|Chapter 1 Written / Published 20.10 / 24.10.14 Pics by author, unless indicated|
During a recent church service the congregation was challenged to reflect on something they want to thank God for in their life. Had there been an opportunity to speak I may have said the following:
"I thank God for seeing me through depression. Fifteen years ago I was bullied at work, then lost my job. I became very depressed and bored. It became so bad I found no strength to even pull out a weed or mow the lawn. I just sat and looked out the window. I thought that this was my plight for ever after. Doctors put me on tablets, which they said I needed for the rest of my life.
Looking back now I thank God HE changed everything. Not only do I no longer take tablets, since then I had 6 trips overseas, a dozen or more interstate visits, travelled with football fans to most capital cities in Australia and to New Zealand, and took my bicycle for thousands of miles on many adventurous tours. I thank God. HE really loves turning things around."
Many names play a role in the plot among my books. In the previous chapter, the end Book 12, you read about Martha and Marta. Another name mentioned is Kent.
The day after publishing Chapter 15 an inspired thought came: "How strange! One and a half decades ago, during the darkest days of my life, locked in a psychiatric hospital, one doctor (tried to) diagnose me as schizophrenic. Her name was Martha Kent.
Wouldn't she be surprised to see me now?
Turn and be fre!
First let's consider what happened on the day before starting this new book. It was also a Sunday, October 19, 2... ( 2014.) I did something on that day, which I had not done in a long time. I had woken real early and tuned into the Hour of Power, a Christian Church service, broadcast from Los Angeles via our TV Channel Ten.
Originally, the service was held, as I understood it, on Fathers Day, which in the US is held on the third Sunday in June. The bible reading that morning was Romans 12, 9-21. (Note the numbers!)
Much had changed during the past few years. The original 'glass palace' called Crystal Cathedral had been sold to the Catholic Church. They renamed it Christ Cathedral. The leadership had passed to Dr. Schuller's grandson Bobbie. Their new premises are much smaller. As I watched, however, I recognized many faces among the choir, as well as that of director Don Neuen.
While watching the program, out of interest, I googled the church's new premises. I noticed that they had not really moved far away, but were still on Lewis Street. Their street number - 12921 !!!
Did I see that correctly? I found it most amusing that on the morning of touching base, as it were, for the first time in a long while, I should notice that the bible reading of this Hour of Power service, were exactly those of their street address, even in the right order!
A further surprise was in store that morning, the name of the guest, who was interviewed, Chris Stone. My creative, code-filled mind dropped one s and turned his name into Christ One. (A good thought on Fathers Day - Christ's Father is the undisputable No. One in the universe!)
Before going to church that morning (the real one back in Ingle Farm, Adelaide) I had time to finally do what I meant to do for a week. I installed a picture into a frame. The artwork had been given to me as gift from a friend. Her name is Ronda.
Rhonda also did the bible reading for that Sunday. As she announced from the pulpit: "Let's open our bibles to...." a flash of a thought crossed my mind: Would it not be funny, if her scripture would be the same as that of the earlier TV service? (It would have possibly sent my numbers brain into overdrive?)
It was almost relief when Rhonda (who has a nice surname, ending in ...ton) spoke: "Our text for today is found in Colossians 2, Verses 1-9.
But then, how strange, that morning I could not get way from those three digits 2 1 9, just in a different order!
My surprise at 192 had come for another reason: While getting ready for church, still amazed at 12921 twice, it suddenly came to me. The first few digits of the date that day consisted of 1 9 and 2. This is why I had written the date earlier as 19, 2... ( 2014.)
But how could this be? After such incident the same questions surface, those that had been baffling me now for a decade:
If thinking option C classes me as paranoid, so be it. (Remember! No longer paranoid does not mean no longer being followed... ha ha.)
Since I don't have anyone at home, or anywhere else, who gives me a listening ear when I'm bubbling over with numbers, I emailed the Australian office of the Hour of Power. What they thought about their their bible reading and street address being the same numbers, I don't know.
In a message to the media, besides pointing out the numbers twist, I made a very powerful suggestion: The beautiful words in Romans 12, 9-21 would be a perfect blueprint for world peace.
Can anybody in their right mind object to such wonderful teaching? They should be mandatory for all school children to learn! Just consider the core messages the writer urges Christians to follow:
Please pause for a moment, then read it again. Then think of religious fanatics, who travel half-way around the world in their zeal to kill those, who don't believe as they do! Then decide, which doctrine would be a better one to follow, if the ultimate aim is to achieve world peace?
Maybe the Holy Spirit had woken me on 19.10.2... and showed me those numbers just to be drawing attention to what Christianity is all about? No, I'm no numerologist, only a lover of God and HIS truth.
Indeed, the address of Shepherd's Grove in California could not be more appropriate for a Christian church: 12921 L wise Street.
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Is it normal to sit in church and, for no apparent reason, pull out a camera and take a picture of the church screen at the front? On Sunday 28th September 14 I did just that. My wife beside me felt a little uncomfortable. Our friends beside her started to smile.
Since there was no special dedication, ceremony or christening going on, fellow parishioners must have wondered, why would he do such a thing? For anyone who wants to know, here is the explanation:
Maybe, as some would say, I need to grow up and just view such discoveries as nothing. As my wife keeps telling me: "Co-incidences happen to all of us."
But then, what a way for God to be telling each of us, anyone who takes HIM seriously, that it's time to give ear, to turn to HIM and be free indeed!
Turning people around, changing society's direction has been my mission from the start. At times I feel very strongly that, morally and spiritually, our educated, sophisticated civilisation is heading in the wrong direction.
When I heard what was happening in our schools, a new so called Safe Schools Program, I felt I should be writing a letter to our daily newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser.
As I understood it, the program is to stop bullying in the school yard. All children should have the freedom to be who they are, or who they think they are, and find acceptance by everyone. The keyword is tolerance, a word very much misunderstood.
In practice tolerance under the Safe Schools Program would allow even Primary aged children, who feel they are neither male nor female, to use the toilets of their choice.
What about those children, who find it very uncomfortable when suddenly a boy decides, he no longer feels like a boy. He wants to be a girl. Should he be allowed for this reason to use the girls toilet? Do others girls, who know who they are, have a right to feel safe?
What about children, whose parents sent him or her regularly to Sunday School, where they learn about the basics of human life, ie. only a man and a woman can marry and have children? Would the Safe Schools Program allow these children to hold that view? I read of one report, where a student expressed an anti gay-marriage opinion in class. She was bullied in the yard for holding this view.
People advocating tolerance often forget: One person's rights may encroach into those of other members of the community.
With these thoughts in mind I wrote the following letter to the Advertiser. To my surprise it was published on October 11th, 2014; the first one for some time. (I had missed its publication, until my wife saw it the next day.)
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Any reader, who regards my writing as that of a numerologist, how about Christian author and legend of the faith, the late Selwyn Hughes? For 40 years or so he wrote a daily devotional called Everyday with Jesus?
Written in 2005, a chapter in my fourth Book is titled: The 2 10's of Jesus. Selwyn had at one time written seven devotionals. All scriptures were numbers 2, 10 for that week. Surely, nobody had accused him of being a numerologist, playing with numbers?
Let me play then with just that number 2.10, not as a scripture reference, but a date, Thursday 2nd October. On that day, to my surprise I saw the name jesus on my signspotting calendar, the one I had referred to throughout Book 12. The publishers had a few times used religious signs to have fun. Why not? God loves clean fun.
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The date 20.10.14, in our household, was a milestone for two reasons. It was the day I had planned to start this new book. Another chapter, however, ended sadly that same day. Our little fox terrier Becky died peacefully. Aged 16 years (in human years about 85) she had her final day with us. She had been a pleasant dog, until the last few months.
It was the family's decision to have our local vet give her a painless, peaceful end. As it happened, the decision was outside my influence, our vet gave us quarter past ten as the appointed hour. We were right on time.
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Wouldn't it be a different Scotland, indeed a different world, if people loved the Head of all Things more than their independence? "Purr, purr ..."