This weekend (5-27-2011) Sarah and I got to meet with Christina and Daniel. We met them to discuss capturing their wedding day. In other words, being their wedding photographers. It was especially exciting because Christina is the sister of one of Sarah and my best friends, Diana. Click the link dude, you’ll probably recognize her. Christina and Daniel live up in San Jose. Sarah’s aunt lives just another hour north of them. So we decided to spend two nights with Sarah’s aunt. Christina and Daniel were just as we expected, awesome! Laid back and easy going, in love, and not taking themselves to serious. We like them.
It was a much needed trip. It gave us a chance to get away for a bit. It’s been a long time since Sarah and I have been on a trip together. It’s one of our most favorite things. And while we have gone on few incredible trips with some of our couples, it’s not quite the same. Not everyone wants to treat Elton John’s “Don’t go breakn’ my heart” like a duet written just for them.
All pictures were taken by Sarah Allen.
During our beach trip, Sarah, her aunt, cousins, and I went to a super fancy lunch at the Pelican Inn. It was a great time.One of my favorite things about the trip, and nearly every trip to visit Sarah’s aunt Nancy, was talking about Jesus and Modern Christianity. She’s a very open minded woman. She’s been through a lot. And has a genuine understanding of God’s grace. I say this because God’s grace is a subject that almost always comes up with her. Nancy is not concerned with judging people, or talking about what “sinners” are doing. She wants to talk about the grace and healing that Jesus wants to bring into our lives. I always feel like it’s safe to talk to her about God.
The big thing we discussed is that we, as Christians, should not feel intimidated or embarrassed when we don’t have the answers. That we should feel safe to question the parts of our faith that we don’t understand. We talked about how doubt, disbelief, the seeking of deep spiritual understanding isn’t rebellion or disloyalty to God.
Which led me to the following thought. It’s easy to feel like the questioning of biblical doctrine or theology (questioning the way Christians believe or practice) to be heresy, or divine betrayal. But it’s not. When we understand why x+y=z we will then understand addition. But if we memorize 2+2=4 and we don’t understand the concept. We won’t be able to apply it to real life. Likewise, if we memorize that the Bible says ( sometimes only in principle) that we should not get drunk, that we should not steal, that the rapture is a critical part of Christian belief. We will not understand why we believe these things, if all we’ve done is memorize them. Listen I am convinced that a Fender Stratocaster sounds the way it does because its sound is influenced by the mostly hollow body, the single coil pickups, and the huge plastic pick-guard it’s all attached too. I am convinced of this because I’ve sought the understanding, and I’ve spent some serious time with that guitar. I know that a completely solid body guitar has a different and distinct sound. I didn’t just take someone’s word for it. I sought this understanding. Many people will say, a Fender is what is best when you play Blues Electric. But I understand why.
I’m certainly not the best guitar player in the world. I’ll never be a professional. I can keep up with most of the guitar players you’ll meet. But there are tons of guitar players that can make me look like a real beginner. I am not, and was not an expert by any means. But for seven whole years I always had a guitar student. You see I was so passionate about the instrument that it was contagious. I could talk for hours about it. Crap, I mean I could play for hours on it (about three hours a day for awhile). And people would tell me that my passion was contagious. It was inspiring. One of our friends was over at our house just hanging out. She heard me talk about music and guitar and asked me to give her lessons. We had our first lesson right then. She borrowed one of my guitars until she bought her own. She still plays to this day. People tell me I make them feel the same way about photography. I want people to feel the same way about my relationship with Jesus.
In music or any other art, when an artist just does what he’s told, when he follows instruction and technique his art will SUCK!!! It will be robotic. He has to believe in what he’s doing. He has to have conviction in his art. He has to feel it. I don’t want to be a robot in my faith. I want to believe it with all my heart. I want to understand as much as I can. I want to feel the conviction when I talk about Jesus. I want to talk to you with sincerity in what I believe. Not because my church or my Christian Sub-culture told me this is the way I’m supposed to believe, act, or behave. If all I do is memorize the answers, all I will be is a freaking Jesus pamphlet. A Jesus business card. I want people to hear my conviction, to hear my passion for Jesus, and I want them to want it too. I’m no expert on the Bible, Christianity, or Jesus Himself. But what I do know I’ll share with you, and when I’m uncertain about something I won’t be afraid to admit it.
Jesus is not for sale! He’s not a used car, a hot tub, a coffee drink, or a self help service. He’s not a collection of principles and practices a person must follow to get into Heaven. He’s real, He died on the cross, came back from the dead to prove He’s more powerful than death itself.
So that’s a big part of what was on my mind this weekend. That and one of my new most favorite photographers in the entire world. Alex Beadon!!! Stop waisting your time on my blog and go look at some real photography.
Thanks a lot for letting me share with you. I hope you express your heart in some way today.
God Bless You,