I’m sitting here in my office at home looking at my beautiful garden being watered by the rain. Of course, I love the sunshine but when it rains I’m so grateful because that means I don’t have to do the watering! I also began thinking about how God has been so good to me and I feel “watered” by Him and His Word daily. This led me to think about my spiritual journey. When did my story come to be God’s story? I only wish I could share my story in person, maybe over a cup of tea or coffee, and then you could share your story with me, too.
Some of you were born in a Christian home and your story began as a small child when you prayed with your mom and dad or with a Sunday school teacher, or at Vacation Bible School or Backyard Bible Club. Then, through the years, you had several significant encounters with God and are now walking with the Lord. For me, I grew up in a religious home and we went to church every Sunday. But, I didn’t know that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus.
This August will be 47 years since I prayed to receive Christ in my heart and was baptized in Siletz, Oregon. Our oldest son, Ted, was two months old at the time. We were living in Newport, Oregon; Doug was working on the oyster farm and I was a speech therapist in the Lincoln County School District. Some of you know that we were introduced to Christianity by walking forward in the Newport theatre when the featured movie was a Billy Graham production called “The Restless Ones.” A pastor, Burl Shoemake and his wife, Bernita, met us when we walked forward. Burl asked us if we wanted to know more about the Bible and about God. They came once a week to our home for a year and a half.
When we met with Burl and Bernita, Doug and I had so many questions. We didn’t know anything about the Bible. I remember after college trying to read the Bible but I gave up because nothing made sense to me. Doug remembers attending a meeting with Bill Bright from Campus Crusade at Oregon State and Bill prayed that God would reveal Himself to him.
Burl and Bernita were so patient with us and they showed us the love of Christ by their actions and attitudes. One significant story is when Doug had four wisdom teeth pulled. Burl offered to work for Doug by going in an oyster scow and dredging for oysters. To this day Doug cannot recall that many oysters being harvested. Of course, Burl told us later he was praying that Doug would be impressed with his help. Shortly after that example, Doug prayed to receive Christ on that oyster scow in the middle of Yaquina Bay, Oregon.
This fall, Doug and I would like to have a group in our home where people can ask any question about Christ and feel safe. We would like to explore and discover with others the truth of the Bible. The curriculum we will use is ALPHA (A- all are welcome; L-laughter; P-pasta (food will be served); H – help one another; A- ask any question). ALPHA is a video series with a time for discussion.
You are welcome to join us. It will begin in September. You will hear more about this ministry as fall approaches.