Category Archives: Religion

Pandemic Church

On July 12 our church started having church services again. We are doing it in as responsible as a manner as I can concoct. It is outside at Herman Park. Masks are required. Free masks are handed out. There is only one bulletin per month. Social distancing is enforced. People are encouraged to bring their own chairs. People can sit in their cars and listen to the service on a low power radio transmission.

Here are some pictures from the first two services:


Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Pandemic Church

Our worship service is at 9 AM at Herman Park. All are welcome.

I was glad to see that so much of the artwork of the youth has been incorporated into the worship service. It makes the park feel more like the home I know our church to be.

2010-01-19 & 2010-01-25

Happy 4th of July everybody! This holiday celebratory picture is a bit different.


Happy 4th of July - 2020

This historical marker commemorates the crew of a U.S. Army Air Force B-24 Bomber that were killed when their plane crashed in Boone County during a training flight during WWII.

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The pictures in the folders 2010-01-19 & 2010-01-25 are from a couple different PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT(s). One is of a Sara through the window in my entry way. The other is a picture of some family Bibles. There is also a picture from the 3rd ever WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The theme was PEOPLE.


Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

WEEK 3 - PEOPLE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

The Lovely Silhouette

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #3 – PEOPLE
Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 5
Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 6

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Willy and some flowers.

Biscuits & Gravy

All the way back in early March, the Methodist Men held their annual Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast. This wasn’t the last time that we had a worship service at Boone First United Methodist Church, but had to be pretty close to the last. Maybe one more or two more worship services at most. Everything is such a blur.

Here are a few pictures from the event:


Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast - 2020

I have to admit that we are starting to get pretty low on Methodist Men for a wide variety of reasons. We might have to start making some women honorary members just to have enough people!

Senior Sunday – Garrett – Volume 3

On our Sunday worship service (on KWBG) we honored our graduating seniors with a video that is a compilation of the the seniors discussing their future and their favorite aspects of Boone First United Methodist Church.

I acted as something of a clearinghouse for the video. I collected all the videos, but I outsourced its creation to Logan, because I’m not great at video editing. Every time I have to edit a video I have to spend hours re-learning the video editing program. Logan was able to do the video in probably minutes, compared to the hours it would’ve taken me.

Here is the video:



We have a great class of seniors this year!

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This is the final collection of senior pictures we took with Garrett. There might not be that many Senior Sundays left, but still several I’m sure:


Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

Garrett Larson

It was lots of fun getting to know Garrett and his friends and getting a glimpse into the cycling subculture!

#63

I only have one image to share today. It might not seem like much of an image at first glance. It is just a wet gazania. But this is a focus stacked image. It took 63 pictures just to combine all of them into this one image.


Gazania - Focus Stacked

I repeat, it isn’t that I took 63 images and this is the one I like the best, I took 63 images and combined them into one image.

I’m sure I’ll be doing more focus stacking in the future. The photo rail makes it way easier to focus stack. In addition to making it way easier to do super macro.

Now I have yet to do a super-macro photo stacked image, but that is coming. Very soon.

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Thought I would reveal the latest collection of images that have been added to the CANVAS WALL PROJECT.


Canvas No. 61
12X16

Canvas No. 62
12X16

Canvas No. 63
12X16

Canvas No. 64
12X16

Canvas No. 65
12X16

Canvas No. 66
12X16

Canvas No. 67
12X8

Canvas No. 68
12X8

Canvas No. 69
12X8

Canvas No. 70
12X8

Canvas No. 71
12X8

Canvas No. 72
8X10

There is one more order of canvases that are their way to my front stoop. Once those are up, the CANVAS WALL PROJECT will be finished!

At that time, I’ll publish a picture of it.

An Artist’s Notebook Post #3751

We have hit another milestone in the history of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Post #3751. I would normally make these statistical look back at the past type posts on even numbers, but I felt you guys were probably chomping at the bit to see the entries for RULE OF THIRDS.

This blog/online journal burst onto the world on August 9, 2006. Nearly 14 years later, it is somehow still around. That is success of some kind. At least it is perseverance.

As you know, I like meaningless statistics. That is what these posts are usually about. That and to take stock as to how I’m doing with my original mission to:

#1. Write in it.
#2. To be truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings.
#3. Produce something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

I’m going to say that I continue to manage all 3. You probably wouldn’t know if I was being honest with you on my thoughts and feelings anyways. You’ll just have to take my work for it.

The last time we looked at these stats in Post #3500 on October 4, 2019 these were the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

10. Photography – 311 Posts
9. Teresa – 312 Posts
8. Carla – 314 Posts
7. Shannon -351 Posts
6. Black & White – 390 Posts
5. Weekly Photo Challenge – 394 Posts
4. Jesse – 404 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

Here are the current “standings”:

MOST POPULAR CATEGORIES

10. Mom – 332 Posts
9. Teresa – 338 Posts
8. WPC – Submissions – 342 Posts
7. Carla – 354 Posts
6. Shannon – 384 Posts
5. Jesse – 455 Posts
4. Portrait – 491 Posts
3. Animals – 554 Posts
2. Black & White – 568 Posts
1. Flowers – 594 Posts

Back in October, these were the 10 Most Popular Not People Categories:

10. Art – 243 Posts
9. Nature – 260 Posts
8. Personal Photo Project – 261 Posts
7. Road Trip – 288 Posts
6. Photography – 311 Posts
5. Black & White – 390 Posts
4. Weekly Photo Challenge – 390 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

Here are the current “standings”:

MOST POPULAR NOT PEOPLE CATEGORIES

10. Naima – 263 Posts
9. Photoshop – 285 Posts
8. Art – 287 Posts
7. Nature – 303 Posts
6. Road Trip – 308 Posts
5. WPC – Submissions – 342 Posts
4. Portrait – 491 Posts
3. Animals – 559 Posts
2. Black & White – 568 Posts
1. Flowers – 594 Posts

I anticipate by the time we get to post 4,000 Black & White will surpass Flowers. Especially considering I’m giving some consideration into breaking Flowers down by flower type. All that would be one beast of a job.

Back in October, these were the 10 Most Tagged Humans:

10. Jen – 222 Posts
9. Vest – 234 Posts
8. Willy – 238 Posts
7. Derrick – 267 Posts
6. Jay – 294 Posts
5. Mom – 300 Posts
4. Teresa – 312 Posts
3. Carla – 314 Posts
2. Shannon – 351 Posts
1. Jesse – 403 Posts

These are the current standings:

10 MOST TAGGED HUMANS:

10. Jen – 243 Posts
9. Vest – 247 Posts
8. Willy – 258 Posts
7. Derrick – 284 Posts
6. Jay – 312 Posts
5. Mom – 332 Posts
4. Teresa – 338 Posts
3. Carla – 353 Posts
2. Shannon – 384 Posts
1. Jesse – 455 Posts

It is strange that the Top 10 Humans is almost identical. Except Carla has passed Teresa.

You may be wondering, what does it take to improve my Photography 139 Score? How do I get on the big board by the time Post 3750 comes around next August-ish?

1. Submit pictures for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
2. Assist or pose for photo projects.
3. Be related to me.

If you are wondering who is just outside of the top ten? The 3 people just outside of the Top Ten are Kim, Sara, and Logan.

But what are the most popular pictures and galleries of this website?

Currently, there 74,942 files in the Photography 139 Gallery. That takes up 450.88 GB of storage space on the SmugMug servers.

Over time, it is historically difficult to determine what is the most popular photos and galleries. I can only track statistics for the last 365 days. But for the last 365 days, these are the most popular albums:

TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY 139 ALBUMS (POPULARITY BY VIEWS)


Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

#10 Miller Triplet 1st Birthday Party – 13751 Views

Miller-Peterson Christmas - 2019

#9 Family Happenings – 14222 Views

Iowa State vs. Iowa

#8 Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2019 – 15711 Views

#7Naima– 16108 Views

Taylan Howard

#6 Taylan Howard -2020– 21320 Views

Autumn Sharp

#5 Autumn Sharp – 2020– 21852 Views

WEEK 158 - BOREDOM - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

#4 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 6– 29218 Views

July 14, 2019

#3 Selfie Project – 2019 – 40726 Views

9 Emotions - Bill

#2 9 Emotions Project – 43867 Views

WEEK 222 - SPORTS/GAMES - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

#1 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 7 – 48433 Views

These are the 10 Most Popular Images (by Views):

10. 973 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3

9. 1056 Views

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

8. 1063 Views

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

7.1082 Views

Thanksgiving - 2019

6. 1116 Views

Howards - 2019

5. 1141 Views

Autumn Sharp

4. 1635 Views

Garrett Larson

3. 1261 Views

Stenslands- 2019

1283 Views

July 15, 2017

1. 2283 Views

January 14, 2019

I’m surprised that THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT is still so popular, since I haven’t touched it in over a year. But I do hope to get back to it. In fact, I have purchased a few things to make it possible to get back to THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT while safely physically distancing. So if you are interesting in being a victim… err… a subject. You know where to find me.

Singleness

Photography 139 subscriber and all around swell person Alisa Baker was recently featured on the podcast “The Upside Down Kingdom”. I encourage you to give it a listen, because she has some real interesting things to say:



If you got this blog in an email, you will have to go to the website to listen to the podcast.

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I recently purchased a photo rail to help me do some super-macro photography. What is a 4 way macro focusing rail slider. Can’t picture that in your head. Well it looks something like this:


Singleness

The rail system really aids in doing some precision focusing with a super macro lens I purchased a couple years ago, but has very limited functionality and is very user unfriendly.

But with the rail, I was able to make these images on my first round of experimentation:


Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Singleness

Since it might be hard to figure out what the subjects of these pictures are they are sidewalk chalk, cherry blossoms, and a dandelion.

These pictures are not cropped. This is the full resolution of the original images. This new toy should be lots of fun!

A & P #1

Tonight would have been the last youth group of the year. Late last week I had to officially cancel the mission trip because the organization we go with cancelled all mission trips before July 12. We would’ve had an opportunity to reschedule, but none of the potential dates really worked for us.

In honor of what could’ve been, below I’ve posted our church service from Sunday. I wrote part of the service. That part of the video starts around the 7:50 mark:



Of course, if you are subscribing to this blog via email, you will have to go to the website to watch the video.

Despite our governor deciding to “have a peeing section in the swimming pool”, the Bishop for our conference has decided not to open up churches until June 1. We will keep having our church services on KWBG and on the social medias.

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Scottie D. and I went out to McHose Park to do the annual Porter and Austin photo shoot. Here is a set of the pictures I like.


Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

Degeneffe Boys - 2019

More pictures of them Degeneffe boys still to come!

Elainie Homecoming Ch. 1

25 days working from home down. No clue how many are left, but I’m guessing it at least 2 more weeks. This week with my extra stay at home time, I mopped my floors. All of them. Not counting the basement. We don’t talk about the basement! I also cleaned all my blinds. Which was scarier that I thought it would be. But as it turns out, only the bathroom blinds were that scary. The kitchen blinds a little bit. I hope to do a wardrobe downsizing soon. Hopefully this weekend. We’ll see. Maybe, I’ll even start working on the basement. Maybe get a little more yard work done.

My work listening schedule didn’t change much. Streamed Life 107.1 FM from 7-9 in the morning. I had what I’m gong to consider a God Moment on Wednesday morning. I know that listening to a Christian radio station might always be a God Moment, but there is one in particular. After the Coronacat post on Tuesday night, I got my normal heat from “cat people”.

Then on Wednesday morning, Taylor and Jen (the morning hosts on Life 107.1) were interviewing the lead singer of Casting Crowns. He is was well studied theologian. For what may have seemed like no reason, he announced that “cats don’t have souls”. Then he went on to praise golden retrievers. Sorry, Alisa, them’s the facts.

I went to Amazon and immediately ordered “Thrive”, “Until the Whole World Hears”, “The Very Next Thing” and “Only Jesus”.(They will arrive promptly on May 15) I’m not a new Casting Crowns fan. “Nobody” is a flat out banger that I sometimes listen to on a loop.

Of course, this will be used to support the false narrative that I hate cats. Not true. I just report facts.

It is like Harry Truman said:

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

Then from 9 to 2 I listen to the Master Playlist. This week I made it all the way to track #1002 – “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw. Probably a good song for quarantine living:

“I don’t want to be anything
Other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
All I have to do is of me and I have peace of mind
I’m tired of looking around rooms wondering what I gotta do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me”

I didn’t eliminate any songs from the Master Playlist this week.

From 2-4 I still listen to Murph & Andy. Although this week I sprinkled in a podcast breaking down Iowa State’s 2020 football roster.

I don’t know if I’ve discovered any more positives with the work from home life. I recently purchased two air purifiers. I’m not sure it has kept the dust homes as much as I wanted, but I can definitely tell the air is cleaner because I could tell that Naima was really starting to get ripe. She got a bath on Wednesday night. She wasn’t a fan, but she is crazy soft right now.

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Pastor Dave reached out to me on Wednesday and wanted me to write up (or make a video) of how I’ve seen God working recently. I’m not sure how he is going to use it, but I think he will using during our church service on Sunday. Which you can hear live on KWBG at 9 AM. We still aren’t having worship services in person, obviously.

You can also stream KWBG from their website.

I went the written route because if I started making a video, it would take forever. Absolutely forever. I get too deep into those things.

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Time to start curating a collection of pictures that I’m just going to lump under the category of Elainie Homecoming. These were taken back in September when Elainie was home from San Diego. Some are family portrait type pictures. Some are more like Elainie-Sabas engagement photos.

Here is the first collection:


Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Stenslands- 2019

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

Elainie & Sabas

There is a ton more photos from Elainie’s homecoming on the way. A veritable ton!

Senior Sunday – Taylan – Volume 2

I should start with wishing everybody a Happy Easter!


Happy Easter - 2020
Happy Easter!

It is definitely one of the weirdest Easters that most of us have ever experienced. I didn’t go to church on Easter Sunday since I don’t know when. Instead, I drove around and took a few pictures of church signs while listening to KWBG.

From 8-9 they played the Palm Sunday worship service of the local Baptist service. The Pastor of that church now helps with our Youth Group and she truly has been a godsend.

From 9-10 they played our worship service. Which was a live Easter service. I just want to share a couple of my favorite signs I saw this morning:


Easter 2020

Easter 2020

I would like to share an Easter Devotional from the Bishop of the Iowa Conference of the Methodist Church:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”

With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there.”

—Matthew 28:1-10 (CEB)

Billy Sunday was the first great traveling evangelist of the twentieth century. He traveled the country with his flamboyant revival showmanship, which attracted enormous crowds. A consummate showman, Sunday he would invite his listeners at the end of the sermon to come forward by walking down the sawdust trail of the temporary wooden structure to give their lives to Christ. “Hitting the sawdust trail” became a synonym for repentance and conversion.

The first people to ever hit the sawdust trail, however, were the women, weren’t they? Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb, where they encountered an angel sitting on a stone who said, “Don’t be afraid. Jesus has been raised from the dead. Now, hurry and go, tell his disciples.”

The phrase, “hitting the sawdust trail,” actually predates Billy Sunday, originating in the forests of Oregon, where lumber jacks would get lost deep in the woods. Needing find their way out, they would lay a trail of sawdust along the way so they could follow it out to a place where they could get their bearings.

Like the lumberjacks, we, too, are totally lost and have to rely on God’s grace to lead us to and then along the sawdust trail. We cannot control resurrection because resurrection is God’s work of grace. Do you, too, want to hit the sawdust trail? Then practice resurrection by welcoming and walking beside all kinds of people traveling the way of spiritual formation.

In his poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, Wendell Berry captures the unpredictability of resurrection. He says, “So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it…. Practice resurrection.”

Prayer:

God of new birth, this is the day of resurrection, and we are ready to hit the sawdust trail, a trail that leads right back into everyday life where we commit ourselves to practice resurrection. With your grace leading the way, we will welcome all people to journey with us, so that one day the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. And he shall reign forever and ever, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! Amen.

By: Bishop Laurie Haller, Resident Bishop, Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

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Here is a second collection of pictures from Taylan’s Senior Picture Photo shoot:


Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

More senior pictures next Sunday!