As you know I am one of those 'Alpha changed my life' dudes so...

I'll definitely be tuning in 7 pm Sunday. Channel 4.

I wasn't agnostic before attending Alpha but I had become a Christian with a very under-developed pneumatology. I'm not sure why this was. No-one had ever really taught me much about the Holy Spirit. I had a relationship with God and Christ but the Holy Spirit, having always been described as 'ghost', in my child-hood, left me with some strange perceptions. My sister and I talked about God and about Jesus, as we grew up, but not the Holy Spirit.

It was Nicky Gumbel who first explained to me (via video link-up) the Holy Spirit's power and the effect he (or 'she' ;-) I've been keeping up with the Graham King poem controversy) could have on your life.

I then began to discover that thinking on the Holy Spirit is spread across a range of views. I started to get interested in Charismatic Renewal, not new by the time I started looking at it and never new really being an Acts phenomenon. I also started to investigate other views and read a magazine called 'Present Truth', which it took me a while to work out was presenting cessationist views.

I think that I have now settled, seeing the middle ground; that experiences need to be tested and prayed over but also that the Holy Spirit's power cannot be underestimated and it is to be celebrated.

Alpha helped me to understand just what it is that Jesus did for us. Alpha made me understand my own life as just a passing flit of time in God's great big story. It left me with a feeling of awe for the Almighty who could love me despite my sinfulness. I came to understand that the Spirit testifies to my spirit that I am loved by God. It made me want to understand God's nature better by studying the Bible and when I first attended the very first meeting 4 years ago, I knew right there and then that my life was going to change and that particularly September 2008 was going to be significant (it was, I started theological college).

It's such a journey and it is an exciting one in many ways. It is life-long and Alpha is one of the ways that I think God is using to bring a meaning to people's lives that is rooted in him and what it cost him to be in relationship with us. After Alpha, you will find you are rather bolder, and braver and yet also more humble and gentle. Old fears fade and past addictions weaken.

Alpha has changed the life of so many people - thanks be to God.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Yes, we are going to record this series (Sunday TV watching not being particularly easy!!). Should be interesting.


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