If you're wondering why there's religious stuff on a racket stringing website, read on. Also, please note, I'm not a "writer", for example the way words should flow etc, but bear with me as the point is in what I've said, not how it's been written.
My dad's been a lay preacher for 60 odd years. Now 87, he only gives an occasional sermon. From this you'll gather, I was brought up in a Christian home.
Whilst growing up I had to go to Church every Sunday morning and evening until I was 17. It really wasn't my idea of fun... Leaving my friends in the afternoon to get ready for Church that night would hang over me like a gloomy cloud. With hindsight, I wish I'd listened when I was in Church, but me and my friend (whom I roped into coming with me when we were teenagers) would sneak out during the first prayer of the evening service and go to the Real McCoy on Church Street for some chips. At 15 (Going back 33 years this was quite rock and roll.....! for me anyway!).
Looking back, I'm glad I was made (and believe me, I was made) to go to Church. I tried all sorts of ways to get out of going! But 99.9% of the time my dad would see right through my "clever" (not so) tricks.
The things I did learn at Church, were all good; Sunday School, seeing the lovely people there, and my parents' dear Christian friends - Now older and wiser, I'm so glad I did grow up in that environment.
So moving on from that; over the years during my teens, 20's, 30's and early 40's I haven't had any interest in God, religion or going to Church. But I have to say, that I've always just "known" God exists. He's been there for me every step of the way, answered my small prayers and some big ones too and let me make my own decisions not affecting my "free will".
Whilst growing up, dad would talk to me about Jesus and the Bible etc., I wasn't interested in the slightest, the only reason I'd listen to him was out of love and respect, it was like this from being a young kid, until I was 43 years old.
So, my point is that I understand what it's like to have someone talk about God (Jesus) if you aren't interested. Hopefully though, as this is a bit random you might read on?
Anyway, things changed for me just over 5 years ago. I still wasn't interested in Godly things / Church in the slightest, and I still had dad (and mum) trying their best, even though I was 40+! Mum was subtle in her approach, not wanting me to dig my heels in. I understand now, why they kept on about it, and it's because I understand that I'm writing this.
Around 5 years ago, I was working, struggling to string a racket. The customer had removed the strings, thinking they were helping, but, the racket had a complicated string "pattern" that could only be worked out by looking at the strings in situ. To make things worse, I was under pressure as it was fast approaching 5pm, when the customer was collecting the racket for a match that night. So, what should have taken me an hour was getting on to 3 1/2 hours. I'm pleased to say this was the first (and last) time this has happened.
It probably sounds like nothing, but I was quite stressed, really stuck, and just didn't know what to do. I prayed, I said "God, I know you're there, and you can see how I'm struggling, please help me with this racket, if you do I'll make sure I tell people how You have helped me". That's the truth, that's what I prayed. I threw another packed of string away, started the racket again and it worked out easily. I was so relieved, it was remarkable how it just - worked out! Over the next few days I felt different, I felt like God was sort of pulling at my heart.
A day or so later, my better half was having a nap after working nights. I wasn't tired, and as it was Easter - Good Friday. I downloaded a children's Easter Bible App onto my Iphone to look at. Reading how fickle most people in the the crowds were; one minute praising Jesus, welcoming Him into Jerusalem, then shortly after, turning on Him and shouting for Him to be Crucified really got to me. All the years I'd gone to Church, growing up in a Christian home, you'd think I'd have known this about the crowds 'n that wouldn't you, but I didn't, because I'd never really listened or been interested.
That Good Friday, looking at the Easter Bible App, I felt moved and emotional. I Googled, where to look in The Bible for details of the Crucifixion, and along with this information, links to a group called "Third Day" came up on a search with a song "Carry My Cross" I watched the video, and I think that's what did it, my emotions welled up like nothing I'd experienced in my life, and I cried with happiness, my chest felt like it was absolutely bursting with joy, it still does!
I phoned my parents, I said GUESS WHAT, and I told them what had happened. They were overjoyed! That was one of the best things ever for them - as they knew, their prayers had been answered and their daughter, Rachel (me) was saved, and when she died she would without a doubt go to Heaven. Over the next few weeks I couldn't get Jesus / The Bible off my mind, I wanted to know more, I felt like He was with me all the time. I was so very happy, calm and excited all at the same time. My better half thought it'd probably wear off after a week, but it didn't, it still hasn't. I was talking to my mum (86) this Easter 2016, she loves to tell me about the special day when I phoned and told them.
I was happy before all this happened, just the usual ups and downs most people have. The deep happiness I have now though has to be felt to be understood.
A week or so after that Good Friday, I had my Iphone stolen (which wasn't covered by insurance). It was my fault, I'd left it in a shop. Anyway, at first I was a bit gutted, but after an hour or so I was really pleased because I hoped that whoever took it looked at all the Christian stuff on it; Bible Apps, Prayer Apps, Christian music etc., I thought how amazing it would be if it changed their lives like ours had been changed. The Bible says that God moves in mysterious ways! And, God devises ways of bringing us to Him - maybe this was His way of bringing someone to Him?
Getting back to my story; A couple of weeks after we became Christians, my better half had to go in hospital for a simple operation, he should have been home the same day and back at work the next. But, after a (quote from the anaesthetist) "zillion to one complication" my partner ended up in intensive care having suffered a Negative Pressure Pulmonary Odema, whilst coming around from the anaesthetic. I can't describe how it felt being led to my partners bed in resuscitation. He was in a medically induced coma. I had been pre warned what to expect - that he might die. What a shock, it was absolutely unbelievable.
So the hospital staff didn't know whether he would live, or be brain damaged if he did, I just had to wait, and pray, but knowing he was a Christian, and had given his life over to Jesus, was a massive comfort. My dad quickly arrived at the hospital and stayed with me, the shock was numbing as we waited for the consultant to come in to tell us if my partner had died. (He didn't, he's ok, in fact he's just sat watching telly with Elijah our nutty whippet as I write this....)
So, y'see when you're a Christian, you understand what it is to be "saved", and when someone you love becomes a Christian, it's a relief, because you have the absolute and utter assurance they're going to be OK, when they die. OK for ETERNITY. You know withoubt a doubt they will go to Heaven when they die.
What does "Saved" mean?
Christians often use words like "Saved". To a none Christian, these (and a lot more - I speak from experience) can make you think Oh, for goodness sake, here we go more religious ****, and I understand, it's just irritating, and some people are quite pious actually! But, here's what Saved means. It means that someone (anyone, you in fact - (>>>> hint hint <<<<)) has acknowledged that Jesus is Gods Son, truly beleives that Jesus willingly died on the cross and rose to life after 3 days, that Jesus is now in Heaven and that you genuinely want to have Jesus in your life; talk (pray) to Him and try to be a better person.
When this happens it's called being saved.
Saved from what?!
Saved from going to hell, for eternity, a place where there is no going back, and a place that's an eternity without God / Jesus.
Just to "know" Jesus exists doesn't mean you are saved, the Devil / Satan is well aware that Jesus exists!
When my partner was well again, life didn't run perfectly. Being a Christian doesn't mean life will run smoothly, in truth, it can be harder, as you may be bombarded with troubles, but God is always there to help if you trust Him. Troubles made us more determined to stick to God, He brought us through, absolutely above and beyond and He still does.
There's much more I want to tell you, I could easily "write" another 50 pages. This happiness and peace, can only come through having Jesus Christ, Gods Son in your life, what a wonderful feeling! It's still with us over 5 years on.
So remember, what happened to me and my better half, can happen to anyone, that's Gods plan! It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, your age, your past.. None of that matters. God just wants you to accept Him and get to love Him.
The Bible (Gods Word) says that God "Devises ways of bringing us to Him!" - Reading this, could be the start of you coming to Him?
God longs for you to say to Him "I'm here, please come into my life." God will never push Himself on you though, you have to ask. He gave us the FREE WILL to choose Him.
Y'know, having God in your life doesn't mean you have to be a miserable, holier than though' gloomy doomy character! God created us to be happy, to enjoy life! Someone who is truly a Christian shines!! God wants us to talk to Him, Pray to Him, have a close Father / child relationship with Him, He didn't MAKE us love Him, He gave us the choice. God wants us to have abundant blessings, in fact if God did have a fault, it would be that He is too generous.
Well, I hope (and pray) this might have made you think or happen triggered something in your feelings. Why not give your life to Jesus today? Tell Him you know He's there and want to know Him. Just ask! He's waiting for you. You have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain.
God doesn't need a repetitive, long drawn out prayer - rehearsed and perfectly spoken! Just half a dozen heart felt words mean more to Him. He already knows exactly how you feel, and what you need before you ask. So if there's even a little something that tugs in your heart, act upon it, ask Jesus, Gods Son to come into your life today. Come on.
What's made me want to put this on my web site, is that for 43 years, even though I was brought up in a Christian home, I didn't understand or "get it", that when someone dies they will spend eternity, with full consciousness, in either Heaven or in hell. You need to know, that thinking "Yeah, if there is a Heaven, I'll probably go there when I die, I'm not like, a murderer or anything!" is incorrect.
The pastor at Church is very into meeting people and trying to tell as many people about Jesus as possible. 95% of people (just random people), he asked "Where do you think you'll go when you die?" Answered, "Erm, well Heaven I think, I suppose, Heaven?!"
That is so sad - and what makes it so flippin' frustrating, is that it's only w h e n you are a Christian and understand these things, that you "get it" and the penny really drops.
Before I became a Christian, before I had an understanding of Biblical stuff, I just presumed that when I died I would go to Heaven.. I haven't been a particularly bad person, no more than the next. But that isn't the point, it isn't about whether you are a good or bad person. Even if you have lived your life as an absolute saint, or a kind, loving selfless person, you ain't getting in to Heaven, unless you have asked God (Jesus) into your life.
So many people wrongly think, Ok then... If God is so kind and loving, He isn't going to send me to hell is He!? Well, that is kind of right, God won't, it's you that is sending yourself to hell by not accepting Gods invitation to go to Heaven, by asking His Son, Jesus into your life. Y'know, all you have to do is ask God! You don't need to take an exam, go through years of training, you simply have to mean it when you ask Jesus into your life.
God gave us Free Will to choose what we want to do, you have the free will whether you go to Heaven or not, but you will not go to Heaven just because you are a good or nice person. Some "religions" wrongly teach that "Good Works" will get you to Heaven. This is NOT what the Holy Bible teaches, in fact Ephesians Chapter 2 Verses 8 and 9: "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
Listen, in a thousand years "you" will still be alive and very much aware of where you are, and you will either be in Heaven or in hell, it is your decision, no one else can decide for you or make you decide.
Another thing I want to tell you is that God can not lie, God is Holy, and God can not let "sin" into heaven. Until we have been saved (asked Jesus to come into our lives) we are this "sin".
Of course, God doesn't want anyone to go to hell but He can't allow anyone to enter Heaven unless they have asked Jesus in to their life and He will not make you choose Him by affecting your free will, it's as simple as that.
John Chapter 3 Verse 16 in the Bible, says: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world but that by through Him they would be saved.
It tells you right there, For God SO LOVED the world, that He GAVE His one and only Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him (Jesus) WILL NOT PERISH (go to hell) but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. (Life in Heaven with God).
There's a line is the film Bruce Almighty. Jim Carey, who is temporarily allowed to be God, wants his girlfriend to love him and he says to Morgan Freeman, who plays God "How can I make her love me without affecting her free will"? God says "Welcome to my world". Meaning.... How can I make all these humans love me without affecting their free will?
You see, like I said earlier, God has given us free will to choose whether we want Him or not. When I first became a Christian, I had real difficulty grasping why God would love us, love me. What helped me to understand was this: (I'm a dog lover, so a dog / human comparison is ideal for me.)
Imagine if you had 10000 dogs (horses, cats, rabbits, children? - whatever you really love). It wouldn't matter how bad some of the dogs were, ie: bit the others, stole their food, even killed another. You would still love that dog. You would hate what it had done, but you would still love the dog dearly.
That's like God, He hates the sin (the things we do wrong) but loves the sinner (us). One of the best things I've ever heard was when my better half and I were talking and he said "I love God, I do, I love Him". To hear the person you love, say that and mean it, is the best thing ever!, as you know they are bound for Heaven! To know the people you love are going to Heaven when they die gives absolute peace of mind. I know for sure, that when my parents pass away, they will immediately be in Heaven. A Christian funeral, does of course have sadness, as the loved one will be missed, but the joy of knowing that the loved one is in Heaven with God is a wonderful feeling. My parents have no fear of dying, Dad had a lengthy 3 heart operations in one a few years ago, at 81 years of age; heart valve replacement bypass and an aneurysm bein sorted out with "Dacron". This was major heart surgery, he was completely calm, he said I will either wake up to be with my family or with Jesus, my maker.
Since writing this, mum passed away, 14th April 2016. We are grieving as a family, but that grief is for our loss, my father says, we have had Tears and Cheers. Tears for ourselves, and cheers for mum who will have been in heaven the moment she left us. The Bible says that, for a believer, to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord. When I miss mum, I just remind myself she is with our Maker, how could I still feel upset knowing that?
My partner used to get very edgy indeed talking about wars death etc, but now he has complete peace (as have I), Christians do y'see, 'cos we know where we're goin' when we die!
Hell isn't going to be a great place to be where all the "fun" people go to party. Hell will be permanent separation from God, there will be no going back, no second chance, isolation from everyone and everything except pain and torment, satan and his demons. (See Luke Chapter 16 Verse 28.) Satan (the devil) doesn't even want you, he just doesn't want God to have you.
So, if you think "Oh, I'll be 'reet, suchabody'l be there" - well they might, but you won't be seein' em.
I just want to clarify, I'm not a Jehovas witness. Christians are not Jehovas witnesses, Christians believe in The Holy Bible, Gods word. Jehovas Witnesses certainly do not have the same beliefs as Christians.
Just a little note, y'know, I can honestly say if someone said to me, "I'll give you £50,000,000 (any amount at all) it's yours to do what you want with, houses, cars, holidays, anything! BUT you must never, and can never have anything to do with God / Jesus again or talk about Jesus to anyone" I'd say "No way - keep it, I don't want it."
Listen, I really do care what happens to you, please, think about what you've just read. If there's anything you'd like to talk about get in touch with me however you like, and I'll put you in touch with my pastor at Church if you like.
I have written this in Gods love for all reading it.
Please make sure you come to Heaven.
P.S. A Christian friend we know was telling us about a dream he had. It was this:
He dreamed he was in a que, waiting to board a train, ticket in his hand. He saw people in a different que waiting for a different train. He was waving and smiling at the people in the other que, in fact he knew some of them! Then he asked the conductor, where are they going in that other que - on that other train? The conductor said, oh, they are going to hell. He cried when he told us about this dream.
As a Christian, I really do get that dream, Christians will. That's why we're always preaching, trying to help people understand what it's all about.
Talking about dreams.. I had a dream the other night. I dreamed that Elijah (our nutty whippet) was chasing our 2 budgies who fly around freely. They were scared flying around getting weaker and weaker, flying lower and lower losing strength, about to be snapped up by Elijah. I said Elijah! Stop it!
I woke up and thought, that's a bit like the devil, he chases us, scares us, makes us weak and tries to destroy us, but Jesus is always there to step in if we ask Him.
If you ask Him He will help you too.
We go to Church almost every week, if you are interested in coming just ask me.