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

Posts tagged “Jesus

Up with the Chickens

 

 

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Ohio River/foggy morning/Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass f/4- natural lighting/5.19.13

I awoke this morning to find our home enshrouded in thick fog. How could I not go out and grab a few shots? I drove down to the local marina with a fresh cup of coffee. I have plans today to do one lesson in each course: Public Speaking, Earth Science, and Health Psychology (no small feat), but when I put my mind to something, I don’t let go. 

Mornings like these are my favourites: the world is so still- everybody’s sleeping and completely unaware of the fog. For the past several days, I’ve been getting up early and hitting my PC and BS- that’s not short for computer and “BS” – it’s short for “prayer closet and Bible study”. When I start my days with these things and in this order, everything falls into the right places in my day. My mind is renewed, as is my faith, strength, and hope- challenges become “doable” and I have a promise of success already- I just need to do the work.

When I was praying this morning, I felt the Lord wrap his arms around me and give me a big hug. I know that I’m loved, terrifically; I don’t worry about things.

So I’m off to put a huge dent in my schoolwork.
It’s going to be a beautiful day. :0)

 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 


The Looking Glass

It’s 2:50 a.m.
Chance is going nuts, ripping and running around the living room. I just gave him a bath. Brian Bob is chilling in his room- Brianna- the same. I should be sleeping, or doing homework, but I’ve just downloaded Tex Murphey: Overseer. Gaming is one of my coping mechanisms, much like millions of other people. Until my heart heals, I’ll trudge along the motions of my life- school, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, etc. and slip away into my game as often as possible. I just can’t process any more raw emotion at this time. Tex Murphy is a welcome escape.

I’m torn between another pistachio and almond ice cream cone and Guinness Extra Stout. I have a 6 pack in the fridge and it whispers to me. I keep forgetting to drink one. I  decide on lemon and ginger tea with honey instead. I’ve had a migraine for two days now. (Imagine that.) I can’t do this again tomorrow. After two days, my mind starts fracturing into tiny bits of livewire pain- sizzling every nerve until it’s raw and jittery. It does little good to complain other than to serve as a reminder that I’m still suffering. It too is a welcome escape from the pain in my heart.

There’s nothing one can do but ride the wave of heartache after a breakup. One of my x’s is all over me like white on rice- I’m disgusted. He thinks it might be a good time to squeeze back in. I think it’s highly disrespectful and pretty insulting to me. I know people do that- the rebound thing- but if you’re crawling away from the battlefield of one relationship, why would you hop into the trenches of another? That doesn’t make any sense to me, and it’s the furthest thing from my mind. (And heart.) I think I’ll be alone for a very long time. I’m a one man woman, and I think it’s necessary to experience the pain after a breakup. It tells me that the love I knew was real and that’s why it hurts so much. My friends don’t know what to say to comfort me, and that’s ok. There’s only so much another human being can offer in the way of companionship and support. If it weren’t for my love, relationship, and friendship with Jesus- I would absolutely crumble and die. I have no doubt. I’m not enough to keep myself going- I think of Sylvia Plath- and can understand how a broken heart could make her stick her head in an oven and forget to live. She couldn’t bear to lose her man to another woman. But Sylvia Plath said when she was just a child, “I’ll never talk to God again.” And I suppose she didn’t. So, she killed herself. I think she should have talked to God.

That’s where she and I differ. I love life, and as painful as it is to feel your heart being ripped from your chest, I do have a very close relationship with Jesus. We talk, commune, and just have a good time together. When I think about His love, and how He’s able to reach into every tiny place in my heart- I can’t be angry or sad for long. I smile, and know I’m loved. He washes away every awful feeling, and the bitter tears become bittersweet. They eventually become joyful, and I become like a child again, marveling at the beauty of God’s creation: I rise above the pain.

I’ve gone and talked myself right out of my misery again, and feel a half-smile creeping across my face.

Oh heart, you’re going to make it…

Image50 MM/manual/ISO 3200/natural lighting/Squire Boone Caverns/3.28.13


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


On Christianity and Gay People

Well, if there are any other post titles that grab attention more than that one, I’d like to see it.
Lately, I’ve been angry. I can admit it.
I think of my sister, and I’m filled with rage, completely.
She is super- hyper-spiritual- and a hypocrite.
Hey, I call ’em like I see ’em.

We’re all raised Pentecostal in my family, and I know many people that have been raised Pentecostal, and are bitter. It’s a long story.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve become jaded. I’m sure of it.
I still cling to my fundamental Pentecostal beliefs. Believe me. But I’ve also been introduced along the way (in life) to a host of new kinds of people. Artists. Not only “artists”, but “flamboyant artists” who will march proudly in gay parades. I don’t agree with that, however, simply because, it’s freaking wrong to be full of yourself. Gay, OR straight. Have a dose of humility about ya, huh?

The problem I have is this. Not with the gay stuff- I get that. Contrary to my family, or the way I was raised to believe. I have learned along the way, that these people who are stigmatized, are very good people. They laugh, they love, they cry- they hurt- just like I do. My heart is very big. I am wrapped around their pain. I love my friends, truly.

Some of the most supportive people who have been by my side in life over the years, have been gay. I must say, my heart has been moved, and in a very big way, for the plight of my friends who feel ostracized and outcast by society- a society who cannot accept them for who and HOW they are.

Yes, my heart breaks for them. And don’t even get me started on all of the people I know who claim that they are “Christians” yet they slag on gay people. Really? So then, how does that work, that Jesus went to the possessed, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the ME and the YOU- and healed them…put His very hands upon their heads…and what. Went His way?

I hardly think so. He was weakened every time He touched somebody new. His virtue bled out of Him and He was weakened. Believe me when I say, that there were plenty of Scribes and Pharisees that allowed Jesus to come into their homes- and hosted a party in His favour. They had heard of Jesus’ healing powers and stuff- they were intrigued. He entertained them. Not only that- He actually made a few friends out of them in the process. Also- He chastised the crowd. He let them know that their sins were no less than others’.

I love Jesus for that. He made friends with blind people. Deaf people. Possessed people. Gay people. Prostitutes. And many others of questionable reputations.

If you know somebody, who says they’re a Christian, and they “hate gay people”- ask them how they’re going to get into the Kingdom of God with all of that hatred?Just saying. That as a Christian community, it’s high-time we stop using gay people to thrash out our hatred, people who are “different”, and start loving ALL people, of ALL races, religions, beliefs, and sexes.

If you are reading this, and you feel mocked, scorned, unloved, or cast out- please feel free to write me at: rushingthunder@yahoo.com

It’s time we stop HATING. Entirely.
You are loved. Whovever you are.
Please know that. 🙂

And on that same note, if you’re a Christain, and you feel that you’ve been a target or hated by a gay person wrongfully, please. Have patience.
This thing goes both ways. Try to open your eyes and see it from either point of view. And I say that to either party.

xoxo

Cornaag

Taken tonight, at Deam Lake. Indiana


Glutton for Punishment

By now, I’m guessing that I like to take on far more than I can handle. I like the pressure and I like to be challenged. I added two more classes to my course load (Earth Science and Health Psychology), as if Public Speaking and Pre-Calculus weren’t enough. It will be an interesting semester for sure.

If all goes well, I’ll be able to intern this summer at a substance abuse clinic (or behavioral health facility) and possibly graduate before the fall semester, where I’ll return to work on my bachelor’s in Sociology. Perhaps I’ll minor in Criminal Justice, but I’m not sure yet. 

I don’t want to fit into a little box and do what everybody else does, I know that. I want to specialize in particular areas and develop programs and such. We’ll see where the road leads. People don’t understand why I don’t want to use my talents (singing, composing music, etc.) in a bigger way, such as- on a stage. But I have no desire to ever “be famous” – it’s sickening what the world does to people, and what they allow to be done to them. Famous people have almost no rights! They’re not allowed to speak freely- lest they lose “fans”- they’re not allowed to do what they like when it’s all said and done. They sign a contract, and they’re bought and owned, no longer freely their own person. There’s nothing attractive about that to me- not for all the money in the world. 

Besides, people want to worship other people, and there are some that love to be worshipped with lots of “followers”. Gag.
It all sickens me…

I like what Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” 

That’s part of the reason I despise Facebook and Twitter so much. People feel the need to tell the world what they’re doing 24/7. (Get over yourself already!) I call it being “Facebook Famous”- and there are millions of wannabees. 

The world seems full of marshmallow people these days, blowing powdered sugar up each others’…noses. Flattery…super-sweet cynicism with an extra batch of exclamation points. They leave their calling card “great shot!” (etc. etc.) and few really take the time to actually “comment” on things these days, or critique something with heart. What are they after? I will tell you. They want to be noticed. Simple as that. “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” So they go around, commenting (in two or three words “drive-by comments”) or better yet (note the sarcasm) they’ll simply press the “like” button and hope that they’ll receive a reciprocal “like” and perhaps gain a new “follower”. It all just makes my stomach turn. 

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with following a blog. I do follow a couple myself. I just really can’t stand the whole “I have 1,565 Facebook friends and 500 people are “following me!!” <<<< Take a freaking leap off of a cliff already and swim in the sea of reality for a while. Shut your internet down for a month or two- get away from everybody in the world- and just sit among the trees- listen to the wind and do some soul searching. The superficiality of social networking has really gotten on my last nerve, along with the egos of all who devour it.

I think I’m done with my rant…

Heidi2

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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


Where I Belong

Yesterday, an amazing thing happened as I was driving.

I was thinking about all of the catastrophic things I’ve been through lately, and recalled a discussion that Brianna and I had had about God. I thought about God’s love and Who He Is as the creator of the world. I began to talk to Him, simply acknowledging Him! I thanked Him for His great love and for always watching out for me.

A warmth filled my heart, and I felt God surrounding me, completely. I could feel Jesus’ Love, filling my heart up. It felt as if the entire car grew warmer and I was swimming in love. I thought- at that very moment- that this was where I belonged, always. And that feeling is better than anything a person can say or do, and it’s better than anything money can buy- better than any drug. That feeling was what it’s like to truly be in God’s presence: in His presence, there’s an absence of hatred. Hateful things can’t abide in such truth and light.

I don’t ever want to forget these things…


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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