Book 12 - Chapter 13                                   Written / Published  13.6. - 19.6.14

(Pics by author, unless indicated)

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

As I ponder the code-filled pages of my diaries the similarity in pattern seems to continue - misspelled signs turn into a stories, numbers repeat itself in weird ways, letters and numbers scream for attention, wanting to be heard.

The word man also makes an appearance in this chapter, on the ninth, as does the number nine. This word startled me, less than a day after I had published the previous chapter's IX twists.

On the day of commencing this chapter the greatest show on earth (as football fans would like to call it) is under way.  The FIFA Word Cup is happening in colourful Brazil. Read a story about an Aussie legend, who created magic even before kick-off. 

(My apologies to those, who are already suffering from world cup overload. But nowhere else will you read the wacky bits, which took place in my world of codes and links. I trust your spirit resonates with the underlying beauty of it all.

 

13.  Yet to be - Don.

The picture I took in Melbourne Street on Anzac Day, published in the previous chapter, showed the business name, but only the word FASHI .. The two letters ON did not quite make it into the picture. This little word had played a big role in my very early writing. (Book 1, Chapter 4). That's why I had drawn attention to it. 

A day or so afterwards, I wondered how I had overlooked it, another amazing detail came: It had all to do with negotiated working hours.( The insignificant word 'on' was misused to force us instructors into working every Saturday.) The significance was in the location. It was diagonally across the road from the workplace, where the 'on saga' had played out. Looking back it was a stressful time, but God is a great restorer.

A phrase comes to mind: Turn your scars into stars. (How appropriate, without meaning to do so, this C - T  swap is a perfect introduction to the next story!)

- - - - - - -

Within twelve hours of writing these paragraphs Australia's Socceroos (the National Football Team) will be facing Chile* in their first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Comments in Australia's media have been rather pragmatic. My summing up of these would be: "The best we can hope for is a draw or two, and get knocked out with dignity". A win against Chile would be great; winning against the other teams in the group, the Netherlands and reigning champion Spain, would be a miracle.

In the lead up to the big event on Sunday 25th May, TV Channel Nine broadcast an interview with Socceroo Tim Cahill. (Now you understand my C T surprise a moment ago.) During the interview on 60 Minutes Liz Hayes commented about the way Tim manages to score many of his goals with his head,  using his noggin! (Noggin is slang for head.) In football this could have two meanings, playing with your brain intelligently, or scoring a goal by heading the ball into the back of the net.

I don't know, if anybody noticed what struck me the very next day. Liz's comment proved to be prophetic. Australia's National Team played a friendly match in Sydney against South Africa. The game ended in a 1:1 draw. Tim Cahill scored Australia's only goal. He did it by, you guessed it, using his noggin.

(Please note: Tim Cahill's mother comes from Samoa. Read on for some Samoa magic).

*Stop Press - Twelve hours after writing the above, the date was (local time in Brazil) June 13th: The match result:

Australia 1:3 Chile.

 

Guess, who scored the only goal for Australia? - Cahill.

How? He used his noggin (his head).

When did he score: In the 35th minute!

The Chileans had shocked the Socceroos by scoring two goals within two minutes very early in the game - 12th and 14th minute! (Had it been in the 12 and 13th minute, I would possibly not believe my own writing...?)

Please note: The Australian team in Brazil is stationed in a place called Vitoria. A nice name, if translated into victory, to win. (But please, no gambling on Australia winning the world cup - the odds are 301:1!

- - - - - - -

 Sunday Mail 15.6.14, front page.

Source: Sunday Mail

The consoling hand of Mark Milligan (5) rests affectionately on Tim Cahill (4), whose header in the 35th minute lifted Australia's confidence level on the big stage in Brazil 2014. 

In the background: (not Adam Sandler) but former Adelaide United striker Matthew Leckie (7) one of the best on the field in Cuiaba, where the game was played.

- - - - - - - 

 

As mentioned earlier, Tim Cahill's mother comes from Samoa, the Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean. This takes us to the guests we had the pleasure of entertaining at our house recently, a Christian family from Samoa. It was a lovely evening, full of surprises. The first came just after the meal had been served. I was about to say grace when our guests asked, if they could sing it in Samoan. It had been decades since I had been at a dinner table, where grace was sung. 

During an evening like this you learn how little you know about other places and cultures. The Independent state of Samoa used to be called Western Samoa. It is about three hours by air from New Zealand and five hours from Australia. The islands were once a colony of Germany. Our visitors told us of the devastating 8.0 earthquake and tsunami in September 2009. Fortunately, they lived on higher grounds and were not directly affected.

With my background as driving instructor I took special interest in traffic matters, namely their firsthand account of the changeover from driving on the left-hand side to the right. Samoa became the first nation in 40 years to make this move in 2009. There was much opposition at first, as I understand it, but it all went smooth and is working well.

Before our guests left, I remember clearly, I asked about their capital Apia, where they live: "Does it have traffic lights?" I added casually, "...if any, probably only one?" (Note! Apia and only one traffic lights). 

Within half hour after the above I experienced the incident I earlier referred to as Samoa magic: It was still reasonable early. Our visitors had left. The dishes were done. For some relaxation I moved into the lounge room, picked up a Readers Digest Magazine from the coffee table and started browsing. An article titled The world's most beautiful drive promised some light reading. Only the title page was light reading. The main text teased me, right in the first four lines. Take a look:

Readers Digest March 2014 - Page 100

 

Text: THE MORNING SHIMMERS WITH PROMISE in the old sugar plantation town of Paia on the Hawaiian island of Maui. I'm awaiting Paia's only traffic signal to turn ...

 

Hey, another amazing link: the name of the island Maui. Perusing my diary I saw the first name of one our Samoan visitors. The first three letters >>> Mau ...

 This made me take a closer look at the title page (98).

Hawaii's Hana Highway is a thrilling ride ... IT & an.

Love it - would be even better with a bike lane! 

<<< A big claim to make, the world's most... whatever. There is very big, very beautiful world out there!

Take a look at the driver - steering with one hand, at the 12 o'clock position! From a driving instructor's point of view, the only way to steer is 2.10 (am, of course, ha ha). 

If Jesus had been a driving instructor HE would teach 10 to 2 steering or, maybe, 9.15?

Wasn't it just this number - 12, or 21 read as two won - which had spooked me 12 years ago, after which I ended up in the USA? It was. 

Could we not read 24 Good... 2 for good ...measure? If so, 98 plus two for good measure =  100. Where did I see the Samoan connection? Among the first four lines on page 100.

A scripture comes to mind:

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13,2).

We may not have realized it then, but now it certainly feels like we had angels to dinner that evening in May 2014.

- - - - - - -

On the day after publishing the previous chapter, as happens every month, my mind is filled with the things that I had been writing about. The reason is plain: during writing, or scanning photos, I often get surprised myself at what is suddenly unfolding. Regular readers would know exactly what I mean. They will understand, how amazed I was the next day, after having written much about number 9 (or IX), how the following encounter with number 9 really spooked me:

On that Friday a small group of German-speaking seniors had gathered in Wynn Vale for their regular weekly get-together. I was present as volunteer driver and for general social support. At the end, before going home again, the group as usual played a game of BINGO.

For those unfamiliar with BINGO, it's a simple game of eliminating numbers. Much like in lotto the leader draws numbers out of a barrel and calls each one out to the group. Each player marks this number on a board in front of them. The first one to mark off all 75 from his board shouts out: "BINGO!" They won.

I did not play Bingo. Instead, I picked up the German 'Die Woche' newspaper, which somebody had brought along, and started to do the crossword puzzle (translated, Kreuzwortraetsel). Here is what happened next:

Since I remained in the same room, my ears could not avoid picking up the numbers being called out; Thirty-four! Vierunddreissig.... Forty-six! Sechsundvierzig... Sixteen! Sechzehn ... etc etc.

Below: More than just a crossword puzzle, words of the cross! (Please note, when I first cut and pasted it into my diary, I only had the four-letter word (vertically) in mind.)

The same second the leader Mina called out: "Nine", I was filling in the squares in the crossword puzzle. I started with the simplest word right at the top. I was dumbfounded:

drei mal drei >>> NEUN !!!

 

The timing of it, hearing the number 9 at exactly the same second as I was writing it ... I found magic.

 

What to make of it? God knows! It had happened so often. Still, I refuse to call it all - nothing!

 

Crossword Puzzle in the German

weekly Die Woche               >>>

After I had pasted the above into my diary, having only the NEUN in mind, one discovery came after another. Let me try to convey these to all readers, even those who are not familiar with the German language.

The missing letters in the first line horizontally are: UROSE (Nervenkrankheit = NEUROSE)

What about NEUN (nine) vertically and TEN (zehn) horizontally? Ten is actually part of UN.TEN (opposite to above). 

What amazing, hidden message!

 

But there is another, even clearer message hidden in the above. It's in the letters WUN, which is part of the word WUNDE (= Verletzung = injury, bruising, wound).

The following link to a bible verse came to me at 3 am on 18 June, just after waking from a deep sleep. My mind took me back to the previous chapter, the scripture in Isaiah 53, 3-5. The word Wunde in the plural - WUNDEN - is part of Verse 5:

"Aber er ist um unserer Missetat willen verwundet, und um unserer Suende willen zerschlagen. Die Strafe liegt auf ihm, auf dass wir Frieden haetten, und durch seine Wunden sind wir geheilt. (Luther Bibel 1912).

King James version: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by his stripes we are healed."

This verse predicted events that were to happen hundreds of years later; words to foretell what was to happen to a man called Jesus, who was to die on a cross. Words of the cross! The event took place in Jerusalem. (Read on, we shall cross paths with Jerusalem later in the chapter.)

- - - - - - -

The numbers Nine and Ten (two bible verses, 9 and 10, in Isaiah) take me back to an incident earlier this year. The letters EN actually played quite a role. (I just noticed - there are three E and N in above crossword. It starts with NE and ends in NE.)

An well-known TV Preacher was in Adelaide for an extended series of teaching. Some friends, ardent followers of the denomination, had informed us, for which I was thankful. Something inside, the Holy Spirit, had confirmed with me, I should go. I did on three different occasion, despite having to drive into the city centre.

On the first evening, before I had even entered the building, I realized this later, something was brewing. Through the open door, among the crowd, I recognized a face. It was that of a gentleman I knew from the place, where I play table tennis socially. I had not known he was a church going believer. He was the only person, beside our friends, who I knew among the approx. 150-strong crowd.

His name was Don. (Note the name).

At the conclusion those attending were given a pamphlet with notes of the lecture given. Attendees were encouraged to study the scriptures again at home. As a test those participating had to fill in the missing words at the bottom.

Unless it was all just nothing, my creative brain worked its linking, thinking game:

<<< Q1: Who claims the ability to truly know the future?

 

When I did my 'homework'

I suddenly saw the name Don, right in this very first question on the very first lesson. It made sense!

Isaiah 46, 9, 10: "Remember the former things of old. For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,             the end form the beginning, and from ancient times things that are          yet         .            (Answers  >>>)

A: DONE !

 

(Declaring ... not...

 ... done !

- - - - - - -

Moments after writing the above I remembered something I had not done for the day, Monday 16th June: I had not yet turned over the page of my Signspotting Calendar. Believe it or not, later in this chapter I was going to write about the sign outside our local take-away shop - a misspelling in their opening hours. (I had already pasted the picture, the second one below, onto this page in preparation).

Now take a look at the surprise that was waiting, what I saw when I turned over the calendar! 

Signspotting Calendar - Monday June 16th

Photo (Miami, USA) Credit: Olivia S 

 

<<< Open 24 Hours

Friday - closed 10 pm

Sat.-Sun 7am - 7pm.

 

"We never said it's 24

consecutive hours."

 

As soon as I turned over to this date, as I wrote this chapter on 16 June, I knew God was having fun!

Below: Chicken Shop, Para Hills, Adelaide

 

<<< Opening hours THIRS - FRI - SAT

 

Was this job done on one of Adelaide's 40 deg. days; the sign writer feeling thirsty?

Only later did I notice how I had angled my camera! In the background THIRS!

How amazing is THIS?

The misspelled word THIRS actually overlaps with the slogan RUSH THIRST.

 But notice - the  t is covered by F ?! 

A scripture comes to mind: "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life". (John 4, 14).

May I add: God's store-house of blessings is available 24 continuous hours! And the drinks are free!

 

- - - - - - -

Two days earlier, it was Pentecost Sunday 8/6/14 (Yes, 486 won again!) I had also come across a misspelled word.

It came via a video clip screened in church; the scripture verses that tell the story of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit in ACTS, Chapter 2. Maybe I may not have made so much of THIRS (above) had I not seen the missing U on the church screen only two days earlier?

 

 

Since my family usually does not even hear me, when I mention such things, I often doubt myself, questioning if I am not just seeing things.

For this reason I spent two minutes finding the clip online and took above picture from the screen! I was right - the letter U is missing!

Thank God there is a L in Jerusalem, the place of the t.

- - - - - - -

On Sunday June 1st the first hymn sung in church was O worship the king. My mind paused and pondered, as it had for many years, when these lyrics are sung: "...all glorious above; O gratefully sing his power and his love..." The two words power and love' bring back unforgettable memories:

These two little words, as well as the letters P and L, at the end of my working career, were a contributing factor in my struggle for sanity. It was a painful, stressful period in my life, with me ending up twice in a mental hospital. But God is a great restorer! (Bk. 1, Ch.14). 

Almost fifteen years later I still get excited about all that I hear and all that God is doing in my life. Thankfully, my mind is able to digest it all much calmer, trusting HIM who knows the beginning from the end.

At our church, as in many around the world, hymnbooks have become obsolete. The words are projected onto the screen above the platform. Therefore I did not know yet the number of this hymn in our hymnbook. Back home my thinking mind looked up what number 'O Worship the king' is in our hymnbook. (There was a thought-pattern involved, but it's too complex to explain here. The point is, without it I may never have uncovered what came next:)

 

Salvation Army Hymnbook, P.13 -  No. 16, sung on 1.6

Text: 

O WORSHIP the king, all glorious above,

O gratefully sing his power and his love;

Our shield and defender, the Ancient of days,

Pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise.

 

O tell of his might, O sing of his grace,

Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;

Its chariots of wrath the deep thunder-clouds form,

And dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

 

The earth with its store of wonders untold,

Almighty, thy power hath founded of old,

Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,

And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea. 

(On editing came an interesting thought: Read the last line of the first verse (girded), then read the last line of the third verse ..."cast like a mantle the sea). Does it not remind us of something: Australians all, let us rejoice.... our home is gird by sea!)

The fact that we had sung hymn number 16 on 1.6 made me take above scan, print it and paste it into my diary. (The page number 13 is a heavenly bonus!).

It was early Sunday evening, as I pasted the above into my diary. My wife, who was with me at the time, said casually: "The Vicar of Dibley is on at 6.30". It had been a few years since the show had screened on TV. (In Book 7, Chapter 6* I joked about the show and its star vicar, played by Dawn French.)

*Stop Press: As if the numbers have to be matching, the chapter referred to in Bk 7, Ch.6 I wrote on 1.6.2008, exactly six years earlier. It starts off with a church service and includes these words right at the beginning: "Friends, at the time I written this I had no idea what was going to be preached at Enfield on Sunday 1.6."

The repeat of the Vicar of Dibley that Sunday night was the very first episode. At least I assume so, since the storyline went something like this: During a church service, attended by about 1/2 dozen worshipers in the small chapel, the elderly male preacher dies right there in his pulpit. At first nobody is aware the man had actually died. Simple minded Alice, somewhat perplexed as she looked at the motionless body of the old vicar, took over in the 'emergency'. 

She announced: "We now sing hymn No. 16 ..."

Now, you may understand why I was surprised. Not only had we sung hymn No.16 that morning, June 1, in church, but minutes earlier I had pasted above scan into my diary.

- - - - - - -

Besides the lyrics of hymns sung at church, normally, the theme for that Sunday is projected onto the screens at the front. That Sunday, still 1.6, it was no different. The theme 'Called to Friendship was projected onto the screens at the front with a background picture to make it user friendly, if you pardon my pun. I did not have a camera to take a picture of it. Instead I created a Google image, shown below, to replicate what I remembered from the church screen.

Called to FRIENDSHIP  >>>

Theme for church service, projectedonto a nice background picture.

 

A pretty scene, but what do two sailing boats, no sails set, have to do with friendships, besides boats being called ships?

 

Is it this: C ALL e D?

One mast pointed directly to the D. D-DAY was only days away. (Read on!)

Note the word FRIEND, it ends in END. Why ever end a friendship? Jesus only once called his disciples friends.

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my father I have made known to you." (John 15, 15).

    (These lines are written by DRF on 15.6  (6 = 1+5)

 

The theme in church, one week later on Pentecost Sunday 8.6.14, was Power from on High. Images of flames on the church screen, and on the walls beside, made it clear what important date it was in the church calendar - the Holy Spirit came in a most unusual way. Even back in those biblical days ardent believers where labelled as lunatics or drunk. No wonder that atheists, rational thinkers and academics do not understand this phenomena. How can a spirit from outside this world guide an insignificant, ordinary human being from deep within?

- - - - - - -

Over a three day period at Pentecost I observed a scripture, which kept crossing my paths. Because it was on three different days, and in three different ways, my mind marvelled at how God's Holy Spirit does IT. Any doubters, or worse - a shrink, who wants to claim Christians are manipulated, believing in a spirit from outer space, may I assure them, I would rather be controlled and serve this super power, than be influenced by the worlds tabloid press, academia or teachers of modern theology!

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24, 15)

Our Daily Bread Fri June 6th >>>

This was the day the world celebrated the landing of the allied troops in the Normandy in 1944. The path to liberation had begun, victory was on its way!

Anyone, who resolves in his heart, who chooses deep within themselves to serve the Lord, will be truly liberated. He or she will join the host of victors. Christ won the victory over sin and death!

<<< The next day (SAT) very much as a surprise, I came across this bookmark, in the shape of a cross. At the centre I read the same, challenging words, spoken by Joshua to the people of Israel. I liked it, bought it and mounted it outside our front door. Words of scripture such as this remind us, who we serve. Our conduct will reflect our faith. 
The very next morning, on Pentecost Sunday, I was up early to watch Hillsong TV. I must have missed a few minutes of the introduction, because seconds after I had tuned in  Pastor Brian Houston was just starting his preaching.

 Within a minute, maybe two, he quoted his first scripture. You guessed it. It was Joshua 24, Verse 15.

God loves hat tricks as much as football players love scoring them in soccer! (Read on). 

Pictured above is Verses 16-17 (Joshua 24). By the time I had fetched my camera Verse 15 had gone off the screen. To capture the moment, the above, the next text on the TV screen, had to suffice.

 

I am confident that readers trust me to be truthful in what I write. When Jesus promised HIS disciples the Holy Spirit, HE called it the Spirit of Truth! (John 14, 17). Read on for the Spirit of Ruth.

- - - - - - - -

Amazing! Just as I edited the last sentence, (Spirit of Ruth, no spelling error) out of the P/C speakers a male voice is singing ... "and leaving your Spirit till the work on earth is done".

- - - - - - -

This takes us indeed to a story of a football match, where a star in the world cup in Brazil joined the elite of players, who scored a hat trick. Once again the story leads from one thing to another, but please remember, I never claimed what I write does not sound unusual or wacky! All I claim is - what I write is true, as I observed my world around me, with my eyes and ears, and that I used my spirit-controlled mind to make sense of it all.

The excursion started on the day after Pentecost, on Monday 9.6.14. Australia was celebrating our Queen's Birthday with a long weekend. I had promised our friends Nancy and Marc a trip in the car to the Murray River. It was actually more for their 9-year old grandson, who lives with them. I knew the energetic young boy would love the ride in the car.

The Adelaide Hills looked their best. The winding road through Inglewood, Gumeracha and Birdwood was a pleasure to cruise in our recently acquired automatic Hyundai. Birdwood is known for its National Motor Museum. As we drove through the town I caught a glimpse of a parked vehicle; a small, square shaped body from the mid 50s perhaps. What's car is that? I asked myself. 

My habit of checking the registration number revealed it - a personal plate - PRINCE. If I'm not mistaken, it was a German Prince, a small sedan I remember well from my childhood in Germany. (Just on editing, I think our religion teacher, used to own one?!) A thought came some days later; a connection between the date 9.6 and the word prince. (I let readers explore this thought). 

 

Picnic on the Murray  >>>

Our friends Nancy and Marc and their grandson Kelton, who had fun exploring the banks of the river and climbing gum trees.

 

When South Australians think of Mannum they think of houseboats on the big river, which, together with the Darling, is one of the world's longest. Especially during summer the small town with 2184 inhabitants swells its numbers with visitors, who can enjoy all kinds of water sports. 

 

The area was first explored by Charles Sturt in 1830 by boat and not until 8 years later by the first white men on horseback. Mannum is the start of the huge 51 inch water pipe line to Adelaide. The huge project has been filling our reservoirs with river water since 1954.

After our picnic our friends, my wife and I strolled up town. We walked up one side of the main street and back the other. Most shops were closed. The craft shop was open, much to the delight of the ladies.

 

Right: Thomas Randall's cottage, the first solid house built in Mannum in the 1850's.

Nine-year old Kelton, still full of energy, thoroughly enjoyed himself that day.         >>>   

 

Just before leaving Mannum my wife mentioned she'd like some chocolate. Yours truly remembered a piece of wisdom, which is supposed to create a happy marriage: Happy wife, happy life! Chocolate was perfect. Wife and hubby happy.

As she and our friends walked on, I slipped inside the supermarket to fulfil my wife's wish, and to spend our tourist Dollar.  At the checkout one lady was ahead of me; no other customers in the queue. Before paying, she suddenly turned and walked away, saying to the girl at the counter: "I just got to get..., please serve the lady first!" 

Did my ears hear correctly? Or did my eyes miss a female customer behind me? I looked around; nobody nearby. To be sure, I asked the checkout girl, if her customer had really called me lady? She looked slightly embarrassed. With half a smile on my face I walked out the store with my chocolates. 

It made me think. Who wouldn't? Maybe, what I needed was a haircut, even though there has been times, when my blond (or grey, depends who you ask) hair was much longer. A week later I did get a haircut. 

Something funny struck me later, as I was telling people about my mistaken ID. This person (her name might be Alice?) who had called me lady, lives in a town starting with the three letters MAN. Yet, she still couldn't recognize ONE!

That Monday (16.6.), when I had my hair cut, started with a misunderstanding. For a short break from this writing I left my office and moved into the TV room. I tuned into our SBS Broadcaster. Of course, as had been for days, a game of soccer was in progress. Germany was playing Argentina and was winning by a great margin - 3:0 - with only minutes to play.

I didn't even know the Germans were playing that morning and regretted not having watched the whole match. A few moments into watching - 30 seconds perhaps, super star Klose scored the 4:0! What excitement! And what timing, just as I had tuned in!

I went into the kitchen and told Isobel: "Germany just beat Argentina in the World Cup 4:0. Angela Merkel was there, cheering and clapping." 

My lady, however, wasn't half as excited as Angela and I were. I went straight back to the P/C and added a brief paragraph with this wonderful news into this chapter! One reason I did so - I had written about this player before in Book 5, Chapter 12. (You will also find another German in that chapter, blowing his trumpet).

- - - - - - -

View into our garden. In the foreground a magazine on the coffee table

Guess who?

Clue: The letters RD / SON are the last letters of the name of a man, who looks like he always needs a haircut, who could easily be mistaken for a women (at least in Mannum SA) and whose picture features on the cover of the in-flight magazine (above) of his airline!

 

The way the magazine appeared, as shown on our coffee table, was not arranged in any way. We brought it home, it landed and that was it.

But there was another reason I felt excited. When I sat in the barber's chair a few hours later, I knew I would be talking to my hairdresser about the world cup. And how appropriate it was! Just down the road, a few hundred meters away, was the place of a transport company by the name Klose (picture below).

 

Picture source: Google Streetview

The barber, who cut my hair knew about the transport place nearby. But he was not that much into football, and less excited about Germany beating Argentina 4:0 than my wife. The hairdresser in the next chair, who had overheard our conversation, however, knew his football. He said: "That ...(the goal I had watched that morning) was a replay of the last world cup! Germany is playing tomorrow morning against Portugal."

Oops! For a moment I felt a fool. But not for long. I had learned to laugh at myself. There certainly are worse mistakes I had made in the past. But thanks to the information, I rose that night at around 2 AM to watch Germany play against Portugal. When I tuned in just before the second half, Germany was already leading 2:0, which in football (the world game) is a comfortable score. I considered going back to bed, but stayed up to watch the rest. Glad I did. 

Germany scored a third goal before half time. It was more or less over then for Portugal, who had one of the world's best players on their side, Cristiano Ronaldo. Toward the end my mind started thinking: Would it not be funny, if Germany were to score a fourth goal? It would make me look less foolish next time I go the my barber! So it was.

Germany scored a fourth goal in the second half to win the match 4:0. Later I learned that Germany in the last world cup in South Africa not only beat Argentina 4:0, but also Australia by the same score.

So was it all 4 nothing?

No, there was more: The fourth goal was scored by Thomas Mueller, who had also scored 2 in the first half. This took his total to three. Three goals in one match is called a hat trick. Next, I overheard the commentator mention another fact about this goal: Thomas Mueller, wearing Number 13, was playing his 50th international for Germany. Loved it.

His hat trick took Mueller into a group of only five German international players, who had scored a hat trick in a world cup. Two of these have the surname Mueller. One of this elite group of star players is striker Klose. 

Further trivia for football fans: Did you know only one player ever in the long history of FIFA scored a handful of goals in one world cup finals match? Oleg Salenko, in 1994 USA, scored 5 goals against Cameroon. (Source: Wikipedia)

- - - - - - -

The  name Klose crossed my path again on the same Monday 16th. My wife had brought home a newspaper from the shop. On Mondays they are for free.

Death Notices - The Advertiser 16.6.14, Page 59. 

I perused a few pages in the sports section, then turned the pages. For some reason I pondered and read the death notices. (One of the many signs of advancing years).

How strange, somebody by the name Klose had died. (There are 39 listings by that name in the current White Pages.)

When I looked closer at the first names of the deceased I could not help thinking of ... the spirit of T Ruth.

What is left?

HE L MA.

Just now, closing this chapter, My brain even saw the words LAM and ...

What magic, only minutes before publishing, another name...  Lahm. Here is what I had written about this fellow footballer, who played alongside Klose in the 2010 world cup:

"On June 9th, 06 the goal scorer was No.16 Lahm ..." Book 4, Chapter 8.

Crosswords may be meaningless; the word of the cross may sound foolish, but...

"...the Word of the Lord is right, and all HIS work is done in truth."

(Psalm 33, 4.)

 

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Chapter 14

Index