One and all!
a year it's been, with many new words resounding from our lips i.e.
covid 19, lockdown, two meters, face masks etc.
What does Easter mean to me?
As a young boy, up until the age of 16, I always had to go to church
as my mom and dad were involved in the running of a big church in Wolverhampton
(home of the Mighty Wolves). I sang in the choir, but also
learnt to play the drums in the church band. I had a small drum kit
in my bedroom and would play along to records, every now then I would
have to wind the record player up with a handle (bless) and
watch a very heavy needle making deeper grooves in the black vinyl LPs
(I wonder if vinyl will ever come back?)
On the 22/3/66, that's 1966 and not 1866! ...... I joined the Royal
Marines Band and spent most of my 18yrs travelling around the globe,
taking in over 50 nations on Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, then, the
largest privately owned yacht in the world. The Royal Yacht Band would
provide all kinds of music for the Royal Family, from jazz, orchestral
and military marching displays after the State banquets where we marched
along side the Royal Yacht.
One thing I thought I would be free from was going to church, but even
when the Royal Family were onboard, whilst at sea, we would have a church
service which took place in the state banquet room, which the Royal
Yacht Band played for. Also we had to play at many churches, parade
grounds both at home and whilst not on the Yacht. Even in my pub on
a Friday night the Salvation Army would come round and I would go off
to the loo to escape.
In 1977 at the age of 27 I knew there was no 'peace' inside me, and
something was missing. Little did I know that during the tour of the
world during the Queen's Silver Jubilee (even came to Grimsby on
the Royal Yacht) that I would be confronted with the biggest decision
of my life, which would change the course of my life and eternity for
day or two before I arrived back in Portsmouth having finished the world
tour. A member of the God Squad/Sky Pilots/Swinging from the Chandler
Brigade, Mick Button, gave me a book about people being healed, in the
spiritual sense. That got my attention, and I discerned facts that I
personally found couldn’t be argued with.
So there I am sitting in the door
way (back aft) that the Queen would walk through, if she
was onboard, on my own, and it was explained to me why Jesus, God's
Son, came and gave his life and died in my place, so that I could be
forgiven. This really got through to me, that He allowed himself to
die in my place. It dawned on me that he’d seen everything, both
good and bad. I was, shall we say, wine, woman and song + drums (quickly
moving on) but He had already forgiven me by dying in my place
when He did not ever sin. The book went on to say, did I want to believe
that He rose from the dead, and ask to be forgiven? If He died for me
by going through all that torture of crucifixion, everyone leaving him
etc... I now had to make a decision. I prayed a simple prayer vocally,
asking to be forgiven and that I will repent, which means to turn away
of those things I’d been forgiven for.
Once back in Portsmouth I started to go to the Pentecostal Church and
in spite of no iPhones, face book, word got around the Royal Marines
Bands around the country that I had become 'a believer'. As a public
statement Jesus said believers must be baptised, fully immersed in water.
Up until my becoming a believer I thought that being christened as a
baby it got me into heaven, ......er no! That 'peace' that I mentioned
earlier had now been answered, and it has remained, in spite of some
ups and downs in life, but with no doubting in whom I have believed
in and follow, Jesus. He is the one to listen to, and will speak to
you, IF you are ready to hear. He is the one who loves you unconditionally
and shows who God is.
Easter means more to me than just getting eggs and such, it's about
the giving of God's Son, Jesus of Nazareth, who loves you.
you for your time to read this. If you have any questions, because of
lockdown, you can put your questions to:
170b Castle St
have a great time and keep in touch over the Easter period, and have
a bigger celebration next year.
All our Love.
Pete & Marlene Law.
photo: Early 70s 'sitting in' with Chiz Bishop's ensemble at the Salutation
Pub - Portsmouth.
Bottom photo: A recent photo behind my beloved Slingerland Kit which
I purchased in New Orleans on a Yacht trip.