Chapter 18 Written / Published 22.9/27.9.18 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
My wife after we got married told me once that one of the first things that she noticed about me was my hands. One Sunday I saw so many hands, in church and out.
We will pay a somewhat embarrassing visit to a dying person in hospital and learn the Name of Jesus in French.
A wake-up call came in a strange way. It started on a roadside and came right into church next day. How Christians need to wake from their sleep! Thank God, Australia's new Prime Minister is a committed Christian. May Australia wake up to HIS light.
18. Son nom Jesus
Taking notice of registration plates of motor cars, be they passing traffic, parked vehicles or those owned by family, has been a habit all my life. How could I forget visiting Newcastle in New South Wales and spotting NSW rego number (VNT 963), the exact same as my mother-in-law's in South Australia almost 2000 km away? Only the colours were different. Could a statistician calculate the probability of this happening? (Pic. Bk. 6, 22).
When my paths turned into the realm of the supernatural, at the turn of the century, my habit of seeing things moved to a higher level. Car registration plates found a link to particular events, sometimes world news stories, that made sense in my creative mind. In Book 2, 16* the above number (963) linked to an earthquake, destroying the town of Bam in Iran. Many earthquakes and storms happened since.
How could I forget praying one morning as I clearly felt the directive to check out the postcode of Innisfail, Queensland, a town that had been devastated by a cyclone earlier? When I found it was 4860 I remembered that only weeks earlier the RU486 abortion pill had been given the green light here in Australia.
A few days before writing this current chapter I spotted six digits on a vehicle parked in a carpark - 486 BOY.
As strange as IT all is, IT has not gone away in two decades. Little flashes of thoughts, observations, snippets on television or in the newspaper suddenly link together. A thought starts and gathers momentum, as it passes another piece of information and suddenly a code emerges! On the evening of commencing this chapter it happened like this:
The letters J E I in our ABC123 code represent 10 5 9. Knowing that I was about to write about NOS 1 5 and 9 in this chapter (read it later) I found this link to J E I fascinating. Call me obsessed, if you must!
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The introduction of the ABC123 code into my writing created further scope of having fun with numbers. To complicate our world of magic even more, in the past few weeks another factor entered the playing field. This time it's nothing to do with numbers. It's the French language, which had stirred my interest since the trip to France in 2017.
Our brand new Community Hub, which had opened only in the month before this chapter, was the new venue for the French classes that had been going for a long time. Years ago I had attended for a few weeks or months. I again enrolled. Within two weeks mystery started. Let me explain.
Two weeks later I was a few minutes late for the French class; first time. The group had already begun translating a text in the same fashion, one by one around the table. I sat in the only vacant chair. When my turn came to translate, the sentence could not have been more fitting. The text was about somebody, who had booked a table for two in a restaurant and was waiting for their partner, who was very late. She said to the waiter:
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When my mother-in-law Agnes Rose doesn't come to church with us, we arrive early for the service. On the day before this chapter, Sunday 23.9.18, this was the case. Soon after we sat down, about ten minutes before the service, the brass band played their first song. I knew the title: "I'm in His hand". Loved it.
A few minutes later the band played another familiar tune: "He hideth my soul ..." Fifty years ago in the brass band at the Volksmission in Esslingen, Germany I would have played this hymn dozens of times on the trumpet. The chorus ends with these lyrics: "...and covers me there with HIS hand."
When the leader took to the platform she read a few verses from Psalm 48. Verse 10 reads: "Your right hand is full of righteousness". At this point I thought, surely the theme for this service has to do with hands. But it was not so. (Read on, it was special!)
The first hymn sung by the congregation was one of my favourites: "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah". You guessed it, among the lyrics in the very first verse we find the word hand: "I am weak, but thou art mighty, hold me with thy powerful hand".
I remembered that earlier that morning on TV 72 Dr. David Jeremiah gave a inspirational sermon about our weakness and HIS strength. Weakness, as I understood it, is only the absence of God's strength. (Like darkness is the absence of light. Read on about light).
As if that were not enough, more hands crossed my path later that same afternoon. My wife and I took a short excursion through the Barossa Valley in the afternoon. This vine growing region, settled by German immigrants very early in South Australia's history, is just the right distance for a leisurely afternoon drive. Taking the back roads we discovered some interesting things:
If she or anyone were to think I'm a nerd, how about Two Nerd? (Neldner Rd - Nerd L Nerd.)
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In church that morning the subject had nothing to do with hand or hands. The theme was simply MOSES. The preacher in her introduction said, she had considered calling the theme Murder, Mystery and a Midwife. The dramatic life of Moses certainly included these, right from the floating cradle.
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A person most Australians know, or got to know in recent weeks, was born on 13.5. After a chaotic few days on the political front in Canberra, the gentleman became Australia's 30th Prime Minister, the 5th in 5 years. Mr. Scott Morrison had been Treasurer in the Liberal/Nationals Government. At the end of that week he found himself in the top job, almost by accident.
In recent years, as I followed the political scene in Australia, I noticed a big change. The Liberal Party, one of the big two, had always represented traditional values. Gradually, they abandoned long standing, conservative policies. Under Prime Minister Turnbull they adopted progressive ideas, policies that might well be those of the Green Party or the Democrats. The latter is now non-existent in federal politics.
The previous Prime Minister Abbott resisted this pressure. He was not in favour of same sex marriage, for example. Maybe that's why he had to be replaced? The excuse Mr. Turnbull used to backstab him, grabbing the leadership, was Mr. Abbott's low ratings in public opinion polls. For 30 consecutive months he had been losing against the opposition.
How amazing that Australia is now lead by a committed, confessing Christian. (Let's all pray for our new leader and his team!) One reporter asked Mr. Morrisson, if he were to use his religion when making important decisions. I loved the new Prime Minister's answer, as I recall it: "If you think you can ask questions about my faith to use it as stunt for your radio show, I'm not going to be part of it".
I think Mr. Morrison understands the media very well. Well-known senior ABC TV political journalist Barry Cassidy was asked, who he thought the real winner was in this debacle? His answer both surprised and angered me somewhat: "Mr. Shorten" (He's the opposition leader, who hopes to be the next Prime Minister after the 2019 election).
Isn't it a little presumptuous to assume, nine months before an election, who is going to win? To me it only confirmed the left-wing bias by our ABC, the government funded public broadcaster, who pushed for same sex marriage as if they wanted to see it made compulsory!
During the week of the leadership crisis there were some angry people around. Mr. Turnbull had good reason to be angry. But was there any difference between his downfall in 2018 and what he had done to Mr. Abbott three years earlier, grabbing the top job? Now, Mr. Turnbull would have felt exactly the same way Mr. Abbott must have felt back in September 2015. And Tony Abbott is still sitting in Parliament and serving as local member; down but not out! That's manly!
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As indicated earlier in this chapter numbers 1, 5 and 9 were to come on stage in this chapter. A football match resulted in a score, which included these numbers. (At the time I had no idea that above 155/9 would be happening). What made this football game so special was the date it was played:
The special part of it all was the date the game was played: 9 / 15 (September 15th.) If we were to multiply 9 x 15 we'd arrive right back to the number 135. But we won't. AFL football is not really my forte.
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That same Saturday, September 15th, I was driving on Cavan Road in an Adelaide suburb. Something had changed since I last travelled that road. Looking to my right I noticed a large stack of concrete blocks. As I got closer and realized what they were, a humorous thought popped into my head. This prompted me to stop and take a photo:
The very next day in church, as if the person selecting the communal singing had read my thoughts, on the screen appeared these lyrics, quoting Ephesians 5, 14:
How often do Christians, Sunday after Sunday, sing their regular hymns without giving much thought to the lyrics? How much do we think about other things, rather than allowing God to speak to us as we worship and hear the message? That Sunday 16.9.18 the message was very clear as we sang the Word of God!
But there was more: Two days later, maybe three, I was relaxing with one of my German crossword puzzles on my lap. A nine-letter word came up:
aus dem Schlaf kommen - AUFWACHEN!
Translation: to come out of sleep - AWAKE!
In the New Testament Jesus makes some outstanding statements concerning Himself. One of these is found in John 8, Verse 12: "I am the light". One thing light does, it wakes those who are sleeping in the dark. Ask any true Christian believer, especially one who lived a dark existence into adulthood, what is was like when they found Jesus. Many will testify how HE entered their dark lives and shone HIS light into their dark existence. They turned their life around. Now there's hope for a bright future!
In my inbox a promotional email arrived. I took a casual glance at the subject line and notice the phrase: From Good to Great! In the body of the email was a graphic of a business woman and her business name below that. I almost pressed the delete button, when suddenly the letters issa (part of her Christian name) and the word HOPE hit me.
AM issa Hope & light.
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On the morning of publishing this chapter I came across a wonderful song on YouTube, sung by the Collingworth Family. The lyrics by Tom Hayes may reflect just how you are feeling, battling through a dark valley, while dark clouds hide the sun:
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The final chapter in this book is scheduled for mid Nov. 2018, God willing.