Over time I want to reflect on people who have had a guiding influence on my life. As memories return I will add thoughts and people to the list
The first person who I can remember taking a personal interest in me outside my immediate family was my uncle Adrian, He was always interested in my advancement. When I was 10 he bought me my first watch. It cost £1: 10. He encouraged me at school – a success. He encouraged me to save – a failure. But most of all he encouraged me in the reality of a living faith. Even when he got married and had children of his own there was still that interest. He is more like an older brother than an uncle. And since my father has passed away I always appreciate the moments when we meet and talk about our common passions for faith and family. He still hasn’t succeeded on the money issue. I am afraid it’s too late!
Prof Schep was a Professor at the Reformed Theological College, although by 1968 he was in hot water over some of his views. But I will never forget the visit he made to our home in Ocean Grove to prepare me for the spiritual pitfalls I would meet when I went to University. This meeting made a lasting impression. This busy man with his own issues to deal with had time to visit me and encourage me for the future. He was a real God sent blessing.
Joe was a teacher at Geelong High. In Form 6 he encouraged me to think of going to university. His faith in my abilities opened up new horizons.
It would take a book to reflect on this man’s influence on my life, values, decisions and worldview. Bill was the man who taught me to think deeply – from a Biblical perspective. In years to come we would not always have the same views but the underlying love for God and His Word was the common thread. The other reason I appreciated him was that he was one of the few people who laughed heartily at my jokes!
John was the first principal of a Parent Controlled Christian School in Australia – Calvin School in Kingston Tasmania. In 1977 I went to teach there. As a 26 year old I knew everything – or so I thought. He taught me a lot about teaching from a Christian perspective. I also appreciated his openness to new ideas even when he had to fight his own natural conservatism.
John was a pastor’s friend, although it didn’t always seem so at the time. He was a straight talking man who enabled me develop a backbone in the ministry. One lesson that has always stayed with me is that Christians will often say, “I know this is how I should behave (e.g. towards another) but … (and then the excuse for not doing it would come along)” and John’s attitude was, “Stop them at the ‘but’”. There are no buts with God. If that is how I should live, then that is how I should live.