Not once in my growing up years did I read or hear Deuteronomy 18:10-12 where God says,
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord..."
On rainy nights when the family was all together and wanting some form of entertainment, my father would gather us around a round table and make a homemade Ouija board and work it. It was all in the name of fun. But that was how I was first introduced to the occult.
As the years went by, I became addicted to occult books, visits to local mediums and spiritists who talked to the dead for me, took daily counsel from an astrologer uncle, and began to study mind control courses in order to teach others. I taught group sessions in my father's house. My step-mother was just as immersed as I was. We followed after visiting Indian gurus, went to seminars and workshops and sat under New Age teachers, except the term "new age" was unheard of in those days. The popular phrases in the early seventies were "psychic", "paranormal", and "Eastern religion." The subject matter remains the same today, it just comes in a slicker package.
I married, left home and moved to New York with my husband. New York was a ripe arena for emergent charismatic New Age leaders in the field. For example, I spent an intense weekend studying with Jeanne Houston at her home, the same woman Hillary Clinton befriended who taught her how to talk to Mrs. Roosevelt. She was convinced that I had special psychic powers that needed to be trained and then I would be ready to guide others.
Joseph Campbell, Margaret Mead and others were making a name for themselves at the time. My life was consumed with books, seminars, training and putting all these things into practice. I was convinced this was the truth.
My husband went along to some degree with my "spiritual interests", but kept a cynical distance. He had a Lutheran background and that influence, I believe, kept him from being entangled.
A friend and I worked a Ouija board almost weekly with outstanding results. We were quite good at predicting a person's future, telling others about their problems and how to solve them. I had also become fascinated with the idea of UFOs. The books I was reading and the people I was meeting who claimed direct contact with them all said they were a benevolent force. That may sound humorous to some, but when you are on the path I was on, anything paranormal was subject for study.
One day my husband came home from work with a book that caught his eye from the lending library at his office. It was about UFOs. He read it first in one sitting and suggested that I read it too.
You have to know my husband. First of all, it's rare he finishes a book in one sitting. He usually has three of four going at the same time. So this caught my attention. I read it. The book's thesis was that UFOs were evil and went on to prove its case. I was shocked. I felt I had been duped by the people I had trusted to tell me the truth. And for the first time, I was scared.
I went to my favorite occult bookstore after that to see if I could find more books on the subject. That's where I stumbled across Hal Lindsey's book, Satan Is Alive And Well On Planet Earth. I bought it, came home and read it over the fourth of July weekend of 1977. I couldn't put it down. It was my life's story. Lindsey described every occult practice I was engaged in and how it was from the hand of Satan. He proved his case by quoting from the bible. I was devastated. Reduced to ashes. Now I was really frightened. For the first time in my life, I realized that I was embarked on a journey that was leading to death.
Not knowing where to turn, I went back to the occult bookstore to see if I could find more Hal Lindsey books. Sure enough, they had other titles. I came home with The Liberation Of Planet Earth. I had no clue what I was buying. I read it also in one sitting. The book took me from the beginning and explained the gospel of Jesus Christ and why He is the only way to true spirituality and freedom. When I finished, I knelt by the side of my bed, and prayed my first prayer. "Lord Jesus, I give you my life." My eyes were opened and I knew this time I had found the truth. I got up and have never looked back since.
Immediately afterwards, I gathered all the artifacts and books that had anything to do with the occult, bundled them up in black trash bags and threw them down the incinerator. My husband stood amazed and realized I was serious. He helped me bag the artifacts.
I mention these details because it was clearly all of God's doing. I was not looking for Him, He arrested me (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). He guided me to the Lindsey books, He made sure I bought the two books that would hit home, He revealed Himself to me through the gospel (John 3:5-7), He gave me the faith to believe in Him and His truth (1 Corinthians 1:18; Ephesians 2:8), and He led me to get rid of the things in my former life without having read in the bible that it was necessary to do so. "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1)
I have been a Christian for 22 years. Everything the bible says about Christ is true. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8) I could not live my life without Him. He is the reason for getting up in the mornings, for purpose and direction in my life, for joy and comfort in the midst of heartache and trouble, and for a glorious hope in the future beyond death.
I am nobody. If Christ can do this for me, He certainly will do it for you. All you have to do is ask.
Soli Deo Gloria
April 20, 1999
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