The aim of this Blog is to be Christ-Centred, from a Reformed Evangelical Christian perspective. The Blog is weighted towards matters of faith. But then our faith affects everything. I now live in Wales and a member of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales.
At school I had no interest in history. In fact for one of the school exams I scored an amazing -2 (minus 2). What changed? Becoming a Christian. Peter Jeffery, my Pastor at the time of my conversion encouraged me to read. He started me off on the 2 Volume autobiography of Spurgeon and then onto Dallimores 2 Volumes on Whitefiled. I then just began reading loads of stuff – and it was exciting, unlike history at school. Although at school, the problem was probably not the teacher – but me. I did a little bit of preaching but over time I went to Warwick University as a mature student and received a Joint BA (Hons) in History & Sociology. I then studied at Birmingham University and eventually received the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in the History of Christianity. My Masters Thesis was ‘Public Worship Within Independent Reformed Evangelicalism’.
TESTIMONY TO THE GRACE OF GOD
A while ago Peter Jeffery asked me – with several others from Rugby – to send him a (brief) account of how I became a Christian for a book he was writing. So I could do no better than place it here. So, here it is.
From an early age my parents sent me to Sunday school, though they never attended any church. Around the age of 14 my father became very interested in Motor X and began to compete; all church attendance ceased. My parents however, had moral standards and brought me up according to the light they had.
I became very anti-Christian over the years and developed an unhealthy interest in the occult; taking part in many séances and using Tarot cards. On moving to a town close to the Welsh border I somehow managed to ‘lose’ the cards. I never used them or took part in a séance again, though I still had a number of books on the occult. The place I moved to meant regular heavy drinking and drug sessions.
I moved back to Rugby and met an old friend (John Lee). Though normally a depressive character, he seemed full of joy. I had no idea what had happened to him, but I wanted it. One day John persuaded me to listen to the testimony of Willie Mullan. Willie lifted up a Saviour for sinners. I’d never heard anything like this before; it literally left me speechless for about an hour. Although my life had not been quite like his, I could identify with it. Another time John made me listen to a message that urged commitment to Christ. John gave me a couple of books to read as by this time I was really seeking, though worried about all my occult books. [Following salvation, after reading how the Ephesians burned their occult books, I did the same.] One day I knelt alone before a Righteous Holy God. In September 1979, not knowing what to say – mindful there was no turning back – I opened up one of the books to the ‘sinners prayer’, making it my own prayer to God for salvation. At the Cross my burden was lifted – identical to Pilgrim. Praise God, I was saved.
This was all I knew – the Bible was true and Jesus was The Saviour. This happened without any contact with a church. We bought Bibles and began to attend Rugby Evangelical Free Church. For the first time I encountered real preaching. The first time I entered the church, Andrew Davies was preaching and it came powerfully to my soul that this was Truth. Over the years, we were privileged to sit under the ministry of Peter Jeffery – ministry that powerfully lifted up The Lord Jesus Christ. This Christ-Centred and Cross-Centred ministry formed a very important foundation for my faith. Since then, my parents have been converted (both now with The Lord), I married Sue (also converted through the ministry of Peter Jeffery) in 1983 and we have three children (Praise God – all three are now Christians) and three grandchildren. Sadly, on 23rd November 2015 Sue went to be with her Lord and Saviour. I am now a widower.
A friend at the time (1979) said it would only last 6 months. The Lord Jesus Christ has not promised a trouble-free life, but He has promised to keep His people by His grace. My testimony then is that from beginning to end, Salvation is of the Lord. And so as the saints of old I raise my Ebenezer saying ‘Hitherto hath the LORD helped us’. (1 Samuel 7:12)