ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Coleman is an Anglican priest. He and his wife, Julia, lead St Mary’s Silverstream in Upper Hutt. They have two sons, Jacob and Sam. James became a Christian in May 2002 on an Alpha course. Previously he had been an atheist. The only reason he even went to the course was because Julia said, “If you love me you will sit through the course.” He managed to miss the first session but was there for the second, which was on the evidence for Jesus’s claim to be God. Part of the course was a weekend away, which only James could go to because there were babysitting issues and it was decided that he was further behind in terms of getting this God thing. A time was offered during that weekend when the people on the course could be prayed for. James remembers realising that he had to make a choice. He felt that there was a crossroads ahead of him and he needed to decide whether to opt into a relationship with Jesus or not. It was as if this was the only time this choice would be there. He opted into a relationship with Christ. At the moment he had an intense encounter with God and was overcome with a feeling of being loved. He collapsed into an easy chair and was there for about an hour, feeling the presence and love of God. On the way home that evening it was as if he had new glasses. Colours were brighter and more intense. He got home and told Julia he had become a Christian and been filled with the Holy Spirit. She was shocked but asked what one needed to do. He said, “Just pray, I think.” She went away and prayed, and she too became a follower of Jesus on that same day.