Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Untethered


Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel.
2 Timothy 2:8
 
 

 The apostle Paul laboured for the gospel of Christ. Following in the way of the Saviour can equate to ridicule & persecution. Paul, formerly Saul (Acts 9) got to experience both sides of the story. Having identified Christianity as public & religions enemy number one, he was on a mission…seek & destroy. Now Paul finds himself in prison for preaching Christ, the shoe is on the other foot.

Paul had experienced the ballistic nature of the power of Christ, ending up in prison, he is not alarmed. God’s presence is near & God’s wisdom is best, Paul is chained, the living God is not. There is more to life than the flesh we feed & clothe; there is more to our being than the here & now. The light that was before light continues to transform lives today…the risen Christ.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

surge


 
 
Many people love to connect with nature… the ocean for all its power & strength can be mastered to a point, reading & riding waves while applying balance and agility expresses a type of freedom that can be taken to many extremes.

 As beautiful as nature can be, there is the danger that it can be worshipped & adored says the apostle Paul (Romans 1:25) Wether we agree or not, putting anything above or in place of God equates to worship, if God is not first in your heart then something else is. If we want to express our rites about this or that then we also need to recognise that God has rites also.

To follow nature & natural instincts is not the way of the Spirit (Jude).Winds of change & waves of influence come; God’s Word gives us a sure place to stand in this world that threatens to undermine the family of faith. The freedom found in Christ, the power of the inspired gospel &the faithful love of God provides wisdom & power to be in the world, but not of this world.
 
 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Sondial


 
 
 
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

The Bible gives every indication that God is outside of time as we know it, God owns & controls time, unlike humanity with its borrowed time, that is destined to live once, then die, then face judgment (Heb 9:27). God is an eternal Spirit described in the book of Revelation with a beginning & end in terms of the Greek alphabet. So many things have time limits; so many things have beginnings &ends. It seems to me a difficult task to fathom the eternal, it is one thing to quote a long figure of time, another to truly fathom it & all that exists in between.
 
 

In all areas of life… past, present& future, accountability exists, humanity will have to come to terms with God almighty. No matter a person’s social status, conviction or faith, each will stand in judgment; there is no representative of postmodern relativism to argue a case, only in Christ alone can we receive a pardon. The Bible says this is something we need to fathom, reflect upon & act upon…

The promise to Abraham, the coming, the life & testimony of Jesus, the outpouring of the Spirit to proclaim "Jesus is Lord of all" to the ends of the earth, something can change your world, eternally so.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

cars n trucks...

 
 
 

No need for speed here, that's what happens with age...I have been spending about 3 hours a week at Cessnock N.S.W. My son is training with a soccer team there & as I enjoy photography & country roads among other things I choose a direction & see where the roads lead.

The aesthetic of things rustic often make a good photo, history & decay speaking as one. Neil Young’s album title comes to mind…Rust never sleeps. Lately in the Hunter region with the season of summer coming to a close & abundant rainfall means a greening & growing of the landscape, very refreshing after the hot days & nights of summer.
 

 

Earlier in the week while fuelling up,I drove through a country town (Dungog) that was having a junk day where locals clean up their trash (or treasure) leaving it on the footpath to have it taken away free of charge. Spotting what appeared to be something of value, after a quick u turn & upon closer inspection, I had a “picker’s moment” discovering an antique tin toy truck. I also stocked up on supplies for my art & craft potential projects...often good on a rainy day.

 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Bearings & Scale



 
The solid ground of Scripture gives direction & footing; it feeds the soul & quenches thirst with trees, rivers & streams, it is a living thing. Vast oceans that cover its bounty, witness down pours of rain, the gentle breeze & powerful winds like the spirit that delivers messages from above.

Psalm 8 expresses amazement that an awesome being such as God would be mindful of humanity, sharing his creation in such a way. The faith driven psalmist sees magnificence all around in things he can see & experience, but also the acknowledgement…if all this is majestic, how much more is God the maker. In all the earth & its surrounds, nothing compares.

Even today in the modern world with its developed technology we get to witness Gods design in the micro & macro & images from space confirm just how miniature we are in the scheme of things. While scientists theorise, study & conclude time & again as informed opinions flow & fill all manner of places there is one thing that stands firm, the solid ground of Scripture, even more solid than heaven & earth combined says Matthew, sharing with us the life of Jesus in written form.
 

 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35



 
& special thanks to Yasmin with her creative efforts on this model.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

let there be light


 
 Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

God has more than a calendar in mind when teaching us to number our days, the goal is to gain wisdom…This world is full of many things including knowledge & foolishness but in the setting of the psalm, wisdom is what really matters & at the begining & end of each day, only God can truly satisfy.

Faith sees more than a random set of this and that to pick & choose from. Behind every rain drop, dust particle or shining star with their  particular qualities remains the One true God… chance & luck(good or bad)do not exist in terms of what is real, neither a big bang back in the past that somehow organised  non-living matter into living with all the planets in their spectacular suspension.

Living by faith goes to the very core of our being; it recognises that God has shown great mercy & love. The believer migrates from their former way of life to the new & living way of the Spirit revealed in Jesus. Jesus is Gods message of wisdom in its purest form, natural & supernatural together. What many claim to be naive, out dated & immature is just the opposite.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8
 
 

Friday, 15 February 2013

aquaduck meets aqueduct




In the early days of television & photography black& white (grey scale) was the order of the day. With the introduction & excitement of colour saturated technology people were amazed, crowds gathered to witness this new thing. The quality of the product has advanced somewhat & now there is the possibility of 3D. Cameras can be placed just about anywhere these days recording all manner of activity, moving & still, day & night, from the smallest of things to the furthest of places, impressive for sure.

Signal sending machines & creatures are manifold on this planet & getting stuff from here to there is as much human as animal. Proverbs 30:25 tells me I can see extreme wisdom in small creatures. If you want to get something done, go & check out those ants… Proverbs 6:6. We need to work & we need to rest, but too much of either can bring us harm as we seek provision for our needs.

In the Scriptures we find the encouragement to work, plan & rest but are reminded to always seek God’s blessing & wisdom. It’s God’s world & he would know a thing or two about it, we need something more than the power & cleverness of our minds. Without God we are like a channel with no water or a heart with no beat…The gospel of Jesus urges us to connect with God each & every day, believing in the One whom God has sent…John 1. 1-18.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Really


People labor over many things, at times devoting a lifetime of struggle to a cause. Some people persevere at times under great hardship, good & noble or what… others can give up when the going gets tough.

Humanity has reaped great reward & great suffering through the determined efforts of people set on a path to achieve.

The spirit infused letter addressed to the church in the ancient city of Philippi gives insight into the working of God. God works with people, God labors with people. It can be puzzling to the eye & the mind when we see our weakness. We can be tempted to question…really… God, you are working with me!

In Christ we have been shown great mercy & when it comes to people, God works on a number system & colour scheme far greater than we can comprehend. The believer is challenged to trust in the promises of God in a world that seems to be going in all kinds of directions. God has a plan & He is steadfast…says Scripture 

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1: 6
 
 
 

 

Monday, 11 February 2013

food for the hungry


“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
 

 In the Christian faith sharing our lives, food & shelter is declaring in a practical way a manifestation of God likeness. Religion is not just pie in the sky stuff for an hour or so on a Sunday. Walking with God as Adam & Eve did, in the garden was a daily thing, tracing it back, we can know God was into the social. Something easily forgotten when getting caught up in the detail of the Old Testament laws & the chasm between the holy & unholy.

Jesus the teacher revealing the kingdom & concerned for the crowd’s nourished state turned a small amount of bread & fish into a satisfying meal for thousands providing a lesson for Phillip in the process. John 6:1-15.




In our own small way, we are instructed to do likewise, food, clothing, conversation, indoors, outdoors etc. Faith in action is a wonderful thing, sharing in the mind of Christ with our hearts & hands.
 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Love is blind


 
The thoughts & study shared by C.S. Lewis from the pages of his book “the four loves” gives insight to variations within a kind.

 
All things Eros is in the air at the moment, with Valentine’s Day comes all kinds of encouragement to be a part of the romance…Romantic love & the red rose become intertwined to symbolise something special…a moment in time & a declaration of love.

There is a moment in time when God also becomes blind to our failings & declares His undying love. Thorny stems, attached to a once living body dripping with red blood under Roman rule is taken into a tomb. Days later, rising again with health & healing, death is defeated.

The earth & its people have been given an inspired message, by God himself. He holds out his hand in invitation, a life of trust & purity. God’s love, recorded in the pages of the Bible for us today, is mirrored in the romantic & also in holy marriage. The bridegroom gives his life for the bride, forsaking all else. Man & woman become one, the pursuing love of God, the everlasting love… something beautiful… something good.
 
 
 
 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
 
 
 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Illuminated manuscript


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens…Ps 68:19

The ever, watchful eye, hearing ear & guiding hand of God the Spirit. His keen interest, fatherly love & purposeful discipline stretches to the ends of the earth…in  culture,  the gore of battle & the hardship & joy of  life… day in, day out, summer, winter, spring time & harvest.
 
The accounts recorded in Scripture proclaim the faithfulness of God. In Jesus we see God in the flesh & the Spirit at work in the world & life of the church…Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Empires come & go; economies rise & fall but God remains the same.
 
 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

fire & rain


 
 


Recently the Hunter Valley (& much of Eastern Australia) experienced very hot & dry weather with deadly bushfires followed by abundant rain fall including floods...

 
This image in a small way captures the contrast of abundance & poverty (not necessarily monetary). To make the above rural shot(Woodville) I had to take off my footwear & wade up to the barbed wire to get the better composition. The black & burnt landscape(Cessnock) has already begun to regenerate, 3 black cockatoos were making the most of the area but I couldn’t work out what they were up to apart from being on the lookout for each other & making it hard to get a photo.




 
In life too we experience fire & rain. The Bible points to a spiritual landscape also. Without God we are in the dark, with Him we have light. Our souls are alienated & bare, the rain drenching Spirit of God brings life...In him we find what is best, eternally so…The Lord is my shepherd, Ill not want...Psalm 23.


 
 
 
 





Tuesday, 5 February 2013

above & below


We can’t always appreciate what is going on around us, let alone control it. Life is big & as an investigation there is so much to know & learn. We can see in many of nature’s patterns the nurture of the young & helpless & as we age it becomes the nurture of the older & helpless. Many things are expressed as a collective or combined effort of various scales

 

As much as there is a need to know & learn there is also the need to know what matters & what doesn’t. In the Scriptures we are given instruction & boundaries for the good of our beings & relationships. It is not God’s intention to leave His children helpless at any age. Collectively the church is to express the caring characteristics of God.

 

The church has shares in two worlds, the fallen state of humanity & creation but also shares in the kingdom to come for which our interest is fixed, investing in its wisdom from above here on earth…more precious than gold. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived— these things God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor 2 : 9
 

 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Give me oil in my lamp...keep me burning.



 
“Your word is a lamp to my feet & a light for my path” says the psalmist (119: 105). Keeping your lamp trimmed & ready requires oil. An equivalent today may be keeping things charged & in good order.It’s easy to see what happens when things are not maintained, try running an engine with no oil. Damage at times can be unrepairable or the repair costs astronomical.

 

It’s not without reason & logic that we understand a need to be on guard & prepared when it comes to our daily living. The parable of the ten virgins (Matt 25 1-13) taught by Jesus is not something that belongs in the past. The grease & oil of our faith is of a super quality…but the muck & grime of this life means the believer requires renewal. Be filled with the Spirit says the Apostle Paul (Eph 5:18) keep on keeping on….make good use of the things God has made available to you.