Monday, 21 December 2015

A Living Tribute to Graham and Pauline Watson

So often men and women in the Christian church are left wondering 'what contribution do I really make to the advancement of the gospel?'. Oftentimes biographies are sold in their 1000's, giving testimony of men and women who were really pioneers in many fields, including those of almost genius status, men such as Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Charles Haddon Spurgeon. However, let me encourage you as I tell you of a couple who have been used mightily in my life, in order to encourage you in your service of Christ our Saviour.

I was baptised as an infant in March 1965, though my parents were only nominal Christians and very nominal attenders of the nearby Church of England congregation. Some friends of my parents, during my late teenage years were a couple called Graham and Pauline Watson; they were born again Christians. They began to challenge my parents on all kinds of fronts. My mum and dad would reply to them "I am just as good a Christian as you are" to which they boldly replied "No, you are not and you are not true Christians either", to which reply they were utterly shocked. This shook their self-righteousness to the roots and from that moment the Lord began to guide them to the path of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. They were converted when I was 21 years of age and Graham and Pauline were instrumental in their conversion also.

In January 1986, just after my 21st Birthday, I was really facing a significant challenge in my life while studying at University. My grandma used to get me as a boy to get on my knees before I went to bed to give thanks to the Lord, even though I struggled to know what to pray. This action by my grandma connected me with the Living God, though I did not realise it at the time. In this time of crisis in my life, at the age of 21, I fell on my knees privately and I called out in my room to the unknown God.

What happened next, you may ask? All I can say is that I got off my knees believing in Jesus Christ and wanting to read the Bible. At that stage in my life, I would have had no idea where I could have got a Bible. The friends of my mum and dad, Graham and Pauline Watson, were thinking to themselves, 'what do we buy this godless student for his 21st Birthday?". They sent me a Bible in the post and it came 2 days after I had prayed. I was assured then that God existed that He had heard my prayer; the arrival of the Bible was a momentous event in my life and key to my becoming a Christian. Little did they know then that later on by God's mercy, I would become an evangelical Presbyterian minister (in Sheffield and with EPCEW).

What is the lesson? I have given this testimony in many parts of the world and most recently in the USA. Each time I tell this story God is glorified, the church are edified and people rejoice. This is all because one couple sent me a Bible through the post. This blog is a living tribute to Graham and Pauline who now live in Conwy in North Wales. Who knows what small acts of service you may perform which actually may be used above and beyond anything you could dream or ask? I urge you to continue to be faithful to the Lord, my friend! In closing, look at the biblical example of Ananias who helped Paul the apostle for similar encouragement. He is mentioned here and we never hear of him again.

"So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened" Acts 9:17-19.

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