On Dec. 22, 1975, a 19-year old woman experienced a Christian conversion.
"I gave my heart to Jesus - I've never forgotten it," said Ali Johnson, a Bagley resident and author of "Biography of the Bride: The Divine Union Between Christ & His Church."
Johnson will host a book signing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Minnesota Nice restaurant, located at 414 Beltrami Ave. N.W.
She said she and her 10 brothers and sisters were raised in the Roman Catholic church.
"I'm always grateful to my parents," she said. "They gave me such a good foundation of loving God."
However, when one of her brothers came home from military service, she became aware of the deep sense of peace he projected.
"Like most people, when they first come to the Lord, their life is kind of in shambles," she said.
She asked about his spiritual understanding, and they prayed together. This led to Johnson's spiritual direction and the ideas she presents in "Biography of the Bride."
"It's kind of a compilation of things over the years that I learned," said Johnson describing the book. "I felt really impressed to write those things down."
The essays in the "Biography of the Bride" use the marriage metaphor to describe the love and union between Christ and the church, she said, an "intimacy of the heart."
With her daughter, Sunny Dorn, Johnson is owner of Garden Place Assisted Living in Bagley. Johnson said she has used some of the themes in the book for monthly worship services with the residents. She said she attended the three-month Intergenerational House of Prayer internship just after AuthorHouse published "Biography of the Bride." She said one of the themes of the internship was the Bride of Christ, paralleling her own research and speculations on the concept.
"I was so encouraged that I was really learning from the Lord," Johnson said.
She said she is working on a set of columns she hopes to submit for weekly publication in area newspapers.
Johnson said "Biography of the Bride" was a family effort with her husband, Terry, editing the essays, daughter Sunny Dorn, putting them in logical order, and her other children, Joe Ross and Mandy Taylor, giving their support. The hardcover book has 108 pages and includes a section for personal notes and reflections. It costs $18 from the author by calling 766-8447.