Posts Tagged ‘county monaghan’

The Testimony of Stanley Conn (1928-2007)

March 16, 2019

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“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2Corinthians 5v17)

Photos of the verdant countryside of County Armagh remind me of my father’s farm and the many people who helped him out on it over the years. Having recently found the personal testimony of an old friend of Dad’s, I decided to transcribe it and post it with other testimonies here. Stanley was saved in a mission in Lurganearly Mission Hall, County Monaghan; one of the few mission halls which still exist south of the Irish border. Mr Edmund Sandford, another old friend of my parents was speaking on the night that Stanley came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The following are Stanley’s own words, taken from his testimony tract…

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”

I was born in Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. I left school at the age of thirteen. My horizons soon broadened, as I thought, when I smoked my first cigarette at the age of fourteen. I drank my first bottle of beer at fifteen, and at the age of eighteen I drank as much as I liked.

Education was not a big emphasis in my life as all I aimed to do was to have a good time. When I reached the age of twenty eight, I realized there had to be more to life than this – my life had no meaning, ambition or satisfaction. I never attended Sunday school and rarely went to church.

In the year 1956 Mr Sandford came to conduct a Gospel Mission in Lurganearly, near Newtownhamilton. I was invited to go along. Mr Sandford spoke of Someone who could change my life – His Name was Jesus. He explained God’s way of salvation: first, I needed to repent of my sins, to turn away from them, and ask God’s forgiveness; then I needed to receive Him as my Saviour, the One could cleanse me from every sin because He took my sin on His own body when He died on the cross.

2 Corinthians, 5:21 – He became sin for us,

Who knew no sin; that we might become

The righteousness of God in Him.”

I had never heard the gospel explained in such a way as this before and realized it was of utmost importance to accept Jesus into my heart, because one day He will return for those who know Him. God spoke to me clearly through a verse of a hymn:

“Come every soul by sin oppressed,

There’s mercy with the Lord;

And He will surely give you rest

By trusting in His Word.”

That night I made a decision to follow Christ. I knew within my heart that my life would be renewed. I never smoked another cigarette, or drank another beer, as God was faithful to His promise – “Old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” God completely delivered me from every bondage that these things had over me.

God performed a miracle of Salvation in my life and also in healing. In 1978 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour with uncertain predictions, but it was God’s will to have me fully recover to tell of His great miracle in my life. Through my years as a Christian, my life has proved meaningful with complete satisfaction and my only ambition is to tell others of God’s great love and of the urgency to respond to the Gospel Message.

Two groups of people – saved and unsaved.

When Christ returns eternal life will be:

Heaven for the saved – Hell for the unsaved.

 

 

Link to Hymn, “Come every soul by sin oppressed:” https://youtu.be/nfeSkHqd0sY

 

Springtime in Ireland – and a Prayer for Revival

April 8, 2010

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2v11&12)

Today I was reminded of these words as I made a fascinating little journey through parts of rural Louth, Monaghan and Fermanagh. The warm rays of the sun were so welcome after the floods, snow and winter gales which have battered us until very recently. However, unlike the climate in Solomon’s part of the world, rain is usually somewhere on the horizon in Ireland, which is why rainbows are a common sight here!

After receiving a request from the proprietors of bookshops in Co. Fermanagh for more books, I took the opportunity to call en route at An Eaglais, once an old Presbyterian Church, but now home to a tourist amenity and heritage centre. It lies halfway between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross on the N2 Dublin to Derry/Londonderry Road, has a little café and sells arts, crafts and books – including my first book: “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year.” After lunch here, we were off on the road again, driving towards the Fermanagh/Cavan area where the I.E.B. bookshops in Enniskillen and Cavan (see website below) and Val Irvine’s Christian Bookshop in Lisnaskea kindly facilitate my books.

Today as we travelled home, we noted many derelict houses, swans sailing on sparkling lakes – and quaint remains of historical interest. It was one of the latter which led us off the ‘beaten track’ on this lovely day to take photographs. Someone stopped to ask us ‘what were we doing?’ To cut a long story (very) short, I had the opportunity to speak to this person on spiritual matters, although I felt that I could have said much more. Yet our detour, I believe, was no accident and as we drove today through tiny hamlets, past lonely farms and thatched cottages, I longed to see (spiritually speaking) the winter past and a new awakening in my native land: both north and south of the Irish border and in every green field and city street. Oh, that in the words of Solomon, many could say: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (Song of Solomon 7v10)

Ireland today is spiritually parched. April showers may gently fall upon an emerald green landscape, creating in their aftermath purity and freshness in the air and the beauty of the rainbow. Yet, spiritually speaking the atmosphere is dry and rancid. Lord, “wilt thou not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85v6)  How I love the old revival hymns, such as Fanny Crosby’s “Showers of Blessing” and “For a Worldwide Revival” by Leila N. Morris. When I recall the old revivals that flooded these islands and other nations in the past, today I pray for revival – and I pray that it will start within my own heart.

Below are links to the two hymns mentioned:

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/s/b/l/sblessin.htm

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/f/o/r/forworld.htm

http://www.irishevangelisticband.org/bookshops.php