Book 12 - Chapter 13 Written / Published 13.6. - 19.6.14
(Pics by author, unless indicated)
|HOME THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL Given your all? Now what?|
As I ponder the code-filled pages of my diaries the similarity in pattern seems to continue - misspelled signs turn into a stories, numbers repeat itself in weird ways, letters and numbers scream for attention, wanting to be heard.
The word man also makes an appearance in this chapter, on the ninth, as does the number nine. This word startled me, less than a day after I had published the previous chapter's IX twists.
On the day of commencing this chapter the greatest show on earth (as football fans would like to call it) is under way. The FIFA Word Cup is happening in colourful Brazil. Read a story about an Aussie legend, who created magic even before kick-off.
(My apologies to those, who are already suffering from world cup overload. But nowhere else will you read the wacky bits, which took place in my world of codes and links. I trust your spirit resonates with the underlying beauty of it all.
13. Yet to be - Don.
The picture I took in Melbourne Street on Anzac Day, published in the previous chapter, showed the business name, but only the word FASHI .. The two letters ON did not quite make it into the picture. This little word had played a big role in my very early writing. (Book 1, Chapter 4). That's why I had drawn attention to it.
A day or so afterwards, I wondered how I had overlooked it, another amazing detail came: It had all to do with negotiated working hours.( The insignificant word 'on' was misused to force us instructors into working every Saturday.) The significance was in the location. It was diagonally across the road from the workplace, where the 'on saga' had played out. Looking back it was a stressful time, but God is a great restorer.
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Within twelve hours of writing these paragraphs Australia's Socceroos (the National Football Team) will be facing Chile* in their first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Comments in Australia's media have been rather pragmatic. My summing up of these would be: "The best we can hope for is a draw or two, and get knocked out with dignity". A win against Chile would be great; winning against the other teams in the group, the Netherlands and reigning champion Spain, would be a miracle.
In the lead up to the big event on Sunday 25th May, TV Channel Nine broadcast an interview with Socceroo Tim Cahill. (Now you understand my C T surprise a moment ago.) During the interview on 60 Minutes Liz Hayes commented about the way Tim manages to score many of his goals with his head, using his noggin! (Noggin is slang for head.) In football this could have two meanings, playing with your brain intelligently, or scoring a goal by heading the ball into the back of the net.
I don't know, if anybody noticed what struck me the very next day. Liz's comment proved to be prophetic. Australia's National Team played a friendly match in Sydney against South Africa. The game ended in a 1:1 draw. Tim Cahill scored Australia's only goal. He did it by, you guessed it, using his noggin.
(Please note: Tim Cahill's mother comes from Samoa. Read on for some Samoa magic).
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As mentioned earlier, Tim Cahill's mother comes from Samoa, the Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean. This takes us to the guests we had the pleasure of entertaining at our house recently, a Christian family from Samoa. It was a lovely evening, full of surprises. The first came just after the meal had been served. I was about to say grace when our guests asked, if they could sing it in Samoan. It had been decades since I had been at a dinner table, where grace was sung.
During an evening like this you learn how little you know about other places and cultures. The Independent state of Samoa used to be called Western Samoa. It is about three hours by air from New Zealand and five hours from Australia. The islands were once a colony of Germany. Our visitors told us of the devastating 8.0 earthquake and tsunami in September 2009. Fortunately, they lived on higher grounds and were not directly affected.
With my background as driving instructor I took special interest in traffic matters, namely their firsthand account of the changeover from driving on the left-hand side to the right. Samoa became the first nation in 40 years to make this move in 2009. There was much opposition at first, as I understand it, but it all went smooth and is working well.
Within half hour after the above I experienced the incident I earlier referred to as Samoa magic: It was still reasonable early. Our visitors had left. The dishes were done. For some relaxation I moved into the lounge room, picked up a Readers Digest Magazine from the coffee table and started browsing. An article titled The world's most beautiful drive promised some light reading. Only the title page was light reading. The main text teased me, right in the first four lines. Take a look:
Readers Digest March 2014 - Page 100
A scripture comes to mind:
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On the day after publishing the previous chapter, as happens every month, my mind is filled with the things that I had been writing about. The reason is plain: during writing, or scanning photos, I often get surprised myself at what is suddenly unfolding. Regular readers would know exactly what I mean. They will understand, how amazed I was the next day, after having written much about number 9 (or IX), how the following encounter with number 9 really spooked me:
On that Friday a small group of German-speaking seniors had gathered in Wynn Vale for their regular weekly get-together. I was present as volunteer driver and for general social support. At the end, before going home again, the group as usual played a game of BINGO.
I did not play Bingo. Instead, I picked up the German 'Die Woche' newspaper, which somebody had brought along, and started to do the crossword puzzle (translated, Kreuzwortraetsel). Here is what happened next:
The following link to a bible verse came to me at 3 am on 18 June, just after waking from a deep sleep. My mind took me back to the previous chapter, the scripture in Isaiah 53, 3-5. The word Wunde in the plural - WUNDEN - is part of Verse 5:
This verse predicted events that were to happen hundreds of years later; words to foretell what was to happen to a man called Jesus, who was to die on a cross. Words of the cross! The event took place in Jerusalem. (Read on, we shall cross paths with Jerusalem later in the chapter.)
The numbers Nine and Ten (two bible verses, 9 and 10, in Isaiah) take me back to an incident earlier this year. The letters EN actually played quite a role. (I just noticed - there are three E and N in above crossword. It starts with NE and ends in NE.)
An well-known TV Preacher was in Adelaide for an extended series of teaching. Some friends, ardent followers of the denomination, had informed us, for which I was thankful. Something inside, the Holy Spirit, had confirmed with me, I should go. I did on three different occasion, despite having to drive into the city centre.
On the first evening, before I had even entered the building, I realized this later, something was brewing. Through the open door, among the crowd, I recognized a face. It was that of a gentleman I knew from the place, where I play table tennis socially. I had not known he was a church going believer. He was the only person, beside our friends, who I knew among the approx. 150-strong crowd.
His name was Don. (Note the name).
At the conclusion those attending were given a pamphlet with notes of the lecture given. Attendees were encouraged to study the scriptures again at home. As a test those participating had to fill in the missing words at the bottom.
Unless it was all just nothing, my creative brain worked its linking, thinking game:
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Moments after writing the above I remembered something I had not done for the day, Monday 16th June: I had not yet turned over the page of my Signspotting Calendar. Believe it or not, later in this chapter I was going to write about the sign outside our local take-away shop - a misspelling in their opening hours. (I had already pasted the picture, the second one below, onto this page in preparation).
Now take a look at the surprise that was waiting, what I saw when I turned over the calendar!
Signspotting Calendar - Monday June 16th
Two days earlier, it was Pentecost Sunday 8/6/14 (Yes, 486 won again!) I had also come across a misspelled word.
It came via a video clip screened in church; the scripture verses that tell the story of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit in ACTS, Chapter 2. Maybe I may not have made so much of THIRS (above) had I not seen the missing U on the church screen only two days earlier?
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On Sunday June 1st the first hymn sung in church was O worship the king. My mind paused and pondered, as it had for many years, when these lyrics are sung: "...all glorious above; O gratefully sing his power and his love..." The two words power and love' bring back unforgettable memories:
Almost fifteen years later I still get excited about all that I hear and all that God is doing in my life. Thankfully, my mind is able to digest it all much calmer, trusting HIM who knows the beginning from the end.
At our church, as in many around the world, hymnbooks have become obsolete. The words are projected onto the screen above the platform. Therefore I did not know yet the number of this hymn in our hymnbook. Back home my thinking mind looked up what number 'O Worship the king' is in our hymnbook. (There was a thought-pattern involved, but it's too complex to explain here. The point is, without it I may never have uncovered what came next:)
The fact that we had sung hymn number 16 on 1.6 made me take above scan, print it and paste it into my diary. (The page number 13 is a heavenly bonus!).
It was early Sunday evening, as I pasted the above into my diary. My wife, who was with me at the time, said casually: "The Vicar of Dibley is on at 6.30". It had been a few years since the show had screened on TV. (In Book 7, Chapter 6* I joked about the show and its star vicar, played by Dawn French.)
The repeat of the Vicar of Dibley that Sunday night was the very first episode. At least I assume so, since the storyline went something like this: During a church service, attended by about 1/2 dozen worshipers in the small chapel, the elderly male preacher dies right there in his pulpit. At first nobody is aware the man had actually died. Simple minded Alice, somewhat perplexed as she looked at the motionless body of the old vicar, took over in the 'emergency'.
She announced: "We now sing hymn No. 16 ..."
Now, you may understand why I was surprised. Not only had we sung hymn No.16 that morning, June 1, in church, but minutes earlier I had pasted above scan into my diary.
Besides the lyrics of hymns sung at church, normally, the theme for that Sunday is projected onto the screens at the front. That Sunday, still 1.6, it was no different. The theme 'Called to Friendship was projected onto the screens at the front with a background picture to make it user friendly, if you pardon my pun. I did not have a camera to take a picture of it. Instead I created a Google image, shown below, to replicate what I remembered from the church screen.
The theme in church, one week later on Pentecost Sunday 8.6.14, was Power from on High. Images of flames on the church screen, and on the walls beside, made it clear what important date it was in the church calendar - the Holy Spirit came in a most unusual way. Even back in those biblical days ardent believers where labelled as lunatics or drunk. No wonder that atheists, rational thinkers and academics do not understand this phenomena. How can a spirit from outside this world guide an insignificant, ordinary human being from deep within?
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Over a three day period at Pentecost I observed a scripture, which kept crossing my paths. Because it was on three different days, and in three different ways, my mind marvelled at how God's Holy Spirit does IT. Any doubters, or worse - a shrink, who wants to claim Christians are manipulated, believing in a spirit from outer space, may I assure them, I would rather be controlled and serve this super power, than be influenced by the worlds tabloid press, academia or teachers of modern theology!
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This takes us indeed to a story of a football match, where a star in the world cup in Brazil joined the elite of players, who scored a hat trick. Once again the story leads from one thing to another, but please remember, I never claimed what I write does not sound unusual or wacky! All I claim is - what I write is true, as I observed my world around me, with my eyes and ears, and that I used my spirit-controlled mind to make sense of it all.
The excursion started on the day after Pentecost, on Monday 9.6.14. Australia was celebrating our Queen's Birthday with a long weekend. I had promised our friends Nancy and Marc a trip in the car to the Murray River. It was actually more for their 9-year old grandson, who lives with them. I knew the energetic young boy would love the ride in the car.
The Adelaide Hills looked their best. The winding road through Inglewood, Gumeracha and Birdwood was a pleasure to cruise in our recently acquired automatic Hyundai. Birdwood is known for its National Motor Museum. As we drove through the town I caught a glimpse of a parked vehicle; a small, square shaped body from the mid 50s perhaps. What's car is that? I asked myself.
My habit of checking the registration number revealed it - a personal plate - PRINCE. If I'm not mistaken, it was a German Prince, a small sedan I remember well from my childhood in Germany. (Just on editing, I think our religion teacher, used to own one?!) A thought came some days later; a connection between the date 9.6 and the word prince. (I let readers explore this thought).
Just before leaving Mannum my wife mentioned she'd like some chocolate. Yours truly remembered a piece of wisdom, which is supposed to create a happy marriage: Happy wife, happy life! Chocolate was perfect. Wife and hubby happy.
As she and our friends walked on, I slipped inside the supermarket to fulfil my wife's wish, and to spend our tourist Dollar. At the checkout one lady was ahead of me; no other customers in the queue. Before paying, she suddenly turned and walked away, saying to the girl at the counter: "I just got to get..., please serve the lady first!"
Did my ears hear correctly? Or did my eyes miss a female customer behind me? I looked around; nobody nearby. To be sure, I asked the checkout girl, if her customer had really called me lady? She looked slightly embarrassed. With half a smile on my face I walked out the store with my chocolates.
It made me think. Who wouldn't? Maybe, what I needed was a haircut, even though there has been times, when my blond (or grey, depends who you ask) hair was much longer. A week later I did get a haircut.
Something funny struck me later, as I was telling people about my mistaken ID. This person (her name might be Alice?) who had called me lady, lives in a town starting with the three letters MAN. Yet, she still couldn't recognize ONE!
That Monday (16.6.), when I had my hair cut, started with a misunderstanding. For a short break from this writing I left my office and moved into the TV room. I tuned into our SBS Broadcaster. Of course, as had been for days, a game of soccer was in progress. Germany was playing Argentina and was winning by a great margin - 3:0 - with only minutes to play.
I didn't even know the Germans were playing that morning and regretted not having watched the whole match. A few moments into watching - 30 seconds perhaps, super star Klose scored the 4:0! What excitement! And what timing, just as I had tuned in!
I went into the kitchen and told Isobel: "Germany just beat Argentina in the World Cup 4:0. Angela Merkel was there, cheering and clapping."
My lady, however, wasn't half as excited as Angela and I were. I went straight back to the P/C and added a brief paragraph with this wonderful news into this chapter! One reason I did so - I had written about this player before in Book 5, Chapter 12. (You will also find another German in that chapter, blowing his trumpet).
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View into our garden. In the foreground a magazine on the coffee table
But there was another reason I felt excited. When I sat in the barber's chair a few hours later, I knew I would be talking to my hairdresser about the world cup. And how appropriate it was! Just down the road, a few hundred meters away, was the place of a transport company by the name Klose (picture below).
The barber, who cut my hair knew about the transport place nearby. But he was not that much into football, and less excited about Germany beating Argentina 4:0 than my wife. The hairdresser in the next chair, who had overheard our conversation, however, knew his football. He said: "That ...(the goal I had watched that morning) was a replay of the last world cup! Germany is playing tomorrow morning against Portugal."
Oops! For a moment I felt a fool. But not for long. I had learned to laugh at myself. There certainly are worse mistakes I had made in the past. But thanks to the information, I rose that night at around 2 AM to watch Germany play against Portugal. When I tuned in just before the second half, Germany was already leading 2:0, which in football (the world game) is a comfortable score. I considered going back to bed, but stayed up to watch the rest. Glad I did.
Germany scored a third goal before half time. It was more or less over then for Portugal, who had one of the world's best players on their side, Cristiano Ronaldo. Toward the end my mind started thinking: Would it not be funny, if Germany were to score a fourth goal? It would make me look less foolish next time I go the my barber! So it was.
Germany scored a fourth goal in the second half to win the match 4:0. Later I learned that Germany in the last world cup in South Africa not only beat Argentina 4:0, but also Australia by the same score.
So was it all 4 nothing?
The name Klose crossed my path again on the same Monday 16th. My wife had brought home a newspaper from the shop. On Mondays they are for free.
Death Notices - The Advertiser 16.6.14, Page 59.
Just now, closing this chapter, My brain even saw the words LAM and ...
"On June 9th, 06 the goal scorer was No.16 Lahm ..." Book 4, Chapter 8.
Crosswords may be meaningless; the word of the cross may sound foolish, but...
"...the Word of the Lord is right, and all HIS work is done in truth."
(Psalm 33, 4.)