Hello again! So glad you decided to stop by. Pull up a comfy place to sit, grab your iced tea (it’s really hot here in Kansas today!) and let’s chat. Let’s see… where was I? Oh yes. God had a plan.
God definitely had a plan, from the beginning. You can read about my adoption in my post called “Naming Names”.
When I was 14, a traveling youth evangelist came to our middle school and told us there was a better way to live life. He couldn’t preach openly, but he invited all of us to a pizza party at a local Baptist Church. I wasn’t particularly interested. My best friend insisted her mom would drive over and they would pick me up to go that evening. First of all, I didn’t know my friend had a religious bone in her body. Second, her mom never drove anyplace! So, I reluctantly agreed to go.
By the time we arrived, the pizza was gone, but we stayed for the service anyway. I don’t remember a word the man said, but I do remember understanding that I was a sinner, and that Jesus wanted to save me. I gave Him my life that night, April 8, 1974.
The second weekend in June, someone at a Youth For Christ rally handed me a ‘clandestine’ pamphlet by a local pastor on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I’d never heard of anything like that before, so I took it home with me. I sat at my desk, read the pamphlet and all the Scriptures in it , quietly prayed the prayer and began speaking in tongues. No fuss, no drama, just ask and receive. It was that simple. But how life-changing!
A couple of high school juniors, great mentors to several of us younger students who were new to the faith, invited me to a regular service at that Charismatic church, and again, I was ushered into a new experience. First, the place didn’t look like a church outside; I almost didn’t find it because it looked like a metal warehouse building. But oh! When you stepped inside, the presence of God was almost tangible it nearly took my breath away. The guys stood me between them on the second row. As the worship band began to play, (also a new experience – drums and guitars in a church!) each of the guys grabbed one of my hands, hoisted them into the air, grinned at me and said, “Reach, sister. This is how we worship!” I gained a new freedom to express my worship and surrender to the Lord.
Eventually, another friend invited me to her Southern Baptist church nearby, and I was well-grounded in the Word there. Fourteen of us were baptized one night in December 1976, and the heater didn’t work in the baptistry. The poor pastor actually came down with pneumonia. Adventure, anyone?
I did eventually end up attending the Charismatic church. The pastor was a well known Bible teacher and author, and I learned a great deal from my 15 years under his teaching, as well as the national and international speakers who were invited in. I attended their in-house Bible college and received a two-year certificate in Biblical Studies. I was further grounded in the Word, learned much about intercessory prayer, and also learned volumes about Spiritual gifts and their operation.
What are some benchmarks in your Spiritual life? Why not take a few minutes to talk to the Lord – either thanking Him for what He’s done, or maybe to re-establish that relationship. I guarantee you won’t regret it!