Thursday, October 27, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Dan!

(Kings Island - Beastie - c2000)

[Editor's note: I'm afraid to admit that I think I see a "fanny pack" in this photo.  I hope I'm wrong.]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What does it take to get Jesus' attention?

Matthew 20:29-34

Two blind men who sat by the side of the road heard that Jesus was passing by.  I've never been blind, but in the great crowd that was following Jesus, I imagine it would have been difficult for a blind man to pinpoint exactly where He was.  They couldn't just walk up to Him, because they couldn't see Him.  With the noise of the crowd, they could hardly hear His voice, and couldn't be sure that He would hear theirs.  I picture them yelling "Lord! Have mercy on us, Son of David!" at the top of their lungs, just hoping to get His attention.  The crowds tried to silence them because of the commotion they must have been making, but they continued with renewed enthusiasm.  To their surprise, (or to their faith), Jesus approached them and healed them.

I don't think it was their loud noise that drew Jesus attention, but rather their faith.  Their faith became evident by their persistence, merely reflected in their volume.  They put it all on the line, even enduring public ridicule, in order to get Jesus' attention, and then made their request known plainly to Him.  I believe He responded to their faith (as Jesus often did) and had mercy on them.  Their response proved that they were genuine - they got up and followed Him down the road.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Live In Contrast Photography

For those of you who haven't heard, I have created a new website to feature my photography.  Live In Contrast Photography now serves as a professional outlet for my best creative work.  Right now, I am working my way through my favorite images from my trip to Asia last Spring.  I am nearly finished with the India portion of the trip, and will be moving on to Hong Kong and China soon.  After that, I will continue posting photos from my professional collection and new assignments on at least a weekly basis.

I would love for you to keep up with it by bookmarking my site so you can quickly navigate there and browse through my galleries.  Better still, you can add my RSS feed located here or on the website to be notified each time I add new photographs.  I have also included "share" buttons on each new post to allow you to share your favorites with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

This blog will continue for more personal updates, and serve as a resource for me to keep in touch with you.  As always, I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Your Best Plan Now

Genesis 22:14: "So Abraham called the name of that place, 'The LORD will provide.'"

I don't like to go at things unprepared.  I take my time.  I do some research.  I get the right equipment, and I learn how to use it.  I read through the instruction manual all the way before I start the project.  I'm that kind of person.  The worst thing you could do to me is say the word "Go" before handing me the map.

That is why passages like Genesis 22 (excerpt above) and Exodus 16 scare me.  They tell how the Lord sent some great people out into the unknown, only promising to provide for them along the way.

In Exodus, the nation of Israel had just figured out that although God brought them out of Egypt, Moses and Aaron didn't have a plan.  They'd been out in the desert for weeks and had nothing left to eat.  If I were there, I have no doubt that I would join in the grumbling against God and Moses.  The parting of the sea was yesterday's news, and they were hungry now.

In the midst of their faithlessness and forgetfulness, the Lord provided.

He made a substance appear out of the heavens to cover the ground each morning.  It was something so unknown (initially) that they simply asked, "What is it?"  Even though they grumbled against him, the Lord gave them food to meet their need and he provided it morning by morning.  Sunday through Thursday the manna appeared, enough for the day (around 2 quarts per person), and if they took too much, anything left spoiled overnight.  On Friday, God provided twice as much and made it last for two days.  Those who presumed that they could gather manna on the Sabbath in spite of what God said woke up to bare ground and an empty stomach.  More than just meeting their daily needs, he mandated times of rest along their journey.

This journey continued for 40 years.  Every single day, God was faithful in doing what he said.  Every single day, the people had to trust him.  At the same time each week, they rested.

I often look at the participants in Biblical history with my "better-than-thou" attitude, but I honestly find myself sympathetic here.  I wonder if they ever reached a point of willingly and joyfully trusting God for his daily provision, or if a small doubt always lingered as to whether or not the bread would appear.  Trusting God daily for a new portion of his grace does not come any more naturally than the manna that appeared.  Personally, I have to fight to give up my assumed control and rely on his sufficiency.  Rest only comes when I recognize that he has given me enough- that he is enough.  I see it over and over again, but I still need reminding.

My best plan is to trust in God's provision as grace for today.

Luke 11:3: "Give us each day our daily bread."

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Neither snow..."


I learned this week that the U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. The line we associate with their faithful service, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," was penned by the Greek historian Herodotus. The "motto" became associated with the Post Office when the architects for a New York City Post Office included the inscription on the building's facade.

For the record, we haven't received mail in two days.