Selfies, advertising, and other staged photography all too often portray a false or fabricated depiction of our society. It is a no wonder that we don’t necessarily feel the immediate pressure to radically change our increasingly violent identity. Yet, images from around the world tell the true story of what we are becoming – Desensitized to violence.
Understandably, who doesn’t want to live in “wonderland” like Alice, where we can shut this painful darkness out from our daily lives. However, the downside is quite costly when we don’t allow ourselves to experience the true world around us. As photographers, we have a tremendous responsibility to use our craft to depict our changing society in ways that may be painful to capture and share, but necessary in order to keep our world real and responsive.
Photography Pulitzers Recognize Aftermath of Violence Here and Abroad
Not all people who have met the misfortune of homelessness are homogeneous and can be lumped into one group. Homelessness does not define a person. Rather, it is a description of one’s circumstances and not who they are. Let us never forget that these are individuals with their own special stories and the blessing of life from God. Furthermore, the label alone will never define the potential of a single person. Just ask world-renowned author and humanitarian, J.K. Rowling.
However, one thing homelessness seems to bring out in most who are inflicted is a deep expression of soul and “truth” in their eyes. It would be wrong to quickly and categorically dismiss such expression as sadness or depression. I have personally felt an “angelic” or spiritual presence when engaging with people who are living on the street. It always seems like a more meaningful encounter than one I might have with a colleague or friend.
Incidentally, I don’t think this phenomenon is limited to the homeless. Life’s challenges tend to reduce us from what we have pretended to be to who we really are. I believe that when we let go of, or distracted from, what the world tells us is important, our true soul begins to shine through our eyes as well as our actions.
We become “real!”
Their souls are in their eyes, says photographer of the homeless – OCRegister
At most, only a plane flight physically separates us from people who live very different from anything we are familiar with. Interestingly, we are more than earthly neighbors and share quite a bit in common. For starters, we are all human and all created by God!
God has created an amazing spectrum of culture that we must protect and cherish. If we grow up thinking that everyone must look and live like us, we miss the blessing of diversity and the sheer potential of man’s inventive nature.
Rare Photos of Brazilian Tribe Spur Pleas to Protect It – National Geographic
God blessed your past
For good reason
It came first and not last
God blesses His plan
Your future by His hand
Not the one influenced by man
God is blessing this moment
Whether you feel joy or resent
Because God’s gift that keeps giving
Is not just any gift…
It’s THE present
The Purpose Of The Past
For every ounce of happiness in the past, we can certainly find an equal dose of sadness. Maybe more. So the true value of the past, and the reason it is behind us and not ahead, is to remind us of God’s grace and blessing.
The wake of life, like that which trails a boat, has the potential to hypnotize us away from the conscientiousness of the moment. It can have us drifting into one of those “Wish I could have…,” “What if I did…,” and “Why me…” kind of mental games which bind us from fully living in the day. Similarly, it can overwhelm us with the euphoria of what “once was” and set us sailing on the “those were the good times” and “remember when…” excursions which lead us to believe the best already came and went. This cannot be the purpose of the past. The past should liberate us, and more importantly, unleash the potential of the current moment.
The Purpose Of The Future
The future, as we know it, is at best uncertain. This is how I describe it:
We have what we know; I call this our instinct
We have what we think we know; I call this our righteousness
We have what we don’t know; I call this our ignorance
And finally, we have what we don’t even know we don’t know; I call this our future
The result is endless, pointless, wasteful worry. Worry about our children, our health, our things, our jobs, our retirement, our country, our future… It is a no wonder that developed countries have medicated populations struggling with anxiety and the like. This cannot be the purpose of the future. The future should breathe life into us and more importantly, invigorate hope into the current moment.
There are gifts. There are presents. And then there is the ultimate gift which is the present. The moment. In fact, this very moment. It is the present that gives function and form to the past and the future as I illustrated above. Every new moment is a gift from God giving true, practical, and celebratory purpose to its two distant cousins, past and future. It gives us every reason to live, every reason to hope, and every reason to give thanks to God. Every moment of every day. That is my prayer for you.
If you are feeling a little let down today, how do you think this fox feels! Dealing with our fellow man can take its toll these days. So, here is a welcomed distraction. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards should lift your spirits with photos of animals doing the darndest things. God has filled the animal kingdom with a kaleidoscope of personalities, beauty, and innocence. A perfectly timed breath of fresh air. Maybe, that’s why some animals are called man’s best friend.
These Are The Year’s Funniest Animal Photos – Huffington Post
We should never doubt God’s provision in our lives. As I sit here now, I question areas of my life that I feel particularly challenged with. I actually don’t even remember a time that I didn’t. And I would not be forthcoming if I didn’t confess my vulnerability and frequent sense of losing hope. But I am quickly reminded of my own quote. “When you are all out of hope, the only thing left is hope.” And from there… I march on! -gp
Stunning Photo Of Moms Holding ‘Rainbow’ Babies Goes Viral
A pregnancy after a miscarriage can be difficult to endure. That’s why this viral image of six moms either pregnant with or holding their rainbow babies is beyond inspiring. Photographer Alex Bolen of Shutter Darling Photography gathered six clients who had either given birth or were currently pregnant with a baby conceived after a loss. Stunning Photo Of Moms Holding ‘Rainbow’ Babies Goes Viral
Photo Credit: Photographer Alex Bolen of Shutter Darling Photography
By Greg Pai Inspired By Andrea Mani Photo Credit: Andrea Mani
This is a time of the year where many feel lonely or empty. Especially those who have no family to speak of. Our hearts have to place orphans at the top of that list. What we learn from this story inspired by Andrea Mani, is that we are all orphans if we don’t connect with and depend on God.
Orphans have seemingly perfected that connection and dependence as a means of survival. In fact, they do not see themselves as orphans; They see themselves as God’s blessed children. Experiencing His abundant, unconditional love as no earthly parent could ever offer.
“You say I am an orphan,” the hearts of the unwanted cried out. “But, I say I am loved. Loved by He who made me.” Andrea Mani fell in love just moments after she arrived for what was six months of service. At a little known ministry in Jocotepec, Mexico, orphan children are changing everyone who comes in contact with them – One soul at a time.
The orphanage cares for twenty-one girls and one boy. “One boy!” you say. Well, eight-year old Chuy (pronounced “chewy”) is one of three siblings and when the orphanage converted over to an all girls institution a few years back, they didn’t have the heart to separate Chuy from his two sisters, one named Milagro (meaning Miracle in English). A victim of physical and emotional abuse, it was only by a miracle that 8-year old Chuy survived those earlier abusive years. Cigarette burns on his body and later, months of being mute, unable to speak. Inevitably, Andrea would take a special interest in Chuy as he faced the journey of healing ahead of him.
The other children learned not to depend on “man.” God was the provider of everything in their lives and that suited them just fine. It wasn’t long before the children challenged Andrea. “You won’t last two months,” they said. These children were used to people revolving in and out of their lives, often under duress or anxiety. Andrea not only endured, but also learned why others did not. When a person signs up for this kind of work, they do so assuming they are the “strength” coming to the aid of the “weak.” To the contrary, they quickly learn that the children become inspirational and essential to their own personal journey. Radically changing their heart and perspective. Maybe even feeling inadequate and unnecessary in the ways they expected to make an impact. This is when the process flips on its head and starts to become more of a self-examination of our own lives; a sometimes difficult awakening. However, necessary.
Most of these children came from situations too difficult to write about. Even called “rats” by those the heartless of the community. Some had mothers who were prostitutes while exploiting their children sexually for favor. Absolutely tragic. However, how would you know any of this by just looking at them? They are beautiful in every way. Inside and out, their hearts and smiles radiate. Yet, they have nothing. Or do they? Andrea expected overwhelming sensations of abandonment on her arrival. She did not expect what God was about to show her.
The children had a life about them that projected pure joy. Amazing as it may seem, the children had a ritual of occasionally going into town and donating their clothing to any one of four impoverished villages in the immediate area. Yes – you read that right. Even though their very limited wardrobes were precious to them, they believed that whatever they gave up would be replenished by God’s own hand. And guess what? They were never without. Somehow, newly donated clothes always found a way to their personal shelf (that’s a single shelf). Such faith. I suppose when we have nothing to lose and expect no earthly gain, we are capable of giving and doing our most selfless work in this life. These children are living proof. They see their glass not as a quarter full or three-quarters empty, but overflowing.
We have convinced ourselves that we are somehow more equipped or better off than they are. Hence, we neglect to ever seek or find the orphan in us.
What is orphan about these children. The dictionary says the noun form is defined as a child who has lost both parents. That is innocent enough. Interestingly, the adjective form is used to describe one who is abandoned. Quite a difference. Unfortunately, we have adopted the more negative connotation as the global definition. We have convinced ourselves that we are somehow more equipped or better off than they are. Hence, we neglect to ever seek or find the orphan in us. There is that “difficult awakening” thing again!
At some point, Andrea observed a young girl’s mother (a recovering prostitute) visit the orphanage expecting to take her little girl back home. However, with the best of intentions, the woman realized that her daughter was better off staying because she was unable to offer her the same stability and nurturing.
However, I believe that God speaks to us through His beloved orphans. I now see the love of God when I see an orphan. Not an abandoned soul; But a soul that’s whole!
As I documented this story, I struggled with internal conflict and confusion. I love God and He fills my life, but am I abandoned enough to really feel the fullness of His love? Many of us have family and good friends around us who bring us a great deal of joy and companionship. But what is it like to have no one but God? Please don’t get me wrong. Family is a blessed gift from God. A special treasure from above. However, I believe that God speaks to us through His beloved orphans. I now see the love of God when I see an orphan. Not an abandoned soul; But a soul that’s whole!
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.
“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.
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 improve 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.
I cannot remember a time when the culture of advertising was truly inclusive (or the media for that matter). You would think that advertisers selling a product or service would want to appeal to the largest possible audience of potential customers. “Not just the perfect ones.” If I am selling soap, why would I only want to sell it to people who looked or acted like me?
When advertisers choose certain “types” of people to represent their product and intentionally exclude others, they have somehow managed to convince those that are excluded, that they should be more like the ones that are included, and not themselves.
However, advertisers have taken control of this problem with some slight-of-hand psychological magic. When advertisers choose certain “types” of people to represent their product and intentionally exclude others, they have somehow managed to convince those that are excluded, that they should be more like the ones that are included, and not themselves. The “included” are superior and the excluded need to be like them tapping into our deepest, darkest insecurities. The media drives this identity crisis. Advertisers find benefit in homogenizing the globe into a one size, figure, color, type, culture, etc. fits all. This is not how we were created and abandons the richness of our diversity.
I don’t really believe that people should be called “disabled.” My preference is to acknowledge them as people who are able in ways that others are not.
People who have disabilities are among the excluded and have possibly suffered the most because they have to deal with both their affliction as well as trying to fit in. First, I don’t really believe that people should be called “disabled.” My preference is to acknowledge them as people who are able in ways that others are not. This is an important truth because the physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional coping mechanisms of people who may not function exactly like the masses are nothing short of extraordinary. Their resourcefulness to compensate and develop nearly supernatural abilities is evidence that they are God’s special children. To witness their daily perseverance is like watching the entire Star Wars Trilogy wrapped up in one human being. There is little on this earth that can motivate, inspire and give us hope like these individual miracles. I don’t understand why they aren’t dominating the content of all our media!
We should not underestimate the significance of growing up in a media-driven world that pretends you don’t exist. We should be able to grow up in a world where our environment not only accepts us, but promotes all of us as a community of one people without leaving anyone behind.
ADORABLE! Ga. baby changing perceptions of beauty in advertising – 11alive.com
The pGOD App was developed for you. Now you can have convenient access to enhanced content and features including:
WALL OF WISDOM:
Powerful images, quotes, and thought-provoking narrative serve to inspire your search and need for daily purpose, peace, and passion. The ingredients to pursuing true joy in this life. WOW posts muffle the destructive 24/7 “Voice Of The World” which serves to separate us from our divine and natural creation and promote chaos. Chaos in our minds and souls; Chaos in our relationships and families; Chaos in our jobs and interests; Chaos in our world…
Un-spinning the noise of the news by adding editorial commentary to image-rich stories in an attempt to “see the world through the lens of God’s eyes.” Voices is an alternative news source that pursues the truth, hope, and beauty in God’s creation as an alternative to gossip, propaganda, and sensationalism.
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I grew up believing I was allergic to cats and dogs. I later learned this was nothing more than a fable fabricated by others to discourage me from wanting a pet. So the TIME story, “Here Are Some Adorable Photos Of Kittens Pouncing” grabbed my tongue and inspired me to write a personal memoir, not about cats per se, but about life.
Fast forward many years later, I found myself wandering into a pet store and buying my first dog. It was love at first sight and every sight thereafter. I could not help but remorse over the years I missed out on this joy as a child. A few dogs later, I married a die-hard cat lover. She was (and is) quite the package and the package included two cats. “But Honey!” I exclaimed. “We can’t take the cats because I am allergic. Just not to dogs.” This was clearly a convenient modification of the childhood fib I grew up with to accommodate my selfish preferences at the time. Dogs over cats. Unfortunately, ignorance won and my wife lost. Relatives got the cats.
How often we let our ignorance, anxieties, and stubbornness get in the way of experiencing so many things this life has to offer. Moreover, these personal shortcomings have a way of occasionally interfering with the joy of others in ways that are rarely measurable. Today, my heart has softened for cats and my wife’s love for them. The photos of these little kittens featured in the TIME article make them so irresistible to me. These little cutie kittens definitely got my heart and my tongue. But, it is my heart and my tongue that makes this story about more than cats. How many of life’s blessings do we simply exclude from consideration for nothing more than a naïve pass? How often are we at a complete loss to truly justify, explain or understand our sometimes baseless feelings, attitudes, and actions?
How many of life’s blessings do we simply exclude from consideration for nothing more than a naïve pass? How often are we at a complete loss to truly justify, explain or understand our sometimes baseless feelings, attitudes, and actions?
The action of avoidance comes at great cost. Many things we avoid, without good and sound reason, will remain an unsolved mystery for the rest of our lives. You may say, “Well, if I don’t care about the mystery, why would I care if it is solved?” Great question and best answered with a question. How many times have you enjoyed something or someone only because you overcame an obstacle of some sort and gave it or them a chance? Perhaps, that date you repeatedly rejected until you caved in and ended up falling in love. Or maybe a food you said you would never try and finally did and became a favorite. A place you said you would never live. A country you said you would never visit. Children you said you would never have and did and they became the pinnacle of your life!
Speaking of children… These little creations need to be the focus of our reconditioning. We need to teach them to be open-minded as often as possible. To have a basis for their thoughts that is rooted in truth. I get bunched up when I ask one of my children “Why?” and they just say “Because! Just because…!” “Just because” is such a weak and lame answer… To ANY question. I suspect we just get tired of adding an untruth to the end any question we simply don’t have a good and substantive answer for.
I wonder how many things I failed to attempt, pursue, or enjoy because I let my attitude get in the way. Unfounded behavior that has no place in a world that screams, “I am remarkably made!”
Oh, how much we miss. Why? Well, I guess because… Just because…
Here Are Some Adorable Photos of Kittens Pouncing – TIME
Whatever belief system you subscribe to, I think most of us can agree that civilization is becoming increasingly self-destructive. I suppose we may have been more barbaric in the distant past (and that may be debatable). Yet, has man’s creation of increasingly complex systems including government, finance & economics, health & medicine, organized religion, education, agriculture, commerce, technology, science, communications, media, and transportation, promoted progress for the human race? Is progress leaving anyone behind? Are we eradicating sickness and poverty; improving the quality, beauty, and integrity of life; preserving our environment and resources, or increasing peace, tolerance, respect, love, compassion, service, and faith around the world? These are all very important questions to ask ourselves. Right here and now.
Imbalances Often Signal Something Is Not Quite Right
Who has benefited and at what cost? This is the first question. The resource-rich United States is split in half politically with each side believing their respective needs and wants are not being met. The result is that no one seems to be content and the frustration and hate index is going through the roof.
We should ask, “Are the systems to blame? Do they consider the totality of the population or just a chosen few? Are they creating catastrophic imbalances that grow division?” Another example, the US is the greatest consumer of the world’s resources. It represents 18% of the world’s energy consumption* and only 4.5% of the world’s population. How can we think for a moment that such imbalances will not have intentional and unintentional side effects. Just to be clear, the United States is not the only producer of “imbalances.” Imbalances exist throughout the entire developed and underdeveloped world unfortunately. It’s a simple problem of cause and effect.
Manmade Systems Are Just That, Manmade; Not God-Made
We are not advancing as a civilization. Progress has not only stalled. It is going in the opposite direction. We need to look deeply and honestly into the design and consequences of the systems we are designing and managing.
In education, for example, we do not teach our children how to learn. Educational institutions have replaced those more natural abilities with tools and techniques that encourage memorization of facts and accumulation of information; Not knowledge. Furthermore, children are classified instead of individually nurtured due to the demands placed on these institutions to produce “results.” Progress is rewarded at the sacrifice of process. Moreover, test results and grades define potential instead of passion and conviction. Unfortunately, no training to seek or discern the truth. Rather, programming in nearly every course that teach our children to debate and promote a perspective or point. What some of us would call “lawyering.”
The more we learn, the more we may earn, and the less we will grow, because the less we will ever want to know.
The subject of manmade systems is is a fairly complex discussion and will invite much debate. However, it is central to how we live together in this world while seeking purpose, peace and passion. It will be a theme that will certainly present itself often on this platform because it is both a catalyst and disruptor to the different definitions of progress. Progress as humans. But more importantly, progress as a creation. An amazing creation with amazing potential to attain true joy on this earth.
Cynical, But Hopeful
In closing (for now), Please do not see me as cynical. I truly apologize if I disturbed the balance of your day at all. However, I am willing to disturb your day if it has the potential to enhance your life. Man has extraordinary talents, gifts, characteristics, and blessings that have been created for good. But… WARNING: When man relies fully and only on himself to pursue good, without God, it seems he too often ends up with not so good and not at all God.
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.”
There 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…
While in Central Park, I took this photo called “Prayer In the Park.” I could not help but capture the peace of this man in meditation. Maybe he was praying for a greater purpose, the healing of a loved one, or perhaps the world. Regardless, it is an amazing gift that we can connect with God through prayer.
The Thieves Of Hopelessness And Despair
The thieves of hopelessness and despair exist to breakdown gratitude and faith. Hopelessness operates like a well-planned heist. First, it shuts out the lights so we cannot see or find gratitude. All gratitude including gratitude for the moment we are occupying and gratitude for the moments of joy we already experienced, however few or far we may think they are. It wants complete darkness and control. It fills the dark room with obstacles like self-doubt, anxiety, and a preoccupation with everything that has gone wrong in our lives.
The Crown Jewel: Faith
The final stage of the crime is to run off with the crown jewel, Faith. In the confusion and sadness of the darkness, hopelessness convinces us that God doesn’t exist or if He does, He just doesn’t care. Then faith is ripped from the typically guarded protection of our heart and soul and the thief runs off with the goods.
The Real Thing: Hope
Except, the thief was unaware that the faith he stole was counterfeit. Just like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in France, the real one is often relocated to unknown location. “True” faith cannot be taken from us. God protects and guards it just like His love.
So, when you think your hope has been stolen, remember that hope still remains.
Too many of us have a lost or strained relationship with one or more of our siblings. These photos should inspire us to rebuild bridges of love with those whom God intentionally enjoined us with to form our family. A sibling is like an arm or a leg. They have a purpose in our lives and we need to have a relationship with them in order to find our what that purpose is. Brothers and sisters are not dispensable. God wastes nothing. There is a reason God blessed you with family. -Greg Pai
In Pictures: Indians Celebrate Brothers and Sisters Day Raksha Bandhan – Wall Street Journal (blog)
You know me as a photographer, writer, and Founder of photographingGOD. I also want you to know me as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Yes – that would make me a Christian. However, I want to live like Christ more than any label could offer. Frankly, religion and labels do more to offend me than not. Probably, because man has used them both for his own divisiveness. The current election in the United States is proof positive of that.
All my life, I have loved all people including atheists, non-believers, Jews, Muslims, Christians, other faiths, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, gays, straights, rich, poor, the wrong, the “so-called” righteous, and everyone in-between. Probably because my own background and DNA span many (if not most) of those categories. However, just over four years ago, Jesus saved my life and in doing so, my love for all of God’s people and creation deepened. This is who the true Jesus was. The ultimate Lover with the ultimate Love Story.
photographingGOD was born to share the beauty of creation; Yes – God’s creation with the world. Void of the pitfalls that religion introduces to a conversation between people who may have different faiths and often even different views within a faith. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that my love for all of you is driven by my love for Jesus and His love for me. My prayer is that you are loved as much as I and if you are not, that I help your journey to it. Blessings…
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!
We have been so conditioned to have high expectations. Many of them aren’t even our own. Like expectations imposed on us by family or friends. Then God throws a curve ball into our expectations and our first reaction is disappointment. So often however, history writes a story grown out of such disappointments that result in glory beyond anything we could have ever imagined.
I had my first date with my wife in the pouring rain. It was hardly what we would have hoped for. But I will never forget how we shared the handle of an umbrella as we strolled ever so slowly toward the restaurant. The sound of the rain pelting off the umbrella made the moment move in slow motion. God was so good to rain on our parade that day. He gave us a day that we will always remember because it was a day we never thought to imagine.
Wedding Photography Disaster or Weather Blessing: Rainy Day Photos – Fstoppers
Folks… This is not a political issue that can be solved by political solutions. This is a human issue that needs to be solved by getting in closer touch with our humanity and the value of our life. I am reminded of the time (I may be giving away my age here) that we were trained to launch under our desks in the event of a nuclear attack by the enemy; Whoever that really was. Anyhow, we have raised generations of frightened children for some time now and are probably not even really sure how this manifests in our behavior as we enter into adulthood. I am certain it is not good or healthy. It likely adds to our various phobias (e.g., xenophobia, etc.) and causes us to live a less natural existence.
Imagine this… We, as humans, are not really comfortable walking on a tightrope between two buildings or similar. However, it is very natural for a squirrel and many other four-legged creatures because that is simply what they do. I feel like instilling these fears at such an early age has us walking on a tightrope for the rest of our lives; Never really allowing us to experience true peace even when and if it should exist. Nearly our every moment wrapped up in some form of anxiety.
I do understand the importance of equipping our children for survival. However, we are not living in dangerous times – We have ALWAYS lived in dangerous times and I believe that we are mistakenly instilling so much fear in our children thinking that we, or they, actually have much control over our fate – day in and day out. I prefer to use this same time to teach our children the value of life and how to use and treasure every moment of it and not live it in fear and a false sense of control. -Greg Pai
Mum takes ‘funny’ photo of her daughter – breaks down when she realises chilling truth behind it
The world of reality television wants us to believe that the way to live is in conflict. Particularly among our family and friends. This is not natural. We were not created this way. We have a greater capacity to love and forgive. Real reality television would depict families and friends knowing that a cycle of discourse is nothing more than a cycle… Of discourse. But to love and to forgive is perpetual and grows exponentially with time. Like a flower raises from the ground, buds open from its stem, and blossoms for all to enjoy and marvel. It is only when it returns to the ground that it ceases to grace and bless us. This is a true friendship.
Roses can be added to salads and used in desserts and cakes. Rose Petals and rose hips are also made into jam, jelly, and marmalade. Rose syrup is sometimes used to make marshmallows and is used in rose-flavored ice cream. The rose hip (the fruit of the rose plant) contains high amounts of vitamin C as well as trace amounts of vitamin A and B. Rose hip is considered one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C.
This Stunning Photo Shows Us How All Lions Should Live. The endangered African Lion is one of the most majestic creatures on our planet. The king of the jungle, lions are the only cats that live in family units, and they have been revered throughout history for their courage and strength. Lions once roamed… This Stunning Photo Shows Us How All Lions Should Live – One Green Planet
Local photographer creates image for Forever Stamp. The U.S. Postal Service is using this image of the Everglades by local photographer Paul Marcellini on one of its Forever Stamps celebrating America’s National Parks. The United States Postal Service on Apr.