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  Written / Published 10.10.20./30.10.20  (Pics by author, unless indicated)

The day of this, my 19th book in my long journey started with numbers. They have become like a friend. How could I ignore them? The question, what do they mean, has been on my mind for years. Unlike a friend, who one can ask, what do you mean, I trust God to reveal it all; in HIS time.

In the night, on the day of editing and finally publishing this book, the digits on the clock showed 102. I rose for a toilet stop. Nine (9) minutes later, I climbed back to bed and slept soundly. When I woke 3 1/2 hours later at 444, how interesting, I realized I had slept 3 hours 33 minutes. 

Number 333 (twice) had crossed my radar quite spectacularly about ten hours earlier, on the 29th (October 2020). 

<<< Odometer 333333.

It only happens 2-4 times in the life of an average automobile that the same single digit appears six times! (Just noticed -1803; 1.John 3,8 is prominent in many of my books.)

And...O! 6 x 3 adds up to 18! 

- - - - - - -

The birth of this book was almost aborted. After much contemplation I had started it on 10.10.2020, a special date, having been stalked by 'two-ten' over many years (as well as 10.10). All went according to plan. Publishing was to be (when else?) on 20.10.2020 (not 30.10.20).

Ten days before this new attempt, things went terribly wrong; on the technical side. Tradesmen were installing an air conditioner at our place. Despite a reminder to let us know when power was cut, in the middle of finishing and editing the manuscript, the PC stopped - power outage!

No drama, I thought. It had happened before. Except, for whatever reason, this time the entire text had disappeared. Despite countless hours of attempting  to resurrect the script, it remained buried, somewhere in my computer.

One expert suggested it's the 'archaic' computer program I'm still using - FrontPage. This publishing program, which I'm now very familiar with, was phased out in 2003, around the time I started my autobiography. 

Perhaps it all happened for a reason? "Why did this happen Lord," was my prayer. "Is there a reason? What is it you want me to do?"

One morning, still lost for words and trying to retrieve the file, Pastor Greg Laurie from Riverside, California spoke on radio. His subject was Moses and the burning bush, how God had called his name by a bush in flames, but it didn't turn to ashes. The name Moses had my full attention immediately. (Read on, why).

Our church during October 2020 studied the Book of Exodus, the extraordinary story of Moses; his miraculous survival after birth, his upbringing in a King's palace, his assignment for a special task - to lead the people of Israel out of slavery! When God called Moses he was an old man already - 80 years old. Greg Laurie challenged listeners by asking:

"Maybe God has interrupted your life? Maybe God is trying to get your attention, just as he did that of Moses?"

Hearing these words I thought: "My plan got interrupted by losing that (almost) entire chapter." Maybe God wants me to stop and examine my ways? Perhaps HE has a different path in mind?

On Sunday 18.10.20 the message in church was about Moses. God had interrupted his daily routine, spoke to him: "This is holy ground". HE called Moses to stand still. The take-home message that day was "Be still, but still go!"

In answer to my prayer, I feel, this is just what God wanted me to do. Pause, trust HIM, but move on!

- - - - - - -

A diary entry on October 23rd asks the question: Does he (God) want me to stop writing? In the decade and a half, since publishing the strange pathways my life has taken, I can't recall an incident, where I had lost an entire chapter. There had been many blackouts during that time, but never had so much text vanished!

The answer to my doubt about continuing came in an unusual way. See for yourself! Was it confirmation to bring my writing to a conclusion? 

Below: Diary - October 23, 2020:

<<< Strange timing! After querying if I ought to continue writing, a few lines later the ink of my pen faded out!

Why then am I continuing to write this? Perhaps in the reading of Our Daily Bread on 20.10.20, the proposed date of publishing, the answer came?

You see, ten days before, when I had no idea what the reading that day would be, I was inspired to call Book 19 "A Broken World to mend". Take a look, how two words in that title appear in amazing timing: mend once, mending twice and broken twice! 

How can this be co-incident? NEVER!

But there was more that I had discovered, preparing Book 19. Having been inspired to call it 'A broken world to mend' what image should I use on the index page? 

This is what came... >>

 

...as I thought about the word mend - scissors and a tape measure.

 

 

At the time I had no idea that an image in this book would include a tape measure!

 

Hi 7  >>>

 

Besides the address of the property that just sold, number 315, as well as 316 made me stick it into my diary. They happen to add to 600  3 1.

- - - - - - -

In between finishing Book 18 and commencing Book 19 I caught a bug; not the nasty virus the world is fighting. It was a condition, which sounds similar to Alzheimers; it's called the 'Old-timers bug'. Readers must understand that in Germany they call old, historic cars 'Old-timers'. Mine wasn't a VW Bug, but a Mercedes:

<<< Mercedes 230 W 123

What does old, retired men do, rather than vacuum cleaning or dishes?  Tinker with the old-timer in the driveway!

What gives me a particular thrill is to open the bonnet and read, where it's made: Stuttgart-Untertuerkheim. I grew up three train stations from there. 

<<< This is NOT the vehicle in question. Mine is 8 years older. But what dramatic price reduction: Why ask for nearly $3000, then give not $10 discount, but $5?

What a bargain! It would have sold quickly after that?!

Medicines often have side effects. The cure for my Old-timers bug, buying the Mercedes, had an unexpected side-effect, another bug. Since the vehicle needed new registration plates, the front one was damaged, why not try for a special letter/number combination, one that goes with Merc?

So I did, with surprising results!

MERC 02 / 04 and MERCI 1 >>>

At first all I wanted was, perhaps,  MERC 79, since it was built in 1979. It was not available. Further searches revealed that MERC 02 was available. I bought it. This success started a search for available combinations. We ended up with these three plates, all starting with the four letters MERC. MERCI 1 is unique in that it has a religious meaning:

MERCI Thank you, Lord (No.1). 

 

It felt a little strange, when driving into the church carpark for the first time in a Hyundai, registration plate MERC .... Just as well; those few who noticed it, probably nobody, wouldn't know about the entire 'madness', more ME back home.

What came next made me take a picture in church. The date here is important - October 4th or 10.4.20! The date matched those three ME...perfectly. 

There was more, something else matched: Take a look:

<<< He leadeth me ...

As the band played this tune, Oct. 4th had meant noting - yet. I took the picture for another reason: me, at the end of three lines. 

There are no longer cables suspended from the ceiling of the auditorium. Otherwise, perhaps... ? It shows, even without cable, God is able!

One could regard someone, who registered three car number plates, starting with ME ME ME, a little selfish, maybe crazy? So be it.

- - - - - - -

The administrative process of acquiring three personal number plates, took a few trips to the government registration office. During the final visit I had a ...(read on, then fill in an adjective) encounter with numbers! I write it as it was, feeling a little guilty, because I 'stole' something, so I could stick it into my diary (and show it here, in my autobio:)

On arriving at the registration office clients are given a small piece of paper with a number. When theirs is called they proceed to the designated counter, where they are served. There's a small container, where one disposes of the piece of paper.

Diary 7.10.2020

<<< S103.

The S in digital form = 5!

<<< Our first place of residence in SA was in the suburb of Evandale, postcode 5069. 
<<< The only other place, the suburb we bought our house in, has postcode 5096.

As I placed my S103 in the container, the other two were clearly visible. I recognized the peculiarity immediately. What would the lady serving me at the counter have said, had I said: "Just a moment, I must take a picture of these numbers ...?"

Instead, my fingers, not very long or nimble, quietly reached for them and rescued them from destruction. They found a resting place in my diary!  

How unreal! Am I still being followed by numbers? The same day, after posting above image here, a small truck (Govt. vehicle) overtook me near the intersection with Kings Road on McIntyre - Rego S 069...  The very next day this vehicle stopped in front of me, at a junction. >>>

- - - - - - -

Above incidence, on top of others, all totally unplanned and impossible to fabricate, was so powerful around that time, it prompted me to plan this present new piece of writing. Another example: 

One morning I was driving to the a western suburb to pick up a spare part for my new toy, the MERC. The delivery truck that day had not come; my order hadn't arrived. How inconvenient, having to wait, or drive back home or ...?

I decided to go to the bank, about five kilometers away in the suburb of Ingle Farm. Parking my vehicle, the Suzuki, in the carpark, I failed to noticed the magic on the dashboard. Only on driving off again did I suddenly see it. Again I felt bowled over by numbers. I got out the camera: 

 402001- all the MERC numbers.

Had things gone according to plan, hurrying to take the spare part to my mechanic, I may have missed these perfectly fitting, six digits on the dashboard.

What can we say? MERCI 1.

- - - - - - -

The month of October 2020, right from day one, brought with it some of the peculiar stuff I'm writing about. It was the first day of the month, the day our church had started the theme of Moses. Thursday October 1, 2020 presented perfect weather to enjoy a bike ride with a cycling companion.

<<<< Adelaide's scenic cycling track extends from the foothills to the mouth of the Torrens River, where it flows into the Ocean. Very close to there we enjoyed a traditional fish and chips lunch in an outdoor cafe.

Riding away, afterwards, I nearly missed it, we had shared lunch only few meters away from MOSES.

The uncanny timing, the day of starting a study on Moses, did it. I had seen many names scratched in concrete; never Moses.

- - - - - - -

In early August 2020 the virus crisis in Australia had eased. We took the risk and flew to Brisbane, hired a vehicle and escaped the southern winter for 12 days. If the so-called new normal in travel looks like this - no queues at the airport or car hire office, little traffic on the road and big discounts in accommodation etc. bring it on!

                                                            - - - - - - -

<<< Mount Beerwah, 556m.

 

From the balcony of our apartment on the beachfront in Redcliffe, a suburb of Brisbane, we could see this peak in the distance. A visit was a must.

Looking at the photo, typing this stirs my adventurous spirit to consider climbing this mountain. Mountains exist to be conquered (or photographed.)

<<< Caboolture Historic Village

Some say, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. I'd love to see them all! The place had just reopened after the shutdown. Of course, beside the mandatory petrol station, hospital, school house etc. a Salvation Army Citadel is always a highlight. 

- - - - - - - 

Shop front Redcliffe, QLD >>>


Radically set free from... decades of drug abuse and gambling, both the Pastor of this church and his wife, who also suffered depression and anxiety, were totally changed by the power of God. According to their website Jerome & Jess 'love Jesus Christ with an absolute passion and want to see other people freed from bondage'. What transformation...!!!

(Source:pottershouseredcliffe.com.au)

'Jerome & Jess love to have fun and enjoy good food, they are easy going, down to earth.' What an example of what God can do with broken lives and what HE wants to do to our broken world! HE wants to mend it by the power of Jesus Christ!
After pasting above image I saw the numbers magic. Not the phone number, but the 10s and 20s. Proposed date of publishing this chapter had been 20.10.2020.

Perhaps number 2221 is the reason for the delay in finishing this book? Hours before this writing (on 28.10.20) in the middle of the night, a fresh revelation come ...

- - - - - - -

Our next destination, travelling in our Toyota hire car, was Yeppoon, a coastal town near Rockhampton. It was a mistake to leave late, after 9 am. We had totally miscalculated, how long the drive would take, never considered road works and bad weather. It was quite a challenging drive in heavy rain; especially later in the dark, negotiating all the detours around road works. 

<<< Yeppoon, Queensland

We had booked into an Adelaide St. apartment looking out onto the beach. The main shops were in walking distance. Back to the resort the distance was the same, but called climbing distance! (You get the idea.)

<<< The outlook in the other direction was equally spectacular. Who would bother with the dishwasher, when even the sink comes with Ocean views? 

We stayed three nights here, relaxing vigorously, forgetting what time of day it was!

<<< Yeppoon, James Street.

During an early morning walk I saw and photographed this street sign. James had reminded me of a text I had sent minutes earlier to friends.

They were facing a difficult decision. My message ended by encouraging them to pray for wisdom. "God promised to give it freely to those who ask for it. James 1.5."

One morning I asked my wife on waking: "What time is it?" She tried to check her wrist watch at the bedside table and replied: "It's 7.15, could be 8.15?" It didn't really matter, but why do they make ladies watches so small? The date was August 8th, of which we were reminded during a stroll, window shopping in James Street, down town Yeppoon: 

<<< Date 08 August ...

... was correct. Not so the time on the clock. It was more like 12 noon, not  10.10. How could I not have taken a picture?

A short distance away, still in James, a Jewelry shop displayed wrist watches. I recalled my wife's failure to tell the correct time that morning. Why not buy her a bigger watch? I thought it was a 10 out of 10 idea. Next I noticed that all watches in the window were set to 10.10. Why so?! 

No new watch that day. Numbers had never impressed my wife. And besides, wearing a watch big enough, so you can read the time correctly, takes away the excuse for always running late! 
Nearby Rockhampton, called the Beef Capital of Australia, has some impressive buildings that give witness to a rich, eventful past! Below (left) the Heritage Hotel and the Customs House. 

Beautiful Queensland Coast:

<<< Daydream Island.

 

If a place could be called 'Paradise' it's this, a tiny island in the Whitsundays. It would be perfect, if there were tracks for riding a bicycle. 

What does one do after sipping the 10th cocktail by the poolside? A kayak doesn't do it for me. Off the coast there's the famous, heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.  It's spectacular - to dive for!  

<<< Hamilton Island is much larger and only a short boat ride away. Tourist transport is by free shuttle bus, or hiring an electric buggy. We did; and explored this gem, Paradise' big brother. Climbing to this lookout the batteries went flat. A pedal bicycle never gets a flat battery!
Both islands, Daydream Island, ten kilometers offshore and Hamilton Island (26 km) are easily reached by ferry from Airlie Beach. It's a mystery, why not every Australian wants to live in this Paradise? (Ah, you couldn't have a hobby car. There are no private cars on the island.) 

Back in Airlie Beach, we stayed in this lovely, spacious apartment that overlooked the town and ocean. It was perfect. Pity, unlike Yeppoon, in Airlie Beach the sun didn't rise over the ocean. (But it didn't matter, there was no view from the kitchen sink, anyway).

Airlie Beach, QLD >>>

Visiting this lovely tourist town once again, my mind went back many times to my bicycle ride in 2009 (Bk.8, Ch.7). The luxury resort shown here and the marina were one huge building site back then.

Looking back, not only this town has changed, my style of writing has also. (I just browsed over it. There's a vast difference ...)

Just here in my writing I took a break to have breakfast. I switched on the radio and tuned into the the daily broadcast by Pastor Greg Laurie, from Riverside California. He talked about the Passover and the food that had to be exactly prepared the way God instructed it. This took to him to talk about his pet hate (if your pardon the pun) cats. 

He'd read about a 5-star cat hotel, where cats would only receive the best of everything. He described the way cats are pampered, their rooms, their food, the various ways fish was served up.

As I listened I thought, what prefect timing, I was about  to write the story about the 'D'vine Fish' Cafe in Airlie Beach!

Pic: ebay image

One morning we took a walk from our uptown apartment down to town. As we stepped around a rubbish bin, a large open skip, I spotted a red sign inside. Half covered in rubble, I thought I read the letters 'fish'. A closer look revealed, it was the word fish - interesting?! How could a man, surname Fischer, not pause and wonder what this was all about?

The D'vine Fish Cafe/Bar had had a renovation. Obviously the old business sign was now in the rubbish bin. I couldn't very well rescue it right then, since we were on foot. Us tourists, walking along the esplanade with a huge fish sign under the arm, would create a spectacle. My wife hates being a spectacle! It would have started Word War 333333.

The next morning we happened to tune into TV Channel Nine.

Pic. Tripadvisor.com  

What surprise!

 

The  weather reporter was broadcasting his show from right there - the fish D’vine Cafe Airlie Beach. Now I remembered that lonely, discarded sign among the rubble. 

 

In a flash

I made a dash,

saved the fish from trash.

 <<< Free fish souvenir.

Like the fish in the sea, my fish was for free!

It now hangs on our shed, and I feel I was led...

...to rescue that sign, to make it mine, perhaps there's some meaning divine?

Poetry aside, the earlier hint at a fresh revelation holds a link to the word fish. In the New Testament there's an incident, where some fishermen landed a huge catch of fish. Bible scholars for centuries have wondered, why the exact number of fish - 153 - is mentioned?

No, I did not receive special revelation to solve this puzzle. But my eyes opened to link to a common word, found in the final chapter of the bible, a one-word prayer to mend our broken world: "Come".

Applying code ABC123, come reads 3, 15, 13, 5.

Friends, when HE comes...

...there won't be innocent people locked in jail, only the guilty,

...there won't be helpless, healthy, unborn babies slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands, just for convenience,

...there won't be men or women, who have sexual relations with others of the same gender,

...there won't be porn or perversion as entertainment,

...there wont' be young people, who were never taught the bible, what Jesus' death on the cross was all about,

... there won't be the rich and corrupt, who exploit the poor to satisfy their insatiable lust for power and wealth.

Must I go on? If the new normal after COVID 19 looks like this, bring it on! 

As much as the world needs a change in the physical climate, it needs a radical change in the moral climate. The broken human heart needs mending. It will happen when each one humbly turns to Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, who was and is and is to come. (Revelation 1,8).

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelations 22, 21).

 

The End.

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