In the early Summer of 1987 I was house-sitting for a friend. My life was a demolition zone: marriage effectively over, unemployed, pretty much unemployable and severely depressed.

For several months leading up to this point I’d been searching for answers as to why my life was such a mess and why I always seemed to be so miserable on the inside. Yes, I might put on a happy or brave face most of the time, but inside was a train wreck. A heart and mind full of doubts and fears (many of which were continually unfolding).

In my quest to find out “the secret” to success in life I had bought a book by Robert Schuller, “The Be Happy Attitudes: 8 positive attitudes that can transform your life”. Going from the title alone, if anyone needed to read this book, it was me.

Also, I had a couple of books published by the Roman Catholic Church about the Gospel of John, given to me by my friend just before he left me in charge of his home.

So this one day I got up soon after sunrise, made some tea and began reading my books, beginning with Robert Schuller. As the day progressed I became more and more focussed on finding an answer to my problems. I knew something was there for me, I just had to keep reading until I found it.

By the early hours of the next morning I’d finished Schuller’s book. As much as I had found it somewhat helpful, I didn’t feel I had the “key” yet. So reluctantly, I began reading the books from the Roman Catholic Church.

Around 4 a.m. I was reading about Jesus’ crucifixion. The parts where Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross and then asked forgiveness for his killers really made a deep impression on me. Then I began thinking about my son, who was about six years old at that time.

Then a conversation began in my mind.

“You have a son don’t you?”

“Yes I do” I thought.

“Would you sacrifice your son for anything or anyone?”

No, I could never do that”.

“Well, God sacrificed his Son for you and you don’t even care”.

That broke me. I burst into tears and began sobbing, but I kept on reading. A few pages later I read something like, “if you believe what you have read about the Lord Jesus Christ, His life death and resurrection, then please read this prayer, say it out loud”.

“I believe it, I believe it, I’ll read it, I’ll say it out loud” …..

Tears streaming down my face I read the prayer and said it out loud.

I dried my eyes, made a cup of tea and a piece of toast and after eating and drinking I went to bed and fell straight to sleep.

I did not fully comprehend things at the time, but looking back now I can see the Holy Spirit was at work in my life. This had been a divine intervention.




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    Steve Dines is an inspirational speaker, writer and learning facilitator. Between 1993 and 2005, Steve worked in various "ministry" positions including cell group leader, pioneer pastor and member of a senior leadership team overseeing four church congregations.

    During those years Steve fervently believed in the restoration of the church, but not now. It was not so much that he left the church system, but rather the system chewed him up and spat him out.

    Now, he is on a journey of personal transformation to a new and different future in Christ and looking for the restoration of the Ekklesia.


    February 2015