God Meets Our Needs; Great and Small

For many months I had been in a considerable amount of pain in my upper back, arms and legs. After contacting the doctor, he referred me to a specialist. I had physiotherapy, stretching vertebrae, medication, you name it I had it.

At times the pain was so severe that I was unable to bend down properly or carry anything heavy. I believed God could heal me and I prayed, and so did a number of friends.

The specialist decided I needed a fusion, but informed me that if the operation went wrong I could end up in a wheelchair, paralysed from the neck downwards.
I asked God again to help me. One morning when I awoke a voice in my head assured me that God was going to heal me. I believed and I went to the Pentecostal Church in the Market Place. The Pastor prayed for me and I was instantly healed. This healing occurred over eighteen years ago; I am still free from pain. I did not need an operation and I am able to work for Jesus. I trusted God to heal me, because in the Bible it says of God,
‘I am the God who heals’

August 2011, my shower stopped working because the switch broke in the ‘OFF’ position. I hate baths, but had to resort to taking baths.

Running late one Tuesday morning, after trying the shower yet again, I looked in the mirror and simply said,
‘Lord You know I need this shower to work, please fix it for me.’

Leaving the shower set at OFF I pressed the button on the actual shower unit and water gushed out. I was so elated. I couldn’t thank God enough.

Shower over, I turned it off and got ready for the Ladies Meeting. My spirit was lifted and I was jumping for joy. It is not only the big miracles that make us sing.

Sometimes it’s the awe of god who cares for our simple needs that lighten our day.
The shower is still working over a month later. Praise God who cares for our every need.

What is Truth?

All my life I had a sense that there was a God, but I always thought He would fit into my plans, instead of me into His.
I’ve grown up in a very close and loving family (even though we have had our fallings out, as families do), and I was the usual mischievous sort of boy. My parents never attended Church, and we never grew up knowing about Jesus; or at least only what we learnt at school.
When I left school, all that life seemed to be about was getting a good job, going out at weekends, having a good time with my mates and seeing who could pull the best girl. So during my 20’s life became one big party, and I mainly lived just for the weekends.
Then about 1996, in my mid 20’s, my friends and I started to dabble in drugs like speed and ecstasy, and smoke joints; whilst going to dance clubs and all night parties. This seemed great at first, and we had a great time.
All of a sudden, in 1997, things started going wrong. I became paranoid. I lost a lot of friends, started arguing with people for no reason, thought people were talking about me when they weren’t, and I began to stay in all the time. I couldn’t think straight; it was hell on earth.
I stopped taking the drugs, but as the months and years went by the paranoia, depression and lack of confidence seemed to get worse. Even though I could shake it off for a while it would always come back. I began to get used to feeling like it, and I resigned myself to it being normal.
During 2001 a guy at the place where I worked mentioned the Bible, and I will never forget the words he said to me: ‘The Bible is the truth ‘and something changed in me from then on. I can’t explain, but somehow I felt different.
I went back to living life how I thought, and things were going O.K. until my dad took ill, and had to have a heart op. I cried out to God, ‘God if you get my dad through this I will do what you want’. Dad did get through it, and I forgot what I had promised God.
Christmas time that same year I had a fall out with my sister, which was unusual, and the depression came back. I felt really down; with the depression coming and going all the time. I remember saying, God I just want to come home (meaning I just want to die, because I thought when we died everyone went to God).
From that moment on I started to feel better, and even bought a Bible, and started to read it, and read it, and read it. Every day I just got an instant hunger to read it; which was really strange because I didn’t like reading before that.
Then one day whilst I was up at my dad’s house; I was watching Sky TV., and flicking through the channels when I found the God TV. I then decided to get Sky TV at my house. I would read my Bible and watch the God TV. It was amazing how everything they said seemed to make sense.
Whilst watching one of the programmes in March 2002 the presenter said ‘would you like to give your life to Jesus, if so, say this prayer after me and mean it
I said the prayer, knelt down on my living room floor, asking God to forgive the things that I had done wrong in my life, and thanking Jesus for taking the punishment that I deserved, on the cross. I asked God to come into my life and be the boss. After this I rang up the contact number on the TV.
I spoke to a guy called Andre, and he led me again through a prayer committing myself to God. Then he said to me, not knowing where I lived ’Are you anywhere near Burton upon Trent’ I told him I was about 6 miles away, and he gave the phone number of CI Family Church.
On the Sunday morning I rang them up, but there was no answer. I left a message on the phone, and one of the pastors, Jenny Watson, rang back about one minute later. I told her who I was, and she invited me down to the service.
I can’t say in words how much inviting Jesus to be Lord of my life has dramatically changed my life. I’m not saying everything is easy, but my life is getting better each and every day with Jesus guiding me, and knowing the living God is with me every step of the way.

I stopped arguing with GOD!

One of my earliest memories is sitting in a school assembly, aged about four, and praying to God- using my own words, knowing He was real. However my dad was very negative about church, and my mum had ‘invented’ a version of Christianity that left out all the bits she didn’t like!

I continued to attend my local village church off and on, even teaching Sunday School as a teenager, but something of my mother’s attitude to religion had affected me.

There were things in the Bible that I just couldn’t accept and the thing that bothered me most was that Jesus claimed to be the ONLY way to God!

Newly away from home, as a young student I was invited by a friend to attend a lively, ‘modern’ church where I heard the Bible explained clearly for the first time. I also met lots of Christians who clearly had something that I didn’t! Over a few weeks I came to a point of realising that I simply needed to stop arguing with God. After all, if He was who He said He was, then who was I to tell him how to run His Universe?! Once I gave in, said sorry, and asked Jesus to be my Saviour, it was all so different. Although there was and is so much that I don’t understand, I knew that it didn’t matter if He was in control. He was God, I trusted Him.

I took those first steps over thirty years ago and my life is still an amazing journey. Being a Christian is not a condition, it’s a relationship and so God continues to surprise and amaze me.

I know that I am never alone, He is always with me – through fantastic times and in the difficult ones. He loves me just as I am, but thankfully doesn’t leave me unchanged. I have (almost) stopped arguing!

Can you believe it?

I always knew there was a God, I acknowledged Him, and I believed in him, but I hadn’t given my life to Jesus. My mother and grandmother, from gypsy stock, had powers, but I don’t think my mother knew how to use them. My grandmother used the ‘evil eye’ a lot, that I know, but she wasn’t an evil person. She was actually a very good and kind person.

I developed quite a talent with my powers. It all started with my first pregnancy. During the second trimester I started hallucinating. What I was seeing were cats. They would appear when I was least expecting them, and disappear from the top down. All cats, tabby, ginger, black and white. It took me back to when I was a child and I saw and heard cats after my mother had our tabby put down. I never minded these hallucinations. I found them comforting, but I got it into my head that I must have been a white witch.

After my baby was born, and with time on my hands, I got interested in other people’s pregnancies. I would guess at which mum was going to be pregnant next, and I was always right. I thought it was a sort of ‘baby charming’ which used to carry on in centuries gone by, and I became quite good at it. This carried on with a certain amount of glee, until, one day to my horror, I heard a mum, who had denied her pregnancy until she could no longer hide it, say she didn’t want the baby. I felt responsible. What had I done? I asked God for forgiveness, and renounced my power. But I still hadn’t given my life to Jesus.

Later in my thirties, I was working as a nurse. I had forgotten all about my previous misdemeanours, and was enjoying my career, doing a good job, and feeling very justified. I had developed a neat line in psychokinetic’s. If people annoyed me, revenge was easy. No effort was needed to make them have an accident, drop something, break something, or have some minor irritation go wrong in their lives. Nothing major. Until one day a tutor we had working in the hospital annoyed me in the extreme. She was a nasty piece of work, and did all she could to humiliate students if possible. This was a step too far. I thought the accident on her, and the next day she came in quite shaken up, and told everybody that she had left the road, and her car had landed in a ditch. Luckily, she was unharmed. Horror overtook me again. Secretly I thought she deserved it, but I didn’t like what I was doing, and once again asked God for forgiveness, and renounced my power. But I still hadn’t given my life to Jesus.

I was now living in another part of the country, and had taken up with a clergyman. ‘Nice one’ thought I! He would be sure to help me with my fight against evil. Not so. We went out a couple of times, then he disappeared from view, and I only saw him at services. No explanation was given, until one day he paid me a visit to tell me that he had something to say, but he couldn’t say it now. I was puzzled, until several mutual acquaintances informed me that he was gay. I was very annoyed that he should have used me to ‘try out’ being straight, or even worse to give himself some credibility in the parish.

At the time of the discovery my son and a friend were staying with me at my house. We were having a whale of a time insulting this man, and finding suitable punishments for him and laughing, when I heard a noise outside. It was dark, and as I drew open the curtains to look, two glowing lights were set in the vegetable patch in my garden, like a couple of eyes. I was terrified. The devil was upon me. I had played fast and loose with him for many years, and now he was waiting. I prayed out loud for God to deliver me, and us from this horror, and I was sorry, and would never do anything like that again.

Sounds familiar? Have you read this before in this story? Did I give my life to Jesus?

A couple of days of later, when my son and friend had gone home, the vicar of my church came to see me. I was never so delighted to see him. He caught me in the kitchen doorway, and to my complete surprise, he said,

“You must give your life to Jesus Christ, now.”

He caught me completely off guard, when he said, “repeat this prayer after me.” I cannot remember the prayer, or what happened to the vicar after that, but I do remember feeling as though I was foot up in the air. I had to go to work. I had to deal with the rest of my life. I was feeling as if I was floating, as if I couldn’t really do anything else but listen to Jesus, and receive from His Spirit.

How could I go to work now? I just had to. I had to get on with it. I never told anybody what had happened to me. They would have thought I had taken leave of my senses. I worked in an intensive care unit, and had a very demanding job. I couldn’t be walking around in a daze for the rest of my shift!

I just know now that in God’s eyes I am very, very special, and that I was prized by God as a soldier of Christ.  I have to get on and fight against the things which come against me, using the weapons which the Spirit has provided me with. Years later I met an evangelist and prophet, who prayed, and in the name of Jesus, removed the last shrivelled up ‘gypsy Rose Lee’ vestiges of my powers, which hadn’t been used for years, as I had at last given my life to Jesus.

The Truth at last…… My pre-Christian life was actually one which would be enviable to many. A loving, loyal husband, two happy healthy children, and a lovely home so why did it always feel like something was missing? Despite my loving family I often felt overwhelmed with loneliness and realised this had been a recurrent theme throughout my life going back to early childhood. My parents and three brothers never understood my obsession for the supernatural, and most of my memories of my youth were of feeling very much like the proverbial black sheep of the family. So I suppose I had always been searching for the missing piece. I made the mistake that so many people nowadays do of looking in all the wrong places, and believing there are many routes to God. I must have looked into every faith, religion and new age philosophy out there, but none of them felt true and they all seemed so complicated. I was scathing when Christians told me that the only route to God was through Jesus Christ. To cut a very long story short, hundreds of self-help books, new age therapies and immeasurable amounts of alcohol later, I realised I had possibly dabbled too much, and began to actually feel quite scared. I had never considered until now that I was on a very dark path, and living a life led by occult practices. Until this point I had considered what I was doing to be harmless. As a result of this growing fear and anxiety, I felt a real need for the first time in my life for prayer. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the Lord for allowing me to feel that fear as this was the beginning of my road to truth. When I look back now it is easy to see all the times that the Lord did try to get my attention, but believe me it took Him many attempts. Thankfully our God never gives up on us, and I am grateful that his hand never left me or let me get too far down the wrong path. What our patient and faithful God did do was put one pesky Christian after another everywhere I turned! In a bid to get out of being part of a prayer group where it was becoming a bit too uncomfortable for me I heard myself say “I am doing an Alpha Course.” I actually looked round to see who had said it! That was a pivotal time for me. Early on in the course we were given the task of reading John’s Gospel. My initial thought was: that is a lot of small print to get through in a week. However, I committed to it, and the first time Jesus said “Very truly I tell you…..” I really felt that not only was this the truth but that he was speaking directly to little old me. However, what really blew me away was that it felt true. I also knew in that moment this was the only book I would ever truly need. What an immense relief. How awesome that I found in that instant what I had been looking for all my life. I know who I am, I know where I am going and I know I will never feel alone again.

WHEN I’M SAILING.

I left Newlyn harbour in 1990, in a 26ft wooden yacht, to sail single handed to the Caribbean.

This was the culmination of 7 years planning, hard work, and saving. I had saved the money to buy the boat, and finance the trip. During this time I can remember feeling as if there was something missing in my life. I used alcohol and drugs to fill the gap.

Before I left, I’d sold everything I didn’t need to finance the trip, and so as I sailed away from England; with everything I owned aboard my boat, I felt wonderfully free and self contained.

I was 33 years old, and had had a normal sort of upbringing; which included Sunday School, Cubs, Scouts, Church Parades and R.E. lessons at school, but I was never aware in those 33 years that anyone had told me about Jesus.

In the Canary Islands I met an Irishman called Emmett. He was a reformed alcoholic. He had a wonderful peaceful, satisfied attitude to life. I didn’t discuss it with him, but noticed that he had a Bible beside his bunk. I think that was the spark that lit my fire.

Months later, I arrived in St Lucia in the West Indies. Marijuana was plentiful, and easily available. I spent several months in the Windward Islands, smoking a lot of marijuana and mixing with the local Rastafarians.

The Rastafarians told me that it said in the Bible that it was right to smoke marijuana. I was intrigued by this so I went out and bought a Bible. I started to read it daily, not in a ‘seeking’ type of way, but in an intellectual, arrogant way.

From the Windward Islands I sailed to Venezuela. Venezuela has some of the nicest people you could wish to meet, but also some of the most evil. I made the mistake of befriending some evil people. They seemed to offer the sort of lifestyle I was seeking. They stayed on my boat for 18 days, refusing to leave. Finally they made me sail to one of the off islands; where they robbed me and left.

I felt so angry that for the first time I prayed. I prayed ‘Lord please take this anger from me’, and I felt it leave me, and peace took its place. I was disgusted with the way I’d behaved. I had the problem of replacing the things that had been stolen, and I became very ill. My elbow and knees swelled up. I felt dreadful, and could hardly move.

I was still reading my Bible, but now it really began to speak to me. One evening I prayed; ‘Lord please take over my life. I can’t do it by myself; I need You to lead me Your way’.

After praying this prayer I knew I was different. I regained my health. I had no intention of giving up smoking marijuana or drinking; there was just no one around to tell me to stop, but I just did!!! I was truly ‘born again’ – and I knew it. I left the Caribbean, went through the Panama Canal, and crossed the Pacific, arriving in New Zealand 18 months later.

In all this time I had never spoken to another English speaking Christian. I’ll never forgot the feeling of panic I felt as I walked into the Salvation Army Church in Whangarei as I thought; ‘what if it isn’t true? What if I’ve got it all wrong? What if this peace I’ve got is not what it’s all about!!!!!’ it was reassuring to hear a human voice tell me that, that which I had found was the same Jesus as they had met with and found for themselves!!!

It never ceases to fill me with awe to think that God chose me, and that He spoke to me so clearly through His word that I was able to follow Him. 

Restoration

Restoration
Carolyn

I had a very happy early childhood which came crashing down around my ears at age nine.
On that Christmas Eve, my dad left the family home with no explanation, and I did not see him again for over thirty years.
During those years I carried around a lot of sadness and pain.

My first marriage ended in trauma; as doctors suspected my husband was a paranoid schizophrenia, and that he wanted to harm our child.
I had nearly died giving birth to my child, due to the hospital’s negligence, and I had to have an emergency operation that affected my immune system for ten years.
Several years later a close family member was abused at the age of 14, and this left her traumatised. She coped with this all alone, and she carried the shame around without telling anyone for six years.
Whilst travelling in America, on holiday, she met with the Lord, and she chose to give her life to him.
As no one had known what had happened to her; the Lord protected her until she was strong enough to share about her ordeal with others.
Once she was back in England; she invited me to church on several occasions. Finally I gave in to her request and went along. It was there that I too met with the Lord, and gave my life to Him, in 2005.
I had always believed in Jesus, but when I started to have a proper relationship with him every area of my life gradually became more and more restored.

I Was Not a Teenage Werewolf

Pauline Horobin was born in 1952 in Burton upon Trent. She met and married Keith in the early 1980’s, and they have worked together for Jesus since then.

I WAS NOT A TEENAGE WEREWOLF.

I was privileged to have been born into a family amongst whom I had acceptance, and a great deal of love. Even at the times when I did things that I knew my parents did not approve of, I still knew that they loved me whatever.
Part of the reason for their open hearts, and openly expressed love was the fact that both of my parents had, in their teenage years, received love and acceptance from GOD, when they had become Christians.
As my parents were 50 and 47 years old when I was born they had had a number of years to learn even more of God’s love, and how to express it to others.
Apart from the fact of the age of my parents, I had a normal childhood, with its joys and sorrows; but all the time underlying decisions and actions was the presence of God.
But what of me? Where did God figure in my life? Was He real to me; or just a figure in my parent’s life?
I had always believed in God as He was always there, and part of what was going on, but it was during a visit to an elder brother and his wife, when I was eleven years old, that God became a reality in my personal life, and my relationship with Him began.
I had gone to church with them, and the preacher had given a talk to the children. He spoke of Jesus’ hands; the hands that were used to heal; the hands that broke the bread to feed the hungry multitude; and the fact that those same hands were nailed to the cross when He died to pay for our sins, on the cross. For the first time I believed that God was personally interested in me, and that Jesus had died on the cross instead of me so that I could be restored to a personal relationship with God.
After that was it just a case of everything being lovely? – No problems? – Life a bed of roses? – NO, but neither did I seem to have the anxiety that so many of my friends seemed to go through. I believe this was due to God being there with me through all the different situations in life. My father died when I was seventeen years of age, and just doing my mock ‘A’ levels. I managed to pass my exams that summer and go on to train as a Primary school teacher. Work followed, and then when everyone had given up hope, marriage, at the grand age of thirty-one.
Even though both my husband and I are Christians we still had to go through the time of adjusting to each other’s ‘funny little ways’, but thankfully we had Jesus to turn to, to help us make it through.

You may ask ‘do I regret living my life in relationship with God?’ In one word: – NO!

God has always been there; being a friend that sticks around even when I’m in the mood when no one else wants to be anywhere near me. He has been my constant companion through my joys and sorrows; also in the time and place where no one else can be with me. I wouldn’t want to go through my life, or any other life, without being in that relationship I was made to enjoy.

May I recommend you to ask Jesus to meet with you, and reveal Himself to you as you Creator, Saviour, Lord and Friend.

SET FREE

‘What am I doing here?’ ‘Why can’t I get out of this mess?’ ‘Why can’t someone help me?’ ‘I only need someone to help me!’

These were all the thoughts going through my mind as I sat alone, isolated, in the padded cell of my local psychiatric hospital. It wasn’t the first time I’d been in, and according to the psychiatrist it wouldn’t be the last!

My life shouldn’t have been such a mess. I had my own successful decorating business, a lovely house in the country, a wife, a large car, BUT I also had a large drink problem, and an oversized inferiority complex; neither of which I could deal with, nor anyone else seem to be able to help me.

I thought back through my troubled life.

In hospital aged 20 to be dried out from drink, and pumped out from an overdose. Another spell in a psychiatric hospital when overwork and over-drinking took its toll. When was all this going to end? I had come out determined to make a go of things, and stay on top.

It all began hopefully, but once again drink and despair, followed by rumours of my wife’s affair, began to darken the rays of hope. Until one day, once again, it all got too much.

I had set off to work, only to return home shaking and becoming uncontrolled. I mixed half a bottle of gin to half a bottle of whisky, and began to down it. My friend arrived and persuaded me to go to the local psychiatric hospital. They couldn’t see me until I had been to my own doctor’s, and when I wouldn’t leave, they sent for the police to remove me. This they did, and I left handcuffed between two policemen, with who I had just had a wrestling match!

Once in the police cell my pent up anger, frustration and despair exploded. The sink and the toilet cistern took the full brunt of this. The restraints were again put on me. The police doctor later arrived, and I was then transferred to a psychiatric hospital to serve out my 28 day compulsory section. When this was finished I was returned to my local psychiatric hospital for an expected long stay.

There I sat thinking through my life; its lack of purpose or meaning. It was the 25th of March 1980, my second wedding anniversary, but by now my wife had left me. There was no purpose. I had already hidden two razor blades with which to cut my wrists.

“Hello Keith”. It was a local lady who had been visiting me, and had been inviting me to some religious meetings!! She wanted me to go that night. I kept saying no, until I heard a voice saying to me “What have you got to lose?” She got permission from the ward sister. The meetings were being held at the local Town Hall, and I made sure I was seated at the back. I wasn’t actually interested, and my thoughts began to wander. Then on stage a blind pianist was talking about his life, and how he had tried to fill his emptiness – ‘That’s like me’ I thought.

The preacher was a little man, and all I really heard him say was ‘Jesus said,

“I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.”’

I had always gone my own way, my life was far from the truth, and what was my life worth?

Then somebody touched me on the back of my head. I turned around. There was no one there! I wanted to know more. Was there someone who could help me? Could there be a meaning to life? Could I find help? I talked with someone there, and they said I could have the wrong things in my past forgiven, and a purpose and hope for the future; that’s why Jesus died. I would have to give my life over to Jesus, and let Him live His life in me. Yes, I was willing; I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I prayed and asked God to forgive me, and then asked Jesus to come and rule my life, and live in me. When I got back to the ward, the ward sister said, “We’ll see how long it lasts.”

It has lasted, and Jesus is still:

“MY WAY, MY TRUTH AND MY LIFE.”