Tag Archives: Blind people

Saviour, Sobbing & Sharing my Testimony ~ Amazing Grace

Grace logo

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in yesterdays 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).

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 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, i collapsed on the floor crying out….and this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car…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…

It was about this time where 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…i’d never sobbed like this in my entire life, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone.

I 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(or you), 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 never 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 she was standing on no matter how bad things got for her, 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”.

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.

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 Posts:

My Testimony

Captivity of Negativity

Having Sight With No Vision

Click blue logo for more Christian quotes

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Helen Keller

This quote really hits home for me in so many ways. I spent 24 years of being fully sighted just feeling lost, empty, angry and wasting my selfish life, being pulled one way and the other, not caring who i hurt.

Then in 2004 after losing most of my sight, Jesus became the light of my world. “I was blind but now I see”. see my About Steve page…

Now with Jesus as my destination on my “Spiritual Sat Nav” I have Vision, purpose, worth, and directions to follow. 🙂

How is your vision?

Love At First Sight Village! (10 Years On!!!)

 Today i’m celebrating 10 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and they welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, fantastic, it all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. 🙂

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah  i

 ⇧ Last Week ⇧

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

My Thoughts 💭

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

Thank You Encouraging Brothers, Sisters & Friends!!

1000 Follows

1000 Follows

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have given me love, encouragement & inspiration every day to keep going with this blog. When i started i just wanted 1 person to be touched by how God is working in my life and i still keep that mindset, but i had no idea it was going to grow and that my life really could be an inspiration to others.

To be part of this WordPress family really has transformed my life and you all give me focus and inspiration to continue taking photos & posting quotes, verses, music etc, and also to keep fighting along this narrow path!

With my sight impairment i can’t look at all of the stats telling me which posts are popular, etc, so when this one entered my notifications i was stunned, i didn’t even know there were that many people out there! lol. 😀

Work, Rest & Play! :)

Chessington World Of Adventures

This week i finally got to drive again after 14 years!! (see image of the custom car below)

Me driving a custom hotrod

Ben & i took Vini and 5 of his friends to Chessington world of adventures for his early birthday present. We all had a fantastic time going on rides, eating doughnuts and meeting the animals at the zoo.

picture of me & Vini chatting and laughing!

⇧ Me & Vini ⇧ 

Me kneeling down next to a little goat

⇧ Me with a new friend ⇧

Me at the top of the log flume

⇧ Me at the top of the log flume ready for the big drop! ⇧ 

Vini  Bruno on the log flume

⇧ Vini & Bruno on the log flume ⇧

Baby Gorilla

⇧ A baby Gorilla ⇧

Tiger

⇧ Tiger ⇧ 

Sea Lion

⇧ Sea Lion ⇧ 

Goat

⇧ Goat ⇧

Cisswood House, Horsham RNIB Supporter Reception 

RNIB Horsham Reception

⇧ Cisswood House ⇧ 

I once again pretended to be a photographer and went with Sarah to Cisswood House in Horsham to a supporter reception to interview some inspiring people. The day was fantastic and we met some truly amazing people who are simply inspiring, and also heard about some of the great services provided by RNIB

Relaxing At Sicily Restaurant 

Me relaxing with a refreshing drink in Sicily restaurant garden

⇧ Me relaxing with a summertime special drink ⇧ 

Sarah relaxing in the garden of Sicily restaurant

⇧ Sarah also relaxing with my drink! lol. Only noticed it was my drink after zooming in on this photo! 🙂 ⇧

You’ll Never Believe This…. (Part 2)

Me taking a photo with sony

After all of your lovely comments and encouragements (more than i could reply too) i thought i would keep you up to date with a second post. 

My photography received a warm response and they have asked if i would like to be apart of another exhibition in Estonia 2015 (Yay!!) Also they would like me to do a video interview (maybe next month) trying to explain how i go about taking my photos etc.. This will be really interesting for me too as i really don’t speak much, i much prefer to listen, and i also don’t really know how i manage to get most of my shots! Lol! 🙂

More Exhibition Dates:

The exhibition ART SENSES 2013, dedicated to blind and visually impaired people, starts in Ancona 4th April 2014, and then Tuscany, region in Italy, on October 26th in Massa Marittima, and it ended in Grosseto on December 3rd, with a conference on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

For the final exhibition in Florence, Italy in December, i’ll be sending them 6 mounted & framed images and we’ll be actually going to visit the exhibition and meet the people etc at the museum. As you can imagine i’m really excited! 🙂

Anyway i’ll keep you up to date with anything else that may be of interest to you regarding my photography. Thanks again for all of your encouragements. I’m so blessed to have such fantastic group of friends on here! 🙂

See also: You’ll Never Believe This…..

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Castle Rising Castle

Castle Rising main stairs

Castle Rising 2

Castle Rising 4

Castle Rising 6

Castle Rising 7

Castle Rising 9

My Thoughts 💭 

I thought i would use “Castle Rising Castle” for this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned.

Description

While on holiday at the lighthouse Me, Sarah & Brother Ben took a day trip to Castle Rising castle. I gave Ben my big Nikon as Sarah & I were doing an audio described tour provided by the ticket office for £1. It was a fun tour as the audio description was dramatised! I still got to get my compact camera out and shoot the shots above! 😀


See more of my Weekly Photo Challenges

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

“IN A NEW POST CREATED for THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SHOWS US A GLIMPSE OF THE INFINITE

Me  Sarah looking out over the sea 2

⇧ Sarah & I looking out over the seemingly infinite sea ⇧

My Thoughts 💭 

This challenge was hard for me, but as both me and Sarah are both registered blind, it doesn’t take much distance for things to seem infinite!!!

Radley Dog

A photo of the radley dog tleather tay lay on top of a bright red handbag

Description

A photo of one of my wife’s favourite dogs. I think its because you get a handbag with it! lol 😀

This was the first ever macro shot I took with my Big Nikon.

Camera used ~ Nikon D2Xs

See also:

Marco & Lissie

Bruce THE Boxer

 Animals

 Check out the ~ Radley Handbag Website

RNIB Supporter Receptions

Ageas Bowl panoramic

Yesterday Sarah & I attended an RNIB supporter Reception at the Ageas Bowl in Hedge End. (image above taken using the panorama option on my iPhone 4s)

As part of Sarah’s work as a legacy marketing officer at RNIB and editor of Outlook Magazine, she gets the chance to attend some of RNIB’s supporter receptions, held all across the UK at some amazing locations. She interviews people, finds case studies and learns more about the ever changing new technologies and services that RNIB provides to help transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people and offer them a brighter future to look forwards to. On a personal level we also like to speak with the people to inspire them and more importantly, for me, break their misconceptions of what a blind person should look and act like. (as a blind photographer I often inspire a range of questions which I am happy to answer)Sarah interviewing

Portrait of one of the lovely ladies who help support RNIB and Action for blind people

Portrait of one of the supporters Sarah interviewed

Candy enjoying helping and chatting to James

Sat listening to the speakers

One of my memorable moments was when John walked to the front and said:

Today and everyday  in the Uk alone 100 people will be told by specialists that they will lose or have lost their sight and there is nothing that can be done. Yet 80% of those 100 people could have avoided it, see Spot The Signs

The reception ended with this moving video.

It was a great day and we always learn so much, meet some lovely people and leave feeling well informed on all of the amazing services and work that go on behind the scenes to help blind and partially sighted people have a brighter future!

Related Links:

The sound of my eyes!

A curious blogger asked me a fantastic question “Do you have a support worker or a friend to read these posts & comments to you? Or is there some other way?”

As my sight is too poor to read print, i use the built in synthetic voices on my iMac to read aloud every post, comment, scripture, quote & prayers. I made a short video so you can hear some of the different voices and get a little insight of how technology can be used to help blind people stay connected and share fellowship with you great people!

If you have any questions please comment or email me at: steverebusblog@gmail.com


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