In the Spirit
I was saved when I was seven years old. I remember that day so vividly. In Sunday school the lesson was about one must be baptized in order to be born again and to be saved. When I got home, I was so excited, I remember saying to my mother that I needed to be baptized. My mother, the wise person that that she was, began to explain to me that she bore my sins for me until I would become twelve years of age, then at that time I would be responsible to God for all of my sins. My mother asked me did I understand what it meant to be baptized. I told her I knew what that meant and that in order for me to be saved, I must be born again and the only way I could do that was to be baptized. So my mother prepared me to be baptized on the next Sunday that baptism took place. I wasn't afraid because I knew I would be born again and saved by the Holy Spirit. That was the beginning for me confessing my faith in God. I truly believe that since that day forward he has placed many, many of his angels around me and kept me safe through my life's' journey. As many of us do, we grow up in the church and as we get older, we sometimes stray away. Well, I too strayed away. As a matter of fact when my siblings and I were growing up my mother, it felt like to us, went to church, as the kids say twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. I remember us catching the city bus on cold winter nights in Wisconsin either heading to or from church. You see, my mother couldn't drive, so bus it was. During my junior and high school years I sang a cappella with the school chorus. There I learned a lot about how to control my voice. I even took private lessons to refine, sharpen and control my voice, even though my instructor told me I did not need his service because I already had a beautiful God given voice and I did not need his assistance but he didn't mind taking my money if I just wanted to give it to him. As I grew older, my mother made me sing every Sunday in church, in morning service and sometimes in the afternoon services. My mother even made me sing at funerals for church members that passed. Of course, I also sang at church weddings and high school graduations. As a teenager, I didn't want to sing in the church choir any more. It became a chore for me. It wasn't what I wanted to do. In fact I began to sing with a group of my friends and we started singing in the night clubs. We had bookings around Wisconsin, nothing big but we were good singers and as a matter of fact believed we were better than Dianna Ross and the Supremes. We just hadn't made it yet, but we knew our day was coming. I remember once, my group and I had been singing at a couple night clubs around the city and in this one club I saw our next door neighbor. I knew my mother would find out and I knew I would be grounded for life! But my mother, wise as she was, never said anything to me. One night my group and I were singing at a local night club and my mother showed up. Now this is way out of character for my mother because she did not, during my life time, ever go to a night club. Of course I couldn't see her from the audience but she certainly saw me. One thing I forgot to mention is that all of us singing were under age (we had a manager and a chaperone that ushered us into the night clubs and out once we were done singing). The next day my mother said to me, "Oh by the way, I caught your show last night. You and (she named each one of us) sounded very good. I didn't realize you could sing such high notes and hold them for so long". That let me know she was really there - because the song I was singing had a really high note and I held it for a very long time. I was stunned and did not say anything. My mother said in a soft voice, God gave you the gift to sing for him and if you don't use your voice for him one day he will take it away from you. Our group split up each going their own separate way. I spent a couple years still singing in night clubs (while in college) but soon realized that life wasn't for me. So I stopped singing altogether. After marriage and raising a family, I went back to singing in the church choir. Only on occasion did I lead songs. I was lazy with my voice, people would ask me why didn't I sing more - I had no excuse I just didn't. In 1984 I was in an automobile accident. Unbeknownst to me, my jaw bone had started to slip. I had severe mouth, jaw and ear pain. I could barely open my mouth. For almost two years I went to doctors trying to find out what was wrong with me. Then all of a sudden I remembered what my mother had told me years earlier, if I didn't sing for the Lord that one day he would take my voice from me. I believed that this was my punishment for not using my voice the way the Lord wanted me to. Not only could I not sing, I could barley open my mouth to eat. I prayed and promised the Lord that if he healed me that I would sing for him. I soon found out that I had what they called Temporalmandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). For the next year I spent time trying to heal. Every since that time, I have been singing but never to put together a CD. It was in God's time when he was ready for me to take on this project that I would be "In the Spirit".