I was a dentist for several decades, having qualified in 1968, and retired in 2007. That’s nearly 38 years.
I was also a bookseller, opening my book shop in 1984, and being proprietor until 2004. I make that 20 years.
I speak about my life at FGB (Full Gospel Businessmen’s) meetings fairly often, and one of the things one is expected to say, is what one did for a living. I ought to apologise for the fact that so many people have heard me say this, or have read it – “I am a man who sold holy books and filled holey teeth!”
But although I see ‘dentist’ and ‘bookseller’ as part of my past identity, the over-riding identity is that of Christian. Not in the commonly held understanding of mid to late 20th century middle class UK, which seemed to be basically ‘decent person who also believes in God’, but the Biblical description; something more like ‘born again’, a new life, though still imperfect, believing that Jesus is God, and generally the evangelical understanding of the Bible’s concept of what a Christian is.
I was a dentist for around 38 years, and a bookseller for 20 years. But I accepted Jesus as my Saviour in October 1965, and have therefore, by the grace of God, chalked up over 54 years as a practising Christian. Jesus has been so good to me during that time, giving me a different quality of life, and fulfilment, not to mention so many answered prayers. See my books!
And as a Christian, I continue identifying as, working with, and enjoying the fellowship of other Christians. Last weekend I was at a men’s conference in Torquay, and for my blog, have pasted below my report on that conference. As you will see, it was fun as well as inspiring.
Report of a Wild Party in Torquay!
(Southwest and Severnside’s 29th FGB Advance)
A wild party, platefuls of delicious food, engaging conversations with the people of Torquay, an instant healing – these were just a few of the memorable aspects of the Southwest and Severn Region’s 29th Advance.
“He’s cheating!”, I exclaimed to a few window shoppers as Lindsay Hamon wheeled his huge cross along the pavement in the centre of Torquay. Some grinned, others stared blankly, and still others turned away. But many responded to those of us who, one way or another, caught the attention of a variety of people in town that Saturday morning. Brian led two to pray ‘the sinner’s prayer’ and others accepted prayer for healing. Lindsay himself spoke to innumerable people, and prayed for countless needs. Two drunks, clutching bottles, started fighting, and Kay Jay stepped between them and told them they needed Jesus. They fled!
We returned to the amazing Brunel Manor to share our experiences on the streets, and though we had set out somewhat apprehensively, we returned with smiles and stories. Later, over twenty testified concerning the opportunities the Lord had given them to speak and pray with people. And of the boldness experienced.
Jack Pomfret had introduced the Advance by reading from Revelation 22:17 – The Spirit and the Bride say ’Come’. With just 4 verses to go to the end of the Bible, this was the Last Chance Saloon! The return of the Lord is imminent, and we need to speak to those heading for eternal destruction. There is still time – just. And so we had set out with a sense of urgency, and the Lord had been with us.
Lindsay’s teaching was saturated with humorous anecdotes. He had wheeled his cross through 26 nations. The Lord had so clearly used him powerfully. Robin Morgan took us quickly into a heavenly realm as he led worship at the grand piano. There was ministry with prayer and the laying on of hands at the end of each meeting. The fellowship amongst us was charged with the life of the Spirit, as we chatted, laughed, encouraged, and on one occasion, prayed for one another round the dinner table.
The party? It was a wild, noisy celebration at the end of the conference. There was singing, shouting, and dancing as Robin led us into a foretaste of heaven. Terry Lavery accompanied on guitar, and suddenly Lindsay was up there playing drums. And more – Jack too was playing drums, the same set, but from the opposite side. There was prayer and prophetic words, and the place was immersed in the Presence of the Living God Who loves to ‘inhabit the praises of His people’. A man with partial paralysis of his arm and side jerked violently – and was paralysed no more.
The food? Superb cooking, and being a buffet, more than adequate servings!
Stuart Brewster, our young vice-president in Norwich, had accompanied me, along with our PA man, Cliff Pain Both testified to tremendous blessing whilst evangelising on the streets, and on the way home debated whose car they would use to drive to Torquay in 2021. Others had already booked in for next year.
The 2021 Advance will take place 29th – 31st January. You can book now in order to secure your place there, by emailing Richard Cordy at email@example.com Of course, it might not happen, because Jack told us we are in the final 4 verses of the Bible, and the return of the Lord Jesus is imminent. But if you are undecided, remember – The Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come’.