Saturday, March 30, 2013

The end of an era (or just a month)

Day 30: Self Portrait
Hope you have enjoyed following me through this 30 day challenge.  Confession...I was not looking forward to taking another picture of myself.  So I just snapped one and played with it on Picasa (the photo program I use).

Hooray for this 30 day challenge.  I think that I will try to post a photo once a week... maybe Photo Friday or something like that.  I do not think that I will become a professional photographer (I like other things too much) but I will keep learning and challenging myself to do better in this area.  I think I still need to work on people photos.  I get flustered when I have to take pictures of people... so here's to photography and the desire to learn and grow!

On a hill far away

Day 29: Black & White
Near my parents house is a small country church and on the hill behind it is a wooden cross.  It is a reminder of Christ's work on the cross to save us and reconcile us to God.  Since it is Good Friday, I thought this would be a good black and white picture.

The Old Rugged Cross
Words & Music: George Ben­nard
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We're coming!!!

Day 28: Flowers
It snowed on and off all day yesterday and today it is melting again.  The bulbs are beginning to shoot up, but no flowers yet.  The anticipation is building.  :)

Today was one of my co-workers birthdays and she got this lovely bouquet at work.  More spring beauty!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Looking out the window

Day 27: From a distance
My brain is foggy today and I think I am getting a cold.  Here is the view from my living room window.   Even though I live in town, it feels more like the country when I look out the window because I live on a larger block and everyone has a nice size back yard. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A family treasure

Day 26: Close-Up
In my room I have another piece of art. (See this POST for the first piece hanging in my room) This one is a family heirloom.  My great aunt dabbled in painting and produced some nice pieces… so many that I have one at my house.  I did not know my great aunt very well since she died when I was only four, but she has a special place in my mom’s heart because she was a second mother to my mom when my grandmother had a stroke.

In my last apartment this painting hung above the fireplace but at my current apartment it does not match the colours in the main room, so I have hung it in my room.  I really like the textures in this painting and thought they would make a nice close-up photo.

More texture

From a distance :)

Going on a Pink hunt

Day 25: Something Pink
A colour that was very, I mean VERY hard for me to find today.  I looked around my house and did not see anything.  Then, I went for a walk and saw a teacup, but Anita beat me to that.  (Your teacups are lovely, Anita, and I am glad that you thought of it first).  Then I came back home and looked around again and I saw a pink paper hanging above my dresser.  It was my Christmas gift from my niece.  She was 16 months old at Christmas and with her mom’s help (my sister J), she made a picture for each person in our family.  Such a special gift that I will treasure and will display until I get another piece of artwork (by the same artist of course) to hang in its spot.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wishes come true

 Guess what animal this is?
Day 24: Animals
When I was growing up, I thought it would be neat to have a pet bird.  Everyone else has cats and dogs... I wanted something different.  I never fell in love with horses or wished for a cat to purr on my lap.  Although, we had several dogs when I was growing up, they were nothing too special.  Fish are nice, but floating around in a bowl, going *glub* *glub* all day is not my idea of a fun pet.  Snakes are scary... Lizards eat bugs... Chinchillas are mainly nocturnal... Hamsters don't live long... etc. etc. etc.

For a few years, I did not really think about birds.  I got busy with school and work.  Then I got my own apartment and my mother decided that I needed some company.  So she worked out this elaborate plan.  With everyone chipping in and the wonder of kijiji, she managed to get a young pair of canaries and two cages for a great price.

Now, I did not know that any of this was happening.  I was oblivious until I walked in to my parents house on my birthday two years ago and saw a large box-shaped-something covered with sheets and blankets.  On the front was a sign that read, "Happy Birthday Kendra.  Don't touch or peek".  So I was a good girl and enjoyed my birthday dinner and then it was present time.  I uncovered the box-shaped-something and found inside a large bird cage with a piece of paper hanging from the top on which had been printed pictures of canaries.  I smiled and thought, "Ok, now I have a cage, I guess I'll have to buy some birds to put in it."  Then my youngest sister went to her room and brought out a small cage which held a pair of canaries. :)

It took some time to figure out what I would name my new pets.  I could not name them something ordinary like Tweety.  That is too unimaginative!  I had heard of a hymn writer named Maltbie Babcock and thought that he had a fun name to use for one of them.  So the green one (who we later found out was a male) is named: Maltbie.  For the yellow one, we decided to turn to a literary source... Jane Austen.  I thought it was also a male and wanted to give it a good masculine name. My sister E and I went through the male leads in each of Miss Austen's books.  Wentworth? No. Edward Ferrars? No. Darcy? Hmm... No.  I did not like any of them.  Then we got talking about how Darcy's first name is Fitzwilliam, which appears to be his mother's maiden name.  We then set to figure out what Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth would name their son ... and decided it may be Bennett Darcy.  Bennett sounds like a nice name!  So the yellow one is named Bennett.  Later we found out that this one was a female, but I decided to keep the name as Bennett (or Miss Bennett if you will).

I have enjoyed having the canaries for the last couple years.  Sometimes Maltbie drives me crazy with his singing... but most of the time I enjoy it!  I moved this past fall and now have a roommate.  I warned her about my noisy birds, but she was ok with it and now she sings right along with them.

So the wish of a little girl to have a unique pet has become a source of joy and remembrance of God's creation.

Click HERE to see a video of Maltbie singing.  :)

This is my Father's world, 
and to my listening ears 
all nature sings, and round me rings 
the music of the spheres. ...
This is my Father's world, 
the birds their carols raise, 
the morning light, the lily white, 
declare their maker's praise. ...
... This is my Father's world, 
why should my heart be sad?  
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!  
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Not just Mr. Sun

Day 23: Sun Flare
A song that we sometimes sing at story time in the library is Mr. Sun.  It is all about asking the sun to please shine down so the kids can play outside.  It is a silly song, but it falls short of an important point.  The sun is a created heavenly body.  It was created by Someone greater and shines at His bidding. 

Today started off cloudy and as I was inside most of the day I was afraid I would not get a picture of a sun flare.  But as I was driving home the sun was nearing the horizon and I stopped along the road three times to take some pictures.  Normally I would have thought the sun was pretty but rather annoying as it was in my eyes on my drive west. This project gave me a chance to see its beauty and to think of the Creator and His promises to us.  God is the one who created the sun to shine by day while the moon and stars light the night (Genesis 1:16-18).  He will sustain them until His glory fills creation at the end of time (Revelation 21:23).

Here is a better song to sing that mentions the sun, but points to the Creator! :)
Every Promise of Your Word 
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend 

From the breaking of the dawn to the setting of the sun,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Words of power, strong to save, that will never pass away,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
For Your covenant is sure,
And on this I am secure—
I can stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

When I stumble and I sin, condemnation pressing in,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
You are faithful to forgive that in freedom I might live,
So I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Guilt to innocence restored,
You remember sins no more—
So I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

When I'm faced with anguished choice, I will listen for Your voice,
And I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Through this dark and troubled land
You will guide me with Your hand
As I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
And You've promised to complete
Ev'ry work begun in me—
So I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

Hope that lifts me from despair, love that casts out ev'ry fear,
As I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Not forsaken, not alone, for the Comforter has come,
And I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Grace sufficient, grace for me,
Grace for all who will believe—
We will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

(And because I felt sorry that the moon does not get a mention in this challenge…)

Handy Dandy

Day 22: Hands
Most people have two hands with ten fingers.  We use them every day to do so much.  Right now I am using my hands to type this post.  A little while ago, I used my hands to hold a camera and take a picture.  This picture reminds me of one of the things hands are best used for and that is to serve one another. 

This weekend my church is holding a counselling conference to help people to communicate a biblical perspective in their interactions with others.  Since I have already gone through a course very similar to this one, I offered to help out with the food preparation.  Tonight, my friend M (on her March break from Moody) stopped by and immediately started helping.  I captured her willing and eager hands cleaning up the dishes from the evening snack.  She is on a school break and did not have to stop by, but I thank God for her cheerful addition to our team and the opportunity to catch up on what is happening in her life.

Another great things that hands should be used for… I am reading through Mark in my daily devotions and have seen time and again the love of God shown in the compassionate touch of Jesus’ hand.  When Jesus walked on the earth a couple thousand years ago, He used His hands to bless and to serve.  The gospels are full of examples of Him healing the sick, touching the outcast, and providing for the weary.  He was not afraid of what people would think about Him.  He did not consider the possibility of “catching” their diseases.  He reached out His hands to the broken and the longing and showed them a facet of God that was not communicated by the religious leaders of the day… a compassionate God who is willing to forgive and to heal the broken in body and spirit.

Mark 1:31 … [Jesus] came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her.

Mark 1:41 …Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched [the leper]…

Mark 5:41 Then [Jesus] took the child by the hand, and said to her, … “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

Mark 8:23, 25 So [Jesus] took the blind man by the hand… Then He put His hands on his eyes again … And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

Mark 10:16 And [Jesus] took [the children] up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

These are just a handful of the instances where Jesus hands reached out.  Through God’s strength, I can reach out with compassion and serve the people around me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

More than just a pretty face

My pictures from yesterday...

Day 21: Faceless Self Portrait
I had a couple ideas for today, so I have included both.  The first one is a reflection in the sliding door to the porch at my apartment.  I cannot wait until spring and summer to use this porch for reading and relaxing.  I nearly froze my fingers taking this picture.

The second picture is an idea that I have seen on some library and literature blogs.  You choose a book that has a face (whether human or animal) and put it up against yours.  I chose Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy because I like the picture and because it was a good and challenging book that I read a few years ago.  In the background is the library where  I work.  I figured books and libraries go together well.  

On a side note... I figured out how to do some long exposure stuff on my point & shoot camera. Click HERE to see Day 16 of this challenge.

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