My name is Barry, and I live in Sydney, Australia. D.O.B. 23/10/72
My first memories of Jesus are very fond. Up to the age of five, I remember feeling this overpowering love for the Lord. As a young child, I remember my favourite songs were hymns and Christmas carols. I would spend hours looking through my Uncle's illustrated Bibles. I would draw the crucifixion scene over. Even at the age of five or six, I remember thinking that I would very much like to go to heaven.
My family were strong Catholics. That meant that we went to mass, had statues and medals in our house, and that was it. The only time my father ever struck me was when I used the Lord's name in vain.
I remember that my dad had accrued many books on evolution during his science degree. He spent many hours teaching me about evolution. His favourite movie was 2001 a space oddyssey. He declared that one day we would evolve again into a higher level of existence just like the end of the movie. He taught me that the Old Testament was a hoax because science disproved it. He took me to see movies like "chariots of the Gods" at the age of six to show me that we had to be the remnant of some older alien civilization. Dad also became involved in the occult--Tarot cards, clairvoyance, astral projecting, and witchcraft.
So my childhood view of the world changed from awe at Christ to an eclectic evolution/science fiction/occult view of the meaning of life. But the bottom line was this mix gave life no meaning.
I spent my primary school years convincing kids at my Catholic school that the Bible was false. I spent my high school years laughing at the stupidity and morality of Christians. I spent the ages of 22-27 ripping apart my Christian sister-in-law and other family members' claims that Christ was the only way. I believed that all religions were valid and all paths led to God. I used the leverage of my worldly education to try to shoot holes in their beliefs.
In 1999, two days before my second child was born, our Doctor called me. I was working three hours from home. He informed me that the vital signs were dropping off and that it was likely that the child could die.
The first thing I did was hit the floor on my knees. I cried out, "Lord, if you are real, please save my daughter. I promise I will walk with you all my life and raise my children in a Christian home." A cry from the heart of a sinner who never acknowledged his Father. I felt this overwhelming sense that the true and living God was with me even though I spent my life rejecting Him.
I got home as quickly as possible. At the induced delivery, I expected the worst--a stillborn or brain damaged child. Four hours into labour a perfect baby girl was born. I was overjoyed. The doctor dragged me into the corner.
"Have a look at this," he held a kidney dish before me. In it were the black remnants of some rotten organ.
"What is it?" I enquired.
"This is your wife's placenta. It is a miracle that this child lived."
Two months later, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour at an altar call at our church. My wife also did the same that day. That year my brother, brother-in-law, and mother-in-law were also saved. Right before his death my father-in-law was saved. I have seen more miracles in one year than I would have believed possible. In a strange twist, I am now teaching Scripture to children one day a month at primary school. Twenty years before I was leading children from the Lord.
My dad died when I was fifteen. Only God knows what was in his heart when he died. Jesus has changed my life so much. Before I was saved, I already had a senior position with a good salary and all the things the world holds dear. But this never made me happy. Now I gladly give it to the Lord--everything I have is His. I feel strangely not at home in the world yet happy to serve the Lord in it until He calls me home.
If somebody is reading this who considers themselves an intellectual--as I did--and wants to laugh the testimony off, I would encourage them to try this. Pray everyday for three months that God will reveal Himself in your life. Lay down your pride in your knowledge and beliefs and ask that if Jesus is Lord, could He touch your life. I was a person full of pride because of my achievements in life--yet at the peak of this, I felt at my most hollow. It was only when I realized that it was because of God that my life was blessed, that I gave Him the glory. I pray that whoever reads this testimony will give God the glory for the blessings in their life.
God Bless you all, Barry.