The Christian life is about looking forward, not looking back.
Christians look forward for ways and opportunities to serve Jesus in this hurting world.
But, even so, it can sometimes be helpful to look back and review the bifurcations in our own lives.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
In this page I will outline some of my journey in life, bifurcation points (as I see them) and changes that resulted.
I became a Christian at the age of nineteen, in a small Baptist church in a suburb of Toronto in Canada. I was born in London, England during the second world war and emigrated with my family to Canada in 1951.
As may be common with autistic children, I do not have many memories of childhood. What I do remember is a feeling of not belonging, or at least not being like other children.
I now know this feeling came not just from the autism but also from having a high IQ.
Joining Mensa at the age of 49 explained a lot and also connected me to people with whom I have a great deal in common.
Studying has never come easy to me. I now understand this is due to an intellect that is imperious in pushing back frontiers. My curiosity in learning, developing and refining new and useful thinking tools is rapacious.
The friend who was instrumental in my becoming a Christian went on to an excellent academic career with wide influence.
He's now got more degrees than there are degrees!
The boy done good!
And thank you, my friend.
Looking back, I cannot pinpoint actual reasons for my becoming a Christian. I do know it was in no small measure due to one of my friends becoming a Christian about a year before. We had known each other in high school and in Boy Scouts. Like others who also knew him, I assumed the changes in him would eventualy wear off.
So, I started attending church and one evening after the service I went to see the pastor in his office and we prayed together.
That's how it started.
The pastor was a good man, very keen to get out and visit anyone who could use his considerable pastoral help, but a dreadful preacher. As is sadly common in Baptist circles, he was moved out within a couple of years.
Although I did not realize it at the time, that was my initiation into the "San Andreas Fault" running through church-based Christianity.
My personal website gives some more about me and some of my thoughts, if this is of interest.
When I was at seminary (Gordon-Conwell) I was fortunate to have taken a couple of courses with Professor Lit-sen Chang.
Before Communism in China, Lit-sen Chang founded and was president of Kiang-nan University, a delegate to the National Assembly (Constitutional Convention), and deputy minister in the cabinet of the National Government.
He became a Christian in middle age while in Indonesia as he listened to a simple gospel message in a simple church. He moved to the United States and studied at Gordon Divinity School (which later joined with the Conwell School of Theology to become Gordon-Conwell) and taught there for many years. He was a prolific writer and he wrote to explain how Jesus was the answer to all the questions raised by people who thought they might find answers in oriental religion.
At the first lecture of each of his courses he told his students his job was to make the difficult things easy. He was very good at that.
In my section of this website I try to emulate him and I try to make the difficult things easy.
I count myself Providentially fortunate to have known Cathie and Dick Kroeger. An intuitive person, Cathie said I have the gift of encouragement as in
Romans 12:8 (NIV)
If it is encouraging, let him encourage.
This is something I try to do.
Related to encouraging, I also see myself as a catalyst
In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that speeds up a reaction but is chemically unchanged by the reaction.
. I do this by encouraging and by suggesting resources and ways of thinking. I am a great believer in democratising and popularising study in areas of Christianity that need improving. Again, the internet is an amazing tool for this.
There is with Jesus a strong precedent for using technology to reach a large number of people. He used a boat
Luke 5:3 (NIV)
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
Matthew 13:2 (NIV)
Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.
Mark 4:1 (NIV)
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge.
from which to speak. I remember from canoe trips in Northern Ontario and visits to friends' cottages in the Muskokas of Ontario how sound seems to magnify over water. If you have ever had the pleasure of listening to loons from a great distance in the wilds you will understand.
But above all, I share a passion with Paul which is found in Romans 15:20
Romans 15:20 (NIV)
It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known.
When I look at the ClustrMaps image and the accompanying data, I see this website is being visited by people in countries to which I would never had access before the internet.
As I am now retired and able to devote more thought and time to this venture, I pray that my gifts and ambition will be found useful.