Friday, October 24, 2008

The Advent Conspiracy

It's been a long time since I blogged anything on this site and I've been through a lot in that time. A renewed hobby has taken a lot of my time; a return to shift work in April didn't help although I have a lot more time off; a new grandson in June was wonderful.

I also left church behind last December and have redeveloped a pretty cynical view about organized religion but on occasion, something still stirs within. One Christian blogger that I still read points to The Advent Conspiracy. Worth looking at, worth viewing the video and certainly worth action. I'll have to let it speak deeply to me and renew that passion for the third world and maybe, spend less at Christmas in order to spend more on hope.

Hope, the best defense against cynicism.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love


I know that I haven't posted much of anything here for a long time and there are still a few of you who check this out from time to time. It's not that I don't have anything to say (I do - I've gotten a little radical in a couple of areas of belief over the last year) it's more that I don't have enough hours in the day to accomplish all I might like to do.

Photography has become a pretty major interest of late and on a recent trip to see family in Vernon, B.C. I decided to try and take a picture a day while I was there and post it on my photo blog (which also hasn't seen much in the way of blogging.)

I thought I would share this picture that I took of some candles that my daughter-in-law had sitting around because it is a great quote from the greatest explanation of love ever. (For a more detailed explanation of the shot check out Vernon PAD - Candles on my photo blog.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Photo Blog


Those of you who still check this blog from time to time will know that I don't blog too often these days. I mentioned a month ago that my adult ADD (just a joke really, although people around me roll their eyes at my latest "interest") has taken me back into a serious interest in photography. So, I've started a new blog called Reflections II that will be focused on my photography hobby and maybe business. I thought the reflections title was still appropriate since photography is basically a reflection of what we see.

Currently, you will find only two posts over there and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to learn all I have to learn, to shoot photos and develop them. I shoot in RAW format so photos have to be "developed" by setting white balance and color saturation and all kinds of things even before you might venture into Photoshop manipulation. While RAW keeps all the data intact and allows for much greater control over the picture, it also requires an additional step to convert (or develop) them to jpegs. Since I took over 2000 photos over the last couple of weeks, I have a fair bit of stuff to work on. Fortunately, I'm not very good yet and so a lot of those photos can just be left and not bothered with at this time.

Some of the photos that I think are better (mainly because I like them or at least find them interesting) can be found on my Flickr Photo page.

Now, in case anyone thinks I've lost interest in things of faith that this blog has been mostly about, let me reassure you that I think my faith is fine, but I just am having trouble continuing to talk about all that's right or wrong about the Christian church these days. Let me just say that I have a lot of confidence, trust and faith in the amazing grace of God that will see me through and probably see a lot more people in this world through than most of the church thinks. For that, I am thankful to God for his love and a little discouraged with a church that is too judgmental for my tastes. Although, to avoid charges of hypocrisy, I have a fairly judgmental streak running through my bones, mainly pointed towards a church and christians (myself included) who don't exactly live and breath the grace of Jesus.

But, he knows what he's doing and the Spirit continues to be active and busy in this world. Sometimes we just don't see it because we refuse to open our eyes.

But, enough of this preaching stuff. It's too much like what I've spent too much time doing in the past. Time to go forward.

I love this quote from Mark Twain who no one would mistake for a Christian thinker:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
That's why I'm chasing photography again.

Catch you later.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ferry Bomb Threat


Yesterday was an interesting final day of holidays. My wife and I left on July 12 and headed to Kekuli Bay Provincial Park just outside of Vernon, B.C. My kids and grandkids are in Vernon and Kelowna so it was great to see them. We also had an opportunity to visit my daughter-in-law's family who arrived a few days after we did.

It was a pretty great week with the exception of having our awning ripped off by a freak windstorm on the first day. Lots of sightseeing, lots of pictures with my new camera (some 2000 plus) and overall a good couple of weeks.

Yesterday we returned after the final two nights in Manning Park and we caught the 3:15 ferry out of Tsawwassen (Vancouver) heading for Duke Point outside of Nanaimo. About 45 minutes into the trip an announcement came over the speakers that all passengers were to move to the rear of the boat. As we headed back the boat was rocking real bad and we all wondered what was going on. As it turned out, the boat was turning around and heading back to Tsawwassen. There had been an earlier announcement looking for the owner of a backpack that had been found and I suspected it had something to do with that.

Eventually, a crew member came into the cafeteria where we were all waiting and told us that there had been a bomb threat and we were returning to the Vancouver side so police could search the vessel. Later, I talked to another crew member and there had been a phone threat saying there was a bomb on a ferry that had sailed from Tsawwassen. They had done a sweep of the vessel and found the backpack but, after the announcement someone had come and claimed it. There was then a subsequent phone threat and that's when the decision had been made to go back to the ferry terminal.

After we got back to the terminal, we waited, and waited, and waited. The ferry across from us that was supposed to leave for Victoria had their passengers emptied out into the parking lot while the police searched the ferry using a dog trained to sniff out explosives (I guess). Eventually, they showed up on our ferry and we had to put any carry on luggage, purses, camera bags, off to the side for the dog to sniff. None of it seemed real efficient and I suspect it was pretty clear that it was a hoax, but they had to make sure.

Eventually, we were given the clearance to leave again and we got underway at 8:00 (remember, this was the original 3:15 ferry). According to the news sources there were no other ferries except ours and the one already loaded for Victoria that departed. We got to the other side by about 10:00 and finally got home at 11:30 last night.

All in all an interesting day, not one I want to experience too often. I don't panic easily and I was never too worried. I took lots of pictures of the event and we had a nice visit with a couple of vacationing families, one from Ontario and another from Calgary and that doesn't happen very often (visiting with strangers, I mean), (or being the victim of a bomb threat).

And that was our excitement for the day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Renewed Interest

My adult ADD has moved me back to a renewed interest in photography. I have always had an interest but I am now trying to take it to a different level including, possibly, getting involved in the wedding photography and portrait business.

To that end I am in a bit of a spending mode and recently purchased a Canon 30D digital SLR. My 1992 vintage Canon EOS Elan film camera has sat idle for a number of years, partly because I was starting to have some trouble with it working properly and partly because I always felt restricted by the film format because I was too cheap to shoot the amounts of shots you need to take sometimes to get what you are looking for (plus I probably got interested in something else). (At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.)

Digital works well with my computer interests and shooting in RAW allows an opportunity to start exploring the whole digital darkroom concept.

Anyway, if you want to view some of my photos here is the link to my Flickr page. Most of the pictures are still from my digital point and shoot Fuji camera but more and more will appear as time passes.

A love of God's glorious nature inspires me greatly and capturing that and his beautiful people provides multiple connections to those things that fascinate me about God and about faith.

That, plus getting out of the whole political aspects of church and union and work is highly therapeutic for me. It might even get me blogging again.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Great Foxworthy Speech


As I said, I have pretty much taken a hiatus from blogging. Even if I wasn't, posts would have been infrequent because I'm on another one of those seemingly endless renovation projects. This time it's our bathroom. It's only a little 5x7 room but it's taking forever. Wish I was making $50-60 bucks an hour for my work. I'd be rich.

Anyway, the point of this post is to link to a great little speech by Jeff Foxworthy on the appeal of country music. Now I'm not much of a country music fan, and I don't consider myself a redneck (although I'm from a little town and I drive a pickup truck) but this is one great speech. My thanks to Joe Carter at the evangelical outpost for linking to Hot Air's post
(in his post Thirty Three Things (v.8)).

Have a great week. I've just about got the drywall hung and ready to mud. Yep, a real redneck DIYer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Deleted Post from (Blog) Red


I use Bloglines for the blogs I want to follow and read. Occasionally, a post will show up in my feeds that has subsequently been deleted on the actual blog (as you can see by clicking on the first link below). The following post at (Blog) Red impressed me quite a bit with what is a forward campaign in Swaziland. I can only speculate why it has been removed from the blog, but I put it up here for you to look at.

Likusasa Ngelami - The Future Is Mine

By bn

Here's one of the ways that (RED) money works in Africa: Swaziland's National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS, or NERCHA, targeted teachers with their "Likusasa Ngelami" ("the future is mine") campaign to encourage sexual abstinence and delay of sexual debut. Adele from the Global Fund sent over the posters for us to share.



That's not all NERCHA does to fight AIDS in Swaziland, of course. We first mentioned NERCHA last December with Adele's blog entry about her trip to Swaziland.

Here is an excerpt from her blog entry:

Swaziland has the highest infection rate in the world – about 34% of all adults are HIV-positive, and so many have already died that there are already over 70,000 orphans, and 15,000 child-headed households – in a country of only 1.2 million people. This has all happened very recently. In 1992, just under 4% of women attending prenatal clinics were HIV-positive, and by 2004 this had increased to over 42% -- that means that now, almost 1 out of every 2 pregnant women is HIV-positive. Life expectancy for Swazis has dropped to 39 years, and the number of orphans is expected to increase to 120,000 by 2010.

NERCHA’s role – with the help of (RED) money through the Global Fund grant – is to turn this terrifying trend around, ensuring that those already infected can get care and support, those who are still HIV-negative can remain that way through prevention education, and those who have lost their livelihoods because the family’s breadwinners have died, can survive, through community projects designed to support orphans by growing food for them and providing a safe space every day.

Read the rest of Adele's post here, and also a post from her follow-up visit to Swaziland last month.

  • Posted on: Fri, Apr 13 2007 7:45 AM
  • Updated: Sat, Apr 14 2007 1:31 PM

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What We Call the News


Check out this new, funny, commentary on the news by the folks at Jib-Jab.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evolution of a Worshiper


Gotta love this!









With thanks to Steve Norris.

Now I have to go find a robe and a cross on a stick.