Blog Archive

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Snapping Pics in your home town

When on holidays I tend to be snapping away almost constantly scenes in other cities and towns.

Haven't done much of that in my home town of Adelaide South Australia.

There was a purpose behind this shoot but this was done quickly and often from a moving car.

Some shots out of the car.

So here are some random pics.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bill Buck-My Grandfather

Bill,Ted and Lucy

Growing up I had a wonderful relationship with my Grandparents Bill and Lucy Buck.
Bill was a 1st world war Australian soldier who met my Grandmother while stationed in England.
He had grown up largely on a sheep station in NSW located next to the Darling River.
He was an amazing man who was not a great conversationalist as he had been involved in hand to hand combat in the war in Europe.
He tended to not want to talk about those days.
His wife Lucy was just a wonderful quiet lady who really spoilt all us grandchildren.
Bill was many of the unsung heroes of the war.
He once showed me his scars from bayonet wounds.
Tomorrow Australians and New Zealanders observe ANZAC day to remember the fallen in the world wars.
These men and women were absolute heroes in what they did.
Most not wanting to engage in warfare but believed it was their duty.
We remember them all with great gratitude and love.

Bill and his Grandparents

Thursday, April 21, 2016

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

Dear Inner Circle,

Last week I lived for a few days in the old Jewish quarter of Krakow in Poland and spent a day walking through Auschwitz-Birkenau. There is no sense in which you could say this visit was enjoyable even though years of reading came to life for me. It's one thing to learn history and another to walk the ground, to climb the steps, to feel the barbed wire and to stand in the torture chambers of Block 11.

I walked from the Judenramp to the gas chambers. It's a tough thing to learn that children were judged to have no utility so most of them were sent to death without delay. It could be argued that death was a greater mercy than the life suffered by those whose labour was considered to have some value. I went to the building where Dr Mengele did his work. I remembered reading how this man scolded an assistant because he had smudged a record that Mengele, "had constructed with such love". Ponder how a person could murder infant twins without a thought but be concerned about a smudge on his beloved records. I looked into the rooms where Sonderkommandos lived. It was prisoners who did most of the work that made this camp run. A fate much worse than death.

For six hours of brisk walking, I struggled to ponder the sheer industrial scale of this place. A place purpose built for theft, forced labour and death. I walked the same ground that a soldier named Moll walked. I'd read of his acts of cruelty over the years. He once made a prisoner stand in a petrol-filled dish and ignited it. He made prisoners climb electrified fences. He smashed skulls and shot people without a thought. When small numbers were liquidated ("small" could mean less than 500 people), people would be lead to a spot by Sonderkommandos and then shot by soldiers. Moll used a soft bullet that meant people were often still alive when they were thrown into the pit to be burned.

These places are a massive tourist attraction. There is no time to stop and ponder, groups of about 30 people are pushing each other around trying to keep to a timetable and to cover enough ground to get a high level concept of the camp's size and purposes. It’s impossible not to notice others on the tour. Some were "know it alls" who wanted to correct the guide on some points, some whinged about the length of the walk, some were overwhelmed and paralysed by what they saw. I was silent. One lady hesitated to enter a room that displayed tons and tons of human hair. She froze with tears quietly flowing. I just touched her on the shoulder as I walked past and said, "thank you".

For the rest of my life I'll wrestle with this visit. I will return home determined to check racism wherever I find it. I will return home knowing that the Wayside mission of creating community with no 'us and them' is one of the most important tasks in life.

Until then, thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Rev Graham Long AM
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross


Friday, April 15, 2016

The Walk Up method of Bird Photography

Over the years I have done lots of bird photography.
Never with real expensive cameras or real expensive lenses.
I have also never sat in a bird hide all day to capture images.

My approach has been mainly to shoot as opportunity arises.

This means having a camera ready to shoot.

I have adopted an approach as under.

1. Spot your bird(s)

2. Look for cover to approach from un-noticed.

3. Preset your camera so you can re act quickly.

4. Walk slowly towards your subject taking pictures from furtherest distance and progressively
    as you get closer.

5. Watch for changes in direction of birds head and pleasing poses.

6. Aim to try to fill the frame with the bird.

7. If you sense the bird is about to take flight get ready to capture a sequence of flight shots.

8. If your bird is fairly passive and quite tame take time to quickly make any necessary camera adjustments.

9. You could try using a tripod or monopod but this will be difficult.

10. With Australian Emus you can actually attract them in close to you and get many great shots.
 They are very curious and will come form a long way off to investigate if you are sitting in a  
 stationary car and slowly waving say a red jersey out of the window.

The camera, a Nikon D60 was not up to getting this shot but nailed the next one.

These emus came from the horizon you can see in the background right up to our staitonary car.

Egret captured at Dix's Park Paringa,South Australia, Emus at Calperum Station near Renmark.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nursing Home Ministry

after church cuppa
It has been the privilege of my wife and I to be able to share with the congregation of a local nursing home.
My wife Lesley plays the piano for the singing and I help out on a roster of Lay Preachers.
We have been doing this for some years.
The Nursing Home is one of a number situated in Adelaide's suburbs.
They come under the umbrella of Lifecare, a Churches of Christ originated organisation.
As we have been involved in Churches of Christ for many years we were called upon many years ago to help out with their regular sunday services.
At first for me it was just conducting a communion service in one of the Homes.
My wife being an accomplished pianist found herself in demand in Churches we have attended and over the years others who needed someone to play for them.
A lot of Churches have trouble these days finding Pianists and Organists to help with worship.
Over the last few years I have also been called upon to help with lay preaching in the South Australian Country town of Renmark.
This is in the Uniting Church at Renmark and Renmark West.
My wife grew up there and we are fairly regular visitors.
It is a blessing to us to see the faithfulness of older and more frail members of our communities as they attend these Church services.
Most are in their 80's or 90's.
Many in wheelchairs.
A little while back I did a google search for Nursing Home Ministry to see what happens in other places.
I came across this helpful resource in the link below.

This type of Ministry is very rewarding and I write this to encourage others to consider whether God might call you to this type of work.

If you click on the tag for parkrose below you will be able to read the outline of many of the parkrose services.
Also the same if click on renmark uniting church tag.

"A Street called Straight"

A straight street in Canberra

Today I once again had the privilege of sharing a Christian message with the Parkrose Nursing Home Congregation.

Below is an outline of the message and the order of service and also includes my communion address.

PARKROSE 10/4/16

Order of Service

Welcome and Call to Worship :   Psalm 32:1-5

Hymn: “Lord make me an instrument”


Bible Reading: Acts9:1-20  King James Version

Hymn:  “Jesus keep me near the cross”

Communion:  Geoff


Church Prayer:  Geoff

 Hymn: “I am the way the truth and the life” x2

Sermon:   “A street called straight”

Hymn:  “Amazing Grace”

Benediction and Vesper. “Now unto Him”

Bible Reading

Acts 9:1-20 

Saul’s Conversion

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

SERMON:         “A street called straight”

We live in an ordinary suburban  street .

We have been there for some years now and it is where we have brought up our children and our grandchildren visit often.

Over the years we have had many family gatherings and celebrations.

We have had a kid’s club meet there many years ago.

We have had Bible Studies.

We have had times of great joy and great moments of sadness.

We have shared many meals with family and others.

But it is a fairly inconspicuous street in the greater plan of Adelaide.

Probably the most prominent street in Adelaide City would be considered King William Street.

It has much the same location and prominence as Straight Street did in Damascus in Paul’s times.

Straight street was the longest street in Damascus and was perpendicular to another main street.

You can still walk down it today.

From the internet:

“Of all the ancient sites in Damascus, the Straight Street is the one that with greatest certainty we know St. Paul passed through.

2. The House of Judas

About 450 metres from the western entrance of Madhat Pasha Street( this is a part of Straight Street) , in a stretch covered with a large metal dome, there is a small mosque with a balcony in the form of a pulpit, which serves as a minaret. The mosque is called Jakmak or Sheikh Nabhan. It is here that the Christian tradition locates the house of Judas, the place where Saul remained for three days without eating or drinking (Acts 9,9). It is probable that here he was baptized at the hands of Ananias. The Christians of Damascus say that the mosque was built over the ruins of a very ancient church that commemorated the episode narrated in the Acts of Apostles. “

Not much is known about Judas who lived in this house but he was probably a Christian Jew.

Ananias was told to go there.

He might have known this Judas but consider if you were spoken to by God and told to leave your relatively safe suburban house to visit a house in King William street to meet with the main leader of ISIS how would you respond?

Or what if this story was unfolding in Syria today.

A city being persecuted by evil men.

And  you lived today in Damascus and you were told to go and visit this ISIS leader on Straight street.

You have witnessed their atrocities on television and even first hand.

Saul of Tarsus was just as deadly back then to Christians as the ISIS leaders are today in the current world crisis.

And how would you feel saying to this ISIS leader that “ Brother, Jesus sent me to tell you about Him so you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

“And you will be His chosen messenger.”

And would you be in awe when you saw the scales literally falling from this man’s eyes and a few moments later you would be Baptising him.

You would feel like you were in a dream I suspect.

Yet that is what happened when Ananias met with Saul who then changed his name to become Paul.

A vowed anti Christian who became one of God’s greatest apostles who spread the Gospel to the Gentiles and wrote much more of the New Testament than the other writers.

So in this story there are a number of elements.

These are the main characters.

Saul (Paul)


The men with Saul(Paul)


Judas(not Iscariot)

The Holy Spirit

We will talk about these people and the part they played.

Saul(Paul) was on his way to persecute Christians.

He had a fearsome and deadly reputation.

Jesus struck Saul down on the Damascus road and blinded him.

Jesus spoke to Saul and questioned him and his motives and in effect turned him totally around in his thinking.

Jesus spoke to Ananias in a vision while he was praying, and gave him definite instructions about Saul.

He told Ananias that Saul was especially chosen by Him.
“Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

He told him where to go and what to say and do.

The men with Saul(Paul) who took him to Damascus.

They must have been in awe of all that was transpiring. Somehow the message got through to them to take Saul to the house of Judas in Damascus.

Judas must have also been instructed by Jesus to take Saul in although we are not told this.

It may be that his house was chosen as he may well have had a suitable place for a full immersion baptism there. This was the form Christian Baptisn took place in the early Church and still adhered to by many denominatons today.

The Holy Spirit: Who healed Saul and took away his physical blindness and also his spiritual blindness.

We read this story and think how miraculous and yet if we have come to Christ most of the elements in this story would have been in our own conversion experience.

1.People with us on our journey. Family, friends, workmates.

The people who have supported us and walked alongside of us and opened their hearts and homes to us.

Who have dared to tell us about Jesus.

2 Jesus and the Holy Spirit convicting us of our need for repentance and forgiveness of sin.

Jesus who died on the cross for us.

The Holy Spirit coming to dwell in us to enable us to live the Christian life.

3 Our Baptism.

Paul was immediately Baptised.

Many Christians seem to gloss over the significance of Baptism but it was what happened immediately on Paul’s conversion.

He later wrote about the importance of our Baptism in

Romans 6.

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

“6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Straight was the name of the street where Paul was actually ministered to and converted by Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

You can still walk down this street in Damascus today. Well,hopefully,depending on what’s happening there at the moment.

He had got there from the wide way that leads to destruction.

We read this in

Matthew 7

“13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

It is wonderful that Jesus has reached out to us and touched our lives even though we were from birth heading along the wide way that leads to destruction.

But we have opted for the straight and narrow way or if not it is unlikely we would be here today.

Paul’s conversion was a miracle but no more than our own.

In reality all of us are no better or worse than Saul or Paul.

Like Paul we are pardoned and saved by the grace of God.

So how important is your street?

The place where you live.

Saul was Paul’s Jewish name. Paul was his Roman name he came to use mainly after his conversion.

We might ask why but it may be that he sought to be all things to all people.

His mission was the Gentiles, so by adopting a Gentile name he was possibly wanting to remove barriers to communication.

So where we live it is a good idea to make our friends and neighbours fell at ease in our presence.

In this place it may not be where you have spent most of your life but it is still a street or place where God can still perform miracles if we are open to Him.

Especially you might think in this small chapel as we worship together each week.

Jesus has been here with us today!

You may have felt His presence.

Did His spirit touch yours?

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Communion talk

What we do at this time during our service we call meeting around the Lord’s Table.

It in effect is symbolizing what is known in the Bible as the Last Supper.

The last meal Jesus had with His disciples before His betrayal and crucifixion.

He has asked us to do this eat the bread and drink the wine to show the world, and remind the world and us, of what He has done and that He is coming again.

Because of this the Christian Faith has an amazing continuity.

This is hardly a meal spread before us but it is the forerunner of an amazing supper that we are all invited to.

It is called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

We read about it in the book of Revelation.

The apostle John who wrote the book of revelation is reporting what he saw and heard in his visions while he was in exile on the Island of Patmos.

Revelation 19:6-9English Standard Version (ESV)

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said[a] to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

You see the Church, of which we are members, the Christian Church, is also called the Bride of Christ.

We have been invited to this marvelous celebration sometime in the future.

“for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready”

We are only ready because of what Jesus has done through His  death and resurrection.

We celebrate in this small but very significant way each Sunday what Jesus has done for us.

For His Church which we are members of!

His Bride!

We have so much to look forward to!

We will give thanks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Women's Weekly Pictorial Magazines(Booklets) on Australian Nature

As a young person growing up in the 1950's I used to often read my mother's Australian Women's Weekly Magazines.

There were 2 sections I eagerly looked forward to each week.

They had a pictorial page I think called the Living Bush where they highlighted photographs of Australian Scenes,Animals and Birds.

I think those pages had a lot to do with my later interest in similar photography myself.

I have recently come across 3 of the Women's Weekly's compendiums of these photographs and stories.

When I got my hands on mum's magazine I also usually went straight to the inside back cover for the adventures of Mandrake the Magician.

Read about him in wikipedia

Below are some pics of the 3 magazines and their contents.

I suspect this was a magazine which helped many of our famous Australian Photographers get started and their work published.

Here is a link to a trove record of the AWW including an article about the Living Bush.