Category Archives: Religion

Candlelight Service

I have been working on something the last few days that nobody at all will care about, but I think is somewhat of an accomplishment:

I have added a SSL Certificate to my website and now my website is secure.

I know, you don’t care. Even my fellow miners at the Computer Mine aren’t impressed. That is okay. I live with only impressing myself on many a day.

What does it mean for you? Probably, absolutely nothing. But when you look up in the address bar of this here website, you will see a little lock so that you know your information is private when you send it to this site.


It is a beautiful lock. The most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

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The webmaster at my church requested that I take some pictures of the Candlelight Services on Christmas Eve. So I took a few pictures. Have a looksie:


Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

Candlelight Service - 2018

The room with the trees is where we take communion on Christmas Eve.

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Here is an update on my 10 Step Process to buying a drone.

  1. Car paid off. – I got the pink slip daddy!
  2. Training Budget Reimbursement – Bought about 10 books and signed up for an online portrait photography class that I will discuss someday.
  3. Purchase Popcorn Maker – The Union Street theater has procured its very own popcorn maker from Flat Earth Joe. The one that was borrowed from Andy’s friend of a friend has been returned.
  4. Computer Upgrade – I have completed upgrades on my home computer. I’ve put in a solid state drive to run the OS and the applications, I upped the RAM to 16 GB and I replaced the video card with a video card with twice the ram and that is capable of running 3 monitors.
  5. Figure out the effect of the Iowa GOP Tax Scam – The Iowa GOP Tax Scam will indeed result in me paying more taxes. There is about a $7 effect on my paycheck, meaning I am getting a tax cut of roughly $200. (Assuming the withholding from my paycheck is being done right.) However, since the Iowa GOP Tax Scam made it so a 6% sales tax is levied on all online purchases, I will be taxed well more than the $200 benefit. For example, I’ll pay over $100 in taxes on purchasing the drone that I wouldn’t have had to pay before the Iowa GOP Tax Scam became law. 
  6. Rear Brakes – I had the rear brakes replaced on my car last night. It costs me about 40% of what I was expecting Win!
  7. Computer Mine Bonus – Whether or not we get a profit sharing bonus should be determined in the next week or so.
  8. Bank Fraud Resolution – This is supposed to be resolved by January 31. I have my doubts. All indications are that my bank wants me to find a new bank. Perhaps a credit union. Perhaps I should talk to Nate’s friend.
  9. Federal GOP Tax Scam – I want to see if the Federal GOP Tax Scam will hurt my refund or not. I do not anticipate it will, but I don’t want a February surprise to hit the drone budget. 
  10. Change Jar – I want fill and return my change jar to the bank before I pull the trigger on the drone purchase. I think I have about 2-3 inches of coin to collect. This isn’t really a necessity, I just want to do it.

6 out of 10 completed. What isn’t mentioned in the 10 part plan is that I won a $250 gift card to Amazon at the Computer Mine Holiday Party.  That is a bonus 11th step. 

Boone FUMC Church Directory: Chapter 2

Back on December 27, 2018 I began publishing pictures I took for the Boone FUMC Church Directory back in April and May.

One of the things that I do for the Church Directory is going to the local nursing homes and take pictures of church members that can’t make it to the church for the actual church directory photographers, but still wish to be included in the church directory.

Here are pictures from those photo shoots:


Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

Boone FUMC Nursing Home Photos

There are still at least one, possibly two or three collections of photos I took for the Church Directory still to publish.

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This is your weekly reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ABSTRACT:


WEEK 173 - ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT

An Abstract image is a picture of something where it isn’t readily evident what the subject is. It is a representation of an object that isn’t meant to be an exact facsimile of the object. Wildly out of focus pictures qualify for ABSTRACT. Long exposures can be ABSTRACT photos. Or, you could even take a picture of ABSTRACT art.

Happy photo harvesting!

2019 Photography 139 Calendar

Yes Virginia, there was a Photography 139 Calendar this year. However, I didn’t sell them this year. I just made a small run and gave them out to a very few small group of select people.

Here are the pictures from the 2019 Photography 139 Calendar:


2019 Calendar - Cover

The front cover is a picture of William McAlpine peering through the hole in a brick. It was taken in the backyard of the Photography 139 Studio. It was taken for the FRAMED theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

This photo was entered into the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was accepted for display.

Willy is the first person to appear in a Photography 139 Calendar since the 2012 Calendar featured a final rendition of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT that included images of AmyJunck-Wallendal, William McAlpine, Derrick Gorshe, Shannon Bardole, Jesse Howard, Jennifer Gorshe, Sara Junck, Jill Gorshe, and Jay Janson.


2019 Calendar - January

The January image was taken on a very foggy Christmas Eve morning. It was taken facing northeast from the road in upper Ledges State Park.

This image was entered in the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was selected for display.


2019 Calendar - February

The February image of a red hibiscus was taken in the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2017.

Unfortunately, the hibiscus did not survive the winter and did not return to the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2018.


2019 Calendar - March

The March image is of a lily is located in the Photography 139 Flower Garden. It is located in a designated lily patch near the birdbath.

While this macro photo might appear to be one image, it is actually the product of a technique called focus stacking. This image is actually 7 images with different focus ranges stacked one on top of the other.

This photo was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but it lost the popular vote and was not entered.


2019 Calendar - April

The April image was taken at The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. It was taken on a road trip with my Office Buddy Joe Lynch. It was taken with the in-camera black & white HDR setting.

This image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the image was to go some place “touristy” and take a “non-touristy” picture.

The picture of Mary holding a crucified Jesus was selected for April to coincide with the celebration of Easter.

This image was entered in the Photoshop category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won 1st Place.


2019 Calendar - May

The May image is of the sculputre Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg. Skallagrim is located in the Franconia Sculpture Park near Shafer, Minnesota.

I took this photo on a trip there with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora.

The image is HDR toned and is used as the base image for a Small World image.


2019 Calendar - June

The June image was taken on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It was taken on the Liberty Bowl Road Trip I took with Russell Kennerly and Jesse Howard to watch the Iowa State Cyclones defeat the Memphis Tigers.

The image was originally taken in color and was transformed into black and white in post production.


2019 Calendar - July

The July image is of a hollyhock from the Photography 139 Studio Flowerbed. This pink hollyhock grew in the dedicated hollyhock patch along the north fenceline.

This macro image was taken while experimenting with a new set of extension tubes.

This image was nominated for the flower category for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but was not entered.


2019 Calendar - August

The August image was taken in the midway of the Iowa State Fair. It was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the picture was to take a picture of something that is “nondescript during the day.”

The image was taken when I was able to sneak away during a break in the action of Baby Got Rack’s competitive barbecue competition.

The image was HDR toned in post-production.


2019 Calendar - September

The September image was taken of a grasshopper at Big Creek State Park near Polk City, Iowa. The image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme for this image was to create a playlist and listen to it while taking pictures. The playlist I selected was the BABY DRIVER SOUNDTRACK. I was listening to the song “Bongolia” by Incredible Bongo Band when I took this image.

2019 Calendar - October

The October image of a ram lounging was taken in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The image I was taken on the way home on a road trip I took with my Mom to Mount Rushmore.

This image was voted to be entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category.


2019 Calendar - November

The November image was taken at the Iowa State Fair in the Discovery Garden. It was originally taken in color and converted to black and white in post-production.

It was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category, but it was not entered.


2019 Calendar - December

The December image of an abandoned dump truck was taken in Boone, Iowa near the south terminus of Division Street.

The image was color processed through the Color Efex Pro 4 plugin during post production.

The image was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Hidden Treasures of Boone County category, but was not entered.

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There are a few calendars to handout, but for the most part delivery has finished. Almost on time this year.

Boone FUMC Church Directory: Chapter 1

One of the photo projects I worked on in early 2018 was grabbing miscellaneous pictures for the Boone First United Methodist Church Directory.

The person in charge of putting the directory together wanted some pictures of the Bell Choir and some pictures of Doug sermonizing. That is why these pictures below exist:


Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

Boone First United Methodist Church Directory

The Sharp Farm

The Sharp Farm

After church I went to the Sharp farm. I believe to take a picture of an unpictured outhouse.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 171 – PHOTOJOURNALISM

The holiday season definitely hurt the amount of PHOTOJOURNALISM submissions for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 171 - PHOTOJOURNALISM - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 171 - PHOTOJOURNALISM - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 171 - PHOTOJOURNALISM - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 171 - PHOTOJOURNALISM - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt


Christopher D. Bennett

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:



FRIENDS

FRIENDS! What a great theme! I hope everybody has at least a few FRIENDS. If you don’t, I’m willing to be your FRIEND(S). For a small sitting fee. I don’t think it will be necessary though, because I believe what Clarence the Angel said about FRIENDS. I don’t know any failures.

Now that has been established, what is a FRIENDS photo? A FRIENDS photo is a photo that is a picture of FRIENDS. They can be your FRIENDS or it can be people that are FRIENDS that aren’t necessarily your FRIENDS. It could be a photo of a product of having FRIENDS. For example, all the Christmas cards I get, I tape to my entrance window. Now I don’t get as many as I used to get, I could take a picture of that display and it would be a FRIENDS photo.

Remember that next Monday is New Year’s Eve. While many businesses and government offices will be closed (even if the Trump shutdown is still going on), Photography 139 doesn’t take holidays. Plan accordingly!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very friendly Monday.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 88

My favorite church service of the year is undeniably the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve.

The last 4 weeks at Youth Group we have been having our own Advent Candle series.

It culminated on Wednesday when we lit the Love Candle and then the Christ Candle and then had our own Candlelight Service.

It was the perfect time to take Page 88 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 88
Page 88 – Take a picture inspired by your favorite poem

I took this picture in the worst way possible. I put the DSLR on a little tripod in the front of the room and controlled it with my smart phone, while running the ceremony. The results were less than spectacular, but they are what they are. I’ll set up for success next time.

Here are a few of the other photos:


Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

The poem that is my inspiration for these photos is “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I first came across the poem in the movie AKEELAH AND THE BEE. If you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it!

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Here is your weekly reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is PHOTOJOURNALISM:



PHOTOJOURNALISM

A PHOTOJOURNALISM photo is any photo that can be used to tell the story. It doesn’t have to be the kind of story that the “New York Times” would report. A small company newsletter would still count as PHOTOJOURNALISM.

The editor of the “Boone News Republican” is a subscriber to this blog. You never know, you could catch his eye and you could be launched on a PHOTOJOURNALISM career.

Reminder that Monday is Christmas Eve. Plan your submitting accordingly.

Happy photo harvesting!

Boone FUMC Soup Supper & Christmas Pageant

A couple Sundays back the Boone First United Methodist Church had our annual Christmas Pageant.

Before the Christmas Pageant was a Soup Supper that was a fundraiser for the Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Rapid City next June.

Here are some pictures from the night:


Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Worried you didn’t get a chance to help support the Rapid City Mission Trip? Don’t worry. There are at least 2 more fundraisers for you to support.

Stay tuned for more information.

That’s Life

If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.
-Mike Ditka

Last Thursday was the annual lighted parade in Boone. I’m sure it has a proper name, but I don’t know what it is.

As a member of the Outreach Committee, I was part of the team that put together the “float” for the lighted parade. Unfortunately, we didn’t garner very many volunteers and I had to call a couple people last minuted just to borderline half fill our “people carrier”.

Although most people would not consider it a failure, I sorta do. That is okay. We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. That means at the 2019 lighted parade, we will be back with a vengeance!

Here are some pictures from the event:


Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Santa was infatuated with my beard. He really wanted me to join the Santa union or something. Told me I could make $100 an hour as a “real beard Santa”. Maybe sometime, but I’m not ready for the Santa gig yet.

2 Corinthians 9:11

For the last, oh, 15 or so years, my church has hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner.

It is open to anybody and it is 100% free. We don’t ask for an “at will donation”. We don’t put out baskets for donations. It is 100% free.

I went down there for the first shift to take some photographs to submit to the newspaper.

Here are a few pictures from the day:


Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

You can check out more pictures from the event by clicking on the link below:

Boone First United Methodist Thanksgiving

If you are looking for a church where you can serve and worship and awesome God, I attend Boone First United Methodist Church.

We have 2 worship services on Sundays.

A Traditional Service at 9 AM.
A Contemporary Service at 11 AM.

We also have a variety of Youth Groups on Wednesdays. The night begins with a meal at 6 PM and ends at varying times, depending on the age of the youth.

Come check us out!

Blessings – 2018

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! It is the time of year where we are supposed to count our blessings.

I thought I would share a few of my current blessings:


I am blessed with a great family!

























Sympathy - Brandon Kahler

NATE - SYMPATHY

SURPRISE - LAURA MILLER

Bethany - Boredom

Elainie - Boredom

Fear - Alexis

Anger - Johnathan

Sadness - Logan

I have plenty of friends that share my love for the Cyclones!



Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Liberty Bowl Road Trip



I have a job I don’t hate going to, where I work with several people I don’t want to punch in the face.





Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech





I have an amazing church family!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Pufferbilly Days Float - 2018

Critter Sunday - 2018

Easter - 2018 - Boone FUMC



I have an amazing friends family!



Anders - Fear









Shannon with her

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

I’m blessed to share my life with Naima!







August 23, 2017

This is really just a handful of the blessings in my life! But I’m already getting this out late, so I’ll cut if off here. I’ll just end with a passage from a Rob Bell NOOMA video that really spoke to me:

“So the verse in First Timothy, it says command those that are rich to not put their hope in wealth… and then it goes on and it continues… and it says, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

That phrase, a God that richly provides us with everything. All that we have is a gift.

Food. It is a gift.

Clothes. Gift.

Roof. Gift.

That breath you just took. It’s a gift.

Now there are some that will say: No, you don’t understand. I’ve worked for what I have. I deserve it. It is mine. But like it says in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8: You may say to yourself, my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God, because it is God that gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

I thank God for the embarrassment of riches in my life!