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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

God's teaching of "Love one another" has had the most influence in my life.

God's teaching of "Love one another" has had the most influence in my life. I try to follow his example by treating people kindly and the way that I would want to be treated. Love is the greatest commandment so I try to make it the highest priority in my life.

In Scripture, God specifically places the responsibility for nurturing a child’s spiritual development on parents – not the church. The way parents love and relate to their children, day in and day out, in good times and bad, is the most powerful influence on their spiritual formation. For a Christian parent, the calling to pass on faith may initially seem very daunting. Parents may say, “I don’t know enough” or “I don’t have the skills”. The truth is that no parent is ever fully equipped or prepared in and of them. At the heart of Christian parenting are not our skills, knowledge or abilities but the power and presence of our living and loving God. Christian parenting involves living in daily dependence on God’s power and grace … faithfully doing what we can and leaving the rest to him. This is exactly what my parents did in my life and which are why they are the most important people who have influenced my journey in the Christian faith.

I was fortunate to be brought up in a spiritual and Christian way by my parents. I’ve always had God guiding me. I have never felt alone and have never felt lonely as I believe God has always been by my side and also his angels have been guiding me and keeping me safe all through out my years. I can honestly say that just by watching my parents I have learnt exactly what I needed to do in my life and that is to share everything I receive, which I do, including spirituality and to also share what I have learnt.

I have been brought up as a Christian right from when I was young. I have been to Sunday school in my childhood days, then to youth when I became a teenager, sang in the choir as part of my upbringing in the Christian faith. My parents were ardent Christians and wanted me to be brought up in the Christian faith. I read the bible, said the prayers morning and night before going to bed, before having my food and even took part in family prayers every night. I loved going to the church every Sunday and looked forward going to the Sunday school when I was young, then to the youth and enjoyed singing in the choir. I was actively involved in outreach programmers all through my life. I did village ministry where we preached to the Hindus in villages in India and telling them how much God loved them and bringing them closer to God and to become a Christian. As part of my youth ministry I went for hospital visits to visit the sick, the needy and pray with them for good health and to ask God to touch them and heal them. I went for prison visits to teach about God's love to the people who were in prison as part of my youth visits from church. I went to meet the old people in the Mother's Theresa's Old Age homes and ministered among the sick, the leprosy patients and the mentally retarded children and women who were put in these homes as their own families did not want them and thought they were a burden for them. I went to see these people every year during the Gift Sundays to meet these people and spend time with them by talking to them, spending time with them, feeding them the food we took and singing to them the Christmas songs and telling them how much God loved them. All theses were things I did all through my youth and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have always been close to God in everything I have done in my life right from my studies down to being married and having my son. I have always asked God for his blessings in everything I have done all through my life.

All through my life I loved singing and I used to sing in all the church activities, took part in bible related quizzes and dumb charades and even sang in all the Christmas concerts. I loved that God had blessed me with a wonderful voice and that I could sing his praises and make people happy by my singing.

In 2000 I had gone to visit the Holy Land with my family. I travelled to every place that Jesus ministered. I enjoyed the tour and came back with good memories. Then in 2003 I went again with my family and at that time there was something different. I was emotionally touched when I walked in the Stations of the Cross. When I reached the station where Jesus fell, it made me very emotional and made me cry. It was as if God was talking to me and guiding me through that spiritual journey making me understand that I should start ministry among his people and make them aware about his true love and his teachings. Thereafter every other place I went to on that Holy Land tour made me feel very emotional and think about God's ministry, his teachings, the suffering and even the pain he went through for sinners like us.

But then when I came back home after the journey I just put it in the back of my mind and carried on with my daily work. In 2005 I came to UK to study. Due to my faith in Christ I continued going to church even in this country. Even though I stayed in the Halls of Residence I still went to church every Sunday and was ridiculed by all the students there as I was the only one going to church every Sunday while all the other students were more interested in going out on Saturdays and then sleeping in on Sundays. But that never stopped me nor did it put me off. It only made my faith in God stronger and made me take part more actively in church related activities. I started reading the bible and some Sundays I even preached. Then in 2010 I moved to Wales and started going to St Celynin Church and very soon started getting involved more actively in all the activities. I joined the PCC, then became the Vicar's Warden and finally a Worship Leader, I have been preaching and doing the Morning Prayer services now for more than 3 years and I am enjoying every single moment of it as I am happy that I have finally been able to understand what God's plan for me in life is. Also I have finally been able to make the necessary step to understand that I have been called by God to make a difference in people's life through my ministry and that I can do that only by committing myself to him fully by becoming an ordained minister.

I have also been influenced by the Savior's admonition to care for the sick, the poor, the needy. I do that when I work with the elderly or give service through volunteer work. I have learned to love my neighbour and to love God. I have also been lifted up by the teaching that I am a child of God, that He loves us, and that His Son died for me.

Finally to conclude the teachings of Jesus are vital to understanding how to live my life and be happy. I love my Savior. I feel His love for me every day. Through His teachings I have learned the importance of humility, tolerance, love, patience, kindness, long-suffering and unconditional love. I am not perfect at any of these things. I am a work in progress. But, I would not make that progress without Him and His supreme example. I am so grateful for the holy scriptures that have preserved His …teachings and commandments. The Atonement of Jesus Christ and His miraculous resurrection are the cornerstone of my faith. All of my hope and desire for eternal life and happiness are based upon my faith in Him.

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