Looking For A Lightning Bolt?

Sometimes it seems we’re looking for that “lightning bolt” in our lives. Something to shock, dazzle, direct is off the spot we’re on. There’s no doubt that “lightning bolts” are impressive, yet, they’re not what makes up life for us.

When Jesus walked in Galilee, there were many who were dazzled by “lightning bolts,” i.e., Jesus’ miraculous works which, as the Apostle John writes, were “signs.” What do “signs” do? We deal with them all the time, and admittedly many don’t regard them. The person who parks in the handicap zone, and isn’t needing it, is a living classic. There are many more who miss the signs.

When Jesus returned from his first Passover in Jerusalem, he returns to Cana of Galilee, interestingly, it’s where the first “sign” John marks occurred. Some 10-15 miles to the east, in Capernaum, a tragedy is unfolding. A “royal official’s” child is near death, and while most in the Galilee area are only “dazzled” by Jesus’ “lightning bolts,” this man is different.

Our record in John 4.46-54 teaches us there’s more we need in life than “lightning bolts” which only last for a second and only dazzle!

This 2nd Sign of the “royal official,” whose child is near death, teaches us —

  • Faith that honors Jesus doesn’t hang back from Him but comes to him.
  • Faith that honors Jesus doesn’t wait to see what He will do.
  • Faith that honors Jesus comes to Him even knowing we’re not sure what Jesus will do, how Jesus will work, which way Jesus will direct. Yet, you come in faith and you step back into life in faith!

And when we come to Jesus in faith, we find Jesus is sufficient for LIFE!

Part of me dislikes a study like this! It convicts me for my own struggle with faith! Yet, thankfully, it also exhorts me to steady my faith and keep focused on the one who truly handles life. I’d encourage not just looking for a lightning bolt but looking for a lamp post that’s solid, sure, reliable, so we can find our way. This lamp post is Jesus!

John 1:3–5,

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jesus said, John 8:12,

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

You can turn on the “Light” in your life today, not with things that simply dazzle for a moment, but solid, sure, powerful Light for living. Place your faith in Jesus, trust him for what’s before you, and step out in life! The Son is rising!

Photography For A Feeling

The Early Rays

There are probably as many reasons to take a photograph as there are photographers. Of the reasons, not the least of which is to capture a moment for memory. Sometimes when you want to do some rummaging in older photographs, whether someone else’s or yours, note that many of the great photographs are literally “snaps” in time!

Catching that “moment, or smile, or tilt of the head, or “look” says it all for the scene. This is especially true with photographs of people. All this to say, don’t ever pass capturing that special “snap” of life.

Yet, where I’ve come in photography is different than the “snap” or “record,” i.e., I was there and this is what I saw. While totally legit, photography for my pursuit has become, “I’m photographing for a feeling, not simply to record an event.”

If you’ve never tried this, give it a shot. Ask yourself, what grabs you as you look at a scene or an animal, or even a person? What stirs something inside?

This “stirring” may be why some of the most popular images are sunrises and sunsets! In one way, they’re so cliche! Yet, in another way, they capture our attention, our mood, and have lots of feeling.

While the temperatures are in the nosedive where I live, there’s some warmth when you’re watching the changing colors of an approaching sunrise. So, enjoy the “feeling” as you photograph and tell your story with the emotion that captured you!

Here are some Sandhill Cranes just getting in as the sun was fading away . . . but, what a “feeling”! Home at last!

Home At Last

 

The Missing Year!

Gate to a New Tomorrow

So what happened that a year has passed? One of the most glaring things in this “void” is a global pandemic that massively altered all our lives! To this we can all add “our stories” of life in the void. My family has confronted health issues, relocation issues, and some new directions for life issues. What a year!

Not only have photography trips fallen away, friends and family have been distanced, activities curtailed, and the list just goes on and on. There were weeks our church didn’t come together, something I’d have never expected, but . . .

This is not to say there have not been opportunities nor lessons in this “void.” The opportunity to enjoy some limited relationships with a few friends have been invaluable. Opportunities came to come alongside others who are struggling with jobs that seemingly disappeared. And many learned that you can see faces, keep up with loved ones, even do some teaching through online video.

Some lessons have certainly come from this time. One is to do a better job of staying in touch with people! Isolation is not a good direction! Along this line, I’ve begun a Monday morning ZOOM time with a couple of longtime friends where we catch up, encourage one another, and pray together for those things going on in our lives. In fact, this has been so positive I’ve added another Monday evening ZOOM time with another friend, again, premium for both of us.

Another opportunity of the “void” is to learn some new skills and do some more reading. Both of these have proved very helpful, not only for filling the void, but for preventing stagnation!

This time has also provided a stimulus to give some serious consideration to what’s really, meaning “really,” important in life. This has taken me to spend some great time reading and thinking about God’s Word. Recently I’ve been reading and rereading Psalm 121.1-2. (This post and following ones from Ps 121 can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/Research-Center-377234732358058Research Center — Help That’s More Than A Hand — Our Helper is the LORD-Maker — Ps 121.1-2)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

What a great encouragement looking at the “mountains” ahead! I’d encourage you to spend some time growing in your relationship with the Lord. And, if you’ve not begun this spiritual journey, John 3.16 gives us the doorway to begin in the love of God and a new life . . .

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

And, this time has not prevented photography although where you go has probably been changed. Local photography has far more to offer than most have imagined. This attention to local opportunities for capturing images has become my new focus and will be the direction ahead, and hopefully, slipping in a few outings along the way.

So, with all this said, Lord willing, fresh images and insights will again be flowing on the Dasya’s Photography website . . .

The Flight Has Begun – New Things Ahead!

Dawn

“Dawn” is a daily event for most of us. Every day typically begins as things begin to become visible and that day’s new things begin to unfold.

One of those “dawn” moments is upon me of late. Being in the midst of a move of household from one state to another, from doing one thing (for many years) and transitioning to another, well, it’s challenging.

One of those things which often occurs with “dawn” is you get some perspective, i.e., you begin to be able to see. One of those dangers of doing the same thing many years is you can seem to miss the “dawn” and that look ahead. Moving makes it hit you in the face, and that’s not all bad!

Ahead seems to be a season of some new things, new opportunities, and new friendships, just to mention some. There even seems to be some new things with the photography which I so enjoy.

But, if you’ve lived a few years, you know that things often turn out differently than what “seems to be” before you. That’s not pessimism, just realism.

In the coming weeks and months, Lord willing, there will be some new images surfacing of new places and new things. It’s pretty exciting. Yet, there’s the “but what if” that slips into my thoughts.

Let me tell you what’s anchoring this “dawn” and will anchor every “dawn” ahead. It’s not a floating vision but a steadfast faith in a steadfast God whose amazing grace is certain to all whose faith rests in his Son, our Savior, Jesus. (Check John 3.16 for this anchor!)

I ran across some Scripture while teaching a series in the Psalms. Check out Psalm 57.7-11.

7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 9 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds. 11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.

What a great reminder and anchor as that new day dawns! “Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds.”

Here’s a perspective for every season.

An English songwriter and poet, Frances Havergal, most famous for her hymn, “Take My Life and Let it Be,” was 36 when she put down her thoughts about the dawn of a New Year, thoughts that are good every day of any year! Interestingly, her life on this earth ended 7 years later at the age of 43. Here’s her perspective of the “dawn”:

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be,
In working, or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of service,
Of witness of Thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven
Another year for Thee.

“Wondering” versus “Knowing”

A recent trip to southwest Colorado to try to catch some “aspen color” was all about “wondering”! Wondering if the timing was right! Wondering if the location was right!

Well, the timing wasn’t “right” even though the location was a great place to enjoy some mountain scenery. I’m guessing we were between a week and two weeks too early. That’s often the story of the landscape photographer’s life! So, with some “wandering” in the mountains a few, and that’s the instrumental word, places were found!

The early backlight among the aspen almost made some of the undergrowth glow!

Leaving Telluride we, still “wondering,” took some “off-road” driving and found one small patch of aspen near the top of the pass. It was slim picking in a place with such great potential.

A little more “wondering” about what the last light would be on Mt. Sneffels, a 14,000+ foot beauty, yielded a glow which made the wait worthwhile.

So, all this “wondering” got me to thinking. While there’s nothing wrong with some wondering in life, there are some things worth “knowing.” Foundational is the certainty of God’s Word, a Word which declares his love for us, so much so he sent Jesus to die for our sin so that we could have his new life through our faith in Jesus! Check out John 3.16 for this Word worth “knowing”!

The wisest man in history, name Solomon, said about God’s Word that “according to all that He spoke, not one word has failed of all His good word, which He promised”! 1Kings 8.56

Now, that’s worth “knowing” and building your life on, even if, as a photographer, you’re stuck “wondering” about the location, the timing, the conditions! Knowing God’s Word is a foundation which makes even Mt. Sneffels pale is something upon which we can build life!