Chapter 4         Written / Published  20.12 /  24.12.14        Pics by author, unless indicated

      HOME                    THE  WINNER GAVE  IT  ALL              Given your all - Now what?

"A scripture came to me, shortly after uploading the previous chapter. The time, totally unplanned was around 10.35 PM. Before bedtime I opened my bible and happened to come across this verse: "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God". (John 3, 21). This scripture is on page 1035 of my King James Bible.

 

This chapter takes us to Tasmania. En route in Melbourne we shall spent a couple of Dollars on little things. Later they didn't seem so insignificant.

 

Two Ministers of Defence, on different continents, ended their careers. A brief comment ended the career of one. It affected the outcome of an election. How careful we have to be with our words.

 

 Hobart loves car registration plates. Regarding the weather, they could do with some help from above!

 

 

4.  Five Diamond Presto

The Bible likens our tongue to the rudder of a boat. It is a very small, mostly unseen organ, but the words it utters have great power. They can bring peace and hope, or they can start a fire that ends in pain and harm.

A recent comment, spoken in the Australian Senate in Canberra during a heated debate, caused much damage to the Liberal Party, especially in our State South Australia. Australia's Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, attacked the Adelaide based Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) about their lack of performance in shipbuilding. So much so, his Government was considering buying a new fleet of submarines from Japan, instead of having them built in Port Adelaide at a much higher price. 

One brief, but stinging remark the Senator made, caused an uproar, not only in Parliament, but all over the country. Workers at the ASC, especially, had reason to be very upset. The Senator's tongue must have jumped ahead of himself, his brain still in neutral, when he spoke these words: "You wonder, why I would not trust the ASC to build a canoe?"

What encouragement to the workers from someone, who is ultimately your boss! This news item interested me, because the chapter I had just written included a story about a similar name (Johnson).

 

Below: Senator David Johnston in the Senate Chamber, arms in the air, as if threatened by someone aiming a shotgun at him. 

Pic. smh.com.au

As I am writing, peculiar timing, Prime Minister Abbott is considering a reshuffle of his Cabinet. Sen. Johnston, according to The Australian online, is tipped to be among those changing or losing their positions.

 

If the Senator indeed loses his job as Minister for Defence, it's because he was not allowed to tell the full story, why he said, he would not trust the ASC to build a canoe.

 

Here is the story, why he said it: 

Once upon a time, long ago, he was a friend of the now chief executive of the ASC, who came up with this idea:

 

He suggested to his friend David: "What if I build a canoe for the two of us, and we go down the Murray River on a long boat ride for our next holidays?

 

David liked the idea and readily agreed for his friend to build the boat. The keen canoeist did not accept any help from his friend.

 

But look what happened:

(Sourced from the internet)

Jokes aside, within hours of writing this paragraph the Senator was indeed replaced as Minister and moved to the Back Bench. (Perhaps, he is now burying his head in his elbow, just like his friend above on his workbench?)

The most serious, direct fallout from this comment came only two weeks later. A State Bi-election was held in the ASC's state of South Australia. (The sitting member for the Seat of Fisher, Independent Bob Such, had sadly passed away earlier in the year.) The cliff-hanger election was as close as it can get. So close, it required a recount. In the end, the Liberal Party candidate lost by only 9 (Nine) votes to Labor.

- - - - - - -

At the very same time that our Minister for Defence in Canberra had grabbed our attention, his counterpart in the USA also made headlines. After almost two years in the job, on November 24th 2014, the 24th US Secretary of Defense*, Chuck Hagel, announced that he was stepping down from his position.

(*On editing Chapters 4 & 5) - The word defense / defence appears to be spelled with both c or s. Interesting, the letters C and S make a stunning appearance in the next chapter.)

This news I found somewhat puzzling. One of the most powerful men in the world was resigning for no apparent reason? It made my think: The name Hagel ends in the letters el. I had just uploaded Chapter 3, the title of which starts with the letters El.

Not until the next morning, however, a further thought came. The German word Hagel, translated into English, results in two meanings. One - hail, as in frozen water drops that fall from the sky. Two - hail, as in cheering, saluting, greeting (a hero).

Only at the time of putting these thoughts together did another possible interpretation come to mind. Applying codes a /o and H = It, then Hagel turns into >>> I got el. 

There are a few Christmas songs, which include the word hail. One comes to mind immediately: "...hail the son of righteousness ..." (Hark the Herald Angel ...) What better time than Christmas than worship, adore and hail our Lord and Saviour Jesus. After all, Christmas is a celebration of HIS birthday, 

- - - - - - 

 

Tasman Bridge, spanning the Derwent River, Hobart

On entering a petrol station to fill up my Suzuki I overheard these words on ABC Radio 891: "After the [5.30] news headlines we head to Queensland and talk to our correspondent A... N." (Name abbreviated for privacy).

How strange was this? You see, only minutes earlier I had made a phone call to a person in Hobart. Tasmania, who had exactly the same name, both Christian name and surname. It was the very first time I had phoned this person. 

The phone call, as well as topping up the petrol tank, was in preparation of a long trip, starting the next day and ending in Hobart. My friend Richard and I were travelling to the island of Tasmania for a short working holiday.

The idea for this excursion came to me some years earlier. The company I worked for, distributing phone books in South Australia, was also covering Tasmania. Why not a short working holiday in Hobart, the place I knew so well, having lived there from mid 1974 to early 1983?

For me Hobart would be a walk down memory lane. For my friend Richard, who also likes travelling, a visit to Hobart would be his first. He did not need much persuading to agree on the idea. Originally, the plan was for our wives to join us, after our work, and we'd travel a few days around the island together. Unfortunately, this did not happen for various reasons. The things that did happen, however, I can't explain rationally, but as always write IT as IT was. 

We first travelled in my green Suzuki, the reliable workhorse we would be using in Hobart, to Melbourne. We stayed overnight in a North Melbourne Motel. 

Looking back, what took place the next morning was very similar what took place in Chapter 15 of Book 12: We had arrived in a city, I rose early the next morning, took an excursion on my GIANT, which led me to a garage sale, and ... magic!

Right from the moment we tuned into Melbourne's Radio stations I could hear things, which somehow led my thoughts back to what I had just written in Chapter 3: On ABC Radio 774, as we approached Melton, I heard an interview by the zookeeper, who looks after the gorilla's in Melbourne Zoo. (Keyword - Gorilla).

The next morning, after waking real early, on Radio 693, the host was talking to a policeman, Greg Mason. The name Mason took my thoughts back to Victoria and a very nasty bushfire in 2009. (Keyword Mason)*.

Still on Radio 693** the radio host took calls for people to advertise their garage sales. How boring can this be, you may think. But something made me listen on. One address grabbed my attention; so much so, I felt this is where I ought to ride to for my early morning excercise.

** Google tells me, this is is Radio 3 AW. *Read in the next chapter how the letters AM will play a star role.)

The suburb was Preston, the address 5 Diamond Street. In the back of my mind, as I heard the number 5, the winner of the Melbourne Cup sprung to mind. I had just written about the race and a horse, called Royal Diamond.

Luckily I had brought with me a Melbourne Street directory. It was not far to ride to Preston, but how spooky, I thought was the Grid Reference - Map 7, Grid R 2. 

Only then did I recall that the room number of the place we were staying - 57.

 

<<< Preston Building Co.

Riding my Giant on Melbourne's major road north, I was pondering all those  peculiar numbers. Just when I doubted, if I was really meant to ride to this garage sale in Preston my eyes fell on this sign. I had to dismount and snap the picture.

<<<  M Story St. 5-1

Within a few seconds, back on my bike, I suddenly became aware - I was riding to Diamond Street and was right now on Royal Parade! Surely, this was to be part of my story?

A second later I was passing this street sign! How spooky, I thought.

But should we be surprised? Does not God's Word tell us that HE knows our thoughts afar off and is acquainted with all our ways? (Psalm 139, 2, 3)

The earlier part of this twenty kilometers, early morning ride took me down memory lane, namely Sydney Road Brunswick. To my left, how could I forget, was the Baptist Church, where I once visited the Vicar of ... and ate salami (sort of).

Now it was Saturday, November 29th 2014. The Victorian State election was held that day. Who knows, if the outcome was also, to a degree, affected by the Minister Johnston's comments, as reported earlier in the chapter. The Liberals lost in a historic defeat. It was rare, a Government losing an election after only one term in office.

 

 

Garage Sale at 5 Diamond Street, Preston

Would I be wrong in saying, voters probably find garage sales on election day more adrenalin pumping than polling booths?

 

The event at 5 Diamond Street, advertised on one of Melbourne's most popular radio stations, was far smaller than I had anticipated. There was not much merchandise, nor many buyers. What on earth was I doing here, I thought? 

Just then, my eyes fell onto a pen, price $ 1.-. You can't buy much for one Dollar, so I purchased it:

4-colour BIC pen.

I had made this purchase not thinking anything, except that a new pen for a dollar was good value. Much later I saw the significance in my purchase: 

The number 4 had, years ago in a book I wrote, been associated with Melbourne (Bk.8 Ch.2).  The chapter I had just written included a BIC product, on the corner [T]Ruth Ct.

Another $ 1.- bargain buy: 30 25th Avenue Christmas cards and envelops: 

Looking at this purchase more carefully I sensed a similarity to what I had experienced in Book 12, Chapter 15: An early morning bike ride, a garage sale (in Victoria) led by the number 25 and ... magic! 

Note also 30 / 15 ... Timely numbers?

- - - - - - -

 

Melbourne's skyline from aboard the Spirit of Tasmania, leaving the Tasmanian Ferry Terminal at Port Melbourne.

 

We had a smooth crossing, a good sleep in a comfortable cabin and were arriving nice and early in Devonport the next morning. The date was Sunday 30.11. The 301 had long been a significant number. Only hours after arriving on the island did they come to life, linking to my place of birth. (Read on). 

Instead of travelling straight to Hobart, I decided to show my friend the scenic town of Sheffield. The place stirred fond memories from my 2009 visit.

 

Sheffield, Tasmania, town of murals.

My friend Richard, enjoying a relacing stroll in the main street. He loves to talk to people. The lady outside the Cafe, however, was not interested. She was stuffed. 

Never noticed J.T.KING BLACKSMITH when I took the photo! Love it!

 

Unfortunately, Mount Roland did not reveal itself, the summit was covered in cloud. Despite the calendar almost declaring it's summer, most of the week the weather on the island was overcast or cloudy.

Sheffield is known as the town of murals. The artistic talent of the people was displayed on many buildings. But I discovered that a creative mind in Sheffield had also a talent for words. Take a look what I photographed in the courtyard of a shop:

 

A clever wordsmith had come up with a few sentences, which can be read left to right, or backward. He or she had drawn them into their courtyard, visible from the main street:

DO GEESE SEE GOD

A DOG A PANIC IN A PAGODA

STEP ON NO PETS

WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW

The best in above selection, in my books, is this one: 

NOW I SEE BEES I WON!

Exchange the words bees and truth, now those, who see the truth, become winners.  Love it!

 

Since it was Sunday (note the date 30.11), I kept a lookout for a church, while strolling through the mural town. Outside the Cafe a few police in uniform were busy (discussing what to have for morning tea?)

I noted the registration plate of a vehicle parked right there - D 07...K. What did the police think, when I took a photo of it? But then, they probably were more interested in their meat pies or cream buns?)

The door to the Uniting Church in the main street was open. Church was scheduled to start at 9.45 AM. It was the exact time I had arranged to meet Richard again, planning to depart for Hobart.

Instead, we found ourselves among a dozen or so fellow believers, who had come to worship God, just like billions around the world do every Sunday. It was a very friendly atmosphere inside the historic stone church; the service very casual. The theme that morning was, as I understood it: "Lord come again, soon".

We sang hymn No. 200 in the song books provided: "Come now long-expected Jesus." What I saw in that book warranted a photograph:

 

Hymn Number 200, Uniting Church Hymnbook

On top of the page I read STUTTGART 87.87. As I understand it it's the tune to which the hymn is sung. Note, it also may be sung to Cross of Jesus 72 ii. 

What numbers 87.87 mean, I don't know, but Stuttgart is a city, about 8 miles from where I was born on 30.1.1... 

My diary, which I need to refer to writing these details, mentions that one scripture read during this church service was on Page 1115 in the bible provided. It all seems so mystical, yet so natural. 

A central question of the Christian faith is this: "Am I doing the will of God" or "What is the will of God for my life?" In my personal life, have I been really called to see numbers, links, spelling errors or funny names and write about them on the net?

In the October edition of My Journal, a Christian magazine, Dr. Michael Youssef, in Week 4, addresses this very question:

(Extract):

Text: many Christians have a wrong view of the will of God. They experience great fear and anxiety as they seek God's direction for their lives. Others say they want to know and do the will of God, but only of it doesn't conflict with their ...[own].

 

Michael points out that God's will and plan for our lives is God's expression for HIS love for us. We have nothing to fear, doing HIS will, walking HIS ways, obeying HIS commandments. The most mature Christians are those, who submit to the will of God joyfully, who pray sincerely: "Not my will, but yours will be done!"

Did you notice a spelling error in above extract?

The 40th word should be if, not of. Did God give me this observation, this thought? When I first read it, two months after receiving the magazine in the post, I simply had picked it up during a relaxing moment, as one does with magazines.. 

Was it God, who made me ponder numbers: Week 4 - 10th month. I did the maths by multiplying them. I arrived at 40. It made sense!

Did God give me the next thought - the little words IF and OF create IO ff. (Ten and following)

Next I did more simple maths - dividing 40 into 4. The result looks like IO.

If God is interested in all our thoughts and deeds, why should HE not be interested, when we see spelling errors or mathematical equations? 

What God is most interested in is that we do HIS will. Loving God and our fellow men is doing HIS will.

 

Index

Chapter 5