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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Dad; thank you so very much.


I have recently been reading a book about how important the role of father is. At my grand old age I am still learning about the basics of life. The book is challenging despite the American illustrations meaning very little in our British culture. Perhaps it is time for a similar book written for the British market! 

The thing that I have learned most is the importance that a father has in the overall development from cradle to maturity for his son or sons. It is the father that encourages the son to be a boy and finally the man. If the Father fails then the son is left inadequate. To most of you this will be obvious but to me the father of 3 girls it had never dawned on me.

Absent fathers, uncaring fathers etc leave their mark on their sons, which then is evident in their continuing life. We often blame the behaviour of a child on the friends that they keep, this book challenges dad's as to how much they are influencing for wrong their children.

It is for Dad to teach adventure, exploration, reality, skills etc in order that son ( an unfortunate term for some boys!) might grow up to be an all rounded person in society. This is even more important for the Christian father who has a responsibility to show true Christianity and not the churchianity that most of us display in the home. It is easy to talk church and church politics but not the glory of Christ in our salvation: that ought to be the subject for another blog sometime! 

What do our children learn of faith and discipleship in the home. the challenge for us fathers is:

Do they see the Father God through our example?

I am challenged to look back at my business at the most important time of bringing our children up and wonder what help I have been. they have turned out to be wonderful people but I can see where I failed. Have they really learned about the Father Heart of God from my ways? I doubt it very much.

But then I look at my own father who for much of his life was not a Christian. He died suddenly just one week after his 49th birthday. I was a newly married young man who had just lost his best friend, mentor, fellow explorer, fellow worker and my Dad. I was broken and did not cope well for many years but now as I look back I can appreciate the many hours of sacrificial energy that he put into my life. He taught me so mush.

I can run fast (or used to be able to!) because he gave me tips, I can ride a bike because he persevered, I appreciate good road bikes and can build them because he showed me the way. I can work on cars if I have to because he taught me about engines, suspension, gear boxes and all that makes a car. I can re-wire a house, build badly walls and do many DIY jobs in and around the house simply because he taught me. I know about the countryside and appreciate wales because he showed me. There is so much and at last at the age of 63 I really need to say a:

Great big thank you Dad.

For much of his life he was not qualified to teach me about salvation but that was my privilege for me to him. It was thrilling to hear after his death of his confession of faith to our pastor just one week before that fateful day. He will never read this little thanks but one day I will be able to thank him for helping me to become the man. will our children ever be able to say thee same of us. Young fathers invest in your boys, love them mentor them and make them into the men that they need to be, equipped for life and respecting others especially their lady. my dad loved my mom and that was a wonderful lesson, he respected people but and cared properly and with propriety towards women. men we need to teach that by our example, that is yet another blog subject.

Thanks dad!

   


Friday, 9 January 2015

Reflections.





It is amazing how light reflects from flat shiny surfaces. I have spent much of my professional life using light (and other forms of radiation) of varying wavelengths to analyse various chemicals and so it is no surprise that I am fascinated by lenses and reflections of all sorts. Winter is a wonderful time for reflections. The sun is low, leaves are almost non existent and so there is plenty of natural light at acute angles to reflect clearly and brightly. The above picture was taken of a puddle on the car park at Golitha Falls near Liskeard. Tarmac is transformed by a blue sky with white clouds and trees without leaves and here we have a glorious picture in a grotty grey car park.

As I have wandered about i have taken the opportunity to photograph some reflection in the most ordinary of settings:



A study window on a grey tiled wall is transformed


A bedroom window in a wall that badly need some redecoration detracts from the DIY issues.



The lifeboat station porthole reflects the necessity of their service!




The same lifeboat station reflects something of the fun of summer.

Reflections often bring brightness into drab surroundings but sometimes they are stunning and display something of the beauty of their surroundings. There are many opportunities that Looe affords for reflective photography (I just need to get out there more!) which makes it hard to pick one photo that displays a glorious landscape enhanced simply by reflected light:



Water is a great reflector but then so is the whole of creation, the bible tells us that creation reflects the glory of the Creator God and that nobody who lives in all of creation has any excuse to say that they have never seen anything of God.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Signs of things to come!



It is new year at last 2015 is here. We stood on the prom at midnight of the 31st December and it was not raining. It was warm and there was great excitement. All were waiting for the ringing  of the iron bell to herald the new year. It came unheard because something far more powerful took first place. The firework display which was excellent shouted happy new year louder and better than any parish chapel bell could ever do. 

People were out in their droves and largely out of their heads, most were dressed fancilly for the occasion. What is it about modern people that makes the men to dress as women or nuns and the women to dress either in very little or often as vicars. I am even more confused by the big guys who are happy to dress as a baby with a nappy (I am not American and so this term is good to me!) and dummy! Oh well mine is not to reason why!

The atmosphere was noisy but good the firework display was well appreciated and as such the organizers deserve a bigger thank you than this little blog can ever extend. 

But what did it all achieve?

Thankfully I did not have to endure the singing of indecipherable words about acquaintances being forgotten and some old geezer called Lang Zine! I never did understand the words nor the sentiment of this song. I make a great big apology to my Scottish friends and readers, I am after all simply a sassenach ( I canny  even spell that right!) and as such will probably never understand the importance new year has north of the border. I do wish you all a very happy one anyway.

It took about 2 hours for the last of the revellers to pass by our house and I suppose home to get themselves ready for the headache to come. Before that there were the customary hugs, kisses and gropes along with the absolutely sincere promises of undying love, care and affection the the whole world and it's donkey. Resolutions  made and almost certainly broken before bedtime and New year was all over again.

The next morning came, the street cleaners had waved their wand and as if by magic the evidence of partying was almost gone completely. Thank you to all of the workmen who were out before 7:00 am putting our town back in place. Shops and cafes soon opened, crowds returned to the streets and a completely loony set of people raced into the sea to swim around a buoy at the stroke of 11:00 am

I was there with trust Sony Alpha:






To me these folks are heroes, they not only put themselves in peril in the sea but they also raised money for the RNLI who were overseeing the proceedings and making sure that all were safe and secure. Again thank you for the entertainment and the wherewithal to get into that cold pond that we call the sea.

Coffee in by far the best coffee shop in Looe followed with a friendly 

to Martin the wonderful owner of Larsson's, if you have not been there you will find it in Buller Street and will not be sorry for the effort made.



All in all we had a great time but what difference has it made? 


None at all 2015 was in reality only a second away from 2014 and therefore cannot make that much difference but there was one thing that really encouraged me and that is the first photo on this posting. the little daffodils ( I am now expecting my horticulturist friends to tell me thy are jonquils or something!) in our front garden. They tell me that there is life after the gloom of winter and remind me to hang on to the hope of longer, warmer and sunnier days of spring and summer to come. The season will change and we will go through the whole life cycle again. Isn't that wonderful. Our creator god put it all in place and He encouraged me with this little splash of yellow in a grey winter desert.

Spring is only 10 weeks away and summer 22 weeks which means that autumn is 34 weeks away (approximately) and then winter follows in the cold drab days when we again look forward to the bright festivities of Christmas and New Year. Praise God for all of this and a very happy new year to you all.


Oh and by the way: