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5 minutes with Di ...

- Tell us a little about yourself.

I became a Christian at 18. I've been married to Murray for 26 years. We have 2 teenage sons. I'm a primary school teacher, former lead singer of a Christian band (Speaking of Sarah) and occasionally I'm a worship leader at my church. Christian music is a balm to my soul. Godly lyrics remind me to lift my eyes beyond my circumstances to trust in God's goodness and eternal hope. I have a degree majoring in Sociology and Education with a focus on Theories of Social Deviance (particularly on Domestic Violence in Australia), and the Sociology of Mental Health, Family and Religion. I have a PTC from Moore Theological College.

- What's your favourite bible passage & why?

I love Jesus' teaching:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 MSG

- How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?

Reading FHE posts every day. I'm loving the gender-inclusive language of the CEB translation of the Bible as I read the gospel of John. I remember the first time I read a gender-inclusive Bible translation. I was so moved. For the first time in my life I felt like the Bible was written for me too, specifically as a woman.

I love Christian music, especially Brooke Ligertwood, Audrey Assad, Nichole Nordeman, Kari Jobe and Amanda Cook. Worship music transports me. My favourite song at the moment is 'What a Beautiful Name'. I love this gospel choir version:

- What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?

God values women as much as He values men in the church and in the home. There is no such thing as 'women's roles.' Women should do whatever God has called her to and use the gifts He has given her. Read Marg Mowczko's work. She is a breath of fresh air to the church. She has a degree in Theology and MA in early Christian and Jewish Studies. I've heard her teach and she is a gentle, encouraging and highly knowledgable woman of God.

Marg's work has transformed my thinking about what it means to be a woman of God.

- What's one thing that you love about your local church?

The people. We've been a part of our church for 11 1/2 years. I was so proud of my women's Bible study group. We put together over 20 handbags of toiletries to give to women escaping domestic violence last year.

- What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?

God loves my children and I can trust Him with their futures. Our son has a rare diagnosis. This has taken our family on a long road of grief that we didn't anticipate. It has been lonely and isolating at times and we continue to rely on a team of specialists and support people. But we continue to trust in the faithfulness of God that we all have a hope and a future. “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭CEB‬‬

The most important thing I can do as a mum is love my children and remind them that God loves them too. A successful child is not a child who thrives academically, socially or on the sporting field. A child who becomes an adolescent with godly character is what matters.

- What are you passionate about?

That church is a safe place for all, especially women and children. 'Safer' is a fantastic resource to help churches do this well.

It was so moving to attend 'A Time to Listen' hosted by Julia Baird last year. Hundreds of Christians met together to discuss how to respond well to DFV. I look forward to seeing progress in the church. I enjoy hearing women preach and bringing female stories to the body of Christ. I celebrate seeing women in paid pastoral and preaching church work, ministering in a team that equally includes both women and men.

- What do you enjoy doing when you rest?

Going to the beach with my hubbie and boys. We love Mooloolaba and Macmasters Beach. I love watching 'Victoria', and 'The Crown' on TV. It has been so interesting to watch these 2 queens thrust into power at such young ages and to see the challenges they faced. I also love 'Call the Midwife'. Sister Julienne has such gentle, serene wisdom. I want to be more like her.

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