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Keith Green - Oh Lord, You're Beautiful

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A glimpse to Eternity.....


Our Father who is in heaven....Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.....Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.....
For yours is the kingdom.....The power and the glory
Forever and Ever.....Amen

(Adapted from Matthew 6: 9-13)

We were half way to the hospital and the Renault was climbing a hill.

My feet were going up in the air and the poison in my blood was starting to rush straight to my brain.

I started seeing a picture of a little snowy-headed boy.....and then I saw another flash of an older boy.... with snowy white hair. I was looking at this picture thinking, “Gee, he's got white hair,” and it suddenly occurred to me that I was looking at myself, that I was seeing my life go before me.

It was a frightening experience watching these pictures of my life in front of me, like a video playing, clear as crystal with my eyes wide open.

I looked and thought, “I've heard about this, and I've even read about it.

People say just before they die their life flashes before them.”

I said to myself, “I'm too young to die, why did I go diving?
What an idiot, I should have stayed at home.”

My thoughts were racing. now that I knew I was confronted with imminent death.

I could hardly hear my heart beat and I lay there wondering what would happen if I died?

Is there anything after I die?

Where would I go if I died?

Then I saw a clear vision of my mother.

It was as though she was speaking out those words she had spoken so long ago; “Ian, no matter how far from God you are, no matter what you've done wrong, if you cry out to God from your heart, he will hear you and he will forgive you.”

In my heart I was thinking, “Do I believe there is a God?

Am I going to pray?”

I'd almost become a devout atheist. I didn't believe anybody.

Yet, I was confronted by this vision of my mother. (I talked with my mother about this later when I returned to New Zealand. She said she had been woken in the early hours of that same morning. God had shown her my blood shot eyes and said to her,”your eldest son Ian is nearly dead. Pray for him now.” So she had been praying for me at that very moment that I lay dying in the ambulance.. )
to be cont'd

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A glimpse of Eternity.....

I was becoming furious and frustrated by this. I sat there trying to keep myself calm, because I knew that if I got too excited the poison would move quicker.

My right hand started to shake. It was twitching strangely between my knuckles..... in spasms.

The twitching came up my arm and into my face and my teeth began chattering.
Soon my whole body............. every muscle, started to twitch and contract with the death shakes.

I was literally leaving my seat with each contraction as the poison was reacting with my muscles.
The Chinese men came running over and three men tried to hold me down.
They couldn't contain me.......I was throwing them off.

When I came out of this incredible shaking......... a deadly cold crept over my bone marrow.

I could literally see a darkness creeping over the inner part of my bone.
It was like death creeping over me.....I knew my body was dying.......... right before my eyes.
I was incredibly cold.

The men started putting blankets all over me trying to keep me warm. One of them tried to pour milk down my throat, presuming I had swallowed toxin.

I could see one vehicle in the hotel carpark. I knew to which man it belonged as he had often driven past me and sounded his horn when I had hitchhiked from place to place.

I pleaded with him to take me in his car to the hospital but he answered, “No, we wait for ambulance white boy.” I was so mad I wanted to hit him, but I couldn’t move either of my arms.

I wondered if I could head-butt him but I realised that the adrenaline it would use might kill me.

So I sat there thinking, “I don't think I'm ever going to get there.”

Just then the ambulance arrived and out of nowhere Daniel appeared with another security man. They picked me up in their arms and took off. I realised then that Daniel had initially gone straight to the switchboard and phoned the hospital himself.

The ambulance came screaming in with its headlights sweeping the carpark, did a U-turn in front of the hotel, and took off again! The ambulance driver was from a black hospital, so when there was no one at the front of the Chinese hotel to collect, he obviously thought he had his instructions wrong.

So there I was, desperate, half way to the gates, and I could see the ambulance disappearing around the corner. I tried to whistle... but my mouth was so parched that I couldn’t get a sound out.

Daniel saw what I was trying to do so he wolf whistled as loud as he could.
It ricocheted off the wall and down the road.

The ambulance driver must have had his window down because the red brake lights came on and to my great relief he backed up. The ambulance was an old Renault 4 with a front seat taken out and a camp stretcher put in its place. That's it boys, that's the ambulance!

I wasn't worried.... I didn't care what took me there......... The driver didn't even get out of the ambulance. He leaned over, opened the door and Daniel dropped me in on the stretcher.

No, “How's your mother? How are you? Do you want a blanket? What’s wrong with you?” He was just the driver and off he went. I was trying not to close my eyes, knowing that I had to stay awake until I got some anti-toxins. If only I could stay alive until I reached the hospital.
to be cont'd

Friday, January 24, 2014

A glimpse of Eternity....

So he changed his mind and took me to a big tourist hotel.

He said "I'll drop you here; I'm not going to take you.”

I pleaded with him to take me.... but he leaned over, undid my safety belt and opened the door. "Get out!” he demanded. But I couldn’t get out, I could barely move............ So he just shoved me out.

My legs caught on the doorsill so he lifted them up and pushed them out, slammed the door and drove off.

I lay there, and thought, “This world stinks.........I've seen death, hatred, violence; this is hell, this place is hell on earth. This is a filthy, sick world we live in.”

I lay there and I felt like giving up. I thought, “What's the point of even trying to get to hospital? If your number's up..... let it go, just die.”

Then my grandfather came to mind. He went through the First and Second World Wars. He'd been to Gallipoli and had fought in Egypt against Rommel. I remembered this and thought how my Granddad had survived two world wars and here was his grandson giving up because five miserable jellyfish had stung him!

So I thought, “I’ll go to the last breath....... don’t give up yet... Ian!”

Using my one remaining working arm..... I tried to drag myself towards the hotel entrance.
I could see some lights on.......

To my amazement the security guards were doing the rounds and their flashlights spotted me groveling along in the dirt.

A man came running over.
I looked up and recognised him to be one of my drinking friends...... He was a black guy called Daniel, a big lovable man.
He came running up to me and asked, "What's wrong with you, are you drunk, are you stoned, what's wrong with you?”

I pulled up my sweatshirt to show him my arm and he could see all the blisters and the swollen-ness.

He scooped me up in his arms and ran.

It was like having an angel pick me up.

He ran in.......past the swimming pool and dropped me into a cane chair.

About three metres away the Chinese hotel owners were playing mahjong and drinking. All the tourists had gone to bed, the bar was closed but they were still gambling.

Daniel dropped me there and disappeared into the darkness again.
I wondered where he had gone.... but then I realized that a black man couldn’t speak to a Chinese man in this country unless he is asked to speak.

I was going to have to try and communicate to these Chinese men myself.

So I pulled up my sleeve and showed them my swollen and blistered limb. I said, “I need to go to ‘Quartre Bonne’ hospital, immediately, I’ve been stung by five jellyfish.”
I even used some Chinese. They laughed. One of the young men got up and said “Oh white boy, heroin no good for you, only old men take the Opium.” He thought I was on drugs because I showed him my arm and from that distance it looked like I had injected myself.
to be cont'd....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A glimpse of Eternity


When my spirit grows faint within me
It is you who know my way
In the path where I walk
Men have hidden a snare for me
Look to my right and see;
No one is concerned for me
I have no refuge
No one cares for my life
Psalm 142:3,4 (NIV)

Tiredness overwhelmed me as I stared up into the stars.

I was just about to close my eyes and go to sleep, when I heard a clear voice speak to me, and say “Ian, if you close your eyes you shall never awake again”.

I looked around expecting to see a man standing there but I saw no-one.

It startled me and I shook off the sleepiness and thought, “What am I doing? I can’t go to sleep here, I need to get to a hospital, I need to get anti-toxins, and I need to get help. If I go to sleep here I may actually never wake up.”

So I tried to stand again.

I was able to hobble slowly down the road and I found a couple of taxis parked at a petrol station next to a restaurant.
I limped over to the taxis and begged the drivers to take me to the hospital. The men in the cars looked at me and said, "How much money will you pay us?" So I said, "I haven't got any money" - speaking out loud to myself.

Then I realised what a foolish thing it was to admit to these men that I had no money. I could have lied.....but I didn't,

I just told the truth. I have no money. And the three drivers just laughed, "You're drunk, you're crazy". They turned around, lit their cigarettes and started to walk off.

Then I heard a clear voice again say “Ian, are you willing to beg for your life?"

I sure was! And I even knew how to do it. I had lived in South Africa long enough. I'd seen the black men cup their hands and bow their heads to the white men and say, “Yes’m boss, yes’m marsta.” It was very easy for me to get down on my knees because my right leg was already paralysed, and my left leg was very wobbly.

I was leaning up against the car so I just slipped down on to my knees and cupped my hands. Lowering my head so as not to look at them I begged for my life.
I was nearly crying.
I knew that if I didn't get to hospital soon..... I wasn’t going anywhere.
If these guys didn't have compassion and love in their heart for me, and mercy towards me, I would have died right there in front of them.

So I begged and pleaded with them, for my life.

With my head bent I watched their feet. Two of them just walked away, but I could see one young man moving his feet in indecision. It seemed to go on for an unbearably long time, but then he came over and picked me up.

He didn't speak, but he helped me up, put me in the car and drove off.
Half way to the hospital however, he changed his mind....... He demanded...
"What hotel you stay in white man?” I replied that I didn’t live in a hotel but in a bungalow at Tamarin Bay.

He thought I had lied to him and was angry that he might not get any money from me after all. “How will I get my money?” he retorted.
I answered, "I'll give you all the money I've got!" When your life's at stake, money means nothing.
I said "I'll give you any money you want if you can get me to hospital. I'll give you it all."
But he didn’t believe me.
to be cont'd

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A glimpse of eternity cont'd

I felt like I was on fire.......

I could feel the poison going through my blood stream and it punched at something under my arm.

A lymph gland was being hit.

It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to breathe into my right lung.

My right lung was being constricted by my wetsuit so I undid my wetsuit with my left arm, peeled it off and put on my trousers while I could still move.

My mouth was dry and I sat there dripping with perspiration.

I could feel the poison moving. I could feel a sharp pain in my back as if someone had hit me in the kidneys.
I was trying not to move..... trying not to panic...... We were only half way to shore and I could literally feel the poison pulsating and moving through my blood system.

I didn’t know what direction my blood went in until that night, but I tell you what, I became really interested in which way my blood circulated!

The poison was now numbing out the whole of my right leg,..... and I had enough common sense to know that, if it got down that leg..... and back up to my heart..... or my brain..... then I was dead.

As I was coming to shore, my vision was blurring.

I was finding it difficult to focus......
We reached the shore and I stood up to get out of the boat and my right leg crumbled underneath me.

I fell right onto the crayfish in the bottom of the boat.
The young boy stood back a bit shocked, then he motioned for me to put my arm around his neck.

I put my arm around his neck, grabbed my paralysed arm with my good arm, and just held on.

He dragged me out of the boat and then up the beach on the coral sand.
He got me up onto the main road....... It was about midnight.......
The place was desolate - no cars......no nothing.

I was holding on to the young boy wondering how on earth I was going to get from there to the hospital at such a late time of the night.

I was so weak in my right leg that I sat down on the tarmac.
The young boy tried to help me.... but in the end he started pointing to the ocean again saying, “My brothers, I need to get them”. but I said, “No, stay here and help me.” I knew the others could safely swim in from the reef because the jellyfish were on the outside of the reef.

But he took off, and I was left alone on the side of the road in the middle of the night. Hope drained from me and I lay down to rest....
to be cont'd

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A glimpse of Eternity cont'd

Two feet of water covered the actual reef. I stood there in my flippers and looked at my arm, which was literally swollen like a balloon with lesions across the top of the skin like burn blisters.
It was as though I’d burnt it on a stove, right across where the tentacles had been dragged.

As I was looking at it, my friend Simon came walking across the reef in his flippers towards me.
He was wearing a full wetsuit, as they all did because they were brought up in the tropics and the water felt cold to them.

He looked at my arm, and then he looked at me. He asked breathlessly, “How many?...... How many times have you been stung?”

I answered, “Four I think.” He said, “Invisible?..... Was it transparent?”

I replied, “Yeah, it looks invisible.”

Simon hung his head down and swore. He said “One sting and you’re finished, just one!”

He put his flashlight up to his face and I could see written there the seriousness of the situation.

I said “Well, what am I doing with four of them on my arm then?”

Simon was panicking,..... and I was panicking, because he had been diving for more than so many years and knew about these jellyfish.

“You’ve got to go to the hospital.” He said, “Aller, aller, vite.”

The main hospital was 15 miles away...... it was the middle of the night..... and I was half a mile out to sea on a reef.

I could hear him say “go”..... but I felt paralysed standing there......

He was trying to get me back into the boat. As he dragged me in, I realised that my right arm was literally paralysed and I couldn’t lift it up out of the water.

At that point, as I was trying to drag my arm up out of the water into the boat a fifth jellyfish swam across it and added another lesion to my already disfigured forearm.

In my heart I thought, “What have I done to deserve this?”

Then I got a flashback of my sin..... I knew instantly what I’d done wrong...... There were plenty of things I had done to deserve this...... You don’t get away with anything.

My two friends lifted the boat over the reef with me in it. It was ripping the bottom. It was a wooden boat, and the boat was their livelihood, so I knew the situation was very serious for them to be doing that. They lifted the boat over into the lagoon and were swimming, trying to push the boat to get it going. I said, “Come with me!” But they replied, “No, it’s too heavy, get the young boy to take you ashore”. So this young kid was pushing the boat to shore with a pole.
to becont'd

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A glimpse of Eternity cont'd

Maybe something had bitten me, or I’d cut myself on the reef. I looked down at my arm to see if there was any blood, but there was nothing, just a throbbing pain.

I rubbed it, which turned out to be one of the worst things I could have done as it served to rub the poison into my bloodstream. By now the pain seemed to be numbing out a bit so I thought, “I’ll just get a crayfish
and then I’ll go back and ask the boy at the boat what it was.”

I didn’t want to get paranoid; I knew it was very important for my own safety as a diver not to panic.

So I went to get a crayfish. As I was diving under again I saw these same jellyfish creatures that I'd seen a few minutes ago. Two of them were slowly, eerily, pulsating towards me with their long tentacles swirling behind them. Out of the corner of my eye I saw their tentacles brush past my arm. As they touched my arm, I was again jolted by an incredible electric shock. It just about knocked me for a six in the water. I suddenly realised what it was that had hit me the first time!

I knew from my lifesaving experience that some jellyfish are incredibly poisonous.

As a child I had hay fever, and had such bad allergic reactions that if I got stung by a bee my leg would swell up like a balloon.

Now I began feeling alarmed because I’d had two separate stings from these jellyfish.

I broke the surface of the water, gasping for air, and lifted my head to look for the boat. The storm clouds were settling in and making everything dark. I could just make the boat out further down the reef.
I put my arm behind my back to get it out of the water. I didn’t want it to be stung again. Then I began to swim in the direction of the reef, trying to fight off the terror I was feeling. As I swam I felt something slide over my back and then another huge shock pulsed through my arm. Looking round I saw tentacles falling off. I’d been stung by a third one!

I put my flashlight back into the water to keep an eye on the reef and to my horror my flashlight beam went straight down through a soup of these jellyfish. I thought, “If one of these hits my face, I don’t think I’ll ever get back to the boat”. So I put the flashlight up near my face and swam for all I was worth.

Finally I made it back to the boat where I desperately questioned the young boy in my best French and Creole, asking if he knew what the jellyfish were.
He didn’t know because he wasn’t a diver, he just shook his head and he pointed to my friend Simon in the water. So I had to get back into the water and swim over to him.

I could see him underwater, so I flashed my light into his face to get his attention. He came up to the surface, and I exclaimed to him “I want to get out!” I put my head into the water to swim back to the boat and right in front of my face there was another jellyfish surging at me. I had to choose, it was either going to hit my face or my arm. So I lifted my arm up and took another agonising sting to my arm as I pushed it away. Then I struggled out on to the reef.

to be cont'd

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Glimpse in Eternity...cont'd

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

-Psalm 139:16 (NIV)

Back in Mauritius again for a few weeks, I rented a house, reconnected with my Creole friends, and spent my time surfing and night diving.

One evening a week before I was due to leave for New Zealand, a diving friend came to my house and asked me to come out night diving with him.
I walked out onto my verandah and saw a huge electrical storm raging out at sea. The white electric lightening flashes were illuminating the black sky. I turned to my friend Simon and asked, “Are you sure - have you seen the storm?” I was afraid the storm would bring too much surf up onto the reef and become dangerous.

But Simon replied “It’ll be okay, we’ll go about five miles down the coast to a very beautiful part of the reef to dive tonight. You’ll be amazed how beautiful it is.”

In the end he talked me into it. It was about 11 o’clock at night. I got all my gear, jumped in the boat and off we all went - Simon, another local diver, a boat boy, and myself.

We rowed down the coast to the spot that Simon had talked about. We were about half a mile off the actual island. The boat was sitting in the inner lagoon, and we were going to dive on the outer part of the reef where it drops away steeply into the ocean. It really was as beautiful as Simon had said it would be.

We dived in.
I went up the reef and my two friends went down the reef.
Normally we stick together but for some reason we got separated.

I was looking for crayfish when my flashlight beam picked out a strange sea creature in the dark water.
It looked like a squid........ Curious, I swam closer to it and actually reached out my hand and grabbed it.

I had my diving gloves on and it squeezed through my fingers like a jellyfish. As it floated away I watched it, intrigued, as it was a very odd looking jellyfish. It had what appeared to be a squid’s bell-shaped head, but its back was box shaped and it had very unusual, transparent, finger like tentacles stretching way out behind it.
I’d never seen that type of jellyfish before, but I turned away from it and continued with my crayfish search.

I turned my flashlight back onto the reef and continued searching for my prey.

Suddenly something smashed into my forearm like a thousand volts of electricity.

I swung around to see what it was. I had a short arm wetsuit on, so the only part of my body that wasn’t covered by a wetsuit was my forearms.

Something had brushed past me and stung me with an incredible shock.

It was like standing on wet concrete, bare foot, and resting your hand right up against the electrical mains. I recoiled from it in fright, and searched frantically with my flashlight to find out what it was, or where it was, but I couldn’t see what had hit me.

To be cont'd
Bless you Yaddy

Friday, January 10, 2014

A glimpse in Eternity cont'd

I eventually returned to Arugam Bay where I was excited to get a crewing position on a 27-metre schooner called the “Constellation”.

We sailed out of Sri Lanka in the middle of the night en-route for Africa and twenty-six days later, after many sea adventures, we arrived in Port Louis harbour on the island of Mauritius.

While I was in Mauritius I lived in Tamarin Bay, among the local Creole fishermen and surfers.
Hashish (Marijuana) gave us a common bond and they accepted me into their lives and taught me to night dive on the outer reefs.

Night diving is an incredible experience. The crayfish come out at night and you can blind them with your under water flashlight and just pick them up. The fish go to sleep at night and you only need to decide which one you want to spear for dinner. It was a fantastic sport and we would sell our catches to the local tourist hotel.

After surfing my heart out on Tamarin’s very fast left-hand reef break for several weeks, I was running out of money. So I headed to South Africa where I found a job teaching windsurfing and water-skiing.

Amazingly they actually paid me to do this! I surfed Jeffrey’s Bay and Elands Bay and visited some of South Africa’s world famous wildlife reservations.

My desire was to travel over land through Africa up into Europe, but my plans were completely changed when I heard from New Zealand that my younger brother was planning to get married. I wanted to be at his wedding so I made the decision to return to New Zealand via Reunion Island, Mauritius and Australia

(At my stopover in Reunion I found an amazing surf break called St Leu where I had some great waves to myself. Then I headed on to Mauritius. It was March 1982 and I’d been travelling now for nearly two years, often sleeping in a tent on beaches and living like a nomad. It was time to return home.)

To be cont'd

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A glimpse of eternity "Cont'd

So I asked her why God hadn’t ever spoken to me.
I vividly remember her answer; “Often it takes a tragedy to humble us so that we will turn to God. Men by nature tend to be quite proud”. I retorted, “I’m not that kind of person, I’m not proud”. But when I reflect on it, I was very proud.

My mother said, “I’m not going to force you to come to church. But remember this one thing. Whatever you do in life, wherever you go, no matter how far you think you’ve gone away from God, remember this one thing; if you’re in trouble and in need, cry out to God from your heart, and he will hear you. He will really hear you and forgive you.”
I remembered those words. They stuck in my mind.
But I decided that rather than be a hypocrite..... I wouldn’t go back to church..... because I had never really had an experience with God.
It was basically just religion to me.

I travelled on up through Java, Singapore, Tiomen Island and into Malaysia, then onto Colombo, Sri Lanka with a Dutch woman I had met up with. Once there, I made my way up the coast to surf Arugum Bay.
After a month of awesome waves my visa was running out so I returned to Colombo.

I befriended some Tamil people in Colombo who welcomed me into their home and family life.

One time while I was staying with them we all travelled to the hidden city of Katragarma. While I was at this sacred city I had my first supernatural experience. As I was looking at a carved idol I actually saw its lips move.

I was deeply disturbed by this experience and I wanted to get out of that place as soon as I could!

As I continued to live with my Tamil friends, I observed that each day they would offer food to their household idol, the elephant god Garnesh. Some days they would clothe it, other days bath it in milk or water. It seemed strange to me that a person could believe a stone idol could be a god, as some one had obviously made it with their own hands.

But looking at that stone statue one day I felt an evil yet powerful presence emanating from it. It surprised and intimidated me.

Then into my mind these words came, “You shall have no other God but me and you shall not bow down to any graven image or idol.” Immediately I realized that this was one of the Ten Commandments found in the Bible (Exodus 20:4-5) and I began to reflect on these words that I had heard way back at Sunday school.

In my own way I was on a journey to find the ‘meaning to life’. At times I considered myself an atheist, and at other times a ‘free thinker’. These experiences made me think about supernatural things but I didn’t have enough understanding of them to interpret them. I wanted to experience every thing that life had to offer, and at that time my philosophy was simply to live life as fully as I could. In those years I never wore a watch … I lived in a timeless zone of sunrises & sunsets.

To be cont'd

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

“A Glimpse of Eternity”

is the incredible true story of one man’s encounter with death and the realms beyond it. Stung by five box jellyfish while diving off the coast of Mauritius, Ian McCormack later died in hospital and was dead for 15-20 minutes. During this time he experienced both hell and heaven and came back to tell the story! Dying was his doorway to true life and his story is transforming lives around the world as it touches on some of the deepest questions we all eventually ask.

There is a way that seems right to a man
but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

It was 1980 and I was 24 years old when I set out on an adventure that was to turn my life upside down. I had saved some money and was eager to travel and explore the world. My best friend and I decided to sell our worldly possessions and head out on a surfing safari, an ‘endless summer’ holiday.

I was born and raised in New Zealand, a beautiful island country in the Pacific region. My parents were schoolteachers, and because of this we moved towns often, relocating in various rural areas. I had two siblings and together we had enjoyed many of the privileges that many New Zealand children take for granted, such as summer holidays at the beach. From a young age I reveled in the sea.

I completed a university degree in agriculture at Lincoln University and then worked for two years as a farm consultant with the New Zealand Dairy Board. I loved farming. I loved working in the outdoors, and spent as much time as possible in outdoor pursuits. Most of my weekends were spent diving, surfing, tramping, and pursuing all kinds of sports.

After two years of working, I got the urge to travel. In New Zealand a phenomenal number of young people travel overseas before they finally settle into a career and family life. It’s a phenomena fondly termed ‘The Big O.E.’

So off I went with my surfboard under my arm. I initially flew to Sydney, Australia first and surfed my way up the East Coast of Australia to Surfers Paradise. I travelled light and stayed in the cheapest accommodation I could find, while spending my days catching good waves at Dee Why, Fosters, Lennox Heads, Byron Bay and Burleigh Heads.(these are all well known Australian beaches on the east coast)

I hitchhiked up through the outback of Australia to Darwin and then carried on to Bali in Indonesia, where I surfed Kuta Reef, then took my chances surfing Uluwatu, an amazing left-hand reef break. I also visited a few Hindu & Buddhist temple sites before continuing on overland through Java.

As I travelled through Asia the people often asked me if I was a Christian, presumably because I was white skinned. The question challenged me because I had been brought up in a Christian family, but I wasn’t sure if I should call myself a Christian.
I was raised as an Anglican and attended the “Church of England”. At the age of 14 years I was confirmed in the church. I would pray as a child, and went to Sunday school and youth group, and yet I’d never really had a personal experience with God. I remember coming out of the church on the day of my confirmation quite disillusioned. Nothing seemed to have happened. My heart was full of questions, so I asked my mother if God had ever spoken personally to her. She turned to me and said “God does speak and He is real”. Then she shared how she had cried out to God in a time of tragedy and He had answered her.
to be continued!