Beloved Teacher: My Journey with the Holy Spirit
by Patricia Ramsey
Trafford Publishing

"Though I often fail to do what the Spirit asks of me, the Spirit still returns and gives me yet another task."

Garnered over a life of counseling, teaching, and personal listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit, these are honest essays for those pursuing a religious pathway. Author/playwright Ramsey grew up in Appalachia, impressed with the faith of her great-grandfather, a minister. Moving to the cold atmosphere of a city, she found God within and Christian companionship in many churches. Through her work as a counselor and a writer, she learned to feel the Spirit in even the smallest events—overhearing a conversation in a laundromat, recording her dreams, and observing her students. She frankly speaks of her own bout of depression and the distance she felt from God and others. Though Bible-based, her ideas do not imply only one way of finding the Spirit; now retired, she maintains an open mind about religion, advising her readers, "Weigh your thoughts and solutions against scripture and the wisdom of Christ-centered friends."

This is a literate work as befits a practiced writer. The chapters are short, treating with simple themes, but not in a simple-minded manner. Ramsey is a cogent thinker, examining each new concept from multiple angles. She draws strength from many sources within the Christian spectrum: the Bible, the Quaker-based Renovare groups for assessing spiritual goals, AA with its call to personal honesty, the poetry of Dickinson and Wordsworth, the writings of Corrie Ten Boom, Catherine Marshall, and Thomas Merton. This willingness to reach beyond sectarian limits gives her work credibility.

Written for a wide audience—Christians and spiritually minded people as well as family and friends—this well-organized, intelligent look at classic religious themes could provide the framework for workshops or book club study among like-minded readers.

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