Set on Fire 

So my neighbor is smoking weed.

And I’m tellin’ ya…this end of the hallway positively reeks. I swear, walk from here to the elevator and you’re going to be baked by approximation.


If my thoughts seem…well…all over the place…now you know why. 😉

Pentacost Sunday.

It was yesterday, in case you missed it. The infamous “Tongues of Fire” day where we wear red and sing about the Holy Spirit.

I’ve always had a special affection for the day. My childhood imagination would run wild, picturing the scene and what it would have been like to be there. A fantastic chaos of divinity.

But as I’m getting older, I’d be lying if I said that the day and its miraculous events are losing their luster. Maybe it’s all the special effects we’ve become accustomed to in movies and on TV, or perhaps it’s the curse of familiarity, but I found myself glazing over at church today. Which, I am not proud of.

And walking home through the loud and boisterous streets of lower Manhattan, I felt rather guilty for my lack of appreciation and wonderment.

And I realized, as I was getting accosted to buy a soggy pretzel and knockoff Oakley sunglasses, that nowadays, even if the Holy Spirit were to literally throw a tongue of fire right in front of my face, there’s so much noise and distraction all around us, that I’m afraid I wouldn’t even notice.

For a long time, my relationship with God was more of an “insurance plan.” You know – pray when you need an A on a test, or you’re scared, or you need something. I believed in and loved God, but was not really “plugged in” to the Spirit on a day to day. Maybe He’d get an “I love you – Thank you – Goodnight” at the end of the day, but other than that, He was just someone I turned to when I wanted to prevent bodily harm.

But for the seasons in my life when I actually was needing and depending on God on the daily, I realized just how often God would show up in my life. How He’d be there in the small coincidences, the beauty around me, the interactions with others, the lyrics of a song. His Spirit was alive. And on the move.

But I was thinking today: maybe the reason I saw His working in my life, was because I was deliberately looking for it.

Maybe, He is always sending down His spirit upon us, but we miss it because we’re too busy in the commotion of this life.

The tongues of fire…maybe that wasn’t such a phenomenal occurrence after all? Maybe, He just needs people to pay attention and be receptive to His Spirit?

Or maybe this is blasphemy, and I’m in jeopardy of going to hell.

But, I just wonder – what can I do to be a better listener for His spirit?

I spend so much aimless time on things that don’t even matter: things like social media. Netflix. Facebook. Instagram.

And sure, I love a good episode of The Office just like the next shmuck, but what if our free time has a higher calling? 

Maybe those precious lull moments could be used to say “hi” to God, and breathe in His Spirit, rather than compulsively refresh Facebook.

Up in that secret room, 2000 years ago, I can tell you one thing: those disciples were not engrossed in SnapChat. They were thinking about Jesus. Reflecting on God. Scared, sure. But they were tuned in. Looking for Him.

And God responded. God showed up. In a big way.

I want to be a disciple in that room. I want to be so totally fixed on Jesus that a tongue of fire literally takes over me.

Call me an eternal optimist, but I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility. Sure, maybe not an actual burning flame above my head, but surely, God can get creative.

God, help me to seek you everyday. Let my free time be Your time. 

And maybe, just maybe, I could receive a of Tongue of Fire, too.

****Food for thought: Where do you see God working in your life?


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316 responses to “Set on Fire ”

  1. The smoke didn’t make you cloudy, your spot on. I find your posts inspiring, I need to get back into going to church. It’s been a while. Since my divorce last year actually and that’s not cool is it… I’ve searched several times for a church I can attend that’s a bit closer to me but come up empty. Seems I may be being told to go back to the church the ex and I attended? Love your photos, such a great smile! ❤️

  2. I see Him working everywhere, everyday in my life. From the sun rising, or rain that’s pouring, or the breathe that enters and leaves my lungs, to the fact that but for Him I shouldn’t be here. The happiness in my heart that wasn’t there before, the fact that my heart isn’t beating 13o plus beats a minute EVERY SINGLE MORNING when I wake up like it use to, to the fact that I want to live and not die, which use to be the first thought that crossed my mind when I woke up for decades, to the tears that are no longer flowing from my eyes as soon as they open, in the morning. That I am full of love and no longer despair. Shew, I could fill the page but I’ll stop there :):) God Bless you and I pray all my brothers and sisters see His wondrous miracles that are here everyday but get drowned out by all the noise that we call life. Much love and hugs my friend xoxo

    • This is so beautiful Margaret, thanks so much for sharing this. You’re right – we’ve gotta keep seeking His face. You’ve definitely inspired me!! big hugs xox

  3. Here’s one for you: the Holy Spirit was the original world-wide-web.

    That’s a little obscure.

    We used to be really good at surrendering the needs of the world to God. Now we feel like we can do everything ourselves if we can get our friends to pay attention, and so spend all of our time trying to connect online. But I think that back in the day people would just attach an angel thought to somebody and let it do its work.

    Maybe we should get back to that. When we don’t need to pray for ourselves any longer, should we just start praying for others? Or even just celebrating? You know, “Dear God: I saw this beautiful thing today. What do you think?”

    • Wow, what a powerful thought! thanks for sharing that Brian. You’re right, we need to get back to God! even to just celebrate, like you said! love it! hugs xo

  4. We saw such a huge move of God today… A total change of heart in a situation that seemed hopeless. My hubby talked with a buddy and coached him through a trial and said ‘If you handle this correctly, you will be blessed’ and just a couple of hours later the tables turned in his favor. It’s not always that quick, but I’ve seen it enough to always be on the lookout for the hand of God.

    God still speaks and the Spirit is still alive in us 🔥

  5. Great Post!! I see Him in the peace I carry, the kind of peace that only He can offers. I am no longer fearful and for that I am truly grateful! 🙂

  6. In my job, it can get repetitious, supervising parents on visits with their children. It can be easy to let my mind wander, but somehow God brings my attention back on Him through the parent or even the child. My job constantly has me questioning myself on whether I’m glorifying Him in front of these families, and at the end of the day, I find myself being questioned by His spirit. Asking me if i represented God the best i could and most times, the answer is no.

    God shows up in the weirdest ways and usually at the most inconvenient times to see if we are truly focused on Him. The disciples on the Day of Pentecost were waiting for Jesus to send the Holy spirit, and it’s been sent. But all too often we ignore it when the Spirit inconveniences us

  7. A timely post. There have been times where I am so into God I can’t contain it. There have been times where I struggle to pay attention in church and can’t seem to find time to pray. I wish I were in the first place but am actually in the second. But I know He is at work here somehow and will soon surprise me in some fascinating and wondrous way.

    Thanks for this.

  8. My favourite part: “A fantastic chaos of divinity.” The divinity lies within our being and as such we have full access to God’s Spirit today! Thank you for another inspiring post.

  9. You can definitely experience tongues of fire too! I have and I know many people who also have. It is a powerful thing!

  10. Fantastic post!! I love the quotes you post! And I loved the picture of you, too- you’re beautiful! Lately I’ve seen Him working as I figure out where to go to college- it had been really weighing on my heart so I stopped and prayed, and the next day He answered me. We serve such a mighty and powerful God- He never fails to amaze and humble me.

  11. So yes, timely post. And yes, social media & phone in general are time bandits. And yes, busyness and distraction in all its forms can quench our awareness of the Holy Spirit. But, I have no excuse not to pray, not to read my Bible, not to be drained of the world and filled with the Spirit.

    Thanks for this. Prayers for you and your family. Be careful in the Big Apple.

  12. I’ve never commented on a post, until now 🙂 You are spot on in a lot of ways, sweet friend! The Holy Spirit is real. It is God. He is alive and He wants to give His Holy Spirit to those who seek Him diligently. You might not see a cloven tongue of fire, but it will be a life-changing experience you will not forget. Even now the Holy Spirit is with you, guiding you. But, you also want Him to be IN you! It’s the earnest of our inheritance. A seed of the divine nature that forms us into children of God. It’s important for believers to seek the Holy Spirit. Though He does not always show up when we like. The Spirit blows where He will. But, if we keep asking, He will hear you — even if it takes many years. Don’t give up!

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much Amanda!! You’re so right – SO real. And what a beautiful reflection – we have to earnestly seek Him. Thanks for this powerful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  13. I really enjoyed this blog. I love the realness and the fact that I’m not alone with my wonderings. I too believe that if we just look for Him in the normal everyday then we would find Him. I believe He did say that if we would seek Him with all of our hearts…. well you know the rest. I know you are quite pleasing to Him and it was great that you came along side your mom while she needed you. Don’t worry about coloring outside the lines sometimes because It wasn’t God who drew those lines anyway. I know that if I didn’t know God already that I indeed would be attracted to him just by the way you reveal Him. This blog does poke me a little to look for Him more rather then griping that He isn’t active enough. That simply isn’t true but is a statement more about myself. Anyway thanks for this. Your words are life 🙂

  14. KJV Acts 4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
    i believe this was communication without earthly language. The Holy Ghost and our souls communicate without words; souls just know what the other soul is thinking or being “told” by other souls. We are all in the mind of God. As it says in John 1.1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

  15. Reblogged this on En Courage and commented:
    Carolyn is a vibrant, witty young woman with an ability to capture Christianity and the modern culture with a captivating manner. Yesterday was Pentecost, and Caralyn’s blog, “Beauty Beyond Bones” gives some wonderful food for thought.

  16. Pastor, you are amazing! Your honesty in an online world of fabrication is so refreshing! I am praying for you and your Mom! Remember how many times in scripture the disciples doubted …..doubted Jesus! Lift up your doubt to God and have a conversation ….remember, be still to hear His whisper! Prayer is a conversation! I am in quite a bit of pain and there is more I could share but I don’t have the strength. Please visit my blog! I will post again soon! May God bless your writing ministry! Say hi to your Mom for me! Remember, God wants us to bring our doubts to Him! His Holy Spirit is always with us!

    • Hey there Rick! oh gosh, you are too kind. think you. thank you. thank you. yes! let’s be still to hear His whisper! thanks as always for your prayers and encouragement. I definitely will! hugs xo

  17. I don’t know how much of my blog you read, but I see the Lord working through my type 1 diabetes and other ailments. I am being taught to rely on Him and realize my life is not my own. It’s rather hard to do. My entire life has changed. To list how I see Him working would take a blog post. 😉

    • Thanks so much for sharing that. I’m sorry that you’re going through that, but I’m so glad that you’re finding His peace and strength through it all. praying for you 🙂 hugs xo

  18. Great post! I totally agree that with all the distractions of this world we fail to spend time with God. I always remember reading about how Jesus would go away from the crowds to spend time with the Father and feel convicted because I let the “crowd” take over my time. God is totally teaching me how to rely on Him more and more and ever since I have made it a priority to spend time with Him daily it has made me smile so much more knowing that I am about to step boldly into His throne room and pour my alabaster jar.

  19. Great post! I can always spend more time with God; that’s not something I think I’ll ever stop needing improvement with.

    But I also want to comment on your pic in this post. It almost looks like “tongues of fire” coming down over your head and around your face. Coincidence?

  20. I truly am thankful that you are allowing God to use your creativity to speak of His goodness and grace. You could be using it for so many other purposes, but your sensitivity to witnessing Him through little observations is like reading a giggling girl’s description of her true love – and that is a beautiful thing. Keep falling in love with the One who loved you first, and in the process others will come to know His love, too.

  21. This was a lot of fun to read! So many good points. You gave a lot of food for thought. Comments at Patreon, as always. By the way, might we say you took the high road on writing this?

    • thanks so much Jeffrey! I can’t wait to read your comments! I am probably not going to get to it until the morning though, because it is presently 3am….haha….ok goodnight!!! hugs to you and julie! x

      • 3am?!? Do we need to set a curfew, young lady? After everything in England, I’m thinking about you back in NYC. Keep your head on a swivel, OK?

      • thanks Jeffrey. Yeah, I know – not typical for this little lady. It was my friend’s last night that she was visiting. Now back to the daily grind…And thanks, yeah I definitely always have my wits about me. Scary stuff. hope you’re having a great morning!

      • The morning has been good! I’m back at the hotel to “office” away my afternoon. I’ll b able to head home from Chicago tomorrow afternoon-ish.

        Don’t be too taken with the 80’s; it also gave us leisure suits! The lead singer is fine, but the drummer needed a little help! I haven’t thought of that song for ages. Then the more I looked at the lyrics, I thought, “Well this is Pentecost! And Caralyn has had some roads to travel. Especially lately.” I’ll bet your folks remember that one!

        Enjoy busting those cleaning moves! Although I’m suddenly seeing Mrs. Doubtfire running the vacuum cleaner…

  22. I had smoke reed before but I don’t really care for it, but I also don’t have anything againts it. I do Knowles people do rely on it for being calm but after it wares off then they more stress then they was before, or that what I Knowles from people. I also an alcoholic and I have times where I do get drunk, like last night. I also found out I was being loud lastnight but I don’t recall being angry. I thinking I had something came up that kind of made me angry maybe, but I was just loud I guess.

    • Hi Michael, thank you so much for sharing this. Yeah, if people want to smoke weed, that is definitely their prerogative. I personally don’t, but I don’t judge either way. i hope you can get some good sleep tonight! hugs xox

      • Yeah same here I don’t judge people that smoke weed or any other soft drugs. I just don’t like weed that much myself, becuse it usually gets me an upset stomach but their was times I smoked weed awhile drinking, and people say that isn’t good using those drugs together like that. Also their people that just say’s “Smoke Weed and don’t drink.”
        Also where I live my landlord want me to go to AA and I seen one that is every week from tomorrow near me, but I knid of want to go anyways, so it’s not like I being told to really.

      • I been to them before but living in a T-House so that was more of a crotch for me but I wasn’t in trouble, it was by choice, I also was in rehab about 28 days 4 years ago that was by choice too. In rehab they have you go to AA meetings and NA meetings since NA is branch off AA., Even know I started to drink an again after a year, I don’t drink every night like I use to, but when I do, it can be whisky or stronger beer then I use to drink, so my drinking did enhance for being sober about over a year, so that is true with people who are alcoholics, it does enhances from when you first start drinking even if you stop for awhile.

  23. The spirit is always present but you stated it–its up to each of us to respond and interact. How great that every moment is a new opportunity to do so!

  24. Nature just screams out god! Such beauty all around us. I think your right in saying we are distracted by the din around us. God speaks to us in so many ways, we just need to open our eyes and ears. Thank you for your always inspirational blog. You probably will never know how big an impact it really has. God is using you too to speak to us. Thanks for listening.

    • I so agree! I love seeing God in the flowers and the blue sky and the birds chirping. It’s so beautiful. thanks for your kind words. I am truly touched 🙂 hugs xox

  25. God’s grace is excessive and He is generous with His blessings and love to us. He is constantly reaching out to us, wanting to be close to us who He lovingly made on purpose. And yes, since Satan cannot silence God, he distracts with everything possible, anti-social media, entertainment, social garbage, fake and real news, anything possible. All we have to do to hear and feel God is to stop being distracted. It is not easy in our culture but necessary to be close to God, which is where we all need to be. He rewards closeness with eternal life, love, peace, joy, wow! You hit it on the spot with your casual, contemplative loving heart way and I love you, friend. XO

  26. “So my neighbor is smoking weed.”

    Aaaaand now you know why some of us stay away from the city. 🙂

    May you be a pleasing aroma to Christ instead (2 Cor. 2:15).

  27. I love this post. Though I know we go to churches that have different doctrines, yet we follow one and the same Savior.
    I pray that God would continue to fill you with His Holy Spirit and use you in mighty ways.
    That God should use any of us for His Kingdom and glory is a wonder, and it is a humbling thing to know that any good thing we do is really Christ working through us. He is so good and His ways are past our understanding, yet He invites us to dive deep into that mystery and discover more of the eternal treasures He has stored up for us.
    Adventure is out there!

  28. Once you start seeing God’s hands at work in your life, and all those little ‘I love you’s’ he sends quietly, it starts to feel like they never stop. Be thankful for Him every day ♡

  29. Great post. God is working in my life in a big way- we are in a barren desert in our life right now. Life is hard, everything is going wrong, but 2 days ago my husband came to Christ. Through the ugliness of our life God drew him in. And that’s how He works

  30. So good and so true. We get so lost in the mundane that we miss the everyday miracles. May we all have a fire in our hearts to not just be followers of Christ, but disciples for Christ.

  31. Yes indeed! There’s so much distraction today, people have a hard time really focusing on God.
    We need to TAG (time alone with God). I’m thankful for Gods word and HIS Power in my life. Let us daily open His word and listen to Him. As Jesus often said, “He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.”

  32. It is easy to get fuddled by the aroma others share. Be strong and remember what you learned this last winter.

  33. Honestly I semi agree with you about the fire but the way I’ve heard the spirit being described , its sounds like a vision one (or all) of them had when the spirit fell upon them, it seems to happen also in the old testament too (I’ll let look them up 😂)

  34. My dear friend

    Yes, when we open our eyes wide enough we can see God’s work. He is connected with everything as there is nothing outside God and only God exists – we are just the drops in his vast ocean of consciousness, a life that He has lent us, a body that He has given us and nevertheless we are all connected. In this connection we can see in our daily life how wonderful God is controlling and pulling the strings – as we are puppets on the strings, as He is the doer, not we, He is the worker in His own creation and we are the administrators of the life He has given us, the sunbeams of the ONE SUN – and each sunbeam wants to return to its source, its real source – return to our real Home in Him – this all we have to do in getting more conscious with eyes wide open and to see His glory – when we turn our back to our own ego (that says: I am and there you are – there are two then – but there is only ONE) then we can empty us from ourselves and become the mouth-piece of God – then God speaks through us – this does not happen by book-reading but by receptivity, by humbleness to see His work in all and everything – then we do not remember Him when we are in a bad condition but then we remember Him always as we see Him in everything and all, His devine work, then we no longer say I, I, I, then we say: YOU, YOU, YOU

    Thanks for sharing your excellent reflected experience from childhood onwards
    ALL what is good for your soul

  35. I honestly believe we make God happy when we decide to spend time with him. When you think about how He is the creator of the vast universe and yet wants our attention! He has so much to show us and give us, but he needs our permission; he needs our time. And Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” The only way to know God is to spend time with him.

    I have asked God to remind me each day to spend time with him. So, when I think to myself, “I think I’ll go on facebook,” it comes to my mind, “Spend time with God first, then do facebook.” So I do, and am so glad I did.

  36. Great post. I believe God is alive and working…we just need to be receptive to His voice. That requires listening which requires being still and reflective and detach ourselves from the distractions. You are right…there are so many mindless distraction options. I needed this post at 2:30 in the morning when I am suddenly wide awake to convict me to use this time for something more meaningful than Facebook!!

      • In self-critique, we can also remember the broader pattern of choices we have made in life, and our identity… And which are themes that come through (positivey…) in your writing.

        And hey, best to pursue Jesus without self-criticism, besides.

        It’s such a central aim and question, how to have more of Holy Spirit… it sure is an on track question 🙂 👍

      • Hmm… Your question of a better listener?
        With less distraction, and more quiet, and as you suggest…

        And on the other hand, of pursuit and of need,
        and of God with you in those times.
        (… and a need to take my own advice!)

        And patience. Patience can be good.
        Perhaps the word needs a PR consultant… hmm… something good can be had slow for instance, to savour it more…

        Thanks for listening

  37. Great reading your blog. Love hearing a catholic that has a real relationship with God. I grew up in a catholic school and family and didn’t see this, it wasn’t until my mum moved us to a baptist church that I began to see people walking with God.

  38. The same spirit that came to dwell in those on the day of Pentecost has come to dwell in you (and me) and you are right on course. Thanks for posting this wonderful piece of writing.

  39. When we contemplate the original time in the garden, Our Heavenly Father’s interactions with the prophets, His relationship with Jesus Christ, we see a desire for constancy. Truly it seems in His plan there is not a time or reason, not to be connected, not be in relationship with Him. Yet God’s word also shows how we stray, There is an enemy trying to distract us, lead us astray and unfortunately we’re (or at least I’m) all to ready to follow that distraction. However, I don’t think it is just optimism but it is through the grace filled promise from the mouth of God, Himself through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, that we can humble ourselves and asking forgiveness, we can be restored in relationship to our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your ministry in this site and article.

  40. Good Day my friend – currently I am in the midst of a study on the book of Ecclesiastes. This has been a HUGE eye opener for me. God is with me all the time and it has never been so clear these past 6 years. Great share from your heart. <3

  41. Hey girl! Love your honest post (as always)! God is surely not dead and I love that you put the responsibility on us to listen to the Holy Spirit! It’s so true! By the way, my church believes that what happened in the Upper Room still happens today. Here’s a link to our livestream and there are also archived services. You might even see me singing on there sometimes 😉. If you get a chance, you should watch sometime and let me k ow what you think!! <3

  42. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” John 6.45
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John14.6

    The way of truth draws us closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, that all may be One.

  43. “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

    And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” – 1 Kings 19:11-12

    Follow the still small voice, and it will lead you to profound experiences; even to know God and Jesus Christ, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” – Revelation 19:10

    “Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

    Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” – 2 Nephi 32:2-3 Book of Mormon

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” – Galatians 5:22-23

  44. Great insight and a much needed reminder for me (especially since I’m prone to glazing over syndrome in the midst of the familiar). Thanks for sharing.

  45. “I want to be so totally fixed on Jesus that a tongue of fire literally takes over me.”
    May God grant you your request. I think He inspired it so why wouldn’t He?! ☺

  46. This is a subject I can speak directly to. The reason is because I have the Holy Spirit and the tongue of Fire I’m not telling you what to do here I’m just going to tell you a few things that worked for me first of all before I get to that I want to explain to you why you were seeing God and small circumstances and even in the big circumstances. Your relationship with God in the beginning might have been very small but that’s probably because no one is really taught you how to pray and communicate with God as though he’s a real person. Yes a lot of people missed the boat on that don’t feel bad. The reason you were seeing God and circumstances is because you were looking for him and because you were looking for him God was revealing himself to you because God doesn’t look as man looks period I can’t stress this enough God looks upon the heart and not as man sees things. He likely saw your heart as honest so in my estimation he was trying to get your attention in the small matters so that you can bring the big matters to him . No God doesn’t expect you to pray about what socks are going to wear in the morning that’s what he gave you a brain for that give him the things you have no control over and need answers to. Remember God is not an ATM machine. You have to really develop a prayer life and prayer time. One of the ways I did that was I gave up social media and all forms of it those who seek to find their life will lose it but those who lose their life for my sake will find it. We have to be devoted to him 24 hours a day working for him if we do that God will bring Souls that are marked for us to win I ve not told you this but perhaps that’s why we know each other because perhaps your mark for​ me to win. Maybe that’s why when we faced opposition against each other on very little occasions God had just said keep praying for her and so I did and the moment has brought you here. The fact that you want to see a tongue of Fir

  47. Is an answer to my prayer for you that I have been praying earnestly for two-and-a-half years. I can’t express to much more information without sounding crazy to the General Public but you will understand I will email you soon and tell you how I received the Holy Spirit until then take notes and study KJV Acts chapter 2 verse 4 Acts chapter 2 verse 38. Acts chapter 7 and Acts chapter 8.

      • Big Bang? Parallel universes? The earth is BILLIONS of years old. (Not seven days plus the days of man.) Chaos theory. Etc. Yes, it does look quite mutually exclusive.

      • Again, Caralyn, this is me being abusive, to draw out what I can for a response, an understanding what you really think and not what was told you in Bible study or from your mom or dad. That’s all. I do have my beliefs, and no, they are not mutually exclusive this of God and science. Of that you are correct. Again, my abusive personality.

      • I know she can defend herself, her fierce love of God alone will vindicate her. That said, who am I to you that my mere response has such authority over her that she cannot speak? I tell you, child, worship of science will leave you in the greatest mourning you will have ever experienced and will last a thousand years…

      • I can see you have a beef with me. I don’t quite really understand why. Maybe you could explain yourself a little better? My point is that every person has a voice. Your voicing of yours does not, nor should it, silence mine.

      • My “beef” is that you are targeting her and demanding from her a sign, while her entire blog is itself a sign of faith. Know that it is written, that no sign from God shall be given to a faithless generation except for the sign of Jonah.

      • Ummm…okay, sir, madam, whatever you are, ummm, those things you talk about are very outdated. You really need an update to modern times. I’m afraid I can’t do it for you, though. Good luck with that.

      • I suppose one day science will be able to explain how a simple command from my mouth set in motion of series of earthquakes aimed right at the heart of the matter and along went with it, a letter.

      • You are right, I do not have any class, nor do I want any, and it is not a wall of glass I am behind, it is a veil, for you can hear me loud and clear. I have said my bit, go in peace.

      • Caralyn, I did not mean this about needing a sign. I talk a lot of shit just to see where people stand. I get offensive, I get bold, I get prickly, but it’s all an effort to find out who I’m really dealing with in any kind of “knowing you” sense. If this offends you, I’m sorry. I have a very abusive personality. But it is abusive in the style of coaching or teaching. I hope you understand.

  48. If you ask it shall be given unto you 1 Cor 2;9
    Eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it entered the heart of man what god has prepared for those who love him.

    The only question is do we really want it or are we sastified with less than God’s best for us.

    Love your blog.

  49. I see him working on my patience. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reminded that God is working in my life and all things are working according to His good. Great post!

  50. As our faith grows deeper it changes and the way we used to look at things no longer serves or has the same affect as it once did. It sounds to me like you are awakening to a deeper faith. You already have all you need inside you. Your soul is longing for you to discovery what it has to show you yet. Listen to that inner voice and give your attention over to all that is love. It sounds to me like that’s what your trying to do anyway.

  51. So true…My mind is often found wrapped up in circumstances, worries, words, etc…that matter very little in hindsight of eternity. The Lord is so faithful to me and I don’t deserve it. He is good. He is kind. He commands obedience. I’m a mess but He’s working on me…

  52. “God’s relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.”
    ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

    Good stuff…Satan’s greatest triumph is in the distractions that keep us from seeing the work of the Spirit around us.

  53. I truly believe when we search for God, we will find Him.

    “Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”

  54. Last week I had opportunity to preach. I pointed out that the apostles’ obeyed Jesus before Pentecost by doing what he told them when he ascended – “Go to the city and wait.” They waited – what Peter says in Acts 1 indicates that they were consulting Scripture during that time.

    A couple of important things about that pre-Pentecost time: they were together. So life in the church is vital. My Sundays are annihilated by my current job most weeks, but I have a friend I meet with on a weekday each week to read Scripture and pray together. Some form of “church” is critical.

    Also, there is the need to hear preaching from the Scriptures, as Paul points out in Romans 10. The word is very near us, in fact, within us, but we won’t recognize it without someone to preach. Hearing faithful preaching from the Scriptures is big – we’ve never had more access what with podcasts and all, but we probably ignore it more than ever.

    Right now I’m reacquainting myself with obedience in small things. Applying God’s Word (that is, the full expression of God revealed in Jesus and recorded in the Scriptures) is where God is at work in my life right now.

    Blessings on your willingness to hear him!

  55. Awesome awesome! Salvation through Jesus Christ is what gives us access to the Holy Spirit. I’m so thankful for it! And you’re right.. sometimes we are too distracted to notice! He promised the people that saw him ascend to heaven that he would send a helper, and that’s just what he did. He’s still our Helper.

  56. Great post, and maybe it’s already happening for you here with this blog and with other things you do in your life. You are reaching people here all over the world already and you have some great things to say. Maybe this is God getting creative. Thanks for your posts. They always give me and many others a lot to think about.

  57. It’s cool that you wrote about this in your post this week, and that I came across it, because our pastor has been preaching on this very subject for several weeks now, and it’s not because Pentecost Sunday was this week. We are a Pentecostal church, and that’s what we seek. Him. The Holy Spirit. We look for Him to move. Yeah, that probably sounds hokey, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it would be. However, let me just share a couple of things here… 1. The Bible tells us about the Trinity: Father, Son AND Holy Spirit. I think we focus so much on the first two that we, too often, miss out on the awesomeness of the third. 2. Jesus said Himself, “I must go away, so the Comforter (Holy Spirit) might come. 3. God is in heaven. Jesus is in heaven, but where does the Bible say the Holy Spirit is? HERE WITH US. He’s never left! 4. He was sent here to be a comforter, a convict-or (of our sins), a commune-r (to draw us to the Father), and an empower-er of His power… I know that’s kind of a “play on words,” as far as the grammar I’ve used to describe Him, but look it up. 😉 Each of these descriptions are in the Word. God still speaks, and the Spirit is still alive in us. If you’ll look for Him, you’ll find Him. Just talk to Him and see what He speaks to your heart. 😉 *Disclaimer: yes, you do have to get away from distractions many times in order to hear Him…He likes to get full attention, and we can’t “multi-task” on that One. 😉 Oh, but He is so worth it! 😊💕

  58. Similarly, when I was younger I too kept religion and God as a “Plan B.” Though, as you point out, somewhere I found myself relying on my Catholicism, the grounding nature of the ceremony and service. There was a predictability that existed – just as a friend can be predictable, which brings comfort. As I’ve experienced more life its become easier to slow down and see what is going on around me, and that has allowed me to see the things that are important. That has made it infinitely easier to remove the unnecessary and damaging parts of life. I used to spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, but when it came to what brought me solace – it was friends and family, and quiet self-reflection, which often took the form of dialogues where I took stock of the graces I have been given. When I removed the distractions, I was granted the guidance to find the path I was meant for, and while not without hardship, it is much calmer than when celebrity newsfeeds and busy-ness interfered. Thank you for your post.

  59. As much as I want your posts to be pure coincidence, I think I’m beginning to think that your posts have more relevant to someone like me that one might assume. I’m struggling today, once again, and I just posted a purely negative post and began to question my belief in God…
    And then I search for your blog, because I do find it to be something joyful. And then, as I finish reading, I realize that I am not looking for where God exists in my life; rather, I’m looking for where he won’t exist. I remember a priest that used to be in charge of my parish once said, “God does not exist where there is evil. If you can’t see God in something, then it is because evil is there. God only exists where you see good.”
    I went to confession again this week and was told I am dealing with a spiritual battle and that my problem is that I’m trying to hard to fight the battle and I am incapable of fighting that battle…I’m working on trying to let go…
    …but I know my fear is what prevents me from doing this.

    Thank you, again, for your post.

    Oh…I wouldn’t recommend moving here to Colorado, if you’re trying to stay away from weed. 🙂

    • thank you so much for sharing that. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through that. i will definitely keep you in my prayers. and i just want you to know how much that quote you shared hit home with me. it really resonated in my soul tonight as I wrestle with where I’m supposed to be, and i just can’t feel at peace here in nyc. your quote really hit home. so thank you. sending massive hugs xo

  60. Yes, This.

    I’ve probably said this before, but I think in the last decade or so, I’ve had a harder time seeing God at work in my life, and I’ve felt generally more distant. I think the biggest reason for that is that I haven’t had a Bible study, small group, etc., that I’ve been close with. And my church of the last couple years is so tiny that such a group doesn’t really exist, although I’m getting a little closer with those people. So, especially now being off work for seven weeks, maybe I should start looking for such a group, even if it’s through a different church, or start looking at other churches in general.

    However, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t speaking to me. I just posted today about something that God was telling me a few days ago

  61. OK so you knew I would like and comment to this post!!! NAILED IT! Starting to sound like my Preacher over there a little but lol. But
    Seriously – you are right on so many levels. Especially “But for the seasons in my life when I actually was needing and depending on God on the daily, I realized just how often God would show up in my life” and “His Spirit was alive. And on the move”. People don’t often realize just how much God is in our presence or how much we really call on His name in some form or fashion. Thanks for the great post!!!

  62. Hey Caralyn. I am so looking forward to Heaven, and meeting you there. Although not too soon. We will get there first, and my wife and I will be waiting be waiting. Being in the Presence of Jesus, empowered by the Spirit of Jesus, worshipping Him here on earth is fantastic, but imagine being in Heaven with umpteen millions of worshippers, all praising the King of kings and Lord of lords, who created the universe.
    Then, even though God knew that man and woman would sin, He still created us and loved us. Even before creation, our Triune God had the plan for Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God to take leave from the Glory of Heaven, coming to earth as a baby, growing through all the teen years and into adulthood, never sinning, and freely giving His life to die on a cross so we may be forgiven of all our sins, and have salvation. The good news is, Jesus did not stay dead, nor stay in the grave, HE AROSE, He defeated death do we may have eternal life with Him and our Heavenly Father and the Spirit who draws us to Jesus. No sin is allowed in Heaven, it is the only place of Purity and Holiness.
    Since that time, Holy Spirit has been calling and drawing sinners (all of us) to Jesus, to repent and ask forgiveness.
    Thank you Caralyn for your good words today, since on Pentecost the Spirit of Jesus came to enter every person who calls upon Jesus Christ, and empower us with various gifts to serve, and to Glorify God.
    I was reading Chapter 17 in John’s Gospel this morning. This was the prayer of Jesus for unity amongst His followers, praying that we would also have unity with Him and Heavely Father, as Jesus and the Father are one, we and the Father be One, and we and Jesus we united. The way has been provided.
    God’s Blessings Caralyn. Keep seeking Jesus, proclaiming Jesus as Truth, ministering faithfully.
    Luv, 😀❤️

    • Oh my gosh George, you are incredible, you know it 🙂 I know Heaven is going to be amazing and that’ll be so special to get to meet!! Thanks for this beautiful encouragement. You ever cease to make me think 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  63. Hi Caralyn
    Thank you for this post. I, too, had an uninspiring Pentecost; how a preacher can make Pentecost dull is beyond me! But your post has reminded me of what it’s all about, and I’m grateful.
    If you want to read more about the work of the Holy Spirit in the present day (Whoops, I’m forgetting how old I am – I mean, in the recent past!), you might try “Nine o’clock in the morning” by Dennis J Bennett.
    And, if I may pick up on one of the comments; as someone trained as a scientist, who has worked as a scientist, I don’t find a clash between science and faith. Science deals with the how, and faith with the why. However, I have great difficulty with those who tell me that the bible is literally true, because that clashes with science and is not consistent (e.g. Luke 3 vv 23 – end, and Matthew 1 vv 1 – 16).
    My faith is that God reveals himself to mankind as we are able to understand what He teaches us. A bronze age culture will interpret God’s teaching very differently from a 21st century Westerner, because we know more. And at the centre of all understanding is Jesus, His redeeming death, and glorious resurrection. Alleluia!

    • Thank you so much for this Penny. And thank you for that powerful perspective. You’re so right! Faith and science actually compliment each other!! So glad this hit home with you:) Hugs and love xox

  64. That topic!! “Free Time”. It is so valuable, yet so easily wasted on so many things. I recently had to put my foot down with how I spent time with people. Since I care so much about relationships, it can take away from me investing in me. When there was an imbalance of how I spent my time neglecting sleep, food, and most importantly a relationship with God was no good. Putting God as my #1 allows his spirit to influence so many aspects of my life. That fire you talk about it is so influential in how you live your day to day.


  65. This is so inspiring. Right now, I have been so locked up in comparison with other bloggers. I’ve always loved to write, and I want to use my love for informing others to better the kingdom. But I then look at other bloggers 100k+ instagram following, the influence they’re making, and the time it took to get there, thinking ‘I can’t possibly do this. I’m not good enough’.
    But those feelings are just me taking my eyes off Jesus. He gave me a love for writing and fashion and he gave me the opportunity to write for Him. I will fix my eyes on Him, instead of my circumstances, doubt, or fear.
    Thank you for your words. They are such an encouragement.

    Much love,
    Ashley |

    • Thanks so much for sharing that Ash. I definitely feel you there – it can be so easy to get trapped comparing ourselves, but just remember, you are the only person who can offer what *you* have to offer! 🙂 and that’s awesome!!!! sending big hugs xox

  66. I too have been guilty of putting God on the shelf and only grabbing Him when I need Him and He certainly deserves more than that. If we just take a few minutes out of our busy day to commune with Him, even while driving down the road, it can make all the difference. It always amazes me to see how much better and how much more connected I feel when I talk to Him. Thank you so much for sharing.

  67. ‘Seek and ye shall find”… I think it all starts with the “looking”…. sometimes when you least expect it, in those secret prayer places is exactly where He chooses to blow our minds! Great post!

  68. Good post, make me think about the lesson we just had in church. Now a days we put to much attention Into social media, phones,facebook. When we need be more focus on his Word!.. I hope all is well with you. God Bless

  69. A few months ago our pastor said that “God isn’t just going to appear when you need him, but He is going to works through others”. Well that kinda stuck with me and the more I thought of it, the more I see that it’s true. Sometimes the oddest times I realize He’s here and always just when I need Him…
    And for the science guy, I honestly believe that Adam and Eve and lots of religious stories are meant to teach us and give us meaning. Our faith is that people before us taught us enough to believe in God and Christ and that they will comfort us. And they do. Years ago people didn’t have science but they had stories and did their best to understand and that’s why we have science – our curiosity and an innate desire to learn more.
    You answered terrifically Caralyn, we need both and God gave us both. If someone doesn’t realize that I feel badly for them. And I would be remiss to not mention the Holy Spirit – I’ve found that when I need inspiration He’s right there – and he is definitely underrated… Thanks for a terrific post!!

    • this is so beautiful Joan. Thank you so much for sharing that. that’s so true – i think science compliments faith – they don’t have to but heads. amen! thanks for the encouragement. hugs x

  70. Very good post my friend!! I think I may have said this before, but my life these past many years has been an ongoing message of seeking balance in life and to be a productive human doing, I need to first seek to be a content human being. Jesus always found time to go away and be with the Father amidst all the ministry.

    But, even in “ministry” or just plain life, we’re just addicted to the hustle and losing ourselves to life as human doing. At least I know that to be true of myself. In this, we miss too much. My prayer this week has been that He would just pour His Holy Spirit down upon me. I mean like POUR it down on me.

    Anyway. Good thoughts and much to ponder. Thank you!

    That said, your walk through lower Manhattan reminds me when I flew into town in April of 2002 for an event at Carnegie Hall. I think I was staying at the Viceroy and I had all this time on my hands. So, I decided to walk all the way down to Battery Park. Loved it. But wow. A little bit of a walk there.

    Anyway, keep letting that light shine of yours. The world is so much brighter because of it.

    Be well. G

  71. Love this post. Years ago I asked God to give me more gifts of the Holy Spirit. He answered! He loves to give gifts to His children. Those gifts from 2000 years ago are still alive and well and functioning today. You’re on to something good here. He will answer your desire for more of Him …the Giver of all good gifts. He’s been taking me into a place of deeper walk with Him …sometimes a little lonely feeling as He is showing me that other people that I have been depending on emotionally can’t fill that space that only He can fill …that true contentment and trusting Him. Thanks for your honest writing. Love your heart!

  72. You are definitely on the right track. One in touch with God and He surely knows it. He works in me by allowing me to love unconditionally, sometimes to a fault. I have this need to always want to make things right for those I love and others. I feel, if God has Blessed me I am to Bless others and that comes with Belief and knowing Him in the right way. Being unselfish to me is a Blessing because many think only of themselves.

  73. Great post Caralyn! You stated it very well…it is not a matter of if or when He is sending down His spirit, rather, are we looking for Him? Are we paying attention to His presence everyday? As it says in Deuteronomy 31:6 “the Lord goes with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.” I pray we all dedicate time and space to see Him and His good works. Peace to you!

  74. God helps us in many ways. He has helped me, and He has certainly helped you. So many look for those material “tounges of fire” that they miss the signs. We just need to keep ourselves open to God giving us His best for what we have. I think that’s what makes us able to receive His graces better, by not expecting vain material signs all the time. He helps us, and He also helps US to help us. He sometimes puts a decision in front of us to make, and we have to make it. He certainly helped you be able to recover and also to decided to help your mom so much!! You are wonderful!! xoxoxoxo

      • Every Step Mattered
        Many marched today
        they marched today in
        a way that in the past
        they could only
        that they wanted
        some day
        to march again
        like the
        that they finally did
        Today many laughed and
        waved in pride enjoying
        a parade without so
        heavy a commercial
        compared to the years
        where many waved
        lamenting the slide
        mourning that it had
        all but
        No Goya
        No Jet Blue
        No Pepsi or
        Coca Cola
        No Knorr
        No Yankees
        No Sprint or
        For a while many were angry
        that big companies had
        rejected but many forgot
        that the lifeblood of
        this event runs deeper
        than the corporates themselves
        had ever
        Unlike the recent past
        the corporate choke
        hold this year was
        a goner, and thanks
        to those negative
        corporate choices,
        they could march again
        for the art
        for the poetry
        for the music
        for the words
        for the deeds
        for the voices,
        for the culture
        for the dignity
        for the awareness
        for the honor!
        La Isla itself
        needs so much help
        let us hope
        let us act
        let us give
        let us pray
        that in some way
        those there can
        have a better say
        so that this annual
        march is not a mere
        display of a place
        whose future is
        constantly on
        for they deserve
        as we here do
        to have
        the ability to chart
        a vision toward
        a better

  75. This post has me so excited!

    And I want to say so much. But first I just have to ask, what is that voice warning blasphemy and hellfire?? That just came so out-of-the-blue!

    I’m so excited to be realizing more and more the truth that Father poured Holy Spirit out over everybody; Peter described what was happening on that Pentacost by quoting the prophet Joel,

    ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2)

    So the reality is this now, you already have been set ablaze my friend, all flesh has. The soggy-pretzel people, the knock-off-Oakley-sunglesses people–all means all which means YEAH EXACTLY, Holy Spirit is always present to all, the whole world’s been plugged in–plugged back in, that is. The difference today, is that our hearts have been remade; enmity to God is not a gut-reflex anymore, which means Holy Spirit can be poured out on everybody to some measure without instant and total rejection. Now if only they knew that their hearts were new and that the goodness in them was simply the results of the beginnings of their recreation…that’s why the world must know, because THAT isn’t just good possibility, it’s good news.

    Sure, he’ll never force his way on them, but you can’t escape getting wet if you walk in the rain with no umbrella. More Holy Spirit is as simple as that consciously letting him co-habitate with you day to day – see, I don’t think it’s nearly so much about fixing yourself on Father, as it is letting him fix on you (:

    And the last thing is that of course you have that fire. And if we knew how to attune our eyes away from the fake fantastical, like seeing auras out of the corners of our peripheral vision, we might just see the flame.

    • Hey Carson! Aww you’re so great. Thanks so much. Haha yeah that was a little out of the blue hehe Thanks for this wonderful encouragement. You’re right- letting Him fix on me…what a powerful thought:) big hugs xox

      • The truth that the western church at large has so lost is that He has always been fixed on us, fixed on the lamb slain from the foundation of the world to restore our fallen condition; fixed on finding those two shame-filled evil-fearing new borns in the garden, so fixed that every time we turned away he met us face to face again to take our hand and welcome us back into his lap. It doesn’t need to be any more difficult or stress-inducing than letting him be himself in you (: what a liberating relationship!

        Anyway, I should probably stop distracting you from writing today’s lovely blog ;D Happy Thursday!

  76. Great post. I think of the verse, “Be still and know that I am God”. In the society we live in right now, how many of us actually are ever “still”? I definitely think it is hard to get rid of the distractions, but so important!

  77. Great post, but it is vital that you do what you have suggested. Turn off your phone at least once a day and completely relax, closing your eyes and leaving all your trouble, labels and insecurities at the door; they will still be there when you come back, don’t worry.

    Just become aware of your body, your breath, your heartbeat; the very feeling of being alive.

    Getting in touch with God is not very hard, but people are so wrapped up in the search that they have convinced themselves that it only for the highly spiritual.

    It is available to us all at any moment we chose to connect.

    As Jesus repeatedly said; the kingdom of heaven is within you.

    This was not a play on words.

  78. The Holy Spirit is synonymous with God Himself. The Holy Spirit encompasses both God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is the giver of gifts:- wisdom, patience, knowledge, understanding, love, kindness and fear of the Lord(wonder).These are the gifts given to us at Baptism and Confirmation. We should ask for a fresh infilling of the gifts we need, The Holy Spirit guides us and shakes us to be more like Jesus everyday.The Holy Spirit is personal. He convinces us of sin, teaches us the truth, He speaks and declares things that are to come. When i know I have a contentious issue or meeting to deal with, I ask the Holy Spirit to regift me in knowledge wisdom and understanding in order to help me get through it and He works for me every time and the outcome is always a better one. May the Holy Spirit be with you today Caralyn. <3

  79. And here I thought I was the only one feeling guilty when I would go on auto pilot and go through the motions during church some days. But it’s true that He does leave us messages, whether it be hidden or apparent. We just need to really open our eyes to see His gifts that He sends our way. Thanks for sharing this Caralyn…it’s so refreshing to read about something so positive in times like this!

  80. The moment we receive salvation, the holy Spirit automatically takes residence inside our hearts because his job is to help us know the mind of God and conform us to the image of his son. I believe tongues of fire was a one time thing. Most times the holy Spirit presents himself as that still small voice in your heart or as an overwhelming feeling of peace inside us. He speaks to us always; you just have to listen and yield to him.

  81. You ask where God is currently working in my life and recently it’s been obvious God has convicted me of areas of selfishness and control in my life, and honestly it sucks. There are several areas of uncertainty when it concerns my future and I’ve been wrestling God for control over those outcomes.

  82. I love reading your blog, especially when you talk about being Catholic, as I am too. Thanks for helping me to be aware and in constant contact with God.

  83. Hello Carolyn, I love the Scriptures that tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The Apostle Paul was persuaded beyond doubt that ,,” Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powerss, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love that God has for us; (Romans 8:38-39).
    It does not matter how far we think we are from God, you can rest assure that God is still right there. There is no where that you can go that He is not there; (Ps. 139:7-12). So, after you’ve settle down, read the passages of Sciptures I’ve listed, read them out loud and God will hear you repeating what He said to you about His love for you. God bless you sweet sister. I love your blog!