Friday, July 29, 2011

Shooting Lightning!

I HAD SOOOO  MUCH FUN TONIGHT!!!!  I was finally able to get out to try to shoot lightning!  For real, I have had some great tips from friends!  It was fantastic.  Amazing to see that GOD does all of this...creation is sooo amazing!  I can only dream about capturing a part of it!

Here are a few of my favorites from tonight!

My first lightning strike capture..EVER!!!

I just really like this one!

I love how the tips of the fingers on the left are blue!

 My FAVE  of the night! 

I can't wait for another chance to get back out & try some more...always fun to learn something new!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Justice & Mercy

I recently heard the song "Courageous" by Casting Crowns.  There was a part in it that really stuck out to me.  They sing "Seek Justice, Love mercy, walk Humbly with your God."  I knew this was from Micah 6:8...I have loved this verse for awhile.  Steven Curtis Chapman has a song based on this verse as well called "The Walk" (I believe..actually I did double check) Anyway, when I heard this song the other day, it really made me think about ALOT!  Mostly, I'm sure because of recent circumstances in my life.  So the more I think about it, I got to thinking how contradictory these words sound.  How can you "seek justice" and "love mercy" at the same time.  It seems so opposite!  So I went back & looked it up in The Word, and then I went to to find some definitions of the words!

So here it is Micah 6:8
8The LORD God has told us
   what is right
   and what he demands:
   "See that justice is done,
   let mercy be your first concern,
   and humbly obey your God."

And for the words defined....(there were several listed for each..but I picked the one that made most sense to me)

jus·tice n.
the administering of deserved punishment or reward.


compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward anoffender, an enemy, or other person in one's power;compassion, pity, or benevolence do we administer deserved punishment, but be compassionate or kindly show forbearance toward an offender....anybody else's head spinning??  It's like a big circle...I could talk this around for hours...but, I don't wanna keep you that long.  

Anyway, the first thing I think about is the fact that I wonder how many of us really understand "justice & mercy."  For instance, we all want "justice" when we feel like we "know" someone has done wrong...take for instance the Casey Anthony trial...I didn't follow it enough to come to a conclusion on my own, but I gathered by the reaction via the news & social media that "most" people were convinced that she killed her little girl.  So "we" wanted justice.  On the flip side of that we all want "mercy" when we have done wrong.  Same story, I'm pretty sure (guilty or not) the Casey was wanting mercy.  

For me, this presents an inner struggle of what I want vs. what I know I deserve!  I know that when I do wrong to God & others, I WANT mercy, but I know that I really need justice.  The beauty that I have come to realize is that the two can only coexist.  When it comes to the plan that God designed, they are not separated!  God is just & will always be, but he sent his Son to take our place & provide mercy for us!  Romans 5:6-8 paints a great picture of this!

"Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him." (The Message)

It's so AMAZING to be on the receiving end of mercy, but lately, I have experienced how great it is to be the mercy giver.  A few weeks ago, my Aunt told me I was showing mercy, I didn't quite understand what she meant.  But the more I think & ponder on these verses from Micah, the more I think I understand & the more I want to be the mercy giver in all situations of life! A huge lesson I have learned is that the more mercy I show, the more mercy I realize that I need in my own life.  I am so grateful that Jesus continues to work on me & my downfalls. 

This brings me to the last phrase of the verse "walk humbly with your God." Maybe the most important part.  Knowing that I can neither seek justice or show mercy without walking alongside of God is the point.  It's all about Him & not about me.  Again, so thankful that His Truths are revealed to me each day, through trials & through joys! 

I mentioned a couple songs at the beginning of this post, but I'm only posting the second, because I found this super sweet live version & SCC just totally plays his guitar!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Praying & Believing

11" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Praying & believing that He is in control!  Knowing that He loves me & wants to take care of me.  Trying to patiently wait for his timing....yep, I said "trying."  This is always the hardest part.