Chapter 5 Written / Published 14.4./20.4.19   (Pics by author, unless indicated)

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

During composition of the previous two chapters I somehow deleted a large portion accidentally. This chapter includes some of that rewritten material.

 

I often see fun and magic in names I come across and, of course, matching numbers. This chapter includes much of both. Easter around the world is a big day in the Christian calendar. There was drama during our Good Friday service, thankfully with a happy end. 

 

A miracle racehorse retired in April 2019. She did her name proud and won and won and ... .

Please note: As always, the segments of writing are not in chronological order!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1, 9).

5.  WIN IXI  

"Religion is the biggest con of all time. There is no God. Religion is for idiots!"

Before any reader takes a big gasp in horror, thinking I am turning my back on 55 years of following Jesus Christ, be assured I have not lost IT. 

I had woken at 4.10 am on Good Friday morning and could not get back to sleep. When this happens my thoughts turn to scripture or the Psalms. I let God occupy my thoughts. Unable to fall asleep again, I considered listening to the radio, which I did not really want to do.

But the urge, the sensitive inner voice I had experienced many times, grew stronger and stronger. After a while I picked up my transistor beside my bed, put in the earpiece and turned on the switch. This is when I heard above vulgar, insulting statement read out. This listener to the overnight program on our ABC certainly expressed his world view in no uncertain language. 

On the surface,  a tale of an innocent man killed, his dead body placed in a tomb, and three days later he walked around as if nothing had happened, could sound like a con. Those who believe it as fact, however, deep down in their hearts know this man intimately. They worship HIM as their Lord and Saviour. They live for HIM every moment of their lives. 

Many around the world would rather die, than denying their love for Jesus. Thousands are killed every year for simply believing the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection and follow HIS teaching.

The special guest on the radio program was a professor at Monash University and also an Anglican Priest. At first the religious academic sounded solid in his beliefs, but as the discussion about Christianity and Easter went on, it became obvious that the bible was not the foundation of his faith.

If I understood correctly, the professor's philosophy on religious faith sound more like the humanistic ideals of tolerance and acceptance of diversity. On the surface they are great principles to live by, as are love, understanding and care for everyone. 

Conflict arises when Christians point to the words of Jesus, who claimed exclusive right to be mediator between God and man: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14, 6). 

How intolerant toward other faiths and religions, but that's HIS claim. HE paid with HIS life for making it.

The host of the overnight radio program asked listeners to send in their views on faith and religion. I felt compelled to do so, perhaps this is the reason I woke early and had the urge to tune into the radio? I sent this text message:

"Religious tolerance and compassion must never and never can replace the power of the bible, the word of God. To experience this power takes an intimate relationship with Jesus. HE walked a hard road, no wishy washy religion in HIM. Tolerance and compassion are good. Following Jesus to the cross, to eternal salvation, is what it's all about. A narrow way, few find it."

- - - - - - -

Flagstaff Hill, Warrnambool, Victoria.

During a recent visit to this historic village/museum my wife and I went to the evening lightshow. It's a mystery how light reflected, somewhere, somehow and placed a cross (top right corner) into this photo. Later at home I noticed it. Good Friday is good time to show and tell. (Details in later chapter). 

- - - - - - -

At this time, April 2019, the French are asking God: "Why did this happen to your house?" The house they refer to is an icon of French history, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The 850 year-old historic church is on fire as I am writing this paragraph. The damage looks such, it may take many years to repair, if indeed the structure survives. 

One cynical brain already suggested a possible answer as to why it happened: "It's God's judgment on the Catholic church for what the church did to little children".

There is a religious group that believes adamantly that musical instruments should never be heard in any church service; singing a cappella only. They  may blame the church organ for the fire...? 

Seriously, while the simple reason for this blaze is likely to be an accident during restoration work, one is allowed to question God. Why did HE not use HIS almighty power to protect HIS house of worship from such calamity? To search for an answer is futile. 

However, let's look at the issue, what kind of worship God prefers, as we did in Chapter 3. There we reasoned that God is more interested in the heart of the worshipper, not the style of worship. Likewise, God is less interested in where we worship or the splendor of the cathedral, as grand and magnificent as they may be. 

Pomp and ceremony, holy smoke, stained glass windows or huge pipe organ do not impress God, nor do guitars or sets of drums under flashing lights.

What impresses HIM is this: A heart that does what is right (does justice); one that is kind and forgiving (loves mercy) with an attitude of humility (walk humbly) before God. (Micah 6, 8).

Pic French TV via SBS

<<< Notre Dame FIRE, 15.4.2019 (Local time)

 

The creative part of my brain found the name Andre Finot, the contact for  Communications, somewhat peculiar. The endings in both his names make the word NOTRE.

Plus this - right in its center are the four letters FIRE! (Note No. 20)

- - - - - - -

Alert readers would have noticed the inconsistency in the title of chapter 4. The index page reads 'Odd one on Doon', while the title in the text reads 'Odd 20 on Doon'. One could be thinking this was meant to be code 1 20 - it wasn't. It simply was a mistake discovered much later.

However, once again, my error became God's opportunity to show HE is able to create something special, in amazing timing. Take a look:

Our Daily Bread bible reading - 16.4.19 (by X. DIXON) 

It so happened that the key verse that day was from the first book in the Bible - Genesis 1, 20.: "God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures."

There's something else I see. The name of the writer (above) contains two X and I, matching Roman numerals.  

The theme that day was 'Celebrating creativity'. If only every atheist or anti-creation scientist were to stop and think: "How could the world and all that is in it, the mountains, the oceans and the animals, not the least humans, have come from nothing? No designer, no God, all mere co-incidence when a speck of dust decided it wants to explode - makes no sense!

God's creativity started with a word. Words became books. Creative people write books. There seems to be so many:

 Books galore - Fisherman's Wharf Market, Port Adelaide

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21, 25)

What a puzzling text in the bible for a human brain to comprehend? But John is exactly making this point - even the most brilliant, scientific mind can't comprehend the myriad miracles, the mystery and magic of the ONE, whose death and resurrection the world celebrates, as I write this Easter time. It's all about Jesus Christ.

After typing above scripture verse, my digitally aware mind immediately saw the number 46 This takes us to a discovery regarding number 46; Psalm 46 to be precise: 

One morning I was searching YouTube for an uplifting scripture reading. (How fortunate our generation is to have so much entertaining and educational material to choose from, by just pressing a few buttons.) An idyllic graphic appeared, depicting a stream of water gushing over rocks flowing from a waterfall. The title on the graphic read Psalm 146.

 Psalm 146  >>>

However, as soon as the male voice started reading "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble...," I picked up the mistake immediately.

It was Psalm 46 that was read, not 146. The 100 difference in the numbers was easy enough to see! 

 

The psalm encourages the reader to not let fear take hold, despite what is happening all around. In modern language it may well read like this: "Don't worry, trust God. HE is your strength. Don't be perturbed about the earthquake or that tsunami. Don't let a volcanic eruption spoil your picnic!"

The eight short words of Verse 10, none longer that five letters, have calmed many troubled souls: "Be still and know that I am God". (Psalm 46, 10). In other words - Trust God, HE is able! 

- - - - - - -

There an untold story, which meant to go into Chapter three, but didn't make it. Here it is:

Only a few weeks have passed since early March 19, when a horrific hurricane caused great damage and loss of life in Lee County, Alabama. (New reports of more deadly tornados in the southern United States are emerging as I write, in mid April.)

For a few days following the Lee County disaster I noticed something peculiar during my evening bicycle rides. My route usually takes me through quiet back streets in nearby suburbs. A quick glance riding past a white Honda sedan at first showed nothing but a parked vehicle with L Plates.

When I passed by two days later it looked as if the vehicle had not moved. A little odd,  I thought, as my level of curiosity rose even further. A week later, the vehicle still parked in the same spot. Now I took note of the street name nearby. This time I stopped and took these photos:

<<< Parked Honda Sedan / Street sign

The registration plate 228 stood out. It was the same as my green Suzuki Wagon R+, which used to be my work vehicle in the driving-school. I couldn't overlook this and the yellow learner plates. 

When I passed the same vehicle almost a week later, my curiosity made me check the location. 

Only 10-15 m away was >>> this street sign: Lee St. It needed documenting.

(How crazy, yet perfectly true, is this observation: On the Sunday after the chapter on Hurricane Lee, a person named Helen sat beside us in church, a very rare occasion.) 

My fixation with car registration plates started way back in Book 1. Number 228 (as well as 301) had mesmerized my thinking and dominated my early writing. In recent months, as readers would be well aware, it's been BWS, black-and-white striped clothing. 

Another craze is presently occupying my creative hearing. Since Chapter 2 (Trump et A), when we had fun with the name Trump, it seems to have escalated.  I hear newsreaders or reporters on radio and TV mispronounce words, then correct themselves immediately. A little play, eliminating or shuffling letters, perhaps, and a new word or letters emerge. 

A female voice was reading the news from the BBC, London. The report was about the elections held in Israel. The leadership of the President (Ben N.) was on the line. Next she said these words: "If early exit polls are collect / correct..." 

There's a reason I took particular notice. At the time I had been chasing a part for my bicycle (unsuccessfully). The Part No. happened to be FDR (the initials of my name) and 30 30 >>> LR LR

The very latest 'pick up' was about 12 hours before typing this paragraph. It was again a female newsreader, again from the BBC, London and also about a major election. Indonesia's 190 Million people had to choose between the current President and ... This is when I heard her slip of the tongue:

"Subiano / Subianto.

How could I not notice t on the day before Easter?

There are more examples in my diary, Gul / Gulf, bederal / federal, just to mention two. 

On the day after I had published Chapters 2 and 3, two words on the TV screen arouse my interest. An expert was interviewed about the drought and how it is affecting the quality of fruit and vegetable in Australia. I took this photograph:

 Q U A L I T Y   AND   Q U A N T I T Y  =  L N T

On the Cross

<<<   L  N   >>>

Please note: Above names (Pyne and Ciobo) are not a fruit and a vegetable, they are politicians, who announced they would not stand at the next election! 

Mr. Pyne is vacating the South Australian Federal seat of TRUST, sorry STURT.

Hey! How interesting! Totally unplanned! A distant thought in my brain recalls writing briefly about this gentleman. I searched my website and found it in Book 13.3. And what perfect timing in the title - EL Holy Cross!

In the next segment I had planned to write about a horse that won for the 33rd time; a real big name - WINX.

- - - - - - - 

On the day of publishing I had woken real early and was reflecting on the big day just gone, Good Friday. Don't know about you, but during those early waking moments my thoughts can be very imaginative. As I recalled events and discovered names and numbers I had an urge to rise and write them down, right here. Nothing yet, even in my diary. 

Where do I start? The Australian racehorse WINX had made history. In only four years she won 33 consecutive races, earning prize money worth 26 Million Dollars. Her final win before retirement on 13.4.19 at Royal Randwick racecourse was a historic, emotional event broadcast live on television. There was a huge crowd trackside, including Prime Minister Morrison; many tear-filled eyes.

WINX - third from the right, winning her 33rd consecutive race.

                                                                            Pic. TV Channel Seven

Wikipedia gives her birthday as September 14th (9.14).

Did those naming the mare choose the name WINX because the letters i and n are letters 9 and 14 in the alphabet?

Did they consider Roman numerals VV + X  a perfect 10 10?

 

Earlier in the chapter the Roman numerals  I X X (1.20) received a mention. This was well before Good Friday 2019. I had no idea that these numerals would come up again on that day; this time as 19 = XIX. But more than that; 19 came with the letters WIN.

Read with patience as I explain: On Good Friday (19.4.19) in church the congregation stood to sing a song; my wife to my right, an old friend Keith on my left. During the second or third verse he suddenly collapsed. He went down totally unexpected. Even if I tried I could not have prevented him falling. Very quickly a few parishioners, two of them trained medical professionals, were assisting.

Thankfully, our 85 year-old friend came to soon afterwards. As precaution he was taken to hospital by ambulance. It all ended well. Keith made a good recovery that same day and was home again to tend to his little dog, his loved companion. 

After the service I volunteered to drive his vehicle to his house. The arrangement with my wife was very simple: I drive Keith's car to his house. You follow me. We then drive in our car to the hospital.

But Murphy was right when he said: "If something can go wrong, it usually does, especially if a husband tells his wife what to do.

My wife was very fast acting on my instruction, which was very unusual, totally out of character (just kidding). As I waited for her in the church carpark to finish her social interaction in the foyer, I looked up Keith's address in his street directory. (I had left my phone at home). Suddenly, our Hyundai i30 flew by, up the road at 'breakneck' speed (15 km/h?). The speed was not out of character, but that she would drive off and let me stand there, was. 

Because my wife was driving in the direction of the hospital, I thought that's where she was heading. I wondered, had I explained the arrangements correctly? Now what? I had no choice but to drive Keith's car to the hospital, thinking I would meet up with Isobel there. No Isobel, but Keith appreciated a chat. 

Just when I grew increasingly concerned that something may have happened to her, or to her mother Agnes, Isobel appeared.

The mystery was solved. The instructions for my wife were correct and she thought she had obeyed, like a good Christian wife. But she did not know what Keith's car looked like. She explained that she had seen a vehicle leaving the carpark. The driver looked like me, so she took off ... 

She chased that vehicle to the roundabout, up Maxwell Road at high speed, around a few left turns, a few right turns before finally losing 'me'. 

I'd love to know what this driver must have thought, if indeed he had noticed a gray Hyundai following closely behind? ("Why is this blond behind following me everywhere...?") 

Jokes aside, isn't it a tragedy that so many people belief they are on the right path, because the are following a leader and it's the wrong leader. Jesus is the only leader to follow if you want to live forever, eternal life in heaven. HE is the only leader of any religion, who was raised from the dead. That makes HIM God, a deity worthy of passionate worship.

So where does WIN and the number 19 fit in here? It so happened, without disclosing an address, Keith's home where I later dropped him, after he was discharged from hospital, was in WIN ... Street, No.19.

- - - - - - -

How could I not display two photos here, both taken in early January 2019? The numbers speak for themselves, if we consider the dates when they were taken. These make them special:

 

<<< Fuel 111.9 / litre

On January 11 (11.1.19) the price of unleaded petrol happened to be a close match to that day's date.

By April it had risen by 50 cents. Our fuel prices are like the roller coaster at Disneyland. Except, everyone needs fuel, Disneyland is optional.

- - - - - - -

<<<  Mileage on Suzuki.

Odometer - 389999

Trip meter - 111.8

 

Date: 9.1.19. Full marks to anyone who saw Nos. 1118 twice! (I took the picture after realizing the magic next morning).

- - - - - - -

This Easter let me challenge the reader to think. If you've never seriously meditated on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this is a good time. The offer to be rescued from death and hell and eternal life after we die, is no con. It's not fools who accept it, but honest, searching minds, who are willing to risk all by putting their trust in Jesus. (The fool says, there is no God). 

The first step is repentance - all have sinned (Romans 3, 23). The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Romans 6, 23). 

The second step is to understand Easter: Jesus died and paid the debt you owed. Rising from the dead HE defeated the devil and freed all from the evil of this world, with the hope of life forever. So simple, hard to believe that not everyone rushes into the loving arms of Almighty God!

To conclude this chapter there's one photo I treasure. No numbers matching dates this time; no hidden codes to decipher or linking up:

 

Our grandsons Jacob and Aidan (background)...

... after stepping off the airplane from Darwin. We had not seen them in many months.

 

Imagine, after I had taken this photo and I would just stand there, put my camera in my pocket and walk away. What sort of grandfather would I be? If I would start their visit by reminding them what they had done wrong last time, then lecturing them about the rules at our house, how rejected they would feel?

That's how some think God treats them. Like a stern disciplinarian, who watches for  and punishes every tiny misdemeanor. 

But God is LOVE. To those who repent and trust in HIM all is forgiven. He accepts them if they approach God with the enthusiasm and simplicity of a little child, God will never reject anyone! (John, 6, 37).

After taking the photo I embraced my grandchildren and never wanted to let them go. A lost soul that runs to God with a repentant heart, God will embrace and never let go! HE promised to always be with them.

Chapter 6

Index