A Man Once Said.Doc

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A Man Once Said.Doc

  1. 1. (1) A man once said “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man”. And this is so true, the early years of a child’s life are so formative and have such a lasting and far reaching effect on their lives, whether for good or for bad. Some bright spark in the Church asked for me to give testimony of my life up to and following my coming to know my Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour of my sinful soul. Ok, so to start, I was born the illegitimate son of a Regimental Sergeant Major whose home was in Nottingham, a man who to all intents and purposes was known as a tough man, he met and loved my Mother who was in the woman’s land army ? I think that’s what she was. When he was to go back home he took with him, his lady friend and an extra two sons (Peter, my other brother died) It was almost from birth, until the age of two that I was brought up in his house, with his wife and kids and my own Mother, Then when I was two years of age, we came back to Liverpool because their strange courtship failed, I moved in with Granddad.
  2. 2. (2) Then following my Granddads’ death in 1951, and because my Mother had already gone to live in a lodging house . House rules there said “No Kids”. I was farmed out for 11 or 12 years , living with different “Aunties and Uncles”, some good some bad, some downright evil…..all different, the majority being Roman Catholics.( as was the family trait) I was brought up to have a faith of sorts, a catholic upbringing that certainly bred a fear of God. The Church warned me that I had to toe the line or pay the price and go to Hell. Moving around different tempory parenting leads to different values and viewpoints being imposed on a young mind, Until a hotchpotch character emerges that is in many ways unstable and even confused. And that basically has stayed with me right up to the present day. But despite all the leading people who brought me up, I was found by the greatest mentor of all, Jesus Christ.
  3. 3. (3 ) All the confusion in the early years erupted at about 15/16 years of age, in rebellion against everything and everyone, my memory of it all starting, is of the priest in confession who told me that if I continued living as I was, that I would end up going to Hell! My response was clear and determined, “well if I’m going, then I will go with a bang” From that time on I gave up on God , the church , people and totally did what I wanted to, all the kow towing to people that was needed to allow me to have the privilege of staying in “Their Home “, not my home because, I was well aware that I was the counted as the cuckoo in the nest, and I had to please these kind Aunts and Uncles, years of being the “Yes” boy. A Liverpool expression (almost) was to say,” Stuff you all”, and I set off to show everyone that I was in charge of my own life. This rapidly led on a downward spiral that led me though the gates of three separate prisons, from here in Walton to Winson Green in Birmingham and Wormwood Scrubs in London, constantly in trouble always fighting society and people. Over the years I messed up, a lot of the time with a drug called Sodium Amatol, a very strong barbiturate which when mixed
  4. 4. (4) with alcohol gave a very violent and aggressive attitude, uncontrollable personality, a great addition to the already messed up mind, this led to being sectioned on two occasions, once in Ormskirk and once in Winwick. Ok, so you don’t know Winwick, you don’t need to know, except it was for the mentally affected personality. What a mess, and to top it all I got involved with a woman much older than myself and had a crazy relationship that was full of jealousy and passion. Can a young man have passion with an older woman? Yes , it happens, Well, that’s some of the bad news, But now for some good news !! This older woman, had a neighbour, a Christian, named Stan Brand. Now Stan was, and still is a good God fearing but God loving man, who took his family to Church all the time and had a Bible tucked under his arm. Now, Stan never seemed to preach to me, but never shunned me either and indeed had got me into hospital a number of times through my overdosing on the Sodium. And most important of all, he knew that God still loved sinners.
  5. 5. (5) One particular time I remember well, was “coming to” in what was then, the new casualty ward in Walton Hospital, where I had been taken after a session, I had been a trouble obviously, because they had tied my elbows to the cot sides, that had been put on the bed,. But the first thing I saw when I came to, was this happy smiling Christian face of Stan, who was standing by the door into the ward, I was livid and went for him, don’t ask me why, I don’t know, but I couldn’t get to him because I was far too weak and ended up venting my anger by butting the door. That was the lifestyle. Through all this I was still a worker and had many jobs, losing some as well. But one job I had was as an engineer in a slaughterhouse, I gained a lot of trust here because of my ability to be able to “fix” things and I enjoyed the job although still a million miles away from God or any form of spirituality. One of the duty’s I had in the slaughterhouse gave me a fair bit of sway in the choosing of plant and equipment that was to be purchased, and this led to a chance meeting with a man from Northern Ireland who was a salesman for a saw manufacturers, called, McConnell’s. 3
  6. 6. (6) This salesman came over to our plant in Preston with a new saw on the market, called a “Chine Saw”, it was advertised as the fastest saw available to cut the beast through the chine (backbone) and between us we set it up on the line to put it through its pace’s and see how it could cope with the speed of the set up that we had.. He took me to the local cafe for lunch and he was quite easy to get on with, we were chatting and talking about the job, when he slipped a question. into the conversation “ I hear you mention Jesus quite a lot, what do you think about Him”? I wonder how come I was speaking about Jesus?? No doubt it was a blasphemous mouth. Now I may be thick, but this was a sermon on the way in anyone’s book, and I made it plain that I didn’t want to talk in that way, and to give him his due he didn’t push the issue, but he did pass me a cassette tape and ask me to listen to it ,when I was able. That was mid week, and the tape went into my pocket and was forgotten, forgotten that is until the Friday when it came back to mind after I returned home in the evening from the pub.
  7. 7. (7) I remembered the tape and decided to listen; after all I was on my own in the house there was nobody that would even know I had listened to it. It was the changing of my life. The tape recording was about a man giving testimony of his own life, a man who was known as “The Tramp for God”, his name was Willie Mullen, a man who knew all about life, a man who knew all about my life as well, As he gave his testimony all I can remember thinking was “Been there” “Done that”, then the crucial bit , he banged on what must have been a lectern or even a table and shouted “Don’t you realize that Christ died for YOU” It hit me like a ton of bricks… Christ had died for me.. Yes I was on my way to Hell, like the priest had told me so long ago. I was lost; I had nothing, not a thing.
  8. 8. (8) I felt the desolation like a terrible cloud all around me, and then I cried, the hard man crying, I couldn’t hold it back, floods of tears, the years of rebellion came out… things that I could never tell anyone, not even now, dirt and muck that was in my life, I could see it all. The night passed and I got up the next morning, upset and confused , totally unsure of what had happened, 4 I decided it had been the drink that had caused it, I put the tape back on to listen again and see what it was that had caused this upset, and again I was back to the night before. God had spoken to me and was clearly not letting go until I got sorted. Where could I go, who could I turn to? All my friends were the same as me nobody was “religious” they wouldn’t understand any more than me. But there was a man, a man who God had brought to me before, his name was Stan.
  9. 9. (9) I turned up at his door that Saturday morning, unshaven, unwashed, and proberly stinking of smoke and beer. (So what is different?) His cheery face was still the same, and I asked him had he ever heard of a man called Willie Mullen, he had , but wanted to know what I wanted to know about him for, I was embarrassed but told him that I had listened to a tape of this mans life and had got all upset over it. He listened carefully, then told me that this was God who had been speaking to me through this mans testimony, and that I was at a point where I needed to make a choice. “It may be your last opportunity,” he said, not a threat like the priest, but a genuine concern for my spiritual well being. I began to argue with him, reminding him of who I was and the life I led, pointing out that I was even involved with his neighbour , the drink, the drugs, all my stealing and swearing. God couldn’t possibly have time for me But He told me, calmly, but firmly, Ron that’s what its all about,
  10. 10. (10) Christ died for you, He loves you so much that He actually came and died for you. Nobody had loved me like that. He brought his Bible out to the doorstep and showed me answers from the scripture for every denial and argument I had, ………he showed me…… that it was TRUE, it was ALL TRUE,…………how come I hadn’t seen it before ? How could I have been so blind? That morning I bought a Bible for myself and sat and read it constantly, and God opened up my eyes to a whole new realm that I didn’t believe existed, There is a hidden world all around us, hidden from the eyes of those who are blind to the Word of God, yet accessible by asking God in a simple prayer to be forgiven. It isn’t needed to go down the same track as I went, It doesn’t matter if you have been brought up to know about Christianity and been taken to Church all your life, there is a simple verse which says,
  11. 11. (11) There isn’t anyone who is righteous, NO NOT ONE for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” No one is right not without the forgiveness that God is willing to give to us, for free. OK, so that was 30 years ago, does it still work? Have I reached the perfection needed to get to this “God’s Glory”? The answer is simply, NO. No I haven’t, I feel I have moved so little, even when I have learned so much, but I do have something, and it is the most valuable thing I have, I have the forgiveness of a loving God, who spoke to me and stopped me dead in my tracks on the 3rd Sept 1977. I have a new life that is locked away in His safe keeping that I cant even begin to keep safe, because if it was up to me I’d have lost it a long time ago
  12. 12. (12) It is all down to Him……… and I want you to know this He loves YOU and He will keep you, what more do I need to say How easy to say , I couldn’t live it, I’m not able to be a GOOD person, well let me tell you, neither am I able to be a good person , those who know me, know that what I am saying is true, yes I go to Church, yes I preach and tell people about Jesus, but if I was to depend on my behaviour and life, then I might as well jack it all in now, because I’m so far short of image that man makes of a Christian. But I am exactly what God planned, I am saved by GRACE , Gods Grace One more thing to say before I close and this is so important, so listen carefully and I pray that it will rattle round your head until you do something. You have a choice now as well, YES Or No And just in case you missed the question The question was and is: Will you ask Jesus to be your Saviour ? I made my choice. YOU MAKE YOURS

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