Hello, my name is Peter, I am married to Debbie, and we have a son called Rodrick who is autistic. I also have four step kids with 2 having special and learning difficulties which can be challenge at times.
As a child
I was a wee boy when I came to know Jesus. I was 7 and I was up in the Island of Lewis where we spent all our school holidays.
Before and after.
I attended church and Sunday school at Perth Knox Free Church where the Rev. David Paterson was minister and Miss McLennan my Sunday school teacher and she taught at my school and did Scripture Union.
I Loved Sunday School and Scripture Union and I just loved Jesus, I loved praying and being close to Jesus.
These were instrumental days of my life and so glad my mother took me, and brother and sister to church, where seeds of the Gospel were planted.
The influence of these people in my life were amazing in growing to know Jesus.
There was a children’s story that David Paterson taught us of it was called “Timothy String”, David had a prop of a boy’s head called Timothy with a long piece of string hanging down from the neck.
The story was related to the Narrow and Wide Gates in Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
David Paterson had a big picture board; I can’t remember what was on it but there were various holes on the board that where Timothy had lived different aspect of his life and sinned.
Each time he sinned, David Paterson would tie a knot on the string, being the sin and he would travel in and out through the different holes of his life.
Timothy by this time had a few knots on him and on top of the board there was two gates, one narrow and the other wide.
Timothy had to choose which gate to go through, and I understood as a young child that the wide gate would lead to hell and the narrow gate would lead me to Heaven.
Timothy string chose to go through the narrow gate and as the head was pulled through the gate the sin of the knots broke away lose to where there were no knots, NO MORE SIN.
My mother was from the Isle of Lewis and my family they were strong Free Church of Scotland and Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland members and were very staunch in following the Bible.
This was a nightmare on a Sunday when we weren’t allowed out to play or watch TV. In these times on a Sunday, I used to get really bored even after annoying my wee brother and sister!
Then I started trying to read the books in the house. They were all biblical ones, but I was more interested in the one my granddad had. I was interested in this one because he had it with him all the time and for doing what we called ‘the books’ which was when he alone and times and the family got together.
Every morning and evening my Granddad prayed, read a few chapters of scripture, then a Psalm and finished with prayer. He did this everyday morning and night with amazing dedication.
He took time to meet with the Lord and making sure his family were blessed too through prayer.
On Sundays I used to get my Woolworths writing pad out, and I read and copied, word for word parts of the Bible.
I used the Gaelic AV Bible that my granddad had and an English AV bible to understand the Gaelic.
I used to wonder why my Granddad glowed with a presence of peace and humbleness about his nature. I knew he got it from this Bible and in prayer.
When I was converted
I used to have a picture on my bedroom wall in Portnaguran on the Isle of Lewis of a wee boy kneeling at his bed.
So, one night, I went on the floor at my bed like him and prayed my wee heart out to the Lord asking him to save me, forgive me and to come into my life.
I wanted what Timothy String had and have all my sins taken away.
I cried to sleep that night in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the matter of that single night, I woke up next day with something I can’t describe because I cry even now thinking of it. It was like a sense of peace that the Lord knew me, and I was safe.
I was a changed, converted young boy, and knew that I wanted to know more about Jesus. I was on fire for Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in me was so strong.
I remember coming back home from the Isle of Lewis and I told my Sunday school teacher Miss McLennan that I got saved, and she understood!
Throughout my childhood and even in adulthood where I worked painting her home, she was always an encourager and she never judged. She always had a peace about her like my grandad, she knew the Lord deeply.
Prayer in my life
My Granddad’s life was one of prayer and he always said, ‘don’t underestimate the power of prayer’. My aunty Marian in Lewis reminded me often on the power of prayer, it’s so important in your walk with Jesus.
I do see the answers to prayers, it might not be answered in our timing but if we are patient, we can see the work of prayer answering God.
In later years I drifted away, I backslid, and the world got in the way and spent lots of my time training as a sprinter doing athletics and started an apprenticeship as a decorator in Perth and had my own business for several years.
I lost real passion for Christ in my late teens when I was 16, I faded away into the world and worldly ways, I still prayed to Jesus at times, but I had no love or hunger for the Bible to hear God voice, but little did I know God didn’t give up or fade away on me. He never let me go.
I was a mess, in my early 20’s during and after an extreme bad time in my life that I can’t get into it here. But two times the only way I could get out the situation, I tried to commit suicide, I was working out in the middle of nowhere decorating a farmhouse. I was ready to take my life. Each time before it happened my dad turned up at the house, somehow God directed him and glad He did.
I was drinking, doing things out of character and I could tick of most of the abominations in Romans 1:29-32, I was in a real backslidden mess.
I was a real Yo-Yo in my faith but at times I used to have a Gideon New Testament Bible and read the Bible verse helps that are in the beginning of the Book. These helped with prayer asking for help, guidance, and forgiveness.
In this time, I always felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my sin, but I just pulled away from Him. In these times I never had any comfort from God and was under the chastisement from Him on many occasions to break me.
BUT one morning a tug of the Holy Spirit really got me, it was like a supernatural thunderbolt.
I wasn’t sure what was going on but all I wanted was Jesus, I was graving Him. I went back to church and after a while I enjoyed the fellowship and ministry at Perth Knox Free Church where the Rev. Duncan MacLeod was preaching and gave strong Bible based sermons.
Under Duncan’s preaching the Holy Spirit was really convicting me, I remember griping and digging my nails into the bottom of my chair, to stop myself crying and to stop the Holy Spirit working in me.
I drifted back and forward from church, Duncan always called me the prodigal son, he was so graceful towards me, I think deep down he was angry with me for the way I lived, and if he approached me about these things, I would have put up more walls.
My Christian life was a rollercoaster, I was a real mess, I was listening to false prosperity teaching on the radio and TV and these Hyper-grace liberal teachings can give you licence to do anything sinful, and I didn’t need confess them ever because I had no responsibility for them.
I was in dangerous grounds before God.
I was in an awful state in prayer, and I was trying to live in sinless perfection like Christ and crucify my "old man” thinking it was my flesh, with what I learnt listening to another false teachings of the “holiness movement”.
To be honest these holiness preachers are suffocating in the sin of pride, but they don’t see it.
I learnt to keep away from the TV religious channels that you get on cable and satellite media.
I met Debbie in 2002 and later she became my wife we didn’t have the perfect relationship before the Lord and we had wonderful Christians like Pastor Kevin Gresham, Neal, Carolyn, and Ted Schaper, who helped restore us after we repented.
Debbie and Kevin put me on the straight path, theology wise with Kevin being an Independent Baptist and got me out of the grips of liberal and even legalistic teachings.
Things got better.
It was when I was online looking at a website called Sermon Audio, I found the ministry of the Free Presbyterian Church and listened in to Ian Paisley’s services and found Dr. Alan Cairns of Greenville USA by what I thought was a mistake, but the Holy Spirit led me to him.
It was early 2005 and I was listening in regularly to Dr. Cairns and week after week the Holy Spirit was convicting me through his preaching.
One night at 4th Annual Bible Conference at Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Cairns preached on the “The Old Man Crucified” from Romans 6:6-7 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been justified from sin.
Dr. Cairns refutes the idea of two nature theory that is often taught with this verse the old man the old nature and the new man and new nature.
He says with the two natures you will be living like you have a multiple personality disorder. You see looking closely at the verse 6 old man was crucified with [Him], You see the old man was its not continually being crucified.
When the old man was crucified, the new man came into existence, they both are a onetime occurrence and irreversible. As you are a new man you are continually being renewed.
You see, my old thinking that the “old man” where the “holiness preachers” were saying “God has commanded you to put the flesh to death and make it like a dead corpse” and when I was struggling with sin, feeling I was living in constant disobedience towards God, I felt a failure
But! I was a failure for nothing, because in all reality God himself in His Word never commands us what is impossible to do.
As scripture doesn’t ever tell you to crucify the old man, the wonderful revelation is that God crucified the old man with Christ on the cross when we were saved.
In these moments, years of tension fell away.
You need to look up Dr. Alan Cairns on Sermonaudio.com to get the whole message “The Old Man Crucified”.
Struggle with sin
Now I have a solid faith in Christ and know what it’s like to know him again as my personnel saviour and to walk and talk with Him every day, just like when I was in my younger day. He never left me.
Sometimes daily I struggle with sin it can be a constant struggle and I fall sometimes to a particular sin. I totally hate it; I think why I did that! But I confess and repent of it, get back on my feet and get back to my walk with the Lord.
At times I’m tempted to sin, I have the choice to either flea from it or fall into sin. I got a great tip from a brother that he has scripture memorised and he heads out on a run or a walk, reading and praying over the memorised scriptures. My way I usually head out on a hike and listen to the Bible on a mp3 and take time to sit and pray.
In 2005 being brought up as a Presbyterian, I felt a desire to be baptised to show publicly to the world, proclaiming my faith in Christ that I was born again and to testify my identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
On the 01-10-2005 I was baptised at Luss on Loch Lomond by Pastor Kevin.
Later in my faith
Alistair Begg of Parkside Church held the Basics 2007 Conference for pastors. This is where I saw a man called Edward Lobb preaching.
During that conference Edward gave an interview and spoke about Cornhill Scotland Bible College at Glasgow’s Tron Church… the Church on Bath Street.
I came home, searched online for it, and sent an email requesting more information.
After a lot of prayer, the Lord led me to apply for a place on the ministry training course.
I was thankful to be accepted on the course and began a year’s training there in September of 2008 under the guidance of two experienced ministers Bob Fyall and Edward Lobb and was mentored by Pastor Kevin Gresham.
- I have an online ministry called bornagainchristians.org and we are on sermonaudio.com
- Over the years we did a thing called Salvation Packs where we send Bibles and teaching literature around the world.
- I spent time in Glasgow doing outreach work where I had a weekly bible study in costa at waterstones in Sauchiehall street. That was a great time meeting people who have been hurt by the church but were hungry for fellowship and more importantly studying the Bible.
- So nowadays we don’t have a local church to attend with the boys with their disabilities, but we are so glad of the internet where we can watch live at the ViZion Church and sometimes Debbie will get away to the Tron church in Bath Street to get some sound bible teaching.