Autobiography Dieter Rolf Fischer Book 11
(Pictures by author, unless indicated) Book 11 / Ch. 22 Written / Published 17.4 - 22.4.2013
I wrote the following sentence in the previous chapter: "It reminded me of another Easter, where God led me to a street called Cross Street."
The town I was led to during Easter 2006 was Angaston. In this chapter we shall revisit the place during an interesting cycling trip, which took place exactly seven years later. (God willing we shall continue our European journey next chapter)
22. Your price - the cross
Adelaide United's hopes to win the 2013 A-League Football championship came to an end on Sunday April 7th, on the final whistle of their home game at Hindmarsh Stadium. Defending champions Brisbane Roar had a 2:0 lead at half time. To still win the game, the crowd of 10 234 (01234) knew very well, would be a miracle. As the second half progressed and still no score for Adelaide, the crowd became increasingly silent, until ...
... minutes before the final whistle, after Adelaide's leading goal scorer, Dario Vidosic produced a brilliant goal. As if injected with a happy-drug, the Reds' supporters suddenly came to life. One lucky goal and there would be another half hour of hope. It wasn't to be. Adelaide lost. The 2012/13 season was over. The consolation goal Dario scored was of no significance.
Or was it? Before kick-off that Sunday, Dario had been 9th on the A-League goal scorer list. He had nine goals to his credit. To a numbers man like me, this was remarkable.
On the way home from the stadium I thought about the number 10. Only a few days earlier, in the previous chapter, I had highlighted ten, written the number in various languages.
To me this 10th goal by Adelaide's top goal scorer was important for another reason. Not only did he wear Adelaide's number 10 jersey, his name Dario ends like IO.
Three days later on a television breakfast show the winner of a competition was a person named Mario. During the same show one segment was about an Adelaide pet store owner, who was selling a toy doll for dogs. This controversial toy was regarded as offensive to supporters of our Prime Minister Julia Gillard and others.
It certainly made for a perfect controversy, on which the media, including TV breakfast shows feed on. At first I was reluctant to email again. The recipients of my strange emails must be tired of receiving them, I thought. But since it was the tenth of the month (April) and a name very similar to Dario (Mario) won their quiz that morning, I composed an email.
That morning, my wife had drawn attention to a calendar I had picked two days earlier for free. It was amazing, how one calendar picture, while I was composing the email, suddenly flashed before my eyes, as if I had it all planned. Judge for yourself:
I included this (August 2013 calendar) picture as attachment:
J I A - only takes U L to ... (The bus on the right is route number 503X.)
The day after my Sunrise Dario email, how strange, I had an encounter with my AUFC (Adelaide United Football Club) team, right near Ten. Let me explain:
I had just parked my vehicle east of the CBD, near the parklands. As I was walking along Wakefield Street a gentleman emerged from a vehicle, which had just pulled into the kerb. I recognized him immediately. Adelaide United's captain Eugene Galekovic. As one of Australia's best goalkeepers, he is Adelaide's only player in the national squad. (He was the substitute goal keeper in the international match against Oman, mentioned above.)
Eugene sat down with a group of young men in the outdoor Cafe on the corner Wakefield / Hutt Streets. I also recognized some other team players. We had a quick chat. Of course, Eugene didn't remember the last time we had met, four years earlier, when I had also bumped into the team. It was in Townville, North Queensland, as the team was celebrating their 2:1 win against the Fury. (Bk.8 Ch.8)
There was much to think about during my five minute walk to the German Club. The encounter with my football team was extra special, since it was right outside TV Channel Ten. (That's why...)
But I had another reason for a grin on my face. A few doors east of Channel Ten is the reception office for a large school, a Christian college. Through the full-length glass window I could see in large letters, right behind the receptionist's desk, their name:
CHRISTIAN B OTHERS
It bothered me. I stopped to take a second look. With a smile on my face I stood for a few moments, thinking. The female receptionist on duty inside, finally made eye contact. A stranger just standing there, looking in her direction, bothered her too. As she caught my eye, I did the obvious, pointing to the lettering behind her. She then did the obvious: gesticulated that the R had fallen off. Very obvious! Code minus R.
On the day of commencing this chapter I had occasion to use the above observation in an email. For a few days I had contemplated to write to the Readers Digest Magazine. Something bothered me; a name on page 124.
Readers Digest, March 2013, page 124: "Jesus! Who?"
On TV the night before my wife was watching an SBS documentary about persecution of Christians in Pakistan. I only saw the last bit of it, but what I saw in those few minutes was rather frightening. A Christian woman was in a predicament. She was accused o blasphemy against the prophet. It led to mob violence, street demonstrations and calls for her death. Thankfully, the governor of that province defended her. He paid the ultimate price for his gallantry. His fanatical bodyguard shot him dead.
The thinking behind my email to Readers Digest was: If only the West would revere and defend the name of our Saviour Jesus as Muslims do about their prophet. My email, written on 17.4.13 went like this:
The good news came in a Christian newsletter I receive regularly. Let me just quote one sentence. As you will find, one letter is missing, a rather important one - I:
Please keep this I in mind, as we prepare to take a short, weekend break away from Adelaide.
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Adelaide in March and April has wonderful weather. Mostly dry and still warm and comfortable. Had it not been for the above football match on April 7 I would have departed for my short weekend cycle that weekend. Instead, on Friday afternoon 12th April my Giant took me north on Main North Road for our first, overnight, long-distance ride.
Actually, compared to last year's riding it was a walk in the park. My destination was Kapunda, which only took me three hours and a bit to reach. Why Kapunda? This question had bothered me for some days prior. The answer: I don't know, only that I trusted the Spirit inside me, this is where I should be spending the first night, then ride back via the Barossa Valley the next day.
Before leaving that Friday I had voluntary work, driving the delivery truck, that morning. With two helpers we had to deliver some furniture. The address was No. 26. The street name was pronounced very much like warmonger.
During the three hours cycling a strange pattern of thought developed. It all was leading to the war I had waged in the case of Mr. Eugene McGee. A vital address there was 1/26 (1st floor, 26 Flinders Street - (Here is the I needed to complete 1/26).
Besides Eugene McGee and the Adelaide goalkeeper, there was a third Eugene on my radar. That Friday morning the name of the young man, assisting in the furniture delivery, was Eugene. Co-incidence? Perhaps, but ...?
On this April weekend 2013 I had no plans to do any research in either case. There was not much research I could be doing, certainly not in the McGee matter. But things turned out differently.
After a restful night in my tent, I thought, it would be pointless, to leave town immediately. I took a ride up and down the main street, then checked out Rowett Street, where Mr. McGee had lived. The town was reasonably busy with shoppers and a few tourists that Saturday morning.
Passing the *St. John's Lutheran Church I noted a vehicle entering their carpark.
Curiosity made me pop my head into the door of the church hall. Something was happening; a ladies gathering.
A lady from Kapunda had been on my mind for two years. I had written about her death extensively in Book 10, Chapter 2. She was also in the back of my mind that weekend.
It would not hurt, I thought, if I just asked among the church ladies, if they had known Rhonda, who had been a neighbour of Peter Liddy. She was also a teacher in the town. Teachers are well known. At first I felt a certain reluctance among the ladies to talk about the dead woman. A grey-haired, mature aged women seemed to know who I was taking about. She gave me information I had not known.
Until then I had only known that the late Rhonda had a son. His name had been in the newspaper. No mention of a husband. That morning I learned about her husband and where to find him.
Not only was he German, his Christian name happened to be the same as mine, Dieter. As soon as the door of his large, semi-rural property opened, I sensed the sadness. Living alone now for two years had taken its toll. After I asked if it was OK to talk about Rhonda, tears welled in his eyes. After a few moments at the door, he invited me to come in. We sat in the large, open plan living room, which offered fantastic views across the rolling, dry hills surrounding Kapunda.
So many questions are left unanswered in the death of this Kapunda school teacher. Why did the media take such little interest in her death, while another Kapunda crime has been making big news ever since. It so happened ...
It's understandable that three deaths in one family would attract more attention that only one. But should not Rhonda's death have been given a little more coverage in the media? Details such as her method of dying, that she was a neighbour of Peter Liddy, that her boys vouched for the integrity of the magistrate gun collector. Surely, such a person's first-hand report could have made a difference in the jury's verdict?
But why go into vital details of a death, which an investigative journalist could follow, if it indeed had a link to the Liddy case, when you can fill the page with a story about a mega tattoo poem?
The author of the Page 15 Sunday Mail article has been writing for the paper for many years. I have commented on his writings before, as recent as Book 10, Chapter 8. How should we pronounce his surname Littlely? To rhyme with little fly?
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After talking for half hour with Dieter, Peter' neighbour, I cycled back to the main road, Kapunda. At the T-junction it came to me, to do another quick run up the main street before heading out? There was no real reason, but I did it..
Right outside the carpark of the Foodworks supermarket I spotted, and picked up, a ten cent coin. (In Chapter 20, readers may recall, I also collected a coin, five cents outside a Foodworks supermarket.) Writing about it that same afternoon into my diary at the Nuriootpa Tourist Park kitchen, I looked out the window. Right outside was a large advertising billboard beside the football oval: FOODWORKS. (Some things seem to work in South Australia: Food yes, justice no!)
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Nuriootpa is a large town in the Barossa Valley Vine region. It was not far to cycle there, so I had plenty of time to find a grassy spot, erect my tent, write my diary and take a look at some of the classy veteran vehicles, which had gathered in the park, as part of a car club rally:
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Tanunda, the main tourist town in the district, about 7 kilometers on a straight road west, was an easy ride away. It did not seem over ten weeks ago, when I had seen Tanunda swamped with thousands of cyclists in the Tour Down Under. (Chapter 17). Some of the vintage cars from Nuriootpa had driven to Tanunda, much to the delight of the tourists admiring them.
I sat in the main square and let the world go by. Until .... camera time:
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(Back to the Barossa Valley)
As I woke in my tent that Sunday, April 14th at the Nuriootpa Tourist Park I was surprised to hear distant thunder. The weather forecast had been favourable; possible showers, but mostly for later in the day. Unzipping the tent I was surprised to see a cloudless sky. I was greeted by a magnificent morning. High in the sky, still above the park a hot air balloon was graciously floating eastwards. The 'thunder' I woke to had been a gas burner filling a hot air balloon.
I had neglected to check what time church was starting that morning. All I knew for sure was where I would be attending: Angaston's Zion Lutheran Church. After having originally wanted to make use of the brilliant autumn weather the weekend before, I had postponed this trip for one week. It made perfect sense to be at ZION Angaston on 4.14.
The Holy Spirit knew, and guided me, that on Sunday 4.14 I was to camp 6 kilometres from Angaston. It goes without saying Angaston and the Zion Lutheran church was the place I was meant to be.
Right from the moment of walking into church, I felt I had been expected. It felt a warm, brotherly welcome. One gentleman, among the small flock (approx. 24) worshippers, wore the same shirt as I - blue / white stripes. Shortly after taking a seat another 'brother' came and we briefly chatted. His name was Noel.
The traditional service had been held earlier. I attended the more contemporary 10.45 AM service, which actually started at 10.30, contrary to their sign outside. But it made sense, as does Noel and the name of another parishioner, who was exceptionally friendly. Here name was Chris.
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Notice on the left a war memorial. In the list of the soldiers the first name is Devlin. In my very early writing a journalist by that name from the Advertiser Newspaper played a big role. Another name is listed: Fotheringham.
During my years of struggle in my job at the Automobile Association, the late Mr. Fotheringham was the CEO. (He has since died, at a reasonably young age, from cancer.)
Take a look at the list diggers, who served overseas: There are two Plush right alongside two other names: Earl ( like L ear.)
<<< Angaston, Barossa Valley.
This historic town, regarded as part of the Barossa Valley, is actually elevated, located 6 km above the town of Nuriootpa. That the Lutheran called their church Zion, after the biblical mountain, is understandable.
Before church I had time to sit and enjoy this picturesque town square. On the war memorial I read the names of the soldiers, who had served their country overseas. One name, Plush, made me look a little closer
Only minutes before, as I was packing my camping gear at the tourist park, a van drove by. I read the business name - Plush.
The sermon that Sunday was about the catch of fish the disciples made (John 21:1-19). Verse 11 tells us there were 153 fish.
But why did they count them? And why has such a trivial detail been recorded to become part of a sacred, historical text???
The songs listed on a board (sung at the traditional earlier service?) added to 1633.
Unlike I misheard, I thought the preacher omitted an important little word in his message: "Jesus came as a servant and not to serve".
Did he not mean to say: Jesus came as a servant, not to be served?
At the church in Angaston the congregation sang along to electronic music, which was playing over the PA system. What great use of technology! I knew every song and was richly blessed, just taking it all in. One song absolutely thrilled me: "Amazing love, how can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me".
It was the theme song of my 'amazing love' story, as I written in Book 7, Chapter 16. It happened also during a long distance ride in New South Wales. Every time I think of it, how God showed Himself to me so wonderfully, brings tears come to my eyes. It did in Zion Church that Sunday.
At prayer time the pastor prayed for a man in hospital. His name David Mitchell rang a bell from way back, Book 1, Chapter 50. There was also prayer for rain, which was desperately needed in South Australia. Another prayer request surprised me. A local food processing company was about to shut its doors through lack of sales. The pastor prayed that our two large supermarket chains would see the need, and start stocking the product on their shelfs.
During the week prayer was answered. The company was saved because of orders from the supermarket giants Coles and Woolworth, who dominate Australia's grocery market. The prayer for rain was also answered. Seven days after the pastor prayed, on Sunday 21.4 South Australia enjoyed its best rainfall in months. God answers prayer. He loves to give us what we ask for, especially when our desires are HIS desires for us.
The date Sunday April 14th, 2013, in my books, was special for another reason. To understand this let me explain: I had bought a financial year diary, one day to a page and started using it in December 2012. My first entry obviously was on the July 1st page.
Because I write at least two, sometimes up to five pages every day, it was inevitable that at one point I would be passing the real date in my diary. It happened on 14.4.13:
From the diary - 14.4.2013 - Zion Lutheran church newsletter (snippet)
Only an hour or so before finishing this final draught I reminded an email recipient that God hears us and answers our prayer.
On a TV breakfast show a lady artist was interviewed. She specialized in performing a dance, while 12 000 bees are clinging to her upper body. She had been stung 14 times, but found her art to be a kind of meditation and very relaxing. The TV presenter, David Koch, asked viewers to let them know, what they do to find relaxation.
At first I again resisted the urge to speak out. Why should I have to be the one, commenting on everything? As my wife keeps reminding me, these TV shows receive hundreds of emails and may not even bother reading yours.
But the urge would not go away. I logged onto their web page to fill in the feedback form. As I did I prayed: "Lord you must give me something special to type". In the past, I have no doubt, some of my comments were simply laughed at by those reading them. And if it were all just a vapour of smoke, I was being amazed as to what God came up with, time and again with flashes of well-timed genius!
I had a vague idea, how to start my feedback email. On my way home from Angaston, I had passed through a town, which the TV presenters would be familiar with. The TV crew had broadcast their daily show from the Novotel Resort, Rowland Flat. On the day of writing and publishing, it is 4 months to the 10-year anniversary of this broadcast on August 22nd 2003. That date provided the genius, seconds after starting my email.
As soon as I opened the show's Yahoo web page the number 13228 looked at me. In fat numbers it showed the number of viewers, who had checked into their web page. Read it backwards - August 22, 13. (Forgive me, but on the TV screen I could not help seeing, and commenting on, an AFL football score.)
As a Christian one could easily lose hope and give up on speaking out for Jesus. Many so called Christians in the western world have grown cold. Many compromised on moral issues and neglect biblical principles. The demarcation between right and wrong is harder and harder to understand.
Male and female, God's wonderful creation, seems to have become an old-fashioned idea. New Zealand is the latest country to go down that path. How sad! Australia, so the proponents of this ungodly law tell us, is now under pressure to do the same (legalize same-sex marriage). Most western democracies and world leaders, they argue, are in favour of it. Australia will be left behind, if we don't go along with it.
What bulldust! Just because my neighbour buys a new car does not put me under any pressure to do so, no matter how old mine is!
The worst kind of leadership is this: Instead of leading and drawing up your own standards, weak leaders bow to pressure from vocal minority groups, those who protest the loudest. Weak leaders are intimidated by their sheer force of resolve, they can't see lies that are being told along the way.
I respect Ms. Gillard for standing firm on this issue. So far she has shown great leadership in this issue, which should never have become a political football. Marriage, as an god-given institution, is beyond politicians to meddle with. Why should a whole nation be bullied by a small minority, who has managed to hi-jack the agenda to legitimise their un-natural practices as if it were normal. What next? Same sex marriage compulsory? It might as well be. Going down that path spells the end of civilization as we know it.
Revelation 14, the chapter which speaks of the 144 000 people, who did not bow to outside pressure, but kept firm in their belief and conduct, warns in plain language:
"In the beginning God created ..." To any Harvard educated professor, may I say, without a creator nothing makes sense! The belief in a higher being, far beyond our understanding and reasoning, gives life real meaning.
The Christian walk is not a rational life. Both the Old and New Testament have passages that just don't make sense to our limited minds. To still trust the author of these 66 books, that in the end HE holds it all together, is what gives hope and peace. Those who look at the cross as a symbol for giving up their views, their rights, their pride, had understood what it means to give up their life, to really gain it.
Let's end our journey to Zion with a Psalm by King David:
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