Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon was one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. I stood at the edge of the cliff saying out loud many times, “I can’t believe this is real.” 

I’m from the generation that everything we see is pretty much fake, its hard to realize what is real at times. But when standing in front of it, those who said it’s only a dream, you can’t help but feel anything and everything is possible.

The limits are limitless. 

Hiking that day in the Grand Canyon changed the both of us, Gus said, “Take one step at a time, we’ll get to the top together.” I did something I never thought I could do that day, overcome fear.

It was here that Gus proposed to me. I was nervous when he asked and couldn’t believe this was rallying happening, but I knew I wanted to spend every day with him. I gave him my answer and then tried to go back to normal but we now had a new normal…becomig life partners.

Book: The Cost of Discipleship

Last year I heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer for the first time. I never thought in a million years this Pastor German theologian from the 1930’s who died as a Martyr who piloted against Hitler in WW2 would impact me as it has. But with a bio like that, how could his life not have an impact on the generations after him? After reading Bonhoeffer by by Eric Metaxas, I ordered his first book, The Cost of Discipleship.

When I first started reading it, I kept thinking about the journey Bonhoeffer was on and the culture he was talking to. But soon after the first few pages, I began to think of my journey, and the culture I live in. The questions he was addressing, I’ve asked, but his conclusions weren’t afraid of the answers.

“…only the man who is dead to his own will can follow Christ.”

“Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son.”

Here I was reading the fundamentals of Christianity and yet it was so new to me. Why hasn’t anyone told me to read this book years ago? Now when I have conversations with my friends about living the Christian life, I find myself referring back to Bonhoeffer explanations on what living as a disciple really means.

Bonhoeffer writes these amazing chapters where he ask a question, and takes you on a journey looking for the answer. When he takes you to the conclusion, its like seeing the Scriptures in color for the first time. Simple concepts that I thought I knew. He goes in to depth.

The Sermon on the Mount,

Judging others – “If the disciples make judgements of their own, they set up standards of good and evil. But Jesus Christ is not a standard which I can apply to others. He is judge of myself, revealing my own virtues to me as something altogether evil..Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.”

Loving your Enemies –

“…Men should defeat their enemies by loving them.”

“We must love not only in thought and word, but in deed, and there are opportunities of service in every circumstance of daily life.”

“His behavior must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus.”

“…not only to refrain from treating him a he treats us, but actively to engage in heart-felt love towards him”

The chapter of loving your enemies made me think of what Bonhoeffer was going through at the time. Being a Christian German in the early 1930’s. Crazy to know he lived this…and know that he died for this.

Reading The Cost of Discipleship help me see the world and myself in a new perspective. It also required me to look in the mirror and to realize just what the gospel was saying to me.

“It is only because he became like us that we can become like him…By being transformed into his image, we are enabled to model our lives on his.”

“His life on earth is not finished yet, for he continues to live in the lives of his followers.”

Above all else, what I learned most, when I die to my own will, He lives.

Movie Scene: I am a Kid

I gave my self a week to film, edit and post a completed movie scene.  Tomorrow I’ll write about the making of, what I learned, and what this scene means.

One thing I will share with you: I have chosen my audience and who I want to delight. I enjoy movies that are honest and full of subtext themes.

Share your thoughts, comments and feel free to critique me. I am doing this to learn 🙂

watch on youtube

Road Trip to Salvation Mountain (35mm Film)

Road Trip to Salvation Mountain (35mmFilm), originally uploaded by Monica Briano.

I first saw Salvation Mountain on “Into the Wild”. I couldn’t seem to get that scene out of my head. This old man had painted a mountain declaring the love of Jesus. I was excited to find out that Leonard was a real person and Salvation Mountain was a real place. My friends and I went on a two day adventure to Niland, CA to have our own encounter with the artist, the mountain and God.
Here are some photos from my 35mm film camera. I took lots of digital photos that Ill post up soon.

What makes this amazing place special is Leonard, the Artist. Have one conversation with this man, and your life will be impacted. He is a visionary, a dreamer, and you might even think he was crazy. This 70 year old man’s passion for sharing the love of God is indeed inspiring. He wishes that all people from all walks of life will know how much God loves them, “He gave His only Son didn’t He?” Leonard told us. He also told us about all people from all over the world who have traveled to the desert to see his panted mountain and trees.

He loves talking to people and sharing this special place with the world, but most of all he wants to leave the earth knowing that all generations will have a place like this to come to and read how much Jesus loves them.

 

I love my film camera.

I love my film camera, or should I say LOVED.

Today I found out this amazing camera of mine, officially doesn’t work. Surprisingly, I wasn’t sad when I heard the news. Instead  I know that a new season of photography is about to begin for me.

A year ago I took the risk on this old outdated thing called film. Since then I have grown as a photographer and as an artist. I have finally discovered my personal style. I am one of those young artists who was schooled before I was able to explore my creativity. Photography started out as a personal outlet for me. It was in photography that I was able to be me, to take photos because I like to. This camera also helped me see the art of capturing personal moments that life gives us all the time.

And now I finally believe in myself. I believe in myself enough to invest in myself. I have saved the hard earn dollars and finally purchased a digital SLR. The Canon 7D. This large purchase wouldn’t have been possible without the risk of the purchase of the vintage film camera. Whoever the photographer was that owned this film camera, passed on their love and gift to me. They had to let go in order to go forward on their journey. And so I close my journey with this beloved camera and start a new one with the 7D. I am excited to learn and I’m ready to make mistakes. But one thing is for sure, I will always remember to use whatever God puts in my hands.

I do admit, I will keep an eye out for another great film camera. Because FILM IS NOT DEAD.

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