Archives For Creation

Blogpost 18th May 2016Here’s my two cents, in response to some current events.

Human identity is not found in what the world, the oppressor, flag or economic status allows us to define ourselves as. Nor is it in the what that world, that oppressor, flag, or economic status defines for us.

If it is to be full human identity, it begins with Jesus Christ. That means that we are called to self-identify with [Yahweh] God who made humanity in His own image. The God who chose to create man as man, and woman as woman.

The one who chose to raise humanity up, then speak and walk with both, in a garden of His making. Providing for both, even when both chose to entertain the subtleties of evil and its sly use of God’s own words to incite human rejection of Him.

Defined by their Creator, man is to be fully man, woman is to be fully woman. Unique, different, reconciled, enabled to be together in a joy-filled, committed relationship with each other. Both free for each other and free for God.

New life begins here. This is real freedom. Real identity. All of which is based on the call to relationship within a new covenant. One called into being by the God who acts in freedom.

Choosing to decisively grasp humanity one final time, in His physical appearing and dwelling in history through His son, Jesus Christ. Choosing to once again to make Himself the painful reminder to humanity of its real identity; of its real home and ultimate place of rest.

Offering humanity a path to freedom from it’s oppressors, it’s soulless routines; freedom from the false security of its alliances, the injustice of empty promises and the smoke and mirrors used to buy and sell our hearts allegiances.

Our freedom was brought at a great price. We are instructed to be responsible with how we choose to invest it. May future generations look back with reverence, gratitude and humility towards those who stood against the currency of shares, likes and comments. Who stood firm against the tide of over indulgence, abdication of responsibility, blame and selfish self-fulfillment.


Related reading:

When a Man Loves a Woman: Barth’s Freedom in Fellowship

A browse through our garden earlier in the week produced this unique discovery.

The morning sky was layered in fog so I suspect that the cooler air is bringing with it a lot of condensation. It is the first time I have noticed water droplets like these, which appeared on the leaves of a strawberry plant.

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It is almost as if there is an announcement silently deposited here, a crown of quiet proclamation, stating that one day fruit will appear. It is a lot like the stirring of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, reminding us of greater things to come.

From the magnificent Rev.Charles Spurgeon:

‘Lord, let me be among those who confess that they were once thine enemies, and have been reconciled to thee by the death of thy Son. Let me be numbered among those who were the servants of sin, but have, through thy grace, obeyed from the heart the doctrine of thy word. Let me ever vividly perceive that I have undergone a radical change, which I greatly needed, and without which I should have been an heir of wrath, even as others.’

 (The Empty Brag, Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden 1883)

…the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:3)

Blogpost Western Skies

 

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s: God’s Omnipresence: A Hymn

‘Lord, even as Thou all-present art,

O may we still with heedful heart

Thy presence know and find!

Then, come what will, of weal or woe,

Joy’s bosom-spring shall steady flow;

For though tis Heaven thyself to see,

Where but thy Shadow fall, Grief cannot be!’

(The Complete Poems Penguin Classics 1997, p.306)

 

I seem to be on a roll with pictures of some of the scenery surrounding us.

Despite being temperamental at times, the Australian climate is both breathtaking and beautiful. It compliments the landscape, consistently outshining itself with every announcement made about the close of each new day.

It maybe a little long in the tooth, but if I had to name the photo I would ‘christen’ it: “Autumn blossoms and cold skies roll in from the West.”

 

Talking About Vistas

March 27, 2014 — 2 Comments

Making a slightly divergent post away from theology for today.

The view this morning reminded me of the fishermen’s axiom. (or should that be fisherperson’s axiom?)

Pink sun, blueish purple clouds.

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Very thankful for the rain.

I guess the “red sky in the morning” axiom rings loud with truth.

 

blog post header Kierkegaard quote

I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from participating in my share of the home schooling. In a lot of ways I am a student as much as I am the teacher for three days a week.

In my reflecting on the week, I once again was reminded of something Soren Kierkegaard  wrote:

to be a teacher is to truly be a learner: if one is truly to succeed in leading a person to a specific place, one must first and foremost take care to find that person where he or she is and begin there’[i]

As an example of the journey I’m talking about, here are some photos of a small field trip we embarked upon last week.

Field Trip_LandformFuanaFlora excursion Collage

My plan for the morning was to expand our focus on geography by having a closer look at ecosystems, the local environment and landforms.

As part of this we looked for evidence of animals and noted the variety of trees and plants, most of which we found were native to the Eastern Australian coastal habitat. We explored a little further and located significant erosion, building rubble and even part of old metal track used for railways. There was some degree of surprise at the level of waste left from what appeared to have been an industrial use of the area.

This gave up an opportunity for discussion on the negative and positive aspects of human interaction with the environment.

Field Trip_LandformFuanaFlora excursion Collage 4

The list of items we discovered included, Gum, Wattle (Acacia), Iron-Bark, and Bottle Brush. We also encountered some bromeliads, a large spider and  a couple of kangaroos which appeared in a paddock not too far off.

Field Trip_LandformFuanaFlora excursion Collage 3_

Maybe it’s the aspiring academic in me that looks to contemplate how all this fits together, and how I fit into the journey with our home schoolers as a whole. I’m not totally sure.

I do know that it can leave me with a healthy dose of good-exhaustion and humility at the end of the day. I have come to understand in recent days that learning and seeing my children learn, energizes me in a way I never truly expected it would.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the process of grace enacted by the Holy Spirit. The life-giving breath that raises us up and assists us in putting on, and putting down. The witness we come to see in God’s journey with us, towards us and for us. We are never empty-handed, never without a teacher; we are shown in order to see, and told in order to hear..

‘…the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you….Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid’.

–  John 14:26-27

Source:

[i] Kiekegaard, S On my work as an author, the point of view in Hong,H. & Hong,E. 1978   Princeton University Press pp.460-461

In between our noisy life, my wife and I try to take the time to listen in on the ‘buzz’ which coincides with the bloom and boom of Australian Wattle. When nestled against the backdrop of a blue sky the richness of these flowers can be truly appreciated as one of God’s creative masterpieces.This Golden goodness is the national flower of Australia.

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Usually these trees are swamped by bees, who swam in to collect nectar and pollen.

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A canopy of resplendent green and gold bouncing off the sun, reaching for a deep blue, Australian Winter sky.

dual picture

…and it was so ‘the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good’ (Ge. 1:12, ESV)

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If you have ever wondered why ‘Green and Gold’ is worn by Australians in sport, the Wattle tree is the reason. Green and Gold became our official colours in 1984, and the Wattle was ‘designated our national flower in 1988’. Along with Blue, they remain the favoured colours for representatives of  ‘Australia del Espiritu Santo‘ – ‘the Great South land of the Holy Spirit’ (Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, circa early 1600’s). Further enhancing its theological relevance, the Golden Wattle is understood to be ‘the first plant that appears after a bush-fire’. Reflecting a living example of the Triune God who calls for beauty to rise out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Whenever I see these flowers buzz, bloom and boom, I am encouraged to think: when it comes to Australia at least, God is only just getting started…

Sources:

Floral Emblems
‘Golden-Wattle-The-National-Flower-of-Australia’: via http://sendflowers2009.hubpages.com
World Wide Wattle

Photos: ©RL.2013

Weekend Kick-starter

…’Nothing is more natural than for spring, in its turns to succeed winter, summer spring, and autumn summer; but in this series the variations are so great and so unequal as to make it very apparent that every single year, month, and day, is regulated by a new and special providence of God’.

(John Calvin, ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’ (Kindle ed. Loc. 3601-3607)