OF all the reading I do, it is probably biography that appeals to me most. Television programmes the same.
It doesn’t matter overmuch who the subject might be, but just to know when, where and how they lived their lives I find both stimulating and encouraging.
The joys and trials which I and my generation have to go through were theirs too, albeit in different circumstances and surroundings, and they won the day, despite the odds.
I have recently found the story of Andrew Palau, son of Luis, international evangelist, who, as the book’s introduction tells us ‘spent his growing-up years immersed in a selfish and self-centred lifestyle, numb to God.’ No wonder, in view of this now middle-aged guy’s experiences, he titles his memoirs ‘The Secret Life of a Fool – one man’s raw journey from shame to grace’.
In his waywardness, if he had but realised, he was searching for spiritual fulfilment. Through a series of incidents, some of them quite frightening, he finally came into the light. A fascinating tale.
How I came across Mark Stevens, I’m not sure, but I do remember being struck by his blunt honesty about his struggles and weaknesses.
Formerly a cast member of the Australian show ‘Neighbours’, he admits, in his video interview: “I discovered at a young age that money and fame can’t fill the void in your heart that only a relationship with God can fill.”
He was addicted to alcohol and playing with drugs, but the hole in his life was still there.
Trying to make sense of reality, there was constant insecurity and suicidal thoughts were always present.
Things became so bad that a friend questioned him: “What are you doing with your life?”. And the answer: “I don’t know more. I think I need God.”
It was at that point he was able to give up his search. “The room filled with the presence of God. I met Jesus right there and then.”
Proof of this, for Mark, is in the words of his song ‘Thank you’, and now he is seeking to bring others to the same realisation.
Two men, and many women and young people, who are able to testify to the saving power of God. 2 Corinthians 5, 17: ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’
P.S. Don’t forget the Coffee and Doughnuts morning ... Saturday 20th October, 10.30, at the Prayer Centre, Lismore Road. Melanie Symonds, founder and editor of Heart of Sussex Christian paper, will be giving her testimony and a short talk on ‘Following a vision’.