Tag Archives: Blessed

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

The “illuminated” Bible?

The “illuminated” Bible?

You may read the Bible continuously and yet never learn anything by it, unless it is illuminated by the Spirit.

Then the words shine forth like stars. Then the book seems made of gold leaf; every single letter glitters like a diamond.

Oh! it is a blessed thing to read an “illuminated Bible”lit up by the radiance of the Holy Spirit.

Have you read the Bible, and yet have your eyes been unenlightened? Go and say, “O Lord, illuminate it; shine upon it; for I cannot read it to profit, unless You enlighten me.”

Blind men may read the Bible with their fingers, but blind souls cannot.

We need a light to read the Bible by; there is no reading it in the dark.

by Spurgeon

A Living Hope

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1 Peter 1:3-5 Amplified Bible

Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

[Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that [a]final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Are You Dying To Love?

Please click logo for more Love! :)

Galatians 2:20 The Voice

I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.

1 Corinthians 12:31 The Voice 

Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way—love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

It’s a loving God who birthed creation and now pursues a broken people in the most spectacular way. That same love must guide believers.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.

Matthew 10:38 The Voice

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me.

You’re Blessed

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Matthew 5:1-12 The Message

You’re Blessed

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”

Update #3 On ‘Join Me In Prayer For Sarah’

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A big thanks again to all of you faithful prayer warriors for your continued prayer for Sarah & i. We feel so blessed to have so many loving brothers & sisters here. God bless you all.

We’ve just arrived home from Sarah’s latest appointment with the eye consultant. It’s good news as the really painful irritation has gone, no scratches or damage to the cornea and the thick grey curtain that Sarah was seeing, is now a thin grey voile, so healing nicely! 🙂

Sarah still has Corneal Oedema, and we’d love if you could continue pray for this particular healing.

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See also:

Need Prayer?

Do you have a prayer request? Please check out iChristians latest page ‘Need Prayer

Blessed Is He That Readeth

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Revelation 1:1-3 King James Version

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Everlasting Life

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John 3:16-21 The Voice

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.

No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation, yet condemnation is already the reality for everyone who refuses to believe because they reject the name of the only Son of God. Why does God allow for judgment and condemnation? Because the Light, sent from God, pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people preferred the darkness over the light because their actions were dark. Some of humankind hated the light. They scampered hurriedly back into the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes. Those who abandon deceit and embrace what is true, they will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God.

Jesus makes the point clear: stay connected to Him, and have no reason to fear. Jesus doesn’t mean that at the instant someone has faith, fear simply vanishes or only good things happen in that person’s life. In fact, the blessings that come with eternal life often have nothing to do with present or future circumstances, but they have everything to do with the individual’s connections to God and others. That is John’s message to his listeners. God came to earth embodied in flesh, and then He reached His greatest acclaim through a torturous death. If this is all true, then believers will find strength and beauty in places never imagined. Abiding in Jesus the Anointed is the good life, regardless of the external circumstances.

Just Wait In His Presence

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The whole duty and blessedness of waiting on God has its root in this, that He is such a blessed Being, full, to overflowing, of goodness and power and life and joy, that we, however wretched, cannot for any time come into contact with Him, without that life and power secretly, silently, beginning to enter into us and blessing us. God is Love! God’s love is just His delight to impart Himself and His blessedness to His children. Come, and however feeble you feel, just wait in His presence. As a feeble invalid is brought out into the sunshine to let its warmth go through him, come with all that is dark and cold in you into the sunshine of God’s holy, omnipotent love, and sit and wait there, with the one thought: Here I am, in the sunshine of His love. As the sun does its work in the weak one who seeks its rays, God will do His work in you.

Andrew Murray

Blessed Is The One Who…..

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Psalm 1:1-6 (NIV) 

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Blessed Is The One Who…..

Verse 4 2day logo blog

Psalms 1:1-6 (NIV)

 

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Sunshine Award :D

The Sunshine Award

After a lovely sunny day I returned home and was stunned to find that I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine award by Kristy at Family, friends and everything in between. So i’d like to say a huge thanks to her and also urge you to go and check out her amazing blog.

Rules for receiving the Sunshine Award:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • 10 other fabulous bloggers must be nominated.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

The 10 Questions:

  1. Favourite colour: Dark Blue/Purple
  2. Favourite animal: Bruce THE Boxer Dog & Penguins
  3. Favourite number: 7, My wedding day was 07/07/07
  4. Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee, and also Banana & Coconut Fizz
  5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? For the pure accessibility reason I prefer Facebook
  6. My passion: To try and be the most loving Husband I can be!
  7. Prefer getting or giving presents: I love Giving. Although receiving presents from Sarah is amazing, she gives the best presents. My first ever present from her was a pair of Tama Iron Cobra twin bass Pedals for my drum kit! 😀
  8. Favourite pattern: Macassar Ebony (the wood on one of my Custom Taylor acoustic guitars)
  9. Favourite day of the week: Can I say all of them?! 😀
  10. Favourite flower: The one thats made of chocolate!

 Ten fabulous bloggers who deserve The Sunshine Award!:

  1.  WannabePhotographer87
  2. Photography Art Plus
  3.  Unwalled
  4. The One Thing I Know For Sure
  5. Theafraser
  6. Wings Of The Dawn
  7. Lexiedache
  8. Follow His Light
  9. Phyllis Georgina Rose – Maine Author
  10. Sheryl’s Bloggy Blog

Once again I would love to add more here! 😀 

The Versatile Blogger Award

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A huge thanks to Adeline at Dancing In The Storm for nominating me for this award. What an amazing blog she has showing how God works his will through people. I was worried that my blog might come across as messy as my posts can vary a bit. So when I received this award I realised my blog must actually be described as versatile! lol.

 Just checking I am following all of the rules;

1) Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post
2) Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post
3) Share seven things about yourself
4) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Now for the challenging part: 7 Things about me…

1. I have more than a few guitars! My hope is for part of my legacy is to set up/give them to a charity for under privileged children who could learn to play, create and enjoy music.

2. I’ve got two tattoos

3. I have the best Wife in the world. Sarah is the custard on my apple crumble. (this might only be a compliment in the UK) 😀

4. I’ve never travelled abroad (yes i’m serious)……yet! lol

5. I still really miss my Boxer dog ‘Bruce’ even after 16 months! see ‘Bruce THE Boxer

6. I love coffee!

7. I still don’t understand why I can take half decent photos when I can’t see what I am taking!  A gift I just don’t understand! lol

And now, I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award, in no particular order:

God’s Enduring Love

 The One Thing I Know For Sure

IShaiyaFreshlySqueezed

 Maryanne Mistretta

Simplyenjoy

SimplyJuliana.com

 Its not really about me

 My Wall

 TheFeminineHeart

 Unshakable Hope

Here are 10 fantastic blogs so far, I will add more soon! 😀

 

The Reality Blog Award!

Reality Blog AwardWow, I am honoured to announce that I have been nominated for the Reality Blog Award by Pam, please check out her fantastic blog at animalpalooza. I am deeply touched to be thought of for having an inspiring blog. This is exciting for me as this is my first award. 😀

Those who are blessed enough to receive this award, are asked to post the picture of the award on their blog and link back to the person who nominated you.

There are 5 questions that go along with this award so here goes…

  1. If you could change one thing, what would you change? I would like to change peoples mindset on thinking that the church is a building Christians go to on a sunday morning!
  2. If you have just one book with you on a deserted island, what would it be? It would have to be the Bible, but as I am blind I have the audio version on my iPhone, so if its ok I would also like to take a solar powered battery pack so I can continue listening.
  3. What is one thing that really scares you? I would probably have to say spiders and creepy crawlies. As I can’t see them I always imagine them about five times the size, so I panic even more.
  4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you will be able to complete it? To be able to sing so that I can play and record some of the songs I have written. This is a huge task but I hope one day I will be able to hold a tune!
  5. If you could meet any TV or movie star who is still alive, who would it be? It would have to be Alice Cooper. I would love to talk with him about this amazing Christian journey

A few blogs that have inspired & moved me (in no particular order:

Deeply Rooted in Him

40YearWanderer

Dancing in the Storm

Peace of my Heart

The Most Excellent Way

Wannabephotographer87

Nancy Loderick’s Blog

Wings of the Dawn

I’m not sure how many amazing blogs I am allowed to nominate here? Sorry to anyone who is not on this list above, it seems unfair that I can’t add all of the blogs that have truly inspired me! So if I can’t add any more then this award is to everyone that I follow. God bless.

Thank You All!

 

200 Followers Badge

I was checking my notifications this morning and I was stunned to have found this badge. When I started this blog I had no idea of what the Lord had in store for me, only that he wanted me to share my story on here. I have no writing experience (as you may have guessed by now) and I’m a listener, not a talker so words don’t come easy for me.

Reading all of your comments of love and encouragement, and being able to learn so much through your personal testimonies, truly wise teachings, amazing photography and building friends through fellowship I feel deeply touched!

What I am trying to say is… THANK YOU ALL! 

I hope I can continue to be a small blessing or inspiration to you! God bless you all!

 

Thank You!

I would like to say a Huge Thank You to everyone who read’s/follows my Blog! When i started my Blog earlier this year i had no idea that anyone would read it never mind follow it. I am so Blessed that you take a little time to read some of the posts i upload and i hope that you are inspired and continue to follow as i try to make it more interesting in the future.

God Bless you all! 😀


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