Football and Jesus Addict

Mark Blythe, Molesey Community Church FC I was born in Australia to English Parents back in 1959, I have tended to be Australian during the cricket season and English at other times since then, although this year’s Ashes has changed that?! I have a very patient wife, Lesley, three sons, three step-kids and two step-grandchildren, mightily blessed! At 2 my Pommie parents escaped Australia & I was raised near Middlesbrough. I was a sport fanatic, represented my school at everything & County at 3 sports. I was a Boro season ticket holder and played in 3 footy matches most weekends, what a life! I went regularly to Church, yes every Christmas Eve without fail to keep my Mother company after my parents divorced! That was it, no other churchy input and that was more than enough for me. I went to Uni at 18 to do PE, coached soccer in USA and did the first London Marathon in 1981. I married a Catholic lady at 24, but I fought against attending Church throughout a ten-year marriage that ended in divorce, mainly due to my selfishness I have to admit. I was happily single, when I met a gorgeous woman. Disappointingly I soon learnt that she was a Christian. I started asking questions about her faith. She didn’t push it on me as we started a relationship, which was just as well cos to me Christianity was real bad news! Six months later on a business trip back to Australia, some friends invited me to their Church, they couldn’t believe it when I said I would go, and I was equally surprised! I didn’t know why all of a sudden I wanted to go but I just felt drawn. During the meeting the leader invited new people down to the front, for some reason I went. There was a reading on a big overhead screen, I started reading it and for some reason my eyes filled up with tears. Being a tough northerner I tried to stem the flow but couldn’t, fortunately I was facing the front wall! I felt an amazing warm sensation inside that I now know to be the Holy Spirit, along with the shock of finding that God really existed and could be felt in a tangible way, I had an amazing inner peace. To make it so I had to believe, God then told my son that Dad had become a Christian. So when I rang England from Australia they already knew!! Wow, that made me realize that there was something real about this and that I had better start looking into it seriously! The spirit changed my life dramatically, I no longer do anything to make more money. The saddest thing about becoming a Christian when I did was realising that I wasted 35 years not listening to all the people who tried to tell me that it was Good News, the people I labelled “Boring Bible Bashers” as I went off to play football. One of the best things was realising that I could still love my football, support Boro and be a Christian! I was amazed that it doesn’t hurt and I am just so grateful that I found all this out before it was too late! Since that day, God has healed my back and answered many prayers. I want to spend eternity in heaven with all my friends and I want them to experience God’s Love, that is just so amazing, right now. If folks actually did an Alpha course or quizzed a Christian friend with all their deepest questions I am convinced that most would choose to follow Jesus. Historians don’t deny that Jesus existed so why should you? And if he did exist and was who he claimed to be, maybe it’s worth reading what he had to say? Mark’s Gospel in the New Testament is a great place to start, reading it knowing it is historical truth changed my views on it greatly! That water into wine thing was quite impressive and coming back to life was pretty good too! Do you have an open mind? What if….. what if that nagging wonder at the back of your mind is actually true? I believe nothing on earth can give you as much lasting peace and enjoyment as realising that there is a God who loves you, yes you. He gave you free will to choose Him, that is love, He is ready and waiting … will you go for it? Love Molesey Community Church FC, Love Boro & Love Jesus – strange but true!