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Answers to our questions

18th May 2021: WMC
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From the Manse.....

With a touch of a button or a swipe of a finger, modern technology is able to give us answers to all those questions that come to mind whenever we want.

Whether it is trying to work out from which film you recognise the actor in the television programme you are watching, where a particular quote can be found, or when a certain monarch reigned, our tablets and smart phones come to our aid and the answers can be on our screens almost instantaneously.

Over the past few weeks I have made good use of a couple of recent Apps that I have purchased for my iPhone. Interestingly enough both are about being able to identify things.

The first one was bought to help us identify bird song, particularly when we are out and about enjoying the many walks that we are blessed to have around us. No longer do we ponder what kind of bird is singing that beautiful song that is the accompaniment for our journey – for the App allows us to record the bird as it is singing and within the few seconds it takes to make a comparison with its on-line database, we have not only the bird's name, but also a picture of it and some information about the particular species – all very clever.

It is a far more sophisticated version of a previous App I had which would describe the sound made by our panting dog running towards us as "Wind"! Sadly, it isn't able to deal with those birds who decide to simply stop singing as soon as you get your phone out, almost as if they know what you are doing and are just playing games with you.

The second App uses images rather than sound to give us the information we seek. This one is to help us to identify plants, flowers, shrubs and trees. You simply take a photograph of something you wish to identify and find out more about and just like the bird song App, within seconds, the image you have taken is compared with all the thousands stored within its on-line database and you are given all the information you need.

Needless to say this has been of great help and assistance up at the allotment as we try to identify what is coming up and if what has broken through the soil is what we planted or simply a weed. So it was more than gratifying to get the confirmation that what I thought were potato plants coming through were indeed the ones we had planted there.

It will also recognise if there is problem with the plant and what to do to help remedy and rectify it.

As we seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as his pilgrim people, I wonder how in the words that we say and the deeds that we do, an App might identify us? If after searching its on-line database would recordings of what we say or captured images of our deeds result in the display on a smart phone or tablet simply saying "Disciple"?

With love and God Bless


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