77. Do it God’s way.
On Thursday May 8th we had two tradesmen come to our house. The washing machine had been making a loud noise, plus a broken window was to be replaced in the toilet. I was at home writing.
The washing machine repairer found a bolt that had fallen out and replaced it. Out of curiosity I asked his name. Beaumont - I easily transformed it into “Goodman”. But I had promised myself not to think like that any longer! The repair bill came to $ 45 for the ˝ hour job. Did this man know that I liked numbers? Had he not heard that I liked 15 even better than 45?
To fix the broken window two workers arrived. The glazier’s assistant’s name was David. I made a joke and said: “Is it going to cost twice as much then?”
The account came to $ 79.76! I smiled to myself, immediately spotting the 24 cents change required. (In Australia, we don’t have one and two cent coins any longer). Now I knew why there were two tradesmen in attendance. I told Isobel there were two, because our number is two four. She laughed and I could almost detect that she wanted to grasp the concept, but thought better of it.
I just pondered in astonishment at what humour lay behind this whole saga. In the middle of the night Isobel returned from the toilet. I had been awake and tried to have another go at making her see the oddity of such obvious “evidence”. I asked her, if she thought that $ 79.76 was a silly amount to charge us for the window? Her answer was short: “Not now, darling,” the three words every man faces from time to time. I didn’t even get the darling bit. The time was (again) 3 o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t blame her for preferring to sleep. Nothing new, my fun would be a glass of water, instead.
My body amazed me that I was managing on only 4 hours sleep some nights. I was not working full time in my real job, so had opportunity for the occasional sleep during the day. Isobel was telling me about a program she watched on TV. To cure insomnia a new technique was tested that involves sleep depravation. The sleeper is only allowed four minutes of sleep before being woken up again. If they needed volunteers, I would have considered joining in, had they let people sleep for 5 minutes. Had I not been supporting anything and volunteered for everything?
For Isobel’s health sake, God was showing me, I ought to volunteer and help Isobel more in domestic matters. As much as I loved writing, the time had come to show Isobel, my family and to myself that I could lay aside my dream and take a break in the game of Life. Real freedom requires the willingness to give away something that you value above all, except God. If you can’t, it wasn’t yours in the first place.
I loved my game of fun emails, writing my life story or dreaming big dreams. But if I placed them ahead of God’s will and my family, then these things become idols. People, even Christians, make idols of all sorts of things. When an object, sport, a hobby or another person becomes more important than Christ himself, we probably have lost our “first love” (Revelations 2, 4). A church mentioned in the last book of the bible was guilty of this sin. Christians are allowed to have fun. God himself loves fun. But let’s include HIM in our fun.
After Easter I sensed that my story was reaching a milestone. Despite this or because of it, I saw and linked a new name, a connection of numbers or events almost daily. One morning the name of the street where we had lived for eight years in Hobart Tasmania came to life – Bowden Street. (bow d & n).
When I had escaped from Mental Hospital (Chapter 14) one night three years ago, I walked a few kilometres to the house of a friend Jonathan. The name of his street was Perseverance Road. I am convinced that this amazing tale holds many more twists-of-fate than I was able to see or mention. For many years the Governor of South Australia was a popular lady by the name of Dame Roma Mitchell. Roma, women and I go well together.
Mitchell is a name I shall never forget. On May 8th I had a student by that name, permit number AN 7666, what more numbers and figures do I need? The long version of her Christian name means – I & the lies of South Australia. At one time in the 1980’s we had a Governor called Don Dunstan; his name was exactly the same as that of a controversial Labour Premier, who since passed away. South Australia’s new slogan may be the State of Names.
God had shown me that the continuation of my path is in the service to people. The long term dream is so large I have not shared it with anybody. My contacts at “The Advertiser” probably have deciphered coded messages which hold the key. Would they decipher correctly? Would they take it seriously? Who cares?
To the casual reader my words are just a collection of strange twists and turns with numbers, names and a plot inside a plot. But to the ones who dig a little deeper, who search beyond the bizarre and open up their mind, I am sure there are treasurers waiting to be found. One of my biggest concerns is the experts, scientists or clergy, tearing my God-incidences to pieces and labelling me a charlatan, the devil or the anti-Christ. The number 666 are the last three digits in our phone number. Doubters would never see the 7 preceding it.
Often I ask the question myself, where did all of this start? It is hard to pin point a particular time, but the scene for change was first set, when our State Government decided to privatise driver licencing. To have one person instruct and issue a driver’s licence without any further, independent assessment was something I saw as dangerous. I confided my reservations very early on, while the system was in its embryo stage, to a good friend, who saw it also and agreed straight away. “No”, he said, “this does not sound like a good idea”. He was the mature Christian man who used to call me “ol' son”.
My creative side was stirred unduly into action, as a diversion of the stresses that were building up at work. It has been five years that I had written my road safety book “Low-risk driving – a skill for Life”. The latest copy to the Government I delivered personally on Dec. 10th 2002. Apart from a letter that it has been received there was no word from anyone. A copy had previously sat on the desk of another Member of Parliament for over 12 months without any feedback.
I can not help but draw a parallel between my road safety book and the bible. Only yesterday I offered a copy to a new client. She declined to take it, saying openly that if she did get one, she would not read it anyway. At least she was honest. People think they don’t need the bible to get through life. It is one of the most neglected, yet most widespread books around. God showed us the way of life spiritually, my road safety book, a safe way of life on the road. No one is interested.
There were many other issues still unresolved in my story. My suspicion that the log book system has placed South Australia at the bottom of the road safety ladder has never fully been investigated. The consistent, yet unusual chain of co-incidences, road deaths and other incredible timely events, which point to possible criminal activity, is still hanging like a big mystery over our state’s families. There are many unanswered questions.
The political fallout from last election has all but died down. The man Terry Stephens who pledged to bring down our Speaker Peter Lewis has been silent. Not much is on the news any more of that convicted bank robber, who promised to bring down one of the most influential politicians in our state. TV’s channel Seven told me once that Stephens was phoning them several times a day.
What happened to my little “nothing is too hard for God basket?” and the “ain’t no better business for a prophet mug? These would have to wait until the full time whistle in the grand final. Time can wait.
The world had changed on September 11th 2001. How far my wake-up call had been heeded is something history will tell. I am convinced that God himself heralded in a new era. Christians around the world were jolted into a re-think of their commitment to their Saviour. I believe my dream, to see the name of Jesus once again be respected, and not just used as a swear word, has been fulfilled. My deep desire to see people turn to HIM has been granted beyond my wildest imagination. In my introduction I express clearly that this story is not about me or what I had achieved. It is to God’s glory.
At the time of writing May 2003 ex-magistrate Peter Liddy is still in prison, as far as I know. Our correspondence had ceased, which I found very upsetting. Is it true that during a previous family court matter his main accuser had stated that he had never been sexually assaulted as a child? If yes, why was this not taken in consideration during Peter’s trial? What gain is there for him to still deny he is guilty? How can a man claim Christ as Lord and live a life of lies and evil? How did Family Court Judge Ann Robinson die? Why was the cause of her death at the young age of 59 never reported? I will keep asking - why.
Were there still rumours about me floating around which people believed? How can those people reconcile that good and evil comes from the same mind? On Anzac Day 1999, when I lost my reputation by behaving in a most uncharacteristic fashion, Psalm 94 had been my reading very early that Sunday morning. This psalm expresses my struggle against evil, against corruption and my longing for justice. In Verse two the writer pleads with God to show himself. I believe God showed himself in the history making, political events around the turn of the millennium in Adelaide, South Australia.
The psalmist goes on to lament at the injustices, the wicked deeds of the proud and their boasting about their evil. But God warns them that he has eyes to see and ears to hear. Verse 15 so beautifully states: “But judgment will return to righteousness. And all the upright in heart will follow it.” Verse 16 challenges for a volunteer – “Who will rise up for me against evil doers, who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” Is not this what I did? Stand up and speak up against iniquity? My Mitsubishi VHO plus my number five as a Roman numeral V – make it WHO! Yes, very, very unusual, but fact.
I battled through mental illness, rejection from my own loved ones and the ever present torment of self doubt. But God, in Verse 17, had been my helper, otherwise my soul would have settled in silence. How often was I told to get on with life, to get over it, to get on with my real job? But I refused to shut up or give up my dream. How true Verse 17 became to me; if the Lord had not worked circumstances in such dramatic fashion, I would have died of despair.
On Friday May 9th I sent the first email of a hat-trick to my email contact Rebekah at the Advertiser Newspaper. It was not planned that way, but as they say – magic happens. And a magic hat-trick it was.
Travelling along Bridge Road one morning a song tickled my ears. I had heard Frank Sinatra’s “My way” played on the radio dozens of times. For the first time I took note of the lyrics, as if they were written about my story. I changed only a few words to point into the right direction. I included the song as contribution to my Friday email to Rebekah. Why I felt I owe it to her, I have no idea.
Subject: Half Time whistle nears.
I'm tired. After finishing Volume One of my Sand story I will concentrate
on making Isobel happy. I'll prove to her that love can overcome.
As a preview I include my altered version of a well-known song:
And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I say it clear, I state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve travelled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it God’s way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few, But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do. HE saw me through without exemption.
HE planned each chartered course, each careful step along the Why-way.
But more, much more than this, I did it God’s way.
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall, and did it God’s way.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried, I’ve had my fill, my scares of losing.
and now as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that, and may I say - not in a proud way,
“No, oh no, not me, I did it God’s way.”
For what is man, what has he got?
If not his God, then he has naught,
To say the things he truly feels,
To the one who listens when he kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it God’s way!
On Friday evening 9/5/03 I attended the Liberal Party’s State Council Meeting (as an observer). A member of 21 years Diana Laidlaw had rendered her resignation earlier in the year. The meeting was to elect a replacement for her seat in the Legislative Council. The cream (as they say) of South Australians politician was present, from Australia’s Foreign Minister and Ministers of Defence and Social Security to numerous Senators and Members of State and Federal Parliament. At a later date I may write a detailed account of what I can only call a ‘miracle’. Perhaps I was the only person in the hall to see it that way?
Diana Laidlaw, I was unsure about her reason for resigning, was the final speaker. I had imagined her to be sad. But for the first time I saw a bubbling personality laughing, making a joke about herself. I had prayed for Diana consistently for months, even years, thinking she held grudges against me personally. I drove home that night bewildered at seeing part of my dream fulfilled in real life. Oh, the magic of it all! To top it off on Saturday after my prayer time, the first three letters of Sinatra hit me – more magic. I had to send my second email to Rebekah:
Subject: How thick am I?
The thick in the subject line does not refer to my body (remember my name, Dieter). It refers to my brain.
When I emailed you the song "I did it my way" I did not realize until just now, that the first three letters of the sinner (sorry singer) are Sin (you may be a bit young, but my generation called Frank Sinatra Ol' Blue Eyes').
How true it is - doing it our own way is sin. HIS way is the only way.
I attended the selection of Michelle Lensink as replacement for Diana Laidlaw in the Italian Centre last night.
What an eye opener. Something is going on in the Liberals. One guy, Nathan, is obsessed with finding out what the achillis heel of the labour party is. He asked all six candidates the same question. I'd be happy to know what an achillis heel is, fullstop. Towards the end I thought for a minute Diana is that much on fire, she is going to close in prayer.
PS. She got a standing ovation. I got a parking ticket. She said herself, she's pretty thick too. We're both thick, her skin and my brain.
One man called Nathan did ask all of the six candidates what they thought was the achillis heel of the Labour Party. I found that so amusing. An ex-MP Bob Randall, whose name raises my brain’s DNA level (DNA = and backwards) also asked the same question six times; a rather amusing 5 minutes questions time. Diana in her fare-well speech joked about her thick skin. And it is true - the driving instructor received a parking ticket. I should have woken up and realized a spot right outside the Centre is too good to be true. I never read the sign – I assume it was “Resident Permit only”.
The final email to complete the hat-trick and possibly for a long time to Rebekah, I sent very early on Sunday morning, before my favourite program from Garden Grove’s Crystal Cathedral. As I sensed a milestone approaching, the completion of the first half of this story, the question – Why, why me, surfaced? Then for the first time I saw it, my name Dieter differently again. How I missed it all these months since I saw the letter t as a cross, I never know. Here is the Sunday am email:
Subject: Hat trick at Preliminary Final
This email will be the last one for some time.
Can you believe it, only this morning at 4.23 am my thick mind
finally saw something. My own name with the - t -.
Re: Die t
Yesterday's song and the singer's first three letters still amaze me.
God left it until now to show me my funny name with a cross to make sense in it all.
It may have all been arranged by big Daddy to simply to draw attention to HIM who died on cross. I'm astounded at HIS chartered course on every turn!
Even though I have never met you, I want to thank you for your silent
support in this first half. You've been great. I wished sometimes I had tangible
evidence on my P/C to show Isobel. When I say: Look here this headline in the paper,
or check this out in the junk mail or on TV, she thinks of nothing but tablets for her hubby.
Wish me luck for my campaign to love her to death.
PS. Did you see Channel Seven TV News last night - a pidgeon was stuck in
a drainpipe? One lady enlisted the firebrigade, they laboured hard to finally free it.
Isobel also saw the pigeon rescue to freedom. Had I even hinted on my thought that this may refer to my making finally peace with somebody, she would have been a worried woman. It will take some practice, laying down my ways for the sake of hers. I had made an appointment to see my psychiatrist for May 15th 03 because Isobel insisted we see him. What is he going to think of my Sob story?
As if by co-incident my second favourite every week, Inspector Rex on SBS (very different to the Hour of Power), had pigeons as main players on Thursday the 8th May. I was not going to email but again could not help it. I corrected a translation error the week before (the person said 276 … but the subtitle had shown 267).
Thursday 8th May 2003
Subject: When will they kiss?
Thanks for an entertaining 45 minutes again. (I shouldn't have indulged, because I have a dead line to meat). I promised to not email, but can't resist temptation.
Please understand I can not correct errors every week, but to translate liebes Taeubchen, as naughty pidgeon, is almost the opposite. My wife and I always argue if its dove or pidgeon. What does it matter, my logo consists of a P and a D.
I'm glad Rex came to the rescue again. Just tonight, taking my fox terrier for a walk, another dog lover was taking a German Shepherd. Nothing against my little foxy, but I'd give anything for a dog like Rex.
Will we ever see Hoffmann and Herzog's kiss? I'm about to finish a story, where the main character (called Fishinger, sorry Froginger) also waits to be kissed.
Kind regards from Adelaide.
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS. If number seven 7 in her Babylon (this what I thought it read) jacket would have been killed, I would have been dam sad!
The switching of dam and sad to read Saddam seemed a fitting description of the evil dictator.
Writing my story has been much fun so far. It was easy to do, because the events are all true. Some happenings are bizarre, some may be co-incident but I trust I have shown to you a little glimpse of the nature of our God.
HE has a wonderful sense of humour. HE is forgiving. HE loves unconditionally. HE is just. HE is mighty, magic and all-powerful. Yet, HE is interested in every detail about you and me. What you do with HIS love is up to you. Everyone must start his or her own journey of life. I promise it’s not boring, it’s adventurous, exciting and only scary, if you stop taking your eyes off HIM. Rejecting HIM is like nailing Jesus, HIS son, onto the cross once again. For those there is only misery in store, they will perish (Luke 13, 3 and 5).
As good start of the journey to follow HIM I recommend an honest look at you, every aspect of it. Be as ruthless with yourself as you can be. Kneel somewhere in private, don’t be ashamed to tell the family what you’re doing, so they see the change in you. (Alternatively do it early in the morning, but not everyone is a morning person). Say a simple sorry to everything HE shows you. Remember a genuine sorry means – I will endeavor to not do it again.
God’s spirit can do what no one else can – be there right with you and in you, anytime, anywhere. What service!
Buy an easy to read bible. God’s word, especially the psalms, has been my rock, my tower of strength in the depth of the valley of depression as well as my joy when celebrating victories on mountain tops. Learn it by heart. It will pay dividends some day, I know.
Find a group of believers to help you along the way. Be patient with them, some may be threatened by a newcomer. Be persistent in your prayers, dream your dreams and pursue your goals with diligence. Nobody can rob you of your dream.
I know that HE was the script writer of this true to life drama. Had the plot been invented by a human mind, it would have to be the brain of a genius. Believe me, I’m just an average man who trusted his God. HE is yours too. Trust HIM. Your journey may not be as spectacular as mine (for the sake of your wife and/or family) but HIS thoughts are always toward you. HE promised to go with you each step of the way. There will be times HE will carry you.
Listen to Jeremiah 29, 11 – 14:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Psalm 139, Verse 17, 18:
How precious also are your thoughts to me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.
I like your story - Now what?
Autobiography - Dieter Fischer
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