Project 365 [Day 145] Photo Editing Day for Project 365

Project 365 [Day 145] Editing Day for Project 365 on My 27" iMac

Today was editing day for Project 365. I am truly amazed at how difficult it has been to keep up with this seemingly simple task of taking one image a day for 365 days. I have managed to keep up ok with actually taking the image, although some days it has come right down to the wire, but trying to keep up with posting said images has been a difficult task. I could have made it a little easier on myself and just posted raw unprocessed iPhone images on Instagr.am every day, but that just isn’t my style. So this photo above is, yes, a photo of my office where I am processing my photos, but that’s what I did today. To see the other P365 (or posts) images just go to the gallery at http://p365.me  over on my Flickr site where they are arranged day by day.

Hand Made Smocked Clothes and Gowns for Preemie or Premature Babies

Hand Made Smocked Preemie Premature Clothes

This is slightly off-topic for my blog (hence my need and reason for having a Sidenotes Category), but well worth some publicity to lovingly brag on my wife, Deborah. In case you didn’t know, Deborah is about the best seamstress I know (just check out her blog or her custom made items on the Etsy store), and her work is in the category of heirloom clothes, depending on the particular project she’s working on. She has made, and is making, everything from Easter (see Easter Order) and Christmas gowns (see here), to fun football dresses (here) babies and girls can wear to any worthy SEC game, though she doesn’t discriminate against any school. If you are looking for an incredible dress or gown, get in touch with Deborah for details.

All of this is custom made to order per each individual, and all is hand made one individual stitch at a time. The most amazing work I’ve seen come out of her sewing room lately are these preemie clothes I photographed above. While each ministry is different, specifically because God has gifted each one of us in totally unique ways, this work is over the top awesome. Deborah started making these hand-made smocked (the crinkled stuff around the chest area for the guys reading this post) preemie gowns and clothes for parents who would normally never get the honor of having something special for their own child.

You can’t tell from this photo, but these clothes are teeny-tiny. Deborah even included one for a boy, which most of the time parents never have any clothes for at all. It is just amazing to me to think that somewhere, some as of yet unknown parents, are going to be presented with one of these gowns to put on their baby, probably during a very difficult time in their own lives. For parents to be able to receive something like this (for free), of this quality, hopefully says to them, God loves you, and He loves your child as well, no matter what happens.

This set of preemie clothes was just shipped this week to a large hospital in Miami where the need far exceeded the supply. If you are at all interested in helping with this type of ministry work I am sure Deborah would be more than happy to talk to you about it. For today, it is my Photo of the Day, and quite a challenging photo to take at that.

Update on Photo Project 365 from March 2012 :: P365.me

Project 365 March 2012

Just wanted to post a quick update to my Project 365 (also known this year in the gallery as P365.me :2012), which was started back on November 29th 2011. Today makes Day 127 on a project that has been on My List for years and years now. Taking at least one unique photo every day seems to be a simple, easy thing, but in reality when you really start to attempt something like this you quickly see how many things can get in the way. Honestly the only thing making this possible for me at this point is my iPhone, otherwise, time would have its way. I would say 80-85% of all my P365.me images have come from my iPhone, and without it, this project would most likely be all but impossible. For a more detailed explanation visit my Project 365 page.

The image above represents March 2012. This is one reason why I really wanted to do this project and stick with it. It is a snap shot (literally) of a month in time. I try to make each shot unique, but when you get buried into the depths of routine sometimes it hard, and you end up with a lot of shots in the car, and of the dog. The cool thing is, I can remember every single shot, where I was, what I was doing, and so on, and I can do the same thing for shots I took 10 years ago. Images are such a powerful reminder of time and place.

[On a side note, I have several pre-dated posts that go along with this one that are finally ready to go on the blog. Between that and me having to manually re-code each blog post from my transfer from wordpress.org to wordpress.com my rss readers are going to still get some old updates. I’m sorry for spamming my rss readers, I wish there was a way for me to change it until all the updates are done, but there isn’t, sorry. I’m trying to get all the posts updated, time permitting, so it will stop hammering my rss feed.]

Spring Forward with Faces Ready for Some Warm Weather

Today is that day, finally, where we get some light back in the day. You rarely hear so many people complain collectively about one thing as you do Daylight Savings Time. I’ve yet to run into someone who loves going back and forth each fall and spring, most would rather just stay on DST to give us a little more light in the day. So why do we continue to go back and forth, messing up everyone’s sleep patterns in the process? I am sure the general population doesn’t think about this, but every time we change, the Church body is the one who takes the brunt of the change on Sunday morning (I’ll forgo a long conversation about that). So why can’t we just do what Phoenix and Indianapolis does; just ignore the change, that would be awesome.

DST is another marker in the year though that reminds us all that Spring is on the way. Today, my photo of the day is my wonderfully photogenic niece, Martha, who makes me forget it is still cold outside right now. If you forgot to change your clock or just slept in today forgoing church, don’t worry, we will hold your spot for next week.

Look in the Rearview Mirror God is Pursuing a Relationship With You

I love this shot, it just feels like my life over the past few months, and it makes a great photo of the day today. I took this shot with my iPhone on the way to work in the rain a few weeks ago, and in a blur of motion, when I looked in the mirror this fog and bright sun filled the road behind me. It reminded me right then that God is chasing me, pursuing me to a deeper relationship with Him, not to be able to get more things checked off my to-do list. It’s a constant battle to slow down when we live in one of the fastest paced cultures in the world, but the second I took this shot that’s what I felt. Not that God couldn’t catch up with me, but that I was trying to outrun God in some way.

Thanks be to God that He is always pursuing His people, even when we are trying to run away, whether on purpose or just from being too busy. In real brief theological terms, we call this sanctification, or the process of being made into God’s likeness (see Romans 8.26-30). All throughout Scripture this is what it tells us, over and over again, God is in fast pursuit of His people. One place this is evident in particular is in John 17 in the middle of the High Priestly Prayer. Jesus is praying for us, in pursuit of us starting in verse 9 He says “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me… keep them in your name… I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost… keep them from the evil one… sanctify them in the truth… so even as we are one, they may be one.”

How great is that, to know that Jesus actually prayed for his people, and is continuing to pursue us every day. The flip side of course is when we continue to ignore that relationship, and continue to try to outrun God’s pursuit. Still, we are assured that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” and intercedes for us just when we need it.

Fog Bank Moving over the Trees

Massive Fog Bank Settles over Our Auburn Trees :: P365 [Day 8]

Every year as the seasons change this tree puts on a different face. I’m guessing I have taken 100’s of photos of this one particular tree, and every shot looks different. Today we had a fog-bank cloud descend over the property making visibility a few hundred feet or so giving me this shot. The weather this year just seems freaky, like having 75*F and fog on December 6th, but in a few days it’s supposed to be below freezing. Oh well, that’s the weather in the south.

I know I post random photos on here from time to time but each individual photo I pull out of a shoot is part of a bigger set, and next year, I am actually going to do something I have wanted to do for the better part of 15+ years, and that’s Project 365 as it is so called now. Project 365 is something I will post about more later, but basically that is a project that refers to taking and posting one photo a day for 365 days. I know, sounds simple. Ever tried it? Maybe 2012 will be the year. Today this is the P365 [Day 8] photo.

Over Egypt

If I timed this right, and that’s a stretch but it should be close, we are flying over Egypt right about now looking out over the Saharah Desert. The shot above is what we should be looking at right this very moment as we cross over from the Mediterranean Sea into the great land of Egypt. No, I don’t have wifi on the airplane unfortunately, I just, for once, planned ahead. I’m not really sure why this point in the trip has significance to me, perhaps because after all this preparation we are finally over the continent of Africa, but if you are looking at the photo above and thinking, there’s nothing there… that’s sorta the point. Nothing, for miles, hundreds of miles, except sand. All I could really think about was how in the world did the Israelites wonder around in the desert for 40 years? No wonder they were ready to kill Moses at that point.

Getting to this point in the trip keeps me thinking about being stuck between two worlds, the western world and all it offers is now so far behind us, yet we sit on a plane, which is basically our own civilization and culture, while we look out over a land that Moses walked across some 4,000 years ago (give or take a few). Another 4-6 hours and we will land in Rwanda, then Uganda, and leave the culture we know and understand behind for the next week or so. From then until we leave we will be known as the Mazunga who came to visit.

I’m a terrible poet, but this view and this flight across the desert, where so many thousands and thousands of people flown before today, deserves to be written about at some point. I know, at least for me, I’m excited that we have finally crossed over into Africa.

Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again… Genesis 46:3.4

I love that God has called out this land from the beginning, and I am now able to see it as none of the Israelites could have ever imagined, from 40,000 feet up in the air. Looking forward to some sleep on the ground in another 6-8 hours or so. Till next time.

The Four Fillmer Boys as We Welcome Luke into the World

Well one down and one to go. Today we welcomed baby Luke into the world today at 10:07am in Longmont Colorado. Luke weighed in at 8 pounds and measured 21 inches and seemed to be totally at peace with his own existence within a few minutes, hardly even cried except when various nurses jolted him here and there. The photo above, today’s photo of the day, is the first ever shot of the four Fillmer boys, and also the four people who contributed and helped the very least in bringing baby Luke into the world today. It would be really cool to add the other two Fillmer boys (Larry and Les) to this photo some day, but one is in Germany right now and the other in Alabama.

I think I took about 1200 photos of the baby and all the various participants and visitors from today’s glorious event. There were many great shots of mom and baby but those will come later. Deborah and I were so happy today to be witness to the birth of our second grandson (and we were told our last), can’t wait to share a few more photos down the road so to speak. Next up is my sister who should deliver within a week or so, hopefully she will wait until we get back to Alabama so we can get the first photos of our newest niece.

A Bumpy Ride but Arrived a Mile High in Denver

So we are in the Mile High city for a few days for the birth of our second grandson, Luke, but while we are here we get to take a side trip over to Colorado Springs and visit with a ministry group there. On a side note, there are an amazing number of ginormous ministry groups here in Colorado Springs, like Focus on the Family, Compassion International, Promise Keepers was at one point, and so on… amazing. We are going to get to talk about the kids in our sponsor program from Cornerstone like the girl you saw in my previous post. I’m always excited to get to talk to people when it deals with ministry and photography at the same time. It’s one thing to get to work in an area you are passionate about but it’s really fantastic when you get to combine two passions together, even if it’s just to talk about future possibilities.

So, quick photo of the day above, which is actually from yesterday. We ended up landing in Denver in horrible weather (which is rare out here). It’s also freezing out here, well, it’s not 100*F out here, but all the resort towns are expecting snow this weekend. Until next time…

Labor Day Monday Photo With a Bike Uganda Style

This Labor Day was a glorious day. It rained almost all day today due to Tropical Storm Lee pounding up from the Gulf Coast. For those of us fortunate enough to be able to take at least part of the day off today it was wonderful. For a few shorts minutes this morning I was able to sit on my patio and watch the rain and do nothing. It was great, but a time of solitude took me back to thinking about those in Uganda, many who labor very hard every single day. Matthew says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (11:28), and we came across many who needed a little rest over there, as we all do everywhere. Margin is such an important thing in life. So important in fact that God put it 4th on his important list of things for us to do.

The photo above was so typical of the people we saw in Uganda. Super nice, hard working people, many moving goods from one place to another, by foot. I had never seen so many crazy things being moved around on a bike and moped; like a full sofa, a coffin, a refrigerator, and all kinds of agricultural goods. At some point I’ll do a post with just photos of things we saw people carrying on bikes, for now, this guy is my honorable labor day photo. Something like 50-75 pounds of trees being pushed up a hill in the mud, pretty incredible.