May 12, 2023

The Gift of Tongues

The Gift of Tongues

The Gift of Tongues   One man’s gift by the Spirit is to speak with wisdom, another’s to speak with knowledge. The same Spirit gives to another man faith, to another the ability to heal, to another the power to do great deeds. The same Spirit...

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The Gift of Tongues

 

One man’s gift by the Spirit is to speak with wisdom, another’s to speak with knowledge. The same Spirit gives to another man faith, to another the ability to heal, to another the power to do great deeds. The same Spirit gives to another man the gift of preaching the word of God, to another the ability to discriminate in spiritual matters, to another speech in different tongues. Behind all these gifts is the operation of the same Spirit, who distributes to each individual man, as he wills.  1 Corinthians 12:11

 

 

I had been feeling kinda bad and didn't want to go to church on Sunday.  I was living the single life at the time.  Going everywhere and no where at the same time.  In a weeks time, I had worked out, ate at a restuarant, worked 40 hours, read a little and wondered a lot what was going to happen in my life.  It was Sunday morning, again. I had gotten up early enough to attend church but wasn't feeling it.  To top it all off I was in Brazil.  I was new here. I was taking Portuguese language classes in the Embassy but it was going slow.  I was missing something.  I think it was God.  I knew who he was.  I had heard folks talk about God my whole life.  I had be baptized in a African American Baptist church.  I had been to Sunday School.  I was an adult now.  Whoopie I thought.

 

I got out of bed and got on my knees.  God help me, a sinner.  Forgive me, a sinner. Give me the ability to communicate, help me to stop stuttering, be with me in this place.  I got up and got dressed.  I had the embassy driver take me to a Christian church in the capital.  The streets were empty this morning and we got there early.  I went in and an usher gave me a Bible. It was in Portuguese. 

What am I doing, I thought.  Who am I fooling?  Church started and because I had been in somebodies church my whole life I knew what to do even if I didn't understand any words other than the ocassional Jesus Christ reference in Portuguese.  If this church was like the one I grew up in, I was going to be embarassed soon when the church acknowledged vistors.  I would stand  and people would clap and then the worship would continue.  Someone might exend a hand to me, or smile.  That is the norm. 

 

The spirit was high this morning and I was enjoying worship.  I really wanted to understand what was going on so I prayed that the Lord would let me understand, that He would help me learn this language so I could worship Him. I was looking forward to telling my State Department language instructor that I had went to church and was trying to immerse myself in Brazilian culture.  She might even be proud of me.  Language class for free, and available to all the Americans in the Embassy but few took advantage of it.  She was alway alone when I went to classes.

 

I felt a breeze blow through the church as we stood to sing and praise God.  The worship leader said a lot of stuff and I opened the Bible they gave me and the Words suddenly made sense to me.  Wow, I thought those few classes I had were working. And then the words of the pastor started making sense to me.  I was understanding. Hey was this a Pentacost moment?  Realizing I was now understanding everything, conversations left and right of me, the songs, I shouted out, I understand, I understand.

 

A miracle had just happened.  I wanted to tell someone.  it was like bringing water to the beach. Nobody quite understood what had happened to.  I grabbed the Bible again and started reading out loud.  I had just been given the gift of language.  The Lord had heard me, answered me and gave me a gift.

 

The pastor seeing that something was going on, called out to me.  I introduced myself and excitedly explained what happened.  The people around me, didn't know what to think.  I was ok.  I was better thank ok.  the Holy Spirit had come by and done something to me. To me, I want to be able to speak many languages. If its OK Lord.  This God thing is real.  WOW!  whatelse does this mean?

 

I don't remember the sermon or anything else after that.  I was on fire in my seat.  Everytime the pastor said something I remember saying I understand, I understand.

I wanted to call my grandmother and then I remembered she had just passed away.  I really didn't know any clergy or theologist to share this with so I kept it to myself. Was I supposed to be in minsistry now?  Naw, not me.  but what does this mean?

 

When I went to class the next day, I walked in with a smile.  The teacher suggested I learned a childs nursery rhyme to help me learn Brazilian Portuguese.  She gave me a long one, I tried to memorize it.  When I returned to class the following week I proudly recited the house that jack built. She changed the name to Pedro and instead of built - its what he did.

 

 

Esta é a casa que Pedro Fez.

Este é o malte

Isso estava na casa que Pedro Fez.

Este é o rato,

Que comeu o malte

Isso estava na casa que Pedro Fez.

Este é o gato,

Isso matou o rato,

Que comeu o malte

Isso estava na casa que Pedro Fez.

Este é o cão,

Isso preocupou o gato,

Isso matou o rato,

Que comeu o malte

Isso estava na casa que Pedro Fez.

Esta é a vaca com o chifre amassado,

Que jogou o cachorro,

Isso preocupou o gato,

Isso matou o rato,

Que comeu o malte

Isso estava na casa que Pedro Fez.