Chapter 7 Written / Published 4.7./17.7.19 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
|HOME THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL Given your all - now what?|
It never seizes to amaze me, how during composition of a chapter hidden treasures emerge. Pictures suddenly reveal data, images bring to light twists I had not seen before. In this my first chapter in over two months, after a trip to the USA, such a surprise came. Unbelievable and not fiction. I write as it was.
During travel preparation a 4-digit number teased me. On arrival at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) a 3-digit number 'greeted' me. It stalked me right across the continent. If numbers were a religion, I'd qualify for Pope!
We start with some current, local news about two ladies, a politician and a tennis ace, who have something in common - muscle and a taste in dress. Also the name of a royal baby came up as a number. Amazing, what's hidden in a name!
7. PICASSO anyone?
When, how and why it happens I do not know; only that it happens. I'm thinking of the phenomena of waking in the morning, checking what time it is on the clock radio and finding that the digits match those I'm about to write that day.
On the morning of commencing this chapter (on July 3rd) the time showed 5.18, when I knew that the digits 1, 5 and 8 would be playing a big role in this chapter. Ardent readers may recall 185 in Book 16, Chapters 11 & 12 and number 85, re-created as HE more recently.
Before travelling to the USA on an extensive journey, it's hard to ignore that digit 158 is making front page news at the time I'm typing these lines. In Federal Parliament in Canberra a vote in the Senate is expected to pass, granting Australians a tax break. The re-elected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, secured the votes of cross bench senators, enabling him to implement his election promise. Wage earners would receive tax cuts worth 158 Billion Dollars.
What co-incidence! His 2019 surprise election win came on 18.5, five days after his birthday. The win, however, was no co-incident. One comment in his victory speech - I've always believed in miracles - has made history. It showed our Prime Minister's commitment to his Christian faith.
No doubt he believes in Romans 13, Verse 1: "...there is not authority except from God and those that exist are from God."
Only after pasting above pictures here did I notice the body language in both photos - right hand, clenched fist - power! Aussie tennis fans are expecting great things from Ash in the Wimbledon tournament, played as I write.
Some weeks earlier, the birth of a royal baby, grabbed the world's attention. Prince Harry and Meghan expected their first child. It came late, very late. Until the announcement of the new baby's name, bookmakers were taking bets as to what he/she will be called. Predictions by Cosmopolitan magazine for a boy were Albert, Arthur, Philip, Alexander, James, among others. None of these came through. Archie Harrison did.
Whilst Harrison should not surprise (Harry's son), where did Archie come from? Supposedly it derives from Arthur. It may be so, but as I pondered on Archie on the day of the announcement, my coded mind started playing games with the name.
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As I write, on July 5th in Australia, the US is celebrating their 'sacred' Day, Independence Day. Just now the above mentioned Mr. Trump is addressing the American people in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It so happened, by co-incidence (NOT) at the same hour I felt like reading one of my early chapters in this my autobiography.
I don't do this very often, unless I research a particular incident. At random I picked Book 3, Chapter 15. Out of the hundreds of chapters I could have chosen, I read this one, which makes mention of the American Independence Day July 4.
Toward the end I had written a very positive message, how to be a winner and not a loser. After reading my own uplifting message, I sent it to someone I had been praying for. The man was battling through one of life's storms. Here a short passage, written from the heart, from my own experience:
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This takes us to the US; more specifically to a numbers incident as I prepared to travel there for a 5-week jaunt across the Pacific Ocean. It is common knowledge that the price of fuel, at least in Australia, is closely linked to the value of the US Dollar. However, what happened a week before departure, something my numbers brain didn't miss, takes this to another level.
On May 7th I went to a place in TTP, a large regional shopping complex, to buy some US currency. No problem, the small currency exchange office had 400 Dollars in US notes available.
Before we board our Qantas jet on 15.05 to fly to the USA, there's one mention in my dairy of a specific date, linked to an event. On 29.3.19 the UK parliament was to take a vote to do with the ongoing sage of the Brexit, the British exit from the European Union. The vote was to determine, if the UK was to accept a NO DEAL Brexit.
One day I pondered, why this b.exit is taking so long, when a referendum on the subject, democratically, had given the green light. Was there something more behind it - a code, perhaps? And why vote on 29.3.19 and not on any other day? Perhaps three days later. If any vote were to go the wrong way, it could be brushed aside as an April Fool's joke? Whatever!
As I compose this chapter a vote is under way to elect a new Prime Minister in the UK. Three years ago I had hoped that a blond-haired man would become US President. He knew his English grammar (that the phrases 'his husband' or 'her wife' would not pass any grammar check). He did become President.
Today I wish we will see a blond-haired Prime Minister lead a revived, truly conservative Britain returning to its former greatness! Blond men, who speak their mind, who think outside the square and know their grammar, do a much better job.
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Australia's Prime Minister Morrison attended a recent G20 Summit in Japan. In a statement broadcast on television he welcomed the resumption of US-China trade talks. As far as I know our PM knows grammar and how to spell. (The number of hairs on his head, sorry, are so few, if he's blond is difficult to ascertain.)
As news if the G20 dominated our TV screens I took a picture of the PM. However, it had nothing to do with 20 world leaders having a sleep-over in Japan, but more to do with a spelling error on the TV screen. Take a look:
The 101 point-win represents 15.11, meaning the winner scored 15 goals, and 11 behinds (near misses). These digits take us right across the Pacific Ocean to California. I had not even left the airport when 511 appeared out of nowhere. Hours later it popped up in Santa Monica and later in Atlanta.
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Let's begin with the overall picture of my 2019 US excursion. Our meteorologist son once again planned to spend his vacation in the US, chasing storms. It's what many weather gurus do as a hobby. In a way it's crazy - while normal people hope for good weather during a holiday, these folk are hoping for real bad weather. (2019 turned out to be a good season.)
Our son's other hobby is bike riding. In addition to his storm chasing, he was planning to ride his bicycle down the the US west coast. He invited his old dad to join him on the ride. Who would say no to that? So, while Jon was going to do his thing with his friends, I thought, why not take this opportunity to visit my sister in Alabama,. Why not another walk down memory lane?
But why fly straight to Mobile, Alabama, the closest airport to my sister's? Why not enlarge my travel experience and visit another place en route. So I chose Atlanta. Now I'm glad I did. Otherwise, I may never have discovered what a nice word Atlanta is, how well the TL and TN fits into my world. Here's how:
Most of the planning for this trip, besides Atlanta and Alabama, was done by Jon and his friends, including the departure date 15.05. Little did I realize then, how significant NOS 1 & 5 were to become on this trip. (Seven years earlier I had landed at LAX on exactly the same day).
Number 511 didn't take long at all to appear. Minutes after disembarking the plane, while waiting to collect my bicycle at the oversize baggage, I noticed a plastic card on the edge of the conveyor. It was a hotel entry key-card for the Raddisson Hotel. It was for room number 511.
I left the card where it was, collected my bicycle, assembled it and, as I had done in 2012, cycled to Santa Monica to check into my hostel. Two hours later, after a brief walk down memory lane (Marina Del Ray, the Warehouse, lighthouse etc) I rode into downtown Santa Monica. By now room 511 was far from my mind, when I spotted this luxury vehicle, parked on the roadside. Suddenly 511 was on my mind again:
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At this point in composing this chapter it was time to attend church. What took place warrants repeating the very first sentence, which reads: "When, how and why it happens I do not know; only that it happens." I had been up writing since 4 AM, hoping to keep to the timetable and publish about the US trip in 'early July'. Before church I realized that it would be impossible to keep to the anticipated timeframe. So when would it be?
Within an hour of this decision my wife and I sat at church, as we do every Sunday. The person giving the reading slowly walked up to the platform and said: "Our text today is from the Book of Acts, Chapter 7, starting at Verse 17."
Yes, I had heard correctly. The words and reference was projected onto the large screens at the front.
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Thinking it through I found an answer that addresses the question, how all this can be? However, this answer does not answer anything. It only highlights the fact that to make sense of it all there has to be a power beyond human understanding. If the God of the bible and HIS son Jesus, the champion winner, is not the source of it all, who is?
Let me explain what ANSWER stands for:
Example - the people of Israel, after thousands of years, are still waiting for their Messiah. They are regarding all the hundreds of historical, prophetic writings, which point clearly to Jesus Christ, as nothing!
Believers in option 2, Christians who believe that there is a Holy Spirit guiding people, are regarded as crazy. Early in my struggle to make sense of it all, I learned that psychiatrists diagnose people, who claim to be guided by an external source, as schizophrenic. Does this not imply that Romans 8,14 - those led by the Spirit, are sons of God - is schizophrenic thinking? If option 3 is paranoid and option 2 schizophrenic, there's only one option left - All nothing, standing still.
But this is not what the psalmist meant when HE wrote: "Be still and know that I am God." In the early parts of Psalm 46 we read about trouble - earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, wars. In the midst of all these we can know there is GOD, in HIS tabernacle, ready to intervene, to speak and provide refuge and strength.
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During the two weeks at the end of May 2019, as mentioned earlier, I took the opportunity to spend some time in buzzing Los Angeles, walking down memory lane. So much had changed during the seven years since my previous visit. One major new project was the modern, light railway track from Santa Monica to Downtown LA, which took me and my bike right to the heart of the city.
Riding in heavy traffic had never bothered me. In LA as well as other cities around the world, there are an increasingly number of bike lanes to separate riders from other traffic. All that riders want is a white line on the dark road surface to create our own, safe space. (Aha - now I know where the fixation for black and white stripes comes from!)
As I waited at a red traffic light, obeying road rules as I occasionally do, my eyes scanned the surroundings and suddenly a sign took me in. It read 'WE ARE.. EN'. (That's why I earlier wrote: note the word OPEN).
Before the lights changed, without dismounting my bike, I snapped a picture:
This was my third visit to this mega city, but I still needed to check Google Maps to find my way around. I wanted to take a walk down memory lane to the historic precinct near Union Station and Olvera Street. I followed the closest route from where I was in Downtown LA. Only a few minutes of riding and I found myself in a totally different part of town.
Approaching an intersection I saw at the other side a body on the roadway. It looked like somebody had been hit by a vehicle:
Fast forward 11 days to 5.27. Nearly two weeks of my 2019 US venture had passed. That Monday I was riding a borrowed bicycle from downtown Atlanta to Stone Mountain, a major tourist attraction outside the Georgian capital. (Further details in a later chapter).
Number 511 from Santa Monica was far from my mind, as I cycled into Stone Mountain village. Suddenly, one glimpse to my right and there it was, the fire station where two fire vehicles had were parked. I stopped and took this photo:
(Jeremiah 17, 7)