Chapter 4  Written / Published 11.8/17.8.17     (Pics by author, unless indicated) 

  HOME   THE  WINNER  GAVE  IT  ALL  Given your all - now what

 

It's a sad day, when your children and grandchildren move to another state. The only positive is that now you have a reason to visit that state. That's why in this chapter we travel to Darwin, in Australia's far north.

 

To begin with we hear from the Police Minister and ask a few questions regarding a court case and the practices by a large bank.

 

Among wedding anniversary celebrations we discover numbers. In a real estate shop window we discover a spelling error.

 

In the end, forgive my repetition, a call to follow HIM.

 

4.  A road in Karama

There was mixed news in the letter, dated 4.8.17, I received from South Australia's Police Minister, Peter Malinauskas. It was in response to the information I had given regarding 'Author Peter Liddy'. As I had known all along, the Minister confirmed that the alleged material, children's books, had not been published. That was the positive news, besides the fact that my letter was taken seriously enough to warrant a ministerial reply.

The negative aspect was - the internal investigation by the Department of Correctional Services was not going to be made available to the public.

This means that all those viewers of Channel Seven's Today Tonight, who viewed the segment alleging Peter Liddy's sick mind was trying to somehow connect with little children via his published books, will never hear the truth. In my thinking, even a prisoner deserves a public correction, if false allegations against him have been made.

The second negative in the Minister's reply letter was the total ignorance of the allegations I had made regarding Peter Liddy's main accuser, Andrew Gary W; ignorance of the big question marks surrounding the character and testimony of this jail bird in the Liddy case. But then, if any investigation were to lead to corrupt police, why would the Minister for Police be the one to open the can of worms? It may cost him his job?

I find the lack of action, the total absence of reaction by the police, very puzzling.

- - - - - - -

Three other South Australians were recently left puzzled by police action.  On Wednesday August 2nd, 2017 our daily newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser, reported the story, front page, as an exclusive.

This 'puzzling' paragraph was printed on Page 5:

Text: Yesterday, Justices Kevin Nicholson, Greg Parker and David Lovell deemed the actions of police and prosecutors "surprising", "difficult to understand" and "puzzling". 

They said it was "doubtful"...

What was puzzling and why was it doubtful?

The three judges were presiding over a $151 Million drug trial. After the biggest drug haul ever in South Australia, two outlawed-bikie gang members were on trial, when an argument arose. Police declined to reveal details of the evidence, and how their sophisticated GPS tracking devises, caught the alleged criminals. 

As I understand it, unless police disclose the information, both the District and Full Courts would not permit the evidence in court. Standing firm, SA Police insisted that their surveillance techniques would be kept secret.

Adelaide Advertiser, 2.8.17, front page - exclusive:

Text: Detectives declined to reveal anything about GPS devices attached to the duo's cars, forcing prosecutors to drop the charges because both the District and Full Courts would not permit use of the "crucial" data. Report, Page 3.

Note the error!>>>

The report was on page 5, not on page 3. 

The result of this fiasco? Because of this legal argument between police and the judiciary, the case against the two bike gang members was dropped. They walked free from court (probably into the nearest pub to celebrate and laughing all the way home!)

Any thinking person would start asking questions: Why could the police not reveal their crucial data, and how it was obtained, to a closed court? How is it possible that bikie gang members on serious drug charges, can simply walk free because judges can't resolve an argument with police? 

Don't they all work toward one common goal - justice?

On the morning of the published article the Police Commissioner Grant Stevens defended the police action on Radio Five AA. He emphasized the successful seizure of 151 Millions Dollars worth of drugs. How good it was that the stuff was no longer on our streets! What puzzled me was the absence of a public outcry! Very little was reported on the television news, unless I missed it. 

I would love to hear what the Police Minister thinks about this case? But then, why bother with a 151 Million Drug case, when you're busy, worrying about an imprisoned pedophile writing children's books?

It so happened, on television the following Sunday evening, Channel Seven screened the story of corrupt police officer Roger Rogerson. Over two nights Australians watched, how this highly decorated police officer and a powerful, federal drug/crime investigator turned into brutal, violent criminals, trafficking drugs, causing endless misery and death on Sydney's streets.  

Anyone, who saw this drama/documentary, which I wrote about in Book 15, Chapter 4, could be asking these questions: Are all 151 Million Dollars worth of drugs in South Australia really off the streets? Can the public rest assured that justice will be done and that corrupt police officers are not making extra cash on the side?

The British politician and writer Lord Acton said long ago: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Has anything changed in 150 years? 

- - - - - - -

At the time of writing our largest bank, one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable business in Australia, is in hot water. Financial giant, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which had just announced a $ 9 890 000 000 profit, has allegedly been involved in money laundering. The bank broke the law by allowing millions of Dollars to be deposited through their IDMs (Intelligent Deposit Machines).

The ABC reports:

"In mid-2015, 11 Commonwealth Bank accounts were opened in 11 different names. Eleven different New South Wales drivers' licences were used to open the accounts. If anyone at the Commonwealth Bank had checked, they would have noticed the pictures on most of the licences featured the same

overweight man. That man was Kha Weng Foong. He was sentenced late last year as part of a money-laundering syndicate that funnelled about $4.5 million through the Commonwealth Bank to Hong Kong in five weeks in mid-2015." (Source and pic: abc.net.au).  

Further in the report: [The watchdog] Austrac identified four syndicates that deposited a total of about $90 million with the bank between late 2014 and mid-2016. 

As I understand it the bank had an obligation by law to report transactions above $ 10,000. Why did this not happen? Would it ever be made public, if authorities were to find that money was paid to bank employees to turn a blind eye? How casual can banks get, when it comes to dirty money, possibly used to finance terrorism? 

How badly we need a Truth Commission as suggested in Chapter 2; truth in politics, in the police and judiciary, in business and banking! The root cause, according to the bible, is the love of money, which makes people do all kinds of evil things.

But who reads the NT (New Testament) these days, let alone follows its teachings?

- - - - - - -

Cullen Beach Marina, NT

 

In the second half of July 2017 my wife and I did the NT. This time these letters stand for Northern Territory. But even before landing in the NT, on the Jetstar airplane, I felt a MT (Magic Touch) from the OT (Old Testament). Let me explain:

On the morning of flying out to Darwin I borrowed a book from the church library. I wanted some light reading for the plane trip and during the two-week break. After a routine take-off from Adelaide, having settled into our seats 29 A & B, (note the number!) I started reading the library book I had borrowed. The colourful cover and humourous, lengthy title promised some fun reading:

  

<<< Pack Up Your Gloomies in a Great Big

Box, then sit on the lid and laugh!

 

Author Barbara Johnson's books have helped many grieving parents. One can't but admire her humorous style of discussing very intimate, serious subjects, laced with practical solutions. She does not write from theory. She lost two of her three sons; one in a car crash, the other while serving overseas in a war zone. 

After her third son, whom she had a very close relationship with, disclosed he was gay, Barbara was devastated. It took her

a year to come to terms with it, barely able to function normally. After her recovery she founded Spatula Ministries, a non-profit organization helping people to recover after experiencing trauma and loss. 

So how did I experience a magic touch from the Old Testament? It came minutes after I had started reading, the very  first number mentioned in the book, on page two: 

Text: "That's why I have always like Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the Lord: (NIV). 

Barbara admits to not knowing all the answers, why God allows things to happen. But bad things do happen to all. It's our reaction to it that counts.

Besides the timing of Nos. 29, another strange observation did not escape my sharp eye. On the back cover of her book was her photograph. It was only hours after landing and arriving at our destination, that I noticed a picture of another lady, who could have been her twin sister! 

Discovered the same day: Barbara Johnson (left) of California. and her look-alike, who lives on the South Island of New Zealand.

Why did God make me notice this, and the numbers 29? Maybe, it's to make this point here:

Human nature is such that it wants to make sense of the things that happen to them, especially the bad things. There are no easy answers to the tough questions:

Why did God allow my baby to die? Why did my wife get cancer? Why does HE let little children suffer? Why, if HE is love, would HE let people go to hell? etc. etc.

Unanswered questions like these become the excuse for many to turn away from God. They don't seriously try to find God, to accept by faith HIS offer of intimate friendship and love.

How different the attitude of a man in the bible, who suffered more than anyone. He did not understand, why God allowed his children to die, his property to be destroyed and serious illness almost kill him. 

If anyone had reason to denounce his faith and turn his back on God, it was Job. Instead, Job made one of the most profound declarations of faith anyone ever made:

"Thou HE slay me, yet will I trust in HIM." (Job, 13, 15).

What a champion; a real winner! 

- - - - - - -

Back to the NT (Northern Territory). 

Australia has six states and two territories. One of these is the ACT (Canberra), the other the Northern Territory. Our daughter and her husband had moved to Darwin, the territory's seat of government and the largest city in the sparsely populated North.

It was a delight to see our two grandsons Aidan (4 1/2) and Jacob, whose first birthday we celebrated two days after our arrival. The warm, sunny weather, during the two weeks we visited in July, was superb. The 32º C sunshine in mid-winter could not have been more opposite to Adelaide's rain and cold. Many times, after I raved on about the lovely winter weather, my daughter corrected me: "They don't say winter here. They call it the dry season!"

 

<<< Grandma Isobel,

walking our grandchildren with the family dog, Berry,a Staffordshire terrier. These walks were very enjoyable, escaping the cold and rain in Adelaide.  

 

The path may look like winding through a jungle, but it's in a suburb, Gunn, near a man made lake, among modern homes with well kept, tropical gardens.

Little Aidan is wearing a sling. He had broken his arm a week before our visit. Pity, I would have enjoyed teaching him to ride his bike without trainer wheels.

 

Our son-in-law, whose name is Darin, (we could call him Darwin Darin!) had arranged a bicycle for me to use. The flat terrain around Darwin and prefect weather provided ideal riding conditions. Besides taking short rides through the suburbs around Palmerston, I rode into Darwin city, about 22 kilometers away, four times.

Our daughter could be called a stay-home mother. During our visit, however, there was plenty of going out. Some of the more mundane hours, at least for a man with an aversion for shopping, were spent in large shopping malls. One can imagine many Darwinians spent much time in these air-conditioned malls, just to escape the heat. Because there is no winter, nobody needs to spend money on heating. Air-conditioning, which may be required around the clock, makes up for it.

- - - - - - -

Darwin, Government House

Darwin's tourist precinct is situated within a small area, adjacent to the CBD. If there were no plaques as reminders, one would hardly notice that Darwin had been almost totally destroyed in 1974 by Cyclone Tracey.

 

Other plaques point to the tragic events during World War II, when Darwin suffered more than any other place in Australia. The worst bombing raids took place on February 19th, 1942.

 

 

 

 

The Japanese attack came as a total surprise, destroying much of the infrastructure on the harbour and much of Darwin. It is estimated the total number of deaths may have reached 1000, whilst the official figure is much lower, about 300. The southern states had no idea how close and how bad war had come. The shocking news of the raids had been downplayed. It was feared that panic could break out.
<<< Christ Church Cathedral...

...prior to its destruction by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

 

 

Photo: Peter Spillett Collection, NT Library.

... in July 2017.

Notice the original solid stone frontage. Much glass has been used in the  reconstruction, giving the new Cathedral a bright, airy feel.

The nearby 'Waterfront' not to be confused with the Esplanade, features luxury apartments, restaurants, cafes, an enclosed swimming area and a wave-pool.

 - - - - - - -

Less than an hour from Darwin we visited a popular swimming spot, called Berry Springs. Natural underground water gushes into two pools of water, surrounded by jungle, but with excellent covered picnic facilities nearby. Plenty of families were enjoying a relaxing swim.

At first we were reluctant to enter the water, since there were warning signs. Locals assured us it was safe during the dry season. The water was warm, but still refreshing. Even my wife ventured in. I had not seen her in a swimsuit in probably a decade. (Took me hours to get over the shock, just kidding!)

Little did we know at the time, we only found out later, that the day after we had our dip in that pool, a crocodile was spotted there. Subsequently, the area was closed for five days to ensure the animal was captured and removed. 

 

 NT NEWS Headlines  >>> Crocodile attacks are not uncommon in the NT. It is often tourists, who get caught unawares, either not reading (understanding) or ignoring the signs! 

Below right: Popular Berry Springs To think that a crocodile may have been LURKING somewhere in the jungle nearby!? Shivers!

Another must for visitors to Darwin is a boat ride on the Adelaide River. Just over an hour from Darwin this waterway is home to many wild crocodiles, who 'perform' for curious tourists, who try and catch a picture of one of the jumping beasts. (May I say, I was fortunate to snap the above at the right moment!) 

During the 1 1/4 hour cruise along the Adelaide River I learned a lot about crocs from our experienced tour guide's commentary. Saltwater crocodiles have a salt gland, so they are spotted more frequently in saltwater. However, they can migrate long distances and are just as happy in freshwater.

One fact about these ancient creators made me smile. If I understood our tour guide correctly, he stated that "Crocodiles have not changed in the past 100 000 000 years." This made me think about the theory of evolution. Are school children not taught that animals evolved over time and eventually turned into humans? How much longer will crocodiles need to move on? Another 100 Million years?

- - - - - - -

On the subject of evolution, may I just digress from a moment? On the day of this writing the world's headline news were about Mr. Trump. He was heavily criticized for not condemning right wing groups, after they had held protest marches in Charlottesville, Virginia and one of their fanatics plowed his car into a group of anti-protesters. Finally, the President, in a prepared speech, named and denounced the KKK and other white supremacy groups.

During the night I had listened to this news and heard what the President had said to conclude his speech: "We all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God." (Source: NYTimes.com).

Turning on the TV some hours later I happened to just catch the end of the news item about Mr. Trump's speech. Channel Nine's Today Show aired parts of what the President said, but sadly, they cut it short. No mention of God almighty!

I had looked forward to again hearing the most powerful leader in the world state that we are all God's creation. When it didn't happen I felt urged to email the TV show, after expressing my disappointment about their omission. I asked two questions:

"Does it surprise, why the President is at war with the media?"

"Maybe, you did not want school children to hear that the world’s most powerful man does not buy the nonsense taught in schools – that all came from one tiny bit of dust that exploded and the rest is co-incident?"

- - - - - - -

Back to the NT, where even in winter it's so hot, people don't need to wear much clothing. 

Riding my bike along the Esplanade in Darwin I admired the superb views across the blue waters of their magnificent harbour. 

One of the sights, couldn't help myself, I had to stop riding and capture it on camera:

 

- - - - - - -

 

On Sunday July 23rd, 2017 we went to church in nearby Woodroffe. There were not many in the service. This usually doesn't bother me, except perhaps feeling sad that the general population has made sport and pleasure, perhaps even shopping on Sundays, a priority. There was only one song that I knew, the one we could call Darlene Zschech's signature song: 'Shout to the Lord'. 

(Interesting - in all my writing I have only once referred to this song. (Book 4, Chapter 8). I quoted a scripture reference from Psalm 46. Read on about No. 46 and be amazed!)

As in many churches, even in this small congregation the lyrics of the songs was projected onto a screen at the front. Whilst there was no microphone cable hanging from the ceiling revealing coded messages, a blatant error in the lyrics of Darlene's song, made me reach for my camera to take this picture:

 

<<< Forever I'll love you...

... forever I'll sta...

nothing compares tot eh [promise I have in you.]

Interesting also, I only noticed this much later, how the music stand on the right covers the letters nd of the word stand!

 

The error in the words 'to the' is rather obvious. To a non-German speaking person it looks as if only the h and e had swapped places, and the space put in the wrong place. Any bi-lingual speaker, however, reading  backwards could arrive at 'he dead'. (Tot is German for dead).

If the words 'he tot' were to be translated as 'he died' it would make theologically more sense. The Lord, the king, the comforter, who this song shouts praises to, is certainly not dead. Yes, he died, but he rose again, defeating death itself. That certainly is something to shout about! 

The sage does not end there. There was more. The next day, Monday July 24th, my wife and I were celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary. We took a bus into Darwin and were looking around for a place to have lunch. We were casually walking right near the huge, white structure of the NT Parliament, when a van did a U-Turn at a very awkward spot, forcing us to wait for a moment.

As we did I noticed two things. One, it was a small truck by the same company my son-in-law worked for. (It was not him, he works in Palmerston and doesn't drive for work). Not only that, but the vehicle carried registration plate ..46...

The second thing I saw was the word Hedie (or Heidie) written on the vehicle's door. The similarity between the church screen (he dead', as established above) and this name only came as I prepared this chapter.

 

Hey, how amazing is this, only discovered it here, as I checked the website of the Restaurant we ended up eating lunch that day!? It was at 46 Mitchell Street. Read on! 

 

After some time checking out places, where to eat our 46th wedding anniversary lunch, we ended up at Monsoons. The hotel/restaurant was very busy and noisy. The music (mostly mindless noise) almost turned us off, but the menu seemed reasonable. In a separated, small area it was much quieter, and there was an empty table right by the window. There even was a candle burning in the center of our table. 

What came next may sound as if coming from the pen of a nutter, but please let me tell it, just as it was. Soon after ordering our meal, looking at the surroundings, I noticed through the window a vehicle parked right across the laneway. It was close enough to make out its number plate: 

 

<<< Vehicle outside restaurant window!

White eating our 46th anniversary lunch at 46 Mitchell Street this registration plate, CC 46.. was looking at me! (That number almost bowled me over for six, ha ha!) 

<<< Darwin CBD Map.

The laneway is called Nuttall Place. Whilst some readers may think 'all nut' is appropriate, let me remind them, our home address is 'all good'. 

Pic. Google Maps

- - - - - - -

It so happened, during the writing of this chapter Psalm 46 featured in 'Our Daily Bread' bible reading. (Sunday August 13th, 2017). How well it fits into the earlier part in this chapter, into Barbara Johnson's message: God may allow bad things to happen, but when we turn to HIM for help, HE will be our strength to overcome!

Text: [Thank you that] You are my "refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Palm 46:1).When faced with difficult circumstances we can trust God to be our strength.

- - - - - - -

Friday night market at Palmerston. No table, and certainly no candles at this dinner! 

"What's that?" My son-in-law must have discovered something very curious in his food. The whole family had to check it out. What it was remains a secret.

- - - - - - -

There is a 3 1/2 year age difference between our grandsons. The arrival of baby brother Jacob must have been a life-changing event for Aidan. One day he was the center of attention, the next day fighting for attention. My daughter is a very good, patient mother, but this did not lessen the effect on little Aidan.

During our two week holiday I witnessed many times, how the older brother expressed his feelings. More often than not, little Jacob was the target for venting his frustration. No doubt, this was normal behaviour for a 4-year old, but it was still upsetting to witness. 

To make matters worse, our daughter and her husband in my opinion, didn't apply enough discipline to correct his behaviour. In contrast to my generation, who still believed in physical punishment to teach right from wrong. As the saying goes - spare the rod (note the word rod) and spoil the child.

The bible takes the use of the rod as a means of discipline even further: "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them." (Proverbs 13, 24 NIV). There are a number of other scriptures that advocate physical punishment to bring rebellious children into line.

Despite modern, politically correct thinkers arguing that the rod is a form of violence and does more harm than good, I know the bible is correct. The problem starts when corporal punishment is given at the wrong time or inappropriately. But how else does a child learn when he or she willfully disobeys a parent, when their behaviour could cause great harm to a brother or sister or themselves?

Why did I  write a few paragraphs back 'Note the word rod?' As strange as it may sound, what I experienced in Darwin, a kind of karma (note the word karma) might give us the answer to rod or no rod! It came in a very unusual way!

Let me explain: On the morning of our wedding anniversary I had to firmly discipline our four-year old grandson, because he did something to his little brother, which could have caused him great harm. My daughter had not seen it. The four-year old quickly ran over to her, crying and telling her what bad thing I had done. This made the argument, rod or no rod, erupt once again.

Later that day my wife and I were taking a stroll in the suburb of Nightcliffe. When she went inside a supermarket to buy some water, I casually looked at the shop window next door. It was a real estate agent; houses and units for sale and rent. Out of curiosity I looked at the various offers, when one particular one struck me. It might have been the price, $ 310 000, which first attracted me.

Then I saw a word, in large letters, which looked odd. It was the word Rod.

 

For Sale for $ 310 000 in the suburb of Karama, two bedroom unit. Doesn't Karama sound a bit like karma?

Next I noticed that the address starts with the letters Liv. But was there a Livistona Rod in Karama? Mr. Google had not heard of it, and he knows almost as much as almighty God Himself. The more I looked, the more I became convinced Rod was a spelling error!

Hey! Just now, typing this I see magic: If you're looking for Karma, take the middle a out of Karama. If you then place it into Rod it corrects the spelling error! Voila! Road! 

 

Karma, a concept in Hinduism and other Eastern Religions, is a difficult concept to understand. We associate it with the supernatural. Karma, be it good karma or bad karma, sounds like a biblical principle: "What you sow is what you shall reap!" The bible teaches that proper discipline, reproof and the rod "gives wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29,15).

However, there is a far more important key principle at work, when discipline is applied in the biblical way. As much as parents would like to think their children are good and will learn in time to be obedient, the bible tells a different story. 

Because one man (Adam) clearly crossed the line, deliberately disobeying God, his sin became inborn into mankind. (Romans 5,12 and 3, 23). The intimate friendship with God, the creator, was betrayed and broken! 

How could trust between man and God be restored? The laws of Moses, punitive rules, strict traditions or pompous ceremonies couldn't do it.

Old Testament history records, time and time again, how God's people deliberately disobeyed God. HE had to apply the rod of punishment, they repented and the intimate friendship with God was restored.

If children were naturally obedient and never did wrong, there would be no need for punishment and repentance; no need for a loving God, who through HIS son Jesus is more than willing to forgive all wrong doing.

If all children experienced and learned the lesson of forgiveness, forgiving themselves and others, within a generation the crime rate would be down; mental hospitals would be closing! 

Jesus claims: "I am the way [back to God] the truth and the life" (John 14, 6). Who would be so arrogant and refuse to ask for forgiveness and accept HIS love?"

For the Lord disciplines the ones He loves..." (Heb. 12, 6)

Is there a more wonderful moment, when after doing wrong and being punished, after explaining their wrong doing, a child sits on daddy's lap and with a warm embrace he assures them how much Mum and Dad still love them?

What a moment to introduce them to Jesus. In John 11, 25 HE clearly stated the benefits of believing and obeying God - eternal life:

"He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."

 

Chapter 5

Index