The changing face of Transforming Grace


I changed the header photo on Transforming Grace twice this week. It thought it might be fun to remind anyone who’s been reading this blog for the past few years of the various photos I’ve used to make a first impression.

This first photo didn’t last long, I don’t know what possessed me to use flowers!  I took this photo in our kitchen when the sun was streaming in the window.  I am constantly amazed of the beauty of creation but that’s not really the message I’m aiming for on TG.

Flowers on the kitchen table

This second image of shells stayed on the header for over a year. It reminded me of relaxing days with my family on our annual vacation in France.  The reflected light and intricacy of creation made me smile for all sorts of good reasons, but again, it’s not really got anything to do with the transforming grace of God.

Shells from the beach at Barnville-Carteret

This next photo only lasted a few months. I liked the way the sun shone through the red plastic ball, reflected off the metal spiral and generally cheered the place up a bit.  The spiral sort of matches a graph I posted on understanding justification and sanctification, the spiral represents the decreasing patterns of sin in the believer’s life.

A visual illusion given to us by the Vicar’s Wife’s Uncle

Back to France with this next enduring image, which stayed on the blog for over a year.  I love the colourful little craft which appears to be sailing against the flow of a much more powerful looking boat.  As a Christian I joyfully swim against the tide of culture and the world, as I know Christ in his word and by the power of his Holy Spirit, he directs and guides me his way which is not the way of the world.

A little dingy sailing against the flow in La Trinité sur Mer, Brittany.

The last header of a signet was taken this spring at Sandwell Valley’s aptly named Swan Pond. I suppose I like to be reminded that I am an ugly duckling being transformed by the grace of God to look like my glorious Saviour.  I got sick of the rather grey photo after only four days.

I then used a photo of an unknown surfer which was taken on the beach at Carnac, Brittany, a great surf beach where the kids love to body board for 50-60m.  The photo reminds me of the power of God and the unstoppable work and direction of the eternal word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I’m also reminded that I’m very small, even though I’m 6’6″, and that I am simply being carried by God on the wave of church growth, trying to keep my balance in Christ as I go.

After the surfer, I used a photo of an umbrella which I had used for church publicity.  We run something at church called the “Congregational Pastors Scheme.”  Each CP is responsible for looking out for 10 people at church on Sunday, so that everyone is covered.  Hence the umbrella.

Next I used a photo taken at the zoo. It was meant to give the impression that the blog was direction, but I didn’t like the cropping so I dumped it after a week or so.

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Then for over a year, a photo of the Red Arrows, taken whilst on Christian youth camp in the summer of 2012. It reminded me of the important ministry to the next generation and of happy days on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare.

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And the current header was inspired by header over at The Vicar’s Wife and at The Urban Pastor whose header photos remind them of the place in which they serve the Lord. I wanted to be reminded that my blog is really a way to serve the people of the parish of Holy Trinity West Bromwich. How does is serve people locally? The blog works for me as a to sharpen up theologically, even if the pencil is a bit blunt at times. The blog helps me stay a bit sharper theologically than I would be without it. So, what about the photo?  Well, the big black building with two white ends is the last building in the parish, the home of the Baggies, the Hawthorns.  If you scan your eye left, past the sky=blue building and the dark blue high-rise offices, you can see the tower of Holy Trinity Church.

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