Remember 9-11 and Pray

    Today I had the opportunity to attend the Blue Mass honoring and praying for all First Responders with Bishop Gregory at Christ the Redeemer in Atlanta.  Met many men and women who man the line and guard us from the terrors of the night.  Thanks be to God for such men and women.

    I pray our nation returns to God with respect for Natural Law and the life of the unborn so we can be the great nation our founders intended.


Live Love Not Vanity

Live not in vain, but in the light of Christ

Live not in vain, but in the light of Christ

    Two days ago I attended the funeral for a friend’s husband.  He passed unexpectedly after a bout with cancer.  I heard testimonials from several friends of the deceased.  They told the story of a man who lived a life of love for his fellow man.  From what his wife told me in the months we’ve worked together, these were no exaggerations.  These tales exactly described his character.  

    This gentleman was a leader.  He bore other’s burdens with joy.  He called out other men to be leaders in their homes for their wives and children.  He was the rock on whom his wife and boys could lean at any time of the day or night for support.  From what I heard, and knew from his wife, he was also not a man who allowed blind love of another person to cover up their faults in his eyes.  This man called all people to raise themselves up to meet the challenges of life.  He carried the same attitude when he looked in the mirror as well.  He had confidence in himself, but never a vanity for himself.  So when he did not know answers to life’s hard questions, he reached out to a trusted circle of friends and the Lord for guidance.

    Good men seek challenges, camaraderie, glory in the Lord, and lay down their life in service.  Somehow the best of the good men do all these things with a smile.  Obviously this gentlemen was all of these things.

    So as we stood at the Canton American Military Cemetery, I looked out at the headstones and thought of what this fallen soldier could teach others in one sentence.  It really came down to what all good military men have in common.  He lived love not vanity.

   Please pray for this family.  My friend and her two good sons lost a good husband and father.  Now they will need the strength to carry on their own lives, with the direction left by a good man in the example of a life well lived inscribed on their hearts.


PS  Just a note about the photo above.  In American Military Cemeteries on US Soil we are not legally allowed to photograph the names on the tombstones (per the custodians at the Los Angeles National Cemetery).  So in the four minutes I had to take a few photos before a huge thunderstorm…I got a few quality photos…under that specific guidance.  Took some adjustments to make sure I stayed in the law, but I think it worked out.

Cold Rabbit

Cold Rabbit

Cold Rabbit

This was a fun shot.  This darn rabbit watches over my yard day in and day out.  An I finally caught him in the camera.  He was so cold I could not miss him!

I initially did this in color, and got a pretty nice file from it all.  However I wanted to express how cold this rabbit had to be.  So I turned over to my B&W in Nik SilverEfx2.  This Nik (well now Google) application is simply awesome in rendering B&W.  Perfect Effects is getting closer all the time, I just know SilverEfx and can get the results I want very fast right now.  So I turn to it most often for B&W.

I hope this type of photo inspires a few of us to get out and look at our environments when seasons change.  Just the addition of snow, of new pine needles, leaves and green grass change our perspective significantly.  If we all take a few minutes to enjoy our environment, maybe we’d a little extra motivation to realize how lucky we are to have what we have.

I just mention this, because today a mother of four (the youngest being three months old) collapsed in front of her family just a few feet from my wife and kids.  We’re waiting on word of her condition, and praying for everyone involved.  Luckily her husband was at her side and was the first responder, and friends and family were able take care of the children while Dad tended to his wife.

Life is precious.  Life is short.  If we do not recognize that, we’ll miss moments like this when the whole world of Atlanta, Georgia turned an unusual white..or our children smiled at the sight of the sun coming out from behind the clouds…or the fleeting moment we get to hold the hand of a loved one for what could be the last time.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss that moment?


PS Pentax K-5 with 16-50 F2.8.

Lessons from the farm


So what does a farmer do when a baby lamb loses its mother hours after it birth? My second son’s Godparents recently had this occur on their farm. A ewe carried her 10th lamb to term, and died shortly after the birth. If the lamb existed in the wild, it would simply be left to fend for itself immediately. No other ewe will care for it, preferring instead by instinct to care for its own offspring.

This farming family instead will feed the lamb ewe by hand until it can fend for itself. Extra work yes, but it is an example of proper stewardship of the world we live in. These Godparents let nothing go to waste if they have any say in it. I find it is also a little example of following the wisdom of God, and an example of what we saw from Christ. We are all fallen creatures, even if we have good genes we are all still flawed. Despite this problem of ours, he for came into the world as a child, and grew to become a man…the perfect sacrifice and example for us to follow so we too could be with him in heaven.

So as you prepare for the arrival of Christ tonight…remember that as hard as it is to fathom…he calls us to follow his example in largest, smallest and everything I between parts of our life.

P.S. Fujifilm X-E1 with the 18-55