My conversion: My Testimony: what can I say?
There I was: Going to The Church of Living Hope – Going then for myself? No I wasn’t. I was going for my son Phillip Ingram’s sake, or so I thought! But, silly me! I had not taken the intentions of Our Lord into account!
One day, during January of 2013 after weeks of attending Our Church, Living Hope, and going to Oasis Ministries and fellowship meetings at Humera’s house in Nelson, Bishop Samuel’s Church in Manchester – placing myself where true Born Again Christians were gathered – a change overcame me, and this change, though gradual, was persistent. This change was not in my plan of things: I had little idea what this strange change in me meant or promised.
I remember that I was lifted above my melancholy existence hitherto. But I knew it to be fundamental and different. I recall a feeling of levitation and euphoria, but, also, one of utter and complete renewal. A knowledge of a sense of complete forgiveness – following a desperately sad period in my life, and the lives of my family.
After an Oasis meeting at The Ace Centre in Nelson, and an amazing event of Dave interceding in what he saw as my needs, I left the Ace Centre in Nelson ten feet tall and with an immense uplift. Wow!
Well, during the late evening and early hours of the following Tuesday/Wednesday, morning after the usual Tuesday prayer meeting, I felt unwell – An illness; differing so strangely from any I had experienced before: I had not realised, but my heart had gone into a rhythm quite inadequate to sustain life and instead of my heart pumping in an ordinary fashion, it was just shaking/trembling, and hardly pumping at all! I should have then died, I was told later – but somehow, I was alive.
I rang 999 and a Paramedic arrived in double quick time: “We have to get you to hospital,” he said after carrying out some tests, your heart is beating so very fast and mentioned the medical term Arrhythmia: and that it was possible I had suffered another heart attack also, which subsequently proved correct: Well, when the ambulance arrive shortly after they loaded me sped off to Blackburn Infirmary. I was told afterwards, the driver had achieved a record number miles per hour, even for an ambulance!
The superb Doctors and Nurses in the resuscitation department at The Royal Blackburn hospital were absolutely fantastic and after a number of attempts to regulate my heart rhythm by chemical and manual procedures, they told me my heart would have to be stopped and restarted, using an external Defibrillator – repeated until my heart rhythm returned once again to normal: You know, at no time during all this did I feel panicky or concerned – Completely relaxed – I replied, “Do what you have to do Doctor, don’t worry about me, as I am perfectly alright”. You see, I knew, and with an absolute certainty, somehow, I was going to a heavenly place, or to live again; but to live a brand new life, which Our Lord had planned for me – Sins forgiven – A completely new me! Born again and renewed, but with a purpose promised by God.
During all procedures following that first week and during the whole of my three weeks hospitalisation, no fear, no pain, no anxiety, ever invaded my peace of mind; I was surrounded by a spiritual calm: In an oasis, so to speak, of the luxury of God’s Heavenly Grace engulfing my whole person.
It was a total transformation: as I said, a brand new me. I was implanted with an I.C.D. But I do honestly believe I have been cured and in fact, my I.C.D is just there within my chest – as a precaution, really! I was subsequently reminded by The Lord, that He has provided us with medicines, Doctors and skilful Nurses and much more, so that we can live longer and healthier and, yes! He reminded me that these gifts are from Him and, “Colin, He told me, “Take your medicines!!!!” which I had stopped taking because of some uncomfortable side effects.
Many strange and wonderful things and events brought me to The Lord and many were those Brethren; many of whom were there that night of eleven Baptisms, who, by their God given gifts and example carried me spiritually, and gently guided me to where I found Jesus – and this new me! Praise His Glorious Name! My most profound guide to salvation, like The Lord’s Holy Spirit, is my son Pastor Phillip and Caroline: Granddaughters, Jamie and Shannon – whom never once.
lost patience and love for me. But by their continued example of true Born Again Christians; I came to know and believe that Our Lord loves me and died for me and has washed clean away by His Spirit; the sins of the old me! If I came across that other me in the street or elsewhere, I would not recognise him.
That day, Sunday 16th. June 2013, was a very special day for me for five reasons at least: It was Father’s Day. I was joined in baptism that evening, by 10 others, all of whom, like me, had made the decision to dedicate their lives to The Lord – just like me.
My Wife Ann, who passed in January 2012, were married 52 years ago, on the 16th June 1962
I said then that I believe it is now the right time in the continuation of my walk with Jesus Christ: for me to demonstrate this commitment by /and in my Baptism.
And my Son Philip baptised his earthly Father! How fantastic is that???
A footnote to my conversion and baptism is that my brother Cy had travelled to Burnley from down south in Herefordshire, to witness my Baptism: And when all ten of us were baptised he stepped forward and got baptised himself there and then!
So, Philip not only baptised his father, but his uncle also!!! Hallelujah!!!
Praise The Lord and His mercy, forgiveness and Love; given freely to all sinners like the old me, who have asked the forgiveness of their iniquities and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But forgiveness is ours because the Son of Man paid the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary, so that we might all be forgiven and have Eternal Life.
I have not lived these many years without realising my walk with Christ is not going to be easy or a forgone conclusion, but I, armed with much experience gained over seventy-five years and more, has made me all the more determined to do my Masters will; not allowing iniquities to stand between me and my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.