Archives For October 2013

The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed.

Seraf approached his father, showed him the latest batch of bruises and was promptly told that he had a place to stay.

Normality appeared to be resuming itself. The fear in Seraf still existed even if his surroundings had changed. The separation of his parents twelve months ago had left him dangling. Confused. Frustrated.

A king piece in chess, with three pawns.

A king piece in chess, with three pawns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new accommodation was a white residential house, one that had been temporarily used by the town’s sole operating funeral home. The old house had a redesigned interior with a reasonable entrance which had been added on later. The kitchen was another story. It was deteriorated, the bathroom in serious need of repair and the garage still held remnants of a large cooler. There was also a curious smell that was difficult to erase.

Seraf’s unemployed father had signed on to the extravagant idea presented to him by his new father-in-law, that  in exchange for almost zero rent,  Seraf’s father could renovate the place.

Seraf’s bedroom had once held mourners who would come to view the departed. The coffins had long since been removed although an old trolley remained. In retrospect, it is likely that the use of the room was a softer version told to him in order to put to rest any concerns he may have had about the living arrangement.

Not long after Seraf’s move. His stepmother gave birth.

The months that followed continued on their merry way, until one evening Seraf was pulled aside by his father and given a bulky tape recorder. Puzzled by the gift, Seraf enquired as to what it was for.His father told him that he was to attend a pre-Christmas gathering. There his Stepmother’s family would all be present. Seraf was to accompany her to her parent’s house, most of them strangers, and record everything that might be said regarding his father[1].

For Seraf, the deep tone of his father’s pleading could not sooth the terror attached to the task assigned to him:

“I need you to do this for me son, there is no one else I can trust”

Although the young Seraf objected he went along, all the while trying to work out on how to carry out his mission or better yet, avoid completing it.

Not far from his destination Seraf concluded to himself:

“If I stay in the car and don’t go into the house, I wouldn’t have to carry out my father’s wishes”.

As he had reasoned he would passively defy his father’s maligned request. So Seraf sat in the car for hours, ignoring pleas from his stepmother to join the pre-Christmas family gathering.

When the evening was about to close and night-time was well underway Seraf had held the line. As he moved closer to the freedom it promised Seraf revelled in the brilliance of his plan. Feeling a sense of achievement in his resolve, Seraf relaxed.

This was a tactical error because it loosened the tension of the status quo. Something he had successfully maintained for over four hours.

His plan fell to pieces. His stepmother and her brothers approached him. With matriarch in tow they cross examined his reasoning.

Hours of passive resistance were futile. He confessed to the interrogators that he was sent to record every conversation. Showed them the recording device he had concealed under the seat and unpacked his plan, telling his audience that he hoped to avoid using it by staying in the car.

Upon this revelation the audience and his interrogators withdrew. Seraf was left alone.

Yet, their response was calculated and swift. One of his stepmother’s brothers had convened the family, a decision had been made.

Seraf was to be taken back to his father told to tell him that his wife and new-born daughter were leaving him and would not return.

Like a young pawn before kings, Seraf’s course was chosen for him. Two unfair errands had now transformed him into one dark herald. Reduced to nothing more than a expendable messenger boy.

He arrived, was dropped off then farewelled.

Turning towards the door he saw no lights.

His new home, the old funeral parlour was bleak, dark and empty.

The unlocked sliding door which announced that it was the entrance slid open. The whole house was dark.

Once inside he saw nothing but darkness.

Navigating the furniture, Seraf eased forward. Giving each step serious consideration he moved through the old funeral home looking and calling for his father.

No answer.

He sensed nothing but silence and that inescapable curious smell fused together with remnants of oils used to cover over it.

At every light switch the fear grew and so did the volume of Seraf’s voice.

He uttered the words:

“DAD?”

adding

“where are you?”

The darkness was no friend. The surreal situation scared the thirteen year old. Trembling, he fought off images of finding his father’s dead body, images only made more real by knowledge of his fathers fatalism and comments he had heard his father make days earlier.

Leaving the bathroom to inspect last, Seraf made a cautious approach to every light switch.

The house made no noises.

Finally, Seraf approached the closed bathroom door and opened it. Through the darkness he saw…nothing.

The only thing allowing movement in his body was the adrenaline that pumped with every thumping beat of his heart.

Turning towards the area which was once a lounge room, he let out a scream.

“DAD?”
“DAD, where are you? Stop hiding you’re scaring me”

Relief burst into tears as his father appeared from under a double bed and moved to the doorway.

“Where’s my wife, did you record anything?”

Still sobbing Seraf explained that he didn’t record anything because he couldn’t. He didn’t go inside the entire evening.

He then sat down and with the very best a thirteen year old could muster, Seraf do told his father that his stepmother and new born half-sister were leaving them.

[1] Whether Seraf’s father was invited to attend or whether he chose not to attend, is beyond this retelling and remains unknown to this day.

If you find yourself in the midst of despair hold fast to this:

‘…Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Cor.3:28)
‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand…I will make a way in the wilderness for you’ (Is.41:10 & 17-20)
©RL2013

A Fragment of Gratitude

October 30, 2013 — 2 Comments
Photo by Noah Hamilton

Photo by Noah Hamilton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was day one of two rostered days where I take care of the Home schooling. For term four we’ve been moving through Bethany Hamilton’s ‘Soul Surfer devotional’ (Kindle Edition). The reading this morning highlighted Paul’s famous ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil.4:13). As we read past this verse, we were reminded that even though Paul was bound in chains, he was still able to utter the words ‘I am well supplied’.

As much as they are an insight into Paul’s overall theological understanding of contentment, these four words are also a valuable lesson in gratitude. The man was aware of the gifts which surrounded him. An awareness, that for us time poor Westerners has a high probability of getting lost in the “noise” and concerns of the day.

This raised the question: “Am I well supplied”?

For home school, we have pencils, pens, paper, chairs, a table, a laptop, the internet with reasonable speed, and lots of access to resources. This is a lot more than my parents had, with their limited education, finances and almost non-existent support from family.

“I am well supplied”.

Our 7 year old car still runs well. The persistence and ability to have it serviced every year is paying off.  The in-car CD player worked. The CD playing was a compilation full of the Gospel and testimony freely shared, and just as freely purchased.

“I am well supplied”

This morning I picked up a bag of day old croissants,spinach danishes, and sour dough bread, mixed in with herb infused bread rolls for four dollars. Then when I got home I tasted the results of my youngest daughter’s best attempt to make us all a kiwi fruit smoothie for breakfast, and as I write this there is a steaming hot coffee sitting next to me.

“I am well supplied”

Today the weather here is cooler. It is a significant change to the heat which greeted us earlier this spring. Yesterday’s storm brought on this change. The first for summer. The lingering chill in the cooler breeze is more than welcome. There is a sense that you are being grasped by it as the sounds it affects moves through the trees. This whisper interrupts moments of silence with relaxed ease, gently greeting you as its cool, crisp solitude contrasts with the heat of the previous day.

PaulofTarsus writing

Source: Wikipedia Paul of Tarsus – 16th Century depiction.

It’s 10:27am. The clouds have just shrouded the sun. More rain is on its way. I’m not sure how full the water tank is, but the brownish-yellow green tint of the grass seems to be telling us we need it.

There have been times of need and impatience today, but there are no complaints. Just gratitude and the recognition of its significance discovered in these four words spoken so long ago:

‘I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragment offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen’.
– Paul of Tarsus (Phil.4:18-19, ESV)

I read the post I put up yesterday (link) hand in hand with Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church (Col.2:17). Here are some thoughts which came out of that reflection.

It helps to understand that Christian character and Christian identity – as individuals and as a group within the Commonwealth of Christ (Barth’s term for the Church), is qualified (Col.1:12) by the gracious “Yes” of God in Jesus the Christ. This doesn’t mean the Bible preaches a “forgive and forget” fallacy. Nor does it support abandoning the reality of our pain, or that we can write-off the pain we ourselves might have caused in our neighbour. On the contrary the bible is full of discussions and examples about how God’s mercy and judgement both meet the sinner.

For instance, Paul tells us both that ‘God has delivered us from the domain of darkness’ (Col.1:13-14), and yet ‘the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong done, there is no partiality’ (Col.3:25).

In one sense this means that:

‘what lies before the one whom God pardons is the forgiven sin, the sin recognised in the light of forgiveness, which drives one to repentance. The pardoned sinner’s thinking then is in accord with God’s reconciling yes to the sinner and God’s irreconcilable no to evil’ (Busch, 2008  Loc.1201-1980).

The world, identified as dogma; human opinion; ideology, informs rather than forms Christian identity. This distinction between inform and form is important to recognise. Primarily because the Holy Spirit, present and dynamic, is active in our formation. More precisely, the Spirit empowers us to conform our hearts and minds, to the heart and mind of God (Rm.12:2/1 Peter 1:13 & 14).

Not that we become God, but that through this process we become fully human, participants with God (2 Pet.1:4). Therefore the Church must not surrender its theology to ‘worldviews which take over the freedom of the Gospel and instead hold the gospel in critique of all ideologies’ (Gorringe, 1999:3 & 33).

One significant reason for this is that this Spirit empowered reformation is restorative. Viewed as such because ‘grace is the secret of ethics’ (Gorringe, 1999:63). It is a call, or as Barth puts it, a summons to relationship with the God who does not want be without us.

Barth rightly points out that this relationship is grounded in the reconciler who reveals himself as himself, the Father, Son and Spirit, three, yet one alone (CD 1.1 & Col.1:15 ‘the pre-eminence of Christ’).Our response is insisted upon by the life of, and the blood-spilt by the Christ. He invites us, as-we-are, to become who-we-are now in Him.

The opposite to this is, on its own, is a degenerative dehumanization.  This is because ‘pride distorts our appreciation of freedom, turning on the presumption that humanity is the sole and only ground of its own being’ (Elshtain,  2000:42, see also Proverbs 3:5-8).

One might consider here the arrogant reductionism found layered into the text on many a social media site. Such as the discounting of the Christian faith, thought and practise through the fallacy of ad hominem. The aim which Jean Bethke Elshtain points out, is to get people to engage in a ‘politics of displacement’ – identity politics which promotes and limits rhetorical boundaries in order to enslave us to an idea of who we are, what we can only ever be, and why change is deemed impossible by the majority who hold that opinion over us.

It is worth introducing at this point Paul’s words from prison to the Colossian Church, words which are also relevant to Christians today.

‘Let your living (word & deed) spill over into thanksgiving. Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly’ (Peterson Col. 2, The Message italics mine)

He adds:

‘Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted’ (Peterson, The Message)

Christ becomes our identity because in Him, ‘God made us alive together with Him’ (Col.2:13).

This suggests that whatever others might say about who, or what we are has been negated by the Cross of Christ. We can now choose to live differently and are empowered to do so (Col.1:14-15; 3:5-10).

Paul warns: ‘let no one disqualify you’ (Col.2:18, ESV) since ‘a corrupt mind may disqualify us’ (2 Tim.3:8).

Our pasts may haunt us, but if we are in Christ they cannot destroy us. Words may sting like a whiplash. They often do, but the covert put downs, the passive aggressive-snide remarks mean squat in light of the fact that ‘God qualifies you’ ( Col.1:12).

This example from the 3rd Century highlights my point:

Vibia Perpetua, a newly married woman of good family and upbringing. She was about twenty-two years old and had an infant son at the breast.
While we were still under arrest (she said) my father out of love for me was trying to persuade me and shake my resolution.
 ‘Father,’ said I, ‘do you see this vase here, for example, or water pot or whatever?’130328161152-perpetua2-c1-main_Getty Images
‘Yes, I do’, said he.
And I told him: ‘Could it be called by any other name than what it is?’
And he said: ‘No.’
‘Well, so too I cannot be called anything other than what I am, a Christian.’
At this my father was so angered by the word ‘Christian’ that he moved towards me as though he would pluck my eyes out.  But he left it at that and departed, vanquished along with his diabolical arguments.
(For more about Perpetua’s eventual martyrdom click here)

God’s acceptance of us presupposes our acceptance of Him.

We properly hear this and act. Or we don’t. Reacting against it. Wrongly leaning on the lies of self-justification (Torrance 2009:105).

A good example of response comes from something else I read recently:

Leah’s heart went from pain and suffering to praise. Somewhere along the way, she surrendered her will, her wants, her deepest desires and decided to praise the Lord.
May our eyes be turned to this God, praising Him for His amazing goodness.
Fall to your knees and spend the rest of your life rejoicing…
Saying: “This time. I will praise the Lord”…(Genesis 29:35)’ (DS, 2013 italics mine).

We begin to apply all of this when we hear in Paul, Perpetua and Leah’s words the call to acknowledge the God, who has made the painstaking effort to acknowledge us.

In sum, the world does not get to define the Christian. Christ does. Our substance belongs to Him (Col.2:17).

Sources:

Barth, K. 1936 Church Dogmatics, 1.1 The Doctrine of the Word of God Hendrickson Publishers
Busch, E 2008 Barth (Abingdon Pillars of Theology)  Kindle for PC ed. Abingdon Press.
Elshtain, J.B 2000 Who are we? Critical reflections and Hopeful Possibilities Wm.B Eerdmans Publishing Grand Rapids
Elshtain, J.B 1995 Democracy On Trial BasicBooks, Perseus Books Group
Gorringe, T.J 1999 Karl Barth: Against Hegemony Oxford University Press
Peterson, E. 2002 The Message: The bible in contemporary language NavPress Publishing Group
The Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas sourced 29th October 2013 from http://web.archive.org/web/20031206113609/http://www.bu.edu/religion/courses/syllabi/rn301/perpetua.htm
Torrance, T.F 2009, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, InterVarstiy Press
Unless otherwise stated, all biblical references are from the English Standard Version

©RL2013

Answers According to …

October 28, 2013 — 4 Comments

This post is inspired by something which popped up on my news feed last week.The post in question included an image of the automated results someone got after typing ”Christians are” into Google’s search engine. For the purpose of simplicity throughout this post I will simply refer to Google’s automated search suggestions as G.A.S.S.

Applying some hard learnt academic vigour, I tried it out. As one does to critically certify whether or not this search engines mechanics did actually do what was implied.

Here are the results:

According to G.A.S.S, Bloggers are:

Bloggers according to Google

Hmmm…okay, potential food for thought there. Next I figured I’d try G.A.S.S’s thoughts on Google:

Google according to google

“Alrighty then”…moving on. Figuring that I’d be wasting my time trying to psychoanalyse the implications presented here, I decided on a lighter subject, TV Dinners:

TV Dinners are according to google

Enough said really. Next I entered into that universal debate between who is better: Cats or Dogs:

Cats are

Mmm.. I can understand evil, but cats are liquid? Jerks? (okay, so cats in the latter sense probably refers to a football team, but liquid?)

Dogsare

“Dogs are the best people“…Huh?. Given that this is a blog about theology, I  thought, hey why not investigate Google’s automated search suggestion (G.A.S.S) on what “faith is”:

Faith is according to google

GREAT! Love it! How theological can Google’s automated suggested search get? … Then I tried a variation of the very thing that inspired this experiment.

Christianity is according to Google

Hmmm…righto.

google search

So here I’m thinking, hey, maybe this is how the world (according to G.A.S.S) really do see Christians. Then after experiencing a very fleeting moment of condemnation, regret and anger, I composed myself and expanded my search. Finding that:

Gamers are

It seems that no positive things can be said about gamers either…ironic really, since most gamers use the internet, pay big dollars which uphold the industry etc. Still, if we take this assessment seriously the results indicate that Gamers and Schools have, like Christians, a serious image problem in need of repair.

Schools are according to google

Finally,

Diets are according to google

Google is not the only search engine that allows the use of this function. However, it is the most popular and as such it is influential. As consumers we need to pay attention to some of what this represents, but we also need to read it critically for what it is and the context it is set in. The lesson here really is “Caveat Emptor“.

The technology rocks. However it’s use as a census of consensus is fickle (if not trivial). For example: excluding “Faith is”, all the other search results included a large amount of negativity.

Sure such results might reflect current “concerns” which are reflected by the engines indexing/ranking system sourcing data from ”reputation (links) & authority (popularity – relevance)”, but anyone with well-positioned common sense will understand that these ”suggestions” are variable. They change and can be different depending on your location. This suggests that, even though Google do their best to get it right, the results can be tainted and therefore not accurately reflect reality. For me, the truth to be found here is again echoed by Paul & Marguerite Shuster when they write:

‘Test everything, hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil’ (1. Thess.5:21, ESV)
 ‘those who Jesus confronted most directly were as likely to want to kill him as to follow him. He seemed to not have the slightest inclination to make hearing and following him pleasant and easy…Truthfulness, in other words, is not determined by customer satisfaction surveys’
(‘The truth and truthfulness’, 2008)

Sources:

Cutts, M : 2009 Talk on Google, WordPress & Blogging,  sourced 28th October 2013 from http://youtu.be/3P-m2cBCJSk
Shuster, M. 2008 Truth and truthfulness in Performance in preaching Childers & Schmidt, Baker Academic
Sullivan, D. 2011 How Google Instant’s Autocomplete Suggestions Work, sourced 28th October 2013 from http://searchengineland.com/how-google-instant-autocomplete-suggestions-work-62592

Like Living Stones

October 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

WB quote commandments3

‘Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments’ (Ps.119:73)
‘Like living stones….Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation’ (1 Pet.2:1-12)

Related Reading:

How To Avoid Christian Celebrity Derangement Syndrome: Dealing Fairly With Evans, Driscoll and Piper – Derek Rishmawy , 23rd October 2013, Christ and Pop Culture

This was one of four items that found its way onto my desk this week:

 ‘The Dungeon’ – Coleridge

And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom,
To each poor brother who offends against us –
 Most innocent, perhaps and what if guilty?
Is this the only cure? Merciful God!
 Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up
By Ignorance and parching Poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart,
And stagnate and corrupt; till changed to poison,
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot;
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks –

And this is their best cure! uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon,
By the lamp’s dismal twilight! So he lies
Circled with evil, till his very soul
 Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of ever more deformity!

With other ministrations thou, O Nature!
 Healest thy wandering and distempered child:
 Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets,
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonized
By the benignant touch of Love and Beauty.

The other three being my careful reading of Elshtain’s ‘Democracy on Trial’, a brief discussion with someone about the freedom of the Holy Spirit and my recent attachment to a song from Canadian three-piece band, Thousand Foot Krutch.

This may all sound a little dislocated, as in all four genres are unrelated; if so it is because they are and yet they aren’t. The themes within each are similar and it is this discernible connection that has me intrigued.

I have settled on labelling this link ‘permission to speak freely’.  It is a loose category but one that seems to best fit the interwoven nexus observed here.

When I am encountered by something like this I generally make an effort to slow down enough in order to hear what is being said. Some readers will know right away that this repeated and discernible “voice” before us can be the Holy Spirit unveiling some truth, delivering correction or affirming a direction. Although I have some reservations I would agree with that conclusion.

Of course this means that we need to actively discern and then determine whether or not this “word” is free from the manipulation of others or that it isn’t just a construct of our own imagination. Something which might occur because of excessive anxiety or some other ailment.

To do this we examine content critically. Matching what we hear and the form of it with an authority such as the Bible, theology and community. Keeping in mind that: ‘scripture is the primary organ of the voice of God in the church. Thus, it will stand over-against the church; and the voice of God must not be confused with the voice of the church’ (2010:1752-1753, Kindle Ed.).

When we are being constantly made aware of a particular “something”; such as a discernible pattern, theme, consistent word or message, it is likely that God is whispering something sweet as well as potentially transformative into our lives.

The statement ‘permission to speak freely’ is itself to be regarded as being both political and theological. The former, because it is grounded in the promise of the democratic right to freedom of speech (classical liberalism), and the latter because the Christian understanding reveals a reconciliation affected by the incarnation of Christ, between a rebellious and therefore unfree humanity and our free creator.

Humanity can as a consequence, speak and approach Him freely. Realising a living relationship with God can exist, does exist and is one that God longs for. For example the covenant formula: I will be your God and you will be my people.

In sum, the four working theses which can arrived at here:

First: Gagging God may serve to fuel denial of His existence, but in the end it just perpetuates ignorance. This falls in line perhaps with Coleridge’s lament – Humanity ‘lies circled with evil, till his very soul, unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of ever more deformity!’.

Second: Gagging God does not delegitimise the potency or reality of what He has spoken and still speaks today.

Third: Gagging God as he speaks to us through the Biblical documents is hypocritical and unscientific. Eliminating the possibility for us to hear God, as he speaks, serves a narrow political agenda in much the same way that name dropping Christ in the malicious service of confusing rights with wants does.

Fourth: In gagging God we fall prey to a ‘politics of resentment, the collapse of distinctions where we gradually lose the right to call things by their real names’ (Elshtain 1995:38).  There are multiple examples of this happening. Particularly from the 20th century where citizens in “free” countries have fallen victim to superstition, oppressive regimes, and mundane routines brought about by impersonal industrialization and excessive-sometimes-murderous consumption.

We must allow the God of the Scriptures the same permission to speak (His word) as freely as we allow ourselves to speak. Coleridge’s ‘benignant touch of love and beauty that heals and harmonizes an angry spirit – calls for confession – a bursting into tears’; (benignant: a kindness and warm courtesy from a King to His subjects). If `God speaks to us through communism, a flute concerto, a blossoming shrub, or a dead dog. We do well to listen to Him…the church in its commission must then seek to obey by listening and responding’ (Karl Barth, CD 1.1, 1936:55).

Do you agree with my tentative conclusions here? Rhetorically: If so is there any discernible evidence this week, where the Holy Spirit might have been or is perhaps still speaking to you?

Sources:

Barth, K. 1936 Church Dogmatics 1.1: the doctrine of the Word of God , Hendrickson Publishers
Coleridge, S.T The complete Poems Penguin Classics
Elshtain, J.B 1995 Democracy on Trial, Basic Books Perseus Books Group
Jensen, M &  Wilhite, D. 2010 Church: A Guide for the Perplexed Kindle Edition.

©RL2013

Hunting Firefly

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

On what is becoming an annual expedition, me, my family, and my wife’s parents gathered near their home to chase down the sometimes enigmatic and illuminant winged insect; the firefly.

For those with experience in such matters, it is probably pointless saying to you that these insects are difficult to photograph in the dark:

Exhibit A:

IMG_20131023_104741

Source: RL2013 Fireflies in the dark

I know. So don’t call me out on this one 🙂 . I don’t see any fireflies in that picture either. They were there when I took the picture. I should have known. Despite lots of promise, my phone, like me, has limitations. Although for now I’ll put this down to a field exercise in exploring the strengths and limitations of using a Smartphone to document the night-time habits of the firefly.

I did however manage to take a photo of one. No it’s not dead; at least I don’t think so. His/her light is still shining so I’ll take that as a win-win for both me and the insect. It just happened to fall out of my hands after capturing it.

Exhibit B:

IMG_20131006_122703

Source:RL2013 Firefly down

It is also worth pointing out the great thing about an excursion like this. It fits well within a home schooling paradigm. Upon reflection, this is a “science safari”  that inspires an interest in scientific discovery and takes joy in the diversity of creation. Throw in a well-lit camp fire, with marshmallows as a main course and hotdog spaghetti on the side, and you have one epic insect hunt through the forest, that despite some poor photography on my part, informed, educated and inspired.

Exhibit C:

collage_20131023095338969_20131023100350257_20131023101945837_20131023103201797

Source: RL2013 Collage

“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it—the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known’’ – (Jer.33:2-3, ESV)

Disclaimer: I am fairly certain, although I cannot be 100% sure, that despite the appearance to the contrary, no insect was injured during this event. If said insect was, I might plead that it gave its life not for our amusement, but for the betterment of scientific enquiry.