I was not raised with any religion. My parents had none and therefore I had none. My first marriage was to a Catholic man and we were married in a Catholic church, and I was fully prepared to bring my children up in that faith, but he said NO! He had been all through his whole schooling in Catholic schools and church every Sunday and whenever his Mum could coerce the family to join her. So he was “religioned out”
The children had a little bit of religion by joining a children’s after school group at the local church and I got excited thinking I’d learn something too, but that didn’t last long because at that time, my marriage was dissolving and our daily routines were torn apart. I wish now that I had kept them in the group and out of what was happening at home. Of course we tried to shield them but Children are pretty smart no matter their age, they know when things are not right.
Fast forward…. The bloke came along, same as me, no religion and no interest in having any, and so we’ve gone along for the last 14 years, until July this year (2014).
I had two new pen pals both real life friends and lovely ladies and both walking the path of the Lord. In their letter they shared little snippets and it seemed that suddenly I was surrounded by alot of “religious or Christian” people. So I wondered “What am I missing here?”
A few years ago I had decided that I being a book lover, should read the oldest most famous book in the world. So I spent a painful month, trying to wade through the Bible… Little did I know.. You don’t open the bible and read it from cover to cover like a regular book, this book is special. But I still didn’t have anyone to ask “How do I read the bible?” And even if I did.. What a dumb question? Right?!
Then, one day, a Jehovahs Witness knocked on the door and I really couldn’t be bothered talking to her so I lied (I’ve asked for forgiveness for the lie!) and told her I was Catholic to make her go away, but that didn’t work and we chatted for an hour on the front door step, and she left me a booklet to read and promised she would come back and discuss it further. “oh Great!” I thought..
How selfish I was, now I realise she was following God’s plan and ministering and I tried to block her!
So I read her little book and I highlighted it and waited for her to come back, sure enough she came back and I was ready, with my highlighted book and questions and objections and arguments. That lovely lady answered all she could and wrote down what she couldn’t answer and promised to come back and in the meantime read this magazine! It was at that time as she opened her bible I was amazed. She knew exactly what page to flick to, those super thin pages, like tissue paper and colourfully marked and underlined and starred with little things clipped on pages and it was just so loved! The cover was all crinkled and worn by her hands which had read it so often.
I have to confess, that she knew, exactly what page to go to and read a highlighted passage to me impressed me no end! It was NOT an “New International Version” so I had no clue what she was talking about, and seeing my confusion she made it easier for me to understand. Sure enough to her word “Leonie” came back the following week with another older lady and my questions with answers! She really went all out. Little by little I was learning, but I didn’t really click with that either. And I think Leonie realised that she wasn’t going to convert me so she stopped coming and that was the end (again) of my attempts to know the Lord.
Until Now! Suddenly it clicked! I thought I might start reading the children’s bible and so I asked my new Pen pal Terri and she suggested a few places to start with, I asked another friend James in Michigan and he suggested some chapters and verses to read, suddenly I had a place to start.
Then I emailed the local Lutheran Church and asked Pastor Frank for some assistance, and then I prayed to God and let it go. I ordered a bible the one pictured above and I waited. While I waited I downloaded a few apps on my iPad and started reading the chapters and verses Terri and James had suggested. I realised that I understood what I was reading, the NIV took away the “old fashioned” words and I was able to muddle my way through what I was reading.
It’s now 56 days into my “Walk with the Lord” my bible is starting to become pretty. I am so careful with those tissue paper pages not to crease or tear them.
One of the first steps I took in this journey was to read Pastor Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” which I have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt so much from. I followed each step as he directed, I loved the scriptures I had to read and the journalling right up my alley, I was sad to get to the 40th day and be finished. I also watched you tube videos of Rick Warren and loved his messages. You can find out about Pastor Rick here: Rickwarren.org
Then I discovered Jolene Engle and her “Wives of the Bible” series. I decided that as a Wife I should get to know other wives and so I brought Jolene’s book and started her online course, you can find out more about that at JoleneEngle.com you can buy a copy of her book and then the course is free online. I am really enjoying the course. I am learning to be a wife of integrity and a wife of influence. Find Joelene’s page at http://www.JoleneEngle.com