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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 12, 2011

Today we celebrate Pentecost. As I was preparing for church I thought about how far I had come from the religion of my childhood to my relationship now with God through Christ.  I was raised in the Episcopal church, although my maternal grandfather was a Presbyterian Pastor. Through the years I grew from the liturgical (ritualistic) services, which I loved as a child, to the orderly freedom to worship found in the Pentecostal Church of the Assemblies of God. I visited many churches through the years and my husband and I have been members of Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, and Church of God (Anderson division) congregations.

I can remember God's pull on me as a child, when I accepted Christ as my savior when I was a teenager and the first time I knowingly recognized the movement of the Holy Spirit in a physical touch on my body as an adult. Over the past 15 years I learned that raising hands in worship was not an embarrassment for me but rather if I fail to raise my hands when moved to do so then I am squelching the Spirit in me. Now I rejoice in worshiping freely in service and sometimes just in life!

A distinguishing feature in worship as a Pentecostal church is the acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit indwelling and manifesting in the speaking of tongues. Acts 2:1-13.  Our Pastor encourages speaking messages in English but the Spirit moves as He will and sometimes in our services there is a message of tongues which must then be interpreted. This morning there was such a wonderful message and it was spoken in English. We will have it typed next week so we can meditate on it and take encouragement from it. But I hope I caught the gist of God's message to share:
'Look to me my children, I will never lead you astray. Do not look past, do not look beyond, do not look behind. Walk with me daily, daily, daily. I will guide your path and not allow you to go astray.'
How awesome is that!!
This was one of our worship songs this morning.

Verses for today
Acts 2: 1 -4
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

This morning I was particularly moved to pray for each of my family members from my father to my grandchildren, my siblings and their children. (And I prayed for a Happy Birthday for my sister!)

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