Happy Halloween with Deb and Apples :: Friday Feet

Deborah with a Halloween Apple

Friday Feet with Scott and Josh

Halloween Party with the Kids

It’s Friday once again, Halloween, and just two days away from Daylight Savings time where on this side of the time zone (just miles from the ETZ border) it will be dark just after lunch starting Sunday afternoon.  Click Friday Feet if you are unfamiliar with my Friday post and join in.  Just post a photo of where you were standing today and leave a comment to let us know how to find your blog.

I had a quick photo shoot with the kids in their Halloween costumes (see full shoot here) and spent a good bit of the rest of the morning with a friend of mine (Josh) and his beautiful kids (here) out here on the farm.  My feet post is Josh and I in the cumc lobby on our way to lunch today.

We don’t get many trick or treaters out here at our place, (especially since we are 1/2 a mile from the next house and our fence probably prohibits a visit) so I used a photo of this nice plate full of apples my mother game me yesterday from a nearby farm.  I actually got the idea of the apple photo from Brad Ruggles and his little girl (see My New Desktop Wallpaper) but he did a far better job with the color.  Just over there and tell Brad Happy Birthday.  Deb looks great, but a little more kin to Eve holding out the apple for me than Brad’s daughter.  Thanks for letting me steal your idea brad.

Looking forward to some good football this weekend.  Happy Friday Halloween everyone.

Year in Review and a Look Ahead at Celebration Dinner

Practice for Celebration Sunday

Practice for Celebration Sunday

Practice for Celebration Sunday

Each year our church has a special evening where they look back at the year to see where God has taken the church, and start to look at what is ahead for the next year.  A lot of planning has gone into the events for Sunday night.  We will be broadcasting live on Sunday night (see Celebration Dinner Broadcast), which I believe is a first for us, new videos, and some great music.

I took these photos of the rehearsal on Wednesday for Sunday night.  Plan to be there if you can, it will be a great night of food and fun while discovering where the church has been and where it is going.

Alabama Rural Ministries Make a Difference Day :: Photos

Make a Difference Day with ARM

Make a Difference Day was this past Saturday which was a mission work day on several houses in the rural Alabama area.  A group of volunteers from our church sponsored work on one of the houses and everyone was blessed to be around and help a family in Hurtsboro.   According to Alabama Rural Ministries:

In all, you worked on five homes and one group helped with renovations at a site where we house work teams. You were spread out from Hurstsboro into Loachopoka. We had 55 people working for a total of 275 work hours. Pretty incredible.

Pretty incredible indeed.  For most of us, we did what we do best.  I tried to document the day through images, Josh opened his ears and intently listened to the Randolph’s life (while his son entertained), and Andi and a bunch of volunteers labored.  To read more details about the day, please jump over to Andi’s blog see her post, Make a Difference Day. I tried to just pick one image that would tell the story but could only narrow it down to three images (see my previous rant called How to Tell a Story with a Series of Photos or Make Conclusions with a Snapshot.  Which one is your favorite?  Which one tells the story the best?

To see the entire shoot, go to the Make a Difference Day gallery.

Make a Difference Day with ARM

Make a Difference Day with ARM

Make a Difference Day with ARM

After we left on Saturday questions started flooding my mind, especially with the title for the day.  Did we “make a difference”?, but it was more than that.  What did the Randolph’s who owned this house think about this bunch of white people (I say that as a matter of fact, yes, we are white) that invaded their home, dirtied up their house, showed up with tools from Home Depot that cost more than their car and watched a guy holding a camera the size of a bazooka snapping shots all over the place (I couldn’t imagine someone coming into my house and just shooting at will).

Was Christ represented, did His light show through us, and did we, through our Lord, make a difference in the Randolph’s life?  Did we judge them for how they live because they appear to live a different life than most of us here in Auburn?

Part of the problem and the flaw in my thinking is how I looked at the house, and the family members it represented, and that was from an earthly perspective.  What we here in this country hold dear, the material items, what can we buy to make our lives better, will fade away some day, and we will be left with the same soul we came into this world with and nothing else.  The Randolph’s were gracious, kind, and happy to be living in a quiet peaceful area of Alabama, with almost none of the things us city folks expect as part of our standard of living, and I thank them for blessing me on Saturday by inviting me into their home.

Let me know which image you think represents the day the best.  Perhaps none of them, but I really think the first image needs a caption in the comments… “ever get the feeling you are surrounded”.

How to Tell a Story or Draw Conclusions with a Bald Eagle Photo

An American Icon the Bald Eagle

A friend of mine asked me yesterday “what is your favorite photo you have ever taken”. When I couldn’t answer that question, he asked me about my favorite series of photos.  That was an easier question but one I still really couldn’t answer.  In a way, both are almost impossible questions to answer, much like the question I get once in a while “what is your favorite place geographically”. I like different locations for different reasons, and some I prefer over others, but not one single place that says, come here forever and you will be happy. That is like trying to pick one photo or one series out of a decade of images.

One photo may speak a 1,000 words as the saying goes, but it doesn’t tell an extensive story.  You can take a single image and tell a story, but if you see a sequence or completed album often it can tell a completely different story all together, perhaps one the photographer is specifically trying to portray.  Where one photo is a sliver in history, at least a sequence of photos gives you a time line to look at.

Some musicians do not release singles but prefer only to release an entire album, because the album tells a story.  Pink Floyd was great at this, but Garth Brooks has said many times that he has refused to sell singles on iTunes because he compiles an album to be just that, a complete work that tells a story that would be incomplete when you listen to one single song, or the songs out-of-order.

Photography, to me, is much like the music example above.  Photographers will often take a series of photos to tell a story, a sequence of history to show how he or she sees an event, people, or places that the photographer was involved with at some level, even if that was just to observe.

What is the Story of the Bald Eagle

So, what does this image tell us, what story does it tell.  It is an American icon, a Bald Eagle.  Do you think of majestic places, cold Alaska wilderness, some government endangered species list or something green like that?

By itself, it is a nice shot of a beautiful bird, but it doesn’t tell a story like it would if you looked at the sequence of photographs taken before and after the bald eagle image.  To see the entire shoot, go to the bald eagle gallery and see how he fits into the story of the image above, but, once you open the gallery, don’t just go, oh yeah, figures, click on the slideshow if you are so inclined (upper right), and watch the story in order (it is a rare one this year) in its entity as it was written by the artist.

What Conclusions Do We Make with People

If you made it this far you may be wondering what’s the point.  Who cares anyway besides the photographer or musician… well… I think this bleeds over into our daily lives.  How often do we look at a piece of the story and come to some conclusion?   How often do we look at a person not in our own circle and make some conclusion based on our one single snap shot of their lives?  How about those within our circle?

I think in our culture of today’s sound bite mentality we no longer have the ability to absorb and understand the whole story.  We don’t have the time, nor do we care, we just come to some conclusion, right or wrong, and move on.  This is the same with friends, co-workers, acquaintances, or just those passing by on the street.  We are so busy that we only have time to take a snap shot of the things that pass through our life and then forget about it and move on.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine this morning and I finally told him to just come to a conclusion and move on and he said “I don’t operate like that”.  It made me think about how often we do this, just for the sake of time.  It isn’t always important to know the entire story (sometimes knowing all is quite bad once we get all the facts), but taking the time to at least look at the gallery the artist put together might bring us to another conclusion.

This post could go in a thousand directions from here, but it was really a segway to my next post, Alabama Rural Ministries Make a Difference Day // Photos, and making this the intro to that post all on one page would be incredibly hard on the eyes.  But I will leave you with this series of questions… do we look at something from the outside and make conclusions without knowing the entire story?  Do we judge people in this fashion?  Do we conclude the worth of someone based on these snapshots?

John 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Stay tuned for part 2….

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art in Worship Photos at Catalyst

I have been waiting and waiting to get to this particular edit from Catalyst finished…so today I finally got around to posting these images from Catalyst08 in Atlanta. This is Caitlin Beidler from Redemption Art.  This very well could have been the greatest live acts of worship I have seen in a long time.  It took me by surprise and I came to find out later that not everyone there even saw the entire painting in worship as it happened.  It really was amazing to see a painting being created before your eyes, to music, in worship.

I did not get a chance to meet Caitlin but I appreciate the many different ways we were able to worship for those few days, and she was a big part of that.  The images below are a short progression of how the painting-worship to music went.  The very last photo was taken after they moved on to the next session and turned off the lights.  The paint is not a glow in the dark (as far as I know) or black light paint, this is just how it looked when the lights were turned off.  The glow of the white paint in the dark was amazing to me and to me it showed Christ at the Cross in the dark.  To see more of the painting from my photo perspective visit the Catalyst Gallery.

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art Catalyst

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art Catalyst

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art Catalyst

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art Catalyst

Caitlin Beidler Redemption Art Catalyst

Caitlin Beidler paints Jesus

Coming up soon I will have a few more posts from Catalyst.  If you have a chance, run over to Caitlin’s website and see her other paintings.