God Down Under
by Richard G. Berlach and Linda M. Berlach
We look, we search, we wonder. The world is an amazing place, but how do we interpret what we see? What perceptual lens do we use to construct an understanding of our experience? Is there a way of seeing through something to a deeper level; of recognising something beyond the obvious stimuli presented to our senses; of interpreting data from within the paradigm of the greater whole?
Through a survey of the vast landscape which is Australia, this book attempts to do exactly that – to bring greater understanding to our daily experience by seeing the creation through the diffused rays of its Creator. Accordingly, this book is about a journey. It is not a chronologically-based journey as one might document during a visit abroad. Rather, this journey takes us into the heart of God. Not into His whole heart of course, for that heart is so infinitely vast that no human journey could ever plumb its depths. Nevertheless, it takes us into the heart of God all the same—into that sanctum where our earthly journey is presented with the possibility of finding new and deeper meaning.
Over the years, I have been privileged, often in the company of my wife Linda, to have traversed the length and breadth of my homeland—the vast country that is Australia. During these sojourns I have attempted to remain God-conscious, inviting the Divine Presence to help me not just see but show me how to see. In God’s economy, asking, “What does this mean?” is of greater importance than asking ‘’when did this happen?’’ Accordingly, and to make our journey more interesting, entries have not been arranged in chronological order of experience, but in terms of a voyage around the vast island-continent of Australia.
Each entry has three components. My reflections are followed by a related passage from the Bible which is then followed by a prayer offered by Linda. Each reflection is offered as a thought-provoker; each Scriptural passage as a light intended to further illuminate the insights proffered; and each prayer as a direct response to the Divine. As you journey through this book, allow God to open His generous heart to you and remain open to receiving graciously from Him. Who knows, this could turn out turn out to be the trip of a lifetime.
About the Authors
Richard G. Berlach has spent the better part of his life engaged in academic pursuits. Interests have ranged from teaching first year undergraduate students through to supervising doctoral candidates in a variety of disciplines. Taking early retirement enabled him to spend more time surveying God’s creation and writing from the perspective of one whose “life is hidden with Christ in God”. (Col 3:3) This is his second book written with wife Linda, with whom he very much appreciates sharing the writing experience. In his spare time, Richard enjoys open water swimming all year-round, messing about in his workshop, maintaining his garden and reading whatever he can get his hands on. He also takes great pleasure in visiting and assisting seniors as opportunities present themselves. Richard holds a Master of Divinity awarded by Fuller Theological Seminary (California, USA) and possesses a Doctor of Philosophy conferred by the University of Western Australia.
Linda M. Berlach’s lifelong passion for personal and spiritual growth and development finds expression in a variety of contexts. She currently works as a medical educator in the personal and professional domain with medical students. Participation in retreats and regular contribution to the Courage and Renewal (WA) steering group fosters her commitment to leading a life of courage and integrity. Her weekly time with a diverse group of women seeking to live out their discipleship to Jesus together, fondly known as the Ruby Tuesdays, is an essential source of inspiration and support. She is addicted to her morning ocean year-round swims, shared with the vibrant Port Beach Polar Bears. She adores being in nature and takes great joy in caring for animals and plants. Linda holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from Curtin University, a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching from The University of Notre Dame Australia.