"The Scriptures know nothing of a creation or a history that is at a single moment independent of God’s agency. The question is not whether God is involved in every aspect of our lives but how God is involved. Therefore, with respect to providence, the question is never whether causes are exclusively natural or supernatural, but whether God’s involvement in every moment is providential or miraculous.” (369, italics original)
- Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
This afternoon I was in a lack-of-sleep mode, armed with a sugary lemonade and ready to attack my overflowing inbox of emails from churches everywhere. I was in the middle of asking God for energy, for this seemingly endless work that didn’t particularly bring life at the moment.
Suddenly, He said to me - Are you tired of serving my bride?
Wow, what perspective. #humbled
Beards & Typefaces
Christian Goldemann is a graphic designer based in Stuttgart, Germany. Driven by his love for beards, fonts and illustration he created this illustrated beard guide, a collection of mustaches and beards with their fitting typefaces.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
While I always promote being justified by Christ, I turn to Tumblr as a place where I can justify to myself why I just spent way too much $ on a new camera lens.
This past Black Friday and Cyber Monday (not to mention Small Business Saturday and World AIDS Day, and happy #GivingTuesday today), I tried my best not to go to any physical retailers, and instead happily browsed SlickDeals and Photography-on-the-net (a photo-junkie forum) 24/7, perhaps also once or twice during work. That’s where the REAL DEALS are found, after all!
This post is evolving into a photographic equipment history. The first camera I owned was a point and shoot, the Sony NSC. That thing was completely battered after I went to China for a few months in 2007, where I steadily took around 400-500 photos per day. They were not so great :P
Then college started. To my photographic fortune, I was gifted a Canon S90, and suddenly, I could take photos in low light situations! I was ecstatic.
If you’re familiar with my setup since I bought my wonderfully small Canon T2i in 2011, I started off with a Sigma 30mm f1.4 that has sat on my camera body 90% of the time ever since. It was love at first sight with its lightness, weirdly sharp and beautifully bokeh-ed images. At one point, I decided I needed something to walk around with, so I got a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8. This was a lovely and sharp standard zoom, but definitely not as inspiring as my 30mm.
When I decided to study abroad in Paris (and also travel Europe), I was the luckiest person, knowing a friend (thank you, Stephen!) who was willing to let me borrow his Canon 24-70mm f2.8 (version 1). Whenever it was light outside, I would use this lens. I could get a fairly wide shot at 24mm of the Colosseum in Rome, and quasi-telephoto portraits of all my friends I encountered. It was the first time something came close to being as valuable as my 30mm. It also hurt my neck and back to carry around - I’m a weakling!
My 17-50mm’s focus broke about a year ago due to my mishandling (I still have yet to get it completely fixed), but I haven’t missed it a bit. Still, I find myself borrowing Stephen’s 24-70 from time to time to shoot engagements and weddings. It’s SO useful in situations where I can’t be moving all over the place. Speaking of weddings, there are so many coming up! Surely I can’t miss out on some images of a lifetime just because I’m planted in the audience or simply too far away to capture a bride’s smile? (cue the cheese!)
This, my friends, is why I bought the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II (on sale, of course!). It’s slightly lighter, but regardless, I promise to work out more so I can carry the thing in one hand for a couple of hours straight. And eat out less. I also promise to capture some moments that will make it all worth it and share them with you!
To me, the computer is just another tool. It’s like a pen. You have to have a pen, and to know penmanship, but neither will write the book for you.
Red Burns, founder of NYU ITP, on why technical expertise isn’t essential to creativity. (You will be missed)
By defining our goal more clearly — by making it seem more manageable and less remote — we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.
John F Kennedy, 1963. Sounds a lot like vision casting!
Today at church, we talked about how important it is to know that you’re loved - and not just loved by your family and friends, but loved by God. And that the mark of a mature Christian is to know more and more how much you’re loved by God.
It was so ironic that soon thereafter, I had a conversation with woman on 4th Street. She asked me for my leftover food - sure, I said, if you like spicy cucumbers, they’re good. It started to become clear as I talked to her more that she was full of anxiety, worry, fear, and sadness. Her self pity and loathe consumed her perspective and every word she spoke. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a glimpse of a smile or a hopeful remark from her. She was so embarrassed of herself that she refused to tell me her name when I asked to pray for her. She wore tattered clothes and several necklaces with crosses on them, but she said that even God had abandoned her. Why would people want to help someone like me?, she asked. That’s not true, I insisted. Ah! She whispered. Everyone’s gawking at us, don’t be so loud.
She was feeling sick because of some food she ate, so she asked me to buy her some candy and coca-cola. As she perused Duane Reade, she repeated ask me to check expiration dates. She refused to admit she liked or had a favorite candy. Candy’s not perishable and won’t get me sick, she explained. I tried to reason with her to choose something healthier, but I couldn’t get through to her.
In the end, when we were checking out, she got furious with the store manager that refused to give her expired candy, as policy had it that way. See? She said. People won’t help me because I look like *motioning to herself* this. And they just want to make more money. In the end, she left without a goodbye, just words of self-shame.
I was so upset that this nameless woman felt so unloved when the truth was that the God of the universe loves her so much…and had died for her. I pray that every person in this world would come to realize that he/she is worth so much. That this woman is loved more than she can imagine.
Cathy: Unconditional love comes with no conditions. So it’s not like an ‘if-then or if-else’ statement…
Charlie: It’s a ‘try-catch-finally’.
Cathy and Charlie, being nerdy.