Friday, June 23, 2006

The AMS Church Letter

We've been quite happy with the friendship and emotional support of the church we regularly attend, the AMS Church (Arts, Media and Sports) which is part of the MMCC. However, the lack of depth and spiritual illiteracy has prompted me to write this letter to voice my concern:

Dear Brothers,

I wanted to bring to your attention what Jun, Paris, Winvie and I have been talking about - the need for a midweek devotional that goes back to studying the bible, chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse.

Our Thursday devo's have traditionally been a "needs based" type preaching devo. We must remember that the bibles intention is for us to be "thoroughly equipped", and thorogher learning requires effort. Most people would rather sit, passively listen and follow directions than actively participate. And since none of us has any real theological education (except Paris), we really are at a disadvantage. But to lose heart and not try, and to say "that stuff is too hard, its really not for me" is really not a good option. Its really choosing to remain blissfully ignorant.

The idea of a separate devo is to give people the option to learn and understand the bible on a deeper level. We can try and make a concerted effort to read the bible, to research, to attempt an exegesis or two, to tackle difficult books like Romans, and to share our humble understandings with one another.

Some thoughts:

- Questions that provokes thought, discussion and reflective thinking should be the format, not "quick fixes" or personal opinion preaching.

- The audience should be older disciples - preferably someone who's been in the Kingdom for over 5 years; but I can think of many more who would benefit or who can be helped,

- It should be a small group of less than 10 - not an "exclusive" group, or a group where people go because they have things in common,

- it should be held, every Thursday for a month (short letter of the bible) or x2 per month (longer letters),

- we can nominate different people to facilitate the discussions, and others to research and present things related to what we are studying.

These are a few ideas. Please let me know your opinions on this.

Your brother in Christ,

Photography as an artform

I've spent a bit of time on the internet today, looking through digital camera reviews so I that I can use it to get stillshots for when Ana gives birth to our first born baby in a few weeks. I must admit that I'm not particularly happy with todays digital cameras, partly because I'm a subjective person myself and partly because I'm an outright perfectionist.

To be honest, I'm more familiar with older cameras and the work that went into producing photographic prints. When I was growing up, my fondest memories was when I spent time mixing chemicals, processing films and developing prints in our laundry that I converted into a darkroom. After taking pictures, getting a good print took great skill; it required patience and hours of work - it was an artform, and to a large extent, it was a labor of love. Next was also the pride and respect of what you did. Photojournalist and black-and-white artist, such as Ansel Adams, had a unique eye for detail and the ability to capture life as an artform with what we would now consider the most primitive of equipment. That artform wasn't limited to taking pictures, it was what you did in the darkroom; it was the choosing of papers, the mixing of chemicals and the using of light to burn and give the exact exposure that you needed on print.

With todays mass produced digital cameras, the ability to produce instant pictures and the availability of software editing tools, taking pictures for me has lost all its artform and mystery.
But try telling that to the crowd, or to my wife for that matter.