Chapter 1 HOME
Written / Published 11.3/18.3.20 (Pics by author, unless indicated
'It is as it is' could be another expression of the word truth. Certain fundamentals are like that - either it's true or it's not. The earth is flat or it isn't! Humans evolved after a piece of dust exploded or they were created! There either is a creator God or the entire universe is all co-incidental! Must I go on?
Our Prime Minister has just delivered a one hour press conference. He addressed the nation about the COVID 19 situation, the severity of which we have not seen in the past 100 years. The drastic measures he announced are already affecting everybody. These are indeed unprecedented times we are living in. At the end of our chapter is a solution to all the world's woes.
Amazing things happened on the football field and in church the next day. We take a short trip away to Victoria, where we are followed by a letter in the alphabet.
We also visit, twice in one month, Kangaroo Island, Australia's third largest, just off the coast of South Australia. The weather on the final day was real bad - yet amazing! !
1. Unprecedented times
Has it ever happened to anyone what my mind picked up during a football game on the Saturday before publishing this chapter? It actually started merely as an amusing brief thought when I first became aware of it. Years ago I probably would have made much more of it, texted about it to my friends or emailed a TV station etc.
But now, anno 2020, two decades after my life journey had turned from a normal average path into a somewhat tumultuously peculiar pattern, I have mellowed considerably in my thinking. It may be a sign of old age, mature age, having just turned seventy.
The quirky twist in the football match came during Adelaide United's humiliating defeat in their home stadium on Saturday, March 7th 20. The Reds played their namesake Western United* from Melbourne. The final goal of the 5:1 crushing, inflicting much pain onto the home crowd, was scored by player No.11.
As I rode my bike back from the stadium I thought: How peculiar was the name of the player, who scored the fifth goal, causing Adelaide fans more pain? (Read on).
The next morning, Sunday March 8, 2020 my wife and I attended church. The disappointment of our team dropping to 7th spot on March 7th was long behind and forgotten. (I love the sport of soccer, never mind who wins. What is important - to win eternal life!)
The first hymn was an up-tempo tune, written by John Gowans. The first verse starts with "Who is it tells me what to do ... " Take a look at the lyrics:
But there was more: The second verse held another quirky fact: "Who is it ... helps me bear the pain?" This line was the reason I was asking at the beginning: Has it ever happened to anyone? At the football match the day before, the name of the player who scored the fifth goal for Western United was C. Pain!
...it got better on Monday morning, as I wrote the story into my diary. Take another look at the lyrics, which I scanned from the Salvation Army Hymn book: Not only the word pain, but the word strain appeared in the same verse!
Sounds unreal? It's the truth!
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That Sunday in church, March 8, 2020, the leader did something very unusual. To show appreciation for our women he asked all the men to stand up and give the ladies a standing ovation! I joined in, reluctantly I must add. Afterwards I thought the gesture might have been a little 'over the top'; and why was I hesitating?
Not that I don't love and appreciate my wife or all the other ladies in church for what they do. It made me think about the role women play in our society. There is a regular bible study once a week at church. But why only for women? I asked the lady who leads it. Don't the men need to study the bible too? One answer I received to my question puzzled me: "It's our turn."
Is the world's push for equality now dictating the Christian viewpoint on gender roles? Has the pendulum swung too far the other way? Where are all the men?
Before expanding on this let me write about what took place on another Sunday, back in November 2019. My wife and I had had a serious discussion about a scripture, one that not many sermons are preached about these days. "Wives submit to your husbands."
I had really wanted my wife and I to take a short break to travel for a week somewhere, just to enjoy life. She was very reluctant. She loves staying home, but there was no real reason to not come with me. I gently asked her, how she interprets the above scripture in the bible, about wives submitting to their husbands? The outcome was that I did get my way in the end, but this is not why I'm telling the story.
The next day, Sunday 24.11 I opened my German Bible Hoffnung fuer Alle (Hope for all). As I was about to read from the Old Testament, my mind just changed to the New Testament. Somehow, the Bible fell open to page 1412:
'Mann und Frau in der Ehe' (Man and wife in marriage).
Nowhere in the bible will we find that women are to be treated as second class citizens. It's the opposite. Proverbs 31 talks about a virtuous, industrious wife. She's into selling, buying, planting, real-estate, handcrafts etc. She welcomes the poor and helps the needy. Her husband sits on the council. What a picture of a successful woman; not bossy, but standing by her man, a splendid team working together!
The final chapter in Proverbs ends with this:
Perhaps this was the intention for the standing ovation on International Women's Day 2020? Can't wait for International Men's Day, if there is one. And we shall find a good man somewhere in the scriptures! But then...
Birthday gift for a man?!
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The bible is very clear - all are equal in value, very different in function. When God's basic design is misunderstood and violated, when mankind thinks they know better, chaos begins. Children will be confused as to who or what they are. Men who were brought up in the traditional way, who are being brainwashed or forced into accepting this secular new, feminist ideology, or else, may choose the 'else option'. Some may not know how else to cope!
Woe to the human race, if they turn their back on God, when they reject HIS beautiful design for them and refuse to function the way HE intended them to! No social engineering, no matter how clever or tolerant it may sound, it will never replace God's perfect plan for HIS world. In the end HIS will will be done! Every knee shall bow ...
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As mentioned earlier, I did get my way about a short trip away. At the end of November, having lovingly persuaded my wife - she is the best I could ever have had - we took a short road trip to our neighbour state Victoria. On Friday 29th (29.11. 2020) we drove our Hyundai i30 to Ararat and stayed there for the first night. The plan had changed at the last moment, because we were unable to find suitable accommodation in Ballarat. A music concert there had every hotel/motel booked out.
Just as well we stopped in Ararat. It gave us time the next morning to take a short drive around and look at the sights this historic, regional town had to offer. One of these is called the J-Ward:
The reason I mention the J-Ward, this sad, spooky tourist attraction, is the letter J. At the time I had no idea that this place, and the letter J, would be crossing our my path a few more times in the days following. The first instance came the very next day as we were travelling and listening to the radio on the freeway towards Melbourne.
My wife was driving while I wrote my diary. I can't recall ever having done that before. Surfing the radio channels we happened to come across 103.9 FM, a Christian radio station. The time was 9.10 AM, something my numbers brain noticed immediately. But it was more the person being interviewed that made me turn up the volume and listen attentively.
Only two hours or so before I had received above sad news, I had placed an order to purchase David Harris' book online. One incredible part of the radio interview sticks out in my mind (as I recall it):
Our short time at Phillip Island, two nights at the main town, Cowes, was not quite as we had hoped - windy, wet and very cool for the beginning of the Australian summer. We stayed in a nice apartment on The Esplanade, right opposite the beach. I took above picture during a brief moment, when the sun broke through the dark clouds.
'The Saturday Paper' Dec19/Jan20 edition commented on the same news story, which had journalists protesting over very vocally and intensely.
Julian Burnside wrote:
*What an unreal name - Justason - it also starts with J and ends in son!
Journalists and the legal fraternity were shocked after one of their colleagues uncovered and blew the whistle on this secretly held court case. Just like newspapers sometimes hide behind the phrase 'for legal reasons we can't report...' does the Australian Federal Police state that they could not reveal details about witness J for 'national security reasons, because what they found may embarrass certain elements, perhaps even themselves?
Looking back I'm glad to have pursuit this J-letter matter. It's a perfect lead to what has puzzled my mind since August 2019. In an article on 13.8. R. Puddy on the ABC website wrote that the case of incarcerated former magistrate Peter Liddy had attracted great public interest.
In January the media reported Mr. Liddy had applied for parole due in the middle of 2019. In April the news was that he actually made an application, no doubt hoping he would be released after 18 years of suffering the sad injustice inflicted on him.
Next, in a bombshell move, the Adelaide Advertiser pushed for an existing 'serious pedophile law' to be applied to Mr. Liddy, so he would NEVER be released! The latest news, going back to September 2019 was that a parole hearing was scheduled to take place that months.
At the time of this chapter March 20 nothing more was heard about the man! Has there been a parole hearing? What was the outcome?
In a feedback message to the ABC on 5.3.20 I queried this lack of information on the case:
The ABC report on the case lead me to more questions. R. Puddy wrote:
Does R. Puddy believe that in the original court case in 2001 Peter Liddy had a fair trial, if the authorities in 2010 had doubts that he would be having one? Anybody who cares to study the full facts of the case - as reported in many of my chapters - would have serious doubt, not only about Peter's guilt, but that he received a fair hearing originally!
A further question arises from the latest move to keep Mr. Liddy locked up indefinitely. The Attorney-General stated:
How would a prisoner in jail, who consistently maintained his innocence, would want to take part in 'rehabilitation' for his alleged uncontrollable, sexual instincts? Even if he were undergoing some kind of farcical treatment, how could he proof he's cured? Makes no sense.
*Where is the news, what the crown solicitor decided? If there's to be an application by the SCO, how long before there were an outcome? It looks like the whole process could take years, while a man who still claims innocence is lingering in jail? Remember, Peter already has served his imposed minimum jail term - a harsh 18 years!
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During my four months break after finishing Book 17 another Christmas has come and gone. In December I received a small parcel in the mail with the most unreal present ever! It was not so much the gift itself, it came from a total stranger, without any explanation whatsoever. Furthermore, the address where it came from in China, made me really wonder what lay behind it? It included codes, numbers and letters, those same ones I had been blogging about for years:
(For privacy reasons I will not show the full address).
Quangdong, I learned, is the third largest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai. The way I came across this commonly known fact was not merely by googling it. It came via a very unusual channel, a person from (you guessed it) China.
A tradesman doing a job at our place, not long after receiving above gift, was of Chinese appearance. Out of curiosity I showed him the package with the address and he told me. But then came the unreal twist: Not only did he recognize the place, he said that before he migrated to Australia he worked in an office only one or two kilometers from there the parcel came from. What co-incidence, I thought - or was it?
Here is the gift that arrived in the mail:
One final piece of information in the puzzle - the tradesman who told me about Guangdong happens to carry a name tag. Not only had he lived near the place, he also had the same surname - Li. Unreal, but true.
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On January 4, 2020 Australia's Capital Territory experienced its hottest day ever - 44 degrees C. (111.2 Fahrenheit). That month was to be one of the hottest on record. For several days Canberra 'boasted' the worst air quality in the world as the sky turned shades of orange and smoke and haze blanketed the city. (Source: Canberra Times).
Not only in the ACT will the summer of 2019/20 be remembered as the worst for bushfires. Almost every day for weeks the national broadcaster, the ABC, alerted viewers all over Australia on radio and TV of emergency warnings; one day for the Sunshine Coast, next Western Australia or Southern New South Wales. In the final chapter of my previous Book 17 the crisis was just beginning.
It all started with seriously out of control fires in June, middle of winter in Australia. With the approach of summer they turned into a catastrophe that was reported worldwide. Some described the blazes as apocalyptic.
Like much of the continent, Australia's third largest island, Kangaroo Island, was burning - half of it was totally destroyed by a vicious, fast moving fire that had started in the Flinders* Chase National Park, on the Western end of the island.
One of the first casualties of the unprecedented Kangaroo Island blaze, known as the Ravines fire, was the world-renowned, luxury resort Southern Ocean Lodge. It's the only Australian place included in the top 100 in the world. The hotel was host to the superrich, like Bill Gates, the kind who would not be worried, if the room-rate were $ 20,000 per night or 'only' $2000. Desprite having a $ 1/2 million sprinkler system installed, the SOuL could not be saved!
(A well-written, gripping article of this expensive disaster is written on the Southern Ocean Lodge website).
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This was probably the scariest moment of the experience; the briefing on where to go, what to do should this scenario became reality. The first thing our team leader did afterwards was to get a tarpaulin ready for us huddle under, while the fire storm would blow over us. Thankfully, it didn't happen.
The Salvos crew that had served the preceding days, so we were told, had to evacuate and move their equipment very swiftly after the wind blew the fire in their direction.
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(Fast forward two weeks).
The End of January 2020 was a milestone in my life. I turned seventy! (Written with letters it don't look so bad!). Since I knew it was coming up (long before I may add), in my mind I had considered taking a short interstate trip. But during my service on Kangaroo Island, when it became clear that the tourism industry was being hard hit with cancellations, I decided to come back to the island for my birthday.
Soon after arriving back home I made a booking for a room at the waterfront motel on the foreshore at Kingscote, the largest town on the island. It looked pretty, overlooking the ocean with a balcony; and it was. I found it strange, however, that the price for two nights was advertised as special - reduced from $ 310 to $ 301, as this small reduction would entice bargain hunting visitors? Either way, these were the digits for my birthday on 30.1.
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On the final day of our stay, the last day of January 2020, we dropped into the Bee Hive, a shop specializing in Ligurian Bee honey, plus lots of knick-knacks for tourists. It so happened its owner, Peter Davis, was interviewed by a television crew. The gentleman, who chatted with us briefly afterwards, lost many of his beehives in the fire.
Businesses like his, who rely on tourists, were only part of the tragedy of the summer of 2020. Beside the two men who lost their lives in the island, the death toll among the animal world was horrific. Australia-wide, a figure one Billion was mentioned. But who can even begin to measure ....?
Up to this point neither myself on my earlier volunteer trip, nor my wife had seen any sign of fire damage. That's why we continued from 'The Beehive' and drove west on the Playford Highway to another main town on the island, Parndana,
We had booked an evening ferry-crossing to the mainland with the view of enjoying more sightseeing that day. However, as we turned east again, it was clear the weather was changing. At American River we managed a picnic on the foreshore, but the dark clouds indicated it was only a matter of time before the rainstorm would hit.
A message from our son, directly from the weather bureau, warned us to be on the lookout for flash flooding. Thankfully, on the way to the ferry at Penneshaw, and later back to Adelaide, there was only very heavy rain, the heaviest I have driven in for many years, but no flooding. This fact and that the fires were finally completely out, was the good news. Across on the mainland, in the town of Port Lincoln, for some the storm delivered bad news. The sudden deluge caused millions of Dollars in damage.
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I can't recall when exactly it dawned on me: During my first visit, when the Ravine Fire was still burning, sweeping west out of control over the island, my son had mentioned in a text that it would take lots of rain to extinguish this blaze. I had already decided to come back and visit again for my birthday.
My diary entry on Friday 31.1.20 explains, why I'm referring to it here:
So, who is it that did it?
It was the ONE who created the universe, the ONE who created the earth and all that is in it. This includes you and every living creature. HE has the power over all. Only HE can save your soul!
The next generation, fearful of the future, is asking: Who can we trust? Why are children not taught the scriptures, simple gems of hope, a foundation for life when facing uncertain times? Here a just a few:
Philippians 4 is a great chapter in the New Testament for anyone who is worried:
From God's point of view nothing that happens on earth can rob us of HIS love, HIS peace, if only the world would turn from their wicked ways and fully trust in HIM.
Our earth desperately needs climate change. The people in the earth need a change in their spiritual climate - a repentant heart that turns from evil and accepts the truth!