Saturday, 29 June 2013

Photographing Speedway

Had a great night last night with the Camera Club photographing the Somerset Rebel's meeting with Newcastle Diamonds.  The local promoters allowed to to take pictures and we were also able to take advantage of a promotion that got us in for £10.


I went to speedway quite a bit as a teenager but this was only the second time since then.  It was definitely my first time photographing the sport but a great challenge.  Light was poor for most of the night, despite choosing a date as close to mid-summer as possible.  You can never predict the weather, can you?

Didn't get anything spectacular but did okay.  Would like to try it again sometime in better light. 

For the record, we beat Newcastle 51-39.  I think.  

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A couple of shots

Camera Club was good to me last night, I came third in our monthly competition with this shot of 'phone boxes in Broadway on the theme, 'Windows'.  I took this on the first day of my Cotswold Way walk last year, just as it was starting to rain.

Afterwards I popped down to the beach as the sunset coincided with high tide.  Watching the sun go down, a nice way to end the day.


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Joy (and Pain) of Christian Community

Been enjoying the excellent 'A Meal With Jesus' by Tim Chester and could identify with this quote, as I am sure could anyone pursuing Christian community... 

"This is my experience:  the Christian community often wears me out, winds me up and drives me crazy.  But I also have moments when I look at my brothers and sisters and know the presence of the risen Christ.  It’s not that my community is anything special.  Yet there are moments when I see Christ incognito among the ragtag people sitting in my front room - and then it seems he’s gone again.  You see it in our diversity - a diversity that has no explanation except the work of God.  You see it when people’s hearts burn as God’s Word is interpreted.  You see it in the love people show to one another."

Tim Chester, p.147, A Meal With Jesus

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Mark Stanton

I woke this morning to the awful news that Mark Stanton died last night after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

I was blessed to be in the same church as Mark back in Canterbury days and heard all about him before we even met.  He was a semi-pro footballer and lightening quick, scoring two goals against Fulham one year in the FA Cup.  He was a talented musician, playing his guitar in the church band and leading worship.  He was great fun to be with as well, full of life and he did a lot of laughing.

Some of my best memories of him were playing cricket with him.  I started a church team to get the guys together and somehow we got to have some amazing victories.  There were a lot of jokes on the minibus as we traveled up and down after entering a national competition for churches and much astonishment when we won the first year we entered.  It was in no small part down to Mark that we won that game, he scored a brilliant 70 odd not out in 40 odd balls in one of the best batting displays I ever saw to steal the game from under the noses of the opposition.  We managed to win the trophy for the next three years after that as well and in our fifth year of entering, were runners up.  Not bad for a team of occasional cricketers.  I have especially fond memories of batting in one final with him with the opposition sensing victory, the pressure on and the verbals in full flow.  We both relished it and I was disappointed to be out with about ten needed.  I needn't have worried, he saw us home.  

He loved games and anything sport related but he was also passionate about God.  We had a few lunchtimes together where I'd drive over to where he worked and we'd grab lunch in a pub and pray together afterwards.  He was serious about his commitment to Christ, would be the first to admit he made a few mistakes, but that honesty was part of what made him such a positive advert for his faith.  Until recently he worked for Missions Aviation Fellowship and they were great employers to him; he only stopped work a month ago.

In Fiona, he married a diamond, a fellow musician, and Gooner (no-one's perfect), who shared his commitment and passion for God.  My prayers are with Fiona, their two children, his folks and family, and all those who mourn this evening.

Mark is now with the Lord that he was committed to.  Enjoying the party and renewed joy of swallowing a pint of blackcurrent and lemonade.  It was a privilege to have known him.  Thank you Mark.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Myers-Briggs Personality Types in the Bible

A friend shared this on his Facebook page and I am reposting it here for fun and so that I can find it if ever I want it.  Thanks to Tony Watkins for reposting it.  Clever. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What's the opposite of happy-clappy?

I only ask because there was a story in the paper at the weekend about a vicar who has resigned due to pressure from a minority of parishioners who objected to the style of some of his services.

You can read it here but be warned of the side-bar of shame as it's from the Mail Online.  Vicar encourages clapping in services is how the Mail on Sunday reported it and further reading reveals that the last straw for some seemed to be clapping in family services to "Shine Jesus Shine" and "He's got the whole world in his hands" (Modern?!  When was the last time you sang that!)  Despite him laying on traditional services as well, people decided this was not the done thing in 'their' church and the choir is reported to have walked out of a Wedding Service in a terribly misguided protest.

The Comments section is quite illuminating and includes a lot of his ex-pupils (he taught RE in a Secondary School) giving him glowing references, as well as a lot of the general readership being supportive, and a few being glad he has left.

My instinct is to side with the vicar, but then I would say that, wouldn't I?  I offer four pieces of supporting evidence.

1)  This man annoyed some by preaching that they should give their life to Christ.  He did this on a regular basis.

2)  In a village of 900 people he was reported to be getting 50-60 kids coming to services.  This is incredible!

3)  He refused to comment when approached by the press, which suggests to great integrity.

4)  Some have commented that there must have been something going on if the choir walked out.  Such people don't know human nature so well.  There's the adaptable joke - "What's the difference between an organist / worship band / choir and a terrorist?  You can negotiate with a terrorist."   And before anyone adds it, I dare say you could add vicar / church official / person of your choice in the place