28. What a difference a ‘c’ makes
In the July 02 edition of my online magazine ‘Outside the Square’ I wrote the following article:
Please visit to see spelling error.
Reading my newsletters I discover occasionally that I have misspelled a word or two. Before being too critical, however, let me tell you of two signs outside public parking areas here in Adelaide. One is opposite the Old Lion Hotel in North Adelaide, the other across the road from the German Club in Flinders Street, Adelaide. Both signs came obviously from the same sign writer; they are identical.
Both read: Vechicles are parked at owner’s risk.
Below: I don't feel so bad making a spelling error any more. (Opposite Old Lion's Hotel North Adelaide).
Why not come for a holiday in Adelaide. See it for yourself. Be assured a holiday in South Australia is value for money (good prices) because our math's is as bad as our spelling. But we are all good in hospitality.
I had noticed the North Adelaide sign a few years earlier. After joining the male voice choir of the German Association I happened to see the same sign across from the club house in the City. I wrote this useless bit of information and the intimation about our lack of mathematics to fill space in my newsletter. Then I felt a little silly because, hinting that we are not good at maths, people may have thought I made an allusion to the CBT test form described in chapter 7. It was pure co-incidence. I just wanted to highlight our hospitality in a humourous way.
The extra ‘c’ in the misspelled word vechicles had me spellbound. My surname very often is spelled without the ‘c’. The pronunciation and meaning is the same between the English Fisher and the German Fischer. Fishing was never my favourite sport. I lacked the patience to wait for a bite. But the letter ‘c’ in my name, read as ‘see’, describes me very accurately.
I always saw connections in names, events or numberplates, when others just brushed them aside. Ever since a teenager I loved reading numberplates and remembered them without trying. Even today I remember the Renault 4 of the choir master of our church choir in Esslingen, Germany in the late 1960’s. It was ES AU 560. We joked about it being like the biblical name Esau.
To my astonishment in the morning of Nov 7th 2002, while visiting Germany my brother was driving my sons and me into Essen from Langenberg, in the Ruhr Region. In the lane beside us I spotted the numberplate: E AU 560, which we followed for a short time. I saw it how similar it was to that of our choir master. I kept it to myself, too embarrassed to even mention it. My brother and sons would not regard it as significant.
I saw the old money that was handed to me by my client (chapter 5). Long before figures proved me right, I saw that the log book system would produce worse road safety results than the old system. Perhaps I had a gift of seeing things? Was I a modern day prophet?
Between driving lessons I would often listen to tapes. Our church had a large collection. I selected anything that sounded interesting. One day I listened to a sermon preached years earlier. The speaker talked on the miracle of the catch of fish. Peter and the other fisherman had fished all night and caught nothing. In the morning Jesus met them at the shore and asked: “Have you any food?” (John 21, V. 5)
“No we have caught nothing”, they said. He suggested them to try again, to cast the net on the right side. They obeyed and caught 153 fish. (John 21, V. 11.) Too many for the fishing net, yet it did not break.
There it was, my figure 15 and 35, if you are reading it from both directions. Why was the number of fish mentioned at all? Did it matter, how many fish they had caught? Was I drawing attention to myself? Was I on a huge ego trip without realizing it? In my heart I knew this was not the case. I was just curious, why this number, these numbers, my number?
A further number entered the scene. In the latter part of 2002 the number 12 played an interesting role. Two was the first part of 24 Good… The two must be God and his son, perhaps? One is pronounced exactly like won. God won. Yes, by defeating death on that awful Friday so long ago, God became the winner of winners. His victory may not always be evident in today’s society, nevertheless the 21.
My date of birth in six digit form is 300150. Not only are the three odd numbers present, but one morning I just knew there is a mathematical curiosity in that number. Thinking of my special number 35 I took the calculator and divided my birth date by 3, which came up as 100050. Very interesting I thought and divided the answer by 5 to reach 20010. Two won, again!
People would accuse me of numerology, which is bordering on witchcraft, and for Christians forbidden. Had I searched and selected those numbers, shaken them and made up these results to fit it into my story, then I would agree that is not from God. I knew I didn’t make up anything, simply took notice of facts and figures and let God do the rest. Let people accuse me of clever manipulation.
How could I have influence over my date of birth? I never before had taken notice of the number of fish the disciples caught, until listening to that tape. The configuration of numbers 3 and 5 emerged through a road law that I found impracticable to go along with. I was and still am as amazed, as any reader who takes me seriously, about the circumstances of these figures coming into being. Yes, they may all just be co-incident; nevertheless they are still there and I refuse to ignore them.
Perhaps God is speaking to us humans in this unusual manner? If you read the Old Testament, you too will see how God has arranged miraculous interwoven plots and schemes that are beyond human reasoning. He has to get our attention sometimes. I was reminded many times of Verse 2 of Psalm 94, the one I read out when I hijacked the church service: “Show yourself, oh God…” Was God showing himself in this fashion?
To cope with discoveries of such great magnitude (which I perceived them to be) I emailed my contact at the Advertiser:
Anytime you feel I am overloading you with mail, please let me now. Sometimes I feel like a person that came back to life again. Life is precious, why waste it?
It appears that Marty Smith’s creative side has seen the five. May I suggest a ”Thoughts with Bob D. Fischer” column.
Words at work: The letters i, c, b, b make a humming sound.
Sign of the times: God loves learner drivers - Sign at rear of driving school vehicle -
From the quote book: Be suspicious of a doctor who says, you either take 3 more tablets or you’ll be on pension in 5 months.
Keep on counting: 300150 divided by 3 is 100050 divided by 5 is 20010 !
On this day: Dieter Fischer was born is Esslingen, Germany.
Just a thought: Feeling cheated? - Holler for a marshall.
Bob D. Fischer
I had no idea what Rebekah did with my emails, perhaps just delete them? To me it did not matter. The humour kept me sane. My creativity was challenged, the rest I left up to God.
I kept on speaking out fearlessly on issues I thought were immoral or wrong. As an example, in January 2002 tennis star Pat Rafter was chosen as “Australian of the Year”. He was a well liked sportsman who did a lot of charity work. In a phone call to Jeremy Cordeaux on Radio 5 DN’s talkback program I said that I disagreed with the appointment. Pat Rafter’s girlfriend was expecting a baby. It would send the wrong message to young people about marriage, parenthood and family.
During this on-air phone call I did not mince any words. I said that Australia must wake up and determine if they want to be a Christian country. Unless we repent of our sin and do a U-Turn we all will face God’s wrath (or words similar). How I longed for the Christian message of love and forgiveness to spread through the community like a wildfire. I prayed earnestly that it would happen. I even challenged God with specific figures: 2 Million Australians, 20 Million Americans and another 200 Million people world wide to come to know HIM or rededicate their lives to Jesus.
I composed a poem to make my point about the choice of role model for Australia:
There once was a man named Patrick Rafter.
The ‘Australian of the Year’ he always was after.
Not me; the dream was too distant, too wild.
Not married, his girlfriend expected their child.
A fine lad both on and off the court,
With loads of cash many kids he can support.
Is the moral here, it’s the dawn of a new day,
To be a parent without marriage is now OK?
Please hear when I add my humble voice.
Was there no one worthy of a better choice?
Patrick will make a wonderful father.
But many join welfare, confused if Arthur or Martha.
I emailed it to the Sunday Mail Newspaper on Australia Day Jan. 26th 02. It was never published. Was my thinking weird? Were there any other Australians who saw it my way? What is normal? Am I normal? Questions, questions, questions.
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves