Christ’s Suffering.

I don’t think we understand this because as we become teenagers and progress into adulthood, we long for the day when we can get away from our parents. We value individualism and hold it to the highest degree in our society as we claim “I am my own person!” But let me explain this to you:

Christ was at God’s side in the purest vision of relationship that we have ever had the chance to look in on. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit. This perfect community of love, as One, decided to create mankind. God created the earth and created man “in our image”, the Bible says. There was perfect relationship there. Sin enters the earth near the same time and this fellowship that man has with God is severed by our attempt at being like God. Laws are introduced in an effort to keep man close to his Creator, but we constantly fall short, so a lamb is killed for our sins. (let me say, this is a very broad overview of a beautiful system that was set in place as a foreshadowing for a salvation to come.)

Some time passes, and a part of this beautiful relationship mentioned earlier comes to earth in the form of a baby, named Jesus Christ. Now, I want to emphasize this relationship, for a later point. Let me not paint this picture of relation with a broad stroke. You must know that the fullness our hearts in the love we feel for those closest to us, i believe, are only a taste of the love that the father had for the son, that had for the holy spirit, that had for the father. I believe that the love we feel for those closest to us is set in our hearts so we can taste and see the goodness of God. Christ lives a sinless life and dies providing a way for us to be connected again to the one who Created us. Now, you see, that last sentence was loaded, and when i say loaded, i mean there is so much behind that statement a book could be written to describe it (it’s called the Bible). 

So Christ comes to earth to pay the price, like the spotless lambs of the old testament; sinless and perfect, he lived 33 years and was murdered by a faulty court of people who weren’t even honoring their own laws for holding court (trial at night was not allowed by Jewish law, as one example; here are others). 

This is where this gets heavy to me. Christ walked on the earth for 33 years, performed many miracles, healed many sick people, raised people from the dead, all as a means to point to something greater. He knew he had a main task, and that was to be the final sacrifice for mankind in an effort to bring the created back into relationship with the Creator. So the night he was arrested, you find Christ, in the garden, stressed out of his mind, sweating drops of blood, praying asking God for another way. Sadly, i never paid much attention to this, only being thankful for it. But when you stop and think about it, why was he so burdened? Because he was carrying the weight of the sin of all humanity and becoming THE sacrifice? Yes! I mean, think about it, think about all the injustice we see on the day to day level in media, but also think about all the personal sins we keep quiet because we don’t want anyone to know. Now multiply that by every person who has ever lived and ever will live. That’s a big deal! 

But I believe Christ was confident in what God had been doing through him and his ability to handle the weight of the ultimate directive God placed on Him. I think that what was causing Christ the most anguish was the separation that had to occur for all of this to come to pass. Christ took all of this sin on himself and sacrificially separated himself from the beautiful community that he had been apart of for all time. I do not believe we can experience this separation here on earth. I believe this separation from God experienced by Christ is meant for those who reject Christ. This sacrifice of Christ is such a beautiful example of love. It’s not that he died for us physically, It’s that He separated himself from God for us. Please understand that what we as a people need most is relationship with God. So for Christ, as a human and part of the Trinity, to separate himself from the very thing that we as humans need most is THE ultimate in sacrifice. We need God more than anything else because there is eternity and in this eternity, we will live in relationship with him or we will live separated from Him.

The drops of blood that dripped from Christ’s pores and the anguish that the biblical authors wrote about are sobering.

Think about it. 

Jason

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The reason for God.

I received a copy of Timothy Keller’s book, ‘The Reason For God’ yesterday. So far I’ve gotten to the second chapter. He has done a good job reciting reasons for peoples disillusion with religion. Ideas like, “religion has done more to hurt humanity”, or ” all religions lead to the same God” or “All religions are essentially the same” are themes he goes through in the first chapter to set the scene to explain how Christ and Christianity are different. He talks a bit about how the  ideas have changed over the years from everyone being religious to how now most people would say they are spiritual, but not religious. The major theme now being that religion is divisive and hurtful.  

 

I really like Keller. He is smart. His books and teaching are intellectual, not watered down easy invitations to the gospel. He is the pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian. Check him out. 

www.redeemercitytocity.com

www.timothykeller.com

www.redeemer.com

Design idea

Hand drawn Landscape design idea that i’ve had in my mind for a mid century modern style home. Minimalist theme. Blue agave and decomposed granite sit outside back wall of house looked upon by massive wall of windows in main living space or kitchen. House is brick, lighter shade of gray; privacy half-wall match texture and color. Patio, sustainable, made of teak or cypress, preferably cypress, natural finish. Turf is Jamur zoysia. Outstanding color and texture. 

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stay at home daddy.

have the words “i could never do that” come from your mouth?

I spoke those words a few years ago about staying home and raising our kids. In my mind, i need to go out and produce, to support my family and take pride in the job that i do.
Today i laid that lens over the idea of staying at home and raising babies and i believe i got a clear glimpse of one of THE most important jobs anyone could take.

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This is a photo of myself and our 21 month old Jack. We were playing in the kitchen floor when he crawled up into my lap and hugged me. I don’t get this everyday because i go to work, so being home these last few days has provided the opportunity for me to really get a glimpse of what it’s like to guide and nourish him in his development. I’ve noticed that every moment is critical for child development. Teaching them new words, how to make choices and sowing seeds of confidence in the their little heart garden is so important and to be the messenger that God chooses to raise a child is truly a remarkable honor and challenge.

Ideally, if i could be a stay at home dad, this is what it would look like: I’d have to home school. I would do my best to make our home as self sufficient as possible. By this, i mean we would raise our vegetables and chickens, thus lowering our dependency on corporate food. Given my background in construction, landscape and photography, I can fix, maintain and create. I could add to our home as we need, fix things that break, maintain a beautiful home we could take pride in and we would always have art to hang on the walls until Sarah gets sick of my work. I would instill in my kids the ability to take care of things that need to be done, and be less dependent on the work of others, which you may or may not be able to trust. We would take day trips to places and expand our grasp of nature. We would go places and volunteer. We would do chores. We would be scheduled and organized. We would go to time out if we misbehave. We would read and study at home. We would socialize and play organized sports and be involved in a community, probably connected to our church, actually, definitely connected to our church. We would take naps and exercise. We would study and know scripture, probably like jewish kids know the Torah.

Obviously, i speak idealistically, but i think it would be pretty awesome to get it done. To me, this sounds like work I could take pride in, as a father, looking back on how my kids were raised and how they turned out.

Jason

Marietta Country Club- Clubhouse Landscape renovation

This project was a high priority project for the club considering the location and impact the results would have on the club. This project involved removal of 3 flag poles, concrete slab, holly shrubs, old irrigation and turf; then grading (in which we removed several yards of soil), new irrigation, 50/50 soil mix (compost/sand) from Robert Womac @ golf agronomics, and zorro zoysia. Fertility as follows: Label rates for EndoRoots 3-3-4 w/ mychorrizae and Live Earth Humates, and .75#/ 1000sf. 32-3-8 (howard’s) fertilizer. Sod rooted in about a week. I used Rain bird PGA 1.5″ valves and Rainbird 5004 heads. Watered daily for about a week.

Demolition

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grading

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irrigation

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sod

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i pr0mise you, this last photo has no editing.

human trafficking.

27 million. Thats how many people around the world are victims of human trafficking. It seems as though this horrific issue had the spotlight for a minute, but has now faded. We have to keep this issue in the spotlight. We are created in God’s image. The very people created in God’s image are being exploited for human pleasure. Here’s some good ideas on keeping this tragedy on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

i began reading A crime so monstrous this week. I highly recommend this book. Benjamin Skinner is a great writer and he tackles this topic head on. If the first chapter does not rip you to the core, you might not have a soul.

 

Jason

birthday, and why question answered.

i recieved some pretty solid goodies for my birthday

it may seem weird that i’m reading a book about basic photography because i’ve been shooting since 2003, but i started out with a canon 10d at a wedding, and never looked back. Sure i’ve learned aperture, shutter speeds and some basic post production editing, but i’ve never learned the process in great detail.  Basically, i’m taking a step back, putting down the digital, and i’m going to learn the mechanics of photography from composition to final print. I believe it will make me a more solid photographer, and help me grow past the insecurities that have held me back since 2003. I know i can compose a shot, but i’m scared to death of the questions that revolve around photography. The other day someone asked me about cross-processing. I had to look it up. I want to be able to answer questions and help others because there is so much going on in this world, the more we know, as photographers… the more we can share through our images.

Jason