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What Does the Holy Spirit Do?



 • Brings things to your “remembrance” (John 14:26).

• Dwells in you (John 14:17).
• Testifies of Jesus’ reality (John 15:26).
• Convicts you of sin (John 16:8).
• Tells you about things to come (John 16:13).
• Transforms you into God’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18).
• Puts God’s love in your heart (Romans 5:5).


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Seriously Scary Skid




by Jill Fisher

Right before skidding off the high, mountain road, the Holy Spirit reminded me of what I needed to do.

 With the day’s Geology 101 field trip fresh in my mind, I picked up the phone and called Jen.

“Hey, do you wanna go for a ride?”
“Where to?” she asked without asking for extra details. Jen’s like that—a cool combination of easygoing and analytical.
“The canyon. My professor took us up there today. Maybe we could look at the rock formations and visit for a while.”
Silence. In desperation I played on her favorite weakness: “I have some new CDs to listen to . . .”
“OK, I’m in,” she gave in.
Jen’s place sat on a ridge near the mouth of the canyon. As she strolled toward the car, my gaze wandered to the valley below. Houses, churches, and fall foliage dotted the landscape with vivid color against sun-parched brown. The setting sun gilded the surroundings in that special autumn gold cast.
I turned to look at Jen when she opened the door. “Hi,” I said with a welcoming smile. “I’m glad you decided to come.”
“Well, we can’t stay out forever. I have a business test tomorrow.”
“We’ll get back in time for you to hit the books,” I promised.
Jen gave me a long, measuring look as she buckled the seat belt with a snap of finality. Her look triggered a deep memory that I struggled to place. I stared at her with a quizzical expression and my brow pleated in thought for a few seconds.
“What is it, Jill?” Jen asked.
I left my thoughts abruptly with a deep breath and a firm shake of my head. “Sorry, I just had a moment of déjà vu or something.”
I gestured to the stack of CDs in the center console and said, “Choose what you want. I’m the driver, so you’re the designated deejay.”
I rolled down the window to let in some air warmed by the late afternoon sun as I pulled out into traffic.
Jen scoffed and shook her head. “I can’t believe I’m not studying right now. So, tell me about these dumb rocks I’m supposed to be looking at.”
“Dumb rocks?” I repeated. “What do you mean du —” I broke off when I saw Jen smile.
“Fine,” I countered with a long-suffering sigh. “We’re even.”
The car filled with warm pine-scented air and companionable silence as we gazed out the windows. The river slipped like a silver ribbon through the deep chasm on one side. The sheer rock of the mountain edged ever closer on the other side. The curves tightened and the road narrowed the closer we got to the summit.
“So do you want to see the dumb rocks now?” I asked with a teasing grin.
“Sure, professor,” Jen responded in a deadpan voice. “Enlighten me.”
I rolled my eyes and braked for the upcoming pull-off. In the dimness of the fading evening I pointed to the rocky outcrop across the road.
“See those lines?” I asked.
Jen nodded.
“They’re vertical striations. They were formed when different layers of sediment were deposited and then folded over when this rock was pushed up into a mountain.”
I paused to judge her reaction.
“Interesting,” she said, nodding politely.
I burst out laughing. “You really don’t care the slightest bit, do you?”
“Guilty,” she said with a firm nod and a half smile.
“Well,” I shrugged, “maybe it’s for the best. It’s going to get dark soon anyway.”
I shifted the car into drive and eased back onto the narrow road. The shadows from the tall pines lengthened. I switched on the headlights and glanced at Jen.
“It gets dark pretty fast up here, doesn’t it?”
Once again comfortable silence filled the car. I concentrated on navigating the narrow road complicated by darkness and descent.
I never saw the patch of gravel that the right side tires encountered on a tight curve; I only felt the results. The car jerked with the break from the road’s surface and careened into a dangerous uncontrolled slide down the dark mountain road.
My stomach lurched at the combination of weightlessness and momentum. I felt the shot of adrenaline jolt my system—my heart quickened to an almost painful thud, and sweat bathed me in icy wetness. I’ve just killed us! I thought.
I shot Jen a glance that was part apology and part goodbye. I saw her hands gripping the edges of her seat and her eyes staring out the windshield into the spinning darkness. I looked away, numb with horror. Would it be the sheer rock face of the mountain or the raging river at the bottom of the ravine that stopped our wild ride? “God,” I pleaded, “please help us!”
Memories from the day flicked rapid-fire through my mind as reality slowed to a crawl. Disjointed scenes flashed—pointing at the rocks, laughing, that long look over the seat belt . . . it clicked then, that look and déjà vu. My brother often looked at me that way.
My adrenaline-filled mind flashed to the last time I remembered him looking at me like that. Last winter . . . icy roads . . . dad’s old brown truck with bald tires sliding through the red light on the way to school. Rick’s face emerged suddenly in full focus, with a long, intent look and an instructive finger waving in my face. “Never forget, Jill, to always . . . ”
“Turn into the skid!” The loud words from the back seat cracked like a rifle shot across my senses to bring me back to reality with a jolt. Without thinking, I obeyed. My arms shook with effort as I fought with the steering wheel, yanking as far left as I could. I leaned into the door and pulled the wheel with total concentration and gritted teeth. I felt the curve of the spin tighten and the car slow. With a sudden lurch and crunch of gravel, we skidded to a stop. Harsh breathing filled the car.
I stared ahead at the dust arising, illuminated by the headlights, and asked, “How bad is it, Jen?”
“Um, Jill?” Jen whispered, “I can’t get out.”
I whipped around to see Jen’s side of the car pressed against the guardrail.
“Are you OK?” I asked, afraid to hear the answer.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine—not a scratch. I just can’t open the door.”
I peeled my fingers from the steering wheel and tried to flex them. They felt stiff and shaky, just like the rest of me.
I opened the car door and stepped onto the shoulder of the road, preparing myself to see the worst. I heard Jen scramble over the center console to come and stand next to me.
My heart dropped like a brick—straight down to my stomach.
“I can’t believe it!” Jen said as she punched my shoulder.
“What?”
“Look, Jill!” she said and pointed.
I stared in disbelief at the car and the guardrail. Not more than two inches separated them for the entire length of the car. I clapped my hand over my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut in a prayer of thanks that Jen wasn’t the only one who’d emerged without a scratch.
“Jill?” Jen asked in a subdued tone moments later. “How did you know what to do? I just can’t believe we’re not in the river right now.”
I stared at Jen for several long seconds before answering, “Didn’t you hear him?”
“Hear who?” she asked with a slight furrow in her brow.
I smiled at her and answered, “My brother.”
Her eyes widened with surprise, so I continued, “We’re promised in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit will bring all things to our ‘remembrance.’ I’m glad God reminded me of what Rick said about turning into a skid.” After a long pause I murmured, “Well, we’d better get you back to study.”
“Yeah,” Jen replied, climbing back into the car. “I guess I still have that test tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow sounds pretty good to me,” I said, sliding back into the driver’s seat.
 
Jill Fisher writes from Iowa.




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