Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bjorn again



I watched a video clip of Vikings this morning, it was heavy, heavy stuff. Last night I saw a bit of Miami Vice (a movie repeat). As a young guy I remember being hooked on Miami Vice (the series) with its cool music, fast cars, heavy drug deals, witnessing the drama of life hanging by a thread, the mood, the good, the bad & the brutal. There were probably some attractive babes in all of that too as money & power seemed to be on the side of dark corruption in a dark world where people wore dark sunnies.

It’s the underworld above ground & in essence that world has changed very little if the news is anything to go by, more heavy, heavy, stuff, but at least with the news you know it’s coming hourly or nightly scheduled through screens, some curved for those Colosseum moments to make you feel in the moment & surround sound to shake you to your core. In this world God calls me to be a lover, a fighter & a hater. Rom 12:9. At this moment in history I am to live by faith & although I may be weak & my opposition strong, God is stronger. 1 Cor 1:25.

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 52.  Q 127. What is the sixth petition?
   

A. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. That is: since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment, and besides, since our sworn enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh, cease not to assault us, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us by the power of thy Holy Spirit, that we may not succumb in this spiritual warfare but always offer strong resistance, till at last we obtain a complete victory.








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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A hiding place



She seemed to me an elegant bird but also an inexperienced mother. Last year we had a broken egg on our front verandah, above in the wisteria vine sat a very flat & poorly made nest. This year, sadly a small bird lay dead in almost the same spot, although I can’t be sure if it fell or was pushed. Not long after a second young bird appeared in the nest, living & active, ugly in its own way in comparison to what it would become in a matter of days. I like doves, the way they coo, the whistle in their wings at times, their colour range is also something I really appreciate, rich & deep, soft & opaque, striped, spotted & iridescent.







Spotted Dove














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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Life in the fast & slow lane




The older I get, the more my eye sight blurs, the more I see, at least today anyway. Hunches & suspicions that I have had about society or people not being all their cracked up to be has probably been helped along by Hollywood & the News among other things. The righteous virtuous me quickly identifies with what is obviously wrong with this broken & crooked world & so it should.


But if I pause for a moment & consider my own life & failings I know that I too have not been as righteous & virtuous in my life time thus far, yet two wrongs don’t make a right & being stuck in neutral is not going to get me very far unless I am on the top of a hill… I have done that a few times, coasted down a hill to see how far I could get: a study in momentum & saving petrol when running on empty with a four barrel carby in younger days.


The words of Jesus recorded in Scripture reveals the need to be wary of being fooled by outward appearance & shallow hearts.

Luke 18:9-14



The depth of God’s wisdom & mercy is never ending as it speaks to the heart governed by faith. If there is one place where it all comes together... it begins & ends with Christ Jesus.










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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Here comes the sun



It is a wonderful thing to bask in the presence of light & warmth, much more appreciated in the cooler & colder months. Imagine a world with no sun or warmth, how much greater would the darkness & coldness be.




Psalm 19:1- 6










Lake Macquarie / Rathmines







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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Rio & the Redeemer


 The 2014 World Cup is not far away now, the game that is called beautiful will be showcased in Brasil. The humble three branded (Adidas?) Armadillo has been selected as the mascot & given a makeover in keeping with mega marketing & the colours of Brazil. It goes by the name of Fuleco (Futebol/Ecology)

Just up the hill in Rio, Christ the Redeemer, a mega art deco statue made of reinforced concrete & soapstone stands high above the city with arms out stretched, open hands & a downward gaze. Christ’s primary interest is the saving of souls of every nation which are held captive to the power of sin. The Gospel of salvation has been opened up to every tribe & nation on earth due to the rejection of the Messiah by Israel as is recorded in Romans 9:30-10:21.












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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Twisting by the Pool








Rubik's Cube video




According to Google the Rubik’s cube is 40 years old today, a colourful mathematical puzzle with an order that once scrambled requires various moves for order again to be restored. This morning I found a video that shows a man solving three floating Rubik’s puzzles whilst under water in a pool, in under one minute (approx).

If only life’s problems were solved with such speed…dream on…& yes when it comes to life I am persuaded that whilst it would be easy to peel off the coloured stickers to make them match to create the impression of success this would only be an on the surface solution that fails to grasp the significance & severity of it all even though it may bring a laugh or two or three.

According to Watching the Wheels/Lennon

“…People asking questions lost in confusion,
well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions…

It would be nice to drop out of work for a year or five to focus on the birth of a new born son, yet this would be no solution for the majority of working people. For the Christian, our lives are in God’s hands, what may appear to be random or chaotic is rather part of a perfect plan working for the good of those that love Him. The call to live by Faith trusting God's every move is for our ultimate good. As it was with Abraham so it is with all God's children.

He watches over you

Sons of Korah / Psalm 121




Dire Straits / Twisting by the Pool










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Saturday, 17 May 2014

The need for God's seed



In the Heidelberg Catechism in question 8 regarding humanity, the question asks…
8. Q. But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil? A. Yes,[1] unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.[2][1] Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Is. 53:6. [2] John 3:3-5.



In terms of satisfaction before God the answer is spot on, there is nothing that humanity alone can do that would be pleasing to Him regarding God’s holy character, in this sense our nature is considered evil. Humanity, humanly speaking, is on a path of no return. In and of ourselves we are helpless in this regard.

Sure, we do things that have a measure of goodness in them but in terms of purity, the human heart is not only low grade, it also has in it's nature an inbuilt rebellion that is opposed to the holiness of God. As Jesus said in John 3:7 “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”

It’s no good looking inside ourselves for our redemption, the answer is found in another. God has connected with humanity in Christ. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him… Col 1:19. 







In our lostness & spiritual emptiness
 God through Christ gives us a new song, an eternal song.









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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Duck Cousteau



If the ocean or its floor could talk it may reveal much that remains a mystery to human investigation. With its great depths, shifting sands, strong currents & a myriad of creatures it holds a vast sum of human endeavour that has sunk below the surface, exiled to the aquatic & semi silent world of signals & sharp eyes.


Thanks to the innovation in film & photography we get to see the living beauty & skillful wonder displayed beneath the surface of the deep. Another dimension to behold the creative wisdom of God, established on the third day & teemed abundantly on the fifth. [Gen: 1]. But to truly appreciate God’s wisdom, His instruction should be followed, as His creative powers can bring delight to our eyes & minds so walking in his ways brings delight to the soul. 

Job 28:12-28









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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Happy Mother’s Day


On one level there is a lot I like about the 1960’s, partly nostalgic, partly appreciative, the good old days that once were & where only now a partial cultural finger print remains. I was born in the sixties, lived in the sixties, was there in the seventies, made it through the eighties, managed the nineties & entered a new millennium (Thank you God).

In more ways than I can remember my mum has been of significant influence. Mothers are unique in their role as parents. My mum worked as a secretary & was a particularly good cook who liked to create Italian dishes. She was a bit fashion conscious & did not always appreciate my early leanings to a grunge look. For the record she still is a good cook.

Over the years we have had our battles & disagreements but she has been a good mum. The Bible urges me to appreciate & respect my mum & to be patient when she gets things wrong. This example of love has helped us live in a meaningful relationship as we grow in understanding & appreciation. I am glad she has been patient with me also as I struggled with responsibility, maturity & learning to see things not just my way.

I remember getting to borrow her car at times & would take it for a cruise along the main streets in the town. It wasn’t pee yellow or puke green though, signal red was how it was when I rolled in mum’s car.



Another time…another place







Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Yogi Bird



Before leaving for New Zealand I was trying to work out what creature might be of interest regarding photos. First choice was Albatross but in the end this was impractical. My wife & I managed a day trip to Arthurs Pass so there was no shortage of landscapes, water falls & braided river scapes. There were posters around warning about a native alpine parrot (The Kea) & how they should not be fed. I could see some flying above which was great to see them in the wild. I trekked up a steep track but was unable to locate any. Walking around the small town we spotted six or so Kea in a car park feeding on bread scraps & checking out cars.

These birds take quality control to the maximum, their extended beak can really get into the smallest of places & rubber seems to be great to munch on, tow bars also, anything goes with the Kea. Their feathers are beautiful shades of olive green. Under their wings is a bright reddish orange plumage often associated with many parrots.


I could move in close, just out of arms reach & they didn’t seem too bothered…maybe they were checking out what edible parts came with my camera! It was great to be near them, listening, watching.







Quality control


I got my own video but uploading is slow.





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Thursday, 1 May 2014

The God Article



If I go up to the heavens, you are there, if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:8-10

This Psalm of David is much more than an affirmation of the presence & power of God who unlike us or the angels for that matter is able to be everywhere at the same time. This Spirit inspired poem conveys a personal relationship that begun even before David was born. David is in a relationship with the living God & the wonder of how great God is.

It is obvious that David is pained because God is being unjustly accused. At this time there is no need to respond as he did with Goliaths challenges on the battle field. David resorts to prayer, trusting in God’s timing & ways, mindful of his own life also as he seeks to honour the King of Kings& Lord of Lords.

An excerpt from the Heidelburg Catechism (A summary of biblical teaching)

26. Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of nothing made heaven and earth with all that is in them, who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ his Son my God and my Father; in whom I so trust as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; and further, that whatever evil he sends upon me in this vale of tears, he will turn to my good; for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father.





As it is with the telescope so it is with the Bible, it only reveals so much & no more. As I look deeply into the pages of the Living Word God reveals his glory & wonder, His world also…How great is God!











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