All posts by PraisePhoto

Everlasting Joy



“Joy and sadness are as close to each other as the splendid colored leaves of a New England fall to the soberness of barren trees. When you touch the hand of a returning friend, you already know that he or she will have to leave again. When you are moved by the quiet vastness of a sun colored ocean, you miss the friend who cannot see the same. Joy and sadness are born at the same time, both arising from such deep places in your heart that you can’t find words to capture your complex emotions.
“But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one can take away from us.” Henri Nouwen

God always calls us back



“I trust in you, Lord, but keep helping me in my many moments of distrust and doubt. They are there and will be every time I turn my eyes, ears or hands away from you. Please, Lord, keep calling me back to you, by day and by night, in joy and in sadness, during moments of success and moments of failure. Never let me leave you. I know you walk with me. Help me walk with you today, tomorrow and always.” Henri Nouwen

He will take great delight in you



In today’s “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers writes, “We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute.”

It is not busyness or achievement that brings us close to God. Our efforts will always fall short. Rather it is the undeserved kindness, the Grace God gives us, that makes us whole. Romans 3:24

In You I place my trust



I am again turning to Thomas a Kempis, a 15th century theologian for this deep desiring to know God.

“You are the object of all good, the apex of life, the depth of wisdom. Your servants’ greatest consolation is to hope in you above all things. I turn my eyes to you. In you, my God, Father of mercies, I place my trust. Bless my soul and make it holy with your heavenly blessing; let it become your holy dwelling, the place of your eternal glory. Let nothing be found in you temple that may offend the eyes of your majesty.”

Shaping our minds and souls


We are the recipients of God’s grace, but too often we live as though He doesn’t matter. We think mundane, routine thoughts instead of filling our minds with His glory. We get bored, depressed and allow ourselves to think we are separated from His love.

What we fill our mind with is so important. We become what we think about; our words and actions are influenced, for better or for worse, by out thoughts. Consider the difference in our behavior when our thoughts are angry, bitter, jealous versus when they are forgiving, gentle, patient. When we steep our minds and souls with prayer, we allow God to shape us, and we become closer to Him, and calmer in Him.

From Doubt to Belief




Rueben Job writes, “We move away from doubt at our own pace and with our own set of doubts and beliefs to master….One step along this journey that causes many people to stop and struggle is the step of actually believing God loves them and that they can be lovable in God’s sight. This more than any other step along the journey makes men and women, young and old, stumble and fall from faith to doubt. Why is it so hard for us to believe that God’s love really is unconditional and that we should imitate God’s love, not only for others but also for ourselves?

“We are unwilling or unable to give ourselves the same gentle grace that God offers us and that we believe should be offered to others. Leap from doubt to belief and remember that God loves you, delights in you, and seeks your response of faith in Him and in His creation.”

Fall in La Grande






Although La Grande does not present the quantity and intensity of fall colors that you find in New England, nonetheless, this valley vibrants with the reminder that the season is changing, that this is the color finale before the white of winter.

I taught a photo workshop to a group of students this past Saturday afternoon. After I finished the indoor, photo techniques session, we went outdoors to shoot. The weather was changing, but we had a nice soft light late in the afternoon. We spent nearly two hours just shooting in a one block area, shooting close ups and distance shots, enjoying the vast array of compositions. That night it rained, leaves started to vanish from the trees, and it snowed on the peaks above town.

Surely goodness and love will follow me



Last week’s trip into the Eagle Cap Wilderness of NE Oregon reminded me how life is a blessing to be celebrated. Despite the challenge of rain and “agedness,” Bob Carter and I enjoyed the kind of trip we never wanted to leave. We passed through storms into rainbows and clearing skies. Psalm 23 always reminds me that the God of life is a living and a loving God, whose presence never leaves us.