GROWING UP PENTECOSTAL

Confessions KDP Cover-BrownellNote: FREE! The book, Confessions of a Pentecostal, first published by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House in 1978, became available for Kindle in 2011 after being out of print for years and many used copies sold online. The Kindle version is free of charge March 9-12 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088OP460

 

                                          GROWING UP PENTECOSTAL

                                                      By Ada Brownell

Few people have the wonderful heritage I did.

No, I didn’t grow up among rich lords and ladies or with an impressive blood line. Spiritual wealth became the gold mine available to me.

I had pastors who believed the Word; lived it; preached it.

As a spectator in my growing up years, I witnessed people kneeling in repentance and being changed by the power of God.

One of the most spectacular conversions was an aunt. Beautiful, personable, talented, she  turned away from God in her teens. In her 30s she woke up, spiritually bankrupt, her marriage in trouble, and thinking of ending her life.

One night, Mom persuaded her to come to church. My aunt cried out, “I’m lost!” interrupting the pastor’s sermon. She rushed forward to the altar. With wide eyes, I heard her repent with screams and guttural groans. Then the joy hit. She praised God all over the church. From that day until she died at age 91, she was still dancing with joy and living for God.

I had seen youth I knew were rebellious and a black mark on the church. One night a whole pew full of guys who gave my sisters grief threw their hands toward heaven in surrender to the One who forgives sins, repented and were filled with the Spirit. They became different young men and still serve God or did until death.

My seven older siblings accepted the Lord in their youth and our house was filled with music and their singing.

I saw miracles. A friend was healed of leukemia. A child healed of diabetes never had the problem again. I saw people healed of deafness and sicknesses.

I accepted the Lord when I was age 5, was filled with the Spirit about age 9, but I was in my early 20s when I had a life-changing encounter with God. My husband and I moved to Thompson, Utah, population 100. No church. Three bars, and the tiny grocery store was in a bar.

Formerly a youth leader, I was discouraged. We traveled 38 miles to Moab to church on Sunday night because Les worked weekends. Seemed the pastor thought the days of revival were over. I became so hungry for God’s touch, I started praying at home.

One night when I stood up to testify about God’s faithfulness, the spirit of God poured over me like warm oil. Joy bubbled out of me with praise to God in a language I didn’t know.

Afterward I told God if he’d send me a helper, I’d start a Sunday school in that town. Within a week a wonderful Baptist woman my age moved there, and we started a Sunday school in the school house. Every child in town enrolled.

Although I’d written fillers before, Thompson, Utah, is where I became a writer and that’s where I became a journalist–a correspondent–and ended up with a career.

God’s power literally changed the destiny of our family not only for eternity, but in this life as my brother, Virgil Nicholson, became an educator and the force behind Evangel College’s great accreditation. Joe, also an author, headed the music department at Evangel College for  years and also served as academic dean of Berean College. Everette pastored many years. The girls were used of God in many ways.

To God be the glory.

 

CONFESSIONS OF  A PENTECOSTAL

When Ada Nicholson Brownell was a child, a faithful Christian neighbor witnessed to her mother. Not just once, but almost every day. ada-brownell.jpg“The family did everything to get rid of her,” the author recalls, “but she came to ur house…her Bible tucked under her arm, an enthusiastic smile on her face.”

Then Ada’s older sister attended a Pentecostal service at the invitation of a teenage friend. One by one all 10 members of her family were saved and received the Pentecostal experience.

 

Ada tells of those early childhood days, what it was like to grow up in a Pentecostal home, and then of her continuous search for spiritual fulfillment. Her search has not been without trials, sickness, and disappointments. But God has given her an abiding strength and a vibrant faith to overcome these problems. Her inspiring confession of faith will encourage and bless believers everywhere.

 

The book was listed in  2011 among 10 recommendations on Pentecostalism by The Library Thing.

 

Free March 9-12 http://buff.ly/KmLPMi

Psalm 19 Part 3

We continue the study of Psalm 19. If you missed our 2 previous post Click here for the first one. And Here for the second one. Go catch up, no worries, we’ll wait for you.

Today I’m very excited about the verses we are going to look at. Let’ see which ones they are

Psalm 19:7-8

The revelation of God is whole

   and pulls our lives together.

The signposts of God are clear

   and point out the right road.

The life-maps of God are right,

   showing the way to joy.

The directions of God are plain

   and easy on the eyes.

I have been blessed to have a notion of God all my life, but following him was a different process. At some point in my younger years I thought I knew how life should be lived, how things worked. If you have lived a little longer than me you probably know what the outcome was. I got lost, running into many dead ends and in lots of trouble.

When I finally became a born again Christian I discovered that there was a way to become whole and it was the revelation of God. That I was able to get myself together. That his Word always points us in the right direction and that every time something doesn’t feel right I have to evaluate what I think are the two possibilities: Is this a lesson? or Did I make a wrong turn?

Most of you have read my GPS stories and how stubborn I am to follow it’s directions when I think I know better. I can’t deny that sometimes that is true in my journey with God. But just like my GPS has to prove to me over and over than I’m wrong, God just sits back and I have to realize that he DOES know better than I do, which has helped me trust more in him, his Word and his direction. Hey grandma was right, “ A hard head makes a soft behind.”

We have more to learn, until then be blessed.

Note: Remember, I encourage you to follow the You Version challenge. If you follow our Bible studies as well and enter a comment in any of our blogs until February 2nd your name will be place in a hat to win a copy of my devotional “Growth Lessons”. I will announce the winner on February 4th 2013. Let’s enjoy this journey of learning the Word of God together.

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

Spiritual Abuse

I wrote this post last year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and thought it was worth reminding ourselves that this does exist and it’s something we should be aware of.  Be blessed!

Researching information for this month’s articles I ran into something, that yes, I’ve seen but it had not clicked in my mind when I thought about abuse and it’s the term “spiritual abuse” in a relationship. This relates to when a spouse uses God to control or manipulate the other spouse with the Word of God or an alleged spiritual gift or “power”

These abusers use their spouses faith and a legalistic vision of the Word of God to manipulate, control and undermine their spouses. With this behavior the enforced their authority and the victim submits to avoid consequences not only with their perpetrator but with their higher power, as they believe this is coming from God himself.

The fact that the victims are being abused will make them be more submitted as they think that they must be doing something wrong, as they continue to be criticized or chastised by their abuser. On the other hand this can hinder their faith as they would have trouble understanding why God would allow them to live in such conditions, when it’s not God, it’s the other person’s free will that is attacking them.

Jeremiah 23:16 says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” But if this is your husband or boyfriend, how can you tell?

  • Study the Word yourself.
  • If your spirit says something is not right, it probably isn’t. Look it up before you agree to do something.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for clear direction.
  • Read the Word in context and not singling out scriptures. Sometimes just reading a few more sentences can bring clarity to the context.
  • In doubt, research. Sometimes just reading different versions of the same scripture will bring clarity to our notions.
  • Talk to other Christians (be careful about this one, you don’t want someone who is misguided as well)

If you want to identify a potential spiritual abuser, read Matthew 23:1-39 ESV Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long”

Be safe!

Related articles

Reader’s Choice: How is God using my writing skills?

I gave yesterday my readers the opportunity of choosing what blog topics they would like and for the next couple of weeks we will have a Reader’s Choice post. After I opened the proposal I prayed, God please don’t let them ask me anything I have no clue about. No worries, even if that was the case I would do the research and we would both learn together. Isn’t that what this walk is all about?

So, the first question was: How is God using my writing skills?

When I started seriously writing two years ago I had a serious case of WIMS (Woe IS Me Syndrome). At the same time, I had no choice but to give into what God wanted me to do because it was pressing so hard in my heart. I’ll start by saying what it has done in my life.

Writing has given me a sense of completion. After years of wandering like the Israelites I’m finally in my element. There’s no better satisfaction at the end of the day, that no matter how many hours you spend in a project, you are enjoying what you are doing, because you love what you do; and I love what I do. This experience has enriched and deepened my walk and knowledge of the Word of God. The fact that the bible is my source of reference for everything I write helps me learn every day more and more about His Word and His purpose for my life. It has also helped me stay accountable. I truly hear from some of you if I miss a posting.

This writing journey has given me a new community. The only Christian writers that I knew before this were those from whom I had bought their books and probably met two at a book signing. I now belong to an awesome group called Grace and Faith Authors Connection. He has placed in my path a huge writing, supportive community of writers, Christians and Non-Christians that have taught me so much. Just like when I started back my journey with Christ and I felt like a two-year old learning how to walk, eat, speak and dress…My writing journey has felt somewhat like that. Every day I open my eyes and one of these fabulous people has something to sow into my life. Just know that I’m trying to pay it forward and I hope that I’m doing the same for them.

I also learn from my readers. The beauty of writing, especially blogging is that you can have a conversation with others about a specific topic. I appreciate all of your comments, inside the site and outside. You are a blessing to me and my walk.

Part of my WIMS; was the fear of who is going to read this Lord?  I’m humbled by saying that I have followers from all over the country and as far as I know I have a few from United Kingdom and other places. It is great that I get to witness and share the love of Christ with so many people. The Glory is to God!

As for you, this is what I’ve heard. I get e-mails and messages with testimonials quite often about how something I wrote has touched someone’s heart, has inspired their day or was the answer to a prayer they had. The one that sticks out the most in my mind was a devotional I wrote titled “A Spirit of Cinderella”, which is now part of my book Growth Lessons. This devotional talked about the fact that sometimes as believers we think so little about ourselves that we feel like we are still living in the dungeon when our Prince Charming has already come to the rescue.

I received a message from this beautiful lady who happened to be a model. She expressed how she was feeling so insecure of herself and how she had been praying to God to lift up her spirits. She ran into my posting and apparently was the answer to her prayers.

I’m totally humbled by this experience, as all I do is show up to the paper and share what God wants me to say or is doing in my life.

As always I love to hear from you. Is there anything from “The Rising Muse” that has touched your heart in a special way? If you’re shy and want to share in private I still want to hear from you, you can send me an e-mail at therisingmuse@gmail.com

To obtain a copy of Growth Lessons, which also talks about the things that God has been placing in my heart and my new living lessons, click on the picture to get your Kindle edition. The rest of November will be Reader’s Choice Month, so if you have something specific you want me to talk about, go to my Facebook page and let me know about it.
In Christ

Naty

Spiritual Abuse

Researching information for this month’s articles I ran into something, that yes, I’ve seen but it had not clicked in my mind when I thought about abuse and it’s the term “spiritual abuse” in a relationship. This relates to when a spouse uses God to control or manipulate the other spouse with the Word of God or an alleged spiritual gift or “power”

These abusers use their spouses faith and a legalistic vision of the Word of God to manipulate, control and undermine their spouses. With this behavior the enforced their authority and the victim submits to avoid consequences not only with their perpetrator but with their higher power, as they believe this is coming from God himself.

The fact that the victims are being abused will make them be more submitted as they think that they must be doing something wrong, as they continue to be criticized or chastised by their abuser. On the other hand this can hinder their faith as they would have trouble understanding why God would allow them to live in such conditions, when it’s not God, it’s the other person’s free will that is attacking them.

 

Jeremiah 23:16 says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” But if this is your husband or boyfriend, how can you tell?

  • Study the Word yourself.
  • If your spirit says something is not right, it probably isn’t. Look it up before you agree to do something.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for clear direction.
  • Read the Word in context and not singling out scriptures. Sometimes just reading a few more sentences can bring clarity to the context.
  • In doubt, research. Sometimes just reading different versions of the same scripture will bring clarity to our notions.
  • Talk to other Christians (be careful about this one, you don’t want someone who is misguided as well)

If you want to identify a potential spiritual abuser, read Matthew 23:1-39 ESV Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long”

Be safe!

Remember to check out my new devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount the coupon code PN34W

Wrapping up NaNoWriMo

Writing samples: Parker 75
Image by churl via Flickr

As I sit here, thirty minutes to the end of this crazy month, I decided to write a reflection on the lessons that have come out of November 2010. I know that after writing almost 300 pages of fiction, you would think that the last thing that I would want to do is write. On the contrary, that’s one of the things NaNoWriMo does for me, it is the fuel that fills my tank for the next 12 months of future writing.

What were my November lessons?

  • · I need an outline– Last year I had an idea of what I wanted to write. I even wrote the name of the chapters. This year, I knew what story I wanted, had the title ahead, but didn’t know the development of the story which caused many writer’s blocks and moments of frustration.
  • · Write-ins and Nano community are vital for success– I can’t thank enough my Municipal Liaisons for their support. They kept me encouraged, motivated and challenged to go above and beyond my own goals. I also became more involved in the chatroom and not only was very motivated but I will be laughing at some events for the next 12 months.
  • · Who’s who– I did get my chai latte and my smoothies. I am very appreciative to all of you who in one way or another kept checking on me or supporting me throughout this month. I also saw people fell of the face of the earth because I couldn’t be there for them during this month in the same fashion that I usually was. It’s sad when people can’t support your dreams, but I always like when God does house cleaning. He’s the best!
  • · Motivation– As a child writing was my hobby, when I returned to the writing arena I knew it was my passion, now I know it’s also my ministry, it’s what makes me happy, what I was created to do and as long as God allows me to move these fingers, published or not, I will continue writing.
  • · You don’t have to gain weight just because you’re writing– I tend to eat and write and I have to admit that I did it this year as well. What was the difference? My food choices. I ate more fruit, organic cookies and to my shame a lot of diet soda. Water got boring quick, so instead of juices or other things diet soda kept me busy from eating and I actually lost 3lbs during the saga. I also tried to make better choices at the write-ins.

What’s next?

  • · There’s a Christmas surprise for my readers in the works.
  • · Writing and submitting two short stories for an inspirational contest in March.
  • · Editing and submitting one of my books for another inspirational contest in June.
  • · Waiting and letting all of you know of the results of all these submissions.
  • · Continue to inspire all my readers as I get inspired myself through this blog.

 

I thank you all for your patience and support. The glory goes to God, I only show up with my laptop and my fingers.

YAY! November is over!