Thursday, April 7, 2016


By Ada Brownell

How about joy unspeakable and rivers of living water

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, 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 my parents noticed. Other siblings, invited by their friends, joined her.

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.

But 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 figure out about why people were joyful. Our singing in the church used to get pretty loud and sometimes people shouted when they knew their sins were wiped away, or their deaf ears were opened or another healing occurred, or a loved one came to the Lord.

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.

I tell the story of my family’s conversion, how I came to a commitment, miracles, signs and wonders, 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
Joy is a byproduct of knowing God. Here are a few scriptures that speak of joy.

Continue to the next post for a list of scriptures about joy.

Copyright Ada Brownell