This is a work in progress and being updated. Much of this has happened since 2017 - for this topic, since there is prayer for situations and people that is on-going, there are layers and confirmations. Up to this time, I preferred sharing things with a few people I trust, but given the international turmoil going on right now and the season, I think it will provide some encouragement and insight.
I also wanted to give things some time to be proven out, after a ministry upgrade in 2015 happened to me. Many of the things that got some raised eyebrows, have come to pass and are coming to pass.
Kathryn Booth Trainor
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Personal Account of My Journey With God
My mom had 8 miscarriages before I was born, and had to be on bed rest to keep me in long enough.
I was born full term, but with sweetness and an attitude. Deep down, I always felt a sense of destiny and that heaven, God and eternalness were in the arena of my life. It turned out later that she had one of her ligaments cut during an appendix removal in a military hospital and didn't know.
When I was 5, I had a powerful conversion experience. My parents encouraged me to follow God and to love Jesus all my life.
I had told lies and done naughty things here and there before that day, but I deliberately lied about something and immediately knew I was separated from God. The church we went to was very thorough in teaching about repentance and getting converted and also hell... I was full on sure that I was going straight to hell if I didn't get my heart back in sweetness with God.
Crying, wailing 'If I die, I'm going to hell!" Distraught and insisting that I get saved immediately. After over an hour, my parents called the pastor and he said he'd come over and talk to me.
This lovely man took me aside to be sure it was me on my own wanting this and asked me questions about what happened and what I knew about Jesus. He prayed the salvation prayer with me and my soul knew I was back in friendship with God. He had a little communion kit and we did a little communion ceremony to affirm my rebirth.
The rules at our church were that you had to be 12 to get water baptized. Being pretty sure that could lead to hell not doing it, I convinced them to let me get dipped real good.
Not being able to read for myself, I was highly engaged in the Bible stories in Sunday School. My heroes and favorites were people who loved God and always tried to do the right thing. I remember hearing about Samuel who served God even as a little boy and Solomon who asked God to make him wise.
My deep desire was to teach the Bible like our pastor did and to serve the congregation like the ushers. Even at 5 though, I was a little miffed because women and girls were not allowed to do any of that. Why would God put that in my heart when it wasn’t allowed?
One of the first verses I memorized was “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” At this point in my spiritual journey, I was tender to God and did not want to do the wrong thing and make Him angry or disappointed.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts].
With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You]; Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience]. Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart,That I may not sin against You. Blessed and reverently praised are You, O Lord;Teach me Your statutes.”
You should never lose this fear - it’s the only kind that is allowable. Reverence and deep appreciation for God’s purity and power is better language than fear. If you stay on this layer, you will be very limited in your faith and experience with God. He will only be an authoritative parent, there is more.
Student and Disciple
2 Timothy 2:15
“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.”
From when I learned to read until my teen years, I did a lot of Bible memorization and in depth study. I read the whole Bible, but did not like Job or Ecclesiastes and skipped over them. I remember wishing I could be like the Apostle Paul and have everything I shared be clear and really powerful.
The Bible was a very serious document to me, aside from the part where Paul says he will come visit and correct with a stick, it was intense and demanding. Lots of things to do and not do, lots of motivation to always be really hard on myself and others. If you stay on this layer, you will be pretty joyless and a big time judger.
It is important to see the whole context of the Bible - New and Old Testament, but if you do it limited to what you can overcome with willpower and rules, it will be hard. Your perception of God will be one of structure, laws, harshness and pushing. There is more!
Another Supernatural incident
When I was 7, I was lying on my mom and dad's bed one summer afternoon and thinking about God and heaven. I still felt a little attached to being there but as I was getting older it was becoming more dim. I was setting my soul on remembering eternity and everything being beautiful and good and forever. My soul got to the edge of it and I heard a voice in my soul telling me to stop it. It was the Lord telling me that I need to never do that again, it would be too easy to slip back and He needed me to stay on the earth. Very stern, and I promised not to.
There have been enough times in my life that I was in tremendous pain and in a zone where I could die and that 'word' of purpose has served my soul well as an anchor.
Kicked Out of Sunday School - twice
Accuracy and studying and understanding the Bible was important for me as I got older. I had a lot of questions and no shyness about asking them.
When I was 11, my Sunday School teacher put together a paper with Psalm 23 on it --- from the Living Bible! I got in a bit of a snit and told her it was a paraphrase and not a translation. She got mad and got into it with my mom in the church lobby.
She said I was always asking questions and giving her a hard time and that she was a volunteer and just supposed to teach out of the Sunday School lesson book. My ungratefulness for her getting that printed out (a much bigger deal in 1974) was the last straw and she said I'd have to go to the adult class. (no doubt I was being a punk brat and not the last time for sure)
For me, this was a dream come true! Finally I could be in class with the pastor and other people who would know the answers to my questions! Oh I had so many questions!
As an adult, I can imagine how the people in the adult class probably just wanted to drink their coffee and have a nice time and not listen to me raising my hand with 2 or 3 questions each week.
When I was 12 a few weeks later, the pastor said that they needed a Sunday school teacher for the Junior High class and asked if I'd like to do that! OH HAPPY DAY! (somehow this is ok... if you aren't an actual grown woman or if you are with the kids or on the mission field)
They gave me a Sunday school lesson book - very 'modern' with a cartoon and some kind of lesson. No recollection because I went back to see the pastor and make my case for a change.
I remember putting the book back on his desk and telling him "Pastor, this is the 70's and people are doing drugs and having sex and all kinds of bad things. I don't think something this childish with a dumb cartoon is going to be enough!"
He smiled and asked if I had a different idea. "Why yes! I think that we should study the actual Bible and start with 1st Timothy since that is about young men being pure and strong." I told him I could put the lessons together and teach it. He said that was unusual, but if I brought him the lesson plan every week he'd approve it.
This lasted about a month and I think he muttered something about it being about as long as his sermons - but he said just keep doing whatever I wanted. I kept doing this up into high school, but I don't remember if it was all the way through. I didn't care for school and had some pretty bad things happen there so I graduated a year early and went to Bible college.
Bible College and Baptism in the Holy Spirit
When I was 17, I went to Northwestern College in Roseville, MN to get a Certificate in Bible. My roommate the second half of the year was 26 and she had been in the Peace Corps down in Costa Rica. She had supernatural direction to come to this school and was a beautiful, joyful Christian. She was the first 'charismatic' I ever met who was solid and confident, but she kept it private.
I used to be very opposed to speaking in tongues and thought that all spiritual gifts were for Jesus and the 12 apostles. Most Christians I met who claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit were not able to show me in the Bible how it works today, nor did they have anything to offer but their own anecdotal experience.
When I challenged her one day and said that I thought it was just fake or the devil she got very stern and said "if you're wrong about this, you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit and in a danger zone". I had an open heart and took it to prayer and asked God to show me and fill me with the Holy Spirit if it was real. I felt the presence of God very strong when I did that out on a walk by myself, but I didn't know that I needed to speak the words that were coming up from my heart.
The next year I went to Southwest State University in Marshall, MN to study Biology and Chemistry for pre-med. I chose this because I had a very strong reaction and desire to help people who were sick and in pain. I made some good Christian friends in the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship club at the college. We all loved the Lord and wanted to do more evangelism, but it was hard.
I saw my friends get what some people call being filled with the Holy Spirit. This was something that I understood on a limited level as a Christian. They had a Second Chapter of Acts experience and it took their joy and energy for following Christ to a new level. Jesus instructed the disciples to wait until this infilling and overflowing happened. It’s purpose was to empower them with Spiritual gifts and to increase direction and revelation in their ministries and daily lives.
“I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.”
Before this empowerment, I loved the Bible and God a lot, but afterward it was much easier to resist sin, get specific leading and directions and understand how Jesus ministered and what the role of the supernatural power of God is currently in the Earth. If you have not gotten the overflow of the Holy Spirit for service, I’d encourage you to look into it further.