photographingGOD Photography

Tag: Devotion

When The World Goes Low…

What Is True Joy?

Doing well and doing good not only go together, but are among the secret ingredients of true joy. Not the joy that comes from graduating from college, landing your first job, getting married, having a child, buying your dream car or home, or retirement. Those things are joyful, but they are also fleeting. Their elation will last for a time and will undoubtedly be interrupted by life’s unfortunate circumstances. However, true joy gives us the strength to look way beyond our circumstances. It is found when we take everything we are given, and multiply it for the glory of God and His creation so that every day is met without expectation and only gratitude.

…true joy gives us the strength to look way beyond our circumstances.

Letting Go

“Okay, I’m sold!” you say. “Where can I get some “true joy?” It starts with the difficulty of letting go, or the “jump” as I like to call it. Like a first attempt at skydiving. Once you leave the plane, you have gotten over the hard part because you really don’t have any choice in the matter after that. Letting go is the key. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of things you think you need. And most of all, letting go of everything we have including our talents, gifts, time, energy, money, resources, etc. Oh, and the most coveted of all, our love. We want so desperately to be loved, but we are so possessive and unwilling to give it up without some sort of fair exchange. Unconditional love is costly, but delivers the greatest return.

Free Falling Drives Passion

During the “free fall” stage, we begin to detect true joy because it inspires unbridled passion. Now, our day’s expectations are shaped by what we can do to positively impact someone or something and not by what we can achieve or get for ourselves. The deep emotional expression of PASSION is activated and gives our life its greatest sense of meaning and significance.

We have become so use to doing things for personal gain. Our culture drives this aim which only leads to empty purpose and obsession, not passion. If you don’t believe this, just ask “really successful” people what they think about that which gave them the success and was the driver of their daily purpose. Then reread this article.

Go High!

James Dickson spends nearly his whole day serving and protecting people as a first responder in New York City. When he is not doing that, he is serving and protecting people. He explores ways that he can take his love for skydiving and make it more than a personal 10-minute joy. So, he aligned himself with an organization called Friends of Jaclyn which aims to iwhentheworldgoeslow_gregpaimprove the quality of life for children battling brain tumors and pediatric cancer. Through an event he organized, he made 25 jumps in one day while many others jumped to raise awareness and resources for this cause. Risking life for life. Each and every jump lasting far more than the jump itself, but for the lifetime of a dying child.

In a world that achieves new lows every day in its preoccupation with selfishness and hatred, it is great to see others who choose to go high with passion.

 

Congratulations! You Are Destined To Conquer The Impossible!

Congratulations! By clicking this article, you are on your way to conquering the impossible – Your special impossible. The term “impossible” places such a burden on our lives as we grow up being told that more things are impossible than possible and that those things that are possible by someone are simply not possible by us. The reality is the contrary. Each of us has our own possible impossible. However, it requires a self-confidence and more importantly, a strong faith in God who makes all things possible. But how do you put this to work in your life to take on the impossible?

“Each of us has our own possible impossible.”

Maasai Tribal DanceThere are five principles that one must cultivate to pursue the impossible. First, we must surround ourselves with people who encourage us and at least, ignore those around us who seek to bring us down. The great Imangineer, Walt Disney, was told by a former employer that he lacked imagination and creativity. One of the greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Edison was criticized as being to simple-minded to ever accomplish anything of significance.  Media mega-mogul, Oprah Winfrey was fired as a local newscaster after being told she was unfit for television. Had any of these people listened to those harsh voices, they would have never achieved what everyone else thought was impossible by them.

Second, know that failure is not an option, it is a requirement. Failure is the mother of invention, truly. You have heard, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Well, we must take measured risk to have measurable success. And the more “lean” failures we have, the more we learn and the closer we get to achieving the impossible.

“…failure is not an option, it is a requirement.”

Again, Thomas Edison, who in spite of thousands of significant patents, was most known for his invention of the light bulb. What most people do not know is that it took 1,000 failed attempts at the invention until he got it right. Had he been discouraged at any of the failures between 1 and 1,000, we would not have light, at least not by him.

Third, is the reality of adversity. You might be reading this in the midst of a great loss, an inability to cope, extreme challenges and distress and saying “I can not even see the potential of the day much less do the impossible.” Well, I have great news for you. Adversity can be your friend. The simple fact is that when you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.

“Adversity can be your friend.”

JK Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series, was destitute, dependent on welfare while raising a young daughter, and suffering from clinical depression when after five years of perseverance, she became one of the richest women in the world. She credits her trials and troubles as a valuable source for her inspiration. She did fall off the billionaires list because she donates so much of her wealth to people in need. God bless her…

Fourth, when you pursue the impossible, be prepared to experience an emotional juggernaut. Periods as long as weeks and as short as hours will be met with extreme ups and extreme downs. But do not fret. Trust in God. Enjoy and savor the journey. You will overcome and be surprised by your progress as you look back with clarity. Just place your trust in God.

“Trust in God.”

Which brings us to the fifth and most important principle. Believe in yourself… But place all your faith in God. For your impossible is that which God made possible only by you. Blessings…

thedefinitionofimpossibleisthatwhich_gregpai_v2

The Problem With Making Plans

When we become too committed to what we think is “right or best” for us, we do not open our hearts to what God may have in store for our lives. I call it the studio apartment syndrome. We do not leave any room for God to live and work in our lives. Letting go of our conviction, for at least a moment, may reveal a better plan to be convicted to. Often, such plans, would never have had an opportunity to enter our imagination or consideration.

If we want God to work in our lives, we have to mentally move into a “McMansion” because God takes up that much room and more!

 

Ever Feel Like Your Life Is Going Nowhere?

Do you feel like your life is going nowhere? I have great news. Nowhere is always somewhere; It just may not feel like anywhere right at the moment. Yet, life is not just a moment, but a continuum of moments strung together to form a glorious story. Your story. How do I know this is true?

God created you for greatness. You are an amazing creation with amazing ability and potential. Be patient and savor the moments. Be intentional, yet regard your current circumstances as part of a bigger plan. There is a bigger plan. Think back to the many times in the past you felt this way and then suddenly your circumstances changed. You may feel like you are in the middle of nowhere right now but rest assure, you are very much in the middle of somewhere. Blessings…

There Are Two Types Of People

An entrepreneur risks the gifts and talents God gave him (or her) so they can be multiplied and used to bless others. An entre-manure only dreams of being an entrepreneur, but is burdened by the fear of losing or loss. God blesses us to be a blessing. Don’t store up wheat for a rainy day. Share it and grow an even bigger harvest next season.

The Single Most Influential Landscape Photographer

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.” -Ansel Adams

All of us are photographers of some sort. We run about with our phones or tablets and many of us with our more advanced digital equipment. All of us attempting to catch that special moment, or not. Sometimes just to catch any moment, deeming it special just because every moment is. Even when we are sans-technology, we are capturing such moments with the most amazing camera of them all, our eyes.

This documentary takes us modestly into the mind of one of our most gifted photographers, Ansel Adams. While this brief film could easily be construed as a technical documentary, I prefer to enjoy it as a glimpse into the glory and talent of a marvelously convicted mind. Intentional and driven for excellence. Yes – he strived for perfection and was even under the impression that he could control much of what he was creating. And I believe that God may have even given such freedom because of his loyalty to his gifts. Nevertheless, he knew his limitations and never confused who was the picture taker, and who was the Picture Maker!

1958 Documentary About the Single Most Infuentual Landscape Photographer – Fstoppers

1958 Documentary About the Single Most Influential Landscape Photographer In this documentary from 1958, we’ll get to see first hand what founding father of modern photography, Ansel Adams, dropped in his camera bag before he went on a shoot in Yosemite National Park, as well as some rather juicy technical tidbits. One of… 1958 Documentary About the Single Most Infuentual Landscape Photographer – Fstoppers

thumbnail courtesy of fstoppers.com

You Have A “Whole” In Your Head

This photo is called “Gimme A Kiss” and it depicts man’s fascination with art. So – Not all of us are a natural-born Picasso. However, God did give all of us an amazing gift to create and be creative. Let your creative juices flow in all that you do. Don’t be satisfied leading just a “left brain” life. Even if that is your strength. God gave you a right side too. And for a reason. To support your creativity, imagination, intuition, artistic motor function, rhythm, non-verbal communication, emotional feelings, visualization, and the best of all, daydreaming! Don’t let the world convince you that you only have one half a brain. God gave you a “whole” in your head!

Every Day Is A New Day

Every day begins with the opportunity to see the world differently. To appreciate everything and everyone around us.

 

Love Can Heal Any Wound…

Love can heal any wound; and God is love. This accidental (or not so accidental) photo had meaning way beyond its intent to an audience desperate for healing. The power of photography… The power of God!

Sarajevo love story: how a chance photo revealed the joy and pain of Bosnia’s war | Cities | The Guardian

“It was amazing to me that you took that photograph of us, because my boyfriend is Serb and I am Bosnian…” read more at theguardian.com

Smile, and Put Your Best Foot Forward…

So often we are the central subject of our photographic memories when we travel or set out for new experiences. Pictures of us in front of landmarks and scenery; on the beach or in the pool, group photos at the dining table. Oh – and all those selfies.

I believe those photos really miss the opportunity to capture the inspiration we felt that very moment we experienced the miracle or miracles we were encountering. For example, a picture of a couple taken in front of a setting sun can be timeless, for sure. But what that couple experienced individually, and together, when they set their sights on the blazing beauty of God’s handiwork, is almost completely lost.

Photographer, Tom Robinson took on a very interesting project where he began to document his family’s travels by taking pictures from their “vantage point” and only showing their feet which personalizes the photo. I find the results quite amazing and can see how looking at these photos 10 years from now can bring them right back to those special moments.

Feet First: Photographer documents his family’s travels by showing only their feet | Creative Boom

While sitting on a Brighton beach in 2005 with his new girlfriend Verity, photographer Tom Robinson thought the view of their feet pointing out to sea would make a nice photo. Since then, he’s continued to document their travels around the world in this way, resulting in a growing collection of over a hundred images. read more at creativeboom.com

 

Do You Know When To Stay Still?

I classify anxiety as an official weapon of mass destruction. It has overwhelmed modern society and very few if any can avoid its wrath. It interferes with our ability to function, relate, share, connect, serve, work, play, imagine, sleep, rest, enjoy, and pray. [Did I forget anything?]

Pharmaceutical companies are printing money on our backs while only providing temporary transient relief and no cure. But what is the answer? The answer lies in finding peace and rest in God. A peace that surpasses all understanding. You see – peace to us usually means that the cause of our anxiety is resolved. But life doesn’t operate like that. Opposing forces are perpetually at work in our lives. No ethnic, racial, economic, or spiritual denomination is safe from anxiety. Simply put, it is NOISE! Noise that interferes with our ability to connect and depend on God. God is the signal. Anxiety is the noise. And the world benefits from keeping the signal to noise ratio low so we do not ever find peace and remain distracted and weak.

When we get a cell phone call that is a bad connection, what do we do? We rarely try to tolerate it. We reconnect the call in hopes for a better connection. When we tune in to a radio station and the sound is distorted, we change the channel. However, when we are experiencing anxiety, instead of reconnecting or changing the channel that is infiltrating our minds, we let it overwhelm our senses.

First, we must recognize that anxiety is tripped by situations where we are fooled to think we are in our control but in reality, are not. Our bodily response then produces extraordinary worry as we cycle through the catastrophic outcomes, most of which take full advantage of our imagination. We become consumed by a threat that either doesn’t necessarily exist or at best, is not within our control anyway.

So the peace we need to seek is one that changes the channel that tells us “we are in control” to a channel that gives us peace in knowing that what is not in our control is definitely in God’s control and part of His plan for us.

We can tame our anxieties in the stillness of God’s peace.

 

What Is The Most Magical Surprise?

God’s finger is always on our lives even when we are not conscience of it. But every now and then, we will experience an extraordinary sense of being loved. It might come from a friend, a spouse, a pet, an audience, a stranger, or maybe from within. This is God’s love.

Only God!

Passion

God is the source of Passion which gives us the ability to pursue our ability.

I Thought About Quitting…

Our children don’t need us to impress them, buy them things, or mold them into something we want them to become. But our children do need us to lead them to God, by example. Letting them see God in us every day, sharing the love of God with them, and encouraging and equipping them to seek God themselves.

We Don’t Want to Tell People…

God gave us a brilliant mind to think for ourselves and not simply follow a system by default. But that requires time, effort, and most of all, God’s wisdom. Thinking, discovering, and creating are the three worst things to outsource, and doing so is a fatal mistake.

Have You Seen Nature’s Waterfall Of Colors?

The Aurora Borealis , or Northern Lights, is one of nature’s most spectacular light displays. Ever changing, they will intrigue anyone who is lucky to catch them night after night.

At no other time of year can we drive through city and country alike and feel the warmth that lights add to our lives. No matter how awesome our light displays are though, nothing can compare with one of the most amazing shows nature has to offer; the Aurora Borealis, or more commonly referred to as the Northern Lights. It is literally a shifting waterfall of colors ranging from green to pink to white and everything in between. read more at grit.com

This is a phenomenon not to be missed in a lifetime if possible. Most of us will not get to the poles of the earth. However, recent changes in climate and solar patterns have been extending the effect of the Northern Lights where nearly half the earth’s population can get a glimpse (God’s way of moving the stage closer to your seat!). There is a great website hosted by Space Weather where you can go to receive alerts and other information about these events. Hopefully you can catch God’s next show! Blessings…

 

If Not For The Valleys

by Greg Pai
Featured Photo Credit: highlights6 (Wood Lanes, UK)

If not for the valleys
I often descend
I could not see the mountains
o’er horizon’s bend

The glory of God
His Majestic style
Awe filled landscape
A miracle mile

So far in the distance
While feeling so close
The landscape before me
I anticipate most

These dips
are in God’s grips
All these lands
are in His hands
Descents and ascents
are the intent of His plans

Shaping and molding
Yes, bending; That too
Form the grandeur of landscapes
Form the essence of you

So I suppose its all relative
Still this much is true
God has a landscape for me
and a landscape for you

 

Only God!

Our God-given Talents…

Our God-given talents allow us to build amazing structures that physically connect us. Imagine the potential for us to be spiritually connected.

…The Potential Of The Day…

Blinds or shutters can close what is inside off from what is outside and vice versa. The moment we awake in the morning we have a powerful decision to make. Will we “open the blinds” of our hearts and minds to see the potential of the day? Or will we keep them closed by avoiding the risks we may have to take, and effort we may have to invest in order to uncover the day’s treasures? God created each of us with an ability, and an innate desire, to uncover the mysteries of His magnificent creation; including our own potential.

_DSC3173-Edit__© 2015 Gregory Pai_V1

…Passion Resides In All Of Us.

As sure as our hearts beat, passion resides in all of us. Only when we find God’s purpose for our life, our passion is activated and then… Watch out world!

“As sure as our hearts beat, passion resides in all of us. Only when we find God’s purpose for our life, our passion is activated and then… Watch out world!” -Greg Pai
“As sure as our hearts beat, passion resides in all of us. Only when we find God’s purpose for our life, our passion is activated and then… Watch out world!” -Greg Pai