Opening Day

For those who happen to be Cards fans.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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Distraction And Observation

I was pacing back and forth on a plaza outside of the children’s cardiac care wing of the hospital, waiting for the doctor to come tell my family that my daughter’s surgery was finished and that she was just fine (which eventually did happen), when I noticed the subject of this photograph.

One of the greatest aspects of photography, in my opinion, is that it allows the photographer to share the way he sees the world. All one has to do is pay attention to his environment and a whole host of interesting images present themselves. Observational photography, in this moment provided me with a distraction from the anxiety that was consuming me, but it did something else too. It captured the moment and the memories that correlate to the time when the photo was snapped. Every time I look at this picture I think of those hours of unease I felt at the hospital. What’s more is that as a Christian who in times of distress, indeed in all times, trusts in the promise of God’s grace, I theologize the content and think about the security — the assurance — of being baptized into the Rock of my salvation, Jesus Christ. I see the bright Light of the Living Water reflecting in the midst of this dark world, a foundation of truth that is orderly and structured — built — on Christ’s washing away of sins that turns hearts of stone into fleshy organs of faith causing believers to live anew. I see that my daughter, who was baptized into her Savior’s life, was never in danger because she is always the recipient of her heavenly Father’s steadfast love and mercy.

That’s what observational photography is for me. It’s a way to preserve and share the world as I see it. It’s a lens into my worldview, a visual commentary on life captured for posterity, a distraction that stimulates reflection, a way to communicate the truth that is all around us. What’s it to you?

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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The Art of Dying

The art of dying is a literary genre of Christian devotional writings known by scholars as the ars moriendi. In a time of disease, plague, war and famine, not to mention economic strife and all out social distress, being prepared to die was a valued discipline. Johann Gerhard had first hand knowledge of all of these burdens and in 1611 published this Handbook of Consolations: For the Fears and Trials That Oppress Us in the Struggle with Death in order to encourage “readers to reflect on their own death and prepare themselves to not only live but also die according to the Gospel.” (Intro. xi)

Below are several rad quotes from the heart of the book that I find to be rather profound:

“Paulinus of Nola writes the following verses: ‘The Holy Spirit into running water descends and, uniting this sacred water with its heavenly spring, God bears from the sacred and nourishing waters, a child from eternal seed. Wondrous is God’s fatherly love, for the sinner is plunged into the water and then comes forth justified. So man achieves a happy death and birth, dying to things earthly and being born to things eternal. His sin dies, but his life returns. The old Adam perishes and the new Adam is born for eternal sway.’” (p. 30)

“The grace of the Father adopting, the merit of the Son cleansing, and the power of the Holy Spirit regenerating all coincide in our baptism. Therefore, if you are baptized, you can by no means doubt that you have the grace of God, remission of sins, and the promise of eternal life. Baptism is the washing of regeneration. Where there is regeneration, there is remission of sins, the grace of God, perfect righteousness, renewal, the gift of the Holy Spirit, adoption, and the inheritance of eternal life.” (p. 30)

“What is more important to us than what we eat and drink? Such food is either transformed into the substance of our own bodies as natural and basic sustenance for us, or it transforms and changes us into itself. The latter happens with that spiritual sustenance of the body and blood of the Lord which we truly eat. We do not, however, change Him into what we are, rather He changes us into what He is.” (p. 33)

“Weak faith is still faith. Faith does not apprehend Christ and in Christ the grace of God, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life, because it is strong but because it is faith.” (p. 36)

Photograph © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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Criss Cross

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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Taken at Battle Creek, Michigan. © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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The skeletal remains of a tree in Yellowstone National Park.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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Pop Fiction

If you say that popular fiction is vulgar and tawdy, you only say what the dreary and well-informed say also about the images in the Catholic churches. Life (according to faith) is very like a serial story in a magazine: life ends with the promise (or menace) “to be continued in our next.” Also, with a noble vulgarity, life imitates the serial and leaves off at the exciting moment. For death is distinctly an exciting moment.

— G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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The Amazing Scribble-Man

After watching Marvel’s Assembling a Universe last night my inner comic book geek is taking over. There’s a real Hulk/Bruce Banner thing going on in my head. Anyway, it reminded me of my Scribblized version of one of Marvel’s greatest characters… Spider-Man.

The Amazing Scribble-Man

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Traveling The Ol’ Lincoln Highway

With spring in the air (temperatures rising, sun shining brighter, blue skies pushing away the grey) my mind is turning to all those radtastic outdoor activities waiting for me. The bike sits in the garage calling to me, begging to hit the dirt and carry me down lesser traveled roads.

The horizon in the photo above is made up of the brilliant rock formations that surround Green River, Wyoming. Last July I pedaled from Rock Springs to GR along this route. I consumed lots of water!

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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Luther Impersonating Patrick… I Guess

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Last year, in celebration of St. Patrick’s proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the then pagan land of Ireland, one of my catechumens wore the above pictured top hat to class — I suspect she was wearing it more for its greenness (and absurdity) than anything else — and naturally we had no choice but to have a little fun with a nearby bust of Martin Luther.

In other news… today marks my one year anniversary of tumblring. Many thanks to you all for following me. I originally started using tumblr to have a centralized place to post my various interests. This year has mainly been photos. What can I say? I dig capturing the way I see the world, and sharing it with whoever may want to take a peak. Perhaps this next year will allow for a little more variety. We’ll see.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

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