An American girl called Mary led me to Jesus. I met her at a Christian disco at university. I was a mature student on a sociology degree, after a six year stint with the British Army. She was on a year course supplementing her US degree. A Cypriot friend, Chris said, "why don't you go to the disco?" It conjured up images of clean cut Christian women, so I thought "why not."
Anyway Mary and myslef started going out together, and she talked about a daily personal relationship with Jesus. Till then I had not heard that view. I knew Jesus as historical, and had exposure to churches but this was new. With her help I asked God into my life, accepting that I was a sinner and that Jesus took all my sins to the cross.
Roughly by the end of January 1987 I knew Jesus for myself as my personal Saviour. I started reading a Bible, the RSV which I still have and sometimes read in 2011. It is now heavily taped on the outside since it was falling apart. But it is my treasure. I digress. I began reading the New Testament and nearly everything was so meaningful that I began soaking it all up.
I was like a sponge and the Bible water. Mary returned to the USA and we stopped communicating after about a year or two. But my faith continued strong and I met another strong Christian man, Robert who was enormously helpful to my faith. It was his prayer support that helped me a lot since I had to move away from Norwich, Norfolk to Hampshire, UK.
The army gave me toughness. I served with the army commandos in the UK and Norway in winter. I have done parachuting, sub-aqua, an ironman, several lesser triathlons, canoeing and run over 7 marathons.
But the best challenge is knowing God and the thrill of being in his presence. There is absolutely nothing I like better than reading the Bible and being in God's presence. I look forward to that each day. There is so much more to life than physical challenges or even mental ( I have an MA now).
God has answered hundreds of my prayers. I have found my true purpose in life after surrendering mine to him completely. My callings in faith are intercession and writing. Also serving my family is a priority and a few other things. Prayer and fasting, partial fasting etc. are things God has taught me first-hand mainly.
I suppose I am quite a solitary animal, but I do have Christian friends and some fellowship.
God always provides for me and never lets me down. He gives wisdom, knowlege and insight from the Bible which is why that book is so important to me. He is my inexpressible friend. No amount of words can describe the goodness, kindess and greatness of God. God has fulfilled many of his promises to me and there are many awaiting fulfilment.
He gives me direction and through handling the Bible increases my faith. Following God is a challenge itself. Sometimes the path is wonderfully green and pleasant, and at other times rocky and arid. But I know God is with me every step of the way. Sometimes our pace is quick, at other times slow.
God makes me more just over time. He gives me compassion for others and increases my integrity, sense of right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Before being a Christian it was harder to discern these things. I was also quick to take revenge mentally before, but now I can forgive others and discipline my thinking.
Walking with God is challenging but it can also be fun. You can have fun and not be superficial, or superficial and still retain maturiy.