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How Great Thou Art

I am trying something different with my post this week.  With the help of a group of local university students who have formed their own web based services, I developed a video setting my pictures to flow through the great old hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

So, the link is set out below.  You can also view it on my new Face Book site, “Praise Photography,” which Miranda, from this web group, is setting up for me.  Enjoy.

Alleluia, the You Tube link to a blend of the vocal and the visual

Last fall, I enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Dr Peter Wordelman at Eastern Oregon University and the Chamber Choir he teaches.  Peter is a master teacher who brings in talented students and stimulates them to do pieces they never thought possible.

This piece, “Alleluia,” was composed by Eric Whitacre who grew up in Australia, and now resides in both Great Britain and the US.  The images take you through the seasons of eastern Oregon.I greatly enjoyed the synthesis of the vocal and the visual.  Here is the link to the You Tube piece.

God’s Clothing

We all know the challenges of the multi layers of conflict our world presents to us each day.  Within this world, how do we live God’s presence and offer his love?  Paul presents some lyrical and logical advice in chapter 3 of his letter to the Colossians.

Greg is very slowly getting better.  Please continue to pray for his strength and deepening knowledge of God’s Presence.

Presence, power, pleasure

Our society trivializes joy and pleasure. Whatever we can create is always short term and transitory.  I so love the depth and richness of the ancient writers’ words in the Psalms. “Joy of your presence”- “the pleasure of living with you forever.” Those words remind me that God is with me whether or not I recognize his presence and power.  His awesome promises are eternal regardless of my response or belief.

God’s Word

Henri Nouwen writes, “the Word of God is always sacramental. In the book of Genesis we are told that God created the world, but in Hebrew the words for ‘speaking’ and for ‘creating’ are the same word. Literally translated it means ‘God spoke light and light was.’ For God, speaking is creating. When we say that God’s word is sacred, we are saying God’s word is full of God’s presence.”

“Full of His Presence.” What an incredible way to read the Bible this deeply, allowing ourselves to be completely surrounded by him and so letting ourselves be changed and transformed

Unstinting gratitude

I get so tired of my ego. It appears in so many different unfruitful ways. Joan Chittister in her book, “The Breath of the Soul,” guides me in an important way to take me beyond myself and into a deeper faith in God.

“Gratitude is not only the posture of praise, but it is also the basic element of real belief in God.
When we bow our heads in gratitude, we acknowledge that the works of God are good. We recognize that we cannot, of ourselves, save ourselves. We proclaim that our existence and all its goods come not from our own devices but are part of the works of God. Gratitude is the alleluia to existence, the praise that thunders through the universe as a tribute to the ongoing presence of God even now. “

Healing and new beginnings

The past is filled at best with minor regrets or frustrations, and at worst, with outright bitterness or anger. Christ does heal brokenness and gives us a new beginning, a foundation to start again and finish well. 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Anyone who belongs to Jesus Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Tilda Norberg, in her book Ashes Transformed, writes, “Even when God intervenes mightily, such as melting a tumor
or pouring miraculous spiritual comfort on breathtaking pain, healing is still a process, one that continues as long as you are alive to God’s presence. You can expect an awareness of God’s presence to break into your life many times. God continually invites you to yet another step toward wholeness.”

The pursuit of truth and beauty

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”
Albert Einstein

We all carry baggage and brokenness of one sort or another. Yet through love and forgiveness, recovery is possible. We can regain a childlike wonder. As children of God, given His original blessing, our lives are unique and beautiful. Whether we or society see this beauty is incidental to its existence–our Creator sees it.

And we too can see beauty in obscure and forlorn places. The purple flower was growing in a back alley of La Grande against the peeling paint of an abandoned garage. And the yellow hibiscus, growing above and beyond the barbed wire fence, bringing beauty to a dusty street yard, found sustenance in Catamayo, Ecuador.

If you are inclined, check my web site at www.praisephotography.com and click on Alleys of La Grande to see similar pictures.