When is truth stranger than fiction. Recently I read three articles that reveal truth is quite often stranger than fiction. Two comes from New Zealand and one from Israel. All three of these stories you too might find interesting with many subsequent implications.
The first relates to a divorce in New Zealand with three children ranging from 15, 10 and 9 who if I have read the article correctly ended up in court because they refused to have a meal with their estranged father.
So dad brought this matter before the courts. It wasn't hard to see what had happened. The judge became so frustrated with the intransigence of the children, where even the court cafeteria wasn't acceptable, that the final outcome was that all three children ended up in specialised homes for children.
The implication is one wonders how many father's suffer in silence over such similar domestic situations, where young minds become traumatised and damaged.
Having been in Christian ministry for 38 years, in my view, the law of 'no-fault divorce' in so many unfortunate situations ends with a proclivity towards such 'frustrated separated father syndrome' outcomes.
Moreover, my plea is that the Royal Commission relating to family violence might also explore root causes 'without fear or favour'. What might be 'all the root causes' where the horrific statistic is that one Australian woman a week is killed by their intimate male?
2011-15 – a long time for justice
The second story relates to another court case in New Zealand, where the judge fumed over a Police bungle, and moreover what occurred should have been, as the Judge stated, a civil matter between two parties in conflict, not a criminal matter.
The long and the short of this story was an employee and an employer in conflict over a verbal agreement and the result was that the Police were called. It turned out that the court found that the Police didn't bother to do a proper investigation and the case against the employee not only was dropped but then the court ordered a payout to him.
The bungled Police actions led to a payout to the employee of $32,000 in costs and a fierce response by the Judge to the whole affair from start to finish - not the least wasting the public's efforts (ie the court) in what amounted to be nonsense criminal charges, a pathetic police investigation and more besides.
It all took four years to sort it out and the employee's life on hold while it worked its way through the system. Little wonder the judge was unimpressed.
The implications of this story are that of television and cinematic movies where someone is stitched up and the rest of the script writer's time painstakingly investigates the scenarios. There are inevitable dead ends and red herrings until with 4 four minutes remaining, the script writers have the actors revealing the truth and wrong is righted.
Again I wonder how many of such situations are true in real life and the script writers are simply reflecting what is happening in society - where often sloppy investigative work leads to a wrong conclusion and then the drama begins.
This story comes from an article out of Israel where organic waste is being converted into biogas. Israel's government has given Bedouin families a mechanism to convert organic waste into clean biogas for cooking, heating and lighting, as well as organic liquid crop fertiliser.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the sukkah of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during the Jewish harvest holiday last October where he was treated to a demo of this machine.
The United Nations Secretary stated that “millions of women and children die each year due to indoor smoke from open fires. This is just the thing they need. The UN should be purchasing these units!”
Ami Amir of HomeBioGas, which develops and manufactures a new class of anaerobic biodigesters to convert organic waste to clean renewable energy was delighted.
The family-size TevaGas (TG) backyard units, available as an easy-to-assemble kit, generate safe energy and fertiliser through bacterial anaerobic digestion of organic waste such as food scraps and animal manure.
They provide a sustainable solution for off-grid urban and rural families, as well as environmentally conscious home owners and small farm owners, in warmer climates.
But here's the rub. I wonder how many of our left leaning environmentalist do-gooders wouldn't even give this 'green' revolutionary and life saving mechanism the time of day - for one reason and one reason only. It comes from Israel.
I certainly never saw this wonderful good news story in the leftie press or leftie church publications.
There you have it
Three quite astonishing stories. Anyone of us could surf the web any day of the week and find three other stranger than fiction real life stories. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sin.
Indeed, there are some secular news sources who have indeed appreciated the Scriptural announcement to punch for truth. I commend the practice.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at