I cannot allow this day to end without sharing how the Lord has been so faithful to me, indeed, even in times when I was absolutely faithless.
A few days ago, I was writing down as usual on my handy-dandy notebook. I wrote two questions. The first question was, "What's your 'win' in your photography?" to which I answered, 'Many people awestruck and inspired by the glory of God seen in pictures/video.'
Recently an acquaintance, a friend I had in Facebook left a comment on what I thought was one of my 'desperation shots' (I.E. The shots I post for the heck of it; caused oftentimes by lack of inspiration or just plain laziness); He said something to the effect that he was inspired (and he really used the word 'inspire') by my photographs. Here I was, not really minding, more concerned about sharing - 'Hope In Sight' had 50 plus 'samples' in - and it was only at this time - on this particular shot - that I received this feedback.
The second question I wrote down was, "What's your 'win' in leading worship?" to which I answered, 'To set and atmosphere of hearts open for the Holy Spirit to minister to.'
A few hours ago, the worship team planned on doing the usual grind when it came to leading the people with song - '2 fast, 2 slow'; 2 Fast Songs and 2 Slow Songs, something I noticed most churches observe nowadays. We sang 'Everyday' and 'By Your Side' (both by Hillsong). I remember being just the slightest bit nervous about leading because I had some minor issues in memorizing the precise lyrics for each song. But that didn't matter as we sang the first slow song - "Jesus, Hope Of The Nations".
What a beautiful song, with such great lyrics! At that moment we were all so into the song - pastors, worship team, congregation - I believe we were all put in place as worshippers before the Lord, singing to the top of our lungs, arms and hands raised in absolute praise... At that point there was no need to continue with the second slow song because I believe the Holy Spirit was there, touching every heart... I got further confirmation from Pastor Poppo, who said that he felt the presence of the Lord, and that it lingered even until the final prayer and dismissal of the people.
I forgot to mention that the same friend who left the timely compliment regarding my photos was there in that same service. You can bet that I was pretty serious when I told him that we should shoot one time.
I mean, it would be easy to look at these two events as just ordinary things, 'another day's work'... But I believe they happened as a direct result of my prayer with Pao at another separate occasion, where I simply asked the Lord that I also wanted what she regularly prays for - For us to see how the Lord works in our lives.
And has He worked!
Last Saturday night one of our core members in the 5pm service - Sister Norma - said she wanted to talk to me. I was quite nervous to hear what she wanted to tell me, only to find out that she wanted to borrow my camera. This was discussed with a fellow photography enthusiast - Brother Nolan - who said he was into it back in the film days, and didn't have the time to shoot anymore. We came into an informal agreement that I would borrow his film camera, and I would lend my DSLR to Norma.
Recently I've been writing on my blog, Hope In Sight, regarding how I needed to bring my writing and my publishing up to speed, considering that the photographs I intend to share are no longer just reasons to brag, rather reflections of my own being, testimonies in their own right. I took the intentions of Sister Norma as signals for me to stop shooting and to focus on what I've already shot.
I was reminded of a shot I took in Otay Lake in Chula Vista, which showcased the white trunks and branches of trees jutting out in the middle of the lake. They were lifeless - no longer trees but mere perches for the local avian wildlife. I discussed this with Sister Norma, continuing by saying that if the blessings I already have are not being moved (or used), they would stagnate and not just be useless on their own but hazardous to everything else in my life.
A picture of a stream I shot over at the Mt. Evans area over at Colorado came into my mind - A reminder that there is beauty in moving water. There is beauty to behold when blessings move. I remember how Brother Marion told me how it was impressed on him to tell me that I was as a 'wild river' - I'm thinking this is what he means.
|Chromatic Aberration is pretty apparent on the 18-55mm.|
Needless to say, I knew exactly why I brought my camera to church that day - to lend it to Sister Norma. I am meeting her again tomorrow with a fellow young enthusiast, Bunjo, to teach them some basics they need to know when it comes to using that wonder of metal and plastic and glass. I remember telling Bunjo about it, saying these exact same words - 'see, a good way for you to know how much you actually know about a certain craft is for you to teach it - and I absolutely sucked in teaching you!'; It's time to step up!
Right now, I'm really into that one part of the chorus in that one song by Hillsong, "Children of the Light":
"The world is Yours, and I know
everything will find its place
under Your name!"
I'm writing this right now in an attempt to practice wisdom - as wholehearted as I imagine myself to be it is my intention to encourage whoever reads this to keep their eyes on the Lord, because He really knows how to keep you going in a way so tailor-fit for the edification of your heart and for those around you, for His glory. It is my prayer that we keep pressing on, keeping our eyes on the prize - but not before we testify about these things, about how the Lord puts everything together, how He indeed makes all things work for the good of those who love Him.
Dear Lord, take all the glory and all the praise in my life forever and ever... I love you so very much, Lord Jesus Christ..
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26