Category Archives: Black & White

WEEK 290 – SLICE OF LIFE AND WEEK 291 – DRINKS

There were two themes for last week, so might as well just get at them.

First up is SLICE OF LIFE:


WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE - JOE DUFF
JOE DUFF

WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE - TAMARA PETERSON
TAMARA PETERSON

WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE - KIO DETTMAN
KIO DETTMAN

WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

The second theme was DRINKS:


WEEK 291 - DRINKS - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 291 - DRINKS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 291 - DRINKS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 291 - DRINKS - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 291 - DRINKS - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 291 - DRINKS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

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:



SHADOWS

A SHADOWS picture is pretty simple. It is a picture that includes a SHADOW(S) as part of the composition.

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE RULES:

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.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

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.

Good luck!

2010-07-26

The pictures in the folder 2010-07-26 are from a road trip I took to Minnesota with Sara. It was frankly one the best road trips of my life. I got to hang out with some of my favorite people in the world. I got to see my favorite band in concert AND we went to Flugtag! Plus we ate at a really mediocre German restaurant.

Here are some pictures:


In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

In this Old Purple Town

WEEK 29 - DEPTH OF FIELD - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Me and My Miracle Whip Cooler

Me and My Miracle Whip Cooler

That Miracle Whip cooler is one of my proudest possessions. If my house was on fire, it would be just outside the Top 5 things I would run in and grab. It was a gift from Sara. I believe she bought it in Wisconsin. The few chance I get to tailgate, it goes with me. It did sadly get too close to the grill recently. While it is still fully functional, one side is a little sad looking now. I think it makes me love it more!

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:

This Old Purple Town

RWPE #29 – DEPTH OF FIELD

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve “nature’s fence”.

2010-07-21

The pictures in the folder 2010-07-21 are from a photo session I had with Jen and Derrick while she was pregnant with Evie. We had 6 of these photo sessions as I documented the pregnancy process. This was the third of those sessions:


3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

3 of 6 Alternate

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

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK NO. 27

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a trip to Minnesota and people trying to make flying machines.

2010-07-19

Most of the pictures in the folder 2010-07-19 are of the remains of a pair of downtown Boone buildings that caught fire. Then there are some flower pictures as well.

Have a look:


First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

First Act

Nature's Amen - 2010

WEEK 28 - CALM - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

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 #28 – CALM

Dr. The Incidental Gardener

First Act

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Jen and Derrick.

Jasper County Auxiliary Images

This is a reminder that at this point you have 1 hour to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

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I need to wish my Aunt Linda a happy birthday today. Happy birthday Aunt Linda!


Bennett Family Reunion

Slice of Life Volume 5

August 29, 2017

Slice of Life Volume 4

Bennett Family Reunion

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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A couple months back I traveled the roads of Jasper County to harvest their town signs. Here is a collection of the non-town sign pictures I took on that trip:


Jasper County
Newton, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Kellogg, Iowa

Jasper County
Oakland Acres, Iowa – A town that shoves it in the face of towns that don’t “heart” their children.

Jasper County

Jasper County
Lynnville, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Sully, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Monroe, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County
I absolutely love this church motto.

Jasper County

Jasper County

I want to visit Jasper County again this year and go to their drive-in movie theater. One of only like 3 left in the state.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY:


WEEK 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Happy photo harvesting!

Postcard Recreation Project – More Churches

This is a reminder that at this point you have 24 hours to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

Note: As of this writing, Iowa State hasn’t made it official that T.J. Otzelberger is Iowa State’s head coach. I will write about that when they make it official.

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Today’s collection of old-timey postcard recreations are of churches in Boone. Featured in here is the Central Christian Church, the First Baptist Church, the Augustana Lutheran Church and the Open Bible Church. I’ve already covered some of the history of the Augustana Lutheran Church and the First Baptist Church, so I won’t rehash that, so here is some history of the Central Christian Church. A church that will always have a special place in my heart, because it was the church of my Grandma and Grandpa Paris. I’ve been to many a family function at that church, but now I don’t think I have a single family member that goes there. Here is a brief history:

For well over 100 years, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has served the community of Boone, Iowa and surrounding areas. Our first church building was dedicated in 1876, the same year the church was founded. A second church structure was erected and dedicated to replace the first building in 1893; that building was destroyed by fire was replaced in 1903. An education building with classrooms and office space was added to the north of the 1903 sanctuary, and was dedicated on Mary 23, 1954. The Fellowship Hall, Fireside Room and kitchen were dedicated in 1970. A modern Sanctuary, Library and Choir Room were dedicated in 1979.

Twenty-nine ministers have served the church as “settled” or permanent pastors since 1884, including one associate minister who served alongside a senior minister from 1993 to 1998. The Rev. G. H. Sutton served the longest pastorate of approximately twelve years from 1930 to 1942. The average pastorate length is four and a half years.

The Open Bible Church has a very weak history section on their website, but here it is:

Open Bible Church has a long history in Boone. The church has been affiliated with Open Bible Churches of Des Moines, Iowa, for over 70 years. It has been at its current location since 1986 and was expanded in 2008.

At least there is something I guess.

Now, I mentioned in the past that the Augustan Lutheran Church and Central Christian Churches swapped buildings in 1895. From the Augustana Lutheran website:

A new church was built in 1879 and a parsonage in 1885. Because passing trains often disturbed the services, in 1895 the property was traded, along with $3000 to the Christian Church for the property at 7th and Carroll Streets. In 1901, a new parsonage was built next to the church. In 1910, a basement was put under the church and extensive repairs were made.

This always confused me because the site of the Central Christian Church is a mere 1 block closer to the railroad tracks than the Augustana Lutheran Church. But there is two things I didn’t understand. That the building that Lutherans traded to the Central Christian Church wasn’t on the corner of 8th and Greene AND the railroad tracks weren’t in the same location as they currently are. Now it makes sense.

Look at this chunk of a map of Boone from 1896:


1896 Boone Map

You can see in that map that in 1896, the year after the trade, the Central Christian Church was on Crawford Street, between 7th and 8th. Not on the corner of 7th and Carroll. And right against the railroad tracks. Also, you will notice that back then Augustana Lutheran was called Swedish Lutheran AND the Open Bible Church had not been built yet.

We’ll also consult this map again in a couple of weeks, but for now, here are some old-timey recreations:


Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa - Original
Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa – Original

Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa – Redux

Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa - Original
Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa – Original

Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa – Redux

First Baptist Church - Boone, Iowa - 2203 - Original
First Baptist Church – Boone – Iowa – 2203 – Original

First Baptist Church - Boone - Iowa - 2203 - Redux
First Baptist Church – Boone – Iowa – 2203 – Redux

This might be the end of church related postcards. I haven’t really come across any others, but the search continues. The next time we check-in with THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT will involve schools.

Postcard Recreation Project – Interurban Depot

I did want to make a personal announcement of minor consequence. Today, my credit card balance is officially back to zero. I didn’t have much credit card balance, but it hadn’t been back down to zero for a few years. Here is the happy moment:


03-09-08
File Photo

So the only person that has anything on me is my mortgage company. At least until my next car purchase, but that is probably about 2 years away.

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This batch of pictures for THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT feature the old Boone depot for the Interurban Railroad. Also known as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Southern Railroad. Also known as The Fort Dodge Line.

The old Boone depot doesn’t exist any longer, so I had to do a little bit of research to figure out where it once was and I had to do that research because I thought I knew where it was, but I was wrong. I knew it was on Story Street, but I thought it was on the west side of the street and on the south side of the tracks. Where the current Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Downtown Depot stands. However, it was actually on the east side of Story Street and the north side of the railroad tracks. I deduced this by looking at addresses in old phone books, a video on YouTube of trains on the line from 1950-55 and also, I confirmed it with my Mom, who used to ride the Interurban to visit family in Fraser as a kid.

Here is some historic information on this railroad from American Rails.com:

The Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railway (reporting marks FDDM) was officially incorporated during the first decade of the 20th century to serve the state capitol of Iowa with points north as an interurban road. However, the history of its line dates as far back as the 1880s, as a standard rail line moving coal from mines in the northern regions of the state. In many ways the FDDM&S (or sometimes referred to as the FtDDM&S or just as its slogan, “The Fort Dodge Line”) never acted like a true interurban although it was once electrically operated and used trolley/interurban equipment. Freight was just as important as passengers and this concept allowed the company to thrive for many years, well after the interurban industry collapsed after the 1920s despite its very high operating ratio. Eventually, the road dieselized and was acquired by the Chicago & North Western in the late 1960s which promptly abandoned it less than 20 years later. Today, part of the route is operated by the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.

The earliest beginnings of the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railway started with the Crooked Creek Railroad, a three-foot narrow-gauge line chartered in 1875. The CCR would complete an eight-mile route from Judd, near Fort Dodge and a connection with the Illinois Central, to Lehigh and a cluster of coal mines. Ten years after it began the CCR upgraded its route to standard-gauge and shortly thereafter in 1892 it purchased the Webster City & Southwestern Railroad. The WC&S was another coal hauler, connecting to the CCR and running 14 miles east to Webster City. These two railroads essentially made up the northern lines of what would later become the FDDM&S. To the south, in 1893, another predecessor was chartered, the Boone Valley Coal & Railway Company.

This system, also a coal hauler, built a small line serving mines near Fraser (northwest of Boone) to nearby Fraser Junction and a connection with the much larger Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway. In 1899, the owners of the BVC&R chartered the Marshalltown & Dakota Railway as an additional coal route with high aspirations of pushing this system from Newton (east of Des Moines) to Sibley, Iowa in the state’s northwest corner. Along the way the line would pass through towns such as Fraser, Story City, Gowerie, and Rockwell City. In 1901 it was renamed as the Boone, Rockwell City & Northwestern Railway, and again in 1902 as the Newton & Northwestern. By 1905 the line was opened from Newton to Rockwell City and also had a branch to Colfax. While over 100 miles in length it never made it any further towards Sibley. New owners acquired the N&NW in 1905 and again renamed property, this time as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad.

While the FDDM&S continued to concentrate on coal it also began to focus on the movement of gypsum near Fort Dodge and general industry located around Des Moines. Additionally, its owners began looking at electrifying part of the railroad as an interurban. It remained focused, however, on freight and in 1906 purchased the Ames & College Street Railway to serve that town. After completing an extension from Hope to Fort Dodge, and establishing an interchange with the Des Moines & Central Iowa it now had a through route between both of the state’s major cities (easily Iowa’s largest interurban). Service along the entire route opened on November 4, 1907. Soon after, its owners realized that the the N&NW’s route from Newton to Rockwell City offered a non-sustainable freight potential and decided to electrifying only part of the route between Hope and Midvale on a 1,200-volt, DC system.

In 1911 the Midvale to Newton section of the N&NW was abandoned and much of the entire FDDM&S route was electrified to some extent. Small editions continued to be added, including a branch from Kelley to Ames (which finally directly connected its Ames & College Street subsidiary) and the purchase of the aforementioned Crooked Creek Railroad in 1916. This route was also energized. For freight service the railroad utilized second-hand General Electric-built freight motors (it acquired more beginning in 1942 from the Oregon Electric) and used Niles Car & Manufacturing Company interurban cars for passenger operations. Part of the reason for the road’s success was not only due to its freight traffic but also had numerous interchange partners (sometimes in more than one location) with Class I lines including the Milwaukee Road, Illinois Central, Chicago & North Western, Burlington, and Rock Island.
The Great Depression hit the line hard and it fell into receivership in 1930, emerging in 1942 as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railway. Beginning in 1954 the FDDM&S began dieselizing its motive power roster while at the same time ended virtually all of its remaining passenger services (branch line services began to be discontinued as early as 1926). Its diesels consisted almost entirely of General Electric products, 44-tonners and 70-tonners along with a Plymouth 65-ton switcher. In 1955 the railroad was purchased by the Salzburg family, which owned a number of shortlines including the Louisiana & North West and Wellsville, Addison & Galeton.

By the 1960s the railroad had cut back to its main line between Des Moines and Fort Dodge with the eastern extension to Webster City. It also was still operating a remaining section of the N&NW between Hope and Gowrie. In 1968 the C&NW acquired the FDDM&S from Salzburg and, unfortunately, was not kind to the road. It immediately began cutting back services and by 1983 was looking to abandon the entire Fort Dodge-Des Moines route. Part of the system, a 12-mile section between Wolf and Boone was spared, and is now operated as the tourist line Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.

That is a lot of history to digest. I found 3 postcards of the old depot and it is a shame that it was torn down. It might not have been a beautiful building, but it was interesting. I hope that somewhere the big concrete Boone at the top of the depot has been preserved, but I’m sure it was probably destroyed with the building.

I decided to only recreate 2 of the 3 postcards, because 2 postcards of a building that doesn’t exist is enough. I also created a modern interpretation of a postcard of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s downtown depot:


FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa - Original
FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa – Original

FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa - Redux
FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa – Redux

Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa - Original
Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa – Original

Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa – Redux

B&SVRR Downtown Depot - Modern Interpretation
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Downtown Depot – Modern Interpretation

Next time we check in with THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT, it will involve some Boone churches.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is PICTURE IN PICTURE:


WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE
PICTURE IN PICTURE

A PICTURE IN PICTURE image isn’t just an outdated feature on a television (maybe it still exists but I haven’t used it since 1983), but it is an existing picture(s) put in your PICTURE. There are several ways to do this. One is simply to photograph an photograph that is on your wall. Another way to do this is grab a box of old prints (for you young bucks, people used to get their pictures “developed” and printed on photo paper) and spread them across a table or floor and take a picture of it. You can organize them in a way that makes sense to you, or just spread them out and enjoy the chaos. Another way to do this would be to open up a folder of images on your computer and use the Snipping tool to create an image of digital thumbnails. I’m sure there is also a way to do this on a Mac, but it probably involves paying an extra $200 for less functionality and a cute little fruit logo. Hopefully, you will find away to take an old picture and find a new way of thinking about it.

Let me just throw this out there… Photomosaic?!?!?

Think about the following quote by Ansel Adams when composing your image:

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
-Ansel Adams

In this project, you are both the photographer and the viewer, even if you weren’t the photographer of the initial image. Meditate on that and I have no doubt you will create a great PICTURE IN PICTURE interpretation.

Happy photo harvesting!

The Stenslands 2020- Alpha

Today is the second Sunday of Lent. I’m going to share a devotional by Reverend Ron Carlson:

Giving up and letting go

Rev. Ron Carlson
John 2:13-22

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.
Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”

Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

It is ironic that the communications folks asked me to develop a devotion based on this passage, known by many as Jesus cleansing the Temple. It is ironic because I can have a bit of a temper and have at times in my life gotten pretty upset. Many times, in an effort to calm me, my wife has reminded me that Jesus did not operate out of anger, but love. I believe that every time she has tried to hold me accountable in this way, I have brought up this story. While many of us have used this story to justify a moment of anger, I don’t necessarily believe Jesus was angry.

Our passage takes place in the temple, as the time of Passover is approaching. When I look at the picture the writer of the Gospel is laying out for us, I imagine more of an open-air market than a sacred space. I picture crowds of people, fast talking vendors, loud noises and enough cattle to keep some of my rural neighbors very busy. It is no wonder that we find it easy to think Jesus was upset when he experienced this in his Father’s house.

We need to remember that Passover was a feast where many traveled to the temple from great distances. We also need to recall that cattle, sheep, and doves were required for burnt offerings, and that the required offerings needed to be perfect. It would not have been possible for travelers to have brought with them the proper offerings. Also, the Roman and Greek coins the pilgrims would have brought along would not have sufficed for their temple tax. Due to the human images on their coins, they needed to be exchanged for Tyrian currency in Jerusalem. While the atmosphere might seem awkward to us, it was needed for worship to occur.

There are some scholars who see Jesus’ actions as an attack on those who are taking advantage of the worshipers. I think we see something broader in scope, In my opinion he was confronting the systems of worship, not the abuse of those systems. Jesus complains that his father’s house has become a place of business. Since this business was necessary to maintain the system of sacrifice and tithes, I see this as Jesus issuing a powerful challenge to the authority of the temple and its worship.

In doing this, Jesus echoes the great tradition of Old Testament prophets who cried out about sacrilegious activities in the temple, against corrupting the worship of God, and substituting ritual for devotion. Prophets who usually began their addresses with “This is the word of God…” Their messages were filled with God’s judgment and grace, they often pointed out where God’s people had strayed from God’s way. Like many prophets before, Jesus’ message is not understood initially, we see that it is only understood through the lens of his death and resurrection.

In the words of Gail R. O’Day, “Jesus challenges a religious system so embedded in its own rules and practices that it is no longer open to a fresh revelation from God, a temptation that exists for contemporary Christianity as well as for the Judaism of Jesus’ day.” What does this challenge mean to you and me? Where are we closed to the idea of something different and what are we holding onto so tightly that we will not be open to the idea of reformation, change or renewal?

Lent is a perfect time for us to reflect on these questions and others like them. Others in this space have noted that Lent is traditionally a season of giving up. Giving up and letting go is an important individual spiritual discipline in this season, because it allows us to draw closer to God. What do we need to give up and let go so that we may draw closer to God? What idols are we clutching so tightly that we are losing feeling in our hands? Would Jesus take the whip and chase these things from the temple?

Almost a year ago we were just beginning to truly understand the pandemic that was upon us as people of this world. Since that time, there have been many things that have changed about Sunday morning. In this time, we have learned to let go of some things that we would not have ever dreamed letting go. Things like responsive readings, singing with gusto and even fellowship time. At some point we will pick some of those things back up because we can, and they are important to us. Are they important to God? I am quite sure there will be other things we will look back on and wonder why we thought they were so important. The important thing is that we have still been able to worship God.

There are many things that we do in our lives because that is just the way we do them. These things may not be important to the desired end result, but they are important because they feel comfortable. I am pretty sure the vendors and coin changers in the Temple were comfortable. They were making a good living, and it looked like nothing would get in the way. They were doing God’s work, helping others to worship God. Then Jesus pointed out where change was needed.
What is Jesus pointing to today in your life? We need to be open to change. To be open to change we need to let go of our idols. What better time than Lent to begin that process. Through Christ and by Christ we can go where we need to be, closer to him.

As we go our separate ways receive this blessing – may “The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.” Amen.

Next Sunday I will share a devotional from Rev. Dr. Heecheo Jeon.

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A few months back when Sabas and Ealinie were back from California for Christmas, I met the Stenslands up at Amanda’s office to do a quick family portrait photo shoot. I only got to see Elainie and Sabas twice while they were back because of the incredibly mismanaged pandemic, just another reason I can’t wait for this to be over. Or at least until I can get vaccinated.

Any ways, here is my first collection of favorites from the photo shoot:


Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

If you want to see more pictures from this photo shoot, click on the link below:

Stenslands – 2020

Also, if you have any kind of real estate needs in Boone or anywhere near Boone, you should 100% hit up Amanda and iHome Realty!

2010-07-07 & 2010-07-12

There aren’t all that many pictures in the folders 2010-07-07 and 2010-07-12, so I decided to combine them and share them together. These are mostly flowers in these folders, but also a couple of fly pictures.


Fly

Fly

A Proud Assertion - 2010

Orphaned Flowers

Left Behind

WEEK 27 - COMMUNICATION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Personal Photo Project #31 = Alternate


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:

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

Orphaned Flowers

RWPE #27 – COMMUNICATION

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve some attempts to photograph lightning.

2010-07-01 & 2010-07-05

There weren’t many pictures in the folder 2010-07-05, so I decided to combine it with 2010-07-01 Skydive 2.

The pictures in the folder 2010-07-01 Skydive 2 are from when Shannon did get to go skydiving. The pictures from 2010-07-05 Market are from when I did a quick spin around Beaver, Iowa to look at the ruins of the once mighty city. Just kidding, Beaver was never mighty, but at least it was the embarrassment that it has become.


Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

Welcome to Beaver, Iowa

WEEK 26 - MARKET - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

The Dumbest Thing Shannon Bardole has Ever Done

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:

WELCOME TO BEAVER, IOWA

RWPE #26 – MARKET

In the post about Beaver, Iowa, there is an interesting discussion in the comments section about which town is worse: Beaver or Dana.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will definitely involve flowers.