I was brought up in a Christian home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, where I was taught the essentials of faith, service and devotion to God. It was a joyful home and I was always conscious of a deep sense of love for me from my parents. My father, Wilfred, a veteran, who had served in the RAF in the Far East during the entirety of World War 2 and helped free Burma, Malaya and Singapore, was the church steward at the local chapel and the youth leader. My mother, Marjorie, a musician, was the church organist and a worker in the Sunday School.
My maternal grandmother, Martha, who lived with us, was also an inspiration in godly living with a joyful and kindly disposition. She was the leader of the women’s fellowship and with my father was a trustee and leader in the chapel. They all spent time with me, teaching me the principles and the promises of Jesus and helping me lay the foundations for my life.
At the age of 14, I made a public declaration of my faith in God at a Christian retreat event for young people in the adjoining county of Derbyshire. I made Jesus my Lord and Saviour and felt a great surge of gratitude and enthusiasm swell up within my heart. I wanted to tell everyone about the gospel of Jesus. At the same time, I received an inner call from God to preach and teach His Word, a calling that my father nurtured until he passed to live with Jesus in heaven one year later.
Eventually I started to train as a lay preacher under the guidance of a qualified lay preacher, Marilyn Riley, who had been my Sunday School teacher and who had become a Christian through my father’s youth fellowship some 20 years earlier. This coincided with my years as a student undergraduate at Oxford University where I received great benefit and blessing from the ministry of Revd. Keith Weston at St. Ebbe’s Church. It was under his ministry that I developed a profound love for the Bible that was to equip me for the rest of my life. After graduation from Oxford, I qualified as a fully-accredited lay preacher in the church.
On graduation I went into business and throughout my life have combined my life in business with my calling as a Bible preacher and teacher. The details of my business career are set out in the separate business biography. For my Christian service, as well as my work in numerous churches in the UK over the years across all Christian denominations, for 25 years I was the local secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, made visits to Bible Society offices in Australia, Greece and India, and from the early 1980s have been a recognised Bible Society speaker.
My Christian contribution has always had an international dimension from the 1980s when I undertook a preaching and speaking tour of India, to these last few years when I have accepted invitations to deliver my Bible talks in the USA. My ministry has now developed into Christian Lifestyle Matters, working with Susan to share the abounding love of God through practical teachings and guidance on all aspects of Christian living.
Born in Los Angeles, California, I can remember from a very young girl being guided by my mother, June, and my grandmother, Fritzie, to follow the Golden Rule, to treat others how I would like them to treat me and to be kind to everybody I meet during my day. I saw them both live their lives in that way and I have, in turn, sought to apply that same Golden Rule throughout the course of my own life.
Daily, I am conscious of the presence of God with me, loving me, protecting me and guiding me. Throughout the day, I talk to God and to Jesus as my ever-present friend within me, walking with me all the time. Then every night, before I go to sleep, I consciously draw near to God, feel the closeness of His presence and so prepare my spirit, my mind and my body for a good night’s sleep.
As a Christian, I always seek to walk in the path of the Divine, and so I ask God and Jesus to help me make the right decisions in my personal and professional life. I have a simple prayer that I say many times during the day: I trust in Thee; show me the way. I am so blessed in having the assurance that God and Jesus are with me and that I can call upon them at any time to guide me in the right direction.
It was my grandmother, Fritzie, who introduced me to the God-centered life and the Christian faith. She gave me my first Bible, which became my prize possession and she taught me about Jesus, His teachings and the blessings in following Him. Fritzie was also committed to the health benefits that derive from living close to nature and believed in the processes of natural healing. I became her assistant in this work and, in so doing, found my vocation in life. As for Fritzie, so it became for me; my faith in God has always been expressed in my profession as a nutritionist and holistic health expert, especially conscious of God as the creator of the universe and all the gifts that He bestows upon us in creation, including natural foods and our body, and natural healing.
In the 1980s, I was selected by The President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports as one of 10 Healthy American Fitness Leaders, a prestigious honor that was bestowed upon me in Washington, DC. Other past winners have included President Ronald Reagan, UCLA Coach John Wooden, and fitness experts Kathy Smith and Richard Simmons. Through the recognition given to me in my field of work, and my media exposure through my radio and television broadcasts and my writing career, my vocation has put me in a unique position to testify to the efficacy of my message that health is the result of the countless choices we make every day.
In my twenties, I fractured my back in an automobile accident. The team of physicians told me that I would never be able to carry “anything heavier than a purse.” I chose not to accept this verdict and within six months, as a miracle from God, I was no longer in pain and, amazingly, no evidence of the fracture remained. This event was pivotal in convincing me of God’s infinite grace towards us as His children and established my unshakable relationship with and deep connection to God. I felt so richly blessed and so grateful for His miraculous goodness towards me. Since the accident I have been constantly active in spreading my Christian faith-based message that anyone can choose to create a healthy, happy, peaceful and balanced life if they choose to renew their mind to that purpose. It is my belief that God wants that for everybody. I have been able to reach millions of people across the world through my media work and am humbled that so many have been inspired by my message and innovative techniques for achieving total health in body and mind.
Right at the heart of my message is my belief, as stated by St. Paul, that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, truly a miraculous gift from God, and, therefore, we must treat our bodies with respect. I was instructed by Fritzie, and have found it to be true in my own life, that we must eat foods that are close to how God made them. Before every meal, I always take a minute of grace time to offer to God a prayer of thanksgiving for His magnificent provision. Taking this time to pray helps reinforce my sense of gratitude for the food, for the farmers and to those who have prepared the meal. It also helps the process of digestion, assists me in not overeating and ensures that I slow down before the meal and don’t simply inhale the food.
Through the Christian Lifestyle Matters ministry, working with David, I am so grateful that I have further opportunity to share all that God has taught me, and I pray that it will bless as many people as possible. To conclude these words of testimony to my Christian faith, I share with you from my heart a choice paragraph from my book, Choose to THRIVE as follows:
“Living a faith-centered life is my #1 health and vitality secret. Each morning, before I go out to exercise, I first begin my day by reading a passage from the Bible and then meditate on what I just perused. This sacred, morning practice starts my day off on a positive, peaceful note and fills me with joy and serenity. I let God’s love shine forth from me into all of my activities for the day and evening. Connecting to God each morning, and other times during the day, reinforces in me that I can Choose to THRIVE and live a peaceful, balanced life, and it begins with my thoughts and what I put my attention on throughout the day. One of my favorite Bible passages is found in Philippians 4:8-9, ‘Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Whatever you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.’ Daily, I aspire to take loving care of my body temple given to me as a gift from God, and to celebrate the joy of living with as many people as possible in my work and experiences.”