Chapter 13 Written / Published 17.4/24.4.18 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
This chapter took the longest I remember to complete. Why was progress so slow? Now I know - on the day of publishing a royal son was born - magic numbers. The baby is fifth in line to the British throne. The first, our next king, also receives a mention. He had one too many!
There are interesting observations and a surprise result in our state election.
The ABC123 code jumped again into the arena. The other ABC, the national radio / TV broadcaster, stooped very low. I could not believe what I had heard!
We shall briefly touch on travel to Victoria, the remainder next chapter,
God willing. All we do should be God willing!
13. To BE 25 or Not
The weather is probably the most common topic of casual conversation. It can be a boring subject. A brief discovery, however, on our bank statement prompted me to commence this chapter by commenting on our unusually hot autumn weather. The month of April is tipped to become South Australia's hottest on record. March also was very warm in 2018, with below average rainfalls - 6.6 mm for the whole month, compared to the monthly average of 26.8 mm. The unusually hot, dry conditions continued until around April 12th.
My wife and I were travelling in the Goldfields Region of Victoria, sweltering during the day, and having to leave the motel air conditioner on in the night. By the end of the week, however, the change had swept across southeastern Australia. From the mid 30s (35° C) the temperature plunged dramatically. The wind and rain* brought pleasant relief, temperatures in the low 20s. For an evening walk it was almost too cool.
So what has that to do with an online bank statement? What weird brain would find a link from the weather to a bank statement? Our bank balance certainly couldn't really be described as cool? (Actually, if we to compare it with the minimum temperatures in mid-winter it may come close, ha ha?)
It was the cool change that provided my linking brain to see a funny entry on my bank statement. Take a look:
We didn't stay at the OMFORT INN Warrnamb, but at the...
Maldon, Victoria - I NO Shakespeare.
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The day after the previous chapter happened to be St. Patrick's Day. I was not aware of this until I tuned into Radio Adelaide. What a surprise! Having a day earlier written in great detail about the song Danny Boy, what played on that station as soon as I tuned in? "...Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy I love you so." (Loved it, thanks).
The date was March 17th, 2018. It was the day of the much anticipated State Election. After sixteen years of Labor Government in South Australia, predictions pointed to a knife edge result. Would the Liberals finally break Labor's 16-years stronghold? The unknown factor was the newly formed SA Best Party, lead by former Senator Nick Xenophon (Mr. X), as written in Chapter 12.
Many commentators foreshadowed that a clear outcome may not be known for days or weeks. I recall a brief exchange with our Federal MP, Mr Zappia, who was attending one of our church services. He had asked me, how I thought Mr. X. would go in the upcoming state election. I replied: "I think SA Best is not going to do very well".
My prediction came true. Not only did SA Best fail to win any seat in the Lower House, Mr. Xenophon himself was beaten by the incumbent Labor member. His gamble to become an influential player in state politics had failed. The only good news for the SA Best Party - two of their candidates made it into the Legislative Council (Upper House), where their voting power may influence certain laws to be passed or rejected.
May all new Members of Parliament, as well as long term politicians, realize their great responsibility in serving not only the people of our State, but they are appointed by God Almighty and ultimately are accountable to HIM. Christians ought to regularly pray for their leaders! (Romans 13, 1.)
The big winner on the night was the man himself: Liberal leader Mr. Marshall, the new Premier of South Australia:
Sunday Mail 18/3/18 - front page: I'M THE MAN
With all due respect, if there was a leader, who we could call the Man, a historic Roman politician recognized HIM on the first Easter. Pontius Pilate found Jesus not guilty of any crime. As he sought to save HIS life, he exclaimed: "Behold the man!" (John 19, 5).
Before continuing about the election, I must write about a minor misunderstanding in church, which happened about two weeks later in church. I had been asked, a rare occasion, to read a scripture verse during our Good Friday Service.
No problem, except - when my turn was to come, in the order of service, the person leading had overlooked it. It looked like there would be none of my rare appearances on the platform. He had already announced the main speaker. What should I do?
I just quietly walked to the front* and queried with the person, who had asked me to read the scripture. She said do it now. So I did.
Sometime later, the first verse I had read churned over in my mind. It was Luke 23, Verse 50: "Behold, there was a man ..."
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The King of Glory, The King above all Kings.
(Back to the election)
On that election day in 2018 I met a gentleman, whose name had also been displayed on election posters all over our district. He was the Liberal Party candidate for Playford, the electoral district where we live. I can't recall when his name Hemant occurred to me as peculiar and timely. When it did - WOW!
Not long before I had published two chapters (11 and 12). One was titled 'HE 1' and in the other the name Heman featured. On Sunday morning 18.3.18, Chapter 12 fresh in my mind, my passion for the t made me snap this picture (and pass it on):
Liberal Party and Labor Party election posters
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The bible reading in church on Sunday morning (18.3.18), within an hour of capturing above photo, fitted right in. A preacher / songwriter couple from Canada was visiting our church. The lady, Heather, read the scriptures, the story in John's Gospel Chapter 4 - the woman at the well.
Later that afternoon, during a special concert event, Heather again read a scripture. Again, she read a verse, which had featured prominently in my previous two chapters: James 4, Verse 8: "Draw near to God and HE will draw near to you".
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Music: Graham Kendrick, arr. Nicholas King:
Go forth in HIS name!
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Dale Carnegie said that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. To Christians the name of Jesus is even more precious. As in above example, many hymns and spiritual songs have been written about HIS name. Many bible verses point to that most holy name of all, the name Jesus. Here are just two:
There are millions of citizens of the Commonwealth who hold the monarchy in high esteem. But this is nothing compared to the hundreds of millions plus, who still follow Christ, who worship HIM as Lord daily!
Anyone in the English speaking world, therefore, would understand why my wife and I were shocked as we were watching a television program, when suddenly a male voice started a sentence with: "F***en Jesus ...!"
It happened on 9/4/18 on our National Broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a fully taxpayer funded organization. The evening program was Media Watch, which was actually quoting another source. This did not dampen the fury I felt inside. How dare they just letting it slip through, dragging HIS holy name into the dirt. How could any broadcaster stoop to this lowest level of decency?
The ABC presenter did not condemn his source, but continued his script. The program producers could at least have blanked out the offensive phrase. Neither happened. What would have happened had the phrase been "F***en Mohammed?"
Two days later, as if the ABC had a feast with foul blasphemous language, on the comedy program 'Mad as Hell' the same phrase was thrown at viewers once again.
It called for action. I filled in the official form on the ABC website:
To my surprise I did receive a response, in a personal email, within a few days:
The email continued, referring to their Code of Practice, Section 7, whatever
that says? Don't you just love this understatement:
The email continued, referring to their Code of Practice, Section 7, whatever that says? Don't you just love this understatement:
Something else I learned about the English language and about the name Jesus. According to the ABC's Public Affairs Officer...
Does that mean that now blaspheming, using the Lord's name in vain, is OK because Macquarie dictionary says so? Friends, when all stand before God on judgment day, nobody will be judged by any dictionary.
Books will indeed be opened. But it will not include the Macquarie Dictionary!
God's Word will justify or condemn. HE who is First and Last will have the final say!
Do we need more Feb. 7th before people wake up and repent?
No hiding behind Section 7 of the ABC's Code of Practice!
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An article in the March 2018 Readers Digest grabbed my attention: Here's Why Seven Is Most Likely Your Favourite Number. Author Alex Bellos had conducted an online study to find the world's favourite number. Thirty thousand number-philes (Aha, that's what they call us!) responded. The top number Bellos came up with was indeed seven:
Readers Digest March 2018 - Page 57 - Lonely one!
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Celebrating great win (and numbers).
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The leader of our church, called Dave, admitted to the congregation recently that he also is a bit of a numbers man. I can't recall, if he had come up with the idea, of if the campaign he was announcing came from the church hierarchy. Whoever thought of the plan must hold number 7 as their favourite:
Parishioners were encouraged to commit to prayer 7 minutes for 7 days for a total of 7 weeks. The scripture backing the campaign came from Psalm 34:3: Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together!
7 x 7 x 7 = 343
There was still more. While praying in this seven-week prayer campaign, I found that often the mind wanders. It happens to praying people and must no be regarded as failed prayer or time wasted. I find as my praying mind wanders it discovers wonders! (Postcode 4860 and its link to a major disaster came during prayer). Ask God to guide your thoughts, even when the mind wanders.
The 343 prayers focused on three particular keywords: Souls, Leadership, Resources. These were the needs our leaders wanted us to pray for. Many times as I prayed, and still do, I wondered, why So... Le... Re... and why the last three letters were c.es? (See it).
This is what I see: Re: What IT is all about.
If we were to apply a new code o / u to sun, it would all make sense:
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One week after Good Friday on television the discussion was about meditation, how good it was for relieving stress. Under the heading - A Quiet Place, even just one minute of silence was of benefit, according to the special guest on the program.
Christians believe in prayer. Instead of digging deep into yourself, looking up to God in humble prayer, thanking HIM for everything and praising HIS wonderful name, is seven times more beneficial (if not 343 times!)
For a few moments I hesitated mailing a comment, which presenters invite viewers to do. But I followed my inner prompting to express my thoughts. Glad I did, because halfway into sending the message via my Samsung, a scripture dropped into my spirit - a perfect match!
... two days later in the church newsletter - a quiet place.
Psalm 46 is one I had learned off by heart decades ago; easy to do, but not so easy to grasp: The writer advocates to never fear, even during earthquakes or when a tsunami hits or a volcano erupts and is thrown into the middle of the ocean. No worry, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46, 1).
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A sportsman superstar got himself into trouble, but no fear!
The uproar Folau caused on social media started, according to the Australian Prayer Network, when somebody asked him on Instagram what his views were on gay people. He expressed his fundamental belief that they go to hell unless they repent.
After Channel Nine aired a segment about the issue, the presenter asked viewers to express their opinion. So I did:
As I understand it, Folau simply answered a question one person had asked. For another to take an image of it and feed it into cyberspace, down the channels of the godless media, was wrong. It was invading his privacy, an attack on Folau and his faith.
For huge corporations like Qantas to threaten to withdraw their sponsorship of rugby in Australia, I regard as a blatant misuse of economic power. Qantas, so I thought, was in the business of flying passengers to and fro, not punishing organizations, whose members express moral views different to their CEO, who happens to live the gay lifestyle.
The bible teaches that all sinners will have to face God's wrath on judgment day, straight and gay people alike. To refuse to turn to God, to refuse to repent of sin (godlessness) is to reject HIS offer of salvation, of eternal life.
Above email ended with an obligatory PS that sums it up:
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May I finish with a minute detail, a discovery in above rugby photo, which I had not seen as I started this 25 (BE) chapter. My main source of material for writing are the scribbles in my diary and the photos on my camera. There's no detailed outline, no systematic composition of pictures and text beforehand.
Before each chapter I wonder, what will crystallize and emerge by magic? Here it came in the form of the letters BE, which in our ABC123 code equals 25.
The magic of letters BE could easily have been missed in above image of Israel Folau. The number 15 dominates. Where are the letters B E in that image, you may ask?
BE is there, but it's not there; not visible. So how can anyone see BE?
God knows every brand of rugby balls, or tennis balls or soccer balls for that matter. Folau is about to catch a GILBERT ball. The index finger of his left hand covers two letters - BE.
This is no co-incident. God knows everything about all things, down to the minutest detail.
GOD wants all people to BE saved and live!