Chapter 9 Written / Published 26.12./27.12.16 Pics by author, unless indicated
Over the next few weeks I aim to write shorter chapters and upload them
more frequently. Events in today's writing are fresh in my mind.
Most took place around Christmas 2016.
Extreme weather, graphics and cables on a church screen, a cross-word puzzle magic, surprising car registration plates plus a car bomb explosion are all here.
At the end I again challenge the media's reporting. Are we told the full truth, filtered truth or fabricated truths? The truth of ONE shall set us free.
9. One Faith Won
On Christmas Day 2016 Adelaide, South Australia was the hottest city on planet earth - 41.3 deg. Centigrade. Not since 1945 had Adelaide experienced such a hot Christmas Day. Our meteorologist son, who worked that day at the weather bureau, had warned us of the severe heat, just like he warned us about the storm to hit Adelaide. (It is meant to hit our city on the night of publishing this chapter.)
The three digits 413 immediately brought to mind a numbers incident, which took place only four days before that scorcher Christmas Day. On that Wednesday I had taken special notice of the motor vehicle in a gentleman's garage. (Details are inconsequential, except to say I had never before met him). The registration plate consisted of only the letter J and *** digits 413, only in a different sequence, respecting the person's privacy.
Four hours later, after I had admired this vehicle we had a visitor to our house, a friend, who we had not seen in two or three months. She drove up our driveway to deliver a small gift for Christmas. Little did she know that she gave me, the man with a fascination for car registration numbers, a bigger surprise than the chocolates and 'Lambertz Lebkuchen':
The letter J, or should I say a discovery shaped similar to the letter J, crossed my path later on that memorable Christmas Day 2016. Late in the evening, after we had returned from the joyful gathering with our children and grandchildren, I picked up the crossword puzzle block, the same one, which had puzzled us before. I'm not sure, how to describe the ea code I found - spooky, magic, puzzling or all the above?
Crossword Puzzle, P.135 Kelter 100-years Anniversary Block
...this in together.
(Readers must excuse that this chapter starts with events from days ago. We shall revisit the missing weeks later, God willing.)
On Christmas Day 2016, while eating breakfast, I switched on the television. It was tuned in to the US TV show Today, which was broadcast on Channel Seven. (The local breakfast show Sunrise was not produced that morning.) As the very first sentence was spoken I heard a number, no two, which stuck in my mind.
A female presenter said: "I have the numbers for you ... 300, 1 each day... (Details escaped me, except it had to do with free dance lessons by the Radio City Rockettes dance group.) In an instant I could make out the day (30) and month (01) of my birthday. What interesting timing! I thought, right at the time the world celebrates the birth of Jesus.
Producers of movies seem to choose this same time, the day after Christmas (the day I am writing this), to release their latest blockbusters. The title of two of these I found amusing:
La La Land needs little explanation to long term readers. My eventful, code-filled journey started with the letters ND. Later a L became prominent and eventually, I travelled physically to LA.
A little later during the short Christmas church service it happened again. The microphone cable touched a word three times, the word Christmas. The song was 'I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas'. Nothing special, except the black line of the microphone cable ran right through the letter i. (Sorry, I was too slow to get a good picture).
I did not think anything more of it, until the very end of the Christmas service. Above the platform the theme for the service, which each week features rather prominently, before and after the service, appeared again on all three big screens. Only then did I notice the misspelled word and the letter, which was in the wrong place. Take a look:
WHY Chirstmas IS GOOD NEWS!
Sometimes, God shows up in strange ways. Many do not see IT, just like the few I spoke to at the end, who admitted they had not seen the obvious misspelling.
Friends, Christmas is indeed good news for all the world. It's good news because of HIM, because HE was born to bring salvation and peace and to this troubled world.
Now for the bad news. On the morning of writing, I had occasion to complain about the News to the media. Or should I say, the lack of news?
It all started with the following horrific incident, which took place a few days before Christmas:
Late on Tuesday evening, December 21st, a van loaded with gas cylinders exploded outside the offices of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) in Canberra. Thankfully, nobody was inside, but the building was extensively damaged. The driver, a 35 year old local man, was (reported as) seriously injured. He still was able to walk to a hospital to receive treatment, after which he was going into a coma.
As a Christian, of course, I took great interest in the story, wondering, who, why, what next etc etc. However, what came next, was very puzzling. The police, only hours after what looked like a bomb attack, reported that the explosion was not politically, religiously or ideologically motivated.
The head of the ACL, Lyle Shelton, disagreed. He pointed out that the organization had received death threats in recent times. He was not convinced that the attack was not linked.
The Australian Christian Lobby had been on the forefront of opposition, and very outspoken, against the so-called safe schools program. Many parents, even non Christians, would be appalled, if they knew what their children forced to learn, even without their consent.( From what I know about it, it's a lot of nonsense, disguised as an anti-bullying program.)
If police really believe, the above attack had nothing to do with this, they ought to revisit the attack on Senator Bernadi's office, as I reported in the previous chapter - bullying, intolerance and violence, all unleashed in the name of civil rights!
The Canberra ACL story made big news in the mainstream media - for a day. For some inexplicable reason, however, the Australian people have not heard anything since. Unless I missed it, there has been no follow up, no updates on the latest developments. Many questions are left unanswered, such as the condition of the seriously injured driver etc. For days I had been expecting and searching for further news, but found nothing; neither on radio or TV, nor on the internet.
On December 26, the day I commenced this chapter, I could wait no longer. I emailed the ABC and asked those questions, which were on my mind and surely, was asked by many other Australians, especially Christians:
To again check for the latest on the case, while writing here, I searched online under 'Australian Christian Lobby van gas explosion'. Most results on the pages are 5 days old. No recent posts about the case at all.
ACL chief Lyle Shelton on Channel Seven's Sunrise.
My suspicious side suspects one possible reason for the silence from the main stream media. Could it be that journalists* and the media in general, who by and large are in favour of same-sex marriage are playing down the attack. Is their silence saying? "If the ACL had not been so outspoken against the gay lobby, this would not have happened."
Let me repeat a thought from the previous chapter: This is not Germany in 1936, but Australia in 2016!"
No doubt, Lyle Shelton and his supporters trust God that HE can turn bad news into good news. That same evening, after sending above message to the ABC, something happened, which to me spelled good news, the news that God was in it all along.
In the first paragraph of my above email you read this sentence: "Many Christians around the country have been praying for him. (Christ commanded us to do this, unlike ...)"
The 'Word for Today', the devotional by Vision Media, for that same day Dec. 26th, could not have been more fitting. In HIS perfect timing HE seemed to affirm my above message - love and pray for those who hurt you! Take a look:
Word for Today - Mon 26th Dec. 2016
Is there any religion or philosophy on earth, that teaches to love our enemy, to do good to one who hates us, pray for someone, who has hurt us? This is why Christ came to earth, to show us how to live!
It is incomprehensible, why anyone would want to oppose these Christian principles? How I wished our children would learn them at school; no need for any anti-bullying program.
- - - - - - -
Christian opposition is nothing new. It started when Jesus was a tiny baby 2000 years ago. The persecution has continued unabated ever since. We hear very little in the main stream media about this slaughter, torture and abuse of believers, for simply believing in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.
One case, however, made big news on Tuesday December 13th, 2016. The Governor of Jakarta, a Christian of Chinese origin, was accused of blasphemy. Our ABC covered the story that morning, reporting that the gentleman, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok for short) was facing his first court hearing that day.
The ABC reporter, who covered the story on location, spoke rather pessimistically of the outcome: "Unless he (Ahok) is jailed, the mob will be back on the street" The mob was not merely a few hundred, but a few hundred thousand, who had protested in the streets against the governor and demanded his resignation.
The protesters in Jakarta must have sounded like that mob 2000 years ago that shouted: "Crucify! Crucify!" when the judge himself was convinced the accused was innocent. HE had to die to satisfy their hate.
Normally, in between news segments, the TV presenters on that particular ABC show would make a comment or discuss it between themselves. In this case, however, there was no discussion, no word about freedom of religion, not a word of empathy for the Christian governor before the Muslim mob.
Instead, I sensed again a judgmental attitude: "Had the accused not opened his mouth, he would not be in hot water."
I went online, searching for more information. The website of the Guardian UK explained a further twist in the case, claiming that the comments by the governor were taken out of context and construed to sound like blasphemy. Nothing like this was in our news. I thought I fill them in on the missing vital information:
Email to ABC TV 24, 13.12.16. (Please note, not subject, yet):
Let's hope prosecutors will hear what Mr. Ahok really said. May he receive a fair trial and be found not guilty of the charges. One thing is for sure, some good will come out of it.
As I typed above email I had not yet decided on a subject line. Right at the end I had to come up with one. Nothing came for a while, until I breathed a breath of a prayer. Immediately, something popped into my head: Die for my faith? This became the subject line. It must have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. The word faith fitted to perfection.
Straight after pressing the sent button I went back into the TV room to continue writing my diary. As I entered the room, a brief glance into the TV screen revealed the word FAITH, not just once, but repeatedly. I snapped this picture:
On December 22nd an interview was aired with a person, who knew all about Islamic extremism. Here is the introduction from the One plus One website:
There is no better way to eradicate religious extremism, any violent religion, than spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Jesus is God's gift to all mankind. By faith accept HIM. It will be better than your best Christmas gift ever!
"The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."
(Luke 19, 10)