THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL GIVEN YOUR ALL - NOW WHAT ? HOME ISBN 0 9577 426 7 3 CHAPTER 5 Written/published 31/5/08-4/6/08
Did anyone notice, what I noticed after uploading the previous chapter? The date was 2.6.08, the 268th chapter of all books!
5. Me.lbourne matters
There's an Aussie joke which goes like this: First-prize winner will receive one week holiday in Melbourne. Second-prize winner will receive two weeks holiday in Melbourne.
Many regions in Australia and other places tell such jokes about a rival city. It's not different between Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide. The latter likes to put down Melbourne, because the town is renowned for rainy weather. To denigrate a place because of the climate I find rather immature.
I love Melbourne. In my Daily Bread bible study booklet a bible teacher from the US was to speak in Melbourne on May 17, 08. It was the same man, the same location and exactly on the same weekend as the year before. (Details in Book 6, Chapter 16).
Further I found out online that a church in an eastern suburb of Melbourne was holding a Men's Breakfast. Their website displayed an interesting logo; another place to check out, I thought.
The final attraction to justify driving interstate 800 kilometres each way, was the gentleman, whose mother had thought he was only a bystander in the Liddy child abuse case. (My research had placed him right in the forefront as being the initial accuser). I had not planned on any direct contact. Perhaps curiosity was my motivation, to simply look at the house he lived in?
All I knew was the address and the organisation he worked for, nothing else. The house number was 228. Even before the Chinese earthquake did I regard this twist as spooky - one of my biggest adversaries, lived at an address with my magic number!
After May 12th, or should I say the moment I found out that the quake struck at 2.28 PM, which was some days later, the street address spooked me even more. The man, whose initials are JC lived at 228 R... Street.
- - - - - - -
Two days before, on Thursday 15/5/08 I left Adelaide in my Suzuki for Melbourne. As always on my journeys away from home I leave without anticipating anything. When arriving home, however, one day may cover 7 pages in my diary. A motto for any adventurous Christian following life's journey with Jesus is this:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will direct your paths". (Proverbs. 3, 5-6).
Had I written this proverb I may have added... and it's never boring. Isn't this the perception many have regarding the Christian life, it's dull and boring?
- - - - - - -
My wife was not a keen traveller at any time. But a trip to Melbourne, this close to winter, for her was like winning $ 1000 worth of free tattoos. I could not persuade her or any of my friends to join me. Despite my Suzuki now approaching the age of ten years and 265 000 kilometres, she drove very well and managed on less than two tanks of fuel. Of course, gas cooker, food, coffee-making equipment and the Wheeler bicycle had to come along too.
Great place 4 an adventure - Melbourne
I cut this picture out from a tourist map. Only later, back home, did the number 4 on top of the skyscraper strike me as odd. Shouldn't the number 7 be there?
- - - - - - -
Talking about 4/7, the May 27 reading in the Daily Bread, which triggered my visit to Melbourne initially, has an interesting headline: Can we really hear from God?
The writer, Philip Yancey, told how he enrolled in a course, where a minimum of 2 hours silent prayer every day for the 5 day course was compulsory. Participants were promised that God would be speaking to them.
On the first day he wandered into a meadow and sat under a tree to fulfil his prayer obligation. Not used to long prayer sessions, Yancey wondered, how he could stay awake. Next, according to Yancey, a heard - sorry, a herd of 147 elk came by, which broke the boredom. It gave him something to watch.
Yancey was very specific about the number of elk in the meadow. I ask: How could he pray, trying to hear from God, and at the same time count that exactly 147 beasts were giving him company in that meadow? Was Philip Yancey another weird brain, who had a fixation for numbers and then wrote books about it?
The writer of Psalm 147 (how co-incidental) told that God Himself has numbers on HIS mind: "He counts the numbers of the stars and calls them all by name. (Aha, I just discovered another twist looking at the skyscraper above - it's verse 4, pure magic !)
Philip Yancey, in the Daily Bread booklet, writes that after the 5 day retreat he indeed felt he had heard from God. He was not specific. Perhaps Yancey filled his time, giving each of the 147 elks a name?
- - - - - - -
Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
The red banner reads: Have fun! There was plenty of fun to be had in Melbourne that weekend in May 08 ... right outside this station.
Photo: Source unknown - have fun finding out!
- - - - - - -
It was already dark around 7 PM, when I approached the outskirts of Melbourne. I tuned into the radio and listened to some relaxing music. Above the static I heard a female DJ talk about the song that had played. Her voice sounded as if she had a cold. It was not clear, but two distinct details I recall hearing: Al Green and his label Hi Records.
L, green, records, the words sounded familiar. All had played a role in the chapters I had only two days earlier written and uploaded onto this website.
Amazing! Preparing this chapter I re-read my account of the visit almost exactly a year earlier (Book 6, Chapter 16) I read about having had an encounter with a radio station RRR FM.
Now, a year later, having barely arrived in Melbourne, I already was on the same wavelength, literally! The station I had tuned into for some relaxing music was RRR FM. (More radio Melbourne magic to come).
- - - - - - -
Driving towards my destination, in the vicinity of Melton, that Thursday evening I saw fireworks going off in the distance. They were brief, but unmistakably fireworks. A strange time for fireworks, I thought, around 7 PM on a weekday? (I never found out what the occasion was).
Not being a big spender, I had googled for a budget back-packer hostel. One was listed in St. Kilda. It had a nice name - HOME Hostel. The online-photo looked very much like the motel I had stayed in Mid 2005. Before I even turned into the car park I realized, it was the same place. The name had changed.
Between settling in and retiring to bed there was time for a stroll. I knew the Acland Street Cafe precinct was not far away. While window shopping I already had things on my mind, the RRR encounter, the fireworks and arriving in a place called HOME.
Something else, real significant was on my mind. As mentioned above, one address I was curious to check out was 228 R... Street. May I remind readers that I had arrived in Melbourne in my Suzuki, which carried the registration plate ... 228. This number had played such a huge role, not only since 12/5/08, but years earlier, right from Book 1.
Within minutes of arriving at HOME I thought I already discovered the number:
signatures of SUPERCROSS
Front Cover of British Motorcycling magazine, January 08 Edition. I clearly see the numbers 2 2 8.
Had anybody asked me what supercross was, I would never have guessed it's on wheels. I'd be thinking of wooden beams ...
Aha, now I see it ! The address of Mr. J. Not only the number, the street name also !
- - - - - -
The Christian name of the person who lived at 228 starts with J. (Hi J).
Did anyone notice in chapter 3 - the significant letters in the LIGHT / LIKE hat-trick are G - K. In between, the letters in the alphabet are - H I J?
From St Kilda it wasn't far to cycle to the suburb where J lived. The weather the next morning was ideal for a ride in the fresh air along Beaconsfield Terrace. There's nothing like the freedom of exploring a foreign city, never knowing, where IT will take you next. That freedom that Friday morning led me from one place to the next; a surprise waiting on almost every corner.
The first one, I nearly missed it, was parked right by the Tasmanian Ferry terminal. I had already cycled past, but turned back. A large, wooden bench seat, part of the old wharf, looked ideal for a break. I watched as people were catching the tram to work, joggers and cyclists got their morning adrenalin rush, while others just took a walk.
Why did one walker have to wear a NY cap? To tease me? Likewise, two car registration plates, cars angle-parked side by side, bugged me. One had a black/white personal plate - the 6 letters conveyed the message L & NT A1.
The other ... 553 didn't register until much later that afternoon, during an Aha moment.
*(Actually, just on editing I see that the NY fits here too - read it later in the chapter).
- - - - - - -
St Kilda Jetty.
Strange, how the two street names form into an L?
That's not me, riding the bike. The photos are from the same tourist map as the pic. of Mel's Skyline.
I had hardly turned into R... Street, when in the middle of the road I saw a squashed, orange-coloured soft drink can. It was unmistakably a Sunkist. This name had featured prominently in my earlier books, starting from my first US excursion in 2003.
No way was I brave enough to just knock on the door of J. When I had phoned this man during his stay in Adelaide at Christmas (Chapter 1) he threatened me with police. Mr. JC's house had a tiny frontage. It was only plain, but the area appeared trendy.
Cycling slowly up and down R ... Street I did not see JC's vehicle rego ...146. But I saw a real estate sign, a property for sale a short distance away and opposite No. 228.
The Da Ninci name of the agent, abbreviated BenMac, made me decide to visit their office. What followed was an hour-long house-chase, if you want to call it that. From the house for sale sign in R ... Street I went to the BenMac (Son-of-BenSon?) agents. I had to ask at another real-estate agent for directions. Their name, Cayzer, was familiar.
How amazing: In Book 4, Chapter 21 I had an encounter not only with Cayzer, but with Ladies in Lavender. The place where I took a picture of them is not far at all from the house 228 R ... Street.
And there's more. Riding my bike, just prior to my encounter with Cayzer in that chapter I had visited a place in St Kilda, which was up for auction. In the photo I took I had seen the number 228.
(More auction magic next chapter. U Love it).
The receptionist at BenMac gave me a brochure for a property at 144 R... Street, a different R... Street to where I had come from. Cycling through the leafy suburbs, just South of Melbourne City was a pleasure. The autumn leaves, which covered the ground everywhere, gave the place a European flavour.
As I cycled through a narrow, cobble-stoned lane, I was reminded of my earliest cycling experiences in my youth. The streets of the town we lived in were full of cobble-stones. Already back then, as I cycled to school and around my home town, did I take notice of the registration numbers on cars.
That Friday, forty years later, a tradesman's van in that cobble-stoned lane carried plate no. 419. It rang a bell. Chapter 23 of my previous book is titled Mainly about 19 & 4).
- - - - - - -
Find on Christmas Day 07 - Keys
The morning after completing my previous book was Christmas Day 07. I cycled to church, which I seldom do.
On the road way I saw a set of keys. I turned and picked it up. It was outside a company called ROLLFORM - All for ... made sense. Examining the keys later I found that one had an engraved number - 914.
A few weeks later, why it took so long I don't know, I saw another business, next door. My mind used code +e to create: Hear N (in German).
Hey, now I get it ! Hear N needed code Plus E, Rollform - minus R.
Maybe, this took so long for me to see it, because it fits in so well as I write about M... ?
- - - - - - -
I asked the tradesman with the Ute rego no. 419 about Reed Lane, which I had been to on a previous trip. He didn't know it, but told me that R ... Street was the road that runs parallel to this lane. I cycled the short distance, for no real reason.
Along the way, somewhere during my chase, I noticed an old Jaguar. It was a real classic and in reasonable condition. A car like this, I thought, ought to be garaged under cover, not covered in leaves. But then, I would not have seen the Da Ninci registration Number - JOB 910.
(As I edited here, a very vague thought arouse - the number 19 emerged during my 2005 visit to LA at a place called The Warehouse. In Melbourne the Warehouse Cafe was the place I was to visit for the Men's Breakfast the next day.)
From the cobble-stoned lane to R ... Street took only a minute. I spotted another house for sale! This one had me really intrigued. The number was 301 R.... St, a different one from 228 R .... St. I had come from. Readers who have read Book 1 will realize the significance of 301/228. (Story and picture in Book 1, Chapter 19).
(... foolish but true. Less than 24 hours ago I passed a police vehicle, parked conspicously. I read it's registration plate out of curiosity - it was 119).
The house number 301 alone did not cause me to phone this real estate agent. His name did. I read it as C A1 N. A male voice at the other end answered. But this time I may have been at the right place, but at the wrong time. I had hardly asked anything about the property, when a street sweeper, moving slowly was sucking leaves from off the footpath. The machine was loud. Getting closer it was drowning out my own voice.
Holding the phone in one hand, wheeling my bike with the other, I walked across the road. I could hear not any better above the noise of the street sweeper. I shouted into the phone that I can't hear and will phone back later. (I didn't tell Mr. CA1N how much later).
A second after terminating the call I looked on the ground where I was standing, still holding my bike and shoving my phone back into my pocket. On the roadway between read autumn leaves were 3 silver coins, a ten cent piece and two 5 cent pieces. Twenty cent richer I looked up. It all happened outside house number 350.
I'm tempted to multiply 20 times 350 to arrive at 7M, but then I have to find out what 7M stands for. It may be easier to just locate a 20. I did the next day. What else but a registration plate on a rather weird looking VW bus:
NSW registered VW bus, parked in St Kilda. After scanning I discovered this: Reading backwards and exchanging A to O = DF O2 GO.
How wonderful, I don't have to disguise the registration plate. How many VW buses drive around Australia, complete with lead-light window and roof-top garden?
Across the street, outside a church or similar, I spotted a sign: Free film. Since it had just started I wandered in. A men's group was watching 'Awakening', a 1990 movie with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, who plays Dr. Say.er. Great story, based on real events in 1969.
- - - - - - -
Still on my bicycle in the South Melbourne area I cycled past a busy corner, abuzz with children and parents. Obviously a school with a church attached, a Catholic Church. Then I remembered that I carried with me a letter with the story of Mr. Liddy, who was a Catholic. Why not? I found the administration area and left the letter with the school's principle.
Only as I walked back to my bicycle did I notice the last 4 digits in their phone number includes 228. A moment ago, during editing I googled the place. I found more useless trivia - their fax number begins with the age of Methuselah (969) and ends in 486 backwards. The principle's name Mr. Serve All, would be a good one for any humble Christian.
Cycling back to my hostel I suddenly heard a sharp crack. An experienced rider knows what this means, a broken spoke. A glance at the sudden wobble in the back wheel confirmed my diagnosis.
The broken spoke happened right outside another church. I recalled that during an earlier trip to Melbourne (with the fans of Adelaide United Football Club) I dropped one of my whistle-blower's letters into this letterbox.
Nothing had happened then. Why should something happen now? Or should I personally have spoke.n to all the people I tried to alert?
Why did I write spoke.n. Not dotty again? That same afternoon, after that broken spoke, I was walking up Carlisle Street, St. Kilda. In the window of a bike shop I checked out bicycles. The name of the bike shop was Spoke(n). Their van, parked beside the shop, was rego ... 455.
WOW ! The letter N linked to Isaiah 45, 5 where God has spoken: I AM IT, no one else!
Further on in Carlisle Street a sign gave the name of an alternative, medical practitioner, Mr. Terry Stephens. This completed a hat trick, after meeting a politician with this name and the man, who I had reported was going to take on a politician to destroy him. (Book 1, Chapter 33).
By sheer fluke, on Fri 30/5, around 3.15 PM, I picked up photos at our local Shopping Centre. I recognized and briefly spoke to Mr. Stephens, only for the second time ever. He was packing groceries into his car. He seemed happy and friendly. Maybe he has turned his life around? With him were his lovely wife and handsome son, around 12 years of age.
- - - - - - -
So much had already taken place and it was not even 10 am. Back at the Hostel I had to write it all down as to not forget the details. I also needed to write a letter, which I had planned to do before leaving.
Two weeks earlier a guest on TV Channel Ten had been interviewed and spoken about her unbelievable 12 years, living as a hermit up a mountain in Nepal (may have been Tibet, I can't recall all the details). The lady, as I understood her, promoted an Eastern style religion as the solution to our human need for fulfilment.
On the surface her motivation and goal in life, to have lived well on this earth, sounded noble and good. To be meditating for 12 years an average of 8 hours per day, would surely please any God? Some Christians have trouble staying focused on prayer for 1/2 hour.
Maybe it's because Christians don't meditate, they pray. Jesus told us that just because a prayer is long, does not mean much.
The basic difference between prayer and meditation is focus. Many eastern religions, or self improvement gurus, tell you to search deep inside yourselves for answers. That will lead to true fulfilment.
Prayer does also look inward, but only to examine ourselves before God, saying: God I need you, I depend totally on your mercy and grace. You promised to cleanse me from all that is wrong within me. I thank you for such wonderful hope.
If God shows you something, or you know very well that God didn't like you stealing ... or having a fling with ... or gossiping about... etc, then confess it, repent (say sorry) repair the damage where possible and never do it again.
If no words come during prayer, it's OK to just stay silent; say nothing, think nothing. Just be still and know - that HE is God.
The female, London based guru on Channel Ten, who meditated 12 years of her life, hardly had any hair. She wore an orange/red, wrap around garment, similar to what Buddhist monks wear.
After watching the TV program I sent them an email, trying to explain some of the above thoughts. I couldn't help seeing the humourous side of the story:
PS What magic to contemplate - a woman silent for 12 years, who never needs a hairdresser and is happy to just wear a cl.oth around her waste with the colours of Australia's surf life savers!
- - - - - - -
Our Daily Bread April 10, 08
Text: If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14).
(Anybody struggling with forgiving somebody, read the story of Josef. If you still can't forgive, read it again, and again).
My diary for 10/4 states that I woke with the thought that the day would bring tears. As I read Philip Yancey's devotional, the story of how Josef forgave his brothers, the tears really flowed. (Genesis 45).
I had written my own story of granting forgiveness. Where was it in my writing? Aha, Chapter 45.
Hey, I just saw this on editing: Our Daily Bread's reading included the Spoke(n) scripture from earlier - *Isaiah 45 ,5.
... no one else ...
*Correction: Only digits 455 are the same - In my excitement about links and numbers I mixed up Genesis with Isaiah.
- - - - - - -
There was one event that Friday morning (16/5/08) which I had heard about and wanted to be at. It was to take place from 11.30 am outside the Flinders Street Station, pictured on top of the page.
I cycled along Lake Albert, the site where the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is held every year. The wind was very strong, but rain was not expected until later that evening, according to he weather forecast.
In the meantime I had written the letter to the TV presenter at Channel Ten and wanted to deliver it to their studios that morning. For some reason I thought it was located in South Melbourne or Southbank. But I was wrong. So was the taxi-driver I had asked. He guided me to the ABC Headquarters. Even there the person at reception didn't know.
I noticed there what I had noticed at the Adelaide Advertiser some time ago. Not regular staff, but contract security personnel are first point of contact. Shouldn't the media be more accessible to the public, both on the phone and physically?
Security guards keep trouble makers away. And whistle-blowers too can be trouble makers.
My letter stayed in my pocket that morning. But it worked out for the good. It gave me a reason to try again the next day at the correct location, South Yarra. I had fun! (Next chapter).
- - - - - - -
Age pensioners by the hundreds had gathered to protest against the new Labor Government's first budget. They had not received any increase in their weekly pension. As had taxi-drivers done only a few weeks earlier, some brave, seniors expressed their anger, blocking Melbourne's busiest intersection, waving banners. One man had taken off his shirt. A handful of women had taking off their blouses. (Nothing else, thankfully).
Those overweight ladies in their bra's looked rather un-sexy*, if that's a word.
(*As I write a movie is being released in Australia - Sex in the City. The ladies were 2 1/2 weeks premature! My camera's battery had gone flat that morning, otherwise I may have displayed one of those females, showing off their latest Berlei).
Standing only a few feet away was the instigator of the protest rally. He was also topless and didn't even wear a Berlei. The gentlemen was slowly ushered through the crowd by his staff, followed by TV cameras and reporters.
I asked a by-stander, a young man, who looked a little puzzled about it all:
"Did you know that [the bare-breasted man standing near us] is a Senator in Canberra? After July 08 this man will be one of Australia's most powerful men. Together with another Senator from South Australia (my Mr. T) he may hold the balance of power in the Senate. If these two vote with the Greens and the Liberal/National opposition, the Labor Government will not be able to pass laws in Australia."
The young man said he didn't know that. Had there been time I could have told him a lot more he didn't know.
I didn't carry my camera, but something more important than that, which I was able to slip quietly to the Senator's secretary. I let you guess what it was.
On the way home from downtown, I had almost forgotten, I had planned to visit an address on St. Kilda Road. I had been there before. Still, it took some time to finding the place. I was in vain looking for an American flag, flying outside the American Consulate.
As soon as I saw the large numbers outside their building - 553 - I recalled the registration plate that morning by the Tasmanian Ferry Terminal - 553. Now the L & NT made sense. It is linked to a place in South Australia, postcode 53 53.
*On editing it came, the connection to NY that morning was simple >>> America !
- - - - - - -
Friends, let me conclude this chapter with the same thought I started the previous chapter with. It all may sound foolish, but IT is still God. HE is for IT*.
*Those who know Andre Crouch's [For it reaches to the highest mountain] may have seen that the title of chapter 3 ends in for it, while his song, part of the title in chapter 4 starts with for it.
This wasn't planned; real magic comes from God.
On the morning of writing these lines I was watching a TV program - AnswersBC. BC stands for Bayless Conley, a TV Evangelist with a remarkable story to tell. As part of his sermon he held up a wooden rod. I would have loved to measure it. It looked very close to 1.2 m long.
Within minutes of tuning into his 1/2 hour broadcast from LA he quoted a scripture. It was the exact same one I had started Chapter 3 with: 1 Corinthians 1, 27, God choses to use foolish things. As if God was really making here, he made me hear it as soon as I tuned into the TV this morning at 4.10 am or so.
Again, there was more. The same scripture arrived for a third time on my radar. On the day of writing this chapter (31/5/08) I received the regular email of a hero of mine, a young man named Nick Vujicic. His motto - "no limbs, no limits". (Love that bit). His first book is called: No arms, no legs, no worries.
This young, inspirational Australian man was born without arms and legs, but was normal in every other way. By the power of God, and with the love, dedication and sacrificial support of his Christian parents, Nick has overcome what must have seemed insurmountable challenges.
(Please note: The following photos, plus some text, were added to this chapter on 21/6/08).
Without Limbs - but mega-love for Life.
Let's check, if there's room in the aircraft storage compartment:
(Photos: Life without Limbs Calendar 08).
Ironically, when writing this chapter initially I could not find a suitable photo. Only today, on the shortest day of the year in Australia, June 21, did I do so. Short man - short day.
Today, Nick lives a normal life, in every way. That is, if you can call it normal, travelling around the world, talking in public meetings, schools and churches. (Above photo was only a lark. Nick occupies a proper seat when he flies. People like sitting beside him - they have the armrests to themselves!)
Wherever he goes, Nick inspires listeners his main message: If God helped me overcome this gigantic problem, what's yours? Audiences love him, because he truly reflects God's glory.
(How unbelievable that Australia's media for years was preoccupied with a trainee terrorist. We heard about him constantly in our news and current affairs. Not once have I seen Nick on TV, or heard about him on radio. Hypocrites!
Aah... Nick preaches the Gospel of Jesus. That may be the reason! Little wonder, Nick now lives in the USA, in the postcode consisting of 9136 and 7).
Nick learned gradually, despite his severe handicap, to do everything for himself, from brushing his teeth, combing his hair, dressing up and even shaving. (I bet there's one thing he can't do - cut his finger and toenails ...). He loves to swim, fish and play soccer". (Not just a hero, a perfect hero).
As I type, according to his website www.lifewithoutlimbs.org Nick travels in Colombia on a speaking tour. Among other engagement, he was invited to speak to the country's Congress. What an ambassador for Australia .... no America .... no ... for Jesus Christ!
In the newsletter I received on the day of writing this chapter Nick writes (note the scripture reference):
Who would have believed when I was born that God would use me in this manner? And yet, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (I Cor.1, 27-29) Why does God do such things…. it’s simple, it’s for HIS GLORY! I love being an object lesson for His glory!
Friends, God wants to make YOUR life, no matter how big your problem is, no matter how unworthy and unloved you may feel, an object lesson for HIS glory.
Let HIM !