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It’s not a standard practice for a pot of clay to ask it’s potter, “Give me Vision”. I place a constant pressure on myself to create because it’s what I love, sometimes how I love and it’s how I think. Its ingrained in me to tell stories visually. I create films in a way that is growing with the vision he is giving me, which isn’t always clear and that makes me go crazy sometimes.  I’m learning that my perspective varies from my to eternal in an instant when I am reminded of the promises and makings held in certain faith.

I am in an incredible season of testing. The test centers around letting go of my life list of things I would change.  The list isn’t even worth going into but I wanted to explain how today was a blessing in reminding me where to place my hope and how the placement of my hope determines my attitude in my situation. I really want to be joyful no matter what.

No call is clearer that what he reminded me of today, “God crafts amazingness from my brokenness. He actually uses my brokenness to make amazing things. He makes all things work together for my good.”

I expect challenges in my life. I also expect the success from God and the variety of ways that success will come in. I am not only willing to step into this season knowing it will produce endurance and fruit but am encouraged and empowered as I keep stepping through this season as I see my flesh wage war.  I believe it is a good thing to see the battle between flesh and spirit.

It is impossible to be physically or emotionally ready or prepared for a season like this but, leaning one foot forward, equipped I become through the ever present inheritance found in Jesus’ promises. But that step isn’t so clear sometimes. I try so hard to interpret where God wants me to go next. Each time the lengths of my worry begot illogical thinking. And for some reason I am surprised.

“You will lack nothing” he reminded his disciples and me. “When I sent you out without food, clothing or money, did you lack anything?” The disciples and I answer, “No.”  I was sent to my wife. I lack nothing. I was sent to Detroit. I lack nothing. The list continues.

Yet, even with this knowledge, sometimes I desire to see around each infliction. It shakes me and I want a quick self made way out. I look for motto, “I feel like I should be happy all the time”. Fakeness sucks.

Today I had four moments where I felt like I lacked. Each moment was quickly rendered false; one by the truth of his word, one by the power of testimony from my amazing wife who told me about what she learned in church, one by wisdom from my awesome brother in London, one by prayer backed by remembering what he has already spoken.

David sang entire songs about his despair and had verses reminding his soul to place it’s hope in the Lord. Psalm 42, 43. Read it.

vs 3. Tears are saying, “where is your God? Tears have been my food day and night.” Man that dude is sad. At that time he was asking for a savior. The difference with us, is that we have one. All justification, peace, love, identity and wholeness is found in him.

Psalm 42, 43 personalized/interpreted by my words and the words of Pastor Cliff at Woodside Detroit:

I am asking for water that gives life and you wash over me with water so powerful that it brings death by a drowning so significant the calendar shifted when it happened.  In his steadfast love, I live like I need less death and more love.  I live crying out, “Please show me your love”.  Instantly overwhelmed by circumstance my rock seems to have forgotten me. Emotional pain. Why is my soul forgetting the truth i can recite at any given moment. Fight for me God! I’m trying to live for you and create for you and love for you and live for you. I am trying so hard to make my identity in the sent Savior you gave me. Save me!

His waters quiet and whisper, “I have”.

Where is He!

HE is Here. God has Him here.

The past year and half has brought a new understanding to me: God loves us enough to allow us to go through things to show us what our hope is in. My hope was in soooooo many things that weren’t Him. His grace has revealed that and now has broken those chains.

After his awesome sermon, which pissed a ton of people off but made Jesus stand while at the right hand of his Father, Stephen was taken to be killed. Looking up, through his oppressors throwing stones at his head, past his critics, with un approval all around him, with grace and thanksgiving and peace, he declared, in the most un oportune time possible, “Forgive them God, they don’t know what they are doing.”

Thats legit. What pain do I have? Why down oh my soul? God so good.

We will not be free of pain and suffering in this life time but we are free from the slavery to pain and suffering with the knowledge that all pain and suffering will be abolished at the coming of Jesus.

Thus, after reading the word today, praying, listening to the faithfulness of my wife’s love for God, listening to wise men talk about Jesus in my community, I can say this, “The vision I have is for now and in this now, Christ is working” and with patience given to me I will press on and wait for him to pull me out of this test I am in with Him by my side.

May I encourage you to place all your hope and justification not in what you can do but in the already finished work of Jesus Christ. The rescue Jesus offers will promote a performance in your life unmatched by what is possible in all possible human achievement.

Now, at the end of this day I can see that everything that is fighting against my soul is illuminated by the Spirit who reveals that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Not only where I am supposed to be, but that my life isn’t about me, but is about serving others bc that is how Jesus lived.

Nothing, no critique, no affirmation , no anger, no words, no aggression, no film, not even the sweetest frame has any saving or destroying power.

The vision will come.

And in other news, Be honest and patient with your clients.

Below are photos of children and orphans in Ukraine who have been left by the government to raise. They make up the majority of the crime and human trafficking victims. It’s important to remember such peoples while the rest of the world watches the Eurocup down the street.

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During Stephen McGee Films shoot

During our interview with Naomi Long for Kresge Arts in Detroit I used the same camera I was shooting the interview with to snap a quick portrait. I toggled the setting on the back of the 5d Mark II to my black and white mode and took this shot. I love Naomi Long's poetry and love for other poets.

“This just in!!!! Detroit photographer and cinematographer Stephen McGee unveils new website showcasing his ten years of reportage photography and short films and it encourages people to document the world around them to help others and educate “.

Well, Thats what I hope the headlines will say but for now I just wanted to share with the few people that read my blog that my new site is being launched today. I am still making modifications and adding Portfolios with old work.

You can visit the site here… www.stephenmcgeefilms.com

I will also start posting my creative process as I finish my 96th film for Kresge Arts in Detroit.

All while learning more about my faith and where I belong in this visual world. Would love to know what you think!

plans fall like the rain in spring. I sometimes expect God to work in the excitement of amazing possibility. When the jobs fall through though God is there and he is telling me that they didn’t “fall through”, they are going according to plan, my plan. I have lost four large jobs this year that I “should” have had. One was going to take me from China to India to South Africa to Argentina. Another, was going to take me to India and yet another was going to take me to Kenya. And most recently I was asked to come over to London to live for one month, with my brother, and take four day trips around Europe shooting beautiful films. I tried so hard for that one to happen, my client, an amazing man I met in London while praying aloud, really wanted me to come over to work with him. All was in the clear, even a great budget, and then we realized 7 days before I was going to leave that I didn’t have a work visa. At that moment I was disappointed even though I had been praying through it. But praise God that my flesh was overcome by the Spirit and my joy was restored when the Lord reminded me of his faithfulness by saying, if your goals aren’t my goals and you are following me, then your goals shouldn’t be working out. At that moment like the spring rains I realized I was being restored from a moment of back faced to God faith.

I had an amazing day yesterday. I continued photographing at the boxing gym that is up the street from me located in a pretty crazy neighborhood. The lead guy is a role model for the kids. More to come later. See sample videos on my vimeo.com/stephenmcgee3 page.

11 of my 50 photography journals that Cathy and I created with inspirational quotes and field notes from my travels were sold at a market in Vietnam.

My nephew and I were photographed and printed in the Detroit News (http://www.detnews.com/article/20100506/BIZ/5060342/1001/Avalon-Breads-planning-growth–microbrewery)

I humbly photographed a funeral of detroit baseball announcer/legend, ernie harwell.

I sent out my VII Photo portfolio with an emphasis on video! Pray for that and the reception of my work amongst the 11 very respected and skilled photographers who will review it.

I went out to meet this singer named Chris from Never Shout Never cause he wants to do films around the world with me and I with him and this other guy Russ Hubley who is awesome from Portland. it was crazy to see that many people singing his songs and then I walk downstairs right after the show, having never met him, (an 18 year old who got kicked out of high school and toured the country selling hundreds of thousands of singles by himself. then got signed to warner bros). I walked into a small cement room and he said, “i am a fan of your work”. we chilled for 3 hours and then I drove him to Taco Bell and ordered 42 dollars flat of tacos for all the busses. Drove back and watched the Mummy Returns which was horribly bad.
I love what I do. “Not many people can live like we do” a friend named Russ told me. I live the way I do Trusting the Lord will work. I think more people should have less jobs that structure their life accordingly especially if they are just in it for providing for themselves a lifestyle they admire.

I walk out of my condo’s front door, with joel, kidd rock and his manager walk in, with a sales lady, and I continue with joel to his car. I have made joel 45 minutes late already, “But kidd rock is walking into my building looking for a house”.
“Joel, I have to do something”.
Joel and I walk back into my building and go up to my 7th floor condo. Kidd is on the 8th floor looking at the best condo open for the market.
I stage joel at the elevator and I go into my house to look for my last biz card. I peak out, “Has the elevator moved?” Nope.
My last biz card was found and Joel and I were at the elevator door. “What are we waiting for?’
“Like clockwork, The elevator will go up, I will click the down button, and we will be in the elevator with Kidd Rock, in my house. But we are only going to wait 5 minutes.
Four minutes later the elevator warms up and goes up one floor. My heart rate escalates, but I keep it cool.
I hear the door open up a floor above mine ,”Like Clockwork” I mention to Joel again, and proceed to click the button to go down.
The elevator stopped and opened up to my floor and there was Kidd Rock, with his agent.
Joel and I went in.
I looked across at Kidd Rock and said, “We have mutual friends”.
“Oh really?”
“Yeah, Clay Patrick McBride. (kidd rocks prime photographer/awesome dude), We taught a workshop together in NY a few years back”.
Kidd looked at me with a smile because him and Clay are good friends.
The elevator was almost to the ground when I said, ” I actually shot your wedding too”.
Kidd looked at me and said ” That was a good time”.
“Yeah, I said, it peaked for me when I was hanging at a table with you and Bob Seager”.
He reached out his hand and introduced himself as Bob.
I am Stephen McGee, nice to meet you again. I said.
We walked out to the car and I asked him if I could give him my card. He said yes. I told him “I do music videos, well not really, I do documentaries, but you probably already have someone”.
“No we always are looking for local talent.”
“Well” I ended,” thanks for being such a advocate for Detroit”.
“No, Thank you,” He ended.