Monday, June 13, 2011

Pentecost Day a time of joy for many churches

On June 12, my church, like many other Christian churches around the world, celebrated Pentecost Day, otherwise known as the birthday of the Christian church. To many people, this was just another Sunday, a day to sit back and watch sports or just hand around with family and friends. Nothing wrong with that. It is good to fellowship with those we love.

However, Pentecost Day for me and millions of other Christians has a more significant meaning. We commemorate Pentecost Day because we believe that the "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit on believers is just as real today, as it was in the beginning of the Christian movement. Like the days of old, many believers still seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a time of renewal, a time of seeking a closer walk with the Lord, a time of growth.

At my church, we started our celebration one week before Pentecost Day. And the week prior to that, those of us who could, met at church two days during the week for a noon-day prayer session and anointing led by our pastor, Bishop Walter H. Richardson.

For eight days leading up to Pentecost Day, we gathered at church (except Saturday), where we were refreshed with sermons, testimonials, words of admonishment, and music that must have had the angels joining in from Heaven.

Today (Monday after Pentecost Day) as I contemplate what the day means to me, I am touched just to know that I, a mortal woman, could be so loved by the Lord, that He would consider me worthy of receiving the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) in my heart and soul.

Over the years, since I first believed, I have needed the protection that only this blessed spiritual Gift could provide. It truly has been a Guide in my life, protecting me from dangers seen and unseen and surrounding me and my family with our very own angels, as we travel along life's journey.

On that first Pentecost Day, the Holy Spirit "filled" the hearts of the original 120 believers who praised and blessed God, as they sat waiting to be given The Gift. My prayer is that just as the Holy Spirit "filled" the hearts of those who waited for Him on that day, that my life will be filled with faith and good works so that I will be an inspiration to all I meet.

Read more:

Weiner's Sex Addiction: Disease or Excuse?

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is following in steps of many other public figures who have been caught in a sex scandal as he sought therapy Monday for his sexual Internet activities.

"I've made some pretty serious mistakes and I need to redeem myself and I'm working hard to try to get back to normal," said the New York Democrat, who recently admitted to tweeting lewd photos of himself to strange women.

It's a story line Americans are getting all too accustomed to -- powerful men falling to sexual temptation and blaming addiction.

In 2010, professional golfer Tiger Woods received professional help for his so-called addiction after his very public affair. He admitted at this year's Masters Golf Tournament that while therapy helps, it's not a cure.

"Just because I've gone through treatment doesn't mean it stops," he said. "I'm trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and better and stronger."

The big question: is sex addiction real? Some say it's a self-control problem, while others claim it's an actual psychological issue.

"We're not talking about people who just like a lot of sex. We're talking about individuals where sex controls their lives," Dr. Charles Samenow, a psychiatrist and professor at George Washington University, told ABC News.

Fourteen million Americans claim to have a sex addiction -- that's one in every 17 adults. Recovering addict Samantha Ciciora claims to be one of them.

"I had two affairs, and I hid them very well. My husband had no idea..." said the married mother of two.

"I realized that something was wrong more than early promiscuity in my life...when I really couldn't stop," Ciciora said.

She sought help at Treatment Centers for Sexual Addiction. The treatment includes a 12-step program and individual and group therapy.

Experts say the Internet makes temptation even greater for those with sexual addiction.


David Wilkerson's Wife Still Recovering After Crash

Rev. David Wilkerson's wife, Gwen Wilkerson, is making good progress at a skilled nursing facility, more than a month after surviving a car crash that killed her husband.

An update on the World Challenge website Monday said the orthopaedic surgeon working with Gwen is "very happy" with her recovery thus far. The family has continued to ask for prayer.

"The incredible outpouring of cards, calls, letters, emails (and) blogs on behalf of Gwen is so deeply heartwarming. The Wilkerson family thanks you," the June 13 post said.

Rev. Wilkerson and his wife were involved in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer April 27 in Texas. Pastor Wilkerson was pronounced dead on the scene.

After the crash, Gwen stayed in the intensive care unit of a local hospital until May 12. She underwent surgery to repair a broken hip during that time.

Gwen's son Gary urged prayer for her physical and emotional strength.

Earlier this month, Mrs. Wilkerson was released from an acute rehab center and placed in the current facility.