It all started for me, funnily enough, when I read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ last summer. When I read this book, I made the same mistake as I’m sure many other readers did. I started to believe everything that was written. What I had forgotten was that this book is a novel. The views were just that of the different characters, but the line in the book that made me look into the truth, was that of Bishop Aringarosa’s when he was on the plane. The line is, ‘people are afraid of what they do not understand’. So I was like, ok, I want to understand. So a few months after, I started to ask people about their views on the book, and then started to ask my Christian friends about what they thought. The time that really broke through though was one night at the pub with sarah and my house mates, and I was asking her all the questions I could think of to try and disprove what Christians believed by only going on what was written in this book. I could see that she was getting uneasy about all these questions, then she suddenly turned to me and said, ‘I can’t answer all of these questions J, but there is an Alpha course starting in 3 weeks, please come along and your questions will be answered’. I thought about this, and found myself turning up on the 1st week of Alpha.
In these 3 weeks though, I had made a deal with Sarah that if she was to read the Da Vinci Code, I would read the Bible, or at least the New Testament (Gideons). (if I had read the whole Bible, it would have been very unfair, as the novel is somewhat shorter than the Bible). I will say now that I had only got through half of Matthew before putting it down that night.
Anyway, back to Alpha. The 1st week was lovely, we got there, had a lovely meal. Compliments to the chefs. And then I listened to different people’s testimonies, and I felt I could really understand what they meant when they said that whatever they did, they could not be satisfied with life until they found God and the truth. My ears where open from this point on. Now here is my first comforting experience. After the sermons and before we left that night, I spoke to Tope, and he said I should come to church on Sunday morning, and if I remember correctly, my response was ‘I’d never be up at that time’. It got to Sunday and I got up early, and went to church with Sarah. And when the service was starting, Tope came to the front and his exact words were ‘Welcome everybody to Jubilee this morning, Welcome Jason……’ I was taken aback. First time I’d stepped into church in a few years and I get a welcome like that!!! Wow!!!!
Now after this first week at church, I got home from uni one day and sarah gave me a piece of paper, and said I should read this passage. It said Psalm 139. I went and looked at this in my Gideons Bible, and it really touched me. I missed the second week of alpha as I couldn’t make it but I caught up the next week through a CD copy of the sermon. I went home and put the cd on to my itunes and laid back on my bed and listened to it. At the end of the sermon, Tope asked everyone in the room to repeat a prayer after him, if they want to they can just say the words, but if they mean it they can say it with all their heart, because that is your prayer and God truly sees that. As I was lying down, I repeated the prayer, and as I said it I knew I meant every word of it. I didn’t think that was it, but I felt different. Free, like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The rest of that night, I picked up a bible that I had and started to read from Genesis. The next day I didn’t really mention it to anyone, but I had a really good day, and felt amazing the whole day, then that night in the pub, I was speaking to Sarah at the bar and told her about the prayer and how I said the words and meant them, and she started jumping up and down on the spot, saying that’s it, that’s it. You’ve become a Christian!!!! I was so happy, and I didn’t even realise, but it explained why my heart felt warmer. I looked at my watch to see the date, and I couldn’t believe it. It was May 5th, which means I became a Christian on May 4th. Now for those of you who know me really well, you know how cheesy my jokes are. For years before, I had made the same joke on this day. May the 4th be with you. It always used to make me laugh. God clearly had shown how much he wanted me.
The best is yet to come. That night after the pub, we went back home, and me and Sarah we’re sitting in my room and I showed her a Bible I was given 11 years ago at a Christian kids club that I used to attend. I hadn’t picked this Bible up for over 10 years. She flicked through it and I noticed it had a page marked in it with a piece of paper. The page that was marked was none other than Psalm 139!!!! I was shocked, surprised and fascinated, but above all I was amazed. God is really showing himself to me. A few weeks after, I was tidying my room, knelt on the floor, and looked up to my wall and was amazed. When I moved in a year and a half before, I nailed some pictures up on my wall. There was a fairly big framed picture of my families crest, and surrounding it was 4 certificates from school. One above, one below, and one either side. Then below it was a poster. It was a crucifix. God had placed himself in my life before I was ready to accept Jesus into my life, so he could be there for me.
I decided I definitely wanted to get baptised when I went to
I truely feel blessed by God that I have been given the chance to be baptised, especially with a church that has been there for me. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures yet, but as soon as I have some available to post, I will. I want to say thanks to everyone who was there to support me and see me testify and take a step on God's path in Jesus' footsteps. For those of you who were unable to be there, I hope you get a chance to read this and I understand that you couldnt make it in time.
I have felt amazng and new since coming out from the water and I truely feel Jesus is walking with me now. I have one word of advice to those who are considering Baptism. Do it, Jesus commanded it of his followers, and it is a way to publically commit yourself to living a life full of God's love.