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.

ANYWHO.

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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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

312 thoughts on “Set on Fire 

  1. 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

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Every Step Mattered
         
        Many marched today
        they marched today in
        a way that in the past
        they could only
        say
        that they wanted
        some day
        to march again
        like the
        way
        that they finally did
        today.
         
        Today many laughed and
        waved in pride enjoying
        a parade without so
        heavy a commercial
        side
        compared to the years
        where many waved
        but
        cried
        lamenting the slide
        in
        pride
        mourning that it had
        all but
        died.
         
        No Goya
        No Jet Blue
        No Pepsi or
        Coca Cola
        No Knorr
        No Yankees
        No Sprint or
        Motorola.
         
        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
        suspected.
         
         
        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
        today
        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
        delay
        for they deserve
        as we here do
        to have
        the ability to chart
        a vision toward
        a better
        day!
         
        -Miguel

        Like

  2. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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

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      1. 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!

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  3. 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!

    Like

  4. 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.

    Like

  5. 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. ❤

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  6. 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!

    Like

  7. 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.

    Like

  8. 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.

    Like

  9. 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.

    Like

  10. 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!

    Like

  11. Love the chandelier over the head photo. LOL. Of course, if the early Christians were around today, the light of Jesus probably would have been an LED light.

    I will admit that I usually read the Bible as literature full of symbolic images, rather than literal flames on folks’ heads. Thus, I read the “tongues of fire” as being related to what they did, speak the Gospel in many languages that the people around them could understand, and with enthusiasm such that they Gospel message could be heard, understood, and accepted. I would say that you need not look for your LED light while going about your day. Your interactions with friends to taxi drivers, and every post your write is your tongue of fire. Or, as Peter and Paul would say today, “You Go Girl” – Oscar (p.s. my name is Norweign means “Divine Spear”, now ask my how that coincidence came about)

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  12. HI BBB,

    Wham! That is so on point. Too many things are coming at us, but what about our time with Jesus? I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things to do, even on summer break, that it felt overloading. The Lord help us all to not get caught up in the business and the busyness, but like you said, time with the Lord.

    The Lord bless your day,

    Gary

    On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “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. ANYWHO. If my > thoughts seem…well…all over the place…now you know” >

    Like

  13. Thanks for the reminder that God is still around. It often seems so hard to remember that in this world of ours. Maybe that’s the problem – we think it’s our world when in fact it’s His. Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that a bit more.

    Like

  14. BBB, You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned our “free time.” If we spent more time in God’s presence through prayer and personal worship at home (because most of us do not worship at home, yet Jesus said that worshipers are the one’s that God is specifically looking for [John 4]) rather than updating Fb every 30 seconds, then we would become more tuned into the HSC (Holy Spirit Chanel) and we would hear clearly from Him far more often than we do.

    I am glad that I clicked on your page and read this entry. Keep up with the meditating on spiritual things, it is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with God that most never come to experience. Blessings!

    Like

  15. Beauty beyond bones, your pondering about the Holy Spirit and Pentecost are very real. A place where I think many find themselves. Jesus told us that he had to go but he would send one like him to lead us into all truth, to lead those to Christ who are seeking, to convict those hearts that have not yet been given to Christ and to comfort us. These are but a few of the things the Holy Spirit does. He also gives great gifts. I celebrate Pentecost waiting for a fresh infilling of all that God has for me through the Holy Spirit. Tongues are but one gift he gives and Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Beauty beyond bones is very fitting for you have great beauty that flows out of you! Ask for the Holy Spirit to come he is waiting for your invite! Blessings in all you do!

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  16. I’m not particularly religious. But I find hints of a kind universe wherever I can. Stuck in traffic, maybe I was saved from the wreck that happened a few blocks up because the guy in front of me was slow to turn and I got caught by the light. A quiet afternoon with a family that loves me. The achievements of my kids. And hey, stumbling across a blog by a beautiful girl who has overcome so much to be here, speaking out that we should recognize the Divine in ourselves and each other and the world around us and approach each other with love. There is a LOT of noise out there these days. And I find myself curating my life to block a lot of it out. Sometimes we have to actively block the noise, then we can see the good things around us.

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    1. Thanks so much for this awesome reflection. you’re so right, there are a lot of blessings all around us if we take a minute to recovnize it. Yes! gotta block out the noise. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

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  17. So… maybe don’t elevate the apostles. Remember that just a couple months before, Jesus’ closest friends couldn’t stay awake with him during his greatest struggle. Then they all ran away and abandoned Jesus. And then Peter denied Jesus… And even after Jesus went to the cross and rose again the disciples are “so now you’re going to kill the Romans right?” (That’s my paraphrase.)
    Pentecost happened, not necessarily because the apostles had it altogether and weren’t distracted, but because God was filling the festivals of the OT with new meaning. Pentecost pointed back to the revelation of God’s testimony about himself (what we typically call The Law). Everything that happened at Pentecost was shouting out that God was keeping his promise – his testimony about himself was being written on the heart. His children, his broken, failing, fearful and yes sometimes distracted children, by the power of the Holy Spirit, would be his temple, his testimony, his priests who would testify of him throughout the world!

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