Category Archives: Christianity

It’s Hard for Me to Weep When I’m Strong

When I went out in the middle of nowhere Boone County to fly the drone around an old country church to take my RELIGION picture for last week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. I took several photos. Some of the church. Some of the little park across the road. Some of the windswept fields of the nearby farms.

Here are some of the pictures I took on the drone flight:


It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

It's Hard for me to Weep When I'm Strong

Hopefully I can get Rodan139 out this weekend too.

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


WEEK 259 - FLOWER
FLOWER

A FLOWER picture is any picture that involves a FLOWER.

Happy photo harvesting!

WPC – WEEK 257 – MACRO

I need to start today by wishing my eldest sister Teresa a happy birthday. Happy birthday Teresa!


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa Birthday - 2008

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

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Can you believe it? 46 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I thought for sure the derecho would maybe put a hitch in THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE’S giddy up this week. But it was barely even a bump in the road for most of you. The rest of you, I’m going to assume you still don’t have power and your roof is lying in your neighbor’s field.

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


WEEK 257 - MACRO - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 257 - MACRO - BECK PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 257 - MACRO - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 257 - MACRO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 257 - MACRO - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 257 - MACRO - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 257 - MACRO - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

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:


WEEK 258 - RELIGION
RELIGION

RELIGION! What a great theme! But what is a RELIGION photo? A RELIGION photo is a photo of anything that deals with the practice of a RELIGION. From a picture of a holy book or a place of worship or a worship service or a symbol of RELIGION.

I look forward to your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

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

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

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.

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!

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!

Bravard

I’d like to start with a little Good Friday Devotional I found on MethodistThinker.com:


On Good Friday we commemorate that day nearly 2,000 years ago when the way of salvation was opened. Jesus the Messiah, the One who knew no sin, became sin for us and suffered the death we deserved.

As the Apostle Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 5:19, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

A prayer:

Father, how can we thank you enough? You did not spare your own Son, but gave Him up for us. We echo the words of the songwriter who asked, “What wondrous love is this?”

Thank you for Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Now, as He lives in us by the Holy Spirit, may we become living sacrifices, pouring all that we have, all that we are, all that we hope to be into the advancement of your kingdom.

This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the Living One, who was dead and now is alive forevermore.

This will be one Lent that I will truly never forget. It started with some much joy and fellowship on Ash Wednesday and shortly thereafter it will end in quarantine and physical isolation. But the isolation isn’t forever. The physical fellowship will return again.

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Back in October, I got together with the Bravard family to take their family portraits. As is the tradition almost every time I do family portraits, the lighting was brutally harsh, but we got some pictures I like. Have a look:


The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

The Bravards - 2019

It was a lot of fun taking their family photos!

Minnesota State Fair #1

14 work days of working from home in the books. I think the last time I indicated that I was starting to get a system going. Now I can say that I’m starting to get comfortable working from home. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’ll pumped when it is safe to work from the office again, but I mean that my FOMO is tamping down quite a bit.

That being said, Naima has been pretty much a Sleepy McGee during the day and left me alone to work. However, today she was a ball of fire. I think it is because I have new neighbors that have moved in next door and they have a dog named Gator. Naima and Gator like to “play” by running up and down the fence together. It is a positive that Naima has a new friend. If there is anybody that is really bad about social distancing, it is golden retrievers.

The new neighbors seem good. When Linda moved out, she left a Hawkeye windsock hanging off the back of the house. As the new neighbors have moved in, I’ve been watching that windsock. After 5 days, it is still there. Unfortunately.

Last night I got to introduce myself to the patriarch of the household. I mentioned that I have been waiting for that windsock to go down. The windsock will be staying up. They are Hawkeye fans. Other than this obvious shortcoming, they seem like they will be good neighbors.

An update on what I have been listening to while I work from home:

I still listen to 96.1 from 7 to 9 in the morning. Listening to Christian music does help center me and is a good reminder that while we may feel alone in this pandemic, we are not alone. Not by a long shot.

Then from 9-11 I listen to the Master Playlist. You don’t know about the Master Playlist. It is a playlist of songs I put together for my last birthday party. It is 1,585 songs. 102 hours of music. I am listening to it to cut some of the fat. I’m up to track #307 right now. The acoustic version of “100 Years” by Five For Fighting. Not to be confused by the radio version of “100 Years” by Five for Fighting. That is track #303 silly.

Then from 11 to noon I eat lunch. Watch one episode of THE OFFICE. Then I shower. Lotion up. Gotta keep them feet soft. Put on a fresh set of clothes. Then I’m ready to take the world back on.

From 12-2 or so, I listen to the Master Playlist some more. At I turn on Murph and Andy and they take me to 4, when I clock out and call it a day.

14 days done. Who knows how many more to go, but I am beyond blessed to still be able to work 40 hours a week, have health insurance, and collect a paycheck every other week.

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Here is part of devotional I found on the Methodist Women website that I thought I would share:

John 13:34-35

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35

Jesus calls out the importance of love to his disciples, the importance of loving one another. Love is the only way, the only path to grow with, the mark of a disciple as beloved, the keeper of the fellowship of disciples. Love is central to Jesus’ mission.

Even as he knows the pending betrayal by Judas and Peter’s denial of him, Jesus demonstrates love by washing their feet like a slave does.

Jesus is focused in his teachings on the centrality of loving one another, so that love will not be broken by troubles and doubts among the disciples.

Jesus glorifies God as the highest, the one source of the new commandment to love and act as one beloved community. The parallel verse to this new commandment is in John 15:12-14, laying down one’s life for the love of friends, and for all friends to do the same. It lifts up the heroic act, giving one’s life for others. Love is the formation of community, and love becomes eternal.

Jesus’ pronouncement in John 10:10 is made real.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, help us to rest in your words of love, and loving our neighbors who are suffering, be with us in search of the true meaning of life you offered and find us to be faithful in helping build communities of love, nurture and care. In your name we pray, Amen.

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Last August I went to the Minnesota State Fair with Bethany, Becca, Jonah, and Shawn. I do have to say this, “whoever said that the Minnesota State Fair is better than that Iowa State Fair is seriously disturbed.”

That being said, the Minnesota State Fair is definitely worth visiting. It is crazy overcrowded, but there is more than enough to keep a person entertained!

Here are some pictures:


Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
I can’t tell if this is genius or madness, but I love them!

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
I don’t know what Swedish Egg Coffee is, but it sounds disgusting.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

The one thing I was told not to miss at the Minnesota State Fair is the cookies in the bucket. We did get some and they did not disappoint, but that that is a story for another entry though.

What I want to point out is that another thing the Minnesota State Fair is famous for is a place that sells bottomless cup of milk. The tragedy of this situation is that they aren’t right next to either. In fact, they aren’t even close.

Oh the humanity!

2009-09-09

The pictures in the folder 2009-09-09 are from two road trips I took back in 2009. One was a trip with my Mom, Grandma, and Teresa to Kalona. Kalona has always been one of my favorite places to visit. It has been too long since I have been there, that is for sure.

The second road trip was one I took with Jay and Jesse to visit Faust up in Mankato. It also has been too long since I have visited Faust. I don’t lack proper motivation. Mankato has a sweet Godzilla statue that I still haven’t seen.

Here are some pictures from those road trips:


Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

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:

Vacation Stuff – One

Vacation Stuff – Two

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve some family photos I did for Jim’s lady friend Pam.

Birthday Road Trip – Misc.

Hey! Guess what? One week from today is Ash Wednesday! Do you know what that means? It means that it is another chance to come support the Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Indianapolis!

We will be holding a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser from 6-7 PM at the Boone First United Methodist Church. You can come down there and slop down some delicious spaghetti for whatever price you deem acceptable. Just throw some of your spare scratch in the donation basket and knock down as much spaghetti as your heart can take. Some garlic bread too!



All the information you need is right there. Hope to see many of you there!

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This is the second to last collection of images from my Birthday Road Trip. This is a collection of some random stops and places that just didn’t quite have enough pictures to warrant their own post. Places like Fort Atkinson and The Small Church near Festina.


2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

2019 Birthday Road Trip - Misc

The last collection of images from my Birthday Road Trip are the cruddy cell phone pictures I took that day.