Tag Archives: mongolia

Why complain? If it is your Lord you pray to, then the Lord it is that guides you and as a guide knows the terrain ahead so your Lord will deliver you. To where? To him.

Why complain? Better yet, why not be grateful? You are sick, you could be sicker, you have no money, you could be poorer. These are simple arguments for the complex thoughts that bring our complaints to the level playing field of the world. God has no favorites so chose humility and chose it in joy.  Is saying, “Well, you’re right, I could be sicker” more of an un-complaint or more of a situation you default to in your attempt analyze your world with wisdom that was gained in the same second.

Lord I pray that you will guide me to the frontline or to peace and in either, with any teaching you chose, may my lips never let pass the ungrateful attitude my thoughts yield.

In my sickness I will praise the Lord. In my travels I will praise the Lord. If I don’t know what that means, I pray for the Lord to reveal to me what he wants to. The reasons we are to be slow to anger and slow to speak are that those pauses are where God interjects like a gentleman. Most ladies I know don’t think gentlemen exist anymore with the way most men talk.  Ladies, I will tell you that gentlemen still exist.  God, or whatever you want to call the higher power who had a son named Jesus, will give you the wisdom.

Be intentional this week. Tell those you are ministering to your heart. But don’t tell it to them like you are talking to the “unsaved” but tell it to them like you are talking to Gods’ creation. Are you the one to hold the sin between you and your “unsaved” friends? In joy be intentional, maybe then the authority you have been owning will step down to make room for God to work. That sentence is a bit misguided, “making room for God to work” is like a child clearing  place amongst their toys for the adult to sit, to watch them play with their toys.

Oh, thank you Vivaldi. Soundtrack my ψαλμοί without the harp. Back to editing.

This video doesn’t exist

a movie of my second after effects try. Sloppy edit, can’t get rid of the x, but in all, a big step in eventual production.

frame below..light en up steve. it’s just a light test on you.

Less than 4 weeks remains till my trip to China which includes Mongolia, with a possible India trip right after. A conversation tonight has led that trip further east to Europe for a tour d’cappriccio. I might literally fly around the world. Kind of a big thought with all that is in front of me; bills 4 times more than I actually have in my account, the list could go on but in my mind it stops with bills. How will I capture audio?

Last week I had the shoot that i am most proud of in my life for the New York Times. It was a three day shoot on the pro life movement starting with a protest in front of a planned parenthood. Think what you may about those people who stand out on corners with graphic images of aborted babies, I now have an appreciation for what they do and the strong convictions they live by.

Every time I turn in photographic work (especially to the ny times even after 24 shoots) i feel like I am in a situation where I just said I love you for the first time to a pretty girl. I wait for her rejection and when it doesn’t come (in the form of an editors negative critiques) a huge step is taken in the direction of confidence. Not confidence in who I am as a photographer but in the natural feelings I have to photograph what I think I should when I am in photographic situations. “You did fantastic work” is what my editor said. I praise the Lord for this. The Wall Street Journal editor used “Superb” instead. So it is a great week.

I want most of you to know, that my life is amazing because of Jesus. That might go over your head or you might just want to discount it.  But everything I have is from him. I trust him and I believe he trusts me and loves me and is equipping me to do his work.

With all the great in my life, I trust God, with all the “bad” in my life, I trust God. Bad just means it isn’t going as I planned but is humbling me into a mentality of acknowledging a need for a savior. There is a lot in my life that is not going as planned. Most of it in fact. I am sad to say that a friend I have had a brother in similar circumstances who was going through a tough time in his life. Lost his house, his wife divorced him and he chose to end his life.  I am now praying more than ever for all who read this to understand that God gives you purpose because he has purpose for you. God has work for you. That is why you are still breathing.

I laid out all my gear to inventory it, I need to be purchasing a few pieces soon. Had a couple come check out my house midday today. They might rent my place. I have no plans to go anywhere. This all means something.. And my life goes on.

You can live in optimism with reality around the corner, and continue in your dream. If you dream in pessimism and reality and neither can pay rent, it is now that acknowledging that God was there they whole time will make you feel like a fool.

Damien, a writer for the New York Times, holds a white board while my photo subject holds a photograph she took of an aborted baby. Make Shift photo studio.

Damien, a writer for the New York Times, holds a white board while my photo subject holds a photograph she took of an aborted baby. Make Shift photo studio at it's best. Monica Miller is an advocate for pro life and has done amazing photography for the past 10 years. (Thank you bounce flash and Mr. Greg Cooper for light class for great portraits, the article runs sometime later this week)

Over 7,000 people from over 50 Countries have come to this blog, woah humbled.

This map represents 834 people from over 40 Countries who have come to this blog in the past month. 7,000 people have come in the past 6 months that I have had this. Thank you for being one of them.

Random Christian fact #1, it says in the Bible that God appoints the leaders of this world like Barack Obama.

Did I lose you? No more faith talk? Ok how about this, Someone from Mongolia has seen my blog. Crazy.

To me it is crazy that we can have a map of the whole world and see where people are from who are clicking on my site. It seems so simple now. I posted this blog because I was inspired by the global inquiries which is why i posted the screen grab of my Clustrmap. Back to the post.

A cat I saved from the streets of Detroit is playing with my slipper’s shoelace. The heat is on full force fighting the 27 degree F weather outside. Two days ago I was in New York City and two days from now I don’t know I where I will be. That is the life of a photojournalist. But for here, for now I am at home. In comfort. But I do not seek comfort, I seek to activate and meet face to face the drive that stares at me when i sit still. The drive that makes me want to photograph when I see good light is the same drive that makes me wonder and ask questions. So my drive, is it humanitarian? Empathetic? Passionate? Selfish? Is it love or fulfillment that I search for? Or blog hits? Facebook friends? Are the things we as a society spend the most time on also the things we hold most dear? In this world of impersonal responses and friend requests, what is really your point to it all?

Randomly planned, I am thinking now where my homeless friend Bruce is now on this cold night. It is just another lonely night for him. He asks for candles for heat, gloves and a blanket for the cat he cares for in the abandoned sanctuary of a warehouse, keeping only the cold steel forged to fortify this nation with autos and wealth. Now that building, built in 1892, is Bruce’s home. Makes you think about what being thankful actually means and who you are thankful for for that. In a life where we can’t predict the economy let alone if we will be alive tomorrow or not, what really is there to bother you? If we don’t find what we are looking for in this world do we find ourselves in the gutter of despair or in a mansion of hope.

For those who don’t know who I am, I am a photographer. I am also a filmmaker. But to stop there would be only to set the things that I do as the definition of what I am. I consider myself successful but I do not think “I have made it” yet. I, like many, put success on different levels of obtainable and achievement and judge ourselves accordingly. The power in that is that we get to decide what all of that means; taking into account how others consider what we are doing, the overall thought on a community, national or global scale to what we are doing. We have the power to care or not care and we have the power to decide what makes us and what breaks us. What builds us up and what tears us down. Or do we? Does a dam chose to stop a river or is it the dam’s builder?

What looks like hope to you? What looks like gold? What shines on you like rays from the sun only more constantly than the clear days of your life? For me it is Jesus.

Guess what, “The Right” might be people who call themselves Christians, but in the Christian faith it is not up to the followers of Christ (those who go to church, those who read the Bible those who believe Jesus is the only Son of God) to bring judgement on others so if you don’t agree with Christianity because the people who follow it don’t agree with you, remember that Christianity is not about Christians, it is about Jesus Christ. That name will silence a conversation if the person saying it is actually talking about the man, Jesus Christ. That name will bring more division because of the egos that men carry and the pride that sets our self consciences above our peers. If we can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink and if we can put a man through school but not make him think then why do people think it is best to point at the opposite of what they think they are and call them wrong?  My readers, man does not have the authority to tear another man down. We only have the authority to lift each other up. God is cool (if you can even put a name on the infinate pressence that started this world, whether speaking in Palin time or Darwin time).

If you have a problem putting the name God on what created us and this planet, awesome. Love that sign of respect. “The Creator” works just fine. Or simply, “The Provider”. I think the name God is thrown around way irrelevantly by many people, including myself. There is beautiful scripture in the Bible that talks about how much God loves us and provides for us and the scripture continues with talking about how if God provides for the sparrows, who don’t harvest or plan ahead, how much more will God provide for the children he created. (Christians say “He” because as the creater God is considered a paternal figure who knows best for us but gives us the freedom to chose what we want in this world).

So is the worth of me measured with my awards (which could get stolen), my 343 Facebook friends (120 or so whom I don’t know really at all), my 7321 blog visitors, my family, my cat, my car, my home, my personality, my looks, my faith, my God, my traveling, my escaping the US for far away places? I am not sure because I go back and fourth between all of it, excluding my cat. The one thing I know is that God loves me and that should be where I find my worth, that God loves me enough that He (all of the presence that made the birds and the trees, the mountains and the lakes, the cameras and the photographs and everything in this world besides what is evil), all of that came together and made a woman name Mary pregnant 9 months before the forgotten holiday of Christmas with a baby that would be names Jesus (Christ is not a last name, it means savior).

But woah, Savior? Christ? In this day where there are wars and famines, economies failing and people by the hundreds of thousands losing their jobs, most of which I have seen first hand. Why is Jesus’ last name Savior? We as the human race can do this life on our own. We have modern medicine and science and smart people who can plan stuff out that only screws the poorest of people. Well then, Savior, what can you do for me? You are quiet and it seems like you are never here, or never anywhere. If you love us why is all of this happening. Why are Christians always blaming you for things like Katrina or 9/11? Do they know?

I was going to be a scientist, a paleontologist to be specific. That doesn’t mean I am smart by the way. I just like dinosaurs.  In all of my study and all the studies I have seen I see that the common thing in it all is that the scientist is searching, searching for the truth, searching for why things work, searching for why things are the way they are. It seems that “small” is still being defined and “big” is in that category too. In a world where people are searching, in this world where no one knows how small small is and how big big is, all that we don’t know in science is ok with us but all we don’t know in God is not. What if for a moment I with all the power and authority I have as a 26 year old single male with out a completed college education said that the word God was switched with the word Science. What would happen then? Would God seem more intricate or Science more aloof?

Have you ever lost your way? Have you ever felt tomorrows guilt today? Have you ever watched this world leave you behind? Won’t you take a chance and give a man, give a woman, give yourself, a home that can not be shaken or taken away. Do you know where to begin. No bags needed, no big breaths, just a release.

I consider myself successful but I do not think “I have made it” yet. The power of Jesus, oh how it is. I consider myself searching for what truth is and in that search I have found that it will make a weak man mighty and will make a mighty man fall, it will fill your heart or leave you with nothing at all, it will be the legs for the lame and the eyes for the blind. That is the power of the words found in the Bible which are alive because the same God that created the world long ago lives today in us and around us. And for me the Gospel is for everyman, every woman and every child.  The power, the might power of the Gospel is that we get to have the choice to be a part of it or not.

It is now approaching 2:30 am. It still looks cold outside which brings me to my point; What is my point. Why the random photos I post in the posts before this, why give my thoughts on what is happening in my life. If there was a point where 100 people beat the same drum, would there be one drum beat that sounded different or one that would stand out from the rest if all the viewer did was listen?  My mother told me to listen with my eyes and my ears will follow. One after another each of the hundred people beat the drum, the first one was one year old and the last one, in successeding year, was 100. Each beat was almost similar when only heard, but took on a life of it’s own when the source of the beat was witnessed. Then the beat became unique.

I want to change the people in the world, ruin them from average by showing them from my angle the way to find theirs.

In closing, a dear uncle of mine passed away a year ago. I miss him greatly. I would call him, not as often I should have, and he would tell me stories of his travels or about the books he was reading and I would listen. Much of my edicate came from him and his lessons on manners and supper conversations.  In all the teachings, the one I learned and apply most in my life is how a simple “thank you” will “go a long way”. So thank you Jesus for everything you have done in my life.

Photograph by Stephen McGee

"photographs to make you think" by Stephen McGee