Writing this on Saturday 02/22/2014, as I listen to some Keith Green early albums.Earlier I was chatting to a new friend on IRC by the nickname of Jedi. We discovered that each other was a believer and he gave me his testimony webpage of http://www.angelfire.com/theforce/jediael/testimony.htm
I informed Jedi that my own testimony was not written down as such, but that I had recently promised a friend that I would write it, give it to her for a project, and also publish it on my own blog of http://mintspider.blogspot.com
For the record, I am currently in fellowship with Bluegrass Bible Fellowship in Lexington, KY, USA, and our website is http://www.biblefellowship.org
On the 30th of April 1967, I was born in Elgin, Scotland to George (Dod) and Alexandra (Susie/Sandra) Paterson. I was their first, to be followed by William, George, and Catriona.
Growing up in “Bible loving Scotland” I would often debate with myself the concept of God and if “he” existed or not. Most of the time, I just lived my life with friends, comic books (Marvel & DC especially), and a love of TV/Movie SciFi.
During my later teen years I started drinking with my friends at the pubs. Drinking age in Scotland is 18, but let’s just say that I was 18 when I was 15. Being a tall boy, now 6‘2“, did help greatly in that regard.
There was a couple of times that I wanted to speak with someone about this God they believed in, but really did not know who to talk to. Yes, I did go to Sunday School and Boys Brigade when younger, but apart from remembering songs like “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and “We Have An Anchor” (still love that one) I really had no Bible knowledge and certainly not what the Gospel was.
One Christmas I attended a service at a Church of Scotland building and went to speak to the Minister afterwards, but I found him out back smoking, so I walked on. Note: Not saying that Christians should not smoke, but in this case I was a turned off seeker.
Another time I was in Cyprus with the Air Training Corps and while there attended a service. This was my chance to talk to someone, so I thought, but I was turned off also by this Minister, as all he seemed to do was talk about his articles of clothing and their meaning. He may have had a message, but I certainly did not hear it.
After leaving Elgin High School at age 18, I started working at City Kits, which was an offshoot of Elgin City Sawmills, but based in Forres. 6 months later this company closed down, and I looked to going to college to further my education.
Moray College of Further Education is located in Elgin, and I joined the course of SHND in Computer Data Processing, a 2 year course.
During my time there, I met a good friend who I discovered was a Christian Believer, and who lived close to me. We would often walk to college together, talk about life and spiritual matters. Found out he attended Riverside Gospel Hall, and I asked him if I could visit to hear and discuss more. Of course he said “Yes!”.
That Sunday I visited Riverside and heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time ever. I do not recall the message taught, just that it affected me, and looking back I know that I was being challenged and convicted by the Holy Spirit as to my life for my God.
The next Sunday I went back. I heard my college friend teach on “Bible vs Evolution” (don’t ask me what was exactly taught then, as I do not remember) then a man I knew from Elgin High School got up to teach. His name is Alan Taylor and he taught on Romans 6:23
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
After the service I sat down with Alan on the platform steps and we talked. At that moment I knew that I was a sinner that was not living for his creator God, and I prayed to God asking for His forgiveness, thanking Him for the saving sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
At that moment I truly was saved!!! I knew that I now had now received eternal salvation, and it was all because God became a man, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross at Calvary to die for my sins, and also for the sins of the whole world.
This was at about 8:00pm on Sunday, 31st January 1988, when I was 20 years old.
A few months later, I was baptised by immersion. In fact it was the first baptism I had witnessed. I had been 'sprinkled' at 10 years old, but at that time I did not know what salvation was, nor had I made my own choice.
During the 26 years since that time, I have attempted to live my life for my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, but I will also be the first to admit that I have not lived a perfect life for Him.
That is the point! We are broken creatures who need our Creator to make us whole again in Him.
Paul, in Romans 7, writes this:
"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."
Yes, it is long and cryptic, but I truly understand what Paul meant. Daily I struggle against the inner sin nature in me, and attempt to give myself over to the indwelling Holy Spirit.
These days, I am now 47 years old from my first birth, and 26 years old from my "second birth".
My life has had ups and downs. I have made important decisions and I have also made great mistakes.
I am human, but living for my God.
My current workplace is God's Pantry Food Bank - http://www.godspantryfoodbank.org - where I have worked for 15 years, starting in the warehouse, and now responsible for ordering, purchasing, and reporting.
I thank my Lord God Almighty for this job and for guiding me in developing the skills to help so many people.
Apart from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, my second best decision was in marrying Arianna.
We met in a Christian Chat room in September 1997 while I was living in Aberdeen, Scotland, and she here in Lexington, KY, USA.
Arianna visited me in October 1998 for 3 weeks, and on the 17th of October 1998 we were engaged near Queens View, Loch Tummel, Pitlochry, Scotland, while it started to snow!
I boarded a plane on May 17th 1999, and flew to USA to live here.
Arianna and I were married in Paris ........ Kentucky, on the 26th of June 1999, and have been happily married ever since.
We view our marriage as unto the Lord, and He is the top point of our triangle. As we grow closer to him individually, we also grow closer to each other.
We fellowship together at home and with Bluegrass Bible Fellowship, as well as with multitudes of believers all around the world.
Update on my salvation day anniversary: Thursday 31st January 2019:
Arianna and I have been fellowshipping with the saints of Ironworks Pike Community Church for over 4 years. The website is: http://www.ironworkspikechurch.org/
Our Lord has blessed us with the responsibility of teaching the teen class. Arianna on Sunday morning and myself on Wednesday evening.
The congregation has also recognised over the years that the Holy Spirit has called me to be a deacon and now an elder. This is a great responsibility which I look to Him for strength and support.
Have now been employed by God's Pantry Food Bank for almost 20 years.
My current title is "Food Procurement and Reporting Officer".
God blesses indeed!