I was born into a Christian family, both my parents were very active in the church and as I grew up they encouraged me to be active also.
I was an altar boy, read the lessons and sung in the choir.
Being confirmed at the age of eleven seemed a natural progression within the church.
Life was good, I was doing well at school, lots of friends and a girl I fancied.
When I was thirteen my father went into the ministry, but I had no idea what lay in store.
When I was fifteen he finished his training. At the age of fifteen I hated life, school, parents, church, everything.
At the age of fifteen I moved. Friends, school, the girl I fancied, church, home all left behind.
I rebelled against my parents and I turned my back on God.
From the age of fifteen to twenty-six I did what I wanted when I wanted, with no interest in God or religion.
For ten years life was fun, life was good. I had a good job, paid well, had a few girlfriends, partied a bit.
Gradually, however, boredom set in.
My job became boring, earning money lost it's appeal, girlfriends and parties became tedious.
Then at the age of twenty-seven at an Open University summer school that boredom disappeared.
Over breakfast I met the woman who was to become my wife.
This woman came and sat at my breakfast table and we chatted, as you do.
Actually, I don't remember the conversation, all I remember is saying "Yes" and "No" in all the right places, nursing a hangover from the night before !
I wasn't paying much attention, but as she walked away to get ready for her lectures I heard a voice say "She's the one". Confused I looked around, there was no one there.
"She's the one, what ?" I thought.
Silence was the reply; but I knew as I asked the question that she's the one I'm going to marry.
At meal times I looked eagerly for her every day so that I could get to know her, and by the end of the week we had exchanged addresses.
Over the following months, by letter and phone, this woman encouraged me to find out about Christianity.
She was a Christian, and I thought that I was too.
After all I had been baptised and confirmed.
I met up with a group of Christians in Cardiff, where I lived at the time, who showed me how to be a Christian.
They helped me to understand some of the fundamentals.
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2 : 26
I had faith, but it was a dead faith. I thought I believed but my deeds showed otherwise.
Like the Alpha course they showed me how to do. Helped me to be a Christian once more.
As I walked home one night after a discussion on Sin and Repentance I thought about all the wrong I had done.
As I walked I cried. As I cried I said sorry, and asked Jesus back into my life.
Nine months after we first met, my wife and I were engaged.
Four months after that we were married.
For my part, I believed that God had spoken to me and so I had no doubts about my wife.
She however, had doubts about me. But God worked with her and showed her that I was the one for her. But that's another story !
I have a new job, a new lease of life away from my past.
That was four years ago.
During the last two years, I have helped out on a number of courses that we've done at the church, given a variety of talks and lead a number of Bible studies, things I would never have dreamed I was capable of doing.
But when God wants you to do something, He has the annoying habit of equipping you to do it.
With our first child born this month, I am trusting Him to equip us to be the kind of parents He wants us to be.
Life's never boring when Jesus is in charge of it.
Have a look at the other articles on this web site, and please do feel free to email me on any concerns you have regarding the Christian faith.
Also, check out some of your local churches. There are many churches of all denominations (Church of England, Baptist, Methodist, non-denominational, etc) which will be happy to discuss the issues surrounding Christianity, especially if they run a course, such as Alpha, aimed at introducing people to the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, promises that if you truly seek Him out then you will find Him.
But remember - being a Christian is about having a relationship with God through Jesus. Relationships take time to build. Take the time - make the effort - and you will be rewarded.
Richard Coleman, 28th January 2001