A refreshing, powerful read for believers and seekers
Be a voice, not an echo
By Pat Regan
Retired welder Pat Regan pulls no punches with his story, resulting in one of the most readable self-published books that I’ve read for a long time.
It is a mixture of autobiography and spiritual guidance in which Pat shares his struggles and failures, as he learned to hear and obey God, a journey with which many of us could identify.
He also give insights into the spiritual realm and the lessons he learned from ‘wilderness’ experiences.
Now blessed with healthy children and grandchildren (his son has an OBE for charity work), life could have turned out so differently for Pat.
Dad would fly into a rage and tip up the whole kitchen table, sending food flying
His childhood has few happy memories because his father had a violent, unpredictable temper. Nobody knew if they’d get to the end of Sunday lunch before Dad would fly into a rage and tip up the whole kitchen table, sending food and dishes flying. Another time Dad smashed the new television; when the family crept back in, they found him weeping like a baby. Pat did not escape the blows until he was in his late teens and able to take care of himself; unsurprisingly, he did not do well at school.
The one bit of relief was church, where Pat was in Sunday School and later the choir. With the loyalty of children, he did not share the horrors of home life and used puff powder to hide his tear stains: “One Sunday, I had a massive blood blister on the inside of my cheek where we had another smashing session at home and I got hit by something. The whole sense of shame went through me as I tried to hide my face. My eyes were stained with tears, the embarrassment was almost too much to bear, as so many people would be looking at me because I was the only boy in the front row singing soprano. I thought it might get found out that I didn’t have this wonderful life that everyone else seemed to have.”
At 17 he met Daph, the girl he would marry. He didn’t have to pretend with Daph, because her father was also very abusive to Daph and her mother, and had been in prison a few times.
For instance, on the day of the local carnival in Chelmsford, the tannoy announced that Daphne Hobbs needed to go home urgently: “Daph arrived home to find her mother was covered in bruises and had her arm broken by her husband.”
“I was walking to a plan already prepared for me before I was born”
When they met, Daph was not a strong ‘born again’ Christian like Pat, but she had started to pray that someone would help her. As for Pat: “It seemed as if I was walking to a plan already prepared for me before I was born.”
With customary honesty and humility, Pat describes the pain that he and Daph suffered when they lost their first son as a baby. Faced with a situation where there appeared to be no answers, Pat decided he could no longer carry on regardless.
“Life really is too short to live by user-defined answers. The person I knew I could trust was Father God, who has every answer. By listening and obeying him I’ve had so much more meaningful fulfilment and purpose.”
In one of his many comments direct to the reader, Pat says: “It might be hard to understand and you might want to give up and get off at that station (chapter), but I would encourage you to stop, ask questions and ask God to give you insight. Listen to your spirit, not your mind.”
He describes his spiritual life being transformed when he came across Rev Trevor Deering’s charismatic meetings at Hainault, Essex, which gave him a lifelong desire to see people transformed by God’s healing power.
Meanwhile, he combined bringing up a family with working as a welder and going to Bible School.
He is under no illusions about the nature of life’s spiritual battles: “We are living in a world of war against our health, our family, finances and relationships.”
Indeed, he has faced death more than once: “Due to my ignorance I’ve had to learn that lesson the hard way with no books and only God watching over me. But the Word of God is always our plumb line to live by.”
The book is packed with incidents of God changing his and others’ lives; my copy has many dog-eared pages.
The later pages also give very thorough explanations about the operation of dark forces in people’s backgrounds: “There are families today who have no idea about all the oaths and vows made in their bloodline.”
His details about some of the consequences of vows made by people’s freemason ancestors are some of the most understandable I have come across, although some may find this area controversial. He even sees the ensuing control operating in some Christian settings. Typically, he is not theological; he writes from the experience of leading a small team to pray for people to be set free from things over which they have no control.
There will be times when you put the book down and want to open your heart to God
Pat’s book will meet people on different levels; whether you are a Christian or a seeker, there will be times when you put the book down and want to open your heart to God.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to television this Christmas, I recommend this book as an easy but gripping read.
Pat Regan’s vlog is at seekfirstministries.co.uk and his email is on his book jacket
Children’s books in aid of good causes
Tim Parsons is a chaplain to the South East Coast Ambulance Service and has published three audiobooks based upon calls he has attended. The hero is ‘Paramedic Chris’. Through his experiences, children learn about the dangers of bullying and making prank calls to the emergency services.
He is donating 50% of his sales to Medway Food Bank.
St Nicholas survives lockdown
The life of St Nicholas has been brought up to date by London vicar Rev David Ackerman, who features in this paper.
Appropriately, it ends with a closed church reopening and refers to the lockdown. Rev Ackerman says: “It has raised over £1500 for Aid to the Church in Need. I think your readers would enjoy its robust Christianity!”
Foreword by the Dean of Windsor. Suitable for age 8 upwards.
https://acnuk.org/products/st-nicolas and-the-six-bells/ or call 020 8642 8668