Tuesday, December 27

A holly jolly Christmas

I'm back in London and very happy.  This year I had two wonderful Christmases, one in Alabama, the other in England. Here are Dave's photos from the past few days...

Christmas lunch (Taken with Instagram at Randolph)

Reydon Nativity (Taken with instagram)

At Southwold promenade (Taken with instagram)


From top to bottom: wearing a Christmas hat at Christmas lunch; pretty lights and nativity scene in Southwold; me and Dave's brother Richard walking along the coast in Southwold; friends and I outside London's Natural History Museum after ice skating.

Wednesday, December 21

Advent (Days 4-21... oops)

Fireplace, yellow lights, books and blankets, hot apple cider.... mmmm... Christmas.

I'm enjoying being back in Alabama for a few days. I saw two of my best friends and am spending quality time with the family (most of it in a car, driving all over creation).

Totally didn't follow through with the advent images. In case you're curious, here are some more "images of eternity." Click here if you'd like to read the thoughts, Bible verses, etc. accompanying each image.

21 December 2011

I sometimes feel like I catch a glimpse of eternity when I’m at a great party. You know, one of those nights when you’re surrounded by the people you love the most, the DJ is playing perfect dance floor filler tunes, everyone has cut loose, unburdened by cares or anxieties. For that moment, that one delicious moment, you are filled with a sense of pure joy. That, for me, is how I imagine eternity… A really wonderful party full of joy and free from worry. And the best news is that we’ve all been invited. 

20 December 2011

love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
love never ends.  

Catherine O

19 December 2011

There is something so uplifting about the bond that music creates between players. Our music, and our worship is something that will continue for eternity.

They were all holding harps that God had given them. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you,
for your righteous deeds have been revealed”

Dave M

18 December 2011

My Dad and I never got on well. At Sunday School I was taught to imagine God as my Heavenly Father which left me baffled. What I really needed to get a hold of was that God loved me before I was born, he loves me now, and will for eternity.

But You remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before You.


17 December 2011

Being still in the mountains is an awesome experience. The massive size and timelessness of the rock all around give an unmissable sense of perspective.  But despite their permanence, the bible reminds us that God reigned before the mountains were created and that his kingdom will last after the new earth replaces this one.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Will G

16 December 2011

I like the reference to this in the marriage service, where the giving and receiving of a ring symbolises an eternal and never-ending covenant made between husband and wife. That covenant reflects the eternal covenant that we are in with God - a covenant of love and grace. His love for us is profound, unmerited, and unfathomable. It is also never-ending. “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100 v 5)”

15 December 2011

And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas: And God saw that it was good.

Eternity will see the melting away of the minutiae of our lives. The niggles, the worries, the stresses will all become a distant memory. And all that is left will be good. As we strive to bring heaven onto the Earth as we have it now, take time to just stand still, think and look. Look at all that God sees in you that he has created. All that Our God would declare good. Take time to stand still and admire God’s incredible creation.

Kate M

14 December 2011

Amidst all the scariness and chaos of the riots, this picture was taken from my roof terrace in Hackney in the summer. There was this incredible sky in the late evening that felt like a glimpse of peace, and a relief from the world around. 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Sarah H

12 December 2011

Life is hectic, cumbersome - full of muscle-aches and bike-breaks, unachievables and limitations, a daily slavery to our human selves. But man can there be beauty, rest, and glimpses of eternity within it. This is the second wedding image of the advent series, this time showing only the hem of a bride. It is eternity from the angle of a bridesmaid, the angle of a Christian living in the mortal fabric of now yet serving an eternal King in preparation for a banquet for which we are making placecards and running erands in our daily devotion through busy streets and stress-filled offices. The day in September I spent as my dear friend’s bridesmaid was one of the best of my life. May this day for you, in the midst of London and all its demands, be a preparation for the festivities of eternity as you witness to a creaking and weary world.
Heidi A

11 December 2011

I took this photo walking along the canal one of those sunny days late in November. 

A friend of mine once said to me that for him becoming a Christian was like moving from a black and white TV to a colour TV. It is like being able to tune in to the true glory of God’s creation. 

It is like that wonderful bit in Corinthians: For now we see only a reflection through a glass darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now we know in part; then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known.


9 December 2011

“Perhaps in the future, man will go into the arctic, in the same way as in biblical time,  man journeyed into the desert in search of the truth” - Christiane Ritter, Kvinne i Polarnatten
This picture is from north of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, close to the North Pole. I was visiting with my family last year and my dad, Felix Schultze, took this picture. The entire landscape up there is calm in a way I have never seen anywhere else, and the silence is complete. During our travels this vast, stark, yet strikingly beautiful lanscape contrasted so strongly with the busy and stressful everyday life that I experience so often. The intense stillness of this nature, completely untouched, reminded me of another world, unspoiled by humans, and yet to come.
“I am catching glimpses of the last great mystery, and in front of it all, human reasoning will disappear into nothing”.  - Written on a wall, Longyearbyen
Anna S

8 December 2011

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him”

Sunset over the Twelve Apostles, taken from Table Mountain, Cape Town  Sarah P

7 December 2011

This galaxy in this picture is more than 60 million light years away and is over six billion billion miles across. It is thought to be one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. Only in eternity we will be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of God’s glory, from the unbelievably large to the unfathomably small.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? Psalm 8

6 December 2011

This picture was taken after a special service to commission Bee as we sent her off to train for ordination.  I loved standing in church that evening with old friends and new, united in Christ and singing to an unchanging God. Lifting our voices together in praise felt like a glimpse of glory. It made me think of these verses from Revelation and a time that is coming when we will all stand together and sing.

 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Ruth C

5 December 2011

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 
This is a self-timer photo we took after a scary and exhausting climb out of the Grizzly Bear Lake canyon. I felt like we had achieved something huge. No more fear, no more frustration with each other.  Now we felt exhilaration, joy, awe  - knowing we’d been way down there, remembering how we’d climbed and crawled and sweat our way up together, being speechless at the beauty of it all and just laughing. I remember thinking, “Thank you God” over and over again. Thank you for mountains and lakes, for getting us out safely, for the satisfaction of work, for good friends to live and laugh with. Everything about those moments seemed to belong in God’s kingdom.

I think my favorite two are days 20 & 21... and the lion.

Sunday, December 4

Advent (Days 1-4)

I have an ambitious Christmas to-do list. Ice skating, Christmas cooking baking, carol singing... Yesterday I bought my first live Christmas tree!  It was expensive and a hassle to get home and upright in its stand, so I plan on keeping it through January...

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

My church is doing a fun Advent project called Images of Eternity. Each day of Advent, someone shares an image that they think represents heaven, or eternity, or God's kingdom, or new creation, or whatever you want to call it. It's a neat project because everyone has a different perspective; we've had lots of philosophical (and funny, and argumentative) conversations about what eternity is and how we can experience or capture or create it now.

I'm going to start sharing each image on this blog. You can click on each photo and read any accompanying text on Church on the Corner's Tumblr (we're so trendy).  Here are the first few days:

4th December 2011

Eternity will be not only without limits on time but also on space. There will be no barriers, no closed doors, nowhere we are afraid to tread. The whole recreated world will be before us, and we will follow a well-trodden path into the beauty of the endless love we have been promised.

3rd December 2011

One of the pictures of eternity in the Bible is that of a wedding.
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.Rev. 19:6-7
And at the heart of a wedding are the vows; a statement of intent of how the partners intend to spend the rest of their life.‘I take you,to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part’ The vows reflect the nature of this world - there will be both good and bad times and this life will end. In eternity things will be different.  Sorrow will end, and every tear will be wiped away.  Eternity is where the promise we try to make to each other in the context of marriage - to love forever - can actually be fulfilled.  I God take youto be my loved oneto have and to holdfrom this day forwardto love and cherish.Forever.

2nd December 2011

This is my niece one afternoon I was babysitting: totally comfortable, totally relaxed.  I love all the imagery of eternity being like living in God’s home - that it is a place where we are expected and wanted, a place of security, rest and peace.   

‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, 

make me dwell in safety.’ 
Psalm 4.8


1st December 2011

I took this photo in the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana, one of the biggest salt pans in the world. The pan is so flat and empty and that you can see the earth curve over the horizon.  Looking up, you see the unbroken dome of the sky: On a moonless night, every star in the Southern hemisphere is visible.

The pan looks devoid of life in the dry season, but just underneath the dry salt surface mud teems with algae.  When the rainy season comes, the pan fills with water; the algae grows; and birds and wildlife migrate from all over the region to eat.  These cycles of migration and growth have taken place for thousands of years.

In this silent, huge place I felt connected to an old universe beyond the cramped details of my own brief life.  I was here with my husband on our honeymoon, celebrating a commitment to a permanent bond - another glimpse of eternity.