Wording of this Handout:
When I was a boy, (about five years old), my mother was keen on going to church - although my Dad couldn't care less.
Every Sunday Mum would get me and my two sisters ready, which meant a lot of work for her. I had to be dressed in my best clothes. My black leather shoes had to be shined up, my shirt had to be ironed and white, my face had to be washed and my hair had to be brushed perfectly down the parting.
My sisters - one walking, the other in a pram - had to be dressed beautifully too, because 'going to church' was a big event for Mum, and she liked to 'show off' her children to the neighbours. When everything was ready, away we went, walking down the footpath, heading for the Presbyterian church building about half a mile away. Sometimes I was allowed to push the pram. (I remember Mum growling at me for kicking stones, because they scuffed my shoes.) When we arrived at church the old, wheezing, organ was always playing, and the minister, dressed in black with a white' dog-collar' was always at the front, waiting for everyone to sit down. He was a very old man, with lines all over his face, but his eyes were twinkly and he had a nice smile.
In those days there were no 'modem' choruses. All the songs were long, and slow, just old-fashioned hymns, although they had great tunes! I remember fidgetting a lot, and drawing things on a pad, and swinging my legs.
After what seemed like hours and hours of these hymns and prayers, the Sunday School children were allowed to go to their rooms. That was fun-time for me because I already loved the Bible - my grandmother had given me one for my birthday. I read a chapter every day. So when the Sunday School teacher got her Bible out, I was ready and willing to listen.
She was a nice lady, very patient, but also firm with the naughty kids in the class.
Some of these naughty kids in Sunday School were not interested in God. They were only there because their parents had sent them. After church these kids would run around, breaking plants in the church grounds, swearing, and throwing stones at each other. They thought church was a joke, and a waste of time.
But God had spoken to me through the Bible, even at that young age, and I wanted to be his child for the rest of my life. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five, and God started to change my life.