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Bio – Who is Barrie Lawrence?

“There’s a frog on the toilet seat!” my mother yelled up the stairs to my father, anxious that he should not squash it before coming down for breakfast. On another occasion it was my sister Julia who was vocal – “Oh no, he’s got a snake!” she shouted as a slow worm slithered out of my blazer pocket at the tea table. I had paid one shilling (or 5p in today’s money, for my younger readers. But it was worth more in 1960) for it from one of my classmates at school that day. And anyway, as I explained to the family, it was not a snake, but a legless lizard.

A frog in the toilet, a ‘snake’ in my blazer pocket, catching wild mice with my hands under haystacks (also carried in the pocket), three species of leech in my bedroom, trapping rodents measuring one metre long in the water meadows outside the Norfolk village of Tuttington because we were short of rats to dissect at school – perhaps it was a good thing that I did not talk to my patients about my childhood passion of mousing and ratting before extracting a tooth at my Norfolk country practice.

Norfolk was the county of my birth, though we moved around from time to time during my childhood, as my father was a bank clerk. But we lived in Norfolk for most of my school days, and I loved wandering across heaths and meadows, or dipping my butterfly net into broads (Norfolk lakes), rivers, ditches and ponds. And most of the creatures that I caught, trapped or netted, ended up in my bedroom.

What was I to do with my life? I loved David Attenborough’s ‘Zoo Quest’ television series as a teenager, but my mother explained that ‘people like us’ did not do that sort of thing. But ‘people like us’ did not go in for further education or University or consider entering the professions, as they were regarded in those days. However, I decided that I wanted to be a dentist. Dentists had frightened me and hurt me, but I thought I could do better. Maybe I could be the friendly dentist, the painless dentist, even the nice dentist. So I studied and studied at school, because I was not the brightest star in the sky when it came to academic studies. And eventually I found myself at dental school.

And there for five years I learnt about teeth, filled teeth, scraped teeth, polished teeth, crowned teeth, extracted teeth – and then replaced teeth with false teeth. Teeth,teeth,teeth! My student days were during the ‘Swinging Sixties’, and to some extent I swung. But they were also days when I felt challenged by the college God Squad, who fascinated me. They claimed their lives had been radically changed by the God of the Bible, and I set out to prove them wrong. So how come I became a born-again Christian, whose life has been changed by the God of the Bible?

After qualifying (which one senior tutor described as letting a monkey loose with a pistol), I worked for five years in a country practice in Dorset, before returning to my native Norfolk. My city practice grew at a phenomenal rate, and after fifteen years I sold it and worked solely in a small market town in rural Norfolk. It was delightful, and I loved my patients. Yes, even those who shared false teeth together, or vomited their false teeth out of a bus window in the centre of Norwich. Great people!

So read my blogs as I reflect on life, my days as a dental student and later as a dentist, or read about the curious people and comical happenings of those days in my book A Dentist’s Story, Published by Grosvenor House Publishing (2014), or read of how fulfilling life can be when lived in relationship with the God we read about in the Bible, in There Must Be More To Life Than This, published by New Wine Press (2012).

And if you would like to email me, my address is barrie@barrielawrence.com Maybe I’ll hear from you soon!

10 comments

  1. Hi Dad! Great getting all this info whilst you’re still alive – normally you have to wait til the funeral to get such an account! Like the photos of the new dining room, very tasteful. Curry looks tasty too.
    Nice website. I like how it raises our expectations of God. I think I might start noting down some of my experiences so that I can give concrete examples too. I lost my engagement ring yesterday. I really thought it could be in various places as I had taken gloves off outside school, near the boulangerie, etc. and that by now it could be in the wrong hands. Elisha, Jonathan and I prayed about it, and found it about 7 minutes later on my bedroom floor. Doesn’t really seem like a big find now, falling off the bedside cabinet is pretty routine, but I was so relieved that I hadn’t lost it.

    • Thanks Rachel. Your testimony re the lost ring in your comments will itself be an encouragement to those who read it. Thank you for encouraging me over the years. I feel so blessed to have four daughters who love God and who each testify to the ways in which the Lord has led them and prayers have been answered. Give our love to the rest of your family. Dad x

    • I suddenly noticed I had lost the small central sapphire stone from my engagement ring
      So I walked slowly across the primary school playground hoping to spot it – but no success
      Arrived home so upset as it was special with sentimental value !!
      But the doorbell rang as I made a consoling cup of coffee and prayed it would turn up again
      The post lady gave me a book too large for the letter box!
      I glanced down in our dark brown door frame and spotted the tiny sapphire below the letter box!
      Definitely a miracle answer to my prayer
      I really don’t know how it got there -but my own personal proof that nothing is impossible for God to sort out !
      Just trust in his unfailing love.
      Two years later I somehow lost my gold wedding ring at our fun weekly mums and tots prayer and bible study group in our house !
      I prayed again and within 20 minutes spotted it under the kitchen table as I swept up our craft paper scraps. Not sure again how it got there!
      Seiko HQ also lost my old but much loved wrist watch a 21st birthday present from my parents I sent for repairs and offered me a replacement new one that I did not want .
      So I wrote to their Seiko Director explaining how ‘extra special’ this was and then they found it gave me a free repair and new strap!
      So God definitely does answer our prayers in all sorts of amazing and unusual ways!

  2. I loved your book(thank you ). Could you send your e-mail address, I would like to tell you my
    experience ?
    God Blesss

  3. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for novice blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Hi,

      Don’t know your name, but is it Chris? Just guessing from your email address. What can I tell you about blogging? I know so little really, but do have a passion for the God of the Bible who has changed my life so much, and I simply write out what I feel periodically, go to Google to look for clipart, or use my own photographs, and publish one weekly. Originally I had a professional set up the site because I am not so computer literate. And then I just type, copy and paste, and hit publish. Anything else I can say to help? Please ask.

      Very best wishes to you,

      Barrie

  4. Barrie,
    Oh you are a delight.
    Norfolk`s Norwich, the Fine City with fine folk.
    Fine memories, when I sort asylum.
    Kind regards always to FGBM fellowship.
    Raphael Lungu.

  5. Hi Barrie,
    I have been looking for gifts for my daughter & her two friends, (who all graduate as dentist from Leeds university this July 2016).
    I was thinking, for her graduation day what can I give her & her two friends for a little present ????
    I love to read myself, & in the past I was trying to find inspirational books about becoming a dentist.
    I put into the search engine- Chicken soup for the soul for Dentist. Well as you may know, they do hundreds of books to cover most peoples professions. BUT NOT DENTIST 🙁
    So I decided to change around a few words in the search engine. Thank God I did. I came across Barries books 🙂
    Yaaaaay.
    So I know what I will be buying my daughter & her two friends as a little gifts– when they graduate (which I will give to them after the ceremony).
    I have just read through a few chapters which you can freely read without buying the book (just so you can see if the book will suit you).
    My search has ended. I will be ordering Barries books as Gifts!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH Barrie. my daughter & her friends will love having an insight into your long career as a dentist. The up’s & downs you went through when you were first starting out.
    IT WILL INSPIRE THEM TO KNOW, THAT WILL BE THEM ONE DAY…………. FOLLOWING ALONG THE SAME PATH AS YOU 🙂
    THANK YOU!

  6. Any chance your books will appear in kindle format ?
    As for miracles. While I’m sure these can happen ( I’ve seen street miracles on utube) people seem to have a tendency to claim things that could’ve happened by chance as Miricles. Miscible git I know I am 🙂

    • Thank you for your enquiry and comments. I would like to publish some of my books in Kindle format, and will look into this in 2017.

      I agree with your comments, where miracles might just be chance happenings. As our God is sovereign, nothing really happens ‘by chance’, but I know what you mean. In my ‘constipated cat’ book on prayer, I mention several times that people might call these answered prayers coincidences. I have also suggested that where people keep saying ‘coincidence, coincidence, coincidence, coincidence…’ it sounds rather silly after a while. But there is a tendency to exaggerate when speaking of these things, which is not helpful.

      Do feel free to comment again. And I pray you will know true blessing and answered prayer in your walk with God. Barrie

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