Phill the Mod Turned To God
Someone once said to me that I am an ordinary bloke with an extraordinary story to tell, of what God has done for me. And this is who I am… a mod saved by God’s amazing Grace. I am also hard of hearing in both ears since birth. I have worn hearing-aids all of my life to this present day. I hope you will enjoy reading my testimony.
Before leaving school at 17, I knew I wanted to be a mod. The film Quadrophenia did it for me. I had scooters from then till now. As a big fan of The Who, The Jam, Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, etc, (seen them all live). Mod’s fashion, scooters, music and girls were ‘a way of life’. And I loved it, some ups and some downs, but that was life as a young man. But life started to go terribly wrong from the aged of 23. I really thought I had it all, a good job, family, a steady girlfriend, and some good mates. However, the bottom began to fall out from underneath me and I was falling fast. I had nothing then to hold on to and I didn’t understand what was happening to me. My own family and friends, they could not save me, not even I. Even though they tried.
This how it went wrong, a member of my closest family got sent down for eight months, yeah that’s right, prison. Anyhow, not long before he did go down, he told me that it’s alright to tell my girlfriend about it; as we both felt she was part of the family, so we thought. We were together for two years. When I did get round to tell her; told her the lot, everything. It was hard, wasn’t easy, but I told her, no secret. What came after that was shocking. She just turned and said in my face, that she didn’t want to be part of my family, cos’ with a criminal record and that. She just wasn’t sure anymore. I couldn’t believe it. What was I hearing, yeah that’s right, you heard what she said I thought. Straight away, I felt a sharp pain in my chest as if my heart was torn in two, right down the middle. I was broken and sure from then on our relationship died a horrible slow painful death over the few weeks ahead. All my efforts, to try and keep it alive came crashing down to nothing. I couldn’t cope with the pain of losing her. Lots of tears shed, I cried buckets, sleepless nights, taking pills to numb the pain, bitterness and anger came to effect my whole way of life as this never happened to me before at this level. I suffered a broken heart. I turned angry, bitter and shaved my head with hatred in my heart towards everyone. I went out and started to really drink, becoming more and more angry at life and everything around me. Time to get even with them, I thought. My own mates and family couldn’t help or even help me to control my anger as I became more aggressive and violent. My language was awful. I was hurt and just did not know how to deal with this awful pain. My poor mum, though she tried to help, she stood there having to watch helplessly, with tears in her eyes, my whole life going down-hill fast. This was then, when I started to smoke weeds and drinking heavily; Oh to take the pain away…just for a little while!
A heck of a lot more has happened during that time and since. I cannot write them all down, the lists is just too long. However, not long after, another blow took place. My Grandma Ingram died. Yeah, she was a Christian you know. She was real special and a lovely person. I remember her telling me about Jesus. She prayed for years for me and I didn’t know that. She never saw me become a Christian but her prayers worked. When I went to see her, I saw her body lying in a coffin. I was all alone with her and began to speak, “Where is she now she’s dead?” My Grandma was gone and I cried, “Is that it?” I thought, “There must be more to life than this” in my head. The funeral went down well and I was pleased to have known this wonderful women and having spent a lot of time growing up with her. All this was happening during the time while he was still in prison; he came out on passionate leave for the funeral and after, went back. Whilst inside, a Christian minister called Ian Watson met him, and learned he was from Burnley. Ian was a local minister also from Burnley. He asked Ian if he could call over to see us. He agreed. My mum told me about it. I said, “Fine but leave me out of it. Not interested in God.”
It was my day off from work (Sainsbury’s) when the knock came to the door. I knew who it was and so I got ready to leave when suddenly, a voice inside me said, “Sit down and listen.” Wow, where did that come from I thought; but there was something special about the voice that I had to obey. I did not know it was God speaking to me then. Still I sat down with a glass of Whisky by my side, and smoking a fag on the other hand. Ian came in and sat down. He was alright; cool I would say. After listening to him, I became even more aware of the fact that I was feeling lost and empty inside mixed with anger and bitterness, and I knew it. I began to ask questions about God, the devil, and why my life was screwed. My head was all over… I didn’t want to believe in God, and yet somehow, I wanted to. Maybe I do believe. I just didn’t know. “Why would God put me through all this?” This was going on in my head. In the end, I began begging Ian to help me find God. He gave me an invitation to his church. After he left us; nothing did change so I thought, things carried on as normal on the outside, however things did started to change on the inside and I didn’t know God was working on me. I still went out got drunk, causing trouble, and this carried on for the next three weeks or so. Until one night at 02.00 am in the morning on the 16th Feb 1987, I got thrown out the Angel’s nightclub, yes you guessed right, I started a fight. Being very drunk, I stopped for a moment, thinking and stuff. It was all going round in my head and I could feel the emptiness, the black hole, deep inside. While leaning against a post in the middle of town on my way home. I thought about everything that had gone before, including God. I knew I had to do something, I just didn’t want to carry on being a drunk; I just didn’t want to live like this any more. I needed help. From that moment, I made up my mind that I was going to church. How I got home I don’t know… it’s not the first time. But later that day, in the afternoon, I woke up and God was in my head, deep in my mind. I walked into the living room and told my family that I’m off to church later. They looked at me with that shocked look on their faces and you could hear a pin dropped onto the floor. They thought no-way this is happening. “What?” “Phill going to church?” When evening came I got dressed up smart (Mod) and went. My mum and my sister came with me to Queensgate Pentecostal Church in my home town of Burnley. I was glad they came too, meaning, I wasn’t alone going.
While in the church, sitting down I saw an old friend who I knew and he was a ‘Rude boy’ and we were on the same side. I knew him reasonably well as he was a hard man, a real nutter. He was on drugs. He used to sell them too. But that night he was different. He was a changed man. When the church service got going, some people were dancing including him. I couldn’t believe it and thought what on earth am I doing here. I wanted out. You know what? I got cocky and thought, ‘OK let’s see what you’ve got that I haven’t got.’ And I started thinking ‘What a bunch of idiots we’ve got here.’ Not long after that, suddenly God showed up. I couldn’t see Him but… I could feel His present everywhere. I could feel Him all over the place and I was amazed that He knew where to find me as He came over and took away my mask, yeah, the mask I was hiding under cos’ I was shaking like a leaf. I was nervous and hid behind this mask of looking as hard of nails and being as cold as ice. I could see me for who I was. I found myself to be a young man who was full of sin. I could see all the wrongs I’ve done. I felt so ashamed. I could not look up to God, as I knew, I just knew He was right. The Pastor of the church called George Brunton was preaching and he went on to speak about Jesus Christ. He was saying how much I am loved by God and that Jesus died for me. God wanted to forgive me and removed my sins. I knew, I just knew in my heart, God was for me, as I knew from that moment He was the One, my missing in my life. I needed Him. There was a war going on in my mind, in my thoughts and in my heart. But Jesus spoke to me and said, “Phillip, follow me.” Well, from that moment, I knew who I was going to believe and I recognized the voice, that same voice as was before. It was Jesus. I went forward to the front of the church and called out to Jesus saying, “I will follow you.” At the same time God came flooding into my life and poured out His love into my heart. The love of God I felt, was like, well, I’ve never known anything like it ever, or since. And even to this day God’s love for me is better than life itself. You know, I was searching for love, but LOVE has found me!
After that night my life began to change and I was on this amazing journey of getting to know God for real. Before I became a Christian, my life was very much like a track from Purple Hearts; ‘My Life’s A Jigsaw’. My life’s a Jigsaw one piece is missing. My life’s a Jigsaw what am I here for? My life’s a Jigsaw. Also, another track from Purple Hearts, ‘Frustration.’ “I’m going round and round in circles, just thinking of this mess, my mind goes into spirals, I don’t know, I’ll have to guess. I get frustration…. well I think I’m going down again, I never seem to go up. I always lose what I could gain, I spill it from the cup. I get frustration…” Know what I mean? But now I know who I am and to whom I belong to and where I am going. This is for real and I have changed a lot over the years and still I am changing now; learning to walk with this amazing God on this amazing journey of ETERNAL LIFE!. My tone of language changed. My love for people, all changed. I know I am not perfect, I am just forgiven. One thing that remains is my love of scooters and the mod scene. And God loved it. Why? He told me. I ride not on my own but with Jesus.
I am a Christian and a scooter riding mod. I believe in Jesus Christ. He is God and He came from heaven to earth. He showed us the way to the Father’s love by living and dying upon a Cross for us. This is what happened, He laid down His own life for us; died upon the cross, taking upon Himself our sins, our shames, and died our death. He rose again to life on the third day. Listen, He rose again and now in Jesus, we can have this amazing hope and a bright future. He is alive and He is Lord! Our sins can now be forgiven and removed from us, if we only dare to believe and place our trust in Him. Living for and with Jesus is the best thing ever in my life. You’ve heard the saying; ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’ Now spell ‘dog’ backward and you have ‘God.’ God is for life and not just for Christmas or Easter, weddings and funerals. He is for life!! Also I have peace in my heart… something I know, you longs for in your life. “Know Jesus, Know Peace.” If you take the ‘K’ and the ‘w’ off the word KNOW, you will ends up with ‘NO’. NO JESUS, NO PEACE!
The way God has saved my life through what Jesus has done; I know He can do for you.
If you do come across me and want a chat, I’ll be glad to help. Or Call 07725 899128