Beth: I came to Christ on April 11, 1968 at age 19.

I remember when I was 14 I wrote in my diary that I try to live my life as best as I can, and at the end of my life, it would be up to God whether it was good enough to let me into heaven.

I trusted that God was fair and would make the right decision, probably in my favor and I left it at that.

I did not know anything else existed as my family did not attend church often and no one read the Bible.

I remember a man I did see at church who sang very loud and very poorly. At first I wanted to laugh at him, but I realized he must really feel something if he sang that loudly and no one told him to stop. I knew there must be something but I didn't know what. This man was kind to me and sent me a telegram when I was in Berlin, West Germany, having difficulty learning German and being lonely, not being able to understand or speak easily. I read the Bible while in Berlin but I couldn't understand it.

Almost exactly the day I arrived at the University of Michigan, I wondered if I could know God. Could I ask him a question, could he answer, and could I know the answer?

I attended the Wesley Foundation at the United Methodist church and we could join cell groups, small groups that would meet weekly for a purpose, whatever purpose was chosen. I didn't join one but had once said I would like to. I was asked publically, in front of many people looking at me, did I want to join the only group left? I said yes, unable to say no. My cell group was the only one that studied the Bible.

One member of the group drove me back to the dorm and each week rambled on about knowing Jesus. I have very little idea of what he said, but my heart was burning and I listened carefully. One week he made me really angry when he said if I came to God just as I was, God would cast me out of his presence! My answer to that was a very defiant, "Well, that's God's last chance to know ME!"

It would have been absolutely wrong at that time to ask me if I wanted to become a Christian!

I did not know what sin was. I decided to pick something I considered wrong and just never do it again. If I never did it again, I was a sinner, but not a sinner lost in sin. But if I did it, then I was a sinner lost in sin and not only did Jesus die for me (how nice but misguided) but if he did not die for me, I would be totally lost in sin. This appealed to me as an engineering student. It was an experiment with possible outcomes clearly defined.

What was this thing I decided was wrong and thus sin? It was insincerity; showing affection where there was none.

Life at the University of Michigan was difficult. There was much showing affection where there was none. I only had to wait 3 weeks until I found myself standing at the elevator in my dorm wishing someone I had just met on a walk would go away. I had to think how to get rid of him. I pressed the elevator button with my elbow and when the elevator arrived, I kissed him; I backed in, closed the door and I had escaped. It hit me in the elevator like a ton of bricks what I had just done. I unlocked the door of my room, closed it again, and paced around. What was I to do? I had to do something, but I didn't know what, or I would be one of those hypocrites who people are always complaining go to church. I looked at my watch, it was 5:20 pm and I threw myself down on the floor, I was on my knees. I said, "God, you're right. Hide not your face from me!"

In that very moment I was filled with the most incredible love and surrounded by the same incredible love. It was so strong, and so real, like peach juice, it was wonderful! It was Maundy Thursday, and I was late for the dinner that is called the Last Supper, after which Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. This was not lost on me. God was so eloquent. He let me know, I had betrayed him, and he had forgiven me.

I ran the whole way to church and silently ate the meal, staying after to pray.

My life completely changed. I started to read the New Testament cover to cover two hours each morning, not because anyone told me to, but I loved it and I didn't want to stop! I excused myself quietly from conversations that had seemed normal to me before, but now seemed uncomfortable. I would say everyone knew something had happened to me. After 21 days I realized I must have become a Christian, this was the only explanation.

There was a memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Michigan as he had recently been killed. They played the song over and over "Once to every man and once to every nation, comes the moment to decide..." I realized I had made that decision.

The following year I was putting down my chemistry book and picking up my physics book when God spoke to me and he said, "Go somewhere and study the Bible, go somewhere and study love, you're going to seminary." My answers were, "I'll study the Bible at the University of Michigan, what is love, it's ethereal, who can know it? Women don't go to seminary."

But as I obeyed him, I began to see the truth of John 4:23.

In the end, God returned to me what I had given up to obey him and I got a degree in electronics many years later and worked in a start-up company in the Silicon Valley. He saved me from more FORTRAN punch cards and got me back in when personal computers were in few homes. God has been with me all these years as he promised.

As I work on this web site, it is easy for me to love doing it. I was a generic sinner. I didn't kill anybody, I didn't steal, and the 10 Commandments weren't too smashed in my life. But I was separated from God with no basis for fellowship except Jesus dying for me, and I hadn't taken it for myself. So I would be separated from God and everything good forever without Jesus coming into my life. When I think about what could have been, and what is now and will be in the future, I must SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS! Jesus saves! To the uttermost!

This is my email address: click here

Thank you to Mary Engelbreit Ink 1993 for this card which I've saved all these years!

Last updated: 09/27/2009