Friday, May 09, 2008

It's a Pentecost Friday Five

"Pentecost Quilt" by Linda Schmidt

Presbyterian Gal from Rev Gals is hosting her first Friday Five, and she included scripture for us..

FOR PENTECOST THIS WEEKEND:FROM ACTS CHAPTER 2: 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

She says, "My personal favorite in this passage is how Peter insists the men cannot be drunk because it's only 9:00 a.m. Anyway, it's Pentecost and my very first Friday Five! Thinking about all the gifts of the spirit and what Peter said of the "last days"

Have you or anyone you know

1. ...ever experienced a prophesy (vision or dream) that came true?

Yes. Actually several. I was visiting in another state. I was a stranger everyone there except my sister, Paulette. She was new to the church and had not spoken to anyone about me. At the close of the Sunday evening service, which was small and informal in nature, the pastor pointed to me and said something like, "Will you please come up so I can pray with you? You have been sitting in a kind of ray of light this whole service." (Huh? I don't see anything.) Surprised, but not dismayed, since this is not all that unusual in a Pentecostal church, I complied. He asked, "Are you a minister? ?" Now I was surprised. I said yes and waited. He quietly said that I had been waiting a long time for an avenue of ministry to open up, and that I should not give up. He did not know it of course, but I had been planning to resign my "credentials." He went on to add other details, which I won't go into, but the basic intent was to tell me that the day was coming, and not far off, that my prayers would be answered and I would be pastoring a church. I'm glad you asked this question because there was a part of that prophecy that I need to remember right now.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?

No. But I dreamed details of what would happen at my son's birth. I told my husband about the strange dream, and then put it out of my mind. It was a dificult and stressed delivery and there was great concern about the baby, but I had a sense of peace. I had dreamt it about two months before--though of course I hadn't know that the dream would actually happen in real life--until it began to unfold. I knew the baby would be alright, and I knew angels were present. I'd already seen it. Wow! Good to remember that. That was a wonderful gift from God to me!

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)

My sister, Paulette again, and her husband saw a round, glowing disc in the sky, following the highway. Others were looking too, I think I remember her saying, and pulled theirs over. It got lower and lower and then went up and disappered. Hey, do northern lights count? They are certainly a "wonder" though probably not what Presby Gal has in mind.

4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?

Not sure how to answer this one. Hmmm....does healing count? I could relate some stories about that. The most recent was a young woman visiting our church, sitting on the back row and not entering in. She later reported to her family that her right ear, which had been deaf since childhood, was hearing. At last report, a few years later now, it is still normal. I think I wrote about this in the our Rev Gal book "Ordinary Time."

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?

I have interpreted a "message in tonues" from another speaker on many occasions. But here is a far more fascinating story. We have a young woman, Tara, from our congregation, presently in Africa, who has travelled on several short term missions trips.
That's us in the picture below, as Tara says good bye before heading to Africa.
On a trip to Egypt, one of her team members had an amazing experience. She shared it with me by email and later with our congregation when she returned home. Here is the brief version of the story. A group of them, including Tara, were talking with a blind beggar, trying to overcome the language barrier--unsuccesfully. They walked away, but then one of them said, "I don't know what to do, but I have the strongest feeling I must go back to talk with him." She began to speak to him in Arabic (if I remember correctly), NOT knowing what she was saying, and feeling scared. The man looked shocked and then proceeded to carry on a conversation with her that lasted for several minutes! Tara knew just enough of the language to know that she was speaking to him about Jesus, but none of them, including their teammate, knew what she was telling him. She continued speaking for some time, and then seemed to be finished. I don't know whether I am more impressed about the spritual gift that was occuring or about the courage of a young woman to step out in faith and start speaking sometihng other than English. She did have the "gift of tongues" previously, but I can tell you that there is a vast difference between praying in what some call a "prayer language" where no one but God is hearing you, and doing what she did! I hope I'd be as bold, if the situation called for it!

Bonus Question: What would a modern day news coverage of the first Pentecost have sounded like?

I shudder to imagine! :-)


LoieJ said...

I'd like to share your answer to #1 with my daughter who has yet to be given any leads about serving a church.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

I will pray for her, okay?

RevDrKate said...

WOW! Such powerful experiences of these gifts. Thank you for sharing them.

RevAnne said...

Wow, Singing Owl, thanks for sharing these. I don't know if I'd be as brave as the young lady who found herself speaking Arabic--but what a great Pentecost story!

Lori said...

What amazing events you've seen and lived through! And great gifts. Thanks for sharing these. So cool.

Lesley said...

Wonderful play and a great story. My husband was in a team where someone had a similar experience many years ago - in that case God chose the short, fat, spotty boy to work through, which was a sign all of its own.

Rev SS said...

Awesome ... especially # 1. Thanks for sharing.

Diane M. Roth said...

Wow! Singing Owl, especially one and 5. I have heard of such things (5) happening,but have never experienced myself. YOu're right, much different than a "prayer language."

Processing Counselor said...

Wow. Maybe I should come and spend some time with you.