Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Heart!

My wife and I sometimes will go out to the downtown water fountain where kids go to play and keep cool in the Summer heat. I will take pictures and give the parents a card that shows them where they can download the pictures for free. Nothing satisfies my heart more than giving parents photos that show emotion in ways they will never get from the local Sears photographer. When I saw that this challenge was about heart, I immediately remembered this little girl. When I took it, it struck me that she wasn't thinking about bills, or work, or stress in her life! Every time that water came up out of the hole she laughed and screamed. Her life at this moment was full of hearts and rainbows!

This picture was submitted to the I Heart Faces Photo Challenge!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Abandoned Piano Brought Back to Life

When I'm out shooting photos, so many times I will stumble across old pianos that have been left behind. When we find these old pianos, we always wish we could just take it home and do something with it. Well we finally did!

This old piano was in the top floor of a church, in a room that hadn't seen daylight in many years. We stripped it down and brought it back to life as a new piece of furniture. These are just a few of the photos. For the complete story see my other blog! www.worshipmacgyver.com



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rest for the Weary

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

We were out shooting one day going about 60 miles an hour up highway 65 when out of the corner of my eye this frame flashed before me. I yelled out to Marty to stop and go back, which I rarely do. I jumped out of the truck and shot this photo. There was something so wordy about this picture. It was like it was trying to tell me a story. Here is the story it has revealed to me...

There are three characters in the story.

First, the field. The field is the enemy, representing our toils in life that seemingly never end. So much work to do, the field never stops needing attention, it constantly takes up our time and needs watering, and plowing. Even when we are sleeping it still is looming in the darkness waiting on us to remember that it is there are needs our attention.

Secondly, the tree. The tree is Jesus. Standing alone, proud and tall among the toils. Providing a place to rest, to provide shade from the heat. As in this photo, when the fields are brown are dying and hopeless in the world, our Savior stands tall proud and green.

Finally, the tires. The tires are us. Having to plow through the field of toils and rolling with our burdens day after day. We exhaust ourselves going through the never ending motions.

So, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." is the story that was revealed through this photo. This photo reminds me that I can prop up against the tree when I'm tired and burdened. The tree is always there when I need Him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Oh So Silly!

My followers remember Mr. Slim from the Mississippi Delta! The story goes as my wife and friends were photography free styling when we came up on an old country store in Greenville, Mississippi. My wife goes inside while I am shooting the old gas pumps outside, when all of the sudden she burst outside and said, "You have GOT to come see this man!" She knows I love faces and people that exude "character". Well Slim was everything I wanted in a picture and more!

I asked if I could take his photo, and the other old men in the store starting "ragging" him. It was hilarious! They were saying things like "Show 'em your good side slim!", or "Show 'em your teeth slim!".  I started shooting and he sat there real still, but then unprovoked he started "posing". Like a supermodel that needed a good shave, he puts his hand to his rugged face and his pose was the shot you see here.

I am submitting this photo to the IHeartFaces silly photo contest. It may not seem as silly as some of the other faces in the contest, but for ole slim, it was as silly as he will ever get!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seasons of Life

Life happens. We are born, then we die. And in between the two dates on our tombstone is a little dash that represents our time here on earth. But instead of a dash, it should probably be more of an up and down curve. Some days we are happy, others we are sad. One day our health is good, and on other days we are worried about test results. One day we are surrounded by our loved ones, the next we are attending their funerals. These are the seasons of life.

What makes us strong in our beliefs is that we don't let our current season affect our faith and we shouldn't make our praise a condition of our circumstances. It is easy to praise when we are like the little girl above in the summer of life. When our hands are in the air, big smiles on our face, life is nothing but hearts and rainbows and not a care in the world! But we should be just as full of praise when we are like the little boy above, tired and slumping and ready for the day to just be over.

Summer, winter, fall or spring.  No matter what season you are in, just remember no season is permanent and we can always expect a change. The good news is that if our praise is not based on our circumstances, then no matter what season we are in, our joy remains the same!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Missed Opportunities

I first saw this gentleman in Rolling Fork, Mississippi about a year ago. My son and I left Vicksburg around 3:30 in the afternoon and headed up 61 North to the Mississippi Delta looking for some great Delta photos. As we drifted into Rolling Fork, Mississippi and headed downtown, I turned the corner and there he was. My heart jumped out of my chest as a photographer, the sun was setting and giving perfect light, he was rolling right down the middle of the road so the composition was perfect, the Jesus tag on the back of his chair could inspire someone that saw my photo, and the icing on the cake was this old glory flag waiving in the breeze as he moved. It was the PERFECT picture! Only one problem, my camera had the wrong lens on and he turned the corner as I frantically tried to switch it out. My heart sank.... I was sick to my stomach... A missed opportunity that I will never get back... or so I thought....

About a year later, I was out with my friend Marty and we ended up in Rolling Fork again. I wasn't even thinking I would see this gentleman again. But there he was.

This time I was disappointed. The sun wasn't setting, he wasn't in the middle of the street, the flag was all crinkled up. I even had the right lens on this time, but wasn't excited about the shot. All I could remember, is that the last time I saw him I could have had the perfect photo, and that this time it just wasn't the same. But instead of driving away, I pulled over and introduced myself to Mr. J.C. I shared my story about me seeing him a year ago, and we talked and talked. You see, what I thought was a missed opportunity a year ago, was quickly revealed to me that this was the real opportunity. Had I got the shot a year ago, he would have sped away and we would have never spoken and all I would have ended up with was a photo. By seeing J.C. a year later, I talked to him, heard his story and we shared our love for Jesus and what he has done for us. What I thought was a missed opportunity was God fostering an encounter with a fellow believer that I would have missed otherwise. Next time you think that God isn't listening, remember that it is in His time that his path for us is revealed, not ours.

Side note: J.C.? really, (Jesus Christ? Hey, it is on his license plate! )

Monday, January 16, 2012

With God All Things Are Possible

"Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired.  Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself." “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

This weeks photo was a little less subtle. Driving down Hwy 80 toward Edwards, Mississippi I came up on a church van with this message, "With God All Things Are Possible".  I've always heard this line quoted out of scripture in reference to so many small things in our small human lives. Life events such as people looking to change careers, "With God all things are possible", or reconciliations, "With God all things are possible".

The fact is that this quote out of the bible was meant for so much more. In the scripture above, Jesus is telling us that we can't save ourselves. It is impossible. We can't be good enough nor can we do enough things to impress God into giving us eternal life. Heaven can not be earned, it is a free gift. Only Jesus makes it possible for us to have eternal life. So my challenge for you today it to quit thinking that you're not good enough, or that you could never do enough to earn a trip to heaven. The truth is it doesn't matter about your past or what you've done, the only way to salvation and eternal life is through our Father Jesus Christ. With God, all things are possible.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good Morning God, We Are Never Alone

Re-discovered this photo the other day when I was going through some of my older collections. Sometimes it's the photo that you glanced over the first time that grabs your eye with a new meaning when you revisit it later. I figure it's because when we first capture it that maybe we aren't in a position in life that resonates with the soul of the picture, but when we revisit it later our life circumstances are different somehow, that makes us now connect with the photo in a different way. Something about this picture when I first took it reminded me that as I start losing my older generation family members and as my children are heading off to college that sometimes we can feel like this tree. Once surrounded by all of its other family of trees and probably an old homestead that once rang out with kids laughing and playing now stands alone in the middle of the field. But today when I pulled out this photo, I didn't see the negative. As I now stare at this photo I notice that the tree is not drooping or sad, I see a tree that is standing tall and proud. I see a tree that still serves a mighty purpose as it gives shade to the farmer that plows every spring. And most importantly I see a tree that gets to see the glory of God every morning rise over the horizon to remind it that He is still in control and radiant in a supernatural way that shines light into our lives more that we could ever know. Good morning God, no matter what we are never alone.