Photo Journal: Fourwa++ Birdlings and around Lake Forsyth


Some time ago I had the pleasure of a night of improvised music with the Fourwa++ collective at Birdlings Flat.

Fourwatt could be described as many things:
A collective of artists, a production company, a recording house or a creative agency. Ultimately, however, Fourwatt is dedicated to unleashing and celebrating the creative process, nurturing new talent and creating ground-breaking work – be it music, film, literature or art.


The collective consists of four artists in their own right: Tony Piggott, Ben Campbell, Lukas Kelly and Manisha Lee. As a group, the four bring together expertise in music production, the visual arts, graphic and web design, advertising, event production, video production, writing, journalism and new media to form a highly unique collective skill set. Fourwatt also has a number of talented ‘in-house’ musicians, writers, artists and directors in its coffers, collaborating regularly on projects based in New Zealand.

Having seen some of the other productions and remembering some of the other musical avenues, I certainly thing there is a good point in collective creation. It changed my view certainly on songwriting, music production and arranging.

Around Lake Forsyth

Besides a great time being there, the trip up there was amazing. I always end up driving past Lake Forsyth, through Little River on to Akaroa, but this time my destination took me off the beaten track through the Wairewa Conservation Area, Te Oka Reserve and Magnet Bay Reserve. What an amazing littl detour this turned out to be. Amazing views made it hard not to drive straight of the 4wd track distracted by the views.

More pictures soon at my flickr photostream or as different products at my redbubble page here>>> and/or my zazzle shop here >>>

WikiLeaks rival goes live


ASHER MOSES

The breakaway leaking site formed by several WikiLeaks defectors has gone live early, ironically after the design of the site was leaked.

OpenLeaks, created by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange‘s former right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, promises to be a more democratic organisation than WikiLeaks and plans to work with other organisations, including media, to publicly release documents, as opposed to publishing them itself.

The world has known about OpenLeaks since late last year, when it was revealed that Domscheit-Berg and Assange had fallen out. Chat logs showed Domscheit-Berg accusing Assange of being autocratic and behaving like “some kind of emperor or slave trader”, failing to consult his team on important decisions.

Swedish press had reported at the time that the OpenLeaks launch was imminent but it has evidently been a harder task than first imagined.

Read the rest of the story here >>>

The OpenLeaks webiste can be found here >>>

 

 

Fatherheart Conference at Harmony Church


Starting Friday night 11th of February Harmony Church will be hosting an outstanding team from Germany who will speak to us about ‘Living in the love of Abba Father’.

Featuring a team of eight from the Fatherheart Movement in Germany (related to James & Denise Jordan from Fatherheart Ministries in Taupo).

Matthias Hoffmann is senior Pastor of the Ichthys Church in Hannover www.ichthyshannover.de and the leader of the Fatherheart movement in Germany www.vaterherz.org.

Vicki Trustrum is a kiwi who lives in Germany. She has extensive theological training and experience in the areas of Worship, the Prophetic and Journeying with the Father.

Vicki Trustrum has been based in Germany for more than 10 years now and is a kiwi who has trained in theology at Laidlaw college and is an ordained minister.  She has been attending Harmony Church the last couple of years when she has been back in New Zealand.  She is bringing a team under the leadership of Matthias Hoffman who are part of the ‘Father heart’ movement in Germany.  There will be a seminar Friday night and Saturday during the day time and then the team will speak and offer prayer at Harmony in the 10am service.

More information on facebook >>>

Or on the Harmony site >>>

Photo Journal: Lake Clearwater and Camp


What can I say: good friends, amazing environment, fantastic days, a joy to make pictures. If you are out for a luxurious holiday, do not go there: no cell phone, no phone, no electricity, no tab water unless you collect it for yourself. It was amazing walking around these two beautiful lakes. Great walks that remind you again how precious it is to be able to let your young boys enjoy this kind of environment. It is also here where I realized and was awed with God‘s Creation (with a capital C). It was here where I sensed God’s presence more than in a long time.

In Psalm 121 David speaks:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not understand this as David expecting help typo come from the particular mountains he is looking at at the time he wrote this Psalm. No, those mountains; the scenery remind him of the grandeur, the majesty of creation and he is reminded of the knowledge that the Creator will be his helper, guide, comforter, as we can read in the later verses of this beautiful Psalm.

And while we all remember David as the King that brought the Ark back to the tabernacle of David, the man after God’s heart, the man who truly counted on God’s protection when he went into battle with Goliath, I suddenly realized how instrumental his humble beginnings must have been. Here’s the shepherd that spend all this days and nights out in nature, with his sheep, some food, drink and a harp and while that may not seem much to many of us today, it gave him a chance to actually spend quality time with God without all the distractions of daily life; to develop a relationship. It is here where he learned about God looking after His children, and how much protection was needed for there must have been wild animals around. In all the harshness of his life, it was here where David learned what it means to be in his presence and to be a good child of the Almighty Father, the Father that looks after us if we are willing to open the door to our hearts. All these were things flowing through my mind when walking around there in the presence of friends, and my lovely family. Definitely a place to go not just for a nice (little or big) holiday bit also a place to reconnect with God. The scenery, the majesty of it, the skies at night, even the walkways remind you of how much your faith is a big journey, how easy it is to get of the path and what majesty you miss out on when you stray away. Anyway I did.

Scenery

When we arrived at the set out destination the weather was not particularly inviting. And here in the mountains it seemed even worse that below on the plains. Strong wind seem to be particularly more severe when they blow through the valleys in the mountains.

In awe is all I could say. It was freezing (6 degrees Celcius is not fitting for a summer’s day) and yet was I glad to have gone out in the rain and wind.

Most of all I was reminded that first night of what a “One tree hill” means in terms of majestic scenes.

There is beauty even on a bad day if you are willing to see it. And is it not like that with our Christian lives as well. It is certainly no guarantee for a trouble free life, but that does not mean that there is no beauty in it even in times of trouble, or hardship. The tree reminded of the importance of standing tall even if it feels that you are sailing against the winds. The tide will change.

And so it did the next day, all cleared up at least later in the day opening up the real beauty of the surroundings. A walk around Lake Clearwater left me even more amazed.

 

Walking

The tracks around the lakes were nice. A stiff walk if you are not used to it, but well worth the effort. When you are witnessing secnes such as below, you quickly forget that you are tired. Too much to be distracted by.

In Matthew 7:14 we read:

…narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

I was painfully reminded of this verse when not long after the point where this picture was taken: we climbed over a style, tried to pick up the trail and lost we were. If we had only stayed on that track that was laid out before us, we would have been all right. But no, due to our own doubts we got lost. We thought we knew better and ended up getting lost, only get across the lake again once we reestablished our ‘faith’ in the track that was laid out for us.

Sunsets

What blew me away most of all probably was the amazing sunset over Lake Camp. What an amazing scenery and Psalm 8 springs to mind:

1 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens…
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

What’s left here for me to say is that I guess we all feel at times as if God is no longer present in our lives. I know it felt like that for me after the ‘busy season’ with all this hassle about … well … stuff.  The best part about places like this is the absence of facilities. It means you will have to do simple whether you like it or not. That also means NO or HARDLY ANY DISTRACTIONS and what a joy that is.

We look at David, a man after God’s own heart. I realize now the importance of his humble beginnings. Man did he have an opportunity to have time out with God on a daily basis, herding his sheep, out alone under the stars with nothing but his sheep, his harp and … God! If there is any way to reconnect with God, I would imagine it to be in the mountains, alone under in this majestic scenery. I know for sure it worked for me. The only thing I regret is that I did not take out my guitar to play for my Father under the stars. Next time I will. Far from perfect but back on track again.

More pictures to follow soon here

Just Do It!


I din’t know about you but I always seem to have an excuse for all these things that I know I should do and didn’t.

Some reason or another to not have done this or that, stopped smoking, exercise, write a blog post, make a phone call to a friend, write a mail or letter, visit someone lonely, bring some food around. The video below deals with just that from an unexpected angle.

May 2011 be a year of less excuses, and stepping up more, stop talking and “Just do it!”

Martin Luther King Jr on Jazz


Painting by Bruni Sablan an amazing and highly productive painter.

While surfing the net I came across these words written by the late Martin Luther King Jr on the subject of Jazz. They were for the foreword of the program of the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival:

On the Importance of Jazz

God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations.
Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.
This is triumphant music.
Modern jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument.
It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by Jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of racial identity as a problem for a multiracial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls.
Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down.
And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith.
In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these.

An interesting article concerning the origins of this “speech” can be found here >>>. As it turns out, even though these words were written by Martin Luther King Jr, they were never an opening speech for the Berlin Jazz Festival 1964 as is claimed all over the internet. Martin Luther King Jr was never there. This is the foreword for the program.

A series of printed products is available at my zazzle shop: www.zazzle.co.nz/johndierckx

(picture by John Dierckx: several prints available here >>> and here >>>)

Beautiful words that capture the essence, spirit and history of jazz. Blues and jazz as “triumphant music” that turns our harsh realities into something beautiful. Jazz is about life and hearing the greats play, one can only conclude that no matter how harsh our existence may be at a certain point in our lives, no matter how big the challenges the Lord is putting on our path, they all form part of this beautiful thing called life.

Photo Journal: New Friends


Making new friends is always a nice occasion. When we saw how the little lego droid was welcomed into the inner circle of this snail all we could do was smile.