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Michel: Start with an open heart & faith’s spirit can grow

It was in the 70s that Dottie Rambo had the opportunity to sing behind the Iron Curtain with her husband and daughter.

The conditions were that they couldn’t speak to anyone about Jesus, the blood of Jesus or salvation.

They were allowed to sing Christian songs but couldn’t say anything about Jesus in between each song.

After the concert they went to a local bistro. Although she was not allowed to mention Jesus, she was determined to encourage someone.

In the palm of her hand she held a pamphlet with Psalm 23 on one side and a picture of Jesus holding a lamb on the other.

A waitress came to the table, noticed the pamphlet and said, “Jesus. I love Him.”

The people at her table, fearful of being arrested, ushered the group out of the restaurant, while Dottie thought, “Nobody here may want Jesus, but You’re wanted ‘here’” as she referenced her heart.

She later wrote the song “Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome in this Place.”

Discovering the birth of the song changed my focus whenever it was sung in church. For God to be welcome in my home, church, community and world, He must first be welcome in my heart.

If God is welcome there, I believe that His presence will spill out everywhere else.

That realization causes me to often pray the prayer recorded in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.”

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.