Posts tagged ‘Fujichrome’

November 4, 2010

Towards the Sun – a lesson from nature.

Towards the Light

Sunflowers are amazing; we all love the large yellow flowerheads and the fact that they can grow so tall with little or no help from the gardener.  The most wonderful thing about them is their ability to track the Sun.  At night, the flowers move either not at all or randomly about, but with sunrise they immediately (in plant terms) turn to face the east and then follow the Sun throughout the day until it finally sets in the west.  They call this Heliotropism (thanks to Wikipedia for that one) and this reminds me of a great truth…

The Lord Jesus said:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8:12)
Like the Sunflower, we were made to follow the light.  The Sunflower follows the Sun, we follow The Son, the Light of the World.  
And another verse, this time from Ephesians 5:8

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

————————————–
Photo notes:  I’m fairly sure that I couldn’t have taken this picture with my digital camera (a Nikon D70s); the sun would have been overexposed to the point that the whole right hand side of the picture would have been white, with no clear definition in it at all.  I could have then exposed for the sun, but that would have meant that the left hand side of the picture would have been very dull.  If I had a graduated neutral density filter I could have used it but I don’t have one :-(  However, a great advantage of slide film is increased dynamic range (you can get more detail in the highlights and in the shadows than you can with all but the most expensive digital cameras).  Of course you get great colour and a three dimensional look too, and you also get the joy of not knowing what your pictures will look like until that little box arrives in the post and you hold up those small plastic slides to the light…
Advertisements
November 2, 2010

Gougane Barra

During last months clergy conference we had a couple of hours of free time, so I made my way to Gougane Barra.  St. Fin Barre built a monastery here in the sixth century and it’s not hard to see why; it is a beautiful and peaceful place…

But there is something about this place that goes beyond its beauty. Perhaps it’s because of the centuries of prayer and Christian witness, perhaps it’s the example of St. Fin Barre himself or maybe it is because this place predates our man-made church denominations. In the sixth century there were no Protestant or Roman Catholic churches in Ireland, that all came later (and all the pain / mess that came with it which continues to this day).  Last night at the Institution service for the new Rector in Bandon, Rev. Denis MacCarthy, there was a particular prayer before the Holy Communion that struck a chord with me:

As the grain once scattered in the fields
 and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside
 are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,
 so, Lord, may your whole Church soon be gathered together 
from the corners of the earth into your kingdom.  Amen.

Gougane Barra 2
Gougane Barra 1
Gougane Barra 5
Gougane Barra Church Interior
All pictures taken using Nikon F100, Nikkor 18-35mm lens and Fujichrome Sensia 100 Slide Film (which has now sadly been discontinued).  
October 18, 2010

Into another’s shoes

Little shoes

It was Atticus in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird who said:

“… you never really understand a man unless you step inside his shoes and walk around in them.” 

Last week at the Cork, Cloyne & Ross Clergy Conference I learnt a lot.  The speaker was Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon and he spoke to us on “Old message, new media: communicating the Gospel in the digital age”.  Key points included understanding what it was like for the person who has no experience of church or theological language coming into a church service and how alien an experience it can be for them.   How do we present and share the gospel with a 16 year old and / or someone from a completely different background or cultural environment than our own?  What language do we use, does it make sense?


Another point Bishop Nick made was the importance of engaging with people through blogging, Twitter, Facebook etc.  It was like the penny finally dropped for me; yes I have been blogging for a while but now I see a greater purpose in it.  Likewise I have been on Facebook and Twitter for some time, but have never really got going with either.  Now even in the past few days I have found myself joining in a debate with some Atheists on Facebook – what an opportunity this is, to share the gospel with people who are never going to go anywhere near a church!  Compared to many I do not get huge numbers of visitors to my blog, but the numbers reading my sermons on line would fill all the church pews several times over – this is exciting stuff but it will only work if I am able to communicate in a way that those who I am trying to engage with understand what I am trying to say.  That of course is a huge challenge…