Chapter 3 Written / Published 10.3./17.3.19 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
It is sad to see much of society slowly distancing itself from Almighty God. In this chapter God is again speaking. HE is calling people turn back to HIM.
HE speaks through natural disasters. HE answers prayer.
We shall commence a trip to neighbouring Victoria for a memorable event. Amazing timing, the numbers testify to IT.
3. No Life without No.1
What should I write first here in Chapter 3, commencing on this day March 10th. My thought immediately turns to the date of my birthday 30.1. Actually, it was on the day before when I received a text message with well wishes from a friend. Except, his congratulations were a day early.
Like his text, the following story that points to those same digits, also came a day early:
Walking along, talking on the mobile phone, I suddenly spotted a number painted on the footpath. It took only a nanosecond to read the date of my birthday backwards. The three digit number, we can assume, was put there by workman to marking a certain spot. Take a look:
There was a small get-together at our home on Jan 30. The next morning as I was writing all those 130s into my diary a vehicle came up our drive There was a knock on our door. The visitor questioned, if they had left their sunglasses behind the night before. "Not here, sorry", I had to inform them. On departing I saw their registration number. You guessed it. It was ...130!
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Right from the beginning of my illustrious writing career, I have been facing a dilemma. After observation matching numbers, data or linking names etc they increasingly turned into codes. Where did IT all come from? How should my brain absorb and the interpret these mysteries?
Please nobody think I had not constantly questioned the source behind these weird, and at times wonderful stories. For almost two decades now, while documenting it all, I tried to prove me sanity. After each fresh, puzzling link there are three possibilities in trying to make sense of IT all; probing if there is meaning in the madness:
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Shortly after launching Book 17, during a few sleepless hours in the night, I was listening to the BBC, London on our ABC radio. A scientist was explaining the process how human life starts inside the womb, when male and female cells come together. Something didn't make sense, which made me search the relevant website and fill in their feedback form:
I am not sure if the recipient grasped my point - No life without NO.1. (The date plus 1 creates the scripture reference.)
To my surprise, within hours this reply landed in my inbox:
How timely was above exchange! I had just written extensively against killing unborn, human life. (Previous chapter). Should we now not be even more convinced that destroying an embryo in a mother's womb is unnatural, unethical and unacceptable?
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Around the same time, two days after launching Book 17, a natural disaster made headline news around the world. A savage tornado hit the US State of Alabama. My thoughts immediately went two ways. Firstly to my sister, who lives in southern Alabama. Secondly, I recalled that I had just written in chapter 2: "With the breath of HIS mouth God can create a category 5 cyclone."
The March 3rd tornado struck well away from where my sister lives. The more details emerged, however, the more data I recognized which could not all be co-incidence. The worst affected area, sadly with a high death toll, was Lee County, Alabama, about 60 miles east of the capital Montgomery.
Friends, to turn your back on God, ignoring the creator of the universe, removing the only hope this world has from public life, is the biggest mistake the West, indeed the whole world is making! The consequences are unfathomable.
Friends, God is not punishing the people of Lee County. The world's debt for sin has been paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross 2000 years ago. But God needs to wake up people, whole nations, to demonstrate HIS Power and HIS Love for mankind. May the great nation of America heed the call.
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The date was still 3.3.19 when I happened to tune into an American TV Show. A regular morning program was broadcast from Rockefeller Plaza, New York. (On researching their website a surprise came. No.1 was missing - again!)
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In early February 2019 two events in Melbourne caused me to take the opportunity to take a road trip. It had been since August 2016 since the last visit to Victoria's mega city. The two events happened to be one week apart, so why not stay and make a short holiday out of it?
Later, after having checked out both dates, did I realize if I went to both and stayed I'd be in Victoria for the tenth anniversary of Australia's biggest natural disaster! So it was.
My wife did not want to travel with me. Melbourne was not her favourite destination and her elderly mother was very much on her mind. (The same moment I am typing here, she is arriving from a visit to Agnes' nursing home.) Travelling solo does have its advantages. You make all the decisions, including where and when to stop or what to photograph. There were plenty of both.
I had not planned to stop at Beaufort, having spent the night in nearby Ararat. But when I saw there was a market happening that Saturday morning, my brakes almost activated automatically. It was a superb, sunny morning for a stroll under the shady trees, browsing all kinds of stalls, handcrafts, bric-a-brac and second hand stuff.
While browsing what's on offer, I was on the phone to a friend. Suddenly, my eyes fell onto a book:
My destination that day was Howard Street, North Melbourne, where I stayed at the YHA Hostel. The first event that afternoon took me to Mentone (nice name). A Catholic organization, which stands up firmly and speaks out fearlessly for traditional values, was celebrating its 40th anniversary. A prominent Federal politician, formerly a Senior Minister in the Howard ( ! ) Government, was the keynote speaker.
His insight into Canberra's politics and moral attitudes was enlightening and frightening at the same time. The direction some of our leaders want to take us could mean, one day Christian preachers could be dragged before the courts for simply stating what the bible teaches on moral issues.
Friends, it is one thing for people to distance themselves from biblical teaching, it's quite another when godless leaders make laws which prohibit believers from speaking out against their godlessness.
HE has the final say: "But
the Lord is my stronghold, and
my God, the rock, is my refuge.
The next day, Sunday 3.2.19, I went to two church services in Melbourne, morning and evening. They could not have been any more extreme opposites. One was the 10 AM service a young, pentecostal congregation - flashing coloured lights, up beat rock music and very noisy. (Yes, blessed assurance, I am of the old school).
The other church service was the Evensong inside the huge Anglican Saint Pauls Cathedral opposite Federation Square. There also were lights (candles), singing was by a traditional choir, dressed in long robes. The noisiest part was the prelude by the imposing pipe organ.
Visiting two completely different church services, all worshipping the same Jesus, made me ask: Which style of worship does God prefer, quiet and traditional or noisy and exuberant? What worship will there be in heaven?
If there is an answer at all to this question, this is it: God is not impressed by any style of worship. God looks at the heart of people. He knows our innermost thoughts and weighs up the intention, our real motive springing from deep within our being, our heart.
The lively service in the morning was on City Road, South Melbourne. I was late, so the music had almost finished. The sermon by young dynamic Russell was based on 1. John 5, 13-16. His key points, in three words were Capacity and Confidence and Compassion.
The subject was prayer. Christians who believe in the name of the Son of God have the capacity to ask anything, if it is according to HIS will, HE has the compassion to grant our request. The confidence is not in our effort, but trust in HIM, who is able.
Note ION - turned around becomes NOI.
The next evening my path led me to another kind of service. At Melbourne's Exhibition Hall, which was built in 1888, a memorial service was being held for the victims of the Black Saturday fires ten years earlier. The actual date was three days later, 7.02.2009. But some of the dignitaries may not have been able to change important appointments.
As I cycled down Victoria Road from the hostel I spotted a distinguished limousine, registration number C 1, coming the other way. Our Prime Minister may have been already en route back to the airport. The event had obviously finished when I arrived and just observed from a distance.
May Australia return to the only true God!