left to right: J. Hatch, E. Mark, J. Heeren

I’m not the most consistent blogger, and I’m okay with that. I just wanted to share this shot I took with my phone on the day I played 36 holes of disc golf–one round at Hiestand Park in Madison, WI, and two rounds at Porter Park in Roscoe, IL. This was taken at Porter Park’s Hole 5, down the fairway after teeing off.

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eyes on Me

Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”

Matthew 14:24-33 (MSG)

Here’s Peter, full of problems, finding himself in what we could call a very bad situation. This is a story that most everyone has heard. Jesus walks on water, Peter walks out to Him, takes his eyes off of Jesus and subsequently falls. Jesus saves him and delivers the oh-so-famous line, “Ye of little faith.”

I hate to boil it down like that, but more often than not, that’s exactly how we hear it. As Christians we already know we’re not supposed to take our eyes off of Jesus lest we drown.

I’m sharing it because I read it a little differently today, and it got to me in a very personal way. Read More

people will turn their backs on you. so watch their backs.

they may never know you did, and they may never appreciate you for it. it’s a thankless job.

but you do it anyway. someone has to be there for the people who won’t be there for you.

the spark of a moment II

afterain

I’ve been accused before of trying to sound like an “expert” when I talk about photography, whether it’s someone else’s or my own.

I don’t know what spurred this. Maybe it’s the jargon I throw around, maybe it’s the sickening amount of detail I post with my favorite shots, or maybe it’s the fact that I just talk about it ad nauseam.

The fact of the matter is that the assertion couldn’t be farther from the truth. If anything, I’m far more aware of my shortcomings as a photographer (or musician, or writer–what have you) than anyone else is. Okay, that’s a lie. Anyone who’s better than I am would definitely be more aware of it. What is true, however, is that I never lose sight of how much room I have to improve. Read More

the spark of a moment

touchdown

Out of every photograph I’ve taken in the past year (riding up to quadruple digits), this is the best and my favorite shot. There are many technical and creative reasons as to why I’d pick this particular shot as my “best,” but it’s my favorite because it’s the why I’ve allowed myself to get into photography. The uniqueness of photography is that i can show you the spark of a moment as it was for however you left the shutter open. I love those sparks because they’re what make you get up and not want to leave until you take the moment with you somehow because you know that nothing ever truly happens twice whether you set it up or it just appears in front of you. You could write a song, draw a picture, or even choreograph a dance; photography is just one of those ways that you can say, “This is what my eyes saw when this moment came alive.”

hashtag rambling

I’m about to go on a very self-deprecating rant because, honestly, as much as I know God listens to me and has absolutely no objection to hearing me out, sometimes I just hate feeling like I’m talking His ear off. I hate being this vulnerable, and I know, I should just talk to Him… but saying words out loud sometimes just feels weird to me and the moment I start talking, I interrupt myself and I never wind up saying what I needed to say to Him in the first place. It’s a cyclical process… just never gets anywhere, I think. It’s why I write.

I suppose that’s a decent enough introduction, and I’m sure that answered a lot more questions than I’d like to admit to myself. In the midst of all my failures, as I look over this long, long list of personality defects that become more obvious to everyone by the day, it’s hard to just not feel this small. It’s hard to not regret every single minute that I ever felt like I was entitled to anything that I didn’t earn. It bothers me that I ever feel like I’m the only one with this problem because I know that’s not true. Read More

iPhone 5 – Thoughts

I was bound to write about this at some point seeing as I’ve talked about it a lot on Twitter and… to people.

I’ll preface with this. The iPhone 5 doesn’t suck. It’s actually a pretty decent phone and, objectively speaking, the best iPhone yet. That goes without saying. It improves on the 4S in (almost) every way and you can see it right on the spec sheet. It’s a good phone. Let’s get the green-tinted glasses off for a second and just acknowledge that, while not competitive, Apple released a good product. Heck, while Apple’s behavior on the courts would suggest otherwise, their products tend to just exist on their own. They don’t design with a competitive focus, which is both a criticism and something that works in their favor. I digress, though.

Why is the iPhone 5 so disappointing, then? Many cite the overflow of leaks we got prior to the release which took away from the device’s thunder. That really wasn’t it for me. See, I’m the kind of guy who can read spoilers and maybe wind up enjoying the movie even more. The prior leaks didn’t diminish my excitement–what little I had–about the device. As a matter of fact, before I saw iOS 6’s meager offerings you could say I was plenty excited.

I strongly believe Apple played it really safe with this one. I might even say they played it too safe. When Steve Jobs passed away a couple of years ago, we questioned where Apple would go after him. We wondered if Tim Cook could deliver. There was a lot of mystery surrounding what Apple’s next move would be. Whatever it was, it would be Tim Cook’s first real impression on the tech industry. Read More