Pascal and Pentecostalism.

Touching God

The first time I walked into a Pentecostal church as a sixteen-year-old, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Entering First Assembly of God (AG) in Columbia, South Carolina that Sunday morning in 1975, was different than anything I had ever experienced; I could feel a sense of excitement, freedom, and spontaneity. Then, I heard something I had never heard before in a church service … voices projected other than the pastor’s; audible gifts of the Spirit operating amidst seasons of worship, prophecies, prayers for healing and, yes, speaking in tongues. And, on that day it honestly was the speak … [Read more...]

The Emotional Jesus: His Ups & Downs

Jesus wept

(From The Presence & The Power by Gerald Hawthorne, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1991)“The Gospels … stress the fact that Jesus was indeed a human being simply by recording that he, too, experienced those things – little and big – that go into making up human existence, such as paying taxes, heartily eating and drinking, climbing into fishing boats, and so on (see Matt. 17:24-26; 11:19; 9:1). They note that he was hungry, thirsty, and weary (Matt. 21:18; Luke 4:2; John 4:6-8), in fact, so weary that he was able to fall sound asleep in the cramped quarters of a small boat in a storm (Mar … [Read more...]

Joy Sings!

Singing, whether in a church or in my car, is one of my favorite ways to stir up and release the joy of the Lord in my heart. When my mind fills with anxious thoughts, it does me a world of good to just begin to praise God and sing. Singing allows my soul to move its focus from the circumstances of life to the character of God. It’s downright therapeutic.Paul encouraged the Ephesian Christians to make music a habit in their lives: “. . .be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord. . .” (Eph. 5:18-19). Pa … [Read more...]

Reading – Another Source of Joy!

Joy Reads!Reading the Scripture can be an incredible source of joy. I enjoy utilizing commentaries and study resources from time to time, but I have found the greatest joy in just sitting back and reading the Word of God. Allowing the mind and heart to get caught up in the truths, the biographies, the adventures, the insights and the promises contained in the Bible is a fountain every Christian should drink from frequently and deeply.The Psalmist apparently tapped into this source of joy often: “The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.” (Ps. 19:8a NLT) “I have rejo … [Read more...]

Working On Your Joy?

“I will say it again: Rejoice!” - Philippians 4:4b I know Christians are supposed to be joyful people. And I realize that joy is a result of having the Spirit in me. . .that among all the people of the earth, Christians have the greatest reason to be full of joy. But, sometimes life steps in and robs me of the joy. I know I should feel it, but sometimes I just don’t. The question emerges: Is joy something I should just wait for? Will it just come upon me?I am not alone. There seems to be a great absence of joy in the lives of many Christians and congregations today. Of the several “fruit of t … [Read more...]


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