Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rob Bell: Love Wins. A Response

Mmk.  Here we are at post 3.  I know.  Here are 1 & 2 if you're interested.

Here's what I think about Rob.  He loves Jesus.  He loves people.  He wants people to love Jesus.  And to make the move from death into life.  He believes passionately and firmly that when Jesus said they will know us by our love, he wasn't just saying a pretty phrase.  It was meant for us to live out.  My heart and soul resonate with so many of the things he says.  Especially when he says it is often perceived that Jesus rescues us from God.  Because Christianity often sounds that way.  When the truth is that God is the rescuer from sin and death and destruction.  Yes. Yes. Yes.

I take this personally, because this very argument is one that my brother struggles with and that we have had long conversations about.  Is God good?  Is a God who condemns people to hell, good?

I think that Rob asks a lot of interesting questions.  One of the most interesting for me, was does God get what he wants?  Especially when he says that he wants all men to be saved?  And that none should perish?  I hear the echos of The Great Divorce a lot in this book.  Rob argues that heaven and hell are in our choices.  That they are here with us now.  And later.  I'm totally down with this concept.  We choose heaven and hell absolutely as our choices draw us closer in or further out from God.  Because he is the source of all goodness and love and light.  This life on this earth does matter.  It does affect later.  Yes, yes, yes.

Obviously, a lot of Christian circles are mad as fire about what he is saying and I think Rob prolly knew he was kicking a hornet's nest when he wrote this book and framed it the way he has.  One of my friends sent me this article.   I think there are two camps in the voices that are disagreeing with him.  One is the camp of the more conservative Christian circles who have wounded their own via judgement and pride and a whole lotta stuff that has nothing to do with Jesus.  They are gonna look at anything outside their own point of view and hate it anyway.  The other one is the more measured response of people who love Jesus and other people a lot, but are wary of teachers telling lies as truth, and changing the message of Jesus.  And rightfully so.

So then.  Do we need Jesus if the only hell we face is the consequence of our own choices apart from God? Do we need Jesus if heaven can be experienced now.   And what comes after isn't that different?  I think that if we just stop there, and look at that, the only answer is still yes.  How many wars are there right now?  Genocides?  Self-mutilation?  Suicides?  Bullying?  Racism?  Famine?  Yes.  We need Jesus.  If all there ever was, was the changing of humanity from the inside out in the now we still most definitely need Him.  


That's not all there is.  The issue I have with Rob in the book is that he takes the narrative of Jesus and treats it a lot like everything Jesus said, and the Scripture as a whole, is a parable.  A teaching story.  And IT IS.  But it's also truth and consequence.  I can't look at Revelation and be like, well, there's not gonna be a time when Jesus doesn't judge everybody.  Cuz it says there is.  Pretty plainly.  And there are going to be two different destinations for those people.  This world and this life are broken.  So we are going to be remade and everything is going to be new and different.  Because it doesn't work now the way it was meant to.  And ultimately it is about choices.  Rejecting all that is good(God) leads to hell of our own making, for sure.  And God cannot allow that hell to affect everybody forever.  So there is separation.

But Rob is right.  The point of Christianity is not a ticket in or out of hell or heaven.  It's about Jesus Christ.  And God.  And living in relationship with Him.

It's always been about relationship with God.  From creation, to walking around Eden looking for our ancestors when they'd screwed up, to a cross and to my everyday breathing and living and journey.  And yours. 

I don't agree with Rob.  Heaven and Hell are real places beyond our choices and our realities.

I do agree with Rob.  What they look like and how they are defined by God are probably nothing like what we've ever thought.  And I do think a lot of unexpected people will be in both. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Smilin'

This morning began in the dread dentist's chair.  I put my safety glasses on....for real...and leaned back into my least favorite 30 minutes of today.  After getting my root canal fixed again...grrr....

It was back to work.

As Quasimodo.

Apparently my dentist was over enthusiastic with the numbing, cuz half of my face wasn't working 4 hours later.  This brain inside this blond head will always go to the worst case scenario first.  So I devised various futures in which I had to have plastic surgery, sued the dentist, was unable to smile normally ever again, lived as a hermit in my house, heroically gave up my career and served the poor like Mother Theresa....oh yes.  :D

But really the thing that bothered me the most today, was that I couldn't smile.  No matter how much I thought action at my facial muscles or pushed them up with a finger or contorted my working lips...nothin.

A smile is such a gift.  I take it for granted.  And I'm glad to have it back.  Share your smiles with the world today people.  Show some love and appreciation. Imma be grinning all the way home.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
   its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.  ~Isaiah 32:17

Friday, March 25, 2011

More pieces of my life

It's s'posed to snow Sunday.  What in the hey diddle diddle is that?  It's the end of March already.  Uncool.

I got invited to lunch twice this week and had to pay for none of them.  That was a lovely blessing. :)

Tonight I went to salsa class to brush the rust off my dancin' shoes.  Super fun.  Going back.  Learned the actual real steps to bachata tonight instead of just wildly following along and making it up as I go.  Which is how I dance normally, actually :D

Heard this song for the first time in a long time tonight.

Really want to watch Braveheart again all of the sudden. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

this turning of our lives
if we lean in too fast
or too far
it might fade away

and wishing you
always only the best
of rich love
like decadent chocolate
and joy
like bubblegum

unclasping hands
after all
I never held them anyway

if in dream roads
and might be times
we meet again
and these blue windows
tell you truth

well then

Passion, Photography and Vampires

What? you say?  What in the bejeezus are you talking about?  Well, hordes of young ladies, and ladies of slightly older persuasion, have not been turned into fangirls because we are emo goths who love blood, death and gore.  Twilight is at its heart and soul a love story.  Eternal love.  Undying love.  Love that overcomes obstacles.  And while I might have some minor issues with the author's ideas and I might confess that Bella is the milksoppiest, most annoying heroine ever....I've got me a big time Edward crush.

Big. Time.

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to a lil video webinar by Jesh de Rox about his business philosophy called Beloved.  Or the Beloved Collective.  Pretty great name, right?  The point and the philosophy is that artists must do what they love, and love what they do to be great.  To create greatly.  To pull greatness from their clients and all of that stems from passion and pulling the love story out of the couple you are with.

Really, everything in life boils down to a love story.  Creation.  Faith.  Why you and I got born.  What we sing about.  What we think about.  What we hunger for in the middle of the night.  And so this little job that we get to do takes on great meaning and inspiration when you think:  I have been gifted the opportunity to capture someone's love story.  Someone's passion play.  And when given that opportunity why would you settle for ordinary?

All of this is a movement that has been birthing inside of me for a while.  To take this art and elevate it.  To push myself for more.  To learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.  And really, isn't that about more than business and photography?  Isn't that also about how to live life every day?  And so I can curl up with a Twilight novel and read guilt free and inspired....because as Edward says....

Isn’t it supposed to be like this? The glory of first love, and all that. It’s incredible, isn’t it, the difference between reading about something, seeing it in the pictures, and experiencing it?

So let's celebrate our love stories where we find them.  And let's see it in pictures.   Write about it.  Read about it.  And definitely, most definitely, live in the moment and experience all the vibrant hues of love, life, joy and sorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snap Judgements?

Ok, well.  It's possible that I made a mistake.  I know.  Don't fall outa yo chairs, friends.  Here's the thing.  I adore Rob Bell.  Lurv him.  His Everything is Spiritual, talk--foundational for me.  But add to that years o' fundamentalist Christianity, (thanks college life), and it happened.  I think I made a snap judgement about what Rob is saying without, a. reading the book, or b. figuring out what he was trying to say.  Turns out:  Still love him. Still agree with his world view.  Mostly.  :)  This is worth listening to if you're curious.  A lil Q & A

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


 “The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design” – Massimo Vignelli in the film Helvetica

The life of a photographer is a similar fight.  A fight/fight against the normal.  Against the mundane.  It is our job to take the everyday and make it amazing.  To find the moments and freeze them.  To see the beauty and plaster it against the consciousness of the world.  A wedding photographer celebrates love.  All the time.  And it's our job to take every couple and make them look and feel like they are the only couple in the world.  And they are the only couple in the world with their unique love story.

Creativity is my fight/fight.  When I feel myself getting stagnant it's time again to refocus.  Dig in.  Get my game face on and plan.  Think.  Dream.  Listen to music.  Watch a movie.  Read a book.  And dream. And dream some more.    So that every couple or family is a new dream.  A new vision.  My vision is that every single picture I make will capture the ache in the heart, the joy of life, the celebration of love.

This is my fight/fight.  One I will strive and work for and get up in the morning again and again to accomplish.  And to dream.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I find myself doing the same things over and over again.  And I'm boring myself with my work.  Time to kick it up a notch and get out of this rut.  Creativity reboot in 3...2...1...


We are starting a series at BRCC on The Body(of Christ).   Wednesday nights we are looking at identity in Christ and in Sunday nights we are starting the book of John.  All of that to say that every series or community that I'm in and around right now is looking at Christ.  Who he is and how we identify with him.  Love that!  I love when God is obviously saying something loudly.  Can't wait to really dive into what lies ahead.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The S Word

Andy asked us an interesting question this week.  "What," she said, "is the lie you believe about God?"  My first thought was...God isn't big enough, powerful enough, good, all of the standard things you would think would be a lie easy to believe.  None of them were exactly right.  They were all kind of in the right direction, but the real lie behind all of that--the one I really believe--is that I know better than God.  That I am smarter, wiser, would do a better job running my life.  Eve and I have a lot in common, apparently.  And I make a mean apple pie. ;)

It's a song.
It's a movie. 

And it's the subject behind the subject of every self help book.  We want to have power in our lives to change.  To change ourselves.  To change others around us.  To get where we want to go.  To get what we want. But the thing is we don't have control over anything or anyone else outside ourselves.   And we really have limited power over who we are. 

Submission.  It's a dirty word.  It's the S word.  The opposite of control.  The way, in the way of the upside down kingdom, to be successful in life.  So hard.  Reading in John today:

All things were made and came into existence through Him; 
and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.
In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.

The Person who made everything.  Every intricate detail of my body, my world and my life is held together through this Being.  And I think I can do a better job than He can, running my life.


It goes from being a dirty word to being the only one that makes sense really fast.

"If we think the arms are weak, we won’t jump. For that reason, the Father flexed His muscles. “God’s power is very great for those who believe,” Paul taught. “That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead” (Eph. 1:19—20).

Next time you wonder if God can catch you, read that verse. The very arms that defeated death are the arms awaiting you.

Next time you wonder if God can forgive you, read that verse. The very hands that were nailed to the cross are open for you." ~Max Lucado

Life works better when I ask God what the plan is instead of telling Him what it is.  Submission is easy and sweet in His arms.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Apps = Supah Majah Fun

So, for all my iphone peoples, and camera geeks, I got the coolest lil app today.  It's called 8mm, and it converts your video to look like vintage 8 and 16 mm film.  It's prolly the coolest thing since sliced bread.  With jam on it.  Here's a great review and demo....enjoy!!
this relationship feels like a merry go round
we chase the same damn issues again and again
feeling lost more than I am found
wanting to see new places, leave where we've been

It's been a hard winter
Between you and I- it's been filled with pain
It's been a hard winter
But I see the rainbow peeking out after the rain

baby if you'll take my hand and just believe
walk with me onto another road
we can be free if we want to be
anyplace can be ours, if you'll be my home

It's been a hard winter
Between you and I- it's been filled with pain
It's been a hard winter
But I see the rainbow peeking out after the rain

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Time in the Confessional

Well, Internet, as you can tell from my last post, sometimes I swear.   The truth is that it feels like a little rebellion against the strict Christian culture I grew up in, and it's a little bit naughty.  So clearly I like it. :) Truthfully, though,  I hardly ever do it.  Except for when I'm really mad.  And then words just seem to come out on their own.  You will know when I'm mad for real.  And it takes a lot to get me there, but you will know. 

And even though I'm being a little wink, wink about this like it's fun. (sometimes it is)  I know it's not the most Jesus like activity.  I've tried for a lot of years to tame my tongue in this area when I'm mad.  Sometimes more successfully than others.  Tonight not much. 

Meh.  I failed today in my temper.  Tomorrow is another day.  Filled with apologies to be made and mea culpas to be said.  And hopefully nothing in French will slip out.

So now you know one of my deep dark secrets; blackmail will getcha not much but the pennies in my change jar.  :) 
I am a human being, not a sainted angel of light.  And sometimes, what the HELL! is how I feel. 

Sad Day

I really do like Rob Bell.  But I think this time, he's wrong.  In a big, possibly not fixable way. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Love, Love

I'm about to go shoot fashion for a friend.  For fun.  But before we close this Monday and bid it adieu, I want to share what my soul is drowning in today.

Romance.  Love.  Visual music.  Soul mates.  I believe in them. 

Rosie and Aaron

I'm a Mess-Y

Yup.  Organization is not my natural gift.  I know.  Shocking. 

For example, as I sit at my desk I'm surrounded by my snack choices for the day, the supplies I bought at Staples 3 days ago, my camera bag from this morning, and a pair of scissors.   (I don't really know why those are on the floor, actually.)

On top o' all that.  I've been thinking about taxes today and wishing that I was better with money.  I need to learn to save.  This is my looong mountain to climb.  Self discipline and all that shizz.  I've gotten a lot better over the years.  Doesn't mean I still don't have a ways to go. 

What it does mean is I'm about to lay a hurtin' on this mess around me.  My dream is that someday some one will look at me and call me a neat freak.  We all have dreams.  Don't laugh. ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Epiphany Moment

Did you ever have a time where somebody just bugged the fire out of you?  And you wanted to roll your eyes over every interaction?  And then got hit with the dawning realization that this chick bothers you because you do the exact.same.thing.

Oh my gosh.  Am I that girl?

Wait.  Don't answer that.

2 Weeks

Tomorrow I have to take pictures of a family who's dad is dying of cancer.  Let me restate that, I have the privilege of taking pictures for this family.   I feel so inadequate and just really nervous.  I want to give them the very best of what I've got.  And usually I go into bookings with the intention that everyone has fun.  I still want to go into this with that intention but with sensitivity.  Marc only has 2 weeks left. 

I'm gonna need God to be with me.  With my mouth and my hands.  And I might have a good cry on the way home tomorrow.   And then hug my family. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blog love!

Hurray!  5 people I love to read wrote new blogs today.  It's some kinda record.  It's also some kinda reason to be unproductive.  I hope all you people that I read know how much I love the inner workings of your brains and how you share your lives.  <3  Thanks for making a rainy Wednesday less sleepy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


"Y fue por ti que escribi mas q' cien canciones y hasta perdonar tus equivocaciones"
 (For you I wrote a hundred songs, even forgiving your mistakes...) 
One of my favorite love songs in the world.  Antologia, by Shaki.  

In my less than wild youth, when I walked on the streets of South America and dreamed high school dreams she was the soundtrack to my life.   Her free spirit felt good on days filled with sunshine and palm trees and sitting on city plazas dreaming and sketching.  We grew up together.  

Commercially, in the US of A, most people know Shakira as the blond singer of She Wolf.  But those of us who have loved her music for years have favorites from the Pies Descalzos years.  We're purists. :)  I don't know why her English lyrics rarely have the same bite, but I do have a favorite or 2 in English.  I just love her viewpoint in depth and wit.   In politics and love and culture.  

The first time I saw her with blond hair as another Britney clone...well I didn't cry, but for real?  Is this country not diverse enough to accept a Latina with dark skin and hair?  

Anyway, I digress...the songs, the music.  Here are my 3 favorites and why I love them.  

Antologia(Anthology)  Def: A miscellany, assortment, or catalog, as of complaints, comments, or ideas
A collection of the stories and reasons why she loved this man

junto a ti creo que aumente mas de       (I think I gained 3 kilos because of the sweetness
3 kilos con tus tantos                             of the kisses,  my sense of smell became
dulces besos repartidos                           more sensitive, and for you I learned to love cats
dessarollaste mi sentido                          you wiped the cement off my shoes so we could
del olfato y fue por ti que                       escape and fly for a while, we two
aprendi a querer los gatos                      but you forgot a final instruction
despegaste del cemento                         I still don't know how to live without your love)
mis zapatos para escapar
los dos volando un rato.
pero olvidaste una final
instruccion porque aun
no se como vivir sin tu amor

Pies Descalzos( Barefeet)

A celebration of freedom and an anthem against the way we can feel trapped in routine in society

Ponte siempre zapatos                    (Always put shoes on
No hagas ruido en la mesa               Don't make noise at the table
Usa medias veladas                          Use hose for the evening
Y corbata en las fiestas                     And ties for parties
Las mujeres se casan                        The women always marry
Siempre antes de treinta                    Before 30)

Underneath Your Clothes

Self explanatory. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

If Jesus Christ were to come today people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he has to say, and make fun of it. ~Thomas Carlyle

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Breaking Open

The House of Happiness is nestled in a little valley, next to a stream, in the Blue Ridge mountains in VA.   Every year we go.  Every year we cry, laugh, play games, walk and have life changing encounters with God.  This year as I looked around, it was bittersweet.  God has increased our group and brings new women every week almost, it seems lately. 

I sat on the bridge over the stream, Saturday morning.  Wrapped in a blanket, my winter coat and rockin' the flip flops still...:)  Listened to Audrey Assad.  Prayed through Zephaniah 3:17.   My struggle is with selfishness and with wanting control over my future.  It seems like not making a decision is a decision, but Jesus said clearly to me this week over and over again that He loves me.  And the question becomes do I trust that love?  In my head I do.  My heart struggles with it. 

But that first night as Andy prayed over me unexpectedly, I heard you again, Jesus. 

And as we shared our brokenness and prayed for each other as a the Body came together and loved like seemed what You have called me to is not so hard.  If You carry me. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beach House

The sun was warm on our backs.  The foam felt refreshing and pelicans were dipping in and out of the waves as we walked down the beach.  Sometimes we walked silently and sometimes the conversation dipped into love, boys, laughter and what we were having for lunch. 

As we meandered back up to the porch where Misty was reading, Jen said...what if we buy a beach house when we turn 40.  Our gift to ourselves?  A genius idea on a genius day.  But even more heart filling and wonderful was the fact that I spent the evening watching the sun go down with 2 of my dearest friends.  Girls that I've known for 14 years now.  They've been around for every good and bad and boring and exciting part of my life, and I've been around for theirs.  We will buy a beach house when we're 40.  But even better, we'll be friends still at 40.  And 50.  And 75 in the nursing home, hitting on the hottie male nurses haha!

This is what my heart calls blessed. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women, Food and God

Food is good.  Seems like a pretty obvious statement.  Fat is bad.  Also an obvious statement.  The tension between these two realities can be devastating for women.  Personally, I've struggled with weight and self image issues for years, so I was super interested in this book when a friend gave it to me.  The premise of the book is this:

The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The world is on your plate. When you begin to understand what prompts you to use food as a way to numb or distract yourself, the process takes you deeper into realms of spirit and to the bright center of your own life. Rather than getting rid of or instantly changing your conflicted relationship with food, Women Food and God is about welcoming what is already here, and contacting the part of yourself that is already whole—divinity itself.

What I like, and what I'm fully behind in this philosophy, is the idea of owning your feelings.  Of feeling what you feel and looking at it, instead of trying to drug it with food, or television or some other form of self narcotic.  That idea has always made sense to me.  Feelings by themselves are just feelings.  It's healthy and good to acknowledge them.  What we do with them is where the questions of morality come into play for me.  Whether we dwell in the unhealthy ones, how we encourage the positive feelings...these are the questions to ask.

Where I'm not such a big fan is the idea that we are essentially good and that our brokenness comes from separating from our goodness.  As a follower of Christ, of course, it seems more like we are broken and our goodness comes from joining with Him.  Faith is not a part of life experience; it is the life with which we filter experience. 

I've never struggled with compulsive eating, so I don't completely identify with some of the things she talks about.  But I do identify with measuring your self worth by the size of your jeans.  And I like this quote a lot:

"It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels"


Ever had one of those days that was so lovely you think it couldn't possibly repeat itself?  Or tiptoed around the edges of an idea, because you want it too much?  Like a frightened bird, it might fly away if you get too close. 

That's how I feel today.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Lovely

Music is like air or food or breathe for me.  I have to have it while I work, while I play, when I work out.  I'm inspired by it, encouraged, challenged and comforted.  Every kind of music has it's positives and I like a whole lotta different genres and artists.  Yesterday I ran across this guy, Jon McLaughlin and it's magic.  He's magic.  Singer/songwriter music is my favorite if you made me pick one, and he is delightful in every way.  Huzzah for somethin' new to jam to!

 This lil song is from Enchanted...another favorite...:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bursting Out

Well, I've blogged twice, tweeted, been on facebook pretty continuously and now here we are.  On the one hand, it could feel like overexposure/oversharing.  On the other hand, artists are at the basic levels communicators.  We have something to say.  Some days more than others, apparently, haha!

But I've been on a hiatus due to the website development, and plus having just come back with some amazing stories from some amazing's just gotta come out.  The pressure to share the lives and the beauty of these people is uncontainable.  So please forgive me if I've annoyed you beyond belief today and please take a look at the treasures in clay that are these ladies.....Project 52...

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