Monday, June 15, 2009

This Blog Has Moved!

Please visit my Dutch blog on WordPress and update your blog roll and links. Thanks!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be Inspired!

Quench not the Spirit - Wherever it is, it burns; it flames in holy love, in joy, prayer, thanksgiving. O quench it not, damp it not in yourself or others, either by neglecting to do good, or by doing evil! (Wesley's Notes on 1 Thessalonians 5:19)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Playing for Change

What a great project! Check THIS out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Perfect Match


I noticed both of you - of course
didn’t ask for your permission
just enjoyed this moment

as an observer, a fellow traveler
a spectator with an eye for
vintage beauty

camera in my lap
secretly taking this picture
I have to capture this

grown together, a perfect match
just as naturally
as your folded hands

wordless poetry
perfect rhyme

love & faithfulness

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Conversion to atheism and return to faith

"The existence of language is one of the many phenomena – of which love and music are the two strongest – which suggest that human beings are very much more than collections of meat. They convince me that we are spiritual beings, and that the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true. As a working blueprint for life, as a template against which to measure experience, it fits."
Read this remarkable story here

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Water's Mirror

Click on the picture to enlarge

"Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.

After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea 6:1-3

Saturday, April 11, 2009

At the Bottom of the Sea

Then Jonah prayed to his God from the belly of the fish. He prayed:
"In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God.
He answered me.
From the belly of the grave I cried, 'Help!'
You heard my cry.
You threw me into ocean's depths,
into a watery grave,
With ocean waves, ocean breakers
crashing over me.
I said, 'I've been thrown away,
thrown out, out of your sight.
I'll never again lay eyes
on your Holy Temple.'
Ocean gripped me by the throat.
The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight.
My head was all tangled in seaweed
at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root.
I was as far down as a body can go,
and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever—
Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive,
O God, my God!
When my life was slipping away,
I remembered God,
And my prayer got through to you,
made it all the way to your Holy Temple.
Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds,
walk away from their only true love.
But I'm worshiping you, God,
calling out in thanksgiving!
And I'll do what I promised I'd do!
Salvation belongs to God!"

Then God spoke to the fish, and it vomited up Jonah on the seashore.

"Under water Psalm" Jonah 2 taken from Eugene Peterson's The Message
Source picture

Friday, April 10, 2009

This is how God showed his love for us

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

1 John 4:7-16 - The Message

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thought-provoking Quote from John Stuart Mill

All Christians believe that the blessed are the poor and humble, and those who are ill-used by the world; that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven; that they should judge not, lest they be judged; that they should swear not at all; that they should love their neighbor as themselves; that if one take their cloak, they should give him their coat also; that they should take no thought for the morrow; that if they would be perfect they should sell all that they have and give it to the poor. They are not insincere when they say that they believe these things. They do believe them, as people believe what they have always heard lauded and never discussed. But in the sense of that living belief which regulates conduct, they believe these doctrines just up to the point which it is usual to act upon them.... John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Monday, April 06, 2009

Easter Challenge for Christian Bloggers

Challenge: write a creative blog post for Easter Sunday inspired by this picture and this text If you want to share your Easter feelings in blogosphere - please invite other bloggers to join in too! Do leave a comment or reply, so that we can refer and link to each other's blogs.
Upload the picture, post a reflection, poem, painting or whatever. Reply by tweet or leave a blog comment. If you think that this is a good idea, please share this initiative and invite other Christian bloggers to participate too!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bursting Into Life

Click on the pics to enlarge. And if you like my pics, check these too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Man-making Contest / Creatio Ex Nihilo

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. They picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."
God listened patiently to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well! How about this? Let's have a man-making contest."
The man replied, "Okay, great!"
But God added, "Now we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."
The scientist said, "Sure, no problem." He bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. Go get your own dirt!"

Joke stolen 'out of nothing' somewhere in the public domain. Graffiti picture made by me in London; original graffiti created 'out of nothing' by this artist, I guess... (Still wondering whether he really exists or not). Check out this text too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rooftop gigs by U2 and the Beatles

Only the first time it's really a stunt - so all credits for this great idea go to Paul, John, Ringo and George. But U2 are today's Beatles, if you'd ask me. Never too proud to be inspired by musical heroes from the past & standing on the shoulders of giants. Amsterdam Arena tickets were sold out within 10 minutes, by the way. Next stadium concert announced directly after that. This was to be expected. Bono promised also some cheap tickets because 'this is a recession'. Yeah. It's in the middel of Summer - we will probably listen to U2 in our car or somewhere else on a camping site / in a hotel. We'll see.
Let me know what you think about No Line On The Horizon. My opinion? Magnificent! ;-)

By the way - U2 played live on rooftop BBC building near All Souls Church! (John Stott, Rico Tice, Christianity Explored... So cool!!) Next time a REAL stunt - what about LIVE @ the Vatican? Ha, ha.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Narrow escapes?

Yesterday Dutch police arrested seven would-be terrorists that allegedly were planning to 'kill as many people as they could' in the city of Amsterdam. Today a Dutch boy was arrested after announcing that he was going to kill kids in a school in the city of Breda. Both threats have been detected by the police - tipped off by an anonymous phone call from Brussels (referring to the planned attack in Amsterdam) and by Dutch TV-journalists who read an anonymous school shooting announcement posted by a Dutch boy in an American chat box. (See screenshot above) The police was able to track down this boy and by doing so they've probably prevented a situation like we've seen too many times now on both sides of the Atlantic.

Pfew... Are we just lucky? It's a terrible thought, but sooner or later these kind of horrible things will happen here too, I'm afraid. But what can you do about it? We can only hope and pray that we will be protected against such senseless attacks. I'm happy and thankful that the police seems to do a good job in preventing these tragedies from happening so far.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people in Germany who are mourning now due to the act of one violent and merciless idiot.

Dutch news sources here and here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dawkins takes wrong bus...

...and gets totally lost with no sense of direction. Lets hope he still has a sense of humour.

Make Up Your Mind


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

British buses spread strange message

You will probably know that this is the real message on some busses. I am a happy believer, so I don't have to be worried about God or (after)life at all. But if I was an atheist, I wouldn't be so happy with the 'probably' word. And Jesus already told us to stop worrying, so that truly is a Christian message - believe it or not. Especially good to be reminded of these encouraging words in these difficult times.

I like Eugene Peterson's The Message translation of Jesus' words:

"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself."
"Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can't go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being." Source

Monday, March 02, 2009

Disputed desolate dots

Just try to find these desolate dots on Google Maps. It looks like this is one little island in a big blue sea, but you need to zoom in and pay close attention. Why bother? Because both South Korea and Japan claim that these tiny pieces of rock belong to them and to no one else. I don't want to be the judge of this, so I don't know whether we should talk about 'Dokdo' (South Korea) or 'Takeshima' (Japan). Yeah, let's start World War 3 because of these disputed desolate dots.*

Read more here (and have a look at all the other amazing pictures on this great site) If you really care about this 'big issue', you can also visit this blog.

* Just to make sure: I don't really think this is a bright idea.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

Today we had a nice day as a family. We went to Amsterdam to visit Madame Tussauds. We sure weren't the only ones visiting this place - I recognized many famous people - even some ones that I didn't expect to be alive anymore. They did look a bit stiff, by the way. But I am happy to say that all these famous people are excellent posers for portrait pictures. Just have a look and let me know what you think of these pics. (Click pics to enlarge). More to follow...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turkish Airliner crashed near my hometown

Today a Turkish Boeing 737 crashed near Schiphol Amsterdam Airport - close to some busy motorways, but luckily enough in a large field just before Schiphol's 5th runway. I first heard about this tragic accident - that took place at 10:31 AM local time - after returning in my Amsterdam office later this afternoon, after a meeting in Apeldoorn this morning.
The location of the crash is near the place where I live and very near a road that I use every day to go to the office and back home again. This afternoon at 17:30 PM I saw the wreck of the plane in the field, while many men were placing large screens along the motorway to shield the crash area of.
It is a true miracle that 'only' nine people died immediately during the crash (including the 3 members of the cockpit crew). More people are severely injured, but this could have been far worse if the plane had caught fire. It was very near the landing track and normally planes are still quite high above the motorway while they are slowly approaching the runway. If this accident was caused by motor failure, it is a miracle that so many people survived this crash. BBC News

My thoughts and prayers are with the relatives and friends of the victims.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In the unlikely event of an accident...

First we heard about a collision of two satellites in space. With 6,000 satellites encircling the globe (3,000 inactive) this was an accident waiting to happen. A very unlikely event, they say, but still - it happened.
And yesterday they told us about the collison of two atomic submarines in the Atlantic Ocean that happened in the night from February 2 to 3. Both subs can carry 16 ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads - so we can all feel really save on this planet. Of course an accident like this is very unlikely and there's no reason to be worried - it will probably never happen again. Yeah, right. So we hope and pray.

Read these stories here and here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dutch MP Geert Wilders not welcome in UK

Controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders (I am not a fan - to put it mildly) is not welcome in the UK. I can see why. He wants to keep 'unwanted foreigners' out of our little country, so now he knows from personal experience what it's like to be refused entry to a free and democratic country and to be sent home as a persona non-grata. Thank you, Great Brittain!

I did like the funny combination of a news article on the BBC web site and a sponsored announcement from our very own 'national' airline KLM ('a journey full of inspiration' the add says - ha, ha). Now you can see that Dutch people have a good sense of humour too!

And now a message to my dear English friends: You can keep Geert Wilders in custody for as long as you like - but be kind to him. He may speak with a funny foreign accent - and yes he looks a bit strange too - but please keep in mind that he also is a human being. We have plenty of so called ‘unwanted foreigners’ already, so this one is for you! We will allow one more real political refugee / asylum seeker in, because the absense of Geert Wilders provides sufficient free breathing space for all people in our little country.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Climate changes in blogosphere

If I listen to the news from around the globe, I guess that one part of my blog friends must be sweating like crazy because of the extreme heat (Australia), while the other half will be shaking and shivering due to the extreme cold (North America). I just want to know from you, my dear blog friends, what you experience personally from climate changes in the area where you live right now. Please do leave a comment here and tell me

  • where you live and what kind of weather you are experiencing right now
  • whether or not these are normal circumstances for this time of the year
  • if you are personally worried about climate changes and what should be done about it in your country and all over the world
Let me start by saying that the weather situation in the Netherlands is quite normal for this time of the year. We were all happy that we had some frozen ditches and canals last month, because Dutch people love ice skating - as these pictures show you.
Maybe you can also write about the weather conditions in your area on your own blog and leave a link / trackback here in my comments.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reply to All? Don't Even Think About It!

Many "reply all" fiascos result in mere embarrassment, but American diplomats have been told they may be punished for sending mass responses after an e-mail storm nearly knocked out one of the State Department's main electronic communications systems.

A cable sent last week to all employees at the department's Washington headquarters and overseas missions warns of unspecified "disciplinary actions" for using the "reply to all" function on e-mail with large distribution lists.

E-mail is a great communication tool, but please don't turn it against yourself or against all 'undisclosed' recipients. Sometimes things are running out of control and strong disciplinary measures are necessary! Read the rest of the story here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome note from Bush to Obama

British satirist Rory Bremner describes welcome note from Bush to Obama: “Welcome, Mister Osama, you might find some helpful things here. I’m afraid the Middle East is a bit of a mess, the economy is screwed and I’m afraid that Afghanistan is not looking too good. But on the plus side, Laura’s put some flowers on the kitchen table.” Watch this video.