Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Claim To Fame

It’s really interesting how certain towns and cities lay claim to being the biggest, the best, the most fun, the most liveable...etc...

I’ve visited three beaches with similar names on the West Coast that boasts the longest beaches. Yes! They are all named Long Beach – there’s Long beach, California; Long Beach, Washington; and Long Beach, Tofino, on Vancouver Island.
It seems, people are drawn to a place that can lay claim to something unique or someone who once lived there.
I came across Ernest Hemingway’s home in the historic district of Key West, Florida. It certainly looked like any heritage home from curb-side, and I wasn’t ready pay the $12 entrance fee to find out if he lived differently from everyone else.
Then there’re all those signs on hotels, shops, restaurants and a monument claiming it to be the Southernmost point of the USA. Actually, the Coastguard station behind it should technically take that claim.

In any case, it works, because people from all over come and pose in front of this monument. The citizens of this, otherwise sleepy, town are happy to host all the thousands that flock daily to this ordinary town.
Perhaps the church can learn something from this common marketing strategy. After all we do have the greatest news that the world needs to hear, the Good News.

We are the Hope of the World!
The Church - The Body of Christ!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bird’s Eye View

Not until the Wright brothers defied gravity and took off in the Kitty Hawk, did mankind experience what it was like to have a birds-eye view of things. I took a bunch of photos as we flew over the Florida Everglades and the homes with their extensive canal system. It’s amazing what one can pick out even when you are flying thousands of feet up.
Ever considered what a God's-eye view is like?
Think about the things that He sees that no one else gets to.
At the same time, I can imagine the delight He gets when he catches us doing acts of love.
I don’t even want to think about the heartaches that we cause Him when he sees us committing shameful deeds. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.
Psalm 34:15
Alligator Alley

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wild Birds

Had a nice day off yesterday and managed to accomplish a ‘million’ different things; including my regular walk with the wife.
This was what greeted us where I parked my car, before the walk - thousands of snow geese on a stopover to their home in Siberia.
I noticed dozens of amateur photographers with their professional gear slung around their necks. I felt intimidated with my little point-and-shoot camera that I carry everywhere with me.
I took a couple of shots and headed out to my usual route.
Half an hour into my brisk walk, we heard the honking of these same geese as they signalled their arrival in a different section of the protected wet-land.
Looking upward, careful not to keep my mouth open, I wondered who makes the decision to move sites, who determines when it is the time to migrate during winter and return during spring? Towards the end of the one hour walk, I spotted a wild pheasant from 100 metres out and proceeded to get as close as possible for some nice shots. There was a couple who were there before me and all attempts to get close to the pheasant only drove it further away.
What happened next shocked me in a pleasant way! As I stood at a distance and adjusted my camera to a zoom setting; I whistled and before I could look down – the bird was right under my nose.
I recognized this to be a Mongolian Ring-neck type Common Pheasant. The most amazing thing was it started to do a mating dance – putting its head down and fluffing up its feathers. As I finished my walk, I came across one of the photographers with his two expensive cameras, and I showed him where he could get a prized picture of this beautiful bird. The irony of it all – here I was just taking my usual walk and I got to take all these close-up pictures of the pheasant and there were all these people searching for the perfect wild-life photo in the wrong place.

Thought for the day:

In life, it’s strange how certain things elude you when you are consciously searching for it and then you bump into them when you’re really not looking!
That’s why I carry my camera with me everywhere!

In our relationship with God – we have to be ready; in season and out!
You don’t know when a God-thing will occur, or when a special word from Him will be given – we just have to be ready!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Masterpiece

On one of my side trips whilst in Fort Myer – Florida, I came across an annual art festival in the Historic Downtown District.
There were hundreds of booths set up by over 250 artists from across the country. It was indeed a sight to behold – all the original and unique art pieces. There were sculptures, glass creations, paintings in every medium and even jewellery and art deco furniture.

Who and what determines that an artwork is considered a masterpiece?

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 Often a masterpiece is not recognized or valued until the creator is deceased. In terms of our contributions in life; it would be nice to know that you have done your part while you’re still alive.

Friday, March 5, 2010

City Lights

One evening I decided to take an evening walk along the seawall during the Winter Olympics.

I stopped along a bridge to take in the beautiful city lights around the marina.
With the lights reflecting off the water, the city looked different at night.
I was told that there were special blue vector lights set up on a section of the beach that highlighted the night sky every evening. Unfortunately the skies were overcast and the clouds reflected the city lights so that the lighting effect was not as advertised. The darker the night - the brighter the light will be!

"The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it." John 1:5

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Diving Deep

One of the things I love to do on my snorkelling trips is to deflate my life vest, take a deep breath and dive to a depth of 20 to 30 feet to get to the bottom of the reef.

Somehow the prespective one gets from a close-up view is different from the surface. The colours of the coral are more vivid, and you see things you miss from the surface.

I've noticed, through many trips, that not many people would attempt such free dives and most choose to remain at the surface.
A funny thing happened in one of my dives; as I was surfacing, I noticed someone observing me from the top. Later I caught this same person attempting to follow my lead. However, no matter how hard he paddled and kicked, he never did get to the bottom of the reef. After a couple of attempts, he gave up and returned to snorkelling with the rest of the folks.

Life Lessons:

Often in our walk with God - most people tend to stick to the surface and not risk diving deeper into that relationship.

Deflating the life vest is risky to some - but unless you get rid of that extra buoyancy you never go beneath the surface.

With greater risks comes greater rewards!