Tag Archives: Redeemed

Admire The God Of Free Grace

Admire The God Of Free Grace

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“Look to the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the pit from whence you were dug!” Isaiah 51:1

It is profitable for the children of God often to . . .reflect on what they formerly were, meditate on their once wretched and helpless condition, look to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the pit whence they were dug.

Look back, then, Christians, to the time when you were . . .

the enemies of God,
the despisers of His Son,
the willing slaves of the father of lies,
and children of disobedience!

Look back to the time when . . .

your hearts were as hard as the nether millstone;
your understandings were darkened;
you were alienated from the life of God;
your wills were stubborn, perverse and rebellious;
your affections were madly bent on the pleasures of sin;
every imagination of the thoughts of your heart were only evil, and continually evil!

Look back with shame and self-abhorrence to the time when you . . .

lived without God in the world,
drank in iniquity like water,
served various lusts and vanities,
fulfilled the sinful desires of the flesh and mind,
cast God’s holy law behind your backs,
stifled the remonstrances of conscience,
quenched the influences of the Spirit,
neglected the Holy Scriptures, and
mocked God with pretended worship, while your hearts were far from Him.

A rebel against God,
a resister of the Spirit,
a slave of Satan,
a child of wrath,
an heir of Hell

such, O Christian, was once your character!
Nothing was then before you, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation!

Admire the God of free grace–who save you from such a dreadful plight!

Godly Parents Cannot Convert Their Children

Godly parents cannot convert their children

(Mary Winslow, Life in Jesus“)

“We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

“You must be born again.” John 3:7

Godly parents cannot convert their children. God alone can do this. But they can lead them to Jesus, and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they have done this, they have done all they can do; for the Holy Spirit alone can change the heart. They must be born again. Christ has said it. It is not a change of sentiment, nor an outward reformation of life; it is a new heart implanted by the Holy Spirit.

“They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.” John 1:13

A Perfect Rest!

A Perfect Rest!

“There remains, therefore, a rest for the people of God!” Hebrews 4:9

There is present rest in Christ for the weary and heavy laden, who truly come to Him–for He is faithful who has promised, and He has said to such, “I will give you rest! Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart–and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 

There is present rest for the tried believer in the bosom of his heavenly Father. Amidst the anxieties and turmoils of life–how good it is, my soul, to return unto your rest in Him who has dealt so bountifully with you! 

But yet there remains a rest to the people of God–a perfect rest . . .  from the burden of guilt,  from spiritual conflict,  from the temptations of the evil one, and   from all the sorrowing and sighing of this valley of tears!

There is in the future a perfect repose of soul, abiding tranquility–and unbroken, eternal rest. Not a rest of inaction, but a rest in happy, unwearied service–and in the enjoyment of the perfect love of God. 

My soul, trustfully anticipate the rest that awaits you in the home of the redeemed, in the place that Jesus is preparing for His redeemed people!

“Return to your rest, O my soul–for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!” Psalm 116:7 

“There shall I bathe my weary soul In seas of heavenly rest; And not a wave of trouble roll Across my peaceful breast!”

The biggest loser!

The biggest loser!

There are usually two sides:

the one dangerous—the other safe; the one is uncertain—and the other is sure.

It is always the wisest—to be found on the safe side!

Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God’s book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.

If the Bible is false—then he is safe; BUT if the Bible is true—then he is damned forever!

He is certainly not on the safe side!

There are many things in the Bible which he does not like.
He is prejudiced against it.
It never prophecies good concerning him—but always evil.
It requires him to change his present sinful course—but he loves it.
He loves sin—and the Bible condemns it.
He gratifies the lusts of the flesh—and the Bible bids him to mortify them.

In a word, there is as much opposition between the Bible and him—as between light and darkness, holiness and sin, truth and error. Therefore he hates it!

At the best, with him all is uncertain, unsatisfactory, and vexatious.

He is certainly not on the safe side!

Now look at the true Christian:
He believes the Bible to be from God. He has examined it. He has evidence of its inspiration in his heart. He fully believes it.
What the Bible says of himself as a sinner—he knows to be true.
What it says of Jesus as a Savior—he has proved to be a fact.
As guilty—he has applied to God for pardon, and obtained it.
As impure—he has sought the cleansing operations of the Holy Spirit, and has experienced them.
His guilt is gone—therefore he has no slavish fears.
His soul is justified—therefore he has peace with God.
He approves of the inspired precepts—and regulates his life by them.
He carries his cares to God—and is sustained under them.
He realizes that God is his Friend, his Father, and his everlasting Portion.
He is peaceful.
He is often happy.
To him death has no sting—and eternity has no terror.
He knows Jesus as his Savior—and trusts in Him.
He knows God as his Father—and walks with Him.
He knows the Holy Spirit as his comforting Teacher—and listens to Him.

He is, perhaps, more tried than the unbeliever—but he has supports, consolations, and pleasures—of which the unbeliever knows nothing. He lives to bless others, to honor God, to prepare for a glorious immortality.

He would not change his worst day—for the unbeliever’s best day!

He is on the safe side!

If the unbeliever should be right—then the Christian is no loser.

But if the Christian is right—and he is—then the unbeliever is the biggest loser—an infinite loser!

Reader, on which side are you? There is but one safe side.

There is no safety for a sinner now—but at the Cross!

There will be no safety at death and judgment—but in Christ!

He who is on the safe side now—will be on the safe side then!

There will be no changing sides then!

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne! All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at His right hand—and the goats at His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father—inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world!’ (the safe side) Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones—into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons!’ (the perilous side) And they will go away into eternal punishment—but the righteous will go into eternal life!” Matthew 25:31-46

(James Smith, “The Safe Side!”)

The “Hell Fire Club”

Steel Quote Logo

The “Hell Fire Club”

“Means for Restoring the Banished” )

Mr. Thorpe was a member of an ‘infidel’ club. In those days infidelity was more blasphemous than now. This infidel society took the name of the “Hell Fire Club”. Among their amusements was that of holding imitations of religious services, and exhibiting mimicries of popular ministers.

Thorpe went to hear George Whitfield preach, that he might caricature him before his profane associates. He listened to Whitfield so carefully that he caught his tones and his manner, and somewhat of his doctrines.

When the “Hell Fire Club” met to see his caricature of Whitfield, Thorpe opened the Bible that he might take a text to preach from it after the manner of Whitfield. His eye fell on the passage, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” As he spoke upon that text he was carried beyond himself, lost all thought of mockery, spoke as one in earnest, and was the means of his own conversion!

He was carried by the force of truth beyond his own intention, like one who would play in a river, and is swept away by its current.

Even the scoffer may be reached by the arrows of truth! Scripture has often been the sole means in the hands of its divine Author of converting the soul.

“For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” Hebrews 4:12

“After his amazing conversion, Thorpe became a noted preacher of the gospel.” 

(edited from Spurgeon’s sermon, #950 

The State Of The Nation

Steel Quote Logo

The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, “The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!” Psalm 99:1

The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker — the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His redeemed children; some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel — before we are humbled, and are taught to give Him the glory.

The state of the nation, the state of the churches — both are deplorable! Those who should be praying — are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government — than for their own sins!

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6

(Letters of John Newton, 1778)

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. 

I then wanted to talk a little of what John Wesley describes as “Prevenient grace”, but 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 loves you and wants to save 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 Hope.

Related Posts:

My Testimony

Captivity of Negativity

Stephen Salmon ~ Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

Photo of Stephen Salmon  1

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Meet Stephen…

This post is to celebrate the life of “Brother in Christ” Stephen Salmon (aged 33). His funeral is today so could you please pray for family and friends and all who are affected by his passing.

First i’d like you to meet Stephen as he describes in this video testimony how God pulled him from the streets of Tenerife. Stephen was homeless, addicted to all kinds of drugs and alcohol, and yet God showed him a glimpse of heaven and his new eternal home with Jesus.

 

I saw Stephen’s testimony for the first time whilst looking through the Epsom Baptist Church’s Facebook page which Stephen (and his lovely wife Claire) posted on regularly. Afterwards i shouted Sarah to come and watch as his was the first proper northern accent i’d heard since becoming a Christian, and after moving down to Surrey his voice was like a breath of fresh air, and he somehow made God so personal!

Sarah and i were invited by Ben (our close Brother in Christ, after Ben had visited our church where Sarah & i played in the evening service. We got chatting and he mentioned they were needing a drummer for the morning Worship band. I said we weren’t currently attending a morning service, but i also play the drums…so if you can use me then i’ll come !

The Spirit within…

I still remember the first time i met Stephen, it was at a Sunday morning service and once i heard his accent i nudged Sarah and said “Sarah, that’s the man from the testimony video”. I can’t accurately describe the warmth oozing from him, but the Spirit within him just made you smile. 🙂

The term “Full of beans” always springs to mind when thinking of his character. This brother was “Full On” for God and his hunger for the Word, passion and empathy for the homeless touched so many lives including my own.

As i write this (and thinking of his age) the Metallica lyric “The brightest flame burns quickest” just popped into my head. 

Also (like all of us) this brother was not perfect. We all struggle to mortify the flesh as our body of sin makes war against the Holy Spirit in our journey of Sanctification. I thank God for saving Stephen and giving him the blessed hope we in Christ all look forward to. And i thank God that i got to meet Stephen who not only inspired me…but he encouraged me too. 🙂

Last year i posted one of Stephen’s quotes on iChristian and i’d like to share it again…

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead …..

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED|

Like, Comment or Reblog  this if you know you are NOT perfect, but that God is working in your life anyway…

Stephen Salmon (Brother in Christ)

Hope Logo copy

I’d like to finish with a message taken from his Facebook timeline… 

Amanda McCrea: See you heaven Stephen. You touched so many lives in life and on Facebook. You used social media as a means to inspire and uplift others. A brother in Christ and a wonderful testimony to how God can transform a life. A true servant heart. My condolences to your loved ones. May God comfort you all at this sad time. Love and prayers. Amanda.

Faith Is Not A Matter Of Reason

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“Faith is not a matter of reason. Some people teach that it is. They say that if only men and women would use their minds, they would be bound to become Christians; they can reason themselves into Christianity. But that is thoroughly unscriptural. They cannot because the natural man or woman’s reason is also fallen. Not only that, there are supernatural and miraculous elements in faith to which reason cannot attain.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God The Holy Spirit

I Don’t Think I’m Good Enough?!

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure

New Beginnings

 

Click blue logo for more Christian quotes

“You win over people just like you win over a dog. You see a dog passing down the street with an old bone in his mouth. You don’t grab the bone from him and tell him it’s not good for him. He’ll growl at you. It’s the only thing he has. But you throw a big fat lamb chop in front of him, and he’s going to drop that bone and pick up the lamb chop, his tail wagging to beat the band. And you’ve got a friend. Instead of going around grabbing bones from people… I’m going to throw them some lamb chops. Something with real meat and life in it. I’m going to tell them about New Beginnings.”

David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade

God’s Grace

Click blue logo for more Christian quotes

Christ died for the ungodly. Christ died for me. Without his sacrificial death, without God’s grace, I am powerless to save myself or make myself righteous. Jesus did for me what I could not do and paid off my debt to sin which I could not pay. He did it for me; not because I was good enough to be worthy of his death, but because I couldn’t be worthy without him.

You Are Really & Truly & Completely free!

Click blue logo for more Christian quotes

You are really and truly and completely free. There is no kicker. There is no if, and, or but. You are free. You can do it right or wrong. You can obey or disobey. You can run from Christ or run to Christ. You can choose to become faithful… or unfaithful. You can cry, cuss, and spit, or laugh, sing, and dance… You’re free… really free.

Steve Brown (A Scandalous Freedom)

My 7Cubed Interview!

7Cubed Logo

by Heather Mertens ~ 40YearWanderer

Blind Photographer – Steve Rebus {Worshipping through his art, his music, and his writings.}

Me playing my Dean Razorback Rust USA

Meet Steve Rebus. You can read on his website how he breaks the ice about who he is: Blind Photographer.  But we’ve gotten to know Steve as so much more than that – although he is a fabulous photographer! He is a writer, a musician, and most importantly he is a follower of Christ. In every sense, he seeks to be like and love like Jesus. WHAT A POWERFUL testimony he has!

  7Cubed: Hi Steve. Tell us about your life, your music, and your photography. 

Steve: Two Souls Entwine….. 

Me  Sarah in Church

I‘ve been married to Sarah for nearly six years now and I’m really struggling to put how I feel into words! My heart overflows with love for her. She has encouraged, inspired and loved me and is the sunshine that warms me along my journey.  

My love of music….

Since being registered blind I’ve learned to play the drums and guitar. This is amazing in itself but being able to play alongside Sarah every Sunday to assist myself and others in worship is just mind blowing. I play in two churches – drumming in the morning and playing guitar in the evening and I feel so blessed to be able to come before God and thank him with the gifts he’s given me. Gifts that give me great joy too!

Blind Photographer?? 

“You don’t need sight to see, you need vision“ 

“I strongly believe that Disability doesn’t have to mean inability or lack of creative talent!” 

I used to enjoy photography when I was sighted, taking and developing photos in my dad’s darkroom, When I lost most my sight 13 years ago I thought this would put a stop to my hobby, but I have learned that my camera can act as my eyes allowing me to see what my own eyes will not. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to produce photographs despite my visual impairment– and like to think that although I may have lost my useful sight I have not lost my vision and instinct for a good photograph. (see Blind Photographer).

7Cubed: In what ways has life changed for you and your relationship with God because of your blindness? 

Steve: When I was fully sighted I never had a relationship with God, nor was ever taught about him. We didn’t go to church and he was never part of my life. In my early twenties I was really into body building, football, driving, and night clubbing. I judged people on looks alone; if they didn’t look fit, they were nothing! My fuel was pride and vanity. Since I have been blind and the eyes of my heart have been forced open by God’s amazing grace I’ve found my identity in Him, and as He is continually transforming me into the person He knew I could be. I simply just love people without any preconceptions of what the world thinks is beautiful.

7Cubed: Obviously, God blesses your music, your writing, and your photography! They are all wonderful. At what point in your life did you really understand that Christ wanted to work through your adverse situations?

Me playing my Taylor Macasser Ebony

Steve: I think it was when I wrote my testimony at the beginning of this year when God started to show me what he can do through me. I posted it onto iChristian and my blog seemed to explode with blessings. I realised that my little story can actually help connect, encourage, and inspire people on a few different levels, and I will share His good news for the rest of my life. 

7Cubed: We’ve seen some cool pictures of you playing your guitar! Do you play any other instruments? When did you first learn how to play your instruments? 

Steve: Yes, I also play the drums. I first started playing 13 years ago when a teacher at the college I reluctantly attended (as it was only a few months after I’d lost my sight and I was in a real dark place) asked me, “Steve, is there anything you would like to learn?” I said I would like to play the drums, so she found a local drum shop called “Rattle & Drum” that also had teaching rooms upstairs and that’s where I started my lessons. Dave, my drum teacher, was fantastic and worked around my struggles, and playing the drums to my favourite songs quickly became my therapy and still helps to this day. 

I didn’t start playing guitar until 2005 when I had met Sarah and had to sell my drum kit to be able to move into her flat. As I’ve been a Metal fan for most of my life, I’ve always played the air guitar, but never really tried to play a real one. Harry, my fantastic guitar teacher, recorded our lessons with my video camera so I could sit for hours with my guitar in front of my huge TV to try and figure out what finger went where. As I can’t see to read sheet music or guitar tabs, I have to play from memory. I now have quite a few beautiful guitars that I love playing, and I’m truly blessed to be able to play my chords for the Lord on such amazing instruments.  

7Cubed: You take some awesome photographs! What kind of camera do you use? Do you have any specialized equipment that assists you when taking these amazing photos?  

Steve: I have bought 5 cameras over the 8 years of digital photography. I have 2 DSLR cameras. My main camera is a Nikon D2Xs and my second is a SONY Alpha a100. I also use a Canon Powershot SX40 HS which is a bridge camera, and my compact camera is a Samsung WB550. Oh and my iPhone! As you can imagine there is not much in the way of assistive technology for blind photographers as it’s not something that many would think of. The only piece of adapted tech is a 2x magnifier that is screwed onto the Nikon’s viewfinder, which doesn’t help me at all, but I can’t get it off! lol Having said that, my iPhone is the only camera that’s accessible for me. It speaks to me when it has focused, and when I take a portrait it will tell me where the face is on the screen and if its a big face or a small face so I can get the right distance. This feature is fantastic and also standard on the iPhone, and I’d love to see this software on other cameras!  

7Cubed: What advice and encouragement would you give to others who have been through a similar situation? 
Steve Koa 1

Steve: If there is someone reading this who is experiencing the creeping death called depression, then I’d just like to give them hope. The hope that although you may feel that no one cares and that there’s nothing to live for anymore, there’s no pit too deep that God won’t reach down and lift you out of. He wants a living relationship with you starting right now! He loves you no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been; He loves you completely and he wants to bless your life and bring you that peace inside that you’re craving for. 

 7Cubed: How did you became a Believer and Follower of Jesus? 

Steve: I hope you don’t mind but I’ve answered this question using the text from my iChristian blog. 

Broken, Psalm 116:3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. 

Another day, another attempt! …. Oct – Nov 2000

 I kneel down in the centre of my living room. Tears stain the blade I hold to my chest. “Come on Steve, don’t fail again! All you need to do is throw yourself forwards and thats it!” I’d been doing this every morning for the last couple of months and still I waited, willing myself to do it. Then nudge…nudge.. my three month old Boxer dog “Bruce” pushed against my leg with his nose. His whimpering cries pierced my very soul. “He relied on me for everything and I had no idea I would be relying on a furry angel to help me through this dark period in my life.” 

After three months of failed attempts I felt more useless than ever …. I couldn’t even manage the task of killing myself. I realised I didn’t even have the strength to do this properly. I just didn’t know how I could get lower than this!!! – I’d been registered blind at 25, after loosing my sight quite suddenly. in the same month my mum finally died after a 12 year debilitating and demoralizing struggle with progressive MS. Missing her added misery to my own struggle to come to terms with the isolation and insecurities of managing life with sight loss – I’d lost my job, my custom car, the ability to drive, my girlfriend and nearly all of my so called friends! 

My answer…. 

To throw myself into binge drinking, womanising, dark depression, and raw anger. I felt that this was what I had to look forwards to for the rest of my life. 

Then I met Sarah…… July 2004 

She wasn’t like the other girls I’d met. Sarah too had suffered sight loss and depression because of her uncontrollable diabetes but no matter how bad things got for her, she always had comfort in someone called “Jesus”. Oh no I thought not a Christian! She suffered all of my taunts, jibes and nasty comments but worst of all my coldness and my inability to show love. I made it a personal challenge to show her that everyone will let you down and no one can be trusted or faithful! I felt that if I could make her hurt as much as I did then she’d hate this Jesus and know that he wasn’t real! 

Then HE came to visit ME…. 

Hope, Psalm 116:4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” 

I’d seen a guitarist called Eric Bibb on the music show ‘Later with Jooles Holland’ and called Sarah up to see if she had heard of him too. She hadn’t but as a lovely gift she booked tickets to go and see him in London. I’d only ever been to Metal concerts before so i didn’t know what to expect. It was Eric Bibb’s “Friends” tour and when Eric started the song “Needed Time” and sang the words. 

“I’m down on my bended knees, I’m on my knees, praying want you come back, come back here?
Even if you don’t stay long, oh my Jesus, If you don’t stay long, I’m praying, Come back here.
Singing Right now is the needed time, I know you feel the needed time right now. Bless us!” 

This was the moment when I asked Jesus to save me saying “I can’t fight any more. Please help me!” From that moment something happened inside me and I just felt an outpouring of my entire being. My heart seemed to clear itself of all the darkness, hatred and anger I’d filled it with replacing this with pure love. I couldn’t stop my river of tears for the rest of the show. 

February 2013 – Now and into the future….

 Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

My eyes are filling with tears as I write this section. I just can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this. If it was up to me than I’d be dead. I’d have missed God’s amazing grace and a living relationship with Jesus along with the countless blessings I simply didn’t know existed! He’s transformed me in so many ways and I’m no longer held captive by drinking, swearing, anger, lack of compassion and self loathing, along with much much more. I’m also getting a long way to overcoming my ever big struggle with over eating.

7Cubed: Steve, we agree with what you said “there’s no pit too deep that God won’t reach down and lift you out of.” Praise God for that Truth! Thank you for taking a moment to share your beautiful life with us and may God bless your work and vision throughout the mission He has laid on your heart!

Don’t miss Steve’s beautiful photography on his blog

Have you LIKED our Facebook Page to read more great interviews and reviews?

He Chose Us

Click blue quote logo for more quotes

I believe in the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I would never would have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chose me afterward.

C. H. SPURGEON

✞ Testimony “Annie Lobert”

My Thoughts 💭

After watching this amazing testimony of God’s Love & Grace i couldn’t stop thinking about the lyrics below from the powerful ‘Constance’ song. 

📓 Lyrics from “Constance” by Mr. J. Medeiros 

The sound of rain is her backdrop laying there
Like she’s waiting for somebody to say they care
While the tears of God fall down the window pane
She feels unholy like the Father doesn’t know her name
Marry Magdalene and the woman at the well
He knows everything that happens
And in His arms she fell

More Testimonies

Put On Your New Self

Verse Logo

Ephesians 4:17-32 The Voice

Therefore, as a witness of the Lord, I insist on this: that you no longer walk in the outsiders’ ways—with minds devoted to worthless pursuits. They are blind to true understanding. They are strangers and aliens to the kind of life God has for them because they live in ignorance and immorality and because their hearts are cold, hard stones. And now, since they’ve lost all natural feelings, they have given themselves over to sensual, greedy, and reckless living. They stop at nothing to satisfy their impure appetites.

But this is not the path of the Anointed One, which you have learned. If you have heard Jesus and have been taught by Him according to the truth that is in Him, then you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self—that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust— to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit. Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.

So put away your lies and speak the truth to one another because we are all part of one another. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin.[a] Don’t let the sun set with anger in your heart or give the devil room to work. If you have been stealing, stop. Thieves must go to work like everyone else and work honestly with their hands so that they can share with anyone who has a need. Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them. It’s time to stop bringing grief to God’s Holy Spirit; you have been sealed with the Spirit, marked as His own for the day of rescue. 31 Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King.

The Man In Black

My Thoughts 💭 

Sarah & i have just got home from “The Johnny Cash Roadshow” at Epsom Playhouse. When they introduced Johnny Cash as a Singer, Songwriter, Christian & Sinner, i knew it was going to be good! 🙂

Description from the Epsom Playhouse

Johnny Cash Roadshow

7 November 2013

The UK’s No1 Tribute, fronted by respected singer/songwriter Clive John, re-creates with astounding accuracy and truly captures the essence of what it was like to be at a real Cash show! Also featuring Jill Schoonjans as June Carter, Amanda Stone and Sheena Beckett as the Carter Sisters all aspects of Cash’s life are covered with impeccable taste.

The show takes the audience from the 1950’s right up to 2002 and all the stops in between. All the greatest hits are included, Ring of Fire, Walk the Line as well as the Johnny and June duets Jackson and If I Were a Carpenter and so many more, all the while accompanied by an amazing video back drop with evocative images and shots from Johnny Cash’s life.

 I hadn’t heard many Johnny Cash songs (even though i play a few) but i was pleasantly surprised with the strong Christian message in some of them! Now i’m totally Country’d out! I’ve added a few songs played tonight, enjoy! 🙂

Hand It Over To God

Quote 4 2day title logo Blog

To take all that we are and have and hand it over to God may not be easy; but it can be done; and when it is done, the world has in it one less candidate for misery.
Paul Scherer


Paul's Redemption

My recovery from obesity and mental illness

Real Christianity

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Voyages Of Mine

Travels, photography and travel tips from Knoxville, TN to cities across the US (and Canada!)

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through writing and photography

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

A DEVOTED LIFE

Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

Travelling with Lyn

My experiences in Italy and the world

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

%d bloggers like this: