Life Can Be Interesting
I was born into a middle class Australian family toward the end of 1959. My father was a cabinetmaker at the time, but changed career and became a technical teacher in the state high school system in Queensland, Australia. At that time the state Education Department had a policy of frequent transfer, therefore the longest time I lived in one house as I was growing up was 5 years.
I finished my high school in Mackay, North Queensland and then embarked on a five-year tertiary study programme at James Cook University in Townsville to become an Electrical and Electronic Engineer. I finally finished in November 1981. In December 1981 I was offered a position with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and having developed a sense of adventure from all my shifting around as a youngster, accepted the challenge of moving about 1500 nautical miles closer to the south pole. My thin tropical blood is still trying to acclimatise to the cold weather experienced during winters spent living approximately 100 kilometres from Australia's snowfields.
Upon arrival in Victoria, I moved into a large house as a boarder with a young family. Shortly after, they moved to Sydney and I was left to pay the rent. It seemed ridiculous to have a four-bedroom house for one person, so I advertised for some others to share the house with me. Being a terrible judge of character and having lived a very conservative life in smallish towns in quiet Queensland, I chose my potential boarders badly and was soon stuck with a group of drug addicts, homosexuals and prostitutes living under the same roof as me. It was my first encounter with the "alternative cultures" of the large city and it began an intense period of my life. I had no idea what I had gotten into and could not wait to get out of it.
After about 6 months of this, I gratefully accepted a transfer to a new location and moved away from the place that had caused me so many problems. My new landlord was a Jehovah's Witness, who was very nice but sent his friends around to me regularly to try and "convert" me. I realised that I could not speak to these people with any authority about the Bible, so I applied myself to the project of reading the Bible as quickly and as thoroughly as I could. I remember reading the New Testament in one ling weekend. The Old Testament took a little longer, but after about a month I had virtually read the whole Bible. I was convinced by all that I read. I also knew that I needed to do something with the new knowledge of God, who He was and what I was, so I prayed for forgiveness and asked Jesus to be my Lord.
As an Engineer, I knew that there must be a God who made everything simply because the world around me was too well designed to be an accident. Now I was getting to know this God who made it all and His Son Jesus who rules over it. I believed the Bible as it is written. I soon discovered that this put me at a huge disadvantage.
Shortly after I accepted Jesus as my Lord, I was again transferred. This time I went to a small country town in the middle of the state of Victoria called Benalla. I was amazed to discover that many "Christians" and even many "Ministers" did not believe that the Bible was true. Because I do believe the Bible is true in every aspect, I actively try to live by its principles. This has resulted in some interesting consequences at times. My wife and I were squeezed out two churches because we were baptised as adults. Several times I have been called before the council of Elders of other churches and received some very angry letters from ministers for teaching and preaching about believer's baptism and the Holy Spirit.
Through these experiences I have realised some of what Jesus went through for me and how much He loves all men and women. He is teaching me grace, humility and patience, all of which are important commodities in the kingdom of God.
I should point out that God was richly blessing me with the important things of life. Shortly after arriving at Benalla, I met a beautiful young woman named Nannette who is now my wife. We have 3 children whom we home school. I am a member of Gideons International and know that people can and do come to know Jesus from reading the Bible for them selves. In 1989 my position with the Electricity Commission became redundant and after spending about 2 to 3 years doing a variety of work, including making furniture in my back shed and some part time teaching, I was employed as a full time computer science lecturer at a local Agricultural college. This college is now a part of the University of Melbourne and I am coming to grips with the idea of having an academic career with one of the largest universities in the country.
By God's grace, a small group of Christians are meeting together at my campus. We have a couple of non-Christians coming every week. They are asking many questions about God, Jesus and Truth. We are praying very earnestly that they will see the truth and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. God willing, they will be the first of many.
These study notes are part of the journey I have completed so far with the Lord. I still get into trouble at times for what I believe and God is still teaching me about truth and grace. I have much to learn. I hope these notes will be a blessing to you as you read them.
May God bless you,