Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Gun & Metal


Our country is pretty divided at the moment, it usually is anyhow but it is about two young men who were part of a group caught trafficking drugs to Indonesia. Subsequently after many years in prison, they have been executed at gun point. There is much more to the story as the Australian Federal Police knew of the young people’s intentions before they left Australia & they even tipped off the Indonesian police, thus becoming compliant in the death penalty from what I understand.

In all of this the two young men came to profess Christ & displayed reform in their lives in prison but as many would know there still remains consequences for our actions even if God saves by Grace. As Christians who trust in God’s Word we also understand the brutality of Rome & governments that rule for power or pleasure. While I think of Herod (the great) I could also think of King David.

As you may know, many are looking to lay blame & rightly so from a… was it just perspective, many have taken the high moral ground looking down on the drug traffickers who themselves bring misery & death through the substances that come by their hand.

In all of the media calamity, the cries of injustice & the cries for mercy & compassion, the pain & loss for family & friends… one thing I know for sure as I live by faith. As far as death is concerned it is not the end, as far as God’s justice is concerned it is not the end.

The young men declined the use of blindfolds & sang Amazing Grace as they faced their execution squad…






The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.








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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Here endeth the world.




There is a definite flow to Scripture, the history of the world also. From little things big things grow as stuff fades & dies around us. In all of this, God is at work, in God it all comes together. In this present age that is just as dark & modern as ages that have come & gone before, the light shines & the shadows shift. God remains constant, His love steadfast & His mercies new every morning. Planets, moons, stars & suns do their thing as does gravity & tidal flows as God remains the same. From little things big things grow as stuff fades & dies around us.  

There is a definite end in Scripture, the history of the world also. From little things big things grow as stuff including me & you & this world will die. In all of this God & his message of salvation demonstrated in Christ remains the same.








Time & Tide & The End.









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Friday, 24 April 2015

Unchained & Chained



I expect prison/jail to be a dark & challenging place. From what have seen on TV & heard from an old friend, rock bottom gets taken to a whole new level or dimension. And yet here God is pleased to speak to the human heart lost in sin as much as any other heart, oil for the lamp & salvation for the soul because of Christ the good shepherd.













2 Tim 2:9






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Beating hearts no more





I woke to the sound of a beating drum this morning. The ANZAC march was heading off from the bowling club on its way to our local memorial. At present the last post is trumpeting throughout our town as a new day dawns, the birds also have started their songs.


The red Poppy flower has become a symbol that is intertwined into the ANZAC story. Its blood red colour testifying to the blood spilt fields of war. One of the great tragedies of war is the often claimed remark…too young or so young, & on such a grand scale.











The march with its drummers is making their way back to the bowling club, the ceremony is ended & a breakfast will begin on this coolish ANZAC day morning.




Lest we forget, lest we forget…   








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Deluge


Heavy rain & strong winds have hit our region with great severity. Trees down, loss of power, communication & water, rising rivers breaking their banks taking livestock, transport, homes & human life…

Supermarkets that lost power over several days were regrettably throwing out food by the truck load (literally). Delicacies off to the dump although some greyhounds owned by one of the farmers who collects vegetable scraps for his cows were going to feast with a broad selection of pies &sausage rolls.

Roads & bridges that interlink around rivers can quickly lose their effectiveness & function due to one minimal section of road being too low. Many people were cut off from their families & homes for days on end

On the whole the community & region have come together as one as many go the extra mile.












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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Shine Jesus Shine




In Q & A. 10-17 the Catechism reveals a dilemma that affects all of humanity & creation. In this fallen world with all its misery & impending judgement revealed in Scripture, there still remains a place of hope. Salvation exists in Jesus Christ. Despite all the controversy surrounding the Bible this hope is an everlasting hope throughout the ages.


In all of life & death God remains the same, a fortress not fashioned by human hands. This is not something I know through delusion or imagination. On the contrary it is a powerful work of transformation done by the Holy Spirit. Q & A. 21. The heart that was so lost in darkness now finds rest in God alone. The light has come. John 3:17-21.









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Thursday, 16 April 2015

long long ago & significantly current





The duck has been lying low recently while photography & Christianity have taken prominence. According to the new Star Wars trailer I too can have the force. Mind you, I thought I already had it, particularly the way I drive (at times) & the similarities I share with wookiees in trying to grasp the English language & the dark side often seems to sway my thinking.


So the saga continues like sands through the hour glass, days of our lives in planetary craft & politics, animation & high definition with surround sound @ Christmas time.










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Number 9







9. Q. Is God, then, not unjust by requiring in His law what man cannot do?
A. No, for God so created man that he was able to do it. But man, at the instigation of the devil, in deliberate disobedience robbed himself and all his descendants of these gifts.


To be honest, when it came to Adam & Eve & the deception of Satan who used a serpent & considering the manifold misery that followed I had a hard time being a team player. If it were me, I wouldn’t have been so quick to be deceived, yes that me that can be a stalwart, unswerving & unwavering in times of trouble, that die hard character prone to individual brilliance at times & who does God think He is anyway, and surely He was being a bit over the top... funny & sad @ the same time.

And there you have it, what was true thousands (not millions) of years ago is true today, humanity imagines itself to be God, ruler of all, accountable to none & sadly on a steadfast path to destruction. Not because God is unjust, he warned our first parents of the consequences & God being God, in purity & holiness, has no need to change.


Even though it was our first parents doing & we had no say in it, none the less we reap what our first parents sowed. I suspect if our parents were millionaires & shared their wealth with us we would not be so quick to blame them…In this we show ourselves to be unlike God unwavering in justice, but as the Bible also makes clear, unwavering in grace & mercy when we take hold of Christ. Rom 6:23.














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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Flock, forage & feathers



The Corella is a white Australian parrot similar to the Cockatoo or Galah I would say. This flock was in for an afternoon meal courtesy of the farmer & his field. I go past this spot almost daily, the birds were making such a noise & the fluttering blanket of white birds was enough for me to do a u turn, pull up & photograph/video them for five minutes or so.

Closer in near the cities & towns the flocks of birds are miniscule in comparison to out in the country but this seemed a decent size that I have not seen before nevertheless. Every now & again they would stir, hit the flight button then resettle amongst the corn.


It reminds me of the church in a way, scattered for now, but one day functioning as one in a more visible way, a great multitude clothed in white.  















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Monday, 13 April 2015

Over & over



So I will always remind you of these things, 
even though you know them and
 are firmly established in the truth you now have. 
I think it is right to refresh your memory
 as long as I live in the tent of this body.

2 Peter 1:12-13














2 Peter 1: 20-21.













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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Getting to the heart of the matter



The Heidelberg Catechism was written by Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583) and Caspar Olevianus (1536-1584) in Heidelberg, Germany and published in 1563 in German.
The catechism is a teaching tool presented in question & answer format (129 in all) that unpacks Scripture from a reformed perspective.

8. Q. But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?
A. Yes, unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.

On first coming across this Q&A I was a bit shell shocked as a new Christian. In my ignorance of context I took it the wrong way. Put this little gem into mainstream media & watch the comments section fill with contempt.

Scripture does not say that we are incapable of doing good things when it comes to one another, because we can & do. It is pointing out our dilemma as lost souls incapable of pleasing a holy God…context.

Picture if you will those laboratories that must allow no contamination. People cannot just come & go as they please, they must conform to a pattern. Strict protocol is adhered to, a quarantine of sorts. So it is with God.

Humanism seeks to go it alone when it comes to the human predicament. It’s trust is in humanity & nature & often seeks to blame religion. Ironoically Christianity makes it clear that all of humanity is broken. Christianity values education also but not at the expense of God.


God tells us plainly that we must be born again, despite the inroads of modern technology, human nature, deep in the heart, remains the same. Christ is the bridge, the gate, the remedy. John 3:1-21.


All glory be to God for not leaving us in the dark... 















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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Symmetry


A couple of weeks ago I was hoping to get a Jezebel butterfly on camera but it was too agile fluttering around high up in the garden. Yesterday I came across one that was injured by the side of the road so I bagged it to take home later in the day.

The painted Jezebel gets its name from the Bible. 2 Kings 9:30. Jezebel was a real queen but also became a symbol of evil for the way that she sought to annihilate God's people much like Babylon. Probably similar to the way people use Hitler's name still today.


The butterfly that I had brought home died through the night so I took a few photos of  its underside this morning. When I was at University doing an illustration component we were encouraged to catch & kill the butterfly's for scientific illustration methods which seemed a bit of a waste seeing they had truckloads of specimens & data anyway. But hierarchy being hierarchy it was pointed out that we were there to tow the line.








Further reading...






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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

S W A T



We watched a show on flies last night that was pushing the evolutionary story, nothing new there. Here at home we have been getting a lot more flies since the new people moved in a couple of doors down. They have two horses which equates to a bit more dung. I have set up a trap to lessen their annoying impact.


Like flies, the evolutionary tale seems to be almost everywhere at times, rarely do we hear the challenging arguments that refute it. Not because there aren’t any, because there are. 



Society has a bias & consensus…. a one track mind. 







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Monday, 6 April 2015

Day & Night


Rain mostly, a beautiful Monday morning & then some heavy rain was this Easter weather pattern for us, amongst all that there was some opportunity to take a few shots. 


















Friday, 3 April 2015

Blue Planet


There is nothing random about the tapestry of life here on earth. While shades & shadows of death point to our misery, suffering & pain, the goodness of God that was first evident in Eden & natures design is still a prominent thread that weaves through the magnificent & grand scale of creation.

But for all our ingenuity & intelligence it is not enough to undo or unravel the power of sin… we struggle on, independent of God determined to prove Him wrong. In the human heart, it’s our way or the highway as materialistic logic merges into the path that leads to destruction.


Turn back, says God. Wrong way, says God… 






Matt 11:25-30





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Not just aged, but also neglected.








Its rustic charm gave it much appeal & although you could tell it was still a house, it no longer functioned as one as far as habitation went. It was in a state of disrepair inside & out. There were signs of life… a magpie in the front yard & one on the roof that would trade bird song as cows grazed in the yard but signs of human life were all but memories as far as I could tell.

It would surely do as a place of shelter & perhaps it already was for snakes, mice & the insect world and so on but for a family to live in, it was not suitable in its present state. Vacated, the void is slowly filled by an emptiness that leads to a quiet deterioration that eventuates in destruction.

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LORD God, in my own life too, do I let things go, only with your wisdom can I build in such a way that honours the architect & builder of my life. Help me I pray, to maintain my life in ways that bring structural integrity as I build on the rock, Christ Jesus. Amen.
















Thursday, 2 April 2015

Shedding light


God's justice & mercy demonstrated in natural form, 
satans defeat demonstrated in natural form.


Last night we had an Easter service called Maundy Thursday in the local area. Maundy comes from a Latin word that means mandate. In the Passover meal, which is first recorded in Exodus, Jesus eats & drinks with the disciples. Jesus gives the disciples a mandate to love one another as He has loved them. This is the central theme of Maundy Thursday from what I can gather, the mandate given at the supper to love one another as Christ loved them.

Living in a post- modern culture today means much of the significance of all things biblical has lost its meaning as secular belief takes it hold on the hearts & minds of those still living in the land of the shadow of death, no matter the continent. Not to mention our busy lifestyles jam packed with data download by the number.

As the disciples thought God was dead, so does the modern world in its comings & goings. Often today it is still said, if God were so powerful how come He doesn’t do this or that…similar to...if you are the Son of God come down from the cross. Well if we read the Bible or attended church we would find out how come God does or doesn’t do something...Ignorance is not bliss if it robs us of the truth.

In the cruel culture of Rome assisted by the Hebrew rulers & one of Jesus own disciples & a loud swayed crowd God was doing something utterly wonderful & unimaginable from a human perspective. At one single point in time a price would be paid (in blood incomparable to any human wealth) on behalf of a lost estate…paid in full & paid in love.


Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.





In God's perfect timing the serpents head
 has been crushed as Christ shed his blood. 


Praise the Savior now and ever;
Praise Him, all beneath the skies;
Prostrate lying, suff’ring, dying
On the cross, a sacrifice.
Vict’ry gaining, life obtaining,
Now in glory He doth rise.


Man’s work faileth, Christ’s availeth;
He is all our righteousness;
He, our Savior, has forever
Set us free from dire distress.
Through His merit we inherit
Light and peace and happiness.


Sin’s bonds severed, we’re delivered,
Christ has bruised the serpent’s head;
Death no longer is the stronger,
Hell itself is captive led.
Christ has risen from death’s prison,
O’er the tomb He light has shed.


For His favor, praise forever,
Unto God the Father sing;
Praise the Savior, praise Him ever,
Son of God, our Lord and King.
Praise the Spirit, through Christ’s merit,
He doth us salvation bring.


Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus

530-609



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

paid in full



In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22.



The depth of, the power of, the significance of the blood that was shed on the cross is immeasurably vast…Rock my soul.








I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.


Refrain
Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.


Refrain

I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant power I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.


Refrain

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.


Refrain



Words: Phil­ip P. Bliss, 1876. This is per­haps the last hymn Bliss wrote be­fore he died in a train wreck. He sur­vived the in­i­tial crash, but was killed try­ing (un­suc­cess­ful­ly) to res­cue his wife. The lyr­ics were found in his be­long­ings af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

This song is one of the first ever re­cord­ed on a phon­o­graph. George Steb­bins made the re­cord­ing dur­ing a dem­on­stra­tion of Thom­as Ed­i­son’s new in­ven­tion in New York C­ity.








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