(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
(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 ) 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
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
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) 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
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) 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.
(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
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
(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
“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) 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,
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
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) 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
God couldn’t possibly have time for me
But He told me, calmly, but firmly, Ron that’s what its all about,
(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) 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 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
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) 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
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
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