Giving Thanks to God

   Our first President, and the Congress of the United States, dedicated this day to praying and giving thanks to God.  In the final paragraph we see him calling all public and private people to do our duties faithfully.  He also asks us to “promote the knowledge and and practice of true religion and virtue.”  As you can see there is no separation of church and state.  To George Washington our bounty comes from God, and our personal duty is to live in accordance with Nature’s Law.  To Christians this means we must live inside God’s design for the world in all that we do.  

    In fact, to achieve personal and national civility we must receive adhere to this guidance.  The result of  dismissing this call to Nature’s Law is chaos.  

    We need to look no further than the debates on Furgeson to recognize this.  Rioters in the streets don’t care that the man killed willfully beat a man to rob his store moments before his encoutner with Police.  They do not want to recognize that the man was high on illegal drugs, something that would impair his judgement even more.  Obtaining supplies for this habit was the reason he robbed the store, and was wanted by police.  The natural effect of giving into vices such as these is a bad conflict with those entrusted by the citizens to protect them from such abusive behavior.  

    The solution to this type of problem is simple.  It is to live inside natural law.  To Christians this means simply to live out the Golden Rule…and your relations with others in your community will start off on good footing.   To solve many other problems we face, there is a good book that is our family instruction manual I can recommend:  The Bible.  Start with Poverbs and Wisdom…then move up to read of the word made man in the Gospel and natural law will unfold before your eyes.

    So make today something more than turkey and football.  Make today a moment that changes your life, and that of your family.  Give thanks to God Almighty, and point your family to the eternal wisdom of his word.  The greatest thanks you can offer God, is to deliver your house to stand with him.

-ehw

 

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Raise a Veteran

    The theme for the day is to honor veterans for their service, both those who died and those who continue to serve.  In its original form, Armistice Day recognized the War to End All Wars.  Americans and Europeans moved into isolationism, turned inward and also sowed the seeds for the next war.  Free nations cast down their arms, and allowed others to prepare the engines of war to enslave them until it was almost too late.  Today we see the same problem around the world.  Engines of tyranny now spin up and prepare to pounce when weakness reaches its most critical point.

    As a historian, and man of Christian faith, I cannot in good conscience follow that example today.  I know there are good people in this world.  I also know there are those who give into evil.  Those people seek to either turn me to sin as an accomplice or make me their slave.  The enemies of freedom will never rest.  The enemies of building the Kingdom of God will never cease adapting to our transient strengths in their attempts to tear it down.

   In a nation of almost 350 million we have only about 1.5 million under arms today.  The nation’s recruiters cannot get enough young men to join the service due to lack on interest, poor fitness, and (frankly) intellectual incapacity.  Many men get rejected due to gang affiliation and drug use.  So the administration is actually trying to bring foreigners (legal and illegal) into the ranks to defend this country.  As a reminder of history….when every great nation began to commission others to defend their statehood they fell.  Just look at the history of Rome.  Republic to tyranny.  Native sons to mercenaries.  

    So today please consider something a little different for Veteran’s Day.  Don’t just thank a veteran, raise a veteran.

   As a parent myself I can now feel the fear and angst felt when the child raises their hands to say, “This I will defend.”  Despite the angst I know my life is but a transient one.  My days of quality service as a front line fighter now extend far into my past.  If my children want to be free, and give that gift to their children, they must one day put veteran somewhere on their resume.

    It is time we all realize it is not enough to just thank someone else for the gift of freedom.  It is time for each man to serve where able.  Service in the active duty military, guard, and police, fire and rescue all keep us safe.  It does not have to be a career…just a portion of life holding the line against the terrors of the night makes you a worthy veteran in my eyes. 

    So today do more than thank a veteran.  Raise a veteran.  Your grandchildren will thank you one day for giving them the gift of liberty.

-ehw.

The ’68 Shelby Cobra

   The ability to shoot fantastic people, things and events is what keeps me coming back to this hobby.   I seek out lots of challenges, and they help me grow both as a professional and personal.

   This ’68 Shelby GT500KR was a hoot to be around.  It is one of four that year to have both an automatic transmission and an air conditioner.  It sounds real pretty when it is running as well.

   During this shoot I learned firsthand the value of speed, efficiency, and technical skills required to provide top tier products.  I realized about 25 things in my last accounting of to improves from this shoot.  The biggest one I can mention now is the value of shooting in a good lighting window or creating your own good lighting.

  As I created these images I could understand the technical masterpieces so many artists create with good strobes, reflectors and scrims.  On the day of this shot I did not have a large enough scrim…say about 10×20 feet… so we moved the vehicles all around to make this work out in good lighting.  Try as I might the 46 inch circular just did not cut it no matter what we did.

   Despite all that I still produced a some really nice images I am happy to share!

-ehw

PS. As will all my images they are available for sale, and 10% of the sale price will go to charity.

Stepping Outside the Norm- Blue Knights

    As a high schooler I so longed to escape the drama and pressures to simply conform to popular culture.  I had no desire to participate in underage drinking, running the edge of the law, or disrespecting my parents.  I had no real love for the show described as funniest of the times…the Simpson’s.  Here we see the prototypical popular culture Hollywood wants us to accept: A dunce Dad who worships beer and donuts, the Mom who is good hearted, the girl who always knows best, and the little boy who is a bratty idiot bumbling through life.   Any number of shows continue this tradition today.  

   I thought then being an adult would allow me to just be…me!  Then came college and adulthood.  That pressure to conform to popular culture just nevers stops.  I was watching football one Sunday last year, and noticed the commercials were just a rehash of everything of those years but even worse.  Dumb men, women on display, worship of bear and stupid stunts by young boys.

    I finally realized the reason I kept being targeted like this was I refused to come inside the “normal” range of tolerance for this behavior. Where most say that this is simply harmless, silliness I could not in good conscience allow my children to see it, before they had the Armor of God to fend off the vices.

    So I’ve been supporting this little boys club at church, called Blue Knights ( www.beholdpublications.com). In fact a friend and I founded the parish club for our boys.  Since then the group remained small, not for lack of marketing…simply because it competes with so many other things out there.  I pulled my eldest from the last part of two baseball practices last year to attend these meetings…yep we’re not the norm.  We shut off broadcast TV, and screen what we see on Netflix.  Radical?  To most yes. However only the beginning of what I must do as a parent.

    My wife in her spiritual journey learned the thing we will each be judged on by Christ will be how we did my our children in terms of bringing the faith to them.  I learned contemplative faith is a gift of God given to some, but not all.  As a result, whatever we do for our children to raise them as children of God requires us to provide each child the unique skills and rules necessary for them to traverse life’s turbulent seas.  

    My Father repeatedly said the same as I grew up, “I love you the same.  I just love you differently.”  As a child I did not understand it as well as I do now. Of course I also wish the English language would use the proper words for types of love more freely.  What he said really echoes the bible parable about the workers coming in at different times…or being given different amounts of talents.  To each God loved them the same (unconditionally). However God gave of himself to each differently based on the man before him.

    Some children will never pass the stage of the Fear of God (doing what is right as to not disappoint God).  This is fine, because if they keep the Fear in their hearts, they will always live inside the boundaries of natural law. This takes them towards God’s Kingdom with their fellow men.  Other’s given the contemplative gift, well maybe they will be quiet enough to listen and heed God’s word.  From that personal message I pray they develop a Love of God, where they make God’s ways their own freely without reservation.  Either way, as a Father I would be happy to one day have them beside me worshipping God in heaven for all eternity.

    Society has no interest in you making it to heaven.  The world we see on TV wants you to buy this good, pull the election lever for their candidate, or pull you from others and focus on your personal pleasure.  So to each of you out there contemplating the road you will travel with your family, don’t be afraid to step outside the norm.  Homeschooling, one parent employment, staying up every night working late in charity for your public school child, finding the right worship methods for you, finding the right role models in faith….each journey is custom built for you.  

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”   

    -Robert Frost

    Happy praise God Sunday!

-ehw

P.S.  These photos are what you can do if you turn the norm on its head….Halloween should be looked at for a Christian as the eve before All Souls Day when we praise those of virtuous living!  We should pray for our family, friends and selves to be on the same road to heaven!