2. Road crashes speak volumes
Our state-wide newspaper “The Advertiser” took a keen interest in highlighting road trauma, especially that of young crash victims. On June 3rd 03 it listed all deaths of people under 21, of which there had been a huge increase in the year to date. One bicyclist mentioned was killed on March 11th on the corner of Days Road and Regency Roads. (While in the USA I chose Days Inn simply because of the circumstances of this tragedy). In a strange twist of fate later that year, on Aug. 10th - one day short of five months - another fatality would occur within meters of that same location.
On May 31st I planned to upload the first “News-update” on dieterfischer.com. I was not continuing my online story, having a half-time break. However, key events were taking place at a furious rate that I felt I could not keep silent. On that very last day in May, which also was the third anniversary of the Whyalla air crash, where eight people had lost their lives, I experienced supernatural guidance, very similar to what I had experienced in Los Angeles two months earlier. These occasions were rare, yet just as real and important.
On the way to a driving lesson that morning I noticed a Sign “Garage Sale” at number 4 C… St., Hope Valley. I saw the number and street name as the clue that I ought to visit the address. I still believed that a hidden group of people were reading my website. Was this garage sale perhaps a point of face to face contact? Since returning from the US I still had not found the listening ear I was searching for.
I had a few moments to spare so I took a short detour. As I pulled up at the address, I noticed further up the street a driving school vehicle. The instructor was explaining something to the student while they were parked. I mention this because I had a feeling my of being “led” by unseen forces, real people, perhaps driving instructors. My sensitive spirit inside controlled and directed me. There was nothing spooky about it; it was just plain magic.
Browsing amongst the items for sale I considered buying a dashboard mat for my family car. By co-incidence is would just fit the TR Magna. The price was five dollars. I resisted because Isobel hated me spending impulsively on things we didn't need. I asked the seller if they sold any children’s books. That morning I had come across a children’s story. Out of curiosity I had played the cassette tape loaded in a driving-examiner’s vehicle. (During a driving test the instructor is not allowed to come for the ride. I usually go for a short walk then wait in the examiner’s car).
The cassette was a story by Enid Blyton, called The O’Sullivan Twins. The simple story told of someone falsely accused of wrong doing, but later it turned out, she was innocent, the hero of the tale. The plot included a character called Isobel and a Mrs. Theobald (bold or bald Theo?) No children’s books were on offer in that carport at Hope Valley.
Hurrying to my next lesson I noticed on the roadside two green balloons advertising another garage sale. I had no time to stop, but wondered why just green balloons? The answer fluttered in the wind at a roundabout further on: Red and yellow balloons stuck on a sign with an address, another sale. I took a mental note of the address and knew that after my driving lesson I would visit this place. The colours had done the trick.
A friendly, clean shaven man greeted me as I browsed over his tables full of bric-a-brac etc. There was a whole row of shoes, more than a dozen. He was raising funds for the “Angels-of-Hope”, which is similar to the “Make-a-wish Foundation”. Both organizations grant terminally ill children a wish, such as a holiday to a favourite destination. (Only 2 months earlier had I come across a building sign-posted “Make-a-wish” on the corner Mitchell & Redhill Ave., Tustin, California). In talking to Steve I further discovered that we were both believers and had a mutual interest in “The Hour of Power”, a regular religious TV program from the US.
More astonishing was meeting an old friend Rob, a bald-headed man in his 30’s. He was in the middle of carefully examining an older model video camera. I had not seen Rob for over a year. He was a family friend when my son Ben still lived with us. Rob took his time deciding on buying the camera, which cost $ 100, including the tripod.
Suddenly a thought entered my mind. The camera could be used to record my story. People are more likely to believe a person telling a story on video, than reading it on the internet. Rob’s friend Carol urged him to decide on the purchase; she wanted to move on. Rob did not want to spend that much money, so I took a good look at it and knew almost immediately it was for me. I felt a little guilty spending that kind of money on impulse. (It was not my fault they didn't have children's books at the previous garage sale, Isobel).
As Rob and his friend Carol drove off, I just caught a glimpse of their car registration plate – W...315. I don’t know why I developed the habit of reading registration numbers from my youth, but I did. One reasons springs to mind - I love greeting people, just a wave or a hello, if there is opportunity. When people are driving you recognize a friend by the colour and make of their car. The first thing I look at is the car’s registration number, to ensure the green VW Beetle is really your friend. You feel silly waving to a total stranger.
I recognized that Carol’s car registration was also the date for that day, May 31st. This gave me the assurance that I had been led to the right place at the right time to buy the video camera. Knowing that the funds would go towards young cancer victims was even more satisfying. I have since used the camera to record parts of my story. It worked perfectly. I sent the tapes interstate. May be they can be used to confirm that I and what I am writing is for real.
On Sunday June 1st I heard on the news that five people had died in three separate crashes the day before. Three young people were killed instantly, when the car they were speeding in, crashed on Port Wakefield Rd., the main road northwest out of Adelaide. Another victim was a pedestrian hit in the early hours, while walking home on Uley Rd. in a northern suburb.
But it was the death of Johnny, a 25-year-old man of Greek descent, which caught my attention. Looking at the crash scene later, it appeared that he, the only occupant, lost control, mounted the footpath and crashed into a pole. I found it impossible to see what caused the vehicle to leave the road. The road is wide and totally straight with four lanes plus a median strip.
It happened within hours of my uploading the first “News update 31/5”. The road is called Montacute Road, Newton, the pole where Johnny died is located directly between the Campbelltown Library and the Council Chambers. I often wondered why crash investigation results were seldom reported in detail. The public would have a chance to learn from other driver’s misfortunes.
Three weeks later, again at the weekend, six people died on South Australia’s roads. The strange twist was that all deaths occurred on country roads, while three weeks before all fatal crashes happened within the metropolitan area of Adelaide. One name stood out from the list of victims, Ben Paxton. Not just the three letters Ben, but those of his surname took on meaning, pax is Latin for peace. His girlfriend also died in the car. According to my diary her name was reported as Lindsey. Another victim was a 52 year-old named Ann.
Again three weeks later, as if the spacing was planned, another six died; again it happened at the weekend. The victims included a whole family of three, tourists from Switzerland. The parents were rushing a young child into town for emergency medical attention. The driver lost control on an unsealed road in the Outback. Also amongst the road victims was a 94 year-old man who died in a suburb south of Adelaide, while crossing the road.
I noticed the strange pattern and included parts of Psalm 94 (the one that initially triggered my mission) in the “News update 17/07/03”. At this stage I knew there would be two kinds of readers of my website – believers and unbelievers. As I have said previously, I am only reporting facts as I read or heard them in the paper or on Radio and TV.
Every reader has to choose to believe it – not my stories, but my message - that God is calling all to repentance. Those that refuse his free offer of forgiveness, love and peace and continue to live independently of HIM will be punished; God’s wrath will be merciless. My message on 17/07/03 stressed the point that time is running out.
In June I was surprised by a parishioner in church who alerted me to the fact that my driving-school website was mentioned in the Saturday edition of “The Advertiser” newspaper. I knew that despite being an amateur project (technically, not content), it was one of the most comprehensive of its kind on the web. The world’s number one search engine Google.com listed driving-school.com.au amongst the first ten "driving school" sites.
The free promotion by “The Advertiser” resulted in a few emails, one of which came from an elderly lady living in Kapunda. She emailed about the lack of speed limit signs on the road from Gawler, especially near a factory where trucks where entering. Ironically and tragically, two people died on that road not long after our correspondence. (The same weekend Ben Paxton was killed).
How unreal is it that road fatalities had become part of my journey? How bizarre that I, the driving instructor fighting for reform in driver licencing and road safety education, was the one believing that God was using road toll data to draw attention to Himself? How else would I explain the 2001 toll as 153 and a year later 154? The power of ONE.
I took notice of another crash that occurred on 17/7/03. Again I had uploaded a news update right on that day. A young man crashed his car on the way to football training at 5 pm on that Thursday night. The first three letters of his name were enough for me to decide to attend the funeral. It was held at the same Chapel where I had attended the previous August 26th.
One month and five days later would be the anniversary of the crash by the two boys, Ben Mitchell and Glenn Knott. As if by a twist of fate, it was also 5 pm when they had crashed; they were also on the way to football training. I am not naming the young man killed on 17/7 for a specific reason. A horrible thought, which I will no disclose, had entered my mind during a song, played at the young footballer’s funeral.
(I hope my reasoning in this instance is wrong; however I will not publish any more names of crash victims and have decided to not visit funerals any longer).
On the morning of Monday 21/7, the day of the funeral, I phoned Jeremy Cordeaux on air on Radio 5 DN and asked: “Is it out of order to attend the funeral of a person that you didn’t know?” He did not think so. I took the opportunity to give my reason for attending these funerals: “It is to protest against our strange system of licencing young drivers. We are not giving them sufficient training and a thorough test before allowing them to drive solo”.
It was over a year ago I had spoken to the Minister of Transport on the same topic at the same radio station. The newly elected Minister seemed genuine when he promised publicly that major changes to the driver licencing process would be implemented later that year (last year 2002). Unless I missed something, I have not noticed any major changes happening to date, Aug. 03).
Of particular interest to driving instructors is the practice of the same officials (us instructors) teaching and testing their own clients. Many instructors have distanced themselves from this unworkable practice, finding it too stressful to implement. I am one of those calling for an impartial, independent test for every new driver.
A news item on the radio on Friday June 6th made me turn up the volume as I drove to a Bible Seminar that evening. “At 7.15 pm a chartered plane with 10 people on board crashed while attempting to land in Christchurch, New Zealand. Eight passengers are dead, two survived the disaster”. I was glad that the phrase ‘chartered plane with 10 people on board’ was mentioned. My daughter Michelle was due to land at the same airport that very evening. She was flying in on a jet from Sydney. (Therefore thankfully, at no stage did I worry that it could have been her plane). It was her first trip out of Australia, apart from Europe when she was less than one year old.
The previous week I had mentioned in my news-update that it was the ‘third anniversary of a plane crash that killed 8 people’. How ironic that one week later I hear of 8 people dying at the very airport my daughter was about to land; the airport of the city that carries Christ’s name. The crashed plane was carrying a group of scientists. It all seemed too co-incidental to not take notice.
If we care to listen to HIM, God speaks in so many ways. Primarily through HIS Word or while listening to music or admiring a sunset etc. Theologians and other Christians, including my family, argue that God does not speak through numbers; any unusual figure combination are pure chance. Likewise, road crash victim’s names, dates or other data can never be from God. You've made it all up, they say. (In Aug. 03 God would use names, data etc. to speak very loudly again).
But how would he speak, if he wanted to convey a specific message to people? Evil does not get exposed by watching a beautiful sunset. Who am I to say “not for me, thanks Lord”, when he wants to reveal a truth or bring a message via seemingly foolish means and methods. How else does HE draw attention to HIS specific plans for us humans?
God wants people to see HIS power, his total sovereignty over all affairs of mankind. Unbelief is keeping many from changing their narrow thinking. They feel less threatened by my message, if I was certified as mentally ill. Four years ago I felt I was being purposely silenced, as not to expose a Government blunder. I was placed in a mental institution. One doctor almost succeeded in diagnosing me as schizophrenic. Oh yes, I had messages in my head, no doubt. But the core of the matter is the source of one's thoughts.
How many bright, intelligent, creative brains are being brutally silenced in mental institutions, so they can’t speak the truth publicly? God knows, HE really does. Even if I had a mental problem, the bible says that God uses the foolish things of this earth to confound the wise. If I am silly, I am the perfekt (misspelling intended) candidate to bring to pass God’s plan. Many would do well to become a little more foolish so HE can effectively use us.
Numerous times my friends have tried to say that perhaps these revelations, if they are significant, were just for me? - A valid question. Yet, I believe, to keep the wonderful truths of God to myself would be selfish to the extreme; God arranging all this just for me? What would you do first, if you woke up in a hotel and smelled fire with hundreds of people sleeping? Run for the exit and thank the Lord he rescued you?
To the doubters I was in a ‘no win’ situation. Either I was full of self-importance by telling everybody how good I am or I am terribly selfish that everything happened just for me. The truth is, I am only the messenger boy, the one sounding the alarm. What have I to be proud of?
Pride is keeping even established Christians from reaching the heart of God, who sees deep inside. This “religious scourge” is widespread and hard to detect. It can hide under many guises; zeal for God, when our selfish aim is to impress fellow parishioners or the Minister with our pious deeds. True humility is such a rare commodity. One does not hear many sermons on the subject. Denominations and churches vie for the biggest congregation of their city, boast about the largest church complex in their region or publicize by their huge budget how they care for the needy. Which church would Jesus join, if HE was physically living in Adelaide today?
Early one Sunday morning I was watching a religious program on TV. The thought of humility came up, which prompted me to write the following mock-advertisement for a pretend seminar. I included it in an email I sent to a Minister of Religion in Sydney. I was in the midst of doubts and fears and a yearning for acceptance and a listening ear.
Hello Pastor G,
After receiving your newsletter I composed a fun email and left it in my draft folder. Just now, after watching a religious TV program, I completed it.
AS SEEN ON TV
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Requires only one minutes of your time each day,
No capital required,
No dieting or fasting
No bible studies or long prayer sessions!
We guarantee SUCCESS or your PRIDE back with interest!!
ENROL NOW. Don't be too proud. This course will fix any big ego.
Includes a manual written by the most humble man in the world.
HUMILITY will open doors to Royalty. Get the job
you always wanted. Before you know it you will
be a world leader in humility - Mr. Humility, a genuine guru.
SEND YOUR MONEY NOW to ensure your place in
the humility "Hall of Fame".
(I love a bit of fun)
I can identify with verse 36 in Matthew 10. There is nothing more that I want to do in life than to do God's will. My family does not understand, even though my wife is a Christian. God has sent me on a journey, an unusual one, and nobody really understands and believes it's from God. It is so bizarre in a way that I myself have doubts at times. But then God again manifests Himself in certain events and I marvel at His ways.
The whole story is written on my website. I have no idea how many people read it or know anything about what God is doing. (My wife thinks no more than a handful). But I have prayed for millions to come to Jesus. Sometimes I wonder who is sane. God knows the heart of a person and their true motives. I have shed so many tears over all of this, at times I don't know how I am going to cope. Without HIM I couldn't. Thanks for your understanding.
God bless your ministry and kind regards
(Matthew 10, 36 - And a man's foes will be those of his own household).
Why do we do the things we do? What motivates us? I have often asked that question. Many may perceive standing up for what is right as pride. Others perceive a person as super spiritual and humble, when deep down selfish ambition may be the driving force. Man sees what’s in front of the human eye. God looks right into the heart and knows every thought, every plan, good or bad. HE knows our true motives. HIS ultimate judgement will be the law of love:
Whatever is not done out of a spirit of love is futile, is sin.