Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Passion4Christ Summit 2011

"...He will quiet you with His love." Zephaniah 3:17

"Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." Mark 6:31

A little over a month ago now, I found myself boarding a plane for the farmlands of Ohio. I was on my way to photograph Passion4Christ Summit 2011. I didn't really know any of the attendees very well, and I was a little slow about actually wanting to go, but that all changed in time. The Lord opened up all the doors & made it pretty clear that He wanted me to photograph this conference. So, I decided I was up for the adventure.

As soon as I was picked up from the airport in Columbus, I found myself letting go of all the "what-ifs" in my mind and the stored-up nervousness & expectations of what I had. I sensed that I was at a safe place of REST for the next few days...

Though busy photographing the conference all week, my heart was encouraged. I fellowshipped with brothers & sisters in Christ who have gone through or are going through similiar things in their Christian walk, and I was able to refocus my attention on the Lord, and Him alone.

So many fond memories stick out, but whether it was the bonfire on the lakeside, laughing till my stomach sides hurt, gazing up at the stars, singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" with all the conference attendees... or sipping coffee by the fireplace on the foggy mornings... or singing "Still My Soul Be Still" on the last morning & literally being brought to tears over the reality of Who He really is and who I am in Him, and that He does not waste our trials & suffering... the week was an incredible blessing.

So without further adieu, YOU must consider going to Passion4Christ Summit 2012.
Be sure to check out more information at Vision4Living Ministries at www.vision4living.org.


Some of my favorite quotes from the conference:

Know who you are. Accept who you are. BE who you are. Mr. Novotny

Boys are like pancakes. Mr. Novotny

Our God makes Himself known. He desires to be known. He doesn't play hard to get. Scott O'Neal

Are you going to rest in God's will... or be resigned to God's will? There's a big difference. Daniel Cavanaugh

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. —Psalms 16:11

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Something Worth Fighting For

So it's been like this the last few weeks...

God: "Leah, you need to be ALL here. I've called you to be a photographer for better OR for worse. Success or fail. Praise or rejection. Ignoring your gift is not an option. There's no back door out."

From the time I cried tears of frusteration & confusion over my 3rd grade Math, I started a pattern of  just simply giving up when things got too hard.

In high school, I faithfully scratched numbers & took notes in Algebra class every day, but my heart wasn't in it. And I failed. It was like studying Greek - or worse - in my eyes. I didn't understand an ounce of it, so why even try?

I've been surrounded by SO many marriages where husbands & wives just gave up in complacency. It was too hard, and they didn't care any more.

Over a year ago, I gave up my photography business. Life hurt too much. Rejection from my clients .. or even from those (who I thought) were dearest in my life was too painful.

Without even fully realizing it, the last year or so I've been "re-creating" myself to fit in everyone else's boxes to be accepted. The beginning of September I hit some "bumpy waters" and changes in my life, so I began to earnestly asked God what in the world His will for my life was, and what step I should make. God began telling me in the most gentle way, "Leah, you ALREADY know what my will is. I've called YOU to be a photographer. Use your talent. Don't waste it out of fear of failure. Just because you failed before doesn't mean you quit."

One of my favorite movie moments is the scene in "The Patriot" just after Gabriel dies, and the Colonel encourages Benjamin to "stay the course" when he wants to give up after his son's death. Benjamin regains the courage to fight again, and so he catches up with the army, riding up on his horse with Gabriel's worn & torn American flag waving high in the air. Benjamin pressed on to fight again, even through one of the lowest moments of his life (losing his son.)



















Or I always want to go running for a kleenex box at the scene on "Amazing Grace" when the bill is passed to end the slave trade. William Wilberforce chokes up in the overwhelming emotion of what had just taken place, and he glances up at his wife. He had been so discouraged, and so close to wanting to give up, but through the encouragement and support of his wife, Barbara Spooner, he kept going.. and made it to this day of victory.




















All great victories have been won only through great sacrifice.

Life isn't always a compelling soundtrack. Sometimes it's forging through the grit, the tears and the hard times.

JD, photographer Jasmine Star's husband, told her, "I'd rather see you fail at something you love than succeed at something you hate."

I think someday when I get to glory and see my Savior face to face, I'd rather say, "Lord, I did what you asked me to. I did what I could, even though I failed miserably at times." RATHER than be ashamed that I made great sucess in my own eyes, because I ignored what He called to do.



All that I am, all that I have, I lay them down before You, O Lord. All my regrets, all my acclaim, My joy and my pain I'm making them Yours. Things in the past, things yet unseen, Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true, All of my hopes, all of my plans, My heart and my hands are lifted to You. Lord, I offer my life to You, Everything I've been through, Use it for Your glory...


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