Chapter 1 Written / Published 25.3./31.3.16 Pics by author, unless indicated
It has been a while since I used the word 'epiphany', meaning 'God showed up'. In this first chapter of my new book, God showed up time and again. Just look at the above graphic, the staff of the shepherd points right to the letters he. It just happened, without me planning.
HE, the good shepherd, is at the centre of my world. Those who think it is numbers and sport (football) can be forgiven for thinking so. This chapter is filled with the round version football (soccer) and numbers.
We shall also take a brief visit to Sydney. But it was not the football match I went for, but a Sunday afternoon walk, which was the highlight. Enjoy the journey, follow the path HE wants you to tread. The destination is up in the air.
1. Search the Word
How many times has my mind thought that, and questioned things to try and make sense of the world around me? How often do I hear or see things in my daily life, things that either don't make sense or somehow link, often in surprising fashion, to other aspects of my life?
More often than not, these links consist of numbers (NOS) or a number. Seventy-two, for instance, which came on Easter Thursday 2016, the day before commencing this chapter. (Details later).
The next question, in logical sequence, is: "Why is that so?"
My sharp mind, an attribute I had since childhood, causes me to react very swiftly. At other times it takes hours, days or even months to see a connection. My diary is filled with material of this nature. Revelations often come, while writing diary or in prayer. My rational mind, trying to find an explanation, has three choices as to view what is taking place:
Was there a reason why a photograph I took on January 8th 2016 turned out germane?
Colour-rich sunset in Adelaide, meaningful if you're German.
Does it not look very much like ...?
... the German (DE) flag. (Pic.Conservativehome.com)
The evening before commencing this new book was Easter Thursday 2016. The date was 24.3. (Alert readers will already have calculated NOS 72 and 27). That evening in Adelaide a significant sporting event took place. Australia's National Soccer team, the Socceroos, were playing a World Cup qualifying match at Adelaide Oval*.
Their opponents was Tajikistan, not exactly a giant in international football. Neither is Australia, but that evening they played like champions. Five minutes before the end Australia was leading six goals to nil. I was thinking: If they score one more, it will be the perfect number. So it was. Former Adelaide United player Nathan Burns (No.10) scored three minutes before the end.
What a great score - 7:0! The first goal came in the 2nd minute. In the 70th minute substitute Rogic scored a great goal, and another only 2 minutes later, in the 72nd minute.
Socceroos celebrate after a great win (previous game!) Pic. goal.com
At this point in the chapter, Easter Sunday morning, I interrupted my writing to attend church. What came next sounds very much deja vu - been there before, done it before. Please accept that I did not make anything up. As always I write it as it was, trying to illustrate it here.
My wife and I sat in the general area, where we usually sit at the back, with her elderly mother. The theme of the service, fitting for Easter Sunday, was - HE is risen.
But take a look at what messages appeared, as before, viewing the graphics and lyrics on the screen through cables hanging from the ceiling. I wonder sometimes, if I'm the only worshipper seeing it that way?
The church service began with a familiar, rousing hymn - O for a thousand tongues to sing my great redeemers praise. Again, the microphone cable covered certain letters. I did not imagine it, nor did my brain search for any message from on Hi (pardon the pun).
But there were three letters, which jumped out at me - O N E.
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At this point in the chapter, in the afternoon on March 27th, my football team AUFC, (Adelaide United Football Club) played their final home game at Coopers Stadium. I arrived in plenty of time before kick-off. The very popular northern stand still had empty seats. So I decided to watch the game from there, not from the usual seat at the Vidmar stand.
Moments after taking my seat came another surprise. Considering I had just hours earlier written about, and uploaded pictures, where the colours red and yellow featured, our team played against Central Coast Mariners.
The 'Reds' played the 'Yellows' on March 27.
Halfway through the second half the Mariners made a substitution. Player 19 came on, No. 6 came off. Seconds later over the loudspeakers the attendance for that afternoon was announced - 10269.
Exactly a months earlier the number of spectators announced at the stadium had spooked my numbers brain; from the moment I'd heard, it all the way home - 12712. The date was 27.2. On leaving the stadium I could not help marvel at a vehicle, parked right outside the southern gate. It was a BMW. Putting 1+1 together I again saw the date in it's 4-digit registration plate: 1127:
That Feb. 27th I was riding my Giant to the stadium. On the way home, on Prospect Road, Kilburn, my quick eyes caught a glimpse of a man walking on the footpath. He wore a T-shirt with large Nos.72 on the front. That's odd, I thought. A second later, still wondering what's going on, I became aware of the exact location. This happened right across from the United Service Station.
Arriving home my wife usually asks me, how United went. I felt like saying: We won 12712 to... Instead I said: "We beat the top team 3:0". About my other numbers I said nothing (0). It may have started World War 3.
The universal symbol for Christians, and that of Easter, consists of two straight lines, which I have written much about in previous books. The shape is much like the small letter t. Long ago I saw it as a minus and plus sign joined together. What looked like a big defeat (minus) on Good Friday became the greatest victory ever (plus) on Easter Sunday. Hallelujah! That's why Christians feel like singing God's praise over and over, wishing for a thousand tongues to do so.
Another symbol is used to indicate a cross; the letter X. Three days before Good Friday I had an interesting encounter with X, the Roman numeral for 10. It took place on arriving back from the short trip to Sydney, which I had alluded to earlier.
Shortly before landing the captain of the A320 Jetstar Airbus gave passengers the local time in Adelaide - 5.22 PM. About 20 minutes later, as the aircraft was taxiing on the tarmac, a flight attendant again gave the local time - 5.22 PM. Something obviously did not add up. I checked with fellow passenger, who confirmed I had heard correctly. The flight attendant had announced the wrong time.
The next day, two days before Good Friday, while pondering the digits 522, this suddenly came:
My Jetstar flight to Sydney on 19.3 arrived right on schedule at 15.50 hrs. I had hoped to arrive in time for the 19.30 hrs (nice numbers) football match kick-off, using the ferry from Circular Quay to Parramatta. From the airport to Circular Quay took only 20 minutes; to walk to my YHA (Youth Hostel) at The Rocks, another 5 minutes; check-in was equally efficient. I never had thought I could make it to the 17.07 hrs (5.07 pm) ferry to Parramatta. But I did.
The match at Pirtek Stadium was a bit disappointing, no goals - 0:0. (The same two teams in the same stadium on January 1st, 2016 had also played a goalless draw.)
Whilst there were no winners that Saturday night, it was a different story the the next day, Sunday 20th March. I made a point of attending church. The Wesley Mission in Pitt Street was within walking distance. Attending their 9.30 am service I learned that in the afternoon there was to be a Palm Sunday gathering, followed by a march from Circular Quay.
In the Christian calendar Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. Christians celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds cheered Him on, waving palm branches, because they thought Jesus was to be crowned their king, freeing them from Roman occupation. Sad to think that the same exciting, cheering mob would less than a week later shout: "Crucify him!"
The bible is filled with literally hundreds of such prophesies, written centuries earlier. All have come to pass, detail by detail. One of history's greatest tragedies is the sad fact that, despite of all the evidence, a very large percentage of God's own, the people of Israel, as well as much of the rest of the world, still does not believe and follow the Lord.
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Bus stop advertisement, Sydney, Circular Quay (Hi 5).
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It was refreshing to meet up with fellow believers and publicly proclaim Jesus as Lord and King. During the short march from Circular Quay to the Opera House and back a Christian group from Samoa led the singing; fantastic voices. Over and over a hundred voices sang out: "Soon and very soon we are going to see the king ...No more crying there, no more dying there, we're going to see the king."
It felt good to be marching to honour Jesus, rather than marching in protest against some bad law or social evil. The route this march took must be one of Australia's most visited tourist walks. No doubt, people from all over the world, many looking on from the many outside cafes, would have wondered, who these strange people are, waving palm branches, singing about a king they're going to meet?
To be a committed Christian means to be different, to desperately want to do what God wants you to do. If this means marching and waving palm branches or living in a black tent, so be it.
To heed the call, to believe and follow the humble, radical teacher from Galilee is not a picnic in the park, it's an exciting journey with an eternal destiny.
Palm Sunday March (2010) Circular Quay to Opera House.
It is sad to notice the trend in western society away from the teachings of the bible. Academics, who claim to have done research, most likely publicly funded, often come up with controversial findings, which defy common sense; or claims are that far fetched, non-academics can't possibly argue against it.
Another item on TV a few days ago dealt with corporal punishment. What raised the issue was the case of an Adelaide father, who still believed in the old fashioned way of discipline. The forty-three year old Adelaide Air Force pilot, and father of a 12 year-old boy, gave his son three smacks. (Unlike some countries smacking is still legal in Australia)
His former wife, the mother of the child, argued that the physical punishment was too harsh. She reported her former husband to police. (A great way to get back at your ex). The man was arrested, like a common criminal, and charged and convicted of assault.
The 43 year old father did not believe that justice had been done. He appealed the decision in the Supreme Court and won the case. Here is what the appeal judge said:
Maybe the judge not only knew common law, but also knew what the bible says in the matter? Children need discipline. Some may need to feel more pain than others to realize how much wrong they have done.
On Saturday March 26th on Channel Seven's Weekend Sunrise TV a panel of commentators discussed the issue. Psychologist Dr. M.C. clearly stated that studies had shown that physical punishment does not work. (How can one make such a claim, unless one follows spanked and non-spanked children over many years).
The viewpoint that children don't need physical correction goes totally against biblical teaching. It defies all logic to think that you can reason with a four-year old.
That Easter Saturday morning I felt to email and make a comment on the subject. There was another reason I emailed the show. For a nanosecond on their screen a misspelled word had appeared. This called for action. Email to Sunrise, March 26th, 2016:
Smacking our children for correction was never easy. Thank God, we did not have to do it very often. And they never believed you when you tried to console them: "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Those words triggered a wailing and screaming performance worthy of a Hollywood movie set. And you had not even applied the wooden spoon yet. You thought: "What a great little actor!"
Every day I thank God for our three sons and daughter. All turned out responsible, hard working, healthy adults working in professional positions.
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Adelaide Rymill Park, Schutzenfest 2016
On the last day of 2015, taking it easy after breakfast, my wife and I were watching an item on the Today (US) show. Normally, after breakfast we would turn the TV off, but since it was holiday time, the TV stayed on a little longer. Glad I did, otherwise I may not have picked up code L.
How did I pick up code L? Simple, a health expert on ageing was being interviewed about healthy ageing. When she mispronounced the word boldy, before correcting herself - body - the L stood out. When her name came up on the screen the computer in my brain saw a link to my recently published final chapter of Book 14? (The letters z and RAA).
The expert being interviewed had some good ideas how to delay premature ageing. I have long forgotten what they were, but I knew that there was a far better drug than HGH; it's freely available and far more effective, with only positive side effects.
I had to email the show to tell them:
I liked how the date 30 Dec.15 fitted the scripture so well - Psalm 103, V.5.
Five days later, again on the same US TV show, another misspoken word had me engaged in the usual decoding and emailing process. I had to let them know in New York that I had seen and interpreted their code. I won't overload readers' brains with the details, because there was a far weirder connection surfacing that same evening.
The segment on the US TV show on 1.4. (Jan. 4th) was reporting on the US primary elections. One statistic that came up was numbers 58 and 44. I can't recall exactly what they meant, but it was not hard to see that deducting one from the other created 14, that day's date. Adding the numbers equals 102.
That evening, reading my daily bible reading Our Daily Bread for Jan 4 those numbers (14 and 102) suddenly struck me. Take a look in my diary:
Diary Jan 5th 2016 - ODB bible reading for Jan 4th.
Let me assure all readers - God is listening. HE hears all your words, even knows your thoughts. HE sees all you do. Isn't that a good reason to carefully consider what you say, what you look at, what activity you should engage in?
There are moments while surfing I come across a questionable image. How easy it would be to yield to temptation and click yourself sick. I know HIM who knows me intimately, who sees every URL I enter, every image I click on. HE would be displeased. But more importantly, I would be hurting myself.
Only God knows, what this generation views online. How dangerous, when even small children have access to material far beyond their capability to deal with. Who would let a child near a loaded gun? Yet when they are locked away, allowed to watch material online, which literally leads to death, does anyone care? A major crisis is developing. The results will be devastating when they reap what was sown!
Late last year my bicycle started to give trouble. It had been going great; no mishaps or even flat tyres since riding around Europe in 2015. Now a problem developed, a frayed gear cable.
Why am I mentioning this? You see, toward the end of 2015 those microphone cables, hanging over the screen in church had been drawing my attention. Now it was the bike cable. (Please rest assured, no letters and messages emerged anywhere behind that cable).
Around that time, perhaps because of the above, I was reminded of a similar word to cable, one I had stumbled across, prayed about and written in detail in Book 3, Ch. 24. From cable to Caleb only one letter has to move - b. In that chapter, written so long ago, I felt so strong about this that I decided to book a flight to CA that same day.
In early 2016 things moved much slower. God may be slow, but HE is always on the move. Together with the name Caleb the number 16 (no apology about numbers - we live in 2016 after all) played a big role early that year.
But why am I making such a big deal out of this? For the answer let's turn the calendar a day forward, when another sporting event took place in Adelaide. The annual, much anticipated Tour Down Under cycle race began in Adelaide. As every year top professional riders from all over the world came to Adelaide to compete in the first race of the season.
A young man from New South Wales surprised everybody. At only 21 years of age he won the opening race, the People's Choice Classic, as well as stage 1 and ...
stage 6. You see, the young Australian competed, carrying No. 16. His name was Caleb.
Where is this all leading to? I hear you think. It's leading us to two pages in a newspaper magazine, which my wife bought on March 9th, 16 (data 3916).
The page number happens to be (something I discovered only while writing this - 30 / 31) the date of publishing this chapter - 31.03. (Sorry, if readers feel that in this chapter they have their NOS full of numbers).
Casually browsing through the pages of this magazine, called 'the City' I started doing the word-search, while eating lunch. Finding the first five words, all starting with B were no trouble. Suddenly magic appeared from nowhere, as if it had all been put together, on a certain page on a specific date, just waiting to be uncovered by the ONE, who called himself 'a See'
The next word was the word CABLE. It was also easy to find. But my mind inadvertently went back to the cables in church, the bike cable I had to replace and, of course, the name Caleb.
Out of curiosity I wondered, where is the word cable inside the word-search pointing to? The letters were in a diagonal line, pointing to the Sudoku challenge. It took only seconds, when some numbers on the next page made an almost perfect match.
This scan of the word-search page, and part of the next page, makes it all a little clearer.
the City - Magazine, Pages 30 and 31.
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Friends, if I were to know exactly where all his is leading to, how to get there and when, life would be less complicated. All will come to pass in HIS perfect timing.
There is ONE who knows the future, who holds the whole world in HIS hand.
We need to trust HIM and follow HIS call.