Friday, August 29, 2008

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn...

Lightning at SBC

(Yes, I know the Bible does not mention lightning.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving, planning on or know someone who is moving?

The following are photos of two amazing people. I have been blessed to be able to work with Susan on a teaching series for her ministry "Just Moved!". I have started to get to know her hubby during this time. What servants hearts!!!

If you have moved, or know someone who is in the process, I would highly recommend checking out the ministry website. Click HERE.

Or you can watch a "Moving Minute" on Youtube. Click HERE.

Susan

Bill

Straggler photo from Sunday

Bradley girls 03

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A warm and fuzzy moment.

Okay, if you have had a conversation with me that goes something like this, "Animals?? Eeeeweeee!!", and you KNOW who you are, this video is NOT for you. :-)

For everyone else, here is a moment that will have you going, "Awwwwwwwww".


video

My prayer today.

I was unable to find the song so you could listen to it as you read the lyrics. I highly recommend listening to him sing these lyrics.

Sam's Song by Chris Rice


Grass is always greener on the other side
The search is never over in the pastures of my mind
Is the meaning of happiness drowning in smiles
Or that dreadful world I left behind?
O Lord grant the grace to accept who I am
Who I am, that You have designed

I know theres a plan that you have up your sleeve
Rabbi, teach me the faith to believe
Its the only way my life will ever make sense to me
Oh, la-da-da, la-da-da, la-da-da

I can never measure, cause better things are all around
I'd be bitter and chained to the beauty I never found
But the strength of my Lords love, it shatters the scale
And its depth gives a new peak to climb
And it grants me the grace to accept who I am
Who I am, that You have designed

I know theres a plan that You have up Your sleeve
Rabbi, teach me the faith to believe
Its the only way my life will ever make sense to me

And my resting place is taught by love
Its the only peace I know of . . . oh I know of

So when my heart is beaten by the standard of the law
I just remember Jesus, and I have found my favor with God
Cause the fire of my Lords love it burns up the scale
And its depth gives a new peak to climb
And it grants me the grace to accept who I am
Who I am, that You have designed

And I know theres a plan that You have up Your sleeve
Rabbi, teach me the faith to believe
Its the only way my life will ever make sense to me
Oh la-da-da, la-da-da, la-da-da
La-da-da, la-da-da
La-da-da, da-da-da

Monday, August 25, 2008

Buried Alive Clarification...

My post of a couple of days ago has hit a nerve. GOOD!!! We need to know about situations that need prayer and action.

However, I did want to clarify one thing. I have heard from some people that they thought the clip shown from the docudrama that David Cunningham was filmed during one of these tribal burials. It was not.

The following was taken from the official website:

The documentary film HAKANI was made in cooperation with ten different tribes. This unprecedented demonstration of unity shows the determination of many indigenous peoples who want their voice to be heard.

Most of the children who act in the film are rescued victims of infanticide. Some of whom were literally dug up by relatives or neighbors. What other situation has children been able to literally act out the injustices done to them?

The indigenous adults playing in the film are also either survivors of infanticide or people who have saved a child who was destined to death.

No children were hurt in the making of this film. The burial scenes although very real looking were done with cinematic tricks right out of Hollywood. In fact Hollywood director David L. Cunningham used chocolate cake not even real dirt. A game was made out of the scene where all the children were invited to eat the “dirt” and then through trick photography and editing the burials scenes were crafted.

The young child playing Hakani drank from a puddle of chocolate milk and ate gummy worms.

The second part of the documentary includes testimonies of Indians sharing their terrible experiences with infanticide and they are urging their people to stop this practice.

We are thrilled to note that the real Hakani’s therapist has said that the making of the film has been very healthy for Hakani. Hakani has memorized every line in the film and for the first time since her rescue is talking and singing in her native language of Suruwaha once again!

With this said, please continue to lift this up in prayer. If you are on Facebook, you can join the Hakani group and be kept up-to-date on the situation as it proceeds through the government.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photos

Zion

Bradley Mcabe

Bradley Mcabe 01

Dawn Kids and Friends

Bradley girls

Bradley girls 02

Da girls

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Buried Alive...

A survivors story.

(Original newspaper article from Telegraph UK can be found by clicking HERE. )

Babies born into some Indian tribes in the Amazon are being buried alive, a practice that is being covered up by the Brazilian authorities out of respect for tribal culture.

The tradition is based on beliefs that babies with any sort of physical defect have no souls and that others, such as twins or triplets, are also "cursed".

Infanticide has claimed the lives of dozens of babies each year, say campaigners fighting to end the practice.

Babies who are girls, who have some disability or who have unmarried mothers are all in danger of an early death in a shallow grave in the rainforest. Others are suffocated with leaves, poisoned or simply abandoned in the jungle.


According to Dr Marcos Pelegrini, a doctor working in the Yanomami Tribe Health Care District, 98 children were killed by their mothers in 2004 alone.

Campaigners say that the true figure is obscured by officials who often record cases of infanticide as simple malnutrition. At the same time, family anguish over infanticide has led to many adult tribal members committing suicide.


Attempts to change tribal attitudes and counter official indifference are being led by a Brazilian couple, Marcia and Edson Suzuki. They have worked with one tribe, the Suruwaha, for 20 years.
Mr Suzuki, the founder of a campaign group called Atini - Voice for Life - said: "We are fighting against doctors and anthropologists who say we must not interfere with the culture of the people."

Such attitudes are exemplified by Dr Erwin Frank, an anthropology professor at the Federal University of Roraima State in the Amazon.
Speaking of the tribes, he said: "This is their way of life and we should not judge them on the basis of our values. The difference between the cultures should be respected."

Like other tribes, the Suruwahá considers that if a child has any deformity or disability, it does not have a soul and so - as an animal - should be killed.


Some tribes also believe it is a curse to give birth to more than one baby at a time. In the Suruwahá tribe, a pregnant girl will walk into the jungle by herself to give birth. She then cuts the baby's umbilical cord, buries the placenta and returns to the village with her child.

Sometimes the woman will simply leave the child in the jungle to die if it is a girl or if she is not married.

The Suzukis recounted the harrowing story of one girl, Hakani, who they saved from death and
adopted.

Born in 1995, Hakani - which means Smile - was still unable to walk or talk by the age of two,
prompting tribal leaders to conclude she had no soul and to order her parents to kill her. They committed suicide - eating a poison root - rather than obey the order.

Hakani's 15-year-old brother was then told he had to kill her. He dug a hole to bury her next to the village hut, which is where the tribe usually buries animals, and hit her over the head with a machete to knock her out.


However, she woke up as she was being placed in the hole and the boy found he could not go through with the killing. Hakani's grandfather then shot her with an arrow. He was so upset he tried to commit suicide, too.


But Hakani survived, although her wound became infected and she was left to live like an animal in the forest for three years.
At the age of five she was very undersized, still unable to walk and abused by other Indians. She survived only because a brother smuggled food to her.

The Suzukis begged Funasa, the Brazilian government's health department, to let them take Hakani out of the tribe to get medical help.
"Funasa could not help because their official view is to respect the culture of the people and let the children die. If we took Hakani out we could be sued," said Mrs Suzuki.

Warned that they could be responsible for the child's death, Funasa eventually relented.

Under the Suzukis' care, Hakani was walking and talking within a year. While she suffers from hypothryoidism - an underactivity of the thryroid gland which affects brain development - she is able to attend a mainstream school.


Brazilian politicians are currently debating a Bill to outlaw infanticide. It is known as Muwaji's Law, named after a Suruwahá woman who refused to bury alive her own baby.


--End of Story--

Or is it?

I am a YWAM'er. Ther is a saying, "Once a YWAM'er, ALWAY's a YWAM'er". You are probably wondering, "What the heck is a YWAM'er? Is it contagious? Did she get it during her time in Africa?"

A YWAMer is someone who has been with the missions organization Youth With A Mission. It was a radical idea back in the 1960's when Loren Cunningham saw Christian youth impacting the world for Christ. Something completely unheard of, and, well, just not done back then. You had to be a seminary graduate before ever considering being a missionary.

David L Cunningham is Loren's son and a filmmaker. He has done several large films, such as "To End All Wars" with Kiefer Sutherland and probably one most of you might remember, "The Path to 9/11".

David has done a docudrama about this horrific practice that was taking place in the Amazon jungle. The story is well told and heartbreaking.

You can check out the website for the movie (http://www.hakani.org/en/default.asp) and read more about this evolving story. You can download the movie from the website. It is a little over 30-minutes, but something you should watch.

This subject still needs our prayers. On July 17, 2008, David L Cunningham posted this on the Hakani group Facebook page:

Dear friends - today Muwaji's Law was recognized and officially endorsed! This impossible victory now means that the issue of infanticide and indigenous apartheid MUST be processed at a National Level when the Congress reconvenes this fall (see full report below from Enock Freire who is in Brazil witnessing this unfold). Thank you friends for all of your time, giving, prayers and support - it ACTUALLY worked!!!!!! There will be more battles ahead for our Brazilian family and we invite you to continue to fight with them. We will send out further explanations and implications shortly. God is good. David Cunningham

This is a story in which Christ will be glorified!


(Disclaimer: There is tribal nudity and disturbing violence depicted in this movie trailer.)




Friday, August 22, 2008

It's official.

I'm OLD(er)!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good-bye Snickers.

I received an email yesterday from my next door neighbor telling me that her kitten, who has been diagnosed with a incurable disease, had taken a turn for the worse. She was unsure if she was going to last much longer.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I received a text message from Sharon informing me that she was taking Snickers on her last drive to the vet.

I caught the two of them as they were leaving and was able to cuddle Snickers and say good-bye. It was very sad.

A couple of weeks ago I kitty sat for Sharon and took photos of her two little ones. I was able to give her a good memory of Snickers.

Snickers

Here is her other one. Kit-Kat.

Kit Kat 03

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Floating feelings.

Today's video find is not as amazing as the website it led me to. While you can take a look at the video, be aware that it is 20+minutes. I made it as far as perhaps 6 minutes before this guys website caught my attention and the more I played on the site, the less interested I was in watching the rest of the video. I have added the entire video at the end of this entry if you care to watch all of it. Perhaps I'll get back to it a bit later. (UPDATE: I watched the rest of the video and I would highly recommend it!!)

The REAL find is this guys website.

http://www.wefeelfine.org/


When you go there, click on "Open We Feel Fine".

What will open up, and will take some time to load, is a bunch of colored circles and squares floating around the new window. (It almost looks like one of the video games from my childhood.)


NOW, here is where it gets cool. This guy, Jonathan Harris, has created this program that searches the internet for the word "Feel" and compiles it into all sorts of data.

If you move your mouse over one of the colored specks, you will catch a glimpse into someone's life.

The circles are sentences:

I feel like I've really let myself go lately and my quiet time has become all but nonexistent. I talk to God. I think about God. I'm aware of God, but as far as reading the Bible, I'm struggling. I guess I'm asking for a renewed desire to read His truth

The squares are photos:


FYI, I did not search and search to find my two examples. These were the two that I clicked on as I was writing this entry.

It also tells you all sorts of other information, such as which are the saddest cities or the sickest. Gilbert, Arizona was listed as one of the sickest right now. I'm planning on keeping clear of anyone living there right now. Very interesting.

I'm going to go play. I want to go see how other people around the world are feeling right now. I'm kind of tired of dealing with my own feelings.

(I wonder if any of my blog will make it onto his site.)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beam me up Scotty!

Don, Bradley and I were having our meeting today when Don made mention about an article he had seen in the Arizona Republic. It was about a church using a new innovation where instead of having a "video venue", they had the Pastor in a second location via hologram.

NO!! I said that was way to Star Trek for me. But, lo and behold, it's true.

Are you a September baby???

No?

Well, I'm sure you know someone born in September! You're probably going to by them a gift, or at least spend $5 on a card. How about doing something a bit different this year?

Charity Water is a great missions organization founded by Scott Harrison. I came to know of Scott when I was in Liberia. He volunteered for Mercy Ships prior to my arrival.

His heart was so moved by what he saw that the direction of his life was changed forever. His purpose now it to provide clean water to the people of Africa. His birthday is in September and last year, instead of gifts, he asked for people to donate to dig wells in Kenya.

I know I have been posting a lot of videos here lately. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE watch this one.



You can go to the website and be a part of something HUGE.

http://www.charitywater.org/birthdays/intro/trailer.html

How do you sing "Tradition" in Japanese?

It always amazes me when a song becomes a hit in one language and gets translated into another. It's not the language switch that I'm in awe of, it's the fact that the words in the second language are translated not only to keep the same theme, but it also has to keep the same melody. Am I the only one that thinks about things like this?

Take a peak at this video to really drive the point home.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Anyone?? Anyone???

Does anyone have a solution??

Awwwww moments.

Friday I will be 41-years old. Where has the time gone??

3-months old at a picnic in the park.

My Mom and Dad's wedding. I was the one of the ring bearers.
4-years, 10-months.

Every little girls dream. Visiting family in Ohio. Three or four-years old.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blast from the past.

I was trying to find a CD that has some old photos on it. I was not successful in finding what I was looking for. Instead, I found a forgotten treasure.

I lived in South Africa for about 3 1/2 years. I don't want to say they were the best years of my life, but they are pretty darn close.

In 2001 I went to South Africa to do the School of Biblical Studies; A school with Youth With A Mission's University of the Nations (YWAM). After three-months of intense study, I went on a two week vacation with a friend of mine. We found a place that became a haven for me in the remainder of my time "in country".

It was a restaurant in a little fishing village very close to the most southern part of the African continent. The following was the treasure I found. It was written around Christmas 2001 and I originally wrote it to share with my eldest brother who is serving a long prison term. I don't think I ever sent it to him.

I hope as you read it you are transported to this magical place that still lives in my memories.
______________________________________________________________

I’m sitting in a small little restaurant in Arniston, South Africa. It is a place with a lot of character and atmosphere, that’s for sure. It reminds me of the place in North Phoenix where they cut men’s ties off and place them on the ceiling, Pinnacle Peak Patio, I think that's the name of that place. It's been so long since I lived in Phoenix that my memory fails me just now.

Instead of cutting off men’s ties, they allow people to write on the walls. It is very interesting to read some of the things people have written. Some people just want to make their names remain behind, others want to try to impart some deep thoughts to enlighten those following behind them: “Viva Mexico” or “Marriage is the reason to live.”

So many people want to leave their words of wisdom or temporary immortality on the walls that some have been lost to a coat of paint to allow others to have their say. The painter was not discerning when he took his paint brush to the wall and some of the sayings only have half the content they did when the original authors penned them. “kson, gia USA” is all the remains of one persons attempted to keep his name alive after he is gone. If an archeologist a thousand years from now were to explore the writings on this wall, he would be at a loss to determine the meaning behind these nonsensical letters scribbles on a wall.


The gentleman who owns and runs this place is probably in his late 60’s and roams around the room, greeting his guests. If you let him, he will tell you his life story.

He talks about when he lived in Zimbabwe and the shame of what is what is happening there now. You can tell he still has a lot of the same separatist ideals. Apartheid is still alive in the hearts of a lot of the older white people.

He also tells of his two previous restaurant adventures. These stories are not told so much in his conversations with his patrons, but on the walls. They are covered with photographs of him in his former establishments. Perhaps some of the people are famous in South Africa or perhaps they are just famous to him, but they live on in his current establishment. Their smiles penetrate into this new building which, in its former life, was a home for milk cows. Funny, there are no reminders of the cows in this restaurant, well, unless you count the ones sitting on the patrons plates.

There is candlelight glittering around the room like the stars on a moonless night. They flicker when the black waitress rushes past. It is this sudden rush of wind that causes the wax to run down the wine bottle candle holder. If I didn’t know where I was, I might think for a quick moment that I was in a French restaurant right in the heart of the Paris.

But I would quickly be snapped back into reality by the cricket match playing on the television. That would never be shown in France. Football yes, but never cricket.

A cat just brushed past my leg looking for a little tidbit from a guest’s plate. Sometimes he’s in luck, other times he gently gets brushed off the chair. After making his rounds he returns to the window under the rouse of cleaning himself, but I think he is keeping his eye out for the next, new potential benefactor who might provide him with that long, sought after tidbit.

Or perhaps he is just looking for one of the two dogs that also make the dining room their evening lounge area.

The cat seems to miss the hunt that awaits him on the walls. Plastic 3-D fish swim over the walls making the fish swimming in the fish tank feel as though they were in the great ocean and not their small aquarium. Reminds me of how we place mirrors on our walls to give a small room that “spacious” feeling. I wonder if the fish are fooled.

A woman heard me give my order and turned to ask where I’m from. It always delights South Africans when I tell them that I feel more at home in their country than I do in my own. I’m not sure I would have the same reaction to someone who said that about America. Perhaps that is my self-centered American culture coming out.

Our conversation stops abruptly when she asks what I do for a living. When she hears that I volunteer for the University of the Nations' School of Biblical Studies, the sparkle that came to life when I flattered her and her country suddenly died. She abruptly turned to resume her conversation with her friends. It’s an event that I am getting used to. You would be amazed how the friendliness turns to terror when they begin to fear being hit over the head with the Word of God.

The “hostess” is quite an intriguing person. She is colored and not black. Thanks to apartheid, South Africans have different ways to classify skin colors here. You kind of get a feeling she is trying to break out of that classification system with her bright orange hair that is almost like the sun making a brief appearance during the twinkling of the “star-candles”.

Her personality is just as bright. When she comes to see to your needs she smiles like you are the only person in the restaurant. I wonder how many times she has received a smile like that when she is served in a restaurant.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Campaign for REAL beauty.

I love photoshop!!! I know it has amazing power. I don't know all the skills I want to know, but it amazes me when I see people who can "work magic" with it.

One of the downsides is how the modeling industry relies on it so much that the images we are bombarded with are not true. There is no perfect female body.

Watch this transformations:

Funny photos

I'm still uploading photos to my Flickr account and thought you might enjoy seeing some humorous moments from my time in Liberia.

Again, like the "ice cream" photo I posted yesterday, these were all shot from the passenger seat of a Land Rover and we tooled down the "roads", and I use that work loosly, of Monrovia.

Take a look at the scene and especially read any signs in the image.

_MG_0081
I often excel in my dreams.

_MG_0059
This one I will help you out with because you can't see the entire sign because the guy is blocking it with his arm. It reads, "Fine Girls Welcome". Now what "fine" girl would not want to come to this industrious looking "Business Center"?

_MG_0391
No CD's here.

_MG_0435
Men's shop.

20080306_0278
I never had the opportunity to try any of the "Roasted Cow Meat" from one of these carts, but almost all of them had similar women painted on them.
"Mmmm, me woman. Me like meat!!"

20080305_0405
Go get your own hole!!

Stories behind the click

I cringe when people refer to me as a professional photographer. That one little word adds so much pressure. Is the aperture set properly? How about the ISO? Should I frame the shot tight or loose?

I shoot stills because I love to capture the moment. I make my living as a video director for a church in Scottsdale, but my first passion is stills. My co-worker's wife took a photo of their youngest daughter jumping on a trampoline. It is one of the cutest shots I have seen. Her pigtails are flying free, her back is to the camera yet you can see the joy in her body language. Had her mom worried about the camera settings this moment would have been lost.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for making sure that everything is exposed properly and that the framing is correct, but for me the most important thing is that the image is captured in a way that touches my heart.

One of the things I love is to hear the story behind the photos. There are a lot of my photos that were literally just shot on the fly. For example this photo I took in Liberia earlier this year:

Monrovia Street 003

It was literally 5-months after I had returned back to Scottsdale when I realized what I had captured. If you look closely, the ice cream vendor is scooping some of his cool treat directly into the hand of his customer. I love this shot. There is not long story behind how I captured it. I was in a Land Rover and I caught this image as we zoomed by. That's it.

But then, there are stories like the following two photos. I warn you!!! The second one is very difficult to look at, but his story MUST be told.


My first surgery.

_MG_0340
Little Sadie.

Both of these photos were taken when I was in Liberia on a mission trip. There is a story behind both of these photos. Powerful ones you can read on my other blog. Click HERE to read more about them. The link will not take you directly to the photos story, my time in Liberia not a story you can fully comprehend by reading one blog entry. I was only there for 30-days, so while it is a bit of a read, I assure you, you will walk away with some things to ponder.

What lead me to write this post was a website I found. These are award winning photographs from all over the world. The photographer tells the "behind-the-scenes" to these award winning captures. It is a bit like renting a DVD and getting the untold stories on how a movie was created. Take a peak by clicking HERE.

Friday, August 15, 2008

U Gotta C this MOVIE!


Anyone who knows even the slightest thing about me knows that I have a very tender spot in my heart for the ENTIRE continent of Africa. (Ok, so it may not be just a spot. My entire heart longs to be in Africa.) I was wandering the aisles at my local rental store and saw this cover. I was intrigued to say the least.

Look at his face!! I can only see King David dancing before the Lord like this. Awesome!

The story is heartbreaking. The story is hopeful. The story is powerful. I was on edge at the end. In the end, I literally cheered for them.

The cinematography is beautiful. Very much reminds me of the way Craig and Damon Foster shoot their movies. (I interned with Craig and Damon when I was in South Africa.)

I cannot recommend this documentary enough. Go rent it!!! Have your heart touched. Shed some tears. Let out some cheers and more importantly change how you see people and realize how blessed you are.

You can find out more by going to the movie website. Click HERE.

Meanderings.

I'm new to the whole adventure of putting my photographs out there in the World Wide Web so I find it kind of fun to see the different locations of people who check out my blog.

While looking at the days visitors I meandered my way off a beaten pathway of links shown on various pages and ran across this blog:

http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/

I have bookmarked this page and pray that I never see one of my images displayed there. It's quite comical if you are into the joys of Photoshop. It can be kind of like the cartoons I used to look at in the "Highlight" magazines of my childhood. You know, where you would have to find a paddle in a tree or a squirrel hidden in the porch of the house.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lightning 001

I just figured out how to link photos from my Flickr account to my blog. Keep an eye out for more of my captures.

I'm heading back to Tanzania next month to update the photos of SBC's sponsored children in Mairowa and Kondoa. I'm so stoked. I will post the best of those here as well. Check back.



I captured this photo when I was returning from the Jr./Sr. high camp up in Williams on August 5, 2008.
Lightning 001, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

Flower Field 001


Flower Field 001, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

Just East of Williams on the I-40.

Heart Flower 002


Heart Flower 002, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

Clouds 01


Clouds 01, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

Kit Kat 03


Kit Kat 03, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

I was kitty sitting for my neighbor. This is Kit Kat. So majestic.

Lucas 002


Lucas 002, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.

Lucas Cooper Rockin'


Lucas 010, originally uploaded by LittleKnoll.