Aidan was born in Ireland. He is a former professional football [soccer] player in the English Football League and the American Soccer League.
Upon graduation from Bible school in 1985 he began his ministry, traveling, speaking and sharing God’s Word at various college campuses, church services, retreats, sports banquets and through recorded audio messages and the internet.
He has been Executive Director of Reconciliation Ministries Inc. since its inception in 1989. Aidan and his family now reside in the USA where he travels extensively teaching and preaching the Word of God.
I remember when someone once asked me if I had read about some great missionaries, my reply was “who did they play for?” My knowledge of God, the things of God, and people who cared passionately about the Son of God (Jesus Christ) because of what He had done in their lives was to say the least… a nonevent!
I grew up in Ireland, and as most young boys there I loved to play football or soccer as it is known for those of you who are American reading this. I played it on the streets, I played in the school yard, I played whenever I could with whoever wanted. I remember once my Mom [cheating, As I usually hid when I saw her coming to our front door to call me in when I was playing on near by road!]…by sending some big boy to try and carry me home from playing out on the road!!!
I went to church every Sunday and couldn’t wait to get out and go get the Sunday newspapers and read all about the games that took place the day before. My bed room wall was covered and painted in the colors of my favorite team. The ceiling had posters on it. I loved the game! Even after I joined a Professional team in England, I would get up early to go to church on Sunday morning as had been my practice all my life. But in all honesty it had nothing to do with reality or my life. It was more out of tradition, a habit and the “right ” thing to do rather than out of Reality and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a young player I would pray before games that my team would win, I would play well and maybe even score! Anyway “God” could help I sure would appreciate it.
Even when I came home in the early hours of the morning drunk, I would say my “prayers” before going to bed. And on waking in the morning, with a hangover which at times would seem to me severe enough to kill a kangaroo I would bow and “pray,” and at times plead “Oh Lord, get me out of this and I will never do it again.”
But as the Bible says in 2 Peter 2:22 concerning sin “A dog returns to its vomit and A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” This was true of me, just as you can clean up a pig outwardly but that does not change it inwardly. The pig’s bent, her character and comfort is wallowing in mud…that is the NATURE of a pig! And so my NATURE was towards sinning. I had no Power to Change. Oh sure, I could stop doing something’s for a while but like a pig back to his filth I was back to my sin. Why?
Again the Bible says that sin Mastered me. I was a slave and didn’t even know it. I thought I could do what I wanted, when I wanted… but I was to come to find out I was in Bondage…a prisoner to sin. What is sin? Sin is disobedience to God and is manifested in a life of Selfishness…and boy was I selfish!!!
I came to the USA and met some people who were “Christians.” “Me, too” Sure, didn’t I go to “church,” say my prayers, light some candles, give some money from time to time, go to a priest and confess some of my sins and give up things for lent! Yep, I was all right, one of them too!!!
But I realized something was different about them. There was a difference in their lives, a purity I did not have, a gentleness and a love. I met an English man who shared with me about Knowing Jesus Christ personally. Now if you know anything about the English and Irish we are not what you call the best of friends. A Little like Northerners and Southerners during the civil war in the USA-get the picture!!
The fact he was English and telling me I could know Someone I could not see…well he was just nuts … off the wall!!
They invited me to church. The evening they asked me there was a soccer game on the TV. I was hoping my ride to church wouldn’t show! But wouldn’t you know it, right in the middle of the game my ride showed up!!
So off I went to church to get them off my back, figuring if I went once and said its “not for me” that would do it. But boy was I in for a surprise!!!
That evening, I came to realize there was a God and He wanted me to know Him personally. I prayed to Him but there was no real change. I was still a prisoner to sin….. over a period of time as I heard more about Jesus Christ and His Word… I came to the realization the issue was “Authority” who was going to run my life, me or Him? I went into a room and locked the door and got on my knees with a BIBLE before me and began to read the story of a man called “Paul.” As I read, I saw Saul was a religious man who was very antagonistic towards those who had pledged allegiance to Jesus Christ. As I read I saw where he was on his way to Damascus to persecute these people when all of a sudden he was knocked down and Blinded by a Light from Heaven. A voice from heaven spoke to Him and said “Saul, Saul why do you Persecute Me? “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked” I Am Jesus…” came the reply… Saul’s response was “What would You have me to do?” Jesus told him to go to a place and he was led there…blinded by the light.
A man named Ananias a follower of Jesus Christ was told to go to where Saul was and speak to him. He went and when he saw Saul he said,” Brother, Saul, the Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately there fell like scales, and he regained his sight….. and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus….saying ‘He is the Son of God….”
He had an encounter with Jesus Christ and he was changed FROM trying to destroy Jesus Followers to becoming one!!
I had tried to change but I could not….. and that night I prayed to Jesus Christ to forgive me for my sins against Him, and that I realized the issue was submitting to Him and to let Him have Authority in my life and to change me… and in all simplicity I gave myself to Him that evening, No longer trying to bargain with Him but choosing instead to cast My sin and my self On Him and His mercy…. and ever since that day I have come to know the Reality of Jesus Christ and the change He is bringing about in my life…I have become a Follower of Jesus Christ.
Gone are the days when a BALL captivated me….now it is a Person I AM LEARNING AND LIVING TO pursue.
The Lord Jesus Christ … the One who walked to a hill called Calvary and laid down and allowed men to hammer nails into His feet and into His hands and nail Him to a Cross. When they erected that cross for all to see He was there for one Reason, Because of His Love for you … and me… He alone could bridge the gap of sin that separates a sinful person from a Holy and Sinless God… He as it were became the Bridge to God by which we all can pass over and be accepted by God because of what Jesus did on the Cross for us…..
Sure, I knew the truth before…that Jesus had died, was buried and rose again … but I never knew I could know Him personally and it was not till I submitted to Him who is The Truth that He began to change my ambitions, goals and direction.
“Saul” not only had a name change that day where he became known as “Paul” He had a heart change! The desires of his heart was changing because there was a Change of Owners. Jesus Christ had become his Master, Savior and Lord, and Friend… He was a free man Free from bondage to sin, and free to Love and enjoy God through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness and joy He alone can give. He was free to Love others Sacrificially, Free to Love God. He had the Power to do so, such is the change Jesus Christ brings into a life that is submitted to Him!
Like Saul, I too have had a name change … what the Bible calls followers of the Lord Jesus Christ “Christian” which means “Christ’ one.”
No, I am still known by “Aidan” but in Heaven I am known by Him as one of His- what greater joy can there be, To know as The bible says “My NAME IS WRITTEN IN “HIS BOOK OF LIFE” AS THOSE WHO BELONG TO HIM!
My Ambition like the apostle Paul was being changed. It now like Paul wrote, was also becoming true for me too…My ambition was now to Please Him.
2 Corinthians 5: 7 – “…”We have as our AMBITION, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing Him.”
My Goal Changed
From a love for football [soccer] and serving myself as the Primary Goal of my life…. Oh I still enjoy watching a Game, but as wonderful as the game is it does not compare to the enjoyment He gives and brings to my life…
So a Ball has been traded for A Bible, which Reveals to me The God who loves me and gave Himself for me, The Lord Jesus Christ … as my Goal and the One I desire to learn to love more and more not because I “have to” but because I “want to!”
My Goal… As Paul said in Philippians 3:8-10: “That I may KNOW Him.” You see the Lord Jesus Christ has become a Reality to me … and I pray He will be to you.