Hello church. My name’s Amanda and I belong to this church. I have done for quite a long time now. I love hearing testimonies. It’s quite a different kettle of fish when you are standing up here and unlike John I wrote my draft, and I thought John Curnow is going to take a long time and mine’ll seem short. I timed you John – four minutes. I’ll try and speak fast. I’ve always believed in God. I can’t recall a time where I didn’t believe in God but as a child and in my 20’s and in my 30’s it was really just a head type of knowledge. My parents took us to church and I went to a Catholic school. But it was wallpaper really and I took it for granted and I didn’t examine it and I certainly didn’t live like it mattered. I just never really thought about it. Back then if you’d asked me if I was a Christian I would have maintained that I was. But I wasn’t. I know that now not really, it was a lip service sort of Christianity and I was actually really very blind and deaf to the things that God wants to show us. There was no obedience there was no repentance no interest on my part I was busy busy busy, with family and my work and so much of me. And then something changed. It was a very difficult time in our lives and my husband Nick found his faith. God called him into a church one day as he was passing and he began to alter and I was amazed quite suspicious curious and also quite grateful – sorry Nick.
We moved here we started to come to this place to church. I began asking among believers and I started to become acutely aware and interested in things about God. Perhaps they’d always been on the telly and the radio and things I’d read but I never noticed them but I started to and I started to be encouraged to go to Christian things different teaching. I opened my Bible I went to an Alpha Course I went to Easter People and I went down the front at Easter People and made a commitment. I really started to listen to what the preacher said. Sorry John, I wasn’t listening at all – it wasn’t you, but preachers before that I would do just don’t think I was listening and my eyes started to open and the scales dropped off all or the veil lifted whatever you want to call it. But some things started to be revealed to me and then something happened that really surprised me. I joined a fellowship group and I remember saying there to the leader. Look I get the Father, God, and I get Jesus the Son, but I don’t really know, I don’t really get the Holy Spirit but we understand what his role is. And the leader told me, tryed to explain it and then they prayed for me they prayed that he would reveal Himself to me and that I would then understand. A day or so later I injured my back. I was playing a Tug-of-war with our dog who’s now deceased – he didn’t die as a result of the tug-of-war – I just cleared that up, but I was really in trouble.
I could hardly stand and I was medicating myself up to the eyeballs. I’m a doctor and I really was in terrible pain with my back and down my leg and it was numb. I knew what it was I took down self-diagnosing myself and I knew I had what’s called nerve root pain, pressure on a nerve in my spine, and that Sunday was Pentecost Sunday ironically, and Kath was minister at the time and she liked to dramatize Bible readings and fellowship group had agreed to do one and I really didn’t want to go but I thought I should. And so I turned up this the old church here and I was using the Bibles the pew rather too to go up the aisle because I couldn’t really stand very well. And one of the band leaders came down and started to pray for me now I wasn’t praying. He was praying and actually was praying in tongues. I mean my head on thinking well that’s weird. Never heard that before. That’s what that sounds like. Then I thought ooh my back started to go really hot, really really hot, and then suddenly the pain was gone and I’m bending in oh my gosh it’s gone. Well I spent the rest of that service in tears because God is so amazing and he offers such grace he meets us where we are. My doctor head often explains away healings but in this instance I had nowhere else to go with this. I knew he’d intervened and he’d answered the prayers of the man who was praying with me and the prayer that asked that the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself to me. In such a practical way. He showed me His power on the day of Pentecost and encouraged and He built up the faith of those who prayed as well. This is one of those moments in your journey where life, where faith takes a real step forward. Since that time my walk with God as He’s been so faithful even when I’m not, He’s supported me, He’s corrected me, He’s challenged me, through family trouble, work trouble, cancer and all the treatments and shenanigans that follows that He’s shown himself to me and the people around me in His word when I bother to look, in creation and in the quiet when I let Him when I quietened down enough to let Him. You know you can go to Buckingham Palace every day and never meet the queen and you can come to church once a week for donkey’s years like me and never meet the King. I spent a long time with my spiritual eyes shut so don’t be like me search for God because he promises that if you do you will find Him. Seek for Him in His bible. Surround yourself with things of faith and other believers. Seek out discipling in order to grow your faith. I finally realized that’s what relationship means. Thank you, all of you, for being church to me. So many of you have been so important in my journey. I feel choked up when I say it because you are very important, but he has begun a good work in us and He will bring it to completion if we are faithful. Then remember He is alive. He is glorious. He is the king of kings and He is my King and your King.