Shirley Hensby grew up without thinking a great deal about God. Then she came to a day where she was being swept out to sea in a rip. She could see no-one to help, so she cried out to God, and suddenly, there were people to help.
Soon after that experience, she became a Christian.
Her book, True Life, is written from she has learned of God, and how people can develop a personal relationship with Him.
Intro by Shirley Hensby
At some stage in our lives, we will start to think about the meaning of life. We will ask ourselves questions like “what is life all about?”, “what purpose is there?”, “why were we born into this world?”, “what happens to us when we die?”. Have you ever asked these questions yourself? Have you ever wondered why you are here on planet Earth?
It is important in every one’s life to find out the meaning and purpose of their life. I recall thinking these things through at in the tender age of 14 years of, however, I did not have any answers for another 14 years.
I was born and raised in New Zealand, in a little town called Henderson in Auckland. Up to the age of eight years, I went to church regularly with my family, and after that time we all found other things we wanted to do on a Sunday morning. It was the latter 14 years of my life that I really found out what life was all about! Being a teenager, having peer pressure at school to participate in bad habits, getting into relationships, moving out of the security of growing at 16 years old, and starting a job for the first time. All this was part of growing up and learning about life.
At 21 years old I got married, and not long after started a business – catering in the film and television industry. The next seven years were quite a challenge with eventually a failed marriage, and experiencing the bitterness that went with it. I decided that we were meant to enjoy life to the fullest, so partied hard, seeking satisfaction in many things. Still, I had an emptiness inside. Something was missing, I wasn’t satisfied or happy with life at all.
One day I met a great man, Steve, who was a Christian and went to a rather large church on the northern beaches of Sydney. He was somehow different. The more time I spent with him, the more I could see the qualities I desired in a man. However, the more time he spent a with me, the less he liked me! It may have had something to do with my mouth, the swearing and blaspheming that came out of it!
One day he invited me two years church, and I strongly resisted! Church! That is the last place I wanted to be! However over the following 2 weeks I developed a very strong desire to go to church on the Sunday.
In the meantime, late one Saturday afternoon, I went for a swim with a friend. We were so busy talking we didn’t realise we were being slowly taken out by a rip. The next thing we realised we were quite a long way from the shore, so we proceeded to swim in. To our amazement we were not going anywhere, and soon became exhausted. At this time, 6 PM, the life guards had gone home, and there was no-one on the beach. Still we raised our hands and yelled out for help. Not one person saw us. So we raised our hands again, and yelled out for help even louder. Still no-one saw us.
At this stage I could feel the fear rising in me, “oh no I am going to drown”. The only thing I could do at this time was to cry out to God to help me. Me, who didn’t believe in God was now crying out to him! What else could I do?
Within a minute a man came running down from the car park, and two surfers paddle over quickly to us, and we were rescued. That was the closest I had come to death, and it was scary.
This experience really made me think about God. Did he rescue me because I cried out for help? It is God real? That following Sunday, much to Steve’s amazement, both my friend and I agreed to go to church that Sunday night. When the call came for anyone who did not know Jesus, to come forward to meet him, I thought, well, I don’t know Jesus, and I would like to meet him. So my friend came to the front with me and once we were prayed for, I sensed the over powering love of God sweep over me, and I could not deny the presence of God with me. It was such a beautiful feeling and I was made to feel like a princess.
After shedding a bucket load of tears, I felt like a new person and I actually had stopped swearing and blaspheming without even trying! The following weeks I fellowshipped with people in the church and started to read the Bible for the first time. Do you know the Bible actually made sense, and as I dug deeper I realised that it had all the answers about life that I had been searching for over the years. I had found out the truth about life, and now, 9 years later, I want to share these truths with you.
True Life by Shirley Hensby
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