Tag Archives: Christian
Originally published: Sep 8, 2009 @ 21:35
Yes. It is true. I just sold the car of my childhood dreams. This is an actual photo I took shortly after I bought it nearly three years ago. It was a beauty, even if I do say so myself. One might think this was a hard decision to make. One might also suggest that the sale of this car would sadden me, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Please, allow me to explain.
As a child I thought this was the coolest car on the planet. As an adult, I’ve worked hard, saved the money, and bought it. It was fun to drive and a real attention getter. But now that I’ve owned it, I realize “Meh… it’s just a car.” A car that can be door dinged. A car that can be wrecked. A car that can be gone more quickly than I got it. You see, I am a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ and, as such, I realize the truth about material possessions. They can make us comfortable here on earth, and they can even be fun. There is nothing wrong with owning things… unless you realize that those things might be hindering you from doing God’s work.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ” Matthew 6:19-21
I will take the money from the sale of the car and do something good with it. Something really good!
Check this BLOG in the coming months to see what we decide to do with it. Thank you Lord for a quick sale! And now, off to do the Lord’s work!
I love the feeling I get during the creative process when I am hit with an idea, plan it out, execute it, and… NAIL IT! I love looking at the final product when the results are better than I imagined. Rarely happens, but when it does it is very rewarding. The photo above is the result of about 8 hours in total, from concept to execution–such is the nature of good stock; lots of planning and set up time. I actually made the little house just for this shoot. I bought a little plastic house and detailed it up to make it look like a little cottage. This photo was shot at two different exposures, one for the main lighting as a whole and the other to capture the nice warm, glowing light inside the house… yes, it actually is lit from inside!
Thanks, Ryan, for the use of your hands and your patience. Now on to upload this baby for sale as stock… I think this one might be a big seller for me.
Strange, sometimes is the way history turns. And it turns like we humans make it turn most of the time. Too many times, we learn bitter lessons from history. There is one case on record that it might do well for us to recall.
In 1952, a probation officer in the Bronx of New York tried to find an adoption agency for a 12-year-old boy. The man who was hunting the home for the youngster was named John Carro. He searched for an agency to take the boy, but he faced a problem. The boy was Lutheran. New York law said that Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish agencies could not take the boy. Mr. Carro faced a losing fight in trying to find a place for the young lad. He told the story later.
“When I was a probation officer in the Bronx in 1952, I tried unsuccessfully for a year to find an adoption agency for a 12-year-old Lutheran boy whose mother was ineffectual and whose father was dead,” Carro said. “His case was reported to me because he had been truant,” he continued. “All he wanted to do was to stay home and watch television instead of going to school. Because of the religious matching problem, I couldn’t get him into a Jewish Institution, I couldn’t get him into a Catholic Institution, and I couldn’t get him into a Protestant Institution. Before I could do anything for him, the mother had taken him out of state.”
You know, we humans have a way of making some pretty silly laws when you boil it all down. And most of the laws like this one can be pinned down to someone’s narrow prejudice. Our Hatred often goes far beyond ourselves in effecting the lives of others around us. Sometimes our hatred drastically affects people we never see or never know.
Our world would be a much better place to live if we could rid it of our prejudice and hatred. Wars would cease, riots would end, and peace could abound. We would like all of those things to happen but we sometimes want to hang on to our narrow little hatred also. We want to have our cake and eat it, too, and any first grader knows this can never be.
There was a Man once who lived in an obscure little village that we know as Nazareth Who tried to get us to rid ourselves of prejudice and hatred. He tried to get us to do that. It has been over 2000 years since he ended up on a cross in His efforts to end hate and prejudice and replace them with love and brotherhood.
If we put his way into practice, we could have found a home for that 12-year-old. And finding that boy a home might have changed history. You see, that boy’s name was Lee Harvey Oswald.
All of the text above was taken from a book entitled Thoughts Worth Thinking ©1968 by Donald E. Wildmon
As a follower of Christ, I can’t help but be convicted by these words. How many times are we all guilty of letting a little prejudice or hatred get in the way of doing what Christ commands us to do, especially loving one another. What a different world it could be and would be if everyone would just “get” that – myself included.
John 15:17 – “These things I command you, that you love one another.”
It was a privilege to shoot the third annual benefit concert for The Home Foundation last night. Of all the images, this one was my favorite. I just love the partial silhouette and the highlight on Natalie’s mouth from the reflection of the light from her hand. This is completely unedited and straight out of the camera.
The Lord said “Let there be light.” I say “Let there be light and I will use it.” Thanks for the light, Lord. :D
I had this concept for a project I’m working on entitled “REAL”. So I came up with the idea of the juxtaposition of a very real person with a bunch of fake versions of him in a crowd behind him. All I needed was a bunch of mannequins all dressed exactly alike and a model who was about the same height and weight, as well as the right age. Well, finding the mannequins proved to be difficult so we bought two of them at a whopping $140 each. Then, I thought of a young man in high school who attends our church who fit the part. Jordan Valdez was a good sport and agreed to do a little modeling for me on this project.
I then went to Old Navy and had my seventeen year old daughter and my wife help me choose three identical sets of clothes that are cool, but not dated or trendy. Next, the three hour photo shoot. Jordan’s part took about 45 minutes as it was easy enough to shoot him in front of the two mannequins. Then came the chore of moving the mannequins around the room and shooting about a hundred different frames. I kept the lighting stationary and the camera on a tripod to shoot the same scene every time. I set the lens to manual focus so that the depth of field remained as true as it would be if the image were all shot at the same time. Also, wanting to capture a convincing perspective instead of just duplicating the same two mannequins, I shot at 24mm to get the wide angle effect you see on the far right and far left of the photo. It gives a real feeling of the natural perspective of standing in front of the crowd and adds a little bit of quirkiness to the image through the distortion of the wide angle lens.
This images is a composite of 17 different shots all edited together into one. I’m very pleased with the results and plan to do more of this sort of shooting in the near future because I love the feeling of this photo. There is something peaceful about it but in an eerie sort of way. I love the dimensionality of the image and how it seems like you could walk right through the crowd. I also like the humanity that is evident in Jordan’s posture when juxtaposed with the crowd of robot-like imposters. Most of all, I’m pleased with how well the finished piece matches the initial concept. Like the A-Team… I love it when a plan comes together!
Okay, so she didn’t come to visit me personally, but I did invite her to speak at chapel this morning and she accepted. It was one of the best chapel services I have seen in the 4 years I’ve worked at TBC. I invited Natalie and the Executive Director of the Home Foundation, Stacia Freeman, to come and speak to the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention about the Home Foundation’s work in fighting human trafficking. I have volunteered my creative services to the Home Foundation for a while now and I am proud to be part of the fight.
Sometimes we need a reminder to get out of our comfort zones and get busy doing the work of the Lord. Sitting back in the comfortable complacency of our church pews is not what Christ had in mind when he said “Go!” He didn’t mean “Go” to church. He didn’t mean “Go” get comfortable. And he certainly didn’t mean “Go” get offended. I think, as Christians, we are all too often quick to get offended by everything around us. There is such a thing as righteous anger, but I think we misplace, misuse, and misdirect our energy on trivial things.
Christ wasn’t offended by prostitutes, tax collectors, or even by the persecutors of his own people. When he found some people about to stone an adulteress to death he said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He also said that “He who claims to be without sin deceives himself and the Truth is not in him.”
What I’m getting at is simply this: Some things that we refuse to talk about in church are, I believe, the very thing that Christ would WANT us to talk about in church! We are in the business of ministering to the hurt, the downtrodden, the broken, the weak, the strong, the sinners, the saints, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. If we, as the body of Christ, continue to be so inwardly focused and remain so secluded in our comfort zones, then we are not doing what Christ commanded us to do. It’s no wonder the world sees the modern Christian church as irrelevant.
So, I challenge anyone who reads this to get out of your chairs. Get out of the churches and get busy doing God’s work. We are not called to be in church. We are called to BE THE CHURCH! A church is not a building… it is the people who worship in that building. If you aren’t compelled to get involved in this cause, find another one and get involved!!! Thank you, Natalie and Stacia for the exceptional message!
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
I know little about Edmond Burke’s religious views, but I must agree wholeheartedly with his outlook on complacency. When the good people of the world see things that are wrong and do nothing about it, I believe that we share in the guilt of the offender. To see a wrong and stand idly by is to participate in the wrong doing. Read the following verses from the book of Matthew and see if you agree.
31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
What this means is that our complacency in doing good works and combating evil is condemned by Christ himself! Get up out of your chairs… do something good in the world. And, by all means, when you see something wrong, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Although works do not earn salvation, they certainly should be evidence of it!
My name is Royce DeGrie. I am 37 years old and I learned today that my children are Digital Natives and I am a Digital Immigrant. Guess I never thought of it that way since I’ve been around computers since I was about 12 years old. Got my first computer (a used Commodore 64) as a gift from my brother and I’ve been hooked ever since. Although I’ve never seen the point of writing a bunch of random things about my life as I couldn’t imagine who might want to read it… here I am, writing my first BLOG. We’ll see where this goes.
So, as my inaugural BLOG, I thought I’d share 25 random things about myself to share with you, the reader, some of the things that have made me who I am today.
25 Random Things About Me:
#1- I hate the word “random” when used improperly. Actually, I hate any word used improperly.
#2- I have way too many pet peeves to list here… lots of things annoy me.
#3- One of those pet peeves is getting friend requests on social networking sites from people I don’t know. If I don’t know you, you can’t be a friend, can you?
#4- I love fishing and the outdoors in general but I hate rain.
#5- I am a follower of Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as a photographer, graphic designer, illustrator.
#6- I have a very large tattoo on my right arm… and I bet you can’t guess what it is.
#7- I am a stock photographer/illustrator, which means I take photos and create drawing and I sell them to be used in advertising. Images like this:
#8- I am very happily married to the greatest woman I have ever known. We met in college, the very first day and the very first class. We didn’t start dating until a year later. I’ve never looked back. She’s amazing.
#9- I set a goal to be working in full-time ministry within a year, God willing. It happened in about 7 months. :D
#10- At 28 years of age I had a sudden cardiac arrest and woke up with an ICD – Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, which I have had for 9 years now. The only explanation I was given is that it was an “Electrophysiological Malfunction” of the heart. Say that ten times fast!
#11- While in high school and college, I liked to jump off of very high cliffs into water. While in Junior High School, I jumped from a 60′ railroad bridge into the water below because a train was coming. Not smart.
#12- I once bought a pair of stolen speakers and traded them for a hand gun at my high school. As the guy gave me the gun he said “Uh, you’re not gonna kill anybody with that, are you?” Definitely not smart!
#13- I think I am the most normal person I know. My wife disagrees.
#14- I play guitar. One of my guitars is a 1968 Fender Coronado. I got it autographed by Ted Nugent. He was cool but it annoyed me that he called it a “Corona”. That’s a beer, Ted… not my guitar.
#15- I had the opportunity to shoot a private interview with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. I got to meet him, shake his hand, and get my picture taken with him. He was totally coherent, intelligent, and down-right gentlemanly… it was a real pleasure to meet him. I’ve love the Stones for over 20 years and that was one of the highlights of my life.
On the same night, I met Percy Sledge, George Jones, Melinda Doolittle, Barbara Mandrell, The Crickets – J. I. Allison, Sonny Curtis, and Joe B. Mauldin, Duane Eddy, and Kid Rock.
#16- I love quotes. Here are some of my favorites:
“A lie gets halfway around the world before
the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
-Sir Winston Churchill
“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch
you must first invent the universe.” – Albert Einstein
“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
-Yoda (“The Empire Strikes Back”)
The difference between ‘involvement ‘ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved’
- the pig was ‘committed’.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
“The artist is nothing without the gift,
but the gift is nothing without the work.” -Emile Zola
“When you do common things in an uncommon way,
you will attract the attention of the world.”
-George Washington Carver
“Well done is better than well said.”
“Whether you think you can, or that you can’t,
you are usually right.” -Henry Ford
And, my favorite: “The true measure of a man is how he treats
someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
#17. My dream car as a child was a red Corvette, C3 body style. I now own a red 1979 Corvette with t-tops and I realize, “Meh… it’s just a car.”.
#18. In 2008, I traveled to Moldova and to Turkey (with people I hardly knew at all) as a photojournalist to document some of the people affected by human trafficking. I met some amazing people there and learned that I never want to step foot in the country of Turkey again as long as I live.
#19. Over the last 9 years I have had various and sundry medical issues which have included: sudden cardiac arrest, strange numbness and tingling of my arms and legs, vertigo (5 times), ruptured ear drums (both at one time!), bad moles removed, a back injury (I have no idea how it happened), and depression from all of the things that have gone wrong. I’m sure I left something out.
#20- I have overcome the depression with the knowledge that ALL things are possible through Christ who strengthens me! Woo-hoo!
#21- I am a self-proclaimed, card-carrying geek and I am proud of it! I love being a geek. My brother gave me his old Commodore 64 computer when I was 12 years old and I was hooked from the first time I used it.
#22- I can fix just about anything. My dad and grandfather taught me so much about “handyman” stuff when I was a kid that I’m not afraid to tackle any project. (Thanks, Dad!) If I set my mind to it, I can do just about anything. My youngest daughter thinks this means I am superman and can build or fix anything. When she breaks things, she says “It’s okay, daddy can fix it.”.
#23- I sincerely believe that you cannot help but be successful doing something you love to do.
#24- I hate it when people use the word “retarded” as synonym for the word stupid. In fact, I hate it when people make fun of anyone with a disability and think it is funny.
#25- I think mean people suck.