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50th ANNIVERSARY YEAR - Liz's Story

As we approach our 50th Wedding Anniversary, we continually marvel at how God brought us together and has kept us loving life and each other through all the ups and downs of life which now includes 4 sons and 8 grandchildren.

God organised for a sailor from Adelaide to arrive at a church in Perth where a bank officer was happily involved in many facets of a large thriving community of believers. With only a short time together including Trevor accompanying Liz to the wedding of a Christian friend and a handful of meetings, there began a lifelong friendship. Not long after  their meeting, Trevor embarked on a trip away and the prayer group led by Liz prayed for this sailor who was isolated in his Christian faith. On his return, he was drafted to a base in NSW and the letter-writing began. Over 4 months and much correspondence (some 20 pages long) they realised that God had brought them together for more than Christian fellowship and so Trevor made a short trip back to WA to spend a precious 10 days with his soon-to-be fiancĂ©e.

Two months later, Liz was on the train to NSW, leaving behind her parents and childhood home of 20 years to launch into the unknown, but very sure of God's leading them together. Looking back, it was amazing that she so readily left her church involvement and security for a future with a man she barely knew. Meanwhile, Trevor had applied to Kenmore Theological College in Qld where he would train to be a pastor. Since Liz also felt called to full-time service for God it was an easy decision to look forward to a life ahead fully trusting God for his provision and guidance.

The fact that Trevor was able to leave the Navy without completing his full term is a story in itself - the only condition being that there could be no leave between leaving the Navy and entering college. So, the wedding was brought forward a few months in order for them to experience married life before commencing a whole new life in another state and without the usual support of family and friends. This proved to be a wise idea as the 18 months was spent in house-sharing with other couples where privacy was limited and different dynamics seen in the other couples. This all encouraged them to rely on each other and learn to pray about everything and see God provide for all their material needs.

Three years and three children later, the couple moved back to WA where Liz's Mum was not at all well and perhaps not expected to live much longer. Again, God provided all they needed through Liz's parents, work for Trevor and a church appointment. What a busy life they led as along with their 3 boys they provided a home for several boarders who needed a home. More lessons were learnt as together they prayed through their first experience of church conflict  and discovered the harsh reality of church life where things didn't go smoothly. What they learnt though was that Jesus was all they needed and living close to God was the most important thing in the world in spite of what was happening all around.

In time they had another son and eventually settled in another suburb where they were involved in a church ministry for over 35 years. Surprisingly, it was Liz's dad who died first and so the family home was sold, Mum went to live with them and a huge extension was built after they purchased their rental. It was another 14 years before Liz's mother died, having spent 12 of those years in their home.  With a multi-generational household, a busy church life and 4 teenage boys, life was full of challenges and reasons to continually rely on God and each other for support and encouragement.

As the boys began leaving home, Liz was able to be even more involved with church than before and it was expected that she would be able to share in the ministry alongside her husband. This was the beginning of the realisation that in the church 'all people were equal, but some were more equal than others' And so began many years of negotiating church protocol, constitutions and long-held beliefs while all the time being considerate of the feelings of other people. By the time they retired, Liz was now a pastor alongside her husband and able to utilise her gifts with much more freedom than over the preceding years.


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Talkback Radio

It's simply amazing what you can learn on talkback radio, here in Australia anyway. I'm not often in the car alone but when I am I like to listen to a Radio National station that features guest speakers on various subjects and invites comment from listeners who can become involved in the conversation. One such guest, who was responsible for a phenomenon called the 'Flynn Effect' was most interesting. His hypothesis is that the IQ's of 21st century educated westerners are increasing at the rate of 3-5% over time because of the way that we are now being taught to process information. He said that the analytical process and abstract thinking methodology has increased our capacity to think in the way that the IQ tests have been designed and we are therefore able to process the test puzzles etc. more easily.

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