Chapter 13  Written / Published 17.4/24.4.18    (Pics by author, unless indicated) 

  HOME   THE  WINNER  GAVE  IT  ALL  Given your all - now what?

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 to be

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...

 ...COMFORT INN Warrnambool.

God willing, in the next chapter you will read more about this short trip and, how appropriate, two cool letters [C L] in historic Ballarat.  

Since the number 25 happens to be popping up in this present chapter and the next, here is a brief preview from that road trip:

 

Maldon, Victoria - I NO Shakespeare. 

During the composition of this chapter I knew the digits 25 and letters BE, would be featuring, among others.

Our B & B had cost $ 252.00. A surprise number showed as I started the car engine one day - the trip meter reading: 5202.

- - - - - - -

 

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

Did Mr. Marshall really announce I'm the man, or did the press invent this catchy headline?

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 ..." 

*Rewind to April 25th 1999 - 19 years ago almost to the day (Book 1, Chapter 9):

How could I ever forget how on that memorable, chaotic day, I had quietly walked to the front of the church in the middle of a regular service and ... 

I still regard that event as the launch of my mission

One aspect among the confusion later gave me hope that I was not insane. I had asked the pastor to pray that God's will be done: "If IT is not from God, it should go away. If IT is from God, it will succeed." 

My early struggle was as much fighting corruption in high places, as well as fighting for my sanity. After 19 years of it, IT had not gone away!

- - - - - - -

The King of Glory, The King above all Kings.

While on the subject of Easter, on Easter Sunday 2018, two weeks after our State Election, my wife, her mother Agnes and myself went to a Charismatic church service. Agnes has some friends there and likes to visit there occasionally. 

On arriving, for a nano-second, I caught a glimpse of a lady, whose face looked familiar. It took two more nano-seconds to recognize her. Her name and portrait had been displayed prior to the election throughout certain suburbs. I had written about her (previous chapter) shortly before Easter. She became the new State MP for King. The pastor prayed for her during the service.

Thank God, the King of Glory, the King above all Kings, was present too! HE is risen; risen so all could live!

 - - - - - - -

(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

<<< Liberal candidate for Playford: Hemant Dave.

 

It so happened, on election day at the polling station, the would-be politician himself, came by and we shook hands. We exchanged a few words about politics.

How could I explain that I found his name, his Christian name Hemant amazing! And isn't his surname Dave the abbreviation of David? 

The gentleman above,, the Labor Party candidate, won the seat of Playford. Maybe he's the man... (to row the boat ashore? His name is Michael.) 

But then, the last person to call for, when tossed about in a boat during a storm, would be a politician. I'd call on the man, who walked on water to demonstrate HIS almighty power to rescue stranded mariners. And all lived!

- - - - - - -

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. 

During the chance meeting (not by chance) between that Samaritan woman and Jesus, the Messiah taught her a most impacting lesson: "I have water to give, living water that turns into a fountain that runs forever, bringing everlasting life!" (John 4, 14). 

A little later their conversation turned to worshipping God. Jesus told her: "God is spirit, and those who worship HIM must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4, 24).

The bible reading ended with Verse 26: "I who speak to you am HE."

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".

- - - - - - - 

Music: Graham Kendrick, arr. Nicholas King:

Go forth in HIS name!

A few days after publishing Chapter 12 (Surnames...) a song sheet at choir practice showed composers names. That of the arranger, Nicholas King, fitted right into it, perfectly! 

- - - - - - -

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:

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4, 12).

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name …” (Philippians 2, 9).

- - - - - - -

That name isn't Charles, who is a king in waiting. A day after writing these paragraphs the gentleman gave birthday cheers to HIS mother HM Queen Elizabeth II. It was her 92nd birthday.

As we watched her son on the TV screen lead in the obligatory chant, it sounded very odd: "Hip, hip, hip - hooray, hip hip hip ...!"

First thought: "Typical... some just try to go one better!" But a little more digging revealed a possible motive for not II but III hip: When the eldest son of Elizabeth II becomes king, God willing, he will be Charles III. (Three cheers ...! ! !)

(According to historic-uk.com Charles I reigned from 1625-1949, Charles II from 1660-1685).

- - - - - - -

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: 

 

Subject: Blasphemous bad language

Sir/Madam,

Whilst using our Lord's name in vain may be lawful in comedy, 'Mad as Hell' on April 11th 18 went too far. The phrase 'f**en Jesus' would have shocked many viewers besides my wife and myself.

There are still Australians, who hold the name of our Lord sacred. Christians revere HIS name. One day every knee shall bow to that name!

The misuse by the ABC of HIS wonderful name, magnified by the f** word, is stooping to the lowest level of morality and decency, You used their tax money, not to entertain, but insulted the Christian community.

Earlier in the week (on Monday 9/4) Media Watch had also shocked viewers with the same phrase: F****en Jesus". On that program the phrase was merely quoted from another source. Still, the ABC ought to have condemned that source for using such foul blasphemous language or best, not quoted it at all. 

Shame on the ABC!

Exodus 20, 7: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh HIS name in vain."

To my surprise I did receive a response, in a personal email, within a few days:

"We regret that you were offended by the use of the word ‘Jesus’, accompanied by an expletive, in this program. It is not the intention of the ABC to cause offence to audiences ..."

The email continued, referring to their Code of Practice, Section 7, whatever that says? Don't you just love this understatement: 

"We regret the language has not met your expectation!"

Something else I learned about the English language and about the name Jesus. According to the ABC's Public Affairs Officer...

"...the Macquarie Dictionary reflects this colloquial evolution, and now includes [the word Jesus] among its various definitions, An exclamation indicating surprise, indignation, etc.”

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! 

Exodus 20, 7: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh HIS name in vain." 

Do we need more Feb. 7th before people wake up and repent?

No hiding behind Section 7 of the ABC's Code of Practice!

- - - - - - -

 

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!

The top 10 Numbers: 7-3-8-4-5-13-9-6-2-11

Text: 

As for the real loneliest number? It isn't one, which came in 21st. The smallest whole number that didn't receive a single vote, 110, is in a solo class of loneliness all its own. 

Strange, mentioned above (right) are two lonely numbers, one and 110. 1 came only 21st? And 110 got 0 votes?  

 

Stop Press: A few days after composing the above, on the morning of uploading this chapter - World News: A new royal baby, the 5th in line to the throne, was born to Prince William and Kate. The boy arrived at 11.01. Second favourite name - James! Congratulations!

 

(Amazing timing: Until now the inexplicable delay in writing this chapter made no sense!) 

Both 110 and 1 have been prominent numbers in recent chapters, even before the big bike race in Adelaide in January !

 

Strange also that no double digit number above 13 made it into the top ten. But finding the above numbers on page 57 in the RD Magazine, almost put this number-phile blogger onto cloud No...527 (Bk.5,27).

- - - - - - -

 Celebrating great win (and numbers).

Pic. adelaideunited.com.au

<<< Adelaide United on 23.3.18:

Long ago names of players in our Adelaide Football team teased my coded brain, i.e. Cassio, Goodwin. Lately it's been Lia (No.6), goal keeper Izzo (No. 20) or fullback Elsey (on left No.23 - L C, love it!) 

In above picture the team achieved one of their greatest wins, 2 : 5 against Newcastle Jets on March 23. The peculiar part was - the Jets, in second place at the time, scored 2 goals, Adelaide in fifth place scored 5! Good win!

 

Alert readers may recognize (far left, far right) 23 5? Did I not read Luke 23, 50 in church exactly (just saw this) 7 days later! Numbers don't lie! (On 30.3.2018 was Good Friday!)

- - - - - - -

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

The duration of the prayer blitz, if that's the right word, was from 1.April to 20th May, seven weeks.

Further number equations emerged from these dates, using one of my favourites, five:

 (April 1) 1 4 x 5 = 70

How about 1 x 5 = 5 (May)  -  4 x 5 = 20

 

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.

Sole: One and only / sun!

If we were to apply a new code o / u to sun, it would all make sense: 

IT is all about the one and only son. 

- - - - - - -

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!  

 

Text:

Hi all, the bible long ago advocated quietness, called prayer. It's not doing God a favour, humans need it like a breath of fresh air in this noisy, busy world.*

May I quote on this April 6th a verse from Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God." 

*Typing the word world at the time, I suddenly saw the connection from Psalm 46 to that day's date (April 6th)

Some time later, thinking of our ABC123 code, DF dropped into my brain. Next, there was more...

... two days later in the church newsletter - a quiet place.

Nobody be alarmed >>> 

The front page of our news sheet had nothing to do with the latest horror movie by the same title. 

We were all encouraged (Psalm 46,1)  to not get too busy with the army's activities, but regularly find 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).

- - - - - - -

A sportsman superstar got himself into trouble, but no fear!

Pic. Eternity News

<<< Rugby's megastar Israel Folau.

 

A debate was raging all over social and main stream media: Should Israel Folau be silenced? A furore had erupted after an honest comment by Israel, one of Australia best players and committed Christian.

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:

Hi all,

Has it come this far that Christians can’t verbalize their beliefs any more? Israel Folau replied to a question on Instagram which asked what God's plan was for homosexual people. He replied: "HELL...Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God."

He took down his post soon after, but somebody decided to publish an image of it on social media. What has Folau done wrong, except state what he believes, what the bible teaches? (Romans 1, 26,27).

Since when can an employer dictate to an employee what he or she is allowed to believe? Christian persecution is as old as Christianity. Are we going back to those bad old days? Where is the tolerance toward Christians?

Dieter, Adelaide

 

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:

PS  All people who refuse to repent of their sin choose hell over God’s offer of eternal life. Who would not rather live, forever?

- - - - - - -

 

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! 

 

Chapter 14

Index