Tuesday, 14 April 2009

My Baptism

Sunday was a special day for me, not only did we get to celebrate because Christ has risen, but it was a sort of Resurrection for me, I was born again and cast away my sins and turned to Christ.

Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous and they said if I was it didn't show. But do you know what? I wasn't nervous at all. I text my friend in the afternoon to say that I had butterflies, but I think it was pure excitement. All day I couldn't stop grinning, I looked like Wallace from 'Wallace and Gromit' just lots of teeth!

When we arrived at Church and I saw the pool it just added to the excitement. The Church leader talked me through how he wanted things to go and then we started the service with some songs and prayer, everything sort of went by in a blur, which is a bit sad because I wanted to savour every minute, but then I was called into the water "Do you turn away from evil?" I turn away from evil
"Do you repent of your sins?" I repent of my sins
"Do you turn to Christ?" I TURN TO CHRIST (I've written it it capitals because I'm sure that I shouted it so loud I could be heard at the end of the road, I've never known such an amazing experience and so glad that I have done it. I had to get dressed very quickly and return for the rest of the service as there were further baptisms after mine and to be honest it was the first baptism that I have ever attended so was desperate to see someone else be baptised.

I would also like to say thank you and God bless to my towel bearers, specially chosen to be there when I came out of the water a new person, after all they helped lead me there.

My Testimony

I was raised with the knowledge that I should go to Sunday school; my parents did not attend church. When I got older it was my decision that I would not continue to go to church, although it has always been apparent in my life.

I grew up without church; I got married, had children and worked hard. I lost my sister in 1998; this caused me to re-evaluate my life resulting in a divorce. I met and married Mark and we have Grace our beautiful 8 year old daughter together. Grace was diagnosed with a life threatening incurable illness in 2001.

We moved into Cottesbrook Close shortly after, the first day we moved in Nick and Vicki baked us flap jacks, when Grace first started school I befriended Rachel and Andy immediately,whom later asked me to attend the Alpha course at their church in Rugby, at that time I wasn't quite ready, but a year on here I am. I could say that I have made my fair share of mistakes and suffered our fair share of disasters on this journey.

I could tell you so much more but a testimony is more than just a spiritual CV. The big question is not what I have done, but who I have become? What difference has Christ made to me?

The more I learn about God and his hopes for me, the more I come to realise how far I am from meeting his expectations. We were meant to write when we felt we actually came to Christ, I think it was through a series of links, something which I have recently read about. Starting with Sunday school when I was a child and more recently, my friends and the examples set by many in church have helped me understand how to grow as a christian. Culminating on the day I opened the bible and decided to start reading, "where should I start?" I asked myself, well certainly in the New Testament because everyone knows the story of The Nativity right? I opened the book randomly and began to read Mattew 6: 25-34

The words spoke to me - "Do not worry, can anyone by worrying add one single hour to their life?" I was the worlds worst worrier and this was the first page I opened in the bible, there and then I found Jesus. I've since learned through prayer I can cast my anxieties to God and he will guide me.

I am still a 'work in progress' a quote that a good friend of mine uses often, but by reading the bible I learn:

James1: verse 5

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

Just a year ago I would have said I wasn't ready for Christianity let alone baptism, but purely by reading the bible and being surrounded by the church community has made me see that baptism is an important step, a symbol of my sins being washed away and a celebration of the start of my new life with Christ.

Photos to follow......

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Further Alpha course discussions were -How does God guide us and How can I resist evil-

God guides us through prayer,and I found personally that God guides visually, I saw good in the people that go to my Church and it made me want to discover how they can be that way, its not always an easy task and I also resist evil through prayer and through the church - the people of the church community act in such a way and speak in such a way that it makes you stop and think before any kind of action is taken. They tell me they always speak to God, they ask for his advice and he will give them the answer .............it works for me.


Was a biggy, the discussion was about the Holy Spirit and it was most enlightening...but at the risk of repeating myself I will keep it short...

I've said before that we liken the Holy Spirit if you like, to water, we can have free flowing water, but it can be frozen and it can become steam. Now that picture is in your head imagine The Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is God and The Son is Jesus the Holy Spirit is a presence of the three combined, infact all three are one, the Holy Spirit is a feeling within, a feeling that we know God is with us. I know that a long day should promote more discussion but I feel that I get so over excited about these things that I have already touched on them more than once in other Alpha meetings.

Following on from that- this weeks discussion is titled -DOES GOD HEAL TODAY?

Finally on Easter Sunday I am due to be Baptised, how cool is that? being baptised on Easter Sunday?! Especially as I have a chest infection at the moment and I am feeling very unwell...I am praying that I will make a good recovery.

I am going away now to think about my testimony....
Okay, I am way behind on posting about Alpha, apologies, I just have so much to write and before I knew it, I had missed about 3 weeks.

So Alpha-

Why and how should I read the bible? and How do we hear God speak through the bible?

I have learned that 'The bible' is the best selling book ever, if it was in the 'book charts' it would permanentely be in the number 1 spot.

I began reading the bible as soon as I had started going to Church, I wanted to know for myself of the sermons I was hearing on Sundays that 'fired' me up.

I opened the book randomly and read - the power from the words felt as if God was speaking to me himself straight out of the book ( a bit like the Never ending story).

I read from the New Testament, after all thats what I thought I knew best, and this is the passage I read
Do Not Worry

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

...and thats when it struck me, God was talking to me. My husband was self employed and getting very little work, I was battling day after day in my head about 'how can we afford this? how can we afford that? will we ever be able to plan a holiday? Christmas is coming up what should I do?'

All of this stuff was emotionally wringing me out! and the words said Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? That was the moment that I realised that the bible is our guide to life, we need to read it regularly so that we can put into practise what God wanted of us, he loves us all and Jesus spoke of 'the way and the truth' "I am the way" "I am the truth" he entrusted the writing of the bible to his disciples, he entrusted the word of God..........

A man who worked on the translation of the book in the 1940s said this of his experience
The present translator who has closely studied these letters for many years,is constantly struck by the living quality of the material on which he is working. Some will no doubt, consider merely superstitious reverance for holy writ, but yet again and again the writer fell like an electrician rewiring an ancient house without being able to turn the mains off.

That shows the power of such a book, spiritual authority is within this book and in order to be close to God we need to read everyday. I myself, find that if I do not read regularly I lose touch with God and the same with prayer, I have to find to talk to God everyday or else I can lose touch, it becomes very apparent when I get to Church on Sunday if I haven't been close to God then he is right there on Sunday telling me.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Alpha week 3

I am late in posting week 3 due to other commitments, however, there has been no week 4, this will be next week.


Those who become Christians become a new person. A new life has begun and they are not the same anymore.

The first part of Alpha invites us to ask questions and discover the answers we are looking for about God,Science and History.

Firstly the talk was about 'The magnificent 3' The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we know the son is Jesus and the Father is God, but what about this Holy Spirit? Well the Holy Spirit comes from within, it is a sense and a feeling within in you, born out of love, and then the 3 becomes 1.

Basically explained by taking the meaning of water, which can become ice and also steam, but esentially water is one and the same, so the Magnificent 3 are 1 and the same presented to you in all 3 ways.

People who become new Christians can do so because they have experienced a revelation and know immediately that they have found God, but it can come to us gradually and we can be led down a path that we do not understand, but eventually leading us to our conclusion.

Going back to the paragraph about asking the unanswered questions, we all have a need to know the truth, but what is the truth? How do we know Jesus actually came, how did he know what was right and what was to be expected of him? How do we actually know the theory of relativity was measured correctly? Did Einstein have a huge ruler that he poked right out into space and then calculated the measurements? How did the math come about to take these measurments in the first place?

Also I find that each religion has a different view of looking at things, which all religions would say are wrong, but I feel that in our search for the truth we can then decide our own religion in which we need to believe,because everyone needs to believe in something, a man,therefore, thousands of years ago may have decided that he believes in order to get closer to God we need to sacrifice animals or cross our legs and hum etc, the main point being that we all need to believe.

The discussion was lead to the fact that we can have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives,but we still need the basics? What are the basic foundations?


I felt that I should be asking the questions, I always felt that something in my life was missing, I commited myself to work, and relationships and pushing myself into fitness etc etc, but something was always missing. I have now discovered that was God telling me what I needed to know and I was just looking in the wrong place. I still need ambition and exercise and love and family, but God too, and now that I have accepted that, I have lost this longing for something and strangely lost this longing to know the answers, because the answers are there within you.... The Holy Spirit

There was no Alpha course this week due to some people being away etc, but we had house group and prayer, and I realised how much I had missed it, with that in mind I had arranged to go to a 'girlie' prayer group on Friday morning, here we had breakfast and chatted about what had been going on in our lives for the past week, followed by prayer, during the prayer I had my hands clasped in my lap and my eyes closed. I was told there was no pressure for me to pray out loud as I am still a little nervous in doing so and have,on occasion prayed out loud,but in very small gestures. Anyway I digress, during prayer, I had an amazing amount of pressure on my arms and I felt like I was fighting to hold them down and clasped in my lap, to the extent that my muscles ached in my upper arms,I felt that I had prayer to give, but did it silently, still the fight continued with my arms and eventually I thought "what am I fighting for, just let go" and my arms relaxed and I raised them up with open hands and it felt so much better that I sat there for some time.

When I opened my eyes 'C' said that she had a picture in her mind during prayer, of me and I was rowing a boat against the current and putting up a mighty fight and did I know what it meant?

I was so overwhelmed by what had just happened that I was totally hyper for about two hours! It made me shakey and quite teary......what do you think?!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Alpha week 2

Last nights discussion was titled 'Why did Jesus die'

The talk was hosted by the 'lovely Claire' and she gave such a good account that so far, before I have read up any of the pieces from the bible that were discussed, I have no questions.

Basically we are all sinners, the bible said that if we sinned the payment was death and we would be partitioned from God, but God loved us all so much and unconditionally that he gave his only son for us.

An old ritual where by people sacrificed animals to God, helped explain that they put their hand on the animal and confessed their sins so that it passed into the animal and then it was sacrificed and so clearing the sin. In a way this is what God did for us, he allowed us to put our hand upon Jesus and confess our sins and he took them all and died for us removing the partition and giving us eternal life with God.

When I read passages from the bible I find it very difficult to understand the text, but the alpha course gives you the opportunity to see and hear things from other perspectives and add what you think yourself to give conclusion.

I am still currently reading the gospels from last week, I could quite easily just scan over them, but now feel the need to look more in depth to the meaning....for example

The Cost of following Jesus
Now when Jesus saw the great multitudes around him, he gave the order to depart to the other side. A scribe came to him and said "Teacher I will follow you wherever you go" Jesus said to him " the foxes have wholes and the birds of the sky have nest, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head"
Another of his disciples said to him "Lord allow me to first go and bury my Father" But Jesus said to him " follow me and leave the dead to bury their own dead" Matthew 8:18

This I found quite harsh and hard to understand. I felt it sounded bad, but upon discussion last night - even though it was right off topic, Clare said that she felt the meaning was that the deciples father hadn't yet died and was living a healthy life, but the man was making excuses for not following Jesus just yet because he had other commitments. Which when looked up in the study bible said exactly that.

I am thus far intrigued and am hungry to understand more.

We are going to Church on Sunday and this week, Kristie will be joining us, I am really looking forward to it, infact I can't wait!

Monday, 9 February 2009

The first week of Alpha was as gripping as I expected it to be, the discussion was titled 'Who was Jesus' basically discussing his background and where he came from and then we were invited to ask questions on anything about the discussion or otherwise.

One visitor to the course questioned the names of the Gospels and how could they have such 'English names' if they originated in Judeah

So here goes


English form or Matthaios which was Greek form of the Hebrew name Mattityahu meaning 'gift of Yahweh' (Jewish) meaning Jehovah- and was also known as Levi. The name Matthew has been used since the middle ages.


English and Russian form of Marcus originating from 1st century BC Roman (Marcus Antonius) - Marks account was probably written for Romans


From the Greek origin Loukas meaing Lucania - from Italy. Luke was a Greek travelled Dr and the only non-jewish testament writer.


Latin form of Greek - Joannes derived from Hebrew name Yochanen meaning 'Yahweh' or Jehovah. Yahweh is gracious

12 Apostles were re-named by Roman translators when edited and re-copied.

So that is my extensive research- it doesn't look much, but I put a lot of time into the research and I half expected to come up with those kind of answers because generally when you hear those names, they are more often than not referred to as biblical names.......what do you think?

Thursday, 8 January 2009

I went to Church house group this evening. I have been before, but with the build up to Christmas, it was slightly different to the norm.

I enjoyed the discussion and prayer but I have still not plucked up the courage to give prayer for others myself. I listen carefully to the words and always feel that 'I would like to say that' but cannot begin to speak. Other members have said "just speak-God will not judge you for not being eloquent" but so far I am still nervous.

During house group plans were made for the months ahead, one of them being the Alpha Group, which I am greatly looking forward to. Its around a 12 week course with the informal meeting and the away day. Its sort of an introduction to religion course and a chance for discussion and asking lots of questions (which I am good at.

At the end of the course we have the option of being Baptised!!

Wre also discussed projects to help in the community, the plans are to visit Elderly peoples homes as the Carol singing service around the community went so well, but we are still in the process of thinking what to do this time, maybe just visit and chat with them or maybe play games?? We need to give it more thought.

During the discussion of baptism, I took the opportunity of mentioning that Grace has never been christened and I would like perhaps a dedication for her.....we saw a dedication in a service before Christmas and it was lovely and Grace was pretty impressed too, and that way it means that she still has the option of being baptised herself when she is of an age to decide for herself.