Chapter 11 Written / Published 17.12./22.12.15 Pics by author, unless indicated
The latest Star Wars movie 'The Force Awakens' broke every box office record during the time I wrote this chapter. Wars and rumours of war seem to be everywhere - on earth, in the heavens, even among the stars.
There is another war raging, the battle for the hearts and mind of every individual on earth. The good news is that each one can win the victory (V) in the End (Z) if only they trusted Jesus. This divine message, sent literally down by cable, concludes this chapter and book.
As always, life is full of adventure - keeping cool in searching heat, smiling at football scores, enjoying our son's wedding; all surrounded by numbers. In this chapter it's four.
"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because HE who is in you is greater than he that is in the world." (1. John 4, 4)
11. The Four awakenz
As I was finishing the previous chapter, late in the evening on November 25th, I was totally oblivious to the fact that a serious bushfire was raging just to the north of Adelaide. Listening to the radio until well into the night, all our local stations had suspended regular programs. The fire was the breaking news; and for days it was the talk of the town.
South Australians were stunned - summer had not yet officially begun, when the fire destroyed more than a dozen houses and hundreds of sheds. The ferocious blaze had started at a locality called Pinery. It moved south with tremendous force and caught many locals by surprise. On one stage it was feared the large fire front could threaten the Barossa Valley. (A function I had planned to attend in Tanunda was cancelled).
The Nov 25 fire, according to Adelaide Now, had a perimeter of 210 kilometres. 2 people lost their lives, 5 were critically injured. How could my numbers brain not see these numbers and be overawed, having published the chapter titled 'Two Ten ...' that very day?
Fireman, desperate to save house - TV picture of Pinery Fire - 25.11.15
At the time of writing, three weeks after the above tragedy, Adelaide is experiencing its worst December heatwave ever. The forecasters predict an unprecedented run of four consecutive days over 40 degrees Centigrade. On the day of commencing this chapter the gauge reached 42.9 deg. C, with 42 and 43 degree days expected to follow.
(Update 22.12.15 - no serious fires occurred, during above heatwave. Thank God!)
No doubt, extreme weather like this, many believe, is the result of climate change, or global warming. For this reason, days before this chapter, the world's leaders, representing almost 200 countries, met in Paris and agreed on limiting the increase in temperature 1.5 degrees.
Watching the celebrations at the conclusion of the Paris conference made me think: Can humans really make decisions, which will control global weather? What if God decided to awaken a volcano, which will be active for weeks or months? All the efforts by us humans - riding our bikes instead of driving, taking shorter showers, building wind farms or installing solar panels could be annulled with one Act of God.
Burning off large areas of land in the Amazon or in Indonesia, smoking chimneys, burning coal in China and other places, may indeed add to rising temperatures. But if scientists think that humans alone are in control of the climate, they are in direct conflict with the bible. In both the Old and New Testament we find examples, where a superhuman force influenced nature.
In ancient history the force is Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Since the first Christmas, the same force, is the person, the deity Jesus Christ. HE demonstrated absolute power over physical laws, including the weather. Just to mention one example, Jesus calmed a storm, after HE and the disciples got into trouble. HE spoke a few words into the wind and immediately the storm abated. (Luke 8,22 - 25).
The prophet Jeremiah, a few thousand years ago, gave the people of his generation a global warning. I thought that Jeremiah's words would have fitted perfectly after the Paris Conference ended on 12 Dec.15, with big celebrations, applauding and backslapping.
The "Boundless" reading, referred to in previous chapters, very timely on the day of commencing this chapter, speaks of another force, who is able to control weather events:
For solutions to the world's problems, climate or otherwise, nations and individuals must look to the only true, all mighty God. If they do, the result will be good.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..." (Psalm 33, 12).
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In the previous chapter you read this paragraph: "Just at this point in composing this chapter an unusual name featured on TV - Zanta ... ? The rest of the story is weird, perhaps for another chapter?" Here is this weird story, which I recorded into my diary soon after it had occurred:
One of the reasons I am writing this story here was a picture, no two, I was able to capture from off the TV screen the day before commencing this chapter. I just happened to surf channels when a quiz show featured an interesting name - FANTO. This alone did not make me take a picture. No, it was the number 210, because it reminded me of the previous chapter, titled Two Ten, where FANTA featured.
People often laugh, some scorn, thinking I was mad, when I express surprise, how these things can be; even more so, when numbers are involved. A recent family wedding was such an occasion. One of my three sons got married to his lovely bride Emily. The elaborate occasion started with the official ceremony in the Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens, a short 20 Minute drive up Adelaide's Mount Barker Road.
Later in the afternoon a grand reception for the invited guests (approx. 110) was held at the Pavilion, in Adelaide's South Parklands. Some had travelled from Europe for the occasion, others from interstate. All went perfectly to plan, including the weather; even though it was a little on the cool side on Mount Lofty......
The young couple had put so much preparation into the event, it made me think - if they put the same diligence to work in their marriage, they will be a happy couple for many, happy years. No doubt, they will - with God's blessing.
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, November 28th, 2015.
Numbers are still teasing my digital brain when it comes to football matches. The national soccer competition, the 2015/16 A-League, is in full swing. I recall two matches, where numbers were on my brain either during the games or afterwards. In the middle of writing the previous (No.20) chapter, the digits 2 and 0 came up as my team Adelaide United played the Newcastle Jets on 22.11.15 ...
... The score on November 22 between Adelaide and Newcastle was 0 0. My diary for that Sunday starts with this important trivia - I saw 20 twice. (Adding 20 to 2200 were back at a former, famous number - 2220!)
The score on December 18 between Adelaide and Newcastle was 0 0 - goalless again. Unlike the week before when my sensitive brain picked up another bit of trivia, the date created by a football score.
On 11.12 Adelaide played at home in Hindmarsh. They won! One could not describe it as a good win, only a lucky one. Adelaide played against light-blue Sydney FC and scored 1:0 about half-way through the second half. Minutes later my mind started thinking: If Sydney gets a goal, the score 1:1 would match the day's date! Seconds later, Sydney FC* scored - 1:1.
Next thought: If another goal comes, the score line would match the month of December. Nothing came, until the very end, well into stoppage time. In the 95th minute Adelaide was awarded a penalty - 1:2 win, but only just!
Cooper Stadium Dec. 11, No.16 C.Goodwin about to corner-kick!
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Readers might perhaps expect me to address deeper questions about life? To do so, let's change religions - from football to Christianity. One question, which has bugged me to the point of doubting my sanity, is the reason, why I keep noticing the microphone cable, as I sit in church singing hymns? It happened four (4) days after publishing the previous chapter.
The madic, sorry magic, started early that morning Sunday 29th November 15. Listening to a song on the radio I could not help identifying with the lyrics:
I had heard the song before on that same radio station (Frequency 1323, please note!). The title, I had always thought, was Starry, starry night. It's not. Wikipedia informs that the title of the song is Vincent. Starry Night is a painting by Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch master-painter, who produced it in 1889, while he was in a mental institution.
A few hours after hearing Starry Night on the radio, surprise, surprise! At church the song leader had chosen to sing a hymn, written in 1994 by Joy Webb - Starry Night. Obviously, I paid more attention to the lyrics than I otherwise would have. Readers may guess what's coming. Please believe me, friends, I did not imagine it or make it up - the microphone cable, during the refrain, hung over two letters, in my books, significant letters!
Two days later my wife and I were travelling in Victoria, South Australia's neighbour state to the east. We escaped on a short trip away, which took place soon after the hectic activities of the big wedding. The date was December 1.15 as we where driving our Hyundai i30 south from Geelong toward Portarlington, on Victoria's picturesque Bellarine Peninsula.
Around 10.15 AM I searched the car radio for some relaxing music. Lately is has become harder and harder to find any 'easy listening' on the airwaves. I had almost given up, when suddenly, I recognized a familiar melody and the emotion filled lyrics "...now I understand, what you tried to say to me... how you suffered for your sanity ..." etc. The Vincent song was playing on 91.5 FM.
Sometime later I smiled at the connection I had found between the Vincent song on that road, and the time I had heard it on Radio 1323 two days earlier. The road south from Geelong toward Portarlington is the C123. If C = 3 it all figures - 1323.
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Now to another man named Vincent. His full name is Bernhard Vincent Finnigan. In Book 13, Chapter 10 I have asked many serious questions about this man's court case, which had been ongoing for 4 years. In late 2015 the former (acting) Police Minister had three more court hearings. The final one took place on December 9th.
Having been found guilty on the charge of accessing child pornography, and not guilty on the charge of trying to access child pornography, Finnigan received a 15 months suspended sentence. It was a relief, something I had been praying for, that he did not have to go to prison. There was the potential of 5 years imprisonment.
TV picture, Channel Nine - 9.12.15
While nobody would argue with the Judge, I am asking all in the legal fraternity:
In court on Dec. 9th I counted the number of paid staff and professionals in the courtroom. 12. Their total wages bill that day would have amounted to thousands of Dollars. Over the four years this case could have swallowed up hundreds of thousands, just as had been the case in the Peter Liddy saga.
If all this money and effort would have been directed toward prosecuting those who produce and publish their filthy material, not merely child porn, but ALL sexually explicit stuff, the web and the world be a better place.
And why in the first place break into MP Finnigan's computer to find his search history? Is the police doing this also to all other Members of Parliament or other prominent people?
My mind just can't separate itself from the thought that Mr. Finnigan was singled out by bullies, who succeeded in assassinating his character, who ruined his life for whatever sinister reasons.
The parallels to the Liddy case are so obvious - pick a high profile man, start a trial by media, report only what the public is allowed to hear, never report the other side of the story - details, which may cast doubt on the man's guilt (leave this to bloggers) and drag the case on for years, ensuring the person is also financially ruined. (Mr. Finnigan, I heard the judge say, did not have the finance to pay for an expert psychologist's report!)
The only difference to the Liddy case, Bernhard Vincent did not have to spend years in prison. I pray he will keep his sanity.
As alluded to earlier my wife and I enjoyed a short five-day getaway to Victoria. It was the first interstate trip in our late model Hyundai. We both looked forward to it, especially the modern apartment we had booked right near Geelong's famous waterfront and only a short stroll to shops. (Wives loves that).
Walking downtown the next morning I noticed that our accommodation was just across the road from a street called Cummings PL (ace). A brief mention in my previous chapter immediately sprung to mind. I had written about a young lady, Thalita, whose surname starts with Cum.
No Through Road, Cummings PL, Geelong, Victoria
The reason I mention this here is the young lady's remarkable turnaround*, winning a major battle against alcohol abuse. News.com.au reported the story of her success on Nov.18, 2013. Cummins, a popular news reader on breakfast TV, was consuming too much alcohol. It affected her performance at work, her health was suffering and in her own words: "The wheels were starting to fall off." Giving up alcohol, Thalita says, saved her life.
The catalyst to recognize that she had a big problem was a good friend at work, who in September 2012 simply tapped her on the shoulder and asked: "You're not OK, are you?" At that moment the 'little' girl** rose up, figuratively speaking, and knew what she had to do - no more booze!
Since then the newsreader has not touched one drop of alcohol. Her story debunks the myth that life without alcohol is boring. The opposite is true, speaking also from my own experience. Engaging in sport, eating healthy, travel, enjoying the outdoors all can be done - without alcohol. Too bad if your peers think you're a nerd.
When it comes to alcohol consumption, as with life generally, what you sow is what you shall also reap. Any doubters? Ask that little girl who is happy drinking fruit juice or Fanta at the Christmas party, or any Salvation Army front line fighter.
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A unique feature of Geelong, the largest city in Australia outside the capitals, is a variety of colourful bollards, spread along the entire waterfront. The artwork by the late Jan Mitchell, depicts various characters or occupations. Since the theme at our Salvation Army's church service, on the day before writing, was Joy - here is a picture (in two parts) of one of the bollards I took:
Text: The Joys of wisdom Proverbs 3 Verses 13-14
Grand Hotel, Portarlington, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria
On our return to Adelaide, via the Great Ocean Road, we spent a night in Port Fairy, a place visitors keep coming back to; as we have many times. The place dates back to the early 1900's when Captain Wishard named the town after his cutter, the Fairy. A major industry, which soon died out again, was whaling. Many cottages from that era have been restored and are heritage listed.
Early settler's cottage, Port Fairy, Victoria
On the only evening we had in Port Fairy, Thursday 3rd Dec. 15, we chose to dine at the hotel, right in the centre of the village, on the main intersection. After being seated on table 27, waiting for our dinner to be served, I noticed the hotel was called The Star.
When numbers and names like these cross my path, at the exact nanosecond, I at times doubt my sanity. Am I mega paranoid? Do I think numbers and names follow me for no reason? Of course, as my wife keeps insisting, these things happen to all of us.
However, the sheer volume of incidences - my diary is filled with them - makes me doubt that all are mere co-incidents'. Regular readers of my earlier books would be familiar with my battle of the mind: Either I am suffering from severe paranoia, or God is using me and all that data for a higher purpose, bringing about a work HE wants to accomplish in the end.
Paradoxically, amidst the daily struggle I have an inner peace, knowing who is the giver of peace and if we can trust anyone with our life - it is HE. HE will finish that which HE has begun. (Philippians 1, 6).
Let's take a closer look at the word PARANOID. If we put on our outside the box thinking cap and view it in three different sections, the word does not have a negative meaning:
So where is this leading us?
The ID NO, the postcode, of Para Hills is 5096. The number 50 leads us to the letter L. Long ago I had created the Christian cross, using the letter L four times. (Cutting a cross vertically and horizontally through the middle you are left with four L shapes!)
The number 96 leads us to the most quoted verse around Christmas - the prophesy in the Old Testament announcing the birth of a child, a son given as a gift* to mankind. This first Christmas was predicted 700 years earlier:
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a SON is given." (Isaiah 9, 6).
*This is the origin of the tradition of giving gifts to each other at Christmas.
You don't need to be a bible scholar to understand that there would be no death on a cross (50) if there was no birth (96) first.
On Sunday morning December 6th, world-renowned preacher and founder of Leading The Way, Michael Youssef, gave his regular weekly talk on TV Channel 72. That day he was wearing a startling suit with white stripes. Unlike some TV preachers, I never found Michael to be flamboyant. Maybe, this is why I took special notice?
Michael Youssef, founder Leading the Way (TV Pic Ch. 72)
That morning Michael kept speaking of God as the L. It sounded weird at first, until it dawned on me that he was say EL, using the Hebrew word for God, EL.
For the first time that morning I saw the connection - 4 L = t and EL as the Hebrew word for God.
That same Sunday morning in church, only a few hours after this revelation, I was surprised once again. Regular readers may guess how! Yes, via the microphone cable, hanging in front of the church screen. Right at the beginning of a rousing hymn, my eyes picked up the lyrics on the screen. Here is how I recreated it in my diary:
Text: "I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene ..."
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Friends, the signs that we are living in the end times, as described in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24, are certainly on display today at the turning of 2015 to 2016. Here are just a few:
Then, Jesus declares, the end will come. But let's not miss Jesus' encouragement In Verse 6. HE told HIS followers to not let these things trouble them. For HIS followers, this ending will be a triumphant one, a relief from suffering, real justice (a legal system under God's rule) and ultimately a new home in heaven.
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Friends, do not fear, the God who controls the weather also controls your future. Walk on in confidence - with HIM.
End of Book 14
Please note: Any future writing, when or in what format, is in HIS hand.