By 1987 I was self-employed running my own businesses, predominately in telecoms, then CRM and then marketing. I married in 1988. My first daughter was born in 1989 and my son was born in 1991. It all seemed very typical.
However, in 1993 I experienced a pivotal change in my life. My daughter died whilst out with my then wife. My second daughter was born in 1994 and in 1996 I had a quadruple heart bypass.
By 2002 I had separated and then began a ridiculous series of 86 court appearances surrounding divorce and the conduct of my ex-wife's boyfriend towards my daughter. In short, both my ex-wife and her boyfriend stated in court that I had made false allegations about the boyfriend (who happened to be my daughters primary school teacher). I had to wait until 2017 to be completely exonerated after I was sent written evidence/proof that my allegations were true and they lied. Much like the elections in the USA at the moment.
Back to the timeline; In 2004 I remarried and by January 2009 the court cases came to an abrupt halt. My son was already living with me and my daughter was delivered to me out-of-the-blue.
By February 2009 my wife Liz and I started going to church. We needed something to focus on after such a discraceful waste of time by others for the previous seven years.
A few months later in June 2009, my wife and I were baptised and then, as many Christians will know, we experienced our own “forty days in the desert” (well in fact it was longer than that).
During this time I experienced the most amazing hand of God in my life and had burning sense to share a “Vision” with businesses where ever I could.
By 2011, life seem to pretty awful and no one could suggest a way out. However, in April 2011 after listening to a sermon about surrender, I felt God clearly tell me that I should put down the projects I was working on and go and work in the marketplace. My time witnessing to the family dog had clearly come to an end!
I was extremely cautious about this word from God! especially having been self-employed since 1987.
I got a job as Head of Marketing pretty quickly and witnessed to everyone within the company and handed out Bibles!
When that job ended nine months later, I thought it strange how quick an experience it had been. A bit perplexed I thought I had to start looking again. But no! Within a few days I got a new contract that I thought was dead and lost eighteen months previously.
It was March 2012. Whilst meeting with a Christian men's group, I was given a “Vision”. It was to set up a Men's Christian ministry, initially, I thought to provide a mechanism connect up different men's groups. I was clear that the name was to be called The Standard, the logo to be a seal, representing the seal of our covenant with Jesus and for the predominant colour to be red, representing His shed blood. However, whilst I knew I was on the right track something wasn't right so development seemed to stagnate.
By July 2012 I believed again that I had to get my CV out again to the online recruitment sites, but again, I clearly heard from God telling me not to bother. Instead I was to pray and make my petition in writing for my perfect job and He would provide! I did. I typed up my perfect job and asked our house group to pray for it/me. I included salary, location, autonomy, using the latest Apple equipment, access a large budget, international travel and for my son to work with me too (as he wanted to learn about marketing).
Typically, we all forget things so quickly. Yet the following day I was contacted by a head-hunter and within nine days was appointed as European Head of Marketing for a German company! I spent my first week in Germany, when I returned, my apple kit was waiting for me. I was given a six figure budget and within three weeks my son was working with me.
That contract finished in March 2013 and I felt directed to revive The Standard. It was to take the form of a collaborative platform developed expressly for Christian business people to help them identify each other in their respective churches (especially as some churches have quite large congregations), and secondly to promote each other's businesses to other Christians further afield.
The platform would have a social network connected to it, a bit like Facebook so that everyone could communicate with each other and be able to build closer relationships online.
I've been in business since 1987 and so I know about generating income, GP, Gross Profit, making a turn, you name it. And thinking about The Standard, I though this was going to be a great money spinner. Just think, 000's churches, even more businesses, I could picture the future. Well I though, the Lord has blessed me indeed.........Then out of the blue - I was told not to charge. "What!" I thought, "do you know how much this could make!" I humbly mentioned to God, like he didn't know!
Firstly I was told not to charge businesses to use The Standard platform or the Directory and that we are only make provision for donations – God would provide for everything else.
So that’s it. That’s how the "Vision" became a reality, with a few miracles along the way to keep us encouraged.
As timed moved on, so did my education. I became a voracious reader. I wasn't after just anything, I wanted to read anythong that would help me join the dots. From the start I had to understand what made these Christian people 'tick'. I wanted to understand why they went to church and what all the 'hoo-haa' was about.
After a few years I realised how damaged the church was and how contrary the organisations were which made people leave by the 000's every year. I knew deep-down that the typical message was unsustainable. People were being mislead, even lied to for the sake of convincing people to pay money into the church. There is a saying "the Gospel is to be told, not sold". And so, after attending four different churches in our local area, Liz and I began to withdraw from the organised church and I concentrated on writing and communicating to like-minded people.
Good things can happen to bad people and bad things to good people. The enemy is always on the prowl, however, it boils down to the way we deal with each situation. Whilst God created earth, satan rules it until such time as God decides to change it. As believers we have the assurance that "vengence is mine says The Lord", I'm good with that. In the meantime, we have a personal responsibility to learn what it means to have peace. To live with peace, the peace that Jesus left with us. Nothing else matters.
More than anything, we want to proclaim the Good News to the wider business community and the best way to do that is by telling each other our stories of what God has done in our lives.
It can be a long or as short as you like. Use the comment section below as a starting point. If you feel you would like to send us photos or videos, please email us and we will get it posted up - go for it!