Chapter 7  Written / Published 14.11 /17.11.17     (Pics by author, unless indicated) 

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

Moments before typing these lines, while on my way home on my bicycle, I picked up a ten cent coin on Todd Road. What's so odd about it?

 

At the time I knew that on arriving home I'd start work immediately on this chapter. I also knew, and was thinking about, how the chapter was to start. Read below, why the ten cent coin incident on Todd was, perhaps, more timely than odd.

 

We shall conclude our bike ride down the Rhone, wishing we could have stayed longer and explored the medieval villages further. 

 

On a serious note, Australia's political leadership has lost its way! Conservative voters, as well as Christians, have been betrayed. What will be the consequences?

 

7. One sur Rhone

The final sentence in the previous chapter made mention of God's hand; the second to last includes the number 10.

Both of these crossed my path shortly after publishing chapter 6. How this happens and why, I do not know. But I do know that it really was so, and that my fixation with numbers and God- incidences provides much writing material for this, my 'write-as-you live-it' autobiography.

Within an hour of publishing the previous chapter on Nov. 10th I was riding my bicycle along Main North Road. I was on my way to my regular Friday table tennis group. Just before the Caltex service station, near Uspot, sorry Newspot Motors, I spotted and collected a ten cent coin.

(The week before I found a 50 cent coin on Douglas Road, outside No.50, no joke; two days later another 50 cents, somewhere on a Salisbury roadway. If Frankfurt is Germany's finance capital, perhaps Australia's should be Salisbury, postcode 5108? Note the numbers).

Later that day I was reading the daily devotional, Our Daily Bread. The title for Nov.10th immediately brought to mind, how Chapter 6 had ended: "Leave it in God's hands."

Our Daily Bread - Nov. 10th, 2017

How profound is this, what I discovered only on scanning the page?

A careful look will show a word beside the word comfort. Through the page you will notice the mirrored word - Good. It's part of the title from the previous day, Nov. 9th: A Good Ending.

Chapter 6 indeed had a good ending! How comforting to know, when we leave things in God's hand, they will have a good ending. To see God's hand at work one has to look deeper. Even mirrored words, or upside down letters, may have meaning. God NOS.

-  - - - - - - -

But there was more. A good number (1) more than once, featured that day and in the days following. It all sounds crazy and odd, but let me try and write as it really was.

Editing and publishing Chapter 6 was only two hours away. I wanted to finish it, before leaving for my table tennis afternoon, when there was a knock on the door. My indigenous friend Nancy and her husband needed a ride to Salisbury - immediately. For a moment I considered saying NO.

Had I said no and not given that 1/2 hour service to my friends, the number 1  magic would certainly not have happened. As I opened the FileZilla program to upload Chapter 6, I happened to glance at the time on my P/C, exactly 1.11.

 

This may sound weird, but it's perfectly true and in amazing timing. Moments ago I had a call from the same friends, Nancy and her husband. They once again needed a ride home to Salisbury. How could I refuse? It's  very hot outside, 35°C. Must go! 

(Back again).

Nancy was waiting.

At first there was only talk of a loan of 3* Dollars for a bus fare. How on earth would they have managed all their baggage onto a public bus?

(*Their house No.3 fits in perfectly).

How peculiar! Just as I write about an incident that happened the previous week, and the same incident happens.

-  - - - - - - -

Since we just visited the town of Salisbury, postcode 5108 let me revisit the place, where our daughter lives, Darwin. Back in July this year (2017) during our two-week visit I went to a car wrecking yard. While in the Northern Territory I wanted to obtain a NT car registration plate for my collection. I simply walked into one car wrecking yard and made my request to the chap on the front desk.

A scripture in bible says: "Ask and it will be given to you...." (Matthew 7, 7). And so it was. Without a word the attendant walked out the back and returned within two minutes with three plates, two of whom were in almost new condition:

Outback AUS NT - registration plates

50 / 18: How similar to 5108, Salisbury, the  Council District we live in? Later in this chapter we shall cross paths with A C, who loves everybody! 

-  - - - - - - -

But it's not the 3 or 5108* that will create a little magic in this chapter 7, scheduled to come live on 17.11. It's ONE! It already has done so.

*When I wrote this the 3 15 twist later in this chapter had not yet taken place! (Read on).

Lovers of numbers would smile at the result of a soccer match, played in Round 6 of the new A-League football season. On Remembrance Day (11.11) two teams were looking for their first win since the 2017/18 season started. Melbourne Victory thought they could succeed that night, and end their winless streak, after star striker Berisha scored - 1:0.

But no victory for Victory that evening. Only five minutes later, former international Holman equalized for the Brisbane Roar. The goal by the No.17 meant that both teams on 11.11. drew 1:1 and remained winless.

The same day my team Adelaide United played at home in Cooper Sadium. (Sorry the misspelling. It was unintentional, but I shall leave it uncorrected). The team under their new Coach Marco Kurz, who was born in Stuttgart, lost their third game in a row.

My numbers brain got tickled by the number of spectators, who attended the sad event - 8416. If we revisited the previous chapter, published the day before above football match, there's 468, leaving 1 on its own! Good one! 

-  - - - - - - -

 

 

(Back to France, cycling.)

Over long distances I prefer riding my bicycle on the road, busy or not. Thin tyres, which give more speed, don't perform well on gravel, which often covers the surface on rural cycle paths. Besides, bike routes often wind through orchards, woods or farm land, where it's easier to take a wrong turn. It takes much longer to get from A to B. 

There's another good reason for my preference of the road. There is more stimulation riding past picturesque farm land and through quaint, old villages and towns. A good example of one of these is Saint Nazaire-en-Royans, where the D 1532 changes to D 532. 

 

<<< Pretty village, Saint Nazaire-en Royans.

There is a massive aqueduct (not shown) crossing the valley above this quiet place.

One drawback when cycling - limited time to explore and enjoy those exciting places fully.

<<< Le Pouzin

I would have loved to spend longer, walking the narrow lanes and climbing the ancient castles, found all along the pretty Isere and Rhone Rivers.

Romans-Sur-Isere >>>

 

The Collegiale of Saint Bernard (Cathedral) dominates this large town on the Isere. It was built in the 12th century. An earlier church goes back to 837 AD. A feature in the main town square is a large single shoe, made of concrete. It had me puzzled.

 

The statue is to celebrate the long tradition of shoe making in this place.

 

A sign to Valence, my first overnight on this ride, indicated 19 km. The ride on the velo-path was twice as long. Despite no hills I felt very tired after that first day's 100 km ride.

 

La Voulte >>>

Wikipedia tells us, this place is known for the variety of fossils it produces, including cephalopods, such as proteroctopus, rhomboteuthis lehmani, vampyronassa rhodanica. (Correct my spelling if ...) 

A main tourist attraction in Romans sur Isere is the International Shoe Museum. (Imelda would have loved it!) 

Some towns like to produce shoes, this one does fossils. (Just wondering, what would have been more exciting, exploring a shoe museum or a fossil museum? 

-  - - - - - - -

After a comfortable night and breakfast in the Appart' City Hotel, Valance, I picked up the velo route along the Rhone. Because of the reasons given above, at Soyons I crossed the railway line to continue on the road, the D86. Traffic was not heavy and wearing my safety vest does give me some assurance that passing cars and trucks would see me. 

Hard to understand, why some cyclists don't bother wearing bright clothing. At night especially, wearing dark clothing and riding without lights, is playing with fire! 

My theory is this: Seeing the bright yellow of my vest, the same colour police wears, wakes sleeping drivers and those distracted by their mobile phones or Radio/CD player. A glimpse of the yellow vest makes them think there is police around. They pay attention and (God willing) overtake safely!

The GIANT I was riding, on loan from a good friend, performed very well, no punctures, no gear change problem and a reliable luggage carrier. 

Arriving in the small town of Meysse, I felt tired, hungry and thirsty. It was after midday, shops were closed. I spotted a sign in English - Hamburgers, Chips etc. The outdoor eatery was in a courtyard setting, surrounded by thick stone walls. Small lizards were running over the sandy floor; the sun blazing down. It may have been a little ordinary, in a French country setting, to be eating a hamburger and drinking coke. But it was tastier than the two carrots and bananas, my lunch menu the day before.

 

<<< Montelimar, Drôme

 

This city of some 35 000 is famous for its Nougat. There is a Nougat Museum! (This sounds more like my kind of museum).

Not having booked a hotel in advance, I had a little trouble finding a place that met my budget. My limited language skill did not help. At one very ordinary place, I asked the Madame at the front desk, how much a single room was.

She said: Seventy Euros and then babbled something else, very fast. It took a moment to sink in. I had not even agreed on anything, when she told me that the bicycle was not allowed in the room! That really made me feel welcome, not! Didn't she know there are men, who travel on bikes without their wives, who like to cuddle up with their bicycles under the blankets at night! Twit!

 

Of course, I didn't stay there. The only room available, a little expensive, was right in the city opposite the central park. Just as well my friend Eric did not acccompany* me. The twin room was tiny, the bathroom the size of a telephone box. *(One c too many - read on.)

 

<<< Soldiers on patrol.

 

Strolling through Montelimar in the Drôme Deparment, these fully armed soldiers machine guns drawn, made me feel a little uneasy.

 

But then, this was a country on high alert against terrorist attacks.

 

Because of the exceptionally fine, warm weather and because I was carrying all my luggage, my friend Eric did not travel with me for the first few days. It worked out very well. It gave him time to visit his friend and daughter, while I cycled. We had arranged to meet up by a famous landmark, the legendary bridge in the city of Avignon.

Famous bridge - Saint Benezet, Avignon

This world heritage-listed bridge once served as the only trading route on the Rhone between the Mediterranean and Lyon.

It so happened that I'm writing here in Chapter 7, published on 17.11.17, that construction started in 1177. Love that 1 !

The bridge was destroyed during the siege of Avignon by Louis VIII of France in 1226 and eventually rebuilt. 

After a catastrophic flood in 1668 it became too expensive to repair and maintain. Today only 4 of the original 22 arches remain. The site is visited by 300 000 visitors each year. (Source: Various online)

 

We lost a little time that morning, while sorting out parking problems. (No, not my bike, Eric's car, which the next day almost led to a calamity). During the few hours in Avignon there was time to stroll around this exciting city, admiring the many historic buildings and to just soak up the atmosphere. If there were an adjective for it, I'd call it roman. 

Besides the Saint-Benezet bridge Avignon has another world-heritage listed monument, the Palais des Papes (Popes Palace). The imposing 14th century structure bears witness to the immense influence the Catholic Church had at one time. This massive landmark attracts even more visitors than the bridge down by the river.

 

Place de Corps Saints. Empty tables, but not for long. The beautiful autumn weather brought out both locals and tourists. All enjoyed lunch in the shadow under the trees. I wished I knew more of the French language to understand all of the menu. My meal wasn't quite what I had expected. But it tasted delicious, anyhow.

 The Hotel de Ville (in the background) in the center of town. 

 

I questioned Eric, why every city seemed to have a Hotel de Ville?

 

He quickly cleared up my confusion. Those imposing structures are not hotels, they are town halls.

No wonder; the French don't say 98. They express numbers more sophisticated: [4x20]+[10 8]. That's why they have to talk fast - to fit it all in. (Image a numbers crazy brain like me living in France ...?)

-  - - - - - - -

 

From Avignon to Arles was only a short, two hour cycle. It took me much longer, because I had picked up the road to Marseille by mistake and had to back track. Originally my plan was to ride all the way into Marseille, but my travel companion did not want to go there. To get my ride back to Germany I had to follow him.

Pic: pec-fr.com

<<< Aerial view of Arles.

This picture clearly highlights the prominence amphitheatres had in the former Roman provinces. Today they still host plays, concerts and bullfights there.

Arles is part of the history of Vincent van Gogh, who lived there for over a year in 1888/89. He had escaped Paris for the light and colour of the region and produced some 300 paintings and drawings here.       (Wikipedia). 

I met up with my support vehicle driver and friend, Eric, near the busy Tourist Office in Arles. To my surprise he had found a car space near there. He happily announced that parking was free until the next morning.

After a good look around the old town, taking photos of the amphitheater etc, we fetched our bags from our vehicle and started walking to our hotel. For a split second I caught a glimpse of a road sign. It showed a tow-truck and the word Samedi. I knew enough French to know Samedi means Saturday. When I mentioned to Eric that it was Friday afternoon, we stopped in our tracks. 

Eric read the sign carefully. We both realized that this section of road from midnight on was a tow-away zone. The next morning would be market day. I thanked God I had seen that sign. It would have meant great inconvenience and a lot of cash to retrieve the vehicle.

Amphitheatre in Arles

One can be forgiven to think it's Rome.

 

Amphitheatre in Nimes.

 

Having concluded my ride in Arles, Eric and I travelled back the next day to Grenoble. However, we took the longer, more scenic route via Nimes and Ales, where we hit the D316 and then the D906. Pity the weather had changed to overcast. Even without the sun, these mountainous, winding roads led through some picture perfect countryside. On the long, steep uphill sections I thought of my son Jon, how he would love riding these mountains - different to the Rhone (or Danube). 

We were almost two hours later than planned, when we dropped in on Eric's daughter near St.Etienne. Ten years earlier, during a visit to Germany in 2007, I had given the young lady, now wife and mother, her very first driving lesson.

-  - - - - - - -

It so happened, on the morning of publishing this 'one' chapter, the name of my support driver, Eric, suddenly came to me in a different way: RE I C. To understand, why I'm making a show of this i c or 1 c, we shall briefly take a quick early morning walk through Arles. 

Right on sunrise, Eric still asleep, I quietly slipped into my track pants and joggers and took a brisk walk over the Rhone bridge. The glow on the horizon, reflecting above the river, promised a lovely day! It was indeed market day in Arles. I took a good look around and bought something to nibble for breakfast.

<<< Sunrise in Arles, France

How could one admire the beauty of a sunrise and not thank the creator for being alive to enjoy HIS creation?

English: Thank you, I love you!

German: Danke, Ich liebe Dich!

French: Merci, je t'aime. 

One should not really encourage graffiti by taking photos and publishing it. But since long ago, in my earlier writing, I had called myself a C (one who sees) I snapped a picture of this graffiti message during my early walk through Arles: I love you, A.C.

A closer look later made me take notice of the four black dots, leading from C to me. Aha! See me!

Did the amigo artist A.C. want to see his/her lover? We shall never find out the meaning of the four black dots, or who A.C. is or whom he loves.

Je t 'aime .... A.C.

-  - - - - - -

Weeks after taking above picture, back home in Australia preparing my first chapter in two months, a c crossed my path. It came during the Wednesday evening practice at the Christmas Choir at our church. On the top of page 6 of our song sheets I noticed it. Take a look:

(Mary's Song)

The title of the son.g (got the point?) is Breath of Heaven, sung by S.A.T.B. voices and ...

... acccompanied (by an extra c).

 

During the next weekly choir practice (the date was 15.11. - take note) my mind was only half on the song sheet. The other half kept wondering, how the Australian football team, the Socceroos, were going in Sydney. The team was playing a crucial international match against Honduras. Only one of the teams would be going to Russia in 2018 for the World Cup.

 

Hours earlier I had been faced with a dilemma. I had volunteered for the Salvos, at short notice, to assist with unloading a truck that evening. When I had to leave for choir practice, and the job not yet complete, the boss asked, could I come back later to help finish off? Normally, I'd reply: "No problem". 

But that evening it would have meant I not only would miss the first half of the important game, because of choir practice, but the entire broadcast.

Reluctantly I said no, explaining my reason. Another helper agreed to take my place. He made light of it by saying: "If you don't watch that match they won't win!"

 

And so it was! Returning home straight after choir practice the score half-way through the match was still 0:0. The nerves of Australian football fans were stretched to their limit. Would Australia be part of the biggest show on earth? My three sons all came to watch the match at our house. 

To everyone's great relief Captain Mile Jedinak, playing in jersey No.15, scored after about 8 minutes play. He went on to score two more goals, both penalties, in the 72nd and 85th minute. 

Sydney Olympic Stadium, 15.11. No. 15 Mile Jedinak and Tim CA....

Image result for jedinak socceroos

Pic. ibtimes.co.in

The 1st goal came after 53 minutes (in the 54th minute.)

No.15 scored all 3 goals that evening. 

Date: 1115 -  (3 1s and 5).

If MJ had long hair, he could play superstar in the musical J.C. Superstar! He is 33 years old, just as HE was then!

-  - - - - - - -

Another group of Australians were ecstatic on that day. This sector of our community celebrated the result of the postal survey announced earlier that day. Australians had been asked to vote yes or no to the question: Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry? It was reported that 61% voted yes. Since the whole exercise cost $ 120 Million, it should at least have been a compulsory vote. The outcome may have been different?

The no vote, four million people, right from the start had little chance of succeeding. Our most senior politicians, the Opposition Leader and our Prime Minister, neither hesitated telling voters they should vote yes. How many Ministers of Religion were too timid, politically correct, and failed to tell their flock to vote no? Scriptures in both the New and Old Testament supports this view. (Lev. 18 / Rom. 1) They tell of the shameful things they do, which is an abomination in God's eyes!

 

The Gosford Anglican Church and the Leichhardt Uniting, just to mention two, publicly betrayed God and HIS wonderful creation of man and woman. Both institutions displayed 'Vote Yes' signs outside their buildings. But then, Jesus Himself had a Judas among HIS inner circle. His end was sad, very sad!

 

The one-sided reporting by the powerful media, the constant bombardment that it's all about love and non-discrimination (equality bulldust) worked heavily against the no campaign. Where is the love in those yes-people? How can they claim it's all about love, then advocate crucifying No-voters* and burning down churches**?  (*AdelaideNow.com.au  **dailymail.co.uk)

 

One passionate no voter in the Adelaide suburb of Kingswood erected a sign in his front garden. It simply read: "Vote NO, it's the most loving thing to do." No surprise, not only was a rock thrown at it, but he was ordered by the Council to take the sign down or face a hefty fine.  (Source: HillsValleyMessenger, Oct 17th, 17)

Where is the equality here? Our Prime Minister is allowed to tell millions on TV to vote yes, but one brave, passionate man from Kingswood, is threatened with punishment because he wants people to vote no! Hypocrites!

 

No doubt, the day will come when many so-called Christians and their leaders, will stand before God and HE will say: "Who are you? I don't know you!" No good ending there!

Our nation's Prime Minister and his Liberal Party have turned their back on true traditional values and on God Almighty. What Mr. Turnbull demonstrated is what I call PP leadership.

PP stands for Pontius Pilate. He knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong. Yet, instead of showing strong leadership and releasing an innocent man, he feared the mob that shouted 'Crucify him! Crucify him!" Instead of taking responsibility and doing what is right, he let the mob decide what to do with HIM. 

 

On the surface this sounds like democracy. In reality it's wishy washy, populist politics. On the surface there will be little change of anything. Same-sex couples already have all the rights normal ones have. In the bigger picture, however, to pass laws that go totally contrary to all moral, cultural and religious principles, slapping God and HIS people in the face, will have serious consequences.

 

Two men were interviewed on TV about their good news. When I saw that they had brought in 'their' little girl into the studio, I had to switch it off. How can society allow this kind of child abuse, denying this little girl a mother!

It beggars belief that intelligent people in our western, enlightened society have been so brainwashed to let this child abuse go on! How can anybody give their blessing to this new style family, which creates a whole new stolen generation - boys and girls robbed of their fathers and mothers!

"God is not mocked. Whatever man soweth, that shall he also reap". (Gal. 6, 7).

-  - - - - - - -

It so happened, on 15.11. our Men's Group at church went on an excursion. Despite the rain it was a great day driving through the Adelaide Hills, visiting the small, rural township of Prospect Hill. A kind gentleman, Lindsay, especially opened the Museum and surrounding buildings for us and showed us around.

                                                                      

Inside Prospect Hill Museum - 15.11.17

In the very first room in this interesting place of history, Lindsay showed us the first telephone exchange. With some degree of pride he told us that his assigned number at the time was 1.

Later, looking at the picture on the large screen, the number 1 on the calendar showed up. How timely, around the time I was composing a chapter starring No.1.

<<< Men love Museums

 

Welcome rain in the Adelaide Hills!

 

The Museum has a special room, where the tragedy of the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfire is shown.

 

Our guide told us the story of his personal miracle. He nearly lost his property. 

His sheds were already burning. He feared his house would go up in smoke. Suddenly the wind dropped. His house was spared. Lindsay thanked God; 

Two people in Prospect Hill perished in the fire. Their death is even more tragic, since the 23 and 24 year-old couple were from Adelaide, and only minding somebody's house. Lindsay said they perished, because they failed to leave and seek safety. Instead, they hoped that lying on the floor, covered in a blanket, the fire would pass over them.

The world is ablaze with the devil's burning fire trying to destroy all that is good. People, instead of fleeing and putting their trust in God, who wants to safe them, are taking cover, hoping it all would pass over soon.

"The wages of sin is death", according to Romans 6, 23.

 

Two days ago I read again the story of Jonah. He predicted the destruction of the city of Nineveh in 40 days time. He called on the people to repent of their evil deeds.

It reminded me of a bushfire, even more tragic than that of 1983. It was Australia's worst ever! It took place exactly 40 days after the Victorian Parliament had passed radical abortion laws, totally ignoring God's commandment 'Thou shalt not kill.

We are told that if politicians in Canberra work hard to pass legislation to make same-sex marriage legal, it may happen before Christmas. This would be very bad timing. Not that the average Australian needs the marriage laws to change at all. But to do it right on Christmas time, presenting it as a Christmas gift to the Australian people, would be putting fuel on the fire.

 

Thank God, Romans 6, 23 continues, promising the best Christmas present anyone ever could hope for: "...but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." 

Friends, Australia needs to repent and turn back to God. The people of Nineveh did and were saved.

 

There's another reason, why the worst time for passing laws that insult Almighty God is November or December. Forty days later Australia will be at the height of the fire-danger season!

No. ONE have mercy on our nation. 

 

Chapter 8

Index