|Chapter 4 Written / Published 20.12 / 24.12.14 Pics by author, unless indicated|
"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!
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).
Here is the story, why he said it:
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.
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).
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,
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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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.
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!
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
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:
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.