When I was an infant, my parents took me to a Presbyterian church in Port Huron, Michigan to be baptized. The Holy Spirit came upon my life according to the minister's prayer and my parent's faith for me. I believe there has been protection over my life from this act by my parents.
We moved to Tampa, Florida when I was age two, and when I was nine I made a personal act of accepting Jesus as Savior. My infant baptism was activated more deeply at that time, with immersion baptism that included my brief personal testimony. I went to church with my parents and to Sunday school. Then I grew into the challenging teenage years. My church was rather rigid regarding movies, dancing, and wearing lipstick. I eventually broke away from that system of thinking, as my sister before me had done.
I tried to read the Bible from time to time but did not have help from a biblically qualified, interested person. In my teens, I read the begats in Genesis and Matthew, and I thought, the Bible was not for me. I had little guidance and so gave up. Besides, I was not aware that in Bible reading you do not usually start on page one, like in a regular book, but it is best to begin with an individual book of the Bible such as the Gospel of John or Matthew. Fortunately today we have many more translations than the King James Version. Now I understand the KJV but it was archaic to me in those days. Good commentaries are also great teacher helps to students of the Bible.
In those teenage years, the world seemed more interesting to me than the religious life. I spent my time going to High School, then College, socializing, dating, and going to parties. I still tried to attend church on Sundays, but most of the time the sermons were not life changing and often uninteresting. For instance, I do not remember hearing a sermon on morality, the Ten Commandments, or Heaven. These subjects would have been helpful to me. I went to church one hour a week and the world had my attention all the rest of the time. This was rather a loosing battle for developing a life of faith.
I eventually became an Episcopalian. I was baptized again, this time by a priest who prayed a blessing over me, poured water on my forehead and anointed me with oil. This is what happened to me, I am not advocating that anyone follow me in these several baptisms.
When I was leading the junior choir one Sunday morning, I saw my old friend, Gail Miller, who was visiting our congregation. I invited her to my apartment that was near my church and the school where I was a teacher. She told me her husband had divorced her, and yet I saw she was at peace. I asked her how she could be so calm in this kind of a storm? Gail said she had a very close relationship with the Holy Spirit. I found out later that the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter and that His presence is what she was experiencing.
Before Jesus left Planet Earth for Heaven He said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever" (John 14:15,16 KJVMOD.). Though Jesus would no longer be on earth physically, I learned that He and the Father would be with me through God the Holy Spirit. If you are where I was at this time, I invite you to pray the following prayer... "Dear Heavenly Father, I want to be a less worldly Believer. I want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit so I can be an effective witness. Quicken Your Scriptures to me. Fill this hunger in my soul and spirit. I want Your divine purpose for my life. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Join me next time as I continue my personal story of discovering God's purpose and plan for my life.