WordPress Weekly Photo Post: Fresh


2013-07-20 16.21.52

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Fresh“. I’ve been spending a long four-day weekend at my girlfriend’s family dairy farm, where she grew up, for her birthday. We’ve had fresh raw milk (oh how I love thee!), fresh raspberry pies, fresh air, and enjoying these fresh blueberries we picked at her grandmother’s farm next door. It’s been an incredible weekend of love, celebration, and a good ol’ hymn sing (the highlight of my time).

It’s really amazing the difference that fresh can make in our lives.

See my past Weekly Photo Challenges here.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Fleeting: our Societal Anger; our National Substance


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Fleeting“. I’ll be posting a more meaningful “photo sermon” based on this theme later in the week, but I saw something last night I wanted to share.

This blog has not shied away from its concern over the civil liberties and privacy issues that have been exposed this week. I hope to post some more in-depth thoughts on these specific revelations later today or tomorrow. For this photo post, though, I ran across a couple of images that show just how fleeting any American societal anger, attention, or protest really is.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Post: The Sign Says [casual fri]


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “The Sign Says” (okay, as of today, this technically last week’s theme). Anyway, the prompt was to post pictures of signs that we’ve taken and why we picked them. So here a few signs I’ve taken pictures of over the years. This post is just a fun one. Nothing profound here. Enjoy.

sucks-coffee

Now, even in spite of my coffee snobbery, I really do love Starbucks coffee and (some of) their espresso drinks. So this isn’t a knock on them–I just thought this sign was hilarious.
Continue reading

It’s Still Easter: a Theology of Color [photo sermon]


philly-tree-pink-spring

This week’s WordPress Photo theme is “Color“. Rather than simply writing about different pictures I’ve taken, I’m instead trying to write “photo sermons” based on these topics. In these posts, I want to try and use the photo itself as my “text”–trying to see how God reveals himself in his “other” book, in addition to the Bible.

In our last photo sermon, I talked about how I love that Easter comes around Spring time and so the natural world beautifully reflects the spiritual truth being celebrated. Also in line with this truth is the fact that Easter–just like Spring–is not just one day–it’s an entire season in the Church calendar.

It takes time for beauty and truth to get into and blossom within our souls. It takes preparation and anticipation for the roots of our hearts to quicken like the trees around us–to feel life coursing in them once more.

This is beautiful. And it doesn’t need to be this way.
Continue reading

Palm Sunday: Future-Tense [photo sermon]


church-easter-tree

Continuing WordPress’ uncanny timing of photo challenges with the Christian Church calendar, this week’s theme is “Future-Tense“. In essence, they’re wanting pictures that anticipate something to come; something that’s being waited for; some future thing who’s presence is felt in the picture, even in its absence.

This is most appropriate today, as it’s Palm Sunday of 2013.

It takes some real significance for an event from the Bible to find itself as a major Church Holiday. Considering that, it can be odd that Palm Sunday is one of these: there’s nothing really unprecedented or special about it in and of itself.

There are other places in the gospels where Jesus is proclaimed king, proclaimed Messiah, prophecies are fulfilled, large groups believe in him, and even several times he enters Jerusalem. So what’s so special about this moment?

The future.
Continue reading

Marveling in the Cross: Lost in the Details [photo sermon]


pma-cross-skull-pma

For several months now I’ve been doing the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Honestly, I’ve gotten a little tired of that, so I’m going to start mixing it up with some weekly “photo sermons”, taking the weekly theme, picking an appropriate photo, and writing up a short meditation on the theme. We’ll see how it goes. This week’s theme is “Lost in the Details“.

One of my best (and oldest) friends is named David Schrott. He’s an incredible photographer, and an even more incredible man of God. He’s currently been spending an extended period of time back in his hometown of Lancaster, PA, recovering from surgery.

In this time of recovery, he’s only grown in his intimacy with God, his love as a friend, and the depth of his experience of spirituality. Recently, when I asked how he’s seemingly unlocked this door to the depths of the spirit and, as he puts it “longing for the resurrection in ways I never have”, he simply said this:

“Suffering! Without it, it is hard to long for anything but immediate pleasure.”

I love that guy.

Continue reading

Weekend Photo Challenge: Home (the one to come)


scotland-grave-1

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Home“. (I put up a funny response yesterday. Today is the serious one.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it’s because of that paradox of sanctification in which God grows us less by medicating us than by exposure therapy. Nothing exposes my inner-atheist like thinking about death and reminding myself of my shocking lack of confidence in the hereafter.

That’s why this prompt for this week struck me so much. Having moved a few times in my life to vastly different places, and with my parents having moved away from the last place in which I lived with them, I still don’t quite know what to call “home”.
Continue reading

Weekend Photo Challenge: Home(screens) [a quick Android vs. Apple]


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Home“. Tomorrow, I’ll have a serious post on this topic but, for the weekend, I wanted to put up this fun one. Beware: people are passionate about this topic.

For my new job, I’ve been given an iPhone. The generosity of my company is wonderful, but an added benefit is that I get to compare this iPhone with my much-beloved Android phone.

Even after a week of having to spend most of my day on the iPhone, I can safely say I strongly prefer the Android. (I put up a little Facebook status to this effect and it started an amusing comment war amongst a few fanboys that I thought was pretty funny.)

At the end of the day, I know this discussion is all about personal preference and is not an objective argument. But I just wanted to post these pictures up of my two phone homescreens and ask one question:
Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love (beyond death)


grave-bw-flowers

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Love“. The real “challenge” with this theme was try and find something not cliche; something you all would find “novel” and “creative”. As I perused my pictures, though, I fell on this one and all my notions of novelty and “coolness” went out the window. I realized I had a bigger, more important story to tell about love.

I had another client die last week. In my field, this is to be expected now and then, and I’ve had a few of my clients die in the past three years, and even more clients die that I knew from the caseloads of co-workers.

This death this past week has got me thinking about my work, my clients, life, death, and, you know, all those other light and airy topics we so enjoy thinking about (yeah, that was sarcasm). And it got me remembering the photo above.

Continue reading

Weekend Photo Challenge: Beyond (beauty beyond love)


scotland-glasgow-hill

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Beyond“. Basically, the challenge was to find a picture that guides the viewer’s eye beyond the primary subject of the photo. I’ve chosen the above photo.

In the summer of 2006, between the sophomore and junior years of college (when my hair still looked like this), I did a Study Abroad program in writing art, and architecture in Glasgow, Scotland. It was my first time out of the country, and my first time flying by myself. For all my youthful expressions of confidence, I was still scared.

Anyway, after getting on the plane on one of the runways of Richmond International Airport, I noticed a group of older ladies having to talk across the aisle to one another.

They were funny and loud, but in an inviting way, and not annoying, but the most distinctive thing about them was their thick, barely-understandable Scottish accents. I eventually asked them, and discovered that we were all indeed hitting the same connecting flights, and ultimately heading to Glasgow. They told me to stick with them and they’d help me navigate.

We made the flight, survived the trip, and landed in Glasgow.

Continue reading

Weekend Photo Challenge: Illumination (of Richmond & my Soul)


Richmond-GrandIllumination

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Illumination“. One of the biggest benefits of this weekly photo challenge is the chance to go through some of my old pictures and bring to mind favorite memories from the past.

The picture above was taken in 2006 in Richmond, Virginia while I was in college. It was after one of my favorite Richmond traditions: the Grand Illumination.

Throughout the winter holidays, the skyscrapers in Richmond are all lined with lights, lighting up the skyline in a way that it is not during the rest of the year. These lights are turned on all at once at something called the Grand Illumination, which takes place in early December. Not only are the skyscraper lights turned on, but the annual Christmas display at the Omni Hotel is turned on also. This display has lit-up mechanical reindeer, a giant Christmas tree, and the bell tower plays Christmas music on the hour.

After watching the Grand Illumination lighting from the bridge to Belle Isle, one of my favorite spots in all of Richmond (see picture below), we drove through the streets to see everything up close. The picture above was taken around the Omni Hotel as we passed their display.

But that’s not all this made me think of…

Continue reading

The Surprise of Advent: WordPress Weekend Photo Challenge


jesus-suffering-pma

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Surprise“. With Advent having been on my mind (and blog), I thought of this picture. Or rather, to be more specific, the juxtaposition of these two pictures:

jesus-asian-god-pma

On one of my trips to the Philadelphia Art Museum to fight my inner Atheist, after spending some time with that beautiful Jesus statue above (a favorite of mine), I actually walked through the other side of the Medieval Art section to enter the Asian Art section.

I’m sorry, and forgive me if you can’t relate, but Asian Art has never done it for me. I don’t know why. I can see the craftsmanship aspect to it (I guess), but the beauty part feels lost on me. And so, when I go into Asian Art sections, my “art critic” side sort of quiets down and lets other parts of me take hold.

Continue reading