I want to first start off by saying how incredibly blessed I am. I was born into a Christian family, and both sets of my Grandparents were also Christians. My mom and dad met at church, both sets of their parents attended Collingwood Baptist on Joyce street in Vancouver. The Bayleys and Cliffords were friends, and what’s really funny is that my dad’s mom, Annie Bayley had a sister named Muriel, and Muriel was Vera (my mom’s mom) best friend! (Grandma Bayley was 12 years older than the two of them).  I wanted to start the story off there, because that’s where it begins, really!

Collingwood Baptist Church – Joyce Street Vancouver, BC

COLLINGWOOD BAPTIST, VANCOUVER BC

After my parents were married, they lived in Burnaby for a year, and we attended Collingwood Baptist as well. I loved going to church there! My dad played the piano, and so we always sat on the right hand side, usually in the front row. Sometimes I would ask if I could sit with my Grandparents. The Bayleys always sat in the middle, in the second row from the front, but the Cliffords always sat at the very back on the left hand side, because Grandpa Clifford was an Usher.

THE BAYLEYS MOVED TO LANGLEY

When we first moved to Langley in 1973, we continued to drive into Vancouver every Sunday morning to attend church, and then we would go to the Bayley’s house after church for bacon and eggs. My Grandpa always did the cooking, and I always did the watching. The way he cooked eggs was a bit revolting to me – the eggwhites were still sort of jiggly, and he only flipped them over for a second. He used an electric frying pan, and would drop 12 eggs all in at once. I loved watching him being able to crack an egg with one hand and drop it perfectly into the pan. However, I happened to hate runny eggs, and I would always watch anxiously and ask him if he could cook mine longer. He insisted that hard eggs had no flavour, but I would beg him and beg him. I always got the last egg, but the yolk was always runny. I struggled every meal to get that egg down my throat. YUCK! It’s funny the memories that stick with us, isn’t it?

CLOVERDALE BAPTIST CHURCH

Anyhow, after a year, we were invited by someone to attend a church in Cloverdale (which is in Surrey) and so we tried it out. We then started attending there full time, and so the visits to Grandma and Grandpas for Sunday brunch were only once in a while. My mom became the janitor at the church, which was Cloverdale Baptist on 60th avenue in Surrey. My dad also played the piano and organ there as well. We usually always sat on the left hand side, second pew from the front. I made a lot of great friends there, and had some pretty awesome Sunday school teachers!

I ASKED JESUS TO COME LIVE IN MY HEART

I was around five years old when I decided that I needed Jesus to live in my heart. I prayed and asked Jesus to come and live in my heart. I loved going to church, loved Sunday school classes, and going to pioneer girls. When I was 12, I was baptized. I made the decision that I wanted to continue to follow the Lord, and serve him the rest of my life.

When I was 16 years old, during a youth meeting, I actually went forward after prayer one night, because I wanted to re-dedicate my life to the Lord. I knew that I was backsliding, and doing things that were not right. Since that time, I have lived my life trying to honor God.

GOD LOVES YOU!

God is real, he is alive, and he loves you and me. The bible is full of his teachings, and I believe every word written in it. My hubby Paul and I had the opportunity to visit Israel in 2010, and it was the most amazing trip I have ever been on. I believed the bible to be true before, but when you are in Israel and actually see the places mentioned in the Bible, and go to where Jesus walked, it’s unbelievable. When we took a trip on an old wooden sailing trip when we were on the sea of Galilee , I was just in awe looking around.

Paul and Donna, in a wooden boat in the Sea of Galilee

Where Jesus had talked to and fed the crowd from the shore was where we were. When the boat operator played Amazing Grace on the small sound system, I burst into tears. It was incredibly moving.

I AM NOTHING WITHOUT GOD IN MY LIFE

God has always loved me. No matter what I’ve done, what I’ve said, he loves me. It may have taken some time to apologize and confess certain sins, but I have always turned back to God. He cares so much about me, and my life. If I didn’t have God, I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far.

God is my strength, my pillar, my rock. I give him my pain, my disasters, my anger, my rebellion. I know he forgives me when I ask. I don’t have to carry burdens that are far too heavy for me, I can drop them off and leave them with him. One of my favorite quotes is:” Leave your problems at night with God. He’s going to be up all night anyways!”

WE ALL NEED JESUS

We all need to have God in our lives. Seriously. We were created to love God, and be loved by him. If you don’t know who God is, I suggest you pick up a Bible and start reading! There are also some amazing books written out there that can also help you in your journey to find out who he is.

God always keeps his promises. What he says he will do, he does. He doesn’t always give us what we want, he doesn’t interfere in our lives, and he also allows us to go through trials and temptations. God is a loving God, but remember, it’s not because of him that bad things happen. Put the blame squarely on whom it belongs – Satan. It is Satan who is running amok on earth, causing the mess we are in now. When God does come back, he will return us to our rightful place – alongside of him. I am so looking forward to that day!

JOHN 3:16

Jesus came to earth as a baby, he lived and died so that we could have a chance to live eternally. John 3:16 says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life”. Yes, that is the King James version – one of the first verses I ever memorized.

I attend church regularly. I grew up Baptist, but in my late teens started attending a Pentecostal church. There is a difference between the two, the Pentecostals believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the Baptists believe they were only for the disciples during Jesus’ time on earth. Ah well, if that’s all they disagree on, that’s fine with me. I’m a Bapticostal, and I love God, and I serve him. It doesn’t matter where we attend church, as long as we all believe that God exists, and we desire to have a relationship with him.

I AM NOT ASHAMED OF BEING A CHRISTIAN

I am not ashamed to say I am a Christian. There are many people out there who say they are, but they have no love in their heart, and are very condemning. It’s so sad, because Christians tend to get a bad rap, and name.

People make fun of Christians all the time. I don’t care. I know whom I believe in, and I am so grateful that my parents, grandparents, and GREAT grandparents all loved God. What a blessing! It is so much harder for those who have never been exposed to Christianity as a child, to accept him when they are older.

GOD HAS A PLAN FOR ME

I count my blessings every day. God is real, he loves me, and has a plan for my life. Even when I mess it up. God fixes the mess, and loves me just the way I am. That is a loving God.

MY PRAYER ASKING JESUS INTO MY HEART

Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me. Thank you for taking on my sins, not only the sins I’ve already committed, but the ones I will commit in the future. Thank you for forgiving me. I love you, and accept you into my heart and soul. I want to live to serve you.

Amen.

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