Photos of the Month

     All photos copyright 2019

January/February 2020.  These are some of my favourite photos from Phillip Island and San Remo in Victoria. Melbourne has had a mix of very hot and very rainy days. The landscape has remained remarkably green. Mary's husband, Jamie designed the 'Marylou', had it built in China and then sailed it back to Melbourne through two typhoons.  The Koala sanctuary we visited is housing a few Koalas saved from the severe Australian bush-fires.

August/December 2019.  My apologies for not updating sooner.  Much has happened since winter. We are in the heat of summer now with forest fires raging in four Australian states. I start off with our window decorations for Christmas and our visit to an extensive 'Cactus Garden' in northern Victoria. I pity the rider who falls off his/her horse on one of these cacti. Can any one name the cactus with the mushroom-like flower on which flies feed at the center? These are followed by John Leslie's montage of woodpeckers frequenting his backyard. They recently had 4 inches of snow in New Mexico. John gave a cute description of a woodpecker trying to crack through the ice to get a drink. John is giving them a helping hand.

June/July 2019.  Its winter in Melbourne and time for winter activities when the sun comes out, or if you prefer, just to stay indoors in a shopping mall or snooze at home. I came across two cute girls having lunch on their own in the food mall.

April/May 2019.  Magnificent Great Danes and their friendly owners only too glad to be photographed in Croydon. Then three cats we baby-sat for two weeks (cute but a lot of work), followed by Easter preparations with traditional Czech  Easter buns and granddaughter Kristi as chief baker. Mother's Day unwrapping of gifts (Therese and Milena), and autumn truly setting in at home (grandson Marcus). Autumn sunrise over a placid bay - bleak but a beautiful memory for my son (who camped with the family on the Rosebud foreshore). Callous thieves plundered the adjacent caravan and another neighbour. Tents were slit.

MARCH/APRIL 2019. These months started off with the hospitalization of my wife for a week and then four hospital visits for me because of a very painful kidney stone. Yesterday's surgery removed it but I still have a stent leading to my kidney which stings my urinary tract rather painfully, but the severe pain is gone. Praise God. Morphine was not strong enough, so the ambulances gave me opioids 100 times more powerful.  I experienced my personal Gethsemane while writhing on our carpet waiting for the ambulances and procedures over the next three weeks.  I really did participate in the sufferings of Christ as the apostle Paul said we would. The  cute poster shown  greeted me in the surgery waiting room at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne.

The Lord intervened and saved me from potential disaster.  Following the laser treatment, while still a little groggy, I needed to urgently pass water but found what I thought was leftover  rubbish from the operating table clinging to my thigh. I grabbed a strip on my thigh and was about to yank it away but I am positive an angel of the Lord stopped me right there. I hesitated and decided to have a closer look. It was a string coming out of me taped to the inside of my thigh. It was there to enable the surgeon to pull out the stent from my kidney at a later date. Had I yanked it away roughly as I was going to do I would have disastrously damaged my insides, and would have had to go through another operation. The nurses were shocked that they had not been warned that I would have a fine cord protruding in a coil. I did not hesitate to gently tell the urologists about their lack of communication, regardless of the fine attention and rooms I was given in both hospitals that I attended, Maroondah and Box Hill Hospitals. All treatments were free for pensioners! Although I strongly believe in divine healing, and have experienced some in my own body following prayer, it seems to me that in regions where there is good medical care the Lord wants us to use them, but occasionally does provide miracles of healing   because He loves us and promised that healing is the children's bread. He has healed my headaches, backaches, and knee and leg problems, and unequal leg length in the past. But on other occasions I have to seek medical help and take pills. The Lord works in mysterious ways. He knows what's best each time. I have since learned to give thanks for everything trusting Him who started a good work in me.


We follow with sunrises photographed in New Mexico and at my home in Mount Evelyn, followed by a cotton wool cloud formation over our retirement village. The apple orchard and wood stack  was photographed in nearby Powell town, a famous pioneering timber town that used to have wooden railway tracks over extremely rough terrain to carry the massive logs on bare railway bogeys. Finally we took a gondola ride down Arthur's Seat on Port Phillip Bay which is the entrance to the Port of Melbourne where ships have to zig-zag because of the many sand banks.

January/February 2019 - Firstly, photos taken on Feb 16th at the Franklin Graham Crusade at the Melbourne Arena, home of the Australian Tennis Open. Hundreds gave their lives to Christ. I was a prayer volunteer to men. Others were appointed to minister to women or children according to gender and children's care qualifications. More details following the photos.

Daughter-in-law seating arrivals.

November/December 2018 - The beauty of Australia as we toured Broome, Perth, Surfers Paradise and Port Macquarie! We saw the dolphin stunt at Sea World, Surfers Paradise.

A job well done by all. Here is my review if you haven't read it already in my newsletter to subscribers:

The 10,500-capacity Melbourne Arena, home of the Australian Open,  was ‘packed to the rafters’ on February 16th.  An estimated 1500 were turned away. That night hundreds were ‘born again’.  Others recommitted their lives to Jesus. Another 200 or so made commitments over the internet.

The preached word was straight down the line. God forgives all sins, no matter how bad. We are saved by grace and not by works. Followed by much applause Franklin Graham stressed the sanctity of the biblical family unit, and our necessity to repent reminding us vividly of evil Mannaseh who ruled over Israel for 55 years, yet when the king humbled himself in the dungeon and repented God was moved with compassion and forgave his sins.

Franklin warned against hell, but he could have easily painted a more threatening picture. According to Jude 1:23 some need to be scared into heaven. In any case, all glory to God for those who were born again or who recommitted their lives to Christ last night.

Did I enjoy the contemporary music by Planetshakers and Crowder? The lyrics were good, but the answer is a clear no for much of it, but then I also don’t like shellfish. I lose my appetite when a whiff of shellfish drifts from an adjoining table. I would have loved the presentation balanced with the melodic purity of the music and praise that so characterised the Billy Graham crusades. I sought the Lord about it. He reminded me of His ear-piercing trumpet blast which terrified the Hebrews in the wilderness.

And it happened on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the voice of the trumpet was exceedingly loud, so that all the people in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the lower part of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it, because Jehovah came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice’. (Exodus 19:16-19)


As a prayer volunteer I was delighted to meet a joyful family who presented themselves to repent and be born again. After mutual introductions and sharing with them briefly I signalled for help so that each member of the family could be individually ministered to. It was heartening how gladly this family received the gospel and our prayers. After praying for his salvation I asked the father whether he had any special prayer requests. Having come from one of the troubled island nations he expressed his desire for security in the area of Melbourne where he lived. I laid hands on him and prayed for the Lord to build a hedge of protection around the family in whatever circumstances they might find themselves. I also encouraged them to pray should they ever face danger, during travels or whatever. I briefly explained the work of the person of the Holy Spirit who now was dwelling in them and advised them to spend time in the word to grow as Christians. I was thrilled by the joy evident on their twelve-year old’s face. Australia is all the richer because of Franklin’s crusades. Jesus is surely delighted.

I was impressed by the tremendous effort of the Graham Team and the practical and prayer support provided by local churches over the weeks. Some recent adverse press aimed against Franklin Graham may contain grains of truth, for all have come short of the glory of God, but nevertheless God achieved His purposes by sending His servant Franklin and the Graham team to Australia. We thank God for any drops of rain He sends to this spiritually parched country that is increasingly becoming depraved. 

Prior to starting time, I was given invitation cards to hand out on the banks of the Yarra river. Some politely accepted them, two or three seemed glad to receive them, while others just waved me away. One said, ‘I am ok as I am’. I wondered.

On another subject, in our Yarra Valley the wineries are flourishing at this time of the year!

November/December 2018 - The beauty of Australia as seen in Broome, at the Pinnacles, and the Botanical Gardens in Perth on the west coast of Australia. We later visited Surfers Paradise and Port Macquarie. At Sea World we saw this fascinating stunt involving two dolphins and their trainer.

November 2018 - One photo will suffice. We survived!

I am still in a state of shock. This is the scene which would have awaited our children and the manager of our retirement village if the Lord had not intervened yesterday. Our empty lounge room!


Reminiscing about America I looked left instead of to the right at the intersection. A scream! I touched the brake. All I saw was a car flashing by missing us by a whisker! All glory to Jesus

October 2018. We start off with photos by John Leslie from New Mexico. What local turbulence there must be immediately below those thunderheads west of Gallup.  The sedimentation and strata at El Morro are striking, reminding me of Noah's Flood.  John Leslie took Milena and myself to visit El Morro. The ancient inscriptions on the rocks from Indians, Spanish conquistadors, wagon trains and US cavalry make the site worth visiting. El Morro had the only permanent pool of water in the arid region for miles around. The remains of an  Indian village are on top of the escarpment. One description scratched into the rock by two women describes the Indian massacre of a wagon train, but records show that the two finally made it to California a year later.


The remaining photos are of the  official wreath laying ceremony at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance for fallen Czech and Slovak Soldiers who were on the side of the allies. Several of our Czech relatives participated in the ceremony and are seated in the first and second rows. My children are half Czech while our grandchildren are 1/4 th Czech. This year also commemorates the formation of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago ( ). Czechoslovakia was wrested from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. I jokingly tell my wife, that when I married her I was only repossessing what had originally belonged to me anyway! Imminent guests and speakers included the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Melbourne, The Czech-Consul General and the Shrine Governor. A highlight was the singing of the Czech National Anthem followed by the Slovak National Anthem, and then by the Australian National Anthem (Advance Australia Fair) of course.

At the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia

 August/September 2018. Thanks again to John Leslie from New Mexico for  his three contributions. An unusual black foraging carpenter bee, a hillside silhouette from Galilee and a view from his vast 'backyard' in New Mexico. He senses spiritual aspects in his third photo. There is rain in the right hand corner    but to the left the land is dry. Since the fall there are times of feeling refreshed and other times of feeling dry. Yet , to His glory God shines through them both. Beauty in the midst of corruption. John lives in a semi-arid region. 


Charles contributes further photos from Mount Evelyn, Australia, that is enjoying a rather warm spring. Two photos of the beach are from Gunnamatta, Victoria. Our agricultural areas are still suffering from a winter drought. 

June/July 2018. Last month we noted the number of horrific car accidents that lead to the loss of loved ones.  This month we highlight a photo from our retirement village that life can start at 82.  (Copyright Glenise Karanikich 2018). The happy couple were married at our village center. The rest of the photos celebrate bird life. The first two of them were provided by Dr. John Leslie of Gallup, New Mexico. The saguaro cactus was photographed on the roadside on the way to Phoenix, Arizona. (Copyright John Leslie 2018). The saguaro blossom is the state flower of Arizona. I had never before taken notice of the white flight feathers on the crimson Rosellas in our yard before.

Recent Past Photos of the Month


April/May 2018.  Autumn is here, but it is also a reminder that there is an autumn for us too! I pass this sad display along the roadside  daily. It has been here for six years and is regularly refreshed.  I stopped one day and talked to the grieving mother as she was attending to her display in memory of her 20 year old daughter who was killed after the car failed to take the turn in the road. The mother runs a funeral parlour and told me about her daughter's love of horses. Sadly, the mother still has not accepted the gospel message though she must have heard it many times in her chapel.

The first few photos are of the splendid autumn display at our home and in our neighborhood. Free chocolate buttons can be be had at the Chocolataire in the Yarra Valley.  My talks over breakfasts  with grandson Marcus has inspired me to write an article on what the Bible has to say about old age. The before and after shots are a record of the healing that took place at our home after Sergio Priano from our church tutored me how to pray for this man.





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