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