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CHAPTER TWO

Spiritual Growth

Now that I was a Christian, I really wanted to make things right between Evelyn Benoit and myself. I tried one more time and she said I could come over and see her new house. I went and there was such a terrible strain between us, but we both tried to act like adults - she said she forgave me, but never wanted to see me again. Well, I could handle that - a lesson learned, and thank God, I have NEVER written another poison pen letter because of that lesson...

We were still going to the Catholic Church. Joe was singing in the church choir; he began to share what had happened to him - two of the women accepted the Lord as their Savior while he was still going there.

I began reading the Bible a lot and began to see that I had to make a decision: either the Bible was right or the Catholic Church was right, they weren't saying the same thing. I chose the Catholic Church and hung onto that. I got into a real mess, all confused; my blood pressure went way up, I was very ill, bedridden...there I read the book of Acts and was healed.

I began to see that the Bible was the real source of truth and I had to leave the Catholic Church. Joe was beginning to see the same thing, but he also wanted to sing in the Christmas Midnight Mass with all his friends.

There was a Baptist couple going to the Bible study; they had something we wanted...joy and a sense of purpose in their lives. They also gave a blessing (prayed over their coffee and donut), when they took us out...unheard of to us. Their names were Earl and Judy Kenney: made an everlasting impression on Joe, especially.

We began going to the Highland Baptist Church in Fitchburg, MA. This is where some of the people from the Bible study went. The Pastor, Kenneth Duerr, had Bible studies in his living room, for new converts. We were interested in being baptized, as we had only been sprinkled when we were infants. From the Bible, we saw the need to be baptized after we believed. He took us into the book of Romans, again - this time centering on chapter 6. He gave us a really good foundation on the need for baptism after you believe.

In January, about the coldest day of the year (1970), we were baptized in water in the baptismal tank at the Highland Baptist Church. A neighbor, Diane Price, was also baptized. I was so vain that I bought a wig for after the occasion, wanted to look good. We had members of the congregation over to our house for coffee and goodies, we had a good time with the believers.

Once, when we were getting into the car, from attending Sunday services at the Baptist Church, we didn't "count noses", as was our custom. When we got home, we discovered that Peter was missing. We called the church, and there was no answer - so we headed back to Fitchburg, to see if Peter was still at the church. He was...he was standing in the parking lot (it was a very cold day in Winter); we asked him why he didn't take a ride home with some of our friends who had offered to take him and he said he wasn't allowed to go anywhere with strangers.

We continued to attend the neighborhood Bible studies in the Condon's house, down the hill from us - about 5 houses from us. (Diane Price lived 2 houses from us, half way to Condon's house).

Our daughter Mary was baptized on Easter Sunday, of that same year - 1970, I think. Some of the Condon family were also baptized, along with her: we didn't go because we were just getting over the flu.

A few things around our house had to change, now that we were Christians. I had painted a "hex sign" that was hung on our barn - it was part of the Colonial-look that I had tried to create around the house. We learned that it was calling on a power that was not Christian, to get protection...so we threw it away.

When we first moved into our house, we found a plaster-casted head of an Indian. I had painted it in very bright colors and hung it on the side of our barn - it looked really good. We called him Geronimo. Joey was playing ball one day, against the side of the barn, and knocked Geronimo off the wall...he broke into a million pieces. Joey was really scared about what I would do when I found out. This time I didn't get all upset; I told him that I really liked Geronimo, but that he was far more important to me than anything I had. This was a big change that Joey must have noticed.

When we left the Catholic Church, we also took our children out of the parochial school and put them into public school. They seemed to like the more liberal way of life, and the school was pretty close to our house. We had subscribed to The Catholic Free Press (a Catholic newspaper); they had a motto just below the title of the newspaper..."ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." (This was quoted from Scripture.) I wrote to the newspaper about canceling our subscription...still it continued to come...so, I again wrote to them; this time saying that we knew the Truth (the Lord Jesus Christ), and He had, indeed, set us free. That was the last of the newspapers to our house.

Mae Olson continued to come over every Friday afternoon for a cup of coffee and to talk. I always enjoyed talking with her. One time we had occasion to go somewhere together, I was driving; we stopped at an ice cream stand. A young woman came over to our car, as we were licking our cones. I rolled down the window. She asked what time it was...and before you know it, we were talking about the Lord. Mae sat there in amazement how complete strangers could have so much to talk about. She was really impressed with the oneness that we had.

Our neighbor, Mae Olson's sister came to visit her from California. She was a Catholic nun, played a guitar and was involved in the newly started, Catholic Charismatic movement. We shared the change the Lord had made in our lives; she, too, spoke of a life-changing experience; we sang the song: "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord...", together, there at the kitchen table, with our hands joined. It was a blessed time of fellowship. "Little Sister" (as she was called), never left the Catholic Church, and Mae never did, either - when she became a Christian. I guess each one of us has to "bloom where we are planted", and the Lord plants each one of us where He wants to.

About this time, I had a Bible Study for women one night a week. We had about 7-8 women, some Christians, some still searching. I used a book that was specially prepared with the basic "Born Again" message. It was a good time of growth for all of us. Diane Price, our neighbor, came to the studies - her Mom began coming also. The Mom was an alcoholic and tried to disrupt the meeting many times, each night we met. Eventually we had other things to do on those evenings and it broke up.


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Pen Name: Aimee Love
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