Saturday, 30 November 2013

Orienteering

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
behind the scenes bonus image
 
 
 

Friday, 29 November 2013

location, location, location


Land of Zebulun & land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea,

beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

The people living in darkness have seen a great light,

on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

From that time on Jesus began to preach,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew 4: 15-17


 
 


 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Rock & Soul


God becomes human is not for God’s benefit but for that of humanity. It is an act of divine humility, mercy & kindness announced by angels to the insignificant & foolish regarding human standards. In the meekness of a helpless babe exists a prophet, priest & king of unmeasured proportions of greatness.

And can it be…

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

1 Corinthians 2: 6 & 7


 
 
 
Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
So high, I can't get over it
So low, I can't get under it
So wide, I can't get 'round it
Oh, rock my soul
 
 
 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Doctor Who

TV has influenced my thinking over the years. The Doctor Who program was one that had me gripped as a young person. I would often tune in to see the latest adventure in the afternoons after school. It’s been hard not to notice all the attention this week given to the story which has been running for the last 50 years.










Friday, 22 November 2013

The Birds & the Beetles

The Willie Wagtail is a small bird often sighted near our home. It’s a black & white fantailed bird which darts around giving off a chirp or call. It loops beautifully in flight while tracking bugs. It will also hitch a ride on a grazing animal waiting for bugs to appear. Last week while picking up deliveries from a supermarket loading bay I looked up to see a Wagtail near two intersecting steel rods designed to stabilise a section of roofing. I also noticed some strands of string which I thought the bird & its mate had spotted & was about to relocate.


The following day these small birds had established a new dwelling where I had first spotted them, they had made their nest & were sleeping in it, to a point (it’s a tiny nest). The nest is made of twigs then lined on the outside with spider’s web. On the inside it is lined with soft grasses, hair or fur but the bird will pluck its own soft feathers if nothing else is available. I didn’t see it but one of the ladies at the loading bay witnessed an Indian Myna bird approach the female & out of nowhere the male turned up signalling the female to take flight while it protected the nest.

In the smallest of things we can witness the greatest of wonders


Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12




I don't know what happened to the beetle



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

10.4







 
 
 
I haven’t noticed any Christmas carols yet but the shops & shoppers are gearing up for the holiday season. Christmas is many things to many people & it is being fast tracked through all available means. For those that plan ahead or need to get items prepared in time for posting & shipping the big wheels up front are turning & the ones behind are beginning to follow…we got ourselves a road train/convoy. Christmas or Xmas is coming to town, the holy days & holidays are about to rumble.

It wasn’t always like that though, what began as an ancient journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with rest stops along the way had humble beginnings as one man & his pregnant wife amongst many obeyed a decree issued by the government of the day. The insignificant & the significant, overtime the significant fades & the insignificant begins as a tender shoot that grows into a tree that will reach maturity bearing fruit for years & ages to come.
 

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:1-2


 
 
 
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men”:
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in foll’wing years.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the op’ning day.
Like flow’ry fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand
Lie with’ring ere ’tis night.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
Isaac Watts

Friday, 15 November 2013

Slippery slope


I love a good laugh, some situations are just funny. I don’t mind a bit of excitement or action either but is that my chief aim as to why I am here on this unique planet. In Australia if you like to muck around & have a laugh you are likely to be called are galah. These birds do appear to clown around as well as make a racket. In the US, I think the term is Jackass, which in human terms may be a hybrid of Tom Sawyer & Bart Simpson on steroids which is probably acceptable if their powers are used for good instead of evil or stupidity. The Jackass movies rightly use the skull & bones that symbolise death as they roll the dice with the precious gift of health & life.

The thing is the choices we make have consequences, even the ones that seem to hurt no one but ourselves (what does Karma do then?) Many think our bodies are or own but will openly acknowledge that we are only a small part in a much bigger picture. The Bible states that ownership or provenance belongs to God the maker of heaven & earth.



In the Heidelberg Confession in Q&A 105 a summary is provide that we may better understand our relationship to God, His commandments, our neighbour & ourselves.
105. Q. What does God require in the sixth commandment?

A. I am not to dishonour, hate, injure, or kill my neighbour by thoughts, words, or gestures, and much less by deeds, whether personally or through another;[1] rather, I am to put away all desire of revenge.[2] Moreover, I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself.[3] Therefore, also, the government bears the sword to prevent murder.[4]

[1] Gen. 9:6; Lev. 19:17, 18; Matt. 5:21, 22; 26:52. [2] Prov. 25:21, 22; Matt. 18:35; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26. [3] Matt. 4:7; 26:52; Rom. 13:11-14. [4] Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:14; Rom. 13:4.

It’s much easier to have a laugh & risk something than say we shouldn’t be doing something because of the risk of injury. The only place this seems to make sense is in an economic or justice argument. But the depth of Gods intentions is for all areas of our life for our good & our neighbours.
 
 
 

Hey Buddy, got a light ?


For many Christianity as a way of life has past it’s used by date, it now belongs in a museum as a relic or something to be placed in the back of the cupboard, up in the attic or out in the garage. For others it belongs at the tip to be bulldozed into the ground with layers of human trash, its existence & purpose discarded entirely.

Society seems to have moved on, the future although not seen seems bright, & after all, look at technology, look at what “we” can do…And the science, look at what we now apparently “know”. The advertisement for accepting the new & improved model seems compelling & attractive to many but again if history is the thing to go by, what is here today is gone tomorrow.

There was a time when science, philosophy & God were more readily connected & accepted as normal & givens but the age of the enlightenment & a belief of the scientific process & apparently learned people convinced many that the Bible had got it wrong.

This is not that dissimilar to the experience of Old Testament believers when hearing the words of the false prophets enticing people to follow them with an indifference to holiness. The early church also it would seem. Holiness is just as important to faith today as it was yesterday & the day before that, for without it no one will see God.

 

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

First things first & the God who never fails


The birds are singing & the sun is rising. Private cars & work vehicles are motoring up & down the side of a hill just outside our window, when there is a break in the traffic procession the bird song is heard once more, mainly parrots, lorikeets & galahs. In the distance I hear a car that had passed earlier (with a modified exhaust) opening up the throttle on a straight stretch of road just out of town.

The forecast says we are in for a sunny day with a temp of around 30 degrees. After a long dry spell & a good & pleasant drop of quenching rain over the last 3 days things are nice weather wise. Refreshment has come to the land & its people in the blessing of rain carried in the clouds & upon the wind.

The kids are getting ready for the high school bus & my daughter is getting a ride to the train station with me later in the day to attend her final university exam for the year. My wife left for work about half an hour ago in our family car. As a family we have good relationships, food in the fridge & cupboards & relatively good health.

Whether I think I am in need or not, possessions, family, friends or employment or for that matter climate is not my greatest need. All these things can be good or bad in their own way but there is a greater need & that is to know God, count on it, says Jesus. There is a relationship at stake, to look for our joy in anything else is to write it in the sand on the shore line only to have a wave come & wash it away. In Jesus we find God & salvation, a powerful work of regeneration that comes from above. You won’t find it anywhere else, Jesus is speaking to the very core of our being as He relays heavenly truth for the church to proclaim.


But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12: 31-34



 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

11th of the 11th

Sometimes I just get too busy to concern myself with what is going on in society, what do they care about me anyway.....I get this way at times. After reading some blogs I have decided to follow suit, lagging behind but coming on board slowly.


The call to remember…11 / 11 /

On the one hand I ask myself what it all means to me on a personal level, on the other, what it all may mean as a nation. Pomp & ceremony can be meaningless & meaningful depending where the focus may be. Its a moment of confliction as I try & do the situation some justice.

In the end many people have put themselves last & their country first with sacrifice & courage, this is truly admirable considering the ordeal of war.

I don’t have particular war folders in my mind from what I can tell, they all seem to have grouped into an overlapping montage over the years. But when I pause to think just for a moment, I am the better for the sober reflection. Many coming together to fight as one, giving their all for each other, in conditions & circumstances I could not imagine.

My grandparents experienced the war in Europe. Ma used to have a small painting (pen & ink with water colour) of May Day in one of the bedrooms & a story or two when we were old enough to take it all in. Sometimes you just have to fight for what is right.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I came across this wreath this morning in my travels,
 we have a monument to the unknown soldier in the main street.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Panning & zooming in the spirit of video.

 
 
video
 
 


I have been writing lately but not drawn anything to a conclusion as yet. Another thing has been composing a video. I don't understand all the technical applications when saving & I have also been grappling with the quality of some images which is still a mystery to me in some ways.

This is a video (50MB) regarding a unique moment in a time of God's choosing to present himself to a fallen world in need of salvation.


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only  Son , who is himself God and  is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

 John 1:14-18

Friday, 8 November 2013

It is good to sing God's praises


There are a lot of “just rights” for a bird to achieve flight. They also manage to fly in an ordered fashion over great distances with great timing matching winds & seasons. Time & again we see the “just rights” in the magnificence of creation & its order, not to mention the splendid & glimmering colour & bird song or squawk. God is so much more than we appreciate at times, more often than not. Yet He stoops in tender delicateness & speaks softly to our hearts.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
 
 
 
In our own travels & journeys we need the wise words of our Redeemer to speak to our being lest we be blown off course. In Him we find renewed strength for our spirit & body, in Him we have all that we need & God gives what is just & right as are all His ways.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Master & apprentice


I have been cleaning up a work shed that my father was using sometime back. He has been involved in the fabrication industry for many years. The aim has been to get most of dad’s accumulated stuff sorted into one area & open up the rest of the shed to usable space. Around the work benches with their fine layers of dust & grit I have come across many tools & machines that I used as an apprentice, big & small, powered & hand held. Some were kept for spare parts & some are still working. It has been a good thirty years since I was in that working environment on a day to day basis.

So I came across this shifter/spanner useful for changing over gauges on gas bottles & noticed it had some missing parts, the rolling gear & a small shaft to keep it in place. Without these two components the shifter is not able to function as it should, it cannot hold its grip & complete a firm connection.

Many try & use the Bible in this way, keeping one component, discarding another. According to Jesus “It is written: ‘People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. When it comes to faith Jesus instructs his followers to be firm in the faith. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

 
Whether it’s Bible reading, prayer, church, fellowship, words or actions etc…it all counts. The small & seemingly menial to the important, it all counts.