Good morning!

I do not have many words today, so I thought I would share a picture of this damsel fly that I shot 10 years ago! So, have a great day and be blessed! -keith

Share the beautiful.

This picture was taken last December 30th.  We were on the Texas coast to celebrate a friend’s wedding, and visit with family.  The house we had rented had a large porch that overlooked the big sky of the gulf of mexico.  The sunrises and sunsets on this particular beach are breathtaking, and never fail to provide great opportunities to take amazing photos.  As I stepped out to grab this shot, I really did not think that anything about 2019 coming to an end, and 2020 would be starting in a few days.  It would be another year, and another season of life, but nothing to ground breaking.  Little did I know that 2020 would come in with changes and unrest that sometimes seem so difficult to bear.  But the sun continues to come up and go down, and beauty still exists, much like this photo, everyday.  It is really up to us whether we are going to embrace the beautiful, and share the beautiful, even when the world seems to thrive on sharing the “ugly”.  Rather than further the message of hatred and bigotry, why don’t we instead try to share the message of peace and love?  It is not an avoidance of what terrible issues that life still throws at us, but instead it is a realization that even in the darkest of times, there are beautiful things happening, and they need to be shared. –keith  

Beyond Risks

The above picture was taken with my Kodak DCS 760c.  I used this camera quite a bit when my wife and I used to shoot T-Ball team pictures.  It was a workhorse of a camera that could literally be drug through the mud, and across rocks and still work.  Not that I tried to do that too often.  If you had the lighting right it would produce a wonderful image, especially for its era.  But time has moved on, and this once powerhouse of a camera has been set on the shelves of collectors.  But one day I picked up the camera to go out and shoot waterfalls with a friend of mine.  This is not a camera you really want to lug around on landscape shots, due to its size and weight, 5lbs body alone.  And this camera does not like long exposures, it will heat up and can fill the image with digital noise that is not very pretty.  So, as I set up to shoot this shot, I really had no hope for a decent image.  I held the shutter for 2 seconds to get a nice long exposure, knowing this most likely would not turn out well.  BUT, how I was surprised, the camera really held in there.  Now, if you “pixel peep” you will see imperfections, which is true even with the newest cameras.  

What’s the point?  The point is, don’t be afraid to take risks.   Sometimes we need to have courage to try something, even when we are not so sure about it.  I used to think that I had to have all variables covered before launching off into a project.  But I have come to understand that seeking a life of 0% risk is one that does not really happen, because the 100% never comes for all factors accounted for.  Sometimes you just have to take the risk and don’t be afraid to push the limits just a little!  –keith

Slow down!

Shot with Kodak DCS 760c DSLR Nikon 24mm AF 2.8

I find it fascinating how you have to slow down time to catch the movement of a waterfall.  This is not accomplished with a time machine or some other form of bending the rules of our universe.  It is simply done by slowing down the shutter speed on your camera to capture the silky movement of water.  Otherwise the picture will be a frozen frame of crashing water.  There is something to this idea of slowing down our own personal “shutter speeds” so that instead of a life that is filled with clashing schedules it is one filled with the very peace of God and being in the presence of others.  Take time today and slow your life’s shutter speed, and capture a beautiful moment. –keith  

Sunset in a hurry.

My website domain name is “Race the light.”  This picture lives up to the title in so many ways.  It was a February evening and we had reservations at a local restaurant.  We were in a hurry to make it on time to get there, and that is usually when a picture will manifest itself.  I have missed so many great shots because I had somewhere to be, and could not stop for just one moment to grab the picture.  But in this instance Lori whipped the car back and around allowed me to grab this shot of this spectacular sunset.  The simple lesson is don’t rush, and spend your time as though it is the most precious resource that you have, because it is.  –keith  

Seek refreshment for your soul.

The water for this stream is partially fed by a natural spring.  At the start of the spring the water is so clear that it is hard to capture movement in the water.  But as you travel down the stream the water becomes more visible, due to the impurities that begin to creep into the clear water.  What a great analogy for life.  We begin the week with hopefully renewed souls, and by the end of the week we have found ourselves muddied by the stress of the week.  It is important that we go back to our source of freshwater, so that we can make the week ahead.  The freshwater for me is a reconnection each week to the Living Water of faith.  Find your freshwater.  –keith

It all goes back in the box.

I really enjoy taking landscape shots of old historic buildings.  The ones that capture my interest most are those that have given up their fight against nature, and have been reclaimed by our planet.  You can only imagine the stories that they could tell, if only they could talk.  One thing is certain is that if a building is left to its own it will begin the slow face back into the world from which it was made.  It is a powerful reminder that life itself is very short.  Even stones wear down, and concrete washes away.  But this idea is not depressing, it is inspiring.  It inspires to appreciate every day for what it is.  It inspires us to not take for granted our blessings here and now.  I am currently reading the book When the game is over, it all goes back in the box., by John Ortberg.  It is a wonderful text on how no matter what we build or accumulate in our life, in the end, it all “goes back in the box”.  Just like winning a board game, and enjoying the success that comes with it, at the end of the game, all of the hard work, and stuff goes back in the box.   The book leads us to think about what really matters in life, and that all of the stuff and success, as good as they can be, do end.  I know this too well.  I have spent the past 29 years of my career as a pastor playing the game.  The game itself is good and lives have been changed through the game of ministry, but sometimes I have been guilty of sitting back and thinking of what is next, rather than what is now.  What will my next church look like?  What more can I do if I pastor a church that has 1000 members vs. 500, or 500 vs 250.  I do love how John Ortberg wrote in his book that it is not bad for us to succeed, but when that becomes what drives us, instead of being grateful for where we are, and take in what God is doing in our life here and now.  For me, this means that I must reclaim what is most important for my personal mission and to value what God has blessed me with here and now.  My family, my friends and my faith.  Because when all else is held in comparison to the aforementioned it is only a blip on the radar of time.  What matters most to you today?  What is driving you?  What do you value?  What does not go back in the box for you, if you had to choose what you would put up?  –keith

The above picture was taken at Rush Historic District near the Buffalo River, here in Arkansas.   It is an old ghost town that sprung up over a century ago and I invite you to check out the following webpage for more information. https://www.arkansas.com/articles/ghost-town-rush

You can purchase the book at https://www.amazon.com/When-Game-Over-Goes-Back/dp/0310325056

Bloom when you can!

Shot with Kodak DCS 720x ISO 800

The Rose of Sharon (Althea) can be found blooming throughout Arkansas at the end of summer, and into early fall, or until the first frost.  I have always been impressed with how big and beautiful the blooms get, and how they seem to hang on to provide blooms as long as they can.  They are a late bloomer in comparison to the spring flowers.  Late blooming reminds us that it is never too late to bloom.  I have known people of bloomed late in life with a major career change.  I had a family doctor once that started his journey at my current age (48) to become a doctor.  I was in my 20’s at the time, so my mind was blown that somebody that “old” would begin such a difficult journey at his age in life! HA!  I am glad he did, because he was an amazing doctor for me, during a very difficult time in my own life.  The point is that we should not be afraid to bloom no matter our age.  There really is no age that is too old for blooming.   –keith