Bruce

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Good morning, my name is Bruce Bird.

I’m rather dim.

I’m not dim because of my age - I recently celebrated my 60th birthday as unbelievable as that may seem – no, I’ve always been dim. I’ve been dim because I haven’t known Jesus as my Saviour. But now I do. The moment Jesus came into my life, the light went on, and I knew what I’d been missing. So I stand before you today, proud and privileged to declare that fact and to be baptised in your presence and in the presence of God.

So what about my journey? Like many children of the 1950s and 60s, I went to Sunday School because my mum told me to. In fact, it was my sister who took my brother and me along to church because she’s that much older than us, but she went to church because she wanted to. And she still goes to church to this day. But my brother and I went because we had to. I can’t remember that much about it really but what I do remember is that occasionally we would go from Sunday service in the church hall into the church proper to listen to the vicar’s sermon. Boy, did that put the fear of God into me!! As well as being frightened by parts of it, I didn’t understand it, so there was no connection with God and it was never something that I looked forward to. Quite the opposite, in fact, so as soon as I could I opted out.

So that was me done with God. I wanted to be a good guy only I didn’t think I needed to believe in God to be one. So like so many others back then, and indeed nowadays too, I did things in my own strength. And I won some, and I lost some. I had successes and I had losses – but I had all of them on my own.

So what brought me to want to know God? I can best sum it up in one word ‘need’ – I needed God. I had the riches of this world – health, wealth, good job, lovely family – but I wasn’t fully content. I wasn’t fully satisfied. But when I did seek for God, He was there, as He always had been, I just hadn’t been looking before.

My need started with a feeling that something was lacking in my life and also that there was something other than me working in my life. In 2001, we moved to our current house and we just happened to move next door to Simon Farrar, the then pastor of Ceylon Baptist Church – some years later I realised that this hadn’t just happened!! Many of you may remember Simon and his family; they are lovely people and they were lovely neighbours. We got to know them a little over the years but it wasn’t until some years later that I plucked up the courage (‘cos I’m a bit short on courage!!) to ask Simon if I could speak to him about my feelings and he was very happy to oblige. He wasn’t ‘heavy’ on the God angle but he gently encouraged me and he steered me towards the Alpha Course here at Victoria. At the same time, I started to attend church here too, albeit on a somewhat intermittent basis. So I did the Alpha Course – which was good – but I didn’t really get it. I needed a more personal experience.

And I got that personal experience in January 2008! After taking early retirement from work, but without a plan of what to do next, I went to Surrey to see a professional advisor about career and life options. At the end of the session, she left me alone for a time to think through what we had been discussing, and it was during that time alone that I had the most wonderfully uplifting feeling of peace and calm come upon me. It was amazing; absolutely the best feeling I had ever experienced. A feeling of lightness and such joy; almost as if I was no longer a part of this earthly world. I didn’t hear a voice and I didn’t have a vision, but the feeling within me told me everything. I knew this was God and He was telling me that my future was safe with Him. In that moment, I knew that Jesus was my Saviour and that I believed in Him. I knew I had become a Christian. On the train journey back to Eastbourne, I can remember being so happy and having a constant smile on my face – I’m not sure what the other passengers made of me!

I did Alpha again after that and this time I got it. I started to come to Church regularly. I joined a small group. I wanted to be with God and with His people. I wanted to walk with God and get to know more about Him. I wanted to commit.

So what’s changed in me? Well, let’s start with what hasn’t changed. I’m still short on courage,,still tempted, still sinful in nature, and I still don’t have all the answers. But because I now declare Jesus as my Saviour, I have strength in that certainty which means that I don’t have to beat myself up anymore. I now understand that it’s just not possible for me to have all the answers - so I trust in God. I now understand that temptation is the devil’s work - so I trust in God. I now understand that I will remain sinful until I leave this world and arrive in His kingdom - so I repent and trust in God. So now I use the gifts that God has given me to pass on to others rather than keeping them just for myself. So I give my time, my help, my money, my love to others. I’m becoming more patient, more tolerant and more forgiving – but it is a work in progress. I now know that I am truly blessed, and I’m so thankful for that.

And my blessing from God continues today! I want to obey Jesus and follow His example by being baptised. I want to die to sin and be born again in Jesus. In front of God and all of you, I commit my life to Jesus.

April 2012

This week at Victoria

April 2018

Sunday 22nd April 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Tuesday 24th April 2018

Kids' Football 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Gildredge House Sports Hall

Wednesday 25th April 2018

CAMEO  10.00 am to 12.00pm in Welcome Centre

Sunday 29th April 2018

5th Sunday Celebration  10.30am in Main Auditorium

May 2018

Tuesday 1st May 2018

Kids' Football 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Gildredge House Sports Hall

Sunday 6th May 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Encounter - Worship Event  5.30pm to 6.30pm in Main Auditorium

Tuesday 8th May 2018

Kids' Football 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Gildredge House Sports Hall

Saturday 12th May 2018

Flow Cafe  10.00am to 12.00noon in Ground Floor

Sunday 13th May 2018

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Tuesday 15th May 2018

Kids' Football 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Gildredge House Sports Hall

Sunday 20th May 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Evening Service  5.30pm to 6.30pm in Main Auditorium

Monday 21st May 2018

Cardarama 7.30pm to 9.30pm in Welcome Centre

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Kids' Football 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Gildredge House Sports Hall

Sunday 27th May 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

June 2018

Sunday 3rd June 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Encounter - Worship Event  5.30pm to 6.30pm in Main Auditorium

Sunday 10th June 2018

Family Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Sunday 17th June 2018

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

Evening Service  5.30pm to 6.30pm in Main Auditorium

Sunday 24th June 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Sunday Reflections Service  11.15am in Main Auditorium

July 2018

Sunday 1st July 2018

Sunday Celebration Service  9.30am in Main Auditorium

Saturday 14th July 2018

Flow Cafe  10.00am to 12.00noon in Ground Floor

View full calendar

Youth and Children