26. Dancing in the streets
A few chapters back I wrote about waking up early one Sunday morning in February and writing a poem to the BBC London. It was about a football player from Real Madrid. In a strange twist I found out a little later that my bible reading, as happened numerous times, held an unexpected parallel to events that had just taken place. In an email to BBC Sportsworld I tried to explain it:
Email to BBC Sportsworld 15/2/05 -
Subject: Why does God wake me at night?
Last Sunday morning (13/2) I woke at 3.12am and wrote to you a poem. I believe, when God wakes me at night, he has something for me to do, especially, when I first look at the time on the clock radio and it shows that day's date backwards.
Later that day (or was it the next day, because I occasionally get a day behind in my reading) I read my daily text from the Neukirchener Kalender, a German bible reading book. The main verse was Psalm 63 and Verse 7 (in the English bible it is verse 6): When I remember you on my bed, I meditate on you in my night watches.
In the commentary is says (translated from German): "When God wakes me at night, he has something in mind for me", said an old man to me. Therefore a restless night can become a meaningful time, if we know how to spend it usefully”.
Amazing how this is exactly my thinking and it happened (without knowing what my daily reading was to be that day) on Sunday early in the morning of Feb. 13th.
Kind regards from Adelaide
Dieter R. Fischer
PS I once wrote a love letter to a 15 year-old girl. I quoted above verse (which was true, because I probably thought more about the girl than God). Her parents found the letter and the flame died quickly after that. Now I have another flame. I listen to HIM a lot when I lay awake at night. (No, he doesn't work for the BBC or ABC Newsradio).
God is a specialist in turning a mundane event into a small miracle, simply by arranging perfect timing. Unexpected events, such as the one above, encouraged me greatly and left me in a state of awe and thanksgiving at the mighty power of God, working behind the scenes. HE again was at work in an amazingly timed incident on Sunday March 6th, once more it involving the BBC, London.
Our 9am church service had resumed on March 6th 05. Songs of Praise was broadcast by our ABC TV at 11am, which gave Isobel and I still time for a cup of tea or coffee in the hall before driving home to watch it. But that morning one of our neighbours, Col, delivered advertising material into our letterbox, just as we were arriving home about 11am. I could sense he was in no hurry and wanted to chat a little.
As we did, I was conscious of missing one of my favourite TV shows, but felt I ought to stay and talk. I asked, if he knew the meaning of the cross, pointing to my ‘grass cross’ in the little park opposite. For the second year I had been watering the dry ground in the park across the road and created a large green cross. He knew well what the cross symbolized. Years earlier Col had been teaching Sunday School in the church in Liberman Road, just around the corner.
At about 11.10am I came inside and had a little trouble claiming the TV set. The Formula One Grand Prix Motor race was broadcast from Melbourne. It took a little persuasion to have my way for a change. When I finally switched to the ABC TV Channel, the first words sung were “Once I was lost, but now I’m found.” Of course, I recognized the end of the line immediately as the title of this book. It was an excuse, enough reason to email the program, which I had done only three or four times before.
But it was the program following Songs of Praise, Hymns of our Forefathers, which made me email again a day later, after stumbling onto a strange parallel in the two hymns featured. Since childhood I had a love for hymns, especially those that oozed passion and stirred the heart with both melody and lyrics. ‘Blessed Assurance’ and ‘It is well with my soul’ were the two hymns featured that morning. Both fitted perfectly into my best-loved category.
I found it impossible to listen to these two hymns and the tragic stories behind them, without tears rolling down my cheeks. It was OK; Isobel was busy preparing lunch in the kitchen and Jon had found another TV set to watch the Motor Sport.
Very early the next morning I pondered the amazing circumstances, which surrounded H.G. Stafford’s writing of ‘It is well’. He had lost three young daughters in the sinking of a ship, crossing the Atlantic. Shortly afterwards, as he crossed the exact spot, where his children had perished, he was inspired to write this most beautiful hymn, which has brought peace and comfort to millions since. How awesome!
I don’t know what made me look up the words of this hymn, plus the words of the second hymn featured the day before, Blessed Assurance. Was there a connection? Strangely enough I found a few. In an email to the BBC on 7/3/05 I explained my outside the box thinking:
Email Monday 7/3/05 to the BBC, Songs of Praise:
Subject: Whispers of L and P:
As a teenager in the late 1960’s I sang and played (on the trumpet) the two hymns featured on “Hymns of the Forefathers” broadcast on ABC TV after Songs of Praise on 6/3/05 in Adelaide. Back then nobody told us the incredible stories that gave birth to these hymns.
Early this morning before rising I pondered my email to you yesterday regarding “Blessed assurance” and “It is well with my soul”. I did a little exploration.
Well, this is my story. I discovered that the two hymns spoke of whispers – Blessed assurance, (2nd verse) whispers of love and “It is well” (4th verse) - thou shalt whisper thy peace…. As a driving instructor I worked with L’s and P’s.
Did you notice how verse 2 of “It is well” links the two hymns? “Let this blessed assurance control.”
Verse 3 starts interestingly – Perfect submission, all is at rest. Those two words (all & rest) play a huge roll (in separate chapters) in my autobiography.
So does the word “lot” (Verse 1, It is well). My lot is to be a lot, a whistleblower or “Lover of truth” as I renamed the occupation, which is against all business principles – high risk, low return. In God’s economy, however, trusting HIM means no risk – very high return (physically and spiritually – Verse 5 It is well, …the sky, not the grave, is our goal. Praise HIS wonderful name!
PS Did you notice I spelled HIM and HIS in capital letters? I saw yesterday that your subtitles did not even spell the first letter of him in capital. ‘All in him is mine…’ Why spell him (God) with small letters and I with a capital?
I had often wondered about capital letters in the English language. Not merely Him or His, when speaking about God, but the words ‘you and I‘. Could it not be regarded as arrogant to write I with a capital and you without? The Germans, who are often accused of being snobby, do the opposite. They spell ich in small letters, as it should be, and DU with a capital D. Children at school are taught this for a special reason – to pass their spelling tests.
The following Monday a seemingly insignificant incident gave me reason to speculate, that perhaps it was a sequel to above discovery. Early in the morning I happened to switch on my transistor and overheard a religious scientist being interviewed. I had no idea, who it was or exactly which station I had tuned into. At the end I heard the name of the presenter – Barnes. My code conscious brain had seen this name before as ‘born it’.
I was only listening for a few moments, when I had heard the journalist ask the question: “What is a miracle? The elderly gentleman, claiming to be a Christian, in my opinion answered not very convincingly. I composed the following email and sent it to our ABC Radio, hoping they would forward it to the appropriate program producer within their organisation.
Email 14/3/05 to ABC Radio
Subject: What is a miracle?
This morning I turned on the transistor just to check what was on. A presenter named T. Barnes was speaking to a scientist. The older man seemed quite refreshing, saying religion and science have a lot in common, like both a trying to work out how things work.
T. then asked a very pointed question - Did Jesus really turn water into wine? This is where the 89 year old (who sounded much younger and still very sharp) watered down the Gospel (if you pardon the pun). He said, one can't take the bible always literally, which is true in certain scriptures. But either there was water in those pots, which turned to real, top quality wine, or there wasn't.
The presenter answered his own question with a question: “If God works against his own natural laws he established, is that a miracle?”
This is only one way God can work. Would you think the following is a miracle?
I say to God – “If my Aunty Pam in the UK sends me an email this morning, I will believe in you God!” (Bit basic, but why not?) If then Aunty Pam (who only emails 3 times a year) happens to turn on her TV and hears my name spoken (Dieter is rare here and the UK) right then decides I'll send my Nephew Dieter in Australia an email. Is that a miracle?
God can use anything to show he is at work, names, timing etc. etc. The trouble is - not only scientists, but theologians don't believe it. They don't want to hand over power to the ONE WHO holds it all. To deny God's ultimate power over nature (and that you don't have to believe in Jesus' resurrection to be a Christian) is to nail HIM to the cross once again.
Dieter R. Fischer
PS If this segment was not on your station, please forgive - the announcer said at the end: "I am T… Barnes, this was reporting on religion". I assume it was you.
I used above miracle scenario, because I had noticed regularly that God liked working with just this kind of precision timing.
(While typing this email my connection to my Internet Service Provider was abruptly cut off. I logged back on to continue typing, when suddenly the Power failed. I felt mildly anxious, thinking it was an action against me. Someone hates me sending emails, my mind thought for a moment. Later I learned that 60 % of our State had a mysterious power failure that Monday morning. See next chapter).
The interview I had been listening to was actually broadcast on the BBC World Service and played via our ABC. (I received an email in acknowledgement, thank you). The elderly scientist interviewed, I was told, had been the new winner of the Templeton Prize for ‘Progress in Religion and Science’. He was also a Nobel laureate in physics.
Junk mail Da Ninci: Saying Good bye and telling by the colour scheme, where we're going. Be you - wise!
My circle of email recipients enlarged once again after a story that came out of Spain. A group of hikers was reported gassed to death in an inn. They had carried with them their own gas heater, which proofed fatal - a leak caused their room to fill with deadly gas, killing almost 20 people. My suspicious mind imagined that there was something further behind the story, but I had no idea what. I emailed a TV Station in Spain:
Email to RTVE (Spain) – 10/2/05
Gas is like fire - it can be your servant or your master. You must treat servants and masters with respect. Likewise - fire and gas. Always play it safe, otherwise a friend can become an enemy.
Kind regards from Australia,
Dieter R. Fischer
PS I read that after the tragedy many friends and relatives of the dead travelled to Todolella. What were they intending to do? Take home their dead ones in their luggage?
What were relatives hoping to achieve by traveling to the village, where their loved ones died? But it was the name of the village ‘Todolella’, which really triggered my suspicion button. The first three letters (Tod) in German mean death and the last three letters (backwards) read – all. In between is LA backwards.
Researching something the Internet, I regularly discovered facts, which begged for questions and answers. A classic example is this: I learned that two separate tragedies had occurred, on opposite sides of the globe. Nine people were killed in each incident. Further than that, both disasters happend around the same time and both were ‘chlorine gas explosions’. One took place in China, the other in the US.
I can’t recall how I had stumbled across the URL’s, and didn’t note them down either. These extra-ordinary parallels in the two events made me write my first ever email to China. In the PS I pointed to a further peculiarity, which made me ask God many times – why?
Email to CCTV, China 17/1/05
Can you believe that two events happened in different parts of the world? A chlorine gas explosion in South Carolina killed the same number of people, according to the web-reports, as a chlorine explosion in China. And all at the same time, approximately.
I never believed in co-incidences, but now I do. They do happen, as all can see.
Kind regards from South Australia
Dieter R. Fischer
PS We also had nine people die in our State last Tuesday 11/1/05 through bush fires. More co-incidents, unless …
I was not really sure what I meant by ‘unless…’ Unless I saw God behind it all?
The other chlorine gas explosion allegedly occurred in South Carolina. I read it on the website of a US News program, which is regularly replayed on our ABC Newsradio. Their website showed the headline of the (alleged) disaster and a short brief. When I clicked the ‘full report’ button the link went nowhere.
I tried several times without success. Did they know the oddity of this remarkable co-incident? Two disasters, same cause, same time, same number killed? I had not seen or heard about either explosion on our News. I had to vent my irritation with an email, adding some humour to get over it:
Email to N.. News - 17/1/05
Subject: Is the G overn ment responsible?
I was going to read L L’s report on the South Carolina Chlorine Gas explosion. But the link does not seem to go further than the first 4 lies.
Did you know that in China, what co-incidence, a chlorine gas explosion is also reported to have killed 9. Unless someone heard South Crolina and misheard it as South China and the news grew from there. News does have a tendency to get bigger the further it travels, true?
It's a bit like the price of spare parts for cars. A $ 1.00 piece of rubber from the factory may end up costing $ 5.30 at the dealer, after everyone who had handled it added their bit.
Can we make the Government responsible for this or greed? I mean the car part, not the gas explosion. Unless the gas explosion happened, because they didn't replace a 1 dollar piece of rubber, because it was too expensive? Spacecraft have crashed because of little pieces of rubber malfunctioning.
Why the chlorine exploded is a mystery. More mysterious is that both events, being identical, each killed nine people.
Ashame I can't find the full story on the N.. website.
Kind regards from Australia
Dieter R. Fischer
PS Charly Lucas seems a character. What a legend to be making a living from collecting bits and pieces that everyone discarded. Did I hear he has an exhibition? Is he asking people when they leave: What do you think of all this rubbish? Does he ever get an honest answer? It may be on your website.
In the PS I allude to another report I had heard on N.. News. Hearing about a man, exhibiting bits and pieces of rubbish, rang a bell in my mind. I had written that I had abandoned my idea of a Museum, because I couldn’t bear people saying on exiting: “What a lot of rubbish!”
This is part of a large piece of plastic bubble wrap – Museum material. I noticed it on the roadside, but left it until I had dropped Isobel at the Blind Welfare Society for her duties. I’m glad I went back to collect it – right near bus stop 35 A. The timing was also special – GALVIN – a day after I had uploaded my intention to travel go to LA again.
The Internet and Search Engines like Google have revolutionized global communication. Without them I would certainly not have contacted TV Stations in China and Spain, a Radio Station in the USA or contacted so many politicians and journalists everywhere. I think my humour and probing questions were well received, even though not many told me so.
An unusual TV News item on 29.3.05 without doubt amused many listeners. Michael Somare, the Prime Minister of New Guinea, had been asked to take off his shoes at Brisbane airport as part of a routine security check. He was not happy about it. When I saw our Foreign Minister, Mr. Downer, who lives right here in Adelaide, being interviewed about the incident, I thought it may be a premature April Fool’s joke and took this as opportunity for some fun.
The next morning at 4am I woke with it, the outline of a poem. Because I had had my 5 hours sleep and it was the 30th of March, I got up and sent the following email to ABC Newsradio. (I owed them a poem anyway).
Email to ABC Newsradio 30/03/05 – Subject: Keeping my promise.
I trust you did me the favour of forwarding my email to Adelaide's Radio 891, when their feedback form didn't work. I promised a poem, if you did.
Here it is:
All must be safe-d.
Remove your shoes, please - sorry rules are rules.
Safety comes first, there are many fools,
who may board the plane, a bomb in their heel.
We know the dilemma and how it must feel.
The rich, the poor, the famous, the lame;
Our job is, treat people all just the same,
Film stars, Prime Ministers or religious gu-roos,
All must be safe; now please remove your sho-os.
But I’m’ the chief, number one on this plane,
Michael Sameare, don’t you know my name?
Nothing on earth will force me to bow.
What an insult - it will cause an international row!
As the queue grew longer, rules won and were followed.
Old Mike’s pride in the end had to be swallowed.
He stooped down low, revealing the truth, what shock:
A Head of State – with a hole in his sock.
The three letters EWS describe people who believe everything in the News and just follow. Think for yourself.
Forget about News-reader, become a ews-leader.
The previous month I had occasion to actually send a message to another Head of State, the President of a Russian Republic. I had read that Christians in Belarus still suffered from active opposition, even persecution, for simply wanting to worship their Lord Jesus Christ. For a few weeks I had felt that I ought to sent a message, but to whom?
Surfing the internet one day, I came across the website of the President of Belarus himself. I read about His country and his vision for the people. He was asking readers for information, how to re-vitalize the country’s rural villages.
What better way to revitalize any community than the liberating News of God’s love and forgiveness? If people were taught to live this way, the only way God had intended, and granted liberty to worship HIM, it would not only awaken sleepy villages, but whole cities would leap for joy at God’s wonderful offer of freedom in Christ.
I filled in the online feedback form on the President’s website (in English) and sent copies to seven recipients, media both in Minsk, Belarus, and to supporting groups in the USA.
Feedback to the President of Belarus, 11/2/05:
Dear Mr. Lukashenko
I have never been to Belarus, but I am sure your are proud to be President of your country. You ask how to revive the villages.
I suggest to give people a sense of belonging, of community. One good way is to allow people to worship God, worship Christ, without interference by Government.
The Christian way is the way of love, justice and mercy. Christians work hard and are commanded to support Governments.
However, Christians will always worship their God and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you allow them to do this without fear, they will revive your villages with a message of love and hope. You will see your people dancing in the streets for joy.
Kind regards from Australia
PS Australia is one of the top Hockey Nations in the World. We'll be in Balarus in 2010, if you host the world Championships.
The President’s Website reported that a huge sporting complex had been opened only the day before. His country was applying to host the 2010 Hockey Championships, using this new facility.
It is fact that the Australian Men’s Hockey team has been ranking among the best in the world for a number of years. Reading my email, however, I was totally out of order to say anything about our Hockey Team at all. But then, many would also say I was totally out of order sending this email to the President in the first place.
Email, together with the Search Engine I was using (Google), had been an incredibly powerful combination in making my voice heard everywhere. The way it had spread to recipients around he globe, to people some of whom were taking me seriously, was truly a modern day miracle. Not in my wildest dreams did I envisage writing to international News reporters or would send messages to Presidents in far away countries.
There was no guarantee my thoughts would reach anybody of significance or cause anybody to take action. I left this up to HIM, who promised that HE is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think. He was doing just that – I could sense it: My diary entry on 11/2/05 expressed my sentiment:
“I trust God that HE will not let my words come back empty!”