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My Story - Shirley Edwards
This is a special message to tell you that I have committed my life to Jesus Christ. I know some of you already made this commitment and to those you have not, it is the best decision you can make. I know I made the right decision. Last night at church, where I fellowship I made this commitment as in Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved".
Although, I have a job I really like, an art talent, which is God's gift, supportive family and a lovely home, I still felt unfulfilled and guilty about my selfish worldly life. Many years ago, I was involved in a Christian cult, which I managed to leave before I got indoctrinated. But the experience left me confused about the true love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus that I thought I was a reprobate and would go to hell, when I die.
As years went by, my guilt and bad dreams got worse and I was terrified of death. Even though I occasionally went to church, I dismissed the bible's message and would not repent. The more I refused to listen, the guiltier and emptier my life became. Then God had revealed to me images of hell and the eternal darkness and despair that I knew its existence is real. But I was convinced that God had abandoned me and became obsessed with the verse Hebrews 10:26, which clearly states "'For if we wilfully sin after we have received the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins". But the big question was did I know the truth and was there any chance of redemption for me?
One morning, last month I could no longer bear reading this verse again and I felt this strong need to switch on a Christian channel. It wasn't a channel I viewed much but I got out of bed to watch it. It just happened there was a programme on with a pastor doing a teaching about what Jesus promises in St. Luke, 11: 9: "'And I shall say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you". I knew this was a direct message that God hadn't forsaken me and his door was left wide open for me to enter! But I still needed more reassurance.
I knew I had to talk to someone who was a Christian and decided to call a Christian channel's office in the UK. I chatted to a lady and I told her my story. She said that Jesus had already forgiven me for my sins and wanted me to commit my life to him. At this moment, I had felt this great feeling of love and belonging and knew Jesus was in the room as she told me this.
Since that day, I had to make big changes, because Jesus wants you to surrender everything in your life to him. But the new life he has given me is so much better than before and I'm at peace with my soul. I am no longer scared of death nor burdened with the problems of this world because I trust the Lord and I know he will look after me forever.
My mum says I'm a calmer person and I have also reconciled with my Dad. We hurt each other very badly in the past; that it seemed impossible I could ever forgive or see him again. But all things that are impossible with us humans are possible with our Lord Jesus and we have forgiven each other. I want my whole family saved and I know they will be soon.
I'm going to use my artistic gift to bring other souls to him and to glorify his name. As in 1 Corinthians: 12, Paul talks about these different gifts that God gives us and in verse 4 he said: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit". Amen.