“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
~Rich Mullins

Jul 30, 2012

An Arizona Storm

We finally got a storm!! A real storm!! With rain and thunder and lightening and the rest of those amazing things that we hardly ever see here!

But, preceding all the fun things, comes the dust. Depending on where you're from, you may not understand this, but out here in the good ole Southwest, storms often consist merely of dust.

The upside is that a huge wall of dust moving toward you looks very neat, indeed! So, I packed up my camera and floored it out to the mountain range near our house, hoping to get up high enough fast enough to get some pictures before the storm got me.

I made it up there just in time. (Some of these are slightly out of focus due to shooting out of the window of my moving truck)

I jumped out of the truck and took this picture. You can see the haze starting on the right side...and that streak across the road? The first wisp of dust coming.

I was engulfed very, very quickly. Can you see the faint outline of the mountains?

The road in front of me on the way out. It was actually really neat up there. It was somewhat spooky feeling, and quite the testimony to God's power!

 This is a picture I took from the side of the road up the mountain a couple weeks ago. You can see the city in the distance and you can also see the Estrella Mountains in the distance.

This was from the same spot last night. See the cactus on the right? Same spot! Just covered in dust!

This is my mom's stallion, Design!! One of my new favorite pictures. This boy has attitude!!!!

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785

Jul 27, 2012

I Need Y'All's Opinions

I just looked at the clock and it said "11:18 PM and 94 degrees." Can anyone spell yuck?!?!?

But...that's not really why I'm blogging :)

I am trying to decide which photo to enter in a contest called "Snapshot with Scripture." Which one should I do??? I can't decide.

Jul 26, 2012

If All You Had Was The Bible....

.....how would you set up a government?

Think about it. You've just escaped from the tyrannical rule of Great Britain and you're now on your own in a brand new country...with the daunting task of figuring out how to rule all the people looming over your head. What would you do? Where would you start?

There is a general mold for a Republican government. An executive power (be it a president, a king, etc.) with one or more other powers put in place to act as checks and balances. Obviously, in America, we have the judicial and legislative powers consisting of the Supreme Court, House of Representatives, and the Senate.

But is this the right way?

Most of us in the "Christian, conservative, homeschooled" circle are trying to go back to the Bible in everything we do. We ask ourselves, "if all we have is the Bible, how would we parent?", "if all we had was the Bible, how would we do church?" etc.

So...if all you had was the Bible, how would you set up a government?

My thoughts are in no way settled on this subject, but it has been something that has been consuming my thoughts lately as I read through the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers for school and talk to a friend who is doing the same thing for school.

In the Bible, the government that we see set up is a series of judges. Judges of tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands. Yes, Israel dissolved into a monarchy, but that was plainly because they turned away from God.

While reading through the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, I have been really surprised at how little they refer to God as the basis for their government. Of course, I know these men were so Godly, and so Biblically literate, but this struck me as odd. They refer to a Creator and the like off and on, but when they are arguing whether or not an idea will work, it is all based on temporal and pragmatic reasons.

In the Anti-Federalist Papers, Patrick Henry (my newest hero) makes a very interesting point. Before this point in time (about 1788), there had been a very minimalistic government. But the group of men who came together to write the constitution, came together because they believed the existing government was weak and not active enough. Henry's point was:

"The Confederation; this same despised Government, merits, in my opinion, the highest encomium: It carried us through a long and dangerous war: It rendered us victorious in that bloody conflict with a powerful nation: It has secured us a territory greater than any European Monarch possesses: And shall a Government which has been thus strong and vigorous, be accused of imbecility and abandoned for want of energy? Consider what you are about to do before you part with this Government. Take longer time in reckoning things..."

Later, he literally claims that the Constitution could prove a fatal threat to liberty.

That's serious!!

So did "big government" get its foot firmly in the door when the North won the Civil War, or when the Federalists won and ratified the Constitution?

It's a scary question. Especially when many Christians cry "It's Un-Constitutional!"

What if the Constitution is Un-Biblical and a threat to liberty?

"For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." 1 Cor 7:22-23

Your thoughts?!?!?

Jul 25, 2012

Surfin' Arizona Style, Part II

For those of you who got a kick out of our first “Surfin’ Arizona Style” movie, you’ll be sure to enjoy our “Surfin’ Arizona Style, Part II.” More people, more horses, more boogie boards, more falls...more fun!! 

Jul 24, 2012

How to get the fence built!!

This gave me a chuckle :)

As usual, I've been staying quite busy! These hawks built a nest in a tree a few miles from our house, so I drove over there to take some pictures of them the other day. It was ridiculously hot, so I didn't stay long, but it was fun!!

The babies!!!!

Honestly, I have been doing a much better job at updating my photo blog. (www.atruefocus.blogspot.com) There are lots of pictures from our church's camp out on there, as well as the rest of this shoot I just did of my gorgeous sisters!

Also, *conspiratorial whisper* for those of you who loved our "Surfin' Arizona Style" video, there's a "Surfin' Arizona Style, Part II" in the works. More horses + more people + more surfboards + more falls = more FUN!! Stay tuned!

Jul 15, 2012

Of beautiful skies and cute puppies!

So sorry that I've slowed down on my blogging lately :)

One reason is that I am currently taking a photography class with Lisa Furey of www.TheLongRoadToChina.com. This lady is a genius and an incredible photographer. I am learning so much!!

Here's some quick pictures from the last few weeks.

I had the camera out in the pasture a few days ago, and this tree just made a perfect frame for a shot of Jessie. Can you tell she is the one who is always willing to pose for my camera?? :)

This is our beautiful puppy, Annie, growing up!! She is just the most beautiful girl, and so sweet and mellow. Our labs are just the best!!

And this....this....was the sky out in front of our house this evening!!!! Arizona is plunging headfirst into monsoon season which means heat, humidity, and overall nastiness. But, it also means beautiful, beautiful skies and clouds! This is really what it looked like...it was breathtaking.

I really have a thing for clouds. I feel like I'm always wandering around saying, "Wow...look at that cloud," or, "look at the sky," or.... but this one was special. It made me feel so small and just so amazed at God's creative powers and genius. And just that He cares for us and notices us when He has so many other big things to do.

Click on this picture and make it big...it's worth it :)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." Ps. 19

Jul 10, 2012

Quote Of The Decade

The Quote of the Decade:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Amazing that he admits it, isn't it??


Jul 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!

John Adams said that today "will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Never take our liberty for granted.....it is on the edge of being taken away from us again.