech center, but, rather, increased activity in the emotional centers of the brain.  I can agree with those who have done these studies and who say that the part of the brain involved in speech is not involved.   I don’t have a clue as to what I’m going to say next – it just tumbles out.

When the Nativity Story appeared in theaters in 2006 I was struck by the sounds made by the women attending the birth of Elizabeth’s baby.  As soon as the child was born they all made a rather shrill warbling sound known as ululation.  It sounded to me like the gift of tongues.   When better to warble in praise than at the birth of a baby!  Surely that is a thing of wonder!  One writer describes  the Middle East custom of zaghareet as a joyous warbling sound “that welcomes a guest or announces a grand family event.”

Another thing that reminds me of tongues is yodeling.  Where better to praise the good Lord than on a mountain top, with the sky overhead and the valleys below?  Was the original yodel – with its repeated joyous L sounds – prompted by the Holy Spirit?

Oftentimes when someone is singing and words fail, the singer continues la-la-la-ing with whatever sounds happen to come out.   When singing springs from a joyous heart, how better to praise God?

These questions made me wonder whether praying in tongues is something that comes naturally to joyful humans.  Whether we go al-le-lu or tra-la-la or tura-lura-lura  what does it matter?  We’re talking to God, it’s coming from the heart and he knows what we mean.   What I am sure about is that when my mind turns to God, whether in thought or in song, this “tongues thing” happens.  And I like the connection to God that I feel then.

Finally, I think the best-ever book about tongues – easy to read, and ringing true – is Pat’s Boone’s A New Song published in 1970.  It is available on Amazon for a penny plus postage.  Pat writes, “Above everything else, I’ve tried to be honest.”  In describing his spiritual journey, Pat tells how he, his wife, and his four daughters individually and on separate occasions received the gift of tongues.  It is a joy to read.

If you need more convincing,  The Cross and the Switchblade is highly recommended.  It was, for me, a powerful glimpse into the way the Spirit can work in a yielded soul.


For the unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  — 1 Cor. 2:14

March 25th, 2009


Student chess achievers to Obama: ‘Your move’

Students at a Virginia “private” high school have challenged President Obama and White House staff to play chess with them, in a bid to win funding for their continuing education. Teacher Lisa Suhay says chess has transformed 40 underachieving students at Ryan Academy High School (a small private school that is “little more than four walls” and catering for blue-collar families) “from victims into victors — at no cost to the taxpayer or school.”

Her students solicited free chess sets and learning materials from the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and other sources. Hip-Hop Chess — which stresses unity, life strategy, and non-violence in the classroom — is also used successfully by John J O’Connell High School in San Francisco. Ms Suhay , who earns $16,000 a year before tax teaching five subjects at Ryan, writes: “Every one of my students learned to play chess this year. What’s more, they all began to think more clearly and often, and think before they acted. Achievers blossomed and borderline drop-outs are now making the honor roll and are seriously thinking about college and jobs that do not involve fries or result in an orange jumpsuit and leg irons.”

Now, because of the ailing economy, many students face expulsion for not being able to pay their tuition. Others have been accepted to college but have failed to find funding.

“But, thanks to chess, these children have become critical thinkers. Determined, they held a mini ‘war room’ discussion. They decided that their best strategy to get out of this corner, and help others do the same, was to promote awareness, raise money, and to ‘go for the king’.” Hence, the White House challenge. “Last week Rahm Emanuel received a long cardboard tube packed with their essays, letters of request, and one precious possession: a scholastic tournament set with ‘Mr. Prez’ scrawled in Sharpie marker on the underside of a king.”

If it comes off, money raised for the benefit games will go to a new fund for chess scholars — who qualify by winning in an HHCF-sponsored tournament at either school. Ms Suhay sees this daring bid as giving the new White House administration “the opportunity to help create change without an act of Congress”. ~ Yahoo/Christian Science Monitor, Mar 20

March 23rd, 2009


At last, finally, I have read the rules for playing Scrabble.   Shoulda done it six weeks ago.  It woulda helped.  Just got creamed.  By a total stranger.  That will teach me to mix it up with Scrabblers when I don’t know what I’m doing.

Never was a Scrabble player.  Just as I started blogging without having read a blog, and joined Facebook just to see my granddaughter’s pictures, I engaged in a Scrabble game, first time ever, because of an invitation by a friend.  Now I’ve played many games of Upwords in the past, which is also a board game, with tiles, with words – but with different rules than Scrabble.

Scrabble looked simple enough.  I soon figured out that TW meant triple word points, DL was double letter points, and that some strategy was involved to get the most possible points.  Then I got a blank tile!  I had to click on the ? button to find out how to deal with it.  It’s a wonderful thing, very handy.  Too bad there are only two  such “wild tiles.”

I did reasonably well for awhile.  Then came the day when I was ahead, with only three tiles left and I knew how I was going to play them.   I figured the game was in the bag.   Bingo!  The game was called and Fran won!  Fran had played all her tiles and that meant the game was ended.  Who knew?  She had played first, I should play last, the way I figured it.   Later I learned that that was a RULE.  I still think it’s a dumb rule, since the person who starts the game is always in the lead and thus has an advantage, but I shall play differently from now on towards the end of a game.  Forget the points!   Get rid of those tiles!

After a few days of Scrabble-dearth I went PUBLIC and found someone who would play with me.  Didn’t know him from Adam.  In fact, his name was Adam.

It started out fine.  He was a worthy opponent.  A really hard game with weird words.  He was a slow player – a move or two per day – but that was fine with me.  In my saner moments, I thought Scrabble  took up too much time.  Then, the coup de grace!  My friend Adam surged ahead when he played “cuisine” and got 63 points.   I was flabbergasted.  No way could “cuisine” be worth 63 points, no matter how many double or triples he played on.     And THAT was when I went off-site and read the official rules for Scrabble.  If you play all seven of your tiles, you get a 50 point bonus.  Nice to know for next time.

No doubt there will be a next time even if Adam did beat me by 100   points.  I love Scrabble on Facebook.    It’s fun and keeps my brain working.  I like the clever way it adds up your points for you, better than you could do, and  keeps a tally of the moves.     There’s a nice little chat room for friendly banter along the way.   It’s a connection to someone, even if it’s the strong silent type like Adam.

Game, anyone?

March 21st, 2009


In 1991 a gathering called the Summer of Mercy was held in Wichita Kansas, where George Tiller ran an abortion mill which specialized in late term abortions. At that time tens of thousands of committed Christians came  there to cry out for an end to abortion.   I and many of my friends were among them. Tiller had a lovely facility which sported an incinerator where he could dispose of the aborted babies on site.

In 1991 70 local pastors in the Wichita area covenanted to “continue to speak out with urgency until the killing of innocent children is outlawed and Wichita becomes an abortion-free city.” A parade for life was held and it was heartwarming to see the pro-life sentiment in the mid-West, especially as compared with the cold hearts in the northeast United States.

There were, then, three abortuaries in Wichita.   Now but one is left, the infamous Women’s Health Care Services run by Mr. Tiller, where women from far and near come to have late term babies “delivered” still-born. (The babies get an injection while in the womb to be sure they are dead on arrival.) Tiller is facing 19 criminal charges for violating Kansas law on late-term abortion.   Tiller has performed over 80,000 abortions and has boasted that he has done more late-term abortions than anyone in the western hemisphere.

Finally, this coming week, Tiller goes to trial. The jury pool has been selected. As Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition writes: “The conviction of George Tiller will energize the prolife movement in a way that we have not seen in 20 years. It will also demonstrate that regardless of the political landscape, God’s power is great and not limited to who resides in the White House.”

Raise your hand to stand with the babies for life. Raise your voice to God for an end to this carnage.

Also this week:

March 18th, 2009: Topeka, KS – Yesterday, the Kansas State Senate passed a bill that would require that women seeking abortions be allowed to see an ultrasound image of their baby at least 30 minutes before the abortion. This bill puts the radical abortion views of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who was recently nominated as Secretary of Health and Human Services, again in the spotlight.


Am I my brother’s keeper?  And the Lord said, ” What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.”  —  Genesis 4:9

March 18th, 2009


Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, stated during the 2008 election: “What I hear from people is,  ” ‘John McCain was not my first choice, John McCain was not my second choice, John McCain was not my third choice.  However, I would rather have a third-rate fireman than a first-class arsonist.’ And they view Obama as a first-class arsonist.”

Yet, Rev. Frank Page, former president of the Southern Baptist  Convention, was asked to serve on President Obama’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rev. Page has said in the past: “I am unapologetically pro-life in my stance….I believe the Scripture which prohibits the taking of life includes the innocent unborn.”

You have to think Obama’s people didn’t properly vet Rev. Page. One is hard put to find a glimmer of pro-life sentiment among the President’s recent appointees.

Rev. Frank Page says he told the White House that he is “seeing this consistent pattern of removing any pro-life protection, so I am deeply concerned…..I have stated that concern and will continue to state it.”

Last week Obama took steps to eliminate enforcement of previous laws that would protect healthcare providers who did not wish to take part in abortion-related  procedures. However, after Rev. Page objected to the removal of conscience protections for medical providers, he says he got a letter from the White House. “Promising me in writing that President Obama would never be a part of forcing anyone to perform an abortion against his or her conscience.”

Earlier Obama had reversed the Mexico City policy that prevented taxpayer money from being used for anti-life “family planning” procedures. Now Obama’s latest move is opening the door to funding the production of embryos for stem cell research. Obama has said, “And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong and has no place in our society, or any society.” Note well — this last statement must be carefully parsed: He said he will not approve cloning for “human reproduction.”    He did not say he would not approve cloning for experimentation.  He is, in fact, now approving cloning for experimentation and, when you get right down to it, he is approving
any cloning. Cloning, by definition, reproduces another human being whether or not that human is ever born.  I see this talk as highly duplicitous.

Reverend Page observes rightly that Obama is one by one removing every vestige of protection that had been put in place to protect human life. It seems he is dead set on killing the unborn.

I wonder if Rev. Page will be able to keep his post and still stand for life.  He has said, “But if I feel at some point that I’m just a token conservative, or fundamentalist — some see me that way up there — then I will resign, because I don’t have time just to be a token voice.”

Time will tell. Let’s all watch and see.


Instead, let your message be ‘Yes’ for ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ for ‘No.’ Anything more than that comes from the evil one.  —  Matthew 5:37

March 13th, 2009


The idea for this  post came to me this morning at mass.  A couple of days ago I wrote about the baptism in the Spirit, using a talk I gave some years ago.  Today I feel the need to add more of an overall picture.  Through  the years I have read and heard many testimonies about the difference the baptism in the Spirit makes in the lives of Christians.

What does the Catholic Church say about the charismatic renewal?  Watch this video for an overview.    Look especially at the face of John Paul  II in 1981 before he says, “Long life for the Charismatics” and listen to the praising in tongues afterwards!

Please read in your bible  about the happenings at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21).   The people in the upper room were already Christians, already followers of Jesus.   But Jesus knew they needed more and promised to send the Spirit.  Re-read  Acts 2 and try to convince yourself that the baptism in the Spirit was not both needed and effective.  Then ask yourself whether it  is needed  today.   We read:  “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…..”

How and where are people being led to the Lord and filled with the Spirit  in these latter days? Read the rest of this entry »

March 8th, 2009


It would seem that for the time being Rush Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the Republican party.  Or, as Rush puts it, “I’m the last man standing.”  And Obama is said to want to “crush Rush.”  That’s what the so-called Fairness Doctrine is designed to do.

According to the Daily News on March 5:

Limbaugh, clearly enjoying the attention, upped the ante Wednesday by challenging Obama to a debate on his radio show – while conceding that, yes, he is the GOP’s  “last man standing.” The White House declined to comment.

“If you can wipe me out in a debate … do you realize you will own the United States of America?” Limbaugh said on-air. “You will have no opposition.”

Stoking the flames, Limbaugh mockingly urged the President not to send in his place any “lightweights,” including “the ballerina, Emanuel.”

Despite all his charisma, Obama, unscripted, doesn’t have the chutzpah to tangle with Rush. Rush is better informed, better able to ad lib, and, of course, better seasoned. But I have fun imagining it!  It would be a media blockbuster!

If you can handle all the teeth, here is an enjoyable photo gallery of  “the Bamster” at leisure (from the Daily News).

And below is an e-mail that is making the rounds.    We  should all be so happy!




But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.  —  Matthew 5:44

March 6th, 2009


Recently I’ve been thinking I should write about the baptism in the Spirit as something that has been important in my life and the life of many, many Christians. Two things have come together that prompt me to do it now, especially since it doesn’t involve too much thinking. The first was finding a copy of a talk I was asked to give during a Life in the Spirit seminar some years back. The second was an online audio that I chanced upon by Fr. John Randall, an old time charismatic, telling what the baptism in the Spirit has meant in his life.


In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, the Lord says: “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul says, “I will, therefore, all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

You see before you someone leaning heavily on the Lord’s sufficient grace.

I have always hated being the center of attention. I wouldn’t exactly say I volunteered for this talk. Rather, I was sort of pushed into it. Someone said, “Dorothy, why don’t you give the talk on Receiving God’s Gifts? Good. That’s settled.” I never said “yes,” or “OK,” or any of those positive things. I just didn’t say “no,” because I knew God wanted me to do it. I don’t know how God can make you know something without ever saying anything, but he can. Read the rest of this entry »

March 4th, 2009


Recently, as we were praying in front the the local abortion mill, a man with a carful of kids blew us a kiss.  That was a first for us — and heartening.  Sometimes people signal a V for victory.  Often those driving by will honk for dear life (pun intended) which serves the dual purpose of encouraging those praying outside and letting those inside the building know that there are many more pro-life people than are visible in front of the abortuary.

Some folks give us a “thumbs up.”  Other give us a “thumbs down” and they are entitled to their opinion.  A few, often nicely coifed “ladies,”  express their opinion with one finger up in the air.  We have been wondering whether they are trying to tell us their age or their IQ.

People have brought us hot coffee when the weather was frigid.  One man actually stopped his truck when he saw us waking back and forth, took out a shovel and cleared the snow from beneath our feet.  Another muttered, “Gentile scum,” as he walked by.

Last week a man in a passing car shouted something about the right to free choice.  My friend, Mike, responded with a single sentence which just about sums up our reason for being there.  “No way,” he said.  “Not when your choice kills my brother.”

The mentality that allows us to kill the perfect child in the womb also will allow us to kill the defective newborn, the disabled, and grandma in the nursing home.  It puts the weak at the mercy of the powerful and says human beings have no rights that belong to them simply because they are human.  That’s the Nazi way — and it’s coming.  Do we really want a world in which we are our brother’s killer instead of his keeper?


Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers, you do it to me.  — Matthew 25:40.

March 4th, 2009



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