I Am a Victimizer

Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
~ 1 John 2.9-11

My Walk to Church: One Shot, Two Ways (a photo sermon)


For those new to  the blog: each week, I try and write a “photo sermon” based on the themes of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “One Shot, Two Ways“, which is a silly title to describe taking two shots, from the same place, at the same time, but trying to make them very different.

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Whenever I walk to my church, it’s one of the strangest experiences for me. I grew up in the South, when Sunday morning was a time of slow traffic, long lines at Donut shops, and lots of people milling around as they meander their way to their respective churches.

Not so, in Philadelphia.

As I walk down the few neighborhood blocks that stand between my house and the city center, I’m quite often by myself. I occasionally have my heart sink when I see a woman making the “walk of shame”, where she’s walking home in the same dress and heels from the night before, trying to fix tussled hair and making sure all of her personals are still in her purse as she walks. It could just be the time of morning and a potential hangover, but she never looks happy.

I usually see runners. They enjoy being able to run on the city streets in the cool of the morning with no annoying pedestrians to dodge. I also see a fair share of dog owners, still in pajamas, annoyed that their pet couldn’t hold it for a few more hours and give them more sleep.

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See the Official Guatemala Blogger’s Trip Photo Essay


Though I love to take pictures, I didn’t take that many shots when I was in Guatemala with Lemonade International alongside the rest of the team of bloggers there. This was because we had a professional, dedicated photographer with us. I wrote about Scott Bennett and my thoughts on his work before the trip.

Each night as we writers sat down to blog, he’d show us the pictures he took for the day, and we’d fight over which ones we got to use in our posts. He took some amazing pictures, and shared many of the raw, untouched photos with us.

Well, now that he’s had time to dedicate more time and resources to focusing his creative eye on the pictures, he has now released his official photo documentary  from the trip, as part of the site Visual Peacemakers.

This photo essay beautifully captures the essence of our time and the people there as well as (if not better) than the words of us writers. I encourage you to spend some time with these pictures and let their weight and beauty affect you. Then, would you consider joining with Lemonade International in their continuing work in the La Limonada community of Guatemala?
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet Scott Bennett

scott-bennett-lemonade-internationalIn preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. Recently, they profiled our official trip photographer Scott Bennett.

Scott calls himself a “humanitarian photographer”. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking (accompanied by an eye-roll) “Everybody’s a photographer now”. And yes, some of us like to think we have an eye for this stuff (MySpace profile shots and Instagram pictures excluded), but Scott is different on many levels.

First, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to open up his blog and his online portfolio page and not see any pictures with filters and major edits done to them. Like a true photo artist, he seems to consider the camera and the subject as his primary tools of his craft, not Photoshop. If he uses it, he uses it as any artist uses any aid: he doesn’t so you can’t tell.

Secondly, any real photographer can tell you that there is far more to truly beautiful and meaningful photo art than mere “composition” or simply “capturing an image.” There has to be movement, narrative, and/or dimensionality.
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Weekend Photo Challenge: Free Spirit (a new weekly feature)

Today I’m introducing a new weekly post I’ll be doing. WordPress, the site that hosts this blog, has a weekly “Photo Challenge“, where bloggers are tasked with finding (or taking) a picture that captures a certain theme. See the bottom of this post for more information.

As my Facebook friends know, I do love taking pictures and trying to make them as beautiful as possible. And so, when I saw this today, I decided to begin this weekend featurette. The “challenges” are posted on Fridays, and so I will post mine over the weekend. Some weeks I might take a fresh picture, other weeks I’ll try and find an old one. I’ll post it, and tell a little bit about it.

Today’s picture is a really special one to me.
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