March 2012 – A Political Tsunami

The overwhelming significance of March 2012 will always be the political tsunami that engulfed the ruling Government party in our state of Queensland. There was a feeling for change in the air as Betty & I walked to the local Albany Creek High School to cast our vote.

Voting day was always a special occasion in my younger years and so, true to tradition passed on by our parents we dressed appropriately and went off to vote, followed by coffee at a boutique French patisserie.

 Betty remembers her parents harnessing up topsy to the sulky and travelling from their tomato farm in their suits and hats to Bowen to vote. It is a privilege to be living in a democracy regardless of its casual nature. In Queensland the dress code is very casual and so it was not surprising to observe people arriving at the polling booth in a very relaxed manner.

It was surprising however that a “laid-back” population like Queenslanders could generate such a voting Tsunami that nearly obliterated a “heritage listed” political party of over 20 years of recent history in power.

That evening I decided to make it a significant occasion and joined Dan my son in law at a Fish & Chips shop on the Sandgate foreshore, to watch the election results come in.

To make it a real Queensland event, I should have done the “have a beer with Duncan” thing, but of course that could not be as I signed the temperance pledge when I was a young teenager at Croydon Boys Tech in Adelaide, back in the 1950s. The crowd in that fish shop however were getting animated as the results rolled in. Of course I had a particular interest that night as I wondered how many Christians would be elected to Parliament.

It wasn’t long before I became animated also, as a number of christians who I am aware of were elected in the landslide. Among them, Mark Robinson (a former AOG Missionary), Tim Mander (the former CEO of Scripture Union & Rugby League Referee), Dale Shuttleworth a member of the Nexus Church on Brisbane’s North and Fiona Simpson who was reelected and is now the new Speaker of the Parliament.

I’m sure there are a number of other committed christians in the new parliament.

In the aftermath of the “Tsunami”, defining the reasons for the wash-up has dominated our journalist, commentators and “old codgers.” For that matter, most run of the mill Queenslanders have been happy to voice a personal opinion. I don’t remember such an electoral wipe-out in my voting history. It is interesting for me to note that high on the list of reasons was false accusations against the political opposition’s family. I also noted how rapidly the balloon deflated when truth was revealed. I also noted the graciousness of our new Premier to avoid the issue and give honour where honour was due.

This political cameo has turned my thoughts to unfair accusations and how to handle them. Most of us will have to deal with injustice at some time or other. These accusations are not always malicious but fully believed by the accuser because of some information they heard and believed.

Many years ago as a young pastor I was confronted by an unjust and significant accusation. I was ready to pull out my guns and go into serious battle.

I was sure the Lord would agree with me!! However, the Lord spoke to me very clearly through His Word from Psalm 38:12-14. Shutting my mouth was not what I wanted to do but in the end it was the best way. I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth; I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.”

Having learned that lesson in life I have discovered God’s way is always best and hearing from God the best prerequisite to action. After all He knows how to deal with the injustice that we feel far better than we do. Truth has a habit of bubbling to the surface in time.The secret is to trust Him or as the Bible says “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: it is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” Romans 12:19.

The month of March was of course my birthday month. I remember when my father turned 73, he looked so old and I counselled him to stop travelling lest he die in the process! How wrong I was! He went on to live until he was 96.

My 73rd Birthday turned out to be a beautiful day as I enjoyed a movie, meal & fellowship with good friends Ps Ian & Jan Parker. Health-wise I feel 99% with only a few aches and pains to keep me humble.

When I awake each morning I go for my hours walk through the Bunya Forrest with a spring in my step listening to the scriptures on my iPhone. Surely this must be the best time of life. God is so good!

The only other exciting adventure this month was the torrential rain that fell across the South East of Queensland. Our swimming pool was singing “Running Over, Running Over, My Cups Full and Running Over” as it flowed over with over 200mm of rain during the month. Spare a thought though for the residents of the Sunshine Coast as the rain seemed to come down in meters with the main highway to Noosa flooded leaving many cars stranded.

Our daughter in law, Kylie had to park her car on high ground and walk home along the Nicklin highway in the dark after work. Surely she must have thought that Whyalla was better than this, but no, she is absolutely satisfied that being in the centre of God’s will is the best.

Before I conclude I must show you again the latest picture of my favourite granddaughter. Ha ha I have a few! She is gorgeous and so photogenic, just like her mother Mary!

Oh, and by the way, although I have lost touch with Australian Football (AFL) since migrating to Queensland over 25 years ago, I have never forgotten the football club of my youthful dreams – Port Adelaide.

Well, the good news is that Port Adelaide is undefeated this year and has recruited a young South Australian who has a great heritage. Jarred Redden is a young giant, 205cm tall and the grandson of big John Pitman, the builder of the Paradise (Influencers Church.) We need to pray for him that his christian heritage will shine through and be a positive influence in his world of the Australian Football League.

Happiness is a fleeting emotion but joy comes from deep within. I chose to reminisce during the month of March by making a short video of the happiest years of my life. I am amazed at this thing called the Internet.

Since I posted it online a couple of weeks ago over 230 people from around the world have down loaded it, including some Papua New Guinea friends. Here it is with Betty and I singing a beautiful little chorus called Jisas i Switpela with Stewart Whistle and Danny Guglielmucci (from the Klemzig years) providing the backing. You’ll recognise the tune I’m sure!

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