photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “Holy

No Greater Love

-John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I used to think that Scripture was about Jesus dying on the Cross (only). Now I have a deeper understanding of it. I think now, in order to truly love one another, we have to die to ourselves- even if just a little bit. it takes strength and courage to be selfless. In the world we live in today, self promotion is a way of life: Facebook, Twitter, blogs.

I’ve been hit pretty hard lately and have had to scrape myself up off of the floor. I can’t write about it here as I want to protect the nature of the matter and the persons involved, but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with to date. My soul really felt as if it could have just perished. But yesterday, and the day before, I awoke with a whirlwind surrounding me. I could feel the Lord circling me with His strength. His breath was rushing through me- the Holy Ghost- which I’m a big believer in was rushing through me like cold water- there’s really nothing like it. It’s like having goosebumps on the inside. Two mornings ago it was so strong it actually pulled me out of sleep and yesterday it was the same thing.  This morning I  woke up and it’s been the same thing- so very strongly. When it’s this strong, I know that I’m feeling the prayers of others who are praying for me.

I have a sneaking suspicion I know who that person is. 🙂

When we pray for other people, we nail ourselves to the Cross, as it were. As we take on their burdens, we also take on death and die to “self”, becoming crucified with Christ. I know now that this is what that Scripture means. When we pray for others, we’re laying down our lives for them- standing in the gap.

So Y, this is a special thank you to you, because I know your prayers have broken through! I’m strengthened and feel so much stronger. My spirit is revived and I can literally feel your prayers and I’m rejoicing. Thank you my friend. ♥

I’m dedicating this pic to you! Rain on glass. (Yes, I was actually driving in the rain when I captured this shot. I know, “bad me!” But it was worth the efforts!) it was nothing special at first, but then I defocused the lens and it turned into this beautiful, impressionistic work of art of the traffic in front of me. Hope you likey! 🙂

Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel XSI/SOOTC- straight out of the camera
rainMJ


Angel Above You

It’s time for some church up in here! [Spoken in my native southern Texas accent.]

Josh and I took Brianna and Brian down to the river last night. There are three distinct areas we like to hang out at. 1) The creek bed, which runs along the flood wall. 2) The fossil beds- a perfect place to study brachiopods, trilobites, and other fossils which are embedded in the rock layers. 3) The “beach”. This is a part of the river that mimics an actual beach; complete with rolling tides, tons of driftwood, and plenty of sand. We love it there, and that’s the region we chose to frequent last night.

I’ll add another post later this with more family/river pics (including Brianna’s “sand bath”- hair included) but for now, I want to add a few inspirational pics.

I found this particular pic to be very interesting and curious. I shoot in manual- always- so when it’s getting dark, you really have to know your stuff (ISO/shutter speed/aperture/exposure compensation/white balance, etc.) because when shooting in manual, your lighting is always changing from second to second, continuously, even in broad daylight. Shooting at and after dusk is especially tricky because the focus takes longer to “catch”. This is what happened last night when I captured Josh blowing on the fire. Just as I clicked on the shutter, a stray ember popped up from the fire, shooting up and behind his shoulder (you can still see its trail) and formed a perfect cross above him. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the pic in the LCD immediately afterwards. (This pic hasn’t been “shopped”, or Photoshopped.)

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I’m sure the specifics of the fire could be explained away scientifically, but I prefer to know and believe that God works in strange and beautiful ways. Even with fire. He lets us know His eyes are always on His Children, and those who love and believe in Him.

From a photographical standpoint, I shot this with a slowed shutter. (1/8 of a sec.) To non-photographers, that means that “time” was slowed down, and the camera picks up what the human eye cannot. In the blink of an eye, this cross was there and gone, but the camera’s “pause” allowed it to be captured. (It’s a good self reminder to pause more in life; we’ll see more crosses.)

S A L T   O F   T H E   E A R T H

ImageMy daughter, Brianna/50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

-Matthew 5: 13-16


Dreams and their Interpretations

It’s not hard interpreting dreams. I used to want to know how to do this. I would ask my Dad as a young girl, and he would smile.

“We’ll, let me hear your dream,” he’d say.

“Alright. I was going to check the mail. I opened the mailbox and as I stuck my hand in the box, a black cat screamed at me. It clawed at me and hissed, and tried to attack me,” I said.

“You have a murmuring and complaining spirit,” he would say. “Start giving thanks more.”

Wisdom cannot be bought- not with all the money in the world.
And interpreting dreams is a gift- not just anyone can do it.

I only began to interpret them after reading more and more of the Bible. It opened up my mind, completely, and sharpened my discernment. Now, when I review a dream, the meaning fills my mind immediately. It’s not anything I have to think about.

Last night, I dreamed that I had a visit from a childhood friend. She was my best friend when I was a teenager. In my dream, her legs had been mutilated just above the knee on her left leg, and just below the knee on her right. She had crutches. Also, she had black stubble coming out of her face, like a beard that she had shaved. She’s a blonde, so this was particularly odd.

In my dream, we were in a small room by the highway. A truck came roaring by, and my friend began screaming and yelling at me out of fear, as the truck grew closer, trying to kick me. Of course, she couldn’t.

In real life, she and I haven’t seen each other in over a decade.
I understood the dream immediately.

Her legs represented her Christian walk with God. The mutilation represents her struggles over the years. Because her wounds had long since scarred over, the injuries are indicative of her childhood. The stubble represents “foreign” relationships, for two reasons:

1.) the colour
2.) it’s not something that naturally occurs
(a beard on a woman)

The fact that it’s new stubble, means that it’s very recent.
Because it’s dark, male hair coming from a female chin speaks of her possible homosexual tendencies. If I were to make a bet, it’d be a safe bet assuming that she has recently taken interest in women. (Or something along those lines.)

Because she was afraid of the truck, which was zipping by, and she tried to attack me, meant that she blamed me for some of her childhood mishaps.

Interesting dream.

Another dream I had was on a patch of land, that had many hotel rooms. Each room held a prostitute- they were gaudy, wearing tacky silver dresses. The rooms were small. I had knocked on a door, because I had lost my room. I was trying to find it. My room- was clean, with nice furniture and a fireplace- very private.

I was let in to a room that I was unfamiliar with. A prostitute was trying to coax me in there. She held a small, white animal, like a little pet dog. I looked through her window and saw, over the courtyard, my room! The door was open and I could see into it. I ran fast to get down to my room, and to safety.

Another interesting dream. 🙂

The patch of land represents my heart. All of the rooms; various rooms in my heart. Notice a whore lived in each room. This does not mean that I am secretly a prostitute! But make no mistake, a whore lives in every human heart. Consider it.

What’s the first thing that happens when we see something we want, badly, that we don’t have?
We lust after it.

Yes, I’ve grown accustomed long ago to the fact that in every human heart, there indeed lives a whore.

In my dream, I was able to see the various channels and avenues of lust that I need to work on.
No matter if it’s better hair, higher grades, a skinnier waist, just this THING inside of each person that screams out, “Me! Me! Me!” That is the little whore inside.

It always wants recognition. Praise. Attention. Satisfaction.

As a Christian, I know that it is my job to willingly crucify that beast.
Daily. To take it to the cross, and lay it down.

What is it that Paul said?

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

1st Corinthians 15:31


Messages

I received this message at one of my photo sites I hang out at:

Hello Birgitta,
I stumbled across your profile – and what a great find. I was first quite impressed with your photography, but after looking more thoroughly, I have found that you have included a lot of “Christian Imagery” I would imagine this to be the case because you are indeed a Believer/Christian yourself. My wife and I are also believers and I was just thinking yesterday – how can I use photography to glorify God, to be a witness. I believe you have done that on some level in your photography, including Bibles, Scripture Passages, Crosses etc. Thank you for sharing your faith regardless of the outcome…. I’m encouraged.
PS. Keep Shooting for God, for Art, for Creativity

Romans 1:16

Caleb

 
 
And my reply to him was:
 
Hi Caleb! So sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. First of all, thanks so much for dropping me a line. 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to do that. Secondly, thanks for letting me know that my photography has inspired you, particularly, where God and the Scriptures are concerned. No matter what I’m shooting, or when or how, I have this tugging at my heart for mankind- I have a little secret that I want to share, ya know? We know the truth- as believers, we’re so blessed with a bountiful banquet before us. Spiritually, we’re like Kings! When I look out at the dying world- it breaks my heart, truly. So many people though, have built walls so high. They won’t hear a drop of the truth about Jesus- they reject Him- just as He said they would. This is where “art” comes in. 🙂 We already share a common bond with unbelievers and many athiests in the art world- we all like to create and express ourselves. my work tends to have a dark undertone to it- it’s edgy. This isn’t intentional. I’m forever bound in my heart to the Crucified Christ- and His agony at Calvary. Ya know? It’s not like we’re “just passing through” that pain and death, and then we’re riding on a glory cloud every day. No- like Paul said, “I die daily”. We need to be nailed to the Cross every day, and crucify our own flesh. Well, this kind of seeps out in my work. But the bright side, is that it attracts people who are into dark things, and strangely enough, many athiests. They’re attracted to the gritty side of things. So when they see my work, it speaks to them. When they see the Scriptures- they more readily receive the Word because they feel a connection. I’m able to use my art to minister to people who don’t know God. I’m always mindful of this! I want to “tell stories” with my photography. I always ask myself: “Why am I doing this?” “What are my motives right now?” “What message am I sharing here?” And so on. I want to encourage you and your wife to do the same things. I’ve been able to reach many hungry hearts over the past 10 years or so. I think of this Scripture always: “Let your light so shine before men, so they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt: 5:13 &16) And also this one: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” These are the two Scriptures that drive me in my work. Sure, I upload lots of trivial photos too, but I’m careful to integrate “messages” in the mix. I want it to means something, and ultimately, touch peoples’ hearts. Thanks again so much for writing me, and I’ll pop in later and check out some of your work. I’m a full-time behavioral Sciences major also working on my Substance Abuse certification- almost no time right now, as you know how that goes. I wish you all the best! And take good care of yourself. -B
 
 
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I later discovered that he and his wife are living in Korea and are English teachers.
I would absolutely love to be in Korea with a Lensbaby!
 
 
I received an anonymous email also the other day from “Mel”:
 
The song you wrote is so beautiful (“Hallelujah”) – the lyrics and the singing are so heartfelt….
Can you send me a link to the song so that I can download it?

God bless

 
 
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It’s a good feeling knowing that I inspire people here and there, and not “me” per se, but the message I carry with me. I’m driven by it continually, and it’s my driving force in life. I think about it every day of my life, and my persistent question that I ask myself is, “What are you doing for others in your life?”
 
If I have a hard time answering that question, something is seriously wrong.
I not only enjoy doing good things for others- I’m compelled to.
 
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