30 Days of Earth Shots

Earth Shots is a Photo of the Day contest celebrating the beauty and diversity of our planet. Everyday we feature the best photograph submitted by our visitors.

I recently signed up for a new photo site called Earth Shots where you submit your picture in hopes of winning “Photo of the Day” which leads to more visitors and greater exposure for your craft. If nothing else, it’s nice to see some of the work done by others.

For those of you looking for a more casual, friendly challenge then head on over to ph.otogra.ph and check out the weekly photo assignment.

This website is an interactive photography project. Every week brings a new theme to challenge the creativity in all of us. The themes are based on a noun, verb or adjective. For example, this week the theme is adjective: broken. Participants upload one photograph each week to fit the theme. Everything should be this fun.

ph.otogra.ph

To date or not to date?

Where do you draw the line on if it’s okay date or not to date? To be set up or not to be set up on a date? I personally don’t think it’s wrong per say to have single friends gather and if there is a spark, then “go, God!,” but if not, so be it. Too many singles dwell and persue meaningless relationships because they are lonely. They aren’t in it for the long haul. I think too many people want to “fix it” or “help out” instead of giving the reigns to God. It’s a trust issue in many cases. Ask yourself “do I trust God?”, “would I be okay if God chose for me to be single till my dying day?”, “would I compromise if I found a guy or gal that didn’t measure up, but fulfilled my loneliness right now?”

Relationships can take our full, undivided attention off of God. When a person is single, they are able to fully focus 100 percent on God. There is no checking in with your husband, wife or boyfriend or girlfriend when you are single. The Bible even says that it is better to be single. So why do we want to force it? I think loneliness is a battle that needs to be conquered in order to be content with the portion that God has blessed us with. We don’t deserve anything, so when God does bless us with our husband or wife, we can be 100 percent sure it is a gift from God and we will appreciate that person even more.
(more…)

Grace

3335

Grace: favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who recieves it and in spite of what that person deserves.

Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is “merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” ( Ex. 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience as the source of help and with deliverance from distress. In the Old Testament, the supreme example of grace was the redemption of the Hebrew people from Egypt and their establishment in the Promised Land. This did not happen because of any merit on Israel’s part, but in spite of their unrighteousness (Duet. 9:5-6). Although the grace of God is always free and undeserved, it must not be taken for granted. Grace is only enjoyed within the Covenant- the gift is given by God, and the gift is received by man through repentance and faith ( Amos 5:15). Grace is to be humbly sought through the prayer of faith ( Mal 1:9)…the only way of salvation for any person is “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” ( Acts 15:11). The grace of God revealed Jesus Christ is applied to human beings for their salvation by the Holy Spirit, who is called “the Spirit of grace” ( Heb. 10:29). The Spirit is the One who binds Christ to His people so that they recieve forgiveness, adoption to sonship, and newness of life, as well as every spiritual gift of grace ( Eph. 4-7).
– Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible

Born into Brothels

I recently watched Born Into Brothels, a documentary on children from Calcutta. It was one of those eye opening kind of movies. It wasn’t full of action, excitement, or romance, but it did have something else that you can only appreciate if you watch the film. I highly recommend this film to anyone.

Summary by: Kenneth Chisholm
Admist the apparent growing prosperity of India, there is a dark underbelly of poverty of another side of the nation that is little known. This film is a chronicle of filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman’s efforts to show that world of Calcutta’s red light district. To do that, they inspired a special group of children of the prostitutes of the area to photograph the most reluctant subjects of it. As the kids excel in their new found art, the filmmakers struggle to help them have a chance for a better life away from the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams.

The Lord calls us to love all people…

When I started reading a book called True Spirituality by Francis A. Schaeffer, I was convicted as I read the following:

God called us to love, and not only for those who are in our little portion of God’s church, or even for all our fellow Christians, but love for all people, unbelievers as well as believers. Schaeffer saw that there was, at this time, a tendency to minimize the challenge of the parable of the Good Samaritan, and to focus the love of Christians on those who are fighting alongside us in the Lord’s battles. He then went on to say: We face the same problem today, for the more secularized and “post -Christian” our society becomes, the greater temptation is to love only our fellow believers who are fighting by our side in the “culture wars.” We retreat from the command to love all people as we consider those outside the church as too worldly, as too dangerous to our spiritual well-being. Rather than love them, we feel constrained to keep ourselves seperate from them, to strive for purity of being uncontaminiated by having no contact with the “sinners” out there. But, as Schaeffer points out, this is not the kind of purity that God’s Word has in mind fo us. The Lord calls us to love all people, including those who are enemies of the gospel and those who blaspheme. This may not be comfortable, and it may not be easy, but this is the gospel of Christ, for He loved His enemies so much that He died to save us.
(more…)

Feed Me!

For those of you familiar with Feeds, PhotoJulia has two for you to choose from indicated by the Feed Icon in the upper right corner. First, is the Blog Feed that’s for the blog entries themselves. But if you also (or only) want to get Feed updates of new pictures when they are added to the gallery use the Gallery Feed.

If you don’t know what a Feed is, just ask or click here. I personally use Bloglines for my Feeds but there are many other, free ‘Feed Readers’ available. Ask around and find the one that works best for you.