Peace To You - The joy of Easter is the peace of Christ. “Peace to you!… Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:36–38) Good questions. Why am I troubled? Why do doubts arise in my heart? Christ is risen! There is no need to worry, there is no need to doubt. He has accomplished His task. He has purchased me with His blood. It is indeed finished! I am His. And if I am His then there is certainly nothing to be troubled about.
Photo taken at Trinity Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, CA. © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
The Westy came with a variety of treasures, a fact that made the first deep clean (spring of 2013) a little more interesting.
One of my favorite treasures from under the seat is the shop manual simply because the Kombi on the cover is a spitting image of ours!
The mosquito screen for the rear door looks like it has never been used.
The coffee cup closest to the aluminum foil is truly rad!…
Getting Back At It
It’s been about a year since we’ve posted anything about the Westy. We bought it knowing full well that we wouldn’t be able to do too much with it for a year, that is, until I finished my seminary studies and started bringing in that ever important commodity known as…. cash. ;) Well, the years about up and the Kombi is begging for some attention.
We’re starting with a standard tune-up and…
Mr. and Mrs.Tortoise - In the fantasy of my mind — my personal Narnian imagination — there exists a delightful couple of anthropomorphized turtles who enjoy taking in the springtime sun amid the blossoming flowers of my grandfather’s garden. They sit around calmly conversing about all that is small town delight. They never have a bad thing to say about anyone, save the insatiably barbarous, not to mention rude, deer that mutilate the poor gardener’s artistry.
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
Ending the Loneliness - The thaw brings the ability to venture freely — uninhibited by pounds of gear used to counter the frigid winter conditions — into the outdoors.
Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago said it as good as anyone could when in the poem, Earth he described the rushing in of spring and the activity of life blossoming in the city in contrast to the wilderness beyond civilization, “that’s just what my call is for — to keep the miles of great outdoors and the land outside the city bounds from grieving in their loneliness!”
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
The Mouth-Mind Memory Meld - If you’re looking for a reason to drink a beer, here’s your ticket.
Pick out a craft beer from your region of the world, wherever you find yourself when you’re thirsty. Be liberal with your definition of “region.” If there’s a brewery in your city, go with one of their flavors. However, if the nearest brewery is hundreds a miles away, by all means purchase one of their brews. Hey, don’t let geography get in the way of recalling memories! When you drink your beer you will be creating a mouth-mind memory meld (alliteration makes everything sound more legit!) that will enable you to remember the events surrounding the consumption of your selected refreshment. If you find that you are exceedingly blessed in that you’re in an area with more than one brewery, praise the Lord, and start making more memories that can be melded to your mouth’s flavor sensing buds of taste!
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
Distraction by Observation - I was pacing back and forth on a plaza outside of the children’s cardiac care wing of the hospital, waiting for the doctor to come tell my family that my daughter’s surgery was finished and that she was just fine (which eventually did happen), when I noticed the subject of this photograph.
One of the greatest aspects of photography, in my opinion, is that it allows the photographer to share the way he sees the world. All one has to do is pay attention to his environment and a whole host of interesting images present themselves. Observational photography, in this moment provided me with a distraction from the anxiety that was consuming me, but it did something else too. It captured the moment and the memories that correlate to the time when the photo was snapped. Every time I look at this picture I think of those hours of unease I felt at the hospital. What’s more is that as a Christian who in times of distress, indeed in all times, trusts in the promise of God’s grace, I theologize the content and think about the security — the assurance — of being baptized into the Rock of my salvation, Jesus Christ. I see the bright Light of the Living Water reflecting in the midst of this dark world, a foundation of truth that is orderly and structured — built — on Christ’s washing away of sins that turns hearts of stone into fleshy organs of faith causing believers to live anew. I see that my daughter, who was baptized into her Savior’s life, was never in danger because she is always the recipient of her heavenly Father’s steadfast love and mercy.
That’s what observational photography is for me. It’s a way to preserve and share the world as I see it. It’s a lens into my worldview, a visual commentary on life captured for posterity, a distraction that stimulates reflection, a way to communicate the truth that is all around us. What’s it to you?
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
The Art of Dying - is a literary genre of Christian devotional writings known by scholars as the ars moriendi. In a time of disease, plague, war and famine, not to mention economic strife and all out social distress, being prepared to die was a valued discipline. Johann Gerhard had first hand knowledge of all of these burdens and in 1611 published this Handbook of Consolations: For the Fears and Trials That Oppress Us in the Struggle with Death in order to encourage “readers to reflect on their own death and prepare themselves to not only live but also die according to the Gospel.” (Intro. xi)
Below are several rad quotes from the heart of the book that I find to be rather profound:
"Paulinus of Nola writes the following verses: ‘The Holy Spirit into running water descends and, uniting this sacred water with its heavenly spring, God bears from the sacred and nourishing waters, a child from eternal seed. Wondrous is God’s fatherly love, for the sinner is plunged into the water and then comes forth justified. So man achieves a happy death and birth, dying to things earthly and being born to things eternal. His sin dies, but his life returns. The old Adam perishes and the new Adam is born for eternal sway.’" (p. 30)
"The grace of the Father adopting, the merit of the Son cleansing, and the power of the Holy Spirit regenerating all coincide in our baptism. Therefore, if you are baptized, you can by no means doubt that you have the grace of God, remission of sins, and the promise of eternal life. Baptism is the washing of regeneration. Where there is regeneration, there is remission of sins, the grace of God, perfect righteousness, renewal, the gift of the Holy Spirit, adoption, and the inheritance of eternal life." (p. 30)
"What is more important to us than what we eat and drink? Such food is either transformed into the substance of our own bodies as natural and basic sustenance for us, or it transforms and changes us into itself. The latter happens with that spiritual sustenance of the body and blood of the Lord which we truly eat. We do not, however, change Him into what we are, rather He changes us into what He is." (p. 33)
"Weak faith is still faith. Faith does not apprehend Christ and in Christ the grace of God, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life, because it is strong but because it is faith." (p. 36)
Photograph © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell