Skip to main content

40 Days with the Holy Spirit

40 Days with the Holy Spirit by Jack Levison

If you know Jack Levison, you know that he is chalk full of good writing on the Holy Spirit.  In his new book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit, he boils down some very good devotions for us to meditate on the Holy Spirit.  The book combines scriptural passages, prayers, even exercises for us to work through, giving us a fully orbed view of the Holy Spirit.  Overall, the book is simple yet profound, small but weighty, challenging yet understandable.  Jack gives us grace here, challenges us to see the Spirit’s work as overwhelming, but also reigns us in to see how the Bible comes alive with witness to the Spirit.

Jack gets to the uneasiness of sonship and slavery by writing, “I’m  not so sure I understand this contrast because sometimes I am stuck in the middle between sonship and slavery, like a domestic on a British landowner’s estate, consigned to drudgery downstairs in order to serve people upstairs.  I’m  not quite a slavey but not exactly a son, I inhabit a world where I am free to go but also obligated to stay, to get the job done day in and day out…God’s passion for you isn’t a response to your expert attention to obligations.  God’s passion lies in a primal love for us, sons and daughters who respond in faith with only one word that matters: Abba (39-40)!”   Jack gets to the heart of the weightiness of life’s frenetic pace and our familial relationship to God with this quote.  Yet, he brings us back to God’s love.

Jack points us to a wonderful thing in speaking about the Spirit and truth on Day 19.  He writes, “Jesus teaches that study and spirituality, a vibrant spiritual life and a life of learning, go hand in hand (71).”  Should we pray earnestly for fruits of the spirit and spiritual gifts?  Yes.  But, in spirit and truth we worship God, and this involves learning the great truths of the faith.  Learning does not necessarily impede the outpouring of spiritual gifts but enhances our spiritual experience of God.  Truth and Spirit are two sides of the same coin, two elements in worship that are never to be torn apart.

You will be encouraged by this book, by the prayers alone, and your own wrestling with and reflecting upon the Holy Spirit.

Thanks to Paraclete Press for this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…