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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

My Journey: Yes! I Am Pentecostal

By James R. Braddy
Oct. 9, 2011

It happened at youth camp in 1958. I can still smell the hay from the surrounding fields in the dampness of the warm July night in Illinois, and hear the sounds of those around me seeking God for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. My counselor led me gently, yet firmly, in opening my young heart and life to an experience that somehow defines me to this day, 53 years later. On that night I became Pentecostal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — I spoke in tongues. Yes, I did! But that alone did not make me Pentecostal. It wasn’t the “speaking in tongues” that defined that moment. The words that tumbled from my lips were the evidence of something much more profound.

At that altar, in that camp, the Holy Spirit filled my life in a way that would change me forever. I am not sure I understood fully that night what being Pentecostal would mean. I was thrilled with the experience, yet unprepared for the journey. For a journey truly began that humid summer night as a 12-year-old boy opened his heart and life to the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. I am Pentecostal not just because I spoke in tongues; I am Pentecostal because Jesus, the Baptizer, filled me with the third Person of the Trinity.

Being Pentecostal has enabled me to serve God with a growing intensity. Being Pentecostal has helped to shape, mold and bring correction to my life. Being Pentecostal has compelled me to carry the message of Christ’s love with great joy to my world. Being Pentecostal has given me a deeper and richer life in service to God and others. Being Pentecostal has ceased from being an event and become a lifelong journey.

Oh yes, I still speak in tongues. I enjoy those wonderful, joyful experiences. And I also enjoy the journey, knowing that the Spirit within gives me the strength to follow Him each day.

So celebrate being Pentecostal. Declare it loud and long, and join the chorus that still resounds from the Upper Room even today.

JAMES R. BRADDY is superintendent of the Northern California-Nevada District of the Assemblies of God.

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