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4 years, 3 months ago 5

 

Opening lyrics from the song, Somebody Else, from the movie Crazy Heart

I used to be somebody but now I am somebody else

I used to be somebody but now I am somebody else

Who’m might be tomorrow is anybody’s guess…… 

 

I used to be somebody else too.  I used to be  a lot of somebody else’s.  I couldn’t decide who I was.  Over the last several years I’ve discovered who I am, and I love not guessing anymore!  I used to want to be somebody special, then I found out I was, because Jesus died for me!  I wanted to be loved, then I discovered I was loved by my God, my family, and a few friends.  I wanted to be admired, I got over it.  I wanted to be recognized, then I discovered I would rather not be noticed at all.  I wanted to be famous, and then discovered that was the last thing I wanted!  I wanted to be considered a gifted photographer, then I discovered I’d rather just have fun being a photographer, there’s enough gifted photographers anyway!

 

What happened?  Well in a word, I started to grow up, I got a life, and a good one!  The changes have been coming on for a long time, but the most change has been in the last two years, since I started posting in the Pilgrim’s Chronicles.  I get emails from people that share how much, what is posted here, means to them, and I appreciate those nice words of encouragement, but the person being ministered to the most,  is me.  God has used this time each day to speak to my heart about His and my relationship.   He teaches me, encourages me, corrects me, informs me, loves me, accepts me, shows me His love, forgiveness, and grace!  I know that what He shares here is touching people’s lives, but it starts with His touching my life.  This is my daily, deep, connection with Him, a time for me to listen, and to be obedient, to first learn, then share.

 

I also used to be a different photographer.  I was way, way, to concerned about how others saw me, and my work.  I was a slave to convention.  I did things in certain ways because it had led to success for others.  Two photographers helped me change my way of seeing, and photographing; Jim Begley and Tony Sweet.  They both saw the world through different glasses than mine.  At first I was afraid to look through those glasses, they were so different from the ones I had worn all my life, but once I slipped them on, I started to enjoy what I was seeing, and then, I embraced it.  I lost the fear of what others would think!  I started to learn to feel what I was seeing, and trust that I was creating something that pleased me, only me, not intended to please anyone else, just to be personally satisfying!  Do I want others to like my work?   Sure, but that is not the first goal, anymore.

 

I’ve taken a few of the images I’ve shot this week, straight images, very little processing, and now I will share some new ways of seeing the same scene. You are not under any pressure to like any of these, I like them, and that’s the only expectation I have.  If you do like them, great, but it’s o.k. if you don’t!  I will love you and forgive you!  In your own work, feel the freedom to be yourself, it’s o.k., all the rest of us are somebody else anyway……..

 

 

All image processing done with the following programs, Topaz Adjust 4 & 5, Nik Color Efex Filters Pro 3 & 4, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  No HDR used. I was shooting with point and shoot compact cameras!

This is Friday’s post, will be away for the day with my bride on St. John.

 

O.K. with being me, and loving Christ,

 

the pilgrim

4 years, 3 months ago 2

 

Yes, I do love to eat!  St. Thomas is my favorite Island for food, such a great variety, from the elegant, to the good old, down home food of my native Kentucky, it’s all a gastronomic pleasure!  So this is the deal, Sherelene loves the beach and the sun, and I can live with it for about a week a year, and so we spend our Marriott points to visit a resort we couldn’t otherwise afford! This year is our third trip back to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’ve done Maui in Hawaii, The Grand Caymans, Jamaica, St. Kitts, Aruba, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Belize, and we’ve loved them all, but for me, the far eastern coast of St. Thomas, Red Hook, is my favorite.  One of the reasons is the extremely friendly staff of the Ritz.  The other is the food!!!  I’ve finally learned enough restaurants to know where to get what ever we are in a mood for. Above, from upper left to right; Filtet Mignon at Pesce Italian restaurant, fresh pineapples in the local market, the steak and ribs selection at The Old Stone Farmhouse restaurant across the Island.  Seafood selection for this evening at the same Old Stone Farmhouse, below Zucchini bread (wonderful!), Breakfast potatoes, and Chicken Sausage at the Blue Water at the Ritz, and finally in the lower left corner one of my favorites, filet mignon meatballs and marinara sauce at Peceses, great over spaghetti!

 

 

Probably one of the main  reasons I keep coming back to St. Thomas is Molly Malone’s my favorite Irish Pub eatery, in the world.  Great people serve you, great people own Molly’s, the food is fantastic, and the atmosphere is the real deal.  You meet such interesting folks, both tourists and locals and the entire experience is authentic.  My favorite dish is the grilled cheese and turkey sandwich, a staple for my breakfast, Sherelene loves the French toast!  Tonight I will have their famous Meatloaf!  I’ve had a special place in my heart for the Irish ever since my first cousin Ned Beatty played a role in the great film “Rudy”.  Molly’s is like going home after along trip!

 

 

And then the kind folks at the Ritz help us celebrate our Anniversary, with special treats like this!

 

Late entry, Molly Malone’s fabulous Meatloaf, some of the best I’ve ever had!!!

 

 

 

Food For the Soul:

 

Last night Sherelene and I shared some food for the soul, we watched the film 7 Days in Utopia together.  Piled up in the bed with stack of pillows we watched the film on my laptop cuddled up together.  The film is about a young, up and coming,  golfer who has a major melt down at the end of a tournament he is about to win.  He storms off in a huff and ends up in a little Texas town of Utopia, where a kind rancher, played by Robert Duvall, helps him find his game, and much more.  I will share clips from this extraordinary film at the next workshop in Ga.  Needless to say it is a powerful film of redemption!   For some time I have been traveling with a half dozen film clips on my iPad.  When on the plane, or waiting in a airport terminal I put on my headphones and watch these clips over and over.  They serve as a constant reminder to me of what I believe in (my convictions), what I live for (my purpose), and how I am to conduct myself, (my behavior).  They are my food for spiritual thought.  We must all constantly remind ourselves that while we are in this world,  we are not of this world, Jesus has set us apart, as His.  While we are to witness to the world with our words and our actions, and the sharing of His love, we are to always know we are only visitors here, our place is with Him for eternity.  Our mission is to encourage others to join us there…..

 

So fill your tummy today, with good food, and your heart and soul, with the food of the spirit, the Word of God.  May His greatest blessings be with you and yours today, tomorrow, and forever…….

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Note;  All images point and shoot cameras.

 

4 years, 3 months ago 7

As a photographer my visual life as most often been driven by color.  I shot Black & White for many years, an still enjoy that medium, but color is my first love.  Roaming around looking for color is one of my favorite past times.  Thankfully color is everywhere!  I’ve always loved the photographers whose work screams with color; Jay Maisel, Bryan Peterson, and Jim Begley shoot in your face, killer color.  Freeman Patterson, Christopher Burkett, and Tony Sweet shoot in wonderful shades of subdued but rich hues.  I loved the almost monochromatic, but yet pleasing colors of Ireland in Scott Diussa’s travel class.  All kinds of color, in all kinds of form are fun to shoot.  I admit to having stolen every good idea I’ve ever seen.  When I see a vivid color subject, I’m reminded of how much God loves us, how many incredible colors he placed in our world.

 

People that have had after life experiences and have been brought back often tell of seeing colors they have never seen before on the other side.  Wow, sure hope we can carry a camera there!  From the rusted cars in Old Car City, to the brilliant hues of the Caribbean, I love color, thank you Lord!

 

the pilgrim

 

 

* All images with a point and shoot camera, I’m traveling with several including the Coolpix P7100 and Coolpix AW100.  Dedicated to Sam Garcia who can get the best images I’ve ever seen from a pocket camera!

 

4 years, 3 months ago 5

 

Before I start, the images in this post have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject, usually that’s not the case, but I’m here and all of you are there, so just  enjoy the Caribbean scenes, and believe my words.

 

After my relationship with my God, and the wonderful family He has given me, the next most treasured thing in my life is the wonderful friends He has allowed me to enjoy!  There are people that have inspired me, we touched on that yesterday, those that have been great companions, those that have taught me spiritually, prayed for me, stood by my side.  Those that have lead me into truth.  Those that have provided great times and fellowship.  They have been co-workers, fellow photographers, and co conspirators!  The key is they have been right by my side.

 

I can’t tell you how excited I am about being with the friends that will gather in early March for the next His Light Workshop in White, Georgia!

 

When Jesus sent out the disciples, He sent them in pairs.  He knew they would need each other, and we need each other too.  We need others to stand up for us, and stand behind us, to have our backs, and pray for what is best for us.  We need people to defend us, and cheer us on, and we need to be that person for someone else doing all the same for them!  It is a great gift when God allows you to be someone’s friend, it’s also a big responsibility.   Such a big responsibility that Jesus said, “No man hath greater love than to lay down his life for his brother.”  Real friendship means you will be there, no matter what, for your friend.

 

1 Corinthians 13

Love Is the Greatest

 

 1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

 

 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

 

 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

 

 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 

 

Having a friend to love is an honor, and I’m so honored to have you………..

 

the pilgrim

 

 

Oh yes, and I’m thankful for getting to rest in such a beautiful place too!