by Danny Tariman

“Our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5

“I have never read the Bible nor have I gone to church in the 20 years that I was in the military!”

This was the opening statement of Clarence (not his real name), a former soldier of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, as he shared in the closing session of the Life in the Spirit Seminar. You can get a clue on the life he has lived from his stone face, fierce-looking eyes and facial scars.

As I gave my talk that night, I noticed him sitting at the back, listening intently to every word that I said. I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him. In that LSS, he accepted Jesus in his life. This was the start of a new life for Clarence. Since then, he would follow me to whatever parish I’d preach in, just to hear God’s Word.

He still has those scars on his face today. But the stone face and fierce eyes have changed to a gentle, smiling countenance. This happened because he opened his heart to the Word and the Holy Spirit!


Are you struggling to let the Word of God change you? Let the Word and the Spirit change your life!


Come Holy Spirit, fill me and renew my life!

[This reflection was first published in Didache on October 23, 2011]