How did the idea originate to write this book? I had been playing with the idea of writing a book on the Holy Spirit for a couple of years. As a psychologist I have always been fascinated by what makes people change their behavior. Some use drugs, some go to therapy, some read self-help books, and some watch Oprah. Unfortunately, most behavior change, whether it be losing weight or being more considerate to their spouse, do not last very long. My experience with trying to help people change has led me to conclude that true change can only come when we surrender our will to God. In other words, to acknowledge that we cannot produce real and lasting change in our behavior or attitude on our own; there is an answer, however. When we give our lives to Christ, He gives us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to change, to align our thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes with those of Jesus.
Why Barney Rubble? Barney was always one of my favorite cartoon characters. He had a way about him. Here was someone who seemed to get it to have the secret of living a peaceful and happy life. It occurred me that Barney might be a good model to illustrate the characteristics that Saint Paul referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit. These characteristics include: love, peace, joy, gentleness, self-control and the like. Watch almost any Flintstones episode and youll see the Fruit of the Spirit exemplified in Barneys behavior.
What qualified you to write this book? Like everyone else, I am on a journey to try to figure out why I have been placed on this earth and what I am supposed to do with this precious life that God has given me. I cannot help but think that all of my experience and training as a psychologist, as well as my Christian upbringing put me precisely where I needed to be in order to write this book.
What did you learn that you didnt know before writing this book? I learned that we have far less control over what happens to us than I previously thought. We live under the illusion that what happens to us is under our own control, but that is blatantly false. Our lives become much more fulfilling when we acknowledge this and when we seek to live in ways that are in accord with what God wants for us. When this happens, the Holy Spirit can work most effectively in and through us. Thats what I have learned. I cannot say its easy for me to 'Let go and let God', but there you have it.
How is the Holy Spirit relevant today? In these uncertain times with terrorism and promiscuity and people operating as if there is no such thing as right and wrong- the Holy Spirit is more important than ever. The Holy Spirit is our compass. If we follow Him, He will transform us and lead us toward a peaceful and fulfilling life. He will transform us, but we have to surrender to him.
Who is the reader that you had in mind when you wrote this book? I wrote the book for my 10 year old son Joshua. Although he is probably not old enough to grasp all of it, he will eventually. Apart from my son, I hope the message of the book opens the hearts of readers. If people benefit from the book then I will be humbly grateful to the Lord.