Monday, January 30, 2012
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
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
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
"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.