by paul bell-tye
(bury st eds,suffolk,uk)
I have thought long and hard about my baptism, and I have always thought to myself is it the right time, am I ready to give God what he wants, and in the back of my mind I have always thought, I’m not good enough, I have always really been ashamed of my past, and it’s not as if I had ever done anything wrong, it’s just when a child is born and is told that his not wanted, and then given away, and then you grow up in a attitude of you can’t do that ,you not good enough, if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t be here now, that type of thing all the time, obviously your heart is ripped in half, then you would be sent to primary school Monday to Friday for more harassment then Saturday you would have to stay in your room out of sight, then on to Sunday school which was a break from all the pressure, until it stopped because to much enjoyment was had, then you make the big step of secondary school, you start and it’s a great adventure, but it ends being more trauma, when the constant bullying starts each day, you end up not knowing which is best, being hit at home or school ,but it was here were I met a friend who would always have his bible in his bag. wherever he went, he came from this really religious family ,he too was on the bully registrar, mainly because he was in a wheel chair we were friends right throw the rest of our time there, and a little beyond , but his attitude was different to the bullies I asked the question why? And his answer was something I wanted to know more about, later that week I got myself one of those books, it ended up being my little world, a place where you could hide, we managed to get though those years together with one main thing in our lives Jesus, sadly the lord took my friend some years later but I’m sure his watching me now and thinking to himself “it’s about time”.
I started full time employment became a little bit of a recluse; my life would be work and home. Sadly once I lost my friend I lost the something else in my life the friendship we both shared God. The thing that got us through several beatings and something I wasn’t going to share with anybody else.
Then in1989 Shelly came along couldn’t understand why but she changed my life, she brought me something I never really understood love and affection, can’t say it’s been easy for her, this wall I had in front of me all the time, to keep everybody out took her a long time to knock down but eventually the sledge hammer she was welding, got rid of it and in 1992 we married, one of the happiest days of my life, it’s still quite hard to show her and the children affection or my emotions that I love them but I do, Years later I found I still had something missing yep Jesus, I now had this mission to rediscover that one man, who I knew I could talk to.
Years I searched but could not really find what I was looking for different churches went by.
But just over 4 years ago, when my health was not so good and the Doctors and Papworth were becoming a regular monthly thing. I discovered Park View Chapel, with the help of Mike and Mary they seemed to light that fire back in me; their friendship came at a time when we as a family needed it the most and so far in our life’s they have been they for us every time.
From there Shelly and I started to attend park view on a regular basis our children at already been coming to cross tracks, extreme club and Friday clubs for some time, there on one Sunday we were sitting and I thought to myself, yes this is the place to be, there friendly, they accept the children (there’s no looking at you in who to you think you are kind of way)and there’s this warm feeling I can’t explain, so well come again, and we did, and were still here!
16th September 2007 at 1030am our first weekend away at Sizewell with Park View , that’s the day, I knew I had re-found Jesus love, I was sitting in the conference room, prayer to the lord, when I had the glorious revelation of the grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I gladly gave my life to Him that morning.
Since then my life has been different, but still that doubt of being ashamed of my past stilled haunted me, however one sunny morning, I was on door duty a little bit depressed
but staying cheerful.
When Stuart came up to me and started talking, for some strange reason I started to talk to him about my past, I could feel my eyes getting tearful but the question was why?
He was relatively a complete stranger but I didn’t hold back I seemed to be grateful to be able to share the burden I had been carrying, he told me I had nothing to be ashamed of, and his right since that morning talking to him his given me a new aspect on life, and his done me a favor, because I’m not worried any more I know God is there to protect one of his children when in need. I just needed that push (in Stuarts case a push of a ski slope)
But it’s the friend ship with my house group that’s brought me to this point.
What a group of people I can’t thank them all enough.
Andrew who seems to also have the right answers and is able to show that God’s work is flowing though him, in so many different ways, he always sees the best in people, and knows exactly how to get it out of them, he as the ability to change lives forever, if you are open and willing to accept his words.
Mike who is like a wise old owl doesn’t say a lot but when he does its powerful and true, you can guarantee is loyalty to you as friend.
Mary she’s been a rock on a stormy sea never fails to surprise me.
Pam, she alone testifies to me how great prayer is and of the lord’s unfailing love to his children.
Sherry I class her as small but dangerous, she’s always there to answer your questions, you may think her answer is wrong at the time, but do a little research, and you will find she’s correct
And Steve a man of many talents, so modest and humble, he also knows what to say and when to say it and his strong attitude to Christ is astounding, it’s a pleasure and an honor to share time with him.
Tuesday 24th of February a usual day got up went to work stopped as normal at 10am to be on my own for prayer and bible reading, boring day at work came home but that evening was to prove to be an uplifting experience I was not expecting, I went to house group as normal happy in the knowledge that I would be able to hear and understand Gods words in the company and fellowship of friends , the feeling the week before was of great joy and some sadness, we went ten pin bowling, I was able to see the love of Jesus with a group of people with smiling faces and happy in knowing Jesus loves them all, it was nice to see them having fun as a group before Andrew leaves.
But this night Sherry took lead at house group, Andrew was away in Scotland, she gave us extra time for prayer , before communion, I have never asked for so much forgiveness my eyes were filling, and I had this lump in my throat sharing the wine felt like Christ blood rushing throw my body, the bread tasted strange, I could not tell you the taste but I closed my eyes a shiver ran throw my body, and I felt has if we were all sitting and the lords table and he was giving this to us what a privilege to have this experience with my house group, a experience I shall remember and savor for the rest of my days, I stopped on the way home that night and cried, at the thought of Jesus dying for me, the next morning I woke with this massive smile on my face, and I knew it was time to be baptized and to show everybody that my life belongs to the lord, and that first I needed to prove to him my mind is strong with his will, and that I’m worthy of his salvation, I kneeled and prayed lord as this day being the first day of lent, I open my heart to you and to fill 40 days abstaining from dairy products, to cleanse myself and my mind to prove to you, I will carry out your will and if you are willing to wash away my sins as I ask your forgiveness on the day of fulfillment and thereafter, I will carry out your will and live the life you demand from me.
And here I am! Ready and willing to show the whole world that my life is no longer my own, but I belong to a power greater than anybody can imagine and everything I do from now I do it willing for the love of Jesus Christ whom gave his life for me.