From New Age to Jesus

Lorenzo and Jennifer Dunford. Hannah, Nathaniel, Micah, Caleb, Esther, Ben, Phoebe and #8 on the way.

Lorenzo and Jennifer Dunford.  Hannah 12, Nathaniel 11, Micah 9, Caleb 6, Esther 5, Ben 3, Phoebe 1 and Abigail (not pictured)(born 3-27-09)

Gotta Give Credit

Before I can go a minute further with this website, I must tell you about and give credit to the people God sent into my life to help me learn who He was and what He wanted me to do.  To show me how to receive great clarity in all these things.  To make me understand who I am in Christ.  To show me how to fight evil and be in the midst of God’s blessing.  And to show me how to be a better wife and mother.  Much of what you will read on this website has been gleaned through the relationship my husband and I have with this family as we have all lived and learned.

But first, here is a sample of the videos that we are producing.  Continue with the article and then come back to this, or watch this first.  There are many other Dunford Family Ministry videos available.   Links are at the end of this post.

The New Age

When Shirley MacLaine burst onto the literary scene with her well known book “Out on a Limb” in the mid 80’s, I was ripe for the picking. I was bored with the conventional Christianity that I’d been raised with and was constantly thinking about what was beyond the detection of my 5 senses.  So, little by little, I entered the “new age ” with meditation, astrology, psychics, books, speakers, buddhism, taoism, eastern this and eastern that, we are all one and truth is whatever you think truth is, blah, blah, blah, blah.  This went on for about 18 years.  I felt quite satisfied with my spiritual life.   Most of  my questions seemed to have answers.  And they made as much sense as anything.   It felt full (though not so much since I’d moved back to Oklahoma) and it satisfied my desire for things of the supernatural.

Fast Forward

Fast forward to November 2000.  Matthew and I are married, living back in our small prairie town on the plains and pregnant with our 2nd child.  I had been investigating who in our area  might have had a home birth and was hoping I could talk to a few of those people.   At this same time, I was still deep in the new age, but as you might guess, in the middle of the Bible belt, it seemed there was not much available in that arena.   After leaving the mecca of the new thought movement  in Los Angeles I was feeling a spiritual void in what I perceived was this flat, unsophisticated, spirit-lacking wasteland.  Boy, I was myopic, self-absorbed and definitely cup-half-empty instead of my usual half-full self!  My spiritual repertoire sure wasn’t working very well now.

Full Gospel.  Who Woulda Thought?

Through a series of events that I will tell you about later, one Sunday we ended up at a small, lively, full-gospel church.  It turns out that Lorenzo was the Associate Pastor and Worship Leader.  Some how we, as couples, gravitated toward each other, being near the same age with small children.  God had a plan.

Babies

As Jennifer recalls it, I came up to her after church, introduced myself and said I’ve heard you had a home birth and I’d like to hear all about it.  Well, our families went out to lunch and that began 2 years of having lunch together every Sunday after church at our house.  Wow!  What a blessing.  We would all eat and then inevitably I would start asking Lorenzo questions about Christianity and Jesus.

Why Jesus?

He remembers (as do I) that after the first lunch at our house I said,  “OK, Why Jesus?  I don’t get it.”  I’d never had a pastor, someone well-versed in the Bible, at my fingertips.  I’d always wanted to really question someone who knew the Bible.  Someone who wouldn’t be offended by my questions.   Why did Christianity seem so hypocritical? What about all the wars in the name of Jesus? Why do I have to go through Jesus to get to God?   I was doing fine with God alone up to now.  Why do I have to add Jesus to the equation? That line about only getting to the Father through Jesus irritated me.  Why do Christians think they have cornered the market on God?  That is quite arrogant, isn’t it?  I think I’m a relatively good person.  I always try to do my best in any given situation.  What is this nonsense about everyone born of a sin nature?  Babies are good, aren’t they?  Until they get messed up by parents or our society, of course.   As I look back, these were good and quite common questions, but now after immersing myself in the Bible – this book that seemingly, supernaturally, drew me down into a deep well of all that is – those questions don’t seem so deep anymore.

A Spiritual Thirst

So, we were regularly attending this full-gospel church.  My husband started playing guitar during worship as Jennifer played piano and Lorenzo usually led worship.    We were having our lunches once a week and my spiritual thirst was slowly, unknowingly, getting quenched.  They never pushed anything.  They weren’t at all like what I’d previously experienced as self-righteous Christians that pushed me away with their dogma.  They were gentle, very solid, very wise, very kind people that seemed to simply want to be friends.  They weren’t judgmental.  Just loving.  (Even though I had a big Buddha statue sitting in our den!)  And they were very good parents too.

My husband and I have said (and still say) that Lorenzo is probably the closest thing we have ever known to Jesus.  I will always remember their example that “it is all about relationship.”  It is through relationships that people will be changed.  And probably a little desperation too.  And their other common comment of “The problem with everyone else, is you.”  I predict that will be on a billboard some day.  I have always known and believed these concepts, but here were two people that completely and totally “lived” it.

Show Me, God

As I plied Lorenzo with questions, he would answer, but in a way that required me to do my own reading, research and prayer. And finally, one day, I prayed this prayer:  “God, if this Jesus stuff is really true, then just show it to me.  Because if you show me, I will believe you, but it just has to make sense.”  And so, just as He would so lovingly do, He showed me.  Slowly and gently it started seeping into the marrow of who I was.  But I had to seek Him first.  He would not be forceful.

Brothers and Sisters

We are still fast friends with the Dunfords.  He is my Pastor and she is my Titus 2 woman (that means my mentor in the role of the woman, wife, mother and Christian.) Our children are good friends.

Running errands in “the van”

Running errands in "the van"

We are doing life together, and with God in the lead, hoping to make a difference.

Jennifer Dunford.  Walmart is more fun with 2 moms and 11 children!

Jennifer Dunford. Walmart is more fun with 2 moms and 11 children!

I am eternally grateful to my brother and sister in Christ for being in my life.

Lorenzo with several of his friend’s children.

Lorenzo with several of his friend's children.

I am a better wife, a better mother, a better person and a Jesus freak : ) because of them.

Contact The Dunfords

You can visit their website at:
www.dunfordfamilyministries.com

You can watch videos of them talking about marriage, children, parenting, home and family at that website or below:

vimeo.com/girlreturnshome/videos (most recent videos)
youtube.com/allisonmdavis

You can start receiving their daily email devotion (always short, real, sometimes funny and an easy, thought-provoking read)  by emailing:

lorenzo@dunfordfamilyministries.com

Change Your Life

If you want to improve your marriage, your home-life, your relationship with your children or your relationship with God, I highly recommend that you seek out their ministry.

God Bless You!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “From New Age to Jesus

  1. Allison, I have heard these stories before but somehow I’m all teared up with the joy of you coming to Christ. You put your testimony in a wonderful picture. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hey Allison,

    It’s so great to hear about your life and journey since you left Los Angeles. It is heart warming to hear you found your true path. We are all seekers trying to remember our oneness with God. I am still pursuing “The Quest”. My problem, or maybe it isn’t a problem?, is I find God in many places. What has been ringing true in my heart lately is author Eckhart Tolle. Oprah did a series of shows with him regarding his book A New Earth. It basically says, we are one with God and God is one with us, we just have to connect with that. Love Katie

    • Katie, I’m with you on being one with God and connecting with that. It’s a constant practice of prayer, reading His Word, then listening for His still, small voice. Love hearing from you!