Thursday, January 24, 2008

My 'Charismatic' Testimony ~ Holy Spirit Baptism

Updated 01/26/08 - this is still not a completed post, but I'm getting there!

In the summer of 1978 I was enjoying the happy-go-lucky life of a girl preparing for her senior year in high school! The only 'bad' thing going on in my life was what turned out to be a temporary break-up with my boy-friend--which I considered to be quite serious. It was during that summer that an old church friend, Rusty (who also happened to be an old boy-friend from my Jr. High days), came for a visit with a friend of his named Mark.

Rusty and I had become friends through the Southern Baptist church we both were members of in my hometown. Both of our families were pretty firmly established in this church, and we were both very active in the youth group. Even though we had been "boy-friend and girl-friend" we ended up being good friends and stayed in touch after my family moved through phone calls and letters.

So, when Rusty and his friend Mark (whom I'd never met before) arrived at my house one afternoon the three of us went to a local pizza shop for dinner--I still remember the name of the place, Orin's. And, for years when I happened to drive by, memories of that evening would come rushing back to me.

I don't recall much of our conversation over dinner but I do remember Rusty and Mark telling me about their recent habit of going to 'coffee houses' (in the 70's sense of the word) on the "Restless Ribbon" in Tulsa. The "Restless Ribbon" is about a 3-4 mile strip of street that became popular in the 50's and 60's for 'dragging main', and then became a popular hang-out with hippies in the late 60's and 70's. That summer Rusty and Mark had been doing street evangelism and joining impromptu prayer meetings along the "Restless Ribbon".

I had been enjoying the visit--both of them kind, as well as handsome, but at some point the focus of our visit had become the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was completely foreign to me. For the next hour or more the three of us sat in Rusty's car in the pizza shop parking lot while they explained their experience and tired to convince me that I needed the same thing.

It's important you understand that at this time in my life I was running full-tilt and head-long into sin. Just about any and every passage in the Bible listing sins described me to some degree. So, when Rusty and Mark began praying for me--and laying hands on me--to "receive the baptism" I wasn't particularly interested, but growing curious... (to be continued)

1 comment:

Dana said...

I am looking forward to reading more.