When my siblings began giving their hearts to the Lord the year I was born, it scared Mama. My sister, Marjorie, went to the Holy Roller church!
Mom went with her the second time and was so afraid she sat on the step outside and listened. Finally, she got up nerve to go inside.
Actually the people weren’t swinging from the chandeliers (there weren’t any), but when Marjorie committed her life to Jesus she was so changed for the better, obeying her parents and so filled with joy that my parents noticed. Other siblings, invited by their friends, joined Marj.
I grew up attending that Pentecostal church and I’ve been Pentecostal all my life. Although I’ve witnessed many miracles and changed lives, I never saw anyone roll in my church.
Bit I experienced the joy in our house, which was filled with singing and music. My siblings had a purpose to their lives and went on to establish businesses, and to higher education and productive careers—all the time filled with contentment and joy.
I can’t figure out why the people who coined the phrase “Holy Rollers” didn’t come to church to figure out about why people were joyful. We did used to get pretty loud in our singing and sometimes people shouted when they knew their sins were wiped away, their deaf ears were opened, or a loved one came to the Lord. If you watch how people act on Wheel of Fortune when they receive money or prizes, that's the response folks had when God touched their souls.
People used to peek in the windows of our church to see what was going on. Some came inside weeping and gave their lives to Christ.
Christians don't have to be Pentecostal, however, to experience this joy because it comes from submitting to our Heavenly Father and knowing Jesus.
I tell the story of my family’s conversion; how I came to a commitment; miracles , signs and wonders I've seen; and what it was like being Pentecostal in my book, Confessions of a Pentecostal, first published in 1978 by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House and released in April as an e-book. An epilogue reveals some of what has happened since 1978.
Confessions of a Pentecostal is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088OP460
As I said, joy is a byproduct of knowing God. Here are a few scriptures that speak of joy. Since I found so many, I'll give you more later.
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart” John 7:38).
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:10-12).
You will show me the path of life;In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:10-11).
For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Sing to Him a new song;Play skillfully with a shout of joy (Psalm 33:3).
Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God (Psalm 43:4).
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (Psalm 51:12).
Shout with joy to God, all the earth! (Psalm 66:2).
The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing (Proverbs 10:28).
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).
But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead (Isaiah 26:19).
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away (Isaiah 35:10).
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” Matthew 28:8).
He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth” (Luke 1:13-15).
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people (Luke 2:10).