Amanda Hoggard

Some of my best memories as a young adult were chaperoning kids to our annual summer camps. They were hot, sticky, and messy, but seeing little loves changed and called into kingdom living, nothing like it.

I learned a lesson from another chaperone one year that has stayed with me for two decades. One of the little girls who came with us was experiencing high-stakes homesickness, and no natter how nurturing and compassionate I tried to be, she always ended up in heaving sobs, gagging and crying. We knew we’d have to call her parents to make the three hour drive that night and pick her up.

Until this chaperone stepped into the situation.

I was outside the chapel trying to comfort and reassure this little girl, when she came over and, with a peaceful but firm amount of spiritual authority, she knelt a little, cupped the little girl’s cheeks in her hands, and quietly said, “Honey, rule your spirit. Only you can control how you feel right now.”

It was like a weird kind of magic happened. This baby girl straightened up that moment and enjoyed the rest of camp with a joyful heart. I had never seen anything like it. She was the “camper whisperer.”

Today, the Holy Spirit is your chaperone at this wild camp none of us really signed up for. There are people grappling for control of many things, but it seems the least of those is control of their own thoughts, emotions, reactions, and interactions.

Feel the Holy Spirit gently hold your face today and admonish, “Rule your spirit, child.” 

You’re not obligated to indulge every feeling or thought that comes to you. And only you get to decide - will those around you get a heavy dose of you, your thoughts, and your attitude? Or the peace and authority that only comes through submission to the Holy Spirit?

Amanda Hoggard is a minister at Askewville Assembly of God.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at