|Chapter 9 Written / Published 25.3. / 30.3.15 Pics by author, unless indicated|
A sentence scrolled across the bottom of the TV screen: 13 yo Perth boy missing for 9 days. I took note, because in this chapter, Book 13 Ch.9, we shall travel to Perth, WA.
What I found puzzling: Why did it take 9 days to make this into the news, while a teenage girl, failing to return home from school in Melbourne, took about 12 hours to hit our TV screens? Thankfully - both children have been located. The police thank the public for their assistance.
In this chapter, as mentioned, we shall travel a long way west, closely missing a big storm. You will also read about discoveries on the TV screen and strange names, loaded with meaning. Nothing is meaningless.
Nanu, two Issa?
How do I explain this? It's either madness, manipulation or meaningless!
Many times, almost every time, after publishing a chapter online, my field of awareness touches on something I had written and just uploaded. Sometimes it happens the next day, other times a few days later. After the previous Chapter 8 it only took minutes.
It was very late, after a long day finishing my writing, when I checked for new emails before shutting down the computer. One email made me wonder, if I was dreaming. It was surreal.
To refresh readers' minds, so you understand my perplexed reaction, let me point out that in the final hours before publishing, I had been amazed to suddenly find the word OMA, next to the letters UNNA, in the crossword puzzle I had written about.
This was exactly my reaction after I opened the only new email I had received that day. A photo attachment spooked me, made me think: Na Nu, what's going on here?
It took a bit longer before the number ten, which featured big in the previous chapter, came as feedback. The next morning as I drove parishioners to church in the church bus, one emphasized what a bargain buy he had made during the week: "This bag only cost ten Dollars!"
In moments like these I am perplexed. Had that somebody really read my new chapter already? Did he like the number-ten stories? Am I hearing number ten only because I had just spent hours explaining, and putting into print, the unusual events surrounding this number in Chapter 8?
If this question needs an answer, there came another, which is inexplicable, and like OMA, is either madness, manipulation or meaningless. If the circumstances were manipulated, they could only have been so by a power beyond human understanding.
That Sunday morning I sat in church, in a different spot as usual, when on the large screen at the front a verse from Leviticus was shown. The microphone, hanging from the ceiling, pointed to two letters. Please take a view into my diary for that day, Sunday March 1st, 2015:
Friends, it may sound like madness. But could it be that the most powerful force in the universe, the Lord God Almighty, manipulated a microphone, literally, to give this message to you? (You in German = DU):
A thought came some hours after this paragraph, which has its roots way back in my first book. There is a story, it's (also) in Chapter 9, which took place one decade and a half ago. I had tried to use a microphone, also in front of a church congregation, to make people understand, what was happening in my turbulent life. I had pointed the finger at corruption in high places. Nobody wanted to listen.
Why is there such vehement resistance to this plan for mankind, when it holds the key to resolving all human conflicts? Could there be a simpler path to world peace than - love your neighbour and forgive those, who do you wrong? In God's plan there is no corruption, only justice and truth. Nothing is meaningless.
How meaningful were the lyrics the choir sang during that same church service: "Sing them over again to me ...beautiful words, wonderful words of life ..."
- - - - - - -
The previous chapter contained a fairly damning assessment of our national broadcaster, the ABC, which I had accused of high treason, because of their strong dislike of our Prime Minister. Just prior to publishing my comments (on Saturday 28.2) the airwaves were again full of talk about a second challenge against Mr. Abbott's leadership. Only two weeks after the first ballot, the ABC, and the media in general, rekindled the public debate, speculating that there would be another leadership vote.
However, listening to the news the next morning, it turned out to be a non-event, as if a wet blanket had been thrown on a small fire. Mr. Abbott dismissed rumours about his leadership, while other senior Party members pointed to an improvement in opinion polls. "A change in leadership now will only damage the party", they argued.
A similar victory, again in the political arena, came on the day before this writing. A cross- bench Senator in Canberra has again flagged that he will bring on legislation to introduce gay-marriage into Australia. (I think, if certain elements of society would have their way, it would become compulsory....!)
Thank God, our present Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has been standing firm on this issue. A similar move in 2012 was defeated, because he refused to bow to pressure to change Liberal Party policy: Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
In the days leading up to this chapter a huge push by the gay lobby has been under way to change this. They want Mr. Abbott to allow his colleagues a conscience vote, ie. departing from above basic party policy.
If this were to happen, knowing how the gay lobby can manipulate politicians, many Australian parliamentarians probably would cave in, and let them have their way. In an email from my trusted source (in earlier books I had called her Rita) I learned that the Liberal Party may discuss, or possibly have a party room vote on March 24, if their policy should be changed.
This called for action. On March 23rd, 2015 I sent a brief email to our Prime Minister and various Senators. It was especially disappointing that South Australia's Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham played a leading role in calling for gay-marriage. It really surprised me, a former active Liberal Party member, that any conservative politician would support the same amoral stance as that of the Labor Opposition and the trendy, new-age Green Party.
I emailed Senator Birmingham, and sent copies to other South Australian Senators:
The news on Tuesday 24th was good. Nobody in the Liberal party room, according to my source, had even bothered to raise the issue. No change for the moment. Christians, please keep praying. But if gay-marriage ever came to this country, as it has in other western nations, it does not mean the war is lost. The war has been won, long ago on a rugged cross we remember at Easter time.
In Romans Chapter 1, Verses 26 ff. the scriptures make it very clear - God is allowing humans free choice: MY way or yours. But remember, what you sow, that you shall also reap!
What a responsibility God is entrusting into the hands of politicians. May each law drafted, first and foremost, pass the God's-will test! No gay-marriage law will ever pass this test. Any law which deviates from, and minimizes, HIS beautiful creation of male and female, is an insult against God!
- - - - - - -
Read and understand this: VLNTR at Book Week, Adelaide, 4.3.15
As I write the world's media is filled with the tragic news of a Germanwings A 320* Airbus crash in France.
(*In a moment we shall board a A 320).
On March 7th, 2015 I boarded an Airbus A 320 in Adelaide to fly to Perth, Western Australia. Months earlier I had found and booked a cheap flight with our budget airline Jetstar. I took the opportunity to take an affordable, short holiday in the West. Since my wife in recent times has been very reluctant to travel anywhere, she feels she must not move far from her elderly mother, who could I share the fun with? Of course, my GIANT OCR3 bicycle.
As usual, my two-wheeler went into a cardboard box and travelled as part of my luggage. (Now she certainly would have objected to that, eh?) But, like my dear wife, my bike and luggage were also a few kilos overweight. I had to purchase an extra 15 kilogram. That's the minimum, I was told. It cost an extra 50 Dollars. (This 1550 code was one I did not like. There was another, the day after - a simple meal of Chinese Fried Rice, take-away, cost $ 15.50!)
Besides packing lighter I should also have arranged my own seat allocation. Seat 30 A in an Airbus A 320 is right at the back, no window. The only consolation, the last shall be first, on exiting.
The flight itself, and the assembling of my bike on arrival in Perth, all went smoothly. It was still early afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to cycle to the nearest Caravan Park.
The caravan park on Midland Road looked beautiful online. Lots of grassy areas, which tent people always look for and appreciate. At this park, however, tents were not allowed on the green grass, but had to be erected in an area, right on the fringe of the park, where grass was scares. (Maybe, you had to bring your own?) But the spotlessly clean kitchen and comfortable, large TV lounge made up for it.
The caretaker had allocated tent site 9C for me. 9 C? Had I not written about those codes in previous chapters? Number incidents like these make me wonder, which of the three m applies? (See first line in this chapter). The close proximity to the airport was good, on the first day. However, the next day, a Sunday, I only just made it for the 10 am start at the church in Northbridge.
I looked forward to sitting in church, listening to the brass and singing hymns. The Salvation Army in William Street did not disappoint. There was a large brass band and a choir, both approximately the size of those of my home church in Adelaide. As I sat in the back on a comfortable, padded bench seat I wondered, would I see codes, number ten perhaps, or...?
It's silly to think like this, I know. But from experience, certain patterns have become predictable. About 15 minutes late into the service a young lady arrived and sat right in front of me. There were not many empty seats in auditorium. As soon as she sat down I noticed one of those things, we all see from time to time, the clothing label another person had forgotten to turn. Because of her short hair, it was showing well above her collar.
And there was the 10 code ...!
Earlier, while riding my bike to church, I was singing one of my favourite hymns, Great is thy faithfulness. I remember clearly thinking: Would it not be funny, if they sang this hymn this morning? (Researching my writing here - I had experienced some magic with just this hymn in Book 9, Chapter 10. How well the numbers fit!)
There were a few great songs that morning. Among others, Fairest Lord Jesus, which always touches my spirit. (It takes my mind back to 2005, when the organist at New Orleans' Cathedral played it, as I sat and meditated for a few moments.)
During the singing in above church service I had forgotten all about Great is thy faithfulness, (blame the number 10 label, of course) when suddenly my ears picked up the gentle tune of Great is thy faithfulness. Now I remembered, as the organist started playing it during the collection. How blessed I felt! What a wonderful way for God to show up, and demonstrate how great HIS faithfulness is! (Tears of joy ...!)
A little later in the service a teenage girl was called to the platform. She received recognition for an achievement during a recent youth camp. It was the only presentation of any kind that morning, and over in 45 seconds. Her name was Matilda.
Next, I mounted my Giant to ride along the scenic cycle path, of which there are many, past the Swan Brewery toward Freemantle. It was a superb Sunday afternoon, just the kind of weather for a picnic. Many were doing just that. At one place, however, there seemed to be an organised event. My eyes just caught a glance of the words Victory and Life on a large banner.
For a moment I continued cycling, until my curiosity made me stop, dismount and check it out. When I saw the sign, the name of the park, Matilda Bay Reserve, my mind immediately went back to church that morning. Was I meant to be here?
Beautiful Matilda Bay on the Swan River, Perth, WA.
As I mingled among the busy crowd, young and old, some sitting on rugs, others queuing up for sausages, while parents were watching their children having fun on a waterslide, nobody seemed in the mood to talk to a stranger, wheeling his bike. I walked up to a young man, who stood on his own and asked him, what this was all about. Malachi was from Liberia. He was dressed in a very colourful coat, probably a costume from his native country.
It was a church picnic, just what I had thought. I asked Malachi to take a photo of me, after which he invited me to their church in Osborn Park. He gave me the address, 1 Neil Street! "We have two morning services," Malachi explained, "at 8.30 am and 10.30 am." I remembered!
Fast forward one week to Sunday 15th. After having to ask for direction twice, I finally found the Neil Street Church. What a surprise! The Minister's name on the sign outside showed: Margaret Court. I had heard a lot about this remarkable women, former World No.1 tennis player, now Minister of this large Pentecostal Church. Now I knew, I was meant to bump into their church picnic the Sunday before!
As I walked through the front door I wondered, would I see Malachi, and would he remember me? Looking around the crowded foyer people were busy chatting over a coffee. I didn't see any familiar face. After a few moments I walked over to two men, both of African appearance, and asked if they knew Malachi. One of them was Malachi, and he did remember me from the week before.
For some reason, Malachi walked away almost immediately, leaving me standing with the other man. For a moment I thought: "Na nu, what's happening?" Later, during the worship I saw Malachi playing the keyboard. He was a musician and had to leave!
Before taking a seat in the auditorium I asked his African friend, if he was also from Liberia. "I'm from Nigeria". He spoke with a broad, typical African, accent. I asked for his name. It sounded a little strange, as many names of newcomers to Australia do, ie. Dieter. When he said it, I was a little perplexed: "How do you spell it?
"OLA". He pronounced each letter distinctly. Very strange, I thought! You see, most of that week (remember, this was the second weekend in Perth) I had the letter L, linked with code O/A, on my mind for a specific reason! Maybe, I had come to the right place? (Read on).
The service was just how I had anticipated, rousing, contemporary worship and a positive message by a pastor on fire. I was reminded of the years in Paradise Church, Adelaide, where I was heavily involved, playing the trumpet during hundreds of such worship services.
The Osborn church service was very different to the church I attended the week before. But please nobody assume one style of worship is better than another! God looks looks beyond the outward. HE looks at the heart of each worshipper, not the style of worship.
Victory Life - Church with a purpose
During her positive message that Sunday (15.3.15, love the numbers) she told of her dream as a child to win Wimbledon. God granted her dream. But she found even more fulfilment in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had heard about her uncompromising stand for traditional marriage. Her outspoken views on this subject made her very unpopular in certain circles and earned her much criticism.
A few years ago there was a call for changing the name of a Melbourne tennis venue, which is named in her honour, Margaret Court Arena. What does this say about freedom of thought and expression in our supposedly free country? Thankfully, common sense prevailed.
- - - - - - -
A-League Season 2014 / 15 - Round 21:
In Round 21 of the 2014/15 A-League soccer season Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory were doing battle on Saturday 14.3, the weekend I visited the far West. The home team had not won a match since early January, when they won 2:1 on 2:1 (Note the numbers!)
Secretly, I wished Perth would lose that evening, even though my team Adelaide United was more in competition with the Kiwi team at the time. Why would I want Perth to lose? Long term readers may recall the story of a gruelling 38-hour bus trip by a group of Adelaide supporters (Book 2, Ch.23), only to watch their team being denied a goal, and then getting beaten 5:0 in a semi-final. If Perth now were to lose 1:4 that evening, on the 14th, the grudge against Perth would seize. (But then, did I not write: Do not to hold any grudges ...?)
Originally the plan was to cycle from Perth south to explore this coastal region as far as Margaret River, a major tourist destination, before returning to Perth by public transport. However, the weather forecast was for fresh southerly winds. Why ride against the wind, I thought? Why not start riding from the south and let the wind push you back up the coast?
There was only one train / bus to Margaret River, leaving Perth at 9.30 am that day, Monday 9.3.15. All worked out perfectly; rising early, a quick breakfast, packing the tent and pedalling 18 km into Perth. I even had three minutes to board the train, waiting to depart from Platform 3. The staff at Perth's Wellington Street Station could not have been more helpful. (Thank you!)
En route to catch the train, which I feared I may not reach on time, I had seen things. Nothing unusual to others, but in my brain they impacted; so much so, I considered turning back and taking a photo. Had I done so, I realized later, I would have missed the train.
Riding at a very fast pace in the wide bike lane, I kept overtaking a public bus, as it loaded passengers. Next, the bus would overtake me again. This happened a few times. The registration number triggered my interest - 1361. The evening before, on the same highway, this bus had also overtaken me once.
What came next, again, gave me this m-m-m feeling. In my brain number 3 1 6 points straight to a name - John. That's why I took particular notice of a sign, just after I had overtaken the bus again: St John's. An ambulance was just parking in the carpark, while a workmen was mowing the lawn on a ride-on-mower.
About ten seconds later, even less maybe, another John surprise! This time it wasn't a Saint! As soon as I saw the name David Johnston beside the word Liberal, I knew whose office I was passing by, right there!
- - - - - - -
At Margaret River I encountered, for the second time only in my whole travels, a caravan park without room for even a two-men tent (Riverview Park). The excuse the caretaker gave: "We are not licensed for tents!" (Bulldust!) Thankfully, there was another park in town, which was closer to town anyway. Another annoyance, some caravan parks ask you to pay for a powered site. Cyclists do not use power!
But one unfair rule tops the list (Bunbury, Discovery Park and others): Even a single traveller pays for two people. When questioned I received a common, new-age reply, a favourite with insecure bureaucrats: "The computer won't allow it." (More Bulldust!)
Before starting my ride north next day, back towards Perth, I ensured that I rose early to see at least some of Margaret River. On the map showed Rotary Park, which was at the other end of town. I had to pass through town to get there. Among many car rego-plates, as I had for years, I noticed two, which stood out. The two vehicles were parked, one behind the other, outside the tourist office in the main street: AU 560* and MR 272. The walk along the quiet waters of the Margaret River in Rotary Park, was very refreshing for my mind.
One of the prettiest sections of this coastal ride came after Busselton. The road north along the shore lead to a National Park, called Tuart Forest. Cycling this flat, smooth road, assisted by a slight tailwind, amidst tall green, shady trees... It was as good as it gets. En route to Bunbury I rested briefly and refilled my water bottles at Capel; loved the name. Thankfully, there were no hills to speak along this whole coastline.
As I cycled into Mandurah, after a long day on the bike in the heat, it was obvious preparations were under way for some kind of festival. Workmen were unloading trucks and vans; white square tents were being erected. I soon learned that this was the weekend for the 2015 Crab Festival. This annual event must be huge, when you consider that 130 000 locals and visitors came in 2014.(Source: visitpeel.com.au).
Earlier in the week I had heard on radio about this tropical storm, before it was given a name. The authority, which allocates names to cyclones, according to the expert, had another big storm to consider, one which had developed east of Australia. It also was of great concern. They had not yet decided, which storm will get what name. On their list were Nathan and Olwyn. (The had N O choice).
They chose Olwyn for the storm in Western Australia. According to the meteorologist on the radio, this was their first cyclone for the season. Not since ' 92 had Western Australia experienced their first cyclone so late into the season.
Luckily for me, and others, who had expected a very wet weekend in Perth, the storm passed well east of Perth and only produced a few showers. Gardeners and farmers would have wished for more.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, a third cyclone had formed. It was much larger and stronger than Olwyn or Nathan, and much more destructive. Pam was later described as the worst storm ever to hit Vanuatu. Considering the damage caused, the death toll, thankfully, only reached 16.
On March 20th, 2015 a brief segment on TV showed a miracle baby girl, born at the height of this terrible storm. They called her Charlotte Pam; Charlotte, because the name of the mid-wife, who assisted this difficult birth, was Charlotte. The name Pam was a symbolic reminder as to the resilience of these islander people.
That same evening, as I meditated on Our Daily Bread bible reading for that same day, a very similar story made me think. It happened shortly after the 2013 cyclone in the Philippines:
- - - - - - -
During this chapter, on Saturday March 28th, after having spent all day on the P/C writing, I wanted to catch up with the day's news. Australia's largest state, NSW, had been holding a state election. The result was not unexpected. Popular Liberal Premier Mike Baird won easily. My interest in politics, besides lobbying on moral issues, has greatly diminished in recent years. Besides, an election in another state is as exciting as the Lottery numbers, when you haven't bought a ticket.
As I watched details of the NSW election results scroll down the TV screen, a name suddenly took my attention: Tony Issa. He was the candidate for the Christian Democratic Party, whose leader, the Rev. Fred Nile I heard speak in 2014 in Melbourne (Chapter 2). Mr. Issa was contesting the seat of Canterbury. He did very well, receiving 9.9% of the votes; more than the Greens candidate.
I nearly went to bed after that, but as one does, watching TV on Saturday night, just another few minutes... I'm glad I had not switched off earlier, otherwise I would not have made this strange discovery: Another candidate's name, who had been a candidate in the same election, was also Tony Issa.
I found it amazing that there were two candidates with the same name, and not a very common one. This second Mr. Issa, I learned since, actually was the sitting member for Granville, who had been elected in 2011 in a landslide victory for the Liberal Party. He unfortunately in this election lost his seat to Labor's Ms. Finn. (Fine, Mike thinks, can't win 'm all).
Issa in the Arab world is the name for Jesus. Needless to point out how my code views the name Tony.
Since neither politician was elected, despite bearing this lovely name, I wondered this Easter season:
The masses voted against HIM. That's why HE died on a cross.
Ponder and connect with HIM this Easter!