October 2011 – Turning Back the Clock

With the passing of the month of October 2011, I’m sitting in my office wondering about what I should write. I notice every time I switch on the television, bad news seems to emanate. I don’t want to continue that trend although there is some challenging situations to report.

I have just arrived back from visiting our son Philip, who works as a Graphic Designer for a christian company called ‘2Plik8’ at South Bank, Brisbane.

I’m so proud of our youngest son, he is a true professional in his chosen career. I love him! He is the quiet achiever of the family.

The Queen was also visiting Brisbane, so I took a stroll down to the Brisbane river from his office to see if I could see her and perhaps make a short movie of the Royal visit. Well you guessed it, I couldn’t get even close as the picture below illustrates.

The crowds swamped any chance I had of getting a view of the Monarch, let alone making a movie. At 86 she can still pull a crowd! I decided to leave it to the professionals and watched the event on TV.

This week while watching the ABC I was listening to Slim Dusty, an Australian country icon who died 8 years ago. He may not be ‘your cup of tea’ but he does set the backdrop for my post this month. His popular song “Looking Forward Looking Back” is perhaps one of his most popular. If you are not a connoisseur of country music just turn it off and read on. ‘Turning back the clock’ – sometimes I wish we could!

On the other hand, really it is pointless other than to rejoice over the good things that have happened and enjoy the life that is ahead, or as the Bible says in Philippians 3:13 and Philippians 4:8 think on these things. October brings with it an interesting mix of nostalgia and a looking forward with expectation to the future.

As I get older, somehow I have noticed my thoughts turning to events of the “good old days.” I thought I would never bring myself to say that, as it reminds me of a dear old brother in the church of my youth, who seemed to have an aversion to Pastor’s kids. He would constantly harangue me as I was growing up. “In the good old days” he would say, and then proceed to give me a lecture about my behaviour, church music or the unacceptable expectations of the teenagers of my generation compared to his.

Well, I am not about to give anyone a lecture but the events of this month have caused me to reflect on the past. I could call it ‘turning back the clock’ but in my mind, it is as Slim Dusty expressed it in his iconic song “Looking forward Looking Back.

This month Betty celebrated her 72nd Birthday. It hardly seems like yesterday when I first met her and we married after just six months of courtship, in the Glad Tidings Tabernacle of Brisbane back in 1964. A gorgeous 24 year old statuesque beauty that took my fancy.

Forty-seven years of history together makes for good reading! She has an amazing story to tell as the daughter of pioneering church planters David & Wyn Bell. Betty was born on Thursday Island and spent her early childhood in South Sea Island & Aboriginal communities. She has a treasure-trove of intercultural memories. She ought to write a book about the early days of Pentecost in North Queensland. Why don’t you encourage her to do so!

“Life is short” they say, so I think we should take every opportunity to celebrate, birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, church parties and even football grand finals.

Of course our celebrations include the family events for which I lay aside my patriarchy and let the matriarch of the family take over…!

Over the years, Betty has inspired me by her devotion to the family.  We still try to fit in our monthly family Sunday roast here at Albany Creek. There have been changes over the year but the love of family remains.

David and Rachee are miles over the sea but  modernity and technology brings them in by Skype.  Ted’s boys are sometimes with us as family,Elle Evans and our hearts ache for Elle whom we have not seen for over 3 years. This week at family devotions where her cousins regularly pray for her, Lydia, who is turning 5 said, Mummy, who is Elle? The brief poignant silence around the family spoke the sad reality that Lydia had forgotten her cousin. Joy and pain are part of life and how we manage them is the secret of life. As for me, I will keep on praying for the things that cause pain and be thankful for the abundant joys that life has provided.

We have welcomed into our family some wonderful new people both here in Brisbane and South Australia and in far away United States of America. It’s amazing how that just one marital connection can create a whole new link to so many new people.

Looking at life in retrospect I see how much relationships are intrinsic to life’s wholeness.  I became aware of this by my feeling towards the new members of our family through marriage covenants. As I looked at the beautiful picture of Rachee’s family, having not met them, I feel towards them the warm feeling of family. I felt the same when meeting the Blackmore family, and Kylie’s Mum and Dad and sister. I guess that results from the specialness of marriage and it being covenant rather than contract. Mark 10:9

I find great pleasure in working on my family tree. At last count we now have documented over 1360 people in our family tree on Ancestry.com most of whom have passed on. Interestingly on both sides of the family, they were some of the farmers and the early settlers of South Australia and Queensland.

With all the chatter of Queensland wind and rain, world financial disaster, wars and bugs, and now Qantas shutting down, let’s hold family and friends tightly and always remember that heavenly Father is in control. I love our Pastors, Mark and Nina Elmendorp. They are such a hospitable and people orientated family, always sharing a meal with someone in their home. Last Sunday they invited some old friends from the Paradise church era who are now working in Brisbane Hospitals. It was lovely to catch up again with Dr. Kasturi and Dr. Vicram for lunch. They are wonderful and generous people,who are strong in faith.

I guess a lot of this retrospective thought came about by a request to Betty to list her Bible College class of 1960. In 2013, they will celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary. Some members of the class are already with the Lord. The influence of the class over the years is far reaching – several have served as missionaries, some as pastors to city churches and pioneering in country and urban outreaches, administration on church boards, children’s ministry, rangers, music; and the list goes on. At this time, the dux of the class, Merna Gray, is fighting a battle with cancer. Some of the class were able to meet up with her in a little reunion lunch hosted by Pearl and Don Badham. The years haven’t quieted the class and a good time was had by all!

Oh! talking about turning back the clock, here is an old grainy photo I found in one of my missions history folders. Some of you missionary and history buffs will be interested in this.

es 1965" alt="" src="http://www.fredandbettyevans.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PNG-Missionaries-1965-300x243.jpg" width="300" height="243" srcset="https://www.fredandbettyevans.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PNG-Missionaries-1965-300x243.jpg 300w, https://www.fredandbettyevans.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PNG-Missionaries-1965.jpg 790w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> Taken in 1965, during the official Assemblies of God Executive visit, of Pastor P B Duncan from Sydney to the Papua New Guinea field. Some young missionary couples there! Denis & Gwen Smith, Ossie Molyneux, Jack & Yvonne Goulder, Frank & Theo Farr, Cyril & Evelyn Westbrook, Bob & Aileen Spence, Andrew & Lorraine Evans, Doug & Lila Gallienne and Fred & Betty Evans. Those were the days my friends, when we were young and adventurous and gave of our youth to serve the Lord. What a privilege! If you want to see an enlargement of this historic picture, just click on it.

I conclude this October post by announcing that Ted’s latest Worship recording on CD will be available for Christmas. Ted’s touch & style has endeared him to many worshipers around the country & overseas. You’ll be blest!

You may order and secure your copy for just $20 by writing to him at his email address ted.w.evans@hotmail.com

Although sometimes we wish we could turn back the clock, I was reminded last week of something to come. The Royal Australian Air Force showcased twenty of their brand new Super Hornet strike fighter planes. They flew over Brisbane in a magnificent show of strength, spectacular power, in the formation of an arrow, shooting through the clouds.

As I looked skyward soaking up the noise and power of the occasion, I couldn’t help but think of an event that has yet to unfold. I made this little movie to remind us that ‘Looking Forward’ is the best option, because the best is yet to come! Are you ready?




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One Response to “October 2011 – Turning Back the Clock”

  1. Rachee Evans Says:

    great job…informative AND entertaining! cant wait to see you all again….xoxoxoxo

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