GRACE AT WORK

Tom Saw

I turned to God when my Grandma passed away in December 2007. I was completely unprepared for the grief I would feel when my Grandma died and I had no idea how to cope. I started to pray for the first time in my life. 

I didn’t go to church growing up so I had very little knowledge of God, but the Lord began to work in my life during the next 18 months. Having lived a very selfish life up to this point, especially during my teenage years, I began to understand my sinfulness and my great need of a Saviour. God was so good to me and He led me along during this season of my life, revealing His love to me in so many different ways. I eventually got hold of a Bible and it was here that I met Jesus. I discovered who He is and, most wonderfully, what He has done. God showed me the way out of the hole I was in and led me to my Saviour Jesus. 

There wouldn’t be enough time to tell you of all God’s goodness and faithfulness to me from these days up until today. My life literally started again when I came to faith, and God brought me onto a new path. In these years the Lord has revealed His love to me in wonderful ways: deepening my faith, helping me to trust Him, always teaching, correcting and changing me. Life hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve had seasons of difficulty and pain, but God’s love to me has always been unfailing and unconditional. Even though I have failed, doubted, and forgotten Him many times in my few years as a believer, He has never failed me. With all of my heart I know that God is good.

Erin Hodson

If you don't read anything else or take in anything else then take in this, Jesus changed my life (and can change yours!), Jesus loves me (and you) with a love far greater than anyone could ever and will ever love me (or you)!

I grew up in a wonderful Christian home in which I went to church every Sunday, attended GB, Sunday School, Good News Club etc etc. I knew deep down that Jesus was real but didn't want to admit that, I felt the gospel was for older people who had their lives together. I remember saying to God, not now, wait until I get my degree, I get my first job, until I get married, until everything is perfect. Little did I know that life is never going to be 100% perfect nor am I ever going to have life fully together! (Silly me!) 

 

In 2011, I moved to Galway and was completely isolated, looking back I know that this was the only way that God was ever really going to get through to me. In my comfortable little life back home, I had too many distractions, too many excuses not to come to God. I began opening up my bible (which had been strategically packed for me by a loving relative!) and learning more about God's amazing salvation plan, his amazing love, his amazing grace and amazing mercy - I couldn't put it down! I started on page one and worked my way through until I got to Isaiah 53, I couldn't read any further! (Give it a read and you will understand)

I couldn't get past the point that Jesus was sent to die for me, to take my punishment, he was rejected for me, suffered for me! How could someone possibly love me that much? Care about me that much? I cried and I cried! For the next couple of weeks I tried everything to evade that passage/that truth again but every-time I picked up the bible - the words of Isaiah 53 screamed out to me. On the road to Galway, I finally did the best thing I have ever done, I gave my life to Jesus! I asked him to be my saviour and friend and I haven't ever regretted it.

I'm not saying that I haven't let him down (many times) and that life hasn't been hard (it has, at times, believe me!) but through everything he is there revealing himself to me, going through everything with me, loving me with an unconditional, life-changing love! Jesus is all I want and all I need! 

I turned to God when my Grandma passed away in December 2007. I was completely unprepared for the grief I would feel when my Grandma died and I had no idea how to cope. I started to pray for the first time in my life. 

I didn’t go to church growing up so I had very little knowledge of God, but the Lord began to work in my life during the next 18 months. Having lived a very selfish life up to this point, especially during my teenage years, I began to understand my sinfulness and my great need of a Saviour. God was so good to me and He led me along during this season of my life, revealing His love to me in so many different ways. I eventually got hold of a Bible and it was here that I met Jesus. I discovered who He is and, most wonderfully, what He has done. God showed me the way out of the hole I was in and led me to my Saviour Jesus. 

There wouldn’t be enough time to tell you of all God’s goodness and faithfulness to me from these days up until today. My life literally started again when I came to faith, and God brought me onto a new path. In these years the Lord has revealed His love to me in wonderful ways: deepening my faith, helping me to trust Him, always teaching, correcting and changing me. Life hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve had seasons of difficulty and pain, but God’s love to me has always been unfailing and unconditional. Even though I have failed, doubted, and forgotten Him many times in my few years as a believer, He has never failed me. With all of my heart I know that God is good.

Erin Hodson

If you don't read anything else or take in anything else then take in this, Jesus changed my life (and can change yours!), Jesus loves me (and you) with a love far greater than anyone could ever and will ever love me (or you)!

I grew up in a wonderful Christian home in which I went to church every Sunday, attended GB, Sunday School, Good News Club etc etc. I knew deep down that Jesus was real but didn't want to admit that, I felt the gospel was for older people who had their lives together. I remember saying to God, not now, wait until I get my degree, I get my first job, until I get married, until everything is perfect. Little did I know that life is never going to be 100% perfect nor am I ever going to have life fully together! (Silly me!) 

 

In 2013, I moved to Galway and was completely isolated, looking back I know that this was the only way that God was ever really going to get through to me. In my comfortable little life back home, I had too many distractions, too many excuses not to come to God. I began opening up my bible (which had been strategically packed for me by a loving relative!) and learning more about God's amazing salvation plan, his amazing love, his amazing grace and amazing mercy - I couldn't put it down! I started on page one and worked my way through until I got to Isaiah 53, I couldn't read any further! (Give it a read and you will understand)

I couldn't get past the point that Jesus was sent to die for me, to take my punishment, he was rejected for me, suffered for me! How could someone possibly love me that much? Care about me that much? I cried and I cried! For the next couple of weeks I tried everything to evade that passage/that truth again but every-time I picked up the bible - the words of Isaiah 53 screamed out to me. On the road to Galway, I finally did the best thing I have ever done, I gave my life to Jesus! I asked him to be my saviour and friend and I haven't ever regretted it.

I'm not saying that I haven't let him down (many times) and that life hasn't been hard (it has, at times, believe me!) but through everything he is there revealing himself to me, going through everything with me, loving me with an unconditional, life-changing love! Jesus is all I want and all I need! 

Alan Wallace

Born in Scotland just at the end of the second world war I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a Christian home. I would like to be able to write that I accepted the Christian doctrine and my life became one of faith in God. Sadly that was not to be—I wanted to experience what the world had to offer !! 

 

School was basically a waste of time for me .I was interested in sport (though not very good at it ) ,anything to do with figures and the exit door .As a result I left school with a piece of paper which stated I had attended regularly but with no qualifications. However I did have a job to go to as an office boy. 

 

My late teens saw me introduced to gambling (dogs and horses) and alcohol (I still blame my elder brother for that !!).At the age of 19 I took up football refereeing. Basically I thought I could do better than those already doing the job !!.As it happens I did do quite well finally ending up a number of years later officiating at some of the top semi-professional games in the country.

 

I got married in my early 20's and moved to Manchester to take up an appointment in the Civil Service having obtained some qualifications via day release and evening classes.. 

 

Somewhat surprisingly I continued to attend chuch. I say surprisingly as I didn't really believe very much. Basically I believed there was a God but very little else. I didn't need anything else .I had a good wife ,two lovely children ,successful career at work and football When I look back now I think perhaps I continued attending because the church had an amateur drama group (which was one of hobbies) and the children needed instruction on Christian principles (better getting it from somebody other than me !!). 

 

I moved to Leeds on promotion and very quickly lost the desire to attend church though I did attend the monthly parade services for the uniformed organisations in which my children were involved. 

One Sunday it was announced there was going to be an adult baptism service (by full immersion) s which seemed quite interesting to attend as a spectator !!Somewhat amazingly while listening to the various testimonies of those being baptised I became convinced that maybe (just maybe !!)there was some truth in the bible and a purpose to life !! 

 

Next week we had a visit from the minister who asked both my wife and I if we wanted to learn more about the Christian faith and he spent several weeks helping us to learn more. I think perhaps because of my church background the bible became alive to me and I quickly realised I was a sinner who needed to repent and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour.As this was 1985 life really did begin for me at 40!! 

 

Now I would love to report that since then everything in the garden has been lovely -but not so!! 

My wife has been in poor health for around 10 years and I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease over 4 years ago. So in a sense every day is a bit of a struggle. However I know God is on my side and will never let me down. 

 

If anyone asked me what changes have occurred .in my life since becoming a Christian I would say firstly I think differently. I also consider others more in terms of giving both in terms of time and money. I am by no means perfect and am encouraged by a verse in the bible which says He (God) who began a good work in me will continue until the day of Christ Jesus. 

 

I mentioned earlier that I was a football referee. In my time I made many decisions (some right and some wrong !!) but the best and correct decision in my life was to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. 

If you read this let me assure Jesus is alive and real. He can change your life. Everthing will not immediately turn to gold but you will experience life which really is life and hope for the future. This testimony comes from someone who tried the world had to offer and found no satisfaction. To quote another verse from the bible -I have tried the broken cisterns but oh the waters failed. 

Jesus is in fact the only answer to the world's needs !!

Tom Saw

© 2019 GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH, LEEDS NORTH.  Charity Reg. 1140281

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