Category Archives: Alisa


By the time that this publishes, I should be on the road to Saint Paul with 3 other “adults” and 14 youth from my church for a mission trip.

If you are in the Minnesota, there is a chance you might be able to join us for a community dinner on Thursday night. You’d have to text me for details if that interested you.

However, if you aren’t in Minnesota, the best way to follow this adventure is to get on your phone. Get on Instagram. Follow @boonefumcyg. If you don’t have a phone, but do have a computer, you can follow us at the following URL:


Now there isn’t a ton of time to be dinking around with the social medias when you are doing

All the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.

However, there will be a handful of pictures posted each day, I’d guess. You might even see sweet pictures like the following:

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Also, on Sunday, July 2, in between services, the members of the mission trip will be giving their testimony about the mission trip. In Fellowship Hall. So if you’re interested, you should show up for that.

The Last Youth Group

Last Wednesday was the last youth group of the year. It was an interesting year and filled with challenges, but hopefully it turned out alright.

On the last night, we just had a movie night. The kids watched MOANA and painted. Here are a few pictures from that night:

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

Last Night of Youth Group

It will be interesting to see what happens with the youth group next year. Hopefully, they finally hire somebody to fill Alisa’s giant shoes.

If you’re wondering what I’m going to do with my future Wednesday nights, I will be starting a new photo project (hopefully) and will be revealing the details (hopefully) next Wednesday.

Get Your Ash On!

A quick break for an advertisement!

Hey if you are free on Wednesday nights and generally hungry on Wednesday nights, do I have a deal for you!

Come down to the Boone First United Methodist Church at 6 PM for a Spaghetti Dinner. The cost is an at-will offering! Can’t beat that price. And all the money goes to pay for the Youth Group’s Mission Trip this June in Saint Paul.

To repeat:

WHAT: Spaghetti Dinner
WHERE: Boone First United Methodist Church
WHEN: Wednesday, March 1 – 6 PM
WHAT: Fundraiser for Youth Group Mission Trip to Saint Paul
COST: At-Will Donation

You can come. Knock down some tasty vittles and then go upstairs and join us for Ash Wednesday Service.
You can come. Knock down some tasty vittles and then go to your church for Ash Wednesday Service.
You can come. Knock down some tasty vittles and then go to you neighborhood bar and tie one on.

Just come eat with us.

Support these kids:

Youth Group Activities

Do things like this:

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Or this:

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Or this:

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Or this:

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Or this:

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Or any of these things in this video:

You will have to be on the website to see the video.

Hope to see many of you there next Wednesday!

Selfie Project of 2017

So I tried and failed at a Selfie Project in 2016. I’m trying again in 2017. Last year I took the pictures with Blue Boy. Who you may remember is my Canon point & shoot.

This year I’m going to take the pictures with the front facing camera on my Google Pixel. I feel this will enhance the chance of this project working because I always have my phone on my person. That way I don’t have to constantly remember another camera. Therefore I’m taking these pictures with the worst camera I own. Unless you count my pinhole camera and if you were thinking, “Yeah, but what about your pinhole camera?” I say to you, “I’m impressed that you remember that I own a pinhole camera! Well done!”

That being said, the Google Pixel camera is easily the best phone camera I’ve ever owned. Partially because it is made my Sony (shout out to Sony!) and partially because of a myriad of features that are included with the camera. I will one day soon publish a review of the camera, and you’ll know what I mean.

Another thing I should point out is that the rear facing camera on a phone is always way better than the front facing camera. But I’m using the front facing camera for ease of use. Even though it tops out about 4 megapixels. But I don’t have time to teach you about the megapixel lie. That is a subject for another time.

And this time, is the time to share the first ten pictures from the Selfie Project (circa 2017):

Selfie Project - December 31, 2016
Day 0

Selfie Project - January 1
Day 1

Selfie Project - January 2
Day 2

Selfie Project - January 3
Day 3

Selfie Project - January 4
Day 4

Selfie Project - January 5
Day 5

Selfie Project - January 6
Day 6

Selfie Project - January 7
Day 7

Selfie Project - January 8
Day 8

Selfie Project - January 9
Day 9

Part of the purpose of this project is to document my magnificent beard growth. I recently joined the Dollar Beard Club, like beard connoisseur Andrew Bardole. I’ve been enjoying their wonderful beard shampoo, beard oil, and beard cream. It makes me smell like a lumberjack that just got out of a hot spring bath in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. So… pretty amazing.

Although I’ll probably check in on this project from time to time on the blog known as An Artist’s Notebook (that is this blog silly), I don’t know that it will be a regular occurrence. However, these photos will be published on Instagram on the daily. Not only can you check out the progress of the scruff, you can check out Selfie Project Superfan Elizabeth’s daily critique of my smile. So everybody wins!

If you’ve forgotten, my Instagram handle is @christopherdbennett

Be warned, if you hang with me now and again, you might get thrown into the Selfie Project Mix. I’m hoping to even get my picture taken with noted Selfie queens like Alisa and Alexis and Elainie. Fingers crossed and you’ve been warned!

To a Great 2017!

Pretend like I published this on January 1, just like I meant to do.

It is that day at Photography 139 Headquarters where we take down our old Photography 139 Calendar and put it in the trunk with many of the other remnants of our past.

We like to think that 2016 was a successful year for Photography 139 and I’d like to thank everybody that was responsible for making it appear so.

So to my list of email blog subscribers…

Jay Janson
Jason Baier
Shannon Bardole
Scott Degeneffe
Corey Faust
Susanna Funk
Jill Gorshe
Jesse Howard
Sara Lockner
Teresa Kahler
Nader Parsaei
Becky Perkovich
Bernice Verhoorn
Suzie Brannen
Eric Hiatt
Kim Barker
Cousin Amy
Russell Kennerly
Tim Tuck
Tim Tucker’s Lady Friend
Michelle Haupt
Geri Derner
Micky Augustin
Angie DeWaard
Mike Vest
DaeHee Yoon
Monica Henning
Sarah Karber
Carla Stensland
Laura Miller
Joseph Lynch
Jorge Rios
Anders Runestad
Laura Miller
Michael Houlihan
Dawn Krause
Joe Duff
Derrick Gorshe
Dustin Jackson
Bethany Miller
Logan Kahler
Elizabeth Nordeen
Nicole Nickens
Jeff Daniel
Stephanie Kim
Bob Person
Melissa Degeneffe
Willy MacAlpine
Janice Peterson
Jessica Potts
Steve Junck
Shawn Lockner
Brooke Milligan
Cathie Raley
Paul Golden
Linda Toot
Jodie Bennett
Dan Pottratz
Alisa Baker
Cassandra Chadwick

Thanks for a great 2016! Of course, I’ll try to do better in 2017. Hopefully our little family will continue to grow in the new year!


There weren’t a whole lot of takers for STILL LIFE. Must have been a depression of some kind out there.

But you don’t want to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates, you want to see the submissions. Here they are:

Kim Barker

Bill Wentworth

Angie DeWaard

Stephanie Kim

Cathie Raley 1

Cathie Raley 2

Christopher D. Bennett

Mike Vest

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:


NIGHT is a pretty self-explanatory theme. A NIGHT picture is any picture taken at night. Yes, I’d encourage you to get outside and take a picture with a long exposure or lit by the super full moon that will be out tonight. However, any picture taken at night or suggesting the night will do!



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 by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge. 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.


Great news! Alisa Baker is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by signing up for a Photogrpahy 139 email subscription. Alisa is one of my favoritest people in the world. She was formerly the Youth Pastor at my church until she left us for a similar full-time position in some river town in THAT part of the state. Which reminds me that I need to go visit her soon since she still owes me dinner and I think you all know how I feel about free food. In addition to serving God as a “profession”, Alisa also is known to spend her free time serving God while doing mission work in Haiti. Alisa also introduced me to one of my current favorite musicians Lecrae. Go check out “Church Clothes” or “Take Me As I Am” or “Gangland” or “Nuthin'”. I’ll wait…… Alisa’s cat also has its own Twitter account. No. Naima isn’t getting her own Twitter account. Instagram account? Maybe. Twitter account… no. So if you see Alisa out walking the mean streets of River City feel free to give her a knowing glance and to teach her the Super-Secret Photography 139 handshake.

Want your own Photography 139 email subscription? Call, email, or text me and I’ll get you the hook up.

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 dark Monday.

Milwaukee Mission Trip Vol. 2

The remainder of my Mission Trip photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of much of the remaining week.

Jay painting the floor corner.

Elizabeth and Megan painting the floor.

On Tuesday, The Family House seemed to peter out of jobs for us to do. Late in the afternoon they brought us into the common room for an activity called Debates. This is an activity where they ask the residents questions and they have to give their opinion and then defend their position. The kids really enjoyed this game. They were particularly engaged in questions like: “How old should a kid be before they get their first cell phone?”, “Should all states have the death penalty?”, “Would a Trump presidency help our economy?”, and “Should a step-parent be allowed to whoop a step-child?” One of the residents became a crowd favorite when she stated that if “some man ever laid a finger on her child, I’d kick his ass”. At the conclusion of Debates, Megan and Jay played the piano and entertained the residents. The ones that were into Dr. Dre, any ways.

While we were sitting around, Cordelia came in and took us on a tour of The Family House to show us jobs we could do. Earlier in the day, Cornelius told us that we couldn’t come back on Wednesday because they wouldn’t be there. Cordelia told us we could come back and that they would have a list of jobs for us to do.

On this tour Cordelia told me that she didn’t know what she paid a maintenance man for, he didn’t do anything. Then she added that she couldn’t get any could help. If her kids acted like this (her employees), her “husband would’ve killed them.” I told you Cordelia was a house of fire!

We left on Tuesday expecting a list of jobs to greet us on Wednesday.

Our Tuesday night activity was listening to a group called Life Changers. 4 people told us their story. 1 woman spoke about an abusive relationship that left her suicidal. Another woman spoke about depression that lead to a suicide attempt. A guy told us a story about dealing drugs and spending time in prison. All of them had been redeemed by God.

The fourth woman told a story about how she had a pretty good life. Yeah. The point of her story was that they wanted us to know that not everybody is having struggles in Milwaukee. Although this came off like an advertisement for a college prep program that the emcee ran. The part where he asked her if she got married so she wasn’t living in sin, was particularly awkward.

Glen, the ex-drug dealer, had become a musician and sold his rap CD. Several of the kids purchased it. I think I listened to Track 3 of his CD about 50 times on the rest of the trip. I’m not even mad. It made the Peterson van bump. (I drive a borrowed van on these trips.)

So it turns out, on Wednesday they didn’t have a list. We mostly sat in the court yard. Waiting for a job. This was disheartening for the kids. They showed up with a ton of motivation and enthusiasm. Then when there was nothing to do, the enthusiasm left the balloon.

Finally, with about 30 minutes left to go, they told us, “It would be nice if you planted our garden.”

Megan took over this job. She is a agricultural expert.

David weeding.

After the showers Andy, Summer, and I went to this Catholic surplus store. The life sized Jesus crucified statue: $5900. I decided I didn’t need it.

Wonder what you look like when you are posing for Snapchat filters? Alisa, Sarah, and MacKenzie demonstrate.

Wednesday night’s activity was serving a soup kitchen in the church where we were staying. This was kind of a disorganized mess and there were some moments that were awkward where some of us ate before the community members that needed this meal. In the end though, even out of this mess, good things happened.

Andy had met a homeless man outside of the church on Tuesday night and invited him to come to the soup kitchen. The very short version of this story is that he came and he and Andy made a connection. There is so much more to that story. Ask me directly, but be warned, you may have opened up a bottle that you can’t put the cap back on. I love talking about the Mission Trip. Even though people don’t get it.

Following the church supper, the kids on the mission trip put on a worship service for the community. One of the highlights of this service was our Anna giving the sermon. Even if I wasn’t impartial, I would think she did an amazing job!

Obviously there is more to that story, but once again, ask directly.

Cornelius’ Prom picture. Yes, Cornelius has his prom picture at work. Yes his date looks pissed. The story is that shortly before Prom, his date got into a car accident. She was in pain and didn’t want to go. Cornelius made her go. Why? “I had already paid for the tickets!” Then when his boy got dissed by his date and he spent the night hanging out with him. I don’t want you to think poorly of Cornelius. He was a good dude. He was however a terrible Prom date.

On Thursday, they found a job the kids loved! Crawling around in a dumpster and destroying things.

Cordelia telling her story. Cordelia has been on Oprah and whatever show Al Roker is on.

This tree stands where a drug house used to stand. When they tore the garage down, they found a dead body in the basement. The body was never identified, so they planted this tree in that person’s memory.

They love their dumpster!

Posing with Cordelia before we left.

I’m not sure what happened to Autumn at her work site.

A famous (and cheaper) Milwaukee frozen custard stand.

Old Timey Ice Cream! Okay, frozen custard.

The Thursday night activity was a community dinner at Adullam.

Ray and Scott manning the grill.

Alisa. Not really sure what she is doing.

Serving the Community

One of the most violent games of tackle football I’ve ever seen/dominated. Nate (making the tackle) laid a kid from another church out.

Dante running with the ball.

Note the kid in the brown sweat shirt.

This is a story I didn’t tell when our group gave the sermon on the Sunday after we returned to normal life.

I was talking to Dante and the kid in the brown shirt (and I hate the fact that I can’t remember his name) while we were eating. Our conversation ranged from our mutual hatred of the Packers to NBA free agency to their school. They attend Barack Obama School.

I asked them what they thought of Barack Obama. They thought for a second and said, “I don’t know. I’ve never met the man.”

“Well what do you think of the current presidential candidates?”

The kid in the brown shirt immediately said, “Donald Trump can suck a big one!”

Then he looked me in the eyes and said, “You know what I mean!”

I laughed for quite a bit and then leaned in and said, “Off the record.” I gave him a fist bump. “On the record, you probably shouldn’t talk like that.”

That is why I’m a great missionary. Right?

That is all the photos I have, but I have so many more stories. I haven’t even touched the trip to the Emergency Room, the sorta love triangle, the “leader” from Kentucky, or the friend I made at the Soup Kitchen.

Like I said, track me down. I love to talk about the trip. Even though sadly, it was Alisa’s Swan Song. Even though we might not work together doing God’s work for the Boone First United Methodist Church, I know that it won’t be the last time we will work together in this vein.

One last thing. Alisa asked me at both church services, “Explain why you are willing to give up a week of vacation to go on these trips? Even though people throw you shade for it.”

Twice I gave poor answers. I’m working on that answer, in case she asks a third time.

Milwaukee Mission Trip Vol. 1

I thought I was going to write a really long breakdown of my trip to Milwaukee with my church’s youth group for Mission Work.

Instead, I think I’ll settle for a description with each photo. Maybe I’ll be more ambitious with Volume 2.

Halfway between Madison and Milwaukee, we found a Pizza Pit. Just like home.

Across the street from the Lutheran Church we were staying at was a Greek restaurant that sold frozen custard. Not fooling this cone cost me close to $5. They didn’t always give change either.

Found this sidewalk art at our first stop Monday morning at Adullam Outreach. This was an outreach program named after the cave where David spent his exile.

One of the good and bad things about Youth Works is that break your group up into groups with other churches. My group consisted of 3 kids from Boone and 1 adult and 2 kids from Louisville, Kentucky. Our group worked all 4 days at a low income nursing home. They owned property across the street from their main facility. They had us mow that property. Going by the height of the weeds and the amount of garbage, this seemed like the first time they had been mowed all year. Wyatt is pictured mowing.

More Wyatt mowing.

On Monday the low income nursing home (named The Family House) had a free food giveaway on their lawn. They have food donated to them by Aldi and Wal-Mart. Pictured is Cordelia Wallace, the founder of Family House. 80 years old and a house of fire. She is telling her story to Megan (who’s spirit animal is Shakira), Wyatt, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is from Louisville. One of the things we did was go door to door in this neighborhood knocking on doors to tell people about the food giveaway. It might go without saying, this was not a nice neighborhood. Nobody answered their door. Although we did tell some random people on the street about it.

David organizing their pantry.

Our facilitators at The Family House were Cornelius and Latoya. Can you pick them out of the picture? Latoya showed no team loyalty by wearing just about a different team jersey every day. Cornelius is a bad Prom date. More on that later. The guy in blue is Scott. He was the other adult chaperone from Louisville. He was a good dude. A little daffy, but a good dude. He is also in the FBI. The male kid that isn’t Wyatt or David is Jay. Real name James. But he goes by Jay. In the unabridged version, I’d have a lot to say about the dynamics of this group. The important thing to know is that when I job needed done, they banded together and got stuff done.

After we were done with work for the day and had showered, we went to the overpriced frozen custard place. Anna is the youth that hasn’t been identified up until this point.

Monday night was a free night. We started our free night at the park across the street from our home for the week.

Alex, Anna, MacKenzie, and Megan

Andy spinning Summer


After the park we went to Dairy Queen. Alex showing off his ice cream eating form.

After Dairy Queen, we went to a park on Lake Michigan and watched the sun set on the Milwaukee skyline.

Posing with Alex

Attempt at a guy photo.

Wyatt with Summer

Wyatt with Alex

David with Alex

Alex and Summer

Posing with Youth Pastor Alisa

Tuesday. Back to work. David. Mowing property #2.

The Family House. The Family House was actually a nursing home that Cordelia Wallace started out of her own house where she raised 8 children. Most of the other houses in the neighborhood were drug houses. So she slowly acquired them and added them to her facility.

Street view. Cordelia worked at a nursing home. She had “ideas” on how to improve the life of the residents and took her suggestions to her bosses. They smiled politely (maybe) and then told her that they get paid to do the thinking. She gets paid to do what they tell her to do. She cried all of the way home. Then complained to her husband. After listening to her, he stopped her and said, “Listen, you can complain about it or you can do something about it. But if you don’t do anything about it, I’m done listening to you complain about it.” She did something about it.

I often find that areas our Youth Group go to do mission work aren’t ready for Iowans. Iowans work. On the start of Monday they took us up to a room and told us to organize it. They were planning on turning it into a kids center. We organized it in 45 minutes. Their jaws dropped open. They told us that they were expecting that to take us all day. The previous week they had had 2 youth groups there working. We had accomplished more in 45 minutes than those 2 youth groups did in a week. So they had us start painting the floor. Pictured is Elizabeth and Megan putting a second coat on the floor.

More on this trip soon. Even though I can never tire of talking about it. Mission Trips are hard to talk about to people back home because there is no way to put into words to describe the transformation that happens.

They mostly look at you and say, “Oh. You painted some stuff and served food at a soup kitchen. That is nice.” It is so much more. That is why I would argue that anybody that is a believer should commit themselves to at least one act of service a year. Whatever, that might be. Putting up drywall for Habitat for Humanity. Serving dinner at the local homeless shelter. Anything you can do to help somebody else. I’m telling you, do it!

I should stop rambling, because there are quite a few blog subscriber birthdays today. I’ll go youngest to oldest:

Happy birthday Logan!

Photo of the Day 0063 - July 4, 2014
Happy birthday Derrick!

Happy birthday Jill!

I hope all of you have amazing birthdays!