Chapter 5 Written / Published 14.4./20.4.19 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
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.
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:
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Flagstaff Hill, Warrnambool, Victoria.
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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.
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.
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
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:
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!"
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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:
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.
"Subiano / Subianto.
Q U A L I T Y AND Q U A N T I T Y = L N T
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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:
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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.