Friday, March 30, 2012

49 part Trois

The 3rd instalment of the 49 people who have influenced my 49 years:

16. Jimmy Gilmour. A fellow Scot who I hung out with at Bible College. I hadn't been in contact with him for almost 30 years till we finally hooked up through email this year. For a year we enjoyed each others company, travelled to various churches very often to a great church in Lincoln lead by the legend that is John Phillips. Jimmy also introduced me to a little known band back then called U2, which started a 30 year love affair with their music - Thanks Jim.

17. George Ridley. We had many lectures over 2 years in college but in some cases the people stood out more than the subject. That was the case one day when Mr Ridley came to Mattersey. I cant remember exactly the subject but I knew that there was something different about the guy and I knew I needed to learn from him. My first interaction was not great. Being set an essay I submitted what I thought was my best work only to have It returned with a line through it and "Where is your faith" written in red across the top. I have a feeling he didn't read past the first line. So I plucked up the courage and asked if I could come and learn from him in Milton Keynes. I arrived at "New City Pentecostal Church" as it was called, in Milton Keynes on 4th September 1984 for what I though was a 2 year temporary assignment. It has been an interesting journey at times but I have been humbled and honoured to serve a truly great man in God's Kingdom who continues to step up to the coal face the Kingdom again and again.

18. David Petts. As principle of the Bible College during my 2 year visit I have no doubt that Dr Petts would not have seen me as a model student. In fact he had more than one reason to kick me out. But on one such particularly bad occasion when I certainly didn't deserve to be in a place where people were studying to serve God he showed me GRACE. That meeting could have been a defining moment in my life where I would have had to return home in disgrace. I will always be grateful to him for showing me grace when I least deserved it. But actually his influence on me dated long before my college days. When becoming a Christian I was given a little book called "How to Live for Jesus." which shaped my early Christian experience. Written by David Petts!

19. Alex Ferguson. Obviously never met him or spoke to him and probably never will. But the Fergie years with my beloved Aberdeen were simply wonderful. League titles, Scottish Cups and of course the night of all nights the European Cup Winners Cup. My request to the college powers at be to travel to Gothenberg refused there was no way I was going to at least not watch it on TV. Problem being there was a chapel service on Wednesday nights. For me there was no choice. Only problem being Dr Allen stood up to welcome everyone to the service saying "We should be congratulated for being here tonight as there is a big football match on, isn't there Billy?" Only problem being Billy was not there! Another visit to the principals office the next day. But I cared not a jot, The Dons were on top of Europe and I was in cloud 9.

20. Paul Newberry. Another lecturer who was supposed to be teaching if I remember rightly, Pastoral Epistles. But for some reason started talking about the kingdom and eschatology and for the first time I heard someone talk about the subject that started to answer some of my questions. Brought up on a diet of what I would now call dispensationalism with tribulations, millennium and scenarios that didn't make sense to me and the devil always winning. Mr Newberry thankfully gave me a glimpse that there was another option. He introduced me to a little book by Michael Wilcock - I Saw Heaven Opened, which allowed me to carry on my voyage of discovery.

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