Yes guys. I’m back. And boy it’s been a long time. I haven’t written a blog piece in quite a while but i’m back at it!
So far, I have met so many outstanding children of God through the Lux Nova instagram and it sparked an idea!
So here it is! The first post to start off The Conversation Series. Every now and then I will post a a blog piece of a conversation I’ve had with an individual who has inspired me and I feel will inspire others. These are people with fantastic stories and a heart passionate for God and I can’t wait for you to meet them. So with introductions done, here is the start of The Conversation Series beginning with….
Tom lives in Swindon, U.K. and I initially came to know Tom through his Instagram page @tomsdailybiblewalk and also through his wife Efe! I was intrigued by this daily walk bible that Tom was using and I wanted to talk more to him about it and his journey as a Christian. Tom is absolutely passionate about God and the journey that God has taken him on. But it hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs. Here’s what Tom had to say!
TF: “So, I didn’t really know nothing when I came back to church. I knew what everybody else knew. I was quite ignorant – just knowing that Jesus was born on Christmas, and he rose again on Easter and a bunch of other stuff in-between. And I went to church for 13 years – I knew about the gospel but not much. I couldn’t tell you a story from it but I knew some apostles, Peter Paul, I could probably name three or four. But that was just from hearing the priests saying, “this is the gospel according to for example Mark.” My mum said that when you do your confirmation you don’t have to go to church anymore; so, I didn’t” [laughs].
Tom and I talked some more about his growing up in a Catholic church till he was about 13/14. We then began to delve into the journey he started with the Daily Walk Bible and how that had reignited a flame in him.
TF: “I hadn’t been to church in a long time or believed in anything really. My mum passed away when I was 15 so I didn’t believe in God from that point. As probably thousands of people have that thought when something like that happens to them – they think “okay, if there was a God he wouldn’t do something like that.” But I wasn’t going to church anyway. I said, “I’m not even going at Christmas or Easter even if there’s a family or people, I’m not going at all.
So, I just drifted fully away. And then I started hearing more about it, [Christianity].I was doing a lot of travelling, meeting a lot of what I would call ‘spiritual’ people. I would say they were talking about ‘there’s a force in the universe, all this stuff and I was quite curious at looking into that and so I delved into that and researching into that spirit world and what happens after death and reading all these books. It was pretty interesting, I was kind of intrigued about that. And then that took me more into the thought of “okay, let me learn more about these things I’m reading. It sounds more to me like what I heard growing up; heaven – you’ve got these people that are dying and going into what is called this ‘spirit world’ and that sounded to me like heaven. So, I’m delving into it a little more and kind of thinking “okay, I think Jesus is real, I don’t know if He was the son of God, but I believe he was an actual person on earth.” And then I left my intrigue at that.
But then I met Efe [my now wife] and she invited me to go to church, to Hillsong in Oxford, U.K. and I said yeah! She said she was singing and I should come and watch and I was blown away that this was church. At first it was just the music, the flashing lights and everything which was unexpected.
The fact that it was in a movie theatre, and people were actually happy to be there. So, I thought “okay, this is interesting, I’m actually buying into this culture. This is exciting” One day in church, the pastor was saying, “for those of you that have never had a relationship put your hand up” and I just felt my hand going up and I thought “wow, what?!” Then I read the book they give you, it’s like a magazine, New Testament and I read through that and thought “wow this is awesome” I’m reading all this stuff I grew up hearing about, the gospel according to Matthew. I’ve heard that name but I’ve never read the book. But I’ve heard it on Sunday and find myself reading the book of Matthew on the train to work during the week. I find myself listening to all these podcasts I used to ditch and thinking “what the hell is going on?!” Then I thought, I think I’ve missed a chunk of the story. Then someone said to me one day, “There’s this book called the Daily Walk Bible and it guides you through the bible over 365 days” And I thought “this is awesome” so I bought it, read 20 pages but forgotten most of what I’d even read on day one or what my thoughts were. So, I thought, I’m just going to make a video and then it led to me putting it on Instagram and now it’s becoming a story in 365 posts of my bible journey. And if anyone wants to listen to it, they’re more than welcome to. If no one follows, well I don’t really mind. I just thought, “let’s just put it on Instagram so when I look back I have 365 days of my bible journey that’s documented.” So, I read a chapter and just record myself saying what I think of it after.”
Tom had such a detailed story to tell and it was really something of inspiration. Tom had clearly learnt a lot of insightful things and we discussed some of those things that he’d learnt especially from committing to using the Daily Walk Bible.
TF: “The story of Hannah gave me my most insightful lesson. Now I can’t remember the exact part in the Bible but she was praying for a child. She was crying and praying. Then one line said, “she gave it all up to God and then she felt fine,” and I thought “wow, that is like the ultimate lesson.” She was crying and upset and she laid it all out in a heartfelt prayer to God. She just let it all out. So, what that said to me was I can have anything on my mind, whatever is on my mind, I can give it to God. So, whenever I’m getting these little stresses, or things that might bug me, no matter how small, I’ll just take a quiet moment, speak about it to God, let it go and get on with my day as best as I can. It’s not easy but that was a good lesson.
Now we all as Christians could do a little better at reading the bible let’s be real. So furthermore, I asked Tom intently how he kept this habit going of reading chapters of the bible everyday. What exactly fuelled his commitment?
TF: “It’s just getting into the word, it’s just finding out what’s next. Because it’s all new to me, I’m finishing and thinking “okay what’s the next part, what’s the next insight and what am I going to get from the next part?” It’s weird because it just becomes a part of your day. I’ll get up in the morning, get on the train and I open my bible and read. That is what I do now. To start with, it was difficult and then it became about finding out what’s next and it just became engraved into me. So now my bible is in my bag everywhere I go, because when I get a moment, I’ll read it. I’m travelling to wherever and I’ll take it with me because I want to read it. I don’t want to miss what God has got for me on that day.”
The passion to know more and grow shone through Tom. He told me about the times of how he had felt so buzzed off church and the sense of belonging he felt.
TF: “I don’t need anything else to make me happy. I mean I love going on holiday and doing things that other people love but I’ve got the word of God to keep me happy in the day to day. That’s what got me into it and the fact there’s an answer to everything in the bible. When I was in trouble or in a problem I never would’ve thought of turning to the bible but now that’s where I go for my answers. It was making me feel better and help other people using my experiences.”
The best thing about being a Christian and the walk it takes you on is that you are learning something new about yourself everyday and how God is shaping and moulding you into his image. Tom gave me an honest recollection of how God has continued to shape and mould him on his journey discovering God.
TF: “I think in the early stages, I just wasn’t interested. I don’t think I was given a reason to be interested. When I didn’t have to go to church anymore, it was just me being a self-destructive teenager and just wanting to do anything I wanted. It was me against the world and thinking everyone is against me. No one can help me. It was more of what I could gain out of life. What could I gain from this situation? What’s in it for me? That sort of attitude I had. Now I’m a completely different person and it’s been a great learning curve for me, seeing different attitudes, meeting new people and understanding the journey I went through was necessary. No matter what I’ve been through, God was with me”
Getting towards the end of our conversation, I asked Tom how could he encourage others who were sceptic but wanted to explore Christianity and what it means.
TF: “I would say, find a good church. That’s the key. If I hadn’t had found a good church like Hillsong Oxford (UK) for example, I don’t know if I would’ve gone back. It was being welcomed and it felt like being at home. You’re not going to get on with everyone just because you go to church. There will be people you like and dislike but everyone is a child of God. It’s ultimately finding a good church and planting yourself in there. Grow with other people! That’s exactly what I did. I had Efe there to hold my hand and when I let myself get more involved in church I became more interested and intrigued and wanted to know more. I watched many different sermons on YouTube and suddenly I’m pulled into a WhatsApp group! [laughs]. It was just planting myself in a church and letting myself grow and being open. So that would be my advice and ultimately to keep going back.”
I had the best conversation with Tom and I came away with a new found appreciation for God and all the works he does. My last question to Tom was what his faith meant to him. What becoming a follower of Jesus Christ meant to him. (It’s like my go to question guys).
TF: “For me it means, Jesus is the example of how to be. We’re not going to be like Jesus. We aren’t going to love our enemies as much as he did. But he has to be our one and only role model. That’s what I think. We have to at least try and walk in his steps”
Thank you Tom for being so open with me and giving me an insight into the journey you’ve been on with God right by your side. You are evidence that God is still making moves and changing the hearts of people everyday. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
Make sure to follow the blog for updates on new posts! I’ll be bringing more inspiring conversations such as these. We are all one body in Christ, (1 Corinthians 12:12) so may these conversations bring us together.
Lots of Love
Follow Tom’s instagram: @tomsdailybiblewalk
Click here to buy The Daily Walk Bible! It’s so good for helping to cultivate a habit of reading the bible everyday! I bought it straight away after finding out about it and it has changed my bible reading habits for sure!