“Redeemed how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child, and forever, I am.”

I am the first daughter in a family of 3 girls born to Portuguese Catholic parents from Newport, Rhode Island.  They married in 1969 then drove across country to California where I was born 11 months later. I was raised in the Catholic church until age 18 when I stopped attending and was determined to decide for myself what I believed and how I would live.

As a young girl, I had a general idea of the values my mom wanted me to adopt, but they were so contrary to what the culture was doing, that at the age of 12, I finally succumbed to a worldly lifestyle just to fit in. By my 20th birthday, because of debilitating health challenges, I could no longer do whatever I wanted. That put me in a low mood. The ways I so boldly lived had become undesirable. I separated myself from friends and my normal activities.  While on a family vacation at the coast that summer, my childhood  friend  visited us at our beach house and was very sure that Jesus was all I needed.

I returned home, with a strong desire to know why my friend was so confident in his opinion, so I unearthed my Sunday School Bible. I read verses like 1 Peter 4:2-4, “For remember, when your body suffers, sin loses its power, and you wont be spending the rest of your life chasing after evil desires but will be anxious to do the will of God.  You have had enough in the past of evil things the godless enjoy...Of course, your former friends will be very surprised when you don’t eagerly join them anymore in the wicked things they do, and they will laugh at you in contempt and scorn…”

A month passed and one day as I was reading in the book of Romans, I had a great sense of my own personal sin against God. I understood that my sin deserved to be punished and that Jesus was on the cross for me!  I was overcome with peace, joy, gratitude, and hope in my beautiful Savior! Only 3 weeks after this time, my mom and I began attending a solid Bible church just 15 minutes away from home. He gave me a love for His Word, a passion for holiness and and a desire to view all of life in light of the gospel just as we say here at Christ Church! I am filled with gratitude that we are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to Heaven, but members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, a part of God’s household! Amen!