Three Coffees

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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Dan – Extended Story

I was born into a Christian family and grew up in a loving home. As with all families, we had good and tough times, but God was always the centre of our home.

When I was around the age of 15/16 I spent more and more time with mates outside of church and eventually away from God pretty much altogether. Most of my time and energy for the next few years was focussed on doing my own thing which usually ended up revolving around women, drink and drugs.

During this time I met my wife (who had a pretty calming influence on me!) and ultimately in 1989 we got married and our woderful son and daughter soon followed. We started our marriage the hard way- young, no money, having children straight away, doing it without God and this quickly brought some tension in our relationship. Not long after we had our kids the company I was working for went bust and I was out of work. I found some work but at times the money was really poor which got me down but I stuck with it all the same, until when I was 24 I incurred a serious knee injury which prevented me from continuing my job. I managed to side step and went into the sales and then management side of the flooring industry which was really good until in 1999, I was made redundant as I fell out of favour with the owner.

I managed to find another job okay, but again, starting on lower wages and having to work back up I became quite insecure and very angry and depressed. By this time we had accumulated pretty big debts which were seemingly out of control. During this time I had re-committed my life to God, but was practically and emotionally in a real mess. I couldn’t sleep, my weight plummeted and I felt nauseous continually.

My “cure” for this was to make myself sick, giving me a chance to try and sleep before the nausea came back. It was a short term solution that quickly spiralled out of control to the point of wanting to go to sleep and not wake up. I felt terrible that I was makingmy family go through all of this- that just compounded the problem with guilt. They were brilliant, but I just couldn’t change how I felt.

The Church I was in at the time were brilliant, praying and supporting us (a couple of close friends and my brother in particular). One  day we were studying Sowing, Tithing etc and I felt really challenged to respond but at that time we were well over £20000 in debt, our income was in the region of £250 per month less than our outgoings and I had to convince my non-Christian wife we should give more away!!! I prayed (for my life!!) and to my amazement, she said “what have we got to lose?”. Within the same month of beginning to obey God in our giving, every company we were paying froze the interest and said that every pound we pay will come off the amounts we owed- something we’d pleaded with them all, with no success for months.

You have to really work at things- Marriage, family, finance and your relationship with God if you want to succeed, not just expect thing to fall on your lap. Dueteronomy 8 tells us that God gives us the ability to produce wealth, but is preceded by us using our hands and putting in effort.

Since then, my wife has given her heart to God, we have faithfully Tithed everything we have and sowed seed both in time and practicality and God has blessed us with job security, peace, provision, good health and a great Church family. We’ve still had to pay our debts, but God has provided the means for us to do that (we’ll be paid off by december this year), we still have problems and challenges and I’m far from perfect, but in the midst of all of these things, we have Real deep peace which is hard to explain, but is more powerful than you can imagine, and a real Hope for the future forus as a family and individually.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11


Linda

042In 2002 I started going to hospital with two small lumps in my breast, and went backwards and forwards for two years being told that all was ok. The lumps were growing, and I insisted to be seen again, this time the lumps are size of boiled eggs, and I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.

I felt all the way through the Lord lifted me up and carried me through. I stood on Psalm 23, and in the operating room and on the ward, everywhere I turned there were christians nursing me. I had a complete masectomy, I later found out that I was misdiagnosed, and had they paid notice of results in 2002, all this could of been avoided.

I had a year of chemo and radiotherapy, and reached remission in 2010, but during this time the Lord carried me at all times.


Keith

I’ve lived in Gloucester all of my life. From a young age I experienced a lot of negativity in my life,  was neglected and abused as a child, was surrounded by spiritual oppression and made some really bad lifestyle choices. This all came to a head in the early nineties when I was diagnosed with a serious illness which resulted in lots of time in and out of hospital. To make things worse, so-called ‘friends’ stole almost everything I owned, leaving me with literally a suitcase of clothes. By this stage I’d had enough and wanted to end it all.

God had other ideas though and so, into my darkness he shone a light of hope, creating a new heart and perspective, giving me a future worth living for. I’ve been a christian ever since.


Caroline

CarolineI had a great childhood. My parents were Christians so we went to church regularly but it was always because of their faith rather than my own.

When I was 16 I realised that although I knew a lot about Jesus I didn’t really know Him so I made the decision to follow Him and all that He stood for.

Years later I can honestly say that life would be so boring without Him. He gives me purpose and although I mess up and I sometimes make mistakes, He is always constant. Jesus gives my life meaning and hope and I couldn’t imagine it without Him.

He is amazing!


Leigh

Leigh

I’ve always believed in God from as young as I can remember. I used to hide under my blankets so God couldn’t see how naughty I was.

I booked my place in heaven aged 27 when I asked Jesus into my heart and life. That was the straight forward part, now I had to try and follow him and become more like him.

10 years later I wanted to take my own life because my life had got so painful. There were areas of my life that I wanted to be in control of and it all went very wrong.

Well God saved me again and this time he really helped me to restore my life, faith and damaged personal relationships.

Today, life’s the best it has ever been. I’m a new person with a hope for the future. My relationship with Jesus means everything and has to come first in my life.


Heidi

Heidi

At 17 I became a Christian. I thought I would never turn my back on that decision.

Then in 2009 I did. Life got messy. I slowly stopped trusting God and began trying to figure stuff out for myself. Life got worse. I got angry.

In September 2009, I went to watch Joseph at the theatre. Joseph had a dream but life went real bad. But Joseph still trusted in God and didn’t forget his dreams. As I watched I began wanting to remember my dreams. I wanted to believe there was more to life than just existing, to see my future as good.

I went to church that Sunday and couldn’t stop crying. I began to put stuff right with God.

Six months later, I have peace and hope again. I thank God for being patient with me and not giving up on me. The futures bright once again.


Jon

3cof1

As a child I came to church with the rest of my family, thinking it was the way it was, not knowing any different, but not a confident person. One year we went to a conference called ‘Grapevine’ held in Lincolnshire, I remember seeing three guys getting up onto a stage and picking up instruments and playing songs without any music sheets, cycling through songs and the presence of God falling, completely unknown to me. All I could focus on was the three musicians on stage leading the worship, and simply saying ‘I want what they have’.

 

Now I’m part of a Music team leading within worship, taken on leadership roles, and have confidence to be who I am through God. This had led me to take such roles on and grow me into more than I have been, with a stronger faith and hope for what God has planned.


Ian

Ian

Up until I was 30, my life had nothing to do with religion whatsoever! Then one day last summer I was reading a fiction book that had a part that involved the life of Jesus. As I was reading, a thought just suddenly crashed into my head, ‘This man, Jesus, spread the teaching of love, respect and hope, and died because of it for us!

Isn’t this man worthy of your worship?’

After this experience I just wanted to find out more about Jesus, so after a few weeks of soul searching I bought a bible and began reading it (much to the shock of my partner who thought I was just a big atheist!) and things just started to make sense in my life. Now I find myself just wanting to seek out more about Jesus and worshiping God!


Alan

Alan

I was 33 years old before I let God into my life. I had turned my back on Christianity. It had no meaning and I hated religion. Then one day, whilst my wife was pregnant for the first time, God broke into my life. My mother-in-law was a Christian and suddenly spoke to me in a ‘foreign’ language, but I knew she did not speak anything other than English. She then interpreted what she had just said: “If you want to know if I exist, seek me before your child is born!”

 

Out of curiosity I visited Robinswood church, where I felt the presence of God and realised for the first time that God was indeed real!

 

Since then my life has been transformed. I cannot understand how I lived without Jesus. Even in the most difficult circumstances (and there have been a few), he has never let me down.


Dave

Dave

Having been taken to church since I can remember there was always a danger that I would just carry on a family tradition. It was at a very young age that I would state a belief in God and the fact that Jesus came to earth for everyone. However, as we all find there are things that happen in life that test our resolve, confidence and faith. The fact is bad things happen, no matter if people are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Having come to my own adult conclusions I now find that when trials come I lean on God and as my faith has been tested it has been proved. Knowing that God has been there in the past has increased my sense of hope for the future. I still have a lot to learn, but I move forward with true confidence.


Kennedy

Kennedy

My mum and dad broke up when I was still in my mum’s womb, so I never got to know my dad. My mum remarried and her husband did not like me so she left me in the hands of her parents who then were Methodists. Life was very tough for me as a child so much that at one point I wanted to commit suicide. I was hopeless and I never dreamt I would avail to anything. I thought God loved others more than me. However at the age of sixteen I gave my life to Jesus and since then life has never been the same. I am happily married to Prisca and God has blessed us with two kids. We are prospering both physically and spiritually! I am now a preacher of hope to the nations in Africa!!! Jesus is the only hope for families of the earth!!!


Diane

Diane

Being a single parent is not a lifestyle I chose for myself or my child. Being a Christian seemed to make the turmoil of separation and divorce even more heart breaking because I knew how God honours family life and how He is grieved by any breakdown of relationships.

 

But through this experience I have learned how loving and forgiving God really is and how He understands my weaknesses. Not only does God accept me in my failings but He also restores my life by helping me to forgive myself and others. God also gave me a new sense of hope in the future. I am now happy in the knowledge that God will never leave me or give up on me no matter what happens.


Andy

Andy

The first redundancy may be the hardest. A man’s identity and self respect naturally comes from what he does. He usually believes that he should be providing for his family and one of the earliest notes in a new conversation is, “…and what do you do for a living?” Even if you have survived previous redundancies and received plaudits, even though half your colleagues are finished too, the sense of loss and shame can be painful. 

 

I have 15 years left until normal retirement and am on job number seven so far. The most certain thing about life and work is change. To me Christ is the changeless guide, the surest constant in a mixed up and often senseless world.  His presence morphs the twists and turns of life into a purposeful journey. He did not promise to make life easy but to make us more like him – through it all.


Steve

Steve.

When I was about 7 years old, my home was not a happy place.


My parents had frequent arguments and their marriage was in a bad way.  When they got to rock bottom, they found Jesus, (or rather, He found them) and He helped them put their lives back together. I was impressed, and asked Jesus to be my friend, just as they had. As I got into my late teens, I wanted to make sure that what I believed had a foundation to it, so I did a lot of research and reading.  This confirmed to me that I had put my faith in someone who really did walk this earth 2000 years ago. I have also experienced the reality of Jesus in my life through the years, especially when my wife was seriously ill a couple of years ago. I had a strong sense that Jesus was with us through it all, and my wife is now well again.


Phil

PhilI was brought up in a Christian family although church was really just a ‘social’ thing for me when I was young. In my later teens I was trying to make sense of who I was and where I fitted into the whole wider scheme of things and discovered the role that God played and could play in my life – adding him into the equation meant that lots of other questions were answered and now made a lot more sense and my faith in God went on to become the foundation for my life.

 

I believe this has given me the peace and guidance that I needed and was looking for together with the hope and certainty about the future that I wanted. Looking back I can see how he has guided me through the various life stages (although I was sometimes not always aware of this during some of those times).


Kev

Kevin

I was brought up in a Christian family.  We went to Church every Sunday and my parents were very involved in various Church activities.

I remember an occasion, as a very young child, when a visiting preacher came to our Church.  I must have been no more than 6 or 7 years old.  He asked if there was anyone who wanted to commit their lives to serving God – I responded to this appeal with a very simple prayer.  When I was 16 years old I re-affirmed my commitment to God, and since that time I have had a desire to see other people experience the same freedom in their lives as I do.

Having a personal relationship with God is the most important thing in my life – He has blessed me in so many different ways.  God is in the business of transforming people’s lives, giving hope and purpose.  There isn’t anyone who can’t be changed by the love of God – Life is for living and I believe that with God we live a fuller life than we could ever imagine.

 

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Eric

Eric

I attended Sunday School and was confirmed at 13 but didn’t understand what it was all about. At 16 I started living the way I wanted including drinking and smoking. I married and had two children before getting divorced. I then married a lady who attended Church and I started going with her. I realised there was a better way to live and committed my life to God. My life started to change for the better, I got a good job and we were able to buy a house. Even when things got tough God provided for us. My wife became ill and eventually died but even through this God provided for me and my faith grew stronger. I am blessed to have good Christian friends to share my life with and I am thankful that God is a God of second chances.


Roger

Roger

I was taken to church from a very early age by my Christian parents so I have always known about Jesus. There came a time when I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to continue in the Christian faith that I was brought up in. I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus teachings and commit to the Christian way of life.

Its great having a faith that is positive and that affects every area of my life, such as family, friends, work and recreation, Jesus is worth following. Because of the way Jesus lived, died and came back to life again I don’t have to work to gain God’s approval. I have a faith that helps me as I face different challenges each day and gives me a sure hope for a great future in an uncertain world.


Paul

Paul

I grew up in a loving family where my parents struggled to provide the best they could for my brother and I.

From an early age I was taught about God and the Bible, but merely learning about someone and something in church can be no different than learning history at school.

It is only when the realisation hits home that God is more than “someone out there;” rather He wants to develop a relationship with you. This will change your life!

This reality doesn’t insulate you from life’s difficulties, or from the hurts of watching family suffer the effects of illness or injury.

But life with God gives an inner peace and a hope despite the circumstances. More than that, God has a plan for each of us. Finding my place in Him has brought fulfilment and an excitement for the future.  He’s waiting for you to come to the same realisation.


Val

Val H

I have been a Christian since I was a child. My parents went to church so for me it was the norm. During my teenage years I came to a crossroads where I had to make a choice for myself. I instinctively knew there was ‘good & evil’ & ‘Heaven & hell’ and it was up to me which way I chose.

I decided to ask God to have control of my life and know now that my eternity will be spent in a great place. I have learnt over the last 30 years that being a Christian brings freedom but I also know it does not make you immune from the issues life chucks at you. I know that God gives hope in every situation and implicit trust which is an amazing gift. Would I change my life? No way!

I love it and recommend you give it a try.


Amy

AmyBeing virtually brought up in church I knew all the right moves. I knew exactly what to say and do at exactly the right time…and I enjoyed it!

Church on a Sunday, then back to normality in the week- I thought I was getting the best of both worlds.

I was so wrong! It wasn’t until I decided to build every part of my life on my faith, that I realised I was missing out on the whole reason I was alive – to live my life as a response to what Jesus has done for me.

Now I know that whatever I’m going through, God is there for me- wanting me to live in the freedom and hope that comes from knowing him personally- what more do you need?


Ann

AnnFear, anxiety, dissatisfaction, anger, disappointment, shame – emotions that ruled me, until one night I gave up trying to deal with all these things myself and asked Jesus to take control of my life.

Having always believed that there was a God, I had no idea that I could have a personal relationship with Him or that I could call God my Father, until someone told me Jesus died for my sins. All I had to do was ask Jesus to come into my life.

An amazing transaction took place that night, hope came into my heart. I had a new beginning. I have failed many times but God remains faithful. His love has pursued me all my life. On becoming a child of God you enter into a unique family, all with a common purpose, to love God and serve others. My life is now ruled by hope, joy, peace, love and purpose.

 

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