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Project 44

Recently Jolynn and I had reason to interact with Project 44. Project 44 is named for the 44th book of the Bible – the book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is an incredibly wonderful ministry that receives cars in donation, fixes them up, and through the church gives them to families critically in need of transportation.             I sat down for coffee with Ben Fields (who along with his wife Margaret) is the leader of this ministry. Ben started his own spiritual pilgrimage in the United Methodist Church. As he steadily moved to a deeper level of discipleship in risk-taking mission and service, Ben related (as he put it) discovering the Holy Spirit.             Raised in the UMC, a committed lay leader in the church, he said, “I hadn’t heard about the Holy Spirit in the United Methodist Church.” Visiting with him, I was struck that this was not a shallow theological statement representing an off-beat point of view but a mature reflection of deeper discipleship. It made me stop and think about how often I had preached or taught on the movement of the Spirit in our midst. I am challenged by Ben’s insight. God as Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. It is past time to lift up the third person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).             After writing this blog, I asked Ben for his thoughts before it was posted.  He commented: “The Methodist Church has NEVER lost sight of the Cross, what we have lost is our flame. Shall we endeavor to reclaim our heritage?”  Wise reflection; it is time to lift high the flame along with the cross.