Autobiography    Dieter Rolf Fischer   Book 11

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                    Book 11 / Ch. 6                                           Written / Published 12.11.12  /15.11.2012

"Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace in every way." (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

 

6.  Road of Peace     

Pushing on south, battling winds and extreme heat, I again crossed the Mississippi at Chester. It's the place, where the creator of the cartoon character Popeye, Elzie Crysler Segar, was born in 1894. A memorial is erected by the bridge, the only crossing of the mighty river between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. 

Way back in my wilder days of writing, I had made mention of the name Popeye, the name of an Adelaide tourist riverboat. The skipper's name had linked to the story of my imprisoned friend. (Book 1 Chapter 26)

I was glad on reaching Cape Girardeau. The town's camping ground was well equipped and affordable. I loved the address 1900 N Kingshighway. Right next door I enjoyed a great burger and huge coke at an English Pub. I felt I deserved it after a long, strenuous day's riding.

Following Highway 61, on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi, I cycled through Sikeston. In many of the mid-size towns, can't recall if Sikeston was on of them, two kinds of institutions often occupied prominent positions - churches and banks. Some banks looked like churches, while some banks were built, as if they were places of worship. (But then, some people do worship money, don't they?)

The other prospering sector, if measured by the size and quantity of advertising signs, were legal firms. Even some of them looked like churches or banks. No surprise in the land, where everybody sues for the slightest of excuse. ("Because the coffee cup failed to warn me that it was hot, I got burned and that's why I'm entitled to a few million bucks compensation).

 

The spiritual health of a churches is not judged by the outside, just as the profits of banks is not seen on the outside, as nice as this may be. God knows the heart and mind of each of HIS flock. HE looks on the inside.

 

I'm sure there are banks that are far richer than the outside shows, and churches that are far poor spiritually, when on the outside they look rich.  

Road into Holmes County State Park, Mississippi, near Durant. Fellow campers Justin and Dee invited me for ice cream. Their friends Cory and Emily visited also. All good Baptist folk. What did they think of a old Aussie coming all that way riding a pushbike  a-cross the US?

Below: Dinner - Sauerkraut, potato salad and minestrone soup. 

At Randolph County State Park I was the only camper in that section of the park. Who needs a laundry, when running cold water is available? My elastic bike straps, supported by wooden sticks, made a perfect clothes line.

At one commercial RV (recreational vehicle) and camping park I was aghast at a sign in the laundry: Clotheslines not allowed. American free enterprise at its worst: Instead of letting a hot wind dry your washing, why not make a few bucks by forcing campers to use clothes dryers? What a waste of energy! Maybe campers should engage a lawyer and start legal action to be granted the right to dry their clothes on a real clothes line?

Between Sikeston and New Madrid came the longest, flat, straight section of Highway I have ever cycled on, 18 miles on Highway 61. This was only two weeks before I was due to fly to old Madrid (Spain). 

That day I was unsure, where to set up camp next. My map did not show any state parks on this side of the river. I pushed on from New Madrid, after a meal of take-away chicken in a park on the riverbank. It was a lovely evening. Right there would have been a great spot for camping. But my map showed no place where erecting a tent was allowed. I began wondering, and praying, where God would lead me to. 

He led me to a very large tent in a town called Wilson. A sign advertised a revival tent meeting that night. People were already setting up chairs, musicians preparing their instruments. It was wonderful to again meet with other Christians.

"Of course, you can put up your tent in the church grounds", said the first person I spoke to. But it got better: "Why don't you sleep in the youth hall. There is a couch and a kitchen next door".

More hospitality was offered after the tent meeting. I was invited back to the home of the family, whose son had preached that evening, for hamburgers. (Sorry, he didn't preach for hamburgers, I was invited for hamburgers).

What an example how to treat a stranger; even when he does not wear fancy clothing or arrives in a Rolls Royce! (Thank you - Rodney, Trish, Josh, Adam and Justin.) 

The church proved a great place to overnight - a comfortable couch and a well-stocked kitchen all to myself. I even had access to the main church, a few steps up through a passage way. As I had a quiet time up there I made an unusual find - a blow up toy - an American Eagle.

It was much like the one on my title page of Book 10. This church must have had a fixation for the bald eagles, because there were two more in the youth hall: A picture of a bald eagle hung on the wall of the youth hall, and another in the form of a puzzle, lay assembled on a table beside my couch. I figured that the blow up toy was part of the children's story the previous Sunday. Now it became part of my story.

 

Revival time in Wilson, Arkansas.

It so happened I arrived on the first night of the three day crusade.

                     Photo: rtseablog.blogspot.com

It was no co-incidence that I would be travelling on that side of the Mississippi River and have to pass through Wilson.

I never felt more welcome, more at home, as at that Baptist Church, where the American Bald Eagle 'flew' all over the church..

The gentleman wearing glasses, on left, is not Kevin 07!

 

A roadside stall on the approach to Memphis, the town was called Marion, sold huge tomatoes. After paying for one I got talking to the young man selling them. He was very impressed, after I had explained, where I had come from and that I was 'christ-crossing' America. He promptly gave me another tomato and my money back. (Thank you, Sir, they were delicious.)

It was a leisurely ride into Memphis, until I had to find a way over that river* again! . A deer crossed my path in cool of the morning. It was refreshing to see.  Crossing the Mississippi once again I entered the state of Tennessee. (The events in the previous chapter happened after Memphis.)

*I'm not controlling this, but the very second I wrote river, on Gospel Music Selection, a female singer sang the word river.   

I stayed two days in Memphis, lodging in a friendly, clean church run hostel. The name fitted my journey rather well - Pilgrim House. I felt like a normal, real tourist as I visited many of the towns landmarks, and the famous Memphis Zoo. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot, both for the animals and the visitors, many were sleeping in the shade.

For the first time I saw Panda bears in real life. (Why visit the zoo in your hometown, when you can ride a pushbike for 2000 kilometers to see them?)

One name comes to everyone's mind when talking about Memphis - Elvis. My route south, on the day of my departure south, took me right past the tourist precinct around Graceland, the Elvis mansion.

 

Graceland: on Highway 51>>> just south of Memphis.

Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on 8.1.35. He moved to Memphis in 1948, where he signed a contract with Sun records. He succeeded in becoming one of the worlds most outstanding entertainers. 

Sadly, like so many stars, he died a tragic death, far too young, on August 16th, 1977.  Fame, fortune and popularity took their toll. 

Across the road, the Elvis' airplane as part of the museum. There is also a Heartbreak Hotel, Graceland shops and the Rock 'N Roll Cafe.

                     All things ELVIS   >>>

 

Along Route 51 south I spotted a few signs, names of towns, which had me thinking: Benton, Canton, Camden, Cameron, all were within a few miles of each other. Regular readers don't need spelling them out, but I must make mention of Cameron. It links right back to magical No.5 Cameron Ave. and the story of my still imprisoned friend in Book 4, Chapter 17.

On Highway 51 on the way to Enid Lake I passed through Vaiden. My brain played a little game: Take Enid from Vaiden it leaves VA = 5  A   on  5  I. (One could also play mind games with E L V I S ... , but he's buried and gone, unlike ...?)

- - - - - - -

The last state capital to visit, during the cycling part of my tour, was Jackson, Mississippi. There were major road works going on; the roads terrible for riding a bicycle. Maybe this was the reason I was not impressed? Plus the fact that on three occasions I was made to feel very unwelcome. One female motorist shouted abuse. An attendant at the forecourt of the museum screamed at me from 100 meters away, as if I was going to ride my bike right through the front door, she was obviously guarding very carefully. Museum? Not my favourite at the best of times. 

At the camping ground I was reprimanded for paying the senior rate, which I had done in other places. But in Mississippi senior-age is 65. In Illinois, I think, it was 62. But in that state you are only over 62 if you are a citizen of that state. All others, whatever age their id shows, are under 62, if that makes sense? (But then, look at it - Illinois starts with ill ... God bless all women, who are sticklers to the laws. They need liberation!)

Riding my GIANT just outside the huge capitol building, near the entrance, I happened to find a letter on the ground. It was already opened and must have fallen out of the pocket of the person it was addressed to: Democrat Senator Hillman Frazier. I handed the letter in at the reception. (In my diary I recorded the name Hatwell Frazier. Checking the online listing of Jackson's parliamentarians for this writing, Hillman Frazier comes closest.

- - - - - - -

 

Call me undisciplined - at this point (Tuesday 13.11) I decided to catch up on 'Our Daily Bread' (ODB) Bible reading for the previous day! (Could it be God arrange it that way, so I can't be accused to fabricating any stories after the fact? God does get the blame for a lot of things, doesn't HE?)

The author Bill Crowder, the only contributor I personally met, headed the page: Quaking Aspens (italics mine) and quoted Revelations 2, 10 as his key verse: "Do not fear any of those things... you will have tribulation ten days ... be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Had I not that very day written and ended Chapter 5 with a magical discovery 315 (like 1115) in Port Lincoln, outside Bay Ten in Book Ten, Chapter 10? 

I had also written that prosperity is often misunderstood in churches. I meant to say that on the outside I sometimes feel poor (which, of course is all relative), but I am rich in other areas.

Revelation 2, 9, in the same ODB reading as above says: "I know your works and poverty (but you are rich...) To know God and follow Jesus makes one rich beyond all treasure!

Let's move forward six weeks on our US / Europe trip, but back six weeks in Our Daily Bread Bible reading. It was also a Monday, written by the same author (Bill Crowder). He wrote on the subject of peace. His key verse on October 1 (Aha, ten won again!) read: "Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace in every way." (2 Thess. 3:16). In the short paragraph the writer used the word peace 11 times.

You see, the day before 9.30 (Sept. 30th) was my last day in Germany. I had long before planned to visit the church, where I was confirmed in 1964. I had never been to this church for a service in 45 years.

Here is the link to Bill's writing for the very next day. The church is called Friedenskirche (Church of Peace) and it's address is Friedenstrasse (Road of peace).

How amazing, totally unplanned, is this here, in Book 11, Chapter 6? The story of my only other visit to this church (but not for a worship service) is in Book 6, Chapter 11.

Friedenskirche, Friedensstrasse, Esslingen / Germany

"Faith is Love, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the happiest thing in the world and totally incompatible with discouragement and hardness of heart."

(Quote by John Wesley on Church door)  

Many years into my supernatural journey the memory verse I was given at my confirmation in 1964 took on real meaning:

"My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways." (Proverbs 23, 26). 

My eyes have observed, Lord. But sometimes I feel, maybe too much ... (I may end up like Popeye.)

 

Since in Book 6, 11 I also visited Germany and described two football matches, where the scores came out rather amazing, I must write about another. I only became aware of it hours before this writing on 13.11.12. 

For the first time in months I had occasion to watch (and later email) the German TV Channel DW TV while I ate breakfast. I just happened to tune into DW's daily Journal, as the very first segment featured a man, who was commenting on Portugal's economic woes. His name was Friedrich, which translated means Peace rich; or in a more colourful translation it's Fred. (Go you Freds!) 

When the sports news came on with the results of the Bundesliga (Football) another bombshell hit me. (This was after the peace rich bit). My team VFB Stuttgart at home lost 4:2 at the weekend, after having scored a half-time lead of 2:0! (In the round ball football, such lead is an almost win, or is it? Sleeping VFB managed to still lose 2:4.

This reminded me of another story in my diary, which I will tell here, ahead of time. It was also a win by Hannover, where they scored goals in quick succession. It also will go down in Hannovers history books. The name of the reporter on DW's Journal, if I recall correctly, is 'Dausend - please note!). 

In the story in my diary Hannover 96 did not score 4 goals in 17, but 2 goals in 4 minutes. Not only did the Hannover team score fast goals, I happened to be right near there - in Hannover - at that very hour.

 

Here is the story in my email to DW TV - dated Tue 13/11/12.

(English translation below, light lettering added later, read on)

 

Hallo alle,
Heute morgen zum erstenmal seit ein paar Monaten schaute ich an das Journal der DW TV (in Adelaide, Australien). Stuttgart kassierte eine Blamage von 2:0 auf  2:4  in 17 Minuten wird wirklich in die Geschichte der 96er gehen.
 
Aber auch die beiden Tore am Anfang des Hannover Heimspiels am 15. September dieses Jahres machte Geschichte. Laut meinem Tagebuch, ich erinnere mich gut daran, war sass ich im Zug von Dresden nach Wuppertal. Kurz vor Hannover dachte ich ich koennte mein Radio einschalten und Bundesliga hoeren. Waehrend mein Zug kurz Aufenthalt hatte in Hannover schossen die 96er zwei Tore in nur *zwei Minuten Abstand gegen Bremen.  Diese jedoch glichen spaeter auf 2:2 aus. 
 
Zum Glueck, so dass die Nummern stimmen, schossen die 96er noch das 3:2, in der 92. Minute! Spannender geht's nicht, denn die Zahlen stimmten - (3 hoch 2) = 9   -  (3 xmal 2) 6.
 
Herzliche Gruesse von Adelaide, Australien
Dieter
PS  In derselben Radio Uebertragung im Zug bei Hannover hoerte ich den Reporter folgendes sagen:  "Im Spiel in der Mercedes Benz Arena Stuttgart gegen Duesseldorf hat es 55 Zuschauer. (So ein Dussel, ist der nicht doof?)

 

Translated:

Hi all,

This morning for the first time in a few months I watched the Journal of DW TV (in Adelaide Australia). Stuttgart's embarrassment, from 2:0 to 2:4 in  17 Minutes, will go down in the history books of the 96ers.

The two goals at the beginning of their home game on September 15th this year made history. According to my diary, I remember it very well, was I sat in the train from Dresden to Wuppertal. Shortly before Hanover I thought I could switch on my radio and listen to the Bundesliga. While my train had a brief stop at Hanover, the 96ers scored two goals in a two* minute interval against Bremen. They, however, later equalized to 2:2.

Luckily, so that the numbers work out, the 96ers scored the 3:2 in the 92nd minute. Can't get more gripping because the numbers match up (3 to the power of 2) = 9, (3xtimes 2) = 6.

 

Kind regards from Adelaide

Dieter

PS  During the same radio broadcast in the train near Hanover I heard the reporter say the following: "In the match in the Mercedes Arena, Stuttgart against Duesseldorf are 55 spectators. (What a dodo, isn't he silly?) 

(*Please note: After checking online, the goals in Hanover were scored at a 4 min. interval - in the 6th and 10th minute)  

 

Readers unfamiliar with German must understand - Dausend, the name of the DW TV reporter, means thousand. That's the exact number missing in the PS. (But then, I was not there in the stadium. In theory there my have been 55 spectators ....?) 

But there's more... (not my fault I'm just writing it all):

Whilst in 2007 (Bk 6, 11) the Bundesliga Team with the number 05 (Mainz) had played a role, this time the man from Para Hills (Postcode 5096) had an encounter with Hannover 96.

The other twist in the PS is obviously a play on words - a Dussel is one who is doof.

Strange that: I think I just scored an own goal. My dictionary translates

Dussel as oaf. (Never heard of that word in all my years in Australia.) 

 

There is one final twist, an unintentional message in my email above, because I had failed to proofread my email, two mistakes (in light lettering) slipped in - was & x

Was (English) in German  translates as war. When used as noun (in English) the word war takes on that horrible meaning - fighting on a big battlefield. 

Friends, there really is a war taking place. A war about the cross - x - of Jesus. 

Thanks be to God. HE has already won that war - on the very cross x HIS son died on.

this cross can never be taken away from us.

 

Chapter 7

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