Tag Archive for: knowledge

Consider the background

Group photos are always one of those things that always happen at mission leaders’ seminars.
Getting together for the group photo can be an exciting moment for everyone in it.
Yet, taking the seminar photo brings its own challenges.
The more people in the photo, the more complicated the process can get.

The Location

I’m guessing at some point there was some consideration, of the composition, the background, the location, the posing, the lighting, the focus and the timing.
Getting everyone together to create a group photo, helps strengthen the group bond and preserve special memories.
For years to come, it can also serve as a helpful keepsake to inspire everyone to work together towards a collective goal.
“…Remember our day in Ephesus together…?”

The Background

The chosen background was the Library of Celsus.
Completed in 117 AD, it was built to honour the city’s former Governor and Roman Senator Celsus, to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as his tomb.
Having a background that is relevant can be appealing and interesting.
The library was located in the very heart of the city.
Libraries are an important part of every civilization, ancient and modern as places of learning, literacy and education.
It was certainly one of the most striking buildings in the old city, an architectural marvel every tourist on our visit wanted a picture in front of.

Look closer

Reflecting upon the photograph and our experience that day and of our week together, I considered the four female statues (in the background) on the lower floor of the exterior of the library.
Was it by chance that we took the picture there or by divine design?
They are personifications of virtues:
Sophia – 𝒘𝒊𝒔𝒅𝒐𝒎
Episteme – 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆
Ennoia – 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆
Arete – 𝒆𝒙𝒄𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆
My hope, is that all of us who visited that day and the millions who will visit in the future, will continue to immerse ourselves with the ancient virtues of wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and excellence, which are as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago.

Growing Older

I paused.
Watching General Conference at the weekend, I observed the effect of age on many church leaders.
Like them, we are all growing older.
Similarly, I observed our departing missionaries as they gave their final testimonies at our recent Zone Conferences.
They too have grown older.
And a little wiser as well.
But, there is also something very different.
They have overcome hundreds, if not thousands of obstacles over the last 18/24 months.
They know a lot about exercising faith in Jesus Christ, loving, and serving people, being obedient and working hard.
They have learned a lot about different cultures and languages.
They know too about the principles of a disciplined life.
They have grown not only physically, but spiritually too, through their service and study of the scriptures.
They have 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒅.
Their hearts are softer, gentler, kinder, and tender.
They have grown in knowledge, confidence, and ability.
In a few days’ time, they will no longer wear a missionary’s badge, but from personal experience, I know they will always be anxious to identify themselves as one who has served the Lord as a missionary.
Shortly, they will complete the full time missionary “chapter” in their own book of life.
And they’ll be ready for a fresh start in their next chapter, knowing what it takes to be a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ.
To parents, family and friends, be prepared for some great inspirational stories and a powerful glow that will lift each of you to higher ground, to be better, to stand taller and to move forward with an increase in faith.
To those in Belgium and the Netherlands, if you want to speak to any of them before they go, then now is the time!
They’re growing older, by the hour!

Why study?

“Studying – the act of texting, eating and watching Netflix with an open textbook nearby” – that’s one definition at least!

Why study? Do I really need to?

An oft heard question targeted at a parent, from a challenging teenager perhaps?

Growing older, I’ve discovered that I love to study, i.e. “devoting time and attention to gain knowledge” – perhaps that is a more traditional definition!  In fact, my penchant for both good books, research and news commentary have developed over the years into something akin to an addiction!  Duolingo, online resources, daily reading and personal tuition have certainly all been extremely important for me right now, as I refresh my Dutch language skills.

So what are the fruits of study? What does it give us in our life – if anything? Why bother?

In my mind, there are many rewards. For example, I’d expect that that there will be an upside in all of following areas of our life, including….

Education, Knowledge, Understanding, Awareness, Influence, Perspective, Appreciation, Decision Making, Opportunities, Achievements and many, many more!

One key aspect of study, is discovery. New insights, new information, new inspiration, new strokes of ideas! Frequently referred to as “aha” moments. They can be magical, exciting and motivational.

My top tip – 𝐑𝐒𝐕𝐏 – 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝, 𝐒𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲, 𝐕𝐢𝐬𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐞, 𝐏𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫

Why not study? And yes – you really need to! Go on, pick up a new book today!