Photo of the Day

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean
This was a photo I took at the Royal Highland Show, which I went to last week. These are 'Arbroath Smokies', - haddock which have been salted (to preserve them and take excess moisture out) before being smoked, hanging in pairs in a half whisky barrel which is lined with slates and covered in hessian.  I believe they use beech and oak for the fire.  A fascinating process and I can assure you the end result tasted fantastic...

I used pixlr-o-matic to age the photo and give it a more 'authentic' look!

Night Owl

| | | 3 drops in the ocean
Mind a-wandering
Drifting in and out
Of a series of half-formed thoughts

A blanket
Wrapped around her
Listening for the tap
The tap of fingers on keyboard

Spilling themselves out
Onto the page
In a rather random fashion

Maybe it is time to let them sleep...

A thought or two

Monday, 25 June 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Many of you will have seen in the news about the fire that recently destroyed the Kashmir Sufi Shrine. It is sad news for many Muslims and Hindus who worshipped there frequently, as well as the fact that it is the loss of an historic building. However, as devastating as this occurrence is for some, it did make me think a bit. Many world religions put great importance on shrines and buildings as places of worship, prayer, etc, as well as physical relics. I was reminded of the words of Jesus, when he is speaking to a Samaritan woman, having stopped by at a well. He asks her for a drink of water - as Jews did not associate with Samaritans at the time, this was a preposterous thing to ask - and she tells him so.

Jesus replies: 
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

The woman is clearly confused by this, assuming he is talking about physical water. Jesus goes on to tell her:
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

The spring of living water that Jesus refers to is the Spirit of God, who is given freely to those who ask... (see Luke 11:9-13 and Acts 2:38-39)

The conversation continues, and Jesus finishes by saying to her:

"believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

You can read the full story in John 4. The thing is, as Christians we don't need shrines, buildings, or any other physical objects to worship God. As Jesus said, all that is required of us is that we worship him in Spirit and in more, no less. Buildings and man-made objects will fade or be destroyed over time, whatever we try and do to preserve them. These things are ephemeral. As David the psalmist so aptly put it in Psalm 103:

"As for man, his days are like grass;
  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him..."

What a wonderful truth.


Eagle's wings

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Here is a 100 word short story, which took me about two minutes to write and is based on the dream I had last night.  I often dream about flying, which apparently is a good thing (or so I've read).

She flew as an eagle, caught up on the wind and engulfed in the stream of morning light, soaring high above the green fields.  As a jagged peak hastened towards her, she glided gracefully over it, descending slowly towards the lush grass.

When she flew her heart soared - it seemed to draw her to a different dimension; one of boundless grace.  Her flying was effortless, as if drawn by a powerful force which compelled her towards unexplored realms of adventure.

She alighted elegantly on the ground, with the knowledge that she could go anywhere; nothing could hold her back.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles..." Isaiah 40:31