Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Snapped

My brother Mike was a photographer. He had an uncanny eye to catch things unseen by the average person. He could see things in people that most of us would choose not to see. He could find the beauty and capture it on film. He was like that in life. People were very comfortable around him. You felt more relaxed, more beautiful, more you. When he died, there was a gaping hole in my heart. I desperately needed to laugh again. I needed to see that things were going to be alright again. I needed to see the glory of God in my day to day surroundings.

I picked up a camera. At first it was a little Sony 8megapixel that I had bought to take pictures of my first daughter. I was desperate to see glimpses of God in creation, in faces, in clouds. I saved up and bought a Canon Digital Rebel. I snapped and snapped and snapped. I didn't recognize what I was doing for a long time. I did not see that I had begun doing this almost immediately after my brother had died. Somehow, it makes me feel close to him and the cathartic action makes me feel healed by God as I look at photographs that catch the moments we miss every day. 

Now, I am using this healing passion to do something for others. I have been selling my photography to   restore our house so that we can lend healing to the broken, the addicted. Every face I come across is the face of one of my brothers that has passed away. May God bring healing here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

Prepare your heart to begin again. Be strong. Be courageous. Release fear. Let loose of discouragement. I AM with you wherever you go. Don't you dare give up. Begin again.

Joshua 1:9

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Little Rebel Becomes A Saint

Laomai and I recently began reading the books in the Childhood Character series by Ralph Bouma. It designed for 9 to 13 year olds, but my four year old loves it. We read a chapter a day and she couldn't wait to hear what happened to the character next. It teaches lessons that build faith and develop character.

New Edition of another 19th century classic! Charles, a rambunctious orphan, is adopted by a wealthy older couple, but it quickly becomes clear that his adoptive father, Mr. Raymond, is a very ungodly man, while Mrs. Raymond is a devoted Christian woman. 

Throughout Charles' childhood, Mrs. Raymond patiently but firmly trains Charles in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, as he struggles to learn the ways of the Lord. Charles constantly finds himself tempted to many disobedient behaviors. Through the trials, blessings, and lessons of Charles' life, children learn many truths about walking with God and resisting the temptations that arise out of the evil in our own hearts.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Gourmet Green Eggs & Ham

If you are looking for a little less relish and a little more spice from your eggs, try this recipe.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gomer Ships

I have sold about $1,300.00 in my quest for a new kitchen. That provides me with my copper dream sink and a faucet. Now, I can start working towards new cabinets and a floor. Then the dream will be to get a new fridge (ice box as I call it), stove, and dish washer. Oh the joys of modern conveniences. Oh, the joy of a floor. 

Synda was here working on the door again. It is her pet project.
The last few weeks we have been on the road. We have ministered to family and ministered at a week of camp for a Christian school. That means little got done at our house. That's hard, but it also gives us a huge desire to work when we get home. 

I have been talking to God about writing another book. My friend Pauline asked me last week if I wanted a desk that she had gotten from an attorney's office in Houston. Do you think it's a sign? The other funny thing is that a friend of mine has a desk very similar to it and I have long admired it. 

I have been doing some photo sessions to help raise money for Gomer. I may be letting the cat out the bag on their Christmas cards. I just thought I would let you see a sneak peek. 

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! May you be richly blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Am Really Thankful For

Everyone does this "what I am thankful for" each day on their facebook status updates in the month of November. I have been participating. I am really thankful for everything in my life. I am thankful for the deep things of God all around us. I am even thankful for the shallow things of this life.

I have to admit what is really going on in my mind while I am writing things out each day. I am thinking that I am thankful that my daughters will not grow up in a culture that sells them into the sex trade. I am thankful that they will not know the horrors of sex trafficking. I am thankful that I do not know it myself. I am thankful that we have not sacrificed our children to the idol of culture and society. I am thankful that we do not live where war atrocities grip common life. I am thankful that my children will be given a chance to know Christ as He truly is. I grateful to get to educate at home and to be home. I am fall down on my face thankful to get to love people who are hurting so deeply that there are no words. Christ is good. How dare we complain.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

I want to take a different approach to this today. I have been wanting to change it up and make a new picture for the segment. 

The other day I was laying in my bed thinking about the ministry associated with the coach from Penn State that is being investigated for sexually assaulting a child. I started wondering if he had used a biblical theme to bas the name of his charity on. The Second Mile. In common terminology, people say to go the extra mile, but saying second mile bore the direct resemblance to Matthew 5:41. 
"If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." That line is what he used to form his organization. 

I just sat there for a second. I was staring at the words and I began to tear up.  I had made the mistake of reading how they found the man abusing a child. I felt sick that he had done this and lured these young boys under the guise and face of Christ. I wondered if he had been abused by a religious authority himself. Then I heard a familiar voice whisper, 
"I am not in that. Pray for their healing." 

Let's do that. Lets pray for the healing of those brutalized by this man. Let's pray for him. May the face of Christ not be so marred to them to keep them from Him. May they rest at the true feet of our Saviour. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Decision Points by George W. Bush

Decision Points is not your typical memoir. George did not try to write it as a series of events that happened while he was in office or as a long list of facts about his life. He wrote it from the perspective of his human experience as the President of the United States. He carried the country through 9/11, war, and held strong to his beliefs in key decisions. 

A friend of mine told me that this was a good read regardless of whether you are in agreement with George W. Bush's politics or not. I have to agree. I personally thought he did an excellent job as our govenor. He achieved all of the things he said he would do in his campaign. Then I watched the media rip the man to shreds as he was in the office of president. I enjoyed reading his perspective on the events he faced. He really shows you his humanity and the struggles he went through trying to serve our country. He speaks of his life, the people who became dear to him, the people who betrayed him, and the hard lessons he learned. I came away with a new and improved view of George Walker Bush. I can see that he is not the man the media portrayed him to be. He is intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate. This truly is an excellent read regardless of your stance on his decisions.

This book was graciously provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Final 7in7

I apologize on behalf of my wife.  She does such a faithful job of blogging every day.  This past week, she was incredibly generous to allow me her blog space to share songs I'm writing as part of the "7in7" songwriter's challenge.  And challenge it has been.  I've missed a few days, and so her blog has been absent the past few days.  We've been on the road the past 3 days, plus with being a dad, my day always seems full.  Finding time to not just write a song, but to also sit down, record it and post it is tough to do 7 days in a row.  If you've been counting, this is actually only #5 in 7.....but this is officially the last day of the challenge, so that's good enough for me.  It has been a useful but incredibly frustrating exercise.  

I told Stephanie that the hardest thing for me was that it's completely foreign to how I normally write songs.  God usually gives me songs one of two ways:  Sometimes, he'll give me a song immediately, and it will flow onto paper in about 10 minutes.  "Astounding God" was one of those.  And sometimes, he'll give me an idea to ponder....sometimes for a very long time.  I'll write bits and pieces and phrases down, and then maybe not come back to them for a year or so.  "I'm saved" was one of those songs.

So this idea of trying to sit down and come up with something out of the blue was pretty difficult for me.  Hence, you probably won't find any of these songs on my next album.  :)  Here's the last one: 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More 7in7

Denbigh if you've been following my wife's blog the past few days (and I kind of hope you haven't), you notice that I'm posting a lot.  I'm part of a songwriting group that is undertaking a challenge....7 songs in 7 days.  Every day I have to write a song, complete it, and post it somewhere on the internet.  The problem with that is, most of the songs won't be that good.  But all the songs have to be posted.  Alas.....them's the rules.  Here's tonight's song:

This one kind of came out as a hymn.  Please forgive my voice.  It's horribly struggling this week.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Once again, I(Denbigh) have a song for the 7in7 challenge.  This song is just.....silly.  This is one of those songs you write because your mind is gone and you've been around children all day.  Anyways here it is:

Please bear in mind that this is a very rough recording, my voice has been shot for days, there was a hole in my mitt and the sun was in my eyes.  (Man, I hope no one is reading her blog this week.)  Did I say that out loud?


This is, this week I'm taking part in a songwriting adventure called "7in7".  Worship leader Aaron Ivey has organized a group of songwriters to write 7 songs in 7 days.  Quite a challenge.  The catch is, you have to post each of your songs somewhere for others to hear.  So today I chose my wife's blog.  The 7in7 is quite daunting, because it forces you to write and finish a song every day......even if the song stinks.  Which happened to me yesterday.  Tonight wasn't going so good either.  I was highly unmotivated and my voice just didn't really feel like singing.  Thankfully, our college student live-in at Gomer's House was home, Aaron Harper, who also happens to be a worship leader.  He sat with me at the piano and we cranked this out in about 10 minutes.

This is me on piano and Aaron on vocals.  Please bear in mind that the recording is very, very rough.  We just sung into my iPhone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

Draw up into My healing. It is time for your heart to loose the things it holds onto, the things that hold it. Today, you grow up. Today, you no longer you learn to eat good things. Do not focus on who those around you say that you are or you are not. Pull up a chair. Break your desire to please others. I have anointed you. ME. I have prepared a feast for you before your enemies. ME. I have placed this cup before you. ME. Delight yourself in Me.

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

Psalm 23:5

For more about this segment, see this post.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

O, Gomer, You're so fine.

 We are always in full swing here at Gomer's House. This week, Denbigh has mostly been concentrating on getting foam board on the ceilings between the second and third floors. It is amazing what it will do to a space. We go from dark, drafty longleaf pine to the bright happiness of living inside an igloo cooler. Of course, as lovely as it is, it will get covered with sheetrock and antique tiles. 

I have mostly been in the studio working on photographs and paintings. I sold 20 this past week. You can imagine, it kept me busy. I am working on getting everything in an etsy shop as well. Thank you to everyone who has purchased some artwork from me to help us with the restoration effort. We are deeply concerned about those around us and your help is priceless to us. Thank you.
 "Wandering Heart" This is being shipped out of state tomorrow. This is 16x20 available for $20.00.
 This is in the master bedroom.
 The bathroom on the second floor.
 Yes, there is a table full of canvases, but I am showcasing the new curtains. 
 We are slowly and surely plodding along with our repainting amidst all of the other things that we are doing. 
 The front door. 
Here is another little canvas I did. It is for a little girl's room. I am wrapping it in a prayer for salvation and adding some ribbon to hang it from. $15.00

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Capitol of Texas Zoo

Beautiful Stephanie is very tired tonight and not feeling all that well, so as her protective husband, I'm standing in the gap for her.

Today, we were running some errands around South Austin, so we decided to schedule a trip to the zoo as well.  There are actually 2 zoos in Austin, which is kind of surprising.  We've been to the zoo in west Austin before.....quite a let down.  I got challenged and nearly attacked by a baboon, and we went on a lame train ride....that's about all I remember from that visit.  There is another zoo on the east side of Austin, kind of close to Bastrop, and that's where we went today.

As we drove out to the zoo, which was in the absolute middle of nowhere, the first thing we noticed was the mile long entrance of gravel.  No, not even gravel....big, heavy rocks.  This wouldn't have been such a concern, but earlier in the day we had a flat tire and were worried about it going flat again.

The zoo itself was decent enough and pretty diverse......snakes, turtles, a croc, all kinds of deer, antelope and goats.  Plenty of birds, peacocks, bats, a few monkeys, even a lion and a tiger.  It really wasn't all that bad for a zoo in the middle of nowhere.  It just kind of seemed like.....not a zoo.  More like a some guy's acreage that he decided to build some shabby fences and cages to hold his pets in.  I kept looking at some of the structures and praying that they would hold least until we were back in the car.  

I also had to witness the owner yelling at one of the girls who worked there.  She had taken her boyfriend in the lion's den (how's THAT for a metaphor), and the owner was really upset....something about liability, a $3000 fine and her possibly getting fired.  Anyways, kind of an awkward thing when I'm standing there with my girls.

Overall, it wasn't that bad, but if you can make it San Antonio or even Waco, you'll get a much better zoo experience.  However, if people keep going into the lion's den, you just KNOW that something YouTube worthy is bound to happen.  :)


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

Filter your life through My desires. What I have for you is good. What I have for those around you is good. Though you may be persecuted and hated because of Me, pursue my good for those around you and for yourself. Be steadfast. Hold on to the hope of Christ. 
Have faith. 

"reject every kind of evil." 
-1 Thessalonians 5:22

For more on this segment, see this post.

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

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