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3.  Gales 'n styles

Forgive the slight detour before I resume my journey in San Diego, California. An issue close to my heart was being talked about on TV on the morning of writing, June 22, 07. As I see it, a sad, significant event has taken place; yet it is being kept very quiet.

The issue in question is that of child adoption by gay people. This subject stirs the emotions, it divides the community and the media loves it, possibly for those reasons. Watching a segment on Sunrise, two 'All Stars' (guests giving opinions) made my blood boil as I listened.

It really had started the evening before. In an Prayer-Newsletter I had received by email I read what I regarded as a sad milestone in Australia's history. For the first time ever in Australia a male, same-sex-couple in Western Australia was given a male child to adopt. This ground-breaking event, to my knowledge, had not received much exposure in the print or electronic media.

In an email to all Ministers, the Premier and Opposition Leader of Western Australia I expressed what many Christians, not all unfortunately, feel about this situation:

 

Date:  21/06/07

Subject: Child adoption by gay-couples

Dear Mrs. Ellery,
 
The News that your Government in Western Australia has allowed a gay couple to adopt a boy is very sad. It is an indictment how low moral standards have dropped in Australia.
 
If gay people choose the lifestyle they live, they should not be allowed to bring a child into their relationship. It is not fair on that child, who has no choice in the matter. Neither is it fair on all those normal couples waiting to adopt.
 
Your decision certainly is "ground-breaking". I am afraid it is also heart-breaking.
 
On the authority of Christ, I would like to let you know that God is not pleased with your action.
 
Ultimately, you will reap what you sow. The seed you are sowing is not good.
 
Dieter Fischer
 
PS   God help Australia, if she continues the slide into immorality. It is time to repent and turn back to God.

 

The first All-Star on Sunrise to voice her opinion was a slim, young lady, dressed in a yellow suit. She said that she hoped Australians would stop discriminating against gay and lesbian couples, much the same way they learned to accept marriage between races. (This is how I understood her).  To the casual listener, it may all sounded so trendy, so tolerant, so loving and caring. But I perceived a fundamental problem with her reasoning.

The male 'All-Star' was asked what he thought of our long-term Prime Minister's firm stand (that a marriage can only be recognized if between a male and a female).

He said, he respected the PM's traditional, moral views, but could not see why two people, who love each other, should be refused to get married. My wife was also watching at the time. In a rare show of solidarity she agreed with me, how unreasonable public opinion had become.

Or was it only the view of a small vocal minority, backed by a powerful media, which the public is exposed to and is influenced by, very subtly and powerfully? How easy for people with no firm belief, to be dragged into the flow, swept along into the pit of moral decay. It takes a strong faith and wisdom to see the signs of our times. God is calling for such men and women to stand faithfully and courageously, who expose the works of the evil one.

While my mind was still stirred, I filled in Sunrise's online feedback form. I wanted to raise my voice in a wake-up call. This time I did not include any humour.

The very last sentence of this email holds the clue, why I thought God had indeed given us another wake-up call. To fully understand, the reader should know that the NSW coast was hit by a record 4 major storms in June - causing damage estimated to exceed the one billion mark. One particular river system flooded really badly.

 

Email to Sunrise June 22/6/07:

Hi all,

On gay marriage, that girl in yellow could not have been further from logic and common sense.

There is a huge difference between people of a different race to that of sexual preference.

God certainly loves all races. But in Leviticus 18, Verse 22 HE clearly says that HE hates when a man has sexual relations with another.

And your male Allstar very wishy washy joined in, saying why should you not be allowed to marry the one you love?

For one, I love my dog and if I fall in love with my neighbour's wife, should I be allowed to marry her? Get real!

While I'm fired up, in a prayer newsletter I read that a WA gay couple has adopted a boy, the first ever such adoption in Australia. Why is that being kept so quiet?  - I know. We know that we live in Sodom and Gomorrah, but better soften the public up gradually.

Cursed is the nation that turns against God! It's time for a wake-up call.

Regards

Dieter Fischer

PS  Should I email Kylie and Larry with this wake-up call, or SA's gay MP Ian Hunter?

 

(Kylie and Larry were the hosts of another Channel Seven TV show, which follows Sunrise every morning).

Mr. Ian Hunter is a State Labor MP, who has fought hard with the gay lobby to have our Parliament pass certain laws, regarding gay rights. Late last year they were successful. I recall walking out of the Public Gallery, with other sombre looking Christians, who had prayed and campaigned against the law. It appeared that we had lost this particular battle.

Downstairs, before leaving, Mr. Hunter's eyes met mine for a brief moment. He gave me a feel-sorry-for-you kind of smile which may have meant: "There you are, lost that one - how come your God did not hear your prayers?"

In June 07, around the time of the great storm in Newcastle, the same MP, Mr Hunter was quoted in the Adelaide Advertisers, saying: "Prayers in Parliament are a waste of time and should be abolished". His comment sparked a big public debate. A surprise Reader's phone poll, a few days later, revealed that 61.3 % were in favour of prayers in Parliament.

The new gay rights law, Mr. Hunter and Mr. Loader had fought for so hard, came into effect on June 1, 07. Seven days later the huge storm hit Newcastle and the Central Coast region of New South Wales. A huge bulk carrier lost control during the storm. It was pushed into a sandbar off Nobbys Beach, a few minutes from Newcastle's CBD.

One photograph of the stranded ship by John Norris, an ABC photographer, shows how close to shore the massive ship is. The caption under the photo: "It could be coming up Hunter Street". At the time of writing, two weeks after the incident, the bulk carrier is still resting, waiting to be refloated.     

Totally unrelated (or was it) at the height of the floods, on June 10th 07, in a place oceans away, another event made history. The biggest gay parade ever was taking place in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Three million of God's creation publicly marched, saying virtually, if there is a God, he is wrong, forbidding love between two men or two woman. We know better; today we are celebrating our way of life! 

Friends, you can read into all this whatever you wish. God is not mocked. When HE says we should not do something, then we should not do it. God has given us specific behaviours to follow. If we follow them, HE promises health, peace and prosperity. When HE forbids something, it is not to spoil our fun. It is to ensure our well-being in body, mind and spirit.

How many homeless, begging children are living without hope in the streets of Brazil, because many have turned away from God, living life their way? Oh no, it's not only same sex couples, all have sinned and turned away from God. There is hope friends, but we must turn around, toward that which is good.

 

Two final points: Australia is holding Federal Elections later in 2007. I will back a local candidate, who I know believes in following the Christian way. He certainly agrees with the PM that marriage should be between a male and a female.

I respect our Prime Minister for showing leadership in this area. If it is God's will, he will be re-elected for a 5th term. (Such a nice number - five). God is not so much concerned how much tax is taken out of our pay packet. He is watching that we follow HIS ways, make laws according to HIS guidelines and live by them. There should not be a conflict between what God wants and the laws that apply in our land.

Secondly, may I stress once again the importance of separating issues from individuals. God hates sin. He hates when laws are passed, which go directly against HIS laws. At the same time, HE has compassion with those who fall into sin. He still loves them and so should we!

Violence or hate are not methods a Christian uses to put his or her point across. Is there another religion in the world that advocates to love even our enemies?

Zechariah 4, 6: "It's not by might or power but by my Spirit".

HIS Spirit is one of LOVE.

Those struggling with their sexuality have become victims of a bad, anti-God philosophy. Immoral slides usually start by saying: "Did God really mean it, when He said ...?"

And to say: "There is no God" is only a convenient way of eliminating the inner conscience, which convicts of sin. If there is no God, I can live life my way, the way I choose!

Yes, IT is your choice! You can live the life you choose. One day all will know, who was right and who was deceived.

- - - - - - -

 

 History on a newspaper's front page

  A four year old's remarkable journey. Stephen C. is wearing a blue helmet for his 5 km charity bike ride.

One lady's name mentioned in this story would have known about my journey. She played a role some years ago. Her two boys had driving lessons with me.

- - - - - - -

 

(Back to San Diego)

I had been to Mexico on our honeymoon in the early 70's. Since the border city of Tijuana was only a short distance away from San Diego, why not have another Mexico experience?

A walking tour happened to be available for $ 5, arranged by the Youth Hostel from downtown San Diego. A few Kiwis (New Zealanders), who had concluded a season on the snowfields, one Canadian boy, a lady from Brisbane and I made up the small walking group. Our guide was a trim, fit looking retired gentleman, Ron. It was only 45 minutes or so by trolley bus from downtown San Diego to the Mexican border.

Walking was certainly the best way to go that sunny Wednesday. The amount of traffic crossing from Mexico spanned over 9 lanes. The contrast between rich and poor was evident immediately. Beggars constantly vied for our attention, from the moment we entered the market square in Tijuana. In my travels I had seen many people begging, giving all kinds of reason for wanting money. That day, for the first time ever, I had a lady ask for money to go to the toilet. I didn't give any and am still wondering, if she collected enough to make it on time.

I finally felt like a tourist, just mixing with locals in bussing downtown Tijuana, taking in the colourful sights and exotic sounds, mostly souvenir shops, food stores and local markets. Since I had a big trip ahead of me and little room in my luggage, I spent my tourist dollar on some postcards and a photo, sitting on a striped donkey, wearing a big smile and a Mexican hat.

That evening I spent a little too much time looking around San Diego. In the end I had trouble getting a bus back to my Hostel. It was a long wait in the cold night air. The driver which finally picked me up was very friendly, a good Christian man. Toward the end of our ride, after some light conversation, he told me this: One of his bus driver colleagues had retired on April 1st, and passed away on the 5th.

Why was this stranger telling me this sad tale? For what reason, unless it had to do with numbers? Waiting to take my final bus home, I casually looked into a nearby motor repair shop window. This time I really saw numbers; so many, I took the photo shown in Chapter 2. (The red Raider racing car, number 53). I wondered about this co-incident, while I waited for the bus.

No bus came. Instead a fire engine roared by, siren blaring and lights flashing. A short time later, it came back. It seemed so much slower, perhaps because there were no longer sirens or flashing lights. I could not help seeing more numbers, like registration (or fire engine) number 15. Had I gone stupid with this number, these numbers or numbers in generally?

I decided to walk the final 25 minutes to my Point Loma Hostel. It gave me time to think. Was I crazy, seeing all those numbers? Having them follow me, around the world, everywhere? No, I wasn't crazy, I reminded myself constantly.

Unlike Russell Crowe, who played John Nash in the film 'A beautiful mind' struggled with seeing things, I really did see that car in the window in San Diege. I took the photo for all to see.

The question now is not - did I really see the car? The question is - can it all be co-incidence. And I have dealt with this one many chapters ago.

 

 - - - - - - -

 

For my return journey from San Diego to LA I was able to get a lift with a fellow traveller, a German schoolteacher, who had also stayed at the Point Loma Hostel. She was even willing to wait for me, while I spent an hour in San Clemente. I had arranged to meet with the gentleman, originally from Adelaide, who I had also met during my 05 trip.

At the time we had clam chowder in the Restaurant on the San Clemente pier. This time the restaurant was closed because the cold weather. So we sat for morning tea in a cosy Cafe and had waffles and hot chocolate.

In my mind I reflected on this gentleman's name. Both his Christian name Dick (C ID K) plus his surname (N IN IT) were almost a story in itself, a discovery I had made about a N in a T. I found it hard to just dismiss it as co-incidental.

We never discussed in any detail the matters of my writing. He only made a brief comment, expressing surprise that I had been diagnosed bi-polar. This told me that He must have read some of my pages. I wondered, if for that reason he simply placed me in the mentally unstable box and shut the lid?

In the end, I recall clearly, we parted with the same comment he had made two years prior: "We will just have to wait and see how it all pans out!" Whatever he meant by it, I was not sure.

Since I had opportunity, travelling in a motor car, I asked my German friend, if she wouldn't mind us driving via Seal Beach. She didn't mind at all. I had to fulfil a promise to myself. I needed to check, if there were only two groups of 5 palm trees, the ones I had photographed. (In 05 I had seen one at the end of 5th Street, plus one other).

It was a very windy, cold day. The haze reduced visibility greatly. However, during our 10 minute stop I noticed that there were a few more groups of  5 palm trees along that beach. I thanked my chauffeur and told her: "Now I can sleep well again at night."

- - - - - - -

 

Left: Newspaper headline - Airline website revamp - American adds a little lavender for the ladies.

Waiting at an airport in the USA, I spotted those words on a page of a discarded newspaper. I ripped out just the bit about the ladies and the lavender for my diary. My effort seemed reward with the letter n.

Right: Attending a church service in the US, I met the Rev. L Real. Names, games and more names.

- - - - - - -

The very latest: Playful names

  On the morning of writing (June 24th, 07) I watched the BBC's Songs of Praise on our ABC TV. One sad lady, Mrs. Thompson briefly mentioned how her husband had died suddenly at a party. His name was Jeff Thompson. Within seconds of the program our ABC showed a preview of a current affairs segment - the journalist reporting from Indonesia was Jeff Thompson.

There was more - The program was produced on the beach in Blackpool, UK, highlighting the fun and entertainment around the pier. One man was interviewed, who takes his big bus to Blackpool, helping drug addicts etc. His name was Mr. Cunliffe -  C funlife?

There's still more - following the BBC program our ABC screened the News in brief. It was read by a young lady who I had never seen on the TV. Her name, I nearly laughed out loud, Katrina Blower.

How funny! I just see it as I write this:  One item she read was about 3 tornados, causing great damage in Manitoba, Canada. Tornados don't have names, only cyclones, right?

- - - - - - -

(Back to California)

Before leaving LA, I stayed another night in the same hostel on North Orange Ave in Hollywood. I had another leisurely excursion to the Bonsai Gardens and stroll reading the bronze stars on the famous Boulevard. As if they were following me, I met two of the New New Zealanders from the Tijuana walking tour the day before. 

A film premiere had taken place that afternoon. Beside the theatre, I think it's called the Mann Theatre, was a stand, promoting a newly released film (Sorry, I forgot the title). All I can picture from the display were a few luxury sports cars. One was a red Lamborghini, or Ferrari, all smashed up.

Walking back to my hostel, not far from above display, I saw out of the corner of my eye a face, a male with a short beard and small glasses. Two other men were standing with him. All were dressed in formal coat and tails. Something clicked in my brain, thinking, I know that face. I continued on, but not for long. "Of course, that's ..."

I nearly turned back to check, and ask the man personally, if I was correct, but refrained. One doesn't walk up to Steven Spielberg and ask: Excuse me, are you ...? What if he had replied: "Yes I am, and I know who you are." 

Then again, had we both done so, I would not be wondering, until this day, if it was really he, and if I was really me?

Chapter 4

Index