Early this year I received a camera from my family for a birthday present. And then I discovered Flickr. And got hooked. So I seem to spend more time in awe of the amazing pictures uploaded by photographers around the world, than using my own camera.
This weekend via Firefighter with a camera I found the little Bible pool with a beautiful collection of pictures of Bibles and texts from the Bible and the Torah. Click here to watch the slide show. I was inspired to make a contribution to this group based on the passage from Jeremiah that I read at our gathering this (Sunday) morning.
As the footnote shows, the translation of some words in the passage is
doubtful. And a comparison some of the main translations into English
(easily done on BibleGateway.com) shows quite some divergence.
Nevertheless, the main line of the passage is clear. God, speaking
through the prophet, is lamenting over His chosen people who have
broken their relationship with Him and gone off to serve and worship
worthless false gods.
And the people are suffering as a result. The power and blessing of God is no longer available to them to bring healing.
A tragic situation that brings tears to the eyes. So much loss. So much
opportunity of fellowship with a loving God has been wasted and lost by
the people turning away in stubborn rebellion.
We recently paused at an important family milestone. On 30th June our daughter Ruth and her betrothed, Karwan, were married. The ceremony was in Amsterdam.
Family of the bride and groom came from far and wide - Italy, Poland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland. And many friends from Amsterdam, Eindhoven and elsewhere joined the celebration.
It was a special celebration in many ways - Ruth is the first of our children to marry. The bride and groom chose to give the ceremony and programme its own unique form. Most significant is their choice to marry as an expression of their commitment to one another at a time when it seems marriage is out of fashion and only indulged in by people in their thirties.
It was a civil marriage ceremony according to Dutch law, but around the legal process there were many elements reflecting the diversities of culture and world-views coming together in this union.
For several years both Karwan and Ruth have been active in the International Socialists. The choice of location for the ceremony reflects their world-view and historical awareness. The ceremony opened with an introduction to the building by their friend Maina. Catherine, sister of the bride, was master of ceremonies for the occasion and provided translation from Dutch to English where necessary.
Maina explained that De Burcht had been designed by Berlage at the end of the 19th century for the Diamond Workers Labour Union. At that time the diamond industry was the second most important industry in Amsterdam, with 10,000 employed. However the workers had not been strongly organized, being split along religious, Jewish and Christian, lines. Eventually a general strike took place involving all those engaged in the industry. Out of that strike the Diamond Workers Labour Union was established and Berlage, himself a socialist, had designed this building for them. The building now functions as a museum of the labour union movement.
Summer is here! I've just seem my first hot air balloons of the year. They drifted right over my house. One very low and the other quite high, right overhead.
You hear them first. We had just gone outside when I heard the familiar dragons roar of the hot flame and looked around to locate it. Dogs barked in the neighbourhood, disturbed by the strange thing in the sky.
Ever since we came to live in The Netherlands I have associated hot air balloons with summer evenings. In previous lifetimes we lived in coastal areas of the English speaking islands and I don't think I ever saw a hot air balloon. But here on continental Europe, safely in from the coastline, hot air balloons appear on summer evenings when the wind goes almost still and it's light till late.
Here in The Netherlands we had 44 days without rain. Instead we had
seemingly endless bright sunny days and temperatures way above normal. This week it is
raining again and the plants in my garden are growing like crazy.
I love these plants that catch droplets in the fibres on the surface of the leaves. They remind me of a poem that I learned from the poet in my youth when I was hitch hiking south from my home in Edinburgh, Scotland. It went something like this:
Great tae be hunderds a' burds,
'n set 'n trees
'n wash w're nebs i' rainy leaves.
I joined the "24 Hours of Flickr" group and set out to shoot a photo
journal of my day on 5 May 2007. It was a rather ordinary Saturday. No
After the usual getting up and dressed stuff I went on my shopping bike
to the supermarket and my favourite bakers for a few breakfast supplies.
In the Netherlands 5th of May is the day on which liberation from the
German occupation at the end of the Second World War is celebrated. So
there were national flags hanging out on some houses. On 4th May the
dead of that and other wars are remembered. So there were some flowers
at the village war memorial. This part of The Netherlands was liberated
in September 1944 as US and British troops fought their way north in
operation Market Garden. Two soldiers died in Nuenen and there are war
graves in nearby villages where many more a buried.