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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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28 Responses to 821

  1. Jane says:

    this could really be my life – we have once again run out of bookshelves …

  2. silarips says:

    …but how to relate to those ‘picture’ or ‘activity’ men, women, boys and girls in his congregation?!

  3. Caroline says:

    We decided a long time ago that our problem wasn’t that we had too many books, but that we had too few bookcases. We’ve been putting it right ever since.

  4. I have too many photos, its like im taking 20,000 a year now. So I guess I am more of a pictures person.

  5. subo says:

    books can be a connection or a retreat

    a bridge or a barricade

    open us to human experience and a love of adventure, or provide a crystal ball from which to judge those around us

    I’m grumbling about books, and yet it can be anything we want to bolster our failing ego, unless we have a hunger to put away our pre-packed products, and listen to one another

  6. becky says:

    As a writer, I must concur. Are we writing the book to tell stories or showcase ourselves? I try to do the former and rely on folks like Jon to tell me when I am veering into the later.


  7. chris says:

    i like picture books.

  8. Caroline Too says:

    I find it frustrating

    I’m a words person myself

    but I’ve got an increasing conviction, that words just don’t cut it with people at the moment…

    images, visual senses, sensual (please not the ‘n’ is not an ‘x’ there!) experience ..

    and I do words, and I so want to be relevant and helpful…

    but I do words

    sometimes in stories…

    but I can’t do the pictures
    :roll: :-(

  9. As Sandi Toksvig once said: ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like: Books!’

  10. Forrest says:

    Ohh dear, even though he can’t preach or lead any more, yep, that’s Dad!

    And all the other ministers I’ve known.

    And even though they’re mostly not religion books and I’m as much picture oriented as words, same parting with the books idea is true for me. :)

  11. How many church leaders (vicars, pastors, lead elders, ministers – whatever you want to call them) are not book people? I may be moving in the wrong circles but I can’t think of any.

    I suspect the Church has been denied the gifting of many potential leaders because of institutional needs to have well read preachers.

  12. Tiggy says:

    I like words that create images in my mind.

    I also love Islamic calligraphy – words as art.

  13. miriworm says:

    Ecclesiastes 12:11-13 (NIV) The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
    Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

  14. Tiggy says:

    What’s a Shepherd doing with nails? Does he embed them in the sheep? Or are the nails embedded in the goads?

  15. Miriworm says:

    Know any Shepherds that got nailed?

  16. Pat says:

    I ‘do words’ rather than graphics as my particular creative and intellectual activities because that’s where my ‘talents’ lie. However I’m neither confined to them nor constrained by them.

    Sometimes words move me to tears, sometimes they challenge me beyond bearing; and sometimes images do the same. And sometimes they work synergistically: A few years ago, standing in front of one of Lucien Freud’s nudes and looking at his graphic depiction of flesh, I had a sudden insight about what ‘becoming flesh’ might have meant for God; at that moment of revelation, it was fleeting and totally impossible to articulate but nevertheless it began to change the way I thought about incarnation. Some years later, that visually mediated epiphany took a more articulated shape – but this time through a combination of reading and translating words (from 5th century Sedulius) and finding an image (from 14th century Giotto)which seemed to completely exemplify the ideas those words gave rise to. All 3 elements have helped give shape to my current understanding of incarnation (and thus to a whole raft of other, related, things) – and it would be poorer, or even perhaps non-existent, without either the visual or the linguistic contibutions.

    I guess what I’m saying – in a rather long-winded (and, self-evidently, a word-based way :lol: ) is that I think it’s too easy sometimes to falsly dichotomise something like this.

  17. subo says:

    Great stuff Pat, and yes, books can open a world

    and yet, books can support our judgmentalism, our elietism, our love of being more knowledgeable

    and cover up our difficulties in just listening to each other

  18. Pat says:

    Do you think that the visual doesn’t also do that subo?

    I’d suggest that the images we are constantly fed through various media, or that we choose to look at, can also

    support our judgmentalism, our elietism, our love of being more knowledgeable

    and cover up our difficulties in just listening to each other

    and that whether we choose to blame/champion primarily words or images is more about our own personal tastes/experiences than about any ontological realities :???:

  19. subo says:

    am absolutely sure your right, Pat, all sorts of medium can become between people, and does

    all I can say is that I’ve personally seen how ‘books’ can be used in judgement

    thats of course not to say books are a wonderful source of pleasure, information, adventure and knowledge

    lets hold, though a critical eye to the words we find printed, and test theories that have been put forward prior to being proven – in particular theories about what it is to be human, what is psychologically healthy about being human!

    and let us not forget to engage and meed together, closely, openly, humbly. lets occasionally put aside our pre-prepared service sheet, our confidence in our own knowledge, and our privileged vantage point. and lets hear how it is across the table

    on the other side, I was blessed one night by a wonderful couple, who put me up for a night after my travel plans were washed up in the floods. In the room I slept in I found a book of poems, and from these poems comfort. There was also a book of racy humour and extreme content. I commented on these books when I thanked them for the room, and met a quiet smile, they’d been carefully chosen to comfort any passing guests, of whom this wonderful couple warmly welcomed frequently.

    a book can be a meeting place across time

  20. Tiggy says:

    Apparently, and correct me if I’m wrong, but because I find it much easier to take in information through reading rather than hearing, I’m a visual learner. That’s what I was told anyway. I do my note-taking, planning and revision using mind-maps (spidergrams). Also, being an Intuitive, I respond to symbols more than to statements of fact. So I don’t see it as a words versus images issue.

    I do think Christianity has altered substantially though through the emphasis on a set of books, particularly now we don’t have paintings on church walls. I really bemoan the loss of those.

    We were lucky enough to have stained-glass windows at the church where I grew up, even though it was a modern church building. Looking at those windows, their symbolism and the reflection of the coloured light onto different parts of the church was a big part of my connecting with God during the service.

  21. danielg says:

    Interesting observation. As an assistant pastor, I certainly fit the mold. Not only do I love to read, I love books, and have a modest library of about 600 books. Another 600 on my amazon wishlist.

  22. Tiggy says:

    Sigh, I really covet that man’s bookshelves. I sometimes have this fantasy of marrying someone rich and living in a manor house with its own library. Just wall to wall books and a couple of leather chesterfields, a roaring fire and a display table for antiquities – I have a few humble ones.

    That’s where the visual comes in for me as well, because I love the very theatre of a room. I’m currently doing my bathroom out in a Moroccan style and after that I’m doing the bedroom in a sexy dusky pink, mauve and black Burlesque style. It’s like I have to create stage sets in which to live out my emotions.

  23. danielg says:

    One of my dreams is to have a two story library, with a balcony, study carols for the kids, red carpet with dark wood and frosted sconce lighting. Sigh…

  24. AnneDroid says:

    Him Indoors and I are both ministers but don’t read many theological books (mainly as we are too busy and too tired!) But I really value my well read friends (ministers or not) who really know their stuff, biblically and theologically, and can make me think. What I don’t care for so much is when book-reading is worn as some kind of smug badge of superiority.

  25. Tiggy says:

    Oh yes! Definitely a huge red rug on dark wooden floors. I like the balcony idea as it’d help me reach the books. I’d keep any kids out though, unless they wanted to sit quietly at my feet by the fire, or snuggle up with me on the chair. Did you mean’study coralls’?
    Hmm, the frosted sconces sound a bit naff, maybe something less Victorian, more Georgian. Patio doors onto the garden would be nice, with a loggia. I’m afraid, I have to say, that I’ve always wanted one of those drinks cabinets shaped like a globe.

  26. revstevew says:

    I have to agree, my book collection is large enough it annoys my wife “You don’t read half of them and yet we have to pay to move them whenever we move house”, but too small to be the library of my dreams. As a Minister my book collection splits between work and escapism, as I love my Sci-Fi and I have to confess after a stressful week its more likely to be Dune I reach for than something work based. It can make for interesting sermons though.

  27. Tiggy says:

    I read all mine! Though I have got a bit of a backlog of good novels. There are just too many good novels out there. I do try to get rid of ones I don’t think I’ll read again though. A couple of times I’ve been wrong though and had to buy the book again. My parents sent a load of my books down without the bookcases – how irresponsible!

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