Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of faith

My name is Geoff Stroud, long-time married with three boys and two boys and a girl from my previous marriage.

My Time in Red

I was born into a non-Christian family, the youngest of six, so I was spoilt.

My earthly father had alcohol problems and spent little time with me. I was a classic “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) child, always seeking attention and not receiving much except my mother.

To all else, a nuisance.

 

Geoff Stroud

I had no concept of the meaning of God, let alone Jesus.

No one I knew ever spoke of it.

This was a common post WW11 phenomenon. God became a difficult topic after news of the holocaust burst forth.

None of my friends in youth ever attended Church, but we did have Scripture lessons at school. It seemed like a good break from the real stuff.

As a youth of the 60’s and 70’s, I became even more hardened towards God as firstly the assassinations, Watergate, then Woodstock and the age of free love took hold.

I loved edgy music like Moody Blues and Pink Floyd without understanding any of the underlying messages.

I became a victim of free love in my early twenties when my first marriage crashed and burnt thanks to my infidelity.

My second marriage was to one of my conquests, and when I had given her the children she wanted, she tired of me.

My Time in Yellow

At around the age of 32 and in the middle of second marriage stuff up, I met a man that gave me reasons as to why God exists.

He was a paraplegic following a motorbike accident in his 20’s. He told me about his miracle family that should not exist. Three amazing children when none should have been possible.

That got my attention.

But that is all.

The seed fell into the rocky ground as I struggled with the consequences of my circumstances.

As I recovered from my marriage breakdown, more short unfulfilling relationships ensued.

But what happened next was amazing.

My time in Green

My last female relationship introduced me to a Catholic Church in Sydney. I hated it.

I found a church in Crows Nest Sydney without any stained glass windows and turned collars, and I had found a home.

I was baptized and became a regular church attender.

I met a beautiful blonde in my very first bible study, and after a 3-year relationship, finally married.

I was a regular church attendee at an evangelical church, attended bible studies and so on. I was doing everything that I thought was required to show God that I had made it.

But something was missing. I had never sought a Godly mentor.

As life went on, many disappointments ensued. Life was a real battle. My wife kept praying for me, and I kept trying to pursue God as best I knew how, but slowly and surely my spiritual fire was extinguishing. At the start of 2019 after 30 years of struggle as a “Christian”, I was almost done spiritually.

I was at this time an avid news follower and watched Sky News most evenings. One evening, while watching Andrew Bolt on Sky, he interviewed Rod Dreher, an American author who had just released a book called The Benedict Option. Andrew Bolt espouses to be agnostic (a fence sitter), yet he admitted he could not put Rod Dreher’s book down and read it in a weekend.

Rod Dreher proceeded to explain that we are now living in a post-Christian culture and his book was about the activities he believed would help us to arrest this spiritual decline. Our churches had become weak and blended with our culture. We have a desire to be “good” without the “good giver”, namely Jesus, he explained.

Post-Christian culture?

I was offended at the thought. This led me to seek more knowledge of this post-Christian culture.

Something sparked inside me that evening that was nothing other than the Holy Spirit telling me that I was to spiritually awaken.

Then one day, after church Jesus led me to YouTube on the smart TV and I found Andrea Bocelli and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing The Lord’s Prayer. Look it up now. Stop what you are doing. This will change your life. It has mine.

My Time in Purple

This caused in me what the Apostle Paul talked of in Romans 12:2 as “a renewing of the mind”. For most of my Christian walk, my seed was in the thorns (Matthew 13:22), choked by the cares of this world and the thirst for riches.

What a revelation!

Finally, I found the good soil and the seed was beginning to search for full root growth.

The Bible came alive and I had an insatiable appetite for anything beyond my normal “church” life. Jesus started me in the four Gospels: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

Now in the twilight of my career, I had taken a job with a civil construction service company driving a street sweeper. What a blessing this job has proven to be. I could ingest input from the Holy Spirit all day without interruption through Bluetooth. YouTube, Podcasts and Audiobooks became my playground by day.

My mind was truly renewed during this amazing time of communion with the Holy Spirit. I was taken on a journey of illuminations, each new illumination an advancement on the last. It was like the Holy Spirit was opening doors for me as I got to the next one, with each new door dependent on the last.

I started to see the life and resurrection of Jesus in a completely new way; as part of an overall narrative from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation that will empower those that believe on Jesus to take a hold of that power by grace to lead their family and friends, their suburb, their workplace, their church, their nation out of the darkness and into the light of eternal life.

I had only seen The Bible as a series of unrelated stories from which you could extract some key teachings that would lead to a holy life and a ticket to “heaven” when I died. I had no spiritual vision of what my place in the great story of life was going to be. The Holy Spirit changed all that one Sunday afternoon in my own living room when He encountered me with a purpose for why I am here and what I am to do.

I was to become a sponge, learning a whole new “Christianity”, one that I had never been taught in any church I had attended. Men of Christ Ministries is an outpouring of all the Holy Spirit has taught me, and an entrée to a new way of doing “church” for people that have their identity founded deeply in Christ. I trust Jesus that this message will leak into the unchurched people of the world as well.

In the first century, under the fear for their lives, both Gentile and Jews, found their new identity in Christ and developed the faith OF Jesus (Gal 2:20 KJV). These courageous people had crucified their old identities with Jesus on the cross, and began living out their new faith under the blessings of the new covenant.

This new way of doing “church” is founded on FAITH, the only valid currency in the kingdom of Heaven. FAITH in the unseen (the spirit realm) supremacy of God is the foundation of all creation. Anything that is to be birthed in the future is because God has created it so.

By FAITH, we believe that The Bible is the complete word of God and one continuous story from start to finish containing God’s desire to have the unseen spiritual kingdom of God and the seen realm of the earth as one again as in Eden, and that God will only use human beings to fulfil His purpose.