I was raised in church and went through all the
motions and got baptized at the perfect age that the
church thought you should. 12 years old. Went down a
dry sinner and came up a wet one basically...following
what the church expected of me.

When I was a teenager even though I went to some
parties where people drank I held the glass of whatever
it was they served me the entire night. I just didn't
desire to drink or party.

My cousin in Chicago got me into some things I
would never have done without her influence and
God spared me (still not a Christian) from a guy
at a party who was trying to take advantage of me.

We were raised in the country. My cousin was
raised in the big city and what a difference! So glad
we lived so far apart, though I loved her as my cousin.

In high school, I always thought I'd like to know who
God is (even though I already went to church...I new
there was something missing. It was a very liberal
do and dress as you want church...some rules but
a lot of freedoms). But I wanted to wait until there
wasn't any peer pressure. Now, I realize there will
ALWAYS be those who oppose us. But at the time,
that was my plan.

Then in my senior year, the shyest, never talked to
anybody girl in our class started talking to people
about Jesus. You could TELL He changed her life
because we didn't even know she knew how to
talk before that. She would write a scripture down
and slip her Bible across the auditorium seats and
tell me to read it. We were supposed to be in study
hall and they sat us about 4 seats apart so we
couldn't talk to each other. I'd hand her the Bible
back after reading it and tell her to give me another
verse to read. We did this back and forth a lot.
She was probably thrilled. Imagine that I couldn't
just read the Bible myself...I had it in my hands...
but that I told her to tell me other verses to read.

After I graduated from High School, our church
received notice of a 3 week Bible school for the
Church Of The Brethren in Elizabethtown, PA
(at the other end of our state) and any who wished
to attend were invited. I told my mother that I wanted
to go.

They had strict rules so my mom had to make me
dresses to wear that fell past my knee. I had to
go with no makeup or jewelry except a watch. No
pants. Couldn't cut our hair while we were there.
I thought if those people could do it for those 3 weeks,
then I would be able to do it, too. Little did I know
that most of the girls attending lived that way every day
of their lives and didn't have to make any changes in
order to attend.

It was at that school, put on by the conservative group
in the Church Of The Brethren, that I saw what true love
was. At my home church there was gossip and back
biting. People that timed their arrival so as not to pass
a family they were quarreling with. Here, when I moved
from one group of girls to another group, they didn't talk
behind each other's back and you could just feel the love.

By the end of the 3 weeks, I prayed my first sincere from
my heart prayer ever in my dorm room all by myself. I got
up from that prayer knowing I wanted to serve God.

The Brethren taught that women were to wear a white
bonnet or covering and we had to wear one the entire
time we were there. I continued to wear that little white
hat, believing we needed this extra covering for years
until I moved to Denver and Bro. Richard, who wasn't yet
my pastor, explained what our covering was.

I was a nanny...that's what brought me to Denver. I was
a nurse in PA but there were no jobs. Johnstown, PA
had the highest unemployment rate in the nation that
year. I saw Sis. Dorothy and Sis. Elizabeth cleaning the
house next to the one where I was a nanny and thought
they sure looked like Christians but I couldn't leave the
house as there was a newborn sleeping upstairs and the
mother would have fired me if she saw me over at the
neighbors.

God has  ways of making things work out and one day I
was walking the baby in his stroller and Sis. Dorothy
drove around the circle as she was leaving and said hi
and invited me to church.

That is the first time I was introduced to the message.

My hands are tired of typing...but that is the main story
of how I came to know the Lord and then found out about
the message of the hour.


God bless you very much.

Sunshine and Love in Him...

Sis. Denise