Monthly Archives: June 2017

jesus-abrazando

Accepted

Many of us walk around striving to do better or be better so that we can be ‘accepted’ and/or ‘loved’ by a certain group or maybe it’s a certain some body. Our whole lives we’ve believed a lie, that we have to work at being accepted. This is what the ‘world’ tells and teaches us, but that’s not what the word of God says. First we have to understand that what the ‘world’ thinks of us doesn’t matter – IT’S WHAT GOD THINKS OF US! If we are right with God, He’s on our side and as Romans 8:30 says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

God is the creator of Heaven and Earth and everything in them, and His deepest desire is to have a personal relationship with all His children. This means you bring to Him the good, the bad, and the ugly. He’s your Father and He loves you! Nothing you’ve said or done is a surprise to Him, nor will it make Him love you any less. If you believe Jesus is who He said He is, and accept the precious gift of forgiveness His blood paid for you, you’re not going to be denied access to His kingdom just because you messed up. Here’s a fact (truth) – WE ALL MESS UP! Since the fall of Adam, and we’re born into Adam, we have believe a lie – that we are created for ourselves. We were created in God’s image! The image of God is love (Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 for the definition of love)! This is who we are to become, AGAIN. Restored back into our original created value, the image of Jesus, who is God.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5

In the book of Joshua there’s a prostitute named Rahab. Rahab lived and worked in the city wall of Jericho. The people of Jericho had been hearing rumors and stories of this group of people that was redeemed from Egypt by this powerful God for years, and now here they were right across the river, advancing towards them. Fear does not even begin to describe how these people must have felt, but only one person turned and believed God was who He was. “When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.” Joshua 2:11

Because of Rahab’s faith, she and her whole family (get this – her whole family because of her faith!) was saved from death and destruction! Later on in Joshua 6:22-25 it describes how after the LORD’s army took Jericho, Rahab and her family was saved and it says “…and she lives in Israel to this day.” Joshua, Jehoshua (Ye-ho-shu-a) is a foreshadowing of Jesus, Yeshua (Ye-shu-a). This whole story reveals God’s love for His children and what we must do to be accepted into His Kingdom. BELIEVE!

When Jesus was born, God was so excited about having His children back, that He sent a whole heavenly host to declare “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14 And then, as soon as Jesus died, God couldn’t wait any longer – He ripped the current opened that had been separating Him from His children from top to bottom! I believe He was down on one knee with His arms wide open laughing with joy and scooping us up into His embrace!

Rahab sold her body for a living and was labeled a prostitute, but God saw her for who He created her to be and called her His daughter. I was addicted to crack and was labeled an addict, but God saw me for who He created me to be and calls me His daughter. I don’t know your past, and it doesn’t matter. God has a future for you. Leave the past in the past and move forward with God. He will change your life!

This was taken about halfway up the block on the east side of Broadway, between 79th and 80th Street. It's at the north end of the "Filene's Basement" store on the corner, and it's a place where I've often seen homeless people holding up a sign that asks for assistance...

With very rare exceptions, I haven't photographed these homeless people; it seems to me that they're in a very defensive situation, and I don't want to take advantage of their situation. But something unusual was happening here: the two women (who were actually cooperating, and acting in tandem, despite the rather negative demeanor of the woman on the left) were giving several parcels of food to the young homeless man on the right.

I don't know if the women were bringing food from their own kitchen, or whether they had brought it from a nearby restaurant. But it was obviously a conscious, deliberate activity, and one they had thousght about for some time...

What was particularly interesting was that they didn't dwell, didn't try to have a conversation with the young man;they gave him they food they had brought, and promptly walked away. As they left, I noticed the young man peering into his bag (the one you see on the ground beside him in this picture) to get a better sense of the delicious meal these two kind women had brought him...

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This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

I don't like to intrude on people's privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they're still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what's right in front of me.

I've also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting -- literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting.  So I've learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture ... after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it's pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

For the most part, I've deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don't want to be photographed, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them. I'm still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We'll see how it goes ...

The only other thing I've noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, *far* more people who are *not* so interesting. They're probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I've photographed ... but there was just nothing memorable about them.

Giving To The Poor

In Deuteronomy 15:7-11 Moses is teaching the Israelites a principle about money. This interest me because of my current financial situation and a woman of ‘need’ I have living in my home.

The bible says:
“If there is a poor person among you (keep in mind he’s talking to Israel which translate for us – body of believers), one of your brothers within any of your city gates (where ever you’re at) in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has.”

Notice the bible doesn’t say ‘give him’ as in ‘here you go, you don’t owe me anything’, although this should be our attitude. He’s saying loan them the money. If you’re like me this can get very confusing – give… don’t give… errrr! So, I took this to God asking that He explain this to me. This is what I understand it to mean.

There will be people God will put in our path that we are to ‘give’ to (God/Holy Spirit will guide you); however, there are others (body of believers) who, if we have it, we are to loan to.

The reason behind this principle is:

Giving creates a wickedness of laziness. By loaning, you’re giving them an incentive to do better. When you give to someone other than a believer, you are demonstrating God’s love. A believer already knows (at least they should) God’s love and is called to be Holy/set apart. A poor person among believers needs the incentive to reach higher.

By loaning with an attitude of not expecting it back it closes the door on any attack of the enemy on your mind concerning this situation. This is why you do not loan/give if you truly do not have it to give. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘well, God will give it back to me.’ Yes He will but it may not be in this lifetime. God has given you a certain amount of money/resources to steward. If you steward well, He’ll give you more. Steward badly, He may take what He’s already given you.

I hope this helps.