58423_sp.jpgYou sit in church during baptisms and are theoretically ‘a part’ of affirming what’s going on although it often feels a little bit removed. You leave the building and more often than not (pathetically) kind of forget that as part of helping this person along in their growth/walk or other jargon, you either in some way get alongside them or pray for them. I’m sure this happens in a myriad of ways and I’m sure others are much better at it than I am. It’s much harder to forget when you’ve actually been a part of ‘doing’ the baptism.

Last night was very unique.

Shannon’s journey was first shared by a friend of hers, while her version was given-written to everyone present, then another girl presented the ins and outs, the definitives of Christianity, communion (which she had) and the whys and tradition of baptism. The common comprehension of baptism (the going through the motions bit ie: dunking) was demonstrated. When it came time for the crux, we all got to take part. She can now say that she was baptised by 25 odd people tipping cups of water on her head – we took turns in the: Father, Son, Holy Spirit bit as there were too many of us.

It was very postmodern in that it was unique to the person, yet the stray from the norm still carried this fascinatingly beautiful banner of truth.

It wasn’t about the 25 odd people, and the misconvention – yep I just made up that word. It was was a signifier of what had been and what is to continue in her life and something that isn’t going to be forgotten and bore recognition to God’s work to those there who weren’t Christians. Tuesday made a real event out of something we usually slot into a 20 minute moment during a standard service. We got to celebrate properly.

Christianity Work

Not the most standard of times, but I’m sitting at my work computer, yup on the other side of the city from where I live, on a Tuesday night. There are candles and flowers and wine and people upstairs praying. I’m wasting time for 45 minutes after a slightly slow afternoon at uni looking at research methods, attempting to bash out what my group is doing to present our research on the very vauge ‘Virtual’ and a nice coffee with new uni friends, Jo and Kellie.

Tonight Shannon, with whom I share an office with, is getting baptised. Baptised perhaps a little unconventionally, I’m not sure quite how much so. Thus far, we are in an office building, albeit a very nice office building and not a church, she is not getting ‘dunked’ so to speak, has only invited a small group of people who have been influential on the journey (wow somehow I scored), and to top it all off, especially for you conservative crew, the service or whatever you want to call it will be done by a woman. *Ahhh Oh my, You can’t do that!*

I was baptised back in 2001 at the same time as my sisters by my Dad in a church I no longer attend. I’m pretty sure it was a little bit of, ‘Oh my sisters are doing it, I’ll do it now too because that’s a bit less scary’. I didn’t share a testimony because I was a wuss. I did get dunked (and foolishly wore jeans). It was a fairly traditional baptism by Protestant standards. Do I regret doing it at a time when sure but still influenced predominantly by the convictions of those close… I don’t quite know?

Then there was the brief conversation I had with a spray painter (cars) randomly on the train this evening. I was carrying flowers and he asked me if they’d been given to me. I explained briefly.

“Oh, a baptism not in a church. That’s different. How old is your friend?”

“Twenty four”

“Wow that’s old to be getting baptised.”

He then went on to tell me how his kids were baptised as babies, “No choice” and, “Later they can work it out”.

So. How many conventions can you break? Are we so legalistic that we consider things less authentic when we steer from tradition? The decision and the declaration and the commitment count, what about the medium, the method, how things play out? What matters most in a baptism? Do you need water?


conkers2.jpgI don’t think I was 100% there this morning at church… or at least my mind wandered around funny little metaphors and analogies which I am determined to make something of – even if it just promotes more silliness.

I have been sitting on writing several posts on how studying aspects of design makes me think about God. Steering clear of the typical, ‘the great designer’ stuff because he is, but I mean in ‘other’ ways. Those ways of course I can’t remember right at this moment, but this morning my head went off on a tangent about photography.

Yes Rob, should you ever read this, this is where my mind was in the middle of your sermon.

So, Luke 10 was being used, (the Martha/Mary story) along with a whole lot of other things which I couldn’t keep track of – flighty mind – about the sole pursuit of God and of his kingdom. This directed attention dropped me into thinking about photos taken with a shallow depth of field, bear with me now, you might learn something, if I’ve learnt it correctly. An example of a photo with a shallow depth of field is at the top of this post.

One thing is in focus, the rest is not. This technique is used for a couple of pretty obvious reasons: the object is imperative for the use of the photograph, ie: a tomato in a salad for a food magazine where the adjacent article is specifically about tomatoes in salad. Wow. Or the background is boring, or, you just like taking photos like this because it makes you look professional. Ignoring the last suggestion, it’s pretty clear. The thing in focus, should you be a competent photographer, is the thing that matters.

I may have just made it all up in my head, but I think Rob mentioned distractions and being busy as deterrents for this single minded pursuit… it does make sense.

There are two things (roughly speaking) that you need to consider with taking photos regarding light – which is what will give you the image. You can go elsewhere for finer details, but these things are aperture and shutter-speed. I am partial in considering apertures first, but really they work hand in hand.

If you have wide aperture O you get more light than if you have a small aperture o. A wide aperture – means that your shutter speed doesn’t need to be as slow as if you would with a small aperture. Wider apertures give you a shallower depth of field (blurry background).

Here’s my metaphor. *Crosses fingers and hopes it makes sense now that I’m actually trying to make something out of it*

**all metaphors fall short at a certain point, this is never the fault of the metaphor maker but only that of the people who think too much. (Does that get me out of trouble?)

If our single minded pursuit of God has a ‘wide aperture’, letting much (considering the world and the kingdom of God) in O , but still quickly (shutter speed) coming back to God – thus avoiding more distractions, we get that focused picture. If we go about dallying around in looking at the world and even the kingdom of God through theories but don’t get straight back to him we wind up in a metaphorically overexposed position (That means, too much light, too much white) and it’s not much good.

We need to get back to God before anything works. Throw your high and mighty theology out the window if it isn’t lived and grounded in Him.

It’s a very shaky explanation, quite poor metaphor and I can’t be bothered right now seeing it works in reverse, but it’s gotten me thinking.

Keep hot, not lukewarm. Keep a wide perspective and a rapid point of reference in God.

(The photo is mine)

Christianity Church Photography

f21.jpgIf you like this image, scoot yourself along to Ali Cavanaugh and her site/blog. I think they are stunning.

Another very happy, accidental find.


pear1ap.jpgI’m studying photography (again – I did it at Deakin as well) this semester and am having great fun. My two tutors cover the grounds of commercial and photojournalist practice and are amusing to watch interact. We have class in an actual studio and we are using flickr of all things to share everyone’s photos – which is a brilliant idea, beats 3hr classes of sitting through everyone’s photos, *coughDeakin*

This week’s focus (teehee) was on Camera Control – so aperture, shutter speed, panning etc.

Here are a few examples that I was quite happy with – some of the others I’ve taken are about the most boring photos ever, but served the ‘activity’ purpose… it’s difficult to find fast moving objects that aren’t cars when you are limited for time!

The top one was about aperture control, the second is using panning to convey movement. And I’m too embarrassed to share the rest because they suck (Well – not embarrassed, more just that it would be a waste of time).


Photography Uni