Page 1

NEW LIFE

DECEMBER 2012 Issue 226

40p

GOOD NEWS STORIES

www.newlife.co.uk

COMEDY HIT... David Tennant and Marc Wootton in a scene from the new movie Nativity 2

CHRISTMAS MIRACLES Woman told she couldn’t give birth reveals her joy when sons were born SEE CENTRE PAGES

Nativity comedy set to be box office hit A CHRISTMAS comedy is set to be a big hit at the cinemas this month. Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger was launched at the end of November. It is a sequel to Nativity, which was a surprise box office smash when it was released in 2009 by Debbie Isitt. Debbie recently attended the Christian Resources Exhi-

bition in Manchester to discuss the new movie, which tells the story of a young teacher, his pregnant wife and a group of school children. The film stars Dr Who star David Tennant with Gavin and Stacey’s Joanna Page, and includes comedy actor Marc Wootton, Jessica Hynes and Pam Ferris.

Debbie said: “I am inspired by religious settings and stories because they form part of the fabric of my everyday life. I have been influenced by many stories from the Bible. I hope church and community groups respond to the film’s positive message of peace and reconciliation between family members.”

STAR SWAPS STAGE FOR CAROLS

CHURCH SERVICE LEAVES DANNY BUOYED CAROL SINGER... Daniel O’Donnell will enjoy Christmas at his home church

IRISH singing star Daniel O’Donnell will swap arenas for a small church this Christmas. The superstar, who packs out huge venues across the world, will belt out a few carols at his home church in Kincas-

by Becky Barlow

slagh, County Donegal on Christmas Eve. Daniel, who has sold more than ten million albums during a glittering career, told New Life: “As ● Continued on Page 3

GOSPEL TO ROCK CLUB

Choir all set to sing carols at top London nightspot SEE PAGE 2

A HAPPY AND PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS, ADVERTISERS & SUPPORTERS


LOG ON NOW: www.newlife.co.uk

6 NEW LIFE Issue 226 NEW LIFE

Issue 226

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

NEW LIFE WOMAN WAS TOLD ANOREXIA MEANT SHE COULDN’T HAVE KIDS www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING together to bring you the good news

tune in New Life works in partnership with UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) who are now broadcasting nationally on DAB radio. For great Christian music, discussion, chat, regular news bulletins and lots of fun, UCB is great, contemporary radio for the whole family. Listen on DAB radio across the UK or online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk

explore christianity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that ­allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought­provoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find a church We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BIBLE MATTERS The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, the Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16); “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us” (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

FREE

FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

At just 5½ stone, 14-year-old Sharon Nelson was told her battle with anorexia might kill her. And when doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to have children, a heartbroken Sharon knew something had to change…

WE ARE FAMILY... Sharon and Kenny Nelson with sons Benjamin (left) and Joseph

Joseph on the day he was born

I

LOVE Christmas. Who doesn’t? I absolutely love everything about it – the build up, the food and spending time with family. If we’re not dashing from one dinner party to the next there’s nothing I enjoy more than just being with my husband, Kenny, and my two sons – Benjamin, who is two, and Joseph, who is almost one. But there was a time when I found Christmas very stressful. You see, as a teenager I had anorexia so I’d spend Christmas Day trying to avoid the chocolate and sweets that normal children love and I’d pick my way through Christmas dinner. It was as if I had these two conflicting inner voices, one of them screaming at me to stop because I was fat and the other telling me to eat because I needed to please my parents. The Christmas of 1997 was when it came to a head. I’d had problems with my eating since I was 13. Even though I did really well at school and loved playing sport, the problem was that I didn’t like myself. I didn’t think that I was a pretty or a likeable person. Although there was no pressure, there was always the expectation that I was going to do well. I didn’t turn to drink or drugs but to the one thing that I could control – my eating. It was a way of helping me to feel better. At the time it wasn’t a conscious decision to stop eating. I just started cutting back and exercising excessively, but it was a slippery slope. I was a typical anorexic. I would look in the mirror and see a huge person staring back at me. You don’t see what everyone else sees. It became a game – beating the scales – making sure that the numbers were always going down. I would have something light in the morning, like Special K with skimmed milk – a very small amount. For lunch I’d have an apple and water with some soup. In the evening I’d have a Weightwatchers meal and I would never eat after that. I was constantly going for runs and doing sit ups. The buzz from denying myself pleasure was intoxicating. To push myself to the limit when exercising was exhilarating and in the midst of the emotional turmoil it helped me feel better about myself. At the age of 14 I’d reached the lifethreatening weight of five-and-a-half stone and my parents had me admitted to hospital. Doctors told me that if I didn’t start eating, I could die. I had no idea that I’d reached that level. My periods had stopped and my body was growing hair to try and protect itself. It was as if my whole body was shutting down. But it was only when they told me that I’d damaged my ovaries and may not be able to have children that I realised that something

My Christmas miracles needed to change. It was hard to accept at just 14-years-old, but something in me decided to fight. I spent five months in hospital and did everything the nurses asked of me. I’d been brought up as a Christian and my faith really helped me through that time. I’d spend my time reading the Bible. When I was released I may have been a healthy weight but I still hadn’t dealt with my insecurities. I still had low self esteem and was constantly trying to please people.

free In 1999, I met my husband, Kenny. I’ll never forget sitting him down and telling him that I may not be able to have children. We married in 2003 but it wasn’t until seven years after my release from hospital that I was finally, truly set free. I asked God to show me what the things in my life were that were still bringing me

‘At Christmas, God sent his son Jesus. I do not need to strive to earn the love of God. When I was at my worst, God gave his very best’

Sharon during her time in hospital to treat her anorexia

down. Within a week, he showed me that I hadn’t come to accept his grace. I’d spent my life trying to earn people’s love and approval and I thought it was the same with God. But he showed me through the Bible that he loved me for who I was. That realisation of God’s grace finally brought me to a place of freedom. I have come to realise that God made me who I am and I can now say that I am happy and confident in that person. I can now say that I am completely free of anorexia both in terms of the physical and emotional aspects. God has shown me that I am a dearly beloved child of his and he has enabled me to grasp a measure of how high, how deep and how wide his love is for me. I realised that I did not need to satisfy God for he is satisfied with the work of his Son Jesus whom he sent at Christmas time. This means I do not need to strive to earn the love of God. The price has been paid.

When I was at my worst, God gave his very best. But I still had to deal with the fact that I might not be able to have children which was very painful. We’d been trying for a year and a half when I asked God if I would be able to have children – if not I would accept it. Four months later, I was pregnant! When I went for my scan they couldn’t find my right ovary but despite everything, Benjamin was born in February 2010, quickly followed by Joseph in December last year. There was no better Christmas present! I’ve managed to conceive two lovely babies despite the odds being stacked against me. Now I really believe that God has a plan for my life and I am really looking forward to spending Christmas with my two little miracles.

Benjamin enjoying Christmas

7


LOG ON NOW: www.newlife.co.uk

6 NEW LIFE Issue 226 NEW LIFE

Issue 226

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

NEW LIFE WOMAN WAS TOLD ANOREXIA MEANT SHE COULDN’T HAVE KIDS www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING together to bring you the good news

tune in New Life works in partnership with UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) who are now broadcasting nationally on DAB radio. For great Christian music, discussion, chat, regular news bulletins and lots of fun, UCB is great, contemporary radio for the whole family. Listen on DAB radio across the UK or online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk

explore christianity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that ­allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought­provoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find a church We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BIBLE MATTERS The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, the Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16); “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us” (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

FREE

FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

At just 5½ stone, 14-year-old Sharon Nelson was told her battle with anorexia might kill her. And when doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to have children, a heartbroken Sharon knew something had to change…

WE ARE FAMILY... Sharon and Kenny Nelson with sons Benjamin (left) and Joseph

Joseph on the day he was born

I

LOVE Christmas. Who doesn’t? I absolutely love everything about it – the build up, the food and spending time with family. If we’re not dashing from one dinner party to the next there’s nothing I enjoy more than just being with my husband, Kenny, and my two sons – Benjamin, who is two, and Joseph, who is almost one. But there was a time when I found Christmas very stressful. You see, as a teenager I had anorexia so I’d spend Christmas Day trying to avoid the chocolate and sweets that normal children love and I’d pick my way through Christmas dinner. It was as if I had these two conflicting inner voices, one of them screaming at me to stop because I was fat and the other telling me to eat because I needed to please my parents. The Christmas of 1997 was when it came to a head. I’d had problems with my eating since I was 13. Even though I did really well at school and loved playing sport, the problem was that I didn’t like myself. I didn’t think that I was a pretty or a likeable person. Although there was no pressure, there was always the expectation that I was going to do well. I didn’t turn to drink or drugs but to the one thing that I could control – my eating. It was a way of helping me to feel better. At the time it wasn’t a conscious decision to stop eating. I just started cutting back and exercising excessively, but it was a slippery slope. I was a typical anorexic. I would look in the mirror and see a huge person staring back at me. You don’t see what everyone else sees. It became a game – beating the scales – making sure that the numbers were always going down. I would have something light in the morning, like Special K with skimmed milk – a very small amount. For lunch I’d have an apple and water with some soup. In the evening I’d have a Weightwatchers meal and I would never eat after that. I was constantly going for runs and doing sit ups. The buzz from denying myself pleasure was intoxicating. To push myself to the limit when exercising was exhilarating and in the midst of the emotional turmoil it helped me feel better about myself. At the age of 14 I’d reached the lifethreatening weight of five-and-a-half stone and my parents had me admitted to hospital. Doctors told me that if I didn’t start eating, I could die. I had no idea that I’d reached that level. My periods had stopped and my body was growing hair to try and protect itself. It was as if my whole body was shutting down. But it was only when they told me that I’d damaged my ovaries and may not be able to have children that I realised that something

My Christmas miracles needed to change. It was hard to accept at just 14-years-old, but something in me decided to fight. I spent five months in hospital and did everything the nurses asked of me. I’d been brought up as a Christian and my faith really helped me through that time. I’d spend my time reading the Bible. When I was released I may have been a healthy weight but I still hadn’t dealt with my insecurities. I still had low self esteem and was constantly trying to please people.

free In 1999, I met my husband, Kenny. I’ll never forget sitting him down and telling him that I may not be able to have children. We married in 2003 but it wasn’t until seven years after my release from hospital that I was finally, truly set free. I asked God to show me what the things in my life were that were still bringing me

‘At Christmas, God sent his son Jesus. I do not need to strive to earn the love of God. When I was at my worst, God gave his very best’

Sharon during her time in hospital to treat her anorexia

down. Within a week, he showed me that I hadn’t come to accept his grace. I’d spent my life trying to earn people’s love and approval and I thought it was the same with God. But he showed me through the Bible that he loved me for who I was. That realisation of God’s grace finally brought me to a place of freedom. I have come to realise that God made me who I am and I can now say that I am happy and confident in that person. I can now say that I am completely free of anorexia both in terms of the physical and emotional aspects. God has shown me that I am a dearly beloved child of his and he has enabled me to grasp a measure of how high, how deep and how wide his love is for me. I realised that I did not need to satisfy God for he is satisfied with the work of his Son Jesus whom he sent at Christmas time. This means I do not need to strive to earn the love of God. The price has been paid.

When I was at my worst, God gave his very best. But I still had to deal with the fact that I might not be able to have children which was very painful. We’d been trying for a year and a half when I asked God if I would be able to have children – if not I would accept it. Four months later, I was pregnant! When I went for my scan they couldn’t find my right ovary but despite everything, Benjamin was born in February 2010, quickly followed by Joseph in December last year. There was no better Christmas present! I’ve managed to conceive two lovely babies despite the odds being stacked against me. Now I really believe that God has a plan for my life and I am really looking forward to spending Christmas with my two little miracles.

Benjamin enjoying Christmas

7


The best gift for Christmas

SEE PAGE 11

Bobby Hassell writes for New Life

NE W L I F E

SPORT

SEE PAGE 11

Chaplain takes Bulls by horns

Keeping the faith at Bradford

DEFENDER TRUSTING GOD ON RETIREMENT DEFENDER OF FAITH... Dennis Pearce is trusting God when he retires from football. Inset, Cannon and Ball, who spoke of their faith at an event where Dennis became a Christian

YOUNG STAR... Raheem Sterling

Sterling effort to share faith! by Matthew Murray

I was fired up by Cannon and Ball LEFT-BACK REVEALS HOW HIS LIFE CHANGED LISTENING TO COMIC DUO by Andy Evans

A FOOTBALLER found God as he listened to comic duo Cannon and Ball. Dennis Pearce, formerly of Notts County and Wolves, became a Christian in 2001 at Dudley Town Hall. He said: “I went with my wife to see Cannon and Ball. There were probably over a thousand people there and I remember just sitting and listening to what they were saying and it hit home. “They mentioned the lifestyle they used to live and how they

were empty, and when they talked about their Christian life, I just thought, ‘I want a piece of that. That’s what I’m missing.’ “At the end they said the sinner’s prayer, which I’d never even heard of before, but I repeated it to myself, and I meant it with all my heart.

SENSATION “As soon as they said ‘amen’, it felt like God was there. I felt love like I’d never experienced before. “It felt like Jesus laid his arms around me and there was love flowing from my head to my toes. It was a tingling sensation and

ONE of the Premier League’s hottest young stars has revealed his Christian faith. Liverpool’s tricky winger Raheem Sterling, who burst onto the scene this season, has taken to Twitter to speak about his beliefs. Sterling became the second youngest player to score for the Reds in the club’s history in October, gaining the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Reading. The skilful star, who becomes 18 this month, earned an England call-up earlier in the season.

beliefs And he has taken to social media to talk about his beliefs. He tweeted: “Jesus answered: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” He later quoted Psalm 62, which reads: “He alone is my rock and my salvation. My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” Sterling has represented England at youth level throughout his teens.

Local Local contact contact details: details:

I could feel it going all the way down my body, and I felt warmth and peace and love.” Dennis, a tough-tackling leftback in his day, had only previously attended church when he went to a family christening, although his agent, Cyrille Regis, had talked to him about faith. Dennis, 38, added: “I was doing well at football, I had a wife and daughter and I was OK financially, but I thought, ‘I’ve got all this but I’m still not happy. Something’s still missing.’ “Being a defender – a left-back – I used to get stuck into tackles and obviously went in to win the ● Continued on Page 11

Published by New Life Publishing Company, PO Box 777, Nottingham NG11 6ZZ. Tel 0115 824 0777. Printed by Yorkshire Web, Barnsley. Tel 01226 734410. New Life Newspaper is printed on 100% recycled paper.

December New Life Taster 2012  

Stories of faith and inspiration to bring you hope