These days, it always happens.
I unlatch the case, remove my guitar, twist the tuners, and pluck the strings until they sing in harmony. Then, I lift my voice.
It happens at camp in front of hundreds of people. Or it happens in the privacy of my bedroom. Either way, when it happens—the moment when the Holy Spirit comes over me—I feel engulfed by Him.
I am saved by grace.
I am His child. I am forgiven.
I am loved. I am a soldier.
Before I reached this point in life, I had focused on other things. Yes, I knew about God, but actually knowing Him was far beyond me.
My decision to work at Camp Allegheny in 2008 was the best one I ever made. While there, I learned that the Army was actually an international Christian movement rather than just a place to “pop tags” at a thrift store.
That summer, I met new friends who were Christian. I learned what it meant to have fellowship with believers. I learned about Jesus. And I realized that what I thought was my decision was really God’s appointment.
That summer, I gave my life to Christ. Through the years, I continued working at the camp, the best summers of my life.
Outside of those few months, I sometimes failed to uphold the Christian life that I promised God I would live. Nonetheless, I continued to go back to camp, summer after summer, remaining open to learning and to growing.
The first time I led worship changed me. I stood in front of my camp family and played that first chord. At that moment, the Holy Spirit came over me. The overwhelming feeling changed me. It felt as if I was playing and singing for the first time. God spoke directly to me. I knew that I was being used in the way He had intended.
Since then, I have devoted my talents to praising God. He used music to break me. And the things that followed, blessed me. Such as having friends who became family, meeting officers who became mentors, discovering talents that became tools, and gaining the confidence to lead people to Christ.
Eventually, I was truly able to call the Pittsburgh Temple home. As its contemporary worship leader, I was now ready to hear what God had next for me.
While attending the Candidates Seminar, I felt God’s call to become a soldier. I had been afraid to make such a commitment. But now, it was time.
I felt free to commit to serving God—and so did some of my friends. We told our officers. They were thrilled to see young adults so eager to make this commitment. On the day we enrolled, I was proud to wear blue on my shoulders.
Today, I continue to dig deep into the Bible, to pray, and to strive to be like Christ.
I am the faith of Abraham.
I am the loyalty of Peter.
I am prepared.
I am ready. I am saved by grace.
I am his child. I am forgiven.
I am loved. I am a soldier.
—Anthony Cenname is a Salvationist in the WEPASA Division’s Pittsburgh Temple Corps where
he leads worship for divisional events, and writes his own praise & worship music under “Papyrus.” You can find the music of “Papyrus” at Papyrus.Bandcamp.com or follow Anthony on Facebook.