I walked at noon toward the school but then turned and walked up the hill and into a field of waist-high wildflowers: yellow and purple. Bordering the field on one end were deciduous trees of every changing color. On my left, a quaint old red-brown farm house. I stood in the rain under my little blue Japanese umbrella and readGalatians in my Phillip’s pocket Bible. I had been needy, crying out to God. Through Galatians he reaffirmed:
* do not hold man’s approval in high regard—only God’s approval
*you are not under the law but under grace
* your righteousness is not of the law by your good deeds, but by faith in Jesus Christ
* walk in faith
It was a glorious time.
Dan wanted me to go to Elim to the prayer meeting. So I did. I’m often hesitant to go out on my own, especially driving the country roads at night.
As I drove on campus to the meeting, Tracey Belcastro had just pulled in. We walked together and sat together with her husband and interceded together and talked afterwards. She is a person I have been wanting to know. We have agreed to be prayer partners. God is gracious.
God lifted me through worship and then blessed me with a new release of my prayer language in intercessory prayer. He is so precious.
On Friday, God touched me in an interesting way: In prayer before the home school meeting, feeling desperate for peace in place of anxiety, I felt a sensation on my head just back from my hairline moving from the right temple area, across to the left. Hmmmm. At the meeting I was freer to be me than I have been in ages—with no second thoughts or deep introspection. Praise Jesus.
In Japan we had acutely realized our need for more teaching, more enlightenment, more growth in Christ.
When we returned from Japan we continued attending the EFree church. Yet, soon after we returned, we became very interested when a couple in the church began talking about the Holy Spirit. The subject was not taken up by the leadership as a topic to be pursued, but our interest was keen. We chose to change churches to pursue our quest for a deeper relationship with Jesus. Life Center church became our home church for many years.
Through new friends, we met Dick Munn and he prayed over us for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When he was praying for Dan, he said his hands got very very hot and Dan began speaking in tongues fluently. I, on the other hand, while experiencing the same man’s prayers on the same night needed to pursued the Lord on and off for months to receive my prayer language!
Many days when the boys went down for their naps, I would kneel by our bed and I would seek God on the matter. One day I heard very clearly: “You don’t want to let go of control of your tongue. You are not willing to trust Me in this.” The conviction came, and I realized He was right! I agreed with Him and turned fully to Him, and began giving Him full access to renewing my mind and releasing my language. And finally after more seeking and praying tongues came. Thank You, Jesus.
At Life Center we joined the class that one of the elders, Bruce McKaig, was teaching about HEALING. This fed our hungry spirits and we began putting the teachings to use in our home, taking advantage of most illnesses to practice our new faith. We still went to the doctor. We combined faith and medicine.
God had arrested our attention in Japan that we were blocked in spiritual power. The couple who was seeking Holy Spirit fullness piqued our interest so that we pursued the Holy Spirit in a church that believed in His real power to heal and deliver. The prayer in the Munn’s home brought us to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the healing class expanded personal power and increased our faith in our knowledge of the Spirit’s power.
We were also reading books likeThey Speak with Other Tonguesby John Sherrill, which is Episcopal priest’s Dennis Bennett’s story of the experience he had in 1960 of his personal Pentecost. I also read Prison to Praise, by Merlin Carothers. When everything seemed to be against him, he was advised by a Christian to stop complaining about his problems and start praising God FOR each problem! It changed his life and sharing this principle became his world-wide ministry, and it continues today after his death. When he was baptized in the Spirit, he was filled with overwhelming love for everyone he saw. The book can be accessed online as a pdf.