The following Articles are free to be copied and used in any Christian Ministry.  Mike & Ann give permission to reproduce and distribute as long as proper credit of authenticity is given.  These articles are intended to bring glory to our Heavenly Father and clarity to the understanding of the Holy Trinity.  A list of 37 articles is below.  Contact us to order your choices, or to arrange our leading your Marriage Enrichment Seminar, or Retreat.

"The Spirit Within"

In January of 2004, African Minister and Founder of Grace Evangelistic Ministries, Moses Onwubiko and his wife Gloria were guests in our home.  We had engaged in several meaningful conversations on many subjects, but none were as insightful as our discussion about the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ promised just before his ascension to Heaven that one would come and live in each and every person that accepts salvation by confessing our sins, repenting and believing in Him.  That one is the Holy Spirit.  Jesus did not mention any denomination, or special gift of that Spirit.

For myself, being saved at the age of six and never doubting my salvation, I always clearly understood two parts of the Trinity "Godhead", those two being the Father and Jesus the Son, but the third element, the Holy Spirit was a mystery to me.  I had visited my grandparent's Pentecostal church many times as a child and I was raised in Southern Baptist churches in five different cities. 

It appeared to me that in my grandparent's Pentecostal church, the Holy Spirit "visited" from time to time, causing great and strange things to happen.  In all the Baptist churches I was raised in, or visited, it was as if the preachers were afraid to mention the Holy Spirit in the pulpit, for fear someone would think he was leaning toward the charismatic.  So I continued in my ignorance until I was thirty-five years old, when I began a three-year intense daily study of the Bible, on my own.

At age fifty-five, while conversing with Moses around the breakfast table, I felt, ‘comfortable' after twenty years of my understanding of the presence of the Holy Spirit living within me.  Moses surprised my wife and me with a simple and clear analogy that I would like to share with you.

First, let's establish a couple of things.  The "Father" is a real person, the ‘senior', or ‘ranking' part of the Trinity and he lives in Heaven.  Jesus is the Father's "Son", a real person who took on the form of human man, walked on Earth with us for a while and now lives in Heaven with the Father, seated at His right hand.  The Bible says that neither of these two are on Earth with us today.  The Father does not leave Heaven and when Jesus does come back, all will know it, it will not be a secret, 'every knee will bow' and everyone will know.

The Scripture says that the Holy Spirit is a real person, a real entity with the ability to be in more than one place at the same time and ‘intercedes' for us with the Father.  That means the Holy Spirit is in constant communication with the Father and the Father with the Holy Spirit. 

It always makes me smile just a little bit when I hear someone say, "God told me this, or that."  It's like they are claiming that they have a special phone line open from the Father to them.  Scripturally, we communicate with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

If we consult the Scriptures, throughout the Bible we find more persons saying they were moved by the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit came over them, causing them to do great and mighty things.  There are a few persons that God chose to hear His voice, but most stated that the Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts and directed their thoughts.

For teaching purposes, let's treat the Holy Spirit as if He were a physical entity with physical form taking up physical space.  The Scripture also says we are to make our bodies a living "Temple" for the Holy Spirit.  If we take that literally, let's picture in our minds that we construct within the trunk of our bodies a beautiful house, a Temple to shelter the Holy Spirit. 

For the sake of visualizing this Temple and understanding just how the Holy Spirit can influence us, yet leaving us to be the ‘creatures-of-choice' as God created us, we must recognize the following.  The Temple does not occupy the brain, for God wanted us to think for ourselves and choose Him.  Nor does it occupy our heart, nor arms, legs, or any other vital organ for each of these has a special function in our lives.  Would you want the Holy Spirit to dwell in your foot, or Colon?  Visualize that when we build this Temple, we move other parts aside and make room for it, perhaps close to our spiritual emotional heart where we ‘feel' love and all the other good things we feel. 

Now if we live according to Scripture, keeping the Commandments and living a life of love and righteousness, the Holy Spirit freely dwells not only within the Temple inside of us, but as we live righteous lives, turning away from sin, the Spirit "radiates", filling every limb and each part of our physical being, guiding our thoughts and actions, just as it did thousands of years ago in the stories of many Biblical characters. 

Visualize that when we get busy with jobs, errands and responsibilities, we fail to be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit and He waits patiently just inside the door of the Temple, but when we are mindful of Him and seek the face of God through that Spirit, He swells up inside, filling not only every part of our bodies and our being, but can and will fill everything in our presence, a room, a building, our homes, even our nation.

Nowhere in the Scripture does it say that the Holy Spirit is a "Warrior", but rather a peaceful spirit, gentle and tender.  The Holy Spirit is powerful, not weak, and more than able to ‘fill one with the Spirit, causing one to do great and mighty things', but we find in Biblical history, it was not the Spirit doing those things.  It was the individual who was ‘filled' who did those things in the "Name of the Lord God".  The Holy Spirit supplied the super-human strength, wisdom and energy to a chosen righteous person who had purposely pushed willful sin out of his, or her life.

But picture this.  When we let any sin in our lives, or our bodies, not being a Warrior, the Holy Spirit retreats and hides from sin within the Temple for safety, because He hates sin.  Our sin and the Holy Spirit cannot occupy the same space.  The Holy Spirit cannot stand sin.

When this happens, we are the ones who have, in some way actually hardened our hearts and the Holy Spirit cannot communicate with us.  We cannot hear Him, whispering to us from the farthest corner of the Temple, within us.  No longer are our arms, legs, hands, feet, head and brain strengthened and prepared for serving the Father.  No longer is our home, church, or nation filled with strength.  No longer can we feel the communication, nor the intercession on our behalf to the Father.  The Spirit is still praying for us, but ‘we' are disconnected, short-circuited by the sin we have allowed in.

You say, "But I don't do bad things, like cursing, getting drunk, or being ugly to people."  Do you worry?  Do you feel anger when you are wronged?  Every negative thought, much less deed is an element of sin that instantly drives the Spirit into retreat.

For example, some Christians have accepted ‘sex out of marriage' as being ‘okay'.  After all, we are adults, not kids.  But sins of the body are especially heinous to the Holy Spirit because they directly contaminate the Temple within.  This is no joke.  As one learns more about the Holy Spirit and becomes more aware of His presence, the reality of the consequences of all kinds of sin also become more real.

God has given us a break, no, more than that. He has given us His mercy and grace. When we realize our sin, repent and ask His forgiveness, He cleanses us and the Holy Spirit comes rushing out of the Temple, reviving us fully.  This is why we feel so emotional when we take the time, in church, or anywhere we might be, to confess our sins in prayer, truly repent and give ourselves over to the will of God.  In our 'human-ness', we find ourselves asking for His forgiveness, time and time again, but each time, striving to be more like Him.  He knows we will fail again, but we are His and He loves us.  He is patient and kind.  His mercy and grace are greater than all our sin.     

My prayer is that every Christian of every denomination will come to understand, to love and communicate with the Holy Spirit that lives within each one of us.  So many denominations ‘discount' the importance of the Holy Spirit.  Many depend on ‘church traditions', rituals, or lean towards being a cult by following one dynamic teacher, or preacher.  Others gain popularity by preaching "feel good" sermons, one after another.  In far too many cases, reference to and teaching about the Holy Spirit is left out.

I encourage you to do what I did at age thirty-five.  Get a Laymen's Parallel Bible with four translations, or get three or four different Bibles of different translations, perhaps even the new translations that are directly from the original Greek and Hebrew text.  Open them to the same Scripture as you study.  Use a concordance, or the reference section in the back of your Bible and look up every Scripture that contains the words "Holy Spirit", "Spirit", or "Holy Ghost".  Keep a journal, make notes on each verse and mark your Bibles.  You will be amazed at how real the Holy Spirit will become to you.

I personally do not refer to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost because that was one thing that contributed to my ‘not' understanding for so many years.  The word ‘ghost' immediately brings to my mind, a picture of some strange vapor, floating around ‘out there' somewhere and it just comes and visits me from time to time.  Some friends have stated that they had once thought of the Holy Spirit to be somewhat like "Casper, the Friendly Ghost".  NOT SO! 

The Holy Spirit is a real person and lives in me all the time, day or night, rain or shine, good times or bad, He is "ever with me", living within, providing strength, courage, wisdom as my counselor, giving me peace in all circumstances and interceding on my behalf to the Holy Father when I don't know what to think, or say.  With the presence of the Holy Spirit, I have no fear.  I still have physical and emotional pains and many concerns, but I worry less and "submit every aspect of my life to the Father through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus". 

C.M. Driver

Article Excerpts

"The Emotional Garbage Warehouse"

Most people are totally unaware that they have an "Emotional Garbage Warehouse" (EGW) in the subconscious part of their mind. Some say that women have larger EGW's than men. It could be that women have better memories.

None-the-less, there is an Emotional Garbage Warehouse in all of us, bar none.

What we do, or how we manage our EGW is what really counts. Since most people are not aware of their EGW existence, the warehouse goes a lifetime without being cleaned out. Thus, by the time people reach middle age, the mountain of Emotional Garbage (EG) that they have stored up is overwhelming. In not clearing out the EG, we see these good folks enter a stage of life we call "Mid-life Crisis" where men buy sport cars, fancy clothes, shoes, toupees and have affairs, while women get face-lifts, tummy-tucks, permanent tans, tattoos ... and have affairs. Then, of course we see the divorce rate skyrocket.

A good sized collection of Emotional Garbage leads to big-time "Rationalization"? One carries a long term, unresolved emotional event in his, or her ‘warehouse', then something happens to ‘trigger' the memory and here it comes into play in the lives of an unsuspecting marriage. Most often, when an affair begins, the root of the "Rationalization" problem lies not in the ‘other person' that gets involved, but in our own inability to deal with our own Emotional Garbage that we have carried around for years. The ‘other person' most likely is a fine person with many qualities, but it is much easier to blame the ‘new kid on the block' than to deal with our own.........................." Emotional Garbage ".

What is in your Emotional Garbage Warehouse that needs to be cleaned out and where do you put it?  You take it 'all' and lay it at the foot of Jesus Christ, because He wants to take it away from you.  He knows how to get rid of it, but you must take ALL of it out of your warehouse and give it to Him.  If you keep just 'one' small bag of it, it will rot and stink, with the potential to ruin your marriage.

You may find some very nasty EG in your warehouse that needs to be thrown out.  Do not forget that "throwing it out" means laying it at the feet of Jesus.  He is the only 'efficient' "Emotional Garbage Collector" who really knows what to do with it.  He is able to dispose of it properly, but if we hold back just one small piece, it will contaminate everything in our minds.  Would you keep a piece of raw chicken in your kitchen trash can for weeks on end?  Of course not!  Your entire house would stink so badly that you would not be able to stay in it.  It's the same way with your Emotional Garbage.  You must get it all out of the back of your mind.  You have to get it "all" out.

If you have a great collection of EG, it will take awhile to drag it all out and disinfect your storage areas with Prayer and Scripture.  The job is always easier when you have help.  Let your spouse into those nasty places and let him, or her help you.  If it gets to be too much, get a Christian counselor (God's Co-Worker Trash Handler) to give you a hand.  If two are good, three are better.

Work together to keep EG out, but remember, your EG is "yours".  Your spouse can only 'help' you to get it out.  You must identify it and drag it out into the open (no matter how bad it stinks).  Then your spouse can help you take it to Jesus.  Get it OUT! 

C.M. Driver

More Articles & Sessions

SHELTER Sanctuary Ministries was first entered into with the idea that retreats for couples and for Ministers and their spouses would be conducted solely on the premises of our bed & breakfast inn. As this ministry has developed, we have come to realize that God is leading us to be mobile, prepared to go anywhere to lead and teach others what we have learned. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with experiences and insight and led us to share it all with anyone that asks. We do not charge a fee for leading retreats. Our time and literature is not ours, but His, to be given freely to those in need of it.  Your only costs are for travel expenses and printing costs for copying literature.

Sessions :

RETREATS:  There are 37 topics to choose from in order for you to "customize" your retreat. If you choose to use Aire Castle Inn B&B for your retreat, we can accommodate up to three couples for Marriage Enrichment Retreats, or 6 individuals for a "Ladies Retreat". There are local resorts available for lodging as well. We can lead your retreat, or you may provide your own leadership. We will provide an itinerary that shows how our retreat plan is for five sessions, allowing maximum time for couples to privately discuss topics and have personal time together. Call for information about retreats.

Seminars include more sessions as they are teaching engagements.

Customize your Retreat: Groups of couples must agree and choose ‘five’ session topics, games and /or activities from the list to make up your "Retreat Package". We suggest that each couple pick "one or two topics each" so that three couples will wind up with just the right number of Session Topics. ( Call for assistance if you wish) You may choose ‘related topics’, or topics that encompass a variety of issues.

Plan and make reservations 30 days in advance in order for preparation of materials, literature and other necessities to insure a totally successful retreat, 60 to 90 days if a major holiday is preferred, three night minimum ‘stay’ required on holidays. It is best to plan three-night retreats, if possible. Retreats must be paid 30 days in advance, not refundable due to the nature of the B&B / Retreat Ministry. Firm commitment absolutely necessary.  Christian entertainment is available on request in advance for retreats and seminars.


"Retreat Session Topics"

SHELTER Sanctuary Ministries is not a licensed counselor. Materials and literature are ‘food for thought’ only.

SHELTER Sanctuary Ministries recommends Christian Counseling.

1.- Communication in Marriage ( Questionnaire - one hour - very personal self-examination )

2.- Trust Games, Learning Exercises ( 4 to choose from, one to two hours each, a fun way to learn about ‘Trust’, one or two Trust Games per retreat, we choose games to compliment your choice of other topics )

3.- Mind Games, ‘What If vs. If Only’ ( Discussion Group - one hour - an in-depth look at our behavioral ‘attitude’ choices )

4.- "Comment on Truth" ( Spouse activity and discussion based on personal testimony - one hour )

5.- Trigger Points to Watch For ( 7 important topics, linked together for an entire retreat taking four of the five sessions, two to three topics per session, ‘Trigger Points’ boldly exposes the obvious ‘signs’ of a spouse in danger of having an extramarital affair, Trust Game "Blind" Relay to be the fifth session )

6.- Emotional Garbage Warehouse ( Detailed Group Discussion - one to two hours - designed to help spouses be aware of the emotional ‘baggage’ that can destroy an otherwise perfect marriage )

7.- Faithfulness - Unfaithfulness ( A personal testimony and open discussion - one to two hours - exposing the ‘truth’ about whether or not the ‘grass is greener’ - to be followed by Session Topic # 21)

8.- Romance in Marriage ( Definitions, questions and discussion - one hour - carefully defining the ‘true’ romance that we should have in our marriages )

9.- Blended Family ( A close look at basic personality differences - one hour - some facts that are often missed when two families join to live under one roof - [ sub-topics, His Kids vs. Her Kids, The "Ex." Problem, "Family" Court] )

10.- Personal Conflicts - Conflict in marriage ( Takes a look at basic personality differences - one hour - by recognizing these differences, they can be addressed )

11.- The "Art" of Changing Your Mate ( Commentary about truths and misgivings concerning ‘Changing Your Mate’ )

12.- "Everyone Fights From Time to Time" ( Personal Testimony of a Dear Friend - Food for Thought )

13.- Money Matters - Finances( Questionnaire for an in-depth look at managing your finances and the problems that can occur - Questions that lead to understanding how being focused on money matters can distract couples from their love for each other - one to two hours )

14.- What Makes a Marriage Fail ( Realistic material that gets very personal, but can uncover hidden ‘danger zones’ in your marriage )

15.- What "Bugs" You, About Your Spouse ( ‘In depth’ questions that probe deep into your relationship, questions to answer separately and then determine if your marriage is strong enough to discuss together )

16.- "Resolving Conflict in Your Marriage" ( A special ‘THREE NIGHT’ retreat that uses, with permission from the publisher, the nationally known ‘Home Builders Couples Series’ book by Bob & Jan Horner, a copy required for each spouse - questions, discussions, activities, projects, etc., six parts - two hours minimum each, excellent retreat, optional two nights for half the book and couples complete the other half at home.)

17.- Called to Ministry - "Seeking & Knowing God’s Will" ( Personal Testimony & descriptive ‘Journey’ to Ministry )

18.- Reasons for Seeking Counseling ( Commentary with 5 reasons for seeking counseling - Good to use with Sessions # 7 & # 21)

19.- Sixteen Inspirational Bible Subjects ( Written by Grandfather P.F.Driver - author and counselor, founder of Gospel Assembly Church of Paducah - Note: This book is to be copied and arranged in a total of sixteen individual Topics. Until this preparation is complete, copies of the book will be available for guests to read together during their "Free Time".)

20.- "Instant Gratification" That Feel Good Feeling ( Commentary and expose’ on the lack of ‘facing the facts’ in Scripture )

21.- Confessing Unfaithfulness - "Tell / Don’t Tell?" ( To accompany Faithfulness / Unfaithfulness Topic # 7 )

22.- Nature Scavenger Hunt (Weather permitting, or maybe not, couples as a team roam about to gather "trophies" in a simple old fashioned Scavenger Hunt where articles in the hunt will be compared to your Spiritual Life )

23.- Not Married, but Living Together (A Biblical look at "Courtship", advantages, myths, a lot of questions answered, great opportunity for couples considering marriage to find some important facts about God’s plan for you )

24.- "End Session" Love Letter to Your Spouse Activity ( A nice ending to your Retreat )

25. - Standing in the Shadow of a Dynamic Personality ( Commentary - in part testimony designed to help a spouse in a public "leadership" position to better understand his or her spouse’s feelings )

26. - Who Chose Your Spouse? ( Serious look at your marriage - confronting the truth about "God’s will" in ‘your’ choice of who you married - sensitive in nature )

27. - "TRINITY", as to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ( An unusual defined analogy comparing the ‘mystery’ of the Trinity to the vagueness of a modern, yet mystical medical term )

28. - Understanding the Holy Spirit ( Searching the Scriptures to come to know who and what the Holy Spirit really is )

29. - Why Married People Have Affairs ( Commentary that exposes the truth about the underlying motives that really cause people to get involved in affairs )

30. - "Song of Solomon" - A Love Song ( Commentaries & Bible Study that requires couples to examine each segment of this Scripture )

31. - "The Love Chapter" of the Bible ( Defined, word by word, then reassembled using the definitions in order to clarify the entire meaning )

32.- "Christlike Love" ( Notes taken from a sermon of Adrian Rogers )

33.- "Old Spot", Grandma’s Farm Dog ( A testimony about sacrificial love - a handout for reflection )

34.- On Rope, On belay ( Comparison to living the Christian life, trusting the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit completely - handout or discussion topic )

35.- Integrity, the testimony of the pursuit of the vision of ministry ( Personal Testimony of Mike & Ann )

36.- Grandfather’s Testimony ( Including part of Mike’s personal testimony, facing divorce and contemplating suicide )

37.- Grandmother’s Testimony ( A glorious true story about Grandmother Cannon’s "Near Death" experience )

New Topics Will Be Added.

By choosing different topics for each Retreat you may return often for retreats focused on different themes.

Videos from Beth Moore &/or Joyce Meyer Ministries may be used in "Women’s Retreats" at your request and on your choice of topics.

Permission to use literature from Author and Missionary to Nigeria, Moses C. Onwubiko, founder and Director of "Grace Evangelistic Ministries, Inc.", Nashville, Tennessee, Spiritual partners in ministry.