Archive for February, 2010

52 blessings 08.2010

Well, I’m not sure if this is a real blessing… but many blessings come about because of it. Traveling. Today, my oldest daughter said, “Wow, you know how many miles you will fly this year? How cool is that?” I told her she would drastically change her mind once she took the flight form Seattle to London and London to Entebbe, Uganda. It’s not that cool to fly… However, the ministry, the serving is.

This week I will be flying with World Vision to Guatemala to do some photography for their “Vision” trip. A hand full of World Vision volunteers and a couple staff members will embark on a trip of a life time to see how WV works with communities through child sponsorship.

This is an incredible opportunity for me and it’s a crazy story that lead me to this spot today.

In March of 2009, I signed up with World Vision as a Child Ambassador. A CA is someone who shares the joys of child sponsorship, with churches and other organizations, on how to make a difference in a child’s life, their families and community. Our family sponsors two beautiful kids in Uganda… Zakaliya and Lucy. We wished we could sponsor more children but instead I chose to volunteer and invite other into the joy that our whole family has had.

Sharing the story of sponsorship can be hard sometimes… It’s not that people don’t care, I just think they’re afraid. Afraid of long commitments, failure, putting a face on poverty or a host of other concerns… I hear lots of things. I wish people would take a few more risks in life and just trust Jesus.

Well, I shared with my mother about sponsorship… She looked through several picture folders and fount two little boys she wanted to sponsor. She then told me that she would pray about it and get back to me. She never did. The picture folder that I receive, of WV kids, have expiration dates. This gives them a better chance and more exposure by not letting them “hang” in one spot. Well, the folders expired. She had missed the opportunity to work with these boys. She was truly upset. I told her I had just received several more folders of kids needing sponsorship and so she grabbed the folders and began to read their stories.

Carlos, jumped out at her almost immediately. They both shared the same birthday, January 4th. Not only that, but Carlos has a big family, Five sisters and three brothers. My mother also has eight other siblings. It seemed to be the perfect match. This time she filled out the paper work and became Carlos’ sponsor. So cool.

Several months later, I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, sharing goals for 2010. I told him I wanted to retire from sports photography and do more humanitarian work. I told him I should probably think about contacting World Vision since I was already working with them. I had sent and inquiry about using some of my photos from a previous mission trip… nothing. Not a call, nothing. I knew, this would be difficult. There are so many gifted photographers, I had a pity party scheduled… but I decided not to show up. I had to make a strong effort to plan something in 2010. So I began to think about when I would be thinking about connecting with WV.

Shortly after that, I received a call from the National Director for Volunteer Service. She asked me if I might be available to be their photographer and videographer for a trip to Guatemala. I have to say I was shocked. I wasn’t suppose to even begin to start thinking about this yet and here it was in my lap. I responded with a maybe and that I had to pray about it. With a little one due in December of 2009 and plans for a Uganda trip with my oldest daughter in May of 2010, I was a bit unsure.

All of a sudden it was if I had shown up to something that God was orchestrating long ago. I called my mother, who is a powerful prayer warrior, I shared with her what was going on, that I had been invited to take photos for World Vision and she told me she was just thinking about her sponsored child Carlos. It turned out that he was from Guatemala. She said she would pray about it and that was that.

A few nights later, she called and said God had put it on her heart to pay for any cost, that I would need for the trip. I told her that WV was taking care of most of the cost but she said she would send me a check… She said, “If you go or don’t go, I just feel that I need to send you this.” I told her we were taking one day at a time and much would be decided after Rebekah was born. Dawentte and I agreed that God was up to something and that we would listen to His call. I agreed to prayerfully move forward on this trip. Rebekah was born December 14 and on December 15 I had my first phone conference with the Vision team members. On that call, I learned that we would be in Ixim Achi, ADP #179904. I really thought nothing of it. I was trying to catch up with the team.

January 4th, my mothers birthday, I called, as usual, to wish her well. She asked if I had decided to go to Guatemala and I told her, Yes. I didn’t realize that it had been so long since we spoke. She was excited that I was going and then something clicked in me… I asked her to go get Carlos’ picture folder… I told her there should be a number for the Area Development he was in. She got the folder and read, “1-7-9-9-0—–4.” I couldn’t believe it. God had put something on her heart long ago and now God was sending me right smack to his home. God is on the move and I love that about Him. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be in Guatemala and in a few days I will meet Carlos and his whole family face to face.

So all the prep work has been done, and now I sit in this hotel room ready to travel. God is all over this. There is no other reason for my being on this trip other that He has something planned. I am looking and listening.

So traveling is a blessing and to have a place to rest in between is too.

I’m so excited to see what’s next on this journey.

Until the whole world hears.
johno~

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Limited Collection

Hey everyone… Many of you will or already have received a letter from Hannah and I regarding our journey to Uganda. As stated in the letter, I’m offering three limited prints on canvas for those who make a donation of $350 to King’s Orchard church of Christ with the memo Uganda Journey. I only have these three prints now, HOWEVER, my friend David Forester is willing to make more when the orders come in. What make these limited is my pocket. I can only manage to produce, (fund) 15 prints.

How it works:

You make a donation to King’s Orchard church of Christ buy sending a check for $350 with the memo: Thomas Uganda Gift… I buy the print with my money and I ship it to you. You get a tax deduction for 2010 and a nice limited edition signed canvas print. (These are also available on Fine Art Gallery Matte Paper, unmounted and unframed)

If you would like more detailed images feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to show the detail you are looking for.

These images are 20×30 canvas prints. If you prefer a smaller 16×20 canvas print, they are available too.





Canvas Image Close UpFine Art Gallery Matte Close Up

Just think about it… what a nice Christmas present these would make! Or anniversary present to your love! Better yet, send one to your facebook buddy on their Birthday so they don’t “unfriend” you! You could even cover that hole in the wall you’ve not patched for 6 months.

Lastly, you could tweet this page and help Hannah and I get the word out to your friends and family. This is a great opportunity to do good. Faith Quest Uganda has been an incredible blessing to many students. Now we have the chance to bridge the gap between two countries by bringing American students to Camp Saka and Faith Quest Uganda.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. I will be posting our Uganda letter later this week for all.

Until the whole world hears.
johno~

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52 blessings 07.2010


I remember when I was a young boy, about 7 or 8, a music teacher traveled door to door in our neighborhood selling music lessons… for the accordion. Oh, I so wanted to learn an instrument. Alas, we had no money for music lessons. In a way, I think my mom thought she was saving me from ridicule. She could have never known I could have been Weird Al Johnovic.

That was my musical chance and it was gone. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school, I decided to join band. I became a percussionist. I couldn’t read music, still can’t, had no idea on tempo, beat, etc. When I was put to the test for class, I would listen to the person before me and copy them. Which is a good idea unless they botch the whole thing… which they did. However, I made it.

I’ve always felt that I had some part in me that was “musical” I just never had the formal training. I just believe I can.

Just before my first daughter was born, I wrote a lullaby. It was my first song I had ever written. Well, I never wrote the music down, I just remembered the tune.

As a matter of fact, I’ve written 5 songs. One of them a small female singing group used as they toured Russia… “going public”

Another was for a little princess who lost her battle with a brain tumor.

Music is such a blessing. Perhaps I will learn to read music one day. For now, I’m learning my guitar. I’ve got more than three chords memorized and can even do a few bar chords. It’s the singing at the same time while playing thing that gets me. Little by little.

I hope to write a few more songs I have another lullaby to write. better get to it.

peace.
johno~

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Purposeful.

I’m really trying to do this blog thing better than I’ve done in the past… I realize I have far to go. It’s not that my spirit is not willing… my flesh, well, it’s not weak… just easily distracted.

In one short week I will be headed off to Guatemala with World Vision. I’ve still hundreds of things to do before then. I can tell it’s affecting me, because the other night I had a dream I was on the plane to go to Guatemala and didn’t even have my luggage packed. I kept saying, “I’ve got to get off this plane… I’ve got to get off this plane.” Strange enough, my next dream was driving to base camp getting ready to climb Mt. Everest. I seemed kinda stoked in that dream.

Perhaps someone, with a degree in counseling, can tell me if I’m losing my mind or facing giants… I’m not sure, however, I’m very thankful for my friends and family… mostly my wonder and sexy sports loving wife.

I know many of you are very purposeful with your finances. I’m thankful for the stewardship each of you have and for the many things you choose to bless. Soon many of you will receive a letter from Hannah and I discussing our efforts to journey to Uganda for Faith Quest. Please keep us in your prayers and consider how you might partner with us. There are so many ways we could partner.

One of my friends has partnered with me to print a limited collection of some of my work. I’ve chosen three prints.
1 CHILD
BLUE DOORS
ORANGE DRESS, GREEN DRESS

A donation of $350 or more will get your a 20×30 signed canvas print of your choice. I’ll pay for the print and shipping… you get a tax deduction for your donation. Does it get any better than that? YES!

If you prefer, you can have a photo printed on fine art gallery matte. The matte is incredible. I’ve seen a print and it showed more detail in the print than I saw on my screen. Amazing. If 20×30 is to large, a smaller 16×20 canvas print can be made.

If you are interested in a limited print, send a donation to:
King’s Orchard church of Christ
Uganda Mission Journey
P.O. Box 1019
Wenatchee, WA 98807

Send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions about getting a limited print. I will try to get some real pics of the prints up soon.

Hannah and I are so excited. We will keep you up to date.

Until the whole world hears.
Johno~

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52 blessings 06.2010


I’m not a big romantic, but I feel blessed to have a life that’s full of adventure, mystery and romance. Romance is a part of life. I can’t imagine living without it. Romance is more than a pounding heart, butterflies in your stomach or deep breaths… it’s story.

Romance is a thread that is woven in relationship. It pursues, captivates, embraces.

I’ve got a lot more to learn about romance… I know it’s way more than flowers, however, it seems as if flowers are, many times, the beginning of something special.

I post this on the eve of Valentine’s… I hope the extent of my romance is not a bunch of roses… I hope they’re just the beginning.

But you’ll have to ask my wife.

peace.
johno~

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52 blessing 05.2010


I remember my first taste of coffee… my mothers instant “tasters choice” YAK! I’m not sure how old I was, but I’ll never forget the laughs as my contorted face brought forth wonderful amusement for those watching. It wouldn’t be until I was 19 and fighting fire for Chelan County Fire Department. (Yes, I was a firefighter, EMT at one time). It was winter and cold. Fighting fire in the cold nights, wet and freezing, I knew I had to do something, but coffee? YAK! A friend of mine told me, “You need to drink coffee. What else is there” I told him about my experience with coffee, “tasters choice” and for what I tasted to be the “tasters choice” it must have been in the line up with chum, dirty toilet water and charcoal mixed with burnt food and water. He laughed at me like the others did so many years ago and he told me I needed to try an espresso shot.

My first espresso shot. I would like to say it was heaven, it was not. I still didn’t have the taste for coffee, but I was going to. It wasn’t a matter of liking the taste… it was a matter of staying warm. I knew I would drink coffee if it killed me and I would learn to drink it straight. None of this fancy pants stuff… Cream, sugar, etc. With as much junk as some folks put in their coffee, I doubt they are really drinking coffee.

Winter forged on and I forced every hot cup of coffee down that I could to stay warm. I was told the secret to good coffee was never washing your mug. I gave it a shot and I’m not sure when it really happened, but I got hooked… I fell head over heals for the taste and smell of coffee. I can’t imagine not having a nice hot cup of BLACK coffee. It is one of the best parts of each day. The aroma early in the morning just makes me smile.

Is it a drug? Am I addicted? Say what you want… I don’t really care. I love my coffee.

I’ve managed to have coffee from many parts of the world. Darker roasts are my favorite and I enjoy beans from Africa.

Is this a blessing? Of course it is. Take it away from me though and it could be a curse… for you. :)

peace.
johno~

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February Desktop 2010


Click on the photo and it will send you to the desktop gallery for 2010. Place your cursor over the image and a window will slide out. Save image to your desktop.

peace.
johno~

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