Thankfully, we don't have to wait until a holiday to be thankful. God has given us this wonderful capacity to see the world around us, the good and the bad, and offer Him daily appreciation for the many blessings in our lives. Limiting ourselves to one day a year, Thanksgiving Day, to lift up our hearts in gratitude is absurd.
Surrounded by our world of big and little blessings, it seemed the time was right to record some of them in digital form with our cameras for this month's Challenge. Thanks to everyone who submitted their pictures. Remember, December is a No-Challenge month, so we can enjoy food, family, fun and give more thanks for the God who is here - Immanuel - God with us, Jesus the Messiah.
And speaking of food, family and fun, Ginnie's first shot epitomizes that theme perfectly. She says, "Things I'm thankful for include the obvious grandchildren category." This is Rileigh in all her glory.
"Then there's the turkey soup pot representing God-given bounty." Food, food and more food in December! When will it end? Imagine a world where our tastebuds were limited to oatmeal. No sugar, salt, spices, sweet, sour - you get the picture. Thank you, Lord, for a full-orbed sense of taste!
"Finally I'm including some local shots of fall peacefulness and beauty."
Thanks, Ginnie. As the seasons change there are always beauty in the world around us.
God gave us the gift, responsibilities and wonder of marriage, where true and lasting unconditional love should be enjoyed. Don reminds us of this with a picture of Janet. He opines, "I have many things to be thankful for, but my wife is right at the top of the list. Janet has been a huge blessing in my life." Note: you can tell how much he loves her by that big rock on her finger and the fact that he lets her talk on the phone so much! Of course, this thanksgiving and praise MAY lead one to believe Don is priming the pump for a special Christmas gift from Janet, but I'm not talking!
Linda says, "The first picture (after the storm) represents that I am thankful for the fact that the storms don't last forever, that God has mercy on us. The second was dinner at Thanksgiving at my stepson's house (the table taken through a glass) and there's so much to be thankful for-- my kids, grandkids, in-laws... The third is because I am thankful I have a job I enjoy, and great co-workers :)" I really like this stark silhouette of the brooding sky and glimmering sunlight.
A little creativity shines through Linda's second photo. I can hear everyone saying, "Mom, what are you doing!?" and Linda saying, "Oh, it's just part of my November Challenge assignment that Old Davy gave us - He keeps telling us to be CREATIVE!"
Thanks to Linda again for reminding us of God's provision and good friends He has blessed us with. "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
Okay, one more from Lindy. I know I'm putting up more than the two maximum that I usually allow, but I'm in a good mood.
I've got this thing about clouds - God's hand at work, painting the sky with drama, color and original designs. I stuck my head out the north door at work a few weeks ago and saw this strange arrangement of wisps intersected by jet trails. I took a few shots for a panorama and stitched them together so you can see the whole thing at once. "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament [sky] shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1 This picture was taken with my little Canon SD980 point and shoot, which I take to work with me most every day. I never know what I might see!
Most of you know that one of my favorite places to scout and shoot is Cosumnes River Wildlife Preserve, just about 30 minutes north of our house on Interstate 5. I'd never been on Desmond Road before and was treated with a nice sunrise and a few great shots right before a park ranger drove up and had me get off the levee. Rule #1 when taking a wide angle shot like this: Always put something interesting in the foreground. I used these broad leafed plants to balance the long view in the background. Camera: Nikon D5100. I'm trying to use this new camera more so the buttons and setting come more naturally. So far, it's a real struggle after shooting the D70 and D90 so many years. But I like the dynamic range of this camera best. See how it doesn't underexpose the foreground very much.
So, I'm thankful that this area is close to where we live and I can visit it, shoot and be home before Barbara starts breakfast! Ha! God is good!
And I can't forget the blessing of family along with the rest of you. I took this of Angel and Dalton on Thanksgiving Day out front, using a low angle to put some chinese pistache color in the background. I also used the on-camera fill flash, which works well if not overly bright. Most new cameras use TTL [through the lens] fill flash compensation and balance it out pretty well. But when I use my big flash unit, I usually have to manually adjust it up or down to get it just right.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the November Challenge. There will be NO assignment for December due to the hussle and bustle of the month. But hey, if you take a good picture and want to share it, send it to me anyway.
May this Christmas season find your spirit of thanksgiving undiminished and strong as ever. There will be disappointment, pain, and some crazy things that happen, but remember that God is bigger than our circumstances and will be there for you to call upon when you need Him!
Happy New Year to all and to all a goodnight!