As Julie Andrews sings in “The Sound of Music”… Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
My parents were raised in different denominations of Christianity. One Presbyterian and one Roman Catholic. After my father accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in the mid 1970’s, we were required to attend church on a regular basis. Mom took us to mass and Dad went to his local church of preference. I have received four of the seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church and attended CCD through my elementary years. I also attended church retreats and bible camps. All pretty even keeled, middle of the road experiences and ideas.
Over the years, my parents were church leaders, teachers and hosts for home groups. Dad became an ordained minister and planted churches worldwide (Vineyard Christian Fellowhip). They attended services and prayer meetings where they experienced and shared gifts of the Holy Spirit (Dad – Healing) and witnessed other people experiencing their gifts (Words of wisdom, Word of knowledge, Faith, Gifts of healings, Miracles, Prophecy, Distinguishing between spirits, Tongues) Conversations were free around the dinner table about these ideas and I wasn’t a stranger to these conversations. I made a remark at dinner one night, in my teen years, that even though I understand all of these ideas are in the Christian Bible, that anyone overhearing the conversation would think they were talking about a cult.
My personal experiences then were that I saw a spirit, received healing and was told by my mother she saw angels around a car I was driving before I headed out on a trip that resulted in multiple injuries and an additional trip in an ambulance for a one week’s stay in the hospital. Visitors to the house talked of prayer meetings where demons were cast out of bodies and gave their names, people were healed, prophecies were given and people were so overcome they were “resting in the spirit”, which to others appears as fainting. Oh… AND DREAMS… I am a firm believer that my very lucid dreams are messages and I am now being purposeful in learning them.
In their attempt to raise me as best they knew how in the Christian faith, I was limited to G-Rated television, radio and movies and was allowed to move up in ratings and subject matter with age. Dating was prohibited until I was 16 and I had a curfew and no car of my own through high school. None of this was troubling. Although my friends thought my parents too strict, I benefitted through good grades and a happy child, teen and young adult hood. I was a little naive to some things, but you learn fast when you move away from home.
To this day, I don’t like films that include horror, vampires, zombies or any thing to do with dark occult practices. It was prohibited when I was younger and as an adult, they just are not my cup of tea. I simply don’t find entertainment value in these topics but I also don’t fault anyone who does. Imagine my surprise one year while in Junior High, I found a Ouija board in the attic over the garage. A friend of mine and I looked at it but didn’t do much of anything with it before the box was closed and left behind. I suspect it was left by a previous home owner because that was a big “No-No” in our household. There was never a good or holy spiritual connection between God or The Holy Spirit and the sources behind that practice.
I seek the light of things and positivity. I have been told I am a lightworker, healer and teacher. People tell me they see joy in and around me. Beauty and auras too. How exciting is that??? I use my gut instincts, which are honed every day, when approaching new ideas, people or situations. I think this is normal for one’s own safety or peace of mind. I know it’s necessary to be careful with things you don’t know or understand, but it is all coming together with learning. I now feel it’s ok to find value in philosophies, quotes or values that might come from non-Christian sources. If they are in alignment with ideas I was raised with, they are not wrong just because they are not accredited to Jesus or God specifically in a Bible. After thousands of years of translations, additions/deletions of writings, I have come to understand the Bible as truly a book of faith or guidelines. Who knows how much of the original text and writings still exists? It’s value lies in the faith we place in its words and it’s okay to explore new ideas.