These photos remind us that the only walls we need to build, are walls to hang photos that recall our too easily forgotten history. Our memories are short and photography is one of the few means that can overcome this disability. When we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it or in this case, doomed not to. Undocumented Mexican migrant workers allowed Americans to continue their lifestyle through difficult years and how quickly we have forgotten. Seemingly, we have not only forgotten to be grateful, but have also neglected the important role they play in today’s economy and social tapestry.
Long-Lost Photos Reveal Life of Mexican Migrant Workers in 1950s America – TIME
At What Cost Does Our Current System Of Education Come?
The developed world spends billions of dollars on education and is continuously moving the goal post on what is expected from our children. Absolutely, we should challenge our children’s potential. God created us with expandable capabilities, skills, and talents. So, we need to be all that we can be (As individuals, and not machines of course).
But, have we stopped to think “at what cost” does this investment come? We push our children to become more educated and competitive. Have we given other forms of critical development equal time? For example, the ability to think creatively and globally. What about socialization and coping skills or what about what we older folks use to call “common sense?” Finally, let us not forget possibly the weakest skill among our entire population. The ability to discern the truth from an opinion. Many schools have debate clubs which provide a competitive forum for students to learn to “win their perspective over.” Yet, where is the Truth Club?
Less Is More; Much More
I tool this photo of a schoolhouse in East Africa. Very typical of what you mind find in the rural part of the Continent. In this one building housed the all the children in the community or tribe. All ages shared a single room and a few sets of school supplies. The pencils were little more than a narrow piece of charcoal. Their writing books were crudely attached, curled pieces of paper. The children were all in uniforms (made possible through donations) which barely separated them by physical appearance. Consequently, there was no competition over who had the best outfit or the “hottest” sneakers (which would certainly upset Urban Outfitters and Nike). Yet, they were so intent on wanting to learn with so little to get in the way or distract them. A perfect setting to inspire a true learning experience.
We should take a lesson out of this book and realize that money doesn’t buy love and it doesn’t buy brilliance or intellectual superiority either. God embeds the gift of knowledge our DNA. And it is as much, if not more, the process of how we learn over what we learn. Knowledge alone, may get us a good job or make us plenty of money. However, the pursuit of knowledge and truth will make us what God intended us to be as individuals first, and as a race of man.
The first time I read this article, I felt hope leak out of me. Who wouldn’t. And the photos didn’t help since they made this little girl’s short life and its finality very real. But, by the grace of God, I was able to pivot my emotions so I could find light in such total darkness.
This baby didn’t battle cancer and die without leaving us a valuable message. Life is a fight. Different battles at different times. And here we have a 2-year-old girl showing us how to fight with grace and hope. I want to thank this lovely little lady for what she personally inspired in me today… To fight like a 2-year-old.
Life interrupted: A photo essay about one girl’s battle with cancer – Russia Beyond the Headlines
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
This announcement by the Vatican serves as just one more reason so many people around the world are turned off to organized religion. The notion that any mortal man could grant power to another man, like that of forgiveness of sin, is frightening to me.
I am a Christian with a serious concern about the Church, what it is teaching outside of the true Gospel, and skeptical about organized religion as a whole. So I don’t know what that really makes me, except very curious and wanting to know the God of creation! As a child, I was raised as a nominal Catholic; Attended supplemental schooling and summer camp at orthodox Jewish institutions; Today, my family and I work among the Muslim population around the world building bridges of love through business and service. One thing I have learned through this diverse experience is that, like so many other systems, man has “hijacked” the authority over his fellow man and dictates the rules – as he goes along.
I do believe that religion does serve a purpose and leads many to God and to the truth. However, I am terribly concerned that it turns many more away. I know there is a voice inside us that can discern what is God from what is man. This is a very personal voice and connection that can not be bottled up and sold with a label. It is that voice (which I call the Voice Of The Heart) that can lead us as individuals as well as a race of humanity.
This is a sensitive subject. But, I share it with an open mind and a committed heart to learn the absolute truth about God and His creation, together.
Pope Francis to grant priests right to forgive abortion – CNN.com
Pope Francis has extended the powers of Catholic priests to forgive abortions, making the announcement in an apostolic letter released Monday. read more at cnn.com
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.
Whatever your political persuasion and your feelings about the current environment, the real tragedy is that America is, was, and will likely continue to be a deeply divided people. Unfortunately, hate and prejudice are in the hearts of all men since the beginning of time. These traits do not belong to a particular political persuasion, religion, race, ethnicity, age, etc. However, man can and will use such mechanisms to promote his own divisive agenda. This vulnerability belongs to all of us.
Similar to President Kennedy’s election, President Obama’s was historic (no matter how you looked at it politically) because it had the potential for us as a country to embrace the notion that all men were created equal by God. Instead, it drastically widened an already existing chasm that separates Americans into adversarial groups. But I have the good news of hope for everyone, democrat, republican, apolitical, and those who may not care at all. God still loves ALL of us. No prejudice. No hatred. Just pure LOVE!
So, I say to all of you in pain; turn your hearts to God for peace and the strength to see that God is above all of this. And I say to all of you in celebration, turn your joy to humility and put yourself beneath those in need. So that America may rise up as “One Nation Under God.” Peace be with all of you…
Visit the Gallery Shop to purchase this fine art piece by photographer Greg Pai to grace your home or office:
Journey with photographer, writer, and photographingGOD Founder Greg Pai as he describes the perils of a destructive noise he calls the “Voice of the World” which seeks to separate us from our God-given purpose, peace, and passion. Greg’s diverse life experiences have led him to the conclusion that the systems of the world, under the design and authority of man including, but not limited to, education, media, healthcare, economics, religion, and government, have failed us and are at the center of the world’s chaos.
Greg shares how photographingGOD promotes man’s potential for purpose, peace, and passion when we learn to disarm the “Voice of the World” and replace it with the “Voice of the Heart” which is rooted in truth and love. The mission of photographingGOD is to bring together a global community of all cultures, ethnicities, faiths, beliefs, races, ages and genders hungry to connect with (1) their own hearts and souls, (2) their fellow man and woman, (3) the enormity of creation, and (4) God; the giver of all life and blessing. This is NOT as story about religion. Quite the contrary. It is a story about Life and Purpose and how one man is seeking it and finding it by going outside the boxes that we are all so bound by.
Figuratively speaking, our goal is to see the world “through the lens of God’s eyes.” Our hope is that we “Never See Life The Same Way Again!”
This Podcast will not only inspire you, but we can nearly promise that “You will Never See Life The Same Way Again!”
Join “Beyond Your Wildest Genes” host Noah Dekoyer for Greg Pai On photographingGOD.
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.
Beautiful imagery and stories that will fire up your heart and bring the world closer together. We endeavor to be the “NEW” LIFE Magazine or National Geographic, but with all the glory to God, the publisher of Creation and Giver of all life!
This is your chance to “see and be seen.” Upload your images directly from your device along with your own or famous quotes and personal inspirations if you choose. Then, watch them stream in a beautifully formatted post to the world on the photographingGOD platform and social networks. Creation Station, and its future versions, will change the way we interact with and share images and our hearts.
WALL OF WISDOM LIVE!:
Access to our weekly live show where we dissect the week’s WOW post and discuss the image, subject of the image, and the inspiration. It is a great time to interact and bring together a growing global community of all cultures, faiths, beliefs, races, genders, and ages seeking to embrace the “Voice Of The Heart” which is rooted in purpose, peace, and passion.
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.
We are in constant pursuit of the fountain of youth and all things new. When something gets old enough, we discard, retire, or replace it. When something gets worn enough, we polish, enhance, or renovate it. My concern is that we may be losing an appreciation for the precious relics of this earth and moreover, the beauty and richness that resides in age itself.
Photographer Beth Moon successfully uses special techniques to accentuate the age of the world’s oldest trees. One such technique involves extending the camera’s exposure time (i.e., the time that the lens stays open to let light into the camera). By this technique, the resulting image is far more vivid and sharp which amplifies the details and age of the subject. A welcomed effect by this photographer.
“I wonder what would happen to our culture and appreciation for age if we were to embrace and promote the qualities of age rather than spend so much effort hiding it.”
So, we can conclude that the more detail we see in an image, the more the subject’s age, wear, and tear are likely to be amplified. This is really not a big secret at all. In fact, the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry thrives on reducing human detail. Particularly, but not exclusively, facial detail for example. Unfortunately, the consequence is that we promote an adversity to age when we spend so much time and resources hiding it. It is ironic that we would go out of our way to augment the details in nature. Shouldn’t we pursue the same beauty in ourselves? I wonder what would happen to our culture and appreciation for age if we were to embrace and promote the qualities of age rather than spend so much effort hiding it.
Nocturnal Photographs of the World’s Oldest Trees – Hyperallergic
Nine-year-old Regina Wyllie always had a knack for photography. At age three, the fifth grader from Ayrshire, Scotland picked up one of her photographer dad’s cameras and asked how to use it. And on April 15, she shot her very first wedding.”She first picked up a camera at the age of three when she asked to accompany me to a mountain bike race that I was shooting,” Regina’s dad Kevin told The Huffington Post. Couples Are Asking This 9-Year-Old To Photograph Their Weddings
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.
The frail remains of this tree are as important to God as the bountiful forest in the distance. He has even given it the gift of a beautiful reflection of its own that shouts, “I am perfectly made.” What does that say about what you mean to God?”
Imagine that you could see the entire universe in a single photo. An artist has managed to claim this possibility through some exciting technology. While in my humble opinion such an attempt falls way short of portraying the enormity of God’s creation; I do believe it opens up a great dialog about what we truly can observe in the heavens from where we stand and if there is ever any way to fully capture “anything” that God has created. Even the smallest of objects like an ant or a speck of dust. Nevertheless, I don’t see any harm in such a pursuit. In fact, I think it actually graces us with a deeper understanding and reverence for what God has created. Especially the miracle of it all.
How can the observable universe fit into one photo? | MNN – Mother Nature Network
“It can be a challenge to grasp the sheer scope of the universe, but thanks to this captivating logarithmic visual by artist Pablo Carlos Budassi, you might find it easier to wrap your head around such an enormous scale.” read more at mnn.com
The power of photography extends far past simply being an extraordinary visual art. For nearly all of us, it provides the only access to the glory or horror of the many concurrent world events we would otherwise have no way to witness. I believe that more than words or film, photos can freeze a particular moment, impress it into our present conscience, and move us emotionally as no other stimuli can. The use of photography during the Civil Rights Era, the Holocaust, the many wars (too many), and the landing of the first man on the moon are just a very few examples of this medium’s power and potential.
We enhance our connection and dependence on God when we broaden our awareness and experience of world cultures and events. God’s concern is for His entire creation. Not just a portion or limited to our specific domain. Sharing interest and concern for the world grows us closer to God. Photos also speak directly to our hearts. We don’t need a biased reporter or background narrative to tell us what we see with our eyes and with our hearts. When we seek truth in what we are observing, God will speak truth to us.
God knows everything and is the source of all knowledge worth having. One very important avenue to God’s wisdom is the process of discovery and exploration. Unfortunately, we have outsourced and streamlined our search for knowledge. Our schools teach us to memorize facts and not to seek them. Recorded history is fraught with biases and twisted perspectives. Our professions have little tolerance for inexperience and “on-the-job-learning” And now “the age of information” has given us a false sense of knowledge at our fingertips. But really, it all just sums up to noise. Quantity and not quality. Accessibility at the expense of hands-on research. “Why should I get on a plane and go somewhere to understand a unique culture when I can have CNN or a good book fill in the gap.”
We get information from sources that are not even recognizable. We get propaganda, not news, from the various 24/7 news outlets. We abstracts and not whole stories from which we form our opinions. We listen to someone who heard something from someone else. And to amplify the damage caused by this information revolution, we are getting fed in bits and bites; Snaps and Chats (as I call them). Not even whole sentences or complete thoughts.
As a result, the quality of our knowledge base is suffering and has made us an ignorant race. Socrates wasn’t suggesting that we were stupid and know nothing. Quite the contrary. He was suggesting that the only way to acquire wisdom was to first start from a place absent of knowledge and to use our God-given gifts of research, exploration, and invention to seek out the truth.
Sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be the exact place at the perfect time to photograph a miracle. Many remember this amazing story of heroism on the part of the pilot and the orderly passengers who didn’t let their panic overtake their desire to assist one another. The individual who captured this moment just happened to be on a ferry not too far from where the plane landed. What could have easily resulted in a bad outcome for anyone that was in the plane’s way on descent, became an opportunity to capture and share God’s grace.
I Took the Iconic ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Photo
“I was in New York City for business meetings, running around, trying to stay warm. I got on the 3:30 p.m. ferry to New Jersey, sat down and pulled out my iPhone. As the ferry inched toward the aircraft and approached the wing, I snapped the photo above and tweeted it to my 170 followers using TwitPic.” read more at mashable.com
The photo itself, while not a high quality capture, is an amazing site and stirs quite a bit of tension. Feels so out of place. Like a fish out of water; A plane in water just doesn’t feel right…