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ernestrichardson2

Ernest Richardson

Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

For me a funeral was better than a party.

The best day of my life was also tempered by sadness. It was May 25th, the funeral of my grandfather. I used to play football for the school team every Saturday morning and afterwards I would often go and visit my Mother’s Father at his home in Leicester.

I was convinced at that time that my grandfather was a Christian and that I was not.

I had been brought up in a non-Christian home. I was one of six children and my Father was a heavy drinker. I was unlearned and ignorant about the teaching of the Bible.

I left home at the age of 15 and went to work for my Uncle in his retail business. For 4 years I attended church fairly regularly without any real meaning.

Then the funeral came and everything changed.

I don’t remember anything the preacher said but I do very clearly remember the moment the body was lowered into the grave. In that instant I experienced a powerful conviction concerning my eternal state. I knew I wasn’t ready for death.

The cry of my heart was now “What must I do to be saved?”.

Within a few weeks I was sitting in church one Sunday with a new zeal and a new attention to God’s Word. The preacher that Sunday took for his text Psalm 86v11.

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”

This was exactly the desire of my heart. I wanted God’s way. I needed to be rid of my own ways of sin and unbelief. The truth of God was my overwhelming desire. The fear of God was now my priority. Jesus Christ became precious to me and I knew that without Him I could do nothing.

From that moment all things became new.

Through reading the Bible and searching for good preaching I soon had a good, basic grasp of the great doctrines of the Christian faith.

My great longing now was to be baptised and join the church which I was attending. My burning desire was to be a part of God’s people and to be involved in Gospel work.

In 2015 God willing I shall be remembering 50 years as a born again believer. I can say that the Christian life is the best life although often a difficult life. Growing in God’s grace is an amazing experience. Sweet the moments rich in blessing which before the cross I spend.

I think a verse that sums up my present persuasion is Psalm 73v28

“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all His works.”

Every funeral that I attend reminds me of that special day.

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.

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