Early Beginnings
I was born on October 30, 1940, in San Francisco and named Judith Ann Casad. My earliest memory is when my mother was pregnant with my younger brother and pushing me in my stroller in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco during the time of World War II in 1942. Haight Ashbury was a nice retirement community at the time. I was about one and one-half years of age then, and I can still picture myself looking at the tray in my little stroller and determining that I would always remember that moment. Actually, there was nothing at all special about that moment, but I just decided to remember it, and I did, even to this day.

Growing up in San Francisco, I also remember stepping on snails. I liked to hear their shells crunch under my feet. In my mind, this was my big sin as a little girl. But God convicted me of this practice when I reached the mature age of five. At Christmas of 1945, I was given a little book called, Secrets, written by Jessie Orton Jones (New York:  The Viking Press, 1945, p. 8). Secrets talked about God and His wonderful world, even snails. From the moment my parents read the book to me, I decided to stop stepping on snails. But the book didnít condemn my "sinful" practice; it gave me positive reinforcement and helped me not to feel guilty about the fact that I had been stepping on snails. Let me quote from page 8:

I am glad Iím who I am;
I like to be myself.
Even when I do the wrong thing,
I know I am the right person.

I believe that God guided the friend of my parents to give me Secrets, and this was the first step in my life to encourage me to seek God.