Beauty Will Rise

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I have been a long time fan of Steven Curtis Chapman.  In fact, I remember being about 8 or 9 years old when my dad first popped The Great Adventure cassette into the car tape player and telling us that we would probably like this guy because he was a lot like Michael W. Smith (whose Go West Young Man album was out at the time).  The rest is history.  I have been a fan ever since.

While I have always liked his music (specifically his lyrics) I have been particularly touched by his new album, Beauty Will Rise. This is an album full of songs written after the tragic death of his 5-year-old daughter, Maria.  I bought the album the day it came out and listened to the entire thing, in order, during my drive to work.  Tears were running down my face the whole time.  It is a powerful example of someone asking God the hard questions and recognizing God’s redemption through it all.

If you have ever asked “Where were you, God?”…

If you have ever asked “How could you, God?”…

If you have ever not wanted to wake up in the morning…

If you have ever wondered how you are going to take your next breath…

If you have ever felt loss so deep that you weren’t sure the pain would ever go away…

Or if you have ever wondered about God’s faithfulness….

I HIGHLY recommend this album to you.

Christmas Lights Reminder- Revised

Well it’s that time of year again when all of the Christmas lights begin to go up on houses.  For the past couple of years I have posted this Christmas lights reminder that focuses on the “don’ts” of Christmas lights.  This year I decided to take a different route.

As I was driving through my parents subdivision last night I saw this excellent display of Christmas lights.  So, this year, I will use this as an example of all that is right about Christmas light usage!

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1. Icicle Lights– Note that the lights are clear (just like real icicles) and that they are covering the appropriate peaks of the house.  They are not hanging at strange angles where real icicles wouldn’t be.

2. Light nets– Notice how their light nets cover the entire bush.  I am going to assume that they took into account the fact that every year their bushes grow and that each year they will need bigger or more light nets.  Either that or they trimmed their bushes back.  They did not cover only part of their bushes and they did not try to make a “creative shape” with the light nets, like that of a Christmas tree.  Those are bushes, no one thinks the Christmas tree shaped light net is a real Christmas tree.

3. Strand lights– You will see that these are wrapped evenly around the garland and the wreaths.  I am assuming that these were pre-lit items, which is always a classy and safe choice.  You will also notice a lack of stringing random strands of lights through trees.  That’s probably because they know that’s tacky and didn’t want to go to the effort of wrapping the branches, which would be the appropriate method.

OK, now that I have that out of my system. . . Happy Decorating!

My Photos In Public!

A few months ago my dad asked me to take a few shots of some things that are uniquely Atlanta or landmarks in Atlanta.  My friend, Lindsay, and I had a great time walking around Atlanta and taking all kinds of photos.  Lindsay was a great assistant and even took a couple of shots herself.

I have a kind of agreement with my family that I will take any pictures, but it’s ok if they don’t like them.  If they like them, then we all win, if they don’t like them, well, it was worth a try and I got some experience.  I am not a professional, I just like to take pictures!  But, it turns out that the people at Kroger liked some of my shots and they picked 20 of mine and 1 of Lindsay’s to hang up at one of their newly redesigned stores!  So if you are around the Moreland Kroger in Atlanta, go check them out!

Here are some of my favorite shots and a couple of shots of us at Kroger!

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Ebeneezer Baptist Church (where MLK preached)

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The Fox Theater

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Big chess set in Woodruff Park

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Historic Oakland Cemetery (where Margaret Mitchel, Bobby Jones, and other famous people that I can’t remember are buried)

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Findley Plaza (in Little Five Points)

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Junkman’s Daughter (Little Five Points)

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The Vortex (Little Five Points)

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Cooper’s 2 Year Photo Shoot

I love that I get first dibs on taking my niece and nephew’s pictures.  I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, but I really like to try.  Cooper doesn’t really sit still, so I didn’t try and pose him for any of these.  We took him somewhere he had never been so that he was exploring the whole time.  I also made sure there was no play ground close by so that he didn’t get distracted.  Jennie and Reid were there to get his attention, point things out to him, and make sure he didn’t fall in the pond.  I think we got some good shots!  Here are some of my favorites.

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