Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Aged Iron


The more we think machines shall be our saviour the more we see ourselves or others or a product as saviours. We cannot deny the convenience & helpfulness of machines that is for sure but in terms of overcoming the curse & fall (Genesis 3) none other than God Himself has the wisdom & power to undo.

As we shift from age to age God remains the same, Stoneman, iron man, steam man, bronze man, electricity man, science man, plastic man, gas man, peace man, drugs man, IT man, organic man, algorithm man, uranium man & space man & genderless man in the age of fluidity & flavours & the ice cream person & let’s not forget retro man & round & round we go. We cannot escape our past no matter how much history we try & put between us & God & how much emphasis we seek to place on our ingenuity & seemingly progressive ways that we pursue at full speed & no holding back.

There is something deep in our hearts & deep in our flesh & DNA & spirit that has God’s fingerprint & the curse all over it.To understand it we need the God man who made men, women & children in His image…Jesus. Col 1:15-23. With Him is full restoration to a former glory that exists like a forgotten memory. Scripture urges us not to deny God's helpfulness & gracious acts that far outway mechanical aids & tools.










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Sunday, 28 May 2017

No favouritism




In Matt 5:21-26. Jesus makes it very clear that we have a personal & individual responsibility to put things right as far as Christian relationships go. It is not even enough to hide behind going to church or bible study as if that will make everything alright, even if you are a minister or elder or whatever…There are some things you just cannot gloss over. It is one thing to say or assert yourself as family or a friend, it is another to show it. Actions speak louder than words in this regard.



Psalm 119:105.


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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Irreducible God




Life holds abundant knowledge & engineering as does death. It is in our DNA, life, original sin & the fall belongs to each one of us. Deconstructed is what we are as we devolve & dream in a sky of rebellion like stars that shoot across the sky. Falling, falling, fallen, fallen, trail blazing, into emptiness until we are no more, which is the history that we make.



Without restoration, without redemption we turn to dust, the dust from whence we came as we inhabit the earth & dream of space & stars & sand. Crushed & broken we remain & crushed & broken we are unless we turn to Him who has abundant life & mercy. Only in His wisdom is there a way that we may know life to the full & in the richness that comes from the maker of heaven & earth. The Word has life & power over all things. John 1:1-18.






Friday, 26 May 2017

Perfect God


Chasing after the wind is a futile exercise. As much as we seek to understand & control various situations we ought to know our limits. To ignore this wisdom from on high is to bark up the wrong tree and people do as they pursue what they believe will sustain & fulfil them.

Ecclesiastes like Genesis reveals God at the centre of our lives. Without Him we won’t find satisfaction & God ought to know, He made us & He truly knows what good & evil is as humanity continues to turn things upside down & back to front in its quest to be God-like.

We may think & reason many things as we conclude this & that but without truth we do nothing more than stumble around in the dark. Is there such a thing as truth? God says there is & woe to them that spread lies & deceive others & themselves.Isaiah 5:20.

Christ came as a fulfilment to what the law could not & was never meant to do. Matt 11:25-30. Also what pleasure seeking drink & drugs, sex & money, science & religion, status & friends cannot do. To chase after these things as an all in all & reject God is to be blown away by the wind & swept here & there like waves that crash onto the shoreline & are no more.







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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Pedagogy, Pedadodgy & Pumpkins



I like the Heidelberg catechism. http://www.heidelberg-catechism.com/en/. Ministers would use it as a tool to teach the Bible in its entirety as they elaborate on the summary & Scripture. The Heidelberg Catechism is reformed or protestant & similar to the Westminster Confession that sits behind Presbyterian teaching.

In my experience over the years I have seen ministers skip over texts & chapters & jump from book to book. In a way they become their own catechism as they dictate what the congregation hears. This can be a good thing if a minister is competent, reliable & faithful to the text & is serious about teaching all of God’s Word but it can also turn out to be wishy washy & jumbled if a minister is negligent & sporadic no matter how passionate they may be.

If you don’t know the Bible you probably wouldn’t notice, but if you do, things can be obvious enough even if most of the congregation haven’t gone to Bible College. From Scripture we are reminded that teachers will be judged more strictly. James 3:1. As we teach & admonish one another. Col 3:1-17.






We are to be like farmers that pick & choose carefully or 
consumers that walk the shopping aisles with discernment. 








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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Wonderfully Made



I had some things to attend to in Raymond Terrace yesterday afternoon before work. As it turned out I ended up with about 40 minutes to spare. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon & the shimmering river reflecting splendid sunlight made it more enjoyable. The riverside is a favourite & picturesque spot for people to pull up & have lunch or a break & stuff like that with its parkland & trees.

Flocks of Corella’s in various numbers flew overhead & along the water as they made their way to a sandbar downstream. Usually I associate Corella’s with raiding farmer’s crops. Seeing them group on the sand bar reminded me of a TV program that showed South American Macaws gathering on the banks of a river to munch into the soil or sand & maybe had something to do with salt or grit or mineral content.


I also managed a good shot of a cormorant in flight. I have also watched a program where Chinese fishermen train cormorants to dive for & catch fish from their bamboo rafts. The birds had restrictors on their necks to prevent them from swallowing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNEplaYZtpI

Cormorants & Parrots flew & swam with the dinosaurs in the land that got time & dating mixed up.http://creation.com/modern-birds-with-dinosaurs











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Monday, 22 May 2017

Patterns in the pond

The idea that nature is like a cathedral as it towers skywards, particularly trees & high mountains is a popular one. And in a sense it is true as we witness the ‘hand’ of God in His creation. Awestruck and wonder yes, but something far greater & more precious is required...The message of God’s redemption & power displayed in Christ & that is the message & voice of the church of God.



The ascension of Christ has far more significance than vertical skyscrapers & towering trees but lays forgotten & discarded by society as it clambers for the next best thing…whatever that may be. There are many modern Babels & idols that lead us astray. The good things that God has given us become the worshipped & adored as distortion & extortion become our new tools. 


Only Christ can deliver us from them & lead us through as we press onwards by faith. Acts 1:1-11.Faith completes the picture, without it we remain devoid of redemption as we waste away to decay (what some say is getting older).Only the life giving Spirit of God can supply all that we need for life, death & eternity for our mind, body & soul. 

















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Friday, 19 May 2017

Truth & love triumphs over evil



A lot of people are into the power of positivity & positive thinking. But if we are meant to function with a measure of negativity also, how would we know what to be positive & negative about.

Without truth we wander from one lie to the next & round & round we go. We may find a measure of satisfaction & dissatisfaction in the sweet & sour of life but truth would still be foreign to us.

Scripture proclaims the certainty of truth & it is unshakable, unlike the heavens & the earth that groan under the weight of sin & the curse. To be positive about sin is to invite ruin no matter how good it may feel or look for a time, long or short.

I would say the prodigal son was driven by his desire for what he thought were positive things…yet they turned out to be empty & hollow. In his ‘negative  experience’ he came to his senses (so to speak).Humble & broken thinking can be good, honest & truthful & better by far than so called positive hype & the highs of life that we inwardly yearn & desire. Luke 15:11-32. 


Only in God may truth be known, in His son he has physically demonstrated love & justice that we may be set free from the positive & negative things that hold us captive like death that will not let go. 



Positive & negative positive & negatives



The battle of truth & lies 



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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Night vision



There have been suggested weather forecasts over the last few days that heavy rain is on the way. I couldn’t say for sure but I gather that is why this farmer was working last night gathering the hay ready to store under cover. The tractor was chugging away with wafts of exhaust being blown by a gentle breeze as the farmer went back & forth gathering the bales with a farm contraption of ingenuity.






Phoenix Park NSW


I tried resting the camera on the window sill of the car door taking a few shots (that didn’t turn out) then remembered that there was a tripod in the back & thought it worth the while to fumble around & set it up. The shots are not the best but I was glad to capture that moment in time as I travelled home from work about 6:20 pm (I should have got some video now that I think of it). The days are getting shorter as we move ever so closer to the winter months.

We are probably familiar with “make hay while the sun shines” which has become a saying for many things. Eccl 11:1-2. gives us a bigger picture still as it acknowledges the Creator God as Lord of all.


Think positive, think negative & think God: Eccl 11:7-8.


Some images from last Monday.




 Glen William NSW





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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Life is like a box of chocolates





If a cat can have nine lives then it must possess at least eight deaths. Everybody knows curiosity killed the cat or did it & was it black or just lucky or unlucky. The certainty of it all, or is that the uncertainty of it all. And what are you anyway…a man or a mouse & just plain chicken.



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Monday, 15 May 2017

A sabot...age


In terms of inspired natural order & cycles, farmers are amongst it on a daily basis & they know they can only do so much & no more. Sure you can manipulate genetic codes & create fake environments to grow stuff with fake light & such but such hyper-cultivation mimicking the created order on a tiny scale with a large budget can also only do so much & no more as we try to play God the Saviour & pat ourselves on the back.

Many in this modern age are becoming disciples of & reliant on science & reason like believers became reliant on particular leaders.1 Cor 3:1-23.The big names of philosophy & science get lifted up just as Apollos, Paul & Cephas were lifted up & in the process we lose sight of God, Christ & His Word.

There is a reason why God tells us to love Him with all our heart & mind & strength & it is not because He is some kind of narcissist spirit in need of not wanting to be left out. In His wisdom He teaches us how to participate in the divine order & know blessings of His goodness & love.God is the good teacher.


To love God is to love His ways & be cultivated in godliness & it makes the devil really unhappy & bitter. Matt 13:24-30. In loving God we reject evil & triumph over it.








Rom 12:21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good




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Thursday, 11 May 2017

The burning & the burned



I don’t know how many times I have had to ‘top up’ or recharge the batteries in my phone or cameras but I know it is a lot. In ancient times it was no different when it came to oil, lamps & wicks...

There is a certain amount of preparedness that comes with living life & also being a follower of Christ. It is why Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins.Matt 25:1-13. Regardless of what we may or may not understand about customs of the day we can get the gist of what Jesus is saying.


The parable is not about sharing but about being prepared & keeping watch. Being vigilant means staying focused on the things that really matter when it comes to the kingdom of God. In many respects we cannot rely on others either. There is a personal responsibility that sits at the heart of this story told for our daily living until the day when our physical bodies give over to death or the Lord Jesus descends from the clouds. 



The I Lamp for the I body


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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Radiant & Raggedy

Mother’s Day in Australia is the second Sunday in May. Mothers can be a deep measure of comfort and a great source of embarrassment as much as a biological complexity of wonder & so much more. 

Mothers & children often battle it out in the field of fallen nature & nurture, maturity & immaturity & the power of me, myself & Mr & Mrs I Want.

We can find it hard to be grateful & thankful. Honouring our parents comes with its own dilemmas but it is not to be forsaken or denied. It is a lifelong command, not to make life difficult but to model our maker & know His wisdom in daily things. God’s wisdom is functional & practical & He gives us times to party, celebrate & enjoy His blessings.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow…



Tired by Norman Rockwell


In as much as this is an American image & it is depicting a saleswoman on Christmas eve as it alludes to last minute shoppers, it is not that hard too see the demands of the job of motherhood...rewarding & sacrificial & there are some things money just cant buy.


HAPPY  MOTHER'S DAY  









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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The devolution in the garden

The Bible is a one book narrative that does not change (Just like God). Because of sin, death & the curse is pervasive throughout the whole of creation. Humanity, the animal & plant kingdoms & the structures on which we function are all in need of restoration.

Over the centuries humanity has taken its intellectual & theoretical wedges, chisels & hammers to the Bible in order to break up its compelling message. From within the church & outside the church God’s opponents have sought to undo.

The message of the one eternal God & Salvation by grace is a great offence to many. Laughable & great material for comedians, God is continually mocked, just as he was on the cross. Jesus said if the world hated Him it will hate you too if you believe in Him. Reality Bites. John 3:16-21.


Many people have made their “peace” with sin & the devil & settled for the lie that nature is all there is. Reliant on mainstream thought & culture they find comfort in that alone it would seem.






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Monday, 8 May 2017

Its not easy being scientific.










‘Change’ does not mean ‘evolve’

So just how does that original ‘evolution in action’ claim stack up? Is the metamorphosis of a tadpole to a frog a clear example of evolution?
Nothing could be further from the truth. The tadpole may superficially look ‘fishy’ but it is totally frog from day one. Everything needed to reinvent itself (all the genetic information, plans and recipes) is already enshrined in the master DNA code implanted in the nucleus of the tadpole’s cells. At this profoundly miniaturised level we discover not only a complete froggy blueprint, but also a fully functioning factory with all the machinery and equipment to translate the plan into reality.http://creation.com/from-a-frog-to-a-frog. Adrian Bates



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Impressionism

Churches can be controversial & experience schism just like many places, & the effect of things that may have happened years ago can remain years & years down the track. In this respect the Old Testament church (The nation of Israel) mirrors the New Testament church.

Leaders get it wrong, members have disagreements, and people try & hide stuff & think they can fool God. This is not a testament to the failings of God but a declaration of words & actions that humanity really does have a fallen nature & people can be so unwilling to trust God and His ways.

It is a messy picture & it is where God chooses to confront sin with warning, judgement & mercy. We delight in our long suffering & patient God & give Him praise out of thankfulness for the good & great things He has done.


In this  era of anything becomes everything & anything goes (pretty much), God continues to cultivate his church over time. The big & the small, the significant & insignificant are all attended to as believers live by faith & not by sight. Rom 11:18-20.

This cross section of a branch from an olive tree currently growing on Santorini displays rings which are very difficult to be distinguished and dated. (large version)

Photo: Turi Humbel, WSL and University of Zurich









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Friday, 5 May 2017

Living Word



Many imagine or conclude the Bible to be lifeless like a far off planet. Yet the word is like a field that keeps on giving crop after crop after crop, season after season, year after year. Nourishing food for the hungering soul is gleaned from the ordained text. The inspired Word has order, beauty & wisdom far beyond our comprehension.

Day after day creation pours forth her speech, God the maker of heaven & earth is the fount of all blessing &in His Word we find redeeming love, rivers of mercy & a vision from the heights that spans eternity. Jesus is the lily of the valley & the bright & morning star, far from dull & lifeless He walks among the lampstands.Isaiah 55:10-11.Psalm 19:1-14.Rev 1:18.









Thursday, 4 May 2017

Auto-B-Functional & long wearing






Rat rods & cars are a response to super fancy show cars. The emphasis is more on the enjoyment of cars rather than showing them off (sort of). Show ponies lose their functionality & can become mountains of money, so much so that you may have to buy another car & a trailer to transport them. Ironically though, many of the older aged cars now pull in big money. This Chevy pickup was in the main street yesterday & I thought it worth a picture or two.I will skip the Ford vs Chevy joke for now.




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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sermonology

 “The Fence” is a sermon based on Proverbs 24:30-32 written by Charles Spurgeon. http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/fence.php.There is a name for these types of sermons but I don’t know what it is. The preacher takes a text & begins to elaborate on biblical themes even though the text seems to not say as much.

In the first place& at the heart of it, the text appears to be about laziness & lack of maintenance & productivity. Prov 24:30-34. Follow this path & you will be held captive by poverty… nothing more & nothing less.

We are however spiritual beings, in Christ & in the church, & our activity or lack of it can equate to a rundown property or field depending upon what that is & our circumstances.

So you could a have a really immaculate looking house but spiritually be dilapidated, have a lovely looking garden but a life that is choking you like prolific weeds. Jesus spoke this way regarding whitewashed walls & the fig tree that ought to have produced fruit.


There are things that meet our eyes & things that are more to the eye as we live by faith & look to the Word for guidance in a world of back watered wooded homes, towering cities shiny with glass & the noise of traffic, highways, byways, oceans, mountains & rivers. Prov 3: 5-6.





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