Showing posts from March, 2012

Fullness (Part IV)

Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, a photo by New Visions2010 on Flickr. This painting by Rembrandt which hangs in St Petersburg has been the focus of many a commentary and deservedly so. Henri Nouwen wrote a short book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, based on his contemplation of Rembrandt's painting. He wrote three sections in the book, as each main character describes the situation. The father, the elder son and the younger son. Great reading.

Lately I've been pondering fullness, as you would know if you are following this blog, and which I hope you will know, as you read this one.... and some others. And fullness is not about reaching a particular level on a flask or glass. It's about overflow, and running over. The image I use is about the love of God and most clearly demonstrated in this story of the Prodigal Son.

Actually, the word 'prodigal' means effusive and lavish. It's more often particularized into wasteful spending, as says, "Adject…

Fullness (Part III)

Overflow, a photo by -yury- on Flickr. Lately I've been pondering the fullness of God and what He wants in our lives. Often when people think full, they think of their petrol tank. And once the tank is full, the spicket shuts off and no more liquid can enter. If you force the pump to continue, the spillage will be useless to the car's operation and in fact, bad for the environment and your clothing.

You might know the Bible text, "my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23) That's really in my thinking today. This is why so many Jewish kiddush (wine) cups come with a saucer. You can fill the cup only so full, and after that, spillage happens. Most people don't want such spillage, certainly of red wine, onto their nice tables and tablecloths. Hence the saucer.

This photo by the Aussie Yury Prokopenko not far from me in Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches of Sydney says what I'm thinking in another way. Fullness is not really about a 'just enough' amount. Fullnes…

God's fullness (Fullness Part II)

What do you think of when I use the term 'fullness?' Maybe I should have asked and then put up no photo, but I start most of my blogs with a photo and then ponder what it's saying. Today and this whole week I've been thinking about fullness, about God's fullness, about being full of the Spirit, about being filled with joy and love and awe and wonder. Other biblical terms include abundance, fill, full, fully satisfied, fulness, satisfied.

Each of those terms brings to mind certain principles and certain realities, even feelings from my past. I love the feeling of awe and wonder when I fly and climb that moment just above the clouds. I feel full when I sing certain songs of worship which draw me closer to God. I love a great meal and sometimes add dessert, when I should have stopped, and feel full upon full, a bit uncomfortable to be sure, but fullness, yes, that will describe it.

Beauty can show me fullness. Music can lift me in fullness to the heights. Architect…

Finger pointing

The news is all about finger-pointing. Yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald reports, "A distraught flight attendant disrupted an American Airlines flight with warnings that it was going to crash, references to the September 11, 2001 attacks and a rant on the carrier's bankruptcy reorganisation.
Two flight attendants were injured in the incident on Friday, which began as the Chicago-bound flight was about to take off from Dallas, Texas.
Passengers ended up restraining the disruptive attendant until airport police arrived.

"We were pretty frightened," said passenger Greg Lozano of Elmhurst, Illinois. "I was glad we weren't in the air. That was the primary thing I was thinking."
The flight attendant continued to scream as she was handcuffed and removed from the plane, passengers said.
The New York Times and FoxNews point to the price of petrol at the bowser as the reason President Barack Obama's approval rating is dropping again.  Read that be…

Full moon...a monthly moment (Fullness Part I)

Moon over Motel, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Each month, if the clouds allow, I see the moon come to fulness. And this month was one of those months. It also was good to see, as Purim, the Jewish holiday, was marked on the full moon. In fact, we know when to celebrate many Jewish holidays on time because of the moon.

Of course, the moon is always the same shape and size, but when we say 'full moon', we have in mind the reflection of the sun in the surface of one side of the sphere of the moon. The three-dimensional moon becomes full in 2-D, and that 50 hours is the time of the month when the moon is full.

Fulness is a great concept to ponder. Yesterday I thought of the old term pity. And the more modern rendering of pitiful. We use the term in modern days to define someone who is an 'end of his rope' kind of guy. Someone on whom we should show pity. Someone who has messed up his life and brings nothing to the table.

But the Bible says God is pitiful. In the Newer Te…


When WAS the party?, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I love going into my refrigerator and finding something from yesterday's dinner. What makes me so happy? Probably the feeling is about the pleasure of eating and preserving both the food and the memory. And I like the idea of saving money by (re)using leftovers.

If we were in a court of law, the word 'leftover' might have to do with defendants who are not yet pronounced guilty, but remain in holding cells. If we were in high finance, we might be speaking about a balance of funds. Antagonists might consider this 'too much of a good thing.'

But I'm not speaking about overrun or abundance. I'm thinking about things that remain. What is left after a thing is over.

When I went for a walk with my golf clubs at Long Reef Golf Club in Collaroy, I saw this cluster of balloons trapped by the wind against this bush. And I thought to myself about the party from which these balloons came. Or the balloons themselves and …

Flying towards the sun

67/366 Icarus, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned.

The myth shares thematic similarities with that of PhaĆ«ton — both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition — and is often depicted in art.

I was reminded of the story as I watched the gulls, the crows, and plovers, and so many birds today soaring or walking near me. I saw airplanes and biplanes and a guy was flying his radio-controlled plane all near me in Collaroy.

In modern times, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies.

But the warnings of Icarus' father remain.
And God's warnings to us remain.

Pride goe…

A world premiere performance

A world premiere performance, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Ann Carr-Boyd wrote the music and the other three performed it. Simple. But it was anything but easy!

Stretzilia is the name of the trio, with Eleanor on cello, Victoria on violin, and Evgeny on piano. They were marvelous and the work they put in to learn and coordinate themselves on Ms Carr-Boyd's work was obvious.

I'm glad I attended the concert held at The Independent Theatre in North Sydney last night. If you can hear them, it's well worth the expense. Check their website at

Blur of insignificance

61/366 Blur of insignificance, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. The car is captured, the scenery a blur as I'm learning new techniques on my camera to do so. I wonder if this driver is a significant person. To me he's a random man. But to his family he's a son or father or brother. To his employees, he's the boss. To his lawyer, he's an endless supply of cash... we are all connected in one way or another with others. But in the world as we know it, we are a blur to others, mere scenery that goes by.

God alone cares for all people on the planet, one by one. We read in the Newer Testament:
Luke 12.7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows." Here Y'shua, the Jewish messiah, is saying you as an individual are significant and relevant and matter to the Almighty.

Here is the context: Luke 12.6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the v…

Which car wins?

Race?, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Unlike this photo where cars on opposite sides of the road are crossing the finish line at about the same time, I have a question. Actually here's a mathematical or geometric test.

Two cars leave Sydney at the exact same moment. One travelling south; the other travelling north. They are the exact same model and make. They travel the same speed, stopping the same length of time at each rest stop and overnight.

They travel the country in opposite directions, of course, and return to the same spot. They are scheduled to arrive 20 days later.

One car arrives significantly earlier than the other. Which one and why?