Childhood is such an important part of our life. In it are forged the identity, character, and behaviors that will often carry us through the rest of our life.
Born in Newcastle, I lived my first 17 years in the beach-side suburb of Merewether and attended the Park St Methodist Church, where I was taught by example the priesthood of all believers, particularly through the Christian Endeavour movement. At 12 years of age at a youth fellowship tea, I was confronted with my sin by the speaker, Mrs. Kirkham. She also told us of a loving Saviour, the Lord Jesus. It was after her speaking that I went home and asked Jesus to save me. Since those early days, I trust that by his grace I have grown in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
My Previous Adulthood
I went on to become a teacher, taking an active part in the Methodist and Anglican churches in the Picton district. It was at St Marks, Picton, where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. That is a gracious, interesting story in itself.
I was called to serve as a missionary school teacher in the Southern Highlands of PNG at Lake Kutubu. Those were the most enjoyable days, living in what we missionaries called Paradise. It was there that I met that extraordinary nurse, Kay Morgan who later became my wife. We met by reputation. Her friend told her of me, and the Foe church prayer meeting told me of her. Ask me about the full story some time. Suffice to say this marriage was made in heaven, with a little help from the Foe people – yes, an arranged marriage.
After two years there I returned to Australia to marry Kay, go to Bible College, and our first son was born, and to take up an 8-year pastorate with Kogarah Bay Congregational Church, where the priesthood of all believers was reinforced. During that time we had our second son and I was privileged to be the foundation chair of St George Christian School.
The call to return to missions by Jesus saw us join Youth With A Mission in Canberra. We served there from 1984 till 1995 when, while still a YWAMer, I went into Christian schooling. Since then I have become the international assessor coordinator for the Global Accreditation Association and serve the LORD Jesus by encouraging each Christian school to be a transformational and fruitful community. Still a YWAMer though, with a passion to know God and to make Him known.
The LORD has led my wife and I to Deception Bay. We thought we were going to Buderim to be near our firstborn son and his family. After a few months that accommodation proved to be too small. We know from experience that man plans but God will have his way. He graciously directs our steps. We prayed for a house that has air conditioning, fans, at least two bedrooms, a swimming pool, some space to garden, and tank water. That is what he led us to in Deception Bay. Not only did he provide that, but he has also placed the family of my second son in Caboolture for which we praise the LORD.
Why Deception Bay? That is where the LORD led us to a place that we discovered had what we had asked for. I know that people here have a need for Jesus to be the LORD and Saviour of their lives. I have mentioned that I am a missionary with Youth With A Mission. At our last international conference in Thailand in 2018, we were challenged to consider the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations using the spheres of influence in society to disciple communities. That is what I believe the Lord Jesus has led me here for, as a YWAM missionary. More importantly, to be salt and light for Jesus and his kingdom.
For ease of ministry, I identify seven spheres, taught to me by YWAM’s founder Loren Cunningham: Religion, Family, Government, Celebration, Economics, Communication, and Education.
Jesus began his ministry by waiting on his heavenly Father. So we begin the ministry to the spheres in Deception Bay with prayer. Already our prayer meetings in this church have a focus on the spheres, around the world and here in Deception Bay. I believe we should pray for each sphere with concentrated prayer in faith by grace. I am planning times of prayer on-site for each of the seven spheres. We will pray in a concentrated way for each sphere one day at a time, over a number of months.
Having prayed like Jesus and depending on his Holy Spirit we can then move on to doing some discipling of people in each sphere, using hospitality, teaching, discussion, and decision making. Again this will be intensive. We will take about 10 meetings to do this for each sphere so the discipling will be in-depth. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will create support groups out of this training. I am excited by the opportunity that this vision gives his wider church to minister into the community of Deception Bay.
Perhaps he is speaking to your heart about being involved.
What about my future? I have a sure and certain hope of heaven because of what Jesus has secured for me through his death on the cross and glorious resurrection.
The Lord Jesus has secured for my salvation from the penalty for, the power of, and the predisposition to sin. Does that mean I don’t sin? No. It does mean that Jesus has provided the way of escape.
On my last day by faith through grace, I shall join him in heaven. I trust that I will see you there when your time comes.
Thank you for reading. That is my story in as small a nutshell as I can make it. Please feel free to talk with me at any time about anything I have mentioned. The LORD bless you as we press on. So be it.