Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Granny B's

Example 1:
Have you ever seen commercials, heard radio ads, saw web ads, or even been to Disney world? I have been there and it was fantastic. Now when you think about amusement parks, Disney normally is the king. I mean we have six flags in Texas which is very fun, but it is not the same experience as what they can do at Disney. Now in Shreveport, there once was a park named Hamels. You can visit the park online- no wait you can't. You can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamel's_Amusement_Park but you'll never be able to go again. Well let me just say, it was kind of local and much cheaper than six flags, but it was definitely not at the top of the theme park world.

Example 2:
Have you ever spoken to a person with a sincere Mormon faith? I have found that the way that Mormons talk about Jesus and faith is almost the same way that I would do it, with the exact same wording but different meanings. I'm not Mormon. I fall under a different umbrella - Christianity. Well, as I became friends with a real Mormon, I learned about the many aspects of their faith that you wouldn't necessarily find out unless you dig deep into their religion. Now be sure of this, I love the Mormon people, I just don't believe that their religious practices are inline with what the Bible says - I don't like that because it is wrong and is leading individuals away from the real Jesus Christ. That's all I have to say about that.

Now, whether you've been offended or not, I wrote those two examples to tell you about what happened to me yesterday. They will come in useful, just don't get your panties in a twist.

A while back, there was a restaurant called Granny B's in Carthage Texas. Even though I don't care too much for chicken, I loved to go there and get their chicken. I would go and get an 8 piece chicken tender meal with fried okra and a roll for just under $4.00. I'm not a bread person, but I also loved their rolls. Also, they had this barbecue sauce that was out of this world. Ok so whether you've caught it or not I loved Granny B's and the food that they produced. Well not too long ago, the restaurant burned and the business closed. It was a sad day which turned into a week, into a month and so on. Finally there was word that Granny B's was going to open back up and I was excited along with just about every one else in Carthage - except Holly N. Yesterday just happened to be the grand opening and though I live 30 minutes away, I drove over there to have lunch. I was pretty excited and - The Babe - was pretty sad that I would go without her. Well, I stood in a line that stretched out the door to make my order. I got the order of 4 piece chicken tenders, fried okra, a roll, mashed potatoes, and corn nuggets. I was a bit sad that it was almost $10.00 but I was sure hoping that it would be worth it. I was wrong. It ended up tasting like Grandy's on a bad day. This is a photo of the restaurant on opening day.It is the same building - with updates.

Some of the workers seemed like they were from overseas in a small country town. I think that the new owners found out how well the old restaurant was doing and bought the property, but couldn't buy the rights to the name Granny B's. So look close at the sign and you will see what this new restaurant really is. It's a Mormon in a Christian church. It is preparing to go to Disney for a week, but spending 5 hours at Hamels instead.
Granny B's Rocked!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Praise the Lord for His Mercy

Listen up! I'm planning a job to build a deck onto the front of my house. I've been adding up the cost of the lumber and miscellaneous gear and -It Ain't Cheap. Oh well, I'll get it done really soon.

I love baseball and I always love to wear a hat - or cap in some circles of friendship. I have always called it a baseball hat, though it doesn't have a large brim or a feather. This photo is one that I did of my hat. I know what team used to wear a hat/cap like this, do you? I know you can check the comments and find out, but see if you can guess what it is first. Here is a hint - when this team wore this hat/cap, they were in an older stadium next door to where their new stadium is now. Their old stadium has been blown up and a football stadium been set up in its place, but I have been to the new baseball stadium several times.

Like I said before, my Bible study is slow. Today I studied through Luke 23:1-12. I guess I never realized how many different people abused Jesus during those last few days. If you do actually read in your Bible, you would have a chance to notice that Pilate didn't take long with Jesus before he sent Him away, but Herod did take some time with Him. in verse 9 it says that Herod questioned Jesus at some length. For questioning to receive that designation, it would seem that it might have taken an hour or two - I don't really know, but I was trying to think through some of the questions that Herod might have asked and I had some real eye-opening questions that came to mind. After the questioning went sour for Herod, these next moments occured. It is from one small verse, but so much was happening in that verse. As I read through it, I tried to think of what each of the parts meant and that is where this next thing came from.

Luke 23:11
- read this verse in your Bible first please -

- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

Herod had become quite upset with Jesus because of His lack of answers. Herod felt disrespected and whispered to his soldiers, “This dummy probably hasn’t committed any crimes, but the people hate Him. We could have some fun with Him. Let’s rough Him up a bit and then somehow make Him look like a fool.” Herod stood up straight and took a running start towards Jesus and kicked across His face. The crowd shouted in joy, “Woo-hoo!” The force of the kick caused Jesus to flip over and land on His back. He reached His hands up to His face because of the intense pain that existed there now. When Jesus was able to pull Himself back up to His knees, the broad side of a sword struck the back of His neck. He leaned forward from the blow so quickly, that His face slammed into the road. His nose began to bleed again and He knew there was more to come. As the mob continued to cheer, the beating that Jesus got seemed to get worse. Some of the soldiers weren’t hitting him, but they were dancing around the soldiers that were doing the beating singing, “My name is Jesus – that rhymes with mesus – I lord and I rule – I meant I’m a fool – I’m such a good friend – please hit me again – I think I have fleas – now get my robe please.” Just then one of the soldiers brought a bright purple piece of cloth that he had stolen from one of the vendors nearby. It was very valuable, but they didn’t care. They took it and tied it around Jesus’ neck. They weren’t gentle about it either. One of the soldiers grabbed the edge of the robe and as he pulled Jesus by it, he said, “This fine king needs to be returned to sender. Take Him back to Pilate and let him do the judging.” He put the edge of the robe in one of the church leaders’ hands and said, “If you just give this a tug, he will go wherever you lead Him. Think of Jesus as a dog and this robe is His leash. Of course if He doesn’t move easily, you can give it a more intense tug like this,” he pulled the robe that was tied around Jesus’ neck and Jesus fell down on His face and it scraped across the ground a few feet until His momentum stopped, “and He will go where you want Him too. In fact, all the way back to Pilate. Now Go!”

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Old Seventy Seven is Right!

A Photo-a-day or at least a blog-a-day would be nice, but I have been unable to complete either one of those magnificent tasks. They were lofty dreams and I am so back-slidden. (Back-slidden: to slide back; to fall away; esp. to abandon gradually the faith and practice of a religion that has been professed)

My big camera the Canon EOS 1Ds has been returned as of the beginning of last week because it was too technical for me to use easily. I found out that the rebates that I expected to get with the other camera that I intended to buy, stopped on Feb 19. I would have saved about $700. So, I'm not really sure what my next course of action is on that road.

This past weekend, I took on a beast of a job and completed it with flying colors. At least today as I'm looking up from the floor waving the flag in pain, the colors are flying. Problem : There was a foul section of concrete in a friends driveway that needed to be reprimanded, removed, and replaced.
Day 1 Reprimanded and Removed A friend - The Hammer - and I used a 10 lb sledge hammer, a 2 lb sledge hammer, a jack hammer, a 24 oz hammer, two shovels, a chainsaw, and a pulling mechanism (truck n chain) to remove about 200 square feet of a driveway, a 4 inch root that spanned the width of the drive, and a 2 inch root that spanned the width of the drive.
Day 2 Rest - sort of
Day 3 Replacement The Hammer - and I built concrete forms, then we proceeded to create concrete to pour as the new drive. So between us we lifted 92 - 80lb sacks of concrete and deposited their contents into a mixer. Did you do the math? We lifted, mixed, and poured 3.68 tons of concrete. Yesterday - The Hammer - had to go and spend a day at school while I had the opportunity to stay home and recuperate. Today, we are both still in the House of Pain, but we are recovering nicely.

Thank you Hammer, I had a great time of fun doing not fun stuff!

Here are a few photos of - The Waffle - and - The Hammer - looking sweet together for many years. Though we were hunks for all of the ladies then, I think that The Hammer would agree, our wives are the smokingest, hottest ladies on earth, (His being the smokingest, hottest lady on earth for him and mine being the smokingest, hottest lady on earth for me) and the two hunks in this series of photos are off the market.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Alright it seems like no one ever looks at my blog, or you guys that do are afraid to comment on anything that I've said, or you are very quiet people. Either way, I haven't posted a picture in a while and I was challenged by - Old Seventy Seven - to do this sort of photo. So, here are my medium format cameras. Can you guess where the Kiev camera's lens was made?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Hey, I'm sorry. It has been a few days since I last posted anything. My days have been so hectic, even right now I have other things that I need to do. I think that the reason I have been holding off from the posting is because my Bible Study has led me to the last couple of days of Jesus' life on earth. Since I do my study so slowly, these few days really do take me a few days to get through. They are very sad and I struggle with what happened to Jesus. I know He wins in the end, but it is a sad time. Here is what I have from yesterday about Luke 22:42 - saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Jesus was really struggling, and this verse which takes a moment to read describes an event that took what I imagine was quite a while. In my mind, here is what I think some of that conversation involved

- Ben Blue Jean Para -

He prayed, “Dad, if it were alright with you, we could not go through all of the things that are about to take place. Just like you, I love these people. I love to be here with them. I love to be a part of their lives. They are the gift you have given to me and I love you for it. Maybe there is a way that we could figure out how to give them a permanent sacrifice besides what has been planned. -- That won’t be right; it couldn’t ever work. Aghghggh! I love these people so much that I am willing to die for them, but I don’t want to experience the separation from you that I know will happen when the time comes for me to bear all of their sins. I love you and I don’t want to experience that one moment apart from you, but if I don’t give myself as the sacrifice for all time, they will be lost. They need the love that I can give through sacrifice and I want to keep loving them like I have today so I will do it. But, I don’t think that I can bear causing pain for you by taking all of their sins on me. Aghghggh! Dad, whatever you think is the right decision, I will accept as my own.”

Today's study was still sad. It was the moment when Judas did what he did. Then the guards took Jesus into the high priest's court yard during the night and strummed on Him until the morning. It is also when Peter's denial broke his heart when he heard the rooster.
Luke 22:63-65
This happens during the night after Jesus had been taken into custody. I see Peter off to the side looking in uneasily at this scene.
- Ben Blue Jean Para -

He saw that the guards that had taken Jesus into custody had made some sort of blindfold out of what looked to be a sock. They had covered his eyes with it and had started poking him with their swords and hitting him. He saw one of the men run up and smack Jesus in the face with a canteen while he was screaming, “Hey old prophet, prophesy on this!” Jesus pummeled to the ground and the man that hit Him yelled, “Who is it that just hit you?” All of the guards started laughing at what they had just seen. Then the man stepped to Jesus and since He didn’t answer, the man bent down to take the sock off of Jesus’ eyes so that He could see who it was. Jesus looked up at the man from the ground with His one good eye that hadn’t swollen up yet, and the man said to him, “Hey, Jesus, it was me!” - Let me just warn you that the words that you would have heard that day were not as kind as what I have just written. - Peter grabbed his mouth and covered it so as not to make a sound.

Luke 22:60-61
Then this is as Peter realizes the moment of his third denial
- Ben Blue Jean Para -

As he finished that last word, he heard the rooster jump starting the morning with a, “cock-a-doodle-do.” “On no!” He breathed. At that moment, he remembered that Jesus said, “Peter, three times tonight you will deny that you know me. When you hear the rooster crow in the morning, you will remember what I have said to you now,” and he did remember. He looked over at Jesus lying on the ground, beaten. He looked closer and saw that Jesus was looking right at him. Just then one of the guards kicked Jesus in the stomach and caused Jesus to close His eyes in pain. Peter stared at Jesus for a few seconds more, then with tears streaming down his face, he ran. He didn’t stop running until he was completely spent and he fell onto the ground still crying, still weeping over what had just happened.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Missionary Tech

Today I had a chance to go over and check out Missionary Tech - http://www.techteam.org - but before I went, I was a part of this giant wall graphic application process. There is a new sanctuary that needed to have vinyl stickers - that had been cut into a verse - put on the wall. I mostly watched what they were doing and helped when needed. But this guy, Joel - Old Seventy-Seven - asked me if I would photograph the work that they were doing. Being - The Waffle - (formerly Photo Guy but this new nickname was given by my daughter today) I was happy to break out my camera equipment. When we were finally finished at the church I had a chance to go over to the Missionary Tech offices and take a closer look at what they do. It is really cool because people like architects can be missionaries too through the Missionary Tech Team. I'm not an architect, but they do have a graphics team which - Old Seventy-Seven - is a part of and it looks like something I will look into further. I would way rather do the work that I've been doing with the mag for Jesus than for the dollar. This is three different photos that I put together to honor the work of one fine Missionary. It shows the final product in the background. It also shows - Old Seventy-Seven - while he was working. By the way, while he was working, his arms and fingers became very sore from the constant pressures that he was having to apply to get the letters to adhere to the wall properly. So the one where his eyes are closed is how he really felt on the outside and the dream is what he was thinking while he was doing work for Jesus.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Make Sure You Hear

I love my jacket and I love my glasses. The Babe has often commented that I look much like the verizon guy, and normally people agree. I do zip my jacket up many times when I wear it, but I don't really care to talk on the phone most of the time. If you look closely, I don't even use the same phone as the verizon guy and most of the time I wear a hat. I don't have the same hair style, I don't have a verizon patch, and I don't always walk around leading a large crowd of people. If you couldn't tell already, my first name is Ben and his first name is Verizon - but hold on, his last name is Guy. That's not my last name.
This blog entry is dedicated to - The Babe.

2 Additions to Yesterday's post:
1. I unknowingly used the phrase 'sharing the gospel' which is one of those phrases used by Christians. It doesn't seem to have a concrete definition, which seems to make it troublesome to understand for someone who might be trying. If you didn't even notice it, you should be able to see now how easy it is to use Christian phrasings.

2. Though I have personally met Jesus,
these were the thoughts going through my mind:

No, I haven't tried Dr. Jesus but I have tried Dr. Pepper - tastes good
No, I haven't tried Dr. Jesus but I have tried Dr. Scholls - I'm gellin'
No, I haven't tried Doc Jesus but once I hired Doc Holiday
No, I haven't tried Dr. Jesus but I read a book by Dr. Seuss
Can we just call Dr. Jesus - Dr. J - I mean, does he play basketball?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Ice Man's Birthday

Today was the Ice Man's Birthday and this is a picture of him looking real tough.

This other photo is the one I intended to post earlier in the day, but I didn't have time. I feel really cynical about all church signs that try and put something - ?interesting? - on them. This church is in my city, and they have had some bad ones, so don't worry, you'll probably see another photo of their sign real soon.
So as I drive by, I wonder if this sign is supposed to bring people into the church? What is this church really trying to say about Jesus? Has anyone in the church tried Dr. Jesus and what sort of medicine does He practice? What does this say for the honest church that is trying to meet the real needs of real people? Here in the real world, not everyone speaks 'Christianese.' Many of the thoughts and ideas that I know because I grew up in the church are foreign to regular people who don't have a pastor for a dad. I understand what the sign is trying to say, but in my opinion, that is the wrong place/way to say it.
I'm going to give another example of what I am talking about. The word 'sin.' It is used over and over by every pastor and church-goer known to man. Get honest with me here please - what does the word sin mean? Many in the church would answer doing something wrong or doing something against God. Those are true, but neither is a certain answer to the question -what is sin? Let's go beyond that. Sharing the gospel with another would require you to get to the point where you tell someone that they have sinned. Use Romans 3:23. You would move right through that to Romans 6:23, and then ask, "Don't you want that free gift?" They may not even understand what being a sinner really means. When you add in grace and mercy, also undefinable by most, you get a giant hodgepodge of dingleberries and whipped cream - your heart is in the right place, but the language that you use might as well be coming from a quantum scientist teaching you how to scientifically achieve maximum inflation with a latex orbital expanding through increased air pressure through its inlet - blow up a balloon.
Sin is disobedience against the laws that God has set for us to follow -known or unknown. You can find a list of some of them in Exodus 20. If you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking all of them--James 2:10. Breaking one of those laws-- like telling a lie (bearing false witness)-- puts you in a place of being a law-breaker - a criminal. If you go to court over that broken law you will go and stand in front of the judge. That judge is the one that wrote the laws (God). He will find you guilty and you will be punished. There is a lot more conversation that goes with this talk about sin, and if you need it, I can tell you.

Christians we need to be clear in our language.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Shiloh Elvis Huckleberry Newton

The Punisher - didn't get a haircut after all. So sorry there will be no post of that event for now, but thank you for the challenge. Here is a photo that I did that covers 4 of 5 baseball stadiums that we went to last summer - My Favorite was Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. We are missing the Colorado Rockies tickets because we lost them in Colorado - Parker to be exact.

Bible thought
This little piece came after Jesus had talked about the greatness that comes through humility and given the disciples some positive prophesy, then

Luke 22:31-34
- read these three verses in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

Jesus said, "Satan has demanded permission to put you, all of you, through the ringer. He wants to chew you up when you are fresh and spit you out like a tired, 10 hour chewed, piece of gum, but I have prayed for you. I have prayed that your faith would not fail and Peter, I have prayed that once you turn back from your upcoming sadness and regain your faith, that you would come back and strengthen these - I pray that you would again find a place to be a leader among the brothers here.” Peter pushed his chair back, slammed his hand on the table, stood up and said, “Hold on Jesus. You, above all, should know that I’m good to go! If the need be, I will go to prison or even death for you!” Jesus smiled, nodded and motioned for Peter to sit back down. While Peter was sitting back down, Jesus said to him, “Peter, three times tonight you will deny that you know me. When you hear the rooster crow in the morning, you will remember what I have said to you now.”

Monday, February 5, 2007

Day Two

I just took this photo of Cole - The Punisher - before he went to get his hair cut. He loves that shaggy look, but mommy wants it to look different. He was a little upset about having to get his hair cut and I just happened to catch him putting on a happy face. He is skipping a lot of school because of his eye injury and of that, he is happy. Today at the hospital, the doctor said that his recovery was looking great and that now we just needed to wait until the iris paralyzer wore off to send him back to school. Oh yeah, you can look in his eyes and see something very freaky. Make sure you say "Punisher" three times while you are looking.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Start of Something New

Hey, if you look at the post time for this post, you might notice that in some areas of the world, it is the exact time that a regularly scheduled church service would take place. Then if you put that together with the time zone that I live in, you might once again consider me back-slidden. We didn't go because of what happened yesterday, but we would still have about an hour to get there before the preaching starts - our church does a whole lot of singing and announcements.

It is great to be a part of a church community, but sometimes either the timing or just being alive, doesn't work out - like today. Be you can be sure that you won't hear this excuse every week. Like Keith Green said,
"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger."

Ok, because I am a photographer, I've decided that I will try to photograph and post at least one photo per day. If you want to challenge me, ask me to photograph an idea or a person that is hundreds of miles away. I might accept - or - decline. One photo per day doesn't sound like much, but it might get ridiculous, so in the future you may just see a post with a photo, or a lame photo that I put up because posting was the last thing on my mind. Also, if I am away from a computer, there may not be a post for a particular day. My photo today (below) is of some items that are in my house. One of them is labeled Acacia (my wife - The Babe) and it just so happened that in this photo - if you look closely, the one right beside it is labeled with Jacob (my son - The Ice-Man).

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Elements

This morning we were sadly woken extremely early. Cole had been sleeping and somehow received a cut on his eye. He came into the parent bedroom filled with beautiful sleepy parents and woke us up with some crying. We messed around with his crying because he refused to go the doctor until about noon. The doctor did some weird doctor stuff and sent him home with a patch over his eye. He doesn't feel real piratey right now, he just wants his eye to heal so that he can take the patch off. That ordeal has pretty much spent the whole day for us.

Bible thought
This little piece came after Jesus passed the cup around a first time saying that he wouldn't drink the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God was going to come, then
Luke 22:19-20
- read these three verses in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

He waited until the cup got back to Him and then He set it down on the table. He reached over and picked up the loaf of bread that had been prepared and as He was holding it, He looked up and said, “Thank you Father God for this beautiful picture in this simple loaf of bread. Let each crumb be a testament of your love.” Then with tear filled eyes He looked back to the disciples around the table. He smiled and with a crackle in His voice He broke the bread into pieces and said, “The picture of this broken bread represents my body that will be broken and has been given for your lives. When you eat this bread, remember that it is special… it is me.” Jesus watched as each of the disciples took a piece of the bread and ate it. Then He picked up the cup of wine again and said, “This wine will also be a way to remember me. This wine is a picture of the blood that will come from my body. It will flow freely and cover your impurity; it will cover your sin. It is a symbol of a new covenant that doesn’t need a priest, a new covenant that doesn’t need to sacrifice any more, a new covenant that will have the ability to bring you face to face with God.”

Friday, February 2, 2007

ex-b-day - ha ha - CACI MY LOVE

I have not written in a few days which should be your cue to say, "That guy is so back-slidden." I did read through my upcoming verses two days ago.
Over the past few days I've been arguing in my head with a few of the people at the Mag. My arguments come from a recent conversation that we had. Now, because it is a business environment and I bring Annalisa to the office everyday, they have asked me to find somewhere to keep her while I work. They said it would be alright to bring her every once in a while-- only when there is nothing else that I could do, but I have a problem with that. So, since I feel more comfortable writing than debating, here is what I wrote down about how I'm feeling about the office environment.

Annalisa is my daughter and I am her daddy. I want to be a great dad, and one of the things that our family decided a long time ago is that we would do everything that we could possibly do to keep our kids out of daycare. As Parents, we don't have long to keep our kids, and the first few years of life are of the utmost importance. It is a time when the parents can be most influential in raising their children. Whether I am good or bad at it, I want to see my kids grow up to be fantastic individuals that are secure in themselves. So, I guess, if you get me, you will also be getting Annalisa.

Bible thought
This little piece is after Judas had been entered by Satan and then he went to talk with the church leaders about the Jesus Betrayal.
Luke 22:4-5
- read these three verses in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

He said, "I hang out with Jesus a lot. He asked me to be a part of His gang and I agreed. I just don't like hanging out with Him anymore. We are always walking around with empty pockets and even though we don't actually beg, it feels like we are begging for food - everywhere we go. I'm getting sick of being broke so I was thinking we should make a deal. I would like to have a big fat wallet and be politically powerful, while you would like to have Jesus on a shish-ka-bob. I think that we can make that happen." The huddle of leaders all turned with bug eyes and looked at each other then one of them spoke up, "What luck! That is so great, the awesome Lord our God has blessed us with fantastic news and surely Jesus will get what He deserves. This news is so magnificent, if you do produce Him so that we can have Him killed, we will give you thirty silver coins that are worth a whole lot and of that you can be sure. That is how important we feel about removing Jesus from His heretical place of teaching and sending Him straight to the executioner." Judas looked down on the ground and rubbed his beard for a second, then said, "So it will be done."

Benny and the Newtones