My childhood was a good one in many ways. Loving parents, good opportunities, nice holidays and lots of Lego! Furthermore, I was a good pupil at school – I never received a detention and was highly zealous in doing homework in time. Add to that regular attendance at Sunday School, involvement in the church choir and service as an altar boy and I looked like a model child.
My church upbringing caused me to have no doubt about God’s existence yet I gave little thought to who He was and assumed that my life would be pleasing to him. My teenage years were more difficult and various issues led me to start reading the Bible for myself. Over the course of a year I read through John’s Gospel and slowly came to realise that my religious upbringing and background did not qualify me for heaven. Although I was reading the Bible it was reading me and showing me that God judges us not only by what others see but by the attitudes of our mind and desires of our heart. Although I was slow to acknowledge it God showed me the depths of my sin and that I could not rely on my own achievements or efforts.
Yet God also showed me the depths of his love and mercy as I began to better understand who Jesus is. I saw that He was God in the flesh and saw that at the cross He took a punishment that was due to me. For the first time I realised that rather than trusting in my own efforts I needed to put my trust in Jesus to be right with God and forgiven. It was at this time in my late teenage years that I became a Christian and was baptised.
Being a Christian hasn’t solved all the problems in my life but my faith has helped and guided me through the ups and downs. I am now married to Grace and have two children, Leah and Jonathan (with one on the way). I am an Elder at LRBC and work on the Pastoral Team as Pastoral Trainee.