Category Archives: Christianity

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE REMINDER – MUSIC

A friendly reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is MUSIC:


WEEK 139 - MUSIC
MUSIC


A MUSIC photo is any photo that is related to MUSIC. From live MUSIC to recorded MUSIC to sheet MUSIC to toy MUSIC to MUSICal instruments. Anything that relates to the creation and/or playing of MUSIC. Good or bad MUSIC. Doesn’t matter.

Happy photo harvesting!

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This isn’t related to anything, but I wanted to put a quote here that I used as part of a Youth Group lesson on the Secular World vs. the Sacred World on Wednesday:

“One of the great hindrances to the development of biblically informed mainstream art has been the perception that Christians should make Christian Art. And that Christian Art is always explicitly religious. Understood this way, Christian Art is not distinguished by a regenerated outlook on the whole of life, but on a narrow focus on Bible stories, saints, martyrs, and individual’s relationship with God. Christian Art in this sense is either and aid to worship or a means to evangelism.”

It comes from a book called Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’ll be getting to it soon enough.

Here is another quote from the book I cam across:

“A corollary of this has been that Christians have thought that they should only create art with a Pollyanna quality to it: paintings of birds and kittens, movies that extol family life and end happily, songs that are positive and uplifting – in short, works of art that show a world that is almost unfallen where no one experiences conflict and where sin is naughty rather than wicked.”

Remember that Photography 139 is a Christian “business”. It believes in creating works of art that glorify God. This stuff will get dropped on you from time to time.

Graceland

Time to hit up the back log. These pictures are from Russell, Jesse, and I’s trip to Memphis to watch Iowa State stomp the Memphis Tigers in the Liberty Bowl.

I am a fan of Elvis. I get that from my Mom. From her I grew up listening to Elvis and Kenny Rogers. I love them both. I never quite inherited her love of The Beach Boys, but I do also enjoy them. From my Dad I got my love of old country. Johnny Paycheck and Tom T. Hall in particular. If you don’t love Tom T. Hall, you’re doing something wrong.

Before we left for Memphis I had done some research on places to visit. Graceland was number two on my list behind Beale Street. My research showed that an actual tour of Graceland can take over 3 hours. While I was willing to spend the small fortune it costs to tour Graceland, we just didn’t have that time.

However, I read that they open up the grounds of Graceland from 7:30 – 8:30 for people to pay their respects to Elvis’ grave, for free.

I convinced Jesse to wake up early and check this out with me. Russell wasn’t buying waking up early on his vacation. He stayed at his hotel.

Here are pictures from Graceland:


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When I was trying to figure out where in the back log to hit up, I was considering the trip to Mount Rushmore, March for Our Lives, or the flowers of Donna Jones. However, recently HBO has been playing a 4 hour documentary on Elvis called ELVIS PRESLEY: THE SEARCHER. I knew it was time to reveal my photos from Graceland

If you are a fan of Elvis, music, or history and have access to HBO or HBO GO, I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve learned quite a bit about Elvis and his musical influence. I think it is unfortunate that because of the way he dressed, the antics, the way he died, and the horrible movies, I think sometimes it gets lost what an extremely talented musician he was. Also, what a completely unique voice he had as an artist. I don’t mean that in the way that his physical voice was unique. I mean the way he expressed himself as an artist.

Can you imagine an artist in modern times that would record entire gospel albums at the height of this popularity? Some Christian artists will crossover, but they certainly never come back. I don’t know of an artist in modern times that could weave so many musical influences in to their own unique sound.

Could you imagine going to a modern rock concert and then BOOM! here is one from the hymnals!

Elvis Presley is the only royalty that I will ever recognize!

Any other Elvis fans out there? Let me know what your favorite Elvis song is in the comments section of this here blog!

I’ve decided when I start working on the party soundtrack for my birthday party in 2019, there will be a full hour of Elvis music.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 105

On Good Friday I descended upon downtown Des Moines to take a picture for Page 105 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


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Take a photograph that could only be taken today, not yesterday or tomorrow.

I took off from the Computer Mine early on Good Friday and went to Des Moines to witness an event put on by The Bridge, a coalition of downtown Des Moines churches, called the Way of the Cross.

It is an interesting event where people carry or drag a cross through downtown Des Moines, stopping every few blocks or so to read a passage from The Bible and hear a small sermon or devotion or speech about that verse.

While I took several pictures along the way, only one can be physically adhered to the physical THE PHOTO JOURNAL. Here are some of the other pictures I took on this journey and I will follow it with my Yelp review of the event:


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This lady set up shop on the National Rifle Association.

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I even like her hat.

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This woman tore what I’m going to call Republican Jesus to pieces. They were both from a church called The Downtown Disciples.

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Note the lack of shoes – it was cold that day.

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Here is my quick review of “The way of the Cross”:

My biggest disappointment is that there wasn’t somebody there dressed like Jesus dragging the cross. Now I realize that this isn’t realistic and is actually the antithesis of the exercise. The exercise exists so that you can personally drag the cross and get the slightest modicum of what Jesus might have felt physically on that day. That being said, a dude dressed like Jesus would’ve made an even better photo opportunity. Especially if a couple of other dudes dressed like Romans followed along whipping him. Then part of the way through the event, another guy dressed like Simon of Cyrene joined the group and helped carry the cross the rest of the way.

I guess, maybe I should set the standard and show up next year dressed for the part myself.

My biggest legitimate complaint is that the sound system for the sermons was awful. They used a megaphone that wasn’t loud enough. It wasn’t loud enough by half. It might have been loud enough in a quiet room. It wasn’t near loud enough to battle or let alone compete with downtown Des Moines construction and traffic. The only sermons I could really hear were the two Downtown Disciples. The only reason I could hear them was because I got all up in their grill when I heard the lady in the sweet hat start busting on the NRA. I knew I had to hear that.

I was also disappointed in the size of the crowd. Now I know that not everybody gets excited for Good Friday. Many denominations don’t even do a service on Good Friday. Even the churches that do, I would describe those services as “sparsely attended”.

Which I get. I mean you can get the full Easter experience and give thanks to the one that gives you everything, but on the other hand, it is a Friday, and that beer isn’t going to drink itself. Is it?

Furthermore, even people that celebrate Good Friday, how many of them are going to take time off for work to wander around Des Moines on a cold Friday afternoon. I get it.

However, taking all of that into account, I thought there would be more people.

On the positive, I think it is an excellent outreach program. It is an excellent way to take the “Good News” out of the church and into what is falsely called the “secular world”. I witnessed many gawkers during the path. From people staring out their car, to other pedestrians, to office workers who rushed to their windows to watch the symbol of salvation pass by.

For the people that took their turn carrying the cross, it was a powerful experience. I’m sure if I would have taken my turn, it would have been powerful for me as well.

That is the curse of the photographer. The camera separates you from the experience.

Would I go again? I would, but I would take somebody with me. Hmmm… I hear Shannon’s new gig gives her Good Friday off.

I’m a Doctor with No Job. Me, I Don’t Have No Patients. I Keep Pacing Back and Forth, I Keep Racing.

The world wasn’t ready for these SIGNS pictures on Monday. I’m not sure the world can handle them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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Beaver, Iowa – The jewel of Boone County.

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Grand Junction, Iowa – The jewel of Greene County

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Jefferson, Iowa – They have an A&W, that is the only positive thing I’ll say about Jefferson.

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Churdan, Iowa – Home of moderate high school athletic success in the 1980s

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Paton, Iowa – Home of the Globe Conspiracy

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Dana, Iowa – Making Paton look good since 1907

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Boone, Iowa – God’s Country

I took all my signs on a little road trip on Saturday. As is known to happen to me, I got obsessed into my own little world and lost track of time. I missed the Methodist Men Potato Peeling Party. They managed without me.

That is all I have to say about these pictures. You’re welcome world.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE REMINDER – SIGNS

A friendly reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is SIGNS:


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SIGNS!


Earlier in the week I described two hypothetical situations and gave an interpretation of what those SIGNS were saying. I want to backtrack on those. I believe these to be the correct interpretations of the hypothetical SIGNS.

Bro, if she has posted on 3 different social media platforms since you texted her and she still hasn’t texted you back, that is a SIGN(S) that she is SO into you that she needs time to craft the perfect response to your text message.

Girl, if he acts like he doesn’t know you when he is around his friends, but is constantly trying to slide into your DMs at 2 in the morning, that is a SIGN(S) that he thinks you are so special that he doesn’t want to share you with anybody else in the world.

Of course, you could also take a picture of real SIGNS, but I will warn you on this front, Tamara Peterson has already set the bar pretty high on this front.

Happy photo harvesting!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 134 – ROAD TRIP

A healthy amount of people hit the open road for a ROAD TRIP photo. I think this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE EMPIRE extends as far north as Randall, Iowa. As far south as Arkansas. As far west as West Wendover, Nevada. As far east as Virginia, I’m guessing.

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


WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - MICHAEL AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 134 - KIM BARKER - ROAD TRIP
Kim Barker

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

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:


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SIGNS!


SIGNS! What a great theme! But what is a SIGNS photo? The obvious answer is any picture of a SIGN(S) is a SIGNS photo. But there are more than just the SIGNS that tell you to stop, yield, sit down, and shut up. If she hasn’t responded to your text message, but she has posted on Facebook twice, added to her Snapchat Story and tweeted 3 times… those are SIGNS that bro, she just isn’t in to you. If he doesn’t acknowledge your existence around his friends, but at 2 AM he is always sliding into your DMs, that is a SIGN(S) that grilfriend, you can do better!

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

2. 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

The latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication and sign on for a Photography 139 Email Subscription is Linda Clark. I honestly don’t know much about her, other than she is a relative of Andy Sharp and he says she has an interest in photography. Welcome aboard Linda! If you see her, feel free to give her a knowing glance and teach her the super-secret Photography 139 Handshake.

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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 signed Monday!

I’m a Mean Photog, Better Feed Me Fauxtogs or Feed Me Picts, Ah, Feed Me Both of ‘Em

As you may have guessed, I have a ton of alternative BLACK & WHITE images for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The world wasn’t ready for them on Monday. I’m not sure the world can handle them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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Some of these pictures were taken on the north side of Boone. Some in my coop in the cube farm at the Computer Mine. Some on the way to Dickcissel Park. Some at the sculpture garden down in Des Moines. The picture of me blocking Jesse’s shot was originally taken by Bill. Shortly afterwards, a defeated and downtrodden Jesse retired from basketball.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I have added an additional photo from Linda Bennett to the original post on the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on Monday. It somehow ended up in my spam folder. You can see the additional photo by clicking on the link below:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 133 – BLACK & WHITE

There are plenty more BLACK & WHITE alternates coming your way in the coming days.

But, don’t forget to come out to the Boone Pizza Ranch tomorrow night between 5-9 to support the Boone First United Methodist Youth Group. Just bring one of these flyers:




For everyone of these we get with a paid meal, Pizza Ranch gives us $2. American. There will also be tip jars available for you to throw some additional scratch in.

I hope you’re as excited to see me there and I am excited to see you there!

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter - 2018

Happy Easter! Today we celebrate the good news of an empty grave. I’ve always kind of favored Luke’s version of the Resurrection. Here it is from The Voice:

24 Early on Sunday morning, even before the sun had fully risen, these women made their way back to the tomb with the spices and ointments they had prepared. 2 When they arrived, they found the stone was rolled away from the tomb entrance, 3 and when they looked inside, the body of the Lord Jesus was nowhere to be seen. 4 They didn’t know what to think. As they stood there in confusion, two men suddenly appeared standing beside them. These men seemed to glow with light. 5 The women were so terrified that they fell to the ground facedown.

NOTES:(This phrase, “Son of Man,” is very important in Luke’s story and may have many layers of meaning. It may mean “epitome of humanity” or “prime example of what a human can be.” But it also evokes a specific passage of Scripture that is very important to Jewish people, Daniel 7:13-27. There the phrase “Son of Man” refers to a king who receives an eternal and universal kingdom, and it also represents “the saints of the Most High”—the people of God. In light of Jesus’ central message about the kingdom of God, it is likely that the phrase suggests Jesus is the long-awaited Anointed One who launches a new era in human history and who creates a community of people who represent the eternal and universal kingdom of God. In this way, “Son of” suggests “new generation of,” and “Man” suggests “humanity.” Jesus is Himself the new generation of humanity (a second Adam, a new beginning), and the community He creates shares this identity (a new creation, a new humanity in Jesus). The two messengers here use this pregnant phrase in a way that shocks everyone: The way this long-awaited Anointed One receives His kingdom is not through conventional military victory where enemies are defeated and killed. No, this King receives His kingdom by suffering, dying, and rising again Himself. Amazing news—good news!)

Two Men: Why are you seeking the living One in the place of the dead? 6 He is not here. He has risen from the dead. Don’t you remember what He told you way back in Galilee? 7 He told you that the Son of Man must be handed over to wicked men, He must be crucified, and then on the third day He must rise.

8 The women did remember Jesus’ words about this, 9 so they returned from the tomb and found the eleven and recounted for them—and others with them—everything they had experienced. 10-11 The Lord’s emissaries[a] heard their stories as fiction, a lie; they didn’t believe a word of it. (By the way, this group of women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, along with a number of others.) 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he reached the opening, he bent down, looked inside, and saw the linen burial cloths lying there. But the body was gone. He walked away, full of wonder about what had happened.

Men. Am I right?